Sony Corp.

Sony Q1 2016 Earnings – Gaming & Media Up, Electronics Flat, and Components Down

(As always, keep in mind that these charts are fairly wide and created in very high resolution so simply click on them to enlarge)

The more I look at Sony’s Q4 FY15 earnings report which comprises of how they did in Q1 2016, the more hopeful and cautious I am of the company. In short, I find the direction Kaz Hirai is pursuing to be the correct one for Sony at the time. The question which remains is if Sony can execute his vision at a quick enough pace and transition to the next phase which is being a more lean and robust company with hopefully better selling devices on the market. That is outside of PlayStation which continues to do gangbuster numbers. Otherwise for Sony, it’s a tale of lower sales but higher profits, thanks to their more premium lineup which offers better margins.

If you look at the above chart, you’ll notice that excluding entertainment endeavors which in my mind comprises of PlayStation, Sony Pictures, and Sony Music, most of Sony’s electronic businesses were down compared to a year ago’s quarter. I’ve already discussed in length what’s been happening at Sony Mobile which you can read about here. However as the chart below shows, despite a drop in sales, Sony’s prospects on each division is improving, including their troubled mobile division. In fact Sony has posted a 666.5% rise in pretax profit for its full fiscal year.

Across nearly all core electronics business, Sony has seen a rise in operating income, even if they’re still posting negative numbers. The reason Financial Services dipped is mostly due to stock market volatility which has been in full affect the entire year. As Sony put it:

 Increases in the amortization of deferred insurance acquisition costs and the provision of policy reserves, primarily driven by a significant decrease in interest rates and the deterioration in the stock market 

For comparison, Apple each quarter has ‘lost’ more money due to currency volatility than companies like Facebook actually make. Context is king, right? Otherwise, as I said earlier, it seems like most of Sony’s businesses are humming right along the path set out by Kaz. However, let’s not forget about the elephant in the room – that division right in the middle – Devices. As you can see, compared to a year ago’s quarter, Devices is down ¥75.3 billion. It’s as if that division fell off of a cliff. For those unaware, Devices comprises mostly of Sony’s semiconductor business which supplies companies like Apple and Samsung things like batteries and camera sensors. According to Sony, the large negative number is in part due to:

Deterioration in the operating results of the camera module business

Deterioration in the operating results of the battery business

Increases in depreciation and amortization expenses as well as in research and development expenses

I’ve heard from a little birdie that Sony may have lost a major customer which could lend credence to the dramatic drop. Otherwise it’s hard to equate their reasonings and that number but for now, all we have is Sony’s vague statement on the matter. For those wondering what percentage of the company each division of Sony comprises, wonder no more with the chart below.

Way more details on each division from the Sony Q1 2016 earnings report after the jump.

Sony Profits Up 666% While Revenue Slightly Dips by 1.2%

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It’s earnings time again and as a whole, things are going well for Sony as evident by the:

 666.5% rise in pretax profit for its full fiscal year 

This can be mainly attributed to the strong performance of PS4 and Sony’s ability to cut costs within its mobile division. All of this has led to:

 income before taxes for the year ending March 31 came in at 304.5 billion yen ($2.81 billion), a big rise from the 39.7 billion yen recorded during the same period last year. Operating profit rose 329.2% to 294.2 billion yen, its largest figure since fiscal 2007 

Looking at things more closely, mobile is still a business that’s struggling for Sony but losses did narrow to:

 61.4 billion yen from 217.6 billion in fiscal 2015 

Ultimately that operating loss of ¥61.4 billion ($544 million) was 57.4% bigger than the company predicted a year ago but that’s mainly due to Sony choosing profits over scale which has also led to a revenue dip of 20% compared to the year prior. Kazuo Hirai:

 If it means that we’re selling less number of phones going out the door. We’re fine with that so long as we have a profitable business, and we’re really on our way to being profitable in that regard 

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight is more optimistic about Sony Mobile’s future. While what he has to say isn’t wrong; it’s up to Sony to be able to capitalize on future opportunities, especially now that they’re more lean than years past and the division hasn’t shown the same foresight as PlayStation to garner the benefit of the doubt. Ben Wood:

 Sony Mobile has embarked on some aggressive cost reduction over the last 12 months. This has seen it exit markets such as China, India and the U.S. as well as reducing its headcount. Now the business unit has more stable financial position to build on as it looks to driving a return to growth 

It’s no secret that gaming continues to become a more critical division of Sony and PlayStation did little to disappoint. Operating income for the Games division rose 84.3% to to ¥88.7 billion ($785 million) and an 11.8% improvement in sales. Both software and hardware sales for PS4 were up year-over-year which is helping offset the predictable decline of PS3 sales. PlayStation VR will also go on sale later this year but I’m doubtful first year sales will have a large impact on the bottom line as larger consumer interest in VR has yet to be determined and it’s unclear how profitable each VR headset is for Sony. However, if VR does take off, Sony is well positioned.

More after the jump.

Sony and Montclair State University Bring Touch of Hollywood to East Coast

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Sony has been making some interesting strategic decisions lately.

In a move that will bring Hollywood’s newest technology to New Jersey, Montclair State University has entered into a strategic alliance with Sony Electronics, one of the world’s and the state’s technology leaders. The agreement puts into place a long-term plan to enable the University’s communication and media students to gain real-world experience and get a high-tech preview of their future careers. The University’s new School of Communication and Media building, currently under construction on the 252-acre, suburban New Jersey campus, will provide a facility where Sony will offer industry professional training similar to what is offered at its Digital Motion Picture Center (DMPC) on the lot of Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Slated for completion in spring 2017, Montclair State’s new School of Communication and Media building will have the distinction of being one of the most extensive 4K studio and production facilities in the country located on a university campus. It will include studios and classrooms, as well as a theater outfitted with Sony laser projectors, studio cameras, production switchers and monitors. The strategic alliance between Montclair State and Sony, however, extends far beyond the equipping of this new state-of-the-art building.

Though they won’t be yielding any fruit from this in the short term, Sony is empowering a creative community that will learn and create on their equipments. Particularly in Hollywood, we see it time and time again where directors and talents champion things they grew up with like the love for 35mm film that J.J. Abrams & Quentin Tarantino share. This loyalty also extends to where they’re likely to set up shop which could allow Sony Pictures in the feature to more easily scoop up talent.

Similar to Sony’s DMPC operation in Hollywood, the Montclair State facility will be a training and educational resource, with cutting-edge 4K facilities available to students and production professionals in every aspect of the creative process. Sony will use the space to host business development events, conduct training and promote new technologies, establishing Montclair State University as a preferred environment for Sony’s introduction of new products, technologies and services relating to television, film, media and higher education. Additionally, Sony will enable Montclair State communication and media students to attend the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference and will create internship, mentoring and training opportunities for them. Sony technologies are also used by professionals in a range of b-to-b applications and markets, including live event and sports production, faith, government, education, and healthcare.

More after the jump.

Sony to Postpone Earnings Results for Fiscal Year Due to Earthquakes in Japan

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We already know that when Sony reports its consolidated results forecast for the fiscal year, it will be lower than expected. That’s in part because Sony will be booking

 an impairment loss of ¥59.6B on its camera business. Operating Income for FY now estimated at ¥290B, down from ¥320B. 

Originally Sony had set April 28th aside for their earnings call but due to the recent earthquakes in Japan which have also affected two of their image sensor factories which provide optics for the iPhone, the company has announced a delay in their earnings results.

It’s unclear exactly when Sony plans on reporting their results, other than the vague May timeframe given. This is likely so they can better assess the damages done by the quakes which they will surely be asked about during the earnings call. Statement from Sony after the jump.

Sony to Report Lower Profit Margins for FY 2016

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Come April 28th, we’ll know a lot more, but it’s looking like Sony isn’t going to be able to hit their original goals for FY16.

Just last quarter, Sony’s image sensor division, which has traditionally been a point of strong profits for the company, recorded a surprise loss for the quarter. Now it seems that the division will continue to struggle in the coming quarters as slow down in China and other Asian territories continues along side a maturing smartphone market. Luckily for Sony, we’re headed towards a world that requires more and more sensors – from self-driving cars, to drones, headsets, and 360 camera rigs to name a few. Assuming Sony is able to take advantage of them, and there are already reports of Sony prepping sensors for cars and the company having formed its own drone division with the sole purpose of showing off their camera technology to much larger firms, I have a feeling that the long term prospects for their image sensors are just fine.

Japan Earthquakes Disrupt Sony Production of Image Sensors Used in iPhones

Sony  Kumamoto Image Sensor Plant

Makiko Yamasaki writing for Reuters:

 Electronics giant Sony Corp said a factory producing image sensors for smartphone makers will remain closed while it assesses the damage from two deadly earthquakes which hit southern Japan. One of its major customers is Apple, which uses the sensors in its iPhones. 

As Sony assesses damages from the Thursday and Saturday earthquakes, they’ve closed their image sensor plant in Kumamoto (pictured above) while operations at their Nagasaki plant, also in Kyushu, have been partially suspended. According to a Sony spokesmen:

 We are not expecting any immediate supply disruption as we have some inventories right now. We will make an announcement promptly if any supply issues emerge. 

Apple most recently launched iPhone SE which, like the iPhone 6s, utilizes a 12-megapixel Sony image sensor. In addition to the two plants mentioned, Sony also operates two other image sensor plants in Japan which have been unaffected by the earthquakes. Luckily no one was hurt at either plant which usually operate on a 24-hour basis.

Sony NAB Show 2016 Keynote Timed & Dated

Sony NAB Show 2016

Sony has officially revealed that, come April 17 at 2:00pm, the company will take the stage in Las Vegas to present their NAB Show 2016 keynote. NAB is generally geared towards professionals and in turn, Sony traditionally makes announcements and reveals based around their cinema-grade cameras and equipments. However, Sony has curiously also invited a few people from the photography world, lending to rumors that they also plan on announcing new cameras as well.

With the keynote happening on Sunday, we luckily won’t have to wait long to find out. More after the jump.

Poll: Are you willing to pay to upgrade your HD UltraViolet content to 4K on Sony Ultra?

Ultra logo (PRNewsFoto/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Ultra, Sony’s new 4K streaming service, went live on the company’s 2016 Android 4K TVs this week. Announced approximately 2 months ago at CES 2016, this service is stepping out into a world that already has Netflix and Amazon Prime. What sets it apart? Offering both 4K and 4K HDR content, Sony Ultra allows you to purchase each movie for $30 and upgrade the content you already own (on UltraViolet) for $12. Would you be willing to pay to upgrade the HD content you already own to 4K? Let us know in our poll after the jump.

PlayStation App Version 3.50 Now Live for iOS & Android

Amidst all the hoopla for PlayStation 4 system update 3.5 is another update: PlayStation App version 3.50. There aren’t nearly as many new things as there are with the PS4 update but for those wondering, the new update which is available now on iOS and Android includes:

  • User Scheduled Event
    • Users can schedule gameplay sessions with friends
  • Dailymotion has been added to Live from PlayStation
  • Other players’ shared activities appear in your activities

Sony Ultra Will Allow You to Upgrade Content from HD to 4K for a Price

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I’ve been talking a lot about Ultra, the 4K streaming service from Sony. While I like the idea of it, the service is unfortunately going to face some tough times with a lot of questions about its long term viability in the midst of competition from Netflix and Amazon Prime who will also be providing 4K HDR content. One positive thing that Sony with doing with Ultra is allowing users to connect their UltraViolet accounts and bring over their Sony Pictures titles. Jake Winett, VP of consumer services and advanced platforms for Sony Pictures:

 We believe that consumers like choice, and don’t like to be locked into a particular silo, within a particular service. It was important that we made Ultra compatible with UltraViolet, and as a new service for consumers, to give them additional value. They can turn on Ultra, and already have titles in their library they can watch, or even upgrade to in 4K. 

While I despise everything there is about UltraViolet, this is a good move by Sony and automatically brings people into their new app with some content. If you’re staring at a blank service that only revolves around purchases, you’re less likely to use it. But if it’s already populated with your previously purchased content, then there is a far greater chance that you’ll actually put the service to use. Perhaps best, Sony will also allow you to upgrade your HD films to 4K.

 For Sony Pictures titles they already have in their library, SD or HD, depending on what they purchased previously, when a 4K HDR version of that movie is available within Ultra, when they go into that particular title … there will be an upgrade option. For $12, upgrading from HD to 4K, they’ll get the highest quality possible, and be able to stream [4K] with a single transaction. 

That’s honestly not too expensive, considering the alternative when many of us bought the same titles we owned on DVD on Blu-ray. This is frankly the same transition and with digital, it’s even easier. Ironically despite Winett touting:

 We believe that consumers like choice, and don’t like to be locked into a particular silo, within a particular service, 

once upgraded to 4K, it’s not as if they’ll be able to take their 4K purchased content to any other TV, seeing how Ultra is only compatible with Sony’s 2016 Android 4K TVs. Hopefully Sony can dramatically expand Ultra’s availability because like Netflix, they should target it to be on every 4K TV sold and not instead use it as a leveraging tool for consumers to purchase a Sony TV vs. the competition because frankly, most people likely won’t even know it exists.

Sony Ultra 4K Streaming Service Includes Interactive Bonuses

Sony Ultra 4K Streaming Service Logo

Ultra, the 4K streaming service from Sony Pictures, went live yesterday for Sony’s 2016 fleet of Android 4K TVs which includes the X850D, X930D, and X940D. Now Jake Winett, VP of consumer services and advanced platforms for SPHE, is revealing a few additional details about the service like interactive bonuses.

 Consumers can expect more or less a parity experience. I would say the one differentiator with digital is that we can be a little more dynamic with the content, with [the ability to add] additional content that becomes available to an extras package down the line, whereas with a disc it’s fixed. We also have a feature that will come with some movies, coming a little bit later after launch, [one] which adds a fun layer of interactivity. While someone is watching the movie they can get an indication that there’s a [bonus] specific [to a] piece of content. That can be a bit of trivia, it can be a digital effects deconstruction scene, things like that. We think that will be interesting for consumers. 

The biggest challenge Sony is going to face is consumer trust. For three years now, Sony has been shipping 4K TVs and none of those sets can take advantage of Ultra which is a shame. Adding to that, as it stands, Sony Pictures is the only company onboard with Ultra, seeing how it’s a Sony app and the service isn’t available on any other TV. If you own two different branded 4K TVs, even if they are 2016 models, you’ll only be able to watch your purchased movie on one of them. And those expensive 4K media server boxes from Sony? Forget about them as they’re not compatible with the service either.

According to Sony, these:

 UltraViolet-enabled films [will be] available for purchase for $30 each. 

Let’s talk more after the jump.

Sony Rewards Points Extended for One Year

Sony_Rewards_PointsWhen Sony decided to scale back their presence in the US by closing down all of their retail stores alongside their retail portal which now mainly points you to Amazon and other sites, a casualty of it became Sony Rewards. The idea behind Sony Rewards was to create a loyalty program that rewarded you with points when you purchased products directly from Sony which could later be redeemed for:

 merchandise, electronics, collectibles and experiences from the Sony universe. 

The whole thing was destined to shut down today but in a last minute change of heart, Sony is extending the program till March 31, 2017. That doesn’t mean you can still earn points as there is no way to shop directly from Sony and in turn, no way to build points. Instead, you now have extra time to use any remaining points.

The full letter from Sony after the jump and a clarification.

Sony Wins 18 Red Dot Awards, Including Two ‘Best of the Best’

Red Dot AwardSony is no stranger to winning awards for their design and quality. Unfortunately for them, awards doesn’t usually translate to sales but it does mean that despite their much smaller scale compared to their competitors, Sony isn’t cutting any corners. At this year’s Red Dot Awards, Sony raked in 18 awards which includes two Best of the Best: the Sony Glass Speaker and RX1 RM2 camera.

After the jump, the list of Sony products that won a  Red Dot Award.

Sony Exploring Spinning Off Its Imaging Products & Solutions Business

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If it worked in the past, why not try it again, right? That’s the theme, anyway, from corporate Sony, as the company contemplates spinning off its Imaging Products and Solutions business.

 Sony Corporation (“Sony” or the Company”) has been engaged in the sequential splitting out of business units across the Sony Group, in order to reinforce the competitiveness of each business, and ensure clearly attributable accountability and responsibility. 

As the company points out, they’ve already done this to quite a few of their divisions.

 In addition to Game & Network Services, Mobile Communications, Pictures, Music and certain other Sony Group businesses that were already operating autonomously as subsidiaries, in July 2014 Sony split out its TV business, followed by its Video & Sound business in October 2015. The Company also plans to split out and establish its semiconductor business as a wholly owned subsidiary in April 2016. 

And now it’s time to try that on another division.

