Sony keeps showing hatred for customers

I’ll admit that I sometimes wonder how one company can hate potential customers so much that they would make their products non-functional and then tell customers to buy new hardware or wait for an update that is probably never coming. If you choose to invest your money in products from a company like this, might I suggest you have your head examined?

At this point, I honestly believe the smart thing to do is to download illegal copies of the movies or music that you want and then just send Sony a check for the amount of the product you would have purchased had it not been created in a manner as to make use difficult or impossible for customers who acquired it legally. That way Sony will still have your money and you’ll have a product that works.

YES ! It appears that Sony have done it again. In their zeal to make their DVD movies copyproof (yeah right) they have in fact made their latest releases unplayable on some DVD players, including my Sony DVP-CX995V DVD player. I recently rented “Stranger than Fiction” (2 copies) and “The Holiday” ( please no comments on my choice of movies) both by Sony Pictures. Both load up to the splash title screen and then load no further, then after about 60 secs the player turns itself off!

ALL my other DVD’s and new releases from other movie companies play perfectly

I called Sony Electronics help line and they said to call Sony Pictures 1-800-860-2878 which I did.

The following is a compression of our discussion:

Sony Tech: We know about this problem. Its our new copy protection that’s making these discs unplayable in some players including our own, we do not intend to change the copy protection. The only correction to this problem is a firmware update to your player. The electronics division know about this and should have given you this information.

If you hit Google and search for whatever movie or music CD you want followed by the word Torrent you should have no trouble finding what you are after. If that doesn’t pan out, try The Pirate Bay and enter the movie or CD name in the search box there. After downloading, use Google again and search for instructions on burning your movie or music to a disc if you don’t already know how to do that. At this point, you’ll have a functioning copy of the product without the restrictions that make it fail like the legal product does. Now you can send your check to Sony along with a nice letter thanking them for the wonderful movie/music you’ve downloaded. Plus, you’ll have a backup ready in case your original gets destroyed.

If all that doesn’t convince you, at least look at what Amazon customers are saying about problems and lack of help from Sony. (via slashdot)

[tags]Sony hates customers more than before, Sony shows the hatred of consumers, Sony encourages downloading of pirated material[/tags]

Associated Press coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting spree

Since most of the sites on the web posting news about the Virginia Tech shootings appear to be getting their stories from the Associated Press, I’ll minimize my comments about the shooting and just direct my visitors to the AP special coverage section (here’s a shorter link if that one is broken) for more details.

I’m finding the site to behave poorly in K-Meleon, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. I don’t know if that’s an issue with my system or their code, but I wanted to mention it in case others have problems readying some of the site news.

Look for more coverage of the mishandling of the incident as more details are known. It’s easy for outsiders to second guess the administrators and security personnel now that we know what happened. Remember that knowing the appropriate response is much more difficult when dealing with the situation as it happens. I understand people saying that there should have been more effort to warn the student body and possibly close the school earlier, but the information available on the event as it happened may not have made that seem like the right option. Just be patient and see what we learn over the next day or so.

[tags]Associated Press coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting spree[/tags]

20 most annoying tech products

PC World has their write-up of the 20 most annoying tech products of all time. We’ll just knock out some suspense here – AOL CDs made number one. The rest of the list has some good ones, too, though. There’s also a picture guide to 10 of the worst, but honestly, it’s not worth the viewing time. Just read the full list and you’ll see the same things as hitting the photo guide.

Unlike PC World’s 25 Worst Products of All Time, irksome products aren’t necessarily bad, buggy, or dangerous. But they all have one or two traits that make you want to wrap them in 200 pounds of steel cable and toss them off the side of a boat. From stupid features and rude behavior to brain-dead design and poor corporate policies, these 20 products have truly annoyed us over the years, and some continue to do so.

Here are a couple of the annoying tech products from the list that really bug me, just to give you a sampling.

Adobe (Macromedia) Flash (1996 to present)

Adobe’s animation tool, introduced by Macromedia in 1996, has arguably done more than any other product to liven up our Web browsers. But it’s also the dominant technology behind those running, jumping, spinning, swirling, flashing, dancing, popping, peeling, and just generally irritating rich-media Web ads. We like Flash, but we wish Web designers would use its power for good and not evil.

. . .

Apple iTunes, Microsoft Windows Media Player, Microsoft Zune, Napster (2003 to present)

The media players themselves are mostly fine, but their incompatible digital rights management (DRM) schemes drive us nuts. Despite Apple’s recent decision to sell some DRM-free songs, most iTunes tunes still play only on iPods, a couple of Motorola phones, or a computer with iTunes software on it. (And the DRM-free songs cost 30 cents more.)

Windows Media files are worse–now, two different, totally incompatible DRM file formats use the .wma file extension. So if you buy a WMA file from a service that uses Microsoft’s PlaysForSure DRM (most notably Napster), it won’t work with the Zune (which uses Microsoft’s Zune DRM). Can’t we all just get along?

Microsoft has said it will “soon” sell DRM-free music for the Zune. We’ll see.

Yup. I hates me some DRM. But if you don’t know that by now, you either don’t visit here often or don’t know what DRM is, since I write against it quite often. Hit the end of the article for the list of 14 ways to be sure to annoy your customers. It’s a little treasure trove of sarcasm, too.

[tags]PC World’s 20 most annoying tech products[/tags]