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Submission + - Olympic ticket-availability feed banned (

RockDoctor writes: A programmer who has written an automated tool to examine the state of ticket availability for the Olympics has found his tool blocked.

The reasons for "TicketMaster" site (resellers for all Olympic tickets) blocking access from tools other than browsers are not described. Embarrassment at being shown to be incompetent (often they indicate tickets to be available when they're not) is one possibility. Boosting profits is another. Their claim that the steps are to deter ticket touts might even be true (if sky-written by a squadron of flying pigs).

In the meantime, the programmer is puzzled, and is unwilling to re-write his code to make his tools spoof browsers. So ... perhaps he could release the code so that others could make the appropriate changes. Or the code could be incorporated into a browser plug in?

None of which is going to make me pay any attention to the Olympics themselves, may Zeus smite them all for their temerity.

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Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau