On the face of it, this Sandisk Memory Stick Pro 512MB deal looks pretty sweet: more than a gigabyte of portable memory in two bite-sized portions for twenty-three bucks postpaid. But there's one wee problem, one minor catch - or, if you'll allow us a painful pun, one "sticking point": you pretty much need to own a Sony device to get much use out of them.
Don't blame us. Blame der Sony Kommissars. In their infinite wisdom, they've maintained an iron jackboot on the throat of the Memory Stick format. A few printers and card-readers can read them, but what are they reading? Only files from a digital camera, digital camcorder, PDA, Vaio PC, or other digital device manufactured by the Nipponese electronics behemoth. If you've got a Sony digital camera and an HP printer with a card reader, this is an awesome deal. If you've got an HP camera and an HP printer, you have no use for these except as ad hoc poker chips.
The Sony-friendly among you will enjoy two memorable sticks of 512MB apiece for use in your Sony gadgets. Their 15Mbps data-transfer rate lets you copy DVD-quality video in real-quality time, and Sony's MagicGate system lets you use copyright-protected media. And your non-Sony pals can't! Nyah-nyah! Think of it as a reward for your devotion to the cause. The benevolent leaders of Sony haven't forgotten how you, for one, welcomed your new Sony overlords. You could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.