Yes, it's that time of year. I'm off today for the IFA Berlin tech trade show today. The elves here have promised to keep the homestead in good condition and the refrigerator well-stocked. Besides which, I've put extra batteries in the generator, so the website should at least keep running.
I'll do my best to post while I'm away with some frivolities about Berlin (not my favorite city in the world, but there are areas that are very interesting). And hopefully I'll be able to come up for air enough to write about the IFA show. It's a fascinating show that, now in my third year, I think I've got a better handle on the show, and how to make my way around the place, though that still will be a challenge.
I’m not being facetious. In my previous columns about IFA, I’ve written about how convoluted the exhibition is. It’s not one big hall, but there are 25 buildings surrounding a huge meadow. I once had to get from one building to another about 150 yards away. It took me a half-hour. Seriously. That was about 10 minutes to find the building, and 20 minutes simply to find how to get to the third floor! Honest.
(I was trying to catch up with a woman I'd met at one of the events. Alas, it took me so long to get to the booth, that most of the people had gone for the day. Including you-know-who.)
Last year, a bunch of us were going to the Samsung Press Conference. We had no clue how to find it, let alone the right building, when happily we saw two guys with Samsung badges and asked them. But they were as lost as we were. Finally, we noticed someone else from our group who knew where it was, and all followed him.
This below is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken at IFA. If you can figure out a rational numerical order to this, you’re a better person than I am. (One would think odd numbers are to the left, and even numbers right. But…no. Or perhaps lower numbers to the right, and higher numbers left. But…no. Or – I don’t know, I have no idea.)
In fact, speaking of the convoluted and irrational way the show has of doing things -- I'd mentioned previously about how they send out press releases in both German and English, even though the emails are going to non-German addresses. Well, today they took that oddity to new heights. (I say "today," though I'm sure it's gone on earlier.) I got an email this morning with the subject line -- "Pressemitteilung: IFA+ Summit: Design". I figured that might be one of the German "press releases," but there was enough English in it that I took a look. And indeed, the heading said --
"Next Level Of Thinking: Design Thinking"
Ah, okay, so it was in English. And therefore I kept reading. And what it said was --
"Berlin, 1. September 2014 – Die IFA etabliert 2014 erstmals ein eigenes Kongressformat unter dem Titel „IFA+ Summit – Next Level Of Thinking“. Mobilität, Gesundheit, Big Data, Home, Design und New Entertainment sind thematische Schwerpunkte des zweitägigen Kongresses, der am 8. + 9. September im CityCube Berlin, Halle A stattfindet."
Ah, God love them wacky IFA Folks. Never a dull moment. Go figure.
Anyway, back to matters at hand. As for when anything next will be posted here, the schedule is always up in the air. Keep in mind, too, there's a nine-hour time difference with Los Angeles. So, writing something from the press room during the lunch break means it will show up here about 4 AM, Los Angeles time. Though if I'm able to get my fingers to type at night before nodding off, it'll be a more normal 2 o'clock in the afternoon here, or thereabouts.
That said, I should return to posting in these here parts tomorrow morning, Los Angeles time.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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