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Today's News On One Page

November 3rd, 1999


[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Nasdaq Closes Above 3000 and Another All Time High for Apple.
by Wes George

The Nasdaq composite index closed above the psychologically significant 3000 level for the first time in history today buoyed by yesterday's news that inflation continues to remain subdued. The charge was lead by the technology sectors, especially the semiconductor stocks (SOX), which were up 4.58%.

The Nasdaq closed up 46.88, (1.57%) to end at 3028.51 on volume of 1.3 billion shares traded. Today was the fourth record high session for the Nasdaq in a row. The Nasdaq first crossed the 2000 point level back on July 16, 1998.

Meanwhile, the blue chips of the Dow can't seem to make much head way. The Dow was up by about 60 points at 3 p.m., then sagged back to close up only 27.22 points, (0.26%) at 10609.06. This was a mini-repeat of yesterday's trading.

The S&P 500 advanced 7.19 points, (0.53%) to close at 1354.93.

The 30-year US Treasury bond yield fell slightly to 6.131% from 6.136% Tuesday.

Tomorrow, Wall Street will be watching the European Central Bank closely to see if they announce an interest rate hike. On Friday, the important employment data numbers come in. Strong employment growth combined with the increasing global cost of money might derail the rally. Likewise, weak employment growth and only a mild rate hike from the Europeans could spur the ongoing stock market rally to further highs.

Apple continued its rally to a new record high closing at 81 1/2 up 1 1/4 or 1.56% on less than average volume. This marks the 3rd all-time high for Apple in the last 4 trading sessions.

Bear Stearns analyst Andy Neff raised his 12-month price target on Apple shares to a range of 90 to 95, from 75 to 80 and reiterated Bear Stearns' buy rating. "We view Apple's near-term outlook with increasing confidence as it appears October sales and production are tracking in line with plan," Neff said today. "All four product lines are ramping production, demand remains strong, and we hear that G4 product availability is improving."

Neff also said he is optimistic that Apple Internet strategy, which will be announced early next year, will further boost AAPL's price.

In Apple related stocks Akamai (AKAM), on its fourth day of trading, gave back a bit to close at 190 7/8. Arm Holdings (ARMHY) extended its uptrend by 2 7/8 to 97. Oracle (ORCL) advanced another 4 5/16 to close at 57 5/16.

Apple's Power PC partners were mixed, Motorola was up slightly while IBM closed down 7/16 to $94 3/8 . Adobe, Symantec and Pixar all closed higher. While Macromedia closed fractionally down.

Apple's PC rivals had a good day too. Gateway, Dell, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and Intel all closed higher, only Microsoft weakened by 9/16 to close at 92.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.

Apple


[3:15 PM] AboutFace! New App Eases Font Selection
by Staff

FIDIM Interactive, which stands for "Fine! I'll Do It Myself," has released a new tool for Mac users to select their fonts. The new app is called AboutFace and allows users to preview their fonts at any time. According to FIDIM Interactive:

Does this sound familiar? You're trying to decide on a font to use for something. Select the font menu, scroll, pick one. Nope. Select the font menu, scroooooooll, pick one. Nope. Select the font menu, scrooooooooooooooooooll, pick one. Live with it because you don't want to scroll anymore. Well now FIDIM Interactive has a tool that will help you find just that one font you want that you know you have but can't seem to put your cursor on. AboutFace 1.0 is a new shareware program that lets you quickly and easily scan through your fonts. A demo version is available for download at http://www.fidim.com.

You can find more information on AboutFace at the company's web site. Currently, the free demo is available. Purchasing through Kagi will be available soon and pricing will be announced at that time.

The Mac Observer Spin: This might get the prize for Best Name For A Software Developer. You have to admire the attitude behind "Fine! I'll Do It Myself" Interactive. :-)

FIDIM Interactive


[2:45 PM] New Service From Extensis Allows Image Manipulation In Your Browser
by Staff

Extensis has announced a new online service that allows users to manipulate and enhance images directly in their web browser. The service is being offered through Extensis's online magazine/resource CreativePro.com and does not require any desktop software, but instead relies on a browser plug-in. According to Extensis:

The Extensis Products Group of Creativepro.com, Inc. today unveiled Intellihance Online, the newest e-Service to join its growing library of online tools for creative professionals. Intellihance Online is the first online service that intelligently analyzes and adjusts users' images directly within a Web browser without the need to install or configure desktop software. Intellihance Online is free to creativepro.com members at www.creativepro.com/intellihance.

"Whether images come from a scanner or digital camera, Intellihance Online combines power with convenience to improve images quickly," said Bill DeRouchey, product marketing manager, Extensis Products Group. "Intellihance Online works intuitively to provide powerful results for any level user looking to enhance their images quickly and easily."

Fast Professional Image Enhancement and Color Correction on Screen Intellihance Online analyzes digital images individually, determining the optimal setting for enhancement and color correction. Users may also manipulate image attributes themselves, quickly applying and viewing the results of a wide variety of image enhancement options including contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness. Users may also choose to remove color casts. In addition to consolidating dozens of imaging options into a single dialog, Intellihance Online allows users to zoom and pan within the image, viewing any image portion at nearly any scale.

How Intellihance Online Works

A hallmark of Extensis' e-Services is that they require no file upload. All image processing occurs locally on the customer's own computer, without the installation of any special desktop software, making Extensis e-Services both quick and convenient. This is made possible through a small Intellihance Online browser plug-in that is self-installing, self-configuring and self-updating. Because the enhancement and color correction of digital images always takes place on the customer's own machine, document security and bandwidth are not an issue; Intellihance Online does not move or copy documents to the Intellihance server at any point in the process.

System Requirements

Intellihance Online supports both Macintosh and Windows platforms and has been optimized for use with Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 4.0. Users can enhance and save JPG, TIF and BMP files. Intellihance Online is currently free to creativepro.com members. Intellihance Pro 4.0, a Photoshop plug-in with many more features, is available for an estimated street price of US$199.95.

You can find more information on the service at CreatviePro.com.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is one of the first compelling uses of web delivered applications that we have seen. Adobe probably does not yet need to be worried about sagging Photoshop sales, but Extensis may still have a hit on their hands. We will be following developments on this service as they appear.

CreativePro.com


[2:00 PM] QuickTime Streaming Host Offers Half-Price Hosting In November
by Staff

Themusicweb.com has announced a special offer for November that allows users to get QuickTime Streaming hosting for half-price. The company is looking to find out why their customers are interested in QuickTime Streaming and is putting their money where their mouth is. According to themusicweb.com:

themusicweb.com Company has democratized streaming Quicktime 4. Steve Jobs said over 20 million people have already downloaded the QuickTime 4 client. One reason QuickTime is not being used more as an intercasting medium is that to use it one needs expensive Mac OS X Server boxes hooked into high bandwidth data lines. themusicweb.com has fixed that by offering accounts on their own network. themusicweb.com has not only serviced small web design companies and radio stations, but has even served up streams for Nikon Camera, Apple Computer and Sean King's "The Mac Show".

Now that themusicweb.com has established it's lead in QuickTime hosting there is a major new announcement - For the month of November, all orders for QuickTime streaming service will have the price cut in half if customers do one extra step: Sending in at least six sentences describing why they're ga ga about wanting to use streaming QuickTime 4. Not only will they get half off of the price but on December 1, 1999 one lucky customer will be randomly chosen from the November new customer database and the money they've paid for their account will be refunded.

themusicweb.com founder, John Amoratis, says, "We've heard so many interesting stories from the people ordering our streaming QuickTime accounts that we really don't know what to make of it. It's a miracle really, I mean in the last week I've heard about pediatricians wanting to use our service to monitor their patients in other states, an organization wants to stream the speeches of Martin Luther King, and we still get the majority of our calls from people who have old fashioned QuickTime videos on their web sites and they're sick of their web site visitors not watching their QuickTime videos because they take too long to download so they put those videos on our streaming server network. We have this really strange mix of fulfilling lofty dreams and of filling practical needs. It's time we get to the heart of this whole movement and that's why we're hoping to get publicity and offer incentives for people to let us know why our service is important to the Mac-users of the world. I pray that this news gets some attention for Apple's QuickTime 4 technology and how it's improving life for Mac users because right now not nearly enough Mac-people are getting in on the whole QuickTime 4 streaming revolution."

themusicweb.com offers something new. Now people can Set up a Mac OS X Server account with themusicweb.com just as easily as they could set up a Unix or NT account. No Mac user is more than a single phone call away from having a place on a Mac OS X Server which they can use to stream pre-made or live QuickTime material.

You can find more information on the special, the company's service, and the company at their web site.

themusicweb.com


[1:30 PM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: N2MP3, PopupCD, And Snitch
by Staff

The MP3 player/utility N2MP3 is now compatible with MacOS 9 with version 1.0.3, PopupCD gets a maintenance release bringing it to version 1.5.2, and Snitch, the popular file utility, gets a "bug fix" in version 2.6.5. These are the most recent updates listed at The Mac Observer's VersionMaster. You can find all the most recent Mac software updates with this service.

The Mac Observer's VersionMaster


[Editorial] Apple's Upcoming Acquisition Of Chip Maker Could Hint At Future Products


[Review] Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, One Of The Best Mice On The Planet
by Dave Hamilton


[Column] Computing With Bifocals - Computer Pioneers II: Hewlett, Packard, and Cray


[8:00 AM] Steve Jobs To Deliver Webcast Speech As Pixar CEO, QT Not To Be Used
by Staff

Several Observer sent us notes they received from Charles Schwab about a webcast event to be held next week with Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs, iCEO of Apple Computer, will be speaking in his other role as CEO of Pixar, the animation studio responsible for Toy Story and A Bugs' Life. The event is only open to Schwab account holders. It is also only available through RealPlayer as well, which is interesting considering the superior performance offered by Apple's QuickTime Streaming. An excerpt from the Schwab e-mail:

On Thursday, November 11, 1999, 7:00 PM Eastern Time, the Schwab CEO Speaker Series will feature Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO, Pixar Animation Studios.

As a valued Schwab Signature Services client, you're invited to participate in this CEO Speaker Series event via live web broadcast!

Pixar is the Academy Award-winning animation studio that combines world-class creative talent with proprietary technology to create original computer-animated films. In 1997 Pixar entered into a partnership with The Walt Disney Company to finance, produce and distribute five computer-animated feature films and related products. Pixar's first film, Toy Story, was the world's first fully computer-animated feature film and the highest-grossing film released in 1995. Pixar's second film, "A Bug's Life" was the highest-grossing animated feature released in 1998. Pixar's third film, Toy Story 2, will be released this Thanksgiving.

Join Mr. Jobs as he discusses Pixar's current projects, future opportunities for computer-animated films, and his strategy for Pixar.

To participate, click on the Speaker Series link and log on to schwab.com. Click on Quotes & Research, then Signature Research, then CEO Speaker Series. Follow instructions on the site to download RealPlayer.

Participants can also submit questions for Mr. Jobs in advance of the event. You can find more information on getting an account with Charles Schwab at the company's wen site.

The Mac Observer Spin: It is doubtful that Mr. Jobs had any control over the streaming format being offered, but this would have been a nice opportunity to showcase QuickTime Streaming to an audience not necessarily dominated by Mac users.

Apple


[8:00 AM] Computer To Telephone Free Long Distance - Not For Mac...Yet

One Observer has written to inform us of an amazing technology that allows phone calls to be made over the internet. If this sounds familiar, read on. This is not like anything you have seen before. According to Jed, an alert Observer:

Dialpad.com is a company delivers internetphone but not like any other. Only one person needs a computer. The program then calls the other person over standard phone lines. Oh and the service is free for a call anywhere in the US. this means that you can call anybody anywhere for free if you have a computer. the quality is very good (doesn't sound digital at all) and it's fast as well.

The only problem with the service is they only have a windows version at the moment. While they say that they are working on a mac version, I'm sure a large number of e-mails might give them a reason to move the porting higher on the priority list. If you feel it is appropriate to do so, you might consider a story on the service and link to allow mac users the chance to inform the company of their interest.

Thanks, Jed. We agree. You can find more information at the Dialpad.com web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: After exploring the Dialpad web site, we too think that this service is potentially groundbreaking. Long distance companies will not be fond of it, but for the consumer it could be a breakthrough technology. The Mac OS is famous for their originality, and technological leadership. Contact Dialpad.com and voice your desire for a Macintosh version of this application.

Of course, the interesting thing is what happens if this is super successful. Though consumerism makes most of us think otherwise, someone does have to pay for things such as "free long distance" at some point. Infrastructure has to be maintained, bandwidth *has* to be paid for, etc. Still, services like this will put a lot of pressure on the more traditional long distance providers to cut their own costs still more. It will be a long time before people are willing to throw away their phones! :-)

Dialpad.com


[8:00 AM] Wanna Win A Free iBook? We'll Tell You About.com It
by Staff

About.com is giving you the opportunity to fulfill you dreams...or at least win an iBook. The craze generating, colorful little laptop from Apple is a hot item, and About.com wants to give you one.

All you need to do is go to the About.com web site and fill out an entry form. While you are there, take a look at what About.com has to offer. Those that fill out the entry form will also have the opportunity to request a number of About.com's informative newsletters.

For more information, and full contest rules, please visit the About.com web site.

About.com


[8:00 AM] New Web Resource Aimed At Designers
by Staff

Warp 10 Technologies has announced a new business-to-business web marketplace, BrandEra.com. BrandEra.com allows people to place portfolios, make contacts, find information, and keep up to date on relevant business issues. According to Warp 10:

Built on Warp 10's leading web properties, Portfolios.com, adsGallery.com and MediaLot.com, BrandEra.com is the only site that brings together the marketing communications industry into a single cohesive environment that helps people find one another, work together and conduct business. Revenues will be generated by targeted advertising and sponsorship opportunities, as well as by value-added, fee-based services.

BrandEra.com -- The Marketer's Marketplace - offers an online collaborative workplace for real-time project management; an electronic marketplace for the exchange of ideas, talent and goods and services; and The BrandEra Times, a digest of current news and relevant editorial from leading sources across the industry. By bringing together the necessary resources and services, BrandEra.com breaks down the barriers of time and geography and helps creative professionals be more efficient - starting from a creative concept to production output.

This marketplace provides a broad pool of individual and agency talent from Portfolios.com and adsGallery.com, late-breaking industry news, valuable tools and services such as books, software and stock imagery, and single-click access to dozens of other relevant resources and e-commerce offerings through partner links. MediaLot.com, the collaborative workplace, is a key component of BrandEra.com's broader offerings. Built on Warp10's digital asset management foundation, MediaLot.com enables creative teams to work together efficiently online -- a first in this marketplace. It is a powerful web-based project management tool that allows hand-picking teams, sharing files, annotating the work and storing digital assets.

BrandEra.com is built on Warp 10's expertise in the creative community and is continually striving to bring ever more relevant content and services to its users. Future plans include RFP's and job listings, private galleries for work-in-progress, online entries and submissions to creative awards, and an online mall.

You can find more information on this potentially valuable service at the BrandEra.com web site.

BrandEra.com


[8:00 AM] Vancouver Film School Shows Off Work With New QuickTIme Streaming Site
by Staff

David Gratton of the Vancouver Film School - New Media, has informed us of a new streaming QuickTime/multimedia site available to the public, VFS Live. Using QuickTime's streaming technology to demonstrate high quality graphic design work would not have been imaginable a few short years ago. According to Mr. Gratton:

We use Quicktime Streaming with OS X server. At the moment we are streaming for cable modems or higher. The reason for the high bandwidth target is we are showing student work (videos and 3D animations) which lose their presentation quality at lower bit rates. In the future we will be streaming live shows which do not require such high bandwidths.

Our music site is just starting to grow and features the Qdesign Codec with a few MP3s. We find Qdesign to be higher quality than MP3 and therefore more of them are available.

The first live show is tonight at 6:00 PM CST. You can find more information at the VFS Live web site.

VFS Live


[8:00 AM] So, About This Particular Macintosh? Is It Available?
by Staff

Issue 5.11 of About This Particular Macintosh (ATPM) is currently available. ATPM covers an assortment of topics related to being a Macintosh user. According to ATPM:

This month, Mac maestro David Ozab continues his insights into the musical side of the Macintosh with the second part of his MIDI and the Mac.

This issue also sees a bit of a theme--fonts! Publisher Michael Tsai offers an overview of fonts on the Mac in his column, Personal Computing Paradigm. Michael also reviews the font utility, Font Agent.

David Spencer spins a wicked web of font searching in this month's About This Particular Web Site, and Shareware Editor Bill Lovett presents a plethora of font utilities for your enjoyment.

Networking guru Matthew Glidden, of "Three Macs and a Printer," talks about something we all need once and a while--security. His fourth article of the 10-part series is "Dealing with Your Network's Insecurities." We're sure Matthew offers more help than just telling you how to build your network's self-confidence.

Robert Paul Leitao returns to close out his tenure this year with Apple, Kids, and Attitude. Robert looks back at some of the predictions he made in ATPM 5.01 regarding Apple's business practices and financial future, and how they turned out. He also discusses the recent Apple flip-flop on shipping G4s, and we look forward to his return in ATPM 6.02.

Tom Iovino and Mike Shields tie in some elaborate analogies in their respective columns, Apple Cider, and On A Clear Day... Tom tells us the things he's thankful for in the Mac world, and Mike laments the passing of his French Toast Crunch cereal while bringing us the latest on the Mac in Hollywood. We don't know how they do it, but they manage to pull it off.

Scott Feldstein talks about computer buyer types in his column, User Preference, while David Ozab explores the Instrument Interface in a Segments piece.

After you check out the staff reviews of the new iBook, Font Agent, Cruise Control, Spy Fox 2, and Auction Action Tracker, make sure you digest our new Update section, where we provide updated information on items we've reviewed in recent issues.

This month's Trivia Challenge was submitted to us by British reader John Precedo, and features a Star Trek theme. The big winner gets an ATPM t-shirt, but don't despair if you're not the first respondent with all the correct answers. You can still get your own ATPM t-shirt by ordering one! Finally, we bring you more desktop pictures, this time from the beautiful Bahamas.

You can find more information, as well as various formats, of About This Particular Macintosh at the ATPM web site.

About This Particular Macintosh



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