Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 19 January 1998

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
Correction In last week's Spectrum, in the item entitled "Nosferatu, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Available for Free Download," we omitted the site's URL. It is: http://thesync.com/ondemand
Today's Headlines (details below) WEBMEISTER --Web Tools to Support Beatnik --Elemental Updates Drumbeat Web Assembly Tool DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Macromedia Announces Pathware 3 Training Management System IN THE INFOGROOVE --New Site Offers Innovative Web Navigation, Search Tools --Interport Offers $10/month POP-only Accounts --AdKnowledge Announces ClickWise Version 2 --Crypto Conference Told to 'Pillage First, Then Burn' GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --MetaCreations Ships LogoMotion 2.1, Final Effects Complete --Credo Interactive Offers 3D Animation Bundle --VIDI Announces Character-Animation Strata StudioPro Plug-In --3DS MAX Dancing Baby Becomes Web,TV Phenom WEBSIGHTINGS --Cool Tools of '97 --Site Offers Tips on School Site Development --Leisure Suit Larry to Open Online Casino TECHNOTES --Diamond Expands Monster Sound Line THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --DataMerge Announces VC Insiders Database DEALS --Strata, IBM Team to Refine 3D/DV Production Pipeline --Macromedia, Oracle to Combine Efforts on Open Enterprise Learning Standards --Top Gaming Industry Companies Join GOD Team GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --New Interplay RPG Uses Descent 3D Engine --Psygnosis Releases PlayStation Shadow Master, Announces 3D Platformer --LucasArts Announces Jedi Knight Missions Disc --Ubi Soft Announces Motorcycle Racing Game for PC NUMBEROLOGY --Live Picture Secures $22 Million Funding DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Web Review's Meyer Appointed to W3C CSS Group --Interplay U.K. Names Former Eidos Exec to New Post F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

Web Tools to Support Beatnik Thomas Dolby (Robertson)'s San Mateo, Calif.-based Headspace Inc. announced that Macromedia Dreamweaver, NetObjects Fusion, and Random Noise Coda have each added support for Headspace's Beatnik technology in their Web site authoring tools. Beatnik is designed to enable sound effects and high-fidelity stereo music files to be woven into a Web page, resulting, claims Headspace, in a more compelling and personalized user experience. Beatnik's inclusion in high-level HTML authoring tool packages now makes these interactive features available to Web page designers via a drag-and-drop interface. Rather than sending rigid sound files (cf RealAudio), Beatnik plays arrays of tiny 'packets' of audio via a real-time software synthesizer. These sound packets can be located anywhere on the Net and then reconstituted on the client machine as the user browses a Web page, resulting in flowing, high-fidelity music that responds directly to the user's input. Beatnik files also include 40-bit encrypted copyright information, giving increased protection to composers and music publishers. Analysts have noted that Headspace's audio technology will achieve a high degree of ubiquity following the release of Java 1.2 later this year. Sun Microsystems licensed Headspace's code in 1997 to be the core sound driver in Java. Once applications such as Netscape Communicator become Java 1.2 compliant, Java-enabled desktops will support Beatnik-compatible files directly, doing away with the need for a plug-in. Additional information can be found at http://www.headspace.com. -------------------------------------------------- Elemental Updates Drumbeat Web Assembly Tool Elemental Software will debut the prerelease edition of Drumbeat 2.0, their Web assembly tool, at the Microsoft Web TechEd Conference on January 26. Drumbeat delivers the following in a visual drag-and-drop environment: · Real-time database integration: Access, update, insert and delete data from databases in real time. Version 2.0 will add support for Microsoft IIS and SiteServer platforms in addition to its support for Netscape LiveWire. · Layout inheritance: Make a change to a template at any level in the page hierarchy and subordinate pages are automatically updated to reflect the change. · Total cross-browser, cross-platform publishing: Create sites which serve up pages for multiple versions of Microsoft and Netscape browsers, without creating separate code for each. For further information: http://www.drumbeat.com/ --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Macromedia Announces Pathware 3 Training Management System Macromedia is now shipping Pathware 3, a technology-based learning development and management system for the enterprise. The Internet-based, Computer Managed Instruction (CMI) system can reportedly deliver content and track training results using the latest version of the AICC standard--the only open standard for technology-based learning systems in production in the world today. Using Pathware 3, training managers and instructional designers can manage the training process, from assembling, assigning, and delivering curricula to tracking, storing, and reporting student progress. Pathware 3 also lets developers deploy and track training content on LANs, local hard drives, CD-ROMs, and now on the Internet and intranets. Training content can be developed in virtually any authoring environment, including Macromedia's Authorware and Director products, and run on a LAN over the Internet with virtually no change to the content. Pathware 3 uses an open-training system architecture that supports the leading Web authoring choices including Java, HTML, and Macromedia Shockwave. Additionally, users can incorporate both off-the-shelf content and internally developed content for maximum flexibility. It stores students' results in a single enterprise database, regardless of authoring tools or delivery options. Pathware 3's feature set also includes curriculum and scoring management, multiple language support, student and course administration, flexible enrollment, integrated email, and comprehensive reporting. For information about availability and pricing, contact Macromedia at 1-800-288-0571. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

New Site Offers Innovative Web Navigation, Search Tools OneSeek Corporation has launched OneSeek.com, a new Website with two unique new features. WebChains allow users to navigate through groups of related Websites using familiar VCR-style controls, and the OneSeek Parallel Search Machine lets users query the major search engines, as well as top content sites in a variety of categories, simultaneously. OneSeek WebChains are implemented as pop-up windows which contain familiar "Forward", "Back" and "Fast Forward" buttons. Users can use the controls to browse through groups of related sites. OneSeek.com includes a variety of predefined WebChains. Individual users can create their own WebChains and then bookmark them for future use. In addition, Webmasters can add WebChains to their sites as an alternative to a simple list of links. The "Fast Forward" feature lets users automatically surf through a group of sites without the need to touch the keyboard or mouse, specifying how much time to spend at each site. The OneSeek Parallel Search Machine allows users to execute a search query on a number of Websites simultaneously and then view the results side-by-side. The Search Machine can contact the major search engines, but can also be used to search content sites in a variety of specific categories. Category searches often produce higher quality results than general Web searches because the query is executed directly on sites which specialize in an information category. Currently available search categories include news, business, sports, entertainment, travel, politics, health, stocks, software technical support, shareware/downloads, UseNet, and Web publishing. The OneSeek WebChains and Search Machine are free and available now at http://www.oneseek.com. -------------------------------------------------- Interport Offers $10/month POP-only Accounts Email is the single most popular activity on the Internet; it's the activity that the entire online community engages in on a daily basis. Interport is offering email- or POP-only accounts for only $10 a month, less than half the price of a traditional dial-up connection. Included with accounts are the basic functions of electronic mail: sending, receiving, forwarding, printing and replying to messages. In addition one receives an address book and access to newsgroups. For more information, visit http://www.interport.net. -------------------------------------------------- AdKnowledge Announces ClickWise Version 2 AdKnowledge, Inc. announces the availability of ClickWise 2, the newest version of its ad management software for Web sites. ClickWise 2 delivers enhanced inventory management, and adds affiliate reporting, customizable reporting, a four-fold increase in throughput, and central ad serving to its real-time, intelligent ad management. AdKnowledge, Inc. was formed as a result of the merger of ClickOver and Focalink Communications. ClickWise 2 is said to automatically optimize a Web site's ad inventory in real time. Balancing contractual obligations to advertisers, ad targeting constraints and user information, it selects the optimal ad from the site's inventory to serve to each particular visitor. This prevents ads from being either under- or over-delivered while enabling precise targeting of ads through user-definable criteria. In addition to generating performance reports by ad or ad campaign, ClickWise 2 can detail how ads performed within a content group (e.g., which ads performed the best in the sports area of the Web site) or for a given content or network affiliate. ClickWise 2 will be available by the end of January from the AdKnowledge Web site, http://www.adknowledge.com. For sites serving more than 10,000 ads per day, annual licenses start at $5,000. -------------------------------------------------- Crypto Conference Told to 'Pillage First, Then Burn' "Compress first, then encrypt," Hi/fn vice president Robert Monsour told the RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco last week. Encrypting data prematurely makes compression impossible, he said. To avoid this problem, an Internet working group recently approved a new protocol specification for using compression with encryption, Monsour said. Compression works by finding repetitive patterns in data and replacing them with shorter tokens. Encryption works by hiding any discernible patterns in data. For this reason, compression must precede encryption. "In other words," Monsour said, "Pillage first, then burn." Monsour is a member of the Internet Engineering Task Force's IP Payload Compression Protocol (IPPCP) Working Group, which forwarded on January 5 a protocol specification for review by the Internet Engineering Steering Group. The IPPCP working group was formed to study the problem of higher-level encryption protocols, such as IP Security (IPSec), nullifying the effectiveness of lower-level compression protocols, such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). The newly proposed IPPCP protocol describes how to perform compression before encryption during IPSec. The proposed protocol can be obtained from ftp://ds.internic.net/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-ippcp-protocol-04.txt. The group's charter is on ftp://ds.internic.net/ietf/ippcp/. --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

