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Archive: CES 2008

Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 09/17/2008

New Research: Nearly All Teens Play Video Games

Well, it's official, I guess: Nearly all teens play video games.

No, seriously. A recent study, conducted Pew Internet & American Life Project, has found that 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls play video games on a regular basis. Half of the 1,102 kids, ages 12 to 17, polled had played one within the last 24 hours.

The video game industry often sings the praises of its ratings system, designed to steer kids away from inappropriate content. But, eek, half the boys surveyed listed a game rated by the industry's system as "mature" as one of their favorites.

So, is gaming a social or anti-social activity? Looks like the answer is: Both. Or, neither. Some 76 percent of gaming teens play games with others at least some of the time; on the other hand, 82 percent play games alone at least occasionally, according to the recently-published study, an initiative of
the Pew Research Center; more findings about the video game survey is available here.

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Posted at 2:05 PM ET, 01/10/2008

CES Recap: A Little Smaller, But Still Leaves Me Wrecked

Well, it's the last day of CES 2008 and the show is still going strong. But the taxi lines heading to the airport are growing pretty quickly.

Last night I had a quick chat with Albert Lin, an analyst with American Technology Research and a CES veteran. This being my first time at the show, I was blown away by the number of little-known companies doing impressive things and the extravagance of the displays put on by the household names. But he said the show actually seemed a bit smaller than previous years. (Surprising: It seemed pretty darn huge to me.)

Why? Lin said the poor economy kept some companies from spending the money to get here. Some wireless firms like Verizon Wireless that have increased their presence here over the past few years have scaled back. Instead, they'll be more likely to go all out at the wireless industry's own trade show later this year.

Also unlike past shows, this year's didn't reveal a new must-have product. There's usually an idea that steals the show and gets a lot of media attention. This year, the biggest trend I noticed was finding ways to hook your TV up to the Internet. Sharp's pushing its Aquos Net, Panasonic has its Viera system, Comcast will let customers use their TV as a remote control for Web-based entertainment and Sling Media lets you do the same.

Even the 150-inch plasma TV from Panasonic didn't get the same level of "ooohs and aaahs" from attendees. Last year Sharp's 108-inch TV was all the rage.

Lin said he thinks there's a saturation point for products like that. "I think there comes a point where it's just too much," he said.

I don't have any newfangled gadgets in my suitcase as I head to the airport, but I have the blisters on my feet, my well-worn-in shoes and lopsided shoulders from carrying my laptop around.

I can definitely see what all the fuss over CES is about, but I must say I have never been more ready to get back to Washington.

Until next year, that is.

Thanks everyone for tuning in to read and watch our coverage of the show. I'll be back blogging after I get a little R&R!

Posted by Kim Hart | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 01/10/2008

Contacting Me Through Email

In response to the previous comment: Those who wish to contact me can do so by clicking here. Thanks!!

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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/10/2008

Becoming a Real Guitar Hero (The Video)

Here's a video that goes with Tuesday's posting about some new technology to help with your Guitar Hero skills:

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Posted at 11:41 AM ET, 01/10/2008


It's tough typing blog entries on my BlackBerry. Yesterday, in my haste I got the names of two companies wrong. The Swedish cellphone company that sells touchscreen phones is actually called Neonode, and the company helping them bring the phones to the U.S. market is DMC. Thanks to Danielle at DMC for pointing out the errors!

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Slinging Media Around Still Pleases The Crowd

Two years ago, Sling Media -- one of that year's biggest hits -- had a small booth at this show. Now the company, which was recently acquired by Dish Network's parent company EchoStar, had a pretty impressive display that always seemed to be crowded. Sling Media became known for...

By Kim Hart | January 10, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

IPod Accessories, Some Of Which Are A Scream

When I stopped walking around the show floor long enough to realize how hungry I was, I grabbed a hotdog from a concession stand at the Sands Expo Center and started talking talking to a guy sitting next to me at the table. I asked about his company, called Zagg....

By Kim Hart | January 10, 2008; 09:06 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CES for Your iPod

If it's Thursday, it's time for the Tech Podcast. This week's report focuses on the show and answers another reader question. Listen to it here or subscribe via XML or on iTunes....

By Editors | January 10, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

If You Build A Social Network, Will Advertisers Come?

I took a break from the floor to listen to a panel discussion on social networks and user-generated content. After the panelists waxed philosophical for a bit about how social networks are enabling our age-old desire to connect to other humans, they got down to the bottom line. Advertising is...

By Kim Hart | January 9, 2008; 05:47 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Screen That's More Sensitive To The Touch

While I walking through the displays of tech giants like Panasonic and Samsung, I came across a company I'd never heard of called Neonode. It's a Swedish cellphone manufacturer that says it's enjoyed some success in Europe but has had a tough time breaking into the U.S. market against much-larger...

By Kim Hart | January 9, 2008; 04:29 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Comcast's New Video Offerings: Portable DVR and Fancast

Comcast and Panasonic yesterday announced a new media device that works like a conventional digital-video recorder in the home, but that can also be taken on the road to serve as a portable media player. They call it the AnyPlay portable DVR, which will be available in early 2009. Comcast...

By Kim Hart | January 9, 2008; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Some Tiny Technology

The familiar mantras of the Consumer Electronics Show -- Bigger! Better! Faster! Cheaper! -- continue to fly around the showroom floor this year. For example, you can catch a glimpse of Panasonic's 150-inch plasma TV, or Sony's ultra-thin flatscreens. Some of the things that caught my eye, though, are the...

By Kim Hart | January 9, 2008; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Public Interest Groups React to FCC Chair's Speech

When FCC Chairman Kevin Martin spoke here about his views on whether Comcast was blocking content from consumers by interfering with peer-to-peer traffic, he indicated the commission would look into the situation to determine if Comcast really was discriminating against certain sites or if the cable giant is within its...

By Kim Hart | January 9, 2008; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (50) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Chair Opens Up On Wireless

Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin just finished a discussion with Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association, about his policy priorities for the coming year. Martin spent a lot of time stressing the importance of wireless technologies, especially since the auction of valuable 700 megahertz spectrum will...

By Kim Hart | January 8, 2008; 06:05 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gaming Your Way To Becoming A Real Guitar Hero

Love Guitar Hero? How about playing with a real guitar? Music Wizard Group has created a game that lets you have all the glory of Guitar Hero, but also helps you learn how to play the instrument. You plug a small device into an acoustic or electric guitar and...

By Kim Hart | January 8, 2008; 02:24 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Be The Better (Animated) You

A company called Big Stage lets you be your better self. Here's how it works: You take three digital photos of your face from different angles and then import them into the company's software. Then you can put a funky hairstyle on yourself, glasses, or a variety of expressions. The...

By Kim Hart | January 8, 2008; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Searching in Three Dimensions

I met a company called SpaceTime last night that offers 3-dimensional search. It's an application you download to your desktop, and it then acts like any other browser. If you want to look at YouTube clips, it scrolls through them in 3-D form, without having to download them first. If...

By | January 8, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Ladies And Gentlemen: The World's Smallest Laptop

At the Qualcomm booth, one thing that caught my eye is what the company claims is the world's smallest laptop. It's small alright, looking more like an oversized cellphone than a computer. The keyboard slides out from behind the screen. It weighs one pound and the company today introduced...

By | January 7, 2008; 07:50 PM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

A Rare Find: Tranquil Space

In a sea of marketing mayhem here, I came across a corner of tranquility. Qualcomm often has among the largest displays on the show floor, competing against every other device manufacturer trying to snag some attention. This year, though, the company took a different approach to lure people with an...

By | January 7, 2008; 06:45 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Skype Shows Sony Users It's Got Game

Users of Sony's mobile gaming gadget got a surprise treat among the announcements at the show. The game device, which already featured wireless Internet connectivity features, will now be able to double as a phone. PSP owners who start an account with the popular voice-over-Internet service Skype will be able...

By | January 7, 2008; 06:02 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang Holds Forth On Mobile

Yahoo is trying to do for mobile devices what it did for the Internet-connected computer a decade ago. Today during a keynote speech here at CES, Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang made a slew of announcements geared toward attracting eyeballs on cellphones. The biggest news is that the company is...

By | January 7, 2008; 04:55 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Watching Tiny Screen Without Going Crosseyed

Portable devices keep getting smaller, yet people want to get more entertainment right to the two-inch screen on their iPod or cellphone. A company called MyVu is selling futuristic-looking glasses that let you watch a movie or play a video game on what seems like a bigger screen. Here's how...

By | January 7, 2008; 02:40 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

At CES, Promotion Transcends Everything

It's my first time at CES and my first time in Vegas. So as you might imagine, my head is spinning. When I arrived at the convention center this morning, people were still setting up booths and finding power outlets. But they didn't waste any time in trying to...

By | January 7, 2008; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Local Firm Goes for Mobile TV

A major push at this year's CES is mobile entertainment. As it turns out, one of the companies putting serious resources in that direction is in our own backyard. ICO Communications of Reston took me out for a spin to show off it's product, which will be available once its...

By | January 7, 2008; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Gates's Retirement Parody Gets Laughs at Keynote

Before Bill Gates got into the major news of his last CES keynote address last night, he played a video portraying what his last day on the job would be like. A star-studded cast bid him farewell from Microsoft as they parodied Gates' struggle to fill up all the free...

By | January 7, 2008; 08:29 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Annual Gates Speech at CES

LAS VEGAS-- For years Microsoft has been talking about all the advantages consumers can get from being connected--linking your computers, cellphones, TVs and digital cameras. This year the company is trying to make that connection more personal, driving technology to be smarter about who you are, what you want and...

By | January 7, 2008; 12:07 AM ET | Comments (11) | TrackBack (2)


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