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Daily Computer News and Rumors

April 08-15 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.)
Apr 15 Intel Advances Pentium® 4 Processor Platform With Faster System Bus And New Chipset
Apr 15 eMachines Announces Full-Featured Spring PC Line-Up
Apr 15 HP Introduces Entry-level Workstation with Good Price to Performance Ratio
Apr 15 ASUS Standardizes on Analog Devices' SoundMAX Digital Audio System
Apr 15 Yankee Group Forecast Predicts 32 Million Networked Homes by 2007
Apr 15 Enterprises List Budget Restrictions As the Largest Barrier to Adopting e-Support
Apr 14 New Dell Dimension Desktop Speeds Use of Most Demanding Applications
Apr 14 Speedwires CEO Says the Future of Broadband is Hybrid Powerline Technology
Apr 14 VIA Announces UniChrome KM400 Chipset
Apr 14 Gartner Says Next-Generation Network to Begin to Evolve in Next Two Years
Apr 13 Sunday Shopping Watch
Apr 11 Dell Expands Thin & Light Notebook Offerings with Value-Priced Notebooks
Apr 11 Internet Home Alliance Launches Mealtime Pilot
Apr 11 Agilent Technologies and Intel Collaborate on PCI Express
Apr 11 IBM Launches Initiative to Help Customers Untangle Decades-Old `Spaghetti Code'
Apr 10 Intel Predicted to Stay Ahead in Value PC Processor Market
Apr 10 Yahoo! Reports First Quarter 2003 Earnings of $0.08 Per Share
Apr 10 Fabless Semiconductor Association Announces First Quarter Fabless Fundings Results
Apr 10 Global Graphics upgrades Jaws PDF Editor™ to Version 2.0
Apr 10 RealTime Rapid Data-Server Recovery Software Launched
Apr 09 Intel and VIA Technologies, Inc. Settle Patent Infringement Cases
Apr 09 ViewSonic Introduces ThinEdge Displays
Apr 09 New Intel Software Tool Speeds Development of Applications for Hyper-Threading Technology
Apr 09 GamePro Magazine Announces Readers' Choice Awards Winners
Apr 08 ATI's New ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO Delivers Improved Display and Graphics Performance
Apr 08 Adobe Advances Electronic Workflows for Creative Professionals with Acrobat 6.0
Apr 08 Nero Digital Set to Become the Next Big Standard in Audio and Video Compression
Apr 08 Ulead Unveils StudioQuartet: A Complete Digital Media Ensemble for Video and DVD Production
Apr 08 Yahoo! Introduces New Yahoo! Search

 

 

Apr 15 - Intel Advances Pentium® 4 Processor Platform With Faster System Bus And New Chipset. Intel Corporation today announced a significant improvement in overall PC performance by introducing a new Pentium® 4 processor with a faster system bus and a new chipset platform. The new platform provides more balanced system performance, resulting in smoother operation and less time waiting for data.

The new chipset contains two technical innovations that accelerate the speed at which data flows between the computer's processor and system memory and also doubles the computer's networking bandwidth. A chipset consists of one or more chips that act as a computer's nervous system, transmitting signals from the computer's brain, the microprocessor, to the rest of the system. These new products support Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology and are targeted for high performance and feature-rich workstations and desktop computers.

"Working together, Intel's new processor and chipset deliver uncompromising capabilities and performance to PC users who demand the richest digital media, gaming and broadband experience," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "For the high end of computing, data access has become one of the biggest performance bottlenecks. Performance seekers will benefit from the extremely fast bus and memory technologies of this new compute platform, as well as Pentium 4 processor's Hyper-Threading Technology when multitasking or using threaded applications."

The Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology operating at 3 GHz can now have an 800 MHz system bus instead of 533 MHz, the previous highest speed bus. The new 800 MHz bus can transmit information within the PC up to 50 percent faster than the previous version. With Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology, users can perform multiple complex tasks with greater responsiveness from their PCs. For desktop applications, these tasks include accessing instant messaging while playing a favorite online game or downloading music while manipulating digital photos. Advanced digital content creation tasks such as 3-D modeling, rendering and video editing are some of the workstation applications that benefit from these new features.

Designed specifically to support the Intel Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology, the Intel 875P chipset, formerly codenamed Canterwood, supports dual-channel DDR400 MHz system memory, providing exceptional performance across a full range of multimedia and 3-D intensive applications.

The chipset introduces two significant platform innovations: Intel Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) and Communications Streaming Architecture (CSA). PAT speeds data flow between the processor and system memory to increase performance. The 875P chipset also offers a dedicated networking bus based on Intel's new Communications Streaming Architecture. CSA, in conjunction with the new Intel® PRO/1000 CT Desktop Connection gigabit Ethernet controller, doubles the networking bandwidth possible with today's PCI bus based solutions.

Additionally, the 875P chipset includes a high-performance AGP8X graphics interface for an advanced graphics experience, integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and Serial ATA, and dual independent DMA audio engines enabling a user to make a PC phone call while playing digital music streams. The new 875P chipset offers built-in RAID capabilities utilizing the latest Serial ATA interface for accelerated disk I/O. Error Correction Code is supported for users that demand memory data reliability and integrity. Additional technical information on these chipsets is available at http://developer.intel.com/design/chipsets.

For computer makers and system integrators, Intel also announced availability of an ATX form factor desktop motherboard, the D875PBZ featuring Intel Precision Cooling Technology and Intel Rapid BIOS Boot. Additional technical information on this desktop board is available at: http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/index.htm.

Pricing and Availability
In 1,000-unit quantities, the 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology and an 800MHz system bus is priced at $417 and will be available shortly. The Intel 875P chipset is priced at $53 with integrated software RAID, $50 without RAID. The chipset is currently shipping in volume to a variety of computer and motherboard manufacturers worldwide.

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Apr 15 - eMachines Announces Full-Featured Spring PC Line-Up. eMachines Inc., the fastest-growing PC company in the United States according to IDC, today announced its new spring line-up of affordable, high-performance PCs featuring upgraded Intel(R)-based processors starting at $399.

In addition to increasing the processing speeds and adding Ethernet networking capability throughout its new products, the Irvine-based PC provider has doubled the memory of its $499 and $599 models, the T2245 and T2385, for faster, more efficient use.

In addition, T2385 offers a larger hard drive for greater storage capability. For multimedia aficionados, these two models also include DVD and CD-RW drives for movie and music playback and CD recording.

eMachines' new array of PCs also incorporate Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition to enhance users' digital photography, music and video experience, while augmenting reliability and security.

"With the introduction of our new spring line-up, we offer consumers and businesses best-in-value PCs for virtually any computing application for home or office use," said eMachines' President and CEO Wayne Inouye. "We also continue to vigorously support our products by offering one of the most innovative and comprehensive Customer Care programs in the industry."

eMachines' 2003 spring line-up includes:

T2240

eMachines' entry-level model, the T2240, comes standard with Ethernet and six USB 2.0 ports. The PC is ideal for users seeking a reliable product for everyday computing needs and features an Intel Celeron(R) 2.20 GHz processor. Other features include 128 MB DDR, 40 GB hard drive, Intel Extreme Graphics 3D video card, 56K V.92 ready fax/modem, a 48x CD-ROM drive, multimedia keyboard, wheel mouse and stereo speakers for $399.

T2245

By offering dual optical drives, the T2245 is tailored toward multimedia enthusiasts seeking an affordable PC for "burning" CDs, as well as playing digital music and movies. The PC, powered by an Intel Celeron 2.20 GHz processor, comes complete with Ethernet, 256 MB DDR, 40 GB hard drive, Intel Extreme Graphics 3D video card, 56K V.92 ready fax/modem, 40x CD-RW, 16x DVD drives, six USB 2.0 ports, multimedia keyboard, wheel mouse and stereo speakers for $499.

T2385

eMachines' T2385 combines multimedia functionality throughout with Ethernet for networking. The PC features an Intel Celeron 2.30 GHz processor, Ethernet, 512 MB DDR, 80 GB hard drive, Intel Extreme Graphics 3D video card, 56K V.92 ready fax/modem, 48x CD-RW and 16x DVD drives, six USB 2.0 ports, premium multimedia keyboard, wheel mouse and stereo speakers for $599.

Every new eMachines PC features Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works 6.0, Microsoft Money 2002, Encarta Online, a 90-day AOL 8.0 membership, as well as a 90-day trial of Norton AntiVirus(TM) 2003, the world's most trusted anti-virus solution, according to PC market analyst firm NPDTechworld.

eMachines supports all of its PCs and monitors through a comprehensive Customer Care program comprised of one-year free parts, labor and technical support with several service options, including an End-User Replaceable Parts Program, five-day depot repair and nationwide authorized service centers.

eMachines' new PCs are currently available at major consumer electronics retail outlets nationwide, as well as direct from eMachines' Web site at www.emachines.com or by calling 800/362-2446.

About eMachines Inc.

Founded in September 1998, eMachines currently sells the second-highest number of PCs through retailers in the United States, according to leading market research organizations. Since inception, eMachines has shipped more than 5 million PCs through leading national and international retailers, catalog and online merchandisers and via its Web site at www.emachines.com.

Apr 15 - HP Introduces Entry-level Workstation with Good Price to Performance Ratio. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced its latest entry-level workstation, the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4-based HP Workstation xw4100, which is designed to provide customers with computational and visualization performance, reliability and support with an affordable manufacturer's suggested retail price of $799.

The HP Workstation xw4100 uses the new Intel 875P high-performance chipset and it includes Intel Performance Acceleration Technology for enhanced system performance due to reduced memory access latencies. The workstation also is optimized for Intel Hyper-Threading Technology to efficiently run multiple applications simultaneously and to speed processor-intensive tasks.

The device's innovative convertible mini-tower and tool-less chassis are designed to provide mechanical computer-aided engineering (MCAD/CAE), digital content creation (DCC), geographic information systems (GIS) and finance customers with the flexibility they need for their work environments. The versatile chassis allows the HP xw4100 to go easily from deskside to desktop and improves serviceability and heat management. The workstation also features a convenient front-access input/output panel and two USB v2.0 ports.

The affordably priced HP Workstation xw4100 delivers optimized performance and reliability with professional OpenGL and multi-display 2D graphics and application certifications for entry-level 2D and 3D MCAD and 2D animation, video editing and publishing users.

"HP workstations are intelligently engineered for high reliability, which should allow for excellent application performance while providing exceptional return on investment," said Jim Zafarana, worldwide marketing manager, HP Workstation Global Business Unit. "The HP xw4100 delivers on that promise by offering customers unprecedented value and performance without compromising reliability."

The HP Workstation xw4100 builds on HP's industry lead in workstation performance set by the HP Workstation xw5000. The HP xw4100 takes uniprocessor compute power to the next level with faster processor front side bus speeds, greater memory bandwidth and Intel's Performance Acceleration Technology.

The HP xw4100 supports Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional, while support for the Red Hat Linux operating system is expected to be available in June.

The HP Workstation xw4100 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $799. This model and the entire HP workstation product line are available directly from HP or through authorized HP resellers. Further details are available at www.hp.com/go/workstations.

Apr 15 - ASUS Standardizes on Analog Devices' SoundMAX Digital Audio System. Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI) today announced that ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS), the world's leading provider of motherboards to PC OEMs, system integrators and retail outlets, has selected its SoundMAX(R) Digital Audio System (SoundMAX) as its new standard PC audio solution.

Available with PCs and motherboards from major PC OEM and motherboard manufacturers, SoundMAX is now shipping with 25 new ASUS desktop and notebook motherboards. With today's launch of its spring 2003 motherboards, ASUS becomes the first motherboard manufacturer to ship SoundMAX 4 XL, on two of its featured products: the ASUS P4C800 and ASUS P4P800. Offering intelligent jack sensing for connecting audio peripherals and a new user interface for managing system performance, SoundMAX 4 XL is a premium-performance PC audio system that is especially attractive to PC OEMs concerned about the growing cost of audio-related technical support issues.

SoundMAX 4 XL minimizes the complexity of getting a new PC's audio system up and running. The AudioESP(TM) feature of SoundMAX 4 XL notifies users of erroneously connected audio peripherals, guiding them through the process of connecting microphones, PC speakers and other audio devices to the correct jacks in the system.

SoundMAX 4 XL also offers a 'virtual dashboard' that allows users to easily manage audio-related controls for optimal performance, as well as an enhanced audio wizard that enables users to quickly set up their audio peripherals. In addition to empowering users to manage their audio system's functionality, SoundMAX meets the needs of ASUS' diverse customer base--offering best-in-class audio quality and state-of-the-art technologies for playback of music CDs, MP3/WMA files, DVD movie soundtracks, MIDI music, Internet audio and enhanced game audio.

About SoundMAX from Analog Devices

The SoundMAX-class of audio CODECs are available in both 2- and 6-channel configurations and offer variable sample rate conversion (SRC), professional quality 103 dB output with 94 dB SNR, software-configurable speaker EQ, stereo microphone input, digital S/PDIF output and analog enumeration capability. The SoundMAX feature set includes a state-of-the-art DLS2 MIDI synthesizer with the popular Yamaha DLSbyXG sound set, the award-winning Sensaura 5.1 Virtual Theater(TM) surround sound and support for all major game audio technologies.

Availability

SoundMAX 4 XL will begin shipping in the channel with the ASUS P4C800 motherboard that supports the Intel Canterwood chipset as of April 14, 2003. For more information about SoundMAX, please visit: www.soundmax.com.

ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. can be found online at www.asus.com.tw.

Apr 15 - Yankee Group Forecast Predicts 32 Million Networked Homes by 2007. Yankee Group research shows that by the end of 2002, the market of consumers with the necessary infrastructure for home networking expanded--with 15 percent of U.S. households subscribing to broadband and 22 percent owning more than one PC. In turn, consumer adoption of home networks increased 60 percent during the year, driven by continued broadband growth, declining prices for connectivity hardware, expansion of the service provider channel, and the entry of well-branded productivity device and consumer electronics manufacturers.

The Yankee Group forecasts there will be 32.3 million networked homes in the United States by the end of 2007. Driving this projected growth will be the increasing adoption of broadband and multiple PCs, accelerated deployment of connectivity hardware by broadband providers in both standalone equipment and embedded CPE, and continued advancements in wireless networking performance.

"Wireless solutions are driving the home networking market and are the preferred means of connectivity among consumers establishing a home network," says Dominic Ainscough, Yankee Group Consumer Technologies & Services senior analyst. "Home networking technology is progressing to support a greater breadth of multimedia network applications such as concurrent streaming of multiple video feeds and multiplayer gaming. With this development, networking will extend beyond the home office to the living room, and spur increased interest in connectivity among secondary adopters."

THE YANKEE GROUP can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.

APr 15 - Enterprises List Budget Restrictions As the Largest Barrier to Adopting e-Support. Budget restrictions are the biggest barrier to widespread use of e-support in enterprises, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

Nearly 60 percent of IT support solution users surveyed listed budget restrictions as the reason they are not using e-support solutions. More notably, 52 percent of the respondents indicated that the solutions they used did not effectively resolve hardware or software support incidents.

In September 2002, Gartner Dataquest conducted an Internet survey of 223 North American users of e-support and support automation solutions for their organizations' hardware and software systems. The respondents were end-user organizations that reflected a representation of every major industry and company size.

"The issue of the budget is understandable, given the economy, but it translates to a reluctance to make the investment if the payback is in question," said Robert Igou, principal analyst for Gartner's IT Services group. "The most alarming concern for support providers is that e-support solutions are not generally seen as effectively solving support incidents. If this perception is not remedied with the evolution of improvements, it could have a retarding effect on the demand for this technology."

