Product hits

BlackBerry Pearl makes a splash

Research In Motion Ltd. has launched the BlackBerry 8100 “Pearl”, its smallest and sleekest phone, designed to take BlackBerry e-mail to consumers. Weighing only 89 grams, RIM said the Pearl is “one hundred per cent smart phone, and one hundred per cent BlackBerry.” It’s also the first BlackBerry with a camera and removable storage. To make a device only 14.5 mm thick, RIM left out the familiar thumbwheel, adding a glowing trackball. The device uses the SureType technique by which RIM uses predictive text to overlay two Qwerty letters to each key. At 1.3 megapixels, the camera is behind state-of-the-art in feature phones but — RIM contends — good enough to pass muster.

Availability: In October on the Rogers Wireless network URL:

MyFax adds Web interface

Ottawa-based MyFax has introduced a new Web interface for its subscription Internet-fax service that allows users to send and receive faxes using e-mail accounts and the Web. Available as a free service to MyFax subscribers, the Web interface has a mailbox oriented structure with an inbox, sent faxes and an outbox, as well as archiving and online access to one month of received faxes. Features include a cover page creation tool and templates, and the Web interface is compatible with multiple browsers, including FireFox.

Availability: Available now Pricing: MyFax pricing begins at $10/user URL:

Teradata updates EDW server

Data warehousing vendor Teradata, a division of NCR Corp., has released its newest NCR server, the NCR 5450, boasting that it offers a 12 per cent performance increase and a significant boost of the price/performance ratio over previous models. The server is an integral component of Teradata Warehouse 8.1, a suite of software, hardware, and professional consulting services for BI.

The server features the Intel Xeon 3.8 gigahertz processor technology with Extended Memory 64 to support both 32-bit and 64-bit data warehouse solutions, and customers may select UNIX, Windows or the 64-bit Linux operating system. Capacity can also scale up to 4.2PB as data volume increases.

Availability: Available now URL:

SAP updates compliance, risk management tools

SAP AG has brought out three new compliance tools as it expands its effort to help corporate executives stay in compliance with government regulations. SAP said the new Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) products are SOA-based to enable enterprise-wide gathering, consolidation and presentation of relevant operational information for risk management and compliance efforts. The products are coming out just a few months after SAP beefed up its compliance business with the acquisition of Virsa Systems, a maker of risk management tools. SAP said the tools aim to automate the process of risk detection by using data gleaned from a variety of sources. The tools can also create proactive responses by using role-based dashboards.

Availability: GRC Repository and GRC Process Control will be available Nov. 30; GRC Risk Management will ship in December URL:

Samsung unveils 32GB flash made with 40nm technology

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has showed off its first 40-nanometer chip, a 32GB NAND flash memory that can be used in memory cards able to store up to 64GB of data, or 40 movies. The latest step into smaller chip manufacturing methods brings Samsung to the forefront of chip production putting it ahead of other bit manufacturers, including Intel Corp, which has only announced chips built at 45nm. The company also revealed a new design technique, Charge Trap Flash (CTF), which will allow it to eventually shrink NAND chip features to 20nm, and produce 256GB chips. Samsung also released a new chip for its hybrid drives, a kind of hard disk drive aimed at laptops that uses NAND flash as a disk cache, to speed boot-up times and reduce power consumption.

Availability: Mass production begins in November URL:

Windows Vista RC1 now available to general public

Earlier this month, Microsoft opened the doors to all comers who would like to test Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1). Testers can access the 2.52GB of data that makes up the next version of Windows either via download or on a DVD that will be sent in the mail. To initiate either process, would-be testers should visit the Vista Get Ready page and click the “Get Vista RC1” link. Prior, only previously registered members of the Microsoft’s Customer Preview Program (CPP) were given access to RC1. Although Microsoft hasn’t officially announced the number of new CPP registrants it will allow for RC1, some Microsoft executives had previously estimated that the number would reach an additional 1.5 million testers. Those who request the DVD to be mailed to them will be required to sign in with a Microsoft PassPort e-mail address, answer some demographic questions and pay a small fee for media and postage.

Availability: Available now URL:

McAfee goes mobile

Antivirus vendor McAfee Inc. has announced that its McAfee VirusScan Mobile and McAfee VirusScan Mobile Enterprise Edition tools are now available for the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform. With mobile devices increasingly a target for hackers, McAfee said protection for these devices is growing more important. The software protects attacks via SMS, MMS, Bluetooth and other entry points, as well as from threats that originate from e-mail, instant messaging, Internet downloads and Web surfing, automatically detecting and cleaning infected files before they can attack the device. Up-to-date protection is delivered as soon as threats are identified.

Availability: Available now URL:

Intel launches vPro business bundle

Intel Corp. has launched its vPro technology bundle for business desktops. Intel said a desktop with the vPro package of hardware and software will give IT managers better control over security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation and asset management. The vPro system is based on Intel’s new Core 2 Duo processor for desktops, combined with a Q965 Express chipset, 82566DM Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection, Active Management Technology and Virtualization Technology. The bundle is available only on desktops today, but Intel plans to roll it out to laptops in 2007 with a new Centrino platform code-named “Santa Rosa.” Business desktops based on the platform are now available from HP and Gateway.

Availability: Available now URL:

Rogers pushes push e-mail

Rogers Wireless and Nokia have launched the Nokia E62 business-optimized phone in the Canadian market, touting the Rogers MyMail push e-mail tool as well as an improved Web browser. Rogers said that, with its Rogers MyMail powered by Visto tool, users can easily push their personal or corporate e-mail to the device. The phone itself features a 2.8-inch, 16-million colour display and a full messaging keyboard. It’s EDGE and quad-band GSM compatible, and offers up to six hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time. MP3 and video playback capability is included, and in addition to a mini-SD slot a 90 MB internal memory is also integrated.

Availability: Available now Pricing: $249.99 on a three-year contract URL:

IBM touts products to cut data centre energy costs

IBM Corp. has unveiled hardware and software to help automate the management of power consumption in the data centre. IBM also introduced a new line of System x servers based on the second generation of its Xtended Design Architecture (XDA). The new systems, including the x3650, x3550 and x3500, feature dual-core processor technology and three times the memory expansion of earlier systems. All the systems feature IBM’s PowerExecutive suite. An extension to IBM Director systems management software, it uses clients to “meter” actual power usage and trend data for any single physical system or group of systems. It utilizes IBM-developed monitoring circuitry to determine how much power is being used and system temperature.

Availability: Available now Pricing: x3650 starts at US$2,049, x3550 starts at US$1,939, x3500 starts at US$1,809 URL:

HTC unveils Windows smart phone lineup

High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) has launched four new smart phones, including one that’s designed to rival the BlackBerry. The HTC S620, formerly code-named Excalibur, is a slender 12.8 millimetres thick and weighs 130 grams. It’s designed to promote the push e-mail function of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 5.0 software and to compete with Research In Motion Ltd.’s popular BlackBerry device. The phone has a navigation bar below the screen which provides easy access to Outlook Mobile, Word Mobile, Powerpoint Mobile and a PDF viewer. It has a 2.4-inch colour screen, a full QWERTY keypad and a host of wireless functions, including quad-band GPRS and EDGE, WLAN and Bluetooth. The other phones also run Windows Mobile 5.0, and all four of them come with a mobile version of Microsoft Office, which includes most of the Office applications, except Excel.

Availability: All of the phones are being offered initially in Europe, with North America to follow URL:

WAN optimization’s newest player: Cisco

Cisco has thrown its hat into the crowded WAN optimization ring with a set of products designed to boost corporate application performance over WANs. Cisco Wide-Area Application Services (WAAS) combine the company’s existing technologies to provide customers a suite that can accelerate application traffic, speed large data transfers and optimize WAN performance. The WAAS technology is software delivered on a variety of Cisco’s data centre and branch office appliances: the WAE-7326 for data centres, and the WAE-612, WAE-512 and NM-WAE for branch offices. With the NM-WAE, the company also designed WAAS to fit into existing Cisco gear.

Availability: Select WAAS products now generally available; the NM-WAE is set to ship by year-end Pricing: WA-512 starts at about US$8,500 and the NM-WAE starts at US$4,000 for Cisco ISR customers URL:

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