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OctaneCloud AMI zooms past expectations, now free

That was fast.

An unexpected surge in interest in the "future of streaming" -- OTOY's new OctaneCloud app and game streaming service that launched last month -- led the company on Wednesday to extend its free trial indefinitely.

"We were expecting to get a few hundred customers in a year, and we got 500 in the first month," OTOY's CEO Jules Urbach said. "The last time [Amazon] launched one of these services they got 500 [customers] in a year."

Hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), OctaneCloud streams core Autodesk applications such as … Read more

Amazon signs up for 'future of streaming' ORBX

One potential future for streaming technology doesn't look much like it does today, and that was enough to convince Amazon Web Services to sign up for it.

Amazon began to offer to AWS customers technology on Tuesday that allows them to stream complex games and software, thanks to a deal with visual rendering firm OTOY to implement the new JavaScript codec ORBX.

AWS customers using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) G2 will be able to stream complex software and games that require scalable GPU ray traced rendering such as Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya from AWS servers to … Read more

ORBX streaming tech could revolutionize computing

SAN FRANCISCO -- First-person shooter games don't appeal to Brendan Eich, Mozilla's chief technology guru and the guy who created JavaScript nearly two decades ago. He doesn't let his kids play them, either, he says. But he was so excited on Friday about showing off the potential of a new browser codec called ORBX.js at Autodesk's One Market Street offices here that he began playing Epic's Unreal Tournament 3 "Sanctuary" level in a room of 20 or so witnesses.

As Eich maneuvered somewhat awkwardly through the onslaught of opponents, Jules Urbach, CEO … Read more

Mozilla: Look ma, no plug-in for video, apps

A new codec from Mozilla and OTOY will let browsers run high-performance rendering apps like Autodesk and high-definition video without plug-ins, the companies unveiled Friday.

The new, open-source digital stream encoder and decoder, called ORBX.js, obviates the need for a plug-in like Flash, Sliverlight, or QuickTime to run HD video in the browser. Mozilla and OTOY expect live TV, watermarked video, and cloud gaming to all get a boost in HTML5-enabled browsers that support it. Currently, that list includes all five major browsers: IE 10, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

"Thanks to our ongoing efforts in making the … Read more

See ya, Segway! We've got a suitcase electric scooter now

Segway scooters are still kind of cool, but they have the disadvantage of being big. It's a bit difficult to just pack one up, take it on your morning public transportation commute, and then saddle up to ride it to the office. Israeli designer Amir Zaid is thinking smaller than Segway when it comes to his all-electric MUV-e scooter. It's small enough to fold up into a suitcase-size bundle.

Zair's resume includes design work for Ferrari and Fiat, so you know the MUV-e isn't going to look like other scooters. It has three wheels and lots of rounded edges. There's even a bit of a Tron aesthetic at work here in looking at the renderings for the final product. Dare I say, it looks a little sporty? Not at all like this boxy scooter we saw recently.… Read more

Getting started with Pixlr Express for Android

Generally the addition of "Express" to the name of any program means that it is a light or less feature-packed version of the original. However, in the case of Pixlr Express, the amount of options packed into the app doesn't make it feel like a light version at all.

The company behind this app is Autodesk, which also makes Pixlr-o-Matic and AutoCAD. Think of Pixlr Express as a beefed-up version of Pixlr-o-Matic; not only do you get all of the vintage filters, but another 600+ effects can be applied in the new app.

Get started by grabbing&… Read more

Bring designs to life with Autodesk Inventor Fusion

Autodesk Inventor Fusion is a Mac application for creating 3D CAD designs. This is not a stripped-down product meant to give you a taste of a much more expensive tool, but a free full-featured product of its own. The download is sizable at 740MB but installation on our MacBook Pro went quickly and easily. Once installed, Autodesk Inventor Fusion requires a bit of a learning curve to use effectively, but that's to be expected from a product such as this one.

The process of designing with Autodesk Inventor Fusion begins with the 2D sketch. A set of simple and … Read more

Popular Mechanics honors breakthrough innovations

What do Elon Musk, Leap Motion, Microsoft Surface and Windows 8, Autodesk 123D, and Dow Solar's PowerHouse Solar Shingles have in common?

They are all among the winners of Popular Mechanics magazine's eighth Breakthrough Awards. Awarded each year by a panel of the magazine's editors, the honors go to people and products that are seen to be leading the world of science and commerce forward.

This year's product winners are: The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest and Backpack; the Lytro camera; Autodesk 123D; Microsoft Surface and Windows 8; Ford's 1-liter EcoBoost engine; Dow PowerHouse … Read more

Autodesk to buy Facebook favorite Socialcam for $60M

Autodesk has signed an agreement to acquire Socialcam, the popular Facebook video-sharing app, for approximately $60 million, the two companies revealed today.

Autodesk, a company that creates 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, will focus on helping the startup grow. This transaction is expected to close soon.

"Autodesk will prioritize support for the existing Socialcam community, while investing in scaling the platform and developing a more comprehensive set of tools for Socialcam users," the company said in a press release. "Autodesk also plans to use the Socialcam platform to help make its Academy Award-winning technology for professional … Read more

How to quickly convert flash games into mobile apps

Have a hit flash game on the PC? Autodesk has a way to quickly and easily get it on the smartphone.

Last week, the company unveiled the latest version of its Scaleform software, a tool used by programmers to make games for consoles and, increasingly, smartphones. In fact, the newest version has more features dedicated to the mobile environment, a reflection of the growing importance of that market.

I spoke with Autodesk executives Mark Stevens and Frank Delise about the new software and got their thoughts on the gaming industry as a whole.

Scaleform started as a tool to help … Read more