While the availability of e-support solutions on the Internet should be a strength, 54 percent of those surveyed picked availability and reliability of Web-based e-support solutions as the No.1 factor that needed improvement. Nearly half of all users had about equal concern related to e-support content, and another concern was about the expertise and response time associated with e-support and wanted it to be the equivalent of phone-based support.

"Support providers must consider these concerns and provide metrics for establishing benchmarks as a priority," said Igou. "None of these improvements really relate to the solution or technology itself, so solution vendors should be pleased. However, if the solution vendor is associated with a poorly performing Web site via a brand designation, they will suffer brand contamination as a result."

According to the survey, nearly half of all support incidents are addressed by two solutions - manual diagnostic tools and remote control solutions. Less than one quarter of all support incidents were addressed by an automated tool or solution. Gartner analysts said that the devotion to the two solutions is incurring a big expense related to the IT resources required to affect a solution, even though some, such as remote control solutions, do help reduce the human effort required to help a user.

"This is not to say that automated solutions can resolve all incidents, or that they can always save money, but that inserting automation into the support process can reduce the amount of human assistance that needs to be applied in the end," said Igou.

Even with these concerns, the Gartner survey found that almost 75 percent of respondents acknowledged an expected increase in the use of e-support solutions. Vendors should take this to mean that people inside these organizations that have a favorable view could be leveraged to convince the budgetary authorities that e-support is a worthwhile investment.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Apr 14 - New Dell Dimension Desktop Speeds Use of Most Demanding Applications. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced the Dimension(tm) 8300, a desktop equipped with high-performance technology to help consumers and small business owners run demanding multimedia applications, such as editing video or high-resolution photographs, creating Web content or playing 3-D games.

The Dimension 8300 uses a new Intel(R) chipset that supports processors featuring an 800MHz front side bus and dual-channel DDR (double data rate) memory to enhance the system's overall performance. Additionally, it also features an 8x Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) graphics cards to run demanding 3-D applications.

"The Dimension 8300 delivers great desktop performance for consumers and small business customers who need more horsepower," said Mark Vena, director of Dimension product marketing. "It comes with a wide variety of performance-oriented options that can be individually customized, underscoring our commitment to provide customers with the latest technology at an unbeatable value."

To meet varying customer needs, the 8300 supports a range of video options. Gaming enthusiasts who want fast performance on the most advanced computer games can opt for the industry-leading ATI Radeon(tm) 9800 PRO or the Radeon 9800 graphics card. Customers who do not require as much 3-D horsepower can opt for the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(tm) 4 MX graphics card.

The Dimension 8300 features an expandable minitower chassis, which provides up to two 5.25-inch external optical drives and up to two internal hard drives. It also features eight USB 2.0 ports, two of which are front-accessible ports for connecting devices like USB memory keys or MP3 players. All Dimension 8300 customers can order a system with or without a floppy drive, or with a Dell USB memory key.

For $1,689, the Dimension 8300 features a 3.0GHz Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor, 128MB DDR 400 SDRAM memory, a 60GB hard drive, a 16x DVD drive, a 17-inch (16-inch viewable) monitor and Windows(R) XP Home.

For more information about this product, go to www.dell.com/dimension.

Apr 14 - Speedwires CEO Says the Future of Broadband is Hybrid Powerline Technology. Are you ready for interactive entertainment, thousands of cable channels and broadband Internet services over any power plug in your home or office? According to Powerline communications guru William "Luke" Stewart, a recent demonstration of power line communications (PLC) technology in front of FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell is more proof that broadband over powerlines has matured and is ready for business.

However, Stewart says that any economical rollout of PLC-based broadband Internet or video services will require developing hybrid systems that integrates PLC technology with an Internet backbone that is seriously underutilized. Stewart, who is president of Speedwires.com, says that the company will focus its efforts on developing HybridPLC(TM) solutions that can integrate PLC technology to alternative transmission platforms.

In a teleconference at Speedwires' Dallas office, Stewart laid out the company's vision and his plan to position Speedwires as a HybridPLC service provider.

PLC works, but more is needed to make it a business

Stewart said, "Recent tests of local PLC systems have proven what we said two years ago. Powerline communications can deliver broadband video services, high speed Internet and other next generation telecommunication services to the home and office. However, powerline communications by themselves aren't enough to create a competitive global communications network today."

According to Stewart, "PLC is critical to building any competitive communications system. As a physical platform, PLC is cheaper to set up and easier to maintain than traditional cable, wireless or telecom networks. However, PLC technology isn't the entire solution, at least not yet."

Stewart stated, "Speedwires has run the numbers. Today, the most economical platform is a mixture of PLC broadband to the home, connected to all the unused capacity out in the Internet backbone. There are literally thousands of miles of dark fiber out there today. Speedwires will marry PLC to that underutilized capacity."

Focus On Integrated HybridPLC(TM)

According to the Speedwires president, the company will focus its business on developing solutions and technology to integrate PLC communications to legacy technologies. According to Stewart, "Much of this technology is ready, now. However, no one has been putting the pieces together and focusing on the integration that is necessary. By concentrating on hybrid communications and PLC solutions we can support current PLC developers, the electric power industry, and content developers alike with a platform that can be rolled out today and which can serve as the launching pad for an array of new communications services."

Customers Responding to a Hybrid Solution

Stewart said the company has been gratified by the response to HybridPLC. He said, "Our response from the energy companies, content providers, and technology developers has been nearly overwhelming. The market has been ready for a long time. So has the technology. Everyone has been waiting for someone to step up and provide an integrated solution that works today. We're going to do that."

For more information, visit www.speedwires.com.

Apr 14 - VIA Announces UniChrome KM400 Chipset. The VIA UniChrome KM400 Chipset is the next generation integrated graphics chipset for the AMD Athlon™ XP processor.
An ultra fast HyperTransport™ link to the CPU, integrated UniChrome™ 2D/3D graphics, AGP 8X port, 8X V-Link, Serial ATA/RAID, ATA-133 and USB 2.0 combine to make the KM400 a feature rich and scalable chipset for mainstream corporate and consumer desktop systems.

The VIA UniChrome KM400 chipset features the S3 Graphics integrated UniChrome™ 2D/3D graphics core with MPEG-2 acceleration and DuoView™ technology for excellent multimedia performance and complete flexibility on the desktop.
The chipset North Bridge exchanges data with the CPU through a flexible and ultra fast Front Side Bus at speeds of up to 333MHz, and features an AGP 8X controller for graphics upgrades. The KM400 also supports a complete range of DDR memory speeds, including DDR200/266/333/400, enabling OEMs and system integrators the opportunity to attack different price points based on the same mainboard platform.

The VIA UniChrome KM400 North Bridge is connected to the new VIA VT8237 South Bridge through a fast 8X V-Link connection. With native support for Serial ATA in the VT8237, supplying 150MB/s of bandwidth to your hard drive, as well as support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports, the VT8237 offers the highest possible peripheral performance for professional and home users. In SATA mode, the VIA VT8237 also provides multi level RAID support including RAID level 0 for maximum performance, RAID Level 1 for maximum security, RAID level 0+1 and JBOD.

The VIA VT8237 also features support for up to two Parallel ATA-133 devices, extending flexibility to the system integrator by allowing for mainstream or value configurations leveraging the existing technology standard. Additional features include a VIA MAC for 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet connectivity, integrated PCI support, 6-channel surround sound AC'97 audio and an MC'97 modem. The VIA UniChrome KM400 also benefits from the advanced unified VIA Hyperion 4-in-1 driver set, delivering seamless compatibility with the latest software and hardware.

For more information, visit VIA at www.via.com.tw.

Apr 14 - Gartner Says Next-Generation Network to Begin to Evolve in Next Two Years. As consumers look for ways to simplify their communications to better meet the needs of their daily lives, through PDAs, mobile phones and the Internet, the next-generation network (NGN) will be the underlying infrastructure that will be able to support those communications needs, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

The NGN combines three networks (public switched telephone network, Internet and wireless) into a unification of communications networks. This unification focuses on the customization of communications services purchased at the individual subscriber level on the enterprise and/or the consumer side.

"These customized communications services will radically change the definition of what constitutes a call, " said David Fraley, principal analyst for Gartner's worldwide telecommunications and networking group. "In the future, calls will include voice, video, data, TV broadcasts and multimedia collaboration. In many cases, these will be combined into a single communications session."

Gartner analysts said the networking trend toward VoIP and NGN is continuing. However, recent telecommunications sector troubles have converted the IP revolution into a convergence path of TDM and packet architectures. The biggest problem facing NGN vendors is tremendously limited service provider CAPEX budgets. The business environment, complete with numerous service providers' filed and forthcoming bankruptcies, has forced CAPEX spending below the network maintenance level.

"Deferring maintenance expense can occur for a while, but not forever. Delaying those investments might bring carriers into the unfortunate situation, that at a later point, their spending requirements not only have to catch up, but have to exceed previous levels to accommodate the excessive and complex traffic demands, operational expenditure reduction targets, and the necessity to quickly generate sources of additional service revenue," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, principal analyst for Gartner's worldwide telecommunications and networking group

Gartner said that starting in 2005, the market for the deployment of NGN equipment will show recovery. By 2005, CAPEX budgets will increase to catch up as a result of previous spending restrictions. During the next few years, VoIP and NGN will mature further and carriers will regard them as carrier grade. The equipment will be capable of supporting the highest quality of service-based traffic in most any network and service providers will change their deployment strategies that involve the replacement or upgrade of selective network elements toward a broad deployment for NGN and VoIP solutions.

"By 2005, three different trends will converge," said Tim Smith, managing vice president. for Gartner's worldwide telecommunications and networking group. "These converging trends - technology maturity, service provider readiness and robust CAPEX budgets - will start the eventual unification of the communications revolution which will give consumers ultimate control."

Visit Gartner's web site at www.gartner.com.

Apr 13 - Sunday Shopping Watch

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

Weekly Comparison. Good computer deals can be found in all price categories. Noteworthy this Sunday is the first appearance of Athlon XP-M based laptops.

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 has switched back to offering 6 months of MSN with any desktop or laptop purchase. They are also offering $100-$150 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages and laptops and 12 month no-interest financing.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no-interest financing and $100 gift cards on all Pentium 4 desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA has 12 month no interest financing for laptop purchases over $798. Plus they are throwing in a free HP printer with any Athlon XP-M processor laptop purchase.
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 related 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.

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
Best Celeron Deal
None Advertised
     
Best Low-cost Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.4 GHz with 17" monitor and DVD/CD-RW
$799
-
Staples
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.53 GHz with 15" flat panel and DVD-RW
$1229
-
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-RW
$1599
-
Circuit City
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.66 GHz Media Center with 15" flat panel and HP printer
$2099
-
CompUSA
1. Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 2400+ complete system
$829
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-$50
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 2.0 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
-
Office Depot
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon XP-M 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW
$899
-
CompUSA
4. Best Low-cost Notebook
Sony Athlon XP-M 2000+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1149
-
CompUSA
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP 2.66 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD/CD-RW
$1299
-
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 2.53 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD-RW
$2199
-
CompUSA
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive
$69
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
WarCraft III
$29
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 250 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$229
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$199
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$109
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Verbatim 4X DVD-RW
$229
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Radeon 9500 Pro 128 MB
$199
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Radeon 9700 Pro 128 MB All-in-Wonder
$399
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA

 

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  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
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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
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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.

APR 11 - Dell Expands Thin & Light Notebook Offerings with Value-Priced Notebooks. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced two thin & light notebook computers that are easy to carry, easy to use, and easy on the budget.

Both the Latitude(TM) D500 and the Inspiron(TM) 500m feature the new Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor and start at prices of less than $1,200.

About the Inspiron 500m

Featuring a sleek moonlight silver design, the Inspiron 500m notebook computer is designed for small businesses, students and consumers who demand powerful mobile computing and connectivity.

The Inspiron 500m supports Intel's Centrino(R) Mobile Technology capability, and features impressive battery life -- up to four hours -- in an easy-to-carry form factor that delivers seamless wireless connectivity options. Customers can choose Intel's Pro/Wireless 2100 (802.11b) for $49, Dell's TrueMobile(TM) 1300 (802.11b/g) for $69 or TrueMobile 1400 (802.11a/b/g) for $89 as wireless solutions, as well as integrated Bluetooth capability at the time of purchase for $49.

Weighing less than 5.5 pounds, the Inspiron 500m is a powerful notebook that can handle photo editing, music management, productivity applications or DVD viewing. Optional integrated wireless solutions enable users to stay connected in public wireless hotspots such as coffee shops, student unions and airports. In addition, two USB 2.0 ports make transferring bulky music files and digital picture files quick and efficient.

The notebook, with Venice blue accents, also includes Dell's QuickSnap(TM) personalization color kits that snap on and cover the entire LCD back of the notebook. Available for $39.99, colors include Venice Blue, Red Lava, Bamboo, Graphite Swirl and Burlwood.

Starting at $1,199, the Inspiron 500m includes an Intel Pentium M processor at 1.3 GHz, 128 MB DDR shared SDRAM, 14.1-inch XGA display, a 20 GB hard drive and one-year limited warranty. A configuration with Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology including an Intel Pentium M processor at 1.4 GHz and Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 wireless (802.11b) card, as well as 256 MB DDR shared SDRAM, 14.1-inch XGA home display, 30GB hard dive, and 24X CD-RW/DVD combination drive is priced at $1,629.

More information on Inspiron notebooks is available at www.dell.com/inspiron.

Apr 11 - Agilent Technologies and Intel Collaborate on PCI Express. Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) and Intel Corporation (NYSE:INTC) today announced a collaboration to develop the Agilent protocol test card that coincides with the Intel product development solution for the PCI Express market.
The resulting protocol test card for PCI Express is expected to allow R&D, quality assurance and design engineers to develop next-generation communication platforms, computers, add-in cards and components based on PCI Express technology.

The protocol test card will be an electrical PCI-Express x1 width implementation with a connector to fit host platform slots of any lane width. It will prove to be a valuable tool for every engineer designing PCI Express solutions and will play a vital role in the development environment. The test card provides comprehensive test functions to ensure compliance with the PCI Express specification and, in addition, interoperability with other PCI Express devices. The features will make it affordable for efficient broad industry usage as well as providing sufficient functionality for most protocol-oriented validation environments.

"Agilent supports the adoption of PCI Express technology with its development of a wide range of exercisers and protocol analyzers," said Siegfried Gross, vice president and general manager for Agilent's Digital Verification Solutions Division. "Our collaboration with Intel is a key step in accelerating the development of PCI Express-based products for next-generation computing and communication platforms through compliance tools."

"The joint PCI-Express enabling activity is an important milestone in facilitating the validation of silicon design for PCI Express technology," said Jim Pappas, director of initiative marketing for Intel's Enterprise Platform Group. "We look forward to working with Agilent on the development of the protocol test card."

Further details on the Agilent PCI Express tool portfolio are available at www.agilent.com/find/pci_Express. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Apr 11 - Internet Home Alliance Launches Mealtime Pilot. Internet Home Alliance, a network of leading companies advancing the home technology market, announced today the launch of its Mealtime Pilot -- a real-world test of a connected kitchen solution that enables consumers to use network-enabled appliances to simplify kitchen and meal preparation tasks.
A cross-industry collaboration involving Internet Home Alliance members Whirlpool Corporation, Sears, Icebox, IBM and Hewlett-Packard Company, the pilot, which will be launched at the 2003 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) in Orlando, will test consumer attitudes about remote access and control of kitchen appliances and devices.

