Nov 07 - World's Fastest and Most Advanced Laptop
- Codenamed MX51. Today, Michael's Computers introduced the world's
first laptop with a 1600MHz FRONT SIDE BUS. Utilizing the new AMD
64-BIT Clawhammer 3200+ processor, this is leading technology operating
more than 15 times as fast as any competitor and appearing only at
With support of more than 1024MB DDR Memory and the ATI's newest
M10P VRAM 128MB Graphics card, no other laptop runs faster, clearer
"Those using Dell, Gateway, Apple, Alienware, Sony, HP, Toshiba,
Compaq or other companies should switch at this time. The difference
of middle class laptops and a high class laptop like the MX51 is like
driving a car with 100 horsepower and then stepping into a 500 horsepower
car...you absolutely feel the difference" - Michael, Owner, Michael's
Computer Gaming World December Issue "We tested every laptop
and your MX51 SMOKED the competition"
About Michael's Computers:
Michael's Computers, founded in 1996, is a world leader in design
and manufacturing of ultra high performance computer systems under
the brand names MX7, 357MX and MX5. The company is located in West
Los Angeles, California.
Michael's Computers have been designing systems for Gamers, 3D Cad
Designers, Law Offices, Realtors, Doctors, Movie Producers, Audio
Enthusiasts and associates within the US Navy and US Marine Corp.
Michael's Computers systems are sold throughout the United States
and also ship as far as Canada, Ireland and London.
Michael's Computers are sold online at www.MichaelsComputers.com.
Nov 07 - HP and Oracle Set World Record
Performance Mark -- First to Top 1 Million Transactions per Minute.
HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Oracle (Nasdaq:ORCL) today broke through a key technology
performance barrier, becoming the first companies ever to top 1 million
transactions per minute on the Transaction Processing Council's TPC-C
The result was achieved running Oracle Database 10g, an HP Integrity
Superdome server and Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors. The benchmark
not only sets a new industry record, but also reflects the power of
industry-standard servers running the UNIX(R) operating system in
"scale up" single server configurations.
HP and Oracle achieved 1,008,144.49 tpmC with a price/performance
ratio of $8.33/tpmC. This result is 30 percent faster than achieved
by the nearest competitive hardware vendor. The benchmark configuration
consisted of a (non-clustered) 64-way HP Integrity Superdome running
HP-UX 11i v2 with Oracle Database 10g and used HP StorageWorks Virtual
Arrays 7110 configured with 36 gigabyte and 73 gigabyte drives.
With today's result, HP now holds the top three TPC-C performance
results, including the top UNIX, Linux and Windows(R) results.
"HP and Oracle offer the choice, scalability and flexibility
to meet customer needs," said Rich Marcello, senior vice president
and general manager, Business Critical Servers, HP. "Today's
benchmark result is a prime example of HP's leadership with Integrity
servers running Oracle and of our joint work to build a platform to
support our mutual customers' most demanding requirements as well
as scale with them as their business grows."
For more information about Oracle visit www.oracle.com.
More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.
Nov 07 - Toshiba's New 40GB 1.8-Inch Hard
Disk Drive Caters to Today's Mobile Storage Demands. Toshiba Storage
Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor storage,
today announced its newest family of 1.8-inch embedded hard disk drives
(HDDs) available in 20GB(a) (single platter) and 40GB (dual platter)
Digital entertainment and business devices continue to drive demand
for robust storage in a mobile footprint as people want to take their
digital content with them when travelling between the office, home,
school and car.
"Toshiba continues to build on the 1.8-inch product line to
deliver high-capacity drives capable of storing everything from digital
music and photos to videos and presentations," said Amy Dalphy,
manager, HDD business unit, Toshiba SDD. "We've been expanding
our manufacturing capabilities in an effort to address this burgeoning
demand as products are selling faster than the drives can be produced."
Toshiba's 1.8-inch family is now available in 5/10/15/20/30 and 40GB
capacities, providing a selection of "digital suitcases"
to accommodate a range of applications. Products based on 1.8-inch
technology include mobile entertainment devices, MP3 players, handheld
computers, ultraportable notebooks, portable handheld GPS units, automotive
jukebox systems and other specialized digital devices.
Measuring 54 mm wide and 78.5 mm deep, and weighing 51 and 62 grams,
respectively, Toshiba's 20/40GB drives are smaller than a credit card
and lighter than a pager -- helping manufacturers create small form
factor, more portable digital products. The 1.8-inch drives can withstand
operational shock of up to 250g and non-operating shock up to 1,000g,
providing a rugged, durable storage solution for today's mobile devices.
For more information, visit www.sdd.toshiba.com.
Nov 07 - Dat Ooptic Inc. Introduces FireWire
800/IEEE-1394b PCI CARD. FireWire 800/1394b bus features hot plug-ability,
transfer rates up to 800 Mbps, support isochronous data transfers,
and auto-bus configuration. It is the fastest inexpensive peripheral
connection available in the market.
DAT Optic Inc., a renowned developer and manufacturer of Optical/Data
storage and CD/DVD duplication products, introduces the newest addition
to their innovative line of FireWire products, the 1394b PCI host
DAT Optics FireWire 800/1394b PCI card comes equipped with FireWire
800/1394b driver, which supports 1394b in Windows98SE, ME, 2000 and
XP operating systems.
With DAT Optic FireWire 800/1394b PCI, PC users can enjoy data transfer
rate up to 800Mb/s between 1394b peripherals and a PC, or create an
800Mbps network among PC and MAC systems.
DAT Optics FireWire 800/1394b PCI card is fully compatible
with Mac OS:
- OS 10.2.4 or higher - 1394a and FireWire 800/1394b functions at
- OS 9.x or higher - 1394a
The FireWire 800/1394b PCI card is outfitted with a combination of
1394a and 1394b ports.
Three external ports - Two 9-pin 1394b and one 6-pin 1394a
One internal port One 9-pin 1394b
One internal power connector Up to 1.5Amp per port can be delivered.
Ordering Info: 1394bPCI Now shipping at www.datoptic.com.
Nov 07 - Research Shows 18-34 Year Old
Men Spend More Time Online Than Watching Television. The Online
Publishers Association (OPA) announced today the results of a recent
media consumption study of men aged 18-34 who are frequent visitors
to online news, information and entertainment Web sites.
The study, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, found that this
group reports spending significantly more time online each week than
it spends watching television. Specifically, men aged 18-34 report
spending an average of 21 hours per week online, compared to only
15.7 hours watching television.
"These data suggest that use of the Web may indeed be a contributing
factor to the measured decline in primetime TV viewing this season
among men 18-34," said Michael Zimbalist, executive director
of the Online Publishers Association. "The degree to which Internet
use has contributed to a permanent shift in the media habits of U.S.
consumers, including men 18-34, will be the subject of a major study
of 18-34 year olds and their media habits to be released by the OPA
in early 2004."
For more information about the Online Publishers Association, visit
Nov 07 - Survey Identifies Top Teen Wish
Lists and Gift-Giving for the Holidays. Computers top the "must-have"
holiday wish list for teens this year, according to results of the
recent "First Annual Youth Holiday Purchase Patterns" survey
conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
Game consoles, cell phones, portable CD players, and portable MP3
players round out the teens' top five most-wanted consumer electronics
gifts. This marks the first time teens age 12-17 were surveyed as
part of CEA's annual holiday shopping consumer research.
"The feedback from today's tech savvy and influential teenagers
are important to us and our members," said Gary Shapiro, president
and CEO of CEA. "This survey is one of many initiatives we are
using to reach out to teens and reiterate the fun and educational
benefits of consumer electronics. As expected, the results reflect
how teens are actively embracing a wide array of technology and that
they recognize technology influences almost all aspects of their lives."
In addition, the survey shows that teens plan to purchase portable
CD players as a gift to others (49 percent) this holiday season. Other
products targeted for gift giving include game consoles (35 percent),
cell phones (30 percent), hand-held game systems (28 percent) and
portable MP3 players (27 percent). Just over half of the teens surveyed
(51 percent) said they were planning to pay for all or most of the
gifts with their own money.
Last month, CEA released the results from its "10th Annual Holiday
Purchase Patterns" survey, noting that 70 percent of all adult
consumers expect to spend the same amount or more this year on gifts
this holiday season, up from 68 percent in 2002. The average adult
consumer will purchase approximately seven electronics products this
holiday season, up from six products in 2002.
CEA's resources are available online at www.CE.org.
Nov 06 - RedCannon Security Warns Computer
Users That Dangerous Lover Spy Service Is Still Active. The cyber
protection experts at RedCannon Security are putting out an alert
to all computer users that the dangerous and invasive Lover Spy service
that came to light in October is still active. Computers installed
with this Trojan horse are still sending sensitive information to
their handlers, despite the fact that the Web site originally promoting
the Lover Spy service is currently offline.
As of 1:30 AM on November 4, 2003, RedCannon demonstrated a computer
infected with the Lover Spy Trojan horse recording password information
and sending it to another computer's email account. Lover Spy was
originally sent to an unknown number of computer users by way of electronic
greeting cards, fooling potentially thousands of unsuspecting people
into loading a program onto their systems capable of logging their
keystrokes, passwords, e-mail messages, and even turning on their
Web camera remotely. More information on detecting and blocking Lover
Spy software is available at www.redcannon.com/support/firewall_stop_lover_spy.htm.
"It's outrageous and the worst part is, people think it's over.
Lover Spy is one of the most dangerous Trojan horses I've seen in
a long time," said Kurt Lennartsson, vice president of technology
at RedCannon Security. "You don't even have to be a professional
hacker anymore. Programs like Lover Spy and many others make it simple
for anyone to illegally spy on you. The privacy issues are numerous,
not to mention personal and financial information is at risk.
Imagine giving someone free reign to your e-mail messages and bank
statements. We lock our doors at night to protect our family and personal
possessions yet we leave the door to our computer wide open. Criminals
can reach us through an unprotected computer just as easily as they
could walk into an unlocked house. The only way to be protected from
this is to have application protection, like the feature found in
RedCannon Fireball CyberProtection Suite, installed on your computer."
RedCannon is urging computer users to adopt a comprehensive security
solution that is able to identify this Trojan horse and block its
activities. One such solution is RedCannon Fireball CyberProtection
Suite, which is currently available for free download at www.redcannon.com.
Lennartsson continued, "Not every security offering out there
can detect Lover Spy, so users need to be certain that whatever method
they are using to seek out this Trojan horse -- that it works. We've
tested Fireball in the lab and we can identify and block it immediately.
It's good to be proactive because Anti-virus software will not always
protect users against spyware, and many personal firewalls offer little
or no application protection to keep malicious hackers and spies off
Nov 06 - On the Threshold Of Maturity,
Bluetooth Market Comes Into Its Own. Riding a roller coaster hype
curve and struggling to resolve the many technical challenges presented
by such an ambitious vision, Bluetooth has come a long way from being
a simple cable replacement technology unveiled in 1998.
Bluetooth has hit a major milestone in its evolution as the technology
enters the maturity stage of its lifecycle. A stable specification
and installed base that runs into millions of units is proof that
it has been a success. Even critics would be hard-pressed to name
any other wireless communications technology that managed to achieve
the volumes and diversity of deployment of Bluetooth in just six years.
The specifications of Bluetooth have reached a stage where interoperability
between devices is seldom an issue, where interference with other
radio technologies is a limited and increasingly disappearing concern
and where adoption into new applications is no longer a daunting challenge.
The commitment of the Bluetooth community to the ongoing development
of standards is ensuring that it will continue to be relevant as wireless
communications moves into the future.
A new study by Frost & Sullivan believes that the spectacular
growth in the semiconductor sector, a hotbed of Bluetooth development,
bodes well for the continued buoyancy characterizing the overall marketplace.
The year 2001 saw shipments of just under 10 million chipset solutions,
while annual shipments had more than tripled to around 34 million
units by 2002.
In 2003, Frost & Sullivan expects that shipments will at least
double, with a conservative estimate of over 70 million units. If
the industry ramps up production in the second half of the year, this
value could be significantly higher.
However, it has not all been plain sailing for companies operating
in the semiconductor and subsystems space (including silicon vendors,
software developers, intellectual property, modules and design houses).
"Tough economic conditions and the resource demands of a challenging
technology have forced a consolidation of the market. Developers no
longer jump on this bandwagon, they jump off it when they realize
there is no easy money to be made," reports Frost & Sullivan
Consultant Carles Ferreiro.
Clearly identified market segments such as cellular phones and PC
based applications offer substantial market potential for now and
the future, whilst emerging application areas such as industrial and
automotive applications will grow in importance and volume as time
goes by. There are no clear competitors to Bluetooth in the personal
area networking space, and while there may be other new technologies
on the fringes of its range, none have its scope, volume or maturity.
The Bluetooth market has reached a stage of maturity at which commercial
realities must now be addressed by developers. Whereas once Bluetooth
was hailed for its get-rich-quick potential by start-ups, only those
companies with a sound business plan and a clear value proposition
are equipped for survival.
"For many of the smaller, early developers of the technology,
whether hardware or software centric, there was a clear belief that
large returns could be achieved for modest investment and some who
executed their exit strategies early found this to be the case,"
"For the remainder who found their trade acquisition objectives
or initial public offering strategies limited by the slump in the
technology sector and general global economic slowdown, the challenge
has been to transform from entrepreneurs to stable businesses,"
Even some of the larger initial Bluetooth players have found the
returns achievable from Bluetooth to be too limited to justify continued
significant involvement. Companies such as Avaya, Intel and Motorola
have all scaled back their initial interest as the technology changed
from being the world changing technological advancement it was heralded
as to a more realistic breakthrough in personal communications and
Most major developers, such as Cambridge Silicon Radio, based their
success on technological innovation and a strong development support
for customers. But as those customers in the major application areas
become more comfortable with development, it is price that will emerge
as the determining factor. Supporting customers will always be important,
specifically in emerging markets, but as all developers reach comparable
levels of functionality, it will be increasingly hard to differentiate
based upon issues of specification.
Over the next few years, Frost & Sullivan expects to see a further
streamlining of the component end of the Bluetooth market, and semiconductor
developers, protocol software developers and intellectual property
developers are already feeling the contraction. The growth opportunity
lies in emerging applications, but only those able to demonstrate
competence in supporting client development will win.
The long-term success of those companies in the Bluetooth semiconductor
space, including software and intellectual property developers, will
be based upon their abilities to identify the most appropriate application
segments to target and retain customers in these areas. Developers
need to be realistic about the segments that they can ultimately thrive
in and carefully develop strategies and support programmes to reinforce
this, the study concludes.
Frost & Sullivan can be found online at www.frost.com.
Nov 06 - REAL Software Ships REALbasic
5.2.2 for Windows. REAL Software, Inc. announced today the release
of REALbasic 5.2.2 for Windows. REALbasic is a powerful, easy-to-use
development tool that enables Windows users of all levels to create
custom applications and compile them for both Windows and Macintosh.
REALbasic for Windows supports Windows-specific features such as ActiveX/COM,
Registry access and Win32 API calls.
Windows applications created with REALbasic do not require an installer
or DLLs, eliminating the common 'DLL hell' problem. In addition, REALbasic
for Windows is similar to Microsoft(R) Visual Basic(R) in design and
syntax, so Visual Basic users feel right at home with REALbasic.
REALbasic 5.2.2 includes an updated REALbasic Project Manager, which
enables teams of developers to collaborate on a project. REALbasic
5.2.2 also includes improvements to VB Project Converter, a utility
that helps Microsoft(R) Visual Basic(R) users migrate existing Visual
Basic projects, forms and code to REALbasic. In addition, updated
Unicode capabilities, the world's standard for encoding text, enables
REALbasic 5.2.2 to support all languages.
"We want Windows software developers, including those familiar
with Visual Basic, those on development teams, those working internationally
and those who wish to create cross-platform software, to be more productive
with REALbasic," said Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL
Software, Inc. "With these improvements, REALbasic becomes an
even better business-ready tool - a powerful, yet easy-to-use option
for software development projects."
VB Project Converter helps with the "heavy lifting" associated
with transferring forms and code from Visual Basic to REALbasic. For
example, it moves the interface, places the code in the right events
and checks to make sure your code is compatible. To finalize the process,
Visual Basic developers can then use REALbasic to edit any Visual
Basic code that was not converted by the utility. This capability
provides an additional benefit--because REALbasic provides cross-platform
support, software that was once available for Windows only can now
be compiled and offered for both Windows and Macintosh.
"VB Project Converter speeds the process of porting a Visual
Basic project to REALbasic," added Mr. Perlman. "The Visual
Basic developer still has some work to do but VB Project Converter
makes it much easier than starting from scratch. Also, REALbasic's
language is similar enough that most Visual Basic developers find
that they are immediately productive in REALbasic."
REALbasic is a full-featured design environment easily suited to
creating all kinds of software, from utilities to enterprise-class
applications. REALbasic is available now starting at $99.95 direct
from REAL Software or at Fry's and other software retailers. REALbasic
Professional Edition, required for cross-platform development, starts
at $399.95. REALbasic Professional Edition also includes extended
functionality for database and team development.
The REALbasic 5.2.2 update is free of charge for all existing REALbasic
5 for Windows customers and can be obtained directly from REAL Software's
website at www.realsoftware.com/download/index.html.
Release notes detailing all of the changes to REALbasic 5.2.2 are
included with the software download.
Nov 06 - Wireless Telecom Stocks Surge
34% Despite Excessive Risk to Investors, According to Weiss Ratings.
The stocks of wireless telecommunications companies surged during
the third quarter, posting an average return of 34 percent, according
to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider
of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds,
The sector dramatically outperformed the S&P 500 Index, which
recorded a quarterly total return of 2.65 percent.
"Competition among wireless phone companies is fierce and may
intensify further when a new FCC rule mandating cell phone number
portability becomes effective November 24," commented Melissa
Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "The specter of
number portability may lead wireless firms to lower rates in an attempt
to retain customers, which in turn could lead to shrinking margins
and more red ink for the industry."
Among the 43 wireless telecom stocks rated by Weiss, 29, or 67 percent,
harbor excessive risk to investors, receiving a weak (D+ or lower)
Weiss Investment Rating, while no wireless telecom stocks rated by
Weiss receive a favorable (B- or higher) rating. Large companies within
this sector currently rated weak by Weiss include:
Weiss 3rd Qtr
Company Headquarters Rating Return
Dobson Communications (NDQ:DCEL) Oklahoma City, D 54.08%
Nextel Partners (NDQ:NXTP) Kirkland, Wash. D 6.95%
SBA Communications (NDQ:SBAC) Boca Raton, Fla. D 4.65%
Sprint PCS Group (NYSE:PCS) Kirkland, Wash. D+ -0.35%
Weiss Investment Rating: A = Excellent; B = Good; C = Fair; D = Weak;
E = Very Weak
Computers, Internet and Catalog Retail, and Internet Software and
Services Also Rise
Of the 6,027 stocks rated by Weiss, 4,285, or 71.1 percent, recorded
positive total returns during the third quarter. Other sectors delivering
good performance for investors were computers, internet and catalog
retail, and internet software and services, which recorded average
total returns of 30.43 percent, 25.07 percent, and 27.14 percent,
Investors can purchase a rating and summary analysis for as little
as $7.95 through www.WeissRatings.com.
Nov 06 - Market Share for Nintendo GameCube
Doubles Following Price Drop to $99.99. In the video game industry,
momentum has a new name: Nintendo GameCube(TM). In just 35 days of
availability at a new manufacturer's suggested retail price of $99.99,
Nintendo GameCube has more than quadrupled its sales rate and grabbed
18 points of market share from its two competitors.
Sales figures gathered from the nation's largest retailers show that
Nintendo GameCube effectively doubled its market share to 37 percent
from 19 percent. The system now runs a strong second in the U.S. market
as it challenges for leadership during the important holiday sales
"In a tough economy, we've found the sweet spot on pricing,
and players are grabbing Nintendo GameCube systems off the shelves
at the fastest rate since the console's debut," says George Harrison,
senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo
of America. "With an $80 price advantage over other systems and
the impending launch of the mega-hit Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, this
offer is just too good to resist."
Harrison announced the dramatic sales figures today during Harris
Nesbitt Gerard's Playtime 2003 Investor Conference in New York. Nintendo
has been on a roll on a number of fronts and the statistics bear this
When combined with the Game Boy(R) Advance SP, Nintendo is responsible
for half of all system sales to date in 2003. In addition, Nintendo
game systems are the only ones to show a year-to-date increase in
sales compared with 2002. Game Boy Advance sales are up 25 percent
from 2002, while Nintendo GameCube sales are 2 percent above last
year. In contrast, sales for Microsoft's Xbox dropped 3 percent and
Sony's PlayStation 2 dropped 17.5 percent(Note A).
To keep the momentum going, Nintendo's holiday lineup includes a
strong series of games, including Mario Kart(R): Double Dash!!(TM),
the season's expected monster seller. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! raises
the bar for competitive game play by letting players choose their
karts and two characters - one to drive, one to toss weapons or swipe
them from other players. The pair can even switch places during the
race to maximize strategy. The game is Rated E for Everyone and will
be available Nov. 17 at an MSRP of $49.99.
With its amazing graphics and realistic depiction of wild weather
conditions, the new 1080(R): Avalanche snowboarding game will be a
big hit, while Mario Party(R) 5 builds on a successful franchise to
bring family fun to an electronic version of classic board games.
Both games are Rated E for Everyone and will be available at an MSRP
of $49.99. Mario Party 5 launches Nov. 11, while 1080: Avalanche will
be available Dec. 1. More than 320 games for the Nintendo GameCube
and 550 games for the Game Boy Advance will be available by the end
of the year.
For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web sites
at either www.nintendo.com.
Nov 06 - Hasbro's VIDEONOW Portable, Personal
Video Player Enjoying Extremely Strong Sales Nationwide. National
sales for VIDEONOW(TM), Hasbro, Inc.'s (NYSE: HAS) first-ever kid
friendly, personal video player, are heating up with the holidays
now less than two months away. In addition, VIDEONOW now tops a variety
of national "what's hot" lists predicting the holiday season's
'must haves'. VideoNow is the only palm-sized, hand-held portable
entertainment center that retails for about $50 and allows kids and
tweens to watch some of today's most popular programming on the go.
Consumers and retailers agree - VideoNow is one of this holiday's
hottest toys. Among its honors: the Toys "R" Us 'Hot Holiday
Toy Picks' list, the KB Toys' annual hot holiday toy list, eBay's
'Hot Toys for the Holidays' and an 'All Star' in Toy Wishes Magazine.
"We think VideoNow could be one of the hottest products in 2003,"
said John Sullivan, General Manager of Toys "R" Us.com.
"It is a kid-friendly video player at a great price. It looks
like a sure winner."
"VideoNow is a smart choice for tweens who are always on the
go and accustomed to enjoying really cool, new technology in the electronics
arena," said toy and children's lifestyle industry expert Chris
Byrne. "In the case of VideoNow, they have the combination of
cool product, great programming and total portability, making this
one of the 'must have' items of the season."
Of course, the innovation VideoNow brings to the tween marketplace
is only as good as the library of content offered...and Hasbro continues
to bring VideoNow fans incredible programming.
"We are thrilled to have alliances with the likes of Nickelodeon
and MGM, as VideoNow continues to deliver the kind of exciting entertainment
that our tween audience loves," said Brian Goldner, President
of Hasbro's U.S. Toys group. "Look for an amazing library of
content for the VideoNow format in the coming months...so stay tuned,"
said Mr. Goldner.
Titles already available include top rated Nickelodeon shows like
SpongeBob Squarepants, Jimmy Neutron and Fairly Odd Parents as well
as hit TV programs like American Idol and original content, A Day
in My Life, featuring custom footage of actress and chart-topper Hilary
And more are scheduled to be available this fall and early next year
- including exciting episodes of educational and action packed full-length
episodes of Transformers Armada, Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Animal
Planet's The Jeff Corwin Experience and That's My Baby; full-length
episodes of hit TV shows The Amanda Show and Fear Factor and outstanding
original content featuring BMX rider Jamie Bestwick, skateboarder
Eric Koston and musical artist Lil' Romeo.
Each VideoNow Disc will retail for approximately $7.99; VideoNow
Disc Three Packs will be available for approximately $14.99. The VideoNow
personal video player is available at leading national retailers for
an approximate retail price of $49.99.
Nov 05 - Tapwave Zodiac Console Now Shipping
to Customers. Today, Tapwave(R) officially announced it began
shipping the Zodiac(R), this year's highly anticipated mobile entertainment
The console is offered in two models - the Zodiac(1)
for $299 (32MB RAM) and the Zodiac(2) for $399 (128MB RAM). Both models
are available exclusively at www.tapwave.com.
Zodiac represents the first in a new category of handheld products
designed from the ground up to address the mobile entertainment and
on-the-go lifestyle needs of technology enthusiasts. Zodiac delivers
both 'fun' and 'function' in a sleek and ergonomic 6.3 ounce, anodized-aluminum
On the 'fun' side, the Zodiac console not only provides
an unparalleled mobile gaming device with analog control, 3D graphics,
stereo sound, vibration effects, and wireless multiplayer gaming,
but also everything required for a rich multimedia experience including
music, pictures and video. From the 'function' perspective Zodiac
also offers the added benefit of running a Tapwave enhanced version
of the Palm Operating System (5.2T) and provides immediate access
to the more than 19,000 existing applications, including the world's
leading personal information management tools.
Since officially announcing the company six months ago, over 1200
game developers have signed up for the Tapwave developer program and
requested the software development kit (SDK). The majority of these
developers are coming from established computing and entertainment
platforms (e.g., Xbox(R), PlayStation(R), and Nintendo(R) Game Boy(R))
and over 40% are from international markets.
Already these developers have specifically optimized several titles
to take advantage of the Zodiac's analog controller, high resolution
display (480 x 320), landscape and portrait modes, interactive touch
screen, and graphics acceleration. A few examples of these games include:
Crimson Fire's Galactic Realms(R) and Phantom Strike, Handmark's Warfare
Incorporated(R), MegaSoft 2000's MegaBowling and Billiards. We expect
this community of developers to produce many more exciting and innovative
titles in the months ahead.
Tapwave is also partnering with leading game publishers to bring
well-known premiere titles to Zodiac console users. A few of these
premiere titles include: Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater(R) 4,
Midway's SpyHunter(R), id Software(TM) DOOM II(R), Atari's Neverwinter
Nights(TM) and Apogee's Duke Nukem Mobile(TM).
In addition to the new premiere titles, the Zodiac entertainment
console provides a perfect platform to bring classic games back to
life. With its ATI(R) Imageon(TM) graphics accelerator and Motorola(R)
i.MX ARM 9 processors, the Zodiac is the first handheld device to
have enough power to run full versions of "retro" game engines.
This year Zodiac users will be able to run Sega(R) Genesis, Atari(R)
2600, and Commodore 64(R) titles on-the-go. Sega of America, Inc.
is the first company to have completed this type of partnership with
Tapwave. Zodiac users will be able to play such Sega Genesis classics
like Golden Axe 3 and Altered Beast. Since Zodiac also runs the Palm
OS(R), customers can also choose among the 1000+ games already available
on the operating system.
"With the incredible enthusiasm the Zodiac has had from the
developer community, we are looking forward to a robust and diverse
selection of game titles optimized especially for our platform,"
said Byron Connell, Co-founder and Senior VP of Tapwave. "By
the end of the year, we hope Zodiac users will find something to satisfy
any game craving, whether it be a role-playing, real-time strategy,
action, adventure, or anything in-between."
Video games and other applications can be purchased and downloaded
directly from the Tapwave website (www.Tapwave.com).
Premiere video games will also be available for purchase on game cards
and can be inserted directly into either one of Zodiac's dual expansions
slots for a simple plug and play experience.
Nov 05 - Canon Announces Smallest, Quietest
Projector For Presenters and Home Theater Users. Canon today announced
it lightest, quietest and most versatile projector yet, the LV-S3
At a weight of only 4.9 lbs., this go-anywhere projector can be transported
from the conference room to the living room and back or carried from
classroom to classroom. Users can enjoy quiet-operation in the Silent
Mode, which decreases the unit's noise level to a low 32dB or brightness
up to 1250 ANSI Lumens for improved viewing. Now more businesses,
educators and home theater users can show off their best presentations
or watch their favorite DVDs, while enjoying outstanding picture quality
through Genuine Canon Optics.
"Whether it's taken out on the road to impress business customers,
used in schools to add powerful visuals to everyday curriculum, or
enjoyed in the comforts of home, the LV-S3 delivers outstanding value,"
said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general Manager,
consumer imaging group, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon
Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). "The new LV-S3 projector gives users more options
than ever by combining Genuine Canon Optics with a compact, portable
Features include a 1.2X Genuine Canon Optical Zoom lens which projects
a dramatic 100" theater-sized image from only 10.4 feet away,
making it ideal for small spaces. Canon's LV-S3 is a native SVGA resolution
(800 x 600) LCD projector with flexible connectivity for presentations
from a laptop, digital camcorder, digital camera, DVD player, HDTV,
VCR and more. Progressive scan circuitry converts a standard 480i/575i
signal to Progressive, which enhances video and makes the LV-S3 ideal
for home theater.
Businesses and educators will also benefit from the Presentation
Kit, a remote control with USB Remote Receiver that can be used as
a wireless mouse, and can control key projector functions commonly
used during a presentation. The customizable logo display makes it
easy to project a corporate logo at the beginning of a presentation.
"With the Canon LV-S3 projector, users will enjoy marvelous
picture quality because of Genuine Canon Optics in a light, compact
package that's great for displaying captivating images in the office,
on the road, in school, or at home," added Hashimoto.
The compact Canon LV-S3 microportable projector debuts in early November
for a suggested list price of $1,299.
For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
Nov 05 - SmartDisk Adds New Models of
Award-Winning FlashTrax. SmartDisk Corporation today introduced
40GB and 80GB models of its award-winning FlashTrax(TM) handheld portable
multimedia device for offloading and storing digital images and music.
FlashTrax safely stores high-resolution images transferred from any
flash memory card onto the built-in USB2.0 hard drive and displays
them on a 3.5" LCD that outperforms tiny on-camera screens. By
using the sleek control pad, the user can change the image, zoom in,
zoom out and pan, or choose a slide show function without the need
of a PC.
In addition to rapid JPEG view and zoom, FlashTrax can display most
RAW format files using the JPEG data typically embedded in such files.
The LCD folds to ensure that both the screen and control buttons remain
protected while in field use. Images may be viewed on the LCD screen
or on any TV using the included remote control. To facilitate portability,
FlashTrax includes a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
"The Professional Photographers Association has just recognized
FlashTrax as one of the hottest new imaging products of 2003,"
says Charles Klinker, Vice President-Marketing for SmartDisk. "With
our new FlashTrax models, professional photographers will find even
more flexibility for field applications."
A built-in MP3 player makes this device even more attractive -- more
than 7,000 compressed audio files can be stored and played back through
the built-in speaker, or through headphones or external speakers.
Various play modes are easily controlled from the user-friendly screen
display and control pad, making music selection quick and easy.
FlashTrax also supports video playback of motion picture JPEG files,
a format typically used for the short "movies" supported
by many digital still cameras. With transfer speeds of up to 480MBps,
FlashTrax can also serve as an external hard drive to transfer, store
and access data or act as a simple backup device.
The new FlashTrax models are available now through retailers and
distributors, as well as through the company's Web site at www.smartdisk.com.
Nov 05 - Envision Offers 10 Tips to Help
Computer Users Maximize Display Performance. Few computer users
take the time to configure and regularly maintain their monitors,
and this can lead to decreased performance and possible personal discomfort,
according to Envision Monitors. In response, Envision has compiled
10 configuration and maintenance pointers to help users optimize monitor
performance, and eliminate any potential sources of irritation.
Based on years of industry experience and customer feedback,
Envision has found that many users fail to get the best performance
out of their monitors. For example, not setting a screensaver to activate
after a period of inactivity can accelerate pixel burnout in CRT monitors,
or cause an image to burn itself into the screen in LCD monitors.
In addition, the way a monitor is configured and positioned can affect
users' personal comfort. Having the screen too high or too low can
potentially lead to neck cramps or eye strain, while certain display
settings may cause barely perceptible flickering that can induce headaches.
"Few users put much thought into their computer monitors, so
they don't realize that their displays may be under-performing, not
to mention that they could be a hidden source of headaches, increased
electric bills or even allergies," said Michael Lien, general
manager, consumer products division for Envision. "With a few
simple tweaks, users can ensure their monitors perform much better
and last longer, and they can make their computing environment more
comfortable and enjoyable."
Monitor optimization tips:
1) Set your screensaver to launch automatically when the computer
has been idle for 15-30 minutes. A static display can cause pixels
to burn out faster, especially in CRT monitors. Choosing a screensaver
with lots of movement and multiple colors helps prevent pixel burnout
by continuously alternating the active pixels. LCD monitors are less
likely than CRTs to suffer from pixel burnout, but a static display
can cause an afterimage on the screen. Though the display will heal
over time, setting a screensaver can help prevent the problem altogether.
Some monitors may also have a 'sleep' mode, which helps save energy
when you're not using your monitor. It's usually preferable to have
a screensaver running when you're only away for a short time, because
a display can take several minutes to warm up from sleep mode, but
will recover immediately from a screensaver. Set the screensaver to
activate after the monitor has been idle for 15-30 minutes, and set
your monitor to go to sleep after an hour of inactivity. If you're
going to be away for an extended period of time, it's best to turn
the monitor off entirely (see tip 2), but keep in mind that a monitor
takes even longer to warm up from being off than from sleep mode.
2) Always turn your monitor off at night, or whenever you won't be
using it for several hours. Leaving a monitor on all the time causes
the pixels to burn out faster and runs up electricity bills.
3) Select a patterned background or wallpaper for your screen, and
change it periodically. A solid, single color background can accelerate
4) If you're using a CRT monitor, check the refresh rate. In CRT
monitors, the image on the screen is continuously redrawn, and the
refresh rate refers to how frequently this happens. Ideally, the refresh
rate should be set at 75Hz or 85Hz. Lower refresh rates can cause
flickering, and though it may not always be noticeable, it can still
cause eye strain and headaches. This is not a problem with LCDs.
5) Make sure the monitor is set at the resolution recommended by
the manufacturer. Using a resolution other than the recommended one
can cause an image on an LCD to be distorted or out of focus. On a
CRT display, using a higher-than-recommended resolution may require
a lower refresh rate, and cause flickering.
6) Look for monitors with an auto-adjust function. In LCD monitors,
this feature will adjust basic monitor settings such as clock, focus,
horizontal position and vertical position for optimal viewing.
7) Keep your monitor clean. Monitors build up static electricity,
which attracts dust. A layer of dust on the screen can distort the
image. Also, dirt and dust can build up in the monitor cabinet, making
it a hidden source of allergies. Be sure to dust CRT monitors every
two weeks. LCDs generate less static, so dusting once a month is adequate.
8) Avoid placing your monitor in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight
can make both LCD and CRT displays appear washed-out and difficult
to view, and it produces a glare on CRT monitors that can obscure
the screen. Also, exposure to direct sunlight can cause permanent
discoloration of the monitor cabinet.
9) Position your monitor so that your eyes line up with the top of
the screen, and you're looking slightly downwards at the middle of
the display. Ergonomically, this is the best viewing angle, and it
will help to minimize neck and eye strain. Monitors with a height-adjustable
function make it easier to set the screen at this ergonomic position.
10) Don't turn your monitor on and off too frequently, as it can
put a strain on the circuitry. If you're only going to be away from
your computer for a couple hours or less, it's better to leave it
on with a screensaver running, or in sleep mode, than to power it
down and power it back up again.
For more information about Envision, please visit: www.envisionmonitor.com,
and to download a copy of these tips, please visit: www.envisionmonitor.com/products/monitoroptimization.pdf.
Nov 05 - WatchGuard Boosts WLAN Security
for Firebox SOHO 6 Integrated Security Appliances. WatchGuard
Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:WGRD), a leading provider of Internet security
solutions, today announced version 6.3 of its Firebox SOHO 6 software.
Designed for small businesses, remote offices and telecommuters, the
Firebox SOHO 6 line includes appliances for both wired and wireless
Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless now allows Wi-Fi users to share VPN access
and resources, such as printers, on the wired network easily and securely.
It also enables two wireless access points to relay traffic to one
another in order to extend the reach of the Wi-Fi network in situations
where a physical connection is too costly.
New features of the Firebox SOHO 6 appliances for wired networks
include increased VPN capacity for mobile workers through concurrent
"The Firebox SOHO 6 products are the most powerful and accessible
security appliances in their class, offering a wide range of options
in an economical package to meet the needs of small businesses and
remote workers," said John Stuckey, vice president of product
management at WatchGuard. "Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless is ideal for
implementing a safe and controlled Wi-Fi network, while providing
access to resources on the LAN."
Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless for wireless networks
The Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless product line provides a complete security
solution in a single firewall/VPN appliance. Featuring an integrated
802.11b Wireless Access Point (WAP), 4-port LAN 10/100 switch and
remote management capabilities, the SOHO 6 Wireless line includes
three models to fit the diverse requirements of each individual user.
Firebox SOHO 6 for wired networks
In addition to the Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless appliances, the Firebox
SOHO 6 line includes three models that offer robust, flexible protection
for wired networks on a high performance hardware platform that delivers
75 Mbps firewall and 20 Mbps 3DES VPN throughput.
Pricing and Availability
Version 6.3 of the Firebox SOHO 6 software is expected to be available
in Q4 2003 at no additional charge to active LiveSecurity Service
subscribers at www.watchguard.com. New pricing is also available for
the Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless security appliances, which includes three
models available through WatchGuard resellers worldwide. Please visit
www.watchguard.com to find the nearest
distributor or reseller.
-- Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless small office endpoint: Suggested list
price is $599 USD
-- Firebox SOHO 6tc Wireless branch office endpoint: Suggested list
price is $699 USD
-- Firebox SOHO 6tc Wireless 50 User branch office endpoint/multi-office
endpoint: Suggested list price is $999 USD
Nov 04 - Conexant and GlobespanVirata
Announce Plan to Merge. Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNXT) and
GlobespanVirata, Inc. (Nasdaq: GSPN) today announced the signing of
a definitive agreement to combine the two companies in a strategic
merger. The combined company will possess the world's most complete
and most advanced portfolio of semiconductor solutions targeting the
broadband digital home.
"Conexant has been focused exclusively on delivering
the technology and products that are driving the digital home, one
of the semiconductor industry's most exciting and highest-growth opportunities,"
said Dwight W. Decker, Conexant chairman and chief executive officer.
"With the addition of GlobespanVirata's highly complementary
product portfolio, we gain key end-to-end digital subscriber line
connectivity with a leading position in central office applications
worldwide. We also benefit by adding GlobespanVirata's leadership
position in wireless local area networking, a critical technology
for the digital home.
"From a financial perspective, we have the opportunity to capture
significant operating efficiencies, and we anticipate that the merger
will be accretive within six to nine months from the close of the
transaction," Decker continued. "Together, we will have
the scale and scope to make the necessary R&D investments for
continued innovation leadership in wired and wireless communications
and multimedia applications for the digital home."
"Combining GlobespanVirata with Conexant allows us to complement
our leadership in broadband communications capabilities with leadership
in broadband media processing capabilities, including broadcast video
encoders and decoders as well as digital set-top box system solutions
for cable, satellite, terrestrial data and digital video networks,"
said Armando Geday, president and chief executive officer of GlobespanVirata.
"I am confident that the new merged company will deliver stronger
financial performance and create more value for our shareholders,
customers and employees than either company could operating independently."
"This merger will result in the creation of a new company with
the management expertise, talent resources, technology, market positions,
and critical mass to succeed in an increasingly competitive industry,"
said Matt Rhodes, Conexant's president.
To learn more, visit Conexant at www.conexant.com.
Nov 04 - SMC to Offer Home
Entertainment Networking Bundle With New Intel Desktop Boards.
SMC(R) Networks ( www.smc.com ), leading provider of networking solutions
for the Enterprise, the SMB and all the way home, today announced
that it is teaming with Intel to offer special discounts to integrators
who purchase a home entertainment computing bundle consisting of a
new high-performance Intel(R) Desktop Board, the new EZ-Stream Universal
Wireless Multimedia Receiver (SMCWMR-AG) and the SMC2802W EZ Connect(TM)
g 802.11g Wireless PCI adapter.
The EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver is a high-end
networked entertainment receiver that streams, plays and shares audio
(including MP3 and Internet radio), pictures and video from the networked
PC to the Home Entertainment Center. Connected to the wired or wireless
network for access to Internet resources, music, photos and videos
stored on a computer's hard drive; it links to entertainment devices,
including televisions and stereo receivers, via standard A/V connectors.
Employing the latest in high-end wireless 802.11a/b/g technology for
universal compatibility, speed and bandwidth that optimizes demanding
wireless applications like streaming video, SMC's EZ-Stream Universal
Wireless Multimedia Receiver is at the center of the best performing
home entertainment networking solution available.
"The new Intel desktop boards, which support the Intel Pentium(R)
4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology, are ideally-suited to
the demanding applications of home entertainment computing, so they're
a great fit for SMC's EZ-Stream home entertainment networking products,"
said Tom Rizol, SMC's Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Two discounted bundles will be offered: one including an Intel Desktop
Board (select SKUs of D875PBZ, D865PERL or D865GLC) with SMC's 2802W
EZ Connect g 802.11g Wireless PCI Adapter and SMC's EZ-Stream Universal
Wireless Multimedia Receiver (SMCWMR-AG), and one including just the
Intel Desktop Board and the SMC EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia
Receiver. Discounted bundles represent a savings of 10% from the cost
of purchasing the products separately. The bundles will be available
from participating distributors beginning November 1, 2003 through
January 31, 2004.
"Our latest generation Intel Desktop Boards are designed to
support a broad range of uses, like gaming, digital music and video,"
said Joel Christensen, Intel's Director of Marketing for the Platform
Architecture Solutions Division. "The SMC EZ-Stream Universal
Wireless Multimedia Receiver provides a means for extending the capabilities
of these powerful PCs by distributing and sharing the entertainment
media that the PCs are optimized to process, edit and store."
For more information about SMC Networks or its products, visit www.smc.com.
Nov 04 - New Verizon Wireless Push-to-Talk
Service Siphoning Interest from Nextel. Verizon Wireless' entry
into push-to-talk services this summer, a market dominated by Nextel,
raised questions about the sustainability of Nextel's competitive
advantage. Early analysis of the launch from Compete, Inc. indicates
that the new Verizon Wireless push-to-talk service will siphon subscribers
from Nextel once latency issues with its service are resolved. According
to Compete's analysis, almost two-thirds of Nextel subscribers who
considered switching to an alternative carrier in September evaluated
Verizon and one third of those subscribers researched push-to-talk.
"Push-to-talk services will not be a growth driver for new entrants
into the market until these carriers can produce response times that
match those of Nextel's Direct Connect(SM) offering," said T.
J. Mahony, Compete's senior wireless analyst. "The strong interest
we are observing in Verizon among Nextel subscribers, however, demonstrates
that Nextel's market position is clearly at risk once carriers improve
the performance of their push-to-talk services," added Mahony.
To assess how this new competitive entry has impacted the wireless
market, Compete analyzed the online research and purchase behaviors
of several million consumers to understand consumer demand and purchase
intentions for the new push-to-talk offering. The market potential
for this service is sizable; reportedly 11 million Nextel subscribers,
or 90% of the customer base, have used Direct Connect. And already
25-35% of Nextel's subscribers have used Nationwide Direct Connect,
its expanded walkie-talkie capability launched coast-to-coast this
According to Compete's proprietary analytic, Share of Purchase Intent
(SPI), the Verizon Wireless launch did not substantially improve its
already high market share among in-market wireless shoppers (Compete's
SPI tracks the relative percentage of pre-purchase consideration carriers
command across the market).
Compete did find, however, that the level of Nextel subscribers actively
evaluating Verizon nearly doubled from August to September. Further,
Compete found that push-to-talk was a primary component of this surge
in interest - approximately 40% of those Nextel subscribers evaluating
Verizon considered its push-to-talk services. In contrast, only 11%
of Sprint PCS subscribers who evaluated Verizon researched push-to-talk
For more information visit the company's website at www.compete.com.
Nov 04 - New ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 Helps Thwart
Identity Theft and Online Fraud for Internet Users. Zone Labs(R),
Inc., the most trusted provider of endpoint security solutions, today
announced the latest addition to its ZoneAlarm(R) family of products,
ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5. ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 continues to raise the endpoint
security standard with new features to reduce the risk of online fraud
and identity theft. In addition, ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 offers more powerful
security features and improved "out of the box" protection
to ease the installation process for users of all skill levels.
The industry analyst firm Gartner, Inc. reported that seven million
U.S. adults were victims of identity theft during the 12 months ending
in June 2003, representing a 79 percent year-to-year increase in identity
To help Internet users become more aware of identity theft, ZoneAlarm
Pro 4.5 provides extra precautions to help them avoid being victimized
by identity thieves. ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 adds ID Lock and myVAULT features
to guard against the theft of personally-identifiable information,
intellectual property and other confidential data. In addition to
safeguarding personally-identifiable information like Social Security
numbers or bank account data, these features are especially useful
for families who wish to ensure that their children do not share sensitive
information, like their home or school address, with strangers over
ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 also helps Internet users to protect themselves
from "phisher fraud," a scam designed to steal credit card
and banking information from online users by directing them to knockoff
sites that look like popular sites such as eBay. To fight the growing
number of these Internet fraud cases, Zone Labs has partnered with
eBay and TRUSTe so that ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5 can verify the authenticity
of eBay or TRUSTe-certified sites and help consumers identify the
real sites from the knockoffs.
"TRUSTe exists to increase consumer trust with Web sites and
confidence in the Internet," said Fran Maier, executive director
and president, TRUSTe. "Zone Labs shares our commitment to guarding
consumers' personally identifiable information, and together, we can
offer the Zone Labs user base an extra measure of safety when conducting
transactions online. ZoneAlarm 4.5 will now help consumers further
distinguish the good guys in privacy."
"Online fraud and identity theft are on the increase as online
criminals become cagier and as the number of consumers who rely on
the Internet to conduct financial transactions grows larger,"
said Frederick Felman, vice president of marketing, Zone Labs. "Zone
Labs is dedicated to providing our customers with the tools they need
to proactively protect their sensitive information and continue to
enjoy the benefits that the Internet has to offer."
The ZoneAlarm family of products supports Windows(R) 98SE, Me, NT,
2000 and XP. ZoneAlarm 4.5, ZoneAlarm Plus 4.5 and ZoneAlarm Pro 4.5
will be available in mid-November 2003 from the Zone Labs Web site
Nov 04 - Christmas Online Shopping Hints
from Best Web Buys Helps Consumers Save Time And Money. With the
nation's economy still on shaky ground this holiday season, many consumers
need to make sure they can stretch their shopping dollars as far as
And with half of all consumers planning to do some of their Christmas
shopping online this year, Steve Loyola, president and founder of
Best Web Buys, an online comparison shopping service, offers the following
-- Use comparison-shopping sites which scour the Internet within
seconds for the best deals available.
-- Check for store coupons and free shipping offers.
-- Consider buying from an out-of-state retailer. Many out-of-state
retailers do not charge sales tax.
-- Compare each store's availability and estimated shipping time.
-- Research the seller's reputation. The lowest price from a poorly
rated vendor may not be the best deal after all.
-- Remember that not all comparison-shopping sites are really showing
you the lowest price first. Some give higher placement to stores that
pay to be promoted. Make sure to click the sort button to find the
-- Order early. Double-check the sales tax and shipping costs before
submitting your order.
-- Print the order confirmation page. It will contain information
you may need to resolve any problems with an order.
The August 2003 and September 2003 issue of Money(R) magazine referenced
www.BestBookBuys.com for finding
the best deals on books online. And the August 2003 issue of Parents
Magazine named www.BestWebBuys.com
one of the "25 Best Web Sites for Families".
Nov 03 - AMD64 Support Announced
in Upcoming Microsoft Visual Studio `Whidbey'. At the Microsoft
Professional Developers Conference, AMD (NYSE:AMD) is demonstrating
AMD64 technology support in the "Whidbey" release of Microsoft
Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework.
AMD64 technology, which provides native 32- and 64-bit support for
the AMD Opteron(tm) and AMD Athlon(tm) 64 processors, enables an exceptional
Visual Studio .NET development environment. "Whidbey" and
the AMD64 platform together provide a clear migration path from 32-
to 64-bit Windows application development allowing concurrent development
and testing of 32- and 64-bit applications.
The combination of AMD64 technology and Visual Studio "Whidbey"
will allow developers of data-intensive applications including rendering,
databases, scientific computing and CAD, to capitalize on 64-bit architecture
with limited changes in code. This can result in reduced effort and
increased productivity for developers.
The next version of the Microsoft .NET Framework, code named "Whidbey,"
will support AMD64 technology and is planned to be released for AMD64-based
Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP as well as with the next version
of the Windows platform code named "Longhorn." This will
enable applications developed with "Whidbey"-capable tools
such as Visual Studio .NET to run on AMD64 platforms.
"Developers from the industry's leading software companies have
already described the speed and ease of developing on the AMD64 platform
-- some ported millions of lines of code in only days," said
Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor
Business Unit. "AMD64 processor-based systems and Visual Studio
`Whidbey' will help bring the power of 64-bit computing to the mainstream,
in a fully compatible, fully integrated way while enhancing the developers'
"Microsoft is pleased that AMD is supporting .NET Framework
`Whidbey,'" said John Montgomery, director for the Developer
and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft Corp. "Developers
now have the ability to write .NET-connected applications quickly
and easily, while taking advantage of the power and performance of
the AMD64 processors."
Also at PDC, AMD announced AMD64 support for beta versions of Windows
XP 64-bit Edition, Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Windows
Server 2003 Standard Edition for 64-bit extended systems, and "Longhorn."
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.
Nov 03 - Bell Labs Researchers
Build Novel Semiconductor Laser Using Photonic Crystal. In an
experimental tour de force, a team led by scientists from Bell Labs,
the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU),
has built a novel semiconductor laser that may have numerous applications,
ranging from advanced optical communications to sensitive chemical
detectors. The small size of the new laser, a proof-of-concept device
described in an article published today on the Web by the journal
Science, may lead to various laser-on-a-chip applications, the researchers
The new device exploits a photonic crystal, a highly engineered material
with superior optical properties, and was made in collaboration with
scientists from the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium, California
Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
"This new laser was made possible by taking advances from many
different areas in physics and incorporating them into one device,"
said Cherry Murray, senior vice president of physical sciences research
at Bell Labs. "This work will open up new directions not only
for optoelectronics and sensing, but could also provide a new tool
to investigate very basic physical phenomena."
Quantum cascade (QC) lasers
The new laser belongs to a class of high-performance semiconductor
lasers - known as quantum cascade (QC) lasers - that were invented
at Bell Labs in 1994. QC lasers are made by stacking many ultra thin
atomic layers of standard semiconductor materials (such as those used
in photonics) on top of one another, much like a club sandwich. By
varying the thickness of the layers, it is possible to select the
particular wavelength at which a QC laser will emit light, allowing
scientists to custom design a laser. When an electric current flows
through a QC laser, electrons cascade down an energy "staircase,"
and every time an electron hits a step, a photon of infrared light
is emitted. The emitted photons are reflected back and forth inside
the semiconductor resonator that contains the electronic cascade,
stimulating the emission of other photons. This amplification process
enables high output power from a small device.
In the decade since their invention, QC lasers have proved to be
very convenient light sources, and are commercially available, having
been licensed by Lucent to laser manufacturers. They are compact,
rugged, and often portable, in addition to being powerful. However,
they are inherently devices that emit light from the edges. In particular,
they cannot emit laser light through the surface of the device.
A surface-emitting QC laser
In a triumph of engineering, the Bell Labs team overcame this challenge
by using the precise light-controlling qualities of a photonic crystal
to create a QC laser that emits photons perpendicular to the semiconductor
layers, resulting in a laser that emits light through its surface.
Photonic crystals are materials with repeating patterns spaced very
close to one another, with separations between the patterns comparable
to the wavelengths of light. When light falls on such a patterned
material, the photons of light interact with it, and with proper design
of the patterns, it is possible to control and manipulate the propagation
of light within the material.
For more information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at www.bell-labs.com.
For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its Web site at
Nov 03 - Compex Introduces iWavePort WL54G
Wireless PC Cardbus. Compex, Inc. announced today the arrival
of the first of several highly-anticipated IEEE 802.11g wireless products,
the Compex iWavePort WL54G 54 Mbps Wireless PC Cardbus. Embedded in
its chipset is a breakthrough Prism Nitro Technology that allows
the iWavePort WL54G card up to 50% greater throughput performance
in pure "G" wireless networks and 300% in mixed-mode wireless
networks with Prism Nitro supported Wireless Routers. Compex
is one of the first two networking manufacturers to introduce the
Intersils Prism Nitro Technology in its line of 802.11g
For notebook users, the wireless G iWavePort WL54G client card will
offer seamless, trouble-free roaming across pure wireless G
as well as mixed-mode infrastructure interoperating with 802.11b devices.
With the Compex iWavePort WL54G Cardbus, a notebook user can go from
a 54Mbps 2.4GHz 802.11g network at work or at home to any 11Mbps 2.4GHz
802.11b hotspot at a coffeeshop, college campus, or airport. Convenience,
mobility, and flexibility are delivered with the iWavePort WL54G Cardbus.
In tandem with the soon-to-debut Compex 802.11g Wireless Router,
the Compex iWavePort WL54G provides wireless coverage of up to 1000
feet. For even wider coverage, it is as simple as attaching the optional
Compex iWavePort WA-HGA-5+ External 5 DBi Indoor Antenna to the MC-Card
Connector of the WL54G card. The sleek, flexible Compex iWavePort
WA-HGA-5+ Antenna widens wireless coverage up to an additional 600
feet. Users can enjoy the flexibility of ultimate mobility anywhere
in the office, home, or school.
For safe, secure Internet surfing and wireless roaming, the iWavePort
WL54G offers the widely accepted industry security standard, 64-bit
and 128-bit Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) encryption.
The Compex iWavePort WL54G 802.11g 54Mbps PC Cardbus is readily available
through a large network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.
The Compex iWavePort WL54G can be purchased online through the Compex
store at www.cpx.com or e-commerce sites
such as www.buy.com and www.insight.com. The Compex iWavePort WL54G
can be purchased at an MSRP of $99.95 available with a three-year
warranty and driver upgrades at no extra charge.
Nov 03 - Gender Differences Influence Consumer
Electronics Purchasing. Markedly different preferences exist between
men and women when buying consumer electronics products, according
to the latest Personal Tech Radar study from CNET.
While there is agreement on baseline products and features across
the most popular consumer electronics product categories, like digital
cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, televisions, PDAs and DVD recorders,
gender-based selection criteria must be considered when purchasing
holiday gifts, the CNET Personal Tech Radar research finds.
"As we enter the holiday shopping season, these differences
have great significance for consumer electronics gift purchasers,"
says Janice Chen, CNET editor-in-chief. "These findings make
it easier to choose consumer electronics products as gifts for friends
Chen also notes that the CNET Personal Tech Radar data provide CNET's
editorial team with valuable insights on shopper's real-life consumer
electronics interests and buying motivations, so they can offer smart
product recommendations that let consumers refine their choices.
Personal Tech Radar, based on monthly surveys of CNET's active shoppers,
revealed that men prefer the more technical features and applications,
while women are more interested in practical features and applications,
as shown in the following samples.
Women favored the ability to take photos of friends and family (60
percent female vs. 50 percent male) and to capture major family events
(47 percent female vs. 41 percent male). They also rated "ease
of use" (56 percent female vs. 38 percent male) as a primary
criterion for a digital camera, as well as good print quality output
(52 percent female vs. 37 percent male).
Men, on the other hand, prefer a more robust camera including zoom
lens (58 percent male vs. 52 percent female), an interchangeable lens
system (21 percent male vs. 14 percent female) and a professional
SLR-style design (19 percent male vs. 10 percent female).
Women are more interested in extensive memory (56 percent female
vs. 49 percent male) and easy access to directions and maps when driving
(49 percent male vs. 43 percent female).
Men want their PDAs to sync with Outlook (44 percent male vs. 35
percent female) and have wireless capability (35 percent male vs.
25 percent female).
Women want speaker systems so they can enjoy music throughout the
house (53 percent female vs. 27 percent male). In addition, unobtrusive
design (41 percent female vs. 29 percent male), set-up ease (54 percent
female vs. 28 percent male) and comprehensive warranty (31 percent
female vs. 13 percent male) are women's top priorities.
Men specify speaker systems with excellent audio quality, even if
they have to pay more (39 percent male vs. 28 percent female). In
the survey's greatest gender differentials, they prefer powered sub-woofers
(33 percent male vs. 7 percent female) and five channel systems (24
percent male vs. 5 percent female).
Personal Tech Radar Methodology
This CNET Personal Tech Radar study drew 8,142 respondents from subscribers
to CNET's Digital Dispatch e-mail newsletter. Future data will show
trends over time, and new interesting findings from each monthly survey
will be highlighted weekly on the CNET home page (www.cnet.com)
and the CNET Digital Living Web site (http://living.cnet.com).
Nov 02 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday
Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. There are some very good laptop
and desktop deals to be found this weekend.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
Best Buy is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all desktop
and laptop purchases, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops
and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering
15 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks,
and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 6 months
no payment, no interest, financing on all on any purchase $199 and
higher when you print out their Unadvertised
Specials ad and bring it into your local store.
Staples has no store-wide promotions
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
- Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders,
desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.
Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.
What You Need to Know
About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of
'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch
PC and Free Internet Deals.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
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
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.5 GHz complete system with
Best Buy, Circuit City
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with 17" monitor, and DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system
with 17" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2800+ complete system with 17"
monitor and DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Best Buy ($769)
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2800+ complete system with
17" LCD and DVD/CD-RW
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq Athlon 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.2 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 2.3 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Centrino 1.3 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Best Buy ($1399)
4. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
5. Best High-end Notebook
HP Centrino widescreen 1.5 GHz with
6. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, Windows Media
Center, widescreen with DVD-RW
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with
8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
eVGA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
Fuji Film 256 MB USB 2.0 flash drive
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Plextor 8X Dual Format DVD-RW
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas)
in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio)
computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your
local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make
informed buying decisions.