For more than a year, LG has been sitting pretty with the only 6x Blu-ray burner available for retail, but now that Sony’s BWU 300S offers 8x BD-R write speeds, LG’s supremacy has come to an end. Sort of.
The 300S is uncommonly fast—given the right circumstances. The drive managed to fill a 25GB BD-R disc with data in a blistering 13:56 (min:sec), compared with the LG GBW-H20L’s time of 22:16, but only when the drive was fed manufacturer-recommended Panasonic 6x media. And good luck finding that—our online search for the media was fruitless. When using more common 4x media, the 300S stuck closely to that speed rating, taking 22:56 to complete the same task.
This year Sony is reporting that they will post a $3 billion annual operating loss due to the deterioration of the global economy. Alongside that, they’re looking to restructure their company a bit, which will include massive layoffs and factory closings.
“The massive economic upheaval being experienced across the world is sparing no one in the consumer electronics world,” said Howard Stringer, the Sony chief executive. He claims that the main problem had been “a significant deterioration” in the company’s core electronics division. Business was notably down across every major line, including games, movies and financial services.
Sony’s stock has declined by nearly 65 percent over the past 12 months, and there doesn’t look to be an immediate fix in sight. One can hope that they’re able to weather the economic storm and get through this, though massive layoffs seem to be an inevitability at this point.
Every year around late December or early January the internet is bombarded with the top “whatever and such and such” of 2008. Here at Maximum PC we stopped to reflect on our favorite gaming moments, and even cracked the lid on the best of open source; but we never took the time to focus on the hilarious technological flops of the year now past. Luckily however, Tom’s Hardware has put together a fairly comprehensive list. Some of which we can agree with, others perhaps worthy of debate. The list includes:
1.) HD DVD 2.) Nvidia’s Mobile GeForce 8400M and 8600M 3.) iPhone Killers 4.) Windows Vista 5.) Mobile Television 6.) OLED Displays 7.) Phenom X3 8.) The Microsoft Yahoo Proposed Merger 9.) GPGPU 10.) Sony Ericsson XPeria X1 11.) HybridPower: Pseudo-Green 12.) Sony Batteries 13.) Fiber Optics 14.) Non-HD DTT 15.) GTA IV For PC
I’m sure we have more then a few readers that will jump to the defense of some of these items such as Windows Vista and perhaps OLED or Fiber, but it’s hard to argue with the bulk of it.
What do you think should be added or subtracted from the list?
If Mobile Today is to believed, all those rumors about the PSP phone were indeed true. According to a report, which cites anonymous sources, Sony disallowed Sony Ericsson’s request to use the Playstation brand in December.
Sources have revealed that Sony told the mobile phone manufacturer that the only way the Playstation brand can appear on a cellphone is when it independently makes such a device.
It is claimed that Sony is reluctant to license the Playstation brand for a product that doesn’t conform to the lofty technological standards the brand is associated with.
Finally, someone has announced an iPhone killer that we can all get behind. The Palm Pre surprised everyone at CES with its best-of-all-worlds specs and features. We’re talking about a multi-touch phone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a truly innovative web-integrated user interface.
Early impressions indicate a really smooth and fast interface and web-browsing experience, with all the productivity and media features that we’ve come to expect from a modern smartphone. It’s as if Palm designers made a list of everything that was lacking from the iPhone and made a point to incorporate it here. Real GPS, MMS messaging, USB port, and removable battery lets Palm blow a raspberry at the competition. Copy and paste is just gravy. But too bad it won’t be converting iPhone users anytime in the near future – the Pre is a Sprint exclusive.
So much for the $2.2 billion operating profit Sony predicted just three months ago. Perhaps the company was looking at the balance sheet upside down, because now Sony is expected to report a 100 billion yen (that's $1.1 billion in homegrown U.S. currency) loss for fiscal 2008 ending in March, says Nikkei business daily. And that's just the beginning. Nikkei says the loss could reach as high as $2 billion, and will depend on whether or not Sony is successful in cutting inventory in Q1 2009.
If Nikkei's prediction comes true, this will mark Sony's first loss in 14 years. But unlike the one-time charge the electronics took for its picture division over two decades ago, losses this time around can be attributed to less than expected sales of Sony brand flat-panel TVs and other electronics, particularly in the U.S. market.
Two terabytes of storage on a single memory stick might have been unheard of just a short while ago, but now it appears it will be a race to see who can reach the capacity milestone first. Taking a tag-team approach, SanDisk and Sony are working together to create two expanded formats in the Memory Stick series, the Memory Stick format for Extended High Capacity and the Memory Stick HG Micro format.
It's the Extended High Capacity format that boosts recording capacity up to 2TB, or 60 times more storage than the Memory Stick PRO format's 32GB ceiling. Meanwhile, the HG Micro format sports some technical enhancements, including an enhanced 8-bit parallel interface and 60MHz interface clock frequency, to make a 60MBps (480MBps in theoretical value) data transfer speed possible. By comparison, the Memory Stick Micro format uses a 4-bit parallel interface and a 40MHz interface clock frequency.
No release date has yet been given, but SanDisk and Sony have to be feeling the pressure from the SD Association, who recently announced a new card spec called SDXC, which also promises up to 2TB of memory and read/write speeds of 104MB/s. As our own Andy Salisbury points out, that's enough to accommodate 100 high-definition movies, 60 hours of HD recording, or up to 17,000 high-res photos. Wicked.
In our recent roundup of netbooks, we dubbed these little PCs to be a “great second computer” but a “pathetic first one.” At CES 2009, Sony’s introduction of the new Vaio P has turned some heads about the full potential of this so-called netbook-in-disguise. Weighing in at only 1.4 pounds and measuring in at just under an inch thick, this little guy packs an 8-inch widescreen with a 2.08:1 aspect ratio and a supported resolution of up to 1600x768.
Inside the Vaio P you will find a 1.33GHz Atom processor, 2GB of ram and a SSD drive ranging from 64GB to 128GB of storage space. Built-in is wireless WAN 3G (Verizon Only), 802.11 Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The P’s instant-on OS allows for quick access to the Sony’s Xross Media bar interface making access to photos, music, videos, and the web seemingly fast. Included also is an integrated real-time GPS functionality with turn-by-turn directions. An internet connection is not required in the United States or Canada.
Expect a starting price of around $900 and shipments beginning in February.
It looks like MITM attacks aren’t the only things ripping off SSL certificates these days, it looks like Sony’s PS3 is capable of the act as well!
In a recent study conducted with more than 200 PlayStation 3 consoles, researchers were able to create a secure sockets layer certificate for absolutely any web page. The forged certificates were made through a proof-of-concept attack. This particular attack runs by generating millions of possible certificates, and once a pair that contains a special collision in the MD5 hash is found, a legitimate website certificate is requested from one of the authorities that relies on only MD5 to generate signatures. These certificates have been accepted by every major browser.
“This break is major,” stated Karsten Nohl, cryptography expert and researcher at the University of Virginia. “It definitely is the most wide-scale attack, because anything short of patching all browsers in the world to not accept the certificates, there's nothing you can do to prevent it.”
Still, there’s no stated fix for the issue today. Let’s just hope that since the researchers possess the information on how the attack is conducted, they’ll be able to make one soon.
We still don't know what exactly Sony has up its sleeve, only that "On the 9th of January you will change the way you look at laptops. Forever." Or at least that's what the mysterious tagline read on Sony's pre-launch website before the company inexplicably took it down.
But while the countdown has been whisked away, Sony continues to tease one picture at a time. The latest shots to make it to the web show a full size keyboard like the one on the Vaio TZ, along with a track stick. Not much else is visible from the cryptic pics.
It looks like we'll have to wait for CES for the full skinny. In the meantime, we're left with speculation and leaked specs. According to preliminary reports, the notebook that will apparently knock everyone's socks off will be the smallest in Sony's lineup, likely a netbook running an Intel Atom processor. The presumed netbook will come with an 8-inch LED backlit screen with a 1600x768 resolution, and either a 60GB HDD or 128GB SDD, if reports hold true.