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iMac-style imitation part of capitalism
A reader writes about a recent article in Fortune Magazine (not available online), titled "Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Capitalism," which talks about the the slew of recently released consumer products "bastardizing the iMac appearance."
Microsoft, Intel, Dell among \'most admired\'
Fortune Magazine's latest "Most Admired Company" list includes the likes of General Electric, Cisco, Walmart, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft in the top 5 positions respectively with Intel and Dell roundout the list at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively. Apple was not among the top 10 (or the bottom 10 for that matter).
Apple servicing Titanium PBs with DVD issues
We have confirmed that Apple is offering to repair and service misaligned DVD mechanisms in new Titanium PowerBooks G4. The program will provide expedited repair (3 days plus a few days for shipping) to any person experiencing problems with the slot-loading DVD mechanism: "The unfortunate part is that they you'll need to go out without your PowerBook for a few days."
Designer buttons needed for freeware app
Micah Lanier is soliciting help in developing various designer button plug-ins for his freeware application ButtonMaker. Version 2.1 is due to be posted next week, but does not include any pre-designed buttons: "...because of the removal of Aqua, Platinum, Openstep, and Hi-Tech at Apple's request. I've also decided to also remove BeOS and IE buttons in order to avoid future trademark issues."
New tablet driver available from Wacom
Wacom's Macintosh beta driver 4.57-3 offers different mouse acceleration curves and some bug fixes. It is for its line of Intuos, Graphire, PL, ArtZ II, ArtZ, UD, PenPartner, ArtPad II, ArtPad and SD series tablets and is for Mac OS 7.0 or later (but not Mac OS X).
SilverFast SE for low-cost scanners, cameras
LaserSoft's new $50 SilverFast SE is a limited version of its high-end SilverFast Ai imaging application. SilverFast SE is designed to work with all major scanners while SilverFast DC-SE is designed to process data from all digital cameras.
Macromedia posts Flash 5.0a updater for Mac
Macromedia has posted Flash 5.0a, an update to version 5 of its vector media authoring environment for the Mac. The update provides overall improved reliability and stability for Flash 5 including improved export of complex Flash movies and better export to animated GIF format, system freezes when dragging to the timeline, and a fix for positioning items using the arrow keys.
Company warns of virus infected drivers
FireWire Depot warns that it has discovered "a non-destructive virus (MBDF-A) in the USB drivers for the combo 2.5" and 3.5" FireWire/USB enclosures. We recommend that you download the following free software [Disinfectant 3.7.1] to eradicate it from your system. We have notified the manufacturer and the developer of the software and will receive new replacement CD's. Replacement, clean, disinfected drivers can be found at our Website."
Micrsoft posted updates to TrueType Web fonts
Nik Stanosheck notes that Microsoft's MacTopia Website has posted 2 fonts that have been updated: "They are Arial and Times New Roman. Mac OS 9.1 comes with version 2.6 of these fonts, but these new updates from MS are version 2.9. I figured a number of your users would want to know that. You may wish to remind them that the only way to update your fonts is by starting up from another disk other than the disk your Fonts are stored on, since they are otherwise always in use by the OS." [Arial, Times New Roman]
Qto3: Roper Interview
Quarter to Three has published an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Bill Roper regarding the company's role-playing strategy game, WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. The interview begins with comments on the current status of the game's development...
SimHQ: Clebsch Interview
SimHQ.com has published an interview with Sickware CEO and Lead Programmer Sylvan Clebsch on the upcoming massively multiplayer flight combat sim for the Mac and PC, Target Korea. Among other things, Clebsch details how the company plans to involve the community itself in the development of the game...
GameSpot UK: Tropico preview
GameSpot UK has published a preview of Tropico, PopTop Software's upcoming building/strategy game of Caribbean dictatorship and political intrigue. "The aim of Tropico is simple: as El Presidente, stay in power by any means necessary. Achieving this is rather more complicated than one would imagine, as coups, armed revolutions and foreign interventions are just three of the more efficient ways of removing you from office should you take the task in hand a little too lightly."
FEED: Spector Interview
FEED Magazine has published an interview with Ion Storm's Warren Spector, the Producer on the critically acclaimed and award-winning game Deus Ex who is now working on both Deus Ex 2 and Thief III. Spector speaks in detail on game design, his background before entering the world of game development and the role he sees that the story plays in every game. "What I want to do, at least until someone comes up with a better idea, is to provide the skeleton of a story -- the powerful, traditional narrative arc -- while leaving players in complete control of the minute-to-minute," saus Spector. "Players can and should own their highly personalized story, but the overall arc belongs to the developers."
WWII Online enters Phase V
Beta testers involved with Phase V of the World War II Online Closed Beta Test share their experiences in the game at Crossroads of WWII. Five new screenshots of the massively multiplater online war combat game are also included.
PowerBook G4 auto/airplane adapter
Lind Electronics' Website lists a $100 PowerBook G4 power adapter for obtaining power from a standard cigarrette lighter and on airplanes.
PowerMail 3.08 adds HTML viewer, auth STMP
CTM Development has released PowerMail 3.08, an update to its $50 flagship e-mail application with full compatibility with complex languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Hebrew. It brings authenticated STMP support, a built-in HTML viewer, Palm Desktop script support, and Microsoft Entourage import/export. A 30-day trial as well as an (separate) early beta for Mac OS X is available.
Apple to Webcast keynote via QT from Tokyo
Apple will stream a live Webcast via QuickTime of next week's Macworld Tokyo keynote by Steve Jobs on February 22nd, 10 am local time (Feb 21st, 8 pm ET). [page removed]
QuickTime 5 links, notes, and issues
Following reports of installation problems, start-up freezes, public preview expiry problems, and other problems with the preview of QuickTime 5, Apple's Tech Info Library has information on how to remove QT 5 Public Preview. Our Multimedia forum also has notes on how to install the QuickTime 5 Previews on non-US systems and on the Sorenson 3 codec in the latest public preview release. QT 5 Preview 3 expires April 15th, as noted in the license agreement. Readers can provide feedback on QuickTime (suggestions or bug reports) directly via the Apple Website. [also see comments from QT5PR2 Expiry and QT5PR3 Release news items]
CarbonLib 1.2.5 available online
A MacNN reader notes that Apple's (public) developer ftp server has a 'GM' release of the latest CarbonLib 1.2.5 (contained in the SDK). The latest release version, CarbonLib 1.2, is available online from Apple's software pages. Version 1.1 ships with Mac OS 9.1.
Tech: Juno looking for merger, stocks slide
Afternoon tech news: free ISP Juno (which lacks Mac support) says it is open to mergers or acquisitions as the company reevaluates its market position, calling the free ISP model "dead"; Nortel's earnings warning has led tech shares down sharply today; DSL provider Covad has said it will shut down another 60 offices in an effort to get a handle on its finances; and cell phone makers could be held liable if their products are proven to contribute to airplane crashes.
SmartDisk lowers pricing on VST drives
SmartDisk has lowered its prices by $40 to $100 on VST ultra-thin FireWire and FireWire/USB Combo Hard Drives as well as lowered the price on its portable 120GB RAID FireWire Tower drive by $1,000. We have pricing and other info on future products...
FEED: Hard LeBel Interview
FEED Magazine has published an article discussing the issue of story and plot in action games and more specifically, Oni. The article includes a two-page interview with Bungie's Hardy LeBel, Lead Designer on Oni, which contains many insights into decisions on the game's design...
Q3:A Hellfire 1.5 Released
Hellfire Arena 1.5 is the latest release of the mod for Quake III: Arena. The new version adds random weapon spawning, six types of runes, telefrag instagib, new spawn as spectator and record game commands in the user interface, a grappling hook, improved "intelligent" weapon switching, a new individual weapon scoring method and more.
Follow-up on WEP security flaws
One reader forwarded a circulating email from Stuart Kerry, the Chair of the IEE 802.11 Standard working group, in response to recently uncovered security flaws in the WEP algorithm, which he says has generated "some misconceptions on this topic that are now spreading through the media."
Yaya.com Mac programming job
Yaya.com is currently looking for a Macintosh network programmer in the Los Angeles and Century City, CA area to work on online interactive games...
StorySpace 2.0: Hypertext enviroment
Eastgate Systems has released StorySpace 2.0, a $100 upgrade to its hypertext writing environment for creating large, complex, and challenging hypertexts: "Storyspace is designed for the process of writing. Where other systems often emphasize visual presentation, Storyspace emphasizes writing, linking, and organizing." Version 2 of the $300 application adds customizable, template-based HTML export, improved typography, new intuitive map views, better sound and video support, and multiple undo and contextual menu support.
PC Magazine on MHz Gap, Jobs vs. Gates
PC Magazine's John Dvorak writes about the MHz Gap between Macs and PCs as well as his shock at "the similarity of the two speeches [more] than anything else," after returning from Bill Gates' recent CES keynote: "The two keynote addresses had a weird sameness to them. Both men showed off their next-generation operating systems. Gates showed how cool Whistler is. And Jobs showed how cool the Mac OS X is. To me, OS X looked cooler."
Accessing iDisk from Windows environments
Ted Capiendo has posted instructions on accessing Apple's iDisk from his Windows PC: "It's kind of complicated and involves emulating a Mac. If anyone knows of a simpler way, I'd like to hear it."
Feedback: QT5 preview, Macs in media, Windows
We've had much reader feedback on the recent QuickTime 5 Preview 3 release, both MSNBC and Business Week's anti-mac sentiment, Microsoft's latest Windows XP release, and on a report saying that Apple may attend a UK-based expo in November.
Roundup: Jobs keynote in UK, Coola for Mac...
Yesterday we noted the release of QuickTime 5 Preview 3, a UK-based live showing of Jobs' keynote from Macworld Tokyo next week, and Mac support for Coola's Palm services. Other updates included Smith Micro's updated video conferencing solution Videolink pro 1.1, ImageViewer 5.4, and Email Merge 2.0.
Final Draft AV: dual-column script writing
Final Draft Inc. has releasd Final Draft AV (Audio Video) which it describes as "a self-contained, full-featured word processor specifically designed for dual-column, audio/video scriptwriting." The $250 application is available at a $100 discount during an introductory offer.
PO ToolBox 1.2 adds city/state/zip lookup
Intelli Innovations has posted P.O. Toolbox 1.2, an update to its U.S. Postal Service package management tool. Version 1.2 adds a new city/state and zip code lookup tools and other improvements to the $100 utility. Classic and Mac OS X versions are available as well as a time-limited demo.
Mac alert sound site Clixsounds returns
After a year-long hiatus, Clixsounds, the site for Mac alert sounds, has returned with a new audio file, contest, and special pricing on some of its products.
CrushFTP 2.0 nears release with fc3
CrushFTP 2.0fc3 is the latest pre-release version of the full-featured $20 Java FTP server. This update improves the application's ability to limit bandwidth and offers various other minor improvements and fixes.
Ambrosia offers all shareware for $10
In honor of "National Shareware Amnesty Week" Ambrosia Software is offering all of its shareware games and utilities for $10 each, representing a savings of 33% to 75%. The offer expires Feb. 20.
Apple reportedly prepping iTunes 1.1
Apple is reportedly working with Toast creator roxio to add support for other CD-RW drives to iTunes, according to Macworld UK. The development comes as a surprise given Apple's purchase of Radialogic's CD Master late last year, which already supports numerous third party drives. iTunes 1.1, as it is being billed, is expected to be released within two months, as per Apple CEO Steve Jobs' promise that third-party CD-RW support would arrive within 90 days of Macworld Expo.
Tech: Oracle denies Clinton rumors, more...
Early morning tech news: Oracle has denied that it is courting former president Clinton for a spot on its board of directors; E*Trade Japan has added PDA support for online brokering; ITC has sold its 10+ million share stake in Earthlink; and hackers defaced The New York Times web site after defacing sites belonging to HP, Compaq, Gateway, Intel, AltaVista, and Go.com late yesterday.
Mozilla 0.8 improves speed, adds features
Mozilla 0.8, the latest version of the open-source browser project, offers several changes, including find/replace functionality, improved appearance manager support, and other changes as well as substantial performance improvements according to one reader.
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