May 31 - Fujifilm Introduces Ultra-slim FinePix F401
Digital Camera. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. continues its tradition
of exceptional photo quality and distinctive styling with the new
FinePix F401 digital camera.
The FinePix F401's ultra-slim, trend-setting metallic body is sure
to turn heads. It is one of the smallest 2.1-effective-megapixel zoom
digital cameras in its category and features Fujifilm's third-generation
Super CCD sensor and optional PC-sync cradle. Boasting a third generation
Super CCD sensor system with 2.1 million effective pixels, the FinePix
F401 can deliver 2304 x 1728 (3.98 million) recorded pixels for clear,
colorful 11 x 16-inch prints.
"Fujifilm continues to expand its extensive portfolio of digital
cameras that are designed to make the digital photography experience
easy and fun for consumers," said Darin Pepple, Brand Manager,
Consumer Digital Products, Consumer Markets Division, Fuji Photo Film
U.S.A., Inc. "The FinePix F401 is ideal for the on-the-go photographer
who wants a choice of features and point-and-shoot simplicity in a
sleek, stylish package."
The FinePix F401 will be available in August 2002 at a MSRP of $499.99.
In addition, an optional PC-sync PictureCradle, for fast camera-to-computer
photo transfer via USB cable, PC-cam videoconferencing and easy recharging
of the camera's battery will be available for $79.99.
For more information on Fujifilm products, visit www.fujifilm.com.
May 31 - Sierra Wireless and Casio Join
Forces to Provide Wireless Solutions. Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq:SWIR)
(TSE:SW) and Casio announced today that it will further develop their
relationship into the North American and European marketplace with
a bundled wireless solution operating on new voice and data networks.
The Sierra Wireless AirCard(R) Series, including the new AirCard
555 CDMA2000 1X and AirCard 750 GSM/GPRS wireless network cards, bundled
with Casio's CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300, offers a complete wireless
solution for the mobile user while on the road or away from the office.
Sierra Wireless and Casio will continue to work together to offer
complete mobile solutions - from personal applications to the extension
of corporate LAN and field force applications.
The combined wireless solution provides mobile users the ability
to stay connected to all of their important information while on the
road or away from the office. The solution offers fast and reliable
access to e-mail and corporate applications through Sierra Wireless
AirCards operating on both existing and new voice and data networks
including high speed CDMA2000 1X and GSM/GPRS global networks.
Both the AirCard 555 and AirCard 750 wireless network cards are
a complete communication solution designed to keep the mobile user
connected with SMS (Short Message Service) messages, voice calls,
and email access. In addition, the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300
provides significant expandability while carrying a high-volume of
data and capable of transmitting received data to projectors and portable
printers on par with a PC in a small-scale portable size device.
"Sierra Wireless's diverse product line is the perfect fit for
the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager. This solution provides a complete wireless
tool for the mobile user who can now access information on new global
networks allowing them to stay connected in an increasingly wireless
world," said Yozo Suzuki, Managing Director of Casio Computer
Co., Ltd. "We look forward to working with industry leaders like
Sierra Wireless who provide mobile users the freedom to access information
As mentioned in an announcement earlier this year, Casio named Sierra
Wireless as its preferred provider of GSM/GPRS wireless PC card modems.
Currently, the AirCard 750 wireless network card connects Casio's
Pocket PC 2002 E-200 to the global GSM/GPRS network. Future plans
for the companies include expanding their mobile relationship into
high-speed data distribution of high-volume data transmission such
as streaming video and audio multimedia.
For more information on Casio Computer Co., Ltd., visit its web site
at http://world.casio.com. For
more information on Sierra Wireless, visit its web site at www.sierrawireless.com.
May 31 - e.Digital Announces New Digital
MP3 Audio Players. The gap between PC and Mac(TM) users will be
bridged by the new Odyssey(TM) line of digital audio players coming
from e.Digital Corp. (OTCBB:EDIG).
Each of the three new Odyssey pocket-sized, flash-memory-based digital
audio players have unique features, giving consumers in many budget
categories reason to sing. All come with embedded flash memory, a
SmartMedia(TM) card expansion slot allowing consumers to add up to
128 MB of additional storage, and e.Digital Odyssey Manager software,
which is compatible with both PC and Macintosh(TM) platforms.
The Odyssey 100 MP3 player features up to 30 hours of battery life
from a standard AA Alkaline battery. With a standard 64 MB of embedded
flash memory, stereo earphones, and an intuitive user interface, this
stylish MP3 player squeezes every last minute out of a standard AA
battery, making it the ideal choice for economy-minded consumers.
The Odyssey 100 is priced at $129 and is both compact and durable,
making it a perfect travel companion.
The Odyssey 200 features not only MP3 file playback, but also an
FM tuner, 20 customizable FM station presets with digital tuning,
and high-quality voice recording using the built-in omnidirectional
microphone. Students, businesspeople, and writers of any kind can
create and store over eight hours of voice recordings using the Odyssey
200's standard 128 MB built-in flash memory. A SmartMedia card expansion
slot lets consumers add up to 128 MB of removable flash. The Odyssey
200 is priced at $179 MSRP.
The Odyssey 300's direct MP3 encoding allows users to rip files from
their CD collection without the use of a computer, and play them back
immediately. This tops the list of its features, but its digital voice
recorder, FM tuner, FM recorder, and up to 12-hour battery life make
it the premier design of the Odyssey line. With a standard 128 MB
of flash built-in, the Odyssey 300 holds voice, music, and FM recordings
totaling up to 8.5 hours, and users who choose to add a SmartMedia
card via the expansion slot can double that amount. The Odyssey 300
will sell for $229 MSRP.
For more information on the company, visit www.edig.com.
To shop at the e.Digital online store, visit www.edigital-store.com.
May 31 - Samsung Announces Tabletop Projection
Digital TVs. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., an established
innovator in digital television, is making cutting-edge digital entertainment
technology an affordable reality for today's home theater or living
Samsung is introducing the first large-screen, tabletop Projection
DTVs that incorporate Texas Instruments next-generation DLP(TM) technology
and the new DVI (digital video interface) HDTV interface for true
digital connection, and a stunning picture quality that rivals any
display technology on the market today.
Many leading movie theaters feature DLP Cinema(TM) technology, a
development of DLP(TM) technology designed specifically for the cinema.
Now Samsung brings the revolutionary DLP(TM) technology into the home
with two slim and light DLP(TM) technology-based HDTV monitor designs,
the 43" HLM437W and the 50" HLM507W. Both models will be
available for under $4,500 in select stores this summer and widely
available in Q4. Demonstrations of Samsung's first TVs to feature
DLP(TM) technology will take place at Home Entertainment 2002, May
30-June 2nd, in the Murray Hill Room A at the New York Hilton.
The 43" HLM437W weighs in at a mere 75 lbs, with a 15.7"
back-to-front footprint, while the 50" HLM507W weighs just 84
lbs and boasts a slim 18" back-to-front footprint. Both models
feature a 16:9 aspect ratio, the ideal format for viewing wide-screen
video from DVDs and the growing availability of DTV broadcast programming.
Steve G. Panosian, Senior Marketing Manager for Samsung's Visual
Display Group, said "Samsung's DLP technology-enabled projection
DTVs are the ultimate tabletop home theater solution, combining state-of-the-art
digital picture quality and features such as the DVI interface, a
slim and attractive design, and pricing that's unbelievably affordable
for this kind of advanced performance and technology.
" Viewers get the best of all possible worlds: the theatre-like
experience of a projection TV in a manageable size, the defined picture
of a direct-view TV, and the large screen sizes of a plasma display
at less than half the cost. We are delighted to be working with Texas
Instruments and are extremely impressed by the ability of DLP technology
to deliver not only clear, sharp images but also the affordability
the market demands."
The 43" HLM437W will be available for $3,999.99 (MSRP) and the
50" HLM507W will be available for $4,499.99 (MSRP). Visit www.samsungusa.com
for more information.
May 31 - ICQ Reaches 200 Million Download
Milestone. ICQ ("I Seek You"), the popular online communications
community and international service from America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL),
and CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET) today announced that ICQ reached
the 200 million download milestone on CNET Networks' industry-leading
Download.com Web site. With this development, ICQ continues as the
most downloaded product ever on Download.com (http://www.download.com).
Since its pioneering role in offering the first Internet messaging
software in 1996, ICQ has evolved into a complete communications portal
with an avid and loyal community of over 130 million registered users
worldwide. ICQ has grown rapidly and continues to gain popularity
primarily through word-of-mouth and viral marketing as its users are
Internet savvy and enthusiastic about utilizing instant messaging
to its fullest. After its initial posting on Download.com in 1996,
the instant messaging product offered several new versions, the latest
one being ICQ 2002a, and has regularly appeared on Download.com's
"Most Popular" list.
"The worldwide adoption of ICQ has been tremendous, and the
popularity and authority of Download.com has played an important role
in our growth," said Sefi Visiger, co-founder of ICQ. "The
ICQ phenomenon is based on our continuous innovation and our users'
enthusiasm for our products and community. Our ability to maintain
a unique experience has enabled us to stay connected with the Web's
most enthusiastic consumers who are always eager to download our latest
versions. We're delighted to have reached this milestone of 200 million
downloads with Download.com and look forward to keeping the momentum
The latest version of ICQ available on Download.com is ICQ 2002a
and introduces a new suite of search options that make it easier than
ever to find and connect with other ICQ users with similar interests.
A robust and full-featured communications tool, ICQ 2002a lets users
stay in touch with new online acquaintances wherever they are, whenever
they want, in a variety of ways.
ICQ 2002a also includes improved firewall support, an upgraded interface
and additional user preferences. ICQ 2002a builds upon the key features
introduced in the critically acclaimed ICQ 2001b client, which included
document and file sharing options, improved email integration and
multi-lingual two-way SMS text messaging for cellular phones, PDAs
and other wireless devices.
The product is available for free at www.ICQ.com.
May 30 - Samsung Ramping
533 MHz RDRAM to Meet Surging Demand. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.,
the world's leading supplier of advanced memory technology, today
announced that it is ramping production of its full range of PC1066
RDRAM to fully meet surging demand for these high speed memory modules.
This move is expected to strengthen the company's industry leadership
position by ensuring that customers receive ample supplies of 1066
RDRAM, the highest speed memory products available, in a timely manner.
<Editors note: The Intel® 850E chipset supports
533MHz/400MHz front-side-bus Pentium 4 processors, as well as PC1066
RIMM (533 MHz).>
As the newest addition to Samsung's DRAM portfolio, the 1066Mbps
(533MHz) RDRAM RIMM modules, available in 128MB and 256Mb densities,
provide the highest performance memory currently on the market for
use in PC, workstations and serious gaming machines.
Samsung is now delivering rapidly increasing quantities of 1066 RDRAM
RIMM to the major PC mother board companies that are leading the market
with PC system boards built on the Intel 850E chipset. As CPU speeds
advance beyond 2GHz, RDRAM will become the high-speed system memory
of choice due to its clear-cut performance advantage.
"For performance that is truly leading-edge, use Samsung 1066
RDRAM exclusively," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing
for Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Samsung's advanced memory technology
empowers our customers to build the fastest PC-based machines available."
Samsung is currently the largest volume supplier of RDRAM RIMM modules
and is the world's leading supplier of RDRAM memory, with more than
a 60 percent share of the market. The company intends to continue
its leadership role in RDRAM memory by being first-to-market with
leading-edge products in a wide range of configurations and densities.
For more information, visit www.usa.samsungsemi.com.
May 30 - Industry Leaders Support Standardized
Business Linux. Linux Industry leaders Caldera International,
Inc. (Nasdaq:CALD), Conectiva S.A., SuSE Linux AG, and Turbolinux,
Inc., today announced the organization of UnitedLinux, a new initiative
that will streamline Linux development and certification around a
global, uniform distribution of Linux designed for business.
UnitedLinux addresses enterprise customers' need for a standard,
business-focused Linux distribution that is certified to work across
hardware and software platforms, accelerating the adoption of Linux
in the enterprise. Under terms of the agreement, the four companies
will collaborate on the development of one common core Linux operating
environment, called UnitedLinux software. The four partners will each
bundle value added products and services with the UnitedLinux operating
system and the resulting offering will be marketed and sold by each
of the four partners under their own brands.
Nearly every vendor supplying a piece of the technology infrastructure
used by businesses has expressed support for UnitedLinux, including
systems and software vendors AMD, Borland Software Corporation, Computer
Associates, Fujitsu Siemens, Fujitsu Japan, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
Intel, NEC, Progress Software, and SAP.
Independent hardware and software vendors spend considerable effort
certifying their products and services on individual Linux distributions
to ensure product compatibility for their customers. UnitedLinux will
significantly diminish the number of distributions that vendors are
asked to certify and will provide a true standards-based Linux operating
For additional information on UnitedLinux, contact Caldera, Conectiva,
SuSE or Turbolinux or go to www.unitedlinux.com.
May 30 - IBM Scientists Rely on Principle
of Uncertainty to Protect Your Privacy. If you're an online merchant,
ask a visitor to your site a simple question, and you are likely to
get a misleading answer, if you get anything at all.
That's the dilemma prompting a new privacy-enhancing data mining technique
being developed by Dr. Rakesh Agrawal and Dr. Ramakrishnan Srikant,
researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center.
The research project -- one of several underway at IBM's Privacy
Research Institute -- scientifically addresses the Catch-22 created
by Web users entering false personal data on sites to protect their
privacy and e-businesses relying on the data to develop data models
and deliver customized services. "Our research institutionalizes
the notion of fibbing on the Internet, and does so to preserve the
overall reality behind the data," says Dr. Agrawal.
Called Privacy-Preserving Data Mining, the research relies on the
notion that one's personal data can be protected by being scrambled
or randomized prior to being communicated. By applying this technique,
a retailer could generate highly accurate data models without ever
seeing personal information.
"The beauty of this research is that retailers and other Web
businesses are able to extract the valuable demographic information
they need without necessarily knowing the underlying personal consumer
data", said Harriet P. Pearson, IBM's Chief Privacy Officer.
"I believe we'll see technological approaches such as this playing
a larger role in managing the privacy issues of today and the future."
How It Works:
A Web user decides to enter a piece of personal data -- e.g., age,
salary, weight. Upon entry, that number, say age 30 is immediately
scrambled or `randomized' by IBM software: the software takes the
original number that was input and adds (or subtracts) to it a random
value. This randomization step is performed independently for every
user who opts to enter their age. So, a 30 year old's age may be randomized
to 42, while a 34 year old's entry may be randomized to 28. The randomization
differs for every single user.
What does not change is the allowed range of the randomization.
And, the range is directly linked to the desired level of privacy.
Large randomization increases the uncertainty and the personal privacy
of the users. However, at the same time, larger randomizations can
cause loss in the accuracy of the results that are, at the end, produced
by a data mining algorithm that uses the randomized data as input.
According to Dr. Agrawal, it is clearly a trade off. Experiments indicate
only a 5-10 percent loss in accuracy even for 100 percent randomization
after the data mining algorithm has applied corrections to the randomized
IBM can be found online at www.ibm.com.
May 29 - Intel Projects Record-Setting
Itanium 2 Processor Performance. Intel Corporation today revealed
performance estimates for its forthcoming Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor
that address the most demanding aspects of enterprise computing.
With higher data speeds and microarchitectural enhancements, servers
and workstations based on the Itanium 2 processor are expected to
deliver up to 1.5 to two times the performance of today's Itanium-based
systems, significantly extending the product line's performance over
RISC-based systems on key enterprise-class applications.
"With Itanium 2-based systems, Intel will deliver
on the promise of the Itanium architecture with industry-leading performance
on a broad range of demanding enterprise computing and technical applications,"
said Mike Fister, senior vice president and general manager for Intel's
Enterprise Platforms Group. "As system availability begins mid-year
and grows throughout 2002, IT and line of business users will be able
to deploy high-performance, standards-based technology for their most
data-intensive, business-critical applications.
"The Itanium 2 processor, formerly code-named "McKinley,"
will be the second in a family of enterprise-class processors from
Intel that brings the performance and volume economics of the Intel
Architecture to the most demanding segments of computing. The Itanium
processor family enables a broad choice of reliable and scalable platforms
and software for high-end servers and workstations at significantly
lower costs and greater performance than proprietary offerings.
Intel expects the Itanium 2 processor to deliver exceptional processor
and system performance:
-- Memory bandwidth: Single-processor Itanium 2-based systems using
the Intel E8870 chipset are expected to deliver 3.7 GB/s on the Stream*
benchmark, which is more than 2.5 times that of a comparable Itanium-based
system and more than four times the performance of a comparable UltraSparc
III system at 0.891 GB/s.
-- Floating point: On the SPECfp2000* benchmark, single-processor
Itanium2-based systems are expected to achieve industry-leading performance
with a base result of 1350, almost doubling the base result of 701
on comparable UltraSparc III and Itanium-based systems.
-- Integer: Intel estimates that on the SPECint2000* benchmark, single-processor
Itanium 2-based systems will have a base result of 700 or higher,
approximately 30 percent better than a comparable UltraSparc III system.
The Intel Itanium 2 processor's outstanding performance is achieved
through microarchitectural enhancements -- including 3 MB of on-die
level 3 (L3) cache and additional execution units and issue ports
-- and improved data speeds, including a three-fold increase in system
bus bandwidth, 1GHz frequency and improved cache latencies. The Itanium
architecture also maintains generation-to-generation software compatibility,
enabling software compiled for the Itanium processor to run on the
Itanium 2 processor with significant performance increases.
For more information about enterprise performance and benchmarks,
May 30 - Toshiba Increases Investment
in U.S. Wireless Market. Toshiba Corporation today announced that
it would increase its minority interest in U.S. based Audiovox Communications
Corporation (ACC), the distributor of wireless products for Audiovox
Toshiba will raise its stake in ACC to 25%, a move that will strengthen
ACC in the fast growing wireless communications market and also allow
Toshiba to establish its presence in the North American CDMA market.
Toshiba and Audiovox Corporation, ACC's parent, have partnered in
the cellular business since 1984, when they were among the first companies
to enter the industry in the United States. Audiovox Corporation launched
ACC in 1993 to reinforce marketing of wireless products and in 1999
Toshiba took a 5% interest in the company. Today's announcement reflects
the continuing strength of the long-standing Toshiba-Audiovox relationship
and the determination of the partners to continue as a major presence
in the fast growing CDMA market.
Commenting on the agreement, Tetsuya Mizoguchi, Company President
of Toshiba's Mobile Communications Company, said: "We welcome
this strengthening of our strategic alliance with Audiovox. Over the
years, we have developed a mutual trust and understanding that has
supported our progress in the wireless market. This new agreement
strengthens the ties between us and paves the way to a strong presence
in 3G and future cellular products."
Mr. Philip Christopher, President and CEO of Audiovox Communications
Corp., stated, "Success in the wireless market depends more and
more on strategic alliances that combine the key elements of technology
and distribution. The access to technology that Toshiba provides us
should prove valuable as the 3G market develops."
CDMA terminals already account for the majority of sales in the North
American cellular phone market. Toshiba estimates more than 30 million
CDMA handsets were sold in North America in 2001 and predicts a market
of almost 60 million units in 2004, following the launch of CDMA2000.
ACC is a leader in the North American market, with a record of dramatic
growth that has taken it to the No. 2 position among suppliers of
CDMA handsets. On the basis of its increased interest in ACC, Toshiba
will proactively work with ACC to enhance timely delivery of products
that meets North American market needs and support continued business
expansion. In future, the companies will also investigate extending
sales to Latin and South America.
Toshiba is a leading presence in the CDMA market, known for bringing
innovations and enhancements to standard handsets. The company is
the No. 1 supplier of CDMA handsets in Japan and strongly positioned
in the U.S. through its supply to Audiovox. In coming years, as CDMA
continues to gain market share, Toshiba will continue to work to become
the No. 1 CDMA vendor in the world market.
Toshiba can be found online at www.toshiba.co.jp.
May 29 - PSS Delivers World's Fastest
1Mb Flash Memory. Programmable Silicon Solutions today announced
it has begun shipping to customers a new ultra high-speed flash memory,
featuring random access times of less than 20ns, that becomes the
fastest 1Mb random-accessible flash memory chip in the world.
The new flash memory chip, the PS29FS001, is twice as fast as any
previously developed random-access flash memory and opens up a new
era of cost-effective high-performance system designs. The chip is
fully optimized for today's critical applications where very fast
and fully random read access is critical to meet the requirements
of popular DSP and 32-bit RISC processors. This technical breakthrough
enables system designers to operate fast processors directly from
the flash memory, thereby eliminating the need for an intermediate
"We are excited to bring this new family of memories to the
marketplace and are encouraged by initial customer feedback,"
said Dr. Ting Wong, president of Programmable Silicon Solutions. "We
believe that the PS29FS001 creates new opportunities for the design
of current and next-generation products employing high-performance
RISC processors, for applications in computing, communications and
networking, including wireless LAN."
Wong said the new product will provide system designers with a high-density
flash memory that can `talk' directly to the processor without slowing
it down. "By providing a `flash as fast as cache,' the PS29FS001
eliminates the need for a shadow SRAM in many RISC-based systems,
thereby saving board space and system power," he said. "These
savings directly translate to cost-effective system-level products
that are simpler, easy to use and require less power to operate."
More information is available at www.ps2tech.com.
May 29 - SanDisk Introduces Combination
Software -- Flash Card for Handhelds. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK)
today introduced its first combination software -- flash memory expansion
card for Palm OS devices -- a 32 megabyte (MB) Secure Digital(TM)
(SD) card pre-loaded with the popular BackupBuddy VFS(TM) software
application from Blue Nomad Inc.
The SD Expansion Card was launched in conjunction with the introduction
today of the new Handspring(TM) Treo(TM) 90, a sleek and lightweight
organizer with a built-in keyboard, full-color display, 16MB of memory
and Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard expansion capabilities.
The new software -- flash memory SD card will allow Palm OS devices
with an SD slot, including the Handspring Treo 90, to easily backup,
store and encrypt their data on the SD card with the touch of one
"The SD Expansion Card gives Treo 90 owners and other handheld
users significant peace of mind," said Wes Brewer, director of
business development at SanDisk. "By automating and simplifying
the important but tedious process of backing up data, users can keep
their data protected. Handspring has made significant contributions
to the handheld organizer market, and customers can now use our products
with Handspring's Treo 90."
"SanDisk provides a simple, easy-to-use solution for backing
up data and adding memory to the Treo 90," said Rita Sharma,
business development manager for Handspring. "SanDisk is a trusted
and valued name to consumers and its 32MB Expansion Card coupled with
the best backup and restore utility on the market will provide a great
value to our customers."
The 32MB SD Expansion Card will be sold under the SanDisk label and
will be priced at $49.99. It is initially available on SanDisk's website
May 29 - Cell Phone Handset Sales Decline.
Despite having experienced a myriad of difficulties over the past
year, the global handset industry will grow from $60 billion this
year, to more than $100 billion in 2006, according to In-Stat/MDR
In 2001, handset sales were plagued by overproduction, delays in the
arrival of handsets with the desired feature sets, and a faltering
However, according to Ray Jodoin, a principal analyst with the high-tech
research firm, "We can still look forward with a moderate amount
of enthusiasm. Now that prepaid subscribers are being de-emphasized
in many regions, the percentage of low-featured, low-margin, handsets
are on the decline and prices are expected to remain reasonably stable
over the next 5 years."
For handset sales growth to rebound to previous levels, a number of
conditions will be necessary:
-- Reasonably priced and desirable content. Ideally, without a "cover
-- 3 1/2 x 5 CM (minimum) color display.
-- Intuitive operation.
-- Multi-functional Global Positioning System (GPS).
-- Multi-band roaming capability.
-- The ability to replace a cordless phone in both home and office
"Content is key," said Jodoin. "While voice will
continue to drive the worldwide market for the foreseeable future,
data can help drive handset sales, not to mention margins, as well
as carriers' Average Revenue per Users (ARPUs), upward. This is contingent,
however, on whether the content and price are right, which they currently
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- In 2002, The Americas will account for the activation of 25.8%
of the worldwide handset uptake.
-- Latin America will take an increasingly important roll in handset
activations, as their share of the worldwide market climbs to 10.2%
-- In 2002, Rest of World (ROW) will account for the activation of
43.4% of the worldwide handset uptake.
May 29 - HP says Americans ``Can't Live
Without'' Printers. The "paperless office" is still
a myth according to research by HP (NYSE:HPQ). In fact, printers top
the list of home office tools that consumers "can't live without"
(43 percent) -- outranking additional phone lines (19 percent), fax
machines (10 percent) and electronic calendars (8 percent).
Printing is more than just a matter of black and white in this digital
age as people are increasingly printing more color documents: more
than nine out of ten (94 percent) printer owners say they use printers
for a variety of creative projects.
In particular, more than half of Americans polled say they print
color photographs from email or digital cameras (58 percent). Other
creative printer uses include making greeting cards, invitations or
announcements (72 percent), creating arts and crafts projects (53
percent) and developing custom CD and DVD labels and covers (23 percent).
"The market for photo printers and all-in-ones has never been
hotter. Consumers are seeking multi-functional, easy-to-use devices
that work well with digital cameras," said George Brasher, product
marketing manager, HP Personal Printing Organization.
More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.
May 28 - Samsung Develops
Industry's First DDR-II SDRAM. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., the
world's leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, today
announced the industry's first DDR-II device, a high-density 512Mb
DDR-II SDRAM, that it expects to be the next-generation mainstream
DRAM technology for high-speed systems.
Samsung's 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM fully satisfies the JEDEC DDR-II standard
set in March 2002. The device has a low 1.8-volt Vdd and has data
transfer rates of 533Mbps that can be extended to a maximum of 667Mbps
for networks and special system environments. With the availability
of Samsung's new 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM device, high-speed, performance-enhanced,
next-generation memory designs are now a reality.
Samsung's 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM device incorporates JEDEC's DDR-II specifications
by adding core functions that include off-chip driver calibration
(OCD) to maintain optimum driver strength; on-die termination (ODT)
to ensure optimum signal waveform; and posted CAS, a command control
method to enhance bus efficiency. The device's chip-scale, 60-ball
BGA package maximizes performance.
