back to article Sony stock slides to 30-year low after record loss

Sony shares dropped to a 30-year low on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today after reporting a record loss of $5.7bn. The Japanese tech goliath predicts the first profit in five years in 2013, but investors seem unconvinced that the company can turn around its TV business and make any inroads into the smartphone market. Its shares …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The curse of the rootkit

    is finally starting to work.

    1. Martijn Otto
      Mushroom

      Re: The curse of the rootkit

      I'd say, they had it coming!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't forget about bludud...

        They paid off the movie studios to force a standard that wasn't finalized down our throats...

      2. DTurkin
        Facepalm

        Re: The curse of the rootkit

        FFS, it's like a bunch of parrots here whenever there is a story about Sony.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      instead of

      design by committee, need to produce the goods we want but still keep missing the boat.

      Remember the atrac walkman.

    3. PyLETS
      Linux

      Not just The curse of the rootkit

      Also how they tried to screw George Hotz over, for helping their customers find new and innovative ways of using their products.

      Sony's problem is they are a schizophrenic company, with the media/content side of the biz determined to make customer copying and innovation difficult, having dominated the consumer electronics side of the biz which needs to make these things easier.

      Best for the shareholders for these 2 sides to agree an amicable divorce and go their separate ways. They are on 2 sides of a wider culture war much too big for Sony to solve.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: The curse of the rootkit

      For the rootkits alone, they deserve to go under.

    5. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: The curse of the rootkit

      I'd like to think the way they removed features from the PS3 has something to do with this. I am still quite pissed off about that, and won't forget it any time soon. Prob won't buy any more Sony kit if i can avoid it.

    6. Ilgaz

      Re: The curse of the rootkit

      Another company would make scandal a PR legend by publicly firing every single manager who is responsible for that scandal and sue them for conspiracy. I, personally believe there was some unexplained stuff went on. It is way too stupid risk to take.

      I think of Apple. They would sure do it. That is why they approach to trillion dollars.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You wonder why..

    when the media prefers to write things like this, yet totally ignoring the news that the PS3 has outsold the Xbox360 for the 4th straight year in a row...

    I wonder who pays the bills (or steves as they are now known...) around here

    1. Anomynous Coward

      Re: You wonder why..

      I guess it would be because selling PS3s hasn't got the company into profit any more than buying one has got you into a triple digit IQ.

      1. LPF
        Thumb Up

        Re: You wonder why..

        You know for a response that funny you should really have put your name to it :)

    2. Fisher39

      Re: You wonder why..

      Probably because the media aren't quite as obsessed with the XBox as you are. To be that blinkered that you see a lump of plastic and silicon that you don't like everywhere you look indicates a need for some serious help

      This is about one of the iconic brands of the 90's and noughties that's in severe danger of going right royally tits up. The XBox isn't relevant to this story - whatever way you look at it Microsoft make enormous profits, Sony don't and that's the story. Why Sony are in deep shit is an interetsting question but one things for sure i that the games consoles conflict is a sideshow

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You wonder why..

      Consoles are usually sold at a loss with the companies making money from game sales. So if you're going to look at profit in relationship to console sales, you need to factor in game & accessory sales. And if they've hit their ROI numbers. I suspect TheReg already has an article crunching the #'s for you...

    4. CHRoNoSS

      Re: You wonder why..

      and for the 4th year in a row MS makes literlly zero money trying to kill sony WHOM also sells at just barely a profit per unit and with the 1st two years of loss per unit well it made no money ...

      ya you wonder how stupid idiots make posts like yours ...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop Shafting Your Vaio Customers

    No video driver updates and you cannot use AMD's generic drivers as those nice people at Sony make AMD blacklist you.

    As above for the realtek sound drivers which are crippled so stereo mix record is deliberately broken.

    Free upgrade to windows 7 from Vista required a £25 handling fee ! WTF is it made from that requires a £25 handling fee, Plutonium ?

    Sony, you took my money then completely shafted this customer. I will never spend another penny with Sony and I hope you lose even more money.

    1. Ogi

      Re: Stop Shafting Your Customers

      Corrected the title for you.

      Sony has royally shafted all their customers. Back in 1992 when minidisc came out, it could have taken the world by storm. Smaller than a tape, CD-quality sound (good enough anyway), can't scratch the disk as it in a case, recordable, even in the field!

      By all intents and purposes it should have taken over from both tape and CD, but noo, Sony had to cripple it with proprietary lockouts, and even go so far to split the format in "Minidisc-data" and "minidisk-audio", and go so far as to prevent people making computer drives that could write minidisk-audio (nobody bothered with minidisc-data as a consequence).

      talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Sony could have owned the media market pre-mp3 (and then had the clout to sustain and perhaps embrace the mp3 revolution). Instead the blew their leg off and continued to stagger on until the late 90's.

      Once again, mp3's came out, rather than embrace them they made their own lossy format (Atrac), but once again cripped it with DRM and you had to use only their windows software (sonicstage was it?) which was a POS like no other (you had to check songs in and out, and if you checked it out 3 times, that was it, you can't listen to it anymore). Buggy as hell.

      So now Sony blew their other leg off, and finally adopted mp3 (long after Apple and others had left them in the dust). Panicking now, they had the wonderful idea of rootkitting your PC if you stuck a Sony CD in there, for god forbid you wanted to rip it to an mp3! They ballsed the mp3 revolution up, so now have to stop you from doing it.

      Great! So now they blew an arm off as well, another arm went with the otherOS and PS3, and well.. quite frankly they've run out of limbs.

      I stopped with the minidiscs, and since the rootkit fiasco refused to pay Sony (and its sister companies) a cent. Forget about the shock of their share price plummeting, I'm amazed they survived this long. I assume it was momentum they built up from a time in the 80's when they built damn good quality hifi and electrical equipment... because most smaller firms would have collapsed years ago from this level of mismanagement and micromanaged freakery.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        ATRAC

        The reason they used this is very simple.

        It is the Minidisc compression algorithm, it is efficient, it works, but as you found the software is not good.

        As to other standards - we all remember the losers, the memory sticks are no better and no worse than SD, just a different format.

        1. Ogi

          Re: ATRAC

          And they already had it :) (After all, it was used in the Minidisc's already). It was their deployment of it that really messed everything up. If they made it as flexible as mp3 (multiple software encoders, published specs, etc...) they may have had some running against mp3 initially. It was for the time a very good lossy compression format, alas they didn't share, mp3 got refined (specifically thanks to the lame guys) and beat it out in quality in the end.

          Instead I remember people hacking out libraries from realmedia encoder (as realplayer apparently used atrac for its audio streaming) and using those to (de|en)code atrac files on PC's. This worked ok, but without the keys needed to digitally encrypt the files prior to transfer to the minidisc (the net-MD concept they finally allowed after mp3 players had already taken off, too little too late really) it still pretty useless. The big advantage is that you could add your ATRAC files directly and have the software not transcode it for you (slowly).

          My point is that Sony had some excellent hardware ideas, it was the execution from the management perspective that messed things up. I think that minidisc could have dominated had they made it as flexible as CD (or hell, they allowed people to "burn" Minidiscs on their PC), but they were so petrified of piracy, they crippled it fatally. People had to record from CD in "real time", and not surprisingly, when the first companies started the mp3-cd concept, the ability to quickly burn multiple albums on your PC to CD blew away Sony's chances.

          1. Ilgaz

            Mp3 would not even exist

            Atrac does sound way better on half of the bandwidth of mp3. If they acted exactly like mp3 guys, the format we're calling mp3 wouldn't exist or its features would be embedded into Atrac. It is IF they called mpeg meeting, documented it and let entire industry use it.

            Forget mp3 lesson, they sure knew why beta (actually better than vhs) failed, vhs had multiple vendor support, beta didn't.

            So, this stupid way of administering the company and its intellectual property exists since 1970s, there is no "genius ceo retired" story.

            Ps: if you look at its spec (especially speed), memory stick is similar story.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: ATRAC

          Hmm downmarked for dissing SonicStage.

          I actually LIKE ATRAC but not the software

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Point of order

        Point of order - ATRAC was the encoding used on minidisc; it wasn't invented to compete with MP3, rather, they already had it (and it was much cheaper to decode, too). Interestingly the format is still in common use in PS3 games; the PS3 can easily decode 512+ simultaneous streams in software, which is fast enough to use for sound effects.

        But yes, Sony has this attitude that says they make the best products so they can afford to alienate customers. Kaz Hirai is not going to kill that attitude, it's the conceit the company is founded on. Sony's ultimate issue is the culture of its corporate HQ, and that is never going to change. The VPs worldwide only rise to the top on account of their acceptance of the Japanese craziness, too, so they're not going to rock the boat, even though most of them would agree in private that Sony's arrogant attitude is a public relations disaster.

        1. Ogi

          Re: Point of order

          I meant it in scope of them offering it running on PC's. At that point the only place you could get an ATRAC encoder was inside the hardware (although I assume somewhere in the deepest darkest depths, they had a software implementation used for those mastered minidiscs, which probably ran on PC's). It would also make sense that after 20+ years of development, Sony would continue to use ATRAC internally, as it is theirs. If they used mp3 they would have to pay for a licence + royalties. Lame is only allowed for research purposes (officially).

          ATRAC was a very good codec, one of the nicest things about it is that you its quality was encoder led. This means that improvements in encoder quality didn't break old decoders. A music file encoded with ATRAC3 (For example) actually sounded better on an ATRAC1 decoder than an ATRAC1 encode would.

          Plus it was energy efficient. My old minidisc player gave me 40 hours of playback from 1 AA battery (60+ hours if I used the internal battery as well). It took a long while until mp3 players caught up with that, and they didn't have the whole issue power draw from the rotating assembly (HD-based ones excepted).

          It had a lot of potential like I said, it was Sony's control-freakery and paranoia about piracy that ruined their chances.

  4. Greg J Preece

    I do hope they sort themselves out. While the company themselves can be completely schizo at times, and can act like assholes, they do make very good kit. They're not the only people I use, but the Sony kit I have bought has never let me down, and tends to be technically superior to the majority of the market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: they do make very good kit

      You missed out the words "used to."

      Many of us used to look no further --- but now I doubt that they have any great advantages except a name, which people will soon forget.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: they do make very good kit

        You missed out the words "used to."

        And also "root".

    2. Greg J Preece
      Flame

      Oops, sorry, clearly I forgot the narrative on this comment thread. I can't recognise a company for making decent tech whilst acting like wankers. I have to hate them unconditionally.

      Grrr, Sony shit, all bad, nothing good, grrr, knuckles bleeding, make mad, grrrrr.

      Morons.

  5. squilookle
    Thumb Down

    They're on my list of businesses I won't give business to at the minute as I think their behaviour in the last few years has been appalling, although no one stays on that list forever because if they did... I wouldn't buy anything, would I?

    Anyway, I hope they survive, mostly because even with the job losses, they employ a lot of people and we don't want any more job losses. I hope they learn to treat their staff and customers better, stop doing stupid things like forcing you to use memory cards that are almost but not quite standard SD cards that cost significantly more, removing advertised features, etc.

    If they're blaming everything but the stuff they have done wrong though, I won't hold my breath.

  6. Bodhi
    WTF?

    How dare you bring common sense and experience into this, this is a Sony bashing story. They did a rootkit don;t you know! A ROOTKIT!

    Well, one of their subsiduaries did, completely without the knowledge of Sony themselves. On a CD 3 people bought. Then they dared to get a bit miffed when someone decided to hack their copy protection machanisms to bits so people could play games without paying for them. This resulted in them removing a not-particularly well advertised feature 6 people cared about, which is shocking. I mean how dare they add loads of useful stuff like LoveFilm / Iplayer etc, 3D a DivX support, then take away the ability to turn it into a crippled Linux box? I mean that's just not on.

    However in the real world I have every confidence they will sort themselves out. They still make some of the best kit out there. A lot fo the kit in my place is from Sony, and problems with it have been minimal. Any time I have had a fault Sony have sorted it no questions asked. It also tends to place nicely with non-Sony kit, which is more than I can say for the sole piece of Fruitware I have.....

    1. King Jack
      FAIL

      How dare they...

      You forgot to mention them going to court to get the ip address of everyone who looked at a web site. Not downloading software, just looking. Their reaction was over the top. And many people do care about removed features. Have to read their latest EULA for the playstation? If you click yes (which allows you to play new games) it means you cannot sue them for any wrong doing in the future. So it looks like they are adding bullshit to the new things on the PS3.

      I and everyone I know will NEVER buy another Sony product. Maybe after they raise from the ashes I'll give them another look.

      1. Bodhi

        Re: How dare they...

        You mean the terms in the EULA which are also in the EULA for Xbox Live, T-Mobile, Vodafone, etc etc. But I assume it's OK for those other companies to do it but not Sony because......

        I'm personally happy to keep buying Sony stuff as personally, I haven't had a problem with anything I've bought from them. Neither has anyone else I know for that matter, they all seem to buy it for the same reason I do...it's damn good kit. Feel free to think different if you like, but I'd say you'd be missing out on a lot of quality products due to reasoning which is quite frankly, nonsense.

        1. King Jack

          Re: How dare they...

          It's not ok for any company to try to remove your rights by forcing you to agree to EULA in order to continue to use a product. I don't do business with any of the companies you mention. I don't think EULAs will stand up in a court of law any way, as it is impossible to say who (clicked) agreed to it.

          I'm glad you support Sony. But I can't cannot think of any other company that people hate so much. Word of mouth is stronger than fanboism.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How dare they...

        I, for one, not only looked at the web site, but downloaded everything I could find there.

        Shortly after I threw out my 1972 Sony TV, still in working order despite my 15 mo. old daughter pitching it on its back in about 1974; and also resolved never to buy another Sony product. Other brands have for long been as good or better at the same or lower price.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Bodhi - Those 6 people who cared

      about a not-particularly well advertised feature were paying customers. Oh, and if I'm not mistaking, one of the six was US Army.

      You are free to love Sony but no honest company would come back and cripple a product you already paid for, ever.

      1. Ilgaz

        Nobody blames thieves

        Lets hate them for Linux removal but lets not forget their reason (or excuse): crackers abused it to pirate games. Those assholes abused it. It is always missing from comments/ stories. Linux has been the victim here and there was no way you can hand a binary "secret" drm key to FSF/GNU to install Linux. It would be absurd. So, Linux gone.

        It isn't like Sony ceo woke up one day and decided to hate Linux. As media can't say the true reason (or freetards flame), some suicidal guys like me should fill the blanks.

        Piracy was the reason why Amiga died too.

        1. David Hicks
          Flame

          Re: Ilgaz - Nobody blames thieves

          Nobody blames the theives because they removed linux *before* piracy was even possible.

          George Hotz demo'd a proof of concept hack that required interfering with the hardware to make it 'glitch', under PS3 Linux. There was no piracy at that point. Sony removed linux, then the firmware *without* linux was cracked and piracy enabled.

          People like you get flamed because you have your facts and your timeline wrong.

          'Hacking' was an extremely flimsy excuse for removing the capability, not a good reason at all.

        2. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: Nobody blames thieves

          That might be the excuse, but Sony was selling PS3 below cost, and making it up on games.

          People were buying batches of PS3s and networking them into low cost high power number crunching systems. They were not buying games, they were costing Sony money, so they had to die.

      2. Ilgaz

        Also one of Those 6 people

        Mark Russinovich of nt internals, a windows kernel hacker so good that Microsoft acquired his company.

        Lack of luck? Put win rootkit to the CD of the band he is fan of? Did Sony really, really investigate bmg boss? Or what's next? Put .pwn.sh to a weird Finn band CD and gift

        it to Linus? :)

  7. wowfood
    WTF?

    Record low eh?

    This can result in one of two things happening

    1: With Kazuo Hirai in charge, he might actually have the brains and the bals to turn the company around. This will lead them to contineud profits which will grow and grow.

    2: No matter what he does the company is doomed and will surely die. OR get bought out by another company since they have a load of patents..

    So my options are

    1: Buy shares, wait for their profits to go up and up and become rich

    2: Buy shares, wait for them to get bought out, and have my shared bought off me for more than they're worth.

    3: They dont' get bought out and my stocks become paper.

    ... To invest, or not to invest, that is the question.

    1. Ogi

      I think 1 or 2 can happen, but not 3. If the worst comes to the worst they'd get bought out eventually. As witnessed by the number of fanboys, Sony brand name still has a lot of monetary value. They also hold patents and have some good technologies (e.g. Cell processor). They earn good money in non-consumer space in specialist areas (supercomputers, embedded systems, DSP processing, etc...)

      The question is will the stock go up or down before 1 and 2 apply? I honestly cannot say. Depends on how much of a loss you're willing to take, and how confident you are in judging the firms potential for future performance! :)

      Good luck! (Alas, I'm not allowed to invest, so I just get to watch)

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Like electrohome

        Even if all that's left of the once great company is the name, they will sell that to someone to stick on cheap crap from China.

  8. Turtle

    I really don't think that the rootkit fiasco or the PS3/Linux matter are all that important as reasons for Sony's predicament. People reading this site might care but that means nothing compared to the numbers of people who used to buy Sony gear, and no longer do.

    A year or two ago I was given a Sony mp3 player as a gift, which was about a $90 item. It came with some sort of proprietary cable (don't recall what is was for, exactly, it was required) and when I looked at the cost of buying a replacement cable, I found the retail price was... $70! So naturally the mp3 was returned, and a player from a reputable manufacture was bought in its place.

    1. Jean-Luc Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @Turtle

      True words that.

      Geeks like us aside, the simple fact is that Sony had a long-standing policy to make things as inconvenient and pricey as possible for its customers. That means non-standard hardware, strange file formats, convoluted EULAs and DRM-crippleware. To be honest, it might be their engineers with not-invented-here syndrome, not just the marketing suits. Also, absorbing piracy-obsessed media companies is hereby shown to be risky for hardware folks.

      Sony seems to be wisening up lately, but I don't know if it will be in time for them to move back up from also-ran. The only hardware I have from them is a PS3, which I am happy enough with (50+ page mandatory OS-update EULAs aside). But they are definitely at the tail end of my prospective manufacturer list for new purchases.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Turtle

      Like Apple, except much less successful.

  9. JayUK
    Mushroom

    Revenue of Lik Sang

    http://www.lik-sang.com

    24th of 2006 - Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited

    Furthermore, Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a shame, but it's not unexpected

    I bought a lovely little midi unit from Sony, cost me an arm and a leg. Sleek, simple, no bells and whistles and no flashing lights. And of course, being Sony it went tits up inside of six months.

    Sent it back for repairs, and heard nothing for weeks and weeks and weeks...

    Chased them up and it turns out that they'd had it in, fixed it, and then SOLD IT to someone else. They replaced it "like for like", and gave me some ridiculous piece of shit "DJ!" stereo thing that had more flashing lights and bells and whistles than an embarrassed Christmas tree. Absolute piece of shit. And about three times the size of the previous unit. I only accepted it cause it was clear that there was no chance of getting a genuinely equivalent unit back from them. It was so bad it might as well have had Amstrad written on the front of it.

    It only lasted six months before it failed too. And it was crap for all that time too.

    I was fobbed off, and I won't forget that in a hurry. Sony - you have lost trust. Perhaps you should look at Disruptive Technology... Your customers will do things with your product you never dreamed of, and that will only make you stronger.

  11. Luke McCarthy

    Conflict of interest

    A company shouldn't do technology and media at the same time... the two sides are at odds with each other.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: A company shouldn't do technology and media at the same time

      Why? Apple does it pretty good since iPod era. Well, it doesn't do media, it mostly sells/distributes, but Sony BMG doesn't create music either, it just "helps" musicians to do this. Same with books and games.

  12. The Unexpected Bill
    Unhappy

    Once upon a time...

    There was a time when you could buy a Sony product (no matter what) just as a matter of course and be pretty safe in knowing that you'd get good value for the money. A lot of companies would do anything to have that kind of reputation. So what happened? Bad management? Cost pressures?

    I recently picked up a Sony table radio from the late 1970s. It still works well, looks good and sounds good. The internal build quality is very high. I could go on and on about similar Sony products spanning many years, from cordless phones to television sets. Most are still around and still giving good service.

    If anything, it seems like they started to falter in the 1990s and the whole rootkit-on-music-CD was just the capstone to a series of less than stellar products and services.

    I've got my doubts that Sony will fail, given their diversity. They do need to get their products back up to where they used to be, though.

    1. Ilgaz

      Industry says

      Getting into media industry killed them. That is end of 80s. If you follow timeline, it seems valid.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      @unexpected Bill

      Yes.

      I was loyal to Sony for Analogue electronics: clever, straightforward, mini hi-fi, Trinitron CRT tvs, a car radio/cassette player. All solid, reliable, high quality sound (& picture). Then came the first Sony Tv with teletext/viewdata/whatever it was called that week. I had to have 4 before I got one that worked. They argued all the time that there was nothing wrong.

      Then the removal men dropped a 1 year old telly. It was 4 years before the insurers returned it, because of problems with Sony supplying parts.

      I'd stopped believing in them long before the rootkit fiasco, although that was when I stopped buying anything, already annoyed by a lock-in policy that covered cameras, audio players, etc.

      They made their name with good quality affordable well supported products, Once they had the name they dropped the other 3 things. And I dropped them.

      1. DTurkin
        WTF?

        Re: @unexpected Bill

        Yeah, evil Sony made the removal men drop your TV.

        1. squilookle
          Facepalm

          Re: @unexpected Bill

          @DTurkin: I'm genuinely not sure if you're being sarcastic or didn't read his post properly. He's not saying Sony made the removal men drop the TV, he's complaining it took them 4 years to provide replacement parts needed to fix it. That is pretty crap service...

  13. Richard Cartledge

    In 2012 - Whether it's laptop drivers, TV or smartphone, it's all about the software stupid, and the Japs just can't do software well at all.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We might have something interesting here

    The first big corporation becoming a victim of DRM. Love it!

  15. Wintermute

    I'm so old that

    I remember when SONY was cool.

  16. Highlander

    Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

    Let's see if we can wrap this up in 3 paragraphs shall we?

    Rootkit - Sony BMG, not Sony corporation, makes a true stupid move because they haven't got the first clue about the implications of the DRM software that they have been sold by a British company. When those implications become painfully clear they recall all the affected CDs and destroy all the 3 million unsold discs with the pernicious software on it. They issue a quick fix to help remove the offending DRM, which turns out to be insecure itself, and then finally they get it right and remove it. This all happened within 6 months of them acquiring the DRM software BTW, so it's not like they sold this stuff for years and did nothing to correct it. The decisions with respect to XCP and the whole DRM on CD fiasco were entirely local to Sony BMG and the 100,000 other employees of Sony didn;t have a clue it was happening, and I suspect some of those 100,000 might even have been affected by the XCP software themselves. Of course this happened some 8 years ago and Sony corporation not only recalled the CDs and made some restitution, they also recognized it was wrong.

