Chris Peterson noticed that Apple is currently promoting a new \"Rip. Mix. Burn.\" ad on its Web site, which is scheduled to air tonight on a variety of primetime shows.
Macintosh Explorer 2.0pr1 is a pre-release version of the file explorer and attribute editor. The $15 software features a number of new enhancements, including a less cluttered interface, improvements to the backup feature, and the ability to store up to 33 file links.
Proteron has posted N2MP3 Professional 2.0.2, an update to its $60 audio encoding solution. The new version gives all users unlimited use of the software for free using the Ogg Vorbis encoder. The full version adds MP3 encoding with the MPegger, Lame, and Fraunhofer encoders, as well as AAIF and MP2 encoding. The new version does not include the recently beta 4 version of the Ogg Vorbis encoder; an update that adds that functionality is in the works.
Evening tech news: Merrill Lynch says Microsoft is poised to lose $2 billion on its Xbox video game console initiative and expects the company to break even on the deal in 2005; shares of Macromedia fell almost 5% today after the company warned yesterday that it would miss revenue estimates by 10%, while the company expects to close its merger with Alaire by the end of the month; and Palm will acquire mobile software company Extended Systems for $264 million in stock.
Marcus Schiermeier has posted Introduction to Darwin: Part II, at MacInstruct. This part details some of the CLI commands, flags, aliases, and briefly touches on some of the text editors for Darwin and OS X. [download the PDF - 48KB]
Dee Brown at Beenox Studios, which is developing both role-playing game creation utility Coldstone and a game created using using Coldstone known as Pillars of Garendall, has updated the progress log for both projects, announcing the release of both Coldstone Beta 3 and Pillars of Garendall Beta 1 to a group of private beta testers. Coldstone Beta 3 mainly includes dozens of bug fixes, but also adds a few minor minor new features. Both Coldstone and Pillars of Garendall will be published by Ambrosia Software.
Fetch 4.0b6 is the latest public beta version of the popular FTP client. Fetch 4.0 is scheduled to be released at the end of March; this beta will expire May 1.
Aspyr Media has announced that the Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch for the Mac is expected to be released later this week, weighing in at approximately 35 MB. Our preview of the patch, which describes how the unique elements of the initially single-player only game have been integrated into multiplayer, has been updated with five new screenshots showing the multiplayer game in action.
Inside Mac Games has released Game Doctor 1.3, a new version of the recently acquired $10 collection of hints, cheats, walkthroughs and game enhancements for many popular Mac games. The new version redirects registration for the program to IMG, which acquired the utility last month from Illume Software. The March 2001 update for the utilty includes prescriptions for Oni, Driver, Cro-Mag Rally, Risk II, Rune, The Sims: Livin\' Large, Rogue Spear, SiN and Shogo.
PopTop Software President Phil Steinmeyer is quoted on Voodoo Extreme with an update on the development of Tropico, the company\'s upcoming Caribbean island strategy/simulation game for the Mac and PC. \"We still have a couple features to add, but they\'re pretty minor,\" notes Steinmeyer. The update also includes a new screenshot of the game in action. (Our in-depth preview of Tropico provides comprehensive details on the game and its characters.)
An interview with Human Head Studios artist and co-founder Ted Halsted at RuneNews.com includes a few concept sketches used in the development of Rune, the third-person 3D hack-and-slash action/adventure game for the Mac and PC. \"[Rune] certainly doesn\'t merit a toddler\'s rating, but the mere fact that it uses ancient weapons to destroy enemies puts it in the Diablo/Heretic set of violence-irrelevant \"who really cares\" category,\" says Halsted.
