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September 19, 2014

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CES 2009:

Techies know how to party, for charity

Invite-only event at LAX provides plenty of star power

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Justin M. Bowen

Counting Crows plays the Intel/PC.com party that was held at LAX nightclub inside of the Luxor

Intel/PC.com Party at LAX

Brooke Burke hosted the Intel/PC.com party that was held at LAX nightclub inside of the Luxor Launch slideshow »

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Beyond the Sun

Adult starlets were scattered all across Las Vegas on Friday night at various soirees and nightclubs for pre-AVN award fun, but the techies from the other convention in town seemed to have more substantial star power.

While Diana Ross was belting out tunes at the annual Monster Cable’s Retailer Awards, a handful of other celebs mingled with invite-only Consumer Electronics Show attendees at the PC.com/Intel party at LAX at the Luxor.

Even the top-notched adult performers would have a hard time competing with party host Brooke Burke in the beauty department.

“I certainly am happy in making her my No. 1,” said hubby David Charvet, who didn’t know the Adult Entertainment Expo was sharing space at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in The Venetian this week.

“What the heck I’m doing here then.”

Well, for starters, listening to the Counting Crows perform hit songs like “Mr. Jones" and "Round Here" while the few hundred guests snacked on beef sticks and mini sandwiches.

German transplant Oliver Baumann, who works for Sennheiser headphones in Miami, said he wasn’t sure what was going on at other hot spots, like say, AVN’s opening party at Pure inside Caesars Palace on Friday night, but doubted that anything could top the excitement inside LAX.

“I’d say it would be hard for anything to be better than this,” Baumann said. “It’s a pretty special event.”

The function put on by PC.com, which launched in July to cover the world of personal computers, aimed to raise money and awareness for Intel’s Small Things Challenge, a year-long charity campaign to help support Kiva and Save the Children.

Sure, the celebration might have had more sports coats and sneakers than the party at its sister property, Pure, but the 37-year-old Burke wowed the crowd with her classic charm.

The recently crowned "Dancing With the Stars" winner is surprisingly techie, too.

“I spend a lot of time on the Internet. I have an online business, so I’m always doing things on the Web,” said Burke, who said there is no shortage of electronic devices in the L.A. home she shares with Charvet and four young children.

“I love being involved with the super important Small Things Challenge, but PC.com is actually a cool Web site that offers really user-friendly help about technology.”

Burke no doubt dazzled the audience, but it was another actor who stole the show.

LeVar Burton.

Yeah, that LeVar Burton from “Reading Rainbow,” “Roots,” and more importantly with the CES crowd, for his role as Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

“I’ve been in this business for over 30 years and I’ve been really lucky to land some really landmark roles,” said Burton, who after several years behind the camera as a producer is starring in an upcoming Lifetime movie “Taken in Broad Daylight.”

An avid Xbox gamer and now religious Twitter updater (you can reach him at @levarburton), Burton said he was proud of all his roles, but said the long run on the children’s show was his most fulfilling.

“It’s been my desire throughout my career to be involved with programming that does more than just entertain. The ability to educate, to inform, to enlighten is always what I’m thinking about,” he said.

But don’t label Burton just by his role as a literacy hero. He knows how to hang loose, as he demonstrated when a group of fans begged him to take a photo with their scrolling word device, which resembled the trademark shades he wore on "Star Trek."

He obliged, of course -- c’mon, this was one of the hottest tech parties of the year.

“I love technology and these are those fans.”

Andy Samuelson is a writer/editor for the Las Vegas Sun. He can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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