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TV-PGAugust 11, 2000: Forget the XtremMac-- AtAT is proud to endorse the 1200 GHz hoaXtremMac, instead. Meanwhile, AppleInsider revives the "Vetoed 650 MHz IBM G4" rumor, and Adobe slaps Macromedia with a lawsuit for violating its "tabbed palette" patent...
There was no new episode broadcast on August 12, 2000, so we're still showing you the last episode broadcast before then. (August 11, 2000)
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Terahertz Is Where It's At (8/11/00)
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Every once in a while, one of our countless fans and groupies will temporarily suspend the screaming and the swooning and all that great rock-star-worship stuff to ask us why we haven't prostituted AtAT's hard-won popularity by doing cheesy product endorsements. Usually we remember to echo our publicist's canned response: "Because while literally hundreds of big-name manufacturers have gotten down on their hands and knees and begged us to promote their gear, we've yet to encounter a product we deem worthy of carrying the AtAT seal of approval-- and we have far too much integrity to stand behind a product that isn't up to our exacting standards." Other times, when we're glazed over after recovering from accidental exposure to the voice of The Nanny while flipping channels, we accidentally give an honest answer: "Because no one's asked. At least, no one willing to pony up enough cash."

But now all that's changed! AtAT is pleased to announce its first official product endorsement: the hoaxTremMac. While those jokers over at xTrem are busy futzing around with trying to push a G4 up to a piddly 1200 MHz by sticking it inside a 3D rendering (a scientific process that is well beyond your puny mortal comprehension, so don't even ask), the guys at hoaxTrem are running rings around them in the lab. The hoaxTremMac is a full three orders of magnitude faster than xTrem's bush-league offering, running at a stunning 1200 GHz. Not 1200 MHz, mind you-- 1200 GHz. Yeah, that's right, 1.2 THz. Don't believe us? Wanna make something of it? Then let's step outside and we'll hand you your butt on a plate. No? Didn't think so. Punk.

In addition to the hoaxTremMac 1200 GHz (still in development), hoaXtrem's latest press release (complete with quote from Yours Truly) also introduces the MacDuff, a "false rear-end" that straps to the backside of a PowerBook user, providing a soothing massage while he or she works. But while the MacDuff is an innovation that no PowerBook user should be without, it's clearly the hoaXtremMac that has captured the hearts and minds of the industry as a whole. In a matter of days, gigahertz will be a thing of the past; everyone will be talkin' terahertz, baby.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue as we lobby for hoaXtrem to add a second model: the hoaXtremMac Special AtAT Edition. In addition to the standard hoaXtremMac's 1200 GHz performance that delivers maximum productivity to the user "until the whole thing explodes in a nuclear-like fireball after approximately 240 minutes of sustained usage," we envision the Special AtAT Edition gaining a few tasty productivity-boosting extras. Like a nifty Graphite or Snow AtAT logo right on the front. And a big, fat royalty check made out to CASH. We'll let you know how it goes.


 
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Motorola & IBM: Play Nice (8/11/00)
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Okay, okay, we give in; no more jabs at Mac OS Rumors. (For a few days, at least.) The legendary big dog of the Apple rumor yard may have seemed a bit off its game for the past year or so, what with infrequent updates, declining accuracy, and Rumors Lite™-style content-- not to mention accusations of lifting info directly from AppleInsider and reposting it without credit. All that aside, though, the site's detractors will have to admit that MOSR does sometimes get a few things right, and occasionally long before anyone else. We're not just talking about the Cube story, either; have you seen AppleInsider's latest report on the IBM-Motorola scuffle?

In it, AppleInsider claims that the G4's current long-standing 500 MHz "bottleneck" is largely artificial. While it's allegedly true that Motorola has been unable to break its way into the upper half of the gigahertz range, rumor has it that IBM's "more advanced manufacturing processes" have enabled Big Blue to crank out "much faster" instances of the current G4 architecture for several months now. The reason that you haven't seen these rumored 600+ MHz IBM G4s appearing in any Macs is because they contain Altivec-- that much-touted "Velocity Engine" that Apple's always going on about. Motorola owns the Altivec technology. IBM licenses it from Motorola. And as a condition of that license, IBM is supposedly forbidden to ship these faster G4s until Motorola manages to catch up, which is why we Mac users are still staring at that same old 5 followed by those same two 0s.

Does this sound familiar? It should-- at least, if you happen to be a regular viewer of this particular program. We first introduced this sinister "Motorola's evil speed-killing legal choke-chain around IBM's neck" plotline way back on March 1st, when the rumor was first broken by-- you guessed it-- Mac OS Rumors. We returned to the storyline on March 6th, when MOSR posted more info on the nature of Motorola's mysterious hold over IBM. So, like the Cube, here's another example in which an MOSR report has later been corroborated by AppleInsider... in this case, over five months later.

We have two points, here. The first is that, if you're reading rumors sites for actual informational reasons, Mac OS Rumors still has something to offer. Since both it and AppleInsider are free and not mutually exclusive, we don't see why you'd pick one over the other. (We read them both for entertainment purposes, ourselves, and they're both rip-roaring fun-- though sometimes unintentionally so.) The other point we'd like to make is that if the aforementioned rumor is true, then whatever entity at Motorola is vetoing IBM's faster chips should bite the bullet and stop being such a poophead. Thank you, and good night.


 
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Adobe: Put It On My Tab (8/11/00)
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What, you think Apple's the only company willing to drag competitors into court for copying its designs? Not hardly. Intellectual property litigation has long since surpassed such activities as mountain biking, racquetball, and routine caffeine overdose as the most popular pastime in the high-tech industry today. Take, for example, the latest lawsuit likely to influence the future of the Mac-using creative professional: Adobe is suing rival Macromedia for patent infringement, because the latter company simply won't stop putting tabbed palettes in its products. How gauche.

According to MacWEEK, Adobe holds a patent for the technique of using tabs to switch between different tool sets in a single floating palette, which it filed in 1994. A MacCentral article indicates that Adobe first contacted Macromedia about the infringement four years ago, when Macromedia's Fireworks product debuted sporting tabbed palettes. Macromedia was apparently unmoved, since the company continued to use tabbed palettes in its new products. Adobe fired another warning shot in "May of last year." Still no effect. Then, last month, Macromedia released Flash 5, which included-- all together, now-- tabbed palettes, at which point Adobe decided to file suit.

Macromedia, for its part, can't exactly deny that it violated Adobe's patent. After all, the tabbed palettes are right there for the world to see. So its defense is similar to the one that Apple used when it got sued by that Hanoch Shalit pipsqueak over ColorSync: the patent is "invalid and unenforceable" because it never should have been granted in the first place, since it was "attained by not disclosing prior art." Once this whole thing shakes out (and we all know how long that can take), there's a possibility that Macromedia will have to choose some other method of letting its customers manage their tools-- or pay a license fee to Adobe for the privilege of retaining its current interface choice. Hey, it's not as much fun as a potential Qube lawsuit, but creative professionals need courtroom drama, too.


 
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Previously, on As the Apple Turns...

TV-PGAugust 10, 2000: The upcoming tell-all Steve Jobs biography has hit a few hurdles-- is our favorite iCEO calling in a few favors? Meanwhile, Apple introduces a new instant loan featuring online approval and truly frightening interest rates, and Paine Webber breaks the mold and sees AAPL's inner beauty...

Tune in now!


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