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Computer News and Rumors

July 9-16 2002

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 here. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

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 16 AMD Ships Athlon(TM) XP Processor 1800+ for Notebooks
Jul 16 TDK Introduces 48X veloCD ReWriter
Jul 16 HyperTransport Technology Consortium Announces New Products
Jul 16 Canon Introduces New Bubble Jet Photo Printers
Jul 16 Socket's Bluetooth Card is Now Available for Windows Notebooks
Jul 15 Adobe Ships Photoshop Elements 2.0 for Digital Cameras
Jul 15 Eagle Broadband and Warner Bros. Sign VOD Content Deal
Jul 15 New Report Details Home Video's Record-Breaking Usage
Jul 14 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jul 12 Best Buy Unveils Private Line of ``vpr Matrix'' Computers
Jul 12 Wafer Fab Equipment Spending Poised for Growth
Jul 12 MainConcept Announces EVE -- ``Easy Video Editing''
Jul 11 Bell Labs Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Modern Telecommunications
Jul 11 Fujifilm Introduces USB Flash Drive
Jul 11 BSI Announces Portable Video Editing Studio
Jul 11 CenDyne Ships Portable 40x USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive
Jul 11 Online Sales Growth Accelerates With 51% Yearly Gain
Jul 10 Toshiba's New Satellite Notebook Has Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Jul 10 Belkin Introduces USB Flash Drive
Jul 10 PowerLeap Announces 1.4GHz Upgrade for Pentium II and Pentium III Systems
Jul 10 Average Base Salary for IT Professionals Has Increased 5.1 Percent
Jul 10 Growth of Wireless Internet is Stagnant
Jul 09 MicronPC Introduces TransPort T1000 Notebook Computer
Jul 09 Argus Announces Affordable 2.1 Megapixel Digital Camera
Jul 09 Mac Community Rallies for Largest Ever Macworld New York
Jul 09 X-traFun, Inc. Offers Low Cost Bluetooth Internet Appliance

 

 
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Jul 16 - AMD Ships Athlon(TM) XP Processor 1800+ for Notebooks. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today introduced the high-performance mobile AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor 1800+ with QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture.
With AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology, the newest mobile AMD Athlon XP processor gives business and home consumers a dynamic power management tool for performance on demand and enables a cooler, quieter notebook PC.

"Notebook PC enthusiasts trust and depend on AMD to deliver an exceptional computing experience with leading-edge software application performance," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "AMD is dedicated to excellence and continuously innovates with the customers' needs in mind. The newest addition to the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor family gives business and home consumers greater choices in the notebook PC market with solutions they can rely on for true, high-performance computing."

Notebook PCs powered by the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+, based on 0.13 micron technology, are available today from Hewlett-Packard Company and ACER Europe.

"AMD mobile processors offer the ultimate price performance and are consistent with HP product offerings that serve our consumer and small office notebook PC users," said Jonathan Kaye, notebook product marketing manager, HP Personal Systems Group. "The introduction of the newest mobile AMD Athlon XP processor will provide customers who rely on HP notebook PCs a broad range of performance and features for their specific computing needs."

"The introduction of the new notebook Acer Aspire 1300, featuring the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+, provides users with a powerful platform designed to deliver exceptional performance for a wide range of applications, from office work to personal entertainment," said Gianfranco Lanci, president ACER EMEA.

AMD's high-performance mobile processors enable infrastructure partners to jump-start system performance by offering notebook PCs based on the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor and double data rate (DDR) memory. Systems featuring DDR memory can provide business and home consumers performance gains on memory-intensive applications such as Internet content creation, gaming and office productivity. With QuantiSpeed architecture, the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+ also enables extreme performance for the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP operating system.

Visit AMD on the Web at www.amd.com.

Jul 16 - TDK Introduces 48X veloCD ReWriter. In a move that redefines CD burner performance, value and functionality, TDK today announced the introduction of its 48X veloCD ReWriter (Model number AI-481648)--the world's fastest CD burner.

The new veloCD internal ATAPI/EIDE drive comes with a versatile software suite including utilities that make creating video slide shows and movies easier and more fun than ever before--and delivers unprecedented 48X read, write, and audio ripping along with 24X rewrite speeds (upon media availability).

Randall Rosenbaum, TDK's Product Manager noted: "As CD burning and digital photography have become well established among computer users, more and more consumers are starting to create more complex projects like photo and video CDs, which can then be played back in VCD compatible DVD players or DVD-ROM drives. The new 48X veloCD makes creating customized CD slide shows and movies super-easy and intuitive--it's the perfect burner for first-time users as well as experienced computer enthusiasts."

The TDK 48X veloCD dramatically raises the bar in CD burning performance, flexibility and ease of use. It's remarkable 48X write speed enables a full CD-R to be burned in less than two and a half minutes, and because veloCD utilizes the Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) method of writing to disk, unlike drives that use Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) technology, CD recording performance is smoother, with less chance of write errors.

The TDK 48X Internal ATAPI/EIDE veloCD (Model number AI-481648) will be available in July 2002 at a suggested retail price of $109. For more information, visit www.tdk.com.

Jul 16 - HyperTransport Technology Consortium Announces New Products. HyperTransport(TM) Technology Consortium, founded to develop, promote and manage specifications of the HyperTransport(TM) I/O link, today reached the 51 member milestone with the announcement of eleven new members including: Actel Corporation, American Megatrends, ATI Technologies, Cavium Networks, Dolphin Technology, Multinode Microsystems, PLX Technology, Primarion, Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS), Tektronix, and VIA Technologies.

In addition, Cavium Networks' NITROX Plus family of multi service security processors, NVIDIA's nForce2 processing platform architecture, SiPackets' SP1011 HyperTransport to PCI Bridge and Xilinx's 800 Mbps Single-Ended Slave Intellectual Property core for the Virtex-II Platform FPGAs were also announced today.

These products join a HyperTransport product portfolio that includes: programmable devices, cores and design services, bus functional models, protocol monitors, bus checkers, logic analyzer and test solutions.

With over 30 HyperTransport-based products already announced, the consortium has established an extensive ecosystem of products and services to enable designers within the computer, networking and telecommunications industries to seamlessly integrate HyperTransport technology into their next-generation system architecture. For a full product listing, visit: http://www.hypertransport.org/ docs/HTT_product_tracker_071002_Platform_Conference.pdf .

"We are excited and proud to be reaching such significant milestones in less than one year of existence," said Gabriele Sartori, president of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. "Working together, the consortium has been able to develop HyperTransport technology and address the new requirements of the computer, networking and telecommunications industries, while preserving the software investment that exists in PCI today."

AMD, Apple Computers, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, NVIDIA, PMC-Sierra, SGI, Sun Microsystems and Transmeta are the charter members that comprise the Executive Committee of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. Visit the consortium online at www.hypertransport.org.

July 16 - Canon Introduces New Bubble Jet Photo Printers. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ) today introduces two new Bubble Jet Direct photo printers and one entry-level Color Bubble Jet printer for the consumer and SOHO markets - the Canon S530D, S830D and S330.

The four-color S530D and six-color S830D provide fast, high-quality, borderless photo prints directly from a removable memory card, through a PC or from Bubble Jet Direct-enabled Canon PowerShot digital cameras. The entry-level S330 Color Bubble Jet printer features borderless printing and Advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology(TM) for exceptional quality.

All of the new printers offer Exif Print support for easy, smart processing of digital images. To ensure optimal results from Canon's full line of Bubble Jet printers, the Company is also announcing today new Photo Paper Plus Glossy and Matte Photo Paper.

"With the introduction of the S530D, S830D, and S330, Canon combines its unique expertise in photo and printing technology to make it easier than ever for users to achieve optimal results, whether at home or in the office," said Ryoichi Bamba, senior vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A. Personal Imaging Systems Group. "These models address the critical speed, connectivity, software, media type, and borderless print capabilities customers are looking for when buying a photo printer."

The S830D will be shipping in August 2002 with a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $399. The S530D will ship in August 2002 with an MSRP of $249.00. The S330 will be shipping in July 2002 with an MSRP of $99.00. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Jul 16 - Socket's Bluetooth Card is Now Available for Windows Notebooks. Socket Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT)(PCX:SOK), the Mobile Connection(TM) Company, announced it is now shipping a Windows notebook version of its Bluetooth Connection Kit for Nokia Bluetooth mobile phone customers.

The Kit is a result of the agreement with Nokia to supply their customers with a notebook solution as part of Socket's acquisition of Nokia's CompactFlash Bluetooth Card business in March of 2002. The Kit, which also works with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones from Ericsson, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo and Sony, creates a cable-free connection to exchange email, browse the Internet, fax, or access a company network using the phone as a modem, even when the phone is tucked away in a purse, backpack or briefcase. Multiple language support is included for English, German, French and Japanese.

"Our objective is to efficiently service the connectivity needs of today's mobile professional with Mobility Friendly products, and the addition of a Windows notebook version of our Bluetooth Kit to our family of Bluetooth offerings is an important step forward in accomplishing this objective," said Patti Cassalia, Product Manager, Bluetooth Products.

The Kit includes a PC Card adapter to enable the Bluetooth card to be used in the PC card slot of a notebook computer in addition to its fitting into the CompactFlash slot of a Pocket PC or other Windows CE device. The card is designed to be Mobility Friendly(TM), being energy efficient to minimize the battery consumption of a mobile computer, and easy-to-use, install and maintain. It is the only Type 1 non-extended CompactFlash Bluetooth card in the market today.

Registered customers of Socket's Bluetooth Connection Kit for Pocket PCs may obtain the new Windows version of the software for their notebooks from Socket at no charge through the end of August. Bluetooth Connection Kits for either Pocket PC or Pocket PC and Windows may also be purchased through Socket's website. Suggested retail prices for the Kits are $159 for the Pocket PC version and $179 for the Windows version which includes Pocket PC software and PC card adapter.

Socket is headquartered in Newark, California, and can be reached on the Internet at www.socketcom.com.

Jul 15 - Adobe Ships Photoshop Elements 2.0 for Digital Cameras. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in network publishing, today announced Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) Elements 2.0 software, with new features that simplify the process of editing digital photos. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 is designed specifically for photo hobbyists and amateur photographers who want to enhance their digital images for printing, emailing or posting to the Web.
As digital camera sales increase and technology becomes more affordable, photo enthusiasts are looking for new ways to improve their digital photos. According to the April NPD Intelect report on retail software, Photoshop Elements is emerging as the leading mid-range photo-editing software, with more than 60 percent unit share in the United States.
Based on extensive customer research and feedback, key enhancements to Photoshop Elements 2.0 give users easier access to the tools they need to be more efficient and creative with their photos. Users can apply common lighting and color correction in a single dialog window while viewing the original side-by-side with the modified version. Instant access to help files and "how to" recipes is readily available by typing key words such as "red-eye" into a help window on the toolbar. With one-step to resize and attach images, sharing photos via email is now much easier; and a new file browser lets users preview, sort and organize images in thumbnail form -- all without opening the files.
Photoshop Elements 2.0 gives users superior editing capabilities with new color correction, compositing and creative tools. The Color Variations feature now includes helpful tips and an updated design, giving the user a preview of real-time color adjustments prior to applying. The new Selection Brush masks unwanted areas of a photo for precise editing. New paintbrush options simulate oils, watercolors, charcoal, pastels, and different canvas textures so users can add creative touches to their photos. Also, users can capture individual frames from video clips, which are saved as still images for editing and sharing electronically.
Photoshop Elements solves the common problem of sharing multiple photos. Users can now create slideshows in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) that can be displayed on any device that supports the Adobe Acrobat(R) Reader(R) software. This includes Palm handhelds, Pocket PC and any system running the Windows(R) or Mac operating system.
Photoshop Elements 2.0 supports the leading operating systems, including Windows XP and Mac OS X.

Pricing and Availability

In the United States, Canada, and Europe, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2002. The estimated street price is US$99 for all platforms.
For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

Jul 15 - Eagle Broadband and Warner Bros. Sign VOD Content Deal. Eagle Broadband, Inc. (AMEX:EAG), a leading supplier of broadband products, services and content, and Warner Home Video announced today that they have entered into a formal contract whereby Eagle has access to first-run feature movies, library content and live events for Video-on-Demand (VOD) distribution over Eagle's IP-based fiber network.

This contract represents one of the first pure fiber content deals for VOD with a major Hollywood studio and is the culmination of several months of negotiations. Eagle Broadband is now able to deliver Warner Bros. content to Eagle Broadband's residential and Multiple Dwelling Unit (MDU) subscribers throughout the United States.
Dr. Steven Newstat, video network architect for Eagle, in cooperation with Dennis Sullivan, an industry content acquisition consultant, jointly remarked, "The studios have been very cooperative throughout the entire negotiation process. We did our research and were able to answer their questions and address their security concerns in a proactive manner."
Manny Carter, president and COO of Eagle Broadband, said, "Warner Bros. was the top-grossing studio in 2001 and has one of the largest content libraries in the world. We're very proud to have the quality of Warner Bros.' content like Ocean's Eleven and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time available to our subscribers."
"We were impressed with Eagle Broadband's approach to VOD and it was clear they had done their homework prior to approaching us about a VOD content relationship," said Jeff Calman, executive vice president, Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand, Warner Home Video. "We look forward to supporting Eagle throughout their deployment."

Further information on Eagle Broadband, is available at www.eaglebroadband.com.

Jul 15 - New Report Details Home Video's Record-Breaking Usage. The home video industry experienced its best year ever in 2001 with U.S. spending totaling $18.7 billion.
Home video consumers spent $7 billion renting VHS tapes and an all-time-high $1.4 billion renting DVDs. Consumers spent an additional $5.4 billion purchasing DVDs and $4.9 billion purchasing VHS tapes. DVD hardware penetration rose to one-quarter of all U.S. television households, and is expected to climb ten percentage points to 35% by the end of this year. New video game platforms from Microsoft (Xbox) and Nintendo (GameBoy and portable Game Boy Advance) spurred competition among the game publishers and, in turn, $6.9 billion in platform, accessory and software sales.
The data was presented today by Bo Andersen, president of the home video and entertainment industry's international trade group -- the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA).
The new data, released today, is part of VSDA's sixth consecutive Annual Report on the Home Entertainment Industry. The 2002 report is a year-end recap of 2001 and includes a view-from-the-top analysis of the rapidly changing landscape of home entertainment. Main areas of the report include domestic and international DVD and VHS rental and sales data, domestic video game rental and sales data, hardware penetration rates, video retailer information, video control and piracy issues, the effects of the peer-to-peer networks on music sales, and the future of Internet video-on-demand.
"Home video is in an enviable position," said VSDA President Bo Andersen. "It is a $19 billion/year industry and growing; it enjoys a 95% hardware saturation of consumer households, new DVD technologies are reinvigorating the market, exciting new video products are released every week, video rental and retail outlets are good neighbors in virtually every community in America, and a competitive retail market drives innovation and customer service. Renting and buying movies on VHS and DVD are still the movie delivery options most preferred by consumers, and the value-for-the-dollar equation for rental and ownership will maintain these strong preferences."

Some highlights from VSDA's 2002 Annual Report include:

DVD Rentals and Hardware

-- Video consumers in the United States spent an unprecedented
$1.4 billion renting DVDs in 2001.

-- In 2001, consumers bought 16.7 million DVD players.

-- The DVD console is the fastest-selling consumer electronics
product ever, having reached sales of 30 million units within five
years.

-- Japan, the first country to adopt DVD technology, spent an
impressive $187.7 million renting DVDs.

-- Buena Vista Home Entertainment's "Unbreakable" was the #1-renting
DVD in 2001.

VHS Rentals and Hardware

-- U.S. video consumers spent $7 billion on VHS tape rentals in 2001.

-- Universal Studios Home Video's "Meet the Parents" was the
#1-renting VHS title for the year.

-- By year-end 2002, VCR hardware penetration will rise to 94% of all
U.S. television households.

Video Game Rentals and Sell-Through Markets

-- U.S. consumers spent $633.6 million renting video games in 2001,
and a record-breaking $6 billion buying video game software
(including PC software).

-- PlayStation 2 -- "Grand Theft Auto 3" was the #1-selling video
game of 2001.

Video Sell-Through

-- Consumers spent $5.4 billion buying DVDs and $4.9 billion on VHS
tapes in 2001.

-- "Shrek" (DreamWorks/Universal) was the #1-selling DVD and VHS tape
of the year.

Video Retailers

-- Blockbuster beat out Wal-Mart as the nation's #1 U.S. video
revenue generator by more than a half-million dollars.

-- Best Buy was the #1 seller of video among music/consumer
electronics retailers

Music Sales

-- "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (Lost Highway Records) was the
#1-selling film/video soundtrack of 2001.

Internet Video-on-Demand

-- Just over 10% of the 103 million U.S. television households, or
10.9 million homes, have high-speed Internet access (cable,
satellite, DSL, fiber and wireless), while 39%, or 43.2 million,
are running on dial-up modems.

-- The three most significant online content providers by 2006 will
be audio and video entertainment, adult entertainment, and
financial and business news.

More information can be found at www.vsda.org.

Jul 14 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - Almost all categories that we follow had lower prices, or more features for the same price. See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Prices were down this week in all computer categories that we follow.

Notebooks - Prices went down this week on notebooks. Virtually no Celeron notebooks were advertised. The Toshiba Pentium 4-M 1.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW for $1389 went down $60 compared to last week.
Desktops - This week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system for $629 is $30 above the lowest price seen on this system.
Prices went down on Pentium 4 desktops and AMD Athlon XP systems.

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.)

BestBuy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
Additionally, they are giving 10% off all desktop packages, notebooks, and PDAs (the 10% off has been subtracted in our Best Sunday Ad Deals below).
Circuit City is giving 12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase and is offering no interest financing for desktop packages and notebook purchases.
Office Depot has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $198 and 3 months of free AOL with notebook or desktop purchases.
Staples has no store-wide computer promotions this week. Individual items may be on sale.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron/Duron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 9 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. 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 desktop system/package/complete package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a 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).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
$629
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 2.0 GHz complete system
$1179
Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.26 GHz complete system
$1249
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 1800+ complete system
$949
Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 2100+ complete system
$1299
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon 1400+ with DVD
$999
Office Depot
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon 1400+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1159
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 1.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1389
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Pentium 4-M 2.2 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1599
Best Buy
Peripherals
1. Best Sunday Deal
Sony 40X CD-RW
$69 (after rebates)
Office Depot, CompUSA
2. Best Sunday Deal
Sony DVD-RW/CD-RW
$400 (after rebates)
Best Buy
3. Best Sunday Deal
Gainward GeForce 4 TI 4200 64 MB
$149 (after rebates)
CompUSA

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.

Jul 12 - Best Buy Unveils Private Line of ``vpr Matrix'' Computers. Nearly seven months after Best Buy Co., Inc. started to test a house brand in all of its stores, the company is set to debut the highly-anticipated designer look and latest technological innovations of its "vpr Matrix" line of personal computers. Beginning Sunday, July 14, new models of vpr Matrix, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc., will be available exclusively at all Best Buy stores and online at BestBuy.com.

The vpr Matrix line - vpr for value, performance and reliability -was created specifically to address the needs of the Best Buy customer. After consulting with both its customers and retail employees, Best Buy set out to deliver an option for better connecting Best Buy customers to the "digital lifestyle."

A Fresh Appearance

The newest line of vpr Matrix features a strikingly elegant and angular exterior by Porsche Design GmbH, the Austrian firm founded by F.A. Porsche, grandson of the legendary engineer. Porsche Design is world-renowned for its distinguished aesthetic that refines objects down to their basic function, brings out a clarity and timelessness of form, and incorporates the most suitable, advanced materials and workmanship in order to combine traditional skills with high-tech.

New Line Offers Choice and Expansion Capabilities

Inside, vpr Matrix still insists on using only components from established and trusted industry leaders. Every vpr Matrix comes with 512MB of DDR RAM, six USB 2.0 ports for increased ease of connecting multiple digital devices, CD-RW capabilities, a DVD-ROM drive, and an Intel(R) Pentium 4(R) processor, with speeds ranging from 1.8 to 2.53GHz. Additionally, all vpr Matrix PCs come with a total of five PCI expansion slots, with four open slots available in most models (the high-end model, the 253R, comes with a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 card, leaving three available PCI slots).

The 17" (16" viewable) flat panel CRT monitor, designed by F.A. Porsche, has a 120Hz refresh rate, the highest available to consumers. A higher refresh rate, which refers to how many times per second an image is redrawn, translates into less flicker and reduced eye strain. Additionally, vpr Matrix is the only computer brand offering a monitor with three "Application Brightness" settings, with one-click pre-sets optimized specifically for doing work, enjoying interactive games, or watching movies.

The vpr Matrix line sets a new mark by becoming the first computer brand in the retail industry to standardize commercial-grade technology in a consumer PC. All vpr Matrix machines will feature server-class Western Digital 7,200 RPM hard drives built to standards of only 1,500 DPPM (defect parts per million), a commercial file server-level standard that is up to four times higher than most consumer hard drives.

Moreover, all vpr Matrix PCs will come enabled with a standard integrated controller for RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), a sophisticated multiple hard-drive system incorporating technology that is mostly associated with commercial file servers.

The on-board RAID controller allows consumers to easily add additional hard drives to their vpr Matrix PC for faster and more secure computing. With a second hard drive, the RAID system can be configured either to constantly and automatically back up or "mirror" data to a second hard drive, or to enhance and improve system performance and speed by splitting or "striping" data between two hard drives.

"In many ways, you could say that we are totally obsessed with a commitment to quality," said Steven Lee, Best Buy's vice president of strategic development, and the person behind the "vpr Matrix" brand. "We wanted to deliver a PC that Best Buy could proudly stand behind and the serious user would appreciate for the dedication to detail. I think people are going to be very surprised to see how we really extended the capabilities of a home PC in every way and still offer a competitive price."

Visit www.vprmatrix.com for more information.

Jul 12 - Wafer Fab Equipment Spending Poised for Growth. Worldwide wafer fab equipment spending is showing signs of rebounding, and the market is forecast to show growth from the third quarter of 2001 to the third quarter of 2002, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

In the third quarter of 2002, worldwide wafer fab equipment spending is projected to reach $5.2 billion, a 5.3 percent increase from the third quarter of 2001. While the market will show year-over-year quarterly growth in the second half of this year, Gartner Dataquest analysts said the year-end totals will still show an overall spending decline.

Worldwide wafer fab equipment spending is projected to total $18.9 billion, a 20 percent decline from 2001 revenue of $23.7 billion. Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is on pace to reach $35.3 billion in 2002, a 20.9 percent decline from 2001 revenue of $44.6 billion.

"Those regions that cut little and late in 2001, such as some Japanese companies, continue to cut deep this year, while regions such as Asia/Pacific that cut early and deep last year are the first to increase this year," said Klaus Rinnen, chief analyst and director of Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor manufacturing group.

"Technology buys for leading-edge devices have been the key drivers for equipment purchases in the first half of 2002," Rinnen said. "In 2003, we will begin to see the transition to investment into upgrading established capacity to investment into new capacity."

Given the fact that the industry will enter 2003 significantly underinvested and that the demand outlook is much rosier, next year will be a positive year for the industry. Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is forecast to reach $47.3 billion in 2003, a 34 percent increase from 2002, while wafer fab equipment spending will total $26.9 billion, a 42.1 percent increase.

"We expect 2003 to be a transition year in several aspects: the transition from foundry-driven to broad-driven spending recovery, the transition from technology buys to capacity buys, and to investment into new capacity," Rinnen said. "We believe 2003 will finally be the year we see the transition from spending contraction to expansion in the annual revenue outlook."

More information on Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor research can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at www.gartner.com/1_researchanalysis/focus/semimkt_fa.html.

Jul 12 - MainConcept Announces EVE -- ``Easy Video Editing''. MainConcept, a leader in multimedia technology, today announced the upcoming release of EVE ("Easy Video Editing"). The consumer-oriented Windows application will feature MainConcept's professional features, including exceptional rendering speed and quality, in a user-friendly interface.

EVE will include a wide variety of features including:

-- Streamlined, drag-and-drop interface with storyboard and timeline modes
-- Over 100 creative transitions and effects
-- Easy animated titles
-- Unique trimmer, allowing users to adjust three clips without opening a separate window
-- Native DV, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 editing
-- Smart rendering in all formats -- only changed frames are rendered
-- Background rendering for tremendous time savings
-- MainConcept's renowned DV and MPEG codecs, offering fast, high-quality rendering

"EVE offers many advantages over other consumer applications," said Markus Moenig, MainConcept's founder and CEO. Many offer an easy interface, but none offer all of our professional features such as background rendering and our codecs. With EVE, users don't have to sacrifice quality for ease of use."
EVE is ideal for OEM customers, as the interface can be custom-skinned to match clients' branding. The application is scheduled for release in August, followed in October by a realtime DV version that will eliminate the need for expensive hardware to achieve realtime performance. EVE will be the predecessor to MainActor 5, the upcoming new release of MainConcept's flagship professional editing application.

Additional information is available at www.mainconcept.com.

Jul 11 - Bell Labs Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Modern Telecommunications. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Telstar I, the world's first communications satellite, which was designed by Bell Labs, now the R&D division of Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU). Bell Labs also achieved significant milestones in the development of three other key communications technologies in 1962, making that year a major watershed in the history of modern communications.

"With important achievements in digital, mobile and intercontinental transmissions, 1962 can be viewed as the year the modern communications revolution began," said Bill O'Shea, president of Bell Labs and executive vice president of corporate strategy and marketing for Lucent.

The concept of a communications satellite was first proposed in 1945 by engineer-turned-science-fiction-writer Arthur C. Clarke. Nine years later, John R. Pierce, a Bell Labs research director (who also dabbled in science-fiction writing), unaware of Clarke's earlier proposal, discussed a similar concept in a talk to a group of engineers at Princeton University in 1954.

In 1960, Bell Labs and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched into orbit Echo, a large plastic balloon that served as a "passive" reflector and relay for communications traffic. Telstar I, launched two years later, became the world's first active communications satellite. Active satellites process, re-transmit and, most importantly, amplify the signals they receive from the ground; passive satellites simply reflect the original signals.

A sphere roughly a yard in diameter and weighing 175 pounds, Telstar was a technology tour de force, incorporating dozens of seminal innovations from Bell Labs. It was powered by 3,600 solar cells (invented at Bell Labs in 1954), for example, and used a new traveling-wave tube (invented in Europe during World War II, but improved by Pierce at Bell Labs in the 1950s) as its microwave radio source. The satellite had a capacity of 600 voice channels or one television channel. Telstar I was in service for only about a year, but was followed by a long succession of increasingly sophisticated satellites that also carried the Telstar name.

"Telstar demonstrated the feasibility of using satellites to provide voice, data and video communications between continents, which was a giant leap forward in the creation of the global communications village we enjoy today," said O'Shea. "Telstar erased any distinctions between phoning around the corner and phoning around the world, in terms of the speed and quality of the connection. It also ushered in the era of transcontinental television transmission, adding the phrase 'live via satellite' to the common vernacular."

On July 11, 1962, a day after the satellite's launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral by a Delta rocket, the first transatlantic broadcast transmission of a television signal occurred via Telstar. U.S. network television viewers saw a picture of the American flag waving from Telstar's U.S. earth station in Andover, Maine. Then, similar images from earth stations in Pleumeur-Bodou, France and Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall, England were sent to American television networks.

A video clip of Telstar's development, launch and the July 11, 1962 events can be seen on the web at http://www.lucent.com/minds/telstar. For more information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at http://www.bell-labs.com.

Jul 11 - Fujifilm Introduces USB Flash Drive. To underscore the universal ease of use of data storage technology, the Computer Products Division of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. today expands its complete line of data storage products with the introduction of its new USB (Universal Serial Bus) Drive, Fujifilm's new driverless, portable storage device.

Operating without AC or battery power, the new Fujifilm USB Drive is currently available in 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 MB storage capacities. Fujifilm will ship the USB Drive in a 512 MB capacity in the fall. The USB Drive can store current Windows and Macintosh files together with ease, while allowing users the flexibility to move the product through different day-to-day situations and business applications.

"From storing high resolution digital images to easily transporting essential business data, the need for high-capacity storage products is increasing in both the consumer and business marketplace," said Scott McNulty, Director of Marketing, Computer Products Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "The Fujifilm USB Drive fits on a key chain, is durable and easy to access, and can store up to 256 MB of data for universal access and true mobility. The USB Drive makes an excellent addition to Fujifilm's complete line of storage products and this innovative technology enables Fujifilm to offer its customers the perfect, personal storage solution."

The Fujifilm USB Drive contains no moving parts, enabling it to be lightweight and smaller than the size of your palm. It offers an onboard CPU for driverless operation via a computer's USB port. By incorporating a powerful 32-bit processor, the Fujifilm USB Drive is capable of running additional applications and includes Win logon as well as automatic boot functionality.

The Fujifilm USB Drive is shipping this month. The USB Drive, which weighs less than 1 ounce, will be available in different storage capacities, and priced based on capacity. The 128 MB USB Drive will list for $149.99. For more information visit www.fujifilmmediasource.com/usbdrive.

Jul 11 - BSI Announces Portable Video Editing Studio. Broadax Systems Inc. today introduced the i-Link Workstation, the latest addition to their dynamic hardy multi-slot lunchbox workstations.

This portable system is designed specifically for movie and video editing, yet as with the product line, it still meets the hardy nature of fault tolerant/resilient server computing.

The i-Link portable workhorse is a high-end workstation with dual Intel P3 or AMD K7 processors, GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or Ti 4600 graphic cards, up to 4GB DDRAM, full RAID compatible drives, USB 1.1/2.0 and IEEE1394 FireWire interfaces prepackaged with Microsoft Movie Maker and other leading editing software -- creating a rugged mobile editing studio that can be used in harsh outdoor environments.

The i-Link is ideal for many personal, commercial and government applications including field editing of music videos, weddings, location shots, commercials, personal videos, independent films, intelligence and military videos, field tests videos, as well as scientific expeditions.

The i-Link is a uniquely designed rugged, all-aluminum portable workstation configured with all the tools necessary for in-field as well as in-house editing of digital video. Four 32-bit and two 64-bit PCI slots offer users the flexibility to meet today's requirements while providing the scalability for tomorrow's applications.

Its FireWire and USB (1.1 and 2.0) interfaces as well as built-in 10/100 LAN directly links the i-Link with most common professional and amateur digital camcorders while an optional, inexpensive adapter imports video footage from older analog camcorders.

Pre-load with Windows(TM) 2000 or XP, the systems come standard with Microsoft Movie Maker video editor. This software allows fast storage and editing of video in the field or in the studio. Storing up to 20 hours of video per giga-byte of memory, the software lets you store, arrange and catalog videos and clips for quick recall, replay and editing.

Fully loaded with Movie Maker and Windows XP, dual processors, 4GB of DDRAM and one 20 to 120GB removable drive, the i-Link starts at $3,965. Prices vary with additional drives, more or less memory, all weather options and others. Delivery is from stock to two weeks ARO. GSA and quantity discounts available.

The company is on the World Wide Web at http://www.bsicomputer.com.

Jul 11 - CenDyne Ships Portable 40x USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive. CenDyne, Inc. today introduces its Arsion portable 40x12x40 USB 2.0 CD-RW drive, fast and reliable enough to be used as a primary CD burner, yet portable enough to go between locations or PCs. Weighing only 1.25 pounds, the new 40x12x40 drive is the perfect choice for consumers and business users who want great speed and reliability in a design that can be easily moved. Plus, the drive's easy-access top-loading design and no-installation USB 2.0 set-up make the drive convenient and easy-to-use.

"The new Arsion drive provides the power and robustness home and business users want for their primary CD burner," said Mo Vahdati, CEO, CenDyne, Inc. "Plus, its compact design means that it can be easily moved between PCs, or to an entirely different location. The USB 2.0 is plug-and-play ready, so switching the drive between PCs is a snap."

The drive was designed from the ground up to be powerful, dependable and reliable. The CenDyne Arsion portable CD-RW drive provides super-fast speeds: 40X CD-R write, 12X CD-RW rewrite and 40X CD-ROM read. The drive's high writing speed enables it to burn a full 650MB disc in about three minutes. The USB 2.0 interface lets users take advantage of the fastest transfers with a simple connection to computers with a built-in USB 2.0 interface. Plus, it is even compatible with USB 1.1 connections, so users can connect to a range of existing computers.

The new CenDyne Arsion 40X12X40 portable external USB 2.0 CD-RW drive comes complete with everything necessary to begin recording data right away, including CD-R media, USB 2.0 interface cable and power cable. It is available now at leading technology retailers across the U.S. at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $179.00.

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

Jul 11 - Online Sales Growth Accelerates With 51% Yearly Gain. Retailing online took another great leap forward as ecommerce sales grew by 51% in the just-ended second quarter 2002 versus the same quarter, 2001, according to recent numbers from BizRate.com, the leading comparison shopping site and e-commerce research firm. Sales of $11.92 billion eclipsed last year's second quarter revenues of $7.91 billion by $4 billion.

"Ecommerce is clearly reaping the rewards of a steady acceleration in the online migration and adoption rate," said Chuck Davis, President and CEO for BizRate.com. "What is especially exciting is to see the growth rate continue to grow, as consumers swear by the 24x7 convenience of buying from work and home. Furthermore, consumers love the power of comparison shopping online, especially since the offline mall-to-mall experience is much more cumbersome and costly."

The 51% growth rate for the second quarter 2002 versus the same quarter, 2001 is in stark contrast to the 21% increase in Q2 2001 versus Q2 2000. Furthermore, this is the third consecutive quarter in which the growth rate has accelerated. Last year's third quarter grew at a 20% sales clip over Q3 2000. The fourth quarter, which includes the holidays, increased at a 35% clip. This year's first quarter grew at a 41% pace versus the first quarter of 2001.

Overall, BizRate.com now projects the full year 2002 to grow at a 45% pace versus 2001, to $51.98 billion of online sales. Last year's $35.87 billion of online sales was only 24% higher than the 2000 figure.

Contributing to the increased sales is both a greater volume of orders and higher purchase amounts per transaction. Online orders grew 45% from 67.39 million in Q2 2001 to 97.77 million orders in this year's second quarter. The average purchase amount also increased - to $122, a 4% jump from Q2 2001's $117.

"With the average shopper visiting 3.2 sites before making a purchase, comparison shopping sites make it faster and more convenient for shoppers to find what they need in a single visit," continued Davis. "With this influx of savvy consumers combing the Web for the best online shopping deals, we can only expect this accelerating online growth rate to continue onwards and upwards."

Founded in 1996 and based in Los Angeles, BizRate.com (www.bizrate.com) is a leading comparison shopping site on the Web.

Jul 10 - Toshiba's New Satellite Notebook Has Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. To meet the needs of today's mobile PC users who are demanding power, performance and added sophistication, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announces the introduction of the Satellite(R) 1955-S801, a unique portable PC featuring a super-size display and innovative wireless technology.

Delivering an unparalleled mobile computing environment, the Satellite 1955-S801 combines a detachable wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse with a stunning 16.0" diagonal SXGA display to create a perfect balance of power, flexibility and engineering expertise for less than $2,500.

"Toshiba is an innovator and will continue to drive the industry by bringing to market new mobile and wireless products that keep our customers productive and on the cutting-edge of mobile computing," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG. "The Satellite 1955 combines wireless technology, with powerful performance and a stunning display for a one-of-a-kind mobile computing experience."

A Formidable Foundation

The power behind the Satellite 1955-S801 is the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor, 2.0GHz, a 40GB(a) hard disk drive and 512MB of SDRAM ready to handle any application with ease. As a result, users can take desktop power on the road, while remaining productive with the Satellite 1955's high capacity Lithium-Ion battery, which gives users ample time to work on a presentation. To maximize the theater experience of the 16.0" diagonal display, the Satellite 1955 comes outfitted with a detachable wireless keyboard. Users can easily detach the keyboard while watching a DVD movie, and a wireless mouse complements the keyboard for additional flexibility.

Multimedia and Productivity Features for Work and Play

The Satellite 1955-S801 includes the NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 440 Go, 32MB graphics processing unit (GPU), to deliver breakthrough 3D performance, to enhance the notebook's multimedia experience. With a DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive, three USB ports and a built-in i.Link(R) (IEEE 1394) port for fast data transfer, the Satellite 1955-S801 is the ultimate notebook for people who need desktop performance in a mobile format.

Pricing and Availability

Priced at $2,499, the Satellite 1955-S801 is now available via www.csd.toshiba.com or through retail channels.

Jul 10 - Belkin Introduces USB Flash Drive. Belkin, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories, today introduced its new line of Universal Serial Bus (USB) Flash Drives.

With the Belkin USB Flash Drive, users can move and store data with ease. A simple connection to the USB port on a laptop, PC, or workstation allows users to start saving and transporting important business and personal data. With enough room to store documents, presentations, downloaded music and videos, high-resolution photographs, etc., users can begin reading, writing, copying, deleting, and moving data back and forth from their hard disk drive to their USB Flash Drive-all without a mechanical drive.

The Belkin USB Flash Drive takes advantage of USB Plug-and-Play capability, so all users need to do is plug the unit into the USB port and their computer will automatically detect it as a removable disk drive. A write/delete protection switch ensures no data will be lost accidentally. The USB Flash Drive does not require a battery or special software and is fully compatible with Windows® Me and 2000, Linux® kernel version 2.4, and all Mac® OS programs. Drivers for Windows 98 and 98 SE are also included.

The line features a number of storage capacities: 16MB (F5U025-16MB - ESP $49.99), 32MB (F5U025-32MB - ESP $69.99), 64MB (F5U025-64MB - ESP $89.99), and 128MB (F5U025-128MB - ESP $124.99). Sleek in design, all are set to start shipping in North America on July 23, 2002.

For more information, visit the company's website at www.belkin.com.

Jul 10 - PowerLeap Announces 1.4GHz Upgrade for Pentium II and Pentium III Systems. PowerLeap is pleased to announce the release of two new 1.4GHz CPU upgrade solutions for existing Pentium II and Pentium III computers.

The PL-iP3/T(TM) is PowerLeap's very popular slot-1 upgrade solution and the PL-370/T(TM) is for socket 370-based systems. Both solutions are now certified and available with the high-performance Intel Celeron 1.4GHz CPU.

"These products have appeal to just about every consumer, business, school, non-profit, and government office that has Pentium II and Pentium III computers. In many cases, you can double the performance of your computers for a fraction of the cost of a new PC -deferring the replacement for another 12-24 months," comments Steve Nash, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

In addition to providing cost-effective performance enhancement products for home and office PCs, PowerLeap also is actively promoting the upgrade concept as a solution to the growing environmental concerns surrounding the more than 63 million computers expected to be "retired" in the US by 2005, according to National Safety Council estimates. By extending their useful life, PowerLeap's processor upgrades help keep more PCs on the desktop and out of landfills.

PowerLeap is now shipping the PL-iP3/T 1400C and the PL-370/T 1400C. The retail price for both solutions is $169.95 (USD).

PowerLeap has a full line of CPU upgrades for 486, Pentium, Pentium II, Celeron, Pentium III, and Pentium 4-based systems. More information can be found at www.powerleap.com.

Jul 10 - Average Base Salary for IT Professionals Has Increased 5.1 Percent. A new study by people3, a Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) company, reports that the average base salary for all IT jobs in 2002 is $67,900 (a 5.1 percent increase over 2001) and total cash compensation is $72,900 (a 6.1 percent increase over 2001).

The findings in people3's 2002 IT Market Compensation Study are based on research compiled from survey data submitted by 153 organizations and represent detailed compensation data for 33,771 IT employees within the United States.

"Quite often leadership is confronted with the conflicting goals of cutting costs, while at the same time providing their employees with competitive pay," said Diane M. Berry, vice president of research at people3. "While controlling compensation costs might provide a short-term financial benefit, the ramifications of losing top talent, especially people who possess skills or knowledge critical to the operation of a particular enterprise, far outweigh the monetary savings."

The study cited competitive market-based pay as the most effective retention practice in 2002 (it ranked fourth in 2001), while a competitive benefits package came in second with strong IT leadership and vision coming in third.

Other findings from the study include:

-- 1. The positions that take the longest average time to fill
are Database Administrator and Security Manager, requiring an
average of 3.2 months to fill.

-- 2. The skills for which companies reported the greatest
difficulty in recruiting is Unix, with Microsoft SQL Server
coming in second and Java coming in third.

-- 3. 69.3 percent of surveyed companies experienced a turnover
rate of 5 percent or less in their IT department.

-- 4. Employees with less than two years of service accounted for
40.9 percent of turnover, and employees with less than three
years of service accounted for a total of 59.3 percent of
turnover.

For more information on people3, visit www.people3.com.

Jul 10 - Growth of Wireless Internet is Stagnant. There has been little or no growth in the number of users of wireless Internet over the past year, according to Solomon-Wolff Associates, a New Jersey-based market research firm, specializing in personal communications issues.

In Solomon-Wolff's latest study, conducted in January 2002, only six percent of Internet users report that they use Wireless Internet. This number has remained about the same across three consecutive semi-annual studies.

The stunted growth may result from a declining interest level, the study suggests. Consumers have reported declining interest levels in each of the past three studies. In January 2002, 22 percent of Internet users indicated that they had interest in Wireless Internet, down from 39 percent in January 2001.

"Declines like this are not usually associated with rapidly growing products or services," explains Ms. Joey Wolff, partner, Solomon-Wolff Associates. "The declining interest level may be due to the perceived cost of wireless Internet. Although it is possible to obtain wireless Internet service for a low price, there is a perception of high prices. And the current subscribers of the service are paying more than three times the amount non-users are willing to spend."

The Solomon-Wolff survey indicates that current wireless Internet users report that they spend an average of $30.33 per month for the service, while non-users who are interested in the service are only willing to spend an average of $9.44 per month.

According to Wolff, the stagnation of wireless Internet may also be due to the fact that it is a secondary business for major service providers. The leading companies providing wireless Internet service offer it in conjunction with other services, such as wireless telephone service.
Of the five companies with the largest market shares of Wireless Internet users, four are wireless telephone companies -- Sprint, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Cingular, and the other is an Internet company -- AOL. According to Wolff, these companies may be focusing marketing efforts on their primary business, not on wireless Internet.

"Is the lack of interest in wireless Internet due to the fact that it is seen as an e-mail service?" said Wolff.

Of current wireless Internet users, 59 percent report that they use the service mostly for sending and receiving e-mail messages. In addition, of those who do not have wireless Internet but report interest in the service, 62 percent would use it primarily for sending and receiving email messages.

"People are already paying for Internet service and have access to e-mail through this service. They do not want to pay for their e-mail twice," explained Wolff. "As a result of the dot-com meltdown, there are less product offerings and new innovations. Perhaps if there were companies presenting a new application or a new product that was unique to wireless Internet, interest would be increasing rather than declining."

Jul 09 - MicronPC Introduces the TransPort T1000 Notebook Computer. MicronPC, a Gores Technology Group company, today introduced the TransPort(R) T1000 notebook computer.

Weighing just over 5 pounds, the TransPort T1000 is among the fastest, lightest fully-featured notebooks on the market today. Based on Intel's mobile Pentium(R) 4-M processor and supporting a blazing 400MHz Front Side Bus, the TransPort T1000 offers speed and mobility to customers looking for a cutting-edge notebook computer, without sacrificing performance, features or screen size.

Designed with both functionality and portability in mind, the TransPort T1000 is ideal for customers looking for a portable notebook computer as their primary computer. Unlike other desktop replacement notebooks that sacrifice either functionality or portability, the TransPort T1000 is a full-featured, expandable notebook computer in a small, light package. Delivering the best in mobile computing performance, the TransPort T1000 integrates the latest processor technology with Intel's Pentium 4-M processor, support for PC2100 DDR memory, and ATI's Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics solution. The TransPort T1000 is also flexible and expandable, offering a variety of peripheral options and expansion sockets.

"The TransPort T1000 is MicronPC's primary mobile notebook solution. With its combination of performance, flexibility and compact size, it is a perfect notebook computer for customers looking for a complete solution in a small, portable package," said Paul Petersen, vice president of product marketing and development for MicronPC.

More information can be found at www.micronpc.com.

Jul 09 - Argus Announces Affordable 2.1 Megapixel Digital Camera. Now everyone can afford a multi-megapixel digital camera. The new DC3510 from Argus Camera, a leading provider of quality digital, 35mm, Advanced Photo System (APS) and Power Zoom cameras, has broken the $200 price barrier bringing high-quality digital imaging to the average consumer.

This menu-driven, 2.1 megapixel digital camera has all the features you would expect from a high-quality device including a 2X digital zoom lens, burst capability of two to five pictures per shot, eight megabytes of internal memory, an SD Card memory expansion slot, a macro setting for phenomenal one-to-one close-ups, a built-in 1.5-inch LCD monitor and a built-in flash.

In addition, the DC3510 is one of the few digital cameras on the market that provides date and time stamping on every picture, so you have a chronological record of your latest expedition. This feature can also be useful for businesses that need to know when a photo was taken, such as photos of damage to cars or cargo for insurance purposes.

"This is an exciting new era in photography and should be open to anyone that wants to jump on board," says Bill Pearson, president of Argus Camera. "There is no reason why the average consumer shouldn't have the opportunity to experience what was once only available to those with $600 or more to spend."

The DC3510 can also be attached to any computer with an available USB port and has video and audio out capabilities, which allow it to be used as a PC or Web cam for video conferencing or chatting on line.

Priced at $179, and expected to sell for as little as $149, the DC3510 comes with an extensive software package from MGI Software and will be available at most major retailers.

Visit the company's Web site at www.arguscamera.com.

July 09 - Mac Community Rallies for Largest Ever Macworld New York. IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class tradeshows, conferences and events for IT markets around the globe, today announced that next week's Macworld Conference & Expo/New York will be the largest ever, occupying nearly 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space with nearly 250 exhibitors. Macworld Conference & Expo, New York City's largest annual technology event, will feature dozens of new product announcements by the industry's most influential, cutting-edge companies.
Macworld Conference & Expo, the world's most comprehensive Macintosh OS event, will take place July 15-19, 2002 at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The expo floor will open on July 17.
Consumers, creative professionals, educators and Mac enthusiasts will have hands-on access to the newest hardware and software for the Macintosh, including a number of new products unveiled recently by Apple. Among the companies announcing new products at the event are:


-- 21st Century Media (booth 1837) will introduce cast:stream 1.5, which allows users to broadcast fully interactive, rich media presentations synchronized with live and on-demand video and audio.
-- El Gato Software (booth 1651) will showcase EyeTV, a digital video recorder that allows users to watch and record television shows on their Mac. With Eye TV, users can pause live television and then resume watching whenever they're ready.
-- Extensis, Inc. (booth 466) will announce the release of Portfolio Server for OS X, which allows large workgroups to efficiently share, organize and distribute digital photos, images and other files in a cross-platform environment.
-- Matterform Media (booth 1541) will introduce Spamfire Pro, a new anti-spam utility to delete unwanted email that comes with hundreds of built-in filters and automatic Internet updates.
-- M-Audio (booth 674) will announce Sonica, an external USB audio upgrade that adds professional-quality, crystal clear 24bit/96kHz audio to a laptop or desktop. Sonica also outputs true 5.1 surround sound from the Mac.
-- Pixologic (booth 1446) will unveil Zbrush version 1.5, a digital art creation program that enables digital artists to create high-quality, original artwork in a highly creative and interactive environment.
-- Runtime Labs (booth 1347) will introduce MacSQL Framework, a Mac OS X dynamic shared library that enables seamless integration between Applescript Studio or Cocoa applications and SQL databases.
-- STEP inside design (booth 1643), formerly Step-By-Step Graphics, will launch its inaugural issue, revealing the stories behind the projects created by leading designers, illustrators and photographers.
-- Stone Design (booth 573) will announce the immediate free availability of new versions of StampInStone(TM) and all seven applications included in Stone Studio, featuring PStill(TM) and TimeEqualsMoney(TM).

Macworld attendees will also have the opportunity to network with their peers and learn from scores of educational sessions and forums held at the event. For complete information about Macworld Conference & Expo, or to register for the event, visit www.macworldexpo.com.

July 09 - X-traFun, Inc. Offers Low Cost Bluetooth Internet Appliance. You can now wirelessly access the Internet with a plug-n-play USB Bluetooth(R) communicator that connects to any Windows(R) based PC or laptop computers with an established ISP connection.
X-traFun(TM)'s wireless communicator is about the size of your thumb and will retail for less than $49. You can simultaneously connect up to six additional Bluetooth wireless-enabled devices within 100 meters of the access appliance. The wireless communicators bandwidth is 724Kbps and includes 128-bit security encryption. Mobile Internet web surfing at the home or office is one of several applications besides home networking.

This product will provide the customer an alternative choice before spending $300 and more dollars on the traditional embedded wireless access appliances on the market or purchasing a new computer with Bluetooth already built in. "The beauty of this wireless product is it provides a low-cost interim solution for those individuals that want the benefits of wireless Bluetooth without spending a lot of money on new hardware platforms," says Mark Kramer, President and CEO of X-traFun, Inc. He goes on to add, "This was originally identified as a key market barrier in selling our Bluetooth wireless Game Boy Cartridge in the customers home."
X-traFun Inc., of Castle Rock, Colorado, has already designed and developed the wireless cartridge interface for the Game Boy family of products that will enable mobile edutainment for children of all ages. Besides interactive game playing, kids can receive and send e-mails, perform chat messaging, e-book reading, and print. Parents can even send messages to their children while away from home. The company plans to offer additional benefits before it launches to the public, including a small folding wireless keyboard. The company is focusing on communication functions that support entertainment, education, remote control, medical and television broadcast markets.

For more information on X-traFun, Inc., visit their website at: www.x-trafun.com.

 

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