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NEWS, ETC.
July 2002

Wednesday, 31 July 2002

Economy Loses Steam in Second Quarter. 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate... In addition, Commerce said GDP shrank for three straight quarters at the start of 2001, ending any debate over whether the 2001 slump qualified as a recession.

AMD Announces IBM DB2 Database Software Support For Linux-Based Enterprise Database Solution on X86-64 Architecture. AMD today announced the 64-bit enablement of IBM's DB2 database software for the upcoming AMD Opteron™ processors based on AMD’s Hammer technology. The enterprise-class database solution features a DB2 database on a SuSE Linux operating system, and was successfully enabled to support x86-64 technology in two days.

Microsoft Ships Windows 2000 SP3. Service Pack 3 includes security and compatibility updates, plus support for automatic updates.  I do not see it on Microsoft's web site yet.

Microsoft cancels InfiniBand Development. The software vendor said it was dropping the technology because its customers were more interested in Gigabit Ethernet under the current economic conditions.

Mozilla Browser Still Good After 32 Days. After years on Internet Explorer, Timothy Dyck says he gave Mozilla a try and he never plans on going back.

DVD: The New Savoir of the PC Industry?

Tuesday, 30 July 2002

Abit May Outsource All Motherboard Production to ECS.  Abit Computer officially confirmed on July 29 that it has outsourced production of two low-end boards to Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS).

Kopin Shines Its Tiny Light. If a tiny blue light the size of a grain of sand doesn't fit your idea of major technological innovation, then you haven't been following the curious sub-sector of the semiconductor industry that is devoted to reinventing how the world is illuminated.

Chipmakers Regaining Equilibrium. For the first time in more than a year, OEM orders emanating from several sectors appear to be bringing semiconductor supply and demand close to equilibrium...

Australians Launch Hypersonic Scramjet Engine

Monday, 29 July 2002

"Drivezilla" Breathes Fire at 200GB. Western Digital's 200GB "Drivezilla" is about to stomp its way into desktop PCs.

Crucial Launches Video Card.

AMD Cuts Prices on Athlon, Duron

Friday, 26 July 2002

New Shuttle Computer Runs Cool and Quiet. Shuttle released its latest "bare-bone" computer Wednesday, showing a system that packs all of the functions of a full-fledged PC in a case about the size of a large shoe box...  uses a hybrid of copper and aluminum piping along with water cooling to keep the processor heat down. This allowed Shuttle to remove the processor fan, eliminating the noise produced by a standard PC.  Shuttle.

OpenOffice for Mac OS X Goes Alpha. The OpenOffice suite includes programs for word processing, spreadsheet, drawing and presentation and uses file formats compatible with those used by Microsoft Office. It is already available for Linux, Solaris, Windows and other operating systems, and it has localized versions in more than 25 languages.

So Far, 2002 Isn't Computing for PCs.  Demand is still weak, though the yearend season could surprise. Overall, 2003 is starting to look like the next hope

Photons double-up for Solar Power. Solar cells could get an efficiency boost of 30% using a device proposed by physicists in Australia and Germany...

Working With a Web-hosting Reseller. The small entrepreneurial web-hosting vendor still exists, but he’s no longer in the infrastructure business. He’s now a reseller — a company that buys web-hosting capacity from a larger wholesaler...

Microsoft Holds-off Expensing Stock Options

Why the Buzz on Hammer Just Won't Quit

Really Mini Digital Cameras

Thursday, 25 July 2002

PC Maker Targets Apple with iMac-Alike.   Uses an Intel Pentium 4 and and comes with Windows XP. Northgate claims Apple users can expect a minimum of 35 per cent increase in performance at 35-40 per cent less cost. Northgate's web site.

AMD Fielding 64 bits for PCs. AMD is, so far, the only major chipmaker to announce plans for a 64-bit processor for desktops. The average PC user probably doesn't need 64 bits just yet. Who said so?

Microsoft Updates Office XP, Exchange Server. Microsoft has made available free software to help integrators tie Web services into Office XP applications. I do not see this update on Microsoft's web site yet.

Infineon Cuts Deals for Wearable Chips. Chipmaker Infineon reports it has seen "huge" interest from the textile industry in its wearable computing technology, paving the way for everything from identification chips to MP3 players that can be built into ordinary fabrics.

Microsoft Offers Plug for 'Critical' SQL Server Holes

Wednesday, 24 July 2002

Dow Up Nearly 500 Points in Late Rally. Stocks shot higher on Wednesday, rebounding from a fierce selloff that plunged shares to fresh 5-year lows as investors snapped up shares beaten down by weeks of decline...

High-Speed Internet Subscribers Soar - FCC... a surge of 80.3 percent for the year.

PCI-X 2.0, PCI Express Specs Released to Developers. Two versions of the PCI-X 2.0 will be released:  PCI-X 266 (266 MHz) and PCI-X 533.  PCI Express will allow high-end graphics cards and other interconnects to communicate with PCs at 2.5Gbps per lane per direction.

Pentium 4 Prices to Be Slashed Across the Board. Intel will cut Pentium 4 prices an average of 26% by Sept. 1.

Mac, Windows Updates On the Way. Apple Computer and Microsoft on Tuesday took steps toward releasing important operating system updates.

HP Won't Sell Printers to Dell

Tuesday, 23 July 2002

Intel Readies Early Rollout of New Pentium 4. Intel is moving up the introduction of its Pentium 4 processor running at 3.0 gigahertz in time for the year-end holiday season.

Rocket-science Scooter Heads for the Streets. BAE Systems, Britain's biggest defense supplier, is to lead a campaign to sell the revolutionary Segway single-person transporter to the Ministry of Defense and other Government departments.

AT&T Has $12.7 Billion Loss After Charges

Microsoft Tools Tie Windows to Oracle, Apache

Monday, 22 July 2002

Stocks See Fresh Lows, Fear Grips Street. The Dow Jones Industrial average .DJI sank 234.68 points, or 2.93 percent, to 7,784.50, according to the latest available data. It was the blue-chip index's first close under the 8,000 level since mid-October 1998.

WorldCom Files Largest Bankruptcy in History. WorldCom's is the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. corporate history, the Wall Street Journal said in its online edition Sunday night, with the company listing assets of over $100 billion, and having more than 1,000 creditors. Worldcom will conduct business as usual while it develops a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. WorldCom's Internet Backbone Is Safe For Now.

ADSL2: Taking the Next Step in Broadband Designs. The ITU has all but completed the new ADSL2 standards, which delivers improved rate and reach performance, advanced diagnostics capabilities, standby modes, and more to broadband designers.

Real to Steal MS Media Thunder? In an effort to fend off rival Microsoft, RealNetworks plans to unveil 'Helix,' a new open source version of its media streaming software that supports multiple file formats.

Microsoft Embeds HailStorm Into .Net. Contrary to reports that Microsoft has abandoned its HailStorm technology, company officials have revealed plans to embed components of the XML schema and data-access technology throughout its .Net application.

Hole in PHP could give attacker server control. A security hole in the PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting language used on many Web servers could allow an attacker to execute code on affected systems or even take control of them, according to a security alert released Monday by The PHP Group.

Might Apple Ditch PowerPC for AMD? How's this for a scenario: a Power Mac based on an x86-64 AMD chip and an Nvidia nForce 2 chipset..

Applied's Science: Building Tinier Chips. Applied Materials' new chipmaking system adds material in layers one atom at a time, paving the way to the creation of 65-nanometer semiconductors.

Friday, 19 July 2002

Stocks Fall Sharply Again, With Dow Down More Than 300 Points. You may have to log into the NY Times, but it is free and is well worth the little effort that it takes.

Bracing for a Network Meltdown. Companies around the world are developing co-location facilities, interviewing backup vendors and bolstering wireless capabilities in wake of the potential service problems caused by WorldCom.

New 'Instant Ethernet' Powerline Device Unveiled. Phonex Broadband on Thursday announced a new "powerline" device that, for the first time, does not require special software drivers for installation. Powerline technology enables home computer networking through ordinary electrical outlets.

HP IS Now the Leading PC Manufacturer, by a Thread. Through its merger with Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard has become the world's largest PC manufacturer for the first time, but the distinction might be short-lived. IDC put HP's worldwide market share at 15.1 percent and Dell's at 14.8 percent.

VIA and SiS Announce New Product and Marketing Strategies for AMD K8 (Hammer) Chipsets

Roll Up for the Floppy Television. Roll-up, flexible televisions, akin to the melting watches of Salvador Dali's surreal landscapes... Dick Tracy's watch.  Cambridge Display Technology

China to Build Own Version of Windows 98

A Sneak Peek at NASA's Plans for Exploring Mars and Beyond

Thursday, 18 July 2002

ATI Uncovers Comeback Display Chips. ATI began its bid to regain the leadership of the graphics chip market Thursday with new processors that boast significantly faster performance than current ones.

MSI Announces K7N2 Athlon Motherboard with NVIDIA nForce2 Chipset

AMD Posts Large Q2 Loss, Sees More Losses in Q3

Dell: PC Market Slow and May Stay So

Report: AOL Used Unconventional Business Practices

Wednesday, 17 July 2002

MSN Software Gets a Price Tag. The next version of Microsoft's MSN Internet access software is due for release by the end of the year and for some users will sport a significant new feature -- a price tag. Parul Shah, an MSN product manager: "We think [customers] are willing to pay for the look and feel of a product."

The Changing Face of Cable Modems. Now potentially masquerading as a home router and/or a VoIP gateway, the humble cable modem will also soon capitalize on the latest Docsis 2.0-based silicon to allow it to form the hub of a symmetric, 30-Mbit/s, multimedia and packet-voice gateway.

New ATI Chip Brings 3D to Life. The fastest versions of the new chips will offer considerably higher performance than Nvidia's current GeForce4 roster, giving ATI the edge with gamers as well as PC makers, analysts said.

Mobos: VIA Should Feel Little Impact From nForce2. Although Nvidia hopes to grab market share in the AMD-platform market with a more complete nForce2 graphics chipset line, motherboard makers say that it is unlikely to affect VIA much in the short term.

WorldCom Gets $2 Billion Bankruptcy Loan

Intel to Reduce Workforce by 4,000

Tuesday, 16 July 2002

Intel to Announce 'Massive Layoffs,' Says Report. Amid possible cuts in capital spending, Intel Corp. is reportedly expected to announce “massive layoffs” and other drastic cost-cutting measures today, according to today's Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Bounces Back. Soothing words from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan calmed Wall Street Tuesday, enabling the market to recover from a sharp early loss and at least temporarily stabilize after Monday's volatility.  And then goes back down.  Down 166.08 at closing.

Microsoft Unveils Windows XP Media Center. Betting that consumers are ready to accept PCs as entertainment devices on par with televisions and stereos, Microsoft on Tuesday announced it would roll out its entertainment-center version of Windows XP in time for Christmas.

NVIDIA Unveils the nForce2 Family of Platform Processors. Designed for PCs and motherboards using AMD Athlon XP and Duron processors, NVIDIA nForce2 Platform Processors utilize HyperTransport... The nForce2 SPP Platform Processors feature the industry's only dual DDR400 memory subsystem...  Worth a read.

House Backs Stiffer Cyber-Crime Penalties. The House voted Monday to increase penalties for computer crimes and make it easier for Internet service providers to disclose dangerous material to government agencies.

Will XML Kill HTML? Browsers currently have built-in formatting only for HTML. Once they can read XML (or other markup languages), more Web authors may gravitate toward HTML alternatives.

Camera Phones Conquer Japan, Take Aim at the World.

256Mbit DDR: Spot Price Leap Drives Late July Contract Prices up 26%

Top Tool Vendors Announce Support for Upcoming Hammer Processsors

SETI: We'll Find 'Alien' by 2027

NVIDIA and Shuttle Computer Open the Digital Media Gateway. Shuttle is currently developing small form factor PCs using NVIDIA's nForce2...

  • Built-in dual networking controllers
  • Up to six high-speed USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to three Firewire (IEEE1394a) ports
  • DolbyDigital 5.1 real-time-encoded surround sound with S/PDIF-out audio for home theater audio
  • Video Processing Engine for MPEG2 and DVD playback
  • TV-encoder and HDTV processor for optimal visual quality
  • Support for multiple displays, including flat panels, TVs and CRTs
  • Integrated graphics based on NVIDIA's GeForce4 MX

I, for one am not going to get all "wrapped around the axle" with the nVIDIA hype on the nForce2 chipset, as, admittedly, I did with the first nVIDIA motherboard chipset.  And wait and wait through delay after delay for it to appear in products that one can buy.  And then be disappointed by the actual product.  I am not going to bother even looking hard at the chipset, and I am certainly not going to waste my time writing an article on it,  until I have product in hand.  So, this is about it from here on this subject until it is something other than "vaporware." Products with the chipset are supposed to ship in September.  My guess, based on past experience, is sometime next year?  In fact, I am getting rather bored with all of the unwarranted motherboard, chipset, and processor "latest and greatest" hype/promotion/excitement that has been plaguing the Internet for the last couple of years or so...
Larry F. Byard (Editor)

TIA Approves Category 6 Telecommunications Standard for Publication. Because category 6 supports positive power sum attenuation to crosstalk (PSACR) margins up to 200 MHz, this new cabling system offers double the bandwidth of category 5e cabling and vastly improved signal-to-noise margins. Category 6 cabling is designed to be backward compatible with categories 3, 5 and 5e. Many thanks to "trumpetr" in our forums for this news item.

Monday, 15 July 2002

HyperTransport Lands New Backers. AMD is using HyperTransport technology as the basis for its next-generation chips, code named "Hammer..."  Because AMD has put HyperTransport directly onto the chip it will have a speed advantage when communicating with other HyperTransport-equipped chips on networking and graphics hardware...

Satellite TV in Your PC

Friday, 12 July 2002

Dell Boosts Q2 Revenue and Earnings Expectations. Dell said it now expects second-quarter revenue to reach $8.3 billion, up about 9% from last year's second quarter.

Microsoft Plunks $500 Million Down on Partners. Kicks off Fusion 2002 with pledges around better support, training.

Micron Demos Next-Gen Memory Technology. Company officials showed off a system running DDR-II SDRAM memory. Demo system reportedly enabled data transfer speeds of 533 Mbps. That's bits per second.

Prices of Electronics Continue to Fall. The accelerating economic recovery is now edging inflation higher although computer prices dropped 1.6% from May to June, telecom equipment prices were steady and all component prices declined in June.

True 3D-Display Without Goggles

Thursday, 11 July 2002

AMD Faces DDR-II Challenge With its Hammer Processor. DDR-II is expected to go into production in the third quarter of next year, six to nine months after AMD's new desktop Athlon Hammer and its Opteron server/workstation versions launch. But the Hammer chips have the unique architecture of on-die memory controller for the current DDR-I generation.

Jobless Rate Jumps for EEs, Electronics Workers. 35,000 electrical engineers were unemployed in the second quarter of this year, raising the profession's unemployment rate to 4.8 percent...

Windows Worm, Multiple Bugs Haunt MS Users. To add to Microsoft's security headaches, a worm comprising three components -- MSVXD.exe, MSVXD16.dll and MSVXD32.dll -- is on the prowl, masquerading as legitimate MS code...

Scientists Build Polio Virus From Scratch. The result was an infectious agent that could destroy cultured human cells and paralyze or kill mice in much the same way as the normal polio virus.

Wednesday, 10 July 2002

Stock Market Meltdown. The Dow Jones industrials sank more than 280 points to close below 9,000 for the first time since October.

Nvidia to Flex New nForce Chipsets. Nvidia has scheduled a press conference for Monday, at which it promises to reveal a new "digital media platform." Analysts said the announcement is likely to involve a new version of the nForce line...

ACLU says cable could close Internet. Cable monopolies should be regulated like phone companies, group says.

U.S. House passes 'tech talent' bill. Looking to expand the number of undergraduate students pursuing studies in science and technology, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to fund programs designed to graduate more professionals in these and related fields.

Nanya: DDR Shortage to Continue for Two Months. The DDR shortage is likely to stretch on for another two months, as difficulties in upgrading production processes limit supply and demand for DDR shoots past SDRAM demand.

IBM's Hard Drive Unit Lost $423 Million Last Year. One wonders if Hitachi isn't buying a white elephant.

Moore Says There's More to Moore's Law

Tuesday, 9 July 2002

The 64-Bit Question. Chipmakers Intel and AMD will soon trumpet 64-bit computing, but their approaches couldn't be more different.  Good read.  One pop-up.

EBay-PayPal Nuptial Could Improve Services. Dual users should prosper, but nonauction customers likely to suffer, analyst says.

Remote Control. Don't feel tied to the office. Getting to your work computer and accessing the network is a lot easier than you think—even from halfway around the world.

Lindows Technology Testdrive. Lindows.com aims to make Linux a viable alternative by creating an operating system that's easy to work with and by providing convenient access to many open-source applications.

MS Passport Takes on Credit Cards. Microsoft hopes to extend its Passport online identification system into authorizing credit card payments.

Acer, Asustek include AMD-based Notebooks. Two Taiwanese PC Makers Include Athlon-based notebooks into their lines, a move that is coming under scrutiny by Intel as it tries to fend off rival AMD.

Home Networking Not Just For Geeks Anymore

Under Centuries of Sand, a Trading Hub

Monday, 8 July 2002

Nvidia’s nForce 2 Motherboard Chipset to Make its Debut on July 16. DDR400, USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, and ATA-133 support. GeForce4 MX440-equivalent core for the integrated version...

Web Authors Pledge Allegiance to IE. Despite attempts from Netscape, Mozilla and Opera to crack the browser market, Web sites are tailoring their content for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and shutting out rivals.  If it's not IE 6 compatible, it's not compatible.

eBay Buying Online Payment Provider PayPal. Online auction giant eBay Inc. announced Monday it is buying electronic payment facilitator PayPal Inc. for more than $1.3 billion in stock, in a long-rumored deal that the companies hope will make Internet trading faster, easier and safer.

Intel Aims Itanium 2 at High-end Server Market

Opteron and Itanium: Two Roads to 64-bit Computing.

Russian Space Agency Proposes an International Project to Put Human Explorers on Mars

Astronomy's Next Big Thing. Owl (Overwhelmingly Large Telescope)...

Friday, 5 July 2002

Home Builder Relies on Wireless for Construction Schedules. A wireless handheld messaging application is saving dozens of phone calls and scheduling headaches each week for construction managers at Amberwood Homes in Phoenix.

DDR Spot Prices Rise Record 15% in Single Day. According to DRAMeXchange, 256Mbit DDR spot prices reached US$5.80-6.60 on July 4, rising a record 15% in one day, while 128Mbit DDR rose over 9% to US$2.80-3.20. 256 Mbit Overtakes 128 Mbit as Mainstream DDR.

More Accounting Shocks May Be On the Way. Since WorldCom's revelation last week of the largest accounting deception in corporate history, a snowball effect has kicked in, with company after company admitting to bookkeeping irregularities...

Auction Sites: Wire Transfers a Bad Bid. Wire transfers are being used in many fake auctions--so many that several online auction sites are warning visitors of the dangers.

Music Labels Plant Online Decoys, Mull Lawsuits. The music industry is adding more firepower to its arsenal in the fight against online piracy, planting "decoys" on free peer-to-peer services and considering lawsuits against individual song-swappers...

New Spin on Transistors. The 'spintronic' transistor uses a new principle for controlling and switching electrical current, based on a property of fundamental particles called spin.

Wednesday, 4 July 2002

Happy Fourth of July to all of my fellow Americans!  This will be a long weekend off for many of us as we celebrate the 226th anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.  Regardless of what evil others may wish against us, 226 years from now we will still be celebrating the birth of the land of the Free and the home of the Brave!  Larry

Tuesday, 3 July 2002

Klez: The Virus That Won't Die? Virus alert centers are bracing themselves for a new wave of Klez worm attacks this week: One annoying variant of the persistent pest is expected to resurrect itself July 6...  May I suggest that everyone download the Klez virus removal tool and run it!  Boot Windows to the Safe mode first by pressing F8 just as Windows is about to start and choosing that mode from the resulting menu.  Larry

Serial ATA-based Motherboards Hitting Market in Late July. SiS is set to introduce its Serial ATA-supporting south bridge chip SiS964 in the fourth quarter, and VIA plans to incorporate the function into its VT8235 south bridge chip later. Intel will not integrate the Serial ATA specification into its new ICH5 south bridge chip until the first half of 2003 at the earliest.

Verizon Begins Shift to Packet-based (ATM) Voice Calls. The telecommunications company is migrating to a new switching technology for the first time in 30 years, making a move toward integrated voice and data services.

AMD Lowers Q2 Sales Forecast ... Again

Tuesday, 2 July 2002

Nanoscale Sensor Could Increase Data Storage Capacity. The magnetic sensor, made of nickel and only a few atoms in diameter, could increase data storage capacity by a factor of a thousand or more and could ultimately lead to supercomputing devices as small as a wristwatch...

Study: Web More Vulnerable Now Than Ever. With over half of the Internet's Web servers potentially vulnerable, conditions are "ripe for an epidemic of attacks" against sites running Microsoft. Internet Information Server (IIS) or the open-source Apache Web server software, Netcraft of Bath, England...  I disagree that the web is more vulnerable than it was.  They are just finding (and fixing) weakness that, for the most part, have always been there. There are probably more.

IBM Touting Fiber Connectivity in Latest Hardware Offerings. IBM announced today that its virtual tape servers will soon be able to connect disk storage to mainframes via Fiber Connectivity (Ficon), a move that could increase performance by about 75%.

Monday, 1 July 2002

Mini Digital Cameras. As digital cameras evolve, manufacturers are fitting a lot more functionality into far less space...

Worm Exploits Apache Web Server Vulnerability on FreeBSD

Chip Sales Grew 2.8% in May

Iomega's New PC Storage

One Billionth PC Has Been Sold. Industry analyst firm Gartner Dataquest announced today that the PC industry has shipped the 1 billionth PC. The industry reached this notable milestone in April 2002, roughly 25 years after the debut of the first commercially successful and widely available personal computer, the 1974 Altair powered by the Intel® 8080 chip.

Index

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