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CES 2013
January 8, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe


 
Apparently, Qualcomm's keynote was pretty bizarre.
posted by spiderskull at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


(oh, and don't miss the video link at the bottom)
posted by spiderskull at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


wtf is "maroon 5"?
posted by dfriedman at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2013


Fuck Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Fuck them all to death. It's nice to see what the other players are doing.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


wtf is "maroon 5"?

It's a PR campaign for The Voice.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


As far as I know, Maroon 5 is a band - not bad, poppy, a bit Stevie Wonder-ish.
posted by jb at 1:20 PM on January 8, 2013


*watches Qualcomm debacle*

...and my opinion of Alice Eve rises.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2013


Fuck Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Fuck them all to death. It's nice to see what the other players are doing.

The first part of that I can agree with to a certain extent. But apparently the answer to the "what the other players are doing" is "not much."

CES is an artifact of a time before the Internet, before dirt-cheap fast shipping to reviewers, before hardware started to be less important than software. It's old and it's boring and it provides terribly little value to anyone.

Just because it is, in theory, a venue for the next generation of game-changing products to be revealed doesn't mean it actually works that way.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:23 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I guess it depends on what you want out of it. I mean Google, Apple, etc have the marketing budgets and expertise that everyone already knows what they are doing, and they can have their own full scale press event whenever they want.

Smaller players (where "smaller" in this case really means in mindshare/awareness more than size) can't necessarily summon an Apple announcement kind of crowd, and could benefit from more exposure.

It's not going to be the "see where tech is going in 2013" show in its entirety without the biggest movers, though.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, what's the point of CES? Is it to get journalists to write articles about your new products? That seems to be working just fine still. All the tech sites are full of headline articles that are basically regurgitating talking points from the manufactures. And they aren't talking about Apple or Amazon or Google, because they aren't there.
posted by smackfu at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dr. Paul Jacobs needs to lay off the dimple riveter.

Lordy, what a trainwreck.
posted by boo_radley at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2013


The takeaway this year appears to be $10,000 TVs so it's hard to get too excited.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


dfriedman: "wtf is "maroon 5"?"

It is the key phrase to begin execution of plan Sigma Alpha 7.
posted by boo_radley at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


i didn't read the credits but i wonder if Jamie Kennedy produced that Qualcomm keynote.
needs more James Quall.

posted by Conrad-Casserole at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best journalism from CES 2012 was (MeFi's own) Mat Honan's Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter. This year every single journalist covering CES seems to be whining about how awful it is which is pretty tiresome. But emptyage did it first, and better.
posted by Nelson at 1:29 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


The takeaway this year appears to be $10,000 TVs so it's hard to get too excited.

HDTV's used to cost $10,000
posted by empath at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Alright, I wanted to watch the keynote, but Qualcomm is helpfully telling me I cannot watch the video from my Galaxy Nexus. "#bornmobile
View from larger screen to watch the livestream of Paul Jacobs' keynote"

Born mobile, indeed. Great work, high five everyone!
posted by shinynewnick at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well, what's the point of CES?

To meet other people in your industry.
To have meetings with more than one supplier without having to fly all over the world.
To set your marketing based on what you see around the show.
To give out sales awards.
To schmooze.
To have team meetings with the global division.

In short, to do actual business (in between the parties, of course).

As it turns out, whiny tech bloggers aren't really necessary for any of that.
posted by madajb at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2013 [46 favorites]


That keynote teleported me back to the early 90's.
posted by phaedon at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2013


Well, what's the point of CES? Is it to get journalists to write articles about your new products? That seems to be working just fine still. All the tech sites are full of headline articles that are basically regurgitating talking points from the manufactures. And they aren't talking about Apple or Amazon or Google, because they aren't there.

They're talking about everybody but you. If you're not the darkest horse in the show you're basically forgotten in a long list of "Engadget (161 unread articles)".
posted by Talez at 1:40 PM on January 8, 2013


Holy shit that Qualcomm keynote just made me forget the Jamie Kennedy New Year's Eve broadcast.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:42 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]



Well, what's the point of CES?

To meet other people in your industry.
To have meetings with more than one supplier without having to fly all over the world.


Man, somebody should invent some kind of technology that makes it possible to do that sort of thing without having to fly all the way to Las Vegas OH WAIT
posted by Sys Rq at 1:43 PM on January 8, 2013


But with the absence of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft

Well, to be fair, Microsoft has not been all that relevant to where technology has been going, for the last few years, so their absence would not indicate the relevance of a trade show (or the lack thereof).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2013


Well, what's the point of CES?

To go play poker at the Wynn on the company dime.
To experience the awkwardness of seeing your coworkers get lap dances.
To borrow someones badge and let every booth babe you can find scan it.
To eat expensive food and drink expensive drinks on the company dime with another group of people doing the same thing and call it a "biz-dev meeting."
To stare at the porn conference attendees and dare each other to chat them up.
To experience some adrenaline pumping thrill rides (by which I mean the cabs, not the roller coasters).

I'm sure there are some others.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


Alright, I wanted to watch the keynote, but Qualcomm is helpfully telling me I cannot watch the video from my Galaxy Nexus. "#bornmobile

Born mobile, indeed. Great work, high five everyone!


To be fair Google's strategy for live (or even streaming) video on Android at the moment seems to be "people want to watch live events on their mobile devices?". It's a right pain in the ass to implement and near impossible to do live broadcasting through the stock stuff available on most phones. In most cases anything streamingish is implemented through a custom app reinventing a lot of wheels on different phones.
posted by Talez at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2013


To stare at the porn conference attendees and dare each other to chat them up.

Can't play that game as much anymore, AVN moved to the week before (after?) CES last year.
posted by madajb at 1:50 PM on January 8, 2013


AVN moved to the week before (after?) CES last year.
After.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:54 PM on January 8, 2013


They moved AVN? Oh, that's too bad. I guess the porn stars got tired of not being able to get any cell phone reception at all.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:55 PM on January 8, 2013


Nice Ubuntu phone demo.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a right pain in the ass to implement and near impossible to do live broadcasting through the stock stuff available on most phones.

Twitch.tv works fine on the iphone and android, even over 3g
posted by empath at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2013


CES is an annual week-long party on the company tab in Las fucking Vegas. Every industry has at least one. How the hell else are the sales people of company A going to get drunk and bone the marketing people of competing company B and via rifling pockets and briefcases come up with next year's product strategies?
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, somebody should invent some kind of technology that makes it possible to do that sort of thing without having to fly all the way to Las Vegas OH WAIT

getting even 2 fortune 100 companies to be able to do that is remarkably hard. shit even sending a file larger than the attachment limit can be difficult.
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


Spiderskull's Qualcomm link deserves its own FPP.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I go to academic conferences when I could probably just as well email my talk to the relatively small group of people who care about such things. This spring I got to go to Hawaii on my travel account and ended up having many interesting conversations as wall as to see friends and colleagues I don't otherwise have a chance to. That's a long way of saying that these things are about more than just providing information to the tech journalism crowd and there might be advantages to showing at CES that aren't apparent to me as an outsider.
posted by sfred at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I get that. But if your entire platform is based on being mobile - you figure that out. And to be fair, I'm not trying to watch a live streaming event. This already happened.

There are tons of sites that do live streaming to any mobile or desktop device without a hitch. The television station I work for streams the channel live on one such service, using a standard Dell desktop - complete with HD, SD, and mobile streams simultaneously. Certainly we aren't dealing with crazy demand, but to blame it on Android's API is missing the point.
posted by shinynewnick at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2013


I want to see the guy hosting that CES keynote and Alex Jones in a shout-off.
posted by jessssse at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2013


Twitch.tv works fine on the iphone and android, even over 3g

iOS is a completely different kettle of fish since they've had HTTP Live Streaming since iOS 3.0. Android 3.0 onwards has HTTP Live Streaming support but prior to that relied on Flash which has since been discontinued. Some places may still have Flash support enabled for older Android devices but this can be problematic as new installations direct from Adobe have long been abandoned and some devices may also be too underpowered to adequately support high quality video playback in Flash.

So what's the problem? ICS is over a year old, right? Half the userbase is still on Gingerbread and another 10% are on Froyo. Since Google decided not to backport HLS to 2.3 this presents a distinct problem dealing with streaming video on Android.

All you can do is wait as customers buy new devices over the next 2-4 years and the pre-ICS problem should eventually solve itself.

Not supporting HLS for the Qualcomm keynote is just bonkers though.
posted by Talez at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, to be fair, Microsoft has not been all that relevant to where technology has been going, for the last few years, so their absence would not indicate the relevance of a trade show (or the lack thereof).

OTOH, it's kind of ironic they aren't at the consumer electronics show after they introduce their first real consumer electronics (Surface).
posted by smackfu at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


journalists are asking if the show is still relevant.

That question doesn't seem to have stopped The Verge from posting 700 stories about CES in the last three days. I've had to hit "Mark All As Read" multiple times in my news feed 'cause I just don't care enough to want to read "The delicious snacks of CES: tradeshow tailgating" or "Samsung's 85-inch 4K TV could sell for under $30,000".
posted by octothorpe at 2:23 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


OTOH, it's kind of ironic they aren't at the consumer electronics show after they introduce their first real consumer electronics (Surface).

Ok sure, Zune and WebTV were horrible failures, but surely Xbox is real?
posted by nave at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2013


To be fair Google's strategy for live (or even streaming) video on Android at the moment seems to be "people want to watch live events on their mobile devices?".

Huh? Video chat / hangouts work fine, live streaming works through sites that support Android (YouTube live streaming works fine on Android, for example).

If third parties choose not to support it thats probably a dev resource decision, but it demonstrably works on Android phones.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:40 PM on January 8, 2013


Microsoft has not been all that relevant to where technology has been going, for the last few years

That's remarkably untrue when it comes to the videogame world. And there's definitely gaming stuff being announced at CES (Steam box, for example), although E3 is the bigger venue for that.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:41 PM on January 8, 2013


That question doesn't seem to have stopped The Verge from posting 700 stories about CES in the last three days.

That's why I've completely unsubscribed from The Verge and Engadget and Gizmodo and most of their ilk. Milking 100 stories out of a single Apple product announcement finally put me off of all of them for good. BGR is a little better about it, but I'm starting to tire of them too. If it's big enough news I'll hear about it somewhere else anyway and I don't have to wade through 400 breathless announcements of products that'll never see the light of day and yet more TVs that aren't really a whole lot better than what I'm already watching.

The only way to win is not to play.
posted by mikesch at 2:43 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok sure, Zune and WebTV were horrible failures, but surely Xbox is real?

True enough. It is odd they don't even have a booth. But I guess that's the modern reality... why bother announcing things at a trade show in competition with every other vendor's news when you can spend 1% of the cost throwing an invite-only event in NYC that you have schedule control over and that gets you the same or more press?

It's why Apple quit MacWorld after all, and their booth used to be half the show floor.
posted by smackfu at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


spiderskull: "Apparently, Qualcomm's keynote was pretty bizarre"

Holy shit, that's like a SNL Stefon skit:

"This years hottest keynote is Qualcomm's, the brain child of Dr. Paul Jacobs. It's got everything:
* Tween parodies
* Steven Balmer
* A gory scene from Blade II
* Big Bird
* Archbishop Desmond Tutu
* An actress from the new Star Trek movie
* and an electric Rolls Royce

Oh wow, Stefon, I didn't know they made an electric Rolls Royce.

Yeah, it's when you stick your penis in a robot hooker named Royce and you get a shock"
posted by wcfields at 2:47 PM on January 8, 2013 [22 favorites]


* Tween parodies
* Steven Balmer
* A gory scene from Blade II
* Big Bird
* Archbishop Desmond Tutu
* An actress from the new Star Trek movie
* and an electric Rolls Royce
It's the Venn diagram where nothing intersects.
posted by mosk at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2013 [18 favorites]


That's why I've completely unsubscribed from The Verge and Engadget and Gizmodo and most of their ilk.

But think of all the unboxing stories that you're missing.
posted by octothorpe at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, somebody should invent some kind of technology that makes it possible to do that sort of thing without having to fly all the way to Las Vegas

I've been to too many meetings where some poor schlub is on skype, in their home office with their dogs barking in the background, unable to hear or participate meaningfully in any discussions. I've been that poor schlub on occasion.

Telepresence is nowhere near like being there. It's useful for limited, structured things like web-training, where content can be designed for the medium, but a conference, particularly a trade show? No way---we're decades away from that still.
posted by bonehead at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


My favorite comment on the Qualcomm keynote:

does qualcomm make a processor that can interpret an actress crying for help with her eyes
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


Cisco makes an amazing telepresence product, though it's fabulously expensive. One meeting at my company a guy started gesticulating with a printout and everyone stopped and realized then that they had been suspending disbelief about the remote link.

Of course, you still need dedicated rooms with matching schemes (not to mention dedicated and expensive circuits), but the quality is quite good.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like to buy an electronic device that allowed me to watch Alice Eve and McKayla Maroney make disappointed fuck-my-life-right-now faces back and forth at each other. I'm not sure how much I would pay, but it would be more than I should.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm there right now (posting from the press room while editing photos) - it really is important to meet the people behind some of these things, be exposed to items you forget exist, and actually handle the devices that otherwise you'd be writing about in ignorance. I just learned a lot from the CEO of Tobii about eye-tracking, discussed optics and neuroscience with the Oculus guys, and pretty much had a feature added to the latest Boogie Board.

CES is no longer valuable as a way to get information out — but people forget that it's supposed to be a trade show. We're supposed to meet up, see people, make connections, learn about things, and have a good time (on the company's and others' dime).

It's extremely stressful as a reporter (though nearly as much now as when I covered it live on video for TechCrunch), but it's very valuable. I suspect it will contract somewhat, though, since as people point out, it's a very poor way to get news out. But if they adjust the tone a bit it can still be indispensable.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:39 PM on January 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's still a good bit of stuff for people who assemble their own PC, like the new Silverstone SG10, the Corsair 900D, the new Swiftech/Rouchon All-in-one water-cooling loop, the NZXT Phantom 630... anything I'm missing?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:43 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some places may still have Flash support enabled for older Android devices but this can be problematic as new installations direct from Adobe have long been abandoned and some devices may also be too underpowered to adequately support high quality video playback in Flash.

So what's the problem? ICS is over a year old, right? Half the userbase is still on Gingerbread and another 10% are on Froyo. Since Google decided not to backport HLS to 2.3 this presents a distinct problem dealing with streaming video on Android.


It's not just software, either. The hardware itself has affected BBC's software development priorities, as an example:
DD: "It's not just fragmentation of the operating system - it is the sheer variety of devices. Before Ice Cream Sandwich (an early variant of the Android operating system) most Android devices lacked the ability to play high quality video. If you used the same technology as we've always used for iPhone, you'd get stuttering or poor image quality. So we're having to develop a variety of approaches for Android."

RCJ: Why don't you just forget the older devices and concentrate on new ones?

DD: "People write to us saying just that, why bother supporting older devices, why don't you just start with - and then they insert whichever model of phone they have. But more than a quarter of our requests to iPlayer come from devices running Gingerbread. And the number one device contacting us is still the Samsung Galaxy S2, which can't handle advanced video."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


And there's me thinking Qualcomm made lawnmowers.
posted by jontyjago at 3:51 PM on January 8, 2013


Journalists are also asking what stories they can invent to stay employed.
posted by Catblack at 3:53 PM on January 8, 2013


Ice Cream Sandwich (an early variant of the Android operating system)

I'm assuming they mean a recent variant of the Android operating system.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feels like old times, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:37 PM on January 8, 2013


> It's nice to see what the other players are doing.

Yeah- the weird ones like Dune and Mele are doing stuff with SoCs that are not from Nvidia, Qualcomm or Broadcom that might (eventually) upset some fruitcarts. 1080p H.264 decoding on a couple of watts isn't that hard anymore. When we get a race-to-the-bottom that's not just hammering on price, but really optimizing the shit out of things and anyone (anyone!) can write some software while standing on the shoulders of giants, it start to look pretty interesting.
posted by morganw at 4:49 PM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Man, somebody should invent some kind of technology that makes it possible to do that sort of thing without having to fly all the way to Las Vegas

Um - do you know much about sales? I don't really, but have a few friends who are in that line of work and the one fact they have imparted on me about technical sales is this:

Sales, and business development in general still requires quite a lot of lubrication. The last time I checked, it is not possible to pour your potential customer a whiskey over Skype...
posted by jkaczor at 5:50 PM on January 8, 2013


CES 1999, yes it was quite a party.

