Judge not CES

Mat Honan, Wired, with wise words for tired-out tech writers and their weary readers.

We shouldn’t let that skepticism and weariness make the leap to outright cynicism. There is still much to be excited about here. Yes: CES is overstimulating and exhausting and has a massive noise-above-signal problem where company after company tries to sell you on their horrible ideas that no one should ever buy into. But at it’s best, it can still serve amazement straight up. And it’s still the best place to see new technology products, all in one place, all in one time.

It's easy to turn CES into a cipher for many other things that it's better to dislike one at a time. Moreover, CES helps the business usher in cool stuff, which Mat rounds up in his article. I've been guilty of a certain tech-writing sin: the incessant, unasked-for coverage of CES itself rather than what's at it. You don't care about CES, though, right? You just want to hear about the good stuff.

Notable Replies

  1. The most amazing thing about CES is the demographics in the photograph. Let's play "find someone who isn't a white male..."

  2. I will start caring about CES again when they get rid of the booth babes.

  3. Am I at least allowed to judge 'smart fridges', with the wrath of an old testament god?

  4. Grills that support useful features like 'allowing me to monitor the temperature from a distance even if the mosquitoes are biting outside or I'd rather play Skyrim during a slow-cooking operation' are acceptable in my sight.

    Things with grease-damageable touchscreens, or pointless internet connections to allow hackers to feast on their tender, incompetent, firmware, shall burn forever in a fire hotter than any they ever contained while in life.

  5. ProbablyMatHonan dances around two related ideas but doesn't connect them

    No wonder; it’s been a long time since we saw a really incredible, all-new consumer device like the iPhone.

    and

    That week-long grind can inspire a world-weariness, all the more so because there is so much straight-up bullshit at CES. Skepticism is a must, otherwise you just end up with bloodless endorsements of everything.

    For a time, Apple didn't just hype how cool their new products were, they delivered on a good deal of that hype. And I think that's why, for a time, people looked forward to Apple events whereas they dreaded the approaching hawking and overselling that is the contemporary CES.

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