Oct 14 -Harman Multimedia Improves Laptop Audio
Performance. Harman Multimedia, a worldwide leader in branded
multimedia audio solutions, today introduced a breakthrough 2.1
audio system (integrated satellite speakers and subwoofer), available
only on Toshiba's newest laptop series, the Satellite 5205-S503.
This series of laptops is the first Toshiba portable
to feature an internal 2.1 speaker system under the legendary Harman
Kardon brand name.
The Harman Kardon audio system in Toshiba's Satellite
5205-S503 creates an unprecedented level of bass performance. With
bass response as low as 100 Hertz, the new Harman Kardon audio solution
produces an additional octave of bass compared to competitive laptop
To place in perspective, the frequency of the "middle
C" on a piano is 256 Hertz, a frequency not typically produced
by other laptop computers. Given the strong bass response of the
Harman Kardon system, the new Toshiba laptop is able to reproduce
low-frequency sounds including drums, bass guitar, and synthesizers.
"The Harman Kardon system in Toshiba's Satellite
5205-S503 produces high-fidelity, high-performance audio previously
unimaginable in portable computing," said James A. Druckrey,
president of Harman Multimedia. "Our proprietary Harman Kardon
audio system provides an unparalleled sound experience."
"Harman Kardon's audio solution provides Satellite
5205-S503 users a new level of sound quality enhancing multimedia
applications such as DVD playback and computer gaming," said
Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide
product planning, Toshiba Computer Systems Group, a division of
Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. "The audio solution
from Harman Kardon further illustrates Toshiba's leadership in combining
rich multimedia features to create a mobile experience that goes
beyond simple computing."
Pricing and Availability
The Toshiba Satellite 5205-S503 is available now through
www.shoptoshiba.com, and Toshiba's
retail distribution channels including computer superstores and
consumer electronic stores.
Oct 14 - Toshiba Drives
Wireless Laptop Mobility. Extending its leadership in the mobile
computing industry, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today
announced it will offer PCS Vision service from Sprint (NYSE:FON/PCS)
along with the PCS Connection Card(TM) by Novatel Wireless (Merlin
Coupling Toshiba's mobile products with the enhanced
Sprint Nationwide PCS Network and the PCS Connection Card by Novatel
Wireless (Merlin C201) allows the mobile workforce to further enhance
their wireless capabilities. Customers may select from a variety
of service plans designed to fit any business need.
Leveraging its industry-leading strengths in mobility,
Toshiba's offering joined with Novatel Wireless and Sprint allows
business customers to access e-mail, the Internet, corporate databases
and other corporate communications on their Toshiba notebooks when
they are mobile anywhere on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network.
"Our relationship with Novatel Wireless and Sprint
is a significant part of Toshiba's mobility strategy aimed at keeping
our customers connected and productive wherever they are on the
enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network," said Oscar Koenders,
vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning,
"Whether accessing corporate applications or
sending and receiving e-mail while waiting for a flight, the combination
of a Toshiba notebook with the PCS Connection Card by Novatel Wireless
and PCS Vision service from Sprint is a powerful productivity package
that ultimately impacts the bottom line."
Slightly larger than a credit card, the Merlin C201
PC Card is designed to operate on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide
PCS Network, offering mobile users high-speed wireless data access
up to 144 Kbps, with average speeds of 50 to 70 Kbps. With 2-way
wireless WAN, it redefines the way the mobile workforce stays connected.
"The launch of PCS Vision from Sprint has been
a catalyst for increased wireless use and adoption, while Toshiba
has a clear leadership position in mobile computing, and is the
largest supplier of laptops worldwide," commented Peter Leparulo,
senior vice president, CDMA operations of Novatel Wireless.
"We are pleased to be a leading supplier to both
of these companies, as we all share a commitment to providing best-in-class
mobility solutions to businesses and individuals nationwide."
Pricing and Availability
Toshiba's corporate enterprise customers can purchase
the PCS Connection Card by Novatel Wireless (Merlin C201) at a suggested
retail price of $249 and also choose from four primary PCS Vision
service plans ranging from $39.99 to $119.99 a month. The offer
is open to both existing and potential Sprint and Toshiba business
Oct 14 - Marvell Introduces
Gigabit Ethernet Controller Chip for Desktops. Marvell(R) (Nasdaq:MRVL),
a technology leader in the development of extreme broadband communications
solutions, today introduced its Yukon(TM) Gigabit Ethernet controller,
offering OEMs "future-proofed" 10/100/1000 plug-and-play
PC network connections.
The Yukon product is the first desktop solution in
the industry to incorporate advanced cable diagnostics by incorporating
Marvell's Virtual Cable Tester(TM) (VCT) technology. VCT enables
IT managers to easily identify cabling issues with pinpoint accuracy,
thus significantly reducing network deployment and maintenance costs.
In fact with VCT, deploying Gigabit Ethernet is now more cost-effective
than deploying Fast Ethernet.
The Yukon product is optimized for 32-bit PCI clients,
and is the world's first single-chip Gigabit Ethernet PCI product
in a 128-pin LQFP package. With the lowest pin count for such a
device, the Yukon product minimizes board space, simplifies signal
routing and reduces the number of required PCB layers, resulting
in the most cost-effective motherboard and low profile NIC implementation
on the market today.
"After completing millions of unit shipments
of Gigabit Ethernet devices, Marvell brings high-integration, high-volume
economics to 10/100/1000 LOM/NIC implementations, and makes triple
speed the logical choice for new desktop network connections. As
a result of this cost-effective product offering, Marvell makes
choosing Gigabit Ethernet an easy decision for OEMs by allowing
them to standardize on a reliable, plug-and-play, triple speed client
network connection," stated Ali Khan, Marvell's NIC/LOM Product
Marketing Manager for the Communications Business Group.
"The natural evolution of technology suggests
that soon every PC will come standard with 10/100/1000, completing
the transition of Gigabit to the desktop. With the addition of our
single-chip Yukon device to our broad portfolio of Gigabit-based
PHY and switch products, Marvell is now the industry leader in providing
the most complete and robust Gigabit solution from the client to
the switch," Khan further stated. "Our solution will enable
OEMs to standardize on Gigabit Ethernet in all PCs."
MSI may be contacted at www.marvell.com.
Oct 14 - Remwave Inc. is
Starting Mac2Phone.com for OS X. - San Diego-based Remwave Inc.
launched its Mac2Phone.com service.
Now the Mac community can make free phone calls between
Apple computers running the Mac OS X operating system or to PCs
running the buddyphone software (www.buddyphone.com).
"With mac2phone.com we have launched our support
and commitment to the OS X platform. As a perfect system for Java
applications we see huge opportunities in developing for OS X,"
said Nikolai Manek, CEO of Remwave Inc.
More information and the downloadable software are
Oct 13 - Sunday Shopping
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 were
all priced over $2000 so we didn't bother to list them. AMD Athlon
XP laptops dominated our low-price laptop category.
Desktops - Intel Celeron prices were about the same, a 2.4
GHz Pentium 4 desktop made it into our low-end category for the
first time, and Pentium 4 high-end desktops were about the same
as last week. AMD Athlon desktops were only advertised by one of
the 5 stores we monitor.
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 mail-in rebates on all AMD 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
AMD processor laptops and Intel Pentium 4 desktop packages.
has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over
CompUSA is offering 6 months
no payments, no interest on computer system purchases $799 and higher.
Staples has $150 instant savings on
any desktop package.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made
by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
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
If you choose the $700 Celeron/Duron system to save a few bucks,
keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace
Note on the "Loaded Celeron" Intel
Celerons at speeds of 1.7 GHz or faster are potentially upgradeable
to Pentium 4 processors. Slower Celerons are not socket compatible
with the Pentium 4.
These faster Celeron systems are more like a low end Pentium 4 system
as they often include: 400 MHz bus speed, DDR RAM, CD-RW or DVD
drives, and flat screen monitors.
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
11 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
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the
computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges
(if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain
store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better
Caution about advertised
prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print
of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what
it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system
with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Compaq 1.4 GHz complete system
1. Best Low-cost
Compaq 2.0 GHz complete system
2. Best Low-cost
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz complete system
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD+RW
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Athlon XP System
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1400+ with DVD
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.8 GHz Pentium 4-M with DVD
3. Best Low-cost Notebook
Sony Athlon XP 1600+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Sony Athlon XP 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Roller Coaster Tycoon (available Tuesday)
Best Sunday Deal
All-in-Wonder Radeon 8500 128 MB DDR
Best Sunday Deal
PNY GeForce4 Ti 4400
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 40X CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
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 11 - HP and Microsoft
Announce HP Media Center PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Microsoft Corp.
(Nasdaq:MSFT) today announced the HP Media Center PC with Microsoft(R)
Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition.
The HP Media Center PC is powered by Microsoft Windows
XP Media Center Edition, which turns a PC into a media center that
integrates digital entertainment experiences -- including live television,
personal video recording with free electronic program guide, digital
music, digital video, DVDs and digital photos -- with the freedom
of remote control access.
"With its combination of PC power and entertainment
features, the HP Media Center PC is an ideal choice for consumers
looking to purchase a PC as a holiday gift," said Sam Szteinbaum,
North America vice president of consumer products, HP Personal Systems
Group. "It's like giving a PC and all your home entertainment
center components in one."
The HP Media Center PC is ideal for digital media
enthusiasts and consumers, such as teenagers, college students,
young adults and families, who want to use their PC for entertainment
and digital media in small, space-constrained environments. Featuring
a sleek black and chrome design, the new HP Media Center PC will
have a six-in-one media card reader on its front panel for quick
and easy transfer of digital data, outstanding sound quality, and
photo and home movie creation and editing software.
Powered by Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processors, the HP
Media Center PC allows users to enjoy the digital entertainment
capabilities of the newest member of the Windows XP family. Building
on the stability of Windows XP and its easy-to-use digital media
tools, Windows XP Media Center Edition introduces the new Media
Center user experience. Media Center will serve as a unified destination
for entertainment on the HP Media Center PC and is designed to be
viewed from anywhere in the room.
"Windows XP Media Center Edition represents the
arrival of a new type of home computing experience, and Microsoft
is excited to be working with such broad-reaching retailers to bring
consumers media center PCs that will offer them more freedom, more
fun and deliver even more value in their everyday lives," said
Mike Toutonghi, vice president of the Windows eHome Division, Microsoft.
Expected to be available by the end of October, the
HP Media Center PC will have an estimated U.S. street price starting
at $1,399. Additional information on the HP Media Center PC is available
Windows XP Media Center Edition is an edition of Windows
XP that is available only on a new Media Center PC. Because of the
special hardware features of a Media Center PC, Windows XP Media
Center Edition is available only on Media Center PCs manufactured
by Microsoft's PC manufacturer partners. For more information about
Media Center PCs, see the Windows
XP Media Center Edition system requirements.
Oct 11 - Motherboards with
SiS Chipsets May Be Banned from Sale in US. From VIA Technology
Forum in Taiwan and Beijing today, industry analyst, Dr. Jon Peddie
of Jon Peddie Research files the following report that the potential
impact from the SiS-USB-ITC injunction could have a devastating
effect on any possible year-end recovery in the tech market and
the effects may be felt well into Q1, 2003.
Taiwan is shaking, this time not from an earthquake--but
from motherboard pile-up. During VIA Technology Forum, word spread
like wildfire in this gossip-ridden town about the SiS-USB-ITC injunction.
When SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems Corp.) announced
construction of an 8-inch fab in April 1999, it let it be known
it would stop using the services of UMC (United Microelectronics
Corp.). Although that in itself might have been cause for a disagreement
with regard to fulfilling contracts, UMC, which has a reputation
for playing hardball, filed suit in the U.S. District Court of San
Jose in December, 2000 alleging SiS recruited some of UMC's engineers
and infringed its intellectual properties. SiS was also alleged
to have violated strict nondisclosure agreements as well as agreements
not to compete with UMC.
By February 2001, The U.S. International Trade Commission
(ITC) voted to investigate whether Silicon Integrated Systems Corp.
was violating two patents owned by United Microelectronics Corp.,
the world's No.2 silicon foundry.
And so it ground on through the courts and ITC, until
this week. On October 9, 2002, UMC announced it had won a ruling
against SiS by the ITC. In a Notice of Final Determination and Issuance
of Limited Exclusion Order issued in Washington DC on October 7,
2002, the ITC ruled that SiS is manufacturing products using a patented
UMC process in violation of United States law. The Limited Exclusion
Order directs the U.S. Customs Service to bar the entry of all SiS
products made with the infringing process into the United States.
Infringing SiS chipsets and graphics chips, and all
motherboards containing infringing SiS products, are to be barred
from importation into the United States immediately following the
law-mandated 60-day period for Presidential review of the decision.
During this review period, infringing SiS products may be imported
into the United States only if a bond is posted with the U.S. Customs
Service in the amount of 100% of product value for each chipset
and graphics chip, and 39% of product value for each motherboard
containing those products. If the ITC's decision stands after the
60 days have elapsed, infringing SiS products will be barred from
importation or sale in the United States until the year 2017.
SiS said it partially disagreed with the determination,
and has adopted a new manufacturing process to manufacture redesigned
products for import to the U.S. Therefore; asserted SIS, the production
and product shipments will be unaffected, and there will be no impact
on customer supplies and imports to the U.S. For its part, SiS claims
the ITC upheld only one of the 29 complaints brought before the
ITC by UMC.
Just the same, posturing aside, SiS parts and SiS-based
motherboards are not coming to the U.S for at least 60 days, plus
there are already shipments backed up due to the West Coast port
shut down. And, even though West Coast dockworkers headed back to
work under court order Wednesday, they face a huge backlog of cargo
that built up over 10 days but could take more than two months to
clear. All that means no SiS-based motherboards or chips will touch
U.S. distributors' warehouses until maybe next March!
Jon Peddie Research can be found online at www.jonpeddie.com.
Oct 11 - Component Index
Remains Flat for 4th Month in Row. Electronic component orders
remained flat in September for the fourth month in a row, according
to the monthly index provided by the Electronic Components, Assemblies
& Materials Association (ECA).
Although weekly orders experienced small gains during
the month, it did not significantly change the overall index, which
is mirroring activity from the second half of last year.
"Most manufacturers saw minimal growth in overall
sales, but not enough to signal an upward trend," says Bob
Willis, ECA president. "Companies with diverse product offerings
and those that sell to niche markets reported more substantial improvement.
There is cautious optimism in some commodity markets as unit sales
improve, but the continued pricing pressures in the passive components
marketplace has kept revenues flat."
The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials
Association (ECA) represents manufacturers and producers of passive
and active electronic components, component arrays and assemblies,
and materials and support services. For more information, visit
Oct 11 - Survey Finds E-Mail
Displacing Postal Mail as Customer Communication Channel. Tumbleweed(R)
Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:TMWD), a leading provider of secure
messaging applications for businesses using the Internet, today
released the results of the company's recently conducted survey
on enterprise information security.
The survey, conducted between July and September
of 2002 by NFO Prognostics, a global leader in IT customer research
and consulting, garnered responses from over 750 IT and business
professionals representing 9 vertical industries, including financial
services, insurance, healthcare and government.
The survey found that 68% of respondents feel e-mail is an important
customer communications channel, where only 60% valued postal mail
as an important way to communicate with customers. The telephone
was listed as the most important customer communications vehicle,
with 86% listing it as important.
"The convenience, cost savings and immediacy
of e-mail has made it a more popular customer communication method
than postal mail," said Jeff Smith, co-founder, chairman and
chief executive officer of Tumbleweed Communications. "But
before organizations can take full advantage of the cost savings
and enhanced responsiveness offered by e-mail, they must provide
an e-mail channel that is as private as a phone conversation. Similar
to phone-based communication, the secure e-mail solution deployed
needs to be universal in order to maximize the adoption rate."
In related findings, respondents listed customers
as the number one group they need to protect e-mail communications
with (84% feel it's important; 56% say "very important"),
and 89% regard protection of customer privacy during e-mail discussions
Tumbleweed can be found online at www.tumbleweed.com.
Oct 10 - Berlin Airports
Adopt Face Recognition Security System. ZN Vision Technologies
AG recently secured an order for another major project: Berlin airports
are to be fitted with biometric equipment.
The access control system ZN-Face, developed by the
Bochum specialists for face recognition, will be used for protecting
security areas at Berlin airports, starting at Tegel airport.
Berliner Flughafengesellschaft mbH pushes for actions
to install biometrics in airports: ZN-Face offers the solution to
significantly improve airport security concepts around the world.
Just recently, the pilots' organization Cockpit criticized that
still not everybody is checked when seeking access to security areas
at German airports.
By installing ZN-Face at Berlin airports this critical
gap will be closed in the security concepts.
ZN-Face ensures that sensitive airport areas can be
restricted to authorized and registered personnel only. Every person
seeking access to an area protected by ZN-Face has to verify himself
or herself via an automated face recognition terminal.
Potential threats posed by criminals who often succeed
in entering high security areas by means of a suitable disguise
(pilot and general work uniforms, cleaning utensils) are ruled out
effectively: Unlike the sole use of identification card-based control
systems so far operated at Berlin airports, ZN-Face provides a reliable
biometric check in addition to current systems.
The individual's face characteristics are stored on
a smart card while ZN-Face will compare and verify the card information
with the face readings at each access station. Compared to systems
with identification cards only, faces can neither be "exchanged"
nor "stolen." Deception is almost impossible, not even
by changing the person's appearance with a beard, wig or glasses.
While security was the most important factor for Berlin
airports, other criteria contributed to the decision for ZN-Face,
in particular the requirements for efficiency, possible integration
into other systems, user acceptance and a proven technology. The
system enables a multi-layer administration of access rights for
every airport employee while the system is working completely independent
ZN Vision Technologies AG can be found on the Internet
Oct 10 - Kivera Launches
Bluetooth-Enabled Vehicle Navigation System. Kivera today announced
its automotive navigation system based on Bluetooth(TM) technology,
which allows automotive manufacturers to provide customized navigation
and point-of-interest content, as well as compelling services such
as dynamic trip rerouting via the driver's existing Bluetooth-equipped
Eliminating the need for bulky in-vehicle navigation units and costly
dedicated wireless subscriptions, the Kivera system utilizes the
end-user's existing wireless account, freeing automotive manufacturers
from the drawbacks typically associated with in-vehicle navigation
systems and giving mobile operators a new service offering from
which to draw revenues.
"As mobile networks evolve, and consumer demand
for connected telematics applications grows, automobile manufacturers
are presented with a dilemma: how best to meet the needs of multimedia
delivery, while avoiding the end-user costs associated with traditional
telematics applications," said Clay Collier, CEO of Kivera.
"By eliminating the need for a dedicated in-vehicle wireless
connection, Kivera's Bluetooth-enabled vehicle navigation system
presents automakers with a ground-breaking and affordable telematics
Until recently, the only available in-vehicle wireless
applications relied on embedded mobile phones connecting the end-user
to an operator. Not only do these applications limit the breadth
and quality of services available to motorists, their high monthly
subscription fees lead many users to abandon service after their
initial term of service. With the Kivera Bluetooth-enabled vehicle
navigation system, auto manufacturers are able to deploy an advanced
telematics solution, unencumbered by separate charges to the end
Additionally, by offering functionality such as in-vehicle
navigation via a wireless connection, the Kivera Bluetooth platform
presents mobile carriers with the opportunity to increase total
network deployments and average revenue per user.
In research sponsored by the Bluetooth Special Interest
Group (SIG), Zelos Group LLC predicts that the use of Bluetooth
wireless technology in automobiles will result in cumulative incremental
mobile operator revenues of $270 million by 2006.
In releasing the research Seamus McAteer, principal
analyst at Zelos Group noted, "Bluetooth provides the capability
for an ideal universal car kit." McAteer went on to say, "Many
automotive manufacturers are beginning to incorporate Bluetooth
wireless systems into their vehicles, which we feel will quickly
turn into more cell phone use by the consumer and more revenue for
the service provider. We expect that Bluetooth wireless technology
will eventually become as ubiquitous as car stereos in automobile
Using the end-user's existing wireless service account
to download content, the Kivera Bluetooth solution requires neither
a hard-wired in-vehicle wireless device, nor a monthly subscription
fee. Using a graphical user interface (GUI), the end-user simply
selects a map, driving directions, or point-of-interest information
(e.g., movie listings, nearby restaurants, etc.) to be displayed.
The Kivera-powered vehicle navigation system then establishes a
connection with the end-user's Bluetooth-enabled wireless device,
contacting a Kivera Traffic Server and downloading the information
requested, along with a map of the vehicle's general area, and traffic
conditions specific to the vehicle's location. Once this information
is received, the navigation system automatically terminates the
wireless connection. Adding to the solution's convenience, users
can save frequently traveled routes (e.g., commutes).
Working with the Kivera Traffic Server, the Kivera
Bluetooth navigation system can deliver dynamic rerouting instructions,
based on live traffic delays and other conditions which may impact
travel time. Additionally, making use of a global positioning system
(GPS) antenna, the system is capable of tracking a vehicle's progress,
enabling the system to alert the driver if the vehicle strays from
a suggested route. The system requires no in-vehicle storage (e.g.,
DVD- or CD-based systems), and uses a thin client application compatible
with an automobile's embedded systems (including Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
CE and Wind River(TM)).
For more information, visit www.kivera.com.
Oct 10 - Rambus Reports
September Quarter Earnings. Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS) today
reported financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended September
30, 2002. Earnings per share for the September quarter were 6 cents,
compared to 6 cents in the same period last year and 6 cents in
the previous quarter.
Net income for the September quarter was $5.9 million (24% of revenues),
compared to $6.5 million in the same period last year and $5.9 million
in the previous quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $24.5 million,
down 12% over the same period last year and up 3% from the previous
"In this economy, we think modest sequential
revenue growth while maintaining profitability is a very good outcome,"
said Geoff Tate, CEO of Rambus Inc.
September quarter results include $23.2 million in
royalties, down 7% over the same period last year and up 5% from
the previous quarter. Royalties were up sequentially for SDRAM and
DDR memories and memory controllers and royalties were up sequentially
for RDRAM memory and memory controllers.
Operating expenses in the September quarter increased
$0.9 million from last quarter as a result of an increase in litigation,
sales and marketing costs. Costs associated with litigation were
$2.8 million in the September quarter versus $2.4 million in the
prior quarter. Litigation costs were down $4 million when compared
to the same quarter last year. Overall, operating expenses were
$17 million versus $16 million last quarter and $19.6 million in
the comparable period last year.
Earlier today, the Rambus Board of Directors authorized
the repurchase of up to an additional 5 million shares of the Company's
stock in open market transactions effective immediately and over
an indefinite period. This authorization is in addition to the 1.1
million shares of the Company's stock that remain authorized for
repurchase from the last authorization. The Company repurchased
3.9 million shares in fiscal 2002.
Rambus is the leading developer and marketer of breakthrough
chip-to-chip interface technology, products and solutions to the
electronics industry. The company licenses its technology in the
form of ASIC cells that are incorporated into high-performance memory
and logic chips by 25 of the world's top semiconductor makers. The
company's ASIC cells and system-level solutions are incorporated
into hundreds of OEM products such as personal computers, workstations,
video game consoles, network routers, HDTVs and set-top boxes.
More information on Rambus can be found at www.rambus.com.
Oct 10 - High Technology
Down by 113,000 Jobs for the First Half of 2002. A study released
today by AeA shows the nation's high-tech industry fell by 113,000
jobs, or by two percent, for the first six months of 2002. The study
is based on recently released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
"This new report captures the downturn of the
tech industry," said AeA's president and CEO William T. Archey.
"We are, however, cautiously optimistic as the latest monthly
drop between May and June 2002 shows a decline of just 700 jobs
-- by far the smallest drop over the last year and a half. This
was also the second consecutive month of decline in the loss of
"Furthermore," Archey noted, "software
services rebounded by gaining 3,000 jobs during the first half 2002."
High-technology manufacturing employment had the
largest decline, falling by 58,000 jobs during the first six months
of 2002. Electromedical equipment was the only manufacturing sector
to gain employment, jumping by 1,600 jobs during this time.
High-technology services employment also fell over
the first six months of this year. Not surprisingly, communications
services shed 36,000 jobs, while software and computer-related services
declined by 18,700 jobs. Software services, by itself, as noted
above, was the only services sector to gain jobs during the first
half of this year.
Contact AeA at www.aeanet.org.
Oct 09 - IBM ThinkPad Turns
10. The ThinkPad -- a sleek, black box of a notebook introduced
in 1992 -- started a revolution in notebook computers. In just ten
years, it has become the most well-recognized and longest-lasting
brand of notebook computers.
Over the past ten years, the ThinkPad has gone from
weighing almost seven lbs to less than four lbs...from 120MB to
1GB memory capacity...from not having wireless access to offering
three separate wireless access capabilities... yet one thing has
remained the same. The ThinkPad has always stood out for its innovative
design and functionality. So innovative was the design, the ThinkPad
has since been selected for the permanent collection of New York's
Museum of Modern Art. And along the way has sold more than 15 million
units while taking home more than 950 industry awards.
The first-ever ThinkPad -- In 1992 IBM launched the ThinkPad
line with the introduction of the ThinkPad 700.
The name "ThinkPad" came from the small, paper notebooks
embossed with IBM founder Thomas Watson Sr's one-word slogan,
"Think," and carried by employees for decades.
The first ThinkPad sold for $4350, weighed 6.5 lbs and had
a 120 MB hard disk drive. The ThinkPad 700's bright red pointing
stick - the trackpoint - embedded in the keyboard, enabled
the notebook to be used on an airline tray table without a
The most recent ThinkPad -- In August 2002, IBM launched
its latest ThinkPad, the x30.
IBM redefined what innovation was for PCs when it introduced
a combination of IBM-patented power management technology
and a unique design to stretch battery life to eight hours.
Weighing just 3.6 lbs, it offers hard disk drives that come
in 20 and 40 GB capacities, while standard memory size is
128MB or 256 MB, with 1 GB capability. Prices start at $1999.
Visit IBM on the Web at www.ibm.com.
Oct 09 -Toshiba Introduces
New Satellite 5205-S503 Notebook PC. Toshiba's Computer Systems
Group (CSG) today announced the Satellite(R) 5205-S503 notebook
PC, featuring enhanced performance and the new customizable Toshiba
Style Bay(TM) for users who demand additional flexibility and multimedia
Consumers can take advantage of the new Toshiba Style
Bay, which will accept a second hard disk drive, second battery
pack bridge, media adapter or optical media drive, for added performance
and customized flexibility. The bridge media adapter provides the
capability to easily receive, retain and move data from all types
of digital information and software by a variety of digital systems,
including Memory Stick(R), CompactFlash(R) and Smart Media(TM).
Uniting powerful performance with high-end digital
capabilities, the Toshiba Satellite 5205-S503 notebook PC offers
gamers, multimedia enthusiasts and small- to medium-sized business
users a premium portable package. Viewing digital content, whether
it's DVD movies, digital photos or gaming programs, is enhanced
with the all-new NVIDIA(R) GeForce4(TM) 460 Go graphics processing
unit (GPU) with 32MB VRAM, Harman/Kardon(R) stereo speakers with
a built-in subwoofer, Dolby AC3 digital port and a crisp 15-inch
diagonal SXGA+ display.
"Toshiba enables users to enjoy the best computing
experience by offering products that feature high performance, enhanced
graphics and multimedia capabilities, large displays and mass storage
-all in a mobile form factor," said Oscar Koenders, vice president
of product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG.
"The Satellite 5205-S503 is designed for serious work and serious
play, satisfying both entertainment and business needs."
Toshiba Satellite 5205-S503 Notebook PC: For Serious
Work and Serious Play
The new Satellite 5205-S503 notebook PC delivers on
Toshiba's commitment to the mobile computing community to integrate
the latest technology at attractive prices. Continuing to provide
users with the most powerful mobile computing products, the Toshiba
Satellite 5205-S503 offers the Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor-M,
2.0GHz, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition, 40GB(a) hard disk
drive, 512MB RAM (expandable to 1024MB), three USB 2.0 ports and
optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) connectivity.
In addition, the Satellite 5205-S503 notebook PC series
features a remote control, for power on/off, volume up/down, suspend/resume,
CD/DVD and other keyboard functions. The remote control conveniently
fits into the weight saver that comes with the Toshiba Style Bay
for easy storage and quick access.
The Toshiba Satellite 5205-S503 notebook PC is available
for $2,199 direct via www.shoptoshiba.com
and Toshiba's retail distribution channels including computer superstores
and consumer electronic stores.
Oct 09 - NVIDIA Offers
Family of AGP 8X GPU and Core Logic Solutions. NVIDIA Corporation
(Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions,
introduced the industrys first and only comprehensive family
of AGP 8X-based products. Based on Intels AGP 3.0 specification,
NVIDIA now offers an extensive range of top-to-bottom graphics processing
units (GPUs) and platform processors for next-generation digital
media, gaming, and business PC platforms.
NVIDIAs AGP 8X product line-up, which includes the NVIDIA®
GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP 8X and the GeForce4 MX 440 with
AGP 8X desktop GPUs, as well as the new nForce20 platform processors,
forms the technology foundation for the worlds most advanced
AGP 8X is the foundation of the new world of
PC computing, said Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing
at NVIDIA. By offering the industrys only top-to-bottom
AGP 8X product family, we are able to provide robust AGP 8X solutions
delivering increased graphics performance. Our GPUs are the most
complete implementation of the AGP 8X specification and are used
as the reference hardware for AGP 8X.
AGP 8X doubles the graphics bandwidth of the AGP interface
to 2.1 gigabytes per second (GB/sec.). This keeps data hungry GPUs
fed with the information necessary to render high frame rate, high
fidelity, and real-time graphics.
NVIDIA has been a defining force in graphics
technology for many years, and the input we incorporated from NVIDIA
ensures that this new industry standard specification meets the
needs of their future graphics architectures, said Jason Ziller,
Technology Initiatives Manager at Intel Corporation. As graphics
technology continues to progress at a rapid pace, we will soon see
an influx of workstation-class applications and 3D games with stunning
visuals. AGP 8X is the next big step to make sure Workstations and
PCs can handle the massive amount of data that those applications
Todays fast-paced fly-through applications
and games will see significant improvements in overall performance
due to the doubled AGP 8X speed. By combining the performance and
scalability of AGP8X GPU and a high performance 128MB DDR frame
buffer; the GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP 8X GPU delivers more than
two times the graphics performance of competitive products.
Support for AGP 8X extends beyond the GeForce4 family
of desktop GPUs and into all the motherboard designs based on NVIDIAs
highly anticipated nForce2 core logic products. By featuring AGP
8X, NVIDIAs nForce2 platform processors help reduce system
bottlenecks, allowing for increased system performance and stability.
A variety of new platforms featuring NVIDIAs
AGP 8X products will be introduced from the following PC OEMs:
4MBO International Electronics AG
Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC)
Add-in cards and motherboards based on NVIDIAs
AGP 8X product line-up will be introduced from the following NVIDIA
PNY Technologies, Inc.
For more information, visit the companys Web
site at www.nvidia.com.
Oct 09 - Sharp Introduces
New 18.1'' LCD Monitor. Sharp Systems of America, a division
of Sharp Electronics Corporation has announced a new LCD desktop
monitor based on the award winning design of the flagship LL-T1820.
"The LL-T1820 has been a phenomenal success for
Sharp, with its innovative 10-bit gamma capability setting new standards
in true color reproduction. The new LL-T1815 flat panel monitor
builds upon this design excellence, with a focus on features and
capabilities for demanding business applications," explained
Greg Nakagawa, senior vice president and general manager of Sharp
Systems of America. "With the new LL-T1815, we would like to
demonstrate not only that Sharp can innovate for the high-end, but
that we are also conscious of our customers who require the best
performance value for their dollar."
The Sharp LL-T1815 is a lower cost version of the
award-winning LL-T1820. It features an excellent 30 ms response
and super-wide display angles of 160 degrees both horizontally and
vertically. With a slim bezel width of only 17 mm, the LL-T1815
is ideal for multi-monitor applications while its dual inputs (one
DVI-I and one analog) permit the most flexible configuration in
new and existing installations. Furthermore, its ability to pivot
to the portrait mode reduces or eliminates scrolling for page-oriented
applications thus improving productivity. Integrated stereo speakers
round out the rich feature set. The LL-T1815 is available in black
or white for an estimated street price of $1099.
About Sharp Systems of America
Sharp Systems of America, a division of Sharp Electronics
Corporation, markets, sells and supports LCD monitors and notebook
computers. Products are available through Sharp's network of authorized
dealers and resellers. More information can be found at www.sharpsystems.com.
Oct 08 - Intel Extends
Pentium® 4 Processor Platforms With Four Advanced Chipsets.
Intel Corporation today delivered four new desktop chipsets that
bring advanced levels of performance, reliability and flexibility
to PC users who demand a richer digital media, gaming and broadband
The enhanced Intel® 850E chipset and the new Intel
845GE, 845PE and 845GV chipsets are available in PCs starting today.
All of these chipsets will support Intel's groundbreaking Hyper-Threading
(HT) Technology**, which enables software programs to run as though
there are two processors available with only one processor physically
in place. HT Technology will be introduced later this year on desktop
PCs with the Intel Pentium® 4 processor at 3.06 GHz.
"We're very proud of these new chipsets,"
said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's
Desktop Platforms Group. "Not only will they dramatically enrich
a PC user's experience today; they also provide the platform foundation
for our upcoming HT Technology, which can deliver up to 25 percent
more performance for many mainstream consumer and business applications."
The enhanced Intel 850E chipset now supports dual-channel
PC 1066 RDRAM* memory, delivering the highest-performing Pentium
4 processor-based platforms, which allow consumers to enjoy a richer
PC experience with broadband audio and video content, games, music,
photos, and movies.
The Intel 845GE chipset includes an increased 266
MHz graphics clock speed for its Intel® Extreme Graphics engine,
a fast 533 MHz or 400 MHz system bus, and - for the first time in
volume - DDR333 main memory support. These new features provide
new levels of integrated graphics performance, delivering a better
graphics experience for everyday PC users.
The Intel 845PE chipset, combined with the Intel Pentium
4 processor, delivers the advantages of DDR333 memory and AGP4x
support for a flexible and high-end discrete graphics solution.
"Our customers know that when we add a new memory
capability such as DDR333 support, they can, with confidence, take
their products to market in volume," said Burns. "With
PC1066 and DDR333 memory, we worked closely with memory suppliers
to update the specifications and conducted exhaustive compliance
testing. In addition, we have 2,500 people dedicated and spend more
than $300 million a year to make sure that Intel's new platforms,
as well as chipset and CPU functions and features, are fully validated
and work as specified."
The new Intel 845GV chipset offers DDR266 main memory
capability and 533 MHz or 400 MHz system bus, providing support
for a range of Pentium 4 and Celeron® processor frequencies.
The new 845 chipsets utilize high-speed system buses
to maximize throughput capabilities of the Pentium 4 processor.
The chipsets include six integrated, Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus
(USB) 2.0 ports, enabling high-bandwidth connectivity across a variety
of peripherals to allow for fast downloads of digital music, photos
and video files with up to 40 times more bandwidth than USB 1.1.
PCs equipped with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 capabilities are easier to use
and expand, allowing users to quickly and easily add peripherals
to PCs. The new 845 chipsets also come with enhanced AC' 97 audio
implementation with dual independent DMA audio engines for improved
sound quality and new audio usage models.
Intel also provides its chipset customers with the
Intel® Application Accelerator software package, designed to
deliver additional Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) performance
and provide headroom for future hard disk drives. Improved I/O transfer
rates and faster operating system loads enable additional performance
and accelerated boot times over native IDE drivers.
For computer makers and system integrators, Intel
also announced availability of six desktop boards: ATX form factor
Intel desktop boards D845GEBV2, D845PEBT2, D845PESV and D850EMVR,
and smaller micro-ATX form factor Intel desktop boards D845GERG2
Pricing and Availability In 1,000-unit quantities,
the Intel 845GE chipset is priced at $37. In 1,000-unit quantities,
the Intel 845PE chipset is priced at $34. In 1,000-unit quantities,
the Intel 845GV chipset is priced at $28. The Intel 850E chipset
with 1066 RDRAM support in 1,000-unit quantities is priced at $40.
Systems and motherboards with these chipsets are currently shipping
in volume from a variety of computer and motherboard manufacturers
Additional technical information on these chipsets
is available at http://developer.intel.com/design/chipsets.
Oct 08 - Dell Introduces
Two New Dimension Desktops. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced
two new Dimension(tm) desktop computer systems designed to provide
customers faster performance for high-end applications such as video
editing and 3-D gaming.
Both the Dimension 4550 and 8250 systems feature integrated
Ethernet connectivity and new wireless networking options to accommodate
the growing number of consumers migrating to broadband or implementing
"Our customers are increasingly using their desktop
systems as the center of their digital lifestyle. Whether customers
use them to manage digital music or photo libraries, create digital
videos or play the latest 3D games, these new systems bring a higher
level of performance," said Tim Mattox, vice president of marketing
for Dell's Client Product Group.
Dell offers a wide range of peripherals for high-end
gamers, including the ATI Radeon(tm) 9700 PRO graphics card as an
option on both the 4550 and the 8250. One of today's most advanced
3-D graphics cards, the 9700 PRO provides up to twice the performance
of the previous generation of consumer graphics cards, especially
at high resolutions.
For customers needing wireless desktop access in their
home or small business, Dell offers its new TrueMobile(tm) 1184
wireless router and wireless USB adapter. Both of these 802.11b-certified
devices work seamlessly with Dell's wireless-enabled notebooks.
The USB adapter offers simple external connectivity through a USB
port, so customers can use wireless desktop connectivity without
opening the chassis. The TrueMobile 1184 router, which also includes
four Ethernet ports, sells for $129, while the wireless USB adapters
are $69 each.
The Dimension 4550 and 8250 use the same expandable
minitower chassis, which provides for up to two 3.5-inch external
drives, up to two 5.25-inch external optical drives, and up to two
internal hard drives. The Dimension 4550 chassis features two front-accessible
USB 2.0 ports for connecting devices like MP3 players or digital
cameras and four USB 2.0 ports in the back. The Dimension 8250 features
eight USB 2.0 ports.
For $869, the Dimension 4550 features a 2.4GHz Intel(R)
Pentium(R) 4 processor, 128MB DDR-333 SDRAM memory, a 20GB hard
drive, a CD ROM, a 15-inch (14-inch viewable) monitor and Windows(R)
XP Home. For $1,379, the Dimension 8250 includes a 2.66GHz Intel
Pentium 4 processor, 256MB PC1066 RDRAM(R), a 40GB hard drive, a
16x DVD, a 17-inch (16-inch viewable) monitor and Windows XP Home.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained
Oct 08 - ``Rogue'' Online
Pharmacies Threaten Consumer Health. Every day consumers are
putting their health at risk by buying prescription drugs such as
Viagra and Propecia at "rogue" online pharmacies.
Hundreds of disreputable Web sites have emerged selling
prescription drugs without a valid prescription order. In some cases,
controlled substances are available via the Web. Some sites blatantly
advertise that no prescription is required. In other cases, the
consumer is told to respond to a brief questionnaire and then a
"doctor" provides a prescription for the requested drug,
which is then mailed to the consumer.
The illegal Web pharmacies bypass not only regulatory
safeguards, but also the safeguards that are inherent in a legitimate
doctor-patient relationship. Consumers obtaining medications from
so-called "rogue" pharmacies place their health at risk.
Foreign Web sites pose added problems. They often
advertise that they can deliver the same prescription drug the consumer
buys in the U.S., but at a lower price. In reality, many of these
drugs may be counterfeit, contaminated, and sub potent medications.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented a personal
importation policy allowing consumers to import small quantities
of specific medications, unrestricted personal importation is illegal
and can be dangerous.
An argument can be made that the reason consumers
shop at "rogue" pharmacies is because of the rising cost
of prescription drugs. Over 3 billion prescriptions are filled each
year, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the cost of prescription
drugs increased 16 percent last year. With costs of some drugs in
hundreds of dollars, an increasing number of seniors are forced
to choose between their daily meals or their prescription drugs.
Ironically, seniors can shop at a reputable online
pharmacy such as drugstore.com (Nasdaq:DSCM) and save up to 30 percent,
which is often less than what the rogue pharmacies charge.
Oct 08 - SONICblue Introduces
New Rio Portable Digital Music Players. SONICblue(TM) Incorporated
(Nasdaq:SBLU), makers of the number one best-selling brand of portable
MP3 players, today unveiled the latest players in Rio's new line
of portable digital music players, the Rio(R) S50 and S35S sport
player. Designed to be the ultimate portable digital music players,
the S50 and S35S offer users memory, features, and unique designs
unmatched in today's market.
The new Rio S50 is the ultimate digital music player.
With 128 MB of built in memory, the S50 gives users up to four hours
of continuous music listening. Plus, the S50's memory is upgradeable
to 256 MB, giving users the ability to store even more of their
favorite music. In addition to its sizeable memory, the Rio S50
comes loaded with useful features including a large backlit screen,
a clock and stopwatch, an integrated FM tuner, a useful carrying
case and an impressive battery life of up to 35-hours.
Designed to meet the needs of today's athlete, the
S35S combines a sleek new design and a rugged, durable shell, with
the memory and features of a powerful digital music player. Made
to withstand the rigors of an extreme workout, the S35S lightweight
design allows users to easily strap the player to their arm during
workouts and its sturdy construction and rubberized shell makes
the player strong and durable.
The S35S features 128MB of built in memory giving users up to four
hours of continuous music listening and is easily upgradeable to
256 MB. The S35S also contains a long list of features, including
a large back lit screen, clock and stopwatch, integrated FM tuner,
and an adjustable armband.
Both players support MP3 and WMA formats and, as with
all of SONICblue's Rio flash memory players, the S50 and S35S are
compatible with both PC and Mac(R) computers and ship with customized
software for each platform.
The new Rio S50 player ($179.99 MSRP) and Rio S35S
player ($199.99 MSRP) will be available soon on SONICblue's eStore
(www.sonicblue.com) and in retail
outlets throughout North America.
Oct 08 - T-Mobile and
Sierra Wireless Introduce `Global Ready' Wireless PC Card. T-Mobile
USA, Inc., a leading innovator in wireless voice and data solutions
for the enterprise, today expands its business product portfolio
with the addition of the global ready Sierra Wireless AirCard(R)
With an AirCard 750 and a laptop or PDA, customers
can get information anytime with wireless connectivity up to 56
Kbps using T-Mobile's nationwide GSM/GPRS voice and high speed data
network covering more than 8,000 cities -- the largest network of
its kind. Today's announcement represents the first U.S. release
of Sierra Wireless' highly anticipated AirCard 750.
Unique to the AirCard 750 is the built in capability
to access voice and high-speed data networks in North America today,
as well as European networks in the coming months making it the
ideal solution for international business travelers.
T-Mobile is introducing this new wireless PC Card in preparation
for its upcoming global GPRS data roaming launch in Europe with
T-Mobile International and other carrier partners. T-Mobile is in
the final testing phase and plans to offer GPRS data roaming for
the AirCard 750 and other T-Mobile data devices in Europe by the
end of the year.
Businesses and International business travelers will
find the AirCard 750 invaluable for accessing data when they're
on-the-go using T-Mobile's global network. Mobile users no longer
have to rely on their office or home PC, or frantically struggle
to find connection jacks in unfamiliar locations. The AirCard 750
allows users with VPN client software to get full corporate email
access, in addition to POP3 and Web email.
About the size of a credit card, the AirCard 750 is
easy to set up on a laptop or PDA with an available PCMCIA slot
or expansion pack. AirCard 750 users will be delighted by its high-performance
and improved battery life, a result of tighter integration with
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) operating systems. Its implementation as
a true network interface card, will appeal to the mobile professional
who can now work wirelessly at speeds comparable to a land line
The AirCard 750 is priced at $349.99 with a $50.00
rebate on qualified data plans through T-Mobile. Additionally, the
company's stand alone data plans offer 20 cents a minute voice calls
that include free roaming and long distance in U.S. for professionals
who prefer two devices but want to make the occasional phone call
while their laptop or PDA is powered on.
Starting today, the AirCard 750 is available at T-Mobile
stores nationwide, authorized T-Mobile dealers, and online at www.t-mobile.com.