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NEWS, ETC.
June 2004

Wednesday, 30 June

Japan's Blu-ray Disk Recorder Market Heats-up. Panasonic follows Sony into Blu-ray disk market.

Independent Testing Shows Western Digital 10K SATA With TCQ Beats 10K SCSI In Servers. WD Raptor drives threaten SCSI incumbency in enterprise storage.

Hardware Kingpin Intel Beefs-up Software Business. Intel hardware dominates the PC market, but a new emphasis on software could help the chipmaker expand into other markets and foster greater innovation, even if the effort could rankle longtime allies like Microsoft.

Will XP's Service Pack Cause Chaos? Microsoft is expecting an increase in the number of Windows users seeking help.

Microsoft Confirms Windows XP64 Will be OEM Only. But you'll be able to buy it with a cable.

Microsoft Haunted by Old IE Security Flaw. Internet Explorer vulnerability patched six years ago resurfaces in newer releases and could allow hackers to change content on Web sites.

Dell's Business Not AMD's Panacea. Will Dell use AMD Processors?

Adware's Going Mainstream. J.P. Morgan Chase, Verizon Communications, Merck and T-Mobile are among the mainstream companies that buy pop-up ads on controversial "adware" network WhenU, according to a new report.

Washington State Court Upholds Anti-Spam Law. It rejected a claim by an Oregon spammer who said he didn't know some of his E-mail was going to Washington state residents.

Cool-n-Quiet Athlon 64 Motherboards

DVD Players, LCD Screens Driving DTV Adoption

Speed of Light May Have Changed Recently

Revisiting the Orion Nebula

Phoebe: Comet Moon of Saturn Close-up

Sneakiest Primates Have Biggest Brains

Tuesday, 29 June

IE flaw May Boost Rival Browsers. A major security hole discovered in Microsoft's Internet Explorer last week has become a golden marketing opportunity for alternative browsers such as Mozilla and Opera that are unaffected by the flaw. US-CERT: Beware of IE. The U.S. government's cybersecurity unit recommends ditching Internet Explorer in favor of other, safer browsers.

Intel Introduces Its First X86 64-bit server Processor. Answering the competitive threat from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel Corp. unveiled its first X86 processor capable of handling 64-bit data.

HP Warns of Defective Notebook Memory. Eight Evo models, four Presarios and the HP Compaq Business Network nx7000 and HP Pavilion zt3000 are affected. HP’s Replacement of Defective Modules to Help DRAM Demand Only Slightly. A move by Hewlett-Packard (HP) to replace defective DRAM modules in some notebooks will give a limited boost to DRAM demand. Free Tool IDs Recalled HP Notebooks.

Apple Previews Mac OS X 'Tiger,' Tiger Server. Apple is giving attendees of this week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2004 in San Francisco, a first look at the next major revision to Mac OS X v10.4, known by its code-name "Tiger."

Plasma Display Sales Soaring. Though liquid-crystal displays are receiving the lion's share of attention in the growing flat-panel TV market, plasma displays have also seen a surge of interest.

EU, U.S. Resolve Sat Nav Issues. The European Union and the U.S. resolve their differences over Galileo and GPS, the satellite positioning and navigation technologies.

Cassini Spacecraft Prepares To Orbit Saturn

Monday, 28 June

Sun Opens Up Desktop Code. Project Looking Glass and Java 3D are slated for a GPL of their own.

Wi-Fi Finds the Way When GPS Can't. If GPS lets you down in the depths of the urban jungle, new software enables you to use the wireless internet to find where you are.

Brainy and Brawny New Laptops. New Pentium M processors set speed marks while maintaining good battery life.

Experts Warn That 'Scob' Virus Could Lead To Keyboard Logging

Could Laptops Run On Spinach?

Tech Breakthroughs Drive Strong PC-TV Sales

Natural Selection At Work In Genetic Variation To Taste

Astronomers Find Extra-Terrestrial Fusion Reactor

Friday, 25 June

Fab Utilization Rises as Chip Sales Jump. Manufacturing capacity utilization edges up to 93.4% in Q1 as IC sales rocketed ahead by 32% in the same period.