 Sony is also exploring the split out of its Imaging Products and Solutions Sector. 

So what does all of this entail? Details after the jump.

3% Adoption Rate Helped Kill ‘SensMe’ from Sony’s Music App

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow, though a much wanted upgrade, is turning into a bit of a frustrating topic for Sony fans. That’s because quite a few features that the community used, like the ability to reboot your phone or Sony’s better STAMINA Mode, have been cut due to new policies informed by Google. Now SensMe is the latest victim though it looks like Sony should have killed off the feature long ago.

 For those wondering, SensMe is Sony’s proprietary music mood and tempo detection system that has appeared in various Sony products. 

The first nail in the coffin came from Google pulling old API’s, causing Sony to rewrite the app:

Due to technical reasons we had to remove the old Edit Music Info, since it wouldn’t work on Android M (as it used legacy API’s that no longer worked and had lost all support).

Since we are quite fond of SensMe, and it is – as some of you have pointed out – a Sony uniqueness we wanted to recreate a similar logic. The first (new) version was released in 9.1.5.A.1.0beta, but we quickly saw that the new version didn’t really work as well as we liked.

But despite the rewrite, it seems like Sony was never able to get the app to behave the way they wanted to. More after the jump.

The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: The Evolution of a Franchise

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The level of hype in my brain for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is somewhere between “why isn’t it already May 10th?” and “I should probably buy a 4K TV to enjoy this game properly.” That’s why it’s good to know that between now and the game’s arrival, Naughty Dog plans on releasing a handful of videos to not only tide us over, but give us better insight as to how they were able to bring such an ambitious game to life. They include:

  • The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: The Evolution of a Franchise
  • The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Growing up with Drake
  • The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Pushing Technical Boundaries Part 1
  • The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Pushing Technical Boundaries Part 2
  • The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: In the End

The trouble for me personally is, I’m a bit of a spoiler freak in that I like to enjoy games and movies in a vacuum, knowing as little about the plot as possible. Arne Meyer, Director of Communications, Naughty Dog writes:

 If you want to avoid all spoilers, definitely try to stay away from just about anything we release about the game – but we’re very conscious of maintaining a great experience for all our players, so we keep that in mind with all releases. The game is really ambitious, so even then we’ve only started scratching the surface. 

According to Sony:

 Get a behind the scenes look at how Naughty Dog and the Uncharted series have evolved since Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, including the influence of The Last of Us on the team and their development process. 

If you’re not too worried about spoilers, prepare to be treated with The Making of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: The Evolution of a Franchise video after the jump.

Sony Mobile Doing Much Better Than Rivals HTC, LG, and Even Samsung

If you’re a tech company, the last space you likely want to enter – if you haven’t already – is the hyper-competitive smartphone market, and if you’re already there, chances are that you’re hurting. Bad. That’s because, short of Apple and (kind of) Samsung, nobody is making money. Look no further than Sony’s 2015 mobile efforts – where all we read about is how low sales volume are compared to rivals Samsung, HTC, and LG, let alone Apple – so surely Sony needs to exit mobile, right?

(Please note that you can click on all charts for a higher resolution version)

Wrong. We’ve heard time and time again from Sony CEO Kaz Hirai that their primary focus is on premium devices and not volume – a sentiment that’s very different from most Android makers – and they’re on to something.

In theory, Sony’s strategy makes sense because, the more expensive a handset, the higher the profits on it (usually). If you’re selling a phone for only $200, there isn’t a whole lot of room for profits when you consider R&D, components, marketing, and other factors like licensing. The trouble is, Android makers are now going down the same path PC makers did a decade ago by going to war with a race towards the bottom and in turn, leaving no profits in the market.

This is worrisome for a few reasons. Charles Arthur writes:

That’s a decline of 90m, even while the overall smartphone market has grown from 704m (of which 501m were Android) to 1.43bn (of which 1.16bn were Android).

But your objection is probably the same as mine: isn’t the decrease in those sur-$500 shipments because the price of high-end Android handsets has fallen? The price you have to pay to get something with the same qualities as the $500-or-more Android flagship is lower than it was in 2012.

This is almost certainly true – but it isn’t much compensation for those struggling to expand their sales and seeing average selling prices (ASPs) fall. 

That last part is absolutely crucial, and something that many fans miss as all they see is this large pie owned by Android.

 if you keep selling the same number of phones at lower ASP, your profit will inevitably fall off a cliff as fixed costs such as staff and administration weigh you down. 

 

As we’ve seen, Sony’s units shipped have been on a steady decline with them barely registering 30 million units sold in 2015. As a comparison, Apple and Samsung do that in a quarter.

Just look at the above chart to see the sales difference between Apple, Samsung, and LG in Q4 2015. Though Sony is only surpassing HTC and Microsoft Mobile in sales, they are far ahead of the game – and even besting LG when it comes to profits despite their 2-1 sales lead. A lot more details and charts after the jump.

Future Lab Program – Concept Movie

Sony Future Lab Program

Just last week, Sony unveiled their Future Lab Program which is designed to get input on their prototypes. Now either Sony believes they’ve invented the Clap On or somebody recently listened to Ja Rule’s Clap Back song. While I’m not 100% in love with the video, I like the direction Sony is starting to go towards. The video has the feel of a startup with it and if Sony is to succeed going forward, they need to majorly revamp their internal culture first.

While in the early 90’s Apple was on the brink of collapse, one thing that the company had going for it which allowed Steve Jobs to come back and turn it into the worlds most lucrative company on the planet was the talent that had stayed. For Apple at the time, management which lacked any vision was the problem and not the individual engineers that worked there. I think Sony has been in a similar position for the past decade and only now under Kaz Hirai are they doing some house cleaning.

If Sony can strengthen their internal culture, not only are we more likely to see more innovative products and better retention of current talent, but Sony is that much more likely to be able to recruit future talent. The Future Lab Program concept movie after the jump.

Sony Future Lab Wants Your Input on Prototypes

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Not to be confused with First Flight, the internal crowdfunding platform that’s designed to finance projects from internal Sony employees – Sony has a new research initiative called Future Lab Program that’s all about steering the company’s innovation in a very public way. As Mariella Moon writes for Engadget:

 Instead of treating the concepts that come out of the lab as closely guarded secrets, Sony plans to share the program’s prototypes with you. In fact, it aims to use your feedback to refine those prototypes and make sure the company’s heading in the right direction. Sony will show off Future Lab’s first prototype at the SXSW conference, which is scheduled to begin on March 12th in Texas. 

So what kind of devices are we likely to see here? Think more mobile and smaller in scale like the HUIS Remote and Qrio Lock.

 This first concept is codenamed “N,” and all we know about it at the moment is that it’s a wearable device with a hands-free interface. It promises a new way of experiencing music and sound without having to insert anything in your ear. 

Things not to expect to pop up here? Televisions, PlayStation, and camera products – you know, the more expensive sound where they’re truly competing on a global scale. After the jump, a very interesting teaser from Sony Future Lab for their upcoming product.

Poll: What are your thoughts on the privacy debate between Apple and the government?

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Privacy is one of the hottest topics of 2016, and Apple CEO Tim Cook just lit a match under the debate with his strong response to the government’s court order to allow for a backdoor into iPhones around the world. His answer? A resounding “No way.” This debate is just getting started, so tell us. Where do you stand? Let us know in our poll after the jump.

P.S. – Want to know more of what this is all about before you give your answer? We wrote about Apple’s Strong Stance on Privacy and Why Sony Must Follow.

Post North Korean Hack, Sony Entertainment CEO Uses Fax Machine

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Before you read the tweet below, I recommend reading North Korean Sony Pictures Hackers Still Out There‘ and ‘Apple’s Strong Stance on Privacy and Why Sony Must Follow.’ Now, what Sony Entertainment CEO, Michael Lynton, said at CodeMedia:

Apparently the audience laughed at the comment, when Lynton followed up with

 No, really. 

Lynton went on to say

 Slowing things down for a minute is not necessarily the worst thing. 

I know this isn’t the tech division of Sony but really? Either Lynton is hyper paranoid and is also preparing for a Communist invasion (imagine the fun of dealing with a boss who is using a fax machine) or it tells you that a year later, top brass at SPE still have little confidence in their own network security. And Sony wants to push more services into the cloud. Ideally, after the cyberattack Sony Pictures fell victim to, you’d like the company to instill confidence in its employees and consumers – not stick their tail between their legs and whimper.

No, really – read ‘Apple’s Strong Stance on Privacy and Why Sony Must Follow.’