All the World Cup news that's not fit to print

Where's the IT angle?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The teams are putting their final preparations in place with only 10 days until the world's greatest sports competition kicks off.

No, not footballers but marketers and spin doctors of the IT industry who are looking for that extra yard to keep their brands in touch while most of the world's eyes fix on the playing fields of Japan and South Korea.

At the best of times it's difficult to gain a glimmer of interest in the latest version of BlogWare, however paradigm-shifting. But this is the worst of times, this is the World Cup.

So what to do? Easy: find the football angle, no matter how spurious, and link your product, your service, somehow, anyway, to World Cup 2002. Then bombard the press.

Our email boxes are fuller than the French trophy cabinet with World Cup IT angles. Is anything else going on? No? Do we care? No. Would we normally write about these companies, products, technologies etc.? Nay, Nay and three times nay. But it's The World Cup and some of us are already hooked. So here goes:

First up the official tech sponsors of the World Cup: Avaya, which is providing the network infrastructure and Yahoo! which is a key partner in a scheme to offer video highlights of World Cup games over the Net for the first time.

FIFA, the sport's governing body, has come under criticism for not showing live streaming footage of games, but is there really the broadband infrastructure in place to make such coverage an enjoyable viewing experience?

TV on a PC

Fans stuck at work may want to check out the WinTV USB from Hauppauge which claims to be able to turn a PC screen into a TV. It's available from retail outlets for £49, and providing you can get it to work (you need access to a TV aerial - a potential stumbling block), it might be useful.

If this fails, there's no shortage of services to keep fans informed of the progress of teams during the competition, and that's where content providers and telcos enter the fray.

Reuters is providing a live ticker feed of news on important games, which we understand from Reg readers is not available to Mac users. Shame!

Virgin Mobile is offering a subscription service that allows fans to receive World Cup text alerts for £4.99. It also has plans to offer World Cup ring tones, graphics and even voicemails.

Birds and bee keepers

Carphone Warehouse repeats the widespread warning that offices will be deserted in June because of the World Cup. This 'bunk off' dilemma can avoided by using Carphone Warehouse's battery powered Mini-TVs and the World Cup Goal Flash text alert service, it suggests.

Happy users of this service include 'Honest' Barry Darango, one of England's loudest market traders and Robert Carpenter Turner, one of the country's leading Bee Keepers, Carphone Warehouse reports. How representative these two fine gents are is questionable, and we reckon most bosses will take a dim view of 'out of office' workers immersed in watching their battery TV - rather than digging the roads.

Security alert

All this flow of information about the World Cup is likely to be used by virus writers in disguising malicious code, Graham Cluley (a football agnostic) of AV vendor Sophos warns. Warning of the need for vigilance because of the possibility of a David Beckham virus or worms that pose as World Cup screensavers and the like allows Sophos to reiterate its message about safe computing.

But safe computing (not opening suspicious attachments and the like) should be practised all the time if it is to have any effect, and what Sophos seems to be doing here is recycle its warning about Valentine's Card messages in the hope of getting extra coverage

And what if that starts giving the bad guys ideas?

Returning to the tournament, Intrusion Detection System vendor Secos is providing the catenaccio for FIFA's World Cup Web site. Secos reckons its technology will prove as effective at keeping out Internet attackers as the famed Italian defensive system.

Bend it like Beckham

If you're "the world's largest provider of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and consulting services", like Fluent, it's hard to get coverage at the best of times. So let's applaud its involvement with boffins at the University of Sheffield and Yamagata University, Japan, in unravelling the mysteries of how football players bend free kicks.

Using wind tunnel testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and other computer simulation techniques the partners in the research hope to gain insights into the swerving the ball, which might then be applied to teach young footie stars of the future.

There is no escape

So hardware firms are immune from this football obsession? Think again. Last December, Toshiba (which is supplying laptops to officials and volunteers involved in the World Cup) launched the 2002 FIFA World Cup Model, Libretto Adidas edition (which incidentally features a 600MHz Crusoe processor). Packard Bell also has a football dream team PC stocking retailers' shelves in Europe.

Other vendors in the consumer market are wasting no effort in getting their names mentioned in the press by giving away goodies (Sony Vaios, Playstations, games and the like) to England squad members.

Enterprise equipment vendors are also trying to gain some attention.

Equiinet has put together a top-10 guide for employees who want to keep up with the World Cup during work time including the priceless tip that "if on-line viewing fails you, keep a mini TV under the desk and tie your shoelaces regularly".

This Viz-style advice comes from affable Welshman Bob Jones, whose favourite sports are Rugby and BT-baiting, and whose firm Equiinet provides equipment that is designed to prevent staff Internet abuse.

Equiinet advises that such rules should be relaxed over the World Cup period, and who am I to disagree - I'm off to Japan to see my third World Cup.

Normal service in the IT market will be resumed on June 30. ®

External Links

2002 FIFA World Cup

Related Stories

World Cup network goes live
World Cup clips to appear on the Net
England World Cup squad released first on the Net
World Cup plans nicked in FA laptop burglary
Uefa rules streaming video offside
Hackers deface World Cup Web site
Intel touts 3D tech for football nuts
Technical hitch hits World Cup web sales

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story


Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.