Computer Customer Service  Polls
Site Directory
Home || Computer Buying Advice || Online CPA || Site Search

Computer Buying  Advice

Online CPA

Free Email
(What is Free Email?)

InfoHQ Message Board

About Us

Data Privacy Policy

Banner 10000044

Copyright© Notice



Click HereRecommend this page to your friends!!





























InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

August 1-10 2001

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Aug 10 Survey Says Dell is No. 1 Again in Customer Satisfaction
Aug 10 Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Forecasted to Decline 26 Percent in 2001
Aug 10 Most Employees Sending Personal E-mails at Work
Aug 10 Livermore Lab Unveils World's Fastest Supercomputer
Aug 09 HP Introduces Home PC and Color Inkjet Printer
Aug 09 Dell Predicts Next 20 Years are Still Just the Beginning of Computing Power
Aug 09 Travel Expert Cautions Online Bargain Hunters of Hotel Reservation Pitfalls
Aug 09 Sharp Announces Key Consumer Electronics Products
Aug 09 Men paid more to run Corporate Computer Networks
Aug 08 New Line of UMAX Multimedia PCs Now Available
Aug 08 New Survey Says Beware of Workplace E-Mail
Aug 08 86 Percent of Online Adults Very Concerned About Security
Aug 08 RosettaBooks Launches First "Timed" eBook
Aug 07 Nextel To Offer First Full-Size Portable Keyboard for Wireless Phones
Aug 07 Asia/Pacific Poised to Overtake US as Biggest Internet User
Aug 07 Fujitsu Adds Mobile Intel Pentium III processor-M to LifeBook Family
Aug 07 Companies Hacked on Average Six or More Times Per Year
Aug 07 Second Quarter Handheld Shipments Decline 21 Percent
Aug 05 Sunday Shopping Watch
Aug 03 NetZero Reduces Free Internet Services
Aug 03 APEX to Manufacture DVD Player With Kodak Picture CD Compatibility
Aug 03 SIA Announces Worldwide Semiconductor Sales Slowed in June 2001
Aug 03 85 Million PDA Shipments Predicted by 2006
Aug 03 WordPerfect Family Pack 3 Now Available
Aug 02 ATI's MOBILITY RADEON Powers new Notebooks
Aug 02 Brother Introduces new Laser Flatbed Multi-Function Printers
Aug 02 MapQuest Releases New Mobile MapQuest for Wireless PDAs
Aug 02 Red-M Brings Bluetooth Mobility to Palm Handheld Users
Aug 02 Businesses Signing up for Hacker Insurance
Aug 01 Code Red Worm Expected to Spread Tonight
Aug 01 AMD's Fab 30 in Germany Ships 10 Millionth Athlon
Aug 01 Visa Launches New Smart Card Costing Less Than One U.S. Dollar
Aug 01 Intergraph Sues Intel for Patent Infringement in Intel's Itanium

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

Aug 10 - Survey Says Dell is No. 1 Again in Customer Satisfaction. Corporate information technology buyers again ranked Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction, according to a quarterly study released today by Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR).
Dell earned the top spot in all product categories, including Intel(R)-based servers, notebooks and desktop computers, for the second quarter in fiscal 2001.
"This is a good milestone as we continue to make customers our top priority," said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer. "TBR's study reflects our focus on delivering enterprise products and services that meet the unique IT requirements of our customers."
TBR's Corporate IT Buying Behavior and Customer Study, based on a survey of more than 500 IT managers, provides detailed analysis of large corporate end-user satisfaction on attributes such as reliability, scalability, ease of management, ease of integration, support services, parts availability and price performance.
Currently the No. 1 provider of industry-standard servers in the United States and No. 2 worldwide(a), Dell servers have been ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction by TBR for 14 of the last 15 consecutive quarters. In addition, Dell notebooks and desktops have earned top honors for 13 and 16 quarters running, respectively.
"Dell's stability in this survey shows they put customers first and are continuing to develop a loyal customer base across all product categories," said Julie Perron, manager of primary research at TBR. "Dell's customer-focused, direct sales model, combined with its strategy to provide customers industry-standard technologies and support, is valued by today's top IT executives."
According to the survey, Dell showed its greatest strengths in on-time delivery, price performance and cost of ownership. In servers, Dell also excelled in technical support response and showed significant improvement in systems management. Also measured in the TBR survey were vendor loyalty and brand switching rates. Dell again earned top honors with a loyalty rating significantly greater than its competitors. Similarly, Dell led the competition with the highest number of customers switching from other vendors to Dell.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at

Aug 10 - Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Forecasted to Decline 26 Percent in 2001. After two years of semiconductor growth, worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to be $168.1 billion, a 26 percent decline from 2000, according to the latest forecast by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
In 2000, worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $226 billion.
"There are few signs of growth in design wins. Component prices and lead-times are still low, and electronic system component demand is weak," said Mary Olsson, chief analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide semiconductor group. "Based on guidance and early reports from some of the larger bellwether companies involved in PCs, storage and communications, the second half of 2001 will be dismal for the semiconductor industry."
The biggest uncertainty for the semiconductor industry is when will the decline stop. Gartner Dataquest analysts said price stabilization, longer device lead times and improved demand for memory products are the industry's indicators that signal turning points in semiconductor cycles. Overall semiconductor prices were still declining in May and June of this year. Overall memory pricing remains under pressure. In the analog sector, prices have been stable for proprietary analog products (both general-purpose and application-specific standard products (ASSPs). Gartner Dataquest analysts said lower unit sales are responsible for revenue declines.
Going into the third quarter, there are varying developments across applications markets. Although overall growth in the consumer applications sector dropped from the two previous years of strong growth, sales of consumer application products in the United States is strong. Video game hardware, software and accessories sales increased in the first half of 2001 in the U.S. consumer applications sector. The seasonal demand cycle for PCs and cellular handsets has not kicked in, and there is still too much inventory on the shelves, but Gartner Dataquest analysts pointed to some signs of hope.
"There are some great back-to-school PC bundling opportunities. There are also indications from the Asia/Pacific region that orders from American and European companies for motherboard, notebook and even cellular phones are increasing," Olsson said. "These increases may not be significant, but it looks like the bottom for some semiconductor and systems companies was hit in the second quarter of 2001."
This research is produced by Gartner Dataquest's Semiconductors Worldwide group. Gartner can be found on the Internet at

Aug 10 - Most Employees Sending Personal E-mails at Work. --If you send personal e-mails at work, you're not alone. According to the results from Vault's just-released second-annual E-mail Behavior in the Workplace Survey, 76% of respondents send personal e-mails from the workplace.
This July, Vault surveyed 901 respondents to determine how e-mail affects productivity, communication and quality-of-life at work. In this year's survey, Vault added new questions on topics including the use of instant messaging, e-mail styles between men and women, and whether or not there should be a penalty for sending spam.
The survey reveals that a casual attitude towards personal e-mail prevails. When asked if they were worried about their employer monitoring their e-mails, 70% of respondents said no. Respondents' comments on the topic included:

- "I never e-mail anything that I wouldn't feel comfortable being read by the CEO of our company, or printed on the front page of the NY Times."
- "I would think that people who work here have better things to do with their time than to look at my e-mails."
- "No, because everyone writes emails and if one person gets caught, everyone will. The probability of everyone being reprimanded is low."
- "Everybody has access to the Internet and if you get your job done right, why would they care about what you are doing when taking a break."

Vault, Inc. is a leading media company focused on careers and can be found on the Web at

Aug 10 - Livermore Lab Unveils World's Fastest Supercomputer. On Wednesday, August 15, 2001, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) head General John A. Gordon joins Laboratory and IBM management to dedicate the massive IBM ASCI White supercomputer with 8,192 processors that perform 12.3 trillion operations per second.

