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Daily Computer News and Rumors

November 24-30 2003

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Nov 30 Sunday Shopping Watch
Nov 26 Intel Demonstrates Next Generation Process Technology
Nov 26 AT&T Wireless Puts Customers First by Offering a Free Phone Every Year
Nov 26 Video Game Console Market Entering Cyclical Downturn
Nov 26 ``Can Spam Act'' Will Do Little to Stem the Rising Tide of Junk E-Mail
Nov 26 Bigfoot Interactive Responds to the CAN-SPAM Act
Nov 25 Siemens Brings Music to Cell Phones
Nov 25 Apple Introduces New Dual Processor 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5
Nov 25 Apple Introduces 20-inch iMac
Nov 25 Hacker Fears Can Foil Business Festive Cheer
Nov 25 How To Switch Your Provider But Keep Your Wireless Phone Number
Nov 24 AMD Breaks Ground on Opteron Manufacturing Facility in Dresden, Germany
Nov 24 HP Teams with AT&T Wireless to Offer Latest in High-speed Wireless Connectivity
Nov 24 SUSE LINUX Opens the Door to Windows Games
Nov 24 Home Networking Market to Grow Rapidly as Entertainment Networks Come to Life
Nov 24 Spam Volume Increases by 64% Going into the Holiday Season


Nov 30 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. Again, 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 24 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $100 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 13 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks, and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 6 months no payment, no interest, financing on any computer purchase of $199 and higher.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

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

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

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy, Circuit City
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
3. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.7 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 17" monitor, Hyper Threading, and DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy, CompUSA
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 15" flat panel, Hyper Threading, and DVD-RW
Circuit City
3. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 system with 15" flat panel, Hyper Threading, and DVD-RW
4. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 15" flat panel, HT Technology, DVD-RW, and all-in-one printer
Best Buy
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2600+ complete system with 15" LCD and DVD-RW
Best Buy
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2800+ complete system with 17" monitor and DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2600+ complete system with 15" LCD and DVD-RW
Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon XP-M 2200+ complete system with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, CompUSA($849)
5. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq Athlon XP-M 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 2.3 GHz with DVD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 2.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Best Buy($1249)
3. Best High-end Notebook
Pentium 4
2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
4. Best High-end Notebook
HP widescreen Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
5. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
CompUSA, Circuit City
6. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Centrino widescreen 1.5 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
7. Best High-end Notebook
HP Centrino widescreen 1.5 GHz with DVD-RW
Circuit City
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 180 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Verto GeForce FX 57 00 Ultra
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Xtasy Radeon 9600 256 MB
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Radeon 9600SE 128 MB
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
(after rebates)
Circuit City


InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime


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.

Nov 26 - Intel Demonstrates Next Generation Process Technology. Intel Corporation has built fully functional SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) chips using 65 nanometer (nm) technology, its next generation high-volume semiconductor manufacturing process. Intel is on track to put this process into production in 2005 using 300 mm wafers.

This new 65 nm (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter) process combines higher-performance and lower-power transistors, a second-generation version of Intel's strained silicon, high-speed copper interconnects and a low-k dielectric material. Building chips using the 65 nm process will allow Intel to double the number of transistors it can build on a single chip today.

"This accomplishment puts Intel's 65 nm technology on a fast track to extend our 15 year record of ramping production on a new process generation every two years. In fact, only 20 months have elapsed since we disclosed achievement of fully functional SRAMs on our 90nm process, which is now ramping," said Dr. Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "The 65 nm process will enable us to make better products at lower cost, as we continue to innovate and extend Moore's Law."

Process Technology Details

Advanced transistors: Intel's new 65 nm process will feature transistors measuring only 35 nm in gate length, which will be the smallest and highest performing CMOS transistors in high-volume production. By comparison, the most advanced transistors in production today, found in Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processors, measure 50 nm. Small, fast transistors are the building blocks for very fast processors.

Strained silicon: Intel has integrated a second-generation version of its high-performance strained silicon into this process. Strained silicon provides higher drive current, increasing the speed of the transistors with only a two percent increase in manufacturing cost.

Copper interconnects with new low-k dielectric: The process integrates eight copper interconnect layers and uses a "low-k" dielectric material that increases the signal speed inside the chip and reduces chip power consumption.

