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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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February 7, 2008 8:59 PM

Catastrophic YouTube demo failure in Microsoft's home court

Posted by Brier Dudley

Microsoft looms large in the Washington Technology Industry Association, the state's high tech trade association.

So large, you almost wonder if it jinxed a YouTube executive's keynote presentation tonight during the WTIA's annual awards dinner.

Suzie Reider, director of advertising for the Google-owned video service, was unable to play a single one of the videos during her presentation.

Her speech began with a jerky start while she waited for the introductory video to roll, but she gracefully ad-libbed with a recruiting pitch before giving up on that video.

Later she tried to highlight a Heinz viral advertising video but it, too, failed to display on the big screens in the Seattle Westin ballroom. She had to describe the video with words instead. Over and over, the videos sprinkled through her speech failed to appear on the screens.

“This is a little comical because this is YouTube and so far I’ve shown no videos,'' she said at one point. "It's also comical because this is now the technology industry association."

Emcee Dave Ross also suffered a glitch when the music stopped halfway through a parody he sang about Microsoft's Steve Ballmer wooing Yahoo's Jerry Yang.

The system worked fine later, however, when local companies up for the awards were featured in short video clips.

I was feeling for the A/V operators. But if they get too much heat for tonight's problems, they should have no trouble finding work in Microsoft's event production crew.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.