Sony Quits the PC Business. Good!


Sony is officially giving up on laptops and desktops, announcing plans to sell its Vaio PC business to a Japanese investment group.

More interesting than the sale itself is the way it’s going to happen. Instead of just picking up where Sony left off, a new company formed by Japan Industrial Partners will drastically scale back operations after the deal goes through next month. At first, the company will only offer PCs in Japan as it retools the old business. It’s unclear when sales will expand to other regions, if at all.

Sony’s PC business isn’t some tiny operation. The company sold 7.5 million units last year, and its products are available all around the world. That won’t be the case for much longer. Sony still plans to launch its spring product lineup and support existing customers, but after that the company will stop manufacturing new PCs, discontinue sales and…

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Final Fantasy VI for iOS Is Finally Available (and Updated)


Final Fantasy VI, probably the fan favorite in Square Enix’s (nee Squaresoft’s) long running Final Fantasy series, is now available for iOS. In fact it might have been available since January 29, which is what Square Enix lists as the “posted” date in Apple’s iTunes Store (though, confusingly, its “released” date is February 6 on the iTunes Preview page).

What unquestionably went live on February 6 is the game’s first update, version 1.01, about which Square Enix writes “A number of bugs have been addressed.” If you’re so moved to make a purchase, it’ll set you back $16, same as the current pricing for Final Fantasys III, IV and V.

I realize the game’s appearance won’t be welcome news to some of you, who’ve decided the cartoonish look of the V and VI remasters, despite their cleaner, clearer, significantly higher resolutions, is a deal-breaker. Not…

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To Autumn

My First Fantasy Novel


To Autumn,

Junior high school was something, huh? To anyone else, I would have been nothing more than a loser, lunching all alone at my Table of Solitude. But, not to you. Since I had found myself to be the odd one out, you were the first to invite me in from the cold shoulders and demeaning air that stirs around one of those empty tables.

You sat with the bad kids, but you never belonged there. No, I don’t know how you ended up there. A gorgeous amethyst cast before swine.  With courage and healing, you touched me, brought me in from the cold. With that single touch, you brought my eyes to you. But, whenever you glanced my way, I was shy and turned away.

I remember the day I sat across the table from you. We were surrounded by the others, too. When my drink slipped down…

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Lowering the Bar


I recently learned that The Tooth Fairy has been known to give children $10 for their discarded teeth.

I’ve attended children’s birthday parties that appear to cost more than my wedding. I’ve seen star charts created to award children for simply existing. Oh little Bobby is breathing so AMAZING today, isn’t he!!! Here’s $100.

This is insanity, people. Insanity. Why are some of you setting the bar this high?

When you act in this outrageous fashion it diminishes the sense of accomplishment I feel when I discover my child has a pair of clean underwear to wear.

I have no problem admitting that I routinely fail in my role as parent so perhaps I’m not the best to insist on some standard rules of engagement. But when little Timmy’s Easter haul is worth more than the GNP of Uzbekistan, I think we can all see that things have gotten out…

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The System’s Out of Order, and the Fire Hasn’t Even Started Yet

Vagabond Urges

“Well, I guess that’s what we get for unplugging for a few hours,” said the businessman, relaxed on his bench outside the shuttered BART train station. “They must have decided to go on strike late last night. My office hasn’t decided what they want me to do about it yet.” He leaned back, no frown on his face as it angled towards the morning sun, his loafers tapping slightly to a beat only he could hear.

BART strike trip to Santa Cruz 05Here was a man at peace with the problem. The bag lady down the row to his left looked at him without expression.

In a parallel universe I took them both out for breakfast, heard their stories and watched them fall in unlikely love (Joaquin Phoenix and Susan Sarandon for the movie adaptation?), but I was itching to get to Santa Cruz. The fire and light festival started in eleven hours, and I had…

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