Many Macintosh users had to be scratching their heads after yesterday's announcement that MetaCreations, developer of Painter, Bryce, Kai's Power Tools, and a host of other graphics programs, has undergone yet another corporate restructuring, and perhaps its most radical one yet. The company said it will focus its efforts solely on developing "e-commerce visualization solutions" involving its MetaStream 3-D graphics technology, and that it will "divest its graphics software assets that do not complement this strategy." As part of the restructuring, Mark Zimmer, president of the company's business graphics division, has replaced Gary Lauer as CEO. Lauer, a former Silicon Graphics executive, had been CEO since February 1998. MetaStream, a file format that permits streaming of 3-D graphics on the Web, is derived from technology developed by Real Time Geometry, a small Princeton, N.J., company that MetaCreations acquired in 1996 when the latter was known as MetaTools (see the sidebar … [Read more...] about MetaCreations’ Puzzling Move
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Apple Maps got off to an ignominious start, but Apple has done a really great job in the last couple years of bringing it up to par. The new in-house maps data has now expanded throughout the entire U.S. and it has made a huge difference in the precision, accuracy, and reliability of Maps. Though not technically part of iOS 14, Apple is expanding its new map data throughout the U.K., Canada, and Ireland this year. The new maps data is only one piece of the puzzle. When you update to iOS 14 this fall, you can expect these useful new features. Cycling directions Walking, driving, and transit directions are table stakes these days. What about getting around on your bike? Apple is bringing cycling directions to iOS 14, starting with the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City, Shanghai, and Beijing. More cities will follow in the coming months. When you choose cycling directions you get an elevation overview and the directions take into account shared roads and … [Read more...] about Everything new with Maps in iOS 14
I was driving down a Los Angeles freeway a few weeks back—which is another way of saying that I was parked in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Los Angeles freeway a few weeks back—when I noticed a billboard announcing a format change for one of the radio stations in this part of the world. Arrow 93— a classic rock station for as long as I can remember (my memory stretches back a decade or so, incidentally)—was now calling itself Jack FM. The change was more than nominal. “They’ve expanded their playlist,” explained my wife, who knows all about these sorts of things. “So instead of just playing classic rock, they’ve got some pop music, some alternative, stuff from the ’90s. And they jump from one genre to another at random.” “It sounds like an iPod on shuffle mode,” I said. And apparently, it’s supposed to. The Los Angeles station is one of eight FM stations across the U.S. bearing the Jack moniker, according to this Chicago Tribune article . In Chicago, for example, the station … [Read more...] about iPods killed the radio star
Fans of talk radio, sports radio, and classical music will be pleased to discover that iTunes Radio now offers streams of ESPN Radio along with an abundance of local NPR stations. The ESPN Radio stream includes popular talk radio sports shows including SportsCenter, Mike & Mike, The Herd, The Dan LeBatard Show, The Freddie Colman Show, and others. Additionally, ESPN radio will broadcast special events through the station, including FIFA World Cup, NBA, MLB playoffs and World Series, and NCAA college football (!). A national network NPR station has been on iTunes Radio for a few months, but the addition of local affiliate NPR stations is new. In a quick search we counted over 42 local NPR affiliate stations available, including KQED San Francisco, KPCC Los Angeles, KUT Austin, WBEZ Chicago, WNYC New York, WAMU DC, OPB Oregon, KUNC Colorado, MTPR Montana, KUOW Seattle, amongst many others. New NPR stations are expected to be added as well. To listen to either ESPN Radio … [Read more...] about Listen to NPR and ESPN Radio on iTunes Radio from iOS or Mac / PC
Between last weekend's opening of the San Francisco Apple retail store and a tidbit noting an "undercurrent of dissatisfaction" from independent retailers, MacCentral readers have had quite a bit to say about independent Apple retailers lately, and not all of it is good. Apple has opened up dozens of retail store locations around the country and continues to do so. It's also gradually opening them overseas, with the first in Tokyo's Ginza district, another coming to Japan, and if rumors bear fruit, soon in the UK as well. For the most part, Apple has moved into locations that these mom and pop shops can't get into: Upscale shopping malls, for example, boutique areas and high-visibility urban domains. Apple has now opened up four domestic stores that qualify as "flagship" locations -- New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- big, splashy architectural wonders that do as much to raise the visibility of Apple's logo in tony retail locations as they do to actually push … [Read more...] about Whither the Indie Mac Resellers?