Aug 15 - Sonic Desktop DVD Software Shipments Top Two Million
Units. Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) announced today that sales
of Sonic's desktop DVD creation applications, Sonic MyDVD(R) and DVDit!(R),
have topped the two million unit mark. This milestone reflects dramatically
expanding consumer interest in affordable, easy-to-use solutions for
creating DVDs at home, while further establishing Sonic as the leading
provider of DVD creation applications to the retail and OEM channels.
"Retail customers are looking for the simplest way to bring
video, audio and photos together to create DVDs," said Jeff Loebbaka,
desktop solutions general manager at Adaptec, Sonic's exclusive channel
partner. "Adaptec chose Sonic as a strategic partner based on
its clear leadership in the professional DVD industry and because
its software makes it fast and easy for consumers to capture and edit
video and create professional quality DVDs, right on their desktop."
Sonic MyDVD and DVDit! make it easy for home users and video enthusiasts
to create stunning, interactive DVD content on their PCs -simply drag-and-drop
video and audio into the application, design interactive menus and
record the final content to DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM or CD-R/RW.
MyDVD and DVDit!, using the same technology as Sonic's high-end Hollywood
DVD production systems, empower video enthusiasts worldwide to create
high-quality DVD versions of their movies and video projects, with
the widest playback compatibility.
"Consumer interest in home DVD creation is helping to drive
the purchase of new, high-performance PCs, and Sonic MyDVD and DVDit!
are the applications that make it possible," said Mark Ely, General
Manager of the Desktop Products Group at Sonic. "We are extremely
pleased to be playing the central role in the dynamic and growing
market for DVD creation software."
Sonic can be found online at www.sonic.com.
Aug 15 - More Than Fifty Percent of
Japanese Homes Are Internet Connected. Home computer ownership
in Japan continues to rise rapidly, and more and more of these home
computers are connected to the Internet, according to a recent study
by Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU). Prudential Financial estimated
that the number of Japanese "online households," referring
to families that own at least one personal computer at home and have
Internet access, have reached 26 million as of June 2002. Japan's
Internet penetration rate is quickly catching up with that in the
US, which is approximately 60 percent of US households or 64 million
have Internet access from home, according to estimate by consulting
"When it comes to the latest technologies, such as computers
and the Internet, Japanese consumers seem eager to join the trend,"
noted Lee Haydon, vice president of Global Market Research at Prudential
Financial. "Japanese consumers' interest in information technology
has created a bright spot in an economy that has struggled with weak
consumer spending for quite some time," added Haydon.
Notable findings of Prudential Financial's survey, conducted in June
Two-Thirds Of Japanese Households Own Computers
After several years of explosive growth, the demand for home PCs continues
to be strong. Household computer ownership grew to 66 percent in June,
a gain of seven percentage points from one year ago. (See Chart One)
In February 1999, just 33 percent of Japanese households had computers.
Since then, in a little more than three years, Japanese home computer
ownership has doubled. This translates to a compound annual growth
rate of over 20 percent.
Accessing The Internet May Have Been The Most Important Driver Of
Most Japanese consumers seemed to have Internet access in their mind
when they purchase home PCs. Currently, 85 percent of home computers
are connected to the Internet.
The percentage of home computers connected to the Internet had its
largest increases in 1999 and 2000. Since then, the pace of growth
has stabilized as the rate of Internet connectivity nears peak levels.
Aug 15 - Winners of Open Source Product
Excellence Awards Announced at LinuxWorld. IDG World Expo, the
leading producer of world-class tradeshows, conferences and events
for IT markets, today announced the winners of the Open Source Product
Excellence Awards at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, held this week
at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
IDG World Expo presented the Open Source Product Excellence Awards
in conjunction with the UniForum Association. The awards recognize
Open Source product and service innovations offered by LinuxWorld
exhibitors, which include some of the world's leading ISVs, OEMs,
service providers and developers.
"The judges had a difficult time winnowing the list of finalists
down to one winner in each category," said UniForum Association
President Alan Fedder. "As usual, many terrific products did
not make the final cut, but nonetheless are outstanding products.
They are all winners."
The following products were recognized in an award ceremony on the
LinuxWorld show floor:
Best Developer Tools
Computer Associates: AllFusion Harvest Change Manager
Best Security Solution
Cylant: CylantSecure 2.0
Best Network/Server Application
IBM: WebSphere Commerce 5.4
Best Storage Solution
Computer Associates: BrightStor Enterprise Backup
Best Embedde3d Solution
Best Open Source Project
Hewlett Packard: Open SSI
Best Desktop Office Solution
Codeweavers: CrossOver Office
Best System Integration Solution
Computer Associates: CleverPath Portal
Best Productivity Application
Best of Show
"It's great to see continued innovation in Linux and Open Source,
and LinuxWorld is the ideal platform to recognize these companies
and products," said IDG World Expo President and CEO Charlie
The next LinuxWorld Conference & Expo will take place January
21-24, 2003 at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
For registration information or to exhibit at LinuxWorld, visit www.linuxworldexpo.com.
Aug 15 - SEGA Mobile Rolls Out Its First
Wireless Game. SEGA Mobile(TM), a division of Sega.com(TM), Inc.,
today announced the availability of SEGA Monkey Ball(TM) through PCS
Vision(SM), a next generation wireless service recently launched nationwide
by Sprint (NYSE:FON)(NYSE:PCS), which operates the largest all-digital,
all-PCS nationwide wireless network.
Based on the hit console game, SEGA Monkey Ball delivers the adorable
characters and fun-filled puzzle games right into the hands of Sprint
wireless customers using Vision-capable PCS Phones. One of the first
full-color mobile games offered to Sprint wireless customers, SEGA
Monkey Ball is available on Vision-capable PCS Phones for a charge
of $3.99 per download for 30 days of play.
A free, five-stage demo of SEGA Monkey Ball will be embedded on select
Vision-capable PCS Phones. Sprint wireless customers will be able
to download the full version of the game with all 15 levels onto their
phones by selecting "Games" from the Web homepage on their
handsets and scrolling through the list of available titles to select
SEGA Monkey Ball. Customers can also purchase the game on www.sprintpcs.com
by accessing the content catalog and selecting "Games."
SEGA Monkey Ball fans will be billed on their monthly Sprint wireless
"Videogames have become a mainstream activity that not only includes
the home videogame console segment but has also expanded beyond the
living room into wireless entertainment," said Fred Huey, COO
of Sega.com. "The wireless gaming industry is an untapped market
with millions of consumers already wireless phone users. SEGA Mobile
is dedicated to bringing quality entertainment content to this large
community of potential gamers."
"Sprint is pleased to be the first and only U.S. carrier to provide
exciting SEGA Mobile games to wireless customers," said Scott
Relf, senior vice president of marketing for the PCS Division of Sprint.
"With the enhanced speeds and color graphics of PCS Vision and
the mobility of Vision-capable PCS Phones, the next evolution of gaming
is clearly wireless."
In SEGA Monkey Ball, gamers guide a spherically-encased monkey through
15 exhilarating levels of puzzles and obstacles to reach the goal
line. In this game, gravity is your enemy; if players tilt the puzzle
board too far, they'll send the lovable monkey into the deep abyss
making the Vision-capable PCS Phone vibrate. The phone also vibrates
and makes a sound when players make a goal. In addition, players face
numerous hurdles along the way including wind, icy terrain, moving
platforms and black bananas that will make any monkey go bonkers.
Following the release of SEGA Monkey Ball, SEGA Mobile will be releasing
a host of additional SEGA games for Sprint wireless customers, including
classic titles such as Pengo and SEGA Fast Lane. SEGA Mobile is committed
to bringing quality video game content to the burgeoning wireless
video game market in the U.S., be it classic SEGA content or new titles
in a variety of genres including puzzles and sports. With market research
firm, Frost & Sullivan, expecting revenues for wireless gaming
to reach to $9.34 billion in 2008, SEGA Mobile is well positioned
to become one of the leading providers of wireless games in the U.S.
Initially, PCS Vision will include services that allow consumer and
business customers to use their Vision-enabled PCS Devices to take
and receive pictures, check personal and corporate e-mail, play games
with full-color graphics and polyphonic sounds and browse the Internet
wirelessly with speeds comparable to a home computer's dial-up connection.
The shift to providing clarity you can see and hear has revolutionized
virtually every aspect of wireless service from Sprint. Results include
significant advances to network, products, content management, training
and back-office systems to provide the introduction of applications,
features and devices that no other wireless carrier in the nation
For more information, please visit www.us.segamobile.com
Aug 15 - Toshiba Reaches Milestone of
Three Million Cable Modems. Toshiba America Information Systems,
Network Products Division (NPD) holds the sales lead for DOCSIS cable
modem sales in North America.
According to data compiled and reported by Kinetic Strategies Inc.
in the May and August 2002 issues of Cable Datacom News, Toshiba has
shipped 50,000 more DOCSIS modems than its closest competitor during
the first half of 2002.
In the first quarter of 2002, Toshiba NPD seized the number one spot
in North America, shipping 430,000 units to capture 29.3 percent of
the market. During the second quarter, Toshiba sales held steady at
428,000 units, maintaining its dominant sales position for 2002. To
date, Toshiba NPD has sold more than three million cable modems in
North America alone.
"During a period of intense competition and consolidation in
the North American DOCSIS cable modem market, Toshiba outpaced its
peers to claim a leadership position in the first half of 2002,"
said Michael Harris, president of Kinetic Strategies and publisher
of Cable Datacom News.
The majority of Toshiba's cable modems are sold to MSOs that supply
Toshiba cable modems to their customers who subscribe to broadband
services. Toshiba also sells its cable modems through national retail
chains such as CompUSA, Best Buy and other distribution channels.
In the fourth quarter of 2001, Toshiba NPD introduced three new cable
modems: The PCX2500 DOCSIS cable modem, which earned the first CableLabs
DOCSIS 1.1 certification status for a production modem; the DOCSIS
PCX3000, a VoIP-enabled broadband cable modem that is PacketCable(TM)-based;
and the PCX5000, a cable modem with wireless networking capabilities
using 802.11b and the first product of its kind in the industry.
More information can be found on the Web at www.toshiba.com.
Aug 14 - Dell Introduces Dimension 2300;
Affordable Desktop System. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced
the Dimension 2300(tm), a new desktop system with all the essential
features for everyday computing in the home or small business.
Dell makes the Dimension 2300 easy to buy. Customers can purchase
a system for $629 that includes a 1.7GHz Intel(R) Celeron(R) processor,
128MB shared SDRAM, a 20GB hard drive, a CD-ROM and a 15" (13.8"
viewable) monitor. All 2300 systems come standard with a 1 year limited
warranty plus 1 year at-home service.
The Dimension 2300 can handle a range of tasks such as running educational
software and games, accessing the Internet, managing e-mail, and other
business and personal productivity applications. In addition, the
increased processing power of the next-generation Celeron processor
and improved integrated graphics enable customers to use it for basic
digital photography or managing their digital music collection.
The redesigned small minitower chassis saves space while still allowing
easy accessibility to all internal components. Though compact, this
chassis features two 5.25-inch bays, which allows 2300 customers to
order up to two optical drives. The chassis also features two front-accessible
USB 2.0 ports plus four more in back to make it easier to transfer
digital data in and out of the computer system.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.
Aug 14 - 3ware Ships Industry's First
Enterprise Class Serial ATA Controller. 3ware(R), Inc., a leading
provider of switched RAID solutions, today announced it has begun
shipping its latest family of RAID controller cards based on Serial
ATA specifications -- the Escalade 8500 series.
The Escalade 8500 series is available in four, eight and twelve-port
configurations, offering storage VARs and systems builders the first
complete family of enterprise class Serial ATA RAID controllers. The
new controllers extend the company's high performance ATA controller
line to support the Serial ATA interface standard, providing terabytes
of reliable, performance-based Serial ATA RAID storage.
Traditional technologies such as parallel ATA and SCSI use a bus-based
architecture where all the drives share a single bus, with a resulting
compromise in performance. The Serial ATA architecture provides point-to-point
communication, delivering full bandwidth to each connected drive when
a switched architecture is employed. 3ware's non-blocking switched
fabric design allows the controller to simultaneously access all drives,
delivering much higher performance than competitive SCSI or Serial
The Escalade 8500 series of Serial ATA RAID controllers eliminates
the problems of traditional parallel ATA cabling. Serial ATA has longer,
thinner, more flexible cables (up to 1 meter) providing superior airflow
for better system cooling and assembly. For users who want to benefit
from the advantages of serial ATA cabling with standard parallel drives,
3ware also offers a Parallel-to-Serial converter which allows the
Escalade 8500 series controllers and Serial ATA cables to connect
to a standard ATA drive.
Roger Cox, Chief Analyst Server Storage & RAID Worldwide at Gartner
said, "Serial ATA represents a significant milestone for network
storage. Traditionally, only certain classes of data have enjoyed
the benefits of redundant technology due to the high cost of legacy
RAID solutions. Serial ATA enables the use of RAID technology across
the entire corporate data set, for the first time bringing the cost
of data reliability to a point where all relevant data can be stored
on redundant systems."
"The Escalade 8500 series is the only Serial ATA controller
on the market that uses a switched architecture designed specifically
to meet the intent of Serial ATA's point-to-point connection methodology,"
said Mike Wentz, senior director of product marketing at 3ware. "A
switched architecture improves reliability and performance and increases
isolation of drive faults, resulting in a next-generation RAID controller
that delivers real world solutions for today's storage applications.
3ware provides the only architecture that can easily scale from four
drives to twelve drives, enabling business and vertical customers
to build reliable, high capacity, scalable, low maintenance storage
using inexpensive Serial ATA drives."
The Escalade 8500 family of RAID controllers support up to four drives
(Model 8500-4), 8 drives (Model 8500-8) or 12 drives (Model 8500-12).
The CBL-P-SATA converter kit allows the use of Serial ATA cables with
standard parallel drives. Products are now available worldwide through
authorized 3ware distributors. For additional information, visit 3ware
on the Web at www.3ware.com.
Aug 14 - Red Hat Announces Linux for
AMD Opteron. Red Hat, Inc. (NASDAQ: RHAT) and AMD (NYSE: AMD)
today announced that Red Hat will offer global support for the upcoming
AMD Opteron(TM) and AMD Athlon(TM) processors based on AMD's Hammer
technology in Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, and future enterprise
Linux offerings from Red Hat.
Red Hat will provide native 64-bit support for processors based on
AMD's x86-64 technology, while providing support for existing 32-bit
"Red Hat and AMD share the goal of providing customers powerful,
fast and affordable enterprise solutions based on industry standards,"
said Paul Cormier, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Red
Hat. "The combination of Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and AMD's
x86-64 technology will provide a logical migration path for enterprise
customers seeking to move off RISC/Unix."
"The combination of Red Hat Linux Advanced Server operating
system and the upcoming AMD processors based on Hammer technology
is designed to provide customers enterprise-class servers and workstations
with a combination of power and price that has not existed before,"
said Rich Heye, vice president, platform engineering and infrastructure,
AMD's Computation Products Group.
"A range of customers with data-intensive applications are
ready for the performance of 64-bit computing, and the AMD-Red Hat
combination is intended to provide a mainstream solution as new applications
become available across consumer and enterprise customer segments."
Benefits Preview of Red Hat Linux Advanced Server for AMD Processors
based on Hammer Technology
-- Concurrent support of both 32-bit and 64-bit applications
-- Open standards used to power enterprise, mission-critical
-- Extreme performance for servers, workstations and desktops
delivered through industry standard Linux and x86-64 technologies
-- Easily supported by companies and individuals through existing
training and technology
Red Hat and AMD will demonstrate the 32-bit Red Hat Linux Advanced
Server operating system on a 64-bit AMD Athlon processor based on
Hammer technology at LinuxWorld 2002, San Francisco August 13-15 (AMD
Visit Red Hat on the Web at www.redhat.com.
Aug 14 - Altec Lansing Debuts Model 5100
Six-Speaker System. Altec Lansing(R) Technologies, Inc., the long-time
leader in the design and manufacture of computer speaker systems,
announced today the debut of its Model 5100 multimedia PC speaker
system, a powerful, high-quality package designed for serious PC gamers
and video/audio entertainment enthusiasts. Featuring ten high-performance
neodymium micro drivers and 4" dual subwoofers for exceptional
bass response, the 5100 offers an incredible surround-sound environment
for games, movies, music, and more.
"At 50 watts of RMS and 100 watts total system power, the 5100
promises one wild ride," said Mark Lucas, president and CEO,
Altec Lansing. "This new system is a remarkable blend of performance
and styling that takes PC entertainment to new levels of excitement.
Plus it includes the flexibility and convenience features true sound
aficionados look for from a high quality speaker solution."
Altec Lansing's new 5100 speaker system is comprised of four satellites,
a center speaker for crystal-clear voice reproduction, and a front
firing, subwoofer containing two 4-inch long throw woofers. Each satellite,
as well as the center speaker, contains two 1-inch neodymium micro
drivers--twice as many as competing models. The subwoofer delivers
tremendous low frequency response (40 Hz to 20 kHz at 65 decibels),
producing thunderous bass for a truly satisfying audio experience.
Adding to the 5100's appeal is a handheld digital controller that
drives all system functions. Power on/off, mode selector (Stereo x2,
4.1, 5.1), volume controls (master, center, rear), treble, and bass
can all be manipulated easily from the controller; a headphone jack
is also included for easy headphone connection.
The all-new Altec Lansing 5100 multimedia speaker system is priced
to sell between $159.95 and $179.95 at retail, and is available through
leading computer retailers and system builders.
For specifications and purchase information about the 5100 speaker
system, or any of Altec Lansing's other award-winning audio products,
visit the company's website at www.alteclansing.com.
Aug 14 - Downloads Can Cure Music Industry
Slump. Contrary to protests from record labels, piracy is not
responsible for the 15 percent drop in music sales in the past two
years. According to a new report from Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq:
FORR), labels can restore industry growth by making it easier for
people to find, copy, and pay for music on their own terms. By 2007,
digital music revenues will reach more than $2 billion.
"There is no denying that times are tough for the music business,
but not because of downloading. Based on surveys of 1,000 online consumers,
we see no evidence of decreased CD buying among frequent digital music
consumers," said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst at Forrester.
"Plenty of other causes are viable, including the economic recession
and competition from surging video game and DVD sales. But labels
will soon discover that there are several simple ways of satisfying
today's sophisticated digital music consumers.
"First, consumers will demand their right to find music from
any label, not just two or three. Second, they want the right to control
their music by burning it onto CDs or copying it onto an MP3 player.
Finally, consumers will demand the right to pay by the song or album,
not just via the subscription services now offered by pressplay, MusicNet,
FullAudio, and EMusic," added Bernoff. "We call this set
of features -- which any paid music service must meet to satisfy customers
-- the Music Bill Of Rights."
In the next two years, labels will struggle to deliver on the promise
of digital music, but their services will fall short because they
fail to match the Music Bill of Rights. But by 2005, labels will endorse
a standard download contract that supports burning and a greater range
of devices. Downloading will start to soar in 2005 as finding content
becomes effortless and impulse buys easy. Labels will make content
available on equal terms to all distributors, while online retailers
become hubs for downloading.
By 2007, the new business model will generate $2.1 billion, or 17
percent of the music business. Big hits will spark traffic, as people
download music directly to their cell phones, portable players, or
PCs. As a result of the growth potential, artists will embrace the
Internet and sign downloading rights over to their labels -- or see
For additional information, visit www.forrester.com.
Aug 13 - Home Networking Riding the Wave
of Greater Consumer Acceptance. After years of trying to convince
consumers they should network their homes, networking equipment and
silicon vendors are discovering in 2002 that consumers are finally
doing just that.
projects that the overall number of home networks worldwide is expected
to jump from 10.5 million at the end of 2001 to 16.6 million in 2002.
As a result, the home networking silicon market, including both the
communication processor and PHY layer (such as WLAN chipsets), will
rise with the overall home networking tide, growing from $261 million
in 2001 to $1.4 billion by 2006.
"The home networking silicon market is an extremely complicated
and dynamic marketplace," said Mike Wolf, director of Enterprise
and Residential Communications Research at In-Stat/MDR. "The
convergence of the different clusters in the home network (data, voice,
entertainment and control) is resulting in increased demand for networking
technology as disparate devices are increasingly interconnected."
