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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

December 09-20 2001

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Dec 20 IBM Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History
Dec 20 AT&T Broadband to Merge With Comcast Corporation
Dec 20 Electronic Component Orders Continue Upward Trend
Dec 20 Dell Urges Consumers to Donate Old Computers
Dec 19 High-Speed Internet Service Provided Via Digital Television Station
Dec 19 4D WebMail Public Beta 2 Released
Dec 19 Statistics Show 2001 as Worst Year for Semiconductor Industry
Dec 18 Toshiba Announces Reorganization of Memory Business
Dec 18 Unisys Study Reveals New Digital Divide Emerging Among Businesses
Dec 18 SONICblue Unveils Rio Advanced Digital Audio Center
Dec 17 AMD Introduces 1 GHz Mobile AMD Duron Processor
Dec 17 Plextor Delivers External USB 24/10/40 CD-RW Drive
Dec 17 Evergreen Announces New 2.5'' Pocket HotDrive
Dec 17 Track Santa's Journey Live On the Web
Dec 14 Intel Settles K7 Patent Infringement Case With Via
Dec 14 Covad Expected to Exit Bankruptcy
Dec 14 Adobe Systems Reports Fourth Quarter Results
Dec 13 HP Leads the Way to Mobile Information Access
Dec 13 Transmeta Corporation Updates Fourth Quarter 2001 Financial Outlook
Dec 13 Socket Bluetooth Connection Kit Receives ``Nokia OK'' Logo
Dec 13 Symantec Provides Anti-Virus Protection to Palm Users
Dec 12 AMD Unveils Athlon MP Processor 1900+ and AMD-760 MPX Chipset
Dec 12 Intel Accelerates Development of ``Human-like'' Computer
Dec 12 Hitachi Introduces Value-priced 17" LCD Monitor
Dec 12 Interactive Media Corporation to Release 5 in 1 USB Card Reader
Dec 12 ICQ Announces New Versions of Instant Messaging
Dec 11 ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV Now Shipping
Dec 11 Philips Semiconductors Delivers More Than Three Million Bluetooth Units
Dec 11 Sprint and Toshiba Join Forces to Deliver Wireless Connectivity
Dec 11 Most Professionls Will Adopt Portable Wireless Solutions by 2005
Dec 10 MicronPC Introduces Two New High Performance Notebooks
Dec 10 Sims Digital Launches Voice Recorder/FM Radio
Dec 10 Digital Global Network Unveils Small MP3 Player
Dec 9 Sunday Shopping Watch

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

 

Dec 20 - IBM Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History. Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center (NYSE:IBM) have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems.
"This result reinforces the growing realization that quantum computers may someday be able to solve problems that are so complex that even the most powerful supercomputers working for millions of years can't calculate the answers," said Nabil Amer, manager and strategist of IBM Research's physics of information group.
In today's issue of the scientific journal Nature, a team of IBM scientists and Stanford University graduate students report the first demonstration of "Shor's Algorithm" -- a method developed in 1994 by AT&T scientist Peter Shor for using the futuristic quantum computer to find a number's factors -- numbers that are multiplied together to give the original number. Today, factoring a large number is so difficult for conventional computers -- yet so simple to verify -- that it is used by many cryptographic methods to protect data.
A quantum computer gets its power by taking advantage of certain quantum properties of atoms or nuclei that allow them to work together as quantum bits, or "qubits," which serve simultaneously as the computer's processor and memory. By directing the interactions between qubits while keeping them isolated from the external environment, scientists enable a quantum computer to perform certain calculations, such as factoring, exponentially faster than conventional computers. When factoring large numbers using a conventional computer, each added digit roughly doubles the time to find the factors. In contrast, the quantum factoring time increases by only a constant increment with each additional digit.
The simplest meaningful instance of Shor's Algorithm is finding the factors of the number 15, which requires a seven-qubit quantum computer. IBM chemists designed and made a new molecule that has seven nuclear spins -- the nuclei of five fluorine and two carbon atoms -- which can interact with each other as qubits, be programmed by radio frequency pulses and be detected by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instruments similar to those commonly used in hospitals and chemistry labs.
The IBM scientists controlled a vial of a billion-billion (10**18) of these molecules so they executed Shor's algorithm and correctly identified 3 and 5 as the factors of 15. "Although the answer may appear to be trivial, the unprecedented control required over the seven spins during the calculation made this the most complex quantum computation performed to date," Amer said.
"Now we have the challenge of turning quantum computation into an engineering reality," said Isaac Chuang, leader of the research team and now an associate professor at MIT. "If we could perform this calculation at much larger scales -- say the thousands of qubits required to factor very large numbers -- fundamental changes would be needed in cryptography implementations."
While the potential for quantum computing is huge and recent progress is encouraging, commercial quantum computers are still many years away. NMR-based quantum computers are laboratory experiments. The first quantum computing applications would likely to be co-processors for specific functions, such as solving difficult mathematical problems, modeling quantum systems and performing unstructured searches. Word processing or simple problem-solving tasks are more easily handled by today's computers.
Photos and more information can be found on the Web at: http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml.

Dec 20 - AT&T Broadband to Merge With Comcast Corporation. AT&T (NYSE: T) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced that their Boards of Directors approved a definitive agreement to combine AT&T Broadband with Comcast in a transaction that values AT&T Broadband at an aggregate value of $72 billion. The transaction will create the world's pre-eminent broadband services company and is expected to be tax-free to shareowners.
The new company, to be called AT&T Comcast Corporation, will be one of the leading and most powerful communications, media and entertainment companies in the world. It will have approximately 22 million subscribers and a major presence in 17 of the United States' 20 largest metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Forth Worth, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco-Oakland. It will be the world's leading provider of broadband video, voice and data services with annual pro forma revenue of approximately $19 billion. The combined company will have a presence in 41 states with approximately 5 million digital video customers, 2.2 million high-speed data customers and one million cable telephony customers.
AT&T Comcast Corporation will begin life with a clear mandate to aggressively expand the availability of those services throughout its service areas, including plans to bring a choice in local telephone service to more than 38 million homes passed by its cable systems. The new company's telephony footprint will have national reach and its scale will allow it to develop and deploy new broadband applications such as video on demand and interactive television.
AT&T's decision, which received unanimous approval and full support by its Board of Directors, culminates a rigorous process that began last July when the AT&T Board directed management to assess strategic and financial alternatives for its Broadband unit to create long-term shareowner value.
"AT&T Comcast will create value for its customers, shareowners and employees by bringing more services to more people more quickly," said C. Michael Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AT&T. "This is a leap forward in realizing a vision that thousands of AT&T people have worked toward - bringing greater choice in affordable broadband video, voice and data services to even more American homes. AT&T Broadband and Comcast can accomplish more together than we could alone. Our shareowners and our employees will both benefit from the industry-leading growth we will achieve."
Brian L. Roberts, president of Comcast Corporation, said, "Bringing together AT&T Broadband and Comcast, creates a company with a national footprint and a powerful growth platform uniquely positioned to efficiently deliver content and entertainment to its customers. I look forward to working with Mike and the AT&T Broadband team to achieve the full potential of this tremendous new company."
The companies' web sites can be found at www.att.com and www.comcast.com.

