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Sony Slashes 10,000 Jobs

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-long-sony dept.

Businesses 92

redletterdave writes "Sony will cut about 10,000 jobs, which equates to about six percent of its global workforce, by the end of the year. The move comes after the Tokyo-based electronics firm more than doubled its loss forecast on April 5 to $2.9 billion, and the recent hiring of a new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, on April 1. Hirai looks to downsize Sony and pivot the company in a new direction to get out of the red for the first time in four years. The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division, cutting about 3,000 workers in the process, and also make cuts within its small and midsize LCD operations. Sony did not say if it would cut these jobs in Japan, abroad, or both."

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Electronics and music hugely profitable (5, Informative)

CoderExpert (2613949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620351)

Just wanted to note this before slashdotters get all jiggly about the evilness of PS3 and Sony's music divisions. They are actually Sony's most profitable divisions, and it seems like Sony wants to cut out the less profitable divisions like chemical products. PS4 is already in the production and as noted on Slashdot before, will contain even more DRM [slashdot.org] . So this is not really "news for nerds" at all, as it's completely different divisions of Sony that will get the cut.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620519)

LCD manufacturing and chemicals used in batteries very much are news for nerds.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622111)

AFAIC, any news about a company that would deliberately install malware (XCP) on customers' computers, remove paid-for features afer a sale (OtherOS), and store sensitive customer information in plain text on an internet-facing database is news for nerds.

Normally people losing their jobs makes me sad, but I'll make an exception for Sony employees. As a victim of XCP I'll throw a big party when that God damned company ceases to exist. If you ARE a Sony employee, WTF is wrong with you???

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (2)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624343)

If you ARE a Sony employee, WTF is wrong with you???

The same could be said of those who still buy their products.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39629735)

Even moreso the customers.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620539)

I just wanted to note this before slashdotters get all jiggly.. but the article does mention the LCD operations shut down (quite IT related), along with just the fact it's someone as large as Sony cutting jobs is worthy enough news to a lot of IT geeks. Just because it's not big news in your eyes doesn't mean it's not big news.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (5, Informative)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620671)

but the article does mention the LCD operations shut down

No, it doesn't mention "the LCD operations shut down", but TFA mentions "mak[ing] cuts within its small and midsize LCD operations" to better compete with Samsung. So this is a reconfiguration of business designed to increase their investment and competitiveness in that market, pretty much the opposite of what you write.

Zombie Company (4, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620927)

I am going to have to disagree with your opinion. From what I have read from other articles, Sony is losing money on LCDs and is trying to get out of the market.

Manufacturing LCD is very capital intensive. That is, the initial outlay to build the plant is high. So while Sony is making money on the variable costs (i.e. the cost of materials, labor, etc) is can’t justify all of the capital that’s tied up to it. It can’t sell it because there a glut of LCD manufacturing capacity right now.

So they are turning it into a Zombie. They won’t invest any more money in the plant, and they don’t expect anything from it, but they will just let it putter along as long as they can cover the variable costs.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620735)

I'm sure that they are. The problem is that a Sony monitor (for example) just doesn't carry the same brand name weight as it used to. And when was the last time Sony had a big name in consumer electronics outside of the Playstation? The Walkman is a histroical footnote nowadays...

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (4, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621389)

The Walkman is a histroical footnote nowadays...

It's worth remembering that the Walkman was *the* portable music player for almost two decades. Sony was a big company with brand recognition and the resources to develop devices that would continue that lead into the MP3 era. The market was theirs to lose.

But they squandered the opportunity [slashdot.org] , letting *Apple* become the dominant player. (Circa the mid-to-late 90s, I'm sure that the suggestion that Apple- a company that was primarily a personal computer manufacturer back when that was a very different market to audio entertainment- was likely to take over their dominant market position).

Much as I dislike aspects of Apple's behaviour, their foresight in developing and promoting the iPhone- even though they would have known that it would eat into classic-style iPod sales- cannibalising their own product, rather than letting someone else cannibalise it, and reaching even greater heights in the process- contrasts sharply with Sony's protectionist, insular, NIH approach to file-based digital media and the MP3 age.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621429)

Bad editing, should read:-

Circa the mid-to-late 90s, I'm sure that the suggestion that Apple (back then still primarily a personal computer manufacturer, with no experience in what was back then the very different and separate consumer audio market) would even be a threat to Sony's dominance would have had their executives in fits of apoplectic laughter.

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (1)

tomstockmail (2056752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623447)

Not sure what's evil about the system that allows Steam and cross platform play...

Re:Electronics and music hugely profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39624603)

Seems like the trinitron patents were the only things keeping SOny alive for 17yrs.

Looking for good suggestions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620427)

I'm looking for suggestions for a good, free porno site. It needs to be free of malware, and serve up mostly straight MF porn. Thanks.

Re:Looking for good suggestions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620619)

That's an odd set of requirements...

You found slashdot so malware should be no problem.. and just ignore the weird stuff..

Can't go wrong with findtubes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620713)

I'd recommend findtubes.com . It doesn't host videos itself but rather is a search engine for a dozen or two "regular" porn sites (you can specify the video length, etc.). If that's not your thing, I'd recommend youjizz or slutload.

Re:Looking for good suggestions (0)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621003)

Well, xxxbunker.com could be one option.

Re:Looking for good suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621073)

xhamster.com has served me well long time.

YOUPORN.COM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621827)

And thehun.com

Not to worry (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620453)

I understand they're still looking for rootkit developers.

Re:Not to worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620985)

They probably needed to make more room for a legal department. As I understand it, their "right to extract a profit" is expected to kick in soon, and there are whole lotta citizens who haven't lined up for their collar, yet.

6% (2)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621355)

I was actually just thinking, 6%? Yup, that would just about account for anyone left with a shred of morality in the company.

I'm hoping... (5, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620469)

They'll close their DRM-peddling division. Of course with my luck Sony will be repositioning themselves as a DRM company

Re:I'm hoping... (5, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620639)

Sounds like they are going full steam ahead with DRM in PS4 (playstation and music still being profitable (possibly the most profitable) sections of Sony). This just sounds like they are trimming some fat so to speak. Ultimately most of the people who care about DRM are probably pissed off enough with Sony not to buy the PS4 anyway, so there really is no reason for them to get away from it.

Re:I'm hoping... (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620695)

Of course with my luck Sony will be repositioning themselves as a DRM company

That would be a good thing, in a way. Certainly make it easier for the pirates.

Re:I'm hoping... (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624937)

Furthermore they are probably kicking out all their security experts, as they have been of no use.

this was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620473)

long overdue

Fire the shovelware writers. (4, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620477)

Maybe they should fire the shovelware writers that write the stuipid applets that sys inthe syste tray that get installed when ever you install a device driver for a sony peripheral.

Gee, I install the SONY monitor and now I have a systray applet eating CPU time and whatnot and while it supposedly is supposed to help me control the monitor but it leads itself in the tray so it doesn't "Take so long to startup" when I run it that one time to adjust the monitor settings.... When running it from the start menu and waiting an extra 2 seconds for it to load is going to take more time than the cumulative 30 minutes over the lifetime of the PC that is wasts because it slowing everything else down with it's CPU usage and memory consumption....

Sorry, I just hate installing drivers and having to install stuipid shit that I have to go back and remove after every damn driver install. Drivers are "supposed" to be only the driver, I don;t need no damn systray applet for USB Hub, Printer, scanner, DVD writer and LCD monitor.

Re:Fire the shovelware writers. (3, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620931)

My mom just got a Vaio laptop. It comes with about 20 preloaded apps. Some seem vaguely useful though (it has a fingerprint reader, does Windows 7 include built-in support for those? It doesn't seem to so the bundled app seems necessary). It also has an annoying Dock-type top bar that appears whenever you try to restore a maximized window and move your mouse too far up. And if you tap or hold the Windows button you get a nice keyboard that shows you all the Win+Key keys. At least it would be nice if it didn't do an annoying distracting popping motion whenever you tapped Win for the start menu. And mom wants most of it around "just in case" she needs it.Oh and the keyboard has specialized buttons specifically to launch some of these applications.

At least I got rid of Bing Bar, some webcam app, Norton trial (she claims she declined some offer, but it was still running in the tray), and Office trial.

Also I got to try out Ninite which was pretty awesome, except when I needed to rerun the actual setup utility for foobar2000 to install the freedb component.

Re:Fire the shovelware writers. (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624577)

Vaio, eh? My local laptop place allows people to purchase extended warranties on all laptops except the Vaio. 'Nuff said

And those colours!

sony rootkit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620547)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_rootkit [wikipedia.org]

never forget, never forgive

Re:sony rootkit (3, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620743)

Most of their customer base never cared. Even when it was plastered on the mainstream news, the average reaction was "well, that was naughty of them".

The relatively small number of us who do care are a tiny blip on their profit statements. Yes, some of us influence big purchasing decisions at our workplaces.. but realistically it doesn't matter to them.

Remember, when the PSN got hacked.. the absolute loudest cry wasn't about personal info getting stolen, it was that the network was down and games wouldn't work. This is Sony's customer base and they know it.

Playstation and music are still very profitable sections of Sony.. and I suspect they will keep right on doing more of what they've been doing. This just sounds like them cutting out some of the less profitable chunks of their business and not Sony getting what _should_ be coming to them.

Re:sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39627551)

Still, we geeks are more social animals than many could imagine. The fact there are over hundred of messages here - prooves it. In fact, we have mich stronger bounds of friendship and community in a sence. We kill things slowly but surely. We make them sucessfull very same way.

I haven't bought one sony item since their fiasco with rootkit(since i got to know about it) and i won't buy one anymore and will drive sales away from it. So in a sence I do more damage to them than many people expect.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (1)

JTL21 (190706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620971)

It was despicable but it was just one division (a joint venture at that) and it was 7 years ago so I think it is time to move on.

I would have been happier if there had been a proper apology but I still think its time to move on.

Disclosure - I did work at Sony from 2005 until 2011 but on the electronics side. If the root kit had become public a few months earlier I would have turned the job down. I have no current obligation to Sony.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621133)

I say we don't move on until at least one Sony exec serves serious prison time for using their music CDs as a vector to install a virus onto users PCs.
An ordinary hacker would have served time, but because Sony is a super-criminal with countless victims they remain free. Not acceptable.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623145)

Like the banks, too big to punish

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (5, Insightful)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621259)

It was despicable but it was just one division (a joint venture at that) and it was 7 years ago so I think it is time to move on.

I'm not going to "move on" when they still have the same exact attitude: harm your customers (with DRM) to stop the big evil pirates. I'm tired of collective punishment. One recent and obvious example of this mentality is the removal of OtherOS (some people like to justify it by saying that harming only a few of your customers somehow makes it okay). Another is the planned DRM for PS4.

No, they haven't changed. At all. They had no reason to.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622257)

Come on now. Do people really believe that DRM protects products from piracy?

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (2)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622353)

Some people seem to. It doesn't in 99% of cases.

But you know what? I don't care if it does or doesn't. I believe it's wrong to hurt your customers trying to hurt pirates. It makes me wonder how anyone can defend this practice.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622889)

My point was that use of DRM is easily excused by saying "pirates", but the real motivation behind it is to limit the rights of paying consumers. Pirates break any DRM, so it doesn't really affect them.

Re:sony rootkit - is 7 years enough? (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621601)

I usually implement 10-year bans myself. Well, basically 1, 10, life. Sony has had enough 10-year bans in the last 10 years to qualify for life at this point. I will NEVER buy another Sony product again.

Re:sony rootkit (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621157)

Seeing this is rather sad. Why? Play "Steam" much? How about any EA game that requires Origin? Wait, how about Windows having to phone home in order to function? Go ahead, upgrade your memory and see if it warns you that you changed your system and have X more changes before you are invalid to run Windows.

Was Sony right in what it did? No

Do you pay for and allow much worse? Yes, though you will say "nuh uh, Steam does not use my information for marketing."

Re:sony rootkit (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621361)

Play "Steam" much?

No. But Steam is as bad as a rootkit? What makes it as bad (I don't use it)?

Origin is simply garbage (like all DRM). I specifically try to avoid any products with DRM. I also don't see how you got the idea that the person you replied to uses any of the things you mentioned.

Was Sony right in what it did? No

What was the point of the rest of your comment if you acknowledge that the actions of other companies don't make what Sony did okay? Just to remind people not to use DRM, or something else?

Re:sony rootkit (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625199)

Steam is similar to Origin, in that it's a game management system. In general, I use it for cheap games (I'm willing to put up with DRM if I'm getting 80-90% off of a game). The original draw of the system is that you can load Steam on a new computer, install whatever games from your account, and start playing from your cloud-saved game. It's DRM, but it's some of the least-onerous DRM I've ever used (provided you don't want to play 2 different games off the same account simultaneously...)

Re:sony rootkit (2)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625389)

I heard that origin was an order of magnitude worse than Steam. And I highly doubt it's anywhere on the level of Sony's rootkit, as he implied it was (I know you didn't say it was).

One thing I don't understand, though, is why Steam isn't just a platform for selling games. Kind of like Good Old Games. They sell you the game, and after that, it's completely yours. No DRM, and the games wouldn't be tied to Steam. Although, you could still have the option of tying it to Steam (not sure if that would have any benefits, though, so I don't know if that would be useful).

Re:sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39626867)

It does have it's benefits. I'm often living at a different place for half the week, where I don't have access to my computer. However, since I have access to another computer there, playing games with steam is easy. You load steam, log in, download game, and you're off and playing. If they've implemented steam cloud, you can also have your game saves sitting there waiting for you, and if they're really keen, it'll even keep a record of your modified keybindings and set those up for you.

It might be DRM, but it offers what few other pieces of DRM do: convenience.

Re:sony rootkit (1)

GuB-42 (2483988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39632273)

Steam may be a little bit evil (it is DRM after all) but at least, it is useful.
By useful I mean that some features are available to steam users that pirates don't have such as a big part of online play, friend lists, automatic updates, etc... So much that I know people who actually bought a game after they played a cracked version. They wouldn't have done this it with a SecuROM game.

On the other hand, Sony's rootkit is a pure nuisance.

Re:sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39644909)

Play "Steam" much?

Never have, never will.

How about any EA game that requires Origin?

What is this EA you talk about...

Wait, how about Windows having to phone home in order to function? Go ahead, upgrade your memory and see if it warns you that you changed your system and have X more changes before you are invalid to run Windows.

That's among the reasons I don't do windows.

You should try leading an upright life, it isn't quite as hard as you make it sound to be.

Re:sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621333)

never forget, never forgive

Man, I hate that phrase. It reminds me of religious zealots who want to go to war over the whole world for some slight against some old guy years and years ago. Makes them look stupid and backwards to the rest of the world.

But enough about the USA, you think you could maybe come up with a braindead catchphrase that doesn't make us sound like a bunch of bitter fundies?

Its about profit (3, Funny)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620561)

I wonder how many millions of dollars bonus the CEO will earn by cutting the workforce so drastically...

Re:Its about profit (4, Informative)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621635)

I wonder how many millions of dollars bonus the CEO will earn by cutting the workforce so drastically...

Executives are being asked to return their bonuses, so don't think it's a big win for him.

What is sony chemical division? (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620565)

The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division

So what is sony chemical division, like if you buy Sony-brand acetone then you can only use it in Sony-brand test tubes? Sony-brand chemical storage only holds Sony-brand hydrochloric acid that costs 10x as much as commodity HCl? That's how they run their electronic division...

I LOL when I thought of it, but I'm seriously betting they sell a line of completely incompatible ground-glass-joint glassware for chemists. Like instead of standard 14/20 taper, theirs is probably 16.335/23.235, that spec is trademarked and copyrighted up the wazoo, and costs 10 times as much as normal glassware and they aggressively sue anyone trying to use it with normal taper glassware. (On a slightly related note, what is it with you european chemists, on this side of the pond we use two tapers, "big and small (14/20 is the small)" yet we're taught that you guys have something like 10 mutually incompatible tapers... whats up with that... I would think you metric EU people would simply have the one taper to rule them all but no we're told you've got a dozen in common use)

Re:What is sony chemical division? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621011)

24/40 TS, or FIGHT!

