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

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

Video:
http://live.twit.tv
http://qik.com/twit
http://youtube.com/twit

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://facebook.com/leolaporte

Blogs:
http://twitlive.posterous.com/
http://inside.twit.tv/

Pictures:
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.

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.

Bill Gates Farewell Video


The best thing about Bill Gates’s keynotes at Comdex and CES were always the videos. He ends his run at Microsoft with a doozey featuring Clinton, Obama, George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and even Bono. And you have to love Bill Gates as Wolverine.

MacWorld Expo

MacWorld Expo is coming up January 15-18 and we’re planning to do several shows from the convention hall including MacBreak Weekly and TWiT. Save the date.

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CES is the week before and I’m happy to say I will be skipping that monster of a show for the third year in a row. I was thinking of doing the radio show from there until I found out that for the first time CES would not be open on the weekend. Just as well. It’s an almost impossible conference to cover on-site (and I’ll be getting back from a family trip to Egypt the day before anyway).