Dec 20 - Electronic Component Orders Continue Upward Trend. Incremental improvements across a wide range of product categories pushed November electronic component orders slightly up, according to the monthly index from the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA).
The slow upward trend that began in late summer is expected to continue until the end of the year and into 2002.
"Our data indicates that the upward trend will continue but not accelerate greatly," says Bob Willis, ECA president. "Gradual improvements into the first half of 2002 will make any recovery moderate at best."
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. It is a sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), comprising more than 2,100 members that represent 80 percent of the $550-billion U.S. electronics industry. For more information, visit www.ec-central.org.

Dec 20 - Dell, National Cristina Foundation Urge Consumers to Donate Old Computers. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) and the National Cristina Foundation (NCF) are encouraging new computer buyers this holiday season to consider donating their used computer to help organizations across the country re-use it to help less fortunate individuals.
Consumers can donate their used computers through Dell Exchange at www.dell4me.com/dellexchange. Donated systems are typically placed with non-profit or public agencies in the donor's local area. There is no cost to the consumer and the donation can be a tax deduction.(a)
"Donating a used computer is perhaps one of the easiest ways to embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season," said Dr. Yvette Marrin, president of the National Cristina Foundation. "Our organization's motto is 'old computers have the power to give new life' and we want to encourage consumers across the country to not let their old computers gather dust at home but rather help organizations in their communities use that 're-use power' to help others."
This month, Dell and NCF mark the one-year anniversary of their partnership through which hundreds of computers donated by individuals are being re-used by organizations nationwide.

Dec 19 - High-Speed Internet Service Provided Via Digital Television Station. In the first step of a national rollout, Clear Channel Wireless, a division of Clear Channel Worldwide (NYSE:CCU), announces the launch of a new high-speed Internet service, Delta V ("del-ta vee"), which uses the WKRC-TV digital television signal.
Using a latent portion of the digital television signal, Delta V enables home and small business Internet users who cannot get high-speed access to download files from the Internet at 256 kilobits per second (Kbs), up to six times the speed of a normal dial-up connection. Delta V's use of the television signal is especially important to those Internet users whose location precludes them from high-speed Internet access. Further, it is not dependent on specific wires or distance requirements.
"As entrepreneurs, we saw the holes in the high-speed Internet service coverage map," said Leon Brown, chief operating officer of Clear Channel Wireless. "As broadcasters, we saw the opportunity to provide a service to the unserved users in those areas while delivering free, high definition television to the viewing public. Delta V is an answer to both of those diverse public needs."
As part of their digital television (DTV) rollout, WKRC-TV -- a pioneer in DTV development -- will provide the bandwidth for Delta V.
"As Cincinnati's leading television station, we at WKRC-TV believe that Delta V will provide our tri-state community with an important service," said Christopher Sehring, WKRC-TV's vice president and general manager. "Delta V is a terrific example of how two technologies can be integrated to create a new product that will benefit many. It is fitting that Cincinnati, one of our nation's most wired cities, should be at the technological forefront with this rollout."
Currently, Delta V is only available in the Cincinnati area. Clear Channel Wireless plans to offer Delta V in television markets throughout the United States in the coming year.
More information about the service is available at www.deltav.tv. More information about WRKC can be found at www.wkrc.com. Detailed information on how the system works can be obtained at http://www.deltav.tv/default.asp?a=discover.

Dec 19 - 4D WebMail Public Beta 2 Released. 4D, Inc., publishers of the 4th Dimension RAD/RDBMS Environment and 4D WebSTAR Server Suite, today announced the second public beta release of 4D WebMail, a Web-based email client. Built entirely in 4th Dimension, 4D WebMail beta is available today from http://www.4DWebMail.com/.
"4D WebMail is a great working example of the power and flexibility of 4D," explained Brendan Coveney, president and CEO, 4D, Inc. "Now anyone with a browser, anywhere on the planet can manage their email with search tools, attachment handling, address books and a great deal more. We're proud to demonstrate the power of 4th Dimension with this full-featured email client."
As a cross-platform browser plug-in, 4D WebMail is compatible with SMTP or POP3 email servers and supports Virtual Hosts. 4D WebMail can be used from any browser to read, reply, forward, send and file email. Easily administered and customized, 4D Webmail contains a built-in address book, search capability and file management. Users can send and receive attachments, plus tailor their own mail formatting, signatures, and other user information.
The 4D WebMail v1 public beta 2 can be downloaded from http://www.4DWebMail.com/.

Dec 19 - Statistics Show 2001 as Worst Year for Semiconductor Industry. Semiconductor vendors have struggled through the worst industry decline in the history of the market, as 2001 worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 33 percent to $152 billion, according to preliminary statistics by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). All of the top 10 semiconductor vendors experienced revenue declines ranging from 19 percent to 49 percent (see Table 1).
    "The entrepreneurial model of building and investing in new technology went bust in 2001. A downturn of this magnitude will be difficult for many companies to recover from in 2002," said Mary Olsson, chief analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide semiconductor group. "As is evident in the sizeable declines by most of the top vendors, the industry has undergone tremendous destabilization. We expect further consolidation of the industry during 2002."






	   Table 1



Preliminary Top 10 Worldwide Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue

Estimates 

(Millions of U.S. Dollars)



----------------------------------------------------------------------

                   2001   2001 Market   2000   2000 Market  2001-2000

                  Revenue   Share (%)  Revenue  Share (%)   Growth (%)

Company

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Intel             23,499    15.5       30,298    13.3        -22.4

Toshiba            7,136     4.7       10,864     4.8        -34.3

STMicroelectronics 6,360     4.2        7,890     3.5        -19.4

Samsung            6,320     4.2       10,585     4.7        -40.3

Texas Instruments  6,000     3.9        9,202     4.1        -34.8

NEC(1)             5,389     3.5       10,643     4.7        -49.4

Motorola           5,000     3.3        7,678     3.4        -34.9

Hitachi            4,724     3.1        7,286     3.2        -35.2

Infineon 

 Technologies(2)   4,538     3.0        6,711     3.0        -32.4

Philips 

 Semiconductor     4,440     2.9        6,275     2.8        -29.2

Total Market     152,000   100.0      227,000   100.0         33.

----------------------------------- ----------------------------------


Note (1): DRAM revenue associated with Hitachi and NEC production

is attributed to Elpida.

Note (2): In some cases, such as Infineon's, Gartner Dataquest's

vendor estimates differ from those publicly reported by a company as

it is Gartner Dataquest policy to include or exclude revenue

associated with acquired or divested companies or business units for

the whole calendar year, regardless of when the acquisition or

divestment took place. 

	   Source: Gartner Dataquest (December 2001)



    NEC experienced the strongest decline as its 2001 revenue dropped more than 50 percent from 2000. Gartner Dataquest analysts said this was attributed to the shift in NEC's DRAM revenue to Elpida, the Hitachi/NEC joint venture DRAM company, as well as declining product revenue, including ASIC/ASSPs.
    In spite of the difficult economic situation, semiconductor production for digital consumer products, such as DVDs, digital cameras and game consoles, was good this year compared to other applications.
    "While 2001 has been the worst year ever for the industry, start-ups continue to emerge and some companies continue to invest in wireless data, networking, and wireless interactivity. These markets will become the growth drivers during the next five-years and beyond," Olsson said. "Thus, in spite of the serious nature of the downturn, the industry has kept an eye on the future."
For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Dec 18 - Toshiba Announces Reorganization of Memory Business. Toshiba Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. (NYSE:MU) today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding, the key points of which include the sale of the assets of Toshiba's wholly-owned Dominion Semiconductor, L.L.C., located in Manassas, Virginia, to Micron and the withdrawal by Toshiba from the commodity DRAM business.
Toshiba will cease its involvement in the commodity DRAM business to focus resources on high value-added memories, including flash and application-specific memories. The two companies have agreed to proactively discuss future collaboration in the development and sales of non-commodity and high-value-added DRAMs.
Mr. Takeshi Nakagawa, president and CEO of Toshiba's Semiconductor Company, said: "We have decided to withdraw from commodity DRAM business, which means that Micron's business strategy fits ours. This, alongside respect for one another's technological capabilities, allowed us to quickly close a deal, even though we had never worked with one another before. Negotiations took place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect, which, I am sure, will make it possible for us to strengthen our relationship. I look forward to a future opportunity to discuss business collaboration."
Mr. Steve Appleton, President, CEO and Chairman of Micron Technology, Inc said, "This transaction clearly demonstrates Micron's commitment to further strengthen its memory business in the face of a significant industry downturn. Similar to prior transactions, we believe this acquisition will better position Micron to more cost-efficiently produce our products and to establish new customer relationships throughout the world. We look forward to developing a closer relationship with Toshiba."

Dec 18 - Unisys Study Reveals New Digital Divide Emerging Among Businesses. A new "digital divide" has reached businesses, with a sizable rift now in place between companies that are seeing powerful returns on investment (ROI) from their information technology spending versus those that are not, according to a study commissioned by Unisys.
The divide stems from how smartly companies spend their information technology (IT) dollars rather than how much they spend, the survey revealed.
Despite the technology industry downturn, nearly three quarters of respondents said their companies are more willing to invest in IT now than they were a year ago. In addition, nearly 40% of respondents stated that next year's IT budget is likely to increase while 43% said it will remain the same as this year's budget.
In fact, IT investment remains a priority for companies, regardless of their technology ROI, according to the study.
The Unisys Information Technology ROI Study, conducted in October and November, surveyed senior-level IT professionals from a range of industries across the United States. By aggregating respondents' perceptions of their companies' ROI from technology investments, as well as ROI from overall IT innovation, the survey showed that companies fall into three categories:

-- ROI Surgers (43.5%), who are experiencing positive ROI;
-- ROI Stagnants (42.5%), who are experiencing nominal ROI; and
-- ROI Strugglers (14%), who are experiencing negative ROI.

In addition, the study revealed that Surgers, Stagnants and Strugglers are not separated by their overall IT investments, but by how strategically they deploy their IT dollars. Interestingly, the Surgers claimed to be making smarter IT decisions, while Stagnants and Strugglers acknowledged that their companies should make smarter IT investment decisions.
For more information on the company, access the Unisys home page on the World Wide Web at www.unisys.com.

Dec 18 - SONICblue Unveils Rio Advanced Digital Audio Center. SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU) today unveiled its Rio Advanced Digital Audio Center -- a revolutionary home stereo component that lets consumers instantly store, organize and access their entire personal CD and digital music collections. Integrating seamlessly into existing stereo systems, the Rio Audio Center delivers superb digital sound quality and functions as a music distribution center for downloading music to portable Rio players or playing music on companion Rio Receivers spread throughout the home.
As simple to use as a CD player, but as smart as a PC, the Rio Audio Center stores more than 650 CDs in an easy-to-use stereo component. Find the songs you want instantly, create unlimited play lists and fill your home with high-quality digital sound. The Rio Audio Center will even write music to a CD, transfer music to Rio portables or play music on Rio Receivers spread throughout the home.
"Designed as a core component for the ultimate home audio experience, the Rio Audio Center redefines home audio capabilities," said Andrew Wolfe, Ph.D., chief technology officer, SONICblue. "The Rio Audio Center delivers unmatched support for networking or downloading music to additional components and is one of the only solutions available with sound quality that meets the expectations of home audio enthusiasts."
Manufacturer's suggested retail price for the Rio Advanced Digital Audio Center is $1,499.95. The Rio Audio Center is currently available for pre-order via SONICblue's website and -- for a limited time -- every Rio Audio Center sold will ship with a free Rio Receiver companion product (a $199.95 value). Initial shipments for all pre-orders will not begin until late January 2002. For more information on purchasing a Rio Audio Center, including detailed Rio Audio Center product specifications, please visit SONICblue's website (www.SONICblue.com).

Dec 17 - AMD Introduces 1 GHz Mobile AMD Duron Processor. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today demonstrates its performance leadership for mainstream notebook PC computing with the introduction of the 1GHz mobile AMD Duron(TM) processor. Featuring AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology, AMD's leading dynamic power management tool, the mobile AMD Duron processor can significantly extend battery life without compromising performance.
Compaq Computer Corporation is immediately offering its Compaq 700 series notebooks powered by the 1GHz mobile AMD Duron processor.
"AMD's powerful products and dependable resources continue to enable our customers' success. Since their early 2001 debut, AMD mobile processors have continued to gain popularity in notebook markets worldwide," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "Mobile AMD Duron processors provide businesses and consumers with the performance, stability and compatibility they can trust for everyday notebook computing."
The 1GHz AMD mobile Duron processor is priced at $160 in 1,000-unit quantities. For more information, see www.amd.com.

Dec 17 - Plextor Delivers External USB 24/10/40 CD-RW Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today announced the immediate release of the 3-in-1 PlexWriter(TM) 24/10/40U CD-RW optical disk drive. As one of the fastest CD-RW drives available on the market today, the new external drive delivers industry leading performance with 24X CD-Write, 10X CD-Rewrite, and 40X-max CD-Read speeds.
The PlexWriter 24/10/40U connects via the Universal Serial Bus (USB 2.0) to any laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac), making installation faster and easier than ever before. The new PlexWriter is also Plug & Play compatible with Windows(R) 98SE/ME/2000/XP(TM), as well as MAC OS 8.6 (USB 1.1) and MAC OS X (USB 2.0). Users can typically begin recording custom CDs within minutes of opening the box.
The portable PlexWriter 24/10/40U CD-RW drive with the HI-SPEED USB 2.0 interface is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers at the end of December 2001. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the PlexWriter 24/10/40U external CD-RW drive is $229. All retail packages include unlimited toll-free technical support and one-year full warranty. The company can be found online at www.plextor.com.

Dec 17 - Evergreen Announces New 2.5'' Pocket HotDrive. Evergreen Technologies, Inc., a leader in PC performance upgrades since 1989, today announced the latest addition to its fireLINE family of high speed IEEE 1394 and USB products.
The new fireLINE 1394 and USB 2.0 Pocket HotDrive delivers up to 40GB of high speed external data storage which PC and Mac users can quickly add to any desktop or laptop simply by plugging the drive into an available 1394 or USB (either 1.1 or the new 2.0 standard) port. (For users without these connections, Evergreen offers a complete array of 1394 and USB 2.0 connectivity cards for desktop and laptop systems.)
Evergreen's fireLINE 1394 and USB 2.0 Pocket HotDrive has a light weight, compact 2.5" case that fits in a pocket, making it a good storage solution for users on the go who frequently back up dense amounts of data, and who need to share data between multiple systems quickly. With both PC and Mac compatibility, it is also an excellent vehicle for users to transfer data between the two environments.
The Evergreen fireLINE 1394 and USB 2.0 product line is available through national distributors, retailers, PC mail order catalogs and directly from Evergreen's website. These product lines are covered by a one-year warranty. For more information, visit www.evergreennow.com.

Dec 17 - Track Santa's Journey Live On the Web. Following its 47-year tradition, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will again track Santa Claus as he makes his annual journey delivering toys on Christmas Eve. Along with conducting its critical mission of protecting U.S. and Canadian airspace, NORAD performs this special duty for children around the world every Dec. 24. The "NORAD Tracks Santa" site is designed by Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) and is hosted on the Web by America Online, Inc.
Visitors to the interactive Web site -- found at www.noradsanta.org and AOL Keyword: Track Santa -- will receive video and audio reports throughout Christmas Eve day. The site focuses on 25 key stops the Jolly Old Man makes around the globe, beginning in the Aleutian Islands and ending in Hawaii with visits to Moscow, Paris, New York City, San Francisco and other cities in between. The "live" video clips start on Dec. 24 at 4 a.m. (ET).

Dec 14 - Intel Settles K7 Patent Infringement Case With Via. Intel Corporation today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with Via Technologies Inc. in a pending patent litigation related to chipsets that support Advanced Micro Devices microprocessors. The agreement was reached after Via redesigned its products in an effort to avoid infringing on Intel's patents.
Under terms of the settlement, Intel will drop its patent infringement suit regarding U.S. Patent Nos. 5,926,651 and 5,051,622, which was scheduled for trial on Jan. 22. Intel retains all of its rights to the patents and could bring suit at a later time if future infringement occurs. This settlement does not affect litigation between Intel and Via pending in U.S. District Court in Delaware, U.S. District Court in Texas, in the United Kingdom, in Germany or in Hong Kong, with respect to the Via P4X266 chipsets and the C3 microprocessor.
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Dec 14 - Covad Expected to Exit Bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the reorganization plan for Covad Communications Group, Inc. (OTCBB:COVD) and Covad anticipates that it will exit from its pre-negotiated bankruptcy around December 20, 2001, the expected date the plan becomes effective.
The reorganization plan completes the pre-negotiated bondholder agreement that eliminates $1.4 billion of high-yield and convertible bondholder debt for approximately $257 million, or $0.19 on the dollar of face amount or accreted bond value, plus approximately $13 million in previously restricted cash and 15 percent ownership of the company. Shareholders will retain approximately 80 percent of the company.
All classes entitled to vote did so in favor of the plan by the margins required for acceptance by each class. The record date for voting for the plan was October 25, 2001. The record date for determining note holders entitled to distributions under the plan will be today.
The confirmation of the reorganization plan also satisfies one of the conditions for the closing of Covad's recently announced funding agreements with SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC). The agreements, valued at $150 million, are expected to add to Covad's existing available cash, to provide the funding Covad expects it will need to finance growth to cash flow positive operations targeted for the second half of 2003.
"We believe we are the first of the emerging telecommunications companies to exit successfully from bankruptcy with existing shareholders maintaining a majority interest," said Charles E. Hoffman, Covad president and CEO. "Covad's reorganization of its parent company was designed solely to eliminate debt and we will soon be fully funded. We will continue to control our costs while providing a growing suite of services. These are huge steps in our revitalization program and will put us in a great financial position for 2002."
Covad Communications Group, Inc.'s operating companies, which provide DSL services to customers, were not included in the court-supervised proceeding and continued to operate in the ordinary course of business without any court imposed restrictions throughout the approximately four month process. Covad Communications Group, Inc. filed for reorganization on August 15, 2001. Covad can be found onlione at www.covad.com.

Dec 14 - Adobe Systems Reports Fourth Quarter Results. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended November 30, 2001.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 Adobe achieved revenue of $264.5 million, compared to $355.2 million reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000 and $292.1 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2001.
In fiscal 2001, Adobe achieved revenue of $1.230 billion, compared to $1.266 billion in fiscal 2000.
"Despite ongoing weakness in the global economy, Adobe continues to generate outstanding profit margins. In fiscal 2001, Adobe delivered a pro forma operating margin of 33 percent for the year," said Bruce R. Chizen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe.
During the fiscal year, Adobe achieved 41 percent annual growth in its Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) business. Commenting on Adobe's future growth opportunities, Chizen added, "Adobe is driving the transformation from paper-based processes to electronic workflows." Adobe Systems Incorporated can be found online at www.adobe.com.

Dec 13 - HP Leads the Way to Mobile Information Access. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today announced a series of wireless Internet services that lead the way in making mobile communication more convenient and productive for business users. The services, offered with industry-leading companies, provide users with faster, easier wireless Web browsing and flexible, secure remote access to business applications and desktops.
Various HP Pavilion and Omnibook notebook PCs and HP Jornada handheld PCs are the first to offer Bitstream's ThunderHawk full-featured wireless Internet browsing technology, BlueKite's high-speed wireless Web browsing and WebEx's Access Anywhere for on-the-go access to desktop applications and network resources. HP's business customers also will enjoy GoAmerica's Mobile Office, the first-of-its-kind customizable solution that allows mobile professionals to conduct business wirelessly.
"HP understands the growing need for mobility, and these innovative wireless solutions transform the way people work and live," said Pendy Pendyala, general manager, HP Wireless and Internet Services Division. "Collaboration with these leading companies on mobile industry firsts demonstrates HP's commitment to making a truly mobile world a reality."
According to the 2001 Wireless Mobile Corporate Survey from Yankee Group, about 50 percent of companies have or will have wireless connectivity within two years, with an additional 26 percent planning to adopt the technology in more than two years. The survey also shows that corporations are more willing to pay for wireless data than in the past.

Transforming the Mobile Computing Experience

HP is the first handheld vendor to offer Bitstream's ThunderHawk technology, which allows HP Jornada personal digital assistant (PDA) users to view and surf the Web as they do on a desktop PC.
ThunderHawk's wireless Internet browsing technology gives HP Jornada 540 and 560 Pocket PC users wireless access to full Web pages that maintain full text and image legibility. The technology allows the PDA's 320 x 240 LCD screen to legibly display the 640 x 480 VGA screen of a normal Web page.
As the first to provide BlueKite's optimization software on notebook, handheld and Pocket PCs, HP is enabling its customers to wirelessly browse the Internet at speeds up to five times faster than non-optimized wireless devices.
With BlueKite's intelligent caching and compression technology, HP Omnibook and Pavilion notebook PC and HP Jornada 540 and 560 Pocket PC and 720 handheld PC customers can experience wireless Web speeds equivalent to a 56 kbps dial-up connection, while using eight times less bandwidth than before.

Improved Personal Productivity

By allowing business users to access desktop applications, company networks and documents remotely, HP will become the first company to offer WebEx's Access Anywhere service to notebook and handheld PC customers.
With this service and the power of the WebEx global communications network, business customers can enjoy flexible and secure access to important desktop files and applications -- not just e-mail -- when away from their PCs. HP plans to launch beta programs for its HP Omnibook and Pavilion notebook PCs and HP Jornada 560 customers in January and February, respectively, with a full launch scheduled for spring 2002.
HP also has furthered its relationship with GoAmerica by offering the GoAmerica Mobile Office solution to HP's smart handheld and notebook PC business customers. With Mobile Office, HP empowers its business customers to conduct business wirelessly with a single, customizable solution that allows simple, secure and quick access to vital business documents.
Mobile Office allows users to open and read corporate e-mail attachments and access vital documents from customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning or sales force automation applications as well as corporate intranets. Mobile Office is available now for HP handheld and notebook PC business customers.
More information about all these wireless Internet services is available at http://www.hp.com/go/wireless.

Dec 13 - Transmeta Corporation Updates Fourth Quarter Outlook. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced that it is updating the outlook for its financial performance for the fourth quarter ending December 28, 2001.
"In our last quarterly conference call and press release, we indicated that we would offer a December update about the production ramp of our new TM5500 and TM5800 Crusoe products and our financial guidance for the fourth quarter of 2001," said Murray A. Goldman, chairman and CEO, Transmeta Corporation. "Although our unit shipments of TM5500 and TM5800 products increased during the month of November, we fell substantially short of our production goals. As a result, we currently expect that our revenue for the fourth quarter of 2001 will be approximately $1.0 million."
"We are disappointed by these results," Goldman added. "Unfortunately, we concluded that it was necessary to make metal mask revisions in order to achieve our volume manufacturing goals using the new 0.13 micron manufacturing process, which in turn had a significant effect on our ramp schedule. In the meantime, we are continuing to manufacture our new products in small volumes until our new mask set is in production, and our production plan contemplates volume production for customer shipments in early February."
A conference call will be webcast through Transmeta's website at http://www.transmeta.com/about/investors/index.html.

Dec 13 - Socket Bluetooth Connection Kit Receives ``Nokia OK'' Logo. Socket Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT)(PCX:SOK), The Handheld Connection Company, today announced its Bluetooth Connection Kit received the "Nokia OK" logo. Award of the logo followed rigorous testing by Nokia labs, and assures customers of compatibility with Nokia's Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone handsets, such as the 6210 and 6310 models.
"Our Bluetooth Connection Kit provides customers with seamless connectivity between Windows CE-based handheld computers and a Nokia Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone," said Peter Phillips, director of product marketing for Socket Communications. "We are very pleased our product met Nokia's stringent requirements, and that we are the first company awarded `Nokia OK' status for its Bluetooth solutions."
Today, Socket also announced additional software feature enhancements for connecting to Bluetooth-enabled mobile handsets from Ericsson and Motorola, as well as Bluetooth-enabled printers, improving customers' ease-of-use. Software upgrades include a convenient dialer feature, enabling customers to quickly initiate a call to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile handset from a Pocket PC after "tapping and holding" on the contact name in the Contact Manager application.
Customers who have purchased a Socket Bluetooth Connection Kit can visit www.socketcom.com/support/support_bluetooth.htm to download updated drivers, at no additional cost. The Bluetooth Connection Kit is available in the U.S. and Europe immediately through Socket's web site, as well as through Socket's normal worldwide distribution channels for a suggested retail price of $179. Visit www.socketcom.com for product and purchase details.

Dec 13 - Symantec Provides Anti-Virus Protection to Palm Users. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today announced the release of Symantec AntiVirus 2002 for Palm OS, the world's premier anti-virus software specially adapted and optimized for handheld devices and now compatible with the latest Palm and Windows operating systems. Symantec AntiVirus 2002 for Palm OS safeguards critical data on the Palm operating system against potential attacks by viruses and other malicious code. This product meets the needs of handheld device users by being compact, easy to install, easy to use, easy to keep updated via HotSync(R).
Symantec AntiVirus 2002 for Palm OS is also included in the new Norton AntiVirus 2002 Professional Edition, the leading virus protection solution for small businesses and professionals.
Symantec AntiVirus 2002 for Palm OS is available for download from www.SymantecStore.com for US$39.95. Current users of Norton AntiVirus may purchase Symantec AntiVirus 2002 for Palm OS for $29.95 after a $10 mail-in rebate.

Dec 12 - AMD Unveils Athlon MP Processor 1900+ and AMD-760 MPX Chipset. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today expanded its offerings for the commercial market with the introduction of the AMD Athlon(TM) MP processor 1900+ and the AMD-760(TM) MPX chipset, providing high performance in demanding server and workstation environments.
The high-performance AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+ with QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture and Smart MP technology continues AMD's commitment to help improve performance while also lowering total cost of ownership. AMD's solution integrates seamlessly into existing infrastructures, and provides the stability and manageability IT managers desire.
"AMD is committed to providing commercial solutions designed to deliver the reliability, compatibility, manageability and high performance needed to meet the growing demands of the business market," said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing at AMD. "With its advanced architectural features such as QuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology, the AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+ provides the multiprocessing server and workstation markets with a highly reliable processor capable of meeting and exceeding business needs."
Motherboards featuring the AMD-760 MPX chipset, with its improved high-speed peripheral connections, are planned to be available initially from Abit, Asus, GigaByte, MSI and Tyan. The chipset is designed to support all AMD Athlon(TM) MP processors for additional platform flexibility.
"By working closely with several leading motherboard manufacturers, AMD is able to help create various options for IT purchasers to make the best choice for their business needs," said Richard Heye, vice president, Platform Engineering and Infrastructure at AMD. "It's important to us that customers get the advanced levels of performance they need from their server and workstation platforms."
"ASUS is proud to launch the A7M266-D, a high-quality dual Socket A motherboard featuring the AMD-760(TM) MPX chipset," said Jonathan Tsang, vice president of ASUS. "With its advanced features and innovative design, the A7M266-D is an exceptional platform for the AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+."
"The GIGABYTE Technology GA-7DPXDW motherboard featuring the AMD-760 MPX chipset is an awesome platform for servers and workstations, especially with its support of 66MHz/64-bit/32-bit PCI bus slots," said Etay Lee, vice president of Networking and Communication, GIGABYTE Technology. "The GA-7DPXDW motherboard supports the AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+ with QuantiSpeed architecture, and with other features including four DDR module slots, three PCI 32/33, IDE RAID, and 10/100 LAN. We feel it offers an exceptional platform for today's market."
"The ABIT WA-2A motherboard featuring the AMD-760 MPX chipset offers extended performance through support of 66MHz/64- and 32-bit PCI bus slots," said Edwin Lin, general manager, ABIT Computer Corporation. "With support of other features, including onboard LAN and DDR memory support, we feel the WA-2A motherboard combined with the AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+ with QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture offers an exceptional platform for power users."
"The MSI K7D Master-L motherboard featuring the AMD-760 MPX chipset is an outstanding solution for the commercial market," said Joseph Hsu, president of MSI. "The K7D Master-L motherboard currently includes an AGP Pro slot, two additional 66MHz/64-bit PCI slots, and features MSI's exclusive D-LED and Live Driver. We feel the K7D Master-L is an outstanding motherboard for servers and workstations, and is an excellent platform for the AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+."
"After the huge success delivering the first motherboards supporting the AMD Athlon MP processor, Tyan continues its strong partnership with AMD through our support of the AMD-760 MPX chipset," said Don Clegg, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Tyan. "Our AMD multiprocessor platforms complement our existing AMD product lineup, and provide exceptional features for today's workstation, server, and power PC systems."
AMD expects worldwide availability of the new AMD-760 MPX chipset in the first quarter of 2002 and AMD Athlon MP processor 1900+ in the fourth quarter of 2001.

About the AMD-760(TM) MPX Chipset

The AMD-760(TM) MPX chipset is a high performance, two-way multiprocessor core logic solution for the AMD Athlon MP family of processors, offering Multi-Processor eXtended (MPX) performance compared to its predecessor, the AMD-760 MP chipset. The AMD-760 MPX chipset offers extended performance through a 66MHz/64-bit/32-bit PCI bus and a feature-rich peripheral bus controller that provides PCI-to-PCI bridging capability.
The AMD-760(TM) MPX chipset consists of two chips--the AMD-762(TM) system controller (northbridge), and the AMD-768(TM) peripheral bus controller (southbridge). The AMD-760 MPX chipset unleashes the power of DDR memory technology, which combines with other sophisticated core logic in data, memory and I/O control as well as system and power management to provide a powerful solution for server and workstation platforms. The AMD-760 MPX chipset supports up to two AMD Athlon MP processors with independent 266MHz front side buses, as well as PC2100 DDR memory and AGP 4x graphics.

About the AMD Athlon(TM) MP Processor

The AMD Athlon MP processor is a seventh-generation x86 processor designed for high-performance multiprocessing servers and workstations.
A key advantage of AMD's multiprocessing platform is Smart MP technology, which greatly enhances overall platform performance by increasing data movement between the two CPUs, chipset and memory system. Smart MP technology features dual point-to-point, high-speed 266MHz system buses with Error Correcting Code (ECC) support designed to provide up to 2.1GB per second per CPU of bus bandwidth in a dual-processor system. Smart MP technology also has an optimized Modified Owner Exclusive Shared Invalid (MOESI) cache coherency protocol that manages data and memory traffic in a multiprocessing environment.
The AMD Athlon MP processor features the patented QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture, which includes a high performance full-speed cache with hardware data pre-fetch, a fully pipelined superscalar floating point engine, and an exclusive L2 Translation Look-aside Buffer (TLB). The processor also incorporates 3DNow!(TM) Professional technology, which has 51 new instructions that extend AMD's 3DNow! technology, enabling smoother, richer and more lifelike images, more precise digital audio and an enriched Internet experience.
The AMD Athlon MP processor is compatible with AMD's stable Socket A infrastructure, and supports DDR memory technology. For more information, visit www.amd.com.

Dec 12 - Intel Software Accelerates Development of ``Human-like'' Computer Vision. Intel Corporation researchers have released at no cost software that allows developers to build computers that can view the world the way people do -- in stereo.
The software, which enables computers to recognize "depth" as well as "flat" images, enhances a wide variety of vision applications including gesture recognition, object tracking and face recognition. The software is available through the Open Source Computer Vision Library (OpenCV 2.1), a toolbox of over 500 imaging functions that helps researchers develop computer vision applications.
Existing 2D computer vision applications recognize scenes as single flat color fields. The new stereoscopic code will enable computers to use depth information to breakout individual objects and surfaces in a scene. In addition, the new 2.1 release includes an optional interface so all OpenCV functions can be imported into Matlab, one of the most widely used software development tools for computer vision research.
"Intel wants to make computers aware of the visual world. Until we introduced OpenCV last year, the lack of common tools kept this from happening," said Justin Rattner, Intel Fellow and director of Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs. "With the addition of stereo capability and a Matlab interface, OpenCV 2.1 is certain to drive an explosion of vision-based applications, such as toys that respond to a child's movements and monitors that warn safety and security people of life-threatening behavior.
"The OpenCV main website is located at: http://www.intel.com/research/mrl/research/opencv/. Anyone interested in joining the user group needs to register with Yahoo groups at http://groups.yahoo.com/ and then can subscribe by sending email to OpenCV-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Dec 12 - Hitachi Introduces Value-priced 17" LCD Monitor. Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) has added a high-performance 17" LCD monitor to its value line. The new CML171 targets corporate, home, general business and SOHO user. It features TFT (Thin Film Transistor) Technology, which delivers high-quality and distortion-free images in a sleek design that conserves desktop space.
The CML171 features 230-nit brightness and a 300:1 typical contrast ratio with a prime resolution of 1280 x 1024. Continuing Hitachi's tradition of providing high quality - even on its value priced product- the CML171 provides high quality images, crisp text and numerous on-screen controls.
Featuring an auto-adjust function for quick, beautiful image adjustments, the CML171 also provides speakers and a microphone integrated into the front bezel. With a full of 17" viewing area (338 x 270 mm) the panel weighs 15.7 lbs and has a 7.9" depth including the base. The panel meets the VESA FPMPMI (Flat Panel Monitor Physical Mounting Interface) standard, which enables wall mounting with third party mounting arms. It also features a Kensington Security Port.
The TCO 99' approved CML171 complies with the world's strictest standards for low radiation, safety, ergonomics & power management. The CML171 display is compatible with both PCs and Macs and features on-screen controls for color temperature, clock, phase, brightness, contrast and more. The CML171 will begin shipping to Hitachi's authorized monitor distributors on December 18, 2001. The MSRP is $699.00.
Information is available on the World Wide Web at www.hitachidisplays.com.

Dec 12 - Interactive Media Corporation to Release 5 in 1 USB Card Reader. Interactive Media Corporation announced the release of its new Kanguru5 in 1 USB Card Reader(TM) today.
The Kanguru5 in 1 Card Reader is a compact, lightweight, and easy to install storage device for PC's, notebooks and Macs. It houses three separate slots that utilize 5 different media types. Supported media types include: Type I/II CompactFlash(TM), SmartMedia(TM), MultiMedia(TM) Card, IBM Micro Drive(TM), and Secured Digital(TM) Card.
All three of the Kanguru5 in 1 slots can be used simultaneously for exchanging data. The Kanguru5 in 1 Card Reader works with Windows 98/2000/ME, Mac (OS8 and above) and Linux 2.4.1. Once installed, media automatically appears under the "My Computer" icon as additional drives, allowing easy access to all your information!
An excellent accessory for digital cameras and PDA or Pocket PC users, The Kanguru5 in 1 requires no external power, is hot swappable and retails for around $50.
Interactive Media Corporation, located in Ashland, Massachusetts, is a manufacturer of innovative, high quality storage and multimedia devices. For more information on Interactive Media Corporation, visit their website at www.interactivemediacorp.com.

Dec 12 - ICQ Announces New Versions of Instant Messaging. ICQ ("I Seek You"), the world's most popular online communications community and international service from America Online, Inc., today announced new versions of its ICQ instant messaging product that make this powerful online communications tool available to more people, in more places and on more platforms and devices than ever before. Supporting the Company's 'ICQ Anywhere' strategy, the new Web-based ICQ Lite lets users access their ICQ account from the browser on any Internet-enabled computer and ICQ 3.0X for Mac brings the full power of ICQ to Mac OSX users.
Since its pioneering role in offering the first Internet instant messaging software in 1996, ICQ has evolved into a complete communications portal with over 115 million registered users worldwide.
"The new versions of ICQ make it even easier and more convenient for users to stay in touch in real time from wherever they are and in a variety of different ways. By extending ICQ's availability to anywhere there is an Internet connection and to additional platforms, more users can access ICQ's powerful, feature-rich communications tools anytime they need," said Jim Bankoff, President of AOL Web Properties.
ICQ Lite revolutionizes how and when users can access their ICQ account by allowing them to log on from the Web with any Internet-enabled computer in the world. By leveraging the new server-based contact lists introduced with 2001b, ICQ Lite frees users from relying solely on the host PC where the ICQ client has been installed. By visiting the ICQ Lite homepage at http://lite.icq.com, users can immediately send instant messages, access their contact lists, send SMS text messages to cell phones and much more.

Dec 11 - ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV Now Shipping. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, today announced that the ALL-IN-WONDER(R) RADEON(TM) 8500DV multimedia graphics board is now shipping to retail stores in North America.
With a manufacturer's suggested list price of (US) $399, the ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV is the latest addition to the award-winning, marketshare-leading ALL-IN-WONDER family.
"ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV was designed to maximize entertainment and creativity on the PC, complementing home theaters and desktop digital creation projects," said Blair Birmingham, Group Product Manager, TV PC Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "Once again, ATI offers customers a single video card for a variety of different multimedia applications - all backed by great ATI graphics and video leadership, plus strong ATI support and quality design."

ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV offers many new and highly anticipated features:

-- IEEE 1394 standard DV (digital video) connection, giving digital video enthusiasts the ability to connect digital camcorders and other IEEE 1394 devices;
-- Remote control via RF (radio frequency) for quick and easy access to all the cool TV, video, DVD (digital versatile disk) and gaming features of ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV from another room in the house (requires USB (universal serial bus);
-- ATI Multimedia Center 7.5 that provides a full range of multimedia functions: DVD Player; TV with fully integrated Interactive Program Guide; Video CD Player; File Player; CD Audio Player; and Media Library; and,
-- Optional future upgrade - Component output (also known as YPrPb) to connect ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV to Digital TVs for superior visual quality (North America only).

Other ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV features include:

-- Revolutionary all-in-one 3D, TV and video experience;

-- RADEON(TM) 8500 GPU (graphics processor unit) and 64MB
(megabyte) DDR (double data rate) memory for incredible 3D
graphics;

-- Stereo TV-tuner with 125 channels;

-- Analog and digital video capture and editing;

-- Gemstar-TV Guide's GUIDE Plus+(TM) system, an interactive
program guide (North America only), to view and search TV
listings by category, actor/performer, or date - all the
benefits of a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) without the
monthly fees;

-- Enhanced TV-ON-DEMAND(TM) PVR for instant replays, pause live
TV or record live broadcasts for later viewing;

-- Teletext support in Europe;

-- DVD video playback with Dolby(R) AC-3 digital audio;

-- First multimedia graphics board to fully support Microsoft's
new DirectX 8.1 specification, an integral part of the new
Microsoft Windows(R) XP operating system; and,

-- Backed by quality customer support from ATI, ALL-IN-WONDER
RADEON 8500DV offers support for Windows(R) Me, Windows XP,
and Windows(R) 2000.

For more information, visit www.ati.com.

Dec 11 - Philips Semiconductors Delivers More Than Three Million Bluetooth Units. Philips Semiconductors, a division of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI), today announced that it has shipped more than three million Bluetooth(TM) chipsets worldwide. The first- and second-generation Bluetooth chipsets from Philips Semiconductors have helped pioneer wireless connectivity in business and consumer solutions worldwide.
In 1999 Philips Semiconductors became the first chip manufacturer to introduce commercially available Bluetooth baseband solutions to the wireless market, and the company launched a complete system solution in early 2000. The company continues to lead the drive to deliver Bluetooth wireless technology for customers' voice and data applications.
As the market has developed, Philips Semiconductors has continued to offer highly integrated, high-volume Bluetooth solutions. By supplying key competencies in all of the emerging wireless technologies -- including Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11a/b, ZigBee and 1394 -- the company is able to provide complete chipsets for wireless applications together with the system-level expertise needed to provide optimal hardware and software solutions to customers.
"This announcement demonstrates our ability to reliably ship high volumes of Bluetooth chipsets," said Francisco Ferrer, product line manager, Personal Area Networks, at Philips Semiconductors. "Philips Semiconductors has continued to ramp-up Bluetooth shipments throughout 2001, and in 2002 we expect to see massive market growth as Bluetooth wireless technology enters new markets."
Bluetooth is a low-cost, radio-based technology that provides an open standard for short-range wireless communications. Designed to enable wireless transmission of data signals, Bluetooth technology eliminates the need for cables. The technology is already capable of connecting a wide range of communications devices such as handsets, PDAs and computers, and is revolutionizing connectivity in electronic applications.
For more information, visit www.semiconductors.philips.com.

Dec 11 - Sprint and Toshiba Join Forces to Deliver Wireless Connectivity. Sprint (NYSE:FON) (NYSE:PCS), which operates the largest all-digital, all-CDMA nationwide network in the United States, today announced an agreement with Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS), Computer Systems Group (CSG), to work together to bring mobility solutions to business customers that help increase their productivity and competitive advantage.
Toshiba will act as an authorized original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to resell Sprint PCS wireless data products and services to business customers as part of the Sprint PCS Business Solutions Program.
"Our relationship with Toshiba provides a tremendous opportunity to provide flexible options for business customers looking for simple, affordable mobility solutions that increase productivity, reduce costs, enhance customer service and provide a powerful competitive advantage," said Jed Dodd, vice president, sales operations, Sprint PCS. "More importantly, Sprint PCS is committed to providing end-to-end solutions to business customers through the Sprint PCS Clear Wireless Workplace. Our agreement with Toshiba enables us to further extend our reach to the enterprise market to make these solutions available through a well-connected and extensive business sales channel."
"Working together with Sprint PCS is a key part of the Toshiba Mobility Strategy aimed at keeping our customers connected and productive wherever they are on the Sprint PCS nationwide network," said Rod Keller, executive vice president, Toshiba CSG. "Whether accessing critical data, or sending email while waiting for a flight, the combination of a Toshiba notebook with a Sprint PCS Wireless Web Modem is a powerful productivity package that ultimately impacts the bottom line."
Beginning in the first quarter of 2002, business customers will be able to purchase the Sprint PCS Wireless Web Modem through Toshiba's business sales force. Using the Sprint PCS Wireless Web Modem, business customers can access the Internet, intranet or other corporate applications on their Toshiba notebooks when they are mobile anywhere on the Sprint PCS nationwide network, turning downtime into productive time. The device fits into a PCMCIA Type II slot on a Windows-based laptop or handheld device to provide wireless connectivity without cables or wires.
For more information, visit www.shoptoshiba.com and www.sprintpcs.com.

Dec 11 - Most Professionls Will Adopt Portable Wireless Solutions by 2005. Over the next three to five years, Internet users expect to access the Internet by using a variety of wireless devices. For business Internet users, the top devices mentioned were wireless modem (56 percent), a cell phone (51 percent), a PDA (50 percent) or a laptop computer (43 percent). Residential Internet users expect to connect with many different devices including laptop computers (35 percent), cell phones (33 percent) and wireless modems (32 percent).
Furthermore, two-thirds of business users and nearly one-half of residential users show a high level of interest in portable wireless Internet access.

Additional Research Results

- Outside North America, wireless is becoming a substitute for wireline residential use. Coupled with the demand for broadband Internet access, this creates an international market of more than 700 million wireline users that can be served with broadband wireless access.
- One-half of the business Internet users surveyed have high-speed Internet connections at work. Over the next five years, there are increasing expectations for high-speed and wireless Internet access as Internet penetration reaches 80% in the business sector.
- Desktop computers and laptops are the most common devices used by businesspeople to connect to the Internet. Increasingly, cell phones and PDAs are becoming more common. 29% currently access using a cell phone and 15% currently access using a personal digital assistant (PDA).
- The majority of Residential Internet users currently connect to the Internet with dial-up modems. In the next five years, many expect to change to higher-speed or wireless access. 83% of Residential Internet users connect via a dial-up modem. In the next five years, 65% of Residential Internet users expect to have a different primary means of connection: cable modem (23%), DSL (13%), wireless (22%).

Dec 10 - MicronPC Introduces Two New High Performance Notebooks. MicronPC, a Gores Technology Group company, today announced the introduction of two new wireless-ready notebook computers -- the TransPort(R) GX2 and the TransPort XT2 notebook computers.
The TransPort GX2 desktop-replacement notebook has a 3-spindle design that emphasizes performance, flexibility, ease-of-use and advanced biometric security technology. The TransPort XT2 offers a powerful and highly flexible notebook in a lightweight 2-spindle form factor.
"The TransPort GX2 and TransPort XT2 notebooks combine cutting-edge mobile performance and built-in wireless connectivity in sleek but durable new industrial designs," said Paul Petersen, vice president of product marketing and development for MicronPC. "These new products reflect MicronPC's strong commitment to offer our small/medium business and government customers the highest computing power available to the mobile professional today including new security features and a wide variety of notebook accessories."

Wireless Ready

The TransPort GX2 and TransPort XT2 notebooks have built-in 802.11b wireless-ready capability, facilitating the sharing of information by users in an existing wireless network environment. Today's typical notebook user relies heavily on connecting to the Internet, accessing network resources such as printers and servers, exchanging files, swapping e-mails, and updating calendar and scheduling tasks. Organizations can provide individual users the freedom to work more conveniently from almost anywhere by implementing a wireless network solution from MicronPC that includes TransPort GX2 or TransPort XT2 notebooks, access points, and installation services.

Biometrics Security

To address the growing security concerns of many IT managers, MicronPC has integrated a multi-layered user authentication system using fingerprint recognition biometrics into the TransPort GX2. Biometrics security systems -- such as fingerprint-readers, retina-scanning lasers and similar technologies -- are much more difficult to breach than traditional password user-authentication systems. This provides increased security for an organization's intellectual property, and confidential customer and personnel information.

Sample Configurations

A high degree of flexibility and security is integrated into the design of the TransPort GX2. Available in two LCD sizes -- a 14.1-inch XGA (1024x768) TFT and a 15-inch SXGA+ (1400x1050) -- the TransPort GX2 allows for full-screen, clear resolution scaling from 640x480 and up. Unlike preceding GX/GX+ models, the TransPort GX2 will also support a second battery in the modular device bay, thus virtually doubling the system's battery life. Additionally, it includes up to 30GB hard drive capacity, ATI M6 graphics, and an IEEE 1394 FireWire port plus 2 USB ports that let you expand the capability of your notebook by connecting to a wide variety of accessories and peripheral devices. A TransPort GX2 sample configuration is provided below:

-- The Intel(R) Mobile Pentium(R) III-M processor 1GHz featuring Intel SpeedStep(TM) technology (1.2GHz processor available)
-- 15.0-inch SXGA+ Active Matrix display
-- 256MB PC133 SDRAM
-- 20GB hard disk drive
-- Integrated 56k v.90 modem
-- Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
-- Floppy diskette drive
-- External module bay and IDE module bay cable
-- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional and three-year depot repair.
-- Price: $2,249

More information can be found at www.micronpc.com.

Dec 10 - Sims Digital Launches Voice Recorder/FM Radio. Sims Digital today launched their new Voice Pen SVR-S1545FM, which holds over 16 hours of high quality voice recording and includes the ability to listen, record, archive, and email live FM programming. With the included Digital Clock and Alarm function, users can pre-set a time in which to record the FM program automatically and then either listen to, upload to the their PC or quickly email their recordings or voice messages to colleagues, friends, or family. Recipients of the voice mail receive the message as an email, including the message player software, which instantly launches when opened to play the message.
Voice Pen SVR-S1545FM may be used by speaking into the built in microphone or can be used to record a meeting by using the included plug-in microphone. Users may also record a phone conversation with the included phone adapter and immediately email the message to a business associate who could not be present.
"We see this as an incredible tool for business professionals," said Richard Oh, marketing manager for Sims Digital. "To have the ability to record a live FM programming or business meeting and then immediately email the meeting to others has just not been so easy until now."
Voice Pen SVR-S1545FM comes with many useful functions, like VOR, Microphone Sensitivity Selection and Intro Scan. Included with the Voice Pen are such accessories as Voice Manager Software, Ear Phones, Phone Adapter, Microphone, Line Out, USB Cable, and Batteries. Voice Pen SVR-S1545FM is now available at www.simsdigital.com and local retail stores for the MSRP of $249.00.

Dec 10 - Digital Global Network Unveils Small MP3 Player. Digital Global Network, the company behind the popular MPIO digital audio products in the U.S., today introduced the newest of their MP3 Players, the MPIO-DMK.
Packing a full 128MB of internal memory, the MPIO-DMK is about the size of a lipstick or key holder, weighs only 29 grams and can be comfortably held inside the palm of your hand, latched on the provided belt-clip, arm-strap or worn as a necklace to allow users to enjoy over 2 hours of music.
Both PC and Mac compatible, the DMK includes such features as USB support for quick download speed of 5.5 Mbps and backlit LCD displaying track information in several languages, such as English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and French.
“The MPIO-DMK MP3 Player is truly one of the smallest MP3 players that have yet to be introduced to the market,” said Joseph Lee, President of DGN. With the incredible small size and large memory capacity, this player offers the best of both worlds for consumers."
The MPIO-DMK is available now for purchase for $179.00 for the 64MB version and $209.00 for the 128 MB Version.
For more information visit www.mpio.com.

Dec 9 - Sunday Shopping Watch. This is the eleventh Sunday since Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows XP, began to be bundled with new computers. Finally we are seeing pricing starting to go down on low-end systems. Retailers are offering significant discounts on desktops and laptops.
Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's Windows XP home page.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. Additionally, they are advertising $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages and no interest financing until January 2003 on all computers $299 and up.
Circuit City is advertising $100 instant rebates on all Pentium 4 and AMD desktop packages and no interest financing until January 2003 on all desktop packages and notebook computers. They are also offering $100 mail-in rebates on AMD processor notebooks.
Office Depot has no store-wide sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA is offering $100 off any advertised Pentium 4 1.5 GHz or 1.7 GHz complete system. They are also offering no interest financing until January 2003 on purchases over $498..
Staples No ad this Sunday.

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
$669
Best Buy
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
   
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.5 GHz complete system
$1099
CompUSA
Best Duron System
None Advertised
Best Athlon System
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
$799
Circuit City
Best Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ with LCD monitor complete system
$1749
Circuit City
Best Low Cost Notebook
Toshiba 1 GHz Celeron with DVD
$949
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Sony Athlon 4 1 GHz with CD-RW/DVD
$1499
Circuit City

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

 

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