Defect In Intel’s New 915 Pentium 4 Chipset. All motherboards based on the 915 and 925 chipsets are being recalled.

HP Begins Voluntary Replacement Plan for Notebooks. HP said it has discovered certain Compaq and HP notebook personal computers had potentially faulty memory modules.

802.11i Ratification Expected To Spur WLAN Adoption. The IEEE has formally ratified the 802.11i security standard, also known as WPA2, for Wi-Fi networks.

IEEE Board Approves 802.3ah Standard. The 802.3ah provides Ethernet standards for the last mile from the edge of the public network to the enterprise or home user.

Wi-LAN OFDM Patent Threat Stirs UWB Camps. Wi-LAN announcement that it commence legal action against Cisco sent messages flying between members of two ultrawideband communications camps over whether or not similar action loomed there as well.

Researchers Warn of Infectious Web Sites. Security researchers warn Web surfers to be on guard after uncovering evidence that widespread Web server compromises have turned corporate home pages into points of digital infection. This site runs on Unix and is not affected.

Sender ID e-mail spec submitted to standards body. Microsoft has submitted a draft technical specification of the e-mail authentication system Sender ID to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for consideration as an industry-wide standard.

Blue Lasers Boost DVD Capacity to 23GB. This first Sony blue-laser drive is pricey, but it provides a solid growth path for data-heavy users.

Media Hubs Bridge PC, Living Room Gap

Saturn's Moon Mystery Solved

Thursday, 24 June

Micron Returns to Profitability on Soaring Sales. The company reported a profit of $90.9 million, or $0.13 a share, for its third fiscal quarter.

ATI Triples Income. Bullish on desktop discretes, the PC market and its consumer business, the graphics player says it will stay strong through the first half of its fiscal 2005.

Comdex 2004's Cancellation Elicits Nostalgia From Channel Execs. Comdex's cancellation comes as no surprise, industry executives said.

Two Men Charged in AOL Spam Scheme. An AOL software engineer stole a list of 92 million customer screen names that was eventually used to send massive amounts of e-mail spam, federal prosecutors said.

Anti-Spyware Bill Advances in Congress. A U.S. congressional committee approved a bill designed to crack down on deceptive "spyware" that hides in users' computers and secretly monitors their activities.

Senate Bill Would Ban Kazaa, Morpheus. Bill would outlaw file-trading networks such as Kazaa, Morpheus.

"Mighty Mouse" Gene Found in Humans

A Flip Of A Switch May One Day Quiet Jet Engines

Wednesday, 23 June

AT&T Drops Markets in 7 States. AT&T said it will stop signing up new residential customers for local and long-distance service in seven states, following recent court rulings on competition rules.

Lowering Interconnect Costs with XFP Copper Modules. While initially designed for optical links, XFP can also be tapped to provide low-cost, copper-based connections between racks in enterprise networking designs.

Samsung Electronics Forced to Lower LCD TV Prices. Samsung Electronics recently lowered LCD TV prices by 18-20% due to inventory pressure from poor sales in the US.

Infineon, IBM Show Prototype 16Mb Magnetic RAM. Infineon Technologies AG and IBM Corp. have demonstrated a prototype 16Mb MRAM (magnetic RAM) chip, bringing the power-saving technology one step closer to commercial availability.

Intel Updates Centrino Line. Intel has updated its Centrino line of mobile technology by adding two new processors.

ATI HDTV Wonder

Tiny Antenna an Evolutionary Design

Tuesday, 22 June

IT Spending Up, Priorities Differ. An examination of businesses' IT needs and budget allocations found that many IT professionals are driven to spending to remain competitive.

Unplug Spam-Sending PCs, Internet Providers Say. Consumers who allow their infected computers to send out millions of "spam" messages could be unplugged from the Internet under a proposal released by six large e-mail providers.

