DailyDirt: More Olympic Trivia

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The technology used behind the scenes at the Olympics is getting better all the time. It’s not an easy task to measure people moving with extreme accuracy, but it can be done. There are some other tasks that aren’t so easy to do as well, and the judges are relying on robots and lasers to get these jobs done. Here are just a few examples of more technology creeping into the games.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: More Olympic Trivia”

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11 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

you’ll probably also find they have been NOT using starting guns for many many years, it’s because without them they do not have to measure one parameter, the starting time of the race.

they only need to measure the time when they cross the line, with a gun you have to measure the exact time the gun is fired as well as the finish time..

it’s not because the laws of physics have somehow changed, or an electronic beep’s sound travels faster than a starting gun !!!! ..

ethorad (profile) says:

measuring the start of a race

I’ve considered different ways of measuring the time as a way of removing false starts.

Currently if you start too early then you are disqualified. Twitch too early and you’re out. Harsh, and it’s not really what people want to see – they want to see a race with all contestants.

I would propose retaining the starting gun so that all contestants run at the same time (as oppposed to time trials like on cycling where everyone starts one after the other). Your base time is measured as time from the gun to the time you cross the line. However, if you go before the gun instead of being disqualified, you are penalised by adding twice the time you went early to your total time (has to be at least once times the time early, to offset the advantage you got from starting early, and I added a penalty of an additional one times).

Since all contestants are starting at about the same time, the adjustments made should be small – small enough that they won’t interfere with the public watching to see who wins, in that if it’s decided by the adjustment then it’s probably close enough that normal viewers can’t tell who won without replays etc.

Should mean that there’s no disqualifications from false starts, all races will be run with all entrants, and the skill of going as soon as possible after the gun is retained.

ethorad (profile) says:

Re: Re:

For athletics, the point isn’t so much that the race is for men or women, but that people with certain hormones (eg testosterone) have a greater power output than those without. Therefore having the two compete against each other is unfair. Competitions are therefore split into those with those hormones (“male events”) and those without (“female events”)

As such, whether you are XXY or some other unusual genetic combination, the question is are you racing against other people with the same basic advantages as yourself. The male/female split is just an easy way to determine it for 99% of the population.

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