Sent: Monday, May 9, 2005 12:13 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Geek revival; shtick of Chambers
"Wynn, schmynn," sneered Spence, dissing Steve Wynns recently opened $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort. "Gimme my Blue Hawaii Room at Viva Las Vegas Villas any day!" The dulcet-toned Drudge crooned the "Hawaiian Wedding Song" as he strolled down Las Vegas Boulevard last week to attend this years tiny but still nerd-filled Interop show. Even though event organizers were touting a 10 percent increase in attendance and 35 more exhibitors than last year, moving the event from the gargantuan Las Vegas Convention Center to the more manageable Mandalay Bay seemed a wise move.
A show insider told the Kitty that 40 attempts to hack the InteropNet had occurred before Tuesday morning, when the event officially opened. "Its like a superpower," touted the Interopian tipster. "Hackers are targeting the cream of the crop and testing their skills against the best!" Keynote speaker Sean Maloney, general manager of Intels mobility group, spent most of his time hyping WiMax by hooking up via camera phone to a minion stationed on a Vegas rooftop and allowing attendees to check out what traffic was like on the strip. Seeing that traffic wasnt too congested, Maloney quipped that the commute home at the end of the first day of Interop didnt look too bad. The demo apparently was tapping part of a network that will eventually be available to local subscribers, although no time frame for when the service will be available was given. As Ciscos CEO, John Chambers, talked up innovation and interactive networks during his keynote, the fidgeting Furball realized he still hadnt adjusted to Chambers Jerry Springer-like habit of networking event audiences over the last few years. "Whats next—Scott McNealy or Bill Gates crowd surfing?" cackled the Kitty.
Juniper Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens used his keynote to mock Chambers, saying that if attendees wanted to see Bono or win a free iPod—both past Cisco promotional gimmicks—they were out of luck. On the show floor, big-iron boxes from Cisco, Foundry and Extreme didnt seem to thrill attendees as much as the $288 DV6 camera from SupaCam did. The SupaCam reps couldnt swipe credit cards fast enough to keep up with demand. His Hirsuteness envisioned the fun he could have with such an easily concealed videocam in Vegas, but envisioning how to hide it on his T&E was another issue.
The Electronic Lifestyle Integration folks pushing their ELI home security appliance also seemed to attract a lot of traffic. ELI recently raised its status big time by making security guru Howard Schmidt (formerly of eBay) its chairman. Just before the Baron of Babble headed for the blackjack tables, a crony told him that MediaLive International announced it plans another Interop for December in the Big Apple. "I dunno," laughed the Lynx. "Geekfests that happen in Vegas should stay in Vegas."