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Monday, July 30, 2012

It's all Twitter's fault

Nobody expects an event as vast and as sophisticated as the Olympics to go to plan all the time. Inevitably there are going to be some mistakes and disasters. In the spirit of the games though we work through them and enjoy the sport.

Still, I did do a double take when I saw this headline in yesterday's Independent. It seems that Olympic officials are blaming Twitter for a series of computer glitches that led to shambolic television coverage of the men’s road race on Saturday. The paper says that BBC presenters struggled to work out who was leading the nail biting race because GPS data containing the competitors’ progress was delayed:

Each competitor rides a bike with a GPS chip inside it which transmits vital data that charts their progress. But so many people turned out to see the race that the mobile network became overwhelmed.

IOC communications director Mark Adams called on spectators to think about how often they use their phones during popular events. “We don't want to stop people engaging in this by social media and sending updates,” he said, “But perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates.“

Seriously? What world does this guy live in? This is the 21st Century, Everybody is using their mobile phones to text, tweet, update Facebook and send photographs to friends and family. Maybe, the Olympic technicians need to find a solution for their problem that does not involve feeble requests to spectators to stop doing what comes naturally.
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