During the opening keynote at Macromedia UCON 2001 in New York City, Macromedia today delivered its vision of making dynamic content \"even more accessible, approachable, and affordable,\" promising to deliver technologies that unify Web designers and developers.
Pacific Tech\'s free Graphic Calculator 3.1 updater brings support for complex numbers, new functions, direction fields, 4D parametric and curve surfaces, and 2D color maps and point plots. The $60 application for visualizing 2- and 3-D mathematical objects using symbolic and numeric methods is avaiable for $40 to students or as a $20 upgrade to v2.7 users ($40 for others). [updater-469KB, demo--408KB]
Support.com has expanded its ISP eSupport solutions to the Macintosh platform, offering Mac-compatible SmartQualify and SmartVerify products to allow ISPs to remotely query both Mac and Windows systems (via the Web) to determine if their systems meet the minimum requirements for broadband installation and verify successful connections.
GameSpot has published an interview with Activision Producer Graham Fuchs on Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack, which is the final and confirmed name of the expansion pack to Raven Software\'s hit Quake III-engine action game. \"If we added any more words to the title, \'Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack,\' we would need a bigger box,\" explains Fuchs. The game has yet to be officially announced for the Mac, but an announcement is expected in the near future.
VFZoom announced it has released its VFZ Photoshop Plug-in for compatibility with its proprietary VFZ content.
REALbasic 3.1b7 is the latest pre-release version of the popular programming environment for Mac OS and Mac OS X. This beta resolves several outstanding bugs and adds a handful of few new features. REALbasic software is also now available on iTools users\' iDisk. [download]
The Omni Group has released a Mac OS X-compatible version of Heavy Metal: FAKK2, the third-person 3D action game from Ritual Entertainment and Gathering of Developers. The initial public release, version 1.02c beta 2, has a number of known issues...
REALbasic 3.1b7, yet another beta release of the BASIC programing environment, is a bug-fix release for OS X users.
Black Cat Systems has released version 2.0.0 of Health Tracker, its graphing program to track health related measurements that now runs under Mac OS X. The $10 shareware application tracks and graphs weight, glucose levels, blood pressure, and other measurements. [Classic, Carbon]
The official web site for Q3F, the popular mod for Quake III: Arena, has been updated with a fix for a big in the mod\'s in-game server browser. In addition, the Q3F team has released 18 new screenshots of maps from the upcoming Beta 2 release of Q3F.
games.macnn.com reports on upcoming game patches to add support for Creative\'s SoundBlaster Live! for the Mac and a new version of a popular 2D action game for Mac OS X. Earlier today, the site updated Custer\'s Corner with a new fan-voted desktop picture featuring Quake III: Team Arena. [updated]
IMG has published a preview of Tropico, the upcoming strategy/simulation game from PopTop Software and Gathering of Developers. \"When you start out in Tropico, you get a lovely palace for your residence, a shanty town and some farms, plus a construction office and a teamster\'s office. The rest, that\'s up to you.\" (Don\'t miss our own in-depth preview of Tropico, which covers many of the game\'s characters and more.)
Westlake Interactive will be releasing a multiplayer patch for the EAX-enhanced edition of Deus Ex that ships with the Creative SoundBlaster Live! for the Mac, according to IMG. In addition, the company will be adding EAX enhancements to third-person 3D action game Rune in an upcoming patch that the company will work on as part of the expansion pack, Rune: Halls of Valhalla.
Evening tech news: stock markets rose sharply today, bolstered by an upswing in shares of tech companies, including Apple (up 7.3%), Adobe (up 15.4%), Macromedia (up 8.3%), Palm (up 9%), and Handspring (up 18%); Google has added a search results translation feature; and the international space station is suffering from daily computer problems mostly related with Windows NT.
epic interactive has announced that it will be bringing The Feeble Files, a cartoon adventure game, to the Mac in May 2001. The game puts players in the role of an alien called Feeble who works for the crop circle division of a dictatorial goverment, but who somehow gets involved in a rebellion to overthrow the system.
