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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rumors, News, & Updates

I'm diiffernt, so i'll start with the updates.

Apple yesterday released the latest version of its backup software for .Mac users, Backup 3.1 through Software Update. You can also get it here from Version Tracker. According to the release notes, the update delivers added support for some backup destinations and addresses file restoration and other issues. Backup 3.1, which is now a universal application, is recommended for all users of Backup 3.0.

Significant areas addressed in the release include: improved support for iDisk, local hard drives, and some network destinations (Mac OS X Tiger only); new iWeb QuickPick and updated iLife plan; and fixes to issues with restoring files.


Adobe updated Acrobat 7.07 and Acrobat Reader 7.07. The Acrobat 7.07 update is available for both Professional,Standard editions, and also for it's free Reader, bringing new functionality, bug fixes, and security updates. You can Update through Acrobat's internal updater or here for the free version, or here for the Pro & Standard versions of Acrobat 7.07.


Postal 2

Ryan Gordon has updated Postal 2, it's also been patched to support Apple's new line of iMacs. The patch fixes a number of other Mac-specific issues with the game and adds support for the Apocalypse Weekend expansion pack.

Postal 2 is a crazy game, or as MacWorld has put it
"The game has been widely reviled — even banned in some countries — for its ribald, irreverent sense of humor and its lampooning of everything from anti-video game violence groups to racial minorities. But it’s also rich with tongue-in-cheek satire and pop culture references. (Former child star Gary Coleman even makes an appearance.)"


Here's a breakdown of the changes:

Postal 2 is now a "Universal" (PowerPC and Intel) binary.
Stencil buffer support added (fixes mirrors not reflecting).
Other rendering fixes and enhancements from UT2004.
Fixed some memory corruption crashes.
Updated OpenAL (again) with several (more) fixes.
Disabled mmap() for file i/o (fixes out of memory issues).
Fixed karma crashes, usually seen in Apocalypse Weekend.
Updated OpenAL with several fixes.
Launching a dedicated server from the game now works.
Apocalypse Weekend support (expansion pack sold seperately!)

You can get it here.

Apple has posted the video trailer (Quicktime 7 required) of Blizzards upcoming expansion to it's massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft. With more then 5.5 million players the expansion called Burning Crusade is sure to please it's users. It has a lot of extra's it's bringing to the game.


Here is just a partial list of what you can expect from the World of Warcraft expansion:
•An increase in the level cap to 70
•Two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves
•New starting zones in Quel'Thalas and beyond
•The entire new continent of Outland, reachable through the Dark Portal
•Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth, Outland, and elsewhere
•New flying mounts in Outland
•Many new and dangerous monsters, including epic world bosses
•Hundreds of new quests
•Hundreds of new items
•A new profession: Jewelcrafting
•Socketed items
And much, much more...


O.K. time for....
Rumors!
Think Secret has posted that Apple is nearing completion of a completely revamped video iPod that will shed the ubiquitous mechanical click wheel for a touch screen and will sport a 3.5-inch diagonal display.
"This video iPod, which has been in development and on the table since before Apple released the 5G iPod last year with video playback, will feature a display that will occupy the entire front face of the device. Sources who have seen the device report that it features a digital click wheel, one that overlays the touch-sensitive display and appears when a finger touches it and disappears when the finger is removed."
People like Charles Wolf of Needham & Co. seem to think that Apple may be planning a birthday bash (April 1, Apple's 30th birthday) as a time and place to release exciting new products, like an Intel-based iBook as well as the "real" video iPod.

To support his predictions, Wolf said his conviction that a Video iPod will be introduced stems from two events. The first is that the company is rapidly increasing the video content available at the iTunes Music Store. And reports coming out of Asia that Apple has materially reduced its orders of the iPod with video viewing capabilities that it introduced last October.

Wolf also noted that products Apple might introduce at its April event could extend beyond the Intel iBook and video iPod. The analyst noted that an Intel-based Mac mini destine for the living room may also be in the cards.


Think Secret is also saying that "Apple's upcoming midtown Manhattan retail store will mark a first for the company as sources report the location will be open 24 hours a day. The store, located in the underground retail plaza of the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Street will also be among the first stores to offer customers an iPod Bar.

The 25,000-square-foot store will dwarf Apple's SoHo location and will be capped by a 32-foot glass cube that will stand in front of the building and house the stairs and elevators that will take customers underground to the Apple retail store.
"

By the way, if you are looking into getting a Intel-based Mac, Ted Landau has wriiten a article on MacFixit.com on software side of using a Intel-based Mac, not like most out there based on hardware.

Lastly more talk about Apple possibly buying palm from ARSTechnica. "Further driving the rumors of an Apple-Palm buyout are the recent spate of patents that Apple has been furiously acquiring in recent years. From failed attempts to patent the iPod interface, to integrated cameras in laptop latches, as well as a mysterious application last year for an
"electronic device" that looks suspiciously like a Tablet PC, Apple has been busy thinking about the next generation of its consumer devices. A few years back, Apple stirred the rumors of a reintroduction of the Newton by including an updated version of its handwriting technology, now called Inkwell, in OSX."


Also for those of you who can't get enough of vaporware, wired.com has given Duke Nukem Forever the No1 spot...again! From their page:

It's back! By popular demand, the winner of the 2005 Vaporware Awards is 3D Realms' Duke Nukem Forever, the loooooooooooooong-awaited sequel to its popular Duke Nukem game.

What else could we do? Readers overwhelmingly voted the MIA title the vaporware champion.

The game came second in the 2000 Vaporware Awards, and won in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 we gave it a Lifetime Achievement Award, just to get it off the list.

But incredibly, the company says it's still in development -- nearly nine years after it was first announced. The official release date is "when it's done," according to the company's website.

I just love some of the comments from readers on the wired.com webpage about Duke Nukem Forever!
"Reader Greg Gemignani wrote: "Announced in 1997 and promised every year since, this game takes vaporware to new heights. Think about it, in just 13 months this game will have been in one form of development or another for a decade. This project started with a game based on the Quake 2 engine, then in 1999 it moved to the Unreal engine and has been stalled ever since. The 3D Realms site still lists it as the first game on its products page, the site still claims it will be released, and the FAQ on the game was updated early this year. Shouldn't Duke Nukem Forever get some place of honor for maintaining vaporware status for nearly a decade, particularly in the fast-paced market of FPS video games?"

Reader Tomas Björklund asked: "What other product can really compete with a product that was supposed to come out last millennium?!"

And reader Robert Danzinger said: "It's been in development for almost a fucking decade now. Give 3D Realms a medal or something."
*thanks Peek for the heads up

Did I miss the News part? naw it's mixed in there ;)

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