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Daily Computer News and Rumors

April 01-07 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 07 Gateway Unveils eMachines Family of High-Value Widescreen Notebooks
Apr 07 Gateway Announces Spring Line-up of eMachines Desktop PCs
Apr 07 Multi-Channel Wi-Fi Yields up to 50X Greater Throughput Than Existing Wi-Fi Access Points
Apr 07 U.S. Broadband Market Reaches Critical Mass Reports In-Stat/MDR
Apr 07 San Francisco Bay Area Sails into Top Spot in Intel's ''Most Unwired Cities'' Survey
Apr 06 Largest Computer Products & Services Firms Ranked on How They Treat Online Customers
Apr 06 AVERATEC Launches 3200 Series of Affordable Thin and Light Mobile Notebook PCs
Apr 06 Conexant Launches 802.11g And 802.11a/g Wireless LAN Solutions with Integrated USB 2.0 Interface
Apr 06 The Global Mobile Audio Accessory Market Has a Nice Ring to It, Says the Yankee Group
Apr 06 Symantec Announces Enhanced Integrated Protection for Remote Users and Networked Clients
Apr 05 AMD and Intel Largely in Harmony on x86-64 Code
Apr 05 High-Definition TV Services Finally Establish a Foothold
Apr 05 Newest Xerox Color Laser Offered at $699
Apr 05 Linux Not A Low-Cost Alternative to Unix and Windows for Large Enterprises
Apr 05 New Study Finds Actual Carb Consumption by Low-Carb Dieters Higher Than Expected
Apr 04 Sunday Shopping Watch
Apr 02 Apple Offers Rebates with G5 Purchases
Apr 02 Brother Introduces New Flatbed Laser Multi-Function Center Devices
Apr 02 SBC Communications Launches New Higher Speed SBC Yahoo! DSL at Attractive Low Prices
Apr 02 BroadVoice Announces the Launch of Its Broadband Voice Service for Consumers and Small Businesses
Apr 01 IBM Plans Industry's First Openly Customizable Microprocessor
Apr 01 NEC Infrontia to Develop Wireless IP Phones With Microsoft and Intel
Apr 01 Informative Graphics Offers Free CSF Writer For Microsoft Office And Windows-Based Design Applications
Apr 01 "Kuma\War'' Online PC Game Now Available

 

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Apr 07 - Gateway Unveils eMachines Family of High-Value Widescreen Notebooks. Gateway Inc. (NYSE:GTW) today announced its retail family of eMachines widescreen notebooks for spring 2004, from innovative high-performance wireless systems to the first widescreen notebook priced under $1,000.

The eMachines line of products continues its leadership as the only major PC brand offering the Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processor with its M6805 and M6809 wireless widescreen notebook PCs, delivering unparalleled computing performance and display for DVD movies, games, digital photography and other 32-bit multimedia applications. Both notebooks also include the ATI Mobility RADEON(TM) 9600 graphics processor.

Featuring the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+ and DVD/CD-RW combo drive, the M6805 is priced at $1,399 after $100 mail-in rebate. Featuring the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 processor 3200+ and a multi-format DVD-RW(+/-) drive, the M6809 is priced at $1,549 after $100 rebate.

In addition, Gateway is introducing an eMachines wireless widescreen notebook incorporating the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor with the M6410, priced at $1,299 after $100 rebate, and the first widescreen notebook priced at $999, after $100 rebate, with the M2105.

All eMachines notebooks feature the widescreen format display with a 16:10 aspect ratio that allows up to 30 percent more DVD viewing area than a standard 15-inch notebook screen.

The top three retail notebooks in the spring line (M6410, M6805 and M6809) incorporate the 54g wireless chipset from Broadcom(R), providing up to five times the performance of 802.11b while maintaining compatibility with other wireless devices on the market. These notebooks also feature 512MB DDR memory for optimum computing.

"With our new family of widescreen eMachines notebooks, Gateway proves that its eMachines brand not only leads the industry in providing the best value at any price point, it continues its technology leadership as the only major PC brand offering 64-bit notebook computing based on the Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processors," said Ed Fisher, senior vice president, product planning for Gateway, which owns the eMachines brand.

"These notebooks offer consumers uncompromised desktop-class performance and optimum display in a convenient mobile form factor with Gateway's premier customer service," Fisher said.

Featuring a stylish chassis, the eMachines family of notebooks are 1.6 inches thin, weighs 7.5 pounds and include an 8-cell lithium ion battery offering approximately 2.5 hours of battery life, depending upon configuration and applications used.

The eMachines spring notebook line-up is currently available from Best Buy while its M6410 is available from Office Depot. For more information visit www.emachines.com.

Following its March 2003 acquisition of eMachines, Gateway is the third largest PC company in the U.S. and among the top ten worldwide. Visit www.gateway.com for more information.

Apr 07 - Gateway Announces Spring Line-up of eMachines Desktop PCs. Gateway Inc. (NYSE:GTW) today announced its spring line-up of eMachines desktop PCs, its leading global brand of high-value PCs, notebooks and monitors sold through retail stores.

Highlights from the latest eMachines desktop PCs include:

-- DVD/CDRW combo drive available for the first time in the $399 entry-level model (T2742) after $50 mail-in rebate

-- 512 MB DDR memory included in $479 model (T2885) after $50 rebate

-- Multi-format DVD-RW drive available in $619 model (T3085), after $50 rebate, for first time

-- Premium chassis design throughout the line

"With this latest lineup of eMachines PCs sold through major retailers, Gateway demonstrates its commitment to continuing the eMachines brand focus on bringing consumers powerful performance at unprecedented value with premier customer service," said Ed Fisher, senior vice president, product planning, Gateway Inc. "As always, our goal is to offer consumers the highest quality technology at industry-leading price points."

The eMachines' premium chassis design now available throughout its desktop PC line features resilient soft black powdered coating, silver panel, and metal-stamped "e" logo power button with blue LED "halo."

In addition to a DVD/CDRW combo drive for multimedia entertainment, the eMachines entry-level T2742 features the Intel(R) Celeron(R) 2.70 GHz processor, 256MB DDR memory and 40GB hard drive storage.

In addition to its 512MB DDR memory for optimum computing performance, the T2885 offers the Intel Celeron 2.80 GHz processor, 80GB hard drive, and separate CDRW and DVD optical disc drives.

