Mar 31 - Dell Introduces New Value-Packed Notebook. Designed
for the value-conscious customer and equipped with more advanced
features such as internal wireless connectivity, Dell(tm) (Nasdaq:DELL)
today announced the Inspiron(tm) 1150, an affordable and highly
customizable notebook packed with numerous practical capabilities.
Priced starting at $799, the Inspiron 1150 is exceptionally flexible
and offers advanced optional features traditionally associated
with higher priced notebooks. With the introduction of the Inspiron
1150, all Dell notebooks now offer internal wireless Internet
capabilities. The 1150 offers two optional internal wireless cards
for hassle-free connections to Internet-based applications. Customers
can choose between the Dell Wireless 1350 802.11b/g 54Mbps Mini-PCI
Wireless Card or the Dell Wireless 1450 Dual Band 802.11a/b/g
54Mbps Mini-PCI Wireless Card.
There are also two LCD screen sizes at either 14.1- or 15.0-inch
XGA TFT resolutions. Memory can be custom configured from 256MB
to 1GB Shared DDR, and there are four hard drive options ranging
from 20GB to 60GB, providing customers with ample storage capacities
to accommodate their needs.
Furthermore, the Dell Inspiron 1150 comes with either an Intel(R)
Celeron(R) 2.40GHz or 2.60GHz processor or a Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R)
4 2.40GHz or 2.66GHz processor. Both processors sets enable users
to power through essential computing tasks such as Internet access,
e-mail, and personal productivity applications.
The Inspiron 1150 features the Dell Solution Center, an on-line
tool with automated self-diagnostics that can help troubleshoot
and fix problems. And the user can open and conduct a live e-mail
chat with a member of Dell's service and support staff. The Inspiron
1150 comes standard with a 1-Year Limited Warranty and 1-Year
For more information about Inspiron products, go to www.dell.com/inspiron.
Mar 31 - Hynix Announces Industry
First 1GB DDR2 SODIMM. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (www.hynix.com)
today announced the launch of its industry-first 1GB DDR2 SODIMM
(Small Out Dual In-line Memory Module) manufactured on its leading
edge 0.11-micron technology.
The newly launched 1GB DDR2 SODIMM, supporting 400 and 533MHz,
were developed to meet the projected DDR2 demand for notebook
applications in second half of this year. Hynix is planning to
begin mass production of 1GB DDR2 SODIMM next quarter to coincide
with the release of Intel DDR2 chipset.
Mar 31 - Top Ten Ways to Avoid Wi-Fi
Hijacking. JiWire, the source for wireless broadband information,
today released the top ten ways to avoid being hijacked when connecting
to the Internet wirelessly.
With the number of hotspot users expected to grow to 30 million
worldwide by the end of 2004 (Gartner Group), and the number of
hotspots topping 35,000 (JiWire), now more than ever, hijackers
have the opportunity to crack wireless networks and steal data.
Responding to the recent break-ins and the growing concern by
those that use hotspots for communication on-the-go, JiWire's
editorial team has developed the following recommendations for
The Top 10 Ways to Work Securely at Public Hotspots:
1. Make sure you're connected to a legitimate access point.
2. Encrypt files before transferring or emailing them.
3. Use a virtual private network (VPN).
4. Use a personal firewall.
5. Use anti-virus software.
6. Update your operating system regularly.
7. Be aware of people around you.
8. Use Web-based email that employs secure http (https).
9. Turn off file sharing.
10. Password-protect your computer and important files.
The full article and additional "how to" details about
to avoid wireless hijacking on-the-road and at home.
Mar 31 - IT Manager Poll Shows Opening
Unknown Attachments Presents Highest Security Risk. Almost
half of IT managers believe that opening an unknown attachment
is the most serious security offense their users can commit, according
to a recent poll of IT administrators and security consultants
conducted by WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:WGRD). More
than three-fourths (79 percent) of respondents also indicated
that a virus has successfully penetrated their network defenses
at least once in the past year.
Results from a related survey conducted by the company, a leading
provider of Internet security solutions for the small- to mid-size
enterprise (SME) market, indicate that only seven percent of users
obey security policies to the letter while 46 percent don't even
try to work securely.
"While recent high-profile virus attacks have led many organizations
to take more stringent measures to educate users, these findings
suggest that trying to enforce security policies only through
behavior modification is a risky proposition," said Mark
Stevens, chief strategy officer at WatchGuard.
"The safest option is to deploy a security solution such
as a WatchGuard Firebox appliance that can identify threats within
the application layer and remove potentially dangerous attachments
altogether. With application layer security that protects against
entire classes of attacks built into the security appliance, you
don't need to have a specific virus signature on file and you
don't need to rely on user discretion. This is particularly important
in small- and mid-size enterprises. They are just as vulnerable
to attacks as large enterprises, but are challenged to stay on
top of the security landscape with limited resources."
WatchGuard also asked IT managers to share their strategies for
preventing users from opening unknown attachments. The most common
response was to filter unauthorized attachments at the firewall
before they reach the user. A summary of the responses is available
online at www.watchguard.com/lsspoll.
Users and Security Breaches
When asked to identify the user errors or habits representing
the most severe breaches of security, 40 percent of respondents
said that opening an unknown attachment is more damaging than
failing to implement mandatory virus updates, installing an unauthorized
wireless network or making a password easily accessible to others
(each selected by 14 percent of respondents). The results indicate
that administrators perceive infected attachments to be the greatest
security threat to organizations, despite the fact that most organizations
have anti-virus software in place.
Users and Security Policies
In a separate poll, WatchGuard asked IT managers whether their
users obey company security policies. Though the findings showed
that 47 percent of users mostly adhere to their organizations'
policies, a large percentage -- 31 percent -- only do so when
it suits them. A further twelve percent obey security policies
only by chance and three percent ignore the rules altogether.
Mar 31 - Pay TV Providers Help Drive
Rapid Growth of Digital Video Recorder Market. Despite slow
adoption rates and marketing efforts that never really hit home
with consumers, digital video recorders (DVRs) - devices that
use an internal hard drive to record programming - are finally
reaching the masses. Spurred in large part by cable and satellite
TV providers investing heavily in DVR-enabled set-top boxes in
the U.S., IDC forecasts that worldwide unit shipments will climb
to more than 28 million in 2008, a compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) of 46.9% between 2003 and 2008.
"Consumers are finally beginning to get it," said Greg
Ireland, senior research analyst, Consumer Markets: Video. "For
the first time the DVR vendors are getting through to people and
showing them that these devices are more than just high-priced
VCRs. The pay TV providers can take a lot of the credit, and reap
the rewards, for finally breaking through to consumers."
In the United States, DVR adoption has become a function of the
heated competition between cable and satellite television providers.
Initially, satellite providers emphasized DVR offerings to combat
cable televisions' investment in video-on-demand (VOD), and now
cable is being forced to respond. "This strategy has done
more in one year to advance the understanding and acceptance of
DVRs than standalone options, such as TiVo, had done in the previous
five years," Ireland added.
The DVR market in Western Europe, although not quite as aggressive,
closely resembles that of the United States, relying heavily on
pay TV providers to advance DVR penetration. In Japan, however,
things are quite different as DVR/DVD-recorders are igniting the
These combo devices will ship 11.3 million units worldwide in
2008, with nearly 80% of the shipments happening outside the United
States. Standalone DVR shipments will decline toward the second
half of the forecast period as these devices increasingly add
DVD recording functionality. In fact, the DVR/DVD-recorder segment
will continue to grow and account for nearly 40% of the entire
worldwide DVR market in 2008.
-- At the end of 2003, there were 3.2 million U.S. DVR households
-- Despite its strong brand, which is virtually synonymous with
the DVR product category, TiVo owns only 39% of the U.S. market
-- Unlike in the U.S., DVR/DVD-recorder devices have ignited
the Japanese market
-- In the U.S. and Japan, DVR will increasingly incorporate high-definition
-- Storage capacity will become more important as more DVR users
wish to build larger and larger libraries of content.
Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.
Mar 30 - BFG Technologies Offers
Consumers More Performance with New Overclocked 3D Graphics Cards.
BFG Technologies, Inc., a leading U.S.-based supplier of advanced
3D graphics cards and other PC enthusiast products, announced
today that their two newest cards, BFG GeForce(TM) FX 5900XT OC(TM)
and BFG GeForce(TM) FX 5500 OC(TM) will be faster than standard
cards with the same chipset due to BFG's custom "out-of-the-box"
"BFG knows that many gamers like to push their hardware
to the max," said Scott Herkelman, EVP Marketing for BFG
Technologies, Inc. "Overclocking a card can give a significant
performance boost during gaming and other 3D applications, but
the process can be risky and certainly voids the warranty. That's
why we've begun overclocking our cards in the factory when possible.
We increase the core clock up to a significant but safe level,
giving end users more performance without voiding our lifetime
warranty or adding cost."
BFG GeForce(TM) FX 5900XT OC(TM) features 128 MB DDR memory,
430 MHz core clock (vs. 390 MHz standard), 735 MHz effective memory
clock, 23.5 GB memory bandwidth and Microsoft(R) Direct X(R) 9.0
support. This 8X AGP card also offers NVIDIA(R) UltraShadow(TM)
technology, NVIDIA(R) CineFX(TM) 2.0 engine, NVIDIA(R) nView(TM)
multi-display technology and NVIDIA(R) Forceware(TM) unified software
BFG GeForce(TM) FX 5500 OC(TM) features 256 MB DDR memory and
a 290 MHz core clock (vs. 270 MHz standard). This 8X AGP card
also offers NVIDIA(R) CineFX(TM) 2.0 engine, NVIDIA(R) nView(TM)
multi-display technology and NVIDIA(R) Forceware(TM) unified software
BFG Technologies offers a true lifetime warranty and free 24/7
online and telephone technical support on all of its graphics
For more information about BFG Technologies' products, visit
Mar 30 - IDC Forecasts 56% LCD Panel
Revenue Growth in 2004. The demand for LCD-TVs will drive
the next wave of growth in the LCD panel market according to IDC's
new study, Worldwide TFT-LCD Demand and Supply 2004-2007 Forecast.
This study predicts that, due to the growth of LCD-TV demand,
the TFT-LCD market, which includes LCD-TV panels, notebook LCD
panels, and desktop monitor LCD panels, will grow by a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% from $24 billion in 2003 to reach
$42 billion in 2007. This year the total LCD panel market revenue
will grow by 56% to $37 billion.
"The TFT-LCD market is expected to double its current size
over the forecast period," said Stanley Jeong, research manager
for TFT-LCD research at IDC. "Most notably, revenue in the
LCD-TV market segment will grow at such a torrid pace that it
will exceed the revenue in the LCD-notebook panel market by 2005."
