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December 2003

Wednesday, 31 December 2003

Israel to Suspend Microsoft Buys. Israel became the latest government to embrace the open-source movement in software, saying this week that it would suspend purchases of Microsoft's productivity software and explore less costly, open-source alternatives.

Unrepentant Spammer to Carry-on, Within the Law. Alan Ralsky, according to experts in the field, has long been one of the most prolific senders of junk e-mail messages in the world. But he has not sent a single message over the Internet in the last few weeks.

Bank of England Warns of E-mail Scam. A bogus email tricks recipients into opening an attachment for security reasons, but this may make their computers vulnerable.

Web Offers Last-Minute Tax Cuts. Go online and give yourself a belated holiday gift: tax savings for 2003.

First Look At Windows XP Service Pack 2

Micron to Admit Price-Fixing in Exchange for Amnesty? Published news reports say that Micron is considering admitting to price-fixing charges to help the Justice Department's investigation of DRAM makers in exchange for amnesty.

Chip Industry Expected to Grow 18 Percent. IDC credits the global chip industry growth to a surge in PC and cell-phone shipments.

EMachines Beats Gateway Sales. That's what privately held eMachines plans to report as its annual revenue when its fiscal year ends Dec. 31. It's about a 25% increase from last year.

Wrangling Your Old Files Into Your New PC. Visit our Forums for more ideas.

Spirit and Opportunity Ready to Land on Mars

Major Mars Express Scheduled Orbit Change Achieved

Tuesday, 30 December

Online Retailers Rack Up Record Holiday Sales. Sales jumped 29 percent from $9.08 billion to $11.72 billion from last year to this year.

Simulator Looks to 'Harden' Buildings. The world's first bomb blast simulator aims to catapult “battle hardening” from a medieval black art into a 21st-century science.

Bye Bye BIOS? Intel and Microsoft are gearing up to move toward the first major overhaul of the innermost workings of the personal computer--the boundary where software and hardware meet--during 2004.

Slow, Steady Ad Growth Predicted For 2004. Online advertising's outlook is optimistic, not exuberant.

Instant Messengers, Media Players Top Net-Access Apps. Survey says three out of four people connect to the Internet by using applications that aren't Web browsers.

The Duel of the Dual-layer DVD Formats. The DVD+RW camp is expected to be first with products that nearly double the amount of data held on one disc--but that achievement may not win the format war.

Windows XP 64 Success

Intel Confirms and Denies x86-64 Processors

Monday, 29 December

Toshiba Battles to Revive Struggling PC Division. Japan's Toshiba Corp, once the world's largest maker of notebook computers, is seen poised for major restructuring of its PC operations as it struggles to halt the division's flow of red ink and recapture past glory.

Cyber Blackmail Wave Targets Office Workers. Cyber blackmail artists are shaking down office workers, threatening to delete computer files or install pornographic images on their work PCs unless they pay a ransom.

Display Ads Back From the Dead. Perceptions of a decline in bnner ads may be misleading.

Busiest Holiday Season Yet for Amazon.com. The online retailer registered 2.1 million items ordered on 2003's peak day.

Crater May Be Blocking Beagle 2 Signal from Mars

Wednesday, 24 December

More and More Tech Jobs Head Overseas. U.S. corporations are picking up the pace in shifting well-paid technology jobs to India, China and other low-cost centers, but they are keeping quiet for fear of a backlash.

Pre-Christmas Economic News Not So Cheery. A day before Christmas, the U.S. government reported some surprisingly bleak economic news as drops in orders for costly durable goods and in new-home sales cast a cloud across generally cheery expansion prospects.

Online Holiday Shopping is Disappointing. Major online shopping sites continue their crawl to Christmas, displaying inconsistent and slow performance for holiday shoppers.

Micron Sees Profit. Micron Technology records net income of $1 million and revenue of $1.1 billion for its fiscal Q1 2004.

Britain's Beagle 2 Mars Probe to Land on Christmas

The Top Science Stories of 2003

Tuesday, 23 December

AMD Takes Processor Spotlight in 2004. A Look Forward: Processor giant Intel takes a back seat, with only one new speed grade introduced during 2003.

Teams Forming for 64-Bit Migration. Alliances between hardware and software vendors are going to help spur migration from 32-bit processors next year, one report predicts.

AMD Debuts Low Cost Athlon 64. With little fanfare, AMD has released a low-cost version of its flagship Athlon 64 processor.

Of Dying Viruses and Dangerous Christmas Cards. W32/Welcia is doing its best to infect before dying in 2004 and holiday revelers are warned to watch for infected holiday e-mail cards.

Taiwan Makers Expect Rising Demand for HDTV Tuner Modules, Set-top Boxes. A recent ruling by the FCC, HDTV market developments in Europe and Japan, and the planned move by Motorola to outsource STBs (set-top boxes) from Asian suppliers, could all be blessings for Taiwan’s STB makers, according to sources.

Growth in U.S. Net Population Levels-off. The number of Internet users in the United States expanded much more slowly during the past two years compared with previous years, but many of the 126 million people who are online are becoming more attached to the Web. Fast Internet Lines Jump 18 Percent in First Half '03.

Smart Helmets Monitor Athletes' Head Injuries. A biofeedback system installed in football helmets will be used to collect data on high-impact collisions.

Monday, 22 December

AOL Takes Passage to India. AOL is quietly laying the groundwork to hire software engineers in Bangalore, India--a decision that is sparking some pointed criticism but also is becoming de rigueur among technology companies.

Secret of 'Strained Silicon' Chips Revealed. Intel has taken the wraps off a secret technique it is using to increase the speed of its Pentium and Centrino chips.

SCO Steps-up Licensing Battle, Reports loss. The SCO Group Inc. stepped up its efforts to collect license fees from Linux users and reported a quarterly net loss as a result of legal costs associated with its intellectual property rights campaign.

Sober.C Starts Spreading, Germany Most At Risk. A new Sober mass-mailed worm debuted over the weekend and is picking up steam, causing several anti-virus vendors to boost their threat ranking.

Wi-Fi Antennas Extend Reach. Wi-Fi got several boosts this month that promise to expand coverage areas offered by wireless providers and to widen corporate networks.

Athlon 64 Needs A Killer App. In introducing a low-end version of its Athlon 64 -- the AMD Athlon 64 3000+ -- Advanced Micro Devices is encouraging the adoption of the powerful microprocessor by PC manufacturers, but this begs the eternal question about all processors: where is the software that runs on the 64-bit machine?

Nuclear Fusion Project Seeks End to Site Dispute

Telescope's New Pics Rival Hubble

Thursday, 18 December

New York Attorney General, Microsoft File Lawsuits Against Spam Ring. Once antitrust arch enemies, the attorney general of New York and Microsoft, have filed joint lawsuits against a New York spamming ring.

Digital TV Box Sales to Leap by 39%. Sales of digital TV set-top boxes are predicted to increase by 39 percent to 50.3 million units in 2004.

NEC Shows Prototype Dual DVD/HD-DVD Drive. NEC has demonstrated for the first time a prototype optical disc drive that uses a single optical head to read DVDs and discs recorded in a blue-laser format that is awaiting final approval as the next-generation DVD standard.

Toshiba to Show 0.85-inch Drive. Toshiba said it is developing a 0.85-inch diameter hard disk drive with a capacity of between 2 to 3 Gbytes for use in mobile devices.

Sony to Stop DVD Burner Production. Sony will phase out production of DVD burners and seek OEM production in Taiwan.

Linux Gets Major Update. The new version (2.6.0) of the core, or kernel, of Linux has several changes that make Linux better suited to powerful computers with numerous processors.

Apple Releases Update to OS X Panther. Mac OS X 10.3.2 update boosts security and support for Windows environments as well as tweaks to various applications.

Naked Nanofibres Stretch Optical Properties. A new type of nanoscale optical fibre is showing promise in applications such as light-based computing and chemical sensing.

Canon Plans to Roll Out Nearly 20 New Compact Digital Cameras. Canon said it plans to roll-out nearly 20 new compact digital cameras next year in an aggressive product push aimed at grabbing one-fourth of the global market.

First private rocket ship goes supersonic

Sony Unveils World's First 'Running' Humanoid Robot

Wednesday, 17 December

Effort to Re-enact Flight Falls Short. The Wright brothers would have sympathized. One hundred years after the brothers' first flight, a reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer made a valiant attempt to take to the air today.

Startup Claims 10-Gbit performance Over Copper Links. Startup KeyEye Communications is touting the development of a CMOS transceiver that will allow designers to push 10-Gbit/s data rates over category 6 copper cabling using only four pins on a chip.

FCC Adds Funds to Hook Up Schools to Internet. The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday said it would carry forward about $420 million in unused funds to provide Internet access and other telecommunications services to libraries and schools.

New Intel Digital TV Chip Could Remake the Market. Chipmaker Intel is planning to do to digital television what it has already done to computing.

Sun Turns to AMD in Effort to Recover from x86 Mistake. Embracing a hardware environment it once scorned, Sun tries to make amends.

Linux Developers Spar Over Enterprise Desktop Plans. Bruce Perens, a major open-source leader, and KDE supporters tussle over UserLinux.

Patch Backlash. Is Microsoft doing enough to fix its security mess? A user poll finds people wondering how things got this bad.

DRAM Bouncing Back, Report Says. Higher demand for DRAM from PCs and handheld devices, plus tighter controls on supply, will result in larger revenues for manufacturers.

Potential Anti-cancer agents Found in Red Wine. Pharmaceutical treasure trove may lurk at the bottom of the bottle. Oak Barrels May Sweeten Red Wine's Anti-Cancer Potential.

Tools From The Human Genome Project Reveal A Versatile Microbe

Discover's Guide to the Top 100 Science Stories of 2003

Tuesday, 16 December

President Bush Signs First National Anti-Spam Bill Into Law. President Bush signed the first national anti-spam bill into law on Tuesday, outlawing some of the most annoying forms of junk e-mail and setting jail time and multimillion dollar fines for violators.

Government Says Tech Firms Recovering. The U.S. technology industry is showing healthy growth for the first time since parts of the Internet sector collapsed two years ago, but jobs and wages still are down...

Win 98's Demise Leaves Questions About Security. Days after software giant Microsoft announced that it will stop distributing the Windows 98 operating system, and weeks ahead of the scheduled end of support, industry experts warn that the OS, though long in the tooth, is still widely used within organizations.

IE Overhaul Part of Windows XP SP2. Microsoft's service pack for XP has a host of goodies for improving the Internet Explorer.

Opteron Catches-on at Fujitsu Siemens. Fujitsu Siemens Computers made good on a promise to offer a workstation based on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processor.

VIA Ships World’s First IGP Chipset for AMD Athlon 64 Processor. VIA Technologies announced the immediate availability of the K8M800 chipset, the world’s first core-logic solution supporting AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron processors to feature an IGP (integrated graphics processor) core.

Organic Transistors Painted On Fabric

Coral Reveals Ancient Origins of Human Genes

Monday, 15 December

IBM Moving More Software Jobs Abroad. IBM plans to move up to several thousand skilled software jobs from the United States to India, China and other countries, which could amount to one of the biggest such actions yet in the technology industry.

Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows 98 Support. Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 98 on January 16th.

Can this Cheap Gaming PC Compete? eMachines enters the gaming market with a bang-up price, but not much else.

Japanese Phones to Work as Smart Cards. Cell phones in Japan will work as concert tickets, identification cards and electronic wallets in a new service by the nation's top mobile carrier, NTT DoCoMo, that uses smart card technology developed by Sony Corp.

Samsung Intros 8Gbit NAND Flash. The first 8Gbit NAND flash memory device is based on four 2Gbit and produced on 12-inch wafers in a 90nm process.

Jolly Good News For Online Retailers This Holiday. Estimates that holiday shopping on the Web will be better than ever are proving true.

