Dec 14 -
InfoHQ Releases Computer Graphics Card Upgrade Guide. If
you're thinking of upgrading your current video card, you don't want
to miss this new guide. The guide helps you decide if you should upgrade,
details the cards you should upgrade to, and provides vidoe card shopping
tips. See our Computer
Graphics Card Upgrade Guide for the complete article.
Dec 12 - Computer Manufacturers
Boot Up To Sell Consumer Electronics. Buying a TV from Dell or
a camera from Gateway is not as crazy as it may sound. In fact, according
to a survey of 500 Americans, buying consumer electronics from computer
manufacturers is an appealing alternative. The survey conducted by
a professional online research firm, reveals that Americans are ready
for computer companies such as Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard,
and others to move beyond the desktop and into their everyday lives.
The new survey reveals computer manufacturers have an
enormous opportunity to produce and sell consumer electronics that
connect to a PC--including PDAs, MP3 players, and digital cameras.
Also, with a large "undecided" manufacturing preference
for traditional electronics, computer manufacturers have an opportunity
to produce and sell camcorders, home theater systems, and even televisions
In selecting computer manufacturers as the provider for consumer
electronics, participants cite: computer compatibility (47%), the
belief that computer manufacturers make great products (31%), overall
convenience (31%), and the perception that the products would have
the most advanced product features/capabilities (26%).
There is more troubling news for traditional manufacturers of consumer
electronics. Americans rated PC makers higher along all evaluated
dimensions including: device compatibility, advanced technology, support,
features, quality, and price.
"With the growing digital nature of consumer electronics, products
from computer manufacturers represent truly viable alternatives in
the eyes of the consumer," said Lee Smith, president and COO
of InsightExpress. "PC manufacturers are well poised to gain
consumer acceptance and long-term share within the consumer electronics
market by leveraging their technical superiority, high levels of customer
support, and attractive prices."
Dec 12 - Elpida Memory Ships
1 Gigabit DDR2 SDRAM Devices. Elpida Memory, Inc. (Elpida), Japan's
leading global supplier of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), today
announced the availability of its 1 Gigabit DDR2 SDRAM device. Elpida's
newest DDR2 devices were shipped to customers on 2 Gigabyte Registered
modules developed by Elpida so that customers can quickly and easily
evaluate the new devices on next-generation server platforms.
4 Gigabyte Registered dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs)
and 2 Gigabyte SO-DIMMs based on the new 1 Gigabit device are currently
under development and will be available soon.
"As a leader in DDR2 architecture and DRAM technology, Elpida
now has the highest data transfer rate combined with the industry's
highest density component," said Jun Kitano, director of Technical
Marketing for Elpida Memory (USA).
"Elpida's module demonstrates the stability of the new 1 Gigabit
DDR2 SDRAM component. This component paves the way for faster development
of 1 Gigabit DDR2 SDRAM-based 2 Gigabyte unbuffered DIMMs for PCs,
Small Outline DIMMs for Notebooks, as well as 2 and 4 Gigabyte Registered
DIMMs for server applications that need highest density, high-speed
About Elpida Memory, Inc.
Elpida Memory, Inc. is a manufacturer of Dynamic Random Access Memory
(DRAM) with headquarters based in Tokyo, Japan, and sales and marketing
operations located in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Elpida
offers a broad range of leading-edge DRAM products. Elpida is a joint
venture company formed by NEC and Hitachi on December 20, 1999 and
has been in operation since April 2000. For more information, visit
Dec 12 - Transcend announces
New High-Speed USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter. Transcend Information,
Inc. (Transcend) releases the high-speed USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter,
TSCBU2, that upgrades notebook computers to the new and faster USB
standard. This card comes with two USB 2.0 ports that can transfer
data at 480 Mbps, which is ideal for external storage, backup, networking
and digital video. Transcends USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter is designed
to work with mouse, keyboards, external CD-R/RWs, external hard
drives, PC cameras, and all other USB enabled devices.
From thousands of currently available USB 1.1 devices to new high-performance
USB 2.0 peripherals, consumers get plenty of flexibility to connect
the USB device of their choice.
Transcends USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter does not require a heavy
and bulky power supply since it is powered directly from the USB ports.
This becomes especially important while traveling. Transcends
USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter includes USB 2.0 drivers for Microsoft Windows
98/98SE/Me/2000/XP, and Apple Mac OS 10.1 or higher.
· Auto detect speeds and connections of devices
· Support High Speed Data Transfer Rate up to 480 Mbps
· Integrated physical layer transceivers
· Normal and low power operating modes
· Full Plug and Play compatible
· OHCI (Open Host Controller Interface) specification V1.0
· USB 2.0 Compliant; USB 1.1 Compatible
· 2-Year Warranty
For more information, visit www.transcendusa.com.
Dec 12 - Pacific Digital Expands Storage
Product Line with 8X Multi+/-Format DVD Burner. Pacific Digital
Corp. expanded its storage product line today when it added the Pacific
Digital Mach-8, an 8X DVD Multi+/-Format Burner for PCs. The internal
drive comes bundled with DVD and CD creation software, as well as
DVD video playback software. A complete solution for data backup,
storage and distribution, the new drive can be used for everything
from sharing films and music to archiving 4.7GB of content on one
The Mach-8 DVD Burner is fast and reliable, and can record an hour
of video onto a DVD+ disc in just 8 minutes. With 8 drives in one,
the new drive supports DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD-R formats and
enables PC users to create DVD discs that can be played on virtually
any DVD video player or drive. It writes to DVD+R discs at 8x, to
DVD-R at 4x, to CD-R at 40x, and to CD-RW at 24x speeds. It reads
DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD-R formats at 8x, DVD-ROM at 12x and
CD-ROM at 40x speeds.
The internal drive (U-30201) is available now at an MSRP of $179.
An external USB 2.0 model (U-30202) will be available at the end of
December. The new drive can be found at Staples, OfficeMax, Sam's
Club, Fry's Electronics, Buy.com, Amazon.com and other dealers listed
on the Pacific Digital Web site at www.PacificDigital.com.
Dec 12 - Tech Wish Lists Differ for Moms,
Dads and Kids. Technology is at the top of everyone's wish list,
but moms, dads and kids have different preferences, according to the
latest CNET Personal Tech Radar survey from CNET (Nasdaq:CNET), the
trusted source of information for millions of personal technology
buyers around the world.
While digital cameras, MP3 players, notebooks, and desktops rank
as four of the top five tech products for moms, dads, and kids alike,
there is one product that uniquely appeals to each of these family
members, according to a recent survey indicating a difference in priorities
for different genders and ages, as follows:
-- Moms' top five list includes a digital camcorder, which they indicate
they want primarily for capturing family events and making home movies
of friends and family.
-- Dads' list includes the latest in Wi-fi technology, which they
say they want mainly so they can share a high speed Internet connection
with other members of the family.
-- Kids' top five list includes a new cell phone, which they have
selected primarily to stay in touch with family and friends.
"These findings are consistent with the gender and age differences
we've been observing through our monthly CNET Personal Tech Radar
surveys and provide great insight to people who need gift ideas this
holiday season," said Marie St. Marcoux, director of user intelligence
for CNET Networks.
"The preferences are indicative of each family member's diverse
lifestyle and interests. Our data shows that moms like technology
to capture family moments and memories, dads want to make sure they
have the latest technology gadgets to set up their households, and
kids just want to be in touch with their friends."
Shoppers looking for these or other great gift ideas this holiday
season can find recommendations on the hottest tech products from
CNET's team of expert editors in the CNET Holiday Gift Guide (http://holiday.cnet.com).
Dec 11 - Intel Software Accelerates
Development Of Computers That 'Anticipate' The Needs Of Users.
Intel Corporation researchers have released software that allows developers
to build computers that can "learn" from their experience,
using data to proactively improve their own accuracy and the ease
with which we use them. The announcement was made today at the opening
of the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference (NIPS2003).
The software enables computers to estimate the likelihood that something
will happen by calculating how often it occurred in the past. The
software can be used to enhance a wide variety of interactive and
industrial computer applications -- everything from culling through
huge databases of gene studies to spot promising proteins for new
drugs to email systems that create a model of a person's behavior
to decide how best to manage newly arriving messages on its own. The
software is available through Intel's Open Source Machine Learning
Library (OpenML), a toolbox of functions that helps researchers develop
machine learning applications.
"Intel wants computers to be more proactive," said David
Tennenhouse, vice president in Intel's Corporate Technology Group
and director of research. "To do this they need to be able to
learn from their experiences with users and the world around them.
Using new statistical methods to identify key patterns, these systems
will start anticipating the needs of their users and pre-computing
responses to the most likely questions so that the answers will be
instantly available the moment they are needed. Combined with faster
microprocessors, OpenML is certain to drive an explosion of machine
learning-based applications such as toys that respond to a child's
movements and networks of wireless sensors that will enhance our safety,
productivity and stewardship of our environment."
"At Concurrent Pharmaceuticals we integrate proprietary computational
methods, medicinal chemistry and discovery biology to create novel
drugs," said John Baldwin, president and chief scientific officer
of Concurrent Pharmaceuticals.
"Our approach creates massive amounts of computationally generated
information that needs to be integrated seamlessly into the drug discovery
process to be effective. The availability of new, more sophisticated
tools for machine learning, such as OpenML, improves our ability to
utilize our computational technologies in drug discovery and will
help us achieve our goal of more rapidly discovering new therapeutics
to improve human health."
The OpenML main Web site is located at www.intel.com/research/mrl/pnl.
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
Dec 11 - DisplaySearch Reports Happy Holidays
for LCD Producers. 'Tis the season for manufacturers of TFT LCDs,
with large-area (10" and greater) revenues expected to rise 91%
year-over-year (Y/Y) in Q4'03 and 97% Y/Y in Q1'04 on record unit
shipments and higher prices.
Q3'03 wasn't bad either, with revenues up 47% Y/Y according to DisplaySearch,
the worldwide leader in flat panel display (FPD) market research and
consulting, in its most recent Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment
Report. In fact, Q3'03 large-area TFT LCD unit shipments exceeded
expectations, rising 16% Q/Q and 64% Y/Y to a record high 26.7 million
units, surpassing suppliers' aggregate 13% Q/Q growth forecast by
Record highs were established in all applications despite a shortage,
with fabs working around the clock to meet demand. With blended ASPs
rising 7% Q/Q to $242 due to the shortage as well as increased demand
for larger, higher resolution and wider panels, revenues rose 24%
Q/Q and 47% Y/Y to $6.5 billion. In terms of Q3'03 unit growth by
-- LCD TV module shipments rose 56% Q/Q and 241% Y/Y to 1.3 million
units and 5% of total large-area shipments. The 20" and larger
share of TV panel shipments jumped from 30% to 49% on 95% growth as
20"+ availability improved.
-- Notebook PC module shipments rose slightly ahead of expectations,
growing 21% Q/Q and 55% Y/Y to 10.5 million units. Of particular interest
was a 114% increase in wide aspect ratio panel shipments to over 930K
units and a 9% share.
-- LCD monitor module shipments also exceeded expectations, rising
9% Q/Q and 64% Y/Y to 14.4 million units and a 53% share, down from
56%. The slower growth is due to higher margins in other applications
causing TFT LCD suppliers to reduce their allocations to the LCD monitor
module market as well as higher street prices reducing demand in this
price sensitive market.
-- Other module shipments rose 30% Q/Q and 39% Y/Y to a record 679K
units, well ahead of expectations. Driving the Q3'03 growth were significant
increases in 12.1" SVGA and 15" XGA.
In Q4'03, large-area shipments are expected to remain in shortage
with shipments up a supply constrained 6% Q/Q and 51% Y/Y to another
record high of 28.2 million units. All applications are once again
expected to reach record highs. ASPs are expected to rise even faster
in Q4'03 as monitor, notebook and TV brands look to meet their holiday
season targets during the shortage and have little choice but to accept
further price increases.
For information on any DisplaySearch product, service or event, please
Dec 11 - SkyWay USA Announces the Launch
of 'Open Standard' Satellite Broadband Service Offering. SkyWay
USA (www.skywayusa.com) announces
the launch of its retail satellite broadband services for the continental
US. SkyWay USA allows satellite dealers to offer nationwide dial-up
Internet services and satellite broadband primarily to the 30 million
households located in rural markets where DSL, cable modem or other
terrestrial broadband Internet services are not available.
SkyWay USA's Internet service offering is powered by a proven international
"open standard." The use of this Digital Video Broadcast
(DVB) Mpeg-2 technology for delivery of Internet services has been
tested thoroughly and is currently being used by more than 400,000
SkyWay USA's platform combines the economies of satellite broadcasting
and dial-up Internet access. SkyWay USA utilizes an experienced nationwide
network of satellite dealers to install their fast, easy-to-use, and
reliable solutions. This unique retail model allows dealers to provide
a complete Internet solution to the consumer, including unlimited
Internet access, satellite hardware, dial-up Internet services, and
quality 24-hour customer support.
"We at SkyWay USA are proud of the achievement of our team and
the support that has been given by companies like ISAT and SES AMERICOM,"
said Jason DiStefano, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SkyWay
"We look forward to making SkyWay USA the preferred residential
satellite Internet service offering to consumers, as well as a rewarding
program for satellite dealers. During the first quarter of 2004, SkyWay
USA will offer a complete 'new' computer system with our broadband
hardware already installed and our software pre-configured for a lower
price than current companies are selling their satellite broadband
systems, without a computer included!"
"Internet Satellite Platform (ISAT) is happy to see SkyWay USA
take advantage of this international 'open standard' technology on
our platform. The worldwide demand for satellite broadband has been
significant and we see a strong parallel for demand of this service
in rural America," said Mario Pino, President, CTO and founder
SkyWay USA's residential program is offered to satellite dealers
exclusively through Saturn Distributing. "This is the most dynamic
and lucrative satellite offering to come along in the 23 years that
we have been in the satellite industry," said Dwayne Hay, Executive
Vice President of Saturn Distributing, Inc.
"We believe that dealers will get especially excited about this
unique program which offers up-front pay, no cost and no charge-back
on standard equipment, acquired liquidity value of each subscriber,
national dial-up ISP capabilities and the highest paying monthly residuals
ever paid in the industry." In the upcoming weeks, SkyWay USA
will also be announcing a strategic commercial distribution partner.
Interested satellite dealers should apply online at www.skywayusa.com
to secure entry into their local markets.
Dec 11 - Forrester Research Finds That
DSL's Low Price Beats Cable's High Speed. Today's broadband subscribers
care more about price and less about speed than their early-adopter
counterparts did, according to a new Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq:
FORR) brief. This priority shift by mainstream consumers is a win
for DSL providers that consistently offer less expensive broadband
packages than cable providers do.
DSL and cable companies continue to compete for customers with different
messages. While DSL providers like Verizon and SBC/Yahoo! have chosen
to focus on lower pricing, cable operators like Comcast have concentrated
their attention on increasing their maximum downstream connection
speed to twice that of DSL's. Although DSL and cable providers have
both seen significant subscription growth in the first three quarters
of this year -- 35 percent and 31 percent, respectively -- Forrester's
data shows that today's and tomorrow's broadband adopters will lean
more toward DSL.
"Mainstream consumers of broadband are more price-sensitive,
lower-income, and less technology-optimistic than early adopters of
broadband were," said Jed Kolko, principal analyst at Forrester.
"Because the importance of price will only become more pronounced
over the next several years, DSL is poised to grab more consumers
with price points of $30 per month versus cable's $40 to $50 per month."
For additional information, visit www.forrester.com.
Dec 11 - Jupiter Research Forecasts U.S.
MP3 Player Shipments to Top 3.5 Million in 2003. Jupiter Research,
a division of Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM), today announced
that it forecasts that U.S. shipments of MP3 players will almost double
in 2003 to over 3.5 million, and will continue to grow almost 50%
per year for the next three years.
Demand for MP3 players with hard drives will outstrip demand for
those with flash memory starting in 2004. By 2006, the installed base
of MP3 players will top 26 million, establishing a critical mass of
users that will help spur digital music sales.
Based on a new forecast and an October 2003 consumer survey fielded
by Jupiter Research, Jupiter Research's new report, "Portable
Music Device Forecast, 2002 - 2008" found that nearly 60% of
consumers in the market to buy a music player will be shopping online
for the holidays, seeking convenience and the ability to mail gifts
"They're not quite this season's DVD player, but portable music
players, combined with online music stores and services, will be a
strong holiday shopping combination," said David Card, Jupiter
Research VP and Research Director.
"Judging from the survey responses, online retailers should promote
factors such as beating the crowds, convenient shipping and competitive
pricing to lure these shoppers. The survey also showed that these
shoppers were less worried about credit card security than average,
but more concerned about late arrivals and returns," added Card.
The combination of Apple's iPod device and its iTunes Store for music
downloads has energized the music industry. This holiday season there
will likely be half a dozen new stores and services joining existing
players like AOL, MusicMatch, Napster and RealNetworks.
PC companies like Dell and Gateway have already launched hard-drive-based
players, joining familiar names like Philips and Toshiba as well as
specialists like Creative Labs and Archos. While Sony is expected
to announce its own plans for this space shortly, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard
and Amazon.com will miss this season.
Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM), (www.jupitermedia.com)
headquartered in Darien, CT, is a leading provider of global real-time
news, information, research and media resources for information technology,
Internet industry and graphics professionals.
Dec 10 - Time Warner Cable
Partners with MCI and Sprint for Nationwide Rollout of Digital Phone.
Time Warner Cable today announced strategic partnerships with MCI
and Sprint, two of the nation's leading telecommunications companies,
for the nationwide deployment of Digital Phone, Time Warner Cable's
residential Internet protocol ("IP") voice service.
Building on the successful rollout earlier this year in Portland,
Maine, Time Warner Cable recently launched its residential IP phone
service to select customers in North Carolina. The multiple-year deals
with MCI and Sprint will help enable the company to continue its aggressive
rollout throughout next year.
"We are pleased to partner with MCI and Sprint and benefit from
their experience in delivering high quality phone service, their focus
on customer service, and desire to be at the cutting edge of VoIP
network development," said Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO
Glenn Britt. "Capitalizing on their local points of interconnection,
our broadband cable system and the efficiencies and flexibility of
IP technology, Time Warner Cable is now poised to deliver consumers
local and long distance telephony services more efficiently, at a
lower cost, and with the reliability and quality of service that customers
MCI and Sprint will assist Time Warner Cable in the provisioning
of Digital Phone service to customers, termination of IP voice traffic
to the public switched telephone network, delivery of enhanced 9-1-1
service, local number portability and carrying long distance traffic.
The agreement also marks a major expansion for MCI and Sprint into
the cable wholesale market resulting in a prospective revenue stream
with strong growth potential. Both companies plan to leverage their
telecom assets and communications expertise in order to help drive
this expansion and deliver telephony solutions.
Digital Phone includes unlimited local, in-state and domestic long
distance calling for one low monthly price. By leveraging new technology
on its existing advanced managed network with quality of service standards,
Time Warner Cable is able to offer phone service at a flat price and
ensure that customers receive the level of quality offered by traditional
Consumers switching to Digital Phone can keep their existing phone
numbers and retain their directory listings. Standard features of
the service include 411 directory assistance, 611 service calls, Enhanced
9-1-1 emergency service, operator assisted calls, call waiting, caller
ID and voice mail. Additionally, the residential phone service connects
to each telephone jack in the home by utilizing whole-home wiring.
Dec 10 - 1394 Trade Association Completes
New 1394 Wireless Specification. The 1394 Trade Association's
Wireless Working Group today announced that the specification for
Wireless 1394 applications is functionally complete and ready for
a ballot as early as January 2004. Formal approval of the new Protocol
Adaptation Layer (PAL) standard will move consumers one significant
step closer to controlling home networks, HDTVs, and other advanced
electronics systems wirelessly, just as they now use remote controls
to change TV channels or audio output.
The Wireless Working Group, chaired by Peter Johansson of Congruent
Software, Inc., has developed the PAL between the IEEE 802.15.3 MAC
and applications developed for wired IEEE 1394. The PAL also adapts
the IEEE P1394.1 bridging specification to wireless use. The result
is a 'wireless FireWire' capability, which can be implemented with
any standard or non-standard physical layer, including as yet non-standardized
Ultra Wideband PHYs.
"Wireless FireWire is going to be ready to go in 2004, and early,"
said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association.
"The new wireless 1394 specification is an excellent product
developed by a very dedicated group of Trade Association leaders in
a remarkably short period of time. The group adapted the 1394 and
P1394.1 bridging standards to the high bandwidth wireless network
connectivity enabled by 802.15.3, and assured the quality of service
required for exciting new products that will let consumers wirelessly
manage digital televisions, audio-visual equipment and home networks."
According to Johansson, the Working Group during its efforts to assure
quality of service guidelines, determined that the IEEE 1394 infrastructure
can be easily adapted to IEEE 802.15.3, incorporating the significant
amount of existing middleware required to enable important multimedia
applications, such as audio and video streaming.
The IEEE 802.15.3 Wireless Personal Area Network standard is designed
to connect more than 200 wireless devices. Although the existing standard
2.4 GHz PHY is limited to a maximum data rate of 55M bits/sec, work
is underway to standardize a UWB PHY with a range of data rates between
110 and 480M bits/sec. These higher UWB PHY data rates are ideal for
enabling multiple wireless devices to exchange multimedia content
such as video, audio, and digital images.
The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated
to the enhancement and advancement of the 1394/FireWire standard.
The association maintains a rigorous compatibility and interoperability
program, and supports more than a dozen technical work groups. For
more information and a complete list of all products incorporating
IEEE 1394, visit www.1394ta.org.
Dec 10 - Intel, Industry Leaders 'Challenge'
The Global 500 To Test Intel® Itanium® 2-Based Systems.
With its Intel® Itanium® 2 processor boasting record-setting
performance, several operating systems and the availability of 1,000
applications, Intel Corporation is challenging companies to compare
Intel Itanium 2-based servers head-to-head against proprietary systems
during a free trial period that is part of a new "try-and-buy"
Called "The Intel Itanium 2 Solution Challenge," the worldwide
effort kicks off this week and targets Global 500 corporate customers
who are current users of RISC-based computers. The Challenge will
run through the summer, and is being mounted in conjunction with a
score of leading system and solution providers. Qualified customers
will have access to Itanium 2-based systems and services for up to
90 days to evaluate the results.
Intel is working on the program with a number of original equipment
manufacturers, including HP, IBM, LangChao, Lenovo, NEC, Samsung,
SGI, and Unisys, as well as regional system builders. Intel will also
work with a number of companies which supply software for Itanium
2, such as BEA, i2, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and SAS, as well as such
system integrators as Avanade and Unisys. Industry partners can recommend
end-user customers for the Challenge. "We are bullish on the
Itanium 2 processor's performance and price advantage versus proprietary
offerings," said Lisa Graff, director of Intel's Itanium Group.
"Intel, along with our industry partners, wants CIOs to experience
the difference an Itanium 2 architecture-based server can make."
In the past year, the mix of customers buying Itanium-based systems
has evolved from high-performance/scientific users to enterprise customers.
Currently, 14 of the top 25 Global 500 companies have deployed or
are evaluating the architecture.
The Itanium 2 processor is broadly deployed in commercial enterprise
installations, including Bell Canada, CBS Broadcasting, CFE, ChevronTexaco,
CitiStreet, CNA, CompUSA, Cox Communications, Eckerd Drug, The First
American Company, First Trust, Fortis Health, Fuji Film, ING, Jet
Blue Airways, Metro AG, Raymond James, Sabre Holdings, SK Telecom,
Telecom Italia, Van Heusen and Wells Fargo.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer
of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information
about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
Dec 10 - Intel Chief Operating Officer
Paul Otellini to Speak at Consumer Electronics Show. In a speech
before the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 8,
Intel Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Otellini
will discuss technology trends, new products and key standards coming
together to create a more advanced, more enjoyable digital home experience
for consumers worldwide.
Intel will also be a show exhibitor. At its booth (#7145) in the
Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Intel will offer
unique digital home, mobility and gaming experience zones to showcase
the convergence between PCs and CE device; how movies, music and photos
can be shared wirelessly will be demonstrated. In the mobility zone,
attendees can participate in a high-energy, interactive competition
that features the newest notebooks, PDAs and phones.
In the gaming zone, attendees can participate in interactive gaming
competitions on the latest PCs, PDAs and smart phones. Look for Intel's
specially designed entrance to the company's booth off the Central
Hall's main walkway.
Dec 10 - CSR implements v1.2 of the Bluetooth
specification. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) today announced that
its BlueCore3 silicon incorporates all of the new features included
in Bluetooth Specification Version 1.2 (v1.2) of the specification
that was adopted by the Bluetooth SIG on November 5th 2003. The specification
includes many enhancements over v1.1, including support for eSCO,
adaptive frequency hopping (AFH) and Fast Connect. BlueCore3 also
includes all the optional controller features of the new standard
and improves co-existence with other 2.4GHz radios making it ideal
for use in a wide range of Bluetooth applications.
eSCO (extended Synchronous Connection Oriented) channels are error
checking voice channels that allow the retransmission of corrupted
voice data. As data rates can be negotiated via eSCO, the overall
high quality-of-service connection is improved. With eSCO in place
in BlueCore3, the detection and re-transmission of lost or destroyed
voice packets allows minimum impact on real-time performance, thus
making it particularly suitable for high quality voice transmission.
Over the last two years, CSR has been central to the development
of AFH (Adaptive Frequency Hopping), a feature now integrated into
Bluetooth v1.2. AFH coordinates the frequency used by Bluetooth and
other 2.4GHz radio devices such as WiFi, to reduce the likelihood
of interference. This makes CSRs BlueCore3 even more suitable
for a number of combo designs where WiFi and Bluetooth are required
to work together.
Fast Connect significantly improves the usability of Bluetooth devices
for the user by allowing connection times to be reduced by an order
Robin Heydon, Technical Consultant, CSR and member of the Bluetooth
Architectural Review Body commented, "We have worked closely
with the SIG since Bluetooths inception. Our experience within
the Bluetooth silicon sector gives us a key role within the SIG, so
that we can be instrumental in developing new standards such as AFH."
Heydon continued, "For the user, the essential improvements
of version 1.2 of the specification makes Bluetooth faster, with improved
connection times, and stronger, with more robust data and voice connections."
For more information, visit www.csr.com.
Dec 09 - IBM Demos New Nanotechnology Method
to Build Chip Components. IBM today announced it is the first
to successfully apply a novel approach in nanotechnology to aid conventional
semiconductor processing, potentially enabling continued device miniaturization
and chip performance improvements. IBM used a "molecular self
assembly" technique that is compatible with existing chip-making
tools, making it attractive for applications in future microelectronics
technologies because it avoids the high cost of tooling changes and
the risks associated with major process changes.
IBM's self-assembly technique leverages the tendency of certain types
of polymer molecules to organize themselves. The polymer molecules
pattern critical device features that are smaller, denser, more precise,
and more uniform than can be achieved using conventional methods like
lithography. The use of techniques such as self assembly could ultimately
lead to more powerful electronic devices such as microprocessors used
in the growing array of computer systems, communications devices,
and consumer electronics. IBM expects self-assembly techniques could
be used in pilot phases 3-5 years from now.
"Self assembly opens up new opportunities for patterning at
dimensions smaller than those in current technologies," said
Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Research.
"As components in information technology products continue to
shrink toward the molecular scale, self-assembly techniques could
be used to enhance lithographic methods."
Nanotechnology is a broad field of science in which materials are
manipulated at dimensions which approach the size of individual atoms
or molecules. Self assembly is a subset of nanotech that refers to
the natural tendency of certain individual elements to arrange themselves
into regular nanoscale patterns.
In this instance, IBM researchers used self assembly to form critical
features of a semiconductor memory device. The polymer patterns the
formation of a dense silicon nanocrystal array which becomes the basis
for a variant of conventional FLASH memory. Nanocrystal memories are
difficult to fabricate using conventional methods; by using self-assembly,
IBM has discovered a much easier method to build conventional semiconductor
devices such as FLASH memories. Device processing, including self
assembly, was performed on 200 mm diameter silicon wafers using methods
fully compatible with existing chip-making tools.
For more information about IBM's various nanotechnology projects,
please visit: http://www.research.ibm.com/pics/nanotech.
Dec 09 - Alereon Offers Royalty-Free Licenses
for IEEE 802.15.3a Ultra Wideband Technology. Alereon, a leading
Ultra Wideband (UWB) semiconductor company producing chipsets for
the personal area networking (PAN) market, today announced it is offering
royalty-free licenses under essential patents for the IEEE 802.15.3a
standard for high speed wireless PANs.
Alereon filed a statement with the IEEE setting forth its intent to
grant royalty-free licenses limited to the Multiband OFDM Alliance
(MBOA) proposal in the IEEE 802.15.3a standard and only in the event
that the MBOA proposal is adopted as the standard for wireless PAN.
"This is a crucial step toward ratifying the MBOA proposal as
the standard for UWB wireless PAN," said Eric Broockman, chief
executive officer of Alereon. "Alereon has the largest UWB intellectual
property portfolio of any company working on wireless PAN chipsets.
Our offer should enable consumer electronics, computer peripherals
and mobile device companies to expedite the adoption of the MBOA architecture
and accelerate the time to market for UWB chipsets."
If the MBOA proposal is adopted in IEEE 802.15.3a as the standard,
Alereon expects to license on a royalty-free basis several patents
to companies adopting the standard. MBOA companies' essential patents
licensed royalty free will serve as the foundation for consumer electronics,
computer peripherals, and mobile device companies to develop standards-based
products with interoperability among manufacturers and products.
Alereon is a founding member of the MBOA, which comprises 42 companies
including seven of the world's 10 largest semiconductor vendors, support
from all of the world's leading consumer electronics companies, five
of the six USB Implementer Forum Director companies and seven of the
IEEE 1394-TA Director companies. The MBOA represents a coordinated
effort among the world's leading semiconductor companies and original
equipment manufacturers to offer high speed connectivity among consumer
electronics, personal computers, computer peripherals and mobile devices.
Studies and analysis of different UWB standards proposals show that
the MBOA proposed architecture achieves the best range/data rate performance,
superior multi-path performance, and has the best flexibility in meeting
anticipated UWB regulations internationally. The MBOA will have a
draft specification completed in February 2004 and a final specification
in May 2004. Alereon expects to be shipping MBOA-compliant chipsets
to customers by the end of 2004.
Further information is available on the company's website: www.alereon.com.
Dec 09 - Panasonic Introduces 3.5-Pound
Go-Anywhere Projector for 'Sub-$1000' Category. Panasonic breaks
the 4-pound barrier for 1,200 lumen projectors with its new 3.5-pound
PT-LM1U SVGA LCD projector. The stylish, super-slim PT-LM1U offers
an unmatched combination of weight, brightness and estimated street
The feature-packed, ultra-portable PT-LM1U delivers a brilliant 1,200
ANSI lumens of brightness and a bevy of time-saving and anti-theft
functions--all at an estimated price of $999.
"The PT-LM1U has the ease-of-use, time-saving and theft deterrence
features customers desire, plus it's ultra light, bright and economically
priced," said Steve Abend, Director, Panasonic Broadcast's Presentations
Systems Group. "With its low cost of ownership, the PT-LM1U delivers
superb value for cost-conscious professionals, from the mobile road
warrior to small-to-mid size businesses, from corporate training and
sales and marketing managers to the first-time user."
Thanks to its high-performance optical system and high-efficiency
130 UHM lamp, the PT-LM1U produces high contrast (400:1 ratio) images
at a crisp, sharp 800 x 600 native SVGA native resolution (while providing
advanced resizing technology to support UXGA). The projector instantaneously
adjusts lamp brightness to optimize on-screen imaging, and for darker
scenes, it automatically lowers the brightness to produce deeper blacks
and make light areas "pop out."
For super quick set-up, the PT-LM1U has a multitude of intuitive
plug-and-play functions including one-touch auto set-up with vertical
and horizontal Digital Keystone Correction, Speed Start, Direct Power
Off and Auto Power Off functions. The projector is outfitted with
a host of anti-theft functions including a security lock, user password
protection, control panel lock and text superimposing.
Tailor-made for users of notebook PCs and DVD devices, its HDTV compatibility
ensures that the PT-LM1U can automatically resize 1080i and 720p images
for 16:9 wide-aspect display; 480p, 480i and 576i component video
signals and S-Video can also be displayed in either 4:3 or 16:9.
The PT-LM1U is available in December.
For more information on the PT-LM1U and Panasonic's complete line
of projectors, visit www.panasonic.com/projectors.
Dec 09 - SMC's New Wireless
USB Adapter with Flash Drive Ideal for Mobile Computing. SMC Networks,
leading provider of networking solutions for the Enterprise, the SMB
and all the way home, today announced the newest in its line of products
that make mobile computing easy, the EZ Connect(TM) 2.4GHz 11Mbps
Wireless USB Flash Drive.
The first of its kind to combine wireless connectivity with data storage
on a single USB device, the new EZ Connect Wireless USB Flash Drive
(SMCWUSB32) is available now, at an MSRP of $69.99.
Providing both IEEE 802.11b 11Mbps Wireless functionality and 32
megabytes of storage capacity, this new adapter provides two ways
to store and share business and personal files, including Microsoft
PowerPoint, Excel and Word, for easy access anywhere. Compatible with
IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g networks, the new SMCWUSB32 supports the
WEP security standards expected by today's wireless users. An all-in-one
solution, the SMCWUSB32 is the ultimate convenient way to connect
to a 2.4GHz wireless LAN, while also providing convenient backup and
file storage space on the same device.
The new SMCWUSB32 is Plug-and-Play(TM), and supports the major Windows
platforms, making the installation process very simple. It is able
to communicate in Ad-Hoc mode (Peer-to-Peer) with another 802.11b
or 802.11g wireless client or in Infrastructure mode, connecting to
the network via an access point for communication to the wired network.
Support for multiple profiles makes it easy to connect to the network
from any location, and connections are secured by 64/128-bit Wired
Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), and 802.1x
authentication. To accommodate noisy environments, obstacles and large
operating range, the EZ Connect(TM) 2.4GHz 11Mbps Wireless USB Flash
Drive offers an auto-fallback feature for scalable connectivity.
Available now at an MSRP of $69.99, the new SMCWUSB32 EZ Connect(TM)
2.4GHz 11Mbps Wireless USB Flash Drive will change the way people
work. For more information about SMC Networks or its products, visit
Dec 09 - Kano Introduces
Super-Fast 8x Dual-Format DVD-RW Drive for Macs and PCs. Kano
Technologies (www.kanotechnologies.com) introduced its super-fast
8x dual-format DVD+RW/R and DVD-RW/R drive today. The K8Xtreme(TM)
has an 8x write speed for both DVD+R and -R media, and can record
an entire DVD in less than 15 minutes.
At this time, it is the only drive capable of 8x recording
on Verbatim 4x -R media, which allows users to take advantage of 4x
media availability and pricing. K8Xtreme can also write to and read
CD media at 32x16x40x speeds, and can read DVD-ROM at a speed of 12x.
A complete storage solution, with a capacity of 4.7GB per DVD, the
K8Xtreme is the perfect choice for video and audio archiving, and
data backup and archiving. The new drive is available now in three
versions: an internal model for PCs, and external models for PCs and
"This is simply the fastest DVD recording system
currently available," said Robert Young, Kano's director of national
sales. "At the same time, the dual-format recording capability
allows users to create home movies in either the DVD+R or DVD-R format
used in most set-top DVD players. We are extremely pleased to be one
of the first companies to introduce an 8X +R and -R Dual format recorder."
"Using a USB 2.0 or FireWire(TM) 400 (1394A) connection, a user
can easily add K8Xtreme DVD burning capability to a PC or Mac laptop
or desktop," Young continued. "PC users opting for the internal
model can connect with an IDE interface."
The K8Xtreme PC models include Roxio(TM) DVD Creator 6 for quickly
creating photo and video archives, or business training and promotional
videos on DVD. Roxio features drag-and-drop video, menu backgrounds,
video transitions and titles. The K8Xtreme Mac model includes Roxio
Toast Lite for audio and video recording and playback.
The K8Xtreme comes complete with cables for the external models,
drive mount screws, DVD+R media and an instruction manual. MSRPs are:
$199 for the K8500RI-WHT internal model for Windows; and $299 for
the K8500RU external USB 2.0 Windows model and the K8500RF external
FireWire model. All models are available now from Kano storage-solution
providers. Local providers may be contacted through a listing at www.kanotechnologies.com.
Dec 08 - IGN and GameSpy Announce
Merger Agreement. IGN Entertainment - home to IGN.com, the Web's
largest gaming and entertainment destination for young males - and
GameSpy Industries, a leading online entertainment and technology
company serving game enthusiasts and game developers, today announced
that they have signed a definitive merger agreement creating the Web's
largest network of destination sites for gamers.
The combination will create the Internet's largest gaming
audience and its highest traffic PC and console game content network
with 673 million page views per month. According to comScore NetScore
data, the two networks attract more than 22 million unduplicated unique
visitors per month worldwide, and they rank number one in unduplicated
U.S. audience reach with both comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen//NetRatings
in the gaming information category.
Additionally, the combined companies service the biggest gaming information
subscription base with 194,000 active paying subscribers and have
registered over 26 million users. They also operate the highest volume
download service with 6.1 million downloads per month and are the
industry leader in online gaming tools and services.
"This combination offers tremendous synergies as GameSpy and
IGN have very complementary strengths," said Mark Jung, IGN's
CEO. "GameSpy is the market leader with the PC game audience,
game downloads and online gaming technology. IGN is the market leader
with the console game audience and in community services such as message
boards. Both companies have very strong subscription acquisition and
Each company's customer base should find advantages with this strategic
grouping. Gaming and consumer advertisers will be able to reach the
world's largest concentration of young males - predominately the key
18 - 34 year old male demographic - addressing the recent decline
of male TV viewership. GameSpy's game developer clients will have
expanded access to the large IGN audience for game demos and beta
testing. Video game enthusiasts will benefit from the combined efforts
of two leading editorial teams, who together generate an average of
over 4,400 pieces of original gaming content per month.
"Combining IGN and GameSpy will create value for both our audience
and our clients," said Mark Surfas, founder and chairman of GameSpy.
"For the gamer, this merger will provide the broadest array of
information, services and content choices. For game publishers and
advertisers, it creates a platform with the widest reach and the deepest
set of marketing tools to target gamers and young men in general."
For more information, please visit www.ign.com.
Dec 08 - Otterbox Introduces Rugged Armor
3600 For PDA Protection. OtterBox, well known for its indestructible
waterproof cases, has introduced Armor 3600, a ruggedized, interactive
case that protects PDAs and GPSs, and allows operators to use either
the device while it's encased in the Armor 3600.
More robust than OtterBox's popular Armor 2600 for PDAs or GPSs,
the new, solid Armor 3600 retails for $99.95. Among its features:
fits 99 percent of all PDAs and GPSs;
full use of PDA and GPS touchscreen via recessed, clear plastic membrane;
"through-the-box" connectivity for waterproof cable connections
to external GPS antennae, power supplies, printers and more;
waterproof, dustproof, airtight and crushproof;
external stylus holder;
adjustable Velcro hand strap - easy to use with gloves;
unconditional lifetime guarantee.
The Armor 3600's intuitive design allows for the use of expansion
sleeves and expansion slot accessories such as CF or SD style accessories,
GPS receivers, wireless modems/LAN cards and other accessories.
"The tough new Armor 3600 allows PDA and GPS owners to protect
valuable equipment and information from any harsh environment: dirt,
water, sand, snow, rain, humidity, shock and impact," said Curt
Richardson, OtterBox founder and CEO. "The Armor 3600 is designed
so users can easily hook cables from their handheld device to external
sources while the PDA or GPS is in the case."
For more information, visit www.otterbox.com.
Dec 08 - Study Shows Parents
Approve of Video Game Ratings. An independent study released today
found that parents overwhelmingly approve of the ratings assigned
to computer and video games. The study, conducted by Peter D. Hart
Research Associates, was commissioned by the Entertainment Software
Rating Board (ESRB).
"Parents find computer and video game ratings
to be highly accurate," wrote Hart Research in a memorandum summarizing
the results. "The tastes and values of ESRB raters consistently
and reliably match those of American parents."
The study showed 400 randomly selected parents footage from popular
computer and video games. Respondents were then asked if they considered
the actual ESRB rating "about right," "too strict,"
or "too lenient." Interviews were conducted at ten shopping
malls in different regions of the United States in order to ensure
An overwhelming majority of the time (84%), parents agreed with the
ESRB ratings or thought the ratings were too strict. Parents described
the actual ratings as "about right" in 77 percent of all
instances and "too strict" seven percent of the time. These
results are consistent with previous studies measuring parental agreement
with ESRB ratings.
"This study confirms that parents find ESRB ratings accurate
and trustworthy," said Patricia E. Vance, president of the Entertainment
Software Rating Board. "Parents can shop with confidence, knowing
that ESRB ratings provide the information they need to make informed
ESRB ratings have two parts: rating symbols, which provide general
age-appropriateness recommendations, and content descriptors, which
are short phrases that tell consumers about specific content elements
that may be of interest or concern. Content descriptors also help
explain why a game received a particular rating.
"Parents should check the rating every time they shop for computer
and video games," Vance added. "It's especially important
to turn the game box over and read the content descriptors. Rating
symbols are a terrific at-a-glance resource, but content descriptors
add the kind of specific content information that helps parents make
fully informed purchasing decisions."
ESRB rating symbols include "EC" (Early Childhood), "E"
(Everyone), "T" (Teen), "M" (Mature), and "AO"
(Adults Only). ESRB currently uses more than thirty standardized content
descriptors, including "edutainment," "cartoon violence,"
and "strong language."
Consumers can learn more about the ESRB rating system or conduct
customized ratings searches by visiting the ESRB website, www.esrb.org.
Dec 08 - Other World Computing
Introduces Unlimited Apple/Mac Nationwide High-Speed 56K v.90/v.92
Dialup. Other World Computing (OWC) today announced it has begun
offering unlimited nationwide Internet service through FasterMac.net,
which provides 56K v.90/v.92 dialup access throughout the United States
specifically for users of Apple/Mac computers.
"For less than $9.17 a month, Macintosh users can now get unlimited
high-speed dialup Internet service nationwide," said Larry O'Connor,
president and founder of OWC. "Since it was launched in March
of 2003, FasterMac.net has consistently provided easy Internet setup,
reliable service and sterling technical support to the Macintosh community.
We're very pleased to now be able to offer unlimited service with
local numbers nationwide for such a competitive price and at such
an excellent value."
Pricing for FasterMac.net's unlimited service comes in three payment
-- Annually - $109.99 (less than $9.17 per month);
-- Quarterly - $31.99 (less than $10.67 per month); and
-- Monthly - $11.95.
For the same cost as the FasterMac.net's unlimited v.90/v.92 dialup
service, ISDN service is also offered with a 200 channel-hour limit.
The original FasterMac.net v.90/v.92 nationwide dialup service now
starts at only $7.99 per month, offering the same features as the
unlimited access plan but with a connect time limit of 150 hours per
All three plans provide subscribers with five FasterMac.net e-mail
addresses and 10 Megabytes of Web hosting space, as well as virus
blocking and customizable anti-SPAM filtering capabilities.
More information on service plans, referrals, support and configuration
can be found at www.fastermac.net.