Mar 29 - Corsair Announces Availability of 370MHz XMS3000 DDR
DIMMs. Corsair Memory, Inc., an industry leader in ultra-performance
DDR DRAM modules for gaming and overclocking applications, has announced
that it is now offering XMS3000 370 MHz DDR DIMMs with a module size
of 256 Megabytes.
These single-bank modules support a memory clock speed of 185 MHz,
which yields a memory data rate of 370 MHz, or bandwidth of nearly
three gigabytes per second. The part number for this device is CMX256A-3000C2.
Corsair's XMS3000 parts are comprehensively qualified on two leading
edge platforms -- an AMD Athlon platform based on the Via KT333 chip
set, and an Intel Pentium 4 ("P4") platform based on the
SiS 645 chip set. The modules are verified to run at two system settings
-- 185 MHz with CAS latency of two cycles (2-3-3, 1T command rate),
and 166 MHz with ultra-low CAS latency (2-2-2, 1T command rate).
"The performance of these modules is truly outstanding,"
stated Robert Pearce, applications specialist at Corsair. "In
head to head testing, these modules overclock better than any other
memory that we have seen, even those offered as PC3000, PC3200, or
above, from any supplier worldwide."
Corsair's 256 MByte XMS3000 modules utilize 32Mx8 RAMs which have
been carefully screened to meet demanding 370 MHz requirements. Then,
the modules are 100% tested, at 370 MHz, in motherboards based on
chip sets from Via Technologies and Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS)
that are capable of supporting the required high-speed memory bus.
The modules are shipped with a pre-installed aluminum heat spreader.
Details on Corsair's XMS qualification and testing can be found on
Corsair's web site, at www.corsairmemory.com/main/ttrg-xms.html.
Mar 29 - Seiko Instruments Introduces InkLink
Handwriting System. Seiko Instruments USA Inc., a developer and
marketer of advanced business and home/office products, today announced
the launch of the InkLink(TM) handwriting system.
This product, which supports Palm(R), Pocket PC and Windows(R) Operating
Systems, was developed to transform handwritten notes and drawings
into an electronic format. Seiko's InkLink makes it easy for users
of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), laptops, and desktop PCs to
instantly transfer their handwritten notes from paper to their personal
computer of choice.
InkLink is a pocket sized digital device that allows users to go
with their natural instinct to hand-write notes, then convert these
notes into a digital format that is stored on the user's computer
or PDA. InkLink comes packaged in a sleek carrying case that measures
7.6" (L) x 2.9" (W) x 1.4" (H), and weighs 4.75 ounces
and fits in a pocket or purse. The carrying case holds the InkLink
Electronic Ballpoint Pen, Data Clip, and the IrDA Transceiver.
As users write with the InkLink pen, all of their handwritten notes
and drawings are transferred into a PDA via the IrDA Transceiver,
or into a laptop or PC connected via a USB port (serial option). InkLink's
proprietary software, InkNote Manager(TM), gives users the freedom
to cut, copy, paste, e-mail and store handwritten notes in digital
form. InkLink can be used with any size of paper up to legal (8.5"
x 14") size.
Using InkLink with a PDA
To use InkLink with a handheld organizer, simply attach the IrDA
Clip over the PDA's Infrared port, then the cable's mini USB is plugged
into the InkLink Data Clip. Lastly, the Data Clip is fastened to the
edge of a piece of paper. Each stroke of the pen is captured and immediately
transferred into the PDA. Users can copy their notes into their desktop
PC via the ActiveSync(R) or the HotSync(R) process.
How InkLink works with a laptop and desktop PC
In addition to the IrDA Transceiver, InkLink is equipped with a 4'
USB cable. One end of the cable plugs into the computer via its USB
port, and the other end of the cable plugs into the InkLink Data Clip
via the mini USB port. Identical to the PDA set-up, the Data Clip
is attached to a single piece of paper or a full pad of paper.
Seiko Instruments' InkLink will be available in April 2002 at a suggested
retail price of $99.95. U.S. More information can be found at www.seikosmart.com.
Mar 29 - SeeStorm Offers Synthetic Video
Conferencing for Those Who are Shy. Are you completely happy with
text messaging and voice over IP? Now you can outperform both. SeeStorm
has launched the SeeStorm Messenger version 1.1 allowing you to see
facial expressions and hear speech while interacting with your buddies
via realistic 3D characters (avatars) instead of real video. With
SeeStorm software, you can disguise your voice, and hide your unshaven
face behind the Hollywood smiles of animated 3D characters.
SeeStorm Messenger is integrated with the MSN Messenger contacts
list, allowing millions of MSN Messenger users to experience 3D-character-based
communication with a single click.
The Voice Disguise feature is just another step on the way
to giving people the ability to control how much they reveal about
themselves to others. SeeStorm proprietary real-time P2P speech-to-motion
engine and facial mimic tracking technologies are the keys to achieving
this. You can even improve Mother Nature, combining the ease and expressiveness
of live voice and synthetic video communication with the flexibility
and anonymity of text messaging, said Andrew Sviridenko, founding
CEO of SeeStorm, Inc.
SeeStorm Messenger adds a lot of fun to the real benefits of
close and personal real-time voice and visual communications. It has
never been easier and more fun to keep in touch with
family and friends, make new friends and chat in real time, with SeeStorm
Messengers lifelike animated 3D characters.
Visit the SeeStorm Messenger website and download it for free at
Mar 29 - More than 80 Percent of Viruses
Caused by E-mail. The newly released ICSA Labs 7th Annual Computer
Virus Prevalence Survey, jointly sponsored by Panda Software, has
revealed that more than 80% of viruses use e-mail as the principal
means of propagation.
