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Wal-Mart Breaks Price Barrier with $498 Linux Laptop

Wal-Mart Breaks Price Barrier with $498 Linux Laptop Running Linspire
Monday December 20, 6:30 am ET
New low-cost computer features complete operating system and Microsoft File-compatible office suite


SAN DIEGO, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire. The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections. The $498 price does not require coupons or rebates and can be purchased immediately at http://www.linspire.com/498.
Wal-Mart and Linspire worked together to offer a laptop that would give customers the best user experience at the lowest price possible. The Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite -- comparable machines cost hundreds more even without an office suite or software included.

Hardware specifications:
-- 1.0 GHz processor
-- 128 MB RAM, expandable up to 512 MB with included SODIMM slot
-- 14.1" LCD screen

Included software:
-- Linspire 4.5 operating system
-- OpenOffice.org - full-featured Microsoft file-compatible office suite
with word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs
-- Internet suite including email with spam blockers, Internet browser,
and built-in firewall
-- More than 1,900 free software programs for download, with guaranteed
software updates for 3 months


More specifications for the Balance $498 laptop are available at http://www.linspire.com/498.

The $498 Balance notebook with Linspire is an extremely affordable Linux-based computer perfect for use as a second or third home machine. Users can connect to the Internet and create, edit and share documents within minutes of bringing the laptop home without paying extra charges for software or licensing fees. Wal-Mart and Linspire partnered to bring a full-featured laptop to consumers at the lowest price point possible.

The Balance laptop is compatible with other office and Internet suites like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, and can be used with more than 1,000 printers and hardware components. With the included office suite OpenOffice.org (http://www.linspire.com/openoffice), users can open, edit and exchange files such as word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) or presentations (.ppt) in a familiar, comfortable environment. The laptop's included Mozilla Internet suite (http://www.linspire.com/mozilla) comes with a fast-functioning browser and email program that can display Web-based forms, PDF documents, images, and multimedia files. The suite's included instant messenger program works with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! logins.

Besides being affordable, the laptop is also easy-to-use, even for those new to Linux-based operating systems. The computer's Linspire operating system has a comfortable, familiar interface and software that is comparable to Windows. "Hot keys" on the keyboard give users one-touch access to email and the Internet. The laptop also comes installed with multimedia tutorials that Linspire worked with Wal-Mart to create for users who purchase the laptop, and a Quick Start guide to make set-up easy. View the interactive tutorials at http://www.linspire.com/walmartstart and a sample Quick Start guide at http://www.linspire.com/qsguide.

Because it is based on Linux, the Linspire operating system is immune to security threats targeting Microsoft Windows software including viruses, Trojan horses and spyware. The machine's built-in firewall gives an extra level of protection from outside threats, and the included Internet suite's standard spam and pop-up blockers make surfing and emailing hassle-free.

The $498 price also includes access to software programs via the CNR Warehouse (http://www.linspire.com/warehouse), an Internet-based software download center that allows users to install any of more than 1,900 software programs with one click. The CNR Service is available free to those who purchase the laptop from walmart.com, with guaranteed software updates available for three months after purchase. Once programs are downloaded, they are completely owned by the user and can be shared on multiple Linspire-based PCs with no activation codes required.

To purchase the Balance notebook for $498 with Linspire, please visit http://www.linspire.com/498.

For more information about Linspire, contact:
Heather MacKenzie
Linspire, Inc.
858-587-6700, ext. 263
858-587-8095 Fax
pr@linspireinc.com


About Linspire, Inc.

Linspire (http://www.linspire.com) is an affordable Linux-based operating system designed specifically for desktop and laptop computers in homes, schools and businesses. Linspire uses innovative CNR technology that allows the installation, updating and management of more than 1,900 software programs with just one click from Linspire's CNR Warehouse (http://www.linspire.com/warehouse). The Linspire operating system is also offered in Spanish (http://www.linspire.com/espanol), Italian (http://www.linspire.com/italiano) and Japanese (http://www.linspire.com/livedoor). Linspire, CNR, and CNR Warehouse are trademarks of Linspire, Inc., a Delaware Corporation. Other marks used herein may be the property of their respective owners.


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Source: Linspire, Inc.

Posted December 21, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Olympus Announces Prices For EVOLT E-300

Olympus Announces Prices For EVOLT E-300 Digital SLR Camera, Digital Specific Consumer Lenses, And Accessories

100% “Designed-for-Digital” SLR Comes with Lens for Under $1000 for World-Class Image Quality; Camera Packs Dust Protection and an 8-Megapixel Imaging Sensor into Innovative Compact, Low-Profile Body
Melville, NY, November 23, 2004 - Today Olympus officially announced that the 8.0-megapixel EVOLT E-300 Digital SLR, the first 100 percent “digital-from-the-ground-up” consumer SLR system with interchangeable digital specific lenses, will be sold with a lens for $999.99. Incorporating a newly designed compact body featuring the Dust Reduction system pioneered on the professional E-1 SLR body, the EVOLT delivers the versatility, durability and reliable performance of an SLR that isn’t just for the pros – now it’s for photographers of all skill levels at a price they can afford.

Camera, Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses, and Accessories Prices:

EVOLT E-300 Digital SLR:
$999.99 estimated street price including the 14-45mm lens ($1399 MSRP)
14-45mm f3.5 - f5.6 Lens: $249.95 estimated street when purchased separate from EVOLT ($299 MSRP)
40-150mm f3.5 - f4.5 Lens: $279.95 estimated street ($349 MSRP).
HLD-3 Battery Holder: $99.99 estimated street price ($119.95 MSRP).
Semi Hard Case CS3-SH (for EVOLT E-300 and 14.45mm or 14-54mm zooms): $49.95 estimated street price ($59.95 MSRP).

The EVOLT E-300 outfit includes a compact, 14 – 45mm f3.5 – f5.6 Zuiko Digital Specific Lens (equivalent to 28mm – 90mm in 35mm photography) that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Its 3.2x zoom covers the range most frequently used in ordinary photography and weighs just 10 ounces (285 grams) offering users an extremely dynamic, portable everyday-use zoom. Close-ups as near as 15 inches (38cm) are possible throughout the zoom range.

Another lens announced earlier this year, the 40 – 150mm f3.5 – f4.5 Zuiko Digital Specific Lens (equivalent to 80-300mm in 35mm photography), now also has a price. With 13 elements in 10 groups and a weight of just 15.75 oz/450g (approx), the Zuiko Digital 40-150mm Lens is meant to go anywhere. In addition, the lens employs an f3.5-4.5 brightness making it ideal for achieving effects like background blurring and perspective compression, suitable for everything from portraits to sports scenes. As with the 14-45mm lens, the 40-150mm is also reinforced by a multi-coating process as well as a reliable metal lens mount.

Both the 14-45mm and the 40-150mm are standard digital zoom lenses that complement each other and can be used in conjunction to cover a wide range of focal lengths and zoom ranges. In addition, both of these “designed for digital” lenses offer superb quality suitable for everyday use by advanced photographers as well as by newcomers to digital SLR products.

EVOLT Supersonic Wave Filter Leaves Other Digital SLR Cameras In the Dust
A common problem with interchangeable lens digital SLR cameras is dust settling on the image sensor. The EVOLT features an Olympus exclusive patented ultrasonic technology, the Supersonic Wave Filter™, to reduce the effects of micro dust settling on the image sensor and impacting the image quality. Located between the shutter and the CCD, the Supersonic Wave Filter uses high-speed ultrasonic vibration to cause most types of dust to fall away from the image sensor so it will not appear in photographs. The filter vibrates at 350,000 times per second and is activated every time the camera powers on, or manually via a menu selection, to instantly remove the dust from in front of the image sensor. The CCD assembly is isolated from the Supersonic Wave Filter by an airtight seal to protect it even more. This unique Olympus feature gives photographers the confidence to shoot photos and change lenses in the field, just as they’ve always done, without the worry of images being damaged or ruined by dust on the imager.

Optional Accessories Designed To Do More

HLD-3 Battery Holder
The EVOLT can accommodate the HLD-3 Battery Holder that holds one or two BLM-1 Li-Ion batteries. With two batteries, the EVOLT can capture almost double the number of images possible with only one battery. The HLD-3 has a shutter release button located at its base to enable vertical shooting, a remote socket for use with the RM-CB1 Cable Release, and a standard tripod socket.

FL-36 Flash
Compact, lightweight and designed specifically for digital photography, the FL-36 achieves higher guide numbers than comparable SLR film cameras even while maintaining wide-angle light distribution. The Guide Number is 117 feet (36 meters) at ISO 100. You'll notice the difference when using it in combination with a wide-angle lens on the EVOLT. Accurate, 1/8-step illumination control provides the precision required by digital cameras, while minimizing illumination reduction near the screen. The newly designed energy-saving circuit improves recharge rates and enables the flash to operate on just 2 AA batteries.

The FL 36 features the FP mode for syncro at shutter speeds up to 1/4000 sec. In both FP-TTL Auto and FP-Manual modes. Standard TTL-Auto, Auto and Manual flash modes are also available. It costs $199.99 estimated street price ($239.95 MSRP)

CS-3SH Semi-Hard Case
Protect the EVOLT and its lens in style with a dedicated semi-hard leather case.

Availability
The Olympus EVOLT E-300 Digital SLR will be available in December 2004. It includes: EVOLT E-300 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCM-2), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master Editing Software, CD-ROM, Manuals, Warranty card, and System chart.

For more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Olympus EVOLT E-300 and accessories, contact Michael Bourne, Mullen Public Relations, 650-210-9857 or michael.bourne@mullen.com, or Chris Sluka, senior public relations manager, Olympus America Inc, Consumer Products Group, Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY, P.O. Box 9058, 11747-9058, ph: (631) 844-5000 (800) 622-6372, Fax: (631) 844-5262 or the Olympus Web Site: www.olympusamerica.com/evolt

Posted November 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Sony VAIO U-Series Notebook

ULTRA PERSONAL COMPUTING IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND


Sony VAIO U-Series Notebook Combines Power of Full-size PC with Portability of PDA


SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9, 2004 _ At a shade over 1 pound, Sony's new VAIO® U Ultra Portable PC, announced today, has the heart of a PC but the soul of an entertainer.


Doubling as a portable media player, this "pocketable" PC allows you to download entertainment content and enjoy it virtually anywhere you go. Integrated 802.11 b/g wireless LAN connects you to thousands of hotspots across the country and helps you stay in touch with the Internet, email and your favorite digital content download services.


Multiple input modes contribute to the PC's extreme versatility. Using the stylus and virtual keyboard on the unit's touch panel screen, you can compose email messages or navigate files even while standing up. Handwriting recognition software simplifies note-taking or annotating documents. Users can also quickly launch programs or execute common commands with thumb-controlled action buttons, or draft longer text files with the included foldout keyboard.


"The U-Series expands the usability of portable PCs beyond the realm of even the lightest traditional notebooks," said Mike Abary, general manager of VAIO PC marketing for Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "It fits a full-fledged Windows® operating system, Intel® processor and all the entertainment capabilities that make it a Sony, into a `go-anywhere' package that's smaller than a paperback novel."


The unit's 5-inch display with XBRITE™ LCD technology brings movies and photos to life with crisp, high-contrast playback. Memory Stick® and Compact Flash media slots make it easy to import files or digital photos from a variety of digital still cameras. With intuitive thumb controls, users can change the display orientation on the fly, from landscape to portrait mode and back, for optimal viewing of virtually any content.


Whatever, Wherever


Included accessories make the PC even more effective in a variety of different environments. The inner-ear headphones and remote control make digital music and movies a joy whether you're on a plane or on the run. The mobile AC adapter, foldout keyboard and VGA/Ethernet adapter combine for an ideal road package. At home, the port replicator facilitates charging while connecting the PC to a variety of external devices such as a mouse, display, hard drive and/or optical drive.


An Intel® Ultra Low Voltage Pentium® M processor and Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional operating system ensure that the power and the platform for general computing tasks exist on the VAIO U notebook. And exclusive applications, such as SonicStage® software, allow users to take maximum control of their digital content, reinforcing Sony's commitment to entertainment.


The VAIO U Ultra Portable notebook will be available next month at SonyStyle stores and other select retailers, as well as online at www.sonystyle.com for about $2,000.


###


Editor's Note: Sony Electronics' Information Technology Products Division (ITPD) markets VAIO® notebook and desktop computers, as well as branded storage products. For additional information about Sony computer products, consumers can call (888) 315-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/vaio. For complete specifications and digital images, members of the news media are invited to visit Sony Electronics' news and information web site at www.sony.com/news.

Contact Info:
Valerie Motis
Sony Electronics Inc.
Christopher Downing
Ruder-Finn/Switzer
(415)348-2733

Posted November 11, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Pioneer Introduces First Aftermarket In-Car Navigation System with XM NavTraffic

Pioneer Introduces First Aftermarket In-Car Navigation System with XM NavTraffic
Tuesday November 2, 12:20 pm ET


WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR - News), the nation's leading provider of satellite radio with more than 2.5 million subscribers, and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., the established leader in mobile entertainment products, keep drivers informed of detailed traffic conditions 24 hours a day with Pioneer's next generation AVIC-N2 multi-function navigation system and XM NavTraffic. Pioneer's system is the first aftermarket in-car navigation system to offer satellite-based traffic information using XM NavTraffic, which displays traffic incidents and road flow conditions on a motorized 6.5-inch touch screen monitor. The system, unveiled today at the annual SEMA Show devoted to automotive specialty products, graphically communicates traffic incidents by means of traffic icons to quickly identify road events relative to the vehicle's location, keeping drivers in touch with their surroundings at all times. In advance, the system suggests alternate routes around major traffic incidents and heavily congested roads.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/XMSATLOGO )
With a quick touch of the screen, the Pioneer AVIC-N2 with XM NavTraffic displays a detailed traffic events list, showing local road incidents sorted by traffic event or by distance. The traffic list describes the exact location of incidents, provides descriptions of each occurrence and shows the distance of the events from the vehicle's current location.

Traffic flow is displayed on the navigation screen with different colors -- green, yellow and red. Green indicates traffic moving 40 mph and above, yellow from 20 to 40 mph and red at less than 20 mph. Additional icons represent scheduled incidents such as road construction and road closures.

"The new AVIC-N2 takes navigation to the next level," said Michael Townsen, vice president of marketing for mobile entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "Traffic conditions are continually broadcast by the XM NavTraffic service, keeping drivers informed at all times. Because the AVIC-N2 can fit virtually any vehicle on the road, everyone can have access to detailed traffic information."

XM NavTraffic, powered by NAVTEQ Traffic, provides the Pioneer AVIC-N2 system with in-depth traffic data for 20 major metropolitan cities across the nation. Traffic incidents are collected from a wide variety of sources, including road sensors, traffic cameras, state and local transportation departments, and law enforcement. The data is compiled by NAVTEQ, a leading global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions. XM delivers the data to the navigation system via satellite.

The Pioneer GEX-P10XMT data and audio receiver, AVIC-N2's optional traffic tuner, offers both the XM NavTraffic service and XM Satellite Radio's more than 130 digital radio channels, including 68 commercial-free music channels, more than 40 premier sports, news, talk, and entertainment channels, and 21 channels of traffic and weather reports. The subscription price is expected to be $13.99 a month for a bundled offering of XM NavTraffic and XM Radio.

"We at XM Satellite Radio are thrilled that Pioneer is offering the very first aftermarket navigation system with our XM NavTraffic service," said Roderick MacKenzie, Director, Advanced Applications, XM Satellite Radio. "You can choose your destination on the new Pioneer system, and XM NavTraffic gives you in-depth traffic information about your personal route. You can find out how fast traffic is moving, where the congestion is, and how to steer clear of problems. XM NavTraffic is the most comprehensive traffic information service ever offered to U.S. drivers, and we're very excited to be working with our longtime partners at Pioneer to make it available with Pioneer's new AVIC-N2 navigation system. This is an incredibly powerful tool for drivers to avoid traffic."

The AVIC-N2 with XM NavTraffic is a multi-tasking information and entertainment system that combines a detailed traffic tuner (XM Digital Satellite Data & Audio Receiver*) with turn-by turn route guidance navigation system, DVD/CD/MP3 player and vehicle dynamics monitor. The Pioneer DIN-size unit, meant to replace any existing in-dash car radio, is a revolutionary solution for drivers who spend more time than ever in their vehicle. The system provides far more than basic driving directions, offering millions of points of interest and alternate routes to avoid traffic jams.

The Navigation System

The AVIC-N2 provides accurate detailed route guidance for the entire United States and Canada including Alaska and Hawaii. Within seconds, the system's extremely fast processor calculates multiple routes and provides directions to any destination via electronic map and voice prompts.

Powered by TeleAtlas mapping, the system uses a massive 12-million points of interest (POI) database with more than 248 different categories so consumers can search for the nearest gas station, ATM or restaurant. As users are guided along their route, points of interest are overlaid onto the map, which is particularly helpful when driving in unfamiliar areas. Easy-to- recognize brand icons are used to identify hotels, restaurants, banks, gas stations and even specific chain store locations such as Chili's®, Olive Gardens®, 76® and Albertsons®.

Utilizing 7.5MB of flash memory, the system can store miles of mapping information allowing users to utilize its internal disc drive for audio or video entertainment to play DVD movies for back seat passengers or listen to an audio compact disc. Users also can store a frequently used path within a "home area," in which the system can display traffic information and points of interests without inserting the map disc.

Further aiding drivers, the AVIC-N2 guidance screens were graphically enhanced to look like highway exit signboards, communicating visual directions quickly and safely. Users can choose from five enhanced modes that can be displayed on the screen, including:

-- Standard map view mode
-- Driver's view mode (3-D view of map)
-- Route view mode (split screen between map and list of upcoming
streets)
-- Rear view split screen (split screen between rear camera view and
overhead map)
-- Vehicle dynamics mode (performance gauges)


The system also includes a camera input so owners of large vehicles can view an image from a rear camera on the screen. This feature allows owners of SUVs and RVs to see a boat or vehicle they may be towing for added safety.

The Audio Video Entertainment System

The state-of-the art audio/video entertainment system provides full dual zone capabilities, as well as DVD video playback, single CD, MP3 CDs and AM/FM/XM satellite radio all with maximum power and sound performance.

"Pioneer's AVIC-N2 provides maximum flexibility and performance across all aspects of mobile entertainment for any driver. For example, a family driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco can have their entire route mapped in the memory of the navigation system and still entertain rear seat passengers with DVD movies for the length of the trip," said Townsen.

Much like its top-line headunit counterparts, the AVIC-N2 is a high quality audio system with MOSFET50 (50 watts X 4 amplifier), three pre-amp outputs and three band parametric equalizer. The system can be expanded with other sources such as XM satellite radio, CD changer, DVD changer and TV tuner. All sources are direct access using its touch screen display.

The Vehicle Dynamics Monitor

The importance of individuality among the youth "Tuner" market is part of today's car culture, which led Pioneer to add new "skins" to its vehicle dynamics gauge screens of the AVIC-N2. With a quick touch of the display, four different skins can be chosen enabling consumers to customize the screen to match the interior of their vehicle.

Proven to be a popular feature, the vehicle dynamics offer an easy, fun and accurate method to assess a car's performance with stock equipment versus aftermarket parts. The rich navigation features enable the system to monitor key performance attributes, provide users with vehicle dynamics in real time and perform peak holds so users are able to see and track their vehicle's performance.

Measurements contain simple features such as voltage, compass and clock as well as dynamic features including:

* Acceleration to measure forward and backward G-Force
* Lateral G-Force to measure maximum cornering force
* Angular velocity to measure turn rate
* Slope to measure the incline


Pricing and availability will be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2005.

XM Satellite Radio audio service is available in 48 states. XM NavTraffic is available in the 20 identified cities. Sold separately, Pioneer GEX-P10XMT traffic tuner and activation of XM NavTraffic service is required.
XM Satellite Radio

XM is America's number one satellite radio service with more than 2.5 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City and Nashville, Tennessee at the Country Music Hall of Fame, XM's 2004 lineup includes more than 130 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: 68 one-hundred-percent commercial-free music channels, featuring hip hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues; more than 40 channels of premier sports, talk, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and 21 channels of the most advanced traffic and weather information for major metropolitan areas nationwide. As the official satellite radio network for Major League Baseball (MLB) and NASCAR, as well as ACC, PAC-10 and Big-10 collegiate football and basketball, XM Satellite Radio is the leader in sports radio programming offering thousands of live sporting events each year. XM also is the leader in satellite radio for the automobile market through partnerships with General Motors and Honda, among others. XM is available in more than 100 new car models for 2005. XM offers a wide variety of satellite radios for listening at home, in the car, and on the go, including the Delphi MyFi, the first portable, hand-held satellite radio. Consumers can experience over the Internet through XM Radio Online at http://listen.xmradio.com. XM recently launched XM NavTraffic, which provides current traffic information for vehicle navigation systems. For more information about XM, visit http://www.xmradio.com.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Pioneer's Mobile Entertainment Division is the leading manufacturer of audio, video and information products for in-car use. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including audio video, navigation and satellite radio, while maintaining its strong heritage in products for car audio enthusiasts and competitors. The company markets its products under the Pioneer and Premier brand names. When purchased from an authorized dealer, consumers receive a limited warranty for one year with Pioneer products and two years for Premier products.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is http://www.pioneerelectronics.com. Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video, computer and cable equipment for the home, car and business markets. The company focuses on four core business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer Corporation (NYSE: PIO - News) employs more than 36,000 people worldwide. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.


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Source: XM Satellite Radio; Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Posted November 5, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Buffalo Remote Access Router for Consumer and Small Business

BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTIONIZES WIRELESS NETWORKING WITH THE FIRST REMOTE ACCESS ROUTER FOR THE CONSUMER AND SMALL BUSINESS MARKETS

The AirStation Wireless Secure Remote Gateway is the Only Product of Its Kind That Allows Users To Access Their Home or Office Computer from Anywhere in the World

Austin, TX – November 1, 2004 - Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking, storage and memory solutions today announced a revolutionary wireless router, the AirStation Wireless Secure Remote Gateway (WZR-RS-G54). This groundbreaking remote-access solution is the only wireless router for the consumer and small business markets that enables users to conveniently and securely access e-mail, files, programs and network resources while on the road. The product also allows users to stream music files including MP3's, video files, or access digital photo images from anywhere in the world.

Buffalo’s new wireless router is the ideal solution for consumers, frequent travelers, telecommuters, multi-site employees and mobile office workers who need access to their home or office personal computer.

“There are over 25 million people in the U.S.1 who work from home, and business travel is on the increase. This is an audience that demands a simple, secure and inexpensive solution that gives them the same capabilities on the road as at home or the office,” stated Morikazu Sano, vice president of product marketing and public relations at Buffalo Technology. “Competing software solutions start at $20 a month, which can add up, especially if you add users. Our Wireless Secure Remote Gateway is an affordable, one-time purchase and provides users with a cost-effective means to access resources and remain productive while away from the home or office.”

The AirStation Wireless Secure Remote Gateway is an 802.11g/802.11b compliant router that features 125* High Speed Mode wireless technology and Buffalo’s patent pending AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS™). AOSS is designed to allow users to setup a secure wireless connection with the push of a button. Within 90-seconds, AOSS instantly detects and configures other AOSS-enabled devices on the network and seamlessly installs the highest available level of wireless security. The router includes both a PPTP VPN client and a PPTP VPN server for secure connections to other computers. This allows users to access and exchange files that reside on their home or office computer over the Internet via the PPTP secured protocol and eliminates the need of an FTP server or a paid service. Full access is granted as if the user were sitting in front of their home or office computer. The product’s Wake-On-LAN feature allows users to turn on their computer from any other computer with Internet access.

The Wireless Secure Remote Gateway incorporates an easy to navigate portal screen providing simple web-based access to product features. The product includes features that are unique to Buffalo’s routers such as Wireless Distribution System (WDS) for bridging and repeating; External Antenna support for extended wireless signal range; Intrusion Detector, which notifies users if an attack has been attempted on their system; and Privacy Separator for secure wireless sessions.

The product supports robust security protocols such as WPA-PSK with AES support, which gives the Wireless Secure Remote Gateway the ability to support WPA2 – the latest and most powerful security standard for wireless networks. The router includes a built-in DHCP server with a 4-port 10/100Mbps switch. The Wireless Secure Remote Gateway also supports forward-looking Fiber To The Home (FTTH) technology with routing speeds of up to 98.7Mbps.

Backed by a limited two-year warranty and toll-free 24/7 technical support, the AirStation Wireless Secure Remote Gateway (WZR-RS-G54) will be available November at an estimated street price of $199. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit the company’s Web site at www.buffalotech.com.

Posted November 3, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

New Dell TVs, Printers and Music Players

New Dell TVs, Printers and Music Players

Product Information Sheet


New York, October 14, 2004

Dell today opened its holiday retail season by announcing the expansion of the company's consumer electronics product portfolio, provided at exceptional prices to help more customers enjoy advances in digital music, photography, and television technology. Details and availability on the new consumer electronics are provided below. More information, including technical specifications and hi-resolution images are available at www.dell.com/digitallife.

Televisions

Dell's new 42-inch plasma displays, the Dell W4200HD 42" Plasma HDTV and Dell W4200ED Enhanced Definition 42" Plasma TV, will be available in time for holiday season programming. Both TVs boast wide-aspect (16:9 aspect ratio) screens that deliver excellent picture quality in packages that are only 3.3-inches thick.

The W4200HD retails for $3,499. It provides 1024 vertical lines and 768 horizontal lines of resolution, showing high-definition content. It is fully equipped to receive both analog and digital broadcasts out-of-the-box, due to dual integrated analog and combination digital/analog tuners.

The W4200ED, priced at $2,299, is an enhanced definition display equipped with dual analog tuners and features 852 vertical lines and 480 horizontal lines of resolution.

The Dell W4200 displays both allow users to multitask by viewing images from different sources simultaneously, with dual tuners and Picture-In-Picture (PIP), Picture-On-Picture (POP), and Picture-By-Picture (PbP) modes. When a PC is attached, the W4200 displays also support PC graphics on PC graphics, video on PC graphics, and video on video.

Detachable speakers deliver 20 watts of sound each, and high quality audio outputs allow easy integration with existing home theater components. Included SRSTM TruSurround XTTM transforms television audio into a stunning surround sound experience.

Both TVs are also powered by a PixelworksTM chipset. Dell is the first TV supplier to receive the Pixelworks' DNX certification, a series of rigorous video quality tests that measure out-of-the-box picture quality and performance.

Dell's goal is to help customers get their new plasma televisions working as quickly and easily as possible, so six different installation options are available to fit every need1. These options range from simply unboxing and hooking the TV up, wall mounting, or speaker mounting with concealed wiring.

Dell also announced a new model in its LCD TV product line today - the W1900 19" LCD TV, selling for $899. Multimedia enthusiasts now have more room to experience and enjoy digital content.

Dell has engineered the W1900 to feature a 1280 x 768 resolution (15:9 aspect ratio), thus optimizing for DVDs, today's TV signals, and tomorrow's high-definition broadcast standards. With a full suite of TV and PC connectors, the W1900 is also equipped for simultaneous use as a PC and TV display. When used as a PC monitor, the 158 square inch (1022 cm²) screen size can display two full documents side-by-side, enhancing productivity and ease of viewing.

Both plasma TVs will be available next month in the Continental (excluding Alaska) United States and in Canada. The W1900 19" LCD TV can be purchased immediately in the United States and Canada and will be available in Europe, Japan, Australia and Singapore and other regions over the next several months.

Printers

Bring the photo lab home with the new Dell Photo Printer 540 and the Dell Photo All-in-One Printer 942. The sleek, compact - 3.2" x 7.8" x 5.3" (HxWxD) - Photo Printer 540 sells for $189 and is available to order today in the United States. The Dell 540 makes it easy to create high-quality photos anywhere, thanks to a 2.5-inch LCD screen, USB input, PictBridge port for a camera connection, and 5-in-1 digital memory card reader that allows customers to view and print their images without connecting to a PC. For advanced editing, it also includes a USB PC connection and a suite of photo editing software. And images can be shared immediately after they are printed, because the printer's dye sublimation technology covers them with a glossy Clear Life CoatingTM that makes them durable, smudge-proof and long lasting2.

Other convenience features include 4x6-inch photos in fewer than 60 seconds3, one-button printing in black and white or color, one button save to PC, and the Dell Photo Print Pack, which includes Dell Premium Photo Paper and a Dell Print Cartridge for exactly 40 prints.

The Dell Photo All-in-One Printer 942 gives every home and small office the ability to print, copy, fax (when connected to a PC with fax modem) and scan in color - plus print photos - in one, easy-to-use device. Initially available for $1494, the 942 is can be purchased today in the United States. It will be available in other regions in the coming months.

With print speeds of up to 19 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 14 ppm in color (actual print speeds will vary with use), the 942 meets everyday printing and imaging needs. It also includes advanced photo printing features like a 2.5-inch LCD screen, a PictBridge port for a camera connection, and memory card slots - making it simple to print photos without being connected to a PC. The optional photo cartridge ensures a greater range of color, finer detail, and more realistic images. The 942 is also a standalone color copier for reproducing text documents, photos and graphics quickly and easily.

Both new Dell photo printers use the Dell Supplies Management SystemTM , which monitors cartridge and/or paper levels, proactively notifies customers before they run out of their supplies, and provides a direct link to Dell's website for easy reordering. In addition, all Dell printers come with Dell service and support, including 24x7 toll-free technical phone support and one-year Advanced Exchange Service5.

Dell DJs

Dell tuned into music enthusiasts who like more style with their music players. The company's two new DJs, enabled by Texas Instruments' Digital Audio processors, sport a sleek silver and black design and trimmer form factors. The 4.4-ounce6 Pocket DJ is smaller than a deck of cards but with enough storage for 2,500 songs7. Dell also updated the interface on the 20GB8 model for the music enthusiasts who want to load and easily play their entire music collection, or even books, on a digital music device.

