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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Sincerely sorry for the athletes, they deserve better, but I have no interest in the commercial-event-that-has-no-name indeed. Shhhhhhhh!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

    They should make their source code available. Then other sites could pop up and we could watch Whack A Mole become an Olympic sport.

     

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  3.  
    icon
    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Nathan F (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:35am

    The-games-who-we-shall-not-name are still going on?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: Sports is just another profit-oriented industry

    The irony here is that the site was helping the Olympic Committee make money and they still got shut down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:41am

    indefensible

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Sports is just another profit-oriented industry

    It's all about control-freaking. Outsiders goodwill is a risk.
    But that's ok, le "freak c'est chic" (tm).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:01am

    They should just go ahead and call it the Shamelympics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:08am

    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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Does Craigslist run the Olympic's site?

    Sounds like Craig Newmark runs the Olympic's website too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:12am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:17am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:18am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:19am

    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:38am

    "they have simply blocked our access to their server"

    Isn't this sort of what you suggested for CL to do? Now it's wrong instead of right?

    Do you think these guys would have respected a robots.txt instruction?

    The Techdirt world is so full of contradictions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    JohnnyRotten (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:38am

    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!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    Kind hard to step on toes that don't exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    gorehound (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Re: Olympic spirit my arse

    +1
    I am not even paying attention to the Olympics.
    Used to be it was on TV for most of the day or all day back when I was a child in the 1960's.
    Now it is all about Corporations and Money.
    Yes, it is just a massive Corporate Event.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    If I recall properly, a reason CL had for going legal was that those 3rd party programs were using up bandwidth (noted as debateable in the article), hence the suggestion of cutting them off at server access instead of going right to legal letterbombs.

    Can't see that's the case here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:11am

    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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    Isn't this sort of what you suggested for CL to do? Now it's wrong instead of right?


    That was suggested as a better alternative than suing, not as the right thing to do in the big picture. There's no contradiction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    of course it is. Get over it :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Old Fool (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Ouch!

    Here we have an enormous gun which we intend to use to...
    AARRRGGG MY FOOT!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    The Pirate Bay excels at this sport. They've been playing with a few countries already =D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    Not everyone. I haven't watched a single minute of the Olympics. I've got better things to do during the summer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    Isn't this sort of what you suggested for CL to do?

    Last time I checked Mike also criticized Craiglist... Might be just my awfuly bad reading comprehension though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Jasmine Charter, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Spartans...

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    Oh, would that I had the choice not to give them money... No-one asked me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:23am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    Way to go picking an old post and taking it out of context instead of, for example, one 4 articles ago... a true mastery of trolling

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Wait, people watch the Olympics?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Olympussy, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:55am

    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

    ANYWHERE(.) Let them first make a case, then prove it.

    Olympics...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Due Process Internationally

    It's an international security matter. The IOC needs to secure their right to control everything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    or DDOS the only source for these tickets.

    disclaimer: It was just a fucking thought - don't get your panties all twisted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    ethorad (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    Everyone is bitching about the Olympics and their actions yet they're still sitting down to watch them.


    Your survey is flawed. I know lots of people who aren't watching them at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Same goes for me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Not quite the full story

    2012TicketAlert seems to be a piece of collateral damage


    or

    Are they victimising 2012TicketAlert? Don't believe so.


    Which is it? You seem to be contradicting yourself. Or are you saying that sufferers of collateral damage haven't been victimized?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 5:00am

    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!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 4th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    True, but if you stop commenting it will be less so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    ethorad (profile), Aug 10th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    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"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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