Feeds

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The NAB edition)

Hunter S. Linux

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Trade Show "Where have you been?" yelled Mike, founder of Vidux, "we've been waiting outside on the curb for hours!" It was 3pm on April 22, 2001 and Mike had just stormed into the press room at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas. I was freelancing for Linux Journal, trying to scare up some quotes from media executives for a story on DeCSS.

DeCSS is the feral cat that was loosed from its bag last year by a teenage programmer living in the Netherlands. This small lump of computer code is used to decrypt DVDs, a process which was supposed to be topic secret. Groups like the MPAA and RIAA are terrified of it, and have already sued one magazine for even talking about it.

I knew some MPAA heavies would be at the conference, and I wanted to hunt them down and ask some questions. But it was a Sunday and not much was happening. When Mike roared in I was sipping a frozen drink and scanning Slashdot, looking for recent news about another DeCSS case in New York.

"OK fine, let's go," I replied, looking around nervously. I was doing PR to pay for the trip and I would have been humiliated if the other journalists found out I was taking orders from a vendor.

Or I had once thought I was doing PR. I'd spent the morning in Gene, Nevada at the Golden Strike Hotel and Casino loading a rented Ford Explorer with hard drives, PCI cards and cables. The equipment was in unsealed boxes and it was spilling out all over the place - dropping onto the parking lot and sliding under the seats. Mike had been lashing signage and metal display mesh onto the roof with dog leashes.

An hour before he found me, I was in the exposition area, where half-assembled structures stretched to the horizon in all directions. Fork lifts whizzed by loaded with crates and palates. Men were painting, drilling and yelling.

The next morning the exposition would open and the hordes would wash over one million plus square feet of booth. But as of Sunday afternoon, he was the only vendor in the entire expo to have nothing but a gray patch of concrete where his booth should be.

"You just cost me $1,000," he said. "We've been looking for you for the past three hours."

"What are you talking about?" I replied, "I've been to your booth three times. I waited there for an hour. You've got nothing done. You need me before you can carry one box?"

"It's all politics with the NAB. All politics. . . those guys, the Teamsters, they're after us. They'll vandalize our equipment. We need somebody to guard it once its upstairs."

"What about the other guys? Jason and Adam?"

"Jason is back at the hotel putting the computers together. Adam is at another booth getting a demonstration ready." (Cont'd)

Trade Show

1 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The NAB edition)
2 I was a teenage hacker
3 Linux Media Arts Cuts the Fat
4 Linux saved my Life
5 Sex and Trade
6 Bring on the Little Guys

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.