ASCI White Dedication Fact Sheet


-- 8,192 commercial, off-the-shelf IBM Power-3-II processors.
-- 12.3 T-flops (trillion floating operations per second) = every man, woman, child in the world adding 2,000 numbers/second non-stop 24/7.
-- 28 Moving vans for delivery.
-- $110 million contracted cost.
-- Total memory: 4 Terabytes = 4,000 Gigabytes.
-- Total local disk: 10 Terabytes = 10,000 Gigabytes of local disk among the nodes.
-- Total global disk: 150 Terabytes = 150,000 Gigabytes.
-- Rotating storage memory = 300,000,000 books.
-- Livermore's original, room-sized 1952 Univac, had a memory equivalent of only 1,000 words, or less than four text pages.
-- Rated fastest supercomputer in the world June 21, 2001 by TOP500.

-- The cooling capacity = 2,295 tons: three 675-ton and one
270-ton chillers, which could cool 765 homes.

-- There are 31 Computer Room Air Conditioners (CRACs). Each CRAC
is 40 tons supplying 20,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of
cool air. This delivers 620,000 cfm in the computer room.

-- Total power supply available = 10.35MW delivered through a
dedicated adjacent electric sub-station and transformers.

-- 20,000 square foot computer room is longer than two NBA

-- High-tech LCD window bays allow visitors to view the computer
room during selected activities, but turn opaque at the flip
of a switch for normal classified operations.

-- Grid flooring, normally 6"-12" deep, is nearly a meter deep,
housing 20" OD cooling pipes and 49.3, miles of cable,
including 45 miles of data cable.

Livermore Laboratory information can be found on the World Wide Web at

Aug 09 - HP Introduces Home PC and Color Inkjet Printer. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today introduced a home PC and color inkjet printer, adding to the product line geared toward students for the back-to-school season.

Product: Estimated Price:

HP Pavilion BT 936 home PC $1,049
HP Deskjet 940 color inkjet printer $149
HP CD-writer 8230e $179
HP Scanjet 4400c color scanner $149

-- HP Pavilion BT 936 home PC -- A powerful tool for any student, this affordable PC includes a speedy 1 GHz processor, roomy 40 GB hard-disk drive, 8 x 4 x 32 internal CD-writer, 16-speed DVD drive and a 17-inch monitor.
-- HP Deskjet 940 color inkjet printer -- This printer offers up to 2400 x 1200-dots per inch (dpi) color resolution on photo paper for amazing photo-quality results and 600 x 600 dpi for crisp black text. Both PC- and Mac-compatible, the printer enables students to save paper with the use of a one-touch cancel button and an optional automatic two-sided printing accessory.
-- HP CD-writer 8230e drive -- This easy-to-use, plug-n-play CD-writer allows students to back up and share vital class notes or reports and create and share custom audio CDs.
-- HP Scanjet 4400c color scanner -- The scanner has convenient front-panel buttons making it easy to scan text and 3D objects, make copies, upload photos to Web sites and e-mail, and add photos into school projects. The scanner is PC- and Mac-compatible and offers great imaging quality with 1200-dpi resolution.

Availability and Customer Support

HP's back-to-school products are available now and can be purchased online at, or at consumer electronics, computer and office superstores nationwide.

Aug 09 - Dell Predicts Next 20 Years are Still Just the Beginning of Computing Power. As the personal computer leaves its teen years behind, Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell (Nasdaq:DELL), predicted that we've only scratched the surface of the computing possibilities yet to come.
"What started with relatively big, slow, and complicated machines has become easy-to-use, powerful systems that help manage many aspects of our lives," Mr. Dell said. "And twenty years from now, when computing technology provides even greater benefits to even more people, we'll once again celebrate the idea that we're just getting started."
As the computer industry marks the 20th anniversary of the personal computer this week, Dell will celebrate with a special discount on the latest consumer technology available from Dell. From noon to 4:00 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, Aug. 9, consumer customers in the U.S. who order a Dimension 8100(tm) desktop computer online will receive a $50 coupon for the purchase. Customers must place orders online at and enter coupon code "508114B9B72B" in the shopping cart before checkout to be eligible.
"The growing comfort with purchasing computers directly from manufacturers has made computing less costly and easier for customers, whether they are using computers, servers, storage or even switches," said John Hamlin, vice president and general manager of Dell's consumer group. "The new heights our customers will reach using computers and the Internet over the next 20 years are truly amazing."
The promotion illustrates how far computers have evolved. Today, customers can buy a Dell desktop computer with nearly 200 times the speed and memory of Dell's first computer for half the price in inflation adjusted dollars. Dell's first system, the Turbo PC(tm), ran at 6.66 megahertz and was equipped with 640 kilobytes of memory; it was priced at approximately $1,250 in 1986 or nearly $2000 today. The Dimension 8100 system in the promotion runs at speeds beginning at 1.3 gigahertz, has at least 128 megabytes of memory and is priced starting at $999(a).
The use of computers has also changed dramatically. Today's computers have the power to handle complex tasks that make our lives easier and more enjoyable. In the workplace, personal computing has evolved from simple word processing to multimedia applications and training programs, inventory management, manufacturing process control, telecommuting and online storefronts. In homes, consumer have graduated from storing recipes on floppy disks to shopping online, editing home videos, creating music libraries and sharing those libraries by burning their own CDs.
"Twenty years ago no one imagined consumers would be doing things like editing their own videos on their computers or using computers as the entertainment centerpiece of their homes," said Hamlin. "Current and expected new technology will continue to make the computer increasingly relevant to our everyday lives."
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at

Aug 09 - Travel Expert Cautions Online Bargain Hunters of Hotel Reservation Pitfalls. The Internet has made it easy for online hotel reservation sites to tout big discounts and low-price guarantees, but consumers should be aware that these great offers may not always end up as good as they first sound.
According to Tina Winston, co-founder and vice president of, a discount hotel reservation Web site, many customers reserve rooms without ever knowing what the policies and stipulations of the contract are, and end up spending more money than they originally intended.
Winston says that online customers should take special care to inquire about policies regarding changes or cancellations, as guidelines can differ significantly from site to site. While some sites may charge up to $50 or more for changes or cancellations regardless of advance notice, other sites allow the same for a fee as low as $10.90 if the reservation is changed or cancelled at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Some smaller sites may not even mention cancellation fees and restrictions for special rates at all, forcing the customer to research the individual properties in order to avoid unwelcome surprises.
Winston also cautions online patrons to be aware of the charges that will be billed to their credit cards. Many reservation services will require full pre-payment. This means that the total room rent plus tax will be charged to a credit immediately at the time of booking. In contrast, some sites only charge a down payment of 10 to 30 percent of the room rate, which will then be deducted from the bill when guests arrive at the hotel. This payment structure saves money in two ways: It allows travelers to pay the largest part of the room bill later directly to the hotel during their stay. In addition, it saves a good chunk of hotel taxes, since such taxes are only due on the remainder payable to the hotel, while there is no tax on the down payment.
According to Winston, travelers should book hotel accommodations as early as possible. Last minute bookings will usually cost more and are rarely worth the gamble. "Many hotel chains offer some really great advanced purchase discounts. If you plan far enough ahead, you can save more money." Winston said. "Hotels engage in Yield Management, which means that as hotel bookings go up, so do the rates. The earlier you book, the lower the hotel's occupancy will be for that date, which translates into a lower room rent."
"Whenever you can, book with a reservation service, which guarantees that if you find a lower rate anywhere else, you will be refunded the difference or you will be allowed to cancel the reservation with no penalty," Winston says. Several popular travel sites offer such "Lowest Rate Guarantees." For example,'s `Rate Champion Program' not only matches lower rates, but also gives patrons cash rewards for locating them. "The more time the traveler allows reviewing the promotions, the better chance they have of finding the best deals," Winston said.
"Always check up on your reservation with the hotel directly after having made your reservation through an online provider," Winston said. "Many booking mistakes have been avoided by such inquiries, and you can rest assured that your reservation is awaiting you when you arrive."
For more information visit the website

