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Olympic Medalist was Spyware King 336

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 I know the concept of Olympians being amateurs is outdated, but shouldn't they be barred from competition for this sort of thing?"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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  • interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by coaxeus ( 911103 ) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:22PM (#14737854) Homepage
    This article reports him the president of "AdsCPM Network." http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/the-ski-dream- funded-by-a-spam-fortune/2006/02/13/1139679533728. html [theage.com.au] Which is mysteriously under construction right now. Handy archive.org has a copy from last month: http://web.archive.org/web/20050125100919/http://a dscpm.com/ [archive.org]
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrLlama ( 213075 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:42PM (#14738002) Homepage
    Unless you are either a Hockey (Winter) or Basketball (Summer) player.

    The Winter Olympics Men's hockey tournament is essentially an NHL intra-squad match...

    And for the Summer Olympics it's basicly the NBA vs. the World.

    Remind me what the criteria is for "amateur" status?
  • by 834r9394557r011 ( 878286 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @07:43PM (#14738007) Homepage Journal
    Didn't they change that law to allow those who make money at their sport can now compete in the olympics? a la shawn white?
  • Re:I wonder..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:16PM (#14738244)

    ...vice president Cheney nonetheless earned plenty of points for his target skills. "I tracked the target across my vision," he said. "When I pulled the trigger however, there was a spammer in my line of fire. I take full responsibility for what I did."

    He's already shot a lawyer, if he can bag a spammer and an RIAA executive, Cheney will be a shoo-in for the 2008 presidential election.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by WebHostingGuy ( 825421 ) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:21PM (#14738265) Homepage Journal
    The amateur regulations were redefined because at that time the Soviet-bloc had paid "professionals" representing them at the Olympics. While they were not "professionals" in the Olympic definition (i.e., money for sport's performance) they were given token jobs in government or the military while for their day job they practiced their Olympic sport. You were talking about teams which had practiced together every day for eight years and whose only goal was to win gold at the Olympics. Contrast that against the majority of the other competitors at that time and you usually had a mismatch.

    I understand the reason for the change, but I think it did take something out. Take for example the 1980 US hockey win against the Soviets. Why is that so famous? Because a team of college kids beat the most "professional" hockey team at that time. It was a big win because amateurs beat the professionals. (Yes, I know Team USA practiced for over a year before the Olympics but that was nothing compared to the years of practice for the Soviets).

    Now, today in 2006, the US hockey team flew in the day before from all their NHL teams and then went on the ice the next day to play against Lativia. What is amazing in this 2006 game is that the "basically amateur" team from Lativia tied the NHL *super-stars*. Team Lativia went nuts after the game because they should have blown out. It made a big story because the professionals were almost beaten.

    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.)

    Which would you rather see? A young amateur who goes all out and wins a gold after years of practice or a paid professional taking a week off from their competitive sport so they can try to pump up their professional career and get more shoe endorsements?
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MarkChovain ( 952233 ) <mark.chovain@gmail.com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:27PM (#14738312) Homepage Journal
    unless spam or spyware is illegal in Australia

    Spam is illegal in Australia [dcita.gov.au]. The worst parts of spyware [dcita.gov.au] are illegal too (deception, fraud, etc). The problem is filtering and/or how to behave during an operation. What I mean is that they have some knowledge of what can be addicting. You can do together.
  • by xtieburn ( 906792 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:56PM (#14738500)
    Well ignoring your utterly absurd mention of 'child porno' as a part of society, the second article clearly states a rule of the olympics.

    'The Olympic Code of Ethics says participants "must not act in a manner likely to bring the reputation of the Olympic Movement into disrepute."'

    Now given that spamming is illegal in many countries within the olympics, and because it is all over the internet it can gain vast public interest. Id say this breaks the code entirely and by allowing someone whod be considered a felon in many countries to compete, the Olympics are very much being brought in to disrepute.

    He has the freedom to spam. They have the freedom to kick him out of the Olympics. It's a little something called, freedom is a double edged sword. Welcome to society.
  • by The Pim ( 140414 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:01PM (#14738542)
    I heard about this guy's business while watching the men's mogul competition, so I looked it up on NBC's olympics site [nbcolympics.com]:
    At 13, the entrepreneur founded an online marketing company that he says has grown to the third-largest in the world. Begg-Smith originally started the Vancouver and New York-based company, which designs search engines and pop-up window blockers for about 5,000 websites, to fund his ski career.
    Which seemed a little fishy--why would an online marketing company want to block pop-ups? I guess somebody did a clumsy job of white-washing his bio.
  • Actually... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @02:27AM (#14740209)
    Although you've played to the conspiracy theorists who'd love to believe the myth that the high paid professional athletes really are a bunch of overpaid floaters who couldn't care less about the olympics, the truth is USA's tie with Latvia early on in olympic rounds was more or less predictable and quite common under such circumstances.

    The only two teams who are made up of 100% NHL players are Canada and Team USA. These two teams played for the gold 4 years ago in Nagano after handily beating all other strong hockey playing countries, which include Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic. If you'll go back and look at the early rounds of each of the past several olympic games, the NHL-based clubs tend to do poorly early on and from time to time get beaten by teams made up of amateurs. Why is this?

    1. The players are often travelling to the other side of the world 24-48 hours before they are supposed to step on the ice and play. That's hardly enough time to compensate for jet lag. (Obviously, this was not an excuse at Salt Lake in '02...)

    2. NHL seasons are in full swing up to about 3 days before the first game at the olympics, meaning that the olympic teams made up of NHL players have little more than a single practice together in 4 months leading up to the games. That's not enough time to gel together as a cohesive team unit.

    3. Teams that win Stanley cups aren't made up solely of a group of all-star players. On championship teams, each player has spent a good deal of time learning to fill a particular role on the squad so that the team plays better as a whole than would be expected based on the individual talent of each player alone. These NHL "dream team" squads often lack an appropriate mix of key role players.

    4. Early games at the olympics are mostly meaningless. Given the circumstances (first competitive game together as a team) any professional coach will tell you it's more productive to spend time getting to understand each other's playing style rather than focusing on annihilating the competition as if it was the gold medal game.

    5. "...on any given Sunday". Hockey, basketball and baseball are sports in which a few random lucky bounces can dramatically change the outcome of a single game. It's quite common (maybe 15-20% of the time?) that a team is outplayed, yet wins a game because a ref call goes one way or the other, or the ball/puck takes a lucky bounce. To compensate for this randomness, MLB, NBA and the NHL have instituted best-of-5 and best-of-7 series to reduce (but never quite eliminate) the chances that the weaker team will advance. The Olympics is single-game elimination in the semi-final rounds and beyond, meaning even a significantly weaker team has a decent chance of advancing past a strong competitor.

    6. Hot goalies. More than any player on the ice, goalies have a huge impact on a team's overall results. A hot goalie can almost single-handedly win a game for a team that is otherwise badly outplayed. Witness the Czech Republic's beating of Canada at the 1998 Olympics for evidence of this. Stanley Cup champions almost without exception have very strong goaltending. It's not uncommon for a really hot goalie to turn aside 40-50 shots a game when his team fails him against a stronger opponent. These games can have surprisingly positive outcomes for otherwise badly outplayed teams if the goalie plays really well.

    With that said, go Canada!

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva