The CES Conference: Google, Robin Williams and a Giant Les Moonves

google pack.jpgThis isn’t so much media as the future of media, Google-style. Friday at the CES conference Google’s Larry Page made a splash with his presentation, which Paul Boutin from Engadget faithfully liveblogged while Weblogs Inc. CEO Jason Calcanis snagged photos (some of which we have gratefully reproduced here). From his description it was a mammoth presentation, all over the place, including a performance by Robin Williams (the live feed of which was apparently censored because it was too controversial!), a cameo by Les Moonves to announce the Google Video Store) and the announcement of yet another Google feature: Google Pack, a slate of free bundled software like Google Earth, Firefox, Norton Antivirus, Picassa, and Adobe Reader 7. Oh, and in case you missed it Google Video is up and running now, too.

Geeks can get their fill after the jump; &#252ber-geeks can watch the video here.

p.s. What do you bet Larry Page has NO problem picking up at the CES convention?

Live Coverage of the Google Keynote [Engadget]
Cars and Stars as Google’s Page takes the stage [CNET]

Coming Soon To TVLand: The Internet, Actually [NYT]
David Pogue at CES [NYT]
Google’s dark plans to rule the world [FBNY]

A few tidbits from the presentation:

  • Page wants devices to be linked and their connections standardized, and implored the audience to join forces in so doing. “Why can’t you just plug your TV into whatever the nearest thing is – USB, WiFi, Bluetooth … Why is there no standard for those little screens and keypads?” The path to world domination never did run smooth.
  • Richard Siklos, meanwhile, picks up on that in the NYT.
  • Robin Williams riffed on the notion of having Google “implanted into your brain,” as per Sergey’s secret dream (per Page). This is not the first time they have made this joke, perhaps because it is NOT A JOKE.
  • Why was the Williams live feed censored outside the auditorium? Possibly because he made fun of Asians, gays, and imagined a talking Mercedez-Benz interrogating Jews. Okay, then.
  • Google Video Store: providing content from the NBA (cue NBA star/commentator Kenny Smith) and CBS (cue Les Moonves)
  • Engadget guy knows how to sell it to his readers: “CBS TV classics will be available for $1.99 each. Including Star Trek.”
  • This is the cool thing: You’ll be able to sell your OWN videos on the Google Vid Store! And set your own prices! Which will no doubt inspire a slew of “Lazy Sunday” imitators, but strikes me as stirring up all sorts of copyright issues (great example: that brilliant faux-trailer for “The Shining”).
  • Robin Williams participated in the Q&A, mocking a French reporter and someone from SAG, whose inquiry was actually in Williams’ interest. Engadget says that Williams played bad cop, cutting down self-promotional or challenging questioners before handing them over to Larry for the answer. He must have been well-paid.
  • Meanwhile, Yahoo! introduced its “Yahoo Go TV” which would let you access computer-based Yahoo! applications through the telly (except it glitched out when CEO Terry Semel tried to run it. Oops. Luckily he had Tom Cruise on hand to distract. These people take their CES conference very seriously).
  • Note that NYT reporter David Markoff highlighted the Internet TV movement as the highlight of the day’s presentation, but left out the star-studded theatrics by both Google and Yahoo. Would have thought it would get a mention by David Pogue though.

    There’s lots more. It’s an illuminating read. Boutin and Calcanis both said it was one of the best keynotes they’d seen at CES. I assume they would know.

    Google hearts Les Moonves.jpg

    Larger-than-life Les

    Google hearts Robin Williams.jpg
    Williams: “Hit ’em again, Mensa Boy.” Hee.

    Google hearts abusive hockey players.jpg
    Google hearts abusive Canadian hockey players!

    Google hearts Googlemobile.jpg
    “So, what company do you work for again…?”