News Bits: Asus W6 Reviewed, Apple OS X Security Update, Intel Cuts Developer Forums

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Asus W6 leather laptop reviewed

RegHardware takes a look at the Asus W6 leather-covered laptop. It is a luxury laptop, offered in pink, carmel, and chocolate brown colors. The W6 has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 13.3" WXGA display, gloss finish
  • Intel 945GM chipset
  • Integrated GMA950 graphics
  • 1.5 – 2.0GB DDR2-533 RAM
  • 80 – 120GB SATA hard drive
  • Intel 3945ABG WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0.

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Apple Releases Security Update 2006-007 for Mac OS X

Apple has released Security Update 2006-007 for the Mac OS X that includes fixes for flaws in Apple’s own code as well as third-party components that ship with the Mac OS X operating system, such as Perl, PHP and OpenSSL. Apple states that the update repairs 31 vulnerabilities. According to bug hunters though, this security update from Apple does not fix all publicly known flaws. The Security Update 2006-007 for Mac OS X client and server software is available from the Software Update pane in Mac OS System Preferences, or Apple’s downloads Web site

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Intel reduces number of Developer Forums

TGDaily reports that Intel is cutting down on the number of Intel Developer Forums (IDFs) in order to cut costs. Intel held nine IDFs in 2006 globally; Intel is cancelling seven events in 2007, and focusing on three main events in Peking, San Francisco, and Taipei. Details about the new IDF schedule have not yet been published, but it is not a secret that Intel is skeptical about the cost of the IDFs. Smaller events cost about $1 million, while the larger events can cause in excess of $3 million.

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65nm AMD Athlon X2 launch expected on December 5

AMD is expected to introduce four new 65nm CPUs at the beginning of December according to a report found in the Chinese-language Commercial Times. The report says that AMD will introduce its 65nm Athlon X2 desktop processor, codenamed Brisbane, on December 5. AMD is currently trying to ease the tight supply of its CPUs on the clone market; Dell is consuming a considerable amount of AMD CPUs at the moment and is causing the shortage.

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Compal considers notebook plant in Vietnam to reduce costs

In an effort to reduce production costs due to increasing wages in China, Compal Electronics is considering setting up a notebook plant in Vietnam in order to increase capacity and keep its competitiveness. Compal currently operates three notebook plants in Kunshan, China; they have a combined output of 2 million notebooks per month through Q4 2007.

Due to the company’s ability to achieve an annual growth rate of 30-40% for its notebook shipments over the past few years, Compal is expected to ship 25 million notebooks in 2008. In order to meet this expectation, the company has three options: set up another notebook plant in Kunshan, setting up an additional plant in inland China to avoid increased labor costs in the Shanghai area, or put up a plant in Vietnam. Compal is expected to finalize its expansion plan by Q1 2007. Other notebook makers may follow suit if Compal decides to set up a plant in Vietnam.

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Intel samples 45nm processors

Intel has begun manufacturing prototypes of its upcoming Penryn 45nm processor core; Penryn is a 45nm die shrink of the Core 2 Duo processor. It will also introduce multiple manufacturing process changes.

Intel plans to introduce Penryn in the 2H 2007. The current samples Intel is producing will be evaulated by the design team to see if they are working as expected. Intel is expected to ship 45nm processors right after AMD completes its transition to 65nm. Penryn will be the last processor based on the Core microarchitecture.

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