The Washington Times - January 5, 2008, 03:12PM

\ For those of you wondering what you’ve clicked on, this is a blog about the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — the biggest trade show devoted to consumer technology. The event boasts thousands of the latest and greatest (as well as some not-so late and great) products in categories spanning audio, video, wireless, robotics, gaming, emerging technology and more. The festivities kick off tomorrow with a keynote by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. The show ends Thursday.\

\ To get things started, here’s a little Q&A; I’ve crafted for you.\

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\ Q: What is the Consumer Electronics Show?\

\ A: CES, put on by the Consumer Electronics Association, is an opportunity for tech companies to showcase new and products and technologies, network, ink deals with each other and, most of all, try to outdo the next guy.\

\ Q: What makes it a zoo?\

\ A: Imagine more than 140,000 people from 140 countries converging upon a handful of venues in Sin City — the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Sands Expo and Convention Center/the Venetian. Then picture around 2,700 companies showing off their gadgets, simultaneously competing for attention. While I’ve never been to CES, or Vegas for that matter, that sure sounds like a zoo to me. If I’m wrong on that, rest assured I’ll let you know.\

\ Q: Why should I care about a tech trade show?\

\ A: Well, if you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you have a computer. Perhaps you might be interested in what’s new with laptops or desktops, or maybe the content you use your computer to access. If you download music, you might care what’s going on there. If you have an iPod or MP3 player, innovations in speakers or audio accessories might be for you. The same goes for those of you with a car, TV or radio. I think you get my drift. \

\ Be warned: If you’re craving technical observations on say, the intricacies of a chipset, look elsewhere. But if you’re an everyday consumer of technology or perhaps just someone who’s bored at work and needs something to read, I’m your girl.\

\ Q: Why would anyone publish a temporary blog?\

\ A: Why not?\

\ Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my observations, interviews and insights over the next several days. (If you’re lucky I may even throw in some rants and raves about food and amenities.)\

\ — Kara Rowland, business reporter, The Washington Times