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Daily Computer News and Rumors

May 08-15 2003

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
May 15 AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 3200+
May 15 Gartner Analyzes Alternatives to Microsoft
May 15 DISCover® PC Game Console Unveils at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
May 15 DealTime and Epinions Successfully Complete Merger
May 15 FrontBridge Tackles Spam Assault on Wireless Email
May 15 Worldwide 802.11 Market Grew 1% in 1Q03
May 14 MPC Introduces Transport T2000 and T2100 Centrino Notebook Computers
May 14 E-mail Worm Becomes One of the Most Widespread Viruses Currently in Circulation
May 14 Media Consumption Study Confirms Internet's Role as Leading Daytime Medium
May 14 Yahoo! Games and Intel to Present PC Games Designed for Peak Performance
May 14 Logitech Introduces Extreme 3D Pro and Attack 3 Joysticks
May 14 Epson Launches New Sub-$1,000 Multimedia Projector
May 13 ATI Ships RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB
May 13 NEC Leads Pack with New Handheld PC
May 13 Motion Computing Introduces Tablet PC with Intel Centrino Mobile Technology
May 13 Apple Introduces New iPods
May 13 Apple Unveils New eMac Family
May 13 Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Homes will be Viewing HDTV Programs in Five Years
May 12 ATI Ships RADEON 9600 PRO
May 12 Microsoft Announces Support for all Major DVD Recordable Formats
May 12 Nokia Launches its Latest Research on Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
May 12 T-Mobile Bundles Wireless Voice and Data with 'Wi-Fi' HotSpot Service
May 12 Survey Reports Tech Industry Faces New Reality
May 12 House Passes Nanotechnology Research and Development Act
May 11 Sunday Shopping Watch
May 09 FirewireDirect Unveils FireWire 800 Mbps PCI Host Adapter
May 09 Unmasking the Stealth Spammer Through Source Authentication
May 09 Responsys Expanding Efforts to Take the Internet Back From Spammers
May 09 SpamCon Foundation Creates Legal Fund
May 09 Interland Teams with PayPal to Provide E-Commerce Solution for Small Businesses
May 09 Intel and LEGO Company to Bring BIONICLE Toys to Life on the PC
May 09 EA Unveils Plans for SimCity 4 Rush Hour
May 08 Add FireWire 800 to Any Mac or PC
May 08 HP Blade Servers Outperform IBM on Web, e-Mail, ERP Benchmarks
May 08 interMute's Free SpamSubtract Stops Offensive & Pornographic Spam
May 08 Visual Basic Users Migrating to Java and C
May 08 Bitstream Releases Version 1.07 of ThunderHawk Wireless Browser



May 15 - AMD Introduces Athlon XP Processor 3200+. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today introduced the AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor 3200+, the world's highest performing desktop PC processor. Featuring enhancements such as a faster 400 front-side bus (FSB), AMD continues to build on the award-winning AMD Athlon XP processor architecture.

The AMD Athlon XP processor 3200+ outperforms its closest competitor by an average of 6 percent on a variety of industry-standard software benchmarks. By focusing on innovations that truly benefit PC users, AMD's newest desktop processor enables the highest level of performance on content creation, office productivity and gaming applications, proving again that performance is more than megahertz.

"AMD is focused on meeting computer manufacturers' requests for technology advancements that deliver the best performance possible to business and home PC users," said Rich Heye, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "The AMD Athlon XP processor 3200+ with a 400 FSB is yet another example of AMD delivering technology innovations that create a better computing experience for all levels of PC users."

"Many PC purchasers today are realizing that what they ultimately want is quicker software application response, and that often isn't provided by simply increasing processor speed," said Toni Duboise, desktop PC industry analyst, ARS. "With improved architectural enhancements such as faster bus speeds, customers can get better performance from their software applications and that means a more enjoyable computer experience."

"Over the past three years, AMD Athlon XP processors have powered several hundred desktop systems for us that have delivered a strong combination of reliability and price-performance," said Randy Ryan, director of MIS, Del Valle Independent School District, Texas. "AMD's powerful processors combined with other industry-leading hardware and software helps our employees and students increase their computing productivity, and that's an excellent result for any organization."


The AMD Athlon XP processor 3200+ is available immediately worldwide. Systems powered by the AMD Athlon XP processor 3200+ are available immediately from computer manufacturers in North America and Europe.

The AMD Athlon XP processor 3200+ is priced at $464 in 1,000-unit quantities. For additional information on pricing, please visit www.amd.com/pricing.

May 15 - Gartner Analyzes Alternatives to Microsoft. Licensing issues, security breaches and the grass-roots power of open-source software are leading many governments and businesses worldwide to consider using alternatives to Microsoft, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). The reasons governments and businesses worldwide are searching for viable options to Microsoft vary greatly by region.

Governments in the Asia/Pacific region, including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and several in Europe and South America are encouraging government departments and businesses to support a combination of Linux, open source and local vendors.

"These countries believe they can spark their local IT industries and thus avoid having to export increasing amounts of their gross domestic product to U.S.-based companies," said David Smith, vice president and Gartner fellow.

In North America, less concern exists about Microsoft's dominance than in other regions, but Microsoft and its success have met backlash, as Microsoft's U.S.-based rivals and hardware partners continue to struggle in their efforts to thrive in the ecosystem dominated by the software giant.

"Worldwide sentiment surrounding attitudes regarding Microsoft vary widely, especially by geography," said Robin Simpson, research director for Gartner. "Governments and businesses, especially outside the United States, are increasingly interested in pursuing strategies that insulate them from Microsoft's growing influence on the IT industry, even if alternate solutions aren't exactly a perfect fit."

According to Gartner, the most popular alternatives to Microsoft are Linux and open-source software. The attraction to using software such as Linux and open-source includes lower and sometimes free initial costs, perceived freedom from lock-in to a vendor that can raise prices, the potential to help drive local IT economies and perceived better security.

"Businesses that choose Linux and open-source integration over Microsoft solutions will need new processes in the overall development, deployment, maintenance and support of their IT infrastructures," said Smith. "A disciplined and carefully considered best-practices process is essential to delivering maximum returns and benefits from Linux and open-source applications. Without it, the investments could lead to higher, unanticipated costs."

For more information go to http://www3.gartner.com.

May 15 - DISCover® PC Game Console Unveils at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Digital Interactive Systems Corporation (DISC) will unveiled DISCover®, a game console that plays unmodified PC games, at a news conference in the press conference room of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Since DISCover games are unmodified PC games, DISCover will launch with more games than all other game consoles combined. Digital Interactive Systems will demonstrate DISCover's technology for playing unmodified PC games on a game console.

This technology solves the "chicken and egg" problem: 1) you can't sell consoles without games; 2) games are not developed for consoles that don't sell. Since DISCover games are unmodified PC games, there's no need to develop games for the DISCover. All of a publisher's PC games will play, as is, on the DISCover.
To have their PC games play on a console in the living room publishers only need to ensure their games have been registered. Consumer electronics firms and PC manufacturers can create DISCover game consoles with the knowledge that the games will be there for them. These DISCover game consoles will have the stunning graphics and awesome audio of a PC, but without the hassles.

DISCover consoles, made by a number of consumer electronics firms and PC manufacturers, will range from upscale Pentium-class game consoles starting at $299, to digital home entertainment consoles that play PC games, movies, music, and PVR TV starting at $545.
Media centers and extreme gaming systems, featuring high-end audio systems -- the fastest Pentium 4, 512 MB to a gigabyte of memory, and more than 120 GB hard disk -- offer the ultimate DISCover experience on a big-screen high-definition TV starting at $1,000 and up.

A number of firms will unveil DISCover consoles at E3, including SVA (one of Asia's largest consumer electronics firm), ABS Computers, and Hyundai Electronics. AITech will unveil a kit for transforming a PC into a DISCover game console. Kinyo electronics' DISCover game consoles will be in both its and DISCover's booths.

The DISCover virtual console will also debut on Gateway Computer's Media Center PC. Gateway's Media Center PC with DISCover virtual console plays CD/DVD-ROM games as easily as DVD movies.

Visit DISCover at www.gameconsole.tv.

May 15 - DealTime and Epinions Successfully Complete Merger. DealTime(R), the leading shopping search engine, today announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Epinions(R), the premier online consumer reviews and ratings platform. The merger unites two proven business models with GAAP profitable operations, and, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, the combined brands rank as the fifth largest online shopping destination in the US, attracting 11.1 million unique visitors in March 2003.

The combined entity is known as DealTime Ltd. and continues to operate www.dealtime.com, www.epinions.com, www.shopping.com and www.dealtime.co.uk as well as the many co-branded network sites it runs on behalf of search engines, portals and Internet service providers. The merger integration brings more than one million consumer reviews and ratings together with advanced search technology and easy-to-use shopping tools to help shoppers make smart buying decisions.

"We are very pleased to have successfully integrated the Epinions team. We have rapidly deployed Epinions' trusted consumer reviews and ratings across our network while making thousands of additional merchants accessible to Epinions' users," said Dan Ciporin, CEO and chairman of DealTime. "We are delivering on our mission to help consumers become smart shoppers while offering merchants a superior means of customer acquisition."

DealTime marked the closing of the merger with the beta launch of its new Epinions Merchant Survey program. The program enables merchants to get real-time feedback by offering consumers short surveys and is a natural extension of the trusted consumer content Epinions delivers across all aspects of shopping.

May 15 - FrontBridge Tackles Spam Assault on Wireless Email. FrontBridge Technologies Inc., a trusted provider of email protection and message management services, today announced full capabilities for protecting its customers from inundation by wireless spam and viruses. Allen Matkins Leck Gamble & Mallory LLP, a full-service California law firm with more than 210 practicing attorneys, is one of the first firms to take advantage of the wireless email protection delivered by FrontBridge TrueProtect(TM) Message Management Suite.

Nearly half of Allen Matkins' employees use wireless Blackberry devices to keep in constant contact with clients, but employees were fighting a losing battle with spam, which today accounts for more than 50 percent of inbound email on corporate networks. For law firms, filtering spam from the wireless message stream produces many benefits, including conserving expensive wireless bandwidth and improving productivity for the firm's mobile workforce. The productivity gain is a tangible, bottom-line benefit that provides more billable hours for Allen Matkins.

FrontBridge TrueProtect(TM) Message Management Suite fully protects wireless devices by filtering email before it enters corporate networks and reaches email systems that serve mail to mobile email clients as well as corporate desktops. Allen Matkins chose FrontBridge services, which utilize proprietary triple-layer spam filtering technology and multi-engine virus scanning, to recapture lost employee productivity, freeing busy lawyers to focus on client activity instead of offensive, time consuming spam.

"FrontBridge solved our growing spam problem without placing any burden on our IT department," said Frank Gillman, director of technology at Allen Matkins. "Email is critical to everyone in our organization and since FrontBridge guarantees uptime and email delivery, we knew we'd found the right solution." Allen Matkins is part of a broad list of more than 50 FrontBridge law firm clients that includes Nixon Peabody, Akin Gump, Bass Berry & Sims, Coudert Brothers, Finnegan Henderson, Gray Cary and Hogan & Hartson.

Compounding the problems of receiving spam on wireless email devices, Allen Matkins employees were bombarded by Blackberry "alerts" at all hours of the day and night announcing incoming messages that were spam, rather than legitimate client communications for which the Blackberries were purchased. After Allen Matkins' less than 60 minute implementation process, FrontBridge immediately began protecting the law firm from the thousands of spam messages and viruses it received each day. Most importantly, FrontBridge guaranteed email delivery and ensured that no legitimate email would be falsely identified as spam, a damaging consequence of many other products on the market.

The Yankee Group estimates 62 percent of large U.S. corporations are expected to deploy mobile wireless devices over the next two years. With 79 percent of those companies citing email use as the driving force, eliminating spam from the entire corporate messaging stream is a high priority. FrontBridge TrueProtect(TM) Message Management Suite is a fully managed service that requires no hardware, software or maintenance, thus freeing up IT resources for more strategic endeavors.

Visit them on the Web at www.frontbridge.com.

May 15 - Worldwide 802.11 Market Grew 1% in 1Q03. According to Dell'Oro Group, the Wireless LAN - 802.11 market grew 1% sequentially, realizing revenues of $411 million in 1Q03. Price declines mitigated a 6% increase in total unit shipments.

During the quarter, the emergence of the 802.11g market more than offset traditional seasonal weakness and, despite not having a finalized standard, 802.11g products comprised 29% of SOHO-infrastructure revenues (Access Points and Broadband Gateways). "We anticipate that the SOHO market will rapidly transition from 802.11b to 802.11g over the course of 2003," commented Greg Collins, Director, Dell'Oro Group.

Dell'Oro Group can be found online at www.delloro.com.

May 14 - MPC Introduces Transport T2000 and T2100 Notebook Computers. MPC, a Gores Technology Group company, today announced the TransPort(R) T2000 and TransPort T2100 notebook computers.

"Both systems offer a powerful, wireless-ready mobile solution in a compact design; with the T2100 marking MPC's first Centrino product," said Paul Petersen, MPC's vice president of product development and marketing. "We are pleased to continue improving the technology in this successful notebook line, and to provide our customers with a Centrino solution."

TransPort T2000

The TransPort T2000 delivers power, performance and flexibility, and uses the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4-M processor. This notebook is the follow-on product to the TransPort T1000. It boasts several performance enhancements, including a choice of 14" or 15" display, availability of higher processor speeds, upgraded high-resolution video up to 64MB and 2 USB 2.0 ports. The TransPort T2000 also offers some backward and forward compatibility with T1000 components.

TransPort T2100

The TransPort T2100 is MPC's Intel(R) Centrino(R) solution, incorporating the new Intel Pentium(R) M processor and Intel 855GM chipset. This notebook offers exceptional performance, longer battery life and wireless connectivity, all in a lightweight form factor.

The TransPort T2000 and TransPort T2100 are available to order directly from MPC at www.buympc.com. Prices start around $1750.

May 14 - E-mail Worm Becomes One of the Most Widespread Viruses Currently in Circulation. F-Secure(R) Inc. today raised its alert to the highest level as Fizzer spreads at an alarming rate and becomes one of the most widespread viruses currently in circulation. Fizzer was first seen on Thursday, 8th of May. Since then it has been located from several countries worldwide and it continues to spread at a quick rate. The largest infections seem to be in Asia, especially in China and Hong Kong, but both Europe and USA are hit, too.

Fizzer is a Windows worm, spreading through e-mail and the Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing program. The worm is very complex and misuses the infected computers in several ways. Fizzer will also attempt to attack several antivirus programs and try to remove them, leaving the infected machines vulnerable to infections from other malware as well.

"This is one of the more complicated worms we've seen," comments Mikko Hypponen, Manager of Anti-Virus Research at F-Secure. "The worm is 200kB of code spaghetti, containing backdoors, code droppers, attack agents, key loggers and even a small web server!"

The Fizzer worm spreads via e-mail as an attachment. The e-mails sent by the worm vary a lot, as do the names of the attachments, but they always have extensions of .EXE, .PIF, .SCR or .COM. These e-mails are sent to both random addresses as well as to addresses found in the infected computer.

"Fizzer actually creates random e-mail addresses and targets them," explains Hypponen. "This is done by picking random names and numbers and creating addresses belonging to large services such as Hotmail -- these addresses might look like BOB246@MSN.COM or JACK555@YAHOO.COM".

Fizzer tries to terminate various processes in the memory of an infected computer. This includes processes used by several antivirus products. However, the worm does not affect F-Secure Anti-Virus. "As this worm is already widespread, there must now be scores of computers in the internet without any anti-virus protection -- because Fizzer has removed it," comments Hypponen.

The worm will install a backdoor in all infected systems, allowing the virus writer to control them -- even to remotely look at their monitors. The infected computers can also be used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against any Internet-connected machines at any time.

A detailed technical description of the worm as well as screenshots are available in the F-Secure Virus Description Database at www.f-secure.com/v-descs/fizzer.shtml.

May 14 - Media Consumption Study Confirms Internet's Role as Leading Daytime Medium. The Online Publishers Association announced today the results of a new media consumption study focused on the At Work Internet audience (defined as users who indicated they had accessed the Internet from work within the past 30 days for non-email purposes).

The study, conducted with Millward Brown IntelliQuest, confirmed that daytime on the Internet is primetime for these users. For nearly three in ten of them, the Internet is the only medium consumed during the daytime. These findings reinforce the emerging view that the At Work Internet audience is an ideal choice for advertisers seeking to reach young, highly educated, highly affluent consumers.

Probing deeper into the online activities of working people, this new study provides insights into the ways that Internet usage levels, and 13 distinct online activities, vary by demographic group and time of day. In addition, the study provides further proof that online tenure (the number of years a user has been online) is a key determinant of usage levels and activity.

"This research broadens our understanding of the At Work audience and the subtle differences in how key demographic groups use online media throughout the day," said Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the Online Publishers Association. "As we learn more about the ways consumers have integrated the Web into their daily lives, it helps clarify the importance of this medium for advertisers seeking to reach some of their most elusive targets."

Specifically, the study found that Internet usage by daypart(1) varies by demographics. For example, usage among top-level professionals exceeds all other At Work users during most dayparts by anywhere between five and 13 percentage points, with the greatest percentage (81%) found online in the morning before lunch (Daytime I). In addition, affluent users with annual incomes of $75k and above are more prevalent online throughout the day until evening, when average income levels of online users decline.

Generally speaking, a greater percentage of men are online than women during most weekday dayparts. While the highest percentage of both men (77%) and women (68%) can be found online during the morning before lunch (Daytime I), the greatest gender difference occurs in the Early Morning (6am to 8am), when 52% of men are online vs. only 39% of women.

For 13 surveyed online activities ranging from checking the weather to planning meals, daytime usage predominates, with the exception of shopping and multimedia downloads (a proxy in the study for online entertainment), which peak both during the daytime and also in the Prime Time TV viewing hours at night.

Online activity levels and patterns also vary by demographic group. For example, top-level professionals use the Internet in the morning to keep up with the news and to prepare for meetings, whereas shopping is dominant among this group at night. Affluent workers display similar patterns, with a slightly larger share of them engaging in online shopping activity during the lunch hour.

Other key findings from the study include:

-- Working women avidly check the weather during the day and use

the Internet to shop in the evenings, if they use it at all;

-- Working mothers focus on both weather and local information

during the day; they are less likely to be online in the

evenings than women overall;

-- Younger workers show greater interest in world or local news

than in business news during the day, and are somewhat less

likely to be shopping than the norm;

-- Older workers are more apt to check stocks after the market

closes than during trading hours and to seek out entertainment

in the Early Morning, rather than the evenings.

For every surveyed online activity, the more tenured users (those who have been online for 7+ years) displayed higher usage levels than the least tenured users (those online four years or less). This indicates that the more familiar users become with online media, the more ways they find to integrate it into their lives.

Seventy-four percent of At Work users say that the Internet has improved their productivity at work. Fifty-six percent also indicated that they use the Internet at home for business purposes.

A detailed summary of findings from this study is available at the Online Publishers Association Web site at www.online-publishers.org.

May 14 - Yahoo! Games and Intel to Present PC Games Designed for Peak Performance. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, and Intel Corporation today announced that Yahoo! Games will showcase online PC games that take advantage of the power of the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor.

Intel will also be the sponsor of Yahoo! Games(R) on Demand (http://gamesondemand.yahoo.com), an online gaming destination that offers streamed rental of PC games from various publishers including Activision, Atari Inc., and Vivendi Universal Games.

Games that are designed for maximum performance on a Pentium 4 processor typically feature advanced audio and visual effects, smoother animation, and life-like 3D graphics to deliver a more compelling gaming experience. Yahoo! Games and Intel have established the relationship announced today in order to provide the gaming community with advantages of digital distribution of PC games that utilize outstanding processor innovation. Enhanced titles that are available immediately at Yahoo! Games on Demand include: Empire Earth(TM), Grand Prix 4, Independence War 2, Neverwinter Nights and Star Trek(R) Armada 2.

"Our relationship with Intel highlights games that take advantage of their latest processor technology and complements our mission to offer compelling, on-demand PC game play to millions of online consumers," said Dan Hart, general manager Yahoo! Games. "Yahoo! remains committed to building the world's leading online games destination and further establishing the PC as a platform of choice for gamers."

With more than five billion minutes of online game-play per month, Yahoo! Games is ranked the number one online games site by Nielsen//Net Ratings (March 2003). Through Yahoo! Games on Demand, consumers can play a diverse selection of more than 90 popular PC games from leading publishers, giving users a choice of popular new and classic games, in genres ranging from action and strategy to simulation and arcade.

"The Pentium 4 processor will deliver the next generation of performance for PC games and deliver the kind of speed and quality gamers have come to expect on the PC," said Ann Lewnes, vice president, Intel Sales and Marketing Group. "Yahoo! Games on Demand is a fantastic platform for us to highlight the hottest games that take advantage of the Pentium 4 processor."

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com. Visit Yahoo! at www.yahoo.com.

May 14 - Logitech Introduces Extreme 3D Pro and Attack 3 Joysticks. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI) (Switzerland:LOGN) today announced the Logitech(R) Extreme(TM) 3D Pro and Logitech(R) Attack(TM) 3 joysticks for PC and Mac. On display at the E3 tradeshow in Los Angeles, the joysticks will be available this summer. Pricing is not yet available.

"We have designed these joysticks with great features that will satisfy the demands of a wide range of gamers -- from casual action players to serious flight simulation enthusiasts," said Fred Swan, Director of Marketing for Logitech's Audio and Interactive Entertainment Business Unit. "We've put a lot of effort into ensuring that these products represent a clear step up from their predecessors in functionality and appearance."

Logitech(R) Extreme(TM) 3D Pro

Logitech's newest mid-range joystick, the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, blends the most useful features with a new, eye-catching industrial design. For quick and easy access to the multiple commands of today's games, the joystick has twelve conveniently placed action buttons. A comfortable twist handle is nearly essential in many games, acting as a rudder in flight simulation games and allowing fast rotation in first person games.

Logitech(R) Attack(TM) 3

The Logitech Attack 3 joystick is enjoyable for gamers of any experience level, but its easy setup and simple layout is particularly well suited to entry-level gamers or those for whom a joystick is not the usual controller of choice. It is the company's first joystick in some time to offer an ambidextrous handle, providing excellent comfort and functionality for both right and left-handed gamers.

Both joysticks include the acclaimed Logitech(R) Gaming Software for PC that allows gamers to customize many aspects of the joystick's performance. Also included on the disc are two software packages from GameSpy Industries, Inc. The GameSpy(TM) Arcade(R) offers many features to enhance online gaming and also includes Roger Wilco(TM), a voice chat application that allows gamers to talk to each other while playing multiplayer online games. In addition, both joysticks offer a "plug and play" USB connection.

For more information about Logitech and its products, visit the company's website at www.logitech.com.

May 14 - Epson Launches New Sub-$1,000 Multimedia Projector. Epson America Inc., the world leader in high-performance projectors, today announced a major breakthrough in the digital projector market with the introduction of the $999 EPSON PowerLite(R) S1.

This powerful 1,200 ANSI-lumen, portable projector offers not only a new level of affordability designed to attract a broader range of customers, but also provides a level of performance and style to complement numerous presentation environments and video applications. Furthermore, value is maximized with a high-end feature set that includes Epson's two-year warranty, high-quality carrying case and a lamp rated at 2,000 hours that is replaceable for only $199.

The EPSON PowerLite S1 uses three new Epson 0.5-inch LCD panels to project a wide variety of computer and video images in SVGA (800 x 600) native resolution with a contrast ratio of 400:1 for blacker blacks and whiter whites. Its sleek and stylish new exterior is designed to offer more than just an attractive look; it also dramatically reduces light leakage, which contributes to extremely quiet operation, as low as 33db. Furthermore, the light seven-pound weight and slide-out handle makes it easy to move from one location to another.

The PowerLite S1 will be available in June 2003 for $999 through national retailers, pro audio/visual dealers, mail order, and PC resellers. Visit the company's website at www.epson.com.

May 13 - ATI Ships RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY), is now shipping its RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO visual processing unit (VPU) with 256MB of fast DDR-2 (double data rate-2) memory. The RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO 256MB -available in limited quantities to OEM, retail and online customers - is the most advanced 3D performer available, delivering to hardcore gamers the immersive and cinematic experience they crave.

The RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO 256MB delivers full quality at full speed all the time. Built on the highly successful RADEON 9800 PRO architecture, the chip features eight full precision pipelines that provide the brute force and agility needed to render real-time, Hollywood-caliber graphics. The additional memory provided in this new board significantly increases performance at the highest resolution and quality settings. The RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO 256MB sets a new standard in 3D entertainment, allowing users to experience cinematic rendering on their PCs.

"ATI continues to blaze the trail in the graphics industry," says Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "We were the first to support full Direct(R) X 9.0 and OpenGL(TM) 2.0, the first and still the only VPU provider to offer eight dedicated pipelines of rendering power and, with the RADEON(TM) 9800 series, we became the first to bring second-generation VPUs to consumers. ATI keeps offering consumers greater power and features."

The RADEON 9800 PRO's 256-bit memory interface provides the bandwidth for real-time 3D graphics and ensures that high-resolution textures and characters are rendered precisely. Exquisite image quality is not at the expense of performance.

The RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB graphics powerhouse is available for $499 USD. For more information on ATI's partners or products, please visit www.ati.com.

May 13 - NEC Leads Pack with New Handheld PC. NEC Solutions (America), Inc., a leading provider of business solutions and services for commercial and professional markets in North America, today announced the NEC MobilePro(TM) 900, the industry's fastest, easiest-to-use handheld PC (HP/C) available on the market today.
With "instant-on" delivery of enterprise applications, along with size, speed and connectivity advantages, the MobilePro 900 provides an ideal platform for field force automation, professional services, and healthcare professionals.

Fast and Flexible

The MobilePro 900 is a powerful product for capturing data, managing communications and presenting information on the road. With an Intel(R) PXA255 processor with XScale(TM) Technology, the MobilePro 900 is substantially faster than its predecessor, the MobilePro 790 handheld PC, and has more memory with 64MB RAM Base SDRAM.

The MobilePro 900 features 32MB Flash ROM, and now includes an additional 32MB Flash ROM for customer applications. Built on the Microsoft(R) Handheld PC platform, the MobilePro 900 is bundled with familiar versions of popular applications such as Pocket Word, Excel, Pocket PowerPoint and Internet Explorer. The sleek, rugged unit measures 9.69-inches wide by 5.05-inches long by 1.19-inches thick, and is small enough to take anywhere.

"The introduction of the MobilePro 900 is the biggest news in handheld PCs in almost three years," said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies, an industry analyst firm. "NEC has chosen a fast processor and practical form factor for its design. The handheld PC platform offers the reliability, power and interoperability that field force professionals demand from their mobile enterprise solutions."

Known as a "clamshell" PC, the MobilePro 900 weighs in at less than two pounds(1) yet features a nearly full size touch-type keyboard. Users can type quickly and comfortably, ensuring accuracy and easing frustration associated with "thumb-typing" on typical handheld PC devices. The MobilePro 900 features an 8.1" HVGA (640 x 240) display that supports up to 65,000 colors and offers touch screen functionality.

The MobilePro 900 ships with a standard lithium ion battery, providing an estimated 8 hours of power under normal operation, and the unit charges rapidly using the A/C adapter. An optional, larger battery is available, which offers up to 16 hours(3) of power under normal conditions.

Easy to Stay Connected

The MobilePro 900 provides a number of options for synchronizing data, sending and receiving email, and connecting to peripheral devices. The device features an integrated 56Kbps V.90 modem, USB Host/Slave ports, a serial interface, a PC Card Type I/II slot, a Compact Flash Type I/II slot and an infrared (Fast IR) port. IT managers appreciate the ability to "flash" applications in ROM to users and the integrated tools to help synchronize data collected in the field.

"NEC is proud to supply our customers with a solution they are demanding," said Larry Miller, vice president and general manager, Mobile Solutions Division of NEC Solutions America. "The MobilePro 900 is the fastest, lightest, most powerful handheld PC on the market today. It's easy to use and simple to operate. For users who run their businesses from the field, the MobilePro 900 handheld PC is a very compelling solution."

Availability & Pricing

The MobilePro 900 is now available direct through NEC and select resellers; including Amazon, CDW, Mobile Planet and PC Connection. Pricing begins at $899 (U.S.).For more information about Mobile Solutions, go to www.necsolutions-am.com/mobilesolutions.

May 13 - Motion Computing Introduces Tablet PC with Intel Centrino Mobile Technology. Demonstrating market leadership and a nimble build-to-order business model, Motion Computing today introduced an innovative slate Tablet PC with the breakthrough mobile performance of Intel(R) Centrino(TM) technology.

The first "pure slate" on the market to feature Intel's most advanced mobile architecture, the Wi-Fi-enabled Motion M1300 Tablet PC delivers more processing power and longer battery life.

Compared with the company's former top-line product, the award-winning M1200, the M1300 operates up to 30 percent faster and extends typical battery life by 10 to 15 percent.

The Motion M1300 leverages each component of the Intel Centrino mobile technology: an ultra-low-voltage Pentium M processor running at 900MHz, the Intel 855 chipset and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection for Wi-Fi connectivity in thousands of wireless "hot spots."

The new model also retains the popular three-pound design and industry-leading 12.1-inch display, which allows a full-size page view, and is fully compatible with all Motion M-Series accessories. Motion's lightweight, ultramobile and durable slate design is similar in size to a spiral-bound notebook, making it ideal for pen-enabled computing in new ways and places, from hallways and subways to patient waiting rooms and living room couches. The design also avoids hinges and internal fans, two of the most fragile components of conventional notebooks and "convertible" Tablet PCs.

Effective immediately, like all of Motion's Tablet PC models, the M1300 will be built to customer specifications, fully tested and ready for delivery within seven to 10 days of an order.

"Motion's streamlined, build-to-order business model gives our customers early access to the latest technologies," said David Altounian, Motion's chief product officer. "Intel's Centrino mobile architecture is tailor made for the needs of our customers and our company, which has a sole focus to innovate ultramobile computing and wireless communications."

"Intel's Centrino platform is a significant advancement in wireless connectivity and power management technology," said IDC analyst Alan Promisel. "Motion Computing's incorporation of the new mobile processing platform into its Tablet PC will benefit customers by providing relevant and productivity-enhancing technologies. Motion, as one of the first OEMs to offer a Centrino-enabled Tablet, has also gained a differentiator, at least for the time being."

Priced from $2,099, the M1300 Tablet PC is available now at http://motioncomputing.com.

May 13 - Apple Introduces New iPods. Apple® introduced its third generation iPods, which hold up to 7,500 songs in a stunning enclosure that is lighter and thinner than two CDs.

The new ultra-portable iPods feature completely solid-state “no moving parts” navigation wheel and buttons; an elegant new dock with audio out for fast and easy connection to your computer or stereo; an “On-The-Go” playlist so users can build a playlist right on their iPod™; a customizable main menu so users can promote the features they use most often to their top level menu; and Apple’s unique, patent pending Auto-Sync for automatically syncing your computer’s music library with iPod. The new ultra-portable iPods are available in three models: a 10GB model for just $299 (US), a 15GB model for $399 (US) and a 30GB model for $499 (US).

“The competition hasn’t even caught up with our first generation iPod, and we’re introducing our third generation,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With the new iTunes Music Store, you can now buy music online and transfer it right onto your iPod for listening wherever you want.”

The new 15GB and 30GB models come with an elegant dock for effortless connecting to a Mac® or Windows PC. The dock provides a stylish home base for the iPod and includes an audio line out for easy connection to a home stereo or powered speakers, making it easy to sync, charge and go. iPod plays more than eight hours of continuous music and recharges automatically whenever iPod is in the dock or connected to a Mac or Windows PC.

iPod is the only portable music player with Apple’s patent pending Auto-Sync, an innovative feature that automatically downloads an entire digital music library into iPod and keeps it up-to-date whenever the iPod is plugged into a Mac or Windows PC. With Apple’s new fast disk mode switching, iPod switches from Auto-Sync mode to music-player mode faster than ever before.

Building on the success of the original touch wheel, the new iPod is designed with a solid-state “no moving parts” navigation wheel and all touch buttons for enhanced sensitivity and precision over mechanical buttons. The buttons are backlit for easy operation in low light and continue to enable easy, one-handed operation. In addition to MP3, iPod now supports the industry-standard AAC audio format, providing higher quality sound in the same disk space. Whether at the gym, at work, in the car or at the airport, iPod puts 7,500 songs in your pocket—the equivalent of three weeks of continuous music without repeating a single song.

iPod features new customization options including the ability to move frequently used menu items to the main menu. Users also have the power to create an “On-The-Go” playlist and rate their music collection directly on their iPod, offering a new level of control whenever they’re away from their computer.

Pricing & Availability

The new iPod for Mac and Windows PCs will be available on May 2, for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for the 10GB iPod, $399 (US) for the 15GB iPod, and $499 (US) for the 30GB iPod through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
The new iPod will also support high-speed syncing via USB 2.0 with Windows PCs starting in June via a free software download. A separate USB 2.0 cable will be available in June for $19 (US).

May 13 - Apple Unveils New eMac Family. Boosting performance while lowering the price of its popular desktop for home and school, Apple® announced an entirely new eMac™ line offering up to a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, a faster 4x SuperDrive™, high performance ATI Radeon 7500 graphics, up to 80GB hard drives and internal support for AirPort® Extreme wireless networking.
Featuring a stunning 17-inch flat CRT and a remarkably compact all-in-one design that is even less deep than the original iMac®, the most affordable PowerPC G4 system now starts at just $799 (US.)

“The eMac has been a hit with both education customers and consumers, and we’ve made it more powerful and affordable than ever,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “The eMac offers customers a complete system that is the ideal entry point for today’s digital lifestyle.”

eMac, with a 17-inch flat CRT display, supports screen resolutions of up to 1280-by-960 pixels in 24-bit color and offers 40 percent more viewing area than a typical 15-inch CRT display. Available in three standard configurations, eMac comes with either a CD-ROM drive; a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs that can record CD-R discs twice as fast as with previous models; or Apple’s revolutionary SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), which records DVD, CD-R and CD-RW discs twice as fast as previous models.

Offering the latest in wireless communications, eMac includes a built-in antenna and card slot to support AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking. AirPort Extreme can transmit data at up to 54 Mbps, almost five times the data rate of previous wireless technologies, yet is fully compatible with the millions of 802.11b Wi-Fi devices currently used around the world*. eMac also includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and 56K V.92 modem allowing customers to stay connected any way they like.

Perfect for today’s digital lifestyle, every eMac comes standard with Apple’s iLife™ integrated suite of award-winning software including iTunes® for managing digital music, iPhoto™ for organizing and sharing digital photos, iMovie™ for digital movie-making and iDVD™ on SuperDrive-equipped systems for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVD movies.
With five USB ports and two FireWire® ports conveniently located on the side of the system, eMac desktops offer easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as digital video camcorders, digital still cameras, printers and scanners. In addition to Mac® OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar,” each eMac also includes AppleWorks®, Internet Explorer, Quicken 2003 Deluxe and WorldBook Encyclopedia 2003 Edition.

Pricing & Availability The new eMac line is available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

May 13 - Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Homes will be Viewing HDTV Programs in Five Years. Rapid deployment of HDTV by cable operators and growing availability of HD programming will drive HDTV signals to 41.6 million homes (nearly 40 percent of the U.S. total) by year-end 2007, according to new report from the Yankee Group.

The report "HDTV Finally Overcomes Industry Inertia, Set For Rapid Growth," reviews the events affecting HD growth in 2002, and forecasts the numbers of homes that will receive HD signals. It analyzes the drivers of HDTV carriage by cable and satellite operators, and explores the challenges HD programmers face. Select findings include:

HDTV's 720p and 1080i formats will coexist for the foreseeable future

Despite the incremental cost, HD programming will continue to grow

HD can be a competitive differentiator, even for programming with limited visual appeal

Programmers without an HDTV product will lose out to competitors as high-value viewers shift to HD programming

DBS' retail presence is a competitive advantage, making it available at the same point of purchase as HDTV monitors

Advertisers will need commercials in HD within 2 to 3 years

"Programmers, broadcasters, cable and DBS operators, and device manufacturers all must be HD-capable for the technology to succeed," says Adi Kishore, Yankee Group Media & Entertainment Strategies analyst. "If any link in this chain does not support HD, the consumer will be unable to view HD-quality programming. Regulation that focuses on any one segment in this chain will be inadequate for driving the transition."

The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.

May 12 - ATI Ships RADEON 9600 PRO. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ATYT) (TSX: ATY) is now shipping its much-anticipated RADEON(TM) 9600 PRO visual processing unit (VPU). Highly acclaimed by reviewers worldwide, the RADEON 9600 PRO allows performance mainstream users to access the world's leading graphics technologies initially developed for the RADEON(TM) 9800 PRO. The RADEON 9600 PRO offers true cinematic quality visual effects, performance-enhancing options and efficient, powerful graphics to gaming and graphics enthusiasts.

The RADEON 9600 PRO delivers cinematic realism and unprecedented power to the mainstream segment for less than $200 US. Driven by its full-time, full-precision floating point architecture featuring quad pixel pipes and dual vertex engines, the RADEON 9600 PRO also features full support for the latest Microsoft(R) DirectX(TM) 9.0 and OpenGL(TM) feature sets and advanced anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering technologies. Graphics enthusiasts in the mainstream benefit from the blistering speed of the RADEON 9600 PRO as well as the ability to turn up quality settings for the best visual quality without sacrificing playable frame rates, even at high resolutions.

"We are driving cinematic rendering, with all the image quality that implies, into the performance mainstream," said Rick Hegberg, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, ATI Technologies Inc. "With the launch of the 9600 PRO, we relied heavily on our manufacturing partner, TSMC. Our strong partnership and their expertise ensured a smooth transition to the new 0.13 micron process. The TSMC 0.13 micron process enables us to run the RADEON 9600 PRO at high clock speeds with low power and minimal cooling, giving users full image quality at full speed, all the time."

"ATI is a major user of a wide range of TSMC process technologies. TSMC has demonstrated clear industry leadership in 0.13-micron production, and our experience with the RADEON 9600 PRO is no exception," said Kenneth Kin, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing & Sales at TSMC. "Together, we are delivering excellent performance and yield in high volume."

For more information on RADEON 9600 PRO, and ATI's partners or products, please visit www.ati.com.

May 12 - Microsoft Announces Support for all Major DVD Recordable Formats. Members of the DVD Forum welcome the May 8 announcement by Microsoft Corp. that it plans to provide native support for all major recordable formats including DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW in the next version of the Windows operating system.

With this announcement, all major DVD recordable formats standardized by the DVD Forum will receive native support from Windows, along with DVD-RAM, which is currently supported. This move will provide users of PCs with greater usability of DVD recordable products and higher compatibility between PC and AV products.

DVD-R and DVD-RW, which will be newly supported by Windows, will easily be able to record and replay pictures, music and general PC data without any need for third party software. They will also enjoy the same "drag and drop" data handling capability as DVD-RAM, which supports their ease of use as backup media or as media for data exchanges.

May 12 - Nokia Launches its Latest Research on Multimedia Messaging Service. Nokia today launched the latest market research on perceptions of existing and future Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) -based mobile services in the United Kingdom, Japan, United States, Germany, Singapore and Finland.

The study, conducted in co-operation with The HPI Research Group, showed that the majority of respondents are excited by MMS which is set to ape the roaring success of SMS.

The vast majority of UK respondents - three-quarters - regard MMS as exciting. The positive expectations of users in the UK and other surveyed countries mirror actual mobile multimedia usage trends in Japan where these services are more developed than in the UK and the other four countries surveyed.

Among the research's key findings on UK perceptions was that the potential of downloadable picture-based services is greater than previously thought. UK respondents expressed great interest in downloadable services like travel information, news, games and screensavers. The study suggests that the popularity of these MMS-based services will capture traditional media spend for specific services - e.g. breaking news, travel, weather reports - from television, the Internet and other media.

Japanese multimedia usage illustrates how the proliferation of MMS phones with cameras will be critical to MMS going mass market. Amongst the Japanese respondents, over 90% of camera phone owners send multimedia messages to other camera phones; only 68% send to email accounts. For those sending MMS, it is important that they feel the recipient is able to open the image and share the moment immediately. With this in mind, Nokia has been at the forefront of bringing MMS and camera phones to the market globally. To date, Nokia has announced altogether five different phones with integrated camera and more than 15 MMS enabled color phone models.

The study highlights that in Japan respondents generally prefer richer types of services than those currently available. The Japanese research also confirmed that multimedia use is not replacing other types of mobile services. In fact, the Japanese respondents have increased their use of traditional mobile services since getting their current multimedia phone, and they expect to receive text or multimedia messages in response to multimedia messages they send.
This suggests that MMS will build on and extend the successful SMS model that is helping to generate revenues for operators. The Japanese experience suggests that once MMS is adopted by users on a mass scale, it will create demand for much richer content services, paving the way for evolving 3G-based offerings.

The research supports Nokia's conviction that MMS will rapidly evolve into a true mass-market technology for both personal and professional use.

"Consumers really want MMS and, as operators are already discovering, people are as intrigued by and eager to use MMS as SMS. What's really interesting is how MMS looks set to broaden mobile communications use as a whole and support the creation of new kinds of picture content services," explains Pekka Pohjakallio, Director, Mobile Internet Solutions, Nokia Networks.

Nokia can be found online at www.nokia.com.

May 12 - T-Mobile Bundles Wireless Voice and Data with 'Wi-Fi' HotSpot Service. As simple as adding a new feature to their existing wireless plan, T-Mobile customers can now easily and affordably get the T-Mobile HotSpot(SM) 'Wi-Fi' service included in their monthly wireless voice and data bill, enabling them to use their Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA to get a broadband wireless Internet connection at more than 2,300 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the country.

Consistent with its Get More(R) promise to provide the best value in wireless, new and existing T-Mobile customers can now add the T-Mobile HotSpot service to their existing monthly bill at a special rate of $19.99 for unlimited access. The special rate rewards T-Mobile's voice and data customers with up to a 50 percent savings over current regular HotSpot rate plans. T-Mobile HotSpot service will continue to be available as a 'stand alone' service on a subscription or pay as you go basis.

Today's announcement marks an important step in executing on T-Mobile's HotSpot strategy -- to offer reliable, high-speed wireless Internet access as part of the company's overall Get More(R) service offering. With integrated billing, T-Mobile is breaking down the barrier for people to access the service and experience the benefits of Wi-Fi connectivity.

"With more than 10 million customers, T-Mobile is uniquely positioned to drive awareness about the convenience and reliability of Wi-Fi to a broad group of business customers and consumers alike," said Joe Sims, vice president and general manager for T-Mobile HotSpot. "With one bill, one service provider and a superior rate plan, Wi-Fi takes Get More(R) to the next level and rewards our customers with the ultimate value in wireless."

T-Mobile will promote the new Wi-Fi feature to its customers in T-Mobile stores and to its existing customer base through direct marketing. Existing T-Mobile post-paid customers can add HotSpot service to their account from the "My T-Mobile" self-service page on www.t-mobile.com, by dialing 611 from their T-Mobile phone, or by calling T-Mobile customer service at 1-800-937-8997.

T-Mobile launched HotSpot service just eight months ago, with a focus on deploying the service in convenient locations where people already go as part of their daily lives. Today, the high-speed wireless Internet service is accessible in more than 2,300 locations including Starbucks coffeehouses, Borders Books and Music, airports and American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines clubs and lounges. Kinko's locations nationwide plan to offer the service by the end of the year.

In the coming months, T-Mobile plans to offer integrated GPRS and Wi-Fi service offerings that allow customers to move between the two networks to access the most appropriate speed for the applications they want to use.

For more information, visit the company web site at www.t-mobile.com.

May 12 - Survey Reports Tech Industry Faces New Reality. The tech industry faces a new reality of stiff competition, economic uncertainty and global instability, according to a CEO survey of companies on the 2002 Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest growing technology companies in North America.

Surveyed during the first quarter of 2003 by the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Group of Deloitte & Touche LLP, one of the nation's leading professional services firms, business leaders say adjusting to the new reality is all about the bottom line.

"Although the CEOs of North America's fastest growing companies are optimistic about the future, they recognize a fundamental shift in the marketplace," said Todd Lindsey, partner in charge of Deloitte & Touche's TMT Group in Portland, OR. "A renewed emphasis on products that address customers' business necessities and a sharp eye on keeping expenses in line with costs drive growth in the new era."

Staying Afloat Under the Unrelenting Pressure of a Slow Economy

Not surprisingly, dismal economic conditions pose the biggest marketing challenge for 33 percent of the CEOs.

"Survival today is about generating sales under tough, competitive market conditions. Cash is still very tight, and no one in the sales channel wants to hold inventory. Customers are giving ever tighter lead times, and companies have to be very creative to meet demand," noted Michael LeGoff, CEO of Dynex Power of Ottawa, Ontario.

"The companies that will prosper will be those that can figure out how to make money in today's market conditions. You will not survive if you think you can hold on until there's a recovery." One of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial high power semiconductors, Dynex Power (TSX Venture Exchange:DNX) has appeared on the ranking for two consecutive years, ranking Number 123 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500 and Number 14 in 2001.

The economy hasn't had a negative impact on everyone. John Fish, CEO of privately held Hubbard One, which provides software and technical services to the legal industry, notes, "We have always operated on Earth rather than out in the clouds, so we didn't get caught up in the frenzy -- up or down -- of the last few years. A cautious approach to investing, a carefully focused business, and a rock solid client base have put us in a great place. Despite the economy pressures, it's been business as usual for us." Chicago-based Hubbard One ranked Number 67 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500.

Sticking to the plan is a successful strategy for many CEOs. "With the current economic slowdown, being disciplined is more important now than ever," said Tim Donahue, president and CEO, Nextel Communications (Nasdaq:NXTL) of Reston, Va. "At Nextel, our attention to growing the customer base by delivering valuable products has paid off with a break-though year in which the company became cash flow positive for the first time in our history."
Nextel is a leading provider of wireless communications services on the largest all-digital, wireless network in the country. Ranked number 361 on the 2002 Fast 500, Nextel has appeared on the Fast 500 for six consecutive years (Number 327 in 2001; Number 227 in 2000; Number 114 in 1999; Number 255 in 1998; and Number 460 in 1997).

According to the survey, other marketing challenges CEOs are tackling include developing and bringing new products to market for 23 percent of the respondents. Almost evenly mixed are managing customer relationships with 12 percent, establishing and maintaining brand presence with 10 percent, and building strategic relationships with 9 percent.

Fifty-Nine Percent of CEOs "Very" or "Extremely" Confident in Tech Sector

Despite a rough last few years, 59 percent of the CEOs surveyed said they are very or extremely confident their companies will maintain high levels of growth they've experienced over the past five years, down slightly from 62 percent last year. To put this in perspective, Fast 500 companies on average grew 6,772 percent over five years (1997-2001), the highest average percentage since the program's inception in 1995. The top five companies on the Fast 500 enjoyed an average growth rate of 196,763 percent over five years.

Twenty-four percent of CEOs surveyed said they are somewhat confident about maintaining their five-year growth rates, up from 21 percent last year, while 17 percent indicated that they are not very confident or pessimistic, up from 10 percent last year.

"It's more important to be confident about what your company is doing than to worry about the economy," said Arkady Maydanchik, CEO, Arkidata Corp. of Downers Grove, Ill. "As long as companies provide valuable, high-quality services and can show customers return on investment, they will be successful." Ranked Number 197 in the 2002 Technology Fast 500, Arkidata is a privately held company that provides advanced information integration products and services to Fortune 500 and other companies.

The Struggle to Regain Investor Confidence

The majority (88 percent) of CEOs surveyed cited regaining investor confidence in corporate executives as a key to economic recovery.

"Decreased confidence in equity markets has made raising capital substantially more difficult," said Ryan McDonald, CEO of Calgary-based Impact Blue Incorporated, a privately held communications and e-business company. "Impact Blue has managed to retain the trust of its investors by proactively sharing corporate information and by bringing our investors into an intimate dialogue regarding use of capital and critical decisions affecting our continued growth." The company ranked Number 170 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500.

Profitability Matters

Managing cash and returning to profitability were the top priorities for the majority of CEOs surveyed. Achieving and sustaining profitability was the biggest personal challenge for 31 percent of the respondents, a nominal decrease from 34 percent last year. Developing leaders and delegating responsibility was the top personal challenge for 27 percent of the CEOs. The remaining 42 percent had a fairly mixed response primarily in the areas of managing expectations, engaging employees in the company's vision, managing risk, and identifying strategic partners.

Managing cash flow was the primary financial challenge for 58 percent of CEOs, while 17 percent said raising capital was their key financial objective. Only 5 percent said reducing debt was their top financial challenge, primarily because they had already done so in the past few years. Twenty percent cited other challenges.