The survey, carried out between January 2000 and August 2001, includes
data on the overall frequency of incidents, the most commonly detected
viruses and the extent to which users are now protecting themselves
against these types of threats.
The report recorded nearly 1.2 million virus incidents and noted
a monthly increase of 20 cases per 1000 in the number of computers
affected by malicious code.
E-mail is still by far the most common means of propagation used
by viruses, although there has been an increase in the use of more
sophisticated infection techniques. Web servers have now become a
favorite target for virus writers, as demonstrated by Nimda and Code
red. Nimda alone was responsible for 68 percent of total incidents
recorded by the survey, largely due to its ability to spread through
multiple infection channels.
The ICSA Labs report also observed that of the companies taking part
in the survey, 28 percent suffered attacks involving more than 25
servers or PCs. These figures represent a drop with respect to those
of earlier surveys.
Finally, the report looked at how companies are dealing with the
threat of malicious code. In comparison with previous surveys, the
results were also encouraging. Some 90 percent of participating companies
claimed to have all of their computers protected with some kind of
antivirus software, whilst 84 percent had protection for mail servers.
However, only just over half the companies had protection for firewalls
and just 45 percent had implemented antivirus protection in proxy
Panda Software van be found online at www.pandasoftware.co.uk.
Mar 28 - Sony's New CLIE Handhelds Feature
Flip-and-Swivel Screens. Sony Electronics today introduced the
industry's first rotating color LCD screen on its new CLIE(TM) PEG-NR70V
and PEG-NR70 handhelds.
Sony's latest handhelds pack new performance features in an elegant
design. The first handhelds to support Dragonball(TM) Super VZ (66MHz)
processor and 16 MB of DRAM (15 MB available), Sony's new devices
can support faster, intensive games and movie clips. Innovative from
the inside out, the CLIE PEG-NR70V and NR70 handhelds offer three
configurations that make handheld computing as flexible as any lifestyle:
In addition to the built-in keyboard, virtual Graffiti and an on-screen
keyboard, both models feature the popular Jog Dial(TM) navigator with
a back button for single-handed operation, which is ideal for scrolling
through menus and supported applications.
It Takes Pictures, Too
The CLIE PEG-NR70V handheld is the first Palm OS(R)-based device
to feature an integrated digital camera, located on the hinge connecting
the screen and keyboard. Now, users can easily capture the moment
by pressing a convenient capture button that automatically launches
the CLIE(TM) camera application. Once activated, this button takes
digital images with one touch.
Get the Picture With Sound and Images
The CLIE NR70V and NR70 models offer the highest resolution screen
(320 x 480 pixel resolution on supported applications) available on
any Palm OS-based device, which ensures that users see the full breadth
and depth of their images with more than 65,000 brilliant colors.
Both new handhelds feature an integrated digital audio player and
come supplied with an in-line remote controller and earbud headphones.
Users can listen to their favorite songs stored on the optional Memory
Stick card. Through the integrated speaker, users can enjoy audio
files without the use of headphones. When viewing gMovie(TM) application
video clips, the audio support on the new handhelds brings home movie
clips to life with stereo sound.
Software for Living
Both units incorporate an enhanced infrared port and Sony's CLIE(TM)
Remote Commander application that transform the handhelds into universal
remote controllers capable of commanding system settings on most DVD
players, TVs, VCRs and AV receivers -- all from a distance of up to
The CLIE PEG-NR70V handheld with integrated camera and MP3 player
will be available at retailers nationwide in the beginning of May
for about $600. For users looking for MP3 playback who do not need
the integrated camera, the CLIE PEG-NR70 model will ship in the beginning
of May for about $500. Pre-orders may be placed beginning today at
Mar 29 - GM Improves Technology for Bad
Weather Driving. Over the past two decades automotive technologies
such as anti-lock brakes and four-wheel drive have become popular
with safety conscious consumers. Now manufacturers are rolling out
the next generation in safety technology, known as vehicle stability
"What we do is sense the driver's intended course," says
Terry Woychowski of General Motors. "Driver wants to go around
a curve, make a corner, we measure that, and we say this is where
the driver wants to go. Well then we measure the vehicle and say where
is the vehicle really going. When they are one and the same, everything
is good. But if because you hit some ice or a slippery spot, gravel
-- the system understands, and then it will take control. And it will
apply the appropriate brake, or pull torque off the engine, to bring
the vehicle back into your intended course."
Advancements in computer technology are being integrated into automobiles.
So, new vehicles are getting smarter every year, as automotive experts
discovered on a test track in icy northern Minnesota last week.
"The consumer can get a lot out of this technology even if they
never know it's there," says Greg Whale of Truck Trend Magazine.
"As long as they remember that no system will repeal the laws
of physics, and that common sense still comes first. This will do
a lot to lower their insurance premiums, save their body shop bill
and probably keep their coffee in the cup holder."
This safety technology is now being made available on more and more
vehicles. While manufacturers like GM say Vehicle Stability Enhancement
Systems don't directly prevent crashes -- they may help drivers avoid
the conditions that can lead to rollovers and other serious accidents.
Mar 28 - AT&T Celebrates 75th Anniversary
of the First Television Broadcast. On April 7, 1927, a group of
newspaper reporters and dignitaries gathered at AT&T's Laboratories
in New York City to see the first American demonstration of something
new: television. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover provided the
"entertainment," as his live picture and voice were transmitted
over telephone lines from Washington, D.C., to New York.
A second telecast followed that day, via radio transmission from
Whippany, N.J. The telecasts demonstrated television's potential as
an adjunct to telephone service and as a medium for entertainment.
