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August 2006

Thursday, 31 August

RadioShack Employees Get Pink Slip Via E-mail. After arriving at work, about 400 fired immediately.

Verizon Backs Down on DSL Fees. Phone company removes extra surcharge under pressure from FCC chairman and consumers.

How Much PC Memory is Really Enough? It all depends on what you need the memory for.

LCD TV Makers See Prices Drop Further In 2007. LG Electronics and Sharp said they expected prices of flat LCD television sets to drop by 20 percent to 30 percent or more in 2007 amid overproduction and cost reductions.

New Security Threat: 'SMiShing'

Sharp to Launch Six New LCD TVs

Blue Laser Technology Points to 200GByte Blu-ray Discs

Star Burst Caught in Real Time

Wednesday, 30 August

World's Oldest Consumer Electronics Fair to Open. The IFA consumer electronics show opens its doors in Berlin on Thursday. However the excitement may be cooled somewhat by industry disputes such as the ongoing format war over the next DVD standard.

AMD-ATI to Launch Yokohama Notebook Platform in 4Q. Utilizes AMD's Turion 64 X2 processors and ATI's future chipsets.

Blu-ray Hardware Makers Mum on Plans. The BD group claims the 50 Gbyte capacity disc realized by the dual-layered structure is an advantage over competing HD DVD, but the difficulty of producing the discs has been regarded as a big hurdle.

Google to Offer Book Downloads. Google expands its controversial book search service to let people download books in the public domain not protected by copyright.

Amazon Posts Vista Prices, Claims Jan. 30 Delivery. Upgrade prices for Vista will range from $99.95 for a Home Basic version to $259 for Ultimate. Amazon says it got the prices from Microsoft.

Is Fiber TV a Good Deal?

Sony Plans New LCD TV Models in Japan for Year-end

Careful, Your Old Cell Phone Can't Keep a Secret

Shuttle Atlantis to Ride-out Storm on Launch Pad

Study Finds a Bit of Caveman in Many

Backward Sunspot

Let There be Light, Optical Cables Included

Tuesday, 29 August

Japan Orders Apple Battery Probe. Japanese authorities reported the first case of an Apple laptop catching fire in Japan. Dell: Recall Won't Impact Brand In Japan. Dell's recall of computers with Sony batteries will not impact its brand in Japan, where two Dell computers are reported to have caught fire, the head of its local unit said.

Widescreen Displays Dominate Notebook Market. Widescreen notebook shipments in the second quarter of 2006 exceeded a 60% share of the worldwide market.

Intel Fights Back with High-end Xeon. New "Tulsa" chip for high-end x86 servers takes on Advanced Micro Devices with onboard cache memory. Intel Unveils Merom Chip for Laptops. Alienware, Gateway, and Toshiba are offering notebooks with the new processor.

Samsung Makes 1Gb DDR2 Smaller and for Less. Samsung Electronics has started mass-producing 1Gb DDR (double data rate 2) DRAM memory chips using an advanced manufacturing process that allows it to make the chips smaller and at less cost.

Microsoft Doles-out 100,000 Copies of Vista Pre-RC1. Microsoft makes the pre-Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of Windows Vista available for public downloading.

Two Approvals For Next-Gen Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Alliance announces two-step approval for 802.11n next-generation wireless networking standard.

Flurry of Data Breaches Exposes Personal Data on Thousands. Bank, wireless company, U.S. agency and university report compromises.

Roundup: 9 External Enclosures for 3.5-Inch Hard Disk Drives. This roundup of nine external HDD enclosures mayl help you save some money on an external hard disk drive.

Long Working Hours Linked to High Blood Pressure

Zapped Crude Oil Flows Faster Through Pipes

Monday, 28 August

Verizon Probed for Broadband Surcharge. Verizon has argued that its DSL fees, which range from $1.20 to $2.70 a month, are necessary because of additional supplier costs. The problem? Verizon is its own broadband supplier, so the fees are going from one pocket to another.

A Non-Microsoft Software Stack: The Beginnings. Imagine a world without Microsoft software. Impossible? Not according to solution providers who say a soup-to-nuts, non-Microsoft stack is here.

Toshiba Set to Make Microsoft iPod Rival. Toshiba signs on to make Microsoft's Zune media player as Apple faces more competition in the MP3 player space.

First Tests: Fast 32GB Flash Hard Drive. New solid-state hard drives make their way into portable devices.

Online Retailer Sentenced for Arranging Computer Attacks on Rivals. A man who ran an Internet business was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for recruiting a teen to carry out computer attacks against competitors.

HD DVD Firmware Released with Dolby TrueHD Capabilities. Blu-ray's higher capacity or HD DVD's mandatory lossless 8-channel HD audio?

NASA: Atlantis Rollback Is Likely

Eight Planets and New Solar System Designations

Video Cameras Learn from Insect Eyes

Flies Provide Aerodynamic Model for Tiny Flying Vehicles

Friday, 25 August

Microsoft Clarifies Vista HD Movie Stance. Microsoft is endeavoring to put out fires caused by what it says was a misstatement by a senior program manager who claimed 32-bit versions of Windows Vista would not support high-definition protected content, including HD DVD and Blu-ray.

Prices for 37-inch LCD TVs fall below US$1,000 in North America. In only one year, prices for 37-inch LCD TVs in North America fell below US$1,000, the same price level for the 32-inch segment an year ago.

Plasma TV Sales Jump 95 Percent. As people look to replace bulky CRTs, the flat screens take 5 percent share of global market; LCDs have 22 percent.

Owner of Software Piracy Site Sentenced. A U.S. judge has sentenced the owner of a Web site selling pirated software to six years in prison and ordered him to pay more than US$4.1 million in restitution.

Microsoft Fixes Botched IE Patch. Microsoft fixed the buggy MS06-042 patch for its Internet Explorer browser.

New Planet Definition Sparks Furore. Some astronomers say the Earth and three other planets fail to meet the criteria of the new definition, which was decided by just 4% of eligible voters.

HP Says Better Design, Lack of Sony Batteries Help It Dodge Notebook Recalls

Cornell Researchers Test Carbon Fiber to Make Tiny, Cheap Video Displays

Blue Lagoon

Thursday, 24 August

Apple Recalls 1.8 Million Batteries. Company's recall, not as big as Dell's, affects many iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 laptop models.

Airline Limits Onboard Dell Laptop Use. Australia's Qantas Airways is telling passengers with Dell laptops that they might not be able to charge up their machines in-flight.

VoIP, Video, Wireless Provide Spark For Innovative VARs. A vast array of new opportunities is cropping up as VARs bulk up on technologies like VoIP, video and wireless to help customers do more with their networks.

IE 7 for XP First Release Candidate Available. Microsoft is calling on developers to ensure applications and Web sites are compatible with Internet Explorer (IE) 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Windows XP.

iPod: Apple, Creative Settle. Apple will pay Creative $100 million to settle patent lawsuits.

No HD DVD, Blu-ray Support Planned for Vista 32-bit. If you don't have a 64-bit processor, don't bother.

Energy From Ceramics

Solar System Downsized

Wednesday, 23 August

Sun Overtakes Dell In Worldwide Sever Revenue. IBM is still the market leader, followed by Hewlett-Packard, but Sun was the only major server vendor to show an increase in worldwide revenue.

IE Patch Carries Security Bug. Microsoft's most recent security update for Internet Explorer introduces a serious security flaw on some Windows systems.

A Divide Over the Future of Hard Drives. Heat or dots? The question is dividing the hard drive industry as it prepares for a major product overhaul.

Sony to stop selling LCD monitors in Japan and North America. The move is a sign that Sony will soon exit the LCD monitor market.

OLED Displays Move into Mobile Mainstream. Thinner, more power efficient, better color saturation, material costs typically 20 percent less than LCDs.

Tiny Ion Pump Sets New Standard in Cooling Hot Computer Microchips. The device utilizes an electrical field to accelerate air to speeds previously possible only with the use of traditional blowers.

AMD's Next Generation Microarchitecture Preview. Details of AMD K8L microarchitecture and how it compares with Core and K8 from the theoretical prospective.

Astronomers Lean Towards Eight Planets

Tuesday, 22 August

Sony: PS3 Not in Production. Sony has admitted it has yet to begin manufacturing its PlayStation 3 console, less than three months before the machine is due to go on sale.

Copper Prices Continue to Soar. Supply and prices for copper are becoming a major concern for the electronics industry as a strike continues at the world's largest copper mine in South America.

Seven Games and One Week: Games vs. GPUs. Close look at a number of latest gaming titles and the performance of all contemporary graphics cards in them.

Battle of the Planet Definitions Heats-up

Laser 'Tapping' Reveals Cracks in Rail Tracks

Greenland's Glaciers Have Been Shrinking for 100 Years

Monday, 21 August

Windows Vista Beta 2 Plagued by Bugs. "I have been testing Microsoft operating systems since Windows 95, and this is the buggiest OS I've seen this late in development," says Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research.

Lite-On IT to Produce HD-DVD Burners. Lite-On IT, the largest maker of optical disc drives in Taiwan, announced it is developing half-height HD-DVD burners, with a volume production target set for March 2007.

HP Gains Ground as Dell's Woes Continue. Dell still ships more PCs than anyone on earth, but the one-time industry darling looks to be trading places with former industry whipping boy Hewlett-Packard.

AMD Wins More Business from Dell. Dell said Thursday it would begin using AMD's chips in a new line of servers and desktop PCs as early as next month. Dell Ducks and Dives While AMD Takes a Ride!

Designers, Not Just Dell, Under Fire. Designers are wondering whether the Dell laptop fires suggest that mobile systems are just too hot--and whether those systems need a fundamental rethinking.

SanDisk Takes-on iPod. Company unveils flash MP3 player with twice the capacity of Apple’s nano and cuts prices.

Infineon Gets Order for U.S. Passport Chips. German chipmaker says it's won a contract to supply "several million" RFID chips for e-passport system.

Samsung to Debut 70-inch LCD HDTV

Astronomer Upset at New Planet Proposal

Wednesday, 16 August

Dell Recall Could Cost Sony as Much as $430M. Industry analysts say Dell's recall of 4.1 million notebook PC batteries could cost Sony anywhere from $85 million to $430 million.
Sony Battery Problems Could Go Beyond Dell Laptops
Lenovo ThinkPads Include Sony Batteries; Co. Says They're Safe
75-day Delivery Time for Some Recalled Dell Batteries

Microsoft Patch Can Cause IE Trouble. Latest security update can make the Web browser crash. Microsoft plans to release a revamped patch.

Hard Disks to Pass 1Tbit per Square Inch. The sensor is in the form of a single electron transistor...

Small USB Drives Causing Big Problems. "An employee can buy a $25 thumb drive and download $25 million worth of information on it, and there's nothing most companies can do to stop it."

Former Online Gambling Executive Freed on $1 Million Bond

NASA Searching for Moon Landing Tapes

Scientists Mull Adding Three More Planets to Solar System

Hungry Sparrows Sing the Saddest Songs

Tuesday, 15 August

Advertisers Trace Paths Users Leave on Internet. Internet companies are analyzing records of what their users search for to target advertising directly to them.

Computing Dude, You're Getting a Recall. Dell recalls over 4 million notebook batteries. What You Need to Know About Dell's Recall.

AMD Upgrades Opteron, Touts Quad Core Milestone. AMD unveiled the next version of its Opteron processor and said it has taken a significant step toward delivering a quad-core processor next year.

Movie Download Service Sued Over Spyware. Movieland.com is the second company to be sued under Washington's spyware law.

More Consumers' PCs Infected with Spyware. 89 percent of consumer PCs were infected with an average of 30 pieces of spyware/adware.

US Begins Issuing Passports with RFID Chips

Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth

Monday, 14 August

The Greatest Software Ever Written. Excel, the Mac OS and Java make the top 10 list. But the winner might be a more controversial choice.

Intel to Pare Pentium D Dual-Core Lineup. Production of the Pentium D models 830, 840, 930, and 940 will be discontinued by Dec. 15.

Dell Offers Refund to Unhappy Chinese Customers. When a group of Chinese customers complained in June that their new Dell laptops did not ship with the right processor, they vented their displeasure publicly and began plans to bring a lawsuit against the company.

Create Your Own Xbox Game. New development kit will let anyone build a game for the Xbox 360.

Hackers Hunting for Unpatched Microsoft Computers. Hackers are using exploit code to target a flaw in Microsoft's software that generated a special warning from the U.S. government last week.

Asustek's New 160GB Router Downloads Files Even Without a PC. BitTorrent, FTP and iTunes -- all on a Linux-based router.

New Neurons Need Signals to Survive

From Woad Warriors to Cancer Buster

Friday, 11 August

First Sony Blu-Ray Recorder Won’t Play Protected Blu-Ray Movies. Sony's first Blu-Ray disk drive won't be able to play protected movies released on the Blu-Ray format.

Dell to Equip AMD-based Notebooks with ATI Graphics Chips. Dell's AMD-based notebooks, which are expected to be available in late October or early November, will be equipped with ATI Mobility Radeon graphics chips.

Speedier Wireless on the Way Via 4G. Sprint Nextel says a souped-up network, coming soon, will use WiMax to offer customers a new wireless experience.

PC that Changed the World a Proud Grandpa at 25. An IBM brainchild born 25 years ago on Saturday grew up to redefine modern life from the way people work to the way they look for love, chat with friends or even shop.

IEEE Slogs Through Thousands of 802.11n Draft Comments. A second draft of the proposed IEEE standard for 100+Mbit/sec. wireless LANs is being pushed back several months, with a vote on it likely in January instead of late fall.

Universal Digital Interface Favoured Over HDMI. Except with copy protectionists, natch.

New Mobile Robot Balances, Moves On Ball Instead Of Wheels Or Legs

GM, BMW, Daimler Invest in Hybrid Project

Breakthrough Discovery in Alzheimer's Research

Perseid Meteor Shower Viewable Saturday

Wednesday, 9 August

Fiber to the Home Use Skyrockets in the US. The Home (FTTH) subscribers within the US grew by 34 percent during the second quarter.

FOR SALE: Spectrum. Bidding begins today for largest chunk of airwaves ever offered by the FCC.

Ten Views of Apple's Leopard Photos. Upcoming version of Mac OS X offers a range of updates, from new developer tools to backup and graphics apps.

Microsoft Fixes a Dozen Security Flaws, Nine Critical. Of the 12 vulnerabilities reported by the software maker, nine were identified as critical issues, including problems in Explorer, Outlook Express and PowerPoint.

Stocks Rise on Cisco, Disney Earnings. The tech company and the Dow member each beat analyst estimates. June wholesale sales also rose more than expected.

Tuesday, 8 August

Another PC with Veterans’ Information Is Missing! A desktop PC containing the personal information of up to 36,000 US military veterans has gone missing from US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) subcontractor Unisys, the VA announced.

Microsoft Shows off HD DVD Drive for Xbox. External drive expected to hit store shelves in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Powerful New Mac Workstation, Leopard OS Features Announced. Steve Jobs makes details on both public at Apple's annual developers conference.

Labor Department Reports Slowdown in Productivity Growth. Productivity -- the amount of output per hour of work -- slowed to an annual rate of increase of 1.1 percent in the 2nd quarter, down from a 4.3 percent rate of increase in the 1st quarter.

MSI Announces First Retail NVIDIA HDMI Graphics Card. NVIDIA home theater PC users rejoice! MSI's NX7600GT Diamond Plus arrives with HDMI!...

Deep Sea Graveyard for CO2

Stretching DNA Yields Surprise

Monday, 7 August

Samsung to Unveil 40-inch Backlit LCD TV in September. Samsung Electronics plans to launch in September a 40-inch LCD TV that features an LED backlight.

Sharp Opens First 8G LCD LineThe Japanese LCD TV. Provider’s eighth-generation fab is set to begin operations two months ahead of schedule.

LEDs: Fighting Global Warming, One Bulb at a Time

Friday, 4 August

FCC Pushes for Broadband Over Power Lines. Regulators say they're trying to address interference concerns while promoting an alternative to cable, DSL.

Internet TV Use Expected to Soar. The number of subscribers to Internet television worldwide is expected to increase twelve fold by 2010.

Philips Semi Sale Made Official. Royal Philips Electronics has signed an agreement to sell the majority stake in its semiconductor division for more than $10 billion.

Unpatched Flaw Revealed in Cisco Firewall. Vulnerability in PIX firewall appliances could allow outside attackers to gain access to corporate networks.

Thursday, 3 August

SIA: Semi Sales Up, Record Year on Track. Sales in the chip industry show growth across the board for June and Q2

AOL to Cut 5,000 Jobs. About 26 percent of company's work force will be laid off as a result of restructuring.

Sony to Halt PDP-TV Production. The Japan-based company is now betting on LCD TV.

Cingular to Charge Users that Choose Legacy Networks. Says cost to support customers on older TDMA network getting too expensive.

Corsair Introduces Power Supplies. Corsair announced that it's entering the power supply market with two new power supplies.

Moon's Odd Bulge May Betray a Turbulent History

Astronomers Crunch Numbers, Universe Gets Bigger

Wednesday, 2 August

FTC: Rambus Monopolized Memory Chip Market. In addition, commissioners say, the company withheld "highly material" information needed by a key standards group.

Apple Patches 26 Mac OS X Bugs. Apple Computer has released a security update that patched 26 vulnerabilities in the Mac OS X operating system and its bundled applications.

Where the Best-Paying High-Tech Jobs Are. You may want to look in the obvious places--Montgomery, Ala., Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Fort Smith, Ark., for instance.

AOL to Kill Dial-Up Business, Shift to Free Web Services. AOL unit will no longer charge high-speed Internet users for e-mail and other Web services in a gambit to attract more viewers and boost online advertising.

Tuesday, 1 August

IBM Announces Full AMD Opteron Server Line. Three years after chip's debut, Big Blue wholeheartedly embraces Opteron with five new servers.

Flat panel TV Shipments in North America Rise 9% in June. The average street price dropped nearly 6%.

Intel Chip Glut Swells Inventory. The report noted that excess semiconductor stockpiles in the supply chain rose to $2 billion the second quarter, up 77.6 percent from $1.1 billion the first quarter.

DRAM Exceeds Expectations in Q2. Tight supplies, rising prices and increasing demand for DDR SDRAM caused DRAM sales to best estimates in Q2,

McAfee to Issue Patch for Vulnerability on Wednesday. Vulnerability in SecurityCenter software management tool could allow unauthorized user to run code on a remote machine.

Vonage Reports Bigger Second Quarter Loss. Vonage reported a wider net loss for the second quarter -- more than $74 million -- as it spent heavily on marketing to try and gain new suscribers.

Kodak Posts Q2 Loss of $282 Million. Plans to cut jobs.

July 2006

Prior Years

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