Friday, November 18, 2005

A Sony of My Owny

I used to think that Intel, with its FDIV bug Pentium processor publicity nightmare, was the king of companies for shooting itself in the foot. I now own three original Pentium machines, complete with FDIV bug. Yet, Sony has clearly outdone them. This wasn't a bug. Sony had to go out of their way to inflict this kind of damage.

While Sony has offered to replace the CDs, not all customers will do it. I bought my Pentium machines used. They didn't inform me that they had the FDIV bug. They also didn't have the chips replaced when they used them. Many, many of these CDs will be out in the wild for a long time to come. CDs generally last longer than computer chips.

From their FAQ:

3. Some people contend that the software has the features of malware or spyware technology. Was this your intent?


Who cares what the intent was? That's for lawyers to decide. The consumer has to cope with it. The only reason to keep a CD rather than have Sony replace it is so that you have solid evidence for future litigation.

6. If my computer contains the XCP content protection software, how can I protect my system?

I would go with backing up my data files, and installing Linux. The restored data files will not be able to damage the Linux OS or compromise its security. Some would say that this is draconian. But I look at it as throwing out the festering puss ball with the bathwater.

10. What is SONY BMG doing about its future content protection initiatives?

Who cares? If they were willing to do this once, its not hard to imagine other evil things they may have considered or already enacted.

My discman died. Its unlikely that I will replace it with a unit from Sony. Sony is no longer one of my favorite companies. When Intel had their fiasco, I bought a Cyrix chip powered system. Now that the AMD chips are faster and cheaper than Intel's. its hard to imagine I'll ever buy Intel again.

An overview of the case so far.

Can 500,000 computers all be wrong?

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