Gizmodo prank trashes CES presentations

Gizmodo prank trashes CES presentations

Summary: Carey Holzman of Computer America brought to my attention this prank that Gizmodo is bragging about. Apparently, Gizmodo's Richard Blakeley brought an infrared device that shuts TVs down and went around the show floor crashing people's presentation.

SHARE:

Carey Holzman of Computer America brought to my attention this prank that Gizmodo is bragging about. Apparently, Gizmodo's Richard Blakeley brought an infrared device that shuts TVs down and went around the show floor crashing people's presentation. Even DEFCON hacker's convention would consider this form of miscief bad form and they'd throw you out for doing this.

Just because you have the capability to do something doesn't mean you should. I can hack/crash all the wireless LANs for fun and laughs but does that mean I should? It's one thing if a few immature kids did this but these are people representing the Internet media with guest press passes. If I or anyone else representing ZDNet or CNET tried something like Blakeley's little stunt, we'd probably be fired. Somehow I doubt Gizmodo will get invites to CES next year.

Now maybe I sound like an old stick in the mud who's taking this too seriously, but I just didn't think it was that funny and I think it crossed the line. Larry Dignan thinks the reaction is overboard but I have to disagree. I thought that Rafe Needleman has a great point that “bloggers” were barely invited to the event as it was. Since I was classified as a “blogger” instead of “press”, I had to walk 20 minutes to get to this dinky little corner of a room with no amenities. They eventually let us in to the press area but that doesn’t change the sensitive nature of the situation for bloggers.

What do you think?

[poll id=41]

Topics: Networking, Browser, CXO, Security, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Has Larry figured it out yet?

    So far, he and the Goo Goo Gaa Gaa Gizmodo pre-school prankers are about the only ones who think it's funny.
    MGP2
    • actually...

      a lot of people think it's funny. personally, i think the random turning off of monitors was worth a chuckle, but during people's presentations was over the line.
      lostarchitect
      • So it would be funny if someone used a site-b-gone tool on the Gizmodo site

        So it would be funny if someone used a site-b-gone tool on the Gizmodo site? What if you owned a company company and you paid $500K for a booth at CES and someone took down your displays and made them look like they were malfunctioning and unreliable. Hey it isn't during a presentation right? No harm was done right?
        georgeou
        • yeah, actually.

          that would be pretty funny. i'm sure some kind of revenge attack is in the works, and i can't say they don't have it coming.

          anyway, all they did was turn off some TVs. I don't think pressing the power button is all that difficult. and as for the argument that they made the displays look unreliable, that's disingenuous and you know it. when 10 displays go down at once, noone thinks the displays are faulty. they will instantly think "uh-oh, power issues! better check the circuit breaker!"

          so no. no real harm was done, except to gizmodo's rep.
          lostarchitect
          • Did you notice..

            that whole bank of monitors that was more than head-high? How do you think these
            things get turned on and off? Not with the out-of-reach power button, but with the
            remote - using the same IR port that others have suggested should have been
            covered to prevent morons from doing this.
            msalzberg
          • Oh, I don't know...

            How about a ladder! Brilliant! Yes, use a ladder to turn them on at the beginning of the day and tape over the IR ports, and noone will be able to mess with them. At the end of the day, use same to turn them off. It's genius!
            lostarchitect
          • Do you know how much it costs to get your ad on those displays?

            Do you know how much it costs to get your ad on those displays? Do you know how much it costs to rent time in those booths at CES? When that presenter is showing off one display and it's going off for no reason, how is that suppose to look?
            georgeou
          • you know,

            I don't much care. I think it was funny, and I think you're being a self-righteous whiner.
            lostarchitect
          • It's easy not to care when it's not your property being vandalized

            It's easy not to care when it's not your property being vandalized. You can call people whiners all you like, but you'd be the first person screaming foul if someone vandalized your property. Maybe you should grow up and learn to have some common decency.
            georgeou
          • all right, george.

            Since you know me so well, and you know I have no "common decency" because I found a dumb prank funny, maybe you can give me some other advice for life. How about some relationship pointers? Or how many drinks is too many for me? How often should I call my mother? I mean, wow... Your self righteousness knows no bounds.
            lostarchitect
          • At least he didn't recommend sterilization

            I am beginning to think that such a recommendation would help out society a bit. Especially with some of my friends and their promiscious nature. I keep hoping Darwin would help the situation. He has been extremely busy lately, but the competition keeps reproducing like rabbits.
            nucrash
          • hmm - so if I cut your brake lines that should be funy also???

            INteresting - tell me what you are driving and I will cut your brake lines - then we can al have a good laugh when you cant stop.
            swc@...
          • lostarchitect how old are you 10 by your post you sound like it

            lostarchitect how old are you 10 by your post you sound like your 13. how about if someone go's to your place of work and makes you look like a moron and you lose your job. i bet that would be funny to would it not same thing. how about someone comming into your house and doing something to your computer and you take it to the shop pay to get it fixed and find out it was just a prank but your still out the money oh ya that would be funny to.

            morons that do things like that should have been arrested and fined and made to pay the entry fee the companies had to pay for their booths.

            all i can say to you is grow up.
            SO.CAL Guy
          • Who's ten?

            "Your / you're": There is a difference.
            "Go's" is incorrect. "Goes" is what you want.
            Commas and semicolons are your friends.
            "Comming" is not a word.
            "To / too". Again, there is a difference.

            All I can say to you is retake basic english. You might also want to stop being such a whiner.
            lostarchitect
          • Well, you just answered his question....

            Regardless of spelling or grammatical error, his point was clear. On the other hand, you completely changed the subject to something completely off-topic. That's a clear indication of immaturity.
            MGP2
          • Yes, you're correct!

            How could I not have seen it before! I am incredibly immature, and this is the source of Gizmodo's problems! I caused them to do this prank! Oh, wait...
            lostarchitect
          • Think so?

            Actually they did turn them off during presentations because, hey that's even funnier, right? Especially presentations people are being paid for (putting in jeopardy the peoples pay and/or wasting the companies money). Like the article said if it was a bunch of stupid kids people would laugh and shrug it off. Unfortunately the fact is that they are grown men in the working world and not only that they work in the technological world. This means people expect them to have the least bit of maturity, especially when they are given privileges. That or understand how much work and the cray amount of hours that were put into these presentations to have them look unprofessional and stupid.
            Ten60three
        • site-b-gone tool?

          People have been vandalizing web sites for years, that has been going on since around the time when I started doing web junk (maybe in 1995). That just involves finding a site with limited or no security set on the host.
          B.O.F.H.
          • Somebody missed a joke - nt

            nt
            georgeou
  • How's THIS for hypocrisy?

    Am I the only one who finds it hypocritical that the Goo Goo Ga Ga Gizmodo pre-school pranksters had so much fun with the very device they ripped to shreds in an earlier review?

    http://gizmodo.com/archives/tvbgone-023694.php
    MGP2