IBM Claims Optical Interconnect Breakthrough. Big Blue has developed germanium-based photodetectors that are smaller than silicon detectors, 70 times more efficient and consequently much faster.

MTI's Fuel Cells Keep Handhelds Humming. MTI MicroFuel Cells claims its Mobion technology extends the life of a handheld computer two to 10 times as long as a conventional battery pack.

Users Stall in Testing Win XP Service Pack. Microsoft last week made available another test version of its new security-focused Service Pack for Windows XP, but many corporate users haven't started testing it.

SpaceShipOne Soars Out of Earth's Atmosphere

Tuesday, 15 June

Gartner: Backlash Against Offshoring to Vanish by 2006. The backlash against offshoring will deepen over the next few months, but will be consigned to the wastebasket of history by the end of 2005.

House Panel Approves Multinational Tax Break. A controversial measure favored by IT firms moves to a vote of the full House.

Misadventures in Tech Support. As companies move service offshore and online, are you still being served?

Cell Phones, PDAs Under Attack By New Worm. The first virus to affect cell phones has arrived.

Maxtor, Linksys to Unveil Wireless Hard Drive. If hard-drive maker Maxtor and networking company Linksys have their way, your external hard drive is about to become very external. Linksys Network Storage Link.

Microsoft Offers Second Release Candidate for Windows XP SP2. Microsoft has provided testers with the much-anticipated second release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 2.

AMD To Deliver Dual-Core Chips. AMD has completed the design work on its AMD64 dual-core processors and says they will be available next year. AMD Flashes Dual-Core Microprocessors.

Who's Seeding the Net With Spyware? Young surfers pick up paychecks for posting misleading pitches armed with invasive programs.

U.S. Won't Create Do-Not-Spam List. FTC fears nscrupulous senders of unwanted e-mails would mine such a registry for new victims.

New Type Of Liquid Crystal Identified. Holds promise of faster, lower-priced displays.

Monday, 14 June

Growing Outsourcing Trend Seen Shifting to IT Services. Outsourcing is a global "mega-trend" in the technology industry that will only increase in the future, with revenues linked to IT services likely to see the biggest gains by the end of the decade.

Seagate Introduces 12 New Products. 5 GByte 1 inch drive to a 500 GByte fiber channel drive.

Carrier-Grade Ethernet Faces Obstacles. Ethernet's got to get a lot more robust before it becomes a carrier-class technology and breaks out beyond the enterprise.

Skeptics Question Wi-Fi's Viability. Alas, wireless Internet may not be the technology sector's salvation after all. Small companies, some publicly traded, are burning cash trying to turn Wi-Fi into viable business. Some have already shut down.

New Chip Reduces Standby Power. A new Infineon chip promises to significantly reduce the power consumption of numerous consumer products operating in standby mode.

FreeBSD, Stealth-Growth Open Source Project. Is FreeBSD, that other Unix-like open source operating system, on the comeback trail?

Subscription Service Offers Movie Downloads. RealNetworks and Starz Encore Group aim to attract cinephiles with a different approach to online movie rentals, today launching a subscription service that combines flexible rental terms with the pricing of a premium cable-TV movie channel.

DVD Forum Backs CD/DVD Hybrid. DualDisc format now official.

Saturn's Moon Phoebe Up Close

Grapefruit-Sized Meteorite Smashes Through New Zealand Home

Memory Fails After Severe Stress

Self-cleaning Clothes

Friday, 11 June

Offshoring Not Exactly a Tidal Wave. U.S. Dept. of Labor is now culling how many jobs were lost to relocation overseas.

Microsoft Research Project Could Displace Storage Nets. Could open the door to wider use of large clusters of inexpensive servers, potentially narrowing the market for storage area networks.

Top Companies Spend Less On IT, More On Outsourcing. Top-performing IT departments typically spend more money on outsourcing than their median peers

SCO Loses Attempt to Move Novell Case to State Court. SCO really wanted its Unix copyright case with Novell to be heard in state court, but a federal judge ruled that the case will stay in federal court.

Alan Kay Receives the Kyoto Prize. Kay has been instrumental in the development of graphical user interfaces.

Stop Approving 'Unnecessary' Specs, Philips Exec Pleads. Hear, hear.

Apple Power Mac Ads 'Misleading.' A complaint about Apple's claim in a high-profile British ad that its Power Mac G5 is the "world's fastest personal computer" has been upheld by the ASA, the UK's advertising regulator.

Super-thin Crystals Promise Fast Memory. Crystalline sheets just six ions thick still exhibit the ferro-electric effect - fast, low power memory devices could follow.

Plug Into Easy, Cheap Broadband. Internet access over power lines gets off the ground in new Ohio-based service.

Microsoft Sues Eight Alleged Spammers. Microsoft has filed lawsuits against eight alleged spammers under a new U.S. antispam law that went into effect in January.

Law Turns tables on Anti-spam Group. A group that maintains a blacklist to help ISPs block suspected spammers is being threatened with lawsuits from marketers who claim their actions are legal.

Comcast Takes Hard Line Against Spam. It will block what's known as "port 25" for accounts suspected of sending mass amounts of unsolicited e-mail.

Venus and the Chromosphere

Fly Ear Is Bioinspiration For Human Hearing

Fido Found to Be Wiz with Words

Pumping Energy to Nanocrystals From a Quantum Well

Thursday, 10 June

SCO May Restrict Solaris; Moves to Push IBM Trial Back. Less than one week after Sun pledged to open source its Solaris operating system, SCO stated license restrictions prevent Sun from doing so. SCO Revenue Takes a Tumble.

Global Chip Sales Outlook Jumps. SIA sees more powerful consumer electronics devices driving steady growth through 2007.

Megapixel Phones Encroach on Digital Camera Turf. Asia's top mobile phone makers are rolling out handsets equipped with cameras so advanced many consumers may come to the conclusion they don't need a separate digital camera any more.

Adware Firm Uses IE Flaws for Pop-ups. A company is apparently using two previously unknown security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to install a toolbar on victims' PCs to trigger pop-ups.

Writing Tool Sorely Needed. PenAgain.

Wednesday, 9 June

IT's Morale Dilemma. First the economic slump, now offshoring. A Meta Group report says companies must address dissatisfied IT staffs or suffer consequences.

Report Says Key IT Jobs Are Staying Home. A Meta Group study on IT staffing and compensation says the best IT jobs are staying in the United States, and that IT personnel outearn their non-tech counterparts by as much as 20%.

Spam Costs, Volumes Soar Despite New Laws. Two new reports find that spam's cost to enterprises has more than doubled in the past 10 months, costing almost $2,000 per employee each year, as the volume of spam reaches new heights.

IBM Unveils Diminutive Desktop. IBM's latest and smallest desktop, the ThinkCentre S50 Ultra Small, is about the size of a dictionary. Animated picture.

Don't Kill a Healthy Drive. Seagate has found that one-in-three drives returned is actually in perfect working order.

Apple Launches Dual Power Macs With Liquid Cooling. Gets to 2.5GHz; start at $2,000.

US Broadband Internet Use Up 42 % - FCC. The FCC said that high-speed internet use in the US grew 42 percent last year as some 8.3 million homes and businesses signed up for broadband service.

Tuesday, 8 June

Report: Demand Strong for Workers With Internet skills. Despite a rise in the number of IT jobs being outsourced, demand for Internet-related skills such as Java and networking remains strong.

CPU-based Security for Windows XP, Red Hat Linux Coming. Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 will support new CPU-based security protections designed to stop incoming malicious executable code from being triggered.

Seagate to Join Tiny-drive Fray. A struggling Seagate Technology plans to ship later this year 1-inch disk drives with up to 5GB of storage capacity.

Hilton Makes Check-In Easier. The hotelier is adding wireless kiosks to another 45 hotels and adding check-in capabilities to its Web site.

Top 10 DVD Drives. The first 12X model hits the chart this month.

Sony Unveils 12X Dual Format DVD Burner. A write-once disc can be recorded in about six minutes.

Domain Name Registrations Hit All-time High. More than 4.7 million new domain names were registered during the first quarter of 2004 -- the most ever recorded in a three-month period.

Venus Transit

Lost City of Atlantis Found in Spain?

Monday, 7 June

Verizon Mulls Faster Build of Fiber Optic Network. The telephone company currently plans to make fiber optic connections available to 30 percent of its customers within the next five years.

Crystals Show Promise for Optical Communication. Researchers in the field of photonics aim to harness the power of light for use in communication and computing devices in a manner similar to how electrons flow through semiconductors.

Spam Flat In May, Directory-Harvest Attacks Rise. Despite the federal Can-Spam legislation, which went into effect January 1, spam accounted for 78 percent of all Internet-transmitted e-mail.

Adobe Launches PDF Platform For Web Services. Adobe moves its portable document format closer to a Web service.

AMD to Play Its Bargain Chip. AMD will come out with a chip in the second half of the year called Sempron that is geared toward notebooks that cost less than $999 and desktops that sell for under $549.

Want to See the 2004 Transit of Venus? Be prepared to wake up early. On Tuesday morning, June 8th, for the first time since 1882, Venus will pass directly between Earth and the Sun. For six hours the planet's black silhouette will crawl across the face of our star.

Friday, 4 June

SCO Seeks More Code From IBM. After reviewing Unix source code provided by IBM, SCOappears to be experiencing difficulties in identifying the specific lines of code that it alleges IBM improperly contributed to the Linux operating system.

Security Time bomb is Triggered by 'Rogue Laptops.' Unpatched notebook PCs are a weak link in enterprise security arrangements, experts warned on Friday.

Microsoft Calls for Outbound Filtering Against Spam. As part of its efforts to stop spam, Microsoft plans to apply filters not only to incoming mail on its Hotmail and MSN services, but also to outgoing mail.

Zombies May Spoil Microsoft's Spam Plan. Microsoft's plan to reduce spam by forcing an email sender's machine to solve a puzzle may be defeated by the Internet's army of zombie PCs

Korgo Worm on the Move. Can gain full access to a computer.

DVD's Next Big Leaps. DVD is picking up speed and storage capacity--but format wars and high prices may mean a wait for the most advanced new technologies.

And on Percussion, Dot Matrix. Ask Dallas musician Paul Slocum to name his favorite instrument, and he will probably answer, "My 1985 Epson dot-matrix printer."

Dancing Lasers Levitate Carbon Nanotubes

Thursday, 3 June

India's Outsourcing Industry Continues to Boom. Despite protests in Europe and the U.S. against outsourcing and the moving of jobs to India, the country's software services and business process outsourcing (BPO) services business is booming.

HP Stepping-up Outsourcing in India. Having handled a large chunk of its own global accounting functions from a subsidiary in Bangalore for more than three years, HP is now offering similar back-office services from India to its customers.

Seagate to Cut 2,940 Jobs. Seagate is cutting about 2,940 jobs, or 7 percent of its global workforce, in an effort to lower costs as disk-drive prices fall and the company's market share shrinks.

Microsoft Challenges iTunes with New Media Player. Windows Media Player 10 features easy access to several digital music and video services, as well as an auto-sync capability that lets users download content to a variety of portable devices.

Microsoft to Close Solomon Product Headquarters. Company to terminate 108 employees and outsource much of its Solomon financial-software development and support to startup Plumbline Solutions.

Vonage Slashes Price of Net Telephony Kit. Feeling pressure as competition stiffens, Net phone service provider Vonage has lowered the price by $70 of a starter kit available at retail stores.