DJ users can choose to download their favorite music from the many MP3 and Windows Media® -based download services on the Web. To simplify how customers enjoy music while protecting digital content, Dell will implement Microsoft's® Digital Rights Management technology, code-named Janus, and Media Transfer Protocol. The new technologies support legal downloads and secure transfer of digital music from any device or online service, and will be available on existing DJs later this year and in early 2005 on the new models introduced today. In addition, Dell will provide the firmware to upgrade DJs on support.dell.com at no cost, and plans to participate in Microsoft's forthcoming "Plays For Sure" campaign to help educate consumers on the compatibility of services and devices carrying the "Plays For Sure" logo.

The Pocket DJ starts at $199. The 20GB Dell DJ holds about 9,900 songs7 for $249. Both are available next month in the United States.


About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past four quarters totaled $45.4 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained www.dell.com.





1 Plasma TV installation services provided via third-party contract with customer. Availability varies. Other conditions apply. For complete details, visit www.dell.com/servicecontracts.


2 Under normal household storage and usage conditions.


3 Actual print speeds may vary with use.


4 After $30 instant rebate off original price of $179.


5 Replacement part or unit will be dispatched if necessary following phone-based troubleshooting in advance of receipt of returned defective unit. Availability varies. Other conditions apply. Defective unit must be returned. Replacements may be refurbished.


6 Weight is for unit only.


7 Assumes audio format is 64kbps WMA encoding with average song length of 4 min.


8 One GB = 1 billion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less.


Pricing, specifications, availability, and terms of offers may change without notice. Taxes, fees and shipping charges are extra, and vary. Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors.


Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc.


Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

Posted October 16, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (1)

Toshiba Introduces TDP-P7U Projector

Toshiba's new TDP-P7U projector promises ultra bright performance in their lightest projector ever created.

The TDP-P7U has an ultra-bright display that delivers a brilliant 1,100 ANSI lumens of brightness with native XGA 1,024 x 768 resolution, DLP(TM) technology and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. The TDP-P7U weighs in at 2.9 pounds providing a lightweight, compact business presentation solution that fits easily into a briefcase or handbag for easy transport while on the go, or when presenting at multiple locations.

With a sleek, eye-catching design, the TDP-P7U includes rich multi-media features such as composite and S-video inputs, audio-in capability and a 0.5 watt speaker. In addition, the unit has digital keystone correction allowing for distortion-free projection, and under 37dBA whisper-quiet operating mode for small meeting environments.

"Toshiba's TDP-P7U projector is the ideal, ultra-portable, business tool for the mobile worker that delivers high-impact presentations with ease, especially when used in conjunction with Toshiba's award-winning notebooks," said Alex Ijuin, assistant general manager for Toshiba DPD's Projector Business Unit of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. "Today's announcement underscores Toshiba's leading position in developing small form factor presentation devices for mobile professionals, allowing them to carry all of their essential office tools with them on the go."

The Toshiba TDP-P7U is currently available for $1,899 ESP(a). All Toshiba projectors are available through Toshiba's enterprise sales team and authorized distributors, dealers, VARs, retailers or mail-order outlets and at www.toshibadirect.com.

Toshiba TDP-P7U Projector Product Specifications

Shape 0.7" DDR DMD DLP(TM)
Display Technology No. of
Pixels 786,432 (1024 x 768)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard 1.2x Manual zoom/manual
Projection Lens Lens focus
F/f (mm) F = 2.6 - 2.9, f = 27.5
- 33.0mm
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Brightness 1100 ANSI lumens
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Native Resolution XGA 1024 x 768
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Contrast Ratio 2000:1 Full On/Full Off
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Color Reproduction 16.7 Million Colors
Projection Distance 3.9 ft - 38.8 ft
Projection Screen Size (Diagonal) 26" - 300"
Projection Methods Front and Rear
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Light Source 130W
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Horizontal
Compatible Scanning Frequency (kHZ) 15 - 80 kHZ
Vertical
(Hz) 50 - 85 Hz
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Input Terminals Video 1 x RCA, 1 x S-Video
RGB 1 x D-sub
RGB Audio Stereo mini jack x 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Video NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Input Signal Format Color HDTV/DTV
Difference (720p/1080i/480p/480i),
DVD
------------------------
VGA, SVGA, XGA (true),
RGB SXGA (compressed)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Keystone Correction Digital +15/-20 degrees
Internal Speaker 0.5W Monaural
PC Interface 1 x USB
------------------------
External Dimensions (W x D x H) 7.3" x 6.9" x 1.8"
Weight 2.9 lbs.
Power Consumption 190W
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Power Source 100-240V, 50/60Hz
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mouse Remote Control
with Laser Pointer
Box Contents (Batteries Included)
Power Cable
RGB Cable
USB Cable
CD-ROM
Soft Carrying Case
Owner's Manual
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Posted October 15, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Atheros Communications Introduces Industry’s First Single-Chip 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Solution

Atheros Communications Introduces Industry’s First Single-Chip 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Solution

Highly-Integrated CMOS Chip Simplifies Systems and Delivers High Performance, Low Power Consumption and Compatibility with All Major 802.11 Standards

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 11, 2004 – Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets, today announced the world’s first complete single-chip IEEE 802.11a/b/g WLAN solution, the Atheros AR5006X. The chip integrates an entire 802.11a/b/g solution -- Media Access Controller (MAC), baseband processor, and a high-performance radio with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz capabilities -- in a low-cost digital CMOS design. Offering seamless connectivity to all Wi-Fi networks anywhere in the world, full support for the IEEE 802.11i security standard, and support for Atheros XR™ (eXtended Range) and Super AG™ performance enhancements, the AR5006X is ideal for PC OEM, enterprise, retail, and consumer electronics devices.

The breakthrough single-chip IEEE 802.11a/b/g solution complements Atheros’ launch in January 2004 of the industry’s first single-chip IEEE 802.11b/g solution. It further solidifies the company’s position as a market leader in high-performance, low-cost wireless LAN semiconductors.

“This is one of the most impressive and important announcements in the history of wireless LANs,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, MA). “A low-cost, single-chip a/b/g implementation is key to the expansion of traditional WLAN markets, but also enables new, high-growth applications in a broad range of mobile devices. And with essentially the same performance as two-chip designs, we expect the AR5006X to have a huge impact on the Wi-Fi market overall.

The highly integrated AR5006X not only eliminates one chip of a previous two-chip solution, it also incorporates innovative design approaches that eliminate the need for up to 24 discrete components. As a result, it enables 802.11a/b/g reference designs that have 15 percent fewer parts and a correspondingly less expensive BOM (bill of materials). These simpler, lower-cost wireless designs will be greatly beneficial in products such as aftermarket PC cards, embedded PCI and mini-PCI cards, WLAN-on-motherboard solutions for personal computers, access points, home gateways, set-top boxes, digital media adapters, handheld consumer electronics, and VoIP handsets, among many others.

“The AR5006X chip achieves an unprecedented level of integration without sacrificing wireless LAN performance,” said Colin Macnab, vice president of marketing and business development at Atheros Communications. “By continuing to produce innovations that drive performance and lower WLAN system cost, we are powering the next-generation of high performance 802.11a/b/g wireless networking products.”

Atheros’ high-performance, low-power WLAN chips support the industry’s most robust security standard, IEEE 802.11i. An AES encryption engine is built into the hardware of all Atheros 802.11a/b/g and 802.11b/g chipsets, allowing real-time encryption with no performance degradation in computing, consumer electronics and wireless broadband applications. Atheros’ chipsets also support the WMM™ (Wi-Fi Multimedia) and draft 802.11e Quality of Service (QoS) specifications, providing advanced features for delivering wired-quality video and audio content via a wireless connection.

Super AG™ technology

Atheros’ popular Super AG performance-enhancement features are supported in the new single-chip AR5006X. Super AG employs multiple techniques including Dynamic Turbo with Adaptive Radio technology, packet bursting, fast frames, and data compression to dramatically increase the throughput and range of wireless networking products. The technology supports up to 108 megabits-per-second (Mbps) link rates, and enables user throughput of more than 60 Mbps.

eXtended Range technology

The AR5006X chip also supports Atheros’ eXtended Range technology, XR, which provides single access point coverage in home networking environments, eliminates “dead spots” in corporate wireless LANs, and provides outdoor coverage of up to two times the distance of competing WLAN solutions.

Atheros AR5006X pricing and availability

Atheros is currently sampling the AR5006X, with volume production expected in Q4 2004. List price for the AR5006X chip is under $12 in 10,000 unit quantities.

About Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless communications products. Atheros combines its wireless systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufacturable on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is being used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer and networking equipment manufacturers. For more information, visit www.atheros.com or send email to info@atheros.com.

Posted October 13, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

HP Unwraps the Ultimate Digital Entertainment Experience

HP Unwraps the Ultimate Digital Entertainment Experience for Holiday Shoppers Three new products enable consumers to easily enjoy pictures, music and movies
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2004 – HP today broadened its consumer electronics portfolio with a suite of new digital entertainment products that make-over consumers’ living rooms by tying digital devices together while making the most of Microsoft’s latest Media Center Edition operating system.

Delivering on the company’s digital entertainment strategy, these new products help create new consumer experiences by leveraging HP’s rich heritage in the PC and digital photography markets.

As a strategic partner at the Microsoft® Experience More launch in Los Angeles, HP is showcasing three key Media Center solutions: the HP Digital Entertainment Center, HP Media Center Extender and HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC. All feature Microsoft Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 and are available in time for holiday shoppers.

“HP is the only technology company with the experience and innovation necessary to successfully lead the convergence of the computing and consumer electronics industries into the digital entertainment space,” said Duane Zitzner, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Thanks in part to our strategic relationships with companies such as Microsoft, we’re delivering experiences that allow consumers to easily enjoy their digital content in the living room.”

Highlights of these digital entertainment offerings include:

· The HP Digital Entertainment Center z500 series – Designed for the living room home entertainment center, the HP Digital Entertainment Center allows consumers to access their music, movies, home videos and photos from a single device via a remote control.
· The HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC – Featuring the removable HP Personal Media Drive, these Media Center PCs provide consumers a computing experience that combines the latest in PC technologies and digital entertainment features.
· The HP Media Center Extender x5400 – This device delivers live/recorded TV shows, music and photos stored on any Media Center PC or the HP Digital Entertainment Center to any TV in the house using home networks, giving users the freedom to enjoy their content when and where they want.(1)
“Consumers have long demanded easy-to-use products that allow them to enjoy their multimedia content wherever they are and for years they have been disappointed,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst, The Enderle Group. “Today’s news affirms how incredibly focused HP is on this problem and how their unique portfolio of technologies allows them to deliver innovative solutions that create the experiences consumers have so long desired.”

“HP was the first to bring a Media Center PC to market, and we are thrilled that we continue to work together to provide consumers new and innovative solutions that offer truly integrated digital entertainment experiences,” said Will Poole, senior vice president, Windows client business, Microsoft. “HP is offering consumers a range of Media Center PCs, notebooks and media center extenders, enabling consumers to choose the solutions that best meet their needs and allowing them to enjoy their digital entertainment whenever and wherever they like.”

HP Digital Entertainment Center z500 series
Giving consumers more for their living room, the HP Digital Entertainment Center puts all of a user’s digital entertainment – TV, music, movies, photos – into one sleek, black, brushed-aluminum device:

· Connect the HP Digital Entertainment Center to digital TVs and home audio equipment for a big screen, surround sound experience through a wide range of audio/visual jacks.
· Search for and record up to two different TV shows simultaneously.(2) Capture single episodes or entire series with the Electronic Program Guide provided by Microsoft(3) and never miss another episode of a favorite show again.
· Enjoy fully integrated wireless features with 802.11b/g,(1) an infrared remote control and wireless keyboard with trackball.
· Choose, organize and enjoy digital music from 10 feet away with HP Tunes, part of the Digital Entertainment Center’s compatibility with the Apple iPod from HP. HP Tunes works with Apple iTunes(4) to give consumers access to their music collection and play lists via a remote control.
· Enjoy photo memories using HP’s exclusive ImageZone application designed for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to view pictures by date, keyword and even by place with a few clicks on the remote control.
HP expects to launch a Digital Entertainment Center that will support ATSC high-definition recording in the first half of 2005.

“Intel and HP share the vision of the digital home enabling consumers to enjoy their favorite content anytime, anywhere and on any device,” said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Desktop Platforms Group, Intel. “With the introduction of the HP Digital Entertainment Center, entertainment for the living room now has new meaning, allowing consumers easy control and manageability over their digital content. We’re proud to work with HP to help bring this product to consumers.”

HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC
The HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC uses the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system’s powerful tools to create and manage digital media from music to home movies to photo slide shows. Control it all with one remote control:

· Take the video, photo and music experience to a new level of personalization and enjoyment. Get fast access to photos via a digital camera’s memory card using the PC’s front-mounted memory card reader or via the top-mounted digital camera dock holder and create, edit print or share memories.
· Safeguard digital memories by backing up photo, music and video collections to the HP Personal Media Drive (sold separately) or DVD burner.
· Create custom home videos with easy-to-use editing software. Burn to CD or DVD along with music and digital photos.
HP Media Center Extender x5400
With a sleek and stylish design that fits into existing home entertainment centers, the HP Media Center Extender allows users of the HP Digital Entertainment Center or HP Media Center PC to view recorded TV shows, videos and photos and listen to music files on TVs and stereos throughout a home(5):

· Watch a movie in the living room while another user listens to the music collection using the same Media Center PC in another room in the house. Up to five different Media Center Extenders can run at the same time from one Media Center PC.(5)
· Navigate and enjoy digital music, photos, recorded TV and videos with the same Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 interface and one remote control. The included setup wizard makes starting up quick and easy.(6)
· Use a wired or wireless(1) 802.11a/g connection. Connect to an existing TV or monitor and home stereo.
More product details and images of HP’s digital entertainment offerings are available in an online press kit at www.hp.com/go/DECLaunch2004.

Availability and pricing(7)
The HP Digital Entertainment Center, Media Center Extender and Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PCs are expected to be available this month both direct from HP via www.hpshopping.com and at retail partners nationwide.

HP is releasing two models of the HP Digital Entertainment Center. The HP z540 Digital Entertainment Center – featuring a single NTSC TV tuner and 160GB internal hard drive – has an estimated U.S. street price of $1,499. The HP z545-b Digital Entertainment Center – with dual NTSC TV tuners, 200GB internal hard drive and the HP Personal Media Drive offering an additional 160GB of removable storage – has an estimated U.S. street price of $1,999.

The HP Media Center Extender has an estimated U.S. street price of $299 and the HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC has an estimated U.S. street price starting at $999 after rebate.

Configure-to-order models of the HP Media Center m1100 series Photosmart PC start at an estimated U.S. street price of $974 after rebate depending on the configuration ordered and are available direct from HP via www.hpshopping.com or retail kiosks.

HP also plans to announce a consumer notebook PC featuring the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system later this fall.

Posted October 12, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Virgin to Unveil Portable Music Player

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The consumer electronics arm of the Virgin Group is introducing a new 5-gigabyte hard-disk portable music player, bringing a powerful brand name in music to the increasingly crowded product space.

Virgin Electronics hopes its slim Virgin Player, which debuts Tuesday and is smaller than a deck of cards, will rise as a lead competitor to Apple Computer Inc.'s wildly popular iPod players. Apple dominates the portable player market that is filled also with choices from Rio Audio, Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics, and Creative Labs Inc., among others.

But few of the rivals have introduced a direct challenge to the iPod Mini model, which has a 4-gigabyte capacity. And that's the segment San Jose-based Virgin Electronics is pursuing - people who may want to tote about 1,000 songs in their pocketable devices but don't necessarily need the whopping 20-gigabyte-or-more capacity of audio players offered by Apple, Sony, Samsung and others.

"No one else has the same sort of brand energy that Apple or Virgin has. Plus, our heritage is music," said Greg Woock, chief executive of Virgin Electronics. "Apple is dominating, yes, but the market share that it has today is not going to last."






The Virgin Player has 20 percent more storage capacity than the iPod Mini. It is slightly larger but is a half-ounce lighter at 3.1 ounces. Virgin claims it has eight hours of continuous playback time on its rechargeable lithium ion battery - the same as the iPod Mini.

The player will be available for $249 at the end of October.

Unlike the iPod, the Virgin Player includes an FM tuner. But it has another notable difference: while the Virgin Player is fully integrated with its sister online music store, Virgin Digital, it also plays tunes purchased from other online music services that use the Windows Media Audio or MP3 formats.

That's a more agnostic approach compared to Apple's iPod, which works with downloaded songs only from the Apple iTunes Music Store in the Advanced Audio Coding format or songs ripped from CDs in the MP3 format.

Virgin also sides with the set of music providers, such as Napster and RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody, which believe online subscription services will one day become more lucrative than the basic pay-per-download model that Apple helped pioneer.

The Virgin Player supports Microsoft Corp.'s new copy-protection technology that allows online music subscribers to listen to vast catalogs of songs on their portable players.

palmOne Breaks New Ground with Industry's First 256MB Storage Handheld

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palmOne Breaks New Ground with Industry's First 256MB Storage Handheld


New Tungsten T5 Handheld Keeps Data Protected without Recharging and Doubles as Portable USB Flash Drive

MILPITAS, Calif., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nearly doubling the industry's current handheld storage maximum, palmOne, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLMO) today introduced the Tungsten(TM) T5 handheld with 256MB of flash memory.(1) The Tungsten T5 gives productivity-minded mobile professionals the ability to carry more data and applications than ever before on a handheld, for an estimated U.S. street price of $399.

[NOTE: To view the Multimedia News Release, complete with video and images, go to http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/palmone/20397

The Tungsten T5 handheld's flash memory protects information even if the device loses its charge, and doubles as a portable flash memory drive.(2) With palmOne's highest-resolution 320x480 color screen, Bluetooth(R) wireless technology, and an all-new sleek and slim design, the Tungsten T5 rises above conventional handheld limitations, giving customers the folders and files they need whenever and wherever they need them.

"Today's mobile professionals need greater access to their information, regardless of the data's size," said Ken Wirt, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for palmOne. "The Tungsten T5 handheld gives these highly mobile workers more storage capacity than any other handheld device. It also doubles as a flash drive, allowing people to carry their work from the office to home and back, without carrying a laptop."

Flash memory, a form of electronic memory, is used for easy and safe information storage. Its low power consumption and light weight make flash memory ideal for mobile devices. In addition, flash memory holds information without a charge or power, just like a memory card saves pictures when not connected to a digital camera. The flash memory in the TungstenT5 handheld will maintain its data, even when the power is exhausted. Simply charge the handheld again and the data is there.

Monumental Storage That Saves Data Without Recharging

With 256MB of flash storage, the greatest amount of memory currently available on the handheld market, the Tungsten T5 handheld can store all of the following:

-- thousands of appointments and contacts;
-- hundreds of emails and documents;
-- hundreds of VGA photos;
-- two music CDs; and
-- several minutes of video.


With the ability to carry so many files, folders and documents anytime, anywhere, users can stay connected and get more done while at the office, at home or on the road.

Quick and Easy Access to Folders and Files

Users can drag and drop files and folders between the Tungsten T5 handheld and their desktop computers using palmOne's new File Transfer application, which is installed onto computers via Palm(TM) Desktop software. Simple and easy to use, a live desktop window gives users instant access to data and information stored in the handheld's internal drive. Users who have Palm Desktop installed at work and home can simply drag an important file to their internal drive, take their Tungsten T5 handheld home, plug it into their home computer's USB port and access the file. While on the go and away from a desktop, users can view their Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents on palmOne's highest-resolution color screen.

The Tungsten T5 also doubles as a flash drive, making data stored on the device easily accessible on the go. To access important information wherever it's necessary, the user simply selects Drive Mode on the handheld and plugs the HotSync(R) cable into another computer's USB port. The user then can open, copy, move, rename, delete and manage files and folders while using the Tungsten T5 handheld as a removable drive.

Strong support from DataViz(R) Documents To Go(R) 7.0 gives users the ability to create and edit Word and Excel compatible files and view and carry PowerPoint files with no desktop conversion required. Multimedia content, such as photos, music and videos(3), also can be stored in the Tungsten T5 handheld's ample internal memory. A new Favorites view provides easy access to the applications, files and folders most important to the user, while a new Files application allows for easy navigation among folders and files.

Innovative Design

Documents, PowerPoint presentations, photos and even videos can be viewed in landscape or portrait mode on the Tungsten T5 handheld's stunning 320x480 display. A robust Intel 416MHz XScale processor provides plenty of power, and the built-in Bluetooth wireless technology lets users sync with a laptop computer or connect to a Bluetooth compatible phone to browse the web and get email.(4) With its slim and sleek design, the Tungsten T5 fits easily into a loose pocket and features the Multi-connector, a new common connector for palmOne products.

New Accessories

Being introduced with the Tungsten T5 handheld is a host of new accessories, including the following (all prices are estimated U.S. street price):

-- Tungsten T5 Hard Case -- Based on the best-selling Tungsten E hard
case, this case provides strong protection in a sleek, brushed aluminum
design. $39.99
-- Tungsten T5 Leather Case -- This premium slim leather custom case
features luxurious suede interior and storage for credit and/or
business cards and expansion cards. $29.99
-- Tungsten T5 USB Cradle Base -- This new stylishly designed HotSync and
charging cradle works with inbox cables and charger and includes an
audio out for stereo or powered speakers. $29.99
-- Tungsten T5 Cradle Kit -- The complete cradle kit for home or office,
this product includes a Tungsten T5 cradle, a desktop USB HotSync cable
and AC charger. $49.99
-- Combo Stylus with Pen Multipack -- This combo pack includes three
convenient-to-carry pen and stylus combinations. $14.99

Price and Availability

palmOne's Tungsten T5 handheld has an estimated U.S. street price of $399 and will be widely available on Nov. 3 from the palmOne online store (http://store.palmOne.com) and select retail stores worldwide. The company also announced a $50 price reduction of the Tungsten T3 handheld -- now $349 (estimated U.S. street price).

Additional information about the new Tungsten T5 handheld can be found online at http://www.palmOne.com/tungsten-t5.

About palmOne, Inc.

palmOne, Inc. -- the leader in handheld computing and communications solutions -- strives to put the power of computing in people's hands so they can access and share their most important information. The company's products include Zire(TM) and Tungsten(TM) handhelds and Treo(TM) smartphones, software and accessories.

palmOne products are sold at The palmOne Store (http://store.palmOne.com/) and palmOne Retail Stores, and through select Internet, retail, reseller and wireless operator partners throughout the world.

More information about palmOne, Inc. is available at http://www.palmOne.com.

(1) 215MB user available.

(2) Host computer must support standard USB removable drive and
appropriate application software (not included).

(3) Videos may require conversion via the desktop to be viewed on the
handheld.

(4) Wireless access requires a compatible Bluetooth phone and carrier
subscription, not included. An Internet service provider account, data
service and carrier subscription may be required for Internet and
email access. These services may need to be purchased separately.

Broadcast Video and Other palmOne Materials

Broadcast video and other materials are available online from palmOne's Multimedia Library (http://www.thenewsmarket.com/palmOne). Press can register at the site, which is hosted by The NewsMarket (thenewsmarket.com), a web- based news and video archive, to browse and preview an extensive content library and order footage directly from their desktops. Registration and ordering on the site is free.

palmOne, Zire, Tungsten, Treo, Palm and Palm OS are among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned by or licensed to palmOne, Inc. or its subsidiaries. The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by palmOne, Inc. is under license. All other brand and product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or services of, their respective owners.

SOURCE palmOne, Inc.

Posted October 4, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Contax launches i4r clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera

Contax launches clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera

Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens and RTUNE technology for crystal-clear images

Hamburg, September 27, 2004 – A slim body, sharp eye and a speedy heart: Contax is launching the i4R to coincide with Photokina 2004. This is the first in the new Contax “i” range. In addition to a fast Carl Zeiss lens and the RTUNE image processor for unlimited continuous shooting, other impressive features of this pedigree digicam are its small size, perky design and low weight (90g). The Contax i4R will be available in Europe in advance from mid-October at a price of €398.


“The “i” in Contax i4R stands for individuality, innovation and ingenuity. These are the core values of this camera,” states Dirk Hülsermann, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Yashica Kyocera. “In the Contax i4R we have developed a camera whose design generates emotions, which creates outstanding images and is breathtakingly fast.”


Timeless “design classic”
The design of the Contax i4R is characterised by straight lines for an ultraslim look. In the silver and cherry colour variants brushed aluminium gives the body a cool appearance. The black variant of the Contax i4R comes with a mirror-smooth finish. The protective slide (which incorporates the integral flash) is a striking feature. It protects the LCD monitor and the lens when the camera is switched off. The slide mechanism is also used to switch the camera on and off.


Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens and RTUNE
The “optical heart” of the Contax i4R is a Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 6.5mm lens (equivalent to 39mm in the analogue 35mm format) with a maximum aperture of f2.8. Four lens elements, configured in three groups, are precisely matched to the 1/2.5-inch image sensor CCD chip (resolution: 4 megapixels). Thanks to the patented RTUNE double processor the image data is processed extremely quickly. The camera therefore operates with virtually no shutter lag and can shoot up to 3 frames a second in continuous mode. RTUNE also decisively enhances image quality. Images shot on the Contax i4R stand out because of the absence of noise and their high-fidelity colour rendition.

New control concept and various setting options
The Contax i4R has been designed to be as reliable as it is functional. The newly developed control concept enables intuitive and fast handling of all the main setting options. The Contax i4R has eight programs plus one automatic and five preset white balance modes to ensure that images are perfectly adjusted to the light conditions. Its sensitivity can be set manually in the range 50 to 400 ISO or automatically regulated. Four flash programs round off the exposure control. The Contax i4R offers a 1.5-inch LCD monitor for viewfinding and image playback with a resolution of 130,000 pixels (557x234).

Docking station and USB 2.0
The Contax i4R comes complete with a docking station. The docking station is used to charge the battery in the camera and to provide a straightforward link to a PC, TV and printer. Images and videos can therefore easily be transferred to the computer, video clips can be played back on the TV, and photos can be printed directly on a PictBridge-compatible printer without any intermediate steps.
Power supply to the Contax i4R is provided by a powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Measuring a bonsai-like 94 x 38.5 x 21 (W x H x D in mm) and weighing a mere 90g, the camera is extraordinarily compact. It is available from mid-October in three colour variants, i.e. black, cherry and silver, and comes complete with the docking station. The price is €398.


Specifications

Camera Contax i4R

Type
digital camera with record, playback and delete modes

Effective pixels
4 megapixels

Pickup device
1/2.5" CCD with 4,19 million pixels gross

Image dimensions in pixels (stills):
2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480

Image dimensions in pixels (video):
640x480, 320x240

Video frame rate
30 fps, 15 fps., unlimited, depending on size of recording media

Recording format
JPEG (Exif 2.2), DCF standard, supports DPOF

Lens
Carl Zeiss Tessar T* with 4 elements in 3 groups with aspheric elements and special optical glasses

Focal length
6.5mm (corresp to 39mm in 35mm format)

Lens speed
F/2.8

Digital zoom
up to 6x (13 steps)

Focusing control
automatic (video AF)

Focusing range (from lens front surface)
approx 0.6 - ∞, Macro approx 0.05m – 0.6m

Shutter speeds
CCD controlled electronic programme shutter (1/2000 – 1sec)

Exposure
programme AE, exposure compensation, ISO: auto, 50 – 400 (4 steps)

Continuous mode
3fps (without AF), 1.4fps (with AF) in highest quality, unlimited exposures, depending on size of recording media

White balance
auto and manual (options: bright sunlight, tungsten, cloudy, neon light, presettings)

Focusing control
video feedback autofocus

Focusing modes
Multi AF (9 points) or Spot AF

Features

Monitor
1.5" TFT LCD monitor, 130,000 pixels

Programmes
1. sports, 2. portrait, 3. nightportrait, 4. sunset, 5. twilight, 6. night, 7. black and white, 8. sepia

Flash/flash range
built-in/0.6m to 1.8m

Flash modes
full auto, full auto with red-eye reduction preflash, daylight fill-in flash, flash off

Interfaces/docking station
USB 2.0, video/audio, AC

Recording media
SD cards, MM cards

Sound recording
30 seconds per image, WAV format

Power source
3.7v / 760mAh

Dimensions
94x38.5x21mm (wxhxd)

Weight
90g

Accessories (supplied)

Lithium-ion battery
X
AC adapter
X
USB cable
X
Video cable
X
Hand strap
X
Camera case
X
Docking station
X

Specifications subject to change


About RTUNE

RTUNE starts very early in the imaging process and through efficient color management reduces the amount of data to be processed by the camera. White balance, so crucial for a natural color rendition, starts directly behind the pickup device and not, as is normal with other models, in the digital section. The result is a considerable reduction in noise. Additionally, RTUNE prevents the so-called "cross talk" effect, in which neighboring ones can distort the signal of a pixel. This results in fewer digital artifacts and an increased purity of color. Because the subsequent digitalizing of the signal means less computing time for the elimination of aberrations, another source of interference with color reproduction is reduced. The RTUNE processor works with 16 bits and so achieves an extremely differentiated, practically continuously variable conversion of grays and colors. By executing many complex image-processing algorithms, the RTUNE processor accelerates the computing speed and makes the customary intermediate storage of images superfluous. Because the image files are built up more efficiently thanks to RTUNE and contain less superfluous interference, the JPEG files finally saved turn out much smaller. Correspondingly more images fit onto every costly memory card.


YASHICA Kyocera GmbH, Hamburg

Together with subsidiaries in London, Paris, Vienna and Zurich the European head- quarters in Hamburg, theYASHICA Kyocera GmbH, controls distribution, marketing and service on the European market. The product range comprises YASHICA brand compact cameras, KYOCERA brand Finecam digital cameras as well as CONTAX brand compact, SLR and digital cameras.YASHICA Kyocera GmbH was founded in 1983 by the merger of Yashica Co Ltd with the Kyocera Corp and is an outright subsidiary of Kyocera Corp. Today approx 100 employees work for the YASHICA Kyocera group in Europe.
Managing director Europe of the YASHICA Kyocera group is Wilhelm H Hotes.


