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Developers at Google and Mozilla are working to increase PDF functionality in their web browsers. Mark Long at News Factor says, “Better PDF functions are being built into Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox. Chrome 13 beta saves web pages as a PDF file for reading away from an Internet connection. Firefox is getting a pdf.js spec to render web pages as PDFs.”

US Courts are beginning to make the move to PDF/A as their preferred technical standard for electronic case filing in the Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. Though no specific deadline has been set overall, each Court may determine its own deadline–and for some jurisdictions it may be soon. According to blogger Bruce Carton, “In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, for example, the court will start posting documents in PDF/A format beginning June 1, 2011, and all court ECF filings uploaded on or after Jan. 1, 2012, must be in PDF/A format.” If the thought of such a conversion catches you unaware, a primer is available from the PIT IP Tech Blog.

New Mexico’s Bankruptcy Court has delayed implementation of the PDF/A standard until software vendors support the format in their systems and standard word processing packages. The New Mexico Courts web page says, “The Bankruptcy Clerk’s Office is considering requiring that all documents be filed in PDF/A format with the upgrade to CM/ECF 4.1, which is anticipated to occur in the fall of 2011.” They believe the transition to PDF/A will occur soon after and encourage potential e-filers to check the compatibility of software they may use.

Autonomy is acquiring the majority of Iron Mountain’s digital product lines, digital archiving, e-discovery and online backup businesses, for $380 million in cash, placing itself as one of the world’s top 10 data protection providers. According to eWeek’s Chris Preimesberger, “Autonomy has been quietly gathering the pieces it needs to become a big-time digital content handler. In 2005, Autonomy acquired Verity, one of its main competitors, for approximately $500 million. In July 2007, it acquired Zantaz, an email archiving and litigation support company, for $375 million.”

Concordia University in Canada is now requiring theses be submitted to their Spectrum Research Repository in PDF/A format. Microsoft Word files and regular PDFs will no longer be accepted. The University has provided a handy how-to guide providing step-by-step instructions for saving as PDF/A.

Printing technologies are continually evolving to produce materials as quickly and effectively as possible. One big issue faced by the printing and publishing industry includes the tradeoff of engine speed versus data processing–and the PDF/VT standard offers a solution. To learn more, please read on.

Joel Geraci writes,”YouTube Widget for Acrobat Updated… Finally!” and says the widget for Acrobat and Reader (9.0 and higher) will allow streaming video from YouTube directly into PDF files. “URLs for YouTube videos are not considered valid by Acrobat 9 because they do not point directly to the video file but instead to a script that loads the YouTube player,” writes Geraci. However, the widget allows a user to embed codes to add video to any PDF page.

While the recent federal mandate to use PDF/A to file electronic documents in the Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system does not specify a deadline, many federal courts are beginning implementation. By moving to PDF/A format, PIT IP Tech blog writes, “electronically filed documents will be more accessible in the future and less dependent on technologies or features that may become unsupported.” PIT IP Tech Blog is offering a primer on how the courts are moving to PDF/A and what they can expect during implementation.

The US District Court of Southern Iowa has announced that PDF/A is its standard of choice for filing documents in the future. Calling it “desirable” to move to the PDF/A standard, the court’s website says, “The CM/ECF Working Groups, the Administrative Office, and perhaps Judicial Conference committees will be considering whether to develop a nationwide plan for all courts to begin enforcement of the PDF/A requirement on the same date. For now, all courts are encouraged to begin their preparations for the transition to PDF/A.”

The recent press fiasco surrounding US President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a watershed moment for PDF flattening: “the PDF document was released as a multi-layer graphical composition which was immediately preyed upon by hundreds of savvy image manipulators.” Because every element is an independent layer, writes Jacques Guillaumier on the Nitro PDF website, “the resultant set of 9 images is not typical of a PDF file produced from a scanned document, which should have produced one individual image.” With a little care, and a little PDF savvy, it need never have happened.