    Sony did not demand the IP addresses of anyone to do with anything. Their lawyers did. It's not a technical distinction it's a huge distinction. The IP addresses were requested by Sony's lawyers so that they could be used to determine how many people that had viewed GeoHots published information actually were in the jurisdiction of the court. that was the only purpose that the information could serve. The list of addresses was never given to Sony, nor could it have been. The ip addresses themselves are hardly a private piece of information and do not contain any personally identifying information in any case. As usual the media and ill-informed fanbois who still have a rootkit stuck halfway up their nether regions jumped up and down and waved their hands n the air without bothering to look at the scope of request, the limitations imposed by the court or the purpose of the request in the first place.

    I always love it when people say that launching the PS3 at $600 was somehow an offense worthy of putting people out of a job. First of all, the PS3 debuted at $500, not $600, get that through your thick skulls please. Secondly, the build cost of the least expensive PS3 at the time of launch was approximately $850. So at the launch prices Sony was losing anything up to $400 per unit (about $350 per 20GB system) sold. Sounds to me like that launch price was quite a gift to consumers that were getting a $1000 system for half the price. My, how totally offensive it was of them to do that.

    What's that? You want to talk about their lack of security on PSN? OK, so let me ask a few questions before we break into that discussion... Was the PSN hack the largest data breach ever? No, it wasn't. Were passwords stored in plain text (as often alleged by ill-informed morons)? No, they were not. Were Credit Card numbers and verification codes stolen from PSN? No, there is no indication that the CC processing systems were penetrated. 1 old development database was plundered at SEO that had a small number of expired card numbers on it, but that's about it. besides the CC database was encrypted. Did Sony take an unconscionable amount of time to reveal the hack? No, they didn't within 48 hours of confirming there was an attack they issued a public statement that they had been attacked, within about another 48 hours they issued a statement based on the preliminary third party analysis that they could not find any reason to believe that credit card information was stolen, but advised out of an "abundance of caution" that people check their accounts anyway. It did not take weeks or even months for Sony to come forward with this information. Nor did Sony stint on the counter measures used to protect customers since they shut down their entire network to ensure the security of their customers. Ah, but let's not let facts get in the way of accusing Sony of mistreating customers data and having no security...

    What? You think that there is still more? Because you don;t like their phones they should fail and people should be out of a job? Really? Because I'm pretty sure that the folks working at Sony did not mean to offend you so mightily by not being the ones to deliver you an iPhone.

    Oh, wait, I know, you were one of the 10 people world wide outside of the USAF and a couple of academic establishments using Linux on a PS3. Nasty Sony, imagine trying to protect their PS3 against pirates and hackers. Why they should have issued an optional firmware that maintained the security of the PS3 by optionally removing Linux. that way you would have had the choice of removing Linux and staying on the PSN, or keeping Linux and leaving PSN for the moment. Oh, hang on they did do that and you *did* have the choice. And as it happens, Sony was absolutely damned well right considering that Linux was used as a vector of attack which ultimately broke through the hypervisor and beyond.. almost as if Sony was trying to protect their system against security threats wasn't it?

    Yeah, Betamax! and don't forget Mini-disc. Those bastards at Sony obviously had it coming for producing those those products. Oh, let's not forget BluRay. How exactly was developing a superior high definition video format for the home an offensive action? Good grief they sod their main BluRay player at a huge loss for years, is that forcing it down your throats? You had a choice, buy or do not buy. Not to mention the fact that BluRay isn;t Sony proprietary technology, there is a whole industry group behind it that includes everyone except Toshiba. Although Since Toshiba failed to spoil the Bluray party with their HD-DVD proprietary format, Toshiba might have rejoined the BluRay group again.

    See, this Sony hatred really is odd to me. I think it's interesting that the real Sony hate started in 2005, at about the same time as the BluRay/HD-DVD struggle started, and about the same time as the Xbox 360 fell into the market. It's almost as if on cue there was an increase in Sony hate in the year before PS3 arrived. almost like it was orchestrated by a group that just didn;t want the PS3, or Sony to do well... With a PR gift like the BMG rootkit it was pretty easy going for that movement of hate. What amazes me is just how many people really buy into the Sony hate without really having any objective reasons for doing so.

    1. senti

      Re: Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

      Your wall of text would be much more interesting if you had any idea what you're talking about.

      Unfortunately, that wall of text looks like a product of 100 monkeys hitting the keyboard.

      I really liked the "it was not Sony, it was Sony's lawyers" part.

      1. DTurkin
        FAIL

        Re: Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

        Yeah, it's much easier to be an anti-Sony Fanboy, it requires less thought.

        I don't know why this site in particular attracts some of the more inane comments concerning Sony.

