|June, 1998 Archive
Tuesday, June 30th
Netscape Next To Sign With Media Company?
[5:30PM] Netscape is in talks with a number of media companies and will sign one them as a major content partner for its Netcenter site within the next 90 days, Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netscape's Web site division, tells TechWeb. Of the companies talking to Netscape, at least one of them is a member of the so-called "big five" -- a group of media conglomerates which includes the owners of the four top television networks and Time-Warner. Netscape presently has a partnership with Excite to provide content to its recently revised Netcenter site, but Homer said the Excite deal is non-exclusive.
TechWeb Report - Netscape Communications
MetaCreations Warns Of Second Quarter Loss
[4:00PM] MetaCreations warned yesterday that revenues for its second quarter will be significantly lower than current analyst expectations. The graphics software maker, blaming the anticipated results on weak revenues in its domestic retail channel, sluggish demand in Japan, and increased reserves for returns to reduce distributor inventory levels, said total revenues for the period ended June 30 will be in the range of $8 million to $9 million. As a result, MetaCreations expects losses to run between $10 million and $11 million. Voicing his disappointment with the results, company president and chief executive Gary Lauer said he is "carefully reviewing all activities across the company and will be taking appropriate actions."
Meanwhile, MetaCreations also said it will be on the search for a new marketing and sales chief. Fred Brown, the company's senior vice president of sales and marketing, resigned yesterday, the latest in a number of executives stirs at the company.
Fraud Allegations Made By Apple
[11:15AM] Apple has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court of San Jose, Calif., alleging that four former service providers -- IRASYS, IRA Systems, Integrated Concepts Solutions, and PC Systems Design -- combined to defraud the company by billing for service and repair work that was never performed. The suit, filed last Thursday, seeks $600,000 in cash and parts, as well as an injunction against further fraud by any of the defendants. "Apple Service Providers who defraud Apple not only hurt Apple, but put our customers at risk of not getting the service and support they deserve," said Mitch Mandich, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Sales, in a statement. "We intend to aggressively protect the rights of our customers to high quality, reliable service for their Apple products."
Monday, June 29th
More Delays In Store For Windows NT 5.0?
[1:25PM] According to reports, Microsoft has decided to ship a previously unplanned beta release of Windows NT 5.0 to developers, a move which could spell further delays for the operating system upgrade. PC Week Online says a third round of beta testing will likely push the product's commercial release beyond its current early 1999 target, and into the second half of next year. The second beta of NT 5.0 hasn't even reached developers hands yet, and Microsoft will only hand out a pre-beta 2 version at a three-day deployment conference this week.
PC Week Online - Microsoft
Iomega Settles Suit, Buys Stake In Nomai
[10:40AM] Iomega today settled its ongoing intellectual property lawsuit with Nomai by purchasing a majority stake in the France-based disk manufacturer. In reaching a close in the litigation, which originally began in March 1997, Nomai agreed that it had reproduced certain Iomega protected software in its XHD and DUO cartridges through reverse engineering. The company also conceded that, due to "substantial evidence," a court may have ruled against it. Under the deal, Iomega will pay $21 million for its interest, as well as another $3 million for the technology used in manufacturing XHD and DUO cartridges, which Nomai has agreed to stop producing and selling.
Iomega - Nomai
Friday, June 26th
Adobe Ahead Of Estimates With Q2 Results
[1:25PM] Adobe Systems yesterday reported better-than-expected results for its second quarter of 1998. The company said it earned 41 cents per share for the three-month period ended May 29; the First Call consensus estimate had predicated a 39 cents per share profit. John Warnock, Adobe's chairman and chief executive, noted continued weakness in Asia, which led to a slight drop in sales for the quarter. Revenues totaled $227.3 million, compared to $228.3 million in the year-ago period.
In addition to its quarterly results, Adobe also announced yesterday the appointment of a new director. Carol Mills, a 17-year veteran of Hewlett-Packard, will fill a recently created eight seat on the company's board. Warnock said key factors in Mills' selection included her experience in building enterprise solutions, developing new markets, and driving growth.
Sorenson, TeleMak Ink Distribution Deal
[11:30AM] Sorenson Vision yesterday signed a distribution pact with TeleMak, who will begin selling the Sorenson Video Codec Developer Edition in Belgium and Luxembourg. "With this agreement, Sorenson takes additional steps to strengthen our presence and customer service in international markets," said Ray Brooksby, VP of sales and marketing for Sorenson. "We chose TeleMak because of their experience and presence in the Belgium digital video market and Macintosh developer community."
Sorenson Vision - TeleMak
Thursday, June 25th
Intel Acknowledges Bug In Xeon Processor
[7:25PM] Intel today said a bug in its Pentium II Xeon will delay the release of servers based on the high-powered chip, confirming circulated reports earlier in the week. The flaw apparently presents itself when used in conjunction with the upcoming 450NX chip set that allows up to four-way configurations. Despite its findings, Intel will still proceed with the product's scheduled launch on Monday, though systems using the chip will suffer several week delays because of the errata. The delay of the Xeon comes just one month after Intel said it would postpone production of its next-generation Merced by at least six months.
CNET: Studio Display Dominates Competition
[5:50PM] In giving the Apple Studio Display top honors in its round-up of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), CNET's Computers.com said the stylish 15-inch display stands out "like a peacock in a flock of pigeons" and "dominates the competition." CNET added that the recently launched display "showed off remarkable text sharpness down to 6-point fonts in its optimal 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution."
CNET Review - Studio Display Information
Lakewood Unveils New Image Editor/Browser
[3:35PM] Lakewood Software, makers of webAlias, today introduced a new QuickTime 3.0-savvy image browser and graphic design tool. QT Gallery 1.0, priced at $29.95 for a limited time, integrates full support for QuickTime 3.0's image import options, editing filters, and transition effects, and can be used as a slide show presentation tool, image viewer, or image editor. Lakewood said the product includes about a dozen transitions and filter operations. A demo version of QT Gallery can be downloaded from Lakewood's Web site.
CompUSA Expanding Presence Florida, Maryland
[12:20PM] CompUSA's eventful week, in which it announced plans to acquire Tandy's Computer City, will conclude tomorrow morning with the grand opening of two news stores in Florida and Maryland. The Florida shop, a 28,000 square-foot facility, will be located in Plantation, while a 26,000 square-foot site in Columbia will be the home of the new Maryland store. Both locations will be CompUSA's latest store prototype, which adds CompKids and Software Sampler areas to the standard Software, Computers, the Apple "store within a store," Printers and Supplies, Compact Technology, Accessories, and Internet departments.
DVD-RAM Drive From La Cie Due Next Week
[11:15AM] La Cie will hit the market next week with its first DVD-RAM drive, MacWeek reports. The $799 DVD-RAM d2, first seen at last week's PC Expo in New York, features a data transfer rate of 10MB per second, a sustained throughput of 1.3MB per second, an average seek time of 120 milliseconds. La Cie will position the rewriteable drive at professional graphics and prepress markets, and MacWeek says the company has plans to market a special "blue" version of the drive to small-businesses and home users this fall. The introduction of a DVD-RAM drive is the latest effort in La Cie's ongoing move from CD-ROM to DVD. MacWeek says the transition will wrap up this December.
MacWeek Report - La Cie
Apple Awards Over $1 Mln. In Education Grants
[9:45AM] Thanks to Apple, ten K-12/high education institution teams can now realize their vision for a technology-saturated classroom. Through its Apple Education Grants program, which is now in its twentieth year, the company yesterday awarded a group of U.S. educators with over $1 million in grants, as recognition of excellence for their technology project plans. According to Apple, this year's grants required collaboration between K-12 schools and higher education institutions that deliver ongoing teacher professional development. (A full list of grant recipients is available below.)
Grant recipients - Apple Computer
Continued Losses Trigger Restructuring At Corel
[9:05AM] Corel Corp. yesterday reported its six straight quarter of red ink, triggering a major restructuring effort that will reduce the company's work force by about 20 percent. The plan, which Corel said will result in annual savings of $33 million, calls for the company to shut down its engineering center in Orem, Utah, home to its Word Perfect line of office software, and transfer a portion of jobs to its headquarters in Ottawa. The majority of the 530 positions being phased out will come as a result of the Utah closing, Corel said, while quickly pointing out that it will create 150 new jobs in Ottawa, and 40 in New Hampshire and Dublin.
Losses for the second quarter came in at $8.3 million, or 14 cents per share, better than most analysts predicted, Corel said. Revenues, however, continued to dwindle, falling to $63 million from $87.4 million in the year-ago period, in part to the company's losing battle with Microsoft in the office software market.
Wednesday, June 24th
Happy Endings: It's The Bandwidth, Stupid!
[PERSPECTIVE] Sure, the iMac is easy on the eyes, will include a cool software bundle and features the first play at USB, making this the easiest computer in the world for a newbie to upgrade. Within a few years, everybody will be wondering what the fuss was all about, with just a few wizened old geeks (both SCSI gurus and PC wonks) hanging out on the porch swing swapping old tales of the cabling. Kids will roll their eyes. But right now we've got controversy brewing, even if we lay our wonder about the Case of the Missing Floppy to the side for a moment. What's on everybody's tongue seems to be the modem, and how it's not the right speed... [MORE]
PointCast Closing Door On Asian Service
[6:20PM] As a result of economic troubles in Asia, and subsequent failures to sign a deal with its Chinese content partner, PointCast today said it would close down the Asian Edition of its personalized desktop news service, effective July 1. Viewers of the U.S. edition of the network will not be affected by the change, and PointCast said it intends to continue to expand its service in other countries and geographic regions. In addition to its U.S. edition, PointCast also currently produces a localized version of its service for the Japanese market.
Macworld Expo To Have Consumer Appeal
[3:55PM] Apple's re-entrance into the consumer marketplace appears to be having an effect on IDG Expo Management, who promised that next month's Macworld Expo will have a definite consumer feel to it. IDG today said consumers will be the target of a number of new additions at the show, including a new pavilion and game tournament. "Content @ Home," the new area, will feature titles, services, and products from gaming developers, major entertainment companies, broadcasters, personal finance and productivity application developers, and hardware manufacturers. Also planned is the first-ever National Macintosh Gaming Championship, which is meant to highlight the latest Mac games, while also pitting attendees up against one another.
The new strategy from Apple however isn't the only reason behind the charged focus on consumers. IDG said that more than a third of all pre-registered attendees have identified themselves as consumers looking for the latest hardware, software, and Internet-based applications. IDG said a survey of pre-registrants revealed that many regularly use their computers to play games, create Web sites or presentations, manipulate digital photos and music, or get news, sports or weather information, prompting it to offer the new additions.
Officially Licensed Apple Watches For Sale
[2:50PM] Apple fans can now "Think Different" about time. Entertainment Earth, a company which sells collectible memorabilia and merchandise, is now selling two lines of officially licensed Apple wristwatches. The AppleWatch line, available with either a black or white dial, features the six-color Apple logo and the prevalent "Think Different" slogan, while the Apple KidsWatch series comes in a variety of colors each displaying an icon related to the Mac. All watches are available immediately and cost $39.99 each. applewatch<>- Entertainment Earth
Jobs' Macworld Absence Explained?
[1:35PM] An answer to the questions why Apple's Steve Jobs will be participating in next month's Macworld Expo keynote address via satellite, instead of in person, might have been found. According to a June 12 article in the Arizona Central, Jobs' wife is expecting the couple's fourth child in July.
Arizona Central Article
Kodak's USB Digital Cameras Now Shipping
[1:15PM] The first digital cameras to feature a USB interface are almost here. Eastman Kodak said today its Digital Science DC220 and DC260 are now shipping in volume to authorized retailers across the country. Announced last month, both the DC220 and DC260 provide million-plus pixel image capabilities (1.0 million and 1.6 million pixels respectively), and use USB to speed image transfer by up to ten times that of traditional serial interface downloads. "The Kodak DC220 and DC260 cameras offer a unique customer value proposition: high speed, plug-and-play picture download from the camera to a USB equipped personal computer, without moving flash cards or floppy disks, or waiting for slow serial connections," said Willy Shih, president, Digital & Applied Imaging, and VP of Kodak. The DC220 and DC260 will be available at a suggested list price of $799 and $999 respectively.
Kodak - DC220 Info - DC260 Info
IDC: Netscape Still In The Lead
[12:30PM] Despite gains made by Microsoft in all user segments of the U.S. browser market in 1997, Netscape remains the market leader, a new report by International Data Corporation (IDC) said. The study showed that although Netscape only gained ground in the small business segment, the company held onto its number one position for the year. "However," explains Joan-Carol Brigham, a research manager in IDC's Internet continuous information research service, "Microsoft was able to achieve a high rate of new user adoptions and upgrades. This was accomplished by landmark efforts to market version 4.0 of Internet Explorer, which kept recognition high throughout 1997, and by shipping the product toward the end of the year."
