Here are some stories and photos from CES 2005, the biggest trade show I've ever encountered.
CES 2005: TiVo Takes Its DVR Service Mobile
Following in the footsteps of Microsoft's Media Center software, which first offered this functionality more than 2 years ago, digital video recording (DVR) pioneer TiVo this week announced that it will augment its service with the ability to copy certain recorded TV shows to PC notebook computers. The feature, which lets subscribers access their recorded TV shows away from home, has been a long time coming. TiVo first announced its TiVoToGo service a year ago at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2004.
"Consumers don't want to be tied to their living room to watch their favorite entertainment," TiVo Chief Marketing Officer Matt Wisk said. "With TiVoToGo, subscribers can take their favorite shows with them to enjoy on business trips or family vacations." Unlike a similar feature that Microsoft first introduced with Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE) in October 2002, TiVo's recorded TV shows are heavily protected and require special software before users can access them on notebook computers. And unlike Media Center, TiVo subscribers must enter a username and password to access their recorded content.
TiVo defended the security requirements, noting that they mollify Hollywood companies that are concerned about piracy. But the service is limited in other ways. TV programming such as Pay Per View movies, On Demand content, and everything on HBO and Cinemax services can't be copied to portable devices. And TiVoToGo isn't available to DirecTiVo customers, who use the DirecTV satellite system. Those customers represent nearly half of TiVo's installed base.
One benefit of TiVo and TiVoToGo is cost. Although the TiVo service typically costs subscribers $12.95 a month, TiVo devices cost as little as $99, which is a far cry from the $1000 or more that a typical Media Center PC costs.
CES 2005: Sirius Satellite Radio Links Up with Ford
Sirius Satellite Radio, the nation's second largest provider of Satellite radio services, inked a deal with Ford Motor Company this week that will place factory-installed Sirius equipment in 21 Ford vehicle models. Customers purchasing these cars and trucks will receive a 6-month subscription to the Sirius satellite radio service. The deal is interesting on a number of levels, but mostly it speaks volumes about the migration to subscription-based digital media services.
"Ford is a very important automotive relationship for us, and we are very pleased that they plan to offer factory installed Sirius in the vast majority of their vehicle lines," said Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin. "When you add premium programming from Sirius to quality vehicles from Ford, you have an unbeatable combination that will enhance the driving experience of any Ford customer."
Ford says it will factory install Sirius radios in Ford F-150, Ford Explorer, Lincoln Mark LT, and Mercury Mountaineer vehicles beginning in mid-2005 for the 2006 model year. Another 17 vehicle models will be added over the next two years, and Ford expects to generate one million new customers for Sirius.
Currently, Sirius, with about one million subscribers, lags behind satellite market leader XM Satellite Radio, which has over 3 million subscribers. However, analysts expect the market for satellite radio to grow dramatically over the next few years. In anticipation of that change, satellite providers are lining up new ways for consumers to enjoy satellite-based content, including PC software applications, iPod-like portable media players, and other solutions.
CES 2005: Gates Promotes "Digital Entertainment Anywhere" Successes and New Initiatives
During his Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote address Wednesday evening, Microsoft chairman and Chief Software Architect outlined the digital entertainment successes his company has logged since the October "Digital Entertainment Anywhere" launch event and highlighted some interesting initiatives that will drive momentum throughout 2005. Key among these initiatives are a number of partnerships, some of which are quite surprising.
Gates noted that Microsoft has grown Media Center PC sales almost 50 percent since launching Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 in October. At that time, Microsoft reported that its hardware partners had sold a modest 1 million units in two years. However, in the two and a half months between the October 12 Digital Entertainment Anywhere launch event, PC maker have sold almost 500,000 new Media Center PCs. If that sales pace continues, Media Center will move out of niche status and become a more viable platform for partners.
Windows Media Player 10--which forms the basis for all digital media content in Windows XP and Media Center--is off to a blockbuster start as well. Since its release in September, over 90 million people have downloaded WMP 10, which features access to a wide range of online stores selling music, video, and other content.
