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Daily Computer News and Rumors

April 08-15 2004

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 NVIDIA Launches GeForce 6 Series—Biggest Performance and Feature Leap in Company History
Apr 15 BFG Technologies Announces New State-of-the-Art 3D Graphics Cards Featuring The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU
Apr 15 eEye Digital Security Discovers Six New Security Flaws in Microsoft Windows
Apr 15 Nokia Welcomes The N-Gage QD Game Deck To The Mobile Gaming Family
Apr 14 New Processors Drive Lower Cost, Entry-Level Intel® Itanium® 2-Based Systems
Apr 14 Intel Issues Advanced Host Controller Interface Specification for Serial ATA II
Apr 14 Dell Expands Value Notebook Computer Line for Small Businesses
Apr 14 GetNetWise Project Finds Broad Consumer Confusion Around Unauthorized Annoyware and Pop-Up Software
Apr 14 Wireless Churn Rates Headed Up Reports In-Stat/MDR
Apr 13 Intel Delivers Next-Generation Processors Specifically Designed For Cell Phones and Wireless PDAs
Apr 13 Browser-Based Attacks May Pose Next Big IT Security Nightmare
Apr 13 Other World Computing Reduces Prices on Mercury Extreme G4 Processor Upgrades
Apr 13 In-Stat/MDR Expects Great Things from DTV Sets
Apr 13 The Matrix Online Game Will Feature Integration of AOL Instant Messenger
Apr 12 MX Logic Reports Spam Traffic Increases 4 Percent since January
Apr 12 ULi Delivers World's First PCI Express South Bridge
Apr 12 Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Sales Experienced a 10 Percent Increase in 2003
Apr 12 Atari to Launch ``Unreal Tournament 2004'' DVD Version in North America
Apr 09 IBM Celebrates 40 Years of Mainframe Technology
Apr 09 Crucial Technology Announces DDR2 Memory Availability
Apr 09 SOYO Announces Voice-over-IP Phone at ISPCON
Apr 09 56 Percent of Broadband Users Report Decline In TV Viewing
Apr 09 ValuSoft Releases Burn & Go Nitro CD/DVD Burning Software
Apr 08 Intel Expands Mobile Processor Offerings For Mainstream And Value Market Segments
Apr 08 Getac's New W130 Notebook Computer Gets Rough, Rugged Military Certifications
Apr 08 Dataram Receives Memory Validation from Intel for Next Generation DDR2 Memory
Apr 08 Intel Working To Get The Lead Out of Processors
Apr 08 Sprint PCS Users Lead Landline Substitution While Verizon Wireless Leads Customer Satisfaction

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Apr 15 - NVIDIA Launches GeForce 6 Series—Biggest Performance and Feature Leap in Company History. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, introduced today the NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 models of graphics processing units (GPUs) for high-performance desktop computers. The NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series, which includes the flagship GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800, is designed to deliver:

- Industry-leading 3D performance- new superscalar 16-pipe architecture delivers more than twice that of current industry leading NVIDIA GPUs
- New features, including Microsoft DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 feature set - for ultra-realistic cinematic effects
- Unprecedented on-chip video processing engine - enabling high-definition video and DVD playback

“This is the biggest generation-to-generation performance leap that we have ever seen with a new GPU,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “In addition to the raw performance increase, we had two fundamental strategies with the 6800 models. First was to take programmability to the next level with the industry’s only GPU with Shader Model 3.0. Second was to extend the reach of GPUs to the consumer electronics market with a powerful and fully programmable video processor capable of multiple video formats and ‘prosumer’ level image processing.”

“As DOOM 3 development winds to a close, my work has turned to development of the next generation rendering technology. The NV40 is my platform of choice due to its support of very long fragment programs, generalized floating point blending and filtering, and the extremely high performance,” said John Carmack, president and technical director of id Software

Revolutionary New GeForce 6800 Architecture

The innovative 3D graphics architecture of the GeForce 6800 GPUs introduces many key new technologies that will drive the image quality and performance in 3D gaming, including:

Blazingly Fast Graphics Performance: With a revolutionary new 16 pipeline superscalar architecture and the world’s fastest GDDR3 memory, GeForce 6800 GPUs offer a staggering amount of graphics horsepower. Gaming performance is super charged with eight times the floating-point shader power, four times the shadow processing power and double the vertex processing power over last generation’s award winning GeForce FX architecture.

Revolutionary New Feature Set: Built with full Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support, the GeForce 6 Series was built to deliver ultra-realistic next-generation DirectX 9 titles. The GeForce 6800 GPUs give developer’s unlimited programmability, 32-bit shader precision, displacement mapping, geometry instancing and other features unique to the GeForce 6 Series. In addition, this new GPU delivers full floating point support throughout the entire pipeline, GeForce 6800 GPUs vastly improve the quality of images in motion with floating point filtering. The new rotated-grid antialiasing feature removes jagged edges for incredible image quality and a new 16x anisotropic filtering mode adds clarity to textures.

“The NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series is a great leap forward in PC graphics, bringing next-generation Microsoft DirectX 9 rendering performance to new heights while continuing forward with the high-definition floating-point rendering, driver performance, and stability NVIDIA is famous for,” stated Tim Sweeney, Founder EPIC Games. “As the first GPU supporting the new Pixel Shader 3.0 programming model, the GeForce 6 Series enables games to use entirely new rendering approaches and obtain higher performance per-pixel lighting, shadowing, and special effects than previously possible.”

"We appreciate NVIDIA”s continued support of Microsoft DirectX,” said Chris Donahue, Lead Technical Evangelist of the Windows Graphics and Gaming Team at Microsoft. “We are eager to experience the hardware implementation NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series promises to bring to the market.”

World’s first on-chip video processor: GeForce 6800 GPUs have a programmable video processing engine that delivers stunning high-definition video playback.

Featuring support for MPEG encode and decode, as well as support for Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), the GeForce 6800 delivers an amazing video experience when used with the Microsoft® Windows® Media Center Edition operating system. The GeForce 6800 also enables high-quality video playback on any window size, and has an integrated TV-encoder for direct-to-TV playback.

“Adobe is very excited about the programmable video features in these new NVIDIA GPUs. Many Adobe customers have already been enjoying the power of NVIDIA GPUs to create sophisticated 3D animations for the past year. Our future products will take even more advantage of the new capabilities being unveiled in these GPUs,” said David Trescot, senior director, Digital Video Products at Adobe.

GeForce 6800 GPUs benefit from the renowned compatibility and reliability of the NVIDIA® ForceWare™ software featuring the NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA). In addition NVIDIA ForceWare delivers industry-leading software features such as custom game profiles, HDTV output, overclocking, multi-display support, and much more.

Availability

The first GPUs based on the NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series, the GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800 models, are manufactured using IBM’s high-volume 0.13-micron process technology and are currently shipping to leading add-in-card partners, OEMs, system builders, and game developers.

Retail graphics boards based on the GeForce 6800 models are slated for release in the next 45 days.

For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.nvidia.com.

Apr 15 - BFG Technologies Announces New State-of-the-Art 3D Graphics Cards Featuring The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU. BFG Technologies, Inc., a leading U.S.-based supplier of advanced 3D graphics cards and other PC enthusiast products, announced today that they will offer two new 3D graphics cards based on the highly anticipated NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) 6800 graphics processing unit (GPU). The BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra and BFG GeForce 6800 will provide unprecedented 3D graphics performance and features to the hard-core PC gamer.

Based on a ground-breaking new architecture, NVIDIA(R) GeForce 6800 GPUs are the first to feature Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9 Shader Model 3.0 support for ultra-realistic images, and a superscalar architecture for unprecedented performance. GeForce 6800 GPUs also feature a dedicated on-chip video processor that delivers unmatched video functionality including high-definition video playback.

Features and Benefits of the BFG GeForce(TM) 6800 Ultra and BFG GeForce(TM) 6800

Superscalar GPU architecture - Delivers up to 8X the shading power of previous generation products for spectacular gaming performance.

High-speed GDDR3 Memory Interface - Support for the world's fastest GDDR3 memory delivers fluid frame rates for even the most advanced games and applications.

256-bit Memory Interface with Advanced Memory Control - Delivers more memory bandwidth and efficiency to power the latest games and applications at blazing speeds.

NVIDIA(R) High-Precision Dynamic-Range(TM) (HPDR) Technology - Based on the OpenEXR(TM) technology from Industrial Light & Magic(R), HPDR sets new standards for image clarity and quality through floating point capabilities in shading, filtering, texturing, and blending.

DirectX(R) 9.0 Optimizations and Support - Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX(R) 9.0 applications.

OpenGL 1.5 Optimizations and Support - Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all OpenGL applications.

NVIDIA(R) ForceWare(TM) Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) - Delivers rock-solid forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. UDA simplifies upgrading to a new BFG/NVIDIA(R) product because all BFG/NVIDIA(R) products work with the same driver software. Includes full support for PCI Express and AGP.

24 / 7 / 365 FREE Technical Support - BFG Tech offers the industry's only round-the-clock free support via email and telephone.

True Lifetime Warranty - All BFG Technologies' graphics products are backed by a true lifetime warranty. Other companies may claim to have a lifetime warranty, but closer inspection of their warranty reveals that "lifetime" is defined as the retail shelf life of the product.

Availability

The BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra and BFG GeForce 6800 are scheduled to be available for public purchase in May 2004.

For more information about BFG Technologies' products, please visit www.bfgtech.com.

Apr 15 - eEye Digital Security Discovers Six New Security Flaws in Microsoft Windows. eEye(R) Digital Security, a leading developer of network security software solutions, today announced the discovery of six new vulnerabilities related to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows(R).

The critical discoveries include dangerous flaws in Windows Remote Procedure Call (RPC), Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS), and in the rendering of Windows Metafile (WMF) and Enhanced Metafile (EMF) image formats. These critical security flaws affect unpatched Windows NT, 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003 machines. eEye's research team discovered two of the most critical vulnerabilities as early as September 2003. The patch for these vulnerabilities released today comes more than 200 days after eEye's discovery.

The critical vulnerabilities could potentially allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. If left unpatched, an attacker could then take harmful action including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts with full privileges. Further, some of these security flaws can be detected and subsequently exploited remotely and have the potential to cause serious damage if not immediately resolved. eEye and Microsoft have released detailed advisories to alert Windows users of the need to immediately secure vulnerable machines on their networks.

eEye Digital Security is one of the leading contributors to network security research, and its research team has identified more security vulnerabilities than any other organization this year. eEye's research team worked in conjunction with Microsoft to identify this vulnerability and develop appropriate fixes. eEye's Retina(R) Network Security Scanner already has the checks for these new vulnerabilities incorporated into the Retina audit database. Retina users should scan their networks for vulnerable machines and follow the remediation instructions provided or immediately deploy patches using Retina Remediation Manager.

For information on the latest vulnerability advisories, refer to www.eeye.com. To download the latest Windows patches visit Microsoft's Windows Update page.

Apr 15 - Nokia Welcomes The N-Gage QD Game Deck To The Mobile Gaming Family. Nokia today announced the N-Gage QD mobile game deck, the latest addition to the N-Gage platform.

The N-Gage QD is a compact device with a hot-swappable multimedia (MMC) slot for instant gaming, longer battery life, improved gaming controls, brighter screen, powerful smartphone features and the new N-Gage Arena launcher application. Gamers will be able to play all of their favorite N-Gage titles, connect to the worldwide mobile gaming community over mobile networks via the N-Gage Arena as well as take part in close-range mobile multiplayer gaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.

The planned range of prices is expected to be from €99/$99 with a contract to €199/$199 as an unsubsidized, untaxed retail price. The N-Gage QD game deck is expected to be available in May 2004 for Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific and in June 2004 for the Americas. The N-Gage QD will be available in two versions: a GSM 900/1800 variant (Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific) and a GSM 850/1900 variant (Americas).

"After six months on the market with the N-Gage platform, we wanted to expand our device portfolio based on the feedback we've received," said Nokia's Senior Vice President of Games, Ilkka Raiskinen. "With improved gaming ergonomics, gamers can now start to play games at the push of a button and enjoy the increased responsiveness of the game keys. We also added support for hot-swap MMC and extended the battery life. For phone calls, we reoriented the speaker and microphone to support 'classic talking'."

The N-Gage QD game deck supports existing N-Gage game titles as well forthcoming N-Gage exclusive titles like Ashen, Pathway to Glory and Pocket Kingdom: Own The World, and blockbuster hits like The Sims: Bustin' Out, Crash Nitro Kart and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004.

The N-Gage QD game deck will be showcased at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California from May 12 to 14, 2004. The N-Gage booth (South Hall, 1524) will also have the latest in high-profile exclusive N-Gage titles and blockbuster hits. For more information on the N-Gage QD game deck, log on to www.n-gage.com/qd.

Apr 14 - New Processors Drive Lower Cost, Entry-Level Intel® Itanium® 2-Based Systems. Intel Corporation today announced two Intel® Itanium® 2 processors. Servers based on the new processors are approximately 28 percent lower in price and up to 25 percent higher performing than previous dual processor Itanium 2-based servers.

The new processors broaden the Itanium processor family support of lower-cost server solutions for front-end applications and complement existing Itanium 2-based systems in large scale deployments. A wide range of Itanium 2-based dual processor servers are offered by more than 50 system manufacturers worldwide. Entry level systems start at $2,100, while fully configured systems with the new processors will be available for approximately $8,000.

"As Itanium 2-based servers push further into enterprise infrastructures we are able to reduce the overall system cost while increasing the performance," said Richard Dracott, general manager of Enterprise Marketing and Planning at Intel. "End users will benefit from the flexibility and choice that Intel-based solutions bring to their organizations."

The price/performance improvements of these new processors are the next step toward achieving Intel's goal of delivering Itanium 2-based systems with up to twice the performance as Intel® Xeon™ processor based systems for the same system cost in 2007.

Intel has two server architectures, which makes up approximately 85 percent of the server market segment share. The Itanium 2 processor family is targeted at business critical enterprise servers and technical computing clusters while the Intel Xeon processor family is broadly used for general purpose IT infrastructure.

"In the next few years, system manufacturers will be able to design an Itanium 2 processor and Intel Xeon processor-based system using the same low cost components," Dracott.said. "Every product and technology we roll out moves us one step closer to a common system with common infrastructure costs."

Audi AG, the international high-quality car manufacturer, recently switched from RISC-based servers to HP Integrity dual processor servers running Itanium 2 processors.

"Audi is a pioneer in the innovation of exquisite automobiles that are attractive, sophisticated and technically perfect," said Hans-Ulrik von Bülow, senior CAE systems and methods analyst, AUDI AG. "We rely on the technology we use to create designs so that when the car leaves our warehouse, we know that it will deliver on the Audi brand promise to our customers. That is why we switched from RISC-based systems to Itanium 2-based DP systems to help design car ventilation systems. We get better price/performance and increase our ability to perform a wide range of what-if scenarios to discover more innovative designs and possibilities."

The Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 3 MB level three (L3) cache is available worldwide today and the Itanium 2 processor at 1.6 GHz with 3 MB L3 cache is expected to be available worldwide in May. Both processors enable systems for technical computing clusters and entry-level, front-end enterprise systems. In addition, Intel offers to manufacturers a rack-optimized, dual processor Intel server platform for both of these new Itanium 2 processors.

The Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 3MB of cache improves the performance up to 25 percent over the Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 1.5 MB of cache. Furthermore it delivers up to twice the price/performance of comparable RISC-based systems. The increased performance will enhance the speed and efficiency of technical computing applications such as computer aided engineering (CAE), which enables faster product design and more accurate simulations.

