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Daily Computer News and Rumors

March 03-14 2004

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Mar 14 Sunday Shopping Watch
Mar 12 America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up to File First Major Industry Lawsuits Under New Federal Anti-Spam Law
Mar 12 Fujitsu Experiences Highest Year-on-Year Growth for U.S. Portable Shipments in 2003
Mar 12 GlobeTel to Purchase Sanswire Technologies; National Wireless Broadband Network Moves Closer to Reality
Mar 12 Socket Communications Showcases New Connectivity and Data Collection Products With Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Mar 12 ViewSonic HD Tuner Provides Clear Reception of Free Over-the-Air Digital Broadcast Signals
Mar 11 1394 Trade Association Creates Latest Home Entertainment Network for Demonstrations at EH Expo
Mar 11 400GB Hard Drive Makes Hitachi the Capacity King
Mar 11 Plextor Dual-Format DVD+/-R/RW Burner Now Supports High Speed 12X DVD Recording
Mar 11 Kano Intros Super-Fast, SLIM-K4Xtreme 4X DVD+RW/-RW Portable Drive for Macs and PCs
Mar 11 Microsoft Battles Linux for 40 Million Unit Advanced Set-Top Box Market
Mar 10 Toshiba's Additions to the Satellite Notebook Series Offer Users Value
Mar 10 Toshiba Announces Availability of the Portege M205 Tablet PC
Mar 10 HP Targets Growing Markets with Ultra-dense Blade and Affordable Server Line
Mar 10 Sony Ericsson Unveils New EDGE PC Cards
Mar 10 InterVideo WinDVD 5 Software with DVD-Audio Pack Supports Intel High-Definition Audio
Mar 09 Intel Wireless Coexistence System Minimizes Interference Between 802.11 and Bluetooth Wireless Technologies
Mar 09 Nexperia DVD Data Recorder Reference Design Enables Recording Speeds up to 16x
Mar 09 IDC Forecasts 18% PC Semiconductor Revenue Growth in 2004
Mar 09 Ahead Software's Nero is the World's First Software Suite to Support DVD+R Double Layer -DL- Recording
Mar 09 In-Stat/MDR Reports the Bus Rolls on for USB
Mar 08 Acer America to Deliver Workstation Performance in a Value-Priced Notebook
Mar 08 Gartner Says Camera Phones Can Pose a Security Risk to Businesses
Mar 08 Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans Are Making Minimum or No Payments on Their Credit Card Balances
Mar 08 Atari Developing Wildest Ride Yet With Rollercoaster Tycoon 3
Mar 07 Sunday Shopping Watch
Mar 03 First Bluetooth v1.2 End-Product Qualified
Mar 03 Enhanced Intel® Xeon™ Processor MP Boosts Performance By Up To 25 Percent

 

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Mar 14 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. A very good weekend to buy a laptop or desktop and to get good financing.

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.
Office Depot is offering 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $299 and higher.
CompUSA is offering 12 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $599 and higher.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$389
-
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1179
-$90
Circuit City
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1599
-
Best Buy
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with 17 inch monitor and DVD-RW drive
$719
-
Best Buy
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel and DVD-RW drive
$949
-
Circuit City
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines Athlon 3200+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel and DVD-RW
$929
-
Best Buy
Best AMD Athlon 64 System
None Advertised
     
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$699
-
CompUSA
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Best Buy, Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Office Depot
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Pentium 4 2.3 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$899
-
CompUSA
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq widescreen Pentium 4 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
-
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1149
-
Office Depot
3. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq widescreen Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Circuit City
4. Best High-end Notebook
HP widescreen Centrino 1.5 GHz with DVD-RW
$1499
-
Best Buy
5. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Centrino 1.5 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1549
-
Best Buy
6. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
$1549
-
Best Buy
7. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 3.06 GHz with Hyper Threading, and DVD-RW
$1649
-
CompUSA
8. Best High-end Notebook
Sony widescreen Pentium 4 3.06 GHz with Hyper Threading, and DVD-RW
$2349
-
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$69
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$69
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$139
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$139
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB
$199
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
$49
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 8X DVD-RW
$169
(after rebates)
-
Office Depot

 

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

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Mar 12 - America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up to File First Major Industry Lawsuits Under New Federal Anti-Spam Law. Founding Members of the Industry's Anti-Spam Coalition Form United Front Against Spammers On Behalf of Online Consumers

America Online Inc. (NYSE:TWX), EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq:ELNK), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today jointly announced that their collaborative anti-spam industry efforts have resulted in the coordinated filing of the first major industry lawsuits under the new federal anti-spam law, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003, which went into effect Jan. 1.

The country's four leading e-mail and Internet service providers announced the combined filing of six lawsuits against hundreds of defendants, including some of the nation's most notorious large-scale spammers. The lawsuits were announced by senior executives of the companies at a joint press conference at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington.

New Federal Anti-Spam Law

The CAN-SPAM law provides strong new enforcement tools for e-mail and Internet service providers and law enforcement, and criminalizes specific tactics spammers use to spread junk e-mail. The law, which was supported by the four companies, allows for harsh new penalties against large-scale spammers that use fraud, deceit and evasion to try to send junk e-mail to consumers.

Each of the four companies last night filed legal complaints in federal courts in California, Georgia, Virginia and Washington state. The complaints charge the defendants with sending a combined total of hundreds of millions of bulk spam e-mail messages to customers of the four networks. Some of the common allegations described in the complaints include these:

-- Deceptive solicitations for a variety of products including get-rich-quick schemes, prescription drugs, pornography, instructions for conducting spam campaigns, banned CDs, mortgage loans, university diplomas, cable descramblers and other common types of unsolicited e-mail

-- Use of open proxies (sending spam through third-party computers to disguise their point of origin)

-- Falsified "from" e-mail addresses (spoofing)

-- Absence of a physical address in the e-mail

-- Absence of an electronic unsubscribe option

Each allegation is a direct violation of the CAN-SPAM law. A summary of each filing is included below. More detailed information about each case can be found on each complainant's Web site.

Comments

"Today is a red-letter day for big-time spammers, and the letters they should remember from this day forward are 'CAN-SPAM,'" said AOL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Randall Boe. "Congress gave us the necessary tools to pursue spammers with stiff penalties, and we in the industry didn't waste a moment -- moving with speed and resolve to take advantage of the new law. Consumers should take note that the new law not only empowered us to help can the spam, but also to can the spammers as well -- and we'll do that, one spam kingpin at a time if necessary. Our actions today clearly demonstrate that CAN-SPAM is alive and kicking -- and we're using it to give hardcore, outlaw spammers the boot."

"Today's bold action represents a decisive step by the leaders in our industry to preserve the integrity of the Internet and restore the value of e-mail that spammers have threatened to undermine," said EarthLink Vice President, Chief Privacy Officer and Assistant General Counsel Les Seagraves. "Together, we are using a tough new federal law, combined with existing state laws, to let criminal spammers know that the nation's leading Internet providers are united by a common goal -- stopping the flow of illegal and intrusive junk e-mail and strengthening the Internet experience for all users. Collectively, we are committed to sending spammers the message that we will find them and use the full force of the law to stop them."

"Substantial building blocks have been put into place in the effort to contain spam," said Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Nancy Anderson. "With the creation of this anti-spam industry alliance and the implementation of a federal law to litigate effectively against spammers, we are witnessing the impact that this industrywide attack on spam is having. We've had the opportunity to share investigative best practices and various legal resources and information to ensure that spammers are going to have an increasingly difficult time continuing their deceptive practices with the full force of this industry coming down on them."

"We're holding spammers directly accountable for the relentless infiltration of people's inboxes. We're acting on behalf of the millions of people who are saying 'enough is enough,'" said Yahoo! Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mike Callahan. "With federal legal remedies and industry collaboration, we have a significant new advantage. We are leveraging new legal tools and sharing best practices, sending a signal to spammers that they are facing a more unified front than ever before. This is great news for all consumers."

The Industry Anti-Spam Alliance

The four companies formed an anti-spam alliance in April 2003. Coalition members meet regularly to proactively address the spam problem that threatens the effectiveness of e-mail as an essential means of communication. Through ongoing industry collaboration with a number of telecommunications companies and industry partners, the group expects to make consistent progress in the areas of technical standards development, as well as improved enforcement techniques and litigation.

Beyond today's major enforcement efforts, the anti-spam industry alliance is making progress on issues related to new and promising technical Internet standards, specifically regarding the certification and authentication of e-mail.

Spam continues to drain time, resources and network space from online companies and inhibit the online experience of consumers across the medium. Spam remains the chief concern of the four companies and their customers.

Today's announcement is the result of substantial corporate cooperation. By sharing information, resources and investigative best practices within this industry alliance, these companies have been able to identify high-volume outlaw spammers for civil lawsuits - a first and critical stage in the campaign to end unwanted junk e-mail through stepped-up and coordinated civil enforcement programs.