Aug 09 - Sharp Announces Key Consumer Electronics Products. Sharp Electronics Corporation today will showcase key products from its consumer electronics division to media in New York, focusing on the introduction of new high-style and high-performance products designed to elevate the consumer home entertainment experience. The showcase will highlight Sharp's latest audio, video, display and appliance products in an elegant lifestyle setting at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City.
This event also marks the launch of the SharpVision XV-Z9000U high definition DLP(TM) home theater front projector and new 1-Bit personal audio systems, reinforcing Sharp's commitment to offer the most technologically innovative and high performance home entertainment products on the market.
"The XV-Z9000U and 1-Bit personal audio systems represent Sharp's next step in high-end home electronics, setting a new standard in visual and audio quality," said Bob Scaglione, vice president of marketing, Sharp Electronics Corporation. "Beginning with today's showcase, the way consumers see, hear and otherwise experience the world through their electronics products is about to change."
From lightweight, wall-mounted LCD televisions in the kitchen to space-saving three-in-one TV/DVD/VCR combination units for the bedroom, Sharp has pioneering products for every room in the home. The company is strengthening its focus on upscale home electronics, paying close attention to forward-looking design and emerging technologies.

Highlights of the Sharp key product showcase will include:

- Home Theater Front Projector (model XV-Z9000U) - the world's first single-panel, DLP technology-enabled high definition (HD) front projector for home theater. With super high contrast and precise color imaging, the XV-Z9000U is Sharp's first front projector with a 16:9 DLP panel that will enable consumers to watch 16:9 content in true widescreen fashion. Suggested retail price is $10,995.95.
- 1-Bit Personal Audio Systems (models SD-NX10 and SD-SG11) - the newest additions to the revolutionary 1-Bit audio line first launched by Sharp in 1999. Both the SD-NX10 and SD-SG11 feature 1-Bit amplifiers that create faithful and crisp sound reproduction almost indistinguishable from the original source thanks to ultra high-speed sampling of 2.8MHz - 64 times faster than the sampling rate of a CD. Suggested retail price is $1,799.95.
- AQUOS Liquid Crystal Televisions - Sharp's high-style line of two-inch thin, flat panel Liquid Crystal TVs. The AQUOS line utilizes Sharp's proprietary Black TFT technology to provide bright, crisp pictures in any light, making "TV where you want it" a reality. Suggested retail prices range from $1,599 to $3,999.
- Rear Projection HDTV Monitor (model 55R-WP5H) - 55-inch 16:9 HDTV-compatible television monitor combining high definition video with superb color purity thanks to Sharp's proprietary DDFC-1080(TM) (Digital Double Format Converter) technology which upconverts analog signals to a full 1080i resolution. Suggested retail price is $3,499.
- Flat Screen 27-inch TV/DVD/VCR (model 27DV-S100) - A space-saving, flat screen product that combines a TV, VCR and DVD player into one convenient personal home theater unit. Suggested retail price is $1,099.95.
- Digital Viewcam(R) (model VL-NZ10U) - Sharp's latest digital Viewcam camcorder is remarkably compact in size and styled like a digital still camera. It features a zoom microphone with 10x optical and 300x digital video zoom for amazing visual and sound quality. Suggested retail price is $1,199.95.
- Combo DVD/VCR (model DV-NC55U) - This new DVD/VCR combo is CD-R/RW compatible and features superb surround sound audio and DTS digital output. Suggested retail price is $329.95.
- Over the Range Microwave Oven (model R-1500) - An elegantly-designed microwave that attains a clean, sophisticated look by discreetly concealing the control panel behind the door. Sharp's latest addition to its Over the Range line also boasts the largest turntable in this Over the Range class, with a 1.5 cubic foot capacity. Suggested retail price is $299.95.

In addition, Sharp will showcase its Platinum Series microwave ovens, flat screen CRT TV, HDTV Plasma Display and DVD player. The event will take place at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in Manhattan at 3:30 PM EST.
For more information on Sharp's full line of consumer electronics products, visit Sharp's Web site at

Aug 09 - Men paid more to run Corporate Computer Networks. The high-pressure and often unappreciated job of running and maintaining the complex computer networks of the world's largest companies requires sophisticated job skills, but--according to a survey of network computer professionals conducted by TechTarget--the pay is greater if you're a man. Results from more than 12,000 respondents revealed that female network professionals averaged $46,678 in annual salary while their male counterparts earned $53,086 -- 12 percent more.
With the demands to keep corporate networks up and running smoothly around the clock, job satisfaction among network professionals is waning. Only about nine percent of all respondents indicated they were "very satisfied" with their jobs; more than 36 percent said their overall level of job satisfaction decreased over the past year. The online survey was conducted on TechTarget's, a Web site serving more than 116,000 computer-networking professionals.Other key results from the TechTarget salary survey include:

-- The average workweek for the network professional is 50 hours.
-- Self-employed contractors earn the most money, averaging
$62,892 a year. Network professionals working for utilities ranked second, averaging $62,059 annually. Not surprisingly, the education sector pays the least ($42,242 a year). 44 percent of respondents say they are looking for a new job primarily for better pay and benefits.

-- Professional training and certification are directly related to increased compensation. For example, a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) averages $88,714 a year, topping the next highest level of network certification (Cisco Certified Design Professional, or CCDP) by nearly $18,000.

-- Network professionals want to be challenged. A third of respondents cited learning and professional growth as the reasons they would consider a new job. More than 20 percent say they would consider changing jobs for the opportunity to work with new technologies and 13 percent say they would do so for "more of a challenge."

-- Working for a huge company doesn't necessarily equate to a huge difference in pay. Network professionals at small companies (less than $10 million in annual sales) average $46,101 in annual pay. Network professionals at companies more than 100 times larger ($1 billion or more in annual sales) average $62,329, only 33 percent more than their small-company counterparts.

About TechTarget

Needham (MA)-based TechTarget ( is a media company offering the only network of highly targeted media for enterprise IT professionals, including the only network of industry-specific IT Web sites.

Aug 08 - New Line of UMAX Multimedia PCs Now Available. UMAX Technologies, Inc. announced today its reentry into the PC market with the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4-based, graphics-optimized P414 personal computer.
The P414 provides a powerful creative canvas and an exhilarating multimedia experience for gamers, imaging enthusiasts and professionals. At $898, the UMAX P414 PC delivers a powerful punch at an aggressive price, the ideal complement for the entire UMAX line of consumer and professional scanners.
The multimedia-ready P414 is set for immediate high-end graphics action, with a 1.4 GHz Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor, 128 MB of RDRAM (memory), 400MHz system bus and an NVIDIA TNT2 M64 32MB 4X AGP graphics card. The PC ships with Windows 98, Second Edition, installed.
"The crowds at PC Expo loved this system's seamless interaction with our scanners and other peripherals," said Alex Lai, president, UMAX Technologies Inc. "Our imaging expertise and past experience with optimized desktop systems has allowed us to create an imaging-oriented system for real-world users who need a fast, multimedia-ready solution -- whether for professional, business, or gaming and imaging uses."
The P414, previewed at PC Expo in New York, is now available online at

Aug 08 - New Survey Says Beware of Workplace E-Mail. Smoking gun e-mail has become so common in workplace lawsuits that almost 10 percent (9.4%) of U.S. companies have been ordered by courts to produce employee e-mail, and 8.3% have battled sexual harassment and/or sexual discrimination claims stemming from employee e-mail and/or Internet use.
According to the 2001 Electronic Policies and Practices Survey, a new survey from the American Management Association, The ePolicy Institute, and US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (the August 13th issue on the newsstand now), employers have become increasingly aware of the dangers in workplace computer use and are taking steps to reduce their liabilities. Of the 435 employers surveyed, 61.6% exercise their legal right to monitor employees' e-mail and Internet connections. Among employers who monitor, 68.3% cite legal liability as the primary reason to keep an eye on employees' online activity. For good reason.
"To reduce liabilities, protect corporate assets, and stay out of court, employers must manage employees' online behavior," says Nancy Flynn, author of The ePolicy Handbook (AMACOM Books 2001) and executive director of The ePolicy Institute (, the survey's co-sponsor. "Written ePolicies and monitoring software are indispensable business tools for employers operating in the age of e-mail and the Internet," says Flynn.
Monitoring is an effective eRisk management tool, but it cannot eliminate all workplace liabilities. While the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) gives employers the right to monitor all e-mail traffic and Internet activity on the company system, it does not always prevent outraged employees from filing invasion of privacy claims. Flynn advises employers to use written e-mail, Internet and software policies to give explicit notice that: (1) employees do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy; (2) the company has the right to monitor anything transmitted or stored on its computer system; and (3) management intends to exercise that right.
Business is doing a good job of notifying employees of monitoring activity, privacy rights, and electronic ground rules. Nearly 84% of survey respondents notify employees of the organization's legal right to monitor online activity. Among those monitoring, 86.9% have a written e-mail policy, 83.1% have an Internet policy, and 67.5% have a software policy.
Unfortunately, barely half (50.6%) of employers require staff to acknowledge ePolicies in writing. "Stave off invasion of privacy and wrongful termination lawsuits by securing employees' written consent to have their electronic messages read," says Flynn, who advises employers to have employees sign and date ePolicies to demonstrate they understand them and accept personal responsibility for compliance.
Particularly vulnerable when it comes to saving old e-mail, only 35.4% of employers have a document retention and deletion policy in place. "An employer who retains e-mail on a yearly basis, rather than the recommended 30-day period, could spend six-to-seven figures searching backup tapes in the event of a lawsuit. That's money spent before ever stepping foot in the courtroom," Flynn says. Because it's illegal to begin a document destruction campaign if pending litigation would be affected by it, employers should establish e-mail retention and deletion policies before trouble strikes.
Survey results related to personal use of company e-mail and Internet systems reveal that 4 in 10 companies (39.3%) allow employees full and unrestricted use of office e-mail, while only 1 in 10 (11.7%) grant staff the same unrestricted access to the Internet. Among companies that allow personal Internet use, 65.3% restrict access to Web sites, with 76.6% of employers most concerned about keeping explicit sexual content off employees' screens.
While employers' concern with keeping sexual content off employees' screens is commendable, Flynn suggests employers exercise equal control over other recreational surfing as well. "Hours lost to shopping, chatting, and gambling online have the same impact on productivity as time spent downloading pornography," she says. "Reduce liabilities by taking a comprehensive look at--and restricting access to--all non-business sites visited by employees."
In spite of employers' efforts to monitor online behavior, only 23.9% of companies have put into place training programs designed to educate employees about eLiabilities and ePolicy compliance. According to Flynn, effective eRisk management combines three equally important activities: (1) the development of written e-mail, Internet, and software policies; (2) the establishment of a continuing education program for all employees, from the CEO to student interns; and (3) the installation of software that monitors, filters, and/or logs employees' online activity.
"Employers cannot expect employees to recognize electronic risks or comply with ePolicies on their own. Ongoing training is critical to the success of an ePolicy program," she says.
Finally, employers should know that one of the best ways to control risk is to control content. "Settle for nothing less than good clean content, free from harassing, menacing, threatening, obscene, discriminatory or otherwise offensive language, and you'll be on your way toward a safe and secure electronic workplace," Flynn says.
A copy of the survey and/or summarizing press release, and review copy of The ePolicy Handbook (AMACOM Books, 2001) available upon request. Or you can go to

Aug 08 - 86 Percent of Online Adults Very Concerned About Security. A new report from GartnerG2, a research service of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB), advises companies to use and promote superior privacy and security protections in order to capture the yet untapped consumer base of Web shoppers with low confidence in the privacy and security of Web transactions.
The report, titled "Privacy and Security: The Hidden Growth Strategy," finds that 86 percent of online American adults are very concerned about the security of bank and brokerage account numbers when doing online transactions. Almost as many, 83 percent, expressed the same concerns about the security of their Social Security and credit card numbers. Additionally, 70 percent are very concerned about the security of their personal information, including their income and assets.
The report also indicates that approximately 60 percent of online adults say security and privacy concerns stop them from doing business on the Web. In addition, more than 50 percent of those who buy on the Web say they'll enter their information, but admit they are not comfortable about it.
"Even though many consumers say they're uncomfortable sharing information on the Web, for the right combination of convenience or reward, many go ahead and share anyway," said GartnerG2 research analyst Laura Behrens.
High-profile hacking incidents, as well as a general lack of familiarity about methods to ensure security, are key factors in low consumer confidence in the security of online transactions. Only about one-half of Americans who use the Internet also use it to buy goods and services. According to Gartner, online marketers may bring part of the remaining half into the online channel by promoting their privacy and security features just as much as the convenience of Web transactions.
"Companies must demonstrate their security and privacy concerns to users by prominently posting their privacy policies and third-party audit results," said Behrens. "In addition to protecting customers' privacy and the security of their information, Web marketers must promote the fact that they do so."
The report states that demonstrated vigilance in protecting consumers' information will become a competitive requirement on the Web. According to GartnerG2, until industry standards for authentication and secure payment methods emerge with higher awareness, consumers will continue to be wary of Web transactions.
"Our studies found that 20 percent of adults who say they have placed an order on the Internet in the past three months also say they won't put personal information such as their name and address on the Web," continued Behrens. "Not all these people have faulty memories -- some have become so comfortable at certain sites that they no longer consider doing business there as requiring an exchange of personal information."
The report is based on results from two GartnerG2 consumer surveys of more than 7,000 online adults 18 years and older in the United States.
GartnerG2 is a new research service from Gartner that helps business strategists guide and grow their businesses. For more information on the report visit

Aug 08 - RosettaBooks Launches First "Timed" eBook. In a demonstration of technology that could revolutionize the publishing industry and help jump-start the nascent eBook market, electronic publisher RosettaBooks today announced it is offering Agatha Christie's classic mystery And Then There Were None in a special time-based permit edition.
Released in conjunction with network publishing software provider Adobe Systems, Inc. and digital distribution services provider Reciprocal, Inc, the eBook is available for download at in a special month-long "$1 for 10 hours of reading" campaign. Once downloaded, the eBook may be enjoyed for 10 hours, after which the book's "time-based permit" will expire, and the content will no longer be available.
Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks, said, "We are delighted to take our marketing relationship with Adobe and our distribution services relationship with Reciprocal to the next level. RosettaBooks prides itself on being ePublishing leader for quality content, innovative marketing, and critically-acclaimed titles. This first of its kind offering of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is just the beginning of a brave new world of literature and technology."
As part of the promotion, consumers will be able to enjoy And Then There Were None, for a full 10 hours after paying $1 via a secure web site. Reciprocal will process the financial transaction and issue a digital permit enabling the reader to access the title via the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader. A reader can access the eBook as often as desired for a cumulative total of ten hours - more than ample time to read the 275-page mystery. After ten hours, the permit expires and the reader has the option of renewing the time based permit or purchasing a "permanent" electronic edition. The permit prohibits the printing of an eBook.
This technology empowers retailers and consumers with flexible pricing and purchasing options that could transform commercial transactions in the publishing industry.
"Adobe applauds RosettaBooks for being the first to explore the opportunities that `timed' eBooks bring to the publishing market," said Susan Altman Prescott, Vice President of Marketing, Cross Media Publishing at Adobe. "Timed eBooks offered in Adobe PDF open a number of innovative ways for publishers to market and sell books. For example, they offer a cost-effective way to distribute review copies and bound galleys with the layout, fonts and graphics intact."
"Reciprocal has implemented successful timed-out licenses for our music customers, and we're excited with the opportunity of this model to deliver real value for the publishing community and other industries," said John Schwarz, President and CEO of Reciprocal. "We're pleased to be working with RosettaBooks and Adobe on this innovative campaign, as it demonstrates our commitment to build the digital distribution market for our customers as well as consumers."
Those who wish to read an eBook for longer than 10 hours can purchase this and other classic titles at in permanent format for $4.99.

Aug 07 - Nextel To Offer First Full-Size Portable Keyboard for Wireless Phones. Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL), today announced that it will be selling the first portable keyboard to enhance mobile office applications with Nextel i85s and i50sx wireless phones by Motorola.
The portable keyboard, called the Motorola iBoard(TM), provides the convenience and utility of a full-size, laptop keyboard for composing e-mail messages, managing address books and calendars, and using Java(TM) applications, such as a business calculator and expense report pad.
The lightweight, folding iBoard keyboard, designed and manufactured by Think Outside, provides unique function keys to optimize Nextel Internet-ready phone operations. These capabilities include accessing Nextel Wireless Web services, launching applications such as date book and note pad, activating the speakerphone, turning off the phone and adjusting phone volume.
"Nextel is the first wireless carrier to have available a portable keyboard, strengthening the company's leadership position in delivering mobility solutions for business customers," said Greg Santoro, vice president of Internet and Wireless Services for Nextel. "The new keyboard will help users increase productivity by more easily accessing mobile office applications as well as content and commerce services using the Nextel Wireless Web."
Nextel is the only wireless carrier to have Java-enabled phones available in the United States market. The i85s and i50sx Internet-ready phones include an embedded Java-powered environment that allows developers to maximize the advantages of local storage and processing. The Java capability allows subscribers to run applications and update data, even while disconnected from the network.
Nextel expects to sell more than one million i85s phones over the course of a year.
The phones can access Nextel four-in-one wireless services including Nextel Direct Connect(R), a digital two-way radio feature that supports fast, effective communications among users in the same fleet. Other Nextel services include digital cellular, text and number messaging, two-way messaging and wireless web access.
The portable iBoard keyboard is currently available for $99.95 through at the Nextel web site at

Aug 07 - Asia/Pacific Poised to Overtake US as Biggest Internet User. Asia/Pacific will overtake the United States as the world's largest Internet market within three years, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Gartner Dataquest analysts project Asia/Pacific to have 183.3 million Internet subscribers in 2003, compared to 162.8 million in the United States. The other large region, Western Europe, will have an estimated 162.2 million, putting it neck-and-neck with the U.S. market. At the end of 2000, Asia/Pacific (which includes Japan) had 78 million subscribers, an increase of 65 percent over the 1999 figure of 47.4 million subscribers. By 2005, Gartner Dataquest forecasts 248 million subscribers in the region.
In terms of access revenue generated by these subscribers, Asia/Pacific will still lag behind the United States by a big margin for at least another five years. By 2005, the Asia/Pacific Internet access market will be worth $17.2 billion, whereas the United States will still have a distinct lead with $21.2 billion.
"This differential between subscribers and access revenue illustrates a major reason why Internet use is still growing rapidly in Asia/Pacific; the region has some of the lowest Internet access rates in the world, and prices are still coming down as result of competition or, in some cases, government direction," said Andrew Chetham, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Asia/Pacific Telecommunications and Networking group. "There is a clear pent-up desire by vast numbers of people in Asia/Pacific to go online. Falling prices and improved infrastructure, especially in countries with big populations like China and India, are a recipe for encouraging large numbers of new subscribers."
At the end of 2000, the country with the largest subscriber base in Asia/Pacific was Japan with 24.4 million, followed by South Korea with 16.7 million, China with 14.6 million and Taiwan with 4.6 million subscribers. Together, these top four countries accounted for 76 percent of the region's Internet subscribers in 2000. Gartner Dataquest forecasts that this year China will overtake South Korea as the second-largest market, but it will not catch up with Japan until 2003. By 2005, Japan and China combined will have approximately 151.5 million subscribers, representing about 61 percent of the total Asia/Pacific subscriber base.
The country that can look forward to the highest growth rates in the region is India. From this year through to 2005, Gartner Dataquest expects India to enjoy average subscriber growth of 44 percent a year. At that point, India will have 21.3 million subscribers, making it the fourth-largest Internet market in the Asia/Pacific region after China, Japan and South Korea.
Visit Gartner's Telecom Marketplace Resource Center at

Aug 07 - Fujitsu Adds Mobile Intel Pentium III processor-M to LifeBook Family. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu, Limited (TSE:6702), today announced the release of an updated LifeBook(TM) E Series, featuring the next-generation Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor-M and Intel(R) 830 Chipset.
The adoption of Intel's new processing technology into the LifeBook E Series will result in faster and higher system performance. In combination with other features, this LifeBook can easily function as a desktop replacement, making it ideal for corporate and small office/home office (SOHO) users.
Fujitsu's high-performance desktop replacement is available with processor speeds of 1.13GHz, 1.06GHz, 1GHz and 933MHz. This ability to process data at greater speeds allows the LifeBook E Series to deliver lower power consumption and longer lasting performance, increasing total benefit of ownership and decreasing total cost of ownership.
"Intel's new mobile Pentium III processor-M technology offers users two distinct advantages from previous generations of the chipset," said Sara Nelson, FPC's vice president of marketing. "It utilizes a 133MHz processor system in the CPU and chipset ensuring Fujitsu's desktop replacement users access to the fastest processors on the market. The processor also features copper wire instead of aluminum allowing the chip to run cooler, faster and cheaper."
Coupling performance with exceptional service, Fujitsu now offers the LifeBook E Series with a three-year International Limited Warranty. The notebook comes in three recommended configurations and can also be customized to meet individual user needs by utilizing Fujitsu's Configure To Order (CTO) Program. With the estimated street price starting at $2,099, the LifeBook E Series is sold through Fujitsu's retail and reseller channels as well as at

Aug 07 - Companies Hacked on Average Six or More Times Per Year. A survey of American companies reveals that not only are companies' networks being attacked six or more times per year, but these attacks are becoming increasingly criminal in nature, compromising private information, destroying valuable data and exposing businesses to significant liability.
Further, government networks were identified as being the most "at risk."
The study, conducted by Rapid 7 Inc., a New York-based network security software development company, involved 167 network security personnel from government and mid- to large- sized U.S. businesses in various industries, including financial services, healthcare and technology.
"Network security is an issue that corporations in all industries must face," says Alan Matthews, CEO and founder of Rapid 7. "Every day networks are inadvertently compromised, leaving businesses vulnerable to huge losses - financial and otherwise. Continuous protection is crucial."
More than three-fourths of the government sector respondents believe at least one attempt was made over the past year to compromise data in their network and over one-half cited frequent attempts - the highest percentage of any of the industries. "The fact that our government is experiencing such a high number of security breaches is unsettling," says Matthews. "Because their systems are not better protected against hackers, outsiders are gaining regular access to important private information. Security measures need to be improved."
Currently, security measures are lacking. Almost three-fifths of the respondents admitted that their companies are not taking all reasonable precautionary measures to secure their systems. Government respondents, in particular, believe current precautionary measures are insufficient, with almost three-fourths of the respondents saying further measures should be taken. Financial services had the highest percentage of participants stating that all reasonable precautionary measures are taken, but that was only one in two.

