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IT Meets the World Cup 204

Posted by Zonk
from the tech-lends-a-foot dept.
daria42 writes "Looks as if there are some mad soccer fans at ZDNet ... they have compiled a guide to some of the IT systems behind the soccer World Cup. 'What does it take to design, build and operate an advanced, fault-tolerant IP network while the whole world watches?' one of the articles asks. Another looks at how broadcasters have beefed up their infrastructure as they prepare for an influx of fans desperate for information, while another looks at one of the upcoming matches: FIFA vs. Hackers."
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IT Meets the World Cup

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  • Soccer? (Score:5, Funny)

    by StonePiano (871363) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:00AM (#15501820) Homepage
    I hadn't noticed a soccer event. Whatever 'soccer' is, it was bad timing to clash with the Football World Cup!
    • Re:Soccer? (Score:3, Funny)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      It's an abbreviation for "Association football", used to distinguish it from the popular alternative version of football invented in Rugby by William Webb Ellis.
    • While speaking of the [football] world cup, here in Canada, hockey is the killer game. Being an immigrant nation, Canada's diverse people return to their roots to support their national footbal teams. For this season, these folks "forget" their Canadian identity. Some are even citizens of Canada!

      For those like myself who thought that Canada is made up of "white" folks and "Indians", you will be suprised that these people are now the minority in cities like Toronto.

      • Sometimes that is because the Canadian football team may not be fully up there yet.

        Here in England (especially London), despite being a Multi Ethnic community, Ethnic Minorities, who dont have a suitable national team tend to stick to England (I am Sri Lankan, and I am flying my England colours).

        Hmm, would be intrested to find out what team the "largish" Sri Lankan community in Toronto take on, as there isnt a Sri Lankan team in the World Cup. Who do they support?

        I woudl think that Canadians in general woul
        • I woudl think that Canadians in general would support their Neighbour, USA, as that team is pretty well rated.

          And you would be wrong. As noted in a previous post, most Canadians will support their ancestral team or the team that their ancestral country would support if they didn't qualify. I'm typical of this; born in England, moved to Canada at 8, spent 10 years in Japan. I'll support England first, Japan second and hold some respect for Brazil just because they're Brazil. :-)

          This whole "why don't Canad
      • here in Canada, hockey is the killer game

        Except of course what Canadians call 'hockey' is known in most of the rest of the world as 'ice hockey', to distinguish it from real hockey, which is played on a field with a ball, not on a rink with a puck...
  • More importantly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:04AM (#15501849)
    I'm more interested in what FIFA is going to do about the rampant racism that often surrounds European football more than what they'll do against hackers. It's very real and very scary for people of color (as Henry has talked about).
    • FIFA's IT department has an equal-discrimination policy. They don't care if it's a scrip kiddie from India, a cracker from Russia or a scammer from Nigeria - none will get in.

      At least I'm on topic.
    • I'm more concerned about the recycled arguments that people copied from some tv pundit I see on websites from people that are insecure about unamerican sports existing and being more popular.
  • World cup? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:10AM (#15501892)
    What world cup? Is there anything meaningful going on currently?

    (spare me the answer. I wish I could cryo myself for a month)
  • FIFA live cast (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jsse (254124)
    In China, most of them don't pay for watching FIFA.

    Don't blame them for pirating your content. They should really taking their standard of living when charging them the royalty. What RMB150 per month for FIFA watching? Fuck, some of them just earn less than RMB500 per month.

    Life finds its way. You charge them what majority can't afford, majority looks for something free [pplive.com]

    .
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think this was brought up recently - how can I watch the games streaming in the U$A?
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:13AM (#15501906)
    ""Looks as if there are some mad soccer fans at ZDNet ... they have compiled a guide to some of the IT systems behind the soccer World Cup."

    Or, ZDNet reprinted a four-page press release from the World Cup after the Cup spent four years soliciting IT sponsors. "Compiled a guide" my ass...

    • (you are right of course) However what's interesting is how obvious the internet makes it that most mainstream journalism is just recycled press releases and anonymous AP/Reuters articles. There is very very little independant reporting going on. You can see it for consumer electronics too. Our marketing announced the product that we have been developing for the past 18 months. We are a big company, so this was a fairly heavily covered announcement, but the vast majority of the coverage out there is just re
  • in most of the world, the World Cup is (dare I say it) more important than any other sporting event (yes, even the olympic games). It'd do good to US citizens to dig out of the hole and stop pretending; while you're at it you might as well start ditching the imperial measuring system. And yes, in most of the rest of the world, interesting matches are broadcast for free. lol!
    • by UnixSphere (820423) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:25AM (#15501991)
      I live in the US and I love soccer(football), people ask why haven't we really adopted soccer as widely as the rest of the world did, it's still relatively young but things like this (charging to see the games) are impeding the wide adoptation of it. Companies are so short-sighed and just want to profit as much as they can, instead of stepping back and letting us American see the games for free and help build a soccer fan-base that could be comparable to any other.
      • Soccer is *not* relatively young in the U.S. It has been a member of FIFA since 1914, and was one of 13 nations in the first World Cup in 1930.

        There are over 200 NCAA Division I men's soccer teams, and yet professional soccer in the U.S. is a curiosity at best. Why is this? I think the reasons may be more deeply rooted in the American need to be unique and dominant (see "American-invented sports" such as baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR, etc.) rather than in soccer's popularity or approachability
        • Why is America the only country that has to defend having sports other than soccer take center stage?

          Do people get their panties in a twist over Canada liking hockey more? Is it a deep rooted Canadian need to be unique and dominant? Does the fact that they also embrace a version of football that is not soccer piss the world off?

          Australians and New Zealanders like Aussie Rules Football or Rugby more. Why is that?

          India and Pakistan love their cricket. Any deep seeded psychological reasons the world would like
          • The two most populous nations in the world and seven of the top 10 have no representation in Germany this World Cup

            That would be because they didn't qualify for the finals.

            All countries are first drawn into qualifying groups within their supra-regional-FA (e.g. UEFA for Europe). Group winners (and /some/ 2nd placers, depending on the number of finals places that regional-FA has) then qualify for the finals. The 32 countries at the finals therefore are the 'best' from each supra-region.

            From the UEFA zone, t
          • China? What's their problem?

            Having lived in China for 3 years I can assure you that football (or soccer) is huge there. They just haven't got good enough players so they didn't qualify for the world cup, but it's definitely the no. 1 sport in China.

            You can count the most populous nation as a football nation.
      • Companies are so short-sighed and just want to profit as much as they can, instead of stepping back and letting us American see the games for free

        Sorry, you are the short sighted one here. Why would they establish a precident of free games? It would make it increadibly difficult to switch them to a charging system later on. Prices are set to what the market will bear, and if the market gets 'used' to free, it makes it tough to raise prices

        A good example is gasoline... people cry murder for $3 a gal
        • The problem is that every other sport in the US is shown for free. The rare exception off the top of my head is boxing. The pay sports channels are almost all gone.

          Furthermore, there aren't that many common liquids more expensive than $3/gal. Water and soda only are if you extrapolate the per gallon price from a 12 or 20 oz. bottle. Brand name soda is available for 2L @ $0.99, which makes it ~$2/gal. Water in bulk is ridiculously cheap. 100% Juice is the only one that I can think of right now that is routi
      • I will watch the world cup, but there are plenty of things to hate about soccer.

        Foremost is diving, players who act up every chance they get - ie, when another player approaches them. This is just too much for Americans (with American football), Australians (with Aussie Rules) and Rugby watcher, who are used to seeing real injuries.

        Also, the fact that is it such a defensive game these days, with hardly any goals being scored makes it poor to watch. Watching people get excited over an almost goal makes me la
        • Watching people get excited over an almost goal makes me laugh everytime.

          Watching people get excited at a basketball score every 2 seconds makes me laugh everytime. That really is the sport of people with ADD.

          Are you telling me gridiron fans don't get excited when one of their players is tackled just before reaching the tryline? Or that a baseball fan isn't excited when a player hits the ball that just falls short of going into the crowd?

          And penalties is no way in the world to decide a game - what a joke.

          Wh

          • Are you telling me gridiron fans don't get excited when one of their players is tackled just before reaching the tryline? Or that a baseball fan isn't excited when a player hits the ball that just falls short of going into the crowd?

            The difference is that the entire game doesn't consist of this, whereas is Soccer it does - the exception being an actual goal.

            hy not? It's the greatest and most nerve-wracking spectacle in sport. Nothing comes close.

            Sure, I will admit it is ner
            • The difference is that the entire game doesn't consist of this

              No, the entire game consists of adverts, replays and idiotic banter from the commentators. In a score/minutes watched ratio, American football is actually pretty low scoring. And low playing. There are few near-scoring opportunities at all, most of the time they're just running into each other in the middle.

              It is more a test of who can't screw up kicking a goal. Is this a fair measure of a football player?

              Yes.
      • American Football has peaked and will only decline in popularity from now on.

        Why?

        One word: liability.

        American Football is too dangerous to continue. That's why so many schools have emphasized "soccer" over American-style football (and the Title IX need to offer sports to both sexes). The possibility that a student will suffer a paralyzing injury is too great a risk for a school to bear. Injuries happen in soccer, but rarely as devastating. If kids don't grow up playing American football, there will be a

        • Elemantary schools may be trying emphasizing soccer over football, but Universities and many High Schools are still completely focused on football. Granted I went to Texas Tech (football is part of religion in Texas), but a huge majority of spending was directed towards our football team, whether it was the stadium, equipment, or the team itself. We don't even have a NCAA men's soccer team, just a woman's soccer team. I don't know the stats but I would imagine that football players get offered better scho
          • Elemantary schools may be trying emphasizing soccer over football, but Universities and many High Schools are still completely focused on football.

            Sure...currently. But the kids currently in elementery schools will enter junior high and then high school never having played American football and with a decided preference for the football the rest of the world plays.

            Granted I went to Texas Tech...

            Oh...OK. I wasn't talking about Texas, I was talking about the US. As the TV ads say "Texas. It's like a w

      • Well, they have to charge, because the advertising doesn't cover the price they paid for the rights. The companies have no interest in football or building a football fanbase. They have an interest in making a profit. Of course for less popular games, they might offer it for free, but the world cup is the big payday. It's as guarenteed an audience as they are going to get.
      • The only way companies in the US would let soccer take off in the US if the rules were changed to allow timeouts every minute to fit a million commericals in.

      • it's still relatively young but things like this (charging to see the games) are impeding the wide adoptation of it. Companies are so short-sighed and just want to profit as much as they can, instead of stepping back and letting us American see the games for free and help build a soccer fan-base that could be comparable to any other.

        Aren't Americans used to paying for cable TV anyway? All the World Cup games are on ESPN, with some on ABC, what percentage of households do they reach?

        Not many broadcast channe

    • And yes, in most of the rest of the world, interesting matches are broadcast for free. lol!

      Really? And here in the US, most of the interesting matches are broadcast on ABC which is.. you guessed it... free! lol!
    • by OctoberSky (888619) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:27AM (#15502010)
      I can't argue with your statements. I was watching ESPN the other day and they were talking about how the Championship games (or series) are watched in terms of viewers. The Superbowl is tops in America at an absurd number like 90 million (from my memory someone else will prove me wrong) and the NBA and MLB finals came in well below at about 30 & 20 million respectively. Football (with a round ball) has the World Cup championship coming in at.. I have to type this one out... 1,300,000,000. That is 1.21 Billion more people than who watch the Super Bowl and that is in 2002. No one knows what 2006 will hold.

      The real question should be:

      What does it take to make Americans watch Football

      And not for nothing but I have only once in my life watched an entire game of Football/Soccer. Ireland v Italy from the Meadowlands, in 1994.

      • by angle_slam (623817) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:58PM (#15504412)
        According to this article [tvtechnology.com], about 130 million US viewers watched the 2006 Super Bowl. The Worldwide figure is about 1 billion (or, as you would put it: 1,000,000,000). Not bad for a sport that's played at a high-level professionally in only 4 countries (and even in the European countries, played primarily by Americans).
        • The Worldwide figure is about 1 billion

          I would like to see an article that has the number of viewers of last year's Super Bowl. Not a speculation of how much many might watch the next Super Bowl.
        • According to this article, about 130 million US viewers watched the 2006 Super Bowl. The Worldwide figure is about 1 billion (or, as you would put it: 1,000,000,000)


          Actually, that billion was a potential audience, i.e. how many it was broadcast to. I think that actually two million watched it outside of North America.
        • That's just a myth, according to a writer at Sports Illustrated [cnn.com]. It's potentially viewable for 1 billion people, but actual viewership is probably more around 2 million outside of North America.
        • According to this article, about 130 million US viewers watched the 2006 Super Bowl. The Worldwide figure is about 1 billion (or, as you would put it: 1,000,000,000). Not bad for a sport that's played at a high-level professionally in only 4 countries (and even in the European countries, played primarily by Americans).

          That's... quite amazingly implausible. One billion? That's a sixth of all humanity. A bit more than three times the entire population of the United States. Even in the USA, the game only att

    • Like in the UK, where every single news cast has a 5 minute story about Wayne Rooney, a player who injured his foot. It is really amazing to see, every broadcast on every channel saying the same thing 'We won't know for sure, until next week'. They fact thay they have nothing new to report won't stop them. Sure I can understand an update on when SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED, but this is ridiculous.
    • n most of the world, the World Cup is (dare I say it) more important than any other sporting event (yes, even the olympic games). It'd do good to US citizens to dig out of the hole and stop pretending; while you're at it you might as well start ditching the imperial measuring system. And yes, in most of the rest of the world, interesting matches are broadcast for free. lol!

      What should they stop pretending to be? You really think most US citizens are closet Soccer lovers who are denying that they are interes

  • by preppypoof (943414)
    soccer is still not a widely accepted sport in the US, so while you laugh at what a "stupid" sport soccer is, the rest of the world is laughing at us for not supporting what could be a World Cup Championship calibur team this quatrain. when a foreign country wins the World Cup, there is literally partying and dancing in the streets, but sadly, that would not be the case should the US take the cup.
  • by zaguar (881743) on Friday June 09, 2006 @09:51AM (#15502190)
    Students predict the outcome of the World Cup [gulfnews.com]

    They use some algorithms and a lot of data. For the record, with 83% accuracy, Brazil will beat Italy.
    • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Friday June 09, 2006 @10:39AM (#15502637) Journal
      Being a huge football fan (21 minutes to go!) I have to say "Bollocks".

      "The first stage was gathering a lot of information. We went back 20 years and collected all sorts of information about the teams; things like team performance, score and scorers."

      Shame that the none of the teams and player are the same as 20 years ago. Injuries are going to play a major part in this year's cup and there is no way you can account for them.

      Want to predict the outcome? Go with the bookmakers. They are rarely wrong.
    • For the record, with 83% accuracy, Brazil will beat Italy.

      83%, huh? Last I saw (before the opening matches) Brazil were the favourites to win the World Cup, at 5-2 odds; England were second, at 7-1, and Germany and Argentina were both on 8-1. That's a 28.6% probability that Brazil will win, saying nothing about the other finalist. Now these guys think that it's an 83% probability that Brazil will win, specifically beating Italy in the final?

      Well, I for one will trust Ladbrokes and William Hill's judgmen

  • by citizenklaw (767566) on Friday June 09, 2006 @10:01AM (#15502269)

    Advertising. Plain and simple.

    Soccer does not stop for anything. There's no stopping for injuries, time-outs for strategies, etc. Soccer is the most dynamic sport on the planet, period. I really admire those guys spending 90 minutes running and doing stuff. I think that Soccer, as a TV spectator sport, has not catched on major networks because advertisers here in the US do not like it. There's no place for 30 second ads! Gasp! Egads! There's no place for gimmicky Super Bowl ads!

    I really like Soccer, on TV and on the flesh. I really hope that the US team goes far this time, even though I'm rooting for other teams. That's the only way US spectators will notice and learn what the rest of the planet knows. Soccer RULES!

    • There's plenty of Soccer on TV here. The fact that no one watches it is not because it doesn't have ads. The last time I watched a soccer game, I was actually hoping they would break for an ad to break up the dull monotony of the game.
    • I know it'd be obnoxious (what advertising isn't?), but you know those bars they'll but on the bottom or side of a show that's rolling credits? The network will advertise upcoming shows, etc. before the current one even ends. There could be something similar... a "banner ad" approach so to speak, so the game wouldn't be interrupted by changing the whole screen to a commercial. Food for thought.
  • by gerddie (173963) on Friday June 09, 2006 @10:53AM (#15502790)

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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