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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

March 15-22 2002

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Mar 22
IEEE Approves IEEE 802.15.1 Standard for Wireless Networks
Mar 22
Talking on a Mobile Phone When Driving is More Dangerous than Being Drunk
Mar 22
The Sims Becomes The Best Selling PC Game of All Time
Mar 22
European Mobile Revenues to Grow by Just 4% in 2002
Mar 21
Epson Shipping Bluetooth Wireless Printer Adapter

Mar 21

Pioneer Introduces Next Generation DVD/CD Recordable
Mar 21
Nextel to Offer AOL Mobile Services Across its Wireless Network
Mar 21
Zone Labs to Provide Firewall for Motorola SURFboard Cable Modems
Mar 20
HP Believes Shareowners Have Approved Merger with Compaq
Mar 20
Online Photo Services Build Momentum Despite Challenges
Mar 20
Interplay Maintains License for Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale
Mar 20
Novatel Announces Wireless Modem for New Palm Handhelds
Mar 20
Symantec Granted Patent On Heuristic Viruse Detection Technology
Mar 19
Plextor Introduces CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
Mar 19
CMS Adds Microsoft XP Support to Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kits
Mar 19
Residential Gateway Market to Become Key Services Platform
Mar 19
Adobe Announces Public Beta of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS 2.0
Mar 18
AMD Wins Major Awards at CeBIT
Mar 18
SOYO Announces VIA KT333 Chipset Motherboard
Mar 18
Panasonic's Toughbook 48 Pushes Envelope With Mobile Pentium 4
Mar 18
Robotic Lawnmower Available for Lowest Price Ever -- $499
Mar 17
Sunday Shopping Watch
Mar 15
Mar 15
Mar 15
Mar 15
Mar 15
Mar 15

Electronic Gaming Monthly Free Year Subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly!! While it Lasts....


Mar 22 - IEEE Approves IEEE 802.15.1 Standard for Wireless Networks. The Standards Board of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has approved the IEEE Standard 802.15.1 ("Wireless MAC and PHY Specifications for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs(TM))"), which is adapted from portions of the Bluetooth(TM) wireless specification.

IEEE licensed wireless technology from the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., to adapt and copy a portion of the Bluetooth specification as base material for IEEE Standard 802.15.1-2002. The approved IEEE 802.15.1 standard is fully compatible with the Bluetooth v1.1 specification. Bluetooth technology defines specifications for small-form-factor, low-cost wireless radio communications among notebook computers, personal digital assistants, cellular phones and other portable, handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet.

"The new standard gives the Bluetooth spec greater validity and support in the market and is an additional resource for those who implement Bluetooth devices," says Ian Gifford, IEEE 802.15 Working Group Vice Chair. "This collaboration is a good example of how a standards development organization and a special industry group (SIG) can work together to improve an industry specification and also create a standard.

For more information on the Bluetooth SIG, visit: For more information on this working group, visit:

Mar 22 -Talking on a Mobile Phone When Driving is More Dangerous than Being Drunk. New research published today reveals that talking on a mobile phone while driving is more dangerous than being drunk behind the wheel.

Tests carried out by scientists at the Transport Research Laboratory established that driving behaviour is impaired more by using a mobile phone than by being over the legal alcohol limit. In 2000, more than 520 people lost their lives as a result of accidents involving drunk drivers.

Now leading insurer Direct Line, who commissioned the study, is hoping its findings will lend support to MP's calls for a total ban on the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. A bill introduced by Janet Anderson, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, receives its second reading early next month.

The Direct Line study, carried out over three months by the TRL, involved testing the reaction times and driving performance of a panel of volunteers using a sophisticated driving simulator. Researchers tested how driving impairment was affected by talking on a hand-held mobile phone, a hands-free phone, and when drivers had consumed enough alcohol to be above the legal drink-drive limit.

The results demonstrate that drivers' reaction times were, on average, 30% slower when talking on a hand-held mobile phone compared to being drunk and nearly 50% slower than under normal driving conditions. According to the tests, drivers were less able to maintain a constant speed and found it more difficult to keep a safe distance from the car in front.

Using a hand-held mobile phone had the greatest impact on driving performance. On average it took hand-held mobile phone users half a second longer to react than normal, and a third of a second longer to react compared to when they were drunk. At 70 mph, this half-second difference is equivalent to travelling an additional 46 feet (14m) before reacting to a hazard on the road.

Using a hands-free mobile phone also proved to be a considerable distraction for drivers. In fact, participants in the study stated that they found it easier to drive drunk than when using a mobile phone (hand-held or hands-free).

In addition, drivers using either a hands-free or hand-held mobile phone significantly missed more road warning signs than when drunk.

Direct Line commissioned the TRL research following a recent survey it conducted that found that four out of ten drivers - equivalent to around 10 million UK motorists - admit to using a mobile phone behind the wheel. Dominic Burch, Direct Line's road safety campaign manager, said:

"Most people accept that talking on a mobile phone while driving is distracting, however, many drivers don't appreciate how dangerous it is. That is why we chose to quanitfy the risk involved by comparing driving performance while using a mobile phone to driving while over the legal alcohol limit. Drink driving is clearly an established danger in the eyes of drivers.

"We were surprised to discover that talking on a mobile phone is actually more dangerous than being drunk behind the wheel. In effect, this means that 10 million drivers are partaking in a driving activity that is potentially more dangerous than being drunk.

"Based on these findings, we are supporting Janet Anderson MP in her attempt to introduce new legislation calling for a total ban on the use of hand-held mobiles while driving*3. In additon we are calling on the Government to conduct further research into the dangers of using hands-free mobile phones.

"We believe there needs to be a high profile public awareness campaign informing drivers of the dangers they face by using mobile phones. Eventually we would like to see the use of mobile phones when driving, both hands-held and hands-free, become as socially unacceptable as drink driving."
More information can be found at

Mar 22 - The Sims Becomes The Best Selling PC Game of All Time. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced that they have shipped over 6.3 million copies worldwide of the computer game, The Sims(TM), making it the best selling PC game of all time.
The wildly popular game that allows players to create a neighborhood of simulated people (Sims) and control their lives, skyrocketed to the top of the charts when it began shipping to stores in February 2000 and has quickly become a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. The Sims was the best selling PC game of both 2000 and 2001. Translated into 13 different languages, The Sims also remains a top seller worldwide.

The unparalleled success of The Sims has inspired the creation of four add-on packs; Livin' Large, which allows players to put their simulated families from The Sims into new extreme situations and settings, House Party, which gives players the chance to host outrageous parties for their Sims, Hot Date, which gets The Sims off the couch, to an all-new downtown area and into the dating game, and due out March 26, Vacation, which allows the Sims to get some rest and relaxation with their families and friends on a fun-filled vacation island. Combined sales for The Sims, The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party and The Sims Hot Date have topped 13 million units life-to-date.

"Reaction to The Sims' by both customers and critics have exceeded our most ambitious expectations," said EA president John Riccitiello. "The Sims has become a cultural phenomenon. Its worldwide appeal spans hard-core gamers, casual computer users and even gaming's most elusive group of consumers, women. Over 50 percent of new Sims players are female."

Since the release of The Sims, EA has been extending the value of the game by providing a series of free add-ons and on-line support through the game's official Web site located at

Mar 22-European Mobile Revenues to Grow by Just 4% in 2002. Mobile services will generate EUR97 billion in revenue across Western Europe in 2002, just 4% more than in 2001, according to a new report released today by Analysys, the global advisor on telecoms and new media (

Mobile services revenue rose 12% in the previous year, but the rate of growth has slowed substantially as operators are caught in a double-bind of fewer new subscribers and falling average revenue per user (ARPU).

The report, Western European Mobile Forecasts and Analysis 2002-2007, points out that with 70% of Western Europe's population having a mobile phone, the market is nearing its saturation point of around 80% penetration - and operators need to increase the usage of non-voice services now to stimulate a recovery in ARPU.

"Operators have been trying to increase ARPU to counter the effects on revenue of slowing subscriber growth, but it will be some years before ARPU returns to the levels seen in 2000 or even 2001," commented principal analyst Katrina Bond, the report's author.

Mobile operators have suffered from falling ARPU for voice services over many years, and have been attempting to compensate by encouraging usage of non-voice services such as messaging, downloadable ringtones and mobile Internet access. They have seen some success in stimulating usage - Analysys estimates that non-voice services accounted for 8% of mobile ARPU across Western Europe in 2001 - but the overall trend in ARPU is still downward.

This means that the next few years will see very slow growth for overall mobile revenue. The long-term outlook, however, is more positive: Analysys forecasts mobile services revenue of EUR135 billion for 2007, of which it expects 37% to be from non-voice services. The growth in non-voice service revenue will be driven mainly by messaging and infotainment services, revenue from which Analysys forecasts will grow from EUR7.6 billion in 2001 to EUR44 billion in 2007.

"For consumers, the operators will build on the current popularity of text messaging and start to provide multimedia messaging from the second half of 2002," says Bond, "while for businesses mobile email will be their most important messaging service."

With delays expected in the arrival of third-generation (3G) mobile services, Analysys predicts a wide window of opportunity for GPRS as an interim technology. GPRS is also helping to smooth the path for 3G, by allowing operators to address issues associated with providing advanced mobile data services to prepaid customers and international travellers now.

Mar 21 - Epson Shipping Bluetooth Wireless Printer Adapter. Epson America Inc., a leader in high-quality, award-winning digital imaging products, has begun shipping its Bluetooth(TM) Print Adapter. The only Bluetooth print accessory branded from a major printer vendor, Epson's solution is compatible with several Epson printers, giving customers maximum flexibility and an economical, single-vendor solution.

With the Bluetooth Print Adapter from Epson, customers can wirelessly print from various Bluetooth-enabled portable devices, including not only their Windows laptop computers but also handheld computing devices, such as Palm(TM) and PocketPC handheld computers, and in the future from their cellular telephones.
The adapter, which connects to the printer's parallel port, can be used with the EPSON Stylus(R) C80, EPSON Stylus C60, EPSON Stylus Photo 1280, EPSON Stylus Photo 890 and EPSON Stylus Photo 820. Other Epson printer models with parallel ports are also supported using Microsoft Windows Uni/Mini printer drivers.

The Bluetooth Print Adapter from Epson is compatible with and includes software that enables printing from various laptops, Palm handhelds and PocketPC devices. A complete list of these compatible devices, as well as compatible Epson printers is available at This list will be updated as more products are added.

Mar 21 - Pioneer Introduces Next Generation DVD/CD Recordable. Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., Business Solutions Division, the leader in recordable DVD technology, today announced the DVR-A04, Pioneer's fourth generation combination DVD/CD recordable/re-recordable drive.

The DVR-A04, supports multiple recording formats including DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW as well as CD buffer underrun protection, support for high speed CD-RW media, vertical mounting capability, smaller form factor and with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $499.

"With the new DVR-A04, recording your own DVDs is an exciting capability that is now accessible to even more computer users," said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of industrial video/mass storage sales and marketing, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., Business Solutions Division.

"This drive represents Pioneer's latest effort to package the features we believe both consumers and professional users want at an attractive price."

The rapid adoption of recordable DVD for video authoring and archiving by consumers and professionals has led industry analysts to estimate that 3.9 million recordable DVD drives will ship with PCs in 2002, a number expected to triple by 2003 and soar to 20 million by 2004.
Pioneer has helped to lead the recordable DVD movement through the introduction of innovative products such as the world's first DVD recordable drive in 1998, the first 4.7 GB capacity DVD-R drive in 1999, the award-winning DVR-A03 DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW drive in 2001, and now the fourth generation DVR-A04.

Pricing and Availability

The DVR-A04 will be available in late March and carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $499. Pioneer's Web address is

Mar 21 - Nextel to Offer AOL Mobile Services Across its Wireless Network. Nextel Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:NXTL), the premier provider of mobile wireless solutions to business customers, and America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced a comprehensive mobile services and marketing agreement that will enable Nextel customers to access their favorite America Online services and features, including e-mail and instant messages, on their Nextel phones.

As part of the agreement, Nextel will offer its customers AOL's popular AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) service (AIM(R)), an instant messaging product that makes it convenient to see when friends and family are online and to communicate with them in real time. There are now more than 140 million registered users of the AIM service, which is available for use on computers, mobile phones and other handheld devices.
In addition, Nextel customers will have access to AOL Mail, news, driving directions, and local event and entertainment information via AOL's popular interactive brands, including MapQuest and Moviefone. These offerings further extend America Online's "AOL Anywhere(R)" strategy of offering its industry leading brands and services to consumers across a variety of platforms and mobile devices.

In addition, Nextel will have the ability to promote its products and services across several of AOL Time Warner's unparalleled online, print and television brands, enabling the company to increase its marketing presence, and will also place software for the AOL service in its retail outlets.

Lisa Hook, President of AOL Anywhere at America Online, Inc., said, "A large number of our members and users of our interactive brands own wireless phones and are increasingly looking for ways to access their favorite features like instant messaging when they are on the go. Working with Nextel we're going to offer them the convenience and ease-of-use that they expect, while introducing more consumers to our robust and valuable mobile offerings."

Greg Santoro, vice president Internet and wireless services at Nextel Communications said, "This agreement allows us to increase the services that we currently offer our consumers, giving them quick access to America Online's popular features as they utilize Nextel's always on 2.5G packet data network. Consumers are increasingly looking for information on the go and we're pleased to take our mobile information services to the next level with an industry leader."

For more information about Nextel, visit

Mar 21 - Zone Labs to Provide Firewall for Motorola SURFboard Cable Modems. Zone Labs Inc., a leading creator of Internet security solutions, today announced that Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) Broadband Communications Sector has named Zone Labs' award-winning ZoneAlarm(R) Pro and ZoneAlarm Internet security products as the recommended personal firewall solutions for Motorola's SURFboard(R) cable modem customers.

Motorola will provide its SURFboard cable modem users with a customized CD-ROM that includes a free version of the ZoneAlarm(R) Internet security product and a 90-day free trial of the newly released ZoneAlarm(R) Pro 3.0 to protect Motorola customers from hacking attacks.
Motorola will bundle Zone Labs' CD-ROM with its SURFboard SB4200 retail cable modem, and will consider expanding the offer to its broadband cable operator customers via bundling and Motorola Broadband's Web site ( In addition, SURFboard cable modem customers have the opportunity to purchase ZoneAlarm(R) Pro 3.0 at a substantial discount.

"Our customers are very concerned about Internet security today. It is essential that we provide safe and secure broadband Internet access," said John Burke, corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's cable modem business. "By joining forces with Zone Labs, we've taken an important step to ensuring that Motorola's customers have the best tools to enjoy their always-on connection while ensuring their information remains secure and private."

ZoneAlarm Pro version 3.0 features powerful online privacy protection, including ad blocking and cookie control capabilities, and enhanced support for local area networks, including wireless networks. The new version also includes improvements to the user experience as a result of a redesigned and more intuitive look and feel as well as even stronger security.

About Motorola's SURFboard Cable Modems

Motorola is the market leader in cable modems, with shipments of over 7.5 million modems to date. Motorola's cable modems are currently available at over 2,000 retail outlets throughout the United States, including Circuit City, Best Buy, and The Wiz, making this line one of the industry's broadest retail cable modem offerings.

For more information about the SB4200 cable modem, visit

Mar 20 - HP Believes Shareowners Have Approved Merger with Compaq. The board of directors of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today announced that based on a preliminary estimate of shareowner proxies by its proxy solicitor, it believes it has received sufficient votes to approve HP's merger with Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE:CPQ). The company acknowledged, however, that this is not an official vote.

Official certification of the voting results by the independent inspectors of election, IVS Associates, is expected in the next few weeks, at which time the certified results will be announced promptly.

"We are gratified that HP shareowners recognize the compelling strategic and economic benefits of the merger and that a decisive majority of shares not affiliated with the Hewlett and Packard families and foundations appear to have been voted in favor of this transaction," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "This board remains committed to building sustainable shareowner value. We believe that with this endorsement from our shareowners, HP has an historic opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving industry and build upon our proud history of innovation and invention.

"We are thankful for the support we've received from our shareowners, employees and customers during this difficult proxy fight. The intense debate throughout this contest has raised important issues and prepared us even more fully for the integration and marketplace challenges that lie ahead. It's now time for all of us -- those who supported the merger and those who opposed it -- to pull together for the benefit of the company.

"We look forward to Compaq's shareowner vote tomorrow and the official certification, and we expect to complete the merger soon after the vote is certified -- allowing us to quickly begin execution of the comprehensive integration plans we have been preparing for many months. Today's vote is the beginning of the process of building an even greater HP. We have much work to do, but we are energized and confident as we move to capitalize on the potential of this combination."

Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at

Mar 20 - Online Photo Services Build Momentum Despite Challenges. Online photo services are gaining ground, according to a recent study of 1,850 U.S. Internet users conducted by InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. The study shows that 17% of Internet users have posted a photo to a photo service Web site, up from 15% a year earlier. Similarly, the percent of Internet users who have visited photo Web sites is also on the rise.
The survey underscored the ongoing difficulties facing the online photo space. Users are posting a growing number of photos, leading to increased storage costs for service providers. With low print volume per member and few users willing to pay for storage or subscription memberships, financial success has been elusive for many players in this market.
However, the industry may be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. "Over the past year, many online photo service providers have made profitability priority number one," said Lia Schubert, research analyst, InfoTrends Research Group. "The survey results reflect these efforts - a growing number of users are ordering prints and merchandise while the percent of prints received for free has declined dramatically."
InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. can be found online at

Mar 20 - Interplay Maintains License for Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. Interplay Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq:IPLY), will maintain the license to develop and publish roleplaying games using the Dungeons & Dragons franchises of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, licensed from Infogrames Interactive Inc., which retains the rights to Neverwinter Nights.
Dungeons & Dragons is owned by Wizards of the Coast Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc., and licensed to Infogrames Interactive.
The multi-year, multi-product license allows Black Isle Studios, the roleplaying division of Interplay, to deliver high quality PC and console games to D&D fans worldwide.
Dungeons & Dragons games currently in development include Icewind Dale(TM) II for the PC, Baldur's Gate(TM): Dark Alliance(TM) for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and sequels to the multi-million unit selling Baldur's Gate(TM) franchise.
"We are very excited about our strong Dungeons & Dragons product lineup," said Herve Caen, president and CEO of Interplay Entertainment.
"As the computer roleplaying game franchise that revitalized the computer RPG genre, Baldur's Gate is firmly established as one of the leading brands in the interactive entertainment industry worldwide. We are thrilled to be developing new additions to this critically and commercially successful franchise."
More information on the Black Isle Studios lineup can be found at

Mar 20 - Novatel Announces Wireless Modem for New Palm Handhelds. Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL), a provider of wireless data access solutions, today announced compatibility of the Novatel Wireless Minstrel m500(TM) Wireless Handheld Modem with the new Palm(TM) m515 and m130 color handhelds from Palm, Inc.
With the appropriate software and an ISP account, the Minstrel m500 delivers wireless access to email, the Internet, and corporate LANs to users anytime and anywhere in the country. The unit connects to the Palm handhelds via the Palm Universal Connector, coupling them together for a secure and integrated fit.
"Palm's goal is to provide the tools Palm handheld users need for access to their business and personal information on-the-go. Novatel Wireless has consistently delivered products that enable wireless connectivity with excellent quality and performance," said Paul Leeper, director, Market Development, Custom Solutions, at Palm, Inc. "We are extremely happy about the role Novatel Wireless has played in supporting the new Palm m515 and m130 color handhelds."
The Minstrel m500 features easy access to the Palm Expansion Card Slot. A unique power button enables immediate network access and allows the user to easily power on and off the modem with a simple push of the button.
Certified with the "Designed for Palm Handhelds" logo, the Minstrel m500 supports popular enterprise productivity and synchronization programs written for the Palm OS(R) platform, and is compatible with Palm's Mobile Connectivity Software, including web clipping applications. Pass-through charging and a rechargeable lithium ion battery mean that both the Palm handheld and the Minstrel m500 can be charged simultaneously with only one charger.
The Minstrel m500 supports both POP3 and IMAP 4 email and HTML web browsing software with an MSRP of $369.00. Visit for more information.

Mar 20 - Symantec Granted Patent On Heuristic Viruse Detection Technology. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today announced it has been granted a patent on antivirus heuristic technology by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Symantec's patented heuristic technology -- United States patent number 6,357,008 -- detects new and unknown viruses without traditional virus fingerprints. This technology, included in all Symantec's gateway, server and desktop antivirus solutions, can be applied to protect virtually any platform against present and future virus threats.
"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is recognizing Symantec for its cutting-edge technology that can detect and block a high percentage of entirely new virus strains before they have a chance to spread," said Rob Clyde, vice president and chief technical officer at Symantec. "Symantec remains dedicated to combating even the most complex malicious code attacks such as blended threats, by incorporating the most innovative technologies into its comprehensive line of Internet security solutions."
Traditional antivirus software detects viruses by searching for previously identified fingerprints in files and on disks. In contrast, Symantec's patented heuristic technology identifies new threats by directly examining files for suspicious behavior, without the need for fingerprints. This new system provides a powerful complement to traditional fingerprint-based antivirus software by providing protection against new malicious threats before definitions are available. For more information, visit

Mar 19 - Plextor Introduces CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today announced the immediate release of the PlexCombo(TM) 20/10/40-12A optical disc drive.
The internal drive delivers fast recording performance with 20X CD-Recording and 10X CD-Rewriting, along with industry-leading playback speeds of 40X-max CD-ROM and 12X-max DVD-ROM.

With four different functions in one drive, the versatile PlexCombo 20/10/40-12A offers customers cost savings and easier installation compared with purchasing and setting up two separate drives. Available in a standard half-height size, the combination drive requires a standard desktop computer drive bay and can be installed either vertically or horizontally. The Enhanced-IDE (ATAPI) interface ensures compatibility with a wide range of systems.

PlexCombo 20/10/40-12A CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drive

The versatile 4-in-1 PlexCombo 20/10/40-12A drive lets users read, write, and rewrite compact discs -- and read DVD discs -- at a wide variety of speeds. The internal drive connects via E-IDE (ATAPI) to any desktop computer (PC or Mac), making installation fast and easy. The new PlexCombo is also Plug & Play compatible with Windows(R) 98/ME/2000/XP(TM) for quick setup.

The drive features a 2MB data buffer and Digital Audio Extraction rates to a maximum of 40X. Burst data transfer rates are 16.6 MB/sec (PIO Mode 4/DMA Mode 2) or 33.3 MB/sec (UDMA Mode 2). The drive supports a wide variety of CD writing modes, including Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Multisession, and variable/fixed packet writing.

Pricing and Availability

The internal PlexCombo 20/10/40-12A CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive with E-IDE (ATAPI) interface is scheduled for shipment to distributors beginning mid-April, 2002. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $229 USD. For more information visit

Mar 19 - CMS Adds Microsoft XP Support to Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kits. CMS Peripherals(R) Tuesday announced the addition of Windows(R) XP compatibility for their EasyMove notebook data transfer software and EasyBundle notebook hard drive upgrade kits containing the improved EasyMove software.
CMS' EasyMove software can automatically initiate a complete data transfer from the old notebook hard drive, to a new, higher-capacity hard drive to expedite notebook upgrades. The EasyBundle kits include CMS' Easy-Plug Easy-Go notebook hard drive, EasyMove drive image software which provides data transfer rates up to 75 MB/min. through the kit's included PCMCIA card and cable.
The EasyMove kit is ideal for organizations and corporate environments where it is necessary to efficiently set up multiple corporate notebooks, running identical OS' and applications. This kit simplifies tedious setup routines, saving valuable tech time while enabling the IT Manager to continue with other tasks. The EasyMove solution will reliably continue the transfer of files, even when left unattended.
Simple enough for home-use, the revolutionary EasyMove software enables users to create a complete solution for data transfer, file or total notebook backup, as well as for providing a secondary source for off-line data storage. In a few easy steps, users of the EasyMove drive image software can move files, applications and entire operating systems quickly and easily from an old notebook hard drive to a new one.
Included in CMS Peripherals' EasyBundle Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit, the EasyMove software supports mixed partitions for dual and multiple boot operating systems. The PCMCIA interface, provides data transfer rates up to 75 MB/min.


