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Robin Williams upstages Larry Page

Consumer Electronics Show 2006 French jokes cause news blackout
Sat Jan 07 2006, 02:10
GOOGLE'S LARRY Page made at least two important announcements in his CES keynote speech - the launch of Goggle Pack and Google Video player. But he was by totally upstaged by US comedian, Robin Williams.

Indeed Williams' routine was regarded as so risqué that sections of it were blacked out to those trying to watch the event in the overspill area. The INQ was particularly amused by Williams' suggestion that to truly internationalise video content, Minnie Mouse should sport armpit hair.

It wasn't exactly clear why Williams was on stage in the first place. He was supposed to be demonstrating a prototype Google add-on helmet for humans. But he ended up co-hosting the Q & A session too.

The Google Pack - downloadable here - is naturally free. It contains five pieces of Google's own software - including Google Earth and Picassa - plus Mozilla Firefox, Ad-Aware Personal, Norton Anti-Virus and Adobe Reader.

More controversial is the launch of Google's own video store where surfers can purchase video content online. There were no real details on pricing although it could cost as little as 5 cents for a clip.

The majority of the content appears to be extremely US orientated. Plus Larry Page had the president of CBS come onstage to announce that its back catalogue would be available for purchase.

Yes, that does mean that episodes of Star Trek will become available. The bad news is that only a Windows version of the player is currently available here. However, Larry Page did say that a Mac version of the player is half finished and that his team is working hard on other versions (presumably for Linux). The demo of Google Video was impressive - showing how it's easy to leap straight to the part of a video clip you want to watch.

Williams antics will also help mask appeals that Page made earlier in his presentation for more order out of the current consumer electronics chaos. The INQ was particularly impressed by his comments denouncing the myriad of power adapters each electrical device requires.µ


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