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Daily Computer News

August 16-23 2002

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 by clicking here. 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 the Index.)
Aug 23 ATI Ships RADEON 9700 PRO
Aug 23 Apple Ships New Dual Processor G4s and iMacs
Aug 23 ATI's RADEON 9000 PRO in New Apple Power Mac G4
Aug 23 Total Cost of Ownership for PDAs is 75% Lower Than Laptops
Aug 23 Linux Developers Report Low Incidence of Computer Viruses
Aug 22 AMD Announces Athlon XP 2600+
Aug 22 AOL Time Warner Announces Restructuring
Aug 22 Starbucks, HP and T-Mobile Rollout Wireless Internet Access
Aug 22 Globalstar Reduces Satellite Phone Call Rates
Aug 22 Planar Introduces New 19- and 20.1-Inch Flat-Panel Monitors
Aug 21 Hitachi Ships New 19-Inch LCD Display
Aug 21 Loss Control Expert Offers 10 Steps to Combat Cyber Threats
Aug 21 Logitech Announces Corded Keyboard Line
Aug 21 EarthLink Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction
Aug 21 Cox Announces Advertising-Focused Video On Demand Channel
Aug 20 Compaq D315 Business PC First to Include NVIDIA and AMD Technologies
Aug 20 Apple to Release Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar this Friday
Aug 20 I/OMagic Second Quarter Net Sales Jump 79%
Aug 20 Marvell's New Chipset Drives Mass Deployment of Wireless LANs
Aug 20 Groundbreaking for SmartSchool Marks New Era
Aug 19 HP Announces AMD Athlon XP Business PC
Aug 19 VIA Launches Apollo KT400 Chipset for Athlon XP
Aug 19 Start-up Firm Habeas Stops Spam with Poetry and the Law
Aug 19 MINOLTA-QMS Lowers Color Laser Price Barrier
Aug 19 Add Video to Phone Calls with Vialta's Beamer
Aug 18 Sunday Shopping Watch
Aug 16 Dell Anticipates Record Third Quarter Revenue
Aug 16 Bluetooth Showing Solid Growth In 2002
Aug 16 1394 Trade Association Announces Firewire Logo Program
Aug 16 Epson Announces Competitive Rebate Program for Impact Printers
Aug 16 EA Announces Plans For The Sims Deluxe Edition

 

Aug 24 - ATI Ships RADEON 9700 PRO. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY) began shipping the RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO to retailers on August 19, and will appear on shelves soon. Based on the highly acclaimed RADEON(TM) 9700 series visual processing unit (VPU), the RADEON 9700 PRO is revolutionizing the graphics industry with its break-neck speed and cinematic-quality graphics.

"Today's highly competitive graphics industry does not tolerate companies announcing a product and waiting up to six months to ship it," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "ATI's delivery on its promise to deliver the RADEON 9700 PRO to market quickly attests to the company's flawless execution strategy and its leadership in the graphics space."

Boasting many industry firsts, the RADEON 9700 represents the new foundation for the future of graphics, enabling cinematic-quality previously possible only with off line real time rendering. This new foundation is defined by breakthrough features including eight parallel rendering pipelines, Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9 support, AGP 8X support and a fully programmable floating point architecture.

The RADEON 9700 PRO vastly exceeds the performance of any other product on the market in every key area and will be the most sought-after graphics board for the holiday season. Among its pioneering advancements, the RADEON 9700 PRO includes 128-bit floating point raster pipeline, over 110 million transistors, four vertex engines and ATI's SMARTSHADER(TM) 2.0 and SMOOTHVISION(TM) 2.0 technologies for unprecedented realism.

Pricing was not announced. Visit ATI's Web site at www.ati.com.

Aug 24 - Apple Ships New Dual Processor Power Mac G4s and iMacs. Last week, Apple introduced its fastest desktop workstations ever—the new line of Power Mac G4 computers. In addition, Apple has announced that all four models of the flat-panel iMac are now shipping.

New Dual Processor Power Mac G4s:

Their Xserve-based architecture optimized for dual-processor computing, the Power Mac G4 line features dual processors in every model—dual 867MHz, 1GHz, and 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 processors with Velocity Engine—and ships with Mac OS X v10.2 preinstalled, which provides support for symmetric multiprocessing and robust multitasking.

In addition, the new Power Mac G4 computers feature: 1MB or 2MB of L3 cache per processor
• A faster system controller offering data transfers of up to 167MHz
• Support for up to 2GB of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory
• The industry’s first ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card
• Support for dual Apple flat panel displays in all systems
• Expansion for up to two optical drives and up to four hard drives with storage for almost half a terabyte of data

More information on the new dual processor Power Mac G4s can be found on Apple's Web site.

New flat-panel iMacs

All four models of the flat-panel iMac are now shipping, and prices were lowered on the 15-inch flat-panel models that come with a CD-RW drive and Combo Drive to $1,299 (US) and $1,499 (US), respectively.

All flat-panel iMac models feature the PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine and come with iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and a wide assortment of other popular software titles that put iMac in the center of your digital lifestyle.

More information on the new iMacs can be found on Apple's Web site.

Aug 23 - ATI's RADEON 9000 PRO in New Apple Power Mac G4. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY), today announced that Apple is the first major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to select the powerful RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO graphics board and is now shipping it as the standard graphics solution in Apple's incredible new Power Mac(TM) G4 line of desktops.

"Apple has always recognized the importance of including leading-edge graphics technologies such as the RADEON 9000 PRO in their product lines," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "The new Power Mac G4, combined with the RADEON 9000 PRO, will provide users with an amazing experience whether they are gaming, designing or modeling."

"The new dual-processor Power Mac G4 with Xserve high-performance architecture offers incredible workstation performance to the professional market," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing. "The combination of the new and exciting RADEON 9000 PRO graphics and the advanced UNIX-based architecture of Mac OS X v10.2 'Jaguar', with its groundbreaking Quartz(TM) Extreme compositing engine, put our graphics capabilities light years ahead of any other platform."

The award-winning RADEON 9000 PRO, which was introduced at this year's Macworld in New York, combines state-of-the-art 3D graphics functionality, programmable pixel and vertex shaders and a high-performance quad-pipe rendering engine with robust OpenGL acceleration for the most exhilarating experience for either creating a new game or playing one.

Featuring flexible dual display support, the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION- powered Power Mac is capable of driving many combinations of CRT, ADC and digital flat panel displays including dual digital flat panel support.

Apple's new Power Mac features dual 1.25 GHz G4 processors capable of 18 billion floating point instructions per second, the ultra-fast Xserve high-performance architecture supporting up to 20GB of 333 MHz DDR memory and 'Jaguar', the new OS X version 10.2.

The RADEON 9000 PRO MAC EDITION will be available in retail, beginning in September. Visit ATI's Web site at www.ati.com.

Aug 23 - Total Cost of Ownership for PDAs is 75% Lower Than Laptops. The mobile workforce is growing every day. Industry research firms predict that by the end of 2005 there will be nearly one billion handheld devices used by enterprise employees.

The increased productivity these employees can achieve extends beyond simple scheduling and e-mail access. Employees can implement remote data access, location-based GPS solutions, and other wireless connectivity solutions that are secure and enable access to corporate networks and applications anytime/anywhere.

When it comes to calculating the TCO, or total cost of ownership of handheld computers it's crucial to compare the TCOs from a variety of portable computing devices, including PDAs, tablet PCs, ultra-portable notebooks and laptops.

According to Marc Robins, Vice President and Group Editorial Director of Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC(R)), "It's been estimated that PDAs represent one-fourth the annual cost of a laptop computer. The enterprise TCO for each PDA is a relative bargain at $2,500 per year, and includes the cost of providing support, network connectivity, replacement units, training, and necessary software applications. By embracing centrally managed mobile infrastructure software, and by enforcing policy management and automatic 'healing' tools, TCO can be even further reduced."

Executives everywhere are starting to understand the advantages of handheld enterprise computing and mobility solutions. Worldwide, businesses and government officials with carefully planned strategies are realizing rapid, high ROIs from their handheld computing devices.

"Too many times, companies wake up from PDA ignorance after it is too late. Once each of your employees has become comfortable with their PDA choice among the myriad of different handheld computing solutions, the last thing they want to do is change devices because it is convenient for their company. The more corporations delay instituting a handheld computing strategy, the worse off they are," said Rich Tehrani, TMC President.

Perhaps most troubling are the companies that have not yet embraced a handheld computing strategy. Handheld computers, unlike personal computers, are infiltrating corporations from the bottom up with limited MIS or other corporate involvement. This becomes a problem for corporations when they realize they must now support devices from a large group of manufacturers and worse, support expansion jackets and storage options of every conceivable type such as SD, CF, PC card, Memory Stick, and others.

TMC is proud to be collaborating with Planet PDA: a Wearable PC Summit (www.wearablepcsummit.com) focusing on the wearable computing market, Tablet PC Summit (www.tabletpcsummit.com) focusing on tablet computing, and the GPS & Location Technology Summit (www.tmcnet.com/planetpda/sf02/gpss.htm). These events take place on Tuesday, September 24 and will be followed by Planet PDA, which takes place September 25-27.

Aug 23 - Linux Developers Report Low Incidence of Computer Viruses. As major computer hardware and software vendors intensify efforts to establish the Linux operating system's desktop foothold, the security and reliability of the open source software continues to earn high praise, a new survey of Linux software developers finds.

The Evans Data Summer 2002 Linux Developer Survey reports that the open source operating system's inherent security and reliability are among the attributes most valued by developers. The in-depth interviews with more than 400 developers actively engaged in Linux work confirmed that occurrences of viruses and hacker attacks within the Linux environment are relatively scarce. Even more importantly, developers believe that security can be more effectively maintained with open source software than with proprietary operating systems controlled by a single commercial interest.

According to the new study, fielded in July 2002, an overwhelming majority (94.2%) of Linux developers say their Linux system has not been infected with a virus while more than 75% have never had their Linux system hacked.

Linux security is approached differently than other operating systems because of its open source nature. The survey found that the methods for implementing security in Linux rated most highly by developers were codified best practices, code reviews and formal methods. Linux developers believe an open and formalized set of procedures can find and address flaws in security measures much more efficiently than a single commercial entity's ability to debug its OS's.

The Linux Developer Survey includes over 200 pages of data on language use, hardware trends, platform standards, tools, application development, technology adoption and more. This study is an excellent resource for vendors to help them create products that will be useful, desirable and readily accepted in the Linux development marketplace.

Other key findings from the new survey:

-- More than half of Linux developers believe Web services will
be a pervasive force in the future. But the survey also showed
that developers increasingly expect the impact of Web services
on Open Source software development to be minimal.

-- Linux developers are beginning to adopt the 64-bit computer
architecture. About half of the developers believe it is
absolutely or probably important that their company address
this architecture, a 12% jump in the likelihood of adoption
since the last survey.

-- The most prevalent apps being planned for Linux next year are
apps for internal corporate use, Web-based apps or ASPs, and
Web portals.

EDC can be reached on the web at www.evansdata.com.

Aug 22 - AMD Announces Athlon XP 2600+. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today celebrates the third anniversary of the award-winning AMD Athlon(TM) processor by announcing "the world's highest-performing processor for desktop PCs, the AMD Athlon XP processor 2600+". AMD also introduced the AMD Athlon XP processor 2400+.

"The introduction of the highest-performing PC processor in the world is a victory for application performance and a resounding defeat for the `megahertz myth,'" said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "As the performance leader, the AMD Athlon XP processor 2600+ reigns as the superior choice and delivers outstanding application performance for richer, high-powered digital computing."

The AMD Athlon XP processors 2600+ and 2400+ feature QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture, which delivers performance advantages versus competitive PC processors on a broad array of real-world applications, including digital media, office productivity and 3D gaming.

Availability

AMD has begun shipping samples of the AMD Athlon XP processors 2600+ and 2400+ to major computer manufacturers worldwide with expected system availability in September.

Pricing

The AMD Athlon XP processors 2600+ and 2400+ are priced at $297 and $193, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities. For pricing on other AMD processors, please visit: www.amd.com/pricing.

Aug 22 - AOL Time Warner Announces Restructuring. AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL) today announced an agreement with AT&T (NYSE: T) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSK, CMCSA) to restructure Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. (TWE). The Company also announced a broad carriage agreement that will make AOL High Speed Broadband available on a number of AT&T Comcast cable systems.

AOL Time Warner's Chief Executive Officer Dick Parsons said: "This restructuring of TWE is the best possible outcome for our investors and marks another important step in achieving our Company's near-term priorities. Through this restructuring, we will simplify our overall structure, while maintaining the integrity of our balance sheet.
"AOL Time Warner will recapture total ownership and control of its content businesses, enabling us to manage this portfolio of assets for maximum value. And all of the Company's state-of-the-art cable assets will be combined for the first time into a well-capitalized, pure-play cable company. Finally, the broadband access agreement provides us with our first significant nonaffiliated third-party broadband cable carriage for AOL High Speed Broadband."

Restructuring TWE

As a result of this restructuring:

-- AOL Time Warner will assume complete ownership of TWE's
content assets, including Warner Bros. and Home Box Office
(HBO), as well as TWE's interests in The WB Network, Comedy
Central and Court TV.

-- All of AOL Time Warner's cable assets, including those
currently owned by TWE, will be owned by a new subsidiary of
AOL Time Warner to be called "Time Warner Cable Inc."

As part of the restructuring, AT&T (or AT&T Comcast, depending on when the transaction and merger close) will exchange its current stake in TWE, which at June 30, 2002 consisted of a $5.7 billion preferred interest and a 27.64% residual equity interest, for $2.1 billion in cash, AOL Time Warner common stock valued at $1.5 billion at the time of closing, and a 21% economic stake in the business of Time Warner Cable Inc.

Upon completion of the restructuring, which is expected to occur upon receipt of local cable franchise approvals, where required, and other required regulatory approvals in early 2003, AOL Time Warner effectively will own a 79% economic stake in the business of Time Warner Cable Inc. AOL Time Warner will have a controlling voting interest in the new subsidiary and will consolidate Time Warner Cable Inc.'s financial results for accounting purposes. At closing, Time Warner Cable Inc. is expected to have approximately $8.1 billion in consolidated net debt and preferred equity.

Carriage of AOL High Speed Broadband

Under the terms of the AOL High Speed Broadband carriage agreement:

-- AT&T Broadband and Comcast, which have announced plans to

merge to form AT&T Comcast, will make AOL High Speed Broadband
available on AT&T Comcast systems passing about 10 million
homes within two years after closing.

-- Key markets covered under the agreement include Boston,
Seattle, Indianapolis and Nashville.

-- The parties also agreed to roll out AOL High Speed Broadband
on AT&T Comcast systems passing an additional 9 million homes
in the future, subject to the parties' mutual satisfaction
with the arrangements.

For more information, visit www.aoltimewarner.com.

Aug 22 - Starbucks, HP and T-Mobile Rollout Wireless Internet Access. High-speed wireless Internet access becomes faster, simpler and more convenient today as Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX), T-Mobile International, the wireless subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE:DT), and HP (NYSE: HPQ) officially launch T-Mobile HotSpot service in Starbucks coffeehouses.

As easy as ordering their latte, Starbucks customers can check e-mail, surf the Web, watch streaming video or download multi-media presentations in the comfort of Starbucks via a fast, reliable standards based wireless Internet connection for notebook computers and Pocket PCs.
Starting today, Starbucks customers can trial T-Mobile HotSpot service for free at approximately 1,200 Starbucks stores in the United States. An additional 800 Starbucks locations in the U.S. are scheduled to feature the service by the end of the year. With an eye toward global expansion, Starbucks and T-Mobile have also initiated a six-month pilot in select London and Berlin locations.

"This service is a natural extension of the Starbucks coffeehouse experience, which has always been about making connections with the people and information that are important to us over a cup of coffee," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and chief global strategist.
"Mobile professionals across the globe have been waiting for just such an offering: high-speed wireless Internet access in a familiar and widely available location that keeps them connected while on the road, or between the home and office. It's the right service offered in the right environment."

T-Mobile HotSpot service uses standards based "Wi-Fi" (802.11b) technology and is easily accessible for Starbucks customers with a wireless-ready notebook computer or Pocket PC. Backed by T-1 connections in popular venues in the U.S., T-Mobile HotSpot service is reliable and fast enough to accommodate the full spectrum of applications from checking e-mail to multi-media video conferencing with a high-speed wireless connection as much as 40 - 50 times faster than standard dial-up Internet access.

As the preferred technology provider for Starbucks corporate headquarters and its network of retail stores, HP also introduces the new Wireless Connection Manager. The free, downloadable software makes it simple for mobile professionals to configure their wirelessly enabled notebook and Pocket PCs to automatically sense and connect to available wireless networks, making the move from home to office to Starbucks a breeze.

The easy-to-use Wireless Connection Manager software will assist Starbucks customers in moving between T-Mobile HotSpot and other wireless networks in which they may connect. Starbucks customers can visit www.starbucks.com/hotspot to download the free HP software and order specially bundled HP mobile products such as Evo notebook computers, iPAQ Pocket PCs, and Wireless PC cards.

Rate and location information can be found at www.t-mobile.com/hotspot.

Aug 22 - Planar Introduces New 19- and 20.1-Inch Flat-Panel Monitors. Planar Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:PLNR) is heating up the fast-growing, large-format LCD monitor market with two new flat-panel models that provide cutting-edge business and lifestyle features. Extending the company's thin-bezel, high-performance PL product family, Planar's new 19- and 20.1-inch units offer stunning visual performance and comprehensive features.

With crisp displays and ultra-thin bezels, the monitors can tackle demanding business applications in the corporate environment. Both new monitors include analog and digital inputs, allowing power users to connect the displays to a pair of PCs. Wide viewing angles and the industry's fastest response times (25ms) allow the displays to render crystal clear video.

Planar's optional Video-EX accessory offers additional TV tuner and s-video inputs, allowing users to multitask between desktop applications and broadcast television, or connect to a DVD player, video camera or game console for cross-platform home entertainment. The result is a large-screen LCD TV with full desktop monitor functionality.

With analysts also predicting that the 19-inch size will replace 18-inch as the preferred large-format flat-panel monitor, Planar plans to serve a significant share of this surging market with a display that offers full utility for both home and office users.
Equally at home in corporate or home entertainment settings, Planar's ultra-slim, SXGA 19-inch monitor sports a USB hub for quick and easy connection to keyboards, MP3 players, digital cameras and PDAs. The 19-inch display boasts top visual performance with a 500:1 contrast ratio and 160 degree viewing angles (horizontal and vertical). Planar's 19-inch monitor is also aggressively positioned at an estimated street price of $950.

Planar's 20.1-inch flat-panel monitor features razor-sharp UXGA (1600 x 1200) resolution, extra-wide 170 degree viewing angles (horizontal and vertical) and both digital and analog inputs. Like the 19-inch, Planar's new 20.1-inch display is encased in a slim-bezel design that minimizes the desktop footprint while providing a large-format viewing area ideal for demanding business applications, including large spreadsheets and complex, detailed graphics. The 20.1-inch display is available for an estimated street price of $1,495.

For more information please visit www.planar.com.

Aug 22 - Globalstar Reduces Satellite Phone Call Rates. Satellite telephone service is now available for only pennies more than cellular, following a dramatic price reduction announced earlier today by Globalstar, the world's most popular handheld satellite phone service.

Five new pricing plans are now available in the U.S., with high-usage packages priced as low as $0.17 per minute, and the recommended list price for handsets has been reduced to only $599.

Today, over 80% of the world's land surface and essentially all ocean regions remain outside the range of cellular telephone networks, yet until now the only reliable alternative for these remote areas --satellite telephony -- has been financially prohibitive for many applications. Globalstar's new U.S. pricing plan intends to completely transform the marketplace for satellite telephone services, making mobile, high-quality wireless communications from virtually anywhere far more practical and affordable than ever before for both businesses and individuals.

The five pricing plans announced today let customers choose from a range of per-minute call charges based on their anticipated monthly usage, with a single, low rate for calls to any location in the U.S. and Canada, including their maritime regions. Calls from most locations in the Caribbean to points within the U.S. or Canada are also covered under these plans, with no long distance surcharge.
These plans, which are up to 80% less expensive than previous price plans, are currently available only to U.S. and Caribbean customers, but the company expects to introduce comparable low-cost plans elsewhere in the world in the months ahead.

For more information, visit Globalstar's web site at www.globalstar.com.

Aug 21 - Hitachi Ships New 19-Inch LCD Display. Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), has added a 19-inch display to its line of high performance flat panel LCD monitors. The new CML190B features an outstanding contrast ratio of 500:1 with superior 250 nit brightness. In conjunction with its rapid 15 ms rise and 10 ms fall times, this panel is designed to provide superior performance for demanding business, home, CAD/CAM, imaging and gaming users. Designed to save space, this panel features a slim 21mm left and right bezel with a panel-only depth of 3 inches.

Delivering a full 19" viewing area (376 x 301 mm) the new LCD uses a high quality MDVA panel to provide wide 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles as well as sharp text and vibrant colors. With a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 75 or 60 Hz, this product features a pixel pitch of .294 mm.

The CML190B comes in a black cabinet and includes both analog and digital inputs. This model also features an extended life backlight with almost twice the life of many competitive products. In addition, it includes a 1-touch auto-adjust function for quick, beautiful image adjustments.

Analog as well as DVI-D compatible with both PC & Mac (some Macs may require an adapter) the CML190B is VESA FPMPMI (Flat Panel Monitor Physical Mounting Interface) compliant and can be arm or wall mounted with additional third party arms.

TCO' 95 and Energy Star approved, the CML190B complies with one of the world's strictest standards for low radiation, safety, ergonomics & power management. The monitor will begin shipping to Hitachi's distributors on August 19th with a 3 year warranty and an MSRP of $1199.
More information is available on the World Wide Web at www.hitachidisplays.com.

