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.
Panasonic will invest ¥600 billion ($4.89 billion) in electronic vehicle (EV) batteries, hydrogen energy, workplace digitization and supply chain software in a strategy shift for the 104-year old Japanese multinational.
The money is slated for spending over three years from 2023 until 2025. Of the total amount, ¥400 billion ($3.2 billion) will go to "growth areas", like supply chain software and automotive batteries among others, and ¥200 billion ($1.6 billion) to "technology pillars," including hydrogen energy and cyber-physical systems.
CEO Yuki Kusumi said in an online news conference on Friday that Panasonic wants to improve battery cell performance and safety while cutting costs, and that mass production of 46mm-diameter EV batteries, otherwise known as 4680s, would start in FY24 at its Wakayama Factory in Japan.
A bunch of toner manufacturers and sellers have infringed on Japanese electronics outfit Canon's patents, according to an initial finding from the US International Trade Commission (ITC), with a judge recommending imports of their products be banned.
The notice [PDF] from an administrative law judge this week said an Initial Determination (ID) was made on Tuesday 15 March, finding that "certain toner supply containers" violated Section 337.
The notice asks for input from the public on whether to institute an import ban if the commission agrees and finds the firms violated the rule.
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.
Updated The ongoing semiconductor shortage has reached the point that it's affecting one of the most-hated aspects of printing – copy-protection chips on ink cartridges.
That's right, the function that enables printers to scream about foreign bodies if you dare to use a third-party cartridge or potentially prevent the printer from working at all.
Japanese electronics outfit Canon has had to admit, by way of its German tentacle, that it's having such a hard time getting hold of components that it's been forced to ship toner cartridges without the chip fitted.
Retired Microsoft engineer, Dave Plummer, offered a blast from the past last week with a look back at the infamous Sony Windows "rootkit" scandal.
Japanese industrial giant Panasonic has admitted it's been popped, and badly.
A November 26 statement [PDF] from the company admits that its network "was illegally accessed by a third party on November 11, 2021". That date has since been revised – the company now says it became aware of the intrusion on the 11th, but that unknown entities had access to its systems from late June to early November.
"After detecting the unauthorized access, the company immediately reported the incident to the relevant authorities and implemented security countermeasures, including steps to prevent external access to the network," the statement adds.
Canon USA has been accused of forcing customers to buy ink cartridges when they only want to scan and fax documents using the manufacturer's so-called All-In-One multi-function printers.
David Leacraft bought a Canon PIXMA MG2522 All-in-One Printer from Walmart in March, and was appalled when his device was incapable of scanning or a faxing documents if it ran low, or out, of ink. Unlike printing, scanning and faxing documents do not ordinarily require ink.
He wouldn’t have spent the 100 bucks on Canon’s printer if he had known this, his legal team noted. Feeling cheated, Leacraft fired a lawsuit at Canon USA, seeking class-action status on behalf of other disgruntled customers.
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:
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