Yves Piguet\'s excellent animated GIF utility, GIFbuilder Carbon 1.0, is now available for OS X.
Strange Flavour has released Bushfire 1.06, a new version of its side-scrolling action game for the Mac and Mac OS X. Version 1.06 fixes an annoying bug, adds more sound effects, adds a key for calling in smoke jumpers, adds a widescreen mode that works around a resolution switching bug in Mac OS X and adds better documentation. The company notes that it is working on putting together additional music for the game. [1.8 MB -- update; 10.6 MB -- full]
CodeFab\'s Spring Screen Saver Contest offers genuine NeXT hardware and software, various logoware, and other oddities to the best screen saver module for OS X. The modules need to be available for public download (though not necessarily free) and must be received by 7 PM EST on May 16th, 2001. Winners will be announced at WWDC conference, which takes place the week of May 23rd in San Jose, CA.
Monaco Systems introduced a new color management workflow utility for working with ICC profiles as well as a new version of its MonacoEZcolor profiling application.
osx.macnn.com recently noted bugs with Apple\'s Installer.app, problems with Tenon\'s Xtools, and the release of Tenon iTools 6.0, among several other news items.
VST FireWire 2.3 adds support for DV capture to the company\'s line of FireWire hard drives, as well as resolving a sleep issue with Mac OS 9.1 and a bug with multi-partioned drives and password protected volumes. [VT]
As we noted last week, Apple and HP took the top marks from On Magazine for tech support among eight computer companies. The article, which is now available online, rated companies primarily based on timeliness, helpfulness, and friendliness. Of note, Apple\'s $50-per-incident tech support fee (after the initial 90 days of free support have elapsed) is the most expensive of the group.
Business Week takes a gander at Mac OS X in the April 16 issue, echoing the consensus among the general media that the operating system looks promising, but isn\'t quite ready for prime-time.
DiamondSoft today announced a plug-in for Adobe InDesign, which works in conjunction with Font Reserve and Font Reserve Server to automatically activate fonts required by an InDesign document when it is opened, as well as exact font matching, activation of fonts required by embedded graphics, and a \'collect fonts\' feature for creating font sets based on documents. The Font Reserve Plug-in for InDesign will be freely available to Font Reserve users later this quarter.
MacHack has announced the addition of MacBASIC and System engineer Donn Denman to the conference\'s keynote. MacHack, which takes place June 21-23, will also feature keynote speakers Andy Hertzfeld, Guy \"Bud\" Tribble, Caroline Rose, Bruce Horn and Jef Raskin.
Email2FMP 1.8.2 is a $10 application for importing mail from Eudora, Communicator, SweetMail, and mail.app to a FileMaker database. The new version adds SweetMail support and the ability to capture priority settings.
Microsoft\'s forthcoming Windows XP will not offer support for USB 2.0, instead favoring FireWire, delivering a significant blow to the emerging technology that looks to rival FireWire on many fronts. Mac OS and Mac OS X also lack support for USB 2.0, a position that Apple, which developed FireWire, has previously stated will not change. Last week, Microsoft announced that Windows XP would also be snubbing support for the wireless Bluetooth protocol, instead offering support for 802.11b (AirPort).
IDG has begun accepting attendee registrations for Macworld Expo & Conference New York, which takes place July 17-20 at the Jacob Javitz Center. As with last year, previous attendees are eligible for a free Exhibits Only pass, as per an email that will be sent out from IDG. Attendees who register early receive reduced pricing.
An article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press states that Apple is planning to launch an Apple retail store at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (just outside Minneapolis/St. Paul), according to a spokeswoman for the mall. On Sunday we noted that Apple was considering a location in the Twin Cities for a retail store.
This week\'s new desktop picture at Custer\'s Corner, Crusaders, is the first fan-voted desktop at the popular resource for gaming desktops. Readers chose Quake III: Team Arena as the game that they would most like to see featured in an upcoming desktop, narrowly edging out Escape from Monkey Island for the top spot. Not one to disappoint, Brad Custer subsequently announced that five of his Monkey Island desktop pictures would be appearing on the Escape from Monkey Island CD, which is now shipping.
