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by Gail Helmer

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Friday, January 17, 2003

PC Game News
KOCH Media to Publish WWII: Frontline Command
(BASINGSTOKE, England) UK software publisher, KOCH Media announced today that they have signed the rights to publish UK developer, The Bitmap Brothers latest PC-CDROM title - World War II: Frontline Command.

KOCH to publish WW2: Frontline Command

Set during the climax of the Second World War, Frontline Command lets aspiring generals make the strategic commands necessary to turn the tide of Axis aggression and liberate occupied Europe. Frontline Command will be one of many titles to be published by KOCH Media during the course of 2003, adding to an already commercially successful portfolio of PC titles.

"The Bitmap Brothers are the calibre of development team, which will define KOCH Media's titles for 2003," said Craig McNicol, Managing Director of KOCH Media. "Signing, what is probably their finest game to date, is a major advance to KOCH Media and further establishes us within the European publishing arena."

"KOCH Media are regarded highly in Europe both by retail and the specialist press," said Ed Bartlett, Business Development Director for The Bitmap Brothers. "Frontline is shaping up to be a fantastic and broad-reaching title, and we have absolute confidence in the abilities of the KOCH Media team to do the product justice."

Developed by The Bitmap Brothers and published by and distributed across Europe by KOCH Media, World War II: Frontline Command will release May 2003.

Website: Bitmap Brothers

Forgotten Battles War Stories
Cartrix has posted links two new fictional stories by Ian Boys based on Forgotten Battles' missions.

  • Winter Bomber
  • American Raid
Website: IL-2 Sturmovik.com

Lock On Release Date Confirmed
From the LO:MAC website: Hi Everybody, It is some time since we provided you with further information on the release date of Lock On. I can now confirm that Lock On will be released in Summer 2003.

As I'm sure you all appreciate the team want to ensure that Lock On is not released before it is finished. We understand that you are eager to get into the cockpit but ask you to remain patient. The wait will be worth it!!

In the meantime we will be bringing you regular screenshots and videos of gameplay footage.

Thanks for your understanding!


Website: LO:MAC

Lock On System Specs Updated
Cartrix has been busy! He has posted the updated min specs for LO:MAC.
  • Windows(r)98/ME/2000/XP
  • Pentium III 800/AMD Athlon 600 or better
  • 256 MB RAM (512 MB RAM recommended)
  • 3D video card (DirectX 8.1 compatible)w/32MB RAM (128MB recommended)
  • Sound Card (Direct 8.1 compatible)
  • DirectX 8.1 or higher (included on disc)
  • 4X CD-ROM or better (Not recommended for use with CD-RWs)
  • Internet connection (56 kbps or better) or LAN for multiplayer
  • Hard Drive Space 1.1 GB
Online FAQ: http://www.lo-mac.com/faq.php

Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield Site Update
They have posted a competition report and a community update. The community update provides a brief overview of what's new on each of the leading RS3: RS fansites.

Website: Official Raven Shield Site

PC Hardware News
Alleged Insider Trading At Top Video Card Manufacturer
(MARKHAM, Ontario) — ATI Technologies Inc., makers of the RADEON line of video cards, today announced that Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission has filed a Notice of Hearing and Statement of Allegations in relation to ATI and others. The Notice, a copy of which is attached, alleges that ATI failed to disclose information concerning the shortfall in revenues and earnings that occurred in the third quarter of fiscal 2000, as required by the listing rules of the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Notice also alleges that ATI made a misleading statement to Staff of the Commission in August 2000 regarding the events leading up to the disclosure on May 24, 2000 of the shortfall.

Makers of the Radeon in deep doo doo with Canadian Securities Commission.

Seven individuals are also named in the Notice. The Notice alleges that six of these individuals, including K.Y. Ho, the Chief Executive Officer of ATI, engaged in insider trading contrary to the Securities Act.

The Company takes these allegations seriously. As previously announced, a Special Committee consisting of Paul Russo, who joined the board in January 2002, is conducting an independent review of the matters contained in Staff's allegations. Mr. Peter Dey of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is acting as a special advisor to the Committee.

More Info: ATI

AMD Reports $235 Million Loss in Q4
(SUNNYVALE, CA) AMD today reported sales of $686,430,000 and a net loss of $854,740,000 for the quarter ended December 29, 2002. The net loss amounted to $2.49 per share. Excluding the effects of restructuring and other charges to show the company’s results from ongoing operations, the fourth quarter net loss was $235,145,000, or $0.68 per share.

Fourth quarter sales declined by 28 percent from the fourth quarter of 2001 and increased by 35 percent from the third quarter of 2002. In the fourth quarter of 2001, AMD reported sales of $951,873,000 and a net loss of $15,842,000, or $0.05 per share.

In the third quarter of 2002, AMD reported sales of $508,227,000 and a net loss of $254,171,000, or $0.74 per share.

For the full year ended December 29, 2002, sales declined by 31 percent from 2001. AMD reported sales of $2,697,029,000 and a net loss of $1,303,012,000, or $3.81 per share. AMD reported sales in 2001 of $3,891,754,000 and a net loss of $60,581,000, or $0.18 per share.

More Info: AMD

Tom's Hardware Wireless G WAP54G Review

Superfast wireless LAN

Want to play combat simulations from the kitchen table, but your Internet connection is in the den. Don't want to run cat 5 through your walls? You need a wireless LAN. If you have waited this long, you might want to check out what is the bleeding edge in wireless LAN technology: WAP54G or "Wireless-G". According to the literature, "Wireless-G is the upcoming 54Mbps wireless networking standard that's almost five times faster than the widely deployed Wireless-B (802.11b) products found in homes, businesses, and public wireless hotspots around the country — but since they share the same 2.4GHz radio band, Wireless-G devices can also work with existing 11Mbps Wireless-B equipment." Tom's Hardware has the review of LinkSys' entry into this market, but does it actually work?

Read More: Tom's Hardware

More Red Ink: Sun Microsystems Posts $2 Billion Loss
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. SUNW.O on Thursday reported its largest net loss ever, taking more than $2 billion in acquisition-related charges, but squeezed out a small operating profit thanks to stronger pricing and lower component costs than expected.

Santa Clara, California-based Sun, which makes computers that manage networks, failed to reiterate a target set in November of turning a profit by the end of the company's fiscal year in June, saying the economy was too murky.

Chief Financial Officer Steve McGowan also said he would stop giving mid-quarter updates and declined to comment on clients' spending plans for the same reason

Investors also focused on a bigger question -- whether Sun's developing technology to easily manage networks could fend off incursions by PC technology makers Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O and Intel Corp. INTC.O , which are moving into the high-end computing space where Sun is strong.

Full Story: Click Here

Military News
Edwards Gets F-16s from Bone Yard
(EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.) —Two F-16 Fighting Falcons joined the test operations facility here recently to help support flight test programs. The aircraft are the first of nine F-16s making their way to Edwards this year.

The aircraft arrived from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., where they were originally part of a deal to sell 28 F-16s to Pakistan. The agreement broke down after Pakistan violated the nuclear nonproliferation policy of the U.S. government and its allies, and the United States cancelled the sale. That left the aircraft in storage at Davis-Monthan for more than a decade. After several years of modifications and rebuilding, the aircraft made their way here.

A Pair of F-16s De-Mothballed

The aircraft are late A and B models, versus the C and D models pilots routinely fly today. They were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s and are scheduled to replace some of the older F-16s in the Edwards' inventory, which will provide pilots with better capability and reliability, said Lt. Col. Troy Fontaine, commander of test operations here.

With only eight and 11 total flying hours respectively, the two aircraft will be used to support the 412th Maintenance Group shadow fleet. The aircraft will perform photo chase, high-alpha testing and test support missions for Edwards' various test forces. The jets will also be used to train students at the test pilot school.

According to Col. George Ka'iliwai, the school's commandant, the new aircraft are welcome additions to the busy flying schedule.

"These two additional F-16s will help the test pilot school graduate our students fully trained and on time," said Ka'iliwai. "Increasing the number of F-16s helps us ensure that these aircraft are available when we need them to meet our flying program requirements as well as test program requirements around the base."

Air Force officials will take 14 aircraft while the Navy will get 14 to be used as aggressor aircraft for training.

Northrup Grumman Rolls Out Fire Scout Air Vehicle
(SAN DIEGO) — Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector, prime contractor for the U.S. Navy's RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned air vehicle system, today rolled out the first production air vehicle and ground control station at a ceremony at the company's Unmanned Systems facility here.

Attending the ceremony were representatives of the U.S. Navy Fire Scout program office, the U.S. Naval Surface Forces Pacific Fleet, the Defense Contract Management Agency, California's 50th and 52nd U.S. congressional district offices and the Fire Scout industry team.

"The air vehicle and ground control station you see today represent completion of initial production elements of the Fire Scout system, the first truly shipboard-compatible production representative UAV," said Cmdr. Osa Fitch, U.S. Navy Fire Scout team lead, during the ceremony. "Featuring vertical takeoff and landing, it is capable of being operated from the helicopter pad of all air capable ships."

Following the ceremony, the air vehicle and ground control station will be shipped to the Webster Field annex of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where they will join the ongoing Fire Scout flight test program.

Unmanned Firescout provides intel, recon, surveillance and targeting info.

During Fire Scout's most recent engineering test flight on Dec. 21, 2002, the air vehicle flew an envelope expansion test for more than one hour through 71 waypoints. The air vehicle climbed to a maximum altitude of 5,500 feet MSL at an air speed of over 97 knots (110 miles per hour).

As in previous Fire Scout flight tests, the preprogrammed autonomous mission included vertical takeoff, accurate navigation and return to a predetermined hover point in preparation for landing, all without operator intervention.

The Fire Scout payload, which is supplied by Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector, Baltimore, Md., consists of electro-optical and infrared sensors and a laser designator/rangefinder, which provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery and data.

The system employed its sensors during the test to locate, identify and track a mix of targets including vehicles, buildings and geographic features. In addition, the laser rangefinder was employed to evaluate the precision target location feature of the payload and vehicle management system.

Additional flight tests to support engineering and manufacturing development are planned this spring. Flight tests to demonstrate weapons targeting and delivery as well as shipboard landings are being evaluated for inclusion in the test program later in the year.

The Fire Scout system is in development and low-rate initial production as a force multiplier for Navy forces at sea and Marine Corps forces ashore.

Flying at altitudes up to 20,000 feet, Fire Scout employs an advanced payload with an electro-optical/infrared sensor including a laser designator/rangefinder. This demonstrated system can provide intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance and targeting information with pinpoint accuracy to military decision-makers. The Fire Scout's communications suite is designed to allow simultaneous voice/data relay much farther than the "line of sight" limits of current systems.

Fully autonomous, Fire Scout can fly high above deployed Marines to watch for threats within 150 nautical miles of the ground control station. The system then directs Navy and Marine weapons accurately to the target with precise target location coordinates or the laser designator. A complete system includes three UAVs, two ground control stations, a datalink suite and modular mission payloads.

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