The Mighty Sony & How it Falls Under The Weight of the Hack Fiasco & Years of Poor Management of it’s Assets

The following text to the right in block quotes is an article from The Verge, which the original can be found here. I responded below the quoted article underneath the Sony Google Glass Picture. To the Left is a info-graphic covering the Sony Hack, with a clickable link to a Washington Post article: The Sony Pictures Hack, Explained.

Sony announced last night that it’s spinning off its audio and video divisions, much like it spun off its television division last year. That won’t mean much right now; Sony still displayed interesting new Android-powered TVs at CES, and we’re sure to see new crazy high-end Walkmans and camcorders with Sony branding from the newly independent AV division as well.

But the long-term reality is far more stark: after years of promising “One Sony,” CEO Kaz Hirai appears to be systematically breaking the company up for sale. The VAIO PC division was sold last year and just announced its first hybrid laptops as an independent company, and Hirai told investors that he has to consider spinning off the smartphone business and possibly selling the TV business outright.

According to Hirai, that leaves Sony with three main businesses at its core :

  1. Sony Pictures Entertainment, the hit-or-miss Hollywood studio that just fired Amy Pascal after being hacked to bits at the end of last year.
  2. The PlayStation division, which has so far won the next-gen console race with the PS4 but yet to define a clear mobile strategy; PlayStation Mobile is all but ignored, and the Vita is a beautifully noble failure.
  3. Selling image sensors to Apple for the iPhone.

You read that last one correctly: Sony’s last closely held core electronics business is image sensors, and it’s mostly because Apple uses them in the iPhone. (Sony also supplies sensors for various other high-end phones, but Samsung uses its own chips in the Galaxy S5, and no other company comes close to selling as many phones as Apple and Samsung.) If Apple decides to switch sensor suppliers — or, perhaps more likely, build its own — the third leg of that stool gets kicked right out.

 

If you’re a PlayStation fan, this is kind of fun: after years of Sony neglecting gaming, former PlayStation head Hirai is ruthlessly eliminating every other division at the company. Revenge! Revenge!

 

For everyone else, this is kind of depressing — Sony was among the first great consumer electronics companies, and now it’s falling apart because smartphones and software completely subsumed almost every device in its catalog. Sony’s phones are generally excellent now, but haven’t seen nearly the kind of traction Samsung’s phones have seen. Sony also made the cardinal error of trying to foist garbage software and services on people. That error is slowly being corrected; most Sony devices now run basically clean versions of Android, and Sony just killed its in-house music streaming service in favor of Spotify. But it’s too little, too late: the customers Sony needs have been buying Samsung products for too long now.

This is sad because Sony HDTV’s & 4K HDTV’s are amazing. Their Z line of Smartphones are stellar, and their Sony Alpha A7 Series Cameras​ are pretty much all the rage & the best thing in Photography right now besides RED Cameras​ & Black Magic 4K​ Cameras.  Continue reading “The Mighty Sony & How it Falls Under The Weight of the Hack Fiasco & Years of Poor Management of it’s Assets”

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The Good The Bad, The Ugly: What Sony Needs to Do to Compete

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A Response to this Article by The Fool << read this first

As much as I don’t like some of the things that Sony is doing, I do like and appreciate other things that they are doing. They used to be doing what Samsung is now doing, but with Samsung as such a behemoth giant, and Apple as an elitist – this is what really works strategist, Sony has been lagging a lot in terms of ROI.

One of the things that I noticed while working with Sony, is that their management structure is really weird. It takes them a long time to get out of stuff, because they feel loyal to the people who have been with them when they were on top.

Getting out of Vaio was ultimately, in my opinion a good thing for Sony.

Here are some of the areas in technology where i’d like to see Sony Specialize in and excel at:  Continue reading “The Good The Bad, The Ugly: What Sony Needs to Do to Compete”

(REPOST/Comment): The one thing Apple must do to keep me as an iPhone customer I’ve been a faithful iPhone owner for over five years, but unless the next model has this feature, I’m switching to Android.

This is a response to some of the comments in the post on CNET :

The one thing Apple must do to keep me as an iPhone customer

I’ve been a faithful iPhone owner for over five years, but unless the next model has this feature, I’m switching to Android.

Here are the comments i’m responding to:

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Whenever someone talks about copycatting it’s this bizarre idea, that the company that they are copying came up with all these notions all by themselves. Samsung didn’t invent the stylus. I think that copycatting, or manipulating technology out there in the marketplace, or soon to be out there in the marketplace and making it your own is a good frack’n idea.

Android heads always wanna act like iPhone is “copying” their screen size in one conversation, and then beat them up for not changing their screen size in another conversation. If Apple came out with an SD card slot, they’d be copy catting Android, even though many products use an SD card slot. I’m not saying they will ever do this – we even see Android losing the amount of SD card compatible products in their line. Samsung and Sony do seem to be two companies pushing SD or micro SD card support.

I switched away from my iPhone 4, being very much an Apple Fan Boy, and have now “gone Google”. With a Chromebook Pixel, and an HTC One, i can tell you that there are some very good things about the Android system, and there are some bad things. There are some things hardware wise that Apple just does really well at. And some applications are only found on iOS or on the Mac Store; EVEN STILL.

Try finding a journaling app that beats out Day One. Not gonna happen. If you do find it on Android or on Chrome, please let me know.

After Steve Jobs died a number of things happened to Apple. They went even more corporate than normal. They are concerned about maximizing their earnings rather than making the best tech experience out there.

I’d like to see Apple start opening up their eco-system the way that Google is doing, so that it can be licensed through other carriers. Imagine being able to have and pay for apple type apps on WP or Android, the way Google does.

ImageI joined the Android side (the darkside) because in the long run i want to support open-source environments. I see Google getting along with the other kids in the sandbox, and offering data that is true and as accurate as possible. I know that Android isn’t as open-source as it used to be, but it really is something that works with other competitors well.

I’m really hoping that Photoshop goes cloud-based the way that Office 365 has. I would like to see the same for Final Cut Pro, or Sony Vegas. But, the truth is – these companies are fighting for market-shares in a fierce competitive environment that hinges on stock investments, and technologies of the future. Don’t get pissed at others for picking a different brand. it’s just lame.
Things i would love to see on the new iPhone5S:

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  1. Widgets. Bring freak’n widgets. Make the icons move! The home-screen is looking really played out, and coating it with this sheer glassy paint is not going to do it justice. You’ve been making lots of money Apple, selling the same old thing with a different processor, and a different box, you’ve got to double down, and re-think the whole system.
  2. Open up. Play nice with others. There is this ridiculous idea that everyone has to work with Apple products, but Apple products don’t have to work with PC or ChromeOS, or Android, or WP. Stop being asses, and open up. Or shut up, and sulk in the corner as everyone leaves.
  3. I’d like to see users able to select their choice of app for default. In the Apple or iOS environment, the OS defaults to the Apple App. This is great if you make the best app for everything. That used to be somewhat the case. Apple used to make AMAZING apps for things. You’d say: “Yeah, but that app comes free on a mac” and everyone would kinda look at their shoes because they had to shell out a grip for something that does that. Not the case anymore. If you love creativity, let others make apps that can be the default. This breeds competition, it allows those out there making apps to gun for the users. If you have to go find the app, and click on it to use it, it ruins the experience. In Android, it will ask you: do you want to open this/use this with – and list all the possibilities. You can have the system ask you just this time, every time, or you can select the app you want to perform this action, and it will always use that option (until you change it). AWESOME! DO that! I don’t care if Android heads call you a copy cat, do that and don’t look back.
  4. Allow users to delete Apple Apps. They’ll still be in the cloud, in itunes, and on the App store. They won’t have to pay for them to download them again, they’ll just not be on your device anymore. Because if your apps suck and i’m not going to use them, i don’t want to keep them on my device. You can do analytics on how many people delete your apps, and what apps they are using instead, and maybe this will help you make better apps.
  5. Sync better. Dear God, Apple learn how to sync things. I’ve had to deal with multple versions of everyone’s email addresses, multiple calendar stuff. All kinds of duplicates on my device, on my mac and on my iPad. Sync. I’ve paid for .Mac, Mobile Me, and now that iCloud is free, you’d expect that everything JUST WORKS. it doesn’t. fix it. Doesn’t anyone actually test their products anymore? One other thing: a freebie – in the Apple/iOS/Mac-verse if something is broken, it’s just broken. You go into discussions and talk on message boards but many times, it’s just broke, everyone knows it, and they are waiting till next year when the new one comes out to fix it. FIX IT NOW!!! Get someone on it. I don’t care if you have to hire Scott Forestall back, hire someone to fix the problems. This idea that it’s just broke, and that’s that is lame.