Mealtime is the latest pilot in Internet Home Alliance's Pilot Program, which brings companies from various industries together to test how their products and services will work collectively in connected home solutions. Results of the pilot, which will be conducted for six months in 20 homes in the Boston area, will help the participating companies and other Alliance members develop and launch new technology products and services. Results of the pilot will be available to Alliance members in fall 2003 and the public in early 2004.

"This is the most ambitious test of networked kitchen-based appliances and devices ever conducted," said Tim Woods, vice president of pilot programs for Internet Home Alliance. "Even more exciting is the fact that Mealtime is the first technology solution ever tested to simplify life for on-the-go, time-crunched families who struggle to find time to prepare and put on the table nutritious home-cooked family meals."

Henry Marcy V, Whirlpool Corporation's vice president for corporate technology and electronics, concurs, "Our research shows that our busy consumers still blame themselves when they cannot provide their families with home-cooked meals. Solving the food preparation dilemma would dramatically open up the market possibilities for us, especially since the kitchen is the command center of the home."

In the pilot, consumers will manage kitchen and meal preparation tasks from an oven, Web-enabled refrigerator tablet, Web-based entertainment/command center and WAP (wireless application protocol) cell phone, enabling them to:

-- Put a dish in the oven before going to bed and program the
oven to refrigerate, cook and cool the dish for a set mealtime
the next day.

-- Adjust (if the soccer game goes into overtime) or cancel (if

the family decides to head out to dinner) the oven from their
cell phone, mobile tablet or Web-enabled entertainment/command
center.

-- Receive text messages on their cell phone from the oven
confirming that evening's cooking instructions ("Do you still
want me to have this dish ready at 7?")

-- Call their oven from their cell phone to see if they forgot to
turn off the oven and turn it off from their cell phone.

-- Surf the Internet for recipes and coupons, create shopping
lists and print those items or email them to an online grocer
for home delivery of groceries.

Following are the contributions each participating Alliance member
is making to the pilot:

-- Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading marketer and
manufacturer of major home appliances, is providing its new
Internet-enabled Whirlpool(R) Polara(TM) range, Whirlpool(R)
Conquest (TM) side-by-side refrigerator and Web tablet.

-- Sears, Roebuck & Co., the multi-line retailer providing a wide
array of merchandise and services in the US, Puerto Rico and
Canada, is supplying installation and customer interaction
services.

-- Icebox, which designs and develops next generation kitchen
products and e-commerce solutions, is supplying its
Web-enabled entertainment/command centers.

-- IBM, the world's largest technology company and the global
leader in e-Business, was the chief technical architect for
the pilot. IBM led the team in integrating appliances,
software as well as hardware from the various participating
companies to build the solution, which is based on IBM
WebSphere Internet Infrastructure software.

-- HP, the leading global provider of products, technologies,
solutions and services to consumers and businesses, is
providing printers.

"What we learn from the Mealtime pilot will drive much of what we do in terms of future product development," says Marcy of Whirlpool Corporation. "When it comes to home technology products and services, consumers are going to buy solutions so collaborative testing, like the Mealtime pilot, which includes companies from across the value chain, is becoming one of the most critical parts of today's consumer research equation."

For more information, visit www.internethomealliance.com.

Apr 11 - IBM Launches Initiative to Help Customers Untangle Decades-Old `Spaghetti Code'. IBM today launched a major initiative, including new services and software, to help customers deal with the skyrocketing costs and complexity of maintaining decades-old software applications that run 70 percent of the world's major business operations, including most major credit card transactions and stock trades.

Called "spaghetti code" by the computer industry because the software code has been altered so often, some applications date back 20 years, and in some cases, as far back as 1964, before many of today's software programmers were born. Even so, such applications handle about 30 billion basic business transactions every day, including manufacturing processes and payroll systems, for companies around the world.

"Businesses can't afford to 'rip and replace' older applications that run their daily operations, even though it costs 80 cents of every dollar of the average software budget to maintain older 'legacy systems,'" said Kerrie Holley, distinguished engineer, IBM Global Services. "IBM is helping customers integrate 'proprietary' systems that grew over the past two decades with the latest applications based upon open standards, such as Web services. In the process, we're helping companies transform their businesses."

IBM is announcing the new services, software and solution centers at IBM's developerWorks Live, taking place in New Orleans through April 11. IBM's initiative combines the efforts of several organizations.

Services "unlock" business value in older applications

IBM Global Services is announcing two new services offerings based upon its expertise in consulting and application management developed over a decade of customer engagements. The new IBM Business Consulting Services has developed a tool that can estimate an organization's potential costs savings and benefits from the two new services offerings, which are:

Application Portfolio Management Services enable IBM consultants to evaluate all of an organization's applications, which could number in the thousands for larger companies, and make recommendations on which applications to keep, abandon or change, based upon each company's individual business strategy. As part of the management system, IBM Global Services advises customers about the "pay as you go" model, which allows companies to pay for updating applications with the money saved from lower maintenance costs.

Legacy Transformation Services include several modular services that can be used individually or in combination to renovate, integrate, migrate and place applications on the Web, which enables companies to share business data within their organization, with suppliers and with customers. IBM technical professionals make the changes to an organization's legacy applications, which helps customers to realize costs savings, while positioning them to take advantage of new initiatives, such as e-business on demand software applications.

"By helping companies develop and execute a long-term plan for their software applications that includes all the advantages of Web-enabled applications and Web services, IBM is helping customers place themselves in a position to take advantage of e-business on demand computing environments, including self-managing applications, grid computing and other open standards-based technologies," continued Holley. "We take the fear out of dealing with software applications that have grown along with companies, and along with the information technology (IT) industry over the past 40 years."

More information about IBM can be found on the web at www.ibm.com.

Apr 10 - Intel Predicted to Stay Ahead in Value PC Processor Market. Even though the value PC processor segment is relatively crowded, Intel's plans for clock speed superiority should keep it well ahead of its competitors in this market. According to In-Stat/MDR, Intel's mobile value processors will breeze to 2.7GHz at the end of 2004 as it balances challenges from competitors AMD, VIA and Transmeta and maintains power dissipation within desired mobile limits but without the benefit of the power management capabilities of the performance segment.

Mobile value would appear to be Intel's weakest position, given the competition of AMD's Athlon XP-M, VIA's C3, and Transmeta's Crusoe. "AMD, Transmeta and VIA will offer different combinations of performance, power and price, but Intel's dominant market share in the value market is not in any danger," said Kevin Krewell, with In-Stat/MDR, "Intel should be more concerned that the rise of `good-enough' computing increases the appeal of the low-cost Celeron processors and puts further pressure on Intel's already decreasing ASPs."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Intel's value-processor ASP will be relatively stable from
2Q03 to 2Q04 and the notebook ASP will actually increase
slightly as competition weakens and the P7 microarchitecture
ratchets up clock speeds. Desktop value processors should
still be under some price pressure, owing to slow desktop
demand.

-- Despite the present economic slowdown, a slight cyclical
recovery in 4Q03 and the continued popularity of notebook
computers will allow Intel's mobile unit volume to show some
growth for 2003.

-- The 0.13-micron Northwood-derived core should prove a stable
platform for both desktop and mobile Celeron processors well
into 2004.

For more information, visit: www.instat.com/catalog/cat-semi-intel.htm.

Apr 10 - Yahoo! Reports First Quarter 2003 Earnings of $0.08 Per Share. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003. Net revenues for the first quarter totaled $282.9 million, a 47 percent increase over the $192.7 million reported in the same period in 2002. Net income for the first quarter of 2003 was $0.08 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.09 per diluted share for same period of 2002.

"The path of steady execution and growth we established last year continues into 2003 with particular emphasis on product quality, innovation and client service," said Terry Semel, chairman and CEO, Yahoo! Inc.
"Our results this quarter reflect the strong performance of our marketing services businesses, as well as continued success in providing fee-based services to both individual consumers and businesses. We intend to maintain our focus on providing the best experience on the Web, which we believe will lead to increased user engagement and ultimately greater success for our company."

A live Webcast, together with supplemental financial information can be accessed through the company's Investor Relations Web site at http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/earnings.cfm.

Apr 10 - Fabless Semiconductor Association Announces First Quarter Fabless Fundings Results. The Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA), a premier semiconductor trade organization, today announced the results of its 1Q 2003 fabless fundings research.
According to the FSA's "Fabless Fundings Report," funding in 1Q 2003 experienced quarter-over-quarter growth for the second straight quarter, growing 23% to $423.4 million from the $344 million raised in 4Q 2002.

The last time there were two consecutive quarters of growth in funding was 3Q 2000 when the dollar amount raised grew to $927 million from $767.7 million in 2Q 2000, and up from $154.1 in 1Q 2000.

Thirty-five fabless companies raised $423.4 million in the quarter, the largest total dollar amount raised since 2Q 2002 when fabless companies closed $429.5 million in funding. In addition, the 35 fundings in 1Q 2003 represented the most deals closed since 4Q 2001 when 37 companies received funding.

"The venture capital community is continuing to invest in the fabless space, albeit at lower levels than the past three years," said Mark Stevens, a partner at Sequoia Capital and a member of the FSA VC Advisory Board. "Companies that are developing and marketing devices for existing standards and have high-volume prospects are favored in the current climate."

Fabless deals began slowly in 2003, with 10 companies raising $59.2 million in January. Investors more than tripled their contributions to fabless companies in February, with nine companies raising $182 million and maintained that pace through March, as 16 fabless companies closed $182.2 million. This represented 43% of all funding raised in the quarter, and was the most raised in one month since June 2002 when 13 companies raised $190 million.

Investors also demonstrated a renewed interest in first-round funding during the quarter. In 1Q 2003, 29% of all funding went to companies seeking their first round, compared to 21% in 2002 and 33% in 2001. However, the average amount raised in first-round deals continued to drop, reaching $5.1 million, compared to an average of $8.3 million in 2002, $8.8 million in 2001 and $15.8 million in 2000.

In 1994, industry leaders incorporated the FSA (www.fsa.org) to achieve a more optimal balance between wafer demand and capacity. FSA members represent fabless companies, integrated device manufacturers, foundry providers, packaging/assembly houses, electronic design automation companies, investment bankers, venture capitalists, intellectual property providers and other companies.

Apr 10 - Global Graphics upgrades Jaws PDF Editor™ to Version 2.0. The latest version of Jaws PDF Editor™, an affordable application for the business and small/home office user to change and mark-up Portable Document Format (PDF) files, is announced today by Global Graphics Software, a subsidiary of Global Graphics SA (Nasdaq Europe: GLGR, Euronext: GLOG) and a leading developer and supplier of high-performance solutions for document creation, management and printing.

Jaws PDF Editor is an intuitive application priced at only US$39 and designed specifically for business users familiar with Microsoft® Office and similar applications. The software provides users with flexible editing and comment/mark-up capabilities plus the ability to view, search, manipulate, merge and print PDF documents. It can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a fully compatible companion to Jaws PDF Creator™ 3.0, the latest version of Global Graphics' popular PDF creation package.

Compatible with PDF 1.4 and PDF 1.3 specifications, Jaws PDF Editor 2.0 now supports the still widely-used Windows 98 and Windows Me operating systems, in addition to Windows NT, 2000 and XP.

Jaws PDF Editor 2.0 introduces web browser integration and deepens its functionality with improved bookmark, comment and page manipulation features to meet the majority of business and user requirements. In addition to standard PDF viewing and print options, new features in Jaws PDF Editor 2.0 include:

- Web browser integration: allows PDF documents on the Internet to be opened directly in Internet Explorer without the need to save and open off line. Jaws PDF Editor retains all its functions when viewing the files.

- Finish Document Wizard: a unique feature which gives users a clear step-by-step guide toproducing a final PDF file, defining, for example, general file information, open actions,security and linearization, before publishing the file or making it available to others.

- Improved Bookmark editing: enables users to add, edit, format, reposition and deletebookmarks. New formatting features include customizable ‘styles’ specifying font, color, and bold and italic preferences. The destination zoom level of all bookmarks in a document can be set to the same level, especially useful after combining several documents with bookmarks into one document.

- Enhanced comments handling: now all comments in a PDF document can be listed and sorted by caption, type, date or page enabling users to check and change properties of comments, as well as hide, import and export comments. A formatting toolbar within pop-up notes allows users to directly format text as needed in bold and italic to add emphasis.

- Improved security: Jaws PDF Editor 2.0 now offers both 40- and 128-bit encryption forhigher document security when required.

Jaws PDF Editor 2.0 is priced at US$39 and will be available for purchase and direct download in Q2 2003 from www.jawspdf.com. Jaws PDF Editor 1.0 users will be able to upgrade to version 2.0 for free.
The software can also be purchased from Global Graphics Software’s worldwide network of Jaws PDF Technology distributors including Positive Focus (UK); Seiner Informatique (France); Actino Software (Germany); Lifeboat Distribution (US); and EMJ Data Systems (Canada) and their resellers. Full details are given on www.jawspdf.com.

Apr 10 - RealTime Rapid Data-Server Recovery Software Launched. Vyant Technologies launched RealTime(TM), its rapid data-recovery software for enterprises, today at Storage Management 2003. A new approach to data protection, RealTime can recover and verify a terabyte of data in less than 20 minutes.

"RealTime is a major breakthrough in storage technology for data recovery," said Paul Parent, Vyant CEO. "Other backup and restore software takes hours or even days to restore data. This downtime can be devastating in terms of internal costs and lost business for banks, hospitals, insurance companies and other enterprises that rely heavily on their systems. RealTime eliminates business downtime, and it eliminates the risk of data loss between backups or snapshots. No other software can approach our speed and reliability."

RealTime is easy to implement and easy to use as it can be added on top of existing backup software. It runs across two systems: an application server and a backup server. RealTime captures data continuously without impacting the application or network - and time-stamps and logs each write to disk on the backup server. In the event of a system failure or data corruption, RealTime's "Time Slider" screen can be used to roll back data to any point in time.
This allows users to simply back out corruption by undoing the data writes in reverse order until they have moved past the crash or corruption point. In turn, this capability eliminates the need for time-consuming data rebuilds using snapshots and archive logs.

A data sheet and a white paper that describes RealTime's technology and how it works are available at www.VyantTech.com.

Apr 09 - Intel and VIA Technologies, Inc. Settle Patent Infringement Cases. Intel Corporation and VIA Technologies, Inc. have reached a settlement agreement in a series of pending patent lawsuits related to chipsets and microprocessors. The agreement encompasses 11 pending cases in five countries involving 27 patents.

Under terms of the settlement both companies will dismiss all pending legal claims in all jurisdictions. The companies also entered into a ten-year patent cross license agreement covering each company's products. As part of the agreement Intel granted VIA a license to sell microprocessors that are compatible with the x86 instruction set but not pin compatible or bus compatible with Intel microprocessors.

Intel further agreed for a period of three years, not to assert its patents on VIA bus or pin compatible microprocessors. Intel also granted VIA a four year license to design and sell chip sets that are compatible with the Intel microprocessor bus and agreed not to assert its patents on VIA or its customers or distributors on such chip sets for a fifth year. The agreement will be royalty bearing to Intel for some products. The license agreements do not apply to S3 Graphics, a company partially owned by VIA.

Each company is responsible for its own attorney's fees. Specific financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Intel initiated the litigations in September 2001, claiming that VIA's microprocessor and chipset products infringed Intel patents. VIA counter sued, claiming that Intel microprocessors infringed three patents VIA acquired in connection with its acquisition of IDT's Centaur subsidiary.

Additional information about the companies can be found at www.via.com.tw and at www.intel.com.

Apr 09 - ViewSonic Introduces ThinEdge Displays. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today introduced the VP ThinEdge(TM) Series, a full line of LCDs that combine ultra-slim bezel design and high-definition screen performance with progressive features such as digital/analog connectivity, pivot/height adjustability and multiple-mounting configurability.

Starting at an estimated street price (ESP) of $599, the ThinEdge Series sets a new standard in performance-to-price ratio for professional-class displays and provides an enhanced viewing experience for applications, such as financial trading, graphic design, video editing or power gaming, where image quality and productivity are critical.

ClearMotiv(TM) video response times as fast as 16 milliseconds and direct compatibility with HDTV high-scan 720p format enable the displays to deliver high-definition, full-motion images, while OptiSync(TM) dual analog and DVI inputs support multi-platform data display and high definition video formats.

With bezels as narrow as one-half inch and the ability to support extensive tiling and stacking combinations, the ThinEdge Series solves the problem of limited desk space with its multiple display configuration options. Multiple display use increases user productivity and reduces stress on hands and wrists by doubling the user's screen work area, limiting the need for scrolling. Additional features, such as integrated power supplies and height, tilt, swivel and portrait functions satisfy the ergonomic preferences of users in any environment.

"ViewSonic is ushering people into the next major technology transformation -- the display-centric era," said Young Bae, senior product manager, ViewSonic Corp. "The VP ThinEdge Series supports innovative desktop computing methods with its superior screen performance, versatile multi-channel inputs and multiple display configuration capabilities."

ThinEdge Series displays are available in five models. The 17-inch VP171b and 19-inch VP191b include two VGA and one DVI-I inputs, while the 18.1-inch VP181b, 20.1-inch VP201b and 21.3-inch VP211b offer one VGA input, one DVI-I input and an integrated USB 2.0 hub.

Availability and pricing are as follows:

-- VP171b, April 2003, ESP $599

-- VP181b, May 2003, ESP $699

-- VP191b, April 2003, ESP $849

-- VP201b, May 2003, ESP $1399

-- VP211b, May 2003, ESP $1599

For more information and images of the ThinEdge series, go to www.viewsonic.com/thinedge.

Apr 09 - New Intel Software Tool Speeds Development of Applications for Hyper-Threading Technology. Intel Corporation announced today Intel(R) Thread Checker 1.0, a new software tool to help developers locate hard-to-find bugs in applications designed for Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 and Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor-based systems that include Hyper-Threading Technology.

Intel Thread Checker uses an advanced error detection engine that monitors program execution and pinpoints the location of threading bugs in hours rather than days or weeks using traditional tools and methods. Traditional tools require a developer to guess where to place traps in source code. Intel Thread Checker eliminates this guesswork and locates the exact lines of code that are causing threading errors. The tool classifies issues into categories ranging from errors to warnings, and shows variable, source line, and call stack information for easy developer analysis.

"Our goal is to make it easier for developers to take advantage of the latest Intel processor features by offering advanced software development tools," said Jonathan Khazam, general manager, Software Products Division, Intel. "During beta tests, Intel Thread Checker found elusive bugs that developers had been unable to find or did not even know existed. That's real value for developers who write threaded software."

"Using Intel Thread Checker we discovered two elusive bugs on the very first day, as well as numerous inconsistencies and opportunities for performance improvement," said Farzin Shakib, president, ACUSIM Software, Inc. "We were pleasantly surprised because our product, AcuSolve*, has been running successfully on multiple platforms for many years. We have now incorporated it in our basic development and release process."

In addition to the Intel Thread Checker, Intel offers a suite of software development products that includes Intel(R) C++ and Intel(R) Fortran compilers, Intel(R) VTune(TM) analyzers and the Intel(R) Integrated Performance Primitives software library.

Pricing and Availability

Intel Thread Checker 1.0 is priced at $1,198 for a single user commercial license and includes Intel VTune Performance Analyzer. Intel Thread Checker is available at www.intel.com/software/products and will also be available from resellers in the second quarter of 2003. The tool is available for Intel Pentium 4 processor- and Intel Xeon processor-based systems running Microsoft* Windows* XP Professional and Windows 2000.

Apr 09 - GamePro Magazine Announces Readers' Choice Awards Winners. IDG Games Media Group, the world's largest interactive entertainment information provider and publisher of GamePro magazine, the world's largest independent multiplatform gaming magazine, today announced its 13th Annual Readers' Choice Awards Winners.

Thousands of GamePro's readers participated in the 2002 Readers' Choice Awards that ran in GamePro magazine and on GamePro.com. Winning games are announced in GamePro's May 2003 issue, on sale now on newsstands nationwide.

GamePro readers are the ultimate early adopters of video gaming products and collectively account for $1.9 billion in purchasing power on the gaming sector alone!(1). GamePro's audience of over 3 million readers(2) are the leading opinion-makers and spenders on many consumer products -- including video gaming, personal electronics, music, fashion and much more -- and greatly influence their peers' purchasing habits. As multiplatform enthusiasts, over 80 percent of the publication's readers own more than one gaming console(3).

Following are the winners by category for GamePro's 2002 Readers' Choice Awards:

Best Action Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (By EA Games -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox)

Best Combat Game: Metroid Prime (By Nintendo -- GameCube)

Best Adventure Game: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (By Rockstar --PS2)

Best Platform Game: Super Mario Sunshine (By Nintendo -- GameCube)

Best Role-Playing Game: Kingdom Hearts (By Square EA -- PS2)

Best Racing Game: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (By EA Games -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox)

Best Fighting Game: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (By Midway -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox)

Best Brain/Reflex Game: Mario Party 4 (By Nintendo -- GameCube)

Best Sports Game -- Football: Madden NFL 2003 (By EA Sports -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox)

Best Sports Game -- Basketball: NBA 2K3 (By Sega Sports -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox)

Best Sports Game -- Other: Hot Shots Golf 3 (By Sony -- PS2)

Best Action Sports Game: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (By Activision -- PS2/GameCube/Xbox/PlayStation)

Best PC Game: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos (By Blizzard)

Best Handheld Game: Metroid Fusion (By Nintendo -- Game Boy Advance)

Console of the Year: PlayStation 2

Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (By Rockstar -- PS2)

"Every year, GamePro readers look forward to voicing their opinion by participating in the Readers' Choice Awards. These selections represent some of their favorite games, and they are eagerly awaiting all the blockbuster games launching this year," said Wes Nihei, Vice President, IDG Games Media Group and Editor-in-Chief, GamePro magazine.
"The 2002 Readers' Choice Award winners are especially significant because many of the games are sequels or based on an established franchise, mirroring the trend across video game publishers' titles."

For a detailed list of winners and runners-up, look in the May 2003 issue of GamePro on newsstands now. GamePro can be found online at www.gamepro.com.

Apr 08 - ATI's New ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO Delivers Improved Display and Graphics Performance. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY) (NASDAQ:ATYT) today announced the ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9800 PRO. Available this spring, ATI's newest multimedia video card combines the world's fastest graphics engine featuring full precision cinematic rendering with the best in intelligent TV-on-the-PC and video editing features. The ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO is ideal for home theater applications thanks to EAZYLOOK(TM), an on-screen display for home theater settings, which is included in the product with a new version of ATI's MULTIMEDIA CENTER software.

The ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO includes ATI's newest powerhouse graphics chip, the RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO, for outstanding performance with incredible image quality. A 256-bit memory interface and eight powerful pixel pipelines provide real-time, Hollywood-caliber graphics - even for the most demanding next-generation games.

"ATI redefines home entertainment with the ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "ATI's newest multimedia video card sensation, ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO, combines the advantages of the world's best graphics in the RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO, with ATI's THEATER(TM) 200 video and audio processing chip and our new MULTIMEDIA CENTER 8.5 software suite. The result is a truly entertaining home theater experience."

ATI is also introducing EAZYLOOK, an on-screen information display for home theater settings, designed for easy use with ATI's REMOTE WONDER(TM). EAZYLOOK has been added as a component of MULTIMEDIA CENTER 8.5, in response to ATI's large and loyal fan base in the home theater segment.

ATI's new flagship multimedia video card, the ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO, will be available this spring for USD$449 (MSRP) and complements the ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9700 PRO at USD$399 (MSRP), the ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9000 PRO at USD$199 (MSRP), the value-priced ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 7500 at USD$149 (MSRP) and the ALL-IN-WONDER(R) VE at USD$129 (MSRP).

Visit ATI at www.ati.com.

Apr 08 - Adobe Advances Electronic Workflows for Creative Professionals with Acrobat 6.0. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in network publishing, today introduced Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) 6.0 Professional software, an extension of the new Acrobat 6.0 product line that enables creative professionals to confidently drive electronic processes using the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
The product provides designers, production artists, service providers, and printers a host of enhanced tools that increase efficiencies across the creative process, from document creation and client reviews to preflight and final output.

Adobe PDF has made significant inroads across creative professions, with designers looking towards PDF as the format that can incorporate sophisticated work from applications such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. New and enhanced tools in Acrobat 6.0 Professional enable users to quickly and reliably create high-quality Adobe PDF files, including PDF/X-compliant documents. PDF/X is an ISO standard that ensures reliable printing of press-ready, high-end color materials in the publishing industry.

After Adobe PDF creation, Acrobat 6.0 Professional allows creative professionals to quickly validate file quality and ensure proper document output. Along with advanced viewing tools that significantly improve page navigation, the product offers powerful and extensive preflight, output preview and color separation features to ensure Adobe PDF files will be viewed and printed exactly as intended. Preflight reports can now be embedded in Adobe PDF files to provide information to printers about potential trouble spots in print jobs.

"With Acrobat 6.0 Professional, Adobe has delivered a product that builds on its already strong tradition with creative and printing professionals," said Johnny Sutton, director of technology, North America, Quebecor World Inc., the largest commercial printer in the world. "In particular, the product's PDF/X support will help speed adoption of that important standard. It provides customers peace of mind to know there is a reliable solution available for delivering accurate files for error-free printing."

Acrobat 6.0 Professional is part of the new Acrobat 6.0 product line announced today (see separate announcement). The family also includes Acrobat 6.0 Standard, which enables workgroups to simplify document reviews using intuitive tools and a new, task-based interface. Acrobat Elements is a volume-license-only product that allows enterprises to place inexpensive Adobe PDF creation capability on every desktop, enabling reliable document distribution.

The company also announced Adobe Reader(R) 6.0 software, an upgrade and re-naming of the widely distributed, free Acrobat Reader. Adobe Reader, which supports numerous desktop and mobile device platforms, is the definitive application for viewing, interacting with and printing Adobe PDF content ranging from business documents and forms to Photoshop(R) Album slide shows, eBooks, and embedded multimedia. Adobe Reader will be available free of charge as a download from Adobe.com by the end of May 2003. The company has distributed over half-a-billion copies of the product since its 1993 introduction.

Pricing and Availability

Acrobat 6.0 Professional for Mac OS X v10.2.2, and Windows NT(R) Workstation 4.0 (with service pack 6), Windows(R) 2000 Professional (with service pack 2), and Windows XP Home, Professional and Tablet PC Editions, is expected to ship in English by the end of May 2003 for an estimated street price of US$449. Registered users of Acrobat 4.0 and Acrobat 5.0 can upgrade to Acrobat 6.0 Professional for an estimated street price of US$149. The product is also available through Adobe's licensing programs.

Information about the availability of other language versions of Acrobat 6.0 Professional, as well as further details on pricing, upgrade and support policies, is available online at www.adobe.com/products/acrobatpro.

Apr 08 - Nero Digital Set to Become the Next Big Standard in Audio and Video Compression. Ahead Software, the makers of Nero, the technology leader in CD/DVD recording software, are set to preview at the forthcoming NAB exhibition, the most complete MPEG-4 audio and video compression technology available to date - Nero Digital.

Designed for optimum compatibility with the ISO/14496-2/3 MPEG-4 standard, the Nero Digital MP4 A/V codec's will have the utmost quality video coding algorithms and full High Efficiency AAC in MPEG audio.

With DVD quality at only 20% of the space, Nero Digital video codec supports the most popular simple and advanced MPEG-4 visual profiles, and is fully compatible with all MPEG-4 implementations.

The Nero Digital audio codec is built on Ahead's proven proficiency in AAC technology but goes much further with significant efficiency and quality enhancements. Now set to become a key core component of MPEG-4, High Efficiency AAC in MPEG audio, is an incomparable bandwidth extension technique allowing bit rates to be considerably reduced with no definable quality loss.

Nero Digital is the result of extensive co-development by Ahead Software and one of the World leaders in video and signal processing, Ateme of France. The audio/video codec will be available for download during Q2 2003 with turnkey solutions for Consumer Electronics manufacturers in the same time. More information will be released from the www.nerodigital.com and www.nerodigital.com/embedded web sites soon.

"It's great to see Nero Digital joining the growing amount of products that provide cutting-edge technology building on the interoperable, open standard MPEG-4 standard," said Rob Koenen, President of the MPEG-4 Industry forum.

"Nero Digital will be the World's first complete end to end MPEG-4 solution to include MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC profile," says Ivan Dimkovic, the MPEG-4 Project leader at Ahead Software. "With its unbeatable video and audio encoding power, we are confident that Nero Digital will be best positioned to become 'the' technology leader in the ever increasing MPEG-4 market."

Apr 08 - Ulead Unveils StudioQuartet: A Complete Digital Media Ensemble for Video and DVD Production. Ulead Systems, Inc., a leading software developer of digital video, image editing, 3D animation, and DVD authoring applications, today announced StudioQuartet, a complete digital media production suite for video professionals and aficionados.

StudioQuartet is a collection of Ulead's professional digital media software on one DVD at a cost-effective price point. It offers videographers comprehensive digital media tools for image editing; graphics creation; 3D text and object animation; and full-resolution, real-time video editing, including rotoscoping and powerful CG tools. It also includes advanced DVD authoring and support for a wide range of traditional and emerging format types, including MicroMV and DVD-VR. StudioQuartet is expected to ship June 1st, 2003, for $795 for the first 90 days and $895 thereafter.

"StudioQuartet gives digital content creators all the tools they need to create great looking productions right out of the box," comments Mike Mickes, director of sales and product management, Ulead Systems, North America. "The software market currently offers a variety of tools to edit video and create DVDs. But, quite often, for professional results you have to go to multiple software vendors to purchase a complete solution, or the software is so complex that you must take a class to learn how to use it. With StudioQuartet, all the tools are in one box, on one DVD, and you don't need to purchase additional software or hardware for optimal results. You can dive right in and start creating graphics, video overlays, and DVD chapter points without having to memorize a manual."

For more information, visit Ulead's Web site at www.ulead.com.

Apr 08 - Yahoo! Introduces New Yahoo! Search. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced the launch of the new Yahoo!® Search, a faster and easier way for users to find what they are searching for on the Internet.

Building on the significant back-end technological improvements in relevancy and comprehensiveness Yahoo! Search made in October 2002, and leveraging the unique assets of the Yahoo! network, the new Yahoo! Search provides a better search experience to users through several new enhancements such as a cleaner, easier-to-use interface and faster ways to find relevant information.

Beginning today, users can access the new search product at http://search.yahoo.com as part of a rollout that will be completed over the next few days.

"Yahoo!'s goal is to provide the highest quality search experience on the Internet," said Dan Rosensweig, chief operating officer of Yahoo!. "The new Yahoo! Search marks the next step in building an innovative and integrated search platform that leverages the most relevant, comprehensive content from across the Web and innovative search solutions using leading search technology and content on Yahoo! The result is a more effective way for users to find what they are looking for on the Web.

 

 

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