To enable that future, Microsoft will announce a number a number of interesting partnerships and initiatives which all tie back to the Digital Entertainment Anywhere theme. LG Electronics is partnering with Microsoft on a new DVD Recorder set top box that provides the familiar Media Center experience and can be used to record TV shows; additionally, the device will be able to act like a Media Center Extender and access digital media content, including recorded TV shows, that is stored on Media Center PCs and Windows XP-based PCs on your home network. Pricing wasn't available at press time, but Microsoft says the device will go on sale in Fall 2005, in time for the 2005 holiday season. Pricing, I'm told, will be "aggressive."
Also on deck is a sweeping new partnership with MTV Networks, which owns cable stations such as MTV, VH-1, and Comedy Central. Under terms the agreement, MTV will broadly adopt Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA), Windows Media Video (WMV), and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies in a variety of products and services, including an online music store. Additionally, Microsoft will work with MTV to deliver digital access to MTV's original content in a variety of ways. "It will run the gamut," a Microsoft representative told me. Subscribers to MTV's eventual services will be able to access MTV content on any PlaysForSure-compatible device, including Windows based PCs and notebooks, Pocket PCs, Windows Powered Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and other devices.
In the unexpected category, Gates revealed that Microsoft is working with TiVo on its TiVoToGo service, which will let Windows users access TiVo recorded TV shows on Windows-based PCs and notebooks. "We want to make sure that Windows XP and Media Center users can easily access TiVo content and then copy it to Windows Mobile devices [including Pocket PCs and Smartphones and Portable Media Centers]," the representative told me. Here's how it works: The TiVoToGo Desktop software will act as an intermediary between the TiVo device and your Windows PC. Once you've logged on veryify your TiVo membership, the content can be freely moved from Windows Media Player 10 to portable devices or other PCs. When I expressed surprise that Microsoft was partnering with a company that was essentially a competitor, I was told that the company was "building bridges with companies like TiVo. We're serious about 'Digital Entertainment Anywhere,'" the Microsoft representative noted. "[Your digital media content] should work no matter where you get it."
MSN previewed a new service called MSN Video Download. While details are scarce--I wasn't able to find out pricing at press time--the service will let subscribers access video content, including news and sports, from Microsoft's many partners. Then, you can watch that content on a PC, Media Center PC, Media Center Extender, or copy it to a portable device, such as a Windows Powered Pocket PC or Smartphone, a Portable Media Center, or other similar PlaysForSure-compatible device. Speaking of partners, Microsoft will also announce many new services partners for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005's Onlight Spotlight, including Discovery Channel, Fox Sports, TitanTV, XM Satellite Radio, and Yahoo! Inc.
There will also be a number of other Media Center-related announcements. Companies such as Logitech, Philips, and Niveus will be releasing new high-end universal remotes that are designed for Media Center. Some even offer two-way capabilities. For example, one of the Philips remote controls includes an LCD display that can be used to pick a song or playlist; the LCD receives meta data information from the Media Center PC. Another Philips remote is UPnP (Universal Plus and Play) compatible and can be used to stream audio content from a Media Center PC to a set of headphones or a stereo system elsewhere in your house, wirelessly. Also, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) is now certifying high-end Media Center PCs that meet or exceed their exacting standards for audio and video excellent. Hewlett-Packard (HP), Alienware, Stack9 Systems, and Ricavision will all be announcing new ISF-compliant Media Center PCs at the show. Additionally, ATI and NVIDIA will announce that their video cards have passed ISF certification as well. The companies will bundle the cards with new Media Center PCs and sell them independently to customers.
Microsoft partner Toshiba showed off a new Tablet PC that's aimed at consumer, home, and student customers. The Satellite R15-S822 Series Tablet PC will ship later this year. Microsoft is also releasing new Tablet PC Power Toys for consumers, including a tool for copying digital entertainment to Tablet PCs.
Finally, there's a lot of new PlaysForSure-compatible hardware coming down the pike. Companies such as iRiver, Samsung, Gateway will introduce new media players at the show, as will Archos, which will debut its first-ever PlaysForSure-compatible unit. And two companies--Digitrex and Pioneer--will be showing off lines of PlaysForSure-compatible LCD and plasma TVs. That's right: Without any additional software, these TVs will be able to hunt your home network for digital audio, video and photo content, and then play it back from largest screen in your home.
What this all adds up to, of course, is a dramatic improvement to Microsoft's already impressive digital media ecosystem. While the software giant hasn't yet received the credit it deserves for building such an amazing array of compatible devices, products, an services, my suspicion is that Microsoft's presence at CES 2005 will open more than a few eyes.
WinInfo Short Takes: CES 2005 Special Edition (Part 1)
An often irreverent look at some of the week's other CES 2005 news...
Gates Keynote: Conan Hilarious, Gates ... Well, He's Gates
So the Gates keynote address at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) dispensed with the normal routine where Gates blathers on for 90 minutes and puts everyone to sleep. Instead, this time, Microsoft brought out late night TV talk show host and comedian Conan O'Brien to "host" the keynote, ad lib, and prompt Gates where appropriate. O'Brien, it should be noted, was hilarious, and while we can't even begin to relay the sheer number of times he cut up the crowd, a few select quotes might help. "The theme this year is that gadgets are no longer just for geeks," he noted. "If you look around [this room] now, they're also for nerds and dweebs." "I was just checking out the show, and this convention is not exactly for the ladies," he quipped. "I think I saw more women at Elton John's bachelor party." Needless to say, the appearance of Gates onstage brought the humor and fun level down a notch or ten. Gates was his usual stiff self, and as O'Brien continued to ad lib, Gates kept trying to get back on track. Sigh. But we'll leave you with another great O'Brien line. "It was fun watching Bill walk through the casino this morning," he joked. "All the slot machines starting chanting 'All hail the Chosen One.'"
Gates Keynote: What Can Go Wrong Does Go Wrong
And speaking of the Gates keynote ... my, my, my. A number of technical glitches had audience members wondering whether Microsoft had even prepared for the event. Demos didn't work. The Internet connection wouldn't work, ruining another demo. In one case, a Media Center photo slide show refused to launch ... on three separate occasions. An Xbox game crashed, hard, to a weird text debug screen that is no doubt unique to the special Xbox machines that programmers use. The net effect was embarrassing to the software giant, and as we discussed with people the next day, the problem is that, with consumer electronics, stuff doesn't ever break down. When was the last time a DVD player didn't boot up? But the secret about these technical glitches is that none of them had anything to do with Microsoft software issues. The photo slideshow issue was caused by interference from the show lights, which hadn't been at full blast during the many rehearsal sessions, for example, causing Gates' remote control to malfunction. And the Internet connection ... well, that came up the second the presenter started walking away from the demo to start another part of his talk.
The Real Problem with the Gates Keynote
So while the Microsofties were freaking out about the technical issues at the keynote and the way they would be misperceived by the public, we argued that they were missing the point entirely. Technical problems are horrible, but there were much bigger issues with the Gates keynote and we think they speak volumes about the divide still separating the consumer electronics and PC industries. Specifically, Gates and presenter Sean Alexander, who otherwise did an excellent job despite some technical issues, quickly blurted out the names of various complicated technologies without ever pausing to explain what they were. PlaysForSure? Windows Media Connect? IPTV? These types of terms may be commonplace back in Redmond, where everyone is living the digital lifestyle, and they may even be acceptable at more technical events, such as a developer show, but Microsoft needs to understand that the wider outside world is not hip to their crazy technical terms. Bring it down a level, guys. CES is about real people. And you're just making them feel stupid and confusing them.
CES 2005: Bigger than Ever
And what's up with all the norms? In the five years that we've been coming to CES, the show has been getting bigger and bigger, but this year's event takes the cake. Not only are hundreds of thousands of showgoers clogging the hotels, streets, and convention space in Las Vegas, but an unheard of number of normal people ("the norms") are here as well, a first for such a major show. The result is bedlam. Taxi lines rival those at Disney World. Lines for the newly reopened monorail stretch back two city blocks in some locations. The traffic leading up to the convention center is so thick we could write Short Takes while driving the car (theoretically, of course). In fact, CES is so darned big this year it's almost not fun to be here at all. Almost.
Panasonic Teams Up with Microsoft
Panasonic has teamed up with Microsoft to bring the software giant's Windows Media Digital Rights technology to the popular SD (Secure Digital) flash memory card format. The idea is that customers should be able to securely transfer music and other content from any of the dozens of Windows Media-compatible online content stores and play it back in SD-compatible devices, such as Panasonic portable digital media players. Today, SD cards use a form of copy protection called CPRM (Copy Protection for Recordable Media); under the new scheme, Windows Media DRM-encoded content that's copied to SD cards will automatically be converted to CPRM format, without any user intervention. Panasonic, along with Toshiba and SanDisk, is a codeveloper of SD.
Security Problems? What Security Problems?
One thing we're not hearing a lot about at CES are security issues and what Microsoft is doing to fix them. Though the company issued its AntiSpyware Beta 1 publicly just moments before Gates started his keynote address Wednesday night, that product wasn't mentioned once during the presentation. And in a day of meetings with various groups from Microsoft on Thursday, the topic didn't come up either. Meanwhile, patched security holes in WINS, IE and other Microsoft products and technologies are raising eyebrows around the industry. Hey, this week is supposed to be fun, right?
DirecTV Goes It Alone on DVR
If you were wondering why TiVo's new TiVoToGo service was being made available only to non-DirecTiVo customers, wonder no more. Though TiVo had partnered with satellite giant DirecTV on the DirecTiVo product, DirecTV has decided to navigate the digital video recording (DVR) waters itself. This week, DirecTV revealed that it was developing its own DVR functionality, which it will market in a new product later this year. DirecTV says it will still market the DirecTiVo product, but that it will focus its core marketing and sales efforts on their new DVR. Put more simply, DirecTiVo is dead.
Microsoft Phasing Out Pocket PC, Smartphone Branding, but Not Products
A Microsoft executive said this week that the company would gradually phase out the Pocket PC and Smartphone brands and would instead focus more heavily on the Windows Mobile branding. Scott Horn, the senior director of Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Devices group said this week at CES that the move was a natural one to take as the devices were converging. "We are emphasizing Windows Mobile as device categories are coming together," he said. However, because the different device types--Pocket PCs, Pocket PC Phone Edition devices, and Smartphones--have confusingly similar and yet different functionality, the company would try to do a better job of differentiating them. In the future, Horn says, most Windows Mobile devices will offer phone capabilities, which is not the case today.
Microsoft Smart Watch Finds it's Way onto My Wrist ... and into My Heart
Well, not really. But Keith and I both received a Special Edition CES 2005 Swatch Paparazzi SPOT watch, which features the Windows colors and some cool Vegas-inspired watch faces, so we're checking them out this week. The latest generation SPOT watches are much smaller and svelter than the first generation designs, which is nice, because the first generation products were humongous. Microsoft is giving away 3000 SPOT watches randomly at the show, but as Keith noted, that will likely triple the number of people using the devices. (Keith demanded that I mention the fact that he, in fact, is the owner of a first generation SPOT watch and that his comment was only meant to be humorous. However, I would also like to point out that Keith's watch was a Christmas present. From me.)
CES 2005: More Coming Soon...
As I write this, it's early Friday morning and we've still got a lot of show to experience, so we'll back on Monday with a rare second edition of Short Takes that will cover the rest of our time at the show. Have a great weekend....
WinInfo Short Takes: CES 2005 Special Edition (Part 2)
An often irreverent look at some of the week's other CES 2005 news...
CES 2005: It's Coming Soon, Seriously
This was our fifth year in a row at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and the one thing we're both getting a bit tired of is how everything is "coming soon" or, as is often the case, at some indefinite time in the future. Guys, seriously: We understand that CES is designed, in a way, to show off upcoming technology, but it's starting to get out of control. Part of the problem, of course, is Microsoft, which seems to have trouble shipping products on time. But all too often, we've found ourselves blown away by some upcoming bit of technology only to be disappointed to discover that it will be several months, at least, before we can get it. The only good news this year was that most of the new products were evolutionary and not revolutionary. That means it will be only marginally less painful to wait for the actual products to hit. Doesn't "Holiday Season 2005" just sound like an eon from now?
Retro Video Games Make a Comeback
Several companies were showing off standalone video game devices that play video game classics (or, in some cases, classic video game rip-offs), offering new generations of gamers access to classic arcade titles like Pac-Man, Atari 2600 games, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) titles, and even a few Sega Genesis sports games. The emergence of classic gaming as an industry force means two things to us: First, guys Paul age, the first generation to grow up on home video games, suddenly have a lot of disposable income. And second, game play still matters. While modern video games like Halo 2 are graphically rich, you can't really beat the simplicity and timeless nature of games like Galaga and Dig Dug.
