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Daily Computer News and Rumors

June 24-30 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.)
Jun 30 ATI Ships ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO
Jun 30 Panasonic Debuts Centrino Sub-Note With Integrated DVD/CD-RW Drive
Jun 30 SOYO releases SLIM-PROFILE ``Mini DRAGON'' barebone system
Jun 30 Recording Industry To Sue Music Pirates
Jun 30 LURHQ Warns of New ``Windows-Update Trojan''
Jun 29 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jun 27 Dell and AT&T Wireless Team to Provide Internet Access
Jun 27 AMD Anticipates Lower Than Expected Second Quarter Sales
Jun 27 Dell Precision M60 Packs Desktop Workstation Performance Into A Notebook
Jun 27 Dell Introduces Redesigned UltraSharp Flat Panel Displays
Jun 27 Toshiba Introduces High-Capacity 2.5-Inch Hard Disk Drives
Jun 27 I/OMagic Launches Next Generation CD Duplicator
Jun 27 Laplink Software, Inc. Releases LapLink Gold version 11.5
Jun 26 Apple Unleashes the World’s Fastest Personal Computer—the Power Mac G5
Jun 26 Toshiba Introduces New Desktop Replacement Notebook PCs
Jun 26 Intel Helps Push High Performance Computing Mainstream
Jun 26 DPS Ships Que!007 Portable DVD Burner and Digital Theater Device
Jun 26 Noted Analyst Calls For New PC Classification
Jun 26 Users Spend About One Quarter of Each Workday on E-mail
Jun 25 Microsoft Unveils Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs
Jun 25 Bill Gates Speaks Out Against Spam
Jun 25 Toshiba Launches New PDAs Powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Software
Jun 25 HP Unveils Its Broadest Range of Handhelds Ever
Jun 25 ATI's New Chipsets Enable Entry-Level Gaming PCs and Notebooks
Jun 25 FireWire 800 Delivers Major Gains in Computer, Peripheral Performance
Jun 25 321 Studios Announces Release of DVD X Copy Gold
Jun 24 Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor With Hyper-Threading Technology Introduced At 3.2 GHz
Jun 24 HP Releases First Customizable HP Media Center PC Starting Under $1,000
Jun 24 HP Gives Pavilion PCs and Monitors a Face-lift
Jun 24 Samsung's DDR400 Memory Modules Equip Notebooks With The Power of Desktop PCs
Jun 24 T-Mobile USA Launches New Blackberry 6210
Jun 24 CompactFlash Association Announces Version 2.0 CompactFlash Specification
Jun 24 V Communications Introduces Fix-It Utilities 5
Jun 24 KaZaA and Peer-to-Peer Networking Threaten Online Privacy

 

Jun 30 - ATI Ships ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO. Everyone, especially home theater owners, can now enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience with ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9800 PRO from ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY).
Now shipping in North America for USD$449 (MSRP), ATI's newest multimedia video card joins the award-winning ALL-IN-WONDER(R) family to deliver the world's fastest graphics engine with the best in intelligent TV-on-the-PC and video editing features.

ATI continues to lead the way by being the first digital media solutions graphics provider to support full Microsoft(R) DirectX(TM) 9.0 and OpenGL(TM) 2.0 feature sets. ATI is the first and still the only visual processor unit (VPU) provider to offer eight dedicated pipelines of rendering power with the RADEON(TM) 9800 series.

ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO becomes ATI's flagship multimedia solution for home theater applications. The new video card solution features EAZYLOOK(TM), an eye-catching 10-foot user interface with on-screen display for home theater settings, which is included in the product with a new version of ATI's MULTIMEDIA CENTER software.

"ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO delivers the fastest graphics available with the richest video features that are generations ahead of any other solution," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO empowers users to effortlessly view, pause and record live TV programs, plus capture and edit videos on the PC aided by powerful, easy-to-use video editing software. Captured TV shows and home video projects can be digitally archived faster than realtime DVD authoring so favorite video moments can be enjoyed again and again."

The ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO includes ATI's newest powerhouse graphics chip - the acclaimed RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO - for outstanding achievements at full precision for the best available image quality.
The fully Microsoft DirectX 9.0 VPU enables cinematic-quality graphics and blistering performance. Since ATI is the only provider to deliver fully functional Microsoft DirectX 9.0 graphics solutions, all games currently on the market or in development have used ATI products as critical components in their development platforms. ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO users can be assured of 100 per cent Microsoft DirectX 9.0 support for games of today and tomorrow.

ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO also features ATI's THEATER(TM) 200 that enables exceptional video and stereo audio quality viewing during live TV and video input and capture.

Visit ATI's Web site at www.ati.com.

Jun 30 - Panasonic Debuts Centrino Sub-Note With Integrated DVD/CD-RW Drive. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, world's leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, today announced the introduction of a high-style slim line ultra-portable uniting legendary Toughbook(R) durability with the unprecedented processing prowess, wireless connectivity, and energy efficiency of Intel's advanced Centrino(TM) mobility platform.

"Introducing our first CEO-To-Go-styled ultra-portables last year, I described them as a reaffirmation of Panasonic's commitment to offer its customers a one-stop portable-computer solution," said Panasonic Computer Solutions Company president Rance Poehler.
"Consider the new Toughbook(R) W2 a reaffirmation of our determination to provide the highest attainable levels of performance, technological innovation, and durability throughout the entire Toughbook(R) line."
Poehler noted that the new sub-notebook has been totally re-engineered for maximum integration with Intel's state-of-the-art Centrino mobile technology. "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 am particularly proud of the job our engineers did integrating a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive into W2 without taking any hit whatsoever in battery runtime, cooling efficiency, portability or ruggedization.

"Fact is the W2's seven-hour runtime is outstanding even among sub-notebooks without integrated multimedia drives and the addition of the drive adds only a tenth of an inch and six ounces to the W2's profile."

Uncompromised Performance

The new W2 Toughbook is powered by 900MHz ultra-low-voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) M CPUs with 1MB on-die L2 cache, 256MB PC2100 DDR RAM (expandable to 512MB) and a 40MB high-speed UDMA hard drive.

Advanced system and chipset architecture gives the W2 unparalleled performance in executing instruction sets, transitioning between operations and responding to component power demands.

Bright And Beautiful

The W2 employs the latest iteration of the revolutionary thin-glass display technology first introduced in the Toughbook(R) CF-R1, a 12.1-inch XGA TFT active-matrix LCD almost 25 percent lighter than same-size conventional panels. The thin-glass display's compact light path and low-power, high-output backlight result in a class-leading brightness/battery drain ratio. Maximum resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels at 16M colors on the internal LCD and 1280 x 1024 pixels at 16M colors on an external monitor.

Wireless DVD Viewing And CD Burning

The Toughbook W-2's integrated Combo Drive specifications are as follows:

Read: DVD-8x, CD-24x, Write: CD/R-6x, CD/RW- 4x. Height: 9.5mm.

Toughbooks To The Bone

Durability is a primary consideration in the engineering of every Toughbook(R) regardless of form factor and feature set. Hard drive and LCD shock-absorbers, reinforced screen case edges, stainless steel hinges and a bonded scuff-and-scratch-resistant outer coating round out the ruggedization package.

Wireless Access

Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile technology communications enhancements include the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless Network Connection 802.11b WLAN support and advanced encryption and security technology for Virtual Private Networks. In addition, a 56K V90 analog modem provides added communications capability.

Pricing and Configuration

Toughbook(R) W2 CF-T2AWAZZKM Intel(R) 900MHz ULV PentiumM 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.

Jun 30 - SOYO releases SLIM-PROFILE ``Mini DRAGON'' barebone system. SOYO Computer, Inc. (OTCBB:SOYO) manufacturer of the award winning "DRAGON" motherboard series, announced the release of its series of slim profile barebone computer systems, named the Mini DRAGON for Intel Pentium 4 processors with Hyper-Threading Technology.

The "Mini DRAGON" measured at 8" wide, 2.5" in height, and is only 10.5" deep. It is strategically designed for vertical or horizontal configuration.

SOYO's new Mini DRAGON features the SiS 651 chipset, which supports the Socket 478 Pentium 4 processor from 2.8GHz up to 3.06GHz with 400/533MHz FSB. It accepts up to maximum of 1GB (1-184 pin DDR sockets) of memory.

The "Mini DRAGON" includes eight (2 front/4 rear/2 on external "bare-bay" enclosure) USB 2.0 ports and one IEEE 1394 Firewire port for making quick and easy connections to multimedia peripherals. The embedded on board 2 channel AC97 Audio Codec and high performance 2D/3D Graphic Engine saves expansion slots on the mainboard and provides crisp audio and advanced graphics. It is equipped with one AGP slot (support 2x/4x) to accommodate gaming enthusiasts.

"Mini DRAGON" comes with a separate "bare-bay" enclosure, which can accommodate one CD/DVD-ROM, one 3.5" bay slot for floppy drive, and one standard hard drive. The "bare-bay" is equipped with two USB 2.0 ports and one parallel IDE ATA 133 hard drive connector with future upgrade slots for Serial ATA. The "bare-bay" serves as a "data reader/storage docking station" for the "Mini DRAGON". The measurements match those of the "Mini DRAGON" platform, which makes it easy to stack on.

The "Mini DRAGON" will be available for shipping on June 27th. MSRP of $299. Further information on SOYO products can be found online at www.soyousa.com.

Jun 30 - Recording Industry To Sue Music Pirates. Even though all the major record labels have made their music available on a number of legal sites, illegal downloading is still rampant on the Internet. To combat the problem, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) announced it will start to gather evidence tomorrow and will begin filing what could amount to thousands of lawsuits against individual computer users.

The creation of legal websites like The Apple Music Store, MusicNet, Pressplay and Rhapsody still haven't deterred some individuals from illegally distributing music. And they're not just sharing with a few friends; in some cases, they're illegally passing copyrighted songs to millions of others. Experts say that illegal file sharing has already cost thousands of jobs in the music industry.

They also warn that while many falsely believe that illegal file sharing is anonymous, it's actually a very public activity. A person's username leads to an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which can then be subpoenaed to locate the individual.

To avoid being sued, the RIAA recommends taking programs that distribute music illegally - like Kazaa and Grokster - off your computer if you have them. At the very least, they advise disabling the software's uploading capacity. This will not only keep strangers out of your hard dive, it will keep you from getting sued.

Jun 30 - LURHQ Warns of New ``Windows-Update Trojan''. LURHQ Corporation, the trusted provider of Managed Security Services, is tracking the increasing spread of the new blended threat "Windows-Update Trojan".
The end-user is social engineered into downloading the Trojan, which connects back to Internet Relay Chat (IRC), enabling the creator to control the Trojan remotely. The creator can then perform a variety of activities such as gaining root access to the machine, using the computer in distributed denial of service attacks, recording passwords and deleting files.

"We've been tracking and researching the Windows-Update Trojan since it first appeared," said LURHQ Secure Operations Center Manager Corey Merchant. "This is a unique blended threat that combines mass email tactics, social engineering, vulnerability exploits and Trojan code to infect users across the Internet."

The Windows-Update Trojan is propagated via spam-like techniques. The email message uses social engineering by making it appear to come from Microsoft and instructs the user that a new security patch is necessary for their computer.
The Trojan creator sends recipients to "windows-update.xxx," taking advantage of the similarity to Microsoft's legitimate site "windowsupdate.com."
The Trojan then exploits an Internet Explorer vulnerability that bypasses typical dialogue boxes and immediately downloads and executes the code. Once infected, the Trojan's creator can remotely command the Trojan to conduct distributed denial of service attacks, delete files, record passwords or any number of other activities.

"This new threat poses a serious risk to Internet users worldwide," said LURHQ Senior Intrusion Analyst Joe Stewart. "Gateway Email Anti-Virus is not able to detect this blended threat since it is delivered via a link. Also, there are currently no signatures for Desktop Anti-Virus, leaving users extremely vulnerable to becoming infected by this Trojan."

For remediation instructions and other information visit www.lurhq.com/winupdate.html.

Jun 29 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. A very good week to buy new laptops and desktops. Good prices can be found on both low-end and high-end 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.)

Best Buy has switched to offering 6 Months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, $150 mail-in rebates on all laptops, and 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop package and laptop purchases.
Circuit City is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all purchases $399 and up. They are also offering $100-$200 instant savings on all laptops.
Office Depot has no ad this Sunday.
CompUSA has 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $199 and higher with credit application and Unadvertised Specials Ad.
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
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$519
-
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.4 GHz system with 17" monitor
$749
-
Staples
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel
$919
-
Circuit City, Best Buy (HP $929)
3. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-R/W
$1049
-
Circuit City
4. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.6 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-R/W
$1249
-
Circuit City
Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2300+ complete system
$429
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

$849
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

$1049
Circuit City
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1549
Best Buy
3. Best High-end Notebook

Sharp Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW

$1799
Circuit City
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Warcraft III Expansion Set: Frozen Throne
$34.99
(get a free $10 gift card)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$149
(after rebates)
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
+$10
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9200 128 MB
$99
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 4X multiformat DVD-RW
$299
(after rebates)
-$20
CompUSA

 

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.

Jun 27 - Dell and AT&T Wireless Team to Provide Internet Access. Dell(tm) (Nasdaq:DELL) customers can now manage e-mail, browse the Web or access corporate applications on their Dell notebook computers without worrying about wires or searching for "hot spots" to connect to the Internet.

Through an agreement with AT&T Wireless, Dell will offer a variety of AT&T wireless Internet plans based on megabyte usage to meet individual needs. Connecting to the AT&T wireless data service is easy with the tri-band Sierra AirCard 750 Wireless cellular modem which customers may purchase when signing up for a service plan.

"Our customers' time is valuable and we're committed to providing them a variety of options for wireless connectivity, both local and wide area networking," said Anthony Bonadero, director of Dell's wireless product group. "With AT&T Wireless, we can help mobile computer users stay in touch in more places, and be more productive at work or on their own time."

Valerie Kahn, senior vice president of enterprise offers for AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services, said mobile professionals now have access to one-stop shopping to meet their mobile computing needs. "With the largest worldwide footprint of any carrier in the U.S., customers can stay connected in thousands of cities around the country and across the globe through our high-speed GPRS service," she said.

AT&T Wireless Internet service for GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), and the Sierra AirCard 750 modem use existing AT&T cellular networks to provide seamless wide area connectivity within broad coverage areas around the world. GPRS runs at speeds comparable to analog dial-up modems.

AT&T Wireless operates one of the largest GSM/GPRS network in the United States. They have service in thousands of cities around the globe with roaming agreements throughout Canada, Europe and Asia. In contrast, Wi-Fi local area networks require wireless access points or "hot spots" connected to established hard wired networks for Internet access within fixed locations.

Dell customers can choose from a variety of AT&T Wireless plans ranging from 10 megabytes to 100+ megabytes per month with usage fees starting as low as $29.99 per month. Dell offers the tri-band Sierra AirCard 750 Wireless GPRS Modem for a retail list price of $299.99 -- with special promotional pricing as low as $224.99 for a limited time with certain restrictions. Additional information can be found at www.dell.com/s&p.

Jun 27 - AMD Anticipates Lower Than Expected Second Quarter Sales. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that sales for the second quarter ending June 29, 2003 are anticipated to be approximately $615 million. The Company's projection made in connection with the release of first quarter results was for second quarter sales to be at least $715 million.

"The anticipated global sales improvement in the month of June did not materialize as we had anticipated," said Robert J. Rivet, AMD's Chief Financial Officer. "In particular, the decline in personal computer and handset sell-through in China and other Asian markets, largely related to the SARS epidemic, significantly affected AMD's sales in the second quarter."

AMD will report its second quarter 2003 results on July 16, 2003. For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.

Jun 27 - Dell Precision M60 Packs Desktop Workstation Performance Into A Notebook. Imagine reviewing an aircraft design while flying in one or modifying architectural floor plans while on-site. Today's worldwide introduction of the Dell(tm) (Nasdaq:DELL) Precision Workstation M60 satisfies the demands of professionals who require the optimal combination of performance and mobility for business-critical applications.

The Dell Precision(tm) M60's 128MB NVIDIA Quadro FX Go700 graphics accelerator delivers richly detailed images to the 15.4-inch UltraSharp(tm) wide-aspect display, which allows users room for large designs & assemblies, multiple windows or expansive tool palettes. Graphics performance is a strong suit of the M60, with workstation-class OpenGL hardware acceleration and certifications on the leading computer-aided design and digital content creation applications. As with all Dell Precision Workstations, the M60 comes standard with 24x7 dedicated phone support.

Designers who manipulate large, complex models will appreciate the M60's support of up to 2 GB of DDR-SDRAM and available 7200 RPM hard drives, as well as an integrated gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet controller for ultra-fast file transfers over a network. At the M60's core is the Intel(R) Pentium(tm) M mobile processor, which supports Centrino(tm) wireless technology and has been shown to improve performance over its predecessor, the M50. The system also features an integrated SmartCard reader for security, two USB 2.0 ports, hot-swappable media bay and tough new Tri-Metal(tm) chassis.

"Workstation customers desire mobility without having to compromise performance," said Tim Mattox, vice president of client product marketing. "The M60 offers best-in-class graphics, storage and industrial design that extends Precision's product leadership position, delivering the performance of a true workstation in a mobile form factor."

The Dell Precision Workstation M60 starts at $2,599 and includes a 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium M processor (400 MHz FSB), 256 MB DDR266 SDRAM, 40GB 5400 RPM hard drive, 128 MB NVIDIA Quadro FX Go700 graphics card, Microsoft Windows XP Professional and a three-year next-business-day onsite service with dedicated telephone support.

Dell Precision workstations are designed for customers who demand workstation hardware certification with independent software vendors in the computer-aided design, engineering, digital content creation, geographic information systems, computer animation, software development and financial analysis markets. Complete product details can be found at www.dell.com/precision.

Jun 27 - Dell Introduces Redesigned UltraSharp Flat Panel Displays. Dell(tm) (Nasdaq:DELL), the worldwide leader in LCD monitor shipments, today unveiled two new UltraSharp(tm) flat panel displays incorporating advanced features for great performance and ease of use. Priced starting at $499, the new models are the first in Dell's redesigned line of displays.

The Dell UltraSharp 1703FP and UltraSharp 1901FP are 17- and 19-inch monitors with several new features, including a thin, 0.7-inch, bezel that saves desk space; a height-adjustable stand (up to 5.1 inches) that allows users to set the monitor to their own comfort level; and an optional detachable sound bar that delivers 14 watts of total output. Four USB 2.0 ports -- two on the side and two behind the display -- give users convenient access points to plug in devices such as keyboards, digital cameras, secondary hard drives and printers.

The two new Dell UltraSharp monitors also provide more viewing options, with panels that swivel, tilt and pivot to support portrait and landscape orientations. Each monitor's panel is detachable for easy wall mounting through a quick-release, tool-less mechanism. These new flat panel displays offer both analog and digital inputs for attaching to a system.

The 1703FP and 1901FP feature distortion-free images due to 25 millisecond response times and rich, powerful colors with 600:1 contrast ratios. Vertical and horizontal viewing angles of 85 degrees enable a clear view of the screen from virtually any location around the display -- an advantage for multiple users sharing the same display.

"Dell is offering customers industry-leading value by incorporating great performance in a sleek industrial design at a low price point," said Tim Mattox, vice president of client product marketing for Dell. "These products also continue Dell's efforts to provide environmentally sensitive solutions to our customers by offering flat panels that contain significantly less lead and use less energy than traditional CRT displays."

The 1703FP is currently being offered worldwide for $499 and the 1901FP will be available for $740, beginning in July. The Dell AS500 sound bar can be purchased separately for $39 and is compatible with both monitors.

More details on the 1703FP and 1901FP can be found online at www.dell.com/monitors.

Jun 27 - Toshiba Introduces High-Capacity 2.5-Inch Hard Disk Drives. Toshiba's Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor hard disk drives (HDDs), today announced an 80GB 2.5-inch hard disk drive. With an areal density of 64.8 gigabits per square inch and a super slim package measuring 9.5mm high, Toshiba's MK8025GAS hard disk drive provides an ideal solution for mobile computing and consumer electronics.

Toshiba's lightweight, two-platter 80GB hard disk drive weighs only 98 grams, providing high performance in a slim design. Also available in a 40GB capacity (MK4025GAS), Toshiba's latest hard disk drives accommodate the storage needs of multi-functional mobile PCs and other applications, such as telecommunications, printers, copiers, GPS systems and MP3 players.

"Toshiba is continuing to lead the way in small, portable, high-capacity hard disk drives," said Amy Dalphy, manager, HDD business unit, Toshiba SDD. "These new drives provide capacious storage to portable devices, expanding product possibilities for the world's ever-shrinking, ever-more-mobile digital designs."

Toshiba's hard disk drives can withstand operational shock of up to 200G and non-operating shock of up to 800G, providing PC and consumer electronics manufacturers with a rugged, durable storage solution. The 2.5-inch drives support the ATA-6 interface and have a rotational speed of 4,200 RPM.

Toshiba's 40GB and 80GB drives are available now. For more information, visit www.harddrives.toshiba.com.

Jun 27 - I/OMagic Launches Next Generation CD Duplicator. /OMagic Corp. (OTCBB:IOMG), a leading developer and marketer of data storage and digital entertainment devices, today announced that it has launched the next edition of CD Duplicators into its optical storage line-up -- the 52x24x52/54x CD Duplicator with LCD Display and USB 2.0. The new I/OMagic 52x CD Duplicator is a stand alone, easy-to-use device that copies a full 700MB CD in less than three minutes. Its features include a backlit LCD panel that monitors disc status and percent complete, and USB 2.0 to allow for faster burn speeds.

"We believe consumers will appreciate the versatility and lightning-fast speed of our latest CD Duplicator offering," said Tony Andrews, vice president of Engineering and Product Development for I/OMagic Corp. "This product, at 52x, is one of the fastest, stand alone, easy-to-use duplicators on the market."

Highlights of the I/OMagic 52x24x52/54x CD Duplicator are that it has dual operating modes. It can be used either as a stand alone device or as an external USB 2.0 mode with up to 480Mbits per second, or it is backwards compatible with USB 1.1.

Users can create custom music CDs, make and share photo albums and duplicate back-up discs with the 52x24x52x/54x CD Duplicator. It has a 52x maximum write speed, a 24x maximum rewrite speed, a 52x maximum read speed and the source drive is a 54x CD-ROM.

The 52x CD Duplicator incorporates a unique two-way adjustable L.E.D. lighting system (blue/red/off). The I/OMagic 52x24x52/54x CD Duplicator supports RAW Mode Copy for original CD back-up, and is Windows XP, 2000, Me and 98 plug 'n play compatible.

The I/OMagic 52x24x52/54x CD Duplicator has an introductory price of $279 and is currently available at Circuit City and Best Buy Canada. For more information, visit the I/OMagic Web site at www.iomagic.com.

Jun 27 - Laplink Software, Inc. Releases LapLink Gold version 11.5. Laplink(R) Software, Inc., the recognized world leader in file transfer and synchronization, today announces the release of version 11.5 of the popular LapLink Gold(TM) file transfer and remote control product.

LapLink Gold 11.5 now supports a reliable direct connect USB transfer for both USB 1.1 and 2.0 standards as well as new secure firewall navigation using the LapLink Everywhere network. Many additional refinements have been added to simplify the user interface as well as performance enhancements for file transfer, synchronization, and remote control features. LapLink Gold version 11.5 is now also available preloaded on a USB "pen drive" for maximum flexibility and mobility.

"Our new direct connect USB support delivers optimal performance of up to 60 (Mb) megabits per second with rock solid reliability and ease of use that has been a longtime trademark of Laplink products," said Mark Eppley, President of Laplink Software, Inc. "Adding support for connecting over our LapLink Everywhere network solves a major usage issue and now allows our customers with no previous working knowledge of firewall or router configurations to connect easily, all while maintaining the high security standards Laplink has always had."

Also new to LapLink Gold version 11.5 is a lowered price point of $99.95 for the downloaded version, $109.95 for the packaged product version, and $129.95 preloaded on a USB pen drive. This option provides mobile users with a hard copy of LapLink and allows them to use it on computers that may not have a CDROM drive.

Laplink products are available through its Web site at www.laplink.com and most retail outlets.

Jun 26 - Apple Unleashes the World’s Fastest Personal Computer—the Power Mac G5. Apple® has unleashed the world’s fastest personal computer—the Power Mac® G5—featuring the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus. Powered by the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the Power Mac G5 is the first personal computer to utilize 64-bit processing technology for unprecedented memory expansion (up to 8GB) and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

“The 64-bit revolution has begun and the personal computer will never be the same again,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The new Power Mac G5 combines the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor, the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus, and up to 8GB of memory to beat the fastest Pentium 4 and dual Xeon-based systems in industry-standard benchmarks and real-world professional applications.”

Delivering the industry’s highest system bandwidth, the Power Mac G5 line offers dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1 GHz front-side bus, for an astounding 16 GBps of bandwidth. The line also features the industry’s highest bandwidth memory (400 MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM with throughput up to 6.4 GBps); the industry’s fastest PCI interface available on a desktop (133 MHz PCI-X); and cutting-edge AGP 8X Pro graphics capabilities, all within a stunning new professional aluminum enclosure featuring innovative computer-controlled cooling for quiet operation.

The PowerPC G5 processor is a result of the strategic relationship between Apple and IBM. At frequencies up to 2 GHz, the PowerPC G5 introduces 64-bit processing technology to desktop computing, while also running 32-bit applications natively. The PowerPC G5 processor architecture is based on a completely new execution core that features massively parallel computation for an unprecedented 215 in-flight instructions, full symmetric multi-processing, two double precision floating point units and an optimized Velocity Engine™. The PowerPC G5 chips are fabricated in IBM’s $3 billion state-of-the-art semiconductor facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.

The new Power Mac G5 is the world’s fastest personal computer based on SPEC® CPU 2000 benchmark results and leading professional application performance tests when compared against 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based systems and 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon-based systems:

In the SPEC CPU 2000 independent testing comparing the Power Mac G5 against leading 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based systems and 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon-based systems, the Power Mac G5 won three out of four key benchmark tests.
All tests were run with the same industry standard GCC 3.3 compiler to insure a fair comparison;
Single processor tests results show the Power Mac G5 an impressive 21 percent faster than the 3.0 GHz Pentium 4-based PC on SPECfp_base2000, which measures single processor floating point performance, and 10 percent slower on SPECint_base2000, which measures single processor integer performance;
and Dual processor tests results, which determine the fastest personal computer since dual processor systems are faster than single processor systems, are a clean sweep with the Power Mac G5 beating the 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstations by an incredible 41 percent on SPECfp_rate_base2000, which measures the total floating point throughput of the system, and edging out the same system by three percent on SPECint_rate_base2000, which measures total integer computation throughput.

In addition to outperforming Pentium 4- and Dual Xeon-based systems in industry-standard benchmarks, the Power Mac G5 ran significantly faster than Pentium 4 and Dual Xeon-based systems on performance tests of the most popular applications for creative professionals:

On a test of 45 commonly used actions, Adobe Photoshop ran twice as fast on the Power Mac G5 than on 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstations;
Logic Audio on the Power Mac G5 can play nearly 40 percent more tracks with reverbs applied than Cubase SX running on a 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstation; and Genentech Blast runs up to five times faster on a Power Mac G5 than on a 3.06 GHz Dual Xeon workstation.

Complementing its computational power, the Power Mac G5 provides leading-edge expansion with dual 1.5 Gbps serial ATA interfaces; the industry’s fastest PCI interface available on a desktop with a 133 MHz and two 100 MHz, 64-bit PCI-X slots; and AGP 8X Pro graphics capable of supporting the power and thermal demands of high-end professional graphics cards.

The Power Mac G5 comes standard with either the NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 or the ATI Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card. As a build-to-order option for unprecedented 3D design, visualization and gaming, the Power Mac G5 line also features the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro—a workstation-class graphics card featuring per pixel and vertex shaders, and providing an astonishing fill rate of 3 billion textured pixels/second.

The Power Mac G5 delivers industry-leading connectivity and high-performance I/O for creative professionals with Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire® 800, two FireWire 400 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, dual display support, optical digital audio input and output, analog audio input and output and a headphone jack. The system also supports 54 Mbps AirPort® Extreme wireless networking and is Bluetooth ready for wireless connections to a host of Bluetooth-enabled peripherals.

The Power Mac G5 features a stunning new anodized aluminum alloy enclosure, designed to meet the needs of the most demanding professionals. The new enclosure is built around four independently controlled thermal zones for advanced airflow management, with fans in each zone that are individually controlled based on a sophisticated combination of thermal and power monitoring, resulting in the Power Mac G5 running two times quieter than the previous Power Mac G4.

The G5 enclosure also features an easy-to-open access panel allowing quick access to internal components for tool-less installation of memory, hard drives, optical drives or an AirPort Extreme card. Front and rear handles allow professionals to rapidly and safely move Power Mac G5s when and where they need them, and front-mounted FireWire, USB2, and headphone ports provide convenient access for popular peripherals.

Pricing & Availability

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:

Dual 2.0 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
Dual Independent 1 GHz front-side buses;
512MB 400 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
RADEON 9600 Pro-64MB DDR;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive™.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,399 (US), includes:

1.8 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
900 MHz front-side bus;
512MB 400 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit, 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
800 MHz front-side bus;
256MB 333 MHz Dual Channel (128-bit) DDR;
4 DIMMs, 4GB maximum memory;
80GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR;
3 PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

The Power Mac G5 line will be available in August. The Power Mac G5 will be available in build-to-order configurations through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com). Options include up to 8GB of RAM, 250GB hard drives, Combo drive, graphics cards (NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, ATI Radeon 9600, ATI Radeon 9800), AirPort Extreme Card, Bluetooth module and an Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card.

Jun 26 - Toshiba Introduces New Desktop Replacement Notebook PCs. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today introduced the Satellite A20/25-S207 Series and Satellite A25-S307 Series notebooks offering powerful desktop-like performance in a mobile form factor for students, families and small businesses. Pricing begins at $1,499.

Whether developing an interactive multimedia presentation, backing up large amounts of data or simply watching a DVD movie, these new notebooks deliver a rich feature-set including a 15.0" diagonal XGA display, Secure Digital(TM) (SD) slot and 512MB memory.
Eliminating the need for a bulky desktop PC while adding the flexibility to remain mobile, the Satellite A20/25-S207 Series and Satellite A25-S307 Series notebook PCs are a welcome addition to any college dorm room, home or small office. Additionally, the Satellite A25-S307 Series continues Toshiba's drive to deliver new technology to its customers by incorporating a DVD-R/RW multi-function drive, expanding multimedia and productivity capabilities.

Whether e-mailing large files or performing online research, both the Satellite A20/25-S207 Series and Satellite A25-S307 Series notebook PCs feature built-in Wi-Fi(R) (IEEE 802.11b) wireless connectivity, for convenient access to the Internet at a wireless campus, public hotspot or wireless home network.

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

Jun 26 - Intel Helps Push High Performance Computing Mainstream. More than one-third of the world's most powerful computers with Intel processors inside of them are now deployed in commercial settings, signaling that high performance computing (HPC) is evolving from its academic and research origins to mainstream business usage.

The list of the world's 500 most powerful computers, issued today at www.top500.org and in conjunction with the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany, also reveals that Intel-based systems on the elite TOP500 list totaled 119, more than double the 56 systems on the list only six months ago, and up dramatically from just three on the list three years ago. Nineteen Intel® Itanium® family-based systems appeared on the list, up from two last time.

In addition, systems with as few as 92 Intel processors are appearing on the list for the first time. These are some of the smallest and most affordable systems to ever make the list delivering better performance at a lower cost vs. many proprietary systems.

"HPC is going mainstream," said John Davies vice president, Intel Sales and Marketing Group. "Businesses like BP, Lockheed Martin and DaimlerChrysler are joining leading academic institutions and research labs in using powerful, standards-based Intel processors and software to tackle the world's most complex computing challenges. With these powerful modeling and research systems, they can gain a tremendous business advantage."

The Intel® Itanium® 2 processor family also broke into the top 10 for the first time. An HP system in use at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. secured the eighth position on the list.

Notably, the Intel® Xeon processor-based cluster at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved No. 3 on the list, the highest position ever for any cluster. It uses a Quadrics interconnect and was manufactured by Linux Networx. Cluster systems such as this are also being discussed this week at the ClusterWorld show in San Jose, Calif.

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

TOP500 Supercomputers List, www.top500.org.

Jun 26 - DPS Ships Que!007 Portable DVD Burner and Digital Theater Device. Digital Peripheral Solutions Inc. (DPS) today announced it is shipping its Que!007(TM) Portable DVD Burner and Digital Theater. The sleek, portable, all-in-one convergence device features a FireWire DVD burner that also plays DVDs, CDs, MP3s, Picture CDs and PowerPoint presentations.

Unlike competitive units, the Que!007 works equally well as a computer peripheral or as a standalone battery-powered device. The built-in FireWire interface allows PC and Mac users to easily record, erase and rewrite DVDs, CDs and MP3 files. The Que!007 also plays DVD movies, audio CDs, MP3s, karaoke, picture CDs and PowerPoint presentations directly to a TV or flat-screen display.

"We designed the Que!007 to replace several of today's most popular PC/Mac peripherals -- DVD Burners, set-top/portable DVD players, MP3 players, audio CD players and presentation projectors --with a single, all-in-one, portable, battery-operated device," said Pierre Abboud, vice president of DPS. "This not only makes it easy for users to carry an entire home theater/entertainment center in the palm of their hand, it also saves them hundreds of dollars."

As a computer peripheral, the Que!007 can be used as a transportable data storage or data archiving drive. It includes an impressive array of features for burning DVDs and CDs as well as for playing DVD movies on PCs or Macs. In addition, it allows business users to display PowerPoint presentations, DVD-based industrial training videos, and impressive digital slide shows with built-in interactive screen transitions that pan, zoom, flip and rotate screen effects directly from the Que!007 without requiring bulky, expensive digital projectors or notebook computers.

As a 9-volt DC-powered portable digital theater/entertainment center, the Que!007 serves as a mobile DVD/CD/MP3 player, plays DVD movies in an RV or boat, and entertains children on long car rides (which many parents consider the drive's biggest benefit).

The Que!007 includes 4.7GB of storage, a 2MB buffer, built-in LCD display, Dolby(TM) Pro Logic and 3D Virtual Surround, a universal headphone/analog/optical audio output jack, and more. Accessories include a 36-key remote, external power supply adapter, detachable rechargeable battery pack, headphone set and all necessary cables. Bundled software includes a DVD authoring program for PCs and a CD mastering program for PCs and Macs.

The device supports virtually all disc formats and most media, including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW and CD-RW. The unit itself is shock and vibration resistant.

MSRP for the Que!007 Portable DVD Burner and Digital Theater is $599; it is available through PC/Mac Warehouse, PC/Mac Mall and PC/Mac Zone and through distribution from Ingram Micro. For further information, contact DPS at www.qps-inc.com.

Jun 26 - Noted Analyst Calls For New PC Classification. Citing Intel's successful classification of integrated graphics parts based on "good enough" graphics for office computing, Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, the Tiburon, Calif.-based leading multimedia and graphics market research firm, says there is a need to re-classify the PC in a way that will help consumers understand what kind of computer they are buying and what the capabilities of that computer are.

Peddie recommends that the PC industry create two classes of Entry-Level PCs, Corporate Entry-Level PCs for business; and Entry-Level Entertainment PCs (EEPCs) for gaming, DVD, video editing, and music. For gamers, the difference between the two means "good enough" for office computing or great for game play. Better yet, the step up to hot game play graphics can cost the consumer as little as $50 more, a price most would be happy to pay to be sure and get a machine that matches their expectations.

Microsoft agrees. General Manager for Windows Graphics and Gaming at Microsoft, Dean Lester, said, "I believe there is a lot more we as an industry can and should be doing in order to assist consumers in making smart choices with their hardware and software purchasing decisions."

The confusion started when the PC industry established a "Value PC" segment comprising PCs that typically sell for less than $1,000 and use integrated graphics parts to keep the manufacturing cost down. These parts are either integrated graphics controllers (IGCs) or integrated graphics processors (IGPs), an entirely new category of chipset. The integrated graphics controllers (IGCs) offered by Intel, VIA and XGI (formerly SIS) cannot run newer Microsoft DirectX8 level graphics-rich games and other multimedia applications. The new category of high performance integrated parts using integrated graphics processors (IGPs), on the other hand, can run applications based on DirectX8.

But pity the consumer who enters a retail outlet, sees an active demo of a high-end PC running a fantastic game or multimedia applications such as a DVD movie, music mixing, photo editing, etc. but recoils at the system price -- typically $1,500. Not wanting to lose a sale, eager salespeople direct the buyer to a lower priced value PC but neglect to reveal that those low-end machines with an IGC are not designed to play the kind of games or multimedia applications that consumer saw demonstrated on the high end system.
Many times the salesperson isn't aware of the difference either. But, once consumers bring the IGC-based system home, they're liable to be frustrated and the retail outlet typically has to take back the system from the disappointed customer. The solution is to define the Value PC segment as containing chipsets designed for the corporate user or for entertainment applications.

"With a simple designation that distinguishes between an entry level corporate PC designed for office productivity or an entry-level entertainment PC designed to play the new games being introduced as well as video, compressed audio, and streaming media, salespeople can clearly explain to the consumer what to expect," said Dr. Jon Peddie. "A PC with an integrated graphics processor may cost $50 more, and consumers will gladly pay the higher price, knowing they'll get the performance they expect. It's a win-win for everyone."

Peddie says that by creating these new classifications, IGP suppliers such as ATI and Nvidia will get a higher ASP (average selling price), the box builders get more, and the retailer gets more. And best of all, the consumer's expectations are met by an affordable system designed to play today's and tomorrow's games.

Jon Peddie Research can be ound online at www.jonpeddie.com.

Jun 26 - Users Spend About One Quarter of Each Workday on E-mail. According to a new survey from the American Management Association, Clearswift, and The ePolicy Institute, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for e-mail infractions and e-mail users spend about 25% of the workday on e-mail. Over 1,100 US employers participated in the 2003 E-Mail Survey, a follow-up to an e-mail survey conducted by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute in 2001.

The survey in detail revealed that 14% of respondents noted that their organization has been ordered by a court or regulatory body to produce employee e-mail an increase of 5% over 2001, when 9% of respondents reported employee e-mail had been subpoenaed.

The average respondent spends about 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) on e-mail every day ... about 25% of the workday. While 24% report spending less than one hour, 31% spend more than two hours and 8% more than four hours.

Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that e-mail has made them more efficient, in spite of the fact that 92% receive spam mail at work. Fully 47% say spam constitutes more than 10% of all their e-mail; 7% report spam represents over 50% of all e-mail received.

According to the compiled data, in 2003, more than half (52%) of U.S. companies engage in some form of e-mail monitoring of employees and enforce e-mail policies with discipline or other methods. In fact, 22% of companies have terminated an employee for e-mail infractions.

The use of technology to monitor e-mail and control message content has increased since 2001, when 24% of respondents reported using software to conduct key word or key phrase searches of e-mail and/or computer files. In 2003, over 40% of employers report using software to control written e-mail content.

Jun 25 - Microsoft Unveils Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs. Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Windows Mobile™ 2003 software for Pocket PCs.

Customers can choose among a variety of devices based on Windows Mobile software, available for purchase today. This new version of Microsoft® Windows Mobile software enhances the Pocket PC software experience by including support for easy access to wireless networks, a powerful digital media experience, and support for developers building Microsoft .NET services and applications.

Industry partners around the world, including new and existing Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC manufacturers, mobile operators and independent software vendors (ISVs), joined Microsoft in the introduction of this offering. In related news, Microsoft today also announced the new Windows Mobile brand, a single brand that extends the familiarity of the Windows® brand, while reflecting the uniqueness of software for mobile devices.

“Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs creates new opportunities for hardware, software and wireless companies to partner and deliver innovative solutions to help improve the way people work and live,” said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft. “By improving the core elements of Windows Mobile software, Microsoft has enabled customers to take advantage of software features that are wireless-ready and easy to use, and to connect with people and information with a broader range of new device hardware — and at attractive prices.”

New Devices and Partner

Microsoft is pleased to announce two new manufacturers for the Windows Mobile platform, Gateway Inc. and JVC Company of America, which will introduce new Pocket PCs later this year.

Customers can choose among a variety of devices from ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and ViewSonic based on Windows Mobile software, available for purchase today. In addition, Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC devices will be available soon from existing device manufacturers including Acer Incorporated, ASUSTeK Computer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Intermec Technologies Corp., Legend Group Ltd., MiTAC, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Symbol Technologies Inc., Toshiba America Information Systems, Trimble and ViewSonic.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Microsoft and Wi-Fi industry leader T-Mobile HotSpot, along with Boingo Wireless Inc. and Wayport Inc., announced offers to provide free 30-day access with new qualifying subscriptions to their Wi-Fi services to U.S. customers who purchase a Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC.

“T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi promise of wireless broadband solutions where you already go means our customers can check e-mail, download large files or access corporate intranets at T-1 speeds,” said Joe Sims, vice president and general manager of T-Mobile HotSpot. “T-Mobile is excited to work with Microsoft to launch Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs. We believe that this software will further enhance our customer’s user experience.”

Pocket PC, Refined

This latest version of Windows Mobile improves the core elements of the Pocket PC software through enhancements in wireless connectivity, easy navigation and rapid application development support as well as more entertainment options. Enhancements include these:

- Enables easy connection to a variety of wireless networks. Automatically detects and easily connects to Wi-Fi networks and personal area networks via native support for Bluetooth®

- Delivers a great messaging and e-mail experience. Enables always-up-to-date
e-mail synchronisation through integration with the upcoming Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and encourages further hardware innovation with native support for integrated keyboard devices

- Expands the digital media experience. Offers improved mobile experiences with users’ photos, music and home movies through support of Windows Media® 9 Series audio and video technology:
-- Pictures. Users can store, edit and display digital photos on their device.
-- Windows Media Player 9:
--- Provides access to a wider range of high-quality digital media content (no longer just content formatted for portable devices) over Wi-Fi networks at speeds of up to 300 Kbps.
--- Enables playback of home movies and digital photo albums created with Windows Movie Maker 2 or Plus! Photo Story.
--- Supports Plus! Sync & Go, allowing users to synchronise digital content from the Internet or their PC.

- Encourages platform innovation. Includes integrated support for the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, providing an exciting opportunity for enterprise developers, ISVs and solution providers with a rapid application development platform for a wide variety of applications that can take full advantage of Web services and XML

“Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs continue to generate increased interest from users and developers alike,” said Laura Rippy, chief executive of Handango. “The community of Windows Mobile developers selling Pocket PC applications has nearly doubled and is up 95 percent in the first quarter of 2003 over the first quarter of 2002, and Pocket PC software sales are up over 67 percent from the first quarter of 2002.”

More information about the new lineup of Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs is available at www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/windowsmobile2003launch/default.asp.

Jun 25 - Bill Gates Speaks Out Against Spam. In the latest in a series of Executive E-Mails to Microsoft customers, Bill Gates details Microsoft's commitment to combatting spam and a vision for how industry, government and individual e-mail users can join to reach a spam-free future.

To read the letter, visit Microsoft's web site.

Jun 25 - Toshiba Launches New PDAs Powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Software. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the Pocket PC e750/755 Series and e350/e355 Series personal digital assistants (PDAs) powered by the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs delivering enhanced wireless connectivity and multimedia applications for business users and consumers.

The Pocket PC e350/e355 Series is now available for $299 and the wireless-enabled Pocket PC e750/e755 Series is available for $499.

With the Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs, Toshiba's new PDAs offer greater mobility and productivity with new media and entertainment applications including Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 for Windows Mobile 2003, improved e-mail synchronization and Wi-Fi(R) (IEEE 802.11b) wireless connectivity detection for convenient access to a wireless-enabled public hotspot. Familiar productivity applications such as Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and Pocket Outlook are also included.

"Toshiba continues to diversify its PDA offerings with features for the corporate and consumer environment including wireless connectivity, increased expansion capabilities and ample storage capacity," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning. "Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs enhances the PDA experience by incorporating better ways to connect wirelessly and deliver new multimedia applications for the mobile user."

"Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs is an exciting new platform designed to keep PDA users connected and allow them to enjoy new media applications, whether they're at the office or on the road," said Juha Christensen, corporate vice president of the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "Toshiba has embraced the benefits of Windows Mobile 2003 software with its new handheld devices, allowing its customers to maximize the full potential of the PDA as a mobile productivity tool."

Pocket PC e750/e755 Series

Priced at only $499 and designed for the business user and professional consumer, the Pocket PC e750/e755 Series features integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) wireless connectivity allowing users to check e-mail and view files from a public hotspot or other wireless locations. Complementing Toshiba's drive to develop new voice and data applications with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) wireless technology, the Pocket PC e750/e755 Series includes voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities through an optional hands-free headset via the integrated headphone/microphone jack (requires additional software, and Internet connectivity).

Maximizing storage management and expansion functionality, the Pocket PC e750/e755 Series offers 96MB of memory, 32MB of which is dedicated NAND flash memory. Files, critical applications or programs stored in the NAND flash memory will remain intact even if the battery of the device runs down or needs to be reset. Integrated CompactFlash(R) II and Secure Digital(TM) (SD) expansion slots are also included for additional storage and data transfer capabilities.

Pocket PC e350/e355 Series

The Pocket PC e350/e355 Series allows users to do more than just simple calendar and address book functionality to manage their busy lifestyle. Combined with the Bluetooth(TM) native support of the Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software and the built-in SD expansion slot, users can exchange information wirelessly (via the optional Bluetooth SD card) with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Pocket PC e350/e355 Series customers can also conveniently transfer digital images, video and audio files from any SD-equipped device for added flexibility.

Priced at only $299, the Pocket PC e350/e355 Series is one of the thinnest PDAs in the industry and weighs a mere 5.2 ounces so mobility is never compromised. Adding style with productivity, the new PDA is packaged in an attractive premium graphite casing, designed for the active lifestyle.

Convenient Upgrade to Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PCs

Toshiba Pocket PC e750/e755 Series customers can take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs via a technology upgrade program. Users who purchased a Pocket PC e750/e755 Series device from May 23, 2003-Sept. 23, 2003 are eligible to upgrade to the new operating system for free plus $15.99 for shipping and handling.

Customers who purchased the Pocket PC e750/e755 Series with the Pocket PC 2002 operating system before May 23, 2003 will be able to upgrade to Windows Mobile 2003 for $50 (shipping and handling included). Full program details can be found by visiting www.shoptoshiba.com.

Jun 25 - HP Unveils Its Broadest Range of Handhelds Ever. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today expanded the award-winning HP iPAQ Pocket PC product line to offer customers a full range of handheld computing options. New models include the HP iPAQ h2210, the smallest dual slot pocket PC; the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h1940, a slim, value-priced pocket PC; and the HP iPAQ h5150 and h5550, which include a 128-MB RAM power machine.

HP iPAQ Pocket PCs, the No. 1 selling Pocket PC family worldwide, include common features such as a brilliant and vivid transflective display, a secure digital input/output (SDIO) expansion slot allowing for additional storage and capability, removable batteries, mobile printing software, and the company's exclusive iPAQ Image Viewer for viewing images and creating slide shows.

Integrated Bluetooth(TM) wireless capability is offered across the entire iPAQ Pocket PC family announced today, allowing connectivity to Bluetooth notebook PCs, printers and accessories, as well as access to remote data when combined with a Bluetooth enabled phone. Bluetooth enables users to effortlessly synchronize and share data through their own personal area networks.

Mobile printing software shipping with the new models allows customers to take advantage of the integrated Bluetooth capability to wirelessly print e-mail attachments, documents or photos conveniently from the Pocket PC to a Bluetooth enabled HP printer.

The HP iPAQ Pocket PC's innovative screen technology continues in the new models. The transflective liquid crystal display combines the rich color saturation and high contrast of a backlit TFT display, while remaining viewable outdoors in bright sunlight. All of these models are powered by Microsoft Windows(R) Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PC.

"By creating feature-rich handhelds for every need and every budget, HP continues to drive industry-leading innovation with industry-leading value," said Ted Clark, vice president handhelds, mobile computing group, HP Personal Systems Group. "The combination of wireless connectivity and expandability across the HP iPAQ Pocket PC product line empowers our customers to be more productive at home, at work or on the go."

HP iPAQ h2210 -- the Smallest Dual Slot Pocket PC Available

Designed for the mobile professional, the HP iPAQ h2210 is the smallest Pocket PC on the market to include dual slot expansion (Compact Flash Type II and Secure Digital). This offers customers the ability to increase data storage, play more music and view more photos while extending the capability of the device based on the card that best fits their needs.

The h2210's small, sleek design includes integrated Bluetooth wireless capability, enabling wireless synchronization and data sharing through a personal area network.

Also included in the h2210 is the Nevo universal remote control software, allowing users to control all their home and office audio and video equipment with a single device.

The device comes with 64 MB of RAM (56 MB of main memory) and the 400-MHz Intel(R) X-Scale PXA255 applications processor for accelerated multimedia and security. A slipcase and desktop cradle with an extra battery slot for charging is included with the device, and a variety of optional accessories are available including extra styli, a spare lithium-ion battery, auto adapter and a variety of cases. Its estimated street price is $399.

Slim and Affordable HP iPAQ Pocket PC h1940

The iPAQ Pocket PC h1940 offers consumers and mobile professionals integrated expansion and wireless connectivity at a low estimated price of $299.

Building on the success of the h1910, the h1940 has a similar slim and sleek design and includes a dazzling color display, SDIO and integrated Bluetooth wireless capability. The h1940 weighs a mere 4.37 ounces and easily slips into a shirt pocket or purse.

The SDIO expansion slot allows customers to do even more with the iPAQ Pocket PC by adding not only memory cards but also wireless cards, digital cameras and other features in the future.

The h1940 includes 64 MB of RAM (56 MB of main memory) and the Samsung S3C2410 processor (266-MHz processor). A synchronization cable is included with the device, and a variety of optional accessories are available including a USB cradle with an extra battery slot for charging, extra styli, a spare lithium-ion battery, auto adapter and a variety of cases. Street price varies by country. Estimated U.S. pricing for the h1940 is $299.

Versatile and Expandable HP iPAQ Pocket PC h5150 and h5550

The HP iPAQ Pocket PC h5150 and h5550 offer small- and medium-sized businesses and enterprise customers a powerful and expandable option for their handheld computing needs.

Building on the success of the h5450 model introduced in 2002, the h5150 and h5550 offer a stable platform that allows customers to get more from their iPAQ Pocket PC by adding expansion packs with additional capabilities. Both models include a removable slim battery (1250mAh) and integrated Bluetooth capability.

The h5550 is the first Pocket PC to include an unparalleled 128 MB of RAM as well as integrated biometrics security and wireless LAN network access (802.11b). This model also includes up to 17 MB of iPAQ File Store (non-volatile flash storage). Its estimated street price is $649.

Through wireless LAN networks, the h5550 and h5150 allow access to information when connected to a corporate network or wireless "hotspot," making it an ideal component of any mobile business solution. (The h5150 requires the addition of a wireless LAN card for wireless access.) When combined with a Bluetooth enabled phone, this allows access to remote data while waiting for a flight, meeting with customers or sitting in a hotel.

A thermal biometric fingerprint reader on the h5550 helps to ensure that critical data is protected from unauthorized access by authenticating the owner's unique fingerprint, which can then be combined with a personal identification number, password or both.

The h5150 allows additional expansion and, like the other models announced today, incorporates Bluetooth wireless technology so customers can exchange and print documents and photos without the need for a cable or specific print drivers. Users can also choose to add an SDIO wireless LAN card or the HP PC Card Expansion Pack Plus and a wireless LAN card to connect to high-speed wireless LAN networks. This model includes 64 MB of RAM and up to 4 MB of iPAQ File Store. Its estimated street price is $549.

The h5150 and 5550 also incorporate a wide range of applications such as the iPAQ Backup utility and iPAQ Task Manager. These models feature a 400-MHz Intel X-Scale PXA255 processor for accelerated multimedia and security. A desktop cradle and holster case is included with the device, and a variety of optional accessories are available including slim and extended removable batteries, extra styli, auto adapter and a variety of cases.

To further expand the capabilities of the HP iPAQ Pocket PC, various solutions and tools are available at the HP iPAQ Pocket PC Solutions Catalog Web site, http://www.hp.com/go/ipaqsolutions. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

Jun 25 - ATI's New Chipsets Enable Entry-Level Gaming PCs and Notebooks. In a breakthrough that will deliver true gaming performance to value PC and notebook users, ATI Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:ATYT) (TSX:ATY) today unveiled a powerful new family of IGPs (integrated graphics processors), RADEON(TM) 9100 IGP and MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 9100 IGP.
The competitively-priced, high performance chipsets leverage ATI's award-winning desktop and mobile technology to deliver better visual effects and up to six times the graphics performance of competing solutions.

RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP redefine integrated graphics by delivering breathtaking graphics performance to value and mainstream PC and notebook PC users -- up to six times the performance of the fastest competitors in tests using the industry-standard 3DMark03 benchmark from Futuremark.
In a breakthrough for entry-level users, RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP will for the first time enable them to see the spectacular visual effects implemented in the latest games, thanks to the inclusion of advanced programmable pixel shading technology, a first for the chipset industry.

"Dramatic growth in the size of the gaming population, coupled with the increasing complexity of PC games and the increased popularity of value PC systems has created a void where regular and casual gamers want to play the latest games but don't have the graphics technology to do so," said Dr. Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research, the leading multimedia and graphics market research firm.
"This has created a new segmentation in the value category, the entry-level gaming PC. With RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP," Peddie added, "ATI is uniquely positioned to offer a cost-effective solution that addresses this problem, and provides business and consumer PC and notebook users with the graphics performance and features they've been looking for in the value space."

"Decent visual quality, sophisticated graphics features, and high performance graphics used to be the exclusive preserve of the high-end PC or notebook user," said Philip Eisler, VP and General Manager, Integrated and Mobile Business Unit, ATI Technologies Inc. "With the latest graphics features, including advanced programmable pixel shading technology, massive performance improvements, flexible connectivity, and advanced power management, RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP are bringing the award-winning RADEON graphics experience to everyone."

Competitively priced, RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP are the perfect choices for OEMs and system integrators designing PCs and notebooks for the mass market. Built for use with Intel's Pentium(R) 4, Celeron(R), Pentium(R) 4 Processor-M, and Pentium(R) M Processor platforms, RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP also provide the hardware support to enable entry-level MCE (Media Center Edition) PCs, and deliver advanced DVD playback features, unique power management capabilities, support for up to three independent displays, and multimedia performance that will raise the bar for both consumer and corporate PC and notebook users.

RADEON 9100 IGP and MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP will begin shipping this summer. Visit ATI's Web site at http://www.ati.com.

Jun 25 - FireWire 800 Delivers Major Gains in Computer, Peripheral Performance. A new set of comprehensive performance tests conducted by Bare Feats, a private hardware analytical organization, shows FireWire800 matching ATA-133 performance in basic read and write functions, and far exceeding the performance of USB 2.0 in all comparisons.

Barefeats conducted five complete performance tests comparing six different standards -- FireWire 800 built-in; FireWire 800; PCI; FireWire 400; ATA-133; Ultra320 SCSI; and USB 2.0. The tests were performed using an FW Depot IceCube 800 drive, and included 100 MB block sustained READ and 100 MB block sustained WRITE; 128K-1024K Random READ and Random WRITE; and 457 MB Finder Duplicate.

In all of the tests, Ultra320 SCSI far outpaced ATA-133 and all FireWire implementations by 50 to 60 percent, while USB 2.0 ran well behind the other standards, and lagged FireWire 800 by between 50 and 70 percent in all tests.

"There is very positive news for the 1394 standard throughout all of these test results," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "For example, FireWire 400 operated much more efficiently than USB 2.0 and consistently yielded much better throughput. FireWire 800 kept pace with ATA-133. Both are much more cost-efficient than UltraSCSI."

The first computers and disk drives incorporating FireWire 800, which is based on the IEEE 1394b version of the standard, were introduced in January of this year, and more computer and consumer electronics products incorporating it are in development now.

Bare Feats concluded that the FireWire 800 interface runs significantly faster than the older FireWire 400 version, as expected. While write speed for FireWire products was slightly better with built in rather than PCI ports, read speed measured identically in read and write mode. The FireWire 800 speed "is now very close to that of ATA-133, and in one sense, FireWire 800 could be called external ATA-6," according to the report.

For complete results, visit http://www.barefeats.com/fire36.html at www.barefeats.com.

Jun 25 - 321 Studios Announces Release of DVD X Copy Gold. 321 Studios, the leader in DVD back-up software, announced today the release of its latest breakthrough in DVD technology: DVD X Copy Gold. DVD X Copy Gold is the industry's premier DVD back-up software program, allowing users to quickly back-up their private collections with flawless copies of their favorite DVDs. This new software combines all of the features and capabilities of previously released DVD X Copy and DVD X Copy XPRESS.

"DVD X Copy Gold is the gold standard in DVD back-up technology," said Robert Moore, founder and president of 321 Studios. "It combines the best features of our previously released software in one great package. It is the highest quality DVD copying technology available on the market to date."

DVD X Copy Gold includes the ability to back-up most DVDs within about 60 minutes or less and boasts an extremely user-friendly interface - only two clicks from start to finish. DVD X Copy Gold can compress a DVD-9 to a DVD-5, fitting each backup copy onto one single DVD R or DVD RW. Or, if the user selects, DVD X Copy Gold can copy all special features included in the original DVD and not utilize the compression system. The choice is yours.

Users can make back-up copies of their DVD movies with DVD X Copy Gold using nothing more than a DVD burner and blank DVD R(W) media, which can be played back on portable and home DVD players as well as PCs with DVD drives. Users simply install DVD X Copy Gold, place the DVD movie into their DVD-ROM drive, insert a blank DVD R(W) in their DVD burner, and click the "Start" button. DVD X Copy Gold has been tested extensively and is compatible with Windows XP/2000/98/ME.

"321 Studios continues its traditions of excellence and customer satisfaction with this release," said Moore. "We are proud to provide the highest possible video and audio quality, as well as built-in anti-piracy protection, to our customers in DVD X Copy Gold."

DVD X Copy Gold has a sale price of $119.99. DVD X Copy Gold is available for immediate purchase from 321 Studios at www.DVDXCopy.com and at select retail outlets.

Jun 24 - Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor With Hyper-Threading Technology Introduced At 3.2 GHz. Intel Corporation today introduced a new version of the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology at 3.2 GHz. Pentium 4 processor-based PCs and Intel® Xeon-based servers with HT technology are now available across a range of mainstream and performance system price points.

Consumers using computers powered by Intel's newest processor will be able to more quickly edit their digital music, photos and movies, often doing two of these activities simultaneously without sacrificing performance. Businesses using high-performance PCs based on this processor can help maximize employee productivity in multitasking environments and when conducting processor-intensive tasks such as video production, financial analysis, and engineering design.

"Our latest Pentium 4 Processors with HT Technology can handle the most demanding computer user's day," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "These individuals can start their day with a multitasking work environment, move on to encoding home movies to DVD while playing music files, and end their day with the latest multiplayer Internet games."

With a 512K Level 2 cache, a choice of 400, 533 and 800 MHz system bus speeds, and manufactured on Intel's leading 0.13-micron process technology, the Intel Pentium 4 processor is the leading microprocessor for consumers and business users worldwide.

Performance for the Digital Lifestyle

With high-performance PCs, consumers can dramatically reduce the time it takes to encode digital media such as music, pictures, and movies. A computer based on the Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology operating at 3.2 GHz can convert one minute of digital video to MPEG 4 while encoding about twenty-six minutes worth of music to mp3 format over four times faster than a PC based on an Intel Pentium III processor at 1 GHz - the top-speed processor just three years ago. In addition, consumers can edit photos nearly three times faster with a PC based on the Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.2 GHz versus a 1 GHz Pentium III processor-based PC.

Benefits for Business

High-performance PCs based on the Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.2 GHz enable greater user satisfaction with quicker response time and improved productivity in multitasking business environments.
In industry standard benchmarks such as SYSmark 2002, PCs based on the Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.2 GHz deliver more than three times faster performance than the current installed base of 1 GHz PCs. With content creation applications such as Adobe AfterEffects and Discreet 3d StudioMax, computers based on the Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.2 GHz provide over 3.4 times faster performance than the installed base of 1 GHz PCs.

What is Hyper-Threading Technology?

HT Technology allows software to "see" two processors instead of one. Software applications can be written to have multiple pieces of code called "threads" take advantage of this technology. First introduced on server and workstations, HT technology allows the desktop PC's processor to work on two separate threads at the same time, improving performance when two or more applications are run simultaneously. Multitasking workloads benefit immediately when run under operating systems such as Microsoft Windows* XP or certain Linux* software.

Performance, Pricing and Availability

The Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.2 GHz delivers the world's highest Microsoft Windows desktop processor performance as measured by SPEC CPU 2000 (compared to results published at http://www.spec.org/ as of June 17, 2003) with a SPECint*_base2000 score of 1221 and a SPECfp*_base2000 score of 1252.

Intel also is shipping boxed Intel Pentium 4 processors up to 3.2 GHz to Intel authorized distributors for system integrators worldwide. In 1,000 unit quantities, the Pentium 4 processor at 3.2 GHz sells for $637.

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

Jun 24 - HP Releases First Customizable HP Media Center PC Starting Under $1,000. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced the HP Media Center PC m200 series, providing digital entertainment enthusiasts an even better value than previous models with enhanced features and reduced prices -- including the ability to configure a custom HP Media Center starting as low as an estimated $999.

Available off the retail shelf and now customizable from HP, the HP Media Center PC m200 series features faster processors, larger hard drives, advanced graphics options as well as a wireless HP Media Center Premium keyboard and mouse on select models for additional user flexibility and fewer cables.

"The HP Media Center PC has continued to be a popular choice for digital entertainment enthusiasts looking for a PC that helps them better enjoy and manage their digital lifestyle," said Sam Szteinbaum, vice president and general manager, HP North Consumer Computing. "The new features, pricing and ability for customers to now customize their PC, make the HP Media Center PC an even more attractive offering for a wider range of consumers interested in getting more out their PC and digital content."

All HP Media Center PCs include Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition, which allows consumers to easily enjoy digital entertainment features such as recording, pausing and rewinding live television as well as to organize, experience and share digital music, photos, movies and personal videos.

Personalize Digital Entertainment with a Custom HP Media Center PC

Beginning July 9, HP Media Center PC customers can personalize their digital media PC from a variety of choices, all optimized for digital entertainment. Customizable versions are ideal for PC owners who have already invested in peripherals, such as surround sound speakers and external DVD+RW drives for their existing systems, and who would like to enjoy the full range of entertainment features offered by Media Center PCs.

The ability to customize the HP Media Center PC allows customers more flexibility to mix and match the options that will best support their individual interests and budget. While some customers may prefer a large hard drive for storing full seasons of their favorite TV show and only a recordable CD drive for making music CDs, others may have a set-top DVD player and instead choose a recordable DVD writer so they can make DVDs of recorded TV and the home movies they like to edit, but not need as much internal storage.

The HP Media Center PC can be configured for as low $999 with a 2.4-gigahertz Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor; 512-megabytes DDR memory; an 80-gigabyte hard drive; and an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX440 AGP 8x graphics card.

Additional configurable options include the new wireless HP Media Center Premium keyboard and mouse; Intel Pentium 4 processors up to 3.2 gigahertz; up to 1.5-gigabytes DDR memory; hard drives as large as 250 gigabytes; as well as a variety of optical drive combinations, speakers, and graphics and sound card options.

All HP Media Center PCs also include a Media Center remote control and keyboard with entertainment controls, six-in-one media card reader, TV tuner card and free digital program guide; TV-out ports; six channel audio; six USB ports; two or more IEEE FireWire ports; 10/100BT Ethernet port; and v.90 modem.

The HP Media Center PC m200 series can be purchased direct from www.hpshopping.com, by visiting a local retailer, or at HP kiosks found at nearly 4,000 popular retail locations.

Jun 24 - HP Gives Pavilion PCs and Monitors a Face-lift. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today unveiled the full line of retail and configurable HP Pavilion a200 series desktop PCs and redesigned HP Pavilion monitors for digital media enthusiasts.

Sporting a new metallic platinum blue and dusk blue color scheme with matching blue-lit power button, the a200 series helps users better enjoy their digital media content with features such as slide-away doors that cover ports without getting in the way, convenient optical drive eject buttons, and a six-in-one media card reader on select models for quick access to digital content from devices such as digital camera disks.

"HP is committed to offering consumers the tools and technology they need to keep up with today's evolving digital lifestyles," said Sam Szteinbaum, vice president and general manager, HP North America Consumer Computing. "With our new HP Pavilion line, we are offering customers the latest technology to help them get more out of a home PC. This series offers tools that help them do everything from PC basics to recording a personal CD of favorite songs for the morning commute to editing a home video or digital photo slide show of their last vacation."

HP is also offering new monitors with improved comfort features and a sleek new design that complements the new HP Pavilion a200 desktop PCs.

New HP Pavilion a200 Series Retail Offerings

The entry-level HP Pavilion a200n is an ideal family PC at a good value -- ready for work or play right out of the box. Available for an estimated U.S. street price of $469, the a200n features an Intel(R) Celeron(R) 2.4-gigahertz processor; 256-megabyte PC2100 DDR memory; a 40-gigabyte hard drive; a 48x CD-RW drive; 64-megabyte Intel Extreme UMA graphics; and six USB 2.0 ports. The a200n is expected to be available on July 6.

For digital photography entertainment, the HP Pavilion a220n features a six-in-one media card reader and a large 120-gigabyte hard drive for quick and easy transfer and storage of digital content. Expected to be available on June 29 for an estimated U.S. street price of $679, the a220n includes an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ processor; 512-megabytes PC2700 DDR memory; a 16x DVD-ROM drive; a 48x CD-RW drive; and a 64-megabyte NVIDIA GeForce4 MX UMA graphics.

The HP Pavilion a250n PC is a digital entertainment powerhouse. It features an 2.6-gigahertz Intel Pentium(R) 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology and an 800-megahertz front-side bus; 512-megabyte PC2700 DDR memory; and a 120-gigabyte hard drive for plenty of power and storage for digital video editing.

It also includes a DVD+RW/CD-RW combo drive for recording digital music, videos or photo slideshows; a 48x CD-ROM drive; a 64-megabyte NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x graphics card; two FireWire ports; a six-in-one media card reader; and six USB 2.0 ports. The HP Pavilion a250n is available today at an estimated U.S. street price of $999.

All models offer a 10/100 Ethernet port; a v.90 modem; Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition and an HP keyboard and mouse.

New HP Monitor Offerings

The platinum blue HP Pavilion flat panel monitors, the 15-inch f1503 and 17-inch f1703, feature a newly designed hinged base that allows the user to adjust the height of the monitor to their comfort level, in addition to traditional tilt and swivel adjustment features. Both monitors include an active matrix liquid crystal display (LCD) combined with anti-glare for the creation of better images that are easier to view.

Both LCD monitors now include compact, stand-alone Harman Kardon speakers, providing quality sound in a small package that won't clutter the user's workspace. The new f1503 and f1703 monitors are available now for estimated U.S. prices of $329 and $499, after $50 mail-in rebates, respectively.

The new HP Pavilion MX703 CRT monitors provide a 17-inch flat screen in an improved eye-catching design to match the new a200 desktop series. Featuring a tilt and swivel base for comfortable viewing, the MX703 also offers the ability to optimize images for a consumer's individual surroundings using an on-screen display and a hassle-free, plug-and-play design so users can get up and running quickly. Planned to be available by June 29, the MX703 is expected to have an estimated U.S. street price of $159, after $50 mail-in rebate.

Starting June 25 from hpshopping.com or retailer kiosks, HP will offer the new platinum blue VF15 15-inch LCD monitor for the affordable estimated U.S. street price of $249 and the 17-inch M703C CRT monitor for the low estimated U.S. street price of $99 (without speakers), both after $50 mail-in rebates.

HP Pavilion desktop PCs and monitors can be purchased direct from HP at www.hpshopping.com or by visiting a local retailer or an HP kiosk located at nearly 4,000 popular retail locations.

Jun 24 - Samsung's DDR400 Memory Modules Equip Notebooks With The Power of Desktop PCs. Samsung, the world leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, today announced that its DDR400 1Gigabyte (GB) memory modules are in volume production and ready to support the computer industry's transition to notebook PCs that rival the memory capacity of desktop models. As the number of PC users looking to replace desktop models with slim notebooks grow, Samsung's DDR400 modules providing notebooks with desktop-like power will speed the market transition.

"Samsung's DDR400 1GB memory module is the industry's first in volume production, and its availability to handle increasing demand for memory-intensive applications is expected to speed the growth of notebook sales," said Tom Quinn, vice president, memory sales and marketing. "This module also mitigates heat buildup associated with high-speed memory devices like the DDR400 used in the tight confines of a notebook. Samsung addressed this problem by using 0.10-micron process technology and a copper lead frame, which has excellent heat conductivity."

The main memory device currently used in notebook PCs, the DDR266, is expected to give way to the DDR333 in the second half of this year. The DDR400 offers notebook users a 50 percent improvement in peak bandwidth over DDR266, and Samsung expects this device to become the memory of choice for users who require high-performance notebook computers that are lightweight and easily portable.

The recent introduction of Intel's Springdale and Canterwood chipsets for high-end PCs coupled with Intel's new 400MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) process are expected to accelerate adoption of DDR400 in the PC market.

Samsung first sampled its DDR400 modules to computer makers in February 2003, and major notebook PC manufacturers are already receiving regular shipments of the DDR400 modules. Samsung was also the first in the industry to launch volume production of DDR400 modules for desktop PCs in March 2002, generating market demand for high-performance memory.

For more information, visit www.samsungsemi.com.

Jun 24 - T-Mobile USA Launches New Blackberry 6210. T-Mobile USA, Inc. today introduced the BlackBerry(R) 6210(TM), one of the most affordable and simple ways to manage email and make wireless voice calls from a single handheld device.

In addition to being a great mobile solution for enterprise customers with corporate email systems, the BlackBerry 6210 from T-Mobile now allows consumers and small businesses to get their Internet Service Provider (ISP) email while mobile on T-Mobile's all-digital, high-speed GSM/GPRS voice and data network -- the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The BlackBerry 6210, developed by Research in Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq:RIMM; TSX: RIM), is now available directly from T-Mobile for $299.99. In keeping with its Get More(R) promise to offer the best overall value in wireless, consumers, small businesses and corporate enterprises can enjoy the benefits of the BlackBerry wireless voice and email solution at flat monthly rates. T-Mobile customers who choose the BlackBerry can now add unlimited email and mobile content to most voice plans for $29.99 a month.

"T-Mobile's goal is to provide our customers with reliable wireless voice and data access to applications that they care about most across our entire national network," said Cole Brodman, senior vice president and chief development officer for T-Mobile USA, Inc. "For the international traveler, we know how difficult it can be to get email access, and thanks to T-Mobile International's strong international presence and the BlackBerry 6210, it's now simple to stay in contact when traveling abroad."

The BlackBerry 6210 is a full-featured handheld designed specifically to deliver wireless email, phone, SMS, mobile content and organizer functionality on the best combined phone and email device that is smaller and lighter than previous BlackBerry handhelds, making it an ideal productivity tool for mobile professionals:

Wireless Email

The BlackBerry 6210 is the perfect wireless email extension enabling customers to send and receive email, with attachments, quickly and easily using the full QWERTY keyboard. T-Mobile customers can wirelessly access up to 10 corporate or personal email accounts, including popular ISPs, to stay connected to both business and personal email on the same handheld. The BlackBerry "push" architecture means email is automatically delivered to the handheld and users receive emails automatically -- no effort required.

Mobile Phone

The feature rich built-in dual-band phone functionality means customers can make and receive calls while roaming abroad and use features such as call waiting, conference calling and call forwarding where available. The BlackBerry 6210 can be held in the same manner as a mobile phone or using the included hands-free headset, customers can type notes or access information while speaking.

SMS

Empowering cross-device communications, the BlackBerry 6210 supports Short Messaging Service (SMS) enabling customers to send short text messages that quickly can be exchanged between SMS-enabled wireless devices without adding email messages to an inbox. The full QWERTY keypad on the BlackBerry 6210 is ideal for typing SMS messages.

Organizer

Customers can stay organized with the full-featured calendar, address book, memo pad and task list applications that can be synched with their desktop personal computer for maximum productivity.

Application Integration

The BlackBerry 6210 features exceptional software integration meaning customers can use the same integrated address book and inbox to access all email, voice and SMS applications. Additionally, BlackBerry 6210 users can even click on an email address, telephone number or URL inside an email message to automatically compose a new message, call a telephone number or connect to a URL.

Expandable

The BlackBerry 6210 runs on the Java(TM) 2 Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) platform. The modular J2ME application development environment opens the handheld to a large and growing developer community writing productivity-enhancing wireless applications that can extend the back office resources to mobile professionals.

To purchase a BlackBerry 6210 or find the nearest sales representative, go to www.t-mobile.com.

Jun 24 - CompactFlash Association Announces Version 2.0 CompactFlash Specification. The CompactFlash Association (CFA) announced that the CF+(TM) & CompactFlash(R) Specification Version 2.0 has been published.

Version 2.0 increases the CompactFlash interface data transfer rate from 8MB/sec to 16MB/sec, while maintaining complete forward and backward compatibility with old and new host systems. Older host systems will continue to operate with the 8MB/sec interface mode, while new systems can be designed to use CF cards with the 16MB/sec interface. Older 8MB/sec interface cards will operate at the 8MB/sec interface data rate in older and newer systems.

Flash chip technology advances have allowed flash chips to achieve sustained data transfer rates of 5-7MB/sec. The development of the 16MB/sec interface means that the CompactFlash interface will not restrict the sustained data transfer rate of CompactFlash cards in the near future.

Additional technical proposals underway in the CFA include adding DMA interface mode by the end of 2003 and Ultra DMA 33 during 2004.

DMA interface mode reduces the host processor power required to manage the CompactFlash data transfers. Ultra DMA 33 interface mode will increase the CompactFlash interface data transfer rate to 33MB/sec. Both of these DMA interface modes are well defined and tested by their usage on IDE hard disk drives.

The original and current CompactFlash Specification allows for addressing 137GB cards. However, there is another issue that limits the usable size of CompactFlash cards. Currently the FAT16 file system is used for cards up to 2.2GB. To use the full capacity of cards over 2.2GB capacity, the FAT32 file system is necessary.

The CFA is currently recommending that systems be designed to be compatible with FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 file systems in order to be able to use the full capacity range of CompactFlash cards currently being offered. Some of the newest digital cameras now support FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32.

CompactFlash card slots are in MORE (over 265) digital cameras, MORE (over 115) handheld/palm-size PCs and MORE (over 275) other electronic platforms including heart monitors, defibrillators, printers, MP3 players, voice recorders, embedded computers, etc. than any other small form factor card.

Shipping CompactFlash card capacities have reached 3GB. 4GB and 5GB CompactFlash cards have been announced for shipment later this year.

CF I/O cards provide MORE communications capability. VGA, Ethernet, modem, serial, parallel, digital phone, GSM, Bluetooth and Ethernet wireless cards are all available.

The CompactFlash Association is a non-profit, mutual-benefit corporation that promotes adoption of CompactFlash as a worldwide, ultra-small, removable data storage and I/O card interface standard for capturing and transporting digital data, audio and images and providing connectivity to a wide variety of I/O peripherals.

The CF Specification is available to download free from the CFA web site at www.compactflash.org.

Jun 24 - V Communications Introduces Fix-It Utilities 5. San Jose, California based, V Communications, a leading developer and publisher of advanced software utilities, today introduced Fix-It Utilities 5, VCOM's award winning, full service diagnostic and repair tools for the PC. This is the first major release of Fix-It Utilities since it was acquired from KrollOntrack in September of 2002.

New in Fix-It Utilities 5, among other enhanced tools, is Recovery Commander(TM), an advanced data recovery system that can correct for major system file damage that prevents your system from booting. Fix-It Utilities 5 allows users at all levels to perform critical maintenance tasks on their own PC, thereby saving them hundreds of dollars. Bundled in with Fix-It Utilities 5 is PowerDesk 5, VCOM's award winning file manager.

"Fix-It Utilities 5 raises the bar on PC maintenance and repair," noted Frank van Gilluwe, V Communication's president. "We've listened to our customers and added the features that they've requested," concluded van Gilluwe.

Like its predecessor, this new version provides extensive and improved hardware diagnostics including network, USB, Firewire and diagnostics for DVD drives, enhanced and upgraded virus protection with Virus Scanner Pro, hard disk warnings, in the event of potential failure, registry repair and more.

Key features of Fix-It Utilities 5 include:

-- Easy, one-step maintenance

-- Optimize system performance

-- Diagnose and fix problems

-- Detect hard drive problems early

-- Advanced PC recovery and

--Protection from viruses, Trojans and worms

Fix-It Utilities 5 is compatible with Windows 98/Me/NT/2000 and XP and is expected to be street priced at $49.99. The product is expected to be in retail stores by early July, 2003. More information is available about the product at http://www.v-com.com.

Jun 24 - KaZaA and Peer-to-Peer Networking Threaten Online Privacy. PestPatrol, Inc., the leading developer of security software to detect and eliminate spyware, adware, trojans and hacker tools from corporate networks and home user PCs, today released a Pest Briefing Paper (www.pestpatrol.com/whitepapers/p2p.asp) to explain in everyday language the dangers posed by peer-to-peer (P2P) networking software and the security threat it poses to PC security in homes and offices around the world.

"Unfortunately, the rising popularity of P2P file-sharing networks creates a target of great opportunity for would-be Malcoders," said Roger Thompson, VP of Product Development at PestPatrol. "Fizzer, for example, created multiple copies of itself with different names and placed them in the victim's dedicated KaZaA file-sharing folder. The minute this happened, Fizzer became 'available' to every other KaZaA user. People need to realize that, by definition, an Internet based P2P network means that you are sharing with, and trusting your hard disk to, complete strangers. "

KaZaA, the most popular file on CNET Networks' Download.com, was downloaded more than 2.7 million times during the first week of June alone. Other popular P2P downloads include iMesh, Morpheus, and Grokster.

To use KaZaA effectively, the user must install the KaZaA Media Desktop (KMD) onto a PC attached to the Internet. While this allows individuals to share files stored on their computer directly with other KaZaA users over the web, it also presents new ways for spyware and remote administration trojans to be accidentally downloaded and, as we've seen with Fizzer, enables the rapid spread of viruses and worms.

KaZaA, which is generally categorized as adware, can cause confidential personal or corporate information to be made available across the Internet, and can also consume significant bandwidth. Ultimately, the use of KaZaA can present legal liability for individuals and corporations if it is used inappropriately or otherwise enables a security breach. For additional details of KaZaA's impact on privacy, see Usability and Privacy: A Study of KaZaA P2P File Sharing by Nathan S. Good and Aaron Krekelberg (www.hpl.hp.com/shl/papers/kazaa/)

Those users who recognize that KaZaA and other P2P tools are a real security threat believe that their anti-virus or firewall will protect them. This is unfortunately not the case; KaZaA is a legitimate application that the user knowingly and willingly installs, so the majority of general-purpose security tools ignore it. One of the few ways to counter the threat effectively is by running PestPatrol, which has been designed to locate and remove these stealthy threats.

Further details about PestPatrol may be found at www.PestPatrol.com.

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