If Sony is going where the money is (CHINA), than focusing on DRM and content makes sense.

Re:What is sony chemical division? (1)

adamanthaea (723150) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622245)

I'm a chemist in the US, and I routinely use about five different taper sizes. Then again, I'm also a process chemist, so I routinely work on anything from 25 mL to 22 L or more.

Re:What is sony chemical division? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623261)

> --"Science flies us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings." - Victor Stenger

"Religion gave us buildings, Math gave us the financial crisis, with people being evicted from their buildings".
Well I think you can make dozens of such inane comparisons.

Nothing prevents people from being atheist and respectful of logic, and yet people persist pitting religion against science. What if somebody advanced enough does things that mechanical/probabilistic models in current science can't explain? You'd find yourself into a worse position than a guy who went to church at age 6 and listened to a priest talking about some "end times" and "false prophets". Why bother putting yourself in a potentially riskier position?

If one of the biggest religions says only faith and not knowledge is possible with god, that same reasoning gives everybody the option not to believe to something unknowable by definition, just as philosophy would conclude. Those scriptures themselves do not talk about forcing or convincing. All the rest of atheist reasoning is logically flawed every time it attributes anything to the unknowable. Why justify with flawed reasoning what is justified by itself from the beginning?

Yuk it up, kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620607)

...but that's 10,000 people with a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach and 10,000 more people competing for jobs with new grads.

Still feel like cracking jokes?

Re:Yuk it up, kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620707)

Geeks are the most selfish and entitled people on the planet. You expected any better? A lot of them are flat out sociopaths.

Re:Yuk it up, kids... (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621497)

Geeks are the most selfish and entitled people on the planet.

You've obviously never met a politician, or executive type.

Re:Yuk it up, kids... (2)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621695)

A lot of them are flat out sociopaths.

An armchair psychologist says it, so it must be true. If it's that easy to be diagnosed as a sociopath, then perhaps that's what 99% of humans are. "Oh, you have a different sense of humour than me? Sociopath."

Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (5, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620681)

There was a time - in the 80s, 90s - when Sony was perhaps THE company to buy quality products from. A Sony CRT TV or VCR was sturdy, reliable, and offered a high quality (visual) experience for the time. A Sony Walkman or Discman was, again, a quality product that was most usable and dependable. A Sony Betamax or VHS home-video camera, and later its much smaller (digital) handycams would, similarly, give you a quality home video experience. Then, at some point, Sony started going downhill in terms of corporate philosophy: Putting proprietary, expensive & incompatible Sony memory-sticks into Sony digital cameras? Selling 60GB HDD videocameras with no manual focus-ring, and not entirely reliable always-on autofocus? Putting DRM on music CDs, in PC Games, and all over the Playstation 3 experience? Branding handycam lenses "Zeiss Vario-Tessar" to lure buyers, even though the lenses are manufactured by Sony, not Zeiss (Sony just bought the right to call them "Zeiss" lenses)? Selling large, heavy, expensive LCD TVs while advertising that they include the fantabulous "Bravia Engine" (a collection of very, very mediocre video sharpening/upscaling/color/contrast algorithms). Sony Vaio laptops that are seriously expensive, while offering only very mediocre hardware specs? Killing HD-DVD, then failing to offer a decent (low) price on BluRay players and movies. Being a main player in demanding that all HD content be played back through HDMI cables - what was so bloody "wrong" with analogue HD cables? While Sony was slowly loosing its "focus on the user experience" and on "end-user and buyer sattisfaction" in particular, once far lesser brands like Korean Samsung zipped onto the scene with products that look, perform and, overall, please better, and without Sony's premium pricing attached. I'm sorry that Sony has fallen so low. It used to be my go-to brand for consumer electronics. But Sony isn't a company that learns from experience. I personally think that Playstation 4 will flop badly - at least initially - if Sony persists in forcing hardcore DRM and always-on-internet-to-play type shit on PS4 gamers. Wake up, Sony! Wake up before your corporate-crapfest-philosophy costs another 10,000 or 20,000 Sony employees their jobs. (Will Sony actually wake up? Not a chance, I think. PS4 will quite likely wind up being a horrid DRM fest that may actually drive some gamers back to gaming on a PC...)

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620807)

I thought that the previous CEO came from the movie or content division, and led the company away from being a tech focus to a content provider. All directions from that decision lead to the problems that you mention. For many years now ( possibly 10) I have refused to buy any Sony product. The new CEO has a chance to change things back. I dont know his history of plans, but I am willing to pay attention to them for the next few years and maybe consider purchasing something if they can fix their reputation.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620897)

I don't know who precisely is responsible for Sony's relationship/reputation with its users going downhill. All I know is that Samsung makes damn nice looking/feeling quality electronics for a very competitive price, and that unlike Sony, Samsung isn't engaged in any of the nastiness (proprietary components, DRM, HD format wars et cetera et cetera) that Sony has been spewing at its users for the past decade. A new CEO taking over at Sony? GOOD! I hope that he's "awake-awake" enough to fix the crazy, user-unfriendly course Sony is currently on, and has been on for the past decade or so. Removing all DRM from the Playstation 4 experience would be a good start. As would putting manual focus-rings back on Sony handycams... As would lobbying to lower the price of BluRay movies... Lots of things a new CEO could do to make Sony the good old, reliable "SONY" again...

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

JTL21 (190706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621177)

Samsung does do DRM on many products, took part in the HD format war (what was wrong with it anyway) leaving the only nastiness proprietary components (presumably memory sticks) which some products don't have. Samsung is a massive powerful tough competitor, they make some quality gear now. I have a feeling that they will be seen as the bad guy within the next 5 years.

Lobbying to lower blu-ray prices would probably be illegal under anti-trust law. Removing DRM on the PS4 would be brave move, a mechanism for supporting home brew would be great but they need some protections for commercial games otherwise they won't get the studio support.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621871)

They hired Howard Stringer as their CEO, his previous gig was producer of the CBS Evening News (with Dan Rather). If he had anything in his skill set that qualified him to be their CEO -- the guy ran Sony's TV and personal-music business lines into the ground -- I'm not aware of it.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620849)

If even half the PS4 rumors are true, I will certainly be skipping the machine, likewise with the next Xbox. I suspect there is a disinformation campaign going on with both camps, gauging the outrage factor and seeing whether they can get away with it.

The Vita is already being avoided for crummy control reasons: Vita locked to a single PSN account, families cannot use them like the PS3. Massively overpriced proprietary memory - again! Attempt to kill pre-owned market by forcing people to lose trophies.

Their DRM and control freakery is driving away customers by the millions, which is a shame, the hardware itself is pretty decent.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620979)

>> Their DRM and control freakery is driving away customers by the millions, which is a shame, the hardware itself is pretty decent. As I said in my posts above, Sony is not a company capable of learning from its mistakes. Hardcore DRM in PS4? It may actually tank Playstation 4, regardless of the raw CPU/graphics performance it delivers. That, in turn, could, strangely enough, be good for PC gaming, with people buying a cheap gaming PC instead of DRMstation 4.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621789)

Vita locked to a single PSN account, families cannot use them like the PS3.

I've been told in comments to other stories that families already can't use the PS3. Compared to games for the Wii, games for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 have been eschewing split-screen multiplayer in favor of online multiplayer, killing their whole advantage over a PC.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621331)

This often happens with companies who produce high quality goods. There comes to a point where they need to target consumers who want less expensive products. Especially when a competitor comes in and starts to take some of their thunder away. Now the company has a few choices.
1. Keep up with high quality products and try to market it as worth the price. This could risk not getting the consumers attention or not really worth it and they will go with the cheap competitor alternative.

2. Lower their product quality a bit so they can cut the price. Now this could give people a bad taste in their mouth over time about product quality and will not look to that brand again.

3. If you try a high end and low end product line. Then you risk having the worst of both worlds where people who expect high quality buy the cheaper poor quality, and other people will not really see the value on their high quality products in, you are competing with yourself.

4. Try to lock down your customer base from changing to competitors. This rarely works as if customers feel too locked down they will switch before they get too stuck.

Remember Gateway 2000 back in the mid 90's Gateway 2000 was a premium PC manufacture now they produce the cheap junk PC you get a Walmart. The same is happening to Dell... I expect the same will happen to Apple. They are going to get to a point where they are going to use more plastic parts to save on costs just so they can jam in a few more features. Drop quality a little bit every release until you have a tarnished brand name.

I have always admired the ThinkPad design. Booring and changed little over the years however they kept a high quality to their design. They don't try to be flashy but a system to do what it needs to be done.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621841)

Sony had a "reputation" for being THE company to buy from, but I'd found that there products looked good but were fairly poor quality. I spent a bundle on a Walkman that was barely larger than a tape case only to have it crap out on me less than a year later from a torn ribbon cable that connect the door (with all the controls on it) to the body. Went back to Koss and never had another problem with my big clunky walkman. Friends had similar issues with Sony TVs and VCRs. I'd almost learned my lesson, then in the mid-90's I went and got a Sony Clie PDA because the screen was a beautiful 320x320px. Big mistake. Piece of crap. Looked great, but all the bits that weren't molded into the device started popping off almost immediately. I don't know how many PS1's I'd seen that couldn't read CD's any more after a few years use. It was derigeur to turn the PS1 upside down after a year or so in order to have it read disks.

Sony is like Volkswagon in that they cultvated a reputation for quality that was far beyond reality.

Re:Bad Karma Sony, Bad Karma... (1)

GuB-42 (2483988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633887)

Sony products are still good.
I have a lot of Sony products that I bought because they fitted my needs the most, it had nothing to do with brand names.
For example while "Bravia Engine" may be a collection of crappy filters, IMHO the end result looks better than its competitors image enhancement algorithms. Sure, if you turn it off (an understandable choice) then there is no reason to pay for this feature but for some people it matters. Likewise, some people have no use for a manual focus-ring (they just want to point and shoot), so they may consider it a worthless feature.
As for HDMI, the bloody wrong thing with analog HD cables is that it is a bit stupid for two digital devices to communicate in analog and lose quality in the process.

I too hate Sony DRM practices, I also hate memory sticks, the PSN, etc... I will never buy music from Sony and I don't have a PS3 but for some products, Sony still have an edge.

Downsizing their customer base (4, Funny)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620755)

So, downsizing their customer base didn't work anymore?

Question for Sony (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620769)

How is your war on users going? Is that working out for you the way you expected? Perhaps, just perhaps, your customers are not your enemies? Think about this please, you could be such a great company if not for a small handful of policies.

Re:Question for Sony (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621341)

Those sections are bringing in good profitability though.

Re:Question for Sony (2)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621351)

How is your war on users going? Is that working out for you the way you expected? Perhaps, just perhaps, your customers are not your enemies? Think about this please, you could be such a great company if not for a small handful of policies.

/. rants aside, the parts of the business that are related, even slightly, to what you're talking about are still doing just fine at Sony.

Television or Music (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620779)

Just thinking if this is about television prices falling, music missteps, or just general lack of customer confidence. There was a time, back in the tube tv days that Sony was the goto brand. They had the best tubes, and the best TV. Now I would be more likely to go with Samsung than Sony, and have in fact acquired two of these. Sony just seems nothing special.

I don't really know who produces the music I listen to. I am not going to buy a popular recording because of a label. But with all the negative publicity, I would be more likely to buy a non-sony product than a sony produce. There is still at least a perception of a premium, and the premium is certainly not worth it to me.

List of Sony Chemical products... (4, Informative)

readandburn (825014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39620789)

http://www.sonycid.jp/en/products/ [sonycid.jp] (I'm sorry to post something informative rather than something bashing Sony and/or hilarious "jokes".)

Re:List of Sony Chemical products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621111)

If only they produced some kind of chemical to make you addicted to their other products.

Re:List of Sony Chemical products... (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621645)

But that's the beauty of Slashdot! You can do both! We'll be waiting for your Sony bash...

Sony Bourne Again Shell (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621807)

We'll be waiting for your Sony bash

Sony bash hasn't been around since PS3 firmware 3.21.

Allegations denied. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39620939)

There has already been an update to this story posted earlier over on Kotaku where Sony denies the claim.

Two words- root kit (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621113)

The question I had to ask myself with Sony from then on was- have they learned their lesson and can i trust them? Do I want to put this on my computer or do I want to look for alternatives?

Corporations have to try harder to reduce the number of sociopaths in their hierarchies so a bunch of them can't get together and do something like THAT.

They're in trouble (2)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621447)

Sony's most profitable business? Life insurance. I kid you not.

Most cuts will be abroad (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621625)

Other than American businesses, nearly every other business in the world is loyal to their nations. As such, they will go to extreme to help their nations. So, yeah, I expect Sony will do most cuts abroad, and then a bit in Japan.

Nihon ichi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623331)

Unlike American companies, Japanese companies cut jobs overseas, often without cutting any at home.
Foreigners are dispensable.

Joys of misreading (1)

Krigl (1025293) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624417)

I've looked over my shoulder and scrolled, so in my peripheral vision I've read "Sony Slashes Jobs (10,000 Cuts)".
Well, too late I guess...

The Sony Element (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39624911)

I was thinking if we fire 5,000, perhaps from one of the smaller companies where no one will notice--

Fire 10,000.

But, sir, five thousan-- Yes, sir, 10 thousand, right away, sir...

Holy shit dude! (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625213)

"The company will reportedly sell off its chemical products division"

This just boggles my mind, these half retarded asswipes cant even release a music CD without it exploding into a world wide shitstorm and they were allowed to even think about a chemicals division, let alone have one to sell?

I actually feel scared now, what the fuck else do they have? A nuclear weapons division with its passwords stored on PSN?

Re:Holy shit dude! (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39626647)

CD's are made out of chemicals. Also film requires chemicals to develop. Sony's chemical division was part of the end to end supply chain strategy, where Sony was in direct control of all the components it's product require to manufacture the products sold by it's entertainment arms. With digital distribution on the rise, and digital cameras having replaced those that use film there is little need for a chemical division.

Re:Holy shit dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39626669)

woosh

nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39625243)

what are you talking about? Jobs is dead!

obligatory OVER 9000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39626071)

Sorry I know this is getting old, but just imagine Mr. Kazuo Hirai saying...

"The job cut is OVER 9000!!!!"

Three envelopes - 2012 Sony remix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39627313)

Kazuo Hirai opened his desk and found three envelopes on April 1st.

When he opened the first envelope he found a letter inscribed with an incoherent mix of numbers, letters, Kanji, and shapes.

Looking inside the second envelope, he found a Sony MiniDisc. For a week, he unsuccessfully searched the company for a device that could play the NetMD format. After finding a player on eBay and having some engineers reverse-engineer the missing proprietary power adapter, he listened to the voice of his predecessor tell him (in Japanese), "The path to success starts with cutting costs and closing unprofitable businesses."

The year that followed was filled with disappointment in Sony's most profitable lines of business. Media sales continued to plummet as HD Netflix and iTunes streaming sales for the first time produced record revenue while BluRay disc sales saw its first decrease. After three movie launches incurring studio losses including Spiderman 4, Men in Black 3, and the Total Recall remake, Columbia Pictures was shut down with remaining assets transferred to Sony Pictures. At E3 in June, EA announced that Madden 2013 would be released exclusively on iTunes for the powerful new iPhone 5 with wireless HDMI and bluetooth strap-on motion sensors. Time quickly followed with its cover story, "Who killed the console?" Another round of floods in Thailand and the Taiwanese earthquake caused Sony to push back the launch of the PS4 to January 2013. Without enough compelling content, demand for PS4 pre-orders failed to materialize in the Christmas 2012 season. The start of the double-dip depression toward the end of 2012 triggered by the continued rise in energy costs, the collapse of the Euro, and the second freezing of worldwide credit markets led the embattled Sony CEO opened the third envelope containing another MiniDisc. "Prepare three envelopes for your successor."

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