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NEWS, ETC.
April 2002

Tuesday, 30 April 2002

IT Salaries Drop First Time In 10 Years - Survey. IT managers saw their salaries decline by 8 percent and staffers took an 11 percent cut...

Hynix Board Kills Micron Deal. The board unanimously decided not to accept the proposed restructuring plan. A memorandum of understanding between the companies for the acquisition has now expired.

Worms--Who's the Deadliest of Them All? The latest fast-spreading versions of the Klez worm have so far infected more than 7 percent of PCs worldwide...

AMD Accelerates 0.13-micron Process to Pave Way for Hammer MPUs, says Sanders

Google Challenges Yahoo. Of all search referrals worldwide, 36.35 percent come from Yahoo, while Google trails close behind with 31.87 percent.

Vishay has Sequential Growth in Sales and Profits. Improving demand in several of the company's strategic markets, including notebook computers, cellular phones, game consoles, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics sectors, was prompting the company to increase production capacity.

Hubble's New Camera Delivers Breathtaking Views of the Universe. First four images unveiled.

Monday, 29 April 2002

Going Ultra Wideband. Ultra wideband (UWB) technology could be the next big thing in wireless.

Apple Unveils the eMac. An all-in-one computer similar to the original iMac, but built around a 17-inch flat-screen monitor.

File-Swapping Sites Multiply Despite Legal Tangles. The number of peer-to-peer (P2P) sites totals nearly 38,000, up 535 percent in the past year.

X-Ray Detects Black Hole Whirling Space Around It

Saturday, 27 April 2002

Semiconductor Alert! Commentary & analysis of week's chip news, April 22-26. Sharp has come up with a next-generation "very smart" card that integrates 1 megabit of flash memory, a 16-bit core processor, and a dedicated crypto-processing unit. Now that's a lot of power!.. Fairchild Semi order rate best in more than 2 years...

Friday, 26 April 2002

Economy Grows at Sizzling 5.8 Percent Rate in First Quarter. The economy grew at an inflation-adjusted 5.8 percent annual rate, the best performance in more than two years. Forecasters are now predicting a somewhat more modest gain of 3 percent to 4 percent in the current quarter.

Big Blue Chips Power-up 'Fast Path'. IBM plans to endow its Power5 and Power6 processors with an ability called "Fast Path" to take over tasks that software currently handles more slowly.

Klez Worm Rating Upgraded as Spread Continues. Antivirus software vendor Symantec said it has received more than 3,000 reports a day on the worm. Home users are taking a bigger hit than business users.

Microsoft Patches E-mail Editing Hole in Outlook. A security vulnerability that could affect users of Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook 2000 and 2002 e-mail clients who use the company's Word application as an e-mail editor has been patched. More info and fix.

Thursday, 25 April 2002

Intel Responds to AMD by Disclosing New 64-bit Processor with 500 Million Transistors. Intel disclosed the first public details of its code-named Madison product, a 64-bit processor, based on a 130-nm process technology. Madison is a 500-million transistor chip with 6-megabytes of cache. Also, McKinley now called Itanium II.

Microsoft Yanks Office Tools After Security Report. The latest versions of Microsoft's Office Web Components (OWC) can enable malicious Web sites or e-mails to perform several attacks.

AOL Time Warner Posts Massive Net Loss. The world's largest Internet and media company, on Wednesday posted a $54.2 billion net loss, the largest ever U.S. quarterly net loss, after taking a whopping charge to reflect the decline in the value of its assets.

Wednesday, 24 April 2002

AMD Announces “AMD Opteron” As Brand for Next-generation Server and Workstation Processors.
The desktop version of Hammer is due out in the last quarter of this year will have a variation of the Athlon brand name. Tomorrow, AMD will demo hammer with a development version of Windows .net server software with Hammer 64-bit instructions and a 32-bit version of Windows XP.

AMD to Announce Microsoft Support for New Chip Family. A source close to the company [AMD] said that AMD will announce Microsoft's support with a 64-bit version of Windows that will run on AMD's Hammer chip line. The first chips in the Hammer family, code-named ClawHammer, are due at the end of the year, for the desktop market. AMD is also expected to unveil the brand name of its new chip line...

Intel's Big Water Means Big PC Change. The next two years are going to see significant changes in the way that PCs are designed, according to Intel executives speaking at this week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taipei.

Journey to the Internet's Unknown Regions. Experts estimate that the "surface Web" contains 1 billion to 2 billion documents, while the "deep Web" could contain as many as 550 billion. Put another way, the surface Web contains about 19 terabytes of information, while the deep Web contains about 7,500 terabytes.

Hubble Uncovers Oldest "Clocks" in Space to Read Age of Universe

Tuesday, 23 April 2002

Forget Laptops, the Folding Screen Lands in Korea. A new paperback-sized computer screen that folds like a book will be ideal for Internet users reading online novels.

A Server Just Right for Small BizSun Microsystems' new Qube 3 is simple to run and quite affordable.

AMD to Answer 64-Bit Question Tomorrow

Intel Tries To Whip Up A Buzz

Samsung Phone Doubles as a Digital Camera

Monday, 22 April 2002

Intel Survey Reveals Laptop PC Users Don't Like To Leave Home Without It - And Use It For Anything, Anywhere, Anytime. 81 Percent Use Laptop PCs While Watching TV; One in Four People Describe Their Laptop as Their "Prized Possession."

Gates Takes Stand in Antitrust Trial. Microsoft's chairman argues that complying with the proposed remedies would be largely "impossible."

Will AOL Go The Way Of The Model T? Is Robert Pittman following in Henry Ford's footsteps? If so, that may not be good news for AOL Time Warner shareholders.

Fast PCs: Maxed-Out Architectures? Speed bump time has hit the PC world once again, with the release of the AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (running at 1.733 GHz) and the Intel Pentium 4 jumping to 2.4 GHz. What difference does a couple hundred megahertz make in this gigahertz era? Answer: Not all that much.

Diagonal IC Interconnects Clear Lithography Hurdle, Says ASML. Successful fabrication of test structures on wafers from 0.18-micron design data, using diagonal interconnect lines vs. the traditional right-angled interconnects employed in most commercial chip layouts...

Micron Signs Deal to Buy Hynix Memory fabs for $3.2 Billion. Micron Technology Buys Toshiba's Virginia DRAM Unit.

Lucent Posts 8th Straight Loss, Sees More Cuts

The Mysterious Memory Effect of Rechargeable Batteries

Saturday, 20 April 2002

Semiconductor Alert! (April 15-19) Commentary & analysis of week's chip news. I'll miss Jerry Sanders; Will AMD miss him too? This was the big week for first quarter earnings and Wall Street liked what they heard from chip makers. A gaggle of companies reported an upturn in their business from the previous quarter...

World's Fastest Computer Now Japanese, Report Says. A Japanese laboratory has built the world's fastest computer, one with the computing power of the 20 fastest U.S. computers combined...

Top 15 Notebook PCs

Dataquest: Dell Big Winner in Q1 PC Shipments

SiS Obtains 533MHz FSB Technology Licensing From Intel

Friday, 19 April 2002

A PC In Your Pocket? OQO's Ultra-Personal Computer crams processor, memory, battery and storage into a package the size of a paperback novel.  OQO's web site.

Samsung Rides Higher DRAM Prices To Record Profit. Rising DRAM prices and tight supplies of LCD panels powered Samsung Electronics Co. to a quarterly profit of $1.45 billion, its biggest ever.

Gateway Reports Quarterly Loss On Lower Sales. Still, Gateway sales of $992 million were half their year-ago level of $2 billion, though they surpassed expected revenues of $978 million as it sold 645,000 units in the quarter.

Worldwide PC Market in 'Low Tide' as Shipments Fall 9% in Q1 Over Q4

Wait Till It Breaks Before Upgrading Say PC Buyers

Shuttle Atlantis Returns After Successful Mission

Updated: Dell Using Non-Standard ATX Power Supplies Since 1998 and Is Now Using Non-standard Form Factor Motherboards

Thursday, 18 April 2002

AMD to Phase-out Duron Processors This Year. Athlon will be outsourced to UMC... Ruiz said even as the PC Claw Hammer and high-end Sledge Hammer processors ramp up to dominate the AMD processor line in the coming years, "there will still be a good market for Athlon" for some time to come.  Good readAMD Takes Athlon On The Road, Drops Duron.

HP Refreshes Desktop PC Lineup. The company introduces several new PCs, including a pair based on AMD's Athlon XP processor and some systems with a chassis in dark blue and gray.

NVIDIA and Keyhole Partner to Bring You the World in 3D. EarthViewer 3D transforms the way people receive and use geospatial information by delivering to PCs with an Internet broadband connection a three dimensional model of planet Earth... From April 22 to May 5, NVIDIA will host a limited online promotion, giving 10,000 consumers up to a two-week trial of the EarthViewer 3D program. In addition, those who download the trial version will have the chance to win a Toshiba notebook...

NVIDIA Drives Development of New PCI Express Graphics Interface

The Coming Battle for DVD-Burning Dominance

DSL Growth In U.S. Falls Behind Asia-Pacific, Europe

How Our World Could be Turned Upside Down

Nanotubes In Epoxy Beef Up Epoxy's Heat Conductance

Wednesday, 17 April 2002

Global Warming? At 14:18 (2:18 PM) it was 94F/34.4C, or 37F above the official average of  57F  here at my home in Sanford, Maine, U.S.A.   The official reading may break the 92F record set in 1962.

AOL dumps IE for Netscape. AOL has come one step closer to re-igniting the browser wars of the 1990s by including the Netscape browser in its latest set of software for CompuServe users at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Teaming Up To Beat Cable. SBC and EchoStar are joining forces to 'provide an alternative,' just a diplomatic way of saying 'We're out to get them.'... SBC, looking for a TV offering to pair with its DSL, and EchoStar, a TV offering looking for a broadband Internet service, are a perfect match. Combined, the two can offer what alone they have been unable to accomplish.

U.S. Robotics Doubles Wi-Fi Speeds. Wireless LAN products hit 22 mbps, retain backward compatibility with other 802.11b devices.

AMD Launches Mobile Athlon XP

Hydrogen Found in Earth's Crust is 'Limitless Fuel Supply'? "The key factor is whether the energy in the mined hydrogen would ever outweigh the energy required to extract it..."

AMD Reduced CPU Prices

Klez Virus Back With a Vengence

Tuesday, 16 April 2002

The Internet Sells Its Soul. A new hard-nosed commercialism is spreading over the Internet. Users are increasingly being asked to pay for information and services, while advertising is becoming more intrusive. The backlash has already begun.

No justice from Microsoft for the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. Microsoft wants $1.5 million missing proofs of purchase.  Missing certificates for Microsoft software on 2,000 five-year-old PCs... You know those proofs of purchase that come with Microsoft products you may have kept but probably lost? You need them.

CVD Process Tames Carbon Nanotube Growth. The treated nanotubes could be used by chip makers to interconnect single-electron transistors with high-efficiency wires.

HP Upgrades DVD+RW Drives--At a Price. Hewlett-Packard will offer frustrated customers who own its first DVD-rewritable drive a chance to trade it in for a model that will support more formats--but at a cost of $99.

Monday, 15 April 2002

Dell Using Non-Standard ATX Power Supplies Since 1998! "This hidden trap can cause the destruction of the motherboard, power supply or both!"  Scott Mueller, author of Upgrading and Repairing PCs.

Government Examining HP Vote. Two divisions of the federal government are investigating allegations that Hewlett-Packard pressured an investment bank into voting for its proposed merger with Compaq Computer, the company revealed Monday in a regulatory filing.

Western Digital Puts 8 MBytes of Cache' on 80 GByte Caviar Hard Disk Drives

Intel In Major Price Rollback. Intel has slashed prices on some of its upper-level Pentiums by as much as 25 percent in its first major pricing action since last year.

Intel Preparing to Launch an Even Cheaper P4 Integrated Chipset. The already intense P4 chipset price war may be heightened even further as Intel is said to plan to launch a cheaper integrated chipset, the 845GLL (845GL Light).

Intel to Pay Intergraph $300 Million to Settle Patent Fight

Powerline Networking: Not for Everyone?

Home Phones Losing-out to Cell Phones?

First Space Railroad Hits Snag. Software glitch put the nine-foot trolley into safe mode after it had moved about 17-ft along its 32-ft of track.  Space Station's Train Rolls as Test Resumes.

Sunday, 14 April 2002

Atlantis Astronauts Ready Space Rail Car for Test. The small trolley is designed to roll the station's giant robotic arm from one construction site to another as work progresses on the station over the next several years.

Saturday, 13 April 2002

Semiconductor Alert! (April 8-12) Commentary & analysis of week's chip news. Is Japan's chip industry beginning to fade away? Philips comes out with 'world's smallest IC package'...

Waiter, there's a fly in my cell phone

Friday, 12 April 2002

The End of Computer Rebooting. The time-consuming and often annoying task of restarting the operating system of your computer every time it is shut down, or rebooting, may soon be gone for good, following an innovative development in computer memory research.

Unannounced Intel P4 Chipsets Appear in Tokyo. Once again, the component shops in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district have beaten Intel Corp. to the punch by putting on display computer motherboards based on engineering samples of two unannounced Intel chipsets.

Warning: A Parasite is Living in Your Computer

DVD Authoring Heats Up

Unresolved Issues Still Stall Digital TV Transition

South Korean Monitor Producers Made Record LCD Monitor Shipments in 1Q

Thursday, 11 April 2002

Time Warner: Bandwidth Hogs, Pay-up. All-you-can-eat bandwidth is a thing of the past if you're a cable modem customer of Time Warner. Anyone who exceeds monthly download limits will soon be charged extra.  Cox Internet Users To See Rate Increase.

Fiber Optic Cables Abound, but What Price to Pay? With an enormous glut of capacity already on the market and at least four other companies struggling with major financial problems...

Free-Space Optics Lasers Offer Fast Data. Free-space optics (FSO), is emerging as one way to avoid the bottleneck that occurs when fiber-optic lines don't extend the "last mile" to offices. Instead of spending time and money to tap into those lines, companies can use laser beams to relay massive amounts of data from building to building.

Wednesday, 10 April 2002

Perpetual Motion Lives. There is a new perpetual motion machine. It is composed not of two parts, but three. They are sensory digitization, search and storage. Think of them as the three Ss. But if you like your trends captured as companies, think Foveon, Google and Extreme Networks.

Microsoft Releases Cumulative Security Patch for IIS. Includes all security patches released for IIS 4.0 since Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a.  Includes some new fixes.

Weird Stars Show Evidence of New Form of Matter. A teaspoon of neutron star material weighs a billion tons, or as much as all cars, trucks and buses on Earth. Astronomers believe the two stars they studied could be even denser...

Tuesday, 9 April 2002

Microsoft Offers Free Tool for Security Checks. Called the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), the tool is intended to provide users with an easy way to check their systems for common problems that arise when computers are configured incorrectly or when users fail to install suggested security patches. Download for Windows NT 4.0 SP4 and above, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

Next-Generation PDAs. Today's handhelds finally offer something for everybody--from bargain-price organizers to the first PDA/phone combos that actually work. Tests of 16 models spotlight the best.

Holographic DVD. The device uses Tapestry technology to hold 100GB of data on a single CD-sized write-once disc as a succession of 1.3MB holograms.

Monday, 8 April 2002

IBM Warns of Sharp Downturn in Revenues. IBM warned of a huge first-quarter shortfall, which it blamed on businesses cutting technology purchases... Expects first-quarter revenue to come in at $18.4 billion to $18.6 billion, more than $1 billion below analyst expectations.

Vendors Up the Volume on VoIP. This week's Voice on the Net show will feature new wares that help customers mix legacy phone gear with an IP PBX, add multimedia communications to call centers and better integrate the latest voice-over-IP technologies with existing network and security infrastructures.

Memory Appears to be Dropping.  A visit to Crucial shows 256 MByte DDR modules for $69.95 down by about $20 from last week, as I recall.

DRAM Makers Resist Cutting Contract Prices

DRAM Spot Prices Bobbing, Next Week Likely to Rise

Apple Sings Praises of DVD-RW. Apple says it has shipped more than 2 million DVD recording discs and nearly half a million computers with DVD recording drives. But analysts expect its lead to vanish as PC manufacturers jump onto DVD recording.

Web Surfers Brace for Pop-up Downloads. Web surfers who thought online advertisements were becoming increasingly obtrusive may be dismayed by a new tactic: pop-up downloads.

Adobe Supports XML With FrameMaker 7.0. From a single user interface similar to that of a word processor, Adobe FrameMaker enables users to create content, such as a user manual or sales documentation, and publish it for use in a variety of settings, including the Web, handheld devices, and print.  At $799, I certainly can't afford it.  I wouldn't pay half that price.

Uncle Sam: Hold Your Horses on XML

eBay Suffers Second Day of Outages

Friday, 5 April 2002

Unemployment Rate Up to 5.7 Percent. The nation's unemployment rate nudged up to 5.7 percent in March, but employers added 58,000 new positions to payrolls, signaling a strengthening economy that hasn't completely filtered down to the jobs market.

Win XP to Upgrade--More or Less. Microsoft this summer will institute some changes to Windows XP as part of a settlement agreement meant to benefit consumers and increase competition. But some state trustbusters and Microsoft's chief rivals aren't convinced that those changes go far enough.

Will You be Able to Trust Brilliant? Following up on Brilliant Digital Entertainment, the company that secretly installed its own peer-to-peer network on perhaps millions of individual users' PCs...

Is Your E-mail Watching You? Watch out--the spam choking your e-mail in-box may be loaded with software that lets marketers track your moves online, and you may not even be aware that you've been bugged.

Immense Asteroid May Head our Way. But threat is centuries in the future

Electricity From Mud

Science Finds Genetic Recipe for Rice

Gila Monster Spit May Yield Alzheimer's Drug

Thursday, 4 April 2002

Tests: New P4 Beats Athlon--Just. The catch is that Intel's processor is significantly more expensive than AMD's, and Rambus memory is another added expense...

This New Network. The corporate office of the future. Building corporate offices with flexible voice and data infrastructure requires collaborative design.

Top 10 CD-RW. Four new drives storm the chart this month, including a new number one.

Smart Glass Knows When It Needs Another Beer

Hydrogen-fed Bacteria May Populate the Universe

Wednesday, 3 April 2002

Company Touts Technology That Tops DSL, Cable. DSDN technology allows download and upload speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. That's about 2,000 times faster than 56K modems, 14 times faster than DSL, and 10 times faster than the maximum speed of cable modems.

Broadband Coalition Targets 'Last Mile' Regulations. A half dozen U.S. industry trade groups are joining forces to press the government to relax regulations on "last mile" networking technology as a way to speed deployment of broadband communications technology.

DIRECTV Broadband and TI to Deploy Third Generation DIRECTV Broadband Gateways. Deployment of the gateways, which will begin in late 2002, will provide DIRECTV Broadband with the ability to launch Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

Sneak Peek: The Computer Screen of the Future. Light-emitting polymer (LEP) technology is creating a new class of flat-panel displays that are thinner and lighter than ever before.

Spectacular Planet Show Promised. The five planets visible to the naked eye will line up in the sky at the end of April.

Japanese Scientists Teach Cellphones to Lip-Read

Nvidia to Introduce DDR-Supporting Version of GeForce4 MX420

Security Researcher Uncovers Two Office XP Flaws

WorldCom to Cut 3,700 U.S. Jobs

GM Chickens Lay Drugs for Humans

Tuesday, 2 April 2002

Tech Shares Slammed as Recovery Hopes Thin. Technology shares tumbled on Tuesday after several analysts lowered their earnings forecasts for heavyweights such as IBM, PeopleSoft and Microsoft, saying a technology sector recovery is lagging the broader economy.

Stealth P2P Network Hides Inside Kazaa. A California company has quietly attached its software to millions of downloads of the popular Kazaa file-trading program and plans to remotely "turn on" people's PCs, welding them into a new network of its own.

Ultimate Portable PCs

Gigabit Ethernet Prices in Free Fall

Intel Introduces 2.4 GHZ Pentium 4 Processor

Monday, 1 April 2002

Samsung and Hynix May Drive 64Mbit DRAM Prices Back Down to US$1. This is not DDR memory.

Taiwan's Chip Makers Report Few Problems Due to Quake

CeBit 2002 Report Part 2: Graphics, Chipsets, and Memory

HP Won't Renominate Walter Hewlett to Board

It's just a computer ... not a lifestyle statement

Index

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.