Kyocera Corporation, Kyoto

With a vision of ceramics as the key material of the future, the engineer Dr Kazuo Inamori founded the company in 1959. By combining ceramic materials with metals and plastics and integrating these into new technologies Kyocera is today one of the worldwide leading suppliers of ceramic components for, amongst others, the information and communication industry. The corporation is also one of the worldwide leading producers of solar modules. With an annual turnover of about EUR 9.32bn (fiscal year 2001/2002) and about 44,000 employees Kyocera today maintains 62 factories and more than 100 branches worldwide. 35 subsidiaries devoted to the marketing of laser printers, analog and digital cameras, microelectronic parts and solar modules are situated in Europe alone. Less known perhaps is the company's cultural engagement: via a foundation the corporation every year finances the prestigious Kyoto award. With approx half a million Euros this is one of the highest endowed awards for the lifework of high-ranking scientists and artists.

Further Information:

YASHICA Kyocera GmbH
Dirk Hülsermann
Eiffestrasse 76
20537 Hamburg
Tel.: 040 / 25 15 07-46
Fax: 040 / 25 15 07-48


FAKTOR 3 AG

Peter Jefimiec
Kattunbleiche 35
22041 Hamburg
eMail: kyocera@faktor3.de
p.jefimiec@faktor3.de
Tel. : 040 / 67 94 46-53
Fax : 040 / 67 94 46-11


FAKTOR 3 AG

Thomas Schultze
Kattunbleiche 35
22041 Hamburg
eMail: kyocera@faktor3.de
t.schultze@faktor3.de
Tel. : 040 / 67 94 46-41
Fax : 040 / 67 94 46-11


Posted September 30, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Griffin Begins Shipping radioSHARK Desktop AM-FM Radio

Griffin Technology Press Release
For Immediate Release

Griffin Begins Shipping radioSHARK Desktop AM-FM Radio
Desktop radio includes time shift recording, automatically syncs with iTunes and is Mac & PC compatible

NASHVILLE, TN – September 29, 2004. Griffin Technology Inc., innovator of exciting hardware and software products for the Mac and PC, today announced it has begun shipping the much-anticipated radioSHARK, a desktop AM-FM Radio with time-shift recording capabilities. Compatible with both Mac and PC computers, radioSHARK allows users to listen to and record their favorite AM or FM radio broadcasts. The radioSHARK allows the recording of scheduled radio events or as a way of ‘pausing’ live radio. This gives the listener the ability to return where they left off minutes, or even hours later. The radioSHARK sells for $69.99 and is now shipping. It is available for sale at http://griffintechnology.com and the Apple Store.

The radioSHARK connects to and is powered by USB. The fin-shaped device acts as the antenna and can be adjusted and positioned for best reception. Once connected, all radio tuning and control is through its full-featured front-end application. Favorite station presets can be set with the click of a mouse and new stations can be scanned and tuned with ease. The radioSHARK application is also where you can program the radioSHARK to record your favorite broadcast to listen to later. Recordings are automatically synced to the Apple iTunes music application, ready for playback or transfer to an iPod for on the go listening.

“So it’s a little late,” said Paul Griffin of Griffin Technology. “When you’re developing new products from scratch, sometimes you run into unexpected speed bumps along the way – it’s the nature of the business. That said, the radioSHARK is a very cool product that I think people are going to love. It’s the product that ‘I’ wanted to make and ultimately was worth the wait.”

Pricing & Availability
The Griffin radioSHARK package includes the USB radioSHARK hardware device, software for both Mac and PC, as well as a 40-page instruction manual. It retails for $69.99 USD and is available now at http://griffintechnology.com and the Apple Store.




Posted September 29, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

SanDisk Introduces First 8GB CompactFlash

SanDisk Achieves Breakthrough Performance with 90nm NAND/MLC and Advanced Controller Technology to Boost Capacities for Popular Ultra II High-Speed Memory Cards

Photokina 2004

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2004--
SanDisk Introduces World's First 8-Gigabyte ULTRA II CompactFlash Type I Card; Leads In Capacity and Performance for Memory Stick PRO and SD Formats

SanDisk(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) announced today that its Multi-Level Cell (MLC) and advanced controller technology have allowed it to quadruple the capacity of its high-speed SanDisk Ultra(R) II cards. SanDisk now offers the world's first 8 gigabyte (GB) CompactFlash(R) Type I card and 4GB SanDisk Ultra II Memory Stick PRO(TM) and 2GB SanDisk Ultra II SD(TM) cards, and maintains their award-winning minimum write speed of 9 megabytes per second (MB/sec.) and minimum read speed of 10MB/sec.(1)

The new high capacity SanDisk Ultra II cards are designed to be a reasonably priced, high performance solution for the photography channel and were announced yesterday at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany.

Yoram Cedar, SanDisk's senior vice president of engineering, said, "SanDisk's engineers have been refining our NAND/MLC and advanced 32 bit controller architectures over the past 5 years, and we are now beginning to see the full fruits of these efforts. These new Ultra II cards employ our highest density 90nm 4-gigabit (Gb) NAND/MLC single-die tightly coupled with our latest generation controller chips. New high performance algorithms were implemented that maximize the MLC performance while benefiting from the lower cost per megabyte of MLC memory. These achievements in products that will ship in volume production in the coming quarter demonstrate the true power of the NAND/MLC technology that SanDisk and Toshiba have developed through our strategic partnership."

Jim Handy, director of non-volatile memory at Semico Research Company, said, "The fact that SanDisk is now able to support their high-speed SanDisk Ultra II line of flash cards with MLC NAND speaks very highly of the company's command of MLC technology. Until now, MLC could not be used in SanDisk's Ultra line of high-speed flash cards whose higher performance requirements ruled out MLC's cost savings. The company has found a way to bring MLC's improved cost structure into the market for top-of-the-line cards."

Pricing and Availability

The SanDisk Ultra II product line is available in CompactFlash, Memory Stick PRO and SD formats. Suggested retail prices and availability are as follows:

Capacities US$ EUR Avail-
(ex. VAT) ability
--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
Ultra II CF 256MB - 2GB EUR 44.00 - Now
$49.99 - $249.99 EUR 245.00
------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
4GB $479.99 EUR 465.00 October
------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
8GB $959.99 EUR 930.00 November
------------- ------------------ ------------ --------

--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
Ultra II MS PRO 256MB - 1GB EUR 73.00 - Now
$74.99 - $249.99 EUR 259.00
--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
2GB - 4GB EUR 495.00 - November
$479.99 - $959.99 EUR 990.00
------------- ------------------ ------------ --------

--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
Ultra II SD 256MB - 512MB EUR 45.00 - Now
$64.99 - $89.99 EUR 72.00
--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------
1GB - 2GB EUR 119.00 - November
$119.99 - $239.99 EUR 239.00
--------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------ --------


SanDisk Ultra II cards are available at most of the 80,000 consumer electronics stores and other retail outlets where SanDisk products are sold worldwide.

SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage card products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K-A and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation to update the information in this release.

SanDisk's web site/home page address: http://www.sandisk.com.

Images of SanDisk products are available at http://www.sandisk.com/corporate/media.asp.

SanDisk, the SanDisk logo, SanDisk Ultra and CompactFlash are trademarks of SanDisk Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries. SanDisk Extreme is a trademark of SanDisk Corporation. SanDisk is an authorized licensee of the SD trademark. Memory Stick PRO is a trademark of Sony Corporation. Other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective holder(s).

(1) Results based on testing with HDBENCH benchmark software. Actual results in digital cameras will vary by model.

Posted September 29, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Panasonic Pro High Speed Series

Press Release:

Osaka Japan -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC), best known for its Panasonic brand products, today announced it will introduce "PRO HIGH SPEED Series" 1GB and 512MB SD Memory Cards this Fall that doubled the internal data transfer rates. These two SD Memory Cards use Panasonic's new LSI architecture and proprietary high speed technology to achieve a data transfer speed of up to 20MB/s.1 Named the "PRO HIGH SPEED Series", the new memory cards will feature distinctive, newly-designed labels and packaging.

Sale of the memory cards worldwide is scheduled to begin in October. In Japan, 1GB and 512MB SD Memory Cards will be available on October 15, without manufacturer's suggested retail prices.

New Product Feature Outline

The new PRO HIGH SPEED Series SD Memory Card can achieve data transfer speeds of up to 20MB/s for an SD Memory Card when used with SD products that comply with a newly upgraded interface. Panasonic will also simultaneously launch a Cardbus compatible PC Card Adaptor as a host device to enable high-speed data transfer.

The name PRO HIGH SPEED indicates that the cards provide high-level performance compatible with the standard demanded by video professionals. The basic construction of the PRO HIGH SPEED Series card is employed in the recording medium (P2 Card) used by the Panasonic professional camera DVCPRO P2 system, which delivers the exceptional tapeless video capture performance and durability required by video professionals. The fact that this professional camera has been adopted by more than 40 leading TV broadcasters and tested at the recent Athens Olympics shows its reliability of both the camera and media.

PRO HIGH SPEED Series SD Memory Cards are compatible with existing SD-enabled products. They can be used with current SD-enabled products to achieve the same maximum high-speed data transfer of up to 10MB/s as that provided by Super High Speed Series.

Panasonic plans to release PRO HIGH SPEED Series Cards with doubled memory capacity in coming years.

Product Development Background

Since its introduction in 1999, the SD Memory Card has come to be used in a wide range of digital products including digital still cameras (DSC), digital video cameras, PCs, PDAs, and mobile telephones. Among these products, the memory card's major application has been storage of still images. The DSC market has recently seen rapid progress toward higher resolution, which has increased the size of data files and the need for higher performance. Consecutive shooting, an increasingly popular DSC feature, also requires high-speed transfer rates. In addition, there is a continuing popularization of functions to record and play back video images such as MPEG4 and MPEG2 using memory cards.

In the future, it is expected that more and more users will enjoy recording TV programs on SD Memory Cards for playback on different SD-enabled products. Since video data entails an extremely large file size, it stands to reason that there will be an increased need for high-speed data transfer.The PRO HIGH SPEED Series was developed to respond to this demand for high-speed data transfer.

Specifications

Dimensions 24 × 32 × 2.1mm (W × L × T mm)
Weight Approx 2g
Number of Pins - 9 (same as exisiting SD Memory Card)
Data transfer rate: Up to 20MB/sec

*1GB and 512MB SD cards utilize portions of the memory for copy protection and other purposes.
Usable capacities are 944MB and 472MB respectively.(MB means 1,048,576 bytes).

Plextor PX-716

FREMONT, Calif. - September 27, 2004 - Plextor® Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced the new PX-716 series DVD±R/RW drive. With high-speed 16X DVD+R and 16X DVD-R recording, the PX-716 gives users the ability to create, edit, and share customized DVDs and CDs in less time than ever before .


The drive achieves blazing fast 16X CAV performance on recommended 8X DVD+R media, and burns a 4.7GB DVD in less than six minutes. Available in both internal (ATAPI) and external (USB/FireWire) versions, the new drive also supports dual-layer DVD media, enabling users to burn up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2 video on a single 8.5GB DVD disc in approximately 28 minutes.


The PX-716 features Intelligent Recording, a combination of technologies designed to achieve high-quality recordings across a broad spectrum of media with varying grades of quality:

- Intelligent Tilt - Precise laser and three-dimensional tilt control to reduce jitter and achieve optimal recording and reading on uneven disc surfaces.

- PoweRec - A sophisticated write strategy providing superior quality recording at maximum speed for certified media.

- AUTOSTRATEGY® - A technology that determines the standard deviation of any blank disc and automatically optimizes the write strategy for unknown media, enabling high-quality disc recording. AUTOSTRATEGY technology is the culmination of five years of research and development by Taiyo Yuden, a leading Japanese supplier of quality CD and DVD recording media.


"Plextor constantly develops and introduces features that differentiate our DVD and CD drives from competitive products," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "The combination of Taiyo Yuden AUTOSTRATEGY technology and Plextor's proven expertise of high-quality disc recording has yielded outstanding results. We have successfully demonstrated that the PX-716 with AUTOSTRATEGY is capable of providing high-quality writing over a broad spectrum of media. This remarkable feature will appeal to anyone who purchases unbranded media to save money, but has been disappointed by low-quality recordings in the past."

Plextor PX-716A DVD±R/RW Drive

The Plextor PX-716 is a highly versatile DVD/CD burner specifically designed to deliver high-quality recording performance. The 9-in-1 drive supports 4x DVD+R Double Layer, 16X DVD+R, and 16X DVD-R Writing; 8X DVD+RW and 4X DVD-RW Rewriting; and 16X max DVD-Reading; as well as high-speed 48X CD-R Writing, 24X CD-RW Rewriting, and 48X max CD-Reading. The PX-716 has an 8 MB buffer and features Buffer Underrun Proof Technology to prevent buffer underrun errors and allow multi-tasking.

The internal PX-716A drive features an ATA/ATAPI-5 (EIDE) interface for broad based PC-compatibility. A short drive length of 6.7-inches accommodates small form-factor PCs, while a replaceable black front bezel allows a user to change the appearance of the drive to match a computer. Burst data transfer rates for the internal drive are 16.7 MB/sec for PIO Mode-4, 16.7 MB/sec for DMA-2, and 66.7 MB/sec for Ultra DMA33.


Plextor PX-716UF DVD±R/RW Drive
The external PX-716UF includes a dual interface that supports both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and full-speed compliant IEEE-1394 FireWire®, enabling a Plextor customer to easily share a single external high-performance DVD/CD recorder among multiple Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows-based personal computer systems. Burst data transfer rates of 480 Mbps (USB 2.0) or 400 Mbps (FireWire) allow a user to burn a 4.7GB DVD+R disc in approximately six minutes.


Lossless Linking/Zero Link technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc, so there is no need to reload DVD content back to a PC to make minor changes, and no need to re-burn an entire DVD after making small edits. The PX-716 also includes PlexTools® Professional software, which is capable of determining good discs from bad discs before beginning the burn process. In addition the software enables a unique combination of user-controllable CD recording and CD/DVD media test features, including:
o GigaRec allows high capacity storage up to 1 GB on a 700 MB CD disc.
o SecureRecording offers password protection for CD discs.
o Q-Check for CD media checks and graphs the results of written disc quality, including C1/C2 errors, track and focus errors, and beta/jitter errors.
o Q-Check Time Analyzer (TA) for DVD media checks and graphs the results of written disc quality including PI/PO.
o Silent Mode enables users to vary tray load/unload speed, spin up/down speed and write/read speeds.
o VariRec allows adjustment of the laser power to produce the highest quality audio recording possible.

Plextor Software Bundle for Windows: Roxio Easy Media Center 7, Basic DVD Edition and Roxio PhotoSuite 7

Plextor's bundled software package offers ease-of-use and extensive functionality for Windows platforms. The PlexWriter PX-716 ships with Easy Media Center 7, Basic DVD Edition. Roxio's number-one selling DVD/CD-recording software lets users create movie DVDs, data DVDs, music CDs, photo slide shows synchronized with music, data CDs, and backup copies of personal discs.

The PlexWriter PX-716 drive also includes, Roxio PhotoSuite 7 for capturing, organizing, editing, and sharing digital photos; and a 30-day trial version of Dantz Retrospect® data backup software. For Macintosh users, Toast Lite versions 5 & 6 are also included for the PX-716UF.


