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Naked Mole Rat Report: Hanuramakwaanzamas greetings!

December 1, 2001

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Burrow into The Gay Blade’s enclave. The Spork Boards

Author’s note: This installment of the Naked Mole Rat Report is consecrated to the memory of Apple co-founder George Harrison, whose hipster reserve, Hindu spirituality and circa-1966 haircut all comprised a vital template for the persona of Steve Jobs. “Life goes on within you and without you.” Namaste, Mr. Harrison. – TGB

Taking a well-thumbed page from hirsute thespian Ron Jeremy and autoerotic performance artist Vito Acconci, The Gay Blade constantly endeavors to put a little love into everything he makes.

Not surprisingly, then, the looming holiday season has inspired this utensil to dig deep into the darkest nooks and crannies of his burrow in search of some small token of esteem for his faithful readers.

But what offering would represent le cadeau juste? A tinsel-trimmed pyramid of flaming Exponential processors, perhaps? A fondue set wrought from the corroded hulk of a Motorola StarMax 6000? An inflatable replica of erstwhile Apple Americas mullah Jim Buckley?

The Blade briefly toyed with a mass mailing of some sort – that is, until his handlers at MacEdition convinced him that crudely wrapped baggies of freshly milled Parmesan cheese (each bearing a roughly hand-lettered Ramadan greeting) might ruffle the pin feathers of intended recipients and federal investigators alike.

So like the Little Drummer Boy (from the beloved men’s magazine of the same name), this implement falls back upon that old Yuletide standby: the gift of himself.

Maybe it’s just that last mug of fluoxetine-and-betel nut eggnog talking, but the Blade hopes to spring a veritable advent calendar of small but chunky rumorological goodies between now and the planned Naked Mole Rat Ball at January’s Macworld Expo/San Francisco. Slip on your protective goggles and grab a ringside seat!

Chunk One: After Effects 5.5
According to the Blade’s “sleeper network” of narcoleptic video professionals, the next substantial revision to Adobe Systems Inc.’s transitions and effects package is in the final throes of beta-dom.

The Mac OS X-native AE 5.5’s niceties will include new power over 3D scenes via layers that cast colored shadows or act like stained glass, the ability to manipulate compositions from multiple perspectives, a new Effects palette, and post-render actions. The rev will also let users generate RealMedia streaming audio and video output; import 3D camera data; work with a new assortment of 16-bit file formats; and import Macromedia Flash (SWF), RPF, RLA, and MPEG-1 files.

Chunk Two: Flash 6
And on the other side of the multimedia fence, Macromedia Inc. in December will take the wraps off Mac and Windows versions of Flash 6, the latest version of its well-nigh-ubiquitous media-creation tool. Shout-outs to Macromedia!

Chunk Three: Jobs’ jobs
Finally, the Blade is amused to have confirmation that Steve Jobs is not above deploying the executive hard sell in the interest of promoting both his corporate bailiwicks. To wit, Apple insiders confirm reports that the Apple CEO has been reminding staffers of their duty to attend at least one screening of “Monsters Inc.,” the recently released “Shrek” emulator created by Jobs’ other company, Pixar.

Heeey ... That’s not nougat! Make like G.G. Allin and pitch a chunk of your own to The NMR Report – a squeezably soft mole rat could be yours!

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