January 06, 2012, 10:16 AM — Almost every year there is a rash of unintentional disclosures of confidential product info that coincides with the giant product-placement orgy that is the Consumer Electronics Show.
The flood of product announcements is so heavy , competition for attention is so intense and the embargoes on specific bits of product information conflict so often that smaller companies listed only in the "partners" section of big-vendor announcements often try to beat the rush by putting out their own announcements early, "accidentally" (or even accidentally) include details about big-vendor products that are supposed to be secret for another day or two.
They always apologize, often retract their announcements, frequently end up divorced or estranged from the giant vendor that had been a key partner and sometimes get enough free publicity from news stories covering revelation of the big secret to make up for a few months of testy relations with a big vendor.
Some of the "leaks" are kind of stupid: Casio decorated the outside of one CES venue with three-story-tall photos of its super-secret, multihinged, touchscreen-enabled Tryx digital camera, apparently believing firmly enough that the revelation would go unrevealed that Google had to delete the cached version of the page on Casio's site that supported the real-world ads with high-res images of the camera itself.
Some partnerships through which secrets leak are a little odd. No one seems to know why Wells Fargo's Advisors site accidentally revealed details about the innovative mirrorless, compact Fuji X-Pro1 digital camera and a $6,000 16.2 megapixel, CMOS image-sensing, full-resolution, 10-fps digital single-lens-reflex camera from Nikon.