|May, 1998 Archive
Friday, May 29th
CompUSA Planning To Relocate Cincinnati Store
[1:05PM] CompUSA, Apple's exclusive retail partner, today said it will relocate its Cincinnati store to a new site in Springdale, Ohio this fall. The retailer plans to continue operating its existing location until the opening of the new 29,200 square foot store. "CompUSA has built a strong relationship with the Cincinnati community," stated Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Our goal is to build a new Computer Superstore that is more exciting and customer- friendly, enabling us to better serve our local customers."
CompUSA - Apple Computer
Companies Submit Proposal For Vector Standard
[11:55AM] The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) yesterday acknowledged a joint submission from Hewlett-Packard, Autodesk, Macromedia, Microsoft, and Visio for Vector Markup Language (VML), a proposed standard that would bring high-quality, editable 2D vector graphics to the Web.The companies say VML, which builds on the strengths of industry standards including XML 1.0, HTML 4.0, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2.0, will make it faster and easier to create compelling Web pages by allowing productivity users and authors to cut and paste vector graphics across applications, without any loss of quality or ability to edit. VML will be supported broadly by all of the companies in future versions of their products, with Microsoft perhaps having the boldest plans. The software giant intends to support VML in Internet Explorer, Windows, and the next version of Microsoft Office.
World Wide Web Consortium
Thursday, May 28th
Radius To Tour U.S., Canada With Adobe
[5:50PM] Radius announced today it will join Adobe Systems for a special 38-city "Fab 5.0 Digital Imaging Tour" that highlights new product offerings designed to significantly improve the way graphics and video professionals work and do business. During the tour, Radius will feature its award-winning DV product suite, PhotoDV and MotoDV, together with its PressView color calibration and display system, all of which enhance Adobe products. Adobe will be showcasing new version 5.0 releases of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere as well as its completely new product -- ImageReady-- for designers of Web pages.
The tour begins today in Seattle, Washington and will move through major cities throughout the U.S. and Canada before concluding July 30 in Rochester, NY. Adobe's North American Graphics and Internet Sales Team, the tour's organizer, expects upwards of 400 attendees at each city.
Radius - Adobe Systems
Hewlett-Packard Retaliates, Sues Xerox
[5:05PM] Two weeks after being named in a patent infringement lawsuit brought against it by Xerox, Hewlett-Packard today retaliated with a suit of its own -- only this time the battle isn't over printers but rather copiers. HP released a statement explaining what it believes to be a violation of its patented copier technology. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeks an injunction prohibiting Xerox from making and selling certain color and black-and-white copiers that contain HP-patented user-interface technology. HP estimates the Xerox products that violate its patent represent more than $800 million in annual revenue for Xerox and that they include the company's new digital copiers, the Xerox Document Center 220 and 230. "HP has invested many billions of dollars in technology R&D;," said Lewis E. Platt, HP chairman, president and CEO. "We have a deep and rich patent portfolio, which serves us well in situations like this."
Hewlett-Packard - Xerox
Hybrid Modem From Motorola Does Analog, ADSL
[1:45PM] According to a Reuters report, Motorola is working on a hybrid modem that functions with regular phone lines and ADSL connections. The modem will work with existing analog lines and will be upgradeable to ADSL, once standards for the high-speed technology are established, Reuters says. "With the increasing popularity of the Internet for business and home applications, high-speed access is a driving force in the PC marketplace," Bertrand Cambou, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola's Networking and Computing Systems Group, told the news service. "At Motorola we are leveraging our ADSL and analog modem expertise to help PC OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) meet end users' needs for faster access." The new modems, which don't yet have a target release date, will go under the name CopperGold Lite Solutions.
Reuters Report - Motorola
PowerLogix Releases Performance Indicator
[1:15PM] SpeedMeter, a new performance indicator released today from PowerLogix, is a utility that reports system-related information, such as processor type, clock speed, bus speed, backside cache speed, processor temp, motherboard cache size, and backside cache size. The company says the the utility is useful when fine tuning variable speed processor upgrades such as its PowerForce G3, and for confirming proper performance (speed and size) of backside cache when using software such as its G3 Cache Control on Power Macintosh G3s or PowerBook G3s. SpeedMeter works on all 604, 604e, and Power Mac G3, and is available for download from PowerLogix' site.
Netscape Signs Content Deal With CNET
[12:40PM] Netscape said yesterday it signed a deal to bring editorial content from CNET's family of leading Web sites to its budding Netcenter portal. Under the agreement, in which terms were not disclosed, CNET will provide daily technology news, access to downloads, product reviews, resources for Web developers, and gaming content to Netscape, for use in the Computing & Internet channel on Netcenter. "CNET is a recognized leader in delivering timely technology news and computer information on the Internet, and now they have the opportunity to do the same for millions of Netcenter members," said Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of the Netscape Netcenter Division. "This announcement marks another step in our aggressive plans to turn Netcenter into a major online destination for business users and consumers."
Netscape Netcenter - CNET
Packard Bell First To Crack Sub-$700 Barrier
[11:30AM] If the past eighteen months are any indication, the days of sub-$500 computers might be here sooner than you would have previously expected. After leading the wave of vendors who broke the sub-$1,000 price point in January 1997, Packard Bell today established a new low-cost category with the introduction of the first sub-$700 computer. The Packard Bell 500, housed in a mini-tower chassis, features a Cyrix 233-MHz MMX Enhanced MediaGX processor, 24MB RAM, 2.1GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, and 56-Kbps modem for $699. A $999 model, also announced today, ups the processor, RAM, and hard drive to 266-MHz, 48MB, and 4.3GB, respectively.
CompUSA Opening Two New Stores Tomorrow
[10:15AM] CompUSA said today is will celebrate the simultaneous grand openings of two new superstores in the Cambridge, Mass. and Jackson, Miss. areas tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. The Cambridge store, a 31,800 square-foot facility located in the University Park at M.I.T. complex, will be the computer retailer's seventh unit in the Boston area, while the 22,900 square foot Jackson store will mark CompUSA's first entry in Mississippi. Each of the stores will feature the company's latest store prototype, which showcases new CompKids and Software Sampler areas in addition to the standard departments such as the Apple "store within a store."
The new locations will also include a bit of a twist not normally found in CompUSA stores -- multi-classroom Training Centers. According to the company, the training courses cover database, spreadsheet, word processing, graphics, and Internet applications for all experience levels. CompUSA said it will also be providing on-site training courses for businesses.
Apple's User Group Tour Stops At BMUG
[9:15AM] Apple's 1998 Summer User Group Tour, which kicked off last week in Atlanta and Kansas City, will be making a stop in the Bay Area today at one of the country's most passionate Macintosh user groups -- the Berkeley Macintosh User Group (BMUG). At the meeting, which takes place tonight at 6:30PM at the BMUG offices, Apple will be showcasing its upcoming iMac consumer computer and the new PowerBook G3 series. (Directions to the group's office can be found on their Web site.)
BMUG Online - Apple Computer
Bare Bones Software Revs Email Client
[8:50AM] Bare Bones Software's recently released standards-based email client, Mailsmith, received its first update today. Version 1.0.1 incorporates minor improvements developed since the initial release of the software, including: easier creation of nested mailboxes, improved query progress behavior, the ability for simply query operations to search on the sender of an email address, the ability to set up "check only" and "send only" email accounts, and improved performance on Power Macintosh machines using Virtual Memory. In addition, Bare Bones says the update fixes a number of bugs. All registered Mailsmith customers can download the free update from the company's Web site, while those interested in trying out the client can get a new version of the demo from Bare Bones' site as well.
Bare Bones - Mailsmith 1.0.1 Update - Demo
Wednesday, May 27th
LightWave 5.6 Adds New Rendering Technology
[5:45PM] Animation and video production tool vendor NewTek today announced the shipment of an update to LightWave 3D. Version 5.6 of the 3D animation software package is available as a free upgrade to all LightWave 3D 5.5 registered users via the company's Web site and direct sales line. NewTek said the update adds over a dozen enhancements and improvements including HyperVoxels, a new breakthrough rendering technology that simplifies the creation of organic effects and naturally flowing phenomena, from viscous fluids to extremely detailed rocky surfaces. Support for QuickTime 3.0 is also included in the Intel and Macintosh versions of the software, the company said.
NewTek - LightWave 3D 5.6 Update
MetaCreations Showing Off New GOO At E3
[5:10PM] MetaCreations said today it will be debuting Kai's SuperGOO at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta throughout the week. The successor to the best-selling Power GOO, originally announced last week, will be demonstrated at the Intel and TechData booths. Super GOO is MetaCreations' fourth consumer oriented title, and is currently available on a hybrid CD-ROM for both Power Macintosh and Windows 95/NT machines. Retail pricing is set at $49.95, and customers who own the original GOO are eligible for a $10 rebate.
MetaCreations - E3
New Extensis Tutorial Tackles Preflight Pro 2.0
[1:00PM] Extensis today announced "Preflighting with Extensis Preflight Pro 2.0," a CD-ROM-based interactive tutorial -- developed in conjunction with Digital Media -- that is designed to provide commercial printers, service bureaus, prepress operators, and designers with an advanced learning utility for preflighting electronic documents and files created using leading graphics applications to ensure error-free output. Version 2.0 of Preflight Pro is scheduled for release next month.
Extensis - Preflight Pro Information
3Com's PalmPilot King Of Handheld Market
[12:40PM] 3Com's PalmPilot family of portable devices continues to reign supreme in the handheld computer market, in spite of the increasing competition from Windows CE-based products, a Dataquest study shows. According to the research firm, the PalmPilot reached 1 million customers, and accounted for more than 63 percent of the handheld sector in 1997, an impressive leap from the 51.7 percent share it held in 1996. Shipments of Windows CE devices from Hewlett-Packard, Casio, and Philips accounted for 26 percent of the market, Dataquest said. Among the offerings using the portable Microsoft operating system, HP stood atop, grabbing 43 percent market share. Casio and Philips lagged far behind, with 17 percent ad 16 percent share, respectively.
News.com Article - Palm Computing
Aladdin Announces MacHASP-USB For iMac
[11:30AM] Aladdin Knowledge Systems, a company specializing in tools that help prevent software piracy and foster security, said today it is working on a next-generation software protection key for Apple's upcoming iMac. The MacHASP-USB, as the product will be called, was shown in prototype form at this month's Worldwide Developer Conference. According to Aladdin, the new key will be externally identical to its PC-based version, USBHasp, and will be fully compatible with the current MacHASP range of keys. Only a minor software update will be required to enable both generations of keys to offer secure and transparent protection, the company said.
"We are confident that the new Apple iMac will reach a new generation of computer consumers and offer great opportunities for our software developers," said Phil Schiller, vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple, in a statement. "Aladdin's announcement of the MacHASP-USB copy protection key is a welcome add-on for Macintosh software developers and further demonstrates the growing support for the iMac's adoption of the Universal Serial Bus interface."
Aladdin Knowledge Systems - iMac Information
SyQuest Appoints Disk Veteran To Board
[10:55AM] SyQuest Technology today appointed Kenneth Potashner, a former executive at disk makers Quantum and now-defunct Conner Peripherals, to its board of directors. Potashner currently serves as president and CEO of Maxwell Technologies, a San Diego-based pulsed power technologies manufacturer, and is described by SyQuest chairman Ed Marinaro as a "natural fit" for the board. "Ken established a history of profitability in positions he has held within the computer data storage industry," Marinaro said. "And his acute business sense on how to correctly structure and streamline enterprises fits well with our goals to carefully control expenses and grow profits."
Iomega's CFO Resigns, Heads To E-TRADE
[9:45AM] The ongoing game of executive musical chairs at Iomega continued today, as the company's chief financial officer, Leonard Purkis, traded in his ranks to become CFO and executive vice president for finance and administration of E-TRADE Group, the popular online investing Web site. In departing, Purkis said, "I take great pride in the finance team we have built at Iomega and have every confidence that they will continue to serve as strong business partners in enabling Iomega's future growth. It has been a privilege for me to have been part of this great company's history." A search for a successor to Purkis will begin immediately, Iomega said. In the interim, Dan Strong, vice president and corporate controller, will serve as acting CFO.
Iomega - E-TRADE
Microsoft Sees IE User Base Jump 182 Percent
[9:05AM] Despite having increased its user base by 33 percent in the past year, Netscape's share of the U.S. browser market continues to erode, a study released by ZD Market Intelligence said. The research firm, formerly known as Computer Intelligence, said that Netscape's total share fell to 54 percent in January, from 63 percent a year ago. In the same time, Microsoft's share doubled to 39 percent from 21 percent in January 1997. "Although Netscape did grow its number of users, the clear winner was Microsoft and its Internet Explorer," said David Tremblay, a senior analyst with ZD Market Intelligence, a unit of Ziff-Davis Inc., in a statement. As of January, the number of computers using Netscape-branded browsers totaled 24.2 million, a 33 percent increase from 18.2 million a year ago, while ZD Market Intelligence said Microsoft's Internet Explorer was in use on 17.3 million machines, an increase of 182 percent.
(It should be noted that ZD's figures are from very early in the year, and thus do not take into account any success Netscape had from its Navigator giveaway. In April, Netscape officials said the giveaway had stopped its hemorrhaging share, and had actually sparked a marginal resurgence. Netscape said its share went from 56.5 percent in February to 56.57 percent in April.)
ZD Market Intelligence
Report: 64-Bit, 600-MHz PowerPC Due In Q1 '99
[8:15AM] InformationWeek, citing an unnamed source at IBM, reports that Big Blue is planning to have ready a 64-bit, 600-MHz version of the PowerPC by the first quarter of next year, meaning speeds of high-end Macintosh machines could double in the next eight months. That rapid turnover could continue into the new millennium as well. The trade, citing the same anonymous company executive, says speeds of the PowerPC will reach 1-GHz by 2000, and that will be followed by a copper-enhanced chip. These advancements, according to the executive, will help IBM stave off Intel in the performance field beyond 2000.
InformationWeek Report - IBM
Tuesday, May 26th
Netscape Breaks Even, Surprises Street
[5:55PM] Netscape today surprised Wall Street analysts with its results for the three months ending April 30. The Mountain View, Calif. company eked out an $8,000 profit, or 0 cents per share -- the tiniest of margins but enough to beat First Call estimates of a 10 cents per share loss. Revenues for the period, helped by increases in the company's enterprise software and services as well as its Netcenter Web site, totaled $127.2 million, up from $125.3 million in the prior quarter. Netscape's enterprise unit posted $96.1 million in sales, compared to $91.4 million for the three months ending December 31, 1997, while revenue from the Netcenter portal jumped from $21.3 million to $31.1 million, not including the $70 million windfall still coming from Excite.
"The results announced today signal two exciting points: first, that Netscape's strategy is resonating with the marketplace and, second, that Netscape is executing well against that strategy," said Jim Barksdale, president and chief executive of Netscape. "Our decisions to broaden our enterprise solutions business through acquisitions and to invest in our Internet portal site are now bearing fruit, with both parts of the business showing steady growth."
Panorama Sues Motorola, Apple Over Contract
[4:45PM] Panorama Designs, a Santa Clara County-based company who claims it was contracted by Motorola to develop a Mac OS-based laptop, has filed a $13.5 million lawsuit against Motorola, alleging that the one-time Macintosh clone vendor engaged in breach of contract, deceit, and breach of duties as joint venturer. In addition, The Business Journal reports that Panorama is also suing Apple, claiming it "advised, persuaded, counseled and/or coerced Motorola to breach said contract with [Panorama]." According to the complaint, Panorama had discussions with Motorola representatives in September 1996 to jointly manufacture and sell clone laptops, and that the two subsequently inked a deal that would pay Panorama in excess of $13 million for its work.
However, once Apple reneged its licensing program late last summer, the suit alleges Motorola shut down the project, despite having a binding commitment with Panorama to complete and sell the items. The suit goes on, claiming that Motorola could have gone ahead and produced new Macs but instead opted out in order to stay on friendly terms with Apple.
Business Journal Report - Apple - Motorola
SoftArc Planning Mac OS X Intranet Server
[3:10PM] SoftArc today vowed to support Apple's next-generation operating system, Mac OS X, with an optimized version of its FirstClass Intranet Server (FCIS). The Ontario-based company said it would release a beta version of the server -- a multi-platform application with email and Intranet services in one package -- to coincide with the beta release of OS X, due in early 1999. Scott Welch, chief executive officer of SoftArc, noting the company's past, present, and future commitment to the Macintosh, said an OS X client and server will be provided to users. "Over the past eight years, we've supported our Mac users as their needs change. We remain a valued partner of Apple, and we're fully committed to the next generation of Macintosh," Welch commented.
SoftArc - Mac OS X Information
Intuit Endorses Marimba's Castanet Technology
[2:25PM] Castanet, the heavily hyped application distribution and management technology from Marimba that's been largely out of the limelight in recent months, received a ringing endorsement from Intuit today, as the Quicken maker announced it would use the technology in certain products. A statement announcing the deal failed to give financial terms, and the companies also declined to give details on which Intuit products would be infused with the technology, saying only that they will announce specific applications and functionality at a future date. "We selected Marimba's Castanet software as an important part of our commitment to continue to deliver the best personal financial management solutions that allow people to make the most of their money," said Bill Harris, executive vice president of Intuit.
"Intuit has an established reputation as a company that has revolutionized the way people manage their financial lives," said Kim Polese, president and CEO of Marimba. "As Intuit looks to the future and for new ways to leverage the inherent immediacy of the World Wide Web in its products, we are delighted to have been selected as their technology partner."
Intuit - Marimba
DVD Version Of Riven To Be Demoed At E3
[Updated: 1:30PM] A DVD-ROM version of Riven, first seen in a brief presentation at January's Macworld Expo, will be demonstrated at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta, according to the game's publisher, Red Orb Entertainment. The special version of the hit game, which Red Orb expects to propel DVD-ROM sales among home PC users in much the same way Myst helped CD-ROM drive sales, features "significantly enhanced" audio, recompressed video for greater clarity, and an exclusive "Making Of" video. In addition, gameplay will absent of the frequent interruptions seen in the CD-ROM version, thanks for the expanded storage capabilities of DVD disks.
Meanwhile, Red Orb says E3 attendees will also be treated to a special DVD version of The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time, as well as discussion from Broderbund executives on DVD technology and Red Orb titles.
[Update:] According to a statement issued by Red Orb this afternoon, the DVD editions of both Riven and The Journeyman Project 3 will be available only for Windows 95 machines when released this August. Macintosh versions could be forthcoming, but the company will not be showing them at E3 this week.
Riven Home Page - E3
Adobe, The Learning Company Settle Font Suit
[1:15PM] Adobe Systems and The Learning Company said last week that they have settled a patent and copyright lawsuit related to Adobe's font software programs and typeface. Under the settlement, which came after a district court judge ruled that Adobe's Utopia font program is protectable copyright and infringed by certain font products distributed by The Learning Company, TLC said it will pay Adobe $2 million in damages representing profits, interest, and reimbursement to Adobe of over $1 million in attorney's fees and costs incurred in the case. In addition, TLC has agreed to stop selling selected font products, and not to make, use, sell, or offer to sell any font software program which renders a typeface which infringes any Adobe typeface design patent.
Ricochet Service To Feature Surf Express
[9:30AM] Connectix will provide its Surf Express caching software to Metricom for use in Metricom's Ricochet wireless data access service, the companies said today. "Metricom is committed to continually improving and enhancing our Ricochet wireless services," said Greg Dalzell, director of marketing and product development at Metricom. "By making Surf Express available to all of our current and future subscribers, users will be able to deliver commonly visited Web pages significantly faster than what they're experiencing now. Surf Express will be a great benefit to our subscribers who routinely check favorite Web sites."
Connectix - Ricochet Information
Number Nine's Newest Do-It-All "Ticket"
[9:15AM] Promising a three-fold performance jump over prior generations, Number Nine Visual Technology today announced "Ticket To Ride IV," the fourth generation of its 128-bit fully integrated 3D, 2D, and MPEG graphics co-processor. The chip, due to enter volume production in the third quarter, is designed for corporate, 3D, and multimedia users, and features an Intelligent Resource Processor (IRP), a Programmable Latency Memory Controller (PLMC), an integrated 250-MHz RAM DAC, and support for HDTV resolutions up to 1920 x 1080. Macintosh, Windows 95/98/NT machines are supported by the chip.
EveryWare Appoints New Marketing Head
[8:30AM] EveryWare Development this week announced the appointment of Jeff Turner as director of marketing. Turner, who joined EveryWare in 1996 after a tour as brand image strategist and communications planner at the Bank of Montreal, was most recently director of services. In his new position, he'll be responsible for short and long term marketing strategies, including the launch of the company's new Web site. The site is scheduled to go live tomorrow and will feature an online store, developer's forum, and a complete "EveryWare Dictionary" for partners, customers, prospects, and investors, the Tango maker said.
Of his promotion, Turner said, "EveryWare's product line is recognized by press and analysts as superior in a crowded field of competitors. My focus will be to mount a comprehensive, energized effort directed at increasing sales and brand name awareness. Our very successful application development and analysis tools, dedicated sales force, and expanded marketing efforts will be the driving forces in our upward momentum."
Friday, May 22nd
Apple Chooses OuterNet For QuickTime Hosting
[1:15PM] Apple said this week is has begun using OuterNet Connection Strategies to house and manage an array of Internet file servers. The servers at the Austin, Texas provider will primarily be used to deliver QuickTime 3.0, but will also serve Apple's entire file archive, the companies said. "OuterNet provided us with a cost-effective, quality solution," said Preston Gregg, project lead of Apple's support website. "They had the bandwidth and the expertise to accomplish our goals. Their technical staff got our servers online quickly and efficiently."
Apple Computer - OuterNet
Thursday, May 21st
Netcenter To Feature Netscape Channel
[7:45PM] Netscape's ongoing "Project 60" campaign, designed to turn its Netcenter site into a major online destination for both business users and consumers, picked up another partner today -- itself. Netscape announced a new "Netscape Channel," an area that will target company news, information, editorial, product and technical information, and other content at its installed base of users. The company appears to be developing its own content in hopes of attracting visitors from the search engines it partnered with earlier today. As part of the agreements (see below), the new channel will be accessible from Netscape's search partners including AltaVista, Excite, Infoseek, LookSmart, and Lycos. In addition, the channel will be linked to by the search engines any time users enter a variety of Computer and Internet-related key words.
Netscape Signs Players For Net Search Page
[6:55PM] AltaVista, Infoseek, LookSmart, and Lycos will join previously signed partner Excite as Premiere Providers for Netscape's Net Search program, Netscape announced today. The updated Net Search page is expected to go public on June 1, and each of the partners will have their search "face" rotated. Netscape says its branded search along with the Excite search will each receive 25 percent of the search rotations, while the other 50 percent will be divvied among the other players with no single provider receiving more than 15 percent.
deal-mac Visitors Get ClubMac Discount
[6:00PM] Through next Wednesday, May 27, visitors of Daniel de Grandpre's deal-mac Web site can take advantage of a special 2 percent discount off all online orders placed at ClubMac. The offer, good until midnight Pacific time next Wednesday, is added before orders are finalized, and is only open to visitors who access ClubMac through a special link from the deal-mac site.
deal-mac - ClubMac
Hugely Anticipated Unreal Is Finally Real
[2:55PM] One of the most eagerly awaited games of the past several years is finally on its way to store shelves. GT Interactive's Unreal, in development for some three years, went "gold" earlier this week and will be available at retail outlets nationwide this holiday weekend. Despite the massive delays and dozens of revisions, gamers' interest in the the 3D action/adventure game hasn't faltered a bit. In fact, GT says over 20,000 people have already registered to download a playable demo of the game.
For Macintosh gamers, the wait for Unreal will be just a bit longer. Westlake Technologies, the company founded by several ex-Lion Entertainment employees, has been developing the Mac version in parallel with the PC counterpart, so the wait most likely won't be as "unreal" as the anticipation for other conversions. If past comments from Westlake hold true, Mac fans should see the game in weeks, rather than months or years.
GT Interactive - Unreal Information
Connectix' QuickCam Closing In On Milestone
[1:55PM] Connectix said this week it is nearing shipment of its one millionth QuickCam, and will likely pass the milestone early this summer. The eyeball-shaped, low-cost, digital video camera, which originally debuted back in 1994, is now available in three flavors: the original black-and-white version, a color edition, and a new PC-only, USB-compliant "VC" model specifically targeted for video conferencing. "Connectix is proud of the incredible acceptance by consumers for the QuickCam digital video camera brand," said Don Pickens, vice president and general manager of hardware at Connectix. "The shipment of the one millionth QuickCam is a significant milestone in bringing personal visualization to a wide variety of computer users."
Meanwhile, in celebration of the milestone, Connectix is holding a special promotion -- The One Millionth QuickCam Sweepstakes -- in which 202 prizes will be given away, including a trip for two to Hawaii. Details can be found via the link below.
Connectix - The Millionth QuickCam Sweepstakes
Newer Technology Developing USB Devices
[1:10PM] A new development team has been formed at Newer Technology to create a family of Universal Serial Bus (USB)-based devices, the company announced today. Newer's initial product line for the next-generation bus technology is expected to begin shipping later this year, and will include an external floppy drive and a USB-to-Mac serial converter. The preliminary platform targeted will be Apple's iMac, though Newer says cross-platform opportunities and non-computer applications are expected as the line grows. "Newer is exploring USB options for the iMac specifically as market demand dictates. We feel the iMac has vast potential and that when packaged with intelligent USB appliances, makes a very compelling computing solution," said James Wiebe, president and chief executive of Newer.
Jeff Hedlesky, Newer's director of sales, added, "Newer Technology is excited about the adoption of the USB interface on the Macintosh platform. As Newer develops USB devices the power of the iMac and other USB computers using Newer Technology USB products can be leveraged in new markets."
Extensis Revs Plug-Ins For Photoshop 5.0
[12:20PM] Extensis announced today that its plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop have all been revised to insure full compatibility with the recently released version 5.0 of Photoshop. Updates for Extensis Intellihance, Mask Pro, PhotoFrame, and PhotoTools are free to registered users of the current versions, and can be downloaded from Extensis' Web site. "Everyday creative professionals worldwide rely on Extensis products for additional functionality and improved productivity while working with digital images in Adobe Photoshop," said Kevin Hurst, director of product marketing at Extensis, in a statement. "By updating all of our plug-ins concurrently with the introduction of Adobe Photoshop 5.0, we are ensuring that users can immediately take advantage of Extensis products to help them improve their digital content design while working more efficiently."
Extensis - Photoshop 5.0 Information
Snap! Latest To Offer Free, Web-Based Email
[11:30AM] Snap! today became the latest Internet "portal" to hop on the free email bandwagon, joining others such as Netscape, Yahoo, AltaVista, and Excite. The CNET service signed a three-year deal with iName, a provider of email technology and solutions, to jointly develop a new, free HTML email service, set to launch in mid-June. As part of the partnership, the companies will develop and promote the service by leveraging iName's network infrastructure and suite of services and Snap!'s broad-based audience. In addition, CNET will also provide links and marketing support from its network of sites.
Snap! - iName
Advis, Apple Extend WebObjects Server
[10:40AM] Advis, a Boston-based Apple Enterprise Alliance Program member, and Apple yesterday announced a new set of business extensions for the WebObjects application server. The three add-ins -- Advis SAP R/3 Adaptor; Advis PeopleSoft Adaptor; and Advis Java Presentation Framework (JPF) -- allow developers to create applications which integrate with SAP and PeopleSoft systems, as well as enable the creation of Java-based enterprise solutions for WebObjects environments.
Apple Computer - Advis - WebObjects Information
Wednesday, May 20th
America Online's Eyes Set On ICQ Maker?
[6:50PM] Mirabilis, the Israeli-based maker of the popular ICQ messaging application, is expected to be acquired by America Online in a deal worth $300 million in cash and stock, a published report says. Israeli business publication Globes reports that in exchange for agreeing to stay with AOL for the next four year, the four twenty-something founders of Mirabilis will receive $80 million -- on top of the $300 million acquisition price tag -- over their staying period. NEWS.COM has more on the story, including quotes from analysts who see the move as a way of AOL getting an extra 11 million viewers for its ads. ICQ, which has been the biggest competitor to AOL's Instant Messenger, currently has 11.4 million registered users, according to Mirabilis.
News.com Report - America Online - Mirabilis
MetaCreations Rolls Out New Version Of Infini-D
[6:10PM] MetaCreations today announced the release of the latest upgrade to Infini-D, its 3-D modeling and animation software designed for digital media professionals. Version 4.5, available on a Macintosh and Windows hybrid CD-ROM for $899, introduces a new scanline rendered for speedier rendering performance, built-in rendering management tools, and support for MetaStream, the new 3-D file format that allows developers to convert new and existing Infini-D models into highly compact files targeted at use on the Web. (As of today, MetaStream is a proprietary, PC-only technology that requires a Pentium-based machine to use.) In addition, the upgrade, which is also available to existing owners of Infini-D 4.0 or higher for $99, adds enhancements to the product's particle system, support for image map (UV) and procedural (UVW) texture coordinates, and cross-platform support of Adobe After Effects-compatible plug-in filters.
Taking Cue From Umax, Mactell Cuts Prices
[4:55PM] On the heels of similar price cuts from Umax earlier this week, Mactell yesterday announced discounts on its full line of Mac OS clones, including G3 upgraded systems. The company is now offering the XB 200-MHz 603e -- sans memory, hard drive, CD-ROM drive, and video memory -- for $399. The same machine with 16MB RAM, 4GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, and 2MB VRAM sells for $749. Each of the Tanzania-based machines has room to grow; the bare-bones unit features three PCI slots, built-in SCSI and IDE ports, while the $749 system includes five PCI slots and five drive bays. In addition, the Austin, TX company is offering saving on its top-of-the-line machine, the XB Pro Tsunami BASE. Bundled with Mactell's PowerJolt G3 upgrade card, the machine now is priced at $2,195, down from $2,695.
iNES Plus Marks Debut Of Navigation Services
[3:50PM] John Stiles' iNES 0.7 Plus was released last week, and along with a two-fold increase in performance, the new version is among the first -- if not the first -- applications to take advantage of Navigation Services, Apple's new enhancement to the Mac OS Open File and Save File dialog boxes. Scheduled to be a part of September's Mac OS 8.5, "Nav Services" is a complete rewrite of its aging predecessor that takes on a more Finder-like appearance and functionality. Under the new API, dialog boxes can now be resized, multiple files can be opened simultaneously, commonly used folders can be bookmarked, documents can be opened via drag-and-drop, dialogs no longer take over the system (ie. they can put placed in the background), and much more.
For applications to take advantage of the new capabilities, developers will need to specifically write to the new API, but given the strong incentives for implementing Nav Services -- chief among them, Mac OS X compatibility -- adoption is likely to spread quickly. Both iNES 0.7 Plus and the Nav Services extension can be downloaded from emulation.net.
iNES Information - emulation.net
Intuit Buys Lacerte Software For $400 Million
[2:15PM] Intuit said this week it would acquire Lacerte Software Corp., a Dallas-based developer of professional tax preparation software, for $400 million in cash. Lacerte's business, which caters exclusively to accountants and tax preparers, will operate as a subsidiary of Intuit, and the privately-held company's senior management team will continue with the same responsibilities, with the exception of Larry and Philip Lacerte. Both men are retiring from day-to-day- management of the company, but will remain on the board of directors of the new subsidiary. The acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and by the shareholders of Lacerte, still needs to pass regulatory approval. The companies expect that to happen sometime this summer.
Intuit - Lacerte Software
E4 Announces MPEG2/DVD Streaming Solution
[1:45PM] E4's (Elecede Technologies) CoolStream MPEG2/DVD Streaming solution, a hardware-based companion to the CoolStream software development kit (SDK), will allow developers to easily incorporate broadcast quality video for network video applications on either Macintosh or Windows platforms, the company said today. CoolStream, scheduled to ship in late June, is ideal for streaming video-on-demand (VOD) applications, such as informational kiosks, distance learning, training, and broadcast video on terrestrial or satellite-based systems, E4 says. (The CoolStream SDK will be available in July, and includes components to develop applications rapidly on Borland C++ Builder and Delphi, as well as most 32-bit compilers such Visual C++ and CodeWarrior.)
Kodak Cameras First To Sport USB Interface
[12:30PM] Eastman Kodak today announced two new digital cameras, including the first camera to offer 1.6 million pixels of resolution for under $1,000. The Kodak Digital Science DC220 and DC260, both due to ship next month, employ a PowerPC 800 series processor to speed image processing, and are the first digital cameras to sport a Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface for faster picture transfer. By using USB, Kodak says picture transfer is at least ten time faster than traditional digital cameras. "Kodak continues to demonstrates its industry leadership by being the first to market with the latest advances in digital imaging," said Willy Shih, president, Digital and Applied Imaging, and vice president at Kodak, in a statement. "We were the first to offer 'megapixel' consumer cameras. Now we're first with USB capabilities for portable digital cameras -- furthering the commitment we have to both image quality and ease-of-use."
The DC220 and DC260, priced at $799 and $999 respectively, both feature an extended version of Kodak's easy-to-use interface, a two-inch LCD color screen, finished file formats (JPEG and FlashPix), expandability for firmware upgrades, scripting capabilities, audio input and playback, and video output. Each camera also provides million-plus pixel image capabilities, with the DC260 being the first in its class to provide a maximum setting of 1.6 million pixels (1536 x 1024). When the cameras ship next month, each will come with an 8 MB Kodak Digital Science picture card, AC adapter, serial and USB cables, audio/video cables, and CD-ROM's containing software for Kodak picture easy software 3.0, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, and Adobe PageMill.
Offering To Fund Excite's Deal With Netscape
[11:45AM] Excite's deal earlier this month with Netscape to become the technology provider for a Netscape-branded search service will be paid for in part by proceeds from a new public offering, a statement from the company said today. Excite has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer up to 1,350,000 shares of common stock, of which 1,232,500 million will be offered by the company and 117,500 by selling shareholders. Underwriters Morgan Stanley and BancAmerica will be granted the option to purchase an additional 202,500 shares to cover over-allotments, if any. In addition to funding its cash prepayment obligations to Netscape, proceeds from the offering will also be used for general corporate purposes, including working capital, Excite said.
Excite - Netscape Communications
OPTi Brings USB Connectivity To CardBus
[9:40AM] At the upcoming PC Developers Conference, OPTi, Inc. will demonstrate its FireLink USB controller solution in a new CardBus setting that gives notebooks the capability to connect with USB devices. (CardBus-compliant slots can be found on Apple's new PowerBook G3 series.) Priced at $7 in quantities of 10,000 units, FireLink can be used in both host systems and docking stations, OPTi says, and because of its power management, it's ideal for mobile applications. "Once again, OPTi offers the most flexible approach to upgradable system functionality with our stand-alone FireLink USB controller," said Mark Williams, director of marketing for Systems Logic. "Packaged in a tiny LQFP, FireLink fits anywhere. It can be designed into the notebook, or can even be put into a CardBus card as we will be demonstrating at the PC Developers Conference."
E4's CoolDVD Available To Canadian Retailers
[9:05AM] In its ongoing efforts in making Macintosh DVD technology available to a broad channel outside of the U.S., E4 (Elecede Technologies) this week signed EMJ Distributing as an authorized distributor of its CoolDVD Mac DVD-ROM Upgrade Kit in Canada. "The relationship with EMJ will provide Canadian customers access to a local distributor," said Michael Schmitt, national sales manager for E4. "CoolDVD fits naturally with EMJ's emphasis in high performance products for Apple."
E4 - EMJ Data Systems
Tuesday, May 19th
Apple's Summer Tour Kicks Off Tomorrow
[6:45PM] Apple representatives will be visiting local computer user groups in over 30 cities this summer as part of the company's "1998 Summer User Group Tour." The tour, which will give Mac enthusiasts around the country a preview of the iMac and the new PowerBook G3 series as well as an overview of Apple's Mac OS software strategy, kicks off tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo. and Atlanta, Ga. and finishes in Detroit, Mich. in late July. "Apple's user group members represent some of our most loyal and passionate customers," said Phil Schiller, vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, in a statement. "Our summer user group tour will allow the Macintosh community to find out more about Apple's stunning new iMac and PowerBook G3 products and about our plans to bring another decade of software innovation to Mac OS."
Apple User Groups - Apple Computer
E4 Brings DVD-Video To Apple DVD-Drives
[4:35PM] Customers who jumped on the DVD build-to-order option at The Apple Store, only to be disappointed that the drive doesn't support playback of the ever-expanding library of DVD movies may be able to rest a bit easier today. E4 (Elecede Technologies), the company whose rapidly become the premiere vendor of Macintosh DVD solutions, has filled the void with the announcement of the CoolDVD Mac DVD Playback Card, a $279 MPEG2/DVD card, expected to ship June 30, that enables DVD-Video to playback on Apple computers with built-in DVD-ROM drives. "Apple's online build to order program offers a DVD-ROM drive option for the Power Macintosh G3. This option does not provide the ability to play DVD-Video," said John Chan, director of product marketing for E4. "CoolDVD Mac DVD Playback Card enables these computers to playback DVD-Video."
E4 - The Apple Store
Adjacency Wins Awards For The Apple Store
[12:55PM] Adjacency, Inc., the Web design firm who lent a hand in the concept, design, and development of The Apple Store, recently won two of the most prestigious awards in global advertising for its role in the creation of Apple's virtual storefront. As Webintosh reported last month, Adjacency and Apple were both awarded a Gold Pencil in the Electronic Commerce Web Site category of The One Show Interactive Awards, considered by many to be 'The Zenith of Achievement' within the advertising industry. Adjacency was the only West Coast-based agency to win One Show Interactive gold in this year's competition. Then last week, the 29 judges of World Wide Web category of The Clio Awards presented Adjacency with its highest honor -- the Gold Clio. Out of all award recipients, The Apple Store was the only Web site in this year's Clio Award to receive a Gold.
Adjacency - The Apple Store
Riven Sequel In The Works, FGN Online Says
[12:15PM] Riven, the blockbuster sequel to the all-time best selling CD-ROM game, Myst, will be getting a sequel of its own, Fastest Gaming News (FGN) Online reports. The follow-up, to which details are expected to be unveiled at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), will be closely watched not only for the fact that the series is one of the top sellers of all-time, but also because the third chapter will be the first developed without the tutelage of both Rand and Robyn Miller. As many will remember, Robyn left Cyan Entertainment earlier this year, expressing his desire to "create other worlds."
FGN Online Report - Cyan Entertainment
Connectix Releases Virtual PC 2.0 Update
[11:50AM] Connectix today released a patch for Virtual PC 2.0, addressing a number of networking and device driver issues with the popular emulator. The patch, which updates both the Windows 95 and DOS editions to version 2.0.1, corrects problems with networks using 802.3 frame types, and also includes a new SYSINI.EXE to remove duplicate "C:\CNTX\FSHARE32.VXD" system.ini entries in the Windows 95 version, as well as an updated CDROM.SYS driver that fixes a problem with prevented Mortal Kombat III and other games from installing properly.
Virtual PC 2.0 Updater - Connectix
Dataquest: 100 Percent USB Saturation In 2001
[11:05AM] A new market study released by Dataquest projects a 300 percent growth of USB-compatible machines in the next three years. According to a study by the research firm last month, it's expected that 100 percent of the PC shipments in 2001 will feature USB connectors, which would put the number of USB-compatible units in excess of 500 million. (For this year, Dataquest said it anticipates 136 million USB-equipped PCs to ship.) However, support is not only growing in the PC manufacturer arena, but also in the peripherals market, where vendors are continuing to up their committment for the next-generation serial bus technology. At the recent USB compliance workshop, or "PlugFest," in San Jose in April, more than 220 USB devices were tested for interoperability -- a 50 percent increase over January's PlugFest.
"The number and variety of USB peripherals undergoing interoperability testing is exceeding expectations," said Steve Whalley, USB Implementers Forum chairman and connectivity initiatives manager, Intel. "Based on the increasing attendance at the compliance workshops and the testing results with Windows 98, we expect to see at least a hundred or so of these devices on the market this year with the remainder in early 1999."
Dataquest - USB Information
MetaCreations Introduces GOO Successor
[9:40AM] Kai's Power GOO, the best-selling image editing program that brought MetaCreations into the consumer space two years ago, now has a sibling. SuperGOO, introduced today and set to ship immediately, is a follow-up that expands on the original's premise with several new zany tools Described by MetaCreations' Frank Casanova as "Power GOO on steroids," SuperGOO sports a new design centered around two rooms -- Fusion and GOO. The Fusion room includes the majority of the program's new features, including a wide selection of male and female features (nose, eyes, lips, hair, etc.), a "mutate" button that generates random faces, and a "gender select" tool which gives users the ability to choose between male or female features, or a combination thereof. The GOO room, on the other hand, includes all of the "liquid image" tools from the original, plus new real-time zoom and pan capabilities, as well as an increased number of brushes.
Kai's SuperGOO can be purchased now at leading national software retailers, national computer superstores, national consumer electronics retailers, and a full complement of regional retailers. The product comes on a hybrid CD-ROM both Macintosh and Windows, and is priced at $49.95. (The original Power GOO will continued to be offered at a lower $24.95 price tag.)
ARM Sell Off Nets Apple $23.4 Million
[8:55AM] A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed a $23.4 million windfall for Apple, news that could bode extra well for the company's third quarter results. In its quarterly report, the company said it sold 18.9 percent of its 37.4 percent stake in ARM Holdings, the British semiconductor company whose microprocessors were used in the now-defunct Newton product line. The sell off, completed on April 16 (the day ARM went public), gave Apple a gain before foreign income taxes of $23.4 million, according to the filing, proceeds which will be recognized as other income in the third quarter of fiscal 1998. In addition, the company said it will continue to account for its investment in ARM using the equity method.
Apple Computer - ARM
"You've Got Pictures!" From AOL, Kodak
[8:10AM] America Online and Eastman Kodak will partner on a new service that offers AOL members the ability to have their pictures delivered electronically, the companies said in a joint statement today. With "You've Got Pictures!," the estimated 12 million AOL subscribers can have pictures delivered directly to a special inbox on the service, simply by including their screen name when dropping off a roll of film for processing at the more than 30,000 retail locations who are expected to participate in the program. The companies said retailers will develop the film and scan and upload members' pictures directly to AOL via Kodak PhotoNet online, usually within 48 hours of drop-off, for "an additional fee." The service will be available exclusively to AOL members "later this year," and will be a welcome benefit to those interested in getting pictures online, but don't have the necessary hardware -- scanner, digital camera, etc. -- to do so.
In addition, the companies said they will make joint investments in advertising and marketing, product development, and ongoing support, while also noting that revenues from the service will be shared. In connection with the partnership, AOL also has made a minority investment in Kodak's subsidiary PictureVision Inc.
America Online - Eastman Kodak
Monday, May 18th
States, DOJ Officially Hit Microsoft With Suit
[1:30PM] Claiming Microsoft has "illegally stifled competition, harmed consumers, and undercut innovation in the software industry," regulators from 20 states and the District of Columbia today officially filed antitrust charges against the software giant, putting in motion a legal battle that could have a profound effect on the entire software industry. The lawsuits, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. in parallel with the Justice Department, were proceeded by collapsed negotiations this past weekend between Microsoft and federal and state governments. Microsoft had delayed the shipment of Windows 98 to OEM in order to take part in the eleventh-hour talks, but wound up balking over the proposal presented by regulators.
The states' complaint seeks a hearing and preliminary injunction ordering Microsoft to provide Windows 98 either with no browser, or with alternative browsers, such as Netscape's Navigator -- so that computer manufacturers and consumers could freely select the browser of their choice. The proposed injunction also would order Microsoft not to retaliate against OEM vendors who choose a browser other than Internet Explorer.
Microsoft - National Association of Attorneys General
Adobe Begins Shipping Premiere Upgrade
[11:55AM] Adobe Premiere 5.0, the latest version of Adobe Systems' desktop video editing program, began shipping today for Power Macintosh and Windows NT/95 platforms. Available through Adobe resellers and retail outlets, version 5.0 is priced at $599 for new customers and $199 for registered users of earlier editions of Premiere -- both full and LE. Highlights in the new version include a streamlined interface, Edit Decision List (EDL) support, long-format editing tools, 32 levels of undo, and a new Monitor window that allows users to edit video using a Source/Program metaphor, the company said. In addition, Adobe has bundled a number of plug-ins -- Digigami's MegaPeg, Microsoft's NetShow ASF and RealNetworks RealVideo encoder-- that extend the output capabilities of Premiere 5.0 to reach MPEG1, and video/audio for the Web, CD-ROM, and VideoCD. And to optimize Web-based movies, a copy of Terran Interactive's Media Cleaner EZ will be included.
Adobe Systems - Premiere Information
Sony Widens Monitor Offerings With New LCD
[10:55AM] Sony Electronics today expanded its line of monitors with the announcement of a new 15-inch flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), the Multiscan CPD-L150. The display is compatible with Macintosh, Windows NT and 98, and uses Sony's Digital FlexRes which provides up to 16 million colors and resolutions up to 1024 x 768 @ 85Hz. At $2,199, the new flat-panel display is still out of reach for the average consumers, which is why Sony -- like nearly all other LCD vendors -- is targeting the new display at professional environments that demand high quality performance and where valuable desktop space is limited, such as healthcare and financial institutions. And for these markets where "thin is in," the CPD-L150, due to ship next month, should be a nice fit. The display measures only 6.5-inches in depth and weighs just 11. 7 pounds. This translates into a unit that takes up to 60 percent less desktop space and only 25 percent of the weight of a standard 17-inch CRT. In addition, the display's "Zero Footprint" design provides wall mounting options.
Displays by Sony
Umax Cuts Prices, Extends Scanner Promotion
[9:20AM] Umax Computer Corp., looking to clear out the remaining inventory of its Mac OS clone family, today announced price cuts across the entire product line, giving customers, in some cases, savings of up to $400. The highly-expandable SuperMac S900 family, which offers 6 PCI slots, 7 drive bays, and 8 DIMM slots for over 1 GB of potential memory capacity, now starts at $1,595 for older models. Pricing on the award-winning G3 system is now $2,395, down from $2,795, and dual processor machines as well as the S900i/250 can be had for "a bit more" than $1,595, according to the company. In addition, Umax' compact C500/240 has dropped $995, making it the only sub-$1,000 Mac-compatible machine currently available.
Meanwhile, Umax, whose license to sell clones will expire in July, also said today it will extend its previously announced scanner promotion through May 31. Under the deal, customers purchasing any C600 or J700 machine, will receive a free Umax Astra 610S flatbed scanner, or equivalent, at the point of purchase.
Umax Computer Corp. - SuperMac Information
Friday, May 15th
Intuit Responds To Suit Over Year 2000 Matter
[12:15PM] Intuit yesterday issued a statement calling a lawsuit over Year 2000 issues with older versions of Quicken "completely without merit." The suit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court, alleges that Intuit sold older versions of Quicken with the knowledge that the software's online banking functionality would be obsolete after December 31, 1999. Users of Quicken versions 5 and 6 for Windows and versions 6 and 7 for Macintosh, all sold as recently as last October, will lose banking functions in the new millennium, the suit says, and will need to upgrade to Quicken 98 -- the only version that is fully year-2000 compliant. The suit seeks damages and injunctive relief to compel Intuit to rectify the "defect" without charges. Intuit openly admits to the software's problems on its Web site, but believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will defend vigorously against it.
Intuit - Intuit's Year 2000 Support
Thursday, May 14th
Microsoft To Postpone Shipment Of Windows 98
[TOP STORY: 1:00PM] According to CNNfn, Microsoft caved in today and has agreed to hold back on the shipment of Windows 98 for three days to allow for last-minute anti-trust talks with the Justice Department and state attorneys generals. Microsoft had been expected to begin shipping the operating system upgrade to computer makers tomorrow, but a spokesman for the company confirmed it will postpone the release until Monday. In exchange, CNNfn says the DOJ and the states have agreed not to immediately file their anti-trust case against the company. Sources close to the case informed the news organization that Microsoft told the government "we won't ship, you won't file and we'll come in and talk with you tomorrow." While today's concession will affect OEM vendors, Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn said the move will not have any impact on the June 25 release date for consumers.
CNNfn Report - Microsoft
QuickTime Version Of "Steamroller" Available
[5:15PM] A QuickTime version of Apple's latest commercial is now available on the company's Web site. "Steamroller," which highlights the speed of the recently launched PowerBook G3 series, debuted Tuesday night and was in heavy play last evening, airing during ABC's Spin City, Dharma and Greg, The Drew Carey Show, and NBC's 3rd Rock. The new spot, the fourth in the "Think Different" series and a companion to an 8-page PowerBook G3 spread debuting in several national consumer, technology and business publications this week, is expected to run for several weeks. "We have proven again and again that our G3 computers are speed demons compared to Intel-based computers," said Apple interim chief Steve Jobs. "As the commercial demonstrates, our new PowerBook G3s are flattening the competition."
Apple Computer - "Steamroller"
Winners Of Apple Design Awards Announced
[2:20PM] Winners and runners-up in Apple's third annual software design contest were announced today. The Apple Design awards, which honor applications which showcase the innovation, ease-of-use, and integration of Apple technology that make Macintosh software unique, were handed out at a ceremony during Apple's WWDC. In the "Most Innovative" category, Macromedia's Flash 2 took top honors, with Presto Studio's Legacy of Time: The Journeyman Project 3 and Microsoft's Office 98 Macintosh Edition the runners-up.
The "Best Look and Feel" award went to Preflight Pro 1.0 from Extensis, while Connectix and Alsoft, with Virtual PC 2.0 and PlusMaker 1.0.1, respectively, finished as runners-up.
Lastly, Aladdin Systems' Stuffit Deluxe 4.5 was voted winner for "Best Apple Technology Adoption." PowerMail 2.0 from CTM Development, which was one of the first programs outside of Apple to use V-Twin, and Digital Technology International's FaceSpan 3.0 were named runners-up in the category. Winners and runners-up each receive a trophy and the right to use the associated prize logo in the marketing of their products.
Apple Computer - Apple Design Awards
Xerox Sues HP Over Ink-Jet Printer Technology
[1:55PM] Xerox today filed a lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard, charging HP with using patented technology in the printhead cartridges of certain color ink-jet printers. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester, N.Y., seeks a permanent injunction preventing HP from manufacturing and selling the unnamed ink-jet printers and related supplies. In addition, Xerox said it will attempt to recover unspecified damages from HP. "This lawsuit represents an intensified effort to protect our intellectual capital," said Xerox president and chief operating officer Richard Thoman in a statement. "This isn't the first time we've sued to protect this investment and it certainly won't be the last."
Xerox - Hewlett-Packard
Iomega's Claims Against SyQuest Rejected
[11:55AM] An attempt by Iomega to block SyQuest Technology from distributing SyJet 1.5GB cartridges in France has been shot down by the Court of First Instance of Paris. In March, Iomega filed a patent, design, and copyright infringement lawsuit against SyQuest, as well as a subsequent motion that asked a French court to prohibit SyQuest from distributing SyJet cartridges in that country in view of the alleged infringement. But the court sided with SyQuest, clearing the way for it to continue distributing the high-capacity cartridges in France. "We believe that Iomega's actions have nothing to do with legitimate intellectual property rights," said Tom Tokos, SyQuest vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "We will continue to demonstrate to the court that the technology Iomega claims as its own was, in fact, either developed by SyQuest or widely known and understood throughout the industry before Iomega laid claim to it."
The legal wrangling between the two removable storage makers doesn't appear to be diminishing, however. According to SyQuest, just a day before the French court's ruling on the SyJet mater, Iomega filed another suit that makes similar claims with regard to SyQuest's SparQ 1GB disks.
Iomega - SyQuest Technology
MacWEEK To Take On New Name, Direction
[11:00AM] Beginning with its August 24 issue, MacWEEK as you've known it will cease to exist. The popular magazine, which reaches 85,000 readers each week, will change its name to EMedia Weekly and focus exclusively on the content creation market. Mac Publishing, L.L.C., the publication's parent, said the transformation represents the culmination of a series of changes the magazine has been implementing over the last two years to more accurately reflect the evolving job titles, functions, and responsibilities of its readers. EMedia Weekly carries a new tag line -- "The Newsweekly for Digital Media Managers" -- and will be launched in late August to coincide with the opening of the Seybold Seminars Conference in San Francisco.
New Apple Ad To Pay Homage To Seinfeld
[9:55AM] The estimated 65 to 70 million viewers that are expected to tune in to tonight's finale episode of Seinfeld will be treated to a special Jerry Seinfeld tribute from Apple. The company announced yesterday it will pay homage to the comedian and show co-creator with a special 30-second version of its "Think Different" commercial. The spot will air on NBC tonight beginning at 8PM, and if widely circulated reports are correct, will cost Apple some $2 million. "We want to honor Jerry Seinfeld for his contributions to the world of comedy," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive, in a statement. "Seinfeld pushed the boundaries of what TV comedy is all about." Earlier this week, Adweek reported that Apple was courting Seinfeld to make an appearance in a commercial, which would have marked the first time the comedian appeared in an ad sponsoring his own show.
Apple Computer - Seinfeld.com
Wednesday, May 13th
Wozniak Asks Berkeley Grads To "Think Different"
[6:00PM] Taking a cue from the company he co-founded over twenty years ago, Steve Wozniak spoke before nearly 4,000 graduates and their families at UC Berkeley's commencement ceremonies yesterday, urging them to "Think Different." A Berkeley graduate himself, Wozniak talked of his time in college, and encouraged graduates to push hard to achieve their goals, even if it means being different. "To avoid being like others is to try not to be like others, but to be truly different," Wozniak said. "My goal was always to make the best thing that anybody could make," the Woz added, referring to his work at Apple and beyond. The Daily Cal has more coverage of the commencement address.
Daily Cal Article
Metrowerks Gets Behind Mac OS X, AltiVec
[5:30PM] During a Tuesday session at Apple's WWDC, Metrowerks announced support for, and endorsement of, Apple's next-generation operating system as well as Motorola's AltiVec PowerPC extensions -- two technologies that look to play crucial roles in the advancement of Macintosh platform over the next eighteen months. To support developers in their move to Mac OS X, Metrowerks says it will port the CodeWarrior IDE and PowerPlant application framework to the "Carbon" API, allowing developers to write for Mac OS X using Mac OS X. But vendors will not to be running Mac OS X to develop for the OS however -- Metrowerks will also support cross-development for Mac OS X from Mac OS 8.x and from Mac OS X to Mac OS 8.x.
"As we did for the Power Macintosh transition, Metrowerks will provide the tools that software developers need to make the transition to the next generation of Macintosh. We are impressed with the moves Apple is making and are looking forward to working with Apple," said Greg Galanos, president, and chief technology officer at Metrowerks, in a statement.
Metrowerks says it plans to deliver a developer release of its tools for Mac OS X in early 1999 -- the same time frame in which Apple has committed to delivering a beta release of the OS. Support for AltiVec will arrive in April 1999 as part of CodeWarrior Pro 5, the company said, noting that pre-release versions of the software will be seeded to developers prior to the final release.
Metrowerks - Mac OS X Information
Hitachi's New Notebook Drive Uses GMR Heads
[2:20PM] Marking a major transition in technology for notebook disk drive vendors, Hitachi America today introduced a 6.48GB drive that uses new Giant Magneto-Resistive (GMR) heads. The slim profile "DK228A-64," due to enter production next month, is about the size of a cassette tape, packs an areal density of 3.9 Gigabits per square inch, and uses the new head technology which can read smaller bits of data than the more common MR heads. The company says the use of GMR enabled it to increase capacity of the new drive to record levels for a slim profile, notebook disk. Gary Galusha, vice president of hard disk drive sales for Hitachi's Storage Products Group, noted that the capacity of the new drive, sufficient to store up to three hours of MPEG-2 compressed video, is 30 percent greater than that of the models introduced by Hitachi just four months ago.
Success Of "Unlimited Distribution" Continues
[1:25PM] Since announcing its "Unlimited Distribution" program three and a half months ago, Netscape yesterday reported that more than 10,000 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Web content providers, software developers and others around the world have committed to distribute more than 100 million copies of its client software to users this year. Of the 10,000 companies participating in the program, a number of names stick out, including Apple Computer, Borders Group Inc., Easter Seals/March of Dimes National Council, Jaguar Cars Ltd, National Institute of Health, Oppenheimer Capital, U.S. Geological Survey, UC Berkeley, Viacom - MTV Networks, and Wells Fargo Bank. In addition, Netscape says its browser is seeing "momentous growth" outside of North America as demonstrated by the commitment from companies in international markets, who will ship approximately half of the 100 million clients this year.
Symantec Squashes "AutoStart 9805" Worm
[10:45AM] A recently surfaced worm that affects Macintosh PowerPC-based computers running QuickTime and an active CD-ROM AutoPlay feature has been identified by the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC). The company today released a comprehensive detection and removal solution for the first known Mac worm, and has a posted definition update for owners of Symantec AntiVirus 4.5, as well as Norton AntiVirus for NetWare users. Known as "AutoStart 9805," the worm isn't categorized as a virus -- it doesn't actually infect applications or documents -- but it does replicate itself from computer to computer as a self-contained, stand-alone file, which could lead to performance problems and data corruption. According to Symantec, the worm is transmitted via HFS or HFS+ Mac-formatted disks, most removable cartridge drives, hard disks, and disk images. The company adds that files corrupted by the AutoStart worm are irreparable.
Intuit Helps Small Businesses Find Capital
[9:45AM] Intuit has partnered with 10 leading financial institutions to provide the Quicken Business CashFinder, the first ever Web-based service that guides small business through obtaining extra capital. Whether it's applying for a business credit card, a credit line, a lease, or a loan, Intuit and its partners -- American Express, Centura, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, Colonial Pacific Leasing, Compass Bank, Crestar, KeyBank, SouthTrust Bank and Union Bank of California -- say the new site will help small business owners find the capital source they need, quickly and easily. "This service quickly gives the customer the information that is needed to make a smart, informed loan decision," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president of Intuit's small business division. "The days of having to run around to multiple financial institutions to shop for a loan may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to new Internet services like Quicken Business CashFinder."
Quicken Business CashFinder - Intuit
Tuesday, May 12th
"Steamroller" Debuts Tonight On ABC, NBC
[7:35PM] As reported this morning, Apple tonight will debut the latest television commercial in its "Think Different" advertising campaign. The Pentium-toasting PowerBook G3 series will be featured in the latest spot -- "Steamroller" -- which will air tonight during ABC's Home Improvement at 8PM and NYPD Blue at 10PM and also during NBC's Frasier at 9PM. The new spot, the fourth in the series, was first shown at last week's PowerBook G3 unveiling, and again during yesterday's WWDC keynote.
Microsoft Wins Ruling From Appellate Court
[7:15PM] Microsoft today cleared one important hurdle on its way to releasing Windows 98, but several more, including a complicated lawsuit from Sun Microsystems, could still stand in the way of the software's debut. Earlier this evening a U.S. Court of Appeals said a 1997 preliminary injunction that barred Microsoft from bundling its Internet Explorer Web browser with its operating systems does not apply to Windows 98. The December 1997 lower court decision, issued by District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, stemmed from the Justice Department's allegations that Microsoft had violated a 1995 consent decree, but the appellate court sided with Microsoft by agreeing the decision should not apply to Windows 98. Still, today's ruling does not have an effect on any new antitrust suits that may be filed in the future, ironic since reports indicate that a group of states and the Justice Department may file a new suit later this week.
Meanwhile, Sun filed its latest shot at Microsoft by asking a U.S. District Court to require that each copy of Windows 98 ship with a compatible implementation of Java. The company, through two new motions for preliminary injunctive relief, also asked the court to bar Microsoft from shipping software tools for the Java programming environment unless they generate only fully compatible Java software. Officials at Microsoft countered, calling Sun's motion "without merit," and questioned why Sun waited until May 12 -- three days before Windows 98 heads to OEM vendors -- to file the requests.
Microsoft - Sun Microsystems
Macromedia's Latest Flash Begins Shipping
[6:00PM] Flash 3, originally announced last month, today began shipping for Windows and Macintosh machines, Macromedia said. The latest version of the vector graphics and animation creation tool, priced at $299, will also be included as part of the "Design in Motion Suite," a $499 bundle that contains FreeHand 8 and Insta.HTML. (Owners of any previous version of Flash or FutureSplash are eligible for a $99 upgrade.) New features in Flash 3 include vector and bitmap transparency, animated buttons and menus, shape morphing, bandwidth profiling, and standalone projectors.
Macromedia - Flash Information
Macromedia Tools To Include Metrowerks Java
[4:05PM] At WWDC today, Metrowerks announced that it has licensed its CodeWarrior Java compiler for Macintosh and Windows to Macromedia for integration into their authoring tools, including the just-announced Director 6.5 upgrade. Kevin Ellis, senior product manager of Macromedia's Director product line, noted that the company went with the CodeWarrior compiler because of its superior performance characteristics. Ellis also commented that the combination of Director and the Metrowerks compiler will increase the productivity and platform support of developers who deliver Web multimedia.
Metrowerks - Macromedia
E4 Ships CoolDVD Upgrade Kit For SCSI Macs
[3:30PM] E4 today announced the addition of a SCSI-based upgrade package to its CoolDVD family of products for the Macintosh, opening the world of DVD to an estimated 4 million additional Mac users. Due to begin shipping on June 15, the CoolDVD Mac SCSI DVD-ROM Upgrade Kit will give any SCSI-based Mac OS computer with a PCI architecture and a PowerPC 603 120-MHz or faster processor the ability to access DVD disks and the expanding library of DVD movies. Included with the kit is a PCI-based MPEG II decoder card, SCSI DVD-ROM drive, and an assortment of DVD titles. "E4 is pleased to introduce DVD multimedia capabilities to the Mac OS," said John Chan, director of product marketing at San Jose, Calif.-based E4, in a statement. "The introduction of CoolDVD SCSI DVD-ROM Upgrade Kit now provides more than four million Mac OS computers an opportunity to enjoy DVD for the first time."
E4 - CoolDVD Information
Campbell Steps Down As Intuit CEO, President
[2:15PM] As part of an executive shake up at Intuit, Bill Campbell will trade in his chief executive and president title for a seat as chairman of the board, the company announced today. The 57-year old Campbell, also a director at Apple, replaces founder Scott Cook as chairman. Cook will remain with Intuit as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board and continue to work full time with the company, while William Harris, currently an executive vice president, will fill Campbell's shoes as president and CEO. "Bill Campbell has been discussing his desire to step back from day-to-day management with me and the Board for quite some time," said Cook in statement. "He has been an incredible CEO for Intuit and has built a very strong management team that will continue to execute the strategy we have in place."
Campbell joined Intuit in 1994 and quickly transformed the company from a coalition of two small, newly public software developers into a $600 million financial software and Web-based services company. Under his reign, Intuit's market value quintupled from $500 million to $2.5 billion as the company solidified its position as the clear leader in personal tax, personal finance, and small business accounting software.
Trade Magazines Honor Adobe Product Line
[12:15PM] At last month's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, several leading trade magazines honored Adobe's software lineup with a number of prestigious accolades, the company said today. Film & Video magazine recognized After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere with the "1997 Most Widely Used Post-Production Software" award. In addition, for the second year in a row, Adobe After Effects was voted the best compositing software under $2,500 by Post magazine. Adobe Premiere 5.0, the new upgrade to company's professional digital video editing software, also was honored by the publishers of PC Graphics & Video and Digital Studio as one of the 10 most innovative digital products showcased at NAB '98.
NEC Subsidiary Launches New LCD In Japan
[11:55AM] NEC Home Electronics has launched a new flat-panel display in Japan that is made out of recyclable flame deterrent plastic. The NEC subsidiary said the new TFT (thin film transistor) liquid crystal displays come in two sizes -- 15-inches and 20-inches -- and can be used with several of its own computer models as well as Apple's Macintosh machines. Pricing on the monitors was not available, nor was indication if the units will make it stateside.
Reuters Report - NEC of Japan
Macintosh Devotees Now Bleed One Color?
[11:05AM] The famous six-color, rainbow-stripped piece of fruit that has adorned Apple products for over a decade is now a thing of the past. Time magazine reports that Steve Jobs and his advertising, design, and marketing executives decided about seven months ago to drop the distinguished rainbow stripes in favor of basic, solid colors. "It was quite unanimous," Jobs told the publication. "The stripes just felt like the '70s or early '80s." The new PowerBook G3 and iMac, both introduced last week, are the first products to use the new scheme. The portable series uses a large all-white logo on its cover, while the one on the iMac will be in the same shade as the unit's plastics. Jobs says the colors used in the company's insignia aren't as important as the shape. Referring to Nike's famous symbol, Jobs told Time, "The shape is our swoosh."
Time Article - Apple Computer
Think Seinfeld: Apple Pursuing Star For New Ad
[10:05AM] While America anxiously awaits Thursday night's series finale of "Seinfeld," Adweek reported yesterday that Apple is busy behind-the-scenes pursuing the show's star, Jerry Seinfeld, in hopes of landing a deal that would put the famous comedian in a commercial to run during the official "Sein-off." (Incidentally, advertising rates for a 30-second spot ring in at $1.5 million, more than what NBC charged for this year's Superbowl.) According to the trade magazine, if a deal goes through, it would mark the first time Seinfeld appeared in an ad sponsoring his own show -- Seinfeld has done plugs for American Express, but the company has never aired spots during the show. It would also be the first time that a comedian appeared in an Apple commercial.
Meanwhile, in other advertising news, Apple's latest television spot -- "Steamroller" -- will debut this evening on several of the major networks, according to Steve Jobs's WWDC keynote yesterday. The commercial, which spotlights the new PowerBook G3 series, is the fourth in the company's "Think Different" campaign.
Adweek - Apple Computer
Apple Has No Plans For Intel Version Of X
[9:10AM] Cross-platform application compatibility -- one of the biggest selling points for Rhapsody and its Yellow Box environment -- will not be possible with Apple's next-generation Mac OS X, as officials said yesterday the company has no plans to bring the operating system to non-PowerPC platforms. Instead, Apple will develop Mac OS X to run solely on its Power Macintosh G3 machines. "That was what all the developers and customers told us to do," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of product marketing, in a brief interview with Reuters. "It's fully PowerPC native. We will not ship Mac OS X for any other platforms. The overriding goal is to be the best Mac OS ever."
Reuters Report - Apple Computer
Monday, May 11th
Apple Introduces Mac OS X, A "Carbonated" OS
[TOP STORY: 2:15PM] Realizing that the top guns in its developers camp weren't flocking to support Rhapsody, Apple today transformed its plan for a next-generation Macintosh operating system into a strategy that has already attracted the support of big wigs such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Macromedia. During this morning's keynote, Steve Jobs introduced Mac OS X (Ten), an operating system that combines the legacy of the exisiting Mac OS with the power and technology of Rhapsody into a single product that will not require developers to completely retool their products. To make this possible, Apple has re-examined the existing set of Mac APIs (Application Programming Interface) -- some 8,000 calls -- and eliminated over one-fourth of the ones that were "bad news." The remaining 6,000 become "Carbon," the new programming environment that will let developers access modern OS features such as protected memory, virtual memory, preemptive multitasking, multi-threading, fast networking, and fast file I/O.
To access these advanced features, however, developers will need to "tune-up" their applications, a process which should take most developers only a week, according to Apple. In helping determine if developer applications are using any of the bad API calls, Apple will be distributing a software analyzer to help vendors gauge how close they are to full "Carbon" compatibility. The good news in all of this is that developers will not need to touch their applications in any way for them to run on Mac OS 10. Apple expects almost all current applications to run unaltered on Mac OS X without a tune-up -- they just won't have access to any of the operating system's the advanced features.
Mac OS X will first be available in a beta release to developers in early 1999, and is expected to ship to end-users by the following fall. The OS will be optimized for use on Power Macintosh G3 machines, and Carbon will run on existing system 8 machines through a special library.
Upcoming QuickTime To Take On Streaming
[5:55PM] QuickTime, the vaunted Apple multimedia engine already ideally suited for streaming pre-generated content, will gain real-time Internet streaming capabilities this fall when a new version is released, Apple said today. Using RTP (Real-time Transfer Protocol), the new version of QuickTime will give developers the ability to deliver content on-the-fly, something which the competing RealPlayer and NetShow products from RealNetworks and Microsoft provide. But since QuickTime isn't limited to a Web browser or proprietary client -- it can be everywhere in the operating system -- developers will be able to add live broadcasting capabilities to their applications by simply writing to the QuickTime API, as demonstrated today by Peter Hoddie, Apple's Senior QuickTime Architect. Hoddie showcased real-time video being delivered to a Microsoft Word 98 document.
Meanwhile, Apple also announced today that over one million Macintosh and Windows users have downloaded QuickTime 3.0 or QuickTime 3.0 Pro since their introduction on March 30. Apple said Windows users accounted for more than two thirds of the total downloads from its Web site.
Apple Computer - QuickTime Information
developer.com Offering WWDC Session Content
[5:30PM] Starting today, session content, schedules, and other information for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will be available exclusively through developer.com. Under the partnership between Apple and developer.com creator EarthWeb, a mini-site on developer.com will include the complete slide presentations from Apple's sixty plus conference tracks as well as updated agendas to alert attendees of last minutes changes for each day of the conference. In addition, WWDC participants will be able to access this info from computers set up on the event floor, enabling enabling them to review content from sessions they attended and access any information from sessions they may have missed. The section content will be updated on developer.com each night of the five-day conference and will remain live for a full month following the conference.
developer.com - WWDC 98
Top Vendors Applaud New Software Strategy
[4:00PM] Microsoft, Adobe, and Macromedia, three of the biggest developers for the Macintosh platform -- all of whom never committed to developing their 'wares for Rhapsody -- today publicly pledged support for Apple's latest try at a next-generation operating system. And while it will still be a year or so before we can judge if Apple's finally got it right, these three giants think the company is on the right track. "We've been hoping and waiting for this strategy for over three years," said Norm Meyrowitz, president of Macromedia Products, in a statement. "This is absolutely the right way to move Mac OS forward. It will be a pleasure to quickly move Macromedia's products to Mac OS X." At this early stage, Adobe is also backing the OS, as evident by their last minute efforts to port Photoshop 5.0 to Mac OS X in order to demonstrate how quickly developers can take behemoth applications and "Carbonize" them in a very short amount of time.
Added Ben Waldman, GM of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft, "Apple has responded to customer concerns with an OS strategy that preserves the industry's investment in Mac OS while at the same time providing increased stability and performance. Microsoft is looking forward to continued collaboration with Apple on products that meet the needs of our mutual customers."
Apple - Adobe - Microsoft - Macromedia
Apple Licenses Symantec's JIT Compiler
[2:40PM] In its ongoing effort to churn out a best-of-class Java Virtual Machine, Apple today announced it has licensed the PowerPC version of Symantec Corp.'s high-performance Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler for Java. The technology will be integrated into a release of Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) later this summer, and it will be part of Apple's goal of equaling Java performance on the PC. Already, a preliminary version of MRJ coupled with the new JIT compiler yielded a 300 percent performance improvement over the current version of MRJ, Apple says. "Our customers want better Java performance in Mac OS and we're committed to giving it to them," said Steve Jobs, Apple's Interim CEO, in a statement. "We are working hard to make our Java implementation second in speed to none other in the world."
Apple Computer - Symantec
Happy Endings: iMac - Connect Different
[PERSPECTIVE] It's interesting to think that 3.5" diskettes may soon look like 5.25" diskettes -- that is, they'll look like they're from another time. I'm not sure if the iMac will change our perceptions completely on its own, but the curvy little box may be the forerunner. The Internet, it seems, has taken over... [MORE]
Palm Developing Claris Organizer-Based PIM
[11:40AM] Palm Computing said today it acquired Claris Organizer from Apple last month to use as the basis for a PIM (Personal Information Manager) in its all-new Palm MacPac, due later this year. The 3Com unit will mold the software, which was almost surely to languish into obscurity at Apple, into an organizer that synchronizes with the PalmPilot family of devices. Like the Claris-developed product, Palm Organizer will seamlessly integrate calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, and intelligent features such as drag-and-drop scheduling, user-defined custom views, and powerful printing options in one easy-to-use, compact application. Current owners of the Palm III or any PalmPilot devices who purchased the original MacPac 1.0 will qualify for a free upgrade to the new software. The upgrade will be available from Palm's Web site for 60 days after the product's release late this summer.
Palm Computing - 3Com
New Orange Micro Pentium Cards Start At $399
[11:00AM] Orange Micro today introduced a new series of PC cards that puts prices of hardware-based compatibility solutions about as low as they have ever been. Priced at $399 (a package with Windows 95 adds $100), the Orange PC 620 Windows Compatibility Card comes affixed with a 200-MHz Pentium, which the company promotes as being four to twenty times faster than software emulators, and 16MB of RAM. Both the processor and memory are user upgradeable, which is a necessity, considering users will almost immediately want to upgrade the latter. Art Scotten, President of Orange Micro, noted that the a new custom-developed ASIC, one that was in development for nearly two years, was key in the cost reduction of the new card.
A new version of the OrangePC software application will also be bundled with the 624 card. Version 3.1 includes 32-bit drivers for CD-ROM long file names and NDIS3 networking, and a new SnapShot feature that allows a Macintosh window to show the Windows environment, and vice versa.
Interplay Going Public With 6.25 Mln. Offering
[10:00AM] Interplay Entertainment, parent company of Macintosh game publisher MacPlay, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct an initial public offering of 6,250,000 shares of common stock.The managing underwriters for the offering are Piper Jaffray Inc., Bear Stearns & Co., and UBS Securities. Copies of the preliminary prospectus, when available, can be obtained by interested parties through Piper.
Interplay - MacPlay - Piper Jaffray
Sixth CompUSA Store Coming To D.C. Area
[9:40AM] CompUSA today completed a lease agreement for a 24,600 square-foot space in Fairfax, Va., a move which clears way for the computer retail giant's sixth location in the Washington, D.C. market. The new store, which is slated to open in late 1998, will feature the seven standard product departments, including the popular Apple "store within a store" environment.
CompUSA - Apple Computer
Matsushita Latest To Acquire Clik! License
[9:20AM] Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. (MCI) today signed off on a deal to become the latest licensee to gain rights to manufacture and market Iomega Clik! devices. Under the agreement, MCI, a unit of Panasonic parent Matsushita Electric, will begin fabricating Clik! drives next year for inclusion in brand name portable digital products. "We see Clik! drives as the next 'must-have' feature for mobile devices," said Tadaaki Tanimura, director of the Memory Systems Division at MCI, in a statement. "We look forward to building upon our current Zip drive licensing relationship with Iomega. By employing our manufacturing expertise, we expect to make Clik! drives widely available to the broadest range of manufacturers and consumers."
Iomega - Panasonic
Ziff-Davis Television Channel Goes Live Today
[8:55AM] ZDTV will make television history when it launches later today, becoming the world's first 24-hour cable channel devoted entirely to computing and the Internet. The Ziff-Davis-operated channel, which features an integrated Web site, initially will be broadcast in only a handful of cities in the United States -- among them, Las Vegas, Detroit, the Atlanta area, and parts of Maine -- but the publishing mogul expects to double capacity to three million households by the end of this year. According to a ZDNN report, the channel's original lineup will include Silicon Spin, a round table discussion group similar to The McLaughlin Group, half-hour newscasts, computer-help programs, and a Siskel-and-Ebert-like show rating Web sites called Internet Tonight. In addition, ZDTV plans coverage of industry trade shows, particularly Comdex, and expects to add gaming news to its show list by mid-summer.
Ziff-Davis - ZDTV
FileMaker, Inc.'s Language Dictionary CD Ships
[8:00AM] FileMaker, Inc. today announced the release of its new Language Dictionary CD, a cross-platform add-on for FileMaker Pro that contains dictionaries for 15 languages. The reference provides spell-checking assistance for users of the popular database, as well as spell-checking, thesaurus, and hyphenation assistance for other FileMaker, Inc. and Apple products, including Home Page, AppleWorks, Claris Emailer, and Claris Impact. Dictionaries for the following countries are included with the package: Afrikaans, Catalan, US English, US English Medical, UK English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Swiss German. (Products other than FileMaker Pro 4.0 and Home Page 3.0 support the same list of languages, save for Afrikaans, Catalan, and US English Medical.)
USB SuperDisk Drive To Debut Alongside iMac
[7:35AM] Officials at Panasonic Industrial Company and Imation Corp. last week announced plans to develop the first Universal Serial Bus (USB)-enabled SuperDisk drive, news that should help calm the fears of many potential iMac customers who have been concerned about the upcoming machine's lack of any portable storage solution. Like other SuperDisk drives, the USB version will be fully read/write compatible with existing PC-formatted 120MB SuperDisks, 1.44MB disks, and 720KB disks, and will also be completely compatible with Macintosh-formatted media. Panasonic and Imation say they expect the USB SuperDisk to debut in August, the same time frame in which the iMac is slated for release. Pricing on the drive will be available in the remaining months leading up to the product's release, the companies said.
"With the impressive speed and power of iMac, users will be able to handle very large amounts of data in the form of graphics, sound and video files, and Internet downloads," said Ray Meifert, SuperDisk business director at Imation. "For millions of loyal Mac users, compatibility with existing floppies is critical. Among available, high-capacity storage options, SuperDisk technology offers the advantage of compatibility with existing diskettes as well as 120 MB SuperDisk diskettes from Imation. We believe that iMac users will find USB SuperDisk technology as the best and most reliable tool to handle those high-capacity needs without giving up what they're used to using -- standard 3.5-inch diskettes."
Panasonic - Imation - iMac Information
Friday, May 8th
Apple Store Sees One-Day Sales Of $1.9 Million
[2:15PM] Driven by sales of the company's new Pentium-toasting PowerBook G3 series, Apple's online storefront this week received its biggest one-day sales total since opening its virtual doors last November. A statement released by the company today said the Apple Store pulled in a record $1.9 million in orders in just a single 24 hour period. Additionally, the Apple Store for Education launched earlier this week got off to a stunning start, receiving over $1 million in orders during its first 24 hours. "We are delighted that The Apple Store continues to set new sales records," said Steve Jobs, Apple's Interim CEO, in a statement. "The growing popularity of Apple.com and The Apple Store is amazing -- our websites now receive 10 million hits per day."
Apple Computer - The Apple Store
Wired Magazine Sold To GQ, Vogue Publisher
[1:30PM] Wired magazine, the revered print publication that broke new ground in January 1993 with its irreverent coverage of the self-coined "digital revolution," today was sold to Advance Magazine Publishers, owners of GQ, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a report in this morning's Wall Street Journal pegged the selling price in the $75 million neighborhood. Wired magazine's parent firm, Wired Ventures, said it will use proceeds from the sale to pay off short term debt and fund its online businesses, operated by its wholly owned Wired Digital subsidiary. The unit, which is expected to turn its first profit later this year, runs the HotWired, Wired News, and HotBot sites, and will retain exclusive online rights to the Wired brand name.
Wired News - HotWired
Thursday, May 8th
Macromedia Posts Q4 Profit, Beat Estimates
[7:45PM] Analysts' expectations for Macromedia's fourth quarter were exceeded today when the San Francisco graphics tool vendor posted profits of $1.9 million, or 5 cents per share. A consensus estimate released by First Call had been expecting a more modest return of 3 cents a share, but a strong turnaround in sales, helped by the release of FreeHand 8, led to the better-than-expected results. For the period ended March 31, Macromedia's revenues rose to $30 million, a 127 percent jump from sales of $13.2 million in the year ago period, when a loss of $15.2 million was also posted. Total revenues for Macromedia's fiscal year 1998 were $113 million, a slim 5 percent gain from sales of $107.3 million in the previous year. Excluding one-time charges, the company posted net income of $1.4 million for the year, up from a loss of $5.5 million for 1997. However, when factoring in charges related to the purchase of Solis, Macromedia wound up losing $6 million.
In the fourth quarter, Macromedia said Macintosh-related products made up 45 percent of total revenues, with the yearly breakdown for 1998 being just one percentage point lower. The Q4 numbers for Mac product were up from the third quarter of 1998, when Windows-related products accounted for 58 percent of all revenues.
Peripheral Shipping PB G3 Memory Upgrades
[5:05PM] Peripheral Enhancements today began shipping a full line of memory upgrades for Apple's newly refreshed line of PowerBook G3 machines. The Ada, Oklahoma company, who just yesterday signed off on a deal to acquire Newer Technology's NewerRAM division, said the upgrades come in 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, or 128MB configurations, all of which are designed and engineered to Apple specifications which require self-refresh SDRAM type devices operating at speeds of 100-MHz or greater. Pricing for the upgrades range from $106 for the 16MB version to $560 for the 128MB design. And as with all Peripheral memory products, the company says the G3 upgrades feature a distinctive blue Memory Edge on every module, which signifies that the products were manufactured in Peripheral's own U.S. plants and have been double tested for 100% compatibility and reliability.
Ellison: Apple's Future In Digital Appliances
[4:20PM] If Larry Ellison's words bear any truth, expect to see more products like the iMac coming out of Apple down the road. In an interview with PC Week Online, the outspoken Apple director said, "Apple's future is in creating digital appliances -- low-cost, very easy-to-use computers in the range of $500 to $1,500." The Oracle chief also had the following to say in response to a question on whether he's pushing Steve Jobs, his best friend, to take on the Apple chief executive position full-time: "No one pushes Steve. Steve's perhaps the only genius we have in our own industry. He's done an extraordinary job bringing Apple back from the brink. Shipments are going up, the company's profitable, morale is great, we have some great new products in the pipeline."
PC Week Interview - Apple Computer
Release Of Updated Now Utilities Postponed
[12:05PM] The release of Qualcomm's Mac OS 8-compatibility update to Now Utilities has been quietly pushed back, yet again. Back in January when originally announcing its intentions to develop a Mac OS 8-compatible update, the Eudora maker committed to a March release, only to have that quickly turn into an April time-frame. That revised plan came and went, and now the company is saying it expects the new version and pricing information to be available this month. Now Utilities for OS 8, as the update will be called, includes Now SuperBoomerang, Now Menus, Now WYSIWYG Menus, Now Scrapbook.
Now Utilities Information - Qualcomm
First CardBus Graphics Accelerator Announced
[10:35AM] IXMICRO today introduced ix3D Road Rocket, a new CardBus graphics display accelerator for the PowerBook G3 that will give owners of the just-announced series independent dual monitor support. Set to begin shipping in limited quantities on June 15, the $299 Road Rocket is based on the TwinTurbo 128-3D ASIC design, and features support for resolutions up to 1280x1024, true color resolutions up to 1152x870, and refresh rates up to 100-MHz, thanks to 4MB SGRAM. "Macintosh consumers expect the best in graphics performance, speed, resolution and color fidelity," says Christopher Knight, VP of graphics marketing at IXMICRO. "We are proud to satisfy these demands by engineering a solution that extends professional graphics capabilities to the portable market."
IXMICRO - PowerBook Information
Judge Throws Out Wang's Wild Patent Claims
[9:40AM] A federal judge today threw out a lawsuit by Wang Global that claimed Netscape and America Online infringed upon Wang's patent on the early-1980s "Videotex" system. Leonie Brinkema, District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled that Wang's system was "generically and fundamentally different" from Internet Web browsers and related technologies, adding that Videotex was a closed and proprietary system that relied on a central database supplier, unlike the multifaceted information suppliers that provide content to the Web. Wang, formerly Wang Laboratories, had been protesting that Netscape's and AOL's Web browsers infringed upon patents for Videotex, a video text system, which it said disclosed the invention of: "saving Web pages retrieved from a server using 'Save As'; bookmarks; and saving files with file extensions." Coincidentally, Microsoft's name was absent in the case -- Wang and the software giant have been involved in a large-scale enterprise alliance since 1995.
Netscape - America Online - Wang
Motorola's "AltiVec" To Boost PowerPC Speeds
[9:00AM] Motorola, pledging to change the "microprocessor industry's landscape," today introduced "AltiVec," a new class of solutions designed to keep the PowerPC chip on the bleeding edge of performance. At the heart of the technology lies a 128-bit vector execution unit, which operates concurrently with existing integer and floating point units, and allows for simultaneous execution of up to 16 operations in a single clock cycle. Motorola says AltiVec will enable future PowerPCs to dramatically accelerate applications such as voice over IP (Internet Protocol), multi-channel modems, routers, virtual private networks (VPNs), speech processing, image and video processing, and array processing, among others. The company noted that processors incorporating AltiVec are expected to provide a tenfold performance increase over standard PowerPC chips, at least when applied to some data-intensive applications.
The first processor with AltiVec will be produced using Motorola's HiP 5 copper interconnect manufacturing process, and is expected to begin sampling during the second half of this year for full production during the first half of 1999. While Motorola will target the initial processor at high-end networking and computing applications, the company says subsequent products "could address markets and applications in which performance must be balanced with power, price and peripheral integration."
Wednesday, May 6th
Introducing iMac, Apple's Consumer Machine
[TOP STORY: 2:00PM] Apple's play to win back market share is finally out of the bag. The company today unveiled its eagerly awaited consumer strategy in the form of iMac, a $1,299, all-in-one, 233-MHz PowerPC G3-based computer. Set to ship in 90 days, the "Internet-age computer for the rest of us" will feature a 15-inch Apple-designed monitor capable of 1024 x 768 resolution, 32MB RAM, 512K backside cache, 4GB hard disk drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, 10/100Base-Tx ethernet, 33.6Kbps software modem, 4Mbps infrared capabilities, and two Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, all housed in a striking, out-of-this world translucent enclosure. The machine, which is paired with a newly designed USB mouse and keyboard combo, will also be loaded on the software side with a generous bundle that includes Internet Explorer 4.0, AOL 4.0, AppleWorks (a rechristened version of ClarisWorks), Quicken 98, and FileMaker Pro.
"We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most -- the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO, in a statement. "iMac is next year's computer for $1,299; not last year's computer for $999." Jobs added, "Today we brought romance and innovation back into the industry. iMac reminds everyone of what Apple stands for."
Apple Computer - iMac
Apple Store Opens To Education, UK Customers
[7:30PM] Apple today expanded its online store with the launch of The Apple Store for Education and The Apple Store UK, the first site for customers outside the U.S. The company said the UK store is the first phase in a planned worldwide roll out, which will Sweden, Holland, France, Germany, Australia and Japan later in the year. Apple also said the Education store, which now lets registered customers in K-12 schools and higher education institutions order systems online, will be open directly to individual student and faculty in higher education later this year. "The Apple Store has been an incredible success with over 136 million hits and over $40 million dollars in orders since it opened last November," said Steve Jobs in a statement. "We're extending its reach today to two very important markets: education and the UK."
Apple Store for Education - Apple Store UK
Developers Already Re-Examining Mac Platform
[6:20PM] It didn't take long for Apple's new low-cost, consumer-oriented iMac to have an affect on developer confidence in the platform. According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News, the new computer has caused NetObjects, makes of the high-end Web development package Fusion, to rethink their plans for consumer Macintosh products.
Mercury News Report - NetObjects - iMac
Consumers Huge Part Of New Apple Strategy
[4:55PM] In connection with today's introduction of the iMac (see top story), Apple is now pushing a product strategy where consumer machines play a considerable role. The company today announced a tuned plan for consumers and professionals that features two lines of portables and two lines of desktops. The iMac and PowerBook G3 line, combined with the Power Macintosh G3 desktop series, make up the current line-up, while the last component -- affordable, portable, Mac OS-based computers -- remains on track for introduction early next year, the company said. "These new product lines give people what they want most, a lightning fast laptop and a striking new consumer Macintosh," said Apple's Steve Jobs. "Apple leads when it expresses its vision through its products, exciting you and making you proud to own a Mac."
Jobs, continued, "Our design savvy and manufacturing efficiency will put a new generation of Macintoshes on the desktop and on the road. The same focus and passion that brings these products to market has also made us a healthier Company."
Newer Technology Sells Off Memory Division
[1:35PM] In an acquisition promised to be transparent to customers, Newer Technology today handed off its NewerRAM memory division to Peripheral Enhancements of Ada, Oklahoma. Under the deal, the memory unit will operate as a separate division based in Wichita and Peripheral will continue to develop, support, sell and market memory products under the NewerRAM name. For the next 30 days, Newer says it will continue normal operations at the division to ensure a smooth transition. After that time, Peripheral will take over tech support duties.
Memory Upgrades For New G3 Series Available
[10:55AM] TechWorks today began shipping two new memory modules for Apple's next-generation PowerBook G3 series, scheduled to be officially unveiled later today. The 144-pin SDRAM SODIMMs (Static Dynamic Random Access Memory, Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Modules) initially come in 32MB and 64MB flavors, priced at $99 and $199, respectively, and the company promises to have a 128MB module available "soon." The remodeled portable G3 line features two memory slots, one of which is occupied by the factory installed memory.
Tuesday, May 5th
Apple's Consumer Plans Lure Quicken Back
[TOP STORY 9:15AM] As Steve Jobs promised at last month's shareholder gathering, Apple has mended its brief rift with Intuit and has enticed the Quicken maker to continue development of its popular personal finance software package for the Macintosh. Intuit says its about-face comes after being briefed on Apple's upcoming consumers products and strategies, which were unbeknownst to Intuit up until a few weeks ago, despite the fact that they're one of the platform's top developers, and the fact that Intuit president Bill Campbell resides on the Apple board. Nonetheless, Apple and Intuit said today they will work together to "promote" Quicken 98, the product's current version, and Intuit will proceed to develop a new version, to be available in 1999. Additionally, the two companies will explore ways to develop new personal finance opportunities for Mac users through Intuit's Quicken.com site.
"Now, having seen what Apple is planning for consumer products, we're thrilled to announce renewed support for the Macintosh," said Mark Goines, senior vice president, Intuit's Consumer Division, in a statement. Apple's Steve Jobs added, "We're delighted to have Quicken back on the Mac, and we look forward to working with Intuit on Quicken 98 and new products in 1999."
Apple Computer - Quicken.com
As Expected, Reinvented Egghead Sees Red
[12:45PM] Stung by a slew of one-time charges associated with its make-over into an Internet-only retail shop, Egghead.com today posted a net loss of $35 million on revenues of $30.5 million for its fourth quarter. The one-time retail chain, which closed its 80 remaining stores during the quarter, took $37.6 million worth of non-recurring charges, including $17.1 million for retail lease terminations and related fixed asset disposals, $10 million for store closing costs, $6.2 million for the liquidation of inventory, $2.1 million for closure of its Sacramento, Calif. warehouse, and $2.2 million for severance, fixed asset disposals, and other various expenses related to the reduction in head count. Looking ahead to fiscal 1999, Egghead chief executive officer George Orban said the company will develop revenues and expand its customer base by investing heavily in marketing and technology, a move which will consequently result in "substantial operating losses for the foreseeable future."
EveryWare Sees Sales Increase, Losses Recede
[12:15PM] Revenue in EveryWare Development's latest period increased 22 percent to $6 million, below what the company had been expecting. The Ontario-based Web application vendor saw order volume for its Tango and Bolero products increase year-over-year, but chief executive Don Whitbeck said the company's failure to ship Tango for FileMaker and Bolero 2 before the quarter's end impacted overall sales adversely. For the nine months ended March 31, EveryWare posted $1.9 million of red ink, compared to loss of $2.7 million in the year ago period.
Netcom To Begin Offering Shotgun This Month
[11:35AM] Diamond Multimedia Systems' Shotgun, the advanced modem bonding software technology capable of delivering Internet connections of up to 112Kbps over two ordinary phone lines, will make its way to end-users this month when Netcom begins rolling out the technology to users in approximately 100 of its serving cities. Under the exclusive arrangement, Netcom will launch the service by the middle of this month, and will offer customers a choice of access plans: Netcomplete, Netcomplete Advantage, and Netcomplete Advantage Pro and Identity Pack. Monthly rates for the dual-line service will be $10 over Netcom's current single line fee. Shotgun is currently bundled with Diamond's SupraExpress 56 modems, as well as its new dual-line modem, the SupraSonic II, and is also available as free download for SupraExpress 56 customers who purchased modems prior to the release of Shotgun.
Diamond Multimedia - Netcom
Intel, MetaCreations Team On "Open" 3D Format
[10:05AM] Intel and MetaCreations have teamed up to promote a new file format for "scalable 3D" content that they hope will win over the hearts of game developers and Web site designers. "MetaStream," a 3D file format purported to be open, but one that appears to be anything but (unless the machine you're using has a Intel-brand chip inside), will enable developers to write content once that will deliver high-quality graphics on high-performance machines, yet have the ability to scale down to the typical Web bandwidths. As the name implies, MetaStream will also have provisions for progressive streaming, which allows content to be manipulated as soon as downloading commences. In addition, the file format has the ability to adjust the detail of 3D objects relative to speed of the viewer's computer. Along the same lines, viewers will also have multi-resolution control over content.
