Jan 30 - Microsoft Dominance
Keeps Small Businesses Awake at Night. A new Yankee Group survey
reveals that many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are deeply
concerned about depending too heavily on Microsoft. Approximately
43 percent of respondents (companies with 2 to 499 employees) to the
SMB Infrastructure Survey said they were concerned about becoming
overly reliant on the company's products and services. Of that group,
72 percent said that they are actively seeking other vendors to diversify
"While we expected some apprehension about over-dependence
on Microsoft, we were surprised at the extent of this concern throughout
the SMB market," said Michael Lauricella, program manager for
the Yankee Group's Small and Medium Business Strategies advisory service.
"Whether a five-person pizza shop or a 400-employee manufacturing
facility, SMBs reported similar anxiety about Microsoft."
According to Helen Chan, Small and Medium Business Strategies senior
analyst, "The SMB market is the next big thing for Microsoft,
estimated to be a $10 billion business for the company by 2010. However,
Microsoft is not alone in its SMB ambitions as vendors such as SAP,
Oracle, Siebel and IBM are aggressively moving down-market. There's
no question that Microsoft commands a strong presence in the SMB market,
but this fear of Microsoft over-dependency will certainly open up
opportunities for competitive vendors eager to sneak in."
This topic and other technology challenges facing small and medium-sized
business will be discussed at the upcoming Yankee Group SMB 2004 Forum
in San Francisco on March 15 and 16, 2004. More information is available
Jan 30 - Canon's New EOS-1D Mark II Digital
SLR Delivers All-Pro Power. With Super Bowl XXXVIII as an imminent
and fitting backdrop, Canon today announced its newest - and the world's
fastest - professional digital SLR: the high-resolution, high-speed
EOS-1D Mark II camera.
This camera establishes new benchmarks for quick response, flexible
control, imaging excellence and RAW image management (through included
software solutions that rival costly stand-alones and plug-ins) for
professional digital photographers whether they are capturing the
next "immaculate reception" on the gridiron, or a team of
bridesmaids attempting to pick off the bridal bouquet at a wedding
Its new 8.2 million pixel CMOS sensor, faster DIGIC(TM) II imaging
engine and ability to capture brilliant, eight-megapixel JPEG images
at 8.5 fps in continuous bursts of up to 40 frames and RAW images
in continuous bursts of up to 20 frames - thanks in large part to
new Canon technology's innovative use of DDR SDRAM - make the EOS-1D
Mark II the world's fastest pro-digital SLR camera.
Building on the success of the 4.1 megapixel EOS-1D with its 8 fps,
21 frame maximum JPEG (or 16 frame RAW) burst capability, Canon doubled
the resolution of the imaging sensor, doubled the size of the high
speed buffer memory and reevaluated, redesigned and in some cases,
actually reinvented the technology that makes the new EOS-1D Mark
II camera the most reliable, responsive and remarkable professional
digital SLR on the market. Key among those speed-increasing innovations
is Canon's first use of dual 32-bit RISC CPUs to operate the camera's
autofocus separately with one dedicated to detecting focus while the
second controls the lens drive.
Able to stand up to real world conditions in the field, on the sidelines
or in the studio, the Mark II camera's exterior and chassis are constructed
of a rugged yet lightweight and weather-resistant magnesium alloy.
Its shutter is durability-tested to 200,000 exposures (50,000 more
than on the EOS-1D), the body is highly weather-resistant with more
than 70 gaskets and seals, and the camera's lens mount is made of
stainless steel (and is fully compatible with all Canon EF, TS-E and
Set for delivery to Canon USA, Inc. authorized dealers in April,
the EOS-1D Mark II digital camera carries an estimated selling price
of $ 4,499 and the DVK-E2 accessory will carry and estimated selling
price of $749.
For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
Jan 30 - Future of Private Line Services
in Jeopardy as IP Takes Hold. Once the cash cow of data transport,
the future of private line services is in jeopardy as the world slowly
migrates to Internet Protocol (IP), reports In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
While the bottom has not yet fallen out on private line expenditures
(US businesses spent roughly $23 billion on private line services
in 2003, up about 4 percent), the high-tech market research firm expects
that growth will stagnate in the near term, with this market facing
an eventual and pronounced decline in the long term.
"The reality is that the public network is migrating to IP,
meaning traditional circuit-switch private lines will need to migrate
as well," said Kneko Burney, chief market strategist with In-Stat/MDR.
Today, the most common migration path is primarily to switch to a
high-end version of DSL, such as HDSL, and this is likely to escalate
over time as DSL reach and capabilities broaden. "However, this
migration will be gradual," said Burney, "meaning that the
T1 businesses will experience a long, slow, and possibly painful exit
as replacement escalates -- similar to that experienced by long distance
and now, local phone service."
Burney believes that traditional T1 providers may be able to manage
the erosion through innovation -- i.e., step up plans to offer integrated
T1 lines, and by focusing on specific segments of the market, like
mid-sized businesses (those with 100 to 999 employees). "According
to In-Stat/MDR's research, respondents from mid-sized businesses were
somewhat less likely than their peers from both smaller and larger
firms to indicate that they were planning or considering switching
from T1 to integrated T1, cable, or S, H, or VDSL alternatives,"
reported Colin Nelson, research analyst, Business Market Segmentation
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- Post-2004, price pressure and outright replacement is expected
to lead to the first decline in this category of spending in years
(maybe ever). In-Stat/MDR estimates that beyond 2004, this market
is expected to slowly, but steadily shrink, and by 2008, spending
is expected to fall approximately 22 percent from 2004 spending levels.
-- Looking at expenditures by size of business, spending on private
line services is already declining on an annual basis in the small
business market, as DSL, and to a lesser extent, cable alternatives
supplant traditional private lines, and spending is expected to do
the same in the SOHO business market next year. Spending levels among
mid-sized and enterprise businesses are expected to decline by 2005.
The enterprise market drives most of the spending on private line
services, currently making up more than 77 percent of expenditures.
Jan 30 - MPEG LA Sues Apex Digital, Inc.
for Breach of MPEG-2 License Agreement. MPEG LA, LLC today announced
that it has sued Apex Digital, Inc. ("Apex Digital"), a
manufacturer and supplier of DVD players, for breach of its contractual
obligations under the MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License ("Contract")
that Apex Digital entered into with MPEG LA.
The lawsuit alleges that Apex Digital has breached the Contract by
(1) failing to report fully its use of MPEG-2 patents; (2) failing
to pay the royalty payments due for the use of those patents; and
(3) failing to provide an auditor with all of the documents required
by the Contract for a complete audit to independently determine Apex
Digital's compliance with the Contract. The suit notes that Apex Digital's
reports of product sales to MPEG LA are not consistent with public
reports of Apex Digital's sales of those products.
MPEG LA Chief Executive Officer Baryn S. Futa said: "We are
disappointed that this lawsuit has become necessary as a result of
Apex Digital's continued refusal to meet its contractual obligations,
but Apex Digital must be held accountable not only to the marketplace
but also to the vast majority of its competitors and others throughout
the world who are meeting theirs."
The lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court in Colorado seeks monetary
damages including interest, an accounting of all Apex Digital products
on which royalties are payable, an audit of Apex Digital's books and
records, and an injunction prohibiting Apex Digital from using MPEG-2
patents in its products until Apex Digital pays all royalties that
it owes to MPEG LA.
For more information about MPEG LA, see www.mpegla.com.
Jan 30 - Worldwide WLAN 802.11 Market to
Grow Strongly through 2006. According to Dell'Oro Group, the Wireless
LAN - 802.11 market will grow 23% in 2004 to $2.2 B, with strong growth
continuing in 2005. After 2005, however, this market growth is expected
to slow substantially, and after peaking in 2006, is anticipated to
begin declining in 2007.
According to Greg Collins, Senior Director, Dell'Oro Group, "Fundamental
to this anticipated slowdown and subsequent contraction in the market
is that the two largest segments of the market will become embedded
features in other products. Specifically, we expect that WLAN will
increasingly become a feature of Cable Modem and DSL client premises
equipment (CPE), which will reduce the need for consumers to purchase
a standalone Broadband Gateway or Access Point for their home.
In addition, WLAN is increasingly becoming a standard feature of notebook
computers, which greatly diminishes the need for users to purchase
an add-on NIC card for their notebook computer."
"In the coming years, the Enterprise Wireless LAN (WLAN) market
will increasingly thrive as enterprises continue to embrace WLAN technology
for its convenience and as a means to improve productivity. We forecast
that the market will have a 5-year CAGR of over 20% per year and reach
$1 B in 2008," said Collins.
Dell'Oro Group is a market research firm that specializes in strategic
competitive analysis in the networking and telecommunications industries
Jan 29 - Mydoom Surpasses
Sobig.F to Become Fastest Spreading Virus Ever. MessageLabs, the
leading provider of managed email security services to businesses
worldwide, reports it has intercepted more than 1.2 million copies
of the new mass-mailer worm known as W32/Mydoom.A-mm and is seeing
a peak infection rate of 1 in 12 emails. MessageLabs has issued a
high-level alert for businesses.
The worm was first intercepted by MessageLabs on January
26th, 2004 at 8:03 a.m. ET and as of 9:00 a.m. ET January 27th, MessageLabs
had stopped more than 1.2 million copies of the virus, while providing
100% protection against the virus for all of its 8,000 business customers
worldwide who use the company's anti-virus service.
In comparison, MessageLabs stopped 1 million copies
of Sobig.F within the first 24 hours and recorded a peak infection
ratio of 1 in 17 email messages. Since identifying the email containing
the first copy of the Mydoom virus sent from Russia, MessageLabs has
intercepted copies of the virus from messages in 168 countries.
"Sobig.F move over," said Mark Sunner, chief
technology officer at MessageLabs. "Mydoom has just surpassed
Sobig.F as the fastest spreading virus ever. With a text file icon
instead of graphics that lead people to believe it is innocuous, this
virus appears to have hit a sweet spot in execution and propagation.
Its success and back door Trojan component could further increase
the prevalence of open proxies for nefarious purposes."
For more information on MessageLabs and its industry-leading
email security and management services, please visit: www.messagelabs.com.
Jan 29 - SanDisk Ships World's
First Production 1GB SD Card. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK)
this week is shipping the world's first production one-gigabyte (GB)
Secure Digital (SD) flash card, which contains a unique "stackable"
packaging technology jointly implemented with Sharp Corporation of
This new package employs a low-cost, high-yielding
die-stacking process that is designed to enable SanDisk to double
the memory capacity without increasing the size of the card, thus
launching a new generation of competitively-priced, higher-density
flash devices that can store unprecedented amounts of pictures, music
"This is truly a breakthrough in the packaging
technology that was designed to enable SanDisk to double the card
capacity using the same memory technology," said Yoram Cedar,
SanDisk's Senior Vice-President of Engineering. "Sharp's expertise
was instrumental in allowing us to develop the 1-gigabyte SD Card,
which is the primary storage medium for the newest handheld computers,
compact digital camcorders and multimedia phones. This process can
also be applied to other form factors such as Compact Flash (CF) and
Memory Stick (MS), and we expect to use it in future products that
require high-capacity flash mass storage."
With a suggested retail price of $499.99, the 1GB SD
card has the capacity to store more than 30 hours of digitally compressed
music, 1,000 high-resolution digital images and over five hours of
MPEG-4 compressed video.
According to NPD Techworld, a research company, during the fourth
quarter of 2003 SD became the most popular flash memory card in America,
representing 39 percent of U.S. retail sales in November and surging
ahead of CF, Memory Stick and all other card formats. In December,
the SD Card Association reported that more than 1,500 products were
using the SD format, which has built-in Content Protection Rights
Management designed to facilitate the secure exchange of content between
devices and the card.
"Consumers can now obtain an SD card that opens
immense new capabilities, whether it's taking photographs or recording
music or videos," said Eric Bone, Retail Product Marketing Manager
for SanDisk. "We believe that these cards will meet the present
and future demands of many of our end-use customers who consider the
SD card as the storage medium of choice for extremely compact digital
cameras, handheld computers, audio players and mobile phones."
SanDisk's web site/home page address: www.sandisk.com.
Jan 29 - Confusion Reigns
as Permission-Based Email Marketers Comply with CAN-SPAM Law.
In the wake of the new federal CAN-SPAM law, EmailLabs, a leading
provider of email marketing automation solutions, today reported that
a majority of permission marketers are exceeding most requirements
of the Act, but remain confused over administrative aspects of the
In a new benchmark audit of 100+ major email marketers,
95 percent include an unsubscribe process, as mandated by the law.
At the same time, just 56 percent were in compliance with one of the
simplest aspects of CAN-SPAM -- the new requirement to add a postal
mailing address. The informal survey will be replicated later in Q1,
to determine changes in compliance patterns.
"The bare majority complying with the postal address
requirement appears to indicate that many legitimate email marketers
are confused by CAN-SPAM, don't understand the requirement and/or
simply haven't gotten around to it," said Loren McDonald, Vice
President of Marketing, EmailLabs. "Most major permission-based
email marketers do already adhere to best practices, and have long
been doing what the law now requires, but many are clearly confused
by the nuances and gray areas of the law.
"From a broader perspective, one potential benefit
of CAN-SPAM and the intense focus on unsolicited email is that 'unintentional
spammers' -- those legitimate companies who have not followed email
marketing best practices -- may begin adopting permission practices
and go well beyond just complying with CAN-SPAM," McDonald said.
"Even if the Act doesn't stop fraudulent and annoying spam, it
may raise the standards of what is considered good permission email
The federal CAN-SPAM law took effect on January 1,
and is intended to curb the proliferation of unsolicited emails. CAN-SPAM
contains requirements that must be met by all mailers whether an email
message is unsolicited or permission based. Companies sending unsolicited
emails must include a clear notice that the message being sent is
an advertisement or solicitation, among other requirements.
Conducted from Jan. 1-Jan. 15, the EmailLabs audit
evaluated 104 emails from some of the nation's largest online retailers,
media and publishing companies, along with Fortune 500 enterprises.
Fifty-seven percent of the sample consisted of newsletters and 29
percent of appeals from online retailers; another 18 percent of emails
were classified as "corporate" in nature. Emails were obtained
randomly from employees who had opted-in to receive these emails.
In terms of strict CAN-SPAM compliance, 56 percent
of the sample included postal addresses and more than 95 percent provided
an unsubscribe mechanism. None of the emails reviewed appeared to
contain misleading subject lines or other fraudulent practices employed
by spammers. Among the multiple methods to unsubscribe, 87 percent
offered a link, 22 percent an email reply and 11 percent notification
by phone or mail.
Although not mandated by CAN-SPAM, 54 percent enabled
recipients to update their preferences, 40 percent each explained
why the email was received and supplied complete contact information
The company has also made available a CAN-SPAM legal
brief from the law firm of Dow, Lohnes & Alberston PLLC, at http://www.emaillabs.com/resources_tools.html.
"Unsolicited email has been legalized by CAN-SPAM, and regardless
of whether the law increases or decreases spam, for legitimate email
marketers there is only one choice -- taking the permission high road,"
said McDonald. "Doing anything else will damage your brand and
EmailLabs is a leading provider of advanced email technology solutions
to agencies, publishers and marketing, sales and customer service
departments of middle-market and Global 2000 companies. For more information,
Jan 29 - America Online Joins
Ohio Lawmakers in Unveiling Latest State Antispam Proposal. Sending
junk email over internet networks located in the State of Ohio could
result in stiff, criminal penalties if a new proposal - backed today
by America Online and its Ohio-based web access businesses - is enacted
The world's leading interactive services company today
announced a new antispam initiative in Ohio that would complement
its public policy efforts at the state and Federal level to fight
back against spam and spammers on behalf of its members.
AOL announced its support of and advocacy for a strong
new antispam proposal authored by State Representative Kathleen Walcher
(District 58-Norwalk), which is based on the nation's toughest law
against junk email in Virginia.
State Rep. Walcher's newly introduced legislation (H.B.
383) would impose harsh criminal penalties against the most egregious
spammers who use tactics of fraud and deceit to get spam into the
email inboxes of online consumers. These sanctions, enforceable by
state authorities in Ohio, include jail time, asset forfeiture, and
AOL's support for this new proposal was announced by
Joel Davidson, Executive Vice President for Web Access, for America
Online, at a Capitol news conference in Columbus with State Rep. Walcher
this afternoon. AOL's Web Access business, based in Upper Arlington,
Ohio, comprises the CompuServe, Netscape Internet Service, and Wal-Mart
Connect online services.
"While no state or Federal law is a spam 'cure-all',
tough, new state antispam proposals like Representative Walcher's
can have a tremendous impact as part of a comprehensive, multi-faceted
effort that includes a combination of corporate litigation, online
industry collaboration, new antispam technologies, enhanced tools
and features placed at the fingertips of our members, and stronger
spam filtering at the email server level," said Mr. Davidson.
Mr. Davidson added: "If Representative Walcher's
proposal is enacted, and if our members continue to refer spam to
us on a daily basis, there is no reason to believe we can't send spammers
to the slammer in Ohio. The time has come for swift action. The time
to 'can the spam' is now."
The legislation is timely and critical to AOL, and
more directly to its internet access services whose network infrastructure
is located in the State of Ohio - such as CompuServe. Under this new
law, spammers sending large volumes of junk emails using tactics of
fraud, deceit and evasion to members of these internet services would
be subject to severe sanctions and damages.
If enacted, this new state law would work hand-in-hand
with the tough new Federal law - the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act - which AOL
strongly endorsed. It would also give Ohio residents and officials
added enforcement tools to combat spam with criminal and civil penalties.
The Ohio junk email proposal was also crafted and structured in a
way that would allow it not to be pre-empted by the new Federal antispam
Additionally, this legislation has lower thresholds
for legal action against spammers - no matter where they live in the
country - than does the new Federal antispam law. This would give
state authorities in Ohio more options in bringing criminal actions
against the worst, most egregious spam offenders. State officials
do not have authority to bring criminal actions under Federal law.
Said Rep. Walcher: "With advancements in technology
come new techniques used by spammers to deceive Ohioans. The state
of Ohio needs to stay on the forefront to protect its citizens from
this deceitful practice."
The Ohio junk email proposal is modeled after Virginia's
new state law, which went into effect on July 1st and has already
been successfully used by AOL and state law enforcement officials
to file criminal prosecutions against two of the most notorious spammers
known to industry groups and ISPs.
AOL continues to be an industry leader in the ongoing
an aggressive fight on a state and Federal level to craft and adopt
tough, rigorous new public laws that hold spammers accountable for
their outlaw tactics of deceit, fraud and evasion. In addition to
its public advocacy campaigns on spam in Virginia and in the U.S.
Congress - which produced milestone victories on behalf of its members
and all online consumers in 2003 - AOL is working with lawmakers in
other states toward the goal of ensuring that public laws evolve to
keep pace with the ever-changing, complex nature of spam.
Jan 29 - Liti3D Lets You
Create Personal Holograms. Liti3D, a division of Liti Holographics,
today announced the availability of its 3D Twin Camera Systems for
hologram capture, which enable users to capture a full 3D model of
a subject and then convert it into a 3D hologram. Never before has
capturing a hologram been this easy.
Liti3D has developed several different 3D Twin Camera
Systems so that customers can choose the best system for their particular
needs, ranging in price from $349 to $2999. Each system includes special
cameras and hardware for 3D hologram capture, as well as a starter
package of 3D image processing, a screen saver output, an email head
output, and a custom, full-color hologram. Additional 3D outputs and
holograms can be individually ordered.
Liti3D's Twin Camera Systems capture an image of a
person or subject from two unique positions at the same time. From
these images a 3D computer graphics model of the subject is generated,
recreating the curves, contours, and three-dimensional depth of the
original subject. The final 3D image can then be turned into a full-color,
3D hologram portrait far beyond any ordinary picture. The 3D output
can also be turned into a 3D screensaver or "e-mail head."
"Liti Holographics set out four years ago to utilize
three-dimensional imagery to change the way we see our world. We developed
the 3D Twin Camera Systems so that people can easily capture 3D pictures
and then turn those pictures into holograms. For the first time, people
can use their content and our breakthrough hologram technology to
make their own holograms," said Paul Christie, president and
CTO of Liti3D.
3D Twin Camera Systems available from Liti3D include:
Professional: A 10.2 MegaPixel resolution using advanced
Foveon 3-layer color pixel technology for high accuracy in
a digital format. System includes digital SLR cameras with
interchangeable lenses for ultimate functionality and
flexibility. This system offers crisp digital images and
excellent high quality 3D capture starting at $2999.00
High Resolution Digital: A 3.2 MegaPixel resolution, with auto
focus features and zoom lenses. System combines the best
value with the best consumer digital technology, resulting
in excellent 3D capture starting at $799.00.
Medium Resolution Digital: A 2.0 MegaPixel resolution, with
auto focus features and zoom lenses. A great blend of good
digital technology with good 3D accuracy starting at
Film-Based Capture: 35mm film-based cameras with auto focus
and zoom lenses. Requires the additional step of
digitizing or scanning the images after capture, but this
can often be done automatically when the film is
developed. This system offers an incredible value with
good 3D accuracy starting at $349.00.
For more information, log onto www.liti3d.com.
Jan 28 - Symantec Security
Response Upgrades ''Mydoom'' Virus to Level 4 Threat. Symantec,
the world leader in Internet security, today announced that it has
upgraded the W32.Novarg.A@mm (also know as W32.Mydoom@mm) from a Level
3 to a Level 4 threat based on how fast the threat is spreading, the
potential damage and the threat distribution.
Additionally, the Symantec DeepSight Threat Analyst Team has increased
the global ThreatCon from Level 1 to 2 due to the number of sample
submissions Symantec has received and because of the malicious nature
of the backdoor that the Trojan installed. Symantec's ThreatCon rating
provides a digital weather forecast of Internet Security.
Symantec Security Response is receiving submissions
of W32.Novarg.A@mm at approximately the same rate it initially received
submissions of Sobig.F@mm (discovered August 13, 2003). Today, Symantec
Security Response received more than 960 submissions of W32.Novarg.A@mm
in a nine-hour timeframe.
Symantec customers can protect against W32. W32.Novarg.A@mm
by updating their virus definitions through LiveUpdate. Additionally,
the Worm Blocking technology found in the latest Symantec consumer
products automatically detects this threat as it attempts to spread.
Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators
to adhere to basic security best practices.
W32.Novarg.A@mm is an encrypted mass-mailing worm that arrives as
an attachment with a variety of different subject lines such as "hello,"
"Mail Transaction Failed," or "Test." The attachment
has one of the following extensions: .cmd, .exe, .scr., .zip, .pif,
.bat, or .cmd. Once opened, the worm copies itself to the system folder
as taskmon.exe and listens to all TCP ports in the range 3127 to 3198,
allowing hackers to potentially send additional files to be executed
by the infected systems.
The worm propagates by sending itself to addresses found in files
with the extensions: .htm, .sht., .php, .asp, .dbx, .tbb, .adb., .pl,
.wab, and .txt. It ignores addresses that end in .edu.
The worm will also attempt to perform a denial-of-service attack
between Feb. 1 and Feb. 12, 2004 against www.sco.com. The worm creates
64 threads that send HTTP "GET" requests to the SCO site.
SCO is a provider of software solutions for small- to medium-sized
businesses and replicated branch offices.
Additional information on W32.Novarg@mm can be found on Symantec's
Web site at http://securityresponse.symantec.com.
Jan 28 - KDE Project Releases New Set Of
Linux Office Applications. The KDE Project will release on Tuesday,
January 27th, the new 1.3 version of KOffice for Linux and Unix operating
systems. KOffice is a free set of office applications that integrate
with the award winning KDE desktop. KOffice is a light-weight yet
feature rich office solution and provides a variety of filters to
interoperate with other popular office suites such as OpenOffice.org
and Microsoft Office.
KOffice 1.3 consists of the following applications:
KWord - A frame-based word processor.
KSpread - An advanced spreadsheet application.
KPresenter - A full-featured presentation program.
Kivio - A Visio®-style flowcharting application.
Karbon14 - A vector drawing application.
Kugar - A tool for generating business quality reports.
KChart - An integrated graph and chart drawing tool.
KFormula - A powerful formula editor.
Big improvements have been made in KOffice 1.3 with respect to interoperability
with other office file formats. It is now for example possible to
import as well as export OpenOffice.org documents. Also new is the
ability to import PDF files into KWord and make changes to the document.
Support for Microsoft document-formats has improved as well.
"Many people have been asking for improved support for the Microsoft
document-formats and we have made significant improvements in that
area for this release," says David Faure, a KOffice developer
for Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB. "Especially the support
for Microsoft Word 95 and Microsoft Word 97 documents has become much
A KOffice version for Apple's MacOS X is planned for later this year.
"KDE as well as KOffice is built on the cross-platform Qt toolkit,"
explains Waldo Bastian, a KDE developer for SUSE LINUX, "now
that a free version of Qt has been released for MacOS X it has become
very straightforward to make a MacOS X version of KOffice as well.
I expect that more software vendors will soon follow a similar approach
because it is a great way to expand the market for software products
with very little effort."
For more information visit www.koffice.org.
Jan 28 - Relay Instant Messenger Calls to
Standard Telephones. BAFO Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor
of computer peripherals, debuted an innovative Messenger Call Box
(MCB) at CES 2004 in Las Vegas, NV, earlier this month which garnered
rave reviews from conference attendees.
The USB device allows users to relay voice calls initiated via instant
messaging programs, including AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and ICQ, to a land
or cellular phone. The Messenger Call Box offers a high quality, toll-free
option for users making long distance and overseas calls.
Easy Installation and Set-up
The plug-and-play Messenger Call Box connects via USB to the computer,
which instantly recognizes and activates the device. Two standard
RJ-11 ports then connect the MCB to any standard telephone (including
cordless) and to the wall phone jack. As incoming voice IMs are detected
through the MCB software, they are relayed to the attached phone or
forwarded to another number of the user's choice.
Intelligent Software Instantly Relays Calls
When started, the proprietary MCB software runs in the background
and monitors IM activities in the foreground. When a voice call invitation
comes in, the MCB will ring the connected telephone and connect the
call. If configured for call forwarding mode, the software can also
forward the call to any phone number designated by the user including
cellular phones. If the MCB is in answering machine mode, the MCB
will record a voicemail message while the user is away.
"We're excited about this new technology which will allow those
who use voice call features in instant messaging programs to have
the best possible and toll-free experience," says Frank Schwartz,
Director of Marketing for BAFO Technologies. "By using a standard
telephone, we expect that the MCB will prompt more users to take advantage
of voice calls via such platforms."
The Messenger Call Box will be available in early Q2 of 2004. BAFO
Technologies is currently working with retailers in the U.S. and Internationally
in preparation for its launch. Models and MSRP will be determined
in the coming weeks.
For more information, visit the company website at www.bafo.com.
Jan 28 - High Definition Cable Box Increases Performance and Connectivity
for Home Theater. In the world of mass-market cable boxes high
performance and connectivity have traditionally been low on the list
of priorities. Pace Micro Technology (PIC.L), the largest specialist
set top box company in Europe, is breaking the mould in the USA with
the introduction of its DC-550. The DC-550 is a new high definition
digital cable set top box designed for the performance conscious high-definition
The Pace DC-550 provides outstanding HD picture quality, especially
when used with its DVI connector, as well as excellent audio performance,
uncommon in mass-market boxes. Pace has paid considerable attention
to audio performance so that it meets the high standards demanded
by a high-end home theater system. In addition, the box offers both
electrical and optical audio connectivity, enabling enthusiasts to
decide on the best possible sound for their system.
Cable box suppliers to date have completely ignored the type of connectivity
needed in today's Home Theater systems. To that end, in addition to
DVI and optical and electrical audio connectivity, the Pace box also
offers loop-through for multiple devices such as DVD players. An IR
receiver has also been included so the box can be hidden away as part
of a custom installation or built into a traditional TV cabinet.
Moreover, the DC-550 is the smallest HD box on the market but has
more processing power than many of its competitors, making channel
change speed and graphics performance the best in class. This has
been achieved whilst being the first HD box in the world to meet the
stringent low voltage requirements set by Energy Star.
"With the growth in HD cable programming, a cable set-top is
fast becoming an essential part of the home theater set-up,"
said David Novak, vice president of marketing from Pace. "The
installers and home theater enthusiasts told us that when it comes
to HDTV, picture and audio performance, connectivity and ease of installation
were all key.
He continued: "With our first purpose designed HD set-top for
the US market we've made this happen and created a product for those
people who demand the best for their HD home theater systems. If you
want one, I suggest you contact your local cable company immediately
as demand for it is already exceeding our expectations."
The Pace DC-550 is available through packages with local cable operators.
For more information visit www.pacemicro.com.
Jan 28 - Internet Home Alliance Announces
Results of Connected Home Market Study. Internet Home Alliance,
the leading cross-industry network of companies advancing the home
technology market, announced today the results of one of the most
comprehensive research studies ever done on the connected home
a home where computers, televisions, lighting, HVAC and home security
systems are linked to a centrally-controlled network. Following are
the key findings from the report, entitled State of the Connected
Home Market 2003
Internet Home Alliance estimates that about 57% (about 62.3 million)
of US households have Internet access currently; 18% (nearly 20 million)
of those households have broadband access. By mid 2004, the Alliance
anticipates that about 26% of US households (about 28.4 million or
46% of households with Internet access currently) will have broadband
Home Networking Forecast
In percentage terms, home networking has been growing at a dramatic
pace over the past few years. Internet Home Alliance estimates that
about 12% (7.8 million) of single-family, owner-occupied households
with Internet access have a home network, which is defined as a persistent
connection between two or more computers or other digital appliances.
The Alliance predicts that home network ownership will increase among
this segment to about 16% (or about 10 million households) by the
end of July 2004 for year-over-year growth of about 33%, which is
slightly above the 25% growth from 2001 to 2002.
Interest in setting up a home network continues to be driven by decidedly
mundane concerns about maximizing the potential of existing PCs. Most
home network adopters will acquire utilitarian networks designed primarily
for sharing an Internet connection, electronic files, hard drive space
and/or a printer. The greatest barrier to home network adoption is
a perceived lack of need or interest. Other barriers, including perceptions
about high costs and complexity of set up and maintenance, have marginal
Popular Internet-Related Behaviors
The Alliance also researched the most popular Internet-related activities
among single-family, owner-occupied households with Internet access;
Researching a product or service (92%)
Purchasing a product or service (84%)
Sending digital photos as email attachments (60%)
Communicating with family, friends and/or co-workers via Instant
Paying bills (48%)
Checking utility account information (47%)
Printing digital photos (44%)
Listening to Internet radio stations (43%)
Uploading digital photos to a Web site for family or friends to view
Downloading a streaming audio file (28%)
Watching TV and surfing the Web at the same time (28%)
Playing movies on a home computer's DVD drive (28%)
Burning music from the Internet to a CD (21%)
Downloading streaming video files (19%)
Downloading music from a file-sharing program like Kazaa (19%)
As might be expected, the most popular activities are related to
e-commerce and personal communications and the most popular entertainment
activities involve digital music and photos.
An executive summary of the report is available to the public at
the Internet Home Alliance web site, www.internethomealliance.com.
Jan 27 - F-Secure Raises ''Mydoom'' Virus
to Alert Level-1. F-Secure is warning email users around the world
about a new Windows worm which is spreading rapidly. The new worm,
known as Mydoom or Novarg, is spreading through email attachments
and Kazaa file sharing networks.
The worm has launched a world-wide denial-of-service
attack from every infected computer against the website of SCO, one
of the largest Unix vendors in the world. However, the WWW.SCO.COM
site seems to be still operational.
There's been a lot of discussion about SCO after they
claimed last December that the Linux operating system was violating
SCO's intellectual property rights in UNIX technology. "There
are a lot of kids out there who feel like SCO's attacking them,"
comments Mikko Hypponen, Anti-Virus Analyst at F-Secure Corporation.
"Apparently one of them decided that it's OK to attack back."
In addition to the denial-of-service attack, the worm
also opens up a backdoor to infected computers by listening to TCP
port 3176. This way the worm author can gain access to infected computers
The emails sent by the worm are fairly random:
From: (random email address)
To: (address of the recipient)
Subject: (random words)
Message body: (several different mail error messages, such as...)
- Mail transaction failed. Partial message is available.
Attachment: (with a textfile icon) - random name ending with ZIP,
BAT, CMD, EXE, PIF or SCR extension.
When a user clicks on the attachment, the worm will start Notepad,
filled with random characters and it will immediately start to spread
Detailed technical descriptions of the worm as well as screenshots
are available in the F-Secure Virus Description Database at http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs.
F-Secure Anti-Virus can detect and stop the Mydoom worm. F-Secure
Anti-Virus can be downloaded from http://www.f-secure.com.
F-Secure will also be releasing a free tool which can be used to remove
Mydoom from infected systems.
F-Secure Corporation is the leading provider of centrally managed
security solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company's award-winning
products include antivirus and network security solutions for major
platforms from desktops to servers and from laptops to handhelds.
Jan 27 - MX Logic Issues ``MyDoom'' Mass
Mailing Worm Alert. MX Logic, a leading provider of email protection
and security solutions including spam and virus filtering, today announced
that it has discovered a malicious mass mailing that is propagating
nearly as fast as the SoBig.F worm.
"Initial indications are that MyDoom is propagating as fast
as SoBig.F," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer, MX
Logic. "For companies that subscribe to our Email Defense Service,
we identify, block and strip MyDoom at their network perimeter --
before the worm can enter our customers' messaging infrastructures.
This complete protection enables business continuity and cost containment."
The company has seen a peak at 1,200 "MyDoom" infected
emails per second, making it a Critical threat, which is severe. The
company first saw the worm today at 3:40 p.m. ET. The email has several
different names including Novarg and MyDoom. The worm arrives in an
email inbox as a .zip file, is 22,538 bytes in length and has an ".exe,"
".pif," ".command," or ".scr" attachment.
When the included attachment is executed, the worm propagates by harvesting
victim email addresses from ten different file types.
MX Logic's Email Defense Service provides around-the-clock email
protection, automatically intercepting, analyzing and blocking malicious
viruses and worms at the network perimeter -- before messages can
enter or leave the internal corporate network. In addition to unsolicited
content blocking, MX Logic provides double-protection virus defense
powered by premier virus-scanning engines that are updated in near-real
For more information, visit www.mxlogic.com.
Jan 27 - Apricorn Introduces
Xtreme Drive, High Performance Notebook Hard Drive. Apricorn,
a leader in innovative easy-to-use portable data storage and transfer
products, today released Xtreme Drive, a high capacity hard drive
providing notebook users desktop performance in a laptop computer.
"Apricorn's Xtreme Drive is designed for today's demanding notebook
applications -- maximizing performance and capacity while minimizing
power," said Mike McCandless, Apricorn Vice President of Sales
& Marketing. "Xtreme Drive enables the highest performance
available from a notebook which allows users to manage large databases,
edit digital video and play video games, which may otherwise require
The 2.5-inch Xtreme Drive increases overall system performance over
standard drives, providing desktop-level performance. Xtreme drive
comes in 40GB and 60GB capacities at 5400 RPM's which has a data transfer
rate of 450 Mb/s and an average seek time of 12ms and 60GB model at
7200 RPM which has a data transfer rate of 518 Mb/s and an average
seek time of 10ms. All models of Xtreme drives offer a minimum cache
of 8MB which is 400% larger than standard drives. Additional features
of the 7200 RPM Xtreme Drive include 70% faster spindle speed, and
read/write speeds up to 50% faster than equivalent 4200 RPM drives.
Recently Apricorn launched the Xtreme Upgrade, a complete hard drive
upgrade solution with the hardware and software for notebook users
to upgrade their hard drives with ease -- an added value to the Xtreme
Drive. Apricorn's all-inclusive Xtreme Upgrade comes with EZ Gig II
Data Transfer Software used to clone and backup drives.
EZ Gig II Data Transfer Software, for Windows, is one of the most
powerful and user-friendly backup packages available providing two
utilities on one disk: Clone EZ and Image EZ. Clone EZ is ideal for
users who require an exact bootable clone of their drive. A cloned
copy is great for upgrading a hard drive or real-time disaster recovery.
Image EZ is perfect for users who want a compressed image of either
their entire hard drive or a partition. Image EZ compresses its backup
image files, leaving users enough space to backup multiple computers,
or maintain multiple backups made at different times.
Availability and Pricing
The new Xtreme Drive is available now in the US, Canada and online
Jan 27 - Annual 2003 U.S. Video Game
Industry Driven by Console Software Sales. According to leading
marketing information provider, The NPD Group, retail sales of U.S.
video games, which includes portable and console hardware, software
and accessories, remained largely unchanged over the previous year's
record-breaking performance. The console industry saw sales figures
fall 2.7 percent to $10 billion in 2003 compared to $10.3 billion
The PC game software industry showed signs of slowing down, with
revenues from retail sales down 14 percent, topping $1.2 billion in
sales in 2003 versus $1.4 billion in 2002. The total console, portable
and PC game industry was $11.2 billion, just 4 percent off the record
$11.7 billion in 2002.
The driving force in sales was led by the console software and portable
game software categories, which saw a record breaking $5.8 billion,
an increase of 5.4 percent in overall sales when compared to $5.5
billion in 2002. Including PC games, total industry software sales
were up 1.5 percent to $7 billion, from $6.9 billion in 2002. For
2003, console software, portable game hardware and portable game software
saw unit sales increases of 14 percent, 15 percent and 19 percent,
The console hardware category saw the largest percentage reduction,
with a 27 percent decline in dollar volume in 2003. However, portable
hardware dollar volume was up 54 percent in 2003 to $750 million,
from $490 million in 2002. Besides portable game accessories, which
declined 11 percent in 2003, all other industry categories showed
a markedly high increase in unit figures.
"The sales results are still quite impressive when you look
at the overall industry performance during 2003," said Richard
Ow, senior video games analyst, The NPD Group. "The market has
seen price cuts from console manufacturers as well as declines in
retail software prices. With manufacturers and software publishers
dropping prices to vie for consumer dollars, $10 billion in sales
for the year is far from disappointing."
According to Ow, the strong, diversified software titles introduced
in the fourth quarter provided the market with the sales needed to
break yet another industry record.
"Since a majority of the industry's growth comes from software
sales, and because there are plenty of highly anticipated software
titles across all platforms in 2004, we are expecting to see impressive
sales figures," said Ow. "However, with the continued price
gouging of both hardware and software categories, the industry's sales
will be hard pressed to surpass 2003 through the remainder of the
current hardware platform's life cycles."
For more information visit www.npd.com.
Jan 27 - QMotions Active-Game Controller
Software to Be Available in All DISCover PC Game Consoles. QMotions,
Inc. today announced an agreement with Digital Interactive Systems
Corporation (DISC) to include QMotions' active-game controller software
in all DISCover(R) PC Game Consoles. The agreement significantly expands
the market reach of QMotions' unique "full-motion" sports
entertainment and training programs.
Privately owned QMotions specializes in developing state-of-the-art,
PC/Console-based gaming technologies that incorporate "full-motion"
participation from players. On January 12, 2003, QMotions announced
the availability of QMotions-Golf, the first in a series of QMotions'
unique, "full-motion" game controllers designed to be compatible
with existing PC/Console-based games.
"QMotions' active-game programs are truly unique," said
DISC President Avraham DorEl. "We're very excited about this
agreement, which will allow us to make these 'full-motion' programs
available to all DISCover customers. Once players see QMotions in
action, they'll be hooked. QMotions really does put the 'active' into
'interactive' -- where it belongs."
QMotions founder and CEO, Amro Albanna, commented: "This agreement
with DISCover is a major step forward in our marketing strategy. Our
goal is to make our active-game programs compatible with all of the
major gaming platforms - including Sony, Xbox and Nintendo. By making
all DISCover PC Game Consoles QMotions-enabled, DISC will make it
possible for all of its customers to 'Get it in motion.' Because of
our unique, full-motion capability, we believe QMotions will ultimately
change the way interactive gaming is played."
QMotions-Golf players use a specially designed swing arm that enables
them to drive, chip or putt a tethered golf ball with a real golf
club. Sophisticated electronics measure the ball's flight, direction
and distance characteristics and incorporate these measurements into
the golf game being played.
All QMotions active game programs will feature state-of-the-art,
highly accurate, "full-motion" measurement capability that
allows players to "Get it in motion(TM)." For more information,
Jan 27 - Analog Devices' Blackfin Processor
Chosen by Microsoft for Windows Media Center Extender Technology.
Following Bill Gates' first public demonstration of Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
Media Center Extender Technology -- a powerful media adapter that
will enable consumers to access their favorite digital entertainment
that resides on their Windows XP Media Center Edition PC, from any
room in the home regardless of where the PC is located -- Analog Devices,
Inc. (NYSE: ADI) today announced that its Blackfin(R) Processor manages
the Windows Media audio/video decode processing in the new Media Center
Extender set-top products.
Having been selected by Microsoft, ADI's Blackfin Processor is part
of the standard design that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
and original design manufacturers (ODMs) will use to bring Windows
Media Center Extender Technology to market in hardware designs that
include set-top boxes and Media Center-ready televisions.
As part of Windows Media Center Extender Technology, ADI's Blackfin
Processor processes high-quality streams of Windows Media(R) Video
and Audio 9 Series content. The software-programmable Blackfin microarchitecture
delivers the media-processing performance, multi-format flexibility,
fast time-to-market, and consumer price point necessary to support
Microsoft's vision of extending high-quality digital entertainment
to any screen in the house.
"Blackfin provides the most effective and inexpensive way to
add high-quality Windows Media Audio and Video to our Media Center
Edition Extender set-top products," said Tom Laemmel, Windows
eHome Product Manager, Microsoft Corp. "This lets us continue
to delight our Media Center Edition customers by providing the best
entertainment experience possible on their PC or throughout the home."
"We are honored that Microsoft has chosen Blackfin to meet the
intensive demands of delivering high-performance streaming audio and
video for the Windows Media Center Extender Technology products that
will be introduced by top consumer OEMs and ODMs later this year,"
said John Croteau, general manager, Media Platforms and Services Group,
Analog Devices, Inc.
"This announcement brings into focus specifically how software,
rather than hardware, is enabling the rapid introduction of media-rich,
networked entertainment devices. And because it is one-third the price
and less than one-third the power of competing software-based media
processors, Blackfin is uniquely positioned to meet the requirements
of mass-market consumer electronics applications."
For more information on Blackfin, please visit: www.analog.com/blackfin.
Jan 26 - ATI Delivers Personal
Video Recording To The PC For Every Budget. Watching TV on your
PC has never been more affordable thanks to new additions to the ALL-IN-WONDER(R)
family of video graphics cards. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY) (NASDAQ:ATYT)
today announced ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9600XT, ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9600, and
These new graphics cards offer exciting personal video recording of
favorite television programs, easy-to-use video editing, and amazing
graphics for great gaming experiences at prices for any consumer's
The family of best-in-class multimedia video cards,
featuring ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9800 PRO, now includes several new additions.
ALL-IN-WONDER 9600XT delivers more multimedia features for customers
by offering the fastest RADEON(TM) 9600 series performance with a
graphics engine clocked at 525 MHz and 128 MB of memory running at
At USD$299, this new multimedia solution includes FM-ON-DEMAND(TM)
to receive and record favorite FM radio stations, dual VGA monitor
support, the second generation and completely redesigned REMOTE WONDER(TM)
II, integrated DVD authoring and burning, and MULTIMEDIA CENTER(TM)
Designed as the value-oriented multimedia video card
for everyone, ALL-IN-WONDER 9600, available at USD$199, offers full-featured
DirectX(R) 9 hardware support without any sacrifice in performance
to play the most graphically-demanding computer games.
This mainstream ALL-IN-WONDER includes REMOTE WONDER, dual VGA monitor
support for twice the screen content, integrated DVD burning that
saves time in storing multimedia content, and MULTIMEDIA CENTER 8.8
that features support for MPEG-4 for high quality video capture, EAZYLOOK(TM),
and EAZYSHARE(TM) for home networked access to multimedia content.
As a first for Wal-Mart customers in the United States,
ALL-IN-WONDER 9200 is now available at a manufacturer's suggested
retail price of USD$149. Customers will be able to enjoy the great
affordable features of this multimedia video card: great game play
with RADEON(TM) 9200 graphics; easy home movie video editing with
connectivity for VCRs and camcorders; MULTIMEDIA CENTER 8.8 with EAZYLOOK
to create a true large screen home theater experience; and, easy-to-use
DVD burning to archive multimedia content.
ALL-IN-WONDER 9200 also supports REMOTE WONDER, the ATI remote control
for easy access to computer programs, available as a specially priced
"ATI is offering affordable ALL-IN-WONDER products
to a wide range of consumers including students and families as well
as new technology followers," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of
Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc.
"With these new products, ATI is bringing high
end features to the mass market, including the DirectX 9 enabled ALL-IN-WONDER
9600 at an amazing $199. These new ALL-IN-WONDER offerings give consumers
the combination of amazing multimedia PC capabilities with ATI's award-winning
graphics and continue the 'family' tradition as the best digital multimedia
Visit their Web site at www.ati.com.
Jan 26 - Premio Introduces
Kaypro C1100 Notebook Computer. Extending its Kaypro line of notebook
PCs, Premio Computer, Inc., today launched the new Premio® Kaypro
C1100 wireless notebook. Featuring Intel® Centrino mobile
technology, the Kaypro C1100 offers superb performance through the
combination of ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 64MB video card,
DDR333 memory, and Intel® Pentium® M processor with 1MB of
The Kaypro C1100 targets education, business and home users who desire
a mainstream notebook with robust video and multimedia capabilities.
With stunning Radeon 9600 graphics and a 15-inch, ultra-high
resolution LCD display with dual view support, the Kaypro C1100 is
ideal for gaming and multimedia applications. Its 8-cell lithium ion
battery gives users nearly 5 hours of normal use, with 1.5 hours of
rapid charge. Extended battery life is facilitated by ATIs Powerplay
feature and Intels SpeedStep® technology, optimizing performance
and power usage.
Standard features include a front swappable optical drive bay with
CDRW/DVD combo drive, an IDE HDD drive bay, 802.11b wireless module,
10/100Mbps local area network, AC97 audio, V.92 56k modem, three USB
2.0 ports, Type-II Cardbus slot, Sony Memory Stick or Secure Digital
module, and Firewire. The Kaypro C1100 weighs 6.0 lbs, is 1.18 inches
thick and supports up to 1GB of memory, making it a highly powerful,
highly portable desktop replacement.
Todays mobile PC user expects the optimal multimedia
performance of a high-end desktop system, with the mobility and convenience
of a notebook. The Kaypro C1100 delivers this unbeatable combination,
with the exceptional value, support and build-to-order customization
that sets Premio apart, says Premio Vice President Tom Tsao.
For more information on Premio and its products, visit www.premiopc.com.
Jan 26 - Growth of Multimedia Hubs Spurs
Home Entertainment Networking. Multimedia hubs will reach mass-market
status by the end of 2008, with more than 40 million units shipping
to U.S. households, according to Parks Associates' report 'Multimedia
Networks in the Home: Analysis and Forecasts.'
The growing availability of digital content and simultaneous cost
reductions in storage, processing, and home networking have spurred
growth in these solutions, which allow households to manage their
entertainment content. Devices such as personal video recorders, DVD
recorders with hard drive storage, online gaming consoles, and dedicated
music servers will simultaneously drive growth of additional multimedia
"Multimedia hubs will be key interfaces to the digital content
and services now entering mainstream households," said Kurt Scherf,
vice president and principal analyst for Parks Associates. "Service
providers, consumer electronics companies, and PC and peripheral manufacturers
are responding to heightened consumer awareness and demand by deploying
a wide variety of platforms to store, aggregate, and network content
within the residential environment. We're quite optimistic about the
sales outlook for these solutions in 2004 and 2005."
For more information about the home networking market, visit www.parksassociates.com.
Jan 26 - Appairent Technologies Demonstrates
First IEEE 802.15.3 Standard Solution. Appairent Technologies
Inc. is the first company to demonstrate a home-entertainment solution
using the IEEE 802.15.3 Standard. The IEEE 802.15.3 Standard was designed
from the ground up to provide high quality delivery of multimedia
content throughout the home to portable and stationary consumer electronic
Appairent Technologies recently demonstrated its solution at the
2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, showcasing a home-media
server wirelessly streaming DVD-quality MPEG2 video with Dolby 5.1
Surround Sound audio to multiple speakers and video displays.
The demonstration highlighted the ability to stream video with synchronized
audio to independent front and rear speaker systems. Recognizing that
today's multimedia consumer experience is not limited to a single
room, Appairent also demonstrated the ability to penetrate multiple
walls and deliver DVD quality multimedia experience to remote displays.
The demonstration also proved that Appairent's robust Transpairent
Radio system operates effectively in the presence of simultaneously
operating microwave ovens, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, 802.11 access
points and Bluetooth(TM) radios.
Appairent's Transpairent Radio Evaluation System (TRES) is a development
platform for applications that use the 802.15.3 standard to deliver
multimedia content and data. The wireless link operates in the globally
available 2.4 GHz band at data rates of up to 55 Mb/s with throughput
in excess 42 Mb/s.
Appairent Technologies was spun out from Eastman Kodak Company in
January 2002. Appairent is a provider of standards-based wireless
modules, chips and protocol stackware. Their Web site is www.appairent.com.
Jan 25 - Sunday Shopping Watch
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday
Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. Not as many good deals as
last week, but still some good sale prices to be found.
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, and up to $150 mail-in rebates, on
advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
is offering 6 months no payments, no interest, financing on notebooks
or desktop purchases of $899 and higher, and up to $150 mail-in rebates
on advertised desktops and notebooks.
CompUSA is offering 12 month
no interest financing on notebooks or desktop purchases of $799 and
higher, up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops, and a computer
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
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.6 GHz complete system with
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 system with 15
inch flat panel, and DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
3. 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 2800+ complete system with
17 inch monitor
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 2800+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD-RW
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
eMachines widescreen Athlon 64 3000+
4. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
5. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq widescreen Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with
8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with
8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
Windows XP Professional
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 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 23 - Shuttle Redefines
Small Form Factor Platform Again. Shuttle Inc, a leading provider
of small form-factor (SFF) computers and mainboards, has introduced
the XPC Zen (ST62K). Built around the revolutionary ATI RADEON 9100
chipset, this highly-advanced SFF computer delivers leading-edge integrated
graphics performance and redefines the standard for low-noise, low-temperature
XPC Zen is among the first full-featured desktop computers
to offer an external power supply, said Ken Huang, vice president,
systems R&D. But, with ATI industry-best RADEON 9100 IGP,
dual-channel DDR400 and Intel® Hyper-Threading technology processor
support, Zen serves up truly impressive performance.
This completely new, re-engineered SFF computer delivers slick consumer
styling and incredible integrated graphics performance. Further, with
support for Intel Pentium® 4 and Celeron® processors, and
dual-channel DDR400 memory, XPC Zen delivers incredible power despite
its small size and Super Quiet, Super Cool operation.
Shuttles XPC Zen is housed in the all-new K enclosure
featuring stylish pearl colored front panel with attractive
rounded corners and edges. XPC Zen marks a new milestone in small
form factor environmental and ergonomic design.
Shuttle ignited the SFF computer revolution in 2000 with the SV24
and reinvented the platform with the introduction of the XPC in 2002.
Today, the award-winning Shuttle XPC is the best-selling small form
factor brand and is available in over 100 countries worldwide.
For more information, visit www.shuttleusa.com.
Jan 23 - More Than 65 Percent of Small
Businesses Using Broadband. Indicating a rapid and recent rate
of broadband adoption among small businesses, a survey shows that
a majority (66 percent) of respondents use broadband high-speed Internet
access, with 39 percent of these small businesses adopting the technology
in the past two years. Of the 32 percent of small businesses still
using dial-up, 53 percent said they would consider upgrading to broadband
because dial-up is too slow to meet their business needs. The survey
was commissioned by Covad Communications (OTCBB:COVD) and Sprint (NYSE:FON)(NYSE:PCS).
Small businesses represent more than 99.7 percent of all employers
in the United States, according to the Office of Advocacy of the United
States Small Business Association. "Our survey with Sprint shows
that small businesses are clearly seeing the productivity benefits
of broadband," noted Charles Hoffman, president and CEO of Covad.
"As they continue to find that broadband is a critical ingredient
to business success, we are working with partners such as Sprint,
to make broadband better for this vast and growing segment."
Survey respondents that currently have broadband cited that the top
three changes to their business due to the high speed Internet were
increased workplace efficiency, increased employee productivity, and
an enhanced ability to compete. Of these top three answers given,
40.7 percent of respondents agreed that broadband most impacted their
business by increasing workplace efficiency.
The nationwide survey, conducted in December 2003, polled 479 telecommunications
decision makers at small businesses, 93 percent of which had 50 or
less employees. Of the businesses surveyed, more than half have annual
sales revenues of $500,000 or less.
Covad can be found online at www.covad.com.
Jan 23 - Other World Computing Introduces
Mercury G4/450-533MHz ZIF Upgrade. Other World Computing (OWC)
today introduced the Mercury G4/450-533 megahertz (MHz) ZIF upgrade
with one megabyte (MB) L2 Cache for the Apple PowerMac G3 Beige, G3
Blue & White and G4 "Yikes" models. This new model replaces
OWC's G4/450MHz, G4/500MHz and G4/533MHz models.
Available through www.macsales.com/MercuryZIF for $149.99, the Mercury
G4/450-533MHz ZIF upgrade is more affordable and flexible than its
predecessors. It uses a high-temperature Motorola G4/450MHz processor
that is tested and guaranteed for safe, reliable operation of up to
533MHz in all Power Mac G3 Beige models (Desktop, Minitower and All-In-One)
and G4/500MHz operation in all PowerMac G3 Blue & White and G4
"Yikes" PCI models.
"OWC's new G4/450-533MHz ZIF upgrade is a great way to significantly
speed up these PowerMacs for a very reasonable investment," said
Larry O'Connor, president of Other World Computing. "You're not
just getting more megahertz, but when you upgrade any of the PowerMac
G3s you're also doubling the L2 Cache from 512 kilobytes (KB) to 1,024KB
(1MB). That additional L2 Cache plus the boost to processor speed
provides a leap in system performance that is a difference of night
The new Mercury ZIF plug-and-play upgrade is fully compatible with
all existing hardware and software, and with Apple OS 8.6 through
9.2.2, and all versions of Apple OS X up to and including 10.3.x "Panther."
The upgrade comes with a two-year warranty from OWC.
The Illinois-based company operates the popular www.macsales.com
Jan 23 - KDE Wins 2003 Readers' Choice
Award For Best Linux Desktop Manager. KDE 3.1 won the LinuxWorld
Magazine 2003 Readers' Choice Award for Best Linux Desktop Manager.
Runner up was the less popular GNOME environment. LinuxWorld Magazine
is the leading magazine for enterprise and IT management, and yesterday's
announcement of the winners was made on the occasion of the opening
day of the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in New York City.
The Readers' Choice Awards program, often referred to as the "Oscars
of the Software Industry," recognizes excellence in the solutions
provided by the top Linux vendors in the market.
Earlier this month KDE was already awarded by members of the LinuxQuestions.org
website with the 2003 Award for Desktop Environment of the Year. LinuxQuestions.org
provides a variety of forums where new Linux users can find answers
to their Linux questions.
KDE developer Richard Moore was pleased by the continued appreciation
of the KDE project: "This endorsement of our work by the Linux
community is fantastic. We hope that people will like the upcoming
KDE 3.2 release just as much, and that the award will help spur us
on down the path to future KDE versions."
KDE 3.2 is expected to be released early next month and will deliver
throughout all of KDE many improvements such as better usability,
inline spell-checking, an electronic wallet for storing passwords,
easier to use lock down features and improved accessibility. In addition,
more than 2000 improvements suggested by KDE's large userbase have
been implemented and more than 10000 problem reports have been resolved
for the new version.
KDE can be found online at www.kde.org.