Sony CEO Howard Stringer has said that the firm has bounced back from this year's PlayStation Network security breach.
Speaking at the IFA conference in Berlin, the executive claimed that PSN is "better and more secure than ever", CNET reports.
Stringer also announced that the service has gained an additional 3 million subscribers since the hack, and sales figures from the PlayStation Store have increased relative to pre-attack levels.
"I'm pleased to tell you that the PSN is more secure and better than ever," Stringer said. "We are aggressively expanding its content. We have more than 3 million new customers since the network came back online, and sales are exceeding what we had before the cyber attacks."
PlayStation Network went offline in April due to a severe breach that led to personal details and credit card information being stolen. Full access to the service was restored the following month.
Sony president of network entertainment Tim Schaaff described the incident as a "great learning experience", but added that he "would not like to do it again".
Aug 26 2011
Steve Jobs has stepped down from his role as CEO of Apple.
The 55-year-old, who co-founded the technology giant in 1976, has been on medical leave from the company since January 17 with an unspecified condition.
Jobs will now become chairman of Apple, while chief operating officer Tim Cook will take up Jobs's old position of chief executive.
In a letter to the Apple board, Jobs said: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's chief executive, I would be the first to let you know.
"Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as chief executive of Apple.
"I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
Jobs, who underwent a liver transplant in 2009 following a battle with pancreatic cancer in 2004, has regularly featured in lists of the most powerful and influential people in media and technology.
Trading of Apple shares on Wall Street was halted after hours following the news.
Batman: Arkham City will not feature Bruce Wayne, Rocksteady Studios has confirmed.
Studio head Dax Ginn told Sony's PlayStation Blog that the Dark Knight's alter ego will not be included in the game because it is not a "business simulator".
Ginn said: "It's a Batman game. He's powerful and aspirational but you never lose sight of the fact that he is mortal. It's such fertile ground and in Arkham City we will go deeper into the man behind the cowl by bringing in characters like Hugo Strange, who knows Batman's true identity, and Talia al Ghul, who has a romantic relationship with him.
"Through those characters we see his vulnerable side but our aim has always been to make an action game, not a business simulator, and when you start thinking about what you would do while playing as Bruce Wayne, it doesn't seem terribly exciting in comparison."
Rocksteady's previous Batman offering Arkham Asylum also neglected to include a Bruce Wayne sub-plot.
Batman: Arkham City will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC from October 18 in North America and October 21 in Europe.
Aug 22 2011
The iPad 3 will reportedly be released early next year.
Apple's third generation tablet will feature a high-resolution 9.7 inch screen with a 2048x1536 display, according to the The Wall Street Journal.
The report notes that the listed screen resolution is significantly higher than its predecessor's 1024x768. Ahead of the iPad 2 launch, it was speculated that the second generation device would include a 2048x1536 display.
In June, it was reported that Samsung and LG are in competition to develop a HD screen for the next iteration of the iPad.
Apple is said to have ordered enough components - including display panels and chips - to produce an initial 1.5 million iPad 3 units. Trial production will allegedly commence in October.
Apple has declined to comment on the speculation.
Sony has said that it will replace a PSP stolen from a mugging victim during the London riots.
Ashraf Haziq, a Malaysian student who had suffered a broken jaw and was bleeding on the side of the road, was helped to his feet before the contents of his backpack were stolen.
Footage of the incident was printed in newspapers and shown on national television, and prompted a website to be set up to help "do something nice" for Haziq.
Sony has since responded and said that it will replace his stolen PSP, according to VG247.
"If we can find out how to get it to him we'll replace the PSP," said a representative for the firm.
Sony itself was impacted by the riots earlier this week, when its warehouse in Enfield, North London burned down on Monday night.
The nationwide riots have also halted the filming of Sherlock's second series, while Jamie Oliver's restaurant in Birmingham was "smashed up".
A Sony warehouse in Enfield, North London has been torched during the London riots.
Fire crews have been tackling the blaze at the 20,000-square-metre warehouse since last night. It is the only Sony DADC (Digital Audio Disc Corporation) centre in the UK.
No-one is thought to have been hurt in the fire, although UK deliveries of Sony compact discs and DVDs are likely to be affected.
"There will likely be some impact on deliveries," Sony spokesperson Yoko Yasukochi told Reuters.
"We cannot determine the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage yet because it's not possible to enter the building. No injuries have been reported from the fire."
The warehouse is also home to PIAS distribution, which handles releases from independent record labels XL Recordings, Beggars, Domino, Wall Of Sound, Warp Defected, Sunday Best and Big Brother.
PIAS said in a statement: "There was a fire last night at the SonyDADC warehouse which services the physical distribution for PIAS in the UK and Ireland. PIAS is working closely with SonyDADC who are implementing their emergency plans.
"PIAS's UK offices in London and all other areas of our business are unaffected. More information will be communicated shortly to all our labels and partners."
Rough Trade East record store's Spencer Hickman told BBC 6 Music: "For us it's devastating. It's a lot of labels that are distributed by PIAS.
"It's complete chaos, we don't know how long it's going to take them to get back on their feet. It looks like people have lost everything that was in the warehouse.
"I'm sure there are labels which aren't insured. I'm sure there will be labels that will go bust."
Alex Kapranos, whose band Franz Ferdinand are signed to ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Adam Levine has filed a lawsuit against Activision over his appearance in Band Hero.
The Maroon 5 singer and The Voice coach has claimed that his image was misrepresented in the Guitar Hero spinoff, according to Reuters.
Levine allowed the track 'She Will Be Loved' to be used in Band Hero, and recorded a motion capture session so his appearance could appear in-game.
However, in the final product, Levine's in-game avatar could sing over 60 other songs, including those with female voices.
It was added that Activision had informed other artists about the use of their avatars in other songs, and that they were paid higher fees for appearing in the game.
Levine has filed a lawsuit for fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, unfair business acts or practices and violation of the common-law right of publicity.
No Doubt, Courtney Love and Axl Rose have been involved in similar lawsuits with Activision in the past.
Band Hero was released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PlayStation 2 in 2009.
Aug 04 2011
PlayStation Vita will be available next year in Europe and North America, Sony has confirmed.
Originally rumoured for release this year, it will now be available in early 2012, according to MSN Money.
No reasons for missing 2011 were given, but Sony said that it wanted to provide a solid software lineup for the device as it launches.
While the PlayStation Vita will be released this year in Japan, it has been suggested that it could miss Christmas in the region.
A price cut for the PlayStation Vita has also been denied in light of last week's Nintendo 3DS price drop.
"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," said executive vice president Kazuo Hirai.
"There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price."
PlayStation Vita will be available for $249 (£152) in North America and ¥24,980 (£191) for the WiFi-only model.
Several sources recently indicated that PS Vita will not be available in Europe until 2012. UK retailers have priced the device at £230 for a WiFi-only model.
European pricing and release schedules should be unveiled at Sony's conference at Gamescom on August 16.
Jul 22 2011
BEIJING (AP) — It looks almost exactly like a sleek Apple store. Sales assistants in blue T-shirts with the company's logo chat with customers. Signs advertising the iPad 2 hang on the white walls. Outside, the famous logo sits next to the words "Apple Store" — one of the few clues that the whole thing is a fake.
China, long known for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a new piracy milestone — fake Apple stores.
An American who lives in Kunming in southern Yunnan province said Thursday that she and her husband stumbled on three shops masquerading as bona fide Apple stores in the city a few days ago. She took photos and posted them on her BirdAbroad blog.
The 27-year-old blogger, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the setup of the stores was so convincing that the employees themselves seemed to believe they worked for Apple.
"It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue T-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks," she wrote on her blog.
"But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn't been painted properly. Apple never writes 'Apple Store' on its signs — it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit."
A worker at the fake Apple store on Zhengyi Road in Kunming, which most of the photos of the BirdAbroad blog show, told The Associated Press that they are an "Apple store" before hanging up.
But the three stores are not among the authorized resellers listed on Apple Inc.'s website. The maker of the iPhone and other hit gadgets has four company stores in China — two in Beijing ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jul 22 2011
LONDON (AP) — A group of computer hackers on Thursday claimed to have breached NATO security and accessed hoards of restricted material.
The group called Anonymous said it would be "irresponsible" to publish most of the material it stole from NATO but that it is sitting on about 1 gigabyte of data.
Anonymous posted a PDF file on its Twitter page showing what appeared to be a document headed "NATO Restricted" and dated Aug. 27, 2007.
"In the next few days, wait for interesting data," the group hinted in another message.
NATO was not immediately available for comment.
Anonymous is a loosely organized group of hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks. It has claimed responsibility for attacks against corporate and government websites worldwide.
The group also claims credit for disrupting the websites of Visa and MasterCard in December when the credit card companies stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
On Tuesday U.S. authorities announced 14 arrests in connection with December attacks on Internet payment service PayPal that were claimed by Anonymous. Two other Americans, four Dutch nationals and one Briton were arrested on suspicion of participating in other attacks against companies and organizations, U.S. authorities said.