Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 20 Apr 98

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
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Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --NetObjects Offers DHTML Action Development Kit --INSTAbase 4.0 Offers Low-cost Online Database Publishing --GEO Interactive Unveils Live Webcast Tech --Neurostudio Updates Chatter-bot Authoring Tool --Spidersoft Updates Site Grabber DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --ActiveState Introduces Perl Visual Debugger IN THE INFOGROOVE --Hot Off The Web Lets Surfers Grab Pages, Add Remarks --Northern Light Adds 500 Publications to Special Collection --Math Strategies' CatchTheWeb Captures Dynamic Net Content --WebTools Company Releases Mata Hari Search Tool --Network Connection Delivers Multimedia NC GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Macromedia Intros Flash 3, to Make Format Open Standard --Canopus Unveils Voodoo 2 3D Game Accelerator --Credo Interactive Unveils Character Movement Solutions --Site Offers 3D Hard Copy --Epson Launches 3D Color Imaging Software --Virtus Delivers 3D Business App TECHNOTES --New Archival System to Pack 95,000 Images on Two-Inch Disc THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --GGU to Offer Intro to the Internet --IVP $350 Million Fund to Focus on "Brave New World" Investing --Open Source Pioneers Meet in Summit --Intergraph Wins Federal Court Order in Intel Antitrust Lawsuit --D.FILM to Launch Online Festival of Films Made for the Internet GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Cendant Launches Online Gaming Service, Sierra Studios --Activision Announces Interstate '82 --Alien Fiends Beware -- Blasto Has Arrived --VR-1 to Showcase Multiplayer Online Games at E3 --Interplay Ships Caesars Palace Video Poker NUMBEROLOGY --Saudi Prince Invests $200 Million in Teledesic HAPPENINGS --Third 3D Design Conference May 19-22 in San Francisco --Coursey Plans Digital Living Room Conference F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


NetObjects Offers DHTML Action Development Kit NetObjects, Inc. new, DHTML Action Development Kit (DDK), announced last week, is a toolkit designed to let Web developers create custom DHTML ActionSets, collections of DHTML Actions that address a specific user need, such as adding sound or unique animation effects to NetObjects Fusion-based Web sites. DHTML ActionSets are built using JavaScript Beans. The company also announced that Headspace, Inc., the Internet audio pioneer, has successfully used the DDK to create the Beatnik ActionSet, which allows NetObjects Fusion authors to add sound to Web sites. The DDK consists of a set of open application interfaces (APIs), documentation, templates and examples of DHTML Actions. The DDK is expected to be available from NetObjects' Web site http://www.netobjects.com within 60 days. NetObjects has just shipped Fusion 3.0, which supports DHTML at the following levels: · generation of cross-browser DHTML when the site is published · embed pre-prepared DHTML Actions to Web sites · customize DHTML Actions by coding JavaScript directly · create collections of unique Actions called ActionSets NetObjects Fusion 3.0's multi-level DHTML interaction support derives from its message-based model, an object-oriented approach that lets authors establish complex relationships between objects on a Web page. For example, the Beatnik ActionSet leverages NetObjects Fusion 3.0's open interface to create three custom JavaScript-based menus: Beatnik Basic delivers core functionality such as the ability to play, stop or pause music; Beatnik Advanced contains 15-plus actions that deliver advanced capabilities such as transposing a file, muting, or isolating sequences; and Beatnik Informational provides links and information to the Headspace site. A free, beta version is available from http://www.headspace.com. -------------------------------------------------- INSTAbase 4.0 Offers Low-cost Online Database Publishing Toronto-based Ezenet, Inc. its next-generation INSTAbase 4.0 ($39.99) and 4.0 Web-Ready ($59.99). The new add reporting and searching, unlimited databases, graphic storage with zoom and edit capabilities, text fields for comments, importing, exporting, backup and restore with an enhanced toolbar. "Help" files are available in English, French and Spanish, and INSTAbase still includes Ezenet's mortgage and loan calculator for free. 4.0 Web-Ready adds Web integration with the ability to publish your database to the Web, using a Java engine. INSTAbase 4.0 and 4.0 Web-Ready can be downloaded and purchased on the Internet by going to http://www.instabase.com, where a 30-day trial version is also available. GEO Interactive Unveils Live Webcast Tech GEO Interactive's new Emblaze Live technology lets Web developers broadcast live video and audio over the Internet without plug-ins or special server software. The software reportedly turns a standard PC into a transmitter capable of taking the images produced by a video camera and sending them to a standard HTTP server via a standard FTP connection. Live video images can then be sent in real time to a Web server so that Web surfers can view them using standard modem speeds through popular browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator version 3.0 or later). More information can be found at http://www.emblaze.com. -------------------------------------------------- Neurostudio Updates Chatter-bot Authoring Tool Neuromedia, Inc.'s NeuroStudio Version 1.2 chatter-bot authoring and server tool features an integrated Web (HTTP) server that allows one-click serving of bots to the Web. The new feature allows botmasters the option to bypass CGI and middleware solutions for connecting bots to the Web. The new system also eliminates the requirement for the user's browser to accept cookies. An improved "Topic Wizard" is integrated into the software's analysis tools. In addition, NeuroStudio 1.2 now includes script-level support for Microsoft Agent. This lets bots created with NeuroStudio use animated talking characters as a more engaging means of user interaction. The MSAgent support also serves as an example and prototype for other thirrd-party vendors of avatar technology who want to integrate NeuroStudio technology with their systems. NeuroStudio 1.2 features Neuromedia's new Intelligent HTML Page (IHP) technology. IHP pages appear to the browser as standard HTML pages, but are dynamically generated by the bot while conversing with the user. They can contain data from the bot's memory, or information from third-party sources such as ODBC-compliant databases or Web queries. Release 1.2 is expected by April 30. Pricing for the Windows-based software starts at $339 and goes up swiftly from there. Send your bot to http://www.neurostudios.com to check it out. -------------------------------------------------- Spidersoft Updates Site Grabber The latest version of WebZIP, Spidersoft's Web site grabber, incorporates 11 new features. The program can download an entire Web site or section of a site and save all the files in standard HTML, maintaining the original file names and directory structure to provide an exact mirror of the Web site on a hard disk or within a single compressed Zip file. Users can then review pages off-line with their favorite browser. New features include: · start/stop and resume - enables downloading large Web sites over a number of sessions or days · smart update - update a downloaded Web site by only downloading new or changed Web pages · recovery - retry downloading URLs that have failed · download priority - allows dynamic settings for Web pages and resources sequences · personal intranet - download and Zip the site into a single compressed file or download all files directly to a hard disk. · integrated browser - site contents are presented in a hierarchical tree view · Multi-threaded downloading engine - up to 16 simultaneous sockets WebZIP 2.0 for Windows is available immediately and is priced at US$39.95. It can be downloaded and purchased online from http://www.spidersoft.com --------------------------------------------------


ActiveState Introduces Perl Visual Debugger Vancouver-based ActiveState Tool Corp. has released ActiveState Perl Debugger ($95), a GUI debugger for Win32 programmers. According to the company, in pre-release tests most developers reported shorter development times, improved interactive programming and a higher degree of confidence in the quality of finished products. According to a recent IntelliQuest report, 56 percent of organizations building Web applications on their corporate intranets plan to deploy Windows NT Server, while 8 percent plan on deploying UNIX. The product is available direct from ActiveState at http://www.ActiveState.com/pldb/. --------------------------------------------------


Hot Off The Web Lets Surfers Grab Pages, Add Remarks Hot off the hard drives of Insight Development Corporation is Hot Off The Web, its new Windows-based $50 Internet Web-page capture tool. The product lets a user grab an entire Web page or a single paragraph, make comments, add remarks, then email, fax, print or save it - including the images and comments. Hot Off The Web uses no proprietary file formats, only HTML, and lets users save the Web page in a single folder. Its Scrapbook feature provides an easy way to compile and organize bits and pieces from multiple Web sites into a single Web digest. It automatically attaches the annotated page as a self-extracting ZIP (.exe) file to your current email program. A click is all it takes to view the attachment on the receiving end. The attachment will be displayed in either Hot Off The Web, or if the recipient does not have Hot Off The Web, in the default browser. Hot Off The Web includes: 350 digital stickers, plus the ability to make your own Cyber Notes - Place one or more of the 120 virtual notes anywhere on the site, then type a message, add a Digital Sticker or a hand-written comment using the Graffiti Pen. Highlighter - Emphasize key text in 12 colors. In a collaborative setting, assign different colors to different people. For more information, see http://www.hotofftheWeb.com. -------------------------------------------------- Northern Light Adds 500 Publications to Special Collection Northern Light Technology has added 500 business publication titles to its Special Collection. The search engine now has over 3,400 premium information sources. Among the 500 new business titles are Advertising Age, CommunicationsWeek, Franchise Times, Home Furnishing News, American Metal Market, InternetWeek, Chain Store Age, Chemical Week, Travel Agent and Women's Wear Daily. The Special Collection covers business, contemporary life, health, education, and more. Find Northern Light at http://www.nlsearch.com -------------------------------------------------- Math Strategies' CatchTheWeb Captures Dynamic Net Content Math Strategies' new CatchTheWeb is a $39.95 Windows 95/NT application for collecting Internet content. The product works with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Express. The user "catches the Web" by dragging the CatchTheWeb pushpin from the taskbar's icon tray and dropping it on the desired page or message. The collected content is archived, organized, and annotated by the user in CatchTheWeb. Math Strategies found it necessary to include three distinct JavaScript programs in each compiled presentation. This is due to the differences in HTML and DHTML between Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator over the last two releases. CatchTheWeb is available for purchase or thirty-day trial via electronic software distribution through the company's Web site at http://www.catchtheWeb.com. -------------------------------------------------- WebTools Company Releases Mata Hari Search Tool The WebTools Company (TWTC) has released Mata Hari, a $79.95 Windows-based desktop search tool for knowledge workers, professionals and others researching information on the Internet. The software reportedly extends features found in current metasearcher, offline browser, filter and document management products. Users can pose multiple queries at the same time, in simple sentences or using structured (AND, OR) syntax. Queries can include phrases and wildcards. Users can search from one to all of the 100 supported engines, which may return potentially thousands of Web link references. Mata Hari evaluates these against the queries and flexible site and document filtering settings chosen by the user. The software can be downloaded for a free 30-day evaluation at http://theWebtools.com -------------------------------------------------- Network Connection Delivers Multimedia NC The Network Connection, Inc. has begun delivery of its new Set Top Personal Computer (STPC) for the local area network (LAN)-based business markets as well as for home-based users, which will have the ability to connect the product to VGA and/or television monitors. The STPC is a Pentium-processor-based client that combines integrated networking, communications and multi-media applications. Its basic configuration features 32MB RAM, 2GB hard drive, 265K pipeline burst level II cache, 128MB of fast page mode memory, digital video decoder, full-duplex audio card and full I/O connectivity that includes a RJ45 jack for LAN connections, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, two serial ports, one ECP/EPP-capable parallel port, one VGA connector, TV video output and two USB connectors. Connections to game and audio hardware is facilitated with a game port, an audio line-in port, a line-out port and external microphone port located on the rear panel. Visit TNCi's Web site at http://tnc.www.com. --------------------------------------------------


Macromedia Intros Flash 3, to Make Format Open Standard Macromedia last week announced a major upgrade of Macromedia Flash, its design tool for interactive vector graphics and animation on the Web. The company also unveiled Macromedia Flash Generator, a new server-based product for the real-time generation of Web graphics and animation. New features in Flash 3 include: · Vector & Bitmap Transparency - Flash users can now create translucent graphics, overlay transparent vector objects on bitmaps, and vary the levels of opacity, transparent colors, gradients and other attributes at any time. For example, set-top box developers can use this feature to create transparent program guides that overlay video. · Animated Buttons and Menus · Shape Morphing · Bandwidth Profiling - a graphical representation of how Flash movies are streaming. · Standalone Projectors - Flash movies can be delivered along with the Flash player in a single file Macromedia's new Flash Generator product is a server-based product that automates the real-time creation of Web graphics. Graphics such as personalized banner advertising, custom weather maps, and automated event listings can be driven from a data source and refreshed without redesigning the entire graphic or page. A pre-release public beta of Flash 3 is currently available for download at no charge at http://www.flash.com. Flash 3 for Windows 95, Windows NT and Power Macintosh will be available in spring 1998 for an estimated street price of $299 US. Flash Generator will be available in Summer 1998. To sign up for a pre-release beta version or to learn more about Flash Generator, visit http://www.flash.com/generator. Also, Macromedia is making the Flash file format (.swf) available as an open Internet standard for vector graphics and animation. As a first step, the company published the open Flash file format and sample code at http://www.flash.com/open. The company will submit the format specification to a recognized Internet standards organization. Macromedia will also license the Flash player source code to Internet platform vendors. Vendors that plan to incorporate the Flash player within their platform include: @Home, IBM, Microsoft, PointCast, PowerTV, Spyglass, Sun Microsystems and WebTV. -------------------------------------------------- Canopus Unveils Voodoo 2 3D Game Accelerator Canopus Corporation's just-announced Pure3D II combines the new 3Dfx Voodoo2 chipset with 12 MB of memory - 4 MB of frame buffer, for shapes and scenes, and 8 MB dedicated to texture processing. The additional texture memory reportedly provides smooth motion, added realism and detail and faster game speeds. Canopus' Quick Control software give users "on-the-fly" keyboard control to adjust gamma on the PC monitor and brightness on the TV screen during game play, and Application Launcher provides savable presets to switch screen resolution, color depth, gamma and refresh rate on the monitor, plus brightness, contrast and flicker reduction for TV play. Pure3D II will be available the week of May 18 at SRP $329. For more information, phone (408) 954-4500 or visit http://www.canopuscorp.com. -------------------------------------------------- Credo Interactive Unveils Character Movement Solutions Vancouver, B.C.-based Credo Interactive Inc. will add two character movement tools to its family of Life Forms products. With new figure manipulation and editing functions, Life Forms 3.0 and Life Forms Studio 3.0 provide options to streamline character movement for popular 3D animation packages. New default models and ready-to-use movement sequences also provide users greater flexibility to create movement sequences. New features include built-in rendering, inverse kinematics, and keyframe range editing, plus: · extensive rendering options available via optional add-on Lightworks renderer · new default figures, including an all-new female, and improved male · file browser for easy access and insertion of animation files and sequences · new interpolation models, including spline and none · ready-to-use character models, keyframed sequences, and motion capture files · quick keys for viewing control · keyframe advancer for enhanced timeline functionality For more information, visit http://www.credo-interactive.com -------------------------------------------------- Site Offers 3D Hard Copy The 3D HardCopy is a three-dimensional printed output displaying a volume of space. Viewers can look around into the printout to see different viewpoints from different angles. The manufacturer, 3D COM, Inc., is now offering these custom-made hardcopies, created from user-uploaded data, at its Web site: http://3dhardcopy.com 3D HardCopy employs a non-interleaving process to combine many two-dimensional images into a single computer generated composite image. This composite is printed out and overlaid with a 3D lenticular lens. Visual cues include object positioning (foreground and background), parallax and shading, and "look-around." -------------------------------------------------- Epson Launches 3D Color Imaging Software Epson Research and Development, Inc. last week demonstrated advanced 3D color imaging software for the consumer PC market. The technology will be available in future Epson America, Inc. software products targeted for Microsoft Windows 95/98 and NT 5.0 platforms. Based on the Microsoft Direct3D graphics API, the new technology lets consumers catalog photographs, scanned color images, and other digital documents into a 3D virtual album. They can apply advanced special effects, such as 3D warping, lighting, and navigation. Custom lighting effects such as camera position, light beam control, and colored lights can be applied to the environment. Lighting moods can be selected that model the effect of a foggy day, evening sunset, dawn or dusk, whichever best suits the collection of images. Users can add notes to the pictures as well as record, load, and save sound, and connect their images with the WWW. Results can be saved as VRML 2.0 applications for Web-based navigation, images for printing, or movies for viewing. -------------------------------------------------- Virtus Delivers 3D Business App Virtus Corporation's new Virtus 4.0 is a Windows-based 3D business application for desktop users designed for visual communication of spatial ideas. Essentially an updated version