CMS' entire line of PC notebook hard drive upgrade solutions support backup, archival and migration of data with one of the market's lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). EasyMove is now shipping in CMS' EasyBundle kits with a three-year warranty in capacities of 10GB, 20GB, 30GB, 40GB and 60GB. Estimated street prices (ESP) start at $269.
EasyMove data transfer software and the EasyBundle kits provide compatibility for notebooks using Windows 95B/98/NT/Me/2000 and now XP operating systems. Solutions are available through major distributors, corporate resellers, mail order and direct from the company's Web site,

Mar 19 - Residential Gateway Market to Become Key Services Platform. As broadband proliferates, service providers will continue to evolve their current Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) strategies from a "modem-only" termination to one where service gateways are shipped to subscribers, enabling advanced service packages including data, voice, home control and entertainment services that are distributed over the home network.
This transformation will result in impressive growth for the residential gateway market, which will increase from $125 million in 2001 to over $5 billion in 2006, according to In-Stat/MDR (
The high-tech research firm reports that despite the fact that the early market for gateways has been undercut by low-cost home routers that meet the needs of most consumers, the market for more advanced gateways will materialize as the router/bridge and modem are integrated into one device and more advanced service features are incorporated over time.
Additionally, the incorporation of caching capabilities into entertainment gateways will create a gateway/home server category that opens up exciting content delivery options for carriers and consumers alike.
"The increased use of broadband, combined with the development of new and interesting ways to interconnect devices in the home, has put the residential gateway on the map of nearly every vendor in the modem, router, set-top box, CPE silicon and consumer software space," said Mike Wolf, a director with In-Stat/MDR.
"While challenges lie ahead, such as the management of these more intelligent devices, as well as the need to create compelling content and logical business models that leverage the opportunities home networks provide, we believe that over time the service provider will overcome the current capital expenditure constraints inhibiting this market and move to a predominantly residential gateway-based customer termination strategy."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- North America will be the largest gateway market throughout the forecast but will see its overall percentage share of units shipped shrink as other geographies see faster overall broadband growth and, eventually, increased deployment of advanced CPE in the form of gateways.
-- Multiple home network technologies will be incorporated into these gateways such as wireless LAN, Ethernet and 1394, depending on the type of content that will be distributed.

Mar 19 - Adobe Announces Public Beta of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS 2.0. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in network publishing, today announced the public beta availability of Acrobat(R) Reader(R) for Palm OS(R), version 2.0, a software application that allows mobile professionals and others the flexibility to view Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files on Palm Powered(TM) handheld computers.
The latest version helps extend the value of award-winning Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) 5.0 software and Adobe PDF to an even broader user base. Now, customers have the ability to synchronize Adobe PDF files to Palm Powered handhelds from not only desktop and laptop systems running Microsoft(R) Windows(R), but also those based on the Macintosh platform. In addition, the shipping version of the latest product will be available in four additional languages -- French, German, Italian, and Spanish -- as well as English.

Users will also, for the first time, have the added utility of accessing secured Adobe PDF documents -- those including measures like password protection -- on Palm Powered devices. This will allow corporations, for example, to more easily and confidently share Adobe PDF files that include sensitive content across an extended enterprise.

"Document security is an issue of growing importance in business today," said Gabriel Acosta-Lopez, senior director of Platform Development Services for PalmSource, Inc., the Palm OS subsidiary of Palm, Inc. "By adding support for secured Adobe PDF files in the latest version of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, Adobe is responding to the needs of our customers. The significant number of Palm Powered handheld users on the Mac platform will be equally excited that Adobe is now providing them access to an important application in Acrobat Reader and a ubiquitous platform in Adobe PDF."

The new version of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS allows users to read, navigate and search color and black-and-white Adobe PDF documents, such as product manuals, reference guides and other graphically rich content, in a format re-flowed to fit the width of a smaller handheld screen. Adobe PDF files created using Acrobat 5.0, Adobe InDesign(R) 2.0 and Adobe PageMaker(R) 7.0 will offer the best reading experience on Palm Powered devices because they are automatically tagged with information on page structure and organization. This allows for easier and more reliable text re-flow on a handheld device.

The process of preparing and transferring an Adobe PDF file for viewing on a Palm Powered device is simple and fast. After launching the Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, version 2.0 desktop application, the user drags and drops an Adobe PDF document onto it. The next time a synchronization is performed, the Adobe PDF file is transferred to the viewing application on the handheld. Using the device, the user can then launch the Acrobat Reader application and select the desired Adobe PDF document.

Pricing and Availability

The public beta of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, version 2.0 is immediately available free of charge at for Windows 98, Windows NT(R) 4.0, Windows ME, Windows 2000 (users must have Palm Desktop 3.0.1 or higher) and Windows XP, Mac OS 9.X and Mac OS X.1 (Classic mode), and Palm Powered devices with Palm OS 3.5 or higher and a minimum available memory of 315K.
The public beta version of the product is available in English only. French, German, Italian, and Spanish language localizations are expected to be available shortly after the English shipping version. The shipping product is expected to be available by the end of June 2002. For more information, please visit

Mar 18 - AMD Wins Major Awards at CeBIT. AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced today that it has captured top European press awards presented at CeBIT, the world's largest IT tradeshow.

They include:

-- "CeBIT Highlights 2002" in the hardware category for AMD's

upcoming "Hammer" processor from "CHIP" magazine

-- "Innovation of the Year 2001/2002" for the AMD Athlon(tm) XP

processor from "PC Professionell"

-- "Manufacturer of the Year 2001/2002" from "PC Direkt"

"These awards attest to AMD's leadership in product innovation and manufacturing excellence. With our superior products, we are determined to make our customers even more successful," said Giuliano Meroni, vice president, Sales & Marketing, AMD Europe.

This is the second time AMD has received the top award in the hardware category of "CHIP" magazine. This year's "CeBIT Highlights 2002" award -- better known as the "CeBIT Oscar" -- was given to AMD for its next-generation processor codenamed "Hammer," which outclassed 500 contenders in the hardware category. First shipments of the AMD "Hammer" processor are expected at the end of 2002.

Previously, AMD won the same prize for the first AMD Athlon processor based on copper interconnect technology produced at AMD's leading-edge Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany. Fab 30 will also be producing "Hammer" processors, incorporating advanced silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology and 0.13 micron interconnects.

"Hammer" processors are designed to offer a seamless migration path from 32-bit to 64-bit computing as well as unparalleled performance on both 32-bit and 64-bit software. They will be AMD's first x86 processors to have a fully integrated DDR memory controller and "Hammer" processor-based solutions are expected to be the first to incorporate a full HyperTransport(tm) technology-based chipset.

