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10 novembre 2010 3 10 /11 /novembre /2010 04:03

Sony Corporation(??????? Son? Kabushiki Gaisha?) (TYO: 6758, NYSE: SNE), or commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinationalconglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate with revenue exceeding ¥ 7.730.0 trillion, or $77.20 billion U.S. (FY2010)      (Dell XPS M1210 Battery)    .

Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, products for the consumer and professional markets.

Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its eight operating segments – Consumer Products & Devices (CPD), Networked Products & Services (NPS), B2B & Disc Manufacturing (B2B & Disc), Pictures, Music, Financial Services, Sony Ericsson and All Other     (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery)   .

These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the U.S.), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders      (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery)     .

Its founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka derived the name from sonus, the Latin word for sound, and also from the English slang word "sonny", since they considered themselves to be "sonny boys", a loan word into Japanese which in the early 1950s connoted smart and presentable young men       (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery)     .

History

In late 1945, after the end of World War II, Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bomb-damaged department store building in Nihonbashi of Tokyo. The next year, he was joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K., (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan's first tape recorder called the Type-G       (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery)     .

In the early 1950s, Ibuka traveled in the United States and heard about Bell Labs' invention of the transistor. He convinced Bell to license the transistor technology to his Japanese company. While most American companies were researching the transistor for its military applications, Ibuka and Morita looked to apply it to communications      (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)       .

Although the American companies Regency and Texas Instruments built the first transistor radios, it was Ibuka's company that made them commercially successful for the first time.

In August 1955, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo released the Sony TR-55, Japan's first commercially produced transistor radio    (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)        .

They followed up in December of the same year by releasing the Sony TR-72, a product that won favor both within Japan and in export markets, including Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany. Featuring six transistors, push-pull output and greatly improved sound quality, the TR-72 continued to be a popular seller into the early sixties       (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)       .

In May 1956, the company released the TR-6, which featured an innovative slim design and sound quality capable of rivaling portable tube radios. It was for the TR-6 that Sony first contracted "Atchan", a cartoon character created by Fuyuhiko Okabe, to become its advertising character. Now known as "Sony Boy", the character first appeared in a cartoon ad holding a TR-6 to his ear, but went on to represent the company in ads for a variety of products well into the mid-sixties         (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)  .

The following year, 1957, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo came out with the TR-63 model, then the smallest (112 × 71 × 32 mm) transistor radio in commercial production. It was a worldwide commercial success.

University of Arizona professor Michael Brian Schiffer, Ph.D., says, "Sony was not first, but its transistor radio was the most successful         (Dell Latitude E6400 battery)       .

The TR-63 of 1957 cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics." By the mid 1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5,000,000 units by the end of 1968.Sony's headquarters moved to Minato, Tokyo from Shinagawa, Tokyo around the end of 2006     (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery)       .

Origin of name

When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TKK. The company occasionally used the acronym "Totsuko" in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name        (Sony VGN-FZ31S battery)     .

Another early name that was tried out for a while was "Tokyo Teletech" until Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name.

The name "Sony" was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words. One was the Latin word Sonuswhich is the root of "sonic" and "sound" and the other was "sonny," a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy      (Sony VGN-FZ31S battery)     .

The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio, appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony until January 1958.

At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters instead of kanji to spell its name. The move was not without opposition: TTK's principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name       (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery)       .

They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank's chairman gave their approval.

Products, technologies and proprietary formats

Further information: List of Sony trademarks

Sony has historically been notable for creating its own in-house standards for new recording and storage technologies, instead of adopting those of other manufacturers and standards bodies     (SONY VGN-FZ38M Battery)     .

The most infamous of these was the videotape format war of the early 1980s, when Sony marketed the Betamax system for video cassette recorders against the VHS format developed by JVC. In the end, VHS gained critical mass in the marketplace and became the worldwide standard for consumer VCRs and Sony adopted the format        (SONY VGN-FZ31z Battery)        .

While Betamax is for all practical purposes an obsolete format, a professional-oriented component video format called Betacam that was derived from Betamax is still used today, especially in the film and television industry.

In 1968 Sony introduced the Trinitron brand name for its line of aperture grille cathode ray tube televisions and (later) computer monitors       (SONY VGN-FZ31E Battery)       .

Trinitron displays are still produced, but only for markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and China. Sony discontinued the last Trinitron-based television set in the USA in early 2007. Trinitron computer monitors were discontinued in 2005.

Sony launched the Betamax videocassette recording format in 1975. In 1979 the Walkman brand was introduced, in the form of the world's first portable music player       (SONY  VGN-FZ31J Battery)      .

1982 saw the launch of Sony's professional Betacam videotape format and the collaborative Compact Disc format. In 1983 Sony introduced 90 mm micro diskettes (better known as 3.5-inch (89 mm)floppy disks), which it had developed at a time when there were 4" floppy disks and a lot of variations from different companies to replace the then on-going 5.25" floppy disks   (SONY VGN-FZ31M Battery)      .

Sony had great success and the format became dominant; 3.5" floppy disks gradually became obsolete as they were replaced by current media formats. In 1983 Sony launched the MSX, a home computer system, and introduced the world (with their counterpart Philips) to the Compact Disc or CD        (SONY VGN-FZ31B Battery)          .

In 1984 Sony launched the Discman series which extended their Walkman brand to portable CD products. In 1985 Sony launched their Handycam products and the Video8 format. Video8 and the follow-on hi-band Hi8 format became popular in the consumer camcorder market. In 1987 Sony launched the 4 mm DAT orDigital Audio Tape as a new digital audio tape standard      (SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery)       .

In addition to developing consumer-based recording media, after the launch of the CD Sony began development of commercially based recording media. In 1986 they launched Write-Once optical discs (WO) and in 1988 launched Magneto-optical discs which were around 125MB size for the specific use of archival data storage     (Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery)   .

In the early 1990s two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba and many others. Philips and Sony abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon Toshiba's SD format with only one modification based on MMCD technology, viz EFMPlus      (Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery)      .

The unified disc format was called DVD which was marketed in 1997.

Sony introduced the MiniDisc format in 1993 as an alternative to Philips DCC or Digital Compact Cassette. Since the introduction of MiniDisc, Sony has attempted to promote its own audio compression technologies under the ATRAC brand, against the more widely used MP3        (Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery)       .

Until late 2004, Sony's Network Walkman line of digital portable music players did not support the MP3 de facto standard natively, although the provided software SonicStage would convert MP3 files into the ATRAC or ATRAC3 formats.

In 1993, Sony challenged the industry standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound format with a newer and more advanced proprietary motion picture digital audio format called SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound)       (Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery)    .

This format employed eight channels (7.1) of audio opposed to just six used in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the time. Unlike Dolby Digital, SDDS utilized a method of backup by having mirrored arrays of bits on both sides of the film which acted as a measure of reliability in case the film was partially damaged. Ultimately, SDDS has been vastly overshadowed by the preferred DTS (Digital Theatre System) and Dolby Digital standards in the motion picture industry         (Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery)   .

SDDS was solely developed for use in the theatre circuit; Sony never intended to develop a home theatre version of SDDS.

In 1998, Sony launched their Memory Stick format; flash memory cards for use in Sony lines of digital cameras and portable music players. It has seen little support outside of Sony's own products with Secure Digital cards(SD) commanding considerably greater popularity         (Dell Studio 1450 Battery)      .

This is due in part to the SD format's greater throughput (which allows faster devices), higher capacities, and significantly lower price per unit capacity compared to Memory Sticks available at the same time. Sony has made updates to the Memory Stick format with Memory Stick Duoand Memory Stick Micro     (Dell Studio 1457 Battery)        .

Sony and Philips jointly developed the Sony-Philips digital interface format (S/PDIF) and the high-fidelity audio system SACD. The latter has since been entrenched in a format war with DVD-Audio. At present, neither has gained a major foothold with the general public. CDs are preferred by consumers because of ubiquitous presence of CD drives in consumer devices       (Dell Latitude D610 Battery)        .

In 1994 Sony launched the PlayStation (later PS one). This successful console was succeeded by the PlayStation 2 in 2000, itself succeeded by thePlayStation 3 in 2006. The PlayStation 2 has become the most successful video game console of all time. It has sold a total of over 140 million units and still going    (Toshiba NB100 Battery).

The PlayStation brand was extended to the portable games market in 2005 by the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and in 2009, the PSP go. Sony developed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical disc medium for use on the PlayStation Portable. Although Sony tried to push the UMD format for movies, major-studio support for the format was cut back in spring 2006, though as of 2009 some major-studio titles continue to be released on UMD      (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery)     .

In 2004, Sony built upon the MiniDisc format by releasing Hi-MD. Hi-MD allows the playback and recording of audio on newly-introduced 1 GB Hi-MD discs in addition to playback and recording on regular MiniDiscs. Recordings on the Hi-MD Walkmans can be transferred to and from the computer virtually unrestricted, unlike earlier NetMD. In addition to saving audio on the discs, Hi-MD allows the storage of computer files such as documents, videos and photos      (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery)      .

Hi-MD introduced the ability to record CD-quality audio with a linear PCM recording feature. It was the first time since MiniDisc's introduction in 1992 that the ATRAC codec could be bypassed and lossless CD-quality audio could be recorded on the small discs.

Sony was one of the leading developers and remains one of the strongest proponents of the Blu-ray Disc optical disc format, which eventually emerged as the market leader over the competing standard, Toshiba's HD DVD, after a 2 year-long format war    (Dell Latitude D830 Battery)       .

The first Blu-ray players became commercially available in June 2006, and Sony's first Blu-ray player, the Sony BDP-S1, debuted in December 2006 with an MSRP of US $999.95. By the end of 2007 the format had the backing of every major motion picture studio except Universal, Paramount, and Dreamworks. The Blu-ray format's popularity continued to increase, solidifying its position as the dominant HD media format, and Toshiba announced its decision to stop supporting HD DVD on 19 February 2008    (Dell Studio 1735 Battery)       .

On 10 September 2007 Sony unveiled Rolly,an egg-shaped digital robotic music player which has colour lights that flash as it “dances” and has flapping wings that can twist to its tunes. Movements along with the music downloaded from personal computers and Bluetooth can be set. Rolly, which went on sale in Japan on 29 September 2007, has one gigabyte of memory to store tunes. Sony also developed dog-shaped robots called AIBO and humanoids andQRIO         (Dell Latitude D620 Battery)        .

In summary, Sony has over the years introduced these standards:

  • Umatic (~1968)
  • Betamax (1975)
  • Betacam (1981)
  • Compact Disc with Philips (1982)
  • 3.5 inch Floppy Disk (1982)           (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery)
  • Video8 (1985)
  • DAT (1987)
  • Hi8 (1988)
  • MiniDisc (~1990)
  • Digital Betacam (~1990)
  • miniDV (1992)
  • DVD with others (1995)           (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery)
  • Memory Stick (1998)
  • Digital8 (1999)
  • Universal Media Disc (~2003)
  • HDV with JVC (~2004)
  • Blu-ray Disc with Panasonic and others (2006)           (Sony VGN-FW11M Battery)

Management

Sony's current CEO, president and chairman SirHoward Stringer

On 22 June 2005, Nobuyuki Idei stepped down as Sony Corp. Chairman and Group CEO and was replaced by Howard Stringer, then Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America, Corporate Executive Officer, Vice Chairman and COO Sony Entertainment Business Group        (Dell Studio 1555 battery)      .

Sony's decision to replace Idei with the BritishHoward Stringer marked the first time that a foreigner has run a major Japanese electronics firm. On the same date, Kunitake Ando stepped down as President and was replaced by Ryoji Chubachi.

Mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures

Manufacturing base

Slightly more than 50% of the electronics' segment's total annual production during the fiscal year 2005 took place in Japan    (Dell Latitude E5400 Battery)      ,

including the production of digital cameras, video cameras, flat panel televisions, personal computers, semiconductors and components such as batteries and Memory Sticks. Approximately 65% of the annual production in Japan was destined for other regions. China accounted for slightly more than 10% of total annual production, approximately 70% of which was destined for other regions       (Dell Latitude E4200 Battery)        .

Asia, excluding Japan and China, accounted for slightly more than 10% of total annual production with approximately 60% destined for Japan, the US and the EU. The Americas and Europe together accounted for the remaining slightly less than 25% of total annual production, most of which was destined for local distribution and sale         (Dell Vostro A840 Battery)     .

Sony's Sales and Distribution by Geographical Regions in 2009

Geographic Region Total Sales ( Yen in millions)
Japan 1,873,219
United States 1,827,812
Europe 2,307,658
Other Area 2,041,270

On 9 December 2008, Sony Corp. said it will cut 8,000 jobs, drop 8,000 contractors and reduce its global manufacturing sites by 10% to save $1.1 billion a year      (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery)     .

Controversy

Fictitious movie reviewer

In July 2000, a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David Manning, who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Picturesthat generally received poor reviews amongst real critics        (Dell Studio 1737 battery)      .

When the scandal was revealed, Sony apologised to Ridgefield Press, the newspaper Manning was claimed to be from. Sony claimed it was unaware of the marketing ploy, and pulled the ads and suspended Manning's creator and his supervisor. In 2003, Sony paid the state of Connecticut $325,000 in fines following the Connecticut Attorney General's investigation into Sony's alleged fraudulent marketing practices      (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)      .

In August 2005, Sony finalized a settlement to pay $1.5m to fans who saw the reviewed films in the US.

Malicious software (spyware)

Main article: Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal

In October 2005, it was revealed by Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals that Sony BMG's music CDs had installed a rootkit on the user's computer as a DRM measure (called Extended Copy Protectionby its creator, British company First 4 Internet), which was difficult to detect or remove      (Dell Latitude E6400 battery)         .

This constitutes a crime in many countries, and poses a major security risk to affected users. The uninstaller Sony initially provided removed the rootkit, but in turn installed a dial-home program that posed an even greater security risk. Sony eventually provided an actual uninstaller that removed all of Sony's DRM program from the user's computer. Sony BMG faced several class action lawsuits regarding this matter      (Dell RM791 battery)      .

On 31 January 2007, the U. S. Federal Trade Commission issued a news releaseannouncing that Sony BMG had agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that Sony BMG committed several offenses against United States federal law. This settlement required that Sony BMG allow consumers to exchange the CDs through 30 June 2007, and to reimburse consumers for up to $150 for the repair of damage to their computers that they may have incurred while removing the software     (Dell XPS M1530 battery)  .

Digital Rights Management

In 2006 Sony started using ARccOS Protection on some of their film DVDs, which caused compatibility problems with some DVD players – including models manufactured by Sony. After complaints, Sony was forced to issue a recall.

In August 2007, security firm F-Secure reported that the MicroVault USB thumb drive installs a rootkit in a hidden directory without consent on user computers      (Dell XPS M2010 battery)        .

The directory is intended to protect fingerprint data, however it can be used for malicious means as most virus scanners will not search for the directory or its contents.  Sony advised it was conducting an investigation on the third-party product, and would offer a fix by mid-September      (Dell Vostro 1000 battery)   .

In September 2009 Sony had its Mexican office raided by police to recover over 6000 CDs, masters and artwork, by the popular Latin American artist Alejandro Fernández. Fernández's lawyers claimed that Sony was in breach of contract as Fernández had been contracted to Sony for seven albums and the recordings were an eighth album made after the contract had expired      (Acer Aspire One battery)        .

Controversial advertisements

Sony admitted in late 2005 to hiring graffiti artists to spray paint advertisements for their PlayStation Portable game system in seven major cities including New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco.and Sydney Australia. The mayor of Philadelphia filed a cease and desist order. According to Sony, they paid businesses and building owners for the right to graffiti their walls     (Dell Precision M70 Battery)     .

As of early January 2006, Sony had no plans to keep or withdraw them.

In July 2006, Sony released a Dutch advertising campaign featuring a white model dressed entirely in white and a black model garbed in black. The first ad featured the white model clutching the face of the black model. The words "White is coming" headlined one of the ads. The ad has been viewed as racist by critics    (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery)       .

A Sony spokesperson responded that the ad does not have a racist message, saying that it was only trying to depict the contrast between the black PSP model and the new ceramic white PSP. Other pictures of the ad campaign include the black model overpowering the white model     (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery)   .

In November 2006, a marketing company employed by Sony created a website entitled "All I want for Xmas is a PSP", designed to promote the PSP through viral marketing. The site contained a blog, which was purportedly written by "Charlie", a teenager attempting to get his friend "Jeremy"'s parents to buy him a PSP, providing links to t-shirt iron-ons, Christmas cards, and a "music video" of either Charlie or Jeremy "rapping"      (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery)      .

However, visitors to the website soon discovered that the website was registered to a marketing company, exposing the site on sites such as YouTube and digg, and Sony was forced to admit the site's true origin in a post on the blog, stating that they would from then on "stick to making cool products" and that they would use the website for "the facts on the PSP". The site has since been taken down. In an interview with next-gen.biz, Sony admitted that the idea was "poorly executed"     (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery)      .

Legal

In 2002, Sony Computer Entertainment America, marketer of the popular PlayStation game consoles, was sued by Immersion Corporation of San Jose, California which claimed that Sony's PlayStation "Dual Shock" controllers infringed on Immersion's patents. In 2004, a federal jury agreed with Immersion, awarding the company US$82 million in damages       (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .

A U.S. district court judge ruled on the matter in March 2005 and not only agreed with the federal jury's ruling but also added another US$8.7 million in damages. This is likely the reason that the Sixaxis controller for the PlayStation 3 had no rumble feature. The DualShock 3 has since been made available for the PlayStation 3, reintroducing rumble capabilities       (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery)        .

Microsoft Corp. was also sued for its Xbox controller, however, unlike Sony, they settled out of court so they could continue using the technology for the follow-up Xbox 360.

A California judge ordered Sony to pay Immersion a licensing fee of 1.37 percent per quarter based on the sales of PlayStation units, Dual Shock controllers, and a selection of PlayStation 2 games that use Immersion's technology       (Dell Latitude XT2 Tablet PC Battery)        .

PS3 advertised features removed post sale

Sony announced that on 1 April 2010 it was electronically removing Linux  functionality from the first generation PS3.  A class action has been taken out in California challenging the legality of "the disablement of valuable functionality originally advertised"      (Toshiba Portege 335CT Battery)    .

Laptop batteries dysfunction

In April 2006, a Sony laptop battery exploded in Japan and caught fire. A Japanese couple in Tokyo sued both Sony and Apple Japan for over ¥2 million (US$16,700) regarding the incident. The suit argues that the man suffered burns on his finger when the battery burst into flames while being used, and his wife had to be treated for mental distress due to the incident    Dell Vostro A90 Battery)  .

On 14 August 2006, Sony and Dell admitted to major flaws in several Sony batteries that could result in the battery overheating and catching fire. As a result they recalled over 4.1 million laptop batteries in the largest computer-related recall to that point in history. The cost of this recall is being shared between Dell and Sony. Dell also confirmed that one of its laptops caught fire in Illinois    (Toshiba Satellite P15  Battery)     .

This recall also prompted Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to order the companies to investigate the troubles with the batteries. The ministry said they must report on their findings and draw up a plan to prevent future problems by the end of August, or face a fine under consumer safety laws     (Toshiba Satellite Pro M10 Battery)       .

Ten days later on 24 August 2006, Apple Computer recalled 1.8 million Sony built batteries after receiving nine reports of batteries overheating, including two customers who suffered minor burns, and additional reports of property damage.

On 19 September 2006, Toshiba announced it was recalling 340,000 Sony laptop batteries.This recall, however, is not related to the recalls by Apple and Dell, as the batteries are known to cause the laptops to sometimes run out of power    (Toshiba Portege 3110 Battery)      .

No injuries or other accidents have been reported, according to Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Omori.

On 23 September 2006, Sony announced its investigation  of a Lenovo ThinkPad T43 laptop which overheated and caught fire in Los Angeles International Airport on 16 September, an incident that was confirmed by Lenovo. On 28 September 2006, Lenovo and IBM made the global recall of 526,000 laptop batteries      (Toshiba Portege R600 Battery)      .

On 28 September 2006, Sony announced a global battery exchange program in response to growing consumer concerns.

On 2 October 2006, Hewlett-Packard (HP) determined that it was not necessary for them to join the global battery replacement program.

On 3 October 2006, the Yomiuri Shimbun (a Japanese Newspaper) reported that Sony was aware of faults in its notebook PC batteries in December 2005 but failed to fully study the problem     (Toshiba Satellite 1900 Battery)       .

On 16 October 2006, Fujitsu announced it was recalling 278,000 Sony laptop batteries.  It was also reported that Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Hitachi may seek compensation from Sony over the battery recalls.

On 25 April 2007, Acer announced that 27,000 batteries from TravelMate and Aspire series notebooks sold from May 2004 to November 2006 were recalled due to 16 reports of overheating and explosions     (Toshiba Portege R200 Battery)        .

On 24 August 2007, it emerged that some of Sony's batteries that were not recalled, and in use on Dell laptop computers, may be at risk of catching fire and exploding; as another case of a Dell laptop with a Sony battery in it, came to light.