The companies believe that the issue of spam can only be significantly addressed and resolved through a comprehensive, multilayered approach that includes anti-spam technologies, consumer education and awareness, legal enforcement, self-policing of e-mail account abuse, and stronger partnerships between industry and government and other regulatory agencies.

Case Summaries

America Online

AOL v. Davis Wolfgang Hawke, et al.

Davis Wolfgang Hawke (also known as Dave Bridger), Braden Bournival and unknown John Doe Defendant co-conspirators are alleged to have transmitted millions of spam email messages directing AOL Members to websites selling "Pinacle" penis enlargement pills, weight loss supplements, hand-held devices advertised as "personal lie detectors," and a product labeled "the Banned CD." These spam messages were transmitted between July 1, 2003 and the present. The complaint alleges that AOL has tallied at least 100,000 member complaints about messages advertising these products. In addition, the complaint alleges that Hawke also offered to provide or sell a number of illegal spam-related goods and services under the apparently fictitious name "Dave Bridger," including:

-- Providing "250 free proxies every day to (Hawke's) affiliates" and offering to "pay them $20 per sale for Pinacle, an herbal penis enlarger"

-- Offering "bulk friendly hosting" on servers located in China, Latin America, or other foreign countries, so that mailers could "point your domains to our server if it helps you get into specific domains like AOL"

-- Selling millions of AOL addresses, and "cracked" bulk mailer programs

AOL v. John Does 1-40

AOL's Complaints alleges: From at least November 2003 to the present, unknown John Doe Defendants have transmitted millions of spam messages to AOL Members advertising numerous websites selling a variety of products, including mortgage leads, adult-content websites and business opportunities. The messages are transmitted through fraudulent means to make it difficult to determine the identity of those responsible, and contain misleading subject lines, including the completely false claim in some that the spam message is an "important message from AOL." The John Doe Defendants also used other deceptive tactics in an attempt to evade AOL's spam filters, including random text in the body of their messages. AOL has already tied more than half a million Member complaints to these Defendants (and is still counting complaints attributable to them). On some days, complaints about these spammers constituted as many as 10% of all AOL Member complaints about spam.

EarthLink

EarthLink v. John Does 1-25 (The "Prescription Drug Spammers"); John Does 26-35 (The "Mortgage Lead Spammers"); John Does 36-45 (The "Cable Descrambler Spammers"); John Does 46-55 (The "University Diploma Spammers"); and John Does 56-65 (The "Get Rich Quick Spammers") and John Does 66 - 75, other spammers.

Since January 1, John Doe defendants 1 - 75 have been responsible for a substantial portion of the incoming spam on EarthLink's network, sending millions of spam emails to advertise Websites selling prescription drugs, mortgage leads, cable descramblers, university diplomas and get-rich-quick schemes. The defendants have hidden their identities with false domain-name registration information, falsified headers, fake "from" lines and misleading subject lines, violating the federal CAN SPAM Act, EarthLink's Acceptable Use Policy and other state and federal laws. Some of the defendants have used text randomizers to insert long passages of gibberish in messages in attempts to evade EarthLink's spam filters.

Fingerprint phrases and sample subject lines include: "Enjoy deep discount meds here," "G_eneric via-gra 60% cheap*r cowslip," "promote someone else's online business and cash in big," "make over $1000 per day," and "attention single mothers."

Microsoft

MICROSOFT CORPORATION v. JDO MEDIA, INC., a Florida Corporation, and JOHN DOES 1-50 (United States District Court, Western District of Washington)

This lawsuit charges JDO Media, Inc. ("JDO"), a Florida company, and other unknown defendants, with operating an automated multi-level marketing ("MLM") program that is advertised through spam, and that instructs its members on how to generate leads for the program, or for other products, through spam. The lawsuit alleges that Hotmail subscribers have been barraged by millions of illegal emails touting this program.

The lawsuit alleges that the spam used to promote the program is intentionally routed through open proxies, contains header information that is false and misleading, and uses other obfuscatory methods to disguise the senders' identities. This lawsuit also charges that the email advertising the program contains misleading subject lines such as "This is your lucky day", "Elite, Professional Invitation", and "Warning!!! These three minutes could change your life". Many of these email messages are sent with "high priority." These deficiencies are all alleged to be in violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act.

Alleged CAN-SPAM Violations

-- falsified from email addresses and transmission paths

-- use of open proxies

-- deceptive subject lines

-- no physical address on some of the messages

MICROSOFT CORPORATION v. JOHN DOES 1-50, d/b/a Super Viagra Group (United States District Court, Western District of Washington)

This lawsuit alleges that the Super Viagra Group has sent hundreds of millions of illegal e-mail messages to Hotmail subscribers advertising either "Super Viagra" or a weight loss patch. The e-mailing practices of this spam group are sophisticated, and are alleged to be in violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act and other state and federal law.

The lawsuit contends that the Super Viagra Group routes its e-mail messages through open proxies and hijacked computers in countries around the world, uses misleading transmission information and subject lines, and take other actions to disguise their true identities. The lawsuit identifies almost forty different domain names where, allegedly, the Super Viagra Group's products can be purchased. The identified domains are registered to individuals in Argentina, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Lithuania, and India.

Alleged CAN-SPAM Violations

-- open proxies for some or all emails

-- falsified from email addresses on most or all emails

-- deceptive subject lines on some emails

-- no physical address on most emails

-- no electronic unsubscribe option on some emails

Yahoo! Inc.

Yahoo! Inc. vs. Eric Head, Matthew Head and Barry Head, and their companies Gold Disk Canada, Inc., Head Programming, Inc., and Infinite Technologies Worldwide, Inc. collectively known as "The Head Operation."

Alleged Spam Activity:

Defendants were on Yahoo! Mail's "Most Wanted" spammer list for allegedly sending millions of spam messages. In January 2004, Yahoo! Mail received approximately 94 million total e-mails from The Head Operation.

-- Disguised Identity: The use of open proxies from countries all over the world to disguise the origin of the messages.

-- Unsolicited Commercial Messages: Messages consisted of solicitations for life insurance, mortgage and debt consolidation and travel services.

-- Deceptive Subject lines: Messages included misleading subject lines, including "past due account."

-- Sold Personal Data: Defendants allegedly collected personal information, such as the names and e-mail addresses of Yahoo! Mail users who responded to the defendants' spam solicitations, and sold the information as "leads" to marketers.

-- False Domains: The domain names for the websites promoted in the messages were falsely registered to individuals with physical addresses in China.

-- Font Tricks: The defendants used color font tricks to hide randomized text in an attempt to circumvent the SpamGuard filter.

Mar 12 - Fujitsu Experiences Highest Year-on-Year Growth for U.S. Portable Shipments in 2003. Fujitsu Computer Systems today announced it achieved record-breaking growth in 2003 by increasing its year-on-year number of U.S. portable shipments by 53 percent from 2002. Fujitsu attributes its success to the third and fourth quarters of 2003 in which the company experienced its highest jump in year-on-year growth for U.S. portable shipments.

Supported by a report from International Data Corporation (IDC), Fujitsu improved its year-on-year growth of U.S. portable shipments by 73 percent in the third quarter of 2003 and 35 percent in the fourth quarter. This increase enabled Fujitsu to maintain its position as a Top 10 vendor and move into ninth position in overall portable units shipped in 2003.

Fujitsu credits its retail strategy and the addition of several innovative and consumer friendly notebook computers, such as the LifeBook(R) P5000 and LifeBook N5000 notebooks, for its substantial growth in 2003. Value-added features like DVD-RW drives, bigger and brighter displays, dual-band wireless LANs and competitive pricing make the Fujitsu notebook computer attractive to consumers. Industry influencers also point to the falling system prices and the increasing popularity of wireless technology in the home and workplace.

"In 2003, Fujitsu made significant changes to its North American operations to better position the company for future growth," said Dennis Mull, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Fujitsu Computer Systems. "In this short amount of time, Fujitsu achieved several company milestones. The accomplishments of 2003 highlight the overall strengths of the company and point to the spectrum of opportunities awaiting the company in 2004."

For more information about the company, see: www.fujitsu.com.

Mar 12 - GlobeTel to Purchase Sanswire Technologies; National Wireless Broadband Network Moves Closer to Reality. GlobeTel Communications Corp. (OTCBB:GTEL) today announced the signing of a Binding Letter of Intent to purchase substantially all of the assets of Sanswire Technologies, Inc. (SNWR.pk). GTEL's acquisition of Sanswire is subject to the completion of its due diligence, the satisfaction of several conditions set forth in the Binding Letter of Intent and the execution of a definitive Purchase Agreement by April 30, 2004. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by the end of March, 2004.

Sanswire is developing a National Wireless Broadband Network utilizing high-altitude airships called Stratellites that will be used to provide wireless voice, video, and data services. A Stratellite is similar to a satellite, but is stationed in the stratosphere rather than in orbit. At an altitude of only 13 miles, each Stratellite will have clear line-of-site to an entire major metropolitan area. The Stratellite will allow subscribers to easily communicate in "both directions" using readily available wireless devices. To learn more about Sanswire and the Stratellites, visit the company's website at www.sanswire.com.

The Stratellites will be held stationary in the stratosphere and remotely controlled from tracking stations on the ground. Each Stratellite is designed to stay in one location for up to 12 months, at which time it would be replaced by a duplicate Stratellite, allowing the original airship to be brought back to earth for servicing and communication upgrades. The replacement would be a seamless exchange preventing outages to subscribers.

Each Stratellite will be over two hundred feet in diameter, have a payload capacity of thousands of pounds and will be powered by a series of solar powered hybrid electric motors and other regenerative fuel cell technologies. In addition to Sanswire's National Wireless Broadband Network, proposed telecommunications uses include cellular, 3G/4G mobile, MMDS, paging, fixed wireless telephony, HDTV and others.

Michael K. Molen, CEO of Sanswire Technologies stated, "There has never been a greater need for a National Wireless Broadband Network. The acceptance of wireless `hot spots' has proven that the demand is there for high-speed wireless Internet access. When completed, our National Wireless Broadband Network will make the entire country a `hot spot' and provide voice (telephone), video (television), and data (internet) to our subscribers whenever and wherever they choose. We are excited about the acquisition by GlobeTel. It solves the telecom element of our bundled package and increases our access to the international marketplace."

Timothy Huff, CEO of GlobeTel stated, "We are looking forward to the beta test demonstration of the Stratellite in Atlanta and the completion of the research and development work that will be gathered from the test that will aid in the commercialization of the Stratellite. Then, we will be able to begin selling Stratellites and the various services they will provide to our customers.

" We expect that Sanswire's technology will open up new and exciting doors for us. This will allow us to deploy a complete IP network in a country virtually overnight and greatly speed up the deployment of our Super Hub technology by solving the last mile issue that most countries face. Deploying Stratellites over the Atlantic corridor traveled by commercial airliners to provide uninterrupted phone and Internet service is one of many services that can be offered. This technology will change the face of telecommunications by making the need for expensive cabling and last mile solutions obsolete. The coupling of our bundled services and Sanswire's deployment capabilities makes this a very potent combination."

GlobeTel is an IP solutions/applications based company. Although international carrier termination business is the base and the beginning of the Company's services, GlobeTel's goals are to provide strategic advantages to commodity telecommunications based products. Taking such products as voice termination, prepaid calling cards, store valued debit cards and IP adapters and giving these products and services unique market advantages through the deployment of unique software and IP platforms. In each of these cases, GlobeTel has developed unique approaches that give the Company market advantages worldwide. For more information about GlobeTel, visit the Company's website at www.globetel.ne.

Mar 12 - Socket Communications Showcases New Connectivity and Data Collection Products With Bluetooth Wireless Technology. Socket Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT)(PSE:SOK), the Mobile Connection(TM) Company, will showcase its broad range of Cordless connectivity products and data collection solutions with Bluetooth(R) Wireless Technology at CeBIT 2004 -- March 18-24 in Hannover, Germany.
Socket's Embedded Systems Group will also be showcasing products from a wide variety of manufacturers that are benefiting from Socket embedded technology such as Socket's KwikBlue(TM) modules and mobilityIC(TM) interface ASICs. Socket customer products on display will include PDAs and other Bluetooth enabled devices from GoTive, Hand Held Products, Luidia, Metrologic, O'Neil Product Development, Topcon, Tripod and other manufacturers.

"Our growing family of cordless products enable mobile professionals to add new and exciting possibilities for customers to enhance their handheld devices using Bluetooth wireless technology," says Martin Croome, European General Manager of Socket Communications.

New Socket products demonstrated at CeBIT 2004 will include:

-- Socket Cordless 56K Modem with Bluetooth(R) Wireless Technology: This is the first battery-powered 56K modem which connects to mobile devices using Bluetooth wireless technology. It has a range of up to 100 metres, a rechargeable removable Lithium-ion battery and works with almost any Bluetooth enabled mobile computer that supports DUN (Dial-Up Networking) such as Pocket PCs, Windows powered notebooks and Palm PDAs.

-- Socket Cordless Hand Scanner: Introduced at CeBIT 2004, this unique device combines the power of laser barcode scanning with the convenience of Bluetooth wireless technology in a compact device that fits easily in the palm of your hand. It connects to a Palm PDA, Pocket PC, Notebook, XP Tablet, desktop computer or Symbian OS devices with Bluetooth capabilities.

-- Socket Cordless Serial Adapter with Bluetooth(R) Wireless Technology: This adapter eliminates conventional RS-232 serial cables, providing an easy-to-use, invisible connection between devices. It will communicate with another Cordless Serial Adapter or any other Bluetooth enabled device.

Socket will also be showing its broad collection of plug-in accessory solutions in Secure Digital Card format (SD) including bar code scanning cards, Connection Kits with Bluetooth Wireless Technology and Low Power Wireless LAN cards.

Socket is headquartered in Newark, California and can be reached at www.socketcom.com.

Mar 12 - ViewSonic HD Tuner Provides Clear Reception of Free Over-the-Air Digital Broadcast Signals. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide leader in visual display products, announced the NextVision(R) HD10, a high-definition television (HDTV) tuner that allows users to enjoy over-the-air digital programming on HDTV-ready televisions without additional subscription fees or contracts.

Complementing ViewSonic's full line of digital projectors and advanced LCD, plasma and rear projection televisions, the HD10 provides clear reception of the growing number of high definition, enhanced and standard TV signals available on local broadcast stations.

Compatible with any display that features component, composite or S-video inputs, the HD10 high definition tuner is designed for VHF, UHF and all 18 ATSC signal formats. With Dolby AC-3 digital and MPEG audio decoding, it easily connects digital audio to surround sound home entertainment systems. The HD10 supports all TV scanning formats (480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i) and displays content in both 16:9 widescreen and 4:3 aspect ratios. An electronic programming guide is available in the HDTV channel range for the user's convenience.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association's latest consumer survey regarding digital television transition, nine million households are likely to purchase HDTV products over the next 18 months and another 30 million consumers consider themselves likely purchasers within the next three years. The HD10 offers consumers the ability to view all HD content available from their local, free over-the-air broadcast stations.

"U.S. consumers spend millions of dollars a year on televisions capable of displaying digital resolutions, but most are not receiving HDTV content because of the extra fees associated with the process," said Gene Ornstead, director, Advanced TV Products, ViewSonic. "The HD10 allows them to take full advantage of their advanced televisions without paying extra subscription fees for local HD programming."

The HD10 will be available in April through authorized ViewSonic resellers, distributors, mail order and retail outlets for an estimated street price of $399. For more information visit www.viewsonic.com.

Mar 11 - 1394 Trade Association Creates Latest Home Entertainment Network for Demonstrations at EH Expo. The 1394 Trade Association will feature the latest and most advanced home entertainment network, moving video and audio at up to 800 Megabits/second over CAT-5 and plastic optical fiber, at the Electronic House Expo in Orlando March 10-13.

Populated with the latest in HDTV, Digital VHS, computer, storage, and audio equipment from industry leaders worldwide, the home entertainment network demo will showcase how FireWire can connect a wide range of different devices over distances up to 80 meters at significant speeds.

"We are focused on the 1394 standard's excellence in overcoming the challenge of linking many diverse consumer and computer devices on the network, easily and reliably," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "We are making significant strides in wired and wireless networking, and FireWire is pre-eminent in delivering audio and video in a peer-to-peer environment where every device on the network can act as a client or server."

In the network demo, high definition video originates in a pair of D-VHS systems provided by Mitsubishi and JVC, and is delivered over CAT-5 cabling through a master network hub developed by USTec, a leader in advanced home wiring systems. From there, it moves to a Mitsubishi HD5000 for display on a plasma or flat panel display, and to a Hewlett-Packard Media Center PC. The demonstration also includes file sharing between Sony VAIO and Media Center computers, as well as a shared Internet connection between them. It also incorporates whole house audio, using a Pioneer DVD player.

1394b Hub Anchors the Network

At the center of the demo is USTec's TP-FH4 FireWire five-port 1394b hub. It is designed to connect four 1394b wall plates using CAT-5 or better cables. The wall plates are powered via the CAT-5 from the hub. The fifth hub port is a bilingual jack used to connect to 1394-enabled equipment located in the cabinet, or to connect two TP-FH4 hubs together to work as an eight-port system.

POF Added to Network Demo, Delivered by Firecomms Corp.

For the first time, Plastic Optical Fiber has been added to the home entertainment network demonstration, illustrating how easy it is to install and use. Fibers are inserted into basic 1394 connectors, then snapped into place.

POF can carry over 250Mbps over 50 meters, and is much smaller and lighter than copper cabling POF also is not subject to noise from radiated emissions (EMI).

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the enhancement and advancement of the 1394/FireWire standard. For more information and a complete list of all products with IEEE 1394, visit www.1394ta.org.

Mar 11 - 400GB Hard Drive Makes Hitachi the Capacity King. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today announced the world's highest capacity 3.5-inch ATA hard drive, the 400GB Deskstar 7K400.
The new drive has been designed for audio video (AV) and ATA nearline environments, where large capacities and a lower per-gigabyte cost are key requirements. A new industry-standard AV feature set makes the drive well-suited for use in high-end digital video recorders (DVRs) that are designed to record substantial amounts of high-quality digital programming.

"Extremely high capacity disk drives are more essential now than ever with digital video recording coming into the mainstream," said Jose Antelo, general manager, 3.5-inch Consumer and Commercial HDDs, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "We are now in a position to extend our consumer electronics portfolio to include the high-end device segments, most notably the nascent market for high-capacity DVRs."

Audio/Video Applications

Hitachi has designed the Deskstar 7K400 to address the growing demand for high-capacity DVRs. The drive is the first to include a new industry-standard AV feature, known as Streaming Command Set. The AV feature is designed to enhance streaming functionality in digital video applications. Streaming Command Set integration optimizes the drives for storing and retrieving digital video content on a DVR. Hard drives are key to enabling technology that will drive future growth of the DVR market.

Yankee Group, a Boston-based research and consulting firm, predicts that DVRs will be found in approximately 24.7 million homes by the year 2007. High definition television (HDTV) broadcasts are among the many factors that are driving the need for additional DVR storage capacity. 8.7GB of storage is required for each hour of broadcast HDTV recording. In addition to its substantial capacity, the Deskstar 7K400's 7,200 rpm performance is also well-suited to meet the rigorous demands of HDTV recording.

The Deskstar 7K400 provides enough capacity to store the following:

-- 400 hours of standard TV programming

-- 45 hours of HDTV programming

-- More than 6,500 hours of high quality digital music

ATA Nearline Applications

The Deskstar 7K400 is ideally suited for nearline storage and other low I/O applications. The drives provide superior capacity, data access times and transfer rates at a comparable cost to that of tape or optical solutions. The new drives will ship with Parallel ATA and Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces.

SATA is a scalable interface technology that currently delivers a maximum data transfer rate of up to 1.5 Gb/s. SATA also simplifies device configuration, improves data integrity and offers "hot-plug" capability, which allows the drives to be installed or removed while the host system is operational. SATA drives also use a compact cabling structure and smaller connectors that are designed to enhance air flow and reduce system complexity.

Several Deskstar 7K400 design attributes combine to protect customer data and increase capacity, while maintaining Hitachi's award-winning performance. Among these features are a new anti-rebound actuator latch and Rotational Vibration Safeguard technology (RVS). The RVS technology is used to ensure drive performance in high rotational vibration environments, where there are multiple drives in a single enclosure. The Deskstar 7K400 also features a spindle motor that is used in enterprise-class hard drives.

The Deskstar 7K400 is backed by Hitachi's renowned compatibility testing labs and worldwide distribution support. The drive has an 8MB-buffer and carries a three-year warranty.

Hitachi is currently shipping Deskstar 7K400 drives in limited quantities. For more information on Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, please visit the company's Web site at www.hgst.com.

Mar 11 - Plextor Dual-Format DVD+/-R/RW Burner Now Supports High Speed 12X DVD Recording. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced the new PX-712A DVD+/-R/RW drive with support for high-speed 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R recording. The internal drive features an ATA/ATAPI-5 (EIDE) interface for broad based PC-compatibility.

With the PX-712A, users have the ability to create, edit, and share customized DVDs and CDs faster than ever before. The new Plextor drive also helps remove the risk of purchasing a DVD/CD burner that does not comply with future DVD recording standards and it gives customers greater flexibility in choosing which DVD recordable media they use today.

The PX-712A supports 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R Writing; 4X DVD+RW and 4X DVD-RW Rewriting; and 16X max DVD-Reading. The DVD/CD burner also boasts high-speed 48X CD-R Writing, 24X CD-RW Rewriting, and 48X max CD-Reading. The drive includes a bundle of premium Microsoft Windows-compatible software from Roxio, including Roxio(R) Easy CD & DVD Creator(TM) 6 -- DVD Edition, and Roxio PhotoSuite(R) 5 SE.

"The PX-712A extends Plextor's family of award-winning dual-format DVD drives into the high-speed realm of 12X recording," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "It offers the enhanced set of recording tools of our PlexWriter Premium CD-R/RW drive family, including GigaRec, SecuRec, Q-Check, Silent Mode, and VariRec. PlexWriter Premium drive users who require user-controllable recording tools now can easily migrate to dual-format DVD recording with the new PX-712A drive and PlexTools Professional software."

Pricing and Availability

The Plextor PX-712A DVD+/-R/RW drive is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers in North and South America in late April 2004. The PX-712A drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $209.00 USD. All retail packages include unlimited toll-free technical support and one-year full warranty.

For more information, visit www.plextor.com.

Mar 11 - Kano Intros Super-Fast, SLIM-K4Xtreme 4X DVD+RW/-RW Portable Drive for Macs and PCs. Kano Technologies introduced its SLIM-K4Xtreme(TM) multi-format, dual-interface DVD+/DVD- drive for PCs and Macs today.

The portable drive is very fast and can burn a 4.7GB DVD disc in less than 15 minutes. Equipped with both FireWire and USB 2.0 connections, the new drive does not need a separate power supply. Bus power support allows it to be powered through a laptop FireWire port, and an included PS2 power cable allows USB 2.0 users to power the unit from a laptop.

"Our drive is the fastest burning slim dual-format DVD drive on the market today," said Robert Young, Kano's director of national sales. "In addition, it's very small and requires no external power supply, which makes it extremely easy to carry and ideal for travel."

The 8-in-1 SLIM-K4Xtreme measures just 5.5-inches x 6-inches x .75-inches, comes in a rugged all-metal silver chassis, and weighs only 14 ounces. The drive is compatible with DVD+RW/-RW, DVD+R/-R, CD-RW and CD-R media formats. It writes at 4x to DVD discs and at 16x to CD discs; and, it reads DVDs at 8x and CDs at 24x speeds.

The SLIM-K4Xtreme comes complete with cables, an external power adapter, Roxio Easy DVD Creator software (for PCs) and Roxio Toast 6 Lite (for Macs), and user guide. It is available now from PC Connection and MacConnection at an MSRP of $329.00.

For more information or a data sheet, visit the Kano Web site at www.kanotechnologies.com.

Mar 11 - Microsoft Battles Linux for 40 Million Unit Advanced Set-Top Box Market. According to a new Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices report, more set-top box manufacturers might consider Microsoft's CE.Net platform if a competitive licensing scheme were available. However, the Redmond, Washington giant must move quickly since Linux momentum is building steadily. Linux is a leading contender to become the standard operating system in advanced set-top boxes, such as Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and IPTV.

Linux already serves as the operating system in devices such as TiVo and Echostar's DVR. It also features in many of the IPTV set-top boxes used by telephone companies to deliver television and video-on-demand over telephone wires. Linux is both sophisticated enough to support advanced functions, such as video recording and IP delivery, and economical since it does not require licensing fees.

Peter King, Director of the Connected Home Devices service, comments: "Device manufacturers are leaning towards Linux as the preferred solution for advanced set-top boxes, as evidenced by the recent Korean decision to establish the Linux IP Set-top-box Council. But Linux is not as free as it seems, since additional applications are often required, and development and integration work may add further cost."

Strategy Analytics forecasts that nearly 40 million advanced set-top boxes will be installed worldwide by 2008. The majority will be in the US, where demand for Linux-based DVRs is likely to be strongest.

For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com.

Mar 10 - Toshiba's Additions to the Satellite Notebook Series Offer Users Value. Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD) today introduced three new notebooks to their Satellite(R) Series of portable PCs -- the value-priced Satellite A10-S100, mid-range Satellite A40-S161 and the impressive Satellite M30-S350. Toshiba's new notebooks offer a range of features that allow users to be mobile, productive and entertained in sizes and styles to meet every taste and budget.

All three of Toshiba's new Satellite notebooks come fully loaded with Microsoft(R) Office OneNote(TM) enabling mobile professionals to easily capture, organize, share and manage data for maximum productivity.

Designed for first-time or budget-conscious users, the Satellite A10-S100 features the Intel(R) Celeron(R) processor, large hard drive and enough memory to handle most computing needs. The Satellite A10 also includes multimedia capabilities such as a built-in DVD drive and CD burner for backing up important data, playing CDs or viewing movies.

The Toshiba Satellite A40-S161 steps up as an easy replacement to a desktop PC offering the right mix of features and performance. The Satellite A40's Mobile Intel Pentium(R) 4 processor, generous memory and large hard drive enables it to handle the most challenging tasks, including developing multimedia presentations and data reports particularly in environments where users have multiple applications open at once. The unit also includes SRS TruSurround XT(R) technology to provide an enhanced listening experience during CD or DVD playback.

For the notebook user focused on high-style combined with uncompromising functionality, Toshiba's eye-catching Satellite M30-S350 features an expanded hard drive, increased graphics performance and a bright 15.4-inch diagonal display. At a mere 1 inch thick and weighing slightly over 6 pounds, this notebook offers all the benefits of a wide-screen display like viewing movies, working on multiple applications side-by-side or editing spreadsheets in a package smaller than notebooks with standard size screens. The Satellite M30-S350 also features Intel's Centrino(TM) technology for increased performance, enhanced wireless communications and extended battery life.

Availability

The Satellite A10-S100, Satellite A40-S161 and Satellite M30-S350 are available immediately via Toshiba's traditional distribution channels, VARs, ToshibaDirect.com and mail order channels. For more information visit the company's Web site at www.toshiba.com.

Mar 10 - Toshiba Announces Availability of the Portege M205 Tablet PC. Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD) today announced retail availability of the Portege(R) M205 tablet PC notebook with improved wireless connectivity using Wi-Fi (802.11g) and increased storage capacity offering a standard 60GB hard disk drive. These are two new features added to the original Portege M205 announced in November 2003.

Like its predecessor, the Portege M205 works as an everyday notebook computer, but includes an innovative display that rotates and folds back for convenient information viewing and sharing, and offers a choice of data input modes such as typing, writing or speech. Mobile professionals, students and other consumers can handwrite meeting or class notes directly into the Portege M205, eliminating the need to carry organizers or notepads.
The unit also offers full features like a dual axis accelerometer allowing users to manually tilt the tablet up or down, for scroll-type functionality; a choice of data input modes such as keyboard, writing and speech recognition.

Added features to those listed above:

-- Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Mobile Technology
-- Intel Pentium(R) M processor at 1.50GHz
-- Intel 855 PM system chipset
-- Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 LAN (802.11g)
-- Microsoft(R) Windows XP Tablet Edition
-- NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) FX Go 5200 32M GPU, 32MB DDR video memory
-- Microsoft(R) OneNote(TM) 2003
-- 512MB of RAM (expandable to 2GB) DDR SDRAM
-- Integrated V.92, Integrated 10/100 Intel Ethernet LAN and Fast IR
-- One Type II PC Card slot
-- One Secure Digital (SD) slot
-- Two USB 2.0 ports
-- 12.1" Poly-silicon SXGA+ Color LCD display (1400 x 1050)
-- 11.6" (wide) x 9.8" (deep) x 1.3/1.5" (thick), 4.4 pounds (weight
varies by configuration)
-- Up to four and one half hours of battery life with a standard
battery
-- Bundled Software
-- WinDVD
-- Drag 'n Drop
-- Toshiba ConfigFree(TM)
-- Symbol Commander
-- Optional Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition
-- Available at computer superstores, consumer electronic stores,
mass merchandisers and www.toshibadirect.com.
-- Optional Toshiba Tablet Multi Dock (PART#:PA3315-1PRP)
-- Price: $2,499 ESUP

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

Mar 10 - HP Targets Growing Markets with Ultra-dense Blade and Affordable Server Line. HP (NYSE:HPQ) (Nasdaq:HPQ) today expanded its industry-leading server portfolio by announcing a two-processor blade server for enterprise-class performance and the HP ProLiant ML100 server series aimed at the growing small- and medium-size business (SMB) market.

The company also announced enhanced management capabilities for its servers and the related milestone of more than 500,000 ProLiant Essentials software licenses sold.

The ultra-dense HP ProLiant BL30p blade server outclasses the competition by providing customers more processing power per rack than any other product in its category. The HP ProLiant ML110 server, the first in the new ProLiant ML100 series available worldwide, provides SMBs with an affordable solution that is easy to use and easy to maintain.

"HP is exactly where it wants to be -- offering customers solutions for an adaptive enterprise with more choice and better density on industry-standard platforms than IBM and more technological innovation than Dell," said Brad Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Industry Standard Servers, HP. "Today's announcement is another example of how HP is beating the competition by offering enterprise and SMB customers around the world the opportunity to get more from their technology vendor."

Customers win with new ultra-dense blade servers

The HP ProLiant BL30p blade server, with 32-bit compute power, offers customers a smaller design and enhanced performance features providing all the benefits of greater density, without sacrificing performance. HP was the first major vendor to ship blade technology and is currently the only vendor to offer customers their choice of one-, two- and four-processor blade servers.

The HP ProLiant BL30p shares the existing BL p-class infrastructure, allowing customers to install future blades without changing power, cooling, management or interconnect devices. With 16 blades per 6U (10.5-inch) enclosure, a full, single, standard rack of HP ProLiant BL30p servers can provide up to 192 processors.

Available with the latest dual Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors, the HP ProLiant BL30p is designed for application servers, Web hosting, e-commerce, computational clusters and grid computing and is optimized for compute density with minimal or no local storage. The server offers optional dual-port Fibre Channel support for storage area network (SAN) implementations and clustering capabilities enabling data center consolidation, high availability and rapid application deployment. The HP ProLiant BL30p supports the industry-leading HP StorageWorks portfolio as well as select third-party Fibre Channel SANs.

The ProLiant BL30p is the latest addition to HP's broad industry-standard server portfolio, which includes the fastest Intel Xeon processors and AMD Opteron(TM) 200 series processors. Blades are the fastest growing server market segment, and HP plans to continue its innovation in this area, including the introduction of an ultra-dense, dual AMD Opteron processor-based blade server in the second half of the year.

New HP ProLiant ML110 server brings value, power to SMB market

The first server in the new ML100 series, the low-cost HP ProLiant ML110 server offers simplicity, reliability and proven, innovative features that allow small- and medium-size businesses to focus on the needs of their business rather than having to deal with IT-related issues.

The ProLiant ML110 has been specifically designed for SMB customers who need solutions for file sharing, Web and mail messaging and general-purpose functions including firewalls and virtual private servers. The compact device offers server functionality at desktop pricing along with the reliability customers have come to expect from ProLiant servers. A faster central processing unit (CPU) and twice the CPU cache give SMBs better overall performance and faster response times than the previous generation of processors.

"As a small business, we don't have time or resources to fashion a solution through multiple vendors," said Mike Tillges, president, One Source Logistics. "With the ProLiant ML110 and HP StorageWorks DAT 72 tape drive, HP helped us to create a reliable, high-performance solution to host our ERP application and to securely back up 16 GB of mission-critical data daily."

"Three out of four customers we create solutions for are small businesses," said Donald Stewart, service manager and consulting engineer, Turning Point Solutions Group. "We really needed an alternative server platform from a top-tier vendor that combined simplicity and affordability with proven performance and support. The HP ProLiant ML110 is easy to set up and expand and comes with a reputation we and our customers can trust."

Pricing and availability

The HP ProLiant ML110 server is available today, pre-loaded with Windows Small Business Server, starting at an estimated U.S. list price of $499, with internal storage up to 320 gigabytes for ATA models and 288 gigabytes for SCSI models. The server is available with the Intel Celeron(R) processor at 2.6 gigahertz or the Intel Pentium(R) 4 processor at 2.8 GHz or 3.0 GHz with 1-megabyte cache, and also runs the Linux and Netware operating systems.

The HP ProLiant BL30p blade server is expected to be available in the United States in the second calendar quarter, supporting Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Pricing and full specifications will be released at that time.

More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

Mar 10 - Sony Ericsson Unveils New EDGE PC Cards. Following the successful launch of the GC82 EDGE PC Card to the American market, Sony Ericsson unveiled today two new additions to its family of EDGE products -- the GC83 and GC85 EDGE PC Cards. Both PC Cards offer increased speed and extended coverage; enhancing the wireless connectivity experience of the mobile professional.

There is a growing trend and need for wireless data communication solutions, as well as a demand for a mobile computing solution that promises wireless accessibility, fast data speeds, and true global mobility. Sony Ericsson's EDGE PC Cards and the personal laptop are the answer for those who want to work efficiently and effectively when on the move and out of the office. The GC83 and GC85 offer the power and ease to surf the Internet, download files, connect to the corporate networks and manage e-mail from just about anywhere.

Speed -- When connected to the GSM/EDGE networks, users can enjoy data speeds up to three times faster than GPRS. This means greatly improved downloading speeds that are very useful for downloading e-mails with large attachments wirelessly.

Coverage -- The triple band (GSM 850/1800/1900) GC83 EDGE PC Card is designed for consumers in the Americas, as well as Europe and Asia (where above networks are available). The GC85, also a tri-band (GSM 900/1800/1900) EDGE PC Card, support European and Asia Pacific consumers as the GC85 provides global coverage in all five continents.

The non-extended type II PC Card with a detachable antenna is a distinctive design of Sony Ericsson's PC Cards. The slim and compact EDGE PC Cards allow users to store the card in the laptop at all times -- giving them convenient and instant access. Since the PC Cards are powered by the user's laptop, no extra chargers or cables are required.

"The mobile professional wants more than simply keeping in touch with his clients and colleagues when out of the office. He wants to be able to work while on the move. He needs to be sure that his laptop is plugged into the office network, so that he can collaborate with his colleagues and clients in 'real time'. Sony Ericsson is able to meet that need," said Anders Franzen, Corporate Vice President and Head of Sony Ericsson M2M Communications Unit.

GC83 will be available in Q2 2004 to the American markets. GC85 will first be available to Europe in Q4 with launches to follow in other countries.

For further information, visit: www.SonyEricsson.com.

Mar 10 - InterVideo WinDVD 5 Software with DVD-Audio Pack Supports Intel High-Definition Audio. InterVideo(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:IVII) announced today that WinDVD(R) 5, its award-winning software for playing DVDs on a PC, supports playback of Intel(R) High Definition (HD) Audio, Intel's next-generation audio standard (formerly known as "Azalia").
When combined with InterVideo's optional DVD-Audio Pack and a PC incorporating Intel HD Audio with the upcoming Grantsdale chipset, WinDVD 5 provides OEMs and end users with a complete, easy-to-use solution for playback of the highest-quality multi-channel sound.

Focused on bringing CE-quality audio to desktop and laptop PCs, InterVideo has broad experience in leveraging the Dolby(R) premier audio technologies that are included in Intel HD Audio. WinDVD 5 and the DVD-Audio Add-on Pack evolved through groundbreaking development work carried out in collaboration with Dolby Laboratories and the development of the proprietary InterVideo Channel Extension (ICE) multichannel expansion technology. Using these proven technologies, InterVideo software serves as the enabler for Intel's HD Audio technology, delivering an in-depth PC listening experience that rivals home theater systems.

By adding the InterVideo DVD-Audio Pack software, WinDVD can be used with most consumer desktop or notebook PCs for playback of both DVD-Audio and Dolby Digital multichannel audio. The software automatically detects the audio source and gives users complete navigation of the disc's album content. This capability enables users to skip tracks, play music and access special disc menus with audio still videos, real-time text, slide shows and other entertaining content.

With WinDVD, InterVideo has consistently set the pace for audio playback on PCs. WinDVD was among the first DVD players to include support for Dolby Virtual Speaker Technology and Dolby Headphone Technology. WinDVD also includes support for the Windows(R) Media Audio (WMA) format. And, for a true home theater experience, the Platinum version of WinDVD 5 offers individual speaker volume control, delay, equalization, and stackable audio effects. With support for Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology, users can watch a movie or enjoy HD Audio while working on their computer or surfing the Web.

Both the Gold and Platinum versions of WinDVD 5 include InterVideo Mobile Technology to help users extend the battery life and playback time of mobile PCs featuring Intel's new Centrino(TM) mobile technology and other Intel notebook processors.

In addition to the DVD-Audio Pack for WinDVD 5, InterVideo also offers a new InterActual(R) Pack that enables users to enjoy the high-resolution video enabled by Microsoft(R) Windows Media(R) 9 Series (WMV HD) and access to extended features such as playback tracks, games, printables, photo galleries, and special web sites.

Pricing, Availability

InterVideo markets WinDVD 5 to consumers and hardware OEMs, including manufacturers of PCs, video cards, camcorders, disk drives and consumer electronics products. It can be used with PC and laptop computers running Windows 98/2000/Me/XP.

WinDVD 5 is available at InterVideo's web site at www.intervideo.com and at retail outlets around the world. Suggested list prices are $49.95 for WinDVD Gold 5 and $69.95 for WinDVD Platinum 5. Available at InterVideo's web site, the DVD-Audio pack is priced at $39.95 and the InterActual Pack is priced at $19.95.

Visit the company's Web site at www.intervideo.com.

Mar 09 - Intel Wireless Coexistence System Minimizes Interference Between 802.11 and Bluetooth Wireless Technologies. Silicon Wave, a leading supplier of integrated circuits for Wireless Personal Area Networks, today announced that their single-chip UltimateBlue(TM) Bluetooth(R) solution and the co-developed Intel(R) Wireless Coexistence System are integrated into Intel Corporation's 'Florence' concept PCs, unveiled at the recent Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The new concept line consists of three prototype portable computers that combine unique case designs with the latest computing and wireless technology from Intel. The Intel Wireless Coexistence System is incorporated into 'Florence' to minimize interference between Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless technologies, allowing both to operate simultaneously.

"The concept PC program was started over two years ago to showcase Intel's products and to provide customers with a vision of what was possible," said Mike Trainor, chief mobile technology evangelist for Intel Corporation. "Wireless computing is a big part of that vision, and our work with Silicon Wave on a coexistence solution is another example of delivering innovative solutions to real-world problems."

Bluetooth and 802.11 are complementary wireless technologies that share the same 2.4GHz ISM band. When the two technologies operate at the same time, for example when Bluetooth applications are used while the user is connected to the network over 802.11, interference may occur. The Intel Wireless Coexistence System ensures that end users experience optimal data throughput, range and responsiveness on wireless LANs while maintaining connectivity with other PCs or peripherals enabled with Bluetooth wireless technology such as keyboards, mice, printers, PDAs, cameras and Smart Phones.

"Both Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless technologies are rapidly being integrated into PCs, so it is critical that we minimize interference issues," said Malachi Bierstein, technical marketing manager for Silicon Wave. "The Intel Wireless Coexistence System plays a key role in delivering seamless wireless connectivity to the Florence concept PC."

The company's Web site is located at www.siliconwave.com.

Mar 09 - Nexperia DVD Data Recorder Reference Design Enables Recording Speeds up to 16x. Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI) today introduced its Nexperia(TM) semiconductor reference design for the industry's fastest DVD+R/+RW (DVD+Recordable/+ReWriteable) recorders available for the PC market today. DVD recorders based on the new reference design will allow consumers to record a complete DVD+R disc in less than five minutes at speeds of up to 16x.

The reference design, powered by Philips Nexperia chipsets and software, also features the recording of dual-layer DVD+R media, which virtually doubles the data storage capacity on a DVD disc from 4.7 Gigabytes (Gbyte) to 8.5 Gbyte. As a result, consumers will be able to create DVD discs complete with hours of home videos, numerous photo albums and intensive PC data rapidly.

Targeting the PC market, Philips Nexperia DVD Data Recorder reference design will benefit drive makers by offering them a competitive advantage in the race for speed, which is critical in today's digital consumer environment. Since Philips is making available a fully functional 16x reference design based on a cost-effective two-chip solution, manufacturers will also benefit from an improved time-to-market with up to 30 percent time savings.
The reference design is fully programmable, making it easy for drive makers to seamlessly add new functions. Furthermore, the dual-layer DVD+R media supported by Philips reference design is compatible with existing DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives commercially available today.

"Consumers today are demanding high-speed recording capabilities and the utmost in storage capacity to preserve their volumes of digital content on an optical storage medium, such as DVDs," said Jeroen Keunen, general manager of consumer and multimedia, Philips Semiconductors. "Philips was first to market with a DVD+R/+RW reference design with speeds of 8x and now with the introduction of a 16x recording solution, we are helping our customers meet the stringent requirements of the consumer and also reinforcing our leadership in optical storage."

Philips Nexperia DVD Data Recorder reference design consists of Philips Nexperia PNX7860E DVD processor with embedded codec, microcontroller, controller and host interface, along with the TZA1047HL analog pre-processor. The reference design is built in conjunction with Philips optical pickup unit (OPU), which leads the OPU industry with lower power lasers for 16x based on Philips' patented beam shaper technology.

Pricing and Availability

The Nexperia DVD Data Recorder reference design is based on the Philips PNX7860E and TZA1047HL, which together are priced at approximately USD $15 in volume quantities. The reference design is scheduled to be in volume production during the first half of 2004.

Philips is located at www.semiconductors.philips.com.

Mar 09 - IDC Forecasts 18% PC Semiconductor Revenue Growth in 2004. Economic recovery and rising PC demand boosted the PC semiconductor market in the second half of 2003. However, revenue growth was largely limited to rising semiconductor unit sales, rather than rising prices, and to sales of systems to consumers, as opposed to corporations.

According to IDC's new study, Worldwide Desktop and Mobile PC Semiconductor Forecast, 2003-2008, the inflection point in the recovery of the PC semiconductor market during 2004 depends on the factors that were missing at the end of 2003. Beyond economic growth and the seasonal uplift, a continuing recovery will require sales to both consumers and corporations.
IDC predicts that overall (desktop plus mobile) PC semiconductor revenue will grow 18.0% to $53.6 billion in 2004, the highest annual growth rate during the study's forecast period. From 2003 to 2008, IDC forecasts that the PC semiconductor market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%, rising from $45.4 billion to $66.1 billion.

"The recovery of the PC semiconductor market will hit its stride in 2004, specifically in the second half of the year," said Shane Rau, IDC's lead PC semiconductor analyst. "Carrying the recovery along will be the key trends of mobility, connectivity, and increasing overlap between the consumer and PC markets."

Additional findings of IDC's study include:

-- Mobile PC semiconductor revenue will grow at a healthy CAGR of 16.1%, as compared to desktop PC semiconductor revenue growth of 2.9%. As a result, mobile PC semiconductor revenue will nearly equal that of desktop PC semiconductor revenue by 2008, up from roughly 50% in 2003.

-- While all mobile PC price bands will grow during the forecast period, only the desktop PC prices below $1000 will grow significantly during the same period.

-- The PC processor and main memory subsystems will grow the most on an absolute revenue basis during the forecast period.

-- The communications subsystem of the mobile PC semiconductor market will achieve the highest growth rate during the forecast period, driven by the growth of wireless connectivity, such as WLAN technology embedded in mobile PCs.

Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

Mar 09 - Ahead Software's Nero is the World's First Software Suite to Support DVD+R Double Layer -DL- Recording. Ahead Software announced today the world's first all-in-one DVD+R Double Layer (DL) software suite. All of Nero's applications in this enhanced version of its OEM digital media suite will fully support DVD+R DL drives, allowing 8.5GB DVD writing, authoring, backup and recoding the first time ever.

The optical recording technology landscape will once again be transformed in 2004 with Double Layer DVD recording that will double the capacity of existing writable DVD discs, broadening the universe of video and data storage.

NeroVision Express 2 takes video capturing, editing, photo slideshows and animated menu creation to the next level with its support of full DVD-Video authoring on DVD+R DL, doubling the capacity to four hours of standard DVD quality video. Equipped with the most powerful MPEG recoding engine available and featuring Nero Digital (TM), the world's fastest MPEG-4 encoder available, Nero Recode 2 enables the user to recode several non-copy protected movies to a single DVD+R DL disc in DVD-Video format, or more than ten movies in Nero Digital's MPEG-4 format. Nero Digital combines MPEG-4 video with HE-AAC audio and has full subtitle support.

In addition, this complete, comprehensive software suite offers Nero BackItUp, which takes full advantage of the increased capacity of a DVD+R DL disc, allowing users to run scheduled backups, password-protect their data and choose from various backup modes such as full or incremental. Nero Express 6 allows users to burn standard data and digital audio discs with up to 8.5 GB in size.
Also included is the essential drive testing utility, Nero Toolkit, the powerful DVD and digital video playback software Nero ShowTime, the standard packet writing application InCD 4 and the label creator Nero Cover Designer. Each application can be accessed with a single click via the one-of-a-kind application launcher Nero StartSmart, proving users with an at-a-glance overview of what DVD drives have to offer.

"Ahead Software has been working extensively with key DVD+RW Alliance members to create the ultimate all-in-one software package that is optimized for Double Layer DVD Recording," says Richard Lesser CEO of Ahead Software AG. "This is a quantum leap in recordable DVD technology, and Ahead Software's engineers have worked tirelessly to bring these engineering achievements in DVD+R Double Layer technology to consumers across the globe."

The Nero OEM digital media suite with unrivalled features for DVD+R Double Layer (DL) technology will be included in worldwide bundles from major drive manufacturers from Q2, 2004, and is available for PC and drive OEMs.

For additional information, please visit www.nero.com.

Mar 09 - In-Stat/MDR Reports the Bus Rolls on for USB. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) saw continued success in 2003, according to high-tech market research firm In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com). With continued adoption of USB in the consumer electronics and communications segments, and the rapid introduction of high-speed USB into PCs and PC peripherals, the total market for USB-enabled devices will experience 18.3% annual growth between 2003 and 2008.

"By all accounts the USB standard has been a huge success," said Brian O'Rourke, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR, "and USB will see continued success in a variety of applications." The transition from full-speed to high-speed USB is progressing rapidly. "The killer application for high-speed USB is the fact that it is backward compatible with the hundreds of millions of low-speed and full-speed USB devices already on the market," O'Rourke said.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- High-speed USB was in about four out of five PCs shipped in 2003, and will be in nearly all PCs shipping in 2004.

-- In the PC peripheral market, high-speed USB is in an increasing number of devices, particularly external drives, scanners and printers. The fastest growing market for USB in this segment is USB Flash Drives.

-- In consumer electronics, applications such as digital still cameras, digital camcorders and set top boxes are seeing increased penetration of USB, particularly high-speed USB.

-- In communications, cable and DSL modems have rapidly adopted USB, and are currently making the transition to high speed. Routers and residential gateways are just beginning to adopt USB. The mobile phone market is beginning to adopt full-speed USB, with On-The-Go as well.

Mar 08 - Acer America to Deliver Workstation Performance in a Value-Priced Notebook. Acer(R) America Corporation, one of the leading worldwide suppliers of laptop PC solutions, today introduced the Aspire(TM) 1710, a mobile workstation for end users who require powerful performance and graphics capabilities in a laptop computer.

The Aspire 1710 features a 17" display, Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology and NVIDIA(R) GPU with up to 128MB of dedicated DDR video memory. An alternative to existing bulky systems utilized for video encoding, digital media, gaming and other extreme applications, the Aspire 1710 is the first offering to feature high-end mobile workstation performance at a value notebook price.

"Engineers, architects, artists, gamers and other power PC users require raw computing muscle to run graphics intensive applications but have previously been chained to their desktops," said Sumit Agnihotry, mobile product marketing manager, Acer America. "The Acer Aspire 1710 gives them mobility and flexibility thanks to a lightning-fast Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology, a large and bright panoramic LCD and high-end graphics while maintaining a price point that's previously been the domain of low-end, value systems."

Extreme Performance Goes Mobile

The combination of high-performance processor, powerful graphics technology and a four light tube (versus the standard two) LCD that is twice as bright as conventional displays, supplies workstation level performance in a system that is small enough to be stored in a drawer when not in use.

By obliterating the gap between desktops and portables, the Acer Aspire 1710 is able to display instant, real-time previews during digital creation and run graphics-intensive applications such as Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) and QuarkXPress(TM). The Aspire 1710 also meets the 3D performance demands of today's most robust game and engineering applications, which users view on a brilliant 17" SXGA (1280 x 1024) TFT screen.

The Acer Aspire 1710 is a powerhouse portable with features that include an Intel Pentium 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology 3E GHz, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional or Home Edition operating system and NVIDIA GeForce(TM) FX Go5700 graphics.

Storage is provided by a 120GB ATA/100 hard disk drive, internal DVD-Dual drive (DVD+/-RW) and 6-in-1 card reader for optional MultiMediaCard(TM), Secure Digital card, SmartMedia(TM) card, Memory Stick(R), CompactFlash(R) card or Microdrive(TM).

The Aspire 1710 makes it easy to connect to the Internet, corporate network, printer, digital camera, etc. A 10/100 LAN connection, V.92 56Kbps data/fax modem and 802.11g wireless LAN (faster than "b" wireless), as well as four USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire(R) port are incorporated into the sleek gray chassis.

Pricing

The Aspire 1710 is available through Acer Authorized Resellers throughout North America starting at approximately $1,499.

For more information about Acer America, please visit the website at: www.acer.com/us.

Mar 08 - Gartner Says Camera Phones Can Pose a Security Risk to Businesses. Businesses are concerned that camera phones can compromise their security and employees' privacy, and many businesses are trying to ban camera phones from their facilities. However, an outright ban of camera phones is shortsighted and hard to enforce, according to Gartner, Inc.

By 2006, more than 80 percent of mobile phones shipped in the United States and Western Europe will have cameras. As camera phones account for a larger portion of the overall mobile phone market, companies will need to implement security programs that can realistically be managed.

"Most organizations simply don't have the staff or money to mount effective inspections," said Ken Dulaney, research vice president at Gartner. "Instead, businesses should designate secure zones where restrictions on these devices are tight and can be enforced. For other workplace areas, staff should be given guidelines about what is acceptable."

"Usage guidelines will be far more effective than outright bans because it's not just the phones' cameras that could pose a security risk," said Carolina Milanesi, analyst for Gartner. "For example, many phones can also record voices. Therefore, it's hard to decide where to draw a firm line about what can and can't be used at work."

Gartner analysts said there are a flood of high-tech consumer devices, not just camera phones, entering the workplace that could pose a security risk.

"There are Universal Serial Bus 'key ring' drives, some of which will soon feature built-in cameras that can quickly connect to almost any recent PC and take large amounts of information off the premises. There's also a new wave of DVD burners to contend with," Dulaney said. "Any company policy directed at camera phones should be widened to address the transfer of information from enterprise environments to consumer devices in general."

Above all, businesses must foster an internal culture that discourages the abuse of any technologies.

Gartner analysts will provide detailed analysis on the impact wireless technologies will have on enterprises during the Gartner Wireless and Mobile Summit at the Chicago Downtown Marriott, March 8-10. Gartner analysts will examine the risks that mobile vendors and users will face in a future of accelerating technological and business change. Additional information is available at www.gartner.com.

Mar 08 - Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans Are Making Minimum or No Payments on Their Credit Card Balances. Over four out of ten Americans (42%) are making just minimum payments or no payments on their credit card balances, according to the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.

Of those respondents surveyed with revolving balances on their credit cards, 39% made only the minimum payment due and 3% made no payments at all last month. Another 39% paid less than half the balance owed but more than the minimum, while 19% paid more than half their balances. In 2003, 46% of Americans surveyed paid just the minimum (40%) or made no payment at all (6%).

The Cambridge survey also asked Americans who are taking on more debt why they are doing so. 49% of the respondents (up from 44% in 2003) said they are adding debt because they don't have the funds to pay for the purchases in full when the credit card bills arrive, while 51% of Americans (down from 56% in 2003) are taking on debt because they are confident of their ability to pay the balance off in full.

Overall, 39% of Americans paid off their credit card balances in full last month (down from 43% in 2003), 32% extended their payments (up from 31% last year), while 29% did not use credit cards at all in the last month (up from 26% a year ago).

"The results of the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index wildcard question show Americans are dramatically split between the haves and have-nots. The haves either don't use their credit cards at all or feel secure about paying off their credit card bills when they arrive. The growing number of have-nots, however, are being forced to borrow to pay for their daily necessities, and are getting deeper into debt since they are just able to make minimum payments or sometimes not even able to make any payments at all," says Jordan Goodman, spokesperson/financial analyst for the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.

According to Chris Viale, Chief Operating Officer of Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp., "It is discouraging to see that a greater percentage of consumers are taking on debt even though they can't pay their credit card bills in full. This can only lead to higher accumulation levels of debt since these people wind up paying more towards interest than the outstanding purchases on their bill. We recommend that people take a hard look at their spending habits and prioritize wants vs. needs. It is possible to create a realistic budget and trim spending so that you can live within or even beneath your means - but it takes commitment."

These findings are the result of monthly nationwide telephone poll of 1000+ adults conducted by ICR/International Communications Research in the past week, sponsored by the Debt Relief Clearinghouse.

The overall Cambridge Consumer Credit Index rose in March to 59, six points higher than in February. The Index rose in two of its three component questions. The "Reality Gap," which is the difference between the amount of debt consumers say they will pay off in the next month versus the amount of debt they actually paid off a month later, increased to 12 percentage points from 7 points in February. A month ago, 85% of Americans planned to pay off debt, while a month later 73% actually did so.

Mar 08 - Atari Developing Wildest Ride Yet With Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. Get your barf bag ready! Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) announced today that a thrilling new sequel to the stomach-turning excitement of the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise will make its way to store shelves later this year.

RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3 will take the series to new heights with brand new features including 3-D graphics, giving players complete control of views around the park, and a front seat to the action with a new Coaster Cam™ feature that allows players to ride the roller coasters. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is being developed by Frontier Developments, Ltd. of Cambridge, England, in conjunction with Chris Sawyer, the creator and sole developer of the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise.

"We are very excited to be working with Frontier Developments and Chris Sawyer on this completely new version of the blockbuster RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise," said Wim Stocks, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Atari, Inc. "RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 demonstrates Atari's ability to take an existing franchise to new heights, creating an entirely fresh and exciting entertainment experience for fans and new players alike."

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 will also feature new gameplay elements that fans have been asking for - including diversity of guests, added group behavior and improved guest AI - and many other new features which build upon the fun and addictive nature of the original game.

The RollerCoaster Tycoon series is the #1 Tycoon series having sold more than seven million units life-to-date worldwide*. The original RollerCoaster Tycoon game debuted in 1999 and held onto a spot on the PC top 10 best-seller list for 150 weeks.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 will be introduced in Holiday 2004 for the PC. Additional information will be available on www.rollercoastertycoon.com and www.atari.com.

Mar 07 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. Not a weekend of big sales. They are still some good desktop deals, but laptops have returned to regular prices.

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 18 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages and laptops, and $150 mail-in rebate on advertised laptops and Intel processor desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest financing, and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot has rebates on advertised PCs.
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$339
-$50
Circuit City
2. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$389
-
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1199
-
Best Buy
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1279
-
Circuit City
3. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1299
+$30
Best Buy
4. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with HT Technology, 17 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
$1729
-
Circuit City
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with 17 inch monitor and DVD-RW drive
$719
-
Circuit City
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMacines Athlon 3200+ complete system with 17 inch monitor and DVD-RW
$746
-
Office Depot
Best AMD Athlon 64 Desktop System
None Advertised
     
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$799
-$50
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.6 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$849
-
Office Depot
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP Athlon 64 3000+ widescreen with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
-
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Circuit City
3. Best High-end Notebook
Gateway widescreen Centrino 1.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1399
-
Office Depot
4. Best High-end Notebook
Sony widescreen Centrino 1.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1599
-
Office Depot
5. Best High-end Notebook
HP widescreen Media Center Pentium 4 3.06 GHz with Hyper Threading, and DVD-RW
$2249
-
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
$49
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 52X CD-RW
$59
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Plextor 8X DVD-RW
$269
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy

 

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

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Mar 03 - First Bluetooth v1.2 End-Product Qualified. CSR (LSE: CSR.L), a leader in Bluetooth technology, today announced that a notebook PC using its BlueCore silicon has just qualified to version 1.2 of the Bluetooth specification. This is the first end-product to qualify to v1.2, the improved specification which brings connectivity enhancement to Bluetooth but retains backwards compatiblilty with existing v1.1 Bluetooth products.

The v1.2 Bluetooth-enabled product in question is the Fujitsu LifeBook S7010 mobile computer which ships with CSR's BlueCore IC and has been qualified to be compliant with the Toshiba v1.2 PC stack.

CSR's v1.2 BlueCore offering includes Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) technology. AFH minimises interference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios when operating in the same environment, making it ideal for use in a busy RF environment - such as in Wireless LAN offices and hotspots. CSR's Bluetooth v1.2 solution also employs Fast Connect which significantly improves the usability of Bluetooth devices by reducing device discovery times by up to an order of magnitude.

Matthew Philips, vice president of sales for Asia, CSR added, "CSR has been in close collaboration with the SIG (Special Interest Group) to develop the technology that makes up Bluetooth v1.2. We are therefore delighted to see BlueCore silicon in the very first v1.2 qualified product."

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

Mar 02 - Enhanced Intel® Xeon™ Processor MP Boosts Performance By Up To 25 Percent. Intel Corporation today announced the availability of an enhanced Intel® Xeon™ processor for multi-processor servers. The processor delivers up to 25 percent better performance compared to previous versions and enables customers to consolidate numerous applications onto fewer servers.

"The increased frequency and cache of this new Intel Xeon processor MP combine to deliver a significant boost in performance and outstanding price-performance for enterprise workloads," said Richard Dracott, general manager, enterprise marketing and planning for Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group. "These new processors, which are compatible with previous generation Intel Xeon Processor MP-based platforms, give users an immediate performance boost and an additional return on their IT investments."

The new Intel processor features a 3.0 GHz clock speed and 4 MB level three (L3) cache. The Intel Xeon processor MP has a strong established base of enterprise customers, including AIG SunAmerica, Inc., Coremetrics, Inc., MAXDATA, Mohawk Industries, Inc., Partners HealthCare System, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, UFJ Bank Limited and The Weather Channel. In addition to this broad range of customers, the price and performance of Intel Xeon processor MP systems has been particularly attractive to the financial sector.

"Intel Architecture has given Thomson Financial a proven and trusted platform for both our current and long-term needs in our enterprise," said Jeremy Lehman, senior vice president, Technology, Thomson Financial. "We chose Intel Architecture because of its outstanding price-performance, reliability, high availability and scalability for Thomson ONE Analytics, giving our customers faster response times and quick access to financial data."

System manufacturers, including Unisys, which builds the systems used by Thomson Financial, are expected to offer more than 50 Intel Xeon processor MP-based systems, ranging from four to 32 processors, this year. Other leading manufacturers with systems based on the Intel Xeon processor MP include Bull, Dell, Egenera, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Kraftway, Langchao, Lenovo, NEC, Powerleader, Samsung and Toshiba, as well as regional system builders.

The Intel Xeon processor MP delivers scalability with compelling price-performance benefits for the enterprise application and mid-range data tier, including collaboration, application server, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, business intelligence, and customer relations management applications.

The Intel Xeon processor MP is also drop-in compatible with existing systems. It is designed to work with Intel® PRO Gigabit Ethernet Network Connections and Intel® Server RAID Controllers. Intel also recently announced the four-way capable Intel® Server Compute Blade SBX44 which supports the new Intel Xeon processor MP announced today and extends Intel's modular building-block product line.

More than 85 percent of servers shipping today are based on Intel architecture, according to industry analysts. Today's new products extend Intel's strength in multi-processor, business-critical server deployments, which are commonly referred to as the high end of a company's computing data center. Servers with four or more processors accounted for more than 56 percent of the total server market revenue in 2003. During this same period, shipments of servers capable of four or more processors that were based on Intel Architecture accounted for 57 percent of shipments.

The Intel Xeon processor MP at 3.0 GHz featuring a 4 MB L3 cache is now available worldwide for Intel's list price of $3,692 in 1,000-unit quantities. Intel is also releasing the Intel Xeon processor MP at 2.70 GHz and 2.20 GHz with 2 MB L3 cache at $1,980 and $1,177 in 1,000-unit quantities respectively.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

 

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