Both technology advancements help remove bottlenecks and speed the flow of information through the PC. The "Hammer" processor family will be extremely versatile, with processor versions planned to power systems from thin-and-light notebooks to 8-way enterprise servers.
For more AMD news and product information, visit

Mar 18 - SOYO Announces VIA KT333 Chipset Motherboard. SOYO Computer, Inc. today announced the SY-KT333 DRAGON Ultra --SOYO's fastest motherboard for AMD Socket-A based processors with its VIA KT333/8233A chipset, DDR333 memory support, USB 2.0 on board, and many advanced and easily customized features.

The SY-KT333 flies past previous AMD Socket-A based boards with its VIA KT333 chipset, which now fully supports DDR memory modules at 333MHz. The enhanced chipset solves bottlenecks created by increasing processor speeds, and accelerates the memory bandwidth by 20% to 2.7 gigabits per second (GB/sec) compared to 2.1 GB/sec with existing 266MHz memory.

In addition to extra memory bandwidth from the VIA chipset, the SY-KT333 DRAGON Ultra also boosts performance with ATA-133 (133Mbytes/sec) support for hard drives, and USB 2.0 on board.

The SY-KT333 is easily expandable with three 184-pin DDR SDRAM 2.5V DIMM sockets, which support up to 3GB of DDR333 memory. The board has five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant), and one Universal AGP Pro slot, which supports 1x/2x/4x mode.

SOYO has integrated several on-board features to add performance and value. The SY-KT333 features an on board CMI 8738 audio chip to provide 6-channel digital audio. The sound chip eliminates the need for a sound card, and also supports optical output & SPDIF output. SPDIF allows digital audio signals to be transferred from one device to another without having to convert them first to an analog. Maintaining the integrity of the digital signal prevents signal degradation when it is converted to analog.

On board 10/100 Mbps Ethernet is a standard feature of the SY-KT333 with its Realtek 8100B controller. SOYO has also embedded a HiPoint IDE-RAID chip to provide ATA133 IDE RAID at Level 0 (data striping), Level 1 (disk mirroring) or Levels 0+1.

The MSRP of the SY-KT333 DRAGON Ultra is $178 (U.S.) or $198 with the optional BayOne sigma box. Volume discounts are available. The board will be available in April. For more information, visit

Mar 18 - Panasonic's Toughbook 48 Pushes Envelope With Mobile Pentium 4. Panasonic(R) Computer Solutions Company, the leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, announced today the introduction of the first Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor - M for its rugged Toughbook(R) 48 MK IV notebook PC.

Panasonic's Toughbook 48 MK IV utilizes Intel's(R) newest Mobile Pentium(R) 4 - 1.60GHz or 1.70GHz - M processor for the fastest notebook performance available today. A feature set that includes 256MB of DDRAM - expandable to 768MB, 32MB of VRAM and a 40GB HDD can handle the most demanding of applications with ease. The Toughbook 48's battery is a 5400mAH (11.1V) providing the power necessary to keep on processing for up to four hours. In addition to an integrated FDD, there is an integrated DVD/CD-RW combo drive for enhanced multimedia capabilities.

"...The new Toughbook 48 with integrated Smart Card reader enables users to load their agency issue Smart Card solution (CAC card/SW) for access protection on both the computer and physical authentication ability. The integrated reader is a clear advantage over an external solution that can be lost or broken or a PC Card solution that occupies a slot that is needed for other requirements. The Toughbook 48 also provides wireless LAN capabilities. This additional feature now makes the complete Toughbook product line wirelessly enabled," noted Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company.

Pricing & Configuration:

Toughbook CF-48: Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor -1.60GHz or a 1.70GHz -M, 40GB HDD, 256MB RAM, 14.1" 1024 x 768 XGA TFT Active Matrix Color LCD, FDD, DVD/CD-RW combo, W2K/XP-Pro Dual Estimated Street Price Starting at: $2,200. Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be found at

Mar 18 - Robotic Lawnmower Available for Lowest Price Ever -- $499. Friendly Robotics announced today the availability of the Robomower RL500 fully automatic lawnmower at a new, lower price of $499.95.
In addition, the company announced a free 14-day trial period at participating dealers.
"For just $499.95, a price comparable to the cost of conventional walk-behind mowers, Robomower provides something even more valuable -- time. Robomower enables you to spend your valuable free time with families and friends, instead of pushing a lawnmower around the yard," said Jeff Stewart, Vice President of Finance and Operations, U.S. "And now, with a free 14-day no-risk trial period, people all over America can experience just how fun, convenient and safe automatic mowing can be."
To take advantage of the 14-day, no risk trial, customers need only visit a local dealer, install the Robomower (or have it installed by the dealer) and use it as often as they like for 14 days.
In addition to a lower retail cost, the 2002 model Robomower offers features that cannot be found in walk-behind or gasoline-powered lawn mowers. Running on a cordless rechargeable electric power pack, the environmentally friendly Robomower provides a 21" wide cut without the loud noise or gas fumes of conventional mowers. Robomower's blades mulch grass -- so there is no need to bag. Robomower is suitable for any lawn where a conventional, walk-behind mower would be appropriate.
Guided by an easy-to-install Perimeter Wire, Robomower uses an onboard computer with proprietary Roboscan(R) technology, which enables it to systematically cover a lawn without any prior knowledge of the shape and obstacles in the yard.
For the location of the nearest Robotics Robomower dealer, check online at

Mar 17 - Sunday Shopping Watch. Happy St. Patrick's Day † .

Weekly Comparison. Apparently St. Patrick's day isn't a big computer shopping holiday, but there are still some good deals to be found this Sunday.
This Sunday prices continued to stay low on 1 GHz notebooks. Pentium 4 notebooks were advertised and prices seemed to stay the same on Pentium III and Athlon notebooks.
Pentium 4 desktops went down about $100, and the low-priced Celeron desktop went down again to $599.

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

BestBuy is giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing on all computer purchases over $298. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all in-store desktop complete packages.
Circuit City is advertising $150 mail-in rebates on all AMD processor desktop packages and $100 rebates on laptop's with a 15" screen. They are also giving away 1 year of free CompuServe, and are offering 12 months of interest free financing, on all desktop packages and notebook purchases.
Office Depot has no ad this Sunday.
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is also giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.

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

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 4 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's Windows XP home page.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Compaq 1.6 GHz with 17" monitor
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 1700+ complete system
Best Buy
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ with 17" monitor (build-to-order)
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 1.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you make informed buying decisions.

Mar 15 - Large Cache Intel® Xeon™ Processor MP Pushes Performance. At CeBIT 2002, Intel Corporation today pushed the performance of mid-tier and back-end servers to new levels with the introduction of the Intel® Xeon™ processor MP at 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 gigahertz (GHz). The new products are expected to boost performance by more than 30 percent** versus existing multi-processing systems using the Pentium® III Xeon™ processor depending on applications and configurations.

The Intel Xeon processor MP adds an additional level of one megabyte (MB) or 512 kilobyte (KB) Level 3 cache onto the chip, and brings Hyper-Threading Technology and the Intel® NetBurst™ microarchitecture to the mid-tier and back-end server market segments. Today's introduction follows the February launch of the Intel Xeon processors for dual-processing servers and workstations.

"Adding a number of performance-boosting features, such as three levels of integrated cache will advance the capabilities of Intel-based, multi-processing servers," said Mike Fister, senior vice president and general manager of the Intel Enterprise Platforms Group. "We expect that platforms based on the new Intel Xeon processor MP will widen the performance lead over proprietary RISC-based systems."

The new processors extend Intel's performance leadership as servers utilizing the Pentium III Xeon processor currently hold the top positions in all transaction processing performance benchmarks in the world as measured by the Transaction Processing Council***. Intel's Xeon processors power virtually all facets of enterprise computing, from front-end servers to mid-tier and back-end systems.

New Multi-processing Capabilities
The Intel Xeon processor MP brings a wealth of new capabilities to enterprise and e-Business servers. These multi-processing systems add more performance when scaling from two to four processors, enabling increased headroom for unpredictable workloads and expanding business needs. Multi-processor systems also enable a simplified environment and lower costs through reduced administration and footprint, and less cabling.

The Intel Xeon processor MP also implements a unique cache architecture specifically designed for the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture. The new structure offers three levels of integrated cache, including a 1 MB Level 3 cache in addition to the 256 KB Level 2 cache and eight KB Level 1 cache. This allows the processor to access frequently used data even more quickly than before, improving overall system performance, back-end application performance and decreasing the response time on many database and customer management applications.

Today's announcement completes the adoption of Hyper-Threading Technology for Intel's entire Intel Xeon processor family. This innovation allows an operating system to view a single physical processor as if it were two logical processors, significantly increasing server response time, transactions and workload performance.

Additional Intel Platform Products
Intel also recently introduced the Intel® IOP321 I/O processor for system RAID applications, complementing the platform built around the new Intel Xeon processor. The I/O processor is based on the Intel® XScale™ technology and facilitates fast, redundant disk operation improving overall platform performance and reliability. Intel also recently introduced the Intel® 82546EB Gigabit Ethernet controller, the world's first dual port, single chip Gigabit Ethernet controller for high-density servers, which helps remove communications bottlenecks and improves overall platform performance.

Pricing and Availability
The Intel Xeon processor MP at 1.6 GHz with 1 MB of Level 3 cache is priced at $3,692 in 1,000-unit quantities. The Intel Xeon processor MP at 1.5 GHz with 512K of Level 3 cache is priced at $1,980 and the Intel Xeon processor MP at 1.4 GHz with 512K of Level 3 cache is priced at $1,177, both in 1,000-unit quantities.

Additional information about Intel is available at

Mar 15 - AMD Gains Market Share in Desktop PC Markets Worldwide. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced significant year over year market share growth in 2001 based on shipments for both the commercial and consumer desktop PC markets worldwide, according to Gartner Dataquest.

Overall, AMD's worldwide market share increased from 18 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2001 for Windows(R)-based desktop shipments, according to Gartner Dataquest.

"2001 marked a banner year for the AMD Athlon(TM) family allowing us to drive gains in the PC market. It is especially significant that we were able to increase market share within a challenging business climate," said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing for AMD. "AMD's momentum continues into 2002 with our recent demonstration of our next generation processor, codenamed `Hammer.' We expect to begin shipping the first version of the `Hammer' family of processors at the end of 2002."

AMD posted gains in several U.S. commercial desktop market segments. From Q4 2000 to Q4 2001, market share in the U.S. small business desktop sector rose from 20 percent to 37 percent and in the U.S. medium business desktop market share increased from 11 percent to 28 percent. For the same quarters, the U.S. desktop education market sharegrew from 12 percent to 17 percent and growth in the U.S. desktop government sector doubled to 32 percent.

"AMD's commitment to the white box market is recognized by our continued market share gains in the commercial desktop segment," said David Somo, vice president of sales and marketing for AMD. "AMD has cultivated close relationships with the North American systems builders to identify, develop and market a broad array of computing solutions that best address the needs of customers in the small and medium business, government and education sectors."

In other regions of the world, AMD processor-based desktop PCs accounted for 42 percent of PCs shipped to the Japanese home desktop PC market in 2001. AMD ended 2001 with 41 percent market share of home desktop PCs in Western Europe and 28 percent market share of home desktop PCs in Eastern Europe. All figures reflect Windows(R)-based desktop market segments.

"AMD continues to progressively penetrate the commercial market while fortifying its traditionally strong presence in the consumer market," said Ellett. "During the year, AMD entered the server and workstation markets with the AMD Athlon MP processor, introduced the AMD Athlon 4 mobile processor and capped the year with the successful launch of the world's highest performing desktop PC processor, the AMD Athlon XP processor."
For more AMD news and product information, visit

Mar 15 - Sony Introduces Second Generation Combination CD/DVD RW Drives. Sony Electronics today introduced its next generation of DVD+RW drives, which now also support write-once recording on DVD+R discs.

Both the DRU-120A ATAPI internal model and the DRX-120L i.LINK external burner combine DVD+RW/+R and CD-R/RW recording with DVD-ROM and CD-ROM playback -- all in one device that delivers compelling features for burning DVDs and CDs.

The new DVD+RW/+R and CD-R/RW combo drives and software suite enable users to seamlessly back-up or store up to 4.7GB of computer data on a disc, transfer and convert more than two hours of high quality (MPEG-2) digital video footage from a camcorder or VCR, and play back DVD-ROM and CD-ROM discs.

Both models support up to 2.4X maximum writing speed for DVD+R/+RW discs, 12X maximum recording speed for CD-R discs, and 10X maximum recording speed for CD-RW discs. For users of i.LINK (IEEE 1394)-equipped PCs, the DRX-120L provides the convenience of plug-and-play connectivity and the ability to daisy-chain other i.LINK devices (such as DV camcorders) to the drive.

DVD+R media, with its write-once capabilities, offers users an alternative to DVD+RW media for permanent storage applications or for sharing content with others, due in part to their enhanced compatibility with existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives. DVD+RW media is fully re-writable, and is ideally suited for data back-up and personal storage.

"Already, consumers are realizing the benefits of DVD+RW technology," said Toshi Naito, vice president of Component Solutions for Sony Electronics' Core Technology Solutions Company. "With the introduction of a new software suite and a plug-and-play i.LINK DVD+RW drive, we are making it even easier for consumers to take full advantage of the multi-faceted benefits of CD and DVD recording.
For additional information about Sony DVD+R/+RW and CD-R/RW products, visit

Mar 15 - NEC and Wave Systems To Demonstrate Secure Home Computing. NEC Computers International (NEC CI), a leader in Europe's home personal computer market, and Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:WAVX), a developer of next generation hardware solutions and services for secure Internet shopping, are demonstrating secure PC capabilities at the CeBIT 2002 trade show March 13-20 in Hannover, Germany.

Wave Systems is the developer of the EMBASSY(R) Trust System, for secure e-commerce and trusted digital exchange, and the EMBASSY(R) 2100 secure e-commerce chip. EMBASSY chips may be embedded in such products as computer keyboards, smart card readers and other computer components. When the EMBASSY system secures a device such as a personal computer, personal information such as credit card numbers, PIN numbers and other end user secrets are protected from theft.

At CeBIT, Wave will demonstrate the integration of EMBASSY technology into NEC CI's Packard Bell brand, Western Europe's number-one home PC brand in Q4 2001, with market share of 13.7%, as well as in 2001 with a market share of 11.3%. EMBASSY technology is embedded into a smart card reader integrated into a Packard Bell keyboard. Similar capabilities are also demonstrated using a Wave Systems PC keyboard. NEC CI is expected to launch a trial of EMBASSY technology in a secure PC in the second quarter of this year in France using the Packard Bell brand.

"Consumers will be more comfortable sharing personal information, such as financial data, over the Internet when the network is more secure," said Detlef Bosse - Executive Director - Desktop and Solutions - NEC Computers International. "We believe secure or trusted computing capabilities can be a key differential in marketing computers to consumers."

NEC Computers International (NEC CI) is Europe's sixth largest manufacturer of personal computers, supporting the consumer market with the Packard Bell brand, Europe's home PC leader (Source: Dataquest - February 2002), and the professional market with the NEC brand. The company can be found on the Internet at

Mar 15 - Nokia Transfers to Socket its Bluetooth CompactFlash Card Business. Socket (Nasdaq:SCKT)(PSX:SOK), the Mobile Connection(TM) Company, today announced they have signed an agreement that is designed to make the mobile computing experience using Bluetooth simple and effective.
Under this agreement, Nokia transfers its Bluetooth CompactFlash business to Socket and recommends the Socket Bluetooth card for connecting Windows powered handheld computers and notebooks to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones for high-speed wireless access to email, the Internet and corporate network resources.

"Nokia is a founding Bluetooth SIG promoter member and strong proponent and developer of this technology, and we have a strong Bluetooth product portfolio," said Juha Reima, vice president, Accessories Product Line, Nokia Mobile Phones. "By working with specialist companies like Socket, we can expand the market and get the technology effectively into more customers' hands, and thus improving global access and support to mobile phone customers. With Socket's expertise in mobile computing, we are confident the user experience will be positive, which is vitally important to Nokia. We continue to develop Bluetooth technology and implement it in our products."

Kevin Mills, president and CEO of Socket Communications, said "Bluetooth-enabled GPRS phones provide an effective wireless connection mechanism for computer users who want to access email or the Internet `on the go.' Nokia and Socket have worked together since late 1999 to make their combined Bluetooth solutions trouble-free and easy-to-use."

Socket's Bluetooth Connection Kit for Windows powered handheld computers was previously awarded Nokia's coveted "Nokia OK" logo for its compatibility with Nokia's 6210/6310 Bluetooth mobile phones. This Connection Kit is Mobility Friendly(TM), featuring a low-power, high-performance and easy-to-use solution for making a cable-free connection from a handheld computer to email, the Internet and corporate network resources via Bluetooth mobile phones.
It has the industry's only fully-integrated antenna within a standard CompactFlash frame, and a Get Connected(TM) Wizard for easy installation. Socket's Bluetooth Connection Kit for Pocket PCs and other handheld computers has been shipping for six months. A similar solution for Windows powered notebooks will be available Q2 this year.

As part of the Socket agreement with Nokia, Socket has acquired and licensed certain Bluetooth technologies that will allow Socket to continue to enhance the Bluetooth solutions it brings to market in the future.
Socket can be reached on the Internet at

Mar 15 - One Voice and OZ to Debut Voice-Based Instant Messaging Solution. One Voice Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEV), developer of 4th Generation voice solutions for the wireless, Telematics, TV/Internet appliances and PC markets, and OZ Communications, Inc., a leading provider of instant communication solutions to wireless network operators, plan to debut the world's first voice-based Instant Messaging and Presence solution at CTIA Wireless 2002, the wireless industry's largest national trade show held in Orlando's Orange County Convention Center from March 18-20.

This new voice recognition solution is the first of its kind and allows any phone user to "check presence" of colleagues or friends and send and receive voice-to-text instant messages - all without touching a key on their phones.

One Voice will be demonstrating this exciting new service along with their complete MobileVoice(TM) platform of carrier grade voice subscriber services in the Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications booth (#1463). OZ will also be demonstrating the solution in their booth (#2339), located between Ericsson and Nokia), along with their full suite of instant communication solutions.

"We are committed to providing end-users with a seamless communication experience, independent of devices or networks," said Skuli Mogensen, OZ CEO. "We firmly believe that voice will play a key role in the future of Instant Messaging and Presence Services, both as an interface and as a communication medium."

For more information, visit and


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