    2. tom dial Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

      I thought well of Sony until their obtuse management let go the rootkit. I still like my PS3, which hasn't had a firmware upgrade to disable OtherOS; and I still run Yellow Dog Linux on it from time to time. When they strong armed NetFlix to disable the DVD software load for streaming, I bought a Samsung - not Sony - network enabled BD player, although I still use the PS3 to play DVD and BD discs. When they took their action against George Hotz, I resolved never to buy another of their products, which by then had little left to recommend them beyond excessive price for a name that no longer indicates above average design and build quality.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

      @Highlander

      I am not your "usual anti-Sony fanboi", but it cannot escape my notice that until late last year, anything on Youtube that was copyrighted by Sony would refuse to play, issuing a message to the effect that I wasn't allowed to view it based on the country I live in.

      Well, I can view those now, but it is surely no coincidence that the law got changed in my country so that even if you have no TV or radio in your home, you are forced to buy a TV and radio licence if you wish to have an internet connection. That doesn't hurt me personally, but I know quite a few folks it does hurt. It isn't cheap either,

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Giant Bucket 'O Fuck-You-SONY

      Sony stereo - still works great.

      Sony 300-CD changer - still works great.

      Sony VAIO netbookish-thing (PCG-161L) - HD died right after one year warranty expired.

      PS/2 - still works great.

      PS/3 - still works, though less-great.

      Sony VAIO big-screen laptop - still works great; P.O.S. BIOS a disappointment, exterior lid plastic has abraded and now looks like shit, just from being carried in my padded, designed-for-laptops-backpack.

      So why my anti-SONY-rage?

      http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-find.pl?mdl=PCG-161L&PRODTYPE=32,33,63,71,7,102,26,80,72,44,55,84,74,27,57,61,108,115,109,103,89,10,113,35,78,48,77,106,29,50,39,64,114,41,12,58,52,81,60,45,66,73,101,76,86,62,54,67,70,68,2,17,1,116,88,100,110,82,25,28,83,112,59,69,49,24,104,53,79,22,42,46,13,105,6,85,3,36,51,9,111,47,38,4,34,37,43,5

      Product Information PCG161L

      Only the following information is currently available for the PCG161L.

      Manuals Not currently posted for this model.

      Specs Not currently posted for this model.

      Warranty Card Limited Warranty for VAIO Products Summary

      (The drivers are no longer available for this model.)

      I bought a brand-new PS/2 specifically to run Linux via their special kit, but Sony yanked the kit off the market, just after I'd bought the PS/2, but before I could buy the kit.

      The PS/3 came out. I read about this cool OTHEROS feature. I checked carefully that no external hardware was required to use it. I bought a new PS/3 specifically to run Linux on and mess about with CELL programming. I got it running Ubuntu. Sony yanked the OTHEROS feature with a firmware update.

      Sony is earning the hate they are getting. They earn it by their fuck-you-Mr/Ms-Customer attitude, which they exhibit in so many ways.

      As for the anti-piracy OtherOS-removal-excuse I've seen posted, I'm sure you'd be unhappy with Sony if they put "the boot" (car immobiliser) on your auto and told you it was "to prevent pirates from hot-wiring your car, crashing it through the front window of a record shop, and stealing a bunch of Sony-intellectual-property CDs/DVDs."

      1. Ramazan

        Re: Sony Picturebook PCG161L (PCG-C1VP?)

        Sony used to make great kit - PCG-U1, UX series, C1 series, U3 and U101. They don't anymore... And by the way, UX computers tend to die in time either due to screen or motherboard failure (reminds me of Fujitsu MPG series HDDs).

    5. 4ecks
      Go

      Re: Ah, the usual anti-Sony fanbois are out in force.

      Main point from your post - "You had a choice, buy or do not buy."

      My choice is to not buy Sony branded items, not even the £2.49 CD's at Lidl. It may seem irrational to you, but it is MY choice & MY money, and I won't give it to a company that I have no trust in.

  17. b166er

    I agree with all the railing at Sony, they deserve it.

    Regarding nVidia/AMD drivers for Sony, I discovered this when I upgraded a Sony PC (not mine) from Vista to 7. No nVidia driver from Sony and the stock nVidia driver wouldn't install because it said it wasn't the correct driver for the GPU.

    I added the HWID and description to the inf according to a blog somewhere on the web and voila! The driver installed.

    Fuck you Sony!

    As far as I'm aware, every single Reg article about Sony (certainly in recent memory) has ended with comments expressing exactly the same sentiment. There seems to be a unanimous opinion that their arrogance is just unbearable from a consumer point of view.

    For me it was them forcing Lik-Sang out of business that sealed their fate in my mind.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony. Potentially Damned either way.

    As per a few people here, I held Sony in high regard and was on the verge of buying a mini-laptop, an aibo robodog and a projector from them in the early noughties (Year 2000 work FTW!). Unfortunately an experience with a £330 Sony DVD player (13 months old, under 20 discs played needing a new laser assembley at a cost of £105) put paid to those plans.