of Virtus WalkThrough Pro, the product leverages such recent hardware advances as AGP technology, Intel Pentium processors with MMX technology and Microsoft DirectX (D3D). Sample applications include: · lay out a retail store to optimize customer traffic flow · reconstruct a crime scene or a traffic accident for use in legal proceedings · configure an office environment to maximize space utilization and comply with government regulations · visually demonstrate a product that is difficult to transport or assemble · develop a science curriculum that offers online, interactive 3D laboratory projects · deliver 3D multimedia presentations that combine pop-up text, sound, and navigation Virtus 4.0 includes sample models, plus a library of more than 500 business-related content elements which users can drag-and-drop into their scene. Users can export models to DXF and VRML formats. Additionally, Virtus 4.0 includes Virtus Player, a freely distributable utility that allows clients and co-workers to view models and applications created with Virtus products. More information can be accessed at http://www.virtus.com/info.html. --------------------------------------------------


New Archival System to Pack 95,000 Images on Two-Inch Disc Norsam Technologies will demonstrate an archival data storage system that permits up to 95,000 images to be stored on a new two-inch disc format at the upcoming AIIM Conference in Anaheim, CA on May 12. Known as HD-ROSETTA, the new system uses an ion beam process to create microscopic reproductions of human eye-readable images from microfilm, original documents or other media onto a metal master disc from which low-cost distribution copies can be made. Unlike magnetic or CD-based data storage systems (which require a computer and bitstream interpreter to view information), the contents of a HD-ROSETTA disc can be viewed with a high-powered microscope. This ensures that information stored on a HD-ROSETTA disc will be readable thousands of years into the future without the aid of any special software or computer hardware. The HD-ROSETTA process uses a focused ion beam writer to etch images at dimensions as small as 20 x 30 microns. Images are transferred from microfilm, paper, CD-ROM or other media through a digital process and then recreated in analog form. The procedure takes place at Norsam's service bureau facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The demonstration will take place in Booth 1472 at the Anaheim Convention Center, May 12-14, 1998. Sorry, they didn't give us any contact info. --------------------------------------------------


GGU to Offer Intro to the Internet From May to August, erstwhile Spectrum editor Jackie Dove will be teaching an introductory course designed to give students an in-depth understanding of Internet-related technologies and techniques. Students at Golden Gate University on Mission Street in San Francisco will gain a perspective on the historical underpinnings of the Internet as a technological and societal phenomenon, as well as practical skills such as how to plan, build, and execute their own Web sites. These skills include Web site design, writing, researching, promotion, and related technologies. While the skills taught are practical, the emphasis is equally on the underlying context of the Internet and the Web within the historical, ethical, and political framework that informs its use. For information, call Golden Gate University School of Technology & Industry at 415-442-6539, fax: 415-442-7049, Web site: http://www.ggu.edu -------------------------------------------------- IVP $350 Million Fund to Focus on "Brave New World" Investing A new $350 million venture fund, IVP VIII, will focus on "brave new world" investments, which evolve from the interaction of consumers with the next wave of information and life sciences technologies. Examples include the digital home and digital TV, electronic commerce, and individualized medical therapies. Brave new world investments are those that create and build new markets and companies within them. These companies usually have undefined business models but can spearhead markets that have significant impact. "Technology is no longer a small, vertical market; it dramatically influences the way people live and is a key driver of the world economy," said Geoff Yang of IVP. IVP's Web address is http://www.IVP.com. -------------------------------------------------- Open Source Pioneers Meet in Summit Heavyweights of the Internet software community met in an historic summit in Palo Alto on April 7 to explore ways of expanding the use and acceptance of open source software development, which relies on wide distribution of program source code to spur innovation and increase software quality. Attendees included creators of underlying Internet services such as the Domain Name System and email routing, as well as Web servers and browsers, scripting languages, and even whole operating systems. Attendees agreed on the most important aspects of open source software: · Flexibility. Because the source code is freely available, any given program may have hundreds or thousands of developers. Each open source community has tremendous flexibility in modifying the program. · Innovation. When developers can see and modify source code, they receive rapid feedback and a constant flow of ideas from other developers. · Reliability. With hundreds or thousands of developers testing, inspecting, and fixing bugs for a given program, quality assurance is more reliable and efficient than in commercial efforts. · Faster development time. With so many more testers, development cycles can go much faster than in typical commercial efforts. The group identified numerous ways that sourceware is already mission-critical throughout industry, academia, and government. The myth is that IT managers won't rely on free or open source software. At least two of the open source programs whose developers attended the summit, Bind and Sendmail, form the backbone of the Internet infrastructure that all Internet-connected companies rely on. Languages such as Perl, Tcl and Python are intimately involved in the operation of virtually all major Web sites, and Apache is the server of choice for more than half of all Web sites. Related Web sites: · Apache: http://www.apache.org/ · Bind: http://www.isc.org/ · C2Net/Stronghold: http://www.c2.net/ · Cygnus Solutions: http://www.cygnus.com/ · Free Software Foundation: http://www.fsf.org · Linux: http://www.svlug.org/ · Mozilla: http://www.mozilla.org/ · Netscape: http://www.netscape.com/ · Open Source: http://www.oreilly.com/ · Perl: http://www.perl.com / also http://www.perl.org/ · PGP: http://www.nai.com/products/security/freeware.asp · Prime Time Freeware: http://www.ptf.com/ · Python: http://www.python.org/ · Scriptics/Tcl: http://www.scriptics.com/ · Sendmail: http://www.sendmail.com/ · WebReview: http://www.Webreview.com/ -------------------------------------------------- Intergraph Wins Federal Court Order in Intel Antitrust Lawsuit On April 10, a federal court awarded in favor of Intergraph and against Intel Corporation. Intergraph is suing Intel for anticompetitive behavior, patent infringement, and antitrust violations of the Sherman Act. Specific orders from the court assure that Intergraph will have: · advanced product information · advanced microprocessor "chip samples," "early production chips," and "production chips" The text of the court's "Memorandum of Opinion and Preliminary Injunction" is available at (http://www.intergraph.com/intel/). -------------------------------------------------- D.FILM to Launch Online Festival of Films Made for the Internet The New Venue is looking for innovative submissions created specifically for the Web. For a preview of The New Venue and information on how to submit work, go to the D.FILM site at http://www.dfilm.com Also, be sure to check out Flick Tips, an online guide to creating movies for the web. --------------------------------------------------


Cendant Launches Online Gaming Service, Sierra Studios Mega-corporation Cendant Corp. last week launched World Opponent Network (WON), a free online game and entertainment site with over 33 multiplayer games, news and information, strategy guides, chat and message boards, a game search engine and more. Titles available from such Cendant-owned publishers and developers as Sierra, Impressions, Dynamix, Papyrus and Berkeley Systems include Lords of Magic, Red Baron II< Outpost 2, 3D Ultra Minigolf, The Time Warp of Dr. Brain, Hoyle Black Jack and many more. Players must own the above titles, but the site also offers three free online-only games: You Don't Know Jack, YDKJ the netshow and Acrophobia, all currently available on Bezerk (http://www.bezerk.com). Win on Won at http://www.won.net. Also, Cendant-owned Sierra On-line announced Sierra Studios, the result of an internal reorganization that combines an in-house game development team with satellite development houses Impressions Software and PyroTechnix, plus independent developers Valve and Relic Entertainment. Titles coming later this year from the division include: · Caesar III, a city simulation game among whose new features are the visibility of an entire province on-screen in real time, and the ability to chat with individual citizens · Homeworld, a space combat game that lets players view the action from any position · Half-Life, Sierra's eagerly anticipated first 3D shooter, from Valve · Return to Krondor, a role-playing title that marks the return of sci-fi author/game designer Raymond Feist to the Sierra fold · Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned - the latest installment of the highly regarded adventure game series will feature a real-time 3D environment. · King's Quest: Mask of Eternity - the newest episode in Roberta Williams' long-running adventure game series will also offer a real-time 3D world Check it out at http://www.sierrastudios.com -------------------------------------------------- Activision Announces Interstate '82 Action gaming will enter a new arena