The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
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• NTT Docomo (NYSE:DCM), Nissan Motor (OTCPK:NSANY) and Sharp Corporation announced that they have jointly developed a mobile phone capable of functioning as an intelligent key for automobiles. The device will incorporate Nissan's Intelligent Key system, already a standard feature in various Nissan vehicles. The convergence of automotive and cellular technologies was made possible through Docomo's marketability of mobile phones, Sharp's development of the phone itself and Nissan's provision of technical support to ensure the key's operability with its vehicles.
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
• Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. Ltd. (OTCPK:NTDOY) plans to launch a new model of its DS handheld machine that can take pictures and play music by the end of the year, the Nikkeibusiness daily said. The move would pit the top-selling portable game gear against the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod and camera-embedded cellphones in general. The price for the new machine, which will also be equipped with advanced wireless communications functions, is expected to be below 20,000 yen (US$189) in Japan, compared with 16,800 yen (US$158) for the current model, the Nikkei said. The Wii game console and DS have been Nintendo's twin growth engines, helping its share price to grow more than three-fold over the past three years. The DS far outsells Sony Corp's (NYSE:SNE) rival machine, PlayStation Portable (PSP) globally. But in Japan, the PSP's unit sales exceeded the DS's in five consecutive months through July, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain, in a potential sign of slowing momentum for the current DS model.
• TriGem Computer Inc. is entering the Japanese market. The company will market the machines under the Averatec brand. The AVN0270N notebook will have a 10.2-inch display and a 160-gigabyte hard-disk drive. Pricing will be open, but it is expected to retail for 59,800 yen (US$564). The AVA8270N desktop will come with an 18.4-inch LCD monitor and a power-saving Intel Corp. processor. It is expected to sell for around 69,800 yen (US$659). The computers will be sold through electronics mass merchandisers from mid-October and also offered via TriGem's online sales site. The company is aiming for combined sales of 20,000 units by the end of 2008.
• Network software developer SoftEther Corp. has devised a way of sending data more than twice as fast as normal over VPNs (virtual private networks). The company will use the technology in PacketiX VPN 3.0, the latest version of its PacketiX VPN software, which it plans to release in October. VPNs provide a way to send data over the Internet with the same level of security as a dedicated line. Corporations use them to link the head office with distantfactories. SoftEther says it has used the new technology to send data at 80 megabits per second between connected points. With existing VPN software, the best achievable speeds are only around 30 -40mbps.
• Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. (OTC:SOMMF) of Japan has connected to the Elemica Business Process Network (BPN) to streamline order management with trading partners like BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) and Dow (NYSE:DOW). The Elemica BPN automates the order management processes across multiple systems and partners.