News Sony

Idei didn’t do nearly enough

Nazim-Amin, a Delta crew member who was flying on the 11th and was re-routed to Gander, Newfoundland due to the closed airspace in the US speaks to his experience. It’s long but well worth the read.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everybody knew everybody else by their name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. It was mind boggling.
Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a party flight. We simply stayed out of their way. The passengers had totally bonded and they were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. And then a strange thing happened.
One of our business class passengers approached me and asked if he could speak over the PA to his fellow passengers. We never, never, allow that. But something told me to get out of his way. I said “of course”.
The gentleman picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of the town of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school students of Lewisporte to help them go to college. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers.
When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, it totaled to $14.5K or about $20K Canadian. The gentleman who started all this turned out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

* * * * *
HP and a French national lab create a supercomputer for $210,000. The kicker is that they used Mandrake Linux for the OS and made no tweaks to the hardware to get it running.
The idea was to build a supercomputer out of standard hardware components like those that might be found in the typical big business.

They started with 100 of Hewlett-Packard’s e-PCs–simplified PCs with reduced expandability–and finally worked up to the present configuration of 225 nodes, which is near the cluster’s physical limit.
The researchers plan to release the tools they developed as open-source software for anyone who might want to build a supercomputer themselves. The whole project, minus network cabling, cost about $210,000.

* * * * *
Businessweek on Sony

Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that Idei didn’t do nearly enough. Although the company still projects a net profit this year of $83 million, on sales of $62.5 billion, analysts say it will be lucky to break even. Masahiro Ono of UBS Warburg expects a razor-edge profit of $1.7 million. Investors are fleeing: Over the past month, Sony’s stock has plunged 25%, to $33.
Much of what afflicts Sony, of course, is beyond Idei’s control. The global technology crash has eroded demand for its computer-related components and certain types of chips — and the September 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. is bound to hit sales of movies, video-game consoles, and other consumer-electronics products in Sony’s biggest overseas market. But that doesn’t take Sony executives off the hook.


new job

Wow…new job means no time to blog! Please be patient, I hope to be back to a daily blogging schedule within a few more days.

Japan Sony

Japan’s island mentality

CNN’s Gary Streiker on Japan’s continuing violation of international anti-whaling bans.
Ask me why I think there’s a difference between native peoples hunting whales and Japanese hunting whales and I’d say “scale” and the fact that whale meat and hunting isn’t central (in any way shape or form) to Japanese culture, no matter what Japanese whalemeat lover might tell you.
I feel like this kind of attitude is indicative of the “island mentality”- countries who are a mono-culture (even in this connected age) and more specifically nations which are isolated on islands. It’s embarrasing and tragic at the same time.
Asia’s fascination with shark fin soup is in the same category of ‘foods I will not eat and I will berate people who eat it in my presence,’ (however rude that may seem.)
* * *
$500 and a monthly charge? There’s no way Sony’s eVilla will last the rest of the year. There’s just no good reason to buy an eVilla when a cheap PC is only a tad more expensive and a whole lot more flexible.
* * *
Some lame cheapo webhosting firm steals the layout/design of and all hell breaks loose.
* * *
Dan Bricklin reviews Sony’s eMarker. I like the idea of a simple net appliance that uses the web to bring us information we might have had a hard time tracking down previously. I don’t listen to mainstream radio anymore however, (only over the web) so this particular device has no relevance for me.
* * *
Steve’s Digicams has the first user review of the Nikon Coolscan 4000ED which I hope will be my first film scanner.
* * *
Excellent LATimes on musicians challenging the status quo.
How do the guys running these labels get away with a 95% failure rate that would be totally unacceptable in any other type of business?” [Courtney] Love asked. “I’ll tell you how: because they pay artists only a tiny fraction of the billions that their music generates. That’s what allows so many overpaid executives to be so incredibly sloppy in running these public companies.
* * *
TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) – A government panel on Thursday adopted an action plan to put Japan at the forefront of information technology in five years to help revive the long-suffering economy.
Japan should stop “trying” to be a leader in IT in 5 years and start DOING something about the leadership of the nation, of the banks, of the businesses, of the education system.
* * *
As part of its strategic business plan for the 2001/02 year beginning in April, Sony said it would increase the number of its major divisions, internally called “network companies,” to seven from the current five.
Sony’s seven network companies are:
— Digital Telecommunications: mobile phone development, design, and manufacturing.
— Semiconductors: design and manufacturing of integrated circuits.
— Core technologies: electronics devices, recording media, storage devices, flat-panel and conventional displays.
— Displays: finished projectors and computer displays.
— Home: VAIO desktop personal computers and televisions.
— Broadband solutions: home video, home audio, professional broadcast equipment, video and DVD players.
— Mobile network: development and design of VAIO laptop computers, handheld computers, personal audio, car audio, digital video and digital cameras.

That last one is the group that’s most interesting to me. 🙂