Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 21 Sep 98

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

TODAY'S TOP STORY --Expert Group Formed to Enable Interactive Set-top 2D, 3D, Streaming Content WEBMEISTER --NetStudio 1.0 Set to Ship --Macromedia Ships Authorware 5/Dreamweaver Attain --Wall Data Unveils Cyberprise Developer Studio DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Yav Releases Rad Tools for SuperCard --RISS Releases Ovation Studio Pro Authoring Tool Version 2.1 --Futuretel Launches PrimeView NS MPEG Encoder IN THE INFOGROOVE --Zip It Up --RealNetworks, Intel to Collaborate on Streaming Media --MultiMail 2.0 for Palm Platform Supports AportisDoc Remote Downloading --Auction Universe Bid$afe to Eliminate Fraud GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --StudioPro Adds Motion Capture Capability --MGI Ships PhotoSuite II --Ulead Updates VideoStudio to 3.0 --DPS Introduces Perception RT3DX Real Time Video Editing CONSUMER CHANNEL --Diamond Ships Portable MP3 Music Player THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --IDIG Launches Photoshop Video Learning Series --Milia opens New Media Contest to Freelancers --Imagine Media Launches Games Biz Trade Biweekly --Jupiter: Discount Brokers Beating Banks to Portal Status GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with Jane's Israeli Air Force --Mindscape Releases SSI's People's General --Konami Ships 3D PSX Contra --DreamCatcher Interactive Ships Cydonia --EA Ships Future Cop: L.A.P.D. for PlayStation HAPPENINGS --New Minds Tackle Teens and Technology F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

TODAY'S TOP STORY

Expert Group Formed to Enable Interactive Set-top 2D, 3D, Streaming Content Members of international standards organizations in the computing, communications and broadcasting industries have come together to start the Advanced Interactive Content Initiative (AIC). The goal of AIC is to coordinate multiple standards efforts to produce a common specification for interactive 2D, 3D and streaming content for digital television. This content will be delivered via ATSC broadcast and cable to consumer set-tops, personal computers, and mobile communication devices. The specification will target low-cost set-top and other digital television devices to be released in 1999. Content based on the AIC specification will reportedly be an interactive experience that provides TV-like visual quality and ease of use. Target AIC uses are: * Electronic service and program guides - Program schedules can be displayed graphically with related cross-links and on-screen program previews. * Home Shopping - Retailers can broadcast interactive catalogs that allow customers to sort products by interest and inspect products via streaming video and 3D images. * News and Sports - Media outlets can interleave interactive programming with their broadcast. Interactive 3D maps and instant replays, selecting multiple camera angles and real-time polls can all be part of the show. * Advertising - Advertisers can deliver a more value-added form of television advertising through interactive overlays, discount coupons, targeted information and viewer-reward surveys. * Documentaries - Programs can have supporting content delivered to the viewer along with the video broadcast. Detailed 3D replicas of historic sites, bibliographical content and unused video footage and live chat can all be integrated and accessed within a single program. * Online Gaming - Users can play anything from 3D twitch games to 2D quiz shows against themselves or online against someone from a selected demographic group. * Web Surfing - The inclusion of Broadcast HTML will allow a standardized way to view Web pages on the television. The AIC specification will integrate Broadcast HTML, VRML 97 and MPEG-4 and will be available in two profiles. The base profile will include only 2D streaming functionality while the performance profile will include both 2D and 3D streaming content. The profiles will be designed so that AIC content will adapt to the capabilities of the receiving device. A timeline has been set to allow products using the AIC specification to be available by Q4 1999. The AIC specification will be functionally frozen by 20 December 1998 and sample implementations will be ready by 20 March 1999. Also concurrent to this timeline, the specification will go through the open standards processes of ISO/MPEG, VRML and ATSC. Members of ATSC, MPEG, W3C and VRML and other interested parties are invited to join and offer technical and business expertise. Further information is available at http://toocan.philabs.research.philips.com/misc/aici/. --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

NetStudio 1.0 Set to Ship NetStudio, a Web graphics software developer, has added features including automatic JavaScript hover buttons and over 200 custom styles and templates to NetStudio 1.0, the company's flagship product that ships this month. The program's Web picture processor lets users add Web graphics such as buttons, button bars, and banners with a single click, as well as apply intelligent styles that can distinguish between each kind of graphic and apply appropriate, matched formatting. In addition, NetStudio 1.0 looks and feels like Microsoft Office, is integrated with Web page editors including Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe PageMill, and NetObjects Fusion, and has a WYSIWYG Web page preview feature. NetStudio 1.0 will be available this month through major resellers and distributors at a suggested retail price of $149. Pre-orders are currently accepted at http://www.netstudio.com. The beta version is available now from the Web site. -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia Ships Authorware 5/Dreamweaver Attain Macromedia Inc.'s Interactive Learning Division (http://www.macromedia.com/learning) last week announced the general availability of two new authoring tools for enterprise learning content, Authorware 5 Attain and Dreamweaver Attain. Designed for professional developers, Authorware 5 Attain is a visual rich-media authoring tool for Web and online learning and is available for US $2,699. Web developers and instructional designers can purchase Dreamweaver Attain, a visual HTML tool for creating Web-based learning content, for U.S. $799. The two authoring products are components of Macromedia's new Attain Enterprise Learning System and are complementary. Rich-media content developed with Authorware 5 Attain can be embedded in Web pages created with Dreamweaver Attain. Both products feature productivity enhancements such as Knowledge Objects to help new authors design courses using pre-built learning interactions. With Knowledge Track, authors can create content for automatic integration with an open enterprise learning management system such as Macromedia's Pathware 3 - Attain Essentials which enables tracking and reporting of users, courses and results. -------------------------------------------------- Wall Data Unveils Cyberprise Developer Studio Scheduled for October availability at a cool $25K is Wall Data Incorporated's Cyberprise Developer Studio, a suite of Web development tools designed to let developers create applications that integrate legacy systems and other corporate data for delivery in a browser-based environment. The suite contains the following: Cyberprise Server, Cyberprise Host, Cyberprise Host Developer, Cyberprise DBApp Developer, Cyberprise InfoPublisher and Cyberprise Report, Query, & Cube Designer. Applications include: create database-driven Web applications; generate business intelligence reports; develop and customize host access applications through the use of COM components; and provide graphical user interfaces (GUI) to character-based mainframe and AS/400 applications. The suite is based on open industry standards, such as ActiveX/COM, ASP, XML and HTML and works alongside standard development tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio for seamless integration into existing development environments. For more information, contact Wall Data by phone at (888) 786-2268 or (425) 814-9255, by fax at (425) 814-4309 or on the Web at http://www.walldata.com. --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Yav Releases Rad Tools for SuperCard The Netherlands-based YAV Interactive Media (http://www.yav.com) last week released YAV's RAD Tools, a suite of nearly 300 commands and functions for SuperCard development. The Tools take care of such tasks as document handling, file I/O, printing, window, and menu management; string, list, and number manipulation, key-trapping, dialogs and alerts, button and field control. Built-in help is provided. YAV's RAD Tools also generates pre-configured project frameworks with all the standard menus and windows working the way they should in advance. Alternatively, the software offers one-click installation into existing projects. Find more http://www.yav.com/docs/YRT.html. -------------------------------------------------- RISS Releases Ovation Studio Pro Authoring Tool Version 2.1 Rhode Island Soft Systems (RISS) announces the availability of Version 2.1 of its $495 Ovation Studio Pro Authoring Tool, a multimedia development product for Windows. New to version 2.1 are: * support for QuickTime and MPEG Video formats * enhanced WaveX subsystem for sound playback, eliminating "hiccups" that sometimes accompany CPU activity during long CD-ROM access periods * enhancements to the Jive (scripting language) Editor * new automatic sizing to graphic checkboxes * upgraded custom cursor support. * an updated Jigsaw Puzzle sample project, with new features and programming techniques. * the addition of a new sample project: a floating logo screen saver sample. For more information, phone (800) 959-RISS or (401) 767-3106, or write to RISS at