CES Loves Microsoft
Microsoft's PlaysForSure initiative, which seeks to educate consumers about the benefits of online service and device compatibility with the company's Windows Media formats, has won industry support. Companies such as Garmin, Samsung, Motorola, Tivo, iRiver, and many, many others were showing off PlaysForSure-compatible products, turning CES into a Microsoft love fest of sorts. Sure, the iPod may get all the press these days, but the times, they are a' changing. As we've said so often before, people like choice. And if the products and services those people will be able to choose from are any indication, those choices will soon be Microsoft-compatible. Notably absent from the show, incidentally, was anything iPod related, except for a few add-ons.
It's the End of Times
For people from the east coast like us, a January trip to Vegas is usually a welcome respite from snow storms and cold snaps. But this week's trip was completely different: Not only was it cold and dreary the entire time we were there, it actually snowed (!) one day. Whether it was global warming or a Microsoft deal with the devil to help it win out over the iPod, one thing is clear: It's the end of times. What's next? A January beach day in Massachusetts?
Is TiVo DOA?
With TiVo finally launching its TiVoToGo service, which will let some subscribers copy TiVo recorded TV shows to a PC and, with the help of some Microsoft software, then copy it to portable devices like laptops, Pocket PCs, Windows-Powered Smartphones, and Portable Media Centers, one might think that the DVR (digital video recorder) pioneer is looking good. So why is everyone suddenly wondering whether TiVo is on death's doorstop? Two reasons. First, cable companies are starting to offer cheap (if underpowered) DVR solutions through new set top boxes. Second, TiVo's biggest partners, DirecTV, is making its own PVR set top box as well. But we think TiVo might have a fighting chance if it can lower its subscription price and keep its product quality higher than the cable offerings. Think about it: Many people may opt to get only the TV channels that come with basic cable, but many also opt to pay more for HBO and other high-quality add-ons. Unless the economy completely tanks, some will always be willing to pay more for a better service.
From Tony Hawk to three of the original MTV VJs, from football starts Jim Kelly and Howie Long to Yes' Jon Anderson, Weird Al Yankovich, and Cheap Trick, CES 2005 was the most celebrity-laden show we'd ever been to. We guess that makes sense: This is about the convergence of technology with entertainment after all. But Paul still had a better time getting his picture taken with a guy in an SD memory card costume than he did meeting any celebrity, and if that doesn't explain how whacked in the head he is, nothing ever will. Well, Alan Hunter was pretty cool.
Gizmondo Is Mondo Cool
A new and previously unheralded Windows CE .NET-based gaming device called Gizmondo looked surprising cool, and may just give the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP a run for their respective money (or whatever). Featuring a gorgeous color screen and NVIDIA-based 3D graphics, the Gizmondo looks like a video game controller but also include movie playback functionality, wireless hardware, and text messaging capabilities as well. The ultimate convergence device? You know, it just might be.
Watch Them Sell the Zen Micro
Creative's Zen Micro is an iPod Mini killer with better looking colors, a cool slider controller, better battery life and storage capacity, FM radio playback and recording, and a voice recorder. But what's interesting is watching Creative selling the Zen Micro to the norms. We don't usually sit through booth demos, but the girls with the Zen Micro holsters caught our attention and the, well, you know. So we sat through the demo. But it was amazing to hear Zen's sell job, which was a combination of product name repetition and constant comparisons to the underpowered iPod Mini. Pretty effective, we though, minutes before we purchased two units. No, not really.
Vegas Monorail Goes Live. Again.
So we've been excited to ride the Las Vegas monorail which, like most products at CES, was always "coming soon." It's running now, but apparently it had to be shut down for a few weeks just before CES because pieces of it were falling cars unlucky enough to be riding under it. That's shocking, frankly, because we're pretty sure the monorail was constructed by quality-oriented Teamsters. In any event, we didn't die riding the monorail, but we were shocked by how bumpy it was. Shouldn't this thing be whisper smooth?
Satellite Radio is a Joke No More
When we first saw ads for XM Satellite Radio a few years ago, we joked about how no one would ever pay for radio. Were we ever wrong. Today, XM boasts over 3 million users, while rival Sirius--which we feel will eventually win out in the market--has over 1 million. The success of satellite radio proves two things. First, people are very much willing to pay for high quality service. Second, we have absolutely no idea what we're talking about.
CES 2005 Photo Gallery
Here are our pictures from the show! All photos by Keith Furman.
The view from our hotel.
More of the view.
Only in Vegas: Snowboarding in the desert.
Snowboarder completes a run.
Snow in Las Vegas!
The Las Vegas monorail is finally up and running.
The Eiffel Tower at Paris.
Bill Gates CES 2005 keynote address
Separated at birth: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Terry Bradshaw.
Separated at birth: Real CEO Rob Glaser and "Seinfeld"'s Newman.
Separated at birth: Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Ringo Starr.
Gates and Conan O'Brien on stage.
Conan pushes PlaysForSure-compatible devices.
"Work it Bill, work it!"
A slightly doctored picture of Conan and Bill's day together.
The morning after: Gates wakes up in a motel with an Apple Mac.
Sean Alexander shows off an awesome new Media Center remote.
Media Center UI on upcoming LG DVD recorder.
Create DVD screen from LG DVD Recorder UI.
SPC cable system UI for on-screen picture-in-picture for sports.
Microsoft is working to move TiVo content onto PCs.
Gates and Conan compete in an upcoming Xbox title.
Paul samples the fountain of chocolate.
This year's Digital Experience was the biggest yet ... by far.
New consumer-oriented Toshiba Tablet PC with new Tablet PC media player skin.
Sony's multimedia PC features VAIO PVR functionality and WEGA screen technology.
The alien women of Digital Experience.
Paul braves an alien invasion.
New Philips universal remote control for Media Center.
Another upcoming Philips remote for Media Center.
The Digitrex PlaysForSure-compatible LCD TV.
LG's upcoming DVD recorder features the Media Center interface and XP compatibility.
New iRiver portable audio player features a sweet color screen.
The Xbox team was showing off DOOM 3 for the Xbox.
Cool Pocket PC Phone Edition with sliding keyboard.
Garmin GPS-equipped Pocket PC.
Microsoft helped TiVo port TiVoToGo to the PC and make it Windows Media Player compatible.
Sweet Tinnot SPOT watch.
Two of the colorful Swatch SPOT watches.
The new Abacus SPOT watch, compared to last year's model.
Two upcoming new Sunnto SPOT watches.
Two prototype SPOT alarm clocks that will ship this fall.
Convention center show floor
LVCC show floor.
NFL legend Howie Long.
Gizmondo portable entertainment center.
NFL legend Jim Kelly.
HP's massive booth.
Awesome three-screen Xbox Forza Motorsport set-up.
Huge collection of PlaysForSure devices.
Another shot of the PlaysForeSure device collection.
World's largest 55-inch LCD display.
World's largest 71-inch plasma display.
Cool floating display panel for projection systems.
Microsoft home: The LG DVD Recorder and DVR.
Microsoft home: Gorgeous Gallery Player screen on Media Center.
Deathmatching Xbox Halo 2.
Pioneer plasma displays.
Interesting Samsung Pocket PC-based smartphone.
Toshiba's sprawling booth.
Booth babes. (The shirt says "Mount Me"). Seriously.
Awesome looking Toshiba MP3 player, the gigabeat F60 (60 GB version).
The world's "best" 80-inch plasma TV.
Here come the 1080p plasma displays.
The largest TV in the world: 102-inches.
An amazing small Samsung MP3 player.
Sweet Samsung mini Mp3 player with 6 GB hard drive.
Sony Memory Stick-based MPEG-4 video camera.
Sony does the all-in-one PC right.
The video display quality on the Sony PSP is outstanding.
Sony Qualia digital camera: Just $3099.
XM2Go portable player.
Paul at CES
Paul and Creative booth babe.
Paul meets SD.
Paul and Microsoft's Joe Belfiore.
Paul and MSN butterfly.
Paul meets original MTV VJ's Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Nina Blackwood.
Paul meets a boombox robot.