After a large number of complaints Google pulled the daily Google logo – an Olympic Luge logo – from the home page and now features a very similar snowboarding logo instead. I think this was appropriate, but it’s always odd to me how harshly people react to this type of thing rather than paying attention to the monster issue of our time such as the health catastrophes facing much of the developing world.
But hey… I guess I’m doing that myself with this post? Shame on me, too….
I’m really tired of people criticizing the technology behind the Olympics coverage, which has been spectacular on almost all fronts given NBC’s unprecedented “all events online” approach.
Sure it’s unfortunate / frustrating to have some events delayed – especially here on West coast, and I’d guess NBC will change some of this for 2012, but the idea, for example, that CNN should not report results without a “spoiler” note is just asking too much.
OK, so I’ve got Gymnastics on the TV and Table Tennis early rounds on the computer. HUGE kudos to NBC and Microsoft for providing such a superb streaming and downloadable video environment – this is definitely NOT your father’s technological Oldsmobile Olympics.
Effective with Beijing we are seeing how powerfully technology can cover major events. In this case the coverage was very expensive, but as these technologies mature and bloggers become more adept at webcasting we can expect a lot of visibility where there was little before.
Erick at TechCrunch has a problem with the coverage and is calling NBC lame, but he’s very wrong about compatibility and lameness. Bob Kostas’ deadpan nonsense notwithstanding, NBC rules.
It’s fun to start to see so much Beijing stuff on TV after just being there. The Travel Channel is playing Samantha Brown china visits and the news increasingly features Beijing Olympics items. I have yet to see much about the three major big ticket Beijing buildings though. These are the “Birds Nest” Olympic Stadium, the big blue Aquatic Center, and my favorite feature which is just off the new Olympic Green – Pangu Plaza apartments and the Pangu Plaza‘s brand new seven star hotel. I’m trying to find my picture of the Olympic Media Center which really had an ominous look from the outside as the rumors swirled about how restrictive the Chinese Government would be with respect to Olympics coverage.
Here’s a New York Times article suggesting the internet will be censored (as it is during normal times in China) for Olympic journalists.
However I think people have the wrong idea about both the extent and the effectiveness of censorship in China. In Beijing we were watching CNN international’s coverage of the Tibet protests around the world and I even brought up the topic with several people who, rather than sympathetic, seemed more nationalistic about Tibet, suggesting it was part of China and the protests were not representative.
Certainly some of this view was helped along by China’s own government news coverage which is very propagandistic, but I didn’t get the idea people in China are too far out of touch with the rest of the world – rather they are proud of their country and defensive about the criticism.
When travelling to or from Beijing’s Airports, keep these items in mind:
BCIA stands for “Beijing Capital International Airport” and is commonly used when referencing the Beijing Airport even though PEK is the same Airport.
Know your Terminal! PEK is a *huge* Airport, and the taxi will need to know which Terminal you are departing from. My United Airlines PEK to SFO flight was from Terminal three and I think most international departures are now from that terminal. Your hotel concierge may ask you “which airport” and I think they really mean “which terminal”. Clear this up before getting in the Taxi as the Chinese Taxi drivers rarely (read that as “never”) speak English. If you plan to use Taxis in China be sure to get the excellent printed cards from your concierge (or make some yourself before you leave) that list locations in Chinese so the driver will understand where you want to go.
PEK is the Airport Code for Beijing’s main Airport which, without much traffic, is approximately a 40-50 minute taxi ride from most areas of the city. The cost for the taxi should be about 100 Yuan, perhaps a little more. In Beijing and Shanghai always ride in taxis with meters to avoid scams.
Note: This is a repost from AirportCityCodes.com, where this got no traction. I’m trying to see how the ranking will differ at JoeDuck which has higher authority with Google, seemingly pretty much for anything I write about!