Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

CES Lost and Found: A Hot Spot for Hotspots and Lost Teeth

There was no real reason for me to stop by the CES Lost and Found this year: No lost chargers, laptops, jewelry — nothing. My smartphone was stuck to me all week like another appendage, my heavy DSLR hung in front of me like a baby in a Snugli.

But after last year’s necessity-driven visit to the Lost and Found turned up more than just tech, I had to go back to see what this year would bring.

It did not disappoint.

The Lost and Found was a hot spot for Wi-Fi hotspots this year, said Jerri Gray, the control center supervisor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Also: Phones. “Lots of iPhones have been turned in. Lots of phones, period,” Gray told me. “And one iPad, so far.”

And then Gray disappeared for a minute behind the glass bank-teller panel she spoke to me through. When she returned, she had a small manila envelope in her hand. She shook it out onto the tray in front of me.

“Someone lost their teeth again,” she said.

Gray went on to tell me that the LVCVA Lost and Found has more than a 50 percent success rate when it comes to returning items to conference-goers.

She and a few others staff the booth 24/7 year-round, with extra workers on hand during CES. When it’s possible to identify the owner of an item, they’ll send letters in the weeks after the conference to try to track him or her down.

The best lost item of CES 2013 is straight out of “The Hangover”: $2,000 in a satchel, along with a foreign license that made it difficult for Gray and her team to contact the owner.

She assigned a staffer the overnight shift over at South Hall, where the satchel had been found, in case the man came back for it. He did, and reclaimed his $2,000.

He was very happy, Gray said.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik