MOTEK and Kaydara will showcase motion capture and character animation techniques for Mac OS X at the Game Developers Conference on March 23 from 2:30 - 3:30 PM in room C3. Demonstrations will include direct export of MOTEK\'s StockMoves motion capture library and data sets into professional 3D packages, such as Kaydara FiLMBOX, Alias/Wavefront\'s Maya and NewTek\'s LightWave3D. FiLMBOX for Mac OS X, introduced earlier this year, will \"provide both a hub for 3D data and a set of real-time 3D authoring tools, enabling Mac users to previsualize, storyboard and develop character animation [and] will provide Mac users with the tools required to integrate 3D character content into film, game, broadcast and Web production.\"
Bungie Community Guy Matt Soell\'s most recent weekly update on the development of Halo has been posted at Rampancy.net. The update covers the latest improvements to the game\'s AI, work on a wildly-scaled swamp level and the introduction of a new Covenant race. \"Shiek showed me the blood-spurting animation for a Covenant race you haven\'t seen yet. Nail \'em in the right place and you get a nice satisfying jet of vital fluids. And gas.\"
Dr. Bott LLC has introduced its TiCase, a $400 case specifically designed for Apple\'s PowerBook G4 Titanium. The TiCase sports a skin made of brushed aluminum, a removable lid that allows the PowerBook to be operated from within the case, padding on all sides, Lift-o-Matic telescopic feet that balances the PowerBook on your lap and allows for air circulation and room for power supply, power cord and miscellania. Pre-orders for the TiCase are being accepted now and will begin shipping in April.
Evening tech news: PGP creator Phil Zimmerman, who left Network Associates and PGP behind recently over a dispute concerning the publishing of the latest version of the encryption standard, has joined Hush Communications as its chief cryptographer; John MacFarlane has left Sun Microsystems to join a start-up that provides high-speed networking equipment to service providers; and IBM received the most patents in 2000 for the third year in a row with 2,922 patents awarded.
Evening console news: THQ is now shipping The Simpsons: Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror for the Game Boy Color; Capcom has denied rumors that it plans to exit the arcade market, although it acknowledges that it plans to divert funds from arcade development to the home market; and Indrema plans to harness the hacker spirit with its Linux-based game console, Indrema Entertainment System (IES), slated for release later this year.
DssW Power Manager 2.0 is a utility that provides a suite of tools for network administrators that can automate the start up, shut down, and sleep status of your Mac. Version 2 adds a \"sophisticated\" Launcher that can launch applications, open documents and execute AppleScripts. The release also includes two new Schedulers, remote configuration support, administration facilities and full AppleScript support.
Sand Hill Engineering has released Xtension 3.5, a new version of its Mac-only home automation software. It adds supports for the new $30 wireless X-10 receiver (MR26a) that allows \"wireless motion sensors and hand-held controls to bypass the normal powerline transmission\" by sending signals directly to the Mac. XTension, which now includes standard X-10 powerline and wireless (RF) signals, as well as hard-wired and Infra-Red connections, is available in a free Lite version that limits the number of database units, but works with the popular CM11/Activehome controller and the new MR26a. Packages of the software and X-10 starter kits start at $80.
DataShell 1.1 allows FutureBASIC^3 BASIC developers to use Valentina XCMD, an object-relational, SQL-powered database engine, in their applications. The $50 application from MacBrowse has a full reference manual, example projects and product demos.
OnStream, a pioneer in the ADR tape backup field, has ceased operations. The company was best known in the Mac space for its affordable, high-capacity SCSI, USB, and FireWire Echo products. It\'s unclear what supportif anycurrent customers will receive in the future.
Stopwatch CSM 2.0 is a control strip module that offers one or more stopwatches that can time up to 1000 hours and can be automatically started and reset at startup. Version 2.0 adds a control panel to add, edit, delete, show, hide and rearrange stopwatches and set general preferences and bring support for multiple (unlimited) stopwatches. The $5 shareware is available in several international localized languages, including Japanese, German, Dutch, French and Italian.