MetaCreations Ships LogoMotion 2.1, Final Effects Complete MetaCreations Corporation is shipping LogoMotion 2.1 for Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh. Created for multimedia artists, business presenters and Web designers, the $99 title enables the creation of 3D logos and animated text without a high learning curve. Over 700 pre-animated cameras, lights and models remove the need to keyframe animations in LogoMotion 2.1. Other ease-of-use features include a palette of textures, lights and props and an intuitive interface. MetaCreations also announced Final Effects Complete (US $1,195), a new production tool in the video special effects category for both Windows 95/NT (coming soon) and Power Macintosh (now shipping). Combining features from MetaCreations' Final Effects and Studio Effects together with 14 new filters, multiprocessor support and new controls, Final Effects Complete comprises 60 plug-in filters and transitions. The heart of Final Effects Complete is its ability to generate 2D and 3D particle animations within After Effects. These particle filters will enable video editors to generate rain, snow, fire, smoke, ball action, explosions, distortions, jet trails, hair, liquid mercury distortions, spotlights, color transitions and other video effects. For more information, see Spectrum, 22 December 1997, or visit http://www.metacreations.com. -------------------------------------------------- Credo Interactive Offers 3D Animation Bundle Credo Interactive Inc. has just released PowerMoves I, a CD-ROM animation library. PowerMoves complements Credo's Life Forms movement software. The regular price for Life Forms v2.1 is $299 and for PowerMoves I is $249, but until February 13, Credo is offering a "professional bundle" at $397 US. . Life Forms is a standalone software tool that exports animation and model data to Infini-D, ElectricImage, Extreme3D, 3D Studio, Pixel Putty, mocap data, and any 3D program which supports BioVision, Acclaim, or VRML1&2 formats. Support for LightWave 3D and 3D Studio MAX is currently in development. PowerMoves I is a CD-ROM collection of 3D animation sequences that complements the Life Forms movement software. It has over 600 keyframed single and multi-figure animation sequences including office moves, sports, dance, walking, running and pedestrian motions. Also included are basic model shapes as starters and to guide custom model building. For details, go to http://www.credo-interactive.com -------------------------------------------------- VIDI Announces Character-Animation Strata StudioPro Plug-In California-based Visual Information Development Inc. (VIDI) is creating a new character animation extension for StudioPro, Strata's modeling, rendering, and animation package. VIDI's 3D morphing technology will provide StudioPro with facial animation, muscle flexing, character reshaping, and lip-synching capabilities. The plug-in will be developed first for the Power Macintosh platform, followed by a Windows version. VIDI's plug-in, which features intuitive slider controls and instant preview capability, will work within StudioPro's existing animation framework as a dynamic object modifier. Independent facial movements, hand gestures, and any other body actions can be synched together into an "expression" and saved for future use. An entire library of such expressions that portray anger, joy, surprise, fear, etc. can then be mixed and matched in any combination and applied to a character model to achieve lifelike results. Find Strata online at http://www.strata3d.com -------------------------------------------------- 3DS MAX Dancing Baby Becomes Web, TV Phenom San Francisco-based Kinetix announced that Dancing Baby, a gyrating diaper-clad infant, makes a return television appearance tonight (Monday) on Fox TV series "Ally McBeal." Created for Kinetix by Unreal Pictures using Character Studio 3D animation software, Dancing Baby has grown popular on many Web sites as animators and students have created customized and humorous versions of the churning, grooving tot. Originally named Baby Cha-Cha, Dancing Baby was sent to customers in 1997 as an example of the advanced 3D character animation that can be created using Character Studio. Since then, graphics enthusiasts around the world have used the Internet to share the 3D model with others who develop their own versions of Dancing Baby. Although no official count exists, today there are more than a dozen different versions of Dancing Baby available via the Internet, including Kickboxing Baby, Rasta Baby, Retro Baby, Psycho Baby and Techno Baby. One Web site even featured a contest to determine the song best suited to accompany Dancing Baby. To view samples of Dancing Baby - including the original Baby Cha-Cha and some of the latest versions - visit Kinetix at http://www.ktx.com --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

