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10 things seen and heard at CES

James Niccolai | Jan. 11, 2013
Here are 10 things that caught our eye at CES this week that didn't necessarily make the headlines.

Could it be? Really?

At the CES Unveiled product showcase on Sunday night, we were slightly amused to see a man with long, gray, curly hair who looked like an older version of the sledgehammer-wielding 1980s comedian Gallagher, a Vegas-type performer if ever there was one. Amused, that is, until we saw the man's conference badge, which read, simply ... "Gallagher."

Nail polish inside

Tech conferences are still largely male affairs so it was refreshing to look in the bag of swag that Intel gave attendees at its press conference Monday and find ... nail polish and an emery board. Apparently the theme was touch, as there was also some hand sanitizer and gloves with touchpad fingers. But whatever the reason, it was nice to see Intel getting in touch with its feminine side, and a refreshing change to mini-Maglites and crappy pens. Intel, we salute you.

Gangnam stop

There are nails on a chalk board, screeching violins and cats howling. Then there's "Gangnam Style." This fun-at-first-but-now-excruciating ditty has been played at every turn at CES, more to wake people up perhaps than to entertain. Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and the folks at Brands Matter all pulled it out of their hats to liven up their events, and it's assaulting the ears at more than one booth on the show floor. New Rickrolled, anyone?

Qualcomm's big night out

This one did make the headlines but is worth another look anyway. No one seemed sure what to make of Qualcomm's keynote Monday night. Reactions ranged from "cringeworthy" to "a good-time nerdfest." It began elegantly, with the crowd welcomed by some cool '60s jazz and artful fluorescent mobiles hanging from the ceiling. Then it exploded into "Gangnam Style" (of course), followed by some very pumped up youths bleating about their Born Mobile lifestyle, and it never let up after that. A parade of notables followed: Steve Ballmer, retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Guillermo del Toro, a Star Trek actress, Big Bird and Maroon5. And somewhere in there, some new chips were announced. Our verdict? It wasn't boring.

DJ BabyChino

What can you say about a chubby-faced 10-year-old who's covered in bling, spins hip-hop and is billed as "the world's youngest DJ?" BabyChino may be a gimmick but he had the crowd captivated when he played a few sets on the CES show floor this week. And this isn't some pretend DJing; the Las Vegas local plays clubs and theaters and has opened for Kid Rock. Head down, hands on decks, he's all business when he's at work, in this case promoting a strange, laser-controlled electronic instrument from a company called Beamz.

Beauty and the geeks

 

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