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IT Cutbacks For 2012 London Olympics 190

Slatterz writes "The IT backbone for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to be cut. According to the Games' chief integrator, Michele Hyron of Atos Origin, each section of the computing infrastructure will be made more efficient in order to minimise redundant equipment and hopefully reduce energy consumption. Unlike the Beijing Games, the results will be relayed via the public wireless network which will be available in the Olympic Park — this means cutting out the 2,500 results terminals. The team of workers will deliver more than 1,000 servers, 10,000 PCs and 4,000 printers."
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IT Cutbacks For 2012 London Olympics

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  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SchizoStatic ( 1413201 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @03:11AM (#25914115) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this time we won't see a giant BSOD on the ceiling of the event.
    • No we'll be seeing goatse everywhere because of all the crackers who're going to be on site with a copy of ettercap.

      Well done London, fucking ingenious.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @03:19AM (#25914145) Journal

    Now instead of an International sporting competition in London, 3 guys from Yorkshire will come down and play rock, paper, scissors. To save face 1000 rounds of RPS will be played, and for each one a different combination of paper hats with different national flags printed on them will be worn by the 3 guys. The IOC is requesting donations as paper hats and printing costs money, as does travel to and from Yorkshire.

  • Of course! (Score:5, Funny)

    by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @03:28AM (#25914165)

    According to Monty Python (Meaning of Life); Yorkshire is "The Third World", so this only makes sence that they would make cutbacks.

    Personally I think it's courageous of the IOC to grant these impoverished and lower class of civilized existence a chance to exist within the glorious umbrella that the IOC bequeaths.

  • by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @03:35AM (#25914193)

    "The IT backbone for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to be cut"


    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by taff^2 ( 188189 )

      It's probably quite accurate wording. Unfortunately the government have failed to realise (yet again) that when you cut the backbone of anything you leave it paralysed.

      Wankers, the lot of them!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by peragrin ( 659227 )

        well most government employees don't have a backbone so they have no personal experience to draw from when you cut it.

      • You don't paralyse the Olympics by removing all sorts of expensive crap that will be thrown in the skip two weeks later. And how are the government 'wankers' for trying to save tax-payers' money?

        • The government _are_ wankers. If they wanted to save taxpayers' money (which in itself is unthinkable) they could have not bid for the stupid olympics in the first place.

  • It sounds like a wonderful plan, reducing energy consumption. After all, we really need to get a grasp on Co2 emissions with all the global warming and stuff.

    But unless humans get their wifi implants before 2012 this will just move the cost of the energy consumption to different parties.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @03:50AM (#25914229)

      "But unless humans get their wifi implants before 2012 this will just move the cost of the energy consumption to different parties."

      Like cellphones?

      • by Duckie01 ( 10586 )

        Like cellphones?

        Hmmm maybe I misunderstood TFA... but I had the impression it was mostly about the tens of thousands of people *working* there, covering news and stuff. They won't be using cellphones all day to get their info, but stick a couple of extra notebooks and a terminal or two in their equipment.

        If it's about the general public getting some results cellphones can go a long way.

    • It means most of the work will be done on laptops. laptops use around 1/10th the power of desktops. Not to mention they won't be on 24/7, unlike public terminals.

      Overall it's some smart cost cutting

      • by seifried ( 12921 )
        What about thin terminals? Why on earth would you need a full blown PC to display sporting results/etc.
        • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:28AM (#25914695)
          a large screened terminal is still looking at around 125-150W and have the added disadvantage of being incredibly hard to sell off after the olympics.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jlarocco ( 851450 )

            I'm no expert on the Olympics, but don't they occur every 4 years?

            Maybe they could solve their efficiency problems by not buying new shit every time? Hard to imagine it sees very much wear and tear when it's being used 2 weeks every 4 years.

            • Well, it does get used millions of times during those two weeks. I'd say that there would be a fair amount of wear and tear, given the number of visitors.

    • The awesome thing is that all the idiots flying in from all over the world to watch some people who, after a year and maybe some commercial deals, will be forgotten... Yeah, those jets don't run on sunshine and lollipops.
    • It sounds like a wonderful plan, reducing energy consumption. After all, we really need to get a grasp on Co2 emissions with all the global warming and stuff.

      Yeah, all that global warming stuff that we are all still so concerned about, when the latest evidence says it isn't happening. Like NASA having to retract all their numbers and their claim that this October was the warmest on record (it was actually the 70th warmest, or 44th coolest). Or NASA also having to admit that they screwed up on the whole 1998

  • by Anonymous Coward
    May I apologise in advance for the state of the London 2012 Olympics? I have absolutely no faith in the Government bringing this in on time, or on budget.
    • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @05:19AM (#25914509)

      May I apologise in advance for the state of the London 2012 Olympics? I have absolutely no faith in the Government bringing this in on time, or on budget.

      You certainly may - apology accepted.

      In other new, one of the first Olympic venues for 2012 games opens today, ahead of schedule and under budget:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7753734.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Aceticon ( 140883 )

        The costs for the London 2012 Olympics have already spiraled to 2 or 3 time the original budget. Actually this was the case already 6 months ago BEFORE the credit crunch started to bit.

        That said, they might open most venues in time ... just WAY over budget.

        • Why do you think VAT was cut to 15% - that'll shave a lot off the costs at a stroke! Hey presto, nearer budget!

        • Actually this was the case already 6 months ago BEFORE the credit crunch started to bit.

          That said, they might open most venues in time ... just WAY over budget.

          Wouldn't the credit crunch/recession reduce the cost of the project, with companies and staff prepared to work for less money?

      • The Venue may be ready, but the transport links are no-where near ready. So they've got a venue but no-one will be able to get there. The Motorway (Freeway) ends 40miles from the Venue. Where the motorway ends there is a steep hill that has two lanes. HGV (Semi Trucks) crawl up at about 30mph. Even now in summer it take 10 - 15 minutes to travel 3 miles.
        From about 30 Miles area from the venue is a mixture of narrow twisty single carriageway road with roundabouts (traffic circles) and dual carriageway. They

        • I'd like to note that this out-of-access venue is meant to welcome the special Olympics for people with disabilities.

          The ironing is delicious.
      • I've worked for numerous US companies, and I've got used to the belief that the UK consists of four states called London, Stratford, Wales and Scotland (not really surprising given UK self publicity). But Dorset is not in London, it borders the South Coast. Nothing about it relates to the London part of the Olympics (also, although I've referred to the pork barrel aspects and got downmodded as a result, as a boat owner myself I think the Dorset end is actually worth the money. We in the UK live on an island
      • In other new, one of the first Olympic venues for 2012 games opens today, ahead of schedule and under budget:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7753734.stm [bbc.co.uk]

        That's "the sea". It's been there quite some time.

    • No need to apologise. I live in Canada where we're still hoping to complete the Olympic Stadium in time for the 1976 Olympics.

  • Craplympics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @04:22AM (#25914305)

    The team of workers will deliver more than 1,000 servers, 10,000 PCs and 4,000 printers.

    It always makes my blood boil to see how much money is funneled into sporting events such as the olympics without flinching, while at the same time public research, schools, etc..., people of real value to society, have to cry and beg for resources...

    • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @05:23AM (#25914515)

      It always makes my blood boil to see how much money is funneled into sporting events such as the olympics without flinching, while at the same time public research, schools, etc..., people of real value to society, have to cry and beg for resources...

      You see, money is created from nothing. There is an infinite supply of money, it however doesn't grow on trees, someone has to go to the laborious task of typing the numbers into a computer. Or writing them into a book.

      Bankers can get as much money as they like, they just pay the politicians a little bit up front and the politicians pay them back... Well, we're well into the trillions now.

      • by dontmakemethink ( 1186169 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:25AM (#25914919)

        No, money is created from something. What bankers do that makes money insubstantial is called leverage. A typical leverage structure in a functional economy is 10:1, where there is 10 times as much money issued on loan as there is in actual existence. Sounds crazy, but it works.

        The current economic fiasco is due largely to excessive leverage, just like the crash of 1929. Currently, American banks that have either collapsed or are begging for bail-outs were leveraged over 100:1.

        The shit hasn't quite hit the fan in Europe yet. Most major European banks are leveraged far more than 100:1, most notably German banks that exceed 400:1. So when European banks start to go tits up (and they will), keep in mind there is no treasury for the Euro. The only bailout funds are from individual countries, who are no doubt going to care more about themselves than an economic union that failed to protect them. So imagine changing currencies in the middle of the greatest economic crisis in 80 years. Think that's a good thing, or bad?

        • Although I don't agree with the parent post, here are some source about the german bank leverage :
          german bank leverage [efinancialnews.com]

          QUOTE :
          The critical question analysts will be seeking answers to this week is how much progress Deutsche Bank has made in cutting its leverage, which at 40 times under US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, means it is the most highly leveraged wholesale bank in Europe. It has set a leverage target of 30 times.

          assuming a standard practice of 1:10 in the US, that would place t
          • by TheLink ( 130905 )
            I read it as 1:40 with target of 1:30.

            Where 40 times = lent out 40 for every 1, under US GAAP.

            But I'm not an accountant or banker.
        • by blhack ( 921171 )

          Wait a second...

          You mean that George Bush was controlling the banks in Germany too!!?!?
          I guess this goes deeper than I had thought.

          Well, at least the Americans can rest easy. They almost elected a Socialist who advocates an increase in crime via a gun ban, and wants to punish business for being profitable so that he can funnel the money into social programs to reward those who don't want to work.

      • Money can be created, but wealth can not.

        If you print twice as many Euros, then the price of milk will double from 2 Euros to 4 Euros. You haven't gained anything. You're still stuck at the same amount of wealth as you had before.

        • by RMH101 ( 636144 )
          Surely the point is that money can be created, weird artificial financial instruments can use/abuse that money, and certain individuals can make a huge amount of personal wealth in the process. Long term, it kills the economy and screws the working man, obviously, but this short-term-ism is the reason we're in this mess.
        • Money can be created, but wealth can not.

          ORLY? If you have a pile of iron ore and sand, and I have the equivalent weight as a BMW, which of us is more wealthy? We should tell all manufacturing workers not to show up, since they're clearly not achieving anything.

          • I'd say that *I'm* more wealthy because I have an investment in natural resources. I can later sell that investment when iron ore becomes scarce & retire on the proceeds. All you have is an expensive toy that will turn to rust in 20-or-so years and be worth only $1000 (if you're lucky; my mom's 1987 BMW is only worth $500).

            Wealth can be created, but not through the printing of money (as the great-grandparent claimed). Wealth is created through (a) more efficient processes, like using machines to bui

            • by TheBig1 ( 966884 )

              like using machines to build a pyramid instead of slaves

              Machines can build slaves? Cool!

            • by TheLink ( 130905 )
              Wealth can be transferred by the printing of money. Even if it's not wealth creation it does make someone richer.

              The ones controlling the printing end up richer than the ones holding money that's worth less and less everyday. That's often good enough wealth "creation" for the Printers.

              That's why it is very important to the USA that most countries in the world use US dollars for buying/selling oil, borrowing and lending money and other trade (grain, flour, DRAM, sugar etc).

              That way lots of countries end up h
        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          I think you're not getting the full picture or details.

          If we start with 10 euros each (20 total in the world), but I control the Euro printing press and I print 20 more euros for myself (40 total in the world), I end up richer than you.

          Assuming the world has the same wealth as before, your wealth has been transferred to me.

          I'm not stuck with the same amount of wealth as I had before.

          The price of milk may double from 2 to 4.

          But you go from being able to buy 5 units of milk, to being able to only buy 2.5 unit
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Epsillon ( 608775 )

      I have to agree with that comment (except for schools; until such time as they concentrate on knowledge rather than stripping the individuality and ability to think from our children and forcing them to all look the same, they can take their own chances). That, and the bloody "Arts Council" which has leeched the lottery fund dry, yet we still have homeless people on the streets and people living in poverty. One "Angel of the North" (which looks like a rusty satellite has crashed near Newcastle, doing Â

      • As somebody currently living in a hostel, perhaps I can give you some insight.

        The council is paying 164 GBP per WEEK, and ontop of that I have to make my own contributions of 30 GBP per week, bringing the total to 194 per week that goes straight to the hostel owner.
        Basic facilities are provided (bathrooms, kitchens.. but no washer/dryer or cooking utensils) along with cleaning once or twice a week by the live-in management (who are paid 500 GBP per week).
        There are close to 20 people (all paying around the s

    • Trust me...The amount of political tension that is quelled as a result of friendly competition is well worth the cost. It's so sad that last Olympics was so politically charged. China's opening ceremony was a little much though.

      • You think that was unusual? Most every Olympic event makes tensions WORSE not better. When Athens held the games, you heard people insulting the Greeks as "poor and backwards farmers". When Atlanta held the games it was about how the "Americans sold out to corporations" which most of us found incredibly insulting; even the president of the IOC did a back-handed insult by refusing to say our games were good.

        The Seoul games were marred by the constant threat of Communist North Korea, Barcelona was overshad

    • by cliffski ( 65094 )

      the Olympics is a great way for coca cola to advertise. They don't get that opportunity with stuff like schools and research.
      yes, its fucking disgraceful, and the Olympics should be cancelled. Let some other gullible country blow its money on a glorified sports day for world leaders.

    • On the contrary, British schools, as well as other public services have been showered with cash over the last decade. The problem is, the increased funding hasn't actually led to any increase in standards, quite the reverse in fact.

  • Backup? I don' NEED no steenking backup!

  • Rant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @04:58AM (#25914431)
    The London Olympics is pure pork barrel. It was intended to allow Government to divert funds to one of the more undeveloped parts of London while allowing an unsavoury collection of washed up politicians to enjoy lots of jollies. It is distorting the infrastructure of South-East England and spending still more money in an area that already gets more than its fair share.

    Londoners go on about how London subsidises the rest of the country, but this has actually always translated as "controls the banking system and so rips off your profit and claims it as its own". This has just gone massively pear shaped...so now the Government wants the rest of the country to pay for the Olympics through general taxes.

    Don't get me wrong, I am an expat Londoner. But the mismanagement of London, where some of the most deprived areas of the country are next to some of the richest, and people earning £1 million a year try to avoid paying their cleaners even minimum wages, is truly horrible. I'm glad to live in a much more egalitarian part of the country where we don't have the resulting crime and drug problems.

    GB cannot really afford the Olympics, which has become completely bloated owing to the ludicrous over promotion of the IOC. We should either tell the IOC to go deflate itself and run a Games that London can afford, or let Beijing have it a second time, thus helping them to pay for all those facilities. I favour the first option...in which case this should only be the start and there should be rigorous pruning of excess. Beginning with replacing Tessa Jowell and Sebastian Coe with Second Life avatars who won't be able to spend lots of public money on entertaining corrupt functionaries.

    • In the United States a study was performed that showed metropolitan states (Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, et cetera) paid the most in taxes, and the rural farmland states (Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, et cetera) receive more money in government handouts than any other region.

      Isn't it possible the same is true in the UK where London, being a financial capital, actually spends MORE money than it receives, and it's the rural "north" that gets the most money in government handouts? I suspect if a study was perfor

      • On the other hand, London controls the government, the media, and the financial system, allowing them to keep the North poor and reliant on handouts. Note how northern manufacturing and mining were deliberately destroyed by the government, yet banks get bailout after bailout. Note the strong-pound policy, to boost the City and wreck northern factories which depend on exports. The same factories crippled by regulation whilst the City does whatever they like while Gordon Brown kisses their feet. And all this

    • London is footing the vast majority of the bill through council taxes. Also London generates some £25billion more in tax money than it receives from the government.

      You get so many large areas that are underdeveloped because the north whines so much when there are developments in London that no politician wants to start projects.

      We're one of the few countries where people seem ashamed and angry at the prospect of having a capital city we can be proud of. Could you imagine France letting Paris

      • What's the point in being proud of a capital city when it was only made successful at the expense of the rest of the country? I doubt the French would be to happy if the French version of Thatcher destroyed Lille's economy to boost Paris. Thatcher deliberately destroyed the North's economy whilst simultaneously pumping up the City, is it any wonder London is so rich, and why everyone else is so bitter about it?

        Sometimes it would be nice for people to have some national pride rather than going "me me me!" al

  • This would be an excellent use of FLOSS. Large chunks of the software must be the same between one Olympics and the next - so why not reuse it ? This is the sort of field in which FLOSS would work well.

    Probably won't happen - the Olympics is about money, lots of it; also about puffing politicians pride - the sports stars are a means to an end but not the most important people.

  • . . . well, it doesn't matter. By 2012, the aircrack-ng boys will have WPA cracked.

    Youse guys are gonna be *awed* by the number of golds that I win!

    • by WarJolt ( 990309 )

      Then they will use WPA2 using AES like the rest of us concerned about security. I doubt AES will be cracked anytime soon if ever except through brute force techniques. BTW, you can use rainbow tables on WPA2. Just don't use short passwords or generic SSIDs(salted with the SSID). Either would make you immune to rainbow table cracks.

  • by sqldr ( 838964 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:40AM (#25914757)

    That's nearly 1 printer for every 2 people. Here we have a team of 25 sharing a printer, and there's rarely a queue. How many trees are they intending to cut down?

    • If you need some print out to support your journalistic work you can't wait for other people, maybe trying to report about the same event as you are.

      If you are a few minutes late in your work very often that may mean it is no longer relevant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drspliff ( 652992 )

        Then why is it being printed?

        So they can courier it across the city... post it in the mail... send it via carrier pidgeon etc.

        Doesn't hold water, sorry.

    • I imagine that media, competitors (and entourage), government officals (local and international) and permenant IOC staff will supply their own laptops. There were over 10,000 competitors at the 2008 games and many more visiting media and government officials, now some might bring their own printers but it's unlikely that they'd want to haul them to each venue.
  • in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:15AM (#25915105) Homepage Journal
    Boris (don't look at the hands, look at the eyes) Johnson, has scrapped [guardian.co.uk] the western extension to the London Congestion charge. He asked a survey of 28000 what they wanted and apparently between 67 % and 86% of businesses wanted it scrapped. Sounds democratic, but I think that mob rule better fits the bill. Since the extension was introduced, roughly 30,000 fewer vehicles a day have passed through that zone. That's a line of cars over 55 miles (90km) long that haven't been clogging the streets on their way somewhere else. If you take into account the reduction [tfl.gov.uk] caused by the original zone (70,000 vehicles), and you can add 131 miles (210km) to that figure. 186 miles of traffic NOT entering an area roughly 10 miles in diameter every day. I would have thought that was a good thing, but apparently not. What about the other 250,000 vehicles who still enter the area daily ?

    Still, as long as he's popular ...

    I worked the distances out using 1 car = 3 metres long. If some of those were trucks, then the line gets longer, and most cars are longer than 3m anyway.
    Yes this is relevant to the Olympics. Efficient transportation is kind of essential at large events.
    • There's no doubt efficient transportation is necessary in general not just for large events but I'm not clear on what that has to do with the congestion charge.

      Not being a Londoner I don't know the ins and outs of the scheme but unless all the money gained in revenue is being spent on more tube lines or wider roads and not on merely running the congestion charge scheme I can't see how it will deliver more efficient transportation.

  • Bad, yet good also (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AaronLawrence ( 600990 ) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:43AM (#25915493)

    While cutting back is probably a bad idea, because the Olympics are hard enough to pull off even without cutbacks, part of me cheers because the Olympics is SO WASTEFUL and its good to see a little less waste. Billions of dollars to build a bunch of temporary facilities and showpieces that will have to be maintained at vast expense and eventually destroyed or converted to something else. And then it happens again in 4 years.

    Though it would suck for everyone else, I sort of think the Olympics should just go around the same few venues and actually MAKE USE of the already built facilities.

  • What happends more often then not is a way to ambitios IT Infrastruct goal. Which ends up costing more money and not working well, while a simpler approach works better for what needs to be accomplished, and saves money. Anyone who has install SAS will know what I mean.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant