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AirPort 1.3 adds several enhancements
AirPort 1.3 adds PPPoE support, scriptability support, and computer-to-computer networking enhancements.
Sinbad greets Apple support callers
Kyan Mulligan notes that callers to Apple's support line are now greeted to an introductory message by AppleMaster Sinbad. "In addition, you are also told how long the wait line is. While waiting, you can also chose to listen to pre-recorded information."
Tech: Intel cuts chip prices
Evening tech news: Internet2, a private high-speed network code-named Abilene and currently reserved by research institutions for transferring high-quality audio and video, will be expanding to include additional colleges and K-12 schools; Voice-Over-DSL (VoDSL) will soon become an option for making multiple phone calls using a Digital Subscriber Line; and Intel has cut the prices of its Pentium III chips from 7 to 19 percent in addition to making nominal price cuts on its Pentium 4 line.
Napster filtering falling short
Even as Napster begins to institute a filtering technology which attempts to prevent users from trading select copyrighted music, many of the most popular songs continue to be freely swapped on the service. Metallica and Dr. Dre alone still have over 200 songs available, and users are taking advantage of the lack of a fuzzy filtering mechanism by using simple alphabetical and numerical combinations to work around the filters.
MacNN Downtime; Server Upgrades
We apologize for the downtime today as we spent time upgrading our servers. We expect intermittent downtime over the next 24-36 hours as we continue to upgrade our systems to provide optimal system performance and additional services to our readers.
Sharky: Summoner Preview
A hands-on preview of Volition's upcoming 3D role-playing game for the Mac and PC, Summoner, has been posted at Sharky Games. "True to form Volition is out to wow you from the start. The game uses a 3D camera system that lets you get in behind the character for a 3rd person over-the-shoulder perspective or zoom out to an almost top-down view of the action. Everything is 3D and the depth of color easily rivals such lookers as Sacrifice, while the level of detail, and gameplay style is vaguely reminiscent of Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption."
Sharky's Guide to Texture Filtering
Sharky Extreme has published a Guide to Texture Filtering, explaining everything you'd ever want to know about mipmapping, bilinear filtering, trilinear filtering, supersampling and more. In addition, the guide hints at what possible improvements will likely be seen in consumer graphics cards introduced in the future.
Princeton reduces LCD17 to $899
Princeton Graphic Systems today reduced the price of its LCD17 to $899, making it the most affodable 17" flat-panel display on the market. The LCD17 features a 1280x1024 native resolution, 400:1 contrast ratio, and a VGA connector.
DPerry.com: Harvey Smith interview
DPerry.com, the web site of Shiny Entertainment's Dave Perry, has posted an interview with Ion Storm's Harvey Smith, Lead Designer on Deus Ex who is now working on a sequel to the award-winning action/role-playing/adventure hybrid. The interview focuses on getting a job in the games industry, working as a game designer and the future of game design.
Smaller game boxes
pc.ign.com looks at the incredible shrinking game box as the computer game industry tries to set a new standard for game box design. "Through a big push by some of the major retailers who carry PC games, publishers may soon have a new packaging standard to conform to."
More info. on Diablo II: LoD
DiabloII.Net has made a massive update to its information section on items in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, the upcoming expansion set for the bestselling action/role-playing hybrid Diablo II. The updated section, which now includes a main page and 17 sub-pages, covers a variety of new and interesting items which will be added with the expansion set including runes. "You might throw your best Rares in the trash and start saving up Runes and socketed items when the Expansion arrives," predicts the site.
ViewSonic introduces 50" plasma display
ViewSonic has introduced the VPW500, a $13,000 50" gas plasma display. The wide-screen VPW500 features a 1280x768 resolution, DVI connector, 550:1 contrast ratio, and is HDTV ready.
New info. on WarCraft III
802.11b Protocol Information
O'Reilly Network has published an article that discusses the 802.11b protocol (AirPort), how to optimize its use, external antenna solutions, and other information.
Millenium gaming network
Former Sega.com executives have launched a new company, Millenium Entertainment, with plans to deliver a high-speed, high-performance Internet service for all online-capable gaming platforms including personal computers, Sony Playstation 2, Microsoft X-Box, Nintendo GameCube and Sega Dreamcast. The high-speed gaming network, set to begin testing in March and formally launch later this spring, can handle up to 1 million users connected simultaneously.
Console: X-Box Preview Pt. 1
Evening console news: xbox.ign.com has published part one of its guide to Microsoft's X-Box gaming console and the games it will offer; Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Square Pictures' upcoming movie based on the popular Final Fantasy game franchise, was recently previewed to the press where it received mixed reactions; and Mario Kart Advance will represent a portable version of the original Mario Kart for the SNES on Nintendo's new GameBoy Advance handheld.
Rocket Arena Mac compatibility
Rocket Arena, a popular mod for Quake III: Arena currently not compatible with the Mac version of the game, will become Mac-compatible with the release of version 1.5 in the next two weeks (pending a point release from id). The update will also include five new maps, cheat protection and an integrated IRC chat client.
Mac Rune Patch Status
IMG has received word from Westlake Interactive's Mark Adams that the company will likely be putting together a patch for the Mac version of Rune, incorporating additions and changes from the PC patch in addition to a couple of minor Mac-specific issues. "We're waiting for their patch to be released before we look at it," said Adams. "At that point we'll get the code and see how big a code change it is. Since this is the only major Rune patch they've done, the odds are very good we'll do it pretty quickly if they didn't radically rewrite the game."
GamePower: Tropico Preview
GamePower has published a preview of Tropico, the upcoming strategy/simulation game for the Mac and PC from PopTop Software. (We published our own in-depth preview of Tropico last week, which covers gameplay, characters and more.)
UbiSoft to buy Game Studios
UbiSoft, a large game publisher of both console and PC titles, is in the final stages of closing a deal to acquire Game Studios, the entertainment division of The Learning Company, according to EuroGamer. Among Game Studios' upcoming titles is Myst III: Exile for the Mac and PC, which is set to be released on May 7.
No Mac Summoner Demo
Volition's Mark Allender, Lead Programmer on Summoner for the Mac and PC, told games.macnn.com that the company currently has no plans to release a Mac demo of the game after releasing a PC demo late last week. "Unfortunately, we are not currently planning for a Macintosh demo," said Allender.
Alien Nation beta testers sought
Titan Computer is looking for beta testers for its upcoming real-time strategy/simulation game, Alien Nations. The game lets players use any one of three available nations: the alien Pimmons, the humanoid Amazons or the insect Sajikis.
Second Shadowbane Beta Journal
Wolfpack Studios and Gathering of Developers have posted the second beta journal for Shadowbane, the companies' upcoming massive multiplayer online role-playing game for the Mac and PC. The journal is written by your average beta tester, describing events and gameplay as they test the game in development. "I walk into town and see a few friendly faces. For the most part, I've just been fighting monsters by myself and haven't been able to tackle any of the bigger ones. I'm kind of curious about some of the higher level monsters so I look around for a few friends to group with and see if we can kill any."
Console: Tekken 4, Soul Caliber 2
Afternoon console news: The 3DO Company has released High Heat Baseball 2002 for the Sony Playstation; Activision has released new screenshots from Spider-Man for the Sega Dreamcast; and Namco has seemingly confirmed both Tekken 4 and Soul Caliber 2 for the Sony Playstation 2 in addition to announcing that they are considering development for Nintendo's upcoming GameCube.
Games: Escape from Monkey Island requirements
games.macnn.com has details on the finalized system requirements for Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac and when users can expect to see it on store shelves.
Mac Escape from Monkey Island reaches FC
Aspyr Media has announced that Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac has reached the final candidate stage and should be released within two weeks. The 3D adventure game, converted to the Mac by Jesse Spears and Phil Sulak at Westlake Interactive, will require...
Roundup: Covert Gaming Corner (Otto Matic)
Last Friday, we published The Covert Gaming Corner featuring an interview with Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone to discuss Otto Matic; Scott Kevill announced that GameRanger would provide support for the upcoming Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch; and the teaser trailer for Marathon Rubicon was released.
Roundup: Apple retail stores, MacWEEK R.I.P.
Over the weekend, we noted Apple's plans for retail stores, MacWEEK's merger into MacCentral, Tenon's OS 9.1 patches, and MicroNet employees' search for investors and support. Other updates including EIMS 3.03, Helix 5.01, MacVCD 2.0, and new Illustrator plugins.
G4/733 systems hit retail stores
John Horvatic notes that Power Mac G4/733 systems are beginning to appear in local retail stores: "I went to my local Fry's electronics in Campbell CA and found about 10 of them stacked up for sale. I was also happy to find out that my own 733 G4 was being shipped to me. It went out Friday as well. So good news for those who ordered them or decided to wait for them to show up in your local retailer."
iTimer 3.0: new help, more reports
iTimer 3.0, an update to the application for timing and regulating Internet use, now adds daily and yearly reports to the monthly totals, has a new streamlined admin section, features a new HTML-help system, and has lower pricing.
BGH: Weekly Halo update
Battleground: Halo has posted the latest update on Halo from Bungie Community Guy Matt Soell. The update includes information on a new effect added to The Banshee, ideas being passed around for multiplayer game types and the continued improvement of the game's AI.
Return to Dark Castle Demo Beta 1 Released
Z Sculpt Entertainment and Delta Tao Software have released Return to Dark Castle Demo Beta 1, a side-scrolling action/adventure game sequel to Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle. The beta release of the demo contains only eight of the planned twenty-two demo levels, does not drain lives, has no scoring implemented and has some of the levels missing certain items.