This demand for embedded networking connectivity has resulted in
a move towards highly integrated System On Chip products as vendors
look to build low-cost systems at affordable prices, an integration
of LAN interfaces and Media Access Control layers, as vendors look
to integrate wireless LAN, Ethernet and other LAN media connections
into their devices, and the emergence of a new class of powerful and
highly integrated communications processors to power a range of new
home networking and CPE devices.
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- The overall number of silicon devices in home networks will
grow from 20.5 million in 2002 to over 167 million devices
shipped in 2006, resulting in a 52% compound annual growth
rate. Revenue will grow, but will be somewhat less than
overall unit growth in sheer percentage terms due to pricing
-- The popularity of wireless LANs in the home has given rise to
a very competitive environment, as vendors of 802.11b, a, g
and dual band chipsets emerge to fight for design wins. Access
silicon vendors have also been active, as some look to
integrate portions of the WLAN chipset into their modem and
Aug 13 - Panasonic Announces Revolutionary
AG-DVX100 Mini-DV Camcorder. Panasonic Broadcast & Television
Systems Company has announced availability and pricing for its breakthrough
AG-DVX100, a unique mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with exclusive CineSwitch(TM)
technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and
480p/30fps image capture.
In 480/24p mode, the AG-DVX100 permits shooters to incorporate cinema-like
images for documentaries, music videos, television programming, and
independent filmmaking. The camcorder is also an excellent teaching
tool for film and drama schools.
The camcorder's true progressive scanning CCDs, 24-frame-per-second
capture and cine-like gamma contrast control permit it to produce
cinema-looking images. Its CineGamma function extends the camera's
dynamic range to create pictures with the characteristics of film.
"The AG-DVX100 completely re-defines the mini-DV camera, because
it leaps ahead of the competition. This camcorder offers entirely
new features and price performance levels," said Stuart English,
Vice President, Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. "The AG-DVX100
is carefully engineered to give today's shooters what they desire:
a single camcorder that captures in 60i to acquire standard video
projects and in 24p to add the `look and feel' of film to their productions."
"Until now, a shooter had to obtain the PAL version of a high-end
DV camcorder in order to get close to 24fps -- the speed at which
film cameras operate," said English. "The AG-DVX100 grants
them their wish of true 24-frame capture at an unmatched price."
The AG-DVX100 will be available on October 10th at a suggested list
price of $3,795. Visit Panasonic at www.panasonic.com.
Aug 13 - Niku Files Suit Against Business
Engine for Alleged Theft and Computer Fraud. Niku Corporation
(Nasdaq:NIKU), the leading provider of Services Relationship Management
(SRM) software, today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against
Business Engine, a San Francisco-based software developer, for alleged
theft of trade secrets, computer fraud, and other activities directed
at Niku Corporation. The lawsuit seeks immediate cessation of these
activities and damages.
Niku believes that crimes may have been committed and has referred
the matter to the FBI. "Because of the serious nature of these
intrusions," said Eleanor Lacey, Niku assistant general counsel,
"we have no choice but to take all steps necessary to protect
Niku and its intellectual property. We have met with the FBI and will
cooperate in any investigation they pursue."
The lawsuit was filed after computer records linked Business Engine
offices to a series of unauthorized invasions of Niku's internal IT
system. According to Ms. Lacey, the records indicate that Business
Engine has systematically accessed and downloaded documents relating
to Niku product development, sales prospects, and sales strategies.
According to the lawsuit, Business Engine has invaded Niku computers
more than 6,000 times and downloaded more than 1,000 proprietary software
architecture and sales-related documents.
"It appears that individuals at multiple Business Engine locations
gained access to our system," said Warren Leggett, Niku's chief
information officer, "by stealing a series of system IDs and
passwords, then methodically using them to gain access to confidential
Niku intends to prosecute this lawsuit vigorously.
Niku Corporation (Nasdaq:NIKU) develops enterprise application software
for Services Relationship Management (SRM), software that automates
knowledge work in companies by integrating portfolio, collaboration,
resource, financial, project, and knowledge management in one Web-native
application. For more information visit www.niku.com.
Aug 13 - TDK Introduces New Tremor S-40
Speaker System. In a move that makes high-performance multimedia
sound more affordable than ever, TDK, a leader in digital recording
and playback solutions, today announced that it is now shipping its
new Tremor S-40 satellite/subwoofer speaker system.
With an estimated street price of just $49.99, the latest addition
to the Tremor speaker lineup brings acclaimed TDK sound quality to
a wider variety of computer users than ever before.
Like all TDK Tremor speaker systems including the Tremor S-150, S-80
and S-60, the S-40 takes advantage of NXT's revolutionary SurfaceSound(TM)
flat-panel speaker technology to create rich, room-filling music reproduction
in a manner totally different than conventional speakers.
Each ultra-slim satellite's wide dispersion pattern fills the listening
area with an expansive soundfield, eliminating the "beaming"
of conventional multimedia speakers and creating a wider sonic "sweet
spot"--ideal for music listening, gaming, movie viewing and all
computer audio applications. The sound is detailed, open and dynamic,
with a smooth tonal balance everywhere in the room.
All Tremor systems feature small-footprint stands that take up a minimum
of space-- ideal for use in home and office installations. For additional
desktop configuration options, the Tremor S-150 and S-80 also include
mounts for hanging the satellite speakers from the wall or from the
sides of a computer monitor.
Randall Rosenbaum, TDK's Product Manager pointed out: "We're
extremely excited about our new Tremor S-40, because it offers a level
of sound quality that has never been heard before at its price point.
Thanks to the Tremor S-40, laptop and desktop computer users can now
economically upgrade to a true high-performance audio system and enjoy
significantly improved audio reproduction compared to conventional
Visit TDK at www.tdk.com.
Aug 13 - Canon Introduces SOHO imageCLASS
D660 Laser Copier/Printer. Fulfilling a commitment to introduce
more digital products targeted for Small Office-Home Office (SoHo)
users, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE CAJ) today
introduces the imageCLASS D660, a new digital copier/printer that
combines the outstanding quality and reliability of Canon digital
technology into an affordable desktop package.
The Canon imageCLASS D660 digital copier/printer is intended for
businesses that need a robust copier with maintenance-free performance.
The copier features Canon's exclusive Single Cartridge System, which
contains the drum, development unit and toner in one easily replaceable
The imageCLASS D660's L50 cartridge, which ships with the product,
yields approximately 5,000 black-and-white copies, at 5% density,
for an economical $.03 per copy. A 30-sheet automatic document feeder
can accept originals up to legal size and reproduce letter-size documents
at 13 copies-per-minute (cpm) and legal-size documents at 10 cpm.
Digital technology, through the touch of a single button, facilitates
collating of multi-page documents.
The imageCLASS D660 features Canon's Advanced Printing Technology
for high-quality laser prints with a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi.
