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MacEdition Pro News : June 24, 2002: JavaScript jumpstarts, moving museums, Mail Magic and that damn DMCA

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Jump start your JavaScript

Does the thought of writing your own JavaScript from scratch give you the willies? Well, the drag-and-drop (and aptly named) JavaScript tool, jsTool from rnSoft, may be just the thing you’re after. Here’s the gist of what it does:

jsTool brings the concept of drag & drop to the JavaScript world. It provides you a list of objects and a clear hierarchy based on the elements of the document object model that works across browsers. Grab an object in that list and drop it on your code and the JavaScript reference to that object is created. It’s great for beginners because they can learn how JavaScript and the DOM work through simple drag & drop experimentation. It’s great for professionals because they can’t make a typo with drag & drop. Plus it’s a heck of a lot faster.

[...]

jsTool is an integrated development environment for JavaScript. It offers drag & drop, autocompletion of commands as you are typing, popup menus of properties, double-click object renaming, integrated help and much more. It is an excellent companion tool to any WYSIWYG web page editor (like Dreamweaver).

jsTool Version 1.0.1 is a $60 shareware product and can be downloaded at http://www.rnsoft.com/download. It certainly sounds spiffy – if you’ve used jsTool, let us know your thoughts in the Feedback Farm below.

What’s in a (domain) name?

Here’s a quick note for anyone who’s passionate about filling their heads full of obscure Apple related trivia. The Apple Online Museum has changed its name and launched a new site:

“The Apple Museum”, formerly “The Apple Online Museum”, has today launched a completely new Apple history Web site.

With more than 350 Apple products listed, The Apple Museum is the most comprehensive Apple history source on the Internet. The Apple Museum tells the story of Apple Computer, Inc. with all details and puts it in a comprehensible connection, featuring specifications of almost every Apple product, time-lines and background information to each product. The Apple Museum also features the most comprehensive list of Apple internal code-names on the entire Web.

Dazzle your friends with your Mac knowledge, or make them run away screaming ...

Mac users wanna spam too

Okay, that heading is perhaps a little unfair, but this product has the potential to be used for spamming. It’s a product called Mail Magic from the folks at Infinisys, otherwise famous for their hairstyle simulation software (which might be handy for choosing a disguise to avoid folks you’ve just spammed). The gist of what it does is detailed below:

With Mail Magic you just have to prepare a data file, using word processing software or a database, which contains the details you want to use. Then just read it into Mail Magic to have it automatically combined with the main text of your message. In addition to personal use, Mail Magic has many applications for business as well. For example software vendors can personalize upgrade notices by including the names, customer numbers etc of their users. Internet vendors can add a personal touch to direct mails to their registered customers. Whether for home or business use Magic Mail is certain to become indispensable to anyone who uses e-mail.

Features

  • Send up to 30,000 mails at a time.
  • Send HTML mail and binary data attachments
  • Use up to 10 customizable fields per mail
  • Can read either tab-delineated or comma-delineated data files
  • Preview feature lets you check how each recipient’s mail will look.
  • Includes free HTML mail templates and data base template files (for AppleWorks and ClarisWorks)
  • Works in native mode in OS X

You can download a demonstration version of Mail Magic for no charge (http://en.infinisys.co.jp/product/mail_magic/). This demonstration version limits the number of mails you can send at one time to 10, and includes an advertisement for Mail Magic at the end of each mail sent. Otherwise it is a full working version. Serial numbers to convert the demonstration version into a full working version can be purchased from Infinisys’s home page (http://en.infinisys.co.jp) for US$20.

[...]

Hardware/Software Requirements

  • CPU: Power Macintosh or better (Doesn’t work with Macs that have had CPU upgrades)
  • OS: Mac OS 9.04 or better (Works in native mode in OS X)
  • Memory: 20MB of available memory
  • Hard Disk: 4MB of free space

Check it out at http://en.infinisys.co.jp/product/mail_magic/, and please use it responsibly!

The DMCA and Internet radio: Half a gouging is still a gouging

This is an update on the ongoing Internet radio saga that we’ve covered previously here and here. After a 30-day stay of execution, the Copyright Office has handed down its final verdict.

The good news first, as there’s much less of it: The pay-per-play bloodmoney Webcasters will be forced to pony up to the RIAA was halved to 0.07 cents per song, per listener.

The bad news? It’s still grossly unfair, unreasonable, and unworkable for independent Internet radio stations.

It’s unfair because regular radio stations do not have this pay-per-play tariff imposed upon them. And contrary to RIAA assertions of "Internet freeloaders", Webcasters already pay a plethora of royalties directly to artist groups (such as ASCAP, which is a fair arrangement) and they’re now being asked to also pay record labels for doing nothing, while traditional radio stations don’t have to.

It’s also unreasonable because this additional fee is being charged retroactively back to 1998. Additionally, stations that only broadcast independent alternative artists still pay the RIAA tax, even though these artists are unlikey to see one cent of this money.

Finally, it’s unworkable because Internet radio stations will simply pop up in locations outside the jurisdiction of the DMCA (“Jukebox in Siberia”, anyone?) Meanwhile, Internet radio stations in the US are likely to go out of business.

This decision means another medium for small-time groups to promote themselves is snuffed out, reducing diversity and choice for consumers. But hey, if good corporate big-label bands like Britney or the Backstreet Boys aren’t your cup of tea, there’s always others like Metallica, right?

At MacEdition we have strong opinions on copyright matters because the heavyhanded sillyness of the DMCA allows far too much copyright to pass into ownership of a powerful few. If left unchecked, it will stifle innovation as it affects your rights, as a content creator, to your own content.

For those interested in following this matter further, check out saveinternetradio.org and www.kurthanson.com.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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