In the small business market -- the segment which showed most growth in 1997 -- Microsoft gained 8.2 percent, to reach 26.7 percent of the U.S. share. Netscape accrued only 2.3 percent in the same area, but still holds a 46.7 percent share, according to the study. IDC forecasts shipments of Web browsers within the U.S. will grow from 10.1 million units in 1997 to 124.3 million units in 2002, a compound annual growth rate of 52 percent.
IDC - Netscape - Microsoft
Cypress Fattens Line Of USB Microcontrollers
[11:40AM] Cypress Semiconductor yesterday extended its Universal Serial Bus (USB) microcontroller line with the announcement of three new product families intended for use in standalone USB hub applications, hubs integrated into keyboards and monitors, and individual peripherals such as modems. Cypress, the leader in the marketplace for USB controllers, said it has already shipped "well over a million" USB devices to vendors, including Microsoft, who will use Cypress-branded hardware in its upcoming USB mouse and keyboard offerings.
CalComp Signs Bundle Deal With MetaCreations
[9:45AM] CalComp Technology has licensed MetaCreations' Kai's Photo SOAP SE and ART Dabbler, and will include the consumer-level products with its recently announced Creation Station, a new peripheral duo designed to enhance home and school creativity projects. Priced at $129 and expected to ship in late-July, the Creation Station packs together a mini-digital tablet with pressure-sensitive pen and a cordless mouse. "MetaCreations' unique graphic user interface may attract consumers who are looking for something different. These products are the best match for CalComp's Creation Station," said Ed Hopkins, VP of sales and marketing at the CalComp Input Technologies Division.
CalComp Technology - MetaCreations
PowerLogix Discounting PowerBoost Cards
[9:10AM] Austin, Texas-based upgrade vendor PowerLogix is blowing out prices on its remaining inventory of PowerBoost 604e cards. Prices range from as low as $119 for the PowerBoost 604e/166 to $199 for the PowerBoost Pro 225, which features PowerLogix' variable bus speed option. The cards all carry a three-year factory warranty. Meanwhile, PowerLogix also lowered the price of its RapidCache 1MB module down to $119.
BBEdit Update Enhances FTP Capabilities
[8:15AM] Bare Bones Software has posted the latest revision to its award-winning text and HTML editor. Version 4.5.3 of BBEdit, free to all registered users of 4.5, enhances the program's built-in FTP capabilities, and makes improvements to the "Find Differences" functionality. In addition, Bare Bones said the update fixes "some problems reported from the field."
Bare Bones Software - Update
AT&T; And TCI To Merge In Blockbuster Deal
[7:45AM] AT&T;, fresh of its failed takeover attempt of America Online, announced today it will buy cable television giant TCI (Tele-Communications, Inc.) in a stock swap worth as much as $48 billion. Under the deal, which pairs two of the nation's largest telecom and cable companies, AT&T; will combine its current consumer long distance wireless, and Internet services units with TCI's cable, telecommunications, and high-speed Internet businesses to create a new subsidiary - AT&T; Consumer Services. The unit, which is planned to have a significant public ownership, will have control of AT&T;'s existing WorldNet Internet service as well as TCI's @Home Network -- the high-speed cable Internet service many vision becoming the next AOL.
The companies project that the combined consumer company could have 1999 revenue of $33 billion and pre-tax earnings of $7 billion to $7.5 billion. Neither anticipate any significant downsizing to result from the merger, which will face stiff regulatory approvals, and isn't expected to be completed until the first half of 1999.
AT&T; - TCI
Tuesday, June 23rd
Apple Plans Broadcast Of Macworld Keynote
[6:40PM] Apple said today it will broadcast the opening keynote speech at next month's Macworld Expo to its Market Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Described by Steve Jobs as a "milestone event," this year's annual summer gathering will offer a number of twists compared to recent shows, the most obvious being the fact that the event has moved from its traditional Boston locale to New York. But also, the dates have been pushed ahead one month. While positioning the show as a followup to the July 4th holiday might not have been the smartest thing to do, the change does mean that the east and west coast versions of the show will now take place exactly six months after one another.
There's one other twist, however, and that comes in the form of Apple's head honcho. Not since the regime of Michael Spindler has an Apple CEO not given the keynote at a Macworld Expo. But saying Steve Jobs won't be participating in the address isn't entirely true. It's just that Apple's iCEO will not be riding in any NY taxis the week of July 6 -- he'll be joining Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing, on stage at Macworld via satellite, raising the inevitable question: what situation or engagement would take priority over a live appearance at Macworld?
Keynote Macworld Expo
Microsoft Fills Executive Vacancies
[3:15PM] Microsoft today filled two vacancies on its executive staff, promoting Jean-Francois Heitz to treasurer and Scott Boggs to corporate controller. Both will continue to report to chief financial offer Greg Maffei, the company said. Heitz began work at Microsoft in 1989 as a general manager in the company's France division, before eventually moving to the Redmond headquarters in 1994 as assistant treasurer. Boggs, meanwhile, joined Microsoft in 1993 and most recently served as assistant corporate controller.
[11:25AM] Following CompUSA's announcement yesterday that it will acquire the Computer City chain from Tandy, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the retail giant's senior and subordinated debt rating. The New York-based financial service said it expects that CompUSA will recognize operational and marketplace benefits from the acquisition in the first year, and that the unprofitable Computer City chain will operate profitably by the second year. In addition, Moody's said it does not believe that the $275 million acquisition price, which will financed in part through a $150 million 10-year amortizing subordinated note, will materially affect CompUSA's financial condition.
However, that is with the assumption that the acquired locations can achieve productivity near that of CompUSA's existing stores within two years, Moody's said, noting that integration could pose some challenges, since the average size of the acquired stores is about 20 percent smaller than the average size of CompUSA's existing stores. Nonetheless, Moody's said it believes that CompUSA's current infrastructure will be able to absorb the increase in the store base.
Moody's Investors Service - CompUSA
Microsoft Wins Appeal, Court Lifts Injunction
[10:50AM] The U.S. Court of Appeals this morning ruled in favor of Microsoft, overturning a 1997 preliminary injunction that prevented the company from forcing PC makers to include its Internet Explorer browser with Windows 95. The appeals voted 2 to 1 that a lower court made both procedural and substantive errors in imposing the injunction. "We find that the District Court erred procedurally in entering a preliminary injunction without notice to Microsoft and substantively in its implicit construction of the consent decree on which the preliminary injunction rested," the court said in its ruling.
Media 100 Bundling Commotion With Systems
[10:05AM] From now through September 23, Media 100 will be bundling Puffin Designs' Commotion 1.5 with its MEDIA 100 xs and xr systems at no additional cost, the companies said today. Commotion is a popular video editing application that allows users to create high-quality visual effects. "This relationship reinforces Media 100's commitment to the Macintosh platform and to providing its customers with the most sophisticated high-end special effects in the industry for video and film production," said John Molinari, president of chief executive of Media 100. "Like MEDIA 100, Commotion was created for professionals to produce broadcast quality video affordably on the desktop. Now with this partnership, our two companies are providing the industry with unmatched flexibility and creativity for visual effects composition."
Media 100 - Puffin Designs
Rollout of Xeon Servers Stalled By Bug
[9:30AM] Intel, never a stranger to delays, is being forced to push back the release of its new 450NX chip set by six to eight weeks, PC Week Online reports. The company had been planning to roll out the new chip set alongside its new line of Pentium II Xeon processors next week, but a bug was apparently discovered sometime last week. The 450NX, targeted at high-end servers, will support multiprocessing with four or more processors, but due to the glitch, vendors will be limited to dual-processor Xeon machines until late this summer, the report said.
PC Week Report - Intel
New Technology Marries DVD With The Web
[9:05AM] HyperLOCK Technologies today introduced a new technology it bills as the world's first fully-encrypted multimedia gateway technology linking pre-recorded DVD video and audio with real-time information on the Internet. Designed to meet the needs of content providers in search of fast, secure, and innovative ways to use the Web as a distribution port, the company said "HyperDVD" will open the door for Web programming, enhanced video advertising, QVC-like electronic commerce, and comprehensive distance learning programs on the Web. HyperDVD is designed to run on any Windows 95 or Macintosh machine equipped with a DVD drive and Internet connection.
ADS Supporting Macs With USB Products
[8:35AM] Macintosh users, already assured of a USB (Universal Serial Bus) upgrade path from Keyspan, can count on having another way of bringing the next-generation bus technology to their existing machines. ADS Technologies said today it is working on new USB products, including an add-in USB Port that allows users to upgrade to the burgeoning standard by adding two USB ports. Based on the OPTi FireLink USB controller, the USB Port comes in desktop and notebook versions, and will fully support Mac OS 8.5, ADS said. In addition, the company will also be selling a USB Hub that attaches to an existing USB port and adds four additional connectors. Each of the products will be carried in more than 1,200 retail stores nationwide, including CompUSA, Circuit City, Electronics Boutique, Fry's Electronics, and Micro Center. Prices and releases plans were not available.
[Update:] According to ADS' Thaddeus Swanek, all USB products in the company's line are currently available, with the exception of the USB Port notebook card which should arrive by the end of the month. As far as prices are considered, Swanek said the USB Port for desktops and the CardBus card for the PowerBook G3 series will retail for $49 and $89 respectively, while the USB hub will be priced at $89. (Earlier, we incorrectly stated that the Hub does not conform to the Open Host Controller Interface. It does, and is thus fully compatible with the Macintosh.)
New Conference Explores Content Market
[7:50AM] A new conference that explores how digital technologies have revolutionized the creation of content and how content providers can take advantage of digital media's unique capabilities will debut next month. Scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 25 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park, ContentWorld will cover all phases of the digital media enterprise, from production to consumption, and is aimed at those involved in creating, managing, or marketing content. The full-day conference will include sessions featuring innovators of electronic media and key players in the digital content market. Speakers will include Tim Cobb, president of research firm Relevant Knowledge, and Bruce Lyon, a winner of an Academy Award for technical achievement.
ContentWorld - ContentWorld Conference
Monday, June 22nd
Intuit Completes $400 Million Lacerte Purchase
[5:40PM] Intuit said today it has completed its acquisition of Lacerte Software, a Dallas-based developer of tax preparation software. The $400 million cash deal, announced on May 18, gives Intuit substantially all of the assets and certain liabilities of privately held Lacerte and a related services company. Intuit said it will operate Lacerte as a wholly owned subsidiary, which will be managed by Lacerte president Randy Zeller, and will continue to offer Lacerte's product line in addition to its own ProSeries software for professional tax preparers.
Intuit - Lacerte Software
Textbook Publishers, Web Sites Back Creator
[5:15PM] As a show of support for its authoring tool, Stagecast Software said two leading textbook publishers have entered partnerships to develop Creator-based projects. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley will create interactive science projects for K-12 students, while Modern Curriculum intends to develop activities that will help kindergartners through fifth graders with a wide variety of learning skills. In addition, Stagecast said it is partnering with popular Web sites that provide wholesome activities for children. The company said Creator will be used online at Curiocity's Freezone in conjunction with their promotion for Dreamworks' "Small Soldiers," and Circle 1 Network.
Stagecast Previews Education Platform
[4:40PM] Stagecast Software, the company co-founded by long-time Apple executive Larry Tesler, is in the news today with a new education product grown out of Apple's Cocoa technology. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stagecast said it is working on a new platform for education designed to bring textbook topics to life through interactive worlds -- creations that include interactive simulations, stories, lessons, and games. All the worlds are built using the company's authoring tool, Stagecast Creator, due this fall and priced "attractively." Born out of Apple's Cocoa technology, Stagecast said Creator has been transformed from a Mac-only product into a 100% Java tool. The company said Creator will bring educators, publishers, and students a common Internet-compatible platform that is both consistent, interchangeable, and also extensible.
Tesler explains: "There's lots of great education software out there but teachers don't have time to learn it. Word processors, databases and Web browsers see a lot of use because the one-time investment in learning a productivity tool is repaid many times over. Stagecast Creator is that same kind of product. It's easy to learn, and once you've learned it, you can use it every day, in endless ways."
FAXstf Gets Make Over, AppleScript Support
[1:50PM] STF Technologies said today it will ship FAXstf Pro 5.0, its next-generation faxing system, on July 1. The updated version builds upon the FAXstf 5.0 product that is now bundled with modem-equipped PowerBook and Power Macintosh G3s, and sports a redesigned FaxBrowser that simplifies fax management. With the new interface, users can manage faxing from one window with full drag-and-drop support. FAXstf Pro 5.0 will also include AppleScript support for fax processing, fax markup and editing, custom cover page editor, custom page headers, and Caller ID support, the company said.
STF Technologies - FAXstf Pro 5.0 Information
Kocher Elected Chairman, CEO At Micron
[1:15PM] Joel Kocher, the former Power Computing president who resurfaced in January as president and chief operating officer of Micron Electronics, will now play the role of top dog at the resurgent PC maker. The company today announced it has elected Kocher, whose noted for his unconventional motivational practices, as the successor to chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Daltuso, who will provide consulting services to the company for an indefinite period of time to ensure a smooth transition. Kocher, 42, will continue to hold the president title in addition to his new positions, the company said.
Interplay Greeted With Modest Welcome
[12:25PM] On Friday, shares of game developer Interplay Entertainment went public, receiving a modest welcome from the street. The parent company of MacPlay offered 5 million shares of stock at $5.50 per share. In its first trading day, the stock peaked at 6 3/4 before settling down to 6, where it currently stands. Piper Jaffray Inc., Bear, Stearns & Co., and UBS Securities were the managing underwriters for the offering, and were each granted the option to purchase an additional 750,000 shares.
Interplay Entertainment - MacPlay
MetaCreations Begins Shipping Poser 3
[12:05PM] Poser 3, the third major revision of MetaCreations' 3D figure posing and animation tool, is now shipping. Priced at $299, the new version incorporates new high-resolution human and animal models, a new user interface, poseable hand models, and at long last, facial posing and animation capabilities, as well as a walk animator. In addition, Poser 3D can import BVH motion capture files to instantly and easily add animation to figures.
3Dfx Expands Into Mainstream Market
[11:35AM] 3Dfx Interactive, makers of the high-performance Voodoo 3D chipset, will attempt to break into the mainstream computer market with a new chip integrating both 2D and 3D capabilities. Set to be announced today, "Voodoo Banshee" will be compatible with all existing games developed for the 3Dfx' proprietary Glide API (Application Programming Interface), and will run about 15 percent to 17 percent faster than the current crop of combination chips, 3Dfx said. While the company has been a true force in the high-end of the market, it will face stiff competition from the likes of ATI and STB who are each fixtures in the OEM business. But with strong performance, a brand name recognized by the entire gaming community, and the backing of hundreds of developers, 3Dfx' Banshee is poised to give the established leaders a run for their money.
3Dfx Interactive - Voodoo Banshee
ProVUE Planning Panorama Conference
[11:15AM] ProVUE Development said last week it will hold a two day conference later this year for users of its Panorama software package. Dubbed ProVUE '98, the conference will be held at the Embassy Suites South in Los Angeles on August 31-September 1, and is aimed at all levels Panorama users, from beginners to developers. Over 25 hours of in-depth training sessions, broken down into five tracks (Cross Platform, Panorama Skills, Programming, Advanced, and Internet) will be included in the conference. A vendor fair for third party trainers, consultants, and add-on products will be a part of the conference as well.
ProVUE Development - ProVUE '98 Conference
Broderbund Goes To TLC For $420 Million
[10:40AM] Broderbund's hiring of an investment banking firm earlier this month has lead to exactly what many analysts had forecasted -- a sale of the company. Ending speculation over who the suitor would be, The Learning Company (TLC) this morning announced it will acquire the struggling software publisher in a stock deal valued at approximately $420 million. The board of directors at Broderbund and TLC have each approved the transaction and will recommend that stockholders authorize the purchase as well. The companies said they expect to close the sale before the end of September 1998.
The move is the latest by TLC to expand its traditionally education-oriented software lineup to include games. The company acquired a number of noted properties with its purchase of Mindscape earlier this year, and now with Broderbund affiliate Red Orb Entertainment under its wing, TLC will be home to two of the industry's more recognized brands -- Myst and Prince of Persia.
The Learning Company - Broderbund
Digimarc Awarded Three New Patents
[10:05AM] Digimarc, a leader in digital watermarking applications, has been awarded three new patents, including rights to a video watermarking copy protection solution that could potentially reduce the threat of copying DVD movies. The key advances covered by the patents include: concentrating watermark signal strength in image areas where it is best concealed from human vision; selectively disabling of the recording capability of a DVD player; and making digital watermarks more robust so they can withstand various forms of corruption.
CompUSA Gobbles Tandy's Computer City Unit
[9:10AM] The nation's largest chain of computer retail stores will be getting a bit bigger. CompUSA today announced it will acquire Computer City, a Tandy unit, in a cash and stock deal worth $275 million. The deal is expected to be finalized in 90 days, and will give CompUSA 100 new stores. Exact details of the sale such as store closings, layoffs, etc. will not be finalized until the transaction is complete, CompUSA said. "We are extremely excited about this acquisition as we believe it will further enhance CompUSA's ability to be a 'total solutions provider' for our retail, corporate, government, education, mail order, technical services, training, and build-to-order customers," said James Halpin, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We believe this will allow us to provide our customers with additional products, superior service and added convenience."
CompUSA - Computer City
Once Again, Gates Tops Forbes' Richest List
[8:30AM] For the fourth year in a row, Microsoft's Bill Gates once again stands atop the world's wealthiest as the richest man in the world. Forbes magazine, in their annual ranking of the world's billionaires, said Gates' fortune rose $15 billion in the last 12 months to reach $51 million, enough to out pace the Walton family on the list. The family, heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, is worth $48 billion, according to Forbes. Rounding out the top five on the list is Warren Buffet ($33 billion), Paul Allen ($21 billion), and the Oeri, Hoffman & Sacher family ($17.8 billion).
Other notables on the list include Apple investor Prince Alwaleed (#8, $13.3 billion), Microsoft's Steve Ballmer (#11, $10.7 billion), Dell founder Michael Dell (#13, $10 billion), and Apple board member Larry Ellison (#39, $5.8 billion).
Forbes Digital Tool
Apple Introducing iMac To Educators At NECC
[7:55AM] Apple's efforts to drum up support for the iMac in the education segment formally begin today as the company introduces the revolutionary, low-cost computer to educators at the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) '98 in San Diego. The 19th annual event is designed for K-12 and university educators, and runs through Wednesday at the San Diego Convention Center. Besides the iMac unveiling, Apple will also be hosting a special presentation by AppleMasters Jim Ludtke and Howard Bingham titled "Real World Digital Content Creation."
In addition, at NECC, Apple says it will extend its education offerings with the unveiling of new products and services designed to help educators fully integrate technology into their classrooms. These new offerings include: "Teaching Learning and Technology," a robust school/district technology planning tool; "Macintosh Support and Troubleshooting Training for Students," a kit that equips teachers to train students to manage school technology; and "Technology Integration Consulting Services," special on-site technology planning consultation services.
Apple Computer - NECC '98
Friday, June 19th
Former Apple Exec To Head Sales At Boca
[2:50PM] In an effort to keep the Global Village brand it acquired yesterday as the leader in the Macintosh modem market, Boca Research has gone out and recruited a seasoned veteran of the Mac industry. The company today named David Manovich, an Apple employee for the better part of the past 15 years, to the newly created position of executive vice president of sales and marketing. Manovich, who held the senior vice president of international sales and support title at Apple before leaving last October, will be responsible for leading Boca's North American sales and marketing efforts for its entire product lines, including the Global Village brand. He'll report directly to Boca's president and chief executive officer, Tony Zalenski.
Report: PointCast Shopping For A Buyer
[2:00PM] Onetime Internet hotshot PointCast, who just last month filed for an initial public offering, could wind up in the hands of a major media company instead of Wall Street's, reports say. Business Week, citing sources familiar with the situation, reports that the push vendor is shopping itself around to major media companies. But why at a time when it's just about to go public? Business Week's sources explain: "Fifty percent of the reason for the filing was to raise the visibility of the company to potential acquirers. PointCasts' assets aren't maximized by being a stand alone." Given its key-content partnerships and following in the corporate market, Business Week said the company could be a good buy.
Interestingly, it was just last year that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. allegedly made an offer to buy PointCast. However, then president and CEO Chris Hassett turned down the reported $500 million bid, electing to instead keep the company independent.
Business Week - PointCast
Boca Completes Acquisition Of Global Village
[12:40PM] Boca Research yesterday finalized the acquisition of Global Village's modem business, putting to end an era at Global and paving way for the company's transition into a server vendor. Under the final terms of the sale, which was originally announced back in March, Boca will pay $10 million -- $4 million up front and two payments of $3 million in September and December -- in cash and notes, and assume certain liabilities. According to the companies, Boca will receive Global Village's intellectual property related to the modem business, including exclusive rights to the Global Village name, logo, and trademarks, as well as the inventory and receivables. In addition, the sale includes Global's distribution and OEM agreements associated with the TelePort, PC Cards, GlobalFax, GlobalTransfer, and FaxWorks personal edition communications products.
"With the addition of the Global Village brand, we are positioned to extend our customer base into the Apple Macintosh market, whose customers have come to count on Global Village for quality products," said Tony Zalenski, Boca's President and CEO. "Apple Computer's business appears to be rebounding, and we plan to leverage this opportunity to improve our operation and manufacturing efficiencies, engineering and product depth, distribution clout and financial performance."
Boca Research - Global Village
Thursday, June 18th
Iomega Lays Out Major Cost Cutting Plan
[5:55PM] Iomega, the once high-flying removable storage maker who's recently had to battle soft sales and a shift toward lower margin products, today laid out a series of cost cutting measures that it hopes will lead the way back to profitability in the fourth quarter. The biggest action of the three-part plan is a reduction in total head count. Iomega said it will cut 600 to 700 full-time and temporary positions from its current worldwide work force of 5,000 employees. The company will also accelerate the implementation of a "virtual corporation" model, which will shorten the supply chain, reduce inventory, and make the company more responsive to its customers. In addition, the Iomega will implement "Six Sigma" initiatives to make substantial product and process quality improvements and reduce cost.
"We regret the impact these cost reduction measures will have on a number of our employees," Iomega's president and CEO, James Sierk, said. "Unfortunately, the reality is that we need to adjust our business model in order to become profitable as an OEM supplier of Zip drives and to capitalize on the sale of our higher margin Zip disks." Sierk added that the company's goal in taking the actions is to generate cost savings totaling more than $50 million in the second half of this year and show a profit in the fourth quarter.
To cover the restructuring plan, Iomega said it will take a special pre-tax charge of $5 million to $10 million for the second quarter. In March, the company said it expected flat revenues and a loss in the range of $25 million to $35 million for the period ending June 27. Iomega will report final results on Thursday, July 16.
eMediaweekly To Make Appearance At Web '98
[2:45PM] Mac Publishing will be previewing eMediaweekly, its rechristened version of MacWeek, at next week's Web Design & Development '98 conference in San Francisco, the show's organizers said today. Mac Publishing, formed last year when Ziff-Davis and IDG merged their respective Mac publications, bills the cross-platform weekly as "the exclusive newsweekly for buyers involved in professional digital content creation and management, whether for the Web, digital video, multimedia or print publishing." Officially set to launch in late August, the pub will offer news, product reviews, and opinion pieces for each product categories within the field of content creation.
Study: $11.4 Billion Lost To Pirates In 1997
[1:50PM] Software companies in the U.S. lost $11.4 billion of worldwide revenue last year, as a result of piracy, a newly released study by two industry groups said. The Business Software Alliance and the Software Publishers Association said they found that almost half of all newly installed business programs were pirated. In the U.S., the study said slightly more than one-quarter of software was pirated, adding up to an estimated $2.8 billion in lost revenue. But as bad as piracy was in the U.S., the number of people using illegal software didn't hold a candle to China, where an estimated 96 percent of all software was illegally copied.
BSA - SPA
Deal Brings ZDTV Programing To The Web
[1:05PM] Through a deal between RealNetworks and ZDTV, the newly launched 24-hour cable channel from Ziff-Davis, select programming from ZDTV will be brought to the Web for on-demand viewing. RealNetworks will broadcast the channel's "Top of the Hour" news updates and Silicon Spin, a hosted roundtable discussion on the day's breaking computer, technology, and Internet news. In addition, users will be able to tune into a 24-hour-a-day live audio feed of the cable channel.