Cool Tools of '97 One of our favorite Web sites is Cool Tool (http://www.cooltool.com), which provides a brief review of a great new Internet tool every day. While exploring the site recently, we discovered their Cool Tool Best of 1997 Awards and Review page (http://www.cooltool.com/previous/010198.html), which covers such gems as Macromedia's DreamWeaver (Cool Tool of the Year) and Alexa (Best Reason to Believe that People Aren't All Idiots). Other cool categories include: Best reason to smack yourself upside the head and scream "Why hadn't anyone thought of this before!"; Best Reason To Give Bill the Finger and Use a Mac Server; and Best Streaming Media Tool (Emblaze Creator, Audio, and Video). Of course, our favorite is Best Reason to Believe that Journalists Aren't All Idiots, which refers to Dana Blankenhorn's A Clue...To Internet Commerce site. -------------------------------------------------- Site Offers Tips on School Site Development The ASD Web Site Advisors Guide, sponsored by Apple Computer and the American School Directory (ASD), is a guide to planning and preparing a school Web site. Teachers and educators can find the free guide in the Resource section of the American School Directory at http://www.asd.com. The Web Site Advisors Guide goes through a step-by-step process of developing a school Web site. It begins by explaining why a Web site is important. A school Web site is not only valuable to the students and teachers at the school, but also to parents, extended family members, and to the community as a whole. The Guide then gives tips on what kind of information should be placed on a school site. The text and images should work together to best present the school and its community. This Guide was written by Jim and Kathi Lengel of Southborough, Mass. Mrs. Lengel is a former school principal for 11 years, and now conducts Staff Development courses for Apple Computer. Mr. Lengel is a former Deputy Commissioner of Education, and now teaches multimedia communication at Boston University. Locate the Web Site Advisors Guide at http://www.asd2.com/resources/advisor.html. For more information about the Web Site Advisors Guide or the American School Directory, contact Tom Wiley at 1-800-929-4470 or send mailto:twiley@asd.com. -------------------------------------------------- Leisure Suit Larry to Open Online Casino Sierra On-Line has named Leisure Suit Larry manager of his very own gambling resort, Leisure Suit Larry's Casino, scheduled for a May 1998 grand opening. Available to armchair gamblers on Windows 95 CD-ROM, Larry's Casino is a gambler's paradise with table games, slots, poker, and some unique online multiplayer games. Casino players will be able to challenge computerized opponents from previous Leisure Suit Larry adventure games or play against live opponents via WON, Cendant's online gaming service at http://www.won.net. "When that 'venture capitalist' called me with his shady, masked voice and offered me my own casino, I was wired! It's not every day a guy like me gets an offer he can't refuse!" exclaimed Larry Laffer from his basement penthouse apartment in his new casino. "My casino is the coolest! Where else does everybody gamble in hot tubs?" Online winnings are paid in "Larrybucks," which can also be spent on virtual gifts, virtual drinks, virtual food and even a visit to the Quiki-Wed Chapel, where invited online guests share a virtual wedding, "Vegas-style," featuring Leisure Suit Larry's famous Elvis impersonation. Once players lose their starting bankroll, they must earn money back through a unique set of party games. Larry's Comedy Club offers an interactive, online joke-telling contest where players tip the joke-teller with Larrybucks. Group Grope is a group story-writing game where participants write lines of an ongoing story and the funniest line wins both Larrybucks and fame. (The funniest stories will be accessible on the casino's Web site library.) In Pick Me Up! players compete to write the best pick-up line. And You Don't Know Dick! is an online word definition game where players compete to write the funniest definition. For more information, visit the online brochure at http://www.sierra.com/lslcasino. --------------------------------------------------

TECHNOTES

Diamond Expands Monster Sound Line Diamond Multimedia Systems has added two new products to the company's Monster Sound family of positional 3D audio accelerators. Diamond's new audio products include Monster Sound, model M80, a low-end audio accelerator targeted at gamers, mainstream PC users and Internet surfers; and Monster Sound, model MX200, with additional high-end features for PC gaming enthusiasts. Diamond's Monster Sound M80, priced at $99.95 estimated retail price (ERP), began shipping this week. It delivers positional 3D audio and features PCI acceleration, a software bundle, hardware wavetable synthesis and playback through two speakers or headphones. Monster Sound MX200, expected to begin shipping in March with an ERP of $149.95, offers 64-voice hardware wavetable synthesizer for MIDI-intensive game soundtracks. Diamond says model MX200's 64-voice wavetable synthesis is entirely hardware based, unlike many sound cards which claim "true" 64-voice wavetable synthesis, yet really employ a substantially less powerful combination of hardware and software synthesis. The Monster Sound MX200 also features audio playback capability through two or four speakers and headphones. Mine Diamond online at http://www.diamondmm.com --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

DataMerge Announces VC Insiders Database Need big bucks for your new biz? DataMerge, Inc., a Denver-based developer of software and information for companies seeking financing, has released VentureTrack 2000, a software package containing profiles and proprietary "insider" information on hundreds of venture capital firms throughout North America. The VentureTrack 2000 CD-ROM Infobase gives entrepreneurs and small business owners "insider" information, education and advice critical to establishing business relationships with specific venture capitalists and securing financing from them. The software lets users find the firms that optimally fit their needs by identifying links between their company and the interests of the venture capitalists. VentureTrack 2000's "Inside Track" section then instructs users on custom tailoring their business plan and presentation to each venture capital firm. Specific questions, concerns and objections that a given firm will likely raise and good responses for each are also provided to VentureTrack 2000 users. VentureTrack 2000 supports Windows 95 and Windows NT. The time-limited introductory price is $495. VentureTrack 2000 can be ordered by calling (800) 580-1188. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.datamerge.com/venturetrack.html --------------------------------------------------

DEALS

Strata, IBM Team to Refine 3D/DV Production Pipeline St. George, Utah-based Strata Inc. is collaborating with IBM's Professional Workstation Group to develop a cross-platform "production pipeline" concept for 3D multimedia and digital video. Strata, which historically has published software primarily for the Macintosh, is launching Windows versions of its 3D modeling, rendering and animation package, StudioPro, as well as its paint program MediaPaint and its desktop video editor VideoShop. All are set to be completed in 1998. Strata and IBM engineers are working out the details to allow the Strata family of programs to be linked through a shared network. The network will consist of two or more IntelliStation M Pro machines -- each with dual Pentium II processors running at up to 300 MHz -- a shared disk array, and high-speed common connections provided by Pathlight Technology, Inc. Find Strata online at http://www.strata3d.com -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia, Oracle to Combine Efforts on Open Enterprise Learning Standards Macromedia and Oracle Corp. plan to collaborate on the Reusable Content Objects (RCO) format for online learning and enterprise learning standards. RCO promotes a granular, component-based content model that allows learners to access custom learning tracks that meet their exact needs. It also promotes development of learning content in small topics that can be used in learning and performance support scenarios. RCO will allow curriculum builders to locate and reuse relevant learning content. Reuse has long eluded the content development industry. Macromedia and Oracle are involved in several industry standards efforts including the AICC, Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL), IEEE, the Learning Object Metadata Group, and XML to promote and implement useable standards. "Due to the lack of interoperability, a lot of developers are having great difficulty because the different Web-based training delivery tools don't work together," said Ellen Julian, Manager, Training and Education Research, IDC Research. "Interoperability is the key. An open standard that allows organizations to mix content from different vendors is imperative for this industry to satisfy the training needs of the future." -------------------------------------------------- Top Gaming Industry Companies Join GOD Team Mike Wilson, CEO of Gathering of Developers, a computer game publishing company, announced that several of the industry's leading developers have joined the company as founding partners. The alliance of developers and hit makers involves 3D Realms (developers of the Duke Nukem series, Prey), Epic MegaGames (Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal), PopTop Software (Heroes of Might and Magic I and II), Ritual Entertainment (Quake Mission Pack #1, SiN), and Terminal Reality Inc. (Monster Truck Madness, CART Precision Racing, Terminal Velocity). Each company is an equity owner in Gathering of Developers. Billed as a company that is 'by the developer and for the developer,' Gathering of Developers was founded to create brand loyalty and recognition for computer game developers and to ensure their financial independence.Developers will be branded in the marketplace and given control over their products' production schedules and marketing. For more information, visit http://www.godgames.com or IP address at 209.39.134.35. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

New Interplay RPG Uses Descent 3D Engine Irvine, Calif.-based Interplay Productions has released Descent to Undermountain for Windows '95 and MS-DOS based PC's. The title is a 360-degree 3D role-playing adventure that features the Descent engine. Developed and published by Interplay, Descent to Undermountain is set in one of AD&D's most popular worlds, Forgotten Realms. Descent to Undermountain is the first RPG to use the fully modified Descent engine, allowing the player full 360 degree directional movement. The player can choose a character that is single or multi-class from any of the six races offered. The story: In the stone belly of Undermountain below Waterdeep, the Sword of Lolth was stolen long ago. The player must find a way through riddled mazes of dragons and horrific monsters to find the Sword without succumbing to evil horrors and dark magic. The TSR-licensed game offers more than 50 different monsters. Special features include graphics that allow a player to see special light reflections and detailed 3D polygon enemies, plus an option for the real-time gameplay to be viewed simultaneously with the player's screen map. Interplay's Web site URL is http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- Psygnosis Releases PlayStation Shadow Master, Announces 3D Platformer Prolific British/American publisher Psygnosis has been trumpeting the merits of Shadow Master, its first-person shooter, for some months. Now it's out in all its PlayStation glory, and we can see if it lives up to the hype (see review, coming soon in Spectrum Reviews). The title features 16 levels in seven worlds, from underwater volcanic caverns to dense industrial powerhouses. The game's landscapes were inspired by fantasy artist Rodney Matthews, and gamers can take advantage of an "apocalyptic" array of projectile and particle weapons. Other features include light sourcing and special effects (most explosions). Also, coming to the PlayStation in March from Psygnosis is Rascal, an advanced 3D platform game created in collaboration with London's Jim Henson Creature Workshop. The game stars Rascal, a misbehaving son of an inventor, who aims to rescue his kidnapped dad by taking a spin in a prototype time machine. Developer Travellers Tales, known for console hits Mickey Mania and Toy Story, promises six game zones: The Castle, Aztec, Western, Galleon, Atlantis and the Lab, where the story begins. Each zone can be accessed in different time periods; for instance, players walk around in the Galleon during one period and swim through in another. Visit Psygnosis online at http://www.psygnosis.com. -------------------------------------------------- LucasArts Announces Jedi Knight Missions Disc Coming soon from LucasArts is Mysteries of the Sith, an add-on missions disc for Jedi Knight, one of the developer/publisher's best games ever (see review in the next issue of Spectrum Reviews). Mysteries of the Sith, which takes place five years after the events of Jedi Knight, introduces a new playable character. Mara Jade, a former covert agent for the Galactic Empire, joins JK hero Kyle Katarn on the remote outpost of Altyr 5. She soon finds herself plunged into the sinister world of the ancient Sith. Mysteries of the Sith offers 14 single-player and 15 multiplayer levels; 10 or the latter are deathmatches, while the remaining five concern the use of a ysalamiri, a small lizard capable of deterring the force. New weaponry includes a carbonite gun with immobilizing freeze pellets, an electroscope for long-range engagements, a repeating blaster cannon and more. There's also an enhanced game engine, plus five new force powers and 20 new creatures, including the "dreaded rancor." We can't wait! You could look it up at http://www.lucasarts.com. -------------------------------------------------- Ubi Soft Announces Motorcycle Racing Game for PC Ubi Soft Entertainment announces Red Line Racer, a motorcycle racing game that can be played solo or with up to seven other players on a local LAN or across the Internet. Developed by Criterion Studios, the company behind the recently released Sub Culture 3D action/adventure strategy game, Red Line Racer features 3D graphics at up to 60 frames per second, physics-based modeling said to simulate the real-world experience of motorcycle riding, and support for force feedback joysticks. With the ability to simulate real bike physics, the "feel" of the player's bike reportedly changes according to different driving conditions such as slick pavement or icy roads. This realism is enhanced by graphical special effects such as sparks, smoke, and weather conditions that change from torrential rain to drifting fog and hazardous blizzards, real-time lighting effects, backdrop animations, and fully animated bike riders. The game includes 10 tracks set in six environments, including sandy beaches, Alpine mountains, English country lanes and desert canyons, plus an original four-track music score and 3D sound. Red Line Racer is scheduled to be released at retail this spring. For more information, visit http://www.ubisoft.com. --------------------------------------------------

NUMBEROLOGY

Live Picture Secures $22 Million Funding Live Picture, Inc., John Sculley's Internet imaging firm, has secured $22.25 million in mezzanine funding. The company will use the cash infusion to fuel its growth in Internet imaging markets such as Web-based sales and marketing, publishing, and medical imaging. Lead investors in the latest round are: PART'COM, a Paris-based communications investment group; Encompass Ventures, a strategic Internet investment firm; Trans Cosmos Inc., a publicly traded Japanese IT firm; Gilde Investment Management, a European-based global IT investor; Perseus, a previous Live Picture investor; Eastman Kodak Corporation, one of the company's first outside investors; Star Ventures; and HK Associates/Catalyst. Lehman Brothers served as agents for the funding. Live Picture is on the Web at http://www.livepicture.com. --------------------------------------------------

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Web Review's Meyer Appointed to W3C CSS Group Style sheets guru Eric Meyer, who maintains Web Review's Style Sheet's Reference Guide site (http://style.Webreview.com), has been appointed to the World Wide Web Consortium's Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting Properties Working Group as an Invited Expert. His area of concentration will be validation services and conformance monitoring, with more direct participation in the creation and editing of the CSS specification. Meyer is Hypermedia Systems Manager for Case Western Reserve University, and author of the online tutorial "Introduction to HTML." He recently published his third tutorial, "HTML 3.2: Here's Wilbur," which covers elements new to HTML 3.2 such as tables, text colors, and client-side image mapping among others. Meyer maintains Web Review's Style Sheets Reference Guide, the home for a number of charts which document the support of CSS1 in various Web browsers, his monthly column, "A Sense of Style," and other valuable CSS resources and tips. He is also the creator of Web Review's foldout Cascading Style Sheets Guide, which can be ordered online at http://mkt.ora.com/styles/orderSS.html. -------------------------------------------------- Interplay U.K. Names Former Eidos Exec to New Post Interplay Productions Ltd. has appointed Larry Sparks as vice president - marketing, who joins from Eidos Interactive. As worldwide marketing director at Eidos, Sparks helped establish the company as a force in the interactive market place through a series of successful marketing campaigns, including Tomb Raider / Lara Croft and the Championship Manager Franchise. Sparks, a veteran marketer of the interactive market, previously held roles at Activision and Acclaim Entertainment prior to Eidos. --------------------------------------------------

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, 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.
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