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December 2001

12/28 Economy Shows Signs of Rebound. Consumer confidence jumped sharply this month, while initial claims for unemployment benefits last week remained below the 400,000 level for the third week in a row.... new orders for durable goods, excluding aircraft and defense items, rose 2.4 percent in November on the heels of a 4.1 percent gain in October... sales of both new and existing homes remained very strong in November.

12/28 AOL Passes 33 Million Subscribers. Crediting its latest version of Internet access software and the rollout of high-speed broadband, AOL announced Friday that it has a worldwide membership of 33 million users who each spend an average of nearly 70 minutes per day online.

12/28 Broadband Alternative Gains Clout. Power line connectivity (PLC), a broadband alternative that brings the Internet through your power lines and outlet into your computer at speeds that top 1.5Mbps is closer to being a commercial reality in the United States than ever before.

12/28 CD Prices Set to take a Plunge. Shoppers may think they have seen enough bargains this holiday season, but CDs at $9.99 may soon be a standard offer at music stores as retailers slash prices in bid to battle the scourge of online music piracy.

12/28 Intel's 2.2GHz Pentium 4 Hits the Streets Early. ...went on sale in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district, ahead of its official launch date in January.

12/28 Intel: Confident of Resolving P4 Shortage in 1Q 2002

12/28 Reverse Firewall Stymies Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks

12/28 DDR Memory Prices Soar Pending Intel Introduction. The price of double-data-rate SDRAMs is almost double that of comparable density single data rate chips, as OEMs and suppliers gear up for Intel Corp.'s touted January launch of its 845D DDR chipset.

12/27 Internet Sales Take a Giant Step Upward. Retailers in the cyber world fared better during the Christmas season than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, reports released yesterday indicated.

12/26 Video on Demand the Next Killer App? It's been the Next Big Thing for a decade -- but video on demand finally appears to be living up to at least some of its promise.

12/26 Giga Scales Back 2001, 2002 IT Spending Forecasts

12/26 FBI Warns on Windows XP Hole. In addition to installing the security patch available from Microsoft's Web site, computer users running Windows XP should disable the "Universal Plug and Play" feature, if they are not using it.  You can download the security patch/install it herePrivacy Expert Roots Out True Origin of "XP Flaw". Microsoft said customers using Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows ME with UPnP should also use the patch.  Sure enough, it was installed on my computer running Windows Me.  Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Windows Setup, Communications, Details...

12/21 AMD Processor Shipments to Grow by 40% in 2001. Sales have continued rising lately, as the Pentium 4 shortage problem is still unsolved.  AMD will claim around 27% of the global processor market in the fourth quarter. In the small-size enterprise market, AMD's overall share rose to 40% in the third quarter.

12/21 Shoho Worm Adds, Deletes Files. Has its own e-mail engine... Even users who have e-mail clients other than Outlook can be affected if they double-click attachments infected with Shoho. Subject: "Welcome to Yahoo! Mail" Attachment: Readme.txt

12/21 Major Security Vulnerabilities in Default Installations of Windows XP and Certain Installations of Windows ME and 98. Windows XP, by default, ships with a UPNP (Universal Plug and Play) Service that can be used to detect and integrate with UPNP aware devices.  Windows ME does not come standard with the UPNP service, however some OEM versions do provide the UPNP service by default. It is also possible to install the Windows XP Internet Connection Sharing on top of Windows 98, therefore making it vulnerable.

12/20 Students Nabbed in Dutch Warez Raids. The Dutch department of Justice raided the University of Twente as part of a software piracy investigation, a school representative said Thursday.

12/20 Bluetooth Set to Outdistance Wireless LANs. The promise of tens of millions of sockets has Bluetooth poised to overtake wireless LAN technology in the coming year due primarily to significant adoption by high-volume cellular handset makers...

12/20 Comcast, AT&T Cable Deal to Create Net Giant. After months of corporate tire-kicking, AT&T Broadband, the biggest cable company in the United States, has decided to merge with original suitor Comcast.

12/20 Winbond Makes 512Mbit DDR on 0.13-micron Process. Winbond's advancement from 0.175 to 0.13-micron will allow it to produce 80% more DRAM die on each wafer.

12/20 Euro Bank Notes to Embed RFID Chips by 2005. The European Central Bank is working with technology partners on a hush-hush project to embed radio frequency identification tags into the very fibers of euro bank notes...

12/19 Holiday Virus Spreading Through E-mail. Dubbed W32/Reeezak, W32/Zacker and W32/Maldal...  Reeezak arrives in an e-mail with the subject "Happy New Year" and message "Hii I can't describe my feelings But all I can say is Happy New Year :) bye."  Executable file attachment is Christmas.exe.  This is nasty bug which will destroy your data.

12/19 VIA Announces 933 MHz C3 Processor.  Socket 370, 0.13-micron core, small die size, cool running (still needs a fan), 128KB Level 1 and 64KB Level 2 cache, and 100/133MHz Front Side Bus.  Weak floating point unit.

12/19 World Temperature Second Highest on Record

12/18 AMD-Intel Rivalry Gets Ferocious. AMD is preparing a new line of chips, the Hammer series, to challenge Intel's nascent Itanium processors...

12/18 Toshiba Exits DRAM Market, Sells fab to Micron. Update: Toshiba fab May Cost Micron $400 Million. Press Release.

12/18 Top 10 Tech Gifts Under $200

12/18 Report: IT/IS Spending Bottoms Out. IT/IS spending in the U.S. and Europe hit rock bottom in 2001 and is expected to rebound in 2002...

12/18 IBM Offers App Building Kit for Linux Servers. IBM it will begin offering independent software vendors free access to iSeries servers running the Linux operating system, in an attempt to stimulate development of new open-source applications for the server platform.

12/17 AMD Introduces 1 GHz Mobile Duron Processor

12/15 Semiconductor Alert! (Dec, 10-14). Commentary & analysis of week's chip news. AMD's Dresden fab plays big role in keeping up with Intel . . . as AMD eyes locating 300-mm effort at Dresden...

12/15 Global Chip Industry to Tread Water in 2002. Analysts predict that growth won't resume in earnest until late next year at the soonest.

12/15 Shuttle Protects Station From Space Junk, Departs. The space shuttle Endeavour adjusted the International Space Station's orbit on Saturday, moving it out of range of a tumbling Soviet-era rocket booster, then departed the station, ending a week of joint operations.

12/15 Low-energy E-beam Proposed for Next-generation Lithography. At Semicon Japan, Leepl exhibited the beta version of the lithography system and silicon stencil masks as well as an earlier, diamond stencil mask. The beta machine prints 45-nm lines and forms 50-nm contact holes. It is said to achieve overlay adjustment accuracy at 25 nm, which is required for the 70-nm node in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS 2001).

12/15 Microsoft Cleans-up Office XP. Microsoft has released its first Service Pack for the desktop productivity suite that focuses on improved performance, security, and reliability. You can download/install it here.  If you choose the install option, it will also check for updates for any Office 2000 applications you may have installed.

12/14 Microsoft Rushes to Close IE Security Hole. Microsoft released a security patch to plug a hole in its Web browser that could allow hackers to steal passwords and trick people into downloading virulent files.  The 2.27 MByte patch can be downloaded here.

12/14 Micron May Take Over Toshiba's fab in Virginia. Micron is in talks to take over Toshiba semiconductor fab in Manassas, Va., even as it continues to negotiate an alliance and possible merger with the DRAM operations of Hynix according to well-placed industry sources last week.

12/13 Microsoft "Tunes" Up XP. Microsoft released a number of free entertainment enhancements to its Windows XP operating system Thursday, as the software maker continues to advance its digital media strategy.

12/13 IE Hole Can Become a 'Back Door' for Hackers.The file name as it appears in the IE file download dialog box can be faked by using certain URLs and HTTP headers on a Web page. A back door is a program that can be used by hackers to enter a user's PC.

12/13 Gokar Worm Spreads by E-mail, Web, Chat. A new worm called "Gokar" began to spread across the Internet Thursday via e-mail, the chat program mIRC and the Web, according to a trio of antivirus firms. The worm is not destructive and has not yet infected many systems.

12/12 Xerox to Turn PARC Lab Into Independent Company. PARC, founded in 1970, is the birthplace of such inventions as the laser printer, the building blocks of computer networking, ``what-you-see-is-what-you-get'' word processing and the graphic user interface that replaced all-text displays and was adopted by Apple Computer.

12/12 Raids Crack-Down on Pirated Software. The major target of the offensive, known as Operation Buccaneer, was a warez group called DrinkOrDie that has some 40 members worldwide and was founded in the early 1990s in Russia.

12/12 Hackers, Programmers "Improve" Xbox. Microsoft's Xbox has been praised as one of the most technologically sophisticated game devices ever. But that's just not good enough for hardware and software experimenters who have been tinkering with the Xbox since the day it went on sale.

12/12 SlugBot

12/12 Artificial Leech

12/12 VIA Launches VIA ProSavage DDR KN266 Mobile Chipset for Athlon 4/Mobile Duron

12/12 AMD Prepares for SOI Processing in Dresden fab. The Dresden fab has been processing all its wafers with copper interconnects from the start of production in late 1999. It is now starting to process SOI wafers and by 2H '02 will be exclusively with SOI to make the new Claw Hammer and later Sledge Hammer 64-bit processors.

12/12 AMD Introduces Athlon MP Processor 1900+ and AMD-760 MPX Chipset

12/12 Excite@Home Receives Court OK to Continue Service. Court approves continuation of high-speed Internet service for about 2.1 million subscribers through February.

12/11 Intel, Sun Sketch Multiprocessor Chip Plans. Both plan to put two to more processors on a die with simultaneous multithreading (SMT), a design approach that lets a processor handle two or more threads of an application simultaneously.

12/11 HyperTransport I/O Spec Made Publicly Available. It now looks likely that HyperTransport will be the interface of choice connecting chips to other chips on a motherboard or adapter card, and 3GIO will be the interface that connects all the subsystems to one another.

12/11 Intel Software Accelerates Development Of 'Human-Like' Computer Vision. Researchers have released at no cost software that allows developers to build computers that can view the world the way people do -- in stereo.

12/11 Microsoft Previews 'Corona' Windows Media Technologies. Windows Media technologies that the company claims vastly speeds up Internet streaming.

12/11 Users Cry Foul Over IBM Bills. The first effects of IBM's revamped software licensing model are catching customers off guard and driving up costs for some IT executives by more than 80%.

12/8 HP/COMPAQ - Packard Foundation Votes Against Merger.  Board members of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, holders of 10% of HP's stock, voted Friday to oppose the proposed merger with Compaq, a move that could potentially sink the $25 billion deal.

12/8 Hitachi Fashions Multibit Cell for 1-Gbit Flash Chip. The company said it will apply the technology to create 1-Gbit flash chips and a 1-Gbyte card with a 10-Mbyte per second writing speed that it will bring to market within a year.

12/8 Semiconductor Alert! (Dec. 3-7). Commentary & analysis of week's chip news.

12/7 Rambus Sidelined as DDR Deluge Begins. Motherboards based on Intel Corp.'s long-awaited 845-D chip set, which provides DDR SDRAM (double data rate synchronous dynamic RAM) support for the Pentium 4 processor, finally started hitting the retail market on Friday...

12/7 Intel, AMD Say 4Q Better Than Planned. Brisk sales of microprocessors

12/7 States Get Tough in Microsoft Case. Nine states and the District of Columbia are expected to file a remedy proposal Friday that could upset the momentum of a settlement hammered out between Microsoft, the Justice Department and nine other states.

12/6 European Ministers Agree on Spam Ban, Cookie Rules.

12/6 "Bandwidth Hogs" Not at Home at AT&T. A small but vocal group of former Excite@Home customers is complaining that connections have gotten slower since AT&T switched them to its own high-speed cable network. It's not their imagination...

12/6 Atlantis?

12/5 'Goner' Worm Takes Out Firewalls, Antivirus Protection. Despite an e-mail subject line and message that remain the same, 'Goner' poses a serious threat because it can disable personal firewalls and antivirus programs.

12/5 Excite@Home to Shut Down. Excite@Home will shut down on Feb. 28, 2002, after arranging transitional services with its major cable partners in the past few days. AT&T Nearly Finished With @Home Migration. 100,000 customers remaining to migrate.

12/5 Chestnut Tree Makes Comeback; Fungal Foe Makes Drugs. The American chestnut is an indigenous tree that once grew from Maine to Mississippi and across the Midwest. With its distinctive and wide-spreading branches and deep, broad-rounded crown, the tree could easily grow to 5 feet in diameter and 100 feet high.  My Father used to speak fondly about them.

12/5 Scientists Activate Neurons with Quantum Dots. In this new biological application, attaching quantum dots directly to cells eliminates the need for external electrodes. The procedure is entirely non-invasive, similar to the use of fluorescent dyes to mark cells. And since molecular recognition is used, it is a "smart" technology that can pick precisely which capability will be controlled on each neuron to which a quantum dot is attached. Taken to the logical extreme, biologists could remotely control any neural function by activating select neurons.

12/5 Toshiba Finds 'Nothing' Makes a Better Transistor. The technology, surreally called silicon-on-nothing (SON), will make logic circuits that go faster and use less power purely by separating parts of the transistor from the rest of the chip by a gap.

12/4 "Goner" E-mail Worm Rated Highest Risk. Says: "How are you ? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!"

12/4 Visa Lures E-Shoppers with Online Password Security. The new "Verified by Visa" program works with participating banks to validate cardholder identity through the use of passwords during the online checkout process.

12/4 AT&T Withdraws $307 Million @Home Bid. Citing significant breaches to its service contract, Ma Bell took its $307 million offer home. Meanwhile, officials say they now have 500,000 customers back online. Cable Firms Reach Deals on Excite@Home Access. Excite@Home's biggest remaining cable customers have agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure that the bankrupt Internet access provider keeps its service up and running for the next three months.

12/4 Homeplug-Compliant Chipset Supports Power Line Networks. Two-piece chip set designed to support home networking over power lines at speeds of up to 14 Mbits/second.

12/3 Global DDR Memory Output Explodes in December, Spot Prices Higher. Expected to grow 70% or more in December. In November, 128Mbit DDR spot prices went up 100%.

12/3 AMD Announces World's Fastest CMOS Transistors

12/3 IBM Could Boost Chip Speed With New Transistor. IBM has developed a transistor that has two gates instead of one, allowing it to operate at as much as twice the speed of today's conventional transistors.  Press Release.

12/3 Chip Sales Climb for Fourth Straight Month

12/3 Excite@Home, Partners Continue Talks. Cox Communications and Charter Communications confirmed that talks were taking place Monday morning... AT&T service has already been shut-off, leaving as many as 850,000 consumers without access. AT&T Continues Cable Migration.  High-speed cable Internet access resumed for 330,000 of the 800,000 customers stranded over the weekend... majority should be back online by the end of the week.  Link has schedule by area. Excite to Reach Net Pact.

12/3 "IT" is a Two-Wheel Scooter. After months of speculation, the elusive gizmo referred to as "It" or "Ginger" has been unveiled to the public.

12/1 AT&T Says AtHome Internet Service Unplugged. AT&T said 850,000 high-speed cable Internet users had been shut off the AtHome network overnight after negotiations with troubled ExciteAtHome Corp. broke down.

12/1 Many Excite@Home Customers Disconnected. Many Excite@Home customers were unable to access some services from their high-speed Internet access providers on Saturday, and they're worried that the problems are a result of the company's complicated bankruptcy proceedings.

12/1 Semiconductor Alert! Commentary & analysis of week's chip news, Nov. 26-30. ...semiconductor inventories are not going away as fast as some people had expected... DRAMs go south again... Is chip industry running
out of process technology


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.