In March 2001, prior to the development of the 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM,
Samsung created a 2.5V, 128Mb DDR-II prototype. In parallel with Samsung's
device design, and in an effort to validate the key DDR-II technology
attributes, IBM developed a first-generation DDR-II memory interface
chip in conjunction with a new registered DIMM.
IBM, widely acknowledged as a world-class system manufacturer and
technology leader, has jointly completed characterization of the early
DDR-II prototype devices in this memory subsystem with Samsung engineers.
All key functional and performance objectives were attained. The validation
of next-generation DDR-II technology in a system environment marks
a significant accomplishment for both companies.
"This is an important technological achievement for Samsung,"
said Gary Tressler, IBM manager for Memory Technology and Qualification.
"It is also an important step forward in the ongoing effort to
deliver solutions that help customers meet the ever-increasing, memory-intensive
demands of a network-centric computing world. We are pleased to contribute
to this effort and will continue to work with Samsung and others to
reduce costs, improve time to market, and ensure the broad availability
and adoption of open standards for future advances in DRAM technology.
"Samsung will continue to aggressively support the DDR-II design
as a future mainstream technology to satisfy customer needs for high-density,
high-performance memory," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing
for Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "The verification project on
DDR-II has greatly reduced the lead time for introducing this new
design as a next-generation solution. The board-level evaluation stands
as concrete evidence to the reliability of the technology."
Samsung will commence volume production of the new 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM
device in Q3 2003. The timely introduction of these next-generation
DDR-II sample devices is in line with the company's strategy to expand
its DDR DRAM market share to more than 50 percent in 2002. Samsung
intends to maintain its leadership stance in high value-added memory
by being first to market with leading-edge technologies in a wide
range of configurations and densities.
Samsung is an industry leader in the development of DDR technology.
In December 2001, JEDEC presented the company's engineering force
with a technical recognition award acknowledging Samsung's contribution
to the standardization of DDR-SDRAM.
Samsung has also set major milestones in the market introduction of
DDR devices. The company's first 64Mb device, launched in 1997, is
followed by a series of timely market presentations: DDR266 in 2000,
and DDR333 in 2001. Samsung currently has more industry-validated
DDR SDRAM devices than any other manufacturer, testimony to the performance
and reliability of the company's DDR SDRAM products.
According to Dataquest, the DRAM market is expected to reach 21.1
billion US$ in 2002 and grow to 41.1 billion US$ by 2004. The DDR
market will comprise 40 percent of the DRAM market in 2002 and reach
66 percent by 2003.
For more information, visit www.usa.samsungsemi.com.
May 28 - Bull to Demonstrate 16-Way Intel
Itanium 2-Based Server at IDF. Bull will demonstrate at the Intel
Developer Forum during the keynote speech of Mr. Mike Fister, Senior
Vice-President & General Manager, Enterprise Platforms Group,
Intel Corp, a 16-way Itanium 2 -based SMP server.
The demonstration will enable the visualization of the power of this
system thanks to the POV-Ray algorithm, well known in High Performance
Computing. This prototype pre-announces a full range of enterprise
servers based on the forthcoming Intel Itanium2 processor.
"The Itanium 2 processor is designed for scalability and reliability,
enabling system manufacturers like Bull to build enterprise-class
servers using standards-based building blocks. In today's 16-way prototype
demonstration, Bull is delivering on the high-end promise of this
processor family. As Itanium 2-based system availability begins mid-year
and grows throughout 2002, IT users will have an increasing choice
of high-end platforms based on the Itanium processor family."
said Mike Fister.
"We take pride in our ongoing relationship with Intel, since
1998. Bull's engineers work in close collaboration with those of Intel
labs to design and develop platforms and infrastructure solutions
in line with tomorrow's large servers requirements. In this collaboration,
Bull brings its recognised savoir-faire in scalability, reliability
and openness" said Michel Guillemet, Chief Technical Officer,
R&D of Bull.
Bull can be found online at www.bull.net.
May 28 - IP3 Networks Launches NetAccess
for Wireless Hot Spots. IP3 Networks Inc. is shipping NetAccess
for Wireless Hot Spots, an Internet gateway that allows coffee shops,
bars, airports, convention centers and hotels to set up hot spots
-- providing high-speed, wireless connectivity for mobile users.
IP3's NetAccess for Wireless Hot Spots is the first gateway to provide
full IPsec VPN support that allows any 802.11-enabled laptop or PDA
user to access the Internet without having to change network settings.
Integrators and solutions providers hailed the VPN support.
"We performed extensive testing on all of the gateways on the
market and found that IP3's NetAccess is the only product that doesn't
require end-users to change their settings even when they have a static
IP pre-set," Larry Rhone, president, Protel Services, said. "Combined
with other unique features such as billing, service policy management
and bandwidth control, IP3's NetAccess gateway allows us to meet strict
RFP requirements and win large contracts."
NetAccess acts as a control point for billing with support for PMS
interfaces, credit card authorization and radius authentication. Service
policy management allows businesses to offer multiple price plans
based on user criteria such as connection speed and duration of usage.
Bandwidth rate control lets property managers control the speed available
to users and manage bandwidth consumption. For example, businesses
can provide customers free access at 128K and offer faster connection
speeds for a daily or hourly fee charged to their credit card. These
features increase revenue and bottom-line profit.
"Property owners that have added high-speed Internet access have
found ease-of-use their greatest obstacle. The average user doesn't
know how to change their network settings and doesn't want to learn,"
Mike Lee, president and CEO, IP3 Networks, said. "NetAccess lets
anyone with an 802.11 wireless card simply fire up their system and
launch their browser to get Internet access."
Businesses are using hot spots to generate both revenue and customer
loyalty. According to IDC, a major industry-marketing firm, more than
55 million laptop and PDA users seek Internet access away from the
Additional information can be found at www.ip3networks.com.
May 28 - Mobile Automation Announces
Enterprise Support Tool for Pocket PC. Mobile Automation, Inc.,
a leading provider of secure management solutions for mobile and desktop
computing devices, announced today an innovative new addition to its
award winning Mobile Automation 2000 mobile infrastructure product.
The new feature of Live Support for Pocket PC allows corporate help
desk technicians to remotely control and assist Windows Powered Pocket
PC device users wirelessly, or through docking cradles, regardless
of their location.
Many corporations that are adopting Pocket PC devices for improved
productivity of their mobile employees are finding their help desk
support call time increasing significantly. Users are simply not familiar
with how to use a device. Mobile Automation 2000 Live Support for
Pocket PC (which comes with Mobile Automation 2000 Enterprise Edition)
allows remote control of Pocket PC devices from its management and
web console, using unique smart device recognition technology to handle
DCHP configured devices and cradled devices.
