CES: Tom Hanks brings Hollywood glitter to tech show

Tom Hanks and Sony CEO Howard Stringer might just have gained a little street cred with the tech crowd this week.

Onstage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the pair of old buddies bantered, aimed gentle jibes at each other and got an appreciative audience rolling in their seats.

Hanks — displaying the same comedic flair he showed in “Big” — insisted he was here because it was written into his contract for starring in the upcoming, Sony-distributed “Angels and Demons”.

The two-time best actor Oscar winner marched in exaggerated fashion around the stage in clear response to a teleprompter, pretended he wished he were anywhere else but in Sin City, then made a raucous exit pleading with Stringer to rescue him from the Samsung and Casio “hellholes”.

“Everywhere in this world I turn, I see the name Sony Sony Sony Sony,” Hanks read off a teleprompter, grimacing as though the obvious corporate plug galled him inwardly. “I show up on the set and there it is on the camera: Sony.” He paused. “Really? I have yet to see that,” he deadpanned.

CES: Palm in spotlight on Day 1

Palm Pre

The official start of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw PDA pioneer Palm unveiling its answer to the popular iPhone smartphone and a new, Web-oriented operating system. Investors pushed the stock up 30 percent for two consecutive days and bloggers affirmed their optimism in early hands-on reviews.

Gizmodo’s Adrian Covert admired the Palm Pre’s intuitive design and “beautiful” screen. And Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky found switching between applications graceful and simple.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Sony continued blazing the organic light-emitting diode trail showing off a bendable OLED video screen that would make it possible to literally wear what you want to display. Actor Tom Hanks demonstrated a pair of prototype Sony eyeglasses with built-in video screens for watching full-length movies.