Intel has used its 65 nm process to make fully functional, four megabit SRAM chips with a very small 0.57um2 cell size. Small SRAM cells allow for the integration of larger caches in processors, which increase performance. The SRAM cells have robust operating characteristics, with a solid noise margin indicating very efficient on/off switching properties. Each SRAM memory cell has six transistors: 10 million of these transistors would fit in one square millimeter, roughly the size of the tip of a ball point pen.

"Intel's 65 nm process development is progressing well and we are producing these wafers and chips in our development fab," said Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow and director of process architecture and integration. "By 2005, we expect to be the first company to have a 65 nm process in manufacturing."

The 65 nm semiconductor devices were manufactured at Intel's 300 mm development fab (called D1D) in Hillsboro, Oregon, where the process was developed. D1D is Intel's newest fab and contains its largest individual cleanroom measuring 176,000 square feet, which is roughly the size of three and a half football fields.

More information can be found in Intel's Silicon Showcase at http://www.intel.com/research/silicon.

Nov 26 - AT&T Wireless Puts Customers First by Offering a Free Phone Every Year. In response to customer demand for access to the best equipment deals and easy-to-understand, predictable rate plans, AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) today announced the availability of two innovative offers: Customers First(TM) and SureRate(TM).

The company's Customers First promise, the best offer of its kind in the marketplace, entitles new and existing customers on qualified rate plans to a select new phone for free after mail-in rebate every 12 months, upon signing or renewing a two-year agreement. Customers can also choose a different phone in the program and receive special discounts. To qualify, customers simply stay on or move to a qualified calling plan, which is currently most plans of $39.99 or more with a two-year agreement, and recommit to a two-year agreement each time they receive their next free phone.

"We hear wireless consumers loud and clear - they don't want surprises when they open their bill and existing customers want access to the latest equipment deals usually reserved for new customers," said Michael Sievert the company's chief marketing officer. "That's why wireless consumers who are with or come to AT&T Wireless can get a free phone every year and a wireless plan and a service they can trust every day."

Also today the company announced its new SureRate consumer rate plan, an affordable, predictable pricing plan with "no surprises" when customers exceed their monthly allotment of minutes. For $59.99 a month, customers get 750 minutes with the local plan or 667 minutes with the national plan and can have peace of mind knowing that any extra talk time comes at a low 8 cents per minute with a local plan or 9 cents per minute with a national plan. Additionally, there are no domestic long distance charges and unlimited night and weekend calling.

AT&T Wireless has the most coverage in North America and the most worldwide coverage with a single compatible phone of any U.S. wireless carrier. Last week, the company also began offering the fastest national mobile wireless data service in North America. The AT&T Wireless EDGE network, which is nearly twice as fast as other national mobile wireless networks and up to three times faster than traditional wired dial-up services, enables customers to browse the Internet on wireless laptops, download presentations, and view large e-mail attachments with ease.

AT&T Wireless has also enhanced its popular mMode(TM) service to give wireless customers faster, easier access to information and entertainment services --such as e-mail, Websites, and games -- with an unparalleled level of simplicity and personalization.

In addition, earlier this month AT&T Wireless announced its 90-Day Best Deal Promise, designed to ensure that consumers are on the best calling plan possible. The Best Deal Promise allows customers to change calling plans within 90 days of enrollment, without penalty or need for contract renewal, if AT&T Wireless offers a better deal. This limited time offer, which is unlike any other in the wireless marketplace, is available to customers who sign two-year contracts.

AT&T Wireless is also the only national wireless carrier to offer consumers a 30-day risk-free trial of its service. When service is activated at an AT&T Wireless store or www.attwireless.com, customers can return their undamaged phone within 30 days and pay only for airtime and usage charges.

Nov 26 - Video Game Console Market Entering Cyclical Downturn. The video game console business again surpassed box office receipts in the United States in 2002, indicating that the video game console business is big business, reports In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com).
However, according to the high-tech market research firm, with the console business following its typical cyclical trend, 2003 shipment and revenues are expected to fall from 2002 levels. 2003 worldwide console shipments are expected to drop by more than 2 million units from 2002 shipments.

Lower 2003 shipments from the PlayStation 2 (PS2) and PSOne consoles are primarily responsible for the drop-off. Both Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox shipments are expected to increase in 2003, but not enough to offset reduced Sony shipments. Console revenues in 2003 are expected to fall as well, by nearly $2 billion, with both price-cutting and lower shipment numbers responsible for the drop.

"Overall, the console market is seeing great change with the current generation of consoles and the availability of online gaming," said Brian O'Rourke, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "We expect all three competitors to release their next generation consoles in the second half of 2005, when this market will trend upward again, with revenue levels reaching those of 2002 in about 2006."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Sony shipped its 60 millionth PS2 console on Sept. 6, 2003, a number that the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube will not reach. Sony also appears to have successfully established the PS2 as an online platform with its Network Adaptor product.

-- Over the past year, Microsoft has successfully established the Xbox as the No. 2 console worldwide, surpassing the Nintendo GameCube. It has also attempted to establish its Xbox Live online service in all regions of the world. It has achieved initial online success in North America, but faces challenges in Europe and Japan.

-- Nintendo has had a very difficult year. Disappointing sales of its GameCube have caused more bad news for the company, from disappointing earnings reports to some third party developers beginning to scale back their commitment to the platform. Nintendo has acknowledged flaws in their GameCube marketing strategy, and hopes to recover their former standing in the console space. However, with two solid, deep-pocketed competitors, Nintendo faces the biggest challenge in its corporate history.

Nov 26 - ``Can Spam Act'' Will Do Little to Stem the Rising Tide of Junk E-Mail. Corvigo, the creator of Intent-Based Filtering(TM) (IBF) for unwanted e-mail, announced today the company's position on the recent onslaught of anti-spam legislation. Corvigo's Jeff Ready, CEO of the anti-spam technology company said today, "that current legislation being considered in Congress will do little to slow the onslaught of real spam."

Regarding the Can Spam Act (US Senate Bill 877), Ready is pleased that it makes it illegal to disguise the intent of a message by putting marketing material in e-mail with subjects that could come from personal correspondence.

"The Can Spam Act passed by the Senate is well-written legislation that will keep legitimate marketers from following the deceptive communication practices of spammers," Ready said.

Ready doubts, however, that it will slow the onslaught of spam.

"Most spam is already illegal," he said. "Unless Congress creates a `Spam Czar,' backed by billions in funding, it will be hard to stop people from sending junk e-mail."

In fact, most "spam" is broken into two categories: 1) newsletters and deals from legitimate brands that people opted-in to receive at one point in time and 2) purely unsolicited junk. The majority of unsolicited junk e-mail now comes from shady, shadow "marketers" and scam artists who set up a server off-shore or co-opt an ISP for a brief moment in time to send millions of messages and then disappear. Those are harder to track and even harder to prosecute. Ready cites the fact that it costs next to nothing to send e-mails which makes it possible to receive a profit on just a handful of responses.

Position on CA SB186

Regarding California's SB186, which will take effect on January 1, but be immediately overridden by the Federal legislation, Ready says that it would only have hurt legitimate marketers and likely force many out of business, resulting in industry lay-offs. Legitimate marketers rarely send unsolicited marketing messages, if at all, he said. The fear of potential prosecution or lawsuits will likely cause more legitimate brands to abandon the medium altogether. The ones hurt most by this exodus will be the legitimate e-mail marketing companies who do little to proliferate "true" spam.

"It's good that the federal legislation overrides state legislation in this case," Ready said. "It will help create a single interstate standard for e-mail marketing."

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence May be the Solution

The only way to stop spam is through technology, Ready says. Although some are suggesting the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) re-write the specifications for e-mail technology, that change is not likely to happen any time soon, if at all. Even if it did, spammers would find a way to permeate the gateways.

Instead, existing strides in Artificial Intelligence are providing a pro-active technology rather than technique approach to stopping spam. Corvigo provides e-mail filtering solutions based on its proprietary IBF technology. IBF technology uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to determine the intent of information.

The first application of Corvigo's IBF technology is the Company's MailGate(TM), a hardware appliance that sits behind a company's firewall and in front of its e-mail server. Unlike other solutions that send updates every minute or two, Corvigo's technology approach requires no updating -- cutting down on the management requirements associated with most anti-spam techniques currently on the market.

Furthermore, while no other anti-spam technology can read and filter messages the way a human does when sorting through e-mail, Corvigo's patent pending technology-forward approach enables the company to address this simple concept. According to user studies, people sort mail as legitimate (family letters, bills, etc.), bulk (magazines, catalog subscriptions) or junk mail (unsolicited fliers, etc). Corvigo's technology solution is able to identify e-mail in the same fashion.

For more information on Corvigo, and its services, please visit www.corvigo.com.

Nov 26 - Bigfoot Interactive Responds to the CAN-SPAM Act. Bigfoot Interactive, the leading provider of strategic, ROI-focused email communications solutions and marketing automation technologies, today responded to the CAN-SPAM Act, which cleared the US House of Representatives in a 392-5 vote Saturday.

"Bigfoot Interactive strongly supports the CAN-SPAM antispam federal legislation which puts an end to the confusion surrounding California's SB 186 and more than 35 other independent antispam state laws. We support the provisions designed to protect children from pornographic email and to criminalize the common techniques used by spammers. We believe the FTC and government legislators will ultimately see the difficulty, expense and manpower necessary to administer a "do not email" registry.

"There are many logistical and technical issues given most consumers have multiple email addresses and frequently change ISP/Email Service providers. In addition, many of the leading email service providers have reassignment policies based on inactivity compounding the difficulty of maintaining such a registry," said Al DiGuido, CEO of Bigfoot Interactive.

Understanding the difficulty of the issue at hand, CAN-SPAM is prudent to include several provisions to improve enforcement and analyze technology and marketplace developments that may affect the practicality and effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM Act.
"The effectiveness of this legislation ultimately lies in the enforcement of the law. We've seen some significant progress over the last few weeks on the legislation front and from AOL with its enhanced white listing program. The future looks bright as consumers, legitimate marketers, ISPs, Email Service Bureaus and legislators take the first steps towards building a comprehensive solution against spam. That solution will include a mix of technology and education to back up enforceable federal legislation," continued DiGuido.

About Bigfoot Interactive

Bigfoot Interactive (www.bigfootinteractive.com) is the leading provider of strategic, ROI-focused email communication solutions and marketing automation technologies. Through its combination of innovative technologies, professional services and vertical market expertise, Bigfoot Interactive helps marketers acquire, grow and retain profitable customer relationships through highly relevant and personalized email communications. The company's end-to-end suite of industry-specific products and services includes scalable email campaign technology, delivery optimization, marketing automation tools, turnkey integration solutions, strategic consulting, and creative expertise to produce email programs that generate measurable results throughout the customer lifecycle.

Since 1997, Bigfoot Interactive has developed successful permission-based email programs for more than 150 top companies, including American Honda Motor Co., The Washington Post. Newsweek Interactive, and MCI. Privately held and based in New York, the company's investors include JPMorgan Partners, Flatiron Partners, Hudson Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Grey Ventures, HPJ Media Ventures and Syndicat Technologies.

Nov 25 - Siemens Brings Music to Cell Phones. Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (Siemens mobile) (NYSE:SI) (FWB:SIE) launches the DRM Music Player.

No longer will anyone on the move have to depend on the radio to hear the latest hits: With the DRM Music Player, music files can be downloaded directly via a cell phone. In order to check out the latest music, only a cell phone and the DRM Music Player developed and produced by Siemens mobile is necessary. And to ensure consumers can begin downloading straight away, mobile operator O2 has launched the O2 Music service this week.

Downloading compressed pieces of music (aacPlus format) to the DRM Music Player (DMP) could not be simpler. A GPRS cell phone is connected to the DMP by cable or by infrared and the connection to the mobile service provider is established at the touch of a button. The Player (measuring 52 x 98 x 21 mm and weighing just 80 g) then displays the music titles on offer. It is possible to listen to extracts and save the music onto the player if desired.

Used to play songs protected by license, as well as standard MP3 pieces, the DMP is in fact a small PDA whose sole function is to download and play music easily via mobile phones. These can also be easily transferred from the computer to the Player via a USB interface. The music files are stored on a plug-in 64-MB SD memory card which holds up to 60 songs at a time. The card can be used both in the DRM Music Player and in the PC.

