Evening console news: Sega has sued retail giant Kmart for allegedly not paying for more than $2.2 million worth of Dreamcast game consoles; Tecmo has confirmed the production of Monster Rancher 3 for the Playstation 2, the latest installment in the popular simulation monster breeding series; and Sega has released the first screenshots of Virtua Fighter 4, illustrating the game\'s vastly improved visuals over its predecessors.
Evening screenshots: Cornered Rat Software has released a promotional video for World War II Online; GA-Strategy has released six new screenshots for The Sims: House Party, which has yet to be announced for the Mac but is expected later this year; and Voodoo Extreme has posted a single new screenshot for PopTop Software\'s upcoming building/strategy game for the Mac and PC, Tropico.
Gathering of Developers writer Sanford May takes \"a look at level designers in their natural habitat,\" speaking to level designers about their work. Among the level designers included in the article are Ritual Entertainment\'s Mike Porter (Heavy Metal: FAKK2), Human Head Studios\' Mick Beard (Rune) and Terminal Reality\'s Joe Wampole (4x4 Evolution). \"Though it is a world confined to a scant few inches of computer monitor and some several hundred megabytes of hard disk space, itís their world, they are in charge, and for a few hours a day, they can make you do what they want.\"
Sin2ut Public Release 2 is a new version of a mod for Unreal Tournament which emulates maps, weapons and gameplay found in Ritual Entertainment\'s first-person shooter, SiN. This latest release may be the last due to lack of contributors and an unsuccessful search for a modeller to contribute time to the project. If you\'re willing to help on the project, see Sin2ut\'s web site for more details.
An email sent from Apple to sites that have been featured on iReview indicates that the service has been terminated. \"Dear iReview Badge recipient, iReview has been removed from http://www.apple.com. Please remove any badge and hyperlink references to iReview from your Web site. Thank you, Apple Computer Internet Services.\" No reason for the discontinuation of iReview was given, which disappeared following the debut of Macworld Expo Tokyo.
Both IMG and Accelerate Your Mac! have published select quotes from a conference call held yesterday with NVIDIA\'s Tony Tamasi, Director of Product Management. Each report answers a variety of different questions concerning the Mac version of the GeForce3, and Tomasi comments on the possibility of a third-party vendor, apart from Apple, selling the Mac GeForce3 on the retail market. \"Weíve actually been working with a number of traditional add-on card manufacturers and some of them have expressed interest in developing a product for the retail shelf for the Macintosh,\" says Tamasi, \"and as soon as one of those makes sense and productizes it, weíre happy to sell the chips.\"
MacPlay has announced that it has pulled the SiN Gold 1.1.2 patch due to problems reported under certain configurations. Users who are experiencing problems with the patch are encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the problem and an Apple System Profiler report.
Codec 1.0 is a 4D component that provides MD5 digest creation routines to 4D programmers.
Insecticide 1.0.1 is a $25 shareware anti-virus utility that can detect viruses, macro-viruses, trojan horses, worms, and HyperCard viruses. The software can manually scan files or can be set to automatically check them in the background or when they are opened. Version 1.0.1 is a maintenance release that fixes several bugs.
Michael Gaines sent us some notes regarding the G4/733 system that he received. \"[It] comes with 2 blank DVD-Rs and 2 blank CD-Rs. I had no idea that Apple would provide blank media, especially DVD-Rs since their Web site has them listed with a 45 day wait (we all know what that means). Hopefully this means that the 5-packs will be shipping soon. One odd thing about the new G4 is that it wouldn\'t boot off of the Software Restore CD with my 3-button Kensington mouse connected. I had to connect the Apple Pro mouse and reboot.\"
Afternoon screenshots: L\'Orbe has posted two new screenshots from Wolfpack Studios\' massive multiplayer online role-playing game for the Mac and PC, Shadowbane; MindlessGames.com has posted six new screenshots from Cornered Rat Software\'s massive multiplayer online war combat game for the Mac and PC, World War II Online; and Computer and Video Games has posted six new screenshots from Volition\'s upcoming role-playing game for the Mac and PC, Summoner.
Afternoon console news: Sony Computer Entertainment President Ken Kutaragi delivered a keynote speech discussing the broadband revolution and the evolving world of computer entertainment at the SGI Solution Forum 2001; a recent event let members of the press battle online in Worms World Party for the Dreamcast, set for release later this year; and Apple used a Sony Playstation 2 gaming console to promote its DVD Studio Pro editing software.
Halo Headquarters interviews Bungie community guy Matt Soell to talk about Halo for the X-Box which will also be released for the Mac and PC. \"Just be polite and bring a handkerchief when you see [Halo] at E3. Don\'t want passers-by slipping on other people\'s drool and suing us.\"
GA-Source details some of the improvements that will be made in Fly! II, the sequel to Terminal Reality\'s ultra-realistic flight simulator for the Mac and PC. Among the new features in Fly! II are crisper, clearer photo-realistic detail, increased visibility range, high accuracy altitude/elevation modelling and new visual effects. The game is scheduled to be released this Spring.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that its Battle.net online service as well as the company\'s web sites are currently the victim of a server attack by an individual or group. The company has contacted the FBI and European law enforcement to investigate, but cautions that some users may be unable to log in to Battle.net or load the company\'s web sites because of this issue.
RAID specialist Micronet, whose products included the FireWire SANcube, has ceased operations. Ampex, Micronet\'s parent company, announced the closure yesterday with little additional details. Micronet had failed to turn a profit since its inception. The SANcube Web site redirects to Netus, a networking company, with no details on the SANcube. [updated]
games.macnn.com has posted an update on the multiplayer patch for Baldur\'s Gate as well as the development of expansion pack Baldur\'s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast; in addition, the site notes comments made by id Software co-founder John Carmack on NVIDIA\'s new GeForce3. [updated]
id Software\'s John Carmack returned from Macworld Expo Tokyo and published an update to his .plan with his complete thoughts on NVIDIA\'s GeForce3. The post is highly technical; if terms like \"triangular rasterization dependencies\" and \"anisotropic filtering\" are unknowns to you, then you won\'t get much value out of Carmack\'s analysis. \"The short answer is that the GeForce 3 is fantastic,\" says Carmack. \"I haven\'t had such an impression of raising the performance bar since the Voodoo 2 came out, and there are a ton of new features for programmers to play with.\" Carmack was also seen making comments at Slashdot including those on how much effect AltiVec has had on his speed tests and the differences in speed in Doom III between the 733 MHz G4 and a 1 GHz Pentium III...
Today\'s new comic strip at Penny Arcade takes a humorous look at the first showing of the Doom III engine running on Mac OS X during the Macworld Expo Tokyo keynote. In addition, the comic authors themselves always comment directly on issues themselves, and today is no different. \"You poor bastards were - for a goodly while - the equivalent of martyrs where games were concerned, and even the comfort you could take in great titles we never saw on the PC wasn\'t enough to really call it even,\" notes Jerry Holkins (aka Tycho). \"With nVidia graphics hardware and OS X though, I\'m pretty damned close to calling it a wash.\"
Graphic Simulations Corporation has updated its web site with a note on progress made with the multiplayer patch for Baldur\'s Gate in addition to the expansion set, Baldur\'s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast. \"We are presently testing a new version of the Baldur\'s Gate Multiplayer update. Gameplay seems stable but testing will continue a few more days to be sure. If all goes well, beta testing will begin soon. Tales of the Sword Coast is coming along nicely. As soon as the multiplayer update for Baldur\'s Gate is finished, beta testing for Tales of the Sword Coast will begin.\"
Targetware announced today that earlier this week it had released both Mac and PC beta versions of its Target Korea online flight sim to a closed group of beta testers. The company has posted two screenshots (1, 2) of the game taken on a 533 MHz Power Mac G4 with NVIDIA\'s GeForce2 MX. One Mac user notes getting framerates in the range of 40 to 50 frames per second at 1600 x 1200.
Feral Interactive has released Championship Manager 00/01 3.89, a new version of its soccer management game for the Mac. The update comes in two different versions: one with the database updates included and one without the extra data. [12.7 MB -- w/ data; 2.3 MB -- w/o data]
Yesterday we published an in-depth look at NVIDIA\'s new GeForce3 including its official specifications and features, we posted a thorough recap of Steve Jobs\' keynote address as well as photo galleries from the event including those of John Carmack giving a first look at Doom III, Westlake Interactive announced that the Deus Ex multiplayer patch had entered beta testing and MacPlay announced that Fighter Squadron: Screamin\' Demons Over Europe for the Mac is slated for an April 16 release.
Apple has updated the iMac Developer Note to reflect the information pertaining to the new iMacs. Much of the information is identical to that of the previous iMac revision.
Willow Design has begun shipping its PowerBook G4 carrying case. Designed specifically for the PowerBook G4, the C$185 (US$123) case measures 15.5 x 13.5 x 6.0\" and weighs 3.1 pounds. The case is available in black, charcoal, navy, teal, and purple.
Vicomsoft is offering customers 10% off any of its products, including Internet Gateway, SurfDoubler, and FTP Client. Enter \"HELP\" as the promotion code on the ordering page. The sale expires March 1.
Web Confidential for Mac 2.2 is an update to the password manager that adds the ability to import data from tab limited text files as well as making encrypted passwords binary cross platform for compatibility with Web Confidential for Windows. The Web Confidential for Palm conduit has also been updated to version 1.2.
Net2Phone says it will release a public beta of its Mac software some time next month. Net2Phone allows users to make free phone calls from their PC to anywhere in the US, and offers reduced rates for international calls. In September we reported that Net2Phone was aiming to have its Mac software ready by January.
Nisus Software is offering special Macworld Tokyo pricing for its Nisus Writer 6.0.1 word processor. Until March 2nd, customers can purchase Nisus Writer 6.0.1 for $80 ($20 off), the Nisus Writer competitive upgrade for $60 ($10 off), or the Nisus Writer upgrade for $42 ($8 off).
Iomega has announced QuickSync 3, a new version of its automated backup software. Among its features, QuickSync 3 can automatically copy files that are moved or saved in a specified to location to another drive as well as scheduling backups. QuickSync 3 is now compatible with non-Iomega drives. The $20 software will ship for PCs on March 2, a Mac version is expected later this year.
Subband Software has launched the MacAmp add-ons section, where a collection of skins, plug-ins, utilities, and how-tos can be found for MacAmp 2.0.
As MacNN first noted yesterday, Apple has confirmed that International 500 MHz iMacs, excluding Canada, do indeed ship with older Power PC G3 750 chips, instead of the Power PC 750cx, and that the graphics processor is an 8 MB Rage 128 Pro, in place of the upgraded 16 MB Rage 128 Ultra.
Yesterday we noted that the Macworld Tokyo keynote is available for viewing (as well as a recap of the keynote), Apple\'s iTools update, new configurations at the AppleStore, details on the GeForce3, and the release of Opera 5.0 TP1.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl