News Bits: Gateway Shareholders Mad, Generous New Asus Warranty, Office 2007 Ultimate $60

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Gateway shareholders sue over Acer takeover; $710M not enough

In late August, Acer purchased Gateway for US$710 million. However shareholders are suing Acer in two separate lawsuits that say Gateway was worth more than the price Acer paid. The shareholders claim Gateway disregarded its shareholders when it made the deal. The lawsuit claims that "The Company’s directors breached their fiduciary duties to stockholders by approving the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, including but not limited to the Offer, and claims that these transactions are both unfair and coercive to the public stockholders in a sale of the Company."

The lawsuit also claims that the company’s directors denied the stockholders "a fully informed voluntary choice whether to approve the Merger Agreement or seek appraisal."

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Asus to offer free notebook accidental damage warranty

Asus recently announced that it will be offering an one-year accidental damage warranty on Asus-branded notebook models for free. Asus said in a statement "Whether you drop your ASUS notebook computer or spill coffee on your notebook keyboard, you’re now covered. And you will always enjoy the convenience of assistance 24/7 from ASUS technical representatives."

The free accidental damage warranty applies to notebooks bought on or after September 10, 2007. It is not valid on non-Asus brands including "ASMobile," "Built on Asus," "Powered by Asus," or the Eee PC.

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Students: get Office 2007 Ultimate for $60

Microsoft on September 12 announced "The Ultimate Steal," a promotion for college students in the US, Canada, and the UK starting on September 20. The limited-time promotion allows actively enrolled college students to get Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for US$59.95. For those outside the US, a one-year subscription license will also be offered for $22 in addition to the perpetual license. The Ultimate Steal is an online only offer and the promotion will expire on April 30, 2008.

Microsoft Press Release
The Ultimate Steal Website

Windows Update patches XP, Vista silently?

During the past two weeks, Windows XP and Vista users have noted some unusual behavior. Windows Update was updating their machines even when the updates were set to "manual." Microsoft has proven the rumors wrong – apparently only the Windows Update software itself was being updated, which Microsoft does from time to time. Microsoft says that if they do not do the updates, users will not be able to successfully check for updates or get them automatically.

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Should you buy cheap printer ink?

Computer Shopper is running a lengthy article on buying cheap aftermarket printer ink/refill kits or simply buying from the manufacturer. While retail OEM cartridges are expensive they do provide the best quality and ensure compatibility, but aftermarket solutions are significantly cheaper. The catch with the aftermarket solutions is that some are decent and some are nothing more than colored water. Which one should you buy?

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The next geek gadget – the USB Greenhouse

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Plants are typically grown in a garden – or, at least they used to be. Brando has come out with yet another geek gadget, the USB Greenhouse. It comes with marigold seeds, artificial soil, and an artificial light. Included PC software tracks watering and growth. The USB Greenhouse goes for $43.00.

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Logitech introduces AudioHub Notebook Speaker System 

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Logitech recently introduced the AudioHub Notebook Speaker System with Integrated USB Hub. It is a 2.1 speaker system with three built-in high-speed USB ports. The AudioHub is compact and should fit behind most notebooks.

Logitech claims exceptional audio quality thanks to an adjustable one-piece, three-chamber speaker system with an integrated subwoofer, providing solid lows and clear highs. The AudioHub has a mute button that mutes the volume without cutting off power to the hub.

The AudioHub is three and a half inches high and has adjustable-width speakers. It will go on sale in the U.S. and Europe in October for a retail price of $99.99.

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Targus introduces environmentally-friendly EcoSmart laptop bags

Targus introduced a new line of EcoBags as part of the company’s commitment to becoming a more eco-friendly business. The production of the bags is less harmful to the environment thanks to their PVC-free construction. All plastics used in the bags is recyclable and the metal housing is nickel-free.

The EcoSmart initiative will be implemented into every aspect of the company’s corporate culture, starting with the EcoSmart notebook cases.

There are four different styles of EcoSmart bags – the Sling (TSB109US), the Messenger (TSM068US), the Convertible Messenger/Backpack (TSB110US), and the Top Loading case (TST022US). All of the cases come with a padded notebook sleeve, a security strap, a variety of storage options, and carry Targus’ lifetime limited warranty.



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