P.O. Box 748, Woonsocket, RI, 02895, or via the Internet at http://www.risoftsystems.com or mailto:info@risoftsystems.com. -------------------------------------------------- Futuretel Launches PrimeView NS MPEG Encoder Sunnyvale, California-based FutureTel recently launched its PrimeView NS MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 encoders. The PCI-based encoders contain technologies from FutureTel and C-Cube and have been designed specifically for the video transmission markets. The PrimeView NS encoder product line includes PrimeView NS Model 320 for the video network market and PrimeView NS Model 325 for the video publishing market. Model 320 is a single slot real-time PCI encoder that generates either MPEG-1 (SIF or QSIF) or half-resolution MPEG-2. The encoder is upgradeable to Model 325. It is ideal for corporate, government, and educational professionals, intranet applications, IP/TV, corporate training videos, presentations, and distance learning programs. It is priced at $2,900 and will be available November, 1998. Model 325 is a single slot real-time PCI encoder that produces MPEG-1 (SIF OR QSIF), half resolution MPEG-2 and full resolution MPEG-2 video streams. The encoder is capable of generating both VBR and CBR streams and includes FutureTel's MPEGWorks Pro encoding software for professional MPEG production. PrimeView NS Model 325 is priced at $7,900 and will be available January, 1999. FutureTel's home page is http://www.futuretel.com. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Zip It Up Some time ago in these virtual pages, I issued a plea for a utility that would easily let you save Web pages locally, with all graphics intact, for later viewing offline, possibly on a different machine. I subsequently discovered SurfSaver, which enables this to an extent, but is a bit of a pain because the software has to be installed on any computer on which the data is to be viewed. Far superior is Zip Up the Web (http://www.zipuptheweb.com), a stand-alone program from Insight Development Corporation. You simply provide it with the URL page you want to save--the best way is to first surf to the page, then copy and paste it from the browser into the ZUTW interface. Next, you provide an output file name/path, and the program then accesses the page, grabs all the files, and saves them in a compressed archive. If the page requires a password, ZUTW is smart enough to ask you for it. It does download the images again, rather than grabbing them from your browser's cache, so it's not as quick as it could be. The archive is in EXE format, but it's not a self-extracting Zip archive. When you run it, it loads the page into the default browser. The program sticks a promotional message at the page's top and bottom, but it's not very intrusive. Hey, whaddya want for _free_? One caveat: The first time you try to grab a page, it doesn't always get all the graphics. Just give it another shot, letting it overwrite the original file, and Bob's your uncle! -------------------------------------------------- RealNetworks, Intel to Collaborate on Streaming Media RealNetworks, Inc. and Intel Corporation will partner to further accelerate broad-scale deployment of next-generation streaming media programming on the Internet and intranets. As part of the agreement, RealNetworks has licensed and integrated Intel Streaming Web Video software technology into RealSystem G2. In addition, Intel will work with RealNetworks to promote and market the technology to Web media authors. For broadcasters, the combination of Intel Streaming Web Video software and RealSystem G2 reportedly enables up to four times faster video encoding than previous streaming media delivery systems. For example, where you previously needed multiple computers to encode live video, this new technology, coupled with RealSystem G2 SureStream, will create a single file that scales from 5 Kbps to 1 Mbps in real-time on a 400-Mhz Pentium II processor-based system, while improving video performance and quality. The combination of Intel Streaming Web Video software with RealSystem G2 streaming video capabilities is also said to improve the decoding performance of streaming video. Shipping versions of RealSystem 5.0 and the beta 1 release of RealSystem G2 are available at http://www.real.com/. -------------------------------------------------- MultiMail 2.0 for Palm Platform Supports AportisDoc Remote Downloading Actual Software's new release of MultiMail Pro 2.0 includes support for remote downloading of AportisDoc files through a plug-in architecture. MultiMail Professional is a POP3 and IMAP4 email client for the 3Com PalmPilot organizer. AportisDoc format allows publishing, sharing and exchanging electronic text documents on the Palm Computing platform. Availability of MultiMail Pro 2.0 is immediate from Actual Software's Website at <http:www.actualsoft.com>. AportisDoc Mobile Edition software is available