Things i’m looking to do in the future. I want my iPhone to slip into a DSLR, and become the camera. Similar to what Sony is doing by making lenses for smartphones. I want an iPhone to do this on a prestigious lens line like Canon, Nikon, Sony.

I’d like to see easier ways to cut a video and put it on the internet. I’m thinking something that works well with VideoPress. I’m thinking about what you do with photos, and making share-able slides and stuff. We want video filters, and transitions that look sharp.!

Siri needs to be much more like Google Now. We’ve got the ideas just start implementing them. And she needs to be able to listen to what is actually said better. I’m having to repeat myself over and over, and it looks like i’m arguing with my hand in the grocery store.

And finally, MAPS – you gotta get better at maps. Maps for people who drive, who train, who bus, who look for businesses, people who climb, who GPS, for people who want to dig, for people who need map info, and those who just want to look at a pretty map. You are close, but you gotta get better data, quickly. Do you know how many people use their smartphone to get places?

Maybe before switching away from Google Maps, you can test out your new map product for awhile to make sure it works. Loan it out to a couple of your close jetsetter friends. Network with places that have data on stuff. And for Goodness sake, stop getting into fights with Google.

Allow people to default to Google stuff if they want to. When i purchased my HTC One, i had plans on going back to Apple when the new iPhone came out. I really did. I thought, i’ll go back, i’ll buy an iPhone, and i’ll be back into all my iOS stuff.

All that has changed. I’m not seeing Apple in the same light anymore. Even though i don’t really like Larry Ellison, i can see his point when he says that we have already seen how Apple fares without Steve Jobs. Apple with Steve jobs is way up here, Apple without Steve Jobs, way down here. Apple with Steve Jobs again, way up here. And now we are seeing Apple without Steve Jobs again.

 

Re: What is Quantum Dot Technology – specifically as seen in the Sony 4K Televisions

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I’ve been trying to explain what Quantum Dot technology is because even the guys back in Magnolia, or the Sony HD 4k TV salesmen don’t really have a grasp on it just yet. After a couple of tries, i found this explanation which i think sums it up nicely.

Sony is using nanoscale particles called quantum dots to significantly improve the color of some of its high-end Bravia televisions. It showed off the technology, which increases the range of colors that an LCD television can display by about 50 percent, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. This marks the first time that quantum dots—which for a long time have fascinated researchers because of their unusual electronic and optical properties—have been used in a mass-produced consumer electronics product.

Quantum dots emit very specific wavelengths of light. And the precise colors they emit can be tuned by changing their size. Sony is incorporating technology from QD Vision, which has been working to commercialize advances made at MIT over a decade ago. Originally, the company aimed to make quantum dot displays that are similar to OLED displays—the quantum dots would form the pixels of the display, and would be turned on and off by applying electrical current via a transistor. Although QD Vision has developed prototypes of these displays, they’ve been difficult to make reliably in large sizes (see “This Display Is a Quantum Leap”). Continue reading “Re: What is Quantum Dot Technology – specifically as seen in the Sony 4K Televisions”