Worm Exploits Multiple Windows Vulnerabilities. Dubbed Plexus, by Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs, and Explet.a, by Symantec, the worm uses multiple methods to infect PCs, including exploiting a pair of vulnerabilities in Windows.

Harry Potter and the Trojan of Doom. A leading antivirus company warned Thursday that the Netsky worm was making a comeback on the coattails of fictional wizard Harry Potter.

Beyond Robots, NASA Has Shuttle Plan to Fix Hubble

Wednesday, 2 June

Microsoft Plans for Expansion in India. Redmond giant to add more than 400 developers in South India.

Distinctively Designed Peripherals at Computex. A variety of distinctively designed peripherals, including keyboards, mice, MP3 players, and speakers, are competing for the spotlight at Computex 2004.

Gartner: Chip Market to Stay Strong. Sales are likely to grow more than 25 percent this year, followed by a 15 percent gain in 2005.

Security Bug in Linksys Wireless-G Router. The flaw carries a 'moderately critical' rating and could give malicious hackers administrative access to vulnerable devices.

Google Soups Up Its Search Toolbox For Intranets. The hardware-software package is supposed to provide prospective customers with everything they need to do a better job indexing and searching intranets.

Intel To Release Open-Source Code for BIOS. Intel and firmware developer CollabNet are working together to release open-source code designed to make the BIOS PC and server boot-up process faster and more predictable.

Comcast to Offer Subscribers On-Demand Video Games. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable television operator, said it will offer subscribers to its high-speed data service a new bundle of on-demand video games.

NVIDIA and AMD Deliver Improved Security to Protect the PC Desktop. Nvidia and AMD to build security features directly into the silicon level, which will be enabled by the upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Twenty Per Cent of Intel Returns Have Bent CPU Pins. But it's all to do with sex.

ATI, Nvidia Take Different Tacks to First PCI-Express Desktops

NASA Says Robots May Repair Hubble Space Telescope

The Colorful Clouds of Rho Ophiuchi

Chocolate Compounds Boost Blood Vessel Function

Tuesday, 1 June

Computex Starts in Taipei, Taiwan. Computex 2004 Emerges as World’s Second Largest Exhibition. This year, Computex will house 1,329 exhibitors, up 7% from 1,241 last year. Some Nice Toys on Display.

AMD64 Technology Wins Best Of Show At 2004 Teched. Windows & .NET Magazine name AMD64 Platform Overall Best of TechEd.

Global Chip Sales Up Nearly 37%. Continued strength in all sectors, including cell phones and wireless apps and strong PC sales growth, made for a happy spring in the semiconductor industry.

AMD Introduces 939-pin Athlon CPUs. These processors are marginally faster than the 940-pin CPUs they are replacing, and should become widely available within the next month. Socket 939 Athlon 64s Reviewed.

Intel Expands Mobile Processor Offerings. Intel introduced four mobile processors.

X86 Processor Benchmarking Software Announced. Benchmarking software for the measurement of processor performance and power consumption of X86 processors has been developed by Synchromesh Computing and Advanced Micro Devices.

Many Wireless Networks Lack Security. As the number of hot spots proliferate, security for wireless networks is badly lagging.

NVIDIA Announces New nForce3 Ultra MCP. The NVIDIA nForce3 Ultra MCP, a new media and communications processor for motherboards based on the AMD64 platform, includes a native Gigabit Ethernet interface and hardware-optimized Firewall security solution.

Symantec Migrates Masses Of Enterprise Desktops. Figuring to take advantage of the boom in replacement PCs, Symantec unveiled a new server-client system for migrating data and application settings from one Windows machine to another.

Microsoft Slowing its Pace? The software giant's decision to extend product support to 10 years reflects customers using software longer and Microsoft taking more time to develop new products.

Spyware Following Spam Into the Enterprise

Future of Visual Gadgets Rolled Out

ATI Launches Line of High-Speed Graphics Chips

Genetically-modified Virus Explodes Cancer Cells

Supergalactic Wind from Starburst Galaxy M82

May 2004

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