Back when Sony's fraudulent copyright claims resulted in a 47 second recording of pianist James Rhodes playing Bach, apologists argued that Sony and Youtube's copyright bots couldn't be expected to tell the difference between a highly skilled Bach performance and the ones in their own catalog.
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Sony -- whose most notorious DRM foray infected millions of computers with malware -- has announced an incoherent plan to use blockchain to make DRM work, somehow.
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We've come to the end of an era in portable gaming: according to Engadget, Sony has announced that they'll cease producing their handheld PS Vita in Japan, next year.
At the 2018 Tokyo Game Show, Sony has announced the birth of a new product and what could possibly be the final nail in the coffin for another. Sony Interactive Entertainment SVP Hiroyuki Oda has revealed that the company will cease PS Vita's production in Japan sometime in 2019. Further, he said the electronics/gaming giant has no plans to create a successor, echoing Shuhei Yoshida's revelation way back in 2015 that Sony doesn't see a market for a follow-up to the handheld console.
That it's not going to be produced for the Japanese market any longer is likely the final nail in the PS Vita's coffin. Japan was the nation where the handheld was most popular. If it's dead there, it'll soon be dead everywhere else as well. I for one am sad to see it go. I have a large library of PS Vita and PSP games that I still enjoy goofing on, from time to time. The size of the PS Vita and its performance made it an enjoyable piece of kit, for me. I ran out to buy one as soon as it became available in Canada and never regretted the decision.
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Tom Hardy continues his tradition of playing comic book characters whose main power is mumbling in the latest trailer for Venom. It's a fun-filled 3:14 that extols the virtues of teamwork, appreciating one another's differences and making the best of a bad situation.
I'm betting the movie'll be just like the Odd Couple, but with more eviscerations. Read the rest
When Sony announced in 2014 that support was ending for Aibo, their pioneering line of robotic dogs, former Sony employee Nobuyuki Norimatsu launched A-Fun, a repair service in Japan, to take care of any ailing Aibos. Things progressed from there. Video below. From National Geographic:
Norimatsu came to regard the broken AIBOs his company received as “organ donors.” Out of respect for the owners’ emotional connection to the “deceased” devices, Norimatsu and his colleagues decided to hold funerals.
A-Fun approached Bungen Oi, head priest of Kōfuku-ji, a Buddhist temple in Chiba Prefecture's city of Isumi. Oi agreed to take on the duty of honoring the sacrifice of donor AIBOs before their disassembly. In 2015, the centuries-old temple held its first robot funeral for 17 decommissioned AIBOs. Just as with the repairs, demand for funeral ceremonies quickly grew...
According to Head Priest Oi, honoring inanimate objects is consistent with Buddhist thought. Nippon.com quotes the priest: “Even though AIBO is a machine and doesn’t have feelings, it acts as a mirror for human emotions.”
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Pour another one out for Sony's PlayStation Vita. Despite being a powerful, capable handheld that's great for a bit of fun on the go or as a companion to your PlayStation 3 or 4 when you're at home, Sony's all but ignored the diminutive gaming console over the past couple of years. In 2015, Sony told gamers that they didn't think it was worth making a successor to the Vita.
Fair enough: mobile gaming is Nintendo's jelly. It still hurt to hear, though: I've always had a soft spot for Sony's portable systems (I may well be one of the few people that actually liked the PSP Go). But the death of the Vita didn't feel real to me until today. According to Kotaku, the production of PlayStation Vita game cards will soon be upon us.
Sony’s American and European branches “plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018,” the company told developers today in a message obtained by Kotaku. The message asks that all Vita product code requests be submitted by June 28, 2018, and that final purchase orders be entered by February 15, 2019. Sony’s 2018 fiscal year will end on March 31, 2019.
As sigh inducing as this news is, it isn't the end of the world. Vita owners will still be able to download games from the online store baked into the PS Vita's OS. If Sony's support for the Vita is anything like it has been for the original PlayStation Portable, the digital titles that gamers bought should be available to download for years to come. Read the rest
It's been 15 years since Sony used the DMCA to shut down the community that had sprung up to extend the functionality of its Aibo robot dogs, threatening people with lawsuits and jailtime for modifying their dogs' operating systems.
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Sony last pressed a vinyl record in 1989. And it'll be pressing them again by March 2018, reports The BBC, proof of the mainstream return of the ancient format—once again a billion-dollar business.
Folks always argue about quality (will mainstream product mean mainstream mastering?) but the reasons for vinyl's resurgence are complex. It's a nice thing to own, it's a pleasing retail experience, it's nostalgic, it's a better gift, it's big enough to hang on a wall, you can fend off zombies with it, and so on.
There are seriously lame aspects to vinyl, though: quality deteriorates with use; easily damaged even when stored; no metadata; no controls; fiddly hardware.
So whenever I read a "vinyl returns" article I dream of a new HD physical media format that's backward compatible with it. An LP-sized optical disk with the grooves on a clear laminate layer, perhaps. Or maybe a vinyl with a hidden flash storage layer within and exposed metal rings to read it with near the spindle. Or some kind of bad-ass sharpened metal disk played the old-fashioned way but at nyquist-busting RPM. Read the rest
The unprecedented denial-of-service attacks powered by the Mirai Internet of Things worm have harnessed crappy, no-name CCTVs, PVRs, and routers to launch unstoppable floods of internet noise, but it's not just faceless Chinese businesses that crank out containerloads of vulnerable, defective-by-design gear -- it's also name brands like Sony. Read the rest
When pictures of the forthcoming sleeker PlayStation 4 "Slim" showed up on Twitter and NeoGAF, no-one knew if they were the real deal. But when Sony started making noise and having the images disappeared from Facebook, everyone knew they were the real deal.
Eurogamer, having taken legal advice and removed video coverage of the box, confirms the story, with new high-resolution photos.
Bear in mind here that what Sony got taken down were not NDA-sealed marketing images or even photos surreptitiously taken in its private facilities: if the reports are to be believed, it's scrubbing images it does not own, of a console that was, supposedly, prematurely sold to a member of the public.
We can confirm that the PS4 Slim is real.
In our bid to confirm the veracity of the images that leaked online last night (more on that below), Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter visited the person who claimed to have bought the console from Gumtree.
ORIGINAL STORY: The PlayStation 4 Slim has leaked online.
The new console was first spotted on auction website Gumtree, before being picked up by NeoGAF.
Twitter user shortmaneighty2, who spotted the Gumtree listing, and NeoGAF user Venom Fox have posted multiple images of the console, showing it boxed, unboxed and compared to the original PS4 console.
It's "kind of ugly," writes Erik Kain at Forbes. Read the rest
Craig Mod reports on six months in the field with the $4,000 Leica Q, a compact, fixed-lens camera for professionals and for amateurs who are very serious indeed. He loves it with an intensity that would seem unreasonable were it not for a) the fact that the photos illustrating his essay are spectacular, and b) he discusses how using it changed his mind on photography basics.
Compare with the just-published review of Sony's latest RX1R-II at DPReview. It's serious competition for the Leica Q in the rarefied market for fixed-lens compacts that cost more than a MacBook Pro. Though it's $700 cheaper, and in many respects technically superior, the design (from UX to battery life) sounds so frustrating and ill-considered that it's hard to imagine preferring it over the Leica if you're spending that much dough on a fixed-lens camera to begin with.
There's a great section in Craig Mod's review to remind you this is all for stills folk: "Video: I think the Leica Q does video."
Leica Q [Amazon.com referral link] Read the rest
Microsoft long ago stopped saying how many XBox Ones it had sold, but figures released by Electronic Arts expose numbers far short of rival Sony's Playstation 4.
On a financial call with reporters, CEO Blake Jorgensen said the combined install base of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was about 55 million units. With Sony boasting of 36 million PS4s shifted, that makes for 19 million Xbox Ones.
The numbers tally with rumors, but both machines are doing well given that we're still only 2 years into the current generation of hardware. The big loser this time around is Nintendo, thought to have sold only about 11m Wii Us. Read the rest
"Let's play" videos are a hugely popular online genre in which gamers narrate their playthroughs of games that excite and challenge them. Read the rest
Mitch Martinez licensed a stock footage clip to a Sony music label to use in a video; when the company proceeded to file a Youtube copyright complaint against him and refused to take his calls, he filed a copyright claim against them, told them he was cancelling their license to his footage, and threatened to make them re-edit the music video, removing his footage from it. Read the rest
Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives. Read the rest
The screenwriter claims that cuts make the film “better and richer and fairer," but emails exposed by hackers show studio lawyers altered the film to avoid tangling with the National Football League.
The New York Times:
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When Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to make a movie focusing on the death and dementia professional football players have endured from repeated hits to the head — and the N.F.L.’s efforts toward a cover-up — it signed Will Smith to star as one of the first scientists to disclose the problem. It named the film bluntly, “Concussion.”
In the end even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the N.F.L., found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game.
In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league …
Another email on Aug. 1, 2014, said some “unflattering moments for the N.F.L.” were deleted or changed, while in another note on July 30, 2014, a top Sony lawyer is said to have taken “most of the bite” out of the film “for legal reasons with the N.F.L. and that it was not a balance issue.” Other emails in September 2014 discuss an aborted effort to reach out to the N.F.L.
Several Vimeo members whose videos had "pixels" in the title are victims of the latest overly broad DMCA takedown request by Entura International, working on behalf of Sony's summer schlockbuster Pixels. Read the rest