On The Road To Las Vegas

fear_loathe_.jpgWe’re off on the road to Las Vegas for the 2010 edition of the Consumer Electronic Show, or as it’s known around here, nerdstock.
I haven’t been to CES since 2004 and I’m sure looking forward to it. This is the premiere technology event of the year with 100,000 visitors, thousands of exhibitors, and dozens of football fields worth of booths. I’m bringing the entire staff down along with most of our gear for the most complete coverage TWiT has ever done for an event.

Dr. Kirsten Sanford will join me as co-host and we’ll be getting visits from many of the TWiT regulars including Paul Thurrott, Dick DeBartolo, Scott Wilkinson, Wil Harris, Ryan Shrout, Tom Merritt, Becky Worley, Patrick Norton, Roger Chang, and on and on. Not to mention interviews with CES keynoter and Ford CEO, Alan Mulally and other luminaries.

We’ll be streaming live from the parties Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from the CES show floor, and doing many of our regular shows including The Tech Guy, The Daily Giz Wiz, Windows Weekly, and TWiT and TWiG. Watch live at http://live.twit.tv as usual, or subscribe to our special CES podcasts at http://twit.tv/ces.

Thanks to SYNC, Citrix, and Audible for sponsoring our trip, and the hard work of the entire team for making it possible. See you in Las Vegas!

UPDATE: Here’s how to follow us in Vegas

http://twit.tv/ces (click the Subscribe dropdown to add the feed to iTunes, Zune, etc.)


Text Updates:
http://twitter.com/leolaporte (watch for the #CES hashtag)
http://foursquare.com/user/leolaporte (I’ve decided to focus on Foursquare for location updates)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/leoville/ – I’ve hooked up my camera to autopost to Flicker via Eye-Fi

Everything I do is also piped to my Friendfeed account.

2008 in 40 seconds

2008 was a difficult, contentious, exciting, and ultimately momentous year, but while the affairs of men boil away, life and nature serenely continue on. This beautiful time lapse movie from Erik Sondheim really captures the eternal heartbeat of life.
It’s worth the trip to Erik’s site to see how he did it and watch the full two minute HD version. Good news: he just got a 5D Mark II so next year’s video should be even more mind boggling.

Here’s to a happy, peaceful, and prosperous 2009 for all of us all over the world.

KGO Live

Newstalk 810 AM, KGO Radio, San Francisco.jpgI’ll be speaking at a free event in San Francisco: Saturday, May 3 at 3p, at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 8th & Brannan.
My San Francisco radio affiliate, KGO Newstalk 810, does this every year. KGO Live is an all day event, 11a-4p, featuring Dr. Dean Edell, Ronn Owens, Gil Gross, Len Tillem, Joanie Greggains, Gene Burns, Michael Finney, Rosie Allen, Ed Baxter, Lynn Jimenez, Karel, Bill Wattenburg, and me.

They tell me they’ve set out 400 chairs for Dean Edell and around 40 for me. I’d really love to show them that there are more than 40 geeks in San Francisco, so please come out and say hi.

There are more details, including information about the wine tasting that will also be going on, at KGO’s web site.

Speak Softly And Carry A Big Camera Bag

Adobe Lightroom AdventureI’m leaving tonight for Australia on the Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop Adventure 2008: Tasmania!
My good friend Mikkel Aaland, author of O’Reilly’s Lightroom Adventure is leading another photo expedition; this time it’s to Tasmania with a bunch of the world’s top photographers for the next edition of his book and he invited me to come. I couldn’t resist even though I’m no photo pro. (They’re billing me as a “special media guest.”)

I do apologize to my friends on the mainland – the itinerary is limited to Tassie: A week in Hobart and a week in the wild. Our Qantas flight does stopover for seven hours in Sydney, so thanks to Aussie Mike, we’ll do an impromptu meetup at the Starbucks at Terminal 3, Sydney Airport, 11a-1p on Tuesday. (It’s a 12-hour flight and we cross the International Date Line so even though I’m leaving Sunday night I won’t arrive in Sydney until Tuesday morning!) If there are any fans in Hobart who want to set up a meet up on Thursday or Friday let me know.

I’ll be doing my radio show from Sea FM/Heart 107.3 Hobart Sunday and Monday morning 4-7a local time (Tasmania is UTC +11 but it’ll be live in the States). The following week I won’t have access to a studio so we’ll air two shows I’ve recorded ahead of time with all new material.

I’m bringing enough gear to equip a multimedia army.

All this fits into my Lowepro CompuTrekker Plus AW backpack (it’s huge) but I’m also bringing a Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW to carry into the field.

And a change of underwear.

Thank goodness I’m not going by ship. I think I’d sink it.

There’s a reason for all this gear. I’ll be blogging the whole time I’m Down Under, including photos (on Smugmug and Flickr), audio (here), and video (on Smugmug and Viddler) so watch this space. Many of the other photographers will be blogging as well on the O’Reilly blog site.

