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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
May 15 WinBook Unveils DVD and CD-RW in a Thin-Light Aluminum Notebook
May 15 RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier Enhances Music for Gamers
May 15 Infineon Demonstrates Technique To Shrink Wiring of Integrated Circuits
May 15 OmniSky Expands Wireless Services to HP Jornada Pocket PC Users
May 15 U.S. Navy and JPMorgan Launch Navy Cash Financial System
May 14 AMD Introduces New Mobile Athlon 4 and Duron Processors
May 14 Belkin Introduces New Line Of Gaming Devices
May 14 Department of Defense to Use Smart Card IDs
May 13 Sunday Shopping Watch
May 12 Cray Inc. Receives $25 Million NEC Investment
May 12 Email is No.1 Bottleneck for IT Support
May 12 EBIZ Enterprises Announces New Pentium 4 Linux Workstation
May 11 Rambus Guilty of Fraud; Infineon awarded $3.5 million in damages
May 11 Executive Software Releases Hard Drive Crash Prevention Software
May 11 THQ and Siemens Announce New Wireless Gaming Engine
May 11 AMREL Unveils ROCKY Unlimited Ruggedized Notebook
May 11 Workstation Shipments Declined Nine Percent in the First Quarter of 2001
May 10 Samsung Debuts Mini Yepp, 32MB Digital Audio Player
May 10 Trend Micro Warns of New Internet Worm, VBS_HOMEPAGE.A
May 10 Belkin To Launch a Complete Line of Bluetooth Products
May 10 Asta Networks reveals DoS attacks against Internet2 Backbone
May 10 Talk Visual Launches Worldwide IP Videophone
May 9 Intel Enables 802.11b Connectivity for Handspring Visor Handhelds
May 9 Acer announces new Multimedia Products
May 9 SmartDisk supplies PowerBook G4 Users with New Line of Accessories
May 9 Trend Micro’s Free Online VirusScanner Restores Systems Infected by Trojan Viruses
May 9 Symbol Introduces Compact Flash Wireless LAN Adapter for PDAs
May 8 Toshiba Introduces Transmeta Crusoe-Based ``Libretto'' Notebook PC in Japan
May 8 Dell Corporate Notebook Line Adds Latitudes With Attitude
May 8 Taiwan Manufacturers are Full Speed Ahead on IEEE 1394 Multimedia Standard
May 8 Business Wireless Users Warned Away from Bluetooth
May 8 America Online and CompUSA Announce Strategic Marketing Alliance

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

May 15 - WinBook Unveils DVD and CD-RW in a Thin-Light Aluminum Notebook. WinBook Corporation continues its aluminum revolution with the announcement today of the world's first notebook computers featuring combined 8X DVD-ROM/CD-RW drives in a one-inch thick aluminum alloy case.

The new WinBook X1 Combo models incorporate utility and flexibility in a design that is uncompromisingly progressive. Behind it lies WinBook's vision for mobility -- a vision combining technology with a passion for great industrial design.

"The WinBook X1 Combo models are our signature design and among the most appealing portable computing products ever offered. They combine WinBook's industry-leading aluminum alloy technology with the flexibility of being able to burn CDs and enjoy DVD movies on a superb 13.3-inch 1,024 x 768 active-matrix screen with up to 64 MB of video SDRAM. Compared with the PowerBook G4, the WinBook X1 Combo weighs less, offers more video SDRAM and includes CD-RW, which the G4 lacks," said Richard Mershad, WinBook president.

"WinBook designed the X1 Combo models with outstanding styling features and a captivating, exquisite appearance," said Mershad. "The opalescent pewter metallic on aluminum alloy finish is another first for WinBook, and a part of the WinBook X1's understated allure.

"The WinBook X1 Combo models, the first notebook computers ever with fighter jet grade aluminum alloy, are truly at the top of their class when it comes to case rigidity," said Mershad. "In fact, the aluminum alloy used on the X1 Combo is both lighter and more rigid than titanium or magnesium, and 3 1/2 times more rigid than a plastic notebook case. The result is a lightweight notebook which meets the highest standards of quality and durability," said Mershad.

"Aluminum alloy not only achieves greater rigidity and weight savings, it also offers superior recyclability," said Mershad. "With end-of-life computer adaptation and disposal growing in importance among our corporate and governmental customers, the WinBook X1's superior recyclability is certain to be recognized as an additional unique advantage of this revolutionary product."

As WinBook's signature design, the WinBook X1 Combo's meticulous details include:

-- A microphone placed just to the left of the touchpad to better

avoid electronic noise from the LCD. Most notebooks locate the

mic near the LCD

-- Not one, but two latches hold the lid securely closed.

-- The bottom of the case, even against bare legs (for those

working from home or outdoors), does not get more than warm
even after a full day of use -- an impressive benefit of the
superior heat dissipation characteristics of the WinBook X1's
aluminum alloy case.

-- An exceptional 13.3-inch XGA TFT screen with pure whites,
excellent contrast, crisp shadow detail, and superb off-center
viewing enhances DVD-movie enjoyment.

-- The convenience of USB ports both in the back and on the left
side towards the rear.

-- Unexpected typing comfort in a thin-light notebook. Full-sized
19mm keys, with a pleasant 2.7mm travel and perfect tactile
feedback produce an exceptionally comfortable typing

More information can be found at

May 15 - RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier Enhances Music for Gamers. Evergreen Technologies, Inc., a leader in PC performance upgrades since 1989, today launched its new RumbleFX(TM) 3D Sound Amplifier, the second product in its new RumbleFX line of consumer electronics.

The RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier acts as a portable stereo receiver and enhances sound or music listening enjoyment for gamers, PC or Mac users, those using portable music players, and those using Evergreen's RumbleFX force feedback headphones. Any device with audio output and a jack to plug into can connect to the RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier to experience the 3D holographic surround sound, enhanced sub-woofer effect and extended frequency signal reproduction. Consumers get the benefits of a top-of-the-line stereo receiver in a lightweight, portable and affordable ($79.99 list) unit.

The RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier amplifies the signal from any audio device (video game console, PC/Mac, portable MP3 or CD player, TV, VCR, DVD player, FM radio, etc.), transmitting it to stereo speakers or headphones for sound output. This includes Evergreen's new RumbleFX force feedback headphones, recently introduced to immerse gamers in positional audio vibrations so they not only hear, but also feel the action and its location.

For audio systems with line out connections only, and other devices that do not provide their own signal amplification (such as console video games), consumers can now use the new RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier to more conveniently experience the full effect of their RumbleFX headphones. Otherwise, console games require the use of a full sized stereo receiver for signal amplification and connection to the RumbleFX headphones.

"Statistics indicate that over 60% of PC owners listen to music on their PC, but typically, sound reproduction on these systems is extremely poor," said Mike Magee, president and CEO of Evergreen Technologies. "From my experience, connecting the RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier can transform this lifeless sound experience to enhanced 3D surround sound system quality. The same goes for students in a dorm room, or others who listen to music from portable music players. For gamers, we believe the 3D surround sound and sub-woofer effect from the RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier will further enhance their game immersion and virtual reality experience."

The RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier features SRS(TM) WOW(TM) technology, which turns any mono, stereo or surround sound audio device into 3D holographic surround sound using only two speakers. The 3D Sound Amplifier also features FOCUS(TM) technology that compensates for less than optimal speaker location by correcting frequency characteristics of the input signal. SRS(TM) TruBass(TM) optimizes low frequency signals for enhanced bass effect from any headphone or speaker.

For a current list of retailers carrying the RumbleFX 3D Sound Amplifier, customers may visit the website.

May 15 - Infineon Demonstrates Technique To Shrink Wiring of Integrated Circuits. Infineon Technologies (FSE:IFX)(NYSE:IFX) today announced that its Munich Corporate Research Labs have demonstrated that present techniques for integrated circuit wiring can be used for future chip generations, extending to the 2011-2014 timeframe.

Infineon researchers have successfully produced metal lines, at a width of 40 to 50nm, embedded in the grooves of a dielectric film used for electrical isolation. Such narrow metal lines are used for the shortest electrical connections between the transistors in the chip.

In an electrical assessment of these wires, sufficiently low electrical resistance was verified for all relevant wire lengths. This effectively demonstrates that neither the fabrication of such ultra-thin lines nor the electrical resistance will be technical obstacles for the ongoing process of chip shrinking.

Lithography tools needed for the fabrication of future chip generations in the 2011-2014 timeframe do not yet exist. Infineon overcame this issue by using a spacer technique to narrow the mask openings for pattern transfer into the dielectric film. This allows the production of structures with lateral dimensions far below the feature sizes that can be realized with today's most advanced lithography manufacturing equipment.

This achievement also demonstrates the extendibility of the damascene technique, the state-of-the-art approach in the semiconductor industry to realize advanced chip metallization. In this technique, grooves and holes are filled by depositing metal over the wafer followed by a complete removal of all metal covering the filled structures by chemical mechanical polishing. The technique is named after the way ornaments were once applied in damascene swords.

The silicon wafers used for the demonstration were processed with today's standard semiconductor manufacturing equipment and processes developed for 250nm feature sizes in the cleanroom of International Sematech, Austin, TX, a consortium of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers.

The results from Infineon's Corporate Research demonstrate that today's wiring technology can be used through the end of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), which extends to 2014. The ITRS describes the technological and material demands of future chip generations.

