January 6, 2014: Why C.E.S. Still Matters, Retreat Set at Former Plantation Sparks Backlash, New Venture for AllThingsD Team

By Beth Kormanik January 6, 2014, 7:59 AM EST

1. WHY C.E.S. STILL MATTERS: International C.E.S. begins Tuesday in Las Vegas, but has the once-can’t-miss tech show lost some luster? The biggest companies announce new products at their own events, not at the show. Mashable looks at five reasons, from the networking to the sheer size, that continue to make the show essential: “The ‘C’ in ‘CES’ could just as well stand for ‘Convergence.’ It’s electronics and media, and electronics and fashion, and electronics and cars. It’s movie stars and media (and electronics). It’s software and hardware. Home and security. You get the idea. It’s really a show about our digital lives.”

2. RETREAT SET AT FORMER PLANTATION SPARKS BACKLASH: Fans launched a loud online protest of a songwriting retreat indie singer Ani DiFranco had planned to take place at Nottoway Plantation, a former slave plantation near New Orleans. New Orleans Times-Picayune: “When I found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, 'whoa', but I did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness,” DiFranco wrote on her Web site. “I imagined instead that the setting would become a participant in the event.”

3. FORMER ALLTHINGSD TEAM STARTS NEW VENTURE: The journalists once behind News Corporation’s popular AllThingsD technology site and conference have announced their new venture, called ReCode. Along with partner NBCUniversal, Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher will continue their format of providing news and hosting events for top tech executives. New York Times: “With the continued ascendance of Silicon Valley, large news organizations and nimble start-ups are pushing further into covering technology and hosting conferences, and in many cases are hoping to emulate the business built by Mr. Mossberg and Ms. Swisher.”


BOSTON:  The Boston Harbor Hotel made Forbes's list of 2013's Hotels of the Year. Forbes:

CityFeast—Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes will be held on January 26 throughout the Seaport, the South End, and the North End. The evening will include a five-course dinner with wine (or tequila) pairings at participating restaurants, and proceeds benefit Joslin Diabetes Center.

CHICAGO:  Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. has canceled the Chicago International Antiques and Fine Arts Fair, which was scheduled for late April. The Palm Beach Show Group's International Art, Antique, and Jewelry Show, however, will go on: the first-time event is scheduled to take place at Navy Pier April 24-28.

Chicago Helicopter Express plans to open a facility on the South Branch of the Chicago River. The company offers tourist flights, private charters, and direct flights to golf courses and Midwestern tourist spots such as Lake Geneva. DNA Info:

LAS VEGAS:  Las Vegas and the Clark County Department of Aviation will host top aviation executives from around the world at the 19th annual International Aviation Forecast Summit. Boyd Group International, an aviation research, forecast, and consulting firm, has selected Las Vegas for the annual conference, scheduled for August 24-26 at Wynn Las Vegas.

LOS ANGELES:  2011 Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre Chardonnay and Beringer Knights Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon will be the official wines poured at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild awards, SAG awards committee chair JoBeth Williams announced Friday.

The SAG awards’ red carpet bleacher seat action, the second in a trio of online auctions benefitting the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, began Thursday and closes Tuesday at Fans can bid on more than 100 bleacher seats, from which they can see stars walk the carpet at the event. V.I.P. positioning includes two front-row seats across from the platform, two across from the Associated Press platform, and two across from the photographers' cameras.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Seagate Country Club recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar renovation of its 18-hole championship private golf course. The renovation preserved the original Joe Lee-designed course while adding updated grasses, technology, and cart paths.

NEW YORK:  Christie Huus, who served in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration in several roles including chief of staff and director of strategic planning, will be joining the National September 11th Memorial and Museum.

The IMUSA Global Chef Panel: Food Festival event is January 21 at Hecho en Dumbo. The event will serve as the official debut of IMUSA’s new panel of celebrity chefs, which includes Aarón Sánchez, Michelle Bernstein, and George Duran.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

WASHINGTON:  Washingtonian Bride & Groom Unveiled is January 26 at the Park Hyatt Washington and will include a Vera Wang bridal runway show.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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