Print 29 comment(s) - last by KristopherKubi.. on Jan 17 at 10:02 AM

Hmm, maybe I've missed the bigger picture here

A few days ago I went off the deep end and psycho-analyzed Gizmodo's prank at CES 2008, and its philosophical grounds for doing so. 

All that went out the window this morning when I read an article about a Polish teen who used an IR remote to derail a few trams at a local depot

It's probably not likely that this kid knew of the Gizmodo prank at the time, or that he even intended to hurt anyone, but it brought me to the larger conclusion that the next kid who wants to do this sort of thing doesn't need to look very far to know he can get away with it. 

Taking away someone's CES press badge is not punishment. I still think that's lip service.

Fortunately nobody was killed in the event, and my condolences go out to anyone who was hurt in the ordeal. 

As a personal message to Brian Lam: I respect your decision to do what you did. I personally think you were even entitled to do so from a legal and moral standpoint.  However, I do think you should be very clear to those who look up to Gizmodo that such actions won't land Gizmodo in trouble, but it could have deep consequences for people with less clout.

Update 1/14/2008: As forecasted, CEA gave the offending owner of the IR nuker a lifetime ban of CESGizmodo, as a publication, faced no consequences.  I asked a CEA liaison how the organization intends to prevent this individual from entering the show next year.  The CEA official claimed the organization has banned other people before.  As long as he attempts to sign up under the same name, he will not be allowed back into the show.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By JackBeQuick on 1/13/2008 10:25:44 AM , Rating: 5
Lookie here, we don't need Jason and Masher to argue with each other. We can just get Kris to argue with himself!

RE: hehe
By masher2 on 1/13/2008 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
Don't worry Jack, neither of us would pass up a chance to argue in any case. ;)

Kris, I'm still not following your logic here though
to Brian Lam: I respect your decision to do what you did. I personally think you were even entitled to do so from a legal and moral standpoint
If Tam instructed these journalists before the fact, then he's guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief.

You seem to be taking the stand that their actions here were neutral. No one "lost their job" over this, after all. However, let me give you an analogy. A person hacks bank software, to steal one penny from every account and transfer it to his own. No one person was harmed very much...but the total theft is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is that not a crime?

Or another analogy...a network worm that erases no files, but slows down the Internet for several days. No one in particular is severely affected...but the total lost time could run to the millions.

CES is an event in which both organizers and attendees spend large amounts of time and money upon. A prank that costs some of that time is indeed harmful, albeit no one person suffered that much. Five minutes of lost time, multiplied by several hundred attendees and a dozen or so vendors, multiplied again by the amortized per-minute cost of flying to the show, hotel room for the event and, (for vendors) the large cost of the show itself. The total cost of this prank likely runs to several thousand dollars. No harm done? Do you really believe that?

As for the legality, the legal code of Nevada says, slightly paraphrased:
A person commits the offense of criminal mischief when he or she intentionally or knowingly and without the consent of an owner: ... (2) tampers with the owner's property, which tampering causes loss or inconvenience to the owner...

Tampering with an owner's property occurs when a person interferes with the owner's proprietary rights or abuses the property. Damage does not need to be done to the property in order to constitute tampering

RE: hehe
By KristopherKubicki on 1/13/2008 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
Let me start off with this real fast:
If Tam instructed these journalists before the fact, then he's guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief.

Lam admitted to instructing the guy with the remote to use it, but not on keynotes. So there isn't much if there -- he's already on record.

I still take the ground that his actions were mostly neutral. As I mentioned in the other article, I know most of the people featured in the article and their anger was mostly redirected to the people who didn't set up the booth correctly.

For those of you who haven't been to CES before, it pretty much is a free-for-all when it comes to stunts like this. I saw 2girls1cup on notebooks all over the show; banners defaced; people screwing with the lights. Someone threw about 2-years worth of press releases down the toilets in the press bathrooms with the expected effect. I don't think Gizmodo was responsible for all this, since I've seen stuff like this since the COMDEX days.

Always the press bathroom too... go figure.

I think there is an acceptable background level for this sort of stuff. 150,000 people in a relatively small space, I'd be shocked if there wasn't stuff like this going on.

Lest CEA actually gets off its ass and does something about any of it? I mean that is why exhibitors pay $1500 sq / foot, right?

Sure, I think its a remote possibility someone could have lost a lead or a sale. As you stated above, all someone needs to do is prove "which tampering causes loss or inconvenience to the owner..." The tech industry is a lot smaller than people think -- I'd probably put money on the fact that Motorola doesn't even file a suit.

RE: hehe
By TomZ on 1/13/2008 8:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, sounds like a bit of a circus. I've been to a number of different trade shows before, but they don't allow kids in, so they were pretty professional. Maybe CES should adopt a similar approach.

RE: hehe
By Anh Huynh on 1/14/2008 2:13:27 AM , Rating: 4
It is supposed to be a professional trade show. Even a 14 year old kid with a web site showed more professionalism than Gizmodo did.

From a exhibitor standpoint, which I had the pleasure of being this year, Gizmodo's acts are despicable. They were disrupting the work of people just trying to do their job. It's only funny if you have the mental capacity of a high schooler and highly unprofessional of them.

Yes they could've covered up the IR ports or disabled the ports, but what if they wanted to use a remote to turn on/off the TV because it was in a inconvenient place for them to turn off via button. Or the equipment was rented.

At a trade show where people expect business to occur and a certain level of professionalism, the first thing on my mind wouldn't be to prevent my equipment getting tampered by some idiot with a universal IR remote, I'd have more faith in my fellow peers and other professionals than that.

From a journalist standpoint, which I previously was, their acts further give reason to why bloggers don't get much respect or journalistic protection. A real journalist would not pull a stunt like that because as said in the comments, its highly unethical and against the SPJ code of ethics.

RE: hehe
By eye smite on 1/15/2008 10:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with TomZ, I've been to a few myself and they don't do this at other conventions, and then they don't let kids in either. One in particular that stands out is the Oil Technology Convention. If they had done that at the OTC to displays like this, someone probably would have hit them upside the head with a 48 inch pipe wrench swung like a baseball bat.

RE: hehe
By Mr Roberto on 1/16/2008 7:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
Okay. This one has me stumped as well. So basically it is an accepted practice for editors in the US to deliberately assign/condone mischievous behaviour by a "journalist"? Why do I find that hard to accept as journalistic behaviour?

RE: hehe
By KristopherKubicki on 1/17/2008 10:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
Until someone cracks down on it, it's still going to happen. "Banning" a Gizmodo writer isn't going to change things.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
Related Articles

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki