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Computer News and Rumors

August 8-15 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 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 computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Aug 15 Sonic Desktop DVD Software Shipments Top Two Million Units
Aug 15 More Than Fifty Percent of Japanese Homes Are Internet Connected
Aug 15 Winners of Open Source Product Excellence Awards Announced at LinuxWorld
Aug 15 SEGA Mobile Rolls Out Its First Wireless Game
Aug 15 Toshiba Reaches Milestone of Three Million Cable Modems
Aug 14 Dell Introduces Dimension 2300; Affordable Desktop System
Aug 14 3ware Ships Industry's First Enterprise Class Serial ATA Controller
Aug 14 Red Hat Announces Linux for AMD Opteron
Aug 14 Altec Lansing Debuts Model 5100 Six-Speaker System
Aug 14 Downloads Can Cure Music Industry Slump
Aug 13 Home Networking Riding the Wave of Greater Consumer Acceptance
Aug 13 Panasonic Announces Revolutionary AG-DVX100 Mini-DV Camcorder
Aug 13 Niku Files Suit Against Business Engine for Alleged Theft and Computer Fraud
Aug 13 TDK Introduces New Tremor S-40 Speaker System
Aug 13 Canon Introduces imageCLASS D660 SOHO Laser Copier/Printer
Aug 12 1394 Trade Association Cites Strong FireWire Growth
Aug 12 Other World Computing Announces FireWire/USB Combo Drives
Aug 12 MPEG LA Sues Apex Digital, Inc
Aug 12 America Online Introduces New Version for Macintosh Users
Aug 11 Sunday Shopping Watch
Aug 09 DVD+RW Alliance Announces Higher Speed DVD Recording
Aug 09 Bluetooth And Wi-Fi Technologies To Revolutionize Automotive
Aug 09 Linux OpenPrinting Workgroup Formed
Aug 09 Apple Expands Mac OS X Up-To-Date Program
Aug 09 IBM, Nion Scientists Create World's Highest Resolution Electron Microscope
Aug 08 Visioneer Announces OneTouch 9000 Scanner Series
Aug 08 AOL Instant Messenger Available to Nextel Wireless Users
Aug 08 July Component Order Index Remains Flat
Aug 08 Deersoft Announces SpamAssassin Pro for Microsoft Outlook
Aug 08 AMD Introduces Low Power Memory for Cellular Phones

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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 firm comScore.

"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 2002, include:

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 PC Ownership
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
Trolltech: Qt/Embedded

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
Eon: eQueue

Best of Show
Borland: Kylix

"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 Greco.
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 invoice.
"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. market.
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 can match.
For more information, please visit www.us.segamobile.com and www.sprint.com/mr.

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 ATA solutions.

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."

Availability

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 Linux-based applications.

"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
applications

-- 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 Booth #747).
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.

Pricing, Availability

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 sales suffer.
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.

In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com) 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
declines.

-- 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
gateway chipsets.

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 documents."
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 multimedia speakers."
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 cartridge.
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 platforms.

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 support."

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 price.

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.
Office Depot 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 over $248.
Staples is offering $200 off any computer purchase with 2 year MSN contract and 6 month no interest financing on purchases over $498.
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
$479
CompUSA, Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 1.4 GHz complete system w CD-RW drive
$549
CompUSA
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 2.0 GHz complete system
$1199
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.26 GHz complete system
$1349
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ complete system
$999
Best Buy
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ with 17 inch monitor (build-to-order)
$1349
Staples
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon XP 1400+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
CompUSA
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1699
Circuit City
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 8500LE 128 MB DDR Graphics Card
$129 (after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Siemens 4 port Cable/DSL Router
$40 (after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Warcraft III
$45
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 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 and innovation.

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.

About DVD+RW/+R

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 the vehicle.

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 accessibility.

"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 a network.

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 local taxes.

They also have have a similar program in place—Mac OS X Server Up-To-Date—for 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 materials."

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 to date.

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 and Moviefone.

"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 Communications.

"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 software.

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%
eliminated.

-- 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-

Availability

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 www.amd.com.

 

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