If you’ve ever ridden the Tokyo subway during rush hour, stood in line to buy Nike Air Jordans, or been pepper-sprayed at a Walmart on Black Friday, you may have a sense of what CES is like. The only difference is that CES is a lot more crowded, dangerous, and painful. The shuttle busses from hell, the taxi lines from hell, the lines to the next press conference from hell, and especially the lines to the men’s room from hell all take a toll. And let’s not even mention the women shoving at you so they can get ½ foot closer to Justin Bieber (who is standing about ¼ mile way), and the men shoving at you so they can get ½ foot closer to any of the tens of thousands of show booth girls in tight black leather skirts.
On the other hand, if your body can take the punishment, CES does have a lot to offer. Consider, for example, the tens of thousands of show booth girls in tight black leather skirts. And I’m sure that CES has a lot of other things to offer as well.
Mainly, CES is a good place to get thumb drives. Companies give them out like candy. Similarly, they give out candy like they are thumb drives. In any case, the thumb drives are a good way to infect our computers with product information. Old timers like me remember when the drives were small; we thought it was cool to get a drive holding 64kB. Today, we sneer at 1GB drives, display an obviously fake smile at 2GB, and wearily accept 4GB drives. A drive of 8GB on up might actually encourage us to do the company a huge favor and write up one of their dopey products. Or maybe not. Anything less than 1GB is simply tossed into the nearest garbage can, hopefully while the company representative is still watching. It is vitally important to punish these < 1GB offenders.
All in all, this was a pretty good CES. I shook hands (firm handshake) with a very famous hip hop megastar whose name slips my mind (some permutation of Cool, Flex, Master, Mix, and Z), and I touched a napkin that Kelly Clarkson had thrown away. I won’t ever wash my hands again. I hope I don’t get sick. I get sick a lot after CES. There’s something in those thumb drives. Or maybe it’s the show booth girls.
Ken C. Pohlmann is well known as an audio educator, consultant, and author. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and the author of numerous articles and books, including Principles of Digital Audio and Master Handbook of Acoustics.
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