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Motion capture & character animation for OS X
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."
Rampancy: Weekly Halo update
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."
$400 TiCase for PowerBook G4 owners
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.
Tech: IBM tops 2000 patent list
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.
Console: The Simpsons GBC
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.
Power Manager 2.0 adds launcher function
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.
XTension 3.5: software for home automation
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.
OnStream closes its doors
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.
DataShell 1.1: Valentina for FutureBASIC^3
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.
Stopwatch CSM 2.0: control strip module
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: text encryption utility
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: Java-based Gnutella client
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]
MacTelnet 3.0a20: Mac terminal app revved
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.
VueScan 7.03 fixes image scan utility
Hamrick Software's image scanning utility update, VueScan 7.03, fixes problems with Microtek ArtixScan 1100 and the Minolta Scan Dual and APS adapter.
Games: Custer's Wheelman and Marathon Rubico
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.
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.
StuffIt 6.01 updates available from Aladdin
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]
Clan Lord for OS X Released
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]
More info on Apple's Macintosh Manager 1.4
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."
Sixth MOO3 dev. diary
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.
FiringSquad: Tropico Preview
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."
SiteCam Lite offers streaming of audio/video
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.
Marathon: Rubicon released
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]
New Diablo II: LoD, WarCraft III screenshots
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.
Forums: iSub, SoundSticks, GeForce 2MX...
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.
Tech: PC laptops get 1 GHz chip, lawsuits...
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.
Console: Super Street Fighter II GBA
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.
Roundup: New version of Links LS 2000
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 in 22% of law offices
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.
Memory allocation under OS X
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 acquires eBooks; Dreamcatcher special
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.
Omnis 7v8 brings Classic support under OS X
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: text editor gets new functions
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.
ColorSync Users Group meeting to feature OS X
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 debuts vectorscope, PS utils
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.
New 21" professional monitor from ViewSonic
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 intros new flat-screen CRTs
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 introduces CAMEDIA C-700 UltraZoom
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.
AdobePremiere 6 to support realtime editing
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.
MoonMenu 1.6 has new time-zone prefs
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.
Toast 5.01 to support iTunes, Disc Burner
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: PowerBook G4 could reshape the laptop
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.
Palm introduces new m500 series of handhelds
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.
Griffin updates iMate driver
Earthlink tracks users via "super-cookie"?
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."
WebPrint Plus 4.0: printing utility updated
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.
"Non-linear" word processor has new functio
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]
DreamSaver 1.04: shareware screen saver
Illuminator Software's DreamSaver 1.0.4 is a $20 shareware screensaver that uses includes several modules (a.k.a, plugins).
Roundup: Apple in Pittsburgh, upgraded OS X..
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.
Shareware file format conversion tool
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.
Text Cleaner 2 adds new functions
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]
Agenda 2.1: to-do-list adds GUI enhancements
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.
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