4th > January > 2000 Archive

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Daily Net Finance News: 16-30 Nov 1999

30 Nov 1999 Tesco is selling £2 million worth of groceries online each week, the company said today, making it one of the biggest e-supermarkets inn the world.
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HP Pavilion refresh to include today's 533MHz Celeron

Sources only a fag* paper away from Hewlett Packard have revealed a refresh of HP Pavilion PCs due any day now. One of the machines HP will introduce uses the AMD K6-II, while another uses the brand new Celeron 533MHz part which Intel is expected to announce today, a week ahead of the date we predicted last century. The HP Pavilions include five mini towers and a tower machine, and the last box will come with an 800MHz Intel Pentium III processor. The 6640C Pavilion, which uses the K6-II 500MHz part, will cost $950, and comes with 64MB of memory, a 15GB hard drive, and a CD-RW with 11MB of shared VRAM. The 8650C mini tower uses the new Celeron 533MHz part, also has 64MB of memory, a 20GB hard drive, and comes with DVD and CD-RW, costing a modest $1,100. The 8660C mini tower uses a Pentium III 533 part with the 133MHz system bus, includes DVD and CD-RW, a 20GB hard drive, 11MB of shared VRAM and will cost $1,500. Its 600MHz twin, the 8670C, costs $1,700 and has a 30GB hard drive, and 8MB of VRAM, as well as a DVD drive and CD-RW. The 9680C mini tower uses a 650MHz Pentium III, will cost $2,000, has a 40GB hard drive, DVD and CD-RW. The high end 9690 Pavilion will use the Intel 800MHz Pentium III (how many of those are around), and again will come with DVD and CD-RW. The exact hard drive size is, so far, unclear. That machine will cost $2,600. HP was unavailable for comment at press time. Meanwhile, we have had further news of the freezing Presario story we broke over the Yule break. A source at Circuit City in the US said: "We, too, experienced freezups with the computers on the floor. We also had an unusually high return rate on the 5838 model. "We found that the problem was eliminated when the virus detection software was disabled. Two of the machines (models 5838 and 5868) have functioned without problems for several days at a time (our italics) without rebooting. Obviously no-one should have to do that, but that fact indicates to me a software fix should be possible." Compaq is replacing its 5800 range with a new range catchily titled the 7000 series. ® * A fag is UK slang for a cigarette. See also Last .25 Celeron slated for 10 January Compaq favours AMD K6-II for mobile range Compaq AMD 7XXX series to have Firewire support Frozen Presarios found in Compaq support glacier
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AMD K6-III not dead, merely resting

Rumours that AMD's K6-III is destined for the chip gulag have been scotched by the company today. Instead, AMD will roll out new variants of the K6-III during this year and will continue to develop the product, a representative of the firm has confirmed. But AMD has acknowledged that the part is not as popular in the retail market as either the K6-II or the Athlon. The representative said: "There will be variants of the K6-III well into this year. The K6-IIs have always been popular in retail products and we've yielded that microprocessor to higher speeds." He said that the K6-III continued to be successful for notebook PCs because of its integrated Level Two cache. The same reason, he said, made the K6-III popular for business applications. ®
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Samsung shows off 288Mb Rambus chip

Samsung yesterday said it had finished work on a 288Mb DRAM chip based on the Direct Rambus format. The South Korean manufacturer announced plans to start mass production of the semiconductor this month. It aims to churn out two million units of the RDRAM component, which is based on 0.17-micron technology, per month, the Korea Herald reported. Samsung also said it had developed a 576MB Rambus in-line memory module (RIMM) using 16 288Mb RDRAM chips. The company did not give a start date for volume manufacture of the RIMMs or pricing details on the semiconductors or modules. But Samsung said it aimed to speed up production of Rambus products in general and expected Rambus to account for around half the DRAM market by 2002. The new chip technology was said to be able to draw a pattern measuring one-600th of the width of a human hair. ® Related stories Intel snubs Rambus ink Samsung to spend $3 billion on Rambus boost Rambus Intel contract set to expire
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Multimedia Corp takes WeddingGuide UK stake

The Multimedia Corporation has bought a 6.8 per cent stake in WeddingGuideUK.com, "the leading UK website for engaged couples and newlyweds" for £500,000.
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French proposal plans state Free Software Agency

A proposed French law adopting free and/or open source software as the official state standard has been rewritten and tightened up, following the French Senate's pioneering experiment with electronic discussion.
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Kyocera buys Qualcomm Terrestrial

Yasuo Nishiguchi, the president of Kyocera Japan, has snapped up Qualcomm's terrestrial based division -- the CDMA people -- for a vast amount of money which the company will not disclose. Kyocera is one of the biggest mobile phone manufacturers in Japan, and found itself associated with the ill-fated Iridium venture last year. Said Mr Nishiguchi: "As a result of the acquisition, Kyocera Group will be in a position to establish a system with the world's highest quality, covering all aspects of development, design, sales and marketing and after sales service in the growing business segment of CDMA portable phones. Kyocera Group will consequently possess bases in the United States, in addition to Japan and Korea, where we already operate CDMA phone business." Qualcomm was one of the most highly valued shares on Wall Street, last week, as reported here, last week. Mr Nishiguchi declined to comment on Kyocera's previous investment in Iridium, as reported last year. ® See also Japanese coverage from The Register Kyocera rejigs management to reverse situation Iridium gets 60 day reprieve Iridium CEO breaks orbit
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Transmeta screws up on Y2K – Where's Man Friday when you need him?

Updated This is absolutely the last update on this lengthy Y2K story on The Register you will see this year, unless people fix the bugs real quick.
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Staples furious at Compaq Presario freeze-ups

Another source at a major US retailer has written The Register to confirm, and complain about the Presario 5800 freeze-up we reported last week. A source at Staples US said there was around a 25 per cent return rate on the Presario 5800 series at stores throughout the US. Most PC companies that ship systems expect between a one to five per cent return rate -- at most. The retailer CEOs have infuriated bosses at Compaq, we can reveal, causing questions to be pointed directly at Mike Capellas, fresh at the company as its CEO, as to how and why the screw-up has occurred. Retail shops hate returns. Technical support personnel have done their utmost to fix the problems during the Christmas period. According to the Staples source, who confirms other reports from both Circuit City and Frys, the freeze up problem was compounded by Compaq also shipping Western Digital hard drives which fell far short of expectations. The Staples source added that Compaq was investigating the latest reports of hard drive fatigue. And, in a twist to our previous stories, Staples said it too will be carrying the new Compaq 7XXX family -- but will undercut its competitors by $100 per system. Compaq price drops will start two days after St Valentine's Day, which our 1999 calendar tells us is on the 14th of February. Compaq Houston was still not answering our calls, at press time. ®
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London Dome countdown explained

Those nice folk down at London's Millennium Dome have taken time out from sweeping up the remains of last week's mega-party to end the confusion over the countdown on the Dome 2000 Web site. We had already reported on the site's clock which was used - back in 1999 - to count down to the year 2000. Now it claims there are only 362 days left… but to what? A spokeswoman for the Dome said that it was a countdown for when the multi-million pound educational attraction closes later this year. Ahh, we suspected as much. Unfortunately, for anyone accessing the site such a distinction is as clear as a pint of cloudy English beer. At least this latest faux pas is not the result of some mythical bug that is supposed to have crippled mankind at the end of the 20th Century. ®
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Eye in sky plan to control UK cars' speed

The British government's latest madcap scheme to sort out the country's transportation has been all over the press here today. The powers, in their infinite wisdom, have been part-funding a project to build satellite-controlled speed regulators that stop cars exceeding the limit.
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Acer & TSMC set wedding date

Chip maker TSMC-Acer Manufacturing Corporation (TASMC) has confirmed it is to merge with chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The consolidation with Acer's chip division will take place on 30 June, when TASMC will be absorbed into TSMC at an exchange ratio of 6-to-1 of TASMC to TSMC. The move follows a deal last June, when TSMC bought 30 per cent of Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc (ASMI) from Acer Group, renaming the facility TASMC. At the time, Acer Group continued to be the major shareholder in TASMC, but TSMC effectively took over management of the foundry. Acer will still be one of the major shareholders in TSMC after the merger, Taiwan's Eurotrade reported. "The Acer Group's competitive advantages lie in its brand management strength, extensive global sales and marketing network, and system implementation and IC design," said Acer Group chairman and CEO Stan Shih. "After the merger between TSMC and TASMC, Acer can concentrate on aggressively developing its PC, peripherals and key components business and exploring opportunities in intellectual property and digital service. "Also, Acer will focus on reinforcing its IC design innovation to create new market demands for IC products." Shih had previously expressed his desire to rid Acer Group of its chip making arm. ® See also: Acer Semi to merge with TSMC?
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VA Linux Systems to launch open source one-stop shop

VA Linux Systems will take its SourceForge open source software foundry out of beta and into the commercial mainstream later this month. SourceForge is essentially a large-scale distributed project management system that allows open source development team leaders to juggle the contributions of staffers and external programmers and ensure everyone is kept up to date.
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MCI launches Net barrage with AppNet artillery

E-business kit maker AppNet has made a deal with MCI Worldcom to deliver what it calls "end-to-end e-business solutions" to MCI business customers, the company announced today.