"Mobile Automation's Live Support for Pocket PC extends the Windows
Powered platform's power to administrators by enabling them to manage
each mobile employee's device remotely," said Scott Gode, director
for Mobility at Microsoft Corp. "In essence, it helps companies
rapidly deploy Pocket PC-based solutions that will increase their
work force productivity."
Pricing and availability was not announced. For more information visit.www.mobileautomation.com.
May 28 - Plextor Ships External
40/12/40 CD-RW Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and
manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software,
today announced the immediate release of the PlexWriter(TM) 40/12/40U
CD-RW optical disk drive.
Uniting Hi-Speed USB 2.0 data transfer rates with unparalleled reliability
and easy-to-use software, Plextor's new external CD-RW drive makes
duplicating, storing, and sharing digital content more productive
than ever before.
The versatile 3-in-1 PlexWriter 40/12/40U delivers industry leading
performance with 40X CD-Write, 12X CD-Rewrite, and 40X CD-Read, making
it the fastest external Plextor drive available. With superior 40X
Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) rates and 40X CD-Recording speeds,
the new drive can burn a 650 MB disc in less than three minutes while
maintaining the industry's highest quality.
The PlexWriter 40/12/40U connects to any laptop or desktop computer
(PC or Mac) via the Universal Serial Bus (USB 2.0/1.1), so installation
is faster and easier than ever before. The new PlexWriter is also
Plug & Play compatible with Windows(R) 98SE/ME/2000/XP(TM) for
easy setup. Users can typically begin recording custom CDs within
minutes of opening the box.
"The new PlexWriter 40/12/40U is an extremely fast, highly reliable,
external drive that delivers top performance for all applications,"
said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor.
"The new drive strengthens our product lineup by providing customers
with an upgrade or add-on product for any system with Hi-Speed USB
2.0 or legacy USB 1.1."
The external PlexWriter 40/12/40U CD-RW drive with Hi-Speed USB 2.0
is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers immediately.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $209.
More information can be found at www.plextor.com.
May 27 - 60,000 Game Industry
Professionals Attend E3Expo 2002. Sixty thousand interactive entertainment
professionals from more than 70 countries converged in Los Angeles
for the eighth annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo), according
to the show's owner, the Interactive Digital Software Association
(IDSA). Approximately 400 exhibitors showcased thousands of new computer
and video games and products, including more than 1,000 never-before-seen
"This year, E3Expo focused on the ever-evolving, highly-advanced
interactive software that reflects why millions of Americans have
made video games their entertainment of choice for the 21st century,"
said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the IDSA, the trade association
that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers, and the show's
owner. "E3Expo 2002 showcased the computer and video games that
will be on consumer shopping lists this holiday season. In fact, according
to show exhibitors, about 75 percent of the products shown at E3Expo
will launch in time for the coming holidays."
E3Expo 2002, "A World of Its Own," which covered 509,000
net square feet of exhibit space, concludes today at the Los Angeles
Convention Center. This year's show included a newly expanded conference
and workshop program featuring a faculty of more than 125 of the industry's
most accomplished and respected leaders. E3Expo 2003 will be held
in Los Angeles the week of May 12, 2003.
E3Expo, now in its eighth year, is owned by the Interactive Digital
Software Association (IDSA), the U.S. association dedicated to serving
the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing
interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal
computers, and the Internet. IDSA members collectively account for
more than 85 percent of the $6.35 billion in entertainment software
sales in the U.S. in 2001, and billions more in export sales of American-made
Visit www.e3expo.com for more show information.
May 27 - ATI chosen to power
DOOM III for E3 2002. Id Software(TM) has chosen ATI's next generation
graphics architecture as the platform for previewing their unbelievably
realistic and much anticipated DOOM III(TM) at this year's E3 Expo.
ATI's chip was chosen because it offers the most advanced, high-performance
graphics architecture to power the demonstration at E3 2002. DOOM
III(TM), scheduled for release in 2003, has been highly anticipated
both as an unbelievable game and as a true measure of today - and
tomorrow's - graphics architectures. Also highly anticipated, ATI's
next generation product, scheduled for release this fall, will cement
ATI firmly as a leader in the ultra-high-end 3D and gaming graphics
"ATI's next generation hardware has an ideal feature set for
the DOOM III(TM) engine, and at the moment is the fastest platform
to run the game on," said John Carmack, Chief Technical Officer
& co-founder of Id Software, Inc.
"We want users to be blown away by their gaming experience,"
said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager,
Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "Our next-generation product will
move gamers a quantum leap forward in realistic and immersive gaming.
Gamer's won't just play DOOM III(TM) with ATI's next generation hardware
- they'll live it."
Visit ATI at www.ati.com. Check
out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.
May 27 - Ubi Soft Expands
Internet Strategy with Myst Online. Ubi Soft(R) Entertainment,
one of the world's leading videogame publishers, today announced an
exclusive worldwide deal with Cyan Worlds, Inc., to publish and operate
Myst(R) Online (working title).
The Myst franchise has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide
and is the most widely recognized game brand in the world. Known for
their artistic beauty, immersive atmosphere and ease of use, the Myst
games represent a high benchmark of the video game industry. Now,
the visually stunning Myst universe will be featured in a persistent
online world-based adventure featuring state-of-the-art technology,
innovative design and a rich social experience. Myst Online is slated
to launch in 2003.
Devotees of the Myst series, fans of traditional massively-multiplayer
online games, and non-gamers alike are sure to be captivated by Myst
Online. The game features visually stunning real-time 3D graphics,
rich storylines, continually updated content, real voice communication
and traditional text chat. Myst Online will have an easy learning
curve, enabling players of all skill levels and interests to experience
the expansive Ages and history of Myst in a uniquely social environment.
"This is the culmination of years of world building. Everything
we've learned from our earliest worlds we've poured into Myst Online,
building a universe that is growing, breathing, and alive. The Myst
Online universe will provide players with a journey that will never
end," said Rand Miller, founder of Cyan Worlds, Inc. "Myst
Online uses our proprietary technology to build a place that is so
responsive and immersive, people will feel impelled to share their
adventure, both in the game, and the next day at work or school. It's
a massive undertaking, and we're excited about working with Ubi Soft
to make it a reality."
Myst Online will be played on ubi.com which is expanding its online
infrastructure to serve customers anywhere in the world. One of the
top ten worldwide online gaming portals, ubi.com supports all of Ubi
Soft's multiplayer titles and is the only game portal to support both
PC and console-based games. Ubi.com reaches millions of unique visitors
each month and has over one million registered users since its launch
in November 2001. Screenshots and artwork for Myst Online can be found
May 27 - PCs more popular than video game
consoles. Just over 70% of the nation's households with kids 19
or younger use computers in 2002, up significantly from 55% in 2000
and 43% percent in 1995, according to preliminary results released
today by MetaFacts from the 2002 Technology User Profile report.
"The PC has continued to weave itself into the American family's
life, as a hub of entertainment, a source for news and information,
and a way to stay in touch with others," said MetaFacts Principal
Analyst Dan Ness.
The presence of both kids and PCs in the household is related to
the increased use of other technology products in the home sector.
Digital cameras have quickly increased in penetration of PC Households
with kids, rising to over three in ten (31.3%) from less than one-quarter
(22.5%) only last year. "Many parents have discovered the ease
with which pictures can be taken with a digital camera and shared
with friends and other family members via email," continued Ness.
The growth of videogame systems, however, was effectively flat in
PC households with kids over the past year. Nearly four in ten (39.7%)
of households with PCs and kids owned a videogame system in 2001,
compared to 39.2% in 2002. "Kids have discovered they can have
fun on PCs, the Internet and handheld game systems, challenging the
traditional videogame console," said Ness. "Videogame console
makers need to figure out how to have their systems play well with
other platforms. Consoles continue to have a place among households
with kids but without PCs, reaching into nearly a third of these homes."
While it appears that the presence of children in the household helps
to drive the use of PCs, "the age of children in the household
was not a factor in whether households were more or less likely to
have a PC," said Ness. "Households with Toddlers have the
same PC penetration rate as those with Preteens and Teens."
Socioeconomic factors influence the use of PCs among households with
children. Where either the male or female head of household has graduated
college, the penetration of PCs into homes with kids is 84%, in contrast
to those households who have heads of household without a High School
education where the penetration is less than half. Household income
is also a factor. Eighty-two percent of households with kids with
$50,000 or more in annual income own a PC compared to only 58% of
households with kids with income under $50,000. Marital Status is
also related. Married couples with kids are more likely to own a PC
(75%), than divorced (63.5%), separated (54.2%), unmarried (51.2%)
or widowed (41.7%) parents.
Of the households with kids who do not own a computer at home, Heads
of Households cited several roadblocks to purchasing: a lack of experience
in buying consumer electronics, perceived high risk in buying electronic
products, not feeling they can keep up with current events, and financial
Other findings from the report include:
-- Suburbs have the highest percentage of households with kids
that use PCs, followed by city centers. Households with kids
in areas outside of metropolitan areas have the lowest PC
-- The four states with the highest percentage of households with
kids using PCs are Vermont (91%), New Hampshire (86%), South
Dakota (86%) and Arizona (84%).
-- Cellphone use among households that have kids and PCs also has
increased remarkably over the past year, rising from 73.3% in
2001 to 81.9% in 2002.
MetaFacts can be found online at www.metafacts.com.
May 26 - Sunday Shopping
Watch. Memorial Day Weekend
Best Sunday Deals - Circuit City is offering
a Compaq 1.3 GHz complete system for $599. CompUSA has a Compaq Athlon
4 1600+ Notebook with a DVD/CD-RW drive for $1299.
Notebooks - While prices remain high on notebooks,
this week's best deal, a Compaq Athlon 4 1600+ with DVD/CD-RW for
$1299, is a very good buy.
High-end Athlon, Pentium III-M, and Pentium 4-M processor notebook
prices appear unchanged.
Desktops - Prices continue to fall on Celeron desktops as can
be seen by this week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system going for $599.
Prices are a little lower on Pentium 4 desktops compared to last week
and prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops went down about
$50 compared to last week.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
BestBuy is giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer
purchase. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing
on any computer purchase over $298. Additionally, they are giving
$100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages and notebooks.
City is giving 12 months
of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase and no interest
fro 12 months on purchases over $298.. Additionally, they are offering
$100 instant rebates on all notebooks and desktop complete packages.
They are also advertising an additional $100 instant rebate on all
Compaq desktop packages and notebooks.
no ad today.
CompUSA is offering 12 month
interest free financing on any Pentium 4 notebook or desktop complete
system.. They are also offering $100 off any Compaq complete system
or notebook, and an additional $100 off any AMD 1600+ notebook or
AMD complete system.
Staples no ad today.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday Ad prices
to those being offered at 160 online computer stores.
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost
all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have
integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon
XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features,
and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well
for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in
mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.
About Windows XP. It has been a little over 5
months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows
XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more
information on Windows XP see our Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before
you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth
discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A desktop system/package is defined
as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's
stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you
order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store,
you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 1.3 GHz complete
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
Circuit City, Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.26 GHz build-to-order complete
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1600+ complete system
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 1900+ complete system
Best Buy, CompUSA
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Duron
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 1600+ Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears
every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our
News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer
chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local
chain store has the same items, this article should help you make
informed buying decisions.
May 24 - ATI's RADEON Products
To Support Eighth-Generation AMD Platform. Continuing its support
of leading industry standards, ATI today announced that its RADEON(TM)
family of products will offer 32-bit and 64-bit driver support for
AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processors.
The eighth-generation AMD platform sets the standard for performance
PC processors, delivering the ultimate computing experience for commercial
users and consumers.
ATI's full family of RADEON desktop graphics products will support
64-bit computing from the RADEON 7000 to the RADEON 8500. The ATI
products will work with the Opteron processor to deliver solid, stable
solutions for commercial and consumer use. The performance gained
by 64-bit architecture will support applications that address large
amounts of physical and virtual memory, such as database management
systems, and CAD tools.
"Users want seamless solutions whether it is for a commercial
environment or a home setting," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice
President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies
Inc. "By working with industry leaders like AMD and optimizing
our RADEON graphics products for use with ground breaking products
like the Opteron processor, we provide just that."
"The AMD eighth-generation platform and ATI RADEON family of
products will provide customers optimized 32-bit performance, and
the flexibility to seamlessly migrate to 64-bit environments,"
said Rex Meek, Director of Hardware Infrastructure Enablement Group.
"System flexibility and increased graphics data throughput will
benefit consumers for gaming and broadband use, as well as companies
that require improved performance for CAD or digital content creation."
Visit ATI at www.ati.com.
May 24 - Sonic and Adaptec
Ink Worldwide Distribution Pact. Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq:SNIC),
the world leader in DVD creation software, announced today it has
entered into a distribution agreement with Adaptec, the leader in
desktop I/O solutions, to bring Sonic's popular MyDVD(TM) and DVDit!(R)
applications to retail channels throughout the world. Under the agreement,
Adaptec will be the exclusive distributor of co-branded versions of
MyDVD and DVDit! in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, excluding Japan.
"With the growth of DVD players, introduction of new lower-cost
DVD burners, and the growing consumer appetite for sharing and preserving
home movies, the retail market is poised for a great consumer DVD
software solution," said Jeff Loebbaka, Vice-president and General
Manager of Adaptec's Desktop Products Group. "Sonic was our top
choice as they have the best DVD technology, the leading DVD software
applications and the largest installed base among the PC and peripheral
OEMs. With Adaptec's brand strength and channel reach and Sonic's
exceptional products, we believe that we have the winning video solution
"Adaptec has the brand awareness and strong relationships that
we have been seeking in a retail partner," said Mary C. Sauer,
Senior Vice-president of Business Development of Sonic Solutions.
"Adaptec pioneered the market for CD burning software, and together
with their strong retail experience, their desktop I/O and video solutions,
and our DVD product line-up, we will create and expand the market
for consumer video and DVD creation software."
Since its introduction in 1997, DVD has enjoyed the fastest growth
of any consumer electronics format: over 120 million set-top and DVD-equipped
PC players are now in the market, the number of replicated discs in
North America will top the one-billion mark in 2002, and new lost-cost
DVD recorders are hitting the market with a potential of over 4 million
units being sold this year.
Sonic was the first to offer professional DVD production systems,
and over 75 percent of Hollywood movies available to consumers today
are created using Sonic's DVD technology. With millions of DVD titles
created by Sonic's professional film and corporate users, Sonic offers
the greatest compatibility among the myriad of set-top and PC players.
More information on Sonic MyDVD(TM) can be found at www.mydvd.com.
May 24 - Netscape Launches Preview Release
of Netscape 7.0 Browser. Netscape Communications, a subsidiary
of America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), today announced the Preview Release
of Netscape 7.0, the latest version of Netscape's browser software,
designed to allow consumers to get the most from their time online.
In addition, Netscape announced the redesign of its popular Netscape.com
web site, featuring richer graphics and a streamlined design throughout
the site that showcases best-of-the-Web content from AOL Time Warner
online properties and other leading content partners.
With the Preview Release of the Netscape 7.0 browser, Netscape has
taken web browsing and communications to a new level of convenience,
efficiency and Web standards compliance. Netscape 7.0 is optimized
for the activities people most frequently engage in on the Web --
browsing, searching, communicating, downloading, shopping, and listening
to music. Along with an unmatched level of customization and convenience,
Netscape 7.0 delivers enhanced performance and stability with a fine-tuned
Netscape Gecko browser engine that speeds the most common online activities.
Netscape 7.0 Preview Release offers consumers a faster, more convenient
experience through features such as "Quick Launch," which
speeds the start-up time for the browser and allows consumers to get
online faster than ever. Within Navigator, timesaving new features
such as Tabbed Browsing, Click-to-Search and Download Manager make
the online experience more efficient and enjoyable than ever before.
More powerful Netscape Mail enables consumers to efficiently organize
and manage all their online communications, with enhancements such
as Quick Search and simplified Mail Filters.
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the number one instant messenger with
more than 150 million registered users, is available through Netscape
7.0, meaning online friends, family and co-workers are always just
one click away. Netscape 7.0 also features the new Radio@Netscape
accessible right from the toolbar, so Web music fans can easily select
and play stations that match their tastes.
The Preview Release of Netscape 7.0 is available for free download
May 24 - Siemens' Start-Up Develops Ultra-Miniature
Motors. It's about the size of a penny, low cost, virtually silent,
and has the potential for being used in scores of applications from
toys, to vents, track lighting, and CD ROM players.
The miniature piezoelectric "Elliptec motors" from Elliptec
AG, a Siemens Technology-To-Business Center LLP start-up, may soon
replace millions of electromagnetic minis currently in use in a wide
range of applications. Large-scale production and shipment of the
motors is expected this summer.
The Elliptec motor uses a piezoelectric element to generate high-speed
ultrasonic vibrations (up to 100,000 times per second) that in turn
can spin a wheel or move a rod. At one-twelfth the weight, and one-fifth
the size of standard electromagnetic minis, the Elliptec is more powerful
and smaller. Additionally, they require only 3-6 volts to operate
and have only three parts (piezoelectric element, mounting spring
and vibration frame). Patents are pending on the technology.
The Elliptec motor does not need a gearbox--required in DC motors--
to control its speed. Rather, the Elliptec can produce slow motion
directly via an electric control signal, which is used to set the
speed. The Elliptec's motion control is comparable, in terms of quality,
to more expensive stepper motors. The new motor is a cost effective
alternative to conventional DC mini motors in applications where it
is connected to an electronic chip or when bi-directional motion is
needed, as it requires less than one-third of the electronic components.
This feature of the Elliptec motor is especially advantageous in applications
where there is little room, such as toys, where slow or very well-controlled
motion is required.
"As production volumes increase over the next few years, we
expect prices to drop significantly and go below the one dollar level,"
says Bjoern Magnussen, President and CEO of Elliptec AG. "The
technology has tremendous potential in applications requiring very
small motors used to provide motion in toys, open and close air conditioning
vents, or move CD ROM trays in and out," notes Dr. Magnussen.
The first motor models, he added, will be used in applications where
the size, weight, or noise of conventional mini motors can pose problems.
For futher information about the company, visit their web site at:
May 24 - `Chipworks Inside' the Intel
Pentium 4 Processor. Chipworks, a world class leading supplier
of reverse engineering services for the semiconductor, photonics and
electronic systems markets, today announced that they have released
their findings describing the breakthroughs in desktop processor technology
discovered inside the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 "Northwood"
"The Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4, 2.4 GHz, 1.5V microprocessor is
fabricated with Intel's advanced copper metal, 130 nm process,"
stated Dave York, Chipworks' manager, process analysis. "Published
information indicates it is designed for high performance desktops
and entry-level workstations and is 9 percent faster than its predecessor
at 2.2GHz. The device has 8KB of Level 1 cache (data) and 512KB of
Level 2 cache (advanced transfer cache), with a total of 55 million
According to Mr. York, "the device is manufactured in a full
CMP, 130 nm process (60 nm gate lengths) with six levels of damascene
copper (all copper) and one level of polysilicon. It uses STI (Shallow
Trench Isolation) and twin wells in a P-epi on a P substrate. Cobalt
silicide is employed on the polysilicon and diffusions (salicide process).
Intel(R) indicates that the 60 nm transistors have a gate oxide thickness
of approximately 15 Angstroms.
"What makes this chip particularly interesting is the use of
Low-K dielectric material between the copper conductors. Additionally,
put under a microscope, the device presents unique and innovative
circuitry providing its creators a strong competitive advantage,"
said Mr. York.
Chipworks can be visited via the Internet at www.chipworks.com.
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