RealNetworks - ZDTV
Disney Buys 43 Percent Stake In Infoseek
[12:15PM] The Walt Disney Company, who watched last week as rival NBC forged a major alliance with CNET, today inked an Internet partnership of its own, buying a 43 percent stake in Infoseek, in exchange for its ownership in Starwave plus $70 million in cash. Under the deal, which is subject to shareholder and government approval, Disney will receive 25.8 million shares of Infoseek and a minority position on the search engine's board. In addition, Disney's purchase price includes warrants that will enable it, under certain circumstances, to become majority owner of Infoseek. Together, the companies are expected to create a new portal service that combines content from ABCNEWS.com, ESPN.com, Disney.com, Mr. Showbiz, and the host of official sports sites that Starwave has ownership of. Such a site would set the companies up to compete directly with other major portal players, including America Online, Yahoo!, and Netscape.
Infoseek - Disney - Starwave
LAMG Signs Silicon Valley P.R. As PR Agency
[10:35AM] The Los Angeles Macintosh Group (LAMG) said today it has retained the services of San Francisco-based public relations agency Silicon Valley P.R. The new affiliation, described by LAMG president Tom Negrino as "a perfect match," will help publicize what is one of the largest's user groups in the world. "I've known [Silicon Valley P.R. founder and Principal] Tom Geller from his long association with the Macintosh community," Negrino said. "In fact, we were both working for Mac industry publications when we met, him editing reviews for MacWEEK and me writing for Macworld. So when I heard he was opening a P.R. agency, I asked him to help us publicize the LAMG, and I've been very pleased with the results."
LAMG - Silicon Valley P.R.
CompUSA Enters Augusta, Honolulu Markets
[10:10AM] This Friday, computer retailer CompUSA will be breaking into uncharted territory with the grand opening of stores in the Augusta, Georgia, and Honolulu, Hawaii, markets. In addition to those locations, the Dallas-based company will also open a new location in San Francisco, expanding its already sizable presence there. Counting the new store, CompUSA will have six locations in the San Francisco market.
High-End PowerBooks Trickling Into Channel
[9:45AM] After greater than expected delays, apparently caused by a shortage of large active-matrix screens, the top-of-the-line model in Apple's new PowerBook G3 series has begun trickling into some shops. MacWeek reports that Elite Computers & Software Inc., an Apple dealer in Cupertino, Calif., received a shipment of the 14.1-inch PowerBook G3/292 machines on Wednesday. Thomas Armes, Elite's president, said all but a few have been presold, but added that they're expecting more by the end of the month. Incidentally, an Apple spokeswoman tells MacWeek the company expects the high-end portables to be popular but does not foresee a constrained supply.
MacWeek Report - PowerBook Information
AOL Committed To Remaining Autonomous
[9:05AM] Reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal say America Online executives, in respond to yesterday's story of a $19 billion takeover offer by AT&T;, told employees that the company is committed to remaining independent. According to the papers, AOL president Steve Case and chief operating officer Bob Pittman sent a company-wide email informing workers that they had no intention of selling the company. "We are committed to remaining an independent company, as that is the best course for our customers, shareholders and employees," the two executives said in the email message. "We continue to be eager to establish alliances with a wide range of telecommunications, media and technology companies."
NY Times Article - Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, June 17th
Netscape To Synchronize Directories With Palm
[8:30PM] Netscape is making it easier for users of the Palm Platform to stay up-to-date with corporate address books. Just days after Oracle pledged to link its flagship database product with the 3Com handheld devices, Netscape said today it will include Palm-connectivity in the address book portions of its client and server software. According to Netscape, new features in the upcoming Communicator 4.5 enable entire or partial corporate directories to be stored in a wide variety of applications on the Palm platform. By synchronizing names, addresses, and phone numbers stored in the PalmPilot organizer with Netscape Directory Server, users can rapidly bring their roaming devices up-to-date, Netscape said.
Nescape - Palm Computing
Communicator 4.5 Announced, Due Next Month
[5:55PM] As expected, Netscape today announced details of Communicator 4.5, a key component in its effort to attract more visitors to its Netcenter site. The update, which will arrive in beta form sometime in July, will directly tie itself to Netscape's portal through Smart Browsing, a new technology that integrates a series of Netcenter-hosted services with the client. The initial group of core capabilities include: Internet Keywords, a search method that allows users to type regular words, or keywords, directly in Communicator's URL field; What's Related, which can dynamically generate a list of links that relate to the site that the user is visiting; and NetWatch, a mechanism that filters out content based on PICS-compliant rating systems RSACi and SafeSurf.
In addition to the new browser-related capabilities, version 4.5 will add a number of enhancements to the suite's messaging component, Messenger. IMAP and LDAP will be supported in the update, and import utilities for Eudora and Outlook Express users migrating to Messenger will be included as well.
Nescape - Communicator 4.5 Info
Macromedia's Live Learning Center Debuts
[3:05PM] The Interactive Learning Division of Macromedia yesterday launched what is claims to be the industry's first live center for delivering courseware over the Web. The division, formed following the company's purchase of Solis last year, said the site lets users take an online management course and learn how to build courses, assign students, track progress, generate reports, and administer an online training system. In addition, the site features the first live demonstration of a computer-managed instruction (CMI) system delivering courseware over the Web.
Macromedia Web Learning
Eudora Revision Planned For August
[2:30PM] Qualcomm is planning to give its Eudora email client a dose of new communication and multimedia capabilities with an update later this summer. According to PC Week, company officials at PC Expo said Eudora Pro 4.1 and Eudora CommCenter 4.1 will be the first versions to ship with AOL Instant Messenger, the result of a partnership between Qualcomm and AOL announced last December. The 4.1 update, currently in beta testing, will also enable users to access their mail via a Web browser through the inclusion of Eudora Web-Mail, PC Week says. In addition, Apple's QuickTime 3.0 will be featured in the update, as will tools for migrating from Netscape's Communicator and Microsoft's Outlook Express.
PC Week Report - Qualcomm
Opera's Web Browser Going Cross-Platform
[11:35AM] Opera Software's "Project Magic," an initiative to ignite cross-platform development of its highly acclaimed namesake Web browser, has turned into "Project Reality." The Norway company this week announced the signing of contracts to bring the speedy Opera browser to the Macintosh, BeOS, and Linux platforms. The company revealed very little (not even the names of the signed developers were disclosed), but did say the contractors for the Mac and Linux versions are located in the U.S., while the BeOS team of developers calls Sweden home. Other than that, Opera only promised that "more details will become available in due course."
Philips Unveils Two USB Speaker Systems
[10:40AM] Continuing the daily onslaught on new USB (Universal Serial Bus)-compliant devices, peripherals, and add-ons, Philips Electronics today announced a pair of speaker systems that utilize the next-generation bus technology. The 30-watt DSS350 and 60-watt DSS370, due to ship late this month and early July for $149 and $199 respectively, each use the Philips Smart Digital Audio technology to deliver a crisp, clear sound free of sound distortion. In addition, both feature the company's patented Incredible Sound architecture, which generates a pseudo-3D listening experience from two speakers.
"Philips' speakers exemplify our technology leadership role in the USB marketplace," said Philips' marketing director of USB peripherals, Chris Cavanagh. "As a member of the USB Implementer's Forum and the chair of the USB Audio Device Class working group, Philips is providing its expertise to establish USB as a worldwide industry standard."
Philips USB Digital Speakers
Report: America Online Shuns Buyout By AT&T;
[9:55AM] Executives at America Online have reportedly shunned a multi-billion dollar takeover attempt from none other than AT&T;. Quoting people close to both companies, Wednesday's edition of London's Financial Times said AT&T; Chairman Michael Armstrong approached AOL several weeks ago with a tentative buyout offer -- a tender, according to one of the paper's source, "comfortably above" AOL's $19 market worth. The offer, however, was turned down by AOL execs Steve Case and Bob Pittman, who told AT&T; several days ago they did not want to sell.
America Online - AT&T;
MediaX Honored For Work On Apple Production
[9:30AM] MediaX Corp.'s production of the "Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh Welcome Tour" for Apple has landed it recognition from two noted technical societies. The Culver City, Calif.-based company said today it has won the award for Distinguished Technical Communication awarded at the Society for Technical Communication's International Online Competition (IOCC), as well as the "Best of Show" award by Northern California Technical Communication Competition for its work on the Apple production. Each of the accolades is the highest award given in each of the respective competitions.
MediaX - Apple Computer
W3C Declares SMIL An Internet Standard
[8:55AM] SMIL, a new markup language that promises to bring television-like content and multimedia presentations to the Web, this week received a Recommendation from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an endorsement that tags the specification as an official Internet standard. SMIL, which uses simple markup tags to produce audio-visual content, was written and developed by the W3C Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group, which includes both key industry players such as Apple, Digital Equipment, Lucent/Bell Labs, Netscape, Philips, RealNetworks, and The Productivity Works, and leading research organizations such as Columbia University, CWI, and INRIA.
W3C - SMIL Information
Tuesday, June 16th
Xerox To Battle Hewlett-Packard In Printer Market
[5:40PM] Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, already embroiled in legal litigation, will now be battling it out in the retail space, following Xerox' announcement of a new line of laser and inkjet printers aimed squarely at taking market share away from leader HP. The new products target HP's traditional strengths: black and white network laser printers for businesses, color inkjet printers for small offices and the lucrative market for supplies designed for use with HP products. For businesses, Xerox will offer two network laser printers, including the $3,500 DocuPrint N40, which can churn out 40 pages per minute. At the low-end, Xerox is hoping to entice consumers with two color inkjets -- DocuPrint XJ6C and XJ8C, priced at $199 and $269 respectively.
In addition, Xerox said it will also sell replacement toner cartridges for HP's laser and inkjet printers. According to Xerox, the supplies will retail for 10-15 percent less than its rival's offerings.
Xerox - Hewlett-Packard
GoLive Giveaway At Web Design '98
[3:25PM] At next week's Web Design and Development '98 show in San Francisco, GoLive Systems will be giving away a free copy of their new $99 CyberStudio Personal Edition to any attendee who brings in one of the following competitive Web authoring packages: Adobe PageMill, BBEdit, Claris Home Page, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Front Page, NetObjects Fusion, and Symantec Visual Page. The company will also be offering the identical promotion at next month's Macworld Expo in New York.
Report: Communicator Update Coming Tomorrow
[2:40PM] An update to Netscape Communicator, due to be announced tomorrow, will add features designed to bring more visitors to Netscape's Netcenter portal, a News.com report says. Among the biggest changes in version 4.5, which is the first release from Netscape to deviate from the traditional X.0 numbering system, and the first significant update since the company released the program's source code, is the previously announced "Smart Browsing" technology.
New capabilities provided through Smart Browsing include: Internet Keywords, a search method that allows users to conduct queries directly from Communicator; a "What's Related" button, which can automatically generate a list of related sites based on the current page; and NetWatch, a set of tools that filter out content based on user's settings. In addition, version 4.5 will include improved support for the LDAP and IMAP protocols.
News.com Report - Netscape Communications
Apple Sponsoring Jonathan Cohen Seminar
[1:55PM] Apple will be one of the companies sponsoring Jonathan Cohen and Associates' summer seminar series, "Expanding Your Practice with the Internet: A Seminar for Architects, City Planners, and Design Professionals." In the two-part forum, attendees will be taught how to use the Web to enhance their design practice, simplify government approvals, and market their work. The seminar series begins July 7 in San Francisco, and will travel throughout the U.S. and Canada, with stops in Chicago, Houston, Boston, Toronto, Atlanta, etc., before coming to an end on October 8 in New York. The registration fee for the event is $49.
Expanding Your Practice with the Internet
2 Million Businesses Now Using QuickBooks
[1:10PM] More than 2 million small businesses are now using Intuit's QuickBooks accounting software package, the company said in a statement today. "We are extremely proud that more than 2 million customers have chosen QuickBooks as the best solution to successfully manage their small business finances," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president of the small business division at Intuit. The Macintosh version of QuickBooks, despite having been shelved several years ago, is still sold and supported by Intuit. Recent rumors have suggested the company is privately planning to restore development, but at least publicly, Intuit maintains it has no intentions of upgrading QuickBooks for the Mac.
Visioneer's USB Flatbed Scanner Due This Month
[12:00PM] A flatbed scanner incorporating USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectivity is in development at Visioneer, and will be hitting the streets at the end of this month, the company said today. The PaperPort 3100, priced at $139.99, provides 300 x 600 optical resolution and an interpolated resolution up to 2400 dpi (dots per inch) and 30-bit depth for higher color quality and detail. "By incorporating USB technology into our already successful flatbed scanner line, we are giving our customers the best possible imaging solution on the market," said Murray L. Dennis, vice president of sales and marketing at Visioneer. "PaperPort 3100 USB gives users faster scan times, increased ease of use and total compatibility with other peripherals."
Broderbund On The Selling Block?