Both the T2742 and T2885 incorporate the Intel Extreme(TM) graphics chip set (Intel 845 GV), providing users with up to 20 percent performance gains over other systems at these price points for 3-D games and other graphics-intensive applications.

The top-of-the-line eMachines PCs -- the T3065 priced at $569 after $50 rebate and the T3085 -- feature the AMD Athlon(TM) XP 3000+ and "8-in-1 Media Reader" for optimum flexibility in downloading digital audio and video from a wide range of media devices. Both systems also offer 160GB hard drive storage and 512MB DDR memory.
The T3065 includes separate DVD and CDRW drives while the T3085 offers a CD-ROM drive and multi-format DVD RW to ensure future compatibility with either DVD RW + or - technology.

eMachines' spring desktop PCs and CRT monitors are currently available at major consumer electronic retailers throughout the country. eMachines LCD monitors are available at select retailers. For more information visit www.emachines.com.

Following its March 2003 acquisition of eMachines, Gateway is the third largest PC company in the United States and among the top ten worldwide. Visit www.gateway.com for more information.

Apr 07 - Tests Find That Multi-Channel Wi-Fi Yields up to 50X Greater Throughput Than Existing Wi-Fi Access Points. Engim, Inc., developers of silicon technology that dramatically expands the manageability, security and capacity of wireless LAN infrastructure, today announced the findings of a comprehensive Tolly Group analysis comparing the sustainable performance levels of single-channel and emerging multi-channel 802.11 solutions under real-world enterprise conditions.

The test is the most comprehensive assessment to date on the impact typical of enterprise usage populations and dynamics on the wireless network, and its findings stand in sharp contrast to current market assumptions. Specifically, the test found today's single-channel networks to be highly vulnerable to sharp drop offs in performance in mixed client and data rate conditions, while multi-channel WLAN solutions achieved and sustained dramatically higher throughput rates, out-performing single-channel solutions by as much as 50-to-1.

Findings specifically revealed that just one minimum data rate client, such as, for example, an 802.11b PDA user at a moderate distance from an AP, brings today's single-channel 802.11g network down from 54 Mbps to close to 1 Mbps.

Engim CEO Nick Finamore commented: "Increasingly, WLAN systems must contend with an unpredictable and heterogeneous client environment. At the same time, end users want to add services beyond just data, such as VoWIP. By having multiple channels operating from the same access point, we are able to partition the client traffic to dramatically enhance throughput. As end users deploy new services onto their WLAN system, Engim enables these services to be partitioned intelligently, and implemented on the same WLAN system."

Engim developed the multi-channel access point used in the tests together with Intel, based on the Intel Coyote reference platform. Intel's groundbreaking IXP425 network processor coupled with Engim's EN-3000 multi-channel WLAN chipset enables unprecedented WLAN performance.

For more information, please visit www.engim.com.

Apr 07 - U.S. Broadband Market Reaches Critical Mass Reports In-Stat/MDR. With close to 27 million U.S. business and residential subscribers at the end of 2003, broadband is now clearly a mainstream service, reports In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
The high-tech market research firm projects that the mainstreaming of broadband will be huge, as the existence of a significant subscriber base opens up markets for other services that are looking to take advantage of the broadband connection, such as home entertainment/networking, Voice over IP (VoIP) and online gaming.

"This starts a cycle where growth in both broadband and applications feed the growth of each other," said Daryl Schoolar, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "This applies equally to the business subscriber. Broadband growth should also improve service provider operations as well."

However, the one major challenge that faces the future provisioning of broadband will come from a less tech-savvy subscriber. According to Schoolar, "As broadband moves into mass adoption, newer subscribers will be less experienced with computers and the Internet. They will expect all of the benefits of the Internet, but will have less patience for dealing with its technical issues. When their service goes down they are going to be less likely than early adopters to perform self-diagnosis, and more likely to just pick up the phone and call customer service. Also, their lower level of technical knowledge will make communicating with them more difficult. However, the opportunities will outweigh the challenges."

In-Stat/MDR also found that:

-- At the end of 2003, one in every five U.S. households subscribed to a broadband service.

-- In the United States, cable modem continues to be the most common broadband access technology, with DSL remaining in second.

-- Broadband over Power Line, after years of discussion, is finally moving out of the lab and into actual homes.

-- Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) continues to be hindered by cost and regulatory concerns.

-- Fixed Wireless Broadband (FWB) is now the third most common broadband access technology in the United States.

-- While cable modem may be the broadband technology of choice in the United States, worldwide, DSL dominates due to lack of cable data service, and greater housing density outside of the United States.

-- At the end of 2003, Comcast and Time Warner accounted for the majority of all cable modem subscribers. Overall, six cable operators had 91 percent of the U.S. cable modem market at end-of-year 2003.

-- SBC and Verizon accounted for the majority of U.S. DSL subscribers at the end of 2003. Overall, five providers accounted for 94 percent of the U.S. DSL market.

Apr 07 - San Francisco Bay Area Sails into Top Spot in Intel's ''Most Unwired Cities'' Survey. The most unwired city in America is the San Francisco Bay Area, leapfrogging ahead of last year's top unwired region Portland, Ore. (No. 5), and staying ahead of Los Angeles (No. 23) and New York (No. 24), according to Intel's 2nd annual "Most Unwired Cities" survey released today.

The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is the No. 1 market for wireless Internet accessibility in the United States. From Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco to San Jose's San Pedro Square to Oakland's Jack London Square, Bay Area residents have greater freedom to communicate, be productive, and entertained with notebooks PCs and wireless Internet connections.

Following the San Francisco Bay Area on the list of top 10 unwired regions is Orange County, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore; Seattle; Bergen, N.J.; Middlesex, N.J.; San Diego and Denver. The complete list of Intel's "Most Unwired Cities" is available at: www.intel.com/go/unwiredcities.

"It is increasingly clear that computing without wires is more than a trend -- it's the next wave in communications," said Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Communications Group. "Intel is committed to developing wireless broadband technologies to help fuel Internet growth worldwide."

As the desire for an unwired computing lifestyle continues to catch hold, the number of wireless Internet access "hotspots" is also on the rise. They're popping up in locations such as truck stops, RV parks and malls. Hotspots are areas where people can access the Internet at high speeds by connecting to a Wi-Fi -- short for wireless fidelity -- local network with their notebook PCs, PDAs and other communication devices without the constraint of a traditional wired connection.