After tallying the results of last week\'s poll, the results show that the majority of respondents, 49 percent, would like to see Unreal Tournament carbonized for native support on Mac OS X. Many of our intelligent readers likely realized that carbonizing the hit first-person shooter would pave the way for easily carbonizing both Deus Ex (27.9%) and Rune (8.06%), which both use the Unreal Tournament engine. However, the decision to carbonize each of the three games will ultimately reside with three different publishers: MacSoft (Unreal Tournament), Aspyr Media (Deus Ex) and Gathering of Developers (Rune). The Sims and Scrabble took third and fifth place, respectively, with 13.71 and 1.45 percent. This week\'s poll asks readers to choose between previews and reviews as their favorite game articles.
Volition Assistant Producer Anoop Shekhar is quoted in the April issue of PC Gamer UK on the possibility of the company developing sequels for both 3D role-playing game Summoner and first-person shooter Red Faction, according to FGN Online. \"Assuming that both Summoner and Red Faction do well, we\'ll probably do sequels, though we don\'t really know for sure yet. Then we\'ll look at another project, increase our size a bit... but we have no idea what at this time what out next venture is going to be. We have lots of ideas on the table already, but nothing for certain.\"
Mac columnist Andy Ihnatko has written a positive review of Mac OS X in the Chicago Sun-Times, although he echoes the typical suggestion that most users wait before upgrading. \"X can\'t be thought of as anything less than a success for Apple, but until the rest of the industry catches up with it, it\'s for early adopters only. I love it and use it regularly for real work.\" Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express-News has also contributed a positive review of Mac OS X.
Yesterday we published a review of Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition for the Mac, the first-person shooter that has been re-released with the addition of several mods and map packs; PlanetDiablo covered the known quests in the upcoming expansion set, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction; Daily Radar released new movies and screenshots from Red Faction, Volition\'s upcoming first-person shooter for the Mac, PC and Playstation 2; and Cornered Rat Software issued an update on the development of World War II Online for the Mac and PC.
GameSpy\'s preview of upcoming 3D adventure game Myst III: Exile includes a chat with Associate Producer Daniel Achterman on the game, which is slated for a May release. \"Some people felt Myst had a disappointing ending,\" said Achterman. \"I don\'t think people are going to have that complaint about Myst III.\"
Alias|Wavefront is developing an export plugin which can be used to transfer content directly from its Maya 3D animation and effects package into Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio software. The Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter plugin will optimize Maya scenes optimizer and export content to the new Shockwave 3D web platform. It will be available to all Maya users at no charge in May 2001 and for the Mac soon after the release of Maya for OS X in early summer 2001.
Newsday has published an article that discusses the use of iBooks in a middle-school class and how they aid the learning process.
The Rubicon Network / Solo Carnage Pack is \"a compilation of maps produced during the game\'s development for pure entertainment value.\" The pack contains 51 maps for Marathon Infinity scenario Rubicon that have no story, no chapter screens and no limits on ammo.
Toon Boom Studio 1.0 is a new 2D Web animation application, which offers a complete suite of tools for production workflow, process automation, and tighter control over drawing. Toon Boom Studio offers sophisticated drawing tools, 3D scene planning, lip synchronization, and an optimized SWF rendering engine. It will enter public beta in Q2 and will be commercially available for both Mac and PC shortly after. The $400 application can be purchased for $150 through May 13th and is available to students for $100. It is compatible with OS X.
Bioware\'s James Ohlen discusses the first three chapters of Baldur\'s Gate II: Shadows of Amn in his latest BioFiles column at eUniverseGames.com. Ohlen covers what each chapter was meant to accomplish, what worked best in each chapter, and what could have worked better.
Saul Good has posted a pre-compiled version of Bash 2.05 for OS X based on the latest release of shell, or command language interpreter.
