MacNN has learned that Witchita, Kansas-based Newer Technology has ceased operations and laid off most, if not all, of its employees. The beleagued manufacturer of CPU upgrades and other peripherals informed employees, who will receive two weeks of severence pay and one month of health care, of the decision today via US Mail. Newer Technology\'s offices are closed for the holidays, and a recording on the company\'s phone line continues to state that they will resume operations January 2. In early February, Newer Technology asked creditors for a one year extension on loans, to help keep the company afloat. Its manufacturing partner, TRI-M, then bailed the company out and implemented widesweeping product strategy and personnel changes, in an effort to turn the company\'s financials around. Future support for Newer products, as well other company-related matters, remain unclear at this point.
osx.macnn.com has posted a news item about CDRecorder, a command line SCSI CD-R burning software binary, for Mac OS X.
IMG has posted an interview with Michael Rogers, President of Aspyr Media. The Austin, Tx.-based Mac game publisher has brought some of the hottest games in the industry to the Mac including Deus Ex, The Sims and The Sims: Livin\' Large. Rogers comments on the company\'s plans for Mac OS X support in current and future titles: ...we are planning to support OS X very soon now. At the beginning (before the official 1.0 release) we will offer downloadable OS X patches for some of our games, with the ultimate goal of shipping OS X versions in the box. The basic structure of OS X is very encouraging to me. Apple needs to finish some details, but it\'s obvious that they know what they\'re doing in that regard. At some point in the future, all commercial games will probably be OS X only, so we\'re doing all we can to understand the OS and what advantages it offers games.
NextForce Software has posted Presentation Prompter 2.5, the $15 Macintosh teleprompting application. This version improves performance on all machines, changes prompting methods to give the user more precise control and fixes several minor interface glitches.
Friday is the deadline for online registration for Macworld Expo & Conference in San Francisco Jan. 9 through Jan. 12. There are six registration packages from which to choose.
Intelli Innovations has posted PowerPrompter 1.7, a $15 shareware prompting tool for Macintosh. This version implements spacebar pause and resume and a new numeric speed control and includes an enhanced Full Screen mode.
LinuxPPC has released LinuxPPC 2000 Q4, a Linux operating system for PowerPC processors. This version includes three CD-ROMs and FWB Hard Disk Toolkit PE. It includes the first graphical versions of yaboot and miboot software. The Install CD-ROM is bootable on all PCI-based Apple Power Macintosh computers.
EL Benoit discovered that the interactive CD-ROM packaged with the X-Men VHS movie works with Macintosh systems. \"I popped it in my Mac to give it a try ... and I was happy to find out it works just fine.\"
Evening tech news: The FCC will delay its vote on the proposed merger between America Online and Time Warner until after the new year; the Pentium 4 has been found to be slower than the Pentium III (free registration required); and IBM has begun shipping the \"industry\'s fastest UNIX-based workstation,\" which runs on copper-based processors.
Apple is offering educators its \"Valedictorian Collection,\" which consists of a Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube or PowerBook and eligibility to buy the Adobe Design Collection for only $400. This represents a savings of $100 over regular education pricing. Adobe\'s Design Collection includes InDesign 1.5, Photoshop 6.0, Illustrator 9.0 and Acrobat 4.05. The offer is valid until March 31.
Joerg Schilling has started work on an alpha version of his popular command line utility CDRecord for burning CD-R\'s for Mac OS X with SCSI CD-R Drives. There is a lot of helpful information on his website. Please read all of the README files associated or discuss this in our forums for help with installing and using this with Mac OS X Public Beta.
games.macnn.com has published the Slacker\'s Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 3 which offers four Mac shareware games that make appearances on the site\'s \"Recommended\" list.
Yesterday H&R Block announced the release of Kiplinger TaxCut Deluxe 2000 for the Mac; AppleInsider published notes on possible V\'Ger G4 delays, which could impede Apple\'s abilities to ship faster G4 systems and G4 PowerBooks next month; games.macnn.com covered Blizzard Entertainment\'s announcement of an upcoming ladder reset for Diablo II and a note on where to find Quake III: Team Arena for $18; and MacDesktops posted 14 new pictures, including 6 (art), Apple (holidays), blue silk (art) and don\'t worry (portraits).
We\'ve published the Slacker\'s Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 3 which offers four Mac shareware games that make appearances on our \"Recommended\" list.
Yesterday we reported that Heroes III Complete for the Mac is now shipping, French Touch Software announced the release of WaterRace for the Mac in addition to a new demo for the game and Blizzard Entertainment announced a reset date for the Standard and Hardcore Diablo II Ladders. We published Kitty\'s Adventures in The Sims Volume 1, a new weekly feature at games.macnn.com which presents fictitious stories on lives in The Sims while also providing our readers with downloadable objects for the game.
Adobe Systems has released Illustrator 9.0.2, a new version of the company\'s popular vector graphics tool for the Mac. The company has not provided any details as to the changes in this version.
Stomped has published its latest Year-End 2000 interview with Dr. Ray Muzyka, joint-CEO of Neverwinter Nights developer Bioware. \"Online is becoming more prevalent,\" says Muzyka, \"and we\'re confident that Neverwinter Nights will lead the way towards an entirely new kind of online/multiplayer game.\"
Scott Kevill has announced that Mac users can now play Heroes III Complete and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division on GameRanger, the free multiplayer online gaming service. The two additions brings the total number of games supported to 58.
Aladdin Systems is offering substantial year-end savings on several software titles. The prices are good from now until Dec. 31. IBM Via Voice Enhanced Edition for $100, a savings of $50; StuffIt Deluxe 6.0 for $30, a savings of $50; MacLink Plus 12 for $60, a savings of $40; and Kai\'s Photo Factory for $30, a savings of $20.
Jeff Baumann has created a page that details the problems associated with the hinge of 1998 \"Wallstreet\" PowerBook G3s, whose hinge/clutch system that holds the screen open has become notorious for failing recently.
MacForce is a new Web site that offers Mac technical support and consulting as well as online games, pro-Mac apparel, and more. (requires Flash)
Apple.com dropped to the fifth most-visited hardware site for the week ended Dec. 23, according to PC Data. It had been in the fourth spot the previous week. Dell.com and Compaq.com were once again first and second, while HP.com moved from fifth to third.
Newsday.com has a positive review of the G4 Cube, placing it No. 10 on their top 10 list of consumer electronics products of 2000. \"It\'s a pity to put a Cube on a desk littered with printers and keyboards and Zip drives. I keep mine on the mantel, and just stare at it when there\'s nothing on TV.\"
Steve Jobs was proclaimed a loser for 2000 by CBS MarketWatch. \"During the summer, Jobs appeared in his glory on stage at MacWorld in New York City among giant images of Albert Einstein and John Lennon to unveil his new G4 Cube computer. Although it won big points for its design, its high price tag was a big blunder and sales tanked, along with Apple shares.\"
Morning tech news: A group of technology companies is creating a set of industry standards that could help put digital piracy protections directly into disk drives as soon as this summer; and Palm and Delphi Automotive Systems will introduce a dashboard device that allows people to use voice commands to call anyone in their handheld\'s address book.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives