18th > December > 1999 Archive

Gateway stealth-launches Athlon PCs

UpdatedUpdated It only took three hours for the Gateway Kremlin to pull references about its support for the Athlon processor from its Website after we posted our story, according to a good number of readers. But this doesn't mean Gateway isn't supporting the Athlon microprocessor. Our informants tell us that the company is still on track to deliver machines. Two insiders from different parts of Gateway have forwarded separate information. According to the first, the original launch date was slated to be the 6th of December last, but Gateway is leveraging its relationship with Intel to get better prices on those chips. And the second informant tells us that he has seen Gateway data sheets on the AMD Athlon. And now, so have we. Now will Gateway accept large sums of money from Intel and can the project completely? We await news with bated breath. Meanwhile, if you click towards this Dell Gigabuys site, there is further evidence of the Athlon... Here's the original story, from the 16th of December Even though neither Gateway nor AMD have yet confirmed they're in a little huddle about Athlon microprocessors, information on the former's Web site seems to confirm that the deal is on. Two weeks ago we were told by a highly placed source at Gateway that it was sending out samples of PCs using the microprocessor. If you point your browser to this URL, you'll see that the support staff are giving advice on installing the Athlon microprocessor in machines. And meanwhile rumours are continuing to fly that Dell is playing around with the Athlon, although other sources close to AMD plans told us that while the companies had "talked", it was probably just a way for the heat to be turned up a little on the Chipzilla front. ®
Mike Magee, 18 Dec 1999

Intel re-draws map, re-jigs Merced roadmap

Several weeks ago, we noticed that Intel thought Europe spanned the entire distance between Galway and Vladivostok on its Channel pages. (See Intel brokers Russian entry into Europe). Now it has realised the error of its ways and has moved the word Europe from the centre of the steppes and close to the gulag, back to where most people think the continent lies. However, Intel does not yet appear to have typed in the word Asia where it belongs, thus brutally disenfranchising everyone over there in Korea in favour of Japan. And in further brutal evidence that Vulture Central gets the story right, we notice from the roadmaps that Intel runs on its channel pages, that Merced clock speeds seem to have dropped from near 1GHz to a more realistic 550MHz. These figures, of course, come nowhere near the 800MHz+ that everyone was expecting from Chipzilla. ®

Intel CuMine chips pre-announced, pre-announced again

We knew for some time that Intel would talk about a 800MHz processor on Monday, and for a longer time yet that it had two 750MHz Pentium IIIs and some other Coppermines in its pipeline. But now due to the awesome power of the Web, a customer of another news service (Reuters) seems to have completed the parts of the jigsaw by accidentally posting a story meant for Monday's newspapers, late yesterday. According to the piece, Intel will say it is actually shipping 800MHz Pentium III Coppermines, but only one or two will launch machines, which are unlikely to arrive for another 30 days at least. Dell is likely to announce (shurely pre-announce, Ed) the 800MHz Pentium III, but it will be some time before people will get their mitts on them. Last week we reported that many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) would only get limited samples of the 800MHz Pentium III on Monday next. The 800MHz Coppermine will cost $850/1000, while the 750MHz parts will cost $800/1000, according to Reuters. It's still pretty hard to get hold of the 733MHz Pentium III Coppermine parts that Intel pre-announced on October 25th. It's clear that Intel has brought forward the date of the 800MHz and 750MHz announcements because it was caught hopping after AMD managed to produce 750MHz Athlon chips faster than expected. And very reliable sources continue to tell us that AMD can roll out 1GHz processors as early as January, if it wants to. For full details of the Monday announcements, see the links to our much earlier stories, below. And if you want to see just how on earth major news organisations operate, check out the release from Reuters (Hoovers) and the embargo details top of the document. Grab it quick before someone realises the cock-up, and pulls it pronto. The Register does its best to obtain information about forward plans of companies by contacts within the industry, who are often willing to talk provided they are not named. If they were named, and because they nearly always sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), they would get in big, big trouble. We call these sources, reliable sources, and highly reliable sources... ® See also Intel NDA found on floor Intel will sample 800MHz Pentium IIIs next Monday Intel will cut Coppermine prices earlier than expected Intel to intro 750MHz CuMine January 10th
Mike Magee, 18 Dec 1999

Security hole found in Click TV Web site

A security hole in Click TV's Web site will allow access to individuals' email addresses and passwords through a simple routine which a five year old could crack. We will not reveal here how the system works but have independently verified that it is possible to obtain email addresses and passwords using a simple sequence of commands that take only a minute or so. The information was supplied by a reader who says that TV Data is one of the largest television listings firms in the US, used by many third party newspapers and magazines. The reader said: "Now, I realize that there is little appeal in harvesting accounts from a television listings site (of all things). Unless, of course, sucking user name + password + e-mail address combinations out of their boxes by the thousands would appeal to certain individuals." He said the hole first appeared four-five months ago, after a redesign of the site. He added: "The problem with this hole is that a simple script could be written, allowing thousands of user name + password + e-mail address combinations to be sucked up; a true gold mine for spammers, and a potential security risk for users. "After all, many folks foolishly use the same password for everything in the world they need one for. If "Jane Doe" used "okeeffee" as his dial-up ISP account password, a "hacker" would need only find one of Fallsearth.com's dial-in numbers for instant internet access. But I'm sure this is wildly obvious." After experimenting for several minutes, we were able to reproduce our reader's experiences. If someone from Click TV cares to email us over the weekend, we will point to the hole and demonstrate how it works so the company can fix it. A statement on Click TV's site says: "Logins and cookies are used to identify return users and maintain preferences and settings such as your channel lineup. TVData does use general demographic information such as ZIP code, age and gender for the purpose of defining our overall clickTV user profile to advertisers." ®
Mike Magee, 18 Dec 1999