Newspapers trumpeted AT&T's achievement as the latest wonder
in an age of wonders. Herbert Ives, the AT&T researcher who led
the television project, followed that triumph with color television
in 1929 and two-way interactive television in 1930, using video telephone
booths connecting AT&T buildings in New York.
Mar 28 - Company Developing Nano-technology
to Stop CD/DVD Piracy. Unicate BV announces the completion of
the first phase of testing of a physical anti-piracy-anti-copy solution
for DVD, CD and CD-ROM.
3DAS low-cost micro-tokens are embedded into the disk providing
a 3-D physical copy protection. The tokens are read by the standard
drive optical reader with minor firmware modifications to the drive.
Using Nano-technology, the 3-dimensional token has greater than 10
to the 36th power stochastic uniqueness.
The read of the 3DAS token by the drive produces a bit string that
is certified unique by TNO (The Dutch National Labs) to 10 to the
36th power. The bit string can either be authenticated in the drive,
near-line, occasional certification or real-time. 3DAS tokens cannot
be copied, replicated, removed or modified.
Four levels of security begin at off-line copy protection to on-line
real-time cryptographic data access control.
The next phase of development is already underway. Unicate is working
with a drive manufacturer to adapt CD and DVD drives for review by
content owners like motion picture studios, music companies and software
manufacturers. Unicate will also be presenting and demonstrating 3DAS
anti-piracy technology to industry standards organizations.
Teunis Tel, Unicate CEO and founder said, "In our first phase,
we have proven to ourselves that we have a low-cost solution to stop
illegal copying of CD and DVD disks using our 3DAS tokens." Tel
continued, "Electronic copy protection schemes have just not
worked. They are obsolete before they are finished and truly only
prevent the home user from copying. We have learned in the high-end
fragrance markets that most of the fraud is in the distribution channels.
This is where most of the piracy occurs. These pirates are sophisticated
and require a sophisticated Nano-technology like 3DAS to defeat them."
Unicate 3DAS and computer generated 2DCS technologies were developed
for anti-piracy, track & trace and content package protection
for the high end fragrance markets. Market applications for the technology
are anti-counterfeiting, package and content identification &
tracking, document fraud protection, identification cards and access
The Unicate web site is http://www.unicate.nl.
Mar 28 - NEC Provides Biometric Security
Solution for the Enterprise. NEC Computers, a leading provider
of mobile, desktop and server computing solutions for the enterprise
market, today announced a new Continuous Availability network security
solution, the NEC Fault Tolerant Biometric, for businesses that need
to secure access to their computer networks and provide continuous
The Fault Tolerant Biometric security solution combines finger imaging
(fingerprint scanning) and continuously available server technology
to provide security anytime, anywhere on a corporate computer network,
even in the event of a server hardware failure.
Depending on the level of security desired, computer network managers
can require every employee to scan her or his finger image before
the NEC Fault Tolerant Biometric security solution permits access
to the network. Computer network managers working within all levels
of an enterprise can also manage levels of security by requiring additional
fingerprint scanning in order to gain access to secure software programs
and confidential files and data.
By combining the continuous availability of NEC Computers' fault
tolerant server (the NEC Express5800/320La) and its finger scanning
authentication technology, users are able to create high levels of
security on highly stable, Windows(R)- and Intel(R)-based networks.
Previously, network managers linked several servers together into
cluster systems that required complex software in order to ensure
network uptime. These cluster systems typically cost substantially
more than fault tolerant servers - for installation, proprietary software
development and ongoing system administration and maintenance - while
delivering fewer hours of continuous operation than a fault tolerant
"This is an incredibly powerful security technology that is
simple to deploy and manage across wide geographies, and makes the
computer network extraordinarily secure," said Norio Tanoue,
president of NEC Computers. "As the need for security systems
increases, so does the dependency on continuous operation and authentication
availability. NEC has been perfecting high-availability technology
for more than 40 years and developing biometric security for the FBI
and Interpol agencies, among others. This is the perfect marriage
of those two histories."
How It Works
The NEC Fault Tolerant Biometric security solution integrates two
powerful technologies, NEC Computers' Express5800 fault tolerant server
and the NEC TouchPass(R) finger imaging device. NEC Computers' Express5800/ft
servers are rated as 99.999% available, which translates into less
than 5 minutes of downtime per year, including software upgrades and
In contrast, typical clustered servers used with security systems
can experience outages of 24 hours per year or more and require highly
trained teams of service technicians to keep them operational. Because
the NEC TouchPass biometric security software is hosted by an NEC
Computers fault tolerant server, the stability of the network is comparable
to that of million-dollar fault tolerant systems.
NEC Computers will make the Fault Tolerant Biometric Security solution
available throughout North America beginning in April 2002. NEC Express5800/ft
system prices begin at $18,000(1). The NEC Enhanced Touchpass biometric
security system begins at $200 per user.(2) Further information about
NEC Computers' system is available at www.necft.com
Mar 27 - New Removable Disk Drive - iVDR -Consortium
Established. On March 5, 2002 industry leaders Canon Inc., Fujitsu
Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., Phoenix Technologies Ltd., Pioneer Corporation,
SANYO Electric Co. Ltd., Sharp Corporation, and Victor Company of
Japan Ltd. established the iVDR (Information Versatile Disk for
Removable usage) Hard Disk Drive Consortium.
The consortium's goal is to strengthen iVDR's position as a common
recording media in the AV and PC industries resulting in increased
future expansion of a new infrastructure of hard disk applications
that use the iVDR technical standard.
The translation of information such as video, music, and pictures
into digital form has become a part of our everyday lives through
the rapid spread of broadband networks, a drop in price of high performance
personal computers, and the penetration of digital still cameras and
video camcorders into the household, as well as the digitalization
of broadcast services.
The market has now entered a new era that surpasses traditional categories
of information devices and home appliances as seen in devices that
handle information, including personal computers capable of recording
TV programs, and televisions and mobile phones that can access the
In today's field of AV devices, 3.5 inch fixed hard disk drives have
begun to be used in devices that record large volumes of information.
However, the use of such fixed hard disk drives in AV devices that
have a relatively long life span prevents the consumer from enjoying
the benefits incurred from the rapid advancement in high-density technology
of hard disk drives that occur on a yearly basis.
Meanwhile, through recent improvement in high-density technology,
the market is entering an era in which large amounts of information
can be stored on hard disk drives of 2.5 inches or less. A removable
disk that can be used by all types of devices would result in the
spread of future mobile applications, increasing consumer demand for
removable hard disk drives. In order to stimulate demand for this
type of removable hard disk drive, the establishment of standard technology
specifications is essential.
While having the large capacity and fast random access typical of
hard disk drives, the consortium will move ahead with plans to increase
capacity from the current level of 40GB to 200GB-400GB within the
next two to three years.
Using multiple iVDR will allow easy construction of servers with TB
(Tera Bytes) capacity. Through the use of the iVDR, manufacturers
will, for the first time, be able to achieve a next generation large
capacity data platform compatible with a wide range of devices from
AV to PC devices.
Furthermore, the consortium will work to spread the iVDR standard
for use in related industries based on its strength as a device that
crosses all barriers for use between different devices.
The consortium will also move forward in research of further specifications
such as interface, file system and applications in order to achieve
high compatibility as a removable hard disk drive for 2.5 and 1.8-inch
compact hard disk drives for uses ranging from AV devices to PC's.
In addition to the processing of digital content, the consortium will
also look into the important area of "content protection security
For more information on the consortium, visit: http://www.ivdr.org.
Mar 27 - Addonics Technologies Announces
Internal Flash Memory Card Reader. Addonics Technologies has solved
the puzzle of transferring data from multimedia peripherals that use
flash memory storage cards to desktop PCs. The company today announced
the Internal DigiDrive -- a universal USB flash memory card reader
that can be mounted into any 3.5-inch drive bay of any computer or
Similar to its cousin (the Pocket DigiDrive), the new device also
supports seven mainstream digital media formats such as CF-I, CF-II,
Smart Memory, Memory Stick, Micro Drive, Multimedia Card, and Secure
Flash memory cards have become the standard storage method for PDAs,
digital cameras, video camcorders, digital voice recorders, and MP3
players, but most USB card readers only support one or two card types.
Because the Addonics Internal DigiDrive supports seven different media
types in one drive users do not need to worry about what storage platform
their PDA or digital camera uses, or buy separate card readers for
each peripheral to transfer media to their desktop PC.
Once the Addonics Internal DigiDrive is installed, an icon for each
type of the seven media it supports automatically appears under the
My Computer folder.
The drive provides four separate slots to accommodate various media
types and occupies a standard 3.5-inch drive bay. The drive contains
no moving parts. Users only need to plug device into any internal
or external USB 1.1 or USB 2.0-compliant port to power the drive.
The Addonics Internal DigiDrive has a 1MB/second read/write speed.
Support is included for Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Mac OS 8.6 or
higher, Linux kernel 2.4 or higher. List price of the Internal DigiDrive
is $69, which includes two USB cables and driver software. Visit Addonics
Mar 27 - Digital Cameras are Displacing
Film, According to Study. The momentum of digital camera adoption
among U.S. households continues.
Digital camera penetration reached 33% of U.S. Internet households
in 2001, and consumers' purchase plans indicate that penetration of
U.S. Internet households could reach as high as 60% by year-end 2002,
according to a new survey of over 1,850 U.S. Internet households by
InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. Only 20% of U.S. Internet-connected
households have not yet considered purchasing a digital camera, and
only 3% of U.S. Internet-connected households have not heard of digital
"The growth in market penetration will have a noticeable impact
on the entire photo industry," says Michelle Slaughter, digital
photography analyst at InfoTrends Research Group. "Increasingly,
digital camera users are using their digital camera as their primary
camera. Already, 19% of digital camera users say that they no longer
use film as a result of owning a digital camera, up from 10% of digital
camera users in 2000."
InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. can be found online at www.infotrends-rgi.com.
Mar 27 - Real-Time Wireless Facial Recognition
Capability on Mobile Phones. Law enforcement officials may one
day use their mobile phones to help identify criminals, thanks to
an application being demonstrated by Visionics Corporation (Nasdaq:
VSNX), and Wirehound LLC.
The companies unveiled facial recognition capabilities on Java(TM)
technology-enabled phones from Motorola this week at the 2002 JavaOne(SM)
Developer Conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center (Booth #1728).
The application, developed specifically for a law enforcement agency,
uses Visionics' FaceIt(R) ARGUS as the delivery platform for facial
recognition capabilities and Wirehound's Birddog software on Java
2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) technology-enabled mobile phone
with a color display.
The FaceIt ARGUS system automatically finds faces in a field of view
and searches them against a mug shot database. Upon finding a match,
the Birddog component generates a wireless alert to the phones used
by mobile law enforcement officials, who are then able to verify the
identity of the subject. The phones can store multiple images and
are alerted when a new image arrives. Non-matched images are automatically
discarded from the system.
"By teaming with Wirehound, we are now providing a compelling
solution for on-the-spot criminal recognition," said Dr. Joseph
J. Atick, chairman and chief executive officer of Visionics. "Our
main achievement is using the scalability of the FaceIt ARGUS as a
platform to deliver facial recognition from any point of action to
a device as familiar as a mobile phone, without the need for special
"By extending facial recognition capabilities to a wireless
device, Visionics and Wirehound have answered the demands of mobile
law enforcement officers, " said Steve Potell, president of Wirehound.
"Using Java technology, we have created a user-friendly interface
and communication protocol to access the matches generated by the
FaceIt ARGUS system that can be used by the law enforcement community
For more information visit www.visionics.com.
Mar 27 - M-Systems Introduces Higher Capacity
256 MB Portable DiskOnKey. M-Systems (Nasdaq:FLSH), a leader in
flash disk data storage products, today announced its DiskOnKey personal
storage device is now available with a 256MB storage capacity.
The new offering allows users to save up to 177 diskettes worth of
information in the award-winning DiskOnKey form factor. The latest
version follows suit with previous DiskOnKey models by being identified
with its own unique transparent purple color on the neck of the device.
Likewise, it will also offer M-Systems' renowned driverless capabilities,
the KeySafe security application, Winlogon capabilities and automatic
boot functions for aiding the user who has general or specific computer
"With the introduction of the 256MB device, we are introducing
the device to a new market of users that could find the DiskOnKey
to be a necessary part of their personal and professional lives,"
said Dan Harkabi, vice president of M-Systems. "The increased
storage capacity also meets market demands by delivering a competitive
and affordable storage solution, with unsurpassed computing power
that continues to make DiskOnKey the market leader."
M-Systems' flash data storage technology enables the DiskOnKey to
be smaller than the size of your palm while offering an onboard CPU
for driverless operation connecting to a computer's universal serial
bus (USB) port.
The DiskOnKey has undergone rigorous testing for reliability and durability,
securing certification by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Testing
Lab (WHQL), as well as the only product in the category approved to
carry the certified-USB logo set by the USB Implementers Forum.
Manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) for the 8, 16, 32,
64, 128 and 256MB DiskOnKey are $29.99, $49.99, $79.99, $99.99, $149.99
and $249.99, respectively. The DiskOnKey is currently available through
major partners in North America, Asia and Europe. Visit DiskOnKey
on the Internet at www.diskonkey.com.
Mar 27 - EA Ships The Sims Vacation Expansion
Pack. EA (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced the release of The Sims(TM)
Vacation Expansion Pack, a new add-on disk to the top-selling PC game
of 2000 & 2001, The Sims(TM).
The Sims and their families have been in overdrive with the magical
high-jinx of Livin' Large, the wild parties of House Party and the
never-ending social obligations of Hot Date. They need a break and
The Sims Vacation provides the perfect opportunity to give them a
little rest and relaxation on a fun-filled vacation island!
"Everyone needs to get away from it all sometimes, and The Sims
aren't any different," said Tim LeTourneau, senior producer at
EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "With The Sims Vacation, the whole Sims
household can get some fun and sun on a fabulous island get-away."
Both luxurious and rustic accommodations are available at this new
and fully customizable destination. The vacation island offers a snowy
alpine setting, a boardwalk-boasting beach resort and a forest campground.
Volleyball, snowboarding, archery, fishing or hunting for hidden treasure
are just a few of the things that Sims can do with their family and
friends at this unique resort location. All-new social interactions
and over 125 new objects will have Sim vacationers entertained from
dusk until dawn.
Whether the Sims are on a romantic retreat, a family getaway or an
extreme holiday, a comical cast of characters is available to cater
to them during their island stay. Kana, the Vacation Director, and
the wacky resort staff are on-call day and night to see to the Sims'
every need. A troupe of costumed performers is also on hand to entertain
the kids. Sim parents listen up! Keeping those kids happy is crucial
because errant children can bring a pre-mature end to the Sims' island
More information about EA's products can be found on the Internet
Mar 26 - Sharp's New Zaurus SL-5500 Offers
Consumers A Powerful PDA. Sharp Electronics Corp., today announced
that its mobile communications and multimedia device, the Zaurus
SL-5500 Personal Mobile Tool, will be available to consumers nationwide
in the first quarter of 2002.
The Zaurus SL-5500 offers consumers everything they need to be truly
mobile, from business-critical wireless e-mail to view-anywhere movies
and video. Combining the power of a PC with the fun of multimedia,
the Zaurus SL-5500 features a powerful 206MHz processor, 64MB of standard
memory, and a MP3 and MPEG-1 multimedia player, voice recorder, and
a high resolution color screen.
A cleverly-designed integrated QWERTY keyboard, and dual expansion
with a Compact Flash and SD / Multimedia card slot, offer consumers
a next-generation mobile device for all their business and personal
The Zaurus SL-5500 offers consumers a powerful alternative
to conventional PDAs, said Steve Petix, associate vice president,
Sharp Mobile Solutions and IT Group. The new Zaurus SL-5500
combines the functionality of a computer and multimedia system wrapped
up in a sleek package perfect for someone on the go.
The Zaurus SL-5500 is the ideal solution for consumers who like to
have everything at their fingertips. The integrated keyboard, located
behind a sliding cover, allows for easy data entry and ensures that
the unit remains compact when the keyboard is not in use. With handwriting
recognition and an on-screen keyboard feature, users have more methods
available for data entry than other similar devices on the market.
For the business professional the Zaurus SL-5500 gives users a near
in-office experience with its power and versatility. Sharp and Aether
(Nasdaq: AETH), a leading provider of wireless data products and services
are working together to develop Sharp Mobile Services, an end-to-end
wireless solution, including modem ordering, fulfillment, network
service, billing, customer service and support. As a wireless device,
the Zaurus SL-5500 allows users to check their e-mail in a snap and
browse the Web to research a customer while waiting for a flight or
while on the road. Because of its open source Linux®/Java
based platform (with Qt Embedded GUI), applications can be easily
customized to fit the professional's personal and business needs.
With two integrated expansion slots, users can enjoy simultaneous
use of accessories such as modems, memory, and digital cameras, allowing
them to create a unique Zaurus designed specifically for their needs.
For maximum flexibility, the Zaurus SL-5500 is compatible with a number
of modems, offering customers a variety of wireless options.
The Zaurus SL-5500 will be available for purchase in corporate sales
channels, via Sharp's sales Web site (www.sharpplace.com)
and technology retailers nationwide. Sharp made the announcement at
the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it is showcasing
many of its latest high technology, high-style products.
Mar 26 - Handspring Begins Nationwide
Retail Distribution of Treo Communicators. Handspring, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAND),
a leading innovator in handheld computers and personal communicators,
today announced nationwide retail availability of its Treo 180 communicators.
The company is shipping Treo 180 nationwide to select Best Buy, Staples
and CompUSA stores. Treo 180 is already for sale at regional retailers
Fry's Electronics and J&R Music & Computerworld, and online
Treo is a compact communicator that combines a GSM mobile phone,
a Palm OS organizer, wireless email, SMS text messaging and Internet
access in a small, lightweight and elegant device.
Treo is small, measuring 11 x 6.9 x 1.8 centimeters and weighing only
147 grams, but its flip-open design makes possible a large screen
suitable for Web page viewing and text messaging.
SMS may require a separate data plan from your carrier and web browsing
requires Internet access either through your carrier or an ISP, as
well as a GSM wireless plan that includes data services.
The steel-blue colored Treo features a rocker switch for easy one-handed
navigation, speakerphone capability and compatibility to GPRS.
Handspring sells its Treo family of wireless communicators, Visor
line of handheld computers and Springboard expansion modules and accessories
Mar 26 - Samsung First to Receive Intel
Validation for 512MB DDR SDRAM. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., the
world's leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, today
announced that its 512Mb DDR SDRAM memory device is the industry's
first of its density to receive Intel validation. Samsung developed
the 512Mb DDR SDRAM device, utilizing 0.12-micron process technology,
in October 2001.
Samsung leads the industry in the number of Intel fully validated
DDR SDRAM devices to date in the DDR200/266 speed range by a ratio
of 16 to 6. Samsung offers 16 fully validated DDR SDRAM devices in
densities from 128Mb to 512Mb. The next closest vendor has six validated
devices. The average of all vendors validated, excluding Samsung,
is only four. For precise details, visit: developer.intel.com/technology/memory/ddr/valid/dram_results.htm
"Samsung is the world's leader in DDR memory technology,"
said Tom Quinn, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.'s vice president of marketing.
"Our leadership is clearly demonstrated with the validation of
Samsung's 512Mb PC2100 device which is in full production and is shipping
Samsung offers the widest range of DDR SDRAM devices available, with
speed ratings of PC1600, PC2100, PC2700, and PC3200 to suit customer
performance and price requirements. Samsung has an ongoing program
of continuous technology improvement and is currently developing both
faster and denser products to meet customers' projected system requirements.
According to Dataquest, DDR will comprise 30 percent of the DRAM
market in 2002. Samsung is the world leader in DDR memory with more
than a 40 percent market share. The company was the first to develop
256Mb and 512Mb high density DDR devices. This, and the recent introduction
of the world's first DDR400 modules, fully compliant with the Jedec
DDR-1 standard, confirms Samsung's technology leadership. The company
intends to maintain this lead as the industry transitions to the next-generation
DDR technology, DDR II.
For more information, visit: www.usa.samsungsemi.com.
Mar 26 - 1394 Trade Association Sees Robust
Future for Firewire. The director of the 1394 Trade Association
predicted today that most new notebook computers will incorporate
the IEEE 1394 standard by the end of this year.
"The number and quality of new consumer and computer peripheral
products designed with 1394/FireWire/i.LINK made a major step forward
at the end of 2001," said James Snider, the 1394 Trade Association's
executive director. "It continued during the first quarter of
2002. The list is lengthy and impressive."
Snider added that design activity is picking up in Europe now, and
continues to be strong in China and south Asia, where he will lead
a delegation in April. "The number of new consumer and computer
peripheral products designed with 1394/FireWire/i.LINK made a major
step forward at the end of 2001 and during the first quarter of 2002,"
he said. "The list of new products is lengthy and impressive."
Snider cited the arrival of the new `b' version of the standard,
which provides a minimum of 800 Megabit/second bandwidth and extended
connectivity for FireWire and i.LINK products. Category 5 wire and
plastic optical fiber (POF) can be used to achieve distance of 100
meters and more between 1394-equipped devices. The advent of the new,
high bandwidth version, which is designed for extension to 3.2 Gigabits/second,
will accelerate 1394-equipped designs beginning late in the second
calendar quarter, and position IEEE 1394 as the standard of choice
for home networking and for the automobile network.
The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated
to the advancement and proliferation of the IEEE 1394 multimedia standard,
which is marketed under the names FireWire(TM) and i.LINK(TM). For
more information visit www.1394ta.org.
Mar 26 - ScanSoft Speech-Enables New Generation
of Citroen Cars. ScanSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT), a leading supplier
of imaging, speech and language solutions, today announced that its
speech and language technologies are used to voice-enable certain
models from Citroen, a leading European automobile manufacturer.
ScanSoft has teamed with Clarion to provide leading speech and language
capabilities for Clarion's AutoPC, which is now available as an option
in Citroen's Xsara and new C5. Clarion's groundbreaking in-dash personal
assistant incorporates ScanSoft's ASR 200 and Text-to-Speech technology
TTS 3000 to allow drivers to use the power of voice to perform a number
of tasks from safely behind the wheel. ScanSoft's ASR speech recognition
software processes all spoken commands and the TTS engine converts
written text to spoken word for e-mail reading or navigation system
Examples of how Citroen drivers are using ScanSoft speech technology
-- Drivers can use their voice to automatically select tracks from
the CD changer, activate or de-activate the navigation unit or radio,
scan or select stations and adjust the volume.
-- The system automatically informs the driver when e-mail has arrived.
The driver can orally browse through messages, listen to who sent
them, identify when they were sent and determine what the subject
-- Drivers can dial their cell phones via preset numbers simply by
telling the unit to select a name in the address book.
-- The system sends drivers spoken traffic alerts concerning accidents
and driving conditions. Step-by-step vocal guidance is provided to
maneuver drivers around such conditions and arrive safely at their
For more information regarding ScanSoft products and technologies,
please visit www.ScanSoft.com. Clarion
is located on the Web at www.clarion.com.
Mar 25 - Fujitsu's LifeBook to Feature
New Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M. Fujitsu PC Corporation,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today announced
the availability of its first Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor-M
mobile computing solution with the LifeBook(R) C Series -- an all-in-one
multimedia notebook made popular for its unrivaled price and performance.
Featuring Intel's new Mobile Pentium 4 processor-M running at 1.6GHz
and the Intel 845MP chipset, Fujitsu's LifeBook C Series offers improved
multimedia features that increase its overall appeal and retains its
attractive price point of $1,999. The adoption of Intel's latest processor
increases the audio, communications, entertainment, and digital video
and imaging capabilities of the LifeBook C Series while further enhancing
users' digital media experience.
"With the adoption of the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M,
the LifeBook C Series will continue its tradition of providing users
the most advanced multimedia features available in an all-in-one design,"
said Sara Nelson, Fujitsu PC Corporation's vice president of marketing.
"We are confidant users will find the added features and increased
functionality appealing to anyone interested in entertainment and
productivity. The LifeBook C Series is a perfectly priced mobile computing
solution with the ability to handle today's most robust applications
and the headroom for the next generation of software applications,
technology and Internet solutions."
As Fujitsu's all-in-one multimedia solution, the LifeBook C Series
is ideal for small-to-medium business professionals, first-time users
and students. The LifeBook incorporates a 15-inch XGA display with
excellent resolution to deliver a larger, enhanced DVD viewing experience.
For superior video editing, smooth DVD playback and the ability to
run graphics-intensive applications, the LifeBook C Series features
an advanced ATI(R) Mobility RADEON(TM) 7500 video controller with
8MB of integrated video memory.
Another feature adding to the computer's entertainment value is its
ability to deliver high-quality audio via the bundling of Dolby Headphone
software for virtual surround sound using stereo headphones or speakers.
Users can experience 3D stereo sound when using the LifeBook's two
built-in speakers through the adoption of SigmaTel Audio with wavetable.
Its three-spindle design can accommodate a CD-ROM, DVD or DVD/CD-RW
combo drive, a built-in floppy drive and the choice of a 20GB, 30
or 40GB hard drive(2). The notebook comes standard with 256MB DDR266
on-board system memory upgradeable to 512MB, a nine-cell Lithium ion
battery and two Type II or one Type III PC card slots.
The LifeBook C Series ships with either Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP
Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition and can be purchased
through Fujitsu's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.
Mar 25 - SMC Networks Expands Barricade
Router Product Line. SMC Networks, an industry-leading provider
of wired and wireless networking solutions for the home, SOHO and
small-to-medium businesses, today expanded its popular Barricade product
line with the announcement of the Barricade Plus Cable/DSL Broadband
Router, a next-generation router offering increased network security
through an integrated Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall and
VPN tunneling feature and Barricade PCI, a 10/100Mbps PCI adapter
with integrated firewall protection.
"With an increasing number of home and small business users
transitioning to the 'always on' broadband Internet connection, the
next-generation Barricade router and new Firewall-enabled PCI adapter
offer a higher level of security to protect against the threat of
hackers," explained Betty Chan, wireless networking product manager
Barricade Plus Cable/DSL Broadband Routers with VPN
Available in both wired (SMC7004FW) and 802.11b-compliant wireless
(SMC7004WFW) versions, both Barricade Plus Cable/DSL Broadband routers
are platform-independent, include 10/100Mbps switches, (four ports
on the wired version and three ports on the wireless), and support
up to five VPN tunnels. The wireless Barricade Plus supports 64- and
128-bit WEP encryption and MAC address authentication.
The SMC7004FW is IEEE 802.3 and 802.3u compatible and will be available
at the end of April at an estimated street price of $159.
The 802.11b-compliant wireless version (SMC7004WFW) adds the ability
to bridge between wired and wireless LANs and provides seamless roaming
within the same subnet. MAC address filtering is provided for up to
32 MAC addresses. The SMC7004WFW is IEEE 802.3, 802.3u and 802.11b
compatible and will be available in early May at an estimated street
price of $259.
Barricade PCI 10/100 Mbps PCI Adapter with Firewall Protection
Adding security to the network clients, SMC also announced its Barricade
PCI 10/100 Mbps PCI Adapter with Firewall Protection (SMC1255TX-PF).
The Barricade PCI Adapter combines the high-performance of a 10/100
Mbps network adapter and the functionality of a full-featured firewall
into one integrated solution.
The adapter supports full-duplex communication, auto-negotiation,
Wake-on-LAN, flow control and a 32-bit transfer mode and will be available
April 30, 2002 at an estimated street price of $23.99.
More information about SMC Networks is available at www.smc.com.
Mar 25 - Most Small and Midsize Businesses
Are Not Prepared for a Crisis. The events of September 11 were
a high profile wakeup call for small and midsize businesses (SMBs)
to assess the risk of their business in the case of a disaster and
their ability to recover from such a crisis.
Many companies are still not prepared, as Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT and
ITB) estimates that two out of five enterprises that experience a
disaster will go out of business within five years of the event.
Gartner analysts said the majority of SMBs have traditionally under
invested in business continuity planning. One reason why is that the
disaster recovery and business continuity markets historically have
been centered around robust and expensive solutions that can be cost
prohibitive for SMBs. Gartner estimates that only 35 percent of SMBs
have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place and fewer than
10 percent of SMBs have crisis management, contingency, business recovery
and business resumption plans.
"Many SMBs don't believe they will ever be affected by a disaster
the magnitude of what happened on September 11. But the reality is
that it's the hundreds of comparatively minor vulnerabilities, such
as an e-mail virus or a sustained power outage, that pose the biggest
threat to derailing normal operations because of their greater likelihood
of occurring," said Jim Browning, vice president and research
director for Gartner.
Gartner research shows 80 percent of mission-critical application
service downtime is directly caused by people or processes failures.
The other 20 percent is caused by technology failure, environmental
failure or a disaster.
"SMBs need to evaluate their business processes and protect what
is critical," said Donna Scott, vice president and research director
for Gartner. "They must anticipate how they would conduct business
in the event of natural disasters, system outages, facility fires,
or other risks to their operations. Failure to do so is risky business.
SMBs must act promptly to assess and mitigate the risks that stalk
and endanger their business operations."
SMBs specifically have a fundamental quandary to resolve: How much
money is too much money to spend on business continuity planning?
SMBs should start by investing in a business impact assessment that
will help them in identifying and ranking business process and resource
criticality, priority and dependencies so that spending can be prioritized
accordingly. For SMBs that are leery to tackle the project themselves,
qualified consultants can help SMBs perform a BIA for around $30,000
to $80,000, depending on organization size and scope.
SMBs also need to appreciate the high price of downtime when mulling
how much money to spend on business continuity and disaster recovery.
Knowing what to do when a crisis disrupts their business will help
SMBs recover faster and improve their chances of survival.
Additional information is available at www.gartner.com.
Mar 25 - SONICblue, Amazon.com Team Up
for Online Retail of ReplayTV 4000. In a move designed to meet
increasing consumer demand for its ReplayTV 4000 Digital Video Recorder
(DVR), the world's first broadband and home network enabled DVR, SONICblue(TM)
Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU) today named leading online retailer Amazon.com
(Nasdaq:AMZN) the first online reseller for ReplayTV 4000. Amazon.com
is currently taking pre-orders for ReplayTV 4000 and is the exclusive
national retailer of ReplayTV 4000 -- online or off -- through the
end of May.
"As a top online consumer electronics retailer, Amazon.com will
enable us to quickly and effectively expose the ReplayTV 4000 to a
broader consumer market," said Jim Hollingsworth, vice president
of worldwide sales, SONICblue. "We are confident that ReplayTV
4000 will prove to be highly successful among Amazon.com's Internet-savvy
customer base and we look forward to working with them to expand our
retail presence, thereby strengthening our position in the rapidly
growing DVR market space."
SONICblue's ReplayTV 4000 allows television viewers to automatically
record their favorite shows without videotape, pause and instantly
replay live television, and choose to skip over commercials without
fast forwarding. With its broadband connectivity, customers can send
video over the Internet to friends and family who own ReplayTV 4000s,
stream video to other ReplayTVs in the home, and view digital photo
slide shows on the television.
The ReplayTV Channel Guide, downloaded daily through a broadband connection,
offers a convenient, grid-based list of shows that can be recorded
at the touch of a button. With up to 320 hours of storage capacity,
ReplayTV is the most advanced DVR on the market.
SONICblue's ReplayTV series is available in four models: ReplayTV
4040 with up to 40 hours of storage for $699.99; ReplayTV 4080 with
up to 80 hours of storage for $999.99; ReplayTV 4160 with up to 160
hours of storage for $1,499.99; and the ReplayTV 4320 with up to 320
hours of storage for $1,999.
Prices include lifetime service fee. The ReplayTV 4040, 4080 and 4160
can be pre-ordered from www.amazon.com/electronics
Mar 24 - Sunday
Shopping Watch. Palm Sunday .
Weekly Comparison. The big computer sale before
all our tracked vendors have ads this Sunday.
Prices continue to go down on 1 GHz notebooks. The lowest 1 GHz notebook
price we have seen so far $699 (after rebates) is advertised today.
Pentium 4 notebooks were advertised at the same price, and prices
seemed to stay about the same on Pentium III and Athlon notebooks
(no they have not gone down much in price since the release of the
Pentium 4 desktops went up about $100, and the low-priced Celeron
desktop stayed the same at $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 notebook purchases over $598. Additionally, they are giving
$100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, and on any notebook
with a combo drive.
City is advertising $100-$175
mail-in rebates on all notebooks and $200 mail-in rebates on desktop
Pentium 4 packages. They are also giving away 1 year of free CompuServe,
and are offering 12 months of interest free financing on all desktop
computer packages and notebook purchases.
is offering no interest, no payments, for 6 months on any computer
purchase over $298.
CompUSA is giving away 3 months
of AOL with any notebook or desktop computer purchase.
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
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
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz complete system
Best Buy, CompUSA
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.8 GHz complete system
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 1700+ complete system
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 1800+ with 17" monitor (build-to-order)
Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
Best High-end Notebook
Sony AMD 1 GHz Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Best High-end Notebook
Sony AMD 1.2 GHz Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 1.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
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.
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