Additional findings from IDC's study include:
-- The 17-inch panel size will become the most popular for desktop
PC LCD monitors during 2004, accounting for 60% of total desktop
PC LCD monitor demand. 19-inch panels will account for 40% share
-- By 2007, 43% of LCD-TV panels will be over 30 inches, increasing
sharply from 4% in 2003, due to the introduction of sixth- and
seventh-generation LCD production lines dedicated to LCD-TV market
-- 14.1-inch and 15-inch panels will remain the mainstream size
for notebooks. The combined market share for these two LCD panel
sizes will hover around 90% from 2004 to 2007. Panels under 14.1
inches will actually disappear during the forecast period.
-- On a percentage basis, higher unit demand than revenue implies
that the LCD market will be oversupplied during the forecast period
and experience notable price erosion, especially from 2005 and
For a graphical representation of IDC's worldwide TFT-LCD panel
market revenue forecast, please go to IDC.
Mar 30 - Check Point Software Completes
Zone Labs Acquisition. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
(Nasdaq:CHKP), the worldwide leader in securing the Internet,
announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Zone
Labs(R), Inc., the market leader in endpoint security.
Check Point paid approximately $114 million in cash and issued
approximately 5.3 million Check Point shares, and will also assume
employee stock options of Zone Labs, which could become exercisable
for approximately 2.8 million additional Check Point shares.
"Together, Zone Labs and Check Point deliver the industry's
first comprehensive end-to-end security solutions by providing
integrated Internal, Perimeter and Web protection," said
Gil Shwed, chairman and CEO of Check Point Software. "Check
Point and Zone Labs technology and market leadership, channel
reach and broad security products portfolio form the basis for
a powerful offering of best-of-breed solutions for a broad range
of customers, from consumers to large enterprises."
Zone Labs' endpoint security products now protect more than 25
million Internet users and more than 1,400 enterprise customers
from the threats posed by hackers, data theft and malicious code.
Zone Labs' award-winning product line includes Zone Labs Integrity(TM),
its flagship enterprise endpoint security solution, ZoneAlarm(R)
Pro, its acclaimed personal firewall for consumer and small business
users, and the IMsecure(R) product line, the company's instant
messaging (IM) security solutions for enterprises, small businesses
"The Zone Labs team is looking forward to the many great
things these two companies can accomplish together," said
Gregor Freund, CEO and co-founder of Zone Labs. "We share
a common vision to meet the ever-changing security needs of consumers,
small business, medium business and enterprise customers."
For more information, visit www.checkpoint.com.
Mar 30 - The Elusive 18-34 Year-Old
is Habitually Online. The Online Publishers Association (OPA)
released today the first in a series of research reports designed
to provide a detailed view of the 18 to 34 year-old consumer.
The first installment of the research, conducted in partnership
with comScore Networks, found that 72% of all 18 to 34 year-olds
are online - the highest percentage of any age group.
Notably, 18 to 34 year-olds account for a significantly larger
share of Internet usage relative to their proportion in the total
U.S. population. While 18 to 34 year-olds comprise only 24% of
the total U.S. population, they account for 38% of the total time
spent online and 40% of the total pages viewed. This skew is even
more pronounced among men in this age group.
"The recent debate surrounding the shifting media consumption
patterns of 18 to 34 year-olds demands a deeper look into this
important consumer segment," said Michael Zimbalist, executive
director of the Online Publishers Association. "Because this
group represents the first 'generation' to have grown up with
the Internet, their behavior patterns are a harbinger of future
media consumption of the population at large."
Coming of Age in the Digital Age
Like all Internet users, 18 to 34 year-olds are most likely to
go online at home, from work or from school. However, 18 to 34
year-olds are significantly more likely than other age groups
to access the Web from other non-traditional locations. For example,
within 30 days of the survey date, 24% of 18 to 34 year-olds accessed
the Web from a friend/relative's home, 16% accessed the Internet
via cell phone, and 8% accessed the Web from a library - a significantly
higher percentage than any other age group.
"Eighteen to 34 year-olds feel a perpetual need to stay
connected. This group expects to get online whenever they choose
and wherever they are," said Mr. Zimbalist.
Eighty-two percent of these consumers report that they are comfortable
with new technologies, and more than one-third claim that they
are among the first within their peer groups to buy the latest
technology gadgets. In fact, 18 to 34 year-olds are significantly
more likely than the average Internet user to own a number of
digital devices. For example, 17% own an MP3 player (vs. 12%),
and 48% own a video game console (vs. 32%).
Let 'Net Entertain You!
More than any other age group, 18 to 34 year olds consider the
Internet to be one of the most important sources of entertainment
available to them. They use the Internet both as a primary source
of entertainment and as a resource for entertainment news and
information. Forty percent use the Web to help choose a movie
to watch (and to find out where/when it's playing), while about
one-third use it to view local restaurant and club listings.
Astonishingly, on a daily basis, an average of 30% of all 18
to 34 year-old Internet users visit an entertainment Web site.
That rivals the percentage who typically read the arts/entertainment
section of the newspaper (32%) and exceeds the percentage who
regularly read entertainment magazines (19%).
Beyond just visiting entertainment and music sites, 18 to 34
year-olds are more likely to engage in downloading, sharing and
burning music and videos online and are more avid consumers of
online video content than any other age group.
Mars and Venus: Gender Differences Play Out in Visitation Data
Overall, entertainment-related sites, as well as the careers,
personals and classifieds categories, show above-average visitation
among 18 to 34 year olds regardless of gender. However, significant
gender differences do exist within the 18-34 year old population
when analyzing visitation data.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 18 to 34 year old females are disproportionately
more likely to visit retail categories than the average Internet
user. In fact, 10 of the 15 categories with the highest proportion
of females 18 to 34 years old are retail categories. However,
with a few interesting exceptions - namely tickets and consumer
electronics - males 18 to 34 year-olds are focused on non-retail
categories, such as gaming, automotive and sports.
Detailed findings from this report can be found at the Online
Publishers Association Web site at www.online-publishers.org.
Mar 29 - HP and Novell Expand Relationship
to Offer Linux From Desktop to Datacenter. HP and Novell (Nasdaq:
NOVL) today announced a joint agreement to certify and support
the Novell® SUSE® LINUX operating system on select HP
Compaq client systems. Today's announcement expands HP's multi-OS
strategy across servers and PCs, offering customers unprecedented
choice to run alternative applications with global support, training
and consulting from HP.
The agreement builds upon HP's existing certification of Novell
SUSE LINUX across HP's industry-standard HP ProLiant and HP Integrity
servers, storage, software and services. In 2003, HP was the worldwide
leader in revenue and unit shipments for x86 and Itanium Linux
servers. According to IDC, HP was the market leader in unit shipments
in Q4 2003 for both x86 and Itanium Linux servers, with 27% and
42% share, respectively.(1)
"HP is now the first major technology vendor to offer enterprise
customers a single, proven Linux solution from desktop to datacenter,"
said Martin Fink, vice president of Linux, HP. "Our relationship
with Novell is based on a joint commitment to innovation, low-cost
platforms, and total customer experience. HP was first to market
with Linux-based servers, first to provide a Linux indemnity program
for qualified customers, first to reach 2.5 billion in revenue
- and the first major technology vendor to certify and support
a single, complete, open standards Linux environment."(2)
As part of the joint agreement, Novell SUSE LINUX will become
HP's standard Linux distribution across its portfolio of business
desktop and notebook PCs in North America, with Europe, Middle
East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific countries at a later date.
HP and Novell will also offer product support for Linux-based
business PCs and, with certain support contracts, HP will provide
qualified customers indemnity against possible litigation from
"Novell and HP share a rich tradition of innovation and
support for the enterprise," said Chris Stone, vice chairman,
office of the CEO, Novell. "Novell is working hard to reduce
barriers to enterprise adoption of Linux, delivering the security,
scalability and reliability for which Novell is historically known,
to Linux environments - including the desktop. HP's decision to
standardize on SUSE LINUX reflects growing industry support for
Novell's open platform strategy."
Starting from a modest position in the overall market, IDC's
forecast for paid Linux client operating system new license shipments
call for a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4%.
"We expect Linux client growth to be led by emerging markets
in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Central Europe," says
Al Gillen, research director, System Software at IDC. "Adoption
will be less broad in well-established markets due to momentum
of the installed base for both operating systems and the applications
that are installed aboard those environments. We see an opportunity
for Linux client systems, and the package that HP and Novell plan
to offer could be an attractive option for users considering a
Linux client solution."
More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at
www.hp.com. For more information
about Novell, visit www.novell.com.
Mar 29 - SimpleTech Announces Industry's
Highest Capacity External Hard Drive; 400GB SimpleDrive. SimpleTech,
Inc. (Nasdaq: STEC), a designer, manufacturer and marketer of
custom and open-standard memory solutions based on Flash memory
and DRAM technologies, today announced the industry's highest
capacity external hard drive a 400GB SimpleDrive Deluxe
with a USB 2.0 & FireWire combination. The company also extended
its SimpleDrive Deluxe product line with the addition of 120,
160, and 250GB capacities.
SimpleDrive External Hard Drives are a cost-effective way to
add storage to any Mac or PC desktop or notebook computer quickly
and easily, and they are also ideal for backing up data. SimpleDrive
External Hard Drives are also available with USB 2.0-only.
The 400GB SimpleDrive External Hard Drives provide enough capacity
to store a combination of 6,500 hours of high quality digital
music, 7,200 digital photos, 16 hours of digital video, 72 digital
games and 120 software programs.
"The storage demands of data-rich applications, such as
digital photography, digital music, multimedia files, software
applications, games and operating systems, are met by the SimpleDrive
product offerings," said Ken Roberts, director of product
marketing at SimpleTech. "Additionally, external storage
should be part of any good backup strategy plan, in the office,
on the road or at home."
For added data safety and security, SimpleTech's StorageSync
automatic backup software for Windows is included free with the
SimpleDrive. The software is easy to use and is completely automatic,
enabling fast and easy backup, restoration and synchronization
for an entire PC or selected files and folders.
SimpleDrive External Hard Drives offer lightning-fast storage
with transfer speeds up to 480 Mb/sec. and operates at 7200 RPM
for fast throughput. The SimpleDrives are also backward compatible
with USB 1.1 and compatible with Window's® and Macintosh®
operating systems. They offer convenient plug-and-play installation
and are mass storage compliant and hot-swappable.
