BEA, HP team on RFID
BEA Systems and Hewlett-Packard are teaming up to supply new smart-tag systems to help businesses streamline their supply chain operations. Under the partnership, BEA will provide its WebLogic RFID products, while HP will offer its RFID implementation expertise and global sales and support network. The companies will provide standards-based RFID systems targeted at manufacturers, retailers, distribution and transportation companies and other businesses with extensive supply chain management operations. The portfolio of systems and services are designed to help customers trace and secure the flow of goods across the entire supply chain.
Availability: Available now. Pricing: Customers are advised to contact BEA or HP sales representatives about pricing information. URL: bea.com/rfid
Bell and Sanyo launch EV-DO phone
Bell Canada and Sanyo Canada have announced availability of the new Sanyo SCP-7500 EV-DO-enabled mobile phone exclusively from Bell Mobility. The companies say the new phone combines the broadband-like download speeds of the Bell EV-DO service with several multimedia features including MP3 player, 1.3 mega-pixel digital camera, video camera, video clip streaming service, and 70 MB of internal memory. A USB cable connection supports wireless tethering on the EV-DO data network, providing broadband-like connectivity for laptop users, and the phone is also enabled with Bell Mobility’s “10-4” walkie-talkie service.
Availability: Available now Pricing: $199- three year contract URL: www.bell.com/wireless
Seagate announces 15,000rpm hard disk
Seagate is planning to release a 300GB Cheetah 3.5-inch drive rotating at 15,000rpm. The Cheetah 15K.5 will be a four-platter drive using perpendicular recording to achieve its capacity, the first 3.5-inch unit to use the technology. The drive holds twice as much data as the previous Cheetah 15,000rpm drive and transfers data up to 30 per cent faster, Seagate has claimed. The company says it is the first drive to go past a transfer rate of 100MBps. A two-platter version will offer 147GB and a one-platter model 73GB. Perpendicular recording technology involves placing magnetized areas on disk vertically in the recording layer instead of longitudinally. It means more data can be recorded in the same space.
Availability: June 2006 URL: www.seagate.com
Oracle releases password security tool
Oracle has released a tool designed to ferret out commonly used default passwords that theoretically could be misused by hackers, called the Oracle Default Password Scanner. Earlier versions of Oracle’s database software included well-known default passwords and user names. These accounts are also known to have been created by other software, such as application servers, that interact with the database. Although these accounts have been locked down in current versions of the database, they may present a problem to some users with older versions of the database or to those who have upgraded from an older version that included the default passwords, said Oracle. The password scanner is a SQL script that scans the database and then prints out the names of these well-known accounts if they are unlocked.
Availability: Available now URL: www.oracle.com/ technology/deploy/security/pdf/ cpuapr2006.html
Samsung develops 2GB phone memory card
Samsung Electronics has developed a tiny, 2GB memory card for use in mobile phones, just three months after it announced a card with half of that capacity. The 2Gb MMCmicro card is about the size and shape of one key on a standard computer keyboard and just 1.1 millimeters thick. It can store as much as 12 hours of “mobile video,” Samsung said, without specifying a format. It can also transmit data quickly. A user can download three hours of mobile video, for example, in less than two minutes, according to Samsung. The cards can read data at 10Mbps and write at 7Mbps, said the company.
Availability: Later this year URL: www.samsung.com
IBM targets grid computing with latest SMB software
IBM’s latest round of software aimed at SMBs includes a bundle of hardware, software and services designed to encourage users to adopt grid computing. Grid and Grow Express are based on IBM’s eServer BladeCenter blade server. The offering comes with seven blades and users can choose which processor, operating system and scheduler are in the bundle. IBM first introduced the Grid and Grow bundle in a version providing midsize and large companies with a grid technology starter pack at the LinuxWorld show in San Francisco in August.
Availability: Available now Pricing: From US$1,369 per month for a 36-month term URL: www.ibm.com
Apple adds 17-inch MacBook Pro to laptop lineup
Apple Computer has released a 17-inch version of its high-end MacBook Pro, replacing its largest PowerBook G4 with an Intel-based laptop with specs similar to the 15.4-inch model released earlier this year. The newest MacBook Pro comes with a 2.16GHz Core Duo processor — the same chip offered as an upgrade on the smaller MacBook Pro — a 120GB hard drive, 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM and an 8X dual layer SuperDrive that burns CDs and DVDs. Aside from screen size, the 17-inch model differs from its smaller 15.4-inch sibling with the inclusion of a faster SuperDrive that can burn dual-layer DVDs, and a Firewire 800 port. Apple touts the newest MacBook Pro as being up to five times faster in certain tests than its predecessor, which used a 1.67GHz PowerPC G4 processor.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Starting at US$2,799 URL: www.apple.com
Nokia phones focus on video, photo shooting
Nokia has introduced three new additions to its Nseries line of mobile phones as well as services and software designed to encourage customers to use the devices to shoot and share video and photos. At the very high-end is the N93, a phone designed around video capture. Users can shoot MPEG-4 VGA videos at 30 frames per second and later burn the videos to DVD on their PCs. The N93 has a 3.2 mega pixel still camera with optical and digital zoom, and operates on Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Along with the N93, Nokia also launched Nseries Studio, an interactive online community for people who shoot video with their N93s. The Finnish manufacturer also introduced the N73, which features a 3.2 mega pixel camera, integrated stereo speakers, digital music player and FM radio. Both the N73 and N93 are based on the Symbian OS and run S60 3rd Edition Software.
At the low end, Nokia introduced the N72, with a 2 mega pixel camera, music player and FM radio.
Availability: N93 and N73 in July, N72 in June Pricing: N72 US$398, N93 US$619, N73 between the two price ranges URL: www.nokia.com
CA launches free database integration tool
CA Inc. has announced a free Unicenter Database Command Center (DCC) tool designed to help database administrators simplify the management of multiple databases running on different platforms. The tool is browser-based, offering an integrated user interface across DB2 Universal Database for Linux, Unix and Windows, as well as DB2 UDB for z/OS, Oracle and Ingres databases. CA said the next version, which will enter a formal beta phase shortly and become generally available this fall, will integrate with SQL Server as well.
Three updated versions of CA Unicenter products that CA charges for will be integrated into the DCC, namely, Unicenter Fast Unload for DB2 UBD LUW, Unicenter Fast Unload for Oracle, and Unicenter TSreorg for Oracle. All three tools are designed for manipulating data in their respective databases.
Availability: Available now URL: www.ca.com
IBM to offer mainframe for the mid-market
IBM plans to sell a lower-cost version of its z9 mainframe computer aimed at midsize businesses and emerging markets, such as China, called the System z9 Business Class mainframe. The new system is designed to extend the reach of IBM’s mainframes into new markets. Businesses need more powerful computers to handle growing volumes of data and process transactions in SOAs, according to IBM.
The new system will compete with Unix servers and with powerful clusters built by tying together standard, x86-based servers. IBM argued that its pint-sized mainframe will offer better utilization rates, as well as better security and reliability. The mainframe will run on a new chip called the System z9 Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), which was designed to consolidate workloads on the mainframe, IBM said.
Availability: Shipping date not immediately available Pricing: Will be priced from about US$100,000 URL: www.ibm.com
Fujitsu announces new notebooks, upgrades to two others
Fujitsu Computer Systems has announced four new notebook PCs, all powered by chips from Intel Corp. and all designed for business users. The LifeBook Q2010 is a high-end executive notebook, weighing 2.2 lbs with a 12.1-inch display. The PC will run on an Intel Core Solo processor. The LifeBook E8210 is a widescreen corporate notebook designed to support multimedia visual displays on its 15.4-inch screen, and will drive rich visual content with Intel’s Centrino Duo Mobile processor and an available ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics processor. Fujitsu also upgraded two existing notebook models designed for mobile enterprise users; the LifeBook S7110 and E8110.
Availability: Q2010 available “within a few months”, E8210 in May 2010, E8110 and S7110 available now Pricing: Q2010 not available, E8210 US$1249, E8110 US$1249, S7110 US$1449 URL: www.fujitsu.com/ca/en/
Oracle unveils its first CRM OnDemand release
Oracle has unveiled Oracle CRM OnDemand, the next release of the hosted offering of the former Siebel Systems Inc. The new version marks the first use of the Oracle moniker on the Siebel offering. The database company completed its acquisition of the hosted CRM vendor in January. Oracle CRM OnDemand Release 10 offers updated customization capabilities, improved sales and service features, and enhancements targeting the life sciences and financial services industries, Oracle said.
Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at US$70 per user, per month URL: www.oracle.com/ondemand/ebso.html