What's old is new again with reboots of classic devices for gaming and music coming out all the time. But that kitsch value comes at a cost, even if the tech is from the current era.
Audiophiles want digital music players that leave out cellular components in favor of sound-quality-maximizing gadgets – or at least that's what Sony appears to be betting on with the introduction of a $3,700 so-called Walkman this week.
Before you ask, no it can't play actual tapes, which means it's not really a Walkman at all but rather an Android 11 media player that can stream and play downloaded music via apps, much like your smartphone can probably do. But we won't talk about that because gold plating.
Sony on Friday launched a subsidiary dedicated to optical communications – in space.
The new company, Sony Space Communications Corporation (SSCC) plans to develop small optical communication devices that connect satellites in low Earth orbit using a laser beam, and provide the resulting connection as a service.
These small devices can provide high speed communication more effectively than radio, because they do not need a large antenna, high power output or complicated licenses, said Sony in a canned statement.
Sony Computer Science Laboratories (CSL) and the Japanese space agency have conducted an experiment to transmit data from the stratosphere to space and declared the results promising as a complete file was delivered at 446 megabits per second.
Data networking is hard in space, because distances and latency are substantial and radiation can impact transmissions. Those challenges have led to efforts like the Interplanetary networking SIG and its delay-tolerant networking (DTN) tech that makes internet standards work despite the challenges of space.
DTN also addresses the problem of network nodes disappearing over the horizon – and therefore beyond the reach of radio or optical signals – by (as its name implies) not getting grumpy if packets take a while to reach their intended destinations.
Retired Microsoft engineer, Dave Plummer, offered a blast from the past last week with a look back at the infamous Sony Windows "rootkit" scandal.
Sony has detailed plans to expand its sensors business and make it more relevant to edge computing and the internet of things, while also outlining growth plans in gaming, anime, and electric cars.
In an outline [PDF] of a new strategy outlined yesterday in Tokyo, Sony said in the past eight years it has concentrated resources particularly towards CMOS image sensors to secure a dominant position in the imaging applications and sensing market.
Positioning its investment as a contribution to the “evolution of IoT technology,” Sony said:
The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. In May, the industry finally pushed some hot properties out the door including Resident Evil Village, Biomutant, and the Mass Effect remasters. But we opted to check out something just a little bit older.
Though pop culture might have reached peak zombie almost a decade ago, Oregon-based Bend Studio still managed to walk away with a decent game in the 2019 PlayStation 4 "exclusive" Days Gone. We say "exclusive" because we've been playing the PC port, which came out on 18 May. This follows a recent trend of titles made specifically for Sony's last-gen console being re-released for PC a couple of years later including Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn.
Yes, the world stopped giving a toss after the eleventy-first season of AMC's flagging comic book adaptation The Walking Dead, but somehow surviving a zombie apocalypse remains a gripping setting for many – yours truly included. Even if it's one of the most done-to-death concepts under the sun, Bend has done a fantastic job of rendering an Oregon scorched by a mysterious viral epidemic that has turned 99 per cent of the population into rabid, shambling cannibals.
Sony and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have created a new joint venture to build a platform that allows remote work through teleoperated robots.
The pair last week announced that they’ll pump ¥100,000,000 (US$920,000) into a company that plans to build a “remote robot platform”.
The Register prefers to call it a “Workman”.
Hoping to regain ground lost to competitors in China and South Korea, Sony today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone: the €899 Xperia 5 II.
Sony was once one of the first companies to get behind Android and pushed out a range of smartphones much loved for their design and features. But the days of the Walkman phone have passed, and the Japanese firm is vying to keep pace with high end Android-slingers like Samsung.
As you'd expect from a late-2020 device, Sony's latest handset includes support for 5G, as well as other design quirks seldom found on contemporary blowers, including dual front-facing speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony has announced a drone division called “Airpeak”.
The company has said very little about what it plans to send down the runway at the division’s formal launch in (northern) Spring 2021.
Airpeak is billed as operating "in the field of AI robotics" and Sony has said its “imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time and Remote)" will be part of its products.
Sony and Kioxia have reportedly requested waivers from the US government that would allow them to supply Huawei with components.
While it's not immediately known what specific components they hope to sell to the hard pressed Chinese business, one can make an informed guess. Kioxia, formerly Toshiba Memory Corporation, is the world's second largest manufacturer of NAND flash storage, with an estimated 17.2 per cent of the market, and it was the ninth biggest semiconductor manufacturer in 2019.
Sony, on the other hand, dominates the image sensor market, with an estimated 49.1 per cent market share in 2019. According to Nikkei Asia, Huawei is Sony's second-largest buyer of image sensors after Apple, accounting for a fifth of its sales.
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