The Itanium 2 processor at 1.60 GHz with 3MB of cache delivers outstanding floating point performance per compute node, resulting in an industry-leading DP performance based on Linpack measurements (or floating point operations per second).

New dual processor systems are available from a variety of system manufacturers including Bull, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HCL, IBM, Kraftway, Lenovo, Maxdata, Samsung, and Transtec AG.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 3 MB of cache is available for $1,172 in 1,000-unit quantities. The Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.60 GHz with 3 MB of cache will be available for $2,408 in 1,000-unit quantities.

About IDF

The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Apr 14 - Intel Issues Advanced Host Controller Interface Specification for Serial ATA II. Helping to enable adoption of the advanced features of Serial ATA into the market, Intel Corporation today released the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) v1.0 final specification.

AHCI is developed by a broad industry group chaired by Intel. The AHCI Contributor Group, more than 40 members strong, consists of hardware developers, software developers, hard drive manufacturers and OEMs.

"AHCI provides a unified Serial ATA controller interface that is optimized for the advanced new features in Serial ATA II," said Thomas Loza, Intel technology initiatives manager. "By providing a single controller interface, AHCI enables operating system vendors and device suppliers to design to a common interface and focus their efforts on bringing to market such advanced features as native command queuing (NCQ)."

AHCI is intended to alleviate multiple controller implementations that traditionally fragment advanced capability development in traditional ATA storage environments. These features are expected to build on the momentum of the Serial ATA v.1.0 specification in those segments.

"AHCI enables host software to take advantage of the new native command queuing technology," said Mike Alexenko, senior director of Product and Technical Marketing, Maxtor. "With NCQ, Serial ATA devices can provide sophisticated command reordering optimizations for multi-threaded applications previously only available with higher-end storage interfaces.

"The multi-threaded performance capabilities of Maxtor's next-generation NCQ-enabled disk drives combined with AHCI and Intel's next generation chipsets (codenamed Alderwood and Grantsdale) create new, cost-effective Serial ATA storage opportunities for a variety of desktop applications," said Alexenko.

The development of the AHCI spec is a major milestone in the effort to broadly deploy the advanced technology defined in the Serial ATA II specification. Serial ATA II is an enhanced version of the original Serial ATA specification, which will be used to connect such internal storage devices as hard disks, DVDs and CD-R/Ws to the motherboard in desktop and mobile PCs, cost-sensitive servers and networked storage.

Information on the AHCI v.1.0 final specification and the AHCI license agreement can be found at www.intel.com/technology/serialata/ahci.htm.

For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Apr 14 - Dell Expands Value Notebook Computer Line for Small Businesses. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced the Latitude(tm) 100L, a desktop replacement notebook computer designed for small businesses and institutional customers sensitive to purchase price.

Starting at $899, the Latitude 100L easily handles essential computing tasks like word processing, e-mail and Internet access, and is ideal for customers who value the flexibility and productivity that comes with mobile computing.

Weighing slightly more than seven pounds, the 100L can be custom configured with Intel(tm) Celeron(tm) or Mobile Pentium(tm) 4 processors, 14.1- or 15-inch displays, 20GB to 60GB hard drives and a variety of fixed optical drives. Optional integrated wireless capability is available for $29 (802.11b/g) or $49 (802.11a/b/g). A USB port replicator is available for $119. Complete product details can be found at www.dell.com/latitude.

Dell supports the Latitude 100L with a portfolio of product lifecycle services including mobile and security solutions. Smaller IT staffs can focus on internal strategic initiatives while Dell's award-winning service and support can provide accidental damage coverage, custom software integration, on-site break-fix service, advanced technical support, theft prevention security and asset management.

Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

Apr 14 - GetNetWise Project Finds Broad Consumer Confusion Around Unauthorized Annoyware and Pop-Up Software. The Internet Education Foundation (IEF), a non-profit organization dedicated to user-empowerment on the Internet, announced today that its GetNetWise coalition is kicking off a consumer educational effort about the risks of deceptive and intrusive technologies, dubbed by the Federal Trade Commission as spyware and annoyware.

These devious pieces of software, when surreptitiously installed on a user's computer without meaningful consent, dupe consumers into believing legitimate Web sites, software companies or their own ISP are serving up annoying ads. Recently, The Wall Street Journal accurately represented widespread consumer sentiment by stating that, "consumers are gradually catching on, and many of them are angry."

According to a recent survey of more than 1400 consumers, 64 percent of those with this type of software installed on their computers responded that they did not knowingly provide consent to have pop-ups sent to their computers by the technology company. More specifically, the survey found that over 40 percent of those surveyed believed that the underlying Web site was responsible for the pop-up ads and that the underlying Web site gave permission or was paid money for such pop-up ads. Also, the survey found that a third said that the appearance of pop-up ads causes them to have a less favorable opinion of the underlying Web site.

"Our mission is to ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive and educational online experiences," said Tim Lordan, staff director of the Internet Education Foundation's GetNetWise project, a public service developed by internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences.
"Our aim is to let consumers know that they have options to prevent and removing these confusing technologies from their computer. We aim to provide them with resources and information they need to stay safe on the Internet."

"This is a problem that requires a great deal of public education about relatively esoteric computer functions. The GetNetWise coalition will raise the bar in educating consumers about how to avoid the negative impact of annoyware," said Wendy Tazelaar, vice president, compliance manager of Wells Fargo Online and a partner in the GetNetWise project. "Consumers have the right to know where this technology originates and how to get it off their computers."

For more information, please visit www.getnetwise.org/spotlight/ and www.GetNetWise.org.

Apr 14 - Wireless Churn Rates Headed Up Reports In-Stat/MDR. To the surprise of many, the first few months of local number portability (LNP) saw little change for wireless carriers, finds In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
However, the high-tech market research firm believes that, with the kinks ironed out and with more cellular contracts expiring, churn is bound to increase in both the consumer and business environments.

"Everyone expected churn rates to increase dramatically and immediately as a result of LNP implementation," says Becky Diercks, Director of Custom Research and Principal Wireless Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "However, this was not the case. And, while churn rates were anticipated to increase with some carriers more than others, AT&T Wireless was one of the biggest losers due to LNP implementation -- a somewhat unexpected event."

In the first few months after LNP was implemented, many of the carriers had technical difficulties switching users over to other providers and porting the numbers. Word spread about these difficulties, which caused some users who wanted to switch providers to wait.

An additional issue is that users must pay a cancellation fee to switch if they have not reached the end of their contract period. Most people are not so dissatisfied with their provider that they want to pay this fee.
According to Diercks, "With the carriers having now, for the most part, resolved these technical problems and more people switching carriers as their contracts expire, churn will definitely be on the rise over the course of the year."

LNP affected consumer churn more than business churn in the first few months of implementation and In-Stat/MDR expects to see increased churn, particularly in the business environment, in the next few months.

A February 2004 survey of In-Stat/MDR's wireless panel (composed primarily of business users) found the following:

-- 5% of respondents (more than 1,000 cellular phone users) had changed their cellular service provider since November 24th, 2003. Of those who had switched providers, 63% kept their phone numbers when switching. Another 7% of respondents said that they expect to switch providers in the next three months, and at least half of them plan to take their number with them when they switch.

-- Verizon Wireless' customers were most satisfied with their services.

-- 11% of T-Mobile's customers switched to another provider within the first months of implementation, compared to 8% of Cingular's customers.

-- In the next three months, 14% of AT&T's customers are thinking of switching -- higher than any other provider by a factor of two.

-- The majority of respondents (end-users and decision-makers) who are thinking about switching say the number one action carriers can do to keep their business is to offer better service pricing.

Apr 13 - Intel Delivers Next-Generation Processors Specifically Designed For Cell Phones And Wireless PDAs. Intel Corporation today announced a new family of processors based on Intel XScale® technology that can handle multiple forms of wireless broadband access with enough computing power to provide cell phones with full motion video conferencing capabilities and PDAs with DVD-quality video playback.