Jawbone Audition on Handel

July 1, Californians will join many other states and countries in requiring drivers to use handsfree devices when talking on their cell phones. I called Bill using the Jawbone today. Listen to the audio here.
I currently use the BlueAnt Supertooth Light in my car. It has its own speaker and mic and attaches to the visor. It works pretty well and gets great battery life (as long as you remember to turn it off when you’re not in the car).

Here’s a recording I made in the same room as the Jawbone recording. It doesn’t sound much better, but it’s usable.

Another system that requires no installation but uses your car speakers is The Tooth Pik. I haven’t tried it and can’t offer a sample recording but if someone has one let me know so I can record it!

By the way, there really was a Bone Fone. Here’s the original ad, courtesy the Pocket Caculator Show:

The Craptastic Electronics Show

I’m back to work on my usual weekly appearances on The Bill Handel Show on KFI Los Angeles (Fridays at 7:50a) and The John Donabie Show on CFRB Toronto (Saturdays at 7:50a). This week the big topics are, of course CES and MacWorld Expo.
2008 International CES, January 7-10, Las Vegas.jpgCES, The Consumer Electronics Show, is wrapping up today in Las Vegas. It’s big with 140,000 attendees this year (down from a peak of 150,000) and major media attention (NBC Nightly News broadcast from the show floor) but many attendees are complaining that there’s not much to see of interest among the 2700 exhibitors filling 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space. In fact, I’m tempted to rename it the Craptastic Electronics Show.

In between all the cheap knock-off iPods, and stereo speakers made to look like garden rocks, there were some products of interest. Pioneer displayed a new Kuro 50″ plasma TV that’s only 9mm thick – thinner than an iPhone – but it’s only a “concept.” No word on whether they’ll ever make it.

OLED TVs garnered interest once again this year. In fact, Sony is finally selling one. The 11″ Sony XEL-1, just 3 millimeters thick, costs $2,500. Never mind.

Panasonic showed a 150″ Plasma screen – the largest ever – but if you have to ask how much… you can’t afford it. It requires a 747 to transport it and you’ll have to take the roof off your house to install it.

skitched-20080111-080941.jpgThe biggest news at CES happened four days before the show began. Movie studio Warner Brothers announced that it would stop making HD-DVD versions of its movies and deliver Blu-ray only from now on. This is seen as a death blow to the HD-DVD format – only Universal and Paramount will continue to offer HD-DVD titles and rumors were flying on the show floor that those studios might soon defect to the Blu-ray camp, as well. Microsoft which had planned to preview an XBox360 with built-in HD-DVD quickly pulled that announcement, and the HD-DVD press conference scheduled for CES was abruptly cancelled.

Blog _ LOL_ The Life of Leo.jpgBill Gates also gave his last keynote at CES on Sunday night. Gates is retiring from day-to-day operations at Microsoft in six months. His speech, as usual, contained little news, but did feature a funny video of his “last day” at work which featured Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Clooney, and Bono.

One of the biggest players in consumer electronics, Apple, stayed away again this year. Last year Apple’s iPhone announcement in San Francisco completely overshadowed CES in Vegas. This year, MacWorld Expo is a week later, so while Apple’s not stealing attention from CES, it does feel a little like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

After a lackluster show like this, with high hotel prices, impossible cab lines, and very little news to take home, I have to wonder how long it will be before CES follows its late brother, Comdex, into the tradeshow graveyard.

This Week’s Top Tech Stories

My regular segment on the John Donabie Show, Saturday mornings on CFRB is coming up. These are the top stories I’ll talk about this week:

  • It’s not all iPhone, Blackberry sales doubled this quarter. Black Friday (the day after US Thanksgiving) was the best day in RIM history.
  • After three years in court, Apple rumor site ThinkSecret shutters, but they don’t have to reveal the names of their informants.skitched-20071221-082713.jpg
  • Last minute gift idea: try donating to Kiva.org – this charitable site helps people in developing nations create new businesses with small loans. Gift certificates are available.

Happy holidays to all my friends in Toronto!

Last Minute Gift Ideas

santaleo.gifToday at 7:45a Pacific on the Bill Handel Show on KFI Los Angeles, I’m going to offer some last minute gift ideas.
It’s not to late to shop Amazon.com. They’re offering $3.99 overnight shipping as late as 11a Pacific on Sunday to guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. They’ll gift wrap, too. But many items are backordered or out of stock, so check before you buy to make sure they can ship the item immediately.

Customize Card.jpgGift cards are always a good last minute choice, and they’re better than ever this year. Borders is offering personalized gift cards with pictures and messages for $4.95 plus the value of the card, and you can buy online, too (but go to the store to get it in time for Christmas). And every geeks loves a Starbucks gift card – Starbucks is also customizing their cards this year.

I give my mom a Netflix subscription every year. She loves movies and it’s the easiest way for her to get them. $9 for a month to $107 for a whole year

Memory for cameras is less expensive than ever, and always a welcome gift. Most cameras use SD cards these days. The $100 Eye-Fi card is even better because it combines wireless with 2GB of SD memory.
Photo frames are also a hot gift this year. Ceiva is the best known name, but they require a subscription to share photos online. I prefer the DSI MF-8104, a beautiful 10 inch screen with wireless photo sharing that’s free to use. $350.