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By | Joe Fay 16th March 2007 13:50

CeBIT clips vulture's wing

As furry purple letters spell trouble

CeBIT blog Things just aren't as big as they used to be at CeBIT. The trade show has slipped down the industry's to-do list almost as quickly as it has vacated the number of the halls it used to pack out.

Even Greenpeace couldn't be bothered turning up this year to harangue show goers and point out how much rubbish they're creating. When no one's even demanding you make a difference, does that mean you couldn't, even if you tried?

CeBIT clips vulture's wing

Still, that doesn't mean CeBIT has lost all its power to shock and awe. If anyone's in a position to cut El Reg down to size, surely it is CeBIT.

The show was plagued a few years ago by wannabe kids who would set up a website, review a few pieces of kit, and then insist on press credentials. Naturally, the organisers cracked down, and now anyone who tries to wrangle a press pass now has to prove they are not only a bona fide journalist, but that they have a bona fide audience. Ne'er-do-wells touting their opinions to a few million mates can just piss off.

So top marks to Deutsche Messe for stopping the Reg sneaking in. Well, sort of. Two vultures flew in under the radar gathering up their press IDs. It was only the third who was collared, pulled back down to earth, and told that he wasn't getting a press pass, as CeBIT wasn't convinced he was proper journalist, and that El Reg's readership was clearly the result of a fevered imagination. And that two journalists from an imaginary news website was more than enough. Suitably brought back to cold reality, we went to buy a day ticket, which will be an eternal badge of shame. Or perhaps, we'll auction it on eBay, as a rare example of the Reg actually paying to be in the same space as tech marketeers.

Battered by BenQ

You may remember BenQ, the company that bought the former Siemens mobile phone operation in 2005, with a view to using it as a bridgehead to Europe. A bridge too far, clearly. Within a year it decided to shutter the whole operation, much to the chagrin of former Siemens workers, Siemens, and, to be honest, a large part of the German business community. So what was the first thing we ran into at CeBIT this year?

A whole alphabet of show candy in enormous foam-padded, furry purple letters.

Eventually we realised that, rearranged in the correct order, they spelt BenQ. We were going to snap a few pics, till one of them – we think it was the Q – started advancing in a most unplushy manner. We backed off. Quickly. This time. Somehow, we think it'll take more than a bit of purple fun fur and strategic padding to make the Germans love BenQ again.

Lonely lion lifts a bier, and nothing else

Another favourite plushy at CeBIT is the 30-foot high lion (video clip here) outside the Munchen Halle, the ersatz bier garten in the car park outside Hall 3. If you've ever wondered what a Taiwanese marketing department looks like stuffed full of roast pork knuckle, potato salad and Lowenbrau while dancing to the Birdy Song, this is the place.

Meet me next to the lion has long been the CeBIT equivalent to Brief Encounter's "Meet me under the clock". Sadly, the years have not been kind to the lion, and after providing the romantic backdrop to many a techie's romantic tryst, the poor old fella has now taken to pleasuring himself while supping ein steiner. Completely oblivious to the fact that his grossen has been replaced by, to put it kindly, ein kleiner schwantz. ®

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