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It’s show time

Vaguely unnerving display

Technology trade shows are really, really odd. Most include dozens of halls, thousands of people, not all of whom seem to have any reason at all to attend, millions of electronic doodads worth approximately bazillions of dollars and all soon for the landfill, REALLY ANNOYINGLY LOUD NOISE, meetings conducted despite language difficulties and, every few hours, bizarre bits of advertising-cross-performance-art like the one snapped above (from IFA Berlin, 2006, more pictures on Flickr if you click it). Reporting from shows is a test of your walking shoes, the tenacity of your laptop’s wifi adapter and your ability to function with very limited sleep, while flying back home again is usually a great relief.

The biggest tech show in the world is Cebit, held annually in Hannover (Wikipedia has all the baffling visitor and square footage figures), but so far I’d always managed to avoid attending. Not this year, though. My rucksack is once again full of electronic crap, tickets have been booked and I fly out tomorrow.

Photos of confused looking people milling around in one of many exhibition halls will follow shortly. In the meantime, I’ll be covering the whole thing – wifi and 3G permitting – on Twitter, here.

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