Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 26 January 1998

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
Today's Headlines (details below) TOP STORY --Netscape Launches 'Unlimited Distribution' Program For Free Web Client WEBMEISTER --Wired Digital Debuts Webmonkey Design Site Network --Open Door Networks Upgrades LogDoor Site Monitoring Product --Macromedia Launches Smart Shockwave DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Yav Releases Triple Upgrade: Spike 1.6, Cybermozart 3.0, Pushbtnbach 2.0 --Microtec Upgrades Windows Debugger IN THE INFOGROOVE --Blue Squirrel Upgrades WebSeeker MetaSearch Tool --Free Plug-In Gives Eudora Users Email Translation Capability --Study Shows Most Enterprise Sites Lack Indexing Tags --Creative Upgrades $99 Color WebCam GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Sven Technologies Announces Multi-Resolution Geometry --HyperMatter Upgraded for 3DS MAX 2 --MetaCreations Ships Native Painter 5 for DEC Alpha --Ulead Adds MPEG Editing Support to MediaStudio Pro 5.0 WEBSIGHTINGS --Fox News Online Offers Free Real-Time Stock Quotes --Swiss Firm Launches Online Marketplace for Interactive Media TECHNOTES --Mac OS 8.1 Update Available Free Over the Internet THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Frost & Sullivan Issues Online Gaming Report --Internet Addiction Growing on Campus, Reports Journal GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Activision Unleashes Interstate '76 Arsenal --MicroProse Sues Activision, Avalon Hill for Infringement Of Civilization Trademark NUMBEROLOGY --Online Games Developer VR-1 Closes $13.6 Million in Funding DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Silicon Graphics Names Richard Belluzzo Chairman and CEO HAPPENINGS --Microsoft to Host DirectX Developers at Meltdown '98 --Animation Technology Conference & Exposition Set for Pasadena --Philanthropy Journal Presents National Nonprofit Conference --CNET Announces Web.Builder San Francisco Conference F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

TOP STORY

Netscape Launches 'Unlimited Distribution' Program For Free Web Client Netscape Communications Corporation announced a new software distribution initiative called "Unlimited Distribution" in conjunction with making its Internet client software available free. The plan is to try to encourage Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies, Web content providers, publishers and software developers to download and redistribute Netscape Communicator and Netscape Navigator without cost or obligation. However, according to a story in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle, none of the big three computer makers--Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard--plans to switch from Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Netscape home page at http://home.netscape.com provides a link to a page of instructions for enrolling in the online distribution program. Distribution partners fill out the online form, submit it via the Web site and are linked to a special download page, where Netscape has created a new "distribution version" download option for its client software. Visitors to the site can choose to download and redistribute any combination of Netscape Navigator and Netscape Communicator on their choice of operating environments, including Windows 3.1, Windows95/NT and Macintosh. In addition to the standard distribution plan, Netscape plans to offer qualified partners the option to create a customized version of Navigator or Communicator for redistribution to users. Netscape will provide customization tools to let partners add their own logo, home page, bookmarks and other features to the product. Netscape also plans to make next-generation Communicator source code available for free licensing on the Internet. The company says it will post the source code beginning with the first Netscape Communicator 5.0 developer release, expected by the end of Q1 1998. Tim O'Reilly, president/CEO of O'Reilly & Associates, made the following comments on Netscape's decision: "Freeware is the lifeblood of the Internet. All of the truly significant Internet technologies were originally developed by distributed communities of developers who freely shared their source code and built on each other's work. "A few years ago, when the great Internet gold rush started, companies such as Netscape and Microsoft tried to assert ownership of Internet standards, only to find vitality and innovation slipping away, as they lost touch with the developer community that had originally created those standards. "It's no accident that despite all the ink spilled over the war between Netscape and Microsoft, the dominant Web server software is still the freeware Apache server, and that for all the hype about Java, it is still the freeware Perl language that activates the majority of Web sites. "Netscape's decision shows that it recognizes the enormous power of the freeware development model, and that it has the courage to look for new ways to harness what has quietly become the most successful software development paradigm. After spending three years trying to act like Microsoft, Netscape is returning to its roots and starting to act like a real Internet company again." Netscape reportedly attributed its decision in part to developer Eric Raymond's groundbreaking paper on the freeware development model, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which was one of the keynote addresses at O'Reilly's Perl Conference last summer. For the complete text of the paper, see http://www.ccil.org/~esr/writings/cathedral.html --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

Wired Digital Debuts Webmonkey Design Site Network The Webmonkey Network, an alliance of Web developer sites linked under the Wired brand, was announced last week by Wired Digital Inc., the online media division of Wired Ventures Inc. The new network is aimed at Web enthusiasts who currently frequent participating sites to learn about design techniques, site reviews, code libraries, and database strategies. The new network is anchored by Wired Digital's Webmonkey site, which offers daily articles and technical updates, along with an archive of more than 200 features and tutorials. Each participating site will display a navigation bar that provides one-click access to the network's other contributors. The Webmonkey Network's charter participants include: · Webmonkey (http://www.Webmonkey.com) · Inside Dynamic HTML (http://www.insideDHTML.com) · Cool Tool (http://www.cooltool.com) · PC Webopaedia (http://www.pcWebopaedia.com) · High Five (http://www.highfive.com) The Webmonkey Network seeks to expand by adding complementary Web sites that provide value to Web professionals. Publishers interested in exploring this opportunity should contact Michael Winnick, content marketing manager, at Wired Digital 415-276-8479 or winnick@wired.com). -------------------------------------------------- Open Door Networks Upgrades LogDoor Site Monitoring Product Ashland, Oregon-based Open Door Networks Inc. recently announced version 2.0 of its LogDoor multi-domain Web site monitor. Shipping since August, 1996, LogDoor provides real-time analysis of accesses to Macintosh-based Web sites. Version 2.0 of the product, expected to ship this month, provides additional levels of real-time analysis plus other customer-requested enhancements. LogDoor 2.0's new features include: · Detailed site-specific analysis and reporting, providing the ability to "drill down" to any level of access information · Site-by-site processing and reporting options, providing greater flexibility in defining what a "site" is · User-definable "visits" as well as hits, bytes and errors · Information about files as well as folders · Greatly enhanced report layout options · Automated AppleScript invocation for site-specific processing and integration with log postprocessors · Real-time activity graphs LogDoor 2.0 supports any server implementing the Macintosh-standard WebSTAR log format. Such servers include WebSTAR from StarNine Technologies and AppleShare IP from Apple Computer. LogDoor 2.0, currently in beta test, is expected to be available by the end of January. The retail price for LogDoor 2.0 will be $249, with upgrades available to any registered owner of LogDoor (including Multi-domain Webmaster Suite, AppleShare IP and AISS owners) for $89. Free evaluation versions will be available off the LogDoor Web site at http://www.opendoor.com/logdoor/ . -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia Launches Smart Shockwave Macromedia celebrates the second anniversary of Shockwave with the release of Smart Shockwave. Through the use of JavaScript, Smart Shockwave allows users to automatically download, install and play the most current version of Shockwave without having to leave the intended Web site. Shockwave remains one of the top playback technologies on the Web. In 1997, over 37 million Shockwave players (Flash and Director combined) were successfully downloaded from Macromedia's Web site. Shockwave downloads continue with over 1 million downloads per week in recent months. Web developers can obtain Smart Shockwave at http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave. --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Yav Releases Triple Upgrade: Spike 1.6, Cybermozart 3.0, Pushbtnbach 2.0 The Netherlands-basedYAV Interactive Media (http://www.yav.com) announces the release of upgrades to three of its programs: Spike 1.6, CyberMozart 3.0, and PushBtnBach 2.0. Spike ($65) is a batch-processing QuickTime data-spike and analysis tool. CyberMozart and PushBtnBach ($30 each) are algorithmic composition programs that generate and play MIDI files in the style of Mozart and Bach. Spike version 1.6 addresses Macintosh OS 8 and OS 8.1 compatibility issues and fixes problems displaying some QuickTime datarate graphs of movies with more than 3000 frames. Spike now processes both Macintosh and cross-platform (datafork-only) movies created by all versions of QuickTime, including Quicktime 3.0. CyberMozart version 3.0 is an upgrade of YAV's implementation of Mozart's "Musical Dice Game." The new version can now save, recall, and print notation files along with both type 1 and type 0 standard MIDI files. The revamped user interface adds drag-and-drop and OS 8 support. PushBtnBach version 2.0 offers a new "continuous" option composes and plays back new "Bach" works without intervention for as long as you like. All algorithms have been brought up to date with the current version of the YAV Music Engine. -------------------------------------------------- Microtec Upgrades Windows Debugger Reportedly giving embedded systems designers a new, improved way to debug embedded applications on target processors, the Microtec Division of Mentor Graphics Corporation announces the XRAY BDM (Background Debug Mode) version 4.0 Debugger. Embedded developers can use BDM to connect the industry-leading XRAY Debugger 4.0 with the Motorola 68000 and PowerPC processors running on Windows 95 and Windows NT hosts. With the XRAY BDM 4.0 Debugger, engineers writing in C and C++ can connect from their PC parallel port directly to their target processor boards via a BDM cable. This connection enables designers to perform common on-chip debugging tasks, such as setting breakpoints and reading and writing to memory, without an I/O port or software monitor resident in the target application. For more information, call (800) 950-5554 or visit http://www.mentorg.com/microtec. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Blue Squirrel Upgrades WebSeeker MetaSearch Tool Blue Squirrel claims its new WebSeeker 3.3 is the only Internet utility that runs searches across more than 100 Internet search engines simultaneously. Advanced features include: · the ability to specify pre-filters, phrases that automatically disqualify a search result before they are displayed to the user · enhanced proxy and firewall compatibility · quick start buttons on the toolbars of Web browsers · the optional ability to forward search engine advertisements to the user Free trial versions of WebSeeker 3.3 can be downloaded from the Blue Squirrel Web site, http://www.bluesquirrel.com. -------------------------------------------------- Free Plug-In Gives Eudora Users Email Translation Capability Transparent Language announces EasyTranslator Express, a free version of its EasyTranslator personal translation software package for Windows. Now available for downloading at http://www.transparent.com/eteudora.htm, and http://www.eudora.com/emailcentral, the plug-in lets users of Qualcomm's Eudora Pro 4.0 and Eudora Pro CommCenter 4.0 electronic mail package translate email messages on the fly from English to and from German, French and Spanish. EasyTranslator Express gives users the option of translating and then replacing their original outbound message, or adding the translated text to the original message so that the recipient sees both languages. -------------------------------------------------- Study Shows Most Enterprise Sites Lack Indexing Tags SiteMetrics Corporation first Enterprise Web Content Survey examined content on the home pages of 25,000 enterprise Web sites ranging from small ($10 to 50 million in annual revenues) to very large (more than $1 billion) enterprises in 14 different industries. Overall, the survey found that while more than 96 percent of the sites surveyed use the common TITLE tag, only 31 percent include the META Keyword tag used by most of the largest search engines to catalog the Web site. Just 28 percent of the sites were found to include a META Description tag used by many of the search engines to create the summary description. The study found significant variation between the 14 industries surveyed. The travel industry leads with nearly 40 percent of Web sites using META keywords. The consulting, industrial technology and manufacturing industries cluster slightly ahead of the overall mean with nearly 33 percent using the META keywords. Computers and consumer products trail the mean with just 27 percent using the tags. The lowest adoption rates were found in the education (23 percent) and utilities (21 percent) industries. SiteMetrics Corporation provides Web site visibility and performance measurement services to subscribers. Find more detail at http://www.sitemetrics.com/contentsurvey. -------------------------------------------------- Creative Upgrades $99 Color WebCam Jazz up a personal Web site, send a video greeting card or visit a long distance friend without leaving your desk. These are just a few of the things that Internet users can do with Creative Technology's new Video Blaster WebCam II. Available at $99.99, this digital color camera for the desktop is appropriate for capturing still and live video clips. According to Creative, WebCam II sports a new look, increased mobility, solid construction and an ergonomically-designed focus adjustment for greater precision. New features include the following: · Windows 95 and TWAIN support · CMOS technology for sharp image quality at a low price. · one-piece headset and microphone for videoconferencing · ULead MediaStudio Video Edition for video editing · ISpy from Charlotte Internet Stuff automatically grabs and updates live pictures onto a Web page. · Microsoft Internet Explorer · HTML templates and Web graphics Also included is Creative Video WebPhone, an software-based PC Internet video/telephone. --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Sven Technologies Announces Multi-Resolution Geometry 3D developers are constantly looking for ways to increase rendering speed without the loss of visual fidelity associated with reduced polygon counts. Sven Technologies offers a new solution to this problem with the release of the Multi-Resolution Geometry (MRG) API for 3D game and content developers. MRG is said to yield significantly faster rendering speeds while improving the visual fidelity of dynamic 3D scenes. MRG is a real-time, continuous level-of-detail (LOD) control system. 3D objects within MRG-enabled scenes automatically and smoothly gain and lose resolution depending on their proximity to the viewer and other parameters that the developer controls. MRG increases frame rate by varying the number of polygons it draws for a given object - when the object is nearby, it is drawn with a large number of polygons; when it is far, it is drawn with much fewer. It smoothly adds and removes polygons without object popping. According to Sven, Multi-Resolution Geometry improves frame rate by 1.5x or more for typical 3D game configurations. MRG integrates with existing development and authoring pipelines. Any triangle-based renderer can be used with MRG, including OpenGL, Direct3D, and proprietary rendering schemes and game engines. OpenGL reference implementations and source code examples are provided. C++ support allows for object-oriented API access and memory management. Finally, MRG is hierarchy and animation friendly--up/down "res"ing occurs across multiple hierarchy levels, permits object reuse, and does not affect animation engines or jointed model hierarchies. MRG is comprised of three main components: the preprocessing kernel, which intelligently calculates the continuous level of detail representation for each object; the run-time polygon manager, which changes model resolution between frames without storing explicit representations of each object at every level; and the run-time polygon allocator, which takes factors such as distance to camera, speed, and priority and manages the overall per-frame distribution of polygons. For further information, browse http://www.sven-tech.com or call (650) 852-9242. -------------------------------------------------- HyperMatter Upgraded for 3DS MAX 2 Just out from Second Nature Industries is HyperMatter 1.1, a new version of the unique plug-in that adds "rubbery" natural motion/deformation and collision detection to 3D Studio MAX. A free upgrade is available from the company Web site, with separate downloads for MAX 1.2 and 2. New features include the ability to scale the overall effect of HyperMatter's action on geometry. The blending functions that existed in the main HyperMatter Control object panel are now available from in a separate panel, accessible by clicking the blending icon in the HM toolbar. New 'Geometry' options are 'Use Interval' and 'Scale'. When Use Interval is checked, the blending function operates as before, with the interval during which blending is applied accessible via the Track View. The Scale value controls the degree to which the effect of the HyperMatter Solid object's motion is transferred to the geometry. This provides a level of control over the deformation of the geometry without introducing any performance overhead and without requiring the user to change any of the substance property values. Thus, if some motion is too exaggerated, this value can be used to "turn it down." Find more information and the downloads at http://www.2n.com -------------------------------------------------- MetaCreations Ships Native Painter 5 for DEC Alpha MetaCreations Corporation has just shipped a native port of Painter 5 for Digital Equipment Corporation's Creation Studio Personal Workstation, running Windows NT on its 500 Megahertz Alpha or Intel's 300 Megahertz Pentium II processor. Painter is bundled with Digital's Creation Studio personal workstation. Painter is a unique paint program that offers advanced traditional and digital brushes designed to recreate fine art painting media, powerful photo editing and dynamic layering tools. For more information, call 1-800-277-8988. -------------------------------------------------- Ulead Adds MPEG Editing Support to MediaStudio Pro 5.0 Ulead Systems last week released MPEG editing support for its desktop video editor, MediaStudio Pro 5.0 (see our in-depth review in Spectrum Reviews, 13 November 1997). Ulead says MediaStudio, originally released in the fall of 1997, is now the only software in its category to offer both AVI and native MPEG editing. Contact Ulead Systems at 1-800-858-5323 or visit http://www.ulead.com. --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

Fox News Online Offers Free Real-Time Stock Quotes Fox News Online (http://www.foxnews.com) is providing free real-time stock quotes to consumers, reportedly making it the first consumer news service to offer real-time securities pricing on the Internet at no charge. OnlinePress.com Unveils Web Market Index OnlinePress.com (http://www.onlinepress.com), a daily online publication focusing on Internet news, culture, trends and current events, recently launched with its initial issue. Every Monday, OnlinePress.com features its Web Market Index (WMI), a weekly analysis and ranking of the top 15 online brands. The Web Market Index evaluates only Web-based properties. Corporate/product sites and online versions of existing media brands are not considered. The WMI aims to determine and present, each week, which online franchises are establishing the freshest, most viable and valuable brands, unique to the Web. The WMI spotlights the Internet as a medium, a marketplace and a business, leaving the "cool site" mentality to others. -------------------------------------------------- Swiss Firm Launches Online Marketplace for Interactive Media Zurich-based Word+Vision, Inc. announces the debut of i-VENTURE.COM (http://www.i-VENTURE.COM), a business-to-business network for buying and selling interactive products, projects, concepts and services. The free service is designed for publishing and multimedia professionals interested in learning about trading know-how, rights, assets, products, distribution, and venture capital on an international scale. The site covers such aspects of interactive media as Internet/intranet, CD-ROM, CBT, fax services and audiotex. To buy or sell products or services, visitors can either search for information or post to the site. Contact between interested parties is made directly by email. There is also additional information on conferences, seminars, and jobs. --------------------------------------------------

TECHNOTES

Mac OS 8.1 Update Available Free Over the Internet Beleaguered Mac OS 8 customers can now download the Mac OS 8.1 update from Apple's Web site (http://www.apple.com) free of charge. According to Apple, Mac OS 8 has sold more than three million copies since its introduction in July 1997. Mac OS 8.1 is expected to be available for retail purchase on CD-ROM in the U.S. and Canada in February. The estimated retail price of Mac OS 8.1 in the U.S. is $99. A full install CD of Mac OS 8.1 will also be made available to current Mac OS 8 customers in February for U.S. $19.95. For more information on this upgrade program, see Apple's Mac OS Web site at http://www.apple.com/macos. Mac OS 8.1 is expected to be pre-loaded on Macintosh computers beginning in mid-February. The primary new features of Mac OS 8.1 are: · Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 provided as the default Web browser · improved Java compatibility and performance over Mac OS 8 with the newest version of Apple's Java Virtual Machine (MRJ 2.0), which supports Sun's Java Development Kit (JDK version 1.1.3) · More efficient disk storage with HFS+, an improved disk file system and format that returns storage space back to customers · built-in Digital Video Disk (DVD) Universal Disk Format (UDF) · faster application launching from newly optimized virtual memory and disk cache systems · Better PC compatibility with PC Exchange 2.2, which supports Windows 95 long file names and volume formats, including PC-formatted removable media such as Iomega Zip and Jaz cartridges Apple also announced Personal Web Sharing 1.5, which allows users to share information cross-platform, using TCP/IP networking protocols. Personal Web Sharing 1.5 runs on any Macintosh Computer using Mac OS 8 or greater, and is available for download from the software updates Web site (http://www.apple.com/support) free of charge. -------------------------------------------------- THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER Frost & Sullivan Issues Online Gaming Report According to new strategic research from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.frost.com), U.S. Online Gaming Markets, industry revenues grew to approximately $93.3 million in 1997. Revenues for 1998 are projected to total $169.6 million, representing a 81.8 increase. Two major segments have evolved in the online gaming industry: the online gaming aggregator market and the online gaming software developer market. The main function of an online gaming aggregator is to offer a variety of third-party games and related services that can be accessed by users over a wide area network (WAN), usually the Internet. The online gaming developer market is made up of those companies that develop the software used in online gaming. These companies earn revenues by selling or licensing their software and maintaining sites that use only their gaming software. "Based on revenues generated, America Online (AOL) is the clear leader in the online gaming market, although this leadership is more reflective of AOL's established membership base rather than its online gaming strategies," says John McCormick, Frost & Sullivan's information technology industry analyst. "AOL was one of the first networks to offer games, hosting games from companies like Kesmai and Simutronics. This relationship has recently taken a turn for the worse, however, as AOL has changed its partnership policies, making it impractical for many online gaming companies to continue distributing their games through AOL's network." Despite the AOL setback, the report promises huge opportunities for companies that can bring innovative ideas to market and attract the growing population of online gamers. Visit Frost & Sullivan's Web site: http://www.frost.com. -------------------------------------------------- Internet Addiction Growing on Campus, Reports Journal Internet addiction on college campuses is a rapidly growing epidemic, according to an article appearing in the just-published (Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1998) issue of the new Journal, CyberPsychology and Behavior: The Impact of the Internet, MultiMedia, and Virtual Reality on Behavior and Society, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. A study at the University of Michigan showed that freshmen and sophomores averaged 10 hours per week online, with 18 percent on the Internet at least 20 hours per week. Alfred University administrators discovered a relationship between high Internet use and a more than doubled rate of academic dismissals. Internet addiction on campus has reached such proportions that the University of Maryland, College Park, University of Texas at Austin, Marquette University and others have established counseling centers, and the University of Washington has limited the amount of Internet time available to students. For a copy of CyberPsychology & Behavior: The Impact of the Internet, MultiMedia and Virtual Reality on Behavior and Society, call 914-834-3100 (within NY State) and 1-800-M-LIEBERT (outside NY State). --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Activision Unleashes Interstate '76 Arsenal New auto vigilantes can experience high-octane 3D action with Activision's Interstate '76 Arsenal ($39.99), a two-game premium collection that includes the Interstate '76 Gold Edition, a new enhanced version of the original, critically acclaimed Interstate '76 (We liked it! - ed.) and the expansion pack, Interstate '76 Nitro Pack. Gamers can also sample Interstate '76's fast-action combat with the Arsenal demo, which will feature missions from the Interstate '76 Gold Edition and the Interstate '76 Nitro Pack. The Arsenal demo is available at http://www.activision.com/games/action/i76/index.html. The Interstate '76 Gold Edition has been optimized to support Direct 3D compatible video games and includes all the tricked-out muscle cars, killer weaponry and unique storyline from the original game with the benefits of D3D -- faster combat gameplay, new difficulty level settings and stunning graphical enhancements. In the Arsenal, the Interstate '76 Nitro Pack allows players to experience life as an auto- vigilante by assuming the role of their favorite Interstate '76 characters including Taurus, Jade and Skeeter in approximately 20 new action-packed single-player missions with advanced host options, new cars and more weapons. Interstate '76 Nitro Pack also offers exciting multi-player action with all-new options including Capture The Flag and Racing. Up to eight players can do battle over a local area network (LAN) or the Internet in 30 new adrenaline-pumping missions. -------------------------------------------------- MicroProse Sues Activision, Avalon Hill for Infringement Of Civilization Trademark Can't we all just get along? Developer/publisher MicroProse has filed suit against Activision, Inc. and The Avalon Hill Game Company to protect its rights in the Sid Meier's Civilization and Civilization computer game products. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, asserts claims of false advertising, unfair competition, trademark infringement, and unfair business practices as a result of Activision's recent announcement of plans to develop and publish Civilization computer games under a purported licensing agreement with Avalon Hill. The lawsuit challenges Avalon Hill's ownership of trademark rights in the Civilization name and charges that Activision and Avalon Hill are wrongfully attempting to trade on the goodwill and consumer recognition developed by MicroProse in the Civilization mark for computer games. Meier recently left Microprose, which he co-founded, to start Firaxis, his own game development and publishing company. The company's first title, Gettysburg, was published by Electronic Arts. MicroProse product and company information is available from http://www.microprose.com. --------------------------------------------------

NUMBEROLOGY

Online Games Developer VR-1 Closes $13.6 Million in Funding VR-1, Inc., a developer of "massively multiplayer" online entertainment, last week closed $13.6 million in private placement funding. The placement agent was Chicago-based investment banking firm Madison Securities. The proceeds are being used for the repayment of debt, working capital, and the research, development and launch of VR-1's content and technologies. VR-1 recently announced its North American online gaming debut with the launch of Fighter Ace, the first premium game on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone. The company currently has international content distribution agreements with two South Korean Internet service providers, DACOM and Samsung SDS. --------------------------------------------------

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Silicon Graphics Names Richard Belluzzo Chairman and CEO Hot on the heels of a $31-million quarterly loss, Silicon Graphics, Inc. announced last week that Richard E. Belluzzo has been named chairman and chief executive officer, succeeding Edward R. McCracken who had previously announced his intention to step down. Belluzzo, 44, had been executive vice president and general manager of the computer organization of the Hewlett-Packard (H-P) Company. In this position, he was responsible for all of H-P's computer products (printers, plotters, scanners and personal computers), computer systems (workstations, larger computer systems and consulting) and its software and services group (formerly the worldwide customer support operation). These businesses have combined annual revenues in excess of $35 billion. Belluzzo has spent his 22-year career at H-P in a wide variety of key management, marketing and strategic planning positions. Web Site: http://www.sgi.com --------------------------------------------------

HAPPENINGS

Microsoft to Host DirectX Developers at Meltdown '98 Starting February 3 at the Double Tree Hotel in Bellevue, Wash. is Meltdown '98, where developers can obtain the latest information on DirectX, meet with Microsoft DirectX developers, and test software on the latest hardware. The conference will provide: · Microsoft Multimedia strategy update · "Fahrenheit" project update · preview of DirectX 6.0 · a glimpse of the products in development · a technical overview of DirectShow and DVD For more information, visit http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/meltdown.htm. -------------------------------------------------- Animation Technology Conference & Exposition Set for Pasadena The New Animation Technology Conference & Exposition, produced by Miller Freeman's Entertainment Technology Group, will open February 17, 1998, 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., and run through February 20, at the Pasadena Civic Center and the Pasadena Hilton, 150 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, California. Stacie Dong, conference manager, Miller Freeman Inc., stated that animators and artists attending the conference will learn about the latest digital techniques and how they're applied by the leading studios. Over 72 technical classes will cover topics from from aesthetic fundamentals to making the most of cutting-edge digital tools. Classes will also explore the newest avenues for animation, including the internet, edutainment and games. Leading animation and recruitment professionals will reveal tips for breaking into the industry and advancing a career in animation. For registration and information call 800-789-2223 or visit The New Technology Conference and Exposition on the Web: http://www.etshows.com. -------------------------------------------------- Philanthropy Journal Presents National Nonprofit Conference The second annual conference to help nonprofit groups better use the World Wide Web for fundraising, marketing and service delivery will be held Jan. 30, 1998, in Arlington, Va.. "Nonprofits Online '98: Working the Web, Transforming the Sector" will be held at the Marriott Crystal City. The conference aims to help nonprofits, which account for 8 percent of the U.S. economy and constitute its fastest- growing sector, take advantage of the explosion in Internet technology that has emerged as the economy's driving force. The conference will feature sessions on such topics as: raising charitable dollars online; marketing and promoting nonprofits on the Web; developing an Internet strategy; advocating causes on the Web; building membership through online drives; finding major donors online; and finding and managing volunteers online. The conference will be limited to the first 500 people to register. For information or registration materials, call Lee Smith at (919) 899-3756 or visit the Nonprofits Online '98 Web site at (http://conference.pj.org), where you also can register. -------------------------------------------------- CNET Announces Web.Builder San Francisco Conference CNET announced plans for Web.Builder San Francisco, to take place April 14-16 at the San Francisco Hilton. Complete information and online registration for WEB.BUILDER SAN FRANCISCO is available at http://web.builder.com/sf98. The program for WEB.BUILDER SAN FRANCISCO consists of three major tracks: · Form Track: why to use particular Web design and development concepts and technologies. · Function Track: How to design and develop Web sites. · Foundations Track: for Web professionals involved in determining when to build what on the Web. --------------------------------------------------

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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