Sony

Here’s how Sony will apologize for PlayStation downtime

Here’s how Sony will apologize for PlayStation downtime

Sony is hoping to pacify PlayStation gamers frustrated by the PSN downtime over the holidays, apologizing for the gaming network being offline, and offering free service and cheaper games as a mea culpa. Having seen the PlayStation Network brought down by hacking group Lizard Squad on Christmas Day, and then taken several days to bring it back to life afterwards, Sony is automatically adding five days of PlayStation Plus service to all subscribers or trial users impacted on December 25th. Meanwhile, there'll be a discount on games sometime this month, though it's unclear whether PS3 and PS4 owners will be suitably placated by it.

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PlayStation Plus games for January 2015 revealed in full

PlayStation Plus games for January 2015 revealed in full

This week the folks at Sony have revealed the first several games that'll be pushed to the public in their PlayStation Plus users for free. This includes The Swapper and Infamous: First Light for PlayStation 4. It also includes Prototype 2 and Duck Tales Remastered for PlayStation 3. PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) users will be treated to Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition as well as the game "Whoa Dave!" This should be a smooth first at-bat for the PlayStation Plus program for the start of the year 2015.

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BlackBerry the surprising savior for hacked Sony

BlackBerry the surprising savior for hacked Sony

A drawer of old BlackBerry phones unexpectedly helped keep Sony Pictures working, with staff resurrecting cast-aside tech and old-school methods to keep the hacked movie firm operational. Finding their own systems had been brought down by the hacking group known as "Guardians of Peace", Sony Pictures techs turned instead to BlackBerry's external servers, two new background pieces on the chronology of the cyberattack reveal, which kept email services running despite three-quarters of Sony's own servers having been destroyed.

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Xperia Z3 limited editions feature art inspired by Berlin, Tokyo, and Warsaw

Xperia Z3 limited editions feature art inspired by Berlin, Tokyo, and Warsaw

Sony has unveiled a limited edition version of the Xperia Z3 smartphone. On each of the limited edition devices is an engraving that is inspired by three great cities from around the world. The three cities include Berlin, Tokyo, and Warsaw. The devices were made as part of a "Stadt Talente" project where three artists were invited to use the Z3 as a canvas to create art to celebrate their favorite city.

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FBI gives Sony hack theories audience but no credence

FBI gives Sony hack theories audience but no credence

The FBI may be convinced that the Sony hack was the handiwork of North Korea, but not everyone is convinced, with private investigators briefing US security agencies on alternative explanations for the breach. Security firm Norse has joined a growing chorus of those who doubt the official account, describing the speedy assignment of blame on the secretive foreign state as a warning signal that a conclusion might have been rushed. While the FBI still insists Sony was the victim of a North Korea-led attack, it's nonetheless been open to hearing other viewpoints, Norse says.

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Sony gets teasing: new Xperia Z4, tablet, or something else?

Sony gets teasing: new Xperia Z4, tablet, or something else?

When it comes to CES, you can either take LG and Samsung's approach and gush announcements ahead of the show, or you can go with Sony's strategy and get teasing. The company has taken a mystery approach, believed to be for its upcoming Xperia smartphone, with a video titled "Welcome to the New World" that drops a few hints ahead of Sony's CES 2015 press conference on January 5th. While there's no outright shots of the phone, you can get a glimpse of it at various points, including one rather artful reflection in a user's eye.

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VAIO to offer smartphones starting next month

VAIO to offer smartphones starting next month

For years, Sony marketed laptops under the Vaio name with some success. Last summer Sony decided to spinoff the laptop branch of the company into a standalone brand simply called VAIO. Word has surfaced that VAIO is now getting ready to toss smartphones onto the market in a move that will see VAIO directly competing against Sony, its former parent company.

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Sony WiFi sound bar passed through FCC, likely headed to CES

Sony WiFi sound bar passed through FCC, likely headed to CES

HiFi and wireless didn’t really mix until Sonos came along to keep your various rooms uncluttered but still sounding great. There have been others who are jumping into the WiFi game, but none have the cache Sony does. In what seems to be a natural progression, Sony’s latest sound bar has passed through the FCC, and details it’s wireless prowess. It also pinches from Sonos’ design, bringing the long bar with a mix of speaker material and plastic to your living room.

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Gmail out in China: How much do you rely on one company?

Gmail out in China: How much do you rely on one company?

This week Gmail is out in China. Most Google services have been disrupted in China since June. Google's own traffic listing for Gmail in China shows the service dropping down to zero near the end of the 25th of December - it's been at around a zero signal since then. Imagine if this happened in the United States. Even a disruption of an hour in the USA results in a news blast and a Twitter explosion - imagine if not only Gmail was out, but all Google services at once.

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Flurry: Apple activated 3x more devices than Samsung over Christmas

Flurry: Apple activated 3x more devices than Samsung over Christmas

Research firm Flurry, the Yahoo-owned entity that tracks mobile analytics for over 600,000 cross-platform apps, has revealed some surprising statistics from the Christmas break. From December 19 through December 25, Flurry tracked new device activations and app downloads, and found that Apple ruled this holiday season. Over half of new device activations were Apple-branded devices, over twice as many as their nearest competitor, Samsung. Flurry VP of Analytics Jarah Euston said “It’s clear that Santa is no longer into cookies — he prefers Apples.”

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