at Aportis Technologies' Web site, http://www.aportis.com, and other Internet sites. -------------------------------------------------- Auction Universe Bid$afe to Eliminate Fraud Auction Universe (http://www.auctionuniverse.com), an online auction network, last week introduced Bid$afe, a new feature it claims will increase online security by providing a money-back guarantee on trades between Auction Universe Bid$afe users - both buyers and sellers. Bid$afe members will have the security of a transaction intermediary and primary insurance coverage in case of loss or breakage in the mail. "The one factor that keeps some people from experiencing ... online auctions is concern about Internet fraud," explained Larry Schwartz, President and CEO of Auction Universe. "Now, through Bid$afe, Auction Universe buyers and sellers can trust that they will be satisfied with every Auction Universe Bid$afe trade they complete." --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

StudioPro Adds Motion Capture Capability Strata Inc.'s latest update to StudioPro, its 3D modeling, rendering, and animation software for Mac and Windows, is StudioPro 2.5.3, with a newly developed file format and associated plug-ins to directly import motion capture data and movement scripting information. The new Strata Hierarchical Motion, or .shm, format was developed in conjunction with Credo Interactive, makers of Life Forms Studio motion capture software. Credo recently announced a Life Forms Studio plug-in to work with StudioPro. With the 2.5.3 update, StudioPro users can apply the movements from a motion capture session to an IK bones structure or import a customizable walk sequence and associate it with an animated character. When using the .shm format, motion data is brought directly into StudioPro's Project Window, complete with keyframe markers and all associated parameters. Strata's new format is streamlined for a cleaner import into StudioPro and additional parameters such as IK constraint settings can be included. The update also brings Windows 98 compatibility to StudioPro. The upgrade is available free to registered owners of version 2.5 and above. Upgrades from any 2.0 or 2.1 version of StudioPro to 2.5.3 are $99. For more details, contact Strata at 1-800-STRATA3D or visit http://www.strata.com. -------------------------------------------------- MGI Ships PhotoSuite II MGI Software last week shipped the latest version of MGI PhotoSuite II, its $49.99 photography software. Functionality includes photo correction, manipulation, photo compositions and presentations. The software provides control of digital cameras and scanners for acquiring photos and direct access to the Internet. Other features include over 500 templates for creating calendars, greeting cards, picture collages and business stationary. The program interface is organized around six functions: * The Photos module is for capturing, editing, transforming, enhancing and adjusting pictures. * Projects launches creative activities such as making greeting cards, magazine covers, and collages. * The Album is like an electronic shoebox for managing, organizing and searching for photos and other multimedia content. * Slide Shows brings photos to life in a presentation complete with sound and transitions. * The Internet module provides access to the Internet, where users can source content, updates, online photo services, tips, tricks and additional inspiration. * Guides is a collection of step-by-step tasks and activities that provide guidance and tips. New features include: * advanced editing features such as transparency control, soft edging, Smart Edge Detect, unlimited Undo/Redo * smart photo correction tools to remove red eye, blemishes, dust and scratches and automatically enhance photos * improved Album features such as keyword searching, thumbnail previews, and the ability to email albums or create Web pages from them * new Warp and Fun House Mirrors special effects * enhanced slide-show capabilities use video-type transitions and the ability to add multiple sound tracks For more information, visit http://www.mgisoft.com. -------------------------------------------------- Ulead Updates VideoStudio to 3.0 Ulead Systems' newest version of its $99.95 consumer video editing software is VideoStudio 3. Through its "Step-based" approach, users can add titles, special effects sound and music to videos. VideoStudio is built around the core technology of Ulead MediaStudio Pro, a video editing program designed for the professional market. The Storyboard Step lets users drag-and-drop clips and transitions into the Storyboard and move them to change their position in the sequence. They can also switch to a frame-accurate Timeline view which show the duration of clips and the entire video project. VideoStudio offers over 60 transitions, including 3D effects. Titles can also be added to any video segment by typing directly on the video clip. Users can select different fonts and styles for each line of text as well as control line spacing and alignment. Preset motion styles let titles scroll or crawl across the video. VideoStudio records voices through a PC microphone, allowing users to narrate video while they watch segments play on the computer screen. VideoStudio will also record tracks from audio CDs and lay them onto the timeline as background music. Once the audio tracks are recorded, the user can re-record them or move them on the Timeline. The Smart Render feature automatically determines if changes have been made to a project and if there are changes, only renders out or creates a new video for those changes. For example, if a user decides to change a title from "Happy Birthday, John" to "Happy Birthday, Mary," only the title will render, not the entire project, saving time. For more information, visit http://www.ulead.com. -------------------------------------------------- DPS Introduces Perception RT3DX Real Time Video Editing Toronto-based Digital Processing Systems Inc. announces its newest non-linear editing system, the $8,995 DPS Perception RT3DX. Scheduled to begin shipping this month, the DPS Perception RT3DX is an integrated real time non-linear editing system with real time 3D effects. Features include over 400 real time 2D and 3D digital video effects and transitions, and the ability to create additional customized effects and transitions in software. Also: * instant manipulation of size, position, perspective and rotation of live video images * warp effects include page curls, turns, splashes, random noise, spheres and horizontal/vertical sine waves * component, S-Video, composite and optional SDI video I/O * real time scrubbing preview on both Video and VGA monitors * DVE supports five layers of real time video: two video streams, dual image buffers and a shadow/border generator * real time scrolling/rolling titles with simultaneous transitions or additional graphic overlays * field-based 4:2:2 broadcast-quality effects * over 200 pre-defined real time 3D DVE transitions and effects plus over 200 pre-defined real time 2D DVE transitions and effects * DVE integrated with the editing time-line * all effects are keyframable and infinitely customizable * Proc amp controls are keyframable on a per-clip basis * all effects can be applied as transitions or filters * keyframable crop, freeze and strobe effects * real time chroma and luminance keying * trails, lighting, shadow and transparency effects Web Site: http://www.dps.com --------------------------------------------------

CONSUMER CHANNEL

Diamond Ships Portable MP3 Music Player By most estimates, MP3 is the most popular audio format on the Internet, due largely to its standard, non-proprietary compression algorithms and exceptional sound quality (not to mention it makes it easy to pirate commercial music). MP3.com, the largest Internet site for licensed MP3 content, projects the user base to be over three million and growing rapidly. To capitalize on this market, Diamond Multimedia Systems last week unveiled the Rio PMP300, a $200 portable music player that stores and plays back up to 60 minutes of digital quality music. The unit is set to ship in October. The player is like a Walkman or MiniDisk player, only lighter and smaller (3 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 5/8" and 2.4 ounces). It has no moving parts, which means no skipping, even when subjected to heavy vibration and movement such as during extreme sports activities. The included Jukebox MP3 software lets users convert CD tracks from their personal music collection into MP3 format using their PC, and create a customized mix of music Rio runs off a single 1.5V AA alkaline battery for 12 hours of playback. The device includes 32MB of onboard flash memory for up to 60 minutes of digital-quality music playback and up to 16 hours of voice-quality audio playback, allowing users to download voice-based audio content in MP3 format such as books, news broadcasts and more. Removable, add-on Rio flash memory storage cards in both half-hour and one-hour configurations let users add storage capacity and unique music mixes (exercise tracks, work tracks, etc.). Face the music at http://www.diamondmm.com. --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

IDIG Launches Photoshop Video Learning Series IDIG, Inc. (Interactive Digital Intelligence Group) today announced release of the first video in its new "Photoshop Inside & Out" learning series, "Welcome to Photoshop 5.0 [Part One]," a practical look at Photoshop's newest features, proper configuration of its new settings and techniques for maximizing productivity for real-world image editing tasks. Hosted by noted Photoshop maven David Biedny, the series will utilize video production technology and computer visualizations. Running time is approximately two hours. The US$59.95 tapes are available in both NTSC (North American standard television) and PAL (European) formats, and are closed captioned for the hearing impaired. "Welcome to Photoshop 5.0 [Part One]" includes detailed discussions of the new History function (unlimited undos), the Adobe Gamma Control Panel, new RGB color space configuration, editable type tricks, proper configuration of Preferences, Actions enhancements, spot color channels, layer effects, magnetic pen & lasso, and many undocumented tips & tricks. "Welcome to Photoshop 5.0 [Part Two]," available in October, covers Curves (continued), Channel Mixing, 16-Bit Operations, The Automate Menu, Hue/Saturation's Revised Interface, Profile to Profile color processing, Indexed Color enhancements, Color Samplers, the Measuring Tool, 3D Transform Filter, Transforming Selections, and Transforming Paths. Orders can be placed at http://www.photoshopio.com, or by calling 1.415.460.6889. -------------------------------------------------- Milia opens New Media Contest to Freelancers For its fifth edition, Reed Midem Organisation is pleased to announce that the New Talent Pavilion competition, previously focused exclusively on student projects, is now also open to freelance and amateur designers, programmers, authors, scriptwriters and musicians. This competition's mission is to bring awareness to new innovative talent and projects from around the world. A job-bank and talent pool, the New Talent Pavilion has several goals: provide the winners with jobs in the industry, generate investments opportunities and funding and ultimately find publishers for the projects presented. From an estimated 200 or more entries, the 30 most outstanding projects representing a variety of domains: games, education, children's, experimental, Internet technologies will be selected by an international jury in Paris this coming December. Entries are open to all platforms. The winners will be invited to present their projects during Milia and Milia Games and will be showcased in the New Talent Pavilion, a special area within the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, February 9-12, 1999. Who can apply? * a student (or group of students) who is taking or has taken a multimedia course during the academic years 1997/1998 or 1998/1999 and who has not previously had a project selected for a prior edition of the New Talent Pavilion. * a freelance professional (or group of freelance professionals), e.g. game designer, programmer, author, scriptwriter, graphic designer, musician, etc. * a salaried professional or an amateur who has personally developed a project that is distinct from his/her professional occupation (i.e. who has developed a personal project independently of his/her professional activity) Deadline for entries: November 16th, 1998 Visit http://www.milia.com -------------------------------------------------- Imagine Media Launches Games Biz Trade Biweekly Print and online periodical publisher Imagine Media will extend its Games Division with the launch of Games Business, a trade biweekly aimed at leaders and decision-makers in the interactive entertainment arena. Industry veteran Colin Campbell will serve as editor-in-chief. Campbell has served as editor-in-chief of Next Generation Online, publisher of the UK's EDGE magazine, and is a long-standing senior contributor to the European trade paper CTW. Most recently he founded a European news bureau serving the game industry press. -------------------------------------------------- Jupiter: Discount Brokers Beating Banks to Portal Status Banks will lose important market and wallet-share of high value consumers to discount brokerage firms in the growing online market, according to research released by Jupiter Communications. Financial institutions, not online publishers, are uniquely positioned, as the traditional holders of consumer assets, to become the portals for personal finance. However, only the discount brokerages have pursued an affinity portal strategy successfully. In comparison, banks lack the marketing support, comprehensive services, and aggregation powers exhibited by the discount brokerages, and as a result even the largest retail banks are suffering. According to Jupiter research, discount brokerages will control over 50 percent of all online personal finance activity by 2002. "Online banking will reach only 18 percent penetration of the entire banking market, whereas online trading will be done by 31 percent of the total investing market in the US. For banks to maintain market and wallet share in the face of competition from discount brokers, they will need to reevaluate their online strategies to include more marketing support, a broader range of integrated products and services, and incentive programs that encourage participation in the medium," said Nicole Vanderbilt, group director of Jupiter's Digital Commerce Strategies. "To date, discount brokerages are the only institutions that have understood the needs of the online consumer, and have reaped the rewards in terms of account and wallet-share growth." Discount brokerages have succeeded in staking their claim in this market by making significant investments in customer acquisition through aggressive portal tenancy deals, national off-line advertising, and discount fee incentives. In addition, by expanding financial service offerings aimed at extending wallet share, and adding online information and tools that extend a customer's use of the site beyond transactional functionality, these financial services companies will continue to maintain customer ownership in the growing online financial services market. While customer acquisition costs in the online financial services market remain high, often exceeding approximately $250 for each customer acquired, Jupiter believes it is important for financial institutions to focus significant efforts in this area. "Ultimately, it's the brokerages' investment in online and off-line marketing and the focus on discounted fees that has helped them get the early foothold in this growing segment of the online marketplace," added Vanderbilt. "Dollars that banks spend on Web-based applications will be wasted without proper marketing support, and invaluable customer wallet share will be lost." More information can be found at http://www.jup.com/aboutsps/, or by contacting Ken Male at mailto:kensps@jup.com. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with Jane's Israeli Air Force Electronic Arts has shipped Jane's Israeli Air Force (IAF). Developed by Pixel Multimedia, a Tel Aviv-based company founded by active duty Israeli Air Force pilots, Jane's IAF features advanced Israeli aircraft and utilizes photo-realistic terrain with real-life textures. Development involved capturing stereoscopic satellite data, in some places exceeding one meter per pixel resolution with true elevation and coloring. Jane's IAF offers training missions and beginner gaming modes to get novices in the air quickly. It also features online play at http://www.janescombat.net. Similar to the tactics used by Israeli pilots, players must dogfight through Middle East canyons at extremely low altitudes on full afterburner. The game features seven jets from the Israeli Air Force including the F-4, the jet that has flown more combat missions than any other jet worldwide; the F-4 2000, the 1990s version of the F-4 equipped with highly advanced systems and weaponry; the F-15i, the world's best air-superiority fighter aircraft; the F-16, a sophisticated multi-purpose fighter; the Lavi, Israel's next generation fighter; the Kfir, an Israeli dual-role single-seater, for both air and air-to-ground combat; and the Mirage III, the single-engine French-built fighter with more victories than any other Israeli Air Force aircraft. -------------------------------------------------- Mindscape Releases SSI's People's General Mindscape Entertainment last week shipped People's General, sequel to Panzer General II. People's General focuses on futuristic conflict between the Western Allies and the People's Republic of China in the year 2005. People's General opens with a US declaration of war against China after a dispute in the territorial waters off the coast of Taiwan leads to the death of over 1,300 US servicemen and the destruction of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln. As gameplay progresses, the conflict extends to include large areas of the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia, and Russia and military forces from around the world. New or improved features include: * new, next-generation units and cutting edge weaponry currently under construction by the US military such as the M1A3, T-99, and Challenger III Main Battle Tanks; Starstreak Surface-to-Air missiles, Crusader Self-Propelled artillery, Trackwolf Recon units, and super-enhanced Comanche and Werewolf Attack helicopters * enhanced Spotting System with "hide and seek" elements more accurately reflects the role of reconnaissance in modern warfare * new Air Mission system models the dominance of air power in modern warfare * improved Task Force system provides greater flexibility in modern unit design -------------------------------------------------- Konami Ships 3D PSX Contra Konami of America, Inc. has shipped C--The Contra Adventure, an action/adventure title for the Sony PlayStation. The Contra series has sold nearly four million units since its introduction in 1987. The new title combines the traditional side-scrolling style with detailed 3D texture-mapped environments and eight different weapons. Gamers can choose from eight different weapons and tons of power-ups and can play the game from multiple perspectives, including side scrolling, over the shoulder and top down. An arsenal is stocked with weaponry, such as machine guns, homing missiles, lasers, shatter guns, flame-throwers, bombs and more. Visit http://www.konami.com. -------------------------------------------------- DreamCatcher Interactive Ships Cydonia Toronto-based DreamCatcher Interactive, Inc. is now shipping CYDONIA, a five-disc CD-ROM adventure game that takes players on the first manned mission to Mars. The Windows-based game, developed by Aneiva, Inc., incorporates 360-degree navigation, directional stereo sound, nonlinear first-person interactivity, and multiple endings. According to lead designer Will Sheppard, the game contains over 55,000 frames of 3D scenes and animation, and provides more than 70 hours of game play. The player's mission is to travel to the Cydonia Mensae region on Mars to survey the planet for the prospect of human colonization. While commencing the landing sequence, a strange force field is encountered forcing an emergency crash landing. Communications with mission control are lost and as the only uninjured crew member, the player must embark on an exploration of the Red Planet. The challenge is to locate and eliminate the source of the force field that has the crew members trapped on the surface. The only way to escape from Mars and return to the space station is to learn a UI Space Language which enables the Player to collect and decipher clues, and solve 3D puzzles scattered throughout the region. For more information, phone 888/661-9999 or 416/638-5000. Visit http://www.dreamcatcherinc.com and http://www.cydoniagame.com. -------------------------------------------------- EA Ships Future Cop: L.A.P.D. for PlayStation Electronic Arts has begun shipping Future Cop: L.A.P.D. for the PlayStation, a strategic action-shooter set in futuristic Los Angeles. As a member of the police department, players must rescue the city from ruthless criminal gangs that have taken over. The player is equipped with a assault vehicle, the X-1Alpha, with the capacity to transform from a hovercraft into a mechanical walker. The game features two distinct modes: Crime War and Precinct Assault. In Crime War, the player must reclaim eight sections of crime-infested Los Angeles. This mode can be played as single player or multiplayer. In multiplayer, gamers play cooperatively to team up and annihilate the criminals' reign of the city. Precinct Assault is a separate two-player strategy game that can also be played against the game's artificial intelligence in the single-player "Sky Captain" mode. In Precinct Assault, players must defend their respective bases against opponents using hover jets, tanks and automated defensive turrets through four levels. More information can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com. --------------------------------------------------

HAPPENINGS

New Minds Tackle Teens and Technology New Minds of San Francisco is bringing together leaders and visionaries in new media for a four-part lecture/performance series that will explore how multimedia and the Internet are impacting the human condition. How will society react to being reared on a digital formula? Douglas Rushkoff has predicted that "screenagers" will be the best equipped to handle the technological chaos of the future while Larry Cuban sounds serious warnings about the detrimental effects of relying on technology in today's classrooms. This controversy and others related to the ways digital technology touches our kids will be debated by these and other panelists Jeff Hawkins, Jane Metcalfe, Mamie Rheingold and Linda Jacobson (moderator). When: Thursday, October 1, 7:30 p.m. Who: Larry Cuban, Professor of Education at Stanford University Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm Computing and the designer of the PalmPilot Jane Metcalfe, co-founder, Wired Ventures, Inc. Mamie Rheingold, 13-year old Internet user and daughter of visionary Howard Rheingold Douglas Rushkoff, cyberculture author and social theorist Linda Jacobson, SGI virtual reality evangelist, co-founder of the non-profit Virtual Reality Education Foundation (VeRGe) Where: The Forum at the Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, with reception to follow at 111 Minna Street Gallery. Advance tickets for the full series are $55 for the general public and $40 for students and seniors. Advance individual tickets are $15 for the general public and $11 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased through the Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens at (415) 978-ARTS or on the Internet at http://www.ticketWeb.com. Seating is limited. These events will sell out. Tickets are slightly higher the day of the event. For information and updates, check http://www.newminds.org or call the hotline at 415.641.9000. --------------------------------------------------

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 -------------------------------------------------- ┬ęCopyright 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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