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CES notebook: Less money means less sushi

CNET News' Ina Fried shares her observations from this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS--With my time at the Consumer Electronics Show having drawn to a close, here's a roundup of my observations from the show:

Sign that the economy used to be good
My Sin City accommodations included dual 42-inch flat screen TVs, plus another small LCD screen in the bathroom.

Sign that the economy has tanked
The only reason that spot was for rent (and could be had for as little as $159 a night) is that it was a condo that didn't sell.

Sign No. 2 that the economy has tanked
There were $5 blackjack tables at the Palms in the evening. (Last year it was hard to find a table with less than a $20 minimum.)

Weirdest mix of Silicon Valley and Las Vegas I spotted this year
The giant eBay slot machine I saw as I wound my way through the Venetian casino.

Less swag, less sushi
Two other visible indicators that things aren't so hot: Both swag and sushi were far less present at the show, notes colleague Rafe Needleman.

Ballmer talks to CNET
It took a bit to get the video up (there's a lot of video being shot and streamed over at the CNET stage). But it's worth a look to hear Steve Ballmer talking about the economy and Windows 7.

Other random CES observances? Feel free to send them my way...