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.

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uh huh
By Polynikes on 1/14/2008 11:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think what the Gizmodo guys did was mature or professional, but I don't understand why everyone's making such a big deal out of it.

Also, I do not understand how some Polish kid's actions can have any correlation with or influence on your opinion of what the Gizmodo guys did. It's not like the Gizmodo guys' actions could've made HDTVs start falling off walls and hurting people. Clearly, regardless of how much they thought ahead or considered consequences, there was no danger in what they were doing. Messing with very large, moving objects electronically is completely different.

RE: uh huh
By MatthiasF on 1/14/2008 12:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The last two blog posts on the topic have been awkward, but I think the reason most are speaking out on the issue revolves around the fact some bloggers seem to think they can do anything without punishment while others want to be considered legitimate journalists. Based off reader responses, I think more people sided with the latter.

Even the CES response to this event seems half-assed. What if they just send another person the next time? The managing editor gave the okay to do it and even posted the video with a section he argues now he didn't condone, so it's not like it was a rogue employee. They're obviously doing damage control because even they feel it was wrong in hindsight and some of us feel obligated to continue applying pressure until they admit it.

As far as the Polish teen, I'd really like to know his motivations. Hope we'll hear more when the trial starts, albeit are juvenile cases open to the public in Poland?

RE: uh huh
By KristopherKubicki on 1/14/2008 12:33:10 PM , Rating: 3
but I don't understand why everyone's making such a big deal out of it.

We are still in the wild west of New Media. The Internet isn't going anywhere for a while -- and anyone even remotely involved in the media today will be looked at like a Framer in decades to come.

These little events here and there have potential to cascade into long-running policies. Everyone's crystal ball is different, but I think some of these very specific, widely publicized events will dictate what the world tolerates of New Media.

I bring up the issue of the teen in Lodz to illustrate some of this. I do not know this individual, but you can see the mentality between both events are identical. Neither feel there was any long-term consequence. In the case of Gizmodo, there wasn't.

Of course, if we condone what Gizmodo did and chastise that of the Lodz teen, as a society we sure send a mixed message. It's OK to screw with other people's technology so long as it doesn't hurt anyone? I guess?

What do we do with the next kid that turns off an Amber Alert sign with an IR remote after he saw Lam get away with it at CES?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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