"Cash is King!" said Dr. Jane Shaw, CEO, Aerogen, Inc., "We've reduced our expenditures and are doing what it takes to move towards profitability." Based in Mountain View, Calif., Aerogen (Nasdaq:AEGN) specializes in the development, manufacture and commercialization of products for the controlled delivery of drugs to the lungs. It ranked Number 469 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500 and 170 on the 2001 ranking.

Added Ehud Dor, CEO of TMA Resources, "Since there does not appear to be a strong economic recovery coming in the next year or so, CEOs need to make profitability their top goal. To be profitable, CEOs must focus on productivity, resource management and cash flow issues." Based in McLean, Va., TMA Resources, a privately held company that provides a member relationship software solution for trade associations, professional societies and other membership-driven organizations, ranked Number 491 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500.

Diminished Appetite for Global Markets

This year's CEOs see the biggest market opportunity at home. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of CEOs responding are focusing on North American markets, up from 59 percent last year and more than twice as many as two years ago, 30 percent in 2001's survey. Asia-Pacific continues to draw the attention of 19 percent of the CEOs, while only 14 percent are targeting Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"While a lot of tech companies are focusing on doing business in their own backyards, we at TouchSensor are targeting a global market," said Tom Schreiber, CEO of TouchSensor Technologies, a manufacturer of electronic keypads for home appliances and fitness equipment. "There is tremendous opportunity worldwide for electronic products that are not dependent on language or geography. For us, the European market is as big as the North American." A privately held company based in Wheaton, Ill., TouchSensor ranked Number 138 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500.

Staying the Course Is Goal

A resounding 68 percent of the CEOs surveyed indicated plans to stay the course, not making any major changes for their companies the next 12 months, down from 71 percent last year.

A few are planning to acquire another company (18 percent, up from 12 percent last year), be acquired (4 percent, down from last year's 6 percent), merge (6 percent, the same as last year), or go public (1 percent, down slightly from 3 percent last year).

Eighty-One Percent of CEOs Still Hiring; Only 3 Percent Plan Cuts

Well into the eye of the storm, very few CEOs -- only 3 percent --are considering further headcount reductions.

In fact, 81 percent of the CEOs plan to hire new employees, albeit on a conservative scale. Forty-nine percent anticipate adding less than 25 new employees; 20 percent plan to add 25-49 new employees; and 8 percent expect to hire 49-100 new employees. On the upper end, 1 percent plan to add between 101-200 employees, and 3 percent have plans to add more than 200 new employees this year.

Nineteen percent of the CEOs surveyed said they are not hiring new employees, up from 11 percent last year.

Employees Remain Biggest Contributors to Company Success

Employees continue to be the primary reason for the companies' success, according to the CEOs surveyed, although finding and retaining good people is not as much of a challenge as it once was.

For the sixth consecutive year, CEOs indicated that "employees are the biggest contributors" to their companies' fast-paced growth. In fact, 34 percent attribute their successes to their employees, up from 30 percent surveyed in 2002. However, this figure is still significantly less than in past surveys, down from 49 percent in 2001 and 39 percent in 2000.

CEOs Continue Reducing Administrative, Travel and Workforce

CEOs continue to trim the fat. More than half the CEOs surveyed (53 percent) said they are containing administrative and travel costs as a way to boost the bottom line, up significantly from 27 percent last year.

"There's not any great mystery to creating budgets that work," said Russ Hawkins, CEO of Paragon Networks International, based in Brookfield, Conn., which ranked Number 265 on the 2002 Technology Fast 500. "You simply have to make more than you are spending and deal head-on with hard issues like reducing overhead, lay-offs, not giving salary increases, and pushing suppliers to deliver more for less. No one likes dealing with these tough situations, but ultimately in a down economy, it's essential for survival to make hard calls."

"Ultimately, cutting overhead helps companies keep more of the revenues they make, without having to raise new capital, especially during very unpredictable economic periods," he added. A privately held company, Paragon Networks uses wireline, wireless and optical transmission facilities to deliver products that provide voice and data service connectivity.

The 2003 Technology Fast 500 ranking will be announced in October 2003. For more information or to nominate a company for the Technology Fast 500, visit www.fast500.com.

May 12 - House Passes Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. The House of Representatives made a large commitment today to a tiny technology that could have a big impact in Silicon Valley and throughout the U.S. economy in years to come.

The Nanotechnology Research and Development Act authorizes $2.135 billion in federal research money over the next three years for a burgeoning field with the potential to revolutionize everything from medicine to industrial manufacturing to the limits of computer memory. With strong White House backing and wide bipartisan support, the legislation easily passed the House yesterday and is on a fast track to pass the Senate in coming weeks.

The NanoBusiness Alliance has been at the forefront of passing this legislation, working with government, university and business leaders to understand the opportunity for the health and well being of America's people and our economy that nanotechnology offers. F. Mark Modzelewski, the Executive Director of the NanoBusiness Alliance, testified recently before the Senate on their version of the nanotech legislation. Alan Marty of JP Morgan Partners also represented the NanoBusiness Alliance before the U.S. House during their recent hearing.

"The House passage of the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act is a landmark moment in the evolution of a revolution," said Mr. Modzelewski. "The United States has now ensured its position as a major global force in what many are calling the industrial revolution of the 21st Century. The benefits that nanotechnology will provide to numerous industries and the economy cannot be overstated, and we're proud to have played a role in the passage of this bill."

Note to Reporters: Mark Modzelewski is available for interview and comment on the passage of the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act.

About Nanotechnology:

-- Nanotechnology is the industrial revolution of the 21st
century. Nanotechnology will have a profound effect on all
areas of the electronics, life sciences and medicine,
materials and manufacturing, defense and security industries.

-- Nanotechnology revenues are already at about $45.5 billion
globally and are expected to reach over $500 billion within
the next 8 years. According to the U.S. government, that
number will reach $1 trillion in 10 years.

-- Venture Capital investment in nanotechnology will be over $1
billion in 2003 -- up from less than $100 million in 1998

-- Leading corporations are driving nanotechnology developments,
including: IBM, Lockheed, Xerox, Toyota, Merck, HP, Hitachi,
Bayer, Philips, Dupont, Corning, Lucent, Texas Instruments,
GM, Cargill, Ford, Westinghouse, Alcoa, Raytheon, Lockheed
Martin, John Deere, Eli Lilly, Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and
United Technologies.

-- Over 1,200 start-ups are up in running in the U.S.

-- Universities are making nanotechnology a huge focus, including
Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Rice, Yale, RPI, Cornell, UCLA,
Northwestern and Oxford.

For more information, please visit www.nanobusiness.org.

May 11 - Sunday Shopping Watch. Happy Mother's Day!

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

Weekly Comparison. Sales are not as good as last week's, but there are still some good deals to be found once you've completed your Mom's Day festivities.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy has once again switched back to offering 6 Months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $150 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, $100 mail-in rebates on all laptops; and 18 month no-interest financing.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no-interest financing and $100-$200 mail-in rebates on all laptops and desktop packages.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $299 and higher.
CompUSA has 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $199 and higher when you print out its Unadvertised Specials page and bring it to your local store.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals.

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
emachines 2.2 GHz complete system
Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.2 GHz complete system
Circuit City
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD-RW
Best Buy
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-RW
Best Buy
3. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.06 GHz complete system (build-to-order)
Best Buy
Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2400+ complete system
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba Celeron 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

HP Athlon XP 2200+ with DVD/CD-RW

3. Best Low-cost Laptop

Compaq Athlon XP-M 2400+ with DVD/CD-RW (build-to-order)

Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD-RW
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Laptop
Toshiba 1.4 GHz Centrino with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
PNY Verto GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 128 MB
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 4X DVD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 52X CD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
(after rebates)


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

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

May 09 -FirewireDirect Unveils FireWire 800 Mbps PCI Host Adapter. FirewireDirect.com Inc. announces the introduction of their new FireWire 800 1394b PCI Host Adapter Card, the first new product to ship in a series of upcoming FireWire 800 products from the company.

Their new 3-port FireWire 800 card, shipping in mid-May, is one of the first cards announced early in the 1394b new product rollout. It is the only 800Mbps FireWire card priced under $80 and is the only one previewed to consumers that includes true support for the new 800 FireWire devices and for legacy FireWire devices.

It has two fully compliant bilingual 9-pin FireWire 800 ports and a single legacy 6-pin 400Mbps FireWire connector for your existing devices and cabling. It is priced at $79.95 and is for sale now on the FirewireDirect Web site www.firewiredirect.com.

"1394b provides the next evolutionary step for FireWire, which has already distinguished itself as the premier interface for external peripherals," says Daniel Jackson, FirewireDirect's Chief Technical Officer. "FirewireDirect's newest PCI Host Adapter enhances the standard by combining FireWire 800Mbps support with a separate legacy 1394a port, allowing our customers to preserve their investment in 1394a products without buying additional hardware or sacrificing the performance of the new FireWire 800 products debuting soon."

FireWire 800 is backwards compatible, but when 400Mbps devices are chained with 800Mpbs devices, performance in the faster products is affected. FirewireDirect addresses this with its unique legacy connector.

The new card with its dual FireWire 800 ports supports all the improvements promised by the new 1394 implementation, including the doubling of potential throughput to 800Mbps.

FirewireDirect will be unrolling an extensive family of FireWire 800 products in the weeks ahead, supporting MacOSX and Windows platforms, and continues to offer the most extensive line of FireWire/1394/iLINK devices available anywhere, sold through their on line store and through selected resellers and distributors worldwide.

May 09 - Unmasking the Stealth Spammer Through Source Authentication. Spam, also known as unsolicited email and junk mail, has caused extraordinary damage to people and businesses.

As the founder of Block All Spam, Inc., Greg Way, puts it, "It is stealing. It should be a crime with a punishment equivalent to theft." Many of our nation's leaders are acting now to introduce powerful legislation, creating laws to end spam. The first such law was recently enacted in Virginia. Everyone wants the problem solved. The solution has arrived. It is called Source Authentication. This patent-pending technology, developed by Block All Spam, Inc., absolutely stops spam in its tracks, at the email server, never allowing it to get to the desktop. And, most notably, it reveals the identity of the spammer.

Spam exists because spammers can use various methods to hide their identities. If it were easy to expose the identity of a spammer, the large majority of them would not bother to use spam as a way to make money. With new laws in place, spammers, whose identities are revealed, may face criminal and civil penalties.

When Source Authentication is adopted as an industry standard, spam will end forever. In order for spammers to distribute spam, releasing their identity to each of the recipients of their email messages will be a requirement, thereby creating a serious problem for them. Not only will we know who they are, but also we will likely know their address, phone number, place of business, how many spams they have sent and to whom. Only a few will attempt to spam in this environment. Those few, who attempt to send spam, will have their efforts thwarted, in addition to facing the consequences of their crime.

Is Your Email Legitimate?

Source Authentication technology provides us with a solution to spam beyond unmasking the spammer. It provides us with a secure sense that the sender of the email is who he says he is. Without Source Authentication, you can receive emails from people who are pretending to be other people. You cannot be sure of the sender, and it is unbelievably easy for people to fool email servers.

Almost every spam email message uses email spoofing. Occasionally, one may even receive email messages that are "From" your own email address! Imagine the havoc a spammer can cause with the ability to spoof one's identity, in addition to spoofing that individual.

This form of identity theft must be stopped. Source Authentication achieves that goal by forcing email to come from the real owner of the address that is in the "Return-Path:" portion of the email header. It is good practice to view a header for this return path statement at the top of all email message headers. With Source Authentication the "return path" cannot be falsified.

To read more on this topic visit www.sourceauthentication.org.

May 09 - Responsys Expanding Efforts to Take the Internet Back From Spammers. Responsys, Inc., a pioneer of engaging online marketing services that wins and retains customers, today announced its intention to expand its efforts to fight spam and support legitimate consent-based marketing. Responsys recently created an executive committee on key privacy issues to ensure that Responsys represents the interests of over 200 leading brands including: Lands End, Continental Airlines and Wells Fargo.

"Responsys is employing a privacy strategy that is aimed at controlling unsolicited email and differentiating spammers from legitimate marketers said David Silver, VP of Privacy Strategy at Responsys. "There are no quick fixes to spam," continued Silver. "We believe the economics of spamming must change along four fronts":

-- Technology -- Responsys is working directly with the major
ISPs and email providers to refine spam technology to increase
its effectiveness enabling ISPs and consumers to clearly
identify spam from legitimate email.

-- Education -- Responsys is working directly with its clients to
educate consumers on privacy and spam. This effort empowers
consumers to understand how to identify spam, assert their
rights and use technology deployed by ISPs and email vendors.

-- Industry initiatives -- Responsys is working with
associations, such as the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)
Email Service Provider Coalition, that represent legitimate
marketers and their customers. These initiatives support the
rights of consumers and legitimate marketers by creating
common definitions for spam and promoting best practices for
consent-based communications with consumers.

-- Legislation -- Responsys participates and provides input into
current legislative and enforcement initiatives resulting in
regulations that are enforceable with less ambiguity.

"Its all about consent not content -- filtering messages based on content is an imperfect interim solution because we don't have a good way for ISPs to track consent-based communications," continued Silver.

"Spam is a critical issue, not only for our clients but for the Internet as we know it," said Howard Koenig, CEO of Responsys. "Responsys will continue to take on a proactive, leadership role by attacking spam on these four fronts. In this way we have the best chance to change the economics of spam and put control back in the hands of the consumer where it belongs," continued Koenig.

More information about spam-related issues can be found at the Responsys website (www.responsys.com) in a recently published white paper containing "must know" facts and strategies for online marketers.

May 09 - SpamCon Foundation Creates Legal Fund. Antispam group SpamCon Foundation announced today the creation of a Legal Fund to assist parties who become involved in spam-related litigation. The Fund will recognize those cases that have potential to affect the body of law surrounding email marketing practices.

The organization is forming a legal advisory board which will recommend cases that warrant the Fund's assistance. Organizations and individuals can make tax-deductible donations to the Fund, or learn of other ways they can help, by visiting the SpamCon Foundation's Legal Fund Web page at (www.spamcon.org/legalfund).

The Fund's first initiative aims to provide funds for the defense of named defendants in EMarketersAmerica v. Spews.org, et al. (03-80295-CIV-MIDDLEBROOKS/JOHNSON), currently pending in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In this case, "EMARKETERSAMERICA.ORG, INC.", a recently-founded association representing un-named email marketers, charges that the defendants are responsible for damages resulting from the plaintiff's inclusion on various publicly-available blocklists. The Fund will assist the defendants in asserting their rights to publish details of alleged spam activity in this manner.

"SpamCon Foundation believes that spam is a problem that can only be solved through efforts on three fronts: technical, social and legal," said Ted Gavin, SpamCon Foundation Treasurer. "As a non-profit, donation-supported public benefit group, we must consider which issues benefit the whole of our constituency. We believe that it is in the public interest for this case to be decided on the merits, as there are few proven legal principles with respect to the rights of network owners and individuals involved in the debate on spam. For that to happen, however, both sides must have access to competent legal counsel."

"By assisting in select and strategic pieces of litigation, we intend to create a strong precedent of relevant case law, and ensure that the public has effective tools in its fight against spam," said Andrew Barrett, SpamCon Foundation's Executive Director.

About SpamCon Foundation

SpamCon Foundation (www.spamcon.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donation-supported public benefit organization dedicated to protecting email as a medium of communications and commerce. SCF combats spam by providing communication, resources and education for those affected by it.

May 09 - Interland Teams with PayPal to Provide E-Commerce Solution for Small Businesses. Interland (Nasdaq: INLD), the leading provider of Web hosting and online services for small and medium businesses, has combined its Web site creation and hosting technologies with PayPal's electronic transaction platform to create E-Store Builder(TM), an online storefront building tool specifically designed for small and home-based businesses.

E-Store Builder is part of Interland's latest comprehensive suite of easy-to-use online services called Business Solutions, which provides all the tools and services a business needs to build, manage and promote a successful online presence.

"Interland's partnership with PayPal is the natural extension of two industry leaders dedicated to making online commerce functionality available to the growing, yet underserved, SMB market," said Joel J. Kocher, chairman and chief executive officer of Interland. "Interland's E-Store Builder has been carefully designed to meet the unique needs of small and home-based businesses seeking to expand and enhance their ability to produce revenue online."

With Interland's E-Store Builder, setup is so clean and simple that small and home-based businesses never have to work with HTML or complex applications. Working in a wizard-driven authoring environment, the user simply selects a desired product and catalog layout, then defines categories and individual product entries. With a single click, E-Store Builder then automatically places the completed catalog of products and PayPal 'Buy' buttons into the end user's Web site where it takes on the look and feel of the site's design. E-Store Builder is also extremely scalable; it can even accommodate professional high-traffic applications, which, up until now, could only be accomplished with complex and expensive solutions.

"Using E-Store Builder, Interland's Business Solutions customers now have the power to sell online with the ease of a couple of clicks and no merchant account set-up or monthly fees," said Todd Pearson, vice president of merchant services for PayPal. "Prior to Interland's integration with PayPal, Web site owners needed to open their own merchant account and integrate complex transaction platforms into their sites. By incorporating PayPal into E-Store Builder, Interland has made it easy for small businesses to easily and cost effectively commerce-enable their Web sites."

PayPal's industry leading payment platform is integrated throughout Interland's E-Store Builder, providing single-click access to many of the tools necessary to manage and run an online store, including the ability to automatically include buy buttons with each product, set prices, define payment options and shipping methods.
And most importantly, the secure PayPal shopping cart allows buyers to purchase multiple items from the builder's online store through a seamless checkout process. Interland's customers are then able to track orders received and have access to reports through PayPal's robust reporting tools.

More information about E-Store Builder, one of many features found in Interland's Business Solutions portfolio, is available by visiting: www.interland.com/sb.

May 09 - Intel and LEGO Company to Bring BIONICLE Toys to Life on the PC. Intel Corporation and LEGO Interactive announced today they are working together to deliver and co-market a fast-paced adventure game that combines the top-selling BIONICLE(R) toy line with the latest in PC technology. The game, co-published by Electronic Arts, is scheduled for release in fall 2003.

The BIONICLE toy line, which combines the best of construction, action figure and storytelling, is based on a good-versus-evil storyline. Six BIONICLE heroes, each with their own elemental powers, battle against the darkness that has been cast over their island home of Mata Nui. The companies' goal is to bring the BIONICLE toys to life on the PC and create a realistic and immersive BIONICLE world through the power of the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor with Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology.

Intel's HT Technology allows the PC's processor to perform multiple tasks at one time with greater responsiveness. With this capability now available on new PCs based on the Intel Pentium 4 processor, companies such as LEGO Interactive and Argonaut Games, the BIONICLE game developer, can create more vivid and creative games.
For example, as children battle against the shadow of darkness within the game, the "Toa" BIONICLE characters leap out of the game with more life-like qualities and shadows. The environment around them will appear more realistic, from the sparkling waters of the lakes of Mata Nui to the billowing clouds rolling across the skies.

"Innovation in PC technology is making it possible for the creative community to bring an exciting new entertainment experience to the PC," said Ann Lewnes, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group, and director, Intel Inside(R) Program and Co-Marketing, Intel. "LEGO Interactive is capitalizing on the capabilities of the Intel Pentium 4 processor and HT Technology to create a PC game with true-to-life visuals that take the award-winning BIONICLE toys into a new realm of entertainment."

"We are extremely pleased with this co-marketing pro

gram and to be taking advantage of the capabilities of Intel's latest processor innovation. Intel's know-how and experience will benefit both our developers and our consumers by maximizing the PC gaming experience. The BIONICLE game is an important milestone in achieving our goal of establishing LEGO Interactive as an important gaming brand for six- to 12-year-olds," said Tom Stone, vice president, LEGO Interactive.

More Information

For more information on the BIONICLE game, please visit www.BIONICLE.com or http://info.ea.com.

May 09 - EA Unveils Plans for SimCity 4 Rush Hour. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced that the first expansion pack for SimCity(TM) 4, SimCity 4 Rush Hour Expansion Pack* is in development at the company's Walnut Creek-based Maxis(TM) studio. SimCity is on the move in SimCity 4 Rush Hour. Players will now have the ultimate level of control over their city's transportation network by completely taking charge of roads, rail, air, waterways, and even vehicles. SimCity 4 Rush Hour will make its debut to industry insiders on May 13th at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles and is scheduled to ship in fall 2003.

"Transportation is the pulsing life-blood of every city and is the number one requested area to expand upon among SimCity 4 fans," said Lucy Bradshaw, vice president and executive producer of the game at EA's Maxis studio. "Players will experience the thrill and power of creating and controlling the ultimate transportation utopia in SimCity 4 Rush Hour."

Players will put their Sims on the road to happiness as they take control of their city's transportation. Players can accelerate their Sims on their way to work or play with a wide variety of new transportation options. They can create the elevated train networks of Boston, the wide avenues of New York, or the winding one-way streets of San Francisco.
Players also will be able to develop a seamless mass-transit system including rail, subway, or even a scenic ferry service that connects to a greater regional travel network. With all-new problem-solving maps and tracking tools, players will be able to see the pulsing flow of traffic, map out the most efficient routes, and quickly get Sims from one city to another.

More information about EA's products can be found on the Internet at www.info.ea.com.

May 08 - Add FireWire 800 to Any Mac or PC. Other World Computing (OWC) today launched its FW800 PCI Card, an add-in card that supports the new IEEE 1394b FireWire 800 standard to any Macintosh or personal computer with an available PCI bus slot.

"OWC's new FW800 PCI Card makes it possible for any Mac or PC user to add in the super-fast data transfer capabilities available with FireWire 800," said Larry O'Connor, president and chief executive officer of Other World Computing.

"The vast majority of personal computers in use today utilize either FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) and/or USB ports. In either case, FireWire 800 is dramatically faster --either twice as fast or 67 percent faster, respectively, than FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. And in the case of USB 1.1, this FireWire 800 card is close to 70 times faster. The FW800 PCI card is also backward compatible with any FireWire 400 device."

The OWC FW800 PCI Card provides users with three nine-pin FireWire 800 ports and supports data transfer rates of up to 100 Megabytes per second (100MBps) between two or more devices. Priced at $79.95, the OWC FW800 PCI card is available immediately exclusively from Other World Computing at www.macsales.com/FW800PCI.

FireWire 800 External Hard Drive Enclosure Also Introduced

OWC also introduced today a new FireWire 800 external hard drive enclosure kit.

Designed to support all 3.5-inch ATA/IDE hard drives, the new Mercury Elite Pro FW800/400 + USB 2.0/1.1 Enclosure Kit utilizes the Oxford 922 chipset and makes it possible to extend the usefulness/life of existing drives by making them FireWire and/or USB compatible.

Priced at $179.95, the Mercury Elite Pro FW800/400 + USB 2.0/1.1 Enclosure Kit includes two nine-pin FireWire 800 ports (IEEE 1394b), one six-pin FireWire 400 port (IEEE 1394a), and one five-pin USB 2.0/1.1 port. This enables data transfer speeds of up to 100MBps, 50MBps, 60MBps, or 1.5MBps, respectively.

The Mercury Elite Pro FW800/400 + USB 2.0/1.1 Enclosure Kit is available immediately and exclusively from OWC at www.macsales.com/MEFW800KIT.

May 08 - HP Blade Servers Outperform IBM on Web, e-Mail, ERP Benchmarks. In conjunction with today's Adaptive Enterprise strategy announcement, HP (NYSE:HPQ) unveiled new benchmarks, its latest ProLiant blade servers and a multitude of new customers using ProLiant blade server solutions designed to create a more adaptive infrastructure and drive down cost and complexity across their IT environments.

HP's next-generation ProLiant BL20p blade server is the first to deliver Intel(R) Xeon(TM) 3.06-GHz processors, complete with 533-MHz front-side bus. The updated BL20p blade server outperforms IBM's latest blade offering in each of three important benchmarks --Microsoft(R) Exchange 2000, SPECweb99_SSL and the SAP(R) Standard Application Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark. This builds on HP's commanding 49 percent worldwide unit share of the 2002 blade server market.

"Since the debut of our first ProLiant blade server in January 2002, HP has led the industry in blade server hardware, software and technology innovation," said Brad Anderson, vice president, HP Industry Standard Servers. "The market for blades is buzzing, and customers are already realizing new performance capabilities coupled with space and cost savings that can positively affect their bottom lines."

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

May 08 - Visual Basic Users Migrating to Java and C. A new survey from development research firm, Evans Data Corporation, has found that 52% of all software developers use Visual Basic today but that 43% of them are planning to reduce their usage of the language next year. However, a third of VB users are planning to migrate directly to VB.Net.

The North American Development Survey Volume 1, 2003, completed in April, found that 39% of the 43% of developers decreasing their VB usage intend to increase their use of C#. Java use is also increasing amongst developers reducing their Visual Basic usage with 31% indicating that they plan to increase their usage of the platform-agnostic programming language.

"Microsoft has a serious stake in migrating the Visual Basic community to a .Net language and it appears that they are making headway," said Esther Schindler, senior analyst at Evans Data. "However, as they leave Visual Basic 6.0 behind, developers are choosing languages that help them work more easily with emerging technologies such as wireless and Web services development."

Other findings from the April survey of more than 600 of developers include:

-- Half of developers in the survey have bought into the use of
peer-to-peer technology in the enterprise; 51% indicated that
they "absolutely" or "probably" will use peer-to-peer
technology in their network applications.

-- When asked about the primary process methodology employed in
the development process, the vast majority of developers
responded with an in-house/proprietary methodology at 39%.
Rapid Application Design (RAD) is a distant second at 16% and
eXtreme Programming is even further back at 9%.

-- More than a third of companies, 38%, prohibit the use of
Instant Messaging. The most used means to combat its use are:
firewalls, 23% and company policy, 15%.

Evans Data can be found on the web at www.evansdata.com.

May 08 - Bitstream Releases Version 1.07 of ThunderHawk Wireless Browser. Bitstream Inc. (Nasdaq:BITS) today announced the release of version 1.07 of ThunderHawk(TM), Bitstream's wireless Web browsing technology, which brings the desktop browsing experience to wireless devices.

Version 1.07 includes upgrades to the Pocket PC Edition, a full-featured wireless Web browser for Pocket PCs, giving end users complete access to real Web pages. Version 1.07 also includes upgrades to the Enterprise Edition, a client/server solution for wireless Web browsing across networks. ThunderHawk's Enterprise Edition gives corporations and organizations complete access to Internet and corporate Intranet Web pages.

"Over 10,000 customers have registered ThunderHawk since its release last May. Since that time, we have worked toward aggressive deadlines to improve our wireless Web browser and give our customers the features they want," stated Anna Chagnon, president of Bitstream.

"This release of the Pocket PC Edition makes it easy to install ThunderHawk from the Web. This release of the Enterprise Edition includes a more robust server architecture, improved documentation, and a new graphical user interface, making ThunderHawk easier to install and modify for corporate IT departments. ThunderHawk is now more intuitive. Our wireless Web browser continues to allow people to stay connected."

New Pocket PC Edition features include:

-- Improved and simplified installation

-- Ability to download any file through the Web browser

New Enterprise Edition features include:

-- Overall improvements to the ThunderHawk server architecture

-- Improved and simplified installation, including a new Windows
installer for the ThunderHawk server

-- New GUI (graphical user interface) for the ThunderHawk server

-- New Linux installer

-- New GUI for the Linux load balancer

-- Ability to scale the ThunderHawk server up to 64 concurrent
users, doubling the capacity of previous versions


ThunderHawk for the Pocket PC is available for a free 30-day trial and for purchase by subscription. Customers who have a Pocket PC can download, test-drive, and purchase ThunderHawk from the Bitstream Web site. To take full advantage of new features, existing customers can also upgrade versions on the site, located at http://www.bitstream.com/wireless.

May 08 - interMute's Free SpamSubtract Stops Offensive & Pornographic Spam. interMute Inc., developer of award-winning web-preference software, is providing a free version of its SpamSubtract software that stops offensive spam. interMute has targeted the worst of the worst; the offensive, vulgar and pornographic spam that is flooding the Internet and being unintentionally viewed by children and adults, on home, school and workplace computers.

interMute already offers a free 30 day trial of SpamSubtract PRO, which filters all sorts of unwanted email, including commercial spam. To address the flood of obscene spam and to protect those who wish to avoid such materials, interMute's 'family-friendly' SpamSubtract software will keep working, even after the 30 day trial period is over, to block spam with offensive language and images. SpamSubtract will protect user's email Inboxes from such offensive emails even if they decide to not purchase SpamSubtract PRO.

"Many people have told us the number one reason they want a solution to spam is to protect their computers from email with embarrassing and offensive images and language," states Ed English, CEO of interMute. "People are extremely annoyed at misleading email which, when opened or automatically previewed, shows pornographic images. interMute is committed to protecting Internet users by blocking such spam forever. People should not have to put up with offensive spam.

"SpamSubtract continues the philosophy of interMute's first product, AdSubtract; to provide Internet users with the ability to take back control of their Internet experience and to provide access to 'the web your way.' With all the junk out there on the Internet, including spam and pop-up ads, people need simple and effective defensive tools," continued English.

With SpamSubtract, spam gets stopped before it reaches your email program. Spam is quarantined in a spam control panel, where it can be quickly deleted without needing to really 'see' it. Obscene words in spam get masked and offensive pictures are suppressed to combat distasteful spam.

SpamSubtract is available immediately at www.spamsubtract.com and supports Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape and Eudora email clients.


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