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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

Forward - 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 Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Apr 30 Some Microsoft Hotfix Files Were Infected with Fun Love Virus
Apr 30 What to Do if you Can't Pay Taxes or Need More Time
Apr 29 Sunday Shopping Watch
Apr 28 IBM Scientists Develop Breakthrough Carbon Nanotube Transistor Technology
Apr 28 Vigilinx Issues Security Intelligence Alert on Chinese Hacking
Apr 28 Home Networks and Residential Gateways forecasted to Lead the Recovery
Apr 28 Zoom Telephonics Reports Results First Quarter Loss
Apr 27 Kodak and SANYO Cross License Digital Camera Technologies
Apr 27 Industry Leaders Join Forces to Build the Wireless Village Initiative
Apr 27 Mobile Web Pads and Digital Audio Receivers To Help Lead Internet Appliance Use
Apr 27 Sony Packs Extra Power and More Features Into Ultra-Portable Mini DV Handycam Camcorder
Apr 27 Prodigy Reports on First Quarter Performance
Apr 26 AMD Announces Program With CMTL to Test and Certify DDR Memory Modules
Apr 26 Cypress to Demonstrate Products at the USB 2.0 Developer's Conference
Apr 26 Bluetooth Market Forecasted to Shine Brightly
Apr 26 Internet Community Fights Pro-Monopoly Bill
Apr 26 Princess Ships to Launch First-Ever Seagoing AOL Internet Cafes
Apr 25 U.S. Robotics Ships Broadband Router for Shared Cable Or DSL Service
Apr 25 Intersil Portable Power Devices Enable AMD's Mobile Notebook Processors
Apr 25 Hitachi America to Enter Market for High Data Rate Wireless Infrastructure
Apr 25 Senate Introduces Tax Credit to Ease IT Worker Shortage
Apr 25 First-Ever MP3 Audio Cards
Apr 24 Pioneer To Ship Industry’s First Combination DVD/CD Recordable/Re-recordable Drive
Apr 24 New IBM eServer System Shatters Performance Record
Apr 24 Tokyo Plugfest Marks Breakthrough in 1394 Firewire Interoperability
Apr 24 SONICblue Delivers Secure Music Download Service with Launch of Rio Music Center
Apr 24 Moms Want to Get Wired This Mother's Day

Electronic Gaming Monthly Free Year Subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly!! While it Lasts....

April 30 - Some Microsoft Hotfix Files Were Infected with Fun Love Virus. Several Microsoft Hotfixes downloaded between April 6-20 from Microsoft's Premium Support and Gold Certifies Web sites were infected with PE_FUNLOVE.4099 a.k.a. the Fun Love virus. As of now there are no reports that other Microsoft Hotfix Web sites are infected. However, Trend Micro advises all customers to download the latest pattern file to ensure protection against this file infector virus.
This virus infects all Win32 type Portable Executable (PE) files such as .EXE, .SCR, and .OCX in both Windows 9x and Windows NT 4.0. platforms. It searches for all Shared Network Folders with write access and then infects the files within them. To infect NT system files, the virus patches the integrity checking.
For more information, and free tools to destroy the virus, visit Trend Micro's web site.

April 30 - What to Do if you Can't Pay Taxes or Need More Time. You've taken the earthquake extension time and you still don't have the money to pay the IRS.
What do you do? According to the tax experts at H&R Block, file your return on time (April 30) and pay the tax you owe in installments.
"If you owe and can't pay, the penalty is 1/2 percent per month," says Stephen Sprenger, an enrolled agent in H&R Block's Seattle office. "But if you don't file, the penalty is ten times as much --five percent per month!"
To work out a payment schedule with the IRS, attach Form 9465, "Installment Agreement Request," to your tax return. The form is available for free at any H&R Block office or through the IRS website. However, the IRS does charge a fee for setting up the installment agreement.
Since the IRS will charge you interest on the amount you owe but haven't paid, you may want to compare the cost of an IRS payment plan with what your bank or credit union would charge for a loan Sprenger says.
"The bottom line is, to save as much as possible on interest and penalty costs, pay as much as you can afford when you file your return," says Sprenger.

If you need more time

If your problem is just the opposite -- you have the money to pay but you haven't completed your tax return -- then you may request an extension by filing Form 4868, also available through H&R Block or the IRS website.
When you file an extension, your 2000 tax return will be due August 30, four months from now, but you still need pay at least 90 percent of the amount you owe by April 30 to avoid late payment penalties and interest. That means you should work through your tax return as best you can to accurately estimate your taxes.
The IRS will automatically grant your extension the first time. You may even request a second two-month extension but you would have to supply a very good reason that the IRS accepts.
"Do not file electronically if you are requesting an extension!" says Sprenger. "Mail in a paper form or your return will not show that you are using the later earthquake extension date and you may be penalized for filing late."

April 29 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $100-$250 rebates on all Intel processor desktop complete packages, and $100 instant savings and 12 month no interest financing on all advertised notebooks.
Circuit City is offering a $50 instant savings on all desktop computer packages and notebooks.
Office Depot no ad this Sunday.

CompUSA no ad this Sunday.
Staples no special store-wide computer sales.
HHGregg no special store-wide computer sales..
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A complete system/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 Vendor's store. 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).

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
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.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 766 MHz complete system
$649
Best Buy
Best Pentium III System
HP 866 MHz complete system
$1099
Best Buy
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.7 GHz complete system
$2229
Best Buy
Best Duron System
Compaq 750 MHz complete system
$599
Staples
Best High End Athlon System
None Advertised
   
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 766 MHz Celeron
$999
Best Buy
Best High End Notebook
Compaq Pentium III 800 MHz with DVD/CD-RW
$2099
Best Buy

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 the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

April 28 - IBM Scientists Develop Breakthrough Carbon Nanotube Transistor Technology. IBM scientists have developed a breakthrough transistor technology that could enable production of a new class of smaller, faster and lower power computer chips than currently possible with silicon.
As reported in the April 27 issue of the journal Science, IBM researchers have built the world's first array of transistors out of carbon nanotubes -- tiny cylinders of carbon atoms that measure as small as 10 atoms across and are 500 times smaller than today's silicon-based transistors. The breakthrough is a new batch process for forming large numbers of nanotube transistors. Until now, nanotubes had to be positioned one at a time or by random chance, which while fine for scientific experiments is impossibly slow and tedious for mass production.
This achievement is an important step in finding new materials and processes for improving computer chips after silicon-based chips cannot be made any smaller -- a problem chip makers are expected to face in about 10-20 years.
"This is a major step forward in our pursuit to build molecular-scale electronic devices," said Phaedon Avouris, lead researcher on the project and manager of IBM's Nanoscale Science Research Department. "Our studies prove that carbon nanotubes can compete with silicon in terms of performance, and since they may allow transistors to be made much smaller, they are promising candidates for a future nanoelectronic technology. This new process gives us a practical way of making nanotube transistors, which is essential for future mass production."

Using Carbon Nanotubes as Transistors in Chips

Depending on their size and shape, the electronic properties of carbon nanotubes can be metallic or semiconducting. The problem scientists had faced in using carbon nanotubes as transistors was that all synthetic methods of production yield a mixture of metallic and semiconducting nanotubes which "stick together" to form ropes or bundles. This compromises their usefulness because only semiconducting nanotubes can be used as transistors; and when they are stuck together, the metallic nanotubes overpower the semiconducting nanotubes.
Beyond manipulating them individually, a slow and tedious process, there has been no practical way to separate the metallic and semiconducting nanotubes -- a roadblock in using carbon nanotubes to build transistors. The IBM team overcame this problem with "constructive destruction", a technique that allows the scientists to produce only semiconducting carbon nanotubes where desired and with the electrical properties required to build computer chips.

New Technique: "CONSTRUCTIVE DESTRUCTION"

The basic premise of "constructive destruction" is that in order to construct a dense-array of semiconducting nanotubes, the metallic nanotubes must be destroyed. This is accomplished with an electric shockwave that destroys the metallic nanotubes, leaving only the semiconducting nanotubes needed to build transistors.

Here is how it works:

1. The scientists deposit ropes of "stuck together" metallic and
semiconducting nanotubes on a silicon-oxide wafer,
2. Then a lithographic mask is projected onto the wafer to form
electrodes (metal pads) over the nanotubes. These electrodes act
as a switch to turn the semiconducting nanotubes on and off,
3. Using the silicon wafer itself as an electrode, the scientists
"switch-off" the semiconducting nanotubes, which essentially
blocks any current from traveling through them,
4. The metal nanotubes are left unprotected and an appropriate
voltage is applied to the wafer, destroying only the metallic
nanotubes, since the semiconducting nanotubes are now insulated,
5. The result: a dense array of unharmed, working semiconducting
nanotube transistors that can be used to build logic circuits like
those found in computer chips.

Moore's Law states that the number of transistors that can be packed on a chip doubles every 18 months, but many scientists expect that within 10-20 years, silicon will reach its physical limits, halting the ability to pack more transistors on a chip. Transistors are a key building block of electronic systems -- they act as bridges that carry data from one place to another inside computer chips. The more transistors on a chip, the faster the processing speed, indicating why this advance by IBM scientists could have a profound impact on the future of chip performance.
For more information on IBM Research, go to:www.research.ibm.com.

April 28 - Vigilinx Issues Security Intelligence Alert on Chinese Hacking. As American and Chinese hackers turn the recent "China Spy Plane" incident into a personal hacking war, Vigilinx, the leading digital security solutions company, is issuing the following security intelligence alert to provide information about the viability of hacking attacks that may be launched by Chinese hackers on May 1-7, 2001.
Background and Description
China and the United States sides held talks on April 18 to discuss the collision between the Chinese F-8 and the American EP-3. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said that Beijing was holding the U.S. responsible for the collision, and has raised issues regarding compensation for the lost pilot and aircraft. China had also expressed its objections to U.S. surveillance flights off its coast. The Chinese refused to discuss the return of the EP-3, effectively stalling the talks.
As the two sides met in Beijing, hackers and defacers increased their activities. The pro-American cracker group PoizonBOx defaced over one hundred Chinese web sites, beginning April 4. The defacements are a simple message proclaiming "This Site Was Owned by PoizonBOx." Although they have dubbed their campaign "ChinaKiller," they are not making any political or hate messages with their defacements. They are urging other pro-American groups to participate in this campaign.
Chinese hackers have been defacing U.S. sites since the incident began, leaving phrases such as "hack the USA" and "For our pilot Wang!!! For our China!" on defaced sites. To date, only one U.S. government site has been reported being defaced, the Navy's Executive Office for Acquisition Related Business Systems. Chinese hackers state that many other U.S. sites have been defaced, and claim that the Americans are just trying to "save face" by not reporting the incidents.
The Chinese hackers plan to retaliate for the "ChinaKiller" campaign by launching an organized campaign of their own. The attacks are to be launched between May 1 and May 7, coinciding with two major Chinese holidays, International Workers Day and Youth Day. The attack is being called "Laodong Jie Wuy Strike" (Labor Day Strike), and will probably peak on May 4, which is a day in 1919 when Chinese conducted resistance activities in Tiananmen Square against concessions to Japan after World War I.
Impact

Defacements are likely to remain the primary attack method for both sides. Defacements allow the attacker to send a message to the opposing side indicating their position, and hopefully gain some recognition from the defacement. Also, the hackers on both sides seem to be intent on gathering the most number of successful attacks and web defacements.
This is likely to spread the cyber war to the business community. As defacers are looking for volume and increased press coverage, they are likely to attack any vulnerable sites to achieve these objectives. Since the number of government sites is limited and due to the suspected non-reporting of government site defacements, attackers are likely to attempt to deface higher profile sites from the commercial and government communities.
Visit Vigilinx online at www.vigilinx.com.

April 28 - Zoom Telephonics Reports Results First Quarter Loss. Zoom Telephonics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZOOM), a leading manufacturer of modems and networking products, today reported sales of $10.3 million for its first quarter ending March 31, 2001, down 27% from $14.0 million in the first quarter of 2000.
Zoom reported a net loss of $5.2 million or $.66 per share for the first quarter of 2001, versus a net loss of $941 thousand or $.12 per share for the first quarter of 2000.
"The quarter was hurt by weakness in the dial-up modem market and a severe industry-wide electronics inventory correction that affected overall demand for broadband modems," said Frank Manning, Zoom's President and CEO. "We remain hopeful that the new V.92 standard for dial-up modems will drive sales at retail later this year as Internet Service Providers begin to offer the enhanced features of V.92 to their customers. We are managing our resources very carefully in this difficult environment; and have reduced our worldwide staff from 330 employees to 250 since the start of the year, implemented a temporary wage freeze, and tightened discretionary spending."
Zoom was the first company to ship V.92 products, is a leader in the category, and is very well positioned to capitalize on the change from V.90 to V92. We also expect cable modems, ADSL modems, and advanced networking products to begin to provide more significant revenue contribution later this year. Zoom currently has one of the broadest lines of CableLabs(R) approved cable modems, including Ethernet, USB, and PCI models.
Visit Zoom's website at www.zoom.com.

April 28 - Home Networks and Residential Gateways forecasted to Lead the Recovery. An analyst and author for IGI consulting claims that the home market will lead the telecom economy out of the current slow down. "We have seen the surveys. High-speed Internet access users would give up just about anything -including their coffee, their papers, and their cable television - to keep their high-speed accesses. The only things holding down the continued rapid expansion of the networked, high-speed home are lack of access facilities, and lack of imagination (by the ILECs and the cable companies) as to how to make attractive offers."
The analyst and author, Clifford Holliday, president of B & C Consulting Services, further notes, "While high-speed access has long been a top desire of anyone who has waited for a page to load off of a dialup modem, the demand for networks and Residential Gateways is a relatively new phenomenon. This new demand is largely an artifact of the rapidly increasing number of multiple computer homes, and by the work-at-home trend. We now are in a situation with 40% to 50% of all new computers going to a home that already has a computer. Add to that the fact that 30% of our work force now works at home, at least part of the time, and the need for networks and gateways becomes obvious."
Mr. Holliday explains, "The Residential Gateway will allow the home user to share not only his high-speed line, but also his other computer resources - printers, hard drives, etc. they can also provide more complicated services such as monitoring, and entertainment distribution. These relatively computer-savvy users can quickly appreciate the possibilities of networks and gateways."
In discussing the current downturn Mr. Holliday continues, "Even in the first quarter of 2001, supposedly in the middle of the downturn, we see Verizon reporting record ADSL sales of 180,000+. The only thing missing here is the realization by the ILECs (and the cable modem companies) that they can design truly `value chain' offers to their customers, by combining high-speed access, with home network and gateway installations. More that any one else, these companies have the capabilities to deliver, install and maintain the full package."
IGI Consulting can be found on the Web at www.igigroup.com.

April 27 - Kodak and SANYO Cross License Digital Camera Technologies. Eastman Kodak Company and SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. today announced a mutual agreement to cross license patents that is designed to expand the market for digital photography.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sanyo receives a license to Kodak's patented digital camera technologies. Kodak withdrew a patent infringement suit recently filed against Sanyo and several of Sanyo's customers. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
"To cultivate our Digital Camera division, SANYO Electric has developed and patented many key technologies. SANYO holds more than a thousand worldwide patents covering a broad range of technologies, including semiconductors, for example, for Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) and low-temperature polysilicon displays, as well as image processing technologies such as image compression, auto focus, and color processing, and battery related technologies," said Hiroshi Ono, General Manager of SANYO's Multimedia company Video Imaging Systems division.
Kodak and Sanyo will join forces to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities created by the convergence of traditional and digital imaging devices, infrastructure and media/services. The companies have agreed to work together to simplify and promote online, digital printing of images so that customers can obtain high-quality prints. Online digital printing will be enabled using Kodak infrastructure and services, including the Print@Kodak Internet photofinishing service and Kodak PhotoNet Online.
"As a manufacturer of digital cameras, SANYO has been a long time industry leader and is dedicated to further spreading the use of digital imaging on a global scale, capitalizing on the emerging online services that play an important role in expanding the use of the digital camera," added Hiroshi Ono.
"Kodak and SANYO have a special technology collaboration relationship in developing and commercializing OLED flat-panel display technology," said Willy Shih, president, Digital & Applied Imaging and senior vice president, Eastman Kodak Company. "Cross-licensing our digital camera patent portfolios will enable Kodak and SANYO to deliver better imaging products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide. We look forward to expanding our relationship with SANYO in the areas of digital cameras and Internet storage and printing of digital images."
Kodak has initiated digital camera and Internet photo system patent licensing programs designed to make its patented technologies available to the marketplace.
Underscoring its leadership in imaging devices, Kodak owns a portfolio of more than one thousand patents relating to digital cameras and digital photography systems. These patents include megapixel camera architectures, fundamental and advanced image processing algorithms, CCD and CMOS image sensors, and convergence devices--such as digital camera / printer devices, digital camera / PDA devices and digital camera / cell phone devices. Kodak was issued its first patents on digital cameras and single sensor color imagers nearly 25 years ago.
The companies can be found online at www.sanyo.com and www.kodak.com.

April 27 - Industry Leaders Join Forces to Build the Wireless Village Initiative. Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia announced today they have established Wireless Village, the Mobile Instant Messaging and Presence (IMPS) initiative, to define and promote a set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services and create a community of supporters.
The specifications will be used for exchanging messages and presence information between mobile devices, mobile services and Internet-based instant messaging services. The protocol will be optimized for the requirements of mobile devices and wireless networks. The Wireless Village initiative is open to participation from industry supporters interested in providing early comments on and building interoperable implementations of these specifications.
User participation in the use of chat and other instant messaging services with mobile devices (e.g. phones, pagers, PDAs) is limited by the lack of a common and interoperable solution for the mobile world. Providing a mobile solution requires addressing the many challenging requirements such as the widely varying capabilities of mobile devices.
Instant message delivery services enable users to send various types of messages that are delivered in real time. Instant messaging is rapidly evolving to include rich multimedia content, such as audio and video clips and images with traditional text messaging. Presence services provide a system for sharing personal information about the user's status, (e.g., on-line, off-line, busy), location (home, work), and the moods of their friends and colleagues (happy, angry). Presence services will allow users to subscribe to presence such as listings of which friends and colleagues are currently online. In addition, these services will allow users to participate in private or public chat rooms with search capabilities. Ultimately network operators will be able to provide meeting and conferencing type of services with shared content.
The Wireless Village initiative will deliver an architectural specification, protocol specifications, as well as test specifications and tools for mobile IMPS. The initiative will also define procedures and tools for testing conformance and interoperability of mobile instant messaging and presence services.
The instant messaging specification will be based on prevalent bearer protocols and other well-adapted standards, such as SMS (Short Messaging Services), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services), WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), and XML (Extensible Markup Language). This service will include security capabilities for user authentication, secure message transfer and access control. Operators will find these specifications applicable to both existing 2G, new 2.5G (e.g., GPRS), as well as emerging 3G wireless network technologies.
The Wireless Village initiative intends to publish the specifications by the end of the year. In addition, the initiative intends to sponsor interoperability demonstrations of mobile devices and wireless services that support the specifications. Other industry leaders can join as supporters of the Wireless Village initiative. Information is available at their website, www.wireless-village.org.

April 27 - Mobile Web Pads and Digital Audio Receivers To Help Lead Internet Appliance Use. Mobile web pads and digital audio receivers are two of the Internet appliance categories that are expected to help validate the Internet appliance space. Mobile web pad worldwide shipments are forecast to grow to 23.1 million units by 2006, a market worth $7.8 billion. Digital audio receivers shipments will reach 23.2 million units by 2006, a market worth $3.4 billion. This is according to the new Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) report, Internet Appliances: Network-Centric Computing Opportunities in the Internet Age.
"There are over two dozen companies actively developing mobile web pads, and a number of major companies are banking on this representing a legitimate market segment," stated Navin Sabharwal, Vice President of Residential and Networking Technologies for ABI and author of the report. "Digital audio receivers also have excellent growth prospects with the rise online digital music."
Mobile web pads will begin intermediate volume shipments this year, with many units being targeted at vertical markets such as healthcare and enterprises where cost is not a primary issue. In 2002 we should see significant volume targeted to consumer markets, particularly as large companies such as Microsoft and Intel make good on their product plans. Many mobile web pad vendors will come to market based on Transmeta-powered solutions, and particularly National Semiconductor reference designs that use the Geode processor cores.
Both mobile web pads and digital audio receivers are beginning to benefit from home networking technologies that allow these devices to be used virtually anywhere in the home. With cost reduction in wireless networking technologies such as 802.11b and HomeRF, it is becoming possible to market mobile web pads including the access point for under $700, and eventually for under $500. Similarly, most digital audio receivers have begun to employ HomePNA phoneline networking technology and in the near future they will use HomePlug-compliant powerline networking solutions.
The ABI report segments line-powered Internet appliances into nine device categories. They are tethered web pads, mobile web pads, email clients, fixed-line web screen phones, digital audio receivers, consumer desktop thin clients, enterprise desktop thin clients, net TV devices and web-enabled game consoles.
Allied Business Intelligence can be found on the Web at www.alliedworld.com.

April 27 - Sony Packs More Features Into Ultra-Portable Mini DV Handycam Camcorder. Sony Electronics today introduced the DCR-PC9 Mini DV Handycam(R) camcorder that combines expanded battery capacity, MPEG movie capability and USB connectivity, while maintaining the diminutive form factor of its forerunner, the award-winning DCR-PC5 model.
Weighing in at only 1 pound and 1 ounce, the new DCR-PC9 still packs a powerful punch with a 10x optical/120x-digital zoom and a 1/4-inch, 680K pixel CCD imager. This lightweight Mini DV Handycam camcorder offers stunning digital video quality and digital still capture to Memory Stick(R) media.
Additionally, the new camcorder features Carl Zeiss(TM) optics, a precision color viewfinder and a 2.5 inch Precision SwivelScreen(TM) LCD display with Touchscreen controls all in one tiny package.
The supplied "M" series InfoLithium(R) battery on the DCR-PC9 increases battery life more than 30 percent over last year's DCR-PC5 model. With this increased power, users can shoot up to 115 minutes of action and the AccuPower(TM) meter conveniently indicates the remaining minutes of battery life on the LCD display.
MPEG Movie mode allows the capture of up to 60 seconds of video and audio in the Video E-mail mode (160 x 112 resolution), or up to 15 seconds in the Presentation mode (320 x 240 resolution) onto Memory Stick media. These "mini-movies" are ideal video resolutions for attaching to e-mails, inserting into Web pages and including in presentation materials. Users can conveniently convert up to 60 seconds of recorded videotape and convert it to an MPEG movie right in camera or shoot an MPEG movie at the spur of the moment "on location."
Advanced Connectivity and Enhanced Creativity
To make the transfer of MPEG movies and still images from your Memory Stick media to your compatible PC even faster and easier, the new camcorder incorporates a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector. With the supplied USB cable, the DCR-PC9 can transport still images and MPEG video to a compatible PC up to twenty times faster than camcorders with only a serial interface.
Additionally, with Sony's ImageStation.com(SM) USB Direct Connect(TM) software, users can upload video clips to Sony's online photo sharing service straight from the USB-equipped DCR-PC9 in just two mouse-clicks. The software is available free of charge and requires a one-time installation to a home PC.
As a further advantage, Sony supplies MGI PhotoSuite(R) and MGI VideoWave(R) software to facilitate the transfer of digital still images and MPEG movies from the camcorder to a PC. With this software, camcorder users can also perform a variety of editing and imaging enhancements, including color alteration, drawing and more.
The DCR-PC9 will be available in retail stores in June for about $1,300. For additional information about Sony products, visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/di.

April 27 - Prodigy Reports on First Quarter Performance. Prodigy Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:PRGY), a leading national Internet service provider (ISP) serving the largest number of DSL subscribers, today announced better-than-expected earnings and that it topped 3.1 million owned and managed subscribers in the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.
"We said we would turn Prodigy around and we have delivered on our promise. Prodigy is reporting positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the first time in its history," said Charles Foster, chairman of Prodigy. "With financial stability forecasted for the year, Prodigy also expects to report positive cash flow by early next year, if not earlier."
Excluding minority interest, Prodigy reported EBITDA for the first quarter of $10.5 million, compared to an EBITDA loss of ($8.1) million in the year ago period. Prodigy also reported its owned and managed subscribers in the first quarter grew to 3.1 million, including approximately 700,000 DSL, 643,000 Telmex, and 1.8 million dial subscribers.
Net revenue for the first quarter increased 78 percent to $92 million from $52 million reported in the same period a year ago. Net loss for the quarter was ($34.7) million, or ($0.49) per share, compared with net loss of ($34.9) million, or ($0.54) per share, reported for the first quarter of 2000. Operating loss for the quarter was ($56.7) million compared with ($32.3) million in the year ago period.
"Prodigy intends to remain a leading national Internet service provider by developing broadband Internet services that make Prodigy more than just an access tool. In an always-on world, we expect Prodigy to become a day-in and day-out way of life for our customers," said Paul Roth, president and chief executive officer.
Roth said Prodigy is well positioned among the national ISPs because of four inherent competitive advantages, which include its business model that is designed for stable, long-term and profitable growth; its strong delivery and execution of ISP services; its diverse customer channels; and its nationally recognized brand.
"Between now and the end of the year, Prodigy will roll out new features and functionality to its portals and introduce new products," Roth said. "With these enhancements - from a new web browser, home page and customized features to improved e-mail and instant messaging - Prodigy will be a more individualized Internet home for customers and a more attractive space for advertisers and partners."
For more information go to www.prodigy.com.

April 26 - AMD Announces Program With CMTL to Test and Certify DDR Memory Modules. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that CMTL (Computer Memory Test Labs) will test and certify Double Data Rate (DDR) memory modules for compatibility on AMD processor-supported PC platforms.
Certification is designed to help enable the widespread availability of cost-effective and reliable DDR modules to customers worldwide. CMTL, an industry standard for memory module compatibility testing, performs a battery of tests to ensure compatible and reliable operation among combinations of memory modules from different manufacturers. CMTL has developed a memory module compatibility certification program to evaluate DDR memory performance.
"CMTL's certification program is designed to ensure that DDR memory module manufacturers meet specific quality, design and testing requirements so that DDR memory functions properly on AMD processor-supported platforms," said John Deters, president of CMTL. "The qualified memory module list will be posted on both CMTL's and AMD's Web sites in a format to allow customers to get consistent, reliable and quality DDR memory modules."
"As the industry's largest and totally independent test lab, CMTL is an ideal choice for compatibility testing of DDR modules and motherboards based on the AMD-760(tm) chipset," said Rex Meek, director of Hardware Infrastructure Enablement Group for AMD.
"This program is an extension to the successful one previously announced by AMD and SMART Modular which focuses on the evaluation of DDR devices and DIMMs from major DRAM-based suppliers on the AMD-760(tm) chipset. The CMTL program will now extend similar testing to DDR module manufacturers. With DDR market momentum continuing to be strong, we feel CMTL will play an important role in evaluating DDR compatibility and reliability as both processor and memory performance increases."
The program is designed to allow customers of systems using AMD and other chipsets to buy memory modules tested and certified on AMD Athlon(tm) and Duron(tm) processor-supported platforms. Specifically, each manufacturer of DDR memory who requests certification is required to submit at least three module capacities to be advanced tested on all motherboards in the CMTL testing program. For more information on the CMTL-AMD testing program, please go to www.amd.com/devconn/teamddr.html.

April 26 - Cypress to Demonstrate Products at the USB 2.0 Developer's Conference. Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE:CY) today announced that it will participate in the USB 2.0 Developers Conference to be held at the Beverly Hills Hilton, Beverly Hills, California from May 7 through May 9, 2001. The company will showcase its USB 2.0 solutions highlighting its EZ-USB(R) SX2(TM) intelligent serial interface engine (SIE).
USB 2.0 will extend the speed of the peripheral-to-PC connection from 12 Mbits/s on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbits/s -- 40 times more than current capabilities. Since the high-speed mode has the same basic architecture of USB, migrating existing USB peripherals to USB 2.0 is a much easier task than transferring to a brand new technology.
The EZ-USB SX2 provides a USB 2.0 connection to a peripheral containing a microcontroller; it is the only low-cost solution that does not drain the controller's resources. The EZ-USB SX2 integrates a USB 2.0 transceiver, a high-speed PLL, an intelligent SIE, a 4 Kbyte FIFO, and a very simple local bus interface. The integrated SIE takes care of USB housekeeping chores so that the microcontroller can spend its resources on the peripheral application.
The "intelligent" SIE means that peripheral designers do not have to learn USB protocols to add this capability to their products, which in turn speeds their time to market. This makes it easy to add high-speed USB to many peripheral applications including scanners, printers, networking devices, and digital video cameras.
The company can be found on the Web at www.cypress.com.

April 26 - Bluetooth Market Forecasted to Shine Brightly. Despite delays, economic slowdown and a recent slew of negative reports, the emerging Bluetooth market will shine, according to Cahners In-Stat Group.
The high-tech market research firm forecasts that demands for Bluetooth-enabled devices will provide substantial opportunities for the technology with Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments soaring to 955 million units in 2005, a 360 percent five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The semiconductor opportunity in this area will also be substantial as Bluetooth radio and baseband silicon will rise to $4.4 billion in 2005.
"2000 was a year of trials and tribulations for Bluetooth. However, positive signs are here as more silicon is going into production, more products are closing in on production schedules and are coming to market very soon," said Joyce Putscher, director of In-Stat's Consumer and Converging Markets and Technologies Group.
The first "hot spot" projects have already appeared in hotels, shopping malls, golf courses, airports, and more are expected to come to fruition by the end of the year. Aside from hardware, there is a plethora of activity happening in application development, both on the client side and the server/services side. In-Stat expects that this activity will only increase.
In-Stat has also found that:
-- Adapters and cards will rule the lion's share of the market in the near term, then relinquish the market to embedded Bluetooth solutions; however, the adapter/card market will represent a significant market even in 2005.
-- Integrated RF/Baseband chip solutions, with and without memory, will continue to emerge and take a strong hold in 2002, realizing very significant gains by 2003.
Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at www.instat.com.

April 26 - Internet Community Fights Pro-Monopoly Bill. American ISP Association Executive Director Sue Ashdown expressed extreme opposition to high speed Internet legislation re-introduced by Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin.
AISPA stated that the "Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001" bill would do nothing more than rescind a requirement in 1996 Telecommunications Act that Bell monopolies first open their local markets to competition prior to entering into new markets outside their regions.
"This legislation is a direct attack against the blossoming Internet service market and American consumers," Sue Ashdown, Executive Director of the American Internet Service Provider Association, said today. "This bill rewards the anti-competitive and anti-consumer scheming the Bells have engaged in for five years."
"Five years ago, Congress promised America competition in every aspect of the telecommunications market," Ashdown said. "Five years later, the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) still have unmitigated control of more than 90 percent of their markets in most areas. Independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) introduced Americans to the Internet. Today ISPs are threatened not only by anti-competitive tactics by the Bell monopolies desperate to snuff out competition, but now by now by poor legislation like this as well."
Ashdown went on to criticize the legislation's likely effect on the ISP industry. "Without competition in local markets, neither ISP's nor the local phone competitors we rely on will survive for long. By passing this measure, Congress would endorse the predatory pricing and anti-market tactics of the Bells. Small, independent ISPs cannot compete against both the Bell monopolies and a Congress in their back pocket."
"Congress should reject this legislation and protect the interests of consumers and competition, not special interest monopolies," Ashdown said.
AISPA has spent its first year in existence doing battle with the forces trying to overwhelm, undercut and exploit independent ISPs. The group already has thousands of supporters nationwide, and brings to bear the full voice of the 7000+ ISPs operating today in the United States.
The American ISP Association is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring and maintaining a competitive environment to nurture new technologies and benefit consumers and Internet service providers. For more information on the American ISP Association, visit www.americanisps.org.

April 26 - Princess Ships to Launch First-Ever Seagoing AOL Internet Cafes. Princess Cruises today announced plans to launch the first-ever seagoing AOL Internet Cafes aboard Princess Cruises' fleet of worldwide ships.
The AOL Internet Cafes hosted by Princess are the first major shipboard initiative to come from an alliance announced between P&O Princess Cruises and America Online in October 2000, and also mark the first time that any cruise company has introduced branded Internet centers at sea.
The new cafes will offer state-of-the-art computer stations for surfing the Internet and accessing e-mail, allowing new and existing AOL members to visit their favorite online features, content and services across several America Online brands.
The first such AOL Internet Cafe will debut aboard the line's new Golden Princess, which launches next month in the Mediterranean. Twenty-five computer stations will be available in this inaugural Internet Cafe, which is being designed to offer a number of AOL interactive products and services, along with other business and Internet features.
Passengers will also be able to access AOL brands through computers in Grand Princess' business center, which is being converted to an AOL Internet Cafe. Other Princess ships should also feature AOL Internet Cafes by the end of the year. The cafes will also incorporate full business capabilities, including fax machines, printers and photocopy machines.
The AOL Internet Cafe will be open 24 hours a day on board Golden Princess. P&O Princess Cruises and America Online will also engage in a series of marketing programs to promote the AOL service to Princess passengers.
In addition, AOL Hometown, AOL's popular home page community, now features a "My Princess Cruise" personal home page template, making it easy for members to post photos and add Princess-themed graphics to their pages. This will allow passengers to create a personalized page about their cruise, and share pictures and stories with family and friends at home.
"We promised some innovative programs when P&O Princess Cruises and America Online formed this alliance," said Todd Putman, Princess' vice president of marketing. "And we think these first joint programs represent the exciting possibilities created by this agreement.
"Our passengers are going to love these AOL Internet Cafes, which are unique in the cruise industry, and now they can also easily create a great way to relive their vacation, with their own personalized home pages. These initiatives are yet another sign that we're committed to offering our passengers the ultimate in personal choice and customization of their cruise experience."
"As AOL's more than 29 million members have made the service more and more central to their everyday lives, they increasingly want to be able to access convenient features like e-mail, My Calendar and stock portfolios wherever they are, whenever they want," said Ray Oglethorpe, president, America Online.
"We're pleased to launch these innovative new seagoing Internet Cafes with Princess, which will provide existing and new members access to AOL's easy-to-use online features, content and services, as well as our many other interactive brands. This is what our `AOL Anywhere' strategy is all about -- increasing the value and convenience we deliver to AOL members by providing integrated, easy access to all favorite features anywhere, anytime."
More information can be found at www.princess.com.

April 25 - U.S. Robotics Ships Broadband Router for Shared Cable Or DSL Service. U.S. Robotics, the world's leading provider in Internet access and connectivity, today began shipping a broadband router for sharing DSL or cable service with multiple computers in the home or office. The product is part of U.S. Robotics' continuing expansion into emerging markets.
The U.S. Robotics Broadband Router allows users to share any DSL or cable Internet connection with up to four PCs or Macintosh computers or up to 253 computers with additional Ethernet hubs. When networked through the router, multiple computers can also share data files, music and multi-player games.
PC users can take advantage of a built-in print server that allows sharing of a single printer without the need for a dedicated PC (the print server is not available for Macintoshes), while an integrated firewall provides added security against outside intrusion.
The router features four 10/100 megabytes-per-second (Mbps) Ethernet ports and a built-in serial port to connect an analog modem for backup Internet access. An additional 10/100 uplink Ethernet port allows connection to an Ethernet hub without the need for special cables.
Available from major retailers in North America or directly from U.S. Robotics' Web site at www.usr.com, the product is expected to sell for an estimated street price of $149.99.

April 25 - Intersil Portable Power Devices Enable AMD's Mobile Notebook Processors. Intersil (Nasdaq:ISIL), a leading provider of power management solutions for PCs, file servers and portable information appliances, today announced that the latest addition to its growing family of Endura(TM) power management integrated circuits (ICs), the ISL6223, is being designed into Advanced Micro Devices' latest mobile AMD Athlon(TM) and Duron(TM) processor reference design.
Intersil's Endura device supports AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology and delivers world-class power efficiency to AMD's advanced microprocessors, contributing directly to extended battery life in notebook computer designs.
Intersil's Endura ISL6223 mobile-computer power management device is a two-phase integrated Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) controller that efficiently regulates core central processing unit (CPU) power.
Specifically, Intersil's architecture allows the CPU core voltage regulator to be completely turned off when the microprocessor is not in use, eliminating voltage generation for the CPU and reducing total system power consumption in aggressively managed mobile-power environments. Additionally, Intersil's Endura ISL6223 enables on-the-fly Voltage Identifier changes that require no external circuitry.
In the mobile environment, power management is a critical element in successful system design. Advanced microprocessors demand more energy on a dynamic basis and the physical size of the portable information appliances continues to shrink, allowing less room for power management and thermal management devices. Intersil's family of mobile power management devices address the demands for power conservation and increased power efficiency in microprocessors.
"At AMD, we recognize the growing importance of mobile computing and the demand for higher performance and increased battery life," said Rex Meek, director of Hardware Infrastructure Relations at AMD. "PowerNow! technology positions us to meet this challenge. Intersil's Endura ICs support the requirements of PowerNow! technologies and provide high efficiency core power management."
For more information about Intersil, visit the company's Internet homepage at www.intersil.com.

April 25 - Hitachi America to Enter Market for High Data Rate Wireless Infrastructure. Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT) today announced it will enter the market for High Data Rate (HDR) wireless infrastructure equipment targeting data service providers and telecommunications carriers throughout North America.
HDR is a wireless data communication system that enables high-performance and cost effective wireless data services. HDR provides a spectrally efficient 2.4Mbit/s peak rate transmission in a standard 1.25 MHz bandwidth channel. Optimized for packet data services, HDR incorporates a flexible architecture based on standard Internet Protocols (IP). HDR's IP-based architecture allows flexible implementation of this wireless system in high-performance and cost effective ways.
As a complementary solution to voice networks utilizing an operator's existing cell sites, towers, antennas and network equipment, HDR technology allows those operators to leverage their current infrastructure investment and cellular networks. HDR can also be implemented as a stand-alone system using off-the-shelf IP backbone equipment, which Hitachi can also provide.
HDR is compatible with IS-95A, IS-95B and future cdma2000 networks, enabling existing cdmaOne and cdma2000 service providers to obtain higher capacities and superior performance by optimizing voice and data spectra separately. Hitachi is the leading provider of HDR infrastructure systems in Japan. It is the first company to jointly develop and manufacture HDR equipment, which it has done with Qualcomm since January of 2000.
In addition, Hitachi supplied a HDR trial system to a Japanese leading mobile operator, KDDI, joined with Hitachi, Qualcomm, Sony and Kyocera.
The trial was conducted between July 2000 and February 2001 in the urban area of Tokyo. The trial enabled applications such as streaming video, Web browsing and e-mail to run at data transmission speed up to 2.4Mbit/s. The experience Hitachi has gained with HDR implementation in Japan will be critical in supporting the widespread deployment of the systems in North America - a market thirsty for high-speed wireless data services.
Further more information, please go to Hitachi's homepage at http://www.hitachi.co.jp/HDR.

April 25 - Senate Introduces Tax Credit to Ease IT Worker Shortage. Help may soon be available for companies suffering from a shortage of skilled IT workers.
On Tuesday, the United States Senate introduced the "Technology Education and Training Act (TETA) of 2001," which gives individuals and employers tax credits of up to $2,000 for IT training expenses. Sponsored by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Mike DeWine (R-OH), and Harry Reid (D-NV), TETA works to help individuals get needed IT training, thus easing America's IT worker shortage.
"Headlines may scream out high-tech layoffs, but the plain fact is that IT jobs are going empty because there are not enough skilled people to fill them," noted Grant Mydland, Director of the Technology Workforce Coalition. Mydland applauded the bill's introduction and urged Congress' quick consideration and passage of TETA.
Essentially, TETA:
-- Provides a tax credit of up to $1,500 for IT training expenses paid by employers
-- Amends the HOPE and Lifetime Learning tax credits so individuals can better access IT training courses at all of the available institutions and training centers
-- Allows tax credits of up to $2,000 for small businesses, as well as for people residing in and companies operating in empowerment zones and other qualified areas
"Nearly half of all IT jobs that will be created in 2001 will remain vacant," Mydland added. "IT drives our economy. TETA gives individuals and companies the necessary educational tools to meet America's rapidly evolving IT needs. The Senate should be congratulated for its foresight in addressing a significant challenge to U.S. prosperity and growth."

April 25 - First-Ever MP3 Audio Cards. Broadcast Software International (BSI) and AudioScience today announced the creation of soundcards that play quadruple MP3 files without a software CODEC.
The two cards, the ASI4344 and the ASI4346, will be available on May 1, 2001, exclusively at BSI.
This is the first time that a professional audio company has created devices specifically for the MP3 format. The two cards decompress audio files on their own hardware. The processor is not using its time to decompress the files. With these cards, the skipping and slowness that plague broadcasters with MP3 files have been eliminated.
The concept of decompressing audio on a hardware device has been used with other formats, however the CODECs that decompress the MP3 format have been primarily controlled by the Fraunhofer Institute. The result of putting the MP3 CODEC on the audio card is vastly improved PC performance. Now playing multiple MP3 files simultaneously will be no different than playing multiple linear audio files.
"Our corporate mission is to respond to customer requests. AudioScience has a record of leadership in the digital audio market. When BSI and AudioScience formed the concept of combining our hardware with MP3 technology it made sense for both of us," says AudioScience President Richard Gross.
"The radio industry has been heading towards an audio card like this one ever since the MP3 format became popular. Broadcasters wanted to use MP3 files, but could not get the consistent sound quality they needed," says Ron Burley, BSI President. "We were happy to have AudioScience as a partner in this because of their record of creating products users want, rather than trying to find customers for the audio cards they decided to make."
Broadcast Software International signed an agreement with AudioScience to be the exclusive distributor of the new audio cards. The agreement also allows the cards to also be sold through select BSI distributors, such as Broadcast Supply Worldwide.
BSI will also be the exclusive distributor for upgrades to two other AudioScience audio cards, the ASI4334 and the ASI4336, allowing them to become triple MP3 devices.
BSI can be found on the Web at www.bsiusa.com and AudioScience can be found at www.audioscience.com.

April 24 - Pioneer To Ship Industry’s First Combination DVD/CD Recordable/Re-recordable Drive. Pioneer New Media Technologies, Inc., the leader in recordable DVD technology, will ship the world’s first combination DVD/CD recordable drive, the DVR-A03, by the end of May at the MSRP of $995. Targeted for digital video recording and data archiving applications, the aftermarket drive will ship with software support for recording both data and video.
The third generation drive reads and writes four recordable formats including DVD-R (write once For General), DVD-RW (re-recordable), CD-R and CD-RW, and offers up to 4.7GB of storage capacity per DVD side. In addition, the new drive is capable of recording DVD-R discs at twice normal speed (2X)—an industry first.
“Pioneer has played a key role in the development of DVD recording technology and was the first to bring DVD-R to DVD authoring professionals,” said Paul Dempsey, president of Pioneer New Media Technologies. “Priced under $1000, the DVR-A03 now delivers both DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW recording to the consumer market for the first time in a multi-functional drive that can meet all DVD and CD recording needs.”
The DVD-R and DVD-RW formats are members of the DVD Forum’s family of DVD specifications. DVD-R is a write-once format that is compatible with most DVD Video players and DVD-ROM drives, and DVD-RW is a re-recordable format that allows users to record, erase and re-record their own DVD discs more than 1,000 times.
The DVR-A03 will come bundled with a 4.7GB “DVD-R for General” disc and software including Sonic Solutions’ MyDVD for DVD-Video authoring, CyberLink’s PowerDVD 3.0 software DVD player and Prassi Software’s PrimoDVD for recording data to DVD and CD media.
“In developing DVD-R and DVD-RW technology, compatibility was a major objective,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of product development and technical support, Pioneer New Media Technologies. “We wanted to bring a product to market that would allow consumers to cost-effectively archive their own video creations onto DVD discs that could then be played on existing DVD players. With the DVR-A03 we have done that.”
With its low cost and compact design, Pioneer’s DVD-R/RW drive targets digital video editing and archiving as its “killer application” as well as traditional data and digital image storage applications. Key product specifications for the new drive include 2X recording speed for DVD-R, 1X for DVD-RW, 8X for CD-R, and 4X for CD-RW. Read speeds are 4X for DVD-ROM and 24X for CD-ROM.
“Announced at Comdex last November, the OEM version of the drive, the DVR-103, is currently available in Compaq Presario 7000 and PowerMac G4 systems,” said Hani Gabriel, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Optical Systems Division for Pioneer. “We feel this signals industry acceptance for the DVD-R format across the PC and Macintosh markets.”
The drive has been named DVR-A03 for the aftermarket. It ships to distributors the end of May 2001 and is expected to hit the retail channel later this year.
For more information, visit Pioneer New Media Technologies, Inc. at www.pioneerelectronics.com.

April 24 - New IBM eServer System Shatters Performance Record. IBM today introduced two ultra-powerful midrange IBM eServer(1) UNIX(2) systems - the p620 and p660 - that leverage IBM's Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, self-management capabilities and mainframe-grade memory correction features for extraordinary UNIX performance. Extending the strategy that has driven IBM's success since the introduction of breakthrough Copper Technology in 1999, the new servers provide dramatically better performance than competing systems at a lower cost.
The deskside p620 and rack-mounted p660 are the industry's first midrange UNIX servers to contain IBM-pioneered SOI technology. Microprocessors built with SOI run up to 35 percent faster and at much cooler temperatures than traditional aluminum chips, increasing server performance and up-time.
In contrast to the IBM systems, Sun's comparable server -- the recently-announced Sun Fire 3800 -- is up to 88 percent more expensive, consumes nearly three times more electricity, and generates tremendous amounts of heat -- the bane of server reliability. Requiring more processors to achieve a given level of performance, the Sun Fire 3800 is also one of the industry's costliest platforms for running key software applications.
In addition to SOI, the p620 and p660 both incorporate the IBM-pioneered copper microprocessor technology that was introduced in the IBM eServer line last year. Copper chips provide superior performance to those that contain aluminum because copper is a better electrical conductor than aluminum.
The microprocessor innovations are reflected in the new servers' performance numbers. The IBM eServer p660 is the world's fastest 6-way transaction processing server, scoring 57,346.93 transactions per minute (tpmC) in the TPC-C transaction-processing benchmark, at a cost of $32.59 per transaction ($/tpmC).
The p660 and p620 are also equipped with self-management and reliability features available only on IBM systems. "Chipkill(tm)" technology, derived from IBM's mainframes, virtually eliminates memory failures -- one of the most frequent causes of server downtime. Chipkill is estimated to be 100 times more effective than the Error Checking Correction technology implemented by most server vendors.
If a memory error does occur, Chipkill automatically and gracefully takes the inoperative memory chip off-line, while the server keeps running.
Today's announcement is accompanied by IBM's introduction of AIX 5L, the next generation in UNIX operating systems. Specifically tuned for Linux applications, AIX 5L provides the industry's premier environment for building and managing both UNIX and Linux applications, providing a substantial advantage over closed, proprietary systems.
"With this announcement, IBM combines support for open standards with the latest advancements in hardware technology to offer the industry's most powerful and flexible midrange systems," said Rod Adkins, general manager, pSeries, IBM eServer. "Now, customers can source applications on Linux and move them quickly and easily to UNIX -- a growing trend in corporate data centers."

April 24 - Tokyo Plugfest Marks Breakthrough in 1394 Firewire Interoperability. More than two dozen companies brought a total of 53 different 1394-equipped products together at the first-ever 1394 Plugfest in Japan last week, as the 1394 Trade Association stepped up its worldwide interoperability program.
Apple Computer, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Agere Systems, Sony, and many other industry leaders joined the event. It is one of a series of plugfests at which manufacturers of the ability of consumer, computer and peripheral products built with the 1394/FireWire/i.Link multimedia interface gather to make certain products work together. The first international 1394 plugfest was conducted by the 1394 Trade Association's Compliance and Interoperability Work Group, which is chaired by Dave Thompson of Agere.
"The success of the Tokyo plugfest is the latest step in assuring compatibility and interoperability among and between 1394-enabled products," Thompson said. "Significant numbers of new devices and companies were involved, and we expect more and more participants at every plugfest throughout 2001. During what we call the Grand Melee during the sessions, we linked a total of 47 different 1394 nodes onto a single network, up from 36 different network-connected nodes during the autumn 2000 plugfest."
"Product interoperability is a critical objective of the 1394 Trade Association, and the Tokyo event moves us forward at a key time for the 1394 standard," said Apple Computer's Eric Anderson, the 1394 TA secretary. "We are on the threshold of the release of the new 1394b specification, and we recently earned high praise from Microsoft leadership, which is highlighting its commitment to the standard in its upcoming release of Microsoft XP."
The next plugfest is scheduled for Aug. 5-7 at the Embassy Suites in Bellevue, Washington. For more information about Plugfest or the 1394 Trade Association visit www.1394ta.org.

April 24 - SONICblue Delivers Secure Music Download Service with Launch of Rio Music Center. Rio(R), a division of SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU), today launched the Rio Music Center(TM), a download service that enables increased security by placing today's hottest music directly on the latest Rio handheld players. Providing Rio users with a complete audio experience, the Rio Music Center takes the music industry one step closer to resolving the ongoing debate over online music distribution and digital rights management - tying an easy-to-use and secure download service to the world's largest base of digital audio players.
"Secure content that is easily accessible and sampled has been the biggest challenge to record labels and consumers looking to embrace the digital audio platform," said Jim Cady, president of Rio. "Working with key partners and the top record labels, we're actively pursuing new technologies and business models designed to clear this challenge and bring both sides closer to experiencing the freedom and opportunity that digital music can ultimately offer."
About the Rio Music Center
Powered by RioPort, Inc., the industry's leading music application service provider (ASP) and its PulseOne Media Service(TM), the Rio Music Center is now available online at www.riohome.com. The Rio Music Center offers a "Direct-to-Device (d2d(TM))" system where downloaded tracks reside only on the Rio player until the user replaces them with new tracks. In bypassing the PC for storage and redistribution, the Rio Music Center makes downloading music simple and secure.
Featuring a continually changing selection of hot music from top labels with up to 20 new tracks a week, the Rio Music Center kicks off with an exclusive new track from Samantha Mumba provided by A&M Records. Other tracks include, "Hangin' By A Moment" by Lifehouse, "Ridin'" by Buckcherry and "Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado, provided by Dreamworks Records, as well as "Lay Low" from Snoop Dogg provided by Priority Records.

April 24 - Moms Want to Get Wired This Mother's Day. While 63 percent of moms still want the tried and tested jewelry and flowers for Mother's Day this year, technology gadgets ranked second place (40 percent) on the list according to a study by BizRate.com.Reflecting the importance of technology in women's lives, 82 percent of moms believe technology products will help them to manage their family and will help them to balance their work and home lives.
Among technology gifts, digital cameras are the most wished for item this Mother's Day, followed by DVDs and cell phones:

Moms' Top-Five Most-Wanted Tech Gadgets

No. 1 Digital Cameras
No. 2 DVDs
No. 3 Cell Phones
No. 4 TiVo (digital TV recorder)
No. 5 MP3 Players and PDAs (personal digital assistant)

"Family is overwhelmingly what matters most to mothers," said Eva Boker, vice president of Merchandising at BizRate.com, referencing the 82 percent of mothers who indicated the primary importance of family. "And Mom's most desired gadget -- a digital camera -- underscores their appetite for technology that can enhance family life."
BizRate.com can be found on te Web at www.bizrate.com.

 

 
 
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