Monday, March 31, 2008

Delicious irony: Sony caught using pirated software

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Ars Technica reports: Sony BMG's hypocrisy: company busted for using warez

Sony BMG, proud RIAA member and supporter of thousands of lawsuits against people suspected of distributing pirated music, has been caught red handed using pirated software on some of their own servers.

Insert obligatory comments about people in glass houses, karma, etc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

PlayStation scare tactics

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According to Sony's PS3 network troubleshooting page:
Use only an Ethernet cable compatible with 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX or 1000BASE-T networks. Do not use a cord for a standard residential telephone line or cables of types other than those mentioned here. Using the wrong type of cord or cable can cause more electrical current than necessary to flow through the LAN connector, which may lead to heat build-up, fire or malfunction.
(emphasis mine)

So if you use phone wire instead of a Cat-5 wire, it can make the PS3 overheat and catch fire? If that's true, then the PS3's network interface is a complete piece of trash. With any other network device, using phone wire will simply not work - you won't be able to move any data, but it won't make the device catch fire!

So, is Sony simply exaggerating reality, or is their network hardware really that badly designed?

Or are they worried that someone will try and solder a power plug onto the end of a phone wire and shunt 120vac into the Ethernet jack? But even then, it should just blow out the PS3's circuits. It still shouldn't catch fire.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wire coat-hangers sound as good as Monster Cable!

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Experiments: Do Coat Hangers Sound As Good Monster Cables?

Somehow, this doesn't surprise me. And it's a finger in the eye of every so-called audiophile who, over the past 20 years, has tried to sell me expensive (sometimes $20/foot) cable when I try to buy el-cheapo $1/foot cables for my stereo.

I do like to get heavy-gauge wires with thick insulation and gold-plated connectors. Not because it sounds any different, but because these kinds of cables are more durable and resistant to corrosion over time. But that's still a whole lot less expensive than what Monster (and other audiophile brands) charge.