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?