Feb 22 - EZQuest Ships DVD-RW/CD-RW Drive.
EZQuest is now shipping its new external Boa USB 2.0 DVD-RW/CD-RW
drive for PCs. This Boa DVD-RW/CD-RW drive with 2x write speed can
burn a full DVD (up to 4.7GB) in 30 minutes. It also has an 8x CD-R
write speed and reads CDs at 24x. This Boa drive is perfect for
backing up large amounts of data, transferring data from one computer
to another, making DVD movie and audio CDs, copying CDs, and rewriting
CDs or DVDs (using CD-RW or DVD-RW media).
"There is a high level of interest in the Boa
DVD-RW/CD-RW drive," said Ebrahim Zmehrir, EZQuest president.
"The ability to burn up to 4.7GB in 30 minutes is really exciting.
The DVD-RW format is the most widely accepted in the market. Users
really like our sleek Pro-Mar packaging, and this drive gives them
a lot of capability for a variety of applications."
It comes ready to use and includes a built-in universal
auto-switching power supply, a cable and authoring software (Sonic
Solutions MyDVD). The Boa is compatible with WIN 98SE, ME, 2000
and XP. It has a one-year warranty and is competitively priced at
$499MSRP. A downloadable Boa spec sheet is available at www.ezq.com.
Feb 22 - Canon Introduces
6.3 Megapixel Camera With Interchangeable Lenses. Canon U.S.A.,
Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), continues to answer
the needs of professional photographers and enthusiasts with the
introduction of the EOS D60 digital SLR.
Developed with the needs of studio and catalog photographers
in mind, the new D60, with its 6.3 megapixel (effective) resolution,
provides photographers with the high performance, advanced features,
and creative flexibility they expect from an EOS SLR camera.
The new EOS D60 replaces the extremely popular EOS
D30 digital SLR model and retains many of its advanced features,
while adding new and improved features including a 3-point AF system
with more responsive performance, especially in low-light conditions;
3 illuminated viewfinder focusing points; and the ability to capture
images simultaneously in RAW and JPEG, a valuable feature for photographers
who need to transmit images immediately but want to maintain a high-quality
archive file for future use. In addition, improvements in the camera's
signal processing system allow photographers to make exposures as
long as 30 seconds without the assistance of a Noise Reduction feature.
"Studio photographers expressed the need for
a digital camera that offers high resolution without sacrificing
the functions and flexibility Canon's EOS System cameras provide,"
said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic
Products Group, Canon U.S.A. "The camera's 6.3 megapixel CMOS
sensor, coupled with the ability to capture images in both RAW and
JPEG formats, make the D60 the perfect tool for studio photographers
and photo enthusiasts everywhere," added Mr. Hashimoto.
The EOS D60's high resolution and outstanding color
reproduction is made possible by a newly developed and proprietary
6.52 megapixel (total)/6.3 megapixel (effective), single-plate CMOS
sensor with 3072 x 2048 square pixels, 12-bit analog-to-digital
conversion and an on-chip RGB primary color filter array. The sensor
is the same size as the EOS D30's at 15.1 x 22.7mm, resulting in
a focal length conversion factor of 1.6x compared to the 35mm format.
The EOS D60 can record images in any one of six (6)
JPEG settings plus RAW, including 2048 x 1360 pixel and 1536 x 1024
pixel JPEG settings not found in the EOS D30. D60 RAW files contain
an embedded 2048 x 1360 JPEG image that can be extracted with the
supplied driver software, making them ideal for photographers who
need to view or transmit images quickly but need to retain maximum
image quality for future editing.
The D60's autofocusing system is three times more
sensitive in low light than the EOS D30's (EV 0.5 vs. EV 2). At
the same time, the built-in AF assist beam is more effective than
it was before. These changes result in significantly improved performance.
Additionally, in response to D30 user feedback, active focusing
points are now illuminated in red directly on the focusing screen,
making it easier to confirm focusing point selection and AF completion.
Other feature improvements include an illuminated
LCD data panel on top of the camera, making it simpler to view and
change camera settings in low light; a brighter LCD monitor for
easier viewing of menus and recorded images in bright light; new
custom functions to tailor the camera's operation for individual
preferences; and a new in-camera setting that allows photographers
to store up to 3 sets of Shooting Parameters including contrast,
saturation, sharpness and color tone.
Because it is based on the EOS D30, the EOS D60 inherits
many of that camera's advanced features including a built-in E-TTL
flash, 11 shooting modes, 3 AF modes, 3 metering patterns, and shutter
speeds ranging from 1/4000 to 30 seconds plus Bulb. The D60's burst
mode can capture up to 8 consecutive images at 3 frames per second
at all image quality settings including RAW mode. The D60 is equipped
with USB 1.1 and NTSC/PAL video out ports as well as an N3-series
remote control socket, a dedicated hot shoe for EX-series Speedlites
and a PC terminal for external flash units.
Image data is stored on CompactFlash cards including
CompactFlash Type I and II, enabling users to take advantage of
the IBM Microdrive and other high-capacity storage media. The lithium-ion
Battery Pack BP-511, which is included with the camera, provides
enough power to take approximately 490 images at normal temperatures.
The EOS D60 is bundled with an upgraded software package
featuring powerful drivers based on those supplied with the professional
EOS-1D camera, but newly upgraded for compatibility with Windows
XP. Canon is also cooperating with Apple Computer to ensure that
the D60 will soon be supported by the Image Capture function of
OS X. Additional Canon utilities such as ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoRecord,
ImageBrowser, USB Mounter, RAW Image Converter, PhotoStitch and
RemoteCapture are also supplied, together with complimentary copies
of Apple QuickTime 5.0 and Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE.
EOS D60 optional accessories include Battery Grip
BG-ED3, Compact Power Adapter CA-PS400, DC Coupler DR-400, Interface
Cable IFC-200PCU, Video Cable VC-100, and Neckstrap EW-100DB.
The EOS D60 measures 5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0-inches and weighs
a mere 27.5 ounces (body only). It will be available at authorized
retailers in April and has a suggested retail price of $2,999. Visit
the Canon U.S.A. Web site at www.usa.canon.com.
Feb 22 - HP Board Campaigns
Against Walter Hewlett. Members of the Hewlett-Packard Company
(NYSE:HWP) Board of Directors today sent the following letter to
shareowners, which points out the inconsistencies from Walter Hewlett
and states that the board does not believe shareowners can trust
their investments to Hewlett's constantly changing "plans."
February 22, 2002
Dear HP Shareowner:
You may have read that Walter Hewlett has a "plan"
for HP. Or perhaps you read that he does not have a plan. Maybe
you read both, depending upon which day of the week it was, or what
Walter Hewlett thought was expedient to say at the time.
HP was not built in a day. It was built upon decades of innovative
thinking and careful planning by dedicated employees, executives
and directors. Common sense dictates that Walter Hewlett cannot
cobble together a "so called" strategic plan for HP in
a day, or in a week or in a month. Developing a strategic plan designed
to create a stronger, more competitive HP that delivers increased
value to shareowners takes time and a great deal of expertise.
So when Walter Hewlett tells you he has no plan and then says he
really has one, and then vehemently denies he has a plan and then
says he has a new plan -- all in a matter of two weeks -- only one
thing is entirely clear: this is a man who has no plan for the future
of your company or your investments in HP shares.
Walter Hewlett's So-Called "Plan": Now
You See It, Now You Don't
Let's take a close look at the public record:
-- Wednesday, February 6: In his regular Wall Street
Journal op-ed column, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: "Mr. Hewlett
is a man without a plan" and encourages retail investors to
"send in their proxies to save Hewlett-Packard from the Hewletts
and the Packards."
-- Friday, February 8: Evidently stung by Mr. Jenkins' very accurate
criticism, Walter Hewlett grants a lengthy interview to the Wall
Street Journal leading the Journal to conclude that Walter Hewlett
has a plan.
-- Monday, February 11: The Wall Street Journal publishes an article
captioned "Walter Hewlett's Counterplan" and writes "until
now, (Mr. Hewlett) hadn't offered an alternative game plan."
-- Tuesday, February 12: Apparently in response to the widespread
negative reaction to his so-called "plan," Walter Hewlett
quickly retreats and vehemently denies that he has a plan at all.
He is quoted by Reuters as stating: "I want this very clearly
understood that I am not presenting a plan."
-- Tuesday, February 19, 9:45 a.m. EST: As momentum for the pending
merger with Compaq increases daily, Walter Hewlett presumably concludes
that he should, in fact, have a plan. So he quickly announces a
new plan he calls "Focus and Execute" and issues a press
release in which he states he is setting forth "the details
of the plan."
-- Tuesday, February 19, 3 p.m. EST: In response to HP's statement
that HP shareowners deserve a carefully considered, comprehensive
plan -- not last minute propositions that change weekly, Walter
Hewlett issues his second press release for the day saying, "What
I have been presenting to stockholders is a set of guidelines that
offers a framework ..."
-- Wednesday, February 20: The Wall Street Journal correctly points
out that Walter Hewlett's new plan "comes as Mr. Hewlett responds
to criticisms that he hasn't offered a viable `Plan B' to the proposed
The fact is Walter Hewlett has never had a viable
plan and he has none now. All he continues to do is say "no"
to the pending Compaq merger, but he offers nothing meaningful in
its place. We do not believe you can trust your investment to Walter
Hewlett's constantly changing "plans." Your investment
and your money are real -- Walter Hewlett's plan is not. Don't risk
HP's future and your investment on his platitudes.
The HP/Compaq Merger: A Real Plan Based on Real Numbers
That Will Deliver Real Value to Shareowners
In stark contrast to Walter Hewlett's plans, the
HP/Compaq merger is the culmination of 2 1/2 years of strategic
planning and will catapult the new HP into a leadership position
in every major segment of the information technology industry. The
benefits of the merger are clear. We will:
-- Create a stronger competitor and more strategic
partner for our customers.
-- Become profitable in businesses that employ 36,000 people and
are currently losing money.
-- Accelerate earnings growth through $2.5 billion in annual cost
savings using conservative assumptions.
-- Achieve $5-$9 in net present value per share of the combined
company as a result of these cost savings (as described in detail
in HP's proxy statement prospectus).
-- Deliver compelling value to shareowners.
In what we see as a very calculated effort to mask
the inadequacies of his latest "plan," Walter Hewlett
has escalated his attacks on HP, Compaq and the merger, as well
as his increasingly personal attacks on HP's CEO, Carly Fiorina.
Let's be very clear: the HP Board hired Carly Fiorina to return
HP to leadership and has been unequivocal in its confidence in Carly
and its support for her performance as CEO. The issues before HP
shareowners are far too important to be overshadowed by these tactics.
HP will continue to address the merger on its merits, with our positions
supported by careful and conservative financial analysis. We ask
Walter Hewlett to do the same.
The March 19 special meeting of shareowners is rapidly approaching.
The time to vote is now. We urge you to support the merger by signing,
dating and returning the enclosed WHITE proxy card or voting instruction
form today. A pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope is enclosed for
If you previously voted against the merger, either on Walter Hewlett's
green card or HP's white card, you have every right to change your
vote. Submission of a properly executed WHITE proxy card or voter
instruction form will revoke any prior proxy card or voter instruction
form you may have submitted.
If you have questions or need assistance voting your shares, please
call Innisfree M&A Inc., toll-free at (877) 750-5836 or Georgeson
Shareholder toll-free at (888) 921-5724. For more information about
the merger, visit www.VotetheHPway.com.
Once again, we thank you for your continued support.
Feb 22 - Canon Announces
New Card Photo Printer CP-100. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary
of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), provides consumers with a convenient
way to make high-quality color prints from digital cameras with
the introduction of the new Card Photo Printer CP-100.
The new CP-100 offers users a fast and simple way
to make prints up to postcard size (approx. 4 x 6 inches) directly
from several Canon PowerShot digital cameras including the newly
introduced PowerShot A40, A30 and A100 models. All print settings
are made directly from the camera's LCD, completely bypassing the
need for a computer and making the process of obtaining high-quality
color prints fast and convenient. Additionally, by using the printer's
optional battery pack, prints can be made literally anywhere without
the need for AC power, making the new printer truly portable.
Based on advancements in dye-sub print technology,
the CP-100 printer can make credit card-size prints in only 40 seconds
and full color postcard-size prints in 81 seconds. Other features
include the ability to produce card-size labels and mini-labels
(photo stickers) for added imaging fun. A clear UV overcoat is applied
to each print for extended longevity. Users also have a choice of
bordered or borderless prints and the CP-100 is compatible with
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) to facilitate batch printing,
e-mail transfers, and print ordering through online photo labs.
"Canon continues to make photography fun, convenient,
easy and creative, while providing the highest-quality products
available in the marketplace," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice
president and general manager, Photographic Products Group, Canon
U.S.A. "The new CP-100 printer, combined with a Canon PowerShot
camera, makes taking digital photographs simple and a lot of fun."
The new Canon Card Photo Printer CP-100 stands out
from other products not only because of speed, quality, and ease
of use, but also because of its elegant design and ultra-compact
size. Measuring just 6.7 (W) x 7.0 (D) x 2.4 (H)-inches and weighing
only 34 ounces, the CP-100 is one of the smallest and lightest digital
printers available. A translucent blue case with stainless steel
accents makes the CP-100 attractive as well as functional.
Optional accessories for the Canon CP-100 printer
include a Dedicated Battery, Computer Connection Kit, and Car Battery
The Card Photo Printer CP-100 will be available at
authorized retailers in May and have an estimated street price of
$249. Ink/paper sets will be available in 36-sheet packages (or
18-sheet card-size or miniature ink/label sets). Visit the Canon
U.S.A. Web site at www.usa.canon.com.
Feb 21 - AMD Unveils "Hammer"
AMD-8000 Chipsets. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today disclosed details of
the AMD-8000(TM) series of chipsets, which in conjunction with AMD's
next generation processor architecture --codenamed "Hammer"
-- is expected to provide a groundbreaking advancement to dramatically
improve the overall performance of future computing platforms.
The AMD-8000 series of chipsets is designed to be
flexible and modular in order to deliver building blocks for PC
manufacturers to produce advanced, high-performance desktop and
mobile PCs, servers, and workstations. The chipsets will incorporate
HyperTransport(TM) technology, which helps to diminish system bottlenecks,
enable better efficiency, and increase throughput to improve overall
"We believe the AMD-8000 series of chipsets will
represent a major breakthrough in system chipset design, and will
fundamentally alter the way computers are made in the future,"
said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing for AMD's Computation
Products Group. "To meet the high-bandwidth demands of current
and future graphics and other I/O devices, computer architecture
will need to evolve from the existing platform infrastructure. These
chipsets are designed to be compatible with today's hardware components,
and allow for a seamless transition to tomorrow's far more advanced,
higher performance platforms."
When introduced, the AMD-8000 series of chipsets will
include the AMD-8111(TM) HyperTransport I/O hub, the AMD-8131(TM)
HyperTransport PCI-X tunnel, and the AMD-8151(TM) HyperTransport
AGP3.0 graphics tunnel. These chipsets for the "Hammer"
processors are planned to be available in the fourth quarter of
2002, and are designed to provide the basis for AMD processor-based
systems to serve the PC, workstation, and server markets.
The AMD-8000 series of chipsets is another example
of AMD driving beneficial new technologies into the market. Chipset
vendors Ali, SiS, NVIDIA, and VIA are also working closely with
AMD, and are expected to design and produce chipsets for AMD's "Hammer"
About "Hammer" Processor Architecture
Industry leaders understand the need to anticipate
and plan for future computing needs while meeting today's challenges.
The "Hammer" processor architecture is designed to provide
unparalleled PC performance on 32-bit applications while allowing
a migration path to 64-bit applications. The "Hammer"
architecture is designed to allow a seamless execution of both 32-bit
and 64-bit code and allows applications to meet the need for memory-intensive
programs. The "Hammer" family of microprocessors features
a high-performance integrated memory controller and a high-speed
scalable system bus using HyperTransport technology.
About AMD's x86-64 Technology
AMD's straightforward approach to 64-bit computing
builds upon the x86 instruction set, one of the industry's most
proven and widely supported technologies. AMD's x86-64 technology
is designed to support applications that address large amounts of
physical and virtual memory, such as high performance servers, database
management systems, and CAD tools. The x86-64 technology seamlessly
integrates into the current computing and support environment, and
is designed to enable enterprises to deploy high performance 64-bit
capable systems that build upon the billions of dollars already
invested in 32-bit software.
About HyperTransport(TM) Technology
HyperTransport technology is a high-speed, high-performance,
point-to-point link for integrated circuits, and is designed to
meet the bandwidth needs of tomorrow's computing and communications
platforms. HyperTransport technology helps reduce the number of
buses while providing a high-performance link for PCs, workstations,
and servers, as well as numerous embedded applications and highly
scalable multiprocessing systems. It is designed to allow chips
inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to communicate
with each other up to 48 times faster than with some existing bus
For more information about AMD's future products,
Feb 21 - Intel Pentium
4 picked as Best PC Processor. Cahners In-Stat/MDR (MicroDesign
Resources), publisher of the Microprocessor Report, Wednesday announced
category winners of its fourth annual Analysts' Choice Awards, honoring
the best new microprocessor chips and most promising new microprocessor
technology unveiled in 2001.
Of the PC processors to ship in 2001, Intel's Pentium
4/Northwood has top scores on a large number of benchmarks, including
SPEC; the highest clock frequency; more bus bandwidth; has chip
set support for three memory types; and was fabricated in advanced
0.13-micron semiconductor process a quarter ahead of its closest
For these reasons, we give Intel's Pentium 4/Northwood
the Microprocessor Report Analysts' Choice Award for Best PC Processor
of 2001. This award for Northwood also recognizes the significant
contributions of the Pentium 4 in 2001: the first 2GHz processor,
SSE2 instructions, and accessible pricing.
Each year, Microprocessor Report analysts review and
evaluate more than 100 microprocessors, digital-signal processors,
and application-specific digital machines. To view a complete listing
of the year's nominees in each of the 10 categories visit the MDR
Web site at www.mdronline.com.
Feb 21 - Bluetooth Wireless
Technology to Enhance Mobile Telephony. Bluetooth(TM) Special
Interest Group (SIG), Inc. has announced two new wireless advancements
from their working groups that address the needs of mobile phone
The Bluetooth SIG Car working group has announced
that their Hands-Free profile has been adopted by the Bluetooth
SIG membership. The Hands-Free profile is a definition for how Bluetooth
wireless technology will enable hands-free use of mobile phones
in automobiles. Additionally, the Imaging working group announced
the introduction of the new Imaging profile for use in wirelessly
transmitting digital images.
"The mobile phone industry is expected to be
an important volume driver for the adoption of Bluetooth wireless
technology in the European market and both of these profiles will
play a contributing role in continuing the technology's rapid success,"
said Michael McCamon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG marketing committee.
"The adoption of our Hands-Free profile signifies increased
interest from the automotive industry in bringing Bluetooth wireless
products to market while the Imaging profile will further the ability
of mobile phones and other mobile devices to interact and share
The Bluetooth SIG provides a forum for companies to
work together using short-range wireless technologies to solve customer
problems. In response to interest by the automotive industry, the
Bluetooth SIG formed the Car working group in December of 1999.
The Hands-Free profile was the first of several application level
specifications expected from the working group.
Using the new Hands-Free profile, products that implement
the Bluetooth specification can facilitate automatic establishment
of a connection between the car's hands-free system (typically part
of its audio system) and a mobile phone the driver brings into the
car. Bluetooth wireless products that incorporate these new enhancements
will enable a seamless, virtually automatic interface between the
car and wireless products.
The Imaging profile allows digital images to be shared
among mobile devices. For example, a digital camera can share content
with a mobile phone, personal computer or handheld, all using Bluetooth
wireless technology. The Imaging profile will also allow images
from a digital camera to be sent directly to a printer equipped
with Bluetooth wireless technology. As next-generation wide area
telephone networks evolve and digital content becomes more prevalent
among mobile devices, Bluetooth wireless technology is expected
to play a major role in driving use and adoption of new services.
To learn more about Bluetooth, visit www.bluetooth.com.
Feb 21 - On2 Releases Preview
Version of VP5 Video Compression Technology. On2 Technologies
Inc. (AMEX: ONT), The Duck Corporation, the industry leader in compression
technology, today released the preview version of VP5, their newest
advancement in video compression.
VP4, the Company's current flagship product is still the only video
compression technology to break the 1-megabit barrier for full resolution,
60 field-per-second digital video delivery. The Company claims VP5
is up to a 50% improvement over VP4. Additional features offered
by VP5 include real-time encoding and the ability to handle interlaced
"With VP5, we've raised the bar again", said Dan Miller,
founder & CTO of On2 Technologies. "This will be the first
codec on the market to offer true broadcast-quality, real-time compression
of difficult live material such as sports and action footage at
sub-megabit data rates. I am truly proud of my team for once again
surpassing our highest expectations."
In tests across a broad spectrum of content, competitive codecs
typically require data rates 50% higher than VP5 to achieve comparable
quality. VP5 also outperforms the proposed H.26L standard (even
with all of its advanced options enabled) in quality, data rate
and performance while maintaining lower decode and encode complexity.
VP5 is particularly suited for handling interlaced material such
as live television broadcasts.
"VP5 can do at 340k what VP4 does at 500k and other proprietary
codecs do at 600k," stated Douglas A. McIntyre, On2 Technologies
President and CEO. "This codec delivers a similar performance
advantage over other codecs from 30kbps to multiple megabit encoding.
This advance means that On2 compression no longer has any direct
competitors for higher-quality video at lower data rates, not Windows
Media Player, not Real 8, not Sorenson and not Divx. This codec
is in a class by itself."
The completed version of VP5 is expected to be available on multiple
platforms, such as the Internet, set-top boxes and Digital Signal
Processors by the middle of Q2.
The download and streaming versions are available, through the RealPlayer,
Feb 20 - Nokia to Drive
Openness in Wireless Networking. Nokia announced today at the
3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, the strategy to drive openness
in all critical future product designs across the communications
Openness will further improve R&D efficiency, speed up time-to-market
and help the entire industry to offer consumers and business users
new mobile services in the most cost-efficient manner.
On-going standardization activities (e.g., 3GPP, IETF) are complemented
with a number of de facto standardization initiatives to specify
the internal interfaces of the key network elements. The aim is
to create an open, competitive network-element module industry.
To support this development, Nokia also will share its core module
technologies with other network vendors on an equal basis to its
own systems business. One of the pivotal activities of this strategy
is the Open IP Base Station Architecture initiative announced today.
"New exciting mobile data services will enable operators to
increase their revenues dramatically," says Dr. JT Bergqvist,
Senior Vice President, Nokia Networks. "The challenge for network
equipment vendors is that these new services require up to ten-fold
increases in mobile bandwidth compared to current service offerings.
This calls for a new level of efficiency in the communication networking
infrastructure industry. IP technologies will enable new services,
faster product development and lower cost, but IP alone will not
be enough. Openness of internal interfaces is needed to realize
the full potential of IP."
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its
experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions,
the company has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and
a leading supplier of mobile, fixed broadband and IP networks. By
adding mobility to the Internet, Nokia creates new opportunities
for companies and further enriches the daily lives of people. Nokia
is one of the most broadly held companies in the world with listings
on six major exchanges.
Nokia can be found online at www.nokia.com.
Feb 20 - Symantec Releases
Utility Programs Optimized for Mac OS X. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC),
the world leader in Internet security, today announced the industry's
first complete line of Internet security and problem solving products
designed specifically for Mac OS X. The product line will offer
users new, easy-to-use Internet security features and complete problem
solving capabilities for the Macintosh platform.
Norton Internet Security for Macintosh 2.0 will improve
Mac users' online productivity, safety and privacy with the addition
of a stealth protection mode, confidential information controls
and Internet ad blocking features. Norton SystemWorks for Macintosh
2.0 is the world's first product to allow users to fix disk errors
and recover lost files or applications natively on Mac OS X.
"The increased demand for advanced Internet
security solutions for Mac OS X has been one of the driving forces
behind Symantec's efforts to create this new line of products,"
said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Symantec Consumer and
Client Product Delivery. "We are adding important new features
that appropriately address Mac users' concerns about online security
and privacy issues, while also continuing to provide the most comprehensive
and reliable problem-solving solutions."
"Apple takes a proactive approach towards security
within Mac OS X in a variety of ways," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's
vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Symantec's
new product line for Mac OS X builds on Apple's commitment towards
security by helping to protect computers and networks at multiple
entry points, and we're excited to receive their support."
Norton Internet Security for Macintosh 2.0 and Norton
SystemWorks for Macintosh 2.0 are available now for pre-order at
www.SymantecStore.com for an
estimated retail price of $99.95 and $129.95, respectively. Current
users of Symantec's Macintosh products, as well as users of select
competitive products, can take advantage of an upgrade mail-in-rebate
of $30 and $50, respectively. In March, Symantec's new Macintosh
products will be available for purchase at various retail locations.
Feb 20 - Check Point Software
Announces FireWall-1 GX for Wireless Networks. Check Point Software
Technologies (Nasdaq:CHKP), the world leader in securing the Internet,
today announced at the 3GSM World Congress its new wireless security
product family specifically designed and developed to protect General
Packet Radio Service (GPRS) 2.5G and emerging 3G networks.
The first product in the family, FireWall-1 GX provides additional
security capabilities, further ensuring secure communications, transactions
and roaming between mobile operators by protecting the gateway between
operators' networks. Based on Check Point's patented Stateful Inspection
technology and its Secure Virtual Network (SVN) architecture, FireWall-1
GX provides extended security complying with full GPRS standards.
Check Point's FireWall-1 GX is the first of its kind to provide
this additional type of security for 2.5G and 3G wireless networks.
The solution uniquely addresses:
-- Protection: prevents non-compliant packets from
entering the mobile operators IP infrastructure
-- Integrity: enforces the integrity of "hand
over" connections between roaming networks
-- Administration: monitors traffic and provides integrated
tracking for troubleshooting and tracing of intrusion attempts
"The wireless telecommunications industry is
in the process of a radical transformation, moving from primarily
voice communications to enabling an increasing number of packet
switched data services for the mobile user," said Carol Stone,
vice president of worldwide marketing for Check Point Software Technologies.
"The continued success of the industry requires effective security
solutions that will provide a secure environment in which wireless
networks, application providers and subscribers can confidently
conduct their transactions. Check Point is addressing the critical
security requirements for 2.5G and emerging 3G wireless networks
and delivering the first end-to-end advanced security solution for
"In the transition from GSM to GPRS and 3G networks
which rely on an IP core network for data transport, wireless operators
require robust security solutions to confidently offer services
and conduct business," said Bob Brace, vice president of Mobile
Solutions for Nokia Internet Communications. "As a leading
supplier of GPRS, 3G networks and IP security systems, Nokia has
always been focused on ensuring robust levels of security in all
networks. Nokia will feature Firewall-1 GX as an integrated part
of its security appliance family, representing an ideal solution
for mobile operators."
For more information, visit www.checkpoint.com.
Feb 20 - Music Videos Coming
for Mobile Devices. Alcatel (NYSE:ALA), Compaq Computer Corporation
(NYSE:CPQ) and Packet Video, leaders in the delivery of mobile multimedia
services, are demonstrating at the 3GSM World Congress the instant
delivery of music video charts and clips over GPRS (General Packet
Radio Services)-enabled pocket PCs.
This paves the way to an end-to-end mobile streaming
solution delivered over UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications
System)-enabled devices, with data transmission rates up to two
megabits per second. This is a massive growth market, as music downloads
are considered one of the fastest-growing, highest-demand services
for personal devices.
In the demo, the user browses a GPRS-enabled Compaq
iPAQ Pocket PC, a tiny handheld computer, to view a list of the
current music charts. Once users select a music video, they can
choose the most appropriate means of payment and stream the video
clip. A 25-second clip is free, or the full-length video is available
for a small fee. For service providers, on the other hand, real-time
billing of streaming allows them to adapt their billing to the ratio
of the service provided. Visitors can take a first glance at this
joint demonstration at the 3GSM World Congress, held at Cannes from
February 19 through 22.
"By combining our IT and telecom strengths, Compaq
and Alcatel are able to provide profitable audio/video streaming
solutions for the high potential 2.5/3G market," said Jenny
Newton, EMEA vice president of Compaq's Telecom Division. "Compaq
is already a leader with its rich product and services portfolio
for the IT infrastructure industry, management of audio and video
content, and personal access devices such as the iPAQ. This represents
the next step in meeting the needs of this dynamic and rapidly growing
For more information, visit www.alcatel.com.
Feb 19 - Universal Studios
Brings Movie Content to Nokia Owners. World-class movie content
is now available to Nokia phone owners in Club Nokia, through a
long-term, licensing agreement between Universal Studios Consumer
Products Group and Starcut, Nokia's content aggregator for mobile
movie entertainment services.
During 2002, Universal's movie titles will also roll out across
most Asia-Pacific countries and the US.Club Nokia members will be
able to download display graphics, ringing tones, text messages
(SMS), picture messages, multimedia messages (MMS) and mobile games
related to more than 100 of Universal's top film and television
titles and franchises, including The Mummy Returns, The Mummy, The
Jurassic Park Trilogy, Back to the Future and Dr. Seuss' How the
Grinch Stole Christmas.
Upcoming promotional film and television titles and access to Universal's
vast library of film and television properties will provide consumers
with a wide selection of compelling entertainment content for their
Nokia mobile phones.
Currently available to Club Nokia members in 23 European countries
and Australia, the service is accessible from www.club.nokia.com.
Feb 19 - AOL® Instant
Messenger™ Service offered in Motorola Wireless Devices. America
Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company,
and Motorola, Inc., a global leader in providing integrated communications
and embedded electronic solutions, announced today that the companies
are working together to integrate a built-in version of the AOL®
Instant Messenger service (AIM®) into a wide range of
Motorola wireless handsets. By including the AIM service as an embedded
feature on its wireless devices, Motorola and AOL will make it even
easier for mobile operators to offer consumers a fun, mobile instant
messaging solution without requiring consumers to install or set
up any software on their wireless device.
Motorola and AOL will be conducting demonstrations
of the built-in AIM service on Motorola wireless devices in AOL
Time Warners stand at this weeks 3GSM World Congress
and exhibition in Cannes, France (Palais des Festivals, Stand L19
in Hall 4).
With the built-in version of the AIM service
on Motorola wireless devices any consumer with an AOL Screen Name
and a password can be up and running and exchanging instant messages
in no time, said Lisa Hook, President of AOL Anywhere for
America Online. Already, AOL audiences send more than one
billion instant messages a day to their friends and loved ones and
for carriers, offering the AIM service on Motorolas wireless
devices presents a great opportunity to increase the use of text-based
With "mobile" instant messaging, people
have a whole new way to use their phone or wireless device by sending
and receiving private text messages with others in real time. This
makes it possible to reach people wherever they are on their
mobile phone, at home or work on their computer, or using a mobile
device with the added benefit of seeing when friends, family
and other contacts are online and "chatting without talking"
when discretion during a personal conversation is needed.
Feb 19 - BCL Computers
Introduces BCL EasyPDF v.2.0. BCL Computers, Inc., a leader
in document management and web publishing software, today announced
the launch of its BCL EasyPDF v.2.0 -- PDF creation software. The
product is an easy to use, low cost PDF creation tool enabling corporations
and individuals to create and share PDF files without the hassle
of having to learn and purchase complex and highly priced software
BCL EasyPDF v.2.0 converts any type of printable Windows(R) document
including DOC, XLS, PPT, HTML and TXT to the universally accepted
Portable Document Format (PDF) with the click of a button. BCL EasyPDF
v.2.0 installs as a printer driver, making the creation of PDF documents
as easy as printing. This gives users a simple way to share any
type of Windows(R) document through this standard, universal document
BCL EasyPDF v.2.0 key features include: TrueType font support that
includes optional font embedding capabilities, direct PDF output
functions, and options to subset fonts in order to dramatically
reduce file sizes. Other features are Asian and western languages
support, as well as scaling and character positioning capabilities.
BCL EasyPDF v.2.0 is Windows 2000/XP compatible.
BCL EasyPDF v.2.0 provides an easy to implement low-cost rapid PDF
creation solution for corporations and individuals. BCL EasyPDF
v.2.0 eliminates the high-costs of complex and labor-intensive software
programs. It also brings an end to reservations about security issues
associated with online PDF conversion services.
Free demos of the program can be downloaded from www.bclcomputers.com.
Feb 19 - Philips Semiconductors
Develops Next Generation GPRS Chip. Philips Semiconductors,
a division of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), (AEX:PHI), today
announced the launch of the OneC(TM)-GPRS++ baseband chip, designed
to enable the development of highly integrated silicon solutions
for 2.5G GSM/GPRS handset manufacturers.
The OneC(TM)-GPRS++ -- the industry's most highly
integrated 2.5G baseband solution -- will allow the development
of a wide range of improved functionality including Java development,
melody generation, TeleTYpe (TTY) and location-based services. Philips
Semiconductors has also optimised the hardware and software enabling
the increased speed and performance necessary to execute advanced
"We have taken the OneC(TM) family of products
a step further with the GPRS++," said Mary Curtis, 2.5G Cellular
baseband marketing manager at Philips Semiconductors. "By combining
advanced processes with high integration and design flexibility,
the OneC(TM)-GPRS++ offers a cost-effective, high performance GPRS
solution. The development of low cost, but feature-rich 2.5G technology
is essential as the industry makes the move from 2.5 to 3G."
The memory architecture of the OneC(TM)-GPRS++ has
been adapted to support Java -- offering users improved real-time
operation of GSM/GPRS handsets -- by converting part of the SRAM
to cache memory giving faster access to stored data. The chip will
also offer High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD) functionality
needed for text-messaging and fast data transmission.
By increasing the level of integration, Philips Semiconductors
is the first manufacturer capable of offering melody generation
-- the functionality that creates the wide range of ring tones now
available -- on a single chip. In addition, the OneC(TM)-GPRS++
will offer TTY, the automatic voice to data translation function
designed for people who are hard of hearing, which is essential
for mobile handsets designed for the U.S. market.
Samples are currently available and volume production
will begin in Q3 2002. For more information: www.semiconductors.philips.com.
Feb 18 - BUSlink Introduces
Pocket New Portable HD and CD-RW Drives. Fueled by the ever-increasing
demand for portability, BUSlink has introduced two lines of portable
storage. The "Disk-on-the-Go" portable hard drives literally
fit into a shirt pocket and weigh less than one-half pound. "Disk-on-the-go"
pocket drives are available in 20, 30 and 40GB capacities with interfaces
for USB 1.1, USB 2.0, Firewire and combination USB 2.0 and Firewire
units. Models are available for PC or Mac. The pocket drives are
Bus powered but include an AC adapter for optional use.
All BUSlink hard drives include the popular Retrospect back up
software program, a $50 retail value. In addition, all BUSlink drives
are formatted at the factory, so they are ready to go out of the
box. The formatting procedure assures the user that every BUSlink
drive is 100 percent quality checked. A company spokesman said,
"BUSlink is the only external drive manufacturer that offers
both free back up software and pre-formatted hard drives."
"CD-RW-on-the-Go" models are available in
4X, 8X and 16X and a combination DVD-CD-RW drive. Nero CD creation
software is included with each unit.
According to Edward O'Brien, Sales Director, BUSlink,
increased sales of notebook computers have prompted the demand of
portable CD-RW drives. He further stated that a portable CD-RW drive
provides an ideal way to move files between computers but also is
a good way to back up files.
BUSlink has also updated its Desktop line of CD-RW
drives. "BUSlink was the first to ship 32X drives in December
of 2001," stated Mr. O'Brien. The BUSlink line includes USB
2.0 and Firewire external drives in 16x10x40, 24x10x40 and 32x12x40
configurations and internal IDE drives in 32x12x40. BUSlink's 40X
internal and external CD-RW units will be released in February.
All BUSlink drives incorporate "Smart Burn" technology
to prevent buffer under run. This feature is particularly important
when trying to multi-task while burning a CD.
Michael Wu, president of BUSlink, stated that in just
three years BUSlink has become the leading supplier at retail for
CD-RW and external hard drive products.
BUSlink products are currently available at leading
catalog and Internet companies, office superstores, mass merchandisers,
computer superstores, and are distributed by Ingram Micro. BUSlink
can be found online at www.buslink.com.
Feb 18 - Broadband's Success
Will Require More Than Regulatory Clearance. The cost of broadband
to the home for Americans will be a leading challenge for the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rule Making
(NPRM), designed to promote greater deployment of broadband services,
according to new research from the University of Southern California
In a significant national high-tech policy announcement on Thursday,
the FCC set a regulation-loosening agenda to encourage universal
high-speed access, promote investment and spur competition for a
market plagued by slow adoption and numerous technical and political
"Our research suggests consumers will not pay
more than $25 per month for high-speed access, which helps to explain
why less than 5% of U.S. households currently have high-speed access,"
says Professor Elizabeth Fife, PhD, senior researcher at USC's Center
for Telecommunications Management (CTM).
CTM, part of the Marshall School of Business, recently
released a comprehensive industry-wide telecom study. Edited by
Dr. Fife, the "Telecom Outlook Report: Millennial Edition"
(TOR) surveyed senior level executives in communications firms and
organizations, government authorities, and analysts in the U.S.,
Asia and Europe on the challenges facing telecom markets. The study
cites high prices and a lack of availability, as the main reasons
U.S. households did not subscribe to broadband services.
The FCC tentatively proposed yesterday to minimize
regulatory costs to lower pricing and speed deployment of new services
to the public.
According to 60% of TOR experts, performance limitations
and infrastructure costs remain serious impediments to broadband's
success in the U.S.
"Content that provides a sense of community will
drive increased Internet usage," says Morley Winograd, CTM
Director and formerly Vice President Al Gore's Senior Policy Advisor
in the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.
"If TOR experts are correct in that high-quality
video, online movies, music and games will drive broadband usage,
this will bring capacity and performance issues to the forefront,"
Beyond the regulatory issues cited by the FCC, a real
boom in broadband deployment will only occur if the following issues
identified by TOR experts are addressed. They vary by type of broadband
access as follows:
-- Reducing installation delays and infrastructure
costs for xDSL,
-- Upgrading infrastructure and eliminating costly
and time-consuming cable-laying bottlenecks for broadband access
-- Improving performance and service pricing for broadband
access through satellite, and
-- Resolving protocol standards and issues of spectrum
for wireless access.
The Center for Telecommunications Management, at USC's
Marshall School of Business, can be found at www.marshall.usc.edu.
Feb 18 - Sierra Wireless
Connects Mobile Users to Global GSM/GPRS Network. Sierra Wireless
(NASDAQ: SWIR)(TSE: SW) is pleased to announce the Sierra Wireless
AirCard(R) 750 GPRS/GSM wireless network card. This new product
will enable mobile users to stay connected to essential information,
anytime, anywhere in the world.
The AirCard 750 enables mobile users to increase productivity
and efficiency with reliable, wireless access to the Internet, e-mail,
and corporate applications. The product will become a valuable tool
for mobile users who travel or work outside the office and require
wireless access from laptops, PDAs, and other handheld devices.
For added convenience, the AirCard 750 will allow mobile users to
receive SMS (Short Message Service) messages or voice calls while
exchanging emails or browsing the Internet. The AirCard 750 is one
device designed to keep mobile users connected to all of their important
business and personal information.
"Over the past months, we have established distribution
agreements and received purchase orders for our upcoming products.
We are very pleased to offer the new AirCard 750 to our customers
in North America, Europe and other international GSM markets,"
said Derek Evans, Vice President of European Distribution, Sierra
Wireless. "For mobile users the latest Sierra Wireless AirCard
offers simplicity to stay connected and clear advantages of performance
and reliability. Working with our strategic partners, we look forward
to bringing our next generation GSM/GPRS AirCard to new international
"We are pleased to work with Sierra Wireless
and view them as a key strategic partner as we continue our wireless
initiatives with the introduction of the AirCard 750," said
Laura Sweetlove, Business Manager, Hugh Symons Mobile Data. "Sierra
Wireless's experience and knowledge in the wireless industry as
well as their extensive product line continues to fulfill a growing
mobile demand. Hugh Symons Mobile Data are uniquely positioned to
meet the growing demand for wireless access to e-mail, personal,
and corporate information from mobile users by providing and supporting
them with innovative and reliable products from Sierra Wireless."
The AirCard 750 operates as a Tri-Band wide area network
interface card (NIC) on the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication)
and GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) networks. It is a Type
II PC card that functions on the 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz bands.
The AirCard 750 provides seamless access to corporate and personal
applications, and superior power management allowing users to work
wirelessly without the need for backup batteries or frequent recharging.
The Sierra Wireless AirCard 750 will also improve communication
and speed up response times for mobile users on the road or in the
field at speeds up to 56 kbps.
For more information about the Sierra Wireless AirCard 750 visit:
Feb 18 - TCS First to Integrate
Mobile Messaging and Location Services. TeleCommunication Systems,
Inc. (TCS) (Nasdaq:TSYS), a key architect of wireless messaging
and location software, today introduced its Multimedia Message Service
TCS' MMSC manages the much-anticipated delivery of
rich text e-mail, sound, fax, color photos, animation, video, Internet
and location services to multiple device types. It is the first
and only MMSC to fully integrate multimedia messaging and mobile
"The combination of location and multimedia messaging,
for instance, will enable a mobile subscriber to receive a photo
from a loved one who just had a baby, reply with an animated e-greeting
card, download a map of the nearest florist, receive a discount
florist coupon, and show up at the hospital with a beautiful bouquet,"
said Timothy Lorello, chief marketing officer and senior vice president
TCS' MMSC supports both the GSM and CDMA air interfaces
and requires MMS capable handsets with 2.5 or 3G data access. The
MMSC is compliant with the latest versions of the 3G Partnership
Project (3GPP), MMS and WAP specifications.
Visit the TCS web site at www.telecomsys.com.
Feb 17 - Sunday Shopping
Watch. This Sunday prices climbed back up on 1 GHz notebooks.
Prices went up $200 from $899 to $1099.
Pentium 4 desktops are still being nicely discounted, low-priced
Celeron desktops are again being advertised, however no Athlon XP
desktops are advertised this Sunday.
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.)
BestBuy.com is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer
purchase. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing
on all desktop computer purchases over $598. Additionally, they
are giving; $200 mail-in rebates on all Pentium 4 desktop complete
package, $100 mail-in rebates on all Celeron and Athlon desktop
complete packages, $100 mail-in rebates on all Intel Processor notebooks,
and $100 instant rebates on advertised HP notebooks.
City is advertising $100
mail-in rebates on all notebooks and desktop complete packages,
and 12 month no interest financing. They are also giving away 1
year of free CompuServe with all notebooks and desktop complete
has no ad this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 3 months
of free AOL with any desktop or notebook computer purchase. They
also claim you will get a free airline companion ticket with any
desktop or notebook purchase (details were sparse).
has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is giving $100 instant rebates on any new computer when
you trade in your old computer.
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by
almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not
have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon
XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features,
and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well
for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep
in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace
About Windows XP. It has been a little over
4 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers.
Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th.
For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's
Windows XP home page.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store
before you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an
in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete system/package is defined
as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's
stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you
order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store,
you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).
* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers
typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price.
We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate,
however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
Best Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz complete system
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.8 GHz complete system
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Duron with DVD
Best High-end Notebook
Sony AMD Athlon 4, 1 GHz with combo DVD/CD-RW
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 should help
you make informed buying decisions.
Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]