You can access further information on the Internet at: www.siemens-mobile.com.

Nov 25 - Apple Introduces New Dual Processor 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5. Apple® today introduced a new model of its revolutionary Power Mac® G5 desktop computer, a dual processor 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 desktop starting at $2,499 (US), and lowered the price of the single processor 1.6 GHz model to $1,799 (US).

The Power Mac G5 lineup now includes three models: dual processor 2.0 GHz, dual processor 1.8 GHz and single processor 1.6 GHz. Featuring the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor with the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus, the Power Mac G5 offers unprecedented memory expansion of up to 8GB and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

“Our customers told us loud and clear that they love dual processors, so now two of the three Power Mac G5 models feature lightning-fast dual processors,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “And with the entry level model now starting at just $1,799, the Power Mac G5 lineup is more affordable than ever.”

All Power Mac systems ship with Mac OS® X version 10.3 “Panther” to deliver the most substantial benefits of 64-bit computing—breaking through the 4GB physical memory barrier. The combination of the Power Mac G5 and Panther provide creative professionals and scientists computational power never before realized on a desktop system. Examples include the ability to manipulate multiple streams of DV and SD content in real time, process an unprecedented number of audio tracks with complex filters and digital effects, execute high-precision math on extremely large 64-bit numbers receiving results faster than ever, and model and render complex 3D visualizations at amazing speeds.

The new Power Mac G5, offering dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC processors, each with an independent 900 MHz frontside bus, provides for more than 14 GBps of bandwidth. In addition to providing fast throughput to main memory, this high performance frontside bus architecture enables each PowerPC G5 processor to discover and access data in the other processor’s caches—further increasing bandwidth on dual processor systems.

Pricing & Availability
The complete Power Mac G5 line is available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com).

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US), includes:

1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5;
800 MHz front-side bus;
256MB 333 MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM (4GB maximum);
80GB Serial ATA 7200 rpm hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64MB DDR SDRAM;
3 PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive™ (DVD-R/CD-RW).

Nov 25 - Apple Introduces 20-inch iMac. Apple® today introduced the amazing new 20-inch iMac®, the largest flat-panel display ever offered in an all-in-one desktop. The new 20-inch iMac joins the 15- and 17-inch models in the popular consumer desktop line and offers twice as much screen area as the 15-inch display model, enabling users to view more than two full pages side-by-side.

The new iMac also includes Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS® X version 10.3 “Panther,” pre-installed, offering over 150 breakthrough new features, including Exposé for instantly viewing all your open windows at once; iChat AV, the ground-breaking video teleconferencing software; and Fast User Switching, to easily enable the iMac to be shared among multiple users.

“The new iMac builds upon the revolutionary, all-in-one, adjustable design that remains unmatched in the industry,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “By offering a huge, gorgeous 20-inch widescreen display, Apple has once again raised the bar on what customers can expect from an all-in-one desktop.”

The new 20-inch iMac with its widescreen display and pixel resolution of up to 1680-by-1050 is ideal for tasks such as video editing, creating or watching DVDs or browsing the web with multiple pages open at once. The brilliant LCD display gives you flicker-free images with twice the brightness, twice the sharpness and twice the contrast ratio of a typical CRT display.

Designed around an ultra-compact base, the iMac flat-panel display appears to float in mid-air, allowing users to effortlessly adjust its height or angle with just a touch. All iMac models include two FireWire® 400 and three high-speed USB 2.0 ports for fast, simple, plug-and-play connections to devices such as digital cameras, DV camcorders, the iPod™ and the iSight™ video conferencing camera.
They also offer the latest in wireless communications with support for 54Mbps AirPort® Extreme 802.11g wireless networking and optional built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs, as well as the new Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse.

The iMac line sports PowerPC G4 processors running at 1.25 GHz in the 20- and 17-inch model and 1.0 GHz in the 15-inch model. All models include 256MB of fast 333 MHz DDR SDRAM and an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard disk drive running at 7200 rpm. The 20- and 17-inch models also include NVIDIA’s GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB of DDR video memory, for incredible graphics performance.

Pricing & Availability

The new 20-inch iMac, in addition to the 15- and 17-inch models, are available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 15-inch flat-panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), includes:

1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
32x Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
Two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports;
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm; and
Apple Pro Speakers.

The 17-inch widescreen flat-panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US), includes:

1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
4x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB video memory;
Two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports;
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm; and
Apple Pro Speakers.

The 20-inch widescreen flat-panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of $2,199 (US), includes:

1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine™;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
4x SuperDrive™ (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB video memory;
Two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports;
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm; and
Apple Pro Speakers.

Nov 25 - Hacker Fears Can Foil Business Festive Cheer. One in three network managers believe it's likely they will be called at home over the holidays to deal with a security breach, according to a recent informal poll conducted by WatchGuard Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: WGRD), a leading provider of Internet security solutions.

The company surveyed interested network managers responsible for security during the CSI show in November 2003. The poll results showed that in past years only 16 percent of respondents have been contacted over the holidays about a threat or attack. However, this year 34 percent said it was very likely or possible they would be called.

In response, WatchGuard's LiveSecurity Service team of experts on network security for small- to medium-sized enterprises has identified holiday-related issues that may increase the risk of a network security breach. Areas for concern include:

-- Seasonal spam and Web surfing (such as downloading electronic holiday greeting cards or clicking on spam disguised as seasonal messages).

-- A potential increase in hacker activity as vacations from school and employment leave hackers with more time on their hands.

-- Risks associated with seasonal temporary employees who may not understand or comply with security policies and procedures.

-- Increased use of remote access by employees who are traveling or accessing the network from home over the holidays.

-- Lapses in user vigilance as the holiday mood takes over.

WatchGuard advises network managers to take steps before leaving for the holidays to safeguard their networks and minimize the chance that they will be called to address a security issue during holiday closures. These include ensuring patches are up to date, checking network logs and running a vulnerability assessment scan or network audit to close security loopholes.

"Although we don't necessarily see a higher incidence of attacks over the holiday period, many organizations could find it harder to recover in the event of a breach if they are not adequately prepared," said Steve Fallin, director of the LiveSecurity Rapid Response Team at WatchGuard.
"Smaller businesses, in particular, might not have the resources to cover the holiday season sufficiently. Our survey indicates that network managers are sensitive to this and may be anticipating more trouble this year due to the increasing sophistication of attacks we've seen over the past six months. But with some extra planning, there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to enjoy the holidays uninterrupted."

WatchGuard's LiveSecurity Service, which provides customers with proactive updates and security intelligence on an ongoing basis, has made its Foundations series of articles on security basics available on the company's Web site. These articles are designed to give network administrators in small- to medium-sized enterprises practical information on a wide range of security issues. To view these articles and guides with advice on security, please visit http://www.watchguard.com/press/security_basics.asp.

Nov 25 - How To Switch Your Provider But Keep Your Wireless Phone Number. Starting Monday, a new federal rule took effect that allows consumers to switch telecommunications carriers without changing phone numbers. Local number portability, or LNP, is an important issue for people who rely on their wireless phones as a main line of communication. Below are some tips to keep in mind before making the switch.

Determine your obligations. Check with your current carrier on contract termination fees and invoice balances under your current contract. If you're making the move to another carrier, early termination fees may apply. Check with your current carrier if you are uncertain when your contract ends.

Be prepared to experience some possible delays as you make the switch. LNP is an intercarrier process requiring the cooperation of your previous service provider, and new activations involving a ported number will take longer than traditional wireless service activation. If the transfer process goes smoothly you can expect to be active on your new wireless service provider's network in a matter of hours.

If you do switch, you'll likely need a new phone. You can take your number with you, but your old phone probably won't be compatible with your new wireless provider.

Consider the "bundled" services approach. To lower overall costs for telecommunications, put your calling into a bundled package that combines local phone service with long distance and wireless.

Keep in mind that not all numbers may be transferable. Not all numbers can be transferred in all markets and by all providers. Initially, LNP will only be available in larger markets.

Continue to use your current phone until your new phone is fully functional. Service to your old phone will be automatically disconnected once the number has been transferred.

Have a copy of a bill from your current service provider on hand. When processing your transfer request, it's important that your new service provider correctly enter information from your account, like your name, address, account number and phone number. If the information doesn't match, the request to transfer your number may be delayed.

For more information on how to make sure you know everything about obligations during LNP, log onto www.sprintpcs.com beginning Monday, November 24th.

Nov 24 - AMD Breaks Ground on Opteron Manufacturing Facility in Dresden, Germany. AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today that it has broken ground on a 300 millimeter (mm) manufacturing facility (or "fab"). The facility, named AMD Fab 36, is part of AMD Dresden Fab 36 LLC & Co. KG and will be located in Dresden, Germany, adjacent to AMD Fab 30. AMD Fab 36 is expected to be in volume production in 2006. The new facility is expected to require approximately 1,000 employees, most of them highly skilled engineers and technicians.

"Positive customer response and increasing momentum for our AMD64 processors make it clear that the time is right to expand our manufacturing capacity in order to effectively meet future demand," said Hector Ruiz, president and CEO at AMD. "Our aggressive push into the enterprise computing market continues to gain traction, as evidenced by Sun's recent adoption of the AMD Opteron(TM) processor and the growing success of server and workstation solutions from IBM, Fujitsu Siemens and others."

AMD Fab 36 will produce future generations of AMD products using the third-generation of AMD's patented automated manufacturing capabilities, known as Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM 3.0).

"The world-class employee talent in Dresden and the superiority of AMD's advanced fab automation technologies will allow us to build on the success of AMD Fab 30 and help make AMD Fab 36 a leading-edge 300 mm facility," said Gary Heerssen, senior executive for Corporate Manufacturing at AMD.

"AMD's investment in Dresden is one of the largest in East Germany since unification in 1990," said Minister President of the Free State of Saxony Professor Georg Milbradt. "With the AMD Fab 36 facility, Saxony will be established among the world's top microelectronic centers. This is an incredible ascent in just a few years, and it would not have been possible without the highly motivated and qualified employees in the region. They have more than met the high expectations placed on them, and by doing so, they placed Saxony at the top in a globally competitive environment."

"Innovation is the basis of growth and employment, particularly in a country like Germany," said Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research Edelgard Bulmahn. "We want to trigger a new dynamic with technological innovations that create jobs and secure Germany's future. The new factory in Saxony will contribute substantially to such dynamic growth." Minister Bulmahn added that her Ministry's funding of semiconductor projects has contributed to the creation of 11,000 high-quality jobs in the Dresden region alone.

"By building in Dresden, we are able to leverage the outstanding capabilities of our existing AMD Fab 30 and gain access to the most substantial government-backed financial incentives package available to us," said Bob Rivet, chief financial officer at AMD. "We expect AMD Fab 36 will cost approximately US$2.4 billion over the next four years. We have arranged external financing and government support of approximately $1.5 billion during that period. We believe AMD Fab 36 offers the best solution for meeting future customer demand while advancing long-term shareholder value."

For more AMD news and product information, please visit www.amd.com.

Nov 24 - HP Teams with AT&T Wireless to Offer Latest in High-speed Wireless Connectivity. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced it is working with AT&T Wireless to offer mobile professionals connectivity to EDGE, the fastest national wireless data network.

Connecting to the AT&T Wireless' EDGE network via a wireless PCMCIA card modem, HP notebook and Tablet PC users can increase their productivity while on the go by accessing business applications such as e-mail, Internet, intranet, company databases and enterprise application at speeds up to three times that of a dial-up connection. Customers can expect to receive average download data rates between 100-130 kilobits per second with speed bursts up to 200 kbps.

"HP further outpaces the competition in wireless Internet by making EDGE technology available to customers using notebook and Tablet PCs so they can increase business communication cycle times and improve corporate productivity," said Kevin Frost, vice president of notebook marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. "Companies also get a great return on their investment because workers can stay connected to the network for longer periods of time and at higher speeds."

Customers can order the entire solution quickly and easily online, including service activation, through www.hp.com/go/wan. This Web site provides a simple, one-stop shopping experience for customers' wireless needs. Customers signing up for a two-year contract on the AT&T Wireless Mobile Internet $79.99 Unlimited Data Plan can purchase a Sony Ericsson EDGE modem card and software for $149 (after mail-in rebate).

Nov 24 - SUSE LINUX Opens the Door to Windows Games. Beginning December, customers of SUSE LINUX 9.0 Personal or Professional will be able to purchase an add-on -- SUSE LINUX Wine Rack -- that enables stable and secure utilization of numerous Windows applications in Linux.

For $39.99, SUSE will provide CrossOver Office and CrossOver Plugin from Codeweavers -- giving Linux users access to applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook from the MS Office 97, 2000, and XP packages (Outlook for XP not supported), Visio 2000, Intuit Quicken, Apple Quick Time, Adobe Photoshop 7.0, and IBM Lotus Notes.

Gamers get WineX from Transgaming, which enables the use of game classics such as Half-Life: Counter Strike, Diablo 2, EverQuest, Warcraft III, Battlefield 1942, Starcraft, Civilization 3, and many other games in SUSE LINUX 9.0. The 3-D arcade game MarbleBlast from Garagegames is also included on the CD.

Bought separately, the four program packages CrossOver Office (about $60), CrossOver Plugin ($35), WineX (60 $/year), and MarbleBlast ($20) would cost about $117 more -- a savings of more than 70%.

"This package breaks a barrier and renews our commitment to provide the most comprehensive Linux offering for the consumer market," said Holger Dyroff, general manager, Americas, SUSE LINUX. "Customers can opt for Linux, knowing that they can take advantage of both open source -- and proprietary -- applications."

Information on the Windows applications supported by CrossOver Office and CrossOver Plugin is available at URL: http://www.codeweavers.com/site/products/cxoffice/supported_apps/

Information on the games supported by WineX is available at URL: http://www.transgaming.com/searchgame.php

Further information on SUSE LINUX can be found at www.suse.com.

Nov 24 - Home Networking Silicon Market to Grow Rapidly as Entertainment Networks Come to Life. According to In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com), the home networking silicon market is expected to grow from $650 million in 2002 to $1.07 billion in 2003, driven by a confluence of both technology and end-user factors.

On the technology side, the strong advances in wireless LAN technology, emergence of new physical layer communications protocols such as HomePlug and 1394b, and the continued emergence of ever-faster embedded communications processors have been driving the home network IC market for the last five years. On the end-user side, increased interest in broadband sharing and wireless LAN connections will continue the strong results in those markets.

However, looking forward, the high-tech market research firm believes that the emergence of media networks will drive the future growth of this market. "The next step in the home network is bridging the entertainment cluster," said Michael Wolf, principal analyst for Consumer Connectivity and Content. "Devices such as online gaming consoles, stereos and personal video recorders will eventually connect to networks, leading to a high demand for networking silicon in these end-use markets."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Other LAN technologies such as HomePlug AV, 1394b and coax networking will have an opportunity to provide backbone connectivity for networked video devices, but will face increasing competition from ever-improving wireless networks. Technology advances such as MIMO signal processing are making wireless video networks increasingly feasible.

-- Communications processors for home networking devices are expected to see strong demand in different products, reaching $277 million in 2007. The PHY market for home networking, incorporating Wi Fi, Ethernet, HomePlug, 1394b, HomePNA and Coax networking will reach $793 million by the same time.

In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com) offers a broad range of information resources and analytical assets to technology vendors, service providers, technology professionals and market specialists worldwide.

Nov 24 - Spam Volume Increases by 64% Going into the Holiday Season. A three-month study completed by Corvigo, the creator of Intent-Based Filtering technology for e-mail filtration, reveals that spam volume has increased 64 percent since September of this year. The study was conducted using the company's in-house spam monitoring system.

The study also revealed that spammers are getting more creative in their attempts to thwart technique-based systems that use blacklists, rules, white lists, signatures, Bayesian or Heuristic filtering. Actual junk e-mails are getting shorter in length and contain fewer "black list"-type words. Systems based on those techniques are struggling to keep up with the volume while maintaining reasonable filtration rates.

"It's the holiday season and spammers are trying to make a buck anyway they can," said Jeff Ready, CEO of Corvigo. "Unfortunately, consumers can expect this volume to continue to increase throughout December and taper off only slightly in January."



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