Shadows Are Hardwired Into the Brain

Friday, 12 December

Virginia Hits Spammers With Felony Charges. One of world's top ten spammers facing up to 20 years in prison for falsifying routing information.

Are Windows 98 Users at Risk? A research paper warns companies running Windows 98 that they face an increased risk of a network security breach when Microsoft retires the product at year's end.

Hard Disks Add Muscle to DVD Recorder Growth. The digital shift is here and it's about to claim your video cassette recorder (VCR).

Attack on SCO's Servers Intensifies. A day-old denial-of-service attack on the Web server of SCO Group has been expanded to assault the company's mail and file servers, SCO's top network administrator says.

Earth's Weakening Magnetic Field Could Presage Polar Flip. It sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie: Compass needles go haywire, cancer rates rise, new ozone holes pop up all over the globe and a plague of glitches descends on all things electronic.

Genome Scan Shows Human-chimp Differences

Drunk Worms

Wednesday, 11 December

PC Shipments to Reach Record Levels, IDC Reports. Total shipments in 2003 will outdo 2000 levels, but will see a decline in total value on the market's aggressive pricing and shift toward lower-end configurations.

'Tis the Season to Counterfeit. Read how easily products are faked using supply chain software, and get guidelines on how to thwart crime.

Ma Bell Dials A New Number. AT&T and Qwest are among the phone companies moving rapidly toward Internet-based telephone service.

Retail Sales Up, Jobless Claims Rise. U.S. retailers had a merry start to the holidays as November retail sales rose, but initial claims for jobless benefits jumped last week, according to government reports, tempering the season cheer.

Elpida Shipping 1Gbit DDR2 DRAMs in Module Form. The 1-Gbit DDR2 devices were shipped to customers on 2-Gbyte registered modules intended for evaluation within server designs. Micron Ramps Production of DDR2 SDRAM.

What Does Can Spam Really Mean? The clock is ticking on the Can Spam Act's becoming law, but questions remain unanswered.

Delayed Patch Ends Microsoft's Patch-free Month Early. A glitch in Microsoft's Windows Update automated patching service caused a security fix that was released last month to be delivered to computer users on Tuesday, the same day Microsoft proclaimed December would be a patch-free month.

IE Bug Lets Fake Sites Look Real. Microsoft on Tuesday said it was looking into reports of a potential bug in its Web browser that could help malicious hackers design convincing Web site spoofs.

Symantec: Windows Messenger Service Vulnerability Bigger Than Reported. This exploit allows hackers to send a single packet to attack every system on an entire network.

Longhorn Delays Will Impact Upgrades, Gartner Says. Microsoft could release Longhorn sometime between late 2006 and mid-2008, but it could be even further out.

Microsoft Preps Windows XP Service Pack 2 Beta For Release Within Next Week

Nanoparticle Arrays Explored for Terabit-level Disks

Nanofabrication Achieved on Biological Substrate

Sperm From Stem Cells Fertilize Egg

Earthlike Planets Might Be Common in the Universe

Wednesday, 10 December

Cisco to Offer New, Upgradeable Routers for Telcos. Cisco says it would offer a new version of its high-end routers, devices that direct data on networks, that customers could upgrade instead of replace.

AMD Eyes 45-nanometer Transistors. AMD researchers revealed details of how their company plans to build processors using the next-generation 45-nanometer process technology that AMD hopes to have in production by as early as 2007.

Security Experts Warn of New Way to Attack Windows. Exploit enables an attacker to compromise a number of machines at one time and could lead to the creation of another fast-spreading Windows worm, warn experts.

Microsoft Skips Patches In December

Light 'Frozen' In Its Tracks

Tuesday, 9 December

Congress Sends Can Spam Act to White House. Landmark opt-out plan sets first national standards for regulating unsolicited commercial e-mail. Anti-Spam Laws Too Feeble, Say Campaigners.

Dow Tops 10,000. The Dow treaded water Tuesday afternoon after crossing 10,000 in the morning for the first time in 18 months, while the Nasdaq tumbled, as the last Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting of the year neared completion.

Microsoft Amends Phase-out Policy. The new D-Day for a phase-out of a number of Microsoft's tried-and-true products is Dec. 23. Microsoft cites the Sun Java suit as the cause.

US Airways Pulls Tickets From Expedia. US Airways Group Inc. has yanked its tickets off Expedia, bitterly complaining that the Internet's leading travel site would have forced its passengers to pay more money.

Beetle's Jet May Inspire New Engines

Monday, 8 December

Chip Makers Jockey as DVD Recorder Price tags Prepare to Tumble. DVD recorders are threatening to go mainstream as Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers compete to push unit prices to as low as $200 in the next year.

Microsoft to Drop Older Products. Microsoft will retire several of its products next week, including Windows 98 and SQL Server 7, to comply with a court order related to its dispute with Sun Microsystems over Java.

IBM Demos Polymer Self-Assembly. The method, which creates nanocrystal memory devices, is compatible with conventional semiconductor processing, according to IBM.

SCO Loses First Legal Round in Linux Battle. A judge told SCO it has 30 days to respond to IBM's demands for details about the Linux code SCO claims encroaches on its intellectual property.

Micron Says DDR2 Memory in Volume Production. Enabling technology for future Intel chips and chipsets

PayPal Slashes Micropayments Fees. The online payments platform announces a major fee reduction for digital download music merchants.

Friday, 5 December

Las Vegas Schools Mix IP, Digital Communications. Looking to boost communications capabilities and cut costs, the Clark County School District is installing an IP-ready metropolitan-area network and about 27,000 phones that operate in both digital and IP modes.

MSI to Sell AMD-platform Mega PC Mini-barebone. Micro-Star International (MSI) will begin selling the Mega 180, a mini-barebone system supporting the AMD Athlon XP processor, in January.

DVDs, Drives Don't Mix, Says Government Study. Recordable DVDs stand a substantial chance of being incompatible with DVD drives, but the situation is improving with new models, according to an ongoing government survey.

FCC Seeks To Overturn Ruling On Cable Broadband. The FCC has filed a petition with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, seeking to overturn the court's ruling that cable broadband provides telecommunications services.

Slow Recovery Tempered by IT Consolidation. At least half the software companies in the world will go out of existence.

High-End P4: Better, Not Best. Intel's surprise chip is competitive, but doesn't beat AMD's top Athlon processor.

AMD's Rivet Pivots in Mad Dash for Flash Cash. We were bleeding, now we're just leaking.

Intel Expects $600M Charge. Intel anticipates taking a Q4 goodwill impairment charge related to the wireless communications and computing group.

Study: Carbon nanotubes Make the best Semiconductors. Carbon nanotubes, the experimental materials seen as possible replacements for conventional chip-making materials, conduct electricity better than any other material at room temperature, according to researchers at the University of Maryland in College Park.

What's in store for Wi-Fi standards? At the Wi-Fi Planet conference, key industry groups give an update on upcoming wireless networking standards to improve security, higher throughput and VoIP.

Fight for Control of the Net Erupts on U.N. Watch. A controversial plan to grant governments broad controls over the Internet has stolen the spotlight of a United Nations conference on IT next week, where China and Cuba will be among its strongest supporters.

Online Retail Sites Strain Under 'Black Friday.' Online retailers botched 1 in 5 sales transactions during the biggest shopping day of the holiday season.

SCO, IBM Dispute Headed for Hearing. Will IBM finally get a chance to see what code SCO claims was lifted and placed into Linux?

SCO Group Launches Broadside Against GPL. In an open letter released on Thursday, SCO CEO Darl McBride leveled a strong attack on the GNU General Public License, calling it "a mistake."

Radar Reveals Asteroid Force

Membranes May Help Humans Get To Mars

Thursday, 4 December

Cisco Airs-out Wi-Fi Vulnerability. Cisco Systems is warning of a vulnerability in some of its Aironet Wi-Fi access points that could allow attackers to snoop on corporate networks.

