[5:00 PM] New Mac MP3 Player/Creator Debuts With Music From Public Enemy, Ice T, Gas Giants, And Flashpoint
QDesign has released MVP 1.0 with great fanfare. MVP is the company's cross platform entry into the hot MP3 market. Accompanying the introduction, the company is offering MP3 downloads from Public Enemy, Ice T, Gas Giants, and Flashpoint. The application itself includes an MP3 player, creator, and manager. According to QDesign:
QDesign Corporation announced today the release of MVP, the Company's new digital music application for creating, playing and managing MP3 and other digital music content on both MacOS and Windows 95/98/NT platforms.
The MVP application enables users to record directly from CD to MP3 and QDesign Music formats. High quality MP3 files can be created from 64kbits to 192kbits/s. For even higher quality audio at lower data rates (less disk space), users can encode in the QDesign Music format where full-bandwidth 44.1kHz stereo audio can be produced at less than 2 percent of the original file size. With QuickTime 4 installed as the core media playback engine, MVP offers full support for play back of all popular digital audio formats (CD Audio, AIFF, WAV, and others), as well as, most digital music videos available on the Web and enhanced CDs.
"Music over the Internet is about great audio and video. It's about compelling multimedia content, user interactivity and music portability," says Richard J. Beaton, president of QDesign. "The release of MVP represents QDesign's first step towards delivering an integrated platform designed to maximize consumers' digital music experience on the multimedia desktop and digital audio devices."
In conjunction with the launch of MVP, MVPsite.com will feature new music from Atomic Pop recording artists Public Enemy, Ice T, Gas Giants and Flashpoint for download. Consumers will be able to download both the audio and video for Public Enemy's new release, "Do You Wanna Go Our Way???"
"Atomic Pop is committed to leveraging the digital medium on behalf of our artists via new and innovative technologies," says Al Teller, Atomic Pop's founder and CEO. "MVP makes it easier for fans to create, store and playback their audio and video files."
QDesign is a member of the Recording Industry Associations (RIAA) Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). In upcoming versions of MVP, QDesign will support SDMI guidelines for protecting content owners rights in managing access and distribution of content. Next generation digital music players from Texas Instruments OEMs will have the ability to play back QDesign Music files. To find out more about the QDesign Music technology, visit the QDesign web site at www.qdesign.com.
The company is offering a 30 day free trial period, after which the product is priced at US$19.95. MVP is available for the Mac in addition to Win 95/98/NT. The company has a separate site set up for MVP, where you can find more information and download links.
[4:30 PM] Panda Systems Updates PandoCalendar With Maintenance Release
The good people of Panda Systems have released another update to PandoCalendar. The new version, 5.0.1, fixes a major bug for 68k MAc users, as well as other bug fixes. According to Panda Systems:
Panda Systems is pleased to announce the upgrade of PandoCalendar to version 5.0.1.
PandoCalendar is a freeware Macintosh application that places a small customizable calendar on your desktop. The calendar may be customized by changing the frame, background color, text color, font, and font size. You can also attach notes to specific days for past or future events, and have PandoCalendar automatically plot the days you work. Great for people who don't have a Monday-Friday work schedule!
Version 5.0.1 - Added the ability to assign a label to recurring notes. Fixed a bug that would cause PandoCalendar to crash at startup on 68K Macs. Fixed a bug that was introduced in version 5.0, when creating/editing "Monthly (Day of week)" recurring notes and a bug that could cause the month name and year at the top of the calendar to be incorrect when the "Center current week" option is enabled.
PandoCalendar 5.0.1 is a freeware macintosh program. Web site: http://www.PandaCorner.com/PandaSystems/PandoCalendar.html Download: ftp://ftp.PandaCorner.com/pub/PandaSystems/PandoCalendar.sit
[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Dow Ends Higher Ahead of Tomorrow's Data, Technology declines
by Wes George
The stock markets acted confused ahead of Thursday's important economic news, but interest rate sensitive financials and blue chips rallied very late in the day. The talk on the street is that bonds may have hit bottom. Direction tomorrow will be determined by how investors interpret the Employment Cost Index and the 3rd quarter gross domestic product data. Most tech stock closed lower over widespread fears of a Y2K tech hardware sales slow down.
This morning's release of September's durable goods orders proved weaker than expected after 4 months of increases. However, economists weren't surprised by the volatility, nor do they consider this the beginning of a demand downtrend.
Meanwhile, European markets closed down after strong continental money supply numbers increased the likelihood of a Central Bank interest rate hike.
The Dow advanced 92.76 or 0.90% to close at 10394.89. The Nasdaq was down 8.95 to close at 2802.52. The S&P 500 rose 14.80 or 1.15% to close at 1296.71. The 30-year bond yield declined to 6.32% while the Transports and the Utilities indices staged a comeback today from recent lows. In fact, almost every utility stock ended the day higher.
Apple announced that it would not market the new Power Mac G4s in China just yet because of US export regulations. Apple could legally sell the G4s in China, but the company would have to account for the location and owner of each computer, an impossible task.
Apple was one of the few hardware stocks up today 1 5/16 or 1.75% to close at 76 3/8 on less than average volume. eBay lead the Internet sector lower, off 13 5/16, even though they reported earnings today that met analyst's target of $0.01 per share. Amazon.com reports earnings after the bell.
In Apple related stocks today: Adobe Systems (ADBE) will execute a 2 for 1 split after the markets close but ended the day lower anyway. Macromedia closed lower but Symantec advanced 9/16. Apple's Power PC partner's IBM and Motorola also closed lower. Apple's rivals Gateway, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq all ended sharply off . Intel and Microsoft also joined the losers circle.
A slew of bad tech sector news began with Merill Lynch's cut of 1999 earnings estimate for Hewlett Packard to $2.97 from $3.02 per share. Morgan Stanley "reiterated its neutral/cautious stance on IBM." Microsoft delayed the shipping of Win 2000 till February of next year. Hambrecht & Quist downgraded Dell from a buy to a market perform. While Salomon Smith Barney lowered its earnings per share estimate for Intel from $0.64 to $0.59 in the 4th Quarter.
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.
[2:30 PM] Glucose Becomes Unglued, Releases Development Tools As Open Source Code
Glucose has released two powerful tools as "lincenseless" Open Source products. The company is asking that developers who use these product to create their own applications donate a "small sum" to a charity of their choice. According to Glucose:
Glucose Development Corporation today announced a 'licenseless' Open Source toolkit, consisting of two free tools, GXML and Thunder.
What is GXML?
The GXML toolkit, utilized in Glucose's flagship product, Injection Pro, is a multithreaded HTML processing tool. It can be used to decode HTML for display and manipulation.
What is Thunder?
Thunder is Glucose's layered, alpha-channel capable graphics architecture. Thunder is used to create Data Hammer's interactive 'heads-up-display.' Currently, the Thunder architecture is only partly realized, but is designed to be fully cross-platform and extremely extensible. Preliminary support for 'Photoshop-style' filters and Quicktime importers is included.
Both of these tools are open source and free to use in commercial, shareware and freeware products. We are committed to giving back to the community that supports us -- and to the global community as a whole. We only ask that if a developer utilizes these tools in a product that they contribute a small sum to a charity of their choice.
[2:00 PM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: IconDropper, PandoCalendar, And ithink
Panda Systems has released a new version of PandoCalendar, version 5.0.1, IconDropper has been updated to version 3.2.2, and ithink ushers in a new age with version 5.1.1. 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.
[1:30 PM] SmartWrap Eudora Plug-in Updated With New Features
Selznick Scientific Software has announced an upgrade to SmartWrap, their Eudora and BBEdit plug-in, to version 1.5. The new version adds additional abilities to the software's parsing algorithm, and includes other features. According to Selznick:
Selznick Scientific Software, LLC is very pleased to announce additions and updates for the SmartWrap Product Family, version 1.5.
We've added to the SmartWrap algorithm the ability to handle "sparse paragraphs" (paragraphs with lots of white space.)
We've also added the ability to force a hard-wrap of text to 72 characters per line, and requote paragraphs correctly with '>' characters. E-mails look great after this operation. To use this new feature, just hold down the Option-Key while you SmartWrap.
By popular demand we've added a BBEdit Plug-in to the SmartWrap family of products. This plug-in works great in BBEdit, BBEdit Light, MailSmith, and CodeWarrior. Be sure to visit BareBones Software for more information about BBEdit, et al.!
SmartWrap analyzes hard-to-read text and re-wraps it perfectly by removing all unnecessary line breaks, quote characters, and excess formatting! SmartWrap is NOT a blind search and replace tool. SmartWrap performs extensive analysis and statistics to determine the best way to wrap your text naturally within your document's window, unhindered by excess formatting.
*** SmartWrap Eudora Plug-in ***
The Eudora Plug-in is perfect for SmartWrapping text of incoming or outgoing messages! The SmartWrap Plug-in can also be added to the Eudora Toolbar! (TIP: command-click in the Eudora toolbar and select the SmartWrap menu item. A button for SmartWrap will appear in the toolbar.)
*** SmartWrap the Clipboard ***
Copy text from your web browser or word processor, double-click on SmartWrap the Clipboard, and your copied text will be SmartWrapped! Push "Copy" if you like what you see, push "Quit" if you don't. It doesn't get any easier than that!
*** SmartWrap BBEdit Plug-in ***
The same SmartWrap algorithm, new SmartWrap location. You can wrap entire documents or just the selection with this plug-in. It works in BBEdit, BBEdit Light, MailSmith, and even CodeWarrior!
Yves Pelletier, the maker of GifBuilder and numerous scientific educational apps, has announced the availability of YP Shadow 1.0. YP Shadow is an educational program helping students understand the nature and behavior of shadows. According to Yves Pelletier:
YP Shadow simulates a light source casting the shadow of an opaque body on a screen. With the mouse, the user can easily move and resize the light source, the opaque body and the screen. YP Shadow draws the rays of light used to mark the boundaries of the umbra and the penumbra, and it displays the shadow as it appears on the screen. A grid can be used to measure the shadow's size.
YP Shadow is available as shareware for US$18. You can find more information at the YP Shadow web site.
[8:00 AM] Talk City MUG Makes Mac OS 9 Report Available Online
The Mac User Group (MUG) at Talk City has a report on Mac OS 9. The Talk City report covers everything from specs to compatibility issues to suggestions for fine tuning performance. According to the TC-MUG:
Talk City's Macintosh User Group has a special on going hands on report on Mac OS 9. Everything from application compatibility to the ease of use of the new features that make Mac OS 9 a must is discussed in this report.
So stop by and send me your comments on what you'd like to see profiled about Mac OS 9 in this special report. Once you're done reading stop by #Computer-MacTalk at Talk City chat about all things Mac!
The Talk City MUG special report is available online, and is a suggested read for those considering the jump to Mac OS 9. You can find the report and more information on the TC-MUG at the Talk City web site.
[8:00 AM] Bungie.org Wing Moves To Port Mac Marathon 2 Maps To Windows
Bungie.org has teamed with Orbital Arm to bring Marathon 2 maps to the Windows platform. Orbital Arm has been working to bring Windows users high quality Marathon maps for some time. According to Bungie.org:
Bungie.org is happy to announce a new member of the Borg Collective, none other than Orbital Arm, the home for fans of Marathon 2:Durandal for Windows. If you are unfamiliar with Orbital Arm, these are the people that are converting major 3rd party Marathon 2 maps from the Mac OS to Windows format. Currently posted at Orbital Arm is the most famous M2 map of all time, "Siege of Nor'Kohr" by Frigidman. Also available for download is "The Academy for Planetary Defense" and "Devil in a Blue Dress" with more to follow! They take requests, in fact they are working on setting up an interactive section that will allow fans to drop off a map and pick it up later converted to Windows OS. Sort of like One-Hour Photo only you won't get arrested for naked Robertas, but you can rest assured those graphics will be taped to the Orbital Arm water cooler. Also of interest to fans is a forum devoted to the Windows Marathon player, a most unique place to voice your opinion.
The Mac Observer Spin:Marathon was a Mac only game from Bungie that set new standards for 1st person shooters. Marathon 2 was also released as a Mac only game, but Bungie Software ported it to the PC only to see disappointing sales. There was too much competition in the PC 1st person shooter market, and despite Marathon's superior game play, Bungie just didn't have the marketing muscle to bulldoze through the crap. Marathon, Marathon 2, and Marathon Infinity still has a hard core, and very active following, and Orbital Arm is a great resource for these players.
Beyond Midnight Software has released a challenging new puzzle game, Flip! Flip! is designed for people of all ages, and promises to bring back the feelings of other great Mac puzzle games like the classic Tetris, and the addictive Snood. According to Beyond Midnight:
Flip! is a game of skill, a game of strategy, and a game of luck. The idea is simple. You have a grid of double-sided tiles. One side of each tile is light in color, the other side is dark. The tiles start out randomly turned to one side or the other. The object of the game is to get a particular pattern of dark and light colored tiles on the grid. Sound easy? Then perhaps it is time to tell you the rules.
Play takes place on a 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 grid. Only tiles showing the light side can be flipped. A tile that is flipped will flip some (or all) of its surrounding tiles. In the 5x5 and 7x7 game, the tiles that are flipped are always the 8 surrounding tiles. In the 3x3 game, the additional tiles that will be flipped vary depending on the location of the tile.
To make the game slightly easier, you are given a limited number of "single tile flips", allowing you to flip a single tile at a time no matter which side is facing up. Useful for the easy levels, necessary for the harder levels!
Flip! has 30 different patterns to challenge, frustrate and annoy, and should provide many hours of entertainment!
Flip! is available as shareware for US$10. You can find more information at the Beyond Midnight Software web site.