Talk of the day

Published April 4, 2007

Sony shrinks the price of its portable device

Sony Corp. said Tuesday it will lower the price of its PlayStation Portable gaming device by $30 to $170 amid intense competition among game console rivals, particularly Nintendo Co. It's the first time Sony has officially lowered suggested retail prices on the PSP since its debut in March 2005. Video game publishers and financial analysts have been urging Sony to slash hardware prices in recent quarters. The cuts come two months after Sony's gaming unit posted a third-quarter operating loss of $443-million, largely because of hefty costs for the launch of its PlayStation 3 video game console. Sony's PSP competes mainly against Nintendo's Game Boy and DS. The DS, which some retailers sell for as little as $130, outsold every console in the United States in February.

Loose pet prompts new Google search

A Google search at the company's New York office Monday turned up a 3-foot python named Kaiser. The female snake, a pet of a company employee, was found late Monday after escaping from its cage over the weekend, Google Inc. spokeswoman Ellen West said Tuesday. Employees at Google's offices in Manhattan's Chelsea district were told on April 1 to look out for 3-foot-long Kaiser, Google said. Signs posted in company kitchens reassured employees that the species isn't venomous. Ball pythons can grow up to five feet and typically live 20 to 30 years, according to Kingsnake.com, a Web site for reptile lovers. Google, the most popular Internet search engine, lets employees bring dogs to work and has an official dog policy posted on its site. The policy doesn't mention reptiles.

Not Red Bull, just bull, suit contends

Red Bull GmbH, seeking to defend its leading share of the U.S. market for energy drinks, sued a Chicago nightclub for serving a cheaper substitute to customers who ordered the company's namesake beverage in cocktails. Selective Publishing Inc., owner of trendy downtown Chicago club "Wet," and its president, Simon Gordon, ignored repeated warnings to stop "passing off" RLED LLC's Roaring Lion brand energy drink as Red Bull in mixed drinks, Red Bull said in a complaint filed last week in federal court in Chicago. Selective and Gordon "have deliberately misled the public" and ignored requests to stop, Austria-based Red Bull said in court papers.

Sam Adams brews deal at vacant site

The brewery that made Rolling Rock beer for decades will start brewing Samuel Adams in a matter of months. Boston Beer Co. said Tuesday it had signed an agreement with a subsidiary of City Brewing Co. to brew an unspecified amount of Samuel Adams at the Latrobe, Pa., plant. City Brewing of Lacrosse, Wis., bought the facility last year after its former owner, InBev USA, sold the Rolling Rock brand to Anheuser-Busch for $82-million. Anheuser-Busch, the nation's largest brewer, is now brewing Rolling Rock in Newark, N.J.