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: 153.87 ( + 0.53 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE