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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

July 01-13 2001

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jul 13 AMD Reports Second Quarter Results and Record PC Processor Unit Sales
Jul 13 Rambus Reports Results for the Third Fiscal Quarter and Future Litigation Plans
Jul 13 Bull Announces Intel Itanium-Based Escala IL Servers
Jul 12 Boeing and IBM Set New Record in Satellite Digital Communications
Jul 12 Microsoft Names Recoton as Supplier For Xbox Voice Recognition Technology
Jul 12 How Much Would It Cost To Clone A Person?
Jul 12 AK.TV, World Internet TV Channel, To Launch On August 17
Jul 12 JVC Begins Shipping "D'ahlia" Hologram HDTV Television to Stores Nationwide
Jul 11 Hitachi Expands Its 21-Inch Super Space Saving Monitor Line
Jul 11 Fujifilm introduces the FinePix 1300 and the FinePix 2400 ZOOM Cameras
Jul 11 "Always On" Broadband Drives Demand for Consumer Internet Security
Jul 11 Seiko Instruments Introduces `Leave-It-On' Mini-Keyboard for Handhelds
Jul 11 Zeros & Ones Unveils Breakthrough in Digital Video Compression
Jul 10 Lexmark introduces sub-$200 laser printer
Jul 10 New MicronPC Notebook Computer Line Brings Improved Features and Flexibility
Jul 10 GeForce3 Captures Best PC Hardware Award at E3
Jul 10 Office Depot Buys Computers4Sure.com and Solutions4Sure.com
Jul 10 EasyLink Announces Mailwatch Service's Ten Most Intercepted E-mail Viruses
Jul 09 NETGEAR Introduces Wireless Home Networking Products
Jul 09 Plextor Introduces Professional-Quality SlimLine CD-RW Drive
Jul 09 UMAX announces new 48 bit scanners
Jul 09 Mondays Prove to be Manic for IT Support Staff
Jul 08 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jul 06 Micron Electronics and Interland Merger Approved by SEC
Jul 06 EA Announces Plans For Third Sims Expansion Pack
Jul 03 AMD Athlon Processor-Based Supercomputer Soars Into Top 500
Jul 03 Motorola Ships One Millionth Talkabout T900 2-Way Text Messaging Device
Jul 03 U.S. Vacationers Addicted to E-mail?
Jul 03 Increase in Hackers Propelling Data and Network Encryption Market
Jul 02 Intel Introduces Pentium 4 Processor At 1.8 and 1.6 GHz
Jul 02 Intel Announces New Celeron Processors
Jul 02 SOYO Releases Pentium III "Tualatin" Motherboard
Jul 01 Sunday Shopping Watch

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July 13 - AMD Reports Second Quarter Results and Record PC Processor Unit Sales. AMD today reported sales of $985,264,000 and net income of $17,352,000 for the quarter ended July 1, 2001. Net income amounted to $0.05 per diluted share, on 341 million fully diluted shares outstanding.

Total sales declined by approximately 16 percent, and on continuing businesses, by approximately 11 percent from the second quarter of 2000. Results for the second quarter of 2000 included approximately $63 million in sales from the company's voice communications business, which was sold on August 4, 2000.

Sales declined by approximately 17 percent from the first quarter of 2001, when AMD reported sales of $1,188,747,000 and net income of $124,837,000, or $0.37 per diluted share.

For the first six months of 2001, AMD reported total sales of $2,174,011,000 and net income of $142,189,000, or $0.43 per diluted share. For the first six months of 2000, AMD reported sales of $2,262,466,000 and net income of $396,491,000, or $1.17 per diluted share.

AMD had record unit sales of more than 7.7 million PC processors during the quarter. Unit sales of seventh-generation AMD Athlon(TM) and AMD Duron(TM) processors were both at record levels. Average selling prices (ASPs) for PC processors declined sharply from the first quarter in the face of very aggressive pricing in a weak PC market.

Sales of AMD memory products declined by 13 percent from the second quarter of 2000 and by 23 percent sequentially in a continuing weak demand environment.

"In what proved to be a more challenging semiconductor business environment than anticipated, we believe we gained market share in our two principal product lines, flash memory devices and PC processors," said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive officer.

"Demand for flash memory products continued to reflect severe weakness in the communications and networking sectors," Sanders continued. "The superiority of AMD flash memory products coupled with supply agreements with more than two-dozen leading OEMs have mitigated the impact on AMD of a severe downturn in the flash memory market. We believe we have gained market share in the flash memory arena in the first half of 2001.

"In a weak PC market, we experienced strong demand for AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processors. Continuing the steepest ramp of any AMD processor family, unit sales of our seventh-generation PC processors grew 16 percent sequentially. The strength and breadth of our PC processor products and the superior performance and value proposition of AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processors enabled AMD to achieve record PC processor unit sales. While responding to aggressive competitive pricing depressed our revenues and earnings, we believe we continued to gain unit market share in the PC processor market during the quarter. PC processor revenues declined 11 percent sequentially, but grew nominally over the second quarter of 2000," said Sanders.

Other developments

-- AMD expanded its PC processor portfolio during the second quarter with the introduction of the AMD Athlon 4 processor for mobile PCs and the AMD Athlon MP(TM) and companion AMD 760 MP(TM) chipset for workstation and server applications.

-- AMD introduced higher-performance AMD Duron and AMD Athlon processors. The 950-megahertz AMD Duron processor is the industry's highest-performance processor for the value segment of the PC market, and the 1.4-gigahertz AMD Athlon processor offers more delivered performance than any other PC processor.

-- AMD announced a breakthrough in flash memory cell architecture, known as Mirror Bit(TM) architecture that enables a flash memory device to store twice as much data as a standard flash memory device while maintaining complete pin and software compatibility without compromising AMD's industry-leading endurance of one million read-write cycles.

-- AMD retired $517 million of 6 percent convertible debentures.

-- The company's Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany was named "Fab of the Year" by the prestigious industry publication Semiconductor International, the third time an AMD facility has claimed this honor.

-- NEC Corporation (NEC Japan), Microsoft Co., Ltd. (Microsoft Japan), and ASCII Network Technology Inc. introduced a jointly developed streaming content server powered by the 1.33-GHz AMD Athlon processor that is targeted at commercial applications.

-- AMD continued to gain support for its HyperTransport(TM) technology, enhancing its position as an industry standard. With a peak data rate of 6.4 gigabytes per second, HyperTransport technology moves information faster within PCs, networking systems, and communications devices. More than 100 companies now support HyperTransport technology.

Current Outlook

The company's outlook statements are based on current expectations. The following statements are forward-looking, and actual results could differ materially. The company's current outlook is based on the following projections.

Demand for flash memory products continues to be weak, driven primarily by the continued severe weakness in the communications and networking sectors. Visibility in this product segment is poor, and the company projects a sequential decline in sales for the third quarter.

PC industry unit growth for 2001 is less than previously forecasted, and the company now believes that industry unit shipments will be approximately flat for the year. Based on a normal seasonal pattern, which would show a pick-up in market demand for PCs in the third quarter, the company expects that unit sales of its AMD PC processors in the current quarter will again be at record levels with ASPs under continuing pressure.

Weakness in the communications and networking sectors continues to impact the company's foundry services and other IC products, and the company projects that these revenues will continue to decline in the third quarter.

If current conditions prevail, the company expects that overall revenues could decline in the range of 10 to 15 percent in the current quarter. With a decline in sales of this magnitude, the company would report an operating loss.

Normal seasonality coupled with a recovery in some of the markets for flash memory products should enable the company to increase revenues and return to solid profitability in the fourth quarter.

Information about AMD is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at http://www.amd.com.

July 13 - Rambus Reports Results for the Third Fiscal Quarter and Future Litigation Plans. Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) today reported financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2001. Revenues for the quarter were $23.3 million, up 31% over the same period last year but down 25% from the previous quarter.

Excluding acquisition-related costs, pro forma net income for the third fiscal quarter was $3.9 million (17% of revenues), compared to $4.8 million (27% of revenues) in the same period last year and $8.2 million (26% of revenues) in the previous quarter. The net income for this quarter reflects a year-to-date adjustment in our tax rate to more accurately reflect our estimated tax liability. Without this adjustment (and excluding acquisition costs), our pro forma net income for the quarter would have been $2.8 million ($0.03 per diluted share).

Operating expenses in the June 2001 quarter were higher than expected. Operating expenses were driven by $8.8 million in costs associated with the Company's litigation activities. This compares to $1.7 million of such costs in the same period last year and $7.3 million in the previous quarter. Overall, operating expenses were $21.2 million versus $20.2 million last quarter and $11.7 million in the same period last year.

(Notice how Rambus has already spent $16.1 million in litigation this year. They are almost gobbling up every penny they make in lawsuits against DRAM manufacturers. -Ed )

"Our third fiscal quarter results show the continuing effect of the dramatic decline in the DRAM market," said Geoff Tate, CEO of Rambus Inc. "With the slowdown in the PC and other markets, we expect the DRAM industry to continue to struggle for the next few quarters. The only positive news in the industry seems to be RDRAM where very high volume increases more than offset significant price declines."

Rambus expects RDRAMs to continue to do significantly better than the general DRAM market. However, with the continued weakness in the PC market and the resulting dramatic price reductions for both RDRAMs and SDRAMs, we anticipate that our total revenues will decline sequentially in the September quarter by about 20%.

Business Update

While RDRAM prices followed the industry trend by declining during the third fiscal quarter, volume increased by over 80% to more than offset the price declines. Over the next few quarters, we believe that the price declines will accelerate the adoption of RDRAM in mainstream PC markets. In the January - March period, over $500 million worth of RDRAMs were shipped which we believe represented an increase in market share to more than 11% of worldwide DRAM sales. Those companies who are producing RDRAM are now profiting from that support in an otherwise very difficult environment.

The RDRAM extended PC roadmap was presented at the Rambus Developers Forum in Tokyo last month. This announcement was received with a great deal of excitement because of our ability to increase from today's 1.6GB/s to 9.6GB/s per module by 2005. This is the kind of bandwidth that is desirable for microprocessors expected in this timeframe.

The adoption of RDRAM continues to go very well in our target segments of consumer, computer and communications. In the consumer segment, we have RDRAM designed into a wide range of products from the Sony PlayStation2 to digital TVs and set-top boxes. In the computer segment, Intel's push with the Pentium 4, the addition of Winbond to the other five major RDRAM manufacturers and the increased availability of low-cost four layer motherboards from Taiwan are having a positive effect. Increasing numbers of OEMs are shipping Pentium 4 RDRAM systems for less than $1,000. In addition, we have had several design wins where RDRAM will be used in network switches and routers.

Litigation Report

The verdict in Virginia is a setback. (Infineon was found innocent of infringing on Rambus' pataents. - Ed) The ongoing litigation is critical for Rambus to protect its intellectual property business model. We have already filed our notice of appeal regarding infringement in the U.S. Circuit Court. "We disagree with the outcome of the Virginia case and have already filed an appeal for the infringement portion. We are a small company working to prevent large companies from violating our intellectual property." said Mr. Tate. "We remain convinced that it is in the best long-term interest of our shareholders to vigorously defend our intellectual property." We are retaining new counsel with specialized appellate expertise to represent us in the appeals process.

The trial date in Delaware against Micron is currently set for October 29. Geoff Tate commented, "I am pleased to announce the addition of Jim Pooley to our legal team at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Mr. Pooley brings to our team a long and highly successful track record in the defense of intellectual property in the high technology area."

Outside the US, a decision in the infringement case against Infineon in Germany is expected on July 20. In Italy an experts' report determined that Micron SDRAMs infringed our patent, but a judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction; we are appealing that decision. Rambus remains committed to protecting our intellectual property rights.

Rambus can be found on the Web at www.rambus.com.

July 13 - Bull Announces Intel Itanium-Based Escala IL Servers. Bull Infrastructure & Systems has announced its new line of Escala IL enterprise servers based on the Intel(R) Itanium(TM) architecture, and unveiled 4-way and 16-way models in this product line.

Bull Infrastructure and Systems is announcing a full range of servers (from 1 to 16 processors), based on two model ranges: the Escala IL400R (4-way rackable server) and the Escala IL1600 (16-way server).

Bull will offer the Escala IL400R with a choice of three supported operating systems: 64-bit Linux(R), Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Whistler Server and AIX 5L(TM). The Escala IL400R server includes comprehensive reliability features such as hot-pluggable, redundant power supplies and fans.

The operating systems supported initially by the Escala IL1600R will be Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Whistler Server and AIX 5L(TM). The Escala IL1600R offers reliability and manageability features of enterprise systems, including hot-pluggable system and I/O boards, hot-pluggable and redundant power supplies and fans, self-correcting memory and hardware partitioning (up to 4 independent partitions per system).

General availability for the new Escala IL family in end-user production environments will depend on the general availability of the chosen operating system on the Intel(R) Itanium(TM) architecture. For more information on Bull, see www.us.bull.com.

July 12 - Boeing and IBM Set New Record in Satellite Digital Communications. Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced they have created the world's most powerful satellite-based digital signal processor, designed to make space-borne wireless communications available to a wide audience of users.


Built by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) and launched in October 2000, the Boeing GEO-Mobile (GEM) model Thuraya satellite features the world's most powerful satellite digital communications processor. The satellite's digital communications processor built by BSS and IBM has successfully completed on-orbit test and evaluation. Using the satellite's on-orbit test capability, BSS engineers have confirmed perfect performance of this state-of-the-art commercial digital signal processing technology.

This digital signal processor is the heart of the Thuraya satellite, a powerful Boeing-built GEO-Mobile (GEM) spacecraft that was launched in October 2000 for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd., based in the United Arab Emirates. The digital signal processor provides the satellite with more computing power than 3,000 Pentium III-based computers, enabling the spacecraft to handle up to tens of thousands of phone calls simultaneously.
Space-based wireless systems offer a new means of connectivity for areas of the world where telephone lines and other infrastructure for traditional communications are less developed or don't exist. Boeing is tapping IBM's advanced custom integrated circuit technologies to improve the performance, reliability and cost of satellite-based communications, vastly improving the performance of previous digital satellite systems.
"We are extremely proud of our digital signal processing expertise," said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. "The digital signal processor aboard the Thuraya satellite is five times more capable than any previous Boeing digital processor. We are proving that by advancing the state-of-the-art in satellite communications technology, we can provide viable alternatives to land-based communications systems."
Thuraya's chief executive Yousuf Al Sayed added: "We are pleased to be powering our system using such advanced processing technology. The digital signal processor is one example of how Thuraya has incorporated the most powerful technological options available today toward the creation of a truly pioneering telecom initiative."
Key to the highly flexible digital processor is its high density Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chip technology. Designed by BSS and built by IBM, Thuraya satellite ASICs contain up to 3.8 million gates (circuits) each and represent the first adaptation of commercial ASIC technology to very large-scale digital satellite payloads. In a 17-month period, Boeing and IBM jointly designed, built, and delivered nine multimillion-gate ASICs with 100-percent first-pass success rate, enabling delivery of flight units just 24 months after the official start of design.
Technicians at Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) assemble digital signal processing payloads such as the one aboard Thuraya. Built by BSS and IBM, the Thuraya digital communications processor incorporates variable-bandwidth channel capability, on-board circuit switching for more than 25,000 full duplex circuits, and agile transmit/receive digital beamforming for more than 300 projected cell sites.

For more information, visit Thuraya on the web at www.thuraya.com.

July 12 - Microsoft Names Recoton as Supplier For Xbox Voice Recognition Technology. Recoton Corporation (NASDAQ:RCOT) today announced that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has awarded an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) contract to STD Holding Limited, a manufacturing subsidiary of Recoton, to develop and manufacture a speech recognition-capable headset accessory product, for use with the Xbox(TM) video game system.
The unique voice recognition and communication features of the Xbox will enable users to operate and control certain games using voice commands through the headset, called the Xbox Communicator(TM), that is being jointly developed by STD and Microsoft. The Xbox is planned to launch on November 8, 2001, while the broadband online gaming service will debut in the spring of 2002. Created under contract between STD Holding Limited and Microsoft, the voice recognition headset, called the Xbox Communicator, will be marketed by Microsoft as part of its Xbox branded peripheral line of products.
The excitement and buzz has been growing steadily for the Xbox since its first public unveiling in January 2001 at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Over 200 software publishers and developers have announced their intent to develop exciting new titles for Xbox. In May 2001 at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), held in Los Angeles, California, InterAct Accessories Inc., the video game accessory marketing subsidiary of Recoton, demonstrated numerous Xbox accessory products that will be available at launch and stated that many other unique products are also in development. The announcement of this unique product should further increase the excitement about the Xbox.
Robert L. Borchardt, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Recoton, commented, "We are honored that Microsoft has chosen STD to work on this milestone product. We believe that this agreement will showcase the expertise of STD in developing and manufacturing innovative peripherals for the video gaming industry. We also believe that this agreement reflects the solid relationship that STD has built over the years with Microsoft through its work on previous OEM contracts. We intend to continue to expand our relationship with Microsoft to develop new and unique products for the Xbox.
More information about Recoton can be found at www.recoton.com. More information about Xbox can be found at www.xbox.com.

July 12 - How Much Would It Cost To Clone A Person? A hundred thousand here, a couple of hundred thousand there ... And that doesn't even cover the bribes. So how much would it cost to clone a person? Approximately $1.7 Million, according to our estimates.
In this special Forbes.com report, "We Cloned You. Now, Here's The Bill," Staff Writer Matthew Herper itemizes costs for a fictional human clone. Of course, human cloning isn't legal (which might explain why the doctor's fee is so high), but given the multi-million dollar price tags for homes, art works and other high-ticket items people are purchasing, human cloning is certainly affordable for some.

Included in the cost estimate: -- Initial Doctor Fee, Including Bribes
-- Egg Donor
-- Cloned Embryos
-- Surrogate Mothers
-- Miscellaneous


The full story is available at www.forbes.com/clonebill.

July 12 - AK.TV, World Internet TV Channel, To Launch On August 17. Kanakaris Wireless (OTCBB:KKRS), the company which first streamed a movie over the Internet in December, 1995, moves into world television today as beta tests begin of the evolutionary www.AK.TV at 4 PM EST, 1 PM PST. More of a global interactive TV channel than a web site, Kanakaris Wireless announced that AK.TV will officially go on the air on August 17.
To kick things off, AK.TV will include over 500 different movies which will all play without repeating in a bid to play more movies in a shorter period of time than any cable or conventional TV channel has ever done. Kanakaris will have more programming news in the near future, and will maintain an online schedule with easy conversions to local time zones.
200,000 Kanakaris registered users will be able to log on to AK.TV with their existing pass codes (at the time of the official launch) and anyone with an Internet connection will be able to watch for free by signing up once and selecting the optimum delivery for their device. So far, Pocket PCs, certain cellular phones, desktop and laptop PCs, and most TVs (with a device obtainable from Kanakaris Wireless and an Internet connection) will be able to receive AK.TV on a global basis.
"The revenue streams which are potentially available to AK.TV include sponsorships, pay-per-view for on-demand features, commerce sales through items which will be linked to a shopping cart, and membership fees," stated Robert Wood, Chief Technology Officer, Kanakaris Wireless. "We have also been approached to create programming targeted to international audiences, and look forward to having an impact on he convergence of TV with the digital age," he added.
A number of interactive features, brought about in a convergence of computer and internet technology with conventional TV style programming and sponsorships, will make up AK.TV. The Company will provide a summary of these features in an announcement coinciding with the August 17 launch date.
When officially launched, there will be approximately 100 on-demand movies in addition to the regularly scheduled TV programming, and the subscriber benefits of CinemaPop.com will continue within the framework of the AK.TV channel. New e-book and print-on-demand book technologies will be added to AK.TV early in its development.
For further information on Kanakaris Wireless business and consumer services go to www.KANWIN.com. To view the Kanakaris online movie web site, utilizing the Kanakaris CinemaWEAR (TM) encoding process, go to www.CinemaPOP.com.

July 12 - JVC Begins Shipping "D'ahlia" Hologram HDTV Television to Stores Nationwide. JVC, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of sophisticated audio, video and related software products, today announced that D'Ahlia (AV-61S902), the 61" D-ILA hologram HDTV rear projection television, has begun shipping to select retailers nationwide and will soon be available to consumers.
"Consumers and dealers alike have been clamoring for the arrival of D'Ahlia since we first introduced it to the public at this year's CES convention," said Michael Holmes, Vice President and Merchandising Manager of the JVC Color Television Division. "We are delivering on JVC's promise to be at the forefront of innovative television technology, and are leveraging JVC's expertise in audio and video products to bring our customers the best viewing experience in the market."
JVC's exclusive D-ILA Device offers 1.32 million pixels or 3.96 addressable RGB Dots and is capable of producing 1280 x 1028 pixels, the highest resolution available from a consumer device, and a high-contrast, big-screen image with a wide angle of visibility.
With a sleek, contemporary design and brilliant picture, D'Ahlia sets a new standard for future-oriented home theater systems. Featuring a brighter picture than conventional projection televisions, D'Ahlia boasts a brilliant image and a wide viewing angle allowing for improved visibility both vertically and horizontally.
To further assure the best possible picture quality, whether a viewer is using DTV, DVD or D-VHS, D'Ahlia includes Dual Auto Sensing Component Video Inputs so whether you are feeding an HD or DVD signal, D'Ahlia automatically adjust to the proper frequency. Component Video inputs provide easy connection of DTV decoders, while the D-ILA Device assures magnificent reproduction of DTV images. This revolutionary TV also features (4) S-Video (Y/C), (4) AV (RCA) inputs and an NTSC Tuner. D'Ahlia also includes JVC's unique "Natural Progressive" picture improvement technologies to optimize signal quality before the picture is displayed on the screen. JVC's Natural Progressive technology doubles the image data in each field and uses advanced 3D interpolation to display a solid image without any noticeable scanning lines on-screen and eliminates jagged edge noise and image trails.
D'Ahlia is equipped with everything needed for a truly dynamic home theater experience. This includes a pair of 10cm full range stereo speakers plus two 16cm superwoofers for thundering bass, a built-in 50W amplifier for big stereo sound, as well as Dolby 3-D Phonic circuitry to produce a surround sound effect even without any speakers connected externally.
For more information on JVC, D'Ahlia or JVC products, visit JVC's Web site at www.jvc.com.

July 11 - Hitachi Expands Its 21-Inch Super Space Saving Monitor Line. Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), has added three new 21-inch monitors to its 3S Series of Super Space Saving displays.
The new CM827, CM828 and CM828B displays have one of the tightest dot pitches and one of the shortest depths of any 21-inch (19.9 inch viewable) monitors on the market. Each model measures a scant 18.5" depth and weighs only 60 lbs - the size of most 19-inch monitors. Each designed for demanding CAD/CAM, graphics and imaging professionals who require high performance, large screen viewing in a compact cabinet.
The dot pitch for all three of the new monitors is 0.21 mm horizontal and 0.14 mm vertical. The CM827 provides resolutions up to 1856 x 1392 at a 72 Hz refresh rate, while the CM828 and CM828B models provide resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 at a 71 Hz refresh rate. The CM828B has the same high performance specifications as the CM828, but is encased in a designer black/midnight gray cabinet.
All three models feature Hitachi's PrecisionFocus(TM) technology, which is significantly sharper with brighter, richer colors and improved contrast, even at the corners and edges. They feature language selection and Hitachi's EasyMenu(TM) on-screen controls with adjustments for color temperature, degauss, moire, pincushion and more. These monitors provide dual inputs so users can switch between two computers without re-booting.
The new monitors are environmentally friendly and available for immediate shipping from Hitachi distributors worldwide. Pricing for the CM827, CM828 and CM828B is highly competitive, with MSRPs ranging from $779 to $849.
Information is available on the World Wide Web at www.hitachidisplays.com.

July 11 - Fujifilm introduces the FinePix 1300 and the FinePix 2400 ZOOM Cameras. Fujifilm Canada, Inc. introduces the latest additions to its already expansive digital camera line: the FinePix 1300 and the FinePix 2400 ZOOM. The cameras are Fujifilm's fifth and sixth introductions of 2000, giving it one of the broadest camera rosters in the digital industry. Fujifilm's latest offerings range from entry-level shooters like the FinePix 1300 to groundbreaking commercial cameras like the FinePix S1 Pro digital SLR.

"At Fujifilm, we have a history of offering digital cameras that appeal to specific sectors of the market and the FinePix 1300 and FinePix 2400 ZOOM are no exceptions," remarked Anita Thomas, Product Manager, Digital Camera Products, Fujifilm Canada, Inc. "As a whole, digital photographers are a diverse lot with certain features and controls appealing to some, but not others. If there is one common denominator among them it's the desire for colorful and true-to-life pictures. As a company renowned for its color reproduction, we can deliver just that with our new digital cameras."

Designed as the ultimate family camera, the fun and easy-to-use FinePix 1300 builds upon the tradition of the high-resolution sub-$500 digital camera pioneered by Fujifilm's MX-1200. Sporting a standard 1.3 million-sensor CCD, the FinePix 1300 records images with vibrant color and detail at resolutions as high as 1280 x 960, a perfect size for eye catching, 4 x 6- and 5 x 7-inch prints. Despite their size, the image files generated by the FinePix 1300 can transfer smoothly through E-mail, allowing the user to share his or her images with family and friends.

"With the picture-taking ability of the FinePix 1300 there has never been a better time for families to make the leap into digital photography," said Thomas. "This starter model, with its quality image reproduction and transferability, is a superb, entry-level digital camera."

While the FinePix 1300 was designed for families and beginners, the FinePix 2400 ZOOM is a fine choice for a more discerning digital photographer. Packing a 2.1 million-sensor conventional CCD in a familiar point-and-shoot camera body, the FinePix 2400 ZOOM captures images through an aspherical 3x optical zoom lens that has a range equivalent to that of a 39mm-117mm zoom in the 35mm format. And just like a point-and-shoot film camera, the FinePix 2400 ZOOM has a bevy of easy-to-find features that make it easy for just about anyone to pick up the camera and take pictures.

"Rather than have most of the key controls placed within an internal menu system, we pulled the controls 'out' of the FinePix 2400 ZOOM and placed them on the body of the camera for ease of operation," explained Thomas. "This makes the camera very user friendly, allowing just about anyone who has operated a camera, film or digital, to take pictures with the FinePix 2400 ZOOM."

The Fujifilm FinePix 2400 ZOOM and Fujifilm FinePix 1300, which will both ship with Adobe PhotoDeluxe® Home Edition 3.0 software, will be available in October. The FinePix 2400 ZOOM will be available at an estimated street price of $599, while the FinePix 1300 will retail for approximately $399.

July 11 - "Always On" Broadband Drives Demand for Consumer Internet Security. The need for intrusion protection against unapproved PC and network access, as well as a greater need for virus and privacy protection, will fuel end user demand for broadband Internet security products for the home over the next few years, according to Cahners In-Stat Group.

The high-tech market research firm projects that, driven in large part, by strong sales in the firewall category, the consumer broadband security market will grow from $74 million in 2000 to over $800 million by the end of 2005.

"Consumers today are just now beginning to accept the benefits of always-on, high-speed Internet access as availability of these services reach beyond the initial adopters," said Jaclynn Bumback, research analyst for In-Stat's enterprise and residential communications group.

In-Stat sites that as service providers make these services widely available and consumers subscribe at impressive numbers, the realization that some level of baseline security is needed is only beginning to sink in for most consumers.

Based on a survey of over 1,000 U.S. households, In-Stat found that of those consumers who do have a broadband connection today, 50 percent are without any form of intrusion protection such as a basic software or hardware firewall.

"As broadband penetration approaches critical mass, the fact that half of these consumers are still fully exposed to the dangers of always-on Internet connectivity is amazing," said Mike Wolf, director of enterprise and residential communications at In-Stat.

"In time, we believe that intrusion protection will become a requirement as consumers become better educated about the need for Internet security."

In-Stat has also found that:

-- The largest category of units shipped from 2000 to 2005 will
remain software-based firewalls. These products have proven
popular due to their low cost (many can be downloaded free
over the Internet) and wide availability.

-- The overall higher Average Selling Prices for hardware
firewalls will result in a much larger overall market for
hardware firewalls. The average price for a hardware firewall
in 2000 was $177, compared with just $19 for a software-based
firewall. By 2005 prices on hardware firewalls will have
dropped significantly, but the price differential will still
be considerable.

Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at www.instat.com.

July 11 - Seiko Instruments Introduces `Leave-It-On' Mini-Keyboard for Handhelds. Seiko Instruments Austin Inc. (SIAS), a worldwide leader in "Instruments of Intelligence," today introduced the first integrated and mobile mini-keyboard solution -- the Thumboard(tm) TB5000 -- for the Palm(tm) V series.

The TB5000 is the first model in SIAS's new Thumboard(tm) Keyboard line and marks the beginning of the company's diversification into the PDA/handheld arena. The Thumboard(tm) offers people on-the-go who want quick, portable typing a simple, easy way to enter information into a PDA.

"We've learned through consumer market research how awkward and time-consuming the graffiti application is to use on handheld devices," comments Stokely Marco, director of marketing, Seiko Instruments Austin. "So we've eliminated the difficulty of entering data, as well as designing the Thumboard(tm) to fully integrate with the handheld for a `leave-on' approach, thus providing improved functionality and easier access to key Palm OS(R) features."

The TB5000, which slips directly onto one's handheld fully covering the graffiti area and interfacing with the serial port, goes beyond general keyboard functionality with the inclusion of Palm(tm) OS Hot keys (Calendar, To Do, etc.) and text editing capabilities by way of the Command function key.

With its QWERTY keyboard, direct numeric keys and an extensive character set, it is ideal for typing notes and messages, as well as updating calendar and contact information. Its small size and ease of integration enables the user to keep the Thumboard(tm) on the device at all times, barely increasing the size of the PDA.

SIAS has further simplified the Thumboard(tm) feature set with the inclusion of the primary soft keys, such as "New," "Done," "Delete," taking away the extra step of needing to touch the screen to execute these commands.

The TB5000 (expected market price $49.99) shipping in August will be available nationwide in retail, consumer electronics and home office stores and works with the Palm(tm) V series handhelds. In September, SIAS will be shipping three additional Thumboard(tm) models; TB5100 compatible with the Palm m500, TB5500 compatible with the Palm m505 and the TB6000 compatible with Visor(tm).

July 11 - Zeros & Ones Unveils Breakthrough in Digital Video Compression. Zeros & Ones, Inc. (OTCBB:ZROS) today announced the successful completion of Phase Two of its development of a revolutionary new high quality digital video compression engine.

Code named "MC-10," the new compression engine represents a breakthrough in digital compression technology--achieving ratios between three to ten times compression with the same or superior levels of image quality to MPEG2.

The Company is currently in the process of putting five full-length feature films on a single DVD to demonstrate the power of its inventions, and aggressively expanding its patent portfolio along these lines.

The Company intends to commercialize and license MC-10 as well as several of its processes into individual products.

The market for digital video compression is huge, encompassing DVDs, personal video recorders (such as Microsoft Ultimate TV and TiVO), satellite TV, digital motion picture transmission to theaters, high-quality video conferencing, digital video phones, wireless, and other broadband applications.

The Company is currently seeking strategic technology and investment partners to further the development of MC-10 and to bring it to its full commercial potential.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Zeros & Ones, Inc. (www.zerosones.com) is a transmedia holding company with digital convergence operations in content, technology, and production.

July 10 - Lexmark introduces sub-$200 laser printer. Acknowledging the growing demand among home users, students and small businesses for fast and affordable laser printing, Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) today introduced the E210, a fast, easy-to-use laser printer priced at $199.

"At less than $200, the Lexmark E210 breaks a critical price barrier for many customers," said Paul Rooke, Lexmark vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. "With the E210, home users, students and small businesses can print black and white documents with the speed and quality once affordable only to medium and large businesses."

The Lexmark E210 prints at a quick 12 pages per minute (ppm) and gives users the high-quality laser output they demand. The Lexmark E210 ships with both a parallel port and Universal Serial Bus (USB) for easy connection to home and office PCs. The E210's small footprint will accommodate almost any home or office, where space is at a premium.

The E210 offers 150 sheets of input capacity and 100 sheets of output capacity and is designed to handle a variety of media types, including envelopes, labels, transparencies and card stock. The E210 uses an easy to install, single-element replacement cartridge and is also robust enough to handle print volumes of up to 5,000 pages per month. The Lexmark E210 ships with a one-year LexExpress warranty, featuring a next-business-day-exchange.

Pricing and availability

With the estimated street price of $199, the Lexmark E210 will be available in popular retailers and office superstores including Wal-Mart, OfficeMax and Staples, beginning in July. Lexmark can be found on the Internet at www.lexmark.com.

July 10 - New MicronPC Notebook Computer Line Brings Improved Features and Flexibility. MicronPC today announced the introduction of the TransPort(R) XT notebook computer --an enhanced notebook for mid-market, government and educational customers. The MicronPC TransPort XT combines a flexible design and rich feature set with a small footprint, meeting the unique needs of the mobile professional.

"The TransPort XT offers mobile users an innovative portable computer that integrates a lightweight form factor with the power and expandability of a desktop replacement solution," said Paul Petersen, vice president of product marketing and development for MicronPC. "With a forward-looking design that blends performance, flexibility and a small footprint, the TransPort XT delivers what notebook users need to achieve maximum productivity. The TransPort XT can also help lower total cost of ownership by maintaining backwards compatibility with all TransPort GX/+ family media modules, peripherals and docking solutions," Petersen added.

At a weight of just 6.1 pounds and a size of only 1.3 inches high x 12.4 inches wide, the TransPort XT offers a comprehensive range of features and expandability options that include:

-- a 14.1-inch XGA display

-- the choice of either a mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor featuring Intel SpeedStep(TM) technology or an Intel Celeron(TM) processor

-- two SODIMM memory sockets for up to 512MB of PC100 SDRAM

-- 12.7mm hard drive technology support for up to 30GB capacity

-- 32X variable speed CD-ROM drive or 8X variable speed DVD drive

-- Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN adapter option

-- internal RJ-11 and RJ-45 jacks.

A typical, well-featured TransPort XT configuration sells for $2,199 and comes equipped with the following:

-- mobile Intel Pentium III 800 processor featuring Intel SpeedStep technology

-- 14.1-inch XGA TFT LCD display

-- 128MB PC100 SDRAM

-- 20GB hard drive

-- 8X variable speed DVD drive

-- floppy disk drive.

About MicronPC

MicronPC, LLC provides award-winning computer products and services for small and medium business, government, education and consumer markets. In addition to its direct business-to-business sales channel, MicronPC products are sold through leading resellers nationwide. MicronPC is held by Gores Technology Group, an international acquisition and management company, through its affiliate, GTG PC Holdings, LLC. MicronPC is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho. More information about the company can be found at www.micronpc.com.

About Gores Technology Group

With headquarters in Los Angeles, Gores Technology Group (GTG) is a privately held international acquisition and management firm that pursues an aggressive strategy of acquiring promising high-technology organizations and managing them for growth and profitability. GTG has made a name for itself by acquiring and successfully managing companies--including many divisions acquired from large publicly traded companies--through its commitment to customers, employees, and continued development of intellectual property. GTG has acquired and managed approximately 35 interrelated but autonomous technology-oriented companies with locations throughout the world. Those companies provide a broad range of technology-based products and services to a substantial customer base representing millions of active users worldwide. Visit the company's Web site at www.gores.com.

July 10 - GeForce3 Captures Best PC Hardware Award at E3. NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA) today announced that its GeForce3(TM) Graphics Processing Unit captured the award for best PC Hardware from the E3 Game Critics.
Selected by a prestigious group of more than 35 editors from North America's largest print and online publications, the recognition of the NVIDIA Geforce3 is a testament to the strength of the GeForce brand and the level of innovation inherent to NVIDIA technology. As the core technology foundation for Microsoft(R)'s highly-anticipated Xbox(TM), GeForce3 will also bring NVIDIA's world renowned 3D expertise to console gamers for the first time.

"Quite simply, no PC hardware dominated E3 as much as NVIDIA's latest graphics powerhouse," said Rob Smith, associate chairman, Game Critics Awards and editor in chief, PC Gamer Magazine. "The GeForce3's abilities are already being put to great use, and with PC owners able to enjoy a common format that all games seem to take advantage of, that's a truly positive step forward for PC gaming."

"We're thrilled to claim this award which is strong recognition of the talent and passion that went into the design of GeForce3," said Dan Vivoli, senior vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "By combining programmability, performance, and outstanding visuals, GeForce3 ensures end-users of unprecedented graphics experiences, regardless of their choice of gaming platform."

About the NVIDIA GeForce3

The NVIDIA GeForce3 GPU integrates the NVIDIA nfiniteFX(TM) engine and Lightspeed Memory Architecture(TM) to bring environments and characters to life. Game developers take advantage of the fully programmable Vertex and Pixel Shaders of the nfiniteFX engine to create a virtually infinite number of special effects and custom looks.
The GeForce3 is the world's most advanced GPU with more than 57 million transistors and is able to perform more than 800 billion operations per second and 76 billion floating point operations per second (FLOPS).
The GeForce3 GPU achieves an astounding 3.2 billion, antialiased samples per second fill rate, more than four times the performance of the award-winning GeForce2 Ultra and more than seven times the processing power of any competitive consumer graphics product.
As do all of the GeForce family products, GeForce3 drives the most extreme resolutions and color depths of up to 2048 x 1536 x 32. The GeForce3 architecture has been chosen as the reference platform for the Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 8 application programming interface (API) and the Microsoft next-generation game console, Xbox(TM).

Visit the NVIDIA Web page at www.nvidia.com.

July 10 - Office Depot Announces Acquisition of Computers4Sure.com and Solutions4Sure.com. Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP), the world's largest seller of office products, today announced that it is acquiring privately held 4Sure.com, Inc. and the businesses of its two Web-based retail outlets, Computers 4Sure.com and Solutions4Sure.com. The new subsidiary of Office Depot operates two distinct but complementary Websites from its headquarters and call centers in Connecticut. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Computers4Sure is an on-line technology superstore featuring more than 60,000 name brand technology products including PC hardware, software, networking, and supplies focused on the SOHO and consumer markets. They provide technical customer service and support to more tech savy buyers. Solutions4Sure.com is dedicated to the needs of small and medium sized businesses for technology products and services. 4Sure.com, Inc. was founded in late 1998 by its President, Bruce Martin, and by Linwood A. ("Chip") Lacy, Jr. Martin formerly served as head of Merchandising at Ingram Micro, Inc. and President and COO of Multiple Zones International. Lacy formerly served as Chairman and CEO of Ingram Micro, Inc.

Bruce Nelson, Office Depot's CEO, stated: "Technology products and solutions are the most frequently requested items by our on-line customers. Today, we offer only a very limited assortment and this acquisition will give us a recognized brand and Websites, a well established customer base, and a "virtual" inventory of more than 60,000 products that will be drop shipped directly to customers. We also acquire a highly skilled and experienced management team that will strategically position Office Depot to reach tech savvy buyers --IT Department Managers, and younger tech literate buyers who prefer to buy on-line instead of in retail stores."

Office Depot can be found on the Web at http://www.officedepot.com.

July 10 - EasyLink Announces Mailwatch Service's Ten Most Intercepted E-mail Viruses. EasyLink Services Corporation (Nasdaq:EASY), a leading global provider of outsourced messaging services to enterprises and service providers, has stopped several instances of viruses from damaging its clients' networks.

EasyLink MailWatch Service uses highly advanced anti-virus technology to detect and block more than 57,000 known viruses and variants that can be embedded in e-mail attachments.

In June, MailWatch detected and intercepted a total of 55,598 virus instances. During the month, the top ten viruses intercepted by MailWatch, in order of frequency were:

W32/Magistr@MM
W32/Hybris.gen@MM
W32/BadTrans@MM
VBS/SST.gen@MM
VBS/LoveLetter@MM
W95/MTX@M
JS/Kak@M
W32/Navidad.e@M
VBS/Haptime@MM
VBS/VBSWG.gen@MM


The virus posing the most threats to network systems in June, W32/Magistr@MM, is a combination of a file infector and an e-mail worm. After the virus is run, it gathers e-mail addresses from address books, and the worm can send non-viral and infected attachments to those addresses. The virus poses a serious threat because it can cause pertinent information to be erased and can destroy sectors on the hard disk.

EasyLink Services Corporation (Nasdaq:EASY), based in Edison, N.J., is a leading global provider of outsourced messaging services to enterprises and service providers. For more information, please visit www.easylink.com.

July 09 - NETGEAR Introduces Wireless Home Networking Products. NETGEAR Inc., a provider of small business and home networking products, today announced the availability of the company's first product family in a new generation of multimedia entertainment networking products.
Sleek and trendy in design, the company's Multimedia Wireless product line is the first wireless home networking solution to provide true Quality of Service (QoS). The best data throughput in the wireless networking market enables simultaneous video and audio streaming on multiple PCs and other Internet enabled devices without interruption from any other network activity or appliances typically found in the home such as cordless phones or microwaves. Home users can share a high-speed Cable/DSL Internet connection virtually anywhere in or around their homes and enjoy a new quality of multimedia entertainment without the hassle of installing expensive cabling.
"We are excited to be one of the first companies to acknowledge that the Internet is rapidly emerging as the dominant source for multimedia entertainment in the home," said Patrick Lo, president and chief executive officer of NETGEAR. "Our first wireless multimedia networking solution enables consumers to truly enjoy the benefits of streaming audio and video content over the Internet. Users can network multiple PCs as well as up and coming Internet enabled appliances such as the new Philips FW-i1000 Internet Audio Mini Hi-Fi that combines a CD mini shelf system with Internet audio and fully enjoy digital radio streaming in from more than 1,000 stations around the world."
According to a recent survey by Parks Associates, nearly 70% of high-entertainment consumers are interested in various entertainment networking applications for the home. Sales of network-capable entertainment products, like MP3 Jukeboxes, set-top boxes and Internet radios are expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2001 to $13.9 billion in 2005.
"NETGEAR understands consumers' growing interest to enjoy high-quality streaming audio and video over the Internet on multiple PCs and other Internet-enabled devices throughout the home," said Kurt Scherf, vice president of research for Parks Associates. "The company's Multimedia Wireless Network provides all the necessary features for consumers to enjoy movies, MP3, and games throughout their home without the hassle of installing additional cables."

The Multimedia Wireless Network Family

The rapid acceptance of Broadband Internet access combined with the escalating number of multi-PC homes has created a need for reliable and high performance home networks. These customers are looking for products that are easy to install, work reliably and support the types of applications common in the home. The Multimedia Wireless Home Network is comprised of the WE102 Multimedia Wireless to Ethernet Bridge and the WA301 Multimedia wireless PCI Network Card, which are now available individually or in a bundled kit. The products are based on ShareWave's Whitecap technology, come with a five-year warranty and can be up and running in less than 30 minutes.

WA301 -- 11Mbps Multimedia Wireless PCI Adapter

NETGEAR's Multimedia Wireless products allow customers to share the Broadband cable and DSL connection from anywhere in the home. The WA301 Multimedia Wireless PCI Adapter allows customers with current or legacy desktop PCs running Windows 95/98/2000/Me to connect to their Multimedia Wireless network with greater throughput than with 802.11b standards. Street price is expected to be $149. The WE301 will be available in retail stores in July 2001. The WA301 comes with a five-year warranty.

WE102 -- 11Mbps Multimedia Wireless to Ethernet Bridge

The WE102 Multimedia Wireless to Ethernet Bridge allows peer to peer networking thus making the access point obsolete. The WE102 can be combined with NETGEAR's high performance Cable/DSL routers like the FR314 Firewall Cable/DSL Router or the RP114 Cable/DSL Web Safe Router in order to extend the broadband connection throughout the home. Street price is expected to be $199. The WE102 will be available in retail stores in July 2001. The WE102 comes with a five-year warranty.

WB302 -- 11Mbps Multimedia Wireless Network Starter Kit

The WB302 Multimedia Wireless Starter Kit is comprised of the one WE102 Multimedia Wireless to Ethernet Bridge and one WA301 Multimedia Wireless PCI Adapter. Street price is expected to be $349. The WE102 will be available in retail stores in July 2001. The WB302 comes with a five-year warranty.

For more information visit the company's Web site at www.netgear.com.

July 09 - Plextor Introduces Professional-Quality SlimLine CD-RW Drive. Plextor Corp.(R), a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today announced the immediate availability of the PlexWriter(TM) 8/8/24A SlimLine CD-RW drive. The new PlexWriter drive breaks new ground as Plextor's first product offering in a slimline form factor and the industry's first slimline drive to deliver professional-level speed and performance.
The internal PlexWriter SlimLine measures just 12.7mm in thickness and weighs 0.62 lbs. The PlexWriter SlimLine offers 3-in-1 functionality with 8X CD-recording, 8X CD-rewriting, and 24X max CD-playback. It also features BURN-Proof(TM) (buffer underrun-proof) technology, which ensures fault-tolerant CD burning. BURN-Proof prevents errors from occurring when data flow to the drive is interrupted during the recording process. This error-reducing technology makes CD-recording more practical by allowing users to surf the Web, download files, and utilize other applications while recording CDs in the background.
"The new PlexWriter SlimLine is a groundbreaking CD-RW drive because it's the first to combine 8X recording speeds and professional features like BURN-Proof with a radically smaller form factor that fits inside a notebook computer," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "Although the SlimLine is smaller and lighter, it is designed and manufactured with the same world-class quality standards as conventional 5.25-inch PlexWriter drives, so end users will see the same high levels of durability and reliability."
The internal PlexWriter 8/8/24A SlimLine with E-IDE (ATAPI-4) interface is currently shipping to OEMs, resellers, and distributors with a $249 manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP).
For more information, visit www.plextor.com.

July 09 - UMAX announces new 48 bit scanners. UMAX Technologies, Inc., a leader in imaging technologies, today announced the availability of the new Astra 4400 scanner, which provides a new industry benchmark for affordable, high-resolution color scanning.
The company's first 48-bit color scanner, this new model blends ultra-high image quality and simplicity of use in ways unprecedented at consumer-friendly prices. With 1200 x 2400 dpi resolution, 48-bit internal color, USB connectivity and programmable push-button controls, the Astra 4400 scanner will satisfy demanding prosumers and small to medium size business users, yet even novices will find them simple to set up and use.
The Astra 4400 and its companion scanner, the transparency-capable Astra 4450, reflect the continuing UMAX drive to refine scanning technology with highly automated, easy-to-use functionality. Many procedures including copy and direct scan to fax or e-mail can be performed with push-button ease. The scanners also feature a custom button, fully configurable to launch user applications such as photosharing or editing. The scanners' 48-bit color resolution provides trillions of sharp, vibrant colors, making the Astra 4400 and 4450 ideal for such business uses as production of professional-quality business cards, brochures and newsletters. The Astra 4450, to be made available shortly, will come with a Universal Transparency Cover (UTC) for scanning transparent media up to 4" x 5".
The Astra 4400 and Astra 4450 scanners support Windows 98, 98SE, 2000 and ME. They require a Pentium or better processor, USB port and CD-ROM drive, along with 64 MB of RAM and 250+ MB of available disk space. A modem and Internet connection are required for Internet and e-mail functions. The Astra 4400 is available immediately at the consumer-friendly suggested price of $129. Pricing and availability of the Astra 4450 will be announced later. For further information, visit www.umax.com.

July 09 - Mondays Prove to be Manic for IT Support Staff. Support.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPRT), the leading provider of support automation software, today announced that over 80 percent of IT support staff hate Mondays. The reason, according to a recent survey/a, is that IT staff are bombarded by an overwhelming number of support calls on Monday, making it the most frenzied day of the week for these overworked professionals.
IT support managers assert that they are inundated with calls for help in handling employees PC and application problems on Mondays. Other support inquiries are spread evenly over the remainder of the week. However, 6 percent of IT support staff would gladly barricade themselves in, citing "every day" as the worst day for IT queries.
Implementing self-service technology can alleviate the stress that peak demand times impose on IT professionals. The corporations that were surveyed view the results as a "wake-up" call to ascertain self-help needs and ensure appropriate staffing levels. In addition, the survey highlights the lost productivity on Mondays for all staff whose computers are out of commission for a proportion of the day.
"Support automation can help every company get off to a good start each week with less frustration for IT support staff and users alike. To deliver real business benefits self-service support needs to be quick, personalized and solve real problems, otherwise employees will become frustrated and end up calling the help desk anyway," said Bruce Mowery, vice president of marketing at Support.com. "By automating support, users and first level support staff find it far easier to solve many different IT issues themselves, without involving expensive, high-level IT specialists. Support resources can also be scaled more easily to meet peak demand periods."
For more information about Support.com, visit the company's Web site at www.support.com.

July 08 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering a $100 mail-in rebate on any advertised notebook or desktop.
Circuit City is offering $50 instant rebates on all Intel processor desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot is offering a $100 instant rebate on any Athlon powered build-to-order notebook.
CompUSA no ad this Sunday.
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
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.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 900 MHz complete system
$849
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
   
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.7 GHz build-to-order system with 17 inch monitor
$1349
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None Advertised
   
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1.3 GHz DDR complete system
$1499
Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Celeron with DVD
$1099
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Athlon with DVD
$1518
Office Depot

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 the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

July 06 - Micron Electronics and Interland Merger Approved by SEC. Micron Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MUEI) and Interland, Inc. (Nasdaq:ILND) today announced that the companies' Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus relating to the previously announced acquisition of Interland by Micron Electronics has been declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed electronically.

The companies announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement on March 23, 2001.

The companies also announced that on May 11, 2001, the waiting period for antitrust review of the proposed acquisition under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act expired without inquiry from the Department of Justice.

Micron Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MUEI) is the parent company of HostPro, Inc., a leading provider of infrastructure, Web site, and hosted software applications to small and medium businesses around the world. HostPro manages more than 147,000 hosted Web sites and more than 79,700 paid hosting accounts. More information about Micron Electronics can be found at www.micronelectronics.com. More information about HostPro can be found at www.hostpro.com.

Interland, Inc. is a leader in providing managed Web hosting services for over 89,000 Web sites around the world. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Interland is the sixth largest hosting company in terms of total customer accounts. Interland is one of the leading hosting companies in the rapidly growing hosting market, expected to reach $24.8 billion by 2004. The company provides a full spectrum of managed hosting services, including system monitoring and reporting, managed backup and recovery, and system administration services, as well as e-commerce solutions, Web design, and business applications hosting. More information about Interland can be found at www.interland.com.

July 06 - EA Announces Plans For Third Sims Expansion Pack. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced plans to release this Fall The Sims(TM) Hot Date Expansion Pack, a new add-on disk to the top-selling PC game of 2000 & 2001, The Sims. The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack represents an entirely new experience for The Sims --dating!
With exciting new characters, interests, romance objects, and an all-new Downtown area filled with restaurants, shops and parks, The Sims Hot Date will get your Sims off the couch and into the singles scene. Play matchmaker for your Sims and watch them become Casanovas or Casanevers.

"Just like everyone, the Sims are looking for love," said Tim LeTourneau, producer at EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "Hot Date allows Sims to experience the hilarious ups and downs of the dating game."

Players can have their Sims ask each other out on a date or try their luck with an in-game dating service. Arrange to meet another Sim Downtown at exciting and romantic locations that the player can create. Everything from a candlelit dinner, a drink at the bar or a rendezvous in the park is possible as your Sim attempts to orchestrate an evening to remember.

Once your Sim is out with that special someone, additional interests and new interactions keep the conversation flowing and chemistry clicking. Sims can now flirt, play footsie, engage in a little tonsil hockey, or converse in Simlish about new and diverse interests. Being a fun and fascinating date gets your Sim one step closer to a goodnight kiss or more!

Players can watch sparks fly or fizzle as their Sims meet and date a host of new characters. Sims can spurn the advances of The Jock, welcome the overtures of the Femme Fatale, find true lust with Mr. Medallion, or strike out with the Blonde Bombshell. Over 100 new objects, including the Picnic Basket, Cuddle Couch and the Love Tub, allow players to set the mood for their Sims. Find your Sim a soul mate ... or have fun trying with The Sims Hot Date.

For more information on The Sims, The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party, and The Sims Hot Date visit http://www.thesims.com.

July 03 - AMD Athlon Processor-Based Supercomputer Soars Into Top 500 List. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that the Tokyo Institute of Technology's PRESTO III--a server cluster containing 78 AMD Athlon(TM) processors--was ranked in the Top 500 list released at the June 2001 International Supercomputer Conference held in Heidelberg, Germany. The PRESTO III marks the first time an AMD processor-based supercomputer has made the internationally renowned list.

The PRESTO III is employed at the Matsuoka Laboratory of the Global Scientific Information and Computing Center and the Department of Mathematical and Computing Science. It runs simulation and scientific applications such as operations research, high-energy physics, and neuroscience.

"Upon launching the project, we evaluated many solutions and concluded that the AMD Athlon processor was the best choice in terms of performance and stability. We are delighted that our PRESTO III cluster has become the first AMD Athlon processor-based computer to make the Top 500 list," said Dr. Satoshi Matsuoka, who led the PRESTO III supercomputer initiative. "We are grateful to our research sponsor, the Japan Science and Technology Corporation, for support throughout the PRESTO program, and to AMD for providing the processor technology. Our hope is to move up on the Top 500 list for the second half of 2001."

"The AMD Athlon processor is an excellent choice for cutting-edge computer platforms targeted at computation-intensive applications," said Shunsuke Yoshizawa, AMD director of corporate/channel marketing, North Asia Pacific. "This innovative processor is a powerful and reliable solution, well suited to supporting advanced scientific facilities and critical research projects."

Compiled by high-performance computer experts, computational scientists, manufacturers and the Internet community, the Top 500 (www.top500.org) list provides current information about the most powerful computer systems in the world. The international list has been released twice a year since 1993. The Tokyo Institute of Technology's PRESTO III was ranked No. 439.
Additional press releases and information about AMD and its products are available at: www.amd.com.

July 03 - Motorola Ships One Millionth Talkabout T900 2-Way Text Messaging Device. Motorola (NYSE:MOT) today announced the shipment of the one millionth Talkabout(R) T900 2-Way text messaging device, less than a year following its introduction.

The compact and colorful Talkabout T900 was the first member of Motorola's expansive two-way messaging product assortment designed specifically for consumers and is leading the unprecedented growth of the two-way messaging industry in the U.S.

"We aren't surprised at the success of the Talkabout T900 and have believed two-way messaging would be a hot solution for consumers ever since we developed the world's first two-way text messaging device in 1995," said Miguel Pellon, vice president and general manager of the Wireless Messaging Division, Motorola. "Today we continue to shape the future of two-way messaging with groundbreaking technology and innovative messaging products to suit the lifestyles of all consumers, from the trend-wise V.Series Personal Communicator Model 100 to the business-minded Accompli 009."

The Talkabout T900, which operates on Motorola's superior ReFLEX(R) protocol, allows users to exchange messages with any e-mail address - whether it's from another 2-way device, other mobile device or a PC. With its four-line, 80-character QWERTY keyboard and illuminated display, the Talkabout T900 makes it easy to both send and read messages.

In addition, the Talkabout T900's "Info-on-Demand" feature enables users to request and receive customized information from the Internet including movie show times, headline news, the latest weather forecast and stock quotes. And, a built-in address book stores the contact information of 250 friends, family and coworkers -all this in a package weighing less than four ounces and about the size of a large pack of gum. The Talkabout T900 retails for as low as $99 with carrier rebate.

New developments for the Talkabout T900 now make it possible for users to manage their personal and desktop e-mail accounts, access their Hotmail, MSN or EarthLink e-mail accounts, and send and receive Instant Messages (IMs) - all from the Talkabout T900.

For more information, visit www.motorola.com.

July 03 - U.S. Vacationers Addicted to E-mail? According to a Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) survey, 42 percent of users check their business e-mail while on vacation, while 23 percent check e-mail on the weekends.

On workdays, 53 percent of business users check e-mail six or more times a day, while 34 percent of users check e-mail constantly throughout the day. On average, business users spend 49 minutes per day managing e-mail accounts.

Gartner analysts warn that the "always on" syndrome for business users is redefining not only the workday, but also family weekends and vacations.

"Business use of cell phones, instant messaging and e-mail has crept into our lives on a 24 by 7 basis," said Maurene Caplan Grey, Gartner senior research analyst. "The connected vacationer is always on the alert for business interruptions. For better or for worse, 42 percent of us go online to look for business e-mails during vacation."

The Gartner survey revealed that business users receive an average of 22 e-mails per day. Results also showed that only 27 percent of these e-mails require immediate attention and 34 percent are occupational spam -- a Gartner term denoting unnecessary e-mails from co-workers.

"E-mail has become the corporate security blanket of this decade," continued Grey. "If executives don't get their 22 e-mails per day, they actually miss them and begin to feel out of the loop."

"We've become a country that thrives on being connected. The thought of communication happening without our knowledge keeps us tethered to the workplace," concluded Grey.

For information about Gartner, Inc., visit www.gartner.com.

July 03 - Increase in Hackers Propelling Data and Network Encryption Market. The amount of classified information being transmitted via networks is rapidly increasing.
However, as e-terrorists attempt corporate espionage and hacker attacks, military and government agencies, along with contractors, are propelling sales as they invest in data and network encryption devices that assure necessary privacy.
New analysis by Frost & Sullivan, "World Military and Government High Assurance Network and Data Encryption Market," reveals that this industry generated revenues of $176 million in 2000 and is projected to increase steadily to $457.6 million by 2007.
"Hackers are no longer solely focused on disrupting service and implanting viruses," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Brooks Lieske. "They are also doing less noticeable, but potentially more damaging activities such as reading e-mail and gathering restricted information from Internet sites and computers."
International agencies ranging from the National Security Agency (NSA) to the NATO are increasing network defense spending and modernizing equipment to ensure the privacy of transmitted information. Because of the multiple security risks associated with networks, end users are trending towards multi-layered security, with the military showing growing interest in wireless encryptors.
"Manufacturers must also cater to defense contractors who use similar high-speed encryptors to comply with government security regulations," says Lieske. "Not only must contractors protect sensitive information from global espionage, but corporate espionage has also become a concern."
"Corporate espionage is an ever-present threat, and defense contractors require quality encryption for sensitive information. The `better safe than sorry' perspective will have a very positive influence on demand."

More information about Frost & Sullivan can be found at www.defense.frost.com.

July 02 - Intel Introduces Pentium 4 Processor At 1.8 and 1.6 GHz. Intel Corporation today announced availability of the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 1.8 GHz, the company's highest-performance microprocessor for desktop computers. Intel also introduced a Pentium 4 processor at 1.6 GHz. Computer makers worldwide will be launching systems based on these new microprocessors, which are available immediately.
Intel's Pentium 4 processor continues to provide higher performance for desktop computer users. Robust yields have allowed Intel to accelerate the introduction of these products, with a 2 GHz version planned for later this quarter.
"These two new speeds enable a broader range of performance and price points for our customers," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel Desktop Platforms Group. "Momentum continues to grow as customers and software vendors take advantage of Pentium 4 processor performance."
Pentium 4 processor-based systems are designed to meet the needs of a range of users. For consumers, the Pentium 4 processor delivers high performance for processing digital video and audio, displaying 3-D graphics, and taking advantage of the latest Internet technologies. As they connect entertainment and productivity devices, users get even more value from their high-performance Pentium 4 processor-based systems. For business users, the Pentium 4 processor provides the performance, longevity and return on investment needed to achieve the greatest competitive advantage for both today and tomorrow.

The Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) Micro-Architecture and Intel(R) 850 Chipset

The Intel NetBurst(TM) Micro-architecture enables the Pentium 4 processor to run at extremely high speeds, bringing high performance to computer users where they need it most. This technology will power Intel's most advanced 32-bit processors during the next several years. The Pentium 4 processor is the first completely new desktop processor design from Intel since 1995, when the Intel(R) Pentium(R) Pro processor, with its P6 micro-architecture, was introduced.
The Pentium 4 processor platform is based on the high-performance Intel(R) 850 chipset. The Intel 850 chipset's dual RDRAM* memory banks complement the Pentium 4 processor's 400 MHz system bus, handling up to 3.2 gigabytes of data per second. Also, Intel is shipping in high volume the Intel Desktop Board D850GB, which supports the Pentium 4 processor in the ATX form factor.
The Pentium 4 processor at 1.8 GHz is Intel's highest-performance desktop processor as measured by the SPEC CPU* 2000 benchmark. The Pentium 4 processor at 1.8 GHz delivers the world's highest desktop processor score on SPECint*_base2000, with a score of 596. In addition, the Pentium 4 processor at 1.8 GHz delivers a SPECfp*_base2000 score of 618. For more information on Pentium 4 processor performance, visit www.intel.com/procs/perf.

Pricing and Availability

The Pentium 4 processor at 1.8 GHz is manufactured on Intel's high-volume, 0.18-micron process technology, and is available now. In 1,000-unit quantities, the 1.8 GHz version is priced at $562; the 1.6 GHz version is priced at $294. Intel is also shipping boxed versions to Intel Premier Providers and Intel Product Dealers, enabling them to ship Pentium 4 processor-based systems immediately.
More information can be found at www.intel.com.

July 02 - Intel Announces New Celeron Processors. Intel Corporation today released two new Intel® Celeron™ processors. The desktop Intel Celeron at 900 MHz is Intel's fastest offering for the price-sensitive desktop value PC market segment. The mobile Intel Celeron processor at 850 MHz is optimized for full-size and thin and light notebook designs, providing leading performance at attractive price points.

Intel Celeron processors include design features such as 128 KB of on-chip, level-two cache with a high-bandwidth interface to the processor core. The Intel Celeron processor line continues to lead the value PC market segment worldwide.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the desktop Intel Celeron processor at 900 MHz costs $103. Desktop Intel Celeron processors are now available at 900, 850 and 800 MHz (all with the 100 MHz system bus), as well as at 766 and 733 MHz.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the mobile Intel Celeron processor at 850 MHz costs $134. Mobile Intel Celeron processors are now available at 850, 800, 750 and 700 MHz (all with the 100 MHz system bus).

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

July 02 - SOYO Releases Pentium III "Tualatin" Motherboard. SOYO, Inc. today announced the SY-TISU - an ATX Universal footprint motherboard that maximizes performance of Intel's 815EP B-step chipset with support for Intel's Pentium III Tualatin Processors with 133MHz FSB and speeds up to 1.2GHz. The board will also accommodate Intel FC-PGA Pentium III, and Celeron Processors.

< Editor's Note: Intel has not yet announced the Pentium III Tualatin. When Intel announces the Tualatin, we will post it on this page.>

The SY-TISU is SOYO's first motherboard to feature Intel's new Pentium III Tualatin CPU, which is the first Intel chip to use the 0.13-micron manufacturing process, which replaces the 0.18-micron process currently used for most PC processors. By miniaturizing the chip size the processor can run at faster speeds while it consumes less power and emits less heat. This makes SOYO's SY-TISU suitable for many high-performance applications.

SOYO's SY-TISU includes many advanced features such as Direct AGP VGA in 1x/2x/4x mode, a CNR (Communications & Networking Riser) connector, which saves a PCI expansion slot and allows the addition of a number of networking features such as LANs, home phone networking, DSL, and dial-up modems. The board also features onboard AC97 audio CODEC. The board has a list price of $99.

The SY-TISU is expandable to 512MBs RAM with its three SDRAM DIMMs slots, and features six 32-bit bus mastering PCI slots. The on-board super I/O supports two RS-232 serial ports, one parallel printer port, one floppy disk port, two Ultra DMA100/66/33 ports, four USB ports, audio line/out ports, game port, PS/2 Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports, and an IrDA port.

For more information, visit www.soyousa.com.

July 01 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 18 months no interest financing on all desktops, notebooks, and build-to-order systems and and an additional $100 off any 800 MHz or faster desktop complete package.
Circuit City is offering a $150 mail-in rebate on all build-to-order desktops and notebooks, and $100 mail in rebates on all Intel processor desktop packages.
Office Depot no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA is having a 4 day sale from today through Wednesday.
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
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.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 800 MHz complete system
$700
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
HP 1 GHz complete system
$1150
Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.4 GHz complete system
$1599
Best Buy
Best Duron System
Sony 900 MHz complete system
$999
Best Buy
Best High End Athlon System
HP 1.4 GHz DDR with 17 inch monitor
$1599
Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 850 MHz Duron with DVD
$1399
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Sony 750 MHz Pentium III with DVD
$1599
Best Buy

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 the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]

 

 
 
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