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News Headlines For Tuesday 28th March 2000
Internet News
  • Hackers use PlayStation 2 to dump DVD's to tape
    Time: 6:00A PST/ 9:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    PlayStation hackers have discovered a second way to use the console to bypass the DVD industry's strict regime. The first hack overcame the games machine's DVD regionalisation software, and now users have found out how to circumvent its DVD copy protection mechanism.

    According to EE Times and reports from Register readers, Japanese Web sites devoted to Sony's console reckon the PlayStation's analog RGB output port can be used to copy a DVD onto VHS. Essentially, the signal sent from the PlayStation is picked up by a VCR's input socket and recorded as if it were an on-the-air broadcast

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  • Hardware Roundup
    Time: 6:00A PST/ 9:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sandpile! Why haven't we been there for so long? The site, which you can find at this unique resource locator (address) is here. This isn't a news site, but it does have some very reliable information on the IA-32 architecture. And if you need to get your facts right for a piece you're doing on older CPUs, there's even a museum section.

    Missed this a day or two back but there's a guide to buying PC hardware over at Sharky Extreme. You can find a guide to buying retail parts at another web site, PC Stats.

    Silicon News, which we haven't visited before -- sorry about that -- has a pricing comparison article between Pentium IIIs and Athloniums.

    PlayStations and PCs? Those interested in PC emulation may care to hightail it over to 3D Unlimited, where there's a review of Bleem!

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  • German firm confirms it owns MP3™
    Time: 6:00A PST/ 9:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    As we revealed last week, German firm Hypermedia has registered MP3 as a trademark.

    The firm confirmed it had done so today, and issued a statement on its intentions.

    Norbert Boehnke, MD of hypermedia GmbH webcasting and MusicPl@y GmbH, said that the firm has filed MP3 as a common European trademark.

    He said, and we quote directly: "This is to ensure that everyone can use the term MP3, at present the term the most sought in the Internet."

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  • 3dfx to grab Gigapixel for $186m
    Time: 6:00A PST/ 9:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Troubled 3D graphics hardware developer 3dfx is to buy Gigapixel in a stock swap that values its smaller rival at around $186 million.

    The deal will see Gigapixel shareholders offered nearly 15.6 million 3dfx shares valued at around $40 apiece - rather more than the $13 or so they're trading at these days.

    Senior staffers at 3dfx said the acquisition was made for two reasons: first, to accelerate the company's graphics chip roll-out cycle, which has been knocked way out of kilter by the much longer-than-expected development of the VSA-100, powerhouse of the upcoming Voodoo 4 and 5 cards. At the same time, 3dfx wants to break into the lower-end consumer electronics market: the set-top boxes that so many players are pinning their hopes on, albeit without any real evidence that there's a market for them.

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News Headlines For Friday 24th March 2000
Internet News
  • Nvidia to bring volumetric rendering to X-Box, GeForce
    Time: 4:40P PST / 7:40P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Now Nvidia and Microsoft are the best of chums, thanks to X-Box, the 3D graphics specialist's technology is beginning to appear in DirectX, Microsoft's games-oriented API. The first contribution is Nvidia's Volume Texture Compression (VTC) format, which doesn't sound much but gives a very tasty hint about the direction Nvidia is taking the X-Box's graphics engine.

    The key word here is 'volume'. The latest generation of 3D engines - with one exception, Mitsubishi's VolumePro chip - form object models out of matrices of points. The network of points define a surface over which a texture can be wrapped.

    That's fine as it goes, and greater external detail can be added by upping the number of points that define the model. The trouble is, this approach provides no information about the space within the model. Real objects, after all, tend to be solid - current 3D models aren't.

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  • Intel 0.18 micron Celerons to tip up next week
    Time: 4:40P PST / 7:40P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Intel is now expected to roll out high-end Celeron processors next week based on the Coppermine Pentium III core and including Screaming Sindie, multimedia extensions.

    We revealed the existence of these processors earlier on this year.

    But, like Celerons based on Pentium II technology, the cache on the processors is expected to be halved, as Intel starts to position the products against AMD Athlon offerings.

    AMD is taking extremely aggressive price action in the second quarter, according to sources close to the firm. But a representative at the company said no price cuts were expected in the near future.

    The first Celerons to appear will be 600MHz and 566MHz units, and other microprocessors based on the same technology are expected to follow shortly in April. No pricing details are available as yet for the parts to launch next week.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 22nd March 2000
Internet News
  • First fake Athlons spotted
    Time: 12:30P PST/ 3:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    A US reseller has warned consumers to be on the lookout for ersatz Athlons.

    ComputerNerd USA recently received a shipment of counterfeit AMD Athlons. It said its suspicions were aroused after staff noticed that the packaging on the chips appeared to have been tampered with.

    The plastic cartridge back covers on the fakes were different to the original AMD covers. They were made of a shinier plastic and all the corners were rounded, whereas all angles should be straight with straight intersecting edges.

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  • Hardware Roundup
    Time: 12:30P PST/ 3:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Is Aopen's Athlon AMD mobo worth the wait?

    And ...

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News Headlines For Tuesday 21st March 2000
Internet News
  • Nvidia NV15 to clock to 200MHz
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    As we reported earlier this year, Nvidia's NV15 chip is speeding towards completion. The chip is likely to be called the GeForce 2 and will clock to between 180 and 200 MHz, according to reliable sources.

    And, as reported earlier, the chip will support between 32MB and 64MB of double data rate (DDR) memory, and may also be able to use other memory types.

    Creative Labs will be the first off the mark with a product, and its likely name will be the 3D Blaster GeForce 2.

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  • Big Blue boffins make big storage breakthrough
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Boffins at Big Blue said at the end of last week that they have devised a method that may, one day, produce data storage systems with 100 times the capacity of today's drives.

    The method uses a combination of nanotechnology and chemistry which produces what the scientists describe as a "radically new class of magnetic materials".

    The chemical reactions IBM has identified cause minute magnetic particles made up of only thousands of atoms to arrange themselves into arrays, each particle separated from the other by the same distance.

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News Headlines For Monday 20th March 2000
Internet News
  • Intel 866MHz, 850MHz will be launched today
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    As expected, Intel is expected to announce the arrival of 866MHz and 850MHz Coppermine Pentium IIIs, when the company opens its portals at eight o'clock AM, Santa Clara time.

    The company is also expected to announce the arrival of Xeon versions of these microprocessors.

    The prices of such parts, when they become available, are expected to be very close to the figures we published last week, and there will be no price adjustments to accompany the PR fanfare, we understand.

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  • Circuit City shuts doors on i-Opener $99 PC hack
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Circuit City, the US giant computer retailer, has issued an email memo to staff, announcing that orders for multiple units of the I-Opener Net appliance would be cancelled, due to "increased demand" and limited availability.

    Circuit City had been selling the I-Opener, made by Texas company Netpliance, as a $99 loss leader, reducing the retail price from $299.99, assuming t would receive a slice of subscription fees, from customers who signed up with Netpliance as their ISP for $21.95 per month.

    However, a hack of the unit enables the user to choose a different ISP. Even better, with minor modification, the I-Opener can be turned into a fully-fledged, if rudimentary PC.

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  • Intel i820 sales flap weakly towards flop
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Initial suspicions that Intel's i820 chipset is a turkey have been confirmed by Taiwanese newspaper The Commercial Times, which reports that four big mobo companies have said sales have failed to get off the ground.

    At CeBIT 2000 last month, we reported that a number of Taiwanese mobo manufacturers were unhappy with sales of main boards using the i820 (Camino) chipset, despite attempts to fix problems which dogged its introduction last year.

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  • Compaq PC line to go on a diet
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Compaq Computer Corp. is betting that slimming down its commercial desktop PC line will increase profitability. As part of CEO Michael Capellas' strategy for getting back on track, the company will streamline its commercial desktop PC line, ZDNet News has learned.

    Capellas is known by some for his "fearless forecasts" -- bold predictions about the future of the computer industry -- and his think-out-of-the-box approach.

    Thinking out of the box has turned to weeding out a few boxes. The commercial line, called DeskPro, has grown to include dozens of models with a wide range of processors and chip sets from Intel Corp.

    At the same time, Compaq's commercial PC sales have fallen. In its fourth quarter, commercial PC sales totaled $3.1 billion, down 19 percent from the previous year. The unit also operated at a loss.

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News Headlines For Monday 13th March 2000
Internet News
  • Nvidia's Virtual AGP design...
    Time: 6:00P PST/ 9:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Virtual AGP design is also one of the many features that have emerged from Nvidia’s laboratories.

