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Sony Corporation announced that its hand-held computer using the Palm operating system will be available late this month (September) at a retail cost of $399, and will have capabilities that are not readily available on other hand-held devices.

The Sony CLIE (Communications Linkage for Information and Entertainment) will allow users to store digital images and play digital videos and will bundle other user-friendly software in an effort to provide substantial competition for the hand-held device industry which has been dominated by Palm. The CLIE will have eight megabytes of memory and a rechargeable cradle.

Sony signaled its intention to compete with Handspring, Inc., and Microsoft, both of which have launched pocket PC devices within the past 12 months. Its introduction is expected to be most competitive with Microsoft, which is attempting to persuade the industry to adopt its pocket PC operating system and will be impacted by Sony's adoption of the Palm operating system.


IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, made famous by its chess victory in 1997 over Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, has again made history by becoming the first computer to earn a celebrity "Q Score."

The impressive showing of Deep Blue in a survey by Marketing Evaluations/TvQ, whose Q Score ratings are a leading indicator of a celebrity's appeal, demonstrates how "tech" icons and popular culture are mingling to create new media superstars.

The Q Score is a measurement used frequently by advertisers and the media to evaluate the level, nature and trajectory of the popularity enjoyed by potential spokespeople or characters. Typically, scores are generated for film and television stars, musicians, fictional characters and other celebrities. According to Q ranking results released today, Deep Blue's score is on par with celebrities such as CNN host Larry King, radio personality Howard Stern, former "Baywatch" star Carmen Electra and MTV deejay Carson Daly. Deep Blue, which currently resides at IBM's Watson Research Center in Yorktown, NY, also did exceptionally well when compared with other well-known New Yorkers, including Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner.

After thirty-six years of evaluating cartoon characters, products, television programs, sports stars and other personalities, the proposition of Q scoring a computer was very intriguing to Henry Schafer, executive vice president, Marketing Evaluations Tv/Q Inc. "Deep Blue is emerging as a true personality and is comparing favorably with some very well known celebrities. It's part of an interesting phenomena in which this computer had its fifteen minutes of fame and three years later we are still counting. I think it points to our evolving relationship with technology as it becomes part of everyday life," said Schafer.

Highlighting the degree to which Deep Blue has become part of the collective consciousness of Americans, the IBM supercomputer was featured last month with Vice President Al Gore on the hit animated television series Futurama. Deep Blue has also popped up in everything from Internet humor sites to daily newspaper columns. In addition, it has received over 5000 mentions in the print media over the last three years and has served as comedic material for Late Night talk show hosts including David Letterman and Jay Leno.

"Deep Blue's chess victory made an RS/6000 SP supercomputer an overnight celebrity and showed the world the awesome capabilities of a computer that continues to make an impact today as the fastest supercomputer in the world and as the backbone behind some of the largest Web Sites in the world," said Rod Adkins, general manager, IBM Web Servers. "We're thrilled that Deep Blue has received a `Q' rating and that it continues to play an integral role in shaping people's perceptions about computers."

Among Internet users, Deep Blue scored exceptionally well compared to personalities commonly associated with the computer industry. The refrigerator-sized native of Yorktown, N.Y., scored higher than both Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy when members of the Net generations were asked whether they had heard of either man or machine.

Deep Blue is a massively parallel, RS/6000 SP computer system that was designed to play chess at the grandmaster level. The SP is a highly-scalable system made up of building blocks called nodes. An SP system can consist of just one or two nodes all the way up to hundreds of nodes. The system's performance scales almost linearly with its size. Each node contains one or more microprocessors and its own random access memory (RAM) and disk storage. IBM sells several types of nodes that can be mixed in one system and used together for large computing jobs, or separately for smaller tasks.

As of July 31, 2000, IBM had shipped nearly 9000 RS/6000 SP systems and nearly 90,000 nodes in the seven years since the SP system was introduced.
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Title Annotation:Sony Clie
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 4, 2000

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