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Sony Buys Ericsson Out For $1.47 Billion

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the pocket-change dept.

Sony 64

First time accepted submitter Diggester writes with this snippet from PC World: "Sony took a page out of the playbooks of Microsoft and Apple, announcing it would buy out its smartphone partner, Ericsson, to more tightly integrate smartphones with Sony's laptops, tablets and televisions. The move gives Sony complete control over its smartphone business, while Ericsson will now focus more broadly on wireless connectivity for products beyond mobile handsets. Sony purchased Ericsson's share of the Sony Ericsson partnership for about $1.47 billion. Rumors about Sony's takeover of Sony Ericsson surfaced in early October."

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Lock-down time... (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859388)

Given Sony's past habits, does this mean a rapid spin away from unlocked bootloaders on their phones (unless perhaps someone gets their hands on the key for some Sony-installed rootkit that might be installed in the factory?)

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859612)

Judging from Sony's previous attempts [wikipedia.org] at "security" (actually, this "CAPTCHA" [sony.com] is even funnier), I don't think hackers have much to worry about.

Re:Lock-down time... (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860210)

actually, this "CAPTCHA" [sony.com] is even funnier

SLBVR isn't funny!

[but document.getElementById('captchdiv').getElementsByTagName('b') is a start ...]

Re:Lock-down time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861372)

Am I missing something? How is this "CAPTCHA" bad? You did hit F5 right?

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

FallSe7en (2101132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861564)

The post you're replying to already hinted at this, but view source and look for elements surrounded by the tags.

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

FallSe7en (2101132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861628)

Ok, I give up - how do you type HTML tags in comments? :(

Anyways, it's the LEFT_ARROW_BRACKET b RIGHT_ARROW_BRACKET tags

Re:Lock-down time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37888686)

You mean the letters surrounded by: <b> and </b>?

Typing those arrow brackets is easy, you just need to use the HTML codes for them. i.e. like this "&lt;" and "&gt;"

CAPTCHA: arrows

Re:Lock-down time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861692)

Ahh, missed that.
Also, yeah, there's the b tag problem, but I doubt this is any worse then over half the internet.

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862356)

You may still be missing it. It's not the B tags that are the problem, but rather the fact that the CAPTCHA text is embedded into the HTML. If you're trying to prevent robots from getting into a system, displaying the text as, well, text (i.e. instead of actual images that need to be OCR'd) doesn't help anything.

Total security theater; probably worse than not having it at all, because with it in place, somebody at Sony thinks that they've got adequate protections in place when they don't.

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37868732)

If you are in Chrome/Chromium, in the F12 console use:

document.getElementById('captchdiv').innerText.replace(/\s/gi, '')

Firefox/Firebug (also Chrome) you can to loop each item:

var o = ''; var r = document.querySelectorAll('#captchdiv b'); for(var i in r) { o += (r.hasOwnProperty(i) && r[i].innerHTML)?r[i].innerHTML:''; }; alert(o);

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

nwf (25607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862042)

That's hilarious. Generating a CAPTCHA using HTML tables. It's not like computers can't parse HTML (assuming you aren't using IE). Good thing they have (commented!) JavaScript to disable copy and paste. Must have been done by an intern as an inside joke or something.

Re:Lock-down time... (1)

slater86 (1154729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37864900)

for what its worth, solve it from the command line in bash with the following.
wget -qO - http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/jsp/forms/generateCaptcha.jsp |grep "</b></span></td>" |sed -e s/\<b\>//g |sed s/\</" "/g |awk '{print $1}'
(Yes its a bit messy but what do you want for 5 mins work.)

Anyone else want to have a go? (in perl maybe?)

Re:Lock-down time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37867210)

Anyone else want to have a go? (in perl maybe?)

Using a language that is supposed to be readable by humans but really isn't to parse a text that is supposed to not be readable by computers but really is?

No thanks.

Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859410)

The smart-phone scene has been a little boring of late..

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859602)

Gaming machines with phone capabilities doesn't work (see n-gage) but phones with gaming capabilities work (iphone/android). The main limiting factors are form and battery. So far, it seems that phones with gaming capabilities are the key. After all, nobody wants to lug around a large awkwardly shaped device while on the other hand, the interface to games can be creatively dealt with when using some forethought with the design since most users will only casual play small games on their phones to kill time.

Knowing Sony, they will fail if they try. Big budgets games simply doesn't work within this landscape. Instead, a variety of small creative games are much more desirable as they aren't heavy investments. You need a light hand for the small devices world, as a heavy hand are already fulfilled by the console world.

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859876)

A simpler solution to power would be dual battery.
One battery exclusively for the phone hardware, the other shared by both the games hardware and the phone.

Of course, the casualitis problem still stands.
Handheld gamers will get handheld gaming devices, but the casual crowd probably don't care enough to want it.

An even better solution would be to just release a phone add-on for PSVita and use the PSVita as the interface to it.
The basic hardware without input and output for a phone is incredibly tiny, so it won't take up much space.
Power problem comes back and can't be solved now, though.

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860038)

Have you tried the Sony Experia Play [wikipedia.org] ? Being an owner, I can say it's not there yet... but I would really be disappointed if some sort of incarnation of this would leave the market. Being an avid emulator maniac you can't believe how much geek love this gives to ones inner self. To know you can escape at any time, way more comfortable then any touch only input ever could achieve is bliss. There is still a lot of non support for the nipple rings (replacements for dual analog.) but once its done right, like say in Age of Zombies, it can even give you some new thrills.

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861672)

I think the form facter was nailed with the Xperia Play, possibly a bigger screen.

What Sony should do is take the Xperia Play concept, put in the dual core processor (like modern Android phones like the Galaxy SII, HTC Sensation, Motorola Atrix, etc) and I think it could work.

On the other hand I dont own the Xperia Play due to lack of content, so I think content does matter.

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (1, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860164)

smart phone scene has been boring? Have you even looked at where we've gone in 3 years? we went from "you have phones" to "you have phones that can emulate SNES" to "you have phones that can emulate playstation games" to "you have phones that can almost rival the PS3". in 3 years. You can get RAGE on your smartphone.

If you think the scene is boring, you might want to actually look around first. It's entirely possible smartphones will have more processing power than next gen consoles by the time they come out.

Re:Now make a proper PlayStation phone please (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860898)

It's entirely possible smartphones will have more processing power than next gen consoles by the time they come out.

Bzzzzzzt. Thanks for playing.

The improvements are tremendous, but the Cortex-A15 Processor [arm.com] almost certainly falls short of the original CoreDuo.

Trinity packaged in a quad-channel socket FM2 with integrated Radeon 7000 graphics core is about the level of performance I expect from the next generation consoles by the time they arrive.

Sony originally hoped to make Cell a one-chip solution. But hey, they'll probably go full custom again just to preserve the DRM co-processor. Maybe they'll try to woo the new chick at IBM for another tango.

Probably a good move (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859414)

Probably a good move. With a large portfolio of consumer products this was much more likely than Ericsson buying from Sony.

Indeed, the PSP could use some of the Sony Ericsson wizardry.

Re:Probably a good move (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860024)

The PSP is on it's way out, and the PSVita is basically a tablet with physical controls. I'm not seeing anything S-Eric could really have added.

Depends. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860740)

Erlang is an Ericsson product, and they've released or assisted on [ericsson.com] a number of other products. Sony - well, they're famous for closed products, rootkits and the walkman. I'm not overly convinced I trust those guys to honour prior license agreements (there are plenty of products that were GPL that have been made proprietary with the open source variant deleted from the catalogue completely). I am very concerned.

Well that's depressing... (0)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859418)

I'm not really surprised, but for a company with a long, high-profile track record of treating their customers' privacy and property rights the way a starving Doberman treats a pork chop it's terribly depressing to see that so many people still give them so much money they can afford billion dollar acquisitions.

P.S. By property rights I mean the constant fucking around with firmware to revoke features that were once specifically advertised (OtherOS in PS3, etc.) and other related sleazy behaviors. I couldn't think of a better term.

Re:Well that's depressing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859528)

Etc implies a list, your phrase implied butthurt. The ps3 was not a great computer, and you couldn't even use the GPU when it was a feature. To all the whiny children where their entire anti-Sony argument is directed at OtherOS. Get over it, it is history.

Other anti-Sony arugments? Great, use them to promote disucssion. Just quit being a damn cliche hipster suffragist.

Re:Well that's depressing... (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859792)

How about the fact that they push playback, transfer, and region restrictions in both hardware and media more aggressively than any other company? How about the DRM on their music CDs that turned out to be a full-fledged rootkit? How about the fact that it wasn't just removing OtherOS as an official feature, but continually updating the firmware to disable every hack anyone invented to get it back after it was disabled in the first place? Is it really such a crime to want control over something you bought and paid for that I'm just some "butthurt" little whiner if I criticize Sony?

There. I gave you other arguments. Sony probably does more than any other company to punish you for the crime of buying their product. I can't imagine what kind of ignorant twit could, with a straight-face, call someone "a damn cliche hipster suffragist" for calling Sony a bunch of assholes without specifically listing every single example of their malfeasance.

Re:Well that's depressing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860040)

The butthurt is strong in this one.

Re:Well that's depressing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860070)

How about the fact that it wasn't just removing OtherOS as an official feature, but continually updating the firmware to disable every hack anyone invented to get it back after it was disabled in the first place? Is it really such a crime to want control over something you bought and paid for that I'm just some "butthurt" little whiner if I criticize Sony?

Sony was fine with the OtherOS feature up until it got used to compromise the PS3's DRM. It's all about pirated games and online cheating. None of the rest matters to them. If OtherOS hadn't been used in those hacks, it would still be an official feature.

Re:Well that's depressing... (2, Insightful)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860116)

Sorry, but otherOS would still be around if people had used it for homebrew instead of trying to pirate stuff or run emulators. The PlayStation lineup was always good about supporting indie dev when it was legit, with the ps1, ps2, ps3, and PSV all having options for it at one time or another. They had to disable the hacks because again, people kept using them to pirate, and piracy is not something you have the right to do.

Sony is hard to think of as a monolithic company. the content generators (Tristar, Columbia, Sony BMG) tend to be very DRM heavy, while the hardware folks don't seem to care. The game consoles tend to be very open for what they are as well, compared to their rivals.

Re:Well that's depressing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860316)

Prepare to be downmodded for presenting inconvenient facts against the groupthink. As you said, geohot has only himself to blame for the otheros lockout. If he hadn't fucked with the gameos, Sony wouldn't have cared.

Re:Well that's depressing... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861054)

I think the problem for Sony was their hardware division had to place restrictions to placate their content division whereas other manufacturers don't have a content division. Remember the first digital Walkman? It forced you to use ATRAC instead of the standard MP3. If your music was MP3, it would convert it to ATRAC first. Meanwhile the iPod and everyone else let you play MP3s

Re:Well that's depressing... (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861432)

They had to disable the hacks because again, people kept using them to pirate, and piracy is not something you have the right to do.

What pisses people off isn't that they can't pirate (as if), it's that they bought a product with a certain feature which was later disabled without their consent. Maybe they "had" to disable the otherOS feature, but if they were "just doing what's right" they would have offered a refund for anyone who chose to send back their PS3. It's clearly bait-and-switch.

Re:Well that's depressing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861524)

You do realize that the amount of people using the hacks to install Linux was microscopic compared to those using it for piracy? It's funny how everyone on slashdot whines "but Linux!" or "but it was just for homebrew!" yet the first uses was to pirate games. Had geohot left the gameos alone Sony wouldn't have taken Linux away.

Re:Well that's depressing... (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863688)

You didn't even read my comment.

TLDR version: It doesn't matter why they took linux away, it's bait-and-switch without refunds.

Sign of times changing? (2)

sunr2007 (2309530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859450)

10 years ago , Apple was no where in smartphone game and Ericsson was in Top 5 smartphone makers. Now apple is one of top 5 vendors and Ericsson no longer makes phone.

Re:Sign of times changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859654)

Ericsson stopped making phones 10 years ago.

Re:Sign of times changing? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860484)

10 years ago Sony-Ericsson was #3.

Right now they are #10 @ 1.7% market share.

Great cooperation on Ericssons part .. Have they ever been #1? #2? Bigger than Nokia?

Regardless how much did Sony actually contribute in the first place? Designs? Walkman brand? How much market share did they had compare to Ericsson?

It's kinda sad.

And then there's everything Ericsson has "given away" to Huawei..

Re:Sign of times changing? (1)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861070)

Well Ericsson is still the worlds largest mobile telecommunications equipment vendor (35%).

Re:Sign of times changing? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862272)

And Huawei is almost as big instead of being more or less irrelevant, with Banverket as their first international prestige/referense customer ..

Re:Sign of times changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860902)

how do i shot web

Re:Sign of times changing? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37865090)

But then Apple also does not make a phone either http://texyt.com/iphone+manufacturer+supplier+assembler+not+apple+00113 [texyt.com] . So what's your point, other than market leaders change really rapidly in consumer products, so winner now but dead in five years time. Apple is managing to do a pretty good job of mucking up it's brand at the moment, si yeah likely is in five years time, things will be the way they were five years ago.

I think that's still illegal in Alabama (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859680)

No wait, that was something different.

Ericsson made some good phones in its time (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859734)

But no more.

Re:Ericsson made some good phones in its time (1)

Plammox (717738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37866348)

I loved the two Ericsson/Sony Ericsson phones I had (T65 and K750i). Unfortunately, they both died prematurely from mechanical failures. To this date I still haven't managed to kill my Nokia, HTC or iPhone. So yes, good in the user sense, but the SE-mechanical quality really isn't that good.

Re:Ericsson made some good phones in its time (1)

kukulcan (1440401) | more than 2 years ago | (#37866504)

I bought a T68i in 2001 i think. It still works.

My wife had a SE (don't know the model) from 2004, which she used for about 3 years. It is being used since then by my mother in law. That's 7 years of daily use!

I believe SE had better quality than Nokia in the early 2000's.

Re:Ericsson made some good phones in its time (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37866632)

True, both my Ericssons started having mechanical problems after about 4 years, although I was about to buy new ones anyway.

Having worked at Ericsson... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859742)

I can tell you that this comes as no big surprise. Both Ericsson and Sony Ericsson are incredibly slow moving companies with way to much bureaucracy. They have lots of engineers who are very skilled at implementing specifications to the letter, but not at adapting to change. Last I heard from them, they were still using a 10 year old version of ClearCase as the main VCS, which had to be restarted about twice a day because there were so many problems with it. Upgrading was completely out of the question. It didn't help that the engineer to manager ratio was something like 2:1, which meant the manager had to continually schedule meeting after meeting to give the appearance of them doing useful work.

LTE will probably be Ericssons last major success, which they will have to share with Huawei, because their equipment isn't that much better, it's just more expensive. After that it will likely be sold unless they can give the developers free reign again to come up with brilliant creative ideas. That's how they got Erlang and AXE, which carried the company all the way through the 90's. Those successes won't be repeated as long as the managers hold a tight grip on the company.

Re:Having worked at Ericsson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37864980)

Thanks for the info. I still use a K800. Was looking to upgrade to something better but then Maemo and WebOS got killed off.

Did I miss something? (1)

Henriok (6762) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860002)

When did Microsoft or Apple buy their smartphone partner? How is this a page out of their play books? Why is Apple or Microsoft mentioned in this article? Everything isn't always about them.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860856)

Well Microsoft did give a billion dollars to Nokia for them to make Windows phones, but they didn't actually buy it outright. iPhone has been all Apple's since day one, they never bought out a partner that i'm aware of. In fact the only company i can think of recently that's actually bought out a company that they were partners with in making smartphones is Google with Motorola, which wasn't even mentioned in the blurb.

But even if the circumstances aren't exactly the same there certainly is a general trend of "brand name" companies getting more invested in the phone industry.

Sony Ericsson... (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860046)

Sony Ericcson... I used to halfway hate that company...

Will this help or hinder US presence and support.. (1)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860526)

I have to wonder if this will mean the North American presence for Sony(Ericsson) phones will increase, as well as end missed release dates and vaporware. What may happen to the Java Platform operating system present on the majority of SonyEricsson "feature" phones, like the WalkMan and CyberShot phones prior to Android. I am also hoping that making customizations will still be easily done and sites which provide services or support for customizations, unlocking, firmware flashing, ELF mods, and so on will not feel the wrath of Sony's legal department.

Now your phone comes with a Rootkit! (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860670)

Or, if you want to listen to music you've already purchased, you need to manually enter your DRM code...

Or, you'll need your phone to access Sony Online, and when they get hacked again, you'll have your phone number all over the world...

Or they promise a phone that runs linux, and halfway through your contract, they remove linux...

I mean, this is *SONY*... If there's a way to screw this up, they will find it.

Re:Now your phone comes with a Rootkit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860814)

Translation: I love when Sony fucks me in the ass with no lube. Hurts so good!

they should call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861112)

sony ericsson, has a nice ring to it

In other words... (1)

Rexdude (747457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861598)

*puts on glasses*

Sony lost their Erection [aaanything.net] .

YEAAAH!

No more Acronym (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862236)

no more Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37862298)

In cameras Sony bought the only company with incompatible hotshoe and added memorystick nobody used
In phones Sony bought the makers of the only phone that even their owners didn't know how to use properly
I guess soon we'll get phones that only take MS and sync with VAIOs

mqod uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37862840)

You don't nned to To work I'm doing,

Summary is INCORRECT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863108)

Sony bought out Ericssons share in the SonyEricsson joint venture -

This is the portion of GIANT EQUIPMENT manufacturer Ericsson which made mobile handsets

Sony did *not* buy Ericsson itself.

see what else ericsson does here:

http://www.ericsson.com/ourportfolio/products

Re:Summary is INCORRECT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37865062)

The words "buy out" in the summary means that Sony buys Ericsson out of the joint venture "Sony Ericsson". It does not mean that Sony buys Ericsson.

Next 10y of innovations: all about patents stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863440)

And we thought Moto's buyout by google for patents was bad. This is worse. Ericsson plainly wrote the book on cellular and HSPDA. And Ericsson was the one that kept SE phones stable.

Ericsson doesn't need the phones anymore (1)

SwedishCoward (1838398) | more than 2 years ago | (#37871208)

Ericsson has never been good at consumer electronics. The main reason for not quitting phone making 10 years ago was to secure supply of phones compatible with the mobile network standards they were advocating.

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