Olympic Games and Census thoughts

posted in: Life and things, Photography | 4

1504477Weeks fly by when you’re past a certain age. This one has flitted off into history. But it has a few highlights. The Australian online census for one. As it happens, this household was one of the few that filled in the information and got it into the system before the Denial of Service attack.

Let’s get this clear, folks. Denial of Service is NOT hacking. DoS is what it sounds like – somebody triggers huge volumes of requests to the system so that it becomes overloaded and fails. Which means genuine clients are denied service. It’s impossible to prevent such attacks, but it is possible to mitigate them. That’s where the security failed. Hacking is when somebody gets in and steals data. We may never know if that happened, but personally, I’d be much more worried about my bank, or Centrelink, or a credit assessment company, being hacked.

That said, I think the Government has (hopefully) learned some valuable lessons for when it develops an online voting system.

And then there’s the Olympic Games. I used to be a fan, but my interest has waned over the years. We all had such high hopes when the East German doping scandals were uncovered way back then. Then there was the Chinese state-run doping. Then there was Lance Armstrong. Then there was the paralympic basketball team which won gold, and was then exposed as fraud. I could go on. Fixed cricket matches, drug cheat tennis players, and now the Russians have been exposed as state run dopers. Sorry, but I don’t believe any of it anymore – that covers pretty much all sport, not just the Olympics. It seems today you can’t win in elite sport unless you use banned substances. And even when the athletes are clean, you wonder. Michael Phelps? Chris Froome? It’s all about the money, isn’t it?

Speaking of money, it goes without saying that the International Olympic committee is likely to smell as sweet as FIFA, for the same reasons. But that’s just one part of the pie. National Olympic committees spend millions (at least) on putting up bids. Then when they win, they spend billions on the facilities. And that means in countries like South Africa, India, and Brazil, poor people are kicked out of their homes to make way for car parks and glittering edifices.  And the opening ceremonies are all about doing it better than the last show. I’m not surprised the Brazilian people are not happy. Imagine if all that money had been spent on improving the lot of the people?

Okay, that’s my grumpy-bum rant for this week. Here’s a few raptor pictures.

This osprey has just finished its bath in the shallows
This osprey has just finished its bath in the shallows
A Brahmani kite joins its mate on a rock
A Brahmani kite joins its mate on a rock
A Brahmani kite angles its wings as it flies down the beach
A Brahmani kite angles its wings as it flies down the beach
A spotted harrier cruising to look for food
A spotted harrier cruising to look for food

4 Responses

  1. Marj

    It is known that enormous bribes are expected in order to win the Olympics. It is known that the host nations pays a heavy price, and very often, most of its citizens are not in favour of hosting the Olympics – only the bureaucrats who feel their importance enhanced.
    With so much corruption at the top, is it any wonder that the sportsmen try and get away with whatever they think they can? There are millions in a successful sports career, just not as many millions as being part of the Olympic ‘family.’

    • Greta

      Marj, I think now many athletes feel they have to dope to level the playing field. And that is very, very sad. I’m sure some of this went on when all the athletes were amateurs, but now, when that’s how they make a living, the pressure is on.

      • Marj

        I seem to remember disputes because ‘amateurs’ were shown to have been paid at particular events. That was when professionals were not permitted to compete.

  2. Julia Barrett

    Amazing photos, Greta! Raptors are my very favorite birds. Of course I do love all birds. I’ve enjoyed watching some of the Olympics. Yes, it is as corrupt as FIFA but I don’t think all the athletes are.

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