Before you disappear entirely, Sony, I want to say thank you for inventing the Walkman and, by extension, the entire portable electronics market. And for co-inventing the compact disc with Phillips and for helping usher in the era of home video with the Betamax VCR, even though you lost that battle to JVC.
Since then, though, there's not all that much to be thankful for. There was that nasty bit of business involving Sony BMG music CDs and rootkits in 2005, from which Sony never really recovered. There were all those exploding laptop batteries, which resulted in the recall of more than 4 million Sony batteries in 2006.
Then there all those Sony products. Quick: Do you know anybody who uses a Sony Ericsson phone and doesn't live in Scandinavia?
The Sony eReader was revolutionary –- until Amazon's Kindle came along and stole Sony's lunch money. The Sony Aibo was going to usher in a new era of personal robotic companions -– until it landed in the robo-pet cemetery. The PlayStation is a technological marvel, but it's been getting its butt kicked by the Wii for some time now. And its online music and book store, Sony Connect? An embarrassment until Sony finally put it out of its misery in 2008.
There was a time when the Sony logo stood for quality and innovation. Akio Morita is probably spinning in his grave at what's happened to the company he created. These hacks, and Sony's response to them, are just more rotten icing on a moldy cake.
This article, "Sony angers the Anonymous beast," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Track the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.