SketchUp 8 M3


There’s been quite a bit going on around SketchUp HQ lately, what with the Trimble thing and the launch of our exciting new SketchUp Showcase and all. But Tyler and the rest of the Engineering gang haven’t just been sitting on their hands, either. Today, they’ve got a fresh new SketchUp maintenance build for you as well. Nothing major, but there’s some good stuff in it.

As usual, you can read all the details here, but for those who just care about the highlights:

  • We’ve fixed some more crashes folks reported in Ruby Observers.
  • Those of you with many Ruby extensions installed should no longer suffer from greyed-out menu items.
  • SketchUp Pro network licenses on Windows now allow multiple instances to run on the same machine at one time.
  • …and the usual collection of performance improvements, security updates and bug fixes.

SketchUp will notify you the next time it checks for an update, but if you just can’t wait, download a fresh install right now.

Android 3.2 Updated SDK tools


Today we are announcing the Android 3.2 platform, an incremental release that adds several new capabilities for users and developers. The new platform includes API changes and the API level is 13.

Here are some of the highlights of Android 3.2:

Optimizations for a wider range of tablets. A variety of refinements across the system ensure a great user experience on a wider range of tablet devices.

Compatibility zoom for fixed-sized apps. A new compatibility display mode gives users a new way to view these apps on larger devices. The mode provides a pixel-scaled alternative to the standard UI stretching, for apps that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes.

Media sync from SD card. On devices that support a removable SD card, users can now load media files directly from the SD card to apps that use them.

Extended screen support API. For developers who want more precise control over their UI across the range of Android-powered devices, the platform’s screen support API is extended with new resource qualifiers and manifest attributes, to also allow targeting screens by their dimensions.

For a complete overview of what’s new in the platform, see the Android 3.2 Version Notes.

We would also like to remind developers that we recently released new version of the SDK Tools (r12) and of the Eclipse plug-in (ADT 12). We have also updated the NDK to r6.

Visit the Android Developers site for more information about Android 3.2 and other platform versions. To get started developing or testing on the new platform, you can download it into your SDK using the Android SDK Manager.


New high-resolution underwater terrain in World Oceans Day

In celebration of World Oceans Day, Google has released a significant amount of brand new high-resolution ocean floor imagery, amounting to an area larger than North America!

Captured from nearly 500 ship cruises and 12 different institutions, the data was curated by the Lamont-Dohery Earth Observatory. The image below shows the areas that have been udpated:


To explore more of the new features, Google has created a “Seafloor Updates layer” to show off the highlights, seen here:

The deepest volcanic eruption ever recorded was at the West Mata volcano near Fiji, photos of which can be seen in the Deep Sea Vents Ridge 2000 tour. Coincidentally, Frank is celebrating World Oceans Day by spending a full day diving in the ocean in Fiji. You can read about that experience on the Tahina Expedition blog.

All of this data is fun to look at, but there are some important scientific benefits as well. In particular, a more detailed ocean map can help us understand how tsunamis will spread around the globe. At this point, we know more about the surface of Mars and the Moon than we do about the ocean floor, so advances like these are becoming more critical.