The processors include a set of new technologies designed to meet the multimedia, low power and security requirements of advanced cell phones and wireless PDAs. Intel is also providing key technologies in addition to processing power including the next-generation of stacked packaging for added flash memory, a new multimedia accelerator for 3D rendering, optimized software and reference concept designs that allow cell phone and PDA makers to bring Intel-based mobile devices to market faster.

"Advances in wireless broadband demand a new kind of wireless device," said Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and general manager, Intel Communications Group. "As various forms of wireless broadband access become increasingly available -3G, Wi-Fi or WiMAX - mobile devices must have plenty of performance balanced with low power capabilities to be able to handle all that the Internet has to offer."

Designed for Cell Phones, Wireless PDAs

The Intel® PXA27x family of processors, formerly code-named "Bulverde," adds a number of new technologies to address the needs of cell phone and PDA users. It is the first product to integrate the Intel Wireless MMX™ technology, providing additional performance for 3-D games and advanced video while improving battery-life. The new chip also utilizes Wireless Intel SpeedStep® technology, enabling significant power savings by intelligently managing voltage and frequency changes similar to the technology used in the company's notebook processors.

Also for the first time, Intel has integrated important security features through its Intel Wireless Trusted Platform to provide services such as trusted boot, secure storage of private information and cryptographic keys, and support for common security protocols. To help increase camera phone capabilities and quality, Intel has also incorporated Intel Quick Capture technology to support cameras delivering up to four or more megapixels of image quality.

The Intel PXA27x processor family will be offered in multiple configurations of clock speeds running from 312 up to 624 MHz, and with as much as 64 megabytes of stacked Intel StrataFlash® memory.

Multimedia Accelerator Delivers Added Mobile Multimedia Performance

Optimized to complement the Intel PXA27x processor family, the new Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator delivers advanced video and graphic capabilities to enable full screen video at full frame rates without sacrificing battery life. The Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator delivers DVD-quality video playback on VGA displays and supports a wide range of video formats such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and Microsoft* Windows Media Video9.

The Intel 2700G enables crisp graphics and the high resolution (up to SXVGA) dual display features enable business users to view two independent images simultaneously. This allows for a variety of business activities, such as video conferencing or running presentations directly from a PDA or other wireless device. For entertainment purposes, the Intel 2700G delivers an outstanding mobile gaming experience, giving users exciting, 3D content on their mobile device.

For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Apr 13 - Browser-Based Attacks May Pose Next Big IT Security Nightmare. Browser-based attacks are surging and may pose the next significant security threat to information technology (IT) operations. That is one of the key findings of the second annual survey on IT security and the workforce from CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association.
The survey of nearly 900 organizations found that 36.8 percent were plagued by one or more browser-based attacks in the last six months. That's up from 25 percent in last year's survey.

Browser-based attacks use browser systems and user system permissions to disrupt computer functions. These attacks are unleashed when someone visits a web page that appears harmless, but actually contains hidden malicious code intended to sabotage a computer or compromise privacy. The result of the attack may be as simple as a crashed browser; or as serious as the theft of personal information or the loss of confidential proprietary data.

"The explosion of dynamic, created-on-the-fly web pages, which often incorporate individual personal preferences, is exposing organizations' IT systems to new security threats," said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "It is clear that education on IT security can no longer be limited to a handful of IT personnel. Keeping the IT infrastructure safe is the responsibility of everyone in the organization."

Computer viruses and worm attacks, though still the biggest threat to IT security, are significantly less common than they were a year ago, according to the CompTIA survey. Last year 80 percent of organizations identified worm and virus attacks as their most common IT security threat. This year, the comparable figure is 68.6 percent.

Network intrusion issues, named last year as the second-most common security threat (65.1 percent), showed a significant drop this year, falling to 39.9 percent. Organizations also reported significant declines in problems caused by remote access, such as virtual private networks and dial-up (41.7 percent, down from 49.9 percent); and social engineering (17.9 percent, down from 21.9 percent).

Fighting Back

Antivirus applications are still the most commonly used technology or practice to enforce security requirements. The CompTIA survey found that 95.5 percent of organizations use some form of antivirus technologies.

Firewalls and proxy servers are the second most commonly used technology, identified by 90.8 percent of respondents. That's down from last year, when 93.7 percent of organizations reported using these technologies.

Security audits and penetration testing account for an increasing portion of the measures now in place to monitor general security performance. They were identified by 61 percent of respondents, up from 53 percent.

Other commonly used measures include systems baselines (51.4 percent, up from 46.5 percent) and change control tracking (44.3 percent, up from 39.1 percent)

Fifteen percent of organizations reported they have no measures in place to monitor general security performance.

The survey was conducted for CompTIA by TNS Prognostics of Palo Alto, Calif., a leader in customer research based consulting for the IT industry.

More information is at www.comptia.org.

Apr 13 - Other World Computing Reduces Prices on Mercury Extreme G4 Processor Upgrades. Other World Computing (OWC) today announced that it has reduced prices by as much as 10 percent on its highly rated Mercury Extreme line of G4 processor upgrades for Apple Macintosh computers.

A simple replacement upgrade for increasing the performance of Power Mac G4 models, the Mercury Extreme G4 line features Tantalum-dipped components and an ultra-quiet custom cooling system with a pre-attached heat-sink and fan in order to maximize the reliability and longevity of the upgrade.

The new prices, effective immediately and available at www.macsales.com/extreme, are as follows:

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/867-933MHz - $249.99 (was $279.99),

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/867MHz-1.0GHz - $269.99 (was $299.99),

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.0-1.1GHz - $299.99 (was $329.99),

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.25-1.33GHz - $389.99 (was $399.99),

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.25-1.4GHz - $419.99 (was $449.99), and

-- OWC Mercury Extreme G4/1.4-1.467GHz - $479.99 (was $499.99).

"Today's operating systems and applications can certainly benefit from a faster processor, and some may even require something better than many older Power Mac G4 models came from the factory with," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC.

"Our OWC Mercury Extreme G4 line offers an extremely economical way to get the most from your current Apple Macintosh computer compared to the cost of starting over with a new machine. With these latest price drops our easy-to-install, plug-and-play upgrades are more affordable than ever.
"Also, by upgrading not only do the applications you already have run faster, but you can now purchase and use the latest software that often requires faster processor speeds just to be functional. Upgrading with a Mercury Extreme is just like getting a new computer, but for a lot less than a new computer would cost."

Apr 13 - In-Stat/MDR Expects Great Things from DTV Sets. High expectations abound for the digital television (DTV) set market, according to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).

With visible results from the FCC mandate on integrating digital tuners in the United States, increasing numbers of terrestrial broadcasters in Europe going digital, and the price differential between an analog and digital set coming down to a reasonable level, one can expect great things from this market. As a result, the high-tech market research firm forecasts that DTV set unit shipments will reach 93 million units in 2008, up from 17 million units in 2004. Unit shipments will be spread worldwide, with Asia being the largest of the DTV set markets.

According to Michelle Abraham, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR, "There are two important trends in the TV set market today. CRTs are being replaced with flat panels and microdisplays in direct view and rear projection TVs (RPTVs). Digital tuners are being integrated alongside analog tuners in large TV set markets like North America, Europe and Japan."
Abraham believes that these two trends are opportunities for many companies that are not traditional suppliers of TV sets, like PC manufacturers, to enter the market. They are also creating opportunities for traditional TV set manufacturers to expand and target new markets.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- While the U.S. TV set market will convert to digital because the FCC has mandated it do so, the path to digital is less certain in Europe and Asia. Consumer demand rather than manufacturer supply will be the deciding factor. Eventually, consumer demand will be great enough that manufacturers will stop making analog-only TV sets.

-- As TV sets move from analog to digital, there are a few new features being integrated into sets in addition to flat panels displays and digital tuners. Connectivity is expanding beyond the traditional analog inputs. Many sets are appearing with DVI or HDMI and 1394 in the North American and Asian markets. The ability to connect sets to a home network will increasingly become popular in countries with high broadband penetration, enabling the download of EPG data, viewing of PC content, and surfing the Web on the sets.

-- In Europe, the price differential between analog widescreen TVs and idTVs is declining to less than the price of a set-top box. In markets where digital terrestrial boxes are not subsidized, consumers will be more likely to replace their analog set with a digital one.

-- DTV monitors, particularly flat panel TVs, are selling well in countries without digital terrestrial broadcasting like China.

Apr 13 - The Matrix Online Game Will Feature Integration of AOL Instant Messenger. For the first time ever, massively multi-player PC gamers can communicate at any time to players who are not jacked in, playing the game

America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced that the popular AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) (AIM(R)) service will be seamlessly integrated into The Matrix Online. This marks the first time that players in a massively multi-player online game can link an existing AIM identity to a new in-game character, creating seamless real-time communication with other Matrix players as well as other AIM buddies - whether inside or outside of The Matrix Online.

The integration of AOL Instant Messenger into The Matrix Online will enable players to see the online presence of fellow gamers and communicate with them at any time. Players who are jacked into The Matrix Online will be able to send instant messages to their friends in real time, regardless of whether or not they are playing. This will enable players in the game to chat real-time with their online friends who are not currently playing the game to ask them for gameplay tips and tricks or alert them to jack in and join a mission.

With 195 million registered users, AOL Instant Messenger adds a whole new dimension to online game play. As long as a consumer has an AOL(R), AIM, ICQ or Apple(R) iChat account, he or she can receive a message from The Matrix Online players in real time from any location. Whether receiving a message via the Internet or their PDA or cell phones, players will be able to remain "in character" without revealing their AOL or AIM screen name.

"Bringing AOL's expansive instant messaging technology to The Matrix Online will tremendously enhance the massively multi-player gaming experience," said Jason Hall, senior vice president, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "Players will now be able to alert other players, via the Internet or their phones, to join them on missions in The Matrix Online and will be able to talk freely while in combat or searching for answers."

"By integrating AOL's renowned instant messaging technologies into the gaming world with The Matrix Online, we're enabling consumers to extend their entertainment experience beyond the game and into their everyday lives," said Matthew Bromberg, vice president and general manager, AOL(R) Games. "It is AOL's goal to bring online entertainment to the mass market. This is one example of how we're leveraging AOL's tools, services and technologies to bring that goal to life."

The Matrix Online is a massively multiplayer online game where tens of thousands of players will be able to log into The Matrix world to take an active role in continuing the saga of The Matrix movie trilogy. It is currently being developed by Monolith Productions in conjunction with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and the Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy.

The game will be a re-creation of the virtual world of "The Matrix," employing cutting-edge 3-D graphics, networking and server technology. Gameplay in The Matrix Online will be based on intricate and exciting "wire-fu" combat, an extensive mission structure, social interaction and a completely customizable skill and ability system. More information about the game can be found at www.thematrixonline.com.

Apr 12 - MX Logic Reports Spam Traffic Increases 4 Percent since January. MX Logic, Inc., a leading provider of innovative email defense solutions that ensure email protection and security for enterprises, service providers, government organizations, resellers and their customers, today announced that spam traffic has increased four percent since January and 67 percent from one year ago.
Additionally, in March, MX Logic reported that only three percent of unsolicited commercial email complied with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, the federal anti-spam law that went into effect Jan. 1.

The data represents no change in CAN-SPAM compliance over February and January. MX Logic also reported a 67 percent increase in spam from one year ago; 75 percent of all the email it processed in March 2004 was spam, compared with 45 percent in March 2003.

"We aren't surprised by the low level of CAN-SPAM compliance and the increase in spam volume. It's still very early in the game," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer, MX Logic. "As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other regulatory bodies define the fine points of the law, compliance will increase. By July, the FTC will issue its study on the advisability of creating a 'do-not-spam registry,' and in September, they'll issue a report on creating a spam bounty. These efforts and education tools will spur compliance."

The CAN-SPAM Act requires the FTC and the FCC to undertake several rulemakings and reports following the January enactment of the law. These include:

-- FTC ruling on marks and notices to be included in emails that are "sexually oriented" no later than 120 days after enactment. The FTC has already proposed that "sexually- oriented" commercial email bear the label "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT-CONTENT" in the first 27 characters of the subject line.

-- FTC report to Congress on a "do-not-spam" registry within six months after enactment.

-- FTC report to Congress on improving enforcement by providing rewards for information about violations (spam bounties) within nine months after enactment.

-- FCC, in consultation with the FTC, rulemaking on protecting consumers from wireless spam within 270 days of enactment.

-- FTC report to Congress on "ADV" or other label for commercial email within 18 months after enactment.

-- FTC and Department of Justice report to Congress on the effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM Act no later than 24 months after enactment.

MX Logic's CAN-SPAM compliance data is consistent with the March 17 Pew Internet & American Life Project Data Memo, "The CAN-SPAM Act Has Not Helped Most Email Users So Far," which found that 53 percent of email users surveyed -- those with personal email accounts and those with work-related email accounts -- reported no change in the amount of spam they receive since the CAN-SPAM Act went into effect. The survey also found that 29 percent of email users have reduced their overall use of email because of spam. The Pew Internet Project Data Memo was authored by Lee Raine, director, and Deborah Fallows, senior research fellow, and is available at www.pewinternet.org/reports/index.asp.

"The CAN-SPAM Act was never intended as a silver bullet, but it is an important and necessary weapon in a more comprehensive anti-spam arsenal," Chasin said. "We firmly believe that continued enforcement of the law, industry cooperation on email authentication, continued technological innovation, and end-user education and empowerment will reduce spam."

For more information, visit www.mxlogic.com.

Apr 12 - ULi Delivers World's First PCI Express South Bridge. ULi Electronics Inc. delivers world's first PCI Express(TM) south bridge -- M1573. M1573 is ULi's latest high performance south bridge integrated with extensive features and is cost efficient to design for both mobile and desktop PC platforms. When combined with ATI's latest PCI Express graphics integrated north bridges, the solutions represent premier chipset choice for next generation interconnect solutions for OEM/ODM. ULi has been the sole supplier that provides a comprehensive line of powerful south bridges for the AMD, ATI, Intel(TM), and Transmeta CPU platforms.

M1573 interfaces to the north bridge through the high speed PCI Express link offering scalability and low latency that typify the requirement of multimedia applications today. Though the design maintains ULi's renowned power efficiency and are thus environmental friendly, its feature sets are extensive. They include 8 USB2.0/1.1 ports, 4 SATA (AHCI), high fidelity Azalia audio and Raid 0/ 1/ 0+1.

When combined with ATI's next generation graphics integrated north bridges, M1573 enables the best performance leading and cost efficient PCI Express solutions for Intel's Pentium(R) M and Pentium(R) 4, and AMD Athlon(TM) 64 platforms. The solutions, consequently, allow global OEM/ODM to deliver quality products at various price points.

"Last year the collaboration between ULi and ATI resulted in a 30% w.w. market share in the mobile PCs utilizing ULi's M1535+ south bridge and ATI's Radeon(TM) 9100 IGP," said Alex Kuo president of ULi Electronics, Inc. "Following our past success, this phenomenal M1573 and ATI next generation graphics integrated north bridge break both new grounds and present an exceptional value to the end users of both desktop and mobile PCs."

Information about ULi is available on the web: www.uli.com.tw.

Apr 12 - Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Sales Experienced a 10 Percent Increase in 2003. Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales totaled $22.8 billion in 2003, a 10.3 percent increase from 2002 sales, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts attributed the increased revenue to improved supply and demand fundamentals, which rekindled demand for equipment in the second half of 2003.

The three major sectors in the semiconductor manufacturing equipment market experienced revenue increases in 2003. Wafer fab equipment sales (the largest sector) grew 3.6 percent in 2003. In the back-end, packaging and assembly equipment increased 30.5 percent and automated test equipment (ATE) grew 39.4 percent.

"Semiconductor manufacturing equipment shipments were focused on upgrades at existing facilities, production capacities for 0.13 micron or 3000mm, advanced packaging capacity and system-on-chip test capability," said Klaus Rinnen, vice president for Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing and design research group.

Vendors experienced mixed results in 2003. The market was kinder to companies in longer lead-time segments. Despite a 12 percent decline in revenue, Applied Materials was the No. 1 vendor based on global semiconductor equipment sales in 2003. Tokyo Electron had a strong year because of its strength in the dynamic RAM (DRAM) segment, as well as its home market. Advantest, the world's largest test company, experienced the strongest growth among the top-tier vendors, as its revenue increased 114 percent.

On a regional basis, semiconductor manufacturing equipment demand in Japan rose 39 percent in 2003. Europe saw the second strongest growth with 16 percent, driven by a revival in device equipment spending by European-headquartered companies and also investments into Europe. Despite widespread anticipation of growth opportunities in China, increased spending in Asia/Pacific rose just 5.5 percent.

The Americas region, including North and South America, suffered a 17.5 percent decline in equipment sales in 2003. This was the third consecutive year of reduced equipment spending in the region. The 2003 decrease was concentrated largely in wafer fab equipment. Spending on back-end equipment was unchanged.

Gartner analysts said they expect stronger sales in 2004. Worldwide semiconductor equipment revenue is projected to grow 40 percent this year.

More information on Gartner's semiconductor research can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at www.gartner.com/semiconductors.

Apr 12 - Atari to Launch ``Unreal Tournament 2004'' DVD Version in North America. In response to the overwhelming success of "Unreal(R) Tournament 2004 - Special Edition," which featured the game on DVD, Atari (Nasdaq:ATAR) and Epic Games will launch a special two-disc "DVD Edition" of "Unreal Tournament 2004" on April 13. The two-DVD set will include the entire game on disc one, while disc two will include several hours of Video Training Modules (VTMs) from 3DBuzz.com that teach fans and amateur mod makers how to use the Unreal Editor to create custom game content.

"Unreal Tournament 2004" is the highly anticipated follow-up to last year's "Unreal Tournament 2003" and the third installment in the mega-selling "Unreal Tournament" franchise. The game has received universal critical acclaim and was hailed by GameSpot, a leading video game news and reviews site, as "...the new king of online shooters." "Unreal Tournament 2004" is already the highest-rated PC game of 2004 and, according to GameRankings.com, a Web site which tracks reviews of all games, "Unreal Tournament 2004" is the third-highest scoring PC game of all time. The "Special Edition" DVD SKU sold out at major retailers across the United States in the first three days of availability.

"The success of `Unreal Tournament 2004 - Special Edition' was beyond even our wildest expectations, with gamers grabbing up the DVD version in droves for easier installation and the hours upon hours of training videos by 3DBuzz.com," said Peter Wyse, Executive Producer at Atari. "Fans have been clamoring for the game on DVD and by offering another version, we're able to deliver all of the benefits of DVD to fans who have been waiting to get it."

"Unreal Tournament 2004" was developed by Epic Games in conjunction with Digital Extremes. The game builds on the success of past installments, taking the franchise to the next level with the introduction of the hyper-charged Onslaught mode, the return of the fan-favorite Assault mode, and the introduction of land-, air- and space-based vehicles.

In "Unreal Tournament 2004," players suit up as the ultimate techno-gladiator of the future, taking their fates into their own hands as they battle up to 32 other players in action-packed, frag-filled arenas. "Unreal Tournament 2004" contains new maps for all established game modes, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Bombing Run and Double Domination. In addition, "Unreal Tournament 2004" contains all of the maps, mutators and game types -- such as Mutant, Last Man Standing and Invasion -- from "Unreal Tournament 2003" and the free downloadable bonus packs for that game.

The game includes two additional modes of play: "Onslaught," an epic-in-scope, team-based challenge that pits two teams in bitter warfare across massive terrain maps in a frag-filled battle to destroy, capture and hold key power nodes, and "Assault," where gamers are challenged to complete a variety of mission objectives to attack or defend bases in a bigger and badder version of the "Unreal Tournament" classic.

"Unreal Tournament 2004" CD edition is currently available worldwide. "Unreal Tournament 2004" two-disc DVD Edition will be available April 13. The new DVD Edition will not include the limited edition tin box and Logitech Internet Chat Headset that were included in the Special Edition. For more information on "Unreal Tournament 2004" or to download the free demo, please visit the game's official Web site at www.unrealtournament.com.

Apr 09 - IBM Celebrates 40 Years of Mainframe Technology. Today, IBM marks the 40th anniversary of the System/360, the mainframe that sparked a revolution in computing and business. The System/360 was considered by many to be the most sophisticated computer of its time and is responsible for introducing many important technologies that are still in use today, such as transaction processing, micro-circuitry, and databases.

In honor of this transforming moment in computing and business history, IBM is bringing together some of the key people who built the System/360 - Erich Bloch, Fred Brooks and Bob Evans - along with customers whose businesses were transformed by it at a ceremony at the Museum of Computer History in Mountain View, California. The event is part of the museum's Computer History Lecture Series and is titled "The 40th Anniversary of the Computer that Changed Everything: The IBM System/360."

The System/360 was believed at the time to be the largest privately financed commercial project ever undertaken. More than 100,000 businessmen in 165 American cities attended meetings at which System/360 was introduced. More than 300 patents were issued as part of its development.

IBM also today introduced its newest mainframe, the eServer zSeries 890 server, allowing mid-size enterprise customers to leverage some of the most sophisticated mainframe technology IBM has to offer. The z890 delivers some of the highest levels of flexibility, virtualization, automation, security and scalability available in enterprise-class computing.

Information on IBM eServer is available at www.ibm.com/eserver.

Apr 09 - Crucial Technology Announces DDR2 Memory Availability. Crucial Technology(R), a division of Micron(R) and one of the world's largest direct memory upgrade providers, today announces immediate availability of PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) and PC2-4300 (DDR2-533) synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) modules on the Crucial Web site at www.crucial.com. DDR2 is the next evolution in DDR memory technology and features advancements in voltage, density, and design to achieve speeds beyond the bus speed limitation of current DDR.

Aside from the advantages of higher speed capabilities, DDR2 features a lower operating voltage of only 1.8 volts. Lower voltage decreases power consumption which may increase battery life in portable devices. Unlike current DDR, DDR2 is packaged using only Ball Grid Array (BGA), resulting in smaller packaging and better electrical performance. On-die termination gives DDR2 chips the ability to perform signal termination internally instead of on the motherboard. On-die termination helps systems run more efficiently, potentially lowering overall system cost.

Through Crucial, system builders and end users now have access to Micron's leading-edge DDR2 memory technology for use in the next generation of high-performance, low-power desktops, laptops, and servers. Crucial now offers the following DDR2 modules:

-- Crucial(R) 256MB PC2-3200 (DDR2-400), CAS Latency 3, 1.8 volts, unbuffered DIMM currently priced at $144.99

-- Crucial(R) 512MB PC2-3200 (DDR2-400), CAS Latency 3, 1.8 volts, registered DIMM currently priced at $344.99

-- Crucial(R) 256MB PC2-4300 (DDR2-533), CAS Latency 4, 1.8 volts, unbuffered DIMM, currently priced at $154.99

-- Crucial(R) 512MB PC2-4300 (DDR2-533), CAS Latency 4, 1.8 volts, unbuffered DIMM currently priced at $299.99

"DDR2 memory provides significant performance improvements over DDR. We're thrilled that Crucial can help leading-edge users take advantage of Micron's leadership position in design and production of high-quality DDR2 memory," said John Shumate, Crucial product marketing manager. "Our goal is for leading-edge solution providers and consumers to look to Crucial Technology as the premier source for high-performance DDR2, anytime they need it, anywhere in the world."

Visit www.crucial.com/DDR2 for more information about Crucial DDR2 memory upgrades, including specification details, FAQs, and module images.

Apr 09 - SOYO Announces Voice-over-IP Phone at ISPCON. SOYO(R) Group, Inc. (OTCBB:SOYO), the leading global maker of award-winning motherboards, computer peripheral, portable USB flash devices, and barebone systems, will introduce a stand-alone Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone and companion service that will allow users to make IP calls anywhere in the world. The SOYO IP Phone will debut at the Spring 2004 ISPCON event in Washington DC for ISPs and VoIPs.

IP Phones have advanced since the initial generations to where the difference in voice quality, between a conventional phone and an IP phone, is negligible. The key distinction is the low international rates. VoIP is cheaper than other types of phone service, because it relies on existing data networks.

SOYO's IP Phone has a unique built-in service that, with a broadband internet connection, allows users to be anywhere and use the same phone number. The prepaid minutes are programmed beforehand and refillable online.

The phone also is a stand-alone unit, which makes low-cost calls without the typical support of a computer, whether the call is to another IP device or another land line or cell phone anywhere in the world. The SOYO IP Phone cradle has two 10/100M Ethernet jacks, an LCD display, a handset and a speaker for optional hands-free use, adjustable volume for both handset and speaker phone, and memory for up to 100 speed-dial entries.

The SOYO IP Phone and service is ideal for international enterprises, colleges and universities, and foreign communities in US. SOYO will partner with the American Alliance of Service Providers (AASP) and demonstrate the benefits of the IP Phone and SOYO's Aerielink(R) brand wireless networking products in booth number 520 at ISPCON in Washington D.C. from April 14 to 16. At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to make free phone calls using SOYO's new IP phone.

Further information on SOYO products can be found online at www.soyousa.com.

Apr 09 - 56 Percent of Broadband Users Report Decline In TV Viewing. Television broadcasters are losing millions of viewers to broadband Internet services, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

In a recent survey of 800 European broadband users across seven countries, 56 per cent said they were spending less or a lot less time watching television since subscribing to broadband. Strategy Analytics' report, "Broadcasters Beware: Broadband Is Stealing Your Viewers," has been released to subscribers to the Broadband Media and Communications advisory service.

"Television is clearly suffering the most from the rapid growth of broadband," comments David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "A growing number of viewers are now choosing to spend their spare time communicating online and finding entertainment on the Internet, rather than sitting in front of the TV set. TV companies need to face up to this reality and start preparing for the brave new world of broadband entertainment."

According to the report, TV programmers and service providers can deal with this trend by continuing to emphasize iTV services and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). At the same time, the industry should plan to make the broadband channel an integral part of their planning for future TV programming.

This research showed that broadband users are also spending less time with other traditional media, such as printed publications and radio. However in these cases some users also reported an increase in usage, reflecting the fact that these media have made their content available on the Internet.

For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com.

Apr 09 - ValuSoft Releases Burn & Go Nitro CD/DVD Burning Software. ValuSoft(R), a division of THQ Inc. (Nasdaq:THQI) and leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software, today announced the release of Burn & Go(TM) Nitro CD/DVD for PC. This burning utility will be available at retailers throughout North America for $19.99.

Burn & Go Nitro CD/DVD is the latest release in the Burn & Go series, the best-selling CD/DVD-Recording software(a). This powerful new version is perfect for organizing digital photos to DVD and CD, burning MP3s, creating custom music CDs and backing up hard drives. The full suite of features is integrated with a new custom interface that simplifies even the most complicated burning projects by offering:

-- DVD Burning--Burn videos, photos, data and more onto DVD, tapping the immense storage capability of this medium.

-- DVD/CD Copying--Make a duplicate copy of any non-protected CD or DVD, or save an exact data image of the content to your hard drive.

-- Mix Hot Audio CDs--Burn & Go CD/DVD automatically translates MP3 files to standard audio format that is readable by standard CD players.

-- Professional Quality Burning--CD burning tools utilize advanced audio filters to remove audio hiss, clicks and pops to create professional-quality recordings every time.

-- Drag 'n' Drop Burning--Easily move and burn selected media with the click of a mouse.

Using Burn & Go Nitro CD/DVD's integrated label technology, users can automatically import file and track information for lightning-fast label and jewel case cover creation. The program features ready-made templates which allow users to import their own art or select from 10,000+ cool clipart images. The Burn & Go programs include a labeling system not found in any other burning utilities. Utilizing the exclusive label applicator and 20 free labels, users can perfectly apply custom disc labels to newly burned CDs and DVDs for professional-quality results every time.

"This all new version of Burn & Go is the most powerful and robust burning solution--even when compared to products at much higher price points," states Scott Zerby, Vice President of ValuSoft. "We have successfully streamlined the complex task of CD and DVD burning into a simplified process that meets the needs of experienced users, while being easy enough for burning novices."

ValuSoft can be found on the World Wide Web at www.valusoft.com.

Apr 08 - Intel Expands Mobile Processor Offerings For Mainstream And Value Market Segments. Intel Corporation today introduced four processors for mobile PCs. The enhanced capabilities of these processors will enable end users to enjoy great mobile performance and extended battery life in thin-and-light notebooks.

Intel's new offerings are the Low Voltage Intel® Pentium® M processor at 1.30 GHz, the Ultra-Low Voltage Intel Pentium M processor at 1.10 GHz, the Intel Celeron® M processor at 1.40 GHz and the Ultra Low Voltage Intel Celeron M processor at 900 MHz. All four processors are based on Intel's micro-architecture designed specifically for mobile computing and built using the company's 0.13-micron manufacturing technology.

The Intel Pentium M processor, in conjunction with the Intel 855 chipset family and the Intel PRO/Wireless network connection family, is a key component of Intel Centrino™ mobile technology. The Intel Pentium M processor line features architectural enhancements such as a power-optimized 400 MHz system bus, Micro-Ops Fusion and Dedicated Stack Manager for faster execution of instructions at lower power.

The Intel Celeron M processor line represents a new generation of Intel technology for the mobility value market segment, offering users a balanced level of mobile-optimized processor technology and exceptional value in sleeker, lighter notebook designs. The processors are compatible with the Intel 855 chipset family as well as the Intel 852GM chipset to enable cost effective, scalable platforms for system manufacturers.

Intel has created a full line of notebook technologies, designed from the ground up for mobility. Intel Centrino mobile technology represents the combination of Intel's best notebook technologies, delivering true mobility by enabling breakthrough mobile performance, extended battery life, integrated wireless LAN capability and thinner, lighter notebook designs.

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

Apr 08 - Getac's New W130 Notebook Computer Gets Rough, Rugged Military Certifications. Getac Inc., a leading pioneer in the rugged mobile computing industry, today announced that their newest ruggedized portable notebook, the MobileForce W130 racked up yet another U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) certification by meeting the MIL-STD-461E standard, as required by the DoD for operating in environments with high electromagnetic emissions found in many defense operating scenarios.

Using Intel's Centrino(TM) Mobile Technology and weighing in at only 5.9 lbs., the new W130 withstands three-foot drops/shocks and is a balance between the ruggedized needs of all terrain travel but with all the functionality of leading edge commercially available laptops. Value priced below comparable brands with fewer features, the W130 is the ideal solution for those rough travel, demanding and durable environments of field service and traveling sales, utility, data collection, field worker, science, oil and gas exploration and other mobile workforce markets.

With all the advanced features of a commercially available portable laptop combined with the proven and tested design of military standards for rugged systems, the W130 provides two levels of wireless communication whether by satellite or the local network built into the system.
The W130 is designed around Intel's Pentium(R) M 1.1 or 1.2 GHz CPU and Intel's PRO/Wireless Network with integrated IEEE 802.11b, GSM/GPRS and DataTAC (Internet access via cellular network) connectivity standards. The notebook easily converts into a full-featured three-spindle notebook with floppy, additional hard drives and a choice of a combo CD-RW/DVD, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or a DVD-RW drive when using the optional docking station.

Whether indoors or outdoors, the 12.1-inch XGA LCD screen provides superior readability with crisp, clear pictures even in direct sunlight because of a new A/R reflective coating technology that reduces reflectivity to 0.5 percent and a high-brightness, touch-screen panel. The BGA high performance video subsystem supports up to 64 MB of video memory options. Available options for supporting night activity and mobile installations include backlight keyboard and vehicle docking station.

Dirt and dust-proof, waterproof and drop proof from waist high, the durable, rugged construction of the W130 meets MIL-STD-810F and 461E, IP-51 and IEC extreme standards with its lightweight, shock resistant, ultra-durable magnesium alloy case fully sealed for water resistance. The notebook features shock-mounting for major components and the keyboard, display panel, touchpad and connectors are protected against impact, vibration, moisture and dust/dirt.

"Most ruggedized notebooks are so bulky and heavy that they lose portability," stated Mike Simek, sales manager of Getac Inc. "The W130 is a marriage of both commercially available laptops and rugged military specs.

"The military gets a system as light and efficient as the typical office laptop and the sales force gets the needed durability inherent to traveling city to city." Added Simek, "The misfortunes of dropping a laptop on the way to a presentation, well, durability and reliability can't be beat."

Bootable from IDE devices, LAN, USB and CD-ROM, the W130 comes with one PC2100 DDR SODIMM socket for 256 MB of RAM but can be expanded up to 1GB. The storage capacity of the hard disk drive is 40 GB standard and supports Ultra DMA-33/66/100.
In extreme cold environments, the system can incorporate an optional onboard HDD heater for increased operation from -4 degrees F (-20 degrees C) to 131 degrees F (55 degrees C). Available I/O ports consist of a serial and VGA port, two USB ports, a docking port, RJ-11 and RJ-45 ports, microphone and earphone ports and a DC input.

Price and Availability

The system is bundled with Windows 2000 or XP operating systems and is priced as low as $3,000 in single unit quantities with significant OEM and ODM discounts available. Full product specifications can be found at www.getac.com/w130.htm.

Apr 08 - Dataram Receives Memory Validation from Intel for Next Generation DDR2 Memory. Dataram Corporation (Nasdaq:DRAM), a leading provider of server and workstation memory, today announced that Dataram memory has been tested by Intel and verified to be in compliance to Intel specifications for DDR2-400 registered memory and to perform in Intel reference systems.
This validation is confirmation of Dataram's advanced design, manufacturing and testing capabilities to produce memory for the next generation of servers and workstations from Intel.

Dataram's DTM63301B, a PC2-3200 registered 3-3-3 (latency) module, is built with x4 DRAMs to support Intel's Single Device Data Correction (SDDC) advanced error correction technology and memory mirroring for enhanced RAS features required for enterprise applications and servers.

DDR2 memory features technological advances that deliver greater reliability and performance at 400MHz data rates and higher. DDR2 memory will debut in all architectures, with servers benefiting from increased scalability and as well as speed. Power is reduced to 1.8V resulting in less power consumption and cooler operation. Improved signal integrity is achieved using On-Die Termination (ODT), a key to achieving significantly higher speed. Although physical module size remains at 5.25", DDR2 modules have 240 pins with a unique key, or indentation, making DDR2 DIMMs incompatible with existing DDR applications.

"DDR2 memory technology addresses the need for faster speeds, cooler temperature operation and increased server density taking performance to the next level," stated Paul Henke, director of product marketing for Dataram. "As soon as DRAM vendors ramp-up this technology, DDR2 should rapidly become mainstream server memory."

For more information on all Dataram's memory offerings for enterprise servers and workstations, visit www.dataram.com.

Apr 08 - Intel Working To Get The Lead Out of Processors. Intel Corporation today announced it will begin eliminating approximately 95 percent of the lead used in its processors and chipsets starting later this year. The company is taking these significant steps to remove lead from its product packaging in order to make it more environmentally friendly.

Intel will begin shipping the lead-free technology with select microprocessors and chipsets in Q3, 2004, and embedded IA processors in Q2, 2004. The company shipped its first lead-free memory chips last year. Additional products will be transitioned as manufacturers become able to handle them. The new packages use lead-free solder balls, about the size of salt crystals, and represent the majority of lead used in Intel microprocessor packaging. Intel is working with the industry to find a reliable solution for the tiny amount of lead still needed inside the processor packaging to connect the actual silicon "core" to the package.

The transition to lead-free is a massive industry-wide effort with many technological, logistical and economic challenges. Since 2000, Intel has been working with industry consortia and the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation committee to come up with a solution that can be used around the world. To achieve this, the company developed reference procedures on its own research assembly lines to aide customers implement lead-free technology in their manufacturing process.

"Intel shipped millions of lead-free Flash Memory components in 2003. Today's announcement is the next major step on the road to a lead-free product line for Intel's high volume CPU and chipset product lines," said Nasser Grayeli, Intel vice president and director of assembly technology development, Technology and Manufacturing Group. "Our goal has been to develop a total solution that addresses the needs and concerns of our customers and suppliers, from the package materials to motherboard manufacturing. By doing this, our customers will be able to launch platforms with the new lead-free technology in the second half of 2004."

Getting the Lead Out

Lead has been used in electronics for more than one hundred years because of its electrical and mechanical properties. It has been a scientific and technical challenge for industry researchers to develop new materials that meet the performance and reliability requirements for the different ways lead is used in components, products, and assembly processes. At the same time, various national bodies around the world have been working to reduce or eliminate lead and therefore the danger it represents to the environment and general health.

Intel qualified its first lead-free Plastic Ball Grid Array package in 2001 for use with its Flash memory, and shipped its first lead-free product in 2002. The lead/tin solder previously used for connecting this package to the motherboard was replaced with a tin/silver/copper alloy. This work allowed Intel and its customers to gain valuable insight about what was required both technologically and logistically to make the transition to lead-free technology.

For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Apr 08 - Sprint PCS Users Lead Landline Substitution While Verizon Wireless Leads Customer Satisfaction. Strategy Analytics' "US Wireless Satisfaction Monitor," concludes that Verizon sets a daunting benchmark for its competition, achieving class-leading ratings for service quality and customer care.

Strategy Analytics surveyed one thousand cell phone users across the US to evaluate customer satisfaction, churn propensity and interest in value added services and features. Verizon Wireless, is the market leader for "user satisfaction," and beats all its competitors as the destination of choice for 30 percent of users who may churn.

David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics, commented, "Despite a relatively weak device portfolio, sub par bundled minutes and light youth segment presence relative to Sprint, Cingular and the other national operators, Verizon Wireless continues to represent the gold standard in customer satisfaction."

"Although its overall scores failed to threaten Verizon Wireless's clear lead, Nextel can be proud of its customer loyalty," said Sara Harris, Senior Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, and the author of the report, "The iDEN carrier's customers were least receptive to price-based churn bundles." She added that price-based offers are unlikely to sway the operator's fiercely loyal and high-spending business-centric customer base, which regards Nextel as a key business tool, essential to business operations.

Other key findings from this report include the fact that Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile users stand out in their belief that they are receiving good value for money from their carriers regarding both handsets and provided service; Verizon Wireless users are consistently more satisfied than users of other carriers.

Verizon Wireless scores highest on all satisfaction measures, though it is matched by T-Mobile on price metrics; Cingular customers post a healthy range of average and marginally above-average responses; Consistent dissatisfaction is evident among AT&T Wireless customers; Sprint PCS posts below average ratings on many measures, though the carrier does redeem itself somewhat with a well-received product and service range; T-Mobile and Nextel received positive overall results, though some concerns remain surrounding the crucial criteria of quality of service.

For a chart, "Customer Satisfaction by Carrier," please see www.strategyanalytics.com/press/pr00114.htm.

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