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Daily Computer News and Rumors

July 17-24 2003

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Jul 24 Panasonic Debuts Lightest Rugged Notebook With DVD/CD-RW Drive
Jul 24 Planar Delivers New Line of Flat-Panel Monitors
Jul 24 LEA Announces Elektra and Netplug Family of Powerline Networking Products
Jul 24 MeterNet Launches BankALARM Security Software
Jul 24 America Online to Launch AOL Cash Card Program for Teens
Jul 23 Dell PowerEdge 400SC Server Costs Less than $500
Jul 23 New Intel Compilers Target Wireless Devices
Jul 23 Nextel Offers Ruggedized Modems
Jul 23 RedCannon Security Introduces Fireball CyberProtection Suite
Jul 23 Astraware Rolls Out GTS Racing Challenge for Pocket PC
Jul 22 Intel And Linksys To Improve Wireless Broadband Experience
Jul 22 Toshiba to Ship Media Center Notebook PC with Wide-Screen Display
Jul 22 Sharp Actius RD20 Desktop Replacement Notebook Gets Performance Boost
Jul 22 Samsung Electronics Unveils the World's Fastest CPU for Mobile Devices
Jul 22 CSR's Bluetooth solution brings telephony functionality to Microsoft's 'Athens' prototype PC
Jul 21 Dell Says Customer Are Shifting to Standard Enterprise Technology
Jul 21 SanDisk Announces Record Revenues
Jul 21 Transmeta Reports Q2 FY03 Results
Jul 21 Kano Intros Fast 4x DVD+RW/R Drives For Macs, PCs
Jul 21 Formac Unveils New 19.0'' LCD
Jul 20 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jul 18 AMD Reports Second Quarter Results
Jul 18 VoodooPC Chooses ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 9600 for Gaming Notebook
Jul 18 Vendors Will Push Embedded-WLAN to 90 Percent of Notebooks by 2008
Jul 18 FirewireDirect Unleashes Latest Portable FireWire USB 2.0 Hard Drive System
Jul 18 SecurSoftware Unveils SecurLock Version 1.3 for PCs
Jul 17 Nikon Announces Three New Coolpix® Digital Cameras
Jul 17 DPS Now Shipping Dual Format Dual Interface DVD Burner
Jul 17 Transmeta's Energy Efficient Processor in First Sub-$1000 Tablet PC
Jul 17 ATI Introduces RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition
Jul 17 Cypress Announces General Availability of WirelessUSB EX
Jul 17 Analysis Reveals Porn Spam Levels Sensationalized

 

Jul 24 - Panasonic Debuts Lightest Rugged Notebook With DVD/CD-RW Drive. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, world's leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, today introduced the industry's only under-three-pound ultra-portable uniting legendary Toughbook(R) durability with an integrated high-performance DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and the unprecedented processing prowess, wireless connectivity, and energy efficiency of Intel's advanced Centrino(TM) mobility platform.

"Consider the new Toughbook(R) CF-W2 a reaffirmation of our determination to provide the highest attainable levels of performance, technological innovation, and durability throughout the entire Toughbook(R) line," said Panasonic Computer Solutions Company president Rance Poehler. "The W2 is the lightest notebook in the industry with an integrated combo drive...and best part is that it is a Toughbook."

"Adapting Centrino's architecture to this form factor has enabled us to offer advanced features previously available only in full-size notebooks with hot, heavy, ultra-capacity power cells," Poehler added. "I believe our customers will appreciate the job our engineers did integrating the DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive into W2 without taking any hit whatsoever in battery runtime, cooling efficiency, portability or ruggedization. Our engineering department worked very closely with Intel on the development of this product.

The CF-W2 was also engineered for maximum integration with Intel's state-of-the-art Centrino(TM) mobile technology.

"Enveloped in a high-style magnesium case with a shock mounted HD, Panasonic's CF-W2 sets a new standard for lightweight, two spindle, and durability features. We are expecting a very high demand for this product," comments Poehler.

Toughbook(R) W2 CF-AWAZZKM Intel(R) 900MHz ULV Pentium M CPU, Centrino(TM) system architecture, 12.1" XGA TFT Active-Matrix Display, 40GB HDD, 256MB RAM, internal DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, 100BASE-TX/10 BASE-T wired LAN, 56K analog modem. Estimated Street Price: $ 2,250

Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be obtained at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

Jul 24 - Planar Delivers New Line of Flat-Panel Monitors. Planar Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLNR), a worldwide leader in flat-panel display systems, is launching the new PE line of flat-panel monitors that delivers excellent performance for cost-conscious buyers. With the addition of the PE line's 15-, 17- and 19-inch models, Planar now offers a flat-panel monitor for every desktop computing application and budget, further speeding the adoption of flat-panel monitors as the standard choice for display technology.

The entry-level PE line rounds out Planar's broad offering of dependable desktop displays, which includes the award-winning mid-level PL line, ideal for home or office; and the premium PX models, designed for high-performance video and business applications.
The PE monitors are designed for corporate users as well as home office users and students -- anyone who demands reliable performance at an attractive price. Planar's PE monitors feature a thin-bezel design and built-in power supply for greater space savings and are compatible with VESA wall-mounting standards. Continuing Planar's commitment to customer satisfaction, every Planar monitor includes an industry leading 3-year "Customer First" warranty, featuring free 2-day-air advance replacement.

"Consumers have been watching as LCD monitor offerings and screen performance have steadily improved in recent years," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at iSuppli/Stanford Resources. "The majority of monitor customers are already sold on the technology with price remaining as the only barrier for many of them. As prices decline on LCD monitors, the already strong shift towards LCDs from CRTs will accelerate."

According to iSuppli/Stanford Resources, the markets for 17- and 19-inch LCD monitors comprise the fastest growing segments worldwide, with unit demand increasing 59 and 83 percent respectively, between 2003 and 2007. Data also show that worldwide unit demand for LCD monitors will exceed that of CRT monitors by Q1 2004.

"With the new PE line, Planar helps a wider range of computer users enjoy the visual performance of flat-panel technology and raises the bar for what every user should expect from their monitor," said Erick Petersen, general manager of commercial business Planar. "The PE line provides our channel partners with an entry-level product with the quality, performance and commitment to customer satisfaction they have come to expect from Planar."

Planar's PE monitors are available now in black or white, and feature the following attributes:

PE150:

15-inch diagonal screen

400:1 contrast ratio

200 Nit brightness

1024 x 768 resolution (XGA)

Estimated street price of $289

PE170:

17-inch diagonal screen

350:1 contrast ratio

300 Nit brightness

1280 x 1024 resolution (SXGA)

Estimated street price of $429

PE190:

19-inch diagonal screen

600:1 contrast ratio

300 Nit brightness

1280 x 1024 resolution (SXGA)

Estimated street price of $599

Planar's extensive product line includes the PL line in 15-, 17-, 19-, 20- and 23-inch sizes, PX line in 17-, 19-, and 21-inch sizes and PT touch-screen models in 12-, 15-inch sizes. Details for each model and links to resellers can be found at www.planar.com.

Jul 24 - LEA Announces Elektra and Netplug Family of Powerline Networking Products. LEA, a world leader in the development of ADSL and Powerline technology, today announces a complete product line of Powerline Networking products.

These products create a complete no-new-wires networking solution for the home and small business. The LEA Powerline product set is composed of the Elektra ADSL/PowerLine Gateway for broadband ADSL access and LAN inter-working, and the Netplug series of single port Ethernet, USB and PCI adapters. An additional product is the Netplug Bridge, which enables the distribution of Broadband on-premise using existing cable/ADSL modems or routers/hubs/switches.

The Elektra ADSL/Powerline Gateway combines ADSL access with Powerline networking to provide a fully managed solution for the distribution of Broadband on-premise. The Elektra also supports existing network connectivity with Ethernet and USB interfaces.
The Netplug is a family of Powerline adapters which interconnects the Powerline network to PCs, mainframes, printers, cameras etc. via Ethernet, USB and PCI interfaces. The Netplug Bridge product allows customers to use existing ADSL/cable modems to set up a Powerline network in conjunction with the LEA Netplug adapters. All the products conform to the HomePlug specification and are CE marked for the European market.

Powerline networking provides all the benefits of a LAN network without the need for new wiring or sockets. There are power outlets throughout the premise, creating a secure environment for the transfer of files, email, music, games, video and voice between all devices on the network and allow secure access to the Internet.

"The Elektra ADSL/Powerline Gateway is a 2003 European Information Society Technology Prize winner confirming LEA as a leader in ADSL and Powerline networking with a world class family of products to support this position," said Eric Berthaud, CEO of LEA. "The tremendous growth in Internet services has created an unprecedented demand for Broadband access and networking in the home and small business. LEA's Elektra ADSL/Powerline Gateway and Netplug Powerline Adapters provide a cost effective 'plug-and-go' network solution available on every wall of every room."

About LEA S.A.

Founded in 1999, this dynamic French corporation has targeted the broadband wireline market and established itself as a world class, ISO 9001 certified supplier of ADSL/VDSL splitters, Powerline Communications, and xDSL Interoperability Test Service solutions. LEA's headquarters are in Rennes France. www.leacom.fr.

Jul 24 - MeterNet Launches BankALARM Security Software. With over thirty-five million people now using their personal computer to bank online every month, it's not surprising there has been a dramatic increase in identity theft cases over the last 24 months. It has been estimated that 57% of all hacking attacks are financial related and identity theft cases will double by the year 2005.

Every personal computer has a large number of software "Service Ports" that are available every time the PC communicates or surfs via the Internet. However, hackers with rogue scanners find ways to access computers using these "Service Ports" without user knowledge. Identity thieves can use these sophisticated tools to gain access to users' computers to capture private information and passwords.

New BankALARM is powerful real-time security software and update service that helps to protect personal identity online by providing real-time network monitoring, program filtering, spyware detection and port control. BankALARM enables consumers to establish their own Client Intruder Detection System (C_IDS) for each personal computer which tracks all activity with optional lock down and cloak settings.

BankALARM protects in the background from an easy-to-read control panel with simple click-on, click-off navigation. BankALARM appeals to late adopters who find other security products too complex to understand, set-up or operate.

BankALARM provides tighter control & advanced Real-Time security to improve online defense for all computer users, beginner to expert. Annual subscriptions cost $49.00 per computer per year and can be ordered online securely using PayPal at http://bankalarm.com. Customers receive a BankALARM CD-ROM shipped directly to register their personal computer (WinXP required).

Jul 24 - America Online to Launch AOL Cash Card Program for Teens. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced that an AOL(R) Cash Card program for teens and young adults will be available to members as a new feature of AOL(R) 9.0 Optimized, the latest version of the AOL and AOL(R) for Broadband services. AOL members will be able to sign up for the AOL Cash Card program at no charge and there is no annual card fee.

The AOL Cash Card program, developed in partnership with Visa and their successful Visa Buxx program, provides a parent-controlled, re-loadable payment card for teens and young adults that gives them a way to make purchases, learn how to budget and manage their money responsibly - all within the guidelines set by their parents.
The program allows parents to set spending limits, track their teen's spending, load additional funds onto the account every month or set up a recurring load schedule to maintain the card as an "allowance," receive real-time updates on purchases, and access transaction histories entirely online through the AOL service. In addition, online money tools help teach teens and young adults about key financial concepts such as budgeting, savings, investing, e-commerce and more.

As part of the program, teens will receive an AOL Visa Buxx Cash Card, which looks like a traditional Visa card with a magnetic stripe and the teen user's name embossed on the card. The card may be used for purchases, both online and offline, anywhere Visa is accepted, and may also be used for cash withdrawals at ATM machines.
The AOL Visa Buxx Cash Card is a prepaid card, not a credit card that functions as a loan from a bank, or a debit card that draws on funds from a checking account. Each transaction draws from a fixed amount of money that parents load onto the card. The card will be issued by Bank One, the largest Visa card issuer in the world, and carries no annual fees for AOL members.

The AOL Cash Card program is a smart and effective introduction to financial responsibility and budgeting concepts for teens of all ages - from younger teens who are learning how to manage an allowance or income from a first job, to older teens and young adults who are away at college.

AOL members will be able to sign up for the AOL Cash Card program at no charge. The program will be available for members with teenagers ages 13 and up that have Screen Names on AOL 9.0 Optimized. It will be fully integrated with AOL's Parental Controls and will also be available at AOL Keyword: Cash Card. To learn more about AOL 9.0 Optimized, visit www.aolepk.com.

Jul 23 - Dell PowerEdge 400SC Server Costs Less than $500. A new single-processor Dell(tm) (Nasdaq:DELL) server offers small- and medium-sized businesses big performance at a great value.

The PowerEdge 400SC is the first server from a major systems manufacturer to feature an 800 MHz front side bus and starts at just $499. Powered by an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at up to 3.2GHz and up to 4GB of memory, the new server is optimized for the network infrastructure and file or print applications of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB). In addition, the server's compact pedestal chassis and intuitive setup tools enable small organizations with little or no IT staff to easily replace a desktop-based network with their first server.

"Our SMB customers tell us that to be competitive they need the fastest technology at the lowest price," said Neil Hand, director of Product Marketing, Dell Product Group. "By delivering industry firsts in performance features, the PowerEdge 400SC provides customers with plenty of computing power so they can stay focused on growing their business."

Additional specifications include:

-- Two IDE or SCSI drives

-- ECC 400MHz DDR memory

-- Integrated Gigabit(a) Ethernet network connection

-- Hardware RAID controller options

The PowerEdge 400SC is available immediately with factory installation of Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Red Hat(R) Linux. Services available include Dell's complete networking assessment, installation and training for small and growing businesses to simplify the design, setup and management of customers' computer networks.
Additional information on PowerEdge servers can be found at www.dell.com/poweredge.

Jul 23 - New Intel Compilers Target Wireless Devices. Intel Corporation today introduced its first compilers to help developers write applications for Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture-based PDAs, cell phones and other wireless devices using Intel® XScale™ technology-based processors.

Software developers use compilers to translate such programming languages as C++ into the language understood by the processor. An efficient compiler is an important part of helping software run at top speeds.

The new Intel® C++ Compiler for Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++ is part of Intel's suite of compilers, which also includes tools for Intel® Pentium® 4, Intel® Xeon™ and Intel® Itanium® 2 processors. Developers can now use one set of tools for applications that span enterprise, home and mobile computing devices based on Intel processors.

"Availability of these new compilers means developers now have optimized tools to improve the performance of applications spanning Intel-based mobile and wireless devices, desktops and servers," said Jon Khazam, general manager of Intel's Software Products Division. "Our detailed knowledge of processor architecture allows us to design tools for the Intel XScale technology, Pentium 4, Intel Xeon and Intel Itanium 2 processor families that bring out the best in Intel-based computing and communication systems."

Optimized for Intel XScale technology-based processors, applications built with the new compilers should exhibit improved graphical quality, enhanced user-interactivity and better communication with other devices in a network. Personal productivity applications, games and core cell-phone operations and utilities can also realize performance benefits.

"By switching to the Intel® C++ compiler and tools for Intel XScale technology, we achieved a 45 percent performance improvement in the core parts of our voice-over-IP application for handheld devices," said Mats Perjons, director of product management, Global IP Sound. "In addition to this impressive performance improvement, the compatibility and quality of technical support that Intel provided were important factors in selecting the Intel compilers for software development targeted at handheld devices."

The compilers are available in two forms: the Intel® C++ Compiler for Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++ is available for the suggested list price of $399 and is intended for application development use.
The Intel® C++ Compiler for Platform Builder for Microsoft Windows CE .NET is available for the suggested list price of $1,499 and is intended for OEM and system integrator use. Each product is available today from Intel and resellers worldwide for download and on CDROM. More information is available at www.intel.com/software/products.

Jul 23 - Nextel Offers Ruggedized Modems. New Rugged and GPS-Enabled iR1200 Wireless Modems Extend Communication Capabilities for Mobile and Field Service Workers and Enable Unique Business Productivity Solutions for Industries Including Public Sector, Utilities, Transportation, and Construction

Nextel Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) and eLutions, today announced new rugged wireless modems that meet the performance and durability requirements of users in demanding environments. The iR1200 is the latest addition to Nextel's portfolio of wireless products, services, and software. Moisture resistant and designed to function in extreme temperatures, the iR1200 Rugged Modem and the iR1200 GPS-Enabled Modem allow mobile workers to connect laptops, mobile data terminals, and PDAs to Nextel's nationwide network for real-time remote access to company databases and mission-critical data applications in industrial and/or turbulent settings.

"The iR1200 significantly enhances Nextel's portfolio of data device solutions. Nextel customers now have the power to access our nationwide always-on packet data network and dial-up circuit data services safely, effectively and efficiently in extreme surroundings." said Ernie Cormier, vice president of the Business Solutions Group at Nextel. "As a company, we are committed to meeting the unique needs of our customers, whether in the enterprise space or in the public sector. Coupled with Nextel's suite of industry-related software applications, the iR1200 makes real the promise of anywhere, anytime computing on Nextel's national network."

"We are excited to introduce these new solutions, complete with our applications software capability, in a cooperative effort with Nextel," said Rick Burant, managing director of the Wireless Technologies Business Unit at eLutions. A number of industries may leverage Nextel's data network and the iR1200 modems to wirelessly enable their mobile workforce, including public sector, utilities, transportation and construction. For those companies whose mobile workers must have access to vital information in extreme work environments, the iR1200 modem is an incredibly powerful tool."

Features include an optional global-positioning system (GPS) capability, allowing users to harness the power of location-based services for fleet management and tracking applications. The modems also meet military specifications for resistance to temperature, shock, vibration, moisture, dust and electromagnetic radiation, ensuring consistent operations even in unforgiving environments. Both iR1200 products offer mounting hardware built for a no-hassle replacement of many CDPD modems and easy configuration to a variety of devices with standard dial-up networking or TCP/IP commands.

The iR1200 Rugged Modem and iR1200 GPS-Enabled Modem may be purchased through Nextel's Direct Sales, Corporate Accounts, National Authorized Representatives, Local Authorized Representatives and Public Sector sales channels. The iR1200 Rugged Modem is available for the promotional price of $624.99; the iR1200 GPS-Enabled Modem is available for the promotional price of $824.99.

For more information, visit www.nextel.com.

Jul 23 - RedCannon Security Introduces Fireball CyberProtection Suite. RedCannon Security, the newest guardian against Internet hackers, cyber criminals, Spammers and online stalkers, today launched the company's flagship security software offering, Fireball(TM) CyberProtection Suite.

Based on the company's patent-pending Surround Security Architecture, Fireball CyberProtection Suite guards against today's most advanced Internet-borne threats by providing users with multiple layers of protection. Fireball CyberProtection Suite combines the protection of a personal firewall, intrusion detection system, privacy controls, system assessment, parental controls, and complete IPSec virtual private network client (VPN) in a single, affordable software package, retailing for $49.95.

"The technology industry is just at the tip of the iceberg in bringing digital technology to the masses," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a market analysis and strategic research firm in Campbell, Calif. "The problem with technology in the mass market is that it leads to more opportunities for confusion and conflict, especially when it comes to addressing the issue of security online. What RedCannon has done with Fireball CyberProtection Suite, in overall functionality, look and feel, and price point, could help relieve some of the pain consumers feel when trying to figure out computer security. They have developed what appears to be a very solid offering for the consumer and mobile computing markets."

Easy to configure and very user friendly, Fireball protects the three points of entry where attacks can occur -- operating system, applications and communications protocols -- surrounding the entire desktop with a fully integrated set of security features. Fireball protects computers by analyzing all inbound and outbound traffic for malicious activity, shielding the desktop from Trojan horse programs, OS attacks, data leakage, invasion of privacy and even annoying pop-up ads. The product's core features are managed through an icon-driven, easy-to-understand console modeled after some of the most consumer-friendly software on the market today. Fireball CyberProtection Suite includes:

-- Multi-layer firewall -- a user's first line of defense,

RedCannon's advanced stateful firewall provides network and
application level protection, and includes both normal and
expert modes

-- Intrusion detection -- instantly identifies and blocks
Internet attacks and Trojan horse programs, signaling an
alert, providing a description of the attacker, and
identifying the type of attack

-- Parental controls/Profiles -- enables users to set up multiple
profiles for the users of a computer, and restrict access to
Web sites and applications, including setting time parameters
for how long a user (such as a child) may use an application.
The feature also monitors and logs Web site visits and
attempts, and records application usage.

-- Privacy -- includes a series of features such as Web content
filtering, inbound and outbound e-mail screening, cookie
protection and ad blocking

-- Vulnerability assessment -- automatically searches the
computer for known Microsoft security vulnerabilities and
automatically downloads the patches for proactive, ongoing
desktop protection

-- IPSec VPN Client -- Fireball CyberProtection Suite is the only
offering in the market currently shipping with a full,
integrated VPN client, enabling businesses to offer better
protection to remote offices and telecommuters. The fully
tested IPsec VPN client is compatible with CheckPoint, Cisco,
NetScreen and SonicWALL firewalls and VPN gateways.

"The evolving complexity of threats found on the Internet today, compounded with the always-connected networks brought about by the increasing use of broadband and wireless, demand a more integrated and innovative approach to desktop protection," said Vimal Vaidya, founder and CEO of RedCannon Security. "Fireball CyberProtection Suite delivers an unmatched feature set, in an affordable and easy-to-use package, that will actually encourage consumers to learn how to better protect themselves online."

Pricing and Availability

RedCannon Fireball CyberProtection Suite is available for download immediately for $49.95 at www.redcannon.com. The software will be available in leading retail outlets for the same price beginning in August 2003.

Jul 23 - Astraware Rolls Out GTS Racing Challenge for Pocket PC. Astraware Ltd and Pazzazz Games are launching a new Pocket PC version of the popular Palm OS auto racing game, GTS Racing Challenge. The game is a 3D racing game that delivers console-quality visuals and game-play to Pocket PC handhelds.

After GTS Racing Challenge was first released, the media universally applauded the game for its excellent graphics and game-play. BargainPDA commented, "Astraware is behind another great game -- this time it's the best looking racing game the Palm OS has ever seen," while Aximsite remarked, "No other racing games that are currently available on Pocket PC even come close to this one."

The game-play of GTS Racing Challenge is similar to SNES/Game Boy Advance titles like F-Zero or Mario Kart, but with large, realistic car sprites rendered in full color from 3D models. Both the players' view and cars are free to rotate in 3D, and the raceway is fully texture-mapped. The cars race along roadways with photo-realistic skylines.
The game offers a wide variety of racing options, including 32 separate racetracks and three different super-charged models of GTS race cars. Players will enjoy power sliding around corners, skidding into a U-turn for a sudden change of direction, or even cranking the wheel and "doing doughnuts" on the spot. Taken together, these features put GTS Racing Challenge at the cutting edge of PDA games.

"GTS Racing Challenge has already wowed the media and consumers alike as the most playable and thrilling car racing game available for the Palm OS," said Howard Tomlinson, Astraware's CEO. "Bringing this title to Pocket PCs will excite fans who have been eagerly awaiting the first quality race driving game for the platform."

Astraware has long been recognized as one of the top producers of PDA games while Pazzazz Games enjoys a solid reputation for developing 3D games for console game systems and PDAs. Astraware and Pazzazz Games first worked together in 2002 to develop a more advanced racing game than had ever before been available for Palm Powered(TM) handhelds, resulting in the launch of the original GTS Racing Challenge for Palm OS in February of 2003.

GTS Racing Challenge is priced at US$17.95 at Astraware's Web site, www.astraware.com.

Jul 22 - Intel And Linksys To Improve Wireless Broadband Experience. Intel Corporation and Linksys®, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc., today established a technology and marketing program to improve the experience of setting up and operating wireless networks in homes and small offices using Linksys wireless routers and access points and Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology.

The program includes joint engineering and co-marketing activities. Initially, Intel is conducting engineering testing or "verification" of Intel Centrino mobile technology with Linksys wireless access points and routers that are currently available. This process tests compatibility between these devices, further enhancing the end user's Intel Centrino mobile technology wireless experience.
The verified Linksys products will be identified with a label reading "Verified with Intel Centrino Mobile Technology" on the packaging to help inform consumers that the Intel and Linksys products have been tested to work together. The verification effort is under way, and verified Linksys products will be available starting this month at retail locations in the United States, Canada and other countries.

Intel and Linksys have also committed to work on new ways to maximize wireless performance and enhance wireless connectivity as part of the program. This includes plans to develop technology that will allow notebook PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology to detect the presence of Linksys wireless products and configure them with minimal effort by the end user. Today, notebook PCs are manually configured to interact with a wireless network. Work is under way to enable Intel and Linksys products with the advanced configuration technology in 2004.

"The rapid adoption of Intel Centrino mobile technology shows that mobile users support Intel's vision of mobile computing and faster, simpler access to the Internet," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and chief operating officer. "Intel Centrino mobile technology and Linksys wireless products are a powerful combination in the effort to broaden the use of wireless broadband."

"I truly believe that partnerships are one of the keys to the future success of the networking industry - benefiting not just partner companies, but the end customer with quicker access to technologies, greater innovation and ease of use," said John Chambers, Cisco president and chief executive officer. "The combination of Intel, Linksys and Cisco technologies helps to fuel wireless adoption in the home and enterprise markets, which are major areas of growth for the industry."

Representing Intel's best technology for mobile PCs, Intel Centrino mobile technology includes a new mobile processor, related chipsets and integrated 802.11 wireless capabilities that have been optimized, tested and validated to work together.
Intel has already verified Intel Centrino mobile technology interoperability with service providers whose networks support thousands of public wireless LAN "hot spots" worldwide. Linksys wireless access points and routers deliver seamless, trouble-free wireless broadband connectivity in home or small business environments using wireless LAN (802.11 a, b and g) technology.

For more information, visit the Linksys Web site at www.linksys.com.

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Jul 22 - Toshiba to Ship Media Center Notebook PC with Wide-Screen Display. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the Satellite P25-S607 notebook PC combining a 17.0-inch diagonal wide-screen (1440 x 900) display and television recording functionality to create a central home entertainment media console. The wireless-enabled Satellite P25-S607 will be available later this month for $2,699.

Draped in a unique, eye-catching blue design while integrating DVD, CD and television functionality, the Satellite P25-S607 is a welcome addition to any college dorm room, home office or living room setting. Powered by the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, users can record their favorite television programs for later viewing, store and access digital media and play DVDs directly from the notebook for a personal theater experience.

Offering a full array of multimedia features, the Satellite P25-S607 includes a built-in DVD-Multi drive allowing users to burn CDs and DVDs and act as a second hard drive to store critical data. Complementing the 17.0-inch diagonal wide-screen display, the notebook features the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) FX Go5200 graphics processing unit delivering breakthrough 3D imagery and rich color texture. Two harman/kardon(R) stereo speakers are also included enhancing audio/video playback and computer gaming.

In addition to a suite of multimedia and entertainment applications, the Satellite P25-S607 keeps users productive and connected. With integrated dual Wi-Fi(R) (IEEE 802.11a/b) wireless connectivity, Satellite P25-S607 customers with a wireless home network can enjoy the flexibility of wireless Internet access from any room in the home.

ConfigFree(TM) Software Takes the Hassle out of Wireless Connections

The Satellite P25-S607 ships standard with Toshiba's own uniquely designed ConfigFree software which allows easy control of communication devices and Wi-Fi connections. It enables the end user to find communications problems, offers the user suggestions and also creates profiles for easy switching between locations and communication networks. This cuts down on an organization's overall support costs and eliminates needless trouble shooting calls to Toshiba's service and support call center. And most importantly, it keeps the end user productive by minimizing unnecessary down time.

Visit www.tosohiba.com for more information.

Jul 22 - Sharp Actius RD20 Desktop Replacement Notebook Gets Performance Boost. Sharp Systems of America today announced a boost in performance in the Actius RD line of desktop replacement notebook computers. The enhancements include a processor upgrade, expanded memory capabilities, upgraded video processor and memory, and an upgrade to the optical drive to include DVD burning capabilities.

"Sharp is dedicated to offering the latest in innovation and advancement in our Actius line of notebook computers," said Terry Hanly, product marketing manager at Sharp Systems of America. "The Actius RD20 is a notebook that serves as an ideal home or office PC, delivering performance and function of a desktop computer in a portable notebook package."

The Actius RD20 -- A True Desktop Replacement

Designed for high performance, the Sharp Actius RD20 boasts true desktop performance. With an upgrade to the Intel(R) Pentium(R)4 3.06 GHz processor and driven by Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition operating system, the Actius RD20 is perfect for professional imaging, as well as memory-intensive video and gaming applications. The Actius RD20, which comes equipped with 512MB DDR SDRAM, is upgradeable to 1024MB. Complete with a 60GB hard drive, the Actius RD20 combines the performance and capabilities of a desktop computer with the flexibility of a notebook.

Leveraging Sharp's leadership in the LCD arena, the Actius RD20 boasts an extremely bright LCD display that is much brighter than standard notebook displays and provides viewing angles comparable to those of an LCD desktop monitor -- 160 degrees horizontally and 135 degrees vertically. The 15-inch XGA (1024 x 768) LCD screen provides bright, clear pictures in which even small letters are clearly legible. Featuring a one-touch brightness button, the Actius RD20 LCD screen can quickly be switched to its highest brightness for movie/picture viewing, or to a lower brightness for typical office application usage. The Actius RD20 provides users with unparalleled video performance.

Maximizing the advantage of having the most advanced notebook LCD screen on the market, Sharp is upgrading the video processor to the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM)4 440 Go graphic processing unit with 64MB of dedicated graphics memory. The GeForce(TM)4 440 Go delivers a host of video enhancements that include power management (via the NVIDIA PowerMizer(TM) Mobile technology) and high-resolution anti-aliasing to deliver amazing detail and performance for all applications.

"The Sharp Actius RD20 is a terrific notebook for users who insist on the best in technology and performance," said Jeff Fisher, executive vice president of worldwide sales with NVIDIA. "By combining the outstanding 3D graphics and superb video capabilities of the NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go with Sharp's superior LCD technology, Sharp has ensured that the Actius RD20 is a true stand-out among desktop replacement notebook computers."

To underline the Actius RD20's superior capability for video, the notebook computer also includes sharp-fx(TM), Sharp's exclusive DVD optimization software. This included module for InterVideo's WinDVD(R) player automatically adjusts image contrast for optimum clarity. Combined with the Actius RD20's high-quality 15-inch LCD screen, this image-enhancing software brings out the best DVD picture quality available in the notebook industry.

The Actius RD20 also receives a boost in its optical drive. One of the first notebooks in the U.S. market to support DVD-RAM technology, the Actius RD20 comes complete with a DVD multi-drive with DVD-R/-RW/RAM and CD-R/RW media compatibility that allows users to produce original DVDs, back up important data on DVD or CD, and watch DVD movies at the users' convenience. Fully equipped with premium-quality speakers under the LCD display, the Actius RD20 also supports 5.1 channel virtual surround sound for users using external 2 channel speakers with built-in Dolby Virtual Speaker (DVS) and WinDVD(R).

In addition to its strong performance, the Actius RD20 provides users with complete connectivity, including integrated IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN support. The Actius RD20 also includes Memory Stick(TM), SD memory card, SmartMedia(TM), and CompactFlash(TM) card slots, an IEEE1394 port and four USB 2.0-compliant ports.

The Actius RD20 will offer three of the hottest gaming titles available from Electronic Arts, Inc. Offered with the notebook will be Tiger Woods PGA Tour(R) 2003, James Bond 007: Nightfire, and Need For Speed(TM) Hot Pursuit 2. These titles leverage the graphics horsepower of the GeForce4 440 Go processor in the Actius RD20 -- it's "The way it's meant to be played."

The Actius RD20 is competitively priced with an estimated selling price of $2,499.

Availability

Immediately available, the Sharp Actius RD20 notebook computer is available through Sharp directly (http://sharp.smartermall.com), or through Sharp's network of retail partners and reseller channels.

Jul 22 - Samsung Electronics Unveils the World's Fastest CPU for Mobile Devices. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced the S3C2440, the world's fastest mobile CPU, with a core speed of 533MHz. The new mobile CPU will drive the emergence of new services, functions and multimedia content for mobile handheld devices such as PDAs and smartphones.

"The increasing popularity of mobile applications is driving the demand for high-performance, low-power mobile processors, " said Vice President Yun-tae Lee of the Mobile Design Project Team at SOC R&D Center, Samsung Electronics. "Samsung developed its newest 533MHz processor using its unique high-speed process and low-power design technology in conjunction with an optimized power management methodology for high performance operation from a minimal power source."

The S3C2440 enables value-added end-user features such as camera interface, TFT & STN LCD display support, SD/MMC/SDIO, USB host and device, and touch screen interface. By providing a comprehensive set of common system peripherals, the S3C2440 reduces overall system costs and eliminates the need to configure additional components.

The S3C2440 CPU supports major operating systems including Microsoft Windows CE, Palm OS, Symbian and Linux. The device also offers the advantages of a built-in NAND flash boot loader so that high-density NAND flash memory can be used without having to install an additional support chip.

The S3C2440 features an ARM920T core, a 16/32-bit RISC microprocessor for high performance in a small form-factor and a low core voltage of 1.3V. In addition, it is developed using 0.13um CMOS standard cell and a memory compiler and adopts Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture (AMBA).

A recent Gartner Dataquest forecast reveals the global application/ multimedia processor market is expected to reach 25 million units in 2003 and leap to 170 million units by 2007. Samsung's high-speed, low-power mobile S3C2440 CPU is sampling now in 533MHz, 400MHz, and 300MHz versions and will be in mass production from Q4 2003.

For more information, visit www.samsungsemi.com.

Jul 22 - CSR's Bluetooth solution brings telephony functionality to Microsoft's 'Athens' prototype PC. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio), today
announced that its BlueCore single-chip solution has been chosen by
Microsoft Corp. to bring Bluetooth wireless technology to its 'Athens'
prototype PC.

The 'Athens' PC is currently on a world tour that has recently included Bluetooth Congress in Amsterdam and Microsoft aims to use it to demonstrate how multiple forms of communication can be merged into a consistent and streamlined design. CSR's BlueCore has been used to enable integrated wireless telephony functionality that would allow a user to utilize a central communications unit via a wireless handset and headset.

Mike Foley, Wireless Architect, Microsoft & Former Chairman of the Board,
Bluetooth SIG commented, "In developing this prototype, we have paid
particular attention to ensuring that both 'Athens' hardware and software
are meshed as tightly as is possible. CSR's BlueCore solution is technology
that we have already integrated into our Bluetooth wireless keyboard and
mouse. Our experience tells us that BlueCore is a sturdy, robust product
and that the CSR's designers are fully capable of bringing their expertise
to such a demanding project as 'Athens'."

The 'Athens' prototype PC is intended for business use and aims to provide a
vision of future business desktop PC technology that will provide a seamless
and natural experience for both communications and collaboration. An
integrated communications unit is wirelessly connected to a Bluetooth-enabled handset and headset, the silicon for which is provided by CSR.

Kristine Overlaur, Technical Marketing Manager, CSR, added, "Bluetooth is
ideal for wirelessly channelling real-time data between devices. Our market
leading BlueCore silicon is designed for easy integration into any kind of
electronic device, and therefore we are pleased Microsoft have
identified this when designing the 'Athens' prototype PC."

More information can be found at www.csr.com and the partner web site
www.btdesigner.com.

More information about Bluetooth can be found on the SIG web site at
www.bluetooth.com.

Jul 21 - Dell Says Customer Are Shifting to Standard Enterprise Technology. Michael Dell today said more and more customers are making the company a trusted enterprise partner, especially for standards-based servers, storage systems and services. And shareholders embracing Dell's broader reach have approved a corporate name change -- from Dell Computer Corp. to Dell Inc.

Mr. Dell, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, reinforced in remarks at the company's annual meeting of shareholders here this morning that the competitive advantages of Dell's customer-focused, direct way of doing business are enabling it to expand and deepen its customer relationships.

"We've always done business differently from other companies," said Mr. Dell. "That allows us to better understand the needs of and create superior value for customers, and consistently produce leading operating results for investors and others who hold stakes in Dell."

He said the applicability of Dell's direct model and opportunities for the company are vast. While the company's United States business remains exceptionally strong, growth in other markets is also rapid. Product shipments last quarter were up 40 percent in Asia-Pacific and Japan, and 29 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Operating income in both regions nearly doubled, to record levels.

In the enterprise, Dell's first-quarter server shipments rose 40 percent, more than four times the average of other suppliers, and the company accounted for almost one-third of U.S. server volume. External-storage revenue was up 65 percent.

"Customers are increasingly using clusters of standard servers in place of mainframe computers that rely on costly proprietary technology," Mr. Dell said. "Standards-based systems are now the better choice for most computing applications, and the trend to such powerful and reliable technology favors our company."

Dell's large and growing influence in the enterprise explains the company's name change, a management proposal approved by shareholders in proxy voting. Mr. Dell said the company's formal name is "catching up" with its evolution from supplying strictly computer hardware to providing a diverse range of technology products and services.

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

Jul 21 - SanDisk Announces Record Revenues. SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage card products, today announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2003.

Total second quarter revenues grew 84% to $234.6 million compared to the second quarter of 2002 and increased 34% from the prior quarter of 2003. Second quarter net income was $41.3 million compared to $9.0 million and $24.9 million for the prior year's corresponding quarter and the first quarter of 2003, respectively. Earnings per share grew 300% for the second quarter of 2003 and were $0.52 per diluted share compared with $0.13 per diluted share in the same quarter of 2002. Earnings per share grew 58% sequentially compared to $0.33 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2003.

"The second quarter was our best quarter ever for revenues and operating earnings. Megabytes and units sold in the quarter reflect record performance, far exceeding our internal forecasts.
" Demand for our products was exceptionally strong throughout the quarter from OEM and retail customers in all geographies. Current market demand is driven by strong sales of digital cameras as well as accelerating sales of camera cell phones, USB flashdrives and numerous other new applications for NAND flash. I am particularly pleased with our increasing penetration into the camera cell phone market, as well as our excellent internal execution in launching the miniSD card in the second quarter," said Eli Harari, President and CEO of SanDisk Corporation.
"Current demand for NAND flash is exceeding the total industry supply, resulting in a benign pricing environment as we enter the third quarter. I am optimistic about our business prospects in the second half of the year."

SanDisk's web site / home page address: www.sandisk.com.

Jul 21 - Transmeta Reports Q2 FY03 Results. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, today announced financial results for its second quarter of fiscal 2003 ended June 27, 2003.

Net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2003 was $5.1 million, compared with $6.0 million reported in the first quarter of 2003 and $7.5 million in the second quarter of 2002. GAAP net loss for the second quarter of 2003 was $22.0 million, or a loss of $0.16 per share. This compares with a GAAP net loss of $20.1 million, or a loss of $0.15 per share in the first quarter of 2002 and a GAAP net loss of $35.6 million, or a loss of $0.27 per share a year ago.

"In the second quarter, we achieved revenue and loss per share in line with our guidance, and once again lowered our operating expenses and improved cash usage by more than was expected," said Dr. Matthew R. Perry, president and CEO of Transmeta.

"Production for the TM8000 remains on plan for the third quarter of this year. In the second quarter, we sampled 1.1 GHz TM8000 processors and customer feedback has been positive," said Dr. Perry. "With the TM8000's ability to execute up to eight instructions per clock, typical real-world applications can run about 50 percent faster per clock cycle, and multimedia applications up to 80 percent faster per clock cycle, than our current processor. The combination of higher clock speed and improved efficiency should allow us to expand our served market. We look forward to disclosing more information about the TM8000 throughout the next few months.

"Our Crusoe TM5800 processor continues to gain strong customer interest in the embedded market. This quarter we announced several key design wins, including HP's Thin Client t5700 and a reference design win with Microsoft for its Smart Displays. We also recently closed two licensing agreements for companies to apply some of our non-core technologies to new markets.
Several Ultra Personal Computer (UPC) manufacturers plan to launch their products in the second half of the year, with a few planning third quarter introductions. Interest in UPCs continues to grow and we expect to be the leading processor supplier to this emerging market. The balance of high performance, power efficiency, flexibility, choice and low cost we offer make our processors well suited for UPCs as well as small form factor notebooks and Tablet PCs," said Dr. Perry.

"We continue to expect notebook design activity to shift to our TM8000 processor beginning in the fall, with the high volume opportunity occurring in the spring of 2004 for mainstream notebooks and other form factors. Revenue from several of our UPC manufacturers and embedded customers is expected to ramp over the next few quarters. We will continue to explore revenue opportunities for leveraging our IP into new markets. We will also continue to control our spending, to monitor closely the growth ramp of these emerging markets and our TM8000 processor, and to position ourselves appropriately to have the flexibility to evaluate a variety of funding opportunities," said Dr. Perry.

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

Jul 21 - Kano Intros Fast 4x DVD+RW/R Drives For Macs, PCs. Kano Technologies has introduced its K4Xtreme(TM) 4x DVD+RW/R drive. A complete storage solution, the fast new drive is available in an internal model for the PC, and external models for PCs and Macs. The K4Xtreme has a 4x write speed for both DVD+RW and +R media. A storage capacity of 4.7GB per DVD makes the K4Xtreme the perfect choice for video archiving, and data backup and archiving.

"This is simply the fastest DVD+RW/R system currently available," said Robert Young, Kano's director of national sales. "We are extremely pleased to be one of the first companies to introduce the 4x DVD+RW capability. The K4Xtreme can record an entire DVD in less than 15 minutes. It can also write to and read CD media at speeds of 24x10x40x, and can read DVD-ROM at a speed of 8x."

"Using a USB 2.0 or FireWire(TM) 400 (1394A) connection, a user can easily add K2Xtreme DVD+RW burning capability to a PC or Mac laptop or desktop," Young continued. "PC users opting for the internal model can connect with an IDE interface."

The extremely compatible "+R" format allows the K4Xtreme to create home movies that play in most set-top DVD players. K4Xtreme PC models use Roxio(TM) DVD Creator 6 to quickly create photo and video archives, business training videos, and promotional videos on DVD. Roxio features drag-and-drop video, menu backgrounds, video transitions and titles. The PC models also use WinDVD4 for DVD video playback on a PC desktop. The K4Xtreme Mac model includes Roxio Toast Lite for audio and video recording and playback.

All K4Xtreme models have the ability to schedule automated backups. The PC models offer award-winning NTI(TM) Backup NOW! and Mac models feature Dantz Retrospect for data backup.

The K4Xtreme drive comes complete including cables for the external models, drive mount screws, DVD+R and DVD+RW media, and an instruction manual. MSRPs are: $199 for the K5240RI-WHT internal model for Windows; and $299 for the K5240RU external USB 2.0 Windows model and the K5240RF external FireWire Mac model. All models are available now from Kano storage-solution providers. A list of local providers is at www.kanotechnologies.com.

Jul 21 - Formac Unveils New 19.0'' LCD. Formac Electronic Inc., a leading manufacturer of performance enhancing peripherals and advanced visualization solutions, today announced the Gallery(TM) 1900 OX, a new flat panel display with 19.0" viewable screen and SXGA resolution of 1,280 by 1,024.

The latest member of Formac's award-winning LCD line displays the identical digital information of a standard 17" SXGA LCD on a 25% larger screen area, which is beneficial for text intensive applications such as word processing, web browsers, databases and spreadsheets.

Featuring a 5:4 screen ratio, the physical screen size of the Gallery 1900 is comparable to a 20" wide-screen LCD. The ultra-slim bezel design makes the Gallery 1900 OX ideal for dual-monitor environments often used in financial, medical, call center, or other office applications. The Gallery 1900 OX comes with a DVI or ADC interface, and is Macintosh and PC compatible.

"The new Gallery 1900 introduces Formac's award-winning LCD technology to a range of new applications," said Oliver Bergmann, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Formac Inc. "It offers a maximized screen area while maintaining the progressive design that characterizes the Gallery display family."

In addition to its increased image size, the new Gallery 1900 OX incorporates Formac's proprietary ColorProof VA technology with industry-leading brightness (250 cd/m(2)) and contrast ratio (500:1), producing razor-sharp images with vivid colors. The display's conical viewing angle technology minimizes color-shift and eliminates gray-scale inversion at extreme viewing angles. Video applications will benefit from the ultra-fast pixel response time of 25ms, delivering smooth full-motion digital video playback, and eliminating the ghosting effect often found on flat panel displays.

Formac's Gallery 1900 OX comes with Formac's Display Connector (FDC), combining USB, power and DVI in one cable to minimize cable clutter on the desktop. The display features an integrated two-port powered USB hub at the backside for plug-and-play connections to peripherals

The design of the new Gallery 1900 OX is based on the Gallery 1740, Formac's 17.4" LCD. Featuring the identical ultra-slim desktop footprint, the Gallery 1900 OX uses a slim-bezel design to incorporate the increased viewing area. The new bezel design makes the Gallery 1900 OX the perfect display for dual-monitor environments.

Pricing and Availability

The Formac Gallery 1900 OX is available immediately through Formac Certified Resellers and Shop Formac! (www.formac.com). The display has an estimated retail price of U.S. $799.

Jul 20 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. While prices are not as good as last week's, there are still some good deals to be found.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy Is offering $100-$150 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, $150 mail-in rebates on all laptops, and 18 month no-interest financing on all desktop package and laptop purchases.
Circuit City is offering 12 month no-interest financing, and $100 mail-in rebates, on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot is offering 6 months no payment, no interest financing on new computer purchases $299 and higher.
CompUSA has another Unadvertised Specials ad this Sunday which you need to print out and take into the store to receive the sales price.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$469
-
Circuit City
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$569
-
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel, DVD-R/W, and HT Technology
$949
-
Best Buy
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.6 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel, DVD multiformat, and HT Technology
$1529
-
Best Buy
3. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.6 GHz Media Center complete system with 15" flat panel, DVD -RW, and HT Technology
$1529
-
Best Buy
4. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel, DVD multiformat, and HT Technology
$1829
-
Best Buy
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2300+ complete system
$429
Best Buy
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2800+ complete system with DVD-RW
$859
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

HP Athlon XP 2200+ with DVD/CD-RW

$899
Circuit City
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

$1049
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 160 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$129
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Asylum GeForce FX 5900 128 MB DDR
$399
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 4X multiformat DVD-RW
$269
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Verbatim 52X CD-RW
$15
(after rebates)
Best Buy

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

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.

July 18 - AMD Reports Second Quarter Results. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today reported sales of $645 million and a net loss of $140 million for the quarter ended June 29, 2003. The net loss amounted to $0.40 per share.

Second quarter sales increased by seven percent from the second quarter of 2002 and decreased by 10 percent from the first quarter of 2003. In the second quarter of 2002, AMD reported total sales of $600 million and a net loss of $185 million, or $0.54 per share. In the first quarter of 2003, AMD reported sales of $715 million and a net loss of $146 million, or $0.42 per share.

"We are pleased we lowered our operating breakeven point to below $800 million and continued to realize improvements that better position us for growth and a return to profitability," said Robert J. Rivet, chief financial officer. "Despite the effects of the SARS epidemic and weaker than anticipated channel sales in some of our international markets, we reduced our net loss by 24 percent and increased our gross margin as a result of year-on-year sales growth and effective cost management. Quarter-on-quarter, in spite of a sales decline of $69 million, we still managed to reduce our loss and improve our gross margin.

"Our second quarter operating costs of $769 million compared favorably to $897 million in the second quarter of 2002 and to $840 million in the first quarter of 2003. We increased our positive EBITDA quarter-to-quarter and ended the second quarter with a cash balance of $739 million. In addition, we extended our $200 million revolving line of credit, currently untapped, for four years.

"Our recently introduced AMD Opteron(TM) processor for servers and workstations is gaining traction in the marketplace. We look forward to the introduction of AMD Opteron processor-based systems from IBM, Fujitsu Siemens and others in the near future. In addition, our AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processor for the desktop and mobile PC sectors remains on schedule for a September launch.

"With the successful launch of a single entity that integrates Fujitsu's and AMD's Flash memory operations, we believe we are on target to become the number one provider of Flash memory solutions and are focused on establishing Spansion(TM) Flash memory as the pre-eminent brand in the Flash memory market."

For more information, visit www.amd.com.

July 18 - VoodooPC Chooses ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 9600 for Gaming Notebook. Dramatic visual effects, unmatched performance and vibrant cinematic realism are now available to notebook users for the first time in North America, as ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX:ATY)(Nasdaq:ATYT) today announced that Voodoo Computers Ltd. ("VoodooPC") has chosen ATI's MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 9600 mobile visual processor for the VoodooPC Envy M460 Gamebook.
The VoodooPC Envy M460 Gamebook features a modular graphics subsystem, which will allow users to upgrade to next generation graphics processors as they become available in the future.

The MOBILITY RADEON 9600 is the first mobile graphics processor to ship with full hardware support for Microsoft DirectX(TM) 9.0. It runs DirectX(TM) 9.0 graphics at full-speed, with full image quality and color precision at all times -- a requirement for true-to-life cinematic special effects.

In a performance league of its own, the Voodoo Envy M460 Gamebook with MOBILITY RADEON 9600 delivers more than four times the gaming performance of the fastest competing DirectX(TM) 9.0 notebooks in key benchmarks such as the industry-standard Pixel Shader 2.0 test by Futuremark.

"VoodooPC has chosen ATI to supply video chipsets for our current line of Envy Gamebooks. ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 9600 is an amazing GPU, and easily meets our strict performance and thermal requirements. By using ATI's MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 9600 mobile visual processor, we are able to offer our customers the most realistic cinematic gaming experience ever. ATI was able to step up to the plate by supplying VoodooPC with the most compelling technology available today," said Rahul Sood, President, Voodoo Computers Ltd.

"VoodooPC has created a notebook that offers incredible cinematic imagery, performance and features superior to many high-end desktop PCs, and is the first to promote a truly upgradeable solution with a modular graphics subsystem," said Phil Eisler, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Integrated Business Unit, ATI Technologies Inc. "MOBILITY RADEON 9600 once again demonstrates ATI's ability to bring dramatically superior new technologies to market in award-winning designs."

VoodooPC's Envy M460 Gamebook is powered by ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 9600 mobile visual processor with 64MB DDR-333 RAM, an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor-M running at 2.6 GHz, 512MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, a DVD/CD-R/RW drive, WIFI 802.11 A&B, and a 15" SXGA+ panel display.

MOBILITY RADEON 9600 uses an extraordinarily efficient 3D core delivering 12 pixel shader operations per clock cycle, and is a multimedia powerhouse with comprehensive hardware acceleration for encode, decode and de-blocking of MPEG-2 and streaming video formats. The MOBILITY RADEON 9600 also extends ATI's leadership in notebook graphics power management, giving users both the longest battery life and highest performance.

With the availability of MOBILITY RADEON 9600, ATI has extended its leadership by bringing the highest performance, cinematic realism and DirectX 9.0 graphics to all segments of the PC market - high-end and mainstream desktop, IGP and notebook PCs.

VoodooPC can be found online at www.voodoopc.com. ATI can be found online at www.ati.com.

July 18 - Vendors Will Push Embedded-WLAN to 90 Percent of Notebooks by 2008. The latest Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies report, "Wireless Connectivity Options Beyond Cellular: WLAN & Notebook PCs," concludes that 90 percent of notebook PCs sold worldwide will contain embedded WLAN in 2008, up from 24 percent in 2003, to reach an installed base of 141M WLAN-connected laptop computers.

"An industry-wide technology push from Cisco, Intel, Intersil and other enabling technology vendors will be one critical driver of WLAN notebook PC sales," states Neil Mawston, Senior Analyst in the Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics. "Notebook vendor desperation to stem average selling price declines in the next 3 years will be the other key catalyst."

"WLAN, and its potential to enable relatively simple, wire-free Internet, Intranet and remote data access, will be a key driver of new and replacement notebook PC sales through 2008," notes David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics. Kerr adds, "Security concerns will, of course, remain a key issue, particularly in the on-campus enterprise segment. However, security concerns will inhibit wireless data usage rather than actual notebook sales, as powerful chip and PC vendors look to force WLAN connectivity into the enterprise channel."

Other findings from this report include the following conclusions:

-- North America will be the largest market for embedded-WLAN
notebook PCs for at least the next 5 years;

-- Notebook vendors Toshiba, IBM and HP, are best positioned to
capitalize on the enterprise WLAN market; and

-- Global notebook PC penetration is currently very low, at just
1 percent, compared with 6 percent desktop PC penetration, in
2003. This underscores the potential for further strong growth
through 2008.

For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com.

July 18 - FirewireDirect Unleashes Latest Portable FireWire USB 2.0 Hard Drive System. FirewireDirect.com Inc. today announced the introduction of their newest series of 2.5" hard drive based storage devices, the MachIV. The very latest in portables, the MachIV boasts the most current FireWire and USB2 components in an incredibly small and sleek Titanium-style form factor only half an inch thick.

FirewireDirect's product line is constantly evolving to address the needs of its clients. These requirements include transferring documents and files easily between systems, boosting the capacity of notebook or desktop computers, backing up programs and files you can't live without and creating bootable backup images. The MachIV is designed to fill all of these roles.

Like all of FirewireDirect's hard drive products, the MachIV employs premium mechanisms and boasts the latest edition of the speedy Oxford 911 FireWire chipset. It has one 1394a port and a high speed USB 2.0 (backwards compatible with USB 1.1). The MachIV ships with FireWire and USB cables, a full range (110-240V) power supply and includes a stylish and compact carrying case.

Available as a finished product with capacities from 20 to a massive 80GB of storage or as an enclosure kit, the MachIV provides a wide range of solutions for the discerning user.

Those ordering for Mac will receive the SpeedTools Utility Suite which includes DeviceTuner, Disk Defrag, Integrity, QuickBack and QuickBench.

Detailed product information is available and for sale now at: www.firewiredirect.com.

July 18 - SecurSoftware Unveils SecurLock Version 1.3 for PCs. SecurSoftware -- a leading global provider of information security solutions for desktop, network and e-business applications --announces the release of SecurLock(TM) Version 1.3, a desktop security application that ensures safe transferring and sharing of data. The new version includes the ability to shred electronic documents so they can never be recovered.

The new shredding feature allows the secure disposal of confidential data. Dragging files or folders to the shredder icon on the desktop permanently shreds electronic data. Files deleted with SecurLock cannot be recuperated by data recovery tools and low-level disk utilities. The shredder feature also allows data cleanup on the system by securely deleting commonly known temporary files, making sure no cached copy of confidential data is accessible.

SecurLock Version 1.3 protects confidential data from unauthorized access by requiring the user's identity to be verified with the use of the SecurCard(TM) for authentication, a Smartcard key and its corresponding PIN before allowing workstation access.

SecurLock Version 1.3 features include:

-- Secure Login for log on using a strong two-factor

authentication process (USB token + PIN code). Security is
enhanced by the fact that the required data is encrypted and
saved on the USB token.

-- Encryption for ensuring confidentiality of private information
through encryption of files, folders, and email attachments
using either a powerful algorithm (Blowfish) or a faster one
(RC4). For absolute security, the encryption/decryption
process can only be achieved with the presence of the USB
token and its corresponding PIN.

-- SSO (Single Sign On) for storing and managing profiles
(username/password combinations) in a flexible and organized
list. When needed, profiles are dragged and dropped from the
SSO window onto the respective application or web site.

-- Shredder for permanently disposing files. Files deleted with
the shredder cannot be recuperated by data recovery tools and
low-level disk utilities.

Superior security is attained by saving all critical and confidential information such as PIN code, encryption key, profiles, etc. on the USB token itself rather than on the hard drive. As a result, sensitive data is utterly protected from unauthorized access making SecurLock an extremely reliable security solution.

SecurLock Version 1.3 is compatible with Microsoft Windows 98(R), Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional(R), MS Windows XP Professional(R) and MS Windows XP Home Edition(R).

With a retail price of $125, SecurLock 1.3 is now available through SecurSoftware's distribution partners and online. For more information, visit www.secursoftware.com.

July 17 - Nikon® Announces Three New Coolpix® Digital Cameras. Nikon Inc., the world leader in photography, recently introduced three dynamic new 3x Optical Zoom-Nikkor digital cameras - the Nikon Coolpix 2100, Nikon Coolpix 3100 and the Nikon Coolpix SQ - to its popular Coolpix consumer line. The Nikon Coolpix 2100 and Coolpix 3100, Nikon's "dynamic digital duo" share the smallest Coolpix body design, fast operation and are the first with Nikon's new Scene Assist function to guide users toward the ideal shot and make picture-taking faster and easier for beginning digital photographers - and with even better results.

These exciting new digital cameras are also the first to utilize Nikon's exclusive new One-Touch Red-Eye Fix™, built into the NikonView 6 software, which instantly fixes red-eye within most typical red-eye digital photos with a simple click on the computer. Nikon is the only photo manufacturer offering this automatic 'One-Touch' red-eye removal tool to its digital camera users.

"The Nikon Coolpix 2100 and Nikon Coolpix 3100 each introduce truly breakthrough technology that is designed for the first time digital camera buyer," said Jerry Grossman, vice president, marketing, Consumer Digital Products and Compact Cameras for Nikon Inc. "Our designers have made a bold statement with the Nikon Coolpix SQ which will raise the bar for compact digital camera design. The new Nikon Coolpix cameras offer a unique combination of legendary Nikon quality and 'new and exclusive' features in a new ultra-compact design that will take digital photography to an entirely new level."

Nikon Coolpix 2100 and Nikon Coolpix 3100 - Nikon's New "Dynamic Digital Duo"

The Nikon Coolpix 2100 and Nikon Coolpix 3100 are among the fastest Nikon Coolpix digital cameras to date and make taking great digital pictures as easy as point-and-shoot.

The Nikon Coolpix 2100 offers 2.0 effective megapixels while the Nikon Coolpix 3100 incorporates a 3.2 effective Megapixel CCD, each with Nikon's renowned enhanced image-processing technology which gives photographers the freedom to shoot wider, crop tighter and print larger, without concern for sacrificing image quality. With a maximum resolution of 1600x1200, the Nikon Coolpix 2100 can print crystal clear pictures at sizes of up to 8x10-inches. The more powerful Nikon Coolpix 3100 produces a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 and will make larger prints of up to 11x14-inches.

Both cameras employ Nikon's legendary Nikkor optics and exclusive 256-Segment Matrix Metering to ensure crisp images and vibrant color. The Nikon Coolpix 2100 has a zoom range of 36-108mm while the Nikon Coolpix 3100 features a 38-115mm lens (both 35mm equivalents).

Nikon Coolpix SQ

The Nikon Coolpix SQ is a special camera for Nikon, demonstrating a compact design that is both cutting edge and functional. The Nikon Coolpix SQ will capture stunning images with its 3.1-megapixel CCD, 3x Optical Zoom-Nikkor lens and swiveling body design, which allows the lens path to remain in a straight line, using original light without the use of prisms.

The camera connects to the computer through Nikon's Cool-Station Power Base, a system included with the camera that not only transfers images to the desktop or the Web, but also charges battery in-camera and can charge a spare. The result is a specialized and sophisticated digital camera that is sure to please adventurous Nikon Coolpix photographers looking for a unique Nikon digital photography experience.

The Nikon Coolpix 2100 is available nationwide at an MSRP of $249.95 while the Nikon Coolpix 3100 retails for $349.95. The Nikon Coolpix SQ is also available at an MSRP of $499.95. For more information, visit www.nikoncoolpix.com.

July 17 - DPS Now Shipping Dual Format Dual Interface DVD Burner. Digital Peripheral Solutions Inc. (DPS) today announced it is shipping its new Que! DVD 2i dual format dual interface drive with direct-to-disk recording (DDR).

The external DVD burner offers IEEE-1394 (FireWire) and USB 2.0 interfaces and supports DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, CD-R and CD-RW formats for PC and Macintosh. As a result, buyers never have to worry whether or not they're purchasing the right burner because the disks they create can be played on virtually every DVD video player and drive.

The Que! DVD 2i with DDR enables anyone using a digital camera or camcorder to record directly to DVD media in real-time without saving images onto the computer hard disk drive. This innovation in DVD authoring software eliminates the need to transfer video from the camcorder to the hard disk then to the burner.

The Que! DVD 2i makes it easy for anyone to produce high-quality DVD videos, photos and audio files as well as data backup and storage. It delivers write speeds of 4x for DVD+R and -R, 2x for DVD-RW, 2.4x for DVD+RW, 16x for CD-R and 10x for CD-RW. In addition, the drive comes bundled with software for PC and Mac, all cables and a universal power supply. It weighs only 3.6 lbs.

The Que! DVD 2i dual format dual interface drive is currently available through Ingram Micro, at Fry's Electronics and via catalog at PC/Mac Warehouse, PC/MAC Mall and PC/Mac Zone and J&R Music. MSRP is $299.99. For further information, visit www.qps-inc.com.

July 17 - Transmeta's Energy Efficient Processor in First Sub-$1000 Tablet PC. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, today announced that its energy efficient, 800 MHz Crusoe TM5800 processor has been incorporated in the TDV Vison V800XPT Tablet PC, the first Tablet PC priced under $1,000. This product will be available in September in North America, Europe and China for $900.

"Transmeta's energy efficient, high performance processors are instrumental in driving the thin-and-light design and cool operation of V800XPT Tablet PC, along with the very affordable price structure for end users," said Larry Wei, president and chief executive officer, TDV Vison. "Transmeta provides a very compelling offering for the Tablet PC market."

Featuring Transmeta's processor technology and weighing just 2.6 lbs, the V800XPT is an 8.4-inch LCD PC and notebook combined in one device. The product, just an inch thick, is operable in landscape or portrait mode and includes a USB keyboard module, an optional external USB optical drive, a 30GB hard drive and 128MB of DDR RAM memory that is upgradeable to 512MB. It features a built-in 640 x 480 digital camera, a built-in 4-in-1 card reader and a built-in LAN/modem.

The V800XPT has an SVGA TFT LCD display with a digital pen for input of data and runs the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Tablet PC Edition operating system. It contains a VGA port, 56K fax modem, an 10/100 LAN connection, two ports for USB 2.0 and audio connections for earphones and microphones.

"The V800XPT Tablet PC offers users a tremendous performance-to-price benefit, which is an important aspect of efficient computing," said Arthur L. Swift, senior vice president of marketing, Transmeta Corporation. "Transmeta's customers continue to drive unique, user-friendly computing products into the market."

TDV Vison, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Pou Chen Group. Pou Chen, the world's largest sports shoe manufacturer, also owns a variety of technology companies and has invested over $1 billion developing a high-tech industrial zone, complete with a residential/commercial complex and hotel center, on 3,100 acres in the Jiangsu Province in China.

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

July 17 - ATI Introduces RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT) today introduced the RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO Mac Edition, offering an entirely new level of visual realism and performance for games and 3D animation to users of Apple's Power Mac desktop systems.
Also, heralding a new era of cinematic-quality 3D graphics for Mac OS X, the RADEON 9800 PRO visual processing unit (VPU) will be available as a build-to-order option on the Power Mac G5, while the RADEON(TM) 9600 PRO will be included in Apple's highest-end Power Mac G5 desktop.

The RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition delivers all the performance and power of the RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO with the added feature of VERSAVISION(TM) display rotation, the new versatile dual display available in landscape or portrait configurations. With eight parallel rendering pipelines, industry leading 256-bit memory interface and 128MB of double data rate (DDR) memory, the RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition is capable of executing up to 8.4 billion instructions per second and delivering an astounding 21 GB/sec memory bandwidth. The graphics board's display flexibility supports multiple displays through its VGA, DVI and s-video outputs.

"Graphics have always been central to Macs. Whether for gaming or 3D animation, the RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition is the perfect graphics solution," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "With full OpenGL support and full-floating point architecture, Mac users will now experience the stunning visual quality and the unbeatable performance of the world's leading VPUs."

Mac users will also be able to find ATI's graphics power in the recently announced Power Mac G5. Apple has selected the award-winning RADEON 9800 PRO and RADEON 9600 PRO visual processors to drive the next generation graphics in their performance-driven Power Mac G5 desktop computers. The powerful RADEON 9600 PRO AGP 8X graphics card will be a standard component of the Power Mac G5 high performance configuration and the RADEON 9800 PRO will be an option for all new Power Mac G5s.

"The new Power Mac G5, the world's fastest personal computer, was designed to make a giant leap in system performance. We chose the ATI RADEON 9600 PRO and RADEON 9800 PRO graphics cards to deliver a similar leap in 3D graphics performance," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. "Whether the customer is a scientist, graphics artist, filmmaker, game designer, or hardcore gamer, they will be blown away by the stunning 3D performance of these systems."

The RADEON 9800 PRO graphics card was specifically designed to accommodate the special USB, power routing and dual flat panel display requirements of the new Power Mac G5 systems, including ADC and DVI connectors. The new Power Mac features an enhanced AGP PRO slot with full AGP 8X support, eliminating the need for an additional power supply for the graphics card.

Additional ATI products powering Apple notebooks and desktops include ATI's RADEON(TM) 7500 for the eMac, the Mobility(TM) RADEON(TM) 9000 for the Titanium Powerbook 15", the Mobility(TM) RADEON(TM) 7500 for the 12" and 14" iBook, as well as the RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO and the RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO for the Power Mac G4.

For more information on these products or ATI's current lineup of award-winning products, please visit www.ati.com.

July 17 - Cypress Announces General Availability of WirelessUSB EX. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:CY) -- the industry leader in USB -- today announced general availability of WirelessUSB(TM) EX, a 2.4 GHz wireless radio transceiver (CY6941) and baseband controller (CY6942) designed for cordless PC and video game peripherals.

WirelessUSB EX lets manufacturers of keyboards, mice, video game controllers and other cordless human interface devices (HIDs) significantly decrease the development time, cost and power requirements of their products without sacrificing performance. End-users enjoy WirelessUSB's robust performance -- including the ability to operate up to seven wireless devices with a common receiver at a distance of up to 30 feet. The WirelessUSB EX wireless protocol is optimized for security and low latency -- average latency for four nodes is less than eight milliseconds. An ideal solution for upgrading corded USB devices to cordless operation, Cypress's WirelessUSB technology can also be used in non-USB applications, such as video game peripherals and for generic serial data transfer.

Early adopters of Cypress's WirelessUSB technology include NMB, the world's leading OEM manufacturer of PC keyboards and mice, and Saitek, a leader in video game peripherals, such as game controllers, game pads and bridges. WirelessUSB was recently honored with EDN Magazine's 2002 "Innovation of the Year" award and Electronique Magazine's "Electron d'Or" award.

Manufacturers interested in deploying WirelessUSB EX are encouraged to contact their local Cypress sales representative, or visit Cypress online at: www.cypress.com.

July 17 - Analysis Reveals Porn Spam Levels Sensationalized. Clearswift, the world leader in managing and securing electronic communications, today announces the findings of its first "Spam Index," designed to report on the nature of spam e-mails on a monthly basis. In contrast to recent reports that have suggested pornographic spam constitutes 60-80 percent of spam, Clearswift's Spam Index shows that pornographic spam is found only 22 percent of the time. Instead, the largest proportion of spam -- 23 percent -- was distributed by companies selling direct goods.

These figures were extracted from the thousands of unsolicited e-mails received by Clearswift on a weekly basis. These are made up of spam generated by seeding e-mail accounts and spam submissions forwarded to Clearswift by customers of its spam-filtering services.

Although it only takes one pornographic e-mail to cause offense and land an organization in litigation for harassment, the level of unsolicited e-mail that falls into the "healthcare" and "direct goods" categories suggests the problem of filtering spam is more complex than simply blocking profane and pornographic e-mails. Deciding whether or not an e-mail is spam ultimately comes down to whether or not it is the result of a well-executed and highly targeted e-mail marketing campaign. The ability to deploy flexible spam filtering solutions that can take into account personal preferences will be vital in the fight against spam.

Clearswift's Spam Index findings also illustrate the problems of measuring and categorizing spam, as different samples of spam sent to different people involves a range of variables. Factors such as which chat rooms e-mail users have visited, and which Web sites they supplied e-mail addresses to, can greatly influence the level of spam.

More information about Clearswift, its products and services is available at www.clearswift.com.

 

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