Canon, Toshiba to Link on Production of New Flat TV. Canon said Thursday it planned to establish a joint venture with Toshiba to manufacture next-generation displays for thin televisions before launching a new flat-screen TV in 2004. Wait Until Next Year to Buy That Flat Panel TV. Experts say prices will tumble by some 30 percent in 2004.

President Bush Signs Nanotechnology Bill. New law grants $3.7B over the next four years for nanotech research and development.

Cool Stuff: Super-Geek Specials. There are gadgets and gizmos aplenty for geeks of all ages on your gift list.

Pipe Organ Plays Again as PC Responds. For the Marshall & Ogletree organ company the loss at Trinity Church on 9/11 two years ago would transform what had been a hobby into a product development.

Microsoft Plays Intellectual Property Licensing Catch-Up. Analysts were mostly upbeat following Microsoft's debut of a new, streamlined intellectual property licensing strategy, including its FAT file system and ClearType font-rendering technologies.

Your Next OS: Windows 2006? Longhorn preview reveals new file system, gee-whiz graphics, and some security fixes.

Yahoo Instant Messenger Contains Security Flaw. Security researchers are warning of a security hole in Yahoo Inc.'s Messenger that could allow attackers to run their own code on computers using the instant messaging program.

Is Your PC Sending Viagra Spam Behind Your Back? Security experts have identified what they suspect to be the biggest culprit behind that seemingly unceasing torrent of e-mail spam messages and computer virus outbreaks.

It's time for Linux to Grow-up. Q&A HP's Martin Fink says Linux can't be a hobbyist's toy and be the industry's leading operating platform at the same time. Plus, he tells what's behind HP's SCO plans.

New HP Products to Help Simplify Networks. Hewlett-Packard is announcing a round of products today to help simplify corporate computer networks, including a new device that can replicate a Windows desktop personal computer but is simpler for companies to deploy.

Lindows.com Ships Linux For Laptops

Ethiopian Fossil Finds Elucidate Elephant Evolution

Tuesday, 2 December

October Chip Sales Hit Historical Highs. The SIA reports that the 6.8 percent sequential growth in worldwide chip sales is the strongest gain since 1990. Chip Revenue To Climb 17% in 2004.

ATI Begins Sampling HDTV Chip. ATI has launched its latest picture processing chip aimed at the US HDTV market.

NetCell Claims New Controller Outperforms Raid 5 Chips. Designed for PCs with multiple hard drives.

Startup Bolts Smart Antennas to Existing Wi-Fi Chipsets. Startup says its smart antenna technology can increase Wi-Fi range, increase speeds and decrease power consumption.

Linux Kernel Vulnerability is Behind Debian Attack. A serious vulnerability in the Linux 2.4 kernel that allows users on a Linux machine to gain unlimited access privileges has been discovered, according to a security advisory posted by developers of the noncommercial Debian Linux distribution.

Webmasters Wary of Latest Google Tweaks. An apparent change to Google's algorithms sparks a debate, while exposing the tricks used to fool search engines.

Intel Ship Set to Make PC Into Wireless Access Point. Although software on the Grantsdale chip set will enable wireless access capability, users will still need a wireless card for PCs to use the technology.

Nearby Star May Have Planetary System Like Ours

Monday, 1 December

New Format War Looms as DVD Forum Chooses Standard. Toshiba and NEC have won a round in the fight for standardizing the format for DVDs as their technology has been embraced by an industry forum, but the real battle is won by convincing consumers and Hollywood.

White LEDs Set to Displace Fluorescent Tubes. There's a good thing.

Microsoft Sets Sights On Cars. First Microsoft set out to put a computer in every home. Now the software giant hopes to put one in every vehicle, too.

IC Makers Gear-up for New Tire Pressure Monitor Rule. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could be on the verge of issuing a regulation that would put a microprocessor in every new tire, paving the way for semiconductor makers to provide automakers with 80 million chips a year.

Vendors Taking Capacitors Down to 01005. Barely visible devices suited for smaller, lighter mobile applications.

Label Could Put Stop to Fruit Squeezing

November 2003

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