Among the survey's other findings:

-- Virus is leading type of network attack. The most widespread result of attacks - with over two-fifths of the respondents experiencing it - is viruses. Corrupted data or files and access to private information are also common outcomes of network penetration. Viruses and access to private information were particularly high in the government sector.
-- The threat from within. While a slightly higher percentage of respondents - 31% as compared to 25% -- consider themselves more at risk from attack internally than externally, the highest percentage (41%) believe they are at risk from both parties equally. Respondents from the healthcare industry felt most vulnerable to internal attacks, with nearly one-half believing employees pose the greatest risk.
-- Not on management's radar screen. When asked why all reasonable precautionary measures are not being taken, the majority of respondents (72%) cited "not enough time or manpower to fix the problem(s)," followed closely by "budget concerns" (64%). Financial services companies, by contrast, believe that precaution is simply "not a priority," with two-thirds of respondents in this sector citing this as a reason for inadequate security.

"It is critical that these companies recognize the significance of maintaining network security and take the measures necessary to prevent their exposure to attacks," states Matthews. "Businesses' resources must be allocated so that protection is a priority."
Based in New York City, Rapid7 is a private company with offices worldwide. For more information, please visit the company website at

Aug 07 - Second Quarter Handheld Shipments Decline 21 Percent. Worldwide PDA shipments reached 2.8 million units in the second quarter of 2001, a 21 percent decline from the first quarter of 2001, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Palm maintained the No. 1 position both worldwide and in the United States based on shipments (see Tables 1 and 2), but Palm lost significant market share since the first quarter of this year. Compaq more than doubled its market share from the first quarter this year because of its success in the corporate market.
"The corporate market offers the greatest opportunity for PDA vendors. There have been strong consumer shipments in the past, but the consumer market is much less profitable and is not likely to grow as fast as the corporate market. PDA vendors that do not have a strong enterprise strategy will miss out on the bulk of market growth over the next year," said Todd Kort, principal analyst of Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group.
The corporate market is not yet seeing many 500-plus unit purchases, but this market is poised for tremendous growth as packet-switched wireless e-mail capabilities are added next year. "IT managers have generally been dragging their feet in endorsing the use of PDAs," Kort said. "This resistance will subside as users are better able to justify the productivity enhancement offered by PDAs with wireless e-mail and applications that sync smoothly with corporate data repositories."
Gartner Dataquest analysts said the PDA market has essentially been divided into two segments since the introduction of Windows CE 3.0 in April 2000.
"One PDA market is an organizer-oriented market, typified by Palm and Handspring. Users of these devices want an easy-to-use, inexpensive, pocketable device that helps keep them organized," said Kort.
"The second market is a business application-focused market that wants a more powerful PDA to sync with the applications they use on their PC, typified by Compaq's iPAQ 3xxx and the HP Jornada 5xx series. The latter market yields a higher average selling price and is more immune to the current economic downturn because of low corporate penetration and a more compelling set of applications that can take advantage of the greater processing power that platform provides."
For more information, visit

Aug 05 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 month no interest financing on all computer purchases over $598 and $100 mail-in rebates on all AMD processor desktop packages and notebook computers.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant rebates on all Intel processor desktop computer packages and notebooks and no interest for 12 months on all build-to-order desktops and notebooks.
Office Depot is offering no payments or interest for 6 months on purchases over $298
CompUSA Is offering 12 month no interest financing on any Compaq computer purchase over $598 and free in-home delivery and set-up with any Compaq desktop or notebook purchase.
Staples is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase and they are also offering 6 month, no interest, no payment, financing on all computer purchases over $598.

Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 766 MHz complete system
Best Pentium III System
HP 1 GHz complete system
Circuit City
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.6 GHz build-to-order complete system
Best Duron System
Compaq 900 MHz complete system
Best Buy
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1.3 GHz DDR complete system
Best Buy
1. Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Celeron with DVD
2. Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Duron with DVD
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Athlon 1 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

Aug 03 - NetZero Reduces Free Internet Services. NetZero Inc. (Nasdaq:NZRO), a leading provider of Internet access services, today announced several actions designed to decrease costs and improve financial results.

In particular, NetZero announced additional limitations on its free services and a reduction in personnel.

NetZero is modifying its free service to provide households with 10 hours of Internet access per month. Previously, the NetZero free service provided households with up to 40 hours of Internet access per month. In addition, NetZero's free service will no longer be offered in certain outlying areas where high telecommunications costs make the free offering cost prohibitive.

However, NetZero will continue to offer users in these areas a subscription service for a monthly fee. The company will provide its users at least 30 days notice before implementing these changes, which are scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, 2001.

In addition to its free service, NetZero also offers a quality, value-priced service called NetZero Platinum for $9.95 a month. NetZero Platinum does not have the banner advertising window included on NetZero's free service and has faster page loads than NetZero's free service. In addition, free users who desire to extend their monthly session for more than 10 hours can elect to purchase an "Extended Access Pass" for $9.95, which currently provides them with unlimited access for the remainder of the month.

Approximately 3.4 million users accessed NetZero's services during June 2001, including 210,000 billable subscribers. During June 2001, approximately 30 percent of NetZero's free users accessed the Internet for more than 10 hours, and approximately 8 percent of NetZero's free users accessed the Internet solely from dial-up numbers where the free service will no longer be available.

"Our goal has always been to provide consumers with a quality product while creating value for our stockholders," said Mark R. Goldston, chairman, president and CEO of NetZero. "The current dynamics of the online advertising market require that we reduce our reliance on advertising revenues. As such, we are modeling our free service to cater to the recreational user while offering all users a high-quality subscription pay service at less than half the price of the standard services of many of our competitors -- including AOL, Earthlink and The Microsoft Network.

"We intend to offer our free users the opportunity to sample, without any commitment, our NetZero Platinum service for certain periods during the month of September 2001. We believe that many of them will agree that NetZero Platinum is a fantastic product at an extremely attractive price. This will provide us with an opportunity to further grow our billable user base and increase our revenues. To the extent users elect not to subscribe to NetZero Platinum, we believe the changes to our free offering will result in a significant decrease in our telecommunications costs."

In an additional move by NetZero to further streamline its cost structure in response to changing market conditions, the company announced that it has reduced its employee base by approximately 26 percent. The reductions included the company's first-ever layoffs, affecting 66 employees in six of its U.S. locations. Also included in the reductions are 27 employees at the company's RocketCash business, which was sold in a transaction that closed today, who remain employed at the RocketCash business under its new ownership.

"The decision to re-size our employee base was extremely difficult," Goldston said. "However, these actions, including the divestiture of RocketCash, are necessary steps that will enable us to streamline our operations and sharpen our focus on our core Internet access business."

For more information visit

Aug 03 - APEX to Manufacture DVD Player With Kodak Picture CD Compatibility. Viewing digital photos just moved from the desktop computer to the television.

APEX Digital today became the first company certified to manufacture DVD players that allow consumers to view pictures stored on Kodak Picture CDs. The new DVD player--the APEX Digital 5131--will be available in retail outlets in August with a suggested sale price of less than $200.

The agreement between Eastman Kodak and APEX is part of Kodak's continuing effort to make it easier for consumers to view and share digital photographs. The APEX DVD player will utilize a chip from ESS Technology, Inc. Kodak and ESS announced an agreement last month to develop the chips that give DVD players the capability to read Kodak Picture CDs.

"Kodak is pleased to be working with APEX and others to develop and market DVD players for consumers who are excited about digital imaging," said Dan Palumbo, president, Consumer Imaging, and senior vice-president of Kodak. "This agreement is part of our continuing work to make it easier for consumers to take advantage of and enjoy digital photography."

"With Kodak's certification, APEX will be early to market with a DVD player that can read the Kodak Picture CD," said Ancle Hsu, chief operating officer of APEX Digital. "We feel adding this function will greatly broaden the appeal and demand for our DVD players while improving the consumer experience."

Along with the capability to view images on the Kodak Picture CD, the APEX Digital 5131 DVD player also features enhanced picture viewing enabled by the ESS chip:

- Automatic picture scaling to maximize TV display size

- Image rotation

- Thumbnail/catalog display in one screen for quick browsing

- Slide-show features

- Pan and zoom

- Image special effects.

Kodak and its technology partners also are working to add Internet capabilities to the DVD players so consumers eventually will be able to e-mail digital photos and use online photo printing services through their DVD players and TVs, including Kodak's Ofoto service.

APEX Digital's Web site address is: For additional information about Kodak, visit our web site on the Internet at:

Aug 03 - SIA Announces Worldwide Semiconductor Sales Slowed in June 2001. Worldwide sales of semiconductors were $11.60 billion in June, a decrease of 30.7% from $16.74 billion a year ago, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported today. On a month-to-month basis, June sales were 8.8% below the May 2001 level of $12.71 billion.

"The lower sales are caused by the slower economic activity in the world's major economies combined with excess inventory in the Information Technology market," said George Scalise, SIA president. "This is reflected in every geographic region and product sector."

"Based on the inventory reduction that has occurred in the first half of 2001 and the further reductions projected for the third quarter, we believe the industry will return to sequential growth in the fourth quarter of this year," Scalise added.

Compared to June 2000, June sales in the European market were lower by 26.8%, the Americas market was down 45.1%, and Asia Pacific was down 25.3%. In the Japan market sales declined 20.0% from last June.

From its beginning in the 1950s, the semiconductor industry has been characterized by a four-year cycle, sporadically modified by unexpected economic factors. The semiconductor industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the past 40 years.

More information about the SIA can be found at

Aug 03 - 85 Million PDA Shipments Predicted by 2006. Strategy Analytics forecasts Global PDA retail revenues will increase five-fold by 2006 as unit shipments pass 85 million units.

According to Chris Ambrosio, Senior Analyst in the Strategy Analytics Global Wireless Practice, "Fifty per cent of global cellular data revenues will be generated from messaging applications and services, in 2006. The PDA has a number of advantages that put it in a position to be the best device for utilizing these services. Success depends on PDA vendor ability to position the PDA as the device of choice for end users."

PDA vendors find themselves at a key turning point, where the early adopter organizer and office companion market has been targeted. However, true volume from the mass market has not yet emerged.

"A third generation of PDA and handheld devices is about to hit the market with improved functionality and greater consumer market appeal. However, the early success of Palm and PocketPC vendors has encouraged bigger fish to enter the market. The inevitable result will be bruising competition, negative pressure on margins and a critical need to differentiate products in the marketplace," notes David Kerr, VP Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics.

Other key findings from the study include that the consumer market will drive PDA shipments in 2006, and that the Palm OS will lose market share to Pocket PC through 2006, yet will retain its global dominance.

Strategy Analytics, Inc. can be found on the Web at

Aug 03 - WordPerfect Family Pack 3 Now Available. Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CORL)(TSE:COR.) announced today that WordPerfect(R) Family Pack 3 is now available in stores across North America.

This easy-to-use yet powerful collection of software applications is designed to meet the home computing needs of all the members of a household. WordPerfect Family Pack 3 is available at the affordable suggested retail price of US $99(1) (Can $149(2)).

"Following on the success of WordPerfect Family Pack 1 and 2, we are especially excited about the new additions to this latest offering, including industry leading virus scanning and Internet filtering applications," said Graham Brown, executive vice-president for the business applications group. "Dedicated to meeting the needs of our customers, this package provides the security and peace of mind they demand when their families are using the Internet."

Applications Included in WordPerfect Family Pack 3: Task Manager, WordPerfect(R) 9, Quattro(R) Pro 9, Corel Print House(TM) 5, Corel Photo House(TM) 5, Compton's(R) Interactive World Atlas(TM), Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing(R) 11, McAfee VirusScan, and Internet content filter, CYBERsitter(R) 2000.

For more information on Corel Corporation, please visit

Aug 02 - ATI's MOBILITY RADEON Powers new Notebooks. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, today announced that its MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) graphics processor - which provides the desktop-quality graphics and low power consumption demanded by today's performance notebook PC user -- is being incorporated into notebook PCs from Hewlett-Packard and Compaq.
The MOBILITY RADEON graphics processor brings desktop PC performance and features to the notebook PC market. Key features include smooth DVD digital versatile disc playback, integrated TV-out, and superior multi-monitor support, while delivering the performance necessary to run the latest high-power video games and an extensive array of the industry's most graphics-intensive applications. The MOBILITY RADEON also includes sophisticated power management technology for maximum notebook battery life.
"The MOBILITY RADEON affords customers new levels of low power consumption while offering them a number of feature-rich solutions including user-friendly dual display capability, the smallest footprint through the highest level of integration, and multimedia benefits drawn from ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER(TM) family of products," said Reuven Soraya, director of Marketing, Mobile Business Unit, ATI Technologies Inc.
The MOBILITY RADEON's technological advances include ATI's HYPER-Z(TM) compression hardware technology, which improves performance by boosting effective memory bandwidth by more than 20 percent; PIXEL TAPESTRY(TM) architecture, a highly-optimized 32-bit color rendering engine that supports three-way multi-texturing and new 3D effects without compromising speed; Dual DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) for cost-effective, independent, multi-monitor support at maximum resolutions; and VIDEO IMMERSION(TM), which provides industry-leading video playback with adaptive de-interlacing, processing of full-frame rate, full-screen DVD and integrated motion compensation. MOBILITY RADEON supports resolutions up to QXGA (Quad Extended Graphics Array) standard (2048 X 1536 pixels), an industry first, bringing a new level of display resolution and configuration flexibility to the mobile market.
In addition, MOBILITY RADEON further refines ATI's already unparalleled power management technology, producing the industry's lowest power consumption levels as low as half a watt, including 8 MB of memory-in typical 2D, 3D and DVD modes. More information about ATI and its products can be found at

Aug 02 - Brother Introduces new Laser Flatbed Multi-Function Printers. Brother International Corporation, a leading distributor of printers, faxes and multifunction devices, today announces a new line of 5-in-1 monochrome flatbed laser Multi-Function Center(R) (MFC) models: the MFC-6800, MFC-9700 and MFC-9800.

Each is designed for a wide array of user requirements with high quality plain paper faxing, laser printing, digital copying, color scanning, and PC faxing. They all offer a versatile flatbed design for copying, scanning or faxing of bound documents, and are slated to start shipping in the late 3rd quarter, 2001. The estimated street price of the MFC-6800 is $499. The MFC-9700 and MFC-9800 have estimated street prices of $599 and $799, respectively.