The Adrenaline Vault analyzes \"PC Gaming As An Industry\" in their latest article which delves into topics such as developer/publisher relationships and personal perspectives from developers on the future of the business. The article\'s author received a number of e-mails from developers, which he summarizes in the article. \"Game publishers lie about their sales stats. Not little lies. Whoppers. That game that shipped 500,000 units turns out to only sell 30,000 copies. Most people don\'t have access to things like PC Data; that\'s where the truth is and in PC Data we learn that games that sell more than 50,000 copies annually are extremely rare (like 1% of the titles released each year on the PC).\"
Computer Games Online has posted a preview of Volition\'s upcoming first-person shooter for the Mac, PC and Playstation 2, Red Faction. The preview, based on a first-hand look at the game during a recent visit to Volition headquarters, also includes comments from Associate Producer James Tsai. \"The first vehicle available will likely be a fast moving jeep with a heavy machine gun mounted on the back,\" notes CGO. \"Parker will be able to run down opponents or simply stop, exit the vehicle, and use the gun to mow them down.\"
The April edition of PC Gamer features a cover story on Unreal II, officially marking the end to the press blackout on Legend Entertainment\'s upcoming sequel to the groundbreaking Unreal. Voodoo Extreme has published a series of choice tidbits from the PC Gamer article, including details on the game\'s engine optimized for NVIDIA\'s new GeForce3. \"GeForce III optimized with 10 times the number of polygons for particles and characters compared to UT, with typical enemies sporting 3,000-5,000 polys and your crew having 7,000-10,000 polys. The improved terrain and level geometry will push 100 times the polycount of UT. There\'s also an improved meshing system that combined with the new skeletal animation allows for awesome character movement.\"
Napster has 72 hours to block all copyrighted songs that are being distributed on its service, US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel stated in an injunction today. The record labels must help Napster identify which songs are copyrighted.
Afternoon console news: Microsoft\'s X-Box will become the first gaming console to include a V-chip-style control inside to allow parents to prevent their children from playing games rated for violent or sexual nature; THQ has released SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula for the Game Boy Color; and Square has shipped The Bouncer, a game combining fast-paced fighting and Square\'s trademark storytelling, for the Playstation 2.
Custer\'s Corner has been updated with a new desktop picture, \"Hardcore\", featuring the ever popular first-person shooter, Unreal Tournament. Like the dozens of other desktop pictures, Hardcore is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 640 x 480 to 1600 x 1200 with special versions created for both the Cinema Display and the ultra-wide display on Apple\'s new PowerBook G4 Titanium.
After tallying the results of our poll last week, we\'ve found that over 70% of respondents are not interested in buying an NVIDIA GeForce3; 39% might add it to their next Power Mac purchase as a BTO option, 30% think $600 is too expensive for a graphics card and 2% are sticking with ATI. 13% are ready to buy a GeForce3 immediately, 8% will buy one once they have an AGP slot and 3% are not sure. Our poll this week asks, \"Which of the two new character classes in the upcoming expansion set, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, are you more interested in playing?\" Please vote in the left sidebar of any page.
In addition to noting the \"final candidate\" milestone of Escape from Monkey Island, Westlake Interactive yesterday updated its Project Status Page with word that the Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch has reached \"final candidate\" as well and will be released \"very soon\".
*DAMN Gamer has released two new mods for the Mac version of Rogue Spear. The Temporary Tango mod places the player in the role of the terrorist who must keep his hostages, prevent Rainbow operatives from placing bugs and stay alive. Raid Mint adds the original Rainbow Six Mint mission, the original Rainbow Six weapons and 10 new hostage/terrorist skins. In addition, the site has released a new map, Rodion\'s Rocky Refuge (RRR), which features a large set of hills and rocky terrain placed in the middle of the desert.
Carrot Software has updated its web site with new information and screenshots for its upcoming puzzle game, Shapes II. The game, which will first be released as a technology preview on March 15, is \"a hybrid of a Rubic cube, Tetris, and Candy Crisis, but with tons of original never before tried challenges that will keep you on the edge of your seat.\"
Yesterday Aspyr Media announced that Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac had reached the final candidate stage and would be on store shelves within two weeks; new information emerged on the items in the upcoming expansion set Diablo II: Lord of Destruction; Volition\'s Mark Allender indicated that the company has no plans to release a Mac demo for Summoner; and new benchmarks became available, illustrating that the dual G4/533 is faster than the 733 MHz Power Mac G4.
ImageBuddy 1.3.1 is an update to the $15 digital image printing application that gives users access to a number of basic image manipulation tools. The update fixes a bug that would prevent unregistered users from printing from the Page Layout panel.
Olympus today introduced the Camedia Brio D-100, the first in a new line of point-and-shoot digital cameras. The $350 D-100 features a 2x telephoto lense, a 1.2 megapixel CCD, 8MB SmartMedia card, and USB connection.
Red Light Runner, an online store for purchasing Apple-branded merchandise, has re-opened its doors after a three week \"remodeling\" hiatus. The store has added 40 new Appe collectibles, $5 ultra-thin Apple logo mousepads, and higher resolution images.
Several readers report receiving emails from the Apple Store informing them that their Mac OS X order is \"experiencing a greater backlog delay than originally anticipated\" and that shipments could be delayed.
Apple is once again offering a PowerBook 190/5300 trade-up program, allowing owners of any version of either PowerBook to purchase a FireWire PowerBook G3/400 for $1,599. In August of 2000, Apple offered a similar offer but with a $1,799 price tag. The PowerBook 190/5300 series have been plagued by a number of problems that first prompted Apple to offer owners of the systems $1,000 off the purchase of a PowerBook G3 in April of 1999.
Palm has introduced the m105 Handheld, a new PDA intended to replace the current Palm IIIxe. The $200 m105 is similar to its $150 m100 sibling, but features 8 MB of memory instead of 2 MB and includes a HotSync cradle (Mac users will need to purchase a USB or Mac serial port adapter to use cradle). Like the m100, the m105 ships with Palm OS 3.5 and cannot be upgraded.
Sonnet has posted Tempo ATA66 ROM Update 3.1.2, which includes better support for booting OS X and foreign versions of the Mac OS, adds FWB HardDisk Toolkit 4.0 compatibility, and other enhancements.
Mac users remain the most loyal in the industry, according to Harris Interactive, but others are gaining ground. A survey of more than 140,000 Internet usersmore than 6,500 of whom bought a new computer in the first three quarters of 2000found that 53% of Mac users purchased another Mac. Gateway and Dell rounded out the top three, with 45% and 40%, respectively.
Digi-Net Technologies has released Groopz v2.0, an application that improves online sales and support by bringing proactive customer contact, online customer interactivity, and real-time Web site monitoring and analysis along with specific business alerts and action based on Web surfers\' actions. It also provides firewall and proxy support, customizable theme support, automated responses to customers, customer database integration, visitor profiling, and automatic software updates. The Java-based application is compatible with MacOS X/OS X Server as well as all server platforms.
games.macnn.com has added five new screenshots to its preview of the Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch, which is expected to be released later this week. In addition, the site has posted the results of last week\'s poll on NVIDIA\'s GeForce3, started a new one on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and updated Custer\'s Corner with a new desktop picture, Hardcore, featuring Unreal Tournament. [updated]
Graham Cox\'s MacZoop 2.5, a free C++ framework for creating Mac applications, includes a new comprehensive views architecture for creating complex user interfaces, is now fully Carbon compliant, has built-in tooltip support, and other enhancements.
Motorola today introduced the MPC561, a new version of its embedded PowerPC processor targeted at the automotive industry. Motorola\'s PowerPC processors are found in 35 percent of new vehicles and are generally used to control the powertrain system.
Yesterday we noted AirPort 1.3, Power Mac G4/733 systems shipping in quantity, Keyspan\'s new 4-port USB-to-serial adapter, and the release of PrintToPDF 2.2.1 and Screen Catcher 2.3.1.
Cody Pearson has created a web site dedicated to the now defunct arcade game from Stairways Software, Greebles. \"Greebles: In Loving Memory\" offers a place to download the free game, a list of serial numbers provided by the company and a place for Greebles fans to \"share the fun with\".
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R