Information about Infineon is available at

May 15 - OmniSky Expands Wireless Services to HP Jornada Pocket PC Users. OmniSky Corporation (Nasdaq:OMNY), an innovative provider of award-winning wireless applications and services, today announced that it is expanding the availability of the OmniSky service to include the HP Jornada 520 Series Pocket PC.
OmniSky also announced that its service is now available to HP Jornada 520 and 540 Series Pocket PC users through CompUSA and Office Depot stores nationwide.
When HP Jornada Pocket PC customers purchase the Novatel Minstrel 540 wireless modem, which is necessary to turn the HP Jornada Pocket PC into a wireless handheld, they automatically receive the OmniSky installation CD and step-by-step instructions for subscribing to the OmniSky wireless service.

Adding support for the affordable HP Jornada 520 Series Pocket PCs, and offering the service through popular nationwide retail stores as well as the website, makes the OmniSky service accessible to even more mobile professionals. "We're delighted that HP has added our service to benefit its Pocket PC customers," said Kristine Stebbins, OmniSky's vice president of marketing. "The OmniSky wireless service on the HP Jornada Pocket PC provides a superior mobility solution to even more Pocket PC users."

"Our HP Jornada Pocket PC handhelds have proven very popular with mobile professionals," said Pendy Pendyala, general manager, HP Wireless and Internet Services. "Wireless access to e-mail, the Internet and corporate data are some of the services requested most by our users, and we are excited that the OmniSky service extends this convenience."

OmniSky is focused on providing a superior user experience for every aspect of its wireless e-mail and Internet service. The service is built on OmniSky's proprietary technology and the integration of industry-leading technologies from other providers. OmniSky takes advantage of the Pocket PC platform, enabling mobile professionals to access up to six e-mail accounts, including corporate e-mail from behind the firewall (Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes).
The combination of the Pocket PC and OmniSky service also provides mobile users with a rich, color browsing experience for navigating the Internet and securely conducting e-commerce transactions. OmniSky also makes it easy for subscribers to find information on the web and transfer it directly into Microsoft Outlook, Contacts or Notes applications using Os OneTap.

According to IDC, sales of Pocket PC handhelds are expected to reach 8.4 million per year by 2004. "The Pocket PC platform, with the full-color Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and integrated Outlook applications, is gaining tremendous momentum among mobile professionals," said David Daniels, market development manager of the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "The combination of the Pocket PC and the OmniSky service enables mobile professionals to securely access corporate data, line-of-business applications, and Internet functions that improve productivity."

Availability and Pricing

To connect to the OmniSky wireless e-mail and Internet service, HP Jornada 520 and 540 Series Pocket PC customers must purchase a Novatel Minstrel 540 wireless modem, which is available on the website and from retail stores, including CompUSA and Office Depot.
The modem comes with the software and information necessary to sign up for the OmniSky service. HP Jornada 520 Series and 540 Series Pocket PC customers who already have a Novatel Minstrel 540 wireless modem can sign up for the OmniSky service on the OmniSky website at

OmniSky offers subscribers multiple plans for the wireless service. A month-to-month plan is available for a flat fee of $39.95 per month. Subscribers may also pre-pay $359.95 for a year of the OmniSky service, which is equivalent to $29.95 per month. Early-termination fees apply. Both plans include unlimited usage with no roaming charges.

May 15 - U.S. Navy and JPMorgan Launch Navy Cash Financial System. For U.S. Navy Sailors and Marines, managing personal finances will now be smooth sailing thanks to Navy Cash(TM), a new financial system introduced by the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and developed by The Chase Manhattan Bank, a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., (NYSE:JPM) as primary agent for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The new system enables Sailors and Marines to buy virtually anything they need on or off ship without carrying cash and to access checking and savings accounts at ATMs around the world.

The Navy Cash card uses a computer chip to store value for purchases at sea (e-purse) and a magnetic strip for debit purchases and ATM account access. Sailors and Marines can use the e-purse feature to buy items at point-of-sale terminals in the on-board store, post office, morale-welfare and recreation wardrooms and other retail locations, including vending and game machines - without the need to carry cash. The debit feature can be used to withdraw cash at more than 529,000 ATMs or to make purchases wherever MasterCard(R) is accepted. The Navy Cash system is currently being piloted with 170 crewmembers of the USS RENTZ (FFG-46).

Navy Cash also provides electronic access to personal checking and savings accounts ashore, regardless of where banks or credit unions are located. Sailors and Marines can transfer funds to and from their Navy Cash accounts, e-purse and personal bank accounts as needed and can have pay deposited directly into these accounts. Navy Cash provides these financial services to sailors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"Navy Cash is an innovative system that demonstrates JPMorgan's ability to take a unique set of financial needs and challenges and develop a payment solution that works around the world," said Frank Lourenso, executive vice president in charge of JPMorgan's middle market/commercial banking group. "We put together a team of experts in payment technology and manufacturing to develop a highly-customized system. It represents a leap in the application of smart card technology."

"JPMorgan's payment processing platform is what makes the Navy Cash system work in the dual environments of on-ship and real-world," said Patricia Preston, JPMorgan Treasury Services. "JP Morgan is always working toward offering payment solutions that satisfy our clients' needs for safety, security and convenience."

Powering the technology behind Navy Cash is a team of leading global technology providers. The card is a MasterCard branded card with design and development of the ePurse, microprocessor selection, card manufacturing, and chip embedding by SCI. The card is backed by the Microsoft Windows Card Operating System with personalization provided by UbiQ. The smart card is powered by Atmel's Flash memory based secure microcontroller. The system is supported by Compaq servers, Oracle Corporation's 8i database, eBusiness applications suite, and Internet developer Suite, and Titan line installation and wiring is providing shipboard integration, installation, and training services. JPMorgan's Treasury Services unit provides the support for payment processing, ongoing maintenance, customer service support, financial reconciliation and reporting.

May 14 - AMD Introduces New Mobile Athlon 4 and Duron Processors. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced two new mobile processors primed with industry-leading features, the mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 4 targeted for the performance space, and the new mobile AMD Duron(TM) processor for value-conscious buyers. Both processors deliver performance that is the highest in the mobile PC industry for their respective market segments.

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor and the new mobile AMD Duron processor each feature the innovative AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology, which provides up to 30 percent more battery life without compromising performance.

"AMD is establishing itself in the mobile market with compelling offerings for both performance and value mobile computing," said Dirk Meyer, group vice president, Computation Products Group, AMD. "Our new mobile AMD Athlon 4 and new mobile AMD Duron processors have been designed with features specific to the mobile market, and like all of our processors, are designed to support existing Socket A platform architecture. Socket A is synonymous with stability and reliability, and provides a cost-effective migration to the latest technology for both commercial and consumer users."

"Our AMD PowerNow! technology for notebooks blasts past the competition's battery power management implementation by using a sophisticated technology to save power and increase performance," said Pat Moorhead, vice president of desktop and mobile marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "AMD PowerNow! technology not only enables notebooks to run cooler and quieter, but also it offers extended battery life and up to 50 percent more performance than competitive systems running on batteries. And our newest products, the mobile AMD Athlon 4 and new mobile AMD Duron processors, offer smoother, richer and more lifelike images, more precise digital audio and an enriched Web experience, thanks to our new 3DNow!(TM) Professional technology."

"Higher-performance notebooks can return both a longer useful life and greater productivity to their users, and can deliver real value to users who would otherwise require a desktop," said Martin Reynolds, research fellow at Gartner Dataquest. "Thermal management and battery life are also critical attributes that, to hit the mainstream market, must not be compromised."

About the Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 4 Processor

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor, at speeds of 1GHz, 950MHz, 900MHz and 850MHz, features a new lower power design for notebook computing, 384 KB of on-chip, full-speed cache with hardware data pre-fetch (256KB of on-chip level (L2) cache and 128 Kbytes of on-chip level (L1) cache), a superscalar floating-point unit, support for AMD's 3DNow! Professional instructions for enhanced multimedia capabilities, and AMD PowerNow! technology for extended battery life.

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor is compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, and supports the advanced 200MHz AMD Athlon front-side bus, providing the highest bandwidth available for notebook PCs.

Mobile AMD Athlon 4 processors are manufactured using AMD's 0.18-micron copper process technology in Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany.

About the Mobile AMD Duron(TM) Processor

The new mobile AMD Duron processor, at speeds of 850MHz and 800MHz, is designed to provide an optimized solution for value-conscious business and home users. Employing an innovative design, the new mobile AMD Duron processor features AMD PowerNow! technology, a sophisticated cache architecture with 192KB of total on-chip cache and data pre-fetch, a high-speed 200MHz front-side bus, and a superscalar floating point unit with support for AMD's 3DNow! Professional technology.

The new mobile AMD Duron processor offers value-conscious buyers access to technology and performance that stands out among other processors in its class. It reflects AMD's 30 years of design and manufacturing expertise and sales of more than 150 million PC processors.

The new mobile AMD Duron processors are manufactured on AMD's 0.18 micron copper process technology in Fab 30, Dresden, Germany.

About AMD PowerNow!(TM) Technology

AMD PowerNow! technology can significantly extend the battery life of notebook PCs by up to 30 percent while providing performance on demand and enabling a cooler and quieter-running notebook computing experience. AMD PowerNow! technology is a combination of software and hardware support that allows the processor to run at different frequencies and voltages based on user preference or application demand.

A simple Windows(R) control panel interface allows the user to select between three modes of system operation:

-- AMD PowerNow! technology provides a unique "automatic" mode

that allows the system to determine the appropriate level of
power and performance based on application demand, delivering
the best of both worlds -- extended battery life with no
compromise in performance.

-- In the high-performance mode the CPU always runs at maximum

-- In battery-saver mode the CPU always runs in its lowest power
state, enabling the longest system battery life.


The 1GHz, 950MHz, 900MHz and 850MHz mobile AMD Athlon 4 processors are priced at $425, $350, $270 and $240, respectively, and the 850MHz and 800MHz new mobile AMD Duron processors are priced at $197 and $170, respectively, each in 1,000-unit quantities.

More information can be found at

May 14 - Belkin Introduces New Line Of Gaming Devices. Belkin Components, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories, today introduced Nostromo, a highly innovative line of precision gaming tools for PC- and Console-oriented gamers. The Nostromo line features six new devices (five PC and one for PlayStation 2 consoles) and features the Nostromo Array Programming Software(NAPS) with all PC-oriented devices. The Nostromo Gaming Line will be introduced at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, CA (May 17-19, 2001) and will begin shipping in North America on July 1, 2001.

Two of the hottest devices in the Nostromo line are gamepads. The N40 (F8GBPC002 - STREET $19.99) and the N45 (F8GBPC001 - STREET $24.99) GamePads offer users a multitude of functions. The N40 GamePad features 10 programmable action buttons, Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity, Enter and Escape buttons, which make navigating Windows simple and easy, an extremely sensitive and smooth Directional Pad, and up to 55 programmable functions when using NAPS.
For users needing even more performance in a gamepad, the N45 model offers all the functions of the N40 GamePad and includes the following added features: up to 70 programmable functions when using NAPS, 13 action buttons, dual analog sticks, and a mouse mode button, which allows you to navigate windows as if you were using a mouse.

“Today’s games require a lot of game controller and today’s gamers want gaming tools that can equal up to that requirement,” said Tim North, product manager for the Nostromo line at Belkin. “That is why we’ve incorporated the Nostromo Array Programming Software into all of the PC-oriented devices. This software program enhances the functionality of the Nostromo devices by allowing users to create profiles, re-map buttons, program 3 shift states, and program several devices in order to use them as one virtual controller. Now that’s playability!”

For an unparalleled gaming experience, the Nostromo line also features the N50 SpeedPad (F8GDPC001 - STREET $29.99), which offers users 10 programmable buttons, a programmable 8-way Directional Pad, a throttle wheel, and up to 57 programmable functions when using NAPS. The N50 SpeedPad (pictured below) is a keyboard enhancement device for games traditionally using a keyboard.
It offers users a familiar feel to that of a keyboard and can also be combined with the N30 GameMouse (F8GDPC001 - STREET $39.99) for the ultimate gaming setup The N30 GameMouse offers 3 programmable buttons, a scroll wheel, USB connectivity, and is enabled with TouchSense technology from Immersion. Immersion's TouchSense technology allows computer users to feel objects and actions that correspond to events, graphics, or icons on a computer screen.

For users looking to “fly the friendly skies” of the gaming world, the Nostromo line offers users the N60 Pilot Stick (F8GMPC001 - STREET $39.99). This well-rounded controller features a precision twist rudder, a realistic rotary throttle, an 8-way point-of-view (POV)hat switch, 14 programmable buttons with secondary hat switch, USB connectivity,and the ability to program up to 57 functions with NAPS.

The last piece of the puzzle is the Nostromo P45 GamePad (F8GBPS003 - STREET$29.99), which is made specifically for the Sony PlayStation 2. Similar in looks to the N45 GamePad for PCs, this device features vibration feedback, 14 fully analog action buttons, a macro button, and a mode button with analog, digital, and steering modes.

For more information, visit the company’s website at

May 14 - Department of Defense to Use Smart Card IDs. Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business segment of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) will use its Java(TM)-based Cyberflex Access(TM) smart cards in the Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Common Access Card (CAC) program. The $4.5 million contract was awarded to Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation and calls for the delivery of 600,000 smart cards, which will be rolled out to 900 sites in 2001.
The DoD will utilize the highly secure, multiple application cards for physical identification, building access and network access in a multi-tiered program that will be rolled out throughout the DoD over the next few years. The cards, which incorporate PKI (public key infrastructure) and digital signature technology, serve as highly portable, secure tokens for enhancing the security of network access and ensuring secure electronic communications. The secure, multi-application, Java programmable smart cards can be configured to provide additional complex services beyond the PKI application by loading applets that meet the specific needs of card usage.
"The DoD has taken a leadership role in leveraging the benefits of smart cards, which enable secure, standards-based applications and interoperability across a wide range of functions," said Mary Dixon, director, Access Card Office, DoD. "Since initial pilots in 1992, smart cards have proven to be a valuable, cost effective tool, and enhance our mission and quality of life. Our Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System has already been tested and is operational in several locations. Additionally, the DoD will issue smart cards in 900 DoD locations worldwide by the end of 2002."
EDS (NYSE:EDS), a recognized global leader in providing e-business and information technology services, has been awarded the lead contract and selected Schlumberger to provide its smart card expertise. "This contract is a further step in transforming the government into e-government," said Al Edmonds, President of EDS Federal. "This is the first significant use of smart card technology at the federal level. Smart cards enhance the security of government facilities and systems on a worldwide basis and support many important applications, such as electronic signature, training certification and e-commerce."
In addition to EDS and Schlumberger, ActivCard (Nasdaq:ACTI / Easdaq: ACTI) is providing the applets and additional application software used with the EDS-developed card issuing stations in the DoD program.
More information about the companies is available at and

May 13 - Sunday Shopping Watch. Mother's Day.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $100 rebates on all Pentium processor desktop complete packages, $100 rebates on all AMD processor notebooks, and 12 month no interest financing on all notebooks and build-to-order desktop computers.
Circuit City is offering 12 month no interest financing on all build-to-order notebooks and desktop computers.
Office Depot no special store-wide computer sales.
CompUSA no ad this Sunday.
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg no special store-wide computer sales.
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 800 MHz complete system
Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
HP 866 MHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.4 GHz build-to-order complete system
Best Buy
Best Duron System
Sony VAIO 800 MHz complete system
Best High End Athlon System
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
Best Buy
1. Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 766 MHz Celeron
Best Buy
2. Best Low Cost Notebook
Sony VAIO 800 MHz Duron with DVD
Best Buy
Best High End Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Athlon with DVD
Best Buy
New Peripheral
GeForce 3
Best Buy

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

May 12 - Cray Inc. Receives $25 Million NEC Investment. Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) today reported that its previously announced distribution agreement with NEC Corporation (Nasdaq:NIPNY) (FTSE:6701q.l) has been completed.
In conjunction with the closing, Cray received a $25 million cash investment, in exchange for 3.125 million non-voting, preferred shares of Cray stock, convertible into Cray common stock at a fixed conversion price of $8.00 per share.

Under the agreement, Cray will become the exclusive distributor of NEC for its current and future vector supercomputers in North America and a non-exclusive distributor in the rest of the world, subject to applicable law. Cray will market NEC's vector supercomputers alongside the company's current Cray SV1(TM) series and future Cray SV2(TM) series vector systems. Cray will absorb the operations of NEC's North American marketing arm, HNSX Supercomputers Inc., Littleton, Mass.

The closing was subject to the revocation of a U.S. antidumping order affecting the importation of certain vector supercomputers from Japan. The U.S. Department of Commerce revoked the order effective May 3, 2001, the date when notice of the revocation was published in the Federal Register.

"This agreement is aimed at maximizing global sales of the Cray and NEC vector products, and at addressing the needs of the underserved U.S. vector market," said Cray Inc. chairman and CEO Jim Rottsolk. "Together with our previously announced plans for leading non-vector products -- the Cray SuperCluster(R) series and the Cray MTA-2(TM) multithreaded system -- this agreement leverages our existing sales and support infrastructure to position the company for significant revenue growth."

For more information about the two companies, visit and

May 12 - Email is No.1 Bottleneck for IT Support., Inc. (Nasdaq:SPRT), the leader of support infrastructure software, today announced its findings from a recent study in which 34% of IT professionals surveyed in the US blamed email software as the biggest cause of IT support problems, more than any other issue. This is mirrored both in Europe (34%) and in Asia-Pacific (36%), where email topped the list of software that causes the most IT support problems.

Although heralded as one of the most valuable business tools, the research suggests that email may be the largest cause of stress in the workplace. Even basic, easy-to-fix malfunctions can be serious obstacles to a company's productivity, often halting communications for hours at a time.

In addition to this, an average of 23% of respondents, across all three regions, voted for password resets as causing the most IT support issues, 20% cited problems with enterprise and office applications while 10% are affected most by networking software errors.

These IT queries usually result in a lengthy telephone call to an IT helpdesk or a visit to the PC by the IT support team before a solution is found.

"This study reflects a technological paradox, as business becomes increasingly reliant on advanced software and technology, it's often the simplest tools, notably email, that cause the most significant support issues," said Bruce Mowery, vice president of marketing at "This is further compounded by the fact that many companies still have highly paid, senior level IT consultants responding to the most basic and time-consuming queries."

The survey polled 166 IT managers across the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific region in February 2001. Visit the Company's Web site at

May 12 - EBIZ Enterprises Announces New Pentium 4 Linux Workstation. EBIZ Enterprises Incorporated (OTCBB:EBIZ), a manufacturer of specialized servers and the leading vendor-neutral provider of Open Source products and solutions, today announced the availability of the Terian TS454 Pentium 4 Server/Workstation for Linux.

The Terian TS454 combines the newest Intel Pentium 4 processor with up to 2 Gigabytes of Rambus memory to provide unprecedented system efficiency, performance and responsiveness in a Linux workstation.

"Linux power users are going to love this system," said Don Young, EBIZ director of Engineering. "The Terian TS454 combines a choice of the latest Intel Pentium 4 processors with the newest Rambus technology and EIDE or SCSI disk storage to deliver everything Linux users are looking for in a high-performance workstation."

Features of the Terian TS454 include a single Intel Pentium 4 processor (1.3 to 1.7 GHz), 3.2GB/second Rambus memory, on-board Ultra ATA/100 Dual channel EIDE disk controller, optional 100Mb/second Ultra160 SCSI disk controller, single 300 watt ATX power supply, 52X CD-ROM and pre-loaded Linux operating system, all packaged in a mid-tower desk-side enclosure.

Who can use the Terian TS454? Anyone who needs the maximum Intel Pentium 4 processing power available in a desk-side workstation. The TS454 is also a cost-effective and powerful Linux-based file and print server for use in corporate IT departments or small office environments.

"The Terian TS454 has power and performance similar to much more expensive servers from Sun, SGI, Compaq and HP," said Nick Futter, EBIZ director of Channel Sales. "Our Terian resellers already compete very well against other top-tier system vendors. The TS454 gives our resellers another product with leading-edge technology and superior price/performance."

The Terian TS454 configured system price is $2,725. More information caan be found at

May 11 - Rambus Guilty of Fraud; Infineon awarded $3.5 million in damages. Infineon Technologies (FSE:IFX) (NYSE:IFX) today announced that the jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Rambus liable for fraud and awarded Infineon US$3.5 million (Euro 4 million) punitive damages.
Infineon filed counter claims in response to the lawsuit Rambus filed against the company in August 2000. The counterclaims alleged that Rambus subverted the open standards process rules governing the Memory Standards Committee of the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) by not disclosing relevant patents and patent applications.

"We attended the JEDEC sessions with the goal of promoting integration and global interoperability of technology," stated Dr. Ulrich Schumacher, President and CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. "The jury's decision reinforces the importance of industry leaders working together in high-tech standards consortia such as JEDEC to develop next generation DRAM technology."

This verdict follows last Friday's decision where Judge Robert E. Payne dismissed all of Rambus' patent infringement claims against Infineon. The infringement claims were filed by Rambus over use of its patents in SDRAMs and DDR SDRAMs manufactured and sold by Infineon in the United States. The judge ruled that Infineon did not infringe Rambus' patents.
<See the May 5 related story >
Further information about Infineon is available at

May 11 - Executive Software Releases Hard Drive Crash Prevention Software. Software Shelf International today announced the online store release of DiskAlert(TM) software - the latest product from Executive Software, makers of Diskeeper(R) - the number one selling defragmenter for the enterprise.
DiskAlert provides early warning of hard drive problems, delivering alerts by e-mail, phone, pager and screen pop-up messages before hard drive problems become a crisis. Results from a recent survey of over 900 IT professionals revealed that hard drive crashes are the number one concern of system administrators. 61.7% of the respondents rated hard disk failure as their most dangerous hard drive problem.

The study, conducted by for Executive Software, also reported that managers estimated their direct cost of a hard drive failure at $15,000 per incident. Over 55.1% of companies had down time due to hard drive failure this year. The average cost for each hour of such downtime was $29,339.20 (based on data gathered relating to internal and external groups effected, mean salaries of staff concerned, including employer related taxes, and direct staff costs to overall revenue). Also, the mean number of times per year respondents had downtime due to disk failure was three.

"Eighty-four percent cited a need for better tools to prevent crashes," noted Nancy Stewart, Senior Analyst at In fact, 82% of participants specifically cited the need for a product that warns them when hard drives are in danger of failing, enabling them to proactively prevent the loss of data.

DiskAlert was designed using Executive Software's "Set It and Forget It(R)" design philosophy. System administrators specify when and how they want to be alerted: phone call, pager, e-mail and/or pop-up message. DiskAlert works on IDE hard drives, SCSI hard drives, software RAID arrays and most hardware RAID arrays on Windows NT(R) and 2000 servers and workstations.

Executive Software is featuring DiskAlert alongside its flagship product, Diskeeper, disk defragmentation software at Networld + Interop 2001 this week in Las Vegas in the Microsoft Partner Pavilion.
Executive Software and Software Shelf today began shipping Disk Alert via Electronic Software Download (ESD) at and DiskAlert is licensed per hard drive and is priced from $15.00 to $49.00 per license depending on volume.

May 11 - THQ and Siemens Announce New Wireless Gaming Engine. THQ Inc. (Nasdaq: THQI) today announced a new division, THQ Wireless, dedicated to developing content exclusively for the emerging mobile entertainment arena.

Additionally, THQ announced an expansion to its previously announced publishing agreement with Siemens AG's Information and Communication Mobile division. The two companies are currently developing an advanced mobile gaming engine for use on next-generation Java phones. This new engine will provide game developers with a universal game Application Programming Interface (API) for Java-based mobile phone development. This API will simplify the process of developing and maintaining game software on evolving wireless devices.

"We anticipate the wireless gaming market growth to mirror that of the console gaming market over the next few years with wireless gaming revenues expected to reach 6 billion worldwide by 2005," stated Tim Walsh, senior vice president, International Publishing, THQ. "THQ's proven ability to create compelling game content on every platform, particularly handheld systems, positions us as the natural leader in making the move into wireless game publishing."

"Our expanded partnership with THQ furthers our commitment to leading the mobile entertainment world," stated Peter Zapf, president, Mobile Phones, Siemens Information and Mobile Group. "The future of wireless gaming is dependent on a common application platform for game developers. Siemens' strong experience with Wireless Java-based mobile phone development will ensure that, together with THQ, mobile customers will see exciting games on Siemens' handsets."

"I look forward to helping establish THQ as a leader in wireless entertainment," stated Doug Dyer, general manager, THQ Wireless. "We plan to extend our leadership position in handheld gaming to all wireless platforms by creating a broad range of original and branded mobile games that can be licensed and distributed across the globe."

THQ will be providing live demonstrations of their games on the prototype of Siemens' Java-based mobile phone and on Motorola's Java phone, the I50 SX at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) May 17 to 19 at the LA Convention Center. THQ's booth, #4001, is located in Petree Hall.
For more information abouy THQ, visit For further information about Siemens IC Mobile, visit

May 11 - AMREL Unveils ROCKY Unlimited Ruggedized Notebook. AMREL once again exercises its hold on ruggedized mobile computing technology through today's release of the ROCKY Unlimited.

Said to be "the ultimate combination of raw high-performance computing power and the latest in mobile computer environmental defense technology," the Unlimited is fully upgradeable with the ability to grow as technology and needs change.

The ROCKY Unlimited showcases an array of impressive new features, including an Intel Pentium III 700Mhz processor, a Mini PCI slot, as well as enhanced expansion capabilities. The new ROCKY Unlimited has been engineered to support a coexisting LAN card/Fax Modem, CDPD, and COM 3/4 card -- which is unique today to the industry.

As the next generation of AMREL's "ROCKY" ruggedized notebook computer series, the Unlimited will carry on the legacy of unparalleled durability and performance.

To fulfill its ruggedized and specialized heritage, the ROCKY Unlimited incorporates many of the features that have played key roles in propelling its predecessors' success, such as AMREL's "Open Architecture" design, which allows for system upgrades, device integration, and field servicing.

Unlike other ruggedized mobile computers that either compromise performance or shed features to achieve a more commercialized appearance, the ROCKY Unlimited is a full-featured system offering unlimited operation possibilities.

The Unlimited lists among its standard features an 89-key backlit keyboard, two type II or one type III PCMCIA slots, a Mini PCI slot, a removable HDD, a built-in 16-bit sound card with stereo speakers, and a component exchange port that operates any of the following interchangeable components: CD-ROM, DVD, FDD, 120MB Super Disk Drive, or Secondary Battery.

Optional features include vehicle and office docking solutions, an array of wireless communication options, and AMREL's Alpha-Star(TM) Sunlight Readable Touchscreen. AMREL takes pride in this new addition to the ROCKY line and is confident that the Unlimited will bolster AMREL's grip on the ruggedized mobile computing market.

The company can be found on the Web at

May 11 - Workstation Shipments Declined Nine Percent in the First Quarter of 2001. Worldwide workstation shipments totaled 361,298 units in the first quarter of 2001, which is a 9.2 percent decline over the same period last year, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Workstation shipments in the first quarter of 2000 were 398,028. While the poor overall performance is a continuation of the soft U.S. market, Gartner Dataquest analysts believe that the slowdown in the U.S. economy is only part of the reason the workstation market is doing poorly.

"Following unnaturally high growth rates from 1996 to 1999, Intel architecture (IA) workstations sales may now be reaching saturation, with some end users choosing high-end PCs over low-end workstations," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst for workstation coverage for Gartner Dataquest.

According to Rieppo, PC versus workstation differentiation is an ongoing struggle for system vendors. It is made difficult by technology and price parity between high-end PCs and low-end workstations and changes in Intel product positioning, especially with respect to dual processor scalability and Web pricing tools that allow end users to independently configure and compare systems.

Three of the top-tier vendors experienced negative growth rates in the first quarter of 2001. The top two vendors made up nearly 50 percent of the market. Dell remained in the top spot with a 30.4 percent market share. Sun Microsystems followed with a market share of 19.0 percent.
Shahin Naftchi, senior analyst covering servers and workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group, notes that this is the first quarter of negative year-over-year growth since Gartner Dataquest began quarterly data collection in 1996. Naftchi also speculates the culprit is a lack of differentiation. "The introduction of Windows 2000 makes it even harder to differentiate high-end PCs from uni-processor workstations," Naftchi said.
For more information, visit

May 10 - Samsung Debuts Mini Yepp, 32MB Digital Audio Player. Already creating a buzz, Samsung's tiny, wearable Yepp, is the world's smallest USB-based 32MB digital player ever introduced. In an industry first, Samsung's new player will come bundled with full-length audio tracks from top recording artists allowing users to enjoy music instantly out of the box. Featured artists include: Samantha Mumba, Monster Magnet, Blues Traveler, Cold, and Black Eyed Peas. Best of all, Samsung's Mini Yepp will be priced at $99.

Samsung's Mini-Yepp is the smallest USB-based digital audio player ever, weighing in at a mere 1.13 ounces without battery, featuring 32 MB of embedded memory and measuring a trim 1 1/8 x 2 1/4 x 7/8 inches. Despite it's diminutive dimensions, the power-packed Mini Yepp features an LCD display that indicates both musical parameters and the current date and time. Because superb sound is no small matter, Samsung has installed a four-preset graphic equalizer and a powerful bass boost system to enhance any musical style. The Mini-Yepp also features an advanced USB port for high-speed transfer of your favorite music. USB connections are three to five times faster than those using the parallel port, and allow compatibility with both the Apple Macintosh and PCs running Windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME.

Russ Bleeker, Samsung Electronic America's Digital Convergence Marketing Manager, stated, "Early adopters jumped on the first Yepps. Younger music fans adored the Hip Hop - winner of PC Magazine's Editor's Choice Award in the May 8 issue - and Techno Yepps. Now the sleek egg shaped design of the Mini Yepp will be the summer rage for high school and middle school students as well as busy moms on the run."

The Mini Yepp joins Samsung's growing family of innovative digital audio products. It follows the popular, lightweight and translucent Hip-Hop Yepp and the Techno Yepp, which features an FM tuner, to market. Samsung will continue its parade of hot digital audio products with an array of exciting new models that will be introduced throughout the year.

The player comes bundled with the popular Rio-Port Digital Music software, offering users a powerful, yet easy to use, system to organize their entire music collection and quickly transfer custom track combinations. The software is also CDDB enabled, automatically retrieving artist and track information for millions of CDs.

The Mini Yepp is available now at CompUSA at an MSRP of $99.99, and will be offered nationwide through leading retailers including Sears and in May.
Visit for more information.

May 10 - Trend Micro Warns of New Internet Worm, VBS_HOMEPAGE.A. Trend Micro (Nasdaq:TMIC)(TSE:4704) has received reports from customers worldwide affected by a new computer virus, called VBS_HOMEPAGE.A (also known as VBS.VBSWG2.D@mm). This worm has been classified as high risk.

VBS_HOMEPAGE.A is an Internet worm that propagates only via Microsoft Outlook. It sends itself as an email attachment to all addresses listed in the infected user's address book. After this, the worm tries to open certain pornographic Web sites using Internet Explorer. A sample of the email this worm sends out is:


Subject: Homepage

Message Body: Hi! You've got to see this page! It's really cool ;O)



This worm was generated using a virus-making tool known as Worm Generator.

This virus is currently spreading "in-the-wild." VBS_HOMEPAGE.A, is detected by Trend Micro pattern file No. 887 or above. Protection was made available to Trend Micro customers within 45 minutes of receiving the first virus sample yesterday, May 8th. For more information regarding VBS_HOMEPAGE.A, please go to

Raimund Genes, VP of Sales and Marketing for Europe commented, "I am very surprised that users are still getting infected by Visual Basic Script; this indicates that virus protection is still not being taken seriously enough by the population at large."

Trend Micro advises its customers to update their protection to pattern file No. 887 or above. InterScan eManager and eManager for Exchange customers can create an emergency rule to block the file name HOMEPAGE.HTML.vbs. Additionally, concerned computer users can use Trend Micro's free online virus scanner HouseCall(TM) to detect this threat.

May 10 - Belkin To Launch a Complete Line of Bluetooth Products. Belkin Components, the leading manufacturer of computer connectivity solutions, today announced that it is going to be a leader in the development of Bluetooth wireless technology with the introduction of a spectrum of Bluetooth products over the next year.

Bluetooth, the revolutionary wireless technology for Personal Area Networks (PAN), eliminates the need for cables and physical connections between electronic devices. Bluetooth will enable simple wireless communications between desktop computers and printers, PDAs, mobile phones, input devices, and will provide anytime/anywhere access to the Internet.

Belkin will first introduce a Bluetooth PC Card (F8T002), a USB Adapter (F8T001), a Bluetooth keyboard that is compatible for both PC and Palm (F8T040), and a Bluetooth mouse (F8T041) in the latter part of the 3rd Quarter 2001. Subsequent products include a Bluetooth Access Point (F8T030), which provides a wireless link to wired networks or the Internet for mobile devices equipped with Bluetooth, a Parallel Printer Adapter (F8T011), and a Bluetooth Palm Adapter (F8T020), which adds Bluetooth to select Palm PDAs. These last devices will be available in the latter portion of the 4th Quarter 2001.

Some of the applications that Belkin is developing for their Bluetooth products include the following:

-- Automatic Synchronization - This feature offers automatic

wireless synchronization of desktop, portable PC, and mobile


-- Ad-Hoc Networking - Create temporary on-the-spot networks

anytime, anywhere. Share files and information with ease.

-- Dial-Up Networking - Connect your computing device to the

Internet on the go through your Bluetooth mobile phone. Check

your email or browse the Internet.

-- Instant Postcard - Wirelessly connect a digital camera to your

mobile phone and send pictures and text messages instantly to

a recipient anywhere in the world.

-- Cordless Desktop - Create a new sense of freedom in everyday

tasks with a cordless connection to peripherals, keyboards,

and mice.

-- Internet Bridge - Connect a PDA, laptop, or desktop computer

to the Internet through a mobile phone, modem (PSTN, DSL,

DSL), or through the Company LAN via an Access Point.

-- Interactive Corporate Meeting - Share contact information, a

presentation, or meeting notes instantly with all or some

participants, without any wired connections.

"Bluetooth has attracted massive industry support," said Carlos Del Toro, Bluetooth product manager at Belkin. "It is positioned to be a very influential communications technology and Belkin has ensured that it will be providing a complete range of Bluetooth solutions that meet consumers' daily computing and mobile needs," he added.

For more information, visit the company's Web site at

May 10 - Asta Networks reveals DoS attacks against Internet2 Backbone. Asta Networks, a network reliability company, announced today that it has extended its product to provide the first comprehensive protection from Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks across an entire national network.

Asta Networks' distributed technology is now deployed throughout the Internet2 Abilene backbone, which uses high-speed optics to connect 180 universities across the United States. Asta Networks' deployment at Internet2 protects over 50 Gigabits per second of aggregate capacity, consisting primarily of OC-48 links, which are one thousand times faster than a standard DSL connection.

The company also related some of the intriguing attack trends that it has observed during its six-month deployment at Internet2 and other sites. Asta Networks' initial product, which will be broadly released in June, addresses these and other new attack trends.

"DoS attacks are the natural disasters of the Internet, virtual floods which overwhelm network providers and enterprises. It is no surprise that both businesses and governments are concerned about the impact DoS attacks have on the bottom line and the national economy," said Joe Devich, Asta Networks president and CEO. "The good news in all of this is that our Internet2 deployment, extensive research and ongoing customer feedback are helping us to build the smartest and most effective way to detect and respond to DoS attacks. We will deliver on this promise in June with our first commercial product."

Asta Networks has noticed several new trends regarding zombies, the innocent machines that hackers compromise to launch attacks. The latest generation of zombies includes "Pulsing Zombies," which send pulses of attack traffic at the intended target. The discontinuous nature of these attacks makes detection and location of these zombies far more difficult. In addition, Asta Networks has seen that zombies are now being tuned before attacks. In a recent attack attempt, the hackers conducted a dress rehearsal for their assault, during which attack traffic was directed at the target for a short period of time before the full-scale attack was launched.

Another key trend includes what Asta Networks calls "the new DoS," in which service is not denied but degraded. Under a "Degradation of Service" attack links are not completely overwhelmed but they are unnecessarily burdened with significant amounts of bad traffic. In one case, the target received six times its average amount of traffic. Today most businesses pay for bandwidth on a per-usage basis, meaning that this type of DoS attack not only slows performance, but costs money. And because the effects aren't immediately noticed, these "Degradation of Service" attacks can go undetected for long periods of time and continuously increase the cost of the attack. Finally, Asta Networks has noticed more attacks being targeted against vulnerable parts of the infrastructure, including routers and Domain Name Servers (DNS).

For more information, visit

May 10 - Talk Visual Launches Worldwide IP Videophone. TALK VISUAL CORPORATION President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene A. Rosov announced today that the Company is introducing and marketing a new IP Videophone.
The sleek, stand-alone desktop appliance needs no computer, works on an ordinary network or DSL Internet connection, and retails for $1,600. According to the Company, the product, which uses the H. 323 protocol, is the first in the world to address home and business markets, and allows anyone to telephone call and video-call worldwide at no per-minute cost.

The first of its kind, the IP Videophone belongs to a new breed of Internet appliances which herald a profound change in the burgeoning communications marketplace. "This is a product which can dramatically change the way people communicate. By reducing the per-minute cost of communications to zero, the IP Videophone lets people all over the world see and hear one another over a simple network or DSL connection," said Mr. Rosov, from the Company's Miami headquarters. "It's all part of the way the world is moving - from public switched networks to Voice- and Video-over-IP. Internet Protocol products are the way of the future, and Talk Visual is amongst the leaders in this technology."

The IP Videophone is produced for Talk Visual by Innomedia, Inc., of San Jose, California, one of the leading U.S. Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) product manufacturers. Talk Visual was appointed to be the first VoIP product reseller in the U.S., and also the first company appointed to resell and distribute Innomedia's newly released product "IP Video Phone" and "InfoGate 3010" for corporate users.

Michael J. Zwebner, Talk Visual's Chairman, stated today "These are the IP products we have been waiting for. Businesses everywhere in the world will eventually use VoIP for cost-control and flexibility, and Innomedia's superior products can help them deploy VoIP technology efficiently and cost-effectively. As the first reseller appointed for the new Innomedia IP Video Phone, we also believe that the introduction of this remarkable appliance will herald a new phase in Talk Visual's core business development. It enables consumers and businesses to telephone call - or to videocall - each other FREE if they have a network or DSL Internet connection with a static IP address. We believe that this phone will forever change the way people communicate - both from a cost viewpoint and because of its visual capability. It by-passes the telecom networks - the PSTN, or public switched telephone network - and utilizes the power of the Internet to provide our customers with a new and virtually free mode of verbal and visual communications."

According to Mr. Rosov, the Company provides a service which connects any IP Videophone to "thousands of public videoconference rooms worldwide which are ISDN-enabled. Our RADVision bridge allows for `transcoding' between IP and ISDN, and our prices for videocalls worldwide are highly competitive. We invite businesses and individuals to save money traveling by using our worldwide IP/ISDN videocall bridging services."

The IP videophone will be offered for sale through dealers and also direct from the Company. More information can be found at

May 9 - Intel Enables 802.11b Connectivity for Handspring Visor Handhelds. Intel Corporation today introduced the Xircom(R) SpringPort(TM) Wireless Ethernet module, the first wireless local area network (WLAN) device for the Handspring(TM) Visor(TM) handheld computer.

The new module complements Intel's existing line of WLAN products and is the first product announced after the company's acquisition of Xircom.

Slightly smaller than a deck of cards, the module plugs into the Springboard(TM) expansion slot on the back of the Handspring Visor, providing secure, high-speed, wireless access to applications and data located on a network, including Internet browsers, email and files.

The SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module enables mobile professionals to increase productivity with access to real-time information and communications. The module is compliant with the IEEE 802.11b high-rate standard and interoperates with Wi-Fi(TM) certified products including the Xircom Wireless Ethernet Access Point and the Intel(R)PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN products.

"The Handspring Visor is a powerful device to help on-the-go individuals organize their lives. Now, with the addition of real-time access to information, they are further empowered to make critical decisions without sacrificing mobility within the office or corporate campus," said John Merrill, product marketing manager for Xircom, an Intel company. "We are in the business of connecting mobile professionals to their data. The new SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module complements our existing line of wireless and wired network connections."

"Intel is delivering a new level of mobile productivity to Handspring Visor customers," said Michael Rosenthal, developer relations manager for wireless at Handspring. "Xircom's SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module enables individuals, including those at universities, healthcare institutions, and corporations, to access real-time, critical information on the web, email and their Intranets."

The SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module offers up to 11 Mbps transfer rates within 300 feet (90m) of any installed access point, or hub, on a WLAN. This makes it an excellent solution for organizations of all sizes. The SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module will be demonstrated in the Intel booth (No.5343) and WECA pavilion (No.1014) at the Networld + Interop (N+I) conference in Las Vegas, May 8-10, 2001. For additional information on the SpringPort Wireless Ethernet, visit

Availability and Pricing

Xircom's SpringPort Wireless Ethernet module for the Visor handheld has a suggested retail price of $299 (US) and will be available in May. The module will be available through valued-added resellers (VARs), direct marketers, e-tailers and system integrators and online at the ShopXircom(SM) store.
Visit for more information.

May 9 - Acer announces new Multimedia Products. Acer Communications & Multimedia America Inc. today announced the latest in its top-performing multimedia line, underscoring the company's new focus on leading-edge technology for the well-equipped multimedia home and office.

The line includes the latest in optical storage, featuring the street's fastest USB portable CD-RW (compact disc - read/write) -clocked at 24-speed (6 x 4 x 24). The new line continues with sleek flat-panel LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors that add a high-tech look to any home or office as well as compact digital projectors that weigh in at under three pounds - some of the lightest in the industry. The multimedia offering is rounded out by several imaging and input devices including a 2700 dpi (dots-per-square inch) infrared film scanner that can simultaneously hold six film strips and two types of portable keyboards designed for the Palm Pilot (a micro-sized clip-on and an ultra-slim foldable). These products signify Acer CMA's commitment to the Northern American market, providing technology peripherals with a strong value.

Optical Storage

Now available from Acer CMA is the portable CD-RW 6424MU, selling for an estimated street price of $219. In addition, the external CD-RW 6406EU will be offered for approximately $179 and is the first external CD-RW to offer 6x writing speed for USB interface. Coming in late-September is the 1212EF, an external combination CD-RW/DVD player that will be competitively priced in the market.

All three products offer state-of-the-art Seamless Link technology. Working to prevent buffer underrun, this technology helps to compensate for slow CPUs, allows for multi-tasking, helps eliminate problems associated with network or interface difficulties and, finally, compensates for physical errors such as scratches or fingerprints.

Digital Displays

As the second largest manufacturer in the world of LCD panels, Acer CMA applies this expertise to its latest flat-panel offerings -the impressively-sized FP751 with a total viewable area of 17" (equivalent to 19" in standard CRT monitor terms) and the sleek, brushed-metal FP581 with a 15" screen (equivalent to 17" standard) and a convenient foldable based that allows for easy toting. Acer CMA continues its sleek factor by introducing a sub-three pound digital projector to its line of high-performance multimedia display products. Designed for corporate sales executives, the Acer SL700X can easily be carried to meetings in a computer carry case along with the laptop. In addition, the mobility of the SL700X makes it ideal for educational institutions that must share one projector among many classrooms or departments. The SL700X model will be available in June 2001 with an MSRP of $4,499.

Input Devices

Made specifically for the Palm Pilot V/Vx, the Acer G500 foldable keyboard is one of the premier personal device applications (PDA) to enter the competitive mobile market. Folded, the keyboard is small enough to fit unobtrusively in a shirt pocket, yet sits as a regular size board for easy data entry into the Palm. The Acer G500 is available for $89.99 in August. The Acer G300, competitive in size and price, is the lightest and smallest keyboard offered for the Palm V/Vx. Weighing in at 1.4 ounces, the Acer G300 will be available in June and priced to sell at $49.95.

Imaging Devices

Rounding out the Acer CMA product line is the ScanWit 2740S-film scanner, the lowest priced infrared scanner on the market. Priced at $649.99, the ScanWit is compatible with a wide range of film formats: 35mm filmstrip and 35mm-mounted slide.

Acer Communications & Multimedia America Inc. can be found on the Web at

May 9 - SmartDisk supplies PowerBook G4 Users with New Line of Accessories. SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SMDK), a company whose products enable consumers and businesses to create, manage and use all types of digital content in easy and enjoyable ways, today announced a new line of travel accessories for mobile professionals and others who use Apple's new thin and lightweight "supercomputer," the Titanium PowerBook G4.

Featured in the new line is the SmartDisk VST PowerBook Battery Charger, the first charger available for PowerBook G4 users. It safely charges PowerBook G4 Li-Ion batteries in less than three hours, making it easy for users to have a freshly charged back-up battery readily at hand. Compact in design and built to accommodate two batteries, the SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Battery Charger features LED displays to indicate charge mode, charge completion and battery error detection. It is packaged with an AC adapter and user's guide.

SmartDisk also announced two new adapters for the Titanium PowerBook G4. The SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Auto Adapter is compatible with any standard automobile cigarette lighter socket. The SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Airline Adapter works with the EmPower(TM) socket available on many major commercial airlines. In addition, SmartDisk offers a PowerBook G4 AC adapter for those users who would like to have a spare adapter handy.

For users who require the ease of transferring information to and from floppy disk drives, SmartDisk also offers the SmartDisk VST Titanium Floppy Drive. The drive is powered by the PowerBook G4's speedy USB connection and is just 4 inches by 5.5 inches in size and less than an inch in depth -- perfect for the mobile user contending with limited work space. Its color and styling complement those of the Titanium PowerBook G4.

"The Titanium PowerBook G4 provides customers with supercomputing power in a very mobile, one-inch thin, 5.3-pound design," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's Senior Director of Portables Product Marketing. "SmartDisk's new Titanium accessories allow our customers flexible ways to power their PowerBook while they're traveling, enhancing the extreme portability of the PowerBook G4."

"Our corporate mission is to simplify the digital lifestyle," said Rod H. King, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for SmartDisk. "These new products for the Titanium PowerBook G4 continue our commitment to providing Apple users with the quality products they need to simplify their lives on the road, in the air, at home and at the office."

Pricing and Availability

Product Price When Shipping
SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Battery Charger $169.95 Now
SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Auto Adapter $ 79.95 Late May
SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 AC Adapter $ 69.95 Now
SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Airline Adapter $ 39.95 Now
SmartDisk VST Titanium Floppy Drive $ 79.95 June

A combination package featuring the SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Battery Charger, an Apple Li-Ion battery and an Apple AC adapter is available under the name SmartDisk VST PowerBook G4 Mobility Bundle. The price of the package is $279.95, with availability scheduled for June.

For more information, go to

May 9 - Trend Micro’s Free Online VirusScanner Restores Systems Infected by Trojan Viruses. Trend Micro Inc. (Nasdaq: TMIC, TSE: 4704), a worldwideleader in network antivirus and Internet content security solutions, today announced thatits free online virus scanner, HouseCall™, just got better.
Entering its fifthyear of scanning and removing viruses for users around the world, HouseCallwill be the only online virus scanner to include groundbreaking technologyknown as Trend Micro Trojan System Cleaner™, the firstgeneric cleaning tool for all existing Trojan programs in the wild. By incorporating Trojan System Cleaner, HouseCall will not only detect and removeTrojans but will also automatically rid systems of dropped code, as well as reset andrestore system settings that have been altered as a result of a Trojan virusinfection.

Use of HouseCall Parallels Dramatic Rise inComputer Virus Threat
Parallelingthe dramatic growth in computer viruses, which now number more than 50,000 withan average of 15-30 new viruses being discovered daily, HouseCall hasexperienced more than 100% growth in usage in the last year alone. More than 170,000 users took advantage ofHouseCall to scan and rid their computer systems of nearly three millionviruses in the last 30 days alone and more than 27 million viruses in the lastyear. With viruses estimated to havecaused $17.1 billion in damages during the year 2000 alone according toComputer Economics, the need for fast, free, and easy-to-use virus protectionsolutions, like HouseCall, is clear.

Free PC-cillinAntivirus Software for HouseCall Users during Month of May
To celebrate HouseCall enteringit’s fifth year on the Internet, Trend Micro is giving away copies ofPC-cillin®, its award-winning, desktop antivirus software, to 150 individualswho register to use HouseCall during the month of May. The drawing is open to US residents only andwinners will be notified by email in early June. PC-cillin was recently declared “must have” antivirus software byPC World Magazine in its May 2001issue. For more details andinstructions on how to enter the drawing visit

About Trend Micro’s Trojan System Cleaner
Trojanprograms such as TROJ_MTX,TROJ_NAVIDAD, and TROJ_HYBRIS can spread, not only by infecting or sending infected files, butby infecting the system itself. Theyoften lurk in memory, modify registry entries and system files, or drop othermalicious files or folders onto a user’s system. Antivirus software scans and cleans infected files, but typicallycannot act on these other alterations made by Trojans that are left behind tore-infect or compromise system integrity.

The Trojan SystemCleaner is designed to completely clean computer systems of Trojans and theunwanted, lingering items they leave behind. It automatically restores the registry and system files that weremodified by Trojans, far simpler than the manual instructions or “one off”tools commonly offered by antivirus companies. Trojan System Cleaner is alsocapable of terminating Trojan programs running in memory, and it offersprecautionary recovery measures that include a log report that displays themodifications made by the tool and several back-up options. With Trojan System Cleaner, users have afree, quick, and simple method for restoring their systems to normal that worksautomatically, without any user intervention, every time HouseCall scans theirsystems.

About HouseCall
HouseCall is the Internet’s firstand best free online virus scanner. Trend Micro first introduced HouseCall inMay of 1997, two full years before any other vendor, further proof of TrendMicro’s technology leadership in the field of malicious code protection. HouseCall is also the only online virusscanner that is certified by the International Computer Security Association todetect 100% of “in-the-wild” viruses. While other antivirus vendors regularly charge for usage or only detectviruses, Trend Micro’s HouseCall has always been free and continues to detect,clean, and remove nasty viruses, Trojans, and worms from users’ systems day inand day out.

HouseCall brings the ease, accessibility, andeffectiveness of a server-based antivirus application to home users over theInternet at no cost. With HouseCall, users always have access to the latestvirus protection available, accessible 24 x 7, without time-consumingdownloads, or subscriptions.

For additional information and evaluation copies of all Trend Micro products, visit or

May 9 - Symbol Introduces Compact Flash Wireless LAN Adapter for PDAs. Continuing its product innovation for wireless mobility, Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:SBL), today announced an IEEE802.11b wireless LAN radio in the Compact Flash (CF) form factor.

Symbol's Spectrum24 Compact Flash card employs advanced power management and throughput performance giving 11mbps wireless connectivity to power conscious Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). The new 802.11b wireless LAN adapter includes Symbol's new wireless LAN firmware that features advanced security features for uninterrupted roaming and mobile security. The Spectrum24 CF card was specifically designed to fit into PDAs or embedded into application specific mobile computing devices.

"This is a great step for mobility in the enterprise because Symbol's 802.11b Compact Flash card will bring the wireless Internet to the growing installed base of users of Windows CE and PocketPC," said Phil Holden, director of marketing for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "We are happy that Symbol has also provided an advanced wireless LAN security mechanism designed for handheld devices."

"The Compact Flash addition to Symbol's Spectrum24 wireless LAN family provides our customers with several ways to achieve mobility and wirelessly connect to the enterprise network," said Tomo Razmilovic, President and CEO, Symbol Technologies, Inc. "The market for wireless mobile computing products continues to expand and we foresee significant opportunities with this new wireless product."

While the market for 802.11b wireless LANs continues to grow, so does the appetite for PDAs, according to recent IDC reports, "Unwiring the Network" and "The Battle at Hand". IDC expects the worldwide wireless LAN market -- radio products which operate on the ISM 2.4GHtz frequency band -- to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.0%, reaching approximately 21.9 million unit shipments in 2005. For "Personal Companions" -- Palm, Win CE, Pocket PCs, RIM, and Symbian-based devices -- IDC expects a CAGR of 38.1% growth rate through 2004, with 33.6 million unit shipments worldwide in 2004.

"Using 802.11b wireless LAN technology with Personal Companions for enterprise and local area connectivity will contribute to device growth as mobile users find utility in staying connected," said Kevin Burden, Program Manager, Smart Handheld Devices, IDC. "Connecting with a Compact Flash radio card is a logical step for the knowledge worker, especially, as the installed base of WiFi wireless LANs continues to penetrate corporations, universities, airports and other public space locations."


"With WiFi wireless LANs being widely adopted in the enterprise and WiFi 'hot spots' now springing up in hotels, airports, and soon even Starbucks, iPAQ Pocket PC users can stay connected in the office, on the road, and eventually, in the home," said Cindy Box, Director of Marketing, iPAQ Mobile Solutions. "Adding secure 802.11b wireless connectivity with a CF radio card is yet another example of how Symbol is developing products for greater mobility."

Hewlett-Packard Company

"Symbol's new wireless LAN adapter accessory offers HP Jornada pocket PC users another way to wirelessly check email, surf the Web and connect to enterprise networks," said Boris Elisman, worldwide marketing manager, HP Embedded and Personal Systems. "This product innovation will allow mobile consumers to conveniently access the Internet from many locations.


"Our complete line of portable computing products for the enterprise features integrated support for compact flash peripherals devices. The availability of an 802.11b compact flash radio will allow our customers the ultimate flexibility in deploying wireless devices throughout their organizations", said Todd Weissman, vice president of Casio's Mobile Information Products Division. "We congratulate Symbol on this technology achievement."

About Spectrum24 High Rate Compact Flash

Symbol's 802.11b CF radio card is designed for use in mobile devices running today's leading handheld operating systems -- Windows CE, Pocket PC, and Palm. The product will initially support Windows CE 2.11, and Pocket PC, with subsequent firmware releases supporting the Palm OS.
The Spectrum24 High Rate CF card comes in two form factors: with an integrated antenna for Type I CF extend slots in PDAs and an external antenna connecter for embedded device designs. Both form factors feature dynamic rate scaling from 11Mbps, to 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps and 1Mbps, for optimum wireless connectivity during higher traffic sessions. The product has been designed to meet WiFi(TM) certification requirements for interoperability. The product will be available to order in the summer 2001.
Symbol will be demonstrating its Spectrum24(R) High Rate Compact Flash wireless LAN adapter on popular Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PCs--the Casio CASSIOPEIA, Compaq iPAQ, HP Jornada--at the Las Vegas NetWorld+Interop 2001 trade show, South Hall booth# 4629.

More information can be found at

May 8 - Toshiba Introduces Transmeta Crusoe-Based ``Libretto'' Notebook PC in Japan. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) and Toshiba Corporation today announced the introduction in Japan of Toshiba's Crusoe-based Libretto L1/060TNMM notebook PC with up to 14 hours of battery life.

Toshiba announced that the notebook, weighing just 2.4 lbs, will be available in Japan as of May 18. The Libretto L1/060TNMM, with a 600MHz Crusoe processor, features a small, lightweight design with a low power, 10" wide SXGA TFT screen and a 10 gigabyte hard drive.

"It is a major milestone that Toshiba, the world's leading shipper of notebooks, has chosen Crusoe for this innovative new system," said Jim Chapman, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Transmeta Corporation.

The new notebook measures 10.5" (wide) x 6.6" (deep) x .81" (thick). The 10" wide SXGA (1,280 X 600 dot) low power, poly-silicon TFT screen gives the new notebook the largest screen in the mini-notebook category and offers detail and clarity, allowing easy viewing and effective displaying of online images and maps. The .70 key pitch offers users comfort in typing for extended periods of time.

Crusoe's LongRun power management capability continuously adjusts the processor's frequency and voltage (MHz) to provide the necessary performance for a given application while maximizing battery life. Additionally, Toshiba's power-saving utility provides for maximum power efficiency throughout the system, enabling up to 4.5 hours of battery life with a standard battery and up to 14 hours with an optional battery.

The notebook, which runs Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Me, is equipped with two USB connectors, PC card slot (type II), I-link connector and a mini-RGB often used for business presentations. The Libretto L1/060TNMM makes Internet and e-mail communications possible during extensive travel with an embedded modem compatible in 58 regions of the world. It also has Bluetooth(TM) capability for wireless connection to Internet.

Toshiba can be found on the Web at

May 8 - Dell Corporate Notebook Line Adds Latitudes With Attitude. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today enhanced its portfolio of notebook systems for corporate, government and educational customers in the United States by providing new, high-performance features for its mainstream, wireless-ready(a) Latitude(tm) C600, and introducing the new Latitude C500, which is designed for budget-conscious mobile users.

In addition, Dell is now making a CD-rewritable/DVD combination drive available on all Latitude notebooks for users who need to read or write large amounts of data, listen to audio files or watch video files while away from the office.

The Latitude C600 offers mobile users high performance in a thin and light form factor (as light as 4.9 pounds(b)) with the new Intel(R) Mobile Pentium(R) III processor at 1GHz and a new high-resolution 14.1-inch SXGA+ display. When combined with Dell's TrueMobile(tm) 1150 wireless LAN solution(c) and Dell's new CD-RW/DVD combo drive, the Latitude C600 delivers the features, functionality and connectivity mobile business users truly can take advantage of to be more productive.

With the Latitude C500, Dell has added a wireless-ready basic notebook featuring Intel's Celeron(tm) processor at 700MHz, a choice of 14.1-inch XGA or 12.1-inch SVGA displays and a choice of integrated communications. The Latitude C500 meets the needs of budget-conscious mobile users without sacrificing reliability, flexibility or performance, and can help lower the total cost of ownership by retaining compatibility with all Latitude C-family media modules, peripherals and docking solutions.

The Dell CD-RW/DVD combination drive brings all the advantages of DVD-ROM, a CD-RW and a CD-ROM to a single drive, eliminating the need and added weight of carrying two modules while traveling. The CD-RW/DVD combination drive is available as an option on all Latitude products currently being shipped, including the high-performance Latitude C800 and the ultraportable L400.

More information on the Latitude product family can be found at

May 8 - Taiwan Manufacturers are Full Speed Ahead on IEEE 1394 Multimedia Standard. The 1394 Trade Association reported today that Taiwan-based computer product manufacturers are installing the IEEE 1394 multimedia bus into a rapidly-increasing number of interface cards and motherboards in preparation for the next market expansion.

Industry leaders including Texas Instruments Inc. and Agere, Inc. indicate increased 1394 IC shipments into Taiwan as leaders such as Procomp, Asustek and Gigabyte Technology continue to expand card and board production. The 1394 bus, also known commercially as FireWire and i.LINK, has established itself in more than 40 percent of all notebook and handheld PCs and continues to grow.

"We're seeing the high rate of adoption of 1394 that we predicted two years ago," said James Snider, chairman of the 1394 Trade Association. "Even during this current industry slowdown, we see expansive activity in Taiwan, as the leaders of the industry there prepare for increased demand and a stronger second half of 2001."

Taiwanese leaders, also including Iwill, Chaintech and Epox Computer, all are preparing for the ramp up, and can move from early product development to volume production in less than two months.

"Taiwan has become a very important market for 1394," said a spokesperson for Texas Instruments. "We are seeing more decisions being made by Taiwanese companies to provide 1394 products for large OEM companies. Notebook motherboards are being specified and designed with 1394 in anticipation of demand from their customers. this is proving to be very successful as 1394 is a 'must have' for products going into Japan and in consumer PCs."

Approximately 66 percent of the computer market with IEEE 1394 installed consists of desktop systems. Another 27 percent consists of notebooks, now the fastest-growing product subset for 1394 implementation. Another 6 percent is workstations and 4 percent are retail PCI add-in cards.

The 1394 Trade Association includes more than 160 companies worldwide dedicated to the advancement and proliferation of the IEEE 1394 multimedia standard. For more information visit the TA web site at

May 8 - Business Wireless Users Warned Away from Bluetooth. With the emergence of various mobile devices that employees will use on a regular basis, enterprises must act now to have wireless solutions in place to support these technologies, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). Gartner analysts said there will be almost 800 million worldwide wireless data users by 2004, so enterprises must get prepared to support these technologies. Gartner analysts provided their view of mobile and wireless computing today during Gartner Spring Symposium/ITxpo 2001 in Denver.

With the increase of various mobile devices, enterprises will find it difficult to support all the wireless devices their employees will be using. Gartner analysts estimate that by 2004, the flood of new mobile devices in the enterprise will force at least 50 percent of Fortune 2000 companies to support three distinct solutions (low-speed wireless data only, voice plus Web access and high-speed wireless LAN access).

"Enterprises will be well-advised to remember that no single wireless access network topology will meet anywhere near 80 percent of the requirements of enterprise knowledge workers," said Bob Egan, vice president and research director for Gartner. "To a large extent, end users' network requirements will be driven by the devices they carry, their job roles and their mobility."

Gartner analysts said it's important for enterprises to survey end-user requirements and derive wireless solutions from those demands. Enterprise managers will find these requirements drilled down into three distinct areas: wide area networks (WANs), which are best for low speed data plus voice; local area networks (LANs), which are predominately 802.11 wireless LANs; and personal area networks (PANs) which are dominated by Bluetooth.

"Enterprises should take care to avoid non-802.11 wireless technology such as Bluetooth because it lacks the speed, security and manageability for an enterprise-class solution," Egan said. "For WAM and WAC solutions, enterprises should develop a solution independent of any one specific wireless WAN network standard."

While there has been much enthusiasm around Bluetooth, Gartner analysts said the technology is a long way from being ready for mass adoption. Bluetooth is inadequate for serious, security-sensitive work, and it also lacks the robustness required as wireless extension to an enterprise or public network. The initial applications for the technology include file and data synchronization between devices, wireless headsets for mobile phones and computers, and connections to local peripheral devices.

Whereas 802.11 wireless LAN systems are designed with rigorous encryption choices and formal authentication via manageable access port hubs, Bluetooth is intended to encourage instant, interdevice communications in groups up to eight, quickly with as little overhead as possible.

"Fixing Bluetooth security concerns demands investment in device resources, which reduces vendor margins," Egan said. "These investments include encryption to protect against unwanted eavesdropping, updating of management protocols to protect user systems from unexpected modifications, denial of service measures to deflect hacker attacks, and formal authentication to determine who will be allowed to exchange information."

For more information, visit

May 8 - America Online and CompUSA Announce Strategic Marketing Alliance. CompUSA Inc., America's Largest Computer Superstore(R) retailer, and America Online, the world's leading interactive services company, today announced a strategic marketing alliance that will combine the strengths of both companies to bring the Internet and other interactive technologies and devices into millions more American homes.

The agreement will offer AOL products and services to CompUSA shoppers nationwide, while providing CompUSA with a series of innovative promotions across several America Online brands.

Under the agreement, CompUSA will create prominent AOL displays in its 218 CompUSA Superstores nationwide, demonstrating a full range of AOL services to CompUSA shoppers, including AOL software, broadband solutions, and a variety of "AOL Anywhere" products such as wireless devices and networking appliances.

AOL will be featured as CompUSA's preferred interactive service, and the parties plan to develop and offer in-store registration in the centers; CompUSA will also make special offers to new AOL members. As part of the agreement, CompUSA will promote AOL and the in-store offerings in its offline advertising programs and other promotional and marketing campaigns.

In addition, America Online will provide CompUSA prominent branding and promotion across several of its interactive brands, including AOL, AOL.COM, CompuServe and, as well as Shop@ online shopping destinations across these brands. CompUSA online product categories that will be promoted include computers, digital cameras, electronic accessories and upgrades, and a variety of other products and devices. The AOL and CompuServe services currently total more than 32 million members and the company's Web-based brands attract tens of millions of additional users.

"CompUSA and AOL are brands that millions of Americans know and trust, and we are pleased to work with CompUSA in this new alliance," said Barry Schuler, CEO, America Online, Inc. "This relationship provides us with a great opportunity to introduce CompUSA's millions of customers to all the benefits of AOL and the Internet, and by combining the strengths of our two strong consumer brands, we will make it even easier and more convenient for people to take full advantage of both CompUSA's and AOL's products and services."

"The coupling of AOL's leadership in interactive services with CompUSA's strength in retail and customer service provides us both with opportunities to offer real value and convenience to our customers," said Hal Compton, CEO, CompUSA. "Working with AOL, we will be creating compelling new offerings for our customers, while bringing CompUSA's great selection of online merchandise to the millions of users of the America Online brands."

The companies can be found on the Web at and

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