06:27 AM

CES Debrief...

It's nice to be back from CES in Las Vegas. My experience this year wasn't as much fun as it was last year primarily because there was no Podtech Bloghaus.

Last year, the Bloghaus was my central base at CES, it was centrally located, had great work rooms, and everyone would come by at some point during the day and well into the night (helped by an in-suite bar and bartender.)

At Bloghaus I was able to file stories, edit and upload videos, and also meet with a lot of people. That's what was missing this year, a central place where you could get your work and networking done. Most of my time this year was spent travelling between meetings and back to my hotel room to do some work--too much transit time.

I did run into some interesting people and companies such as Geraldine Wilson, CEO of London-based Truphone, which offers a VOIP service that allows mobile phone users to make very cheap international phone calls, and instant messaging. The iPhone version looks great, I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I didn't see much that was truly compelling. Some people liked the 3D TVs. I ran into Harry McCracken from Technologizer. He really liked the new Palm OS and the TrueMotion Wii controller.

Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat reports that CES drew a lot fewer people this year, down 22 per cent to 110,000.

Kym McNicholas at Forbes provides coverage of the Steve Ballmer keynote: