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March 2002

Saturday, 30 March 2002

Semiconductor Alert! (March 25-29) Commentary & analysis of week's chip news. Is DRAM market morphing away from commodity parts? DDR-II...

Eggs and Computers. The connection between technology and oology

Jump in Spending Suggests Robust Recovery. U.S. consumer spending rose in February at the fastest pace since a car sales-led surge in October, as the economy sailed ahead at full tilt in the early stages of its emergence from recession.

Warning: Any User Can "Root" Windows NT and 2000. A serious hole in Windows NT and Windows 2000 allows any user (even "guest") to gain complete control of the machine.

Yahoo Users Fume Over "Spam" Switch. Some Yahoo members on Friday reacted angrily to changes in the Web portal's e-mail marketing practices, comparing the company's revised policy to an open invitation to spam.

Friday, 29 March 2002

Intel Speeds Up, Boosts Efficiency. 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 next week.

Microsoft Announces Accumulative Security Patch for Internet Explorer. Includes the functionality of all previously released patches for IE 5.01, 5.5 and IE 6.  In addition, it eliminates two newly discovered vulnerabilities, the most serious of which would allow script to run in the Local Computer Zone.

Tech Companies Set on MPEG-4 Box. Seven companies agreed this week to build a system that would bring MPEG-4 to cable set-top boxes. The companies are developing an enhanced set-top box that combines the movie playback features of a DVD player and the interactivity of the Web.

Mozilla 1.0 Plods to the Starting Line. The long-awaited open-source version of the Netscape Web browser has reached a major development milestone as it nears a first official release.

Bringing the Net to the Bedroom. Even an amateur can create a custom-designed Internet appliance.

Robots Take Aim at Human Heartstrings. Robot riding a bike...

'Parallel' Migration to Blue-laser DVD Urged

Semiconductor Sales in January Were Unchanged

Thursday, 28 March 2002

IE 6.0 is Burying Netscape. The death of Netscape would mean writing for one browser therefore fewer headaches. IE does not run on Linux, Netscape does.

Inkjet Process Suggests Wide Spectrum of Innovations. Scientists say they can produce light-emitting pictures and even photo-voltaic solar cells from digitized computer images.

Group Makes Cheap Plastic Solar Energy Cells

Hewlett Sues Over HP Proxy Solicitation. Walter Hewlett has filed suit against Hewlett-Packard Co., taking issue with the process by which HP solicited votes for approval of its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp.

In Depth: Will History Repeat Itself? How could the electronics industry have misread the tea leaves so badly in late 2000?

How Fast Can You Surf on a Wireless Network?

IT Training Rip-offs

Tuesday, 26 March 2002

Just Plug It In: Networking Via Power Circuits. HomePlug makes it easy to use existing in-wall wiring for fast home networks. "We tried out the first HomePlug networking products and found them easy to install, robust, and fast..."

Memory Chip Makers Demur on 400MHz DDR-I. Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology within the last two weeks introduced DDR400 chips in the present DDR-I architecture. However, the remaining Big Five DRAM firms said they would wait for the next generation DDR-II standard to start sampling next year with 400MHz speed. JEDEC Describes New DDR-II Specs, Says First Parts Due Out in Late 2002.

Unannounced 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Appears in Tokyo. A new Pentium 4 processor running at 2.4GHz, as yet unannounced by maker Intel Corp., has appeared in the component shops of Tokyo's Akihabara district.

Sapphire-based Chip Moves Data With Light, Not Wires. A research team at Johns Hopkins University has developed a prototype chip with an optical receiver that moves data on and off chip with light instead of wires.

Hackers Find New Way to Bilk eBay Users. Using Geary's user ID, the person set up an auction for an Intel Pentium computer chip. Not only that, but the person changed Geary's password so she could no longer access her own account--or cancel the bogus auction.

Consumer Confidence Roars in March. The Conference Board said on Tuesday its closely watched index of consumer confidence reached its highest level since August, rallying to 110.2, far outpacing analysts' forecasts of a rise to 98.8.

Monday, 25 March 2002

Start-up Claims Video Compression Breakthrough. A Silicon Valley startup claims it has found a new approach to video compression that blows away the commonly used MPEG-2 standard and will allow transmission of broadcast-quality video over DSL connections.

Gamers Helping Specialty PCs Thrive. Companies such as Voodoo as well as Hypersonic PC, Falcon Northwest and Alienware are selling high-end PCs to computer game buffs who don't mind paying a premium for state-of-the-art components and flashy cases.

Nvidia to Introduce nForce 220 Series Chipsets in April. The nForce 220 series comprises two chipsets, the nForce 220 and the nForce 220-D, supporting SDRAM and DDR266 architectures, respectively.

A Guide to Wireless LANs

Remote Access Software

Saturday, 23 March 2002

Semiconductor Alert! Commentary & analysis of week's chip news, March 18-22.

E-mail Giants Change the Rules. AOL rescinds an in-house e-mail edict, allowing employees to use outside services. Meanwhile, Microsoft does some spring cleaning in Hotmail accounts, and Yahoo Mail members are told to pay up.

Friday, 22 March 2002

Expert Says Look Out With Outlook. A security specialist issued a research note Thursday warning of a handful of flaws in Microsoft's Outlook 2002 e-mail software which he claimed could let "bad guys" cause havoc on a user's computer.

IBM Acts to Quell Hard-drive Concerns. Desktop drive reliability is typically measured with the assumption that the drive is on 60 percent of the time--somewhat higher than 46 percent of the time that 333 hours a month would mean. On laptops, the standard duty is 40 percent...

128 Mbit SDRAM Spot Prices Down 10% in One Day. With DRAM manufacturers also eager to clear out inventories, wholesalers are not optimistic about short-term DRAM price trends...

Senate Drops Digital Hammer. Sen. Ernest Hollings (D.-S.C.) dropped the hammer on Hollywood and Silicon Valley Thursday by introducing legislation that gives the two quarreling parties one year to develop standards to prevent online piracy or have Congress impose a standard...

'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around. Virus experts today warned of an e-mail worm that is spread when recipients open an attachment bearing a caricature of former president Bill Clinton holding a saxophone with a bra emerging from the horn.

New Tips for Windows XP.  We Have a Few also.

Briton Wires Nervous System to a Computer

Microsoft Password Research Looks to Images, Not Text

NVIDIA Powers Digital Entertainment Experience at Game Developers Conference

Thursday, 21 March 2002

Compaq Shareholders Approve HP Merger. Unlike the contested battle for HP shareholder votes, in which HP claimed a narrow victory but opponents have yet to concede defeat, there was no organized opposition to the merger on the Compaq side.

Micron Taste-tests Speedier PC Memory. The company has begun sampling 400MHz double data rate SDRAM to chipset manufacturer Silicon Integrated Systems. SiS will test the memory with its SiS648, a new chipset for Intel's Pentium 4 processor.

CeBit 2002 Report Part 1: Intel and AMD

StarOffice Goes Commercial, and Stays Open-source. "We are positioning this product as a direct competitor to Microsoft's Office..."

Wednesday, 20 March 2002

GeForce4 Ti4200 Based Videocards in the End of April

PayPal Takes Aim at Developers

Asteroid Buzzes Earth

The Incredible Shrinking Mobile Phone

Hot Wireless Trends Not Obvious

Microsoft Warns of New Java Security Hole

Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Clearly, This Chip Could be a Monster. The X3 sensor produces images so real in appearance that some experts are saying it will render conventional film obsolete.

HP Claims Victory in Shareholder Vote. Management believes shareholders have approved H-P/Compaq merger but dissident shareholder Walter Hewlett is also optimistic about the outcome of the vote.

Shark Tank: We Have a Winner. IT manager pilot fish has been up all night stomping out network problems, so when he tracks it down to a router problem, he calls Cisco technical support -- and promptly falls asleep...

Global Warming Shatters Giant Antarctic Ice Shelf. An Antarctic ice shelf the size of a small country has disintegrated under the impact of global warming, scientists said Tuesday.

Monday, 18 March 2002

MandrakeSoft, SuSe Add New Life to Linux. SuSE and MandrakeSoft are set to release new versions of their software, improving multimedia features as well as introducing more advanced versions of the underlying core technology.

Dell Sees No Signs of Strong Market Rebound

Friday, 15 March 2002

Semiconductor Alert! (March 11-15) Commentary & analysis of week's chip news.

Newsbytes Internet Week In Review. These were the top, breaking news stories in interactive services, the Internet, broadband, and e-commerce, as reported by Newsbytes this week...

Koreans About to Roll-out New LCD Generation. "We can make 17, 22, and 40in. TV screens at the new generation 5 fab," Lee said. "That can help this market take off. LCD screens for TV will be a growth market, although I don't think it will ramp up as quickly as the explosive growth of LCD monitors."

HP, Compaq Product Lines in Question. The two companies have a significant overlap in product families across the PC, PC server, and handheld groups, and there is even potential for clash on their Unix servers as well.

Serving the Holy Grail. LED BY IBM, a range of industry players is expected to deliver later this year a variety of solutions that promise to lower the inherent costs associated with running distributed computing environments.

SiS Chipset Supports 400-MHz DDR Memory. SiS Makes a Splash at CeBIT 2002 Computer Show.

2Q motherboard and Chipset Sales Estimate: Down 10-15% from 1Q. With weak demand from distribution channels, high DRAM prices and a possible Pentium 4 price reduction, many motherboard and chipset manufacturers are already predicting that the impact of the traditional low season in the second quarter will be more pronounced this year.

Tasty Web Sites

Distant Planet is Blue and Beautiful

Thursday, 14 March 2002

FCC Takes Major Step Toward Deregulating Broadband. Rule change  reclassifies broadband via cable modem as an "information service," freeing the cable industry from regulations that typically are applied to "telecommunications services," including making access to their lines available to competing Internet service providers.

NVIDIA Announces nForce 620-D And nForce 615-D Platform Processors

Desks are Alive with the Sound of Music. The Soundbug can be plugged into the headphone socket of, for example, an MP3 player or a walkman, and then fixed by suction to the flat surface--effectively turning a desk or window into a speaker.

PC Stocks Fall as Analysts' Forecasts Converge

Wednesday, 13 March 2002

AMD Introduces New Processors a CeBIT. Athlon™ XP 2100+, Athlon MP processor 2000+ for servers and workstations, and the mobile  Athlon 4 processor 1600+. AMD Announces Transition to .13 Micron Technology. AMD today announced that it plans to begin shipping Athlon™ XP processors codenamed “Thoroughbred” based on .13 micron technology to customers later this month. AMD Partners With Compaq and NVIDIA. Compaq Presario 8000 systems featuring the NVIDIA nForce Platform Architecture with integrated GeForce2 graphics are available with AMD Athlon XP processors 1600+ up to 2100+, with starting prices ranging from $885 to $1,299.

AOL Testing Mozilla as Alternative to the Internet Explorer

Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Component Orders Jumped 30% in February. After a yearlong downward spiral, electronic component orders turned up in February as more parts suppliers reported rising OEM demand in line with the improving U.S. economy

Intel Shrinks Chips to 90 Nanometers. Intel announced that its labs have produced memory chips that contain 330 million transistors, through manufacturing technology that will hit the mainstream next year.

Monday, 11 March 2002

Military Spending Up, but... The government seems to have gotten that message loud and clear. The focus in the defense establishment now is heavily on buying commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts...

Guide to Do-It-Yourself Tax Sites. Tax sites on the Web offer cheapest do-it-yourself alternatives, with caveats.

Shuttle to Introduce New “X-Book” at CeBIT Hannover. “X-Book” is  based on the concept of notebooks without equipment such as batteries, so the price is lower.

Friday, 8 March 2002

It Will be Raining Chips at CeBit. Intel and AMD are expected to release a flood of chips next week as the world's biggest trade show rolls into Hannover, Germany. Tech Companies Look to Ignite IT Recovery.

Astronauts Complete Space Walking Work on Hubble Telescope

Parts Maker Recalls HP Printer Power Cords. HP Deskjet 800 series and 900 series; and HP Photosmart 1000 series, 1100 series, 1200 series and 1300 series ink-jet printers.  Safety Hazard!

Apple's OS X: What Linux Wants To Be?  Following Apple's successful introduction of its new UNIX-based operating system, OS X (pronounced OS Ten), many are asking whether OS X poses a serious challenge to Linux for the title of best alternative desktop operating system. Others go even further, asking whether OS X is the UNIX world's best chance to topple Microsoft's Windows hegemony.

Specs Defined for 2.5-inch Removable Hard Drive. Looking to establish a common platform for removable hard-disk drives in both PC and non-PC products, eight Japanese companies have formed the iVDR Hard-Disk Drive Consortium.

DRAM Makers Celebrate Revival of Prosperity. A resurgence in demand from the PC sector and tighter capacity due to industry consolidation and cutbacks in capital spending seem to have created a new inflection point in the DRAM market, which in 2001 suffered perhaps its worse year ever.

Sun Sues Microsoft Over Java

Thursday, 7 March 2002

Greenspan: Expansion 'Well Under Way'

Nanya: Strong DRAM Orders From International PC OEMs Point to PC Market Recovery

Shuttle Astronauts Add Powerful Camera to Hubble. Columbia added a new camera the size of a phone booth to the Hubble Space Telescope's array of scientific instruments on Thursday, potentially extending the telescope's optical reach to the ends of the universe.

Home Internet Access Tops Record 500 Million. The United States and Canada led with 191.7 million people connected to the Internet.

Sequencing One Human's Genome In Less Than 24 Hours. What took hundreds of researchers working together for nearly 10 years to complete soon may be accomplished in less than a day.

Ziff Davis Looks for More Time. And with its ad revenue outlook still deteriorating, the company may be headed for a bankruptcy if it can't buy more time on a loan it took out in the form of a credit line while it restructures.  Ziff Davis brings us PC Mag and ExtremeTech among other publications.

Spies Can Exploit Computer Lights, Monitor Glow

Sharp Embeds a Digital Still Camera in PDA. The Zaurus MI-E25DC has a 310,000-pixel digital still camera embedded in the back of it will allow users to send and receive still images from mobile phones.

Washing Machine the Key to Low-power Processing

Wednesday, 6 March 2002

Beware of Microsoft Security Updates. Security firms Wednesday warned that another virus began making its rounds on the Net this week, and this one is masquerading as a Microsoft security update.

DOJ: Microsoft Case Not Strong Enough. Conceded that it settled with Microsoft in part because trustbusters failed to prove part of the basic theory of the antitrust case.

Top 10 Scanners

Hubble's Heartbeat Healthy. Astronaut John Grunsfeld tightened up a final connector to complete a complex electronic heart transplant, wiring in a replacement power control unit to give the observatory a new lease on life.

Tuesday, 5 March 2002

Broadband Access Usage Outpaces Dial-Up Access. High-speed Internet usage accounted for more than half of all time spent online in January, outpacing dial-up Internet access for the first time...

DRAM Prices Expected to Continue to Rise... as demand from the computer sector and inventory replenishment eats away at supplies.

Internet Worm Set to Delete Files on Wednesday. Computer security companies on Tuesday warned that a dangerous new Internet worm, dubbed Klez.E, that is spreading will try to delete and overwrite files on infected computers beginning on Wednesday.

Microsoft Issues Java Patch... for a security flaw in Java virtual machine (Microsoft VM) that attackers could exploit to redirect browser traffic.

Morpheus Boosts Gnutella, But Leaves Users Wanting More. The release last week of a new Morpheus based on open-source software for peer-to-peer file-sharing led to a dramatic increase in the number of users on the Gnutella network over the weekend...

Comdex Chicago: Focus Should be on Mobility, Kumar Says

Monday, 4 March 2002

Intel Takes Pentium 4 on the Road. Intel says the Pentium 4-M chip for laptops offers an overall performance increase of as much as 49 percent compared with its top-of-the-line Pentium III-M chip.

Picture's Fuzzy for DVD. DVD Forum gives nod to low-bit-rate encoding, nixes blue laser.

Vendor Bets $100,000 its New Web Server is Impenetrable

Macromedia Gives Flash a Major Overhaul

Friday, 1 March 2002

Nvidia to Launch Updated nForce Chipset in March and nForce2 Likely in June.  The new chipset, possibly to be codenamed Crush17, will continue to support the AMD platform. Although other specifications of the chipset have still not been released, the market expects that the nForce2 will likely be based on the latest DDR333 or DDR400 architectures.

Recovery Gains Steam in First Quarter. "Recovery is here and it is here more forcefully than I think just about anybody expected," said Richard Berner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley.  Wars do that sort of thing.

Does Business Really Care About Faster Computer Chips? The desktop machines are plenty fast enough for the environment that most of us use at the office...

Microsoft Steps Up Anti-AOL Campaign. MSN is upping the ante in its fight against America Online for Internet access subscribers, offering a cool $50 to anyone willing to make the switch by the end of May.

XP Update to Go Beyond Mere Fixes. Along with squashing bugs, as service packs normally do, Microsoft's first major update to Windows XP will add support for Tablet PCs and a fancier graphical interface.  Will be available as early as the third quarter.

IBM Will Steer PowerPC Into Mobile Mart. IBM is establishing a separate design group in Raleigh, N.C., that initially will create follow-on products based on the PowerPC 405LP (low power) system-on-chip, which is slated to sample next quarter.

Swedish Scientists Find Way to Kill Cancer Tumors. Experts have found a way to repair a defective gene that encourages cancer and to make it kill off tumors.

Swedes Take The Lead In Nano Thread Semiconductors. “In nano threads, we can combine semiconductor materials that no one has previously been able to grow. This results in entirely new electrical properties: a single electron can be monitored and made to run a unidimensional electronic steeplechase.”

PHP Security Flaws Widespread on the Web. Scripting language could leave as many as 1 million Web sites vulnerable to attack, researcher says.  Make that 999,999 web sites... fix was installed this AM.

Intel Launches 'Radio Free Intel' to Connect PCs, Cell Phones via RF Technologies

Index

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