SimpleDrive External Hard Drives include a security lock slot
to prevent unauthorized removal of the SimpleDrive, providing
the reliability and security that users demand. A security cable
can be used to attach the drive to a secure and immovable object,
such as a wall or desk.
With a newly designed fan-free sleek aluminum case, the drives
dissipate heat, providing ultra-quiet and cool operation. The
SimpleDrive measures 5.51" (H) x 8.86" (L) X 1.35"
Manufacturers suggested retail price for the 400GB SimpleDrive
High-Speed USB 2.0 & FireWire Combo External Hard Drive is
$499.99, and $469.99 for the 400GB capacity with USB 2.0-only.
General availability of the new 400GB SimpleDrive External Hard
Drive is expected in April. SimpleTech External Hard Drives are
available at BJ's Wholesales, Sam's Club, Amazon.com, Buy.com,
CDW, J&R Music World, Ingram Micro, Micro Center, Insight,
NewEgg, PC Connection, PC Mall, Zones, and SimpleTech's online
The 400GB SimpleDrive External Hard Drives come with a three-year
warranty backed by SimpleTech's reputation for quality and support.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.simpletech.com.
Mar 29 - GlobalSCAPE Releases New
Version of its Popular CuteFTP. GlobalSCAPE Inc. (OTCBB:GSCP),
a leading supplier of secure file management and content management
solutions, announced today the release of CuteFTP 6.0(TM) Home
CuteFTP is used by millions of technology professionals and computer
enthusiasts to easily transfer files between local and remote
computers, anywhere in the world. Version 6.0 represents major
enhancements to the product line and is built on a new foundation,
incorporating the latest technologies in areas such as security,
automation and ability to manage data.
"CuteFTP 6.0's new foundation enables GlobalSCAPE to rapidly
respond to customer needs for file management capabilities and
data security, a key concern when using the Internet as a transport
vehicle. In addition, CuteFTP 6.0 Professional, when used with
its Secure FTP Server counterpart, can provide the basis of an
organization's data management strategy to accomplish goals including
moving files to their Web servers, and sharing mission-critical
information with customers, partners and off-site employees, safely
and cost-effectively," said Randy Poole, GlobalSCAPE president
"GlobalSCAPE's secure file management solution rivals high-end
electronic data interchange (EDI) and commerce systems, a major
component of which is secure file transfer, identity authentication,
and post-transaction event handling," continued Poole. "Our
solution is extremely reliable, easy to deploy and manage, is
standards-based, and accomplishes serious business goals with
a modest investment," concluded Poole.
Pricing and Availability
A free 30-day trial of CuteFTP 6.0 Home and Professional editions
for Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP is available immediately at http://www.globalscape.com.
CuteFTP 6.0 Home has a standard list price of $39.99 per single-user
license. CuteFTP 6.0 Professional has a standard list price of
$59.99 per single-user license. Upgrade pricing is available for
existing customers and volume discounts are offered for quantities
of five or more.
Mar 28 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. A good weekend to shop
for a laptop or desktop.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide
sales are advertised this week. (Note
that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings
may be different where you live.)
Best Buy is offering 12 month no-interest financing on all
desktop packages and laptops, and $150 mail-in rebate on advertised
laptops and desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering
12 months no interest financing, and up to $150 mail-in rebates
on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
is offering rebates on advertised systems.
CompUSA is offering rebates
on advertised systems.
Staples has no store-wide promotions
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices
to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital
cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other
XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.
What You Need to
Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and
cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ
Tech Watch Newsletter; Free
PC and Free Internet Deals.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to
the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping
charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through
the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could
get a better warranty).
Caution about advertised
prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine
print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised
and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete
system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price
for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices
have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system
with 17" monitor
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Office Depot, Circuit City
3. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.8 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
CompUSA, Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with HT Technology, 17 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
Best Buy, Circuit City
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.0E GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
3. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 Media Center
complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel,
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD/CD-RW
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines Athlon 3200+ complete system
with 17 inch monitor and DVD-RW drive
Best AMD Athlon 64 System
Athlon 3200+ complete system with
15 inch flat panel and DVD-RW drive
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
eMachines widescreen 2.8 GHz Celeron
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
5. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
1. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
eMachines Athlon 64 3000+ with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Centrino 1.5
GHz with DVD/CD-RW
4. Best High-end Notebook
HP widescreen Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
with HT Technology and DVD-RW
5. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 3.0
GHz with HT Technology and DVD-RW
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 200 GB 7200 RPM
Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 200 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
ATI All-In-Wonder 9600 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
Plextor 8X DVD-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 can help you make informed buying decisions.
Mar 26 - Symantec Named Most Trusted
Managed Security Services Provider. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC),
the world leader in Internet security, today announced that Symantec
Managed Security Services was named the most trusted security
service provider in a survey by The Yankee Group. According to
the results of The Yankee Group's Enterprise Security Spending
Survey, Symantec Managed Security Services took the number one
spot with 31 percent of the survey's respondents naming it their
most trusted choice.
"As corporations acknowledge the value of data as a business
asset in today's information age, they recognize that in order
to effectively manage risk, they need to partner with a world-class
security provider," said Grant Geyer, vice president, Global
Symantec Managed Security Services. "A security partnership
demands shared responsibility, and it is imperative to trust your
managed security provider. Symantec is honored to be selected
as the most-trusted security services provider by business practitioners
who identify with this critical obligation."
Results of the Enterprise Security Spending Survey are based
on responses from decision-makers in medium-sized to large companies
with more than 500 employees. These companies represent a wide
range of industries, including manufacturing, professional services,
healthcare, financial services, and education. In addition to
singling out Symantec as their most trusted managed security services
vendor, respondents also pointed to price, business knowledge,
breadth of services, and responsiveness as their primary criteria
when selecting a security service provider.
"Success in the managed security services arena means offering
the right combination of services at the right price," said
Phebe Waterfield, analyst at Yankee Group. "According to
our survey, Symantec has earned a reputation as the most trusted
security service provider based on the three core criteria --
price, responsiveness and service breadth."
The Yankee Group also reported that managed security services
are on the way to becoming a nearly $4 billion market. Driving
this market need are regulatory compliance and network integrity
challenges. The survey also found that 54 percent of respondents
reported that their security budgets will increase over the next
three years -- with only 8 percent anticipating a decrease. In
addition, antivirus, firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS)
and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) were the No. 1 budgeted
items for 56 percent of respondents.
Symantec Managed Security Services delivers industry-leading
security monitoring, management, and response to clients. Its
24x7 real-time services enhance an organization's information
security posture through continuous monitoring and management,
expert analysis of log data, and immediate response to potential
security threats as they are detected. Based on Symantec's ground-breaking
security operations center (SOC) technology, Symantec Managed
Security Services are delivered through a unique and highly effective
combination of skilled personnel, best practice processes, and
More information is available at www.symantec.com.
Mar 26 - Addonics Allows Users to
Hot-Swap Hard Drives Like Data Cartridges. Addonics Technologies
today announced the first hard drive solution that enables any
standard 2.5-inch IDE hard drive to be used like a hot-swap data
The Combo Hard Drive (CHD) USIB25 is based on Addonics' patent
pending USIB drive cradle, which allows users to easily install
a hot swap drive bay into a standard 3.5" drive bay (or 5.25
bay with optional adapter) in any desktop, server, or computing
enclosure via the USB, Firewire or Serial ATA (SATA) interface
without any expensive or complicated hardware or software. The
same hard drive can also become an external mobile storage device
and attach to any system that does not have a drive bay with the
appropriate Addonics external cable.
Unlike other external hard drive enclosures that limit users
to a single interface, the drive enclosure in the Combo Hard Drive
USIB25 attaches to any computer via USB 2.0/1.1, Firewire/iLink,
CardBus/ PCMCIA, Serial ATA or future interface standards. You
can remove any drive in seconds and share or replace it with another.
Expanding storage options has never been quicker and transferring
data between systems has never been easier.
The versatility of the Combo Hard Drive assures that data stored
on your hard drive is easily accessible by a wide variety of computers,
including systems with legacy hardware and operating systems.
It also provides security since the drive enclosure can be quickly
removed from the system like a data cartridge to lock away sensitive
information, without shutting down and restarting the system.
The flexible power connection allows users to power the hard
drive enclosure from the USB port, Firewire port, PCMCIA slot,
PC power supply or the AC/DC adapter.
Maximum data transfer rates vary by the interface used and range
from 1.5 Mbytes/sec for USB 1.1 to 150 Mbytes/sec for Serial ATA.
Hot swap is certified with USB, Firewire under Windows 98SE, Me,
2000 or XP, and Serial ATA (when used with Addonics SATA Host
controller) under Windows 2000 and XP.
The Addonics Combo Hard Drive USIB25 includes one Drive Enclosure,
and one USIB25 Drive Cradle in a choice of ivory or dark brown.
The package also includes a 110/220 AC/DC 5V power adapter; driver
CD for Windows 98SE; and one USB 2.0, PCMCIA, Firewire or external
SATA interface cable depending on the model.
The MSRP for the Combo Hard Drive USIB25 with USB 2.0 is $79;
$99 with Firewire; $89 with CardBus/PCMCIA, and $89 with SATA.
Addonics products are available through the company online store
major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including
StorageUSA.com, Newegg.com, Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com,
Provantage.com, Insight, Ingram Micro, and Ma Labs.
Mar 26 - Barracuda Networks Warns
Consumers Against April Fool's Day Spam. Barracuda Networks,
leading provider of enterprise-class spam firewall solutions,
today warned consumers about the possible rise of spam messages
expected to hit inboxes over the next several days under the guise
of April Fool's Day jokes. Barracuda Networks also warns that
such messages may contain viruses or other malicious content that
could cripple the user's network.
"Spammers tend to use the weeks leading up to holidays such
as Christmas or Valentine's Day to their advantage because they
know that consumers are looking to make purchases during that
time, therefore messages offering 'great buys for the Holidays'
or 'sweet deals for your sweetheart' are more likely to catch
attention during that time," said Dean Drako, president and
CEO of Barracuda Networks. "With April Fool's Day, spammers
tend to be more creative knowing that consumers are not necessarily
looking to buy, so instead they try to intrigue victims into opening
messages by enticing their funny bone with the promise of a 'great
joke.' Ultimately, such messages are no laughing matter and can
result in lost productivity for businesses."
Barracuda Networks advises corporate IT personnel to be especially
vigilant this week for messages that may appear to be harmless,
and warns that the sheer quantity of these bogus messages could
flood the network if spam and virus filters are not up to date.
Some possible spam subject headers will likely include the words
or phrases "free jokes," "prank," "gag,"
"April," and "fool." Barracuda Networks suggests
that such words be included in the email subject and body filters
for the next several days in order to ensure these messages are
blocked. Additionally, Barracuda Networks plans to modify its
spam rules for all Barracuda Spam Firewall customers to prevent
potential April Fool's Day spam.
Barracuda Networks also points out several other ways in which
businesses and consumers can fight spam on April Fool's Day and
beyond, including: verify that emails were sent from a valid domain;
block IP addresses of known spammers and make sure that spam and
virus filters are updated with the most current definitions. Most
importantly, Barracuda Networks advises businesses to remind its
users to delete any messages they receive from email addresses
they do not recognize.
"One of the most important steps in fighting spam and other
malicious email is education," added Drako. "Although
most email users have heard this warning a hundred times before,
it only takes one person opening an attachment they don't recognize
to cripple the whole system. One quick reminder could make all
About Barracuda Networks
Barracuda Networks is a privately held company with headquarters
in Cupertino, California. The company was founded on the premise
that spam is growing at an exponential rate and poses a tremendous
threat to every company's productivity, and the optimal answer
is a dedicated plug and play hardware solution. Barracuda Networks
provides an enterprise-class spam filter and virus protection
solution that has the ease-of-use and affordability that businesses
demand. More information is available at www.barracudanetworks.com.
Mar 26 - St. Bernard Software Tech
Advisory: Phatbot Trojan Horse. St. Bernard Software Inc.,
a global provider of security solutions that protect against data
loss, system threats, Internet abuse and unsolicited e-mail, today
advised users of its UpdateEXPERT(R) patch management and remediation
solution to verify that they have installed the appropriate Microsoft(R)
patches to counter the effects of the "Phatbot" Trojan
Information about this and other Microsoft patches was made available
to subscribers of St. Bernard Software's free, global opt-in e-mail
service, which alerts the public to the very latest Microsoft(R)
security patches and critical updates as they become available.
Instructions for the free
subscription to the opt-in "Patch Update" e-mail are
St. Bernard Software also provides a Web page that allows subscribers
to view the status of the most recently announced patches added
to its UpdateEXPERT
patch management solution database.
MS03-001, MS03-007 and MS03-039 -- all released last year --
will prevent the hacker tool from disabling anti-virus and firewall
programs as well as link infected machines with others via "peer-to-peer"
Many anti-virus programs classify Phatbot as a variant of the
"Agobot" or "Gaobot" Trojans. The hacker tool's
capabilities are numerous, and include the ability to extract
personal information, modify itself to elude anti-virus software
and mine workstations for e-mail addresses, allowing spammers
to add to their already large contact lists.
Mar 26 - Tumbleweed Announces Availability
of Email Authentication Engine to Stop Spoofing, Spam and Phishing.
Tumbleweed(R) Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:TMWD), a leading provider
of secure Internet messaging software and appliances for enterprises
and government agencies, today announced the immediate availability
of the Tumbleweed Email Authentication Engine. This next-generation
technology, which is integrated with the Tumbleweed Email Firewall,
both simplifies and automates the process for authenticating inbound
and outbound enterprise email.
While businesses increasingly rely upon email to communicate,
trust in email has eroded due to the growth of spam, email spoofing
and phishing, as well as a continuing string of email-borne viruses
and worms. Tumbleweed's new Email Authentication Engine restores
that confidence and trust by allowing recipient gateways and users
to transparently verify the source of an email message.
"Spam and phishing problems exist, to some extent, because
it is not possible to verify who sent an unsolicited message,"
said Jeff Smith, Chairman and CEO of Tumbleweed Communications.
"The Tumbleweed Email Authentication Engine adds a new dimension
to the fight against spoofed email, allowing enterprises to send
trusted outbound email to customers and verify inbound trusted
email from business partners. As a result, we can provide enterprises
with reduction in both the success of phishing attacks on their
brand and the likelihood of false positives in their spam filters."
Tumbleweed's first priority in releasing the Email Authentication
Engine was to support leading email authentication standards that
exist today, to provide immediate effectiveness in fighting spoofing,
spam and phishing. That is why this first release of the Email
Authentication Engine supports S/MIME, the de facto standard for
email security, enabling the signing and/or encryption of email
The Email Authentication Engine provides a turn-key approach
to email authentication that is easy and cost effective to manage.
Inbound and outbound S/MIME digital signature policies are automatically
applied at the gateway. No training of enterprise senders is required.
Unlike other anti-phishing solutions, digital certificates or
special software do not have to be issued to customers. And unlike
S/MIME desktop encryption, S/MIME digital signatures do not require
an implementation of public key infrastructure (PKI) and complex
digital certificate management.
"Multiple email authentication approaches have been proposed
to stop the problem of email 'spoofing,' spam, and phishing,"
said Matt Cain, Senior Vice President of META Group. "Through
the end of 2005, we expect to see increasing adoption of several
leading domain authentication approaches, with no clear winner.
These approaches include Microsoft's Caller-ID, the Sender Policy
Framework (SPF), and Yahoo! DomainKeys proposals. In the short
term, we anticipate that existing email sender authentication
standards such as S/MIME digital signatures will be implemented
on a unilateral basis to stem the flow of spam, diminish other
unsavory email practices, and give customers and partners proof
that enterprise email communications are valid."
Trusted Outbound Communication With S/MIME Digital Signatures
-- "SSL for Email"
The Email Authentication Engine allows enterprises to automatically
apply S/MIME digital signatures to select outbound email at the
gateway, based on policy. When recipients open a digitally signed
email, they see a ribbon or icon displayed by the email client,
indicating that the message has not been forged or spoofed. In
the same way that the padlock icon in a Web browser represents
a trusted SSL connection, the ribbon icon in an S/MIME-enabled
email client represents a trusted sender. In this way, S/MIME
digital signatures allow enterprises to provide positive proof
to customers and partners that email can be trusted.
For email sent with an invalid signature, an S/MIME-enabled email
client will notify the recipient with a warning message. This
means that spammers and phishers who attempt to digitally sign
spoofed email will have their messages flagged as invalid and
untrusted. S/MIME-enabled email clients include Microsoft Outlook,
Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, and Novell Groupwise.
"Our objective with this first release of the Tumbleweed
Email Authentication Engine was to combine S/MIME's unspoofable
cryptographic strengths with its simplicity and ubiquity to proactively
address spam and phishing," said Ken Beer, Director of Product
Management at Tumbleweed Communications. "With over 350 million
email clients natively supporting S/MIME digital signatures today,
it is clearly the right standard to leverage."
Trusted Inbound Business Email Using S/MIME Digital Signatures
Beyond providing trust for outbound customer email, the Email
Authentication Engine uses S/MIME digital signature validation
to authenticate inbound email from select business partners. By
configuring policies that only accept valid, digitally signed
email from specific business partner domains, enterprises can
ensure that business critical email from customers or partners
bypasses spam filters and does not get captured as false positives.
In this way, the Email Authentication Engine effectively provides
authenticated whitelisting functionality for the Tumbleweed Email
Firewall product or other downstream spam filters in the enterprise.
Moreover, businesses can now transparently authenticate each other's
email at the gateway, thereby reducing the need for traditional
content-based spam filtering of business email.
"Enterprises need a way to make sure email from critical
business partners gets delivered securely," said Joe Fisher,
Vice President of Product Marketing at Tumbleweed Communications.
"By providing an easy-to-deploy authentication solution for
inbound email based on S/MIME, our customers don't have to worry
about important emails getting quarantined or dropped."
About Tumbleweed's Email Authentication Engine
Tumbleweed's Email Authentication Engine validates the sender
of inbound and outbound email at the enterprise's Internet gateway,
using a variety of email authentication protocols. The Email Authentication
Engine plugs into Tumbleweed's Email Firewall to provide a robust
set of email authentication services integrated with a comprehensive
email security and hygiene capabilities.
The Email Authentication Engine provides a turn-key approach
to email authentication that is easy and cost effective to manage,
with inbound and outbound S/MIME digital signature policies automatically
applied at the gateway, and no training of enterprise senders
required. Unlike other anti-phishing solutions, digital certificates
or special software do not have to be issued to customers. And
unlike S/MIME desktop encryption, S/MIME digital signatures do
not require a complex PKI.
For additional information about Tumbleweed go to www.tumbleweed.com.
Mar 26 - Global Broadband Subscribers
Top 100 Million in 2003. Broadband subscribers exceeded 100
million globally at the end of 2003 according to RHK, Inc's latest
report from its Broadband Access Networks Program.
"Strong broadband subscriber growth in all regions during
2003 provides further evidence that consumers desire high-speed
access to the Internet" states Teresa Mastrangelo. "Additionally,
a highly competitive environment among broadband service providers
is benefiting consumers with attractive pricing and features."
This is particularly true in the Asia-Pacific market, which has
some of the highest broadband penetration in the world.
DSL continues to be the dominant technology in nearly two-thirds
of the global market. Cable Modem service continues to dominate
only the North American market, and in fact lost market share
to DSL and other broadband access technologies in the fourth quarter.
Visit www.rhk.com for more information.
Mar 25 - HP Drives Mobile Computing
Into New Terrain with Rugged Notebook and Tablet PCs. HP (NYSE:HPQ)
(Nasdaq:HPQ) today entered the rugged PC market with the introduction
of the HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 and the HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000.
Designed to withstand long-term vibration, rain, dust and extreme
operating temperatures, these mobile PCs are ideal tools for users
who often work in remote and demanding environments.
The products are backed by thousands of people in HP's global
services organization to help simplify and support customers'
IT needs. Through HP's rigorous compliance testing and proven
designs, the HP Rugged Notebook and the HP Rugged Tablet PC set
the industry standard in rugged reliability while delivering performance
and durability. These products comply with the standard military
specification for rugged (MIL-STD-810F) and offer an Ingress Protection
rating of IP54, which specifies the environmental protection a
device provides against liquids and solid objects, like rain and
"After listening to customers in industries such as the
public sector, government and law enforcement, we're responding
to their needs by bringing rugged, mobile solutions into the mainstream,"
said Ted Clark, vice president for notebook marketing, Personal
Systems Group, HP. "Field technicians, utility repair people,
police officers and firefighters are just a few of our customers
who need reliable, rugged mobile products that can withstand harsh
physical conditions while staying wirelessly connected."
The HP Rugged Notebook and Tablet PCs both offer excellent wireless
features, including high-performance simultaneous wireless wide
area network (WAN), local area network (LAN) and personal area
network (PAN). This gives mobile users more ways to stay connected
while operating in less than ideal field environments by operating
with three integrated radios (PAN, WLAN, WAN) simultaneously.
Additionally, HP rugged products provide an investment protected
wireless architecture. As a result customers can easily migrate
to wireless LAN and WAN technologies that best meet their business
needs without the need for expensive product re-work at a manufacturing
facility. When considering total cost of ownership, the HP rugged
mobile series devices are an ideal choice for wide deployment
of mobile users.
About the HP Rugged Notebook nr3600
At 7.9 pounds, the HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 is a balance of
performance, mobility, wireless features and versatility to meet
demanding needs in physically demanding environments. The product
offers field users an ergonomic design, productivity-enhancing
Outdoor Transmissive 12.1-inch display with (Passive) Touchscreen
and a versatile MediaBay drive. IT managers will value the large
portfolio of integrated wireless connectivity choices, including
software that allows for seamless roaming connectivity capabilities
for maximum flexibility to the mobile user.
The HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 delivers all the performance and
features of a full-function notebook. It includes: up to a 1.7-gigahertz
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor, up to one gigabyte of memory,
ATI Mobility Radeon graphics controller with 32-bit color rendering
and 3D graphics, built-in jacks for integrated fax/modem and Ethernet
connections, up to a three-year warranty on case parts, electrical
components and connectors and a Smart 6000 lithium-ion main battery
pack. It measures 2.36 inches thick.
The HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 can be ordered with a full range
of options and is available now for purchase through the Web at
www.hp.com starting at an estimated
U.S. list price of $4,099.
About the HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000
Designed to function just about anywhere, the HP Rugged Tablet
PC tr3000 is a lightweight, wireless, mobile Tablet PC designed
for users that work in demanding physical environments. The tr3000
offers performance and wireless connectivity and combines an Outdoor
Transmissive 8.4-inch touch screen, a full portfolio of security
options, and a wide breadth of integrated wireless connectivity
The HP Rugged Table PC tr3000 delivers all the performance and
features that users expect in a Tablet PC. The tr3000 includes
up to 933-megahertz ultra-low-voltage mobile Intel PIII processor,
support for up to 640 megabytes of low-voltage SDRAM, integrated
graphics capabilities including 3D rendering acceleration and
2D hardware acceleration, internal microphone and speaker, integrated
wireless, a Compact Flash slot for type I or II cards and built-in
jacks for integrated fax/modem and Ethernet and two USB 2.0 connectors
and weighs only 3.7 pounds and measures a mere 1.65 inches thick.
The HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000 can be ordered with a full range
of options and is available now for purchase through the Web at
www.hp.com starting at an estimated
U.S. street price of $3,449.
Mar 25 - Fujitsu's Popular Thin-and-Light
S Series Notebook Gets Makeover Inside and Out. Fujitsu Computer
Systems today debuted the latest addition to its thin-and-light
LifeBook(R) S Series, the LifeBook S7000 notebook. The 4.3-pound
notebook now features a larger display, a faster Intel(R) Pentium(R)
M Processor and several other enhancements for improved performance,
functionality and security.
At first glance, the LifeBook S7000 notebook looks a lot like
its predecessor, the LifeBook S6000 notebook. The two notebooks
have a modular bay and are roughly the same size and weight. However,
that is where the similarities end. After opening the magnesium
alloy lid of LifeBook S7000 notebook, users will notice a larger
14.1-inch display, a new keyboard layout and an optional pointing
stick along with the standard touch pad.
Inside, the LifeBook S7000 notebook features a faster Intel(R)
Pentium(R) M Processor operating at 1.5 GHz and the enhanced Intel(R)
855GME chipset. Users can also outfit their notebook with the
updated Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection. The new
Intel wireless solution completes the Intel(R) Centrino(R) package
and can operate in both 802.11b and 802.11g wireless environments.
Users can also choose models with an Atheros wireless module (802.11a+b/g)
or elect to configure without a wireless LAN solution.
Fujitsu has also kept the noteook's reassuring security features,
including a pre-boot security panel and built-in Smart Card reader.
For added security, users now have the option of a Trusted Platform
Module (TPM). TPM consists of a discrete silicon chip and software
interface that enables users to run applications, perform online
transactions and communicate in a secure environment.
Pricing for the Fujitsu LifeBook S7000 notebook starts at $1,599.
For more information, please see: www.fujitsu.com.
Mar 25 - ViewSonic's Latest Flat Panel
Displays Offer More for Less. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide
leader in visual display products, announced new additions to
its line of VE Series LCDs. The 15-inch VE510s and VE510b team
with the 17-inch VE710s and VE710b to offer a slim bezel design
improving the look of any workspace while minimizing the display's
footprint on the desktop.
Analysts predict LCD desktop monitor panel sales will rise to
67.9 million units in 2004(1). The VE Series displays aim to meet
the price and performance demands of government, education, corporate
and SoHo users.
"By combining stylish slim bezel design with great screen
performance, ViewSonic has raised the bar for an entry-level LCD,"
said Scott Elrich, senior product manager, ViewSonic. "The
VE Series offers the ultimate style and attractive price for budget-concerned
end users looking to switch from CRT to LCD technology."
Offering optimal resolutions of 1280x1024, 300 nits of brightness
and 450:1 typical contrast ratios, the VE710s and VE710b deliver
superior front-of-screen performance, while the VE510s and VE510b
provide budget-conscious consumers with a high performance LCD
featuring an optimal resolution of 1024x768, 250 nits of brightness
and a 400:1 typical contrast ratio.
Available in a silver and black (VE510s, VE710s) or all black
(VE510b, VE710b) design, the VE Series displays are easily wall
mountable via a flat-folding base design that includes an integrated
power supply and built-in VESA mounts to allow users with small
workplaces a space-efficient option. AutoTune and OSD power lock/unlock
features are also included to simplify installation and use.
Compliant with safety and environmental standards--including
TCO '03--the VE510s, VE510b will be available through authorized
ViewSonic resellers, distributors and mail order at estimated
street prices (ESP) of $409, while the VE710s and VE710b will
carry an ESP of $489.
Backed by a three-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight,
the displays are eligible for ViewSonic's optional Express Exchange(R)
program, which guarantees a replacement monitor within 48 hours
where service is available. For more information and high resolution
images of the new displays, go to: www.viewsonic.com/VESeries.
Mar 25 - ISPs Now Blocking 18.7 Percent
of Opt-in E-Mail, Believing It to Be Spam. ISPs failed to
deliver 18.7 percent of permission-based e-mail sent to their
subscribers between July 1 and December 31 2003, according to
research released by Return Path, Inc., an e-mail performance
management company. This represents a 1.7 percent increase over
the period of January - June 2003, and 3.7 percent over the same
period in 2002.
Delivery of permission-based e-mail has steadily become a more
severe problem, as the ongoing analysis shows. "This trend
is bound to continue for at least another year," said George
Bilbrey, general manager of deliverability services for Return
Path. "As more and more companies start monitoring key delivery
metrics for their own e-mail initiatives, and acting swiftly to
ensure compliance with the appropriate range of best practices,
the rates of non-delivery should start to decline."
Return Path's analysis shows that NetZero blocked 37.7 percent
of permission-based e-mail, followed by SBC Global/Yahoo! with
26.7 percent and Mac with 26.2 percent. Earthlink had the highest
success rate, with only 7 percent of legitimate e-mail being blocked.
The biggest negative shift in ISP delivery performance fell to
Yahoo!, largely due to an increase in bulk-mail folder inclusion.
Mail.com saw delivery performance increase the most, with a nearly
12 percent gain. BellSouth and AT&T Worldnet followed closely
behind with 8 percent and 10.2 percent growth, respectively.
"Most permission-based e-mailers do not take adequate steps
to ensure the successful delivery of their e-mail -- which hampers
campaign conversion rates and ROI," said Matt Blumberg, CEO
of Return Path. "Looking at bounce codes is not enough to
tell the whole picture, since most ISPs do not inform commercial
e-mailers when an item is delivered to the bulk folder, or blocked
Return Path conducted the deliverability study during the second
half of 2003 using analysis of the delivery, blocking and filtering
rates of 30,000 representative campaigns across more than 100
client companies measured by Mailbox Monitor, a Return Path diagnostic
tool. The ISPs tested represent more than 80 percent of the address
domains for most marketer and publisher e-mail lists.
"While this study only shows one part of the story, it does
demonstrate the need for vigilance and best practices on the part
of companies sending e-mail," said Bilbrey. "The complexity
of the anti-spam battle, the dynamic nature of blacklisting practices,
the growing influence of consumer complaints, and the desire by
ISPs to reduce the amount of spam hitting inboxes means that companies
sending commercial e-mail must continue to watch delivery closely."
For more information about e-mail deliverability solutions, visit
Mar 25 - Broadband Prices Still Too
High for Many U.S. Dial-up Consumers. The Yankee Group report,
"2003 TAF Survey Findings Highlight the Consumer Market's
Competitive Challenges," finds that U.S. consumers are struggling
to distinguish between high-speed Internet options. While interest
in high-speed services is still growing, dial-up consumers remain
highly price-sensitive. Only 17 percent of consumers say they
are likely to subscribe to broadband at $45 per month.
"Seventy-one percent of Internet customers claim they would
switch to broadband if it were available at a lower price,"
says Patrick Mahoney, Yankee Group Consumer Technologies &
Services analyst. "Based on these responses, it appears DSL
providers are hitting the vital price point. In addition, tiered
services continue to be attractive to consumers, with 43 percent
of dial-up households more likely to subscribe to broadband if
they could choose a lower speed/lower priced package. This next
generation of adopters is less concerned with connection speed
than their predecessors and more interested in cost."
Based on results from the Yankee Group's Technologically Advanced
Family (TAF) Survey, the report suggests that bundling will prove
an effective strategy for targeting the secondary consumer market
for broadband services.
"Thirty-one percent of broadband households chose their
high-speed providers because of bundled discounts for multiple
services. Bundling allows providers to lower the monthly price
of broadband without sacrificing subscriber profitability because
of higher revenue per customer and lower churn," says Mahoney.
The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.
Mar 24 - Symantec Survey Shows Seniors
Are the Most Spam-Savvy Online Demographic. Symantec Corporation
(Nasdaq:SYMC), the world leader in Internet security technology,
today announced results of a survey that found that seniors are
the most spam-savvy online demographic compared to other age groups.
Seniors are less likely to take inappropriate actions when dealing
with spam. This cautious online behavior means that seniors are
less likely than others to fall victim to email scams. The survey
found that about one in every five (18 percent) adult email users
have been victims of online fraud, highlighting the importance
of continuing anti-spam education and protection. The survey,
conducted online for Symantec by Applied Research, a full service
market research firm, interviewed 1,000 Internet users ages 18
and older. It measured adults' experience with unsolicited emails.
"The online population for the senior demographic is growing
faster than any other group, making them a very real target for
spammers," said Matthew Moynahan, vice president of Product
Management, Client and Host Security, at Symantec. "Online
scam artists often deceive unsuspecting victims, using disguised
e-mails that appear legitimate. Regrettably, users are duped into
disclosing their confidential information, such as credit card
numbers, bank account information, social security numbers and
passwords. Seniors, as well as other e-mail users, should be alert
and educated about spam to protect themselves."
Seniors Are The Most Spam-Savvy Group
The survey shows that seniors, compared to other Internet users,
are less likely to take inappropriate actions when handling unsolicited
emails. As a result, seniors are less likely to become victims
of spam scams. When asked whether they have clicked on a link
in an unsolicited email to get more information, more than one
in three users between the ages of 18 and 64 said they had. However,
only 23 percent of email users ages 65 and older clicked on a
spam link. Queried whether they usually open spam emails with
a subject line that interests them, only five percent of seniors
said they did, the smallest percentage of any age group.
In addition, when asked whether or not they have responded to
an email offer, but later found it was phony or fraudulent, those
who said yes included 21 percent of 18 to 29 year olds, 19 percent
of 30 to 64 year olds, but only 13 percent of seniors. The senior
number is lower than the overall percentage (18 percent) of all
adult Internet users who have been a victim of online schemes.
Senior Email Users Are Offended By Spam They Receive Daily
The study also shows that almost every senior (97 percent) receives
spam daily. Nearly one in two (44 percent) receives at least 10
junk emails a day and one in every 10 receives at least 50 a day.
Results of the study verify that seniors, like other email users,
are very disturbed by spam. When asked which characteristics of
spam bother them, 83 percent picked its offensive/obscene subjects,
72 percent chose its deceptive and dishonest contents, 70 percent
picked its ability to contract a computer virus and 68 percent
selected its ability to compromise their privacy.
Seniors Are Eager To Stop Spam But They Are Not Using Anti-Spam
The survey also shows that a majority of all email users are
eager to stop spam. When asked whether or not they want to stop
strangers from sending them spam emails, those who answered yes
included 76 percent of the respondents between the ages of 18
and 29, 84 percent between the ages of 30 and 49, 79 percent between
the ages of 50 and 64, and 86 percent of the respondents who are
65 and older.
While displeasure with spam is high, fewer users take active
steps to reduce the flow of unsolicited email. Approximately two-thirds
of respondents between the ages of 18 and 64 report using spam-filtering
products to cut down on spam emails. However, only 47 percent
of the respondents who are 65 and older employ spam-fighting products.
Of all results, the percentage difference between the seniors
who want to see spam end versus the ones who actually use spam-filtering
products (86 versus 47 percent) is the largest, indicating that
while seniors are more cautious when handling spam they receive,
they are not taking enough proactive actions to stop unsolicited
emails from getting to their inboxes.
Tips for All Email Users
Results of the survey point out that additional anti-spam education
and protection for all email users are crucial. Responding to
these findings, Symantec offers email users the following tips
to help protect them from becoming spam victims:
1. Do not respond to suspicious spammed e-mails. A response only
confirms the accuracy of your e-mail address and may result in
even more messages filling up your inbox.
2. Do not click on the "unsubscribe" button to be taken
off the sender's list. Spammers often use this method as a ploy
to confirm the recipient's address, resulting in even more spammed
3. Choose an uncommon e-mail address. Some spammers use programs
that produce millions of potential e-mail addresses. These programs
attach combinations of letters and/or words onto the domain names
of large ISPs, such as "@hotmail.com," to reach the
maximum number of possible active e-mail accounts.
4. Use spam-filtering or spam-blocking software, such as Symantec's
Norton AntiSpam 2004, to cut down unsolicited emails.
5. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) about a spam email that you have received. Visit FTC Online
at www.ftc.gov to file a complaint
or forward the spam email to the FTC for investigation.
For more information visit www.symantec.com.
Mar 24 - Sharp Introduces Stylish
15-Inch Desktop LCD Model with Digital Input. March 22, 2004
Sharp Systems of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation,
today announced a new addition to its LCD monitor line-up: the
Designed with style in mind, the LL-T15G4 is a sleek 15"
XGA LCD monitor (1,024 x 768) with high brightness of 260-nits
and high contrast ratio (350:1). Equipped with both digital and
analog inputs, the LL-T15G4 is an ideal solution for first-time
digital LCD monitor customers and businesses looking to deploy
LCD monitors across the enterprise.
"The LL-T15G4 presents a terrific opportunity for CRT users
who are ready to reclaim their desk space," commented Greg
Nakagawa, senior vice president and general manager of Sharp Systems
of America. "The features of this LCD monitor combined with
its stylish design and value-oriented price makes the LL-T15G4
the right monitor at the right time for businesses and users ready
for the advantages that LCD displays have over CRT monitors."
Suitable for multi-monitor applications, the 15-inch, Sharp LL-T15G4
LCD monitor brings high performance at a value-oriented price.
With its 260-nit brightness, 350:1 contrast ratio and thin bezel,
the LL-T15G4 offers an array of features that make it a robust
display solution for any desktop. The LL-T15G4's stylish design
includes a compact frame with a thin bezel, built-in stereo speakers,
and vivid display with a wide viewing angle (160 degrees horizontally,
135 degrees vertically).
A distinguishing feature of the Sharp LL-T15G4 is the ability
to accept input from 2 different computers (using additional connection
cables, sold separately). In addition to an analog mini D-sub
15-pin connector for analog signal input, the LL-T15G4 is equipped
with a DVI-D connector for handling digital or analog signals.
The digital video input capability enhances the overall image
quality for demanding professional users. The monitor can be shared
by two PCs with analog outputs, or by one each with digital and
Using a bright, vivid 15-inch TFT liquid crystal panel with a
wide viewing angle, the LL-T15G4 provides bright, clear pictures
in which even small letters are clearly legible. The monitor's
one-touch automatic screen adjustment feature easily renders all
synchronization and geometry adjustments instantly matched for
your computer's specific analog video signal. In addition, the
auto gain control function automatically matches the black level
and contrast, optimizing the monitor for best viewing.
Available in black or ivory, and compatible with VESA-standard
(75mm pitch) free mount for wall or arm mounting, the Sharp LL-T15G4
LCD monitor is available for an estimated street price of $399.
Sharp LCDs are available immediately through Sharp directly (http://store.sharpsystems.com),
or through Sharp's network of retail partners and reseller channels.
Mar 24 - Malicious Code Problem Continues
to Worsen. ICSA Labs(R), an independent division of TruSecure(R)
Corporation, today announced the results of the 9th Annual ICSA
Labs Virus Prevalence Survey. The survey shows conclusively that
despite increased spending, both the perception and the reality
of the malicious code problem continues to worsen.
The survey gathered data from 300 randomized companies and government
agencies worldwide about the malicious code problem in computer
networks, including desktop computers. The survey was sponsored
by Network Associates, Microsoft Corporation, Eset, Trend Micro
and the MIS Training Institute.
ICSA Labs conducts the Virus Prevalence Survey to track virus
trends and frequency to understand the progress organizations
are making in the war against malicious code. The survey points
to several trends that took shape in 2003 including the return
of "Outbreak" events like W32/Slammer--worms or viruses
that spread around the world in a matter of minutes.
Other key trends highlighted in this year's 2003 survey include:
-- Malicious code is a growing problem--88% of respondents think
that malicious code is "somewhat worse or much worse"
than 2002, with only 12% stating the situation was "the same
or better" in 2003.
-- An increase in the number of virus disasters--92 of more than
300 respondents reported virus disasters in 2003, an increase
of 15% over 2002. For an event to qualify as a virus disaster,
it must meet the historical criterion of 25 or more PCs or servers
infected at the same time with the same virus, or a virus incident
causing significant damage or monetary loss to the respondent's
-- Malicious code is costing organizations lots of money--in
2003, disaster recovery costs increased by 23% to almost $100,000
per organization per event.
-- The creation and continuation of factors that contribute to
rising infection rates including new virus types, file sharing
and new replication vectors.
"Companies spend an enormous amount of money and energy
defending against malicious code," said Dr. Peter Tippett,
chief technologist at TruSecure Corporation. "These organizations
are too often surprised by new malcode vectors and methods and
then spend even more money and resources recovering from virus
and worm disasters. Corporations need to engage in 'intelligent'
risk management, which combines predictive analytics, testing
and programs, to eliminate surprises and provide months or even
years of lead time before the next 'new' worm."
"The reemergence of 'outbreak events' and the success of
mass mailers in early 2004 illustrates that organizations are
not making enough progress in their defense against malicious
code," said Larry Bridwell, content security programs manager
at ICSA Labs and author of the survey.
"Laptops, wireless devices and file sharing have contributed
to an ever-expanding set of infection points, leaving companies
scrambling to secure their networks. Organizations must take a
more proactive stance in securing their networks and educating
their employees, vendors must make more secure software, and anti-virus
vendors must make more effective heuristic applications if 2004
is to be different."
Mar 24 - Customer Service Challenges
Still Weighing Cable Down. A recent Yankee Group report shows
that U.S. cable operators continue to struggle with customer satisfaction.
According to the report, "2003 TAF Survey Findings Highlight
the Consumer Market's Competitive Challenges," cable operators
trail satellite providers by a significant margin across a number
of customer satisfaction metrics.
In fact, as many as eighty-seven percent of U.S. satellite subscribers
are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied overall, compared with
only 68 percent of cable subscribers. This despite the rapid deployment
of digital cable, offering consumers hundreds of digital quality
channels, as well as new services such as video-on-demand and
HDTV. The survey found that 90 percent of consumers are now aware
of digital cable.
This should be of particular concern to cable companies as the
major phone companies develop comparable "Triple-Play"
service bundles of voice, video and data services to compete with
cable. Thirty percent of homes interested in a single service
provider would choose their Telco, while only 8 percent chose
their cable operator for their bundle.
"Leadership in value-oriented video will be key in future
competition with telco video alternatives, including bundled telephony
and satellite services," says Adi Kishore, Yankee Group Media
& Entertainment Strategies senior analyst. "But new service
deployment is not an alternative to customer service investment.
Cable operators must make customer service a priority, or risk
losing out regardless of technological advantages."
The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.
Mar 23 - NEC Solutions America Unveils
New Windows CE .NET Handheld PC. NEC Solutions (America),
Inc., a premier provider of integrated solutions for the Connected
Enterprise in North America, today introduced the NEC MobilePro(R)
900c, the next generation of its popular MobilePro Handheld PC
(H/PC) product family line and the first NEC MobilePro platform
based on the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) CE .NET operating system.
The MobilePro 900c is a new enterprise-class ultra portable mobile
platform that shares many of the performance and usability features
of its predecessor, the MobilePro 900, however, the key differentiator
with the new MobilePro 900c is its standardization on the new
Windows CE .NET operating system 4.2, the successor to Microsoft's
Windows CE 3.0 platform.
With CE .NET, the MobilePro 900c is optimized with better support
for secure and scalable networking, enhanced processing speed
and performance, richer multimedia and Web browsing capabilities,
and greater interoperability with personal computers, servers,
Web services, and other mobile devices. Additionally, the MobilePro
900c provides customers with a simple and cost-effective solution
for migrating their Windows CE 3.0-based applications to the new
Windows CE .NET architecture.
"The NEC MobilePro 900c serves as testament to a new breed
of mobile solutions that are leveraging the Windows CE .NET operating
system to deliver products with better performance, tighter integration
and interoperability, and ultimately, greater application compatibility
for customers everywhere," said Scott Horn, director of the
Embedded Devices Group at Microsoft Corp.
The MobilePro 900c is an "instant on" ultra portable
handheld PC that weighs less than two pounds(1), yet features
a near full-size keyboard and a sharp, flip-up-style 8.1-inch
HVGA (640 x 240) display that has touch screen functionality.
It is engineered with an Intel(R) PXA255 400MHz processor and
is optimized with the Windows CE .NET Cache Write-Back System.
The MobilePro 900c is also available with:
-- 64MB of SDRAM base memory which includes 32MB of Flash ROM
for customer applications.
-- CE .NET integrated viewers for popular Windows applications,
including Microsoft Word(R), Excel(R), PowerPoint(R), and Adobe(R)
-- Custom applications to aid with Personal Information Management
(PIM), including e-mail, scheduling, task, and contact management.
-- Lithium-ion battery that can provide up to 8 hours of power
depending upon use. An optional, larger battery is also available,
which offers up to 16 hours of power.
-- Integrated 56Kbps V.90 modem, a PC Card Type I/II slot, a
Compact Flash Type I/II slot and an infrared (Fast IR) port. New
Internet connectivity and mobile synchronization software are
also bundled with the product.
-- Improved USB functionality which allows users to connect several
peripherals to the product, including but not limited to, a full-size
keyboard, a mouse, a CD/DVD drive, and a USB memory key.
Availability & Pricing
The NEC MobilePro 900c is available now through select resellers,
including CDW, Mobile Planet and PC Connection. List price begins
at $899 (U.S.). Information regarding NEC Solutions America can
be found at www.necsam.com.
Mar 23 - Plextor Announces 12X DVD±R/RW
Drive with Serial ATA Interface. Demonstrating its technical
leadership in the emerging Serial ATA (SATA) market, Plextor®
Corp. today announced the PX-712SA DVD±R/RW drive with
support for high-speed 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R recording. With
the PX-712SA, users can record a full DVD in less than 6 minutes
at a burst rate of 16.5 MB per second, allowing them to create,
edit, and share customized DVDs faster than ever before.
The new internal drive is the first Plextor product to feature
an integrated Serial ATA connection, enabling OEMs and System
Integrators to leverage the benefits of Serial ATA. Serial ATA,
which extends bandwidth to 150 MB/sec, is an evolutionary replacement
for the Parallel ATA (E-IDE) physical storage interface. The interface
supports one device per controller connection, eliminating master/slave
configuration jumper issues. SATA also provides a substantial
pin count reduction from Parallel ATA, while thinner cables help
air-flow and improve cable routing.
"The architecture of most PCs is shifting to Serial ATA
as the preferred internal interface, which opens significant market
opportunities for optical drives that take advantage of this new
interface," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director,
Removable Storage, IDC.
Intel and Plextor have tested Plextors integrated
Serial ATA PlexWriter drive and SATA Conversion Kits to ensure
compatibility on a broad platform, said Knut Grimsrud, Intel
Senior Principal Engineer. Plextors strong support
for SATA will help spur adoption of this new interface standard
in the optical disk drive market.
Plextor fully embraces the PC industrys transition
to SATA, said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing
for Plextor. By adding this fifth interface technology to
our product line, Plextor now offers more interfaces than any
optical disk drive manufacturer ATAPI, SCSI, USB 2.0, FireWire,
and the new SATA.
Pricing and Availability
Plextors PX-712SA will be available in May with a suggested
MSRP of $229.00 USD.
Mar 23 - ViewSonic Adds Centrino 802.11g
WiFi to Convertible Tablet. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide
leader in visual display products, today announced the launch
of its V1250S, a convertible tablet PC that includes integrated
802.11g and 802.11b wireless access via Intel(R) PRO/Wireless
2200BG Centrino(TM) technology. The 802.11g wireless standard
supports newer local area networking technology with transfer
speeds nearly five times faster than 802.11b.
"As technology progresses, it becomes increasingly important
for companies to ensure they are using the latest tools while
staying prepared for advances on the horizon," said Dan Coffman,
senior product manager, ViewSonic. "This new chipset adds
versatility to the V1250S that makes it the perfect product for
a broad range of customers from companies with existing 802.11b
networks to those who will look to move to 802.11g in the future."
As the first tablet PC available with the PRO/Wireless 2200BG
Centrino technology, the V1250S takes full advantage of Intel's
next generation silicon to deliver optimal performance and battery
life. The product is expected to ship in the second quarter of
The Tablet PC V1250S is currently the lightest convertible tablet
PC available with a 12-inch screen and is available through authorized
ViewSonic resellers, distributors and mail order for estimated
street prices starting at $1895.
For more information and high resolution images of the product,
go to: www.viewsonic.com/tabletpc.
Mar 23 - Toshiba Introduces Dual
Format DVD Recordable Drives. Toshiba Storage Device Division
(SDD), the industry pioneer in optical storage, today announced
two new dual format DVD recordable drives. Available in a slim
drive for notebook computers and a half-height model for desktop
systems, Toshiba's drives enable users to read, record and re-write
content to DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and CDs.
"Consumers are accessing and creating more data, video and
music files than ever before, and expect their systems to support
all formats available today," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president
of marketing at Toshiba SDD. "Toshiba's new recordable drives
enable desktop and mobile PC users to create DVDs and CDs without
concern over media types, by providing support for both DVD technology
formats in a single drive."
Weighing only 0.2 kg, Toshiba's slim DVD recordable drive supports
4x DVD burning speeds for both recording formats. Designed to
help OEMs build lighter and more functional notebook computers,
the SD-R6372 delivers increased performance in a mobile package
-- allowing users to watch DVD movies, listen to or access CD
content, and burn music/video/data to a disc while on the go.
Offering outstanding performance in a desktop drive, Toshiba's
SD-R5272 supports 8x DVD recording and 4x re-write speeds for
both formats, in addition to 32x CD recording. Available as an
upgrade kit, Toshiba's SD-R5272 offers a convenient and affordable
way to enhance current desktop systems with DVD/CD recording and
playback functionality. The kit includes the award-winning Nero
DVD/CD burning software suite and all of the tools needed for
easy and quick installation.
Toshiba's SD-R5272 desktop drive is available now on shoptoshiba.com
for $149. The SD-R6372 slim-line drives are currently shipping
to OEM customers. For more information, visit www.sdd.toshiba.com.
Mar 23 - Reports of Email Fraud and
Phishing Attacks Increase By 60% In February. Tumbleweed(R)
Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:TMWD) and the Anti-Phishing Working
Group today released the "Phishing Attack Trends Report"
for February 2004, an analysis of phishing scam attacks submitted
the Internet's most comprehensive archive of email fraud and phishing
This analysis identifies that email fraud and phishing attacks
grew by more than 60% in February as compared to January, with
an average of 9.7 new, unique attacks sent out to millions of
consumers each day. A copy of the report may be
downloaded free of charge.
Phishing attacks involve the mass distribution of "spoofed"
email messages with return addresses, links, and branding which
appear to come from banks, insurance agencies, retailers or credit
card companies. These fraudulent messages are designed to fool
the recipients into divulging personal data such as credit card
numbers, bank account numbers and passwords, social security numbers,
etc. Because these emails look "official," between 1%
and 5% of recipients may respond to them, resulting in financial
losses, identity theft, and other fraudulent activity. In addition
to the direct cost of fraud and the lingering effects of identity
theft for consumers, this growing application of criminal spam
threatens the integrity of companies that do business online.
In February, there were 282 new, unique phishing attacks reported
to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. This was a 60% increase over
the number of attacks reported in January, and a 163% increase
over December 2003. While the average number of phishing attacks
per day in February was 9.7, analyzing this information on a weekly
basis shows an increasing trend with a peak of 12.4 attacks per
day in the third week of February. Other interesting results from
this analysis include the following:
-- The company most-targeted by phishing attacks in February
was, once again, eBay
-- The most-targeted industry sector was Financial Services
-- The Financial Services sector also sustained the most growth
in terms of number of phishing attacks as compared to other industries
-- In February, the identity of Regulations.gov, a government
agency website, was spoofed in a phishing attack designed to steal
consumer's personal information
"Phishing attacks continue to increase both in number and
in sophistication," said Dave Jevans, Chairman of the Anti-Phishing
Working Group and a Senior Vice President at Tumbleweed Communications.
"We are seeing more use of Java-script, pop-ups and cross-site
scripting techniques to fool even sophisticated users of the Internet.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group, with over 200 members, was founded
as an industry resource to address this critical challenge to
individuals and companies on the Internet. At stake is our very
trust that the Internet can be relied upon for safe and secure
commerce and communications."
About the Anti-Phishing Working Group
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is focused on eliminating
the problem of phishing and email spoofing attacks, by developing
and sharing information about the problem, and promoting the visibility
and adoption of industry solutions. Membership in the group is
open to qualified financial institutions, corporations, law enforcement
agencies, public policy groups and solution vendors.
The Web site of the Anti-Phishing Working Group is www.antiphishing.org.
Mar 22 - AMD Unleashes AMD Athlon
64 FX-53 Processor. At CeBIT, AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced that
it is sending computer enthusiasts on another thrilling, high-performance
ride with the worldwide introduction of the AMD Athlon(tm) 64
The AMD Athlon 64 FX processor delivers what no other PC processor
can: the best performance to drive demanding 32-bit applications,
and the power of 64-bit computing for the next wave of head-spinning
software. This dual capability for an x86 processor was invented
by AMD, and underscores our leadership in the 64-bit computing
market. AMD64 processors are the only 32- and 64-bit capable processors
available today, and are the only PC processors with built-in
enhanced virus protection security technology when used in conjunction
with the upcoming Windows(R) Service Pack 2.
Specifically designed for gamers and PC enthusiasts, the AMD
Athlon 64 FX processor enables a "cinematic computing"
experience that is immersive, interactive and provides a new level
"With the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor in your PC, you're
in for the ride of your life," said Marty Seyer, vice president
and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "AMD
understands that extreme PC users crave performance; they demand
graphic images that are nearly indistinguishable from reality.
AMD continues to push the bounds of cinematic computing to satisfy
those cravings. We know they will enjoy the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53
The launch of the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor comes just in
advance of the much-hyped release of the game "Far Cry(tm)."
Leading video game publisher Ubisoft will release a 32-bit version
of the much-anticipated 3D "Far Cry" action game later
this month, and plans to introduce a 64-bit beta version shortly
thereafter. "Far Cry" has been optimized to take advantage
of AMD64 technology.
"AMD64 technology will enable gamers to move to the power
and excitement of 64-bit games, without sacrificing performance
or their investment in 32-bit software," said Cevat Yerli,
CEO and president of Crytek, the "Far Cry" game developer.
"CryEngine, the 'nervous system' of our games, was designed
to take full advantage of the AMD64 architecture. AMD64 technology
not only provides unbelievable 32-bit performance, but will also
provide a true next-generation gaming experience when running
the upcoming 64-bit version of our game."
Dennis "Thresh" Fong, world champion of "Doom,"
"Quake," and "Quake 2," recently put an AMD
Athlon 64 FX-53 processor-based system through its paces.
"I was blown away by the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor,"
said Fong. "I have never played on a system that performed
as well as this one. It has taken my gaming to a whole new level."
Like all AMD64 processors, the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor
has the added security benefit of enhanced virus protection technology.
This, in combination with Microsoft's Data Execution Prevention
in the upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2, will prevent certain
types of viruses from replicating and spreading to other systems,
providing a more secure computing environment.
"Securing computers is of paramount concern to PC users.
Buffer overflow and similar techniques have been commonly exploited
by malicious programmers to compromise computer security. Any
mechanism to mitigate the vulnerability of computers to such techniques
is a valuable feature," said semiconductor analyst Joseph
Byrne of Gartner Inc.
Because the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor uses the same socket-940
infrastructure as the AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 processor, it provides
an easy upgrade path for owners of AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 processor-based
systems who want to stay at the apex of performance.
Pricing and Availability
The AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor will initially be available
in limited quantities from select high-performance PC manufacturers
worldwide. We expect to broaden that availability within the next
few weeks to fulfill demand generated by hard-core gamers, digital
content creators and other performance-demanding customers. Systems
based on the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor are expected to be
available from the following:
-- Europe: Alternate, Arbol, Batch PC, CDC, EID, Evesham, Formoza,
Fox PC, Hattelco, Komplett, Mesh, Network Technical, nVentiv,
Olidata, Paradigit, Scan, Time Computers and Unika
-- US: ABS, AFT, Alienware, BOXX Technologies, CyberPower, Falcon
Northwest, Monarch, Polywell, Velocity Micro, Vicious PC, Voodoo
and ZT Group
-- Japan: Aro-system Co. Ltd, Bless Co. Ltd, Unitcom Inc., MCJ
Co. Ltd., PROSIDE Corp., Thirdwave Corp., and Visual Technology
The AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor is priced at $733 in 1,000-unit
For more AMD news and product information, please visit www.amd.com.
Mar 22 - Olympus Delivers Its First
6.1-Megapixel Ultra-Compact Digital Camera: The C-60 Zoom.
Olympus today unveiled the C-60 Zoom, a high-performance premium
digital camera for amateur to advanced photographers looking for
sophisticated features and functions in a stylish, ultra-compact
and durable metal body that's designed to do more.
The C-60 Zoom combines a 6.1 -megapixel (effective) image sensor
with the Olympus TruePic TURBO(TM) Image Processor for rapid startup,
shutter release and playback. The result is brilliant high-resolution
images in an instant. The feature set of this stylish camera is
rounded out with PictBridge(TM) technology for printing directly
from the C-60 to any PictBridge-enabled printer without connecting
to a personal computer, and QuickTime(R) movie mode with audio
recording capability. It also incorporates other innovations like
the new "semi-transmissive" LCD.
"The C-60 Zoom is one of the smallest full-featured 6.1-megapixel
digital cameras on the market today," said T.J. Dickson,
product manager of digital, Olympus America Inc. "Its compact
size and attractive, durable brushed-metal body allows photographers
to take it with them anywhere and not feel weighed down with gear.
With more megapixels, advanced shooting modes, faster image processing,
and a powerful Olympus glass lens, the C-60 Zoom packs a lot of
punch into a small package."
The C-60 Zoom Digital will be available in April 2004. It includes
a 32MB xD-Picture Card(TM), Auto-Connect USB cable, Li-Ion rechargeable
battery and charger, RM-2 Remote Control, Audio/Video Out cable,
wrist strap, Olympus CAMEDIA Master Software, user manual and
Quick Start guide.
C-60 Zoom Digital Estimated Street Price: $449.00 (U.S.)
For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.
Mar 22 - SanDisk Starts Worldwide Retail
Sales of miniSD. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK), the world's
largest supplier of flash memory storage card products, announced
today that it has expanded the availability of its miniSD(TM)
flash memory cards by offering them through its retail channels
SanDisk offers the industry's broadest range of capacities for
miniSD cards with capacities that range from 64 megabytes (MB)
to 256MB. miniSD cards are used to store digital images, video,
MP3 files and other data in multimedia mobile phones. The announcement
was made at the CeBIT tradeshow where SanDisk is demonstrating
Originally offered for sale to OEM customers and through retail
markets in Japan only, miniSD cards are now sold to consumers
worldwide. Each miniSD card includes an adapter that converts
the miniSD card into the SD card form factor so it can be used
with the growing number of SD compatible devices in the market.
Nelson Chan, senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's
retail business unit, said, "The number of mobile phones
with miniSD slots is growing rapidly since removable storage is
a key advantage with mobile phones that feature digital cameras,
MP3 players, games and more. Consumers who use miniSD-based mobile
phones and wish to have additional storage will now be able to
purchase SanDisk miniSD cards from their favorite retail outlets
SanDisk miniSD cards will be available starting in 64, 128 and
256MB capacities with suggested retail prices that range from
$44.99 to $94.99. In Japan only, a 32MB miniSD card will also
be available at retail.
Mar 22 - Logitech Unveils Its Most-Affordable-Ever
Cordless Mice and Keyboards. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN),
the world's leader in cordless mice and keyboards, today announced
at CeBIT that it will soon be more affordable than ever for consumers
to experience the simplicity, freedom, comfort and style of Logitech's
To help liberate price-conscious consumers from the clutter of
cords on their desktop, Logitech unveiled the Logitech(R) Cordless
Desktop(R) Express(TM) and the Logitech(R) Cordless Optical Mouse,
which are now shipping in the U.S. and Europe and will be available
on shelves over the next month.
Cordless Desktop Express, a cordless keyboard/mouse combination,
will carry a suggested retail price of $49.95 in the United States.
Cordless Optical Mouse, which features cordless optical technology
pioneered by Logitech, will have a suggested retail price of $29.95
in the United States. Both products, also available in Japan and
Asia later this spring, include a 5-year limited warranty.
At the core of each product is Logitech's reliable and easy-to-use
wireless technology, which has continued to advance since Logitech
introduced the first radio-based cordless mouse in 1991. Now it's
less expensive than ever to experience complete computing flexibility.
Computer users -- now freed from cord-length limitations -- can
lean back, relax and type from up to 6 feet away.
Logitech has sold more than 45 million cordless devices worldwide
since 1991. However, market-research firm IDC estimates that of
the nearly 255 million PCs installed in homes worldwide in 2003,
only 8 percent had a cordless mouse or keyboard. With these new
cordless mice and keyboards, Logitech anticipates that many more
PC users will now be able to make the shift to cordless.
"Cordless mice and keyboards are a growing segment. Addressing
new price points provides a significant opportunity for Logitech
and other manufacturers," said Crawford Del Prete, senior
vice president, IDC Hardware Research. "Price points have
been a barrier for consumers on this class of product, but as
they drop we expect momentum to build in the cordless peripheral
"Until recently, the 'early adopters' have been the primary
purchasers of our cordless devices, but that has definitely started
to change," said David Henry, Logitech's senior vice president,
Control Devices. "There is a vast, untapped market of consumers
who understand the benefits of cordless mice and keyboards --
an uncluttered desktop and the freedom to use their computer how
they want. But they've been waiting for the technology to mature,
and for the prices to come down. We believe that with these aggressive
prices, our 5-year limited warranty, and consumers' confidence
in the Logitech brand, that time is now."
Mar 22 - U.S. Robotics Boosts 802.11g
Wireless Speeds up to a Blazing 125 Mbps. U.S. Robotics is
blowing past 802.11g standard wireless speeds with its exclusive
accelerator technology enhancement. The company's latest firmware
upgrade and driver update is capable of boosting wireless bandwidth
performance from 100 Mbps up to 125 Mbps.
By early June, the 125 Mbps upgrade will ship with all U.S. Robotics
802.11g Wireless Turbo products. However, the company will support
its existing 100 Mbps customers by offering a FREE download available
U.S. Robotics products always connect at the highest possible
rate to provide the best speeds in mixed mode networking environments--from
22 Mbps, 54 Mbps, 100 Mbps and now up to 125 Mbps. Based on advanced
U.S. Robotics 802.11g Accelerator Technology and silicon chip
technology from Texas Instruments, the Turbo product line uses
packet aggregation coupled with frame bursting technology to dramatically
improve network efficiency and boost overall performance without
"Continuing with our reputation of providing the fastest
wireless products available, customers purchasing U.S. Robotics
wireless solutions today should be assured that they are buying
125 Mbps capable product," said Jim Thomsen, senior product
manager of U.S. Robotics. "This feature enhancement also
increases standard 802.11g performance up to 25 percent."
To ensure the fastest data throughput rates at all times, U.S.
Robotics designed the 802.11g Wireless Turbo line for total compatibility
with all 54 Mbps 802.11g, 22 Mbps 802.11b and 11 Mbps 802.11b
wireless devices. U.S. Robotics 802.11g Wireless Turbo products
ensure that each device will securely connect independently at
the highest speed possible with any combination of 802.11g and
802.11b wireless devices. Unlike other high-speed networking technology,
U.S. Robotics maximizes network capacity by placing all the speed
on a single channel--enabling faster file transfers between multiple