This year’s Vegas geekathon was supposed to be all about serious business, but you wouldn’t know it from the DreamFree booth, where they were pitching brain-wave manipulating eyeglasses that looked like something Star Trek’s Geordi LaForge might wear. DreamFree claims its “EEGFree” glasses reduce stress and recharge your brain in 10 minutes. Your laptop, however, will still take three hours.
Elsewhere Comdex resembled a meeting of the model UN, with big chunks of the show floor reserved for countries with catchy slogans. There were pavilions for Taiwan (“Your Partner in Innovalue”), Bangladesh (“Your Outsourcing Partner”), Barbados (“The Investors’ Paradise”), Malaysia (“Multimedia Super Corridor”) and others. Korea opted for the straightforward motto “Leading Korea”. Apparently the original catchphrase, “Our Products Are the Bomb”, didn’t fly. Longtime attendees report that volume was muted, cabs were plentiful, and the cavernous Las Vegas convention centre was at less than a third capacity. One spy guesstimates attendance at around 35,000 — or a sixth the size of the show during its heyday — but official estimates peg it closer to 50,000.Don’t ask, don’t Intel
Ever wonder why Intel’s been so slow in releasing Wi-Fi networking chips? Could be a communications breakdown. Cringe crew members report that laptops equipped with Intel’s Centrino chip set aren’t on speaking terms with a wide range of 802.11b access points. Some users have gotten them to work by shutting down the chip’s vaunted power-saving features (better pack a spare battery) or turning off WEP encryption (drive-by hackers, take note). This could inspire a new set of "Unwire Your Life" TV ads: "Your boss expects that report in one hour. Why not share it with any geek who passes by?"Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.