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Daily Computer News and Rumors

September 23-30 2003

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Sep 30 Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Delivers New Home Entertainment Experiences
Sep 30 Sonic Launches PrimeTime Deluxe for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
Sep 30 CompUSA Announces Good Guys Acquisition
Sep 30 IBM Creates New Transistor That Uses 80 Percent Less Power
Sep 30 Apricorn Introduces EZ Bus DT Hard Drive Backup and Storage System
Sep 29 All-New Adobe Creative Suite Delivers Platform for The Future
Sep 29 Disney-Owned MovieBeam Service Launches This Week
Sep 29 Musicmatch Introduces 99 Cent Downloads for the PC
Sep 29 Spam Will Account for 60 Percent of E-Mail by End of 2004
Sep 29 Chip Sales Reach $13.42 Billion in August; Revenues up 12.5% Year-over-Year
Sep 28 Sunday Shopping Watch
Sep 26 Intel Debuts Hyper-Threading Technology for Portable Notebook PCs
Sep 26 Apple Introduces New 15-inch PowerBook
Sep 26 Marvell® Samples the World’s First Native Serial ATA II System on Chip
Sep 26 DISH Network First to Sell 1 Million Digital Video Recorders
Sep 26 Logitech QuickCam Zoom Brings Instant Messages to Life
Sep 25 Intel® Introduces Celeron® Processor At 2.70 GHz
Sep 25 Intel Makes $450-Million Equity Investment in Micron Technology
Sep 25 Dell Brings Hyper-Threading Technology to Notebook Computers
Sep 25 Logitech Announces New Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks
Sep 24 AMD Ushers in Era of Cinematic Computing with the AMD Athlon™ 64 FX Processor
Sep 24 Transmeta and ULi Collaborate to Drive Innovative Mobile Devices
Sep 24 Free Wi-Fi Trial Available at Thousands of Hotspots on 'One Unwired Day,' Sept. 25
Sep 24 CSR brings its Bluetooth software to Symbian OS
Sep 24 MDM Publishes Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition for Windows Mobile Devices
Sep 23 AMD to Webcast AMD Athlon 64 Processor Launch Event
Sep 23 AMD Research Surpasses Semiconductor Industry's 2009 Performance Projections
Sep 23 F-Secure Warns: New Computer Worm Exploits False Security Update
Sep 23 Sonic Launches MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5
Sep 23 Canon's Entry-Level PC140 Personal Copier is Feature Rich
Sep 23 AOL Time Warner to Rename Company ``Time Warner''

 

Sep 30 - Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Delivers New Home Entertainment Experiences. Microsoft Corp. announced today at a multicity press conference in the United States and Europe the launch of Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2004, evolving home PCs with easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment that consumers can enjoy when and how they want.

Demonstrating the growing industry excitement around this new class of home PCs, Microsoft unveiled plans by Dell and Sony to deliver Media Center 2004 PCs. These new manufacturing partners join existing Media Center PC manufacturers, including Gateway Inc., HP and Toshiba Corp., in making a broad range of affordable Media Center PC designs starting at below $1,000 available to consumers today.

Microsoft also announced that through working with key content providers, including CinemaNow, Movielink and Napster, consumers will be able to enjoy remote control access to exciting new online digital content such as on-demand music and movie subscription services. Finally, consumers currently enjoying the benefits of a Media Center PC will be able to obtain an upgrade to Media Center Edition 2004, allowing them to experience the latest advances in PC entertainment.

"Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is a great example of integrating software, hardware and services to create simple and compelling experiences that enhance people's lives," said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. "We've moved from designing feature by feature to designing complete scenarios that influence not just software, but also hardware and services requirements. We're entering the era of eXPerience Computing -- Media Center Edition 2004, which gives customers easy access to great entertainment experiences, is the first in a long line of product releases that will benefit from this holistic approach."

A New Way to Enjoy Music and Movies

Microsoft is enabling key content providers to deliver a new level in entertainment options for consumers to enjoy on their Media Center 2004 PCs -- all with the convenience of a remote control. For example Microsoft has worked with CinemaNow, Movielink and Napster to offer consumers using Media Center 2004 PCs in the United States an easier way to order and enjoy movies and music downloaded from the Internet through Web pages specially designed to be viewed from a distance.

These services offer the unmatched audio and video quality of Windows Media 9 Series and allow consumers to order a movie or a song with a few touches of the Media Center PC remote control. Consumers can also use their Media Center PC to easily record their favorite television show and, using Sonic's PrimeTime Media Center application, burn it onto DVDs or video CDs with just a few clicks of the remote control. These new services and others can be found in Online Spotlight, a new online guide created specifically for Media Center Edition PC customers that offers a central location for consumers to find the latest music, movie trailers, news updates and more.

Industry-Leading PC Manufacturers Expand Media Center PCs to New Markets

This year more than 40 original equipment manufacturers around the world will begin shipping Media Center Edition 2004 PCs to consumers in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States. The following are among these PC manufacturers:

Dell: United States
Fujitsu Ltd.: Japan
Fujitsu Siemens Computers: Germany
Gateway: United States
Gericom AG: Germany
Hitachi Ltd.: Japan
HP: United States, China, France, Germany, Korea, United Kingdom
NEC: Japan
NEC CI/Packard Bell: France, United Kingdom
Samsung: Korea
Sony: United States, Canada
SOTEC: Japan
Toshiba: United States, Japan, United Kingdom, France and Germany
TriGem: Korea

Enhanced Entertainment Experiences at Your Fingertips

Consumers are demanding more of their home PCs, and, according to a recent report issued by Jupiter Research ("Consumer PCs and Digital Entertainment"), entertainment has now evolved to become a mainstream consumer PC activity: "In the past, consumers bought PCs for connectivity and productivity applications -- e-mail, Web browsing, word processing, doing taxes, etc. Microsoft's second-generation Windows XP Media Center Edition will become the standard OS offering for midlevel PCs and some desktop replacement notebooks over the next 12 to 18 months."

Microsoft is responding to this demand by providing key feature enhancements including the following:

Radio (FM). Consumers can listen to their favorite FM radio stations with one-button access from the remote control. Listening to NPR and missing an interview with a favorite author is no longer a problem: Listeners can simply press Replay and jump back seven seconds in the broadcast or Pause the interview if they need to step away.
CD-copying capability. Consumers can copy CDs to the Media Library using the remote control: When they insert a music CD, it will automatically copy and show up in their music library.
Enhanced photo features. Consumers can play slide shows from their summer vacation from the comfort of the couch by simply inserting a smart media or CompactFlash card or a CD to access photos. They can rotate, zoom, print and even remove red-eye with the touch of one button.
Calibration Wizard. This feature helps consumers customize the best picture for a variety of monitors, including CRT (standard), flat panel (LCD, Plasma), rear projection and front projection displays.
Enhanced 16 x 9 support. Users can take full advantage of wide-screen displays by using more of the screen for Media Center content.

Simple Upgrade Solutions and Broad Selection of New Media Center PCs

Microsoft has worked with PC manufacturers to provide low-cost upgrade options for consumers currently using a Media Center PC. For a minimal cost, customers can order a CD from their Media Center PC computer manufacturer that will allow them to take advantage of the Media Center Edition 2004 enhancements. Additional information on upgrading Media Center PCs can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/upgrade/default.asp.

NOTE: To enjoy all the benefits of Windows XP Media Center Edition, Internet access is recommended; for some features, such as the Electronic Program Guide, it is required.

Windows XP Microsoft's Media Center Edition 2004 web site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/.

Sep 30 - Sonic Launches PrimeTime Deluxe for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in DVD creation software, released today Sonic PrimeTime Deluxe, the premium version of the PrimeTime line of DVD creation software for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Launched in conjunction with Microsoft's release of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, PrimeTime Deluxe expands upon the Media Center experience by making it easy to archive personal digital media such as recorded TV shows onto DVDs that can be played on set-top DVD players and multimedia PCs. With new features including real-time TV preview, expanded menu style selections, OpenDVD(TM) edit-on-disc capability and Sonic SmartStyle(TM) technology, PrimeTime Deluxe is a great companion product for Windows XP Media Center Edition.

"Sonic continues to demonstrate its commitment to Media Center PCs by releasing a new, more powerful version of Sonic PrimeTime in conjunction with the release of Media Center Edition 2004," said Joe Belfiore, general manager for the Windows eHome division at Microsoft.
"With PrimeTime Deluxe, Sonic has designed an extremely elegant and simple way for consumers to use their Media Center PC to archive their favorite digital media to DVD."

"Sonic PrimeTime Deluxe enhances the Media Center experience by seamlessly adding DVD burning into the Media Center environment," said Dave Habiger, senior vice president and general manager for Desktop Products at Sonic. "We are pleased to release PrimeTime Deluxe concurrently with Microsoft's release of its newest version of Media Center."

Designed to add DVD creation to the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 experience, Sonic PrimeTime Deluxe employs the remote-controlled Media Center user interface to archive digital media such as TV programs that you might otherwise miss. Sonic PrimeTime utilizes the same program information and sorting functionality as Media Center, making it fast and easy for anyone to browse, select, preview and burn their favorite recorded TV shows to DVD or Video CD.
Sonic PrimeTime also includes a built-in Bit Budget(TM) which makes it easy to see how much space is available on each recorded DVD. Once PrimeTime starts burning a DVD, users can return to watching TV or listening to music on their Media Center PC. The final disc can then be played back on standard set-top DVD players and DVD-equipped PCs.

New Sonic PrimeTime Deluxe features include:

-- Edit-on-Disc(TM) - PrimeTime Deluxe is OpenDVD(TM)-compliant, allowing users to add or remove content on their rewritable DVDs and VCDs at anytime.
-- Real-time preview - PrimeTime Deluxe integrates TV playback into its interface, allowing users to play, pause, and navigate through each show and see the chapter points that will automatically get burned to disc.
-- Sonic SmartStyles(TM) - PrimeTime Deluxe creates menus that replicate the Media Center experience, allowing users to sort their TV shows directly on their DVD during playback.
-- Style chooser - PrimeTime Deluxe gives users the ability to choose the look and feel of their final DVD disc with a built-in style chooser. Additional styles will be available on the Sonic estore.
-- Dolby(R) Digital audio - PrimeTime Deluxe includes Dolby Digital audio encoding, providing crystal clear theater-quality sound and allowing for up to 50% more video on a disc.

About Sonic PrimeTime

The first application designed exclusively for Media Center PCs, Sonic PrimeTime puts the power of DVD burning in the palm of users' hands - literally. Inspired by Media Center's large-screen menus and TV connectivity, Sonic PrimeTime makes it fast and easy for users to find, select, and burn their favorite TV shows onto DVDs or Video CDs with just a few clicks of the Media Center's remote control. Sonic PrimeTime Deluxe will be available for purchase on the Sonic e-store at www.estore.sonic.com for $79.99 on October 15, 2003.

Sep 30 - CompUSA Announces Good Guys Acquisition. CompUSA today reached an agreement to acquire California-based consumer electronics chain, Good Guys Inc., (Nasdaq:GGUY). Good Guys currently operates 71 stores throughout California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. CompUSA will purchase all outstanding Good Guys stock for $2.05 per share in cash.

"This deal dovetails perfectly with our long-term technology convergence strategy," commented CompUSA CEO, Hal Compton. "At CompUSA, we're currently expanding our merchandise mix to include the latest entertainment technology. The acquisition of Good Guys is an exciting piece to our long-term growth game plan. We want to offer the seamless technology solutions our customers' lifestyles demand and, with Good Guys' solid reputation in delivering high-end entertainment technology, our offering just becomes that much stronger. Good Guys owns a niche that's highly complementary with our own."

If approved by Good Guys' shareholders and regulatory authorities, the transaction will be funded by cash available at U.S. Commercial (USCOMB1.MX), CompUSA's parent company. The resources needed for the acquisition, along with additional capital, will be infused into CompUSA by U.S. Commercial.

CompUSA Inc. is one of the nation's leading retailers and resellers of technology products and services. CompUSA currently operates 226 CompUSA Superstores in 90 major metropolitan markets across the United States that serve retail, small-to-medium businesses, corporate, government and education customers and includes technical service departments. Many of the stores include classroom-training facilities. CompUSA also operates a web site that offers an assortment of over 80,000 items at www.compusa.com.

Sep 30 - IBM Creates New Transistor That Uses 80 Percent Less Power. IBM today announced an innovative chip design that can improve performance fourfold or reduce power consumption fivefold in wireless devices compared to the state-of-the-art thin-silicon bipolar technology.

This achievement builds on IBM's recent announcement of clever new design and manufacturing methods that improve the performance and lower the power consumption of pure computing chips. As the wireless industry grows, device manufacturers will need better mixed-signal chips that support both computing applications and high frequency communications applications. This new chip design uses a revolutionary wafer thin enough to maximize the performance of both the computing and communications components.

Today complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips are the foundation for computing applications; silicon germanium (SiGe) bipolar chips provide radio frequency communications and analog functions. To improve the reliability of wireless devices, chip manufacturers have created SiGe BiCMOS chips that put computing and communications transistors onto one chip instead of using separate chips for computing and communications applications.

CMOS computing chips show higher performance when built atop a thin silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer. However, traditional SiGe bipolar transistors cannot be built on a thin SOI wafer. Until now, no one had been able to find a technique to combine CMOS and SiGe bipolar onto one wafer that would maximize the performance of both. IBM is the first to build SiGe bipolar using a thin SOI wafer, thereby paving the way to build SiGe bipolar and CMOS on the same thin SOI wafer, maximizing the performance of both the computing and communications functions.

"As the wireless industry continues to grow, new devices will require greater functionalities, performance, and reliability from their components," said Dr. T. C. Chen, VP Science and Technology, IBM Research. "IBM continues to find new methods to improve chips to ensure that the industry can meet consumer demands. The new chip design could be implemented within five years, enabling applications such as video streaming on cell phones."

IBM presented details of this new chip design today at the 2003 Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting taking place this week in Toulouse, France. This project was a collaboration between researchers and developers at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center, IBM Research and IBM Microelectronics Division.

For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.

Sep 30 - Apricorn Introduces EZ Bus DT Hard Drive Backup and Storage System. Apricorn, a leader in innovative easy-to-use portable data storage and transfer products, today released EZ Bus DT, a USB 2.0 backup and external storage system for both desktops and laptops.

EZ Bus DT is the ideal hard drive for backing up data and adding extra storage to any system -- notebook or desktop, PC or MAC. The plug-n-play and hot swappable features make hard drive capacity expansion simple. With availability of up to 250GB of additional storage as well as a transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps, users can backup their entire systems and safely store large files including digital photographs, emails, music and video files.

"EZ Bus DT has the storage capacity and design to be the perfect solution for both desktop and laptop users," said Paul Brown, Apricorn president and founder. "The convenient design makes it portable and stackable."

Hard drive models are available in 80GB, 120GB, 200GB and 250GB sizes. Additional features include a USB cable, AC adapter, enclosure stand, an ultra-cool fan and an aluminum enclosure keeping the hard drive at optimal temperatures improving the longevity of the hard drive and the stored data.

The EZ Bus DT includes EZ Gig II Backup and Disaster Recovery Utility for Windows, one of the most powerful and user-friendly backup packages available. EZ Gig II provides two utilities on one disk: Clone EZ and Image EZ.

Clone EZ is ideal for users who require an exact bootable clone of their drive. A cloned copy is great for real-time disaster recovery or when upgrading a hard drive. Image EZ is perfect for users who want a compressed image of either their entire hard drive or a partition. Image EZ compresses its backup image files, leaving users enough space to backup multiple computers, or maintain multiple backups made at different times.

System Requirements and Pricing

Software: Windows XP, 2000, ME & 98SE, Mac OS 8.6 and later
Hardware: Pentium CPU, CD or Floppy Drive, 32MBs RAM and USB capabilities.

EZ-BUS-DT-KIT (no hard drive) $79
EZ-BUS-DT -- 80GB: $189
EZ-BUS-DT -- 120GB: $219
EZ-BUS-DT -- 200GB: $359
EZ-BUS-DT -- 250GB: $439

The new EZ Bus DT is available now in the U.S., Canada and online at www.apricorn.com.

Sep 29 - All-New Adobe Creative Suite Delivers Platform for The Future. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in network publishing, today unveiled the Adobe(R) Creative Suite, a new software product that combines new full-version upgrades of Adobe Photoshop(R) CS, Adobe Illustrator(R) CS, Adobe InDesign(R) CS, and Adobe GoLive(R) CS, incorporates Acrobat(R) 6.0 Professional, and introduces the innovative Version Cue(TM) file version manager. The all-new Adobe Creative Suite is a complete design environment that gives today's creative professionals everything they need to create and publish content to print and the Web faster, more easily, and more efficiently than ever.

"Adobe Creative Suite integrates outstanding new product releases and unleashes Version Cue -- technology that will save creative professionals time and revolutionize interaction within creative teams," said Bruce Chizen, president and CEO, Adobe Systems Incorporated. "With Adobe Creative Suite we are delivering a platform for the future of design and publishing, building on 20 years of innovation and partnership with the creative community worldwide."

A New Era Of Adobe Integration

Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition combines four new full-version upgrades of essential Adobe applications, relied on by millions of creative professionals around the world: Photoshop CS with Adobe ImageReady CS(R), Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS, all brought together with Version Cue (see separate press releases for component software details).

With Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) becoming an integral part of Web and print production workflows, Acrobat 6.0 Professional, released to industry acclaim earlier this year, is also a component of the Adobe Creative Suite -- allowing customers to review and comment on documents, as well as pre-flight and output complex print jobs.

Adobe Creative Suite is anchored by Version Cue, an innovative file management system that allows designers to increase productivity and meet tight deadlines. Whether designers, working alone or in teams, are looking for the most recent iteration of a file or for an older version, Version Cue enables users to visually scan image thumbnails in Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, and GoLive CS, or search XMP metadata across version comments, keywords, author, date, and more.

"Simplification of the creative workflow and tighter integration of applications into suites is a trend which will benefit designers collaborating on projects to become more efficient and productive," said Joshua Duhl, research director at IDC. "Features that allow users to easily share files with clients and colleagues, and locate files visually or through the use of metadata will facilitate the broader workflow and lifecycle of creative assets."

A Standard Edition of Adobe Creative Suite is available, combining these same components, except for GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional, to provide an advanced solution for print design and layout.

Adobe Creative Suite also includes two Adobe typeface families. Warnock Pro, a new Adobe Originals OpenType family, is included with every copy of Adobe Creative Suite, providing a classic yet contemporary composition family that performs a wide variety of typographic tasks with elegance. Brioso Pro, an OpenType family designed in the calligraphic tradition of the Latin alphabet, is available free of charge to customers who register their copy of Adobe Creative Suite via the Web.

Get Up and Running Quickly

Both versions of Adobe Creative Suite include Video CDs, developed by Total Training, and a new Design Guide that offers insights on working more efficiently across the Adobe Creative Suite workflow, with advice for users of all experience levels. Adobe Creative Suite customers will also have access to the new, redesigned Adobe Studio(TM) (www.studio.adobe.com) a one-stop Web resource for expert tips, tricks, and guidance.

Customers receive one serial number for Adobe Creative Suite and one number to call for support and service, greatly simplifying installation and troubleshooting. Adobe Creative Suite comes with complimentary warranty support for registered users that provides toll-free and online support for installation and bug-fix issues. For other types of technical and workflow support issues, customers can purchase one of Adobe's Expert Support options (www.adobe.com/expertsupport).

Pricing and Availability

Adobe is making it easy for creative professionals worldwide to upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite. Any customer that currently has a copy of Photoshop (purchased as a standalone product or part of an Adobe Collection) on their system, can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition for an estimated street price of US$749, or the Standard Edition for US$549.

Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition is US$1229 and US$999 for the Standard Edition. For more detailed information about the Adobe Creative Suite, please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite.

Adobe Creative Suite for Mac OS X 10.2.4, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 with Service Pack 2, and Windows XP Professional and Home Edition, will be available in the fourth (calendar) quarter of 2003 to customers in the United States and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at: www.adobe.com/store.

Sep 29 - Disney-Owned MovieBeam Service Launches This Week. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today announced the launch of its MovieBeam(SM) on-demand movie rental service. MovieBeam will give consumers instant access in their homes to recent DVD and video releases, as well as a wide variety of popular favorites, from almost all of the major studios.

This week, MovieBeam will launch in Jacksonville, Fla.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Spokane, Wash. Consumers in those three markets will have the ability to rent films from their homes without the inconvenience of trips to and from the video store and without the possibility of incurring rental late fees.

The MovieBeam receiver -- manufactured by Samsung Electronics -- is a first-of-its-kind device that automatically receives movies, stores them on its hard-drive, and gives consumers the opportunity to view them on their schedule. MovieBeam always offers 100 movies in full digital quality, and every week, about 10 new movies are transmitted via a digital wireless signal to the MovieBeam receiver's small indoor antenna, replacing 10 titles. The data transmissions take the form of secure data streams and are sent through the broadcast spectrum of television stations owned by ABC and National Datacast's network of PBS stations. MovieBeam will work whether or not a consumer has a cable or satellite television subscription.

The MovieBeam service will offer a broad range of movies, including popular action, drama, comedy and family titles. MovieBeam currently has agreements in place with DreamWorks SKG, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Miramax Films, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox Studios and Walt Disney Studios. MovieBeam will feature current titles from all of these distributors in the "video-on-demand (VOD)" window. MovieBeam will also license library titles from several of these distributors.

Key MovieBeam features and benefits include:

-- An ever-changing collection of 100 New Releases and Popular Favorites, containing a diverse offering of Action, Comedy, Drama and Family movies
-- An easy-to-use guide that lets viewers choose movies by Category, Title, Actor, Director or Rating
-- The ability to start movies whenever consumers want, 24 hours a day -- with familiar controls like "stop," "pause," "fast-forward" and "rewind" -- so consumers can enjoy the movies on their schedule
-- Free full-length previews, available for all movies on the service
-- Easy installation and use, requiring only a standard electrical outlet and a phone connection for billing (phone line used only once per week)
-- Compatibility with existing cable or satellite services - but does not require either; nor does it require an outdoor antenna
-- Parental controls to set weekly spending limits and to restrict access to selections based on Motion Picture Association of America ratings
-- No up-front equipment cost

Strong Retailer Support

Consumers can see a live demonstration, interact with the MovieBeam receiver, and sign up for the service at electronic retailers, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, Huppin's Hi-Fi, Magnolia Audio Video, RC Willey, Sound Advice and Ultimate Electronics.

The service will have dedicated retail displays -- with cutting edge Samsung LCD monitors -- in each store. The display will include a working receiver that will enable consumers to experience the MovieBeam service and watch previews for all 100 movies available. Each retailer is working closely with MovieBeam to ensure that store employees are well trained in the features and benefits of the product. Each retailer will also be able to run a quick coverage check before sign-up to ensure that the consumer's residence is within the MovieBeam signal footprint.

"We are excited to bring the MovieBeam service to our customers because it adds convenience and simplicity to the home entertainment experience and furthers our commitment to offering new technology and services to our customers," said Kim Maguire, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer of Circuit City.

"Sears is the third-largest retailer of televisions in the United States, and this new service from MovieBeam fits very well with our strategy to provide customers with convenient ways to watch movies," said John Schlenner, Divisional Merchandising Manager of Sears.

Easy, Affordable Service

There is no equipment to purchase in order to sign up for the MovieBeam service. MovieBeam requires only a $6.99 per month equipment service fee and a per movie viewing fee of $3.99 for New Releases or $2.49 for Popular Favorites. This fee entitles the consumer to unlimited viewing of the title for 24 hours. There will also be a one-time activation fee of $29.99 required in certain areas.

Within two days of the consumer sign-up, the MovieBeam receiver, remote control and small antenna arrive via the FedEx delivery service with 100 movies ready for viewing. Consumers can also run a quick coverage check and sign up for the service directly at www.MovieBeam.com.

Sep 29 - Musicmatch Introduces 99 Cent Downloads for the PC. Musicmatch, Inc., the leader in personalized music software and services, today announced its new Musicmatch(R) Downloads service, the first service on the PC that allows consumers to purchase and download music from a broad catalog of music from all five major labels and more than 30 independents -- with no complex, restrictive usage rules.
The new service offers effortless access to high-quality, personalized music and the ability to purchase while listening to CDs, MP3s and Musicmatch Radio. Musicmatch downloads can be purchased now at www.musicmatch.com.

Until today, legitimate PC download services forced people to pay a subscription fee, or required additional payments to burn tracks or transfer to portable players. All Musicmatch downloads have the same, simple usage rules, without a subscription. Customers can play tracks on up to three PCs simultaneously and transfer them to Windows Media-supported music players. Tracks can be burned to CDs, but the same playlist may only be burned up to five times. The flexible new service, combined with high-quality content and effortless music purchasing, marks a new phase in legitimate downloadable music for consumers.

"By offering consistent and fair ownership rights, breakthrough music personalization, convenient purchasing and the highest quality files, our service is better than any free illegal alternative," said Dennis Mudd, Musicmatch chairman and chief executive officer. "The Musicmatch Downloads service is the best way for people to find, buy and enjoy music that matches their unique tastes."

Find More Music

Using the Musicmatch patent-pending music personalization technology, the service helps music fans find the artists, albums and tracks that most closely match their personal music tastes. Musicmatch scours the music universe to find music that individuals will most likely enjoy and delivers it to them each time they log into their account. Fans can also browse the extensive Musicmatch web of inter-related artists to find new artists and easily sample and purchase the most popular songs. The service also allows customers to browse through the most popular music by year from 1960-2003, and through more than 100 distinct music genres.

The Musicmatch Downloads service offers consumers more than 200,000 songs for download from the five major labels and more than 30 independents. Thousands of tracks will be added each week, with 500,000 tracks available by the end of the year.

Buy Instantly While Listening

Radio continues to be the number-one driver of music sales, and only the Musicmatch Downloads service lets consumers easily purchase tracks while they listen to them on Musicmatch Radio. Customers can view album reviews and artist bios, and purchase songs or complete albums while listening to CDs and MP3s. Musicmatch also shows the most popular tracks for each artist, making it easy to build an extensive collection of favorite songs.

Enjoy High-Quality Music Anywhere

Musicmatch downloads are provided as 160-kilobits-per-second Windows Media files and can be played on more digital audio players than any other service. Devices supporting secure Windows Media Series 9 audio files play Musicmatch downloads -- including more than 20 devices, such as all current Creative Multimedia and Rio portable players. Customers can also burn tracks and playlists to CDs to enjoy in the car, the living room or portable CD players.

"When it comes to ripping, burning and managing music files, I've felt Musicmatch is without peer," said Rob Enderle, principle analyst for the Enderle Group. "Musicmatch Downloads showcases this continued leadership by providing the closest thing to an acceptable balance between what users want and the record industry's needs; it improves on Apple's iTunes and addresses the other 98 percent of the market."

Pricing and Availability

Available to U.S. residents with a valid credit card, the Musicmatch Downloads service requires Musicmatch Jukebox 8.1, and offers tracks at 99 cents each and most albums for $9.99. The service is available now at www.musicmatch.com for PCs running Microsoft Windows 98 Special Edition, Millennium Edition, 2000 or XP, with Internet Explorer 5.5 or later.

Sep 29 - Spam Will Account for 60 Percent of E-Mail by End of 2004. Approximately 50 percent of e-mail traffic in 2003 is spam, and by mid-2004, it will grow to 60 percent, so marketers must take immediate steps to differentiate their e-mail marketing from spam, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

By 2005, content managers, rule-based software and Internet service providers will effectively blacklist 80 percent of all e-mail marketing campaigns, including permission-based e-mail.

"Most marketers today find that the pressure to achieve cost benefits far outweighs consideration for the e-mail's usefulness to customers," said Adam Sarner, industry analyst for Gartner. "Before customers ignore this valuable medium, marketers must start again by clearly identifying their customer base, surveying their customers as to the types of e-mail they would like to receive, and then deliver on the feedback and give customers a way to update their preferences frequently."

When used efficiently, e-mail marketing is an effective communication tool. According to Gartner analysts, a well-crafted e-mail can receive as high as a 15 percent response rate, compared with less than 1 percent for banner ads. Moreover, a company can collect real-time information about its customers and use the data to anticipate customer needs.

"Because e-mail can be effective and is less expensive than traditional marketing methods, by the end of 2004 more than 80 percent of companies engaged in direct marketing will conduct at least one e-mail marketing campaign," said Sarner. "It is thus imperative that marketers start now to differentiate their e-mail campaigns from spam by focusing on communication, personalization and delivery expertise."

Additional information is available in the Gartner Research Note "Marketers Can Differentiate E-Mail From Spam." The Research Note provides analysis on how marketers can distribute effective, targeted e-mail campaigns that customers will be able to read. This document is available on Gartner's Web site at www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=408290.

Sep 29 - Global Chip Sales Reach $13.42 Billion in August 2003; Revenues up 12.5% Year-over-Year. Worldwide sales of semiconductors increased 4.0 percent to $13.42 billion in August 2003, up from the $12.90 billion in revenue reported in July of 2003 -- the sixth consecutive monthly increase. Year-over-year sales increased 12.5 percent from August 2002 revenue of $11.93 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported today.

"August sales confirm the broad-based strength of the semiconductor market, lead by demand in the consumer, computer and wireless sectors," stated SIA President George Scalise. "This rise in end-market demand is generating stronger third quarter sales than normal seasonal patterns."

In August, PC related products continued to be the strongest sector with microprocessors up 7.8 percent and DRAMs up 11.0 percent over July. Seasonal back-to-school PC buys and the early signs of a business upgrade cycle contributed to the boost in sales this month. The consumer sector, which includes DVD players and digital cameras, continued to strengthen with Consumer Application Specific Standard Products (ASSP) up 5.3 percent and Flash up 6.9 percent over last month. The inventory issues in the wireless sector in Asia have been resolved and demand is once again rising with digital signal processors (DSP) up 4.7 percent over July.

In the month of August, sales in Japan rose 1.6 percent, Asia Pacific was up 6.4 percent, Europe up 3.8 percent, and the Americas increased 2.5 percent over July. "With the exception of the peak year of 2000, this is the strongest monthly increase in August since 1990," added Scalise.

The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977. SIA member companies comprise approximately 83% of U.S.-based semiconductor production. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 255,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.

Sep 28 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Although advertising of computer systems was somewhat limited this weekend, there are still some very good deals to be found.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy is offering 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $100 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks, and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $100 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 6 months no payment, no interest, financing on purchases over $198. They are also offering $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachine 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$389
-
Circuit City, Best Buy ($439)
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$669
-
Circuit City, Best Buy ($709)
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 with 15" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$999
Circuit City
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 with 15" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$1199
CompUSA
3. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 15" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$1349
Best Buy
Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2800+ complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD/CD-RW
$849
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

$699
CompUSA
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2.2 GHz Pentium 4M with DVD/CD-RW

$1049
CompUSA
1. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD /CD- RW
$1349
-$150
Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City
2. Best High-end Notebook
Acer Centrino 1.3 GHz with DVD-RW
$1449
-
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.3 GHz with DVD /CD- RW
$1549
-
Circuit City
4. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.5 GHz with DVD - RW
$1999
-
CompUSA
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$129
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 250 GB SATA hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$229
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9000 All-in-Wonder Pro 64 MB
$129
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City, Best Buy ($139)
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128 MB DDR
$169
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
$49
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 4X multiformat DVD-RW
$249
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Sep 26 - Intel Debuts Hyper-Threading Technology for Portable Notebook PCs. Intel Corporation today introduced the Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 processor supporting Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology* for portable notebook PCs, commonly referred to as desktop replacement notebooks. These systems offer consumers such desktop-like features as large screens, full-size keyboards and multiple drives.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology offers frequencies up to 3.20 GHz, and power management features that enable lower thermals than its desktop counterpart. Notebooks based on the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology* allow users to take better advantage of such multithreaded and processor-intensive multimedia applications as video encoding, digital media and gaming.

HT Technology allows the portable notebook PC's processor to simultaneously work on two separate threads, improving performance when multiple applications are running. For example, a user can play an immersive game while encoding audio or video, compressing images or compositing special effects. HT Technology offers better responsiveness and performance when multitasking with existing applications. Performance also increases significantly with current "multithreaded" software and performance headroom for the next wave of multithreaded applications.

The Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology works with the Intel® 852GME and Intel® 852PM chipsets and is built on the Intel® NetBurst™ microarchitecture. It features a 533 MHz system bus and supports advanced mobile power management, including Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® technology, Deep Sleep and Deeper Sleep.

Mobile Processor Specifications and Pricing

Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology* (533 MHz PSB) Yes 3.20 GHz / 1.60 GHz Battery Optimized Mode $653 < 3.0 Watts 1.55V Max. Per / 1.20V Battery Optimized 512 KB
Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology* (533 MHz PSB) Yes 3.06 GHz / 1.60 GHz Battery Optimized Mode $433 < 3.0 Watts 1.55V Max. Per / 1.20V Battery Optimized 512 KB
Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology* (533 MHz PSB) Yes 2.80 GHz / 1.60 GHz Battery Optimized Mode $294 < 3.0Watts 1.525V Max. Per / 1.20V Battery Optimized 512 KB
Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor supporting HT Technology* (533 MHz PSB) Yes 2.66 GHz / 1.60 GHz Battery Optimized Mode $234 3.0 Watts 1.525V Max. Per / 1.20V Battery Optimized 512 KB

* Hyper-Threading Technology requires a computer system with a Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 processor supporting Hyper-Threading Technology and a HT Technology enabled chipset, BIOS and operating system. Performance will vary depending on the specific hardware and software you use.Visit www.intel.com/info/hyperthreading for more information, including details on which processors support HT Technology.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Sep 26 - Apple Introduces New 15-inch PowerBook. Apple® introduced the all-new 15-inch PowerBook® G4, offering an unrivaled mix of power and portability in a sleek aluminum design weighing just 5.6 pounds.
Featuring a stunning 15.2-inch widescreen display, phenomenal graphics, Apple’s revolutionary backlit keyboard and advanced connectivity including AirPort® Extreme, Bluetooth, FireWire® 800, USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 starts at just $1,999 (US).

The 15-inch PowerBook G4 joins new models of the groundbreaking 17- and 12-inch PowerBooks to complete the industry-leading family of notebooks for mobile professionals. The new 17-inch model features a significant performance boost with a 1.33 GHz G4 processor that includes double the amount of on-chip level 2 cache and is now available for $2,999 (US)—$300 less than before. The new 12-inch model features a 1 GHz G4 processor and includes a Digital Video Interface (DVI) port for a pure digital connection to any of Apple’s flat panel displays.

“Apple continues to lead the industry’s move to portable computing by delivering the world’s most innovative notebooks,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The new 15-inch PowerBook G4 succeeds the legendary Titanium PowerBook G4, the industry’s first widescreen notebook introduced in January 2001. With its speed, widescreen display, connectivity and ultra-light aluminum enclosure, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 sets the bar for professional notebooks even higher.”

Designed for creative and business professionals, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 offers Apple’s revolutionary backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors for working in low-light conditions such as airplanes and design studios—not to mention blackouts.
The new 15-inch PowerBook G4 now includes a fast PowerPC G4 processor running up to 1.25 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, phenomenal graphics performance from the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM, support for up to 2GB of DDR 333 MHz SDRAM and a 60 or 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive.
Delivering the latest in wireless networking, the new 15-inch PowerBook G4 supports AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth and provides advanced connectivity with a full complement of I/O ports, including built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T), USB 2.0 and high-speed FireWire 800 for fast transfer of uncompressed digital video to high-capacity storage devices.

The 17-inch PowerBook is the industry’s first notebook with a stunning 17-inch display and is the thinnest and lightest in its class.
Ideal for professional graphic design, video editing and music production, it measures only 1-inch thin and weighs just 6.9 pounds. The new 17-inch PowerBook G4 now starts at $2,999 (US) and features a blazingly fast 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 processor; outstanding performance from the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64 MB DDR SDRAM; support for up to 2GB of DDR 333 MHz SDRAM; an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive; and a full complement of I/O ports, including built-in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T) and high-speed FireWire 800 for fast transfer of uncompressed digital video to high-capacity storage devices.

The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 weighs just 4.6 pounds and features a 12.1-inch (diagonal) TFT XGA active-matrix display. The ultra-light and compact full-featured notebook now includes a fast 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor; enhanced graphics performance with the NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 graphics processor and 32MB of DDR SDRAM; support for up to 1.25GB of DDR 266 MHz SDRAM; and support for digital and analog video out with DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video.

Pre-installed on every PowerBook G4, Mac® OS X “Jaguar” version 10.2.7, enhances the mobile experience with unique features including Instant On, which wakes the PowerBook from sleep in just one second; Automatic Networking, which automatically switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem; and advanced power management for long battery life through Energy Saver Profiles.
Every new PowerBook G4 includes Apple’s iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software, including iTunes® for managing digital music, iPhoto™ for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie® for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs.

Pricing & Availability

The new 15- and 17-inch PowerBook G4 models are available immediately, and the new 12-inch PowerBook G4 is expected to be available later this month through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Sep 26 - Marvell® Samples the World’s First Native Serial ATA II System on Chip. Marvell® (NASDAQ: MRVL), a technology leader in the development of extreme broadband communications and storage solutions, today announced that it has sampled the world’s first single chip system on chip (SOC) device that supports the Serial ATA II feature set and both 3.0Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s operation to Fujitsu for use in its 2.5” hard disk drives (HDDs).
The newly introduced 88i6535 Serial ATA SOC enables lower cost and higher performance storage for a variety of applications including blade servers, consumer and mobile applications such as laptop computers, portable music players, personal video recorders, set top boxes, car navigation systems and digital still/video cameras.

Serial ATA hard disk drives were first introduced in the second half of 2002, and have begun a significant volume ramp as end users and system OEMs alike become accustomed to the significant performance and cost advantages offered by this new storage interface.
The majority of Serial ATA drives in production today use Marvell’s 88i8030 Serial ATA bridge chip, a device that was the result of a joint collaboration between Fujitsu and Marvell. As Serial ATA gains in popularity, HDD suppliers and their OEM customers are under increased pressure to provide Serial ATA storage at price parity with traditional parallel ATA storage.

Marvell’s 88i6535 single-chip Serial ATA SOC will enable price parity by eliminating the need for bridge chips. In addition, the reduced pin count and PCB complexity of Serial ATA SOCs can further lower cost versus parallel ATA SOCs. Single chip SOCs also significantly reduce power consumption, a benefit especially critical to mobile drives used in portable, battery-operated applications. The reduction in power consumption in turn improves thermal characteristics, easing system design constraints and further reducing cost.

The large-scale adoption of Serial ATA technology will be fueled further by the introduction of Serial ATA II technology, which offers a number of feature enhancements to Serial ATA I, as well as increased data rate from 1.5Gb/s to 3.0Gb/s. Marvell’s new SATA II SOC supports SATA II’s new features, which include Native Command Queuing (NCQ), as well as the increased data rate of 3.0Gb/s.

"IDC predicts the rapid adoption of Serial ATA technology with shipments increasing at a CAGR of over 300% from 3 million units in 2003 to nearly 225 million units in 2006", said Dave Reinsel, Research Manager, at industry analyst IDC. "The introduction of cost-effective native Serial ATA SOCs such as Marvell’s newly announced product will be a key contributor to this remarkable growth."

MSI may be contacted at www.marvell.com.

Sep 26 - DISH Network First to Sell 1 Million Digital Video Recorders. EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) today announced that its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing subscription television service, has reached another TV industry first by selling its 1 millionth digital video recorder (DVR). With this announcement, DISH Network has established the lead as the fastest growing and largest DVR provider in the nation.

"DISH Network is revolutionizing television and making the VCR obsolete," said EchoStar President Mike Dugan. "Unlike cable, DISH Player's exclusive DISH Video-On-Demand service lets customers watch a 60-minute program in 40 minutes, saving them time to watch the shows they want."

The DISH Player's DISH Video-On-Demand DVR service allows viewers to skip recorded TV commercials, record up to 100 hours of programming without videotape, pause live TV, perform slow-motion instant replays, and use four speeds of fast forward and fast reverse.

"The DISH Player DVR gives customers the flexibility to attend their son's or daughter's soccer game while their DVR is at home recording their favorite shows," said John Scarborough, senior vice president of Marketing for EchoStar. "Once at home, they can skip the TV commercials or conduct their own instant replays. With a DVR, you can live your life, then you watch TV."

DISH Network recently announced that new customers can receive a free DISH Player-DVR 510, satellite dish, remote control and free standard professional installation, for a savings of $349. DISH Network's DVR lets customers arrange their own TV schedule with the touch of a button, without expensive VHS tape.

For more information on DISH Network and any of its products or services, visit www.dishnetwork.com or contact a local DISH Network retailer.

Sep 26 - Logitech QuickCam Zoom Brings Instant Messages to Life. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN), the leading provider of Web cameras, today announced its new Logitech(R) QuickCam(R) Zoom webcam, which enables both Mac(R) and PC users to share a smile with friends, live and in real-time from anywhere in the world, through free video instant messaging software.

"QuickCam Zoom continues to be one of our most popular webcams," said Spencer Johnson, director of product marketing for Logitech's Video Business Unit. "With its polished titanium look, this camera is jewelry for the desktop. Now, Mac and PC users can take advantage of this stylish webcam, which brings family and friends together face-to-face online."

QuickCam Zoom delivers true VGA (640x480) photos and videos. As its name suggests, QuickCam Zoom includes digital zoom software, which offers the option to pan, tilt and zoom up to three times the normal viewing size. Logitech face-tracking software, included in the package, takes digital zoom to a new level by automatically enabling the camera to pan, tilt and zoom-in on a person's face -- keeping it centered during a video instant messaging session or when recording a video email. QuickCam Zoom includes a built-in microphone, making it easy for people to add audio while they are instant messaging or creating video clips. The camera works with Mac OS X and Windows 98 or higher.

With its new titanium finish, QuickCam Zoom brings a fresh new look to the desktop. The camera is available in U.S. retail outlets and online at www.logitech.com for a suggested retail price of $79.95.

Sep 25 - Intel® Introduces Celeron® Processor At 2.70 GHz. Intel Corporation today introduced the Intel® Celeron® processor at 2.70 GHz for desktop and mobile PCs. The Celeron processor brings Intel technology, quality and reliability to the value PC consumer market segment.

The Intel Celeron processor at 2.70 GHz delivers the right combination of features and frequency at an appropriate price point for this market segment. Based on Intel's 0.13-micron process technology, the processor utilizes 478-pin packaging and features a 400 MHz system bus. Intel Celeron processors are engineered to maximize reliability, and are compatible with virtually every leading hardware and software brand.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the Intel Celeron processor at 2.70 GHz is priced at $103.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Sep 25 - Intel Makes $450-Million Equity Investment in Micron Technology. Micron Technology Inc. and Intel Corporation announced today that Intel Capital invested $450 million in Micron in exchange for rights to common stock representing approximately 5.3 percent of Micron's outstanding common stock. Micron will use the proceeds primarily to support its investments in 300 mm manufacturing technology and increase its DDR2 memory production.

"We look forward to working closely with Intel in their support of our efforts to provide advanced memory solutions to our customers" said Steve Appleton, chairman, CEO and president of Micron Technology. "Micron is committed to the support, development and production of DDR2 on leading-edge technology and Intel's investment will further enable these efforts."

"The availability of high-performance memory is critical as we continue to develop advanced microprocessors and communications components," said Intel CEO Craig Barrett. "Intel is making this investment in Micron to help enable such high-end memory capabilities as DDR2 to meet the requirements of our future-generation products."

The companies also announced plans to collaborate on the design for future generations of memory technologies.

Micron Technology is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron Technology manufactures and markets DRAMs, Flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, visit www.micron.com.

Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment program, focuses on making equity investments and acquisitions to grow the Internet economy in support of Intel's strategic interests. Intel Capital invests in hardware, software and services companies in several market segments, including computing, networking, and wireless communications. For more information, visit www.intel.com/capital.

Sep 25 - Dell Brings Hyper-Threading Technology to Notebook Computers. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today added more desktop functionality to its Inspiron notebook line with the introduction of Hyper-Threading Technology (HT) to the Inspiron 5150.

Available with the Inspiron 5150 in the United States, the new Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 3.06GHz with HT can enable customers to do more tasks in less time. The technology makes efficient use of processing power by utilizing moments of idle cycles that allow for the processor to work on more than one processor request simultaneously.

"The addition of Hyper-Threading Technology to the Inspiron 5150 is another example of the closing performance and functionality gap between notebook and desktop computers," said Jay Parker, director of notebook marketing at Dell. "It provides the capability for an additional level of productivity while maintaining portability."

Consumers can expect better overall performance while running multiple computing tasks when using the HT-enabled Inspiron notebook. For example, a customer can now convert a video clip from one format to another while watching a DVD without interruption. Or, users can convert their CD collection to a digital format while enjoying a CPU-intensive game without sacrificing frame rate.

Starting at $1,599,an HT-enabled Inspiron 5150 includes Mobile Intel Pentium 4 at 3.06GHz with Hyper-Threading Technology, 256MB of RAM, 30GB hard drive and 8X DVD optical drive.

Additional technical information

-- Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 3.06GHz(a) with Hyper-Threading Technology with 533 MHz front side bus
-- Up to 2GB DDR SDRAM 333MHz
-- Displays of 15-inch SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) or 15-inch Dell UltraSharp(tm) UXGA Display (1600 x 1200)
-- NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200, 32MB or 64MB
-- Integrated 56K(c) capable v. 92 modem, 10/100 Ethernet, optional integrated Wi-Fi(R) (802.11b/g, 802.11a/b/g) capability
-- Fixed-Optical Drives: 8X DVD, 24X CD-RW/DVD combination drives, or 4X DVD+RW/+R(d)
-- Hard Drives of 30GB, 40GB or 60GB
-- Ports include two USB 2.0, one S-Video Out, one IEEE 1394
-- One PC Card slot
-- 12-cell 96Watt Hour Lithium Ion battery
-- Microsoft(R) Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional
-- WordPerfect(R) Productivity Pack, WordPerfect(R) Office 11, Microsoft Works Suite 2003, Microsoft Office XP Small Business or Microsoft Office XP Professional
-- Optional External USB Floppy Drive

For more information on Dell Inspiron products, please visit www.dell.com/inspiron.

Sep 25 - Logitech Announces New Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN), the leading provider of cordless peripherals for the PC, today introduced a cordless mouse designed for people who seek to enhance their mobile computing experience -- Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks. This stylish new addition to the Logitech family of cordless products connects with the PC using an ultra-slim, key-sized USB receiver.

Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks is the latest in Logitech's portfolio of products designed for mobility. "Mobility has become an essential part of the modern lifestyle and Logitech is addressing this trend with the introduction of products for today's notebook users," said Ashish Arora, director of product marketing for retail pointing devices at Logitech. "Logitech is focused on providing these mobile technology users with reliable cordless products that make mobile computing and communications simple, easy and fun."

The mouse is loaded with features designed for mobile users ranging from business travelers to students, who often find themselves in tight spaces where the tangle of cords adds one more challenge to using their notebook. The compact, ambidextrous design balances ease of use, portability, and comfort, and sports an elegant silver finish to match the latest notebook computers.

The unique USB receiver is slim enough to slip into the crowded connection area on most laptops without displacing other connectors. With more than ten years of experience with cordless technology, Logitech delivers superior cordless performance that can be relied upon. The mouse itself has been developed to ensure that the cordless connection will not be lost once established. Therefore, the user can plug and unplug the receiver, turn the notebook on/off and even exchange the batteries, without losing the connection between the mouse and the receiver.

With Logitech's best-in-class power management technology and the convenient on/off switch located on the bottom of the mouse, battery life can easily exceed six months. Both mouse and receiver pack neatly into the included carrying case.

"Now, mobile professionals can experience the same cordless freedom and optical sensing technology that has become so popular among desktop PC users," said Arora. "With more than 40 million cordless devices sold to date, we have learned what consumers want as they seek to free their desk from clutter. Logitech Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks is bringing this same level of satisfaction and convenience to people on the go."

Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks employs an optical sensor to track movement, so there is no ball that can clog up and require cleaning. An optical sensor tracks the relative location of the mouse by "taking a picture" of the surface on which the mouse is operating. Each captured image is then sequentially analyzed by a powerful digital signal processor, which detects the speed and direction of even the slightest movement and translates it into smooth cursor movements and superior precision on the computer screen.

The Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks uses Logitech's robust Fast RF(TM) Cordless technology operating at 27MHz, enabling the mouse to be used up to six feet away. Three programmable buttons, including a middle button that also serves as a scroll wheel, and the Logitech(R) MouseWare(R) software tool complete the feature set. Logitech Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks has a five-year limited warranty.

Cordless Optical Mouse for Notebooks is available in retail outlets and online at www.logitech.com for U.S. $39.95.

Sep 24 - AMD Ushers in Era of Cinematic Computing with the AMD Athlon™ 64 FX Processor. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today marked the next frontier in computing, introducing the world’s first and only Windows®-compatible 64-bit PC processor – the AMD Athlon™ 64 FX processor – and paving the way for a jaw-dropping PC experience. The AMD Athlon 64 FX processor delivers what no other PC processor can: the highest overall 32-bit performance for today’s demanding applications and the power of 64-bit computing for the next wave of software.

Specifically designed for gamers, PC enthusiasts and digital content creators, the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor is the most technically advanced and highest performing 32-bit and 64-bit PC processor in the world. Systems based on the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor enable a “cinematic computing” experience that is immersive, interactive and provides a new level of realism not available today except from DVD-quality films.

“AMD is taking a lead role in shaping the future of the computing industry by putting the power of AMD64 technology at the fingertips of PC users around the world,” said Hector Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of AMD. “The growing number of people looking for cinema-quality PC performance that transforms imagination into reality can now fully realize their dreams.”

Supporting AMD’s announcement, Chris Jones, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for the Windows Client Group, said, “The AMD Athlon 64 processor, combined with Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, enables our customers to take full advantage of the superior performance and scalability of 64-bit computing on the desktop, while preserving their ability to run 32-bit applications. In addition, the AMD64 architecture is designed for both 32-bit and 64-bit computing, allowing customers to migrate to 64-bit computing.”

“Extreme PC enthusiasts and gamers have long been the drivers of the industry, shaping and influencing what new technology ultimately reaches mainstream computer users,” said Dirk Meyer, senior vice president of AMD’s Computation Products Group. “We custom-made the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor for these power users. Now, they can spend more time playing, imagining and creating.”

“With 64-bit technology, gamers, enthusiasts, and, ultimately, even ordinary mortals who yearn for a better computing experience will be overwhelmed,” said Roger Kay, an industry analyst at IDC. “This type of performance hardware allows software developers to unleash their creativity on the next generation of applications.”

Gaming companies are ready to take advantage of the new capabilities and software performance 64-bit computing makes possible.

“Gamers will be floored by the power of AMD64. We’re already seeing great performance with 64-bit computing, but what we’re going to do in the very near future will amaze gamers,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and president of Epic Games, maker of the popular Unreal Tournament.

Introducing the AMD Athlon™ 64 Processor for Desktops and Notebooks

For mainstream desktop users, AMD unveiled the long-awaited AMD Athlon 64 processor, bringing the benefits of AMD64 technology to desktop and notebook users and delivering unprecedented application performance for consumers and businesses. The AMD Athlon 64 processor provides extraordinary 32-bit software application performance while allowing a simplified migration path to 64-bit applications.

For mobile computing, the AMD Athlon 64 processor for notebooks is designed for high-performance computing and wireless connectivity. It features advanced power management from the AMD PowerNow!™ technology for reduced power consumption and extended system battery life.

Industry Embraces 64-Bit Computing Vision

Microsoft, which today announced the release of a beta version of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, joined AMD to articulate its vision for 64-bit computing and reiterate its commitment to deliver a 64-bit operating system for desktop systems.

Computer manufacturer HP plans to ship systems in the fourth quarter of 2003. Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens and Packard Bell announced system availability for the AMD Athlon 64 processor, and were joined by more than 150 manufacturers and infrastructure partners worldwide.

“The AMD Athlon 64 processor brings outstanding performance and future potential to our compact desktop PC ‘FMV DESKPOWER.’ The AMD Athlon 64 processor delivers the power of 64-bit computing with incredible performance on today’s 32-bit applications, all on a Fujitsu compact desktop PC,” said Kuniaki Saito, general manager, Fujitsu Limited Desktop & Workstation Products and Personal Computer Peripherals Divisions, Personal Systems Business Group.

"The AMD Athlon 64 processor brings 64-bit power and 32-bit performance to our consumer customers via our SCALEO PC range," said Ricarda Rodatus, director, Product Marketing, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers.

PC retailer Best Buy will sell AMD Athlon 64 processor-based systems in addition to the “processor-in-a-box” product.

“We believe that pervasive 64-bit computing will lead to a new wave of innovation in the technology industry. As one of North America's leading PC retailers, Best Buy will help bring 64-bit computing into the mainstream – accessible to one and all,” said Dave Morrish, senior vice president of Computers, Peripherals and Digital Imaging for Best Buy. “We are proud to announce that you can pick up an AMD Athlon 64 processor-in-a-box right now at BestBuy.com. Look for computer products from HP in the coming months.”

About AMD64 Technology

AMD first unleashed AMD64 technology in April with the launch of the AMD Opteron™ processor for servers and workstations. The AMD Athlon 64 processors are the first desktop and notebook processors based on the AMD64 architecture.

The AMD64 technology follows the evolutionary path of the industry-standard x86 architecture, allowing development of a unified 64-bit computing infrastructure designed to be fully compatible with the pervasive x86 architecture. AMD64 technology allows customers to protect their investments by continuing to use their 32-bit software until they decide to implement new, 64-bit software.

Pricing and Availability

More than 60 manufacturers and system builders worldwide feature the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor and the AMD Athlon 64 processors for desktop and notebook computers.
The AMD Athlon 64 processor is available in Model 3200+ for desktop computing, priced at $417 in 1,000-unit quantities, and Models 3200+ and 3000+ for notebook computing, priced at $417 and $278 in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively.
The AMD Athlon 64 FX processor is available in the FX-51 series, and is priced at $733 in 1,000-unit quantities. FX is the class designator and the number 51 is the series designation. It is odd numbered on purpose – to stand out, much like the processor. More information is available on the AMD Web site, www.amd.com.

Sep 24 - Transmeta and ULi Collaborate to Drive Innovative Mobile Devices. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq: TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, and ULi Electronics Inc. (ULi), a subsidiary of ALi Corporation, and a leading developer of core logic chipsets and related host-based peripherals, today announced the development of the ULi M1563, a south bridge designed to provide support for Transmeta's Efficeon processor.

The combined power management capabilities of the ULi M1563 south bridge solution and Transmeta's Efficeon processor offer an ideal energy efficient platform for highly mobile devices, including thin and light notebooks, ultra personal computers (UPCs), tablet PCs, thin clients, blade servers and embedded systems. The M1563 south bridge chip utilizes the HyperTransport™ bus interface and controls I/O functionality including the PCI bus, IDE drives, USB, FireWire, networking, wireless, serial and audio ports.

"Transmeta's customers are developing unique and innovative mobile computer designs," said Alex Kuo, president of ULi. "We feel the features of our ULi south bridge complements the Transmeta Efficeon processor's energy efficient and high performance qualities and will allow our M1563 south bridge to be adopted into a wide variety of mobile devices that need to have the best possible marriage with performance and low power."

"Transmeta's collaboration with ULi extends back to our first processors, the Crusoe TM5800 and TM5600, and we are excited to extend this relationship to support our Efficeon line of processors," said Arthur L. Swift, senior vice president of marketing, Transmeta Corporation.
"The combined capabilities of our technologies will give manufacturers the flexibility they need to design the energy efficient and highly innovative mobile devices and embedded products that the market is demanding.
" The Transmeta Efficeon processor contains fully integrated north bridge functionality including a HyperTransport bus interface for increased input/output efficiency, a Double Date Rate 400 (DDR-400) SDRAM memory interface with support for DDR 266/333/400 memory speeds, and an AGP-4X graphics interface for industry standard, high performance graphics solutions.

The ULi M1563 provides highly integrated south bridge functionality including a HyperTransport bus interface, PCI bus, Ultra-66/100/133 IDE Master controller, USB 2.0/1.1 Host controller with 6 ports, IO APIC controller, 10/100 Megabit per second Fast Ethernet and a built-in PCI HSP audio controller with scatter-gathering DMA support.
Dave Ditzel, the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, will make a presentation about the Transmeta Efficeon processor at Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, October 13-16, 2003. To learn more about Transmeta's Efficeon processor, visit www.efficeon.com.

Sep 24 - Free Wi-Fi Trial Available at Thousands of Hotspots on 'One Unwired Day,' Sept. 25. Mobile PC users can enjoy a free trial of public wireless Internet access at thousands of public Wi-Fi hotspot locations across the United States on Sept. 25 through an event named "One Unwired Day."

One Unwired Day is designed to show businesspeople and consumers the immediate benefits of the unwired lifestyle, encourage them to try Wi-Fi services free of charge and provide opportunities to try notebook PCs based on Intel® CentrinoTM mobile technology.

Wi-Fi Trials: The location of hotspots offering free trial Wi-Fi access on Sept. 25 is available at www.intel.com/unwire. The Web site also suggests "cool things to do unwired," including accessing exclusive music and video from Barenaked Ladies, Seal and R.E.M., downloading the September issue of Business 2.0, and playing games offered free by Sony Pictures' "On the Go."

Sep 24 - CSR brings its Bluetooth software to Symbian OS. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio), a market leader in Bluetooth silicon, today announced that it is making CSR chipsets available for use with the Symbian OS™. By integrating CSR's BlueCore host software with the Symbian OS' existing Bluetooth software stack, CSR can offer Symbian's licensees a quick and efficient route to Bluetooth-enabled mobile handsets.

Symbian develops and licenses Symbian OS, the global industry standard operating system for advanced mobile phones, to the world's leading handset manufacturers, which account for over 80 per cent of worldwide annual mobile phone sales. Support for Bluetooth was designed into Symbian's core platform from the outset. This move provides tighter integration between CSR's Bluetooth host software and the Symbian OS, reducing Symbian OS licensees' time to integrate CSR's Bluetooth solution into their designs.

CSR's BlueCore silicon is already in use in over 60 percent of v1.1 qualified Bluetooth products on the market. Martin Coul, Worldwide Technology Partner Program Director, Symbian, commented, "Symbian provides its licensees with the 'smartest' technology available. As CSR is committed to quality and ease of integration with its BlueCore hardware and host software, we are pleased to offer CSR our customers as a Symbian Platinum Partner."

Eric Janson, worldwide vice president, marketing, CSR added, "Integrating our software into the Symbian OS Bluetooth stack means mobile manufacturers can offer their customers the most complete Bluetooth functionality available." Janson continued, "This partnership provides Symbian OS licensees the option of a quick and easy route to Bluetooth enable their mobile phones."

More information can be found at www.csr.com and the partner web site www.btdesigner.com. More information about Bluetooth can be found on the SIG web site at www.bluetooth.com.

Sep 24 - MDM Publishes Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition for Windows Mobile Devices. Mobile Digital Media (MDM), the largest publisher of AAA branded consumer software for Palm, Windows Mobile and Nokia Series 60 phones on expansion media, today announced that Age of Empires® Pocket PC Edition, based on the award winning Age of Empires games for Windows franchise, will begin arriving in stores in October.

Under a worldwide agreement with Microsoft Game Studios, MDM will publish, manufacture, distribute and market Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition on industry standard MultiMediaCards, which pop into the expansion slot on most Windows Mobile powered mobile devices and require no downloading, installations or hot-synching to use.

“We’re bringing this wildly popular real-time strategy game to Windows Mobile devices in a graphically rich environment as close to the PC edition as possible,” said Kurt Baumberger, co-founder and chief marketing officer, MDM. “Now people can take Age of Empires on the road for a continual strategic challenge.”

Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition expansion card published by MDM is based on the original Age of Empires game where players are challenged to build tribes into great civilizations and the Rise of Rome expansion pack, which features the Roman Empire, all on one card.

Other exclusive features for the MDM Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition plug-and-play card include:
§ 12 musical tracks from the original PC game;
§ All sound effects at full 11 khz sampling; and
§ All full video segments from the PC game.

In addition, users can save games in progress to their mobile device Random Access Memory, so they can play a continual game over time.

Suggested retail price for Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition is $29.95.

More information at www.goMDM.com.

Sep 23 - AMD to Webcast AMD Athlon 64 Processor Launch Event. AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced that it will webcast the San Francisco launch event for the AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processor for desktop and notebook PCs on Tuesday, September 23, 2003. The live webcast stream will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT (1:00 p.m. EDT) and conclude approximately one hour later.

The live audio and video broadcast of the presentation will be available at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=16889.

A replay of the broadcast can be accessed at www.amd.com four hours following the live event and will be available for 30 days after that.

Sep 23 - AMD Research Surpasses Semiconductor Industry's 2009 Performance Projections. At the International Conference on Solid State Devices and Materials in Tokyo, AMD (NYSE:AMD) researchers detailed their creation of new triple-gate transistors using next-generation silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and advanced metal gate technologies.

AMD's unique design delivers up to 50 percent better performance than any previously published multi-gate research. This surpasses 2009 requirements set by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), but because the design is also highly compatible with current manufacturing techniques, AMD views this technology as a leading candidate for volume production as early as 2007.

"This new triple-gate design takes us one step closer to making multi-gate transistors a production reality. It is this kind of research that enables us to deliver higher performance solutions to our customers on an aggressive schedule," said Craig Sander, vice president of process technology development for AMD. "This multi-gate transistor implementation is highly compatible with current manufacturing techniques, which improves our ability to put this technology into high-volume production."

The primary working parts of a microchip, transistors are microscopic switches that turn the flow of electrical current on and off. Better transistor performance is a key contributor to better microprocessor performance.

Technical Details

The research presented today maximizes transistor switching performance and decreases power-wasting leakage by combining several highly advanced technologies into a single structure.

A unique ultra-thin electrical path using fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) technology is surrounded on three sides with nickel-silicide metal gates. This combination of FDSOI and nickel-silicide metal gates has the effect of straining the silicon lattice within the electrical path to enhance carrier mobility.

Furthermore, the multi-gate, FDSOI structure increases the effective width of the electrical path in the transistor and also provides better electrical control of this path. These factors combine to provide higher ON current, lower OFF current and faster switching, thereby dramatically increasing the overall transistor performance.

For further research details, visit www.amd.com/SSDM.

Sep 23 - F-Secure Warns: New Computer Worm Exploits False Security Update. F-Secure Corporation warns the computer users about a new worm known as Swen. F-Secure has today increased the alert level to Radar Level 1, as the worm is spreading rapidly worldwide. This is the highest alert level for a computer virus.

Swen is a mass-mailer, which was first found on Thursday, September 18th, 2003. This rather complex worm uses several different techniques to spread and can, unlike most other e-mail worms, execute automatically when an infected e-mail message is received. Swen can also, in addition to e-mail, use IRQ chat, Kazaa networks and shared folders in local area networks to spread.

The infected messages that carry the Swen worm are spoofed to look like security updates from Microsoft. These false security updates are quite realistic and mimic the look and feel of Microsoft web pages. "The Swen worm clearly tries to ride on the publicity created by the Lovesan/Blaster worm in August. The importance of installing security updates was stressed many times," says Mikael Albrecht, the Product Manager of F-Secure. "It is therefore natural that people open what they think is a security patch. However, the attached file is not a patch, it is a virus," he continues. Swen is not the first worm to use this trick, but the spoofed message created by Swen is the most professional looking so far.

It is important to note that the real security updates from Microsoft are always published on the web or distributed through automatic update channels. They are never sent by e-mail.

Detailed technical description of the worm as well as screenshots are available in the F-Secure Virus Description Database at http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/swen.shtml.

F-Secure Anti-Virus can detect and stop the Swen worm. F-Secure Anti-Virus can be downloaded from http://www.f-secure.com.

More information on the F-Secure Radar warning system can be found from http://www.f-secure.com/products/radar/.

Sep 23 - Sonic Launches MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5. Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) today announced the launch of MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5, a major upgrade to the industry's leading software for DVD creation.

MyDVD(R) Studio Deluxe 5 includes powerful new features such as fully-integrated video editing, Dolby Digital audio encoding, unlimited MP3 ripping, automated backup and archiving, exact CD and DVD disc copy, and other product enhancements.

"MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5 is a significant expansion to the DVD authoring solution we've delivered in previous versions of MyDVD," said Rob Halligan, vice president of marketing, Desktop Products Group at Sonic.
"It offers the easiest, most complete CD and DVD creation capabilities of any consumer CD and DVD burning product. In fact, our whole MyDVD 5 product line delivers a truly ideal blend of ease-of-use, flexibility, and powerful features, which has made it the preferred DVD burning software brand of major PC and DVD drive manufacturers."

"Sonic's MyDVD 5 enables consumers to manage their video and audio content with more ease and customization options than ever before," said Jeff Loebbaka, vice president and general manager of Adaptec's Desktop Solutions Group.
"In addition to publishing MyDVD 5, we plan to include the software in our VideOh! video-capture solutions. We're pleased to partner with Sonic to bring the award-winning software to home-PC users who want greater control over their digital, home-entertainment experience."

MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5 and MyDVD Studio Video Edition 5 are published by Adaptec and available at major retailers in North America. MyDVD products are available at a range of price points to meet the varying needs of consumers looking to burn content to CD and DVD.
MyDVD 5, MyDVD Deluxe 5 and MyDVD Studio Deluxe 5 are currently available on Sonic's webstore at www.estore.sonic.com.

Sep 23 - Canon's Entry-Level PC140 Personal Copier is Feature Rich. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) today announces the introduction of its PC140 entry-level analog copier within its personal copier line. This personal copier is designed for students, small business and home office professionals. Easy-to-use features, portability and a compact stylish design make it ideal for the dorm room, home office, or small office environment.

With easy-to-use features, the Canon PC140 has a copy speed of 4 copies-per-minute (cpm) for letter-size paper and can make up to 50 copies at a time with its 50-sheet stack tray that accepts postcard to letter-size paper. Like all Canon Personal Copiers, the new PC140 offers virtually maintenance-free operation with Canon's exclusive Single Cartridge System.
The revolutionary Single Cartridge System contains the drum, development unit and toner, offering virtually maintenance-free performance at just pennies-per-copy, all in one easy to replace cartridge. The copier's convenient design makes retrieving misfed paper a snap, and its pop-up handle makes the machine truly portable.

The PC140 personal copier copies on a variety of papers including stationary, postcards, colored paper, transparencies and labels making it extremely versatile. Copy quality is exceptional with a choice of automatic or manual exposure control.

Similar to the higher-end Canon PC900 Series models, the PC140 includes Canon's patented RAPID Fusing System, which provides instant warm-up and eliminates long waiting time. Auto shut-off is another built-in energy saving feature designed to automatically shut off the copier after approximately 5 1/2 minutes of non-use. These energy-saving attributes enable the PC140 to be ENERGY STAR(R) qualified.

"Canon is pleased to introduce the PC140 Personal Copier, which offers a high degree of versatility in a compact and stylish package," said Tod Pike, senior vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Administration, Canon U.S.A. Imaging Systems Group. "Virtually maintenance-free, economical operation, the Single Cartridge System, and ENERGY STAR(R) qualification further highlight the value found in the PC140."

The PC140 has a recommended monthly volume of 500 copies. The copier uses the E20 black cartridge, which provides approximately 2,000 copies at 5% density. A starter cartridge is included with each PC140 copier. All of these features, combined with Canon's one-year limited warranty and Overnight Exchange Program, offer consumers superior value at a competitive price. The PC140 will be available at retailers in early October and has an estimated street price of $149.99.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Sep 23 - AOL Time Warner to Rename Company ``Time Warner''. The AOL Time Warner Board of Directors today voted to rename the company "Time Warner Inc." The Company expects to complete the name change process - including adoption of the "TWX" ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange - in the next few weeks.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Parsons said: "We believe that our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate name and the America Online brand name for our investors, partners and the public.

"Today, all of our businesses - from America Online, Warner Bros. Entertainment, New Line Cinema, TBS and CNN to Time Warner Cable, HBO, Time Inc., The WB and Warner Music Group - are making important contributions to the whole company.

"I have been extremely gratified to find that our people are working with renewed energy, enthusiasm and collegiality. We're more prepared than ever to continue to make progress toward achieving our strategic priorities for the rest of this year and into 2004."

 

 

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