Intel's "Most Unwired Cities" survey was conducted by Bert Sperling, a researcher who specializes in collecting and analyzing data for the nationally known "Best Places" surveys.

"Intel's second annual look at the most unwired cities in America underscores the continued evolution of wire-free computing," Sperling said. "Now people can e-mail vacation photos from the campground, surf the Web from the local coffee shop or get driving directions without having to stop and ask a gas station attendant."

The complete listings for Intel's "Most Unwired College Campuses" and "Most Unwired Airports" are available at: www.intel.com/go/unwiredcolleges and www.intel.com/go/unwiredairports, respectively.

Apr 06 - Largest Computer Products & Services Firms Ranked on How They Treat Online Customers. The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their customers online, today released the results of its Spring 2004 Online Customer Respect Study of 61 computer products and services firms that rank among the countries largest 1000 companies.

Overall, Hewlett-Packard and Science Applications International scored highest, while Brightpoint scored lowest.

The study is the only one to bring objective measure to the analysis of corporate performance from an online customer's perspective. It assigns a Customer Respect Index (CRI(TM)) rating to each company on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest achievable score. The Customer Respect Index is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer's online experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.

By interviewing a representative sample of the adult Internet population, and by analyzing more than 1000 Web sites across a spectrum of industries in detail, The Customer Respect Group has determined the attributes that combine to create the entire online customer experience. These attributes have been grouped together and measured as indicators of Simplicity (ease of navigation), Privacy (respects customer privacy), Attitude (customer-focus of site), Transparency (open and honest policies), Responsiveness (quick and thorough responses to inquiries) and Principles (values and respects customer data). Combined they measure a company's overall Customer Respect.

Select Sector Comparisons

The Computer Products & Services sector demonstrated strengths in a few areas. Overall, most sites were easy to navigate, 59 of 61 have privacy policies and most did a fair job of explaining their privacy policies fully and clearly. On the flip side, however, surveyed firms fared worse than average in the Principles area, in which they are evaluated based upon how they protect personal data submitted to them online. In fact, a shocking 29 percent of companies share customers' data with unaffiliated third parties without seeking their permission.

Also, many firms demonstrated poor Responsiveness, the sector's lowest scoring attribute. Some 32 percent of this sector didn't respond to any inquires while another 23 percent only responded to half of submitted questions. Moreover, of those firms using AutoResponder technology in which they let customers know that their inquiry has been received and will be dealt with in a timely manner - an incredible 42 percent either never followed up with a response or only responded half of the time.

"Research indicates that 82 percent of Internet users decline to provide any personal information because too many details were asked for that didn't seem necessary," said Roger Fairchild, president of The Customer Respect Group.
"And 64 percent decide not to buy online because they aren't certain how their personal data might be used. High-tech firms need to wake up to the fact that sharing information without permission is bad for business. Moreover, since, on average, users abandon 20 percent of Web sites they visit due to an unsatisfactory experience, you have to wonder why more than half of high-tech firms aren't responding to questions directly posed to them. Clearly, being technologically savvy doesn't correlate directly to providing a high-quality Web site experience."

The highest ranked organizations within the sector were Hewlett-Packard and Science Applications International (9.5 out of 10), while the lowest was Brightpoint at 2.6. The sector's average was 6.8. Beyond these scores, the report conveys, in great detail, improvement opportunities for each company. The sector's Spring 2004 ranking is as follows:

Computer Products & Services Firm Total CRI
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hewlett-Packard Company 9.5
Science Applications International Corporation 9.5
International Business Machines Corporation 9.0
Xerox Corporation 9.0
Lexmark International, Inc. 8.8
Intuit, Inc. 8.7
GetThere 8.5
Oracle Corporation 8.5
Avnet, Inc. 8.4
Western Digital Corporation 8.3
Electronic Data Systems Corporation 8.3
Unisys Corporation 8.2
Microsoft Corporation 8.2
EarthLink, Inc. 8.1
IMS Health Inc. 8.1
EA GAMES 8.0
BMC Software, Inc. 7.9
eBay Inc. 7.9
Dell Computer Corporation 7.9
Pitney Bowes Inc. 7.9
Fiserv Inc. 7.8
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. 7.7
The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation 7.6
NCR Corporation 7.5
Ikon Office Solutions, Inc. 7.3
Perot Systems Corporation 7.3
Compuware Corporation 7.2
CDW 7.2
Sun Microsystems, Inc. 7.0
DST Systems, Inc. 6.9
Symbol Technologies, Inc. 6.8
Adobe Systems, Incorporated 6.8
CellStar Corporation 6.7
Maxtor Corporation 6.6
Novell, Inc. 6.6
Apple Computer, Inc. 6.6
Veritas Software Corporation 6.4
Arrow Electronics, Inc 6.4
VeriSign, Inc. 6.3
Computer Sciences Corporation 6.3
BearingPoint, Inc. 6.2
Agilsys Inc 6.0
SunGard Data Systems 5.9
PeopleSoft, Inc. 5.8
Sabre Airline Solutions 5.7
Computer Associates International, Inc. 5.6
Insight Enterprises, Inc. 5.5
Storage Technology Corporation 5.5
Silicon Graphics, Inc. 5.4
First Data 5.3
Gateway, Inc. 5.3
Siebel Systems, Inc. 5.1
Azerty 5.1
Anixter International Inc. 5.0
EMC Corporation 4.9
Graybar Electric Company, Inc. 4.5
Tech Data Corporation 4.4
Bell Microproducts, Inc. 4.3
Ingram Micro, Inc. 4.3
Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. 3.8
Brightpoint, Inc 2.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry Average 6.8

Other findings for sector firms include the following:

-- Surveyed firms receive the best overall rating (CRI: 8.2) for Simplicity and the worst (CRI: 4.9) for Responsiveness.

-- Of those 93 percent that provide a viable means of response, 32 percent of firms did not respond to any online inquiries.

-- 45 percent responded to all inquiries. Of these, 89 percent responded within 48 hours, four percent responded within 72 hours and seven percent responded after four days.

-- 23 percent of firms responded to half of the inquiries received. Of these, all responded within 48 hours.

-- Some 52 percent of all sector firms use Autoresponder technology, in which emails are automatically sent back to users to confirm the receipt of their inquiry and let them know when they should expect a response. Of these, 58 percent followed with a full response, 29 percent followed up half of their Autoresponses with a reply and 13 percent never followed up with a response.

-- Some 75 percent of companies provide email forms for online inquiries.

-- 18 percent provide email addresses. Another five percent provide online contacts inappropriate to general consumers. An additional two percent provide only offline contacts such as phone numbers or postal addresses.

-- Some 82 percent provide a keyword search function on their site.

-- 97 percent of sector firms have privacy policies on their sites explaining how customers' personal data is being used. Of those that do, 15 percent need to be more explicit about how they use personal data, 44 percent do not collect data or use collected data only for internal purposes, 12 percent share data with affiliates or subsidiaries and 29 percent share data without permission from users.

-- Some 90 percent use cookie technology. Of these, 20 percent provide a full explanation of how cookies can be disabled, 44 percent mention that they can be disabled, 22 percent explain how cookies work and 14 percent don't mention cookies at all.

About The Customer Respect Group

The Customer Respect Group is an international research and consulting firm that uses its Customer Respect Index (CRI(TM)) methodology to help companies improve how they treat their customers online. It provides leadership in the objective and scientific measurement of a customer's online experience. Many of the largest U.S. companies have already adopted the CRI methodology to improve online customer satisfaction and loyalty. The Customer Respect Group is headquartered in Bellevue, WA. For additional information, visit www.customerrespect.com.

Apr 06 - AVERATEC Launches 3200 Series of Affordable Thin and Light Mobile Notebook PCs. AVERATEC, Inc., an emerging leader in innovative mobile computing products, today announced the launch of its 3200 Series of affordable thin and light mobile notebook PCs.

These mobile notebooks are equipped with the low voltage Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) XP-M 2000+ processor and weighs 4.3 pounds. Compact into a 1-inch slim form factor with a 12.1" XGA screen, the 3200 series notebook features an integrated DVD/CD-RW combo drive and 54g(TM) wireless connectivity. With AMD PowerNow!(TM) Technology the 3200 series performs with optimal power management, boosting battery life to more than 3 hours.

For freedom-filled mobility, a built-in Broadcom(R) 54g(TM) chip set is combined with embedded dual antennas and delivers five times the performance of 802.11b while remaining compatible with other wireless devices. It is the latest and fastest connectivity for home, work, or use at local "hotspots." The 3200 series also includes three USB 2.0 ports and one Type II PC Card/CardBus slot. This notebook series is built to perform like workhorses and speed like thoroughbreds -- for less than $1,000.

"Our company credo is 'Mobility without Boundaries,' and the 3200 Series notebooks are about the freedom to compute and connect anywhere and at anytime at a price consumers can afford," said Saeed Shahbazi, President of AVERATEC. "We are building top quality and classy looking notebooks, without compromising product performance or what consumers want most in a portable PC -- the 3200 series is sleek, lightweight and realistically functional."

The three models in the 3200 series include the AV3220H1-01 with 256 MB memory running Windows XP Home at $949 and the AV3225HS-20 which doubles the memory for only $50 more. A business-oriented model, the AV3255P1-01, runs on Windows XP Professional with 512 MB memory for only $1,079.

The 3200 series is available through major electronic retailers, resellers and distributors or direct through the Averatec website at www.averatec.com.

Apr 06 - Conexant Launches 802.11g And 802.11a/g Wireless LAN Solutions with Integrated USB 2.0 Interface. Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNXT), the worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for broadband communications, enterprise networks and the digital home, today announced the availability of its newly designed PRISM GT(TM) (802.11g) and PRISM WorldRadio(TM) (802.11a/g) chipsets with the world's first fully integrated universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 interface. The combination of the high data rate 802.11g wireless and the high-speed connection provided by the USB 2.0 interface maximizes throughput for wireless PC users.

The market share leader in the high-speed 802.11/USB market, Conexant's USB 2.0 solutions are being designed into innovative and easy-to-use products by nearly all major wireless local area network (WLAN) manufacturers including 3Com, Buffalo Technology, D-Link, IOGEAR, Linksys, NETGEAR and SMC Networks. For example, products such as PRISM-based USB 2.0 wireless network adapters will connect directly to any USB-ready PC. Consumers simply plug the adapter in and are ready to share data, printers or high-speed Internet access over existing wireless networks.

"Since the introduction of the industry's first Wi-Fi(R) and WHQL certified 802.11g USB 2.0 product, PRISM(R) solutions have gone into production with virtually every major wireless LAN retail OEM, leading service provider and PC OEM," said Larry Ciaccia, vice president and general manager for Conexant's Wireless Data and Networking Components Products.
"We have taken our leadership position and extended it even further to offer increased integration and functionality, which can significantly lower our customer's bill of material cost. At the same time, the launch of both an integrated single-band 802.11g and a full dual-band 802.11a/g with a USB 2.0 interface allows us to further expand our market reach."

To learn more, please visit us at www.conexant.com.

Apr 06 - The Global Mobile Audio Accessory Market Has a Nice Ring to It, Says the Yankee Group. According to the recent Yankee Group report, Two Markets Emerge for Mobile Music, the U.S. audio accessory market is currently $80 million, and has the capability to reach $1 billion per year (similar to other major geographic regions). However, true wireless music will not hit the mainstream for a few years.

The Yankee Group has upgraded its 2003 United States ringtone market estimate to $80 million (from $50 million). Customers show sustained willingness to pay premiums for the right tune. By 2008, the U.S. audio accessory market, including ringtones, ring tunes and calling tones, will be worth $1 billion. Today's global market is more than $2.5 billion.

"As ringtones are the first globally successful mobile micropayment application, and true mobile music promises to be one of the first mobile macropayment applications, the music industry will have a profound impact on the shape of the wireless industry," says Adam Zawel, Yankee Group Wireless/Mobile Applications & Commerce director. "Specifically, record companies will drive the wireless industry to support a DRM framework--one that protects content within the closed environs of the wireless networks, and as it flows over local area connections to devices not connected to the carriers' network."

Audio capabilities will improve gradually and will play a greater role as an enhancement to games and multimedia on phones and PDAs; however, the pure audio experience of listening to music must wait for the development of four trends: home network growth, WAN improvements, device convergence and the resolution of wireless DRM.

The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.

Apr 06 - Symantec Announces Enhanced Integrated Protection for Remote Users and Networked Clients. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the global leader in information security, today announced Symantec Client Security 2.0, with zero-day protection for enterprise clients against blended threats and worms like Blaster, Welchia, and SoBig. Through integrated antivirus, firewall and intrusion prevention technologies, Symantec Client Security 2.0 protects enterprise clients from malicious code, unauthorized intrusions and port scans.

"Symantec Client Security is the ideal solution for organizations seeking better protection from today's blended threats," said Lily De Los Rios, vice president, client and host security, Symantec. "Blended threats made up 54 percent of malicious code submissions to Symantec's response center over the last 6 months. Being able to provide zero-day protection while the customer deploys the appropriate patch is a key part of the value of Symantec Client Security."

Perimeter security alone is not sufficient to keep unwanted threats and intruders from infecting enterprise networks and spreading blended threats from client machines. With the ever-increasing speed in which today's threats spread, Symantec Client Security 2.0 protects enterprise endpoints from unwanted intruders connecting to the corporate network.

Response time during a blended threat outbreak can be dramatically shortened through Symantec Client Security's single update mechanism, combining virus definitions, firewall rules and intrusion detection signatures. The integration of multiple security functions enables Symantec to provide quick and comprehensive updates in a single LiveUpdate session when malicious code attacks occur, a much more efficient and effective alternative to multiple-product updates. Most important, these updates are delivered by the Symantec Security Response team, which provides fast, global, integrated analysis and response.

Webcast

Symantec will host a Webcast titled "Securing Every Client: A Proactive Approach for Protecting Your Mobile, Remote and Networked Users" on Thursday, April 8, 2004 at 8 a.m. PST to provide further information on Symantec Client Security 2.0. Register for the Webcast.

Availability

Symantec Client Security is available through Symantec's worldwide network of value-added resellers, distributors and systems integrators. To obtain licensing information or to locate a reseller, visit http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.com on the World Wide Web.

Apr 05 - AMD and Intel Largely in Harmony on x86-64 Code. An independent analysis by In-Stat/MDR's Microprocessor Report indicates that the 64-bit x86 architectures from AMD and Intel are almost, but not quite, identical. Near-100 percent software compatibility is possible, but in some cases, programs written for one 64-bit architecture may not run properly on the other 64-bit architecture.

Microprocessor Report compared all the new instructions, modified instructions, deleted instructions, and modifications to the register files -- including control registers, system registers, and registers visible to application programs. Memory-addressing schemes and many other architectural features, such as data-addressing modes, context-switching behavior, interrupt handling, and support for existing 16- and 32-bit x86 execution modes were also compared. In every case, Intel had patterned its 64-bit x86 architecture after AMD64 in almost every detail.

However, Microprocessor Report discovered a few differences that even AMD and Intel were unaware of. Some of these differences may be resolved in future 64-bit x86 processors, or even in future steppings of x86 processors already announced or on the market. In other cases, software can easily adapt to the differences by executing slightly different code, after first probing the CPU to learn which 64-bit extensions it supports.

"We found nothing to contradict Intel's promise that its 64-bit x86 processors will run the 64-bit operating systems developed for AMD64," said Tom R. Halfhill, a senior editor with In-Stat/MDR's Microprocessor Report. "At the same time, Intel's reluctance to make a blanket guarantee about mutual 64-bit software compatibility is justified by the minor differences we discovered. Of course, that's always the case when Intel or AMD introduces new x86 extensions -- such as Intel's SSE3 media extensions, which aren't yet supported by AMD."

Despite the differences, Intel clearly derived its 64-bit architecture by reading AMD's prerelease documentation for AMD64 and by testing AMD64 processors. "Intel's reverse-engineering of AMD64 marks a major turning point in the historical relationship between the companies," said Halfhill. "Although AMD has in the past introduced some innovations to the x86 architecture -- the 3DNow multimedia extensions being a prime example -- this is the first time AMD has truly steered the direction of the world's most important microprocessor architecture, which Intel invented in 1978 and has closely guarded for 26 years."

The article, "AMD and Intel Harmonize on 64" can be found in the March 29 edition of In-Stat/MDR's Microprocessor Report, a subscription newsletter for makers and users of high-performance microprocessors. To find out more about Microprocessor Report, please visit: www.mdronline.com.

Apr 05 - High-Definition TV Services Finally Establish a Foothold. After years of hype and promises, high-definition television (HDTV) services have finally captured the imagination of a small, but growing, audience of TV viewers who now enjoy HDTV's extraordinary clear and crisp picture quality.

With its life-like detail and impressive audio performance, HDTV service is also exciting TV broadcasters and multichannel service providers, according to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com), a high-tech market research firm. HDTV service, which is becoming widely available in a few select countries, is being marketed as a premium service that has the potential to boost incremental monthly revenues for cable and satellite operators, while also providing terrestrial TV broadcasters with a new weapon in their fight against pay-TV services.

Currently, just over 4 million worldwide TV households receive and watch HDTV programming, although most industry insiders expect that number to climb rapidly over the next few years. Increasing consumer demand for HDTV service is also driving sales of new consumer electronics products, such as HDTV sets and HD-capable set top boxes.
However, there are still several market challenges that are reigning in the growth of HDTV services. These include the need for more HD programming, lowering the cost of HD equipment, increasing the availability of HD service, and better educating the public about the benefits of HDTV.

In-Stat/MDR also finds that:

-- Total worldwide terrestrial, satellite, and cable TV households that are watching HD programming on an HDTV set are projected to rise to almost 6 million by the end of 2004, and ultimately reach 45 million by the end of 2008.

-- HDTV service remains extremely limited in its reach, with only four countries offering the service beyond an experimental basis. These countries are Japan, the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, a few other countries, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, are expected to roll out limited HDTV services in the next year.

-- Japan is leading the HDTV charge with over 2 million households receiving and watching HDTV programming. The United States is second with just over 1.5 million households.

Apr 05 - Newest Xerox Color Laser Offered at $699. Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) has extended its product line with its lowest-priced laser printers yet, providing small and midsized offices with two more entry-level printing choices.

Both products - the Phaser(R) 6100 color laser printer starting at $699 and the Phaser(R) 3130 monochrome laser printer starting at $299 - offer a previously unavailable combination of speed, quality and features for the price.

The Phaser 6100 surpasses the competition in print speed and delivers more features than comparably priced offerings. With a black-and-white print speed of 21 pages per minute, the Phaser 6100 is 30 percent faster than HP's Color LaserJet 1500 and 2500. The Phaser 6100's color print speed of 5 ppm is 25 percent faster.

"We're breaking new ground today for businesses that need low-priced, high-quality color printing," said Emerson Fullwood, president, Xerox Channels Group. "Starting at $699, the Phaser 6100 is the best-priced option for small businesses that depend on professional-looking prints and may have used inkjets or outsourcing for color output."

The Phaser 6100 offers features not commonly found in entry-level devices, including standard two-sided color printing and 64 MB of memory - twice the memory of what's available in comparably priced printers. People can choose from two print resolutions for their documents: 600 dots-per-inch resolution for crisp business color and text, or enhanced 1200 dpi for photo-quality images. The Phaser 6100 also is exceptionally quiet, operating at only 48 dB - noticeably quieter than the HP LaserJet 1500 and 2500, which operate at 62 dB.

The Phaser 6100 can support virtually any office environment, delivering both parallel and Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 interfaces. A networked configuration is available for customers needing to provide print capabilities for several people.

Also announced today, the Phaser 3130 is a black-and-white laser printer designed for use in a variety of business environments, such as banks and hotels, where desktop space is scarce but quick and easy access to a printer is necessary.

As one of the industry's smallest laser printers, the Phaser 3130 packs value and performance into its compact design. The Phaser 3130 delivers a productive printing solution with a print speed of 17 ppm, 32 MB of memory, a 166 Mhz processor and 1200 dpi resolution. The Phaser 3130 offers out-of-the-box PC and Macintosh compatibility, connectivity via USB and parallel ports, and an available external network adaptor.

The Phaser 6100 and Phaser 3130 are available immediately in North America and Europe through Xerox resellers, dealers and agents. The Phaser 6100 will start at an estimated retail price of $699, and the Phaser 3130 will start at $299. Both products are also available online through Xerox Direct at www.xerox.com/direct.

Apr 05 - Linux Not A Low-Cost Alternative to Unix and Windows for Large Enterprises. According to a new Yankee Group survey of 1,000 IT administrators and C-level executives worldwide, corporate customers report Linux provides businesses with excellent performance, reliability, ease of use and security. Hype notwithstanding, Linux's technical merits, while first-rate, are equivalent but not superior to Unix and Windows Server 2003, according to survey respondents.

"In large enterprises, a significant Linux deployment or total switch from Windows to Linux, would be three to four times more expensive and take three times as long to deploy as an upgrade from one version of Windows to newer Windows releases," says Laura DiDio, Yankee Group Application Infrastructure & Software Platforms senior analyst. "The instances where Linux imparts measurably improved TCO compared with Unix and Windows are in small firms with customized vertical applications or new, greenfield networking situations."

The most surprising survey revelation: 90 percent of the 300 large enterprises with 10,000 or more end users indicated that a significant or total switch from Windows to Linux would be prohibitively expensive, extremely complex and time consuming, and would not provide any tangible business gains for the organization.

The survey further found that although Linux's momentum is undeniable, the Open Source operating system will not dethrone Microsoft Windows as the leading server vendor in the next 2 years. And Linux desktops are not expected to make a perceptible dent in Windows' 94 percent market share between now and 2006.

The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.

Apr 05 - New Study Finds Actual Carb Consumption by Low-carb Dieters Higher Than Expected. Despite all of the attention on low-carbs in this country, The NPD Group's new Report on Carbohydrate Consumption Patterns finds Americans still have a very healthy appetite for carbs. Virtually none of the 11,000 people we studied were cutting carbs to the degree that low-carb diets recommend. In fact, only one out of four people who say they are on a low-carb diet are actually significantly cutting carbs.

The NPD Group's latest study tracked the eating patterns of 11,000 adults. Only a small fraction of the population actually followed a lower-carb diet. NPD found that the adults who are cutting carbs are still eating an average of 128 refined carbs* a day. For men the average is 145 refined grams and for women it's 109 grams. That's considerably higher than the 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day some low-carb diets recommend for weight loss, although still lower than the overall average of 210 grams of refined carbs a day for all adults.

"Everybody in the food industry has the potential to be positively or negatively impacted by this low-carb phenomenon. This report sheds some light on how big of an impact the low-carb craze is going to have on certain businesses and products in the food industry," said Anne Mixen, the author of NPD's Carbohydrate Consumption Patterns Study. "There aren't any studies out there that look at what people are really adding to and cutting from their diet and how many carbs they are actually consuming," said Mixen.

Who's Cutting Carbs

The NPD Group reports that, at any given time, about four percent of the population is on a low-carb/high-protein diet. That translates to about 10 million Americans.

Some highlights of the report include:

-- The middle-aged are the largest group trying to eliminate their middle by cutting carbs. The majority of people who claim to be on a low-carb diet are between the ages of 35-64.

-- Among those adults really reducing carb intake, forty-percent tell NPD they exercise at least three times a week. This same group is almost 30-percent more likely to be obese.

-- People who are eating lower carbs report health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol at above average rates.

-- Adults at the other end of the spectrum, who regularly eat a high-carb diet, are most likely to be an optimal weight or underweight.

"Low-carb diets are a fad, just like the low-fat craze of the late 80's and 90's, the question is how long will it last," said Harry Balzer, vice president of The NPD Group. "In the meantime, every manufacturer will put out their version of low-carb products and Americans will try them because that's what we do, we like to try new things. People still want to lose weight by eating, but getting people to change their behavior is very difficult to do," said Balzer.

NPD can be found online at www.NPD.com.

Apr 04 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. A good weekend for the Easter Bunny to go shopping for a laptop or desktop.

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

Best Buy is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages and laptops, and $150 mail-in rebate on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest financing, and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot is offering rebates on advertised systems and 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering rebates on advertised systems.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$389
-
Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot ($397)
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.0E GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1299
-
Circuit City
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony Pentium 4 3.0E GHz complete system with HT Technology, 17 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1449
-
Best Buy
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with 17 inch monitor and DVD-RW
$729
-
Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot ($739)
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel monitor and DVD-RW drive
$979
-
CompUSA
Best AMD Athlon 64 System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel and DVD-RW drive
$1199
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.8 GHz widescreen Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$1049
-
Best Buy
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1049
-
Office Depot
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1199
-
CompUSA
2. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 widescreen 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Best Buy, CompUSA
3. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Circuit City
4. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Centrino 1.5 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1549
-
CompUSA
5. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 3.0 GHz with HT Technology and DVD-RW
$1599
-$250
Best Buy
6. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 3.0 GHz 17 inch widescreen with HT Technology and DVD/CD-RW
$1599
-
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$59
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 160 GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$99
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$99
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$159
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
ATI 9600 SE 128 MB
$99
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
ATI All-In-Wonder 9600 XT 128 MB
$299
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 8X DVD-RW
$149
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
$49
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City

 

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

 

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

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

 

Apr 02 - Apple Offers Rebates with G5 Purchases. Ever since Apple introduced the Power Mac G5 computer, you’ve been waiting for the right time to build your own dream system.

That time has arrived.

From now until June 26, you can save $500 (via a mail-in rebate) when you purchase an Apple 23-inch Cinema HD Display at the same time you purchase any qualifying Power Mac G5 computer. (Terms apply.)

What’s more, if you purchase your Power Mac G5 from the online Apple Store or a retail Apple Store, you can also save up to $700 instantly on select memory upgrades. (Terms apply.)

Apr 02 - Brother Introduces New Flatbed Laser Multi-Function Center Devices. Brother International Corporation today introduces three new 5-in-1 flatbed laser Multi-Function Center(R) (MFC) models - the new MFC-8440, MFC-8840D and MFC-8840DN.

Common to each model is a high-speed SuperG3 33.6K bps plain paper fax, an HQ1200 (up to 2400x 600 dpi) laser printer with up to 21ppm print speeds, a flatbed digital copier (up to 21cpm), PC Fax capability, and color scanner with high-quality resolution up to 9600x9600dpi.

The MFC-8840D and MFC-8840DN models also include paper-saving duplex (two-sided) printing, with the latter adding network-ready connectivity for workgroups. The MFC-8440 (449.99) and MFC-8840D ($549.99) are slated for availability in late April 2004, and MFC-8840DN ($649.99) is expected to be available in May 2004.

Additional information may be obtained from the Brother Web site at www.brother.com.

Apr 02 - SBC Communications Launches New Higher Speed SBC Yahoo! DSL at Attractive Low Prices. SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) today announced the launch of a new higher speed consumer DSL Internet service with up to twice the download speeds of the company's current flagship offer, and priced as low as $36.99 a month.

Residential customers can qualify for SBC Yahoo! DSL - with speeds of 1.5 to 3 megabits per second (Mbps) x 384 Kbps - for $36.99 a month when they subscribe to SBC Total Connections, which includes local, long distance and wireless service. If ordered online or as part of a qualifying bundle of SBC services, residential and business customers can receive the higher speed SBC Yahoo! DSL for $39.99 a month. When purchased separately with a one-year term commitment, it is available for $44.99 per month. (Other monthly charges apply; see below.)

Introduction of SBC Yahoo! DSL 1.5-3.0 Mbps comes after highly successful market trials, and is designed to meet increasing bandwidth demands of consumers and small businesses for applications such as online gaming, digital photography and sharing of large files.

Previously, SBC Internet Services offered a higher speed package with speeds of 1.5-6.0 Mbps for $99.95 a month. The new offer was developed for users seeking to match increased speed needs with value pricing, and is comparable to the higher speed offerings available in the overall broadband marketplace. Unlike many other broadband promotions, however, SBC value pricing is guaranteed to remain in effect for the entire twelve-month term.

The majority of current SBC Yahoo! DSL customers are eligible to receive the higher speed levels. New customers can easily order with a single telephone call or click of a mouse.

Additional information about SBC and SBC products and services is available at www.sbc.com.

Apr 02 - BroadVoice Announces the Launch of Its Broadband Voice Service for Consumers and Small Businesses. BroadVoice, a new kind of Communications Company, today announced the immediate availability of its voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service. Coupled with an existing high-speed Internet connection, the company's service allows consumers to make and receive phone calls anywhere in the world. Subscribers benefit from unlimited domestic calling options, lower international rates, and a suite of advanced features not found with either traditional telephone service or other VoIP providers.

The announcement, which occurred at the Voice on the Net (VON) conference in Santa Clara, CA introduces an unprecedented value proposition to the VoIP community and consumers at large. Entry prices are the best the market has to offer and include an Unlimited In-State plan for just $9.95 a month and an Unlimited USA calling plan for $19.95 a month.

BroadVoice subscribers can choose a direct-dial telephone number from any of the 30 states and 1,300 cities and towns the company currently offers, regardless of the user's geographic location. All BroadVoice accounts come with voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and a suite of 21 other advanced calling features (more than any other VoIP provider) at no additional charge. All features are available through the company's interactive communications portal.

The BroadVoice service is based on the SIP protocol, allowing the company to accommodate a wide range of end user devices including a small analog telephone adapter (ATA) that allows the consumer to connect the service to their existing telephones.

"BroadVoice is excited to join the VoIP revolution and will do our part to break the chains that have bound consumers to the traditional telephone company," said company co-founder and President David Epstein. "We intend to fundamentally change the way people view their telephones."

Additional information can be found at www.broadvoice.com.

Apr 01 - IBM Plans Industry's First Openly Customizable Microprocessor. IBM today outlined plans to openly collaborate and build a community of innovation around its Power microprocessor architecture used in a vast range of products from the world's most powerful enterprise systems and supercomputers to games and embedded devices. The move could have major implications for computers and the electronics industry at large.

This unprecedented step by IBM is designed to create a platform for innovation that enables researchers and electronics makers to add the features and capabilities that will drive new devices and applications. The move recognizes the fact that it is the final chip designs -- more than the underlying architecture -- where innovation is taking place to create entire systems in silicon, not just electronics components.

Also, for the first time, IBM demonstrated its upcoming POWER5 microprocessor running multiple operating systems in virtual micropartitions. POWER5, which is IBM's own high-end design using the Power Architecture, will drive future versions of IBM's industry-leading server and storage systems. The PowerPC implementation of Power Architecture will continue to serve the OEM community.

At an event called Power Everywhere held here today, IBM described how the Power Architecture is gaining momentum, including several major new licensing agreements, customers, products and technology demonstrations. Most notable were new IBM programs that incent other companies, business partners and university researchers to use the technology to create a wide variety of chips that can power a diverse set of electronics products.

