Olympic Tweet Kerfuffle

Twitter employees alerted NBC staff to a British journalist’s tweets and showed them how to file a complaint against him, the television network has revealed. In an email to The Daily Telegraph, Christopher McCloskey, NBC Sport’s vice-president of communications, said Twitter had actually contacted the network’s social media department to alert them to Mr Adams’s tweets.

“Our social media dept was actually alerted to it by Twitter and then we filled out the form and submitted it,” he wrote.

Guy Adams, a foreign correspondent for The Independent, found his Twitter account suspended when he published the emails of NBC Olympic officials.

Cory Doctorow says it was really, really, really stupid.

UPDATE: Early Tuesday, Twitter apologized to journalist Guy Adams for suspending his account and Adams is free to tweet again. Twitter’s policy reads, “If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.” Zenkel’s email address has been posted on this site for more than a year.

Am I the only person who ENJOYS the storytelling skill of broadcast television journalists? The intrinsic drama and conflict are a great narrative, and the backgrounders and event mix, provide context. I think they do a great job under tight deadline pressure.

The IOC is the bad guy here. They view the Olympics as their property. No photos, videos or tweets allowed without their permission. Who do they think they are?

Last year Comcast agreed to pay the IOC $4.38 billion to carry the Olympic Games through 2020, in a move that raised questions about what strategic benefits would come from the high-price purchase. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said Comcast could approach break-even on this year’s carriage of the Olympic Games. The Olympics gives NBCUniversal more bargaining power in signing affiliate deals in the future.

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Freedom Pop: Free FD-LTE Access?

Back in May, FreedomPop started taking preorders for its FreedomSleeve, a $99 iPhone 4/4S case that offered WiMax-based backhaul with local WiFi for the phone — and 1 MB of free “starter” data as well.

Things have changed a bit since then, explains C/Net. It’s also added a second sleeve for the phoneless-iPod. It measures 2.4 inches by 4.5 inches by 0.6 inch — almost exactly the same size as the iPhone 3GS. Its built-in lithium polymer battery (1,450mAh) is good for over 6 hours, according to FreedomPop. The case plugs into the iPod’s docking port, then recharges via what appears to be a Mini-USB connector in the bottom.

The new iPod Touch 4G Sleeve also turns your iPod into a wireless hotspot, allowing up to eight additional devices to connect to it.

The iPod Touch 4G Sleeve offers no-contract nationwide 4G by way of Sprint’s FD-LTE and its 3G data network, as well Clearwire’s WiMax network. That’s a big change from the original FreedomSleeve for iPhone, which was going to be limited to WiMax. The new FreedomSleeve will now also connect to these additional networks and give users 500MB of data for free per month. No voice.

FreedomPop will also give you an extra 10MB per month for each friend you refer, for a maximum of 1GB of free data per month. You can extend that all the way to 5GB by “engaging in partner offers and promotions,” according to FreedomPop.

The iPod Touch Sleeve sells for $99 shipped. FreedomPop says the sleeves will ship in “late summer.”

India Without Power for 2nd Day

About 600 million people lost power in India on Tuesday when the country’s northern and eastern electricity grids failed, crippling the country for a second consecutive day, reports the NY Times. The failure on Tuesday affected roughly twice as many people as the massive power outage the previous day, when the northern power grid failed and left more than 300 million people without power for several hours.

The outage stopped hundreds of trains in their tracks, darkened traffic lights, shuttered the Delhi Metro and left nearly everyone — the police, water utilities, private businesses and citizens — without electricity. About half of India’s population of 1.2 billion people was without power.

The failure happened without warning just after 1 p.m., electric company officials said.

“We seem to have plunged into another power failure, and the reasons why are not at all clear,” said Gopal K. Saxena, the chief executive of BSES, an electric company that services South Delhi.

New iPhone and MiniPad Sept 12

IMore was first to report that Apple is likely to unveil the iPhone 5 and a mini iPad on September 12 and a general release on September 21. That story has been confirmed by many sources such as Reuters and All Things D.

The backplate’s length seems to support earlier rumors that a new iPhone will come with a 3.95-inch screen at a wider resolution of 1136 x 640. It will support LTE.

Apple should sell a ton of them, especially since it is said to support China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA standard, opening up the phone to the world’s largest carrier.

Dwight Silverman explains Why he might switch from an iPhone to an Android smartphone. With the surprise taken out of Apple’s announcement, Apple must now battle for leadership.

Android phones feature quad-core processors, LTE and larger screens. Most Android phones also feature removable microSD storage, standardized microUSB for charging, removable batteries, and more than one “app store”. Google’s offline maps, available on Android 4, are also convenient, as are voice search features.

The Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, LG Optimus 4X HD, and Droid Razr Maxx, among others, aren’t likely to become landfill anytime soon.

Gartner: Social Media Leads Business

Mobile computing is forcing the biggest change to the way people live since the automobile, says Gartner. Mass adoption forces new infrastructure, it spawns new businesses, and it threatens the status quo.

Gartner believes sharing comments, links and recommendations with friends, drives enterprise IT practices. Social technologies both drive and depend on the other three Nexus forces:

  • Social provides an important need for mobility: Accessing social networks is one of the primary uses of mobile devices and social interactions have much more value when they are possible wherever the user is located.
  • Social depends on cloud for scale and access: Social networks benefit from scale, the kind of scale that is really only practical through cloud deployment.
  • Social feeds and depends on deep analysis: Social interactions provide a rich source of information about connections, preferences and intentions. As social networks get larger, participants need better tools to be able to manage the growing number of interactions, which drives the need for deeper social analytics.

“The combination of pervasive mobility, near-ubiquitous connectivity, industrial compute services, and information access decreases the gap between idea and action,” said Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner.


DEF CON 20, the hacker convention in Las Vegas, has wound up, leaving hackers of all hat colors bemused, befuddled, and bewildered. What it meant depended on who you talked to. Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, appeared at the 2012 DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas on Friday.

General Alexander, dressed in the uniform of the day, jeans and t-shirt, told the crowd of hackers and security professionals that his agency “absolutely” does not maintain files on Americans.

“And anybody who would tell you that we’re keeping files or dossiers on the American people,” Alexander continued, “knows that’s not true.”

But William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, said during a panel discussion that NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was playing a “word game” and that the NSA was indeed collecting e-mails, Twitter writings, internet searches and other data belonging to Americans and indexing it, reports Wired.

According to Bill Binney, a former NSA analyst, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah that now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America. Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched.

In the late nineties, Binney estimated that there were some two and a half billion phones in the world and one and a half billion I.P. addresses. Approximately twenty terabytes of unique information passed around the world every minute. Binney started assembling a system that could trap and map all of it, says author Jane Mayer in The New Yorker.

Defcon’s lessons in security include:

When the Stuxnet worm inadvertently became public, many United States officials and outside experts expressed concern that it could be reverse-engineered and used against American targets. General Alexander said he saw no evidence of that. General Alexander spoke in a 75-minute interview at the Aspen Security Forum last week.

General Alexander, as head of the NSA, was a crucial player in a covert American program called Olympic Games that targeted the Iranian nuclear program.