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Networking United Kingdom Technology

London Wires Up For 2012 Olympic Games 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the yeah-but-do-you-have-thousands-of-drummers dept.
alphadogg writes "While London's massive Olympic park is still very much a frenetic construction site, IT engineers are fine-tuning the equipment that will be used to transmit scores, let athletes send e-mail, and broadcast high-definition video of the Games. The Olympic Games are set to kick off on July 27 next year and will be followed by the Paralympic Games. Test athletic events are already under way, which are being used to evaluate the resiliency of high-speed data networks costing millions of pounds. Acer has a large role in the 2012 Olympics and will provide much of the IT hardware, including 11,500 desktops running Windows 7; 1,100 laptops; 900 servers, and other parts including SAN storage systems, touchscreen monitors and standard monitors."
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London Wires Up For 2012 Olympic Games

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  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spamgoe ... g ['ere' in gap]> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @06:51AM (#38180818) Homepage

    The TOC's location is a soft secret, and organizers did not want its exact location to be published for security reasons.

    Wow. I contracted in Canary Wharf for 3 months this year, and I'm fairly sure I could guess where it is. That's got to be the softest secret ever.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Whoa whoa whoa careful there! You're not supposed to know, notice, or comment. Head down, mouth shut, there's a good little citizen. Or else [boingboing.net].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That might be the case.(primary DC in Docklands). The LCOG offices are in Canary Wharf. There are literally dozens of DC's within a mile of Canary Wharf. Some are well known but others are totally invisible to even people who work in the same building.
      sure there is a lot of Venue IT Kit provisioning going on from CW. That work is a long way from providing the DC to ALL the Olympic Venues.

      Please tell us where you think the backup DC is then?

      • by caluml (551744)
        What are you talking about datacentres for?

        In a skyscraper in London's Canary Wharf financial district, Olympic organizers opened a Technology Operations Center (TOC) last month and that act as mission control for monitoring the health of Olympic IT systems. The TOC's location is a soft secret, and organizers did not want its exact location to be published for security reasons.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:46AM (#38181008)

      Next to Torchwood!

  • Acer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:08AM (#38180868)
    I wonder how much of the equipment will be broken and out of support before the opening ceremony.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      All of it - This is Britain it wont work until a year after the games if ever.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Luckily all electronics sold in the EU come with a minimum 2 year warranty.

      • by Karljohan (807381)

        You're confused - that's consumer rights. Olympics is not a consumer and therefore has no such rights.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          They apply to business as well, and the government set up companies to manage the Olympic procurement.

      • by Builder (103701)

        I wish people would stop propagating this myth. If the product breaks after 6 months, it is up to the consumer to prove that the fault was a manufacturing fault. You have to pay an engineer to verify that the fault existed or potentially existed at time of purchase. Once you have that report, you can hope that the company will rectify the situation or you can pursue them through the courts (small claims if under £5000)

        • Re:Acer? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:52PM (#38185112) Homepage

          That is completely wrong.

          You have a statutory warranty of two years. If a product beaks within that period it is up the shop to prove that you mistreated it, otherwise they must honour the warranty and replace or repair it. Even failure due to normal wear and tear is covered as the product must be designed to last two years of normal use.

          After the two year warranty period the Sale of Goods Act gives you additional protection. It states that goods must last a "reasonable length of time". For example a laptop is usually expected to last five or six years of normal use. If it fails during that time because of a manufacturing defect, bad design or poor workmanship you are entitled to a partial refund or replacement. The refund will normally be based on the amount of time you have been able to use it for, so if your laptop died after 3 years you would be entitled to 2/5ths or 3/6ths of the purchase price.

          Retailers are not keen for this stuff to become common knowledge, and some even try to slyly abuse it. John Lewis is a good example, they proudly proclaim that everything has a two year warranty as if it were some kind of special benefit they offer, when in fact it is the legal minimum.

          • by Builder (103701)

            It's not wrong at all. I spent 6 weeks fighting Robert Dyas over an appliance I'd bought there 14 months before. The small claims court ruled in my favour and I was able to claim the cost of the item, the cost of the engineering report and my filing fees. However, the judge explained to me that the retailer acted within their rights, and as such I could not claim for time or any punitive damages.

            See http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1677034/Two-year-warranty-EU-law.html [thisismoney.co.uk] for clarification, spe

          • by Xest (935314)

            Can you point to this in legislation? I believe the GP is right, everything I've seen in the Sale of Goods Act and Consumer Protection Act seems to suggest 6 months statutory burden on the seller to prove user fault, and after 6 months on the buyer. Most companies if you push it wont ask you to prove you weren't at fault though because they know full well that you weren't and that in pushing it to that point could escalate their costs as they may then face small claims court costs, costs for time and money

            • by AmiMoJo (196126)

              http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange#goods [moneysavingexpert.com]

              Read the bit about the Limitations Act etc.

              • by Xest (935314)

                I can't see anything in the act about that:

                http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/58 [legislation.gov.uk]

                It seems to just reiterate the 6 year maximum period for a claim against a product. Other than that the act just seems to be about setting limits for civil procedings relating to things like mortgages and such.

                Searching for myself I managed to find this, which does mention 2 years:

                http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31999L0044&model=guichett [europa.eu]

                But however t

                • by nobodie (1555367)

                  I'm so glad to see that British law is so transparent;)>

                  • by Xest (935314)

                    Hey I can't complain though it works both ways, just as some firms rely on customers to not understand wtf the law actually is to shirk their obligations those of us who are willing to put a bit of effort into seeing what the law actually says can similarly run circles round companies who also don't understand wtf their obligations actually are ;)

                    I've received quite a few discounts over the years, we got £200 off my girlfriends car for example because the young guy at the garage accidently told

                • by AmiMoJo (196126)

                  Okay, I forgot to mention the way it actually works in practice. If you buy a TV and use it normally without mistreating it in any way, then one year after purchase it suddenly stops working you can claim on the warranty. Although on paper it says that the user has to show there was a manufacturing defect in practice if there is no evidence of mistreatment the law assumes the fault was in design or production.

                  If it were otherwise warranties would be impossible to claim on because the buyer would have to pay

                  • by Xest (935314)

                    Well that's what I said, it works differently in practice because companies know that if someone really wants to push them and they know the product is fault they'll lose in a more expensive manner anyway. Also most companies like John Lewis that you mentioned offer 2 year warranty anyway, and by offering that they're giving you extra than the law says they minimally have to.

                    But I was simply pointing out that in actual law, the original person you were responding to was actually correct with his mention of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We bought Acer laptops for the teachers in our college to replace their old Dells. By the end of the 1st month the failure rate was over 50%...

    The keyboards are very nice to type on tho'.

  • by anss123 (985305) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:15AM (#38180896)
    worse every year?

    I'm probably just getting old, but today's Olympics seem less personal than what went before. It's always getting bigger, the athletes are less and less like the everyday folk, and even the big ones are pretty much forgotten after 2-3 years.

    But I'm just a geek so I'm probably just not getting it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The organisers of the London Olympics have announced that they will not offer IPv6 connectivity to or for the games.

  • I'm curious about how they won the contract. Surely a vendor bidding to use open source software would have made a lower bid.

    Did the request for bids even allow for open source?

    • by syousef (465911) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:26AM (#38180944) Journal

      I'm curious about how they won the contract. Surely a vendor bidding to use open source software would have made a lower bid.

      Did the request for bids even allow for open source?

      I could explain it to you buy I suggest you watch "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" instead. It would be quicker and more entertaining. Only downside is it's slightly out of date. Politicians and bureaucrats have had 30 years to improve on their incompetence, and use technology to aid it.

    • by wadeal (884828)
      Why would it have anything to do with Open Source?? Oh look I'm on Slashdot, Microsoft are evil, Open Source bitch bitch bitch.

      A bunch of accountants sat around and said "We need a bunch of computers", they then rang computer vendors who gave them prices, and they chose the cheapest and most reputable (I know it's Acer and that sounds dumb).

      The accountants don't know the difference between Windows and Linux, if they were asked what Operating System to use I'm certain they'd of answered the one everybody
    • by dominux (731134) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:55AM (#38181046) Homepage

      no, open source software won't do a lower bid because it doesn't come with a sponsorship deal in excess of the cost of it. This is the most commercially motivated games ever, with really really strict sponsorship deals for everything. You will be eating at McDonalds, the official food partner, if you want chocolate it will come from Cadbury the official snack partner, if you want to buy something to wear it will be Adidas, the official clothing partner, if you want to drive a car it will be a BMW, the official transport partner. If you want to pay for anything you won't be using anything but a Visa card because all the shops will be "proud to only accept Visa". Oh, and if you want to make a call on your mobile, I hope you are on O2 because the other networks are not allowed to put up towers to get enough signal to the venue.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      Cost of software is only one factor. 13000 Windows 7 licences probably didn't cost anything like retail price, and the developers are potentially cheaper.

      Plus, the winning contract isn't always all about cost. User familiarity with Windows is an important factor.
    • Surely a vendor bidding to use open source software would have made a lower bid.

      Almost certainly. I doubt the Free Software Foundation would have bid anything like as much as Microsoft to have its logo all over the Olympics coverage.

      • by nomadic (141991)

        Almost certainly. I doubt the Free Software Foundation would have bid anything like as much as Microsoft to have its logo all over the Olympics coverage.

        The important thing is to make sure that no matter whose logo's all over the Olympics coverage that it's not the official 2012 Olympics logo [attitudedesign.co.uk]. Britain has never had a reputation for a discerning aesthetic sense but this is even bad by British standards.

    • The Olympic Commission is an openly corrupt international organization which answers to no government. For the most part, governments let the commission do what it wants for fear that the Commission will blackball their country as a future host if they make too much troubles for them.

      This isn't to say that corruption scandals regarding the Olympics, or any of the Olympic Commission members, don't come to light once in a while. It's just that you shouldn't expect that the bidding process will try to be fai

  • Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @08:07AM (#38181074) Journal

    Will probably be seen as a troll for these comments, but this is what it feels like to those that actually pay the taxes in the UK (not the freeloaders who back the "games").

    When you add in all the costs of all the bits that are counted as someone else's budget for building for the Olympics, £20bn will have been wasted on a two week event. The 2012 legacy will be massive debt for the taxpayers to pay off, while "sponsors" laugh all the way to the bank.

    Who does the "games" benefit? The politicians who love to grandstand with someone else's money, the construction industry who are big donors to the political parties, and the athletes who love bumming off others taxes and sponsorship instead of getting a job.

    The TV companies have already promised saturation garbage coverage in the UK of the "games".

    The taxpayers are sick of it.

    • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Informative)

      by hipp5 (1635263) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @09:30AM (#38181396)

      and the athletes who love bumming off others taxes and sponsorship instead of getting a job.

      Most athletes, at least here in Canada, do have a job. Being an Olympic athlete does not pay. Well, the government does pay you a tiny bit. But if you want to live above the poverty line and be able to afford your training you need to have a job here. Or you become really lucky and land a sponsorship, but I don't see how that's "not having a job" -- someone is paying you money, and you give them a service (advertising recognition) in return.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If the advertisers, retailers, networks, etc etc who are supposed to make great profits and contribute to the "massive local tax revenue" that's supposed to benefit the local economy would actually pay the billions in investment rather than sticking it to the taxpayers with the help of the Olympic committee and the acquiescence of the local government, then I'm sure the taxpayers might be a bit happier with the situation. As it stands, almost every initiative of business and government is ultimately billed

        • The UK government seems to be really bad at this kind of project (see also the Millennium Dome). When I was in Salt Lake City, I stayed in what used to be the Olympic Village from when they hosted the Winter Olympics. The houses that were built then are all now student accommodation and the hotel that they built for press is now used for people visiting the university (e.g. for conferences). I don't know how much the olympics cost them, but at least they got something lasting out of it. I doubt the last
    • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @11:03AM (#38181864) Homepage

      If you do it right the Olympics can be a net gain. Tourism, free advertising worldwide, infrastructure that provides jobs and long term benefits...

      In fact a major part of our bid was getting the cost down and benefits up after China's almost unlimited budget. Maybe we are getting it wrong but people could at least try to get past the Daily Mail hatefest and blame games, and try to make the most of it.

      • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @12:10PM (#38182212)

        I'm involved in the tourism industry outside of London.

        Unfortunately, tourism here won't benefit much from the games. Most of the games venues are already tourist traps (e.g. London), and thus would have been booked to near capacity anyway. If you've ever tried to get a late hotel or restaurant reservation in London in August, you will know it's already pretty busy. You could argue that games-goers will spend more per night than other tourists, but I haven't seen any evidence for that. If London etc are busier than normal, then businesses will struggle with overcapacity. A restaurant can only service so many covers per hour; having a queue of people waiting to be seated doesn't count for much, and taking on extra staff / overtime will hurt quality, reputation and margins.

        Additionally, because of the perception that the whole country is going to be crammed, advance bookings are way down in the rest of the UK, as people are worried that airports and accommodation are going to be crowded. If only.

        London already has the best public transport infrastructure in the UK, and is one of the most well known cities in the world, and now we're spending tens of billions of pounds on the one city that really doesn't need it. It's actually far from the best place to hold an event for people in the UK - it's not centrally located, and is relatively hard to get to by car. Public transport is very good, but the money they have spent improving it just for the games could have built a brand new metro system in any other city. There is a strong perception that London was chosen because that's where the people making the decision are, rather than the national interest.

        I've been involved in the planning for (obviously much smaller scale) events in the past, and the general modus operandi for working out "leveraged value" (the amount of money spent by attendees not counting at the event) is to claim two bed nights (before and after) for every day a person is at an event, plus three restaurant meals (evening, lunch, evening). A bit of statistical tomfoolery, and you come up with a figure for something like £1000 per person per day ticket as the additional economic benefit. Working out the actual value is strongly discouraged by the organisers, who have probably claimed match funding based on their own over-generous assessment of the leverage.

    • To be fair there has been a massive regenation of one of the most run-down areas of London.
    • by Angostura (703910)

      Well, as a UK tax payer, I'm bloody glad we got it, I'm glad that a huge chunk of the spending was raised by private industry and I'm I'm glad I got some tickets.

      Oh, and I'm quite looking forward to the legacy too - mind you, I live in East London so you might call me biased. Who does the game benefit? Well the people who live in Stratford now have a massive shiny shopping centre, which to be honest most of them seem to love. There are parents at my kids' school who don't have a car and think it's ace. Con

  • Instead of the hassle of bringing in TV cameras, they could just route all those CCTV's to the broadcast trucks. I'm sure there's plenty of existing network infrastructure in place for that system anyway!
    • by digitig (1056110) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @11:27AM (#38181980)

      Not where they are building the Olympic Village. Before work started on the village, the only thing that CCTV would have seen there would have been a bunch of kids coming in on dirt bikes and vandalising the cameras. Of course, it would then miss the kids leaving the area as deserted as it had been before.

      I assume you know that most of the figures cited for the number of CCTV cameras in use in the UK are bogus, by the way. A newspaper counted the number of cameras in two fairly seedy London shopping streets, and extrapolated the number based on the total miles of road in England (including rural lanes), then Citogenesis [xkcd.com] took over and even the government started citing the inflated figure. Yes, there are about 1.85 million cameras [readytogo.net], but the majority are "inside premises, rather than facing the street". Most of the time we are not being watched on the street -- but we are if we go into retail or other business premises.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        I assume you know that most of the figures cited for the number of CCTV cameras in use in the UK are bogus, by the way. A newspaper counted the number of cameras in two fairly seedy London shopping streets, and extrapolated the number based on the total miles of road in England (including rural lanes), then Citogenesis [xkcd.com] took over and even the government started citing the inflated figure. Yes, there are about 1.85 million cameras [readytogo.net], but the majority are "inside premises, rather than facing the street". Most of the time we are not being watched on the street -- but we are if we go into retail or other business premises.

        This

        Basically, if someone went and took a count of how many security cameras were in one LA shopping mall, then multiplied that number by how many malls could fit in the footprint of LA, that's how many cameras are in LA. But of course we know that number would be bullshit.

        Basically, the quoted number of cameras in London does not differentiate between private property and crown land and few would argue that private property owners dont have the right to monitor their own premises.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @10:43AM (#38181736)

    People don't want the story filled time delayed NBC crap they want live feeds but will you need to get a uk proxy or will NBC put up the same feeds on there web site.

    • by Aereus (1042228)

      The 2008 Olympics had a website with most events viewable on-demand. In the US I believe it was provided by NBC, and ran on Silverlight technology. I can't remember exactly, but there may have been a premium streaming package you could pay for as well. I would imagine similar will be available for 2012.

      I was actually disappointed that the 2010 Winter Olympics didn't feature the same sort of streaming coverage. Unless you had a cable package you were SOL outside of the limited primetime coverage from NBC.

  • the Olympic dream will make Great Britain a more open and democratic society. Just like it did for China.

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