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Apple has announced a multimedia software developer's kit for both Mac OS and Windows. It comes in two parts: a programming environment and a media tool for designers. Media Tool combines interactive multimedia features with object-based authoring. The learning curve for scripting is said to be short, and you can drop into C when necessary. Corporate users pay $.50 per application runtime copy, or $5K/year for unlimited use. Commercial publishers pay 2%-3% of wholesale; educational licensing is free. Media Tool is $995 initially, soon $1,195. The full Media Kit with a special-effects bundle is $3,995 from APDA, (800) 282-2732. [Linda Rohrbough, Newsbytes. Bill Park, 9/21/93.]

WWW has information on the Multimedia Research Object Systems Group, which is exploring high-level C++ interfaces, actors, and "video widgets" for multimedia programming. Link to http://cui_www.unige.ch/OSG/MultimediaResearch/ for hypertext on class frameworks, synchronization methods, data models for time-based media, multi-layered video and the user interface, etc. Simon Gibbs (simon@cui.unige.ch). [Marcus Speh (marcus @x4u.desy.de), alt.uu.future, 9/14/93. Bill Park.]

SUIT is UVirginia's multiplatform GUI ANSI-C development tool for Unix/X, Mac, DOS, or Windows, free to educators. You get buttons, sliders, menus, etc., that you can lay out and edit interactively -- even while running the applications. "The Pascal of UI toolkits," needing just a 10-page manual and two hours of spin-up time. Send an empty message to suit@uvacs.cs.virginia.edu for details and FTP instructions. Other portable-software development tools, including XVT, are described in the 10/93 issue of UNIX Today, pp. 65-74. [Tom Horton (tom@sailfish.cse.fau.edu), HUMANIST, 9/14/93.]

Paul Harmon published a good overview of case-based reasoning tools last year. See Intelligent Software Strategies, VIII #1, pp. 1-12 for Part III (product reviews). It compares ART-IM, CBR Express, ESTEEM, Remind, ADS/CBR, and Induce-It. [Nathalie Beauboucher (beaub@imag.imag.fr), comp.ai, 9/6/93.]

SoftLock Services (Malvern, PA) provides password protection for any part of your commercial/shareware software or e-journal. Users may download or share your code freely, but can be charged for access to advanced features. Passwords will only work on a single host system. SoftLock will handle the password distribution and billing by phone or via Internet, using RSA encryption to protect credit card numbers. Users get try-before-you-buy reassurance and immediate access to the feature they desire, and you get inexpensive sales and credit services. Jon Schull (info@softlock.com), (215) 993-9900, (215) 993-9434 Fax. [Bob Shelderfer, net-hap, 9/16/93.]