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Olympic Medalist was Spyware King 336

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the other-biathlons dept.
Remy writes "Seems that Australian gold medal mogulist Dale Begg-Smith is also a spyware entrepreneur. According to a report at Spam Kings, Begg-Smith has supported himself in style as president of a company responsible for generating 20,000,000 pop-ups per day, thanks to drive-by installs of spyware. I know the concept of Olympians being amateurs is outdated, but shouldn't they be barred from competition for this sort of thing?"
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Olympic Medalist was Spyware King

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:18PM (#14737821)
    ...unless spam or spyware is illegal in Australia, or against terms set by the International Olympic Committee (which probably includes stipulations for non-voliation of the laws of competitors' native countries), then no, he shouldn't be barred from competition.

    Also, on the subject of "amateurs", you can't be a "professional" in the sport you're competing in. There's nothing to say that someone can't be rich, or be a "professional" in some other field. He shouldn't be barred for "richly supporting himself" either, until installing spyware becomes an Olympic sport.

    Hmm. Don't give them any ideas.
  • by llZENll (545605) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:25PM (#14737875)
    "but shouldn't they be barred from competition for this sort of thing?"

    What relevance at all does spamming have to do with the Olympics? Why not just fire and ban spammers from all walks of life, jobs, restaurants, movies, etc, oh wait, it's a little something called freedom. As much as all us hate spam, child porno, junk mail, ads, laywers, etc, we must live them. It's something most people call "society".
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobscealy (830639) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:25PM (#14737876)

    The olympics are judging competitors on thier sporting abilities, not thier business ethics. If Dale has broken some law then fair enough, chase him down with lawyers. Disqualifying him from the olympics would be on par with banning anyone who fails a doping test from running thier own business - they are completely unrelated.

  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeadPrez (129998) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:25PM (#14737877) Homepage
    You don't even attempt to mask your jealousy. Nerd athletes are the Xmen of the future. Sorry, Napoleon Dynamites of the world.

    ps: this is only a joke if rated funny and a serious warning all should heed if rated anything else.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:27PM (#14737884)
    If Jesse Owens was allowed to compete in the Berlin Olympics near the height of Nazi power, then I don't think any Olympic committee has authority to enforce a morality unrelated to sporting itself. An Olympic spammer in an online nation is no guiltier than a black Olympian in a racist nation.

    (Please don't misinterpret this as saying that Jesse Owens was somehow wrong.)
  • by yorktown (947019) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:31PM (#14737920)
    Given that the International Olympic Committe has chosen to hold their games in places that grossly violate human rights like Nazi Germany (1936), the Soviet Union (1980), and mainland China (2008), I don't think they have much moral standing to ban someone for spyware.
  • Further (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:46PM (#14738029) Homepage Journal
    I know the concept of Olympians being amateurs is outdated, but shouldn't they be barred from competition for this sort of thing?"
    ...unless spam or spyware is illegal in Australia, or against terms set by the International Olympic Committee [..] then no, he shouldn't be barred from competition.

    Seriously, since when has it been a precondition of The Olympics for an athlete not to be some horrid scumbag? For the most part you only see these people perform, a smile or tears for the camera, stand around on the medal stand while the music plays, perhaps on a cereal box and some lite interviewing on telly. Unless they erupt like Tom Cruise (on behalf of his Co$ beliefs), how are you likely to know any past or present are rotters?

    Ok, thanks to the internet and nature of this weasel's business it will come up, and hopefully he'll get flayed in the press (Gold Medal Vermin), though you don't often hear much of these, except the most photogenic who go on to some level of stardom.

  • by Stanneh (775821) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:58PM (#14738117)
    your correct but you forgot... USA Salt lake city 2002.
  • he is an amteur (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Edmund Blackadder (559735) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:59PM (#14738122)
    From the original Slashdot story:

    "I know the concept of Olympians being amateurs is outdated, but shouldn't they be barred from competition for this sort of thing?"

    Well, it is correct that the Olympics no longer require that the contestants be amateurs, but even if they did the Australian in question would still be an amateur. I.e., olympic athletes were always allowed to be professionals in some field but untill few years ago they were not allowed to be pros in the field they are competing in. So the quoted sentence does not make much sence.

    A think a much bigger issue is what this guy did may have been a crime in many of the countries he was doing it in. So should a criminal be allowed in the Olympics? I don't know ... but since he probably has not been convicted anywhere, I dont think the Olympic games is the correct place to judge him.

  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:06PM (#14738176) Homepage Journal
    Should the Olympic committee take a hint from him and throw the merchants out of the Olympics because it is a place for amateurs and not professionals? (By this I mean the merchants are basically buying their way in to the Olympics whereas before no blatant displays were allowed and now they are allowed.)

    Hard to say. The IOC is about as big a whore as this guy. We tend to overlook it because they put on such a pretty show, but the IOC signs lucrative, exclusive deals with Television Networks, designates official press, sells the logo to "official sponsors" etc.

    Maybe they would throw him out as he's probably their competition in some way.

    The good side of all this is seeing a Lambourghini driving Gold Medalist getting bent out of shape because he wants to revel in his sporting accomplishment, but the questions about his unsavory activities are pecking away at him like a raven on roadkill.

    I dunno about you, but it gives me the warm fuzzies.

  • who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by avi33 (116048) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:10PM (#14738203) Homepage
    Maybe I heard a PR-friendly version of the story, but his parents wouldn't fly him and his brother around the world to compete, so they started a company to make some money. When he was thirteen. I made $3/hour at that age, and I was a high roller compared to my friends who couldn't even get jobs.

    So he was making crapware? BFD. With the possible exceptions of the EFFers and some folks at NASA, how many slashdotters haven't ever written code that doesn't pollute the world with wasted CPU cycles? Christ, I just spent the day programming a Dealer Locator. That's not exactly feeding starving children, unless you count my own.

    Who exactly gets to set the moral compass for what constitutes 'worthwhile' software? Right now, the net is crawling with identity theives, pr0n magnates, script kiddie extortionists, and worst of all, Marketers.

    God forbid someone should judge you based the goals and accomplishments you had by age 21. I suspect the most vociferous flamers are just jealous of his financial and athletic success.
  • by Petrushka (815171) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:23PM (#14738288)

    Why not just fire and ban spammers from all walks of life, jobs, restaurants, movies, etc

    Sounds good to me.

    oh wait, it's a little something called freedom

    There's a little system that pretty much all societies have invented. See, when someone does something really outrageously wrong, something that harms society as a whole, society takes their freedom away from them. It's called "justice". Spamming is something that harms every computer user in the world. Justice is overdue.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikerozh (710568) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:51PM (#14738874)
    For the NHL professionals (or any other professional competing) this is not something they are dying to win. A lot of the time they are more worried about their National endorsements (think basketball star controversy) and/or they are worried about not going all out because they might get hurt and injure themselves and hurt their professional career. (Yes, not all think like this, but enough do which takes away some of the spirit of the games.)

    This is completely wrong for team Canada and I'm sure for team USA as well. There are many canadian players that really wanted to go to Olymics but didn't get the place in the team, so there are no players in the team that did not want to play and win.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by azuravian (850674) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:29PM (#14739103)
    How is the parent Flamebait, when the Grandparent is +3 Funny. Aren't these just the same joke (except the one making fun of democrats is Flamebait)?????
  • by StormReaver (59959) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:52PM (#14739208)
    "What relevance at all does spamming have to do with the Olympics?"

    Spammers surreptitiously install malicious software on people's computers against the computer owner's will or knowledge. It is illegal in the U.S.A, the U.K., and probably in Australia. I think criminal activity is enough to bar one from competition in the Olympics.
  • by calc (1463) on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:22AM (#14739904)
    Yep he forgot the US writes its own rules. Torture is only illegal outside the US (and Iraq and Guantanamo and the secret CIA prisons...)
  • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Politburo (640618) on Friday February 17, 2006 @09:28AM (#14741413)
    Nagano was 8 years ago, and the US team sucked and trashed some hotel rooms. 4 years ago the olympics were in Salt Lake City.

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