[10:55AM] News out of Broderbund yesterday isn't too positive. The publisher of Myst and Riven said it expects a loss in its third quarter and hired an investment banking firm, a move which leads some Wall Street analysts to suspect that a sale of the company is imminent. Analysts believe the leading candidates to take over Novato, Calif.-based Broderbund include toy maker Hasbro, The Learning Company, or gaming software powerhouse Electronic Arts. For its part, Broderbund is saying only that they have retained investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to "explore strategic alternatives." In a statement, Joe Durrett, Broderbund's chief executive, said, "At this time, we are having discussions regarding strategic opportunities."
For its third quarter ended May 31, Broderbund said it expects revenues of about $52 million, and a net loss in the range of $2.5 million to $3.3 million, or 12 to 15 cents per share. First Call had anticipated a profit of 1 cent a share. Surprisingly, sales of Riven are expected to shoulder much of the blame for the fallout. Sales of the Myst sequel have not fared as well as the company had hoped, and product returns have hurt the title too. "Riven was a big part of it," said Broderbund's Lauren Tanny. "All along, we had been conservative on that product and told retailers not to over-order. I think some of them definitely did."
Latest CBQ Index Shows Improvement For Apple
[10:15AM] Despite a drop-off in the 1997 repurchase-loyalty measure, Apple's position in Technology Business Research's (TBR) First Quarter 1998 CBQ Benchmark Index improved, thanks to a strong product set and improved financial results. Apple edged closer to cracking the top ten, as its ranking jumped from #15 in the fourth quarter of 1997 to #12 in the first three months of 1998. TBR said the upswing, which tied Micron for the biggest improvement, was due to sales of G3-based products and associated revenue and margin increases.
The CBQ benchmark ranks the leading global computer vendors on a comparative basis every quarter, taking into account factors such as product sets, marketing strategy, manufacturing strategy, and business model. Topping the list for the second straight quarter were Dell, Sun Microsystems, Compaq, and Gateway. Micron, jumping from #8, rounded out the top five.
Technology Business Research - Apple Computer
Apple Beefing Up Staff At Laguna West Plant
[9:45AM] Apple, hoping to avoid issues with meeting demand for its upcoming iMac consumer computer, is adding 400 engineers and assembly line workers at its Laguna West plant, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The Laguna factory, along with Apple's manufacturing plants in Ireland and Singapore, will begin rolling out the iMacs by mid-August. An open-house job fair held last weekend at the Laguna plant, which already employs 1,000 workers, was "highly successful," Roben Talia, Apple's local human-resources manager, said. Hundreds of applicants turned out for the fair, including "50 or 60" who were waiting for the doors to open.
Business Journal Report - Apple Computer
Glucose Development's Injection Released
[8:35AM] Injection 1.0, Glucose Development's new Web publishing tool that automates the task of generating META tags, was released today. Based on an engine that uses natural language algorithms to analyze each individual page in a Web site, Injection constructs META keyword tags that reflect the content of each page. To use, Webmasters simply need to drop a Web page -- or a folder containing an entire site -- onto Injection. The program then processes each page in the site, injecting META tags as it goes. In addition, Glucose says Injection also includes a suite of tools that allow Webmasters to specify arbitrary custom META tags for insertion into a site. Injection is priced at $99, and can be purchased and downloaded from Glucose's site.
Monday, June 15th
Imagina Acquires NotifyMail Software
[5:05PM] NotifyMail Software, developer of the email notification system of the same name, today was acquired by Imagina, an Internet application vendor best known for its Newstand workgroup collaboration tool and UseNet news server. Imagina said it will use NotifyMail as a core foundation for several other unnamed software releases. At the same time, Imagina will continue to support all current NotifyMail customers, and it expects to quickly increase that installed base through its established marketing and distribution channels.
Imagina - NotifyMail Software
Western Digital, IBM In Hard Drive Pact
[3:55PM] Over the weekend, Western Digital signed a definitive agreement with IBM to enter into a broad- based hard disk drive licensing relationship, completing plans announced in early May. Under the agreement, which will go before IBM's board for approval by the end of this month, IBM will supply Western Digital with its leading areal-density giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads, as well as other electronic components which include IBM embedded firmware. Western Digital will use IBM technology and components -- and in some cases, IBM HDD designs -- in its family of WD Caviar desktop drives, simultaneous with IBM's deployment of these technologies and components.
Western Digital - IBM
Macworld Denmark Exits, macPress Enters
[3:30PM] According to Palle B. Nielsen, editor of Danish Macintosh news magazine MediaMac, Macworld Denmark closed its door this month, but filling the void will be a new independent magazine called macPress Magazine. The publication, which is not affiliated with Macworld publisher IDG, will focus on Macintosh hardware, software, and peripherals, and the first issue is due to hit newsstands on August 20, Nielsen says.
macPress Magazine - MediaMac
Developers Flocking To Palm Computing Platform
[2:35PM] Estimates released today by 3Com peg the installed base of active developers for the Palm Computing platform in the neighborhood of 7,500. The news follows a series of announcements of strategic relationships with leading enterprise solutions vendors including Oracle, Symbol Technologies, Abaco, Netscape, Remedy, Computer Associates, and Sybase. Just today, 3Com announced an alliance with Oracle (see story below), and also unveiled plans with Symbol and Abaco to deliver Palm connectivity to the SAP R/3 enterprise resource planning solutions.
DVD-ROM Sales To Exceed 6.5 Million In '98
[1:50PM] Helped by the expanding library of movie titles and falling hardware prices, DVD-Video player sales are on pace to increase over 140 percent to 1.2 million units worldwide in 1998 and DVD-ROM drive sales should exceed 6.5 million units, InfoTech Research's new DVD Assessment, Third Edition, projects. But the best news is how fast DVD-ROM prices are tumbling. By year's end, InfoTech said prices for complete DVD-ROM solutions should be near $100. And by 1999, look for DVD-ROM to begin replacing CD-ROM drives in sub-$1,000 systems, something which is beginning to happen in certain instances already. All in all, a worldwide installed base of almost 70 million DVD-ROM drives by 2000 is forecasted by InfoTech.
Insignia Brings RealPC To Sun's Solaris
[12:30PM] Insignia Solutions' RealPC is making the jump from the Macintosh to Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system.Sun and Insignia announced today they will expand their distribution agreement, originally signed in January to cover SoftWindows 95 4.0, to include the DOS-based emulator, giving Solaris customers access to a cost-effective choice for running PC applications.
Insignia Solutions - Sun Microsystems
Iomega, NEC Clik!, Complete Licensing Deal
[12:05PM] Iomega today signed up another partner for its upcoming Clik! drive. NEC Corporation of Japan, under a non-exclusive worldwide license agreement, will manufacture and market the lightweight drive to retail channels and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In addition, the license gives NEC rights to develop new varieties of Clik! drives. Like Iomega, NEC said it expects to have drives on the market within the second half of 1998. "We believe that the Clik! drive will be the preferred choice for portable digital storage," said Mr. Tadanobu Furukatsu, vice president and executive general manager at NEC. "We are excited about manufacturing and marketing Clik! drives to end users and the makers of portable digital devices."
Iomega - NEC
Apple's Time As Repurchase-Loyalty Champ Ends
[11:25AM] Apple's long-running dominance of ZD Market Intelligence's repurchase-loyalty measure has come to an end, a newly released study shows. According to the 1998 Technology User Profile, a study that, among other things, measures the percentage of users who acquired a PC in 1997 that bought the same brand as the PC they had been using, Apple's repurchase loyalty rate dropped eleven points to 71 percent, putting the company third on the list behind Gateway and Hewlett-Packard.
But despite the fall, ZD Market Intelligence's Dave Tremblay said the results are better than expected: "Apple's repurchase loyalty in 1997 was a surprise, not because it went down but because it didn't go down as much as we thought it might. Apple managed to keep its loyalty rate up over 80% in the workplace market -- within a few points of last year. This is a testament to the effectiveness of their killing the clone business in early 1997 and shipping the successful G3-based products later in the year. "
Tremblay continued, "Where Apple was really hurt was in the home segment, where its loyalty fell by more than a third. Consumers are more price-sensitive, and Apple has not had a competitive product in the under-$1,200 segment, where the volume growth has been highest. Until they do, I expect them to continue to lose followers in the consumer market."
ZD Market Intelligence - Apple Computer
iMac Road Show Continues In California
[10:55AM] The Sacramento and Los Angeles Macintosh user groups will be the latest crowds to get a up close and personal look at the iMac, as Apple's nationwide road show makes its way through California this week. The hotly-awaited consumer computer will appear at the MacNexus, Sacramento Macintosh User Group on Tuesday, June 16, and at the Los Angeles Macintosh User Group on Thursday, June 18, before making its way back east to New York for next month's Macworld Expo.
Apple User Groups - iMac Information
Palm Computing Partnership Mobilizes Oracle
[10:20AM] As expected, Oracle is throwing its weight behind the Palm Computing platform. The database maker and 3Com's Palm Computing unit today announced a strategic relationship under which the two companies will jointly develop and market solutions that provide real-time remote access to data residing in Oracle databases. At the heart of the alliance is Oracle Lite, Oracle's client-side database. Under the pact, that product will be integrated with the Palm III and PalmPilot organizers, allowing Palm applications and data to be replicated, synchronized, and shared with the Oracle8 database server. The companies say their relationship will generate a range of products and services over time, beginning in August with a conduit development kit (CDK) for Oracle, which will allow data to be synchronized with a shared Oracle database server.
"This strategic relationship with Palm Computing extends Oracle's strength in enterprise information management to the handheld computing market," said Denise Lahey, VP of embedded database technologies at Oracle. "Oracle Lite on the Palm Computing platform will allow companies to work more efficiently by bringing the power of Oracle information management to each and every employee, regardless of location or computing platform."
Palm Computing - Oracle
Microtech To Demonstrate PC Card Zip Drive
[9:45AM] Microtech International's Mii Zip 100 drive, a PC Card Zip drive measuring one half inch thick and weighing only 11 ounces, will be demonstrated at this week's PC Expo in New York. The Mii is based on Iomega's notebook Zip technology, and uses the Micro Power Management System, which eliminates the need for AC adaptors. Microtech claims the drive works with any notebook equipped with a Type II PC Card interface, though it is not clear whether the company is developing, or intends to develop, a PowerBook driver for the product.
Deals Increase Worldwide Presence Of Eudora
[8:55AM] Through a series of agreements with international republishers, Qualcomm said today it will be able to provide its Eudora Pro 4.0 email package to consumers in such areas as Italy, India, Asia Pacific, and the United Kingdom. Roderick Manhattan Group, LG Soft India Private Limited, and Italsel srl have all signed deals to begin offering the email client to their existing distribution channels. The new agreements supplement Qualcomm's existing pact with Kuni Research International, who provides worldwide distribution of Eudora in Japanese.
Qualcomm - Eudora Information
PuppetTime Adds New Dimension To QuickTime
[8:35AM] Apple is planning to advance the capabilities of its QuickTime architecture with a new technology aimed at bringing 3-D characters to the Web. According to MacWeek, the company last week published a detailed spec for PuppetTime, a proposed addition to QuickTime that animates 3-D digital puppets through a command set called PuppetScript. QuickTime 3.0 engineer Deeje Cooley, who developed PuppetTime, said the low-bandwidth technology is suited for Web-based interactive games, broadcast virtual reality, and 3-D simulations. A demonstration of the work-in-process technology, along with a comprehensive overview, can be viewed via the site linked below.
MacWeek Report - PuppetTime
Friday, June 12th
Apple Commercials Hit The Radio Waves
[1:50PM] Though Apple's latest television commercials have seen little air play in the past several weeks, the company has filled the void with the introduction of an aggressive radio campaign in several parts of the country, including the Philadelphia area. The lengthy spot, featuring the now-standard narration of actor Richard Dreyfus, spotlights the company's current "More Power or More Compatibility" promotion in which Power Macintosh G3 customers can receive a copy of Connectix' Virtual PC 2.0 or 32MB of additional memory.
CompUSA Signs Lease For Syracuse Store
[12:40PM] Ever-expanding CompUSA said today it has completed a lease agreement for a new 29,700 square-foot location in Syracuse, N.Y. News of the lease comes on the same day that the computer retailer opened three new stores around the country. Slated to open in early 1999, the Syracuse store will be the company's first location in the market and will create approximately 60 to 65 local jobs. "We look forward to opening this location because it will enable us to deliver better, more convenient service to our retail, business, government, education, training and technical services customers in the Syracuse area," said Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive.
