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Daily Computer News and Rumors

October 23-31 2002

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
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Oct 31 Toshiba First to Ship Notebook With Integrated DVD-R/RW Drive
Oct 31 Dolby Unveils ``Dolby in PC'' Initiative
Oct 31 New Premium 5.1 Multimedia Speaker System from Logitech
Oct 31 Survey Reveals Mobile Networks are Not Delivering Desired Service
Oct 31 LapLink Creates New High Performance Remote Network Accelerator
Oct 30 HP Media Center PC Available for Entertainment Enthusiasts
Oct 30 Computers Could Run Cooler and Faster With New Nanotechnology
Oct 30 A Third Of Network Outages Caused By Human Error
Oct 30 12 Millionth ATI 'Flipper' Chip Ships For NINTENDO GAMECUBE
Oct 30 Fujitsu Reports Billion Dollar First-Half Loss
Oct 29 Michael Dell Introduces Smallest Desktop in Company History
Oct 29 Worldwide PDA Shipments Decline 1 Percent
Oct 29 Fujitsu Announces LifeBook C Series Notebook
Oct 29 Wireless Internet...Who Wants it?
Oct 29 Consumers Set to Get on Wireless Home Networking Train
Oct 28 ATI Launches New Radeon Graphics Cards
Oct 28 IBM Scientists Build World's Smallest Operating Computing Circuits
Oct 28 Ericsson Announces Strategic Partnerships to Speed Up Public WLAN Access
Oct 28 Samsung Announces 46 Inch TFT LCD for High Definition TVs
Oct 27 Sunday Shopping Watch
Oct 25 Micron Technology Demonstrates High Density DDR-II Platform
Oct 25 17" LCD From Hitachi Sets New Standard for Monitor Response Times
Oct 25 LCD Monitors to Overtake CRT Monitors in 2004
Oct 25 New AOL 8.0 Sets Record With More Than 5 Million Downloads
Oct 25 AOL Time Warner Reports Results for Third Quarter 2002
Oct 24 Philips Introduces World's First DVD+R/+RW Digital Video Recorder Design
Oct 24 NETGEAR Launches USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter
Oct 24 In-Stat/MDR Announces Updated Outlook for Semiconductor Industry
Oct 24 Car Industry Drives Bluetooth Into The Mainstream
Oct 24 DealTime Reaches Profitability On Record Third Quarter Results
Oct 23 ATI Demonstrates First Graphic Cards Powered by DDR-2 Technology
Oct 23 Cray Inc. to use AMD Opteron Processor for New Supercomputer
Oct 23 Fujitsu Introduces New Thin & Light S Series Notebook
Oct 23 Best Buy launches vpr Matrix Laptop
Oct 23 Canon Announces MultiPASS F20 All-in-1

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Oct 31 - Toshiba First to Ship Notebook With Integrated DVD-R/RW Drive. Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced availability of the Satellite(R) 5205-S703 and that it would be the first vendor to ship notebooks in volume with a built-in DVD-R/RW multi-function drive.

With an integrated DVD-R/RW multi-function drive, users can take advantage of increased entertainment and productivity capabilities including home movie editing and the ability to store large amounts of data such as multimedia presentations, digital images and audio files. Users can also play DVD movies and CDs.

Combined with industry-leading graphics, Harman/Kardon(R) stereo speakers with a built-in subwoofer, a flexible drive bay for additional expansion, remote control and integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) connectivity, the Satellite 5205-S703 is the essential notebook for multimedia users.

"As a leader in the mobile computing industry, it is important for Toshiba to deliver new technologies to our customers first," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning. "The Satellite 5205-S703, with its DVD-R/RW capability, allows the multimedia enthusiast to experience more functionality in a notebook PC."

A Full Line-Up of Features to Elevate Your Computing Experience

Flexibility is not compromised with the Satellite 5205-S703. Consumers can take advantage of the Toshiba Style Bay, which will accept a second hard disk drive, second battery, bridge media adapter or optical media drive.

The bridge media adapter provides the capability to easily receive, retain and move data by a variety of digital systems, including Memory Stick(R), Compact Flash(R) and Smart Media(TM). With the interactive cPad(TM) touchpad, users can easily launch applications such as 10-key calculator, software applications and access a calendar with a simple touch of a finger.

Pricing and Availability

The Toshiba Satellite 5205-S703 notebook PC is available for $2,699 direct via www.shoptoshiba.com and Toshiba's retail distribution channels including computer superstores and consumer electronic stores.

Oct 31 - Dolby Unveils ``Dolby in PC'' Initiative. Dolby Laboratories announced its new "Dolby in PC" initiative, a comprehensive overview of how Dolby audio technologies positively affect today's evolution of the personal computer into a home entertainment gateway.
As PCs continue to develop as digital entertainment platforms, Dolby Laboratories, the world leader in multichannel audio technologies, is committed to providing PC users the same level of high-quality Dolby surround sound that they now expect from more traditional entertainment-oriented consumer electronics products.

The "Dolby in PC" initiative is part of Dolby's strategy to expand its presence in the PC market. The company has been working closely with its licensees and key technology partners on a number of strategic projects, including the NVIDIA Sound Storm program and new premium sound cards from Creative Labs.
Dolby has also teamed with its licensees (including CyberLink, InterVideo, and NVIDIA) and with Microsoft to ensure that consumers can access all the features of their DVD player from the new Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 interface.

"Consistent with our efforts in cinema, home theater, and digital television, Dolby technologies are defining new standards of multichannel audio quality for the PC," said Bill Jasper, president of Dolby Laboratories. "Quite simply, if you want a richer, fuller, more enveloping PC entertainment experience, you need great sound, and that means Dolby technologies."

Dolby Technologies in Gaming

Playing games with Dolby technologies is like stepping into
the action, making the experience more lifelike, authentic,
and involving. Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III, one of
the best-selling PC games this year, features Dolby Surround
technology.

The recently released Unreal Tournament 2003 by
Epic Games and America's Army, developed by the US military,
both support stunning Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on PCs equipped
with interactive Dolby Digital encoding. Dolby is working
closely with game developers and publishers to bring more PC
game titles out with Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1
encoding.

The NVIDIA nForce2 MCP Platform Processor provides an
integrated audio processing unit and real-time Dolby Digital
encoder, making it one of the most advanced components of
audio hardware available for PC games. Leading PC OEMs and
motherboard manufacturers have begun to adopt NVIDIA's new
nForce2 processors into their product lines.

For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit www.dolby.com.

Oct 31 - New Premium 5.1 Multimedia Speaker System from Logitech. Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI) (Switzerland: LOGN, LOGZ), today announced the flagship 5.1 speaker system in its award winning Z-Series family, the Logitech Z-680.

The Z-680 comes equipped with Dolby(R) Digital and DTS(R) hardware decoding for true 5.1 digital sound. These speakers make it possible to bring THX-certified home theater surround sound to multiple platforms, by enabling simultaneous use with PCs, video game consoles, DVD players and portable audio players.

The Z-680 is a THX-certified, 5.1-surround sound system with 450 watts of RMS power. Its high-end features include:

-- Eight-inch, long throw subwoofer driver with a flared bass
port for powerful, distortion-free bass.

-- Dolby(R) Pro Logic II for creating realistic 5.1 surround
sound from stereo music, movies and games.

-- Digital optical and coaxial inputs, as well as six channel
analog inputs, for simple connection to nearly any audio device

-- Digital SoundTouch(TM) Control Center with a wireless remote,
for easy adjustment of the speaker controls from anywhere in the room.

"Last year, with the introduction of the Z-Series speakers, Logitech established itself as a top player in the multimedia speaker market," said Bob Wick, senior vice president and general manager of Logitech's Audio Division.

"This year we plan to raise the bar for high-end multimedia speakers, with the introduction of the Z-680. This 5.1 system will surpass the competition by offering a single system that is THX-certified, includes Dolby Digital and DTS hardware decoding, and simultaneously connects to four different audio sources. The extraordinary power this system brings to both the desktop and the living room will revolutionize the multimedia speaker market."

The Z-680 offers tremendous value, and is currently available in retail outlets and online at www.logitech.com for a retail price of $399.95.

Oct 31 - Survey Reveals Mobile Networks are Not Delivering Desired Service. Cell phone users are unanimous that the voice quality of cell phone calls is unacceptable, but split on whether they are prepared to pay more for better service, according to a survey from speech quality specialist, Psytechnics.

The poll among 237 cell phone users shows that 82% are frustrated by mobile networks' call quality being lower than standard telephone lines. A third of all respondents stated the cost of calls should reflect the level of voice quality, with providers offering cheaper rates or discounts for poor connections.

Business users are even prepared to pay a premium for a guaranteed high level of voice quality. In fact, half stated this would be worth the extra cost. Consumer users are less willing to part with additional dollars. Only 16% would be prepared to pay more for better quality for their personal cell phone calls.

The survey results indicate that service providers have an opportunity to offer tiered-levels of service based on quality, to help generate new revenue streams, while improving customer satisfaction.

"Consumers expect that commodities should meet quality standards, so why should the voice quality on their cell phone be any different?" said Iain Wood, director of sales and marketing at Psytechnics. "The cell phone industry still has to convince its customer base that call quality is improving. Network providers have a real opportunity to differentiate themselves and attract a wider customer base. To do this, operators need to invest in test and measurement tools to continually monitor and improve voice quality."

For further information, visit www.psytechnics.com.

Oct 31 - LapLink Creates New High Performance Remote Network Accelerator. LapLink(R) Inc. the recognized world leader in file transfer and synchronization, announced today the release of Remote Network Accelerator (RNA)(TM). This product improves network connection performance by speeding remote file access up to 400% over wireless, dial-up, ISDN and broadband.

"This product will not only be exciting news to IT professionals and network administrators, but it will equally impress those that administer the budget. There is nothing more efficient or cost-effective out there today," said Mark Eppley CEO of LapLink.

RNA utilizes patented delta technology, SpeedSync(TM) along with innovative smart caching, sophisticated file compression, two-way acceleration and predictive read-ahead, to achieve the increased remote file access speed over network connections, such as VPN, RAS, WAN, and 802.11. LapLink RNA runs on Windows NT, 2000, or XP servers, accelerating file access for Microsoft and Novel IP-based networks, and it supports all Windows desktop operating systems.

LapLink Remote Network Accelerator is designed for easy administration:

-- Server-based management provides single point of control for deployment

-- Deployment of client software is easy with support for silent installations and some third-party LAN management solutions

-- Integrates seamlessly with current network security model, requiring no additional administration

-- Logs all messages to the Windows Event Log for easy tracking and auditing of all connections, disconnects and memory usage

-- Client software can be transparent to the end user and requires NO training

"I was intrigued by the potential performance benefits that the Remote Network Accelerator would deliver, but now that we've had a chance to use it and implement it in the field, the full impact of its value hits home," said Andrew Hough, Director of Information Technology at Baugh Skanska. "It's one thing to see the numbers and read the charts, but when you witness a remote file transfer of a 9.2MB file that used to take 3 minutes, 23 seconds via VPN before take only 21 seconds with RNA, the efficiency and versatility is evident."

RNA is available as a download product from www.laplink.com and is offered to enterprises through a volume, licensing program.

Oct 30 - HP Media Center PC Available for Entertainment Enthusiasts. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced its full line of HP Media Center PC models with Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition, now available in retail stores and online at hpshopping.com.

"HP is introducing a new consumer technology category this holiday season with the launch of our PC-based entertainment system for the home," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "The HP Media Center is a new way for people to experience their favorite pastimes, whether it's watching DVDs, listening to music, watching TV, sharing and managing digital photos, or all of the other things PCs are normally used for, in one easy-to-use, integrated system."

The new Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition allows the HP Media Center PC user to enjoy digital entertainment -- including live television with free electronic program guide, up to 90 hours of personal video recording (PVR), digital music, digital video, DVDs and pictures -- in an easy-to-use, remote-controlled interface similar to the simple, point-and-choose menu screens found on today's DVD movies.

Intended to be used with a PC monitor, the HP Media Center PC also can connect to a TV for a large-screen viewing experience in spaces where consumers would want both a PC and entertainment solution --such as a den, game room, teenager's bedroom, dorm room or small apartment.

"The HP Media Center PC powered by Windows XP Media Center Edition greatly enhances the ability of consumers to use their PC for both work and play," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect, Microsoft. "This newest member of the Windows XP family enables consumers to enjoy the best of what digital entertainment has to offer, and takes us into an exciting new era of personal computing."

Powered by Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processors, all three new HP Media Center PC models feature HP's exclusive six-in-one media card reader on the front panel to quickly and easily transfer digital data from all common flash media formats.

"The HP Media Center PC is one of the first all-in-one digital entertainment systems, making it perfect for students and other consumers who are media-hungry but space-constrained," said Paul Otellini, president and chief operating officer, Intel. "The power of the Pentium 4 processor delivers the high performance needed for a best-in-class media experience."

HP also partnered with other top industry leaders to ensure HP Media Center PC users receive an outstanding entertainment experience. All HP Media Center PCs feature an NVIDIA 64 MB GeForce4 MX420 graphics card to ensure a high-quality visual digital experience, whether watching DVDs, editing video or playing favorite 3D PC games.

{InfoHQ Comment: The GeForce4 MX card is a poor choice for playing 3D games, as the more powerful GeForce4 3D features do not exist on this card. If possible, upgrade to a GeForce 4 TI series card, or ATI 9500 or 9700 series cards, for playing 3D games or using 3D applications.}

Creative Labs' SoundBlaster Audigy 5.1 multi-channel sound card delivers stunning 24-bit audio playback with multi-channel audio quality, and select HP Media Center PC models also include Klipsch ProMedia THX-certified surround sound speakers that combine for an incredible sound that rivals today's finest home theater and consumer electronics offerings.

HP Media Center PC Line

The HP Media Center PC line includes three models. The 873n retail model will be offered on-shelf in retail outlets across the United States and Canada, while the value-priced 863n and power-packed 883n will be available direct from HP through retail kiosks or hpshopping.com.

All HP Media Center PCs include the HP remote control, DVD+R/+RW or CD-RW drives, a floppy drive, a PVR TV tuner card, a Media Center keyboard with easy-access to entertainment features and volume control knob, an infrared (IR) receiver, TV-out, one front-access and four rear-access USB 2.0 ports, one front-access and one rear-access IEEE 1394 port, an IR blaster to control a set-top box, a 10/100 Base-T network interface and an optical mouse.

In addition to the features mentioned above, the affordable HP Media Center PC 863n is powered by an Intel Pentium 4 2.4-GHz processor and includes 512 MB DDR memory and an 80 GB hard drive for storing digital libraries, as well as CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives for burning CDs and watching movies. Available beginning Nov. 3 through retail store kiosks and hpshopping.com, the HP Media Center PC 863n is priced at $1,349.

The HP Media Center PC 873n includes an Intel Pentium 4 2.53-GHz processor, 512 MB DDR memory, a huge 120-GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, a DVD+R/+RW drive, a CD-ROM drive and Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX-certified 200-watt speakers. The HP Media Center PC 873n is available today in retail stores and at hpshopping.com for an estimated U.S. street price of $1,649.

The powerful HP Media Center PC 883n includes an Intel Pentium 4 2.66-GHz processor, 512 MB DDR memory, 120-GB 7,200-rpm hard drive with plenty of room to store digital music, images and video files, a DVD+R/+RW drive, a CD-ROM drive and Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 THX-certified 500-watt speakers. The HP Media Center PC 883n is available today online for $1,999.

Availability

The HP Media Center PC is available in store at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and HP retail kiosks in the United States, at Future Shop and Best Buy in Canada and direct from HP online at hpshopping.com. Additional information on the HP Media Center PC is available at www.hp.com/go/mediacenterpc and on www.hpshopping.com.

Oct 30 - Computers Could Run Cooler and Faster With New Nanotechnology. A new cooling technology could allow the use of more powerful microprocessors in desktop and laptop computers. Cool Chips plc (COLCF) is developing a solid-state cooling technology which is designed to solve thermal management problems for future generations of microprocessors, significantly improving performance and allowing for the use of more powerful processors in confined spaces.

Cool Chips are compact electronic devices similar in appearance to computer chips. When an electric current is applied, one side of the chip becomes cold and the other side hot as electrons pass across an vacuum gap separating the two sides. The process, in which hot electrons "tunnel" through a one-way thermal trap door, is projected to be much more efficient than conventional refrigeration methods and existing solid-state heat pumps. Using this effect, considerable heat could be actively pumped away from processor chips despite their small surface area.

In addition to surveying possible applications in electronics, Cool Chips plc will be releasing an update on the progress of development work. Two nanotechnology milestones were reached recently: the fabrication of large conformal pairs of electrodes, and electrodes with excellent local smoothness.

"What this means is that, after over 5 years of development, we are on the verge of producing high output Cool Chips. The last stage is the integration of a specific thin film layer," said Cool Chips plc president Isaiah Cox. "We can then begin deliveries of prototype devices to customers."

According to the company, progress so far has been good. Specific data will be shown at the RTI show demonstrating the local smoothness of the electrode surfaces, as well as showing, for the first time in public, the latest product of the lab, a sample Cool Chip with a 1cm active area.

Heat management problems are critical in many industries, and Cool Chips plc is seeking to sell licenses for this technology for a wide range of industrial applications. Cool Chips plc is currently in talks with representative companies in the aerospace, automotive, computer, telephony and white goods sectors.

Extensive information about Cool Chips may be found on the Cool Chips plc web site at www.coolchips.gi including a calculator to determine the efficiency of the technology for any given temperature range.

Oct 30 - Third Of Network Outages Caused By Human Error. Fifty percent of North American enterprise networks experienced unauthorized configuration changes to their switches, routers or firewalls within the last year, and one-third of network outages are caused by human error according to a recent survey conducted by Yankee Group, an industry analyst firm.

Yankee Group analysts surveyed 229 enterprise and government network decision-makers with greater than 50 network devices in August 2002 to determine the primary cause of network outages. Network operators reported in the survey that 35% of their network outages were caused by their telecommunications carrier or Internet Service Provider.
A close second at 31% was human error, primarily from a lack of network configuration control of their networks' routers, switches and firewalls. Other causes included: power failure (14%), hardware failure (12%) and unresolved problems (8%).

"Network operators at Fortune 1000 companies and federal government agencies can have a major impact on network uptime if they focus on reducing the one thing they have the most control over: human error. This survey shows that network outages could be reduced by up to 30 percent by implementing a few, simple best practice rules to reduce the amount of human error that can unintentionally bring a network to its knees due to network configuration control issues," said Zeus Kerravala, vice president, Yankee Group.

Kerravala continued, "With one hour of network downtime costing anywhere from $90,000 to $4.5 million, depending on the industry, using network configuration control tools is one of the keys to fixing these problems. That would substantially reduce overall downtime and provide network operators with a dramatic ROI, one that can be recovered in a single network outage."

Gold Wire Technology manufactures, sells and supports a family of purpose-built network configuration control appliances that provide increased availability and security to multi-vendor enterprise, government and service provider data networks. Gold Wire Technology can be found online at www.goldwiretech.com.

Oct 30 - 12 Millionth ATI 'Flipper' Chip Ships For NINTENDO GAMECUBE. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY.TO) today announced that the 12 millionth ATI graphics processor 'Flipper' chip has been shipped for the NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) video game console.
Manufactured by NEC Corporation, the ATI-designed 'Flipper' chip is the central graphics core of Nintendo's best-selling game console enabling software developers to create a wide variety of best-selling game titles for NINTENDO GAMECUBE.

"ATI's partnership and technological expertise with ATI's 'Flipper' chip for NINTENDO GAMECUBE has enabled game developers to concentrate on entertaining storylines coupled with a wide array of exciting graphic elements to enhance the game experience," said Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director of Integrated Research and Development, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

"Best selling NINTENDO GAMECUBE titles such as Super Mario Sunshine and Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the eagerly anticipated Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda, all gain superior entertainment value based on ATI's visual performance expertise in their 'Flipper' chip."

"ATI is very proud to be a key partner with Nintendo for NINTENDO GAMECUBE. The 12 millionth shipment of ATI's 'Flipper' chip for the critically acclaimed NINTENDO GAMECUBE is a prime example of ATI's dedicated commitment to our customers and to the consumer electronics market," said Dave Orton, President & Chief Operating Officer, ATI Technologies Inc.

"Based on our leadership expertise in graphics development, our goal at ATI is to focus our resources to ensure success for all of our partners. The fact that the 12 millionth 'Flipper' chip has shipped is testament to NINTENDO GAMECUBE's success in the marketplace."

NINTENDO GAMECUBE features a revolutionary graphics processor, called the 'Flipper' chip, from ATI. The highly integrated processor includes both a 2D and 3D graphics engine, a DSP (digital signal processor) for audio processing, all system I/O (input/output) functions including CPU (central processing unit), system memory, controllers, optical disk, flash card, modem and video interfaces, and an on-chip high bandwidth frame buffer.

Visit ATI's site at www.ati.com.

Oct 30 - Fujitsu Reports Billion Dollar First-Half Loss. Fujitsu Limited, a global leader in customer-focused IT and communications solutions, today reported consolidated net sales of 2,150.3 billion yen (US$17, 483 million(a)) for the first half of fiscal year 2002 (April 1 - September 30, 2002), a decline of nearly 10% from the same period last fiscal year.

Despite signs of a bottoming out in certain sectors in Japan and elsewhere at the beginning of the fiscal year, Fujitsu faced a difficult business environment during the first half, as the global economic slowdown accompanying the collapse of the IT boom in the United States last year continued. Further deterioration in global telecommunications markets, together with turmoil unleashed in the wake of accounting scandals in the U.S., contributed to a precipitous slide in stock prices and worsening economic uncertainty.

Against this economic backdrop, Fujitsu saw steady gains in certain domestic business sectors in Japan during the first half, including software and services to advance the use of IT in the public sector, and mobile handsets and personal computers for consumers. However, there were sharp declines in infrastructure investments by telecommunications carriers, and corporate spending on servers languished, resulting in a major decrease in sales of platform products. In semiconductors, on the other hand, the supply-demand situation for logic chips and other products emerged from the period of severe imbalance. Overall, orders and sales during the first half continued to be problematic.

Since last year, Fujitsu has undertaken major restructuring efforts in order to respond to radical changes in the IT market environment. However, following the bursting of the telecommunications bubble in the U.S., global telecommunications carriers have been unable to halt the slide in their business performance, and the industry has come to face an even harsher period of structural reform. This has impacted the entire IT industry, and, along with further globalization, the need for even more thorough restructuring has become pressing.

In the first half of the fiscal year, Fujitsu's comprehensive efforts to improve cost efficiency enabled the company to offset an even greater drop in sales than previously forecast and improve profitability. In addition, to cope with severe structural changes in the IT market and radically improve its cost structure in the platforms and electronic devices areas, thereby helping to ensure further improvement in profitability in the next fiscal year and beyond, the company undertook further restructuring measures during this period, including significant reductions in workforce, primarily in Japan.

During this period, Fujitsu posted an extraordinary charge to cover costs of corrective measures for certain small form factor hard disk drives due to some procured parts that were found to be defective. The company has implemented measures to ensure greater reliability.

Thanks to the effects of cost reductions from last year's restructuring initiatives, Fujitsu was able to narrow its first-half consolidated operating loss to 23.2 billion yen (US$189 million), compared with a 59.1 billion yen operating loss in the same period last year. However, as a result of extraordinary charges for the additional restructuring initiatives and the aforementioned hard disk drive matter, the company posted a net loss of 147.4 billion yen (US$1,199 million) for the first half, compared to a net loss of 174.7 billion yen in the same period last year.

Revised Earnings Projections for FY2002

Since the last earnings projections announced in July, it has become apparent that recovery will be delayed for the IT industry, particularly in the U.S. telecommunications sector. Concerns regarding future trends in stock prices and IT-related demand, as well as international political issues, have heightened overall uncertainty. In Japan as well, despite favorable prospects for demand in certain areas, such as the public sector, there is also future uncertainty stemming from concerns over the prolonged non-performing loan issue, deflation and the decline in stock prices. Accordingly, Fujitsu has at this time revised its fiscal 2002 earnings forecasts as described below.

Despite lower first-half sales than were projected in July, Fujitsu was able to improve on those projections with respect to consolidated operating income in the first half. Looking toward the second half of fiscal 2002, there are uncertain prospects for the company's platform products, particularly telecommunications infrastructure equipment, personal computers and servers, as well as for the domestic software and services business, and the current status of orders indicates that sales will be sluggish. Nevertheless, Fujitsu expects to be able to maintain its earlier projection for consolidated operating income by compensating for the decline in sales with further cost reductions. However, due to extraordinary charges relating to additional restructuring measures in the platforms and electronic devices sectors carried out in the first half, the company has revised downward its projection for net income by a large margin.

For more information, visit www.fujitsu.com.

Oct 29 - Michael Dell Introduces Smallest Desktop in Company History. Michael Dell today announced worldwide availability of the OptiPlex(tm) SX260, the smallest and most flexible desktop computer in Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) history.

"The OptiPlex SX260 is a result of direct customer feedback," said Dell, CEO and chairman, at a press conference. "We talk daily to tens of thousands of customers around the world and continually incorporate their feedback into the design of innovative, relevant products. The SX260 is ideally suited for space-conscious customers, including many in the Japanese market, but doesn't sacrifice power as a result of its small size."

The SX260 weighs less than 8 pounds and is 50 percent smaller by volume than the existing OptiPlex small form factor chassis. It can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically underneath a desk, to a wall or behind the optional SX260 flat panel monitor. The chassis attaches flush to the back of the flat panel stand to blend the space savings of a traditional all-in-one PC with the benefits of modularity, such as serviceability.

The system's hot-swappable media bay accommodates any module from the popular Dell Latitude C-Family of notebooks, allowing users to share modules, such as a CD-RW drive, amongst a mix of Latitude and SX260 systems. The SX260 is also the first OptiPlex system to support booting to the new Dell USB memory key, a removable storage device launching in November. Dell expects the convenience, reliability and higher storage capacity of USB memory keys to become the customer preference over floppy disk drives.

The SX260 security features include a sequential locking system that prevents unwanted access to the media bay, chassis cover, internal hard drive door, motherboard and rear cabling, and locks the entire unit to the workspace itself, all through a single industry-standard Kensington lock slot.

The SX260 is also Dell's first slot-less desktop computer. The system has no PCI or AGP slots, meaning greater image stability and standardization. In addition, the SX260 is image compatible with Dell's mainstream GX260, which helps reduce overall total cost of ownership. The embedded Intel(R) Extreme graphics achieves AGP-quality performance and beyond by using up to 64MB of system memory.

SX260 customers have the option of Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 or Celeron(R) processors, up to 2GB of high-performance DDR-SDRAM system memory and six integrated USB 2.0 ports, two in front and four in back. Networking features include integrated Gigabit(c) Ethernet and an optional TrueMobile 1180 802.11b wireless networking module, which connects via USB and attaches easily to the chassis.

Prices for the OptiPlex SX260 start at $599. A typical configuration sells for $1,499 and includes an Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz processor, 256MB shared DDR-SDRAM, 20GB hard drive, removable 24X max CD-ROM, integrated Intel Pro/1000MT Gigabit Ethernet network adapter, integrated Intel Extreme graphics, 15" UltraSharp(tm) SX260 flat panel solution, Windows XP Professional, three-year limited warranty and next-business-day onsite service.

OptiPlex desktops are designed for networked business environments, with long product lifecycles, standards-based technology and a full suite of user-friendly management tools, making them easy to deploy and maintain. Complete product details can be found at www.dell.com/optiplex.

Oct 29 - Worldwide PDA Shipments Decline 1 Percent. Worldwide PDA shipments totaled 2.6 million units in the third quarter of 2002, a 0.9 percent decline from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT and ITB).

Shipments for the first three quarters of 2002 are down 8.3 percent from the same period last year. Gartner Dataquest analysts said the market will need an exceptionally strong shipment of PDAs in the fourth quarter for the industry to maintain worldwide growth in 2002.

Palm, Hewlett-Packard and Sony accounted for 58 percent of all PDA shipments worldwide in the third quarter of 2002 (see Table 1). Palm surpassed 30 percent market share in the third quarter, while Sony and Toshiba showed the strongest growth in the quarter with increases of 280 percent and 1,705 percent, respectively. Toshiba is a relatively new market entrant, which explains the high initial growth rate.

"Palm is not as dominant as it once was, but it still shipped more than twice as many units in the third quarter as the No. 2 vendor, HP. Palm engaged in significant promotional activity in the third quarter to reduce inventories and make room for new models that will be launched in October 2002," said Todd Kort, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest. "Sony PDA shipments have nearly tripled since the third quarter of 2001, and it is on the heels of HP, contending for the No. 2 position. Sony has been averaging about one new model launched every month of 2002."

In the U.S. market, Palm had a more commanding lead, with nearly 40 percent of all units shipped in the third quarter of 2002. Sony moved into the No. 2 spot with nearly 19 percent market share, followed by HP at 15 percent (see Table 2). Sony's U.S. shipments are more than four times the level of a year ago.

For the first time, Microsoft licensees captured more than 30 percent of worldwide PDA shipments, up from 16.2 percent in the third quarter of 2001. Palm and Sony, along with Handspring and a few other Palm OS licensees comprised approximately 48.6 percent of worldwide PDA shipments in the third quarter of 2002, the same as the third quarter last year.

"After a slow but steady decline, the Palm OS market share appears to have stabilized, but new challenges are on the horizon," Kort said. "Much more competitive pricing from Pocket PC vendors beginning in the fourth quarter of 2002 will undoubtedly stimulate growth in Pocket PC shipments and allow Palm less breathing room. Dell and Toshiba appear ready to lead this battle. The Dell entry signals the beginning of a PDA market shakeout that should push out weaker and financially stressed players."

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Oct 29 - Fujitsu Announces LifeBook C Series Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today unveiled the next generation of its LifeBook(R) C Series notebook. Stylishly designed for students, business professionals and aspiring movie directors, this new all-in-one desktop replacement starts at $1,399 and features several multimedia enhancements, including an optional DVD-RW drive, to foster creativity without straining the pocketbook.

Fujitsu is one of the first manufacturers to offer a notebook with an integrated DVD-RW drive. Users can now write and rewrite to spacious 4.70GB DVD-R and DVD-RW media as well as CD-Rs and CD-RWs. They can download home movies from their digital video camera and burn them onto a DVD or they can burn music and data onto a CD.

The notebook also features the latest Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor - M and an ATI(R) Mobility RADEON(TM) graphics chip with up to 64MB of selectable shared UMA graphics memory. This combination offers the right amount of resources to tackle video editing, computer gaming and general business applications. A large and bright 15-inch display adds to the experience, bringing multimedia to vivid life whether the user is on a plane or at his or her desk.

"The LifeBook C Series notebook artfully blends style with functionality at an affordable price," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation. "From business professionals who need a powerful desktop replacement to home users and students who are looking for an easy-to-use multimedia system, the latest C Series notebook with its rich feature set will please the most discriminating users."

To further increase its versatility, the C Series notebook is equipped with a MemoryStick(TM) / SecureDigital (SD) slot, four USB 2.0 ports and an IEEE 1394 port, enabling users to transfer photos, music and home movies from their portable devices in record time.

The C Series notebook also makes accessing the Internet a cinch. No matter what environment users happen to be in, they can stay connected with the C Series notebook's built-in modem, Ethernet port and optional wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b). Four programmable one-touch buttons get users up on the Web, checking e-mail and opening other applications quickly and easily. These same buttons can also be used to control the CD player.

The system comes preinstalled with Microsoft Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional. It is now available through various retail and online outlets as well as direct at www.fujitsupc.com.

Oct 29 - Wireless Internet...Who Wants it? One out of five Internet users indicates that they are interested in wireless Internet service, according to a recent study by Solomon-Wolff Associates.

This translates to about 33 million people in the U.S., and a revenue opportunity of more than $4 billion per year. This is a major market opportunity for both equipment and service providers.

"Naturally, those who already use devices such as wireless phones, laptop computers, and PDAs are more interested in wireless Internet than people who just use desktop PCs," said Joey Wolff, partner in Solomon Wolff Associates. "These are the devices which can be used for wireless Internet service. Our data shows that 119 million people in the U.S. currently use one or more of these devices."

"Those who are very involved in the Internet are more interested," added Ms. Wolff. "This includes those with a greater Internet usage, a greater amount spent on purchases via the Internet, and a purchase interest in home networking."

The study also indicated that Internet users in some states have a higher interest level than in others. Among the ten largest states, those where interest in Wireless Internet is highest are California and Georgia. And interest is lowest in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Interest in wireless Internet was highest among those in the 26- to 30-year-old age group. There was no correlation between educational level and interest and men and women were equally interested.

Oct 29 - Consumers Set to Get on Wireless Home Networking Train. As the wireless home networking space evolves to one which involves the wireless connection of the PC cluster of devices (broadband modem, router/AP device, desktops, laptops, PDAs, Web tablets) to the entertainment cluster of devices (audio and visual equipment such as TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, gaming devices and home theater devices such as high-end displays and DVRs), Wi-Fi technology will take the lead.

High tech-market research firm In-Stat/MDR projects that with 802.11b already being accepted into the home and 802.11a already beginning to penetrate early adopter homes, worldwide annual Wi-Fi node shipments will be 33 million in 2006, up from the approximately 6 million nodes expected to ship out in 2002.

"With Wi-Fi AP gateway devices available for about $120, and with PC cards falling to the $50-70 range at retail and e-tail, as of 2H 2002, end-users are readily accepting Wi-Fi as an attractive method of wirelessly sharing broadband Internet access," said Gemma Paulo, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR.

"The popularity of Wi-Fi in the home has generated increased interest in extending this wireless home network to entertainment and home automation clusters, opening the door to Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) technologies such as Ultra-wideband (UWB) and Zigbee."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Low-end networking hardware specialists such as Linksys,
Buffalo, Netgear, D-Link, SMC, SOHOware and Actiontec have
driven the success of Wi-Fi in the home, as they have driven
costs down, increased the variety of Wi-Fi products on the
market, and have focused on making set-up and installation
easier.

-- Although the United States is expected to remain the largest
market for wireless LAN equipment in the home and SOHO space
through 2006, Asia Pacific is quite notable for its growth.
Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore
all present good areas of growth for Wi-Fi.

-- Although Wi-Fi is expected to be embedded in consumer
electronics devices going forward, its lack of multimedia
support and bandwidth limitations have opened the door to UWB
as a potential contender in the video distribution arena.
Quality of Service (QoS) enhancements are expected to be added
to the 802.11 standard by next year; however, UWB does offer
much higher throughputs, albeit at much shorter ranges.

-- Other promising wireless technologies for the home include
Zigbee, designed for home automation of lighting and security,
as well as Spike, a technology designed initially for video
game controllers. Mesh peer-to-peer technology may also show
up in the home of the future, possibly to extend the range of
WLAN or WPAN technologies.

For more information, visit www.instat.com.

Oct 28 - ATI Launches New Radeon Graphics Cards. ATI Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY), today announced the launch of the RADEON(TM) 9500 PRO, the world's first DirectX(R) 9.0 visual processing unit (VPU) for the performance mainstream market. In addition, ATI launched the RADEON(TM) 9500 and RADEON(TM) 9700 VPUs -all three products are derivatives of ATI's wildly successful and highly acclaimed RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO product, launched less than three months ago. These latest products complete ATI's family of VPUs, firmly establishing the company's lead in every market segment from value to enthusiast.

"We have accomplished a tremendous feat - one never seen before in the industry - by driving our high-end product features into the mainstream market while maintaining the lead in the enthusiast market," said David Orton, President and Chief Operating Officer, ATI Technologies Inc. "We are strongly positioned as 'the king of graphics.' Once again, we are leading the industry by being the first to drive DirectX 9.0 support into the mainstream, and offering high-end features to that market."

Microsoft's DirectX 9.0 is the platform for which many game developers are creating their new titles, and ATI's RADEON 9500 PRO is the only product on the market that allows performance mainstream users to access high-end DirectX 9.0 features - giving them a high-end gaming experience at a more affordable price-point. Driving DirectX 9.0 support into the performance mainstream means a larger market will have the ability to enable features programmed specifically for the DirectX 9.0 platform.

"We applaud ATI's continued support of Microsoft DirectX," said Dean Lester, General Manager of Graphics and Gaming Technologies, Microsoft Corporation. "ATI's new RADEON 9500 PRO hardware combined with the capabilities of the latest Microsoft DirectX 9.0 will provide gamers the most robust and immersive gaming experience available to date."

ATI's RADEON 9500 PRO sets a new standard for the performance mainstream with the introduction of DirectX 9.0 support, eight rendering pipelines, 275/550 clock speed, AGP 4X/8X compatibility and 128-bit memory architecture combined with 128MB fast DDR memory. The RADEON 9500, available exclusively through add-in-board partners, offers many of the same features with four rendering pipelines and 64MB fast DDR memory.

The third new product, RADEON 9700, will also be available through add-in-board partners. It features DirectX 9.0 support, eight rendering pipelines, AGP 4X/8X compatibility, 256-bit memory architecture, 128MB fast DDR memory, and clock speeds of 275/550.

Game developers around the world are thrilled by the RADEON 9500 PRO and the incredible features it offers to the mainstream. More importantly, users with a RADEON 9500 PRO, RADEON 9500 or RADEON 9700 card will benefit from the long-term use of DirectX 9.0, as the greatly anticipated platform will remain the most advanced on the market for a minimum of two years.

"This is awesome news, to see progress into the mainstream so quickly," said John Talley, Director of Technology, Ion Storm. "We're really excited to see next generation DirectX 9.0 graphics hardware brought into the mainstream, because it means that more people will be able to experience the full visual impact of our games as we push the envelope of current hardware capabilities."

The RADEON 9500 PRO has a suggested retail price (SRP) of $199, after manufacturer's rebate, and will begin shipping within 30 days. RADEON 9500 has an SRP of $179 and RADEON 9700 has an SRP of $299 -both are shipping now to add-in-board partners and should be available immediately. For more information on these and other ATI products, visit www.ati.com.

Oct 28 - IBM Scientists Build World's Smallest Operating Computing Circuits. IBM researchers have built and operated the world's smallest working computer circuits using an innovative new approach in which individual molecules move across an atomic surface like toppling dominoes.

The new "molecule cascade" technique enabled the IBM scientists to make working digital-logic elements some 260,000 times smaller than those used in today's most advanced semiconductor chips.

The circuits were made by creating a precise pattern of carbon monoxide molecules on a copper surface. Moving a single molecule initiates a cascade of molecule motions, just as toppling a single domino can cause a large pattern to fall in sequence. The scientists then designed and created tiny structures that demonstrated the fundamental digital-logic OR and AND functions, data storage and retrieval, and the "wiring" necessary to connect them into functioning computing circuitry.

The most complex circuit they built -- a 12 x 17-nanometer three-input sorter -- is so small that 190 billion could fit atop a standard pencil-top eraser 7mm (about 1/4-inch) in diameter. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter; the length of five to 10 atoms in a line.

"This is a milestone in the quest for nanometer-scale computer circuitry," said Andreas Heinrich, a physicist at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., and one of the lead authors of the research article published in today's online edition of Science Magazine, Science Express. "The molecule cascade is not only a novel way to do computation, but it is also the first time all of the components necessary for nanoscale computation have been constructed, connected and then made to compute. It is way smaller than any operating circuits made to date."

"Molecule cascades show how we are learning to harness the properties of very small structures," added IBM Fellow Don Eigler. "I was amazed at how rapidly we progressed from initial discovery to design and operation of functional circuitry."

This molecule cascade and the quantum mirage that Eigler and colleagues discovered two years ago are intriguing examples of novel nanoscale science and information-processing approaches that also yield new insights in the properties and interactions of atoms, molecules and surfaces.

Heinrich, Eigler and colleagues Christopher Lutz and Jay Gupta are continuing their exploratory research to find additional nanometer-scale computing systems based on the cascade mechanism.

More information on IBM's nanotechnology research projects can be found at www.research.ibm.com/pics/nanotech.

Oct 28 - Ericsson Announces Strategic Partnerships to Speed Up Public WLAN Access. Ericsson (Nasdaq:ERICY) chooses Agere and Proxim to jointly develop and supply telecom operators with complete end-to-end solutions for WLAN (Wi-Fi) access, integrating hot spot access with mobile 2G and 3G networks.

Local access to high-speed data (called WLAN or Wi-Fi) is an increasingly important service for users of handheld devices like laptops and notebook computers.

Ericsson believes that integrating indoor and Public WLAN "Wi-Fi hotspots" with mobile 2G and 3G networks is a winning business concept for the future.

The unique combination of the three undisputed leaders in WLAN-technology and mobile systems respectively will ensure that mobile operators get a leading edge in this fast growing market.

The new partnership brings new benefits to both operators and end-users. Ericsson's Mobile Operator WLAN enables operators to integrate WLAN with their existing 2G and 3G mobile business, reusing investments made in core infrastructure, subscriber management, billing and authentication.

"The operators can offer customers attractive value added service packages, combining the different features of both WLAN and mobile technologies, also creating new revenue streams from locally adapted content," says Torbjorn Nilsson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Business Development, Ericsson. "And since the solutions are based on standard mobile phone SIM-card technology, using public WLAN will be as easy to use as a mobile phone."

From the end-users point of view, it allows them to take advantage of WLANs at hotspots, and roam between cellular and WLAN networks. This is a part of Ericsson's "Always best connected" concept. It also means simpler handling, added security and cost control through unified billing.

Ericsson will tailor solutions for different emerging needs of both fixed line and mobile operators, based on open standards. They will include all necessary components like 802.11b modules, software and SIM technology provided by Agere, 802.11 compliant Access Points for 2,4 and 5 GHz bands provided by Proxim, and IETF/3GPP compliant Authentication Servers provided by Ericsson.

Visit Ericsson at www.ericsson.com.

Oct 28 - Samsung Announces 46 Inch TFT LCD for High Definition TVs. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the industry leading TFT LCD manufacturer, announced a 46-inch TFT LCD panel. The new 46-inch panel sets another milestone in the development of advanced TFT LCD technology.

The introduction of large size, high resolution and high performance TFT LCD panels greatly broadens the application market for these sophisticated flat panel solutions. Samsung's 46-inch TFT LCD panels features true motion picture quality with a short response time of 12ms, a 1280 by 720 high resolution, and a wide 16:9 aspect ratio that suits the key requirements for high definition TVs.

Samsung has also applied its proprietary Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA) technology to achieve a 170 degree-viewing angle in all directions. The true color saturation is 72% against the NTSC standard and the contrast ratio is 800:1.

Samsung demonstrated the 46-inch sample at the ground-breaking ceremony for the TFT LCD Module Line at Suzhou, China.

For more information, visit http://samsungelectronics.com.

Oct 27 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. System prices were difficult to compare as new systems were advertised. Vendors concentrated on advertising higher-priced desktops and laptops.

Laptops - Stores advertised higher-end models in the low-priced laptop category, high-end Pentium 4 laptops prices came down to reasonable levels. Amazingly in the high-end laptop category, the Toshiba 2.4 GHz laptop is underpricing many slower laptops.
Desktops - Most stores are now advertising the 1.7 GHz Intel Celeron complete system for $599, instead of the older 1.4 GHz Celeron. As the 1.7 GHz Celeron is potentially upgradeable to a Pentium 4, older 1.4 GHz Celeron systems should be avoided.
Prices were about the same as last week on Pentium 4 desktops, faster systems are starting to sell for $1000 or less.
The new Media Center PC that runs Windows XP Media Center made its appearance this week.
An AMD Athlon desktop faster than 2200+ was advertised for the first time, a Sony 2400+ complete system. AMD had better start producing their faster Athlons or they are going to miss Christmas.

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

BestBuy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $100-$150 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, and 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop packages and laptops.
Circuit City is giving away 3 months of free AOL on any in-store computer purchase. In addition they are offering 12 month no interest financing on all laptops, and desktop packages with Intel processors.
Office Depot has 12 month no interest financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 6 months no payments, no interest on purchases $199 and higher. They are also offering various instant trade-in rebates with purchase of new desktops, laptops, multifunction printers, PDAs, and digital cameras. See their online ad for trade-in rebate details or call your local store.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

New Oct 27 ** Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Celerons. The 1.7 GHz Celeron has replaced the 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons in the low-end retail market. As the 1.7 GHz Celeron is socket compatible with the Pentium 4, it is potentially upgradeable to faster Pentium 4 processors. The older 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons cannot be upgraded without a conversion kit.
Again, most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $600 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Laptops - AMD Duron, AMD Athlon 4, and Intel Pentium III laptops should only be purchased at significant discounts. These processors have been superseded by the newer mobile AMD Athlon XP+ and the Intel Pentium 4-M processors.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 12 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

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

Definitions. A 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
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.7 GHz complete system
$599
-
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system
$899
-$100
Best Buy, Circuit City
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz with DVD-RW complete system
$1399
-
Circuit City
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.53 GHz complete system
$1149
-
Best Buy, Circuit City
3. Best Windows XP Media Center
HP 2.53 GHz complete system
$1899
-
CompUSA
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
None Advertised
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Sony 2400+ complete system
$1199
-
CompUSA, Circuit City
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
-
Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba Celeron 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1249
-
Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
Sony Athlon XP 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1399
-
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1599
-$200
CompUSA
Peripherals
Worst Sunday Deal
Sony Pentium III-M 900 MHz Notebook with DVD/CD-RW
$1599
Should be under $1000
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 48x CD-RW

$49
(after rebates)

-
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum
$129 (after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony DVD+RW/CD-RW
$349
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
$129
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
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.

Oct 25 - Micron Technology Demonstrates High Density DDR-II Platform. Micron Technology, Inc., today announced it is demonstrating a DDR-II high-density server platform this week at JEDEX Beijing. JEDEX Beijing is October 23-25, 2002 at the Swissotel in Beijing, China. This is the first demonstration of a high-density DDR-II server platform in the industry.

"Micron continues to break new ground in DDR-II implementation," said Terry Lee, Executive Director of Advanced Technology and Strategic Marketing for Micron's Computing and Consumer Group. "We are extending our leadership in DDR-II enablement by demonstrating a platform with double the amount of DDR-II in the memory channel. This will be the first look server OEMs will have at a high-density DDR-II platform. Our server customers can use this evaluation platform to help design their own server solutions."

The high-density DDR-II platform uses Micron components and modules, as well as internally-developed memory controllers and signal analysis software. The DDR-II server platform is performing at 533 Mbps per pin and achieving a system bandwidth of 4300MB per second. "With this system, we have been able to characterize the DDR-II memory channel performance in a server environment," added Lee.

Micron is also demonstrating DDR-II, DDR400, and DDR333 computer systems. Micron is the only memory supplier to internally develop DDR system-level solutions and provide customers with the tools for high-speed system design.

To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit its web site at www.micron.com.

Oct 25 - 17" LCD From Hitachi Sets New Standard for Monitor Response Times. Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), has introduced a 17" LCD monitor that has almost twice the response time of any other flat panel monitor on the market.

This rapid response time makes Hitachi's CML174 ideal for gaming, animation, digital signage, multi-media driven applications or for general users viewing video over the World Wide Web. The CML174's rapid response time provides significantly smoother video and motion with reduced ghosting - finally making flat panel displays a viable option for many computer video and gaming users.

With a 12 millisecond rise and 4 millisecond fall time, the CML174 provides one of the best moving images of any LCD computer monitor. While optimized for gaming, animation and multimedia applications, all users could benefit from the improved performance.

"The average flat panel display has a pixel response time of 30 ms. Hitachi's new CML174 responds almost twice as fast as other monitors and significantly reduces the ghosting and jagged pixel effects common in most other LCDs. At this speed the CML174 opens new vistas of experience for the flat panel viewer," said Leslie Bishop, marketing communications manager of the Hitachi America, Ltd. monitor group.

Users in gaming and animation can now enjoy faster motion combined with the space savings features of LCD flat panel technology. The panel features an ultra slim 16 mm bezel on each side with an auto-adjust function for quick, beautiful image adjustments. The CML174 comes with 160 degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles as well as a pixel pitch of .264.

The new monitor delivers a 17" viewing area (388 x 270 mm). It provides inputs for 15-pin D-sub and DVI-D connectors for flexibility and superior images. It also delivers 260 nit brightness and a superior 400:1 contrast ratio with a prime recommended resolution of 1280x1024 at 75 or 60Hz.

PC & Mac compatible (some Macs may require an adapter) the CML174 weighs only 11 Lbs, including the base, with a panel-only depth of 2.4".

The TCO '99 or `95 approved CML174 complies with the world's strictest standards for low radiation, safety ergonomics and power management. It comes with a 3 year warranty and will begin shipping to Hitachi distributors around November 8th with an MSRP of $699.00.

More information is also available on the World Wide Web at www.hitachidisplays.com.

Oct 25 - LCD Monitors to Overtake CRT Monitors in 2004. DisplaySearch, a worldwide leader in flat panel display market research and consulting, released its 2002 LCD Monitor Strategy Report today.

DisplaySearch's LCD Monitor Strategy Report indicates that LCD monitors are expected to grow at a 49% CAGR from 2001 to 2006, reaching 113 million units and an 82% share of the desktop monitor market. LCD monitors are expected to overtake CRT monitors on a revenue basis in 2002, on a unit basis in 2004, outselling them more than 5 to 1 in 2006. Conversely, CRT monitors are expected to decline at a 24% CAGR per year to 22 million units and a 16% share.

Enabling this growth are significantly lower prices derived from nearly $40 billion in TFT LCD capital spending from 2000-2005 resulting in nearly 400% growth in TFT LCD capacity from 2001 to 2006. Also contributing to lower panel prices are the productivity benefits of 5th gen fabs, which are optimized for 17" and larger panel production, resulting in significantly lower display costs at larger sizes.

The average panel price per diagonal inch is expected to decline nearly 40% from $19 in 2001 to $11 in 2006. Blended LCD monitor prices are expected to fall at 13% per year with 19" LCD monitor prices expected to decline the fastest at 30% per year. As a result, the weighted average price difference between LCD and CRT monitors is expected to fall by 62%.

For more information visit www.displaysearch.com.

Oct 25 - New AOL 8.0 Sets Record With More Than 5 Million Downloads. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced that its new AOL(R) 8.0 is experiencing the fastest member adoption rate ever for an AOL software release. Only two weeks after it became available, AOL 8.0 has been downloaded more than 5 million times, surpassing last year's AOL 7.0 record, and has been used by more than 8 million AOL Screen Names.

The record-breaking launch builds on AOL's unmatched focus on consumers' online experience, and the Company's legacy of using extensive consumer research and member feedback to develop new features and services. The biggest AOL upgrade made available to date, AOL 8.0 contains more than 100 new and enhanced features, including:

-- Sweeping e-mail enhancements to help members deal with
unwanted e-mails, including a one-click "Report Spam" button
to notify AOL and block messages;

-- New self-expression features with animated Buddy Icons,
hundreds of Buddy Sounds, screen background themes, colorful
e-mail stationery, and wallpaper designs for instant messages;

-- New MatchChat(TM) and Chat Conversation Search features to
help members find people with similar interests within the AOL community;

-- Enhanced Parental Controls with at-a-glance settings that are
even easier for parents to customize and use, and a new AOL
Guardian(tm) feature that will allow parents to get a "report
card" of their kids' online activities;

-- Alerts & Reminders that members can receive about daily news,
updates, and personal reminders both online and on their
mobile phone or other wireless device;

-- Enhanced reliability through a new feature that will
automatically dial back and reconnect an interrupted session
and return members to the areas they were visiting;

-- New You've Got Pictures(TM) service that makes it easy for
members to find and share digital photos online, and more;

-- More convenient online shopping through a redesigned AOL
Shopping service that offers improved browse, search and
product comparison tools; and

-- New and more relevant online programming, with programs
running on a dayparted schedule, enhanced news coverage, more
entertainment features and exclusive previews of movies,
music, autos, books, new electronic devices and more.

The new version also introduced a distinct new online experience for members using broadband connections, including the added convenience of a Multiple Simultaneous Login feature that allows up to seven different Screen Names on the same AOL account to log in simultaneously through a single connection. Also available now is a new premium service, AOL(R) Call Alert, that lets members on dial-up connections know when they are receiving incoming telephone calls.

Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of America Online said: "With such a strong start and an average of more than 4.2 downloads a second, AOL 8.0 has really struck a chord among our members. The record adoption rate highlights the depth of AOL members' engagement in the service as a central part of their everyday lives. That engagement, which can also be seen in the more than an hour a day that members spend online with us, and the response to the new AOL 8.0, are what will drive our continued success across the board."

"We're a hit with the most important reviewers of all -- our members. Their response to AOL 8.0's new features has been overwhelming -- the new Buddy Sounds and Icons are an immediate favorite, MatchChat usage has skyrocketed with members generating almost 4 million entries daily, traffic has more than quadrupled to AOL's parenting community area with online safety information and AOL Parental Controls, and participation is surging in daily features like 'America's Pulse' where members can vote in polls and join discussions about news items.
" But this is only the beginning. We have a lot in the works at AOL and will keep the momentum going with a series of other enhancements that will launch soon for members," said David Gang, Executive Vice President, Product Marketing, America Online.

AOL members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can upgrade to AOL 8.0 at AOL Keyword: Upgrade now. Others can download the new version at www.aol.com.

Oct 25 - AOL Time Warner Reports Results for Third Quarter 2002. AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:AOL) today reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2002.

For the third quarter 2002, revenues increased 6% over the same period in 2001 to $10.0 billion. Subscription revenues climbed 13% to $4.8 billion, due to continued subscriber growth in the Company's America Online, Cable and Networks businesses.

Content and Other revenues grew 8% to $3.5 billion, led by the quarter's home video success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and strong theatrical results of Austin Powers in Goldmember. Advertising and Commerce revenues declined 12% to $1.7 billion, due to weakness in online advertising and difficult comparisons to last year as a result of the closure of the Warner Bros. Studio Stores, partially offset by improvements in advertising at the Networks and Publishing divisions.

EBITDA for the quarter totaled $2.2 billion, down 1% from 2001, due primarily to a decline at America Online, offset partially by double-digit EBITDA growth at the Company's Networks, Cable, Publishing and Music divisions, and an 8% increase at the Filmed Entertainment division.
Cash EPS for the quarter declined to $0.19 compared to $0.24 in the prior period, mainly as a result of increased depreciation. The EBITDA margin for the third quarter of 2002 decreased to 22%, compared to 23% in the third quarter of 2001, reflecting primarily declines in high-margin advertising revenues at America Online.

America Online

America Online's EBITDA declined 30% in the quarter on revenues that fell 7%.

Growth in America Online's Subscription revenues was more than offset by declines in Advertising and Commerce and in Content and Other revenues. Subscription growth continued to be strong, with revenues increasing 15%, as a result of membership growth in the US and Europe. Advertising and Commerce revenues decreased by 48% in the quarter, reflecting a reduction in the benefits from prior-period contract sales and continued softness in online advertising. In the Advertising and Commerce category, intercompany advertising was essentially flat. Content and Other revenues declined 63% to $67 million in the quarter, primarily as a result of the termination of the iPlanet agreement in 2001.

EBITDA results reflected the decline in high-margin advertising revenues, the end of the iPlanet agreement, and an increase in marketing expenses, which were offset in part by an improved performance at AOL Europe's operations driven by revenue growth and network efficiencies.

Earlier this month, the AOL service officially launched its next-generation software, AOL 8.0, which is focused on enhancing what members use and care about most - more convenient e-mail and instant messaging, more relevant content that's easily personalized for members' interests, easier and more powerful Parental Controls to keep children safe online, new tools to build online communities and an automatic reconnect feature to make the service more reliable than ever. AOL 8.0 has been downloaded a record-breaking 5 million-plus times in the two weeks since it has become available, and has been used by more than 8 million AOL Screen Names.

At September 30, the AOL service's worldwide membership totaled 35.3 million, including 26.7 million in the US and 6.1 million in Europe. The AOL service added 206,000 net members worldwide in the quarter, including 129,000 in the US and 148,000 in Europe. Elsewhere in the world, AOL membership declined by 71,000, due primarily to difficult economic conditions in Latin America and continued initiatives at America Online Latin America, Inc. (NASDAQ-SCM:AOLA) to better target higher value members. During the quarter, AOL members in the US spent an average of 69 minutes online per day, up from 64 minutes in the year-ago quarter.

In September, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, AOL Time Warner's network of Web properties drew an industry-high 94.8 million unique visitors, up 17% year over year, totaling 75.4% of all domestic online users.

For more information visit www.aoltimewarner.com.

Oct 24 - Philips Introduces World's First DVD+R/+RW Digital Video Recorder Design. Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI) today announced the launch of the world's first DVD+R/+RW reference design, which will enable DVD player manufacturers to introduce consumer electronics DVD+R/+RW recorders against competitive price points, quickly opening up the large volume market.

The design is based upon the Nexperia(TM) system solutions, and comprises the pnx7100 MPEG2 Audio Video Graphics CODEC announced in May 2002 and Philips' VAE8020 DVD+R/+RW video recorder engine. Philips' solution is industry proven and will comply in every way to the DVD+R/+RW standard.

"The DVD+RW format has the opportunity to penetrate the consumer electronics and PC markets rapidly. With the backing of major manufacturers in both arenas, rewriteable DVDs offer a true bridge between consumer electronics and PC electronics, unlocking the potential of both multimedia architectures," said Paul O'Donovan, Senior Analyst at Gartner Dataquest.
The key to penetrating the consumer electronics market is both price and ease of use. Philips' DVD+R/+RW reference design offers consumers both qualities through simply adding a recording button to the well-known DVD player interface and keeping costs at consumer levels.

"Philips' semiconductor division is the number one in DVD+R/+RW recorder chips. We were the first to market -- every DVD+RW in the world today is shipping with Nexperia -- And now we are the first company to offer a complete reference design for DVD+R/+RW digital video recorders," said Jeroen Keunen, head of consumer and multimedia at Philips Semiconductors in Asia Pacific.

"Due to the highest level of integration, our unique solution will enable DVD manufacturers to quickly participate in the fast-growing consumer DVD Recording market. Time to market is of the utmost importance and our solution will enable our customers to demonstrate their DVD+R/+RW Digital Video Recorders at the January 2003 CES Show in Las Vegas."

The DVD+RW software stack is under development together with leading members of the DVD+RW alliance, guaranteeing compliance to the DVD+R/+RW industry standard. DVD+R/+RW is the de-facto standard for DVD recording, developed and supported by leading companies in the PC and consumer electronics industry -- including HP, Dell, Microsoft, Sony, Thomson and Philips.
DVD+R/+RW is designed with end-user requirements in mind, offering unique features like highest picture quality (based upon variable bit rate technology), editing on disk and instant usability (no formatting or finalization is required). DVD+R/+RW is the rewriteable format that provides superior compatibility with existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Philips is located online at www.semiconductors.philips.com.

Oct 24 - NETGEAR Launches USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter. NETGEAR Inc., a worldwide provider of easy-to-use, high performance networking products at prices affordable to homes and growing businesses, today announced the launch of the NETGEAR FA120 USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 Ethernet Adapter.

USB 2.0 technology can transfer data at a rate of up to 480 Mbps, 40 times faster than the 12 Mbps maximum throughput rate of USB 1.1 technology.

The FA120, which further strengthens NETGEAR's award-winning portfolio of wireless, Gigabit, Ethernet and USB adapters, enables users to access the Ethernet network at the full 100 Mbps maximum of 10/100 Ethernet connectivity by removing the bottleneck created by the older USB 1.1 technology.

The FA120 enables network connectivity at up to 10 times faster than USB 1.1 through the hot-swappable USB port of a USB 2.0-capable PC to provide home and SOHO users with an easy-to-install, portable, high-performance Ethernet networking solution.

"As the availability of bandwidth becomes increasingly important in both home and business applications, USB 2.0 technology will experience tremendous growth through 2006," stated Brian O'Rourke, senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR.

"The introduction of NETGEAR's new USB Ethernet Adapter will serve to further drive the adoption of USB 2.0 by providing an adapter that brings high-speed networking to a new level of simplicity."

"With the launch of the FA120, NETGEAR is demonstrating its dedication to the networking needs of today's home and growing business sectors," stated Patrick Lo, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of NETGEAR.

"By incorporating the ultra-fast data transfer speeds of USB 2.0 into a hot-swappable, low-cost networking adapter, NETGEAR is once again making networking even easier by leading the industry in the introduction of an innovative, flexible, high-performance, easy-to-use networking solution."

The NETGEAR FA120 USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter is compatible with IEEE 802.3i 10BASE-T Ethernet and IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet standards and supports Microsoft Windows(R) 98, ME, 2000 and XP.

Backed by a three-year warranty and 24/7 technical support, the NETGEAR FA120 USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter will be available in October 2002, via retailers, direct marketers and e-commerce sites, at a list price of around $40.

For more information visit the company's Web site at www.netgear.com.

Oct 24 - In-Stat/MDR Announces Updated Outlook for Semiconductor Industry. In a presentation delivered at the Microprocessor Forum, In-Stat/MDR announced its most recent semiconductor industry forecast.

Christie Van Gaal, the high-tech research firm's senior director of content development, reported that, as predicted, 2002 has continued to be a corrective year for the industry and, is expected to finish on a rather flat note at a 0.l% increase over 2001.

Although a continued decline in service provider capital expenditure budgets and lack of growth in major portions of the WAN will constitute the bad news for 2003, strength in LAN and CPE segments will, in part, allow for solid growth during the second half of the year, setting the stage for very strong growth in 2004.
Overall, in 2003 the semiconductor market will see an estimated 18% increase to $164 billion and 2004 could be even more positive, with an estimated growth rate of 35%.

According to Van Gaal, "The communications market in particular really is a mixed bag, with some rather large pieces of this puzzle continuing to struggle throughout 2003." However, bright spots driving growth for the semiconductor industry will include significant LAN/CPE segments such as WLAN, DSL modems, LAN Telephony, and Enterprise Security Equipment.

To a lesser extent, LAN Switches will show moderate growth as will cable modems and NICs. Cellular handsets are forecast to experience solid revenue growth of about 13% in 2003. Smaller segments in terms of semiconductor consumption outside of computing and communications will also support forecasted growth.
The consumer market, led by digital video, digital audio, and video games, will exhibit continued strength as will the automotive sector, as semiconductor content continues to rise in all segments of the automotive industry, from lower and mid-range cars to luxury vehicles.

The presentation also revealed the following:

-- Asia Pac passed up the Americas in terms of size of market
during the 2nd quarter of 2001 and In-Stat/MDR does not expect
that trend to shift any time soon. In fact, semiconductor
sales to the Asia Pac are expected to finish 2002 with nearly
30% growth over 2001.

-- The Americas and the European market will be hardest hit in
2002, with projected declines of 12% and 13%, respectively.

-- The Japanese semiconductor market will exit 2002 with about a
5% decline, but will be poised for very good growth in 2003.

About In-Stat/MDR

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

Oct 24 - Car Industry Drives Bluetooth Into The Mainstream. Legislation prohibiting the use of handheld mobile phones in cars is spurring car manufacturers to fast-track the implementation of Bluetooth into the dashboards of many 2003 models.

Several car manufacturers, such as Saab, Ford, Volvo and Daimler Chrysler, have announced plans to integrate Bluetooth into the dashboard. A study by research firm Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) predicts that while just 1 percent of new vehicles will include embedded Bluetooth nodes in 2003, that number will swell to 19 percent by 2007. As a short-range radio frequency technology that carries both voice and data, Bluetooth provides a safe, hands-free and cordless option for making mobile calls whilst driving.

"The car industry has a lengthy development cycle with even the smallest design modifications taking years to appear on the showroom floor," said Nick Hunn, managing director of TDK Systems. "In the case of Bluetooth, however, all of the big players are moving mountains to make it happen by next year. It will go into the top-of-range models first but cascade into mid-range models by the year's end."

Nick Hunn explained the car industry's interest in Bluetooth by citing General Motors' research, which found that 70 per cent of all mobile calls in the US are made by people traveling in cars.

"The car manufacturers want a universal solution that will enable them to match all of the cable permutations for the various entertainment systems, communications devices and `toys' that people want in their cars," said Hunn. "They want a Bluetooth profile that supports voice and data and is interoperable with the many different Bluetooth-enabled handsets that are available today."

For more information about TDK Systems, visit www.tdksystems.com.

Oct 24 - DealTime Reaches Profitability On Record Third Quarter Results. DealTime(R) Ltd., the leading shopping search engine, today reported that it achieved profitability in the quarter ending September 30, 2002 on record revenues. The Company expects to be profitable and cash-flow positive for the year and to record more than $27 million in revenues, doubling revenues for the second year in a row.

Online retailers will spend $2.5 billion in 2002 to acquire customers, according to a calculation based on data from a Shop.org study by The Boston Consulting Group in association with Forrester Research. DealTime is expanding its share of this market with a scalable business that sends ready-to-buy shoppers to merchant partners while helping search and portal affiliates monetize their traffic.

"Our financial results demonstrate the value that DealTime delivers to consumers, merchants and traffic aggregators," said Dan Ciporin, DealTime's Chairman and CEO. "We have solidified the cornerstones of our business: distribution agreements with leading search engines and portals, a strong base of high-quality merchants, and a technologically superior shopping search engine."

Separately, DealTime announced that it recently raised nearly $3 million in a private equity placement from its existing shareholders. The Company will invest the funds to build on its technology and distribution leadership in the shopping search sector.

The number of unique visitors to DealTime has tripled over the past 12 months, making the Company the Internet's fastest growing shopping directory, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. DealTime is now a top 10 Internet shopping destination, with more monthly unique visitors than most online stores. The Company's rapid growth rate demonstrates that consumers are choosing shopping search engines to shop the whole Web at once and avoid the hassle of clicking on numerous links to find the information they need to make smart purchases.

Leading merchants, including Office Depot, Kodak, IBM and Eddie Bauer have made DealTime a key component of their online marketing strategy. "Custom-generated analysis shows that visitor to buyer conversion on DealTime referrals is significantly higher than that on referrals from well-known pay-for-performance general search engines and portal shopping channels," said Lisa Strand, Nielsen//NetRatings Director and Chief Analyst, e-Commerce. "DealTime gives shoppers the tools to do their research before clicking through to merchants. This allows DealTime to deliver highly qualified leads to its merchant partners that convert better to sales."

This proven ability to drive sales has helped DealTime grow its U.S. merchant base from approximately 300 merchants in October 2001 to more than 900 merchants today, including most of the leading online merchants. "DealTime is a top performing distribution partner for our clients, including numerous well known consumer brands," said Stuart Frankel, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer of Performics Inc, a leading performance-based online marketing services company. "DealTime has been instrumental in our ongoing effort to drive faster sales growth for our clients while lowering their customer acquisition cost."

DealTime has long-term contracts to provide outsourced shopping search services to leading portals including Lycos and AltaVista. The Company also has deep marketing alliances with leading companies in the search and pay-for-performance sector including Google, Overture and LookSmart. These relationships make it more convenient for shoppers to access DealTime when researching purchases, increasing the site's value to merchants.

"In difficult economic times consumers are even more likely to look for the most efficient and rewarding shopping experience. Merchants are also highly motivated to find a source of high-quality leads -- leads that are most likely to convert into sales," added Mr. Ciporin.

Oct 23 - ATI Demonstrates World's First Graphic Cards Powered by DDR-2 Technology. In a move that solidifies ATI's (TSX:ATY) (NASDAQ:ATYT) position as the world leader in defining and implementing the latest graphics technology, ATI engineers became the first to demonstrate a visual processing unit (VPU) powered by second-generation double-data rate (DDR) dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), known as DDR-2.

ATI also announced a DDR-2 variant for mobile graphics and mid-range desktop graphics, code-named DDR-2M, and demonstrated the technology working on a desktop graphics card. DDR-2M delivers DDR-2 performance with lower power consumption, reduced heat dissipation and simplified board design. ATI worked closely with Elpida Memory Inc to develop DDR-2M as part of ATI's ongoing commitment to moving technology innovation aggressively out to the masses.

Seen as a clear improvement on existing DDR DRAM technology that first arrived on the market in 1998, DDR 2 and DDR-2M follow and leverage the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council's (JEDEC) DDR-2 specification.
DDR-2 is the technological foundation for the eagerly anticipated third-generation DRAM for graphics (GDDR3) due out next year, an industry-wide initiative led by ATI. DDR-2 and DDR-2M are evolutionary DRAMs designed with the goals of improving high-end graphics performance, signal integrity and reliability while simplifying design.

"ATI is a leader in adopting and defining memory technology to advance and define tomorrow's visual reality," said Joe Macri, Director of Technology, ATI Technologies Inc, and Chairman, JC42.3 DRAM Committee, JEDEC. "With the RADEON 9700 PRO, ATI demonstrated that leadership by defining the GDDR3 spec and becoming the first to ship a VPU with a high-speed 256 bit memory interface, and that leadership continues today with the first DDR-2 and DDR-2M powered graphics boards."

ATI can be found online at www.ati.com.

Oct 23 - Cray Inc. to use AMD Opteron Processor for New Supercomputer. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the upcoming AMD Opteron(tm) processor based on Hammer technology is planned to power a supercomputer developed by Cray Inc. intended for nuclear weapon engineering simulations by the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.

Cray has been selected to develop the massive parallel processing supercomputer, code-named "Red Storm." The supercomputer is expected to be at least seven times more powerful than Sandia's current "ASCI Red" supercomputer on Sandia's 3D, full-physics simulation codes. The system is scheduled to be deployed in 2004.

The computer is expected to use more than 10,000 AMD Opteron processors and will have a theoretical peak performance of 40 trillion calculations per second or 40 teraflops. The AMD Opteron processor technology will provide 64-bit capability, advanced processing power, on-chip high memory bandwidth and high on-chip I/O bandwidth required for Sandia's simulations. It will also feature a simple building block approach with HyperTransport(tm) technology that will enable easy implementation, and reduce engineering, design and component costs for manufacturers.

"To have renowned institutions such as Cray and Sandia place their trust in us is a huge testament to AMD, and a tremendous endorsement of the upcoming AMD Opteron processor," said Marty Seyer, vice president of Server Business for AMD. "The architectural advantages of the AMD Opteron processor allowed us to meet the stringent processor design requirements for a world-class supercomputer. This win validates the importance of 64-bit computing for scientific research, and demonstrates AMD's credibility in the high performance computing market."

"It is exciting to see new innovative high performance computing designs enter the marketplace. The combination of 10,000 AMD Opteron processors; Cray's design and integration skills; plus Sandia's HPC experience creates a new approach to building multi-Tflop/s supercomputers. AMD's collaboration with these two leaders will help raise the bar for high performance computing innovation, and speaks well to AMD's growing capability in delivering solutions for this market," said, Earl Joseph II, IDC HPC research director.

About the AMD Opteron(tm) Processor

The upcoming AMD Opteron processor based on Hammer technology extends AMD's long, rich history of semiconductor solutions based on customer-centric innovations. It will provide simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit capability, a smooth migration path from 32- to 64-bit technology, investment protection and a lower cost of ownership. The AMD Opteron processor is designed to deliver high-performance server and workstation solutions for today's most demanding enterprise applications. It will provide beneficial technology to the enterprise by innovating with open standards, compatibility and businesses' best interests in mind.

Key AMD Opteron processor innovations include an integrated memory controller, which reduces memory bottlenecks, and HyperTransport(tm) technology, which increases overall performance by removing or reducing I/O bottlenecks, increasing bandwidth and reducing latency. The AMD Opteron processor is scheduled to be available in the first half of 2003.

For more information about AMD visit www.amd.com.

Oct 23 - Fujitsu Introduces New Thin & Light S Series Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today introduced the latest in its award-winning line of LifeBook(R) S Series notebooks.

This no-compromise notebook packs a fast Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor 1.2GHz - M and an unprecedented 60GB hard drive(1). Yet it still retains the same impressive design and dimensions users have come to expect.

Measuring just 11.5 inches wide by 9.3 inches deep by 1.36 inches high and weighing only 4.5 pounds, the LifeBook S Series notebook was among the first to incorporate a modular bay into a "thin & light" form factor and remains a trend-setting addition to the LifeBook family. The notebook's built-in modular bay accommodates a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, DVD, CD-ROM, floppy disk drive, second bay battery or weight saver module for maximum versatility while its brilliant 13.3-inch XGA TFT display and large keyboard provide excellent usability.

"Business professionals and commuters alike will appreciate the attention to detail and commitment to bringing `truly mobile' solutions to market," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation.

Integrated WiFi(TM)-compliant wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) capabilities, in addition to its existing modem and Ethernet ports, offer mobile professionals connectivity in any type of computing environment. The notebook also features two USB 2.0 ports and an IEEE 1394 port enables transferring large digital files in seconds.

For an added level of security while on the road, Fujitsu has incorporated a built-in Smart Card Reader and a pre-boot data Security Panel. The pre-boot data Security Panel supplies more than 800,000 possible passwords to ensure the proper user's data will be safe and secure. The built-in Smart Card Reader provides users a wide range of applications, such as secured online transactions, personalized authentication services, access to personal data and "e-cash" storage options.

To simplify IT managers' inventory control and lower the cost of ownership of their IT assets, the LifeBook S Series notebook's modular devices are cross compatible with LifeBook P2000 and LifeBook E Series notebooks. Users can carry the particular LifeBook notebook that suits their individual needs and share less often used devices, such as floppy disk drives or second bay batteries, with coworkers.

A lightweight, one-click port replicator is also a popular accessory for mobile users. This feature expands the number of ports available and allows the user to achieve better cable management.

Pricing starts at $1,499. It can be purchased through Fujitsu retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

Oct 23 -Best Buy launches new vpr Matrix Laptop. Best Buy is expanding its vpr Matrix computer line with a wide-screen, audio-enhanced notebook designed by Porsche Design GmbH, the Austrian firm founded by F.A. Porsche, grandson of the legendary engineer. The vpr Matrix 200A5 made its first public appearance on Thursday, Oct. 17, during a special event at the Porsche Design Boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills attended by F.A. Porsche himself and entertainment luminaries including Anthony Edwards and Herbie Hancock.

Designed with multimedia enthusiasts in mind, the 200A5 is the first-ever Wintel notebook to feature a 15.2-inch LCD display with a wide-aspect ratio. It also includes 24/192 digitally upsampled sound, a technology previously available only on the highest-end audio equipment.

"This notebook has the distinctive angular look created by Porsche Design for the vpr Matrix line, but its beauty is more than just skin deep," said Steven Lee, Best Buy's vice president of strategic development. "As with our desktop models, we've worked hard to deliver the newest possible technologies to our customers and have paid attention to even the smallest details. The result is a notebook that will satisfy even the most demanding audio and videophiles."

This wide-aspect screen ratio, with a 1280x854 native resolution, gives users an ideal system for entertainment applications such as viewing full-length DVD movies. The Sonopur(TM) Digital Audio system, with its patent-pending 24/192 processing circuitry, dramatically enhances all digital music sources and offers rich, audiophile-grade sound that can deliver a home audio entertainment experience through external speakers and high-end headphones. This technology is packaged in a lightweight magnesium case that makes the 200A5 a serious home theater system on the road.

Starting the week of October 21st the notebook will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores, online at BestBuy.com and at Porsche Design Boutiques in the U.S., which are located in Beverly Hills, Orange County, and Aspen, Colorado. It will sell for approximately $2,399, and will take its place alongside two other vpr Matrix notebooks currently available at Best Buy--the 170B4 and the 180B5.

For more information visit www.bestbuy.com.

Oct 23 - Canon Announces MultiPASS F20 All-in-1. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) today adds to its line of desktop flatbed multifunction products (MFPs) a new model guaranteed to catch the eyes of college students, home users and small-office customers on a budget.

The new Canon MultiPASS F20 is a workhorse in a compact, stylish package, offering high-quality printing, scanning and copying at a competitive price. As with its larger companion products, the MultiPASS F80 and F60, the new MultiPASS F20 model also features the added convenience of a photo card slot so digital camera enthusiasts can create beautiful borderless prints using Canon's patented Advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology.

The Canon MultiPASS F20 has the right combination of features to produce most popular family and student projects, ranging from super-sharp printing of letters, web pages and incredible color photos. Based on Canon's S330 printer engine, the MultiPASS F20 can print at speeds of up to 14 pages-per-minute (ppm) for black-and-white and 10 ppm for color, based on letter-size output.

The MultiPASS F20 creates crystal clear photo-quality prints with a color resolution of up to 2400 x 1200 dpi, due to a 5-picoliter-droplet size and Canon's Advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology. This revolutionary ink ejection process separates and ejects prescribed-volumes of ultra-fine ink droplets from a high-density multi-nozzle head with precise accuracy, delivering fast, brilliant printed images.

Rounding out the needs of the home office user, the MultiPASS F20 can also copy and scan. The F20 copies letter-size black-and-white documents at speeds of up to 14 copies-per-minute (cpm) and color documents as fast as 10 cpm. The MultiPASS F20 can reduce or enlarge originals from 25% to 400% in 1% increments. Scanning employs Contact Image Sensor (CIS) technology, with color optical resolutions of up to 600 x 1200 dpi or 9600 dpi (interpolated).

Canon's new MultiPASS F20 uses the BCI-24 system of two ink tanks, with one tank for black and one tank for color. The unit employs a full-speed USB 2.0 interface and supports Windows XP/Me/ 98/2000 operating systems. The MultiPASS F20 unit includes a one-year limited warranty with Instant Exchange.

The Canon MultiPASS F20 will begin shipping in late October to retailers nationwide at a suggested "street" price of $249.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

 

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