Digidesign, Steinberg to use PACE iLok dongle
PACE Anti-Piracy Inc. has announced partnerships with a number of pro-audio industry leaders, including Bomb Factory, Digidesign, and Steinberg, to incorporate PACE's new iLok hardware key into upcoming software products. iLok is a USB-based "smart key" device that enables software publishers to authorize the use of their products. Digidesign and PACE have entered into an immediate retail distribution agreement and Digidesign and Steinberg will use iLoks in releases of both its professional and consumer-level application bundles.
TypeStyler 3.7.1: OS 9.1 support, bug fixes
Strider Software's TypeStyler 3.7.1 update fixes all known problems with Mac OS 9.1, "drastically" improves high resolution Photoshop, EPS, and TIFF exports, and addresses problems where CMYK EPS exports placements were having problems with Quark XPress and PageMaker. It also offers user interface enhancements, such as Aqua style examples available in the Web menu, and translucent "hot drag" of objects onscreen.
ScreenCatcher 2.3.1: maintenance update
St. Clair Software's Screen Catcher 2.3.1 corrects two issues with the recently-released upgrade.
First Otto Matic Screenshots
IMG has posted the first two screenshots from the first level of Otto Matic, Pangea Software's upcoming 3D action/adventure game for the Mac. (Last Friday, The Covert Gaming Corner featured an interview with Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone, which covers the game in more detail.)
RockNES/MacOS 1.820 fixes bugs
Richard Bannister has released RockNES/MacOS 1.820, a new version of his NES emulator for the Mac. The update includes a few bug fixes including one introduced in the previous version which caused the key configuration to be reset back to default each time the emulator was used.
DF and DU - tips
Michael Coyle at ResExcellence has added two "terminal tips" today that tell the user what 'df' and 'du' can be used for and how to use them. "Because MacOS X hides so many directories from the user, command line utilities like df and du can provide you with a much better idea of hard disk usage. To find out more options for both programs, type man df and man du from the command line."
ElectricImage Universe 3.0 ships this week
ElectricImage has begun shipping upgrades for its new Universe 3D animation system and says that full Mac versions of its 3D animation software will begin shipping this week. Version 3.0 adds a host of new modeling, animation and rendering tools as well as cross-platform support. Full versions are $1,300, while upgrades start at $300 for current registered customers.
Freeware util for converting RTF files
Stone Table Software new RTF-to-Styled Text 1.0 is a free utility which converts RTF files to styled text (SimpleText) format, offering drag-and-drop support and batch conversions for multiple file processing.
PrintToPDF 2.2.1 fixes bugs in shareware
PrintToPDF 2.2.1, an update to James Walker's $20 shareware Mac printer driver, fixes a crash on 68K Macs, adds support for the outline style, and fixes a "bug that caused text in fonts being imaged as bitmaps to be cut off on the right."
Desktop organizer DragThing 4 due March 22
James Thomson, author of the popular application launcher DragThing, reports that DragThing 4 will be released on March 22nd with support for both Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X. It will also ship with a new "Aqua-ready interface," new preferences and options, multiple levels of undo, support for 128x128 icons, and other enhancements. The $25 shareware will be a $10 upgrade for registered users. All new purchases of v2.9 in March will get a free upgrade to v4.0.
Mac OS X public beta on a PowerBook
Road testing Apple's new operating system, David MacNeill reviews Mac OS X public beta on his mobile machine for Digital Camera Magazine, concluding "Mac OS X revitalizes the moribund state of PC operating systems, from how they are designed and maintained to how they look and feel. Most importantly, X dramatically improves the quality of the time we spend with our computers, a factor that seems to have been overlooked by every computer company except Apple. "
ImageBuddy v1.3 gets new functions
Kepmad Systems today released ImageBuddy v1.3.0, an improved version of its $15 digital photo printing software that includes changes to its Page Layout Panel and adds transparent image drop shadows, image key lines, colored backgrounds and image name titles as well as a new "Print To File" feature.
G4/733 vs. dual processor G4/533
Barefeats has posted benchmarks showing that the Power Mac G4/733 does not quite stack up to the dual processor G4/533 machine in Photoshop, Cinema 4D XL tests and other dual-processor aware applications. (Most applications and tasks are not dual processor aware under Classic Mac OS.)
SteveMovieFloat 2.0 for Mac OS X, new QT bar
Steven Massey's $5 shareware SteveMovieFloat 2.0 will play a QuickTime Movie or VCD in a window that will "float" over any other application's open windows. Version 2.0 offers a new standard QuickTime control bar as well as a Carbon version to run on Mac OS X Public beta. [Carbon, Classic]
Four port Serial-USB Adapter from Keyspan
Keyspan is now shipping its new USB 4-port Serial Adapter, which provides four male DB9 ports for connecting RS232 serial devices at data rates up to 960 Kbps via a standard USB port. The company promises Mac OS X support for the $150 devices in the third quarter.
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