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Page 12 - February 02, 2012

email: The Computer Factory

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth

Viva Las Vegas The CES 2012

Early in January Nome and I attended the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas (Jan 10-13). We went to find out how changing technologies would effect our future business and to be able to give our read- ers an insight into what the CES is all about, who exhibits, who attends and why and what there is to see.

The CES is the world’s largest exposition for consumer elec- tronics products and technolo- gy. This year set records for size and attendance. It was Las Vegas’ largest convention event ever, completely filling the three major convention centers

and spilling over into several nearby hotels. The numbers were mind-boggling. Over 150,000 people attending, nearly 3000 exhibitors and almost 2 million square feet of exhibit space. We drove to Las Vegas three days early and stayed “off strip” at the “Boulder Station Casino” where room rates were $50 instead of the average of $250 at the convention hotels. It was fortunate that we drove because the CES overwhelmed the mass transit system on “the strip” leading to long lines for cabs, shuttles and the monorail.

Thanks to our weekly columns in “The Paper,” we were able to attend as fully accredited mem- bers of the “working press.” This saved us $200 each (registration fee) and got us our cool “CES Press” backpacks, a press kit and free box lunches each day. It also gave us access to the press suites with scores of Apple note- book and Windows desktop PC workstations. Our press creden- tials allowed us to attend the pre-convention press confer- ences, new product presenta- tions, keynotes and brought invitations for private inter- views from dozens of exhibitors.

The CES isn’t for tourists. Over 100,000 of the attendees were

the paid exhibitors. The rest were “industry affiliates,” press, buyers, engineers, educators and speakers. Most non-exhibitors were at the CES for specific pur- poses like meeting with a partic- ular company or viewing the part of the show that was rele- vant to their own business. No one attends CES to take in the whole show. It would be impos- sible in only four days. Our informal survey of attendees went like this. 80% men, 20% women. Of the women, about half were pretty young “Booth Bunnies.” Of the men, few were under 35 or over 65. African Americans and Hispanics were noticeably under-represented. Asians and surprisingly, Orthodox Jews were in abun- dance. Saw only one Arab.

The CES covers just about everything that runs on electric- ity. There were entire exhibit halls devoted to gadgets relating to automobiles, parenting, sen- ior mobility, health, green (environmentally friendly), chil- dren, home entertainment and security, gaming, sports and fit- ness, recreation, robotics and

many more.

We are in the business of build- ing, repairing and upgrading desktop and notebook PCs and establishing home and business networks. Consequently we focused our attention in the areas where we could see the convergence of relevant tech- nologies


entertainment and data process- ing) on devices like laptop and desktop PCs, smart phones and tablets. We wanted to learn how the function of these devices overlapped and what manufac- turers were doing to overcome the inherent limitations of each.

In the near future we’ll wrestle with questions like, are PCs going the way of the buggy whip? Will history repeat itself and see Apple go from being a market leader to a minor player as the Android OS rises to dom- inance in the smart phone and tablet arena? It happened 30 years ago when PCs with DOS/Windows pushed market leader Apple to the brink of extinction. Stay tuned as the plot thickens.

845 W. San Marcos Blvd, 760.744.4315 We build the best and fix the rest!

Shaking Things up at the State Allocation Board

The leader of the Senate recently announced my appointment to the State Allocation Board. The 10-member body plays an important role in determining how taxpayer dollars are spent. The Board is authorized to dis- tribute state bond money for schools, including new school construction and renovations. Proposals come before the Board and members decide, based on the merits of each pro- posal, which projects will receive funding. With control of over $3 billion in bond money, board members must serve as responsible stewards of the tax- payer, ensuring that each dollar is spent wisely.

In addition to exploring in- depth how funds are allocated, this position also creates an opportunity to further promote career technical education (CTE). CTE courses engage and stimulate students with hands-

on training in a wide array of fields, leading to greater student success following graduation.

Under a law I authored in 2007, applicants for bond money are required to detail how schools would use funds to house CTE programs. Unfortunately, it appears that many applicants fail to meet this requirement. With this new position I intend to bring attention to CTE and ensure that California’s schools are offering students the oppor- tunities and resources that they deserve.

Senator Mark Wyland represents the people of the 38th Senate District, which includes San Diego (Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley) and Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Escondido, Vista the south Orange County cities of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

Surfing Madonna

Mosaic Deserves a New Home

In a stealth move last Spring, Leucadia artist Mark Patterson installed a mosaic titled “Save The Ocean” beneath a bridge in the City of Encinitas and his actions gained international atten- tion and ignited a debate over whether it was art or vandalism. Artists, beach goers and hundreds of com- munity members rose in defense of the mosaic, also called the

Madonna,” to praise its mes- sage of conservation. The city, however, initially had a different view and called for Surfing Madonna’s removal, but have since unanimously approved its installation on state property at the entrance to Moonlight State Beach.


Patterson has since removed the mosaic from public dis- play while a new home is sought. As an avid surfer and long-time North County resident, I believe the Surfing Madonna is a great representation of the spirit of this community and serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting and enhancing our region’s beauty and natural environ- ment. That’s why at a recent City Council meeting, I was pleased to offer my support for moving the mosaic to the entrance of Moonlight State Beach. If you would like to voice your opinion on the issue, please contact the California State Parks San Diego division office at (619) 688-3260.

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