    They really have to make a choice...become the high quality company that they were, with high profit items (they may have taken a step towards this with their 4K projector IMO) or become another "stack them high sell them cheap" company. What they cant do is sell junk at quality prices as that will just alienate them from their buyers. They also have to stop alienating their customers by pulling these crazy DRM/inbuilt obsolescence/rootkit stunts.

    Personally, I think they could be damned either way. The damage to their quality name has probably already been done and they will find it tough going trying to compete with the el-cheapo brands.

  19. heyrick Silver badge

    An idea

    Publish an SDK, document the APIs, stop treating hackers and customers like shit, and hope it isn't too late.

    Some Sony kit is pretty decent, it's the attitude that sucked.

  20. Brezhnev's Shadow
    Mushroom

    where to start

    FFS Sony, here's a lesson from history - Grundig! Just don't, OK. In their case though, seems the Turks rescued them but they were awfully close to generic-rebadging oblivion....

    Better to wig out and buy some wild-tech startups -for the tech, not the patents- and push the tech as far as humanly possible and beyond, at least folks will remember "those crazy Sony guys" fondly!

    Embrace-extend-supernova!

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Grundig?

      "Close to" generic-rebadging oblivion????

      Close to???

  21. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Too late for most people

    Sony used to be special in analogue days, but those were long ago.

  22. Fihart

    not beyond redemption

    Perhaps just rose tinted memories but I won't forget that Sony replaced a damaged front fascia for an amplifier by getting one from Japan and charging (as I recall) just £12 all in.

    In fact, I presently listen to a Sony MP3 player -- cheaper than an iPod and no vile iTunes to contend with. .

  23. Ramazan
    WTF?

    _Bodhi_ haven't had a problem with Sony

    I had. With UX380n. Motherboard died after warranty period had ended, of course, but why the fsck anyway? It's pretty expensive kit, but not very well designed, it appears. Also, its USB port is underpowered and I messed up several DVD+R blanks using it with LG and Samsung burners. Why, Sony? Was it so hard to implement USB spec properly? Also: firmware for UX's fingerprint scanner is non-standard, custom made for Sony with incompatible interface; EDGE modem is locked; front/back camera switch doesn't work in Linux, Intel Core Solo's VT bit is disabled and there's no way to turn it on in BIOS; etc

  24. Ramazan

    Kaz Hirai replaces Howard Stringer

    http://kotaku.com/5898263/sony-firing-folks-thanks-to-modern-medicine

  25. Christian Berger

    Sony used to have a good repulation

    They were one of the companies who let their business products "bleed into" their consumer lines. I think they even had things like a TV-set which was just a low-end professional monitor with an added tuner.

    Betamax, Sony's most popular consumer format (which doesn't say a lot) was just a scaled down U-Matic. U-Matic was aimed as a format for the budget conscious user who wanted to carry around his VCR, in case you don't know.

    You always got the idea that a Sony product was just a bit better than something cheap. This may have been true in the analogue age, however when they switched to digital, they failed to grasp what this would mean. A Sony DVD or Blu-Ray Player cannot have a better picture or sound than its cheap Chinese version. If Sony would have been smart, they would have targeted the technical user and added a networked media player which can access NFS and SMB shares and auto discover them, playing as many formats as humanly possible. They would have made the NetMD Players to support as many formats as possible given the constraints and being as open as possible.

  26. Tristan Young

    Sony - Abysmal failure is their own fault

    Perhaps if Sony would stop screwing its customers....

    While I love my PS3, it is certainly a cheap piece of crap. The first one I had failed thanks to Sony's bad computer engineering and overall product design. The constant erosion of our legal rights through forced changes to their terms of service, and the elimination of core features from the product didn't help me feel like Sony had it out for users - never a good thing in business. Make peace with your customers, not war, you idiots!

    I won't touch their TV's, stereos, speakers, desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone computers, or anything else Sony. I've pretty much stopped buying movies and music that are under the Sony label.

    When they stop trying to screw us, and when they start putting out quality again, then maybe..... naw, screw Sony. They will never change.

    Sony - losing customers hand over fist, because that's what they're best at.

  27. Ilgaz

    Basic example

    I read a lot of comments on Android market posted by experia phone owners simply saying "it doesn't work" under popular software, games.

    Thousands of engineers work at Sony who has access to everything. Bandwidth, devices, blue prints. Wouldn't be nice if a _single_ engineer got curious and press "install" to see what didn't work and why?

    Believe or not, they don't. Too large? It isn't the issue, there are independent developers who gets mail from Microsoft and Apple in regards to their crash reports if they made a very obvious mistake.

  28. CHRoNoSS

    rumor time

    WHOM would buy SONY?

    NO really? Microsoft? Apple? Google? One of the surviving hollywood houses?

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