You may not have heard about the Gizmodo prank pulled at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, so I’ll share it with you.
Make magazine sent some TV-B-Gone clickers to take to CES last week. These little gadgets enable the user to point at a TV, click, and voila, the set turns off. I’ve been aware of this little toy for a while now and I think it would make a great practical joke…
…when used nondestructively and ethically.
In this case, a Gizmodo staffer decided it would be fun to run around the show floor and zap off a whole bunch of TVs — many of them WHILE staffers were putting on demonstrations! As posted on the Gizmodo blog, "We shut off a TV. And then another. And then a wall of TVs. And we just
couldn’t stop. (And Panasonic, you’re so lucky that 150-incher didn’t
have an active IR port. It was too much fun…)"
Wow, fun! Let’s go in and disrupt exhibitors who have spent who knows how much time and hundreds of thousands of dollars designing and building these walls of TVs to be presented in the best light at the industry’s biggest event in North America! Who cares that some I’m-still-a-teenager-mentally prankster creates a situation where these products apparently DIDN’T WORK? Gosh, THAT couldn’t send a potentially bad message to customers about the quality of their products, could it?
CES has responded by banning the offending Gizmidiot staffer. Good for you, Gary.
Gizmidiot Gizmodo offered a lame-o apology in their blog on Jan 10, but after being blasted by a number of other bloggers for this stupid prank, they’ve taken it back and launched an offensive. Calling the attacks, "…totally pathetic" in today’s blog, Brian "On The" Lam, states, "Our prank
pays homage to the notion of independence and independent
reporting." Huh? He even compares the prank with civil disobedience. Wow, this guy can spin with the best of them! Does the Democratic Party know about this guy?
Lam then turns the conflict around by pointing back at his critics! "Many of our harshest critics have done far worse than clicking
off a few TVs." Ah yes, this totally justifies his position.
Gimme a break, Gizmodo. You crossed the line from harmless to unethical. You screwed up. And if you can’t just say, "We blew it. We’re sorry. It won’t happen again," then you deserve the spanking from your community.