Jan 22 -Alliance Semiconductor Introduces High-Performance
HyperTransport-to-PCI-X Bridge. Alliance Semiconductor Corporation
(Nasdaq:ALSC), a leading worldwide provider of analog and mixed signal
products, high-performance memory products and systems solutions for
the communications, computing, embedded, industrial and consumer markets,
today announced the availability of its high-performance AS90L10204
HyperTransport(TM)-to-PCI-X Bridge. The AS90L10204 is optimized for
computer applications including workstations, computer servers, server
blades, workstations and desktop PCs.
Alliance's AS90L10204 works with AMD's Opteron(TM) and
Athlon(TM) families of X86-microprocessors, as well as with Transmeta's
Efficeon(TM) microprocessor. The AS90L10204, microprocessor and South
Bridge, create a three-piece chipset that bridges the HyperTransport
interface from the Opteron, Athlon or Efficeon microprocessors to
the PCI-X bus. This enables system manufacturers to tap into the vast
infrastructure of peripherals and system components based on PCI-X,
such as Network Interface Cards (NICs), RAID Controllers, Host Bus
Adaptors (HBA) and others.
"The AS90L10204 HyperTransport-to-PCI-X Bridge expands the possibilities
of today's PC and server system architectures by providing new design
options based on the HyperTransport technology," said Robert
Napaa, vice president of marketing and business development for Alliance's
System Solutions Business Unit. "By using our AS90L10204, customers
can design, manufacture and market high-capacity, cost-effective workstations,
computer servers, server blades, workstations and desktop PCs."
The AS90L10204 supports two 8-bit HyperTransport interfaces that
provide 1.6 GB per second of bandwidth in each direction and a single
64-bit, 133-MHz PCI-X bus which enables the connectivity to a variety
of PCI-X based peripherals and add-on cards.
The AS90L10204 is currently sampling along with a complete suite
of reference design and software drivers.
Additional information is available on the Alliance Web site at:
Jan 22 - Nintendo Announces Dual-Screened
Portable Game System. An unprecedented approach to video game
play -- holding two separate game screens in the palm of your hand
-- hits the scene later this year when Nintendo introduces a new portable
game system, code-named Nintendo DS.
From information made available today, players can look forward to
being able to manage their game progress from two different perspectives,
enhancing both the speed and strategy of the challenge. For example
in a soccer game, users can view the whole game on one screen while
simultaneously focusing on an individual soccer player's tackle or
goal on the other screen.
Players will no longer be forced to interrupt game play to shift
perspective, such as moving from a wide shot to a close up, or alternating
between a character's ongoing battle and a map of the environment.
Nintendo DS makes it possible to perform the tasks in real time by
simply glancing from one screen to the other.
Today's announcement is but a glimpse of the additional features
and benefits that will be shown in full at the Electronic Entertainment
Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in May. Once fully revealed, players will
see innovative advances in game interaction.
"We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different
concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with
a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century," explains
Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president.
Nintendo DS features two separate 3-inch TFT LCD display panels,
separate processors, and semiconductor memory of up to 1 Gigabit.
It's scheduled to launch worldwide before the end of 2004.
In addition to Nintendo-developed software, the company is in discussions
with third-party game developers around the world.
Nintendo DS will be marketed separately from the company's existing
Nintendo Game Boy(R) Advance portable system and Nintendo GameCube(TM)
For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site
Jan 22 - MySQL Introduces New Easy-to-Use
MySQL Administration Tool. MySQL AB, developer of the world's
most popular open source database, today announced MySQL Administrator,
a new open source tool with a graphical user interface (GUI) designed
to provide easy management and monitoring of MySQL® database servers.
MySQL Administrator is the first product in a new family of open source
administrative tools by MySQL AB. MySQL AB is demonstrating MySQL
Administrator at LinuxWorld Expo in booth # 451, January 21-23, at
the Javits Center in New York.
We want to make database management easy and affordable for
everyone, and our new open source administrative tool fully supports
this goal, said Mårten Mickos, MySQL AB CEO. MySQL
Administrator is the first example of the intuitive, powerful tools
that MySQL will continue to contribute to the expanding ecosystem
of MySQL-related software comprised of hundreds of products from MySQL
partners and the open source community.
MySQL Administrator: Database Management Made Easy
MySQL Administrator is a powerful graphical front-end for administrating
and monitoring MySQL servers. It integrates database management and
maintenance into a single, seamless environment, with a clear and
intuitive graphical user interface. MySQL Administrator is designed
to simplify and maximize the effectiveness of the key tasks of a database
administrator, such as server configuration, user administration and
database health monitoring. Other common administrative activities
such as backup and restore and log management can also be performed
through the MySQL Administrator graphical user interface.
"MySQL Administrator is an extremely intuitive visual tool that
makes managing MySQL much easier and faster, said Yazz Atlas,
senior systems engineer at the Open Source Development Network (OSDN).
Now developers can quickly authenticate MySQL users and create
backups, which is critical to the long-term health of a large database
infrastructure. Also, optimizing and fine-tuning the server for more
performance has gotten a lot easier."
Availability and Support
MySQL Administrator will be available for download from the MySQL
AB Web site at www.mysql.com by
early Q2 2004. It will be available for the Microsoft Windows and
Linux operating systems.
Jan 22 - Plasma and LCD TVs Will Combine
to Ship 50 Million Units in 2007. Flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs
are breaking out among the mainstream TV-buying public. According
to new research from IDC, dropping price points and growing interest
in high-definition television will drive flat-panel TV display shipments
to 50 million units in 2007.
"The wow factor can't be underestimated when it comes to adoption
of flat TVs," said Bob O'Donnell, director of Personal Technologies
research at IDC. "People want the clearest, sharpest image they
can find. Combine that with the right price point and a form factor
you can hang on the wall, and people will be banging down the doors
Sprouting from meager beginnings at the start of this century, flat-panel
TVs accounted for just 0.5% of the worldwide TV market in 2000. As
the market continues to accelerate, flat TVs will quickly account
for 27% of the worldwide market by 2007. Adoption rates in the U.S.
will be even more aggressive.
-- In 2004, the U.S. will surpass Japan as the largest market for
-- The plasma market will maintain its fascination with 42-inch displays.
-- Poor quality of standard definition TV signals may inhibit short-term
growth of the flat TV market.
-- PC and monitor vendors will provide a very serious challenge to
traditional consumer electronics companies.
Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.
Jan 22 - Worldwide Cable TV Industry Manages
to Grow in 2003. Although the total number of worldwide cable
TV subscribers increased last year, the rate of growth in 2003 was
the slowest in over a decade. However, even with the recent slow-down
in worldwide growth, total cable TV subscribers are projected to reach
395 million by 2007.
According to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com),
cable TV subscriber growth will result from not only cable television
operators' ability to attract new subscribers to their traditional
analog video services, but also from recently deployed digital video,
voice, and data services. The high-tech market research also reports
that while annual cable TV subscriber growth was tracking around 3%
in 2003, digital cable TV subscriber growth reached 22% during the
same time frame.
Even with rapid digital subscriber growth, the modest total subscriber
growth rate is forcing many cable TV operators to re-focus their customer
acquisition strategies. "Cable television growth in North America
and Europe has dramatically flattened over the past two to three years,
and this has been an unwelcome trend for many cable TV Multiple Systems
Operators (MSOs) who have been counting on new subscribers to increase
their revenues," said Mike Paxton, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR.
While some recent subscriber losses have come from regional economic
recessions, long-term cable TV subscriber growth is increasingly threatened
by DTH satellite services.
However, according to Paxton, "The good news for cable operators
is that the digital revolution is bringing both new services to cable
customers and new sources of revenue to cable operators."
These digital cable offerings cover services such as: expanded channel
lineups, Video-on-Demand, High Definition TV services, and high-speed
data services. A key challenge for cable operators is that the cost
to upgrade cable plants in order to provide these digital transmissions
is substantial. This high cost, in turn, has slowed the overall pace
of digital upgrades and has limited digital cable TV service to a
few of the wealthier countries in the world.
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- The top four countries in terms of total cable TV subscribers
remain China, the United States, India and Germany.
-- Over the past three years, the majority of worldwide cable TV
subscriber growth has come from Asia, with the countries of China
and India accounting for up to 60% of all annual subscriber additions.
-- The North American cable TV market actually shrank a little in
2003, as several hundred thousand former cable subscribers either
switched to satellite services or simply "pulled the plug"
on cable. However, the North American market remains the seat of innovation
for digital cable services. During 2003, digital cable TV subscribers
in North America increased by 20%.
Jan 21 - InfoHQ's
New Article, Designing Your Own Desktop Gaming PC - InfoHQ
is pleased to announce its latest article, Designing
Your Own Desktop Gaming PC.
The article details how you can design your very own desktop gaming
PC using a PC configurator. It can be cheaper, and more satisfying,
than buying a Dell.
Jan 21 - Toshiba Introduces
Newest Member of Satellite A45 Series. The Satellite(R) A45-S130
notebook computer provides the ideal combination of productivity tools
and multimedia functionality at a very low price point. Perfect for
consumers, students and budget-conscious families, the Satellite A45-S130
includes an Intel(R) Celeron(R) processor, large hard drive and plenty
The Satellite A45-S130 comes equipped with integrated
Wi-Fi (802.11g) wireless connectivity(a) for surfing the web at home
or at a local public hotspot, plus SRS(R) TruSurround XT(TM) sound
that provides exceptional home theater surround sound during DVD and
CD playback. Additionally, the Satellite A45-S130 features Microsoft(R)
One Note(TM), allowing users to electronically capture, organize and
reuse notes easily.
-- Intel Celeron processor, 2.80GHz
-- Microsoft Windows(R) XP Home Edition
-- 40GB(b) hard disk drive
-- 512MB DDR SDRAM
-- 15.0" diagonal XGA display
-- DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive
-- Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11g
-- Integrated V.92 modem, 10/100 Ethernet
-- Four USB 2.0 ports
-- Microsoft Works
-- Microsoft Office One Note
-- SRS TruSurround XT Technology
-- Toshiba ConfigFree(TM) Software
-- ESUP: $1,199
The Satellite A45 Series is now available at www.shoptoshiba.com
and retail distribution channels
Jan 21 - AOpen Introduces
New 52X Combo Drives. AOpen(R) Inc., an award-winning leader in
PC component design and manufacturing, today announced a new pair
of 52X Combo Drives - the COM5224 and the COM5232. As of the date
of this announcement, AOpen is one of only two optical drive manufacturers
based in Taiwan that is able to produce 52X combo drives of this type.
"We constantly make every effort to remain in the lead and stay
very competitive with our optical drive design and manufacturing,"
said Sean Chang, director, Optical Drive product line, AOpen Inc.
"Our new COM5224 drive, which rewrites at 24X, will be shipping
by late January, 2004, followed by our COM5232 drive, slated to ship
in late February, 2004 with the capability to rewrite at 32X."
Chang went on to state that, "both drives offer AOpen's hallmarks
of solid performance and reliability at very competitive pricing."
To add to the already impressive value of the AOpen 52X combo optical
drives, both drives come bundled with CD authoring software from Nero
and InCD for quick and easy creation of audio, video and data CDs;
as well as PowerDVD playback software, enabling PCs to playback DVD
video in home theater mode for dynamic motion picture viewing.
In addition to these impressive bundles, the AOpen 52X combo optical
drives come with the following standard AOpen features:
-- All-in-one - read/write/rewrite CDs and read DVD-ROM discs.
-- Buffer under-run-proof technology for extra dependability.
-- Support DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW formats.
-- Support Ultra DMA Mode 2 with 2MB buffer memory.
-- Support Mt. Rainier for drag-and-drop disc copying.
-- Support Mt. Rainier (CD-MRW) under background formatting.
-- Write speeds of 52X - CD-R and 24X/32X - CD-RW.
-- Read speeds of 52X - CD-ROM and 16X - DVD-ROM.
-- Standard E-IDE/ATAPI interface - easy to install.
-- Smooth, steady DVD playback.
-- Support writing models of TAO, DAO, SAO and packet writing.
-- Support for the MultiRead function.
-- Low power consumption.
Both the COM5224 and the COM5232 have MSRPs of $65 USD each and come
with a 1-year limited warranty. For more information about these quality
optical drive products from AOpen, please visit the AOpen web site
Jan 21 - Digital Radio Not
Falling on Deaf Ears. The worldwide digital radio market, both
satellite and terrestrial, will grow to over 19 million unit shipments
in 2007, reports In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
The high-tech market research firm believes that new
content (stations that only exist in digital) and data services will
drive consumer demand for radios. These factors are already at work
in the digital satellite radio arena in the United States and the
digital terrestrial market in the United Kingdom.
"The conversion from analog radio to digital has
been a long, slow process that will take many more years," said
Michelle Abraham, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "When the
first digital broadcasts became available in Europe, receivers were
too expensive for the mass market. Over five years later, receiver
prices have come down, but many countries are still trialing digital
broadcasts, waiting for the regulatory framework to be in place and
digital coverage to expand."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- In the countries that are the farthest along with Digital Audio
Broadcasting (DAB), new, less expensive radios are bringing more interest
-- Satellite radio has been successful in the United States, and
other countries are hoping to duplicate that success. In South Korea
and Japan, providers want to deliver not only audio streams but video
streams as well.
-- Several hundred million analog radios are sold worldwide each
year, in the form of stereo receivers, CD boom boxes, portable devices,
alarm clocks and car stereo systems. Reductions in the cost of digital
tuners will convert the more expensive of the analog radios to digital
by the end of 2007.
Jan 21 - Even On a Slow Day, 1 of Every
125 Emails Is a Danger. "Spam accounts for more than half
of email traffic, but 1 of every 125 messages either contains a virus,
is malformed code, includes forbidden attachments or is an attempt
at an unauthorized relay," says Bill Simpson, Vice President
of Product Management, BorderWare Technologies Inc.
BorderWare Technologies Inc., The Security Appliances Company(TM),
today announced that the company is presenting at the Strategic Research
Institute's Email Security Summit. The two-day conference, which starts
February 2, 2004 at The Westin Grand in Washington, DC, covers a range
of email security issues from implementation and corporate policy,
to regulatory requirements and protection against new threats.
Mr. Simpson is participating in a panel discussion session on "Spam,
Email Worms & Malware" on Tuesday, February 3, 2004. BorderWare
is also among a limited number of vendors invited to showcase their
product, the award-winning MXtreme Mail Firewall, at the conference.
The Next Big Threats to Messaging
Throughout 2003, application level security threats were on the rise,
with major attacks and security vulnerabilities, such as SoBig, Blaster
and spam, targeting email. According to industry researchers, there
is every indication that blended attacks will rise in 2004, posing
a growing risk to corporate messaging systems and continuing to sap
For example, studies find that half of IT professionals still regard
viruses, Trojans and worms as serious concerns, despite the fact that
they already deploy some kind of desktop-based anti-virus protection
within the enterprise. Companies are beginning to enhance perimeter
security for email with anti-spam point-solutions, but many are still
not doing enough to protect their most important communications assets
from all threats.
BorderWare's MXtreme Mail Firewall for example, which installs at
the network edge, delivers the most comprehensive perimeter security
for email systems. MXtreme prevents any number of threats to email
from spam, viruses, Trojans and worms, to malformed messages and denial-of-service
attacks, while enabling overall email server functionality with sophisticated
routing and delivery. MXtreme also provides secure remote access for
Web Mail, and secure authenticated session proxies for Outlook Web
Access (OWA) and iNotes.
For more information visit www.borderware.com.
Jan 21 - AtomFilms & Maven Networks
Introduce A Better Way to Watch Movies Online. AtomFilms and Maven
Networks, a broadband media software company, announced today at the
Sundance Film Festival, the debut of 'AtomFilms Hi-Def', a free, advertising-supported
service that enables enhanced online viewing of world-class independent
films, including select titles presented in high definition 720p format.
During its beta phase in December 2003, 'AtomFilms Hi-Def' attracted
more than 10,000 enthusiastic users. Major brand advertisers, including
Nintendo, have signed on for the service's public launch.
'AtomFilms Hi-Def' leverages Maven's broadband media application
software and delivery network to provide a quality, full-screen viewing
experience that has previously eluded movie fans online. After an
initial download, 'AtomFilms Hi-Def' users automatically receive weekly
desktop delivery of three of AtomFilms' best movies, viewable at 850kbps,
ensuring playback that rivals DVD quality.
Additionally, 'AtomFilms Hi-Def' users also have the option to receive
two films each month that are viewable at almost three times the resolution
of DVD video: Windows Media High-Definition Video (WMV HD) at 720p
resolution. This enables a stunning visual experience for users with
Windows XP-based machines and marks the first time that true high
definition movies are available on the Internet.
The films available on 'AtomFilms Hi-Def' represent the best of the
renowned AtomFilms catalog of shorts. They range from one minute to
thirty minutes in length; many boast film festival awards, Academy
Award nominations, and involvement by well-known talent. In celebration
of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, this week's lineup includes the
adrenaline-packed skiing short "Collins Brothers," and two
hits from past Sundance Film Festivals ("Girl Go Boom" and
For brand advertisers, such as Nintendo and Microsoft WindowsXP Media
Center, AtomFilms Hi-Def provides a unique interactive channel that
delivers television-style advertisements even better than television
does - offering high-quality playback, detailed usage tracking, and
no ad-skipping or channel-changing. The commercials play prior to
each film in the weekly line-up.
"We are at a crossroads in the evolution of digital entertainment,"
said AtomFilms founder Mika Salmi. "'AtomFilms Hi-Def' represents
a giant leap forward, for audiences and advertisers alike. I'm pleased
that through our partnership with Maven Networks we've made the viewing
of movies online much more accessible and fun. Our audience is also
privy to the immense power and impact of Microsoft's WMV HD and I
am proud that we are the first to provide this glimpse into the future
of high definition online films."
"Maven complements highly compelling user experiences with the
software infrastructure needed to support a new generation of ad-driven
video services and subscription-based business models," said
Hilmi Ozguc, Maven Networks co-founder and CEO. "We are pleased
to provide AtomFilms with the content management, production and delivery
platform it needs to create groundbreaking services that offer movie
fans an exceptional viewing experience and advertisers a branding
medium that rivals television."
"AtomFilms is a pioneer in using WMV HD to enable the first
online delivery of HD short film content to consumers." said
Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media
Division. "The quality of WMV HD means movie fans get a great
experience, and the compression efficiency of WMV HD makes it the
most cost-effective way of delivering HD content online."
'AtomFilms Hi-Def' is being showcased at this week's Sundance Film
Festival, where the service premiered at Microsoft's party at 350
Main St. on January 19th (9pm-12am) In addition, throughout the week
festival attendees will also be able to experience the new service
and access past Sundance hits at Microsoft's Digital Center.
For more information about AtomFilms Hi-Def, please visit http://hidef.atomfilms.com.
Jan 20 - eMachines Introduces 64-Bit Wireless
Widescreen Notebook Line. eMachines Inc., the second-largest provider
of PCs in U.S. retail stores, today announced the first 64-bit notebook
line from a major PC brand, offering state-of-the-art performance
with 15.4-inch widescreen display and 54g(TM) wireless connectivity.
Incorporating the Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processor 3000+, the M6805
and M6807 are the first in a family of eMachines 64-bit notebooks,
delivering unparalleled computing performance and display for DVD
movies, games, digital photography and other 32-bit multimedia applications.
"By being the first major PC company to introduce a 64-bit notebook
line, eMachines continues to demonstrate its ability to provide the
best value at any price point -- delivering high-performance notebooks
with the latest technology," said Ed Fisher, senior vice president,
global sales operations for eMachines, based in Irvine.
"The M6805 and M6807 offer consumers high-speed processing,
graphics and wireless connectivity with optimal widescreen display
and premier post-sale customer service," Fisher said.
"The new notebooks from eMachines showcase the features of the
Mobile AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+," said Marty Seyer, vice
president and general manager, Microprocessor Business Unit, AMD.
"With the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 processor, the eMachines notebooks
give consumers high-performance computing in addition to advanced
power management with AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology and compatibility
with today's most popular wireless LAN solutions."
Combined with the notebooks' 15.4-inch LCD display and ATI's Mobility
RADEON 9600(TM) video card, the systems offer cinematic visual quality
for gaming and other graphics-intensive applications. The display
features a 16:10 aspect ratio, similar to the widescreen TV format,
allowing up to 30 percent more DVD viewing area than a standard 15-inch
Both notebooks feature HyperTransport(TM) technology, designed to
increase bandwidth and reduce bottlenecks for faster processing speed
and seamless multi-tasking on multiple applications.
With a combination DVD and CD-RW drive, the M6805 is priced at $1,449
after manufacturer's $100 mail-in rebate, while the M6807, with a
multi-format DVD-RW(+/-) drive, is priced at $1,549 after $100 rebate.
Both the M6805 and M6807 incorporate the 54g chipset from Broadcom(R),
providing up to five times the performance of 802.11b while maintaining
compatibility with other wireless devices on the market.
The new eMachines' M6000 series notebooks feature a "6-in-1
Media Reader" for quick downloading, editing and sharing of digital,
audio and video images. The media reader supports Compact Flash, Micro
Drive, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital, Memory Stick and Memory Stick
Pro storage formats.
Other features include 512 MB PC2700 DDR memory, 60 GB hard drive,
four USB 2.0 ports, one IEEE 1394 Firewire port, PCMCIA slot for Type
I or Type II card bus, and 10/100 Mbps built-in Ethernet.
The M6000 series is 1.6 inches thin and weighs 7.5 pounds. The notebooks
include an 8-cell lithium ion battery offering approximately 2.5 hours
of battery life.
eMachines' new 64-bit notebook line is currently available at major
consumer electronics retail outlets nationwide. For more information
Jan 20 - Miami Firm 0Spam.Net
Blows Past Competition in Spam Control. Internet security firm
0Spam.Net(TM) today released its key spam filtering statistics for
the month of December. Nearly two-thirds (66.48%) of all mail traveling
through their system was caught as Spam, Pornography or Viruses.
They correctly detected 99.997% of all spam passing
through their system; the bulk of their competition detected 85% or
less. False positives are legitimate messages that a spam control
system falsely identifies as spam. 0Spam.Net(TM)'s false positive
rate was less than 0.0000005% - that means the odds are about 1 in
2,000,000 that an email will get mistakenly blocked as Spam.
Corporate and government clients averaged a productivity return on
investment of $293.14 for each $1 spent to protect an email address
under the system. The lowest customer's return on investment was $18.45
for every $1 spent.
"We're now two to three orders of magnitude lower
in our false positive rate than any of our competition," said
Bill Franklin, president of 0Spam.Net(TM). "No one else is getting
close to our false positive or detection rates.
What allows us to be so accurate is that in addition to looking at
the images, links and phrases in a message, our system analyses and
remembers the routes that valid and invalid emails travel. That artificial
intelligence is examined as each new email enters the system. Couple
that with our low cost of $1 per month per protected corporate email
address, and we're hard to ignore."
Franklin added, "By eliminating spammers' ability to reach their
target audience, we're winning this war organization by organization,
and family by family."
The 0Spam.Net(TM) system works by having email forwarded to a cluster
of servers that remove Spam before forwarding it on to the client's
actual email server. Family and individual accounts work similarly,
but either directly store email on 0Spam.Net(TM)'s servers or use
forwarding tools to move email automatically from their email accounts
with other Internet service providers.
0Spam.Net(TM) is the most accurate Anti-Spam solution in the world
for eliminating Spam, Pornography and Viruses from email. Solutions
are offered for companies, governmental and non-profit organizations,
as well as for individuals and families. 30-day trials are available
for each type of account.
For more information, visit www.0spam.net.
Jan 20 - Apex Digital's ApeXtreme PC
Game Console Honored as `Best of CES'. Apex Digital, Inc.'s revolutionary
PC game console, the ApeXtreme (pronounced Apex Extreme), has been
honored as the best new home audio or video product introduced at
the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The award was bestowed as part of TechTV's "Best of CES"
TechTV, an established authority on the hottest new products and
technology, chose the best and brightest in 10 categories from more
than 5,000 new products making their debut at the 2004 International
CES. The contest was only open to exhibitors at the show and only
to those products that were introduced at the 2004 International CES
or available for sale after Dec. 1, 2003. The TechTV appointed panel
of technology journalists selected winners in each category according
to their innovative appeal, usability, usefulness, and value.
"Our judges were really impressed with this year's submissions
and the level of innovation and design," commented Andrew Hawn,
TechTV's product lab director, and coordinator of the contest. "Each
year the competition seems to get tougher and tougher, but we know
consumers will really love these 10 new products."
The ApeXtreme moves PC versions of electronic games out of the computer
room and into the TV room, giving gamers the ability to play their
favorite "PC-only" games on a console machine, with a bigger
game image -- on their standard TV.
The device also combines all the most popular features of Apex Digital's
successful line of DVD players such as Component, Composite, S-Video
and DVI output with everything a gamer could want in a game console
like a 1.2 GHz processor, 40GB hard drive and networking capabilities.
Additionally, the ApeXtreme boasts 5.1 channel digital audio output,
as well as the ability to playback a variety of CD and DVD formats.
It will be available to consumers later in the first quarter of this
year. Suggested retail price is $399.
"By selecting the ApeXtreme as one of the 'Best of CES,' the
judges have told the world what we have known since we began developing
the device," said Apex Digital President Steve Brothers, "that
this device will be a hit. The positive reaction to the ApeXtreme
by our customers and other visitors to our booth was astounding. To
be selected as one of the 10 best new products at the show is the
icing on the cake."
Just like a proprietary game console, there is no waiting to play
games on the ApeXtreme. Unlike personal computers, there's no "boot-up"
time with the ApeXtreme -- turn it on, drop in the game CD/DVD and
you're ready to play. The device's unique game-play ability is made
possible by a patented "Drop & Play(TM)" Engine, developed
by Digital Interactive System Corporation (DISC). Apex has partnered
with DISC to bring this groundbreaking technology to market.
"We have been excited about the idea of a PC game console since
we first patented the concept," said DISC President Avraham DorEl.
"We're pleased that the tech-savvy 'Best of CES' judges agree
that the market is ready for a dedicated PC game console like the
For more information about Apex Digital Inc. go to www.apexdigitalinc.com.
The winners were announced on Saturday, January 10, 2004 at an awards
ceremony in Las Vegas. Additional information on each of the finalists
and winners can be found at www.techtv.com/ces.
Jan 20 - SMC Introduces Two New High Power
Wireless PCI Cards. SMC Networks, leading provider of networking
solutions for the Enterprise, the SMB and all the way home, today
introduced the newest members of its award-winning EliteConnect High
Power family of wireless networking products: the SMC2512W-B EliteConnect
2.4GHz 802.11b High Power Wireless PCI Card and the SMC2512W-AG EliteConnect
Universal 2.4GHz/5GHz High Power Wireless PCI Card.
The new SMC2512W-B High Power Wireless PCI Card increases mobility
and flexibility for wireless networking by providing 802.11b connectivity
with up to 200 milliWatts (mW) of transmit power nearly four
times the power of standard PCI Cards and twice the power offered
by any other wireless 802.11b PCI Card on the market today.
The SMC2512W-AG brings 100mW of power with Universal connectivityit
connects to any 802.11a, b or g wireless network. The SMC2512W-B will
be available in January at an MSRP of $109.99; and the SMC2512W-AG
will be available in February at an MSRP of $129.99.
As the highest-powered PCI cards on the market today, the new SMC2512W-B
and SMC2512W-AG feature both high transmit power and excellent receive
sensitivity. With operating ranges of up to 2,700 and 2,145 feet,
respectively, the SMC EliteConnect 802.11b High Power Wireless PCI
Card and SMC EliteConnect Universal 802.11a/b/g High Power Wireless
PCI Card overcome significant indoor multipath distortion to provide
dramatic improvements in wireless signal quality and throughput.
The already superior range of the SMC2512W-B can be increased even
farther by attaching an optional high-gain antenna (SMCANT-OM5) to
one of the two available MMCX connectors.
Were excited to add PCI versions of our highly-successful,
award-winning High Power wireless network adapter to the portfolio
of SMC wireless products, said SMC Networks Product Manager
Betty Chan. Range and security are the two biggest issues in
wireless networking today, and the new SMC2512W-B and SMC2512W-AG
EliteConnect High Power Wireless PCI Cards excel at both.
For more information, visit www.smc.com.
Jan 20 - Alienware Selects VIA K8T800
Chipset for Flagship AMD Processor Systems. VIA Technologies,
Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies
and PC platform solutions, today announced the VIA K8T800 chipset
has been selected ahead of competing solutions for Alienware's Aurora
high-performance PCs, further endorsing the VIA K8T800 as the best
performing chipset for the AMD64 platform.
Alienware's new Aurora PCs, based on the high-performance AMD Athlon
64 FX and AMD Athlon 64 processors, will feature the VIA K8T800 chipset
that harnesses VIA's advanced Hyper8 technology, delivering
the industry's fastest HyperTransport link between processor
and chipset. Providing full support for the most comprehensive range
of I/O and storage technologies, the K8T800 chipset has beaten all
competition to become the undisputed leader on the AMD64 platform.
"The key to the success of the K8T800 chipset has been unmatched
performance, thanks to VIA Hyper8 technology and an unparalleled feature
set, including native Serial ATA and V-RAID," commented Timothy
Chen, Head of U.S. Sales and Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "By
working with prestigious companies such as Alienware, we intend to
stay at the forefront of the AMD64 revolution, and build upon our
position as the leading supplier of core-logic chipsets for the AMD
"As the world's leading supplier of high-performance systems,
our customers demand cutting-edge technology," said Kevin Wasielewski,
Vice President of Marketing for Alienware Corporation. "Alienware
is proud to offer VIA's K8T800 chipsets in Alienware Aurora systems
and remains committed to offering the best performing components available
in all of our systems."
About the VIA K8T800 Chipset
The VIA K8T800 chipset enables an exciting new generation of 64-bit
capable performance desktop PCs and Media Centers for enthusiasts
and consumers who demand the most sophisticated graphics capabilities
for gaming and digital video editing. VIA's acclaimed Hyper8 technology
enables a full 16-bit/1.6GHz implementation of the high bandwidth
HyperTransport processor-to-chipset link, which ensures that all AMD64
processor-based systems can achieve their full performance potential.
In combination with the market-leading VIA VT8237 South Bridge and
a broad array of VIA companion chips, the VIA K8T800 chipset provides
the most comprehensive range of storage, multimedia and connectivity
features available for the AMD Athlon 64 processor platform today,
including native Serial ATA/RAID, VIA Vinyl audio, VIA Velocity
Gigabit Ethernet, and USB2.0.
For more information, please visit www.alienware.com
Jan 19 - Nanosys and Intel to Investigate
Nanotechnology-Enabled Memory. Nanosys announced today that they
have entered into a collaborative agreement with Intel to investigate
using nanotechnology for future memory systems. Under the agreement,
Intel will help support nano-related technology efforts at Nanosys
for possible use in memory products. According to the agreement, Nanosys
and Intel will work together exclusively on certain areas of memory
related technologies for a set period of time.
"We're very pleased about working with Intel in
such an exciting area of opportunity," said Calvin Chow, Nanosys
co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Intel's expertise and
success in the practical development and commercialization of semiconductor
technologies for high value market segments makes them an excellent
collaborator for Nanosys."
"Investments in companies like Nanosys play an important role
in exploring novel applications of next-generation materials,"
said David Tennenhouse, vice president and director of research at
Intel. "This collaboration will combine the strength of Intel
in semiconductor memory technologies and the strength of Nanosys in
certain advanced nanomaterials."
Nanosys also announced that Intel Capital, the strategic investment
group at Intel Corporation, participated in Nanosys' $38M Second Round
Financing that closed in May 2003.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment program, focuses on making
equity investments and acquisitions to grow the Internet economy in
support of Intel's strategic interests. Intel Capital invests in hardware,
software and services companies in several market segments, including
computing, networking, and wireless communications. For more information,
Nanosys, Inc. is an advanced technology company, leading the burgeoning
nanotechnology industry through the development of nano-enabled systems.
These systems incorporate novel and patent-protected nanostructures
that integrate functional complexity directly into each individual
nanoparticle, enabling the low-cost fabrication of revolutionary high-value,
high-performance applications in a broad range of industries from
life and physical sciences to information technology and communications
to renewable energy and defense.
These nanostructures include nanowires, nanorods, nanotetrapods,
and nanodots formed from all of the industrially important semiconductor
materials as their principal active elements. These systems exploit
the fundamentally new and unique electronic, optical, magnetic, interface,
and integration properties associated with materials on the nanometer-scale.
Nanosys's initial applications include exquisitely sensitive chemical
and biological sensing structures, high performance large area electronics,
and lightweight high-efficiency conformal solar cells. Nanosys, Inc.
is a highly innovative company combining the best talent and has one
of the strongest intellectual property positions in the field of nanotechnology.
Jan 19 - IBM Reports 2003 Fourth-Quarter
and Full-Year Results. IBM today announced fourth-quarter 2003
diluted earnings per common share of $1.56 from continuing operations
compared with diluted earnings of $1.11 per share in the same period
of 2002, an increase of 41 percent. The prior-year period included
$.23 per diluted share for charges primarily associated with the acquisition
of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwCC).
Without these charges, diluted earnings per share from continuing
operations improved 16 percent year over year. Income from continuing
operations for the same period of 2003 was $2.7 billion compared with
$1.9 billion a year ago, an increase of 42 percent, including $405
million for the after-tax charges primarily related to the PwCC acquisition.
Fourth-quarter revenues from continuing operations were $25.9 billion,
up 9 percent compared with revenues of $23.7 billion in the 2002 period.
Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman and chief executive officer, said:
"This was a very good quarter for IBM and an encouraging end
to a year in which we steadily gained momentum and posted record revenues.
Our pretax earnings and earnings per share were up double digits for
2003, and we ended the year with more than $7.6 billion in cash.
"IBM's product and services portfolio -- fueled by unmatched
innovation capability -- is very strong and getting stronger. With
few exceptions, the company performed well across the board. We had
more than $17 billion in services signings, and good growth in our
industry-leading server and WebSphere businesses. Most encouraging
is that our On Demand strategy is today a reality -- it has entered
the mainstream, and it is increasingly driving our business results.
"The company's performance would not be possible had we not
made investments during the downturn and fundamentally repositioned
IBM for leadership in the high-value enterprise space, which remains
our sole focus. We are gratified that the strategies and investments
are paying off, and that team IBM is executing on behalf of our clients.
"We enter 2004 with good momentum. The client buying environment
is steadily improving. We are enthusiastic about our prospects for
this year and beyond."
For more information, visit IBM investor relations Web site at www.ibm.com/investor.
Jan 19 - Nintendo Sales Skyrocket in
the U.S. and Around the World. Around the world and around the
block, Nintendo has taken a leadership position in the video game
industry. Hardware and software sales in 2003 made significant leaps
over 2002, and Nintendo's success bumped Microsoft's Xbox to the No.
3 position in the 2003 console wars.
Global holiday sales for Nintendo GameCube(TM) in 2003 outpaced 2002
by a whopping 70 percent, and Nintendo does not plan to change its
global sales target of 6 million Nintendo GameCube systems this fiscal
Nintendo estimates for 2003, Nintendo GameCube U.S. hardware sales
increased by more than 35 percent over 2002; Sony's PlayStation 2
dropped by about 25 percent and Xbox showed no relevant market growth.
In December alone, Nintendo GameCube hardware sales soared 69 percent
over December 2002, compared to a drop of about 30 percent for PlayStation
2. Again, Xbox showed little change.
U.S. sales got a boost from a Sept. 25 price drop, which brought
Nintendo GameCube to an MSRP of $99.99. Now Nintendo GameCube has
nearly 6.8 million units sold in the U.S. since its 2001 launch. And
Mario Kart(R): Double Dash!!(TM) has become the fastest-selling Nintendo
GameCube game in the United States, selling more than 1 million units
in just seven weeks.
"With the price drop for Nintendo GameCube and strong games
across the board, we expected to have a good holiday season, but these
numbers surpassed even our best projections," explains George
Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing
and corporate communications. "Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy
Advance have become the engines powering the video game industry this
The hand-held Game Boy(R) Advance also saw double-digit increases
in the United States, with nearly 2.5 million units sold in December,
an 11 percent increase over December 2002. Nintendo sold more than
8.2 million Game Boy Advance systems in 2003, an increase of 18 percent
over 2002 and the most sold in one calendar year in the 14-year history
of the Game Boy. In 2003, the Game Boy Advance outsold PlayStation
2 by nearly 2 million units.
Nintendo also led the way during the holiday season's software boom.
The 2003 sales for Nintendo GameCube software increased 63 percent
over 2002, while Xbox software increased 54 percent and PlayStation
2 software increased 23 percent. Nintendo expects to continue riding
the wave of success through 2004, with a steady flow of strong software
titles, including Final Fantasy(R): Crystal Chronicles(TM) in February
and Pokemon Colosseum(TM) in March.
For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site
Jan 19 - 50% of All Internet Households
Are Interested in VoIP Telephone Services. One-half of all Internet
households are interested in VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services,
which could deprive current long-distance companies of their most
Interest in these services is disproportionately among subscribers
with high monthly phone bills, and cost savings is the primary driver,
according to Residential Voice-over-IP: Analysis & Forecasts,
a new report from Parks Associates. Furthermore, interest in VoIP
service is consistent among both broadband (52%) and narrowband (48%)
"Consumers are looking at VoIP service as a replacement for
their primary phone line, not as a secondary backup," said John
Barrett, a research analyst at Parks Associates. "VoIP could
also serve as a lure for new broadband subscribers, given the strong
interest among narrowband households. The market is still searching
for a 'killer' broadband application. Wouldn't it be ironic if it
turned out to be telephone service?"
The survey conducted for Residential Voice-over-IP: Analysis &
Forecasts sampled 3,300 households on VoIP services.
Parks Associates is a market research and consulting firm focused
on all product and service segments that are "digital" or
provide connectivity within the home. They can be found online at
Jan 19 - CinemaNow is First to Add Download-To-Own
Video Option to Online Service. CinemaNow, Inc., a leader in IP-based
video-on-demand distribution and technology, today announced the launch
of a new version of its video-on-demand Web site, www.cinemanow.com.
The site features several new functions designed to provide users
with more options in the way they purchase and view movies via the
Internet. Most notable is the addition of download-to-own capabilities
(also known as digital sell-through), which allows users to purchase
and download a permanent copy of a digital file for unlimited playback
on that device. CinemaNow is the first major video-on-demand service
to offer a download-to-own model and this, along with the ability
to rent movies on a pay-per-view basis or access them via a subscription,
makes CinemaNow the most complete and flexible service for accessing
"Allowing users to download and own DVD-quality versions of
video content is the next great frontier in digital distribution,"
said Curt Marvis, chief executive officer of CinemaNow. "As the
recent activity in the music industry has proven, Internet-based delivery
of on-demand content is now ready to fully realize its potential as
a mass distribution platform. With the launch of this new site, CinemaNow
is firmly positioned as the leader in the movie-on-demand space."
"CinemaNow's smart use of innovative technology such as Windows
Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003 together helps ensure high-quality
viewing experiences for customers," said Jason Reindorp, group
manager, Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft Corp. "The
customer ends up with great options for what they want to watch and
how they want to watch it."
All download-to-own content is made available in Microsoft's Windows
Media Video 9 Series format and is protected by Microsoft's Windows
Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) software in conjunction with
CinemaNow's PatchBay(TM) technology. The download-to-own functionality
will also be made available for Windows XP Media Center Edition users
via the CinemaNow Windows Media Center Edition Web site and to owners
of Microsoft's new Portable Media Center devices, which launches in
the second half of 2004.
Among the first titles now available on a download-to-own basis are
the legendary surf documentary "Endless Summer" and several
music concert films from such varied performers as rapper Tupac Shakur,
reggae star Ziggy Marley and classic rocker Peter Frampton. All of
the music concerts mentioned are available in high-quality 5.1 surround
sound using Windows Media Audio 9 Series Professional.
CinemaNow, Inc. (www.cinemanow.com)
is the global leader in Internet-based video-on-demand (VOD) and subscription
video-on-demand (SVOD) distribution and technology.
Jan 18 - Sunday Shopping
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday
Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. A very good weekend to go
out and buy new 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 media center desktop
is offering 6 months no payments, no interest, financing on notebook
or desktop purchases of $299 and higher, and up to $150 mail-in rebates
on advertised desktops
CompUSA is offering 18 months
no payments, no interest, financing on notebook or desktop 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
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
- Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders,
desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.
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
PC and Free Internet Deals.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
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
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
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.6 GHz complete system with
Office Depot, Best Buy($389)
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.7 GHz complete system with 17"
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
Compaq Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor
Best Buy, Circuit City
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines Athlon 3000+ complete system
with 15 inch flat panel
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.3 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Office Depot($949)
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 2.3 GHz with DVD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
Best Buy, CompUSA
3. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
with HT Technology and DVD-RW
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard
Drive with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard
Drive with 8 MB buffer
CompUSA, Best Buy($159)
Best Sunday Deal
Xtasy Radeon 9600XT 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9600XT 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9800XT 256 MB
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 256 MB
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 8X DVD-RW Drive
Best Sunday Deal
Plextor 8X DVD-RW Drive
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas)
in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio)
computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your
local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make
informed buying decisions.
Jan 16 - Intel Fourth-Quarter
Revenue Of $8.74 Billion At Record Level. Intel Corporation today
announced fourth-quarter revenue of $8.74 billion, up 12 percent sequentially
and up 22 percent year-over-year. Fourth-quarter revenue was slightly
higher than the previous record of $8.73 billion set in the third
quarter of 2000.
Fourth-quarter net income was $2.2 billion, up 31 percent sequentially
and up 107 percent year-over-year. Earnings per share were $0.33,
up 32 percent sequentially and up 106 percent from $0.16 in the fourth
quarter of 2002.
"We ended the year on a high note as ongoing strength in emerging
markets coupled with improving demand in established markets drove
revenue to record levels," said Craig R. Barrett, Intel chief
executive officer. "Intel's substantial investments in capital
and R&D over the past few years allowed us to ship record microprocessor
units in 2003 and introduce exciting new products such as Intel®
Centrino Mobile Technology.
"In 2004, our focus will be to drive double-digit growth through
technology leadership and global market expansion, and by pursuing
adjacent opportunities in communications and the digital home, while
using our 90-nanometer and 300-millimeter factories to reduce costs
and improve profitability."
The fourth quarter 2003 results included the impact of a $611-million
goodwill write-down related to the Wireless Communications and Computing
Group (WCCG). At the time of the fourth-quarter Business Update, the
company also anticipated a tax benefit of approximately $200 million
related to a divestiture. Due to an additional divestiture that closed
during the quarter, the tax benefit increased by $420 million, or
approximately $0.06 more than anticipated. Intel's third-quarter results
included a tax benefit of $125 million related to a divesture, and
last year's fourth-quarter results included a tax benefit of approximately
$75 million related to divestitures.
Revenue for 2003 was $30.1 billion, up 13 percent from $26.8 billion
in 2002. Net income was $5.6 billion, up 81 percent from $3.1 billion
in 2002. Earnings per share were $0.85, up 85 percent from $0.46 in
For the year, the company paid cash dividends of $524 million, or
$0.08 per share, and used $4.0 billion in cash to repurchase approximately
176 million shares of common stock.
The following statements are based on current expectations. These
statements are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially.
These statements do not include the potential impact of any mergers,
acquisitions, divestitures or other business combinations that may
be completed after Jan. 13, 2004.
** Revenue in the first quarter is expected to be between $7.9 billion
and $8.5 billion.
** Gross margin percentage in the first quarter is expected to be
approximately 60 percent, plus or minus a couple of points. Intel's
gross margin percentage varies primarily with revenue levels, product
mix and pricing, changes in unit costs and inventory valuation, capacity
utilization, and the timing of factory ramps and associated costs.
** Gross margin percentage for 2004 is expected to be approximately
62 percent, plus or minus a few points, as compared to 57 percent
Intel Architecture Business
For the desktop, Intel began shipments of the Pentium® 4 processor
Extreme Edition at 3.2 GHz which brings Hyper-Threading Technology
and an additional 2 Mbytes of cache memory to demanding PC gamers
and computing enthusiasts. During the fourth quarter, Intel also began
shipping the company's first 90-nm microprocessor, code-named Prescott,
which is being ramped in high volume.
In mobile, the company introduced the Celeron® M processor, the
first value processor based on the company's Banias microarchitecture
for mobile computing. Intel also introduced the Mobile Celeron processor
at 2.50 GHz along with a 2.8-GHz Celeron processor for use in mobile
and desktop systems. Intel now expects the company's first 90-nm mobile
microprocessor, code-named Dothan, to be shipped during the second
quarter, later than originally planned due to circuit modifications
that needed to be made prior to the volume manufacturing ramp.
For the digital home, Intel announced development of the Entertainment
PC, a slim, remote-control-based device that connects to consumer
TV systems. Entertainment PCs are expected to be available from PC
manufacturers in mid-2004 for below $800, giving consumers the ability
to store and wirelessly share digital music, photos, videos and 3-D
games in the home. The company also announced the $200-million Intel®
Digital Home Fund, which will invest in companies developing hardware
and software technologies for driving the convergence of PC and consumer
electronics applications. Intel demonstrated a new Liquid Crystal
On Silicon technology designed to enable HDTV displays with higher
image quality and lower cost than current displays.
In enterprise computing, a number of customers around the world adopted
Itanium® 2-based servers, including CompUSA, Fiat Group, First
Trust Corporation, the ING Group, the Koehler Group of Germany and
Korean telecommunications provider KT. The Itanium 2 processor extended
its performance leadership by achieving the industry's first TPC-C
benchmark result exceeding 1 million transactions per minute. In high-performance
computing, the number of Intel processor-based systems in the TOP500*
list grew by nearly 50 percent over a six month period, with supercomputers
based on Intel processors outnumbering those based on RISC processors
for the first time.
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
Jan 16 - Systemax Announces New $899
Notebook Featuring Intel Centrino Mobile Technology. Systemax
(NYSE: SYX), a leading manufacturer and distributor of PCs and related
computer products for businesses, has announced a new groundbreaking
$899 price (after $100 rebate) on its Pursuit(TM) 4000 notebook featuring
Intel(R)'s Centrino(TM) mobile technology platform. The new price
makes it the lowest-priced Centrino based notebook available on the
The Pursuit 4000 notebook has a 14" XGA base with an Intel(R)
Pentium(R) M processor for superior performance and a thin, lightweight
design (as low as 4.3 lbs). The built-in Centrino platform empowers
users with its Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 802.11b connectivity and a battery
life that can extend up to a remarkable 4+ hours. At its new $899
price, the Pursuit 4000 represents the best value in portable computers
available on the market.
"Corporate business professionals and 'road warriors' require
the convenience and mobile power of Intel's Centrino platform but
should not have to bust their budget in order to get it," said
Sean Aryai, Director of Marketing, Systemax. "That's why the
new Systemax Pursuit 4000 is the ideal portability solution. It provides
the four plus hour battery life and integrated wireless capabilities
of the revolutionary Centrino platform plus a host of other standard
features to help manage the challenges of being on the road. It's
an unbeatable value."
About the Pursuit 4000
The new Pursuit 4000 notebook features a brilliant 14" XGA Active
Matrix screen display and 64MB graphics for exceptional resolution.
It also boasts a striking blue color with blue status lights, offering
style in addition to performance. Additional features include: --
128MB DDR SDRAM -- 20GB Ultra ATA Notebook Hard Drive -- CDROM Drive
-- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition -- Intel(R) PRO/Wireless
Network Connection 802.11b -- CA eTrust 7.0 Anti-Virus with free lifetime
definitions -- Standard One Year Warranty
All Systemax notebooks and desktop PCs are custom configurable.
The $100 rebate coupon is included with the system. The Systemax
Pursuit(TM) series is available at www.globalcomputer.com,
www.dartek.com and www.tigerdirect.com.
Jan 16 - SMC Ships New EZ-Stream Universal
802.11a/g Wireless Router. SMC Networks, leading provider of networking
solutions for the Enterprise, the SMB and all the way home, today
announced that the newest member of EZ-Stream(TM) Home Entertainment
Networking family of products, the SMC2304WBR-AG EZ-Stream Universal
2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router, began shipping this
week, and is available through select retailers and integrators at
an MSRP of $199.99.
A high-performance, easy-to-use multi-function device, the new EZ-Stream
Universal Broadband Router is the perfect solution for today's leading-edge
households, with multi-standard wireless capability that lets it communicate
with any 802.11a, b or g wireless devices. Its blazingly fast performance
and high bandwidth in 802.11a/g Turbo mode make the SMC2304WBR-AG
a perfect companion to the EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia
Receiver for home entertainment networking.
"To date, home networking has been driven by the sharing of
broadband in multi-PC households," said Danielle Levitas, director
of IDC's consumer devices and services research. "However, entertainment
will be the critical driver to bring home networking technology into
mainstream households. The EZ-Stream Universal Broadband router will
allow consumers to view and listen to content stored on their PCs
-- namely music, family photos, and video -- on their home entertainment
"The EZ-Stream Universal Broadband Router presents a gateway
to a whole new way to network homes, for a whole new collection of
reasons: to view the family photo album on the television; to transmit
downloaded video for viewing on the television; to listen to downloaded
MP3 files on the stereo -- the list goes on," said Brian Larsen,
SMC Networks' product manager. "This router has the bandwidth,
speed, universality to make home entertainment networking easy and
SMC's EZ-Stream Universal 2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband
Router (SMC2304WBR-AG) works simultaneously with 802.11a, 802.11b
and 802.11g wireless standards, providing truly universal wireless
connectivity. That means that it will be compatible with existing
equipment at home or in the office, with optimal performance.
"While 802.11b is fine for most home computer-to-computer and
broadband sharing applications, 802.11a and g provide the enhanced
bandwidth that moves video and music better," added Larsen.
The new SMC2304WBR-AG platform-independent, multi-functional router
combines a 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11a, b and g Wireless Access Point, a 4-port
10/100 Mbps dual-speed switch with Automatic MDI-MDIX ports, Stateful
Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall security, network management, parental
controls and Virtual Private Network (VPN) passthrough support. With
the EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Broadband Router as the Internet
gateway, wireless home entertainment networking can access and carry
voice, data, audio, multimedia, video -- all of the applications that
a home entertainment network distributes.
The EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router supports
transfer rates of up to 108 Mbps in 802.11a and g modes -- 10 times
the data rate and throughput of standard 11 Mbps WLAN products. Thanks
to its high-bandwidth, a high-speed capability, this high-powered
router is perfect for today's demanding home networking: gaming, transmitting
music and movies via networked set-top boxes, PCs, and SMC's own EZ-Stream
Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver (SMCWMR-AG) to TVs and stereos.
For more information about SMC Networks or its products, visit www.smc.com.
Jan 16 - VentureWire Reports Biotechnology
and Semiconductor Venture Investing Up in 2003. VentureWire, a
newsletter published by Dow Jones Newsletters, today reported that
preliminary totals show venture capital investing in the U.S. declined
16 percent in the final quarter of 2003. Venture capitalists invested
$3.7 billion in the quarter, down from $4.3 billion in the comparable
quarter of 2002. VentureWire also reported that the number of financings
declined to 335 from 405 in the year-earlier quarter, a drop of 18.5
For the year, U.S. venture investing totaled $15.2 billion, down
from $20.6 billion in 2002, or 25.7 percent. The 2003 total is the
lowest since 1998, when U.S. start-ups raised $13.5 billion in private
Despite the overall decline, investment in biotechnology and semiconductor
start-ups in 2003 was up compared to the prior year. Biotech companies
raised $2.9 billion in 2003, a small increase from $2.8 billion in
2002. Semiconductor companies raised $1.6 billion in 2003, an increase
of about $50 million over 2002.
The annual totals are estimates based on final investment data for
the first three quarters plus preliminary figures for the fourth quarter
compiled from financings reported daily by VentureWire. The estimate
provides an early view of venture capital investment trends for the
year. Final investment numbers for the fourth quarter and the 2003
will be available later in January, after the completion of a survey
of venture capital investors.
Over the past 15 years, this survey has typically yielded an additional
10 percent to 20 percent in venture capital investment when final
investment numbers are tallied. However, the additional percentage
increase has rarely changed overall investment trends. "Biotech
has been strong for several years now as investors shifted dollars
out of information technology," said Ken Andersen, managing editor
of VentureWire. "But the continuing strength in semiconductor
investment is a signal that prospects for IT-related investing are
In the fourth quarter, Intel Capital and Menlo Ventures were the most
active venture investors, with ten announced investment deals each.
For the year, New Enterprise Associates was the top investor with
62 financings for U.S.-based companies. NEA was also the most active
investor in 2002, with 78 financings.
a service of Dow Jones Newsletters (www.djnewsletters.com),
produces online newsletters and events focusing on the high-tech startup,
venture capital and technology industries.
Jan 16 - Number Portability Rules Will
Double The Number Of Households Dropping Traditional Phone Service.
New FCC-mandated rules that allow telephone numbers to be ported between
wireline and wireless service will directly result in the displacement
of 2 million wirelines by 2007, according to a report released today
by Advanis. In all, 6 million U.S. households are likely to give up
their wireline service over the next two years.
The report, based on a survey of 1000 household decision makers,
explores the impacts of wireline number portability on both the wireline
and wireless telephony markets.
"Local number portability makes it easier for those households
that have already thought about it, to go ahead and cut the cord,"
says Dave Cosgrave, a Managing Analyst with Advanis and author of
the report. "If LNP is implemented quickly and smoothly between
wireline and wireless carriers - a big 'if' given what has happened
so far with wireless to wireless portability - the historical rate
of wireline displacement will likely double."
Still, the report points out that the majority of households remain
unwilling to even consider displacing their wireline service, despite
widespread awareness of LNP. They cite numerous reasons for keeping
their regular phone service, such as concerns about call quality and
reliability, and a reliance on wirelines for dial-up Internet and
other services. Age, income, and prior wireless experience are also
factors - older households with no wireless phone service are the
least likely to consider giving up their wirelines.
While clearly a problem for wireline operators, the report cautions
that wireline displacement is not necessarily a boon to the wireless
industry either. The good news for wireless operators is that they
won't have to match the wireline value proposition of unlimited calling
for $42 per month to compete for high value customers. The bad news
is that for every 100 wirelines displaced, the wireless industry may
only gain 30 net-new subscribers.
The rest will transfer their home numbers to an existing service,
or, if they can get a better deal, replace an existing wireless service.
The net result could be even more churn for the wireless industry,
particularly if there is aggressive price competition for existing
For more information visit www.advanis.ca.
Jan 15 - Upbeat 2004 International CES
Bodes Well for Shift to Digital and Future Industry Growth. With
thousands of new products and technologies announced this week in
Las Vegas, the future of the digital lifestyle looks bright as global
technology executives, buyers and media from around the world networked
at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The 2004 International CES set records across the board
with 129,328 technology executives visiting 2,491 companies in 1.38
million net square feet of exhibit space. Final attendance numbers
will be posted this spring after review by a third-party auditor.
By comparison, the 2003 International CES had 117,704 attendees and
2,230 companies in 1.25 million net square feet of exhibit space.
With executives from more than 110 countries, international attendance
grew to 18,050 industry professionals compared to 16,606 last year.
CES continues to establish itself as the global marketplace for consumer
"The innovation, phenomenal products, convergence of technologies,
people and excitement were unprecedented," said Gary Shapiro,
president and CEO for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA),
the producer of the International CES. "While it may have been
'plastics' in the 1960s, this era's technology is consumer electronics
as leaders from IT, cable, broadcasting, entertainment, education,
transportation and government converged in Las Vegas for CES."
"The hotels were packed, the flights were full, and the exhibitors
and attendees were thrilled," said Karen Chupka, vice president
of events conferences for CEA. "We are delighted that CES is
the world's leading event for technology."
Whether it was sleek and amazingly thin display technologies, imaging,
mobile electronics, wireless, home networking or entertainment, the
products on the CES show floor encompassed the latest in digital technologies,
featuring a wide array of features at a range of price points to meet
Display technology was abundant across the show floor. Thin, flat,
bigger LCD and plasma displays dominated hundreds of booths of not
only traditional display manufacturers, but an increasing number of
IT companies such as Dell and Epson. Epson showcased its Livingstation
57-inch widescreen high-definition television, Samsung touted the
world's largest LCD HDTV offering full 1920 by 1080 progressive scan
resolution, and Philips made a splash with its Mirror TV featuring
a video display that turns into a mirror when not in use.
Portability, connectivity and wireless technology were among the
significant trends of the show. The capability of thousands of products
across the show floor to interoperate with each other via wireless
technology created one digital world under the roof of the convention
Wireless phones, PDAs and other data products were on display embedded
with video displays, cameras and a proliferation of services such
as e-mail capabilities, Web-browsing, instant messaging, gaming and
streaming video. Nokia debuted its Nokia 3660 capable of capturing
and sending still and video images. Archos launched the AV300 Cinema-to-Go,
the industry's first personal, portable video player that can record
and play back movies with stereo MP3 audio while also operating as
a digital audio recorder and player, photo player and storage device.
Panasonic showed its D-Snap camcorder, the world's smallest camcorder
with no moving parts. Sony Ericsson showcased its Bluetooth music
player HBM-30, a combination Bluetooth headset and MP3 player that
lets users listen to digital audio while connected to a phone.
The networked home figured prominently at CES this year as more home
owners demand access to content and home control features anywhere
and at any time. Content now can be stored in the home PC or other
products such as media servers and controlled by wireless or Web-enabled
CES showcased this up and coming trend with a number of products such
as CorAccess Systems' Amego handheld home remote which allows consumers
to view and control all aspects of the home including lighting, theater,
security and HVAC. Salton's Beyond Connected Home "Home Hub and
Coffee Maker" provides instant weather, traffic and news on demand.
And Rockford/Omnifi showed its AV Digital Media Streamer enabling
consumers to stream high-quality video files stored on a PC to a home
Digital imaging technology had its largest presence on the show floor
in history. The new Flash Forward TechZone showcased the latest digital
cameras, printers, software and accessories. HP displayed its Scanjet
4670, an ultra-thin printer about the width of the spiral notebook.
And Panasonic showed its Lumix camera, the industry's first four megapixel
digital camera with 12x optical zoom.
The 2004 International CES also housed the world's largest mobile
electronics tradeshow. In-car entertainment, two-way communications,
satellite television, navigation and vehicle tracking were all prominent
at CES. KVH Industries displayed its TracVision A5, an ultra-low profile
antenna that brings digital satellite television to the automobile.
Databahn showcased the Mobile Satellite Broadband Solution that delivers
two-way capabilities, a T-1 broadband connection, voice-over IP and
satellite television in a 26-inch dish that mounts on top of the vehicle.
In the realm of navigation, Sanyo Fisher showed off its M3 GPS mobility
navigation/multimedia system. The product combines a DVD-based GPS
guidance system with a fully functional DVD/CD player and navigation
More than 130 leaders from the federal and foreign governments attended
the International CES, adding to the global flair of the event. Officials
from the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission
and both the Senate and House of Representatives joined government
technology officials from other countries including Germany, Korea
and Japan at the International CES.
"The momentum created here at CES this week will help carry
the industry forward in 2004 as we begin gearing up for the 2005 International
CES," said Chupka. "Already, 1,290 exhibitors have signed
up for more than 1.27 million net square feet of space. We will continue
to improve the show's infrastructure to support the growth of the
International CES. By the 2005 International CES the Las Vegas monorail
will be open, and CEA and Las Vegas officials already are planning
how to make the 2005 show an even better experience."
The 2005 International CES runs January 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. CEA's
resources are available online at www.CE.org,
the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics
Jan 15 - Dell Delivers New Business Notebook
Computers That Are Easy on the Budget. Price-sensitive customers
in need of a notebook computer that delivers mobility can now choose
the Dell Latitude(tm) D505 notebook, starting at $1,049, with Intel's
new Celeron M processor and Wi-Fi(R) capability.
This thin and light notebook, with a starting weight of just over
five pounds, is equipped to power mobile users through daily essential
productivity tasks like e-mail, word processing and Internet surfing.
The Latitude D505 shares the same intuitive design and innovative
D/Port docking solution and D/View notebook stand as other products
in the Latitude D-Family portfolio. Designed for budget-conscious
education customers and small and medium businesses with a networked
environment, it provides true mobility without sacrificing reliability,
flexibility or performance.
Dell education and business customers were consulted in the development
of the D-Family notebooks and provided feedback regarding their notebooks'
usability, features and form factors. Dell relied on this feedback
in developing the Latitude D505 as well as the other D-family notebooks.
This continued focus on meeting customer needs contributes to Dell's
No. 1 ranking in Technology Business Research's quarterly IT Buying
and Customer Satisfaction Study for notebook PCs, where it has maintained
its leadership position for more than five years.
The Latitude D505 can be configured with an Intel Celeron M processor
or a Pentium M processor, choice of 14.1-inch or 15-inch XGA displays
and Intel's PRO Wireless 2100 wireless miniPCI card (802.11b). Customers
can also choose Dell's TrueMobile(tm) 1300 (802.11b/g) or TrueMobile
1400 (802.11a/b/g) wireless solutions.
Dell offers a single point of accountability for deployment services
to support its latest portfolio of Latitude products, which can help
save time and effort and allow customers to focus IT resources on
more strategic projects. More information about the Latitude D505
and other members of the D-Family can be found at www.dell.com/latitude.
Jan 15 - Virus Writers Building Underground
Network for Rapid Dispersal of New Viruses. Clearswift, the MIMEsweeper
company, predicts a rise in malicious threats and the birth of the
"superworm" in 2004, following an analysis of 2003 and the
detection of a private peer-to-peer malware network. Clearswift is
advising organizations to review their e-mail and Web security to
ensure their PCs are not used to distribute viruses or execute criminal
activities on behalf of malicious groups.
The Sobig project last year, consisting of six successive viruses,
marked the emergence of long-term malware projects, involving multistage
attacks using spam, worms, trojans, spyware and proxies. Furthermore,
2003 saw a clear switch in motivation of the virus writer -- intellectual
challenge or simple-minded cyber-vandalism is no longer the primary
Instead, financial gain is now the principal reason behind virus
development. It has become apparent that the Sobig project was instigated
by organized crime gangs which are now deploying the tools of spammer,
virus writer and hacker in a coordinated manner to expand their operations
into cyberspace. These groups have now established a network of broadband
home PCs which can be covertly used as an anonymous platform for criminal
The Sinit Evolution
More recently, a private peer-to-peer malware network has been created,
marking a major milestone in the evolution of the virus landscape.
The network, dubbed Sinit, removes the single-point-of-failure that
is often targeted by law enforcers in order to terminate viruses (as
was the case with the last Sobig virus). With Sinit, there is no central
server that can be shut down. Each infected host becomes part of a
peer-to-peer network through which additional trojans are spread to
all hosts. It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands of PCs
have already been infected.
Sinit enables rapid dispersal of viruses and uses sophisticated encryption
technology to prevent anti-virus companies from tracking development
activity or modifying the virus codes. Sinit could also constitute
the launch pad for a highly efficient "superworm." Theorists
have postulated that a superworm could be capable of infecting all
vulnerable hosts on the Internet in minutes.
"It looks as though 2004 will be the year of the superworm,"
commented Pete Simpson, manager of ThreatLab at Clearswift. "It's
always been an arms race in the battle between virus writers and anti-virus
companies, however, both sides now have financial incentives. Sinit
represents a new and daunting challenge to anti-virus companies and
further emphasizes the need to have a multilayered defense against
these security threats."
While organized crime has come to dominate the malware scene, in
2003, the traditional virus-writing groups have not been entirely
moribund. Serotonin, a virus developed last year that has yet to be
released in the wild, represents an entirely new generation of worm.
Using "Genetic Programming" techniques, based on processes
analogous to those operating in biological evolution, the worm mimics
natural selection processes. Although this has not been released in
the wild yet, it demonstrates the potential problems to come.
No longer can organizations expect to be protected from malicious
codes by deploying just firewall and anti-virus technology -- the
ever-evolving nature of viruses requires a more proactive defense.
Content security provides an additional layer of defense by enabling
the generic blocking of executables, scripts and specified file types
to protect against viruses and nonviral malware such as spyware. It
will also intercept other malicious code in e-mail and Web pages.
Clearswift's software portfolio includes the award-winning MIMEsweeper(TM),
a product family for e-mail and Web e-policies. More information about
Clearswift, its products and services is available at www.clearswift.com.
Jan 15 - Microsoft Unveils Smarter Retailing
Initiative. Microsoft Corp. today announced its Smarter Retailing
Initiative (SRI), created to help retailers improve how they sell
and operate, and provide a technology and solutions framework for
enabling the next generation of retail innovation.
The initiative focuses on three critical areas: Smarter Shopping,
Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations. Based on extensive research,
feedback from Microsofts customer advisory board, and industry-specific
development investments by Microsofts retail-focused industry
solutions team, the Microsoft® Smarter Retailing Initiative provides
an innovative approach, based on open standards, to allow retailers
to take full advantage of their legacy investments by connecting the
retail enterprise to the store and to the consumer. SRI fundamentally
changes the retailers rules of engagement with customers and
the customers in-store experience.
The initiative is launching with the active support of more than
20 companies, all of which have committed to delivering solutions
and services that align with the Smarter Retailing vision and using
Microsofts .NET Framework, the programming model for building
XML Web services and applications.
The companies include Accenture; BlueCube Software; Cap Gemini Ernst
& Young; CRS Retail Systems Inc.; Dell; Fujitsu Transaction Solutions
Inc.; HP; Infosys Technologies Ltd.; Intel Corporation; JDA Software
Group, Inc.; Manhattan Associates Inc.; NCR Corporation; NSB Group;
ProClarity Corporation; Retalix Ltd.; Sysrepublic; Trax Retail Solutions;
and Wipro Ltd.
In addition, leading enterprise retailers such as 7-Eleven, Inc.,
Circuit City Stores, Inc., Costco Wholesale Corporation, Meijer, METRO
Group, and Rite Aid Corporation have recently adopted Microsoft-based
solutions ranging from smarter operations to smarter shopping. One
example is the use of Windows® XP Embedded technology within the
Microsofts Smarter Retailing Initiative flows from our
belief that there are many opportunities for innovation in the retail
industry today, but they primarily lie on the edges, where retailers
interact with consumers and manage their supply chains, said
Brian Scott, general manager for the Retail & Hospitality Industry
Solutions Group at Microsoft. We are excited that many industry-leading
solution providers and retailers share our vision and are already
working to help make it real for the marketplace.
Smarter Retailing solutions will focus on three key areas, which work
together but offer unique business drivers and financial benefits:
Smarter Shopping enables retailers to leverage their IT investments
to create a seamless and personalized retail experience to satisfy
consumers who demand service, convenience and information. Some focus
areas include leveraging the digital devices that employees and customers
already know, such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants,
to differentiate product and service information.
Smarter Selling helps retailers maximize sales and customer satisfaction
through labor deployment and by empowering employees with production
location and inventory information as well as customer relationship
management skills. The sales associate and customer interaction is
improved through a more efficient and informed process, enabling employees
to confidently address each customers question or need and even
anticipate the customers needs before they are expressed.
Smarter Operations offers increased efficiency by providing real-time
visibility into the metrics that drive profitability. This includes
tools to easily manage the adoption of transforming technologies such
as wireless devices and radio frequency identification (RFID). Focus
areas include store management and flexible infrastructure.
It is clear that the rules for engagement with customers are
changing, and new technologies such as RFID are playing a big role,
said Jeff Smith, global managing partner of the Retail and Consumer
Goods practice at Accenture. Microsofts Smarter Retailing
Initiative will help the industry embrace innovations that will allow
them to turn customer information into insights they can use to tailor
the consumer experience, differentiate themselves from competitors
and win customer loyalty.
Microsofts Smarter Retailing Initiative is built on open industry
standards such as Web services and XML, and retail-specific standards
such as IX Retail, OPOS, RFID and UCCNet. In addition, Microsoft has
been working closely with the Association for Retail Technology Standards
(ARTS), the standards division of the NRF, to improve the use of technology
in the retail industry. Because of its focus on standards, the Smarter
Retailing Initiative drives simplicity, consistency and true choice
throughout the hardware and software ecosystem.
The Smarter Retailing Initiative was created through in-depth industry
and consumer research with many of Microsofts key partners and
numerous customers worldwide. The initiative was formed in part to
help retailers respond to consumer demands for convenience and information
on their own terms and across multiple channels, business demands
for streamlined operations, and store demands for associate efficiency
and customer service capabilities.
More information can be found at www.microsoft.com/smartretail.
Jan 15 - ATI Turbo-Charges Firegl Workstation
Graphics with Introduction of High-End Firegl X2-256T. ATI Technologies
Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY) is extending its line of workstation
graphics accelerators today with the introduction of the high-end
FireGL(TM) X2-256t. Based on ATI's award-winning scalable workstation
graphics architecture, this turbo-charged graphics board delivers
the industry's fastest 3D performance for products under $1000 (based
on comparison to competitive products displayed at www.specbench.org).
The FireGL X2-256t is capable of handling users' most demanding projects
when running high-end 3D applications based on OpenGL and DirectX
9. Featuring increased engine and memory speeds, plus a redesigned
board with a performance-enhancing copper fan, the FireGL X2-256t
delivers up to 25% more processing power than its predecessor. Four
geometry engines and eight parallel rendering pipelines power the
board which comes with 256MB of graphics memory and dual DVI-I connectors.
The FireGL X2-256t delivers fast 3D performance, superior quality
imaging and ISV certification for professional applications such as
3dsmax, SolidWorks, MicroStation, Maya, and Softimage XSI.
"With performance that rivals competitive products costing twice
as much, the FireGL X2-256t features advanced pixel shader support
and the ability to render complex models, scenes and effects in real-time,"
said Dinesh Sharma, Director, Workstation Products, ATI Technologies.
"This turbo-charged accelerator enables 3D professionals to speed
up their production pipeline, delivering high-end performance and
ISV certification for sophisticated CAD (computer aided design), solid
modeling, DCC (digital content creation) and visual simulation applications."
The FireGL X2-256t has an MSRP of US $899 and will be available later
this month through workstation OEMs, system integrators and value
added resellers. The FireGL X2-256t joins the existing products in
the FireGL family including the entry-level FireGL(TM) T2-128, the
mid-range FireGL(TM) Z1-128, the FireGL(TM) X1-128 and the MOBILITY(TM)
FireGL(TM) T2 processor for mobile workstations.
For additional product details, or information on our reseller and
distribution partners, please visit www.ati.com/FireGL.
Jan 15 - Only 45% of Users Will Primarily
Use Traditional Desktops by 2006. By 2006, only 45% of corporate
users will count a traditional desktop as their primary information
device, according to META Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: METG). Another 40%
will primarily use a notebook or tablet PC, with the final 15% focusing
on thin-client or other information appliances (e.g., custom device,
handheld). A key factor is the increasing percentage of users who
will be equipped with multiple devices over and above the current
combination of a PC and a personal information/communication device
(e.g., handheld, cell phone).
"By 2007, the average user will interact regularly with at least
four distinct computing devices -- a personal home PC, smart digital
entertainment system, corporate computer, and mobile information device,"
said Steve Kleynhans, vice president with META Group's Technology
Research Services. "This multiplicity of devices will force software
vendors to focus on information synchronization as well as 'thinning'
or 'roaming' applications to enable users to access their information
independent of the device they are using."
Device selection needs to be matched to user job requirements, including
information access and mobile needs to ensure that full value is obtained
from end-user platform investments. Corporate IT planners must be
aware of the alternatives coming into the market for servicing end
users and make selections appropriate to the needs of the user base.
This will require increased due diligence to gain an appropriate understanding
and develop new technical skills. New device options will not only
help IT organizations further trim operations costs, but also provide
additional value in the form of improved information productivity.
Although light and convenient, current-state tablet PCs (without
an integrated keyboard) are not functional enough for most office
users as their only computing device. Improved form factors, coupled
with declines in the cost of digitizers and a growing number of digital
ink- and pen-enabled applications, will bring the tablet to the mainstream
by 2006 -- one-third of all corporate notebooks will include tablet
Closely related to the tablet PC are smart display devices, which
enable users to wirelessly access their PCs using WinXP's remote desktop
facility. Although Microsoft has discontinued further development
on the current consumer-focused smart displays, we expect that the
technology could reappear in the corporate environment.
"There is an opportunity in the corporate space, where 60% of
information workers are 'corridor warriors' that roam from meeting
to meeting, to provide users with access to basic information (e.g.,
e-mail, instant messaging, Web browsing) and note-taking capabilities
while attending meetings on premises," said Kleynhans. "The
devices could even be shared among users or possibly kept in meeting
rooms. Any costs should be outweighed by the increase in meeting productivity
for most knowledge workers."
Blade computers initially emerged as a way to make compact scalable
servers by combining numerous low-cost self-contained PCs within a
single chassis. This enabled the systems to share infrastructure such
as power supplies, network and storage interconnects, and consoles.
PC manufacturers have now begun to move these systems beyond the server
and into the end-user tier by assigning individual blades to users
who access the blade using a thin-client device. Most of the administrative
benefit and potential cost savings of blades come from designing a
truly roaming environment. However, the effort involved and the backlash
from users unwilling to succumb to a locked-down PC environment are
substantial, making this option appropriate only for some groups.
"Blades will likely be used to augment traditional computing
platforms as a means of delivering specific applications that may
require alternative OSs (e.g., Linux) or dedicated processing power
(e.g., real-time processing)," said Kleynhans. "Blades will
become a commonplace solution implemented primarily in the same places
that Citrix/Windows Terminal Server (WTS) solutions are currently
applied. Blades will remain a niche product -- by 2006, blades will
replace traditional PC form factors for roughly only 10% of users."
Visit www.metagroup.com for more