While the two companies will publish the file format publicly -- thus enabling possible cross-platform compatibility -- the initial viewer plug-in is only available for Pentium machines. The PC versions MetaCreations' Ray Dream Studio 5 and Ray Dream 3D are compatible with the new format, and Infini-D 4.5, due in mid-May, will feature built-in MetaStream capabilities.
MetaStream - MetaCreations - Intel
ClearWay's NITRO Speeds WebSTAR Plug-Ins
[8:50AM] A new WebSTAR plug-in announced today from ClearWay Technologies promises to accelerate existing plug-ins for the popular Web server by up to 200 percent. The ClearWay NITRO PowerPlug, available in public beta, is compatible with WebSTAR 2.0, 2.1, and the latest 3.0 release, and can be used on either PowerPC of 68K processors. With NITRO, ClearWay says most plug-ins will see double-digit performance increases, although in certain circumstances, the improvement can be much greater. For example, the WebSTAR SSI runs more than twice as fast under NITRO, the company says. The ClearWay NITRO PowerPlug will be available before the end of the month with a street price of $99 per server, or $350 for five servers.
ClearWay Technologies - NITRO Information
Umax Launches Line Of Networking Devices
[8:10AM] Umax Technologies, the company best known for its scanning products and Mac OS clones, yesterday entered the competitive networking market with the announcement of a new Networking Communication Division and a myriad of products for enterprise, SOHO, and Internet customers. Dedicated switches and hubs for the enterprise and an integrated workgroup Internet solution for small and home offices are among the more than 20 devices that will be offered. With the new division, director Jesse Wang said the company expects to replicate the success of its scanning and Mac OS businesses by drawing from its R&D;, manufacturing, distribution, and technical support experience.
Monday, May 4th
Apple Acquires Macromedia "Technology"
[TOP STORY 8:20PM] In a brief statement released this evening, Apple said it has acquired technology from Macromedia to enhance future versions of its QuickTime multimedia engine. The news follows rumors which had Apple purchasing Macromedia's FinalCut, an oft-delayed, and never released video editing system for the Macintosh. Although Apple made no specific mention of FinalCut by name in its statement, to the best of our knowledge, FinalCut is the only technology which fits the parameters.
Apple Computer - Macromedia
Quark Names COO Who Promises Big Changes
[8:00PM] Quark today announced it has brought in Chuck Bland, a 22-year veteran of Owens Corning, to fill the newly created chief operating officer position. Bland, a MIT graduate, served a number of roles at Owens, ranging from general manager, to vice president, to president of multiple domestic and international business units. At Quark, Bland will continue implementing new company policies in customer service and order fulfillment, and he promises others changes within the next year. "From an operational standpoint, Quark will be an entirely different company by the time the next major revision of QuarkXPress is released," Bland said. With the appointment of Bland, Quark president and CEO Fred Ebrahimi and co-owner Tim Gill will further distance themselves from the operational side of the business, leaving both men to concentrate on growing the company's research and development.
Consistent with Bland's plans, the QuarkXPress maker announced a continued committment to re-engineering its customer service, order fulfillment, and manufacturing policies in order to handle recent growth. To this end, Quark cited a number of improvements already made in the last sixty days, including new Internet and phone registration for software; a 40 percent increase in the size of its customer service staff; revised credit policies; and a new $1 million upgrade to its phone, computer, and order entry systems.
Softclub Now Offering New PowerBook G3 Series
[5:20PM] While the hotly anticipated "Wall Street" line of PowerBook G3 machines isn't expected to be announced until Wednesday, several resellers have already begun taking orders for the series which will reinforce Apple's claim of having the world's fastest laptop. One such seller, Softclub Computer Systems, is offering the six different stock configurations, with processors ranging from 233-MHz to 292-MHz. Prices start as low as $2,249 for the 233-MHz model with 12.1-inch passive-matrix display, 32MB, CD-ROM drive, and ethernet; and Softclub is waiving the shipping charges for domestic orders placed online.
Softclub Computer Systems
CompUSA To Sponsor MLB All-Star Balloting
[4:35PM] As one of the sponsors of the 1998 Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting and the Official Sponsor of In-Stadium All-Star Balloting, CompUSA said today it will be helping fans cast their votes for their favorite players via the Web, from their seats at Major League ballparks, or at any one of its nationwide computer retail superstores. As fans submit their votes, they will also be able to enter a new sweepstakes promotion announced today. CompUSA will award two grand prizes; 1.) a trip for four to the 1998 All-Star game in Boston, and 2.) a $5,000 gift certificated redeemable for a CompUSA PC Dream Computer System. The sweepstakes runs through June 21.
DevEdition Of FileMaker Deemed 100% Pure
[2:50PM] The Developer Edition of FileMaker Pro 4.0 will bear the 100% Pure Java insignia when it ships next month, as Sun Microsystems today awarded the product with official certification. The Developer Edition of the popular database, announced last month, will provide developers with a completely platform-independent solution to develop custom databases for the enterprise markets. The product's 100% Pure Java class libraries will make it possible to access FileMaker Pro databases across all operating systems supporting the Java platform. Priced at $499, FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition will ship next month on a hybrid CD for Windows and Macintosh machines.
FileMaker, Inc. - Sun Microsystems
Insignia Offers Rebates On RealPC, SoftWindows
[11:55AM] A special spring promotion from Insignia Solutions will give customers who purchase RealPC between May 1 and September 30 $20 off the purchase price. A similar offer gives education customers $20 off the retail price on copies of SoftWindows 95 purchased between February 20 and June 30. Insignia says instructions for both specials can be found on specially marked boxes in stores and campus bookstores.
Voice Over Cable Lines? Motorola Says Yes
[11:35AM] Motorola Multimedia Group today unveiled a new technology aimed at giving cable subscribers the capability to transmit voice over normal cable lines. The company said its new Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony technology allows high-quality voice traffic to be transmitted over a cable network using its series of Vanguard multi-service access router platforms and CyberSURFR Wave cable modem. Jeff Walker, Motorola's senior marketing manager of Cable Data Products, said the new technology, which will be demonstrated at this week's National Cable Television Association Convention in Atlanta, provides an idea opportunity for cable operators to sell additional service to their customers. "Much like the integration of cable data, IP Telephony is a significant revenue enhancer that cable operators can really capitalize on in the next few years," Walker commented.
Motorola Multimedia Group
Live Picture Does On-The-Fly Watermarking
[11:20AM] A joint development effort between Live Picture and Digimarc Corp. will enable Web-based stock photography houses and other online commerce sites to digitally watermark images "on the fly." The companies announced today that Live Picture Image Servers will support Digimarc's patented watermarking technology for high-quality digital images distributed over the Web, resulting in a server-side solution that enables publishers, Internet storefronts, and Web-based image vendors to identify, track, and manage images using transaction-specific watermarks. Watermarking will be available as an optional extension for the Open Enterprise Edition of the Live Picture Image Server family, and will support three methods of marking -- dynamic, batch, and dynamic, visible, resolution-specific watermarking.
Live Picture - Digimarc
Upgrade By Bear Stearns Prompts Apple Rally
[10:35AM] Bear Stearns this morning raised its forecast on shares of Apple, prompting an early morning rally that pushed the stock within a 1/2 point of a new 52-week high. The brokerage firm raised its position on the resuscitated company from "attractive" to "buy." In the first hour of trading, the news has jolted shares, putting them at 29 1/4, up 1 1/4, just short of the 52-week high of 29 3/4 reached last August. The stock has also seen huge volume in the day, as investors heed Bear Stearns' advice. So far, more than 2 million issues have exchanged hands.
Bear Stearns - Apple Computer
Microsoft Readying Internet Explorer, OE Updates
[9:50AM] A teaser posted on Microsoft's Web site hints at the arrival of an update to Internet Explorer 4.0 for the Macintosh. Stability and performance, two issues that tarnished an otherwise promising 4.0 release, will be among the items addressed in version 4.01. Microsoft claims that speed will be increased by 30 percent, which should return performance back to where it was in the browser's pre-4.0 versions. In addition, 4.01 will mark the debut of built-in ColorSync support for JPEG images. (A ColorSync plug-in for Windows is currently being developed by Apple, and will likely be bundled with IE on the PC.) An updated version of Outlook Express, version 4.01, "with more features" will also be included with IE 4.01, Microsoft says.
Internet Explorer Information - Microsoft
Synapsys Raises Ceiling On Storage Capacity
[9:10AM] Synapsys Digital upped the ante in the storage market last week with the release of Triump FC-AL RAID, a new hard drive billed as the largest Macintosh storage solution ever. The new drive, available immediately, employs Seagate Technology's new 18.2GB Barracuda 7,200rpm AV hard disk mechanism, which exceeds previous 9.1GB Barracuda models and nears the Cheetah in terms of performance. (A 10,000rpm version of the 18.2GB drive is due in July. ) With the new 18.2GB capacity, Synapsys says it can configure Triumph systems to over 2.2 terabytes of data per Fibre Channel loop. With the 32-bay enclosure, the Triump solution can deliver 600GB of capacity in a single hot swapped and fully redundant system while achieving real-world throughput in excess of 65MB/sec on a Power Macintosh G3/300.
MS: Effects Of Win 98 Delay Would Be Significant
[8:35AM] According to this morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft warned Wall Street analysts over the weekend that any action by the U.S. Justice Department to delay the release of Windows 98 could have "broad, negative consequences" for the entire computer industry. In a letter mailed to analysts, software companies, and other business partners, Microsoft chief financial officer Greg Maffei predicted that a delay in the upgrade's release would hurt not only Microsoft but also companies that have already invested in advertising and marketing to exploit the new operating system, the Journal reported.
Wall Street Journal - Microsoft
Clintons Guests At Jobs's California Estate
[7:45AM] President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, in California to visit their daughter Chelsea, spent this past weekend in seclusion at a second home owned by interim Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. According to a Reuters report, Jobs's home -- an exclusive Woodside, Calif., property situated in a lush eucalyptus grove, complete with a swimming pool and tennis court -- was used by the Clintons to "sneak in some time" with their daughter, Chelsea, who is finishing her freshmen year at Stanford University. Jobs has a main home in Palo Alto, and did not spend the weekend with the First Family, who were also in the state for a series of Democratic fund-raisers, the report said.
Reuters Report - Apple Computer
Sneak-Peek At Bare Bones' Upcoming Mailsmith
[7:00AM] A series of screenshots that offer an exclusive glimpse of Bare Bones Software's upcoming email client, Mailsmith, have been obtained by Webintosh. The product's three-pane mail browser and advanced search capabilities are shown in the three shots, but exact details of the product still remain sketchy. Since announcing the client over a year ago, Bare Bones has been tight-lipped on what it will feature, saying only that Mailsmith will bring all the power of BBEdit -- its high-performance HTML and text editor -- to email in a lightweight but very robust package that offers advanced searching and multiple account management. Likewise, a target release date is unclear as well. (Reprinted from Saturday.)
Screen Shot 1 - Screen Shot 2 - Screen Shot 3
Friday, May 1st
G3 Promo Offers More Power, More Compatibility
[4:20PM] Following in the footsteps of several of its foreign units, Apple today announced a summer promotion that will give U.S. purchasers of any Power Macintosh G3 desktop or mini-tower machine a choice of Connectix' Virtual PC 2.0 or an additional 32MB of memory at no added cost. The "More Power/More Compatibility" promotion runs through June 26, and is available to customers who purchase machines through Apple-authorized dealer, Apple specialist, value-added reseller, or direct from Apple.
Promotion Information - Apple Computer
White Pine To Use QuickTime 3.0 In CU-SeeMe
[2:05PM] White Pine Software today said it has licensed Apple's QuickTime 3.0 for inclusion with CU-SeeMe, its Internet multimedia collaboration, conferencing, and chat tool. "Because many of White Pine's roots are in the Macintosh community, we feel it's important to continue providing the best possible multimedia conferencing solutions for our Macintosh customers," said Killko Caballero, president of White Pine, in a statement. "We've worked closely with Apple to make CU-SeeMe compatible with Apple's powerful 300-MHz G3 platform as well as with the new Apple H.263 compressor shipping in QuickTime 3 the moment it became commercially available." CU-SeeMe carries a $29.95 price tag, and can be purchased directly from White Pine or through retail at Best Buy, CompUSA, Computer City, and Fry's. A 30-day evaluation copy is also available.
White Pine Software - QuickTime Information
Iomega Updates ZipPlus Compatibility Guidelines
[11:00AM] A technical bulletin describing updated system compatibility requirements for Iomega's ZipPlus has been posted on the company's Web site. The update, based on the results of ongoing product testing, concerns the drive's AutoDetect capability, which gives the ZipPlus the ability to use one connection cable for both SCSI and parallel ports. To maximize compatibility and protect data, Iomega is recommending the following: use ZipPlus only as a stand-alone device on a 25-pin D-sub female SCSI connection or on a parallel port connection; always use ZipPlus with the Iomega blue AutoDetect cable, included with every drive; do not use any cable converter or gender changer when connecting the drive, either on the connection to the drive or to the computer; and do not use ZipPlus with PowerBook or PC notebook SCSI connections.
Iomega warns that customers using ZipPlus with a cable converter, gender changer, in a multiple device SCSI chain, or without the Iomega blue AutoDetect cable, run the risk of losing data, or as the company puts it, customers "may not receive the results they expect from the drive."