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Sony PlayStation Network Online Gaming Fixed, Other Features to be restored

psnThe maker of the popular PlayStation gaming console, Sony Entertainment, has announced the company has begun restoring PlayStation Network features after the network was brought down by a sophisticated attack from a group of unidentified hackers.

Sony President, and Group Chief Executive Officer, Kazuo Hirai, made the announcement in a carefully crafted video message published earlier today.

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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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Google to launch Google TV product, with streaming content

google-tv-boxGoogle is reportedly set to launch a new product dubbed Google TV that will be an actual hardware box that would connect to televisions and would be powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Google reportedly has sealed partnerships with content providers such as Sony to license content on the new product.

Google TV would allow consumers to access the Internet, including e-mail, browsing (with Google Chrome), chat, stream media, run web apps (including social networking apps), among other features, directly to their television sets with home theater connectivity.

According to a Times report, Google TV would be powered by Intel Atom processors, and the technology will be integrated directly into Sony televisions and blu-ray players.

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Sony confirms 3D TVs June Japan launch

Sony Corporation today confirmed it would begin selling 3D televisions starting June 10, 2010 starting in Japan. The company will later offer the 3D capable televisions in other countries but failed to specify when.

Manufacturers are hoping to capitalize on the recent explosion of 3D content, such as the hugely successful movie “Avatar” directed by James Cameron, which has now become the highest grossing movie in history.

Sony will offer up to eight 3D BRAVIA models (with 3 series, the LX900, HX800, HX900), with the LX900 series being offered first starting June 10. The other two series will be available on June 16.

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Hacker claims Sony’s PlayStation 3 finally cracked

Despite Sony’s efforts to keep the PlayStation 3 system secure (and it seems until now that has been the case), after more than 3-years after the PS3 launch, hacker George Hotz has posted a blog post claiming he has been able to hack the PlayStation 3 system allowing him to have full read and write access to the system and the processor.

If the hack proves to work, users can potentially use homebrewed apps, similar to the Homebrew channel on Nintendo’s Wii system, and play backed up games.

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Microsoft, Sony set to launch new features to consoles

Microsoft and Sony are set to add new features to their respective gaming consoles, the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

On November 17, Microsoft will let users update their firmware via Xbox Live that will include many useful and much anticipated new features.

The most important Xbox updates include new Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm (with support for only the U.S. and the U.K. users for Last.fm) integration, on demand 1080p 5.1-channel HD video streaming via Zune Video, and a new News section that streams content from various content partners including MSNBC.

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Sony to add phone functionality to PSP

According to a new Nikkei report, Sony is planning to add cell phone functionality to its mobile gaming device the PSP (PlayStation Portable).

The strategic move comes from intensifying competition from the iPhone that is being pushed more and more as a gaming device.

In fact, companies such as Capcom who have traditionally developed console platform games have announced they would also release select versions for the iPhone platform.

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Sony Pictures to bring full films to YouTube

Sources familiar with a new deal in the works between YouTube and Sony Pictures told CNet the partnership will bring full-length films such as Spider-Man to YouTube.

The news comes as YouTube, the leader in online video sharing, faces intensifying competition from newer rivals such as Hulu (News Corp, NBC joint venture) who provide excellent quality full-length shows. Rival NetFlix also provides a very extensive online film library but requires a reasonably priced monthly subscription fee. Despite YouTube holding the top spot (by a significant margin) as top video sharing site, the company must continously innovate as new competitors with superior products launch.

In related news, Walt Disney last week announced it had licensed content to YouTube as well.

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Microsoft announces new systems/apps for healthcare

Microsoft today has just announced Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009. The system can be used to aggregate patient healthcare data from existing systems to make the data easily accessible for both professionals and patients via Microsoft’s HealthVault technology (HealthVault was firstly announced in 2007).

The new version includes many new features, including added plugins and IT tools that will lower the total cost of ownership, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft today also unveiled new prototypes of applications aimed at assimilating health care patient data on Microsoft Surface tables. Thirteen hospitals in the U.S. are currently testing the technology in a live environment.

There are various included applications that allow doctors to easily access records, utilize images and video to help in better explaining information to patients. With the multi-touch technology, more than one person can use the device at the same time. Doctors can easily zoom, change sizes, and rotate photos.

Microsoft Surface also features the ‘vision system’ that can identify objects placed on the surface of the display. As an interesting side note, Sony recently filed for a printer patent that uses similar technology as the Microsoft Surface vision system, where gadgets placed on the surface of the Sony printer are identified, allowing the user to print directly from supported devices.

A new app in Microsoft Surface for health care lets doctors know the number of beds available, the status of pending laboratory results (with alerts), the number of patients arriving and with what type of emergency, among other useful information for emergency physicians. Another app includes a patient scheduling and check-in system.

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Sony Developing Touch-Screen Printer Similar to Microsoft Surface


A new patent application (20090022510) from Sony reveals the company has plans to develop a touch-screen based printer much like Microsoft Surface. With Microsoft Surface, you simply place your digital camera on the touch-screen surface, and then it is able to automatically download the photos and display them on the touch-screen. Sony essentially wants to do just this for its own printer where you can put your camera on the display surface where the photos are then automatically downloaded to the Sony printer, which then lets you browse the photos on the touch-screen and simply choose which photos to print. Very interesting feature, it will be fun to see if their product infringes on any Microsoft patents here.

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