News Briefs for Monday, Dec. 11

Horizon Wimba Launches Pronto

Horizon Wimba has released Pronto, a free instant messaging and voice chat tool targeted toward educators and students. Pronto works with course management systems, such as Blackboard and WebCT, to add contacts to a student's contact list automatically. Access privileges are also created automatically based on a school's course management system. It features instant messaging, VoIP, group IM and VoIP and integration with course management systems.

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Hitachi Updates StarBoard

Hitachi Software Engineering has updated StarBoard, the company's software for controlling projectors. The new 7.1 release adds expanded capabilities and now supports the company's Projector Control (PJCtrl) software. PJCtrl support includes powering projector on and off, input switching and frame freezing. It also adds a projector search feature for finding projectors on the network without having to look up a projector's IP address.

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Toshiba Intros 100 GB, 1.8-Inch Hard Drive

Toshiba has introduced a new 100 GB, 1.8-inch hard drive. These types of drives are used in mobile devices, such as Apple's iPod, as well as smaller mobile PCs. This new version has a footprint 10 percent smaller than first-generation 1.8-inch drives. It uses two platters, with an areal density of 155.3 gigabits per square inch. It will ship to OEMs in January.

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Markzware Releases MarkzTools 7

Markzware has released MarkzTools 7, and update for the company's XTension for QuarkXPress. The new version adds support for QuarkXPress 7, as well as some new functionality, including the ability to save files down to QuarkXPress 4.1. It can also convert image previews to grayscale to save hard drive space. The new version is available for Mac OS X for $199.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).