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It's Vegas, Baby!

11:30 AM -- Ever wonder why so many tradeshows take place in Las Vegas?

The facilities, you say? The fact that the city lives for large events? I think there's more to it than that.

Las Vegas tops the list of world environments from which reality has been most successfully excised. What better locale for technology vendors to hawk their wares?

It all starts with the slot machines in the airport, hinting we all have money and time to gamble, no matter where we're headed. Then there are the hotels that never close, the phony and ubiquitous rock-n-roll cover music, the lights, the beaches in the middle of the desert, the magicians, the plastic surgery. The prices. (How about $9 for a hamburger without fries?)

Here at the Interop show this week, there were moments the conference seemed just another extension of the casino. Whether at a vendor's booth or a slot machine, the ambience was the same. The noise and activity levels were comparable. There were plenty of people in costume.

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