Thursday, June 11th
Intel's "Xeon" Coming Later This Month
[4:55PM] The next chip in Intel's line of processors will be introduced at a press event at the company's Santa Clara headquarters on June 29, the company said today. The "Pentium II Xeon," as the chip is being called, will be specifically targeted to meet the needs of mid-range and high-end servers and workstations, in much the same way the now-extinct Pentium Pro was. At the briefing, Intel executives will present a technical overview of the product plus demonstrations of high-end workstation and server applications.
Zip Drives Make Way Into New York Hotels
[4:10PM] Iomega is making it easier for PC Expo attendees to access their Zip disks. The removable disk drive maker said today that its Zip drives have made their way into several leading hotel business centers and over 160 professional service bureaus in New York City, in time for next week's PC Expo in the Big Apple. According to Iomega, Zip drives are currently available in the business centers of suggested PC Expo Hotels including the Grand Hyatt New York, the Helmsley New York, and the New York Hilton and Towers. Attendees will also find drives at service bureaus such as Kinkos, Mail Boxes, Etc., PIP, and Sir Speedy.
Iomega - PC Expo
Digital Shareholders OK Compaq Acquisition
[3:15PM] The largest merger in the history of the computer industry was finalized today, as Digital Equipment shareholders voted at a special meeting this morning in Westford, Mass. to approve Compaq's acquisition of the company. Under terms of the deal agreed to in January, Compaq will pay roughly $4.5 billion in cash and issue about 141 million shares of Compaq stock. The final value of the deal depends on the closing price of Compaq's stock today, though the figure most likely will be in the $9 billion range. Compaq's strategy for integrating Digital is expected to be laid out at a press conference tomorrow morning in New York.
Compaq Computer - Digital Equipment
ZDTV Coming To DIRECTV In August
[1:55PM] One month after its national launch, ZDTV, Ziff Davis' 24-hour cable channel devoted entirely to computing and the Internet, today was picked up by satellite broadcaster DIRECTV, who will provide the channel to its 3.6 million subscribers beginning August 1. The channel will be added to the DIRECTV Total Choice programming packages. Ziff-Davis says the pact will nearly complete its goal of reaching six million households by the end of the second quarter. In addition to the distribution agreement, DIRECTV will work with ZDTV on the development of new interactive content that may be combined with DIRECTV digital video and audio programming to create a whole new experience for DIRECTV subscribers.
ZDTV - DIRECTV
SyQuest Accessories Now Available Online
[1:35PM] SyQuest Technology, by way of an expanded relationship with PC Connection, has begun selling its SyGear accessory line via the Web. From a dedicated "SyQuest Accessory Connection" page off Accessory Connection, a partner of PC Connection, customers can order cartridges, connectors, cables, and other merchandise. "We selected PC Connection as our electronic commerce partner because prompt, high-quality service is what discerning customers want, and PC Connection sets the standards for service in our industry," said Ed Harper, CEO at SyQuest. "It was a logical choice because SyQuest is committed to offering the highest level of service and support possible."
SyQuest Technology - SyQuest Accessory Connection
CorelDRAW Upgrade To Include Font Reserve
[12:45PM] Through a licensing partnership with Diamondsoft, Corel said yesterday it will be including Font Reserve -- a font management tool -- in its upcoming release of CorelDRAW 8 for Power Macintosh. A fully functional version of Font Reserve that allows users to add up to 2,100 fonts into its font database will be bundled with the CorelDRAW upgrade due this fall. In addition, Corel has gone beyond just bundling the tool and has added direct support for Font Reserve in CorelDRAW 8, meaning fonts can be activated when needed by a document and collected for output.
"CorelDRAW 8 for Power Macintosh is more than just a powerful illustration program," said John Geleynse, product marketing manager for Macintosh Products at Corel, in a statement. "It is an incredible collection of graphics and publishing tools for Macintosh-based professional designers, graphic artists, and illustrators. Through partnerships like this one with Diamondsoft, Corel is proving its commitment to providing a true publishing solution for the Macintosh platform."
Corel - Font Reserve Information
CompUSA Opening Three New Stores Friday
[11:35AM] Computer retailer CompUSA this Friday will celebrate the grand openings of three new superstores in Bakersfield, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., and Tucson, Ariz. The locations in Bakersfield and Tucson will be the company's first entry in each respective market, while the Charlotte store will join one other location in the area. CompUSA says each of the new stores will represent its 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." In addition, like many of the other recently opened CompUSA stores, the new shops will include multi-classroom Training Centers, covering database, spreadsheet, word processing, graphics, and Internet applications for all experience levels.
AOL To Deploy V.90 Protocol By Mid-July
[10:50AM] America Online said today it will fully deploy the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard V.90 modem protocol for high-speed 56Kbps access throughout its proprietary network by mid-July. The world's largest online service has been testing V.90 internally for several months, but currently only offers its customers a choice of the two incompatible 56K modem protocols -- x2 and K56flex.
Motorola Becomes Sole Owner Of Somerset
[10:30AM] The Somerset PowerPC design center in Austin, Texas, will become wholly-owned by Motorola, following IBM's decision today to withdraw from joint operation of the facility. The center, opened in 1992 and the grounds for where most PowerPC development occurs, will now be directed by Bertrand Cambou, Ph.D., senior vice president and general manager of Motorola's Networking and Computing Systems Group. Despite IBM's decision, the companies say they will continue to cooperate closely on the PowerPC architecture and its advancement in the marketplace while expanding their respective design capabilities. The companies also intend to leverage their individual design activities to compete for desktop microprocessor opportunities at Apple, according to a joint statement.
"Motorola is committed to the PowerPC architecture as an important high-performance element in our DigitalDNA strategy. The total ownership of the design center will allow us to expand our commitment to new designs for Apple and our embedded market customers," said Hector Ruiz, Ph.D., president, Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector. "The pervasiveness of PowerPC microprocessors is exemplified by the 1000 or more design-ins to-date in networking, computer, telecom, broadband, wireless infrastructure, automotive, consumer and industrial applications."
Motorola - IBM - Apple Computer
Price Cut, Rebate Program Put Power3D At $99
[10:00AM] TechWorks this week quietly slashed prices on its 3Dfx Voodoo-based Power3D graphic accelerator, while at the same time announcing an additional rebate exclusive to Macintosh customers. Retail pricing on the card is now $149, down from $229. Through July 31, however, customers who purchase the Power3D from CompUSA or Microcenter will be eligible for a mail-in rebate of $50 -- effectively putting the card's price at $99. Included with the Power3D are copies of id Software's Quake Episode 1 Shareware, Activision's MechWarrior, VR Sports' VR Soccer, and Bungie Software's Weekend Warrior.
TechWorks - Power3D Information
Oracle To Announce Plans For PalmPilot
[9:40AM] On Monday, Oracle will announce a two-phase plan aimed at giving PalmPilot customers the ability to tap into Oracle Lite databases, PC Week Online reports. The first part of the roll out will center around an Oracle Lite conduit, which will allow data from the handheld devices to be replicated with a client version of Oracle Lite on a PC. The conduit will be available in beta form sometime this month, PC Week says, with an official release scheduled for August. Phase two of Oracle's plan, however, is a bit more ambitious. The company will develop a native version of Oracle Lite, shrunk down to just 150KB in size, for the Pilot, allowing it to talk directly with enterprise databases. The software will debut in the first quarter of 1999, and Oracle has plans of making a Windows CE version as well.
PC Week Report - Oracle
Wednesday, June 10th
Hitachi Planning Java-Based Set-Top Boxes
[6:20PM] Sun Microsystems' vision of a Java-based television set-top box for consumers will come to fruition late next year, thanks to a deal the company struck yesterday with Hitachi. Tokyo-based Hitachi said it plans to ship up to 200,000 television set-top boxes to consumers in Japan by the end of 1999. The devices, which will use Japanese satellite systems for transmission, will allow services such as distance learning, news broadcasts, and Internet access to be delivered into homes.
Sun Microsystems - Hitachi
Pinnacle Unveils New Magneto-Optical Drive
[5:55PM] Ultra 5.2, a new rewriteable 5.2GB magneto-optical drive from Pinnacle Micro, was announced today. Scheduled to be available in production quantities in July, the drive complies with 5.25-inch ISO industry standards, and reads and writes to previous generation 2.6 GB and 1.3 GB ISO-standard media. According to Pinnacle, it features a performance enhancing 4MB cache and 20 ms average seek time, which makes it suitable for storage-intensive applications such as DVD and CD-ROM development, Web site development, desktop publishing, prepress, imaging, and general data storage. The Ultra 5.2 will carry a two year warranty and will be available in both internal and external configurations, for $2,149 and $2,249 respectively.
Digital Frontiers Holding Store-Wide Sale
[5:25PM] Through July 15, Digital Frontiers will be holding a special 10 percent store-wide sale on its award-winning HVS product line. The HVS series of tools, which includes HVS ColorGIF 2.0, HVS JPEG 2.0, HVS Animator Pro, uses a patented psychovisual algorithm to reduce colors according to the human eye's perceptual characteristics. By removing information that cannot be seen easily by the human eye, Digital Frontiers claims its products turn out the smallest Web graphics possible.
High-End PowerBook G3s Still Weeks Away
[2:55PM] According to a report today, Apple's top-of-the-line PowerBook G3 machines are still weeks away from hitting the street, and customers who ordered one could be setting off fireworks before seeing Apple's highest margin portable. An agent at The Apple Store tells O'Grady's PowerPage that customers who purchased any of the configurations with 14.1-inch displays will be sent a letter in the next five days or so, notifying them that Apple does not expect to ship those systems within the next three weeks. All other configurations of the line have reached resellers, although supply is still strained at most places.
O'Grady's PowerPage - The Apple Store
Survey Shows Overwhelming Approval Of iMac
[2:05PM] Nearly two-thirds of Macintosh buyers polled in a recent survey by Macworld magazine say they would purchase Apple's upcoming iMac for themselves or their families. The poll, conducted on Macworld's Web site in conjunction with the posting of its July iMac cover story, was completed by over 8,000 visitors. Results also showed that buyers would be even more receptive to recommending the eye-grabbing machine to others. Of the people questioned, 89 percent say they would recommend it to first-time computer buyers, and 84 percent say they would recommend it to a friend or colleague. In addition, the iMac's $1,299 price-tag seemed "just right" for half of the respondents, Macworld says, with the same percentage saying they "would be willing to pay more for more features."
Macworld - iMac Information
PowerBook G3s In Asia Pacific To Include RealPC
[1:25PM] PowerBook G3's sold in Asia Pacific will now come bundled with Insignia Solutions' RealPC, Apple International said today. The decision, which apparently shows Apple has no intentions of playing favorites when it comes to third parties (Connectix' Virtual PC 2.0 is used in a G3 promotion in other parts of the world, including the U.S.), marks the second time in six months that Apple has included RealPC with its PowerBooks in Asia Pacific. The previous edition of the PowerBook G3 included the PC emulator for a time as well.
Insignia Solutions - Apple Computer
No Relief In Sight For Struggling Western Digital
[12:45PM] Due to greater than anticipated pricing pressures and reduced unit volumes in its desktop hard drive business, Western Digital said yesterday it expects its fourth quarter results to fall "substantially short" of current Wall Street forecasts. The company now anticipates losses for the period ending June 27 to exceed $100 million, before recording additional costs associated with a supply and licensing pact with IBM.
In hopes of stopping the continued bleeding, Western Digital said it will curb its excess inventories -- its biggest problem -- by implementing shorter work weeks in its manufacturing plants in Singapore and Malaysia, a move that follows the company's decision earlier this month to end production in its Santa Clara, Calif. facility. In addition, the company will trim its work force through attrition and layoffs to approximately 13,000 employees, a reduction of 22 percent since November 1997.
QSound Promises To Enhance Internet Audio
[11:50AM] QSound Labs, the company behind the 3D sound technology of the same name, will be working with RealNetworks to develop a new software program, iQ Effects, that promises to dramatically enhance audio transmission over the Internet, the companies announced today. Based on QSound's first Internet software product, iQ, iQ Effects is being designed specifically to work with the RealPlayer G2 and will be the first third party plug-in integrated into the RealPlayer G2 technology. The companies say they expect the program to be released early in the third quarter of this year.
"QSound's 3D audio product, iQ, has been very popular with RealPlayer and RealPlayer Plus customers," said Maria Cantwell, senior vice president of Consumer and E-Commerce Division at RealNetworks. "We expect iQ Effects will be even more popular since it will build enhanced 3D audio features into the already powerful RealPlayer G2."
