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NEWS, ETC.
July 2003

Thursday, 31 July 2003

Economy Makes Strongest Showing In A Year. Improvement in the gross domestic product came after two straight quarters of lousy economic growth.

Rebooting the PC Industry. To understand the growing pains of the PC industry, look no further than the television set.

Experts Anxious Over Possible Net Attack. Is brewing hacker activity a precursor to a broad Internet attack that will target a serious Windows flaw?

July Spam Exceeds all of 2002. MessageLabs reports that spam is as bad as ever, accounting for 50 percent of all e-mails in July. Also, one in every 166 e-mail messages contains a worm/virus.

IBM Exec: 'Forces' at Work Against Linux. A "set of forces" is attempting to derail Linux, a Big Blue exec tells conference-goers, hinting that Microsoft and SCO Group are among those responsible.

Gateway PCs Head Back to the Low End. Having admitted defeat in its strategy of pursuing higher margins with feature-packed PCs, Gateway is planning to compete against the top PC makers in the U.S. on price with the new Gateway 310 series PCs.

Circuit Design Evolving in Distributed Digital World. A digital simulation of natural selection, taking place in scores of internet-linked personal computers, is evolving superior circuits.

The Secret Cost of Notebooks. Portable systems may not cost much more than desktops, but repairs likely won't come cheap.

Researchers See Trouble Ahead for WLAN Performance. French researchers say that when a slow device is connected to a wireless LAN access point, data speeds across the entire network can drop.

Broadband 'Members First' for AOL's 9.0 Release. AOL is about to release its latest client, AOL 9.0.

Wednesday, 30 July 2003

One in 10 U.S. Tech Jobs May Move Overseas, Report Says. One out of 10 jobs in the U.S. computer services and software industry could shift to lower-cost emerging markets such as India or Russia by the end of 2004, a top computer consultancy said on Tuesday.

IBM Gets Serious About 64 Bits. Hoping to accelerate the acceptance of 64-bit technology into the Linux world as well as getting a jump on competitors announcing products at next week's LinuxWorld, IBM unveiled a new server based on AMD's Opteron processor, along with a new version of its DB2 database and DB2-based clustering.

AMD Price Cuts Spark New Opteron Chip Rumours. Benchmark results for unannounced Opteron processors posted on Advanced Micro Devices' website, coupled with steep price cuts on the Opteron line, indicate that AMD may introduce three new Opteron chips in the coming weeks.

Startup Projects Keyboard Made of Light. At Siggraph, Canesta displays a computer keyboard made of light, joining other companies that have embraced the concept of such portable "projection keyboards."

Sun Adds Gnome Open-Source Interface to Solaris. Leveraging the growing interest in open-source applications, Sun Microsystems will release its Solaris operating system with the Gnome desktop interface as an option.

Hynix Rolls-out DDR500 SDRAM. Hynix introduced a 256Mbit DDR500 SDRAM that will go into production in August.

Semiconductor Industry on 'Hair-Trigger for Recovery.' Semiconductor unit consumption increased 13 percent in Q2, leading Future Horizons to forecast a return to solid growth trends over the next two and a half years.

Microsoft Finds New Uses for Usenet. Researchers at Microsoft are working on technology that makes it easier to navigate Usenet news groups and could eventually help clear clutter in e-mail inboxes.

Jupiter: Search Powers Online Ad Revival. Thanks to meteoric growth in paid listings and a revival of interest in traditional Internet ads, the researcher forecasts a $14.8 billion online ad industry in 2008.

Hormel Fights To Defend Spam Name. Hormel Foods has a message for a Seattle software company: Stop, in the name of Spam!

Research Advances on Artificial Retinas. Researchers around the world are tackling the problem of applying chip technology to aid the blind. Several research teams recently demonstrated artificial-retina prototypes at the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks.

Exploit Code Posted for Windows Hole. The flaw, rated "critical" by Microsoft, allows a hacker to gain control of a Windows system through a security hole in the Distributed Component Object Model interface.

Tuesday, 29 July 2003

Electronics Shipment Surge in June. More good news: Shipments of computers and telecom equipment is on the rise.

Are You Ready for a 64-Bit PC? AMD and Apple are readying the next generation of desktop computers, pushing performance to new levels.

Taiwan Disc Makers Hike DVD Output, Glut Feared. Taiwan's world-leading compact disc makers are pumping up production of DVDs to tap into the fast-growing home entertainment market, raising fears of a return of a supply glut that forced firms into the red last year.

Tight ties may be bad for eyes

Monday, 28 July 2003

Rules Could Force Shippers To Modernize. Proposal requires carriers to electronically notify customs of shipments headed for U.S.

Dual-Channel SerialATA RAID Controllers Roundup. Review of Six SATA boards.

Internet's New Address--IPv6. The world is nearing an Internet address crunch, but North America still has plenty to spare. That threatens to fragment plans for the biggest overhaul of the Internet in 30 years.

Friday, 25 July 2003

New Storage Solution Previewed at Linux Symposium. Dubbed NetMD, the project entails a Linux kernel driver, currently undergoing development, which passes storage requests directly to the hard drive.

Web Sites Unfazed by SCO Threats. One important section of the Linux market, large companies, so far seems unfazed by SCO Group's warnings that Linux violates its Unix intellectual property, according to a new study. IBM Moves to Reassure Customers on SCO Lawsuit.

EBay Reports 91 Percent Year-over-Year Sales Surge. EBay reported record quarterly profit and revenue Thursday, and the online auction giant announced a two-for-one stock split and boosted its already bullish outlook for the rest of the year.

Plasma Rides the Consumer Wave. Features, availability, pricing make displays more attractive to consumers. Amtran Aims to Boost LCD TV Shipments. 20- to 30-inch LCD TVs to replace smaller models next year as mainstream products.

The Sky is Receding...

Thursday, 24 July 2003

Red Hat Turning Retail-boxed Linux 9 Into a Development-only Version. Later this year, the company plans to release a boxed consumer Linux version to replace RH 9.

Microsoft Finishes Windows P2P As Microsoft Meeting Web Conferencing Is Prepped. As it prepares several collaboration software products for debut this year, Microsoft has released a Windows XP update and software development kit to enable peer-to-peer networking across those products.

Microsoft Reveals 'Critical' Flaw. The software giant issues another passel of warnings about security holes, including a "critical" flaw that affects most Windows PCs.

Wednesday, 23 July 2003

Cracking Windows Passwords in Seconds. Researchers outline a way to speed the cracking of alphanumeric Windows passwords, reducing code-breaking times to an average of 13.6 seconds, from 1 minute 41 seconds.

Subscribers Fleeing AOL. Nearly a million customers left in the last three months.

PDFing Cheap. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on Adobe Acrobat to make your own PDFs.

Imperfect Estimate Claims Universe Has 70 Sextillion Stars. Astronomers announced today that there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe, or some 70 thousand million million million. That's a 7 followed by 22 zeros.

Tuesday, 22 July 2003

Lindows Powers $169 Web-Centric PC. Lindows.com rolled out an under-$200 Linux-powered PC suitable as a Web-only workstation for businesses and as the foundation of public kiosks that connect to the Internet.

SCO Copyright Claims Questioned. The Free Software Foundation on Monday hit back at The SCO Group's calls for business users of Linux to pay for UnixWare licenses.

Microsoft to Pick Up Clients' Legal Tabs. Microsoft has a new sales pitch for Linux users: Buy our software and stay out of court.

Microsoft Money 2004 Offers Powerful New Features. This premium personal-finance package gets even better.

Monday, 21 July 2003

Hackers Possibly Using Home PCs to Defraud Clients. Hackers could be using home computers to steal thousands of rands from Absa Bank's clients, and not the system of the bank, the Banking Council said in a statement today.

FTC Targets New Form of Identity Theft. Stealing identities and credit card numbers with bogus e-mail and Web sites that appear to come from legitimate companies is an increasing problem on the Internet, federal officials warned Monday.

Recordable DVD Still Stuck on Pause. Consumers have yet to cast a decisive vote for one of the two major rewriteable DVD formats, DVD-RAM and DVD+RW.

Red Hat to Change Development Model, Abandon Shrinkwrap. Red Hat has also decided to abandon the shrinkwrap box retail channel, company representatives said late Saturday...

SCO Gets Unix Copyrights, Will Force Users To License UnixWare To Run Linux. The SCO Group has secured U.S. copyright registrations for Unix System V code and now intends to begin charging customers to run Linux.

Linux Ranks No. 2 On Microsoft Risk List. The open-source operating system trailed only the economic environment in the biggest risks outlined by CFO John Connors.

Study: Software Seeks Offshore Savings. Lured by low labor costs, more than eight in 10 software companies are shipping work overseas or plan to in the next year, says a study sponsored by a venture capital group.

U.S. Navy Dumps Microsoft. Powerpoint dumped for the World Wide War Web.  I think the headline is probably an exaggeration extraordinaire.

Best Network Port Scanners for Linux. Port scanning is a prosaic area of network security. For the network administrator, it is the equivalent of knocking on all the doors of a house to see if anyone is around. In an age when any open holes in a network are dangerous, however, a simple port scanner can be an invaluable tool. But there is no reason to run out and purchase a piece of scanning software.

California Class Action Settlement Approved. California software buyers can get piece of $1.1 billion settlement against Microsoft

Strong Demand for DDR400 Memory Puts Pressure on Spot Market. DDR400 SDRAM chips purchased through the spot market are commanding a high premium over the same devices available through contract channels, raising concerns that some white-box and Tier 2 PC makers may curb the memory's use until prices come down sometime later this year.

Return of the ZiLOG Cult. Electronics is such a dynamic business that few products survive long enough to reach 'classic' status, and even fewer corporates generate a cult following. ZiLOG has achieved both in its near 30-year history.

Black Holes and Galaxies -- Missing Link Discovered In Our Own Cosmic Backyard

Friday, 18 July 2003

New OpenOffice On Deck. The OpenOffice 1.1 release candidate is now available.

Cisco Exploit Hits the Net. Less than a day after Cisco disclosed a serious vulnerability, experts warn that crackers are already using an exploit to breach routers and switches across the Web.

New Worm Masquerades As Microsoft Patch. The infection modifies settings in Windows machines and attempts to delete key system files.

Microsoft Profit Again Huge, but Firm Is Cautious. Microsoft reported strong revenue growth from its server business and from resurgent online advertising but predicted relatively flat performance for the near future in a mixed quarterly earnings report.

Massachusetts Continues Push on Microsoft Antitrust Appeal. In court papers filed this week, Massachusetts officials argued that last year's antitrust case settlement doesn't stop Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior.

Top 10 Hard Drives. How can a drive with a one year warrantee be a "best buy."  Who needs a lot of drive documentation?  Their assessment of the WD Special Edition 80 gig drive is ridiculous.

Thursday, 17 July 200

Tech Sector Slump Ends... Internet Advertising Slump Ends... PC Sales Surge in Second Quarter. "Despite the SARS epidemic, the war in Iraq and economic uncertainty, the personal computer market grew faster than expected last quarter."  This plus many other positive headlines over the last few weeks leads me to conclude that the tech sector slump that started in 2000 has finally ended.  Coincidently (or is it a coincidence?), the Internet advertising slump has also ended.  --Editor

Microsoft Warns of Critical Windows Flaw. Windows users should expect to have another update from Microsoft waiting for them on their computers.

Cisco Warns of Widespread Software Flaw. A serious flaw in its IOS operating system could make those devices vulnerable to a denial of service (DOS) attack.

Bill Would Make File Swapping a Felony. Several representatives sponsor a bill that puts peer-to-peer users who swap even a single copyrighted file in danger of becoming federal felons.

The US and EU Step Closer to Spam Agreement. The chairwoman of the European Parliament's European Internet Foundation said she believed the US Congress and its European Union counterpart will come up with an agreement to prosecute spammers across international borders.

A Better Mouse Trap

Fewer Asteroids Than Expected Likely to Hit Earth

Wednesday, 16 July 2003

AOL Lays off Netscape Developers. The jobs of 50 browser developers are terminated by the online giant, the latest sign of waning support for AOL's long-suffering Netscape division.

Apple shows off G5, Panther. NEW YORK -- Apple on Wednesday demonstrated the forthcoming G5 personal computer and detailed desktop and server versions of Panther, here at the Macworld Creative Pro show... Apple also improved the cooling system with a total of nine fans...

Intel Beats Expectations, Doubles 2Q Profits. Intel said Tuesday its second-quarter profits doubled from a year ago as stronger-than-expected demand for computer microprocessors offset the weakness of its communications chip business.

Tuesday, 15 July 2003

PDF Format Shifting to XML. Adobe unveils plans for form design software that will deploy forms in PDF or as an XML Data Package, allowing organizations to process PDF documents as XML; Openoffice releases XML-based native PDF support.

Is Microsoft Office 2003 Worth the Upgrade? It is not a major upgrade that ushers in a new era of features and functionality, but it does provide a number of welcome enhancements, especially for enterprise users.

IBM advances Linux for Power chips. Big Blue puts more muscle behind its effort to improve Linux for its Power family of processors, adding dozens of programmers to Big Blue's Linux Technology Center.

Walmart.com Offers Microtel PC with Linux. Wal-Mart Stores' online shop is offering a PC with a bundle of preloaded open-source software products from SuSE Linux. Prices start at $298.

Intel Powers-up 3GHz Xeon. Intel fits its newest Xeon chip for workstations and servers with an additional 1MB cache, aiming to deliver a boost in performance.

NVIDIA Introduces Product Suite for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition-Based PCs. The NVIDIA Media Center product suite includes: PCI TV Tuner card, Media Center-ready, nForce2 platform processors, and GeForce FX graphics processing units (GPUs).

SanDisk Rolls-out Flash-based Embedded USB 2.0 Drive

Monday, 14 July 2003

Bits and Bytes May Encode Nature's Secrets. Ultra-small packets of pure information -- "nature's bits" -- may be the basic building blocks of the natural world, says a group of physics researchers that includes Danish Nobel Laureate Gerard t'Hooft. Information in the Holographic Universe. Theoretical results about black holes suggest that the universe could be like a gigantic hologram. The World as a Hologram: A Generic Feature of Quantum Gravity (Lecture audio and pictures)

'Shroud of Uncertainty' Begins to Lift for Chip Industry. Signs indicate that a healthy demand for electronic equipment in the second half of this year that will trigger a chip market "boom" and a hefty in-crease in capital spending in 2004.

Yahoo to Buy Overture in $1.63 Bln Deal. Yahoo says it will buy advertising services company, Overture, for $1.63 billion in cash and stock, to solidify Yahoo's ad business and ward off growing challenges from Google.

McHotspots Get Hype, But Where’s The Beef? The announcement of more Wi-Fi hotspots in McDonald’s restaurants got all the attention, but it’s far less important than AT&T offering VPN access via hotspots.

Deutsche Bank Extends Its 20,000-User VPN Using Clientless Technology. Innovative security technology allowed Deutsche Bank to extend its 20,000-user VPN to 5,000 additional users in a "clientless VPN." The clientless users connect using a standard Web browser without need to install a proprietary client...

Analysis: You Sent Me A Virus! Have A Nice Day! Don't take it personally if someone tells you that you sent them a virus. Don't assume they know what they're talking about either.

Trojan Program Uses PCs to Relay Porn. The Trojan routes traffic for adult sites hosted on a master server via the infected computers.

Secrets to the Best Passwords. Introducing variety into the way you create passwords can make them easy to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess, says columnist Peter H. Gregory.

NASA Developing Hubble Telescope's Successor. "We call it the giggle factor. When you first start talking about putting a mirror like this in space, people laugh at you."

Researchers Seek to Jump-start Evolution to Help Fight Dutch Elm Disease

Friday, 11 July 2003

India's Tech Industry Defends H-1B, Outsource Roles. Fearful that the U.S. will restrict the use of outsourcing services or limit the number of H-1B visas granted to immigrant workers... Oracle to Double Its India Work Force.

Research Firm Says Wi-Fi Will Go Bye-Bye. Emerging technology researchers say ultrawideband technology will eventually beat out 802.11 and make Bluetooth obsolete.

Linux Heavies Slam SCO at Show. The contentious issue of the SCO Group's lawsuit against IBM and its claims that the Linux operating system is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, to which SCO owns the rights, reared its ugly head at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (Oscon).

Open Source Targets Microsoft Exchange. OpenGroupware.org has been launched with plans to create applications that compete with Microsoft Exchange server products.  New Group Releases Open Source Groupware.

Users May Get a Shock From Vaio Notebooks. Sony is notifying owners of certain Vaio notebooks that their modems might not perform as well as expected. Under improbable circumstances, owners of the Vaio PCG-FRV25 and PCG-FRV27 could receive a mild electrical shock.

PC Makers Feature Back-to-School Specials. PC deals are growing easier to find as the back-to-school season gets underway and major PC makers battle for market share--but analysts warn the cost could be features.

Color Laser Printers. Need fast color print outs for you home or office? These products, priced between $800 and $5500, can do the job with aplomb.

Interactive Guide to Digital Cameras

Hubble Spies Oldest Planet

Cell-Based Detector Lights Up for Deadly Germs

Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Microsoft Issues Critical Security Bulletin for Most Versions of Windows. MS03-023, Buffer Overrun In HTML Converter Could Allow Code Execution: "Because this functionality is used by Internet Explorer, an attacker could craft a specially formed Web page or HTML e-mail that would cause the HTML converter to run arbitrary code on a user's system." More Info.

IC Industry Enters Strong Recovery Period, Report Claims. The semiconductor industry is entering a strong recovery period, according to Advanced Forecasting, a semiconductor equipment and materials research company.

Microsoft Employees to Get Stock, Not Options. Microsoft Corp. announced Tuesday that it will no longer offer stock options to its employees, jettisoning a system that has come under fire for contributing to corporate scandals at other companies.

Linux Users Standing Fast Despite SCO Legal Threats, InternetWeek Readers Say. SCO's Linux lawsuit and threats seem to be having little affect on IT managers except to make them angry.

Contemporary Socket A Chipsets: NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400, NVIDIA nForce2 400, SiS748 and VIA KT600

GM Launches Japan's 1st Commercial fuel-cell Vehicle

Torvalds: What, me worry?  Linux's creator sounds off on the SCO lawsuit, patents and the future of Linux.

WiMAX Set to Overshadow wi-fi. First system profiles draw near...

Tuesday, 8 July 2003

Endless Summer of Discounts. High-speed DSL bargains heat up as Baby Bells and cable companies do battle on the home front.  BellSouth Offers Mid-Level Internet Service. BellSouth Corp. on Tuesday introduced an Internet service with a somewhat slower speed and lower cost than high-speed access, marking the latest effort by local telephone companies to compete with cable operators.

Philips New Chip Said to Remove LCD TV Artifacts. Hoping to capture more of the growing flat-panel LCD TV market, Philips Semiconductors has rolled out a new generation motion compensation and estimation IC, designed to improve LCD picture quality.

Microsoft Antitrust Case Takes Linux Twist. The Massachusetts attorney general's office is investigating whether Microsoft tried to squash Linux in violation of the consent decree settling the company's landmark antitrust case.

Ingram Micro Unit Targets White Box Market. Technology distributor Ingram Micro is creating a unit to focus on delivering PC components to "white-box" system builders in the... I've seen this sort of thing before...

House Ponders Anti-Spam Bill. The U.S. House of Representatives took another step Tuesday in its race to keep up with the anti-spam advocates in the Senate by holding the first of what will undoubtedly be a series of hearings on spam legislation. Spam Believed to Cost Businesses Billions.

Adobe Cuts Mac Support. New versions of Premiere and After Effects unveiled, without support for Mac OS.

Four Spacecraft Headed Toward Mars

Monday, 7 July 2003

Microsoft Said to be Mulling $10B Dividend. The software giant considers a massive one-time dividend to appease shareholders.

U.S. Dissatisfied with Microsoft Licenses. The U.S. Justice Department tells a federal judge that the software giant still hasn't fully complied with a key provision in its landmark antitrust settlement with the government.

Hacking Competition Gets Hacked. A competition among hackers to see who could deface the greatest number of Web sites was itself the victim of a hacking attack. As the competition got underway on Sunday, hackers created a denial of service attack on Zone-H.org, an independent site that monitored the event.

AMD Readies Price Cuts, Opteron, Clawhammer Intros. First Athlon 64 to have 940 pins, then 939...

SCO's Chief Takes Linux Beef To Japan. A decision by eight consumer giants, most of them Japanese, to throw their support behind Linux has the chief executive officer of SCO Group on the move.

IT Demand Stalls, Report Says. Market research house Lehman Brothers reports that IT spending will stay low in the near term, seeing an upswing in the fall.

Buying DVD Burners Gets Easier. More dual-format rewritable drives are coming to market--and lowering prices.

Watch Out for MyLife Mass Mailer Worm. A new mass-mailing worm, called MyLife is replicating across the Internet using the address book in Microsoft's Outlook software.

HDTV Sets Aren't Quite Ready for Everyone. Unless electronics and broadcasting industries settle a handful of key issues, buying an HDTV set constitutes a bet on how the market will develop.

Deep Rocks Might Ease Global Warming in Carbon Plan

Thursday, 3 July 2003

Microsoft Shifting Development, Support to India. The software giant is betting on India's vast pool of low-cost technical workers and engineers who can be hired for roughly one-fifth what their counterparts earn in the United States.

Buying DVD Burners Gets Easier. More dual-format rewritable drives are coming to market--and lowering prices.

Microsoft Offers Free e-book Downloads. The software giant says it will offer free downloads of 60 best-selling e-books during a 20-week promotion. It hopes to increase readers' familiarity with Microsoft's Reader software.

Solar Sailing 'Breaks Laws of Physics'

Jupiter-Like Planet Discovered Light Years Away

Wednesday, 2 July 2003

Spammers Settle Fraud Charges, Face Jail Time. Three Illinois residents have agreed to give back $200,000 to settle charges they ran a fraudulent work-at-home envelope-stuffing scheme and one could face nearly five years in jail.

Report: Spam Costs $874 Per Employee Per Year. Employees spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day managing spam.

Motorola Labs Progress in Carbon Nanotube Technology. Motorola Labs is currently doing research to integrate these nanotech advances into key applications, including large flat panel displays. Dubbed "nano emissive display" (NED), the technology enables manufacturers to design large flat panel displays that exceed the image quality characteristics of plasma and LCD screens at a lower cost.

Bogus Ink Stink. Counterfeit ink and toner cartridges can ruin prints, spray ink, and permanently damage your printer.

Open Source, Proprietary Code Quality Comparable. Study determines that open-source software contains a similar percentage of flaws to its commercial brethren.

Microsoft Wins European Contracts. The company is installing its Windows server and desktop software on thousands of computers for three city governments, the latest salvo in its turf battle against Linux.

Microsoft Finds Another Flaw in Passport. Microsoft it has fixed another security flaw in its popular Internet Passport service, which could have allowed hackers to hijack some older accounts.

Government, Industry Warn of Mass Hacker Attacks on July 6. Hackers plan to attack thousands of Web sites Sunday in a loosely coordinated "contest" that could disrupt Internet traffic.

Study: Notebook Sales Surpass Desktops In Retail Market. New research shows that at the retail level, notebooks are outselling desktop PCs and LCD monitors are outselling CRTs for the first time.

Delayed AMD64 compiler Shows Great Promise. Is Intel about to feel Opteron's aftershocks?

Consumer Alert: Copy Controls Crackdown. Battle rages on several fronts, but technology offers answers for both sides.

Ground-based Image Rivals Hubble

Vancouver Awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

Broadband: Silicon Photonics. Fiber to the home is no longer just a pipe dream.

NVIDIA nForce3 Professional Now in Volume Production. ASUS SK8N Motherboard Featuring NVIDIA Platform Workstation Solution For 64-Bit AMD Opteron(TM) Processor Now Shipping.

Paper Defies the Computers. Despite an electronically connected world, our appetite for paper is undiminished.

Spam Peddlers Hijack Computers. Computers belonging to thousands of companies across the world are being hijacked by e-mail spammers to disguise their true identities and host their websites.

Politicians Call for Global War on E-Mail Spam. Lawmakers in Europe, the U.S. and Australia are in the process of drafting laws that would criminalize the delivery of unwanted bulk e-mails.

HP To Deauthorize Consumer PC Service Providers

Index

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