    This is one of the basic proofs that this company wants to have its fingers in all categories, from the lowest to the highest.

    Virtual AGP is designed for older computer systems without any AGP slot. Specially targeted machines are the many i810 mainboards which do not provide any AGP slots. The i810 chipset just has integrated VGA, with practically no 3D features, as well as many PCI, slots which means that there's no AGP 3D gaming power available.

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  • IBM unveils PCs for the Net
    Time: 6:00P PST/ 9:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    IBM is taking a new look at the PC. IBM's Personal Systems Group on Monday announced the NetVista product line, designed with the Internet in mind.

    The line includes a number of new PCs and digital devices. The PCs offer new industrial designs, courtesy of the IBM team responsible for ThinkPad notebooks, with matte-black finish and flat-panel displays.

    "These are new devices that are designed and optimized for the user who is going to be on a network, such as the Internet," said Ralph Martino, vice president of marketing for the Personal Systems Group.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 7th March 2000
Internet News
  • Compaq to intro new desktop boxes
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The PC manufacturing wing of Compaq is set to announce two fresh models in its 75xx range in the next two weeks, The Register has learned.

    Both models are based on Pentium III Coppermine technology, and our information is that market pressure, plus increased availability of Intel processors, has allowed The Big Q to roll out the machines.

    The CPQ 7598 uses a Pentium III running at 600 MHz, comes with 128 of memory, a 40GB hard drive, a 40-speed CD ROM, CD-RW, a 56K modem and a Quickcam.

    The other model in the range, the CPQ 7599 uses a Pentium III 700 MHz chip, but otherwise has an identical configuration to the 7598.

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  • Compaq may avoid multi-$ hit with Presario patch
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    In a move which may avoid it having to pay swinging damages over a law suit which cost Toshiba $1.2 billion last year, Compaq told nearly two million users of a software patch which fixes a glitch in a disk controller system.

    The Wayne Reaud law firm filed class action cases against Compaq, Packard Bell, HP and e-Machines on November 1st last year, after settling with Toshiba, which apparently did not want to get involved in legal wrangling.

    Now, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Compaq will tell 1.7 million users of Presario's that they can fix the problem, which relates to a glitch in the disk controller and which stops people downloading to floppy disks while multitasking. It is offering a software patch for 26 Presario machines on its support forum.

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  • Sony sells 980,000 PlayStation 2 consoles in two days
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    An unsurprisingly chuffed Sony this morning announced it sold 980,000 PlayStation 2s in Japan over the weekend - just 20,000 units shy of its one million-machine target.

    What's 20,000 units among friends? Quite a lot really, especially when a good proportion of the total number of machines sold hasn't actually shipped yet.

    Sony was forced to admit that while it took 380,000 orders over the Net, only 120,000 customers - less than one third of the total -received their console. The reason: we're ten days behind schedule on production, Sony confessed to Reuters, thanks to a shortage of memory cards.

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  • Hardware Roundup
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The rash of 1GHz Athlon reviews revue.

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News Headlines For Friday 3rd March 2000
Internet News
  • Palm stock rockets to create $53.4bn company
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Trading in Palm's freshly-IPO'd shares added over 300 per cent to the stock's launch price yesterday, taking them from $38 apiece to a high of $165 before closing at $95.06.

    The final price of the day left Palm, Inc. valued at $53.4 billion on paper, way above that of the company it emerged from, 3Com. Palm's former parent saw its shares fall over $22 to $83.81 after a period of strong growth in the run-up to the Palm IPO.

    3Com has said that it plans to offer the bulk of its 93.8 per cent stake in Palm to its shareholders within the next six months. The drop suggests, perhaps, that buyers with a long-term view - and in these day-trading times, six months is the long term - have got their stakes in 3Com set up and ready for the windfall. That said, given the way Palm's stock has rocketed in value, others may now be persuaded to take the 3Com route to, so trading in 3Com stock is likely to become more active.

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  • Samsung demos cell phone
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Samsung this week demonstrated a cell phone equipped with a built-in MP3 player which it plans to ship in the US later this year.

    Given current cell phone technologies' data transmission speeds aren't sufficient to download an MP3 - at least not in any sensible timeframe - so it's no surprise that the Samsung machine doesn't support downloads through cellular networks.

