Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 4 Jan 99

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
New!!! Check out Spectrum on the Web at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum

Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --YAV Releases Meta Tag Manager --Webmonkey Releases Apache Server Extension Tools for Dreamweaver --Legally Binding E-Commerce Forms Integrate XML and Java --Trapezium's Chisel Optimizes, Validates VRML --Great Hill VraniML Lets Applications Create VRML 2.0 Files IN THE INFOGROOVE --And Now, a Word from Your ISP GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Adobe Ships Real-Time Premiere --Viewpoint Becomes Exclusive Publisher of REM Infográfica 3D Model Bank --MetaCreations Ships New Web-Integrated Photo-Editing Software --PhotoScripter Makes Photoshop AppleScript-aware WEBSIGHTINGS --Web Bits CONSUMER CHANNEL --StepWare Releases AceReader Version 4.0 THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --IDIG Releases Photoshop Learning Video --VRML Consortium Becomes Web3D Consortium --O'Reilly Releases CJKV Information Processing DEALS --Mattel, Learning Company to Merge GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Berkeley Systems' What's The Big Idea? Goes Live on Bezerk --Konami Introduces PlayStation Fighting Game --Baldur's Gate Ships --Sony Announces Legend of Legaia PlayStation RPG --Blue Byte Releases Settlers III Online Multiplayer Demo --Acclaim Ships South Park Video Game for N64 --Close Combat III Goes Gold --3DO Ships BattleTanx; 3D Tank Shooter for N64 --Looking Glass Studios Reveals System Shock 2 Details NUMBEROLOGY --Ultima Online Tops 100,000 Active Players --eWallet Announces 100,000th Download DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Macromedia Flash Named CNET Builder.com Product of the Year --ClipMate Wins SharewareJunkies Best Program Award HAPPENINGS --11th Annual Digital Be-In to Celebrate "Body, Mind and Cyberspace" --Malibu Symposium Offers "Orbital View" of Digital World F.Y.I. --About Spectrum ___________________________________

WEBMEISTER

YAV Releases Meta Tag Manager The Netherlands' YAV Interactive Media recently released Meta Tag Manager ($30), Macintosh software for fine-tuning and optimizing a document's meta tags. This process is said to enhance a page's search engine relevancy ranking and assure that queries that should find a particular page, do in fact find that page. Meta tags are usually not visible in a browser but are used by search engine "spiders" to index and rank a Website or homepage. Meta Tag Manager provides ongoing feedback about how a document's meta tags will be treated by up to 10 search engines (including the top seven). It generates custom advice in English. Clicking the "Update" button can add 10 meta tags auto-formatted in optimum syntax to a document. The "Batch" button lets users conditionally add, append, prepend, or merge tags to a whole group of files. Collect all keywords from a Website. Analyze the interaction between keywords, headings, and body text. Designate often used material to be added automatically to important tags. "Carry over" tags from one file to another. Strip unwanted meta tags. Create "Tag Reports" and much more. Meta Tag Manager is available for download from YAV Interactive Media at http://www.yav.com/MetaTagManager.html. ___________________________________ Webmonkey Releases Apache Server Extension Tools for Dreamweaver Webmonkey (http://www.Webmonkey.com), a Lycos Network site, recently released free custom Apache Web server extension tools for Macromedia Dreamweaver 2. Available for download from the Webmonkey and Dreamweaver (http://www.dreamweaver.com) Web sites, the new tools let Web developers use XSSI (eXtended Server Side Includes) commands for the Apache Web server with a graphical interface within the Dreamweaver editing environment. With more than 1.8 million hosts, the free, open-source Apache server is said to be the most popular Web server in the world. ___________________________________ Legally Binding E-Commerce Forms Integrate XML and Java UWI.Com, a provider of secure XML document solutions for business-to-business e-commerce, claims to have a scheme that lets organizations use XML and Java together to create intelligent, secure, and legally binding XML forms. This facility, incorporated into the 4.1 release of the company's InternetForms Viewer, allows organizations to leverage their knowledge of the Java programming language in the development of XML e-commerce applications. The new InternetForms Function Call Interface (FCI) Java Edition allows integration of Java with InternetForms written in Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL), an open protocol for legally binding XML documents. Java programs can be embedded into InternetForms to extend the programmatic functions native to XFDL. Java can also be used for back-end data integration, batch processing, and dynamic generation of customized transaction documents on the fly. The InternetForms FCI Java Edition functions within the virtual machines provided by both Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. Learn more at http://www.uwi.com or by calling 888/517-2675. ___________________________________ Trapezium's Chisel Optimizes, Validates VRML Creators of VRML looking to make their 3D models work correctly, download faster, and have maximum rendering quality will reportedly benefit from a new $49 Java program called Chisel. Chisel combines technology found in Trapezium's Vorlon, a VRML syntax checker and humanoid model (Avatar) validation tool, with 3D information-processing tools: Diagnostic tools for locating errors, cleaners for converting dangerous and cluttered code to safe and clean code, reducers which reduce file sizes without any change in image quality, and reducers which reduce image sizes by affecting the level of detail desired. Also provided are file reorganizers, a compression tool, and plug-in architecture for additional and third party applications. Chisel features in-depth: http://www.trapezium.com/ChiselFeatures.htm Evaluate Chisel: http://www.trapezium.com/FreeTrialChisel.htm ___________________________________ Great Hill VraniML Lets Applications Create VRML 2.0 Files Great Hill Corporation announces the third public beta release of VRaniML, a C++ class library for reading, writing and rendering VRML 2.0 files. The library supports a range of programming applications, from VRML 2.0 file browsing support to support for the VRML 2.0 execution environment. Download a sample browser and the VRaniML SDK from http://www.greathill.com/vrml.htm. Licenses for commercial re-distribution of the runtime are available by calling (800) 949-3334. ___________________________________

IN THE INFOGROOVE

And Now, a Word from Your ISP If you subscribe to cable TV and enjoy the ads you pay to watch, you'll love this: A new Internet technology is now allowing the Internet service Provider (ISP) to begin showing commercial breaks to their dial-up users with out any user-side software. The technology, AutoNavigation, allows "commercial breaks" to come in the form of pop-up windows along side the user's browser window, while dial-up users are surfing the Web. When installed on the ISP server, it works immediately with all existing users and any type of browser or computer. Auric Web is currently leasing, and selling the technology to ISPs. Stand-alone AutoNavigation is available from $499/month and can be integrated with all types of existing facilities. Additional information and samples are available at http://www.auric.com ___________________________________

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Adobe Ships Real-Time Premiere Just out from Adobe Systems is an enhanced version of Adobe Premiere 5.1 software, its digital video editing program. Called Adobe Premiere RT 5.1, it's aimed at video professionals who want real-time capabilities, and is available only in software/hardware bundles starting at $5,000 from video board manufacturers Pinnacle Systems and Matrox Video Products Group. Adobe Premiere RT software's real-time capabilities, enabled by an expansion of the Media Abstraction Layer in Premiere 5.1, allow video editors to add transitions, apply filters and create 2D and 3D video motion without having to render the effects. Pinnacle Systems will bundle two real-time products with Premiere RT software, ReelTime and ReelTime NITRO, with the latter adding 3D special effects to two channels of D1 video, titling, transitions, chroma, luma and linear keying, plus over 400 special effects. Matrox is bundling Adobe Premiere RT software with the Matrox DigiSuite and DigiSuite LE cards. The DigiSuite platforms offer two streams of D1 video - up to uncompressed-quality - plus 32-bit animated graphics in real time without rendering. Transitions, DVEs, color-correction, keying and video filters can be applied simultaneously to multiple video and graphics layers in real time. Find Adobe online at http://www.adobe.com. ___________________________________ Viewpoint Becomes Exclusive Publisher of REM Infográfica 3D Model Bank Viewpoint DataLabs has signed an agreement with Spain-based REM Infográfica for the exclusive distribution rights to all 3D content in the REM 3D MODELS BANK. Effective with this agreement, the Model Bank will be available exclusively from Viewpoint and its Web site at http://modelbank.viewpoint.com. Model Bank details: * 4,800 Models: The Model Bank contains approximately 1,200 unique 3D models, most available with four levels of detail. * Photorealistic Texture Maps: Each 3D model is available with a detailed texture map for 3D Studio MAX. * Model Categories: 3D models are available in 15 categories including military and civilian vehicles, aircraft, ships, architecture, furnishings, plants, humans and several more. * Software Formats: The 3D models and texture maps were created in 3D Studio MAX and are popular among MAX users worldwide. Many of the models are also available in other widely used 3D software formats. New memberships to the Model Bank are available from Viewpoint at an annual subscription fee of $395. Through the annual membership, individual Model Bank 3D models may be licensed throughout the subscription period at prices ranging from $20 to $70 per model, a substantial discount to non-membership pricing. ___________________________________ MetaCreations Ships New Web-Integrated Photo-Editing Software MetaCreations Corporation has released Kai's Photo Soap 2 ($50, rebates available), a new version of its photo-editing software for correcting photos and creating digital content, such as slide shows that can easily be e-mailed and posted on an Internet home page. The title is available for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms on a hybrid CD. Soap 2 converts digital images to instantly viewable HTML formats, so users can save files directly to a Web site for viewing. An integrated MetaStream format lets users author 3D picture "cubes" for the Web. In addition, Soap 2's PhotoMailer enables emailing interactive photo slide shows. MetaCreations can be reached at http://www.metacreations.com. ___________________________________ PhotoScripter Makes Photoshop AppleScript-aware Main Event Software, a developer of AppleScript authoring and deployment tools, introduces PhotoScripter, which opens up most functions in Photoshop 5 and higher to AppleScript. Through AppleScript syntax and vocabulary, users can perform a large assortment of Photoshop operations: * perform all Photoshop image adjustments * flatten layers * apply Photoshop filters and effects Users can parameterize operations: have operations behave differently for each document in a batch or folder. Use variables, conditional execution, looping, integration with other applications etc. Sample applications include: * crop any number of images to a uniform size by dropping them into a folder in the Finder * drop an image file onto an AppleScript droplet that opens it in Photoshop, extracts an Internet address (stored in the file information), and loads the URL in a Web browser. Find more info at http://www.ThePowerCo.com. ___________________________________

WEBSIGHTINGS

Web Bits WebData 4D (http://www.WebData.com; click on Auctions) from ExperTelligence lets users compare items across auction Web sites eBay, ONSALE, DealDeal, Yahoo! Auctions, Auction Nation, U-Auction-It and CT Auctions ... Sierra Studios and Impressions Software offer assistance to Caesar III players via two cheats - a victory cheat and cash cheat - available at http://www.caesar3.com and http://www.sierrastudios.com ... ___________________________________

CONSUMER CHANNEL

StepWare Releases AceReader Version 4.0 StepWare has released Version 4.0 of AceReader, a $25 Windows program designed to increase reading speed. The new version has multi-line display modes and doubles the number of reading/comprehension tests (the program now offers over 200 tests broken out by grade levels). A new speed algorithm auto-adjusts the speed depending on how much text is displayed. Other new features include the ability to set margins and text widths; the ability to save the clipboard to files; a File menu that remembers the last five files loaded; the capability to select from a list of preconfigured productivity and educational option settings; and auto-saving of all options when program exits. Using AceReader's Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) mode, words are displayed in the center of the text area. According to StepWare, RSVP can be used to read faster than normal because your eyes do not need to move. The software lets users read text from local storate, the Windows clipboard or from the Internet. For more information, phone: (303) 554-7707 Fax: (303) 494-6530; mailto:sales@stepware.com or visit http://www.stepware.com/acereader.html. ___________________________________

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

IDIG Releases Photoshop Learning Video IDIG, Inc. (Interactive Digital Intelligence Group) has released the second video in its new "Photoshop Inside & Out" learning series, "Welcome to Photoshop 5.0 [Part Two]". The two-hour, $60 video is hosted by Photoshop expert and instructor David Biedny. It offers discussions of Advanced Spot Color Channel Techniques, the Channel Mixer, 16-bit operations, the Automate Menu, the Measuring Tool, using Multiple Color Samplers, the 3D Transform Filter, how to Transform Selections and Paths, improvements to Indexed Color and the Profile to Profile command. Find more info at

http://www.photoshopio.com

. ___________________________________ VRML Consortium Becomes Web3D Consortium The VRML Consortium membership recently ratified an expanded charter to include multiple technologies for 3D on the Internet. Previously, the Consortium would consider only VRML-based proposals; but now the invitation is open for other technologies to be considered for standardization. The goal of the new charter is to create a suite of interoperating standards targeted at specific market segments. To reflect this new expanded charter, the consortium is now called the Web3D Consortium. The Web3D Consortium has also initiated an internal process to define an interoperable set of lightweight and extensible component 3D standards for Internet and broadcast applications. This process is expected to promote interoperability with standards such as DHTML, XML, DOM and MPEG-4. The Consortium invites new members and participation from companies who wish to tender standard proposals, and to be involved in the definition of standards to drive the future direction of 3D graphics technology. Interested parties should contact Deepak Kamlani at mailto:dkamlani@inventures.com. More information is available at http://www.vrml.org or http://www.w3d.org. ___________________________________ O'Reilly Releases CJKV Information Processing Ken Lunde's 1993 book "Understanding Japanese Information Processing" was a reference for software developers creating products for the Japanese market. Lunde's new, updated and expanded edition is "CJKV Information Processing (O'Reilly, $64.95). According to Lunde, "Not only are all the Japanese portions revised and updated, but now the book covers Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese sections. It includes exhaustive descriptions of scripts, character sets, and encoding. It provides a brief description of the writing systems, a thorough background of the history and current state of character sets, detailed information on encoding methods, code conversion techniques, input methods, keyboard arrays, font formats typography, output methods, algorithms and sample source code. It covers how writing systems impact Internet resources such as the Web, HTML, XML, Java, and Adobe Acrobat." Appendices cover code conversion tables, character set tables, and character set indexes, mapping tables, Perl code examples, and a glossary. For more detailed information, see http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/cjkvinfo/ ___________________________________

DEALS

Mattel, Learning Company to Merge In case you were away during the month of December, you may not have heard that The Learning Company plans to merge with Mattel, Inc. Based on the closing price of Mattel common stock on Friday, December 11, 1998, the transaction would be valued at approximately $3.8 billion. Find The Learning Company at http://www.learningco.com. ___________________________________

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Berkeley Systems' What's The Big Idea? Goes Live on Bezerk Sierra-owned Berkeley Systems' What's the Big Idea?, a new multiplayer game, recently went live on Bezerk (http://www.bezerk.com) and the World Opponent Network (WON). What's the Big Idea? questions have no right or wrong answers. The better a player predicts how the other players will answer, the faster he or she can climb up the pyramid. However, not all of the pyramid's steps are created equal. Players must tread carefully to avoid being stopped in their tracks on a Stun Step or losing a turn by hitting a Sticky Step. Other obstacles include the Mystery Step as well as fully animated Storms that can launch Meteors, Ions and Tornadoes towards the top of the pyramid and land a player right back where they started. Cautious players may be interested in purchasing the insurance available for protection against these sudden changes in the weather. When one of the players reaches the top of the pyramid a Blowout round will ensue with players competing for the chance to move multiple steps. The World Opponent Network (WON), http://www.won.net, is a free online gaming environment launched earlier this year. WON offers online games and content from software developers and publishing companies such as Sierra, GT Interactive, EPG Multimedia, Kellogg Creek, GameSpot, Prima Publishing and others. ___________________________________ Konami Introduces PlayStation Fighting Game Konami of America has shipped Kensei-Sacred Fist, a 3D fighting game for the Sony PlayStation. Play modes include training, time attack, VS, watch, normal and survival, each with its own set of goals and objectives, ranging from one-on-one combat to competition for the best time. In addition, a new 'catch and counter' feature lets gamers block attacks or redirect their opponent, enabling a surprise attack from behind. Find more on the Web at

http://www.konami.com

. ___________________________________ Baldur's Gate Ships Just before the holiday break, Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game (RPG) division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. announced the release of Baldur's Gate. The title is shipping to software retailers on five CD-ROMs for Windows 95/98-based computers. Baldur's Gate was developed by the Alberta, Canada-based software company, BioWare Corp., and will support up to six different players in its Internet-based multi-player mode and also provides for solo play. Set in the Sword Coast region of the Forgotten Realms AD&D campaign setting, the story begins with looming economic strife and mysterious murders terrifying the local residents of the city of Baldur's Gate. This causes local leaders to point the finger at the neighboring nation of Amn. War seems imminent, and the player's character is thrust into the dangerous regional conflict to unravel the mystery with a party of adventurers. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. ___________________________________ Sony Announces Legend of Legaia PlayStation RPG This March, Sony Computer Entertainment America plans to release Legend of Legaia, a role playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation game console. Developed by SCEA-owned Contrail, the title combines a fighting system with non-linear 3D world exploration. The "Tactical Arts System" is based on the battle systems traditionally found in fighting games. Features include: * polygonal characters that throw punches and kicks that land realistically on the enemy * special moves combining physical and magical attacks * 3D environments where characters and enemies move through and hold their last position of attack * 3D enemies that react and attack with a full range of motion * 3D magic effects, armor and weapon graphics that are visible in combat mode Visit http://www.playstation.com ___________________________________ Blue Byte Releases Settlers III Online Multiplayer Demo Blue Byte Software has released its Settlers III online multiplayer demo. This demo supercedes the previously released single-player version, as it contains both the single-player mission, tutorial and condensed multiplayer options, playable over a LAN or via the Internet. It gives gamers the chance to meet within the Settlers III Lobby Server. The demo can be found at http://www.settlers3.com. ___________________________________ Acclaim Ships South Park Video Game for N64 Acclaim Entertainment recently shipped the South Park video game for Nintendo 64. Developed with the input of the show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the "adventure" game (actually, it's a first-person shooter) unfolds in five single-player episodes. South Park features voices recorded for the game by Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Isaac Hayes. Gamers can choose to play as Kyle, Stan, Cartman or Kenny in single-player mode, or select from 20 South Park characters in multiplayer mode. The story begins when a mysterious and evil comet is discovered to be heading right for the quiet little town of South Park. The comet causes all kinds of silly mayhem: turkeys revolt and wreak havoc, robots attack the townspeople, and aliens abduct the town's cows. It is up to Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan to save the day and bring peace to South Park using a host of gadgets including a Cow Launcher, Sniper Chicken, snowballs, Terrance and Phillip dolls, and everyone's favorite - Mr. Hankey, the Christmas poo. Along the way, players encounter all of South Park's classic characters - Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat, Big Gay Al, Mephisto, and Chef. Check out the sweet action at http://www.acclaim.net. ___________________________________ Close Combat III Goes Gold Microsoft expects to ship Close Combat III: The Russian Front (US$55) in late January. The game puts players in command of a "fire brigade" of soldiers on the Eastern Front, spanning the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union through the gates of Moscow, the factory complex of Stalingrad, and to the 1945 fall of Berlin. CC3 is said to feature real-time, historically accurate warfare at the squad level along with psychological elements. Playing either the Soviet or German side, gamers are challenged to out-think and out-fight their opponent while keeping their troops alive. They start as low-ranking commanders and manage unit upgrade and maintenance as they attempt to advance in rank and acquire more troops and equipment. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/closecombat/. ___________________________________ 3DO Ships BattleTanx; 3D Tank Shooter for N64 Trip Hawkins' 3DO Company has released BattleTanx, its first video game title for the Nintendo 64. An action shooter with 3D tank combat, BattleTanx features multiple camera perspectives and one- to four-player battles. "What really sets this game apart from the other titles out there is the incredibly intense action in both single and multiplayer games," said Hawkins. "The game also features some of the most beautifully rendered pyrotechnics ever seen on the Nintendo 64. Hyper-real explosions, fire and smoke effects, plus missile and shell projectiles with smoke trails make this one wild ride." Other upcoming products from the company include Army Men 3D for the PlayStation game console, Heroes of Might and Magic III, Requiem: Avenging Angel, Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor and High Heat Baseball 2000 for the PC. More information can be found at http://www.3do.com. ___________________________________ Looking Glass Studios Reveals System Shock 2 Details Entertainment software developer Looking Glass Studios recently announced details about the character generation and development systems in its forthcoming science fiction/horror role-playing game, System Shock 2. Co-developed by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games, a development studio comprised of former Looking Glass Studios employees and members of the original System Shock development team, System Shock 2 is being co-published by Looking Glass Studios and Electronic Arts. System Shock 2 will feature an in-engine character-generation system. Players determine the initial abilities, traits and skills of their character by making active decisions in the first-person 3D environment. These elements are then developed throughout the course of the game with the player focusing on one, or any combination of, the following areas: * Psionic skills let characters alter the world around them. Examples include Cryokinesis, the ability to freeze the air surrounding an enemy; Electro-Dampen, which short-circuits cybernetic and robotic foes; and Enrage Power, which turns enemies against each other. * Cyber-tech skills let players hack into security systems, repair damaged computers and research advanced alien technologies. Players who do not develop Cyber-Tech Skills run the risk of breaking weapons or setting off security systems. * Weapons skills let players modify, configure and repair weapons and select from a wide variety of ammunition types including incendiary, dumdum and discarding sabot armor piercing. More information about Irrational Games can be found at http://www.irrational-games.com. ___________________________________

NUMBEROLOGY

Ultima Online Tops 100,000 Active Players Electronic Arts-owned ORIGIN Systems claims its Ultima Online is the largest paying online-only game community in the world. As of December, more than 100,000 consumers each pay US$ 9.95 per month to play in the persistent, online, medieval/fantasy role-playing game. EA recently established additional servers in Japan and the United Kingdom. In October, the company shipped Ultima Online: The Second Age, which adds new worlds, monsters and an in-game chat feature that supports player creation and moderation of player conferences, plus an on-the-fly language translator to facilitate international players. Interesting facts include: * More than 50 percent of registered users play every day. * Player activities/skills run the gamut from adventuring to commerce. Popular skills include tracking, camping, animal taming, snooping, forensic evaluation, blacksmithing, mining, tailoring, lumberjacking, animal herding and carpentry. * Players participate from every time zone in the world, including such faraway places as Calcutta, India, and the Solomon Islands. More information can be found at http://www.ultimaonline.com. ___________________________________ eWallet Announces 100,000th Download If you're more concerned with hard electronic commerce than in online gaming (see above story), maybe you'll find this interesting: eWallet said December 22 that over 100,000 consumers had downloaded the eWallet program since its December 1 launch. eWallet is a PC program said to let consumers make safe, secure purchases anywhere on the Web with a single click. As for usage, CEO Bill Gross said they'd seen "thousands of consumers complete transactions ..." eWallet is stored on a user's PC, and is compatible with existing credit and debit cards. Consumers enter their billing and shipping information in their eWallet once, and when they encounter a checkout screen at an e-commerce site, they click on their wallet, enter their PIN and drag the credit card of choice over to the form. All of the credit card and shipping information is entered automatically. eWallet is available from http://www.ewallet.com. ___________________________________

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Macromedia Flash Named CNET Builder.com Product of the Year Macromedia's Web publishing products took top honors at CNET's Builder.com Live! Conference in New Orleans last month, with Macromedia Flash named Builder.com's 1998 Product of the Year and Best Animation Tool. CNET's Builder.com also named Macromedia Dreamweaver the Best WYSIWYG HTML Editor. For more information, visit http://www.flash.com and http://www.dreamweaver.com. ___________________________________ ClipMate Wins SharewareJunkies Best Program Award ClipMate, a utility for enhancing the native clipboard functionality of the Windows operating system available at http://www.thornsoft.com, won the Best Program of the Year honors in the 1999 SharewareJunkies.com Awards. ClipMate was also named Best Windows Program in the third annual awards, sponsored by Web site SharewareJunkies.com. The SharewareJunkies.com Awards were voted on by a global audience of shareware enthusiasts who cast their ballots during November and December for the best new programs among the four top operating systems: Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and DOS. A new award, celebrating the Best Freeware Program, was introduced in this year's voting. Other winners include: * Best Macintosh Program: DragThing, an application dock designed to better organize the icons on the Macintosh desktop. From James Thomson, Cork, Ireland; http://www.dragthing.com. * Best OS/2 Program: Command AntiVirus, an anti-virus software for network and desktop applications. From Command Software Systems Inc., Jupiter, Florida; http://www.commandcom.com. * Best DOS Program: PcDesk, a personal information management program for tracking appointments and organizing schedules. From WellsCom, Clearwater, Florida; http://members.aol.com/wellscom/pcdesk.htm. * Best Freeware Program: NoteTab, an HTML editor for Windows 95, 98 and NT4. >From Fookes Software, Geneva, Switzerland, http://www.notetab.com. * Artistic Achievement Award: The Sync, Laurel, Maryland (http://www.thesync.com), for pioneering achievements in the Webcast presentation of original programming to a global Internet audience. * Special Achievement Award: Data Fellows, Espoo, Finland (http://www.datafellows.com), for groundbreaking innovations in encryption and anti-virus technologies. For more information, mailto:info@sharewarejunkies.com or visit at http://www.sharewarejunkies.com. ___________________________________

