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Daily Computer News and Rumors

January 09-14 2004

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 this index.)
Jan 14 Microsoft's Gates Touts Concept Of Seamless Computing During Pre-Ces Keynote Presentation
Jan 14 Intel Uses Moore's Law to Lead Transformation Inside and Outside the Home
Jan 14 Michael Dell on `The Dell Effect,' the Digital Home and Delivering Value to Customers
Jan 14 HP Announces Digital Entertainment Strategy
Jan 14 PNY Delivers Premium Performance and Price with the New Verto GeForce FX 5900 SE
Jan 14 Toshiba Introduces World's Smallest Hard Disk Drive
Jan 14 Netscape Launches Low-Cost Internet Access Service
Jan 14 Dolby Technologies Featured in Wide Range of Products at International CES
Jan 13 Transmeta Announces Industry-Wide Support for Ultra-Personal Computer (UPC) Platform
Jan 13 Apple Introduces iPod mini
Jan 13 Apple Introduces Xserve G5
Jan 13 Consumers Focusing More On Features and Functionality of DVD Recording Equipment
Jan 13 Consumer Experiences Digital Radio Revolution With Sale Of First Hd Radio™ Receiver
Jan 12 NVIDIA nForce3 Primed and Ready for New AMD Athlon64 Processor
Jan 12 AMD and Mediabolic to Enhance Functionality of Mobile Entertainment Devices
Jan 12 Epson Unveils Widescreen HDTV Projection Televisions With Integrated Digital Photo Center
Jan 12 iBIZ Technology Launches 1st Standalone Virtual Laser Keyboard for PDAs
Jan 12 New Automatic Defragmenting Technology Eliminates The Need For Manual Defragmenting
Jan 11 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jan 09 Acer America Speeds Past Competition With Ferrari 3000 Notebook
Jan 09 World's First SVGA OLED Video Headset for Consumers Unveiled at CES
Jan 09 Fujitsu Offers New Slate Tablet PC
Jan 09 Epson Showcases Five Consumer Electronics Products for Home Entertainment
Jan 09 PDA Penetration Will Only Reach 7% of the Overall U.S. Population by 2008

 

Jan 14 -Microsoft's Gates Touts Concept Of Seamless Computing During Pre-Ces Keynote Presentation. Thousands of consumer electronics executives closed out an exciting eve of the 2004 International CES with a riveting speech by Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. Gates' Pre-CES Keynote Address helped fuel an already action-packed day of CES exhibitor press conferences and partner programs held throughout the day. The 2004 International CES opens today and runs through Sunday in Las Vegas, Nev.

"The hotels are over-sold, the flights are full to capacity and thousands of technology executives finally have arrived in Las Vegas to experience the digital world of consumer electronics products and technology here at CES," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producer of CES. "The energy pouring out of the Las Vegas Convention Center these last two days has truly set the stage for what we have been waiting for since last January, the 2004 International CES – the World Cup of Consumer Technology."

Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect for Microsoft Corp., utilized the 2004 International CES to launch his concept of seamless computing last night. The theme of seamless computing, explained Gates, is the ability to bring devices together into one connected world. Gates explained that software and broadband technology are the building blocks to making seamless computing a reality.

Much to the surprise of the CES audience, Gates introduced world renown talk show host Jay Leno to the stage to help promote MSN.com, a personalized homepage full of the customized information, photo sharing and streaming video capabilities, as well as top content from such providers as NBC, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Weather Channel and others. Gates then segued into MSN Direct, a new service that connects with SPOT technology offering personalized information such as news, sports, stocks and weather to consumers' SPOT-enabled watches.

Keeping in theme with seamless access to content, Gates switched gears to discuss briefly the concept of seamless entertainment. Central to this concept is the ability of various entertainment devices such as DVD players, audio players and digital imaging technology to interconnect throughout the home via the MSN Media Center.

Playing off that concept, Gates introduced Windows Media Vision HD, a powerful piece of technology allowing content available on your PC to be transmitted into high-definition. The stage then was set for a demonstration of a new Portable Media Center allowing consumers to transfer their movies, music, photos, and other content from a PC to a portable device the size of a wallet. Gates briefly touched on the Xbox Media Center Extender Kit that allows the Xbox to connect to a PC and access content for playback through the gaming console.

Gates' keynote complimented a morning presentation by Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach at the first-ever Digital Games Summit, produced by iHollywood Forum in conjunction with CES. Bach spoke of consumers' digital lifestyle wish-list where people demand access to the content they own whenever and wherever they please. The approach to meeting this demand, Bach explained, is to utilize the PC as the gateway to the home to store, manage and access content anywhere in the home in any format. As Gates later reinforced in this speech, Bach stated software and services will help make this easier to accomplish.

Some of the exciting news announced by exhibitors already at CES illustrates the industry's movement to portable digital content.
Audiovox launched new Jensen and Advent home audio products, the first since Audiovox acquired the two brands.
LG Electronics introduced the first Blu-Ray recorder, combining the new high-capacity recordable digital media format and a 200-gigabyte hard drive capable of recording high-definition content.
Philips Electronics introduced the Streamium television that allows consumers to access video and audio content through a wireless or wired Ethernet connection. Entropic Communications and Toshiba demonstrated a revolutionary method of networking high-definition television (HDTV) throughout an average home over coaxial cable.
Thomson unveiled an array of RCA Scenium ultra-thin digital cable-ready integrated rear-projection HDTV sets. Sharp Electronics launched the 45-inch Aquos, the world's largest widescreen liquid crystal HDTV set.
And, Deja View and Toshiba announced first-quarter availability of the world's first wearable camcorder.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 1,300 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA's members account for more than $90 billion in annual sales.
CEA's resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

Jan 14 - Michael Dell on `The Dell Effect,' the Digital Home and Delivering Value to Customers. Michael Dell today told Consumer Electronics Show attendees that customer demand for relevant technology continues to drive "The Dell Effect," the price-drop and increased-value scenario that typically occurs when Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) enters a new product category.
Mr. Dell also described how the company's move further into the digital home benefits consumers and makes solid business sense for Dell, driving profitability and growth.

Mr. Dell expects "The Dell Effect" to continue to gain momentum as the company adds value in consumer electronics and other product categories. Dell last fall debuted its line of standards-based consumer electronics, including LCD televisions and digital music players. The products are designed to work easily with Dell's core offerings of desktop and notebook computers.

"Through our direct relationships with customers, we're listening to what they want and working hard to get them the right products at the right price," said Mr. Dell. "Customer experience sets Dell apart from others in our industry, and we're setting the bar very high."

Mr. Dell was joined on stage by John Hamlin, senior vice president and general manager of Dell's U.S. Consumer Business. Dell recently was recognized by U.S. consumers as the most trusted technology brand in the United States, and the company's repurchase rate continues to lead all major PC brands.

Mr. Hamlin cited Dell's innovation of personal printer ink management as a recent example of the company's efforts to innovate on the customer's behalf. "Instead of searching through aisles for often out-of-stock printer cartridges, Dell customers can call us or visit dell.com and have their order shipped right away," said Hamlin. "With Dell, customers know they'll get the cartridge they need, shipped the same day, with no hassles."

Mr. Dell added that Dell continues to innovate the way customers shop and buy via the Internet, with offerings like Dell's new high-speed Internet tool, which allows U.S. customers to compare and select a local Internet provider via dell.com. "Logging on to dell.com and shopping for digital home products and services is far easier than dealing with the hassle of retail," said Mr. Dell. "We believe that shopping for your digital music player should be as easy as downloading your favorite song."

About Dell

Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

Jan 14 - Intel Uses Moore's Law to Lead Transformation Inside and Outside the Home. Intel Corporation President and COO Paul Otellini today said Intel is working to bring the benefits and power of computing technologies to the world of consumer electronics. The goal of this effort is to create products that work simply and easily together, provide greater flexibility and offer increased power and usefulness for consumers. By applying advanced silicon technology and helping to advance open standards, Intel is working to bring increased benefits to consumers and provide new opportunities for the consumer electronics industry.

"The same dynamics that drove the PC revolution are moving to consumer electronics," said Otellini at an Industry Insiders speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show. "As the world of consumer electronics and content shift from analog to digital, there is a great opportunity to advance the rate of improvement in performance, cost and integration of features in CE devices. Think of this as Moore's Law applied to yet another industry.

"Our goal is to eliminate boundaries between electronic devices inside and outside the home and we're working with the PC and consumer electronics industries to make this a reality. For Intel in 2004, this effort will receive as much focus as the work we did last year to advance wireless technologies for mobile computing."

Intel plans to apply its focus on silicon innovation and open platforms to the digital home in order to help create a new era of consumer electronics -- allowing individuals to have access to digital content anytime, anywhere, on any device. The company is augmenting its product-related activities with a $200 million digital home fund. Announced yesterday, the Intel Digital Home Fund will invest in companies that complement Intel products and accelerate development of key technologies and content which enhance and simplify the digital home experience. The fund will be an important component of the company's strategic investment program known as Intel Capital.

In addition to this substantial investment, Intel will apply its wireless expertise and ability as a silicon innovator to develop new technologies for consuming and managing digital content. Examples include the company's development work on a device called the Entertainment PC -- a slim form factor PC connected to a television screen. Entertainment PCs can be used to organize, consume and enjoy digital content such as music, movies, TV programming, gaming and high-definition video. The devices will be capable of sharing content wirelessly and operated with a remote control instead of a keyboard. They will include a TV tuner and act as digital media adapter with a silent fan and consumer audio and video connections. Entertainment PCs, which can also serve as wireless network access points, are expected to be available mid-year from a variety of PC manufacturers and sell for less than $800.

Other innovative technologies include the company's Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) capability, designed to dramatically improve the appearance of large-screen displays at lower cost. Code-named Cayley, Intel's LCOS technology is expected to be available in large-screen displays as early as this year. The displays are anticipated to decline in cost to achieve price points of less than $2,000 next year.

The company is also providing fundamental technology for advanced set top boxes, digital imaging devices, portable media players, digital media adapters and other devices that provide increased power, flexibility and choice in the way digital content is enjoyed.

"Our objective is to provide the essential building blocks that will enable consumers to enjoy the best entertainment experience possible," Otellini said.

In order to ensure consumers can take advantage of the silicon technology Intel is delivering, the company is helping lead the development of open industry specifications that will be essential to sharing content across multiple consumer devices. Intel's role as a founding member of the Digital Home Working Group -- which includes the PC industry, content providers and the consumer electronics industry -- will help drive technology specifications for the benefit of consumers.

"By helping to shape standards along with providing advanced silicon technology, we believe we can significantly improve the way consumers use technology," said Otellini. "The development of industry standards in consumer electronics will enable more rapid innovation at lower cost -- the same positive impact that standards have had in the PC industry."

In another example of industry cooperation, the development of Digital Transmission Content Protection over Internet Protocol (DTCP/IP) technology by Intel and other companies will enable home users to wirelessly share protected entertainment content among a variety of devices in the home. Through collaboration with content providers such as Warner Brothers and others, this technology is likely to be a cornerstone to expanding digital home entertainment.

"Broadband Internet connections, the home PC and wireless technology combined with the ability to share premium content wirelessly means in the future individuals will be able to watch first run movies at home the same day they premiere in the theater," Otellini said. "In our view of the digital home, it's not so much about a place, but an ability to share content across handheld, mobile and large-screen devices so that consumers can enjoy digital content the way they want it, when and where they want it."

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Jan 14 - HP Announces Digital Entertainment Strategy. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced an array of products and partnerships aimed at transforming the way people experience music, movie, TV, photographs and digital entertainment content. The company also outlined its strategy for adding value across the entire digital entertainment value chain from the creation and protection of digital content to the distribution and consumption of content.
"Much of the attention in the industry has been focused on the devices we hold in our hands or hang on our walls," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer, HP. "But the digital entertainment experience is about much more. It's about the creation, distribution, management and enjoyment of all kinds of digital content from all kinds of sources. Today, the challenges of cost, complexity, connectivity and manageability get in the way of a great experience and they can't be addressed by focusing solely on gizmos and gadgets. That would be like trying to tell the story of television by focusing solely on the TV set, or trying to tell the story of movies by focusing solely on the projector.

"What matters now is making all of the various digital entertainment products and content work together in a way that creates simple, enjoyable, intuitive digital experiences at a price that allows everyone to participate. HP will apply its innovation and systems expertise to addressing the challenges in the digital entertainment realm."

At the heart of HP's digital entertainment strategy is a comprehensive digital entertainment system that makes it easy to create, manage, transfer, share and enjoy all forms of entertainment content across a range of devices and component technologies. System components include:

HP entertainment hub

Starting this fall, HP will introduce an entertainment hub designed to put consumers in control of all of their entertainment content. The entertainment hub will serve as the single, central storage repository, distribution and access point for all music, photo, video and movie collections in the home.

Additionally, consumers will be able to watch and pause live TV and record their favorite TV shows from any source, including cable, satellite or HDTV. The new device will be sleek and stylish and work great with existing devices in the home, but will offer an even better experience in combination with the other components of the HP Digital Entertainment System.

HP digital displays

HP previewed its new 30-inch LCD and 42-inch plasma digital displays due out in June. HP displays will offer a superior audio and visual experience with a state-of-the-art imaging engine developed by HP that displays true-to-life images. HP's displays will feature advanced panels that offer deeper black levels, vibrant colors and high-definition resolution.

HP projectors

HP announced plans to introduce a new generation of digital projectors in the fall that serve as a cost-effective home theater component to its digital entertainment system.

HP LightScribe technology

HP announced an innovative new technology to address the problem of labeling CDs and DVDs. HP LightScribe technology allows consumers to create silk-screen quality labels on their CDs or DVDs by burning text and graphics directly onto a disc, eliminating the need for adhesive labels. HP will begin making this new capability available to consumers in HP PCs in the second half of 2004.

HP Digital Music Player

HP is partnering with Apple Computer to provide an exceptional digital music experience to consumers as part of its larger digital entertainment system offering. Starting this summer, HP will deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple's iPod, the No. 1 digital music player in the world, and Apple's award-winning iTunes digital music jukebox and pioneering online store to HP's customers. As part of the alliance, HP consumer PCs and notebooks will come preinstalled with Apple's iTunes jukebox software and an easy-reference desktop icon to point customers directly to the iTunes Music Store, ensuring a simple, seamless music experience (see separate news release issued today).

HP iPAQ

Starting this summer, in addition to being a complete organizer, the HP iPAQ is going to become an intelligent remote control that consumers can use to control all of their entertainment devices and access all digital content including music, photos and videos, either locally, streaming or remotely.

Support for Microsoft's Media Center Extender technology

HP said it will begin supporting Microsoft's Media Center Extender technology for its Media Center PCs in the second half of 2004. The new technology enables consumers to wirelessly display all music, photo, video and TV content stored on their Media Center PC in the study or home office in the living room.

Protecting intellectual property

As part of its overall digital entertainment strategy, HP is taking a strong stance on protecting the intellectual property of artists and creators of content. Starting today, HP is stepping up its commitment to building, acquiring or licensing the best content protection technologies for HP devices that will set secure copyrights without sacrificing great consumer experiences - and will strive to build every one of its consumer devices to respect digital rights.

For example, HP will build support for a technology called Broadcast Flag into its TVs, media hubs and Media Center PCs in products rolled out after June. The Broadcast Flag signals that the content must be protected and cannot be shared indiscriminately over the Internet. The technology does not prevent consumers from making multiple copies of digital content and sharing it within a home network or storing it on physical media such as DVDs.

Partnering with content creators

HP also announced a series of partnerships with content creators:

-- HP is working with the Sundance Institute to provide the backbone technology for the Sundance Film Festival and is powering the Sundance Online Film Festival - a creative discovery, distribution and delivery portal all in one hosted entirely on an HP hosting platform. Consumers can experience the spirit of Sundance -- right from their own PC or mobile device - and watch over 40 short-subject films, vote for favorite movies and watch a bio of an emerging filmmaker. During this month, HP and Starbucks are teaming up to bring deliver the Sundance Online Film Festival free of charge at any of the wirelessly enabled Starbucks in North America. CES conference attendees can also view it in the HP booth at CES or at www.sundance.org.

-- HP announced it will be the "Presenting Sponsor" of Project Greenlight this year, working with Project Greenlight founders Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore to provide access to the digital tools that will inspire a new generation of filmmakers.

-- HP is partnering with CBS to help fans experience the magic of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in digital-quality picture and sound.

-- HP is also working with Getty Images - the world's leading provider of imagery, film and digital services - which has designated HP its exclusive technology provider, to expand and power its digital image archive and respond faster to customer demand.

"To truly bring the digital revolution home, it's going to take a fundamental understanding of how content is created, distributed, shared and enjoyed," said Fiorina. "It's going to take an understanding of how complex systems work together in a simple, affordable way to deliver great end-to-end experiences. And it's going to take relationships and partnerships across the industry. HP will apply its scope and scale along with its innovation and partnership capabilities to transform the digital entertainment realm."

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the fiscal year ending on Oct. 31, 2003, HP revenue totaled $73.1 billion. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

Jan 14 - PNY Delivers Premium Performance and Price with the New Verto GeForce FX 5900 SE. Introduced today at CES, PNY's Verto(TM) GeForce(TM) FX 5900 SE delivers the most affordable, high-performance graphics card in its class. Based on the NVIDIA(R) GeForce FX 5900 XT GPU (graphics processing unit), PNY's Verto 5900 SE will be available through Fry's, CompUSA, TigerDirect and Circuit City starting January 25 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $229.99.

"PNY's Verto GeForce FX 5900 SE challenges the market with an insanely fast card at an aggressive price point," said Craig Wiener, PNY's senior marketing manager for consumer graphics cards. "This latest introduction targets gamers and PC enthusiasts who require a high-end PC graphics card that is capable of delivering stunning cinematic graphics without breaking the bank."

The Verto 5900 SE is equipped with NVIDIA's CineFX(TM) 2.0 Engine incorporating advanced vertex and pixel shaders for enhanced cinematic effects plus faster and smoother game play. With a 390MHz GPU clock, a 350MHz memory clock (700MHz memory data rate) and 256-bit memory interface, the PNY's Verto GeForce FX 5900 SE delivers the power to run the latest games and applications at blazing speeds.

Additional key features include:

-- A PNY designed GPU cooling system with an advanced copper heat transfer system for maximum GPU heat dissipation;

-- 128MB's of DDR memory;

-- Memory heat sinks;

-- The recently released Call of Duty full version CD video game, a $50 retail value, FREE, in the box;

-- VGA, DVI and S-Video output ports; and

-- A DVI-I-to-VGA adapter, an S-Video cable and a 'Y' adapter power cable.

PNY Technologies offers a lifetime replacement warranty and toll-free tech support. For more information, technical product support, FAQs and the latest up-to-date drivers, please visit PNY's Web site at www.pny.com.

Jan 14 - Toshiba Introduces World's Smallest Hard Disk Drive. Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor storage, today announced the development of a 0.85-inch hard disk drive (HDD), the first drive to deliver multi-gigabyte storage in a sub-one-inch form factor. Expected to be available in 2GB and 4GB capacities, Toshiba will start sampling the new drive in summer 2004, with mass production to begin in late 2004.

"Hard disk drive technology has migrated from the computer to digital music players to mobile phones and other portable gadgets that require meaningful storage capacities in a pocket-size form factor," said Amy Dalphy, manager, HDD business unit, Toshiba SDD. "Toshiba continues to lead and enable the market by expanding storage possibilities with gigabytes of capacity packed into a tiny hard disk drive that fits on your fingertip."

Measuring only a quarter of the size of Toshiba's 1.8-inch drive, the 0.85-inch HDD is expected to boost the functionality of a new generation of products, including mobile phones, digital audio players, PDAs, digital still cameras, camcorders and external storage devices. Toshiba initially plans to introduce capacities of 2GB and 4GB, and anticipates achievement of even higher densities in the 0.85-inch form factor.

Toshiba Creates the Market

Toshiba set the stage for small format HDDs in 2000 with a removable 1.8-inch PC Card HDD in a 2GB capacity. The company has subsequently rolled out a series of products that consistently helps customers to create groundbreaking, innovative and necessary products for today's mobile environment. Toshiba's 1.8-inch embedded drives are now available in 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, 20GB, 30GB and 40GB capacities and are the storage devices enabling some of the hottest portable products on the market.

A prototype of the 0.85-inch HDD will be shown at Toshiba's booth (#12214) on the CES show floor January 8-11, 2004. For more information about Toshiba's 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch and 0.85-inch HDDs, visit www.harddrives.toshiba.com.

Jan 14 - Dolby Technologies Featured in Wide Range of Products at International CES. At 2004 International CES, Dolby Laboratories' premiere audio technologies are featured in a wide range of new products in the consumer electronics, personal computer, automobile, and game industries. These premiere audio technologies will be showcased in the Dolby booth (LVCC South Hall #17214), and numerous hardware exhibits throughout the show.

"As a leader in sound entertainment, Dolby consistently develops new and exciting technologies that enrich the entertainment experience in a variety of listening environments. To date, Dolby technologies have been integrated into more than 1.4 billion products worldwide. Dolby technologies are successful not just because of their innovative nature, but also because consumers can experience them in products found around the world," said Ron Vitale, Director, Consumer Marketing, Dolby Laboratories.

The following highlights describe Dolby's successes that will be featured at the International CES show.

Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Pro Logic IIx

Dolby® Pro Logic® II and Dolby Pro Logic IIx technologies bring the full cinema surround sound experience to the home theater. Dolby Pro Logic II has become the standard for matrix surround technology, providing five full-bandwidth channels of surround sound playback from home theater and in-car entertainment devices. Dolby Pro Logic II unlocks directional cues in stereo (two-channel) audio content and processes them into independent five-channel surround sound. Dolby Pro Logic IIx expands upon Dolby Pro Logic II by providing up to 7.1 channels of audio to the listener.

Dolby Pro Logic II

- Dolby Pro Logic II is now featured in four car models: the Volvo XC90, Volvo S40, Volvo V50, and the Aston Martin DB9. The Volvo XC90 will be displayed in Dolby's International CES booth.
- Dolby Pro Logic II can also be found in new aftermarket car products from such manufacturers as Alpine, Eclipse, and Kenwood.
- According to retail data from the NPD Group, 80 percent of top selling titles this holiday season featured Dolby Pro Logic II technology, including Nintendo's Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Electronic Art's Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, and Square Enix's Final Fantasy X-2. Dolby Pro Logic II is featured on the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, and in well over 100 game titles.
- Content encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II is also being broadcast over the air. ABC, Fox, and CBS have already added Dolby Pro Logic II encoding to their stereo feeds for professional football broadcasts, and the CMA Awards Program in November 2003 was also broadcast in Dolby Pro Logic II.
- More than eight million receivers incorporating Dolby Pro Logic II have been sold since the format's introduction in 2000.

Dolby Pro Logic IIx

- Introduced in September 2003, Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology has been adopted by more than 14 manufacturers and will be featured in more than 25 products this year. Companies displaying new products at CES featuring Dolby Pro Logic IIx include Arcam, Denon, Fosgate Audionics, Marantz, Meridian, Onkyo, Pioneer, TAG McLaren, Yamaha, and many more.

Dolby Headphone

Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack, through any set of headphones.
- At CES, Delphi and Kenwood will be demonstrating the first automobile rear-seat entertainment DVD-Video implementations of Dolby Headphone.
- Dolby Headphone technology can be found in new hardware products from Denon, Harman Kardon, Philips, and Pioneer as well as in PCs made by Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sharp, and Sony.
- Dolby Headphone technology is featured in software DVD players from CyberLink, InterVideo, and Nvidia.

Dolby Virtual Speaker

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.
- At International CES, Dolby Virtual Speaker will be featured in new hardware products from Denon and Harman Kardon.
- Dolby Virtual Speaker is also integrated in software DVD players from CyberLink and InterVideo.
- Personal computers from Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sharp, and Sony include Dolby Virtual Speaker technology.

Dolby Digital Stereo Creator

Dolby Digital Stereo Creator technology enables consumers to create the highest quality DVDs from original content such as home movies. Dolby Digital Stereo Creator optimizes the available recording space and the production quality of recordable DVD-Video media, enabling users to store up to 25 percent more content on a disc than is possible with software.
- Dolby Digital Stereo Creator will be included in new products from InterVideo, MediaStream, Sonic, Sony, and Ulead.

Dolby Digital Recording

Dolby Digital Recording technology is an efficient audio encoding technology used to record stereo audio content onto writeable DVD-Video discs and hard-disk drive (HDD) based personal video recorders (PVRs). Dolby Digital Recording optimizes recording space, making it possible to store more high-quality content on recordable DVD-Video discs and PVRs.
- Dolby Digital Recording technology will be featured in new products from Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, and Sony.

DVD-A with Meridian Lossless Packing

DVD-Audio, the successor to the compact disc, is the most technically sophisticated audio delivery format developed. DVD-Audio combines the physical properties of DVD with MLP LosslessTM coding from Dolby Laboratories to deliver music with full 5.1-channel surround sound and fidelity that is 500 times better than that of the CD. With MLP Lossless coding, DVD-Audio content, upon playback, is bit-for-bit identical to the studio master tapes, and is reproduced with a warmth and natural timbre not available from compact disc technology.

- Automobiles now offering factory-installed DVD-Audio players include the Toyota Brevis (Japan only) and Acura's 2004 TL (worldwide). The Acura TL will be showcased in Dolby's International CES booth.
- More than 50 products from 20 manufacturers are currently on the market.
- Four models of aftermarket car audio products offer MLP Lossless for DVD-Audio from manufacturers Alpine, Eclipse, Kenwood, and Pioneer. Alpine's F#1 Status technology makes its debut at International CES.
- Approximately 530 DVD-Audio titles have been released worldwide.
- DVD-Audio playback is now offered in consumer electronics, portable electronics, personal computers, and automobiles.

Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital, the versatile audio encoding/decoding technology from Dolby Laboratories, is the sound standard for virtually every new home entertainment and broadcast delivery format around the world. With its ability to deliver mono, stereo, or up to 5.1 channels of superb audio quality, Dolby Digital is a designated standard for DVD worldwide and in North America for digital terrestrial broadcasting, as well as a de facto standard for satellite (DBS) and digital cable systems.
- More than 35 million Dolby Digital 5.1 receivers have been sold.
- More than 48 million Dolby Digital decoders for satellite and television have been sold.
- More than 155 million DVD-Video playback units with Dolby Digital technology have been sold.
- As of December 2003, 36 currently scheduled series and more than 100 scheduled movies are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 on networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, HBO, Showtime, STARZ!, and HDNet. A myriad of HD channels also offer Dolby Digital 5.1 to their viewers.
- Dolby Digital is the audio standard on the Microsoft Xbox, and was featured in every top selling game for the Xbox this holiday season, including Take 2 Interactive's Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack.
- More than 14 thousand DVD-Video titles are available.

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

Jan 14 - Netscape Launches Low-Cost Internet Access Service. Netscape, one of the original pioneers of the Internet, today announced the introduction of a new, affordably priced dial-up Internet service for consumers who want a reliable and low-cost way to get online. The Netscape® service costs $9.95 per month for unlimited use and is available now at www.getnetscape.com or the Netscape® portal (www.netscape.com).

With a simple approach of "Just the Net You Need," the Netscape Internet service offers e-mail with built-in spam filters, a convenient start page with news headlines, Internet search enhanced by Google™ technology and unlimited dial-up Internet access through an extensive nationwide network with thousands of access numbers, allowing subscribers across the country to get online easily and stay reliably connected. And, with the new service, Netscape.com e-mail addresses are available publicly for the first time, giving subscribers a unique opportunity to create a personalized online address at a renowned Internet brand.

Joel Davidson, Executive Vice President for AOL® Access Businesses said: "The new Netscape Internet service focuses on three elements - simplicity, reliability and affordability - to give people just the Net they need. Extensive consumer research has told us that many people are looking for just the basics from an Internet service: reliable connections, safe e-mail, and a great search product.
"We'll also soon be adding features that will enable users to enhance these basic Web needs with increased surfing speed and online safety and security. The Netscape brand has always been synonymous with innovation on the Web, and the new Netscape service is set to become the new value leader among low-cost Internet services."

Jan 13 - Transmeta Announces Industry-Wide Support for Ultra-Personal Computer (UPC) Platform. Transmeta Corporation (NASDAQ:TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, today announced industry-wide support to develop and deliver Ultra-Personal Computers (UPCs), a brand new product category, into the computer marketplace. This collaborative initiative is comprised of a core group of leading technology companies including OEM manufacturers, key component developers and major software vendors.

UPCs deliver the power and performance of a desktop computer, the functionality of a laptop computer and the ability to run a full version of Microsoft Windows® XP in a handheld PDA-sized form factor. The emergence of the UPC product category is made possible by the low power consumption and reduced heat dissipation characteristics of the Transmeta Efficeon™ and Crusoe® families of high-performance processors.

"With the growing list of companies supporting the UPC category, we see the potential for a revolution to take place in the computer industry," said Dr. Matthew R. Perry, president and CEO of Transmeta. "Not only are more and more companies designing new innovative ways to use our processors in Ultra-Personal Computers, but additional companies are offering support in software, hardware and peripherals for the UPC segment, which may ultimately bring the benefits of UPC computing to millions of users world-wide."

UPCs address the growing needs of consumers and enterprise users who need a single, portable device capable of running all of the applications that they already use on their desktop and notebook PCs. Users require generous storage capacity for large documents and media, robust email capabilities for receiving and reading large email attachments and the ability to download and view multimedia files any place at any time.

"We are pleased with Transmeta's focus on continuing to enhance the power and performance of Windows-based mobile PCs," said Larry Engel, general manager of the Mobile PC Business Unit for Microsoft. "They are working to enable the full power of Windows XP into an increasingly mobile form factor, allowing users to work smarter and faster, from more places."

Additionally, UPCs will allow users to have a single operating system for all of their data, eliminating or dramatically simplifying the synchronization between multiple devices. No longer will users have to spend hours every month keeping their data synced, or be forced to use partial-functionality file formats on their mobile devices. This advance enables seamless portability of modern multimedia content and ultimately can save both time and money for consumers and the enterprise market.

"It is our opinion that the Ultra-Personal Computer is a valuable product category and has real potential for growth within various enterprise and consumer markets," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. "Our projected forecasts see a tremendous adoption rate for this category and expect sales of UPCs to grow from 350,000 units in 2004 to 1.8 million units in 2006."

About the Transmeta Efficeon Processor

The Transmeta Efficeon processor is designed to provide power efficiency, design flexibility, performance-on-demand and low cost to meet the need of the next generation of mobile, wireless, and embedded devices.
It includes three new high performance bus interfaces: an on-chip HyperTransport™ bus interface for increased input/output efficiency, an on-chip Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM memory interface for increased throughput, and an on-chip AGP graphics interface for high performance graphics solutions.
These new interfaces allow Efficeon to achieve more work per clock, which results in greater energy efficiency and longer battery life for mobile computer users. The Transmeta Efficeon processor's dynamic LongRun® power management features and integrated architecture are designed to give system designers and marketers a wide range of choices in creating products that deliver added value, functionality, security, comfort, reliability, and cost savings to end users.

To learn more about Transmeta, visit www.transmeta.com.

Jan 13 - Apple Introduces iPod mini. Apple® today introduced iPod™ mini, the smallest portable music player ever to hold up to 1,000 CD-quality songs.

iPod mini is encased in an ultra-portable, lightweight anodized aluminum body available in five stylish colors—silver, gold, pink, blue or green—and features a patent pending, touch-sensitive Click Wheel for easy, one-handed navigation. iPod mini features the same award-winning user interface as its “big brother” iPods and works effortlessly with Apple’s iTunes® Music Store, the world’s number one digital music service, and the iTunes digital music jukebox software for seamlessly buying, managing and listening to digital music collections.

“iPod has revolutionized the way people listen to music,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPod mini joins the iPod family of best-selling digital music players, offering customers the same 1,000 songs in your pocket as the original iPod in an innovative design that’s half the size. We think its going to be pretty popular, especially with younger music lovers.”

iPod mini is the perfect combination of ultra-portable design, storage capacity, ease-of-use and audio performance. iPod mini is smaller than most cell phones and weighs only 3.6 ounces. Building on the success of the original touch wheel, iPod mini features an innovative, new Click Wheel that combines the ease and simplicity of a touch wheel with the precision of mechanical buttons for precise, one-handed navigation. iPod mini users can transfer a song per second from their Mac® or Windows computer and conveniently charge iPod mini with either the included FireWire or USB 2.0 cable.

iPod mini is the ultimate fashion statement with a choice of five stylish colors—silver, gold, pink, blue or green—the hallmark white headphones and a new belt clip. With a backlit, recessed screen and lightweight, yet durable anodized aluminum, iPod mini is the ultimate portable digital music player. Users can purchase an optional arm band, in-ear headphones or a dock to enhance their iPod mini experience.

iPod mini features Apple’s patent pending Auto-Sync technology that automatically downloads an entire digital music library onto iPod mini and keeps it up-to-date whenever iPod mini is plugged into a Mac or Windows computer using FireWire or USB 2.0.

Pricing & Availability

iPod mini for Mac and Windows will be available in the US in February for a suggested retail price of $249 (US), and will be available worldwide in April, in a choice of a silver, gold, pink, blue or green 4GB model with a belt clip. iPod mini will be available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
All iPod minis will include earbud headphones, an Apple iPod mini power adapter, a 1.2m 30-pin to FireWire cable, a 1.2m 30-pin to USB 2.0 cable, and a CD with iTunes 4.2 for Mac and Windows computers.

Jan 13 - Apple Introduces Xserve G5. Apple® today introduced Xserve® G5, the most powerful Xserve yet, delivering over 30 gigaflops of processing power per system, about 60 percent more than the PowerPC G4-based Xserve. Xserve G5 features the same revolutionary PowerPC G5, 64-bit processor used in Virginia Tech’s cluster of Power Mac® G5s—the world’s third fastest supercomputer. With unparalleled performance and manageability in a 1U rack-mount enclosure, Xserve G5 is the perfect server for today’s UNIX-based applications.

Xserve G5 includes a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory; three hot-plug Serial ATA drive modules that deliver up to 750GB of storage; optional internal hardware RAID; dual PCI-X slots, supporting 133 MHz PCI-X cards with over 1 GBps of throughput; and dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet for high-performance networking.

“Xserve G5 delivers just what our customers have been asking for,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With dual G5 processing power and up to 8GB of ECC memory, Xserve G5 is affordable, easy to manage and easy to cluster. Starting as low as $2,999, no one can offer better price performance in a 1U rack-mount design.”

Available with either single or dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, the Xserve G5 architecture is based on an execution core that features massively parallel computation for an unprecedented 215 in-flight instructions, full symmetric multi-processing, two double precision floating-point units and an optimized Velocity Engine. Xserve G5 has the industry's fastest front side processor bus—running at up to 1.0 GHz and delivering 8 GBps per processor.

Building on the engineering feats first introduced in the Power Mac G5, Xserve G5 squeezes the incredible performance of dual PowerPC G5 processors into an ultra-thin 1U enclosure. An innovative copper heat sink design effectively removes heat from the processors while eight high-performance fans provide airflow for cooling the system. The fans are individually managed and monitored by a dedicated fan control processor; if a single fan fails the others speed up to compensate. The 1U enclosure has an array of over 30 sensors, including eight dedicated to temperature control, that continually monitor all critical system functions throughout the server.

Xserve G5 is the ideal server solution for cross-platform file and print, workgroup management, video streaming, database applications, high-performance computing, and web and mail serving. Apple also offers a cluster node configuration specifically designed for high-performance computational clustering that delivers the compute performance of dual G5 processors without the cost of additional components, such as a CD-ROM drive.

Xserve G5 will be available in February through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) and Apple Authorized Resellers. Xserve will come in three standard configurations or can be fully customized to meet specific customer requirements.

Jan 13 - Consumers Focusing More On Features and Functionality of DVD Recording Equipment. Now that DVD recording has become a mainstream technology, consumers will begin focusing more on the features and functionality of the DVD recording equipment they buy, the chief spokesperson for the DVD+RW Alliance said today.

And one of the most exciting developments in DVD recording in 2004 will be the introduction this spring of single-sided, double-layered DVD+R drives and discs capable of storing up to 8.5 Gbytes of data or up to 16 hours of VHS quality video on a single DVD, said Maureen Weber, general manager of HP’s Optical Storage Solutions Business and chief U.S. spokesperson for the DVD+RW Alliance.

“What a difference a year makes,” Weber told reporters and analysts in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. “A year ago at CES, most of the conversation about DVD recording focused on a single question: When will prices come down enough to make DVD recording equipment attractive to mainstream consumers? Well, that’s happened. And the conversation has become much more interesting because consumers are beginning to ask about features and functionality. We’re pleased by that because Plus excels in features and functionality.”

Features already in, or expected to appear in, DVD+RW products in 2004 include items such as electronic programming guides, one-button home movie authoring, single-step VHS conversion, digital camcorder inputs and more. Such features will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The Plus format, always strong in the personal computer market because of support from HP and Dell, is becoming stronger in the consumer electronics market. More than two dozen companies displayed Plus-formatted DVD recorders last summer at IFA, a major European consumer electronics trade show. And a number of companies will show Plus-formatted recorders at CES.

“We think Plus has become the format of choice for discerning users of DVD recording equipment because of its superior functionality and simplicity,” Weber said.

About DVD+R/+RW

The DVD+R/+RW format is capable of recording up to 4.7 gigabytes of digital video, images or data. This equates to the storage capacity of up to seven CD-R/RW discs and the potential to store thousands of digital photographs or approximately two hours of digital video. The primary benefits of DVD+R/+RW include its functionality, simplicity and two-way compatibility, meaning that DVD+R and DVD+RW media can be played in most DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives in use today.

Further details about the DVD+RW Alliance and supporting companies can be found at www.dvdrw.com.

Jan 13 - Consumer Experiences Digital Radio Revolution With Sale Of First Hd Radio™ Receiver. International Consumer Electronics Show - (January 7, 2004) – iBiquity Digital Corporation announced today that an Iowa buyer became "first in the nation" to purchase an HD Radio tuner.

Nathan Franzen purchased a Kenwood KTC-HR100 HD Radio tuner from the Ultimate Electronics store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Monday, January 5, 2004. Following installation in his 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix, Franzen tuned to KZIA-FM Z102.9, Cedar Rapids' home for today's hit music, becoming the first consumer nationwide to personally experience the CD-quality sound of HD Radio receiver, the biggest revolution in radio since the advent of FM broadcasting more than fifty years ago.

"Our community is known as the home to radio pioneers," said The Honorable Paul D. Pate, Mayor of Cedar Rapids. "It's fitting that the first consumer to purchase an HD Radio receiver in the United States should purchase it in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The transition of the radio industry into the digital age provides enormous potential for all broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers and consumers throughout America."

The sale comes on the eve of HD Radio's commercial introduction during this week's 2004 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas and follows a decade of development and testing by iBiquity and its numerous industry partners with the FCC approving the technology for broadcaster use in October 2002. The technology's commercial introduction will allow AM and FM radio stations to reap the benefits of this 100% digital technology as listeners can now take advantage of the vastly improved sound quality and the host of new, user-based features offered by HD Radio.

KZIA-FM executive vice president Rob Norton commented, "We are very proud to be the first HD Radio signal heard on the nation's first HD Radio receiver. Today puts Cedar Rapids in the history books with yet another radio first, just as our very own amateur radio pioneer Arthur Collins did in the 1920s."

Cedar Rapids, Iowa was selected partly because of its heritage as the hometown of Arthur Collins and the Collins Radio Company. In 1925, Collins, as a fifteen-year-old, received radio transmissions for the first time from Greenland. He eventually founded Collins Radio, which provided voice communication technology for every American traveling in space.

Robert Struble, iBiquity Digital's president and chief executive officer, said, "With today's purchase of an HD Radio receiver, AM and FM radio has officially launched in the consumer marketplace. Soon many more Americans will be able to experience their local AM and FM radio stations in subscription-free digital sound, without the static and hiss associated with analog broadcasts. Our employees and partners have spent years developing HD Radio technology, and I am extremely proud to be here today making radio history in Cedar Rapids."

HD Radio technology transforms today's radio experience by allowing AM and FM broadcasters to seamlessly transmit digital signals with superior audio and new data services alongside today's analog-based broadcasts. Nearly 300 radio stations in 100 U.S. markets across 38 states have licensed HD Radio technology.

"The HD Radio revolution has arrived for consumers," said Dave Workman, president and chief executive officer of Ultimate Electronics. "Ultimate prides itself with firsts. Just as we sold the first HDTV, it is a privilege to partner with iBiquity Digital and Kenwood to sell the first consumer HD Radio receiver in the country. As the HD Radio format continues to expand its reach, we will aggressively showcase this technology for consumers in our retail locations."

"Kenwood was the first licensee of HD Radio technology, and we are now the first manufacturer to sell an HD Radio receiver," said Dan Petersen, executive vice president of Kenwood USA. "All of us at Kenwood are proud of our role in this historic day for broadcasters, retailers and consumers."

For more information please visit: www.ibiquity.com.

Jan 12 - NVIDIA nForce3 Primed and Ready for New AMD Athlon64 Processor. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that its NVIDIA nForce™3 media and communications processors (MCPs)—which have been lauded by major industry publications and technology Web sites for their stability and performance—fully support the new AMD Athlon64 Processor 3400+ announced earlier today.

“Our close working relationship with AMD has allowed us to design NVIDIA nForce3 as a scalable architecture that can take full advantage of AMD’s current and upcoming product roadmap,” said Drew Henry, general manager of platform products at NVIDIA. “The new Athlon64 Processor 3400+ extends AMD’s performance lead in the desktop PC market, and is a perfect match to our entire line of NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs, including our upcoming NVIDIA nForce3 250GB MCPs, which features the industry’s first native Gigabit Ethernet solution.”

The NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs integrate hardware and software technologies that expand PC desktop, gaming, and digital media functionality. By providing built-in connections for high-speed Gigabit networks; Serial ATA disk controllers; up to eight USB 2.0 ports; and integrated RAID solutions, the NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs deliver accelerated performance for multiple computing environments. All NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs support the robust NVIDIA® ForceWare™ Unified Software Environment (USE), which provides enhanced functionality and performance, including utilities for monitoring system performance, networking configurations, audio environments, and more.

NVIDIA has a full family of NVIDIA nForce MCPs for both 64-bit and 32-bit desktop PC markets, including NVIDIA nForce3 Professional for the 1P and 2P workstation and professional segments; NVIDIA nForce3 Go for the mobile notebook market; and NVIDIA nForce2 for the mainstream computing markets.

PC systems and motherboards based on the NVIDIA nForce MCPs are currently available from leading manufacturers, including: ABIT Computer Corp., AOpen, ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Biostar Microtech Int’l Corp., Chaintech Computer Co. Ltd., DFI, EPoX International Inc., Giga-Byte Technology, Jetway Information Co. Ltd., Leadtek, MSI, Shuttle Computer Group, Inc., Soltek Computer Inc., and XFX.

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

Jan 12 - AMD and Mediabolic to Enhance Functionality of Mobile Entertainment Devices. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) and Mediabolic, Inc., today announced that the two companies are working together to create platforms for mobile entertainment products.

The complete package of hardware and software is designed to enhance the user experience by managing entertainment data, including video, audio and picture files, regardless of where they are stored on a home network. The AMD Alchemy™ Mobile Handheld Reference Design Kit (RDK) and the Mediabolic One platform allow designers to create mobile devices for users to manage and use data matching their individual lifestyles.

Utilizing the combined technology from AMD and Mediabolic, devices now have the ability to download networked media to a mobile device for use on the go. The ecosystem developed through the mutual support of AMD and Mediabolic is driving the market for mobile devices that are networked and support multiple media platforms.

Built on the vision of a fully networked home, the Mediabolic One platform is a software solution enabling entertainment products to be networked, extending a unified view of media files and providing access to these files through any device. The platform is optimized for entertainment devices and enhances the accessibility of media files for users to take media on the go.

Built using open industry standards, the software is designed to support multiple hardware and operating system platforms. When combined with the AMD Alchemy Au1100™ processor, manufacturers can also capitalize upon the high-performance, low-power, high- integration system-on-a-chip (SOC) technology. Together, the companies allow Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the entertainment market to develop low-cost, high-performance, mobile devices on a versatile platform that can be quickly brought to market.

“We are excited to work with a company like AMD. The Au1100 processor extends our ability to develop cutting-edge software that meets the changing needs of the mobile entertainment marketplace,” said Daniel Putterman, CEO of Mediabolic. "The AMD Alchemy Au1100 processor is a natural fit, as our platform can leverage its high-performance, low-power features in a mobile device.”

The low-power, high-performance features of the Au1100 processor also enable Mediabolic to provide a full-featured media experience to handheld devices. The AMD Alchemy Au1100 processor is now added to Mediabolic’s existing support of AMD processors, which includes the AMD Alchemy and AMD Geode™™ family of processors.

“Mediabolic’s innovative technology and strong focus on exceeding customers’ expectations make this an important relationship for AMD,” said Phil Pompa, AMD's vice president of marketing for the Personal Connectivity Solutions group. “The company’s vision for a networked home is closely tied to AMD’s vision of providing products that are designed around human-centric computing. We are delighted with the remarkable applications for the home that Mediabolic is creating with the Au1100 processor and the ability to quickly bring customers’ products to market.”

For more information on the AMD Alchemy Au1100 processor, please go to: www.amd.com/connectivitysolutions. For more information about Mediabolic, please visit: www.mediabolic.com.

Jan 12 - iBIZ Technology Launches 1st Standalone Virtual Laser Keyboard for PDAs. iBIZ Technology Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: IBZT - News), a leading manufacturer and distributor of accessories for personal digital assistants (PDA) and hand-held devices, announced that its Virtual Laser Keyboard is now shipping. The innovative device attaches to PDAs and projects the image of a full-size keyboard onto the surface of the desk where the PDA is placed, making it easy to input text without a physical keyboard.

"The Virtual Laser Keyboard leverages the power of laser and infrared technology and projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface," said Ken Schilling, President and Chief Executive Officer of iBIZ Technology Corp. "As you type on that projection; it realizes what you're typing by the coordinates of that location."

Unlike many small snap-on keyboards for PDAs, the Virtual Laser Keyboard provides a full-size QWERTY keyboard. It is also smaller and more convenient to use than the folding-type keyboards made by some manufacturers and similar to them in functionality.

"There are no mechanical moving parts whatsoever in the Virtual Laser Keyboard," said Ken Schilling. "It provides a projected image that is the perfect portable input device for PDAs. It's similar in responsiveness to regular keyboards, but extremely futuristic looking."

The Virtual Laser Keyboard requires no special training. The keyboard employs a USB/serial cable connection to communicate with the PDA or PC. Future models will incorporate Bluetooth and/or IR Wireless Connections to a variety of devices. The light weight device weighs two ounces and is similar in size to a disposable cigarette lighter.
The Virtual Laser Keyboard includes a self-contained, rechargeable lithium ion battery. It provides the Virtual Laser Keyboard with its own internal power supply, so it doesn't drain any battery power from the PDA or PC. The battery lasts three to four hours, more than enough time to do some instant messaging and SMS messaging from the handheld device or to update calendar and phone book entries.

The Virtual Laser Keyboard is ideal for well-lit offices. It's also an excellent choice for any workplace that has clean rooms and medical facilities, and any industry that requires a dirt-free environment. In the education industry keyboards are the highest single point of failure due to the constant abuse they receive on a daily basis. The classroom keyboard also harbors an incredible amount of debris and germs. Our Virtual Keyboard will eliminate not only the cost of maintaining mechanical keyboards in volatile locations, but will help to maintain a healthy environment as well.

The Virtual Laser Keyboard is compatible with Palm, Pocket PCs, laptops and desktop PCs. An upcoming version for cell phones will be available in 4th quarter 2004. The Virtual Laser Keyboard will be available for $99.99 from major retailers, e-commerce sites, and iBIZ Technology's own e-commerce site, www.ibizcorp.com.

Jan 12 - Epson Unveils Widescreen HDTV Projection Televisions With Integrated Digital Photo Center. Epson America Inc. expands its presence in the home entertainment market with its introduction of two Epson Livingstation HDTV LCD projection televisions – the EPSON Livingstation LS47P1 and EPSON Livingstation LS57P1. Home entertainment enthusiasts can take advantage of superior image quality and true digital output with its 720p resolution, thanks to Epson's patented LCD technology. Additionally, with Epson's proprietary Photo On Demand™ capability, users can now view, print and store their digital photos from an easy-to-use universal remote control.

Epson is a recognized industry leader in LCD technology and the Livingstation capitalizes on this expertise and delivers a dramatic and vivid cinematic experience to the consumer in two screen sizes, 47 and 57 inches. With three LCD panels, 1280 x 720 native resolution and a 16:9 native aspect ratio, the Livingstation's wide screen produces unparalleled image quality. Additionally, the Livingstation has one of the thinnest profiles of any rear projection television currently available, measuring only 14.9 inches deep for the 47-inch model and 16.3 inches deep for the 57-inch model.

Proprietary Photo On Demand™ Technology

Epson's Photo On Demand™ technology is a first, enabling consumers to view, print and store their digital photos directly from the TV without the need for a PC. Slots for popular memory cards, including SD™ memory card/MultiMediaCard™, Memory Stick®, Compact Flash™ and SmartMedia™ enable users to quickly and easily view their digital photos. A very quiet, built-in dye sublimation photo quality printer produces borderless 4"x6" prints. Archiving is made simple with the included CD-R/RW drive. Photo On Demand enables users to enjoy and manage their digital photos from the living room, making digital photography a social experience.

"Epson's reputation for outstanding digital imaging solutions make the Livingstation line a logical next step," said Rajeev Mishra, director, Home Entertainment Division, Epson. "The stunning video quality, elegant thin profile design, and built-in digital photo lab make the Livingstation a unique convergence device and an ideal display hub for the home entertainment center."

Shipping in March 2004, the estimated retail prices for the 47- and 57-inch models are $3,499 and $3,999, respectively. For more infromation visit www.epson.com.

Jan 12 - New Automatic Defragmenting Technology Eliminates The Need For Manual Defragmenting. Executive Software® announced the release of its new Diskeeper® 8.0 for consumers. This new version of Diskeeper eliminates the need to remember to defragment a computer system and runs in "Set It and Forget It®" mode. This new Diskeeper has a special algorithm that will automatically defragment your system when it needs it most and comes all set up for consumers. Diskeeper is also the first defragmenter to quantify the effects of fragmentation on performance of Windows systems.

Studies indicate when users rely on the built-in manual defragmenter, routine maintenance is not getting done resulting in crippling system slows and performance problems which can lead to other system maintenance troubles.

"Users want fast systems and faster games", said Manny Salinas, Diskeeper Product Line Manager. "The only workable solution for defragmenting is to use an automatic defragmenter like the new Diskeeper 8.0, the most popular defragmentation utility for Windows rather than the slow built-in."

Diskeeper enables users to work on their computer and maintain peak performance without having to remember to run a vital maintenance program to defragment. Diskeeper is also is able to rapidly handle the very large drives that are now shipping with most home systems.

Diskeeper 8.0 ships as specialized editions designed for each 'flavor' of the Windows platform and for desktop editions from Windows 95 and upwards. New Diskeeper 8.0 Editions are now available for sale and can be purchased through your favorite reseller. More information on Diskeeper is available at: www.executive.com/diskeeper.

Jan 11 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. After Christmas shopping deals continue on computers and peripherals.

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 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest financing on advertised desktop packages and notebooks, and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday but has some very good sale prices on computers.
CompUSA is offering 12 months no interest financing on notebook purchases of $799 and higher, up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops, and a computer trade-in program.

Staples has no store-wide promotions 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, laptops, and other computer items.

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. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet 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
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$378
-
Office Depot, Circuit City ($389)
2. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$439
-
Best Buy
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1179
-
Circuit City, Best Buy($1249)
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
Compaq Athlon 2800+ complete system with 17 inch monitor
$639
-
Best Buy, Circuit City
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel
$1099
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$899
-
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Circuit City, CompUSA
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$999
-
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1149
-
Office Depot
2. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD-RW
$1399
-
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen 1.4 GHz Centrino with DVD/CD-RW
$1349
CompUSA
4. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq widescreen 1.4 GHz Centrino with DVD/CD-RW
$1399
CompUSA
5. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$1799
-
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$59
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$49
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
$89
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 200 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
$99
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro All-in-Wonder 128 MB
$199
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
XFX GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
$69
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5200 256 MB
$119
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128MB
$149
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Pioneer 4X DVD-R/RW Drive
$249
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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 09 - Acer America Speeds Past Competition With Ferrari 3000 Notebook. Acer America Corporation, one of the leading worldwide suppliers of laptop PC solutions and an official supplier to the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, today introduced the Ferrari 3000, an exclusive notebook that embodies the history of innovation shared by both Acer and Ferrari.

With an exterior of multiple coats of patented Ferrari Red paint and a metallic silver palm rest area accented with the yellow Prancing Horse racing shield familiar to car and racing fans worldwide, the Ferrari 3000 from Acer features a mobile AMD Athlon(TM) XP-M processor 2500+ and ATI(R) MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 9200 graphics with 128MB of dedicated DDR memory. An extraordinary combination of stylish design and mobile performance, complemented with a unique, color-coordinated USB mouse, this Acer notebook reflects the spirit of performance that has become a trademark of both companies.

"Innovation and technology have always played a primary role in the world of Formula One racing, as well as the PC industry, and the Ferrari 3000 symbolizes these two distinct characteristics in one platform," said Jeffrey Friederichs, vice president, Notebook Business Unit, Acer America. "We are thrilled to team with Ferrari to produce a notebook PC that will stand out in the crowd no matter the environment. Consumers, whether they are Ferrari, racing or PC enthusiasts, will be excited when they see it."

"Technology is essential in helping us to reach our targets," stated Jean Todt, general director of Ferrari's Sports Management Division. "We really appreciate that one of our official suppliers places a strong emphasis on the research and development of technologically advanced solutions. We firmly believe that innovation leads to a constant evolution."

Performance and Flexibility

The Ferrari 3000 from Acer is a full-featured, thin and light notebook with a brilliant 15" SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) TFT display and 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM upgradeable to 2GB system memory. In addition to wireless 802.11g, the Ferrari 3000 offers four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire(R) (IEEE 1394) port, FIR (fast infrared), 10/100 LAN connection, 56K V.92 modem, S-video output and Bluetooth(TM) support.

This newest Acer notebook incorporates a 60GB ATA/100 removable hard drive, DVD+/-RW optical drive and 4-in-1 card reader for optional MultiMediaCard(TM) (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) card, SmartMedia(TM) card or Memory Stick(R). A high-capacity Li-ion battery delivers four hours of battery life. Preloaded with Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition and weighing just 6.5 pounds, the Ferrari 3000 from Acer provides a platform that is not only eye candy, but also a high-performance productivity tool.

Pricing

The Ferrari 3000 is available through Acer authorized resellers and retail outlets throughout North America starting at approximately $1899. For more information about Acer America, please visit the website at www.acer.com/us.

Jan 09 - World's First SVGA OLED Video Headset for Consumers Unveiled at CES. eMagin Corporation (AMEX: EMA) and Leadtek Research Inc. today announced the world's first SVGA resolution Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) based video headsets for consumer markets.

Leadtek Research, Inc. combined the revolutionary technology of eMagin's power efficient and high speed OLED microdisplays with Leadtek's innovative design knowledge and optics to create the X-eye (tm), the world's most portable and easy to use 3D stereovision capable high resolution imaging headmounted displays (HMDs) for PCs and video. First showings of both monocular and binocular models will be featured at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2004) beginning January 8, 2004 at Leadtek's booth number 22441, South Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

-- Large Virtual Screen, High Resolution, Ultra-Low Power

The Leadtek X-eye (tm) glasses-like headset permits users to view large screen SVGA data (800 x 600 picture elements) and DVD movies from PCs or other devices with a RGB output, while providing an equivalent screen size of a 15-inch notebook computer or a 60-inch TV-like high resolution view, while typically using less than 0.5 watts even with the dual display binocular system.

-- Second Virtual Notebook Monitor for Privacy, Spreadsheets, Multi-Tasking

The display can be easily used as a second "virtual" monitor for notebook PCs for ease of editing multiple documents to provide multiple screens or for data privacy while traveling. The HMD connects to the RGB port on the back of most notebook PCs similar to a monitor or projector.
With virtual second monitor capability, a user can view a document on the notebook screen while simultaneously viewing a second document on the headset screen. Using Windows(tm), the documents can slide back and forth between the virtual screen and the notebook screen for dual page editing or working with large spreadsheets. The virtual screen can also simultaneously show active email or even movies at the same time as documents, and either screen can be used independently.

-- 3D Stereovision Imaging for Games and CAD

The binocular version of the Leadtek X-eye can provide true 3D stereovision imaging when used with computer design or game software providing frame sequential 3D. Several popular PC software games and other computer programs on the market now have stereovision capability. Leadtek's X-eye will permit users to fully appreciate 3D imaging with PCs equipped with video cards such as the NVIDIA GeForce(tm) video cards.

K.S. Lu, chief executive officer and president of Leadtek, said "We are pleased to introduce this new economical, high performance, and high resolution stereovision capable headset for PC, PC DVD, and PC game users. eMagin's OLED display power requirement is many times lower than that of LCDs, enabling the headset to be powered by a USB connection without separate batteries or AC power. The high visual quality provided by eMagin's displays has enabled such a product to be created with great portability."

Gary Jones, chief executive officer and president of eMagin, added: "We are excited to have our displays implemented in this first of its kind consumer oriented stereovision HMD. Our SVGA-3D displays were designed for this purpose. Leadtek has designed compact headset systems to comfortably provide a wide view image. Leadtek's X-eye design is ergonomic, practical to use while traveling, and should open an entirely new class of consumer imaging headsets. Even when not used with stereovision, the images produced by this product are impressive."

Specifications and additional information about Leadtek's X-eye are available at www.leadtek.com.tw/hmd/x_eye_2.shtml.

Jan 09 - Fujitsu Offers New Slate Tablet PC. Fujitsu Computer Systems today began shipping its next generation slate Tablet PC -- the Stylistic(R) ST5000 Tablet PC. Taking the best attributes of the award-winning Stylistic ST4000 Tablet PC and adding several new enhancements for increased productivity, Fujitsu continues to demonstrate its unique understanding of pen computing and the specialized needs of highly mobile professionals.

"Leading the market for more than 10 years, Fujitsu has amassed a wealth of knowledge in pen-based computing and is able to focus on the subtle details that our competition may overlook," said Paul Moore, director of product marketing for mobile computing at Fujitsu Computer Systems. "We incorporated everything we've learned over the last decade plus many other improvements that make this slate Tablet PC ideal for project-based and general productivity applications."

Among the most notable improvements is a bright 12.1-inch XGA display. Fujitsu was able to increase the screen real estate yet keep the system under four pounds and less than one inch thick. The larger display enables users to view and navigate larger documents and spreadsheets with ease.

The new slate Tablet PC is powered by an Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor operating at 1.0 GHz. Designed specifically for mobile applications, the Intel Pentium M Processor helps the system deliver superior performance and extended battery life. This longevity is enhanced by a bigger standard battery (4,400 mAh), giving users up to five hours of computing time. A high-capacity battery (6,600 mAh) is also available, which can last up to eight hours.

For added security in the field and back at the office, the Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC features a dedicated Smart Card slot. Particularly useful in healthcare and other applications where users are accessing sensitive information, the Smart Card reader can be used to verify identification and make secure online transactions. In addition, the system features a built-in Memory Stick / Secure Digital media slot for storing and transferring music, pictures and data.

The Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC is currently shipping and sold through the Fujitsu direct sales force, Web site and channel partners. Pricing for the Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC starts at $2,049. More information on Fujitsu Computer Systems is available at www.fujitsu.com.

Jan 09 - Epson Showcases Five Consumer Electronics Products for Home Entertainment. Epson America Inc. affirmed its growing presence in the consumer electronics market with the introduction today of several home entertainment products.

The new entries include two front projectors, the PowerLite(R) Cinema 200 and 500 projectors; two HDTV LCD projection televisions, the Livingstation(TM) LS47P1 and LS57P1, as well as the previously announced PowerLite Home 10 projector. Capitalizing on Epson's extensive expertise in LCD technology, these new products offer unparalleled picture quality for both still and moving images, outstanding performance and unique features at highly competitive prices.

"Epson is a leading manufacturer of LCD panels used in projection engines and a global brand that is on the forefront of digital photography, LCD imaging, robotics, and electronics," said John Lang, president and CEO, Epson America. "This extensive experience makes our foray into the home entertainment market a logical next step. By leveraging our core competencies, our mission is to provide compelling solutions that enable people to remain 'visually connected' to information, memories and entertainment."

Epson's home theater suite of products includes:

-- EPSON PowerLite Home 10: Widescreen 3-LCD projector delivers brilliant big-screen performance at an extraordinary value priced at $1,299. Users can project an 80" image from only 6.6' away or up to 300" from 24.9'. No installation is required, and the projector is HDTV ready, with a native 16:9 aspect ratio.

-- EPSON Livingstation 47" and 57" televisions: HDTV LCD projection televisions in two screen sizes combine LCD technology with the industry's first built-in digital photo lab. Users can view, print and store photos without a PC simply by using the universal remote control. The EPSON Livingstation offers comprehensive connectivity options and is one of the thinnest LCD projection televisions available, measuring only 16.3 inches deep for the 57-inch model.

-- EPSON Cinema 200 projector: Geared to home entertainment enthusiasts, the PowerLite Cinema 200 delivers advanced video quality at an outstanding value. Epson's mid-level home theater projector features native 720p with Epson's new 0.7-inch wide LCDs and 800:1 contrast ratio.

-- EPSON Cinema 500 projector: For advanced home entertainment enthusiasts, the PowerLite Cinema 500 is Epson's top of the line home entertainment projector, offering unparalleled image quality at a highly competitive price. This flagship product features native 720p, a 1200:1 contrast ratio and a Faroudja video chip to eliminate jagged edges in video.

"Our exciting product lineup truly capitalizes on the growing consumer demand for high definition video and digital output," said Rajeev Mishra, director, Home Entertainment Division, Epson America. "In addition to delivering outstanding video quality, the Livingstation televisions enable consumers to enjoy and share their digital memories in ways they couldn't before, while for home theatre lovers, the PowerLite projectors deliver awesome cinematic experiences at unmatched value. These products truly represent the elegant convergence of technology and lifestyle."

For more information, visit www.epson.com.

Jan 09 - PDA Penetration Will Only Reach 7% of the Overall U.S. Population by 2008. Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM), forecasts that the U.S. installed base of handheld PDAs will number just over 14 million at the end of 2003 and will only grow to 20 million by 2008, a 7% penetration of the overall U.S. population.
In addition, Jupiter Research reports that the adoption of these portable devices increases as their size and complexity of use decreases. Jupiter Research has therefore identified the sweet spot for handhelds to be those that offer voice, personal information management (PIM) or a combination of the two, and focus less on other integrated functions.

These findings were released in Jupiter Research's new report, "PDAs: Optimizing Integration". To clarify the marketplace, Jupiter Research created a PDA Taxonomy covering device form factor and identifying key attributes that define mobile usage. "We explored the reasons why vendors are creating multi-function devices and measured those against actual consumer demand for functionality and the number of devices people are willing to carry," said Jupiter Research Vice President and Research Director, Michael Gartenberg.

As part of the report, Jupiter Research conducted an independent survey to assess U.S. consumer demand for PDA features and form factors, and another survey to determine their willingness to carry multiple devices.

"Basic PDAs with excellent PIM functionality will continue to make up the majority of sales while higher end devices will remain in niche markets only," Gartenberg said. "But as phones with integrated and functional PDA capability come into the market, they can spur growth opportunities for vendors while eschewing other less desirable features such as game play or media integration," added Gartenberg.

Jupiter Research can be found online at www.jupitermedia.com.

 

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