Now, about this Qualcomm. They're in a bind aren't they? CDMA isn't GSM and the Rest of the World(tm) is actually an honest to god serious market.

Apple's rumouring about an "emerging markets phone" for later this year, though anyone who still thinks China's market is still emerging...

btw, Microsoft first absented themselves around the time N+I faded into obscurity, early 2000s
posted by infini at 6:09 PM on January 8, 2013


Oh wait, that was Comdex that Microsoft absented themselves for... in which case, history demonstrates that this is the end for CES.
posted by infini at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2013


Sales still requires a lot of lubrication

Yeah right, so the AVN was coupled with CES because you have a bunch of geeks and a bunch of girls and lotsa company dime and you are in vegas and...oh...ohh...OHHHHHHHH :D now i see

Except salespeople these days have become slightly more aggressive than usual and a lot less seductive ... last one tried to cross me by impliciting menacing he would have skipped me and dealt directly with a client. Not a smart move, no matter the hookers or fringes he might have thrown in the deal.
posted by elpapacito at 6:57 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The AVN-reject actors have taken a job doing the Born Mobile bit, right? The acting is making me wait for someone to take their clothes off or reveal they are performance artists.
posted by jaduncan at 6:59 PM on January 8, 2013


I thought Qualcomm's keynote had to be exaggerated. It is not. It is a presentation for the ages.
posted by jaduncan at 7:01 PM on January 8, 2013


it start to look pretty interesting.

I was going to make a fpp about this. The sheer number of ARM computers coming out, with processors from places like Allwinner and Rockchip, in almost every shape and size, for cheaper and cheaper amounts, is pretty amazing. The same chip that powered that mele box now sells for $20 bucks in stick size. In half a year the price has dropped by 66% from the original sticks.
posted by zabuni at 7:15 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought the first link would be about the fashion of the attendees from 1967 on. That's not a cheap shot, I was really hoping to see a progression of men's business wear through the ages.
posted by noway at 7:45 PM on January 8, 2013


"If you've seen one Consumer Electronics Show, you've seen them all." - Ed Dillinger, Senior Executive V.P., Encom, Inc. 1982

-END OF LINE
posted by ShutterBun at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just watched the first few minutes of the bizarre CES keynote described at the top of the thread. I am reminded of how Roadhouse was described in the thread about that movie -- something that seemed like a parody, but was probably sincere, and could only have been made when it was. The beginning of the CES keynote, the part with the socialite, gamer, and entrepreneur, was the exact same way. It reads like a parody, but it seems to be a completely serious ... what is it anyway? A play?

My brain curdled a little bit when I watched it.
posted by compartment at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2013


In my view the absence of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft make CES more relevant than ever.

Those are established companies protecting what they've created. They're not innovators. Regular online visits to "techie news" sites make it clear that they have such a hold on the market that startups have little chance of grabbing much attention. Most real innovation in consumer electronics has always come from the bottom up.
posted by Twang at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2013


They're not innovators

wat
posted by empath at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2013


Hey that video got edited to just the "good" part. I want the whole 90 minutes back starting with the Asian girl cringing in pain as her headphone feeds back. Anyone have an unedited link? I need to send it to a friend who has been wavering in his intentions to commit suicide.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:07 PM on January 9, 2013


I just realized where I'd felt a cringe that strong before- Disney & Nickelodeon shows my kid watched at around kindergarten age. See if the fake enthusiastic talking and awful giggling here sounds familiar.

The worst part? The Qualcomm keynote trio sound more like the kids on one of these shows. "Cool!" Ehughawww, no. nononono.

Oh- and the complete keynote is on YouTube. Feedback whine.

Are you wondering What Does it Mean to be Born Mobile? I'm sure you are
posted by morganw at 2:52 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Gangnam Style meets cat videos.
posted by schmod at 9:24 AM on January 10, 2013


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