when Activision opens the road to warfare with Interstate '82, the sequel to the best-selling combat-action game Interstate '76. Based on Activision's new, 3D hardware-only game engine, Interstate '82 takes gamers on a high- flying road rage across America in the 1980s, with armed exotic sports cars, motorcycles and '80s-themed environments. Designed for use with Windows 95/98 PCs, Interstate '82 is expected to ship this winter. In Interstate '82, players set out to unravel a conspiracy that brings together the oval office, Central American revolutionaries and would-be presidential assassins. Multi-vehicle gameplay pits players against each other in cars, on foot, in helicopters and on motorcycles as they fight through complex environments such as mines, sewer tunnels, a shopping mall and a unique depiction of Las Vegas. Gamers throttle heavily armed '80s vehicles from exotic sports cars to American clunkers as they seek out and destroy the evil forces lurking at a secret military base, Area 49. More than 30 missions in 20 levels challenge gamers to thwart the efforts of an ultra-secret government faction determined to plunge the nation into chaos. A new game engine makes possible additional gameplay depth, sophisticated AI, and incredibly complex levels. During combat, players may exit their vehicles, canvass the battlefield on foot and jump into a better vehicle. Effects include fog, rain, lightning and snow. The multiplayer component features dynamic joining, new gameplay modes and team cooperative play using combinations of human and AI opponents drivers. Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com. -------------------------------------------------- Alien Fiends Beware -- Blasto Has Arrived Sony Computer Entertainment America has just released Blasto for the PlayStation game console. The character-driven 3D action/platform videogame, created in the tone of 1940s big-studio cartoon features, combines elements of platform, action and shooter games. Blasto boasts large, free-roaming 3D environments and nonlinear gameplay (with no "levels" to break the flow of the action). The game's technical innovations include environment mapping, dynamically lit characters and backgrounds, and interactive music. As parody superhero Captain Blasto, voiced by character actor Phil Hartman, the player is forced to negotiate tricky paths through six diverse environments, solving puzzles and fighting enemies. The ultimate aim? To find the evil Bosc and put an end to his nefarious schemes. Visit http://www.playstation.com -------------------------------------------------- VR-1 to Showcase Multiplayer Online Games at E3 VR-1, Inc., a developer of "massively multiplayer" online entertainment, will showcase its 1998 product lineup at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 28-30 in Atlanta, Georgia. VR-1 will demonstrate the games in Booth# 5667, West Hall, at the Georgia World Congress Center. Among the eight titles to be shown are two previously unannounced titles - Pepelaz and Towers of Fallow. VR-1 will also be showcasing updated versions of Microsoft Fighter Ace, UltraCorps, Nomads of Klanth, The S.A.R.A.C. Project, Rumble in the Void and VR-1 Crossroads. Also, VR-1 prexy Mike Moniz will be speaking on two panels at E3: · International Market Analysis (Friday, May 29 at 10:30), will cover generating revenues in the global marketplace · Creating Mass Access Marketing for Multiplayer Games (Friday, May 29 at 2:45 pm), in which Moniz will share his ideas on how to market multiplayer games to the global online gaming community. The new titles: · Pepelaz is a first-person, futuristic flight game where players take the controls of gunships. Players can construct and defend their own private bases and fly as a squadron to expand territory across the game world and capture other bases. Players can also join the game as a spectator, watch the action, bet on favorite pilots - or offer bribes to join their team. · In Towers of Fallow, each player controls a stone and wood tower with a large-bore cannon perched atop its crown. Players can rotate their cannon 360 degrees, control the elevation of the barrel and dictate the velocity of each shot. The goal is to wage war on neighboring towers and kill. Players can use magic to cast spells to aid themselves or ail their enemies. Towers of Fallow is a different kind of shooter, requiring nerves of steel and a steady shot. Its reported modest latency requirements are said to make it suitable for low-speed modems. VR-1 can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.vr1.com. Interplay Ships Caesars Palace Video Poker Interplay Productions has just released Caesars Palace VIP Series Video Poker Deluxe, their newest casino title for the Windows-based PCs, which features the most commonly found video poker machines in casinos: Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, plus some new ones that are yet to be seen in any casino. Over 100 video poker games in all. The title reportedly showcases authenticated odds verified by Dr. William Bertram, an expert in testing random number generators, providing statistical analysis, verifying casino fidelity. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. --------------------------------------------------


Saudi Prince Invests $200 Million in Teledesic Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia has invested $200 million in telecommunications company Teledesic LLC, which is building a global, broadband "Internet-in-the-sky." Teledesic chairman and co-CEO Craig McCaw and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates are the two primary investors in Teledesic. Alwaleed, 41, says he decided to invest in Teledesic because he shares McCaw's vision of an advanced telecommunications network that will provide high-speed data connections to "parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa, that wouldn't get that broadband capability any other way." Alwaleed, the nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahad, made headlines recently when a $590 million investment he made in Citicorp in 1991 became worth more than $7 billion following the announced merger between Citicorp and Travelers Group Inc. He is Citicorp's largest individual shareholder. Using a constellation of 288 low-Earth-orbit satellites, Teledesic plans to create a network to provide worldwide "fiber-like" access to telecommunications services, such as linking enterprise computing networks, broadband Internet access, videoconferencing and other digital data needs. For additional information, visit http://www.teledesic.com. --------------------------------------------------


Third 3D Design Conference May 19-22 in San Francisco The third annual 3D Design Conference and Exhibition will take place May 19-22 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Speakers and instructors come from film and special effects studios including Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Digital Domain and Pacific Data Images (PDI). Topics of the 60+ technical classes include: animation, modeling characters, architectural modeling, lighting, integrating sound, adding detail to objects with texture mapping, and maximizing features in specific software programs such as Alias|Wavefront, 3D Studio MAX, Electric Image, and LightWave. The keynote speaker at the conference is Tom Turpin, president and CEO, Will Vinton Studios, Wednesday, May 20, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. The general session speakers are Eric Darnell and Larry Guterman, co-directors of "Antz," the first fully computer animated feature film produced by DreamWorks/Pacific Data Images, on Thursday, May 21, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. To order a program guide and list of classes and exhibitors, call 800-789-2223, or fax 888-811-7391. From outside the U.S. call 817-255-8050 or fax 817-255-8070. Complete conference information and registration is available on the Web at http://www.3dshow.com. -------------------------------------------------- Coursey Plans Digital Living Room Conference Upside magazine and David Coursey announce featured speakers to be presented at the Digital Living Room (DLR) conference June 21-24, 1998 at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, CA. The first group of speakers to be announced for the event includes leaders from the media and entertainment community. Additional speakers from the computer and online industries will be announced this week. The three-day executive conference explores issues relating to how the consumer experience will change as the world shifts from analog to digital technology. Applications for products to be shown in the conference demonstration area can be submitted online at http://www.digitallivingroom.com/html/products.html. Register by calling 888-33-UPSIDE or online at http://www.digitallivingroom.com. --------------------------------------------------


About Spectrum Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review. Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 1609 Addison St. #6, Berkeley, CA 94703. If you contact companies or organizations mentioned here, please tell them you saw the news in Spectrum. Thanks. -------------------------------------------------- Please send address changes (with old and new addresses), subscribe and unsubscribe requests etc. to the above address. If you use the Reply function, please do _not_ echo an entire issue of Spectrum with your message. -------------------------------------------------- Publisher's note: We are now accepting limited advertising. If you'd like to offer your company's products or services to Spectrum's elite audience of Internet and multimedia professionals, send an email query to duberman@dnai.com, or telephone 510-549-2894 during West Coast business hours. - David Duberman -------------------------------------------------- ©Copyright 1998 Motion Blur Media. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any for-profit or revenue-generating venue in any form without written permission from the publisher.