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Daily Computer News and Rumors

August 25-29 2003

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Aug 29 Samsung Electronics Announces 256Mb GDDR2
Aug 29 Visioneer Announces First 3200 dpi Scanner To Ship For Under $150
Aug 29 Addonics Announces Mini ExDrive Serial ATA Hard Drive Kit
Aug 29 Wireline-to-Wireless Local Number Portability Will Reshape U.S. Telecom Market
Aug 29 Electronic Arts to Develop Titles for Nokia N-Gage Mobile Game Deck
Aug 28 Fujifilm Announces New Digital SLR-Type Camera for Everyday Consumers
Aug 28 Toshiba Unveils Next-Generation DVD Recordable Drives for Mobile Computers
Aug 28 Amazon.com Teams with New York Attorney General to Combat Email Forgeries
Aug 28 Best Data Products Inc. to Re-Launch Diamond's popular SupraMax modems
Aug 28 Visioneer Announces Trademark Licensing Agreement with Xerox
Aug 27 Symantec Launches Virus Protection for Handheld Devices
Aug 27 ATI's TV WONDER PRO Arrives Just In Time For Fall TV Viewing
Aug 27 DISH Network First to Offer Free Digital Video Recorder
Aug 27 Elpida Memory's 512 Megabit DDR400 SDRAM Devices Enable High-Speed
Aug 27 Adobe Announces New Video Software Bundles
Aug 26 Apple Ships New Power Mac G5
Aug 26 Hitachi Ships High Performance 4GB Microdrive
Aug 26 Plextor Delivers External Dual-Format DVD+/-R/RW Drive
Aug 26 PCFX Launches 64-bit OPTERON Gaming Computer
Aug 26 Close Call - the Sobig.F Activation Was Prevented
Aug 25 Dell Lowers Prices Across Broad Range of Products
Aug 25 SoBig.F Virus Protection Auto-Responders Flooding The Internet
Aug 25 I/OMagic Debuts New Dual Format Rewritable Drives
Aug 25 Systemax Announces $499 Venture PC Bundle


Aug 29 - Samsung Electronics Announces 256Mb GDDR2. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world's leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, today announces production of its 256-megabit (Mb) Graphics Double Data Rate2 (GDDR2) SDRAM. The 256Mb capacity will enable ultra high-density graphics memory cards of 512Mbytes, supporting the expanding market of 3D graphics software.

The new device, which has already been supplied to leading graphics card manufacturers, adopts a JEDEC standard 144-ball Fine-pitch Ball Grid Array (FBGA) package. This enables graphic card manufacturers to easily build memory density from 128Mb GDDR2 SDRAM without redesigning the graphic card. Samsung's 256Mb GDDR2 SDRAM also supports GDDR3, which awaits JEDEC standard approval next month.

Samsung's GDDR2 devices incorporate new technical features such as On-Die-Termination (ODT), Off-Chip driver-Calibration (OCD) and posted CAS to boost performance by 50 percent over graphics DDR SDRAM. The 1.6-gigabit per second pin data rate delivers an aggregate bandwidth of 6.4-gigabytes per second.

Samsung has introduced GDDR2 SDRAM ahead of competition by developing the industry's first 1Gbps 128Mb GDDR2 SDRAM in July 2002. Samsung's full-scale production of next generation graphics DDR SDRAM in the second half of 2003 will further accelerate its advanced graphics memory business. Samsung's goal is to maintain 50% market share in graphics DRAM which is forecast to reach 1.7 billion US$ by 2005.

For more information, visit www.samsungsemi.com.

Aug 29 - Visioneer Announces First 3200 dpi Scanner To Ship For Under $150. Visioneer, a leader in intelligent imaging solutions, today announced the newest addition to their Slimline scanner series, the Visioneer OneTouch(TM) 9320 USB color flatbed scanner. The new OneTouch 9320 USB is an extremely fast color flatbed scanner with the ability to scan up to 3200 x 6400 dpi in 48-bit color and has a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface. It began shipping into retail stores last week and has a suggested retail price of only $149.99.

"We are entering an exciting time when technology can allow us to introduce a 3200 dpi scanner for only $150 when several years ago, pre-press scanners at this resolution were selling for thousands," said Murray L. Dennis, Visioneer's President and CEO.
"The OneTouch 9320 also includes a built-in transparency adapter and film holder for scanning 1 negative or 1 slide at a time at the scanner's maximum resolution of 3200 dpi. This feature allows customers to scan and store their old negatives at resolutions comparable to specialized film scanners at a fraction of the cost. The scanner's high 3200 x 6400 optical resolution eliminates rough edges and captures the finest detail from originals."

The OneTouch 9320 USB is the next generation in Visioneer's Slimline scanner series and features 5 OneTouch buttons that are pre-configured for the most common scanning tasks, so users get great results within minutes of opening the box. It also features 48-bit output color and Visioneer's patented FlashBack(TM) Bi-directional AutoScan Technology. The scanner comes with a Hi-speed USB 2.0 interface that is backwards compatible with USB 1.1 ports.

The Visioneer OneTouch 9320 USB is currently available through Dell and will be available in early October at Office Max, CompUSA and other authorized retailers, computer super stores and online services, mail order catalogs and from Visioneer's web site at www.visioneer.com. The suggested retail price is $149.99. For additional information, consumers can visit the Visioneer web site.

Aug 29 - Addonics Announces Mini ExDrive Serial ATA Hard Drive Kit. Addonics Technologies today announced a hard drive kit that converts any 2.5-inch hard drive into an external Serial ATA drive to make high-speed Serial ATA data transfers practical and affordable for both desktop and notebook PCs.

The new Addonics Mini ExDrive is the one of the smallest and most portable external hard drive kits on the market. This new drive kit turns any 9 mm height 2.5" IDE hard drive into a fast 150MB per second Serial ATA external hard drive. The Mini ExDrive can be powered directly from the USB port of most computers, and can also be used as a bootable drive on any desktop computer equipped with a Serial ATA port.

The drive enclosure fits in the palm of your hand and weighs 10 ounces with the hard drive mounted. The sturdy aluminum body of the Mini ExDrive provides excellent protection and fast cooling for the hard drive.

To convert any 9 mm 2.5" IDE hard drive into a Serial ATA portable hard drive users just need to:

1.) Separate the SATA interface module from the drive enclosure.

2.) Attach the 2.5-inch hard drive to the IDE connector on the
interface module and then slide the drive all the way into the

3.) All that's left to do is to secure the back panel to the
enclosure by inserting and tightening two screws. Attach the
Addonics Serial ATA cable and power cable. Mission

The Mini ExDrive supports Windows 95, NT4, 98SE, Me, 2000 and XP, and DOS. System requirements include a PC/AT or compatible Pentium or greater system; one available Serial ATA port; minimum 32 MB RAM; and 10 MB minimum free hard disk space.

The complete Mini ExDrive Serial ATA package (Model #AESEXDSA) includes an External 2.5" hard drive enclosure with Serial ATA interface, a 3-foot External Serial ATA cable, USB power cable, 110/220 AC/DC power adapter, and User Guide. List price of the Mini ExDrive is $55.00.

Addonics products are available through the company online store www.shopaddonics.com, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including StorageUSA.com, Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, Ingram Micro, and Ma Lab.

Aug 29 - Wireline-to-Wireless Local Number Portability Will Reshape U.S. Telecom Market. As wireless-to-wireless local number portability (LNP) soon becomes a reality, wireline-to-wireless LNP remains the last portability barrier for wireless carriers to overcome. By mid-2004, Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT) (NYSE:ITB) analysts expect the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve a wireline-to-wireless LNP mandate that will have a major effect on the U.S. telecommunications market.

Gartner analysts said this action by the FCC would allow customers to take their phone numbers with them when they switch between wireline and wireless carriers.

"The impact of such a mandate will be more dramatic than wireless number portability," said Ron Cowles, research vice president for Gartner. "It will turn marketing strategies upside down and have a significant impact on customer calling patterns and areas, state and federal regulations, pricing and interconnection agreements, and product offerings and plans. It will also likely raise questions about market coverage, reach, telecom quality and security."

According to Gartner, nearly 10 percent of wireline consumers will transfer their service to wireless once they have the option to keep their current wireline phone numbers. That is in addition to customers that have already migrated from wireline to wireless and are likely to do so despite the number portability limitation.

"In the longer term only service providers with business models that offer consumers a full range of both wireline and wireless services, and easy transition between the two technologies, will succeed," said Alex Winogradoff, research vice president for Gartner. "Unaffiliated wireless operators will find it difficult to compete against affiliated operators and will likely go out of business unless they adopt a more comprehensive business model or partner with, acquire or be acquired by a wireline operator."

Carriers that already own wireline and wireless operations will be the least vulnerable to a restructuring of the market, but Gartner advises that they must develop truly integrated wireline and wireless solutions.

"Many technical, product and regulatory issues will have to be resolved before wireline-to-wireless number portability can be fully implemented," said Winogradoff. "Wireline-to-wireless LNP will predominately affect the mass market, but it is unlikely, in the near term, that it will impact the business market to any significant degree until wireless coverage and quality-of-service issues are resolved."

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Aug 29 - Electronic Arts to Develop Titles for Nokia N-Gage Mobile Game Deck. Nokia today announced an agreement with Electronic Arts (EA), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, to deliver select EA titles for the highly anticipated Nokia N-Gage(TM) platform.
Beginning this year for the holiday season, EA will deliver some of its leading game titles for the Nokia N-Gage, the world's first mobile and connected game deck that will be available globally on October 7, 2003.

"This is a great opportunity for us to extend titles from EA SPORTS and EA GAMES onto a new and exciting game platform," said EA Executive Vice President of North American Publishing Nancy Smith. "We plan to make use of all the great features of the Nokia N-Gage."

"We are thrilled to have Electronic Arts, an undisputed industry leader, on board the Nokia N-Gage. In recent years, EA has set a new industry standard on game design and interactive gameplay," said Ilkka Raiskinen, Senior Vice President, Entertainment and Media Business Unit, Nokia Mobile Phones. "By working with world's leading publishers like EA, we are continuing to focus on the long term success of the Nokia N-Gage platform."

