Archive | April, 2011

Hey Sony, You Suck!

28 Apr
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London Olympics 2012 Ticketing Process: what a bloody farce.

28 Apr

The deadline for entering the lottery to buy London 2012 Olympics tickets just passed. Having looked forward to it for years, I somehow managed to completed miss the fact that the deadline was approaching, put off by the ridiculous lottery system, which meant that you could end up with 20 tickets or none, depending on how the chips fall.

Given that I grew up in London, and used to live in Stratford (where the Olympic Village is), it would be fair to say that I’m really disappointed. The BBC are reporting that demand was huge (surprise surprise), but one Seb Coe line in particular really annoyed me:

“”What is most encouraging is that the majority of applications are for multiple tickets and for several sports, which shows that friends and family are planning to go to the Games together.”

No Seb. What it shows is that the ticketing system was ridiculous, and that you forced people to play a weird guessing game in order to stand a chance of getting tickets. We understand that events are going to be over subscribed, but to treat the lottery for every event as if it exists in a vacuum is just amateurish. Of course people are applying for multiple sports: you didn’t give them any option.

The way it worked was that you would select the events you want, then they would run a lottery for each event.  If you applied for the one event you really wanted to see, but didn’t get lucky in the lottery, you were out of luck.  So what people did, of course, was to play the field somewhat: ‘I really want to see the 100 meters, but it’s going to be massively oversubscribed so I’m going to put in for fencing and archery tickets also.’ making in entirely possible that you end up with 100 meters, fencing AND archery tickets, or just one, or none.

The mind bogglingly simple solution to that is that you should have been able to select the events you wanted to attend, then select alternates that your #1 choice would default to if that choice sold out. Pretty simple stuff.  It was ticketing system designed for the event organizer’s convenience instead of one that got the fans to the events they wanted to see. That would be one thing if it were a private enterprise, but given how much public money has gone into the Olympics, I personally think is a bloody disgrace. For a more eloquent (and much more angry and sweary) description of what was wrong with the process, check out Scott Pack’s post.

And in the meantime, if anyone has spare tickets to the cycling, kayaking, track and field or tennis, hook me up would you?

Anyhow, here’s Ovett handing Coe his ass in the 1980 Olympics. Say what you like, but it makes me feel a bit better:

Suck it, Seb.

My Foursquare Friend Rule

13 Apr

I just made it. It’s a pretty simple rule, but I think it makes sense.

For background: there was a time not too long ago where everyone would just accept every friend request that came in… somewhat of a land-grab, if you like. For me that time is now gone: I don’t feel like I have anything to prove in that department.

Social networks have forever changed my definition of the word ‘friend’ to such a degree that I now talk about ‘internet knowing’ people, aswell as ‘knowing’ them. For example, somebody at work asks:

‘Do you know John?’

If I respond ‘sure, I know him’, that means I could tell you something about his past. Perhaps where he went to school, or his wife or girlfriend’s name. It means there’s some sort of human connection there beyond simply knowing him as a Facebook friend.

Whereas if my response is ‘sure, I internet know him’, well that means just that. Maybe we’ve met in person, maybe we’d recognize each other if we met again, but I sure as heck don’t know anything about him other than what I’ve seen online. He could be a murderer, or (more likely) a dullard. I have no idea.

Now, of course you can know, know somebody without having spent lots of time with them, or even without having met them in person. Evey relationship is different: my point is that our definition of the term ‘friend’ has changed beyond all recognition. This is really the friends extension of the strong ties/weak ties thing.

So with that in mind, my new Foursquare rule is that I’m only going to be friends with people I know know, vs those I internet know. After all, if I don’t really know John, do I really care about where he is at every minute of the day?

No, of course not. And I sure as heck don’t want him knowing where I am at all times. After all, he could be a dullard.

Beastie Boys are back, & I like what I see.

7 Apr

Very excited for this. It’s like the old Beastie Boys, but new and improved.

We’re the real Beastie Boys. No we’re the real Beastie Boys.

Roll on may 3rd.