Aug 21 - Loss Control Expert Offers 10 Steps to Combat Cyber Threats. September 11th gave many corporations the impetus to respond to terrorist threats by scrambling to revamp their crisis management, emergency response and business continuity plans. A cyber loss control expert at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, however, warns it was a short-lived response and that companies need to increase their cyber security.

"Cyber-warfare is a real possibility given the skill sets and resources of today's terrorists and cyber criminals. The threat of cyber-terrorism, push-button warfare and launching online bombs at corporate targets thousands of miles away is very real," said James Tucker, assistant vice president, Chubb & Son, and loss control computer security specialist, Chubb Commercial Insurance.
"A successful cyber-security breach could result in significant financial loss, loss of market share, loss of reputation and a falling stock price, significantly impacting shareholder value. Taking a proactive approach to information and network security and investing money up-front through a top-to-bottom enterprise-wide cyber-risk assessment is a prudent step that will significantly reduce a company's future exposures."

Tucker said companies must remain on guard even after they think they have solved the problem. "Throwing technology at the cyber-security problem is only part of the solution. Information security is like a movie, not a snapshot," he said. "The picture is constantly changing. New security vulnerabilities emerge daily."

To help companies respond to cyber-terrorist threats, Tucker recommends 10 steps for companies to take in designing an information and networking security program:

1. Don't downplay the risk. Acknowledge that the cyber-terrorist
threat exists and prepare for cyber-warfare.

2. Emphasize prevention over repair and invest in an
enterprise-wide cyber-security plan.

3. Institute a corporate cyber risk management and information
and network security assessment that includes representatives
from all disciplines of the company, not just the information
technologists.

4. Appoint a senior executive who will be responsible and
accountable for the assessment and the security plan.

5. Establish trust within and outside the organization. Include
supply chain, Internet service providers, business partners
and vendors in the assessment plan and demand confirmation of
the sturdiness of security systems.

6. Establish internal information security education, training
and awareness.

7. Initiate security auditing, validation and measurement
processes. Report all security violations, not just the major
ones.

8. Use independent cyber-security expertise to test and validate
security systems.

9. Protect critical servers. The Internet may provide easy and
unwelcome access from outsiders.

10. Conduct a risk assessment and evaluate the cost-effectiveness
of implementing protection. For example, evaluate the
trade-off between how well and fast a Web site functions and
security issues.

The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies can be found online at www.chubb.com.

Aug 21 - Logitech Announces Corded Keyboard Line. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland: LOGN, LOGZ), today announced three new corded keyboards that offer many of the features that have made the Logitech(R) Cordless Freedom Optical today's best-selling retail keyboard in the U.S.
Now, cost-conscious consumers can enjoy great-looking design and new colors, as well as a number of enhancements to help them work, play and communicate more effectively, including:

-- One-touch access to activity centers such as: My Pictures, My
Music and My Documents.

-- Multimedia control for digital music files, CDs, DVDs and online media.

-- One-touch Internet access and navigation. Internet hot keys
can be dedicated to transport the user directly to a home
page, launch a web cam, access instant messenger or email or
perform a web-based search.

-- Logitech's low-profile Zero Degree Tilt(TM) industrial design,
which keeps the key-plane parallel to the desk surface for
maximum comfort.

-- Enhanced F-key functionality and Fast User Switch under
Windows(R) XP for rapid execution of common tasks.

The new corded keyboard line-up is available now and includes:

-- Elite(TM) Keyboard (US SRP $49.95): The Elite Keyboard, a
black unit with silver accents, reflects the updated look of
today's computer systems. Its slim profile is attractive in
any desktop environment.

-- Internet Navigator(TM) (US SRP $29.95): Featuring a bright
white color and deep blue highlights, the Internet Navigator
complements the color scheme of many PC and Apple(R) iMac(R)
computers.

-- Access(TM) Keyboard (US SRP $14.95): With its sleek design and
contoured shape, the Access Keyboard adds an esthetic touch to
even the most basic home system. Designed for PC only.

For more information about Logitech and its products, visit the company's web site at www.logitech.com.

Aug 21 - EarthLink Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction. EarthLink ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among national and larger regional dial-up Internet service providers (ISPs) according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. And, for the first time, three ISPs-EarthLink, RoadRunner and BellSouth-tie for highest overall customer satisfaction among customers evaluating national and larger regional high-speed ISPs.

EarthLink's top ranking among dial-up ISPs is driven by its strong scores on four of the seven factors that comprise overall customer satisfaction (performance and reliability, image, e-mail and customer service). The remaining factors are cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions.

In the high-speed segment, EarthLink shows strong performance in the study factors of image, e-mail, and offerings and promotions. RoadRunner, which earned the top ranking in the segment in 2001, scores particularly well in 2002 in customer service and performance and reliability. BellSouth customers give the provider high marks in billing as well as performance and reliability.

"As the number of residential high-speed Internet users continues to grow, the competition to provide high levels of customer satisfaction in this segment is intensifying," said Steve Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. "The top three carriers all performed very well across the most heavily weighted factors in the study."

At 82 percent, dial-up ISPs still comprise the vast majority of residential customers, but high-speed subscriptions continue to grow, increasing from 13 percent in 2001 to 18 percent in 2002. However, the study finds that overall satisfaction of dial-up subscribers has risen in 2002, while satisfaction among high-speed subscribers is down significantly. In fact, the number of high-speed subscribers who intend to switch providers is increasing at a faster rate than among dial-up customers.

J.D. Power and Associates can be found online at www.jdpa.com.

Aug 21 - Cox Announces Advertising-Focused Video On Demand Channel. Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX) today announced the launch of its new FreeZone service in San Diego, California.

FreeZone, channel 997 for digital cable subscribers in San Diego, is a video on demand channel that offers a slate of free entertainment and commercial information made possible by advertising support.

All content can be viewed on-demand with full VCR-like functionality (pause, rewind, fast forward). The new advertising platform also includes permission-based follow-up interaction between viewers and advertisers. Cox digital cable subscribers use the digital remote control and set-top box equipment already installed in their homes to view the programming and respond to advertisers.

"As television and advertising communities are looking for new models for advertising-supported television, Cox is proud to harness its own new technology into a service that is beneficial to subscribers and to advertisers," said Billy Farina, vice president of advertising sales for CableRep Advertising, the advertising arm of Cox Communications.
"In our FreeZone, subscribers will find a variety of content that is both entertaining and informative; we are poised to prove that consumers will not only watch commercial-supported information and long format advertising, but also choose to do so with premeditation."

More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at www.cox.com.

Aug 20 - Compaq D315 Business PC First to Include NVIDIA and AMD Technologies. NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that its NVIDIA nForce(TM) Platform Processors have been selected to deliver performance and stability to the new Compaq D315 Business PC from HP.
The first business desktop PC to feature the Company's nForce 220 Platform Processors and GeForce(TM) Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), the Compaq D315 is backed by NVIDIA's extensive software drivers and end-user tools, providing IT buyers and decision makers with a cost-effective and manageable hardware/software solution for today's business computing environments.

"HP's decision to integrate our nForce technology into the D315 business PC represents an important milestone for NVIDIA," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. "With our technology reputation, software quality, and highly stable and reliable platform technologies, this design win represents the Company's first step towards executing on our commercial desktop chipset strategy."

Designed to provide a scaleable, high performing foundation for all of today's business, consumer and enthusiast PCs, NVIDIA Platform Processors offer myriad cost-effective, performance-enhancing features-including award-winning GeForce MX graphics and new networking, audio, and multimedia processing capabilities. NVIDIA's GeForce MX GPU, one of the key attributes of the nForce platform, provides businesses with a solid hardware foundation that has been tested and qualified for a variety of corporate applications including video conferencing, 3D presentations and digital video manipulation.

"Combining our award-winning AMD Athlon(TM) XP processors with NVIDIA's nForce Platform Processors in the Compaq D315 Business PC from HP offers commercial customers a powerful choice," said David Somo, vice president of Worldwide Strategic Accounts for AMD's Computation Products Group. "Businesses demand a platform that delivers performance, manageability and stability, and NVIDIA's expertise in providing business-class technology helps make this a first-class solution for IT buyers."

NVIDIA nForce Platform Processors utilize NVIDIA's Unified Driver Architecture (UDA), a single software driver solution that makes it easy to manage and maintain NVIDIA-based hardware in business computing environments, and helps minimize the overhead normally associated with business IT hardware deployment strategies. In addition to UDA, commercial customers using NVIDIA hardware solutions can also take advantage of NVIDIA's extensive software applications, which provide additional desktop functionality to enhance the business computing experience.

For more information about the Compaq D315 Business PC, visit www.compaq.com/products/desktops. For more information on NVIDIA, visit the company's Web site at www.nvidia.com.

Aug 20 - Apple to Release Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar this Friday. All across the nation, Apple dealers and resellers are gearing up for the launch of Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar. Some begin Friday night, Aug 23, at 10:20 pm. Others take place that weekend, and in the weeks to come.

Per Apple, "Referred to by its code name, Jaguar, Mac OS X v10.2 is a different breed of operating system. Jaguar combines the rock-solid reliability of UNIX with the ease of use of Macintosh. This version of Mac OS X is as innovative as the computers that run it. And whether you’re a Mac user who’s upgrading, a Windows user who’s looking at switching to the Mac or a UNIX user who loves the idea of using key applications like Microsoft Office on top of a state-of-the art BSD UNIX implementation, this is the OS for you.

"Mac OS X v10.2 is loaded with over 150 compelling new features — like an instant messaging client that’s compatible with AOL’s, an enhanced Mail application that lets you filter out junk mail, an address book that’s an activity center for all your contacts, and a full-featured search engine so useful that you’ll soon feel lost without it.

"Mac OS X v10.2 also features QuickTime 6, the next-generation multimedia standard with support for MPEG-4 video. Quartz Extreme, the hardware accelerated, fully composited graphics system, gives it souped-up 2D and 3D capabilities. Plus a significantly enhanced Finder with spring-loaded folders. Rendezvous, a revolutionary technology that lets you create an instant network of computers and peripheral devices. Not to mention a host of features and capabilities that will impress hardcore Unix users."

Welcome Windows Users

Jaguar makes it a snap for Windows users to switch to the Mac by providing point-and-click Windows file sharing so it’s easy to connect to Windows servers and PCs. And there’s great news for business customers: Jaguar comes with Active Directory interoperability, and with a PPTP-based virtual private network (VPN) client that allows Mac users to connect remotely to Windows corporate networks.

Apple is preselling Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar for $129 in its Apple Store.

Aug 20 - I/OMagic Second Quarter Net Sales Jump 79%. I/OMagic Corporation (OTC BB: IOMC), a leading developer and marketer of optical storage, digital entertainment, multimedia and computer input devices, today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2002.

Net sales for 2002 second quarter rose 79% to $14 million from $7.9 million in the 2001 second quarter. Second quarter net loss improved 56%, narrowing to $2.5 million, or ($0.04) per diluted share, from $5.6 million, or ($0.08) per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. Financial results on an EBIDTA basis were a loss of $1.6 million or ($0.02) per diluted share versus a $4.9 million loss or ($0.07) per diluted share for the same period last year.

Tony Shahbaz, president and CEO of I/OMagic Corporation, stated, "A rise in sales of 128% year over year is evidence of the continued strong demand for our products. Our sales growth clearly demonstrates that I/OMagic is defying current challenging market and industry trends, with consumers maintaining their spending habits on our on state-of-the-art products.

"Traditionally the second quarter ending June 30, is the weakest business quarter for the Company," Shahbaz continued. "Historically the Company uses this quarter to discount through field inventory and transition to its new product assortment. This strategic repositioning paves the way for us to introduce in the current third quarter a complimentary family of exciting products for our optical storage unit and a new line of digital entertainment devices. We anticipate that these new state-of-the-art products will be immediately well received and dramatically impact the Company's sales. All of this prepares I/OMagic for the back half of the year, typically our strongest quarters.

"I/OMagic is committed to aggressively maintaining its competitive edge and leadership position. We are excited about the solid product offerings and promotion plans we have put in place for the back half of the year, as well as the expanded number of distribution outlets we've added through several new major customers. Given our continued revenue growth and robust product pipeline, we remain confident in our outlook for the remainder of 2002."

For more information, visit the I/OMagic web site at www.iomagic.com.

Aug 20 - Marvell's New Chipset Drives Mass Deployment of Wireless LANs. Marvell(R) (NASDAQ:MRVL), a technology leader in the development of extreme broadband communications solutions, today solved critical issues hindering the widespread adoption of Wireless LANs by offering the industry's most integrated, two-chip, CMOS 802.11b Wireless LAN solutions.
The Marvell Libertas(TM) chipsets are optimized to provide unprecedented levels of performance and incorporate new features that will make Wireless LAN a standard feature in enterprise infrastructures, laptops, home gateways, and consumer electronic devices.

Current competing solutions prevent the mass deployment of Wireless LANs due to problems with short range, poor battery management, weak interference immunity, and insufficient security. To improve range, the Marvell Libertas solutions incorporate advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology that lessens the impact of multi-path, unwanted "echoes" in wireless transmissions, which severely reduces range and lowers transmission speeds.
The Libertas chipsets have up to a four times better multi-path tolerance than current competing solutions. Furthermore, the Marvell Libertas solutions incorporate the industry's highest receive sensitivity and highest on-chip, power amplifier (PA) output at 20dBm at the antenna connector. As a result, the Libertas chipsets easily offer twice the distance of competing solutions.

"Our goal was to deliver breakthrough technology that solved critical issues, such as increasing range and enhancing security, for our customers' wide range of applications," stated Weili Dai, Marvell's Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Communications Business Group.
"The challenges our customers have with current competing solutions can only be overcome with the Marvell Libertas 802.11b solutions. With our technology, our customers can confidently build secure and reliable Wireless LAN products. In addition, our high level of integration will enable our customers to build very cost-effective solutions for the mass deployment of Wireless LAN into the enterprise, home, public 'hot spot,' and other emerging markets," added Ms. Dai.

More information on Marvell is available on the Internet at www.marvell.com.

Aug 20 - Groundbreaking for SmartSchool Marks New Era. The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District and TurnKey Schools of America will have a groundbreaking ceremony for Meadow Creek Elementary School on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. The new school is located on 34450 Stonewood Drive in Yucaipa, California.

As a SmartSchool(TM) designed by Temecula, Calif.-based school delivery firm TurnKey Schools of America, Meadow Creek integrates hardware, software, infrastructure and support systems for computer-based learning into the building's design.

The $12.4 million facility will provide every teacher a notebook computer, strategic classroom lighting to reduce glare on computer monitors, converged voice-over-IP phone system, wireless networks for the fifth and sixth grade and high-speed Internet in every classroom.

SmartSchools(TM) consider technology use in every facet of school building design and construction. The SmartSchool(TM) design was developed after hundreds of hours interviewing teachers, principals, district administrators, parents and CEOs.

"The advanced technology the students will use will give them a superior advantage in the real world," said Ann Marshall, assistant superintendent business services. "Meadow Creek sets the bar for technology in schools and will position Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District as a leading force in educational technology."

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District hopes to house 750 children in the new facility and ready it for occupancy by the fall of 2003.

More information on TurnKey Schools of America can be found at www.turnkeyschools.com.

Aug 19 - HP Announces AMD Athlon XP Business PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced that it is the first global technology provider to bring the performance and unmatched value of AMD Athlon(TM) XP processors to business customers with the availability of the Compaq D315 Business PC.

The combination of HP, AMD, and NVIDIA technology in the Compaq D315 Business PC brings affordable high-end PC performance to mainstream and value-conscious business users at a starting price as low as $549 in the United States after a $100 introductory instant rebate.

"With the introduction of the Compaq D315 Business PC, the new HP is delivering on its commitment to innovation, its drive to strengthen the company's direct strategy in the PC space and its goal to fulfill customer needs, particularly those of small- and medium-sized business," said Jeri Callaway, senior vice president and general manager for business PCs, HP Personal Systems Group. "HP is forging aggressive new strategies even as merger integration progresses."

The NVIDIA nForce(TM) Platform Processors provide the Compaq D315 PC with GeForce2(TM) 3D graphics and enhanced networking, streaming and multimedia capabilities at an unmatched value. NVIDIA nForce Platform Processors use a distributed processing architecture that frees up the CPU for other tasks and introduces new system level and memory innovations to enhance everyday business applications.

Available immediately from HP, the Compaq D315 Business PC offers an AMD Athlon XP processor 2000+, NVIDIA GeForce 2 graphics, 20 gigabyte hard drive, 128 megabyte double data rate (DDR) SyncDRAM memory, standard 48x CD-ROM, network interface card and six USB ports at an estimated U.S. street price of $549 with Microsoft Windows XP Home or $599 with Microsoft Windows XP Pro after the limited-time $100 rebate.

The system also can be configured to include AMD Athlon XP processors 2000+ or 2200+, up to 1 GB DDR SDRAM running at 266 megahertz (Non-ECC), a 40 GB Ultra-ATA hard drive (100 MB/s) and choice of CD-RW or DVD-ROM. The combination of the AMD Athlon XP microprocessor, DDR SDRAM memory and integrated NVIDIA graphics makes this machine fully qualified to meet demanding needs of small and medium business users. In addition, the tool-less chassis design allows for quick access to internal parts for easy upgrade or service.

More information about the Compaq D315 Business PC is available at www.compaq.com/products/desktops.

Aug 19 - VIA Launches Apollo KT400 Chipset for Athlon XP. VIA Technologies, Inc., launched the VIA Apollo KT400, the next generation chipset for the AMD Athlon™ XP processor, at QuakeCon 2002, the world's greatest multi-player gaming event.
Optimized for the needs of gamers, enthusiasts and professionals requiring the fastest system performance and the very latest I/O and connectivity features, the VIA Apollo KT400 is a no compromise solution aimed at making AMD Athlon™ XP processor based systems more powerful than ever before.

"Simply stated, the VIA Apollo KT400 is the most capable performance chipset ever designed for Socket A compatible motherboards," commented Ted Lee, Vice President of Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Gamers, enthusiasts and professionals have an enduring appetite for more system performance and we are confident that the launch of the KT400 will consolidate our leadership in this important segment."

About the VIA Apollo KT400
Supporting DDR200/266/333 SDRAM memory and a full range of 200/266MHz Processor Bus AMD Athlon™ XP and AMD Duron™ processors, the VIA Apollo KT400 provides lightning fast access to system memory and delivers more performance across the application spectrum than rival Socket-A chipset platforms.

DDR333 offers 2.7GB/s of memory bandwidth through VIA's low latency, ultra efficient memory controller while AGP 8X delivers 2.1GB/s of bandwidth to the graphics engine, improving image quality and 3D performance in the highest resolution conditions.
The VIA Apollo KT400 is connected to the VIA VT8235 South Bridge by an enhanced 8X V-Link connection transferring data at 533MB/s, four times the speed of the conventional PCI bus. The VT8235 South Bridge features integrated support for six USB 2.0 ports with 40 times more bandwidth than USB 1.1, as well as ATA-133, the fastest available IDE interface.
Additional features include integrated VIA MAC for 10/100Mbps Ethernet, integrated PCI support, 6 Channel Surround Sound AC'97 audio and MC'97 modem.

For more information on the VIA Apollo KT400 visit their website at: www.via.com.tw/en/apollo/kt400.jsp.

Aug 19 - Start-up Firm Habeas Stops Spam with Poetry and the Law. Habeas, Inc., the company that fights spam with poetry and the law, announced today the availability of the Habeas Sender Warranted Email(TM) (SWE) service. Free to individuals and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the service combines innovative technology with existing copyright and trademark law to eradicate spam.

Habeas' patent-pending service works by trademarking and copyrighting a unique set of lines, known as the warrant mark, which is embedded in the headers of outgoing email. Included is a haiku poem. Copyright offers legal protection to the poetry. Trademark offers legal protection to other parts of the email header.

Spammers who improperly use the Habeas warrant mark can be prosecuted under trademark and copyright law. Habeas can seek penalties of $1 million and more, shut down offenders through injunction, and in severe cases refer them for criminal prosecution. Dun & Bradstreet has agreed to serve as Habeas' collection agency.

"Existing law offers little protection from spammers, who also continue to find new ways to beat even the most sophisticated filtering technologies," said Anne P. Mitchell, President and CEO of Habeas and former legal affairs director for Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS). "Technology alone can't stop spam. But existing copyright and trademark law used in conjunction with Habeas' patent-pending system allows us to sue and shut down spammers while protecting legitimate senders of mail."

Habeas complements existing anti-spam solutions, helping them work better. For example, users of the popular SpamAssassin product can set their filters at more sensitive thresholds without the worry of losing wanted messages. And Mail-Filters.com(TM) has deployed Habeas as part of a suite of tools that stops spam and allows legitimate email.

"SpamAssassin Pro(TM) spam-filtering software is always on the look-out for additional weapons to beat spam," said Craig Hughes, CTO of Deersoft, Inc., developers of SpamAssassin. "We look forward to the contribution of Habeas and to being able to include it as one of the SpamAssassin(TM) tools for determining whether an email is or isn't spam."

"Having built the Habeas warrant mark into our SpamCure and SpamRepellent anti-spam email solutions, we are helping enterprises and companies separate what is valid commercial email from unsolicited commercial e-mail (or spam)," said Ben Westbrook, President and CEO of Mail-Filters.com, Inc. "At Mail-Filters, we are aggressively attacking the spam problem for our customers, and the Habeas warrant mark system is one of the tools we use to maintain our typical 95 percent effectiveness at catching spam while allowing legitimate commercial emails."

Habeas is also designed to work with existing services such as the Spamhaus Project that help ISPs battle unwanted email by maintaining comprehensive lists of offending Internet sites that spam.

"Because of spam, Internet users are ever more reluctant to sign up for even legitimate mailings fearing yet more spam," said Steven Linford, founder and director of the Spamhaus Project. "The Habeas service is an important step forward to protect both consumers and the email marketing industry from the blight of spam and from unscrupulous spammers pretending to be 'marketing firms'."

Spam costs consumers and corporations billions of dollars a year, according to industry figures. PC World magazine estimates the bandwidth costs alone of spam exceed $8 billion annually. By 2006, spam output will soar seven-fold to around 15 billion messages a day, according to market research firm Radicati Group.

Free to individuals and ISPs, enterprises pay a low-cost annual license fee for the Habeas service. Commercial bulk email providers sending verified permission mailings pay based on the volume of their mail. There is a simple, no-cost process to automatically configure mail clients and servers to take advantage of the service. To start using the service, visit www.habeas.com for license terms and instructions.

Aug 19 - MINOLTA-QMS Lowers Color Laser Price Barrier. With an estimated street price of $799 after rebate, the MINOLTA-QMS magicolor(R) 2200 DeskLaser is the lowest priced color laser printer ever. Effective August 1, MINOLTA-QMS implemented a $200 manufacturer's mail-in rebate on its most popular color laser. This price move continues MINOLTA-QMS' mission of delivering affordable color laser printing for home and office use.
Low cost doesn't mean low value. The fully-featured magicolor 2200 DeskLaser color laser printer has a resolution of 1200 x 600 dpi, produces prints at up to 20 pages per minute (ppm) in black and white and 5 ppm in color, has built-in Ethernet(R) and parallel interfaces, and can print up to legal size media.
The printer is Windows(R) certified for XP/ 2000/ NT 4.0/ Me/ 98 environments and can be equipped with automatic duplexing, a mailbox option, and color copying capabilities to perform all the extras the office needs.
Since its introduction, the critics have agreed the magicolor 2200 DeskLaser is a winner. From PC Magazine's Editors' Choice Award, a "Recommended" certification from Buyer's Lab, and numerous PC World Top Ten appearances, this printer has escalated in popularity.
The magicolor 2200 DeskLaser rebate offer is valid for end-user purchases only and available August 1, 2002 - December 31, 2002, or while promotional supplies last. Additional restrictions apply. More information canbe found at www.minolta-qms.com.

Aug 19 - Add Video to Phone Calls with Vialta's Beamer. Vialta, Inc. (OTCBB:VLTA), developer of unique and innovative home entertainment and communications products, today launched Beamer(TM), the first Phone Video Station (PVS)(TM). Beamer instantly adds color motion video to phone calls, enabling users to see the person they are speaking with. Beamer is compatible with any home phone over any standard (analog) phone line at no additional cost compared to a regular phone call.

Created and developed entirely in house by Vialta's engineering and design teams, Beamer serves to enhance the way people communicate using their telephones. Beamer does not require any additional equipment or wiring, and there are no additional monthly fees or service plans associated with the product -- consumers simply use their existing home phones and phone service. Beamer is as easy to use as your phone. It represents the first release in a new category of consumer products -- the Phone Video Station.

It takes just a few minutes to have Beamer up and running. Simply plug the phone line into Beamer and Beamer into the phone, then call another Beamer owner and hit "start." Video is then sent to the other party at up to 15 frames per second. As a protective feature for the other party, the unit displays a message on the screen until the called party presses the start button and transmits video back to the caller.

Beamer BM-80 will roll out nationally in mid-August and is expected to be available in Best Buy, Comp USA, and Fry's Electronics by mid-September. Beamer is also available online at www.vialta.com. Beamer's MSRP for the twin-pack, which contains two individually packed units, is $499.99. The MSRP for a single unit is $299.99.

Aug 18 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - Almost all desktops and notebooks were good buys in the categories we follow. (See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.)

Weekly Comparison. System prices were a little higher than last week. In general desktop and notebooks were higher except for AMD processor systems which were lower.

Notebooks - This is the first week we have seen a 1.5 GHz Celeron notebook and Best Buy has a Toshiba 1.5 GHz notebook for $1249 which is a nice price. Pentium 4 high-end notebook prices were higher than last week. The 1.8 GHz Toshiba notebook is selling for $200 more than the previous week's 2.0 GHz Toshiba notebook.
Desktops - Three low-priced Celerons were advertised this week and all are good buys in their categories.
Prices went up a little on Pentium 4 desktops. Prices went down on all AMD Athlon XP desktops.

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.)

BestBuy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, $150 mail-in rebates on all laptops, and a $100 gift card with any Pentium 4 or Athlon XP desktop package. They are also offering 12 months of no interest financing on all computers $599 and up.
Circuit City is now giving away 3 months of free AOL (instead of a free year of CompuServe) on any in-store computer purchase. In addition they are offering 12 months no interest financing on all desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is advertising no interest financing for 12 months on any complete desktop package or laptop over $398. They are also offering $100 off any advertised Toshiba notebook.
Staples is offering $200 off any computer purchase with 2 year MSN contract.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron/Duron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

Note on the "Loaded Celeron" Intel Celerons at speeds of 1.7 GHz or faster are potentially upgradeable to Pentium 4 processors. Slower Celerons are not socket compatible with the Pentium 4.
These faster Celeron systems are more like a low end Pentium 4 system as they often include: 400 MHz bus speed, DDR RAM, CD-RW or DVD drives, and flat screen monitors.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 10 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. 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 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 Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
$529
Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
Sony 1.3 GHz complete system
$679
CompUSA
3. Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.8 GHz complete system w CD-RW drive, 17 inch monitor, TV tuner
$899
Office Depot
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Sony 2.0 GHz complete system
$1199
Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.26 GHz complete system w 15 inch flat panel
$1899
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ complete system
$819
Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete system with 17 inch flat-screen monitor
$1249
Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.5 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1700+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1349
CompUSA
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1899
Circuit City
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Xtasy GeForce4 Ti4600 128 MB DDR
$279 (after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex DVD+RW/CD-RW
$329 (after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony DVD+RW/CD-RW
$349 (after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Hitachi mini DVD camcorder
$899
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 48X CD-RW
$79
(after rebates)
CompUSA

 

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.

Aug 16 - Dell Anticipates Record Third Quarter Revenue. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) demonstrated the unique advantages of its efficient, customer-focused business model again in fiscal second-quarter 2003, shipping a record number of computer systems, exceeding the company's latest revenue guidance and sharply improving profitability. The company has met or exceeded its guidance to investors for six straight quarters.

Growing customer preference for Dell systems and services earned a leading 18-percent rise in worldwide product shipments in the second quarter; without Dell, industry volumes declined 4 percent. Company shipments of servers and workstations were up 20 percent, and those products together with storage systems accounted for 20 percent of revenue.

Specifics released by Dell include:

Dell's second-quarter growth in unit shipments was strong in all product categories, notably enterprise systems, which again highlighted Dell's volume growth.

An 18-percent rise in shipments of PowerEdge servers compared with flat industry volumes excluding Dell. In the U.S. server category, which Dell has now led for six straight quarters, company shipments grew at double the average of others. Large corporate customers in North America have ranked Dell first in terms of server satisfaction for 18 of the last 19 quarters.

Year-over-year shipments of industry-leading Dell Precision workstations rose 24 percent, 29 percent in the company's Americas region.

Volumes of Inspiron and Latitude notebook computers increased 17 percent from the same quarter one year ago, compared with 4 percent for the industry without Dell. North American corporate customers have rated Dell No. 1 in notebook satisfaction for an unprecedented 17 straight quarters, or for more than four years.