On 30 October 2008, the recall of an additional 100,000 batteries produced by Sony was announced by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Toshiba due to around forty cases of batteries overheating being reported globally       (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery)       .

CCD

Initially, in October 2005, it was reported by Sony that there were problems with the charge-coupled devices (CCD) in 20 models of digital still cameras. The problems can prevent the cameras from taking clear pictures, and in some cases, possibly prevent a picture being taken at all. In late November 2006, the recall was broadened to eight additional models of digital cameras sold between 2003 and 2005     (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery)     .

The problem appears to manifest itself mostly when the camera is used in areas with hot weather. The eight models affected are the following: DSC-F88, DSC-M1, DSC-T1, DSC-T11, DSC-T3, DSC-T33, DSC-U40 and DSC-U50. Sony did indicate that they will repair or replace the affected camera at no charge. Since Sony is one of the largest producers of CCD chips, this recall may affect other manufacturers and models of cameras, possibly as many as 100 models or more       (Dell Vostro A90 Battery)        .

Other manufacturers of digital cameras, including Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus or Fuji have indicated they will replace faulty CCDs in their respective models of cameras if necessary.

Virtualization disabled on VAIO laptops

Previously Sony has disabled hardware virtualization on their high end VAIO laptops     (Dell Vostro A860 Battery)      .

This means that the Windows 7 operating system as well as virtualization software such as VMWare, VirtualBoxand others are unable to make use of Intel's or AMD's virtualization technology embedded in their CPUs. Sony's senior manager for product marketing, Xavier Lauwaert, responded that "our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code"     (Dell Vostro 2510 Battery)      .

However, with the new BIOS that are being released, most of the new laptops are now officially being enabled with this feature. This includes Vaio Z models with BIOS R2170M3 and R4043M3.

Environmental record

In May 2010, Sony ranked jointly with Panasonic 6th on Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics that assesses the policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change of 18 leading electronics manufacturers      (Dell Vostro 1700 Battery)      .

Sony has currently no products available that are completely free of toxic vinyl plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). It has committed to removing PVC and BFRs in its mobile products by April 2011.

Improvement efforts

Since 1976, Sony has had an Environmental Conference. Sony's policies address their effects on global warming, the environment, and resources    (Dell Vostro 1510 Battery)       .

They are taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that they put out as well as regulating the products they get from their suppliers in a process that they call "green procurement".Sony has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of their Sony Building running on geothermal power. The "Sony Take Back Recycling Program" allows consumers to recycle the electronics products that they buy from Sony by taking them to eCycle (Recycling) drop-off points around the U.S   (Dell Vostro 1400 Battery)      .

The company has also developed a biobattery that runs on sugars and carbohydrates that works similarly to the way living creatures work. This is the most powerful small biobattery to date.

Green TV

For sale in Japan on 30 July 2008, Sony's green product, new flat-panel 32-inch (810 mm) TV 150,000 yen (US$ 1,400; € 900) Bravia KDL-32JE1 offers ecological consumers advantages of less energy consumption (70% less) than regular models with the same image quality       (HP Pavilion DV7 Battery)       .

Sony was able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions totaling 79 kilograms (174 pounds) a year, without sacrificing quality by developing a brighter back light and better filtering, which produces light more efficiently. The TVs will have liquid crystal displays along with high-definition digital broadcast capabilities      (HP Pavilion dv9000 battery)    .

Criticism

In 2000, Sony was ridiculed for a document entitled "NGO Strategy" that was leaked to the press. The document involved the company's surveillance of environmental activists in an attempt to plan how to counter their movements. It specifically mentioned environmental groups that were trying to pass laws that held electronics-producing companies responsible for the clean up of the toxic chemicals contained in their merchandise    (Dell Vostro 1000 battery)     .

In early July 2007, Sony ranked 14th on the Greenpeace chart "Guide to Greener Electronics." This chart graded major electronics companies on their environmental work. Sony fell from its earlier 11th place ranking due to Greenpeace's claims that Sony had double standards in their waste policies      (HP Pavilion DV4 Battery)  .

In 2005, it was made public that the videogame Full Spectrum Warrior, developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Pandemic Studios, was paid for in whole by the United States Department of Defense, for use as an urban combat trainer. Not only was the simulation never used as intended, but the Army lost its full investment while Pandemic Studios went on to release the simulation, now an entertainment game, through THQ and it became a success(Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery,Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery)  .

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