Dec 24 - ATI Announces CATALYST
3.0 Unified Driver for Radeons. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY)
continues to be at the forefront of the graphics industry with the
first fully supported Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9.0 software driver.
CATALYST(TM) 3.0's support for Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9.0 delivers
highly optimized shader code, propelling end-users to new levels of
on-screen graphic realism.
ATI is the only accelerated graphics vendor to provide a complete
Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9.0 solution - including hardware and software
- with CATALYST 3.0 and its RADEON(TM) 9500 PRO, RADEON(TM) 9500,
RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO and RADEON(TM) 9700 visual processing products.
CATALYST 3.0, a unified software suite also supports ATI's entire
line of RADEON-based desktop graphics products, including the RADEON(TM)
7000 series, RADEON(TM) 8000 series, and RADEON(TM) 9000 series.
"Today's CATALYST 3.0 release is a testament to ATI's close
working relationship with Microsoft," said Rick Bergman, Senior
Vice President and General Manager, Desktop Business Unit, ATI Technologies
Inc. "ATI is committed to providing end users with cutting edge
software technology that delivers cinematic quality and industry-leading,
CATALYST 3.0 is Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certified for
ATI's entire line of Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9.0 products including
RADEON(TM) 9500 PRO, RADEON(TM) 9500, RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO and RADEON(TM)
9700. WHQL certification for the remainder of ATI's RADEON-based desktop
graphics products, including the RADEON(TM) 7000 series, RADEON(TM)
8000 series, and RADEON(TM) 9000 series, will follow shortly.
ATI's newest unified driver release CATALYST 3.0, and Microsoft(R)
DirectX(R) 9.0 showcase can be found at www.ati.com.
Dec 24 - VIA Continues
Legal Battle Against Intel in England. VIA Technologies,
Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies
and PC platform solutions, today announced that the English Court
of Appeal ruled today on a key aspect of the legal dispute between
Intel Corporation ("Intel") and VIA Technologies, Inc. ("VIA").
The dispute arose when Intel issued proceedings in 2001 alleging
that VIA chipset and processor products infringed five Intel patents.
VIA alleged as one part of its defence to those proceedings that Intel
was and is acting anti-competitively in the chipset and processor
markets, and so was not entitled to enforce its patents against VIA.
In April of this year, Intel applied to the English High Court for
summary dismissal of VIA's competition law based defence on a summary
basis and was successful. VIA subsequently appealed that decision
to the Court of Appeal, which has today rendered its verdict.
The Court of Appeal has upheld VIA's appeal in its entirety, overturning
almost all of Mr Justice Lawrence Collins' decision at first instance.
The Court of Appeal commented that the proceedings raised "momentous"
issues, and noted:
"If what VIA alleges is made out then the dominance of Intel
in the world-wide market in the important and developing technology
for PCs is buttressed by its enormous portfolio of patents and restrictive
licensing policy. This may be true of others but in the case of this
technology the commercial and technical requirement for compatibility
of hardware and software confers on the industry leader an even more
The Court of Appeal therefore concluded that the allegations of anticompetitive
conduct against Intel should proceed to trial. Under the terms of
the order agreed following the judgment, Intel will pay the entirety
of VIA's legal costs for both the High Court and Court of Appeal hearings.
"We are pleased with the verdict," commented Richard Brown,
Director of Marketing of VIA Technologies, Inc, "and we will
be asking for an order for the trial of the competition law issues
to be heard as soon as possible."
Additional information on VIA can be found at www.via.com.tw.
Dec 24 - WildBlue
Satellite Internet Service to Launch in 2004. WildBlue
Communications today announced that Liberty Satellite & Technology,
Inc. (LSAT) (OTC:LSTTA) (OTC:LSTTB), Intelsat, National Rural Telecommunications
Cooperative (NRTC), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and David
Drucker, WildBlue's chairman, have agreed to invest $156 million in
Liberty Satellite, Kleiner Perkins and David Drucker are existing
shareholders. Intelsat and NRTC are new investors in WildBlue and
will join the board of directors as part of this investment. This
transaction is subject to WildBlue meeting certain conditions, including
FCC approvals. WildBlue expects the investment to close in the second
quarter of 2003.
"This large investment in WildBlue, in the face of tough financial
markets, is a strong endorsement of WildBlue's business model and
ability to revolutionize wireless broadband. WildBlue will change
the consumer broadband market making affordable high-speed Internet
access available to virtually every home and small business in the
contiguous United States," said Thomas Moore, chief executive
officer of WildBlue. "When this transaction closes, we will be
able to complete our investment in the space and ground infrastructure
to allow us to launch our service in 2004."
WildBlue will deliver affordable two-way wireless broadband services
via satellite, direct to homes and small offices, throughout the contiguous
United States in 2004. WildBlue is expected to be the first to launch
the Ka-band spot beam satellite technology designed to lower the cost
of providing consumers high-speed Internet access via satellite. The
WildBlue system also will leverage proven terrestrial cable modem
technology, resulting in lower customer equipment and installation
costs, a critical requirement in satellite-based consumer services.
WildBlue's service should be especially appealing to the millions
of homes and small offices that lack access to DSL or cable modem
WildBlue initially will offer its services using its license for
the U.S. Ka-band payload aboard Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite,
being built by Boeing and scheduled to launch in late 2003 into the
111.1 degrees WL orbital location. Based on future financing, WildBlue
plans to subsequently launch its own satellite, WildBlue-1, being
manufactured by Loral Space Systems, into WildBlue's 109.2 degrees
WL orbital location. Andrew Corporation has been contracted to construct
WildBlue's earth gateways.
"We believe that retail satellite broadband services in North
America will be an important component of future growth in the fixed
satellite services industry," said Conny Kullman, CEO of Intelsat,
Ltd. "Millions of rural residents and small offices have no access
to high-quality, affordable broadband service comparable to that available
in urban areas. We have great confidence in WildBlue's strategic plan
and believe it represents a key opportunity for Intelsat to capitalize
on this market gap."
WildBlue can be found online at www.wildblue.com.
Dec 24 - Seventy-six
percent of Americans Plan to Take Pictures This Holiday Season.
Americans are snapping an increased number of pictures this holiday
season, a survey conducted by the Eastman Kodak Company reveals.
The average film user plans to take 30 pictures and the typical digital-camera
user will snap 36 pictures, according to the survey. The growing popularity
of digital cameras and the strong consumer desire to share photos
and preserve holiday memories top the list of reasons why 76% of Americans
plan to take pictures.
"Consumers are taking more pictures than ever before and that
reflects the increased popularity of digital photography and the many
options for processing and sharing both film and digital pictures,"
said Mary Jane Hellyar, General Manager Capture & Traditional
Photo Products, Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "At Kodak,
we're committed to providing new products, services and safekeeping
tips that make photography a simple and enjoyable way to keep in touch
with family and friends during the holiday and for many years to come."
The Kodak survey also indicates that consumers intend to take a greater
array of film, digital and video pictures during the upcoming holidays
compared to 2001. In fact, households that own a digital camera intend
to take more pictures, both film and digital, than the average consumer.
Proving the popularity of e-mail as a way to share pictures, the survey
also revealed that 67 percent of consumers with digital cameras plan
to share digital pictures via email with family and friends.
Ensure Your Memories Travel Safely
Those planning to travel are urged to take precautions to protect
their film and one-time-use cameras, because new high-intensity scanning
machines used in airports may adversely affect the quality of their
prints. Kodak recommends travelers consider the following guidelines
when traveling with film products:
-- Stow film and cameras containing film in clear plastic or mesh
bags in carry-on luggage;
-- Request a hand inspection of film and film products when
subjected to multiple X-ray examinations or during
non-standard high intensity security scanning;
-- Do not transport unprocessed film or one-time-use cameras in
your checked baggage.
Standard X-ray scanning at security checkpoints in the U. S. will
pose minimal risk to unprocessed film rated at speeds below ISO 1000.
However, as a result of heightened security, some passengers may be
selected randomly to submit their carry-on items to a high-intensity
scan apart from general security checkpoints.
For additional information about Kodak, visit their web site on the
Internet at: www.kodak.com.
Dec 23 - ViewSonic NextVision
N6 Transforms Computer Display into HDTV. ViewSonic(R) Corp.,
a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today announced the shipment
of its NextVision N6 high definition video processors. The N6 enables
consumers to maximize the performance of their display products through
the use of multiple forms of digital entertainment, including high
definition TV (HDTV).
With the N6, displays that support up to 1280x1024 resolution can
become HDTV and digital television (DTV) monitors through component
video input connections (YPbPr). A 3D comb filter supports both EDTV
and HDTV resolution formats, including 480P, 720P and 1080i, and provides
sharp, crisp images for optimum picture detail.
Full-screen viewing and picture-in-picture (PIP) capabilities are
available, making it possible for video or TV content to be displayed
over data screens when connected to a PC. Multiview or picture-on-picture
(POP) is provided, giving users the option of creating up to nine
picture windows on the screen for simultaneous viewing of multiple
"As more content is created in digital formats, it becomes increasingly
important for users to have options available to view it," said
Gene Ornstead, director of business development, Advanced Products,
ViewSonic Corp. "This newest addition to our line of video processors
offers a quality solution that allows users to utilize the full capabilities
of their displays by connecting multiple sources of digital or analog
At an estimated street price of $399, the N6 is available for about
half the cost of many competitive video processing solutions, providing
a more affordable option to consumers who value high-quality TV and
digital entertainment for their high-resolution computer display,
projector, or plasma screen.
For further information, please contact ViewSonic Corporation at
Dec 23 - CenDyne Unveils High-Speed CD-RW
Burners. CenDyne, Inc. today broadens its line of award-winning
CD burners with two offerings: the CenDyne 48x24x48X16 CD-RW/DVD-ROM
Combo drive and CenDyne External 52X CD-RW drive with USB 2.0/FireWire
The CenDyne 48X Combo drive offers computer users a
great product for creating custom music CDs, backing up critical data,
and accessing software and movies on DVD. The CenDyne 52X External
CD-RW drive provides the fastest write, rewrite and read speeds in
the industry in an all-black casing that matches the latest PC color
CenDyne's high-performance 48X Combo drive and 52X External CD burners
are both easy to use and set-up. The 48X Combo drive is easy to install
into a PC with an available bay, while the 52X External Drive connects
externally to an available USB 2.0 or FireWire port. Both drives comes
fully loaded with all the essentials, including media and cables,
for a complete user experience.
To assist the end-user with managing and storing data and digital
files both new drives include the award-winning Nero(TM) CD recording
software and InCD(TM) drag-and-drop packet writing software. It also
incorporates Buffer Under-Run technology, which dramatically decreases
the likelihood of write errors and ensures highly reliable recording.
The CenDyne 48X Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive (model number CDI CD 00198)
and 52X External CD-RW drive (model number CDI CD 00204) are available
now at suggested retail prices of $99 and $149 respectively at leading
computer and consumer electronics retailers.
For more information, go to the company's Web site at www.cendyne.com.
Dec 23 - Cable and Consumer Electronics
Companies Reach Key Agreement on Digital TV. Consumers will be
able to buy digital TVs (DTVs) that connect to digital cable without
a set-top box, and enjoy easy access to high-definition television
(HDTV) services offered by cable operators, as a result of an agreement
entered into today by major consumer electronics companies and cable
multiple system operators (MSOs).
The agreement, which sets the stage for a national "plug-and-play"
standard between digital television products and digital cable systems,
will help speed the transition from analog to digital television and
establish much-needed marketplace, technical, and regulatory certainty
for the cable and consumer electronics (CE) industries.
The terms of the agreement are embodied in a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) agreed to by 14 consumer electronics companies, representing
the majority of HDTV sales in the United States, and seven major cable
operators, representing more than 75 percent of all cable subscribers.
The MSO - CE Manufacturer Agreement consists of a package including
(1) voluntary commitments by the signatories and (2) proposals for
rules to be adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
that, once adopted, would resolve other issues.
Specifically, the joint recommendations include a set of technical
standards for cable systems and "cable-ready" DTV products
(and testing procedures to assure compatibility); a proposed regulatory
framework for support of digital TV receivers, digital recorders with
secure interfaces and other devices on cable systems; a draft security
technology license to ensure that high-value content can be transferred
securely in the home network by consumers; and "encoding rules"
to resolve pending copyright-based concerns about home recording and
In addition to proposing regulations to assure consumer access to
plug-and-play digital TV over cable, the parties agreed to begin working
together immediately on standards for future interactive digital cable
Negotiations were conducted directly among company representatives
and facilitated by their respective trade associations, the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications
"When implemented, this agreement will provide the certainty
the cable and CE industries need to build products and develop services
to spur the digital transition, while preserving the ability of both
industries to create innovative products and services on a timely
basis in the rapidly-changing digital environment," said the
signatories in a letter to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell. "We
hope the agreement...will hasten the day when all consumers can enjoy
the benefits of the digital television world."
Assuming that the FCC promptly adopts the industry recommendations,
national implementation of the proposed regulations should ensure
the availability of plug-and-play nationwide digital TV cable products
and services beginning in 2004.
Dec 23 - Online Ad Revenues Average 66%
Year-Over-Year Increase. Internet advertising revenue in the United
States totaled $1.47 billion for the third quarter of 2002, advancing
1% from the second quarter of 2002, and the first signal of positive
growth for the overall online advertising industry in six quarters.
Signaling an uptick in online revenue, nine of the top fifteen companies
selling interactive advertising experienced year-over-year revenue
growth averaging 66% for Q3 2002 over Q3 2001, that according to PwC.
"While we are reporting a modest gain, quarter to quarter, the
reality is that the growth in the interactive advertising sector,
as demonstrated by the top 15 sellers, is much stronger than is reflected
in this report," said Greg Stuart, President & CEO of the
IAB. "We know that there are more companies out there with positive
growth. However, since this report is a reflection on the industry
as a whole, not simply a few sites, the compilations account for all
players in the field.