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

Aug 16 - Bluetooth Showing Solid Growth In 2002. Bluetooth has survived its baptism by fire and appears poised to fulfill much of its considerable potential, evidenced by steady market growth in 2002.

Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) projects Bluetooth chipset shipments to increase to 33.8 million in 2002, up from 11.2 million in 2001. In the longer run the Bluetooth semiconductor market is forecast to grow to just over 1.1 billion chipsets by 2007, with associated revenues of $2.54 billion.

In retrospect many of the problems encountered in 2001 were those that ABI had cautioned about. Probably the single biggest issue with the Bluetooth story was hype. However, the hype in the Bluetooth space has largely been replaced by a far more pragmatic perspective, with an understanding of the technology's limitations. Other problems have also been alleviated. The Bluetooth 1.1 specification is fairly stable, interoperability issues are far fewer, and aggressively priced chipsets are available from several vendors.

"Given the commitment of the mobile handset vendors to Bluetooth we expect cell phones to account for approximately two-thirds of the projected 27.8 million Bluetooth devices that will ship in 2002," said Navin Sabharwal, Director of Residential & Networking Technologies and report author. "However, 2003 should see volume shipments ramping up across a number of other market segments. This will serve to create more diverse and compelling usage scenarios for consumers, and will result in significant network effects."

Allied Business Intelligence Inc is an Oyster Bay, NY-based technology research think tank that publishes research and technology intelligence on the wireless, broadband, electronics, networking and energy industries. Details can be found at www.alliedworld.com.

Aug 16 - 1394 Trade Association Announces Firewire Logo Program. The 1394 Trade Association last week completed its most successful compliance and interoperability workshop event in its ongoing series, linking 58 different devices during the general connectivity session known as the Grand Melee. The association also introduced its new Compliance Logo Program and comprehensive test suites.

The Trade Association's compliance and interoperability testing is designed to ensure that new 1394-enabled televisions, MP3 players, cameras, computers, computer peripherals, D-VHS systems and electronic games work together. "The 1394 TA is now providing this critical service at its quarterly workshop events," said James Snider, executive director. "These plugfests provide the technical feedback and information we need to ensure excellent user experiences with 1394-equipped consumer and computer systems."

New Compliance Logo Program

As part of the program, the 1394 Trade Association's new Compliance Logo Program represents the fact that a specific product complies with the organization's approved standard.

It is made up of several separate test suites, including the point-to-point plugfest originated by the 1394 Trade Association in 2000. The new test suites incorporate a base 1394 Test Suite, consisting of electrical and IEEE1394/1212 functions; and a Functional Test component, which focuses on high level transport and protocols such as an SBP-2 with SCSI command set.

There is also a Network Test Suite, which examines how a device under test affects a network of 1394-enabled devices while they are in use, and how the DUT reacts in a fully functioning 1394 network of devices. Quantum Parametrics LLC designed the testing services for the suites.

According to Dave Thompson, chairman of the 1394 Trade Association's Compliance and Interoperability Working Group, the Compliance Logo program tested several first-time devices and provided significant technical feedback regarding specification-compliant behavior.
"This latest workshop represents the beginning of our 1394 device compliance and interoperability optimization effort," he said. "We were able to test several new devices and share significant technical feedback. We also tested older, established 1394-equipped products. It was an excellent start, and I expect we'll be issuing the first of our FireWire logo licenses based on the results."

The 1394 Trade Association in May adopted the FireWire logo, originally developed by Apple Computer, for general use by its members. The group also created a Compliance Logo version based on the FireWire logo to signify that a product meets 1394 Trade Association standards for FireWire compliance.

Grand Melee Links 58 Nodes

During the Grand Melee, which involves all Plugfest participants simultaneously, 58 nodes were successfully enumerated and two digital video streams were captured. The Grand Melee mix includes computer, computer peripheral, consumer, and industrial devices. Simultaneously, one group begins plugging devices in on an Apple computer, while another group starts on a Windows-based system. Each works in random, unstructured sequences.

When every available device is plugged in and operating, the two groups connect their networks. This time, a total of 58 devices operating correctly at the same time is a strong testament to the capabilities of a 1394-based network, Snider said.

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement and enhancement of the IEEE 1394 standard. The 1394 Trade Association maintains a rigorous compliance and interoperability program and supports a wide range of working groups developing advanced 1394-based standards. For more information visit www.1394ta.org.

Aug 16 - Epson Announces Competitive Rebate Program for Impact Printers. Epson is giving impact/dot matrix printer owners some very good reasons to replace their current models... one of them being cash and another being environmental awareness.

Customers who currently own qualifying, non-Epson impact printers (such as Okidata, Lexmark, Panasonic, Citizen and more) can now purchase a new Epson impact printer and receive up to a $70 rebate by trading in qualifying used non-Epson impact printers. In addition, Epson will cover the expense of shipping each used printer and will recycle or properly dispose of those units.

"There's never been a better time to switch to Epson," said Mike Lee, assistant product manager, impact printers, Epson. "This new program gives customers the ability to upgrade their older, slower printers to newer, more reliable Epson products with cash-rebates that make this upgrade both affordable and cost-effective.
"They can effectively trade in their worries and repair dollars spent on old printers for the peace of mind provided by quality Epson products. Furthermore, these customers won't have to pay any shipping, recycling or disposal charges for their old printers since we'll take care of that, and registering for the program is quick and simple because it's all done online. So it's really a win-win situation for pretty much any person who's still using a non-Epson impact printer."

Customers who purchase new Epson impact printers between now and Dec. 31, 2002 are eligible for this program.Additional terms and conditions are listed at www.epson.tradeups.com.

Aug 16 - EA Announces Plans For The Sims Deluxe Edition. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced plans to release this September The Sims(TM) Deluxe Edition, the definitive version of the top-selling PC game of all time, The Sims. The Sims Deluxe Edition will combine the full version of The Sims, the best-selling Sims expansion pack The SimsLivin' Large, and exclusive new content including the all-new Sim customization tool: The Sims Creator.

Translated into 16 different languages, The Sims has inspired five expansion packs; The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party, The Sims Hot Date, The Sims Vacation and, also due out this September, The Sims Unleashed. Combined sales for the franchise have topped 16 million units worldwide.

The Sims Deluxe Edition combines the full version The Sims with the first in the series of Sims expansion packs, The Sims Livin' Large. Livin' Large allows players to put their Sim families into zany situations and settings. Its content adds to The Sims dozens of extreme items like a home chemistry lab, a heart shaped bed and a crystal ball as well as a cast of wild characters like the Grim Reaper, Genie and Tragic Clown.

Also included exclusively in the The Sims Deluxe Edition is The Sims Creator, an all-new customization tool for creating Sim characters. Players can now recreate any Sim imaginable, right down to the smallest detail. Users can also select new clothes, design original attire, add logos to their clothing and accessorize their Sims with the belts, ties and jewelry. Players can even import their face into the program and put it directly on a Sim character.

Rounding out this ultimate offering, players can furnish their homes with two completely new designs sets featuring over 25 objects found only in The Sims Deluxe Edition. With over 50 additional new clothing choices completing this pack, The Sims Deluxe Edition is a must-have for both Sims newcomers and Sims fans alike.

The Sims Deluxe Edition will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. Current owners of The Sims can receive a $10 mail in rebate with proof of purchase(1). Details of the rebate and a rebate coupon will be available on boxes of The Sims Deluxe Edition.

More information about EA's products can be found on the Internet at www.info.ea.com.

 

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