Daily Computer News

Shop DealTime for Computers and Peripherals
Site Directory
Home || Computer Buying Advice || Online CPA || Site Search || Compare Prices

Computer Buying  Advice

Online CPA

Free Email
(About Free Email)

InfoHQ Help Board

About Us

Data Privacy Policy

Copyright© Notice

Click HereRecommend this page to your friends!!






RAM from Crucial.com
Crucial Technology -- Your factory-direct source for superior quality memory upgrades.





























Daily Computer News and Rumors

January 25 -31 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.)
Jan 31 Toshiba Announces New CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combination Drive
Jan 31 PC Graphics Shipments Increase 13% in Fourth Quarter 2002
Jan 31 ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO Available as Power Mac G4 Option
Jan 31 ALLTEL Launches National Pay-As-You-Go Wireless Service in Wal-Mart Stores
Jan 31 GoodbyeSpam.com Offers Spam Killing Subscription Service
Jan 30 Micron and VIA Demonstrate PC Using 1 Gigabit DDR SDRAM
Jan 30 AT&T Wireless and Dell Enter Strategic Wireless Relationship
Jan 30 Broadband Homes Will Top 25 Million in 2003
Jan 30 DVD is the Fastest Growing Consumer Electronics Segment
Jan 30 Data Becker ships `Highland Warriors' PC Game
Jan 29 HP Continues to Lead Pocket PC Market Share in 2002
Jan 29 Samsung Develops Industry's Fastest DDR3 SRAM
Jan 29 HyperTransport Compatibility Program Announced
Jan 29 Video Game Sales Break Record
Jan 29 Internet Nearing Full Recovery
Jan 28 Plextor Introduces Its First Recordable DVD+R/RW Optical Drive
Jan 28 Worldwide PDA Market Suffers Through a Dismal Year in 2002
Jan 28 Siemens creates Fashion Phone Category
Jan 28 Epson Launches New 4.4-Pound Wireless Multimedia Projector
Jan 28 interMute Launches SpamSubtract
Jan 28 Business Software Alliance Offers Software Grace Period
Jan 27 Abit Announces First Motherboard to Support 1200MHz RDRAM Memory
Jan 27 First Official World Chess Championship: "MAN vs. MACHINE"
Jan 27 NetSolve Offers Free "SQL Slammer" Detection Signature
Jan 27 Mazu Networks' PowerSecure Slams the Door On the "SQL Slammer"
Jan 27 Master of Orion III PC Game Goes Gold
Jan 26 Sunday Shopping Watch



Jan 31 -Toshiba Announces New CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combination Drive. Toshiba Storage Device Division improves the performance of its popular desktop CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drive. Toshiba's new SD-R1312 CD recordable combination drive is also available as a desktop PC upgrade kit.

Toshiba Storage Device Division, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems (TAIS), adds the 32x10x40x12 SD-R1312 desktop CD recordable combination drive to its industry-leading optical product line. Supporting faster write speeds for CD-R and CD-RW, Toshiba's SD-R1312 combines CD write and DVD playback technology, allowing desktop users to create and write CDs, watch picture-perfect movies and share files between home and office or among friends and family.

The SD-R1312 desktop combination drive is also sold as an upgrade kit on www.shoptoshiba.com, providing users with an affordable way to add CD recording and DVD viewing functionality to existing desktop computers. The simple add-on kit comes with all the software and peripheral hardware needed for immediate use.

For additional specifications and information, visit www.sdd.toshiba.com.

Jan 31 - PC Graphics Shipments Increase 13% in Fourth Quarter 2002. Jon Peddie Research (JPR), a leading research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, today announced estimated graphics shipments and supplier market share for the fourth calendar quarter of 2002.

Jon Peddie Research estimates that approximately 53 million PC graphics devices shipped from nine suppliers in Q4'02, a 13% increase over to the previous quarter. Growth across industry segments was well distributed in Q4'02 as compared to Q3'02 in which segment growth was limited to chipsets with integrated graphics for desktop PC platforms.

"Growth occurred in both the mobile and desktop segments and in shipments of discrete and integrated graphics chipsets during the fourth quarter," said Lisa Epstein, a senior analyst at Jon Peddie Research. "Strong growth in the fourth quarter is typical for the PC industry; however, graphics shipments outpaced CPU shipments by approximately 30% during the period, indicating a larger total available market (TAM) for graphics due in part to a strong attach rate of discrete graphics to integrated solutions," Epstein concluded.

The mobile segment led growth in Q4'02, with shipments increasing 25% as compared to Q3'02. The desktop segment grew by a more moderate 11%. Integrated graphics shipments increased by 17% and discrete graphics shipments increased by 9% during the quarter. However, only five of nine suppliers drove growth in Q4'02: ATI, Intel, Nvidia, SiS, and VIA. Small players were increasingly marginalized with either flat or reduced shipments.

As compared to Q3'02, Nvidia saw a 13% increase in graphics shipments in Q4'02 and was the largest supplier of PC graphics devices worldwide but with a reduced share of the total graphics market. Intel was the second largest supplier in Q4'02, with a 12% increase in graphics shipments and an increased share of the total graphics market. In third position, ATI saw an 18% increase in graphics shipments in Q4'02, with a relatively steady share of the total graphics market. The following table lists the ranking and relative market share, based on unit shipments in Q4'02, of the nine major graphics suppliers to the PC industry.

Rank, Graphics Supplier, Q4'02 Market Share

1. Nvidia, 32%

2. Intel, 28%

3. ATI Technologies, 19%

4. VIA Technologies, 11%

5. Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS), 8%

6. Matrox Graphics, 1%

7. Trident Microsystems, 1%

8. Silicon Motion, less than 1%

9. 3Dlabs (Creative Technology), less than 1%

Detailed fourth quarter results, as well as results for all of 2002, will be published in the upcoming Q4'02 edition of Jon Peddie's Market Watch, the firm's quarterly graphics survey. Market Watch provides an in-depth look at the PC graphics market and includes unit shipment and segment market share data, trend analysis, two-year forecasts, and profiles of major suppliers.

For more information, visit Jon Peddie Research at www.jonpeddie.com.

Jan 31 - ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO Graphics Board Available as Power Mac G4 Option. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY) today announced that the RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO is now available exclusively to Macintosh customers purchasing Apple's new Power Mac G4 systems.
The RADEON 9700 PRO, the fastest and most feature-rich consumer graphics technology in the world, enables users to create and play advanced real-time cinematic-quality visual effects on their Power Mac systems.

"ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO is a great option for built to order Power Mac G4s, underscoring the importance of graphics performance and quality as a key feature for their professional users," says Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President of Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc.
"It also delivers twice the performance of any competing product on the market and enables gamers to crank up the quality-enhancing features while maintaining frame-rates that they can brag about."

"These are the most powerful and affordable Power Macs we have ever shipped," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "We're excited by the blazing performance, leading-edge features, and movie-quality cinematic effects the RADEON 9700 PRO delivers to our creative professional customers."

ATI is the leading supplier of desktop and mobile graphics technology for the Apple platform, including retail boards as well as on-board systems, and a leading provider of graphics technology for all platforms worldwide. The RADEON 9700 PRO joins the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO, which comes standard in the high-volume mid- and high-end Power Mac G4 configurations.

For more information, visit www.ati.com.

Jan 31 - ALLTEL Launches National Pay-As-You-Go Wireless Service in Wal-Mart Stores. ALLTEL (NYSE:AT) today announced it has launched a new national digital wireless service at more than 1,500 Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

"ALLTEL's Simple Freedom wireless service is consistent with Wal-Mart's philosophy of providing an Every Day Low Price to customers," said Dan Lohr, ALLTEL executive vice president of sales and distribution. "Simple Freedom delivers a simple and convenient wireless service in a ready-to-use format. The Simple Freedom network gives customers access to a local calling area that covers more than 90 percent of the U.S. population."

Simple Freedom is priced at $68.74 and includes a handset, charger, $10 of airtime and an activation guide. Calls on the Simple Freedom network cost 25-cents per minute, with no additional charge for long-distance. Calls not on the network cost 50-cents per minute. A roaming indicator on the phone tells customers when they are outside the Simple Freedom network.

The national calling plan does not require a deposit, there are no contracts to sign, and customers do not receive a bill. The pay-as-you-go service can be bought off the shelf, and customers can replenish their minutes by buying additional airtime at participating Wal-Mart locations or by using a credit card at www.simplefreedom.net.

Jan 30 - Micron and VIA Demonstrate PC Using 1 Gigabit DDR SDRAM. Micron Technology, Inc. (NYSE:MU), today announced demonstration of a VIA VT8116 desktop PC motherboard using 1 gigabyte (GB) unbuffered DIMMs based on 1 gigabit (Gb) Double Data Rate (DDR) synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) components.

Micron will feature this system in its booth tomorrow during the Platform Conference at the Silicon Valley Conference Center in San Jose, California. The demonstration platform uses Micron(R) components and modules, as well a VIA chipset and motherboard. It is performing at 266 Mbps per pin and achieving a system bandwidth of 2100MB per second.

"Last year, Micron was the first to demonstrate 0.11 micron 1Gb DDR SDRAM components," said Terry Lee, Executive Director of Advanced Technology and Strategic Marketing for Micron's Computing and Consumer Group.
"We are pleased to be working with VIA to demonstrate the first system utilizing fully functional 1GB DDR SDRAM unbuffered DIMMs. These high-density modules will meet the needs of high-end desktop applications. This is another industry milestone and Micron continues to lead the industry in memory technology development and system implementation."

"VIA is a market leader in developing chipset support for the most advanced memory technologies," said Richard Brown, Director of Marketing at VIA Technologies, Inc. "The 1Gb DDR SDRAM device based DIMMs pioneered by Micron deliver exceptional performance when paired with the VIA VT8116, and we are proud to be the first chipset manufacturer to support this breakthrough technology."

To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit its web site at www.micron.com.

Jan 31 - GoodbyeSpam.com Offers Spam Killing Subscription Service. NextGen Development Corp. today unveiled GoodbyeSpam.com, the first anti-spam protection for consumers and small businesses that works with all e-mail accounts including POP3, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, IMAP and Juno.

GoodbyeSpam also is the first to offer three levels of security to defeat even the most persistent spammers and the first that allows users to import addresses from e-mail programs to an "approved" list with a single click.

In addition, because GoodbyeSpam operates in a browser window, it works on any platform that can access the Internet including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix and handheld PDAs, permitting users to access spam-free e-mail from multiple computers anywhere in the world.

With GoodbyeSpam, users establish Approved and Blocked lists. They can also import names from all their e-mail accounts for pre-approval. When e-mail arrives in the inbox, the program eliminates blocked e-mail and places all non-approved messages in quarantine. It then automatically sends an e-mail to each sender asking them to click on an embedded link. Once senders do so, their names are placed on the Approved list, their messages are returned to the inbox and all future e-mail will go through.

"One of the biggest annoyances of using junk mail filters has been wading through all the spam to find and release legitimate messages," Schwartz said. "This defeats the very reason people use filters in the first place. GoodbyeSpam eliminates this problem -- automatically."

GoodbyeSpam works because spammers do not have the time or the inclination to respond to verification messages. In fact, most of them use phony return addresses, so they never even get the verification messages. If they do persist, however, GoodbyeSpam offers three security levels to stop spam dead in its tracks.

In addition, because GoodbyeSpam's functionality resides on the Internet, it eliminates bothersome chores such as periodic updates and maintenance. This provides a hassle-free environment for consumers and a convenience to small business owners who cannot afford their own IT departments. Users get all the spam fighting power and flexibility they want in a program that is remarkably easy to use.

GoodbyeSpam is available in two versions. The Home version supports a single e-mail account and offers two levels of security for just $3.22 per month ($9.95 quarterly). The Professional version manages an unlimited number of e-mail accounts and offers three levels of security for only $5.32 per month ($15.95 quarterly). Both versions are available for a free 30-day trial at www.GoodbyeSpam.com.

Jan 30 - AT&T Wireless and Dell Enter Strategic Wireless Relationship. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) and AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE) today announced a strategic relationship to provide mobile professionals in the United States with wireless connectivity for their notebook computers via AT&T Wireless high-speed GSM(TM)/GPRS wireless data service.

The two companies also said that they would collaborate on other wireless initiatives throughout 2003.

The new relationship is aimed at dramatically simplifying the way customers acquire the mobile computing capabilities that provide them greater flexibility and productivity, executives from both companies said.
When available this spring, customers will be able to purchase the necessary modem and software package and register for a subscription for the wide area network (WAN) wireless service through Dell.

"Working with AT&T Wireless, we can help reduce the burden on our corporate customers who want wireless WAN solutions across their enterprises and improve the deployment times to their employees," John Medica, senior vice president and general manager of Dell's Product Group, said.

"Dell's leadership in computing and distribution, coupled with our prowess in the wireless data arena, will create the kind of solutions that today's CIO's are demanding for their mobile professionals," said Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services. "Together, we will give our customers the freedom to untether from their desks while maintaining the ability to stay connected to their vital corporate information."

"Because of our commitment to global standards, our customers will be able to use their wirelessly-enabled Dell computers whether in Los Angeles or London," said Dahan. AT&T Wireless operates the largest GSM/GPRS network in the Western Hemisphere with service in thousands of cities across the United States, and roaming agreements throughout Europe and Asia.

Additional details about the agreement were not disclosed. Information regarding the availability and pricing of solutions will be announced at a later date.

For more information, please visit us at www.attwireless.com and www.dell.com.

Jan 30 - Broadband Homes Will Top 25 Million in 2003. The number of US households using cable modems, DSL, or other broadband technologies to connect to the Internet will increase by more than 40 percent during 2003, according to a report just released by technology research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

The company's Global Forecast of Residential Broadband Internet Subscribers projects that the installed base of residential broadband subscribers in the United States will grow from 17.9 million homes today to 25.3 million homes by the end of this year. By the end of 2008, the total number of broadband subscribers will soar to 64 million, or 59 percent of all US homes.

"Despite the slow economy, consumer demand for broadband was remarkably strong in 2002, when the US market grew by more than six million subscribers," noted James Penhune, a director of the Strategy Analytics Global Broadband Practice. "Over the next five years, high-speed access will become the norm for residential Internet users as broadband becomes more widely available, more flexibly priced and a more powerful vehicle for new kinds of entertainment, content and services."

Today, only about 27 percent of all US Internet homes use broadband connections. By 2008, the report estimates that the percentage will have risen to more than 70 percent.

Cable modem service will continue to be the most widely used form of broadband access in the US. The forecast predicts that 16.1 million homes will use cable modems by the end of 2003, while about half that number (7.9 million homes) will use DSL connections. And another 1.3 million homes will get broadband through other, less established, technologies such as fixed-wireless services, two-way satellite links and fiber to the home.

For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com.

Jan 30 - DVD is the Fastest Growing Consumer Electronics Segment. The DVD market is a bright star on the technology economy horizon, according to a new report available today by international analyst firm, Jon Peddie Research. The report, "DVD Market: Players, Recorders, Media and Future" projects that the total number of DVD systems in 2006 will be over 420 million units.
The total market for all types of DVD systems is growing at 31.4 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR) while DVD recorders alone account for 271% CAGR.

The growth of the DVD market has positive implications for the computer, consumer electronics, automotive and semiconductor industries. Semiconductors involved in DVD products are enjoying a 44% CAGR and media production for DVD will exceed 1.6 billion discs by 2006 -- a CAGR of 159%.

Since DVDs players started shipping in Japan in 1996 and the first commercial title, A Hard Day's Night, was published on DVD the following year, DVD has enjoyed the most meteoric growth of any consumer electronics technology ever introduced. Pricing has reflected the rapid adoption of DVD with players falling from $504 in July 1998 to $129 in December 2002 with some units going for as low as $59.

Controversial issues such as copy protection and digital rights management are not deterring the momentum of the DVD market, the report confirms. Despite early marketing experiments resulting in some questionable combinations of DVD, TV, Personal Video Recorders (PVR) and legacy VHS, the DVD market has seen over three years of stupendous growth, said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. "It shows no sign of slowing down and this year it's poised to explode again as DVD enters new markets."

Markets for DVD technology are expanding from traditional standalone players to computer player/recorders (74% CAGR), set-top boxes (31%), mobile computers (47%), and automobile multimedia systems (71% CAGR). Other markets include industrial systems and appliances (74%).

Visit Jon Peddie Research at www.jonpeddie.com.

Jan 30 - Data Becker ships `Highland Warriors' PC Game. Data Becker Corp. announces that its highly anticipated 3D RTS game Highland Warriors has shipped and is available at top retailers across the US. Highland Warriors puts gamers in the midst of the bloody campaigns of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce as they lead the brave Scottish clansmen through brutal battles for freedom against the English.

Clan warriors, druids, sorcerers and many other characters stand ready for deployment in over 100 epic battles. The characters, the buildings, the scenery and the game itself offer users the most highly realistic gaming experience available today through a new 3D game engine that offers superior graphics without compromising game play.

Highland Warriors (www.HighlandWarriors.com) features highly realistic graphics, allowing up to 200,000 polygons on screen without a loss of game performance. The game's ATLAS 3D graphics engine, developed by Soft Enterprises, offers a 3D experience never rendered so successfully in real time strategy (RTS) games.

Buildings are drawn with a high degree of detail down to the last peg and board; trees sway in the wind, and the character's faces are full of expression. The game's movie like experience is driven by highly realistic animation and an artificial intelligence system that moves the game's characters and objects naturally. For instance, as the game's windmill turns, players see a 360-degree millstone turn as well as the shadow of the building changing in the sun.

Highland Warriors has over 30 single player missions and allows players to create an infinite number of multi-player missions and stage epic battles using the game's map editor and hundreds of battle units.

"Highland Warriors is designed to provide a gamer with months of enjoyment by offering challenging game play, outstanding graphics and creative new additions to the RTS genre" said Howard March, president of Data Becker. "In addition, working with one of the top game developers in the world, Martin Hoffesomer of Soft Enterprises, gave both companies the opportunity to advance elements of Real Time Strategy to the next level. We hope gamers feel the same way."

Highland Warriors is interactive, allowing up to 8 clans to wage war on a LAN or the Internet (via Gamespy). The game is available today and is priced in the US at $49.95. It is available at www.databecker.com, and other retailers.

The games requirements include: Pentium 4 1.3 MHz; Windows 98, 98(SE) ME with 256 MB RAM, or Windows 2000, XP with 512 MB RAM. Graphics card: 64MB Geforce 3 or comparable; sound card: 100% Direct Sound Compatible 4X CD-ROM; DirectX 8. Requires 700MB free hard drive space.

Jan 29 - HP Continues to Lead Pocket PC Market Share in 2002. HP (NYSE:HPQ) continued its stronghold in worldwide PDA (personal digital assistant) market share for 2002 as the No. 1 Pocket PC vendor worldwide, with more than 52 percent of the Windows(R) Pocket PC market, according to preliminary results released Monday by Gartner Dataquest.

The data shows that HP sustained positive quarter-to-quarter growth sequentially worldwide and remains the No. 2 PDA vendor around the globe. According to Gartner, HP shipments totaled more than 1.6 million for the year.

From the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2002, HP grew faster than the overall market, with shipments increasing from 292,850 to 438,069, according to Gartner Dataquest.

In addition, HP reached the 3 million unit sales mark and continues to demonstrate successful execution of its post-merger plan. This milestone comes only nine months after surpassing the 2 million mark and only eight months after the completion of the merger with Compaq Computer Corporation.

"By continuing to drive industry-leading innovation with industry-leading value, HP remains a force in the PDA market," said Alex Gruzen, senior vice president and general manager, HP Mobile Computing Global Business Unit. "As we introduce new handhelds into the market, we will continue to deliver new and exciting options to our customers."

The company introduced two new handhelds in fall 2002, including one of the thinnest and lightest Pocket PCs ever -- the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h1910. In addition, the company introduced the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h5450 -- the industry's first handheld to integrate biometrics security, wireless LAN network access (802.11b) and Bluetooth wireless capability.

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

Jan 29 - Samsung Develops Industry's Fastest DDR3 SRAM. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader of advanced memory technology, today announced the development of the world's fastest DDR3 SRAM.
Generating 1.5 Gb per second, the 72Mb Double Data Rate 3 (DDR3) SRAM will support the high-density, high-speed memory requirements for next generation servers and workstations.

Complementing the small 90nm footprint, the new DDR3 SRAM requires only 1.2Volts for low-power consumption. The development of the miniature 0.79 um(2) cell (less than a millionth of a meter square area) was achieved using conventional Krypton Flouride (KrF) laser lithography processing technology.

Samsung marks its 8th consecutive year as the world leader in the global SRAM market since 1995. The company already has a 32Mb density sample available. Mass production of the 72Mb DDR3 SRAM is expected in the second half of 2003.

For more information, visit www.samsungelectronics.com.

Jan 29 - HyperTransport Compatibility Program Announced. The HyperTransport(TM) Consortium today announced a new HyperTransport Technology Compatibility Program designed to facilitate industry-wide use of the HyperTransport chip-to-chip interconnect specification.
The new Compatibility Program consists of a set of electrical and protocol checklists and a Device Under Test Connector definition that HyperTransport-enabled product manufacturers can use to help ensure compatibility between their devices.

"This new program is an essential step for the HyperTransport industry," states Gabriele Sartori, President of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. "This program gives users and designers a means of comparing HyperTransport-enabled devices with the ultimate aim of ensuring that products from one manufacturer will easily integrate with others. By precisely defining a list of interoperability tests that check that a given implementation meets the stringent requirements of the HyperTransport specification, the checklists give manufacturers a valuable set of tools to help them produce interoperable parts."

The HyperTransport Consortium Infrastructure Task Force developed the HyperTransport Compatibility Program. "We worked with member companies to define exactly what was needed in the Compatibility Program," states Todd Hironaka, Chair of the HyperTransport Infrastructure and Senior Hardware Engineer, Technology Center, Cisco Systems. "This is an important first step to ensure system designers can reliably apply HyperTransport technology regardless of the product source."

About HyperTransport Technology

HyperTransport universal chip-to-chip interconnect technology replaces and improves upon existing multilevel buses used in systems such as personal computers, servers and embedded systems while maintaining software compatibility with PCI I/O technologies. HyperTransport technology delivers a maximum 12.8 GB/second aggregate bandwidth using easy to manufacture dual, unidirectional point-to-point links.
Enhanced 1.2V low-power LVDS signaling and dual-data rate data transfers deliver increased data throughput while minimizing signal crosstalk and EMI. HyperTransport interconnect technology employs a packetized data protocol to eliminate many sideband signals (control and command signals) and supports asymmetric, variable width data paths.

About the HyperTransport Technology Consortium

More information can be obtained from the HyperTransport Technology Consortium website at www.hypertransport.org.
Advanced Micro Devices, Alliance Semiconductor, Apple Computer, Broadcom Corporation, Cisco Systems, NVIDIA, PMC-Sierra, Sun Microsystems, and Transmeta are promoter members and comprise the Executive Committee of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium.

Jan 29 - Video Game Sales Break Record. According to the latest sales figures from The NPD Group, a leading market information company, total U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories grew 10 percent in 2002 over 2001.

The video game industry generated $10.3 billion in record-breaking sales, surpassing the previous record high of $9.4 billion in 2001.

The category of video game software, consisting of both console and portable software, experienced sales gains of 21 percent in dollar volume and sold 15 percent more units in 2002 than in 2001. The healthy increase in sales was driven by the success of key franchises such as: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Madden NFL 2003, Super Mario Sunshine, Spider-Man: The Movie, Halo and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

Annual 2002 video game hardware sales showed a slight decline of four percent in revenue, earning $3.5 billion versus $3.7 billion in 2001. However, the category did post a 10 percent increase in unit volume. The decline in dollar and increase in unit volume were attributed to price reductions of all hardware systems.
Prices of GameBoy Advance, GameCube, Sony Playstation 2, and Xbox dropped to almost one-third of their original price in first half 2002. The new price points opened the doors to the mass market, which in turn led to the dramatic increase in unit sales.

In 2002, the category of console and portable accessories posted a nine percent increase in dollar volume versus 2001. Console accessories include items such as DVD remotes and Internet adapters that lend themselves to the whole multi-media concept. These particular accessories were very important drivers to the video game industry in 2002, as they represented 18 percent of the next generation accessory dollars in August through December 2002.
Online playable games represented 15 percent of next generation software dollars in the same time period. This new format will become much more important for the duration of the next generation life cycle and beyond.

"In 2003, the video game industry should expect unit volume growth to outpace dollar volume growth in the hardware category," said Richard Ow, senior account executive with The NPD Group.
"Dollar volume will struggle for continued growth throughout 2003. The majority of the growth will come primarily from software sales, capitalizing on the hardware sold to date. The full power of the current generation of hardware is still unrealized. There is a barrage of new game software launches that will appeal widely to new video gamers, both old and young, expanding the software-to-hardware tie ratios of the previous generation," added Ow.

For more information on The NPD Group, visit www.npd.com.

Jan 29 - Internet Nearing Full Recovery. Keynote Systems (Nasdaq:KEYN), the global leader in Web performance management and testing services, reports that the Internet is almost fully recovered from this weekend's Web attack. Keynote reported a massive worldwide slowdown in Internet traffic along with a marked increase in unavailable Web sites following the reported release of the MS-SQL Worm (called "Sapphire", "SQL Slammer", or "SQL-Hell"), on January 25. The performance problems began before midnight in the Asia-Pacific region and then spread very quickly into the U.S. and Europe.

"This was a rather simple worm to fix, and as of now, Internet availability is back where it was," said Eric Siegel, principal Internet consultant, Keynote Systems. "Although we detected some early morning problems on the East Coast, it looks like people now have a handle on the situation."

In the space of a few hours, this Internet worm, which creates a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the entire Internet, spread across the world and had massive impacts on Web sites. Download times increased by an average of 50% for the largest U.S.-based sites, rendering many sites completely unavailable, and forced the complete shutdown of many Internet nodes because of the flood of worm traffic. The data flood was so massive that it resulted in the failure of major Internet backbone switches, thereby slowing its own advance around the world.

Similar performance degradation was seen in Asia-Pacific and in Europe. Asia-Pacific's Web site availability plummeted more than 30%, but was resolved by 1 pm EST. Europe's difficulties were also generally resolved by 1 pm EST.

This worm relied on a well-documented security flaw in Microsoft software and on the fact that huge numbers of system operators don't keep up-to-date with all of the security bulletins issued by Microsoft. Fortunately, this particular worm was easily defeated by the installation of protective gates to filter it out in the Internet switches. Future variations of this worm may not be so easy to defeat and may propagate even faster.

The typical Web user would certainly notice the impact of this worm. The average Web site in the Keynote Business-40 performance index of 40 major U.S.-based Web sites was slowed more than 50% between the hours of midnight and 1 pm EST on Saturday, and availability also dropped approximately 10% within the U.S. as the worm worked its way through the inter-connected Internet backbones. By 2 pm EST normal Web performance was reappearing in the U.S., and by 7 pm it had been completely restored.

The Keynote Business-40 Index (KB-40), which was used for this report, is a widely-used measure of the performance and availability of the home pages of 40 major U.S.-based Web sites as seen from the major Internet backbones in over 50 major metropolitan areas worldwide. For over five years, it has been accepted as the standard measure of how Web performance is perceived by the general public. It is measured over high-bandwidth, corporate connections; that ensures that any problems are due to Internet backbone performance and are not due to problems near the measurement agent. (Other Keynote indices give performance over dial-up, cable, and DSL access links.)

Each Web home page in the KB-40 is measured every 15 minutes at each Keynote measurement location; these measurements are averaged to produce the index. Availability is the measure of the number of page download attempts that succeeded in retrieving a complete page without errors and without timeouts.

The company can be reached at www.keynote.com.

Jan 28 - Plextor Introduces Its First Recordable DVD+R/RW Optical Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today entered the DVD burner market with its first-ever PX-504A DVD+R/RW drive.

The internal DVD writer delivers blazing-fast 4X DVD+R Writing and 2.4X DVD+RW Rewriting, making it one of the fastest DVD+R/RW drives on the market today. The drive also features a premium digital media software package from Roxio (Nasdaq:ROXI), including Easy CD Creator(R) 5.3 DVD Edition and PhotoSuite(R) 5 SE.

The PX-504A gives users the ability to back up and archive up to 4.7GB on a single-sided Recordable DVD disc, and to create photo albums for viewing with DVD players. Lossless-linking technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc, so there is no need to reload DVD content back to a PC to make minor changes, and no need to re-burn an entire DVD after making small edits.

"The new PX-504A drive combines the dependability and performance of our PlexWriter CD burners with all the excitement of using a PC to create your own DVD movies, from opening titles to closing credits," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor.
"Roxio's software package offers a complete solution and gives the user all the software needed to manage audio, photos, video and data. It also contains a comprehensive customer tutorial to instruct first time users on the ease with which DVDs can now be created. Data back-up and archiving can take less than 15 minutes for 4.7 GBytes."

The Plextor PX-504A DVD+R/RW drive is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers in North and South America in February 2003. The Plextor PX-504A has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $299.00 USD.
Reservations for the model PX-504A are now being accepted at www.PlextorShop.com. All retail packages include unlimited toll-free technical support and one-year full warranty.

Jan 28 - Worldwide PDA Market Suffers Through a Dismal Year in 2002. The PDA industry suffered through a difficult year as worldwide shipments totaled 12.1 million units in 2002, a 9.1 percent decline from 2001 results, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

Gartner Dataquest analysts said the industry has been impacted by the slow adoption of PDAs by enterprises.

"We estimate that about 70 percent of all PDAs are purchased by consumers and only 30 percent by enterprises," said Todd Kort, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "The more lucrative enterprise market has been stagnant because of poor economic conditions and a perception that PDAs are not yet capable of delivering sufficient return on investment. The enterprise market is still another year away from embracing PDAs."

Palm's worldwide PDA shipments declined 12.2 percent in 2002, but it still shipped more than twice as many units as its nearest competitor. Toshiba, which began shipping PDAs in late 2001 in Japan, saw rapid growth as it became the No. 5 vendor worldwide in 2002.

In the U.S. market, Sony jumped from the No. 6 position in 2001 to the No. 2 position in 2002, as its shipments increased 351.8 percent. Despite a 10.4 percent decline in shipments, Palm maintained about a 1.8 million-unit gap relative to its nearest competitor, Sony.

Preliminary U.S. PDA Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2002 (Units)

---------------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ------
2002 2001
2002 Market 2001 Market Growth
Company Shipments, Share (%) ---------------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ------
Palm 2,750,000, 46.0
Sony 881,000, 14.7
Hewlett-Packard 677,828, 11.3
Handspring 520,000, 8.7
Toshiba 236,989, 4.0
RIM 196,000, 3.3
Casio 133,000, 2.2
Symbol 121,936, 2.0
Sharp 54,000, 0.9
Dell 51,000, 0.9
Others 351,606, 5.9
Total 5,973,359, 100.0

In the PDA operating system market, Palm OS shipments totaled 6.7 million units, which represented 55.2 percent of worldwide shipments. Windows CE totaled 3.1 million units, which accounted for 25.7 percent of all PDA units.

A lack of significant progress in wireless PDA technologies has resulted in some companies waiting to purchase these devices.

"Wireless infrastructure is still immature, and wireless data security issues have not been fully resolved," Kort said. "End users still have too many hassles getting wireless devices properly configured. On top of this, wireless data speeds are typically much less than advertised, and costs per megabyte are relatively high, especially in the United States."

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Jan 28 - Siemens creates Fashion Phone Category. In a bold move to reinvigorate growth in the mobile phone market, the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) has created a new collection of personal communication devices in radically different shapes and wearable designs with simple voice functionality.

XELIBRI accessories will be sold over new channels, primarily via department stores and fashion retailers. They will be marketed as fashion items with two collections per year. The new fashion accessories will be sold initially in the U.K., China, including Hong Kong, in France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Spain from April 2003, and in further markets from September 2003.

With mobile phone penetration rates in many markets at 70 to 85 percent, and overall growth stalled, the mobile phone industry needs to be reinvigorated. Creating a new category in the market and thereby building demand for multiple phone ownership is an innovative step to achieve this. And at a time where design is a top purchase criteria, the timing is just right to introduce radically new designs.

"XELIBRI products are fashion accessories that make phone calls. Today, most people buy the mobile phone that looks the best, and many have a habit of showing it off. This shows that mobile phones are potential fashion accessories like watches, handbags, and shoes. We envisage the scenario where people will own many fashion accessory phones and wear the one that matches their mood, the occasion, or their attire", said George Appling, President of XELIBRI.

Rudi Lamprecht, Member of the Managing Board at Siemens AG, commented: "The launch of this new brand is a key element of Siemens mobile's strategy that sees the market split into voice-centric fashionable phones and feature-rich phones. We will continue to offer leading edge technology in the form of feature-rich mobile phones, as well as in mobile applications, networks infrastructure, cordless products and wireless modules. The valuable asset of the Siemens mobile brand will be further enhanced by this bold step."

Each XELIBRI collection will consist of four phones and just as fashion accessories there will be spring/summer and fall/winter collections. The phones will be available in limited quantities and will have a lifecycle of twelve months, which is significantly shorter than existing mobile phones.

You can access further information about Siemens mobile on the Internet at www.siemens-mobile.com.

Jan 28 - Epson Launches New 4.4-Pound Wireless Multimedia Projector. Imagine a 4.4-pound multimedia projector with 2,000 ANSI lumens that requires neither a video cable nor a PC to deliver stunning visual presentations. The new EPSON PowerLite 735c is the lightest 3-LCD projector on the market to offer such a flexible combination of portability with power.

"This is the kind of projector that will 'wow' your audience before you even begin to talk about the content in your presentation," said Jodi Maugham, product manager, Epson. "By combining a newly enhanced version of our EasyMP PC card reading capability and WiFi wireless connectivity, we've created a product that truly gives users a level of portable performance and brightness-to-weight ratio unlike any other solution on the market."

A "Wireless Wonder" In or Out of the Office Environment

With the incorporation of 802.11b technology, the WiFi-certified PowerLite 735c offers extreme portability and the power to project on up to four projectors simultaneously via a network or simply one standalone PC. Using the projector's "ad hoc" mode, users can easily transmit PowerPoint presentation data from their PC (using a wireless LAN card) directly to the projector with virtually no signal delays, including high-speed, animated slide transitions.
Using an "infrastructure" mode, users can control the projector wirelessly over an organization's LAN system, which also enables IS managers from remote locations to check the projector's status, monitor lamp use, control power and even change video sources. The EPSON PowerLite 735c meets WEP-compliancy (Wireless Encryption Packet) standards for increased security and features safeguards that protect the display screen from interruptions.

EasyMP(TM) -- Newly Enhanced PC-Free Presentation Technology

Epson has developed a new version of its EasyMP PC card reading technology for the PowerLite 735c. This technology enables users to run computerized presentations without a PC by transferring presentation files to a PC card that can be inserted in a slot located within the projector. Files transfer easily using Epson's conversion software and users can simply power on and proceed with a presentation or even review or hide files on the projector for the purpose of editing or rearranging the order of slides.

Picture transitions are smooth and JPEG or bitmap images can be advanced automatically or with a mouse click. Special effects from programs such as PowerPoint are preserved and presenters also have the ability to create and save notes and annotations directly on the slide. The PowerLite 735c is compatible with PCMCIA Flash memory and with the use of an optional adapter, can work with cards such as Compact Flash(TM), SmartMedia(TM), Sony MemoryStick(TM), Microdrive(TM), and ATA Flash.

Portability Based on High Performance Projection Technology

With brightness rated at 2,000 ANSI lumens, the EPSON PowerLite 735c takes the throne as the industry's brightest, sub-five-pound wireless LCD projector. This projector also features Epson's exclusive 15-degree digital auto-keystone correction that automatically engages and corrects trapezoid-shaped images without manual adjustments.

Another benefit is the projector's card-sized remote control (3.37" x 1.56" x 0.25"). This design is not only sleek and easy to use, but also stores conveniently inside a slot within the projector -- making it easy to access, yet more difficult to lose. Other special features include an optical zoom for enlarging specific areas within an image and a cable lock feature for security-sensitive environments.

The EPSON PowerLite 735c is priced at $3,499 (estimated street price) and will be available February 2003 through authorized pro audio/visual dealers, national distribution, catalog and direct PC dealers throughout the country.

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

Jan 28 - interMute Launches SpamSubtract. interMute, Inc., developer of award winning AdSubtract(R) web-preference software, today announced the availability of SpamSubtract PRO, a user-friendly spam blocker that stops junk email for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express.
interMute designed SpamSubtract to be simple to use and highly effective, so even novice computer users can have a strong defense to block unwanted emails. SpamSubtract keeps your email Inbox clean of junk email and permits the review and deletion of captured email, without displaying offensive words and images commonly found in spam.

Spam has reached an epidemic level, affecting hundreds of millions of email users worldwide, impairing productivity and sapping network resources. Due to the low cost and low barrier of entry, it is all too easy to get into the spamming business. A recent Harris Poll states 80% of Internet users polled said they are "very annoyed" by spam.
Estimates now claim about 50 percent of email consists of spam. Users must sort through numerous spam emails to get to their good email. With the explosive growth of spam, a real need has emerged for spam blocking software, such as SpamSubtract, to revitalize email productivity and to stop unwanted, inappropriate and pornographic emails.

SpamSubtract is easy-to-use and configure. Without making any changes to their email client, SpamSubtract allows email users to keep junk email away from their Inbox. Working as a spam firewall, SpamSubtract enables users to control what is considered spam vs. good email.
Mail from friends is never filtered. SpamSubtract imports a "Friends" list from address books and mail folders, and can automatically add new people to whom mail is sent. SpamSubtract detains and segregates unwanted emails so they can be quickly reviewed and deleted at the user's convenience.

SpamSubtract is a family-friendly tool that protects email users from exposure to inappropriate words and pictures. Other anti-spam programs openly display inappropriate filter lists, words and pictures to end-users. SpamSubtract masks offensive words in spam and prevents the preview of spam attachments, which normally are displayed in your email client and sometimes contain explicit or offensive pictures.
interMute is offering a free trial of SpamSubtract for 30 days. Unique to SpamSubtract, after the trial period ends, the product will continue to block offensive language and images from emails, even if the user decides to not purchase SpamSubtract PRO.

"Families, consumers and small businesses generally lack the resources to implement expensive and complicated corporate-level anti-spam solutions," said Ed English, CEO, interMute. "SpamSubtract is the perfect tool for users who want an effective solution to protect their PCs from the growing spam epidemic at a reasonable cost. The increasing outrage we've heard from people, in homes and offices, who are angry and embarrassed by emails with inappropriate and pornographic content is what drove us to develop a product to eradicate such emails."

SpamSubtract also provides security benefits, by quarantining email-borne viruses. By detaining spam in a special hold window, and not passing it to your email client, SpamSubtract can prevent malicious attachments such as viruses and bad scripts from executing.

SpamSubtract is available for a free 30-day trial and for $29.95 immediately at www.spamsubtract.com.

SPAM is a registered trademark owned by Hormel Foods. For further information about Hormel, see www.hormel.com

Jan 28 - Business Software Alliance Offers Software Grace Period. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) will launch its Software Grace Period in Chicago, IL, on February 1. During the Grace Period, BSA is giving area businesses a one-month opportunity to review their software programs and acquire the licenses they need to get legal without facing penalties for past infringement imposed by BSA.

Between February 1-28, BSA will reach out to more than 540,000 business contacts simultaneously in Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Albuquerque, NM; Dallas, TX; Louisville, KY; Harrisburg, PA and Seattle, WA.

"The Business Software Alliance recognizes that, for whatever reason, some businesses may not have managed their software assets properly, but ignoring the problem can lead to substantial financial exposure," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement for BSA. "The Grace Period offers businesses a chance to catch up, conduct a software audit and acquire the necessary licenses they need to get legal - penalty-free. This is a great opportunity for businesses to resolve any compliance issues before they become subjects of a BSA investigation."

Businesses in these cities will receive information from BSA on the Grace Period and how to participate. Companies that take part in the Grace Period and take the necessary steps to become fully licensed will be excused from penalties for software violations occurring prior to February 28, 2003(1). These penalties include fines up to $150,000 per copyright work infringed.

Over the past 12 years, BSA has collected more than $83 million in penalties from companies using unlicensed software. This is the eleventh BSA legalization program since August 2000. Since that time, BSA has offered its program in more than 45 cities to more than five million businesses. Prior cities include: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Greenville, Huntsville, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Rochester, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa, Tulsa and Tucson.

According to a recent state software study, in 2001, software piracy cost Illinois approximately $258 million in lost wages and resulted in a tax loss of nearly $59 million.

Businesses trying to determine whether their organization is using unlicensed software can download the free BSA Software Audit tool at www.bsagrace.com.

Jan 27 - Abit Announces First Motherboard to Support 1200MHz RDRAM Memory. Abit Computer Corporation proudly announces the SI7 motherboard featuring the SiS R658 chipset and Samsung Electronics' 1200MHz RDRAM(R) memory. Developed jointly with Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS), a leading core logic and graphics chip maker and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the industry-leading memory technology supplier, Abit's SI7 motherboard is designed for power users seeking PCs with the highest performance and best features.

"ABIT products are known for high performance and reliability, and our SI7 motherboard is no exception," said Edwin Lin, General Manager of ABIT. "Using the SiS R658 chipset, ABIT's SI7 motherboard offers all ultra high-end features for the enthusiasts including Gigabit LAN, Serial ATA, IEEE 1394a, and 1200MHz RDRAM."

"SiS is a leader at supplying customers with the highest performance computing solutions with features such as AGP8X, and the fastest memory," said Stephen Chen, vice president of SiS. "The SiSR658 chipset, combined with the powerful Intel(R) Pentium 4(R) processor and the bandwidth of RDRAM memory, enables us to deliver the fastest and smoothest computing experience."

The performance PC segment continues to demand faster and faster memory solutions, especially now that Hyperthreading(R) CPU speeds are in excess of 3.0GHz. 1200MHz RDRAM from Samsung will meet these demands and take memory performance to the next level.

"Samsung is committed to providing the fastest memory for the ultimate computing and gaming experience," said Jon Kang, Senior Vice President of Memory Product Planning and Engineering, Samsung Electronics. "Most of today's benchmark test results prove that the PC1200 RDRAM performance, which is strongly influenced by memory frequency and bandwidth, is superior to other PC systems. In fact, the high memory frequency and bandwidth of our PC1200 RDRAM has outperformed other PC systems in benchmark test results."

The Abit SI7 supports up to 4 GB 1200/1066MHz RDRAM memory capacity and fully supports AGP8X interface for powerful graphics chips. In addition, the SiSR658/963 chipsets are also equipped with powerful multimedia functions, including 5.1 Channel AC'97 2.2 Audio, 10/100MB Ethernet, Home PNA2.0 and Dual ATA133/100/66 IDE Channels, six USB 2.0/1.1 ports, and three 1394a ports, which can fully meet the high end PC requirement.

For more information, please visit www.abit.com.tw.

Jan 27 - First Official World Chess Championship: "MAN vs. MACHINE". X3D Technologies Corporation, the leading provider of "Extreme 3D" hardware and software products that are changing the face of entertainment, on January 23 announced its sponsorship of the First Official World Chess Championship: "Man vs. Machine," sanctioned by F.I.D.E. (Fédération Internationale des Échecs).
The competition, announced at a press conference at the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) in New York City, will set world chess champion Garry Kasparov against the ultimate chess-playing super-computer, Deep Junior.

The championship series will be held at the NYAC from January 26 to February 7, 2003, in 6 matches with classic time control.

"New York is the best place in the world to showcase this historical event and promote the game of chess as a symbol of friendship between all the countries," said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of F.I.D.E.

X3D Transforms Event

X3D's multiple award-winning technologies transform video, games and movies from 2D to 3D in real time for computer, television and Internet broadcast. X3D algorithms achieve over 90 million complex calculations per second and allow images to float in the air, inside and in front of the screen.

The X3D system creates 3D depth-of field by altering the image shown on the monitor of any PC equipped with X3D's proprietary software. The viewer wears a pair of special glasses that syncs with the onscreen image. In a very high-tech version of the 3D process used in movie theaters many years ago, the images alternate many times per second, producing an amazingly lifelike 3D effect.

"X3D is proud to be bringing this historic chess event to the online world in Extreme 3D," said Elliot Klein, CEO of X3D Technologies. "Chess is an ideal showcase for Extreme 3D technology because the process puts the viewer into the middle of the action. After viewing the Kasparov/Deep Junior face-off for themselves in Extreme 3D, we believe people will consider our technology to be the next killer application for education, entertainment, and games."

World-Class Matchup

Since IBM's Deep Blue super-computer initiated the "Man vs. Machine" chess challenge in May 1997, a new generation of super-computers has been competing every year. Deep Junior, three-time world champion, won the last official world chess championship for computers in July 2002, in Maastricht, Netherlands, against 18 other machines.

Garry Kasparov is without doubt the world's most renowned chess player. He surpassed Bobby Fischer's best-ever rating of 2785. Today, many consider him the greatest player in the history of chess.

The matches will be broadcast in Extreme 3D by X3D Technologies, live on the Internet at www.X3dworld.com.

Jan 27 - NetSolve Offers Free "SQL Slammer" Detection Signature. Early Saturday morning, January 25, the security division of NetSolve Incorporated (NASDAQ: NTSL) detected global Internet attacks similar to the Code Red attacks launched two years ago.

In this case, the attack is designed to exploit known vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL servers and then to automatically launch subsequent attacks to additional targets from the compromised servers. NetSolve engineers and support personnel were already proactively repairing the issues thus minimizing the impact to its customers' server networks as much as four hours prior to the first news reports that broke at 8a.m. EST.

This activity is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. As a result, swift, decisive action is required from the Internet community. The degree of impact ranges from limited access to Internet resources, to delayed response from carriers on issue resolution, to possibly compromised SQL servers that may subsequently affect Intranet and Internet environments.

NetSolve security engineers suggest the following:

Identify all servers running Microsoft SQL Server services and update them with the appropriate service packs and hot fixes. For additional information on which patches are applicable and further instruction on how to secure a SQL server, please visit www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/administration/2000/security.asp.

Reboot all infected servers in order to alleviate any immediate issues. Subsequent compromises may occur, however. In order to alleviate any subsequent compromises, it is recommended that the patches cited in the prior bullet be applied.

NetSolve offers Free "SQL Slammer" detection signature

Intrusion Detection and other security systems should be immediately updated to detect this attack. NetSolve's security services team immediately designed and deployed custom intrusion detection signatures to improve customer detection and alerting capabilities.

As a service to the Internet community, NetSolve is prepared to share the results of our analysis of the attack and the details necessary to define a custom signature for your system. This custom signature will allow users' IDS or security systems to proactively detect the SQL slammer worm before it becomes a problem. For more information on these services, visit www.netsolve.com/prowatch/security.html.

Jan 27 - Mazu Networks' PowerSecure Slams the Door On the "SQL Slammer". Several enterprise customers of Mazu Networks, a leading provider of solutions for network management and enterprise security, say their networks were able to repel the weekend attack of a fast-moving computer worm thanks to the protection delivered by Mazu's products.

The clients, including a major Internet service provider, two global media companies and a major financial services firm, confirmed that Mazu's PowerSecure solution not only provided early warning of the "SQL Slammer" worm but also quickly and effectively defeated the malicious code so that their vital network traffic could flow unimpeded.

"We have been in close touch with our customers this weekend and are pleased to report that PowerSecure quickly identified and defeated the SQL Slammer worm," said James Melvin, Mazu president and CEO. "Our customers' vital network traffic was barely disrupted and rapidly returned to normal service levels. To crush these insidious attacks and maintain business continuity and productivity, enterprises need intelligent and proactive security. That is precisely what PowerSecure delivers."

"As the leading fixed wireless broadband provider in the Northeast, our customers depend on us to protect them from cyber attacks," said Philip Urso, Chairman and CEO of TowerStream. "Our customers did not even notice this massive cyber attack, as Mazu Networks' PowerSecure product family helped us to instantly characterize the SQL Worm and successfully protect our customers from it."

The malicious program, launched at around midnight Eastern Time on Saturday, targeted a previously identified weakness in Microsoft's software to shut down powerful server computers and clog the network pipelines used for Internet traffic worldwide. News reports indicate that as of Sunday morning, about 150,000 to 200,000 servers had been compromised. By quickly copying itself and seeking to spread to the computers that manage Internet traffic, the worm overwhelmed networks worldwide, causing what experts described as the most damaging attack in the Internet in a year and a half.

For more information, please visit www.mazunetworks.com.

Jan 27 - Master of Orion III PC Game Goes Gold. Infogrames, Inc. a leading global publisher of interactive entertainment software, announced today that the highly-anticipated and long-awaited sequel in the space epic Master of Orion(R) 3 has gone Gold and will ship to retail as early as February 25, 2003.

"Master of Orion 3 is the definitive game for building civilization in space," says Nancy MacIntyre, Vice President of Marketing for Infogrames, Inc.'s Beverly, MA studio. "This game offers a truly immersive experience into all of the science fiction mystery, intrigue and adventure fans have come to expect from the Master of Orion(R) franchise and we're sure that fans everywhere will find it worth the wait."

In Master of Orion 3, the sequel to one of the best-loved strategy games of all time, players assume the biggest role ever. No longer do players merely represent petty interplanetary dictators. Players become the controlling power behind an entire galactic civilization; the dictators, presidents, councils, and overlords that come and go are merely pawns in the player's arsenal.
One must use these governments, their citizens, and their leaders to secure the destiny of their civilization, to manipulate policies of freedom and oppression in both foreign and domestic arenas. It is not enough to be an able economist or a great starship captain to succeed in Master of Orion 3; considerable political, administrative, research, and espionage skills must be applied to claim the title of Master of Orion.

Featuring a robust Single Player game and up to 8-player simultaneous turn-based Multiplayer, Master of Orion 3 is the definitive 5X Space Strategy game; Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate and now Experience grand strategy as you never have before.

Master of Orion 3 is being developed by veteran developer of classic strategy games Quicksilver Software, Inc and features a wide range of multi-player and solitaire play options, 16 highly-distinctive alien races, crisp graphics and an intuitive user interface. Master of Orion 3 is available for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP PCs.

For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.infogrames.com.

Jan 26 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. Computer prices were higher this week. Not many systems were advertised, however there were still some good deals to entice people away from Super Bowl parties.

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

Best Buy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They also have 12 month no-interest financing on all laptops and 24 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages. In addition they are giving mail-in rebates of $100 on all AMD Athlon XP and Intel Celeron desktop packages, and on all laptops.
Circuit City is offering $100 gift cards with all desktop package and laptop purchases. They also have 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages and laptops.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing for new computer purchases over $298.
CompUSA has no regular Sunday Ad, but they do have an Unadvertised Specials flyer that you can print and bring to your local store.
Staples has no ad 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
Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.2 GHz complete system
Circuit City
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD-RW and 15" LCD monitor
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.66 GHz complete system (build-to-order)
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD-RW
Circuit City
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000+ complete system
Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2400+ complete system
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
HP 2.4 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 80 GB Hard Drive
(after rebates)
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 180 GB Hard Drive
(after rebates with online ad)
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 52X CD-RW
(after rebates
Office Depot


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.


| Top |

Home || Computer Advice || Online CPA || Site Search || Compare Prices