For added flexibility and user convenience, the imageCLASS D660 supports
both parallel and USB interfaces and includes a 12 MB memory. The
imageCLASS D660 offers fast, efficient paper handling through a 500-sheet
front loading paper cassette and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray, which
accepts a variety of media including bond, plain and colored paper,
transparencies, labels and envelopes, for faster, no-worry operation.
A further measure of Canon's commitment to SoHo customers is the
inclusion of a three-year limited warranty with first year on-site
service - one of the most extensive warranties in the industry to
ensure the ongoing performance of the imageCLASS D660.
The imageCLASS D660 also marks the first of a line of digital copier/printer
products that will be sold through Canon's retail sales channel. The
imageCLASS D660 will be available in late August through national
retailers at an estimated street price of $ 699.
For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
Aug 12 - 1394 Trade Association Cites
Strong FireWire Growth. Leaders of the 1394 Trade Association
today predicted significant increases for consumer and computer products
equipped with the IEEE 1394/FireWire interface, despite the electronic
industry slowdown, competition from alternative interfaces, and the
discussion about copy protection.
James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association, said
the annual report on FireWire from In-Stat/MDR cited the growth of
1394 in consumer electronics markets in 2001, along with its increasing
presence in notebook PCs. "In-Stat/MDR has followed the advances
of IEEE 1394 since commercial inception, and again this year has produced
a thorough and accurate report," Snider said. "We continue
to see increasing interest in 1394 worldwide, including China, Taiwan,
Korea, and Europe. The arrival of the new 1394b version, along with
completion of new automotive and wireless 1394 standards, will provide
another boost to FireWire by the end of this year."
The In-Stat/MDR report, published Aug. 5, cites 1394's gains in the
consumer electronics markets, along with continuing growth in the
PC sectors. According to In-Stat, total 1394 devices worldwide grew
by 33 percent in 2001 compared with 2000. Growth will continue by
21 percent in 2002, said the report, "as the interface penetrates
more models in the retail PC, digital camcorder, and other consumer
electronics market, and emerges into new applications, such as automotive."
Snider said that dozens of new 1394 equipped products are introduced
each month throughout the consumer and computer markets. He predicted
that by the end of this year almost 70 percent of new notebook PCs
would include FireWire. "In light of the industry slowdown that
we have experienced, growth of 33 percent and 21 percent in consecutive
years is phenomenal."
The new report also suggests significant future opportunities for
1394, but cites some potential challenges, including interface alternatives
like USB 2.0, the need for new 1394-based applications, and the copy
protection issues raised by the major motion picture studios.
Based on the rapid increase of 1394 A/V products entering the market
in 2001, Snider said that the copy protection concerns are not substantive.
"The Congress has consistently supported the consumer's right
to record video for personal use. The only technology which enables
this is FireWire."
Snider said advances to the standard are already providing new application
models, including home networking and wireless 1394 capabilities.
He called interoperability "one of the top priorities" for
the 1394 Trade Association over the next 12 months as the standard
expands into new products and markets. "We are putting on the
full court press with compliance to ensure that the end user experience
continues to fuel the steady deployment of 1394 in innovative products,"
he said. "We have always felt that 1394 enabled people to do
things they have never been able to do before. The OEMs understand
this and are developing terrific new products. The 1394 TA is dedicated
to making certain that the consumer has the best possible experience
when using FireWire."
For more information on the In-Stat/MDR report, visit www.instat.com.
The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated
to the enhancement and advancement of the 1394/FireWire standard.
For more information and a complete list of all products with IEEE
1394, visit www.1394ta.org.
Aug 12 - Other World Computing Announces
FireWire/USB Combo Drives. Other World Computing, introduced the
high performance Mercury Elite FireWire/USB 2.0 Combo Storage Solution
that operates at 7200 RPMs.
The Mac OS and Windows-compatible combo drives are available in storage
capacities ranging from 40GBs to 120GBs and feature transfer rates
of up to 480 Megabits per second (Mbps) with USB 2.0 and up to 400
Mbps with the FireWire connection.
OWC's FireWire/USB Combo drives are designed for professionals and
consumers who need convenient, portable storage for large amounts
of data. These high-speed, high-capacity drives can be used to backup
data, transport and synchronize files between multiple computers,
free-up valuable hard disk space on existing computers and are ideal
for high-audio/video applications.
The combo drives are also especially convenient when transferring
data between computers that may feature only FireWire or only USB
Mercury's FireWire external hard drives offer massive hot-swap storage
that can be quickly and easily disconnected from the computer, and
either locked up for security, or shared from one computer to another.
The Mercury Elite drives are compatible with any computer with a FireWire
or USB port, using either Mac(R) OS 8.6-9.2.2; Mac OS X; Windows 98
or higher operating systems.
Each combo drive includes a FireWire cable, USB cable, an external
power supply, which reduces noise, Intech's HD SpeedTools software,
and a one-year warranty. USB 2.0 is backwards compatible with USB
1.1, as are all of OWC's Mercury combo drives.
Whereas most FireWire cases use the same ATA mechanism, the main
difference in the OWC's Mercury hard drives is the FireWire Bridge,
which operates as much as 100 percent faster than the majority of
the company's competitors.
"Not all systems have USB and not all systems have FireWire,
but most systems have one or the other," O'Connor said. "The
Mercury Elite and Elite Pro Combo drives make it easy for users to
transfer or backup data or use files with either of the transfer technologies.
The drives also offer the opportunity for users with a USB-only system
to have the FireWire option when they upgrade to a system with FireWire
Pricing for the Mercury Elite 7200 Combo model begins at $189.99
for the 40GB drive up to $299.99 for the 120GB drive.
Mercury drives are available exclusively through OWC at www.macsales.com.
Aug 12 - MPEG LA Sues Apex Digital, Inc.
MPEG LA, LLC, which licenses a portfolio of patents that are essential
to use of the MPEG-2 digital video compression standard, has sued
Apex Digital, Inc. ("Apex Digital"), a manufacturer and
supplier of DVD players, for breach of its contractual obligations
under the MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License ("Contract") that
Apex Digital entered into with MPEG LA.
Apex Digital has failed to pay millions of dollars in royalties for
its products as required by the Contract. The lawsuit brought in U.S.
District Court in Colorado seeks monetary damages including interest,
an accounting of all Apex products on which royalties are payable,
and an audit of Apex Digital's books and records.
In addition to Apex Digital's failure to pay royalties on MPEG-2
products that it has reported to MPEG LA, Apex's royalty reports are
not consistent with published reports regarding its product sales.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against Apex Digital from using MPEG-2
patents in its products until Apex Digital pays all royalties that
it owes to MPEG LA.
An MPEG-2 decoder is necessary for DVD playback; therefore any product
with DVD playback capability includes an MPEG-2 decoder and is required
to be licensed under patents in the MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License.
