I wanted to comment quickly that we're aware of the passage of the Telecommunications Reform Act and of the furor surrounding some of its wording. Until we've had a chance to investigate more seriously, though, we didn't want to write about it. More soon - in the meantime, consider checking out the protest pages below. [ACE]
Corel Buys WordPerfect -- Last week, Corel Inc. purchased Novell's business applications division for $115 million in cash and stock, considerably less than the $1 billion Novell paid for WordPerfect and Quattro Pro less than two years ago (see TidBITS-302). Corel plans to integrate their flagship graphics software with WordPerfect applications in a challenge to Microsoft Office - a phrase that's becoming a broken record in the industry. Corel CEO Michael Copland declined to comment on the future of the Mac version of WordPerfect, although he denied reports WordPerfect will abandon Mac development. However, reports to TidBITS indicate Novell's WordPerfect Mac division was down to just four people by Macworld Expo in San Francisco, which makes one wonder how Corel - a company with little experience developing Mac software - plans to acquire the resources necessary to pursue Macintosh development. [GD]
Apple Demos Mac OS on PPCP -- At Demo 96 last week, Apple demonstrated a development version of the Mac OS running on a prototype computer built to PowerPC Platform (PPCP) specifications. (See TidBITS-304.) Machines built to the PowerPC Platform spec can theoretically run any operating system designed for the platform, and Apple, Sun, IBM, Microsoft, and others have announced plans to support it. The prototype, built by IBM, ran mainstream Power Macintosh applications and used third-party peripherals. Apple said a final release of the Mac OS for the PowerPC Platform should be available in the second half of 1996, with the first Macs based on the spec appearing in 1997. Potential Mac OS licensees see support for the PowerPC Platform as an important part of Apple's licensing strategy. [GD]
Netscape 2.0 Released -- Netscape released the final version of Netscape Navigator 2.0 last weekend, with few apparent changes from beta 6 released a few weeks ago. The archive is about 2.5 MB in size; once again, the installer will attempt to launch Netscape and connect to a set of registration pages when installation is complete, potentially causing problems if more than one version of Netscape is installed on your machine (see TidBITS-311).
As anticipated, Java support is not included in the final Macintosh release. Rumor suggests beta releases of Netscape Navigator 2.1 will be available for the Macintosh in a few months, and it should include preliminary Java support. Netscape has also released the first beta of Navigator Gold (with HTML authoring tools) for Windows, but not for the Mac or Unix. [GD]
FreePPP 1.0.5 Available -- Steve Dagley has released version 1.0.5 of FreePPP, which now scrambles stored passwords (although it doesn't encrypt them), uses resource-based strings for tone and pulse dial commands (for folks with ISDN terminal adapters who may need to modify the strings), and fixes a few bugs. Steve expects version 2.5 of FreePPP to be available in March, so if you don't need features or fixes in 1.0.5, it's probably fine to stick with your current PPP configuration. [GD]
And Now, NetPresenz! Peter Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org> has released NetPresenz 4.0, a major upgrade and name change from FTPd 3.0. The name change comes in response to the fact that NetPresenz is now a full-featured Web server that supports CGI scripts in addition to the FTP and Gopher capabilities of past versions. Also new is support for Open Transport, which will probably improve performance by a noticeable amount. NetPresenz remains $10 shareware, and it is a free upgrade for anyone who registered FTPd since 01-Jan-95; previous users may upgrade for $5. If WebSTAR or InterServer Publisher is too pricey for your blood, NetPresenz's $10 shareware fee is one of the best deals around. [ACE]
And This Just In... Two notable items from Apple today; first, Apple announced price cuts ranging from $100 to $300 on some PowerPC-based Performa models, in addition to Apple's Power Payback program already underway (see TidBITS-312). Second, Apple and the Open Software Foundation announced a project to port Linux, a freely distributed version of Unix, to Power Macintosh. The port will operate on the OSF Mach microkernel, and an early prototype was shown at the demo. [GD]