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Worst of the Day: Last day tirade

Welcome to a special edition of our online column, Worst of the Week. Industry trade shows are especially nutty, so this column is a chance for us to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!
Is there anything worse than the last day of a trade show? Too much walking, too much talking and not enough sleep not only makes Homer a little crazy, but makes Dan too tired for words. If for some strange reason you have any meetings scheduled, inevitably everyone’s voices are shot and their eyes are bloodshot. Booths have been picked over for their trinkets and those once- perky employees working in them have lost their shine.
I usually like to use this day to run through the booths of infrastructure providers that-while lacking the glitz and glamour of the handset providers-make up for it with test equipment showing how efficient their base station transceiver node access point module do-hicky can process 1,138 simultaneous full-duplex voice calls while at the same time measuring the radiation emission of nearby stars. It’s really impressive stuff. Rocket science.
The best part of these booths is how dumb they make me feel. I can stride in to any of these mini-tech centers thinking I know everything there is to know about wireless because I can explain the difference between UMTS and W-CDMA, and immediately some nice demo attendee asks me if I want to see how well a tri-sector antenna processes multi-frequency traffic modulations. And I look at them as if they had horns and were speaking marklar. My typical response is to nod quickly at whatever they say, occasionally mutter “of course,” or “interesting,” and try to resist the urge to point in one direction and scream “look out, Britney has a shaver!” while running in the opposite direction. It’s twice as sad as it sounds, but still not as sad as anything Dano-related.
So, if you get a chance today before the exhibit show floor closes, take a run to Nortel’s or Alcatel-Lucent’s booths. Just keep an eye out for Britney.

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