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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

November 08 - 15 2001

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 Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Nov 15 HP Reports Fourth Quarter Profit
Nov 15 MP3 Everywhere: Digital Audio Products Proliferate
Nov 15 AT&T Worldnet Leads in Customer Satisfaction
Nov 15 Linux to Dominate High Performance Computing in Three Years
Nov 15 EA Ships The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack
Nov 14 Intel Teams With HP to Design Concept PC 2001
Nov 14 Toshiba Offers Zero Percent Business Leasing
Nov 14 Nintendo Wins $560,000 in Mass Domain Name Lawsuit
Nov 14 SimpleTech Launches Line of Secure Digital Memory Cards
Nov 14 Sonic Introduces DVDit! Version 2.5
Nov 13 HP Introduces First Retail PC with DVD+RW Technology
Nov 13 Dell Delivers New Ultraportable Notebook
Nov 13 Intel Delivers Suite of High-speed 802.11a Wireless Networking Products
Nov 13 Stockholders of Be Incorporated Approve Asset Sale to Palm
Nov 13 Pharos Debuts Handheld Pocket GPS Navigation Solution
Nov 13 Keyspan Offers Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Upgrade Card for Laptops
Nov 13 CMS Boosts Notebook Hard Drive and Upgrade Kit Capacity
Nov 12 NEC Computers Inc. Unveils New Enterprise-Class PDA
Nov 12 ATI Unveils FIRE GL 8700 Workstation Graphics Board
Nov 12 Ricoh Announces Ultra Thin 4.13 Megapixel Tri-Mode Digital Camera
Nov 11 Sunday Shopping Watch
Nov 09 Sony's Versatile XM Satellite Radio Receiver Hits the Shelves
Nov 09 AMD Confirms Outlook for Current Quarter
Nov 09 Bell Labs Scientists Build the World's Smallest Transistor
Nov 09 NEC Director Defines High Availability and Fault Tolerant Server Technology
Nov 09 New Nokia Phone fetaures AOL Instant Messenger
Nov 08 IBM Intoduces New Hard Disk Drives
Nov 08 U.S. Robotics Launches High-Speed ADSL Ethernet Modem
Nov 08 Visioneer Announces 9650 USB Office Productivity Scanners
Nov 08 Belkin Launches New Line of USB Media Reader/Writers
Nov 08 eBay Ranks Most Wanted Holiday Gifts This Season

 
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Nov 15 - HP Reports Fourth Quarter Profit. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today reported financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31, 2001.
Fourth quarter results met or slightly exceeded guidance for revenue, gross margin and expenses provided on the Aug. 16 third quarter earnings call. The company achieved 6% sequential revenue growth, 4% sequential pro forma expense reduction, pro forma earnings per share (EPS) of 19 cents and operating cash flow of $1.8 billion.
Pro forma EPS on a diluted basis was 19 cents (compared with the consensus analyst estimate of 8 cents), up from pro forma EPS of 12 cents in the third quarter and down from pro forma EPS of 41 cents in the year-ago quarter. Pro forma earnings this quarter excluded a $282 million pre-tax restructuring charge for workforce reduction, as well as several other items.
Including these items, GAAP total EPS was 5 cents per diluted share on approximately 2 billion shares of common stock and equivalents outstanding. GAAP total EPS on a diluted basis for the same period last year was 45 cents.
"In a tough environment, we stayed focused on customers and business fundamentals. We generated sequential revenue growth, expense reductions and pro forma EPS improvements, as well as $1.8 billion in operating cash flow in the fourth quarter. Results were driven by excellent execution in imaging and printing and good performance in services. While overall computing systems results remain weak, we saw improvement in certain segments including storage and PCs. We reduced our cost structure, improved our operational effectiveness and managed inventory aggressively," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer.
"While executing well, we continue to focus on our long-term objectives. We are convinced that the Compaq transaction is a unique opportunity to move HP into the future and benefit our shareowners, customers and employees. We expect this transaction to create substantial earnings accretion soon after the merger closes. With Compaq's customer base and complementary products and services, we will materially strengthen key HP businesses.
"HP has always stood for a willingness to innovate and evolve in the face of changing markets. The company has successfully reinvented itself many times in the past, and we must continue to do so to deliver sustainable shareowner value.
"In 2001, we met many of the major objectives we set for HP and we thank our employees for staying the course and making sacrifices during a year of unprecedented challenges. They enabled HP to be among the select few technology companies to remain profitable throughout 2001. In recognition of their efforts, we have awarded all employees and managers, other than the Executive Council, a special cash bonus equivalent to two days' salary, with a total cost of approximately $45 million."

Nov 15 - MP3 Everywhere: Digital Audio Products Proliferate. As the ability to transmit, store, and create music files through the use of digital audio compression technologies continues to revolutionize the music industry, interest in new digital audio "playback" applications and products is increasing, according to Cahners In-Stat.
The research firm finds that even though most digital audio playback products have only been available for a couple of years, they have already succeeded in selling millions of units.
While portable digital music players have been the best-selling digital audio application, other products like digital audio receivers, digital jukeboxes, automobile stereos, cellular phones, and even personal digital assistants (PDAs) will drive future product sales.
"The increased use of the Internet has spurred the development of new digital audio business models and products. From portable players to digital audio jukeboxes, today's audiophiles and digital music consumers have more choices than ever before," said Mike Paxton, a senior analyst with In-Stat.
In-Stat has also found that:

-- Worldwide portable digital music player unit shipments will grow from 2.4 million in 2000 to over 9 million in 2005.
-- SONICblue, with its popular Rio line of portable players, remains the leader in worldwide portable digital music player unit shipments, followed by Creative Labs and D-Link.
-- Margins for most digital audio products are slim and manufacturing scale is important. Intel's mid-October announcement that it was exiting the portable music player market highlights this issue, even though the company had committed significant resources to product development and had garnered a credible share of the portable player market.
-- At the same time, many manufacturers believe the digital audio market segment has great potential. One week after Intel's announcement, Apple Computer introduced its iPod portable digital music player.
-- Demand for new console-type digital music products, like digital audio receivers and digital audio jukeboxes, have been low. However, this market is forecasted to grow significantly through 2005.
Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at www.instat.com.

Nov 15 - AT&T Worldnet Leads in Customer Satisfaction. While satisfaction with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has tended to decline over the past three years, the latest data indicates that ISPs, as a whole, are doing more to deliver service quality, according to a study by Solomon-Wolff Associates, an independent New Jersey-based market research firm.
"In January, 1999, one out of three customers indicated that they were completely satisfied with their ISP," says Joey Wolff, partner, Solomon-Wolff Associates. "By January, 2001, this had declined to one out of four."
The data collected in July 2001 by Solomon-Wolff Associates shows that the percent completely satisfied with their ISP increased from 25 percent in January 2001 to 26 percent in July 2001.
"This is a small increase, but it is the first time we have seen any improvement in customer satisfaction," said Wolff.
In its recent study of consumer attitudes and experiences with ISPs, Solomon-Wolff Associates finds that AT&T WORLDNET (NYSE:T) provides the highest level of customer satisfaction among the leading ISPs. While AOL (NYSE:AOL), MSN (NYSE:MSFT), and Earthlink (Nasdaq:ELNK) have higher market shares than does Worldnet, Worldnet customers are significantly more satisfied.
"During the past year, Worldnet has exceeded the satisfaction of the leading ISPs and this is beginning to impact on its market share," continued Ms. Wolff. "The Worldnet share of market has increased to its highest level since January 1999. In addition, it is holding onto current customers better and is also attracting consumers switching from other ISPs more effectively than are other leading ISPs."
The study shows continued growth for high-speed Internet connections. The percent of Internet users who use either cable modem or DSL service increased again in the latest study. Cable modem service is now used by 18 percent of Internet users and another 8 percent use DSL service. This is up from 10 percent and four percent respectively a year ago.
This data is developed from the biannual personal communications survey conducted through Solomon-Wolff's consumer survey website www.consumerviews.com in July 2001.

Nov 15 - Linux to Dominate High Performance Computing in Less than Three Years. In an InSight released today, Aberdeen Group, a leading market analysis and positioning services firm, states that Linux will dominate most segments of high performance computing (HPC) by 2004. This research is a result of Aberdeen's Linux and Open Source Software practice, which covers emerging and established Linux hardware and software suppliers.
"There is growing interest in Linux clusters for hosting HPC applications because of the relatively large price/performance advantages that clustered Linux systems have over proprietary systems," says Bill Claybrook, Research Director at Aberdeen Group. "With the same amount of money that users are willing to spend on proprietary systems, they often get several times the computing power with Linux clusters."
Today, the high-end of the HPC market is dominated by proprietary systems often running Unix and/or Unix cluster software from large system vendors, such as Compaq, Hewlett Packard, IBM, SGI, and Sun, and large supercomputers such as the T3E from Cray. Aberdeen research indicates that more than 70% of the revenue generated from HPC sales activities comes from the high-performance mid-range and technical servers areas, where systems cost $1M or less. These are the two areas where Linux is expected to rapidly dominate. As growing evidence of the impact that Linux is having on the HPC market, the Top500 list of the world's most powerful computer systems has Linux clusters ranked as the 30th and 31st most power computer systems in the world.
The InSight, entitled "Is Linux Domination of the High Performance Computing Marketplace Imminent?" examines and profiles the primary competitors in the HPC marketplace. Currently, Compaq leads the HPC market share race, but IBM dominates the Top500 list with 200 systems, followed by Sun with 81 systems.
For more information, visit http://www.aberdeen.com/ab_abstracts/2001/11/11010007.htm.

Nov 15 - EA Ships The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced the release of The Sims(TM) Hot Date Expansion Pack, the new add-on disk to the top-selling PC game of 2000 & 2001, The Sims(TM).
The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack represents an entirely new experience for The Sims -- dating! Play matchmaker to the Sims and watch the sparks fly or fizzle. For the first time ever, Sims will be able to leave their homes and visit an all new downtown area that will give them a place for a romantic rendezvous or to just hang out with a friend. Send your Sims out to a dinner for two at the swankiest restaurant in town, a fun-filled picnic in the park or a leisurely stroll down Main Street. Will your Sims find true love or be destined to a lifetime membership in the lonely-hearts club?
"A longtime desire of players has been to get their Sims out of the house," said Tim LeTourneau, producer at EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "Hot Date gives The Sims a chance to get off the couch, travel to new locales, and try their luck at the dating game."
Players can take their dream dates to an all-new, fully-customizable downtown area filled with shops, restaurants and parks. They can also invite neighbors and friends to meet at these new locales as well.
With over forty new social interactions, The Sims can flirt, play footsie, make out, gossip about the couple at the next table or chat in Simlish about new and diverse interests...whatever it takes to keep sparks flying on their dates.
Over 125 new objects, including the Picnic Basket, Love Tub, Cuddle Couch and Lover's Swing, allow players to set the perfect mood for their Sims. Find your Sim a soul mate...or have fun trying with The Sims Hot Date.
The Sims' unparalleled success has already inspired the creation of two add-on packs, The Sims Livin' Large which shipped in September 2000 and The Sims House Party which shipped April 2001. The Sims Livin' Large allows players to put their simulated families from The Sims into new extreme situations and settings and The Sims House Party gives players the chance to host outrageous parties for their Sims.
For more information on The Sims, The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party, and The Sims Hot Date visit www.thesims.com.

Nov 14 - Intel Teams With HP to Design Concept PC 2001. Intel Corporation today unveiled "Concept PC 2001," a joint collaboration between Intel Labs and Hewlett-Packard's Business Desktop Division Labs that uses the power of the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor platform for future PC innovation. With the use of Universal Serial Bus 2.0 (USB 2.0), Concept PC 2001 uniquely places computing components into separate "personal" and "computing" elements for revolutionary space savings and flexibility.
"Concept PC 2001 demonstrates that high performance computing doesn't have to sacrifice personal versatility and user flexibility," said Pat Gelsinger, chief technology officer, Intel Corporation. "Intel Labs works with PC manufacturers to validate and investigate the latest in PC technology to provide the most innovative computing solutions for business and consumer environments."
The computing element measures 4.5"H x 12.8"W x 14.8"D and contains sealed and secure devices to offer increased control for information technology managers. The personal element, an 18-inch flat screen monitor, provides access to everything a user needs through a single component. It features a Web camera, speakers, USB plug and play connectivity, a CD-writer and a wireless keyboard and mouse with the use of Bluetooth and RF technologies. Additionally, the personal element can be hung from the wall or placed on a rotating arm to free up desk space and reduce clutter for ultimate adaptability.
"Concept PC 2001 exemplifies technology in transformation," said Eric Chaniot, worldwide marketing manager for HP's Business Desktop Division. "The technologies and design ideas used in this concept product will be useful in developing future HP PCs as we transform R&D into reality."
Harnessing the highest performance of the Intel Pentium 4 processor in a very small footprint, the Concept PC 2001 demonstrates a motherboard layout with an aligned airflow to improve overall thermal performance and validates industry-leading low acoustics. The concept features Microsoft Windows XP Pro, Bluetooth and RF wireless keyboard and mouse, USB 2.0, ATI low profile RADEON 7500 AGP video adapter and DVI interface LCD monitor.
Concept PC 2001 represents the future possibilities of PC computing and is not a product for sale. Intel welcomes collaborative opportunities with PC manufacturers to investigate and explore the latest in PC technology. For more information, please visit Intel's Web site at http://developer.intel.com/technology/easeofuse.

Nov 14 - Toshiba Offers Zero Percent Business Leasing. Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS), today announced affordable lease offerings to SMB customers that make this the best time ever to obtain new Toshiba notebooks, servers, desktops and accessories.
Available immediately through Toshiba Financial Services, the new EasyLease finance options offer Toshiba customers zero percent financing with 90-day payment deferment for equipment leases of 24 or 30 months.
"Leasing is an ideal solution for SMB customers looking to grow their business without making significant investments in technology infrastructure," said Robert Baker, national program manager for Toshiba Financial Services.
"Toshiba's new EasyLease offerings allow customers to enjoy new Toshiba products without tying up their capital and accruing severe interest costs. We're making it easy and affordable for SMB customers to upgrade their technology and ring in the new year one step ahead of the competition."
Toshiba's EasyLease program offers customized financing options designed to meet the unique requirements of SMB customers. The zero percent offer is a fair market value (FMV) lease available for either 24 or 30 months with an unprecedented 90-day deferred payment option.
The minimum order to qualify for this lease is $3,000; maximum order is $100,000 through resellers and $50,000 through shoptoshiba.com. Upon completion of the lease agreement, customers have the option to purchase the products at fair market value, extend the lease for fair market value or return the equipment.
Applying for the new zero percent interest EasyLease can be done directly through Toshiba by visiting www.shoptoshiba.com, or through a local authorized Toshiba reseller. For more information on EasyLease, as well as additional Toshiba Financial Services programs visit http://www.shoptoshiba.com.

Nov 14 - Nintendo Wins $560,000 in Mass Domain Name Lawsuit. Nintendo of America Inc. today announced a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, has awarded the company a complete victory in its suit to recover 49 infringing internet domain names (including POKEMON-TRADER.COM and GROWLITHE.COM).
The Court ordered all domain names be returned to Nintendo and awarded Nintendo statutory damages ranging from $2000 to $30,000 per name for 48 names -- for a total award of $560,000.
The suit, Nintendo of America Inc. v. Stefani Us et al, was filed against 22 defendants under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA") in October 2000. The judgement was issued on October 12, 2001. This was Nintendo's first mass domain name suit under the ACPA.
"Nintendo is pleased the Court recognized the company's intellectual property rights and understood the damages that are caused by cyber squatting," said Richard C. Flamm, vice president and general counsel, Nintendo of America. "The anti-cyber squatting legislation is an effective tool to recover domain names in a single lawsuit."

Nov 14 - SimpleTech Launches Line of Secure Digital Memory Cards. SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC), a technology solutions provider offering products based on DRAM, SRAM and flash memory technologies, today announced the launch of a new line of Secure Digital (SD) Memory Cards in capacities up to 128MB.
The rugged, removable, postage stamp-sized flash memory cards support the secure and speedy storage of data in PDAs, cell phones, digital cameras and other consumer electronics as well as embedded systems requiring low form factor storage.
"With more than 60 products ranging from cell phones to digital camcorders already utilizing SD cards and more than 350 members of the SD Card Association promoting the form factor with new SD devices, the technology adds a vital new dimension to the digital storage of information, entertainment and communications," said Maggie Chen, SimpleTech's product marketing manager, flash cards.
Ideal for the secure exchange of data between electronic devices, Secure Digital cards offer built-in copy protection to facilitate fast, secure downloading of digital files including music, movies, photos and other data, Chen noted. The SD memory card offers a high speed data transfer rate of 2MB/sec.(typical).
"Secure Digital cards add new value for the miniaturized storage market because they address content security issues while offering high densities in practical footprints for a variety of portable devices," Chen said. "As a leading-edge supplier of flash memory technology, including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMediaCards and ATA PC cards, we are pleased to add this line of high quality Secure Digital memory cards to our comprehensive product family."
Cards in capacities of 32MB, 64MB, and 128MB will ship in mid- to late November, with higher densities expected soon, Chen said.
"We were first to announce the first 1GB CompactFlash card last August, and we continue to enhance our breadth of product to remain a one-stop shop for commercial and industrial customers seeking standard or custom flash-based solutions," she added.
A 128MB Secure Digital card will hold over 40 minutes of video, 100 digital images or up to four hours of music.
SimpleTech can be found on the Web at www.simpletech.com.

Nov 14 - Sonic Introduces DVDit! Version 2.5. Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq:SNIC), the world leader in DVD production systems, announced today at the Comdex Convention significant enhancements to the world's most popular application for authoring DVD titles, Sonic DVDit!(R). Expanded drive support, accelerated performance, and Windows XP compatibility are among the new features in this release. Suggested list prices for DVDit! have been lowered by 40%, to $299 U.S. for DVDit! SE and to $599 U.S. for DVDit! PE.
Version 2.5 of DVDit! includes a new compression engine -- incorporating GoMotion technology from Ligos -- for converting AVI and QuickTime files to MPEG in faster than real-time(1), and adds support for many new CD and DVD recorders, including the new generation of DVD+RW drives, such as the HP DVD100i DVD-writer. Sonic has also announced compatibility with Microsoft Windows XP, ensuring a smooth transition for users wishing to move to Microsoft's latest PC platform.
"DVDit! is a revolutionary and versatile application that has changed the way we work with, and distribute video," said Mike Greenway, owner of Advanced Video Solutions based in the Boston area. "We're excited to see all of the new features and enhancements that the new 2.5 version of DVDit! provides, and we expect our productivity to increase substantially. DVDit! is extremely easy to use, and with version 2.5, we'll be creating DVD titles faster than ever before."
DVDit! is used by videographers, multimedia professionals and video enthusiasts worldwide to create high-quality personal and professional DVD titles with ease. With DVDit!, users are able to simply drag-and-drop video and audio into the application, design interactive menus and record the final content to DVD+RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM or CD-R/RW. And with over a million units shipped, DVDit! has become the world standard software for DVD authoring.
DVDit! Version 2.5 is currently available through the Sonic webstore at http://www.dvdit.com.

Nov 13 - HP Introduces First Retail PC with DVD+RW Technology. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today announced a new home PC featuring HP's new DVD+RW drive. The HP Pavilion 9995 home PC is the first PC on store shelves nationwide with DVD+RW technology. The home PC includes the HP dvd100i DVD+RW drive and has an estimated U.S. retail price of $1,999(1).
The DVD+RW format offers ease-of-use, higher DVD recording speeds than other formats and optimal compatibility. The HP dvd100i drive allows consumers to create custom CD and DVD discs, which offer seven times the storage capacity of CD-R/RW discs.
The DVD+RW multimedia drive allows consumers to record their own home movies to DVD, back up personal data from their hard drive, burn and mix their own music to CD and transfer VHS tapes to DVD for longer preservation. The easy-to-use software included with the drive allows consumers to transfer digital or analog video, using an analog capture card, from a camcorder or VHS tape and immediately view the scenes on DVD.
The HP Pavilion 9995 home PC sports the Intel(R) Pentium(TM) 4 2.0 Ghz processor, 512 MB RAM and is equipped to handle high resource tasks such as video editing, gaming or other multimedia activities. The 80 GB hard disk drive stores numerous large digital files easily, while the added stability provided by Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP allows consumers to easily navigate their PC without worry.
"Talking with customers over the last year has shown us that video editing is a booming trend in home PC use," said Rob Wait, worldwide business manager, HP Consumer Business Organization. "With DVD+RW, our customers have the best tools to easily edit and share home videos, back up important information and create music CDs - all from the same drive."
The HP Pavilion 9995 home PC is expected to be available Nov. 18 at an estimated U.S. retail price of $1,999. Additionally, the drive can be configured into a customized PC through HP's build-to-order program, at http://www.hpshopping.com.

Nov 13 - Dell Delivers New Ultraportable Notebook. Mobile computer users who historically have sacrificed performance for lighter weight can now have the best of both worlds.
Today, Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) introduced a new ultraportable corporate notebook with the muscle to easily go the distance with any demanding Road Warrior's wish list: the wireless-ready Latitude(tm) C400.
Weighing in as low as 3.6 pounds, the new Dell-designed Latitude C400 notebook packs the heavyweight performance of Intel's new Mobile Pentium(R) III-M processor, up to 1.20GHz, Intel's 830M chipset with integrated UMA video graphics and support for up to 1.02GB SDRAM, all encased in a sleek but durable magnesium alloy. The C400 supports "virtually anytime, anywhere computing" with fully integrated modem and Ethernet connections and optional internal TrueMobile(tm) 802.11b wireless mini-PCI card.
"The C400 will give our employees the option of using notebooks that are very lightweight, while providing more power than traditionally has been available on such a form factor," said Rich Fix, First Union's director of Client Architecture. "The choice of integrated wireless, Ethernet and modem connections will allow our employees to stay connected wherever they go. The additional benefit of being able to use C-series peripherals and docking solutions is a bonus to this very slick unit."
"The C400 represents a breakthrough combination of uncompromising mobile performance, docking compatibility, built-in wireless connectivity in a best-in-class industrial design," said John Medica, vice president of Dell's client product group. "We supply more notebook computers to corporations worldwide than any other computer-system manufacturer, and direct relationships with our customers provide us unmatched ability to understand and deliver what they need."
The Latitude C400 is compatible with the millions of Latitude C-Series docking solutions already deployed worldwide, providing a cost advantage for existing Dell customers. The C400 is also compatible with all C-series peripherals and media devices, including a DVD/CD-RW combination drive, a Zip250 drive and a secondary 20GB hard drive.
Unique to the Latitude C400 is a new optional High Capacity Battery Pack that connects to the bottom and features an industrial design that mirrors the look and feel of the notebook. The 88-watt hour, 16-cell lithium-polymer battery is expected to offer up to seven hours of battery life.
Other brawny features found on the C400 include Dell's DualPoint technology, which allows a user the choice of either touch-pad or track-stick pointing devices; a 95-percent full-sized keyboard with 2.7mm key stroke; a full array of system ports, including USB, infrared and serial; and an AccessDirect(tm) button that can be programmed by the user or remotely programmed by IT managers to quickly access frequently used programs or Internet sites.
The price of the standard Latitude C400 starts at $2,059. It includes Intel's Mobile Pentium III-M at 866MHz and 830M chipset with UMA integrated graphics, 12.1-inch XGA display, 128 MB PC133 SDRAM, 10 GB hard disk drive, integrated 56k v.92 capable modem and 3Com 10/100 Ethernet, floppy diskette drive, external module bay and IDE module bay cable, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 and three-year next business day onsite service. The new external 88-watt hour battery is expected to be available by the end of the year. More information on the Latitude product family can be found at www.dell.com/latitude.

Nov 13 - Intel Delivers Suite of High-speed 802.11a Wireless Networking Products. Intel Corporation today announced availability of the industry's first suite of wireless networking products that allow companies and individuals to connect to the Internet and corporate networks five times faster than with previous wireless products. Intel's new wireless networking gear is based on the next-generation IEEE 802.11a standard.
"Connecting to the Internet and other networks using wireless technology is the next step in making computing truly pervasive," said Taizoon Doctor, general manager of Intel's Mobile Communications Division. "Intel will help accelerate the growth of wireless networks by driving the development of wireless standards and delivering high-performance products and software. Our 802.11a family of products is designed to significantly improve the mobile computing experience."
The Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN family of products include everything a small to medium enterprise needs to deploy a high-speed wireless network, including access points (wireless hubs), desktop PC and notebook PC adapters, and software designed for easy setup. In addition, Intel is providing a mini-PCI adapter to system manufacturers for integrating wireless LANs directly into notebook PCs. Intel also offers an optional, dual-mode expansion kit enabling the new access point to support networks using products based on 802.11a and the IEEE 802.11b standard.
The Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN Access Point, the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN CardBus Adapter for notebook PCs, the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN PCI Adapter for desktop PCs are now available in the United States and selected countries where regulatory approval exists for the suggested list price of $449, $179 and $229, respectively. The Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN 3A Mini PCI Adapter for embedded solutions is also available now with pricing dependent on volume.
All the networking and communications products are available through a network of distributors and value-added resellers. Additional product information and pricing are available at www.intel.com/network.

Nov 13 - Stockholders of Be Incorporated Approve Asset Sale to Palm. Be Incorporated (Nasdaq:BEOS) today announced that the stockholders of Be have approved the sale of substantially all of its intellectual property and other technology assets to a subsidiary of Palm, Inc., pursuant to the terms of a previously announced asset purchase agreement between Be and Palm.
The stockholders of Be have also approved the proposed dissolution of Be pursuant to the terms of a plan of dissolution. Jean-Louis Gassee, Chairman and CEO of Be, said, "On behalf of Be and its Board of Directors, I would like to thank our stockholders for their support of the company during this difficult period." It is anticipated that the transaction with Palm will close within the next two business days.

About Be

Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software solutions that enable rich media and Web experiences on personal computers and Internet appliances. Be's headquarters are in Menlo Park, California. It is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the Web at www.be.com.

Nov 13 - Pharos Debuts Handheld Pocket GPS Navigation Solution. Pharos Science and Applications Inc., the leader in PDA GPS navigation and routing solutions, today announced the debut of the Pocket GPS Portable Navigator.
This combination of hardware and software allows Pocket PC users to get street directions anywhere in the United States, while walking or while driving. Pharos is showcasing the Pocket GPS Portable Navigator at COMDEX as part of the Microsoft Partner Pavilion (Las Vegas Convention Center, L4852-50MIC) and the HP Jornada Partner booth (LVCC, L6246).
The Pocket GPS Portable Navigator features the iGPS-CF, an extremely accurate GPS receiver that is inserted into any Pocket PC Type I compact flash slot. The receiver accurately tracks the user's location and places that information onto easy-to-read maps. Turn-by-turn street directions can be generated to reach address-specific destinations or points of interest. The Pocket GPS Portable Navigator can operate on the host PDA's power supply.
The Pocket GPS Portable Navigator will be available through Pharos' standard retail channels this month at an MSRP of $349.95.
Pharos has long been the leading supplier of Pocket PC-based GPS navigation solutions for the car. This new combination of portability and affordability makes the Pocket GPS Portable Navigator a particularly effective choice for users looking for directions while they are walking around new cities or areas. It's also the right solution for users who travel or switch cars frequently.
"Our initial Pharos navigation and routing solution made in-car GPS available to any driver at prices up to 75 percent less than factory-installed systems," said Jeff Curtis, executive vice president of Pharos. "Now, with our new portable solution, that same superb navigation capability is available outside the car as well. Pedestrians and drivers who want a more streamlined form factor can get superior GPS navigation and routing at the industry's best value point."
The Pocket GPS Portable Navigator kit comes complete; users have everything they need except the PDA platform itself. Along with the iGPS-CF receiver, the turnkey package includes complete navigation and routing software and maps for the entire United States, an external antenna for better in-car performance, and a holder for better viewing in the car.
For more information, visit www.pharosgps.com.