My Secret 1.0 is a text encryption utility and notepad that uses strong 448-bit Blowfish or 256-bit Rijndael encryption to secure text messages and private notes. The $10 shareware offers drag & drop support, support for custom, external encryption plugins written in C/C++, built-in compression , secure file deletion & overwriting, and automatic Base64 encoding. [Classic--633KB; Carbon--691KB]
Limewire 1.3, a Java-based Gnutella file-sharing client for the Mac, is avaialble for both Mac OS Classic and OS X. Version 1.3 brings automatic update functions and improves download speeds, \"resume\" functions, and other functions. [Classic--7.5MB; Carbon--3.3MB]
Promising SSH2 and OS X support in the near future, Kevin Grant has posted MacTelnet 3.0a20, which brings bug fixes to improve stability and reliability, AppleScript support, new preferences and terminal window improvements, and a floating command line that affects session windows.
This week\'s desktop at Custer\'s Corner, Wheelman, features screenshots of both in-game action and scripted cutscenes from Driver, the car-chase mayhem game from MacSoft. Following popular request in our latest poll, next week\'s desktop picture will feature Quake III: Team Arena. Other games that received a large amount of votes, including Escape from Monkey Island and Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition, will likely be featured in a desktop in the weeks ahead.
games.macnn.com has updated Custer\'s Corner with a new desktop picture, Wheelman, featuring scenes from car-chase game Driver while also posting information on the recent release of Marathon Infinity scenario Marathon Rubicon.
Hamrick Software\'s image scanning utility update, VueScan 7.03, fixes problems with Microtek ArtixScan 1100 and the Minolta Scan Dual and APS adapter.
Delta Tao Software has released a Mac OS X version of its online fantasy role-playing game, Clan Lord. To try the free demo, users should download the latest Clan Lord Demo, which includes the image and sound files, as well as the new Mac OS X client. Clan Lord features thousands of players around the world whose online characters are exiled to a dangerous island chain, threatened by monsters, sorcery, and political strife. \"Not just hack and slash -- heal the wounded, study magic, and solve puzzles.\" [29.0 MB -- Demo; 259 KB -- OS X client]
Aladdin has posted StuffIt Deluxe 6.01, which includes many enhancements and bug fixes to many of the contained components. Aladdins has also posted StuffIt Expander 6.01, DropStuff 6.01, and DropZip 6.01 updates. (Scott Boettcher notes that all the StuffIt components must be enabled for it to correctly update all the included components.) [Deluxe Updater: 3.1 MB]
The sixth developer diary for Master of Orion III, a new turn-based strategy game set for release in Q1 2002 for the Mac and PC, has been posted at GameSpy. Written by Infogrames Senior Producer Constantine Hantzopoulos, the edition covers spying and espionage and how they fit into the game\'s design.
Following up on our note about the recent Macintosh Manager 1.4 release, Rick Lakin writes: \" This will probably have the most impact on educational users...my server instruction page includes the links that will follow this issue closely. Version 1.4 mainly appears to address bug fixes and the two OS upgrades which have occurred since 1.3 was issued. It also addresses the security model for OS 9 users.\"
FiringSquad has published a preview of PopTop Software\'s Tropico, the building-oriented strategy/simulation game set for a May 15 release on the Mac. \"If a character gets too annoyed with you, they\'ll go around protesting in public. This can stir up more discontent and more protests. You have to keep a close eye on the level of dissent among your population.\"
NuSpectra today a new Lite version of its SiteCam software, which contains all of the SiteCam functionality for up to five audio and video streams. The audio/video WebCam application lets you broadcast live video from your FireWire, PCI or USB camera via a Mac, using its built-in HTTP and FTP server and turn-key audio/video encoders. SiteCam Lite 6.05 is $50 per license (for up to 5 concurrent streams) and the full version is $150 per license, offering support for up to 150 connections (depending on bandwidth). SiteCam 6.05 is also available today, with several bug fixes, more reliable video capture and several new AppleScript features.
Over the weekend, new Marathon Infinity scenario Marathon: Rubicon was released publicly. The new scenario features over 360 new textures, over a dozen new characters, new scenery, eight new weapons and more solo levels than any other Marathon scenario to date. Marathon Rubicon comes in two versions: Rubicon Standard, a scenario for Marathon Infinity, and Rubicon AO, a standalone game which uses the Aleph One engine. Alternately, users can download individual files separately for smaller download sizes. [43.4 MB -- Standard; 44.0 MB -- Standalone]
As Blizzard Entertainment makes its European press tour, new reports and scerenshots on the company\'s two upcoming titles begin to trickle in. nipogames\' report on the visit includes six new screenshots from expansion set Diablo II: Lord of Destruction as well as eight new screenshots from WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Afternoon console news: Capcom has released the first screenshots from Super Street Fighter II for the Game Boy Advance; game publishers Empire Interactive and LSP will publish Antz Racing for the Playstation 2, X-Box and Game Boy Advance; analysts believe that Nintendo\'s Game Boy Advance will be a gigantic success due to the lack of competition and its low price point; and the multiplayer version of Half-Life for the Dreamcast is now in question as those companies with ties to the discontinued console begin to question the continuation of development on new titles.
Afternoon tech news: PC companies have begun selling laptops that feature Intel\'s new 1 GHz mobile Pentium III; NCR has sued Palm and Handspring, alleging that the handheld PDAs each manufacture violate its 13-year old patent on the devices; and Real Networks has filed suit against a former employee who it claims stole source code from the company.
Interesting threads in our forums include: thoughts on the iSub and SoundSticks · image quality with the GeForce 2MX · hooking up a cell phone to a PowerBook · Pismo vs. TiPB · playing MP3s with the TiPB closed · the best portable MP3 player.
Recently, Sony is reportedly evaluating the possibility of adapting Virtual Game Station for use in emulating Microsoft\'s X-Box; By Design released a new Napoleonic wargame for the game, Austerlitz 1805; Gridz became the 65th game supported on the multiplayer online gaming service, GameRanger; and MacSoft and Green Dragon Creations released a new version of Links LS 2000 for the Mac.
Macs make up more than 22% of the law office market, ranking the platform second behind only Windows 3.1/95/98, according to a Legal Technology Survey Report published by the American Bar Association.
Today\'s Ask Al talks about memory allocation under Mac OS X: \"Mac OS X has an advanced and efficient virtual memory so you no longer need to allocate memory on an application by application basis. Virtual memory is allocated dynamically and automatically as applications need it with a maximum 4 GB of virtual memory per application.\"
Palm has acquired peanutpress.com, an eBook publisher and distributor for handheld computers and has a special limited time promotion on Stephen King\'s upcoming Dreamcatcher eBook.
The integrated development environment, Omnis 7 Version 8 brings support for classic mode under OS X and a new method $runapplescript that can execute AppleScripts as well as support for the new Oracle 8 datatypes and Net Client v8.1.x clientware, improved join functionality in its ODBC driver, new POP3 commands, and other enhancements.
Pepper 3.6, a new version of the Carbonized text editor, offers native worksheet and script extensions on Mac OS X using the shell, several improved and new addons, better keybinding customization, a text-based config file, and improved emacs emulation and preliminary Brief emulation.
The ColorSync Users Group meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 22nd from 6:30 to 10pm at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA. The event will feature speaker Apple ColorSync Product Manager John Zimmerer who will demo Mac OS X\'s ColorSync integration, a demonstration of CHROMiX\'s ColorThink profile inspector and repair tool for OS X. Interested users can register on the Web or by calling 800-895-4853 (event # EV010486).
META/DMA has released Scopo Gigio 1.0, a full-featured video waveform monitor and vectorscope that is available as a plugin for both Photoshop and After Effects. It has also released Layer Splitter 2.0, a drag-and-drop application that takes a layered Photshop or Illustrator file and separates each layer to its own file. Both products are $50.
ViewSonic has added the P225 to its line of Professional Series CRT monitors. The 21\" monitor has support for resolutions of up to 2048x1536 at 79Hz as well as support for video input bandwidth of 350MHz and an ultra-fine 0.21mm horizontal dot pitch. The $930 monitor, available now, includes a BNC connector, built-in USB hub, and a three-year limited warranty.
ViewSonic also announced two new monitor flat-screen CRT displays. The new 22\" P225f has a 0.24mm aperture grille uni-pitch and offers resolutions up to 2048x1536 at 79Hz. The 17\" G75f suports 1600x1200 resolution at 69Hz with 0.25mm aperture grille pitch. Each offers an optional built-in USB hub, on-screen controls, and a suite of color management and matching software. The P225f and the G75f will be available in March for $1000 and $335, respectively.
Olympus today introduced the CAMEDIA C-700 UltraZoom, its new 2 megapixel digital camera which it says is the \"world\'s smallest 10X optical zoom digital camera. The C-700 includes a 27X digital zoom, support for QuickTime video and audio, USB-connectivity and a SmartMedia slot for storage. The $800 camera will be available in May with an 8MB SmartMedia, 2 CR-V3 AA Lithium Battery Pack, CAMEDIA Master Software, and video cable.
Adobe today announced that Premiere 6.0 will support real-time editing when used in conjunction with QuickTime 5 and the necessary hardware, which is expected to ship from Matrox, ProMax, and other companies this Spring. The Windows version of Premiere has supported real-time editing for several years. Last week, Apple unveiled Final Cut Pro 2, a new version of its competing video editing application that also boasts new real-time editing capabilities.
Selznick Scientifc\'s MoonMenu 1.6 adds new moon phase icons, time zone preferences, and better clipboard support to the application that can analyze lunar data and system extension for displaying the current phase of the moon.
Adaptec\'s Toast 5.0.1 will support both Disc Burner and iTunes with its own system extensions, when the update is released in \"some time in April.\"
CNN\'s PowerBook G4 review says the \"sleek, stylish\" laptop may \"reshape the laptop,\" although it incorrectly states the laptop includes ability to burn CDs and DVD videodisks.
Griffin Technology has posted version 2.6 of the drivers for its iMate USB-to-ADB adapter, although the site still reflects version 2.5.3. There is no mention of the changes in the documentation.
Palm today unveiled its new m500 series handhelds, which feature a new expansion slot, a new connector for hardware add-ons, and a new version of the Palm OS.
Gibson Research Corporation reports on a persistent, cross-domain, super-cookie that \"users of EarthLink\'s web browser receive an apparently unique and certainly persistent \'tag\' which is presented to every web site, web advertiser, and web tracking bug their browser comes into contact with.\"
Illuminator Software\'s DreamSaver 1.0.4 is a $20 shareware screensaver that uses includes several modules (a.k.a, plugins).
Z-Write 1.2 adds more than forty improvements to the $20 \"non-linear\" word processor for creative writers. New features in version 1.2 include style sheets for quickly formatting text, HTML templates which allow HTML export to be completely customized, import and export of Palm DOC format files, a recent files menu, better word count statistics, an automatic document backup system, and an autocorrect dictionary, as well as other bug fixes. [full-1.7MZB; update--1.1MB]
Stephen Becker\'s has updated WebPrint Plus 4.0, his utility that can \"gather, save, and print information\" from virtually any application. Version 4 includes a new, simpler interface with more customization options, the option to save selected text using keyboard shortcuts, compatibility with AOL 5.0 browser and Netscape 6.0, and other enhancements. The $30 utility comes with includes a \"30-day money back satisfaction guarantee\" and is available as a 10-day demo. Upgrades are $15.
Studio 405\'s $80 text maninpulation utility, Text Cleaner 2, brings performance improvements, user-defined cleaning operations, an unlimited number of presets, the ability to import/export presets, and improved cleaning of QuarkXpress documents. Upgrades are $40. A limited \"lite\" version (v1.6) is available for free. [full--3.4MB; lite--1.2MB]
Marco Bambini\'s $20 shareware PcConverter 2.0 is a suite of tools for converting files from or to many different formats, including text files (or RTF files) from Windows or Unix to MacOS and automating the conversion of text files to html.
Over the weekend we noted Apple\'s retail strategy in Pittsburgh, upgraded delivery for all Mac OS X orders, the possibility of Virtual GameStation on Xbox, the demise of Popular Power, and SMTP services for Mac.com email. Other updates including Medical Billing Circle 6.6, Default Folder 3.1, and Nisus Email 1.5.
Yenco.com\'s $20 shareware information management utility with to-do-list, reminder, and scheduling functions, Agenda 2.1, now includes several \"skins,\" including Titanium, Aqua, Lavender, Rose. It runs on both Mac OS Classic and OS X.
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