MPEG LA Chief Executive Officer Baryn S. Futa said: "Apex's
disregard for its contractual obligations is unfair to MPEG LA's other
licensees, accounting for most of the DVD player sales in today's
world market, who are meeting their licensing obligations and paying
their rightful share of reasonable royalties. Apex apparently believes
it is not subject to the same rules.
" Apex has chosen instead to sign the license agreement but not
meet its obligations to pay for use of the technology provided, thereby
exposing unsuspecting customers to liability for Apex's unlicensed
products. But, Apex must be held to its contractual obligations. It
must either compete fairly or stop using the technology. Others who
pursue the path of unfair competition should understand that MPEG
LA will not stand idly by while companies flaunt their failure to
meet contractual obligations. In bringing this lawsuit, MPEG LA stands
by its customers who are meeting theirs."
MPEG LA can be found online at www.mpegla.com.
Aug 12 - America Online Introduces New
Version for Macintosh Users. The nation's largest Internet service
provider today unveiled what America Online is calling its "best
version for Apple Macintosh computers yet." The new AOL for Mac
OS X is completely redesigned to look like a true Mac application
and includes many new features, including some not yet in its PC counterpart.
AOL members on Macintosh computers won't have to look hard to find
major changes in the new AOL for Mac OS X. The top of the screen beams
with colorful new icons, the buttons glow, and translucent menus ensure
that nothing important is buried on the screen.
The new AOL for Mac OS X delivers many new features, including some
not yet included on AOL's Windows version such as the ability to access
saved web addresses from more than one computer.
Members can now personalize their emails and instant messages with
hundreds of pictures such as Harry Potter and other popular cartoon
characters. And new icons indicate when a member is online but away
from the computer, or available only on a mobile device such as a
pager. Additionally, the new Welcome Screen offers one-click access
to local breaking news and weather.
The new AOL for Mac OS X is available now as a free upgrade for existing
U.S. members at AOL Keyword: Upgrade and at www.aol.com.
Aug 11 - 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. Computer system prices went
down a little this week, but not much lower than there usual average
Notebooks - The HP Athlon 1400+ with DVD/CD-RD
drive at $1099 is a good buy compared to low-priced Duron or Celeron
notebooks, however I would have to recommend the Toshiba 1.2 GHz Celeron
over the HP Athlon 1400+ because of Toshiba's higher quality.
High-end notebook prices were about the same as last week.
Desktops - Two low-priced Celerons were advertised this week
and both are good buys.
Prices went down a little on Pentium 4 and 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 $150 mail-in rebates on all desktop
packages and a $100 gift card with any Pentium 4 or Athlon XP desktop
package. They are also offering 18 months of no interest financing
on all computers $599 and up.
Circuit City is giving away
12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase. In
addition they are offering 12 months no interest financing on all
desktop packages and notebooks.
has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 3 months
of free AOL with laptop/desktop purchase. They are also advertising
no payment/no interest financing for 6 months on any HP product purchase
Staples is offering $200 off any computer
purchase with 2 year MSN contract and 6 month no interest financing
on purchases over $498.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made
by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
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
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
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
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
Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
1. Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.3 GHz complete
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 1.4 GHz complete
system w CD-RW drive
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 2.0 GHz complete system
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.26 GHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ complete system
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ with 17 inch monitor (build-to-order)
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon XP 1400+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 8500LE 128 MB DDR Graphics Card
$129 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Siemens 4 port Cable/DSL Router
$40 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
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 09 - DVD+RW Alliance Announces Higher
Speed DVD Recording. The DVD+RW Alliance, a voluntary association
of industry-leading personal computer manufacturers, optical storage
and consumer electronics manufacturers today announced the specifications
for 4x DVD+R recording speeds and for 8cm DVD+RW/+R media. A first
in the industry for speed and compatibility, these specification enhancements
further solidify DVD+RW/+R as the industry leading consumer format
for data and video applications.
"Anticipating future end-users' needs, DVD+RW/+R specifications
have been designed from the start to offer the highest compatibility
and performance for both consumer video recording and PC applications,"
said Maureen Weber, general manager, HP Optical Storage Solutions
Business and spokesperson for the DVD+RW Alliance. "The addition
of 4x write speed and support for 8cm media were the next logical
steps in our roadmap to bring consumers increased performance and
user-friendliness in DVD recording."
4x DVD+RW/+R Specification
DVD recorders and data drives designed to this specification will
provide the ability to record at 44 megabits per second, taking less
than 15 minutes to record a full capacity DVD+RW/+R disc. This added
consumer convenience is testament to the strength of the DVD+RW/+R
format and its ability to evolve and maintain industry leadership
The 4x DVD+R specification is complete today with the 4x DVD+RW specification
available before the end of this year.
8cm Media Specification
This new form factor allows new products to take advantage of the
DVD+RW/+R format including mobile devices such as digital video cameras.
Like 12cm discs, the new 8cm media specification is designed to enable
compatibility with existing PCs with DVD-ROM and DVD players. With
disc capacities of 1.46 gigabytes, users can benefit from the smaller
form factor for data interchange applications.
The DVD+RW/+R format is capable of recording up to 4.7 gigabytes
of digital video, images or data. This equates to the storage capacity
of seven CD-R/RWs and the potential to store thousands of digital
photographs or approximately two to six hours of digital video. The
primary benefit of DVD+RW/+R is its two-way compatibility, meaning
that DVD+RW/+R media can be played in many DVD players and DVD-ROM
drives in use today.
Further details about the DVD+RW Alliance and supporting companies
can be found at www.dvdrw.com.
Aug 09 - Bluetooth And Wi-Fi Technologies
To Revolutionize Cars. According to the findings of a new report
from Allied Business Intelligence Inc (ABI), the use of Bluetooth
and Wi-Fi (a.k.a. 802.11) wireless technologies in the automobile
will dramatically alter the face of the automotive environment in
and out of the vehicle.
Future Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based automotive applications will deliver
new opportunities to all aspects of the industry, from silicon vendors
and hardware manufacturers, to automakers and gasoline retailers.
Due out later this year, Chrysler's UConnect Bluetooth hands-free
car kit will mark Bluetooth's introduction into a production vehicle.
But while telephony may be Bluetooth's key automotive market driver,
Wi-Fi's principal driver stems from the FCC's allocation of the 5.850-5.925
GHz band for DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications). This will
spur the introduction of interoperable, Wi-Fi based automotive services,
such as toll collection, mobile commerce, and entertainment. However,
hurdles still need to be overcome, including high silicon costs, power
consumption, and a lack of roadside infrastructure.
Although it may be another couple of years before vehicles come off
the assembly line with 802.11 hardware, Bluetooth-enabled equipment
will be embedded in several new American, Japanese, and European vehicles
beginning in 2003. According to report findings, nearly 20% of all
new vehicles will feature embedded Bluetooth hardware by 2007, while
almost 12% will contain embedded 802.11 hardware.
"Hands-free telephony will be just the beginning. The introduction
of Bluetooth and 802.11 into the automotive environment promises to
enable a slew of new and sophisticated automotive applications,"
said Frank Viquez, ABI Senior Analyst and report author. He also noted
that a partial list of such applications include remote vehicle diagnostics,
compelling and less expensive telematics services, highly advanced
automotive safety systems, and remote audio and video downloads into
Allied Business Intelligence Inc. can be found online at www.alliedworld.com.
Aug 09 - Linux OpenPrinting Workgroup
Formed. The Free Standards Group has launched a new workgroup
aimed at creating a standardized, scalable printing architecture and
high-level requirements for printing systems. The OpenPrinting Workgroup
is open to both industry and community participants to address the
needs of desktop to enterprise-ready printing, including management,
reliability, security, scalability, printer feature access and network
"OpenPrinting brings together both the leading free software
developers and printer vendors," said Scott McNeil, Free Standards
Group executive director. "By having the right parties creating
standards using open source methodologies and implementations, we
believe OpenPrinting will fulfill the promise of enhancing Linux printing
capabilities for both desktop and enterprise users alike."
The OpenPrinting Workgroup is in the process of creating a series
of modular standards that can be used individually or as a group,
depending on the end users' needs. This approach allows for true scalability
of features that include security, automated device discovery, printer
access control and automated enabling of printing resources across
Shawn Pratt, Project Manager at Hewlett-Packard, Inc. has been named
as Interim Workgroup Chair of the OpenPrinting Workgroup. Mr. Pratt
is in charge of leading the creation of a roadmap for the standards,
which will encompass the needs of individual users, networks from
large to small, Internet printing and mobile devices.
"Linux has successfully penetrated the server computing space
and is rapidly making inroads into the client computing space as well,"
said Shawn Pratt, OpenPrinting Workgroup Chair. "Given this new
success, having a set of comprehensive standards for printing architecture
and requirements being developed with input from both community and
industry is important to the continued growth of Linux. There is a
great deal of interest in printing, and for good reason. Printing
capabilities are a cornerstone for any computer system."
Printing standards for Linux ensure that Linux and Linux-based software
will have the structure necessary to address the advanced needs of
enterprise-level printing needs, creating yet another indispensable
tool for Linux. Information on the OpenPrinting Workgroup and how
to join can be found at www.freestandards.org/openprinting.
Aug 09 - Apple Expands Mac OS X Up-To-Date
Program. Apple is expanding their Mac
OS X Up-To-Date program.
Now, in addition to customers who purchase qualifying Macintosh systems
on or after July 17 that ship without Mac OS X v10.2 included, customers
who purchase Mac OS X v10.1.x on or after July 17 may also qualify
to upgrade to Mac OS X v10.2 for just $19.95 (US), plus applicable
They also have have a similar program in placeMac
OS X Server Up-To-Datefor those who would like to upgrade
to Mac OS X Server v10.2 and who purchased Mac OS X Server v10.1,
Xserve, or Macintosh Server G4 on or after July 17.
Aug 09 - IBM, Nion Scientists Create
World's Highest Resolution Electron Microscope. IBM and Nion Co.
researchers have developed innovative technology to peer deep inside
materials and view atoms interacting in different environments at
a resolution never before possible.
With computer-chip features shrinking to atomic scales, this breakthrough
addresses scientists' urgent need to see more clearly the details
of materials used in manufacturing semiconductors.
As reported in the August 8 issue of the journal Nature, the new
technique significantly extends the capabilities of the electron microscope
-- a scientific instrument that uses magnetic lenses to focus electrons
into very small beams to look at small, atomic-scale details in thin
slices of materials.
"We can't fix what we can't see," said Dr. Philip Batson,
the lead scientist on the project at IBM Research. "As the dimensions
of computer chips shrink, scientists need new tools to explore the
structures and properties of materials used in these chips. This breakthrough
improves our ability to see and thoroughly explore properties of electronic
For the past 50 years, electron optics engineers have sought to improve
the precision of electron microscopes by counteracting the image-blurring
effects of lens imperfections, or "aberrations." The largest
imperfection, "spherical aberration," cannot be fixed in
a single lens. To fix the problem, the IBM and Nion scientists combined
seven new sets of magnetic lenses with modern computers to actively
correct the aberration in real-time. After this correction, the microscope
can make an electron beam that is only 75 thousandths of a nanometer
(3 billionths of an inch), which is smaller than a single hydrogen
atom. This is the smallest electron beam produced in an electron microscope
Spying on Silicon for Smaller, Faster Computer Chips
Before the correction, the electron microscope yielded tantalizing
but incomplete information about the atomic structure of important
defects -- atomic level mistakes such as missing or extra atoms --
in semiconductor materials. Using this correction technique, scientists
now can see those defects, and if necessary, find ways to fix them.
For example, by examining the interaction of silicon (a semiconductor)
with silicon oxide (an insulator), scientists can look at how the
silicon and oxygen atoms bond to each other and determine the quality
of the insulator. If the insulator has any defects, scientists can
suggest ways to fix them, such as setting the right conditions to
optimize the growth of silicon and silicon oxide materials.
The breakthrough could also help scientists improve the properties
of silicon through a better understanding of how the atoms inside
of materials interact in certain environmental conditions. Watching
how atoms assemble, move around and interact with other atoms is fundamental
to understanding the properties of materials and may lead to a better
understanding of how to control environmental conditions so components
of future computer chips could self-assemble.
The authors of the Nature report, entitled "Sub-angstrom Resolution
Using Aberration Corrected Electron Optics," are Philip E. Batson
of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Laboratory in Yorktown Heights, N.Y;
and Niklas Dellby and Ondrej L. Krivanek of Nion Co. in Kirkland,
Washington. Images related to the paper are available at: http://domino.research.ibm.com/Comm/bios.nsf/pages/sub-a.html.
Aug 08 - Visioneer Announces OneTouch 9000
Scanner Series. Visioneer, a leader in intelligent imaging solutions,
today announced the newest additions to their Slimline scanner series,
the Visioneer OneTouch(TM) 9020 USB and the OneTouch(TM) 9000 USB
color flatbed scanners.
These are the company's first certified Hi-speed USB 2.0 scanners.
The suggested retail price for the OneTouch 9020 USB is $129.99 and
the suggested retail price for the OneTouch 9000 USB is $99.99.
"The Visioneer OneTouch 9000 USB and OneTouch 9020 USB are blazingly
fast," said Murray L. Dennis, Visioneer's President and CEO.
"Our in-house testing has proved the OneTouch 9000 USB to be
up to 5.5 times faster than many USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 full-speed scanners
and up to 2.9 times faster than competing hi-speed USB 2.0 scanners.
Our new scanners are also backwards compatible with existing USB 1.1
ports or you can easily improve your computer's speed with one of
Visioneer's new Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Host Adapters."
