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: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6