Report: Sony to make low-cost mininotebook

Sony is prepping a notebook based on Via's OpenBook reference design, PC World is reporting.

At the WiMax Expo taking place in Taipei, contract manufacturer Quanta Computer showed a mini-laptop based on Via's just-released design that will be out in the third quarter of this year. A sharp-eyed reporter spotted Sony as the listed manufacturer for the device. When questioned, Quanta representatives apparently clammed up, and it doesn't appear Sony will be commenting either.

The mini notebook has an 8.9-inch screen, at least an 80GB hard drive, will use a 1.6-Gigahertz C7-M processor from Via, … Read more

Ducati phone doesn't look like a winner

It may make some sense for Ducati to try its hand at co-branding a mobile phone the way car companies have, but it would have been well advised to wait for a better opportunity.

There's nothing wrong with the choice of Sony Ericsson's Z770 handset, but the customized design makes it look like something that would have come with a Hot Wheels set. It looks particularly amateurish next to high-end offerings from the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.

Maybe Ducati should have started out smaller, such as sticking with the branded DS-220 headset reported by Engadget. After all, … Read more

Sony makes tubular speaker concept a reality

Given that concepts are a penny a dozen, it's no surprise that most never make it off the drawing board at most companies--and Sony is no exception. So it is with some surprise that the company has decided to take that rare step and make one of them a reality.

Sony's "Soutina" (purportedly a mashup of "sound" and "fountain") first made the rounds in draftboard form last year under a different name. But now the unusually designed acrylic speaker--which is described as "a transparent organic glass tube that vibrates and expands … Read more

Dialed In 33: HTC Touch Dual, Samsung Instinct hit stores

Two of the spring's most anticipated cell phones are arriving in stores. We also catch you up on the latest news and cell phone reviews, including a Sony Ericsson handset with gesture control. What's that, you ask? Just listen and find out. Listen now: Download today's podcast

1. NewsHTC Touch Dual in Best Buy stores Palm CEO comments on next-gen OS Pantech Breeze should be a breeze to use Samsung 'Tocco' wants to be touched more

Up close with Sony's ultrathin TVs

CARLSBAD, Calif.--A steady stream of folks rushed the stage Wednesday after Howard Stringer's speech, but they weren't looking to corner the Sony CEO. Rather, they wanted to see his superthin television.

Sony already has an 11-inch OLED model that sells for $2,500, but Stringer showed an even thinner model due out within the next 12 months. It's thinner than a credit card, just 0.3mm thick.

Among those who went onstage to see it was decor guru Martha Stewart, who gave it the all-important thumbs up. "I like it," Stewart told me, adding … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 733: Flying Poop Factory

That is, sadly, the new name for the International Space Station, where astronauts have a real problem to contend with, unlike the New Mexico folks trying to ban public Wi-Fi. In other news, Warner Music is backing a hilariously insane plan to get you to rent a song, one time, for 10 cents a pop, and it turns out that all those furious, ranty e-mails about Dell's terrible tech support were true! Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 733

$20 Million Dollar Experiment to See if You’ll Rent a Song for 10 Cents more

Sony CEO Stringer: You can't afford our best TV

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Sony CEO Howard Stringer says the culture of profitability has returned to his company. But, he says, it still has work to do.

In an interview with Stringer at the D6 technology and media conference, The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg started by pointing out the failures of Sony's digital music player and interactive TV ventures. Stringer said that Sony is now running about 5 percent profit margins. Those margins need to get bigger to sustain the company, or, he says, "If we have any more success, we'll be bankrupt."

Speaking about the … Read more

Sony commits to 'Tru2way' TV

Sony signed an agreement with the country's six largest cable companies Tuesday to develop a TV that will receive cable services without the need for a set-top box.

The Japanese electronics giant will make an LCD set based on the Tru2way cable platform introduced in January at CES by Comcast. Tru2way allows interactive cable services to be integrated directly into devices.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision, and Bright House Networks have all agreed to develop the technology behind Tru2way.

Sony's not the first consumer electronics company to announce a device based on the platform, … Read more

Howard Stringer channels Howard Beale. Now what?

I've always admired Sir Howard Stringer. Any ex-journo who can finagle a knighthood (honorary or not) from the queen obviously has a lot on the ball. When he took over at Sony three years ago, he knew he was walking into a mess. The fact that this historically very insular company was willing to put its trust in a gaijin spoke volumes about a willingness to change.

He carried out the mandatory reorganization and promise to break down the famously high walls separating divisions and product groups. Stringer wanted to get the creative juices flowing again so Sony could … Read more

Sony's CEO wants managers' blood to boil

Sony's CEO Howard Stringer is bringing new meaning to the term "anger management."

He wants Sony managers to get mad, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Anger-passion, combined with energy, innovation, imagination, and bold steps, is the ticket to get Sony back on track as it sets out its next three-year growth plan, Stringer is cited as having told the company's staff of more than 1,000 managers during a closed-door annual management meeting in Japan.

"I'm asking you to get mad," Stringer said, according to the Journal report.

The … Read more