HAPPENINGS

11th Annual Digital Be-In to Celebrate "Body, Mind and Cyberspace" Verbum, Inc., multimedia developer and event producer, announces the 11th Annual Digital Be-In will take place January 9, 7 pm to 2 am at the SOMARTS Gallery, 929 Brannan Street @ 9th Street, San Francisco, in conjunction with Macworld Expo. The Be-In combines musical performances, exhibits, speakers and an immersive environment composed of interactive art and the computer-driven light shows of the digital age. Following a tradition of socially conscious themes, the 11th Be-In's theme "Body, Mind & Cyberspace" is encouraging attendees (both physical and virtual) to take a hard look at what works and doesn't work in the digital realm, with an eye towards building a more human civilization in the 21st Century. "This year the Be-In poses questions about physical and mental health as we integrate the unfolding realm of cyberspace into our psyches, families and societies," states Michael Gosney, president of Verbum and founder of the Digital Be-In. "As part of this theme, we are providing a platform for the launch of the Drug Peace Campaign, a newly formed political action committee and web channel at http://www.drugpeace.org. Since many of the most prominent and prolific leaders of the computer industry, in particular the multimedia and Internet fields, have been and continue to be inspired by psychedelic drugs, we are calling upon these leaders to take a stand on this vital theme and contribute to developing peaceful alternatives to the drug war." The event will feature a variety of speakers and live musical performances, as well as rave-style trance, ambient and drum 'n bass rooms with thematic decorations. On the main stage, Bay Area favorites 0the Venusians return to the Be-In with their cosmic electro-pop sound. Other acts include cyber-vixen Joie Favre, Craig Russo of Seedpod Records, Arc Angel Gabe Real of Future Breaks FM and Galactic Dreamspell. Speakers addressing the "Body, Mind and Cyberspace" and "Drug Peace" themes include John Perry Barlow, computer industry pundit and cultural commentator; Mike Gray, author of Drug Crazy; Chris Conrad, author, hemp expert, director of Family Center on Drug Awareness, editorial contributor to the DrugPeace Web Channel; Bruce Eisner, author and founder of Psychedelic Island Views magazine; Ralph Metzner, respected consciousness researcher, professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies since 1975; Jane Piper, founder of Next School; Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML and David Borden, director of the Drug Reform Coalition Network. The event will be netcast, as it has been for the past three years, at http://www.be-in.com, where you can also find ticket info, etc. ___________________________________ Malibu Symposium Offers "Orbital View" of Digital World A symposium entitled "Radical Connectionism and the Visualization of Network Programs" will be hosted by Elfnet, Inc., from January 16 to 17 in Malibu, opening with a formal session on the campus of Pepperdine University, Saturday 16 January, noon to 6. The conference, chaired by ELFNET scientific advisor Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, will assemble an interdisciplinary group of experts to explore the promise of network and software construction methods that can be graphically visualized and manipulated. Keynote speakers on Saturday are: * Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Herson, Co-Founder and Dean Emeritus, The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, Malibu. Topic: "What referential philosophy forsees for a networked world: Reference as the basis for communication and communion." * Mark Pesce, Visiting Professor of Interactive Media, School of Cinema & Television, University of Southern California. Co-creator of Virtual Reality Modeling Language. Topic: "The Sensuous and the Visible " * Jerry Pournelle, NASA space systems engineer and author of over 20 books of science fiction and social forecasting. Topic: "Building software like assembling an international space station in orbit." The symposium will showcase thinking on how to make large-scale systems (including online interactive multimedia) lucidly comprehensible and evolvable through graphically representable connective form, as a basic development approach. Radical Connectionism, as exemplified by eLPHIN, Elfnet's software, results in a unification of disparate branches of computing: databases, program structures, interactive presentations, data flow, and models of communication networks--in a vast simplification that will assure digital globalization remains reliable, coherent, comprehensible and fixable as it grows. The Symposium is free of charge and open to invited industry participants, related academics and members of the press. A complete prospectus is accessible on the Web at http://elfnet.com/symposium. Those interested in joining may contact Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, mailto:fiorella@fiorella.com, or call (310) 317-1413. ___________________________________

F.Y.I.

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, 2233 Jefferson Ave., 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 mailto:duberman@dnai.com, or telephone 510-549-2894 during West Coast business hours. - David Duberman -------------------------------------------------- (c)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.
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