Those steps include:

-- broadening access: through expanded licensing, with Sony announced as the newest Power licensee

-- encouraging innovation: jump starting a new open community with new services centers and new, no-charge design tools

-- opening development input: by exploring an open governance model to guide the future of Power Architecture

-- expanding manufacturing options: enabling chip foundries to manufacture Power chips

" Power is the leading architecture for silicon innovation," said Nick Donofrio, IBM senior vice president, technology and manufacturing. "In fact, Power was designed from the ground up for massive scalability and is the most customized processor in the world. The time is right to establish it as a more open, modular and pervasive platform, accelerating the creation of next generation devices, systems and applications."

Morphing Chips

In a presentation at Power Everywhere, Dr. Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist, IBM Systems & Technology Group disclosed that IBM is working on future Power chips that can physically reconfigure themselves -- adding memory or accelerators, for example -- to optimize performance or power utilization for a specific application.

"In the future, the chip you have may not be the chip you bought," said Dr. Meyerson.

Apr 01 - NEC Infrontia to Develop Wireless IP Phones With Microsoft and Intel. NEC Infrontia Corp. (TSE:6705) has announced plans to develop wireless IP telephones based on Microsoft(R) Windows(R) CE operating system. The plan was announced today with the technical cooperation of Microsoft Corp. and Intel(R) Corporation, at the Spring 2004 Voice on the Net (VON) Trade Show & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif.

NEC Infrontia's wireless IP telephone will run Windows CE, Microsoft's advanced real-time operating system, and will operate on a new innovative hardware platform from Intel. The new IP phones will enable enterprise customers to make calls on wireless local area networks (LAN), and will be increasingly integrated with popular desktop and server applications.

"The Windows CE platform allows us to offer premium features such as instant messaging, alerts and multimedia services to our customers and end users," said Toshio Kita, associate senior vice president of i-communication systems group at NEC Infrontia. "The Intel hardware platform contains wireless technologies enabling our upcoming IP phones to process high-speed operations from anywhere through the Internet."

NEC Infrontia has been cooperating with Microsoft to deliver IT communications systems and terminals across various markets. The companies expect to deliver a product to market sometime in late 2004 or early 2005.

"NEC Infrontia, Intel, and Microsoft share a common vision for delivering the next generation of VoIP-enabled devices," said Mr. Scott Horn, director of the embedded devices group at Microsoft Corp. "Together we are cooperating to develop advanced, feature-rich and easy-to-use Wi-Fi phones."

Apr 01 - Informative Graphics Offers Free CSF Writer For Microsoft Office And Windows-Based Design Applications. Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC), a leader in Web-document and collaboration technology, announced today that its latest Net-It(R) Now CSF writer for Windows will be available as freeware. Net-It Now enables secure and efficient sharing of document and design content by publishing it to CSF (content sealed format) with Visual Rights(TM) protection, regardless of the application used to create the content.

"Net-It Now offers fast and accurate publishing functionality that matches up well to other publish-to-view technologies; we're opening it up for everyone to understand just how good our CSF format is," said Gary Heath, IGC's President and CEO. "We want to showcase our persistent and easy-to-use Visual Rights technology, and what better way than to give it away so people and organizations can use it for free?"

Users can create a CSF file simply by selecting the Net-It Now printer name (for Microsoft Office applications there is an even more convenient toolbar button and menu command). Net-It Now publishes files by capturing high-resolution vector and raster-based print streams from most Windows applications, including Microsoft Word, Visio and Project; WordPerfect; image-layout programs such as Photoshop(R) and Quark Express(TM); and even CAD applications. IGC also offers specific CAD system plug-ins that provide optimized CSF output with enhanced CAD support, including 3D.

Visual Rights is IGC's integrated security controls that can be applied during CSF publishing. Users can create CSF files from drawings, documents and images, and can add controls such as password protection, hard or relative viewing expiration dates and allow/disallow printing, copying and measurement. CSF files are compressed and AES 256 bit-encrypted. For more information about Visual Rights, visit http://www.infograph.com/visrights.htm.

Apr 01 - "Kuma\War'' Online PC Game Now Available. Kuma Reality Games, a leading broadband games company, has launched its first reality-based game, "Kuma\War." Created using real-world missions from breaking news events, the subscription-based online service is a tactical, squad-based game that brings top stories from the war on terror directly to the consumer's PC.

"Kuma\War" delivers real-world news events in a way never-before-seen in the world of video or computer games. Just weeks after a military event occurs somewhere around the world, "Kuma\War" will create a re-enactment of the conflict, using advanced 3D gaming tools, and deliver the mission to a subscriber's computer. At launch, "Kuma\War" will give players a "boots on the ground" experience of recent military missions, such as Uday and Qusay Hussein's Last Stand in Mosul, Iraq; Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan; and an amazing recreation of a large-scale bank robbery thwarted by American troops in Samarra, Iraq, November 2003.

"'Kuma\War' enables consumers to experience actual missions of real soldiers in the war on terror," said Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Reality Games. "Players have to devise the tactics and make the hard choices in some of the most important events of our time. For our subscribers, we make the headlines real."

Downloaded via a broadband connection, in addition to new missions, subscribers will receive automatic updates and intelligence information on a weekly basis to assist them in battle. "Kuma\War" will launch with five missions, and then add additional assignments in the weeks to follow, such as part two of the Samarra Bank Heist and the Korean Spy Sub Incident: ROK The Enemy Within.

Prior to embarking on each mission, players are given intelligence gathered from around the world, in the form of a video news show, technical specifications for the weapons used, a chronology of the battle, and even a satellite photo of the battlefield. Expert military analysis is also provided to the player, to give a strategic and tactical perspective of the historical event. Sources for the intelligence include the Associated Press, declassified Department of Defense documents and a decorated team of military advisors.

As a salute to the men and women in uniform who have served their countries, Kuma will also proudly donate $1 of all paid subscriptions to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which was created to assist the families of the nation's fallen heroes killed in duty. To learn more about Fallen Heroes, please visit: www.i-fhf.org.

In further support of military personnel, during its launch promotion, Kuma Reality Games is offering a free subscription to everyone with a ".mil" email address.

"Kuma\War" is available for download at www.kumawar.com and can be purchased for a $9.99 per month subscription fee.

 

 

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