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Daily Computer News and Rumors

February 8-14 2003

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Feb 14 Intel Announces 'Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip' for Cell Phones
Feb 14 AMD's `Studio 64' Showcases 64-Bit Computing Future
Feb 14 Addonics Announces Firewire Mini DigiDrive for PCs and Macintosh
Feb 14 ValuSoft and Iomega Release Burn & Go CD/DVD
Feb 14 DataViz Brings Office Compatibility to the Palm OS Wireless World
Feb 14 EA Announces Plans for The Sims Superstar
Feb 13 NVIDIA Claims nForce2 Perfect Platform for New AMD Processors
Feb 13 Ericsson Demonstrates Mobile Video Call
Feb 13 Symantec Unveils Global Early Warning System for Internet Attacks
Feb 13 Centillium Sets ADSL Performance Milestone
Feb 13 Transmeta Announces Worldwide Sales and Distribution Network
Feb 12 Toshiba Expands DVD-R/RW Functionality with Two New Notebooks
Feb 12 Motion Computing Ships Tablet PCs With Biometric Security
Feb 12 Infineon Technologies Reveals New Biosensor Chip
Feb 12 Mushkin's High-Performance PC3500 DDR Now Available
Feb 12 Component Orders Remain Flat in January
Feb 11 EchoStar, EarthLink Announce Bundled Packages
Feb 11 Intel Solution Blueprints Net More Than $1 Billion for Server Industry
Feb 11 SnapGear Develops Free Linux-Based Toolchain for Intel XScale Processor
Feb 11 Plug-N-Scan Bar Coding Kit Announced for Palm Handhelds
Feb 10 AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 3000+
Feb 10 VIA Launches True24™ Initiative to Drive Higher Audio Standards
Feb 10 ATI Announces Settlement of Shareholder Class Action Litigation
Feb 10 Northgate Innovations and 7-Eleven Inc. Announce News Release Clarification
Feb 09 Sunday Shopping Watch



Feb 14 - Intel Announces 'Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip' for Cell Phones. Intel Corporation today announced a new cellular processor that uses advanced "wireless-Internet-on-a-chip" technology.

The highly integrated microchip is the first to combine the key components of today's cellular phones and handheld computers onto a single piece of silicon -- promising to bring advanced functionality, longer battery life and more innovative phone designs to mainstream phones.

Called the Intel(R) PXA800F cellular processor, it is a key component of the Intel(R) Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel(R) PCA), Intel's development blueprint for designing wireless handheld communication devices that combine voice communications and Internet access capabilities.

In creating unique "wireless-Internet-on-a-chip" technology, Intel engineers overcame significant technical hurdles associated with combining the different design and manufacturing technologies for processing, flash memory and communications functions. The Intel PXA800F cellular processor is built using a single process to place all key components onto one chip using the industry's leading .13-micron silicon manufacturing technology.

"Intel's ability to provide communications, computing and memory functions in a single chip is unmatched in the industry and promises to deliver outstanding performance, greater versatility and a richer experience to cell phone users worldwide," said Hans Geyer, Intel vice president and general manager of its PCA Components Group.
"As the industry transitions from voice-only phones to advanced devices that combine voice and data, the ability to effectively and efficiently combine advanced processing, memory and communications technologies will be required to drive the next-generation of cell phones."

The Intel PXA800F cellular processor is sampling today with production volumes expected in the third quarter of 2003. Products using the new processors will be available later this year, or early next year. The Intel PXA800F cellular processor has a suggested list price of $35 (US) in 10,000 unit quantities. More information on the new processors can be found at www.intel.com/info/gprs.

Feb 14 - AMD's `Studio 64' Showcases 64-Bit Computing Future. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced `Studio 64,' an online collection of compelling text, audio and video quotes, articles, and white papers from global thought leaders on 64-bit computing. Industry visionaries, technology and science luminaries, and opinion leaders paint a picture of the 64-bit computing future.

"Studio 64 exemplifies AMD's vision for pervasive 64-bit computing. Today's digital world creates an enormous volume of data that is moving toward a head-on collision with the memory limit constraints of today's 32-bit computing," said Marty Seyer, vice president of server business segment, Computation Products Group, AMD.
"AMD's 64-bit vision is particularly appealing to enterprise users because it maps a successful transition to 64-bit computing that protects their investment in 32-bit infrastructure." Initial contributors to the frequently updated compilation include several editors-in-chief of technology publications, CEOs, technology engineers, international academic leaders, and esteemed industry analysts.

Nathan Brookwood, principal of Insight64 and an early contributor to Studio 64, said, "Today the 64-bit market is dominated by high-end proprietary systems. This will change dramatically over the remainder of the decade. Industry-standard 64-bit architectures will move down to the low-end of the market and up into the mid-range and high-end segments as well.
" The people who understand this, and who adapt their applications for these industry standard 64-bit boxes, will win big-time when these systems become available. The folks who ignore this trend and continue to focus their efforts on proprietary platforms will soon be in trouble, if they're not there already."

The AMD Studio 64 can be found at www.amd.com/studio64.

Feb 14 - Addonics Announces Firewire Mini DigiDrive for PCs and Macintosh. The Addonics Technologies today announced a multi-format Firewire interface Flash memory reader/writer that allows both Macintosh and PC users to transfer digital media files at up to 400 Mbits/sec to seven different formats. The company also announced USB 2.0 compatibility for its Mini DigiDrive and Internal DigiDrive.

The Addonics Firewire Mini DigiDrive is an ideal solution for anyone who needs fast media file transfers to their systems from digital cameras, digital camcorders, PDAs, MP3 players, or digital voice recorders.

Addonics Firewire Mini DigiDrive eliminates the necessity to carry different types of Flash readers. With the Firewire Mini DigiDrive users can have multi-format compatibility with CF-I, CF-II, Smart Media, Memory Stick, Micro Drive, Multimedia Card, and Secure Digital Card media. The device can also simultaneously read/write to and exchange data among two different media types.

The compact Firewire Mini DigiDrive measures 4.53 in (W) x 1.2 in (D) x 3.0 in (H) and weighs just 5 ounces. The drive contains no moving parts. Users only need to plug device into any Firewire-compliant port to power the drive.

To ensure compatibility with 6-pin and older 4-pin Firewire systems Addonics provides a standard 6-pin Firewire cable as well as an adapter cable that converts 6-pin Firewire to a 4-pin iLink port. The adapter cable is a Y cable with one end that connects to the iLink port and another end to the standard USB port.

The small size, light weight and the Firewire self powered feature make the Firewire Mini DigiDrive a versatile and easy to use Flash memory reader/writer for computers running either Macintosh or Windows operating systems. Operating system support includes Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Mac OS 8.6 or higher. Once the drive is installed, an icon for each type of media automatically appears under the My Computer folder in Windows.

List price of the Addonics Firewire Mini DigiDrive is $89 with software drivers, installation guide, Firewire cable, and 6-pin to 4-pin Firewire/iLink adapter.

USB 2.0 Compliance for Mini DigiDrive and Internal DigiDrive

Addonics also gave two earlier members of its DigiDrive family a speed boost. The USB 2.0 standard increases the USB data transfer rate of 12 Mbits/sec to 480Mbits/sec. The Addonics USB 2.0 Mini DigiDrive is a palm size solution, which measures 3.75 in (W) x 3.18 in (D) x .6 in (H) and retails for $42.00. The Addonics USB 2.0 Internal DigiDrive fits any 3.5" drive bay and has a list price of $55.00. Both drives support the same seven media types as the Firewire Mini DigiDrive.

Addonics products are available through major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including StorageUSA.com, Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Insight, Ingram Micro, and Ma Lab.

Visit Addonics at www.addonics.com.

Feb 14 - ValuSoft and Iomega Release Burn & Go CD/DVD. ValuSoft(R), a division of THQ(R) Inc. (Nasdaq:THQI) and leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and productivity software, and Iomega(R) Corporation (NYSE:IOM), a global leader in portable data storage, today announced the release of Burn & Go CD/DVD(TM) and Burn & Go Professional(TM), the newest CD burning software for PC.

The sequel to Burn & Go Gold(TM), the best-selling CD-Recording software (according to NPD Techworld, based on an Average Selling Price of less than $80.00), Burn & Go CD/DVD features HotBurn(R) software from Iomega and will retail for $19.99 SRP. HotBurn's capabilities have now been extended to include DVD support. This powerful software combines what were once time-consuming CD/DVD recording functions into one powerful and customizable interface, giving Iomega and ValuSoft customers even more flexibility and choice at a great value

Perfect for backing up hard drives, creating custom music CDs, burning MP3s and organizing digital photos, Burn & Go CD/DVD offers a full suite of features including:

-- Drag 'n' Drop Burning--Easily move and burn selected media
with the click of a mouse.

-- Direct Disc-to-Disc Copy--Copy from a source CD or DVD
directly to a recordable CD or DVD drive.

-- Multi-platform Capabilities--Create data CDs and DVDs that
are readable on most available Operating Systems.

-- Mix Hot Audio CDs--Burn & Go CD/DVD automatically
translates MP3 files to standard audio format that is
readable by standard CD players.

-- Prevent Burning Errors--Support for BURN-Proof(TM) and
other technologies help minimize costly burning errors
caused by buffer under runs.

For the first time, ValuSoft is offering Burn & Go Professional featuring Iomega's HotBurnPro(TM) software. Retailing for $39.99 SRP, Burn & Go Professional includes all of the powerful features of Burn & Go CD/DVD, as well as professional quality CD burning tools that utilize advanced audio filters to remove hiss, clicks and pops to create professional-sounding recordings every time.

"Iomega HotBurn(R) software has been recognized as having one of the most straight forward, easy-to-use interfaces for end users," says Jet Martin, Product General Manager of Iomega Software Solutions. "Speed and versatility have made the HotBurn equipped Burn & Go family of products among the top-selling burning software packages available today."

ValuSoft can be found on the World Wide Web at www.valusoft.com. Iomega can be found on the Web at www.iomega.com.

Feb 14 - DataViz Brings Office Compatibility to the Palm OS Wireless World. Today DataViz(R) announced new technology that allows people to use documents in native file formats such as Word and Excel on a Palm OS(R) device.

This technology will allow users to create, edit or simply view files in their original Word and Excel format on the handheld itself. DataViz's new technology will be available in summer 2003.

For the last four years DataViz has been the leader in providing Microsoft(R) Office compatibility on the Palm OS. A version of its Documents To Go software is included with most Palm and Sony handhelds, and the flagship Documents To Go Premium Edition is the number one selling office suite according to market research firm NPD Intelect (2002). Currently most people use Documents To Go to work on Office files that are delivered via synchronization.

In the future, as wireless capabilities grow, files will also commonly be delivered as wireless e-mail attachments or even via removable media such as SD cards. Regardless of delivery method the end user will want these files to be instantly accessible on their mobile device. Native file format support ensures this instant access is possible regardless of where the file is from, or how it is delivered.

"Handheld users should be able to seamlessly view, edit, attach, and exchange Office documents without the intervention of an external conversion layer," said Isaac Ro, Aberdeen Group. "DataViz has made this experience possible on the Palm OS, thereby extending the value of Palm OS-based handhelds and the devices supporting that platform. DataViz has an established history of delivering industry-best products in this category and has raised the bar once again."

For more information visit www.dataviz.com.

Feb 14 - EA Announces Plans for The Sims Superstar. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced plans to release this May The Sims(TM) Superstar, a new expansion pack to the top-selling PC game of all time, The Sims(TM). Players can now realize their fantasies of fame and fortune as they pursue the dream of being a Rock Star, Movie Star or a Supermodel and live the lifestyle of a celebrity.
All new gameplay, new social interactions and a whole new in-game destination offer players an all access pass to the world of superstardom. In The Sims Superstar, The Sims are ready for their close up.

"The Sims have lived extreme lives, thrown outrageous parties, gone on hot dates, traveled to vacation destinations and owned pets. Now it's time for them to follow their dreams of making it big," said Jonathan Knight, producer at EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "The Sims Superstar will let players experience the outrageous world of celebrity, Sims style."

For the first time ever, players can follow their Sims to work and witness their pursuit of fame and fortune firsthand. Fledgling Sims start by signing with an agent and shuttling to Studio Town, a new and fully customizable destination that offers television and movie lots, spa locations, recording studios and fabulous fashion facilities. Once there, Sims can schmooze, network and name drop their way to stardom in the movies, music or fashion. Will your Sim be a flash in the pan or a living legend? Players can now track the sizzle of their Sims with an all new fame score.

A new cast of comical characters are available to assist the Sims in their quest for celebrity. A fabulous fashion designer, a mega-hit record producer and a maniacal movie director are available for career critique. A capable butler, a savvy sushi chef, and a soothing masseuse will be on-call to administer to the every whim of a celebrity Sim. Life in the spotlight would not be complete without the glare of the paparazzi, the adoration of groupies, and the annoyance of an obsessed fan or two. This is all part of life in the spotlight in The Sims Superstar.

Sims can become a celeb or just live like one. Fabulous new objects like a skydiving simulator, satellite dish, and a new art and furniture collection can turn an ordinary Sims abode into a magnificent and decadent manse. Sims in need of a day of indulgence and pampering can also enjoy the new day spa, complete with mud treatments, steam baths, Sim massages and an oxygen bar. Domestic staff is also available for hire so manicured Sims won't chap their hands with the drudgeries of household maintenance.

Will your Sim become an icon or fade into the obscurity of bad dinner theater? Will they win a coveted Simmy award or be regulated to personal hygiene commercials? In The Sims Superstar, you are the idol maker.

The Sims franchise celebrated its third anniversary this month. The game skyrocketed to the top of the charts when it began shipping to stores and quickly became a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon.
The Sims base product was the #1 seller in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Translated into 17 different languages, The Sims has inspired five expansion packs that have all been top sellers. They include The Sims(TM) Livin' Large, The Sims(TM) House Party, The Sims(TM) Hot Date, The Sims(TM) Vacation and The Sims(TM) Unleashed.

Combined sales for the franchise have topped 24 million units life-to-date. For more information on The Sims franchise titles, visit www.thesims.com.

Feb 13 - NVIDIA Claims nForce2 Perfect Platform for New AMD Processors. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that its NVIDIA nForce2™ platform processors—which have been lauded by major industry publications and Web sites as “the best core-logic chipset” for the AMD Athlon™ XP processor family—are designed to support the full power of the new AMD Athlon XP processors 3000+ and 2800+ CPUs announced earlier this week.

“The design of our NVIDIA nForce2 architecture is optimized to take full advantage of AMD technology that was not yet available publicly,” said Drew Henry, senior director of platform products at NVIDIA. “The new AMD Athlon XP processors 3000+ and 2800+ announced today have more on-die cache than any other desktop processor, and are a perfect match to the award-winning and industry-leading performance that our NVIDIA nForce2 technology is world-renowned for.”

Since its introduction last year, the NVIDIA nForce2 product family has been unambiguously declared the performance leader in the AMD-based core-logic desktop PC market, and motherboards and PCs based on the NVIDIA nForce2 architecture have been recognized with thousands of reader recommendations and editor’s choice awards worldwide, including commendation from 3D Velocity, AMDMB.com, AMDZone.com, AnandTech, BJORN3D, ExtremeTech, FirinqSquad, GamePC, Hard|OCP, Hexus.net, ign.com, Maximum PC, OC Workbench, PC Magazine, Sudhian Media, TechSeekers, Tom’s Hardware Guide and others.

“If you’re going to be purchasing an Athlon XP motherboard in today’s market, you’d be insane not to choose a motherboard based on NVIDIA’s nForce2 platform,” wrote Evan Lieb of AnandTech, a major online source for hardware analysis and news.

“Our benchmarks underlined the fact that nForce2 is currently the best chipset,” reported Patrick Schmid of Toms Hardware Guide, the definitive Web site for hardcore PC enthusiasts, who concluded that “[nForce2] helps the Athlon XP make its level of performance affordable in contrast to the Pentium 4.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to the response of NVIDIA nForce2 in the marketplace,” continued Henry. “Features and performance are the two key ingredients that form the foundation for the industry’s best PC platform, and with our DualDDR memory architecture and support for up to a 400MHz frontside bus, NVIDIA nForce2 is, and will continue to be, the world’s best platform for AMD Athlon XP processors.”

Motherboards and PCs based on the NVIDIA nForce2 architecture are currently available from thousands of system builders, motherboard companies and PC OEMs worldwide, including Abit, ABS, Albatron, Alienware, Aopen, ASUSTeK, Atlas Micro, Biostar, Chaintech, Epox, Falcon Northwest, FIC, HyperSonic, Leadtek, MSI, Shuttle Computer, Soltek, Tatung, Totally Awesome, Vicious PC, VoodooPC and others.

For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.nvidia.com.

Feb 13 - Ericsson Demonstrates Mobile Video Call. Mobile Platforms today announced a major new milestone achievement within its 3G development.

The company now offers solutions for personal video telephony working end-to-end on a fully integrated dual-mode WCDMA/GSM platform, using a cost-effective small-sized solution.

Ericsson now demonstrates standard compliant video telephony on the 64 kb/s circuit switch bearer using state-of-the-art 15 video frames per second working end-to-end between two test phones as well as video streaming on the 384 kb/s packet data bearer.

This demonstration further emphasizes the leadership of Ericsson's mobile platform solution, which is capable of full WCDMA and GSM/GPRS dual-mode, including handover and multimedia functionality. The power consumption of the dual-mode platform is very competitive and is currently comparable with today's best GSM phones.

"Showing video telephony on a commercial, cost-effective dual-mode platform is a key milestone for our development and gives enhanced confidence to the whole UMTS industry to launch services and products in line with market expectations," says Tord Wingren, President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

Video telephony is perceived by operators and end-users as essential to the new and more personal 3G services. In addition to voice, it will put people in closer contact while talking.

"The need for video telephony in mobile phones primarily involves situations where you can show your surroundings and share experiences instead of having to verbalize everything, both for private and business purposes," adds Tord Wingren.

During the past year, Ericsson Mobile Platforms has consistently proven its leadership within 3G development by demonstrating WCDMA voice and high data rate calls as well as video functionality in live networks. During the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, Ericsson will be showing full video functionality and interoperability with pre-commercial phones using platforms from Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

"It is extremely important for our customers to get our platform demonstrated in fully integrated small-sized handsets, to prepare for the final application integration and related tests prior to the market launch. We can offer mobile phone manufacturers a complete, robust, end-to-end-proven WCDMA/GSM dual-mode platform," says Tord Wingren.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communication through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

For more information, visit www.ericsson.com.

Feb 13 - Symantec Unveils Global Early Warning System for Internet Attacks. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today unveiled the industry's premier global early warning system with the release of Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System 4.0.

This unique early warning system provides enterprises a comprehensive birds-eye view of global Internet attacks in a timely manner, delivering quick analyses and countermeasures to protect against or even avoid malicious threats. The DeepSight Threat Management System tracks security threats as they occur on a global basis by gathering data from firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) of more than 19,000 partners in over 180 countries -- the most extensive data network in the world.

"The rapid proliferation of threats such as the Slammer worm illustrates the importance of an early warning system to help enterprises prepare for and defend against attacks," said Arthur Wong, vice president of Symantec Security Response. "By giving administrators detailed attack information and mitigation procedures for threats as they occur, Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System enables enterprises to significantly improve their security postures and mitigate or eliminate damages."

For example, the DeepSight Threat Management System discovered the Slammer worm hours before it began rapidly propagating. Symantec's DeepSight Threat Management System then delivered timely alerts and procedures, enabling administrators to protect against the attack before their environment was compromised. This combination of comprehensive up-to-the-minute attack data combined with effective solutions, patches, and countermeasures enable corporations to protect information infrastructure while avoiding downtime and lost productivity.

Data Collection and Notification

With the addition of firewall data integration in version 4.0, Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System now detects new widespread attacks that were previously not recognized. This extends early warnings to impending threats by recognizing suspicious, unidentifiable activity targeting specific ports and devices on virtually any technology platforms around the world.

Once security data is collected, Symantec analysts utilize sophisticated techniques and data mining to determine patterns that indicate a launched attack. Based on their detailed and thorough understanding of vulnerabilities and attacks, analysts generate comprehensive and timely notifications enabling customers to focus their resources on attack prevention.

Pricing and Availability

Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System 4.0 is currently available to Symantec certified partners. For more information, visit www.symantec.com/partners.

Feb 13 - Centillium Sets ADSL Performance Milestone. Centillium Communications, Inc., innovator of broadband technology (Nasdaq:CTLM), introduces the Palladia(TM) 210 (P210) chipset for ADSL customer premises equipment (CPE). The chipset brings increased performance, cost-effectiveness, and reduced power consumption to the company's Palladia product line.

The new chipset builds upon Centillium's successful eXtremeDSL(TM) technology to double the frequency spectrum according to the new ADSL+ standard. The P210 offers data rates exceeding 20Mbps, making it the fastest ADSL CPE chipset available in the market today.
This makes the P210 ideal for ADSL modems supporting next generation services that offer greatly increased data rates to subscribers. The ability to offer such services allows service providers to maintain their edge in a competitive broadband market, and to command a premium that will help boost their bottom lines.

The P210 is built using advanced 0.13-micron technology, and consumes 50 percent less power than Centillium's previous generation solution, the P200. This significantly simplifies the power supply section of the modem. Additionally, the P210 will pair up with Centillium's next generation Analog Front End -- line driver chip, which is designed to integrate increased levels of board functionality. These combined factors considerably lower the external component count and reduce the complexity of the modem design.

With the use of advanced process technology, the P210 delivers a significant increase in processing power over its predecessor. This additional power helps to support advanced system level features such as Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that are becoming essential in the competitive and feature-rich ADSL router market.

The P210 contains a new MIPS(R) 4Kc(TM) core with a Memory Management Unit (MMU). This will allow the use of real time operating systems such as Linux. Linux is an open source operating system for which numerous royalty free application stacks are available, further reducing the cost to customer premise equipment (CPE) manufacturers.

"Centillium Communications is the recognized technology leader in the ADSL space," said Todd DeBonis, Centillium Communications' Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. "This requires having a vision for what the market requirements will be further down the road and executing to it. With our eXtremeDSL technology, we were the first to deploy a solution supporting 12Mbps ADSL service, which is currently the fastest ADSL service deployed in the world."
"Once again, we are first to market with a solution that will allow service providers to make the next quantum leap in ADSL service speeds while, simultaneously, accommodating the desire of CPE manufacturers for a highly optimized system solution from the standpoints of power and cost."

About eXtremeDSL Technology

Centillium's eXtremeDSL technology is a revolutionary feature set, which optimizes the use of the ADSL spectrum to make significant improvements in extending the reach of ADSL service and increasing the downstream bit rates. eXtremeDSL consists of two key features: eXtremeReach(TM) and eXtremeRate(TM).

The eXtremeReach feature allows service providers to increase the ADSL coverage area. With this feature, the total addressable ADSL market will increase, resulting in greater revenue opportunities for equipment vendors and service providers.

The eXtremeRate feature offers increased downstream rates that go beyond the traditional 8Mbps. This performance enables providers to offer bundled services based on different data rates.


The Palladia 210 is available for production orders now.

Additional information is available at www.centillium.com.

Feb 13 - Transmeta Announces Worldwide Sales and Distribution Network. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced it has established a worldwide sales and distribution network of manufacturers' representatives, distributors, resellers and stocking representatives to support the company's aggressive growth plans for new and existing markets.

Transmeta employs a highly experienced direct sales force led by regional sales managers in the key markets of North America, Asia, Europe and Japan. The worldwide sales and distribution network bolsters the capabilities of the company's direct sales force by providing an integrated group of professional firms in important markets. These firms bring an exceptional level of expertise and a solid network of business contacts to the application segments Transmeta targets, including a wide range of mobile and embedded systems.

"Broad-based, effective sales and distribution networks are key elements for reaching and serving customers in the new, streamlined corporate environment," said Ken Presti, channels analyst, IDC. "A solid channel program can go a long way towards reducing cost-of-sales and extending into new markets."

"A critical aspect of Transmeta's growth strategy is to increase the penetration of Crusoe and future generation processors in key geographic regions and emerging application areas," said Dr. Matthew R. Perry, president and chief executive officer. "Companies worldwide are expressing interest in Transmeta's processors for designing a wide range of efficient mobile and embedded computers and the global sales and distribution network allows us to meet these customer needs."

About Transmeta Corporation

Transmeta develops and sells software-based microprocessors and develops additional hardware and software technologies that enable computer manufacturers to build computers that simultaneously offer long battery life, high performance and x86 compatibility. Transmeta's family of Crusoe microprocessors is targeted at the notebook, Tablet PC and Internet appliance segments of the mobile Internet computer market, as well as a range of embedded applications. To learn more about Transmeta visit www.transmeta.com.

Feb 12 - Toshiba Expands DVD-R/RW Functionality with Two New Notebooks. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., today introduced the Satellite(R) 2455-S305 and Satellite 1955-S805 to its retail lineup of notebook PCs.

Starting at $2,099, the new products provide Toshiba customers with more choices when it comes to recording DVDs and backing up large amounts of data on their mobile PC.

Today's announcement of the Satellite 2455-S305 and Satellite 1955-S805 demonstrates Toshiba's goal to offer the DVD-R/RW capability to additional consumer segments who welcome the appealing price point.

Addressing the needs of customers who desire both data storage and multimedia capabilities in a mobile PC, Toshiba shipped the industry's first integrated DVD-R/RW notebook last October with the Satellite 5205-S703, its flagship multimedia notebook.

Both the Satellite 1955-S805 and Satellite 2455-S305 feature a 60GB hard disk drive and 512MB of RAM to handle memory-intensive applications. For a true personal theatre experience, the Satellite 1955-S805 also includes a large 16-inch SXGA display.

The Satellite 2455-S305 includes:

-- Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor, 2.40GHz

-- 512MB of SDRAM memory

-- 60GB HDD

-- 15-inch diagonal XGA display

-- DVD-R/RW multi-function drive

-- NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 420 Go, 32MB

-- Integrated V.92 modem

-- Integrated 10/100 Intel Ethernet LAN

-- Optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b)

-- Three USB ports (2.0)

-- i.Link(R)(IEEE 1394)

-- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home

-- ESUP: $2,099

-- Available via www.shoptoshiba.com and retail channels including computer superstores and consumer electronic stores. Reseller prices may vary.

Feb 12 - Motion Computing Ships Tablet PCs With Biometric Security. Motion Computing, an innovator in ultra-mobile computing and wireless communications, today announced the availability of Motion M1200 Tablet PCs bundled with the Sign-On(tm) biometric security application developed by Communication Intelligence Corporation ("CIC"), the leader in electronic signature, biometric verification and natural input solutions, (Nasdaq:CICI).

Sign-On is the first Tablet PC security feature using biometric signature verification to help protect and secure user data from tampering or theft. By using advanced biometric algorithms for authentication, Sign-On associates a handwritten drawing or signature with a user's Windows password, allowing Tablet PC users to quickly log in with the stroke of a pen.

This capability is the result of a licensing, development and distribution agreement between Motion Computing and CIC. The agreement also allows Motion to distribute CIC's broad range of electronic signature and biometric authentication solutions via its direct distribution and rapidly expanding network of resellers.

"Security is of utmost importance to many of our customers," said Kim Kasee, Motion's vice president of marketing. "We've responded to our customers' requirements by embedding the leading biometric security software that combines the comfort and familiarity of handwritten signatures with the enhanced security of biometric authentication."

"The Motion M1200 Tablet PC is an ideal new computing platform to showcase our leadership position with patented technologies that are used to provide both heightened security via biometric authentication and paperless transactions leveraging the strength of our legally binding eSignature offerings," said Russ Davis, vice president of product development for CIC.

For more information, visit www.motioncomputing.com.

Feb 12 - Infineon Technologies Reveals New Biosensor Chip. Researchers at Infineon Technologies have succeeded, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute, in directly connecting a newly developed biosensor chip with living nerve cells and reading electrical signals produced by the cells.

This breakthrough technology, which Infineon calls a "Neuro-Chip," will allow scientific researchers to gain new insights into the biologic function of neurons, nerve tissue, and organic neural networks. In the field of drug development, the Neuro-Chip ultimately will enable tests of the effects of new pharmaceutical compounds on living neurons, contributing to greater efficiency and productivity in research.

Infineon will describe the Neuro-Chip development in a paper presented today at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2003, a highly respected global forum for new developments in semiconductors. The research findings include the first report on measurements of electrical signals from live neurons.

Neurons are the specialized cells that make up the nervous systems of all living things. Nerve tissues, comprised of many associated nerve cells, are the principal component of the brain and spinal cord. Nerve cells communicate with each other through electrical pulses, so the ability to read these signals and record them in a computer system holds the promise of new insights into neurological processes.

"Infineon is able to draw on 50 years of knowledge in chip making to develop biochips that bring the advantages of silicon technology to biochemistry and new drug research," said Dr. Roland Thewes, the Senior Director responsible for biosensor chip activities within the Corporate Research Center at Infineon Technologies. "With the Neuro-Chip, we are laying the groundwork for advances in scientific understanding."

Infineon has collaborated since mid-2000 with researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biochemistry in Martinsried, near Munich, on development of the Neuro-Chip and associated test system. Professor Dr. Peter Fromherz, Director of the MPI, comments: "That our long-lasting basic research on neuron-semiconductor interfaces now sees a high-tech chip, is like a dream coming true. Infineon's development of cutting edge microelectronics may be a pre-condition for unheard of applications in the field of biomedicine, biotechnology and brain research."

Infineon's successful development of a complete integrated circuit enabling observation of the extremely low cell signals is a world technology breakthrough. The Infineon Neuro-Chip integrates 128 x 128 sensors in an array pattern covering just one square millimeter, creating a sensor density that is 300 times greater than today's common methods for studying neurons. A sophisticated electronic circuit is integrated below each sensor, which amplifies and processes the extremely weak signals of neurons.

The total area of Infineon's Neuro-Chip measures five millimeter by six millimeter, including the circuitry required to amplify and process the neuron signals and transmit the data off-chip. It is based on a standard Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology extended with additional process steps to realize the capacitive sensors array.

Further information is available at www.infineon.com.

Feb 1 2 - Mushkin's High-Performance PC3500 DDR Now Available. Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq:RMTR) subsidiary Mushkin Enhanced Memory Systems, Inc. announced today the availability of its high-speed PC3500 DDR SDRAM module geared to hardware enthusiasts who demand high-performance components for system overclocking. The PC3500 guarantees an overclocked DDR (Double Data Rate) DRAM frequency of 433MHz, which eliminates the memory as a potential system bottleneck.

Mushkin PC3500 DDR SDRAM modules are built with five-nanosecond DDR400 chips mounted on a six-layer glass epoxy substrate printed circuit board with optimized trace lengths. The module is then outfitted with a custom copper heat spreader to disperse localized hot spots that can originate during high loads under extreme operating conditions. Every Mushkin PC3500 DDR module is hand tested for overclocked reliability on a DDR 400 motherboard up to 433 MHz and comes with Mushkin's lifetime product warranty.

"Anyone looking to push their machine for the utmost in performance can benefit from using this module," said Lewis Keller, technical service manager at Mushkin Enhanced. "Our PC3500 is evidence of Mushkin's continued support and commitment to high-end overclockers. What also sets us apart is the Mushkin lifetime product guarantee and unsurpassed customer service."

Mushkin's high-performance memory module line also includes the 256MB PC3200 DDR, 512MB PC3200 DDR, 256MB PC2700 Level2 CAS2-2-2 DDR, and the 512MB PC2700 Level2 CAS2-2-2 DDR products. Mushkin high-performance modules are in stock now and can be purchased by visiting www.mushkin.com.

Feb 12 - Electronic Component Orders Remain Flat in January. Electronic component orders remained flat in January, offering little indication of what's in store for 2003, according to the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA).

The 12-month order average from ECA's monthly report continued the flat trend prevalent throughout 2002.

"Unit sales are up, price erosion continues, and revenues are flat," says Bob Willis, ECA president. "It's the same as it has been over the past quarter and nothing points to much change at this time."

Executives from leading electronic component manufacturers who met recently at ECA's state-of-the-industry meeting expect this year to look much like 2001 and 2002, with major improvements not expected until mid-2004. Common views held by the executives include the following:

-- Major adjustments in manufacturing infrastructures will
continue as companies double their operations in China,
Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

-- China and Southeast Asia will become the dominant producers of
commodity products; manufacturing in North America and Europe
will be limited to lower-volume, specialty products for which
intellectual property (IP) is important.

-- The supply chain continues to be reworked as suppliers, OEMs,
EMS and distributors struggle to define their roles and find
ways to collaborate.

-- Market growth continues to be strong in Asia, while being
generally flat in the U.S. and Europe.

-- There is a lack of consumer confidence due to layoffs and the
threat of war.

"The growth scenarios that have been on the horizon for the past six months remain," says Willis. "But, the overall pace of economic growth and the prospect of world turmoil keep moving the growth horizon out another six months."

For more information, visit www.ec-central.org.

Feb 11 - EchoStar, EarthLink Announce Bundled Packages. EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH) and EarthLink (Nasdaq:ELNK), the nation's third-largest Internet Service Provider (ISP), today announced an agreement that will bundle EchoStar's DISH Network digital satellite television with EarthLink's DSL to provide customers with a convenient and competitively priced satellite television/Internet access package.

Under the agreement, DISH Network will offer its customers bundled service packages through DISH Network directly and its nationwide network of retailers. DISH Network customers who take advantage of the bundled services will receive credits of up to $10 on monthly service charges when purchasing a combined package of EarthLink DSL Internet and DISH Network satellite television programming. DISH Network customers can save up to $120 a year when they subscribe to both DISH Network and EarthLink DSL. Early termination fees may apply.

In order for DISH Network customers to take advantage of this offer, they must be new EarthLink customers and they must subscribe to both services, with a minimum of DISH Network's America's Top 100 programming package. This new agreement addresses a consumer preference for bundled communications services.

"Our agreement with EarthLink provides our customers with an attractive entertainment and information package offering an alternative to digital cable packages," said Mark Jackson, senior vice president, EchoStar. "The availability of discounted bundled services makes it simple for our customers to take advantage of the best of high-speed Internet and digital television, and it provides our company and our retailers with a strong new offering to meet the needs of our all-digital demanding customers."

Consumers in areas not served by EarthLink DSL will have the opportunity to obtain a discount on DISH Network services bundled with EarthLink's dial-up Internet access.

"Providing Internet access through bundled service offerings like this one with DISH Network is another way EarthLink can provide customers with the products and service plans that best suit their needs," said Erika Jolly, vice president of marketing at EarthLink. "This is a good opportunity for consumers to get EarthLink High Speed Internet, an award-winning service which includes Pop-Up Blocker, spaminator and 20 hours of free dial access at a competitive price."

Visit EarthLink's Web site at www.earthlink.net. EchoStar Communications Corporation can be found online at www.echostar.com.

Feb 11 - Intel Solution Blueprints Net More Than $1 Billion for Server Industry. --In less than a year since announcing the program, Intel Corporation's Solution Blueprints program has led to more than 250 enterprise business server deployments worldwide at such companies as Metro AG, Diagnostic Products, Clalit HMO, Siemens, Mediaset, PEMCO Technology Services, and Jih Sun Bank.
The program has generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Intel as well as allied software, hardware, and system integration companies working together to deploy these tailored solutions.

In addition, Intel is expanding the program to focus on deployments that include Intel(R) processor-based mobile and desktop PC technologies in areas such as wireless and Web services to augment the existing Intel processor-based server back-end infrastructure area.

"The Solution Blueprints effort makes available proven solutions, uniting a 'who's who' of technology, integrators and consultants," said Dan Cook, founder and director of PEMCO Technology Services. "Solution Blueprints have provided PEMCO with easier deployment and peace of mind knowing that these are complete solutions, and that the business relationships among the different vendors are established and successful."

Intel's Solution Blueprints document proven combinations of enterprise technologies and software -- from processor and operating system to application and integration -- for a specific business need, such as a financial statement system for a bank or oil exploration via automated seismic searching and modeling. As part of this process, Intel brings the same companies that put the original solution together again to bring the benefits to other, similar customers. To date, more than 150 Solution Blueprints have been published, which have led to more than 250 deployments.

Intel Solution Blueprints are part of Intel's strategy to address the need for tailored computing solutions in industries such as retail, finance and government," said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president, Sales and Marketing Group, and director, Solutions Market Development Group. "In 2003, we plan on taking Solution Blueprints to a higher level, focusing on next-generation balanced compute solutions that deliver even more value to end users."

Solution Blueprints are based on the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) and Intel(R) Itanium(R) processor families for server needs, and will now expand to also incorporate the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor and Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Mobile Technology for corporate client balanced computing implementations.

Before a blueprint is crafted, it is tested and tuned at a solution provider's facilities, customer site or in one of dozens of worldwide Intel e-Business labs co-located at OEM and solution integrator facilities.

Intel Solution Blueprints can be found at www.intel.com/go/solutionblueprints.

Feb 11 - SnapGear Develops Free Linux-Based Toolchain for Intel XScale Processor. SnapGear Inc., a leading supplier of Internet security products and OEMable solutions, has announced a breakthrough in development support for the Intel XScale(TM) (IXP425) microprocessor.
The open source environment brings together an Intel supported port combined with SnapGear's Linux expertise and readily available open source tools to provide enormous cost savings to developers who presently must pay thousands of dollars for development tools.

Chief Software Wizard at SnapGear, Greg Ungerer, said: "The uClinux distribution and build system already supports a range of full MMU and MMU-less processors. But the addition of the Intel XScale IXP425 processor support is big. We're really knocked out by the XScale technology and excited by the sorts of devices we can now build with it for our customers."

Using the new uClinux distribution, a single click selection will configure the necessary Linux kernel, libraries and applications to build for the IXP425 processor board. Then a single invocation of the make utility will allow the developer to produce a binary image ready to load and run on the IXP425 board. Conventional Linux developers will be familiar with the build process as it is based on standard Linux kernel configuration mechanisms.

The Intel XScale (IXP425) processor is an ARM-based RISC core which clocks up to 533MHz with 64k of cache. It is important to embedded product developers because of the degree of component integration which includes an on-chip SDRAM controller, 2 high-speed serial ports, 2 10/100Mbit Ethernet ports, UTOPIA interface for ATM / xDSL, PCI bus, host USB, and even an encryption accelerator.

The new tools are incorporated in a forthcoming release of the uClinux distribution that will be available in February 2003. The distribution will also include support for iAPx86 and Hitachi SuperH(R) cores and will be based upon the Linux 2.4 kernel with glibc-2.2.5, uClibc and more than 150 application packages.

Peter Cronk, President of SnapGear Inc., said: "All of SnapGear's platforms and products embody Linux or uClinux build environments that we have optimized for each customer. Our combined technology, security, and manufacturing expertise enables us to rapidly build security-hardened, Internet-ready custom appliances."

"SnapGear believes it is essential that we invest in open source embedded Linux development as technology leaders. Our customers value that we enable them to develop Linux solutions freely, and they also appreciate how simple and risk-free we can make product development for them, as partners."

More Information

www.snapgear.com/uclinux.html -- an explanation of uClinux and how it relates to Linux

www.ucdot.org -- Embedded Linux Developer Forum

Feb 11 - Portable Technology Solutions Announces Plug-N-Scan Bar Coding Kit for Palm Handhelds. Portable Technology Solutions, LLC, a leading Palm OS(R) data collection solution provider, announced today, the release of their Plug-N-Scan(TM) Bar Coding Kit for Palm(TM) handhelds.

The Plug-N-Scan(TM) kit offers mobile workers and Palm enthusiasts a new way to manage and speed data collection on standard Palm(TM) handhelds utilizing the latest in bar coding technology.

"Palm(TM) handheld users are finally one step closer to the same capability that users of proprietary barcode scanners have enjoyed for years. This is a truly exciting step in the mobile data collection arena," commented Dan Peluso, PTS Vice President of Development.

Since Plug-N-Scan(TM) is a portable kit, there is a much lower upgrade cost when updating existing PDAs. Higher priced, specialized barcode scanners are device dependent and thereby have a much higher implementation cost than Plug-N-Scan(TM).

Key Product Features:

-- Compatible with Palm handhelds ranging from Palm IIIxe to Palm Tungsten.

-- Uses Tracer+(TM) technology for flexible, powerful form building. No programming experience required.

-- Enterprise class barcode technology limits the need of stylus.

The Plug-N-Scan(TM) Bar Code Kit for Palm(TM) handhelds couples Tracer+(TM) with the CS 1504 Key Chain Memory Scanner manufactured by Symbol Technologies. Tracer+(TM) is currently the leading barcode data collection application available for mobile units with thousands of active users.

Tracer+ EX(TM) features Plug-N-Scan(TM) technology that allows external devices, such as the CS 1504, to post data directly into Tracer+ data collection forms. The kit is compatible with most Palm OS(R) handhelds and is not device specific.

Pricing and Availability

The Plug-N-Scan(TM) kit is available at the PTS Store for an introductory price of $215.00. The Tracer+ EX(TM) software can be downloaded for free trial at www.ptshome.com or at the Palm Store, http://store.palm.com .

Feb 10 - AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 3000+. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today introduced the AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor 3000+ -- the world's highest performing desktop PC processor. Featuring increased cache memory for greater performance, the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ outperforms competing desktop PC processors by up to 17 percent on a variety of industry standard software benchmarks.

Systems based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ are immediately available from NEC-CI in Europe and soon from other computer manufacturers around the globe.

"AMD leads the desktop PC processor industry by delivering unsurpassed application performance for business and home consumers," said Rob Herb, AMD executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer. "We are absolutely committed to listening to our customers and responding with the best products to meet their computing performance needs."

The AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ features 640KB of total on-chip cache memory - an increase of nearly 70 percent over previous AMD Athlon XP processors and the highest amount of on-chip cache memory of any desktop PC processor. Increased cache memory allows more information to be stored closer to the processor, leading to greater performance on software applications such as digital content creation, 3-D gaming, media encoding and office productivity.

"Consumers should be aware that PC performance is more than just processor frequency alone," said Kevin Krewell, senior analyst of The Microprocessor Report. "Today's PC processors can deliver higher performance through architectural enhancements such as increased cache memory and faster bus speeds. The overall performance of a system is what's important, and that's what buyers should focus on when making a purchasing decision."


Systems based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ are immediately available from NEC-CI in Europe and soon from other computer manufacturers around the globe.

InfoHQ Comment: Let's hope AMD is prepared to manufacture this chip in volume, instead of announcing the new processor 2 months before production like it did with its Athlon 2800+.


The AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ is priced at $588 in 1,000-unit quantities. For additional information on pricing, please visit www.amd.com/pricing.

About the AMD Athlon(TM) XP Processor

The AMD Athlon XP processor features QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture and support for AMD's 3DNow!(TM) Professional instructions for enhanced multimedia capabilities. Depending on the core, AMD Athlon XP processors feature either 384KB or 640KB of on-chip, full-speed cache. The AMD Athlon XP processor is compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, and supports the advanced 266 or 333 front-side bus (FSB). AMD Athlon XP processors are manufactured using AMD's 0.13 micron copper process technology in Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany.

AMD performance benchmark information is available at www.amd.com/athlonxpbenchmarks.
Additional information on AMD is available at www.amd.com.

Feb 10 - VIA Launches True24™ Initiative to Drive Higher Audio Standards. VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the True24™ Initiative, a bold undertaking encapsulating three goals: to drive higher quality audio solutions onto the PC, to develop a clearer standard for these solutions, and to help educate consumers about hi-fi PC solutions.

Audio on the PC is currently undergoing a revolution, with the movement from 16-bit (CD quality) resolution to ultra-high quality 24-bit solutions for video and music content. The adoption of 24-bit audio standards for the PC enables solutions that can compete with the latest consumer devices to create a true hi-fi experience. VIA has been a pioneer in this field, delivering premium performance 24-bit Audio Controller solutions for over two years to leading soundcard vendors.

"The introduction of CDs delivered 2 channel 16-bit, 44 kHz digital audio into the home as well as the PC," commented Dr. Jon Peddie, the president of Jon Peddie Research, a leading market research firm in multimedia and graphics. "Now with new standards like DVD-Audio, and the WMA Professional codec, we are starting to see demand for 24/96 support in six channels with analog outputs, which necessitates the use of a compatible controller as well as digital/analog (D/A) converters that can input and output this hi-res data."

"With audio becoming an increasingly important element of the PC, the True24 Initiative is an excellent way to forward our goal of the PC taking on a central role as the home entertainment center," commented Richard Brown, Director of Marketing at VIA Technologies, Inc. "The True24 Initiative will also be an effective way for VIA to take a leadership role in educating consumers about audio performance, and to deliver our latest audio ideas and solutions."

Along with VIA's drive for higher standards, the True24 Initiative also aims to set out a clear standard for 24-bit performance, to help reduce current consumer confusion about what constitutes a true 24-bit solution.

For more information on the True24 Initiative please go to:

Feb 10 - ATI Announces Settlement of Shareholder Class Action Litigation. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY) today announced that it has reached an agreement for the full and complete settlement of all remaining claims alleged in the shareholder class action lawsuits filed in May 2001 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

This litigation relates to alleged misrepresentations and omissions made by the company and certain directors and officers during a period preceding its May 2000 earnings warning. In July 2002, the Court dismissed all claims in the litigation except as to the alleged misrepresentations and omissions concerning: (a) ATI's RAGE 4 1/4RAGE 128 and RAGE 5 1/4RAGE 128 PRO products; and (b) inventory. A Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement has been executed and filed with the court.

"ATI has settled this matter to avoid further protracted litigation, expense and distraction. We are pleased to have settled this matter quickly and favorably," said Terry Nickerson, Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. "We remain focused on executing our strategy of technology leadership and product innovation to build shareholder value."

The terms of the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement, which are subject to final court approval and notice to class members, include no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company or other defendants. The Court will hold a fairness hearing on April 25, 2003 to consider objections, if any, and to determine whether it will approve the settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants have agreed to pay $8 million (U.S.) to resolve all claims. A portion of this amount is expected to be paid by ATI's insurer. ATI will take a special charge for the net amount in its second quarter.

ATI can be found online at www.ati.com.

Feb 10 - Northgate Innovations and 7-Eleven Inc. Announce News Release Clarification. Northgate Innovations Inc. (OTC BB:NGTE) and 7-Eleven Inc. wish to clarify earlier news releases regarding an agreement between Northgate Innovations and 7-Eleven for the sale of Northgate computers.

What the releases should have made clear is that there is a current test in place with three of 7-Eleven's area licensees mentioned in the initial release, and that although the sale of Northgate computers over the Internet is not currently being promoted in 7-Eleven corporate-owned stores, there is an agreement between Northgate and 7-Eleven to test market the Northgate computer program at certain 7-Eleven designated corporate-owned stores in the near future.

About Northgate Innovations Inc.

Northgate is a leading manufacturer of PCs, Laptops, workstations and servers. The company is well recognized by consumers and business users as a result of its extended TV exposure over the last 13 years, and the substantial installed base of customers accumulated over this period.

Northgate offers its products to a number of high profile TV channels resellers, value added resellers, and has recently established a comprehensive program to authorize 1,000 resellers in the United States, in addition to expanding its international distribution network.

Northgate products are recognized for BTO (Build to order) models, as users can custom configure their systems based per their requirements and application needs. Northgate is capable of shipping thousands of orders each day; delivering up to 30,000 PCs a month throughout its distribution channels and direct Educational and Government contracts.

For more information about Northgate visit www.northgate.com.

Feb 09 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. There was not much change from last week's prices.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy has 24 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages. In addition they are giving mail-in rebates of $100 on all desktop packages and laptops.
Circuit City is offering $100 gift cards with all desktop package and Intel processor laptop purchases. They also have 12 months no-interest financing on all desktop packages, and on all Intel processor laptops.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA has an Unadvertised Specials ad that you need to print and bring to your local store to receive the savings.
Staples has no store -wide sales this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals.

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.0 GHz complete system
Circuit City
2. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.2 GHz complete system
Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.0 GHz complete system with DVD-RW
Circuit City
2. Best Low-cost Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.0 GHz complete system with DVD-RW and Sony 15" flat-panel monitor
Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP Media Center 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD-RW and 15" flat-panel monitor
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 2200+ complete system
Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2400+ complete system
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP 2.0 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.0 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
3. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
PNY GeForce 4 Ti 4600 128 MB
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
KDS 17" Xtreme flat monitor
(after rebates
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Norton Antivirus 2003/Norton Utilities 2002 Bundle
(after upgrade and other rebates with ad)
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
(after rebates
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Mitsubishi 18.1" flat-panel
(after rebates
Best Buy


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


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

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

Feb 07 - Apple Unveils Faster and More Affordable Power Macs. Apple® today announced the fastest and most affordable Power Mac® G4 line ever featuring a choice of a single 1 GHz, dual 1.25 GHz or dual 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors with prices ranging from $1,499 (US) to $2,699 (US).
The new line also features FireWire® 800 and has internal support for 54Mbps AirPort® Extreme and Bluetooth wireless networking.

Apple also unveiled its stunning new 20-inch Cinema Display®, priced at just $1,299 (US), and announced significant price reductions to its entire flat-panel display line.

“With dual 1.25 GHz performance priced at only $1,999 plus our new 20-inch Cinema Display priced at just $1,299, Apple is delivering unprecedented value to our professional customers,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “With Firewire 800 and support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, the new Power Macs are the ultimate systems for the digital professional.”

Based on Apple’s advanced Xserve™ architecture, including up to 2MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) Level 3 cache and 333 MHz DDR memory, the new Power Mac G4 line harnesses the power of Apple’s UNIX-based Mac OS® X “Jaguar” with symmetric multiprocessing capabilities to deliver an incredible 21 gigaflops (21 billion floating point operations per second) of performance.

The Power Mac G4 provides incredible expansion capabilities with five slots, including four open high-performance 64 bit 33 MHz PCI slots and two external drive bays for optical drives. Apple’s SuperDrive™ (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive for burning and playing DVDs and CDs, standard on the top configuration, now lets customers record DVDs, CD-R and CD-RW discs up to twice as fast as with previous models.

The new faster Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive for watching DVDs and burning CDs enables customers to record CD-R discs twice as fast as previous models as well. Offering four 3.5-inch hard disk drive expansion bays with either a 60GB, 80GB or 120GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm, the Power Mac G4 now has a 180GB drive option.

The new Power Mac G4 also adds a new high-speed FireWire 800 port, the next generation high-speed serial interface, in addition to two FireWire 400 ports and four USB 1.1 ports.
With a dedicated 4x AGP slot for graphics, the line offers the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro or NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, both with 64MB DDR SDRAM graphics memory and dual display support; optional graphics cards include the NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium and the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, both with 128MB of DDR SDRAM. With the industry’s first eight pixel pipelines, the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro is the world’s leading graphics card.

The new Power Mac G4 line also offers the latest in communications with support for high-speed 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking, offering speeds up to five times faster than previous wireless technologies, and optional built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs.
Apple’s new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones. The line also offers 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet built-in for the ultimate in Ethernet performance.

Every Power Mac G4 includes Apple’s iLife™ applications, an integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs (SuperDrive models only).

Pricing & Availability

The single 1 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), and dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), are available now. The dual 1.42 GHz Power Mac G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,699 (US) will be available starting next month. All Power Mac G4 systems are available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple Retail Stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers.

Feb 07 - Apple Unveils Spring iMacs. CUPERTINO, California—February 4, 2003—Apple® today announced its Spring line of iMac® computers, featuring two new models.

The new 17-inch widescreen model features a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and 133 MHz system bus; 256MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory; a faster 4x SuperDrive™ for playing and burning CDs and DVDs; and internal support for AirPort® Extreme and Bluetooth, for just $1,799 (US). The new 15-inch flat panel model features an 800 MHz G4 processor and is now priced at just $1,299 (US)—$200 less than its predecessor. Apple also announced lower pricing on its line of eMac™ consumer and education computers.

“The 17-inch widescreen iMac is Apple’s top selling consumer desktop, and we’ve just made it faster and more affordable,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “Apple’s new iLife applications are bundled with the new iMacs, making them perfect for digital photography, music, moviemaking and DVD creation.”

Designed around an ultra-compact base, the iMac’s flat panel display appears to float in mid-air, allowing users to effortlessly adjust its height or angle with just a touch. The 17-inch widescreen and 15-inch flat panel iMacs also offer two FireWire® 400 and five USB ports for fast, simple, plug-and-play connections to digital devices such as digital cameras, DV camcorders and iPods.

The 17-inch widescreen iMac offers the latest in communications with internal support for optional high-speed 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking, offering speeds up to five times faster than previous wireless technologies, and optional internal Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs. Apple’s new iSync software is included, so customers can automatically synchronize address books and calendars between Macs and Bluetooth capable cell phones.

Created for education and consumers, the eMac features a 17-inch flat CRT in a remarkably compact design. Starting at just $999 (US), the eMac is Apple’s most affordable PowerPC G4 system, and the $1,299 (US) model is Apple’s most affordable SuperDrive-equipped computer.

Both flat panel iMac models include Mac OS X “Jaguar,” Apple’s next-generation operating system and Apple’s iLife™ applications, an integrated suite offering iTunes™ 3 for managing digital music, iPhoto™ 2 for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ 3 for digital movie-making, and iDVD™ 3 for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs (SuperDrive models only). Also included is a collection of productivity and entertainment titles such as Quicken 2003 Deluxe, Microsoft Office v.X Test Drive and World Book 2003 Edition.

Pricing & Availability
iMac and eMac desktops are available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Feb 07 - Broadband Could Cost AOL Billions, Says Strategy Analytics. A new report, from technology research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, says that an exodus of top executives, crushing debt, and the biggest annual loss in U.S. business history are only the beginning of the problems facing America Online.

The report, titled, "Can AOL Bridge Its Broadband Gap?" predicts that the world's leading Internet service provider faces potentially huge revenue losses in the next few years as broadband becomes the predominant form of Internet access in the U.S.

"Broadband subscribers account for only about a quarter of the U.S. online audience today," notes James Penhune, a director of the Strategy Analytics Global Broadband Practice. "But by 2005, we expect that half of all online homes will be using broadband connections, most of them provided by cable and telephone companies. AOL may be able to maintain a commanding share of the dial-up audience, but the overall size of this market will have declined significantly."

Competition from broadband service providers isn't the only problem for AOL. Even if it succeeds in upgrading its current customers to broadband, the result will be hundreds of millions in lost subscription revenue.
The company's new "Bring Your Own Access" plan lets consumers who get broadband access from cable or telephone companies add a high-speed version of AOL for an additional $14.95 a month. But since AOL's standard fee for dial-up service is $23.90 a month, each time a customer trades up to broadband it could cost the company nearly $9.00 in monthly revenue. The report speculates that the combination of a shrinking dial-up market and the diminished margins produced by broadband subscriptions revenue could cost the company nearly a billion dollars by 2005.

AOL hopes to create new revenue by selling new premium services to its dial-up and high-speed subscribers. But so far few specifics have been revealed, despite the company's access to print, music and video content owned by the AOL-Time Warner media empire.

"Broadband may be the future, AOL first needs to fix its core dial-up business," Penhune suggests. "Management should make the most of the service's huge base of subscribers by rebuilding ad revenues and establishing more premium services. They may also experiment with prices by adding less expensive options for new customers while boosting rates for the flagship service."

For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com.

Feb 07 - Security Biometrics, Inc. Provides Heightened Security for Microsoft Windows Users. Security Biometrics, Inc. (OTCBB:SBTI), a technology and acquisition company focused on the rapidly developing field of biometrics, today announced the launch of BIOSign(TM), a biometric signature authentication solution developed to replace text-based password and PIN logon systems in Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP Platforms.
Powered by Security Biometrics' PenFlow(TM) technology, BIOSign(TM) is easily administered and provides greater security than password and PIN-protected systems.

BIOSign(TM) is a highly accurate and secure personal authentication solution. Only the user's unique biometric signature will allow logon access. In addition to increasing security and reducing fraud, BIOSign(TM) maximizes efficiency since users are not required to remember a password or re-key incorrectly typed characters. It is also less invasive than fingerprint identification and not vulnerable to the theft or fraud activity experienced with digital signature identity solutions, PINS, and passwords.

"IT managers have been asking for a product that is specifically designed to offer a biometric signature authentication security solution for Windows Active Directory," according to Robert Solomon, Chief Technology Officer of Security Biometrics. "Additionally, companies continue to focus efforts on preventing unauthorized access to networks and files. BIOSign(TM) is the solution that directly meets all of these needs."

Solomon added, "Organizations are discovering that traditional password-based systems are frustrating for users and are costly to administer. BIOSign(TM) provides a complete and scalable password replacement solution that fully integrates with Active Directory."

Security Biometrics' - PenFlow(TM) technology can almost instantaneously validate an individual's identity to near absolute certainty via biometric signature analysis. Instead of visually examining the written signature itself, PenFlow(TM) analyzes the way in which it is signed.
Pen forces, speeds, and directional vectors are compared against profile data to validate a signature. PenFlow(TM) provides highly accurate identity verification that is critical at airports and border crossings; in financial transactions, such as credit card, ATM and e-commerce purchases; and, as part of the BIOSign(TM) solution, in protected computer access.

About Security Biometrics

Security Biometrics Inc. (OTC-BB:SBTI) www.sigbio.com develops, markets and distributes biometric signature authentication solutions powered by PenFlow(TM), a system based on proprietary patents in which signatures are validated in a quick, non-invasive accurate manner.


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