    Instead, users can hook the phone to a PC via both devices' USB ports. The phone contains 64MB of memory, which should be sufficient for up to two hours of music, though newswires reporting Samsung's launch claimed the phone holds only 15 minutes' worth of music, enough for two or three songs, and so of limited use.

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  • Nvidia NV11 goes mobile too
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Nvidia is planning to hit the mobile market soon.

    The 0.18 micron based NV15 has only half the power dissipation of Geforce 256 and the NV11 has approximately 30 per cent lower power dissipation than the NV15, and so we can expect some mobile computers based on the NV11.

    Another fact that can give us a clue is the ACPI power management with On, Standby, Suspend and Off modes supported by this card.

    As Nvidia is already announcing cards using the NV11 and NV15 as the "world's fastest GPU in Spring 2000" that gives us a whopping clue about the availability of NV11 based products.

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  • Color Palm VII due August
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Info leaking out of newly IPO'd Palm suggests the company will follow up its recently launched color Palm IIIc with a non-mono. At this point we should point out that the source, as it were, for this rumor is InfoWorld's pseudonymous columnist, Robert X. Cringely - the real Robert Cringely has nothing to do with InfoWorld and hasn't since 1995. That's not to imply the counterfeit Cringely's moles are any less accurate than anyone else's in this profession, simply that the bogus Bob generally likes to serve these tidbits as appetizers rather than main course items.

    So that's all we have: Palm plans to ship the VIIc in August.

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  • Hardware makers see stronger sales this quarter
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: CNET Posted By: Leo Nelson

    After a series of disappointing earnings announcements following PC component shortages and sales slowdowns, hardware executives now say that business is getting back on track.

    Still, analysts say that there are enough open-ended questions to make the forecast for PC demand unclear.

    "My feeling is that we're in a trough between two waves," International Data Corp." analyst Roger Kay said.

    Analysts and industry executives have lost sleep over the past few months wondering when corporate customers would get back to stores to buy new hardware. The slump followed a serious ramp-up in sales as businesses spent tons of money buying new computers to prepare for the so-called millennium bug.

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  • Sony eyes teen market with latest electronics line
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: CNET Posted By: Leo Nelson

    At a Sony products show here, the consumer electronics giant revealed who has the power these days: teenagers.

    It seems the normally staid world of consumer electronics isn't immune to the overwhelming buying power of so-called Generation Y, as its latest electronics line shows. As demonstrated at this event, Sony has incorporated more color and curves into its devices and gadgets than ever before.

    Teen culture is a powerful force in entertainment, as represented in movies and popular music. Thus it's not surprising to see the trends spilling over into the world of technology, where design has become an important facet of computers and other technology devices. Apple Computer's colorful iMac and Barbie-themed personal computers are just some examples of recent attempts to spice up the familiar PC "beige box."

    Nevertheless, Sony is definitely jumping on the teen bandwagon, Doherty said. The company has expanded its line of digital music players, including one the size of a cigarette lighter. In addition, the company showed its Music Clip, a pen-shaped MP3 player, along with other digital music devices, including the Network Walkman, which offers speedier music downloads than other Sony products.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 1st March 2000
Internet News
  • Sony to sell PlayStation 2 mobos to arcade game makers
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sony is to provide eight giants of the videogame industry, including Capcom and Namco, with PlayStation 2 motherboards for their own coin-operated arcade game systems.

    Sony's motivation in the deal is clear: it wants to accelerate the translation of coin-op games to home consoles (and vice versa), and the easiest way to do that is to get the arcade software guys working on the very system that forms the basis for console.

    Traditionally, arcade games have provided the main inspiration for console releases. It's only when Sony simplified the PC/PlayStation porting process in order to increase the availability of PlayStation titles, that the console business and the PC game industry really got it together.

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  • Compaq to go from eight Fosters to eight McKinleys
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Paul Santeler, VP of Compaq's x86 enterprise server division is perfectly sanguine about where Intel's Itanium microprocessor stands, at least in the Houston roadmap.

    According to Santeler, who was remarkably frank about Compaq's future roadmap in a lunchtime interview: "Positioning Itanium is like positioning the new 454 engine from Chewy. The Itanium is a new engine and we'll use this engine in a new car when it makes sense."

    He said Compaq will bring Itanium to market in a four way system first, and targeted specifically at specialized markets.

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Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for January and February News.

Do you have any Windows based news? Just Remember To Get In Touch!

 

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