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Daily Computer News and Rumors

December 09-16 2002

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Dec 16 Northgate Innovations Announces Athlon XP Processor Media Center PC
Dec 16 Memory Segment Leads Semiconductor Market to Slight Increase in 2002
Dec 16 Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2.0 Now Available
Dec 16 Software Shelf Releases File-Rescue Plus 3.0
Dec 15 Sunday Shopping Watch
Dec 13 HP and Wal-Mart Delivering Celeron 2 GHz to Shoppers
Dec 13 Digital Video Recorders Here to Stay
Dec 13 Broadband Version of Free World Dialup Internet Telephone Service Launched
Dec 13 Formac Introduces New Mac DVD Authoring System
Dec 12 MessageLabs Reports Email Threats Increasing At Alarming Rate
Dec 12 Scientia Reinvents The Automated Home
Dec 12 Toshiba Ships New Self-Installing Wireless Cable Modem
Dec 12 Logitech Sells Over 30 Million Cordless Peripherals
Dec 11 DSL Popularity Accelerates as Gap Widens in Broadband Race
Dec 11 Audi Accelerates Bluetooth Adoption
Dec 11 Dell Enhances Microportable Projector Offering
Dec 11 New Decoder Chips from Philips Deliver Stereo TV to Consumer PCs
Dec 11 Automobile Manufacturer Web Sites Are Increasing Sales
Dec 10 AMD Athlon MP Processor 2400+ Delivers Increased Performance
Dec 10 Nintendo Offers Holiday Shoppers Rebates On GameCube
Dec 10 Epson Introduces Three New 6.4-Pound ``Value Series'' Projectors
Dec 10 Hynix Offers Highest Speed DDR Graphics Memory
Dec 10 Macworld Magazine Announces 2002 Editors' Choice Awards
Dec 09 Technology breakthrough harnesses energy from the molecular structure of water
Dec 09 IBM Announces World's Smallest Working Silicon Transistor
Dec 09 2003 Brings Largest International CES In History
Dec 09 VIA Introduces EPIA M Digital Media Platform

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Dec 16 - Northgate Innovations Announces Athlon XP Processor Media Center PC. Continuing to forge into breakthrough technologies, Northgate Innovations Inc. (OTCBB:NGTE), in collaborating with AMD, and Microsoft, today announced the Northgate Media Center PC, featuring the AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor.

Based on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, the new Northgate Media Center PC brings together numerous digital media experiences in one complete system, bringing the vision of the PC being at the center of all things in the home, one step closer.

Functions include TV viewing, television recording, digital music, digital photography, digital video and DVD playing. In addition, the system will come with a multi-function printer and Dolby(TM) 5.1 sound.

"We continue to support the convergence of personal computers and the entertainment world. Our new Media Center PC really begins to bridge that gap," said Bob Anderson, vice president of business development at Northgate.

Anderson continued, "This is the perfect system for media enthusiasts at a reasonable price. Many of the newly incorporated functions will change they way we watch TV and video, how we share family photos and listen to our favorite music."

The Northgate Media Center PC combines the full functionality of a PC with numerous media applications, such as television with full recording capabilities, as well as stereo and digital media. These key functions can be managed by a remote control unit so customers can use the Media Center PC from up to 26 feet away.

When combined with a 17-inch CRT display, the Northgate Media Center PC starts at just $1,548. This configuration includes the AMD Athlon XP processor 2100+ to 2600+, 512MB SDRAM, separate CDRW and DVD drives, remote and receiver, TV tuner, 64 MB Graphics, 80GB HDD, 6 in 1 card reader, 5.1 speakers and subwoofer and much more. The system is also available with a 15-inch or 17-inch LCD display.

This system is available for purchase through resellers listed at www.northgate.com.

Dec 16 - Memory Segment Leads Semiconductor Market to Slight Increase in 2002. The worldwide semiconductor industry returned to positive growth in 2002, with revenue totaling $155.4 billion in 2002, a 1.4 percent increase from 2001, according to preliminary statistics by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). In 2001, worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 32 percent.

"Weak end markets continue to depress the semiconductor industry, leaving scant opportunities for growth," said Richard Gordon, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide semiconductor group. "However, some vendors with a particular product or applications focus did manage to impress in 2002; the most notable of these is Samsung, which is now second only to Intel in total semiconductor sales worldwide."

Intel remained the No. 1 vendor based on worldwide semiconductor revenue in 2002, despite a 3.1 percent revenue decline. It was the 11th straight year that Intel has held the top-ranked position. Samsung's growth was attributed to strong DRAM and flash memory sales.

While the semiconductor industry posted a 1.4 percent growth in 2002, the industry would have suffered another year of revenue decline if not for the DRAM segment. If DRAM revenue is excluded from the total semiconductor market, worldwide semiconductor sales revenue would actually decline by 2 percent.

Gartner analysts said during industry downtimes such as these, only those vendors with solid strategies and business focus can hope to survive and to be able to invest in next-generation technology and capacity.

"Intel continues to dominate the microprocessor and NOR flash markets today, while using its ability to generate cash to invest in technologies, products and manufacturing capacity to target the mobile, portable and wireless markets of tomorrow," Gordon said. "Samsung is the complete memory vendor, with an extensive range of products spanning DRAM, SRAM and flash memory, and a brand that allows it to command premium pricing in the marketplace."

"Infineon continues to gain market share in DRAMs and has lined up an impressive array of partners in the trench capacitor camp. Its leadership in 300mm manufacturing demonstrates a commitment to remain a leading DRAM player."

Additional information is available in the Gartner Dataquest Alert "Early Worldwide Semiconductor Share Rankings Reflect Weak 2002." This Alert provides preliminary rankings for the top 20 companies worldwide as well as the top 10 vendor in the Americas, EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Japan.

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 16 - Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2.0 Now Available. Ulead Systems, Inc., a leading developer of video editing, image editing and DVD creation software, today announced the availability of Ulead(R) DVD MovieFactory(TM) 2.0, Ulead's popular, consumer-level DVD creation software.

DVD MovieFactory 2.0 gives home and office users an affordable and intuitive tool for sharing high-quality videos and digital image slideshows on DVDs and CDs. Users can create interactive scene selection menus with ready-to-go templates that are customizable, while adding music, text, and captions to liven-up DVD presentations.

The software's new "on-disc" editing and "Disc-direct" capture technology make it easy for anyone to quickly transfer videos and photos onto a professional-looking DVD with the flexibility to re-edit +RW and -RW DVD discs even after they are burned.

Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2.0 is now available for download from Ulead's Web site at www.ulead.com for $44.95 with the download upgrade version available for $34.95.
The software will be available in North American retail stores and catalogs starting in January 2003 for $49.95 for the box edition and $39.95 for the box edition upgrade.

Dec 16 - Software Shelf Releases File-Rescue Plus 3.0. Software Shelf today announced the release of File-Rescue Plus(TM) 3.0. The five star ZDNet award winning network utility has been upgraded with two new scan methods to recover accidentally deleted files or pictures, even from "quick formatted" or virus damaged drives on any Microsoft(R) operating systems.

The power of the Deleted File Scan, Cluster Scan, and Picture Rescue Scan as well as the low cost of File-Rescue Plus puts this latest Software Shelf(R) tool in a class by itself. File-Rescue Plus can recover files or photos from all types of media such as hard disk, digital cameras, 3.5 floppy, Jaz drives, Zip drives, Flash media, Smart media, and others.

Software Shelf CEO Bill Feeley said: "Recovery methods are fast and easy. Features include not only quickly recovering deleted files or photos, but scanning hard drive clusters to undelete from corrupted, `quick formatted' or virus damaged drives. These features surpass the capability of other products in its class."

Mr. Feeley added, "Another feature needed by many is the recovery of deleted JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PSD and/or TIFF files from the computer and/or digital camera media. Picture Rescue scans and displays thumbnails of deleted pictures for easy selection of files to undelete."

The Home User price: $29.95. Enterprise Networks get volume discounts at a fraction of the cost of similar software. A free fully functional trial version can be downloaded from www.softwareshelf.com/products/prod_main.asp?p=11.

Dec 15 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. It's another very good weekend to go out and buy a new computer. All stores offered no interest financing. Prices were again lower this week than last week. Details follow.

Laptops - Prices on Intel processor laptops prices were lower than last week. Prices were higher on AMD processor laptops.

Desktops - Prices on all desktop PCs were lower. Few AMD desktops were advertised.

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 12 month no-interest financing on all laptops and 18 month no interest financing on all desktops.. In addition, they are offering mail-in rebates of $100-$250 on all desktop packages and laptops.
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.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA is giving 12 month no interest financing for desktop complete systems and laptops $749 and higher. They are also offering $100-$150 mail in rebates on AMD XP processor and Intel Pentium 4 processor laptops. In addition, they are offering 3 months of free AOL with any computer purchase.
Staples is offering $150 mail-in rebates an all desktops and laptops. They are also offering 12 month no interest financing for purchases over $799..
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, and laptops.

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

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.7 GHz complete system
$549
-$150
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz system with 17 inch monitor (build-to-order)
$949
-
Staples
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System

HP 2.53 GHz complete system

$1199
-
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system
$1199
-
CompUSA
4. Best High-end Pentium 4 System

HP 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD-RW

$1499
-
CompUSA
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete system
$849
-$150
Best Buy
Best High-end Athlon XP System
None advertised
     
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.5 GHz Celeron with DVD
$499
(10 per store)
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$999 (build-to-order)
-
Staples
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1600+ with DVD/CD-RW
$949
+$200
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
-$200
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1299
-$300
Best Buy
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Asylum 128 MB GeForce 4 Ti 4600
$229
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 60 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
$69
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 52X CD-RW
$79
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
PNY 64 MB GeForce 4 Ti 4200
$149
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer Sound Card
$59
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9000 PRO 64 MB
$99
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Dec 13 - HP and Wal-Mart Delivering Celeron 2 GHz to Shoppers. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced it is delivering with Wal-Mart to holiday shoppers an HP technology package that includes a full-featured desktop PC, a high-resolution 17-inch color monitor and a sophisticated color printer -- all for the low price of $698.

Available through Dec. 25, 2002, the package offers consumers a bundle of products that provide powerful performance, connectivity and software for advanced digital entertainment experiences for everything from editing digital photos to playing PC games. The package includes an HP Pavilion 533w desktop PC, HP Pavilion v70s 17-inch color monitor and an HP Deskjet 3320v color printer.

The full-featured HP Pavilion 533w desktop PC is ideal for families looking for an affordable PC that's easy to set up and use for work or play. It also makes for a great second PC for the home.

The PC features a 2.0 GHz Intel(R) Celeron(R) processor, generous 60 GB hard drive, HP CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive and 256 MB DDR SDRAM memory. In addition, the HP Pavilion 533w offers users integrated Intel Extreme Graphics, with up to 64 MB of shared video memory, Polk Audio stereo speakers, an HP Pavilion keyboard, mouse and six-foot USB cable.

The 17-inch HP Pavilion v70s color monitor features a 15.9-inch viewable screen. The monitor's multimedia display complements and enhances the HP Pavilion PC with high-resolution performance and added features.

The simple-to-use HP Deskjet 3320v color inkjet printer provides users with vibrant, photo-quality color and black text with up to 1,200 x 600 color dots per inch on photo papers. The printer is USB compatible with PC and Macintosh computers. All printing software is conveniently pre-installed on the HP Pavilion PC, allowing immediate use by consumers.

More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

Dec 13 - Digital Video Recorders Here to Stay. Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), through the incorporation of a hard disk and specialized software, allow viewers to pause live-TV, rewind, and even fast-forward through commercials. Until recently, DVRs had suffered from slow adoption due to a lack of consumer understanding, high-cost, and entrenched viewing habits. All this is now changing, and DVR is here to stay.

IMS Research forecasts that the worldwide market for DVRs will grow from approximately 2.4 million units shipped in 2002, to 16.2 million units in 2007. This translates to a market worth $3.8 billion in 2007.

The majority of DVRs shipped in 2002 were integrated satellite DVRs, which include an integrated satellite tuner for the reception of satellite television programming. This is due to the fact that major satellite operators such as DISH Network and DirecTV in the US, BSkyB in the UK, and Canal Satellite in Europe have been aggressive in offering the technology to their subscribers.
IMS Research believes that satellite providers will continue to be aggressive with DVR as it is a highly effective way of reducing churn, and it is the easiest way for them to offer near video-on-demand (nVOD) to compete with the increasing rollout of cable providers' true video-on-demand (VOD).
IMS Research also forecasts that shipments of integrated cable DVRs will grow to overtake those of standalone DVRs (standalone DVRs do not include a television tuner) in 2005, to end 2007 with approximately 26% of the DVR market.

Digital video recording is a fascinating technology that is finally beginning to gain momentum. "Widespread adoption of DVR will come with consumer education, the rollout of DVR by pay-TV operators, and the modification of entrenched viewing habits," comments Alison Bogle, IMS Research analyst.

For further information, visit www.imsresearch-usa.com.

Dec 13 - Broadband Version of Free World Dialup Internet Telephone Service Launched. Jeff Pulver made the launch of the broadband version of Free World Dialup official at a New York Grand Hyatt launch event.

Free World Dialup does for telephone customers what Napster did for music listeners. Anyone with broadband access to the Internet can use an IP phone to talk with any other IP phone user by registering with Free World Dialup (FWD).

FWD provides the centralized directory that allows IP phone users to find each other. "Free World Dialup will make voice the killer app for broadband. Once someone buys an IP phone they can make as many calls for as long as they want. We don't pay every time we listen to a CD, so why should telephone usage prove any different?" said Jeff Pulver, CEO, pulver.com.

Jeff Pulver quietly launched the broadband version of Free World Dialup (www.pulver.com/fwd) by incorporating recent advances in VoIP as he has several times since the original launch of Free World Dialup in 1995. This time he pulled the plug on connectivity with the traditional telephone network and removed the analog portion of the call associated with several miles of copper wire connecting a user's premise to the incumbent telephone company's central office.

Members can now only call other members, but they enjoy sound quality that far exceeds Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). "Once someone makes FWD call they don't use POTS again, unless they have to call someone who remains a non-member. This represents almost everyone at the moment, but it doesn't seem so long ago when no one had an email address," said Jeff Pulver. FWD membership has continued to grow rapidly giving Free World Dialup one of the largest user bases among Internet telephony service providers after only a month in service.

Dec 13 - Formac Introduces New Mac DVD Authoring System. Formac Electronic Inc., a leading manufacturer of performance enhancing peripherals and advanced visualization solutions, today announced the second release of its DVD authoring software.

Formac's new devideon(TM) x.2 software allows users to custom design the DVD menu, add chapters and use parallel encoding to accelerate the DVD creation process. The software is shipped with Formac's next generation devideon(TM) superdrive, incorporating the latest Pioneer A-105 mechanism with a 4X DVD writing speed.
Existing customers can download the software for free at Formac's website. Formac devideon(TM) x.2 is compatible with Apple's FireWire G3, G4, iMac, PowerBook, and iBook computers and works on OS9 and OSX platforms.

"Formac's software development team focused on two key objectives for the devideon(TM) x.2 software," said Oliver Bergmann, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Formac Inc. "Increasing the feature set and accelerating the encoding speed. At a price of $399, including the latest Pioneer mechanism, professional DVD authoring is now more affordable than ever."

Formac's devideon(TM) x.2 software features a new intuitive interface, allowing users to create their own DVD menu in few easy steps. Text, pictures and movie chapters can be added by simple drag-and-drop. Size, color, position and other settings can be adjusted via an intuitive tool window. To increase the encoding speed, Formac's devideon(TM) x.2 takes advantage of a proprietary PARENC(TM) routine, encoding several movie chapters simultaneously to MPEG2, the format required for DVD creation.

To further improve the encoding performance, the new software comes with a customized devideon(TM) screen-saver for OSX. Once activated, the screen-saver identifies and turns off redundant processes, focusing all available processing power on the encoding task. Unique to Formac's devideon(TM) software is also the ability to influence the encoding quality of video and audio, allowing the user to record up to 6 hours of video on one DVD media.

Pricing and Availability

Formac's devideon(TM) x.2 is shipped immediately with the new devideon(TM) superdrive. The bundle is available through Formac Certified Resellers and online at www.formac.com for a suggested retail price of $399. Existing devideon(TM) owners can download the new software release for free on Formac's website.

Dec 12 - MessageLabs Reports Email Threats Increasing At Alarming Rate. How significant a risk did malicious email pose to your computers in 2002?

According to email security firm MessageLabs, VERY. The company's annual report on mass mailing email security threats, specifically including virus and spam activity, announces that a disturbing one in every 212 emails contained a computer virus (one every 3 seconds), and a whopping one in 12 emails was recognized as unsolicited spam (one every half-second).
The company reports that one of the most worrying trends is a pattern in which spammers are deploying techniques traditionally used by virus writers making spam much more difficult to detect. MessageLabs' advanced and patented artificial intelligence, called 'Skeptic,' is able to identify both viruses and spam instantly and without the need for time-consuming updates.

"Email security must remain a high priority for every business in 2003. Email has become a gateway for billions of business transactions per year, yet most companies continue to leave their servers wide open to unknown threats," said Mark Sunner, chief technology officer at MessageLabs. "With virus writers and spammers becoming more sophisticated by the day, proactive protection is more crucial now than ever before."

Sunner will discuss the role of email security and the value of "practicing safe email" at this week's Information Security Conference in New York City. On Thursday, December 12, he will host a panel discussion entitled, "Defense-in-Depth: Defining a Layered Security Architecture."

Virus Trends

The company has observed a number of interesting trends in 2002, one of the most notable being the increased use of "blended threats" where spam emails are combined with viruses. MessageLabs has also seen a rise in trojans aimed at specific companies or individuals. This trend is expected to continue in 2003.

Virus Numbers and Characteristics

The virus-to-email ratio has grown worse during 2002, chiefly because a vast number of home users and small businesses do not keep their security up to date. Popular virus characteristics of the past year included spoofing the sender's email address and deleting locally installed desktop AV software. These trends are expected to continue.

Klez

Staying power proved to be a popular quality in computer viruses in 2002. This was exemplified by the Klez virus, which began infecting computers across the globe in April and continues at high rates even now, eight months later. Klez easily topped the charts as the number one virus of the year, with MessageLabs intercepting over five million copies. In November alone, 423,000 copies were captured. In addition, several variants of the virus were intercepted, highlighting a new trend of virus writers continuously altering programs and unleashing new versions in order to outsmart traditional A/V software.

Other Top Viruses

Klez was by no means the only viral threat unleashed in 2002. MessageLabs intercepted over 237 new viruses throughout the year and expects this number to rise throughout 2003. The Yaha virus was the second most prolific virus with close to two million copies intercepted since June. The recent BugBear outbreak has also garnered significant numbers - over 800,000 since September. Interestingly, the fourth largest virus intercepted in 2002 was Sircam, which first crept onto the scene in July 2001 and has persisted due to globalization and over-reliance on traditional reactive A/V protection.

Spam

While viruses caused the most immediate damage to corporate networks in 2002, the threat of spam continued to rise. In November, this surge topped out with one in three emails identified as spam. MessageLabs predicts that spam will continue its exponential growth into 2003, surpassing the amount of non-spam email by around July. This growth will likely slow down later in the year, but still remain the bulk of email sent every day through the end of 2003.

Nigerian Scam

2002 saw a marked increase in "malicious spam" - dangerous cocktails of spam appearing with virus-like qualities or financial scams that prey on naive and elderly individuals. The most well-known of these, the 'Nigerian scam,' (also known as the 419 scam) spread to every point of the globe in 2002. Recently, Americans in particular seem to be falling victim to the scam. A recent report by the U.K.'s National Criminal Intelligence Service stated that up to five Americans per day have been witnessed waiting in London hotel lobbies to meet people connected with the scam. If this trend continues, MessageLabs predicts that Nigerian scam operations will gross over two billion dollars in 2003, becoming the second largest industry in the country.

FriendGreeting

Another piece of malicious spam that raised email users' ire in 2002 was the recent FriendGreeting applet, which used a legal trick to scam end users into downloading mass mailing software that then did the spammers' dirty work for them. MessageLabs has intercepted over 70,000 copies to date, and expects to see not only additional greeting card scams in 2003, but stronger and smarter tricks as well. Specifically, the company predicts that software installed on end-user machines will send spam not only to people in the victim's address book, but also to any email addresses the software can find in the Internet Explorer cache, again in a manner similar to techniques deployed by virus writers.

About MessageLabs

MessageLabs is a leading Managed Services Provider (MSP) specializing in managed e-mail security services. Its revolutionary SkyScan portfolio of services enables customers to be protected from threats such as viruses, unsolicited mail, malicious and sensitive content, and pornography, which are all intercepted before they reach the customers' network boundaries. For further information, go to www.messagelabs.com.

Dec 12 - Scientia Reinvents The Automated Home. Scientia Technologies announced today that it will launch a groundbreaking home and life automation system at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Jan. 9-12, 2003. The Plexus Home & Life Automation system delivers features previously found only in costly proprietary home automation systems, yet it is designed to be affordable and easy to use for mainstream consumers.

"Today, homeowners pay enormous sums for proprietary systems that require special wiring and installation," says Fred Pandolfi, president of Scientia Technologies. "At the other end of the spectrum, they can settle for a basic universal remote-type device -- even the best of which don't offer much functionality or intelligence. Plexus will give them a very appealing third option, with advanced high-end features in a user-friendly, affordable and accessible solution."

Control with any smart device

Hardware-independent, Plexus will enable consumers to control household electronic appliances and information using the smart platform of their choice, including palmtop PCs, pocket PCs, Palm(R) devices, cellular telephones and Microsoft(R) Windows-based personal computers. It also supports a variety of wireless and wired signal standards, including consumer infrared, X10, IP/HTTP, S-Link(TM), Bluetooth(TM) and more.

Unprecedented intelligence

"This system isn't just about turning on and off the DVD player," says Steve Hayes, vice president for development at Scientia. "It's about managing and accessing anything in your home or life in a very visual, intelligent way. You can easily catalog and access your entire CD collection, for example; stream video from a security camera or baby monitor; or access detailed, searchable TV listings in real time -- all via any smart device."

First to fully exploit Bluetooth(TM) wireless technology

Plexus will be the first system of its kind to fully integrate and support the flexibility of Bluetooth(R)(a) wireless technology.

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless specification developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, comprising technology leaders such as 3Com, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Toshiba and more than 2000 Adopter/Associate member companies.

"Many PDAs, palmtops, cell phones and other smart devices support Bluetooth wireless technology today, but few home electronics are compatible yet," said Pandolfi. "Plexus not only bridges that gap, it will also let consumers transition seamlessly to the wave of Bluetooth-compatible home electronics headed our way."

Compatibility with Bluetooth wireless technology is expected to be widespread in the next generation of household electronics. However, Plexus enables consumers to control their legacy equipment using Bluetooth today.

With Plexus, consumers can use the smart device of their choice to communicate commands using Bluetooth. The Plexus Echo(TM), a small, pod-like device located discreetly within the home, translates the signal into the standard understood by the target appliance.

Scientia integrated Bluetooth support into its solution to give consumers complete flexibility in choosing a controller device and because the technology offers a number of features unavailable from other wireless standards. "For one thing, Bluetooth is non-directional, so you don't have to 'point' your controller directly at the device or worry if the dog's in the way," says Michael Ingson, vice president and lead developer at Scientia. "That enables Plexus to be a much more flexible and household-wide control solution."

Plexus also has an exclusive feature called SystemSense(TM), which uses signal strength measurement, unique Bluetooth discovery processes and a number of other methodologies to automatically determine where you are in your home and to display controls on your smart device accordingly.

"Bluetooth offers some exciting advantages for short-range wireless communications. Plexus is the first home automation system to really put it to work for consumers," concludes Pandolfi.

Scientia Technologies will unveil the Plexus Home & Life Automation system on Friday, Jan. 11, 2003, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in Press Room S227 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (www.cesweb.org.). You can try out Plexus and visit with the Scientia Technologies team at CES booth #27196 in the LVCC South Hall.

Scientia Technologies (www.scientiatech.com) is a Northern Virginia-based software innovator.

Dec 12 - Toshiba Ships New Self-Installing Wireless Cable Modem. Toshiba America Information Systems, Network Products Division (NPD) today announced that its PCX5000 DOCSIS Wireless Cable Modem Gateway bundled with the JumpMASTER(TM) Self-Installation Wizard is now available in select CompUSA retail stores throughout the United States.
The PCX5000 represents the only device in its class to include, in one unit, a cable modem, wireless router, self installation software, and Internet security technology based on Check Point Software Technologies' VPN-1(R)/FireWall-1(R).

The PCX5000 is Toshiba NPD's first home networking product. It will be marketed through retail stores and is available for purchase by major cable operators.

The PCX5000 Wireless Cable Modem Gateway self-installation tool, JumpMASTER Home Networking Wizard, proactively configures the wired and wireless local area network (WLAN) for users. Designed to intuitively guide users through the entire network set-up in a matter of minutes, the JumpMASTER drastically reduces installation time for both consumers and broadband service providers planning to roll out home networking services in the near future.

The unit comes standard with Safe@ security software developed by SofaWare, a Check Point company. Safe@ provides critical Internet security protection to home networking users based on Check Point's professional-grade and industry standard Stateful Inspection technology. The MSRP for the gateway is $299.99.

"The wireless gateway's JumpMASTER self-installation software solves the primary challenges that consumers have experienced when moving to a wireless home network," said Fred Berry, vice president and general manager of Toshiba's Network Products Division. "It is so easy to use that the average computer user can set up a wireless local area network (WLAN) in a matter of minutes with only a few clicks."

The gateway includes both wired and wireless networking features, with four 10/100 ports and an 802.11b wireless interface. Users have the ability to create a flexible local area network (LAN) and a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a range of 300 feet, and can connect up to 250 computers via a broadband cable connection simultaneously.

Toshiba's PCX5000 gateway has been approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance, CableLabs and Microsoft's WHQL laboratories, having met the stringent standards for compatibility for cable broadband, Wi-Fi and Microsoft systems as established by the three organizations.

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

Dec 12 - Logitech Sells Over 30 Million Cordless Peripherals. The market for cordless peripherals, including mice, keyboards and gaming controllers, is hot. And Logitech, creator of the first cordless RF-based mouse in 1992, has emerged as the category's clear market leader, according to company sales figures and industry research. Logitech recently shipped its 30 millionth cordless peripheral and has introduced a broad range of new cordless devices now on shelves for the holiday season.

Industry analysts in both the U.S. and Europe confirm Logitech's leadership position in this market. According to NPDTechworld Point of Sale data, which tracks U.S. sales, Logitech showed a 57 percent revenue share in cordless mice, and a 93 percent revenue share in cordless keyboards during the time period of October 2001 through September 2002. Europe-based GFK Data reported similar results for Logitech's major European markets (France, U.K., and Germany), with a 61 percent revenue share in cordless mice and an 85 percent revenue share in cordless keyboards.

"Thirty million people can't be wrong," said David Henry, senior vice president and general manager of Logitech's Control Devices Business Unit.
"Since the introduction of our first cordless mouse in 1992, they have counted on Logitech to deliver cordless products that combine great design and leading-edge technology. We are committed to advancing cordless technology even further as we explore more areas where cordless freedom makes a difference in productivity and enjoyment."

To celebrate the 30-Million Cordless Milestone, Logitech's North American Region (U.S. and Canada) has announced a Customer Thank-You initiative. On December 20, 2002, the company will be giving away 20,000 Logitech(R) Cordless Navigator Duo(TM) SE mouse & keyboard combinations to randomly selected people who visit a special Logitech website -- www.logitechcordless.com -- between 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

For more information on Logitech and its products, visit the company's website at www.logitech.com.

Dec 11 - DSL Popularity Accelerates as Gap Widens in Broadband Race. Global DSL subscribers grew by five million in the third quarter of 2002, reaching a total of more than 30.6 million, according to figures announced by DSL Forum at its San Francisco meeting today and provided by London-based industry analyst Point Topic.

That is an average of 1.67 million people per month choosing DSL broadband, up from 1.13 million per month on average for the first six months of 2002. If growth continues at this rate approaching 20%, by the end of 2002 more than 36 million homes and businesses around the world will be online with DSL broadband.

"With an extra half a million people every month choosing DSL for their broadband connections in the past quarter, the pace of subscriber growth is accelerating fast," said Bill Rodey, DSL Forum chairman.
"We are on track for 100% growth in global subscribers this calendar year, ensuring that DSL widens the gap in the broadband race. It is clear that we are well on the way to our target of a global mass market of 200 million DSL broadband subscribers in 2005. In a tough consumer and business economy, this is a significant achievement, demonstrating a growing appreciation of the real benefits that DSL broadband delivers."

Asia Pacific continues to lead the way with a 40% share of the world's global broadband DSL subscribers. Western Europe has moved into second place with 24.34% share, just ahead of North America at 23.84%.

Highest growth countries in the third quarter were China at 214%, Norway at 211% and Croatia at 150%. Korea continues to be the only country in the world with a true mass market already in place with more than six million DSL subscribers (26.74% of main phone lines). Nearly 40% of its households now have DSL broadband services.

More information on the DSL Forum is available from its industry site www.dslforum.org.

Dec 11 - Audi Accelerates Bluetooth Adoption. Bluetooth Developers Conference--CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) today announced that car maker Audi will be using CSR's BlueCore technology to bring Bluetooth technology to the road with the world's first car to be offered with a Bluetooth enabled GSM car phone and a cordless Bluetooth handset.

The Audi Bluetooth enabled Telematics Control Unit (TCU) is combining an embedded GSM module and an embedded Bluetooth module with a powerful CPU. It is connected to the Multi-Media-Interface (MMI) through an optical MOST Bus system.
The System also is equipped with an in-car rechargeable cordless Bluetooth handset. It allows the passengers to place and accept calls directly through the TCU Bluetooth link. The user is thus able to place calls over the Bluetooth handset and to transfer that call to the Bluetooth enabled hands-free phone system in the Audi.
One of the eagerly awaited benefits of Bluetooth, possible with this system, is the ability to also connect a Bluetooth-enabled portable PC or PDA to exchange emails and surf the Internet via a cellular system while connected through the TCU.

Bluetooth in-car hands-free kits are likely to play a key role as hands-free operation of mobiles becomes preferable, and increasingly, legally required in the near future. Industry experts estimate that up to 70 percent of all mobile phone calls are made from cars. Bluetooth hands-free systems provide a safe, convenient alternative and are set to become the first killer app for automotive Bluetooth. Audi identified the benefits of Bluetooth and took the step of integrating the wireless technology into its vehicles ahead of the competition.

CSR is the only automotive grade Bluetooth solution available which can run the complete Bluetooth protocol stack and application software on-chip, without the need for an optional external microprocessor. CSR's mature, single-chip automotive Bluetooth device is also produced under very stringent QS-9000 and PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) automotive requirements and is available in a 0.8mm pitch package for low cost printed circuit board construction.

In the future, CSR will make available implementations of new automotive profiles for vehicle diagnostics, streaming video and mp3 file streaming for multimedia and info-entertainment. CSR will also work towards further extending the guaranteed temperature range of BlueCore2-External and future products.

More information about CSR can be found on the web site at www.csr.com.

Dec 11 - Dell Enhances Microportable Projector Offering. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced a portable projector that delivers crisp images and new features for fast, simple set-up, all in a lightweight form factor.

Priced at $2,199, the Dell 3200MP replaces Dell's first microportable projector, the 3100MP. The new unit uses Digital Light Processing (DLP)(tm) DDR technology to produce clearer images from the same 3.5-pound form factor. The 3200MP projects native XGA resolution (1024 x 768), and will automatically adjust to accommodate the resolution of the source device. The new projector also features a 25% increase in maximum brightness over the 3100MP, to 1300 ANSI lumens (max)(b), as well as a contrast ratio of 1800:1.

"The 3200MP incorporates the latest projection technology and features several enhancements, based directly on customer feedback, that make it even easier to use than the previous model," said Scott O'Hare, vice president, Dell Software & Peripherals.

These changes include modifying the cooling vent to redirect airflow away from meeting participants, reducing the number of cords to ease set-up and increasing range of the height adjustment.

The 3200MP is housed in a sturdy magnesium chassis and can be used on a desktop, mounted to a ceiling (with available kit) or easily adjusted to project from behind a screen. Other standard features include integrated zoom lenses, digital keystone correction, built-in 2-watt speaker and a full-function remote control with integrated laser pointer. The projector ships with cables (M1-DA to VGA, S-Video, component video, composite video, RCA audio, and mini pin to mini pin) and a fitted carrying case.

Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

Dec 11 - New Decoder Chips from Philips Deliver Stereo TV to Consumer PCs. Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI) today announced two new additions to its industry-leading lineup of integrated PCI video/stereo decoders that bring TV reception to consumer PCs worldwide.

Designed for high-end applications, one of the new decoders (the SAA7135) is the world's first single-chip PCI video/stereo decoder to support stereo audio enhanced with Dolby Pro Logic(R) decoding. The SAA7135 reduces the chip count of Dolby-enhanced PC TV cards from three chips to one, enabling cinematic surround sound capabilities for even cost sensitive PC TV applications.

The second chip (the SAA7133) is the world's first PCI video/stereo decoder optimized to support North American and Japanese TV and audio standards. The SAA7133 incorporates high quality, multi-standard video decoding and low-noise stereo decoding in accordance with the US stereo television broadcast and reception standard BTSC-dbx (Broadcast Television Systems Committee), and the corresponding standard for Japan set by the EIAJ (Electronic Industries Association of Japan).

"Microsoft believes the convergence of PC and TV technology applications is something consumers are looking forward to," said Kevin Eagan, General Manager of the Windows eHome Division, Microsoft Corp. "This will set the stage to reinvigorate the consumer PC and consumer electronics industries. Philips has strong technology practices in place to help reduce hardware costs and improve performance in such applications."

"Our PCI video/stereo decoder family brings superior performance and picture quality to PC-based video capture systems," said Martin Maloney, international product marketing manager for Philips Semiconductors. "Philips is dedicated to driving this technology in to the high-volume consumer markets."

Philips is located online at www.philips.com.

Dec 11 - Automobile Manufacturer Web Sites Are Increasing Sales. Overall site usefulness continues to increase for visitors to automotive manufacturer Web sites, and these visits are increasing consumer likelihood to test drive a vehicle, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study(SM)-Wave 2 released today.

The study finds that 43 percent of vehicle shoppers rate the site they visit as outstanding. Additionally, those rating a manufacturer site as outstanding are more likely to test drive a vehicle from that make than they were prior to visiting the Web site. With an industry average index score of 728, overall site usefulness is up 11 points from the Wave 1 measurement just six months ago.

"Manufacturer Web sites are continuing to improve and are successfully driving incremental consumer traffic to dealerships," said Scott Weitzman, senior director of Internet research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Consumers identify the Web site's home page as the key to the impression a brand makes online. A strong presentation focusing on the models and their features can translate the virtual visit into a potential sale on the lot."

Jeep.com is the highest-ranked Web site in the study, improving from 11th overall in the first wave of the 2002 study (published in May 2002). Jeep's Web site benefits from an uncluttered design, use of clear, clean pictures and a consistent focus on the models.

Kia.com retains its second-place ranking with unique design attributes and a clean and simple-to-use interface. Subaru.com improves from 19th place to third overall on the strength of a redesigned site that clearly resonates with consumers. Lexus and Mercedes-Benz round out the top five, respectively. The Mercedes-Benz site was ranked highest in Wave 1.

"It is interesting to see that the most successful Web sites run the gamut from high-end luxury brands to the entry-level makes," said Weitzman. "Consumers are clearly more interested in the online experience than in confirming preconceived notions about products."

J.D. Power and Associates can be found online at www.jdpa.com.

Dec 10 - AMD Athlon MP Processor 2400+ Delivers Increased Performance. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today introduced the AMD Athlon(TM) MP processor 2400+, designed for enterprises and research institutes that rely on software applications that require intense computing power. The AMD Athlon MP processor 2400+ enables business customers and the scientific community to achieve more work in less time through its superior x86 processor architecture, including state-of-the-art floating-point capability for intense number crunching.

"AMD is focused on delivering processor innovations to help meet our customers' business and research computing needs," said Marty Seyer, AMD vice president, CPG's server business segment. "With the AMD Athlon MP processor and its superior floating point capability, leading enterprises and research institutes can get the high performance they need to stay in front of their computing requirements."

AMD Athlon MP processor-based servers can be combined via high-speed interconnect technologies to create powerful clusters that bring commercial customers and research institutes increased computing capabilities. AMD Athlon MP processors provide the powerhouse for high-end workstations running applications that benefit from AMD's impressive floating-point capabilities. AMD Athlon MP processors are often the processor of choice for high performance computing (HPC) solutions for government and university research, life sciences, geophysics, automotive, aerospace and entertainment industry customers.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITECH) has one of several AMD Athlon MP processor-based supercomputers on the TOP500 Supercomputer list. "We have been able to demonstrate that a single university lab can achieve terascale performance within the restrictions of a typical university lab budget," said Dr. Satoshi Matsuoka, professor of Global Scientific Information and Computer Center at TITECH.

"AMD Athlon MP processors, known for tremendous floating point capability that compute-intense applications require, are an important part of that equation. TITECH uses its AMD Athlon MP processor-based system for building a large grid computing infrastructure, which is in turn used for various high-end applications such as terascale data processing in high-energy physics, advanced bioinformatics, large scale numerical optimizations, etc."

Availability

Systems featuring the AMD Athlon MP processor 2400+ are expected to be available immediately from 47 system builders worldwide. For information on where to buy an AMD Athlon MP processor 2400+-based system seewww.amd.com.

Dec 10 - Nintendo Offers Holiday Shoppers Rebates On GameCube. To make the holiday season even merrier, Nintendo of America Inc. is offering two, one-week rebate offers to help consumers nationwide save when they purchase Nintendo's popular holiday products.

The first offer allows consumers to save $25 on the purchase of a Platinum, Indigo or Black Nintendo GameCube(TM) or Super Mario Sunshine(TM) Nintendo GameCube Bundle Pak. The second provides up to $25 off when purchasing a WaveBird(TM) wireless controller or select Nintendo GameCube games ($5 off each, up to five items). Combined, these offers could mean as much as $50 in total savings. The offers run through Saturday, December 14.

Consumers can download and print a mail-in rebate form from www.nintendo.com/coupon. Also, a double-sided, full-color, mail-in rebate was included in nearly 30 million Sunday edition newspapers across the country. Rebate forms can also be found at participating retailers.

"Nintendo GameCube, combined with incredible momentum of Game Boy Advance sales, gives shoppers terrific choices this holiday season," says Peter MacDougall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "The one-week offer is an irresistible invitation to join the millions of gamers who've already discovered the world's greatest video game console."

More than two dozen of the best Nintendo GameCube games are part of the rebate program, including Metroid(R) Prime, Capcom's Resident Evil(R) 0, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater(TM) 4 from Activision, and Mortal Kombat(R): Deadly Alliance(TM) from Midway.

The manufacturer's rebate offer is valid on purchases made between Sunday, December 8 and Saturday, December 14. Official rules for the rebate program can be found online at www.nintendo.com.

Dec 10 - Epson Introduces Three New 6.4-Pound ``Value Series'' Projectors. Epson is introducing three new 6.4-pound portable multimedia projectors with new sleek designs and high-value performance for as low as $1,299.
The new EPSON PowerLite 52c, EPSON PowerLite 53c and EPSON PowerLite 73c are designed to give today's on-the-go business presenters and educators a higher level of image quality and versatility while remaining attractive to constrictive budgets.

The EPSON PowerLite 52c -- Priced to Please for Quality Presentations

The EPSON PowerLite 52c is designed to deliver quality presentations at one of the most attractive price levels on the market. The projector sells for $1,299 (estimated street price, following a $200 mail-in rebate), offers 1,200 ANSI lumens for performance in both dark and well-lit rooms, SVGA (800 x 600) native resolution for vivid detail and a 400:1 contrast ratio for blacker blacks and whiter whites. The projector also features three new 0.5-inch high-aperture LCDs for rich color saturation across the screen, monitor out capability that allows presenters to use their computer monitor as a prompt, and a unique space-saving portable design.

EPSON PowerLite 53c and 73c -- Rich Features and Brilliant Value

Engineered to deliver both power and flexibility, the PowerLite 53c is priced at $1,699 (estimated street price), incorporates a new/sleeker exterior and is rated at 1,700 ANSI lumens with a 500:1 contrast ratio. This projector also uses three 0.7-inch, high-aperture LCDs for sharper images, also offers monitor out, features Epson's exclusive auto-keystone correction for quick and easy setup and has several other user-friendly features that don't require any costly expansion modules.

The EPSON PowerLite 73c offers 1,500 ANSI lumens of brightness and all other features found in the PowerLite 53c including its sleek exterior, but raises the bar on performance by offering XGA (1,024 x 768) native resolution for even sharper image quality. The PowerLite 73c has an estimated street price of $2,499.

For more information on Epson's current projector product line, visit the company's website at www.epson.com.

Dec 10 - Hynix Offers Highest Speed DDR Graphics Memory. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. today announced it has developed a 500MHz-128Mb (4Mx32) DDR-I SDRAM for supply to the graphic chipset manufacturing market.

This high speed DDR-I SDRAM product, an industry first, features 500MHz frequency ( 1Gbps) speed, 32bit wide I/O and 144-ball FBGA package type. The new product supports the high speed needs of desktop and work station graphics and switch and router applications.

The new product has the highest speed in the DDR-I product line and is compatible with the DDR-I board. Hynix forecasts the combination of speed, compatibility, and an estimated cost advantage of 10% over DDR-II, will gain quick acceptance for the new product from the graphics and network industries. Farhad Tabrizi, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, stated "providing the highest performance at the lowest possible price is the key for differentiating the product by end application. DDR-I at 500 MHz does just that."

Samples of the product, reaffirming the company's position as a frequency leader, have already been distributed to major graphic chipset manufacturers. Hynix will introduce availability of a 500 MHz 4Mx32 DDR-II SDRAM in Q1 2003.

For more information on Hynix Semiconductor visit www.hynix.com.

Dec 10 - Macworld Magazine Announces 2002 Editors' Choice Awards. Macworld magazine, IDG's premier Macintosh publication and Web site, has named the winners and finalists of its prestigious eighteenth annual Editors' Choice Awards for 2002.

The Eddy Awards, the Apple Macintosh industry's highest distinction for breakthrough product development, are being given to the year's top software and hardware products in 27 categories. The Macworld editors looked at virtually every new Mac product on the market between November 1, 2001 and November 1, 2002, evaluating them for their overall quality as well as their utility, innovation, and elegance.

"During the last twelve months, the Mac development community gave us a wide array of ingenious and intriguing products for Apple's new operating system, as well as old standbys updated to take advantage of the changes Apple's software engineers have wrought on the Mac platform," stated Jason Snell, editor or Macworld magazine. "This year's award-winning products clearly indicate that the Macintosh is entering a remarkable new era of innovation."

For further details, check out the full feature article on www.macworld.com.

Dec 09 - Technology breakthrough harnesses energy from the molecular structure of water. Genesis World Energy, a privately funded consortium created by a group of military and space program research and development specialists, today unveiled a scientific breakthrough that allows consumers to easily access the energy contained within the hydrogen and oxygen molecular structure of ordinary water.

This scientific breakthrough provides a limitless, low cost and environmentally clean source of energy that can be implemented with minimal cost and effort. The viability of using water as an energy source, previously a theoretical concept, is now a reality. "Water has always been the source of life on this planet, now it will also transform the way we create energy," said Charles Shaw, corporate counsel and spokesperson for Genesis World Energy. "The implications for worldwide energy generation and consumption are nothing less than staggering."

The Genesis Project

The technology is the result of nearly two years of continuous effort by a team of more than 400 visionaries from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including science, technology and engineering. Assembled as the "Genesis Project," the team discovered a way to extract far more energy from water than the extraction process itself required; differentiating this new fuel cell technology from any other development efforts thus far.

The key component of the Genesis Project technology is the Genesis gCell, which through a series of electro-chemical processes separates hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water. The resulting gas molecules can either be burned cleanly as a replacement for natural gas or various other traditional forms of fuel, or may be remarried within Genesis eCells (an advanced fuel cell) to generate large amounts of electrical current.
When both Genesis gCells and eCells are combined, the entire process becomes self-generating, recycling both water and electricity from the molecular reattachment phase.

The Edison Device

The first application of this technology is represented in the "Edison Device," a self-contained, self-sustaining energy generation unit. Roughly the size of an outdoor air conditioning system, the power source can be quickly and easily installed in any home or business to provide virtually unlimited energy from any available water source.

The Edison Device utilizes the existing electrical wiring and natural gas plumbing in a home or business to replace the energy provided by utility companies. The home version of the Edison Device produces approximately 30 kilowatts of combined gas and electrical energy per day. By comparison, the typical home uses between five to six kilowatts per day. The commercial model is capable of producing 100 kilowatts of energy per day. The energy generation portion of the devices has no moving parts. In fact, the only "mechanical" aspects of the equipment are small circulation pumps and micro-valves, making the Edison Device both silent and virtually maintenance-free. A minimum amount of water is used over an estimated 20+ years of service life.

Market Ready

The commercialization of the devices is the responsibility of two business entities, Genesis World Energy and World Energy Management. Genesis World Energy is a technology development, production and supply consortium, while World Energy Management functions as the exclusive licensing representative for the worldwide distribution of Edison Devices.

According to Nejhla Shaw, World Energy Management President, "We will make Edison Devices rapidly available to governments and industries on a worldwide basis, with special licensing opportunities for those industries that will be most affected by the technology. For the first time in the history of the world, a clean and abundant source of renewable energy is as simple as the attachment of three wires, a gas line and a water hose."

A more detailed description of the process can be found on the Genesis World Energy Web site www.genesisworldenergy.org.

Dec 09 - IBM Announces World's Smallest Working Silicon Transistor. IBM today announced the world's smallest working silicon transistor. With this transistor IBM has been able to push silicon to limits on a molecular scale not previously achieved.

At six nanometers in length, this new transistor is at least 10 times smaller than the state-of-the-art transistors in production today. A nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a meter. The Consortium of International Semiconductor Companies in its 2001 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors projected that transistors have to be smaller than 9 nanometers by 2016 in order to continue the performance trend. IBM is the first company to make working transistors below that gate length.

"The ability to build working transistors at these dimensions could allow us to put 100 times more transistors into a computer chip than is currently possible," said Dr. Randy Isaac, vice president of science and technology, IBM Research. "Moreover, this achievement underscores the fundamental challenges of scaling, namely power density, that must be addressed as silicon is pushed to molecular dimensions."

Transistor scaling, or the reduction of the gate length (the size of the switch that turns transistors on and off), improves the performance and speed of chips as well as lowers their manufacturing cost and power consumption per switching event. The IT industry has been scaling down transistors for the past 30 years to meet demand for smaller and more intelligent electronic devices.

Scaling to this new molecular level demonstrates that the basic transistor concept still functions at this size. Continued innovation will be required to simultaneously achieve high performance and to manage power density and heat dissipation. The IBM results will lead to further research into small, high-density silicon devices and allow scientists to introduce new structures and new materials.

IBM will present details of this research breakthrough in a paper titled "Extreme Scaling with Ultra-thin Silicon Channel MOSFETs" at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) being held from December 9-11 in San Francisco. For more information visit www.research.ibm.com.

Dec 09 - 2003 Brings Largest International CES In History. The 2003 International CES will feature a record-breaking amount of exhibit space surpassing 1.2 million net square feet, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today. The 2003 International CES, produced by CEA, runs January 9-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"We are thrilled that the 2003 CES has surpassed our record-breaking year in 2002 to claim the largest amount of exhibit space in our 36 year history," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "CES truly is the World Cup of technology. Our show is as strong as ever with a healthy number of pre-registrants, a strong international presence and, of course, the latest and greatest in consumer technologies."

CES is North America's largest technology tradeshow by a factor of two. The 2003 International CES will showcase the latest innovations from 2,000 international exhibitors in wireless communications, gaming, digital video, high-end or "extreme" audio, accessories, CE fashion, consumer technology networking, broadband, mobile electronics, content media, new business technology, delivery systems and the Internet.

"Beyond our key retail and manufacturer audience, we've also reached out extensively this year to bring in more industry audience segments such as federal and state government, entertainment, travel, hospitality and higher education to name a few," said CEA Vice President, Events and Conferences Karen Chupka. "CES is the key venue to network and conduct business with the industry elite who help fuel our global economy."

"Having a healthy 2003 International CES stresses the importance of the tradeshow industry on the overall worldwide economy," said Steven Hacker, president of the International Association for Exhibition Management (IAEM). "IAEM continues to look to CES as a vital platform to network, conduct serious business and showcase new and innovative consumer electronics technologies that will keep the industry moving forward. The International CES demonstrates the enormous power and economic impact that exhibitions deliver to the nation and the world. We look forward to a great show in 2003."

Online registration is now available at www.CESweb.org, the interactive source for CES information.

Dec 09 - VIA Introduces EPIA M Digital Media Platform. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the worldwide availability of the VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX mainboard, the smallest, most highly-integrated, and lowest power platform for the emerging new generation of innovative lifestyle products featuring full PC functionality and consumer electronics design values.

"The challenge for the industry is to capitalize on the popularity of digital media applications and combine x86 computing technology with consumer electronics functionality and aesthetics to serve the living room," said Richard Brown, Director of Marketing at VIA Technologies, Inc.
"The VIA EPIA M is the first x86 platform that meets this challenge, delivering optimized digital media application performance in a highly connected, space saving, and quiet form factor that enables the development of exciting new products that merge traditional computing power with the style and functionality appropriate to the living space."

VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard: Dream Catalyst

Optimized for digital audio and video applications - the new "killer apps" of the digital home - the VIA EPIA M-Series incorporates the advanced VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset with an integrated hardware MPEG2 decoder for silky smooth DVD playback, six-channel audio for a rich surround sound experience, and USB2.0 and 1394 ports for fast and easy connectivity to all the latest digital media peripheral devices such as digital cameras and digital camcorders.
It also comes with a choice of low power x86 processors, the VIA C3 E-Series or fanless VIA Eden ESP, eliminating the need for large, loud and power-hungry coolers, as well as support for up to 1GB high-bandwidth DDR266 SDRAM - all on a highly integrated platform that measures only 17cm x 17cm.

About the VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard

The VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard is a revolutionary 17cm x 17cm platform optimized for today's killer digital video and audio applications, and is fully compatible with Microsoft® and Linux-based operating systems. Available with an embedded VIA Eden™ ESP processor core for fanless, ultra-quiet systems, or an embedded VIA C3™ E-Series processor for more demanding digital multimedia applications, the EPIA M-Series is the perfect platform for a whole range of small form factor, low-power digital media devices and home entertainment centers.

Featuring the new VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset with embedded MPEG-2 decoder and a new integrated 2D/3D graphics core, the VIA EPIA M-Series platform provides smooth DVD playback and a rich overall entertainment experience. With the sizable memory bandwidth of DDR266 SDRAM and the high data transfer speeds of ATA/133, the VIA EPIA M-Series ensures the high performance levels required of today's most popular digital media and productivity applications. The user's digital media experience is further enhanced by support for 5.1 surround sound, courtesy of the onboard VIA VT1616 6 Channel AC'97 codec.

Further information on the VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX mainboard may be found at www.viavpsd.com.

Dec 08 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. It's another very good weekend to go out and buy a new computer. Prices were even lower this week than last week. Details follow.

Laptops - Low-end and high-end laptops prices were lower than last week.

Desktops - Prices on almost all desktop PCs were lower.

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 12 month no-interest financing on all laptops. In addition, they are offering mail-in rebates of $100-$200 on all desktop packages and laptops.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant gift cards for all Intel processor desktop packages and laptop purchases.
Office Depot has 6 months no payments, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA is giving 12 month no interest financing for desktop complete systems and laptops $749 and higher. They are also offering $100-$150 mail in rebates on AMD XP processor laptops, Intel Pentium 4 processor laptops, and Intel processor desktops with monitors.
Staples is offering $100 mail-in rebates an all desktops and laptops..
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, and laptops.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates - An in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.7 GHz complete system
$699
+$100
Best Buy, CompUSA
1. Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Compaq 2.0 GHz system with 17 inch monitor
$799
-
Staples
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.40 GHz complete system with 17 inch LCD
$999
-
CompUSA
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.53 GHz complete system
$1199
-
Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete system
$999
-
Office Depot
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Sony 2400+ complete system
$1149
CompUSA
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$749
-
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1299
-$150
CompUSA
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1599
-$400
Best Buy
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex DVD+R/CD-RW
$229
(after rebates)
+$29
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 48X CD -RW
$59
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Linksys Powerline Router
$79
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 8500 LE 64 MB
$69
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

 

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