Nov 13 - Keyspan Offers Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Upgrade Card for Laptops. Keyspan, America's No. 1 USB connectivity products vendor, announced its Keyspan Hi-Speed USB 2.0 CardBus Card. This card enables any laptop with a CardBus slot to connect to USB 1.1 and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 devices.
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 operates at speeds up to 480 Mbps -- forty times faster than previous USB technology. A new generation of lightning-fast Hi-Speed USB 2.0 devices are now being released. These devices include hard drives, CD-RW's, scanners, and printers.
The Keyspan Hi-Speed USB 2.0 CardBus Card ships with a small power adapter. Use of the power adapter is optional -- and guarantees that a full 500mA of power is delivered when both ports on the card are in use. Cards that draw power solely from the CardBus slot are not able to supply 500mA via its ports as provided for in the USB specification.
This CardBus card is the second Hi-Speed USB 2.0 upgrade card available from Keyspan. In May of this year Keyspan released a five port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card.
The Keyspan Hi-Speed USB 2.0 CardBus card ships on November 27 at an MSRP of $99.
The Keyspan website is located at www.keyspan.com.

Nov 13 - CMS Boosts Notebook Hard Drive and Upgrade Kit Capacity. CMS Peripherals(R) Monday announced the addition of 40GB capacity solutions to their entire line of Easy-Plug Easy-Go notebook hard drive upgrades and EasyBundle(R) notebook hard drive upgrades with data transfer kits.
Providing support for more than 600 models of portable PCs including models for Compaq, Dell, IBM, Micron and Toshiba, these easy-to-install solutions offer mobile users and IT managers a cost-effective alternative to replacing outdated and under capacity notebooks.
One of the industry's leading providers of notebook hard drive upgrade solutions, CMS Peripherals' drives and data transfer kits are tested to meet or exceed the manufacturer's original notebook drive specifications.
With the expanded capacity of the notebook hard drive upgrade solutions, CMS can help users boost notebook hard drive capacity by as much as 10 times the notebook's original drive capacity.
"It's easy to acknowledge that the needs of today's mobile workforce are growing exponentially," said Ken Burke, president of CMS Peripherals, "but it's also vital for organizations to recognize the rising number of professionals that are choosing to replace their desktop PC for a laptop.
"Solutions like CMS' Easy-Plug Easy-Go and EasyBundle enable IT managers to upgrade, rather than replace a portable PC solely based on a lack of capacity, providing an affordable solution for maintaining a competitive edge."
Easy-Plug Easy-Go hard drives are "drop-in-ready" for more than 650 PC notebook models, making the Easy-Plug Easy-Go (EPEG) an ideal solution for IT managers that are responsible for economically maintaining the integrity as well as a uniform "corporate appearance" of numerous notebook computers.
The CMS EPEG hard drive, custom built for each laptop model, comes ready to be configured with the same Windows(R) 95/98/NT 4.0/Me/2000, MacOS and Linux, applications and vital files your organization's network relies upon.
The EasyBundle includes a CMS Easy-Plug Easy-Go hard drive, CMS software for Windows(R) 95/98/NT 4.0/Me/2000 OS, PCMCIA card with data transfer cable, ESD prevention kit and shock-preventive hardware. With EasyBundle, users can safely and easily transfer their operating system, applications and files to a larger hard drive capacity in just minutes.
Shipping now, the Easy-Plug Easy-Go notebook hard drives have an MSRP starting at $179 6GB solutions to $549 for the new 40GB. The EasyBundle notebook hard drive upgrade and data transfer kit has an MSRP starting at $299 for 6GB up to $599 for the 40GB. Both the Easy-Plug Easy-Go and EasyBundle solutions include a three-year warranty.
Solutions are available through major distributors, corporate resellers, mail order and direct from the company's Web site, www.cmsproducts.com.

Nov 12 - NEC Computers Inc. Unveils New Enterprise-Class PDA. NEC Computers Inc., a leading provider of mobile, desktop and server computing solutions for the enterprise market, today introduced the NEC MobilePro(TM) P300 Pocket PC, a highly versatile new personal digital assistant (PDA) designed specifically for the corporate market.
Engineered with integrated CompactFlash(TM) Type II (CF) and Secure Digital (SD) expansion slots, the MobilePro P300 offers added flexibility and functionality. The built-in SD slot provides users with the versatility to use SD memory cards for plug-and-play and data storage. The CF slot allows users to simultaneously work with a wide range of Pocket PC accessories with options ranging from a Wireless LAN card to Global Positioning System (GPS), voice-over IP (VoIP) module or microdrive storage devices.
Operating on Microsoft(R) Corp.'s new Windows(R)-Powered Pocket PC 2002 software, the NEC MobilePro P300 is designed to be a full-featured Pocket PC. The MobilePro P300 targets the corporate user, offering greater expansion capabilities, a photo-realistic color display and a comprehensive set of enterprise applications. NEC Computers is also distinguishing the new MobilePro P300 in the corporate market by offering one year of UltraCare(R) Service concurrent with the limited warranty. This service includes Rapid Exchange that allows customers to receive a replacement system the next business day, or Exchange Upon Receipt for customers who send their unit in for service in advance of shipment.
"The Pocket PC platform is gaining significant interest among enterprises, especially those enterprises planning large-scale handheld device rollouts or those expecting to mobilize back-end applications," said Kevin Burden, program manager, Smart Handheld Devices, International Data Corp. "That's because Pocket PC 2002 delivers the performance and capacity that corporate buyers are beginning to demand and the platform now includes the types of connectivity hooks, namely VPN support and a terminal services client, that IT and mobile professionals can take advantage of immediately."

Pricing and Availability

A standard configuration, complete with 32MB SD card, USB cradle, stylus, and LCD protection cover sells for approximately $599 (U.S.) and $939 (Canada). The NEC MobilePro P300 Pocket PC may be purchased through select resellers and distributors. More information about the product is also available by visiting www.neccomp.com.

Nov 12 - ATI Unveils FIRE GL 8700 Workstation Graphics Board. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, today introduced the FIRE GL(TM) 8700, a new entry-level 3D workstation graphics board ideally suited for Digital Content Creation (DCC), MCAD and 3D game development applications.
The FIRE GL 8700 offers users optimized performance on applications that use either OpenGL or DirectX 8.1, as well as certification by workstation software developers to operate MCAD and DCC applications with increased reliability. The FIRE GL 8700 is pre-configured to maximize the performance of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux operating systems and CPU optimizations.
The FIRE GL 8700 graphics board features 64MB (megabytes) of DDR (double data rate) memory and support for 3D resolutions (32-bit color) up to 2048 X 1536 pixels, digital flat panel (DVI) and dual monitor support. The FIRE GL 8700 uses a 165 MHz integrated TMDS transmitter to support DVI up to UXGA (1600 X 1200 pixels) resolution. The 3D rendering engine is capable of 2.4 gigatexels per second for fast fill rates in 32-bit true color.
"The FIRE GL 8700 provides ATI with a fully-featured, economically-priced entry-level workstation graphics board to complement its newly introduced mobile workstation processor Mobility FIRE GL 7800, mid-range FIRE GL 8800 and the high-performance FIRE GL 4 processors," said Ed Huang, Director, Workstations, ATI Technologies Inc. "This product rounds out our workstation line, ensuring that there is a product to meet every price and performance requirement."
In addition to the new FIRE GL 8700, ATI is introducing a new configuration for the FIRE GL 8800 mid-range workstation product, which will feature 128MB of onboard memory.
Pricing and availability were not announced. Visit their web site at www.ati.com.

Nov 12 - Ricoh Announces Ultra Thin 4.13 Megapixel Tri-Mode Digital Camera. Ricoh today announced the multimedia 4-megapixel Caplio RR1 digital camera.
This powerful USB-enabled camera, available now, offers three operating modes, digital still, voice and motion picture. The camera ships standard with a 64MB SmartMedia card and 8 MB of onboard memory, for a whopping 72MB of memory out of the box.
At $699, Ricoh has lowered entry cost barriers associated with 4-megapixel digital cameras and expanded the appeal to avid photographers as well as to digital imaging enthusiasts and business users.
Capturing crisp resolutions of 2272 x 1704 dpi, the compact Caplio RR1 features Ricoh's famous pivoting LCD viewer and offers a 10.8X zoom capability. The camera also boasts high-end professional features like a 3x optical zoom, 0.4-inch super-macro for extremely close-up shots, continuous shooting capability and time lapse.
"Until now, 4 megapixel cameras have appealed more to avid photographers and imaging professionals because of price and complexity," said Jeff Lengyel, marketing manager for Ricoh's Digital Camera Division. "The Caplio RR1 represents a new breed of digital imaging solution by setting a new standard for quality and price. By combining digital still, voice and video with 72MB memory and a complete software bundle, Ricoh's Caplio RR1 brings the world of 4-megapixel photography to a much broader range of potential users."
Four million pixels produces photographic quality prints up to 11 x 17-inches. Storage is also flexible, with selectable scales of 2272 x 1704, 1120 X 840 pixels and 640 X 480 pixels plus four compression settings of Fine, Normal, Economy and Non-compressed.
Many of the RR1's powerful features, designed for the most discerning photographer, make the camera remarkably easy to use. For example, the lens architecture uses three aspherical lens elements to minimize light dispersion and maximize light refraction to get a remarkable 200 mm/line resolution across the entire zoom range. The result is stunning crispness and color reproduction on every image captured.
The slimline Caplio RR1 is only 26.6 mm (1 in) thin with a sleek metallic body design that fits it comfortably into a shirt pocket. It is set off by Ricoh's famous large LCD viewer, approximately 200,000 pixels of clear screen that rotates and swivels at various angles and accurately displays the image the user will get, even at the most challenging positions.
The Caplio RR1 camera is available now at Fry's Electronics or direct from Ricoh at www.ricohzone.com.

Nov 11 - Sunday Shopping Watch. This is the seventh Sunday that Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows XP, is bundled with new computers. For some reason, local merchants continue to advertise high-end systems and not the less powerful Celeron and Duron systems. This trend applies to both desktops and notebooks.
Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's Windows XP home page.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, and various coupons and rebates with Windows XP, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 14 month no interest financing on all desktop complete systems, and build-to-order computers with a purchase value of $499 or greater. Also advertised is a $100 mail-in rebate on all notebooks.
Circuit City is offering 12 month no interest financing on AMD processor notebooks.
Office Depot has no store-wide sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA is offering 12 month no interest financing on any purchase $499 and above.
Staples has no ad this Sunday.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
$799
Best Buy
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
   
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.5 GHz complete system
$1299
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None Advertised
Best Athlon System
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
$1049
Best Buy
Best Athlon XP System
Compaq build-to-order 1700+ (1.47 GHz) DDR with 17 inch monitor
$1307
Office Depot
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Duron with DVD
$1199
Office Depot
Best High-end Notebook
Sony AMD Athlon 4 with CD-RW/DVD
$1699
Circuit City
Coming Products
Microsoft Xbox
Nov 15
 

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

Nov 09 - Sony's Versatile XM Satellite Radio Receiver Hits the Shelves. Sony's XM "plug-and-play" Satellite Radio Receiver, the only XM receiver that allows consumers to enjoy satellite radio in both their car and home, is now rolling out to stores nationwide, coinciding with the launch of XM service throughout the remainder of the U.S.
Sony's XM Satellite Radio Receiver (model: DRN-XM01) is the only satellite radio receiver designed to work in the home and on the road. Whether custom or self-installed, Sony's satellite receiver can be transported between multiple vehicles and the home with separate accessory kits. Consumers can also connect the XM receiver to the auxiliary input of a portable stereo or home stereo receiver to create a stand-alone XM stereo system.
"The arrival at retail outlets of Sony's XM Satellite Radio Receiver gives radio listeners what they want - true transportability to enjoy XM programming while on a road trip, in the home or office or even in a boat," said Todd Schrader, vice president of Sony Electronics' Personal Mobile Products Division.
Sony's Satellite Radio Receiver has a two-line, blue backlit LCD that displays a 20-character summary of the current program choice, including station identification, song title, name of artist and time of day. The receiver also features five-station presets and Sony's Jog Dial(TM) navigator for searching and locating stations easily.
The "plug-and-play" receiver is available in three configurations: Home, Self-Installation Car and Custom Installation Car. If consumers have purchased the Home kit or either of the car kits, they have the option of purchasing the Home or Car Accessory kit without repurchasing the receiver.
Prices start at $300 for the Home Unit (DRN-XM01H). More information can be found at www.sony.com.

Nov 09 - AMD Confirms Outlook for Current Quarter. Speaking at the annual AMD fall analyst conference today, AMD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer W.J. Sanders III said he expects that overall revenues will range from flat to high single-digit percentage growth on record unit sales of PC processors in the quarter ending December 30, 2001. The company outlook for the quarter remains unchanged from a projection issued when it reported third quarter results on October 17, 2001.
"Seasonal patterns in the PC industry lead us to believe that AMD PC processor revenues in the first quarter of 2002 could retreat somewhat from the current quarter," Sanders said. "The outlook for flash memory going into 2002 remains uncertain, and pricing pressures on flash memory products are expected to remain intense. We currently expect that these conditions will delay our return to profitability until the second quarter of 2002."
Sanders said that the company's cost containment and cost reduction program will contribute to improved operating results in the second quarter and beyond. "While we expect only very modest overall growth in the semiconductor industry next year, we believe that our new product offerings and low manufacturing costs will result in a profitable year overall for AMD in 2002," Sanders concluded.
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.

Nov 09 - Bell Labs Scientists Build the World's Smallest Transistor. Scientists from Lucent Technologies' (NYSE:LU) Bell Labs, building upon their recent breakthrough in molecular-scale transistors, have now fabricated an individually addressable transistor whose channel consists of just one molecule, a feat never previously accomplished.
The channel - the space between its electrodes - is where the transistor's electronic switching and amplification take place.
The tiny transistors are so small - only a billionth of a meter each - that approximately ten million of them would fit on the head of a pin. Made of an unconventional organic semiconductor material and using a novel fabrication technique, they may lead to smaller, faster and cheaper computer chips in the future.
Last month, the same Bell Labs team - physicist Hendrik Schon and chemists Zhenan Bao and Hong Meng - unveiled a transistor with a single-molecule channel length. But that device could only be fabricated as a matrix of a few thousand molecules that worked in tandem. Now, in a major advance, the team has succeeded in fabricating molecular-scale transistors that can be individually controlled.
The power of computer chips typically increases as the size of its transistors shrinks. Bell Labs' single-molecule transistor is less than a tenth the size of any transistor made previously.
"This work pushes the miniaturization of electronics to its final frontier," said Federico Capasso, physics research vice president at Bell Labs. "It may become the cornerstone of a new nanoelectronics era."
The breakthrough is described in an article published by the journal Science on their Science Express web site (www.sciencexpress.org). For more information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at www.bell-labs.com.

Nov 09 - NEC Director Defines High Availability and Fault Tolerant Server Technology. This is an open letter addressed to the manufacturers and resellers of server and enterprise networking technologies and to the media and analysts covering server technology. The purpose of the letter is to begin rectifying considerable customer confusion created by recent marketing campaigns from server manufacturers. "Fault Tolerant", "High Availability", "Continuously Available", "Self Healing", and "Five Nines Available" server technology has recently been announced by major server manufacturers, including IBM, Fujitsu, NEC Computers, Sun, and others.
While high availability information promoted by server manufacturers is not meant to be misleading, the confusion created by diverse definitions of technologies that provide the same benefit - highly available servers - may lead to poor purchase decisions by customers.
The definitions below are recommendations for discussing high availability server technology. My hope is that they will provide vendors, resellers, analysts and members of the press a common language for conversing with customers, a language that benefits them and helps them make the best decisions to make their companies competitive.

Continuous Availability - Servers described as continuously available are considered operational for all but 5 minutes of a 365-day year. By definition, they are considered to be unaffected by hardware failure. From my perspective, true fault tolerant servers -- those that do not loose or re-build memory state in the event of a hardware failure (e.g. servers with redundant hardware) -- are the only servers that can currently provide continuous availability.
High Availability - High Availability servers are designed to quickly recover from a hardware or software failure. Generally, High Availability servers are considered operational between 95% and 99% of a 365-day year. The most important point to know about a High Availability server is that, despite some marketing claims, they are not built to prevent downtime. Rather, High Availability servers are built to quickly recover from hardware failure that causes downtime (generally taking a few seconds to under 1 minute to recover). Cluster systems are a good example of High Availability systems. The bottom line is that software "recovery" designs are mainly used to retrieve data lost during failure. Data is lost and/or must be retrieved in high availability servers.
Fault Tolerant - Fault Tolerant (FT) servers seek to completely eliminate data loss and recovery time. The emphasis with FT is application take-over, not a quick switch to a back-up server. Both High Availability and Fault Tolerant servers can contain multiple processors, hard drives, RAM, networking, etc. With FT servers, the redundant components operate in lock step, continuously performing identical commands. Conversely, High Availability servers use additional hardware as a back-up. Commands are not necessarily run on back-up components or servers at the same time. Specifications for Fault Tolerant systems average five minutes of downtime per year. By our definition, Fault Tolerant servers are considered continuously available.
Five Nines (99.999%) Availability - This is perhaps the most overused and mis-applied term in the High Availability space today. Many software and hardware companies are now touting five nines availability in marketing campaigns. Some state in the small print that five nines availability is expected in the future. This is a response to customer demand for availability, but not with a completely accurate message. Most "five nine" technology is cluster-based.
Failover - When talking about failover, an important distinction is drawn between failing-over to a back-up server (e.g. - clustering) and failing-over to a redundant component (e.g. - hard drive) that performs identical functions in lock-step. In the first case, data is often lost or corrupted, down time can be measured in minutes and restoring the system to working order requires expertise in system recovery and data integrity checking. The nature of failover in a Fault Tolerant system is that it is designed to have no loss of in-flight transaction data when a hardware failure takes place. The memory state is maintained because redundant components take over the transaction without delay to prevent transactional data from being lost or corrupted. Therefore using the term failover can be misleading and requires that users understand the quantitative and qualitative differences between clustered systems and a fault tolerant system.

Further information about High Availability and Fault Tolerant technology is available at www.necft.com.

Nov 09 - New Nokia Phone Features AOL Instant Messenger. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, and VoiceStream Wireless Corporation, a leading provider of personal communication services, today announced the introduction of a built-in version of the popular AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) (AIM) service on a new, stylish Nokia 3390 phone for VoiceStream Wireless customers. This product brings a new level of ease-of-use to the mobile instant messaging arena.
Available exclusively to VoiceStream customers, the new Nokia 3390 with the AIM service is the first mobile phone to include the service as a built-in application. One-click access to instant messaging makes it even easier for consumers to take advantage of fun, two-way mobile instant messaging without having to install or set up any software. To highlight the exclusive nature of the built-in application, the phone is available in an exclusive new Mica Pearl (Gold) color.
Lisa Hook, President of AOL Anywhere, America Online said, "This phone is both the most stylish and most convenient way to stay in touch today. 'IM me' is the catch phrase for teens and other people on the go. With the Nokia 3390 phone with AIM inside, any user with a Screen Name and password will be ready to send instant text messages as soon they leave the store. It doesn't get any easier. Already, AOL audiences send more than 1.2 billion instant messages a day to their friends and loved ones. With this new phone, they'll have that convenience wherever they go -- and they'll always look cool as they stay in touch."
The new, gold Nokia 3390 phone with AIM Inside is available nationally anywhere Voicestream phones are sold. The Voicestream Wireless Web site is at www.Voicestream.com, and AOL Keyword is: Voicestream.

Nov 08 - IBM Intoduces New Hard Disk Drives. IBM today unveiled a trio of heavyweight hard disk drive products with enhanced capabilities and industry-best features for the high-performance desktop, mobile and new blade server segments.
IBM's prizefighters include, first, the Deskstar 120GXP, the industry's lowest-power consumption 3.5-inch desktop hard drive with a 120 gigabyte (GB)1 capacity and performing at 7200 RPM. The Deskstar's enhanced offerings bring together the state-of-the-art in hard disk drive technology -- essential for supporting data-intensive multimedia applications that rely on speed and power for peak performance.
Next up: the Travelstar 60GH and 40GN family. The Travelstar 60H, at 60 GB and 5400 RPM, is the industry's highest-capacity, highest-performing 2.5-inch notebook drive. The 40GN offers 40, 30, 20 and 10 GB capacities at 20 GB per disk and spinning at 4200 RPM. As a family, the Travelstar enables the longest battery life among leading notebook drives and maintains its "quietest" drive title with IBM's Drive Noise Suppression System continued across the new product line.
Finally, IBM introduces new 2.5-inch Travelstar models, offering enhanced availability for non-traditional applications. These industry-first models increase available hard disk drive "power-on hours"2 and are designed to meet the requirements for emerging applications such as those found in 24x7 blade server environments.
Both the Deskstar and Travelstar families are undisputed leaders in their respective segments. The drives also have low power features, which underscore IBM's company-wide commitment to low-power computing, announced last month. Furthermore, both drives have implemented IBM's antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media, affectionately called "pixie-dust," across the product lines. The magnetic properties of AFC media enable higher data stability, and thus, higher areal density -- potentially tripling the industry's current areal density limits.
"We are fortifying the new generation of Travelstar and Deskstar drives to support the low-power, higher-speed, higher-capacity and miniaturization trends seen in the electronics and pervasive computing markets today," said Bill Healy, vice president, marketing, IBM Storage Technology Division. "The new drives' capacities, performance and other distinguishing characteristics underscore IBM's commitment to extend the limits of hard disk drive technology, especially as we explore ways to open new markets such as consumer electronics, removable storage and blade server."
With more than one billion gigabytes of new data generated throughout the world every year (UC Berkeley study) -- an all-time high -- the Deskstar 120GXP and Travelstar 60GH and 40GN families will be key tools in helping users successfully navigate the new digital world.
IBM can be found on the Web at www.ibm.com.

Nov 08 - U.S. Robotics Launches High-Speed ADSL Ethernet Modem. U.S. Robotics, the world's leading provider in Internet access and connectivity, today introduced the availability of its high-speed ADSL Ethernet modem for Internet service providers and telecommunications companies.
The product is part of the company's growing family of broadband access and networking products being offered under its respected consumer brand.
U.S. Robotics' latest innovation offers consumers a seamless Internet experience via its high-speed, continuous connection to the World Wide Web without the nuisance of busy signals or unavailable phone lines. By allowing for Internet connectivity up to 145 times faster than 56K analog connections, the ADSL Ethernet Modem presents users with a viable product for a number of uses such as interactive gaming, telecommuting and on-demand streaming audio and video entertainment.
"The introduction of our ADSL Ethernet Modem demonstrates our pledge to provide our customers with the very latest in high-quality, reliable and robust Internet access and connectivity," said Jerry Devlin, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for U.S. Robotics based in Schaumburg.
"The modem also offers ISPs and telecommunications companies a renowned consumer brand with extensive distribution in computer and consumer electronics retail outlets."
In addition to providing users with continuous, high-speed Internet connectivity, the ADSL Ethernet Modem also touts a number of other important user benefits, including:

-- Built-in firewall for added protection against intrusion
-- Support for all popular wide-area network services, including point-to-point (PPP) over asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), PPP over Ethernet and bridged or routed multi-protocol over ATM
-- Local and remote management tools
-- Virtual private network support
-- Support for ADSL G.DMT and G.Lite technology

"Our ADSL Ethernet Modem brings service providers an easy-to-install, high-performance product for their customers wanting to experience the full potential of the Internet," said Jim Thomsen, U.S. Robotics product manager. "The U.S. Robotics brand assures their customers that they are receiving the highest levels of quality and reliability.
"Moreover, since the product is Ethernet-based, it can be fully integrated with a number of our other networking products, including our Broadband Router and Wireless Networking Suite, to allow consumers to easily share the broadband connection among multiple PCs throughout the home," Thomsen added.
For further information regarding the company and its products, visit the Web site at www.usr.com.

Nov 08 - Visioneer Announces 9650 USB Office Productivity Scanner. Visioneer, Inc., a leader in intelligent imaging solutions, today announced the new Visioneer 9650 USB office productivity scanner, the second-generation of Visioneer's award-winning Automatic Document Feed scanner product family.
The new Visioneer 9650 USB is the company's first scanner to have a built-in automatic document feeder (ADF) that can process 12 pages per minute and offers business users a complete document imaging and archiving solution for only $599. Visioneer will be showing the new Visioneer 9650 USB at COMDEX in their booth no. L635.
The Visioneer 9650 USB offers three key capabilities essential to effective productivity scanning: high speed with 12 page per minute throughput, a reliable automatic document feeder and a low purchase price.
"Visioneer has been very successful in anticipating the scanning needs of our customers and then exceeding them with models that are both affordable and highly functional," said Murray L. Dennis, CEO of Visioneer, Inc. "We believe many companies are looking for a cost-effective way to archive paper documents electronically. There are several 'departmental' scanners currently on the market that range in price from $1000-$5000 that scan 15 to 40 pages per minute. These are great scanners, but not exactly affordable for the general office or small workgroup user. The Visioneer 9650 USB is addressing a market that is severely underrepresented -- a productivity scanning solution that is also affordable."
The Visioneer 9650 USB will be available Nov. 16, 2001, through authorized retailers, online services, and from Visioneer's web site at www.visioneer.com. Its suggested retail price is $599.99.

Nov 08 - Belkin Launches New Line of USB Media Reader/Writers. Belkin, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals and Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity products, today introduced its new line of highly innovative and extremely stylish USB Media Reader/Writers.
The new line, which is perfect for consumers who want to download files, pictures or music from the media card in their digital camera, PDA, cell phone, handheld computer or MP3 player to their PC or Mac computer, will begin shipping in North America on Nov. 12, 2001.
The line consists of four new devices. First is the Belkin USB Media Reader/Writer for CompactFlash (F5U140 -- ESP $29.95), which includes a dedicated slot that accommodates both Type I and Type II Cards. Second is the Belkin USB Media Reader/Writer for SmartMedia (F5U141 -- ESP $34.95), which includes a dedicated slot that accommodates SmartMedia Cards. Next is the Belkin USB Dual Media Reader/Writer for CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards (F5U142 -- ESP $49.95), which includes a dedicated slot for CompactFlash I and II cards and a dedicated slot for SmartMedia cards -- allowing you to attach other Belkin USB hubs and adapters. Lastly is the Belkin USB Media Reader/Writer for MultiMedia Cards/Secure Digital Cards (F5U143 -- ESP $29.95).
All four Belkin Media Reader/Writers allow users to edit as necessary and store all of their files on their computer. They are powered through the user's computer's USB port, thus eliminating the need for AC adapters, additional power supplies or batteries. They provide data transfer speeds of up to 12Mbps, which is 40 times faster than transfers through a serial interface. Their design is compact and can be placed either in a vertical or horizontal manner, which saves desktop space. All four also feature true Plug-and-Play, hot-swap capability.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.belkin.com.

Nov 08 - eBay Ranks Most Wanted Holiday Gifts This Season.Two recent surveys conducted by eBay(Nasdaq:EBAY), the world's online marketplace(TM), with nationally representative samples of 1,000 adults, revealed that this year's overall holiday spending plans have not been sharply impacted by the current economic conditions.

Most Desired Holiday Gifts

In a separate survey conducted by Survey.com with a representative sample of eBay users, results showed that electronics and toys are topping peoples' lists as the most desired gifts for this holiday season.

Among electronics, respondents said they'd "love to give or
receive" the following gifts this holiday season:
1. DVD players 31%
2. Digital cameras 27%
3. Flat-screen TVs 25%
4. Laptop computers 24%
5. Digital camcorders 19%
6. CD rewriteable drives 18%
7. Video game systems 12%
8. Handheld computer or personal digital assistants 11%
9. Desktop PC systems 10%
10. Cellular phones 7%

Among toys, the top choices included:
1. Barbie dolls 44%
2. Harry Potter toys 23%
3. Blue's Clues 22%
4. Gameboy Advance 20%
5. Pokemon character toys 19%
6. Scooby Doo character toys 19%
7. LEGO Bionicles 16%
8. Power Puff Girls 13%
9. Bob the Builder toys 13%
10. Rugrats character toys 12%

Among gaming systems, Sony's PlayStation 2 was the "most wanted" gaming console, followed by Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Gamecube. These rankings may change when the Xbox and Gamecube hit store shelves November 15 and 18, respectively. Disney "Monsters Inc." toys ranked the 12th most wanted, which may also change in ranking due to the movie release on November 2.
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