Last full day at CES, a chance to wander around, have a few last
appointments with vendors, and reflect on the show. I actually did
see a few Linux-related things today, starting with a streaming
media player with built in tuner and PVR capabilities. The
MediaReady 6000, from Video Without Boundaries, has Linux at its
heart, and can even mount a shared MythTV file system and play
Yet another video appliance implemented on top of Linux,
what a shock!
Avega Systems gets my "You Mean There's Linux in That?!!!" award
for CES 2006. Their Oyster 802.11g speaker systems allow you to
plug a DVD or iPod directly into one of their units, stream audio
from Internet radio stations, or hook it directly to a receiver.
Using a uPNP remote, you can then configure the speakers to act as
an 5.1 surround system, move your music from room to room, or
anything else you'd like. And yes, each speaker has an embedded
copy of Linux inside.
And in an emergency, you can turn your 7.1 surround system
into a Beowulf cluster...
This pretty much completes the Linux-related news I have for day
four, now on to the silliness. First off, we have a classic example
of why good translation is a must for show attendees. As you can
see from this Asian exhibitor's signage, should it become necessary
to protect you, this dark angel is prepared to assume an alert
posture. Personally, I think she's looking fairly informal in the
picture. Maybe I didn't need protection enough.
What happens when good artwork happens to bad
I told you that someone at the show was selling ladders. "Hah,"
you said, "he's blowing smoke up our butts." Here, presented for
your viewing pleasure, is the Least Relevant CES Vendor award for
Call this guy if you want to climb to the top of the
Finally, as a parting gift, I present the "Guess Which Trade
Show This Person Was Attending" Home Game. As I mentioned
previously, CES and the Adult Video News (AVN) Expo share the Sands
Convention Center. Around 4PM, all the folks from AVN headed off to
their annual awards dinner, crossing right through the CES
attendees. I snapped a few photos, try to guess which attendees
were from CES and which were from AVN. Badges have been obscured
for reasons of privacy and to prevent you from reading the name of
the shows. (Answers below.)
For the insatiably curious, I did gamble while at the show. I
dropped about $40 on the slots (Wheel... of... Fortune!), made
about $60 on blackjack, and won $45 on the Patriots-Jacksonville
game ($50 straight bet on the Pats, GO PATS!) I've got two more
bets pending, Pats to win the AFC championship, and Pats to win the
Super Bowl. If they both come through, it'll have been a very very
profitable CES for me.
My parting thoughts on the show. If you went solely by the
billboards and vendor presentations, it would seem like Microsoft
dominates the consumer electronics industry and will soon be a part
of everything you see on TV, listen to music with, or play games
with. But when you dig a little deeper, you realize that Linux is
actually a major behind-the-scenes player in the business. But
because Linux has no branding or badging requirements, vendors can
hide it in products without anyone knowing that they just bought a
Linux system. I talked to one member of the press who talked about
how difficult Linux was and how he wouldn't let it in the house. I
asked him if he had a TiVo. Yes, he did. Did he own a broadband
router? Yes. He was then surprised to learn that he in fact had at
least two copies of Linux in his house.
For Linux to really become noticed in the consumer electronics
biz, it needs to become more visible. Since we can't force vendors
to identify their products as Linux-powered, we can only use
ANSWERS (select to reveal): [A - AVN, B - CES,
C - AVN, D - AVN]
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