About N-Gage

The Nokia N-Gage game deck is an innovative mobile device that is creating an entirely new market for the games industry. Built for active and hardcore gamers, the Nokia N-Gage is the first mobile and connected game deck to feature online high-quality 3D multiplayer gameplay over Bluetooth wireless technology and GPRS. The Nokia N-Gage also offers unique online games services as well as a comprehensive and growing games catalogue from the leading game publishers. Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Nokia and N-Gage are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nokia Corporation. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

About Electronic Arts

More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

Aug 28 - Fujifilm Announces New Digital SLR-Type Camera for Everyday Consumers. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. today announced the arrival of the Fujifilm FinePix S3000, a digital SLR-type camera for everyday photographers.

This model replaces the existing FinePix 3800, and will be available to consumers in October - just in time for the busy holiday season. The FinePix S3000 offers 3.2 million effective pixels to create crisp, colorful images perfect to share with family and friends through retail printing and email. The camera's compact, SLR-inspired styling and 6x optical zoom offer a familiar experience to consumers who already enjoy traditional photography.

The FinePix S3000 offers 3.2 million effective pixels, which can produce images of 2048 x 1536 (3.15 million) recorded pixels for best-quality prints up to 8 x 10 inches in size. The camera also offers 6x optical and 3.2x digital zooms, movie recording without sound and several scene positioning modes.

"Fujifilm knows that as consumers become more sophisticated about their digital photography options, they want a product that feels more like a traditional film camera while providing the benefits of digital," said Eric Thorng, Senior Marketing Manager, Consumer Digital Cameras, Photo Imaging Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc.
"The FinePix S3000 is a great example of how Fujifilm has integrated its film industry expertise with world-class digital technology - resulting in an easy-to-use, high performance camera. It's a great holiday gift for family and friends who love to capture best-quality everyday images with minimal fuss."

The FinePix S3000 comes bundled with a 16MB xD-Picture Card, four AA alkaline batteries, shoulder strap, USB cable, lens adapter ring, FinePix Viewer 4.1, and ImageMixer VCD 2 for FinePix. The camera will be available for purchase in October 2003 at the suggested list price of $399.99.

For more information on Fujifilm products, access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.

Aug 28 - Toshiba Unveils Next-Generation DVD Recordable Drives for Mobile Computers. Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) today introduced two slim-line optical disk drives that provide higher media recording speeds for mobile computers, and allow PC manufacturers to deliver better functionality to professionals on the go. The SD-R6112 slim DVD recordable drive enables mobile users to take advantage of 2x DVD recording, while the SD-R9012 super slim CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drive delivers 16x CD recording speeds in a petite 128mm x 9.5mm x 126.1mm format.

"As more and more computer users transition to mobile PCs, they're demanding desktop performance in a mobile package," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of marketing at Toshiba SDD. "Toshiba's new optical disk drives help OEMs continue to build lighter, thinner and more functional mobile computers even as some system components, like display screens, grow larger."

The Toshiba SD-R6112 drive supports 2x DVD-R, 1x DVD-RW, 1x DVD-RAM read, 16x CD-R and 10x CD-RW, allowing users to take advantage of multiple technologies in a single drive. The SD-R9012 supports 8x DVD-ROM, 16x CD-R and 10x CD-RW. Both drives include buffer underrun technology and a 2MB buffer. The tray loading drives are also shock resistant and feature low energy consumption, making them ideal for laptop design.

Toshiba's SD-R6112 and SD-R9012 slim-line drives will begin shipping to mobile PC manufacturers in late August. For more information, visit www.sdd.toshiba.com.

Aug 28 - Amazon.com Teams with New York Attorney General to Combat Email Forgeries. Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN) today and Monday filed federal lawsuits in the United States and Canada seeking to restrain 11 online marketers from sending email forgeries falsely labeled as coming from Amazon.com. As a deterrent to others, the suits also seek millions of dollars in punitive damages.

Simultaneously, the New York Attorney General's office has announced a settlement of civil fraud charges with one of the email forgers identified by Amazon.com. The agreement followed an investigation conducted with Amazon.com's cooperation. The settlement agreement prohibits Cyebye.com from using third parties' names to market, unless the company obtains authority to do so. The company is also required to keep records of all commercial emails during the next two years and provide the Attorney General's office with regular updates of its compliance with the settlement.

Cyebye.com must pay $10,000 in penalties to the State of New York. Amazon.com has also reached a settlement in principle with Cyebye.com. The agreement prohibits Cyebye.com from sending e-mail messages of any kind that include the Amazon.com name in any way without specific authorization from Amazon.com. The agreement also includes payment by Cyebye.com of monetary damages.

The Amazon.com lawsuits are only part of a broader company initiative to crack down on and eliminate email forgeries, also known as "spoofing," that affect the company. Spoofing is an illegal, deceptive online marketing ploy that conceals the true identity of an email sender and instead falsely identifies someone else as the sender.

"Spoofers lie about who's really sending these emails," said David Zapolsky, Amazon.com Vice President and Associate General Counsel. "Spoofing is forgery, and we're going after spoofers to the full extent of the law."

Zapolsky said the company has set up a special email account, stop-spoofing@amazon.com, for consumers to report suspected spoofing involving Amazon.com or to turn in email forgers posing as amazon.com.

Amazon.com is not the only trusted domain name that spoofers have abused with their email forgeries. According to Zapolsky, "Spoofing is a problem faced by any company with a trusted domain name that uses e-mail to communicate with its customers. It's not just spam; it's consumer fraud. And the actions taken today by Amazon.com and by the state of New York will send a strong message to anyone engaged in this conduct that it will not be tolerated."

The lawsuits will be available online at www.amazon.com/stopspoofing. In addition to the lawsuits, Amazon.com:

-- Will continue to investigate and take legal action against
those who use Amazon.com's name to send deceptive email.

-- Has begun working with several internet service providers and
other owners of trusted domain names in an attempt to explore
and promote technical solutions that would make it more
difficult to deliver a spoofed e-mail message to unsuspecting

-- Will continue to support federal anti-spam legislation that
would impose tough penalties against spoofing and similar
deceptive email practices.

Aug 28 - Best Data Products Inc. to Re-Launch Diamond's popular SupraMax modems. Best Data Products Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of analog and broadband communication products, today announced it has acquired assets of Diamond Multimedia's communication division from SONICblue Incorporated, including business assets, product inventory, trade names and trade marks, and other intellectual property. Under the ownership of Best Data, Diamond Multimedia will re-launch the complete line of its popular SupraMax modems.

"We are very excited to have acquired the modem assets of Diamond Multimedia," said Bruce Zaman, president and CEO of Best Data. "The Diamond SupraMax brand continues to have very strong recognition and appeal with consumers and value-added resellers. We know customers will be thrilled to see the Diamond SupraMax products updated with the latest technology back on the shelf. We are looking forward to working with our retailers and channel partners to make the re-launch extremely successful."

SONICblue CFO, Marcus Smith, said, "We are very pleased that Best Data has acquired Diamond Multimedia assets. With their reputation for quality and service and their experienced management team, we are confident Best Data is the ideal company to successfully re-launch the Diamond Multimedia brands."

About Best Data Products Inc.

Best Data Products Inc. is celebrating its 20th year of manufacturing an extensive line of data communications products including analog modems, broadband products, wireless home networking products, and other digital products for home and office use. Best Data sells its products worldwide through retail stores, catalogs and direct sales to OEM customers. Best Data can be reached at its web address: www.bestdata.com.

Aug 28 - Visioneer Announces Trademark Licensing Agreement with Xerox. Visioneer, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a trademark licensing agreement with Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) for Visioneer to develop, market and support a new line of Xerox-branded document scanners and digital projectors on an exclusive basis.

"By integrating the power of the Xerox brand with Visioneer's technology, we expect to further strengthen our position in the marketplace," said Murray L. Dennis, Visioneer's president and chief executive officer, noting that the Xerox-branded products will be distributed through Visioneer's extensive sales channels in North America, Latin America and Europe.

"Both companies' commitment to quality is recognized in the licensing agreement with provisions to maintain the highest standards throughout the product lifecycle," he added.

"A leading and recognizable global brand, the Xerox name is synonymous with innovation, quality, reliability and customer satisfaction," said Christopher AuClair, Xerox manager of corporate identity. "Like Xerox, Visioneer has a proven track record for its high quality and advanced products. These attributes align with Xerox's objectives of ensuring the sanctity of our brand."

The licensing agreement between Visioneer and Xerox is for a term of 3.5 years with an option for an additional 3-year extension.

Aug 27 - Symantec Launches Virus Protection for Handheld Devices. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today announced the Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds line of consumer and enterprise solutions. These three products will protect Palm OS- and Microsoft Pocket PC-compatible devices against viruses, worms and other malicious code.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will provide both real-time and on-demand scanning. In addition, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will also introduce LiveUpdate Wireless. This new feature will enable users with a wireless Internet connection to download virus definitions and Symantec product updates directly to their device over the Web.

The Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds line of consumer and enterprise solutions will include: Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds -- Annual Service Edition, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds -- Corporate Edition, and Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds -- Corporate Edition with Event and Configuration Manager. All three products are scheduled to be available for purchase in early September.

"As handheld devices are used in more homes and corporations, they make an increasingly attractive target platform for viruses and malicious code," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds protects these devices which, in turn, strengthens overall home and enterprise security."

According to Gartner Dataquest, more than 20 million handheld computers have been sold during the past five years. Many of them are connecting with enterprise systems at work, while being used during off-hours to surf the public Internet and casually connect with other compatible devices. Yet, industry experts estimate that virus protection is on only one percent of these devices; the remaining 99 percent are unprotected. This places both enterprise environments and homes at risk.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will protect these handheld devices from viruses, worms, and other malicious threats. The product's small footprint will fit unobtrusively in resource-constrained handheld devices and will also be easy to install. The software will be downloaded first on a desktop PC; application files for the Palm or Pocket PC will then be installed on the handheld device during the next synchronization.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds -- Annual Service Edition is available for pre-order at Symantec's online store at www.symantecstore.com. The product is scheduled to be available for purchase from retail stores and online retailers in early September.
The Annual Service Edition product will be offered as an annual, renewable subscription service to home users at an estimated retail price of US$39.95. This service will provide regular product updates as well as virus definition updates. When the annual subscription period ends and virus protection terminates, users will be able to renew their subscription to the service for the current renewal price of US$19.95.

Aug 27 - ATI's TV WONDER PRO Arrives Just In Time For Fall TV Viewing. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY) (NASDAQ:ATYT) is now shipping the new TV WONDER(TM) PRO, for (US) $69, and the new TV WONDER(TM) PRO REMOTE CONTROL EDITION, for (US) $99.

Both new additions to the TV WONDER family are now available in North America and provide owners with a digital VCR and electronic program guide (EPG) plus improved video capture quality. TV WONDER PRO REMOTE CONTROL EDITION includes the critically acclaimed radio-frequency REMOTE WONDER(TM) to allow easy access to computer application control.

These new add-on cards plug easily into any PCI (peripheral component interconnect) slot, available on almost all PCs. Owners can experience ATI's industry recognized video encoder and VIDEOSOAP(TM) that enable improved video quality. VIDEOSOAP allows users to "clean up" any captured video stream - from camcorder, old VHS tapes or poor TV signals - using a series of customizable filters for the best video quality results. When combined with an ALL-IN-WONDER(TM) video card, TV WONDER PRO owners can experience MulTView(TM) that enables Picture-in-Picture based on ability to support dual tuners in a single PC.

"Customers are demanding clear live TV experiences with no compression artifacts and our new TV WONDER PRO products meet that requirement," said Blair Birmingham, Group Product Manager, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "The TV WONDER family is designed to entertain and inform owners by offering a Digital VCR with a no-fee EPG, plus quality signal reception, and low computer system demands that all combine to provide a great TV-on-the-PC experience. With the additional VIDEOSOAP feature, owners can 'clean up' family videotapes before archiving them to a digital media for safe keeping and future viewing."

The new TV WONDER PRO solutions also deliver real-time MPEG-2 compression at full 720x480 resolution when using the Digital VCR that's included as an essential part of the software package.

For more information, visit www.ati.com.

Aug 27 - DISH Network First to Offer Free Digital Video Recorder. EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and its DISH Network(TM), a leading satellite television service, today announced the introduction of the DISH Player - DVR 510, the newest combination satellite TV receiver and digital video recorder (DVR).

As a pay-TV industry first, DISH Network is offering this new DVR for free to new customers as part of its latest "Free DISH" promotion, including its DISH Video On Demand service for the new DVRs.

The DISH Player - DVR 510 features a seven-day on-screen program guide, a 120-gigabyte hard drive capable of up to 100 hours of tapeless recording, parental locks and more. With the new Free DISH promotion, new customers will receive a free DISH Player - DVR 510, satellite dish, remote control and free standard professional installation. This is a savings of $299! This promotion ends Jan. 31, 2004.

DISH Network's new DISH Video On Demand service allows viewers to skip commercials and other pre-recorded programming without videotape, as well as pause live TV, perform slow-motion instant replays, fast forward and fast reverse. The DISH Video On Demand's tapeless recording capabilities give viewers complete control of their television to watch what they want at their convenience, including network programs, pay-per-view movies, sports, news or special events.

"DISH Network now delivers to consumers a free DVR satellite TV system, low-priced video recording on-demand and the lowest-priced, all-digital TV package in America," said John Scarborough, senior vice president of Marketing at EchoStar. "DISH Network's new DISH Video on Demand service lets new DVR customers record their favorite shows and skip commercials with the touch of a button. As a result, they watch more TV in less time."

The free DVR promotion requires a $49.99 activation fee, which will be credited on the customer's first bill. This promotion also requires a 12-month commitment, a minimum programming purchase of America's Top 50 or DISH Latino Spanish-language package, and includes free standard professional installation. Customers who make a 24-month commitment will be able to get a free Dish301 satellite television receiver in addition to the DISH Player - DVR 510, allowing them to watch different TV programs in separate rooms.

There is no monthly DISH Video On Demand service fee for DVR customers who sign up for America's Everything Pak programming package. For DVR customers choosing America's Top 100 or America's Top 150 programming packages, a monthly service fee of $4.98 will apply.

For more information on DISH Network and any of its products or services, visit www.dishnetwork.com.

Aug 27 - Elpida Memory's 512 Megabit DDR400 SDRAM Devices Enable High-Speed. Elpida Memory, Inc. (Elpida), an industry-leading provider of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today announced the availability of its 512 Megabit DDR400 SDRAM components and its 1 Gigabyte unbuffered dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) designed for high-density, high-speed performance in desktop and workstation applications.

Within the computing industry, DDR400 memory is considered to be an important architecture for achieving maximum system performance because it allows the microprocessor's front-side bus and the memory to be synchronized at the very high data rate of 400 Megabits per second (Mbps) per pin. On a 1 Gigabyte module, this translates to 3200 megabytes per second (PC3200).

"High-performance computers will really benefit from the lower latency products because of their ability to decrease memory access clock cycles," said Jun Kitano, director of Technical Marketing for Elpida Memory. "Elpida's DDR400 devices and modules combine both high-frequency and low latency operation to create an optimal environment for robust system performance."

Elpida Memory, Inc. is a manufacturer of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) with headquarters based in Tokyo, Japan, and sales and marketing operations located in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Elpida offers a broad range of leading-edge DRAM products. Elpida is a joint venture company formed by NEC and Hitachi on Dec. 20, 1999 and has been in operation since April 2000. For more information, visit www.elpida.com.

Aug 27 - Adobe Announces New Video Software Bundles. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the availability of the new Adobe Video Collection -- Standard and Professional editions -- which are comprised of new versions of the company's award-winning video products: Adobe(R) Premiere(R) Pro, Adobe After Effects(R) 6.0, Adobe Audition(TM), and Adobe Encore(TM) DVD. Also available for individual purchase, these products create an all-Adobe workflow to help professionals transform video and audio into compelling stories.

"Adobe's new video line-up delivers professional-quality results without having to invest in costly proprietary video production systems," said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and Video Products at Adobe. "The combination of these new Adobe video products allows customers to create stunning video productions on the leading video technology platform."

The Adobe Video Collection is available in two versions for Windows: Standard and Professional. The Professional edition includes Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects (Professional edition), Adobe Audition, Adobe Encore DVD, and Adobe Photoshop(R) 7.0 software, delivering tools for editing digital images; designing motion graphics and visual effects; real-time video and audio editing; and DVD authoring.
The Standard edition includes After Effects (Standard edition) for basic video and audio production, but doesn't include Photoshop. Both versions of the collection offer tremendous cost savings and allow users to expand their professional knowledge by adding new tools to their repertoire.

The Standard and Professional editions of the Adobe Video Collection for Windows XP are now shipping and can be purchased for an estimated street price of US$999 for the Standard edition and US$1499 for the Professional edition. The products are available from www.adobe.com, Adobe certified resellers, as well as licensing and education programs. Until September 30, 2003, customers can purchase the Standard edition of the Adobe Video Collection for US$799.

Aug 26 - Apple Ships New Power Mac G5. Apple® announced that it has begun shipping the two single processor models of its Power Mac® G5, the world’s fastest personal computer featuring the first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus. The dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 will ship late this month, as planned. Apple also announced that it has received orders for over 100,000 Power Mac G5s since its introduction on June 23.

“The Power Mac G5 is a big hit with customers and developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The two single processor Power Mac G5 models are available now, so we wanted to get those into customers hands as soon as possible, and we’re right on track to deliver the dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 later this month.”

Powered by the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the Power Mac G5 is the first personal computer to utilize 64-bit processing technology for unprecedented memory expansion and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

Delivering the industry’s highest system bandwidth, the Power Mac G5 line offers dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1 GHz front-side bus, for an astounding 16 GBps of bandwidth. The line also features the industry’s highest bandwidth memory (400 MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM with throughput up to 6.4 GBps); the industry’s fastest PCI interface available on a desktop (133 MHz PCI-X); and cutting-edge AGP 8X Pro graphics capabilities, all within a stunning new professional aluminum enclosure featuring innovative computer-controlled cooling for quiet operation.

The two single processor models of the Power Mac G5 are available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Aug 26 - Hitachi Ships High Performance 4GB Microdrive. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced that it is now shipping qualification samples of its 4GB Microdrive to consumer product manufacturers worldwide. The one-inch diameter drive features a data transfer rate that represents a 70 percent increase from the previous-generation Microdrive. The new drive will also continue its tradition of offering a significantly lower cost-per-megabyte than competitive solid-state memory solutions.

Hitachi's 4GB Microdrive is the world's smallest hard disk drive, weighing just over a half an ounce (16 grams) and equivalent in size to a matchbook. The miniaturized hard drive is designed for users who demand maximum capacity for storing large quantities of high-resolution digital photos and video, MP3 music, electronic games and other large files. The data storage available on the 4GB Microdrive is roughly equivalent to a full-length DVD movie or 75 hours of high-quality digital music.

Consumer product manufacturers that are evaluating the new Microdrive for compatibility with current and future products include Blaupunkt, Kodak, Minolta Co., Ltd., Nikon, Olympus, Pentax Corporation, Sigma and Sony Corporation. Many of these industry-leading companies already support Hitachi's current-generation Microdrive in their consumer electronic devices.

"As we migrate into a world of mobile computing and communications, we will see significant growth in portable devices that use more data and have greater storage requirements," said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., principal analyst, MobileTrax. "The new 4GB Hitachi Microdrive provides the capacity necessary to satisfy the skyrocketing need for affordable, high-capacity data storage in portable devices."

Product Compatibility and Availability

Hitachi's new 4GB Microdrive (officially known as the Hitachi Microdrive 3K4 series) is designed to the Compact Flash Type II industry standard and is compatible with a wide variety of devices that accept CF+ Type II media. The 4GB Microdrive is formatted at the factory using the FAT32 file system to remedy the 2GB limitation of the FAT16 file system. Therefore, when used in a digital camera, the camera must support a FAT32 file system. For additional information about the new Microdrive, please visit www.hgst.com.

Hitachi will continue to offer its current 1GB Microdrive to customers throughout the world and is planning to introduce a 2GB version of the Microdrive later this year. The company expects the new 4GB Microdrive to be available on retail shelves in major markets this November at a MSRP of $499.

Aug 25 - Plextor Delivers External Dual-Format DVD+/-R/RW Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of DVD and CD recording equipment, today announced the new external PX-708UF DVD+/-R/RW drive for burning DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, and CD-R/RW discs.
A dual interface supports both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and full-speed compliant IEEE 1394 FireWire(R) for data transfer. Now Plextor customers can easily share a single high-performance DVD/CD recorder among multiple Apple(R) Macintosh(R) and Microsoft(R) Windows(R)-based personal computer systems.

The new Plextor drive helps remove the risk of purchasing a DVD/CD burner that does not comply with future DVD recording standards, and it gives customers greater flexibility in choosing which DVD recordable media they use today. The PX-708UF supports 8X DVD+R and 4X DVD-R Writing; 4X DVD+RW and 2X DVD-RW Rewriting; and 12X max DVD-Reading.

The DVD/CD burner also boasts high-speed 40X CD-R Writing, 24X CD-RW Rewriting, and 40X max CD-Reading. The drive includes a bundle of premium digital media software from Roxio (NASDAQ:ROXI), including Roxio(R) Easy CD & DVD Creator(TM) 6 - DVD Edition, Roxio Toast(R) 5 Lite, and Roxio PhotoSuite(R) 5 SE.

"The PX-708UF DVD/CD drive offers our customers the ultimate in adaptability and flexibility," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "This external burner handles CDs and DVDs, supports DVD- and DVD+ recording format standards, and interfaces with both PCs and Macs via USB 2.0 or FireWire. The PX-708UF offers a highly reliable solution, whether at the office or at home, and no matter what the application -- from archiving data to copying audio CDs to editing video DVDs."

Pricing and Availability

The Plextor PX-708UF DVD+/-R/RW drive is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers in North and South America in September 2003. The PX-708UF drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $359.00 USD. All retail packages include unlimited toll-free technical support and one-year full warranty. Reservations for the PX-708UF drive are now being accepted at www.plextorshop.com.

Aug 25 - PCFX Launches 64-bit OPTERON Gaming Computer. PCFX is proud to announce the immediate availability of the new Leviathan III, based on AMD’s Opteron 64-bit high performance CPU.
The Leviathan III will be available with Opteron models 240, 242, 244, 246, and will be paired with nVidia’s new nForce3 system platform processor, bringing AGP 8X, dual channel DDR, Serial ATA, and more to the already impressive feature list of the Leviathan III.

“We are very excited to offer the power of the Opteron processor in our Leviathan III gaming computers”, says Chris Morley of PCFX Technologies. “The AMD Opteron brings an unprecedented level of forward-looking performance, with extremely fast 32-bit performance today, and compatibility with tomorrow’s 64-bit operating systems, applications, and games.”

PCFX Technologies is a designer of high performance custom computers, with a focus on gaming, 3D modeling, and digital content creation. For more information visit www.pcfx.cc.

Aug 26 - Close Call - the Sobig.F Activation Was Prevented. The expected activation of the Sobig.F worm has been prevented. The activation was programmed to take place on Friday the 22nd of August at 19:00 UTC. The activation was prevented through a 24-hour race against the clock by various organizations around the world.

Everything started from the detailed analysis of the worm by the F-Secure research team, which found and decrypted the list of 20 Encrypted compromised server IP addresses from within the worm. Armed with the list of 20 IP addresses F-Secure, various internet service providers, CERT organizations from around the world, FBI and Microsoft were able to locate and disconnect or shut down most of the master servers necessary for the activation to be successful.

Six hours before the deadline, 11 of them were disconnected from the Internet. Just before the activation, 18 of them were disconnected. One of the remaining servers was unreachable, perhaps turned off. One was still operating when the attack started, but it immediately became unreachable as tens of thousands of infected machines from around the world started sending traffic to it.

F-Secure has been attempting to connect to all the 20 machines from three different sensors in three different countries to confirm that they are down. So far, we've been unable to connect even once. If we can't connect, neither can the infected machines - and the activation won't succeed.

Sobig.F, which is currently the most widespread worm in the world, contains an encrypted list of 20 servers located in USA, Canada and South Korea. The worm tried to connect to these servers to download the address of another server from which the worm would have downloaded an unknown application. The application would have then been immediately executed on all the infected computers.

More information about the Sobig.F worm and the attempted attack is available at http://www.F-Secure.com.

Aug 25 - Dell Lowers Prices Across Broad Range of Products. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced price reductions on popular enterprise, small-medium business and consumer products by as much as 22 percent, extending its position as the industry's value leader for computer systems and peripherals.

"Historically, Dell has delivered the best total value in the industry and we are extending that legacy," said Kevin Rollins, president and chief operating officer. "All Dell customers, from large corporations to home users, can benefit from the price reductions we are announcing today."

Dell corporate and institutional customers can save up to $50 on Optiplex desktop computers, and up to $550 on certain Precision workstation configurations. In the data center, customers deploying powerful four-processor servers now pay up to $2,800 less for the PowerEdge 6600 -- a 22 percent difference in price. Popular rack-dense servers have been reduced in price by up to 10 percent.

Consumers and small-to-medium businesses can save up to 6 percent on Dimension desktops and 3 percent on Inspiron notebooks. Printer and projector prices have been reduced by 10 to 13 percent, and a popular 17-inch flat panel monitor has been reduced by 20 percent to $399. For example, the Dell J740 personal inkjet printer is now available for only $79.

"The efficiency of the Dell model has enabled us to continually reduce prices and return savings to the customer," added Mr. Rollins. "Today's announcement is another example of how Dell consistently delivers the products and services that customers need at the best quality and prices in the market. This in turn has driven consistent and leading levels of customer satisfaction across our product lines and has helped deliver shareholder value and company growth."

For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Aug 25 - SoBig.F Virus Protection Auto-Responders Flooding The Internet. MX Logic, Inc., a provider of email protection and security services, is enabling its service provider, enterprise and reseller customers to automatically block third-party virus protection auto-responders that are currently flooding the Internet due to the proliferation of the SoBig.F virus. These notifications are distributed automatically via email almost every time anti-virus engines detect the SoBig.F worm.

"A consequence of the SoBig.F virus is that anti-virus software solutions are flooding the Internet with automated responses to many or all instances of the worm. The end result is a clogging of corporate networks, disrupting and seriously impacting mission-critical business operations," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer, MX Logic.

"To address this problem, MX Logic has developed a global content filter that enables its customers to opt-in and block the virus protection auto-responders. This solution is provided as a part of MX Logic's email protection security services that stop email threats at the network perimeter, blocking viruses before they enter the network. The end result for our customers is complete protection from the SoBig.F and its ramifications."

The latest version of the SoBig mass-emailing computer virus, a strain that first debuted in January, spreads by sending messages to email addresses it finds in the victim's machine, usually those from downloaded Web pages, emails and other files. Messages are received with subjects such as "Re: Thank you!" or "Your details," attachments such as "document_9446.pif", "application.pif", "wicked_scr.scr" or "movie0045.pif" or body such as "See the attached file for details." The SoBig.F worm variant, as with the previous variants of the virus, is programmed to terminate its propagation on Sept. 10, 2003.

MX Logic's Virus Guard service enables enterprises and service providers to identify, quarantine, block and strip viruses and worms before they enter the network. MX Logic's services can be implemented immediately and require no integration, migration or upfront costs.

For more information about MX Logic, visit www.mxlogic.com.

Aug 25 - I/OMagic Debuts New Dual Format Rewritable Drives. I/OMagic Corporation (OTCBB:IOMG), a leading developer and marketer of data storage and digital entertainment devices, announced today the first in a series of new dual drives -- the internal DVD +/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 4x DVD Rewritable Drive.

The internal DVD +/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 4x DVD Rewritable Drive is available in a beige or black bezel design and is the latest advancement in DVD burning technology. It also includes Pinnacle System's award-winning Studio SE, Expression and Instant CD/DVD software, and new CD burning technology that increases storage capacity giving users up to 1.4GB of storage space on standard CD-R, double the normal storage capacity of a CD-R.

"This is just the first in a series of new dual drives for I/OMagic. It makes sense to offer drives that are compatible with a broad variety of media and players, and combine the best technologies into one drive," said Tony Andrews, vice president of Engineering and Product Development for I/OMagic Corporation. "With our new dual format drives, users no longer have to worry about what type of media to buy or the differences between plus and minus rewritable technologies."

The internal DVD +/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 4x DVD Rewritable Drive burns DVDs in +R, +RW, -R, and -RW. It features write speeds of 4x for DVD+R and DVD-R, 2.4x for DVD+RW and 2x for DVD-RW.

The internal DVD +/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 4x DVD Rewritable Drive features Pinnacle System's award-winning Studio SE, Expression, and Instant CD/DVD software which allows for the creation of DVD movies that can be played on home DVD players, authoring tools for data management and disk creation, as well as fun and easy ways to share digital photos on CD or DVD. Operating systems supported are Windows XP/2000/Me and 98 SE.

The internal DVD +/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 4x DVD Rewritable Drive has an introductory price of $229 and is currently available at Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA. For more information, visit the I/OMagic Web site at www.iomagic.com.

Aug 25 - Systemax Announces $499 Venture PC Bundle. Systemax, Inc. (NYSE: SYX - News), a leading manufacturer and distributor of PCs and related computer products, leaps ahead of the competition in the PC pricing war with the announcement of the industry's most aggressively priced PC bundle, the Systemax Venture(TM) U22R "Back To School" special offer.

Designed to help students get power, performance and versatility at the most affordable price available today, the complete system features an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor at 2.2 GHz, a 14" LCD Flat Panel Display, a Lexmark(TM) printer, and lifetime antivirus protection, all for a limited time offer of $499 after rebates. The system is currently available for ordering and the offer runs through October 10th.

The new Systemax Venture PC bundle also offers a huge 40 GB hard drive for storing thousands of songs, videos, digital photos and even homework assignments and term papers. The bonus Lexmark printer generates high quality color photos and sharp text for neat, crisp printing.

The system also features a 52X (max) CD-ROM for tackling the most demanding applications and music CDs, while the on-board 10/100 Ethernet card lets you plug into a high speed connection and start surfing the Web instantly. The 14" LCD Flat Panel Display monitor completes the sleek, modern profile.

For a limited time, Systemax is offering a total of $150 in rebates to bring the final price of this complete package to just $499. Flexible configuration options are also available without losing the rebates.

"Having a state-of-the-art PC system is a critical tool to help students of any age get ahead, and in an era of skyrocketing education costs, Systemax is committed to making it easy to afford the best technology available," said Sean Aryai, Director OEM Marketing, Systemax Inc.
"Our new $499 Venture system offers the most PC 'bang for the buck' available today, including an impressive Pentium 4 processor and flat panel monitor. Additionally, we back all our products with a first-class 24/7 customer service program, provided by fast and knowledgeable specialists trained to help resolve caller questions as quickly and efficiently as possible."

For more information on ordering the Venture(TM) U22R System, visit www.globalcomputer.com.

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