Electric Rain announced development of a plug-in version of its Swift 3D product that will allow LightWave 3D users to export content directly to the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, as well as other types of vector- based formats including SVG (scalable vector graphics).
Radicate Preview 3 for OS X is an authentication server for ISPs, following the RADIUS protocol. Version 3 adds the ability to limit the number of concurrent sessions for any given user, a caching system to speed up replies and the ability to serve as a back-end for Radius proxy servers. The license is free, but expires on July 1st, when the next release is expected.
Morning console news: THQ and Nickelodeon have today released Rugrats: Totally Angelica for the Sony Playstation, which features Angelica Pickles as the star of her own dress-up fantasy; Panther Software has released new information and screenshots from its role-playing game for the XBox, Metal Dungeon; Activision plans to release a number of new Spider-Man and X-Men games later this year including some for the Playstation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance; and Lindsay Gall, a freshman at the University of Illinois, was the only female who competed in the recent national Crazy Taxi competition in San Francisco, but nonetheless beat out all of her competitors (by nearly twice their score) and took home the top prize of $15,000 and a trip to Jamaica.
Objective Development announced the release of Sharity 2.4, \"the first\" OS X stable release of its client for the CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol, formerly known as SMB. CIFS is the file sharing protocol used by Windows NT, 95, 98, 2000, ME, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2, Samba and many others. Sharity mounts shares exported by these servers in the file system of Mac OS X and Unix computers.
Michael Rabe. has designed the \"first entirely new theme for MacOS X\", Pastel Blue for OS X, which replaces all the Aqua elements.
FUNDimensions 3.5 is a new version of the fundraising software, improving primarily the performance and reporting aspects of the application, as well as numerous other minor changes and improvements. A single-user license costs $1,730. [form - demo]
PandaWare\'s TimeCache 4.0.5 is a maintenance update to the $40 shareware time and expense tracking application. The company notes that a Mac OS X version will be released shortly.
Blue Globe Software has released Tiff-Sight 1.1, a Carbonized version of its $10 application for viewing TIFFs, ideally suited for reading fax-to-email documents.
Adobe today made several announcements pertaining to the company\'s eBooks strategy: the immediate availability of Content Server 2.0, its Windows NT/2000 solution for managing an online eBook marketplace; a joint partnership with Amazon whereby the online retailer will offer Adobe\'s Acrobat eBook Reader at its e-book store, which currently offers more than two-thousand PDF-based eBooks; and the release of a public beta of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, bringing PDF support to Palm OS-based handhelds. [form]
Intuit is looking for beta testers for Quicken 2002 for Mac. The application form is open to anyone interested.
Macromedia today announced Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio, which offers support for the creation of interactive 3D Web content. The software is expected to ship in May for $1200. Additionally, the company has posted a public beta of Shockwave Player 3D, which is required to view the 3D content. (AppleInsider offered a first glimpse at Director 8.5 two weeks ago.)
Canon has announced a bundling offer whereby purchasers of Canon EOS D30 digital cameras will receive a free 340MB Microdrive PowerPack ($437 retail value). The camera is compatible with all interchangeable EF lenses and has built-in flash with E-TTL flash control.
Motorola will soon begin incorporating Bluetooth wireless communications capabilities into several of its microprocessor lines, including the PowerPC chips used in Macs. Bluetooth offers 1 Mbps transfer rates at a distance of up to 10 meters.
Yesterday we noted shipment of After Effects 5 and Acrobat 5, Apple\'s new RAM promotion, Echo Fire 2.0 DV companion application, Motorola\'s new 0.13 micron breakthrough, Adaptec\'s USB2connect PCI card based on USB 2.0, Fuji\'s FinePix cameras, and Cannon\'s S600 Bubblejet printer. Other updates include NotifyMail 4.01, AP Scanner 1.0, and PowerLogix\'s G3/G4 Cache Profiler 1.4b2 as well as OpenSSH 2.5.2, SETI@Home 3.03, and iTools 6 for 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