Olympics Shuts Down Non-Commercial Online Service That Helped People Get Tickets

from the olympic-failures dept

Another day, another story of Olympics insanity. Apparently the website for the London Olympics has a really awful interface that highlights tickets that are available. So, some enterprising coders quickly hacked together a better system, called 2012TicketAlert that would help alert people when new tickets were available. It was just a typical internet case study: some people saw a system that wasn’t very good, and they built a better interface. Welcome to the internet.

Ah, but this is the Olympics, and the Olympics just doesn’t do things like that. So, they shut the site down:

It seems someone at LOCOG has taken exception to our idea (or the publicity it is getting) and instead of reaching out to us or addressing the lack of a notification system, they have simply blocked our access to their server. This means we are unable to check or post any new ticket alerts.

Welcome to the Olympics, where if you don’t pay the Olympics, you better not do anything to help make the Olympics a better experience.

And it’s important to note that they weren’t making money off of this. They were just helping to alert people to ticket availability and then driving them to the official Olympics site. They just hacked together a notification system.

Sometimes I wonder if the Olympics just wants to piss off everyone.

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Comments on “Olympics Shuts Down Non-Commercial Online Service That Helped People Get Tickets”

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The Original Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Sports is just another profit-oriented industry

Be it pro sports, college sports in the US, or now the athletic-games-that-shall-not-be-mentioned, the whole point of the event is to generate revenue, and the guilty parties include the US Infernal Revenue Service which has determined the amount of money that the US medal winners must pay on the value of the gold and silver in their medals.

Congratulations on winning boys and girls! Now where’s our check?

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone is bitching about the Olympics and their actions yet they’re still sitting down to watch them.
They’re still buying products sponsored by them.
They’re reporting about them.

The only way to teach these people a lesson that we will not stand for such shit is to ignore them completely.
I’m breaking my word to myself just by typing this but still people need to hear it.

I refuse to watch them and I refuse to buy any products listed as sponsors during the Olympics.

Freedom from censorship > Olympics

Anonymous Coward says:

The really sad thing about cases like this is that the entity (LOCOG, in this case) never sees any activity like this as what it is. What they should realise is that the very existence of this service implies an inadequacy that they can and should address, and that this service is only doing them a favour by helping potential customers use their inadequate service. All they see is “someone is stepping on my toes”, and they react accordingly by shutting it down, no matter how little sense it makes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s not that someone was ‘stepping on their toes’….

Someone was standing in front of them, pointing out that they have their toes sticking out in the isle where thousands of people are walking by, and they are directing people AROUND the toes to provide the walkers with a better walking experience (nobody wants to trip over LOCOG toes….)

Obviously this is not acceptable behavior… their toes are sticking out there waiting to be stepped on for a reason… so that they can SUE and PROFIT…. AMIRITE?

Anonymous Coward says:

The game whose name shall not be mentioned is no longer what it was setup to be. As with just about all these events that become money makers, influenced by big money, the tone and the intentions of it are now morphed into something that no longer resembles the original intent and idea.

It’s a shame for the athletes that spend their early lives in preparation to have this saddled upon them as it stains their efforts and achievements.

I no longer watch the events. I’ve long ago lost the connection mainly due to commercialization. Today I could care less who is in it nor what events are held. Other than blundering into a still image somewhere in the news, I’ve not seen nor have any desire to see these. There’s this little thing that is called viewer loyalty and that was long ago trashed and destroyed.

Maybe after the price reaches the trillions for sponsorship and it forces investors to go bankrupt, it will return to something interesting. That doesn’t exist today for me.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Olympic spirit my arse

The much heralded Olympic spirit has been well and truly slaughtered with these games. The whole thing has gone from catastrophe to catastrophe and has just become a massive corporate event that is all about money. Avoid all coverage in protest.

Hardly…. it was long dead. The only major difference between this and recent games is that the UK press is open enough and world-wide enough for the bullsh*t the IOC insist on to be more noticeable.

JohnnyRotten (profile) says:

The 42nd Athletes Competition...

I’ve been thinking that athletes themselves should just put together their own competition.

Create a consortium of athletes and then promise to put on a series of events. Sell the TV rights. Round up sponsors and host cities/arena’s (why does it have to be just one?), etc. Work out a payment system for the athletes.

At this point, they’re just unpaid interns being exploited to make money for an organization that cares nothing for them. Rise up ye athletes and revolt!

Anonymous Coward says:

been taking lessons from the entertainment industries. they had to do this in case they lost the control they have become accustomed to having. of course, it obviously has nothing to do with money. they just wanted to make sure! to me, the whole thing that the Olympics has become is a joke. they have done nothing to ensure what the actual reason for the games is, ie forgetting any differences between nations, competing against those you may never have normally met and beating them in competition, rather than in full, armed conflict

Jasmine Charter (user link) says:


I’d love to see REAL Spartans see the debacle that the “olypmics” have become… I’m sure they’d have some choice “words” to share with them.

It’s a shame… because between the draconian, goose-stepping Olypmics Committee and the doping – not to mention places like China that take children at a young age and put them into a crazy training regiment – the Olympics are a farce.

I will not watch them… ever.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Due Process Internationally

> NO ONE should be able to shut ANYONE down where there
> isn’t a national security matter at hand without DUE PROCESS

I’m not fan of what the Olympics has done here– I think it’s stupid– but it’s their server and they have ever right to decide who does and does not have access to it. If they want to block someone’s access, that’s their right.

ethorad (profile) says:

Not quite the full story

The 2012TicketAlert wasn’t the only company that was using an automated system checking for new tickets. Touts were also running a similar systems so that they can snap up tickets as they become available and then sell them on the black market. 2012TicketAlert seems to be a piece of collateral damage in the olympic’s fight against touts rather than a direct victim. See comments from LOCOG at the bottom of http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19112520

Could LOCOG do better at selling tickets? Absolutely. Are they victimising 2012TicketAlert? Don’t believe so.

ethorad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not quite the full story

Correct, I’m saying they haven’t been victimised. I was taking victimised to be the subject of a targeted attack rather than someone periphally affected. The victim of an attack if you will.

Granted you can think of “victim” as anyone affected, perhaps I should have used more specific language.

Consider the last line to read as “Are they specifically targetting 2012TicketAlert? Don’t believe so”

Anonymous Coward says:

has anyone noticed that the majority of those on the Olympics committees are about the same age as those in governments everywhere? why is it that no one seems to recognise that these people are all TOO FUCKING OLD for today’s society, cant catch up, let alone keep up with the changes happening daily and all seem to be doing whatever they can to maintain how things were in pre-internet times, mainly keeping them in control! time all these old farts were permanently removed from office!!

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