An Experience with the Sony Tablet P in Las Vegas

Pepcom hosts a media-only show called Digital Experience on the eve before the first official day of CES. You may not see some of the highest profile products on display at Digital Experience but you might come across items that at least catch your eye.

I took a quick minute at the Sony table to check out their Tablet P. It is a meaty-feeling folding tablet device that weighs just shy of one pound (0.82 pounds actually).

Sony Tablet P

It features two 5.5-inch touchscreen displays, runs on the Android OS with access to apps from the Android Marketplace, front- and rear-facing cameras, WiFi connectivity, and is 4G-capable. It functions as a media player with video, music, and game content available from Sony. The Tablet P can also share pictures, videos, and music with compatible connected devices such as televisions and PCs.

The device is pre-loaded with “Crash Bandicoot” (uncertain if it is the 1996 game or later in the series). Other PSone and PSP games can be downloaded.

The Tablet P is also an e-reader with access to magazines, comics, and novels from Sony’s Reader Store. I did not see how the dual screens function in this role though I imagine it is a different experience compared with single screen e-readers.

Because the device folds in half, you lose that wide-open viewing field of single screen tablets. The separation between the dual screens is hard to miss and may not be for everyone. However, the ability to close the tablet and stow it away offers some versatility when it comes to portability. The Tablet P is on the bulky side when closed and will show a noticeable bulge when stuffed into the inside pocket of a jacket. Then again most other tablets are impossible to fit inside a jacket pocket.

The Tablet P is a novel design but it is hard to say the public has been clamoring for a folding tablet, regardless of its portability. Even if the performance of the device is stellar, the form factor may take some getting used to for some users.

Pricing and availability for the Tablet P have yet to be announced.

Borders end not a triumph of e-books over print

It is never fun to hear that a business that you have been a patron of is shutting its doors. Borders, a chain of stores where bibliophiles sip on java while turning the pages of meaty doorstopper novels, is seeking approval in bankruptcy court to liquidate. The equation behind its demise is more complicated than e-publishing = death to print but changes in the publishing industry surely played a role.

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Sony hefting cost of data theft

Hackers continue to sting Sony Corp. much like an aggressive swarm of hornets chasing larger prey. The company said Wednesday that email addresses and phone numbers, but not credit card information, of some 2,000 users of mobile phone venture Sony Ericsson Canada’s website had been compromised. This follows a series of cyber attacks that swiped personal data, including some non-U.S. banking and credit card account details, concerning a combined 100 million users of Sony’s PlayStation Network, Qriocity music and video streaming service and the Sony Online Entertainment gaming network.

The price of coping with data theft is quickly adding up for the company. Sony said in a statement Monday it estimated its costs associated with the spate of breaches to be about $170 million, or 14 billion yen, for its fiscal year ending March 2012. That includes security enhancements, legal costs, identity theft insurance services offered to affected customers and incentive offerings for customers such as free game time, music and videos.

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Prospecting for ad revenue in the video stream

Online video may be a conduit for reaching audiences in dynamic ways but challenges can arise when it comes to swaying advertisers to invest in the medium. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones offer marketers the chance to intimately target individuals who are on the go. Some viewers, however, may watch online video to reduce their exposure to product pitches. That can leave marketers and advertisers in a quandary as they try to reach this audience without turning them off.

During Wednesday’s sessions of the Streaming Media East 2011 conference in New York City, a panel of professionals from the online video sector convened to discuss monetization and video advertizing. Read more of this post

Fighting data theft on new fronts

Miller (Kroll Fraud Solutions photo)

Beneath the quiet hum of hard drives, the battle continues for control of digital treasure. Companies fight to protect data coveted by increasingly sophisticated information pirates. According to some experts, the war has entered a new phase of complexity.

Jeremiah Miller, director of operations for Kroll Fraud Solutions, said even small bits of data can be exploited by cyber thieves. Kroll Fraud Solutions, in Nashville, Tenn., is a provider of identity fraud solutions. “There are things you can do with a couple of pieces of information to build a more complete profile about somebody,” Miller said. That can include matching names to information left public on social networks such as Facebook, he said.

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