Hey, Nokia: Geeky dudes don't want pink hats

The handset manufacturer throws a party in Miami, where plenty of developers are in town for the Future of Web Apps conference. But it really tanks on the swag.

MIAMI--A tech conference just wouldn't be a tech conference without a few wacky parties. The Future of Web Apps event in Miami this week is no exception.

Handset manufacturer Nokia decided to take advantage of the fact that no official FOWA parties were on the books for Thursday night by throwing its own soiree at an awkwardly named Miami Avenue bar called Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita (if it's going to be literary, can't the name at least be a little shorter?) as a promotion for its S60.com smartphone software.

The party was appropriately timed in conjunction with the gathering of many developers because the Symbian-based S60's hallmark is the fact that it accepts third-party applications.

We tried really hard, but BricaBox's Nate Westheimer and I couldn't find a way to make the pink Nokia S60 hats look tough. Caroline McCarthy/CNET News.com

The highlight of the party, besides the free drinks, was a screaming contest. Yes, a screaming contest. Attendees were divided into groups based on the color of a smiley-face sticker on their badges, and each group was given an S60-equipped handset with an application installed that measured the volume of whatever was getting spoken or shouted into the phone. The group that could raise the volume highest by screaming into the handset was awarded with a Bluetooth headset for each member.

My group didn't win. After the screaming contest, I spent a bit of time talking to entrepreneurs from a few local tech companies, such as Grooveshark and Scrapblog. Then I went to sleep. The end.

In Nokia's swag bag? A memory stick (OK, I can deal with that), an extra-large T-shirt (beach cover-up!), breath mints (do they really think FOWA-ers are going to be making out?) and a pale pink baseball cap. Um, hello? The S60 party was about 95 percent male. Heck, even your average female wouldn't put on one of these hats.

And despite our valiant efforts, as you can see in the accompanying photo, even BricaBox founder Nate Westheimer and I couldn't make those hats look hard-core.

 

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