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Daily Computer News and Rumors

January 02-08 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
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jan 08 Panasonic Debuts Rugged 2.4Lb Ultra-Portable Notebook PC
Jan 08 EZQuest Intros 200GB High-Performance FireWire Hard Drive
Jan 08 HP Announces Broadband Selection Tool
Jan 08 Belkin Intoduces Bluetooth Network Access Point
Jan 08 Brother Launches New Line of Personal 17ppm Laser Printers
Jan 07 Hitachi Unveils Its First Microsoft Pocket PC Phone
Jan 07 Maxtor Corporation Awarded the First FireWire Compliance Logo
Jan 07 Dolby Demos New Headphone Technology
Jan 07 Maverick Power Systems Announces Powerline Home Network
Jan 07 IOGEAR ships combined USB 2.0 and FireWire MiniHub
Jan 06 World's Smallest Hard Drive Now Bigger
Jan 06 ATI Ships Radeon 9000 PRO Mac Edition
Jan 06 Adobe Extends Photoshop Product Line with New Photoshop Album Software
Jan 06 M-Audio Launches Sonica Theater USB 7.1 Surround Sound Card
Jan 06 MSN is Market Share Leader among DSL Providers
Jan 05 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jan 03 Philips Rings in 2003 with Nineteen CES Innovation Awards
Jan 03 DNA Sequence and Analysis of Human Chromosome 14 Completed
Jan 03 Online Shopping Beats Forecast
Jan 03 The Sims Online Was The Hottest Place to Be New Year's Eve
Jan 02 Online Holiday Sales Up 23%
Jan 02 Macworld Shepherds in the New Year with Product Announcements
Jan 02 Archos Announces External DVD Writer
Jan 02 Global Chip Sales Up 1.3% in November
Jan 02 TigerDirect Sues WhenU.com For Deceptive Advertising Tactics

 

 

Jan 08 - Panasonic Debuts Rugged 2.4Lb Ultra-Portable Notebook PC. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, the leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, today announced the introduction of the 2.4 lb. Toughbook T1, an ultra-portable slim-line computer featuring performance and connectivity previously unheard of in a bantamweight, small-footprint, industrial-grade notebook.

Powered by an Intel(R) 866MHz ultra-low-voltage Mobile Pentium(R) III CPU with enhanced SpeedStep(TM) technology, the CF-T1 features 256MB of 133MHz SDRAM (expandable to 512MB), 512K on-die L2 cache, a 133MHz system bus, and Data Prefetch Logic for faster data response time.

"The introduction of the T-1 ultra-portable reflects our determination to provide our corporate and public sector customers a durable, high-performance notebook suitable for every traveler in their organization--whether he or she happens to be the CEO or a mining engineer," said Panasonic Computer Solutions Company president, Rance Poehler.

"For some time many of our volume buyers have been asking us for executive and white-collar field force models offering Toughbook dependability and performance and Panasonic service and support in a reduced form factor case.

"With the T1 we bring to the tray and conference table a small, lightweight notebook with full-sized performance, a big screen, high-capacity hard drive, and heavy-duty communications capability.

"We also bring to the ultra-portable table our expertise at--and rigorous commitment to--engineering a full-range of portable-computing solutions for professional users performing mission-critical tasks. There are a lot of sub-notebook computers on the market, the Panasonic T1 is the only ultra-portable offered by a company whose tech-support initiatives aren't geared to telling end users why they have to charge the battery before use."

Big-Performance In A Small Package

Featuring a high-capacity, high-speed UDMA 40GB hard drive--the same size as that found in many full-size ruggedized notebooks--the CF-T1 is powered by Intel's latest ultra-low-voltage mobile Pentium III 866MHz (400MHz in battery-conservation mode) CPU. Features include a 133MHz front-side bus, enhanced SpeedStep technology, 0.13 micron process construction, 512K full-speed L2 cache, Data Prefetch Logic to anticipate and pre-load data for faster response time, and Deeper Sleep Alert State for extended battery life. 256MB of 133MHz SDRAM (expandable to 512MB) minimizes the need for hard drive data swaps for faster performance with reduced power consumption.

Shock-Mounted Thin-Screen LCD Saves Weight & Batteries

The T1's anti-reflective 12.1-inch XGA TFT active-matrix LCD Thin-Screen (0.4mm glass) display panel is over 20 percent lighter than conventional 12.1-inch LCD panels. A low-power, high-output backlight and the reduced light-travel distance inherent in the thin-screen design combine for a best-in-class brightness/power consumption ratio. With 48MB VRAM (shared), maximum resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels at 16M colors on the internal LCD and 1280 x 1024 pixels at 16M colors on an external monitor. The LCD panel is protected from impact by a floating mounting system and shock damper.

At Panasonic The Word Tough Is More Than An Adjective

This PC proves that small computers can come in solid packages. In addition to its shock-dampened hard drive and display panel, the CF-T1 features a dimpled-magnesium alloy case with reinforced metal screen-case edges, a convex rear-upper case for increased display-mount rigidity, stainless steel hinges and a bonded scuff-and-scratch-resistant outer coating.

Integrated Wired And Wireless Communications Capability

The CF-T1 features a dedicated mini-PCI slot fully compatible with most popular wireless LAN protocols. Other standard connectivity features include an integrated 100BASE-TX/10 BASE-T Ethernet port and a 56K analog modem. Other ports include an SD slot for removable memory cards, two USB 2.0 connectors (one on each side of the case), a Type II PC Card slot, and external monitor and audio I/Os.

Pricing and Configuration

CF-T1R64ZZKM - Intel(R)Speedstep(TM)866MHz ultra-low Mobile Pentium(R)III, 2.1" XGA TFT Active-Matrix Display, 40GB HDD, 256MB RAM, 56K Internal 56K-100BASE-TX/10 BASE-T combo modem. Suggested Retail Price: $ 2,355

Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be obtained at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

Jan 08 - EZQuest Intros 200GB High-Performance FireWire Hard Drive. EZQuest introduced its new Cobra+ 200GB, 7200 RPM FireWire hard drive at MacWorld Expo today.

The huge-capacity, high-performance external drive allows fast, easy transfer and storage of large video, audio and data files. The new drive is ideal for the professional music, broadcast, multimedia and film industries. It is particularly valuable for recording and mastering studios -- it is compatible with Digidesign "Pro Tools" software, and it eliminates the need to record to tape. In addition to saving time and money, this allows projects to be recorded at higher sample rates and drastically reduces studio storage-space requirements.

The Cobra+ 200GB drive is stackable and ships with Intech Hard Disk Speed Tools RAID level-0 striping software for Macs. It is also compatible with the striping software that comes with Windows 2000 and XP.

The drive is housed in a light-gray, streamlined case that is fully shielded with 0.6 metal. In addition to its rotational speed of 7200 RPM, Cobra+ features an average seek time of 8.9ms and a burst transfer rate of 35MB/s. It comes ready to use, and includes a built-in universal auto-switching power supply, a cable and software.

Cobra+ is compatible with both Mac OS 8.6 and WIN 98SE, as well as later Mac and WIN versions. It comes with a two-year warranty and is competitively priced at $439 MSRP. Cobra+ FireWire hard drives are also available in 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 100GB and 120GB sizes. A downloadable Cobra+ spec sheet and a list of dealers are available at www.ezq.com.

Jan 08 - HP Announces Broadband Selection Tool. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced the completion of its national broadband service rollout. The service, initially begun in 2002, equips HP consumer desktop and notebook PCs with an easy-to-use tool for selecting high-speed cable, DSL and satellite service. HP was the first PC manufacturer to deliver this type of Web-based, high-speed broadband qualification tool on desktop PCs.

By using HP's existing Easy Internet Sign-up tool or through HP's new high-speed icon on the desktop, HP PC users can quickly and efficiently check if their phone line qualifies for broadband. Upon qualification, users can order a high-speed broadband connection, which is up to 50 times faster than a dial-up modem and enables consumers to get more from their PCs and the Internet -- including streaming music and videos, transferring large files and enjoying video conferencing and online gaming.

Both tools are available on the HP Pavilion product line as of December 2002 and are expected to be added to the Compaq Presario desktop and notebook lines later this year.

"HP is committed to making our consumers' lives easier by providing the solutions and features they need to get the most out of their PCs," said John Romano, senior vice president, HP Consumer PC Organization. "By partnering with leading broadband and service providers to offer our customers a faster and more convenient way to obtain a high-speed broadband connection, we are saving them valuable time and money and enabling them to fully leverage the power of our PCs."

The Broadband Compass can be found at www.hp.com/go/highspeed and offers a wide range of cable, DSL and satellite providers, including Cox Communications, EarthLink and numerous others. Other leading providers planned to be offered in early 2003 include AOL, Charter and SBC Internet Services.

[Editor's note: Apparently anyone can use the tool, I'm not sure if you get the price it quotes if you don't have a HP PC.]

Jan 08 - Belkin Intoduces Bluetooth Network Access Point. Belkin Corporation, the leading manufacturer of connectivity solutions, today introduced its Bluetooth Access Point with USB Print Server (F8T030 - ESP $149.99).

A winner of the "Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Award", the Bluetooth Access Point with USB Print Server from Belkin is an ideal solution for Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and mobile road warriors with devices enabled with Bluetooth technology needing to connect to networks as well as printers. The Bluetooth Access Point with USB Print Server from Belkin is set to start shipping in North America on February 1, 2003.

Offering access to local area networks (LANs) with devices enabled with Bluetooth technology such as Pocket PC PDAs, Palm™ PDAs, notebooks, desktop PCs, and mobile phones, the Bluetooth Access Point with USB Print Server offers connectivity to the Internet, corporate LAN, and home networks.

It also enables any USB printer to be accessed via a Bluetooth connection when connected through the Access Point's USB print server ports. At the same time, the product functions as a USB print server where the printer can be visible to the entire wired LAN, which allows the connected USB printer to be accessed by any client on the wired LAN.
Up to seven users can simultaneously share the Internet, the LAN, or print to a USB printer via a Bluetooth connection. It features two USB type A connectors, an RJ45 Ethernet port, and the front has seven multicolored LEDs that depict connection activity quickly and easily.

The Access Point requires no manual configuration. It can be installed and start running in under two minutes, needing only a power source and an Ethernet connection. The IP is obtained automatically via DHCP upon power-up or can be set by any Bluetooth client.

For more information, visit the company's website at www.belkin.com.

Jan 08 - Brother Launches New Line of Personal 17ppm Laser Printers. When it comes to personal laser printers, Brother International Corporation has a reputation for delivering one of the strongest "full-feature, value-added" product lines in the business.

Today's introduction of their new HL-5000 Series (HL-5040, HL-5050 and HL-5070N) continues this tradition. The new line replaces the existing HL-1400 Series printers.

Once again the newest generation comes through with improved performance and features that include faster print speeds, higher print resolution, improved paper handling, enhanced and expandable memory, interactive help and online user support. The HL-5040, HL-5050 and HL-5070N will have estimated street prices of $299, $349 and $499, respectively. First customer shipments are slated for late February 2003.

"Our primary motivation for increasing the level of features and performance in our products is about much more than a competition of speeds and feeds; it's about keeping pace with the workflow demands of our customers," says Don Cummins, Vice President of Marketing at Brother. "The HL-5000 series takes this one step further by anticipating and accommodating today's user needs with productivity enhancing features that will serve the customer for many years to come."

FASTER, HIGHER PERFORMANCE AND IMPROVED PAPER HANDLING

Each of the new units offer a print speed of up to 17 pages per minute - 2 pages per minute faster than the models they replace and among the fastest print speeds in their class. In addition, the units boast a first-page out speed of less than 12 seconds. Along with the faster print speeds, all three printers now offer up to 2400x600dpi print quality for crisp and clear printing of both text and graphics and feature an easy to use control panel with convenient job cancel button.

Beyond the improvements on print speeds and output resolution, the new series also offers improved paper handling. In particular, the HL-5040 now includes a single-sheet manual by-pass tray for handling card stock, letterhead and envelopes. Another improvement includes the option to add a second 250-sheet lower paper tray to expand the paper input capacity to a total of 500 sheets.

Like the interactive assistance that is available at the desktop, users can also find help online with the Brother Solutions Center (http://solutions.brother.com). This web-based resource is particularly helpful in assisting users with obtaining the most up-to-date drivers, support materials and information to help them get the most out of their Brother printer.

Visit Brother's web site at www.brother.com.

Jan 07 - Hitachi Unveils Its First Microsoft Pocket PC Phone. Microsoft Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., a leading global electronics company, today unveiled the Hitachi Multimedia Communicator Pocket PC, Hitachi's first Windows(R) Powered device and the first Pocket PC to feature an integrated camera, keyboard and phone feature all in one mobile device.

The Multimedia Communicator combines the comprehensive functionalities of a Pocket PC, with the high-speed enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network to deliver the ability to take pictures, provide comfortable text input for e-mails with a built-in keyboard, place and receive phone calls, and browse the Web. Based on the new Microsoft(R) Windows Powered Pocket PC Phone Edition software for CDMA networks, the Multimedia Communicator is expected to be available in the first half of 2003 only from Sprint.

"The unique combination of consumer capabilities in the Multimedia Communicator Pocket PC represents the culmination of Hitachi's advanced research and development efforts and Microsoft's powerful Pocket PC software," Shigeru Matsuoka, general manager of the Mobile Information and Communication Appliance Division in the Ubiquitous Platforms Systems Group at Hitachi Ltd.

"We're thrilled to be working with Microsoft and Sprint in this space and think customers will love this product. The introduction of Hitachi's first Pocket PC complements our global focus on providing our customers with innovative products for which Hitachi is known."

Hitachi is working closely with mobile operators toward not only retail availability but also enterprise availability of the Hitachi Multimedia Communicator in the United States.
The Multimedia Communicator is planned to offer Microsoft Pocket PC Phone Edition software that includes Pocket Outlook(R) (contacts, calendar, inbox), pocket versions of Microsoft Word and Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer browser software, Windows Media(TM) Player, phone dialer and more such as an XScale 400MHz processor, full-color TFT screen, camera, QWERTY keyboard and a replaceable battery.

More information on Hitachi can be found at the company's Web site at www.hitachi.com.

Jan 07 - Maxtor Corporation Awarded the First FireWire Compliance Logo. The 1394 Trade Association, the worldwide industry organization that develops the IEEE 1394 multimedia standard, today announced that Maxtor Corporation (www.maxtor.com) is the first company to complete and pass the association's compliance testing program. The association awarded Maxtor the first official Compliance Logo for meeting all the program's requirements.

Maxtor won the distinction as the first developer of FireWire-equipped products to achieve the logo by passing the testing suite for three external hard drives: the Maxtor Personal Storage(TM) 5000DV and 5000XT, which feature the Maxtor OneTouch(TM) button for backup copying, as well as the Maxtor Personal Storage 3000DV. The logo signifies that a specific product has passed the most comprehensive 1394 testing available on the market today.

"Maxtor Corporation has emerged as world leader in FireWire-enabled product development with their new OneTouch products," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "We are pleased to issue this first Compliance Logo to them for completing the rigorous testing program. We anticipate a significant number of leading companies like Maxtor to satisfy the requirements and earn the logo in 2003."

The Trade Association's compliance and interoperability testing program is designed to ensure that new 1394-enabled televisions, cameras, computers, computer peripherals, D-VHS systems, electronic games and other products work together. The 1394 TA provides this service at workshops that deliver the technical feedback required to ensure excellent user experiences with 1394-equipped consumer and computer equipment.

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement of the IEEE 1394 standard. Products equipped with 1394 are marketed under the FireWire(TM) and i.LINK(TM) brands. For more information, visit www.1394ta.org.

Jan 07 - Dolby Demos New Headphone Technology. Visitors to the Dolby Laboratories 2003 International CES trade show exhibit (Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Lower Level, Booth 22022) will be able to enjoy dramatic personal surround-sound experiences while listening to music, viewing clips of some of the hottest recent movies, or playing popular video games.

The key to unlocking the multichannel audio tracks encoded in today's most popular media content is Dolby(R) Headphone technology, which lets consumers enjoy the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack through any ordinary set of headphones. Best of all, "listener fatigue"--a phenomenon commonly associated with headphone playback--is virtually eliminated.

At CES, Dolby showcases seven Dolby Headphone technology demonstrations, including devices such as the Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and technologies including DVD-Video with Dolby Digital, AAC, CD audio played through Pro Logic(R) II decoders, and DVD-Audio. Various products that incorporate Dolby Headphone technology will be shown, including audio receivers from Denon and Onkyo, the Pioneer SE-DIR1000C cordless headphone system (currently available in Japan), and the InterVideo WinDVD player.

"As entertainment becomes increasingly mobile and personal, the choice of headphone technology becomes more important," said Craig Eggers, director of consumer channel marketing, Dolby Laboratories. "Dolby Headphone technology delivers a high-quality surround-sound experience, minus the 'listener fatigue' or 'in your head' effects associated with other headphone applications. Movies, music, games, and other personal entertainment applications come alive in ways never previously imagined.

"For example, Dolby Headphone technology is the perfect solution for portable DVD players, where consumers can revel in a highly involving surround-sound experience from a conventional set of headphones. It is ideally suited for rear-seat entertainment applications in a car, keeping children and other passengers occupied. It's also great for videogame buffs, who can now enjoy even more compelling and engaging action in full surround sound without disturbing others."

Dolby Headphone technology is currently available in Japan, Europe, and North America, in a number of laptop computers, PC-based software DVD player applications, home audio/visual components, and wireless headphone products. Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines also feature Dolby Headphone technology as part of their value-added in-flight entertainment offerings.

For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, visit www.dolby.com.

Jan 07 - Maverick Power Systems Announces Powerline Home Network. Maverick Power Systems, a developer of innovative power supply and networking solutions for residential and small office/home office (SOHO) users and OEM manufacturers, today announced the introduction of the Maverick Powerline Network(TM), which enables users to create a high-speed Local Area Network (LAN) using existing AC power wiring.
Maverick Power will be demonstrating the Maverick Powerline Network at International CES 2003 on January 9 through 12 in booth #34237 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall.

A cost-effective and reliable alternative to wireless networks, the Maverick Powerline Network makes networking PCs and other devices as simple as finding and plugging into the nearest power outlet -eliminating the need for new wiring. The product combines an Ethernet-to-powerline bridge with a 4-port Ethernet switch, and interoperates with products that are HomePlug 1.0 compliant.

"The 4-port Ethernet switch has become very common in the home," said Paul Chazen, vice president of sales for Maverick Power Systems. "We have extended the reach of the switch beyond one room by adding the powerline network interface. We are committed to the future of the connected home, and believe the Maverick Powerline Network offers consumers a fast and easy-to-use networking platform."

The Maverick Powerline Network will be available in sample quantities to distributors and retailers in March 2003. The manufacturers suggested retail price will be $99.
To learn more about the company and its products, you can visit www.maverickpower.com.

Jan 07 - IOGEAR ships combined USB 2.0 and FireWire MiniHub. IOGEAR has launched a MiniHub that combines the two highest speed standards enabling consumers to quickly download, transfer and share files.

The MiniHub includes two FireWire ports and four Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connections.
The portable device is easy to install, and it provides a data transfer rate of up to
480 Mbps for USB 2.0 and up to 400 Mbps for FireWire. Priced at $89.95 (MSRP),
the hub is now available from all major catalog resellers, online resellers and
selected retail outlets.

“With so many new technologies, consumers need a simple solution that combines
various formats while eliminating clutter and maximizing portability,” said
Miranda Su, vice president of sales and marketing at IOGEAR, Inc. “Combining
both FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity speeds, IOGEAR’s single hub does the job
of two. Small businesses and home offices can cut down on costs and space by
investing in this all-in-one portable solution.”

The MiniHub is fully compliant with USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394a specifications and supports Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS 8.6 to 9.2 (USB 1.1 support only) and OS X 0.3 or greater (USB 2.0 support). A 6V power supply, and USB 2.0 and
FireWire cables are included in the complete kit. The device is also backward
compatible with USB 1.1 specifications and comes equipped with IOGEAR’s
three-year limited warranty.

For further information on IOGEAR products, visit www.iogear.com.

Jan 06 - World's Smallest Hard Drive Now Bigger. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced plans to squeeze four gigabytes of data onto the 1-inch Microdrive, the world's smallest hard disk drive. With considerable advances in miniaturization technology, Hitachi engineers have overcome numerous magnetic recording challenges associated with developing hard disk drives of this size. The 4GB Microdrive is expected to be available in the Fall of 2003.

The new drive will use ultra-miniaturized components, including a new read-write head that is half the size of its predecessor and results in a 40-percent decrease in the height at which the head travels above the disk platter. This feature is analogous to a Boeing 747 airplane flying one millimeter above the surface of the earth. The Microdrive's new head technology, called the femto slider head, opens up a next generation of head slider technology. The new technology is so small that it is equivalent in size to a grain of table salt.

Hitachi engineers have also drastically increased the tracks per inch to accommodate the Microdrive's areal density of more than 60 billion bits of data per square inch. This areal density required mechanical tolerances and accuracies to be significantly tighter in order to maintain the Microdrive's superior data integrity and reliability.

Pixie Dust Media Technology

The areal density of the 4GB Microdrive is made possible by using a new five-layer version of Hitachi's patented "Pixie Dust" media technology. This data storage breakthrough is achieved by taking a three-atom-thick layer of the element ruthenium, a precious metal similar to platinum, and sandwiching it between three magnetic layers. Technically referred to as antiferromagnetically coupled media, the ruthenium/magnetic layers enable data recording at ultra-high densities while maintaining data integrity.

Other significant technical achievements include a data transfer rate increase that represents a 50 percent improvement from the previous-generation Microdrive. Hitachi engineers estimate that the new data transfer rates are faster than all competitive solid-state data storage products available today.

"The Microdrive's capacity is ideally suited for multimedia or other data-intensive applications that need to be accessed via a handheld device," said Bill Healy, general manager, Mobile HDD Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Whether users are listening to music, watching movies on their PDA or shooting high-resolution photography, the Microdrive enables users to focus on the task at hand -- not on the amount of memory available in their device."

The 4GB Microdrive is designed to the CompactFlash Type II industry standard. HP and Eastman-Kodak are among the industry-leading companies that are evaluating the 4GB Microdrive. The new Microdrive is expected to broaden the variety and complexity of applications that can be run on handheld appliances and other consumer electronic devices.

For more information on Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, visit the company's Web site at www.hgst.com.

Jan 06 - ATI Ships Radeon 9000 PRO Mac Edition. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY) (NASDAQ:ATYT), today announced that the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION is now available at leading retailers worldwide. Based on the award-winning RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO visual processor, the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION delivers high-performance and numerous cutting-edge features at an affordable price.

"ATI enjoys tremendous support from the Mac community," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "In addition to its availability in Apple's Power Mac G4, consumers can now choose to upgrade their Macs with the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION retail card."

Featuring a high-performance quad-pipe rendering engine with robust OpenGL(R) support and advanced programmable pixel and vertex shaders, the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION delivers an exhilarating visual experience for today's greatest games, 2D design and 3D animation.

One of the special features of the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION is its ability to support two independent digital flat panels simultaneously, including Apple Cinema HD Displays at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200. The graphics board includes one ADC connector, one DVI connector and one DVI to VGA adapter and is capable of driving dual CRT's, dual flat panels or combinations of each with the appropriate adapters.

ATI's RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO MAC EDITION has a suggested retail price of US $169.99 and is available at www.ati.com and leading retailers.

Jan 06 - Adobe Extends Photoshop Product Line with New Photoshop Album Software. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) Album, new software for Windows(R)-based computers that, for the first time, extends the legendary Photoshop brand to the consumer market.

With digital camera sales exploding, consumers --freed from the expense and limitations of film -- have made digital picture-taking an integral part of every family occasion and event. Photoshop Album solves the biggest problem facing these digital camera owners: how to easily find, fix, share and preserve thousands of photos accumulating on their computers.

Photoshop Album leaves the competition behind by using an easy and sophisticated 'tagging' system to organize and find images, and leverages Photoshop software's unrivalled image enhancement technology to provide simple, high quality one-click editing. In addition, Photoshop Album is the only consumer digital photography product to take advantage of the ubiquity of Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), creating an intuitive way to share digital photos with family and friends.

"Photoshop revolutionized photo-editing in the 1990s and was a catalyst for the emergence of digital cameras as a hot new product category for pro photographers and consumers," said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and Video Products at Adobe Systems. "With Photoshop Album we're extending the proven quality of the Photoshop name to a new generation of digital camera owners, making it easy for them to edit, find and share the millions of digital photos now lying unsorted on computers."

Organizing Photos The Album Way

Adobe Photoshop Album gathers thousands of digital photos for viewing in one convenient place -- the photo well -- and automatically organizes them by date. From there, it's simple to find a particular photo: a timeline view displays photos taken over a period of time, while a detailed calendar view shows the exact day and month when each moment was captured. Users can bring precise control over finding and working with specific collections of photographs through Photoshop Album software's powerful tagging system. Visual tags can be created to instantly find photos of favorite people, places, events, or any other subject, no matter how large the collection becomes.

Editing with Photoshop Precision

Photos don't always turn out exactly as planned, so Photoshop Album provides one-click editing tools to fix common problems, such as red-eye, color, contrast and brightness. For more advanced editing, Photoshop Album provides single-click integration for users of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Adobe's award winning image-editing software for photo hobbyists and amateur photographers. And perhaps most importantly, Photoshop Album is equipped with one-click photo backup to CD and DVD to ensure that memories will be preserved for future generations.

Adobe PDF Makes Sharing a Sure Thing

Photoshop Album software helps users tell and share the stories of their lives in pictures through entertaining slide shows that can include captions, video clips, and background music. These template-based slide shows are packaged in Adobe PDF, so that Photoshop Album users can deliver their images to anyone who is using free Adobe Acrobat(R) Reader(R) software. With over half a billion copies of this software already distributed across multiple platforms, Photoshop Album eliminates the guesswork of which format should be used to save and share photos -- and whether recipients will be able to view them.

Adobe has integrated Intel(R) processor optimizations in Photoshop Album, enabling consumers to see improved performance when running the software on Intel processor-based computers.

Adobe Photoshop Album will be debuted at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Intel's booth (Las Vegas Convention Center, Central 3-5, #14607), and will be showcased during Intel's keynote address, taking place on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2003, at 4:30 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hilton Theater.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Album is expected to ship in the United States in February 2003 at an estimated street price of US$49.99. Photoshop Album will be available for sale on Adobe.com as well as in major retail outlets. International editions are expected to ship in the second quarter of 2003. Information concerning international pricing and support policies is available on www.adobe.com.

Jan 06 - M-Audio Launches Sonica Theater USB 7.1 Surround Sound Card. M-Audio today announced Sonica Theater, the ultimate audio upgrade for USB-compatible laptops and desktops.

Sonica Theater provides ultra-immersive surround sound output up to 7.1, crystal-clear audio quality, and high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio playback and recording-all with the simple connectivity of USB. In addition to playing DVDs and music in surround sound, Sonica Theater makes games more realistic and can be used to record or mix music. Designed and manufactured by M-Audio-one of the biggest names in the professional music industry-Sonica Theater packs advanced technology into a small, light, USB bus-powered external package that's simple to connect and use.

In addition to supporting the popular 5.1 surround sound format, Sonica Theater is one of the only consumer audio cards offering direct output of up to eight channels for 7.1 surround. (Where 5.1 places speakers beside the listener, 7.1 places them both beside and behind for a much more immersive and realistic surround sound experience.)

The product also supports stereo, 4.1 and 6.1 formats, and features Dolby Digital and DTS pass-through for external decoders on its digital output. (The open source VLC Player available at www.m-audio.com is one example of a Macintosh-compatible DVD player that currently supports pass-through.)
Additionally, the Sonica Theater hardware is poised to deliver direct multi-channel audio output when versions of the Macintosh OS and other applications that support this functionality are released. The product also offers full support for Microsoft Windows Media Audio 9 Professional-a first for a laptop-compatible sound card.

Users lacking a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system can still enjoy stunning surround results from Sonica Theater, thanks to built-in SRS TruSurround XT-a powerful virtual surround sound process that delivers the multi-channel audio experience over standard stereo speakers or even headphones. Conversely, built-in SRS Circle Surround II technology instantly transforms stereo CDs or MP3s into incredibly lifelike surround sound, electronically separating instruments, vocals, and even crowd noises for multi-channel output to yield dynamic dimensional results.

"Sonica Theater is the first consumer USB audio card to offer the same high-quality Circle Surround II technology found in many home theater receivers around the world," said Ted Franceschi, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales. "SRS Labs is excited to partner with M-Audio in providing laptop and desktop users the ultimate surround sound experience available via computers."

Sonica Theater delivers impressive audio specifications such as high 101 dB signal-to-noise ratio and exceptionally low 0.00345% THD. A simple yet powerful control panel accesses advanced features like speaker setup and professional bass management to ensure that speakers are connected properly and configured for optimum performance and audio fidelity.

"Sonica Theater is a complete breakthrough that brings laptop or desktop users the best surround sound experience available in a USB solution," says Adam Castillo, M-Audio's Marketing Director. "Availability of up to 7.1 surround sound and 24-bit/96kHz recording and playback make Sonica Theater ideal for almost any consumer audio application."

The Sonica Theater package includes high-quality bundled software with fully functioning versions of MixMan Studio and Arkaos VJ Lite. Also included are versions of award-winning music creation programs, over 100 sounds and loops, and a free sampler CD of music from M-Audio's M-Powered artists roster.

Sonica Theater is shipping in mid-January 2003 for distribution in major retail stores throughout North America, with Japan and Europe following shortly thereafter. Estimated street price is $99.99.

More information on M-Audio products is available at www.m-audio.com.

Jan 06 - MSN is Market Share Leader among DSL Providers. A recent study by Solomon-Wolff Associates, a New Jersey-based market research firm, indicates that MSN is the Internet Service Provider (ISP) used by the greatest number of DSL customers.

AOL is the market share leader among Internet users overall (when all connection types and speeds are considered), and MSN is number two. However, a very different market share pattern exists among DSL users.

"DSL is a very rapidly growing sector of the Internet arena, and in the past year MSN grew faster than any other company in this sector," says S. Joey Wolff, partner, Solomon-Wolff Associates. "But just having DSL available does not guarantee success and not all companies providing DSL service experienced growth. Some companies saw their market share decline significantly."

Market penetration by DSL service varies significantly from region to region and state to state, according to the study. The Pacific coast region has the largest percentage of its Internet users using DSL for their connection, while the Northeast has the smallest percentage. MSN has the largest market share in two out of the six regions.

"Use of DSL has increased in every region, and MSN's DSL has increased its share in five out of six regions over the past year," said Wolff. "If current trends continue, it will increase its lead among DSL providers in 2003."

Jan 05 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. Prices were a little lower than the week before Christmas prices.

Laptops - Prices were lower than last week.

Desktops - Prices were lower than last week.

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

Best Buy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They also have 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages. In addition they are giving mail-in rebates of $100 on all desktop packages and $150 on all laptops.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant savings for all Intel Pentium 4 processor desktop package and laptop purchases.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA has an unadvertised sales page that you print and bring into your local store.
Staples is offering 12 month no interest financing for purchases over $799, and $100 mail-in rebates for all Intel processor desktop package and laptop purchases.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
None Advertised
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2 GHz system with 17 inch monitor
$799
-$100
Staples
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.40 GHz complete system
$1249
-$100
Circuit City
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system
$1149
-
Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
None Advertised
-
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2400+ complete system
$949
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD
$749
-
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1349
-
Staples
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW and 16" screen
$1749
-$100
Best Buy
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse or Internet Keyboard
$14.94
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot, Staples
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 48X CD-RW
$39
(after rebates
with online ad)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 48X CD-RW
$39
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Warcraft III
$29
(after rebates
with online ad)
-
CompUSA

 

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

 

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

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

Jan 03 - Philips Rings in 2003 with Nineteen CES Innovation Awards. Building on a rich tradition of innovative and state-of-the-art products and technologies, Philips Electronics announced today it is the recipient of nineteen 2003 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Awards.

Philips received more awards than any other manufacturer at this year's show and set a record for the company.

Four of Philips' products, including its 44-inch Liquid Crystal On Silicon (LCOS) Television, psa 128 MP3 player, iPronto TSi6400 and its multi-changer SACD/DVD Home Entertainment System MX5900SA, were recognized as 2003 CES Innovations Best of Innovations for the show.
A panel of prominent industry designers, engineers and journalists, determined the 2003 CES Innovation Awards. The products were judged on the following criteria: user value, aesthetics, contributions to the quality of life, as well as innovative qualities.

Philips 44-inch LCOS TV

Philips new 44-inch LCOS televisions elevate picture quality to the next level providing unsurpassed natural colors and picture sharpness in a short-depth, low-weight design. Featuring a warm silver finish, the new LCOS televisions include a matching base that can easily hold additional audio and video components.

Philips psa 128 max

Developed by Nike and Philips, worldwide leaders in sport and technology, the psa 128 max is an innovative portable MP3 player designed specifically for sports, such as running and riding.

The MP3 portable audio player is designed for movement, an evolution in the spirit of freedom of movement and performance. Designed to be operated intuitively by touch and feel, the psa 128 includes an armband and headphones specifically designed for uninhibited movement.

Philips MX5900SA

Ergonomically designed, the MX5900SA is a 5 DVD/SACD performance-oriented Home Entertainment System bestowed with superior technological features to provide the ultimate movie and music experience - right at home.

With Multi-Channel Super Audio CD (SACD), the listener is immersed in superior sound quality with unmatched high fidelity and remarkable realism. To further enhance this audio experience, ultra slim ribbon tweeter speakers add to already crystal clear, omni-directional sound to truly expand and fill the soundstage in the room.

Philips TSi6400

Specializing in media access and control, the iPronto provides users with a versatile solution to control home theater as well as the increasing number of electronic home automation products available. The iPronto gives users the ability to configure the touch screen with the help of the PC editing software, iPronto edit. The product can be completely customized to the comfort level of the end user. The result is the flexibility to control multiple windows of information with simple dashboard finger navigation.

Philips is located online at www.philips.com.

Jan 03 - DNA Sequence and Analysis of Human Chromosome 14 Completed. The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study and application of systems biology announced today that the Institute and two other laboratories have completely sequenced Chromosome 14 as part of the Human Genome Project.

The group at the Institute for Systems Biology, led by Dr. Leroy Hood and Dr. Lee Rowen, was responsible for mapping and sequencing about 10% of the chromosome, in an effort that extended more than three years and involved about 20 research scientists.

"The draft sequences of the human genome have provided voluminous amounts of information to the biomedical community regarding the identification of genes involved with human disease," stated Dr. Lee Rowen, senior scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology. "However, gaps and inaccuracies in the draft sequences have inhibited our ability to fully leverage the information as it relates to ongoing research efforts in predicting and preventing disease."

"The completion of the sequencing of chromosome 14 represents a major step forward in obtaining high quality, accurate information and ultimately a better understanding of how specific genes relate to diseases," stated Rowen. About 60 disease genes have been associated with chromosome 14, including one that predisposes to the early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Several types of leukemia and tumors have also been associated with rearrangement of specific regions of chromosome 14.

Chromosome 14 is the fourth chromosome to be finished, the largest to be analyzed so far, and the only chromosome for which there are no gaps in the final sequence. The length of the contiguous sequence is 87,410,661 nucleotides, representing about 3% of the entire human genome. Careful studies were performed to ensure the validity of the sequence.

Chromosome 14 contains about 500 known genes and an additional 350 putative genes, whose function is yet unknown. Particularly noteworthy genes on chromosome 14 include the alpha/delta T cell receptor loci, sequenced by the Hood laboratory in the mid- 90s, and the immunoglobulin heavy chain region. These loci are essential parts of the adaptive immune system responsible for recognizing foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses and mounting a protective immune response. Chromosome 14 also contains an enzyme called "telomerase", which is thought to play a role in preventing the ends of chromosomes from being degraded and thereby protecting the chromosomes against aging.

One of the most interesting genes on 14 is neurexin 3, a gene that spans about 1.7 million bases, which is approximately 30 times greater than the average size of genes on chromosome 14. Because of a process called "alternative splicing," this gene exists in potentially thousands of different minor variations which may play a role in its function, which is currently believed to be neurological. While no one knows exactly what neurexin 3 gene does for sure, it is thought to play a role in making synaptic connections in the brain.

The human genome project, scheduled to be completed by April 2003, aims to delineate all of the genes in the human genome so that their functions can be understood better and correlations between specific variations in the genes' sequences and observable effects such as physiological and behavioral traits and disease susceptibilities can be made. With improved knowledge, drug design can be more appropriately targeted and therapies better tailored to individual patients.

The other participating groups in the Chromosome 14 Project include Genoscope, the National Sequencing Center of France, and the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University at St. Louis.

A report entitled "The DNA Sequence and Analysis of Human Chromosome 14" is scheduled to be published in this week's issue of Nature (www.nature.com).

Jan 03 - Online Shopping Beats Forecast. The fourth quarter of 2002 represented more than one-third (36%) of total online sales for 2002, with spending of $17.44 billion in Q4 -- a 40% increase over the same period in 2001 when $12.43 billion was spent, according to leading comparison shopping site and e-commerce research firm BizRate.com.
BizRate.com had forecasted 35% fourth quarter year-over-year growth earlier this year. Post-holiday clearance sales helped provide an additional boost to fourth quarter online sales with $920.1 million spent from December 26-31.

The jump in fourth quarter sales was driven by the growth of orders made online -- 127.3 million versus 85.3 million last year, a 49% increase. The average purchase price, however, decreased by 6%, from $146 in Q4 2001 to $137 in Q4 2002.

Total consumer spending online for the year reached $47.98 billion, a 34% increase over 2001's total online sales of $35.87 billion. There were 358.6 million purchases online in 2002, up 37% from 261.7 million orders in 2001.

The fourth quarter was marked by a dramatic increase in women buying online. Throughout the rest of the year the gender mix was almost evenly split, but in Q4 women far outstripped men when it came to shopping online.

Founded in 1996 and based in Los Angeles, BizRate.com (www.bizrate.com) is a leading comparison shopping site on the Web, and a leading provider of e-commerce research.

Jan 03 - The Sims Online Was The Hottest Place to Be New Year's Eve. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced that over a half million kisses occurred between Sims on New Year's Eve in the exciting Internet world of The Sims Online(TM).

As frigid temperatures still plagued parts of the United States, things were really heating up on Dec. 31 in The Sims Online. Acquaintances, roommates, friends and loved ones got into the festivities as they puckered up at over 5000 online New Year's parties throughout the day. The Sims Online was the hottest place to be to ring in 2003.

"As our virtual party goers across the country can attest, The Sims Online was one of the most happening places to socialize and celebrate this New Year's Eve," said Luc Barthelet, General Manager of EA's Maxis Studio, "This online celebration marks the first of many fantastic events in this unique and dynamic Internet world."

The Sims Online is a massive virtual world created and populated by thousands of players from around the world. In this never-ending alternative reality players can be themselves or "Be Somebody. Else(TM)."

In The Sims Online, players create and control the actions of a character known as a Sim. Players enter the world with a small amount of money to spend as they wish. They can purchase their own piece of land to do with as they please or they can join with other players to create shared homes and businesses or host wild events.

Players can explore the neighborhoods around them and meet scores of other Sims along the way. Players get to know other Sims through live text chat and secret instant messages. As players type, their messages appear in speech bubbles above their Sims' heads. Sims can also express themselves through hundreds of animations. A polka, pile drive, or a passionate kiss are just a few of the gestures available for Sims to use to convey exactly what's on their mind.

The Sims Online carries a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 with the first month being free. A credit card is required to register and play. An Internet connection is also required. The Sims Online carries an ESRB rating of "T" for teen. It is available in stores now for a suggested retail price of US $49.99 or by direct order from the EA Store(SM) at www.ea.com.
Important information on The Sims Online including terms of service and game availability can be found at http://www.thesimsonline.com.

Jan 02 - Online Holiday Sales Up 23%. It was a merry Christmas for online retailers this year with consumer spending ringing up $7.92 billion for the holiday season (November 25-December 25, 2002).
This figure represents a 23% increase over the comparable holiday period last year (November 19-December 25, 2001), which bodes well for the industry as BizRate.com, the leading comparison shopping site and eCommerce research firm, forecasted 24% holiday growth earlier this year.

There were six fewer shopping days this holiday versus last year. When adding six days (November 19-24, 2002) back in, holiday 2002 grew by 42.8% to $9.18 billion versus holiday 2001's $6.43 billion.

The peak shopping day was Monday, December 9, when sales hit $367.0 million. Last year, the peak shopping day was Monday, December 10, 2001 with $253.8 million in sales. The second and third busiest shopping days this year were Monday, December 2 and Wednesday, December 11, accounting for $366.2 million and $364.6 million in spending, respectively.

As online satisfaction continues to improve, consumers did more last minute shopping online this year. Spending on the last weekend (December 21-22, 2002) before Christmas Day was $297.6 million -- up by 92% compared to the same weekend (December 22-23, 2001) last year.

For the third year in a row, women were responsible for the majority of online purchases, and increased their share of buying to 60% from last holiday's 56%. This is a significant trend given that in 1998, women accounted for only 39% of all online holiday transactions.

The most popular online categories this holiday season were Computer Hardware, Electronics, Entertainment, Apparel and Toys & Games. The most searched for products at BizRate.com's marketplace, within these categories, were Digital Cameras and Printers, Camcorders, Handbags & Luggage and Building Sets & Models.

Thirty-nine percent of all purchases this holiday season were influenced by free shipping deals, the #1 online incentive. Yet, only 9.3% of orders actually had a 'no shipping' charge. "Free shipping offers brought consumers into the stores, but conditional free shipping offers meant many consumers actually paid for the freight," said Davis. The average shipping amount actually increased this holiday by 14.8% versus last holiday -- from $10.19 in holiday 2001 to $11.70 in holiday 2002 -- despite all the free shipping hype.

BizRate.com (www.bizrate.com) is a leading comparison shopping site on the Web, and a leading provider of e-commerce research.

Jan 02 - Macworld Shepherds in the New Year with Product Announcements. IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class tradeshows, conferences and events for IT markets around the globe, today announced that the industry's most innovative companies will debut new products at the upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo. More than 325 exhibitors will be on hand at Macworld to showcase the latest hardware and software for creative professionals, educators, consumers and Mac enthusiasts.

Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco's largest annual technology event and the world's most comprehensive Macintosh OS event, takes place January 6-10, 2003 at The Moscone Center.

Among the many companies debuting products at Macworld in San Francisco are the following:

Arboretum Systems (booth 943) will introduce Montage, new Mac OS X video software featuring a "trackless" workspace that allows users to easily create movies with video, audio, stills and text

E-Book Systems (booth 547) will unveil Mac FlipAlbum(R) 3, the world's first software that lets users create realistic 3D page-flipping photo albums on a computer

Extensis (booth 2223) will announce Portfolio 6.1, the first professional quality Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution on Mac OS X that helps professionals share, organize, retrieve and distribute digital files

eZedia Inc. (booth 521) will showcase eZediaQTI, a cross-platform QuickTime(R) interactive authoring software for creating rich Internet content and movies

Intuit (booth 1817) will debut QuickBooks(R) Pro Edition 5.0 for Mac, which allows small business owners to create, customize and e-mail reports, statements and invoices, track expenses and organize their business finances - all in one place

I.R.I.S. (booth 545) will showcase its new Business Card Reader, the first card scanner for Macs where information from a scanned card is quickly and automatically transferred into your contact management database

M-Audio (booth 442) will announce Ozone, a complete personal mobile studio - featuring an all-in-one keyboard, MIDI control surface, mic preamp, USB audio interface and USB MIDI interface -that's no bigger than a laptop

Oki Data Americas, Inc. (booth 2149) will showcase three series of color printers for graphic arts and commercial printing professionals - the OKI C7000 Series Color Digital LED Printers, the OKI C9000 Series Color Digital LED Printers, and the OKI C5000 Series Digital Color Printers

REAL Software (booth 3261) will announce the latest version of REALbasic, the powerful, easy-to-use tool that allows users to create their own software for the Mac

Sonic Desktop Software (booth 2423) will demonstrate SmartSound(R) Movie Maestro, audio software that allows home video enthusiasts and educators to easily enhance visual projects with perfectly timed, customized music soundtracks

Sorenson Media (booth 2233) will debut three new video encoding products to meet the needs of both novice and professional content creators who want to encode and deliver high-quality video - Sorenson Squeeze 3 for MPEG-4, Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite, and Sorenson Squeeze 3 for Macromedia Flash MX

For more information or to register for Macworld Conference & Expo, visit www.macworldexpo.com.

Jan 02 - Archos Announces External DVD Writer. Archos announced its first portable (peripheral) DVD writer, the DExDVD-RW.

This innovative product offers the professional and home user the ability to create and store video films, images and all types of numerical files on any kind of DVD and CD.

What's more, this recorder of DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW is equipped with an ultra rapid USB 2.0 interface. It is also supplied with mastering software and hardware enabling the user to engrave, create and publish a new video DVD from scratch. Simply transfer numerical photographs from your computer system or directly from a digital video camera and create a DVD in a few minutes.

Ideal as an information backup device, it's easy to create a DVD-RAM of all your data at the push of a button. By using rewritable media (DVD-RAM) in the DExDVD-RW, the user can utilize it like an optical hard disk (able to rewrite up to 100,000 times) to store all kinds of data. One can store any desired combination of: up to 75 hours of music to format MP3, 2 hours of videos or 4.7 Gigabytes of data or a combination of the files on one DVD.

The new Archos DExDVD-RW is available for an MSRP of $349.95. Additional information is available from Archos Technology at www.archos.com.

Jan 02 - Global Chip Sales Up 1.3% in November. Global semiconductor sales reached $12.68 billion in November 2002, a 1.3% sequential increase from the $12.51 billion in revenue reported in October 2002 continuing the trend that began in the fourth quarter 2001. November sales are up 19.6% from November 2001 sales of $10.60 billion.

"The November sales of the global chip industry underscores the healthy recovery that has been building momentum through out this year," stated SIA President George Scalise. "The wireless sector continues to be the strongest single market."

The semiconductor products that benefit from the strength of the wireless sector are led by Flash and Digital Signal Processors, which were up 6.6% and 3.7% in November. In addition, Wi-Fi has begun to contribute to the strength of this market. Furthermore, the computer segment continues to show growth with microprocessors up 0.5% and DRAM's increasing by 5.8%.

Chip sales rose 5.8% in November in the European market and 1.3% in Asia Pacific. Semiconductor sales in the Americas declined slightly by 0.8% and 0.6% in Japan.

More information about the SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.

Jan 02 - TigerDirect Sues WhenU.com For Deceptive Advertising Tactics. TigerDirect, Inc., a retailer of computer hardware and software and a subsidiary of Systemax Inc. (NYSE:SYX), has sued WhenU.com, Inc. for trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition in federal court in the Southern District of Florida.

According to TigerDirect's lawyers, Stuart Singer and Jennifer Altman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, who filed the lawsuit, the case arises out of WhenU.com's use of specially designed software that is downloaded by unsuspecting consumers. WhenU.com's software causes pop-up and banner ads of TigerDirect's competitors to appear over TigerDirect's website. The complaint alleges that WhenU improperly and unlawfully diverts customers from TigerDirect's website to those of its competitors.

"We've received dozens of phone calls from confused consumers who, after making a decision to purchase computer products from TigerDirect's web site, were improperly diverted at the check out screen to the webpage of WhenU under the guise of additional savings, which savings the consumer believes is with TigerDirect," said Lonny Paul, Director of Commerce for TigerDirect, Inc.

For example, in the case of TigerDirect, when a consumer who has the downloaded WhenU software visits TigerDirect's website, pop-up screens for TigerDirect's competitors, such as Dell computers and uBid, appear over the content of TigerDirect's webpage. TigerDirect contends that this practice misleads consumers, causes confusion and allows WhenU -- and the advertisers who purchase advertising space with WhenU -- to trade off of TigerDirect's goodwill and significant investment in its trademarks and the development of its website.

"WhenU is attempting to use the reputation of TigerDirect to sell our competitor's products, a practice we simply cannot tolerate given that our customers trust us to provide with high quality computer equipment at a fair price. There is no affiliation between TigerDirect and advertisements improperly placed on our website, but they appear on TigerDirect's website suggesting that we are in some way sanctioning our competitor's products or are otherwise associated with them," Paul added.

The lawsuit is similar to other suits filed against WhenU's competitor, The Gator Corporation, by, among others, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Gilbert Fiorentino, CEO of TigerDirect, says: "TigerDirect is committed to ensuring that such unfair commercial practices end. This lawsuit is one way to make that clear. TigerDirect has spent significant amounts of money developing its proprietary information, including its website, and it intends to protect it from the deceptive advertising scheme developed and implemented by WhenU."

TigerDirect (http://www.tigerdirect.com) (a subsidiary of Systemax Inc. NYSE:SYX)) is part of an integrated system of branded e-commerce web sites, direct mail catalogs, and relationship marketing companies selling private label and name-brand PC hardware, related computer products and industrial products to consumers and businesses in North America and Europe. With annual sales of more than $1.5 billion, Systemax is a Fortune 1000 company.

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