Subject: General Tech | July 8, 2011 - 04:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thunderbolt, sony, pci-e, optical
See that blue port that looks like USB 3.0? It actually has some optical prowess up its sleeve
Sony is well known among technology enthusiasts as being a company that loves to take the proprietary route; however, in a rather paradoxical twist Sony's new optical port on the VAIO Z did not start proprietary. In fact, it was only made proprietary after Intel and Apple changed the design of the connection that became named Thunderbolt.
Both Thunderbolt and the new Sony connection are based on Light Peak, the optical standard championed by Intel that promised up to 100Gbps optical connections over 100 meter cables (though this was only in lab conditions). OEMs influenced Intel into postponing the optical variant of Light Peak in favor of a cheaper electric variant, which is what today's Thunderbolt implementation is. Thunderbolt uses an electric connection over copper using active cables to promises 10Gbps (20Gbps bidirectional) transfers. The original design for the connector for Light Peak was a connection that looked like a USB connection and would be able to support USB connections as well as accommodate the Light Peak cables. However, Apple and Intel decided a few months before what would become Thunderbolt launched to change the connector to a mini-Display Port connection.
The Sony connection on the other hand, employs the USB-like connector, and is capable of handling USB 2.0, USB 3.0 devices as well as the Sony VAIO Z's Power Media Dock which uses the optical connection that is "based on Light Peak," according to This Is My Next. While Thunderbolt devices will not be able to plug into the VAIO Z's new optical connector and Sony has not released any specifications on what it is capable of, the inclusion of a Blu Ray drive, lots of I/O options in the form of VGA, DVI, HDMI, one USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and a discrete 1GB AMD HD 6650M graphics card the connection (whatever its specific transfer capabilities) seems to be no slouch in the transfer speed(s) department.
This Is My Next has the full story on how Sony's (now) proprietary connection joined the companies lineup of proprietary technology despite Sony's efforts to use an non propriety standard (surprisingly) which you can read here. It is certainly an interesting tale of karma and surprise. What are your thoughts on the new connection?
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 19, 2011 - 12:22 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: tablet, sony, S2, S1
We are going to see quite a few Android-based tablets come out in the next few months as the flood gates open for tablet creators. We have been reporting on strong rumors have been pointing to Amazon stepping in the tablet space to extend their Kindle portfolio this fall. Amazon is generally very successful when they decide to step in the market, yet that did not deter Sony from preparing to dive in to the tablet space as well. Sony are preparing to launch a 9-inch tablet and a dual screen 5.5-inch tablet in the autumn and to build hype they have released a video ad campaign to build hype for that event.
This “Two Will” Pass
As you can tell from watching the video, it says little about the product except that they slide really quickly, absolutely love someone, cast ominous shadows, and can kill action figures with lightbulb mind bullets. Sony did mention that this is just the first episode of five so it is possible that their later videos may be more informative. However, if you just want to see what an Echochrome 2-esque city has to do with Android tablet then be sure to watch the next four commercials.
Subject: General Tech | May 6, 2011 - 09:20 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sony, Internet, Data Breach, Anonymous
As Sony analyzed the forensic data of the recent PSN/SOE attack, they discovered a text file named "Anonymous" and containing the phrase "We are legion," according to Network World. As a result of this, Sony even went so far as to accuse the hacker group as the responsible party in hacking the Playstation Network (and stealing customers' information) in a letter to the U.S. congress.
Anonymous responded to the implications brought by Sony today. Network World reports that Anonymous has stated they were not involved in the attack and that "others performed the attack with the intent of making Anonymous look bad." Based on a press release by the hacker group, it's prior victims had motive to irreparably defame the group in the public eye. Anonymous stated that they have never been involved in credit card theft. Further, they claim to be an "ironically transparent movement," and had they truly been behind the attack they would have claimed responsibility for their actions.
The press release goes on to state that "no one who is actually associated with our movement would do something that would prompt a massive law enforcement response." They further claim that the world's standard fare of Internet thieves would have invested interest in making Sony and law enforcement agencies believe it was Anonymous to throw police off of their trail.
The hacker group names such former victims as Palantir, HBGary, and the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce of being organizations that would like to discredit Anonymous. "Anonymous will continue its work in support of transparency and individual liberty; our adversaries will continue their work in support of secrecy and control," they state in their press release "we are anonymous."
As Anonymous, Sony, and spectators the world over debate, the affected public continues to wait for the true identies of the hackers involved in stealing 77 milion Sony customers' private information to come to light.
Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2011 - 09:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sony, PSN
Hackers really do not seem to have learned the old adage of not kicking someone when they are down as Sony has learned that hackers have obtained even more personal data from the popular gaming console's multi-player service. It is believed that 12,700 non-US customer credit card numbers and expiration dates along with 10,700 direct debit bank account numbers of a number of customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Spain were possibly stolen. The credit and debit card information was included in an older SOE database from 2007. Joystiq has claimed in a recent update that Sony has informed them that this information was obtained during the initial attack and was not a new attack. There is a minuscule amount of hope for those customers in knowing that the security codes located on the back of their cards were not compromised. Unfortunately, there are still many transactions that can occur without needing to input the security code.
"Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems. . . . Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password." (sic)
Introduction and Design
Tech journalists are finicky beasts. A few years ago we were washing netbooks in praise, declaring that they promised a new era of accessibility and portability for the PC. But now the tables have turned – tablets have usurped the throne of “cool new thing” and tech news is all too eager to declare the netbook little more than a passing trend, soon to be booted out of the market by glorious touchscreen slates.
The truth, however, is not as extreme has the headlines suggest. Netbooks are another boring reality that won’t be going anywhere soon, despite declarations of death and injury. But I can understand why they’ve lost the limelight. The improvements made to netbooks over the last three years have been incremental at best. While battery life has gradually grown, performance has barely moved. Intel, lacking competition from AMD, has had little reason to improve its Atom processors.
Now AMD has finally brought an Atom competitor to the market in the form of its Fusion APUs. We already reviewed one laptop powered by Fusion, the Toshiba Satellite C655. That laptop, however, was equipped with AMD’s single-core E-240. It provided performance roughly on par with a dual-core Atom system we tested in 2010, but ultimately fell a bit shot of our expectations.