Pricing and Availability
The Plextor PX-716 DVD±R/RW drive is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers in North and South America on October 15, 2004. The internal PX-716A drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $149.00 USD. The external PX-716UF is $239.00 USD. All retail packages include a one-year full warranty.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

FORE IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 16.7 Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: IN THE STUDIO OR ON THE ROAD CANON’S NEW EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR TAKES PRO DIGITAL TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF IMAGING EXCELLENCE With the Highest Resolution, Lowest Noise, Truest Color And Fastest Burst Rate In Its Class, The EOS-1Ds Mark II Digital SLR Is The One Pro Digital Even Medium-Format Film Holdouts Will Love LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2004 – At long last, catalog and commercial photographers, stock photographers, studio portrait specialists and other professional photographers of every stripe and specialty can capture brilliant high impact images and enjoy the speed, economy, flexibility, increased workflow and productivity that only digital offers, with Canon’s new 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II SLR. “The EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR camera establishes a new benchmark of innovation and excellence not only for Canon but for our industry as a whole and particularly for the community of professional photographers who are our most demanding and discerning customers,” stated Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc (NYSE:CAJ). “Up to now, many professional and commercial photographers have been wedded to their medium format film cameras in order to ensure the excellence of their images and the ability to make dramatic enlargements with virtually no reduction in quality. With this remarkable new pro digital SLR, we are sending a message to those medium format fans: your digital dream has been fulfilled.” For those wishing to get a first glimpse of that dream, production models of the new EOS-1Ds Mark II camera will be on display at the Canon booth at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany starting on Sept. 28th and at New York City’s Photo Plus show starting on Oct. 21st at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The EOS-1Ds Mark II camera body carries an estimated street price of $7,999 and is scheduled to begin shipping in November. The successor to Canon’s 11.1-megapixel EOS-1Ds SLR introduced in 2002, the new 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II camera utilizes a full-size 24x36mm CMOS sensor that eliminates focal length conversion factors, and features dramatically improved image quality made possible by the combination of new image sensor technology together with Canon’s exclusive DIGIC II image processor. The new CMOS sensor features larger microlenses over each photosite compared to the EOS-1Ds resulting in an improved signal-to-noise ratio. On-chip noise reduction has also been improved to produce a cleaner signal before the image data is transferred to the DIGIC II image processor. The DIGIC II processor in turn produces rich, high-chroma color gradations for more naturally rendered images. Indeed, it is the combination of Canon’s proprietary CMOS sensor and DIGIC II technology that permits the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera to provide what was once considered near impossible: high definition at high resolution with extremely low levels of false
-more16.7
Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: In The Studio Or On The Road Canon’s New EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR Takes Pro
Digital To The Next Level Of Imaging Excellence/ Page 2
color artifacts. DIGIC II also permits faster processing of large files and is twice as fast as the image processor used in the EOS-1Ds. Color Space… The EOS-1Ds Mark II camera provides five preset color matrix settings plus two custom settings (as compared with the five presets provided on the original EOS-1Ds camera). In addition, the support for the Adobe RGB color space is improved through the use of DCF 2.0 and Exif 2.21 file formats. …And White Balance Inherited from the EOS-1D Mark II model is the new camera’s white balance correction feature that permits nine +/-adjustments in full step increments; compensation for blue/amber bias or magenta/green bias; white balance bracketing in three +/- full stop increments and auto white balance derived exclusively from image sensor data. The camera features a total of ten white balance settings:Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, fluorescent light, flash, manual, custom and personal. Fast, Fast, Fast The EOS-1Ds Mark II pro digital SLR is ready for action just 0.3 seconds after its power switch is clicked on and fires a fast four frames per second at full resolution for bursts of up to 32 JPEG or 11 RAW images (compared with 3 fps for up to 10 frames on the original EOS-1Ds camera). In a commercial studio environment, the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera will actually shoot faster than the time it takes for most studio strobes to recycle. The camera also offers users ISO options from 100 to 1600 in 1/3-stop increments with the flexibility to expand the range to ISO 50 or ISO 3200 by utilizing the camera’s custom functions. While the new 1Ds Mark II camera occupies the prestigious flagship position of Canon’s professional digital line, it incorporates or surpasses many of the new technological advances introduced earlier this year on the 8.2 megapixel EOS-1D Mark II pro digital SLR, which has become a favorite of photojournalists, sports shooters and wedding photographers. Like its 8.2 megapixel SLR sibling, responsiveness and user-directed adaptability are again clearly evident in the range of the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera’s shutter speeds – from 1/8000 to 30 seconds and bulb (with user-set adjustments of 1/3, ½ or full stops). The camera’s shutter lag time is just 55ms and focus is achieved in a virtual instant thanks to a 45-point AF system. Precision also extends to the EOS IDs Mark II camera’s 21-zone metering sensor, which, as one would expect, works seamlessly with the E-TTL-II flash metering technology. Adding to the camera’s versatility and ability to reflect the individuality of the photographer using it, the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera features 20 built-in Custom Functions with 65 settings and 27 personal function settings that can be uploaded to the camera with the use of dedicated software. Recognizing that such customization can be time consuming, all of the camera’s settings can now be saved to a memory card and shared with multiple cameras. Should the camera need servicing, the settings can be stored and reloaded after the work is done.
16.7 Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: In The Studio Or On The Road Canon’s New EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR Takes Pro
Digital To The Next Level Of Imaging Excellence/ Page 3
With 16.7 effective megapixels (out of a total of 17.2 megapixels) packed on to a 36.0 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor, the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera offers the world’s highest pixel count in a 35mm, full-size digital AF SLR camera. In the JPEG Large and RAW modes, the 4992 x 3328 recorded pixels are easily capable of making 16 x 24 inch enlargements. What’s more, the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera has sufficient resolution to generate a full double page spread at 300 DPI, considered the ‘Holy Grail” of catalog photography. Unlike the original 1Ds camera that featured only two image quality settings, the new EOS-1Ds Mark II model places greater control and discretion in the photographer’s hands and offers a choice of five image quality settings: RAW (16.6 megapixels); Large JPEG (16.6 megapixels); Medium 1 JPEG (8.6 megapixels), Medium 2 JPEG (6.3 megapixels), and Small JPEG (4.2 megapixels). RAW files and JPEGS can be shot separately or simultaneously, for maximum flexibility according to the desired workflow. E-TTL II Flash Exposure Control The EOS-1Ds Mark II Pro Digital SLR camera incorporates the E-TTL II Flash control system first introduced on the EOS-1D Mark II model earlier this year. Though it remains compatible with all EX-series Speedlites as well as the E-TTL wireless autoflash system, the smarter E- TTL II flashmetering algorithm evaluates the subject as a “plane “ rather than a simply a point and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are captured accurately and optimally. The system compares the ambient light with pre-flash data reflected off the subject and recorded by the central 17 metering zones. It then selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. The system eliminates or under-weights areas with large differences, recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or a highly reflective subject, then smartly ensuring it by considering the distance information data provided from compatible EF lenses. The system similarly prevents over-exposure when photographers lock focus and recompose the shot by considering the flash output level calculated according to the distance. The camera also allows users to select an averaged metering pattern by using its custom function settings. Pick A Card… Like the 8.2 megapixel EOS-1D Mark II digital SLR that Canon announced in January, this new 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II model is equipped with two dedicated card slots for Compact Flash (Type I or II) and SD memory cards and allows for either simultaneous backup recording for situations where image capture is critical or individual recording on separate cards for capture of an enormous number of images. The EOS-1Ds Mark II camera also features a brilliant and easy to read 230,000 pixel high detail color LCD Monitor (compared with a 120,000 pixel display on the original EOS-1Ds), that measures two inches on the diagonal and provides 100% coverage. Image playback can be automatic after an image has been captured and is also reviewable by simply pressing the “display” button on the rear of the body. The monitor is equipped with a magnification feature that provides a 1.5 X to 10X scrollable zoom in 15 stops, enabling users to check the focus and exposure of their images with a new level of on-the-spot precision. The monitor also provides five brightness settings, a new and bolder typeface to allow for easier reading of text menus and an auto rotation feature that automatically rotates a vertically shot image to enable easier viewing
16.7 Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: In The Studio Or On The Road Canon’s New EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR Takes Pro
Digital To The Next Level Of Imaging Excellence/ Page 4
and downloading. Manual clockwise rotation of the image is also possible by 90, 270 or 0 degrees through the image rotation menu. RGB Histogram Contributing to the precision and control afforded to its users, The EOS-1Ds Mark II camera’s RGB histogram display enables separate checking of color and brightness information for the red, green and blue channels. The RGB histogram can also be used to check other color information not available in the brightness display such as white balance bias, color balance, color saturation and the compression of color gradations. Available when viewing any recorded image in the Single (Info.) image playback mode, the RGB histogram is displayed as an alternate to the luminance histogram, which draws attention to overexposed portions of the picture that lack image information. Improved Interface In addition to the professional-standard four pin IEEE1394 (Firewire) port that enables high speed computer interface at 100 megabits per second, the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera features a new video output terminal which supports TV connection, facilitating the viewing of images on a television screen, as well as a USB port for connection to a computer or Direct Printing with BJ Direct, Canon’s Compact Photo Printers and PictBridge compatible printers. Able to stand up to real world conditions – from environmental portraiture, nature, travel or “annual report” type images to high-volume catalog photography, family portrait studios or event imaging applications – this fast and fine thoroughbred SLR is also a rugged, lightweight, weather resistant magnesium alloy workhorse, with a shutter durability-tested to 200,000 exposures (50,000 more than on the original 1Ds camera). The camera’s EF lens mount is made of stainless steel and is fully compatible with all Canon EF lenses (except EF-S lenses), as well as TS-E and MP-E lenses. Adding to its allure, the new EOS-1Ds Mark II camera fairly sips power from its battery, executing approximately 1200 shots per charge, double that of its original (and recent) EOS-1Ds ancestor. Bundled Software The EOS-1Ds Mark II camera is bundled with two software CD-ROMs: the EOS Digital Solution Disk (ver. 9.0) which includes Windows and Macintosh versions of the EOS Viewer Utility (ver. 1.2) which allows image downloading, RAW image adjustment and camera setting specifications; EOS Capture (ver 1.2) and PhotoStitch as well Twain and WIA Drivers (Windows only). The second disk, Digital Photo Professional (ver. 1.5) includes a newly updated RAW image processing application to handle the workflow demands of professional photographers. It enables high-speed RAW image processing and preview, support for sRGB, Adobe RGB and Wide Gamut RGB color spaces and is Color Management System (CMS) compatible. The EOS Capture software supports tethered shooting with Digital Photo Professional as well as EOS Viewer Utility to provide a powerful performance combination for studio photographers. As with the EOS-1D Mark II model, no third party image retouching software is included.
16.7 Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: In The Studio Or On The Road Canon’s New EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR Takes Pro
Digital To The Next Level Of Imaging Excellence/ Page 5
Remotely Possible New for the EOS-1Ds Mark II camera is the optional Wireless File Transmitter (WFT-E1A)**. Given the enormous popularity of LAN-based image transmission systems and the demands for higher speed image distribution in the reporting fields, Canon developed this new accessory that allows photographers to transmit images from their cameras directly to a computer over a wired or wireless local area network (LAN). The WFT-E1 transmitter includes a mini antenna, a long and short IEE1394 cable, a case and camera mounting screw. The transmitter will also be compatible with the EOS-1D Mark II and the EOS 20D digital SLR cameras via a firmware upgrade. Pricing for the WFT-E1 has not been finalized, but will be announced prior to initial dealer shipments in November. Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked #35 on the latest Business Week list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2003, with global revenues of $29.9 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com. # # # All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners. * Prices subject to change at any time. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary. ** This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

Accessory Lineup for the Nintendo DS

Mad Catz Announces Accessory Lineup for the Nintendo DS

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 24, 2004--Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., the world's leading third party video game accessory manufacturer, today announced its prominent lineup of accessories for the much anticipated Nintendo DS(TM). The accessories will begin shipping in North America in conjunction with the launch of the Nintendo DS this November.

"We are excited to be creating and offering the first third-party accessories for the new Nintendo DS," said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz, Inc. "With its revolutionary new features such as touch screen input, voice recognition and wireless communication, we are confident that the new DS will generate an excitement for the new accessories Mad Catz has to offer."

Protective carry case stylistically designed to keep your DS protected from minor bumps, drops or scratches.

Screen protector, with a textured surface, adheres instantly to your DS screen to protect against scratches and to eliminate glare.

Game cases protect the media slots of the new Nintendo DS game disk from pocket dust and dirt at all times.

Car charger plugs directly into your vehicle's standard lighter/power socket, providing power as you travel. You can use your DS while it is charging, or switch it off and charge the battery even faster.

AC adapter allows you to charge or power the new DS by plugging into a standard power outlet. Use your DS while it is charging, or switch it off and the battery charges even faster.

Earphones are attached to a band that rests comfortably at the base of your head. These compact, portable headphones are designed to give maximum comfort and a snug fit for your active lifestyle.

Stylus is a replacement unit that allows you to take advantage of the revolutionary, touch-screen input technology of the DS.

DS II Mobile Kit comes with essentially everything to connect and enjoy your DS while on the go. The DS II Mobile Kit comes complete with a hard carry case, 6 game cases, earphones, a Y cable and a car and AC adapter.

DS Kit provides the necessary accessories to protect and enjoy your DS. The DS Kit includes a soft carry case, 6 game case, car adapter and earphones.

About Mad Catz
Mad Catz (www.madcatz.com), designs, develops, manufactures and markets a full range of high quality, competitively priced accessories for video game consoles and portables, including the industry leading GameShark brand of video game enhancements. Mad Catz is a worldwide leader of innovative peripherals in the interactive entertainment industry, with distribution through nine of the top ten U.S. retailers offering interactive entertainment products. With operating headquarters in San Diego, California, Mad Catz has offices in Canada, the U.K. and Asia, as well as distributors in Europe and Australia.

Lexar ActiveMemory

Lexar Revolutionizes Professional Digital Photography Workflow with New ActiveMemory System

COLOGNE, Germany, September 27, 2004 – Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEXR), a leading marketer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media and accessories, today at Photokina (Hall 1.2, Booth-058) introduced the ActiveMemory TM System, a technology designed to optimize digital photography workflow to achieve enhanced productivity in and out of the photo studio. The first products to support the ActiveMemory System are certain Professional CompactFlash TM cards, new Lexar Professional FireWire and USB 2.0 card readers, and Photo Mechanic TM 4.5 professional image browsing software.

At the center of the ActiveMemory System are ActiveMemory-enabled Professional CompactFlash cards that can store user preferences and host device settings in a protected area on the card. These settings can only be modified by the host application that created them and can be used to auto-configure multiple ActiveMemory-enabled products within the system. These settings are preserved even when the card is formatted or other data files on the card are deleted, because the ActiveMemory data is stored outside the standard DOS file structure on the card.

“Imagine a card that contains its owner’s name and image preferences,” said John Omvik, director of professional product marketing, Lexar. “Images downloaded from the card can be automatically appended with the photographer’s copyright information, search keywords and caption information. In the future, photographers can also have confidence knowing that the camera is configured the way they expect, because their preferred settings are automatically loaded when the card is inserted in an ActiveMemory-enabled camera.”

While many cameras and software applications already allow users to save favorite settings, storing this information on a memory card is unique because it allows for the immediate transfer of established information and improves multi-user or multi-device working environments.

ActiveMemory Software Applications

Photo Mechanic 4.5, an upcoming version of Photo Mechanic professional image browsing software, will feature ActiveMemory technology that allows users to store download preferences and IPTC captioning, including copyright information and database keywords. When an ActiveMemory-enabled card is inserted in the new Lexar Professional CompactFlash reader, Photo Mechanic automatically launches and begins to download the images on the card. During the download process the IPTC information is automatically appended to each image.

ActiveMemory will enable photographers to change the sequence of traditional workflow by eliminating redundant and repetitive manual tasks like captioning, adding search keywords and copyright information from the post-processing stage.

ActiveMemory Camera Applications

Digital cameras can also use the ActiveMemory technology to store user preferences and other camera-specific set-up parameters, such as CSM settings, on the card. This information can be used to quickly configure a camera to a known and trusted state, or for specific shooting conditions.

Today’s professional digital SLR cameras are feature-rich with multiple pages of menu and set-up options. While this provides professionals with maximum flexibility, it can also increase the possibility for user error. This is particularly true when cameras are shared among multiple photographers or with rental equipment. Users of ActiveMemory-enabled cameras will be able to plug in the card and be confident that the camera is ready to go the way they expect it.

“For professional photographers, there is nothing worse than losing a shot,” said Kevin Gilbert, professional photojournalist and president of Blue Pixel. “But it is even more frustrating when it could have been avoided because the photographer or his editor was unaware that critical settings were changed on the camera. ActiveMemory-enabled cameras will give all photographers peace of mind, knowing that their preferred settings are stored on their cards and established on their camera. It will help us so much in the field.”

The Future of ActiveMemory

ActiveMemory technology will have other applications beyond professional digital photography. Any software or host application that uses flash memory and can benefit from automating or configuring tasks, based on reading software settings or user preferences that reside in a protected area on a memory card, could benefit from this technology.

ActiveMemory-enabled CompactFlash cards, card readers and Photo Mechanic 4.5, will be available in Q4 2004. For more information, specifications and a white paper, please visit www.lexar.com/activememory

1GB xD Picture Care Announced

Fujifilm announces 1GB xD-Picture Card™
High capacity, ultra-compact digital camera media available in early 2005
27 September 2004 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and Olympus Corporation have today announced the joint development of a new 1GB version of the ultra-compact xD-Picture Card™ digital camera storage media. The new xD-Picture Card™ M1GB* will be available commercially from the first quarter of 2005.

The xD-Picture Card™, launched in September 2002, has earned a popular following as an ultra-compact digital camera storage media format. The new 1GB version was developed to meet customer requirements for larger capacity storage.

The xD-Picture Card™ M1GB is based on the latest high-density MLC (Multi Level Cell) memory technology, making it possible to pack 1GB of capacity in an ultra-compact (20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm) card. This new technology offers storage capacity potential of up to 8GB.

Fujifilm will continue to boost the performance of the xD-Picture Card™ to meet the trend for increasingly high-resolution digital cameras and the diversification of shooting styles.

* The ‘M’ in M1GB stands for MLC (Multi Level Cell) memory, a new high-density flash memory technology.

1. The xD-Picture Card M1GB™ will be compatible with models of Fujifilm digital cameras released from now on. As this card uses a new memory format, firmware upgrades will be made available for certain existing digital camera models. The details will be announced before the product launch.

2. xD-Picture Card™ is a trademark of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

For information about Fujifilm and its products, please visit: click here or call 020 7586 1477.

Press Release (Olympus US):

OLYMPUS ONE GIGABYTE XD-PICTURE CARD CAPTURES THOUSANDS OF IMAGES ON POSTAGE STAMP-SIZED FLASH MEMORY CARD
“Miniature Powerhouse” Significantly Increases Storage Capacity of Digital Data for Greater Ease of Use
Melville , New York , September 27, 2004 – Olympus America Inc. today announced the development of a One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card. As one of the world’s smallest storage media for digital cameras and digital voice recorders, the xD-Picture Card is now capable of holding an entire gigabyte of digital images, data, audio and video. As a result, this ultra-compact card allows photographers to capture a greater number of photographic scenes and subjects, and at higher resolution settings, before the card is full and images must be downloaded or the card changed.

“Olympus not only concentrates on building digital cameras that deliver the highest level of image quality combined with the sleekest designs on the market today, but we also constantly look to integrate the most cutting edge technologies,” said Chip Pryor, Memory Products Business Manager, Olympus America Inc. “The One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card is a prime example of our ongoing commitment to raise the bar and contribute to the advancement of the digital camera industry by creating a better digital experience for all consumers.”

Designed to Do More

By offering a range of storage capabilities, the One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card guarantees that digital camera users’ storage requirements will be fulfilled. Whether on a challenging photo-shoot assignment or on that once-in-a-lifetime backpacking adventure far from civilization when having the most storage is a must, professionals and other active photographers will appreciate the convenience and freedom the new one gigabyte card provides.

For example, used with the 8.0-megapixel Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom, the one gigabyte removable media can save up to 43 TIFF files or about 660 HQ images – an incredible amount of image files. The new high-capacity card also supports Olympus exclusive features such as Panorama photography. Olympus xD-Picture Cards are the only media cards on the market that enable the Panorama function on Olympus digital cameras, whereby up to 10 images can be stitched together to create incredible vistas.

Designed for Maximum Speed, Portability and Compatibility

In addition to the giant leap in storage capacity, the one-gigabyte card offers all the features for which the xD-Picture Card is renowned. They include a diminutive size of 20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm, a weight of only 2 grams, fast read/write speeds, low power consumption, and a durable multi-level cell (MLC) design.

Designed for Greater Movie Length

Approximately 50 minutes of footage in amazing DVD quality (MPEG4 format) may be recorded when using the Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom with the new card. In upcoming digital cameras from Olympus where the length of QuickTime Movie recording is only limited by the capacity of the card itself, the One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card will enable incredibly long video to be recorded – making the digital camera a powerful tool for creating digital movies.
Designed to Adapt

The One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card can also be used with an assortment of USB card reader/writers, such as the MAUSB-10, MAUSB-100 and the new MAUSB-300 – allowing the card to be read by any computer’s USB port without the use of a camera. When an xD-Picture Card is inserted into any of these reader/writers, any document can be downloaded to the card, transforming it into a portable hard drive for easy transfer of images, data, and voice files from one computer to the next.

To enhance flexibility and convenience even further, the card can work with adapters such as the MAPC-10 PCMCIA Adapter for PC-Card interfaces, and MACF-10 Compact Flash Adapter for use with all CF devices.

Availability

The 1GB Olympus xD-Picture Card is planned for release in the first quarter of 2005. The full range of Olympus xD-Picture Cards includes 16MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacity versions.

U.S. Pricing

US and Canadian pricing to be determined.

Sandisk Shoot & Store

SANDISK BREAKS THE $10 PRICE BARRIER ON SHOOT & STORE FLASH MEMORY CARDS

New Price Points For Shoot & Store Line Aimed At Accelerating The Adoption of "Consumable" Usage Model For Flash Cards As Permanent "Digital Negatives"

Sunnyvale, CA, Sept. 15, 2004 – Delivering on its previously announced strategy to grow the consumable market for flash memory cards, SanDisk® Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) has introduced new, lower prices for its Shoot & Store™ line of flash storage cards that are sold in supermarkets, drug stores and other mass-merchant outlets.

Effective August 30 in the U.S. market, the 50-photo* (32-megabyte) card, priced previously at $14.99, now has a suggested retail price of $9.99. The price of a 100-photo* (64MB) Shoot & Store card has been reduced from $24.99 to $14.99. These price changes are being applied throughout the Shoot & Store product lineup, which consists of CompactFlash®, SD™, Memory Stick PRO™ and, in the next 30 days, xD-Picture Card™ (in 32MB capacity).

Shoot & Store, introduced in February, is aimed at consumers who want the convenience of leaving their flash cards with professional photo finishers or who don’t want to download images to a computer or a disk. In the U.S. alone, this line of affordable cards is currently sold in more than 10,000 stores.

“Reaching the under-$10 price point without sacrificing picture capacity is a milestone achievement in SanDisk's effort to grow the market for flash media,” said Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis with The NPD Group, a market research company that tracks retail trends. “Consumer-friendly price points such as these take a lot of the anxiety out of buying camera memory for many buyers and give them the opportunity to store their pictures in a safe, convenient environment.” Finally, he added, the growth in low-cost flash memory “nicely dovetails with the industry's drive to take the PC out of the process for digital consumers by allowing them to view, print and now store their digital pictures without the need to rely on a PC.”

Kent Perry, SanDisk product marketing manager for the Shoot & Store line, said, “We believe that $9.99 will be the magical price point for consumers to start adopting
flash cards in a ‘consumable’ usage pattern that is quite similar to the way people have used 35 millimeter film negatives before the advent of digital cameras or personal computers. The Shoot & Store card allows consumers to capture digital images in their digital cameras, erase unwanted pictures and permanently store the best images on the cards. Consumers can then drop their cards for regular prints at most one-hour print centers and keep the pictures stored permanently as ‘negatives’ on the cards.”

He added, “With these prices, digital flash memory is competitive with analog film in many channels, such as drug and food stores, and we expect it to have growing popularity at checkout counters in numerous convenience outlets. SanDisk was able to achieve this important price point because of our unique vertical integration model for manufacturing these cards as well as our economies of scale through very high-volume production.”

SanDisk, the world’s largest supplier of flash memory data storage card products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Based on resolution setting of 1 megapixel. Actual number of photos may vary depending upon camera model, resolution and compression.

SanDisk’s web site/home page address: http://www.sandisk.com
Product images can be downloaded from www.sandisk.com/corporate_media_kit.html.

SanDisk, the SanDisk logo and CompactFlash are trademarks of SanDisk Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Shoot & Store is a trademark of SanDisk Corporation. Memory Stick PRO is a trademark of Sony Corporation. SanDisk Corporation is an authorized licensee of the SD and xD trademarks. Other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective holder (s).

Bob Goligoski
(408) 542-0463
bgoligoski@sandisk.com




Posted September 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Maxtor OneTouch II

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 20, 2004 at 5 AM PDT

NEW MAXTOR ONETOUCH II DRIVE RAISES THE BAR IN CONSUMER BACKUP

Maxtor Brings Consumers the First External Backup Solution to Feature Simpler Backup, Added Security and More Powerful Restore Capabilities

MILPITAS, Calif., September 20, 2004?Simple, safe and powerful describe the new Maxtor OneTouch(TM) II drive, the next generation of Maxtor Corporation's (NYSE:
MXO) award-winning external drive family that allows consumers to easily back up family photos, MP3 music collections, and other important personal and business data with a simple touch of a button. No high tech knowledge is required to set up the new drive, giving consumers no excuse to not backup their computers.


Leveraging the company's first-to-market leadership and proven expertise in external storage and push button backup, the new Maxtor OneTouch II drive offers an exclusive version of Dantz(R) Retrospect(R) software for easy backup, a Maxtor DriveLock(TM) security feature for added data protection and more powerful restore capabilities, including historical backup recovery.

"Combine all this with a new, consumer-friendly user interface, and now the most difficult part of a backup solution may be choosing which capacity Maxtor OneTouch II drive to buy," said Mike Williams, vice-president of marketing for Maxtor's Branded Products.

"The new Maxtor OneTouch II drive is unequaled in its intuitive functionality,"
he said. "We listened to our customers and incorporated features and functions that improve upon our existing solution. The Maxtor OneTouch family continues to be the leading external hard drive for consumers, creative professionals, mobile warriors and small-business users."

New features of the Maxtor OneTouch II external drive include:

-- Simpler backup?No complex menus or commands or in-depth technical knowledge
are required to set up the Maxtor OneTouch II drive. The new click-through installation asks a few simple questions such as the user's name and preferred language, while configuring the software in the background to automatically back up all locally connected drives and files on the computer every day. This powerful, yet simple, default setting backs up virtually everything on the local drives including all Microsoft Outlook emails, address books, Internet favorites, My Documents folder, operating system, applications and more. Once installed, the Maxtor OneTouch II drive runs quietly and automatically. Users do not even have to close an application or a file for the drive to back up the saved versions.

-- DriveLock security?The Maxtor OneTouch II also offers Maxtor's new DriveLock
feature for added data protection. This feature allows users to password-protect the contents of the drive, keeping important data safe from unauthorized users.
Once a consumer powers down the computer, or the drive is removed from the system, access to the drive will be automatically locked until the correct user defined password is provided.
-- More powerful restore?If data is lost, restoring a backed up copy from the
Maxtor OneTouch II drive to the source system is simple. With historical backup copies, users can restore their entire system to its backed up status from yesterday, two days ago or even two weeks ago. The user is simply guided though a three-step process that includes clicking on the desired point in time, selecting the files or folders to restore and then choosing the destination for the restore. The drive also self-manages its storage space and deletes older backup versions as the drive fills up.
-- New user interface?Maxtor has redesigned the graphical user interface from
the ground up so that installation and setup are easier than ever. The wizard has an exclusive design that combines storage, security and backup in a single solution, in contrast to other offerings that only drop in software without integration

-- Mac® bootability function*? Mac users have the option to create a fully
bootable backup copy of their main system drive. Once a bootable backup copy is made, users can restart their system quickly using their Maxtor OneTouch II drive as if it were their system drive. Nothing needs to be moved or disconnected.
-- New look?The Maxtor OneTouch II drive sports a new, sophisticated, contemporary
look that suits a home or office setting and distinguishes it from competing products.


"Maxtor has helped make external storage and backup solutions a popular and growing consumer market category," said Larry Zulch, CEO and president of Dantz. "It's been a pleasure working with Maxtor to develop Retrospect Express HD backup software for their next generation Maxtor OneTouch II drive. The Maxtor OneTouch II is a significant achievement in consumer data protection, combining true backup power and honest ease of use."

Pricing and Availability
The new Maxtor OneTouch II external drive comes with a 7200RPM 300GB or 250GB hard drive with a 16MB buffer. Both feature a combo FireWire®/USB 2.0 interface for easy connection to a Mac or PC. The drives are available through Maxtor's network of leading retailers, distributors and online stores. They are also available at www.maxstore.com . Suggested retail price is $379.95 for 300GB and $329.95 for 250GB. Additional capacities will be rolled out later this year. For more detailed information on the Maxtor OneTouch II drive and its new features, please visit www.maxtor.com.

About Maxtor
Maxtor Corporation (www.maxtor.com ) is one of the world's leading suppliers of hard disk drives and data storage solutions. The company has an expansive line of storage products for desktop computers, storage systems, high-performance Intel-based servers, and consumer electronics. Maxtor has a reputation as a proven market leader, built by consistently providing high-quality products and service and support for its customers. Maxtor and its products can be found at www.maxtor.com or by calling toll-free (800) 2-MAXTOR. Maxtor is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MXO.


Note: Maxtor and the stylized Maxtor logo are registered trademarks and Maxtor OneTouch is a trademark of Maxtor Corporation. Dantz and Retrospect are registered trademarks of Dantz Development Corporation. Mac and FireWire are registered trademarks of Apple Computer. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

The Maxtor OneTouch drive is an element of a user's overall backup solution and protection plan. For purposes of measuring disk drive storage capacity, one gigabyte
(GB) represents one billion bytes. The number of historical backup versions depends on the backup file size and total available capacity of the Maxtor OneTouch II drive. *The Mac bootability feature is available using Mac OS X with the FireWire interface only.

This announcement relating to Maxtor may contain forward-looking statements concerning future technology, products incorporating that technology, and Maxtor's execution.
These statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could materially affect the company's results, including, but not limited to, market demand for hard disk drives, integration of the company's products with products produced by others, the company's ability to execute future production ramps and utilize manufacturing assets efficiently, pricing, competition, and the significant uncertainty of market acceptance of new products and technologies.
These and other risk factors are contained in documents that the company files with the SEC, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2003 and its recent 10-Qs.
Maxtor is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to update or alter, its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT:
Media Relations:
Erin Hartin
Maxtor Corporation
(303) 678-2022
erin_hartin@maxtor.com

Investor Relations:
Jenifer Kirtland
Maxtor Investor Relations
(408) 324-7056
jenifer_kirtland@maxtor.com

Posted September 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

METASONIX TX-1 Agonizer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 20, 2004

Presenting the METASONIX TX-1 Agonizer SPECIAL EDITION.
It sucks even harder.

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NOTE: a large photo of the Agonizer Special Edition may be found at the following address:
www.metasonix.com/TX1big.jpg
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Earlier this year, we put out a horrific noise-box. It had an insulting press release. It had sadomasochistic cartoons right on the front panel.

And in spite of all this, AND repeated warnings NOT TO BUY IT, the original Metasonix TX-1 Agonizer became the fastest-selling product in our company's history!

The entire limited run was gone in 2 months.

And even after they were gone, people were screaming for more.

So how do we follow up such an ATROCITY? With MORE ATROCITY, of course.

Presenting the Special UNACCEPTABLE EDITION of the Agonizer.

It chews genitals even harder.

It's a CELEBRITY genital chewer.

Word.

So, like, what makes it more awful? We've changed some of the circuit components to add just that little extra smidge of massive, atonal distortion effecto thingy. It's now fully OPTIMIZED for bad tone and crappy sound. Now the family dog has deeply clamped his teeth into your scrotal sac, and he's starting to really get into the chewy goodness of your tender manhood. He's wiggling around, it feels good. Tastes sort of like fried chicken with mashed potatoes, apparently. (Hey, all I do is repeat what the dog tells me to repeat.) Woof woof, feel the love.

The Agonizer SPECIAL EDITION adds a SUCKBASS switch, d00d. It's called SUCKBASS, because it SUCKS the BASS out of your beautiful musical tone. It's a highpass filter. Makes it sound real constipated and boogery. Sounds like ass? Well, sonny, smoke that blunt, and just pretend this is an IKEA catalog.

And the new edition of the Agonizer still bears cartoons of naked women torturing animals. Even the Fleetwood Mac fans out there (you can recognize them by the many small dogs clamped onto their nether regions) should be able to figure out the meaning.

WHAT IS THIS THING: The TX-1 SPECIAL EDITION still uses a nasty, junky tube. It was used as the audio FM demodulator in TV sets. It was NOT meant for high-fidelity applications, it was meant for "budget" TV sets. Cheap-ass black-and-white sets, for po'folks. For some reason, Zenith had a real fondness for it. It was the white-trash portable TV sound system.

Our circuit uses it in a most ingenious way, if we do say so ourselves. The Agonizer SE hooks up the tube in an incorrect fashion. Because Eric (our designer) has a brilliant yet devious turn of mind, he thought of doing something with this "beam-deflection demodulator hexode" that the tube manfacturers never dreamed of doing.

In our circuit, this tube has ungodly amounts of distortion. And of course, Eric just had to make it worse, by putting a positive feedback loop around it. A neon lamp in the feedback loop plus clever use of the tube's very odd electrical behavior causes all kinds of non-stability, plus loads of grinding squegging nausea.

There's still a pentode-tube preamp in the front end, so nosepicking METALLICA fans can plug their cheap-ass Asian-made guitars into it and get something similar to the sound of a giant amp stack belching smoke and going up in flames.

SPECIFICATIONS: HA HA HA HA. Even after you got teeth marks all over your johnson, you STILL wanna see "specifications"?? Now we understand what happened to Paris Hilton's little dog Tinkerbell. They couldn't find Tinkerbell because she was trying to gnaw your dope-addled weiner off. Isn't that right? I bet she gave up and went home, because your sausage tasted more like METALLICA than like yummy boy-meat. Ugh. Have some specifications, ya suck-monkey.

The Agonizer's overall gain is more than 100. You can't tell anyway, because of the GROSS distortion imposed in most control settings. Plate voltage is approx. 120v. The LEVEL knob is the input level control. The POUND knob varies the voltage on the deflection grid in the tube--which changes the gain and the distortion character. The CV input allows you to insert a control voltage in the grid, so you can modulate the distortion OR add another audio signal modulation to the noise. The STRANGLE knob brings the neon lamp into play. The overload effect increases further when the lamp conducts. And the GRIND knob controls the feedback loop. More GRIND, more horrible intermodulation distortion. Finally, "SUCK HARDER" is the bypass switch.
Don't taste the rainbow, taste the smegma.

No, the Agonizer STILL doesn't run on a nine-volt battery, dinkface. It still sucks power like a
mofo: 12 volts AC at 1.5 amps maximum. It's a BIG box, too: about 8" x 4.5" x 2.5", and weighing
4 pounds. Yes, roughly four times bigger than a typical cheapass fuzz pedal. It gets quite hot when powered for extended periods. Best of all, it's painted the most bilious shade of UV-reactive yellow-green our powdercoating shop could find. We told them, "The old one was too cute! We want people to VOMIT!" And somehow, Rob and his maniacs managed to cause vomitude. Nice work, fellas.

The AGONIZER SPECIAL EDITION is HAND-MADE in the USA. AND IT IS A LIMITED EDITION OF 100.

Now will you please stop smoking that stinkweed and remove the tiny dog from your crotch? The neighbors are starting to talk.

Yeah, the retail price is still US $ 499.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
METASONIX (attn. Eric)
PMB 109, 881 11th Street, Lakeport CA 95453 USA phone/fax (707) 263-5343 synth@metasonix.com, www.metasonix.com

Posted September 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Zi Corporation’s eZiTap

Zi Corporation’s eZiTap™ integrated into commercially available Voq Professional Phone™

First Mobile Phone with eZiTap™ embedded; Targeted for the European and North American Markets

LONDON, UK AND CALGARY, AB, Canada, September 21, 2004 – Zi Corporation (Nasdaq: ZICA) (TSX: ZIC), a leading provider of intelligent interface solutions, today announced the Voq Professional Phone™, made by Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq:SWIR) (TSX:SW) with integrated Zi predictive text technology, is available in key European and North American markets. The Voq phone is available through Dutch carrier KPN, U.S. retail channels, and through key European distributors including A&C Systems, Cedros, Daimler, Dangaard, Hugh Symons, Speeka, Xacom, and Yes Telecom for sale in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Nordics, Switzerland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Zi’s eZiTap is integrated with Microsoft Windows Mobile software for Smartphones by the Zi Input Method Editor (IME).

The Voq Professional Phone is the first phone on the international market to embed eZiTap, which searches a built-in dictionary and predicts whole words as letters are multi-tapped on the 12 button keypad, allowing users to operate the phone with one hand. The more eZiTap is used, the “smarter” it becomes and the faster it predicts frequently used words. The Voq Professional Phone, which was created for business professionals, offers the best features of a mobile phone, messaging device, and a PDA, with the addition of a unique, flip-open QWERTY thumbpad for entering text.

“The pre-integration work Zi did with Microsoft, one of our key industry partners, allowed us to bring a differentiated product to market offering user-friendly features like Zi’s eZiTap predictive text technology as a standard input mode for use across applications and services on the Voq phone,” said Derek Evans, Sierra Wireless Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Working with Microsoft and Zi have been critical in order to launch a robust product and fill a unique niche in the marketplace.”

Glen Morgan, Zi Corporation Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, called the launch of the Voq Professional Phone an important milestone for Zi because of the first use of eZiTap embedded in a phone and the working relationship between Zi, Sierra Wireless and Microsoft on the project.

“The recent launch of the Voq Professional Phone is the culmination of a significant project for Zi and the work we have been doing with Sierra Wireless and Microsoft,” Morgan said. “The Voq Professional Phone will help demonstrate to the global market that our predictive text products are the easiest to use and the most advanced technologies on the global wireless market.”

“Innovative technology partners such as Zi, with its eZText and eZiTap text input technologies, will help users of the Voq phone more easily communicate on the go using their Windows Mobile-based devices,” said Julie Wymetalek, manager of the Mobility Partner Advisory Council at Microsoft Corp.

Zi engineers worked closely with Microsoft's development team to create an IME that resolves the entire text input interface and display of Zi's text input technologies on the Smartphone platform. The IME has been extensively tested to ensure users experience a familiar Windows Mobile interface across all the phone's applications and services. For handset manufacturers, this means they can implement Zi's text input technologies and the IME without any additional man-machine interface (MMI) work and testing.

The Zi IME package for Windows Mobile-based Smartphones includes a fully developed, localized interface, intuitive display, and user cues. They combine to deliver a non-intrusive IME which runs inside any Windows Mobile-based application requiring text input. For more information about the Zi IME, e-mail info@zicorp.com.

Wireless Enterprise World 2004
To see Zi’s eZiTap product on the Voq Professional Phone, visit Sierra Wireless’ stand (D19) at the Wireless Enterprise World 2004 show in London, United Kingdom on September 21 and 22, 2004. Event website: www.wirelessenterpriseworld.com/2004/ent_uk.


About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq:SWIR; TSX:SW) is a leader in delivering highly differentiated wireless solutions that enable our customers to improve their productivity and lifestyle. Sierra Wireless develops and markets the AirCard, the industry-leading wireless PC card line for portable computers; embedded modules for OEM wireless applications; the MP line of rugged vehicle-mounted connectivity solutions; and Voq, a line of mobile phones with easy-to-use, secure software solutions for mobile professionals. For more information about Sierra Wireless please visit www.sierrawireless.com. For more information about the Voq Professional Phone, please visit www.voq.com.

About Zi Corporation
Zi Corporation (www.zicorp.com) is a technology company that delivers intelligent interface solutions to enhance the user experience of wireless and consumer technologies. The company's intelligent predictive text interfaces, eZiTap and eZiText®, allow users to personalize the device and simplify text entry providing consumers with easy interaction for short messaging, e-mail, e-commerce, Web browsing and similar applications in almost any written language. eZiNet™, Zi's new client/network based data indexing and retrieval solution, increases the usability for data-centric devices by reducing the number of key strokes required to access multiple types of data resident on a device, a network or both. Zi supports its strategic partners and customers from offices in Asia, Europe and North America. A publicly traded company, Zi Corporation is listed on the Nasdaq National Market (ZICA) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (ZIC).

This release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to the safe harbour provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding future events and the future financial performance of Zi Corporation that involve risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results due to a variety of factors, including: the growth trends in the input technology industry; new product development; global economic conditions and uncertainties in the geopolitical environment; financial and operating performance of Zi's OEM customers and variations in their customer demand for products and services; the ability to successfully acquire businesses and technologies and to successfully integrate and operate these acquired businesses and technologies; dependence on the introduction and market acceptance of new product offerings and standards; rapid technological and market change; matters affecting Zi Corporation's principal shareholder; litigation involving patents, intellectual property, and other matters; the ability to recruit and retain key personnel; Zi Corporation's ability to manage financial risk; currency fluctuations and other international factors; potential volatility in operating results and other factors listed in Zi Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any projections in this release are based on limited information currently available to Zi Corporation, which is subject to change. Although any such projections and the factors influencing them will likely change, except to the extent required by law, Zi Corporation will not necessarily update the information. Such information speaks only as of the date of this release.

- 30 -

Zi , eZiTap and eZiText are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Zi Corporation. "AirCard" is a registered trademark of Sierra Wireless. "Voq Professional Phone" is a trademark of Sierra Wireless, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For more information:

Media:
GBCS PR
Brian Dolby / Helen Lyman Smith
brian@gbcspr.com / helen@gbcspr.com
+44 (0) 115 950 8399

Investors:
Allen & Caron Inc
Len Hall
len@allencaron.com
+1 (949) 474-4300

Posted September 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Fable Breaks Sales Records in First Week of Release

September 23, 2004

Fable Breaks Sales Records in First Week of Release

Roleplaying Adventure Blockbuster Sets Stage for Spectacular Holiday Season for Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Fable, the ground-breaking Xbox® roleplaying adventure game, has had an amazing start at retailers across North America in its first week of release, breaking records and selling through more than 375,000 units (grossing roughly $18.7 million U.S.). Fable sets the stage for a spectacular holiday season for Microsoft Game Studios by paving the way for titles such as Halo 2, Blinx 2 and MechAssault 2. Sales records are being broken at retailers throughout North America: the game was EB Games' biggest first-week sales for any Xbox title ever; it broke Game Rush's first-day sales record for any game; it is the No. 1-selling overall title on any platform last week at GameStop and is the fastest-selling Xbox game at EB Games Canada for the first week. Fable even grossed more money than the No. 1 box office movie last week, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow*.

"Fable was the best first-week title on Xbox that we've ever had" says Jim Tyo, vice president of EB Games Canada. "The game has exceeded our expectations, and we're confident that this strong sales trend will continue."

"Fable has been a huge hit for us, and it was our number one-selling title across all platforms over the last week" says Dan DeMatteo, president and chief operating officer of GameStop.

In Fable, the players’ every action determines their character's skills, appearances and moralities. Character's life stories are created from childhood through adulthood and on to old age. They can grow from an inexperienced child into the most powerful being in the world, spoken of by all and immortalized in legend. Players may choose the paths of righteousness or dedicate their characters' lives to evil; observing as they transform into reflections of their actions and decisions. Age leaves characters wizened, battle leaves them scarred, gluttony affects obesity. With experiences come advancement and physical change; whether it is by expanding muscles, a keen eye and nimble form or the buzz of magical energies around their finger tips. As players' characters develop, the world reacts to them and their actions. People comment on their successes, failures, appearances and behaviors. Their many opinions are expressed through applause, mockery, trepidation, panic and even flirtation. With each person characters aid and every creature they slay, the world is changed forever. In Fable, gamers decide: “Who will I be?” For more information about Fable, visit the official site at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/fable/default.htm. Fable is available in North America for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). Fable will be available in Europe in October.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® video game system and Windows® and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as Age of Empires®, Flight Simulator and Zoo Tycoon™; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as Halo®, Project Gotham Racing and MechAssault; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as Bejeweled and OutSmart™.

Posted September 24, 2004 in Press Releases | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)
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Mark is a thirty-something guy living in New York who loves to own the latest tech gadgets but also loves a positive bank balance.

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