CES 2018 Plunged Into Pre-Industrial Darkness


Ah, CES. That yearly Mecca of technology, where exhibitors, journalists and industry experts gather to experience the latest and greatest inventions of mankind. If you've never attended, you don't need much to make the most of CES — just some interesting new technology, a few good friends and a healthy helping of Las Vegas showmanship.

Oh, and electricity. You need electricity. Which the attendees of CES 2018 briefly didn't have access to because of a mysterious blackout. Whoops.

Credit: Brian Westover / Tom's GuideCredit: Brian Westover / Tom's GuideWhile my coworkers in Las Vegas scrambled for matches, flashlights, batteries and anything else that could help them stave off the unending darkness coming to consume our civilization (or maybe just stepping outside, where there's still plenty of light thanks to a nifty innovation known as "the sun"), I did my best to collect some of the most entertaining tweets about the #CESblackout.

The Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, issued a statement that read in part: "A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility's transformers. We are grateful to NV Energy for their swift assistance, to our customers and their clients for their patience and to the staff for ensuring the safety and security of all attendees and exhibitors."

I won't be able to regale my grandchildren with tales of what it was like during that harrowing day (manning the home team back in New York has its pros and cons), I can at least help give you, dear reader, a taste of what the rest of the Tom's Guide team must have been going through.

MORE: The Best of CES Day 3

First and foremost, our very own Brian Westover snapped a photo of the darkened Las Vegas Convention Center, making it sound like something out of a horror movie.

Intel had a pretty snarky take on things.

But the company also balanced it out, with a genuinely uplifting tweet about Häana, an amazingly talented violinist keeping folks entertained with just her instrument and her feet.

Peripheral manufacturer HyperX dug up a well-worn, but appropriate, GIF.

Others (jokingly) saw it as a chance for some mischief.

Evan Greer assured us that everyone was keeping a cool head.

While Morgan Little found a familiar culprit at the bottom of things.

Of course, when all else fails, you can always try the oldest tech trick in the book.

As CES got things straightened out, Tom's Guide continued bringing you the latest and greatest stories from the show. (CES isn't confined to a single building, after all; it takes place in hotels and expo halls all around the Las Vegas strip.) Fortunately, the blackout didn't last until our colleagues' phone batteries run out, leaving them in a Mad Max-style dystopia. Viva Las Vegas!