The new models address an array of users' needs and priorities, and that one common requirement -- the need for copying or scanning bound documents. All three models come standard with both parallel and USB interfaces, are compatible with both Windows and Apple PCs, and include a one year limited warranty.

The entry model MFC-6800, has a small, compact footprint that makes it ideal for any home office or small office environment. With its fast up to 10 page per minute laser printing or digital copying, 200-sheet capacity paper cassette, and up to 30-page document feeder, there are no compromises.

The MFC-9700, a direct replacement for the highly successful MFC-9600, has added improved performance, flexibility and speed to its already successful formula and design. With its high speed of up to 15 page per minute laser printing and digital copying, 250 sheet capacity paper cassette (an optional second cassette is also available), up to 50-page document feeder and optional network connectivity, it can handle the needs of the most demanding small business or small corporate workgroup.

The MFC-9800 is focused on small to medium size corporate workgroups, and touts a Super G3 33.6k bps fax modem, and additional dedicated one touch dials for easier faxing and network scanning applications. Like the MFC-9700 it also has optional network connectivity, providing network printing, network faxing, Internet faxing and network scanning (via e-mail).

All of the models are compatible with PC and Apple environments (Windows(R) 95/98/NT4.0/2000/Me/SE and drivers for the Apple(R) iMac(TM)/iBook(TM)/G3 and G4). Brother is supporting the Mac OS-X system initially through downloadable drivers on its website and with out-of-the-box readiness on later production models. The MFC-9700 has PCL4 emulation for DOS printing, while the MFC-9800 has PCL5e compatibility. Both models have optional network capability.

Additional information may be obtained by accessing the Brother website at

Aug 02 - MapQuest Releases New Mobile MapQuest for Wireless PDAs., a leading provider of wireless and online destination information and location-based services, today announced the release of Mobile MapQuest v. 3.0 for wireless handheld devices. Now, the Internet's most popular interactive maps are available to consumers anytime, anywhere on their PDAs. Additionally, MapQuest launched a new enhanced Web site designed to show consumers how to obtain the Mobile MapQuest application, as well as how to use it.

Mobile MapQuest 3.0 adds mapping to the Mobile MapQuest suite of services that are already available for wireless devices, including MapQuest's convenient and comprehensive driving directions and real-time traffic reports. More than 20 million MapQuest maps are downloaded from the Web every day, and now travelers can access the same trusted maps available at on their wireless devices; the images are simply formatted to accommodate a handheld screen size. Mobile MapQuest even offers the same ease of use in navigation with panning and zooming for PDAs.

People with PDAs can rely on Mobile MapQuest -anytime, anywhere - to make traveling easier with door-to-door driving directions, up-to-the-minute traffic information available for more than 65 major U.S. cities, and interactive mapping. Simply download "Mobile MapQuest v.3.0" online directly from The enhanced wireless Web site can be accessed from the homepage, or directly at

Aug 02 - Red-M Blade Brings Bluetooth Mobility to Palm Handheld Users. Red-M(TM), a leading supplier of advanced Bluetooth(TM) networking product solutions, today launches the Red-M Blade(TM), Bluetooth clip-on for the Palm(TM) Vx handheld computer. The Red-M Blade attaches easily to the back of the handheld, combining all the functionality of the Palm OS(R) platform with Bluetooth wireless flexibility, whether in the office or on the road.

- Access email, calendar, contacts and browse the Internet or

Intranet anywhere

- Communicate with other Bluetooth-enabled devices for data

sharing and game-playing

- Send SMS messages, and auto-dial contacts direct from your

Palm Vx

- Connects without wires in the home, on the road or in the


When out of the office the Red-M Blade can connect anytime, anyplace, anywhere to a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone to enable access to email, calendar, other data and the net on a Palm Vx handheld, turning it into a mobile office. The Red-M Blade will identify and can connect with other authorized Bluetooth devices, such as a PC, to enable wireless synchronization. It can also communicate with other Palm Powered(TM) devices for applications such as game playing.

When in the office or at home, the Red-M Blade can link to a Bluetooth network, such as that provided by Red-M's 3000AS access server and 1000AP access point devices, to enable low cost, high speed access to email, calendar, contacts information, plus the Intranet and Internet.

The Red-M Blade design allows the Palm handheld to be installed in its cradle to top up its battery without removing the clip-on enabling users of the Palm handheld to be Bluetooth enabled 24 hours a day. Combined with Red-M's intelligent BladeLinkTM software, connection in the office, home or on the road is seamless and automatic.

John Cook, senior director of product marketing at Palm, Inc., adds, "We are delighted that Red-M is implementing a Bluetooth wireless application. The Red-M Blade combines the benefits of Bluetooth with the power of the Palm handheld to enable wireless access to relevant information."

Simon Gawne, Vice President and co-founder, Red-M, comments, "The Red-M Blade is an innovative, must-have, accessory that adds a new level of functionality and flexibility to the Palm Vx handheld. From the large corporate to the small business to the consumer, users of the Red-M Blade have a serious productivity enhancer that can connect them anytime to a wide variety of information sources."

Priced at $199, the Red-M Blade will be available in August 2001 from selected retail outlets. For further information, please go to Red-M's website at

Aug 02 - Businesses Signing up for Hacker Insurance. Businesses across the country are bracing today for a possible attack from the so-called "Code Red" computer virus. But some workplaces prepare both their networks and their finances against computer attacks.

They invest in hacker insurance.

"High tech criminals arm themselves with megabytes instead of guns," said Candysse Miller, executive director of the Insurance Information Network of California. "A computer mouse may not look threatening, but in the hands of a hacker, it can be a lethal weapon to business."

In 1998, more than half of all businesses reported computer intrusion, and losses to American corporations amounted to more than $200 billion. This new age graffiti has spawned a new type of insurance that can protect businesses against high-tech thieves.

While most business insurance policies exclude damage caused by cyber crimes, anti-hacker policies cover losses such as theft of securities or tangible property via computer, damage to data or software and business interruption expenses.

Companies are generally required to undergo a computer security assessment to determine their amount of risk before obtaining insurance. A business with average risks that purchases $12 million worth of coverage would pay approximately $25,000 a year. Policies' prices can vary dependent on the safeguards a company has taken to protect itself from computer attacks.

The damage caused by the breach of security by a single hacker can be in the millions of dollars. While anti-hacker insurance can pick up the tab for those losses, the most valuable effect is that it forces companies to become more involved in protecting their computer systems.

IINC offers the following suggestions to help businesses combat cyber crime:

-- Assess information assets and vulnerabilities and identify

potential enemies.

-- Establish company policies about who has access to what

information and publish them in the employee handbook.

-- Change employee passwords periodically.

-- Install an intrusion detection system on your computer.

-- If an attack occurs, call in a computer forensics

investigator -- they could find "electronic fingerprints."

The Insurance Information Network of California is a non-profit, non-lobbying media relations organization supported by the property/casualty insurance industry.

Aug 01 - Code Red Worm Expected to Spread Tonight. The U.S. Government and computer security experts are warning computer users to be on alert for the second wave of a disruptive computer virus expected to proliferate this evening, perhaps drastically slowing the Internet.

The "Code Red" worm scans the Internet, identifies vulnerable systems and installs itself, according to a story by CNN. The first wave of the virus, in early July, did not destroy any files; instead, it reportedly bombarded servers with data to make them crash. However, some computer experts in the story said they fear this second wave will be more virulent, and may actually destroy files.

The worm exploits a defect in computers with the IIS Web server software, Windows NT or Windows 2000 operating systems, and a patch is available on the Microsoft website, experts in the story said.

[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]


Home || Computer Advice || Online CPA || Site Search