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London Olympics Policy as Farce

First, the 2012 Summer Olympics posts a TOU on its website that purports to place content and viewpoint restrictions on linking.  Sorry guys, that ain’t how the internet works.
Now, CNET reports that it is against Olympics policy for people to use their smartphones as wifi hotspots.  The article gets right to the heart of the matter:

It’s unclear how Olympic officials plan to enforce the ban.

Yeah, about that.  What are they going to do?  Have WiFi police?  Kick ticket holders out of Olympic venues? Force network providers to push out region-specific GPS blocking software updates? See, the thing is, lots of people have rooted handsets (both iOS and Android) and they won’t even see the update from their carrier.  And I’d wager that the sort of people who root their phones are also the sort of people who install wireless tether apps just to share their mobile 3G connection with their other WiFi devices.

I can only imagine that this ban is a ham-handed attempt to prevent spectators from uploading a live stream of an event to some cloud utility.  Which would probably be a very popular service for viewers in other time zones who don’t want to put up with network-imposed tape delays of their favorite events (I’m looking specifically at you, NBC).  In fact, such a service would be so popular in the US (and probably other countries as well) that I’d be shocked if the infrastructure hasn’t already been set up and tested specifically for this kind of project.  And when it goes live, the Olympics will inevitably try, in vain, to shut it down.

I’m not even going to talk about the french fry debacle.  Or the mascots.  Or the logo.  I’m just hoping that I can watch at least a little bit of water polo, even if the US doesn’t make it out of the group stage.



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