Lots of things come over the transom that I find very interesting but don’t have time to do much about. But they’re too cool to keep to myself, so …

CFD on a Mac
Sympscape (aka Caedium) was mentioned in this blog a while back for making CFD results available via Twitter. They’ve surprised again by making their CFD product available on a Mac. According to their most recent newsletter, “Now Mac fans can enjoy the same rich interactive unified simulation environment for CFD that Caedium users on Windows and Linux have been embracing. No longer do Mac owners have to compromise their user experience by using Boot Camp or virtual machines – Caedium now runs as a native application on OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard).”

The Cloud Debate Rages On
Thousands of words have been written about the potential for engineering software on the cloud. Pricing remains an issue, as does convincing users of the security and performance of apps run on the cloud. The vendors I’ve spoken with are enthusiastic about its potential; the engineering managers I’ve spoken with are far more reserved, but see possible benefits in running CAE apps on a combination of proprietary and external clouds. Some of the most cogent thinking about this issue has been summarized in a Wall Street Journal article that is free for all readers here. The piece also suggests virtualization as an alternative.

Role-based Pricing Expands
I’m a fan of sellers making buyers aware of the full cost of whatever they’re buying, whether it’s software or a car. Bentley Systems has announced “Value-Creative Pricing” for several of its products, bundling together software, training, and content for piping designers and mechanical engineers using its AutoPLANT product.

Social Media Does Drive Sales
Someone told me that a study found that people are more likely to buy products from brands or vendors they follow on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites — which makes sense, since they likely follow brands that already interest them. What’s cool is the emerging practice of targeting atypical influencers to build awareness. Read about the way Chevrolet is marketing the Volt and how Ford tried something similar with the Fiesta.

Autodesk Expands Clean Tech Partner Program
The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program was launched in July 2009 to award software grants to clean technology companies to help them innovate more rapidly and get to market faster and at lower cost. Previously vailable only to North American companies, Autodesk now invites European companies to apply: www.autodesk.de/cleantech or www.autodesk.co.uk/cleantech.