Both scanners are part of Visioneer's new Slimline series and feature
an optical resolution of 1200 x 4800 dpi, 48-bit internal color and
FlashBack(TM) Bi-directional AutoScan Technology. The OneTouch 9020
USB also includes a built-in backlight and film holder for scanning
35mm slides and negatives.
The scanners' high 1200 x 4800 optical resolution eliminates jagged
edges and captures the finest detail from originals. That is enough
to turn a 4"x 6" photo into a 16"x 24" image with
no loss of detail. Both scanners have passed the test suite required
by www.usb.org to carry the certified Hi-speed
USB 2.0 logo.
Additional information about Visioneer and its products may be found
on the Internet at www.visioneer.com.
Aug 08 - AOL Instant Messenger Available
to Nextel Wireless Users. America Online, Inc., the world's leading
interactive services company, and Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL),
the nation's leading provider of fully integrated, all-digital wireless
services, announced today the immediate availability of AOL content
and services including the popular AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) service
(AIM(R)), AOL Mail and other features, anywhere on Nextel's nationwide
all digital 2.5G packet data network.
The AIM service allows Nextel customers to use their wireless phones
to send and receive instant text messages with others in real-time,
making it possible to reach people wherever they are -- on their wireless
phone, at home or work on their computer, or using a wireless device
-- with the added benefit of "communicating without talking"
when discretion is needed during a conversation. One of the key features
of the AIM service is the Buddy List(R) feature which allows users
to immediately see when family, friends, colleagues and other contacts
are online and available to exchange instant messages.
In addition to the AIM service and AOL Mail, Nextel customers can
access news, driving directions, and local event and entertainment
information via AOL's popular interactive brands, including MapQuest
"Our customers are already accustomed to instant voice communications
through the use of Nextel Direct Connect(R), the incredibly powerful
long-range walkie-talkie feature that is part of every Nextel phone.
They'll now have the added value of instant messaging, as it allows
them to take care of business and personal affairs quickly and efficiently,"
said Blair Kutrow, Vice President of Product Management at Nextel
"Two-way text messaging has been a favorite of our data users,
and America Online expands this opportunity for them to instantly
communicate with their personal networks with ease wherever they are
on Nextel's always on national network. The AIM service is a great
complement to our current offerings, and we are pleased to provide
our customers with another instant communication offering."
"AOL features such as local information and instant messaging
are a central part of the lives of millions of consumers, and we're
excited to provide Nextel customers easy and convenient access to
these important services," said Lex Felker, Senior Vice President
of AOL Anywhere for America Online. "We think it's great to join
the leading instant messaging service with the nation's only 'instant
voice' service via Nextel's Direct Connect(TM) to make it even easier
for consumers to communicate while on the go."
Nextel customers can simply sign up for mobile access to AOL Instant
Messenger to exchange unlimited messages with any AIM user for a flat
$5 per month fee. Customers can use their existing Screen Name and
password to access AIM wirelessly. New AOL users can register for
a free AIM Screen Name and password at www.aim.com.
Aug 08 - July Component Order Index Remains
Flat. Electronic component orders remained flat in July according
to the latest report from the Electronic Components, Assemblies &
Materials Association (ECA).
While some companies report growth, others see little or no improvement
entering the second half of the year. Bob Willis, ECA president, characterizes
the trend as "positive stability."
Some manufacturers reported growth in the second quarter, but a sustained
recovery might be delayed until Q4 2002. "Inventories remain
lean in many market areas, which could trigger improved growth if
demand picks up in the latter half of 2002," says Willis. "Electronic
component manufacturers still see increasing unit sales this year.
Whether this will result in increased dollars is dependent on new
demand and a lessening of price pressures on suppliers."
The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association
(ECA) represents manufacturers and producers of passive and active
electronic components, component arrays and assemblies, and materials
and support services. For more information, visit www.ec-central.org.
Aug 08 - Deersoft Announces SpamAssassin
Pro for Microsoft Outlook. Deersoft, Inc. today announced expanded
platform support for the company's SpamAssassin Pro(TM) anti-spam
Users of Microsoft Outlook(R) on Windows 98 and Windows ME, in addition
to Windows 2000 and Windows XP, now have the functionality of the
best performing anti-spam filtering technology. Deersoft also announced
the immediate availability of an auto-update feature: the software
will automatically do a quick inspection for any new and improved
rules and features, and then ask users whether they want them installed.
"Spam continues to wreak havoc upon consumers and the businesses
who serve them," said Gordon Kruberg, co-founder and C.E.O of
Deersoft. "We're excited to make SpamAssassin Pro for Microsoft
Outlook available to Windows 98 and Windows ME users -- and look forward
to supporting them with our new instant updates."
"SpamAssassin Pro for Microsoft Outlook is awesome at catching
spam and the auto-update feature puts it over the top," said
Kevin Matthews, senior field engineer with Sierra Associates, Inc.
About SpamAssassin Pro for Microsoft Outlook
SpamAssassin's features provide strong barriers to unwanted email
while protecting against the denial of legitimate email traffic, and
its history of efficacy gives it a solid operating record. The benefits
of SpamAssassin include:
-- An end to Spam. SpamAssassin Pro effectively eliminates
90% to 98% of spam - most users see approximately 95%
-- Fast processing means that consumers get their email
without delay - and processors don't get overloaded.
-- NEW: Auto-updating. When users go online, Deersoft
automatically updates SpamAssassin Pro - adding new rules
and updates right as they become available. -more-
User may download the software -- free of charge -- for a 14-day
trial at www.deersoft.com, or
choose to purchase SpamAssassin Pro for $29.95.
Aug 08 - AMD Introduces Low Power Memory
for Cellular Phones. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the immediate
availability of a 64Megabit Flash memory device optimized for the
needs of the hand-held portable and cellular markets. This device
supports industry-leading levels of data throughput while consuming
significantly less power than competing products in all modes, including
up to 95 percent less power consumption in standby mode - a clear
advantage for AMD customers.
The device is also available in a multi-chip package (MCP) with either
8 Mb or 16 Mb of 1.8 Volt SRAM, which allows AMD customers to design
end products that are smaller and lighter.
"No other product on the market today delivers the low power
consumption of this device while simultaneously providing the high
throughput needed in advanced 2.5G and 3G phones," said Kevin
Plouse, vice president of technical marketing and business development
for AMD's Memory Group. "In addition to delivering the data throughput
needed by 54MHz processors, our devices use AMD's advanced and proprietary
power management technologies and consume as little as one-twentieth
the power of competing devices."
The Am29BDS640G Flash memory device operates at 1.8 volts and features
a high-performance burst-mode interface and AMD's award-winning Simultaneous
Read/Write architecture, plus FlexBank architecture. The new Flash
memory device supports 54MHz microprocessors used in advanced cell
phones and other emerging portable applications, and allows for random
access times of 70 ns and synchronous access times of 13.5 ns.
Additional information about AMD and its products is available at
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