QSound Labs - RealNetworks
Mactell Expands Video Card Line
[10:35AM] Mactell yesterday introduced a new low-cost version of its Ticket to Ride-based graphic accelerator. Priced at $399, the Vision3D Pro II Lite offers all of the features of its high-end sibling -- the Vision3D Pro II -- including support for QuickDraw 3D Rave and OpenGL acceleration. The Lite product also includes the same 8MB of WRAM and 220-MHz RAMDAC as its brethren, but differs in the resolution department. Whereas the high-end card features resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, the Lite maxs out at 1280 x 1024 in 24-bit color, which is usually enough for the average user who doesn't need to drive a 21-inch monitor. "128-bit high performance Macintosh graphics acceleration has just become affordable," said Pat Berry, vice president Mactell.
S&P; Chooses WebObjects For Web Service
[9:30AM] Standard & Poor's today announced that its online personal investment service, Personal Wealth, is now utilizing Apple's WebObjects as its content delivery engine. Personal Wealth offers investors a host of investment management features, including personalized investment recommendations; buy, sell and hold alerts; live market commentary; and in-depth analysis and research. "We chose WebObjects to build S&P; Personal Wealth because it was the only product that fulfills our application demands," said John Fitzgerald, president of S&P;'s Consumer Markets Division. "WebObjects enables our customers to easily navigate through the service and quickly access the personalized information they need to make intelligent, informed decisions about their financial future."
In other WebObjects-related news, several readers have noticed that PC-maker Toshiba has embraced the technology for several parts of its Web site.
S&P; Personal Wealth - WebObjects Information
Tuesday, June 9th
Avid To Be Honored With Third Emmy Award
[4:25PM] At a ceremony on June 24, Avid Technology will be awarded an Emmy for its digital editing technology from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. The Emmy, Avid's third, recognizes the company's Real-Time Multicamera Grouping Option for its Media Composer and Film Composer digital editing systems, which allows editors to group and edit from an unlimited number of camera sources. The software was used on a number of popular television sitcoms throughout 1997, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Seinfeld, Spin City, and The Drew Carey Show.
Dr Solomon's Acquired By Network Associates
[1:50PM] Hoping to build on its core strengths and extends its anti-virus technology, Network Associates today signed an agreement to acquire Dr Solomon's Group, a European-based vendor of anti-virus software products, for over $640 million. Network Associates, which was born out of the merger of McAfee Associates and Network General last year, said Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit will be available as part of its enterprise security suites, the Total Virus Defense (TVD) Suite, and Net Tools Secure, shortly after the acquisition is complete.
Standard & Poor's Brighter Outlook On Apple
[12:40PM] Citing a reflection of Apple's improved profitability and financial flexibility, Standard & Poor's today revised its outlook on Apple to positive from negative. In its upgrade, S&P; noted the company's first six-month period of profitability in more than two years, and its significantly improved liquidity and financial flexibility. As of March 31, Apple had cash and short-term investments totaling $1.8 billion and no near term debt maturities. In addition, S&P; said Apple's ratings could improve further if the company is able to stabilize revenues.
Standard & Poor's - Apple Computer
Nader Asks IBM's Gerstner To Free OS/2
[12:20PM] OS/2, the IBM operating system that in the days before Windows 95 was often seen as a viable competitor to Microsoft's dominance, has captured the interest of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who yesterday sent a letter to IBM chairman Lou Gerstner asking the company to consider following the Netscape example, and release the source code for OS/2. In his letter, Nader said he was surprised to learn that IBM does not permit customers to buy IBM Aptiva computers with OS/2 pre-installed, and suggested freeing the operating system to combat Windows.
Nader's Letter - IBM
CorelDRAW 8 To Include Adobe PDF Technology
[11:05AM] When Corel Corp.'s CorelDRAW 8 for Power Macintosh hits store shelves this fall, the graphics suite will include native support for Adobe Systems' PDF (Portable Document Format) technology. Ottawa-based Corel has licensed the Adobe Acrobat Placed PDF Library and will integrate the technology into its graphics and desktop publishing products, giving users the ability to place pages from any PDF file directly into native Corel documents, complete with a high-resolution preview. "We recognize PDF as the emerging publishing industry standard," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel. "PDF eliminates some of the inconsistencies of PostScript and lays the foundation for a production workflow that offers consistent, predictable results."
Corel - Adobe Systems
NBC Acquires Equity Stake In CNET's Snap!
[10:15AM] Marking the first time a broadcast network and media company have entered the Internet directory and search services business, NBC today announced it has purchased an equity stake in CNET's Snap! and will, together with CNET, operate the portal as a joint venture. Under the deal, NBC will purchase a 4.99 percent equity stake in CNET, and will also have the option to increase its minority stake in Snap! to 60 percent. The companies said the joint venture will redefine the crucial Internet portal market, providing Snap! with top brand association, media core competencies, advertiser connections, marketing, and a level of promotion that is unprecedented in the Internet portal market.
"We are clearly defining the Internet and interactive media as fundamental to NBC's growth strategy and NBC will continue to be the leader among traditional media companies on the Internet," said Bob Wright, president and CEO of NBC. "This agreement to join forces with CNET, one of the most respected and best run Internet companies, will provide tremendous opportunity for NBC to apply its traditional media core competencies to capture Internet audience share. The addition of Snap! will enable us to utilize the power of NBC to reach out to current Internet users, as well as to the 80% of the country that is not yet online."
NBC - CNET - Snap!
Morph, Tenon Enter Development Partnership
[9:50AM] Morph Technologies and Tenon Intersystems this week entered a strategic partnership that will extend Tenon's WebTen server with advanced Web server development capabilities through the inclusion of Morph's DynaMorph Web application engine. The companies said Morph, with the help of Tenon, will build a WebTen Apache-native version of the DynaMorph Web development tool suite that will become part of WebTen, running under Mac OS and subsequently on Rhapsody and Mac OS X. "This new partnership will not only enhance the power of the Macintosh server, but also enable Mac professionals the ability to be more versatile in the development of their sites," commented Dr. Marc Slack, President and CEO of Morph. "The synergies between Morph Technologies and Tenon Intersystems will allow both companies to greatly benefit from this partnership."
Morph Technologies - Tenon Intersystems
Netscape Navigator To Become Flashy
[9:00AM] Macromedia's Flash technology today registered its biggest endorsement yet, as Netscape announced it has signed a licensing deal to include the Flash player with every copy of its Navigator browser, beginning with a maintenance release due this summer. As part of a marketing and distribution agreement, Netscape will also use the vector technology as a design element for its Computing & Internet Channel on it Netcenter portal. "As a leader in multimedia for the web, Macromedia has developed a wonderful technology with Flash," said Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products at Netscape, in a statement. "As an avid user of Flash, I can attest that including the Flash Player in Navigator will bring an exciting new dimension to the web experience." Additionally, the companies say they will participate in a variety of co-marketing activities including online advertising and promotional campaigns.
Netscape Communications - Macromedia
Monday, June 8th
FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition Ships
[7:30PM] FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition, FileMaker, Inc.'s cross-platform database development tool kit for corporate and professional developers, is now available from authorized resellers for $499. The new developer edition, which replaces the FileMaker Pro 3.0 Solutions Development Kit, includes Home Page 3.0, CodeWarrior Lite, and FileMaker Pro 4.0, and features an API (Application Program Interface) that allows developers to expand the basic functionality in the stand-alone version of FileMaker. In addition, the product's Java Classes adhere to 100% Pure Java certification, making it possible for developers to access databases over any Java-enabled operating system.
FileMaker, Inc. - FileMaker Pro DE Information
Apple's iMac Road Show Heads Northwest
[6:20PM] Apple's 1998 Summer User Group Tour, which has more or less become a prime opportunity for Macintosh fans to get an up close and personal looking at the hotly anticipated iMac, is heading to the Northwest this week. The road show, which Apple says has already drawn big crowds in Washington, New York, Chicago, and Berkeley, Calif., will make stops at the Portland Macintosh User Group tonight and at the Seattle Macintosh downtown Business User Group on Wednesday, June 10.
Apple User Groups - Apple Computer
Epson Cuts Prices On Stylus Color Printers
[5:30PM] Epson America today announced price cuts on two of its award-winning ink-jet printers. The Stylus Color 600, which combines 1440 dpi "Photo Quality" output with fast print speeds and a bundled assortment of software, now retails at $199, down from $249. A notch down the ladder is the Stylus Color 400, which was previously priced at $179. The 720 dpi printer will now be available for $149. "With this price move, we've made it even more affordable for consumers to achieve amazing `Photo Quality' right out of the box," said Donald Brewer, product manager at Epson. "In addition to high-quality output, small office and home users will be impressed by the fast print speeds and award-winning software bundle that both these printers offer."
1394 Trade Association Adds New Members
[4:15PM] The 1394 Trade Association, a group founded to promulgate the development of the IEEE 1394 (aka "FireWire") standard, added seven new members in the month of May, bringing the total membership to more than 180 companies. New members joining the consortium last month included Olympus Optical, Arasan Chip Systems, RocketChips, Silicon Systems, Omeneon Video Networks, and File-aNET Corp. So far in calendar 1998, 25 companies and organizations have joined the 1394 TA, including names such as Iomega and Konica. James Snider, the Trade Association chairman, said he expects growth to continue at a solid pace through the rest of this year.
"The promise of the 1394 standard continues to create excitement and enthusiasm, despite the PC slowdown, economic dislocation in Asian nations, and tight corporate and capital budgets this year," he said. "We are on the eve of our Developers' Conference in San Jose at the end of this month, and continue to see ground-breaking new 1394-enabled products -- including personal computers and camcorders -- emerging rapidly."
1394 Trade Association
FTC Votes, Agrees To Proceed With Intel Suit
[3:30PM] Saying Intel violated the nation's antitrust laws by denying necessary technical information to several companies, the Federal Trade Commission today voted to sue the semiconductor giant, charging the company with using its monopoly power to cement its dominance over the microprocessor market. In its suit, the FTC alleges Intel illegally used its market power by refusing to grant three of its customers -- Intergraph, Digital Equipment, and Compaq Computer -- access to technical information necessary to develop computer systems. All three companies hold important processor-related patents, and when they sought to enforce those patents against Intel or other companies who buy Intel products, the FTC says Intel retaliated by cutting off the necessary technical information and threatening to cut off the supply of processors.
Intel - Federal Trade Commission
$287 Million Deal Brings ICQ Into AOL Fold
[1:45PM] Several weeks after news of the deal surfaced in Israeli business publication Globes, America Online today officially announced its acquisition of Mirabilis, makers of the popular ICQ messaging application. The world's largest online service, attempting to advance its multiple-brand strategy, said it would acquire Israeli-based Mirabilis and its ICQ chat technology for $287 million, a price tag which could grow by as much as $120 million over the next three years depending on growth performance levels. Like it did when it acquired CompuServe, AOL says it will keep Mirabilis as a separate entity, complete with its own brand name. Mirabilis' ICQ, which currently has 12 million registered users worldwide, will continue as a free Web-based service, and the founding team will report directly to Ted Leonsis, president of AOL Studios.
America Online - Mirabilis - ICQ Information
Apple To Bundle FAXstf On G3 Machines
[1:10PM] Power Macintosh G3 and PowerBook G3 machines which come equipped with modems will soon feature STF Technologies' newest fax software, FAXstf 5.0. STF and Apple today announced they have entered a worldwide license agreement to bundle the popular faxing system with all modem-equipped Power Macs and PowerBooks. "FAXstf 5.0 has been designed from its inception to take full advantage of the power of PowerPCs," said W. Rick Wyand, STF president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We are excited and honored that Apple has selected our software for this worldwide bundle."
STF Technologies - Apple Computer
Mactell Revamps PowerJolt Upgrade Family
[11:20AM] Mactell last week revamped its PowerJolt G3 processor upgrade card line with a modified design aimed at increasing bus efficiencies and performance. The company says the new cards use a separate high-speed cache bus that enables CPU commands to be handled independently, eliminating loss of performance and Level 2 cache conflicts and bottlenecks. In addition, the new design increases compatibility and allows the PowerJolt to interface at a much higher bus speed; according to the company, the PowerJolt is now the first upgrade card that supports bus speeds above 50-MHz. "Our new optimized bus design increases bus transfer rates by up to 30 percent over our previous design ," said Roy Stocker, president of Mactell, in a statement. "Mactell will continue to be the processor upgrade performance leader." Prices on the PowerJolt cards begin at $549 and range up to $1,795, depending on the processor speed and cache configuration.
Mactell - PowerJolt Information
Intel Introduces Speed-Bumped Celeron
[10:30AM] Intel today introduced the Celeron 300-MHz, a speed-bumped version of its processor designed for the consumer desktop market. According to Intel, the chip, which costs $159 in 1,000-unit quantities, delivers up to 11 percent more performance than Celeron 266-MHz, and up to 35 percent more performance than the Pentium MMX processor, the Celeron's predecessor. To coincide with the chip's introduction, leading PC manufacturers Acer, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Packard Bell NEC, and Sony announced systems based on the processor.
SyQuest Offering Rebate On SyJet Line
[9:55AM] For a limited time, purchasers of SyQuest Technology's SyJet 1.5 gigabyte disk drive will be able to cash in on a special rebate. The company today announced it will offer a $50 rebate on the SyJet drive and a $30 rebate on three-packs of SyJet cartridges. (A rebate on SyQuest's SparQ line was announced as well, though that news will be of little interest to Macintosh users, since the 1.0 gigabyte drive remains a PC-only device.) SyQuest says the rebate program, which can be paired together for greater savings, will be supported by a national advertising campaign that includes newspaper, TV, radio, and Web site promotions, as well as in-store displays in major markets nationwide.
USB Connectivity Coming To PCI-Based Macs
[8:35AM] An expansion card that adds Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity to any PCI-based Macintosh is in development at Keyspan, a Richmond, Calif. vendor of serial communications cards. The company said yesterday it will release the Keyspan USB Card to coincide with the release of Mac OS 8.5, currently due in September. The card, based on the same USB chipset selected by Apple for use in the upcoming iMac, offers dual USB connectors, and is compatible with current OpenHCI specifications. The product will be available for "less than $100" direct from Keyspan, select resellers, and leading catalogs. "Many exciting USB peripherals will be introduced this fall," said Mike Ridenhour, president at Keyspan. "Our new card provides a simple and affordable way to add connect these peripherals to the installed base of Power Macintosh and Windows computers."
Keyspan - USB Information
Wednesday, June 3rd
UMAX Slashes Prices On Scanner Family
[12:40PM] UMAX Technologies today slashed prices on its Astra 610 family of consumer scanners by more than 30 percent. The 610P, a PC-only parallel port version, is now priced at $109, down from its previous street price of $119, though an additional $30 mail-in rebate effective through July 31 lowers the price to $79. Its SCSI-interface counterpart, the 610S, which previously sold for $149, is now priced at $119 with a $20 mail-in rebate effective through August 31 pushing the price under the century mark to $99. The Astra 610 single-pass scanners feature 30-bit color with an optical resolution of 300 x 600 dpi, and a bundled assortment of software including Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Presto! PageManager from NewSoft, Caere Omnipage LE, Kai's Power GOO SE from MetaCreations, and the UMAX copy utility.
Los Angeles Schools To Receive Apple Grant
[12:10PM] Apple today pledged to give a total of 2,200 Los Angeles County schools up to $1 million in networking software and training. Eligible schools will receive the Apple Network Administrator Toolkit -- a software package that allows educators to control and manage Macintosh systems on a network from one central point or multiple points -- complete with specialized training at no cost. The Los Angeles County Office of Education will make applications available to schools in the district by June 30. "Providing easy-to-use network tools for educators and students is essential for stimulating interactive learning and acquiring necessary real-world skills," said Mike Lorion, vice president of Education Sales for Apple. "The L.A. County Office of Education is a leader in incorporating technology and learning, and we believe this substantial contribution will help further push L.A. County school networks into the future."
Tuesday, June 2nd
Macromedia Sets Off Fireworks
[4:30PM] The final version of Fireworks, Macromedia's tool for creating, optimizing, and producing high-quality bitmapped graphics for the Web, began shipping today. New features not found in the public beta version, which was released in Mach and downloaded by over 60,000 users, include symbols, instances, and tweening for more compelling animations; image slicing for faster downloads; WebSnap adaptive palette for small, high-fidelity images; color correction and effects filters for image retouching; and tighter integration with the new version of Macromedia's Web publishing tool, Dreamweaver 1.2.
In addition, the shipping version of Fireworks features the ability to create alpha masks, support for numeric transformations, context sensitive menus, performance enhancements, and more. Fireworks is priced at $299 and is available for Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh. A free, thirty-day trial version can be downloaded from Macromedia's Web site.
Macromedia - Fireworks Information
Cypress Offers USB Seminar Over The Web
[3:45PM] A special one-hour seminar covering the advantages and basics of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard will be presented by Cypress Semiconductors this month. Cypress says the Web-based event, scheduled for June 23 at 10:00 a.m PDT, gives attendees an overview of the budding I/O specification; shows how to access USB design resources; reviews USB driver, software, and hardware issues; and discusses how to resolve USB peripheral interface design problems. Attendees of the presentation will have a chance to win a 3Com Palm Pilot, one of 10 Cypress USB Start Kits, or one of 25 t-shirts. Each attendees also will receive a literature package (including a Cypress Data Book CD-ROM) and a custom-built, see-through USB mouse.
New Digital Cameras Coming From Toshiba
[12:35PM] Toshiba Imaging Systems, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, will be previewing a new line of digital cameras at this month's PC Expo in the New York. According to a statement released from the company today, the new family will consist of two products -- the PDR-M1, a 1.5 million MegaPixel camera priced at $699, and the world's first VGA-plus digital camera, the $399 PDR-5. Doug Freck, VP and general manager of the unit, believes the new line will kindle new interest in the digital camera category: "It's rewarding to see our efforts pay off with the introduction of these innovative new products. We have shown them to a number of industry analysts and major retailers, all of whom agree the price/performance ration theses cameras offer is unmatched in the marketplace."
Toshiba Imaging Systems Division
Microsoft Licenses MetaCreations' 3-D Format
[11:35AM] MetaCreations' fledging 3-D file format, MetaStream, today received a booming endorsement from Microsoft, who said it will integrate the technology into a future revision of its DirectX architecture. In addition, Microsoft will use MetaStream as a file format in DirectX (.X files) that will be supported by Advanced Streaming Format (ASF), a feature in the Microsoft NetShow server. "Scalability is possibly the most critical issue to the success of 3-D because of the wide variations in bandwidth and processor power out there. There is a tremendous need to have a method of authoring content once for the various playback platforms," said Eric Engstrom, general manager of multimedia at Microsoft, in a statement. "We look forward to working with MetaCreations in bringing scalable 3-D to developers for Windows."
In addition, MetaCreations today acknowledged for the first time that a Macintosh-compatible version of the MetaStream plug-in is now in development. Currently the Web browser plug-in is available only to Windows users.
MetaCreations - Microsoft
New York, Chicago Next Stops On Summer Tour
[10:20AM] User groups in New York and Chicago will be getting a first-hand look at the iMac this week, as Apple's 1998 Summer User Group tour continues its swing through the country. The hotly-anticipated consumer computer, along with the well-received PowerBook G3 series, will be showcased at the New York Macintosh User Group on Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. and at the Chicago Macintosh User Group on Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m. Specific locations, as well as dates for other stops, can be found via the links below.
Apple User Group Tour - Apple Computer
Monday, June 1st
Butane 2.0 Fires MPEG2 Encoding Performance
[5:40PM] Wired Inc. today released an upgrade to the software companion of its ButaneII MPEG2/DVD encoding board. According to the company, Butane 2.0 improves performance drastically, decreasing the overall MPEG2 stream creation process by more than half. In addition, the new release, available free to current users, includes ButaneMux 2.0 and ButuneApp 2.0, which adds real-time multiplexing of audio and video MPEG2 streams as they are being captured and encoded.
Apple Studio Display Gets Exposure At SID
[2:00PM] The Apple Studio Display was demoed at last month's Society For Information Display (SID) exhibition in Anaheim, Calif. by Genesis Microchip, the company whose ImEngine Image Processing chips are the brains behind the Apple display as well as products from other notable names including Samsung, Philips, and Sony. "This is the year that flat panel monitors transition from a technology novelty to a mass market," said Stephen J. Solari, Genesis vice president of marketing and business development.
Genesis Microchip - Apple Studio Display
Nomai Scores Court Victory Over Iomega
[1:30PM] Iomega today lost its attempt to block Nomai, S.A. from selling its XHD disks in the U.S. The ruling, issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, clears the way for Nomai to sell its Zip-disk clone stateside. In its ruling, the court said Iomega had failed to present credible evidence in support of its arguments, and that the company was not likely to succeed in proving its claims of patent and copyright infringement at trial. Iomega had been contending that Nomai's XHD disks violated its patent on a read/write protection scheme, and its "Oscar 100" software copyright. Kevin Scheier, president of Nomai USA, said the company expects to have the XHD widely available in major retailers, distributors, and mail order companies in this month.
Nomai - Iomega
3Com's Palm 2MB Upgrade Now Available
[12:35PM] As it has in the past, 3Com's Palm Computing unit today continued its dedication to its existing installed base of users. The company announced the widespread availability of an upgrade path that gives owners of the PalmPilot, Pilot 1000, and Pilot 5000 the same power and features of the new Palm III organizer. The user-installable Palm 2MB Upgrade, priced at $129, adds 2MB of additional storage space for data and applications, infrared (IR) beaming capabilities, and the Palm OS 3.0 software to the older units. In addition, as part of the upgrade package, Pilot 1000 and Pilot 5000 users receive Palm Mail and expense tracking applications, while PalmPilot Personal users get Palm Mail.
Palm Computing - 3Com
Deal Means More Macintosh Printer Support
[11:10AM] Infowave Wireless Messaging, continuing their efforts to increase Macintosh support throughout the printer world, today reach a development and supply agreement with Lexmark International that will bring Mac-compatibility to the Lexmark Optra E+ printer. Under the deal, which is similar to the one Infowave signed with Hewlett-Packard earlier this spring, Infowave will develop and supply a private-labeled Optra E+ "Mac Connectivity" solution that will include a CD-ROM, cable, manual, and packaging. The Infowave printing solution will be bundled with the Optra E+, a professional-quality personal laser printer, to create a dedicated Mac version of the printer.
"Infowave is very actively involved in expanding the number of quality printing solutions available for Mac users," said Bijan Sanii, GM of Infowave's Imaging Division. "We are very pleased that we have reached this agreement with Lexmark and that a Mac version of the popular Optra E+ printer will soon be shipping."
Infowave Wireless Messaging - Lexmark
DVD-Equipped G3s Being Bundled With Game
[10:35AM] Red Orb Entertainment said today it has ported the DVD-ROM version of The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time to the Macintosh and will be bundling the game with DVD-equipped computers sold through The Apple Store. The game, shown for the first time publicly in DVD form at last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, will be the first entertainment DVD title for the Mac. However, unlike the PC version of the game, which features over thirty minutes of cinematics encoded to MPEG-2 video and AC-3 audio standards, Legacy of Time DVD for the Mac will be a direct port of the CD-ROM version. (Current DVD-equipped G3 machines lack the necessary hardware to decode MPEG-2 and AC-3, making impossible for Red Orb to include the improved visuals and audio.) About the only enhancement Mac users will see is non-interrupted gameplay thanks to the storage capacity of DVD disks.
"The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time is a great title that pushes the envelope in multimedia entertainment, so it's fitting that this is the first entertainment DVD title for Macintosh," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, in a statement. "Much of the art and sound for The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time was designed on Macintosh computers for enjoyment by both Macintosh and Windows customers. Red Orb Entertainment and Broderbund Software have always had a strong commitment to the Apple family of products, so we're very pleased to be supporting that tradition."
Red Orb Entertainment - The Apple Store
Iomega Cuts Prices On Jaz Drives, Disks
[10:10AM] Iomega today announced price cuts of up to $150 on its popular Jaz product line. The high-end 2GB drive, introduced earlier this year, saw the biggest cuts. The external and internal models, which previously sold for $649 and $549, respectively, will now each carry a minimum advertised price of $499, the Roy, Utah company said. In addition, prices on disks were cut as well. Two-gigabyte cartridges are now priced at $125, or $99 each when purchased in a 3-pack, while the Jaz 1GB disks, which are compatible with the high-end 2GB drive, will retail for $99.
Revamped Netscape Site To Be Unveiled Today
[8:40AM] According to this morning's Wall Street Journal, Netscape is expected to take the wraps off a revamped version of its Netcenter Web site later today. The updated site, part of Netscape's "Project 60" campaign to turn Netcenter into the premiere one-stop shop portal, will tie itself to the company's Web browser through a series of new links. The Journal says a new version of the software, due in the next two weeks, will include special buttons that move users more quickly to features of Netcenter, and allow them to configure the browser and service to work more like an integrated computer desktop. In addition, the paper reports that Netscape is expected to merge its browser division into the unit responsible for Netcenter.
Wall Street Journal - Netscape Netcenter