"I have no doubt that as this situation turns around, our industry
numbers will reflect greater growth numbers, but until that happens,
we should all understand that the interactive ad industry has been
steadily increasing revenues for the last few quarters, and is on
track to continue that growth along with other ad sectors."
"The return to positive growth in both online and offline media
is a healthy sign for the overall advertising industry, but should
be viewed cautiously, as we believe that the positive steps that are
being taken are as much cost-driven as they are recovery oriented,"
said Tom Hyland, Chair PricewaterhouseCoopers New Media Group. "Add
to that the historically stronger performance of the fourth quarter,
and it appears interactive advertising may end the year with two consecutive
PricewaterhouseCoopers can b efound online at www.pwcglobal.com.
Dec 23 - Connectix Launches Version 6.0
of VirtualPC for Mac. Connectix(R), a leading provider of cross-platform
compatibility software, today announced the immediate availability
of Virtual PC(TM) for Mac, version 6.0, a major new release of its
widely used and award-winning software solution that runs PC-based
operating systems and applications on Macintosh(R) computers.
This newest generation of the company's flagship product delivers
improved performance for Mac users running Mac OS X -- especially
those using the latest version of Jaguar -- and is a "must have"
product for anyone migrating to Mac OS X.
"Virtual PC for Mac, Version 6.0 makes it easier than ever for
users to run and access Windows(R) applications and files, which greatly
expands the capabilities of their Mac," said Kurt Schmucker,
Vice President of Mac Products at Connectix.
"A key feature puts Windows applications right in the Mac OS
X Dock which brings the Mac-to-Windows integration to an entirely
new level." Virtual PC 6.0 is a cost-effective way to allow Mac
users to access PC-based opportunities otherwise unavailable, such
as sharing Windows-based files from friends, family members, and business
colleagues, as well as gaining access to Web sites restricted to PC
Better Integration and Improved Performance for Jaguar Users
Those users running Virtual PC 6.0 on the latest version of Mac OS
X (version 10.2.3) can experience up to 25% improved performance.
Virtual PC 6.0 can launch Windows applications directly from the Mac
OS X Dock, and can also display the Windows Start Menu on the Mac
The newest release also provides Desktop Drive Mounting for backing
up Windows files more easily, and allows users to employ Mac OS tools
like Sherlock to search for PC files. Because of the added speed,
the improved integration between Mac and Windows, and the ease of
use factor for Jaguar users, this latest Connectix release is essential
for both existing Virtual PC users and those migrating to Mac OS X.
Virtual PC 6.0 Available Immediately
Virtual PC 6.0 Upgrade (estimated street price of $99/USD) and Virtual
PC 6.0 with DOS (estimated street price of $129/USD) are both available
now for download from the Connectix Web site (www.connectix.com).
For customers who purchased Virtual PC for Mac, version 5.0, between
November 1, 2002 and March 31, 2003, special pricing is available
and details can be found at the Connectix Web site.
Dec 22 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. The Christmas sales
frenzy abated this week. Prices returned to their normal levels.
Laptops - Prices were higher than last week on
Desktops - Prices were higher than last week
on all desktops.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
Best Buy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
They also have 24 month no-interest financing on all purchases totaling
$299 and higher.
Circuit City is offering
$100 instant gift cards for all Intel Pentium 4 processor desktop
package and laptop purchases. They also have 12 month no-interest
financing on all laptops and desktops.
has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases
CompUSA is giving 24 month no
interest financing for desktop complete systems and laptops $749 and
higher. They are also offering $100 rebates on Toshiba laptops. In
addition, they are offering 3 months of free AOL with any computer
Staples is offering 12 month no interest
financing for purchases over $799.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
- Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders,
desktop computers, and laptops.
Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.
What You Need to Know
About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of
'free' Internet service deals.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the
computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges
(if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain
store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2 GHz system with
17 inch monitor
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000+ complete
1. Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete system
2. Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2600+ system with
17 inch monitor
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.5 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.9 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
and 16" screen
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 40 GB USB External Hard Drive
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 180 GB 7200 RPM Hard
Best Sunday Deal
Iomega 40X External CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer Sound Card
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas)
in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio)
computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your
local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make
informed buying decisions.
Dec 20 - FTC Announces
Final Amendments to Telemarketing Sales Rule. The Federal Trade
Commission today announced a series of amendments to the Telemarketing
Sales Rule (TSR) including the development of a national "do
not call" registry that empowers consumers to stop most unwanted
telemarketing calls. The other amendments include new provisions that
crack down on unauthorized billing by telemarketers;
impose tight new restrictions on the practice of "call abandonment"
- where a consumer rushes to answer the phone, only to find "dead
require telemarketers to transmit Caller-ID information, so that
consumers who subscribe to Caller-ID services will know who is calling.
The majority of the changes will become effective immediately. Creation
of the "do not call" registry, however, requires additional
time. Information about the TSR amendments and the "do not call"
registry is available at www.ftc.gov/donotcall.
It is planned that the system will be ready to begin accepting consumer
registrations about four months after funding approval by Congress.
Registration via the Internet will be available nationwide at that
time, but registration via toll-free number will be phased in by region.
Approximately two months after the completion of the phased-in registration,
telemarketers will be able to access the registry to "scrub"
their call lists so that they can avoid calling consumers on the registry.
A month after that, the Commission will begin enforcing the "do
not call" registry provisions. Registration will be good for
five years, or until the consumer changes his or her phone number
"These amendments redefine the nature of telemarketing for both
consumers and businesses," said FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris.
"They protect consumers' privacy, give them a choice about whether
to receive most telemarketing calls, and provide enhanced protections
against fraudulent telemarketers. Soon, signing up for the national
"do not call" registry will be just a mouse click or toll-free
Dec 20 - Intel Communications
Fund Invests in Two Wi-Fi Companies. Intel Corporation today announced
that its Intel Communications Fund has invested in two companies involved
in Wi-Fi technology. The Intel Communications Fund provided follow-on
funding for STSN, a visitor-based network access company, and provided
funding for TeleSym, an IP telephony software company.
The Fund now has completed three investments in Wi-Fi companies since
October when Intel announced plans to invest $150 million in companies
pursuing Wi-Fi technology. The first investment was in Cometa Networks,
which announced its initial round of financing Dec. 5.
"These investments are part of Intel's efforts to help accelerate
the deployment of high-speed wireless networks worldwide," said
John Hull, director of the Intel Communications Fund. "STSN's
and Telesym's solutions will complement Intel's next generation mobile
technology, codenamed Banias, which will be introduced in the first
half of 2003. Mobile computer users will have real-time wireless Internet
access from STSN-enabled hotel rooms and will be able to do innovative
things like turn their laptops into wireless speaker phones with TeleSym's
STSN, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the leading provider of wired
and wireless high-speed data communications to hotels and conference
centers worldwide. STSN's products enable high-speed data communications
connections in more than 120,000 guestrooms and 4,000 hotel meeting
rooms worldwide. Intel Capital first invested in STSN in 1999. For
more information about STSN, visit www.stsn.com.
TeleSym, based in Bellevue, Wash., develops software that delivers
high-quality, cost-effective voice communications over wireless enterprise
networks, enhancing the ways mobile workers communicate. The company's
software can be used on mobile PCs and personal digital assistants.
For more information about TeleSym, visit www.telesym.com.
The Intel Communications Fund has made more than 80 investments in
17 countries on five continents. For more information about the fund,
Dec 20 - Call Compliance Poised to Block
Billions of Unwanted Telemarketing Calls in 2003. Call Compliance,
Inc., the leading provider of compliance solutions to the teleservices
sector, announced today that its patented TeleBlock(R) service is
poised to help realize the goals of a proposed national do-not-call
registry, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to
TeleBlock(R), the only centralized, network-based do-not-call compliance
solution on the market today, is projected to block billions of calls
"The FTC is expected to announce an ambitious initiative that
will create new compliance issues for telemarketers who will need
to find a way to ensure that their calls go only to those who want
to receive them," said Dean Garfinkel, Chairman of Call Compliance.
"TeleBlock(R) enables telemarketers to avoid inadvertently running
afoul of the new regulation, which includes a fine of up to $11,000
for each violation of the do-not call list." Unlike various consumer
products on the market that attempt to screen incoming calls from
telemarketers, TeleBlock(R) screens outbound calls as they are being
made by the telemarketer, automatically blocking calls before they
are completed to consumers who place their phone numbers on do-not-call
The technology resides on a telephone carrier's nationwide network,
so telemarketers can comply by simply signing up for the service with
a participating carrier. Consumers in turn reap the benefit of optimized
compliance by telemarketers, without having to incur any additional
costs. (To see how the technology works, please see: www.callcompliance.com/cci/jsp/flow.html.)
For the telemarketer, the cost is minimal and requires only a computer
with Internet access. "TeleBlock(R) allows telemarketers to have
access to real-time screening and blocking mechanisms. The technology
is easier and more effective than traditional `scrubbing' techniques,
where telemarketers must purchase lists and invest time in comparing
their own lists to do-not-call lists," added Garfinkel. "It's
a win-win situation because it provides a simple solution for consumers,
regulators, telemarketers and telecom carriers."
"Dealing with the do-not-call dilemma is a daunting task for
any company that uses telemarketing," said Joseph Sanscrainte,
General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs of Call Compliance.
"Teleblock(R) removes the guesswork from compliance with all
do-not-call laws, potentially saves the industry billions of dollars
in fines, and allows telemarketers to focus on making sales as opposed
to managing databases."
"TeleBlock(R) is a central, national and battle-tested solution,"
added Garfinkel. "Consumers need to have the assurance that when
they place their name on a list, they don't get called anymore and
telemarketers need to have the assurance that when they place a call
they are not calling a call-adversed consumer. TeleBlock(R) is the
only technology out there that makes this a reality."
Call Compliance (www.callcompliance.com)
is a privately-held company with corporate offices located in Glen
Dec 20 - Wi-Fi IC Shipments Set To Top
Expectations. Driven by strong growth in the SOHO/retail market
segment and broader global demand for 802.11x based wireless local
area network (WLAN) solutions, shipments of chipsets are set to hit
23 to 25 million units this year, up from 7.9 million in 2001.
This is considerably above initial expectations for 14-15 million
chipsets, and it points towards an acceleration in catalysts driving
Taking into account rapid price declines of ICs, a growing confidence
in new addressable markets and the immense interest in 802.11 technology
Allied Business Intelligence's (ABI) new forecasts indicate that between
2002 and 2007 Wi-Fi chipset shipments are set to grow at a CAGR of
43%. Hence by 2007 shipments will reach 147.5 million chipsets, with
revenues of $1.13 billion.
"There is a very elastic relationship between pricing and demand
in the wireless LAN market, and every step down in prices brings the
industry closer to unlocking new opportunities and applications,"
said John Chang, ABI Senior Analyst. "There is fierce competitive
innovation in this market and it is critical for market participants
to commit significant resources if they hope to compete successfully
against the likes of Intersil and Intel, whose Calexico dual-band
802.11a/b offering will ship in 2003."
Findings from the ABI report titled "Wi-Fi Integrated Circuits:
Industry Dynamics, Market Segmentation and Vendor Analysis for 802.11a/b/g"
-- By 2004 revenue from dual-band chipsets will exceed those from
802.11g and 802.11b.
-- The market entry of Taiwanese IC players in 2003 will further
pressure 802.11b pricing.
-- The 802.11b market will have legs beyond 2004, but chipsets
will increasingly be targeted for embedded implementations
particularly in very battery-constrained devices such as PDAs
and eventually mobile handsets.
-- 802.11g will have a significant impact in the SOHO/retail
market and will comprise 18% of IC shipments in 2003, much of
-- The pattern of continuous price declines will quickly extend
beyond the existing 802.11b chip market into 802.11g and
-- CMOS and Zero-IF architectures will be important in enabling
lower cost architectures, including a potential single-chip
Details can be found at www.alliedworld.com.
Dec 20 - Pace of New 1394/FireWire Product
Introductions Continues. The roster of 1394-equipped consumer
and computer products continued its rapid expansion during the fourth
calendar quarter, featuring a group of new tablet computers, notebooks,
and storage devices, along with new digital cameras and televisions.
An impressive set of PC motherboards with 1394 also signaled FireWire's
continued worldwide expansion.
At the top of the list: notebook and tablet PCs introduced prior
to or during this year's Las Vegas Comdex. They include the Toughbook
50 notebook from Panasonic, the Gateway 400x and the Innodesk Laptop
from Innodesk. New tablet PCs are from Tatung, along with Viewsonic's
V1100, Fujitsu's ST Stylistic, and Motion Computing's M1200 Tablet.
Among other new notebooks and desktops with 1394: CyberPower's XP-AV
Media Pro; Sony's VAIO PCV-RX790G and VAIO PCV-W10; and Polywell's
New motherboards with 1394 are Via Technologies' P4PB 400 Mainboard,
joining an impressive list of FireWire-equipped motherboards from
ABIT, ASUSTek, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI. A full list is at this
"In the ramp up to Comdex, and now to the annual Consumer Electronics
Show, the pace of introductions has continued strong throughout 2002,
including an impressive number of 1394-enabled motherboards,"
said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association.
"More than 1,000 powerful new computer and consumer products
equipped with FireWire reached the market this year alone, and now
we are preparing for the first new systems incorporating the ultra
fast 1394b version of the standard in early 2003. There is a lot of
For a complete list of the latest 1394-equipped consumer and computer
products, components and cards -- along with those released earlier
in 2002 -- please visit www.1394ta.org/About/products/.
Dec 19 - Number of Hacking Web Sites Grows
45 Percent. Hacking tools used by employees within organizations
may be the biggest security threat to emerge this year, leading to
increased vulnerabilities, lost data, and wasted time and resources,
reports Websense Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN).
Websense, the worldwide leader of employee Internet management (EIM)
solutions, reports that the number of hacking Web sites has increased
45 percent in the last 12 months, now totaling approximately 6,000
Web sites, encompassing more than one million pages of content. The
dramatic spike may signal an increasing internal security risk for
Nearly 90 percent of U.S. businesses and government agencies suffered
hacker attacks in the last year, according to Newsbytes, while 80
percent of network security managers claim their biggest security
threat comes from their own employees, according to a survey conducted
at this year's Gartner Information Security Conference.
"While employees are a company's greatest asset, they can also
represent its greatest security risk," said Becky Bace, a network
security expert and author of Intrusion Detection. "Hacking Web
sites offer tools and instruction that allow even non-technically
savvy workers to disrupt the normal operation of their own network
or other networks outside their organizations -- on company time and
using office computing resources."
Most hacking Web sites contain archives of available hacking tools,
such as denial of service attack software, sniffer and anti-sniffer
software and password crackers. In addition, the sites also offer
free downloads of hacker programs -- such as Win Nuke, Boom and NetBus
-- that enable employees to be self-taught. Finally, sites often provide
step-by-step instructions for beginners on everything from how to
gain unauthorized access to computer systems to instruction on how
to perform attacks on routing protocols.
The increase in hacking Web sites may have much to do with both political
and economic issues of the day. According to research from security
firm mi2g Intelligence Unit, the "most hacked" country in
the world is the United States, with more than 26,000 attacks occurring
so far this year. In addition, the rising unemployment rate -- which
recently hit six percent, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor --
is creating a new pool of disgruntled workers willing to damage their
former employers at any cost.
"A company that doesn't block employee access to the thousands
of hacking sites that exist is simply enabling itself to become a
target," said Andy Meyer, vice president of marketing for Websense
Inc. "New hacking tools are emerging everyday, but they are very
hard to find within organizations. The best current solution is stopping
the problem at its source."
Today, Websense Enterprise v4.4.1 software helps companies block
employee access to hacking Web sites, preventing the download of hacking
tool kits, such as malicious executables, in the workplace. This is
important because 85 percent of all computer hacking against companies
is committed by former employees with knowledge of the company's computer
system, according to insurance broker Near North National Group.
For more information, visit www.websense.com.
Dec 19 - ATI Reports 34 Per Cent Sequential
Revenue Increase in First Quarter. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)
(TSX:ATY.TO), a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative
3D graphics and digital media silicon solutions, today announced its
financial results for the first quarter of its 2003 fiscal year ended
November 30, 2002.
Revenues for the first quarter were $322.0 million, up 34.5 per cent
from $239.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002, and up 28.8
per cent from $250.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2002.
Gross margins were 27.3 per cent, down from 30.1 per cent in the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2002. Operating expenses, excluding amortization
of intangible assets, increased to $79.6 million from $70.1 million
in the previous quarter.
Net income for the first quarter was $5.0 million or $0.02 per share
compared to a net loss of $32.2 million or $0.14 per share for the
fourth quarter of 2002 and a net loss of $10.3 million or $0.04 per
share for the same period a year ago. Adjusted net income for the
quarter was $7.0 million or $0.03 per share compared to $2.4 million
or $0.01 per share for the previous quarter, and $10.4 million or
$0.04 per share for the same period a year ago.
"We were pleased with the strength of our PC business in our
first quarter," said David Orton, President and Chief Operating
Officer, ATI Technologies Inc. "We obtained key design wins in
every product category and our product strength helped ATI to gain
share in all major channels and geographies. We continue to invest
in R&D in order to maintain the momentum that we have created."
In the first quarter, the RADEON(TM) 9700 and RADEON(TM) 9000 family
of products along with ATI's integrated graphics products, drove revenue
growth. ATI's add-in-board partners delivering RADEON(TM)-based technology
to the system builder market also contributed to the Company's revenue
growth this quarter.
"Over the last few quarters, ATI has achieved undisputed technology
leadership in PC graphics, and delivered compelling visual solutions
to every market segment," said K.Y. Ho, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, ATI Technologies Inc. "Moreover, ATI is committed to
executing on an aggressive product roadmap to deliver and expand our
industry-leading visual processing solutions."
[InfoHQ Comment: On December 17, 2002 ATI
disclosed that it was perfroming an investigation of its directors
to see if they were dumping stock prior to their 4th quarter August
2002 reported loss of 14 cents per share. Now after ATI has had its
best quarter ever (ending Novemeber 30, 2002) they have made a whopping
2 cents per share.
ATI had the fastest graphics card on the market, Radeon 9700 Pro,
for the last 4 months, however NVidia's new GeForce FX, due for retail
relases in February 2003, will be the new graphics speed king.
The future doesn't look rosey for ATI.]
ATI can be found onile at www.ATI.com.
Dec 19 - The Printed Circuit Board Industry
Won't Surpass Past Highs Before 2004. The printed circuit board
market reached a bottom in 2001, with worldwide sales expected to
increase slightly in 2002.
However, exceeding the levels posted in 2000, when global revenues
topped $42 billion, will not happen for some time. Weaknesses in several
tech sectors are to blame, including telecom, medical and the broader
information technology industry, according to research conducted by
Allied Business Intelligence (ABI).
"Given current market conditions, the PCB industry will take
about four or five years to reach the level attained in 2000,"
states Edward Rerisi, Director of Research at ABI. "The PCB market
is strongly correlated with the electronic equipment industry. As
this industry recovers, so will the PCB market," he adds. With
nearly 2,000 companies actively engaged in PCB production, ABI contends
that only the most technically advanced will weather this storm. Smaller
companies may be pushed out of the market unless they successfully
cater to a niche application.
Further pressure mounts as Asian players continue to take advantage
of their reduced labor and overhead expenses. Additionally, Asian
PCB manufacturers benefit from their proximity to equipment production,
typically outsourced in the region. According to ABI, this region
will boast the highest growth rate going forward.
Details can be found on the web at www.alliedworld.com.
Dec 19 - Free-for-All Web Is Evolving
Into a For-Fee Medium. One of the internet's most hallowed attributes
is slowly but surely eroding.
According to eMarketer's just-released Online Content Report, not
only are more sites charging for content--more consumers are paying
eMarketer projects that 15.7 million US consumers will purchase online
content in 2002, and the number will rise to 21 million in 2003. That
means 10% of all US internet users will pay for online content this
year and 13% next year.
"The environment is changing," says Ben Macklin, Senior
Analyst at eMarketer. "It is a simple case of economic Darwinism.
Weak companies have died out and the remaining companies are adapting."
It's estimated that individual consumers will pay $3.8 billion worldwide
for online content in 2002 and organizations $44 billion, adding up
to nearly $50 billion by the end of this year.
"The question of whether consumers are more willing to pay for
online content has become largely irrelevant," says Mr. Macklin.
"The more appropriate question is whether businesses are any
longer willing to offer online content and services for free. And
the answer increasingly seems to be no."
More information can be found at www.emarketer.com.
Dec 19 - IBM First to Ship Compact 16-Way
Intel Xeon System. IBM today announced that powerful new 16-processor
models of its award-winning IBM eServer system, which enables customers
to add computing power on a "pay-as-you-grow" basis, are
now shipping in volume.
IBM is the only major vendor to offer customers a 16-way server based
on the Intel Xeon processor MP in a compact, 14-inch high system,
while Dell and HP have yet to make generally available eight-way systems
based on this processor.
IBM grew revenue nearly three times faster than Dell in Intel processor-based
servers in the third quarter of this year compared with the third
quarter of last year and also outpaced HP in revenue growth, according
to industry analyst IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. IBM
also surpassed HP as the revenue leader in eight-way Intel processor-based
servers in the third quarter of this year, gaining more than 26 points
in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of last year, according
to the same IDC data.
"The IBM eServer x440 has helped us reduce costs by consolidating
some of our mission-critical applications onto a single, powerful
server," said Jevin Jensen, director of technical services for
Mohawk Industries, a leading supplier of residential and commercial
flooring. "Based on the results we've seen, we're very interested
in having the ability to scale to 16-processor eServer x440 models."
The eServer x440 is a groundbreaking Intel processor-based server
designed to meet the performance, reliability and scalability requirements
of corporate data center customers. Built with IBM Enterprise X-Architecture
technology, the server helps customers adapt to unpredictable business
growth through a flexible, "expand-on-demand" approach that
allows them to add computing capacity as they need it, up to 16 processors.
IBM is the first major server vendor to offers customers a highly
compact, rack-dense 16-way server based on the Intel Xeon processor
MP. While a competitive Unisys 16-way system requires its own rack
and takes up 40U (nearly six feet) of space, a fully configured 16-way
eServer x440 fits into an industry-standard rack and takes up only
8U (14 inches) of space -- one-fifth the space of the Unisys machine.
More information is available at www.ibm.com.
Dec 18 - Toshiba Ships First
Notebook PC With Integrated Dual 802.11a/b Connectivity. Toshiba's
Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the availability of the
Satellite Pro(R) 6100 Series, the industry's first notebook PC with
built-in dual Wi-Fi (802.11a/b) wireless connectivity, allowing users
to experience the next level of high-speed wireless data access up
With integrated Wi-Fi 802.11a, the Satellite Pro 6100 delivers faster
wireless data transmission rates for high-end applications including
video, voice and imaging. This high-speed data access enhances productivity
by giving business customers faster access to large files such as
According to Cahners In-Stat, the adoption of wireless communication
continues to grow, and there will be more than 55 million Wi-Fi networks
in the United States by 2005. With dual wireless capabilities, the
Satellite Pro 6100 Series enables users to access the Internet in
an 802.11a or 802.11b environment, optimizing both flexibility and
"Toshiba continues to set a new standard for innovation with
mobile products that meet the increased market demand for wireless
connectivity," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product
marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG. "Mobility
and wireless connectivity are absolutely essential to our customers,
and the Satellite Pro 6100 Series is a direct reflection of this need."
"The Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 Series brings increased wireless
performance and flexibility to mobile business users," said Rich
Redelfs, president and CEO of Atheros Communications. "The higher
speeds and additional channels available at 5GHz enable more scalable
wireless networks for large or growing businesses.
The Satellite Pro 6100 Series starts at $1,799 and is available through
Toshiba's traditional distribution channels, VARs, www.shoptoshiba.com
and mail-order partners.
Dec 18 - Worldwide DRAM Industry Grows
37 Percent in 2002. Worldwide dynamic random access memory (DRAM)
revenue reached $16.2 billion in 2002, a 36.7 percent increase from
2001, according to preliminary statistic released by Dataquest Inc.,
a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Samsung Electronics strengthened its position as the No. 1 DRAM supplier,
increasing its revenue market share to 31 percent, more than 13 percent
ahead of its nearest rival. Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor
saw their market shares drop in 2002, but held onto their rankings
as the No. 2 and No. 3 vendors, respectively.
"Samsung had an exceptional year, and contrary to its rivals,
it managed to make a profit throughout the year," said Andrew
Norwood, senior analyst with Gartner Dataquest. "Samsung's revenue
was strengthened by its high exposure to premium price products, such
as Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) and Double Data Rate static RAM (DDR SRAM)."
Hynix Semiconductor's revenue increased 23 percent in 2002, but its
market share declined from 2001 results. "Hynix has been losing
share in some of the big accounts, and its low percentage of premium
products has kept revenue growth below the overall industry average,"
Infineon Technologies saw strong revenue growth in 2002, and increased
its market share to 12 percent, but failed to catch Hynix. "This
is the first time Infineon Technologies has broken the 10-percent
barrier," said Norwood. "This is also the eleventh consecutive
year the company has managed to increase its market share."
Overall, Japanese DRAM vendors had a tough year. "Japan, once
the DRAM powerhouse country, has been pushed into last place. Japanese
vendors now only control 12 percent of the market, compared with 21
percent in 2001," said Norwood. This is a marked change from
1986 when Japanese vendors controlled 78 percent of the market.
Gartner Dataquest analysts said Taiwanese vendors had an exceptional
year, as they secured 14 percent of the market in 2002, compared with
8.4 percent in 2001. Among the Taiwanese vendors, Nanya Technology
was the big winner, moving up from eighth position in 2001 to sixth
Despite the healthy revenue growth in 2002, Gartner Dataquest analysts
said most DRAM vendors are still experiencing revenue losses. This
is leading to increasing trade friction among the major producing
regions. Recently, the U.S. International Trade Commission announced
that it was going to continue its investigation into whether allegedly
subsidized imports of DRAM from South Korea have injured the domestic
U.S. producers in 2002. Micron has been calling for a full investigation
for some time, but Norwood does not believe these alleged subsidies
are the main cause of Micron's market share decline.
DRAM remains the most volatile sector of the worldwide semiconductor
market. Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 1.4 percent in 2002.
If DRAM revenue were excluded from the total semiconductor market,
worldwide semiconductor sales revenue would have declined by 2 percent.
Additional information on this market is available in the Gartner
Dataquest Perspective "2002 Preliminary DRAM Market Share"
This market analysis examines the performance of the top 10 DRAM manufactures
More information about Gartner Dataquest semiconductor programs and
reports can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at www.gartner.com/semiconductor-mkt.
Dec 18 - Symantec Security Check Serves
More Than 30 Million Users. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the
world leader in Internet security, today announced that 30 million
people have used Symantec Security Check, one of the most widely visited
security testing sites worldwide, to identify and address online safety
threats to their personal computers. As security threats have increased
in frequency and severity, the free online service has continued to
gain in popularity among home users.
In June 2002, 20 million users had utilized the service; during
the following four months, an additional 10 million consumers used
the service to test their exposure to risks from hackers, viruses,
Trojan horses and other security threats and to get recommendations
on securing their computers against those risks. Symantec Security
Check is available at www.symantec.com/securitycheck.
Results of completed Symantec Security Check scans show that more
than one in four home users still do not have an up-to-date antivirus
product protecting their computer. In addition, a full 50 percent
of users were found to be at risk for Internet browser privacy threats.
One in every five machines tested was also open to NetBIOS and network
"Every day, home computer users are faced with hack attacks,
malicious code and other potentially destructive threats that put
their systems and data at risk," said Steve Cullen, senior vice
president, Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "Consequently,
we are pleased to see millions of home users taking advantage of our
free Symantec Security Check to help them identify exposure to online
security threats and, in turn, learn how to make their computers more
secure through this quick, reliable and easy-to-use service."
Symantec Security Check performs a wide range of security tests to
determine users' exposure to today's most common security threats.
Antivirus product and definition scans identify ineffective virus
protection software and outdated definitions, respectively. A Trojan
horse scan determines whether a computer is vulnerable to common malicious
Trojan horse applications. A browser scan reveals whether the browser
is configured to reveal information to the Internet such as e-mail
addresses or a recently visited Web site.
A NetBIOS availability scan determines whether the system is exposing
computer-specific information to the Internet, thereby potentially
opening accessibility to hackers. A network vulnerability scan determines
whether a computer has a TCP port in an open or vulnerable state,
which could allow unknown or unauthorized Internet communication.
Once Symantec Security Check identifies vulnerabilities, it then provides
recommendations for addressing those weaknesses.
In addition, consumers can use Symantec Security Check to trace an
attack in order to determine the network from which it originated
as well as the geographic location of the computer that was used.
This tool is also useful in identifying the source of spam, or unsolicited
Dec 18 - Transmeta's 1 GHz Crusoe Processor
Enables High Density Blade Server. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA)
today announced that its energy efficient, 1 GHz Crusoe TM5800 processor
extends the RLX Technologies(TM), Inc. dense blade product line.
The RLX ServerBlade 1000t replaces the RLX ServerBlade 667 and is
designed for those customers who want to maintain high density and
low total cost of ownership, while increasing processing performance.
It offers an exceptional combination of density and performance in
the blade server space.
Twenty-four RLX 1000t blade servers can be housed in the RLX 300ex
chassis, offering a total density of 336 servers, compared with 42
1U servers in an industry-standard 42U rack. Each blade has 128 MB
of integrated, fast DDR memory, up to 1 GB of stable SDR memory and
up to two 60 GB hard drives.
The 1000t offers customers improved speed through faster processor
performance, increased memory and expanded storage capacity in a high
density offering. The new 1000t is compatible with existing RLX 300ex
chassis and can be mixed and matched in the same chassis.
"This high density, Crusoe-based blade continues to provide
our customers with a solution that pushes the density and performance
envelope," said Bob Van Steenberg, chief technology officer and
vice president of platform design at RLX. "These cool running,
energy efficient 1000t blades allow our customers to deploy or expand
existing server farms with no need to increase power resources to
operate and cool them."
The RLX ServerBlade 1000t is expected to be broadly adopted due to
its faster 1GHz processor and strong RLX solutions and management
resources already available for the Crusoe-based blade.
"Due to the dusty, hot and confined environment that our computing
platforms operate in, density and power consumption were critical
considerations in the construction of our 480-node Green Machine compute
cluster," said Dr. Wu-chun Feng, leader of the RADIANT team at
Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Using the new RLX ServerBlade
1000t, our Green Machine achieves high compute density and low power
consumption while increasing the performance of our scientific codes
by about 50% over the previous generation ServerBlade."
RLX ServerBlade 1000t is available for purchase and pricing begins
at $1,329.00, including 128 MB of integrated DDR RAM and 512 MB of
SDR RAM. Configurations with up to 1 GB of RAM and up to two 60 GB
drives are available.
The RLX 300ex chassis, a 3U chassis holding up to twenty-four 1000t
blades is $3,299.00. Additional information on RLX products is available
To learn more about Transmeta visit www.transmeta.com.
Dec 18 -New Research Sheds Light on the
Connected Home. Internet Home Alliance, a cross-industry network
of leading companies advancing the home technology market, announced
today the availability of its latest research report, "US Connected
Home Products and Services."
According to the report, early adopters of the connected home --which
is described as a home where such items as computers, televisions,
lighting, HVAC and home security systems are linked to a centrally
controlled network -- are most interested in products and services
that address their family needs as opposed to career and entertainment
This is among the key findings in the report, which details the unmet
needs of likely adopters of the connected home, describes the psychology
of leading-edge consumers and outlines product concepts with considerable
promise as well as demand estimates and price elasticity measures
for those concepts.
"These are interesting findings for those of us in the connected
home market," said Bill Kenney, chairman, Internet Home Alliance,
and vice president, Emerging Home Solutions, Sears, Roebuck and Co.
"While there's promise for a multitude of home technology solutions,
those addressing family needs appear to be the ones that will help
the home technology market gain the most immediate traction."
Among the report's key findings:
-- A meal preparation concept consisting of a single,
coordinating interface and a series of Kenmore Elite-quality
appliances, appealed to 15% of U.S. households.
Interested consumers thought the concept would be most helpful in
them meal shopping and preparation time thus allowing the
family to spend more time together. Primary market consumers
over the age of 35 were significantly more likely than their
younger counterparts to find this concept appealing.
-- A family communications concept that included cellular phones
with features like one-button family conference calling,
instant messaging, GPS locating, e911 calling, time-stamped
messages and reminders, emergency call overrides and games,
appealed to 14% of U.S. households.
Interested consumers saw the ability to communicate quickly and easily
members, primarily for peace of mind and scheduling, to be the
main benefit. Primary market consumers with children at home
were significantly more likely than those without children to
find this concept attractive.
-- A work/life-balance telecommuting concept that included a
broadband (DSL or cable modem) connection to the Internet and
simplified virtual private network system to allow easy access
to one's company network, appealed to 11% of U.S. households.
Accessing files from work was cited as the most popular
feature of this concept, followed by improved networking
functionality and a faster Internet connection. Consumers aged
18-34 considered this concept more appealing than older
Based in part on the research findings, Internet Home Alliance will
be pursuing some of the concepts further as part of its pilot program,
which tests home technology solutions in real-world settings. Pilots
around the meal preparation and telecommuting concepts will be launched
More information can be found at at www.internethomealliance.com.
Dec 17 - Intel Announces New Server Products
for Intel Xeon 533 MHz Processor Family. Intel Corporation today
announced 10 server "building block" products, including
five server boards, two server chassis and three RAID controllers,
designed for OEM system builders and product integrators. Each new
product is centered around the recently announced Intel(R) Xeon(TM)
processor with 533 MHz front-side bus and the Intel(R) E7501 and Intel(R)
"Intel is announcing a complete lineup of server platforms available
in lockstep with our new processors and chipsets, and we are one of
the first companies with 533 MHz front-side bus solutions," said
Philip Brace, director of marketing for Intel's Enterprise Platforms
& Services Division. "Intel continues to refresh and expand
our server building blocks for customers, with new additions across
the entire product line."
The centerpiece of today's announcement is five server board products
for dual processor (DP) Intel Xeon-based server platforms. The Intel(R)
Server Board SE7501WV2, Intel(R) Server Board SE7501HG2, Intel(R)
Server Board SE7501BR2 and Intel(R) Server Board SE7501CW2 provide
a complete line of DP server boards for Intel Xeon with 533 MHz front-side
bus and the Intel 7501 chipset. The Intel(R) Server Board SE7505VB2,
also for DP Xeon with 533 MHz, is designed for the 7505 chipset for
both server and workstation applications.
All these new platforms support the latest technologies, such as
Ultra320 SCSI with embedded RAID 0/1, full-featured Intel Server Management
version 5.5 for remote server management, and Intel(R) PRO/1000 Gigabit
Server Connections for industry-leading network performance, reduced
server bottlenecks and improved availability from advanced server
The Intel Server Board SE7505VB2, also integrated with the Intel
Server Chassis SC5250-E, is a flexible DP server/workstation platform
with integrated Serial ATA ports and an APG 8X slot for high performance
graphics. Finally, for the value server segment, the Intel Server
Board SE7501CW2 offers the benefits of a real server and provides
versatility for small and medium sized businesses.
The new Intel Server Chassis SC5250-E is a value-optimized pedestal
chassis ideal for the small business server or workstation market
and includes features such as a shorter depth and flexible storage
options (e.g. fixed drives, hotswap SCSI, or Serial ATA support).
Completing the picture of building block elements introduced today
is the announcement of three Intel RAID controllers for advanced data
protection: the Intel(R) RAID Controller SRCU42L, the Intel(R) RAID
Controller SRCS14L, and the Intel(R) RAID Controller SRCZCR. The new
RAID controllers are based around the Intel(R) 80303 I/O processor
and support the latest disk I/O interfaces: Ultra320 SCSI and Serial
Intel also announced today that the Intel(R) Server Platform SRSH4
and SPSH4 will be upgraded to support the latest Intel Xeon MP processor
with an enhanced two megabyte (MB) integrated level three cache at
speeds up to 2 gigahertz (GHz). These platforms are targeted at demanding
uses ranging from large-department data centers to mid-tier and back-end
For more information on new and current server products and support
services from Intel, visit
Dec 17 -ATI Informs Shareholders of Concerns
Raised by the Ontario Securities Commission. ATI Technologies
Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY.TO), today disclosed that staff of the
Ontario Securities Commission has raised concerns regarding the timeliness
of the Company's announcement on May 24, 2000 of a shortfall in ATI's
revenues and earnings for the third quarter of its 2000 fiscal year.
The Company also reported today that it is aware that OSC staff
has raised concerns about trading that took place prior to the announcement
by certain Company insiders and others, including certain directors
ATI takes the concerns of OSC staff seriously and will cooperate
fully in addressing these concerns. The board of directors of ATI
has designated Paul Russo, a director who joined the ATI board in
January 2002, to conduct an independent review of the concerns raised
by staff. Mr. Russo has retained independent professional advisors
to assist him in this review, including Mr. Peter Dey of Osler, Hoskin
& Harcourt LLP, who is to act as a Special Advisor to Mr. Russo.
[Anyone else think it's strange that ATI is losing money when they
have been selling so many Radeon 9000 family cards?? - Ed]
For more information visit www.ati.com.
Dec 17 - Plextor Announces 40/12/40 CD-RW
with Ultra SCSI Interface. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer
and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software,
today announced the availability of the PlexWriter(TM) 40/12/40S CD-RW
Available as an internal 5.25-inch half-height drive or as an external
drive, the new PlexWriter connects to computers (PC or Mac) via Ultra
SCSI (SCSI-3) interface, which delivers a burst transfer rate of up
to 20 MB/sec. The drive is targeted at both professional and non-professional
end users who require the highest levels of performance and reliability.
The PlexWriter 40/12/40S features 40X CD-Write, 12X CD-Rewrite, and
40X-max CD-Read. Recording at 40X, the PlexWriter can create a 650MB
disc in less than three minutes. A unique combination of features
and technologies offers unparalleled recording reliability. BURN-Proof
technology prevents buffer underrun errors, so users can multi-task
during a recording session.
PowerRec(TM) (Plextor Optimized Writing Error Reduction Control) technology
is a sophisticated write strategy for stable recording at maximum
speeds. Superior 40X digital audio extraction (DAE) eliminates pops,
clicks, and hisses for superior sound quality.
"The new PlexWriter 40/12/40S is an ideal CD-RW drive for high-performance
applications where speed and reliability are both imperative,"
said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor.
"Plextor has received numerous requests for a high-speed SCSI
drive from our sizable customer base in the professional audio recording
market. These end users know that SCSI is still the most robust interface
technology around. The PlexWriter 40/12/40S delivers on exactly what
our loyal customers asked for -- high-speed recording with a SCSI
The PlexWriter 40/12/40S internal drive is scheduled for shipment
to distributors and resellers on Jan. 15, 2003, and has a Manufacturer's
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $249 USD.
The PlexWriter 40/12/40S external drive with Ultra SCSI interface
is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers on Feb. 15,
2003, and has a MSRP of $319 USD.
For more information visit www.plextor.com.
Dec 17 - Philips New Sound Technology
Locates ``Sweet Spot'' for PC Audio Enthusiasts. Royal Philips
Electronics (AEX:PHI) (NYSE:PHG) today announced a new technology
that dramatically improves the sound quality of personal computers
and other consumer electronics products. The technology is particularly
effective in restoring sound quality to files using compression methods
such as MP3, the most common online digital file format.
Called Sound Agent 2(TM), the new Philips technology uses sophisticated
algorithms to analyze sound along two dimensions, the source of the
sound and where the sound is going to be played, resulting in high
quality total sound optimization. Consumers set listening preferences
via an intuitive graphical software interface that allows easy control
of a wide range of sophisticated sound variables.
Sound Agent 2(TM) automatically finds the listening "sweet spot"
of individual entertainment variables in use at a given time -- for
equipment (PC's, media servers, etc.) file types (MP3, WAV, DVDs,
games, etc.) and environments (headphones or speaker systems) --enabling
gamers, MP3 digital audio enthusiasts, or even casual listeners to
enjoy optimized sound quality.
"Both media-savvy users and the popularity of entertainment
applications are creating demand for high quality PC sound,"
said Tim Bajarin, market analyst at Creative Strategies. "With
this new technology, Philips has been able to deliver high fidelity
at an acceptable cost and within the PC form factor."
"The benchmark for PC sound evaluation has always been based
on the output of the card itself, not the management and integration
of all sound variables for optimized listening," said Hans van't
Riet, Line of Business Manager, Multimedia Sound Solutions. "Our
research reminded us that consumers are not very interested in technical
specifications but rather the best listening experience possible.
Anyone can hear the difference that Sound Agent 2 makes. It represents
a completely unique and more meaningful way to think about PC sound."
Sound Agent 2 technology is available to PC users bundled with two
new retail sound cards from Philips Electronics, the Dynamic Edge
4.1(TM) with quad surround, and the Sonic Edge 5.1(TM) with 5.1 channel
For more information located at www.philips.com.