I am the ghost of groovymother.com. Woooooo!

This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Filed under 'sony'

January 8, 2008



The closest thing to an innovation at the Sony stand -- breakdancing robot MP3 players.

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January 18, 2007

Sex, Lies and Videotape (oh, and Blue-Laser DVD Formats)

Attention lazy received-opinion-espousing comment posters.

Last week, there was lots of discussion around Sony reportedly refusing to allow porno to be distributed on their Blu-ray high def format.

(For the moment, let’s ignore the fact that this isn’t necessarily true—the Blu-ray Disc Association deny any such ban.)

The lazy opinion I refer to is “Sony have learned nothing—The reason VHS won over Betamax is because they refused to allow porn on Beta.” (Entertainingly, this very opinion is spouted in the ArsTechnica article linked to in the previous paragraph which I was using to debunk the opinion in the paragraph before that.)

I’ve hunted around for anything online that can back up the idea of Sony not allowing teh pr0n on Betamax, and can’t find a sausage. However, I did find an article entitled Pornography Drives Technology: Why Not to Censor the Internet which proposed a considerably different connection between boobies and videotape:

Predicting that the greatest use of home VCRs would be time-shifting, that is, recording TV shows off the air for later viewing, Sony designed Betamax tape with a one hour playing time. When the market for videotape proved not to be time shifting, but prerecorded movies instead, longer-playing tape was demanded, and VHS arose to meet the demand. Though Beta eventually went to a four hour format, it was too late. Within years, two-, four-, and six-hour VHS tape became the industry standard.

What were people watching on these early videotapes? The early home video rental stores, the outlets that drove Betamax from the market, were almost exclusively pornographic, drawing on the same clientele as early nickelodeons.

So while it can be argued that yes, there was a comparative lack of red-hot-girl-on-girl-action on Betamax, and that, potentially, this contributed to the downfall of the format. However, it was for purely technical reasons—the unavailability of suitably girthy videocassettes—rather than moralistic stances by Japanese corporations.

(And as an aside, is there really that much demand for HD porn? It strikes me that most porn I’ve seen in my life would be improved by reducing the resolution of what I was witnessing.)

October 6, 2006

MobileRead Networks - Links to fresh Sony Reader reviews

Reviews of Sony’s e-ink ebook reader. Seem to universally say “It’s kind of nice, but it needs a light and is too expensive.”

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May 19, 2006

Curmudgeon Gamer: History of Console Prices

Absolute and relative pricing of consoles on their US launches. Interesting fact: Every Nintendo console (NES, SNES, N64 and Gamecube) has launched at the $200 mark. Wonder what the Wii will cost…

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May 15, 2006

Life After the Video Game Crash

Fun rant predicting an impending crash. “We’ve now advanced from realistic 3D to slightly prettier 3D and… even slightlier prettier 3D with slightly better reflection effects and slightly better animated water ripples and - oh, look! This game has the most realistic fog yet!”

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October 31, 2005

Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

Sony are now using Windows vulnerabilities to hide DRM software on Windows PCs so that users can’t uninstall them. Fuckers.

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About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.