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El Reg sparks international incident with Olympics committee

Flips out over Cisco comment

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El Reg has sparked an international crisis of gun-boat proportions. Seems we've raised the hackles of the US Olympic Commission in our article, Cisco mobilizes US Olympics audience.

Our piece quoted from an early Cisco Systems' press release draft that stated the company's Flip video cameras would be passed out to athletes at February's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, to capture their own "gold, silver, and bronze metal moments."

A seemingly innocuous statement and a piece of throw-away fluff somebody in Cisco's marketing clearly thought sounded good - but one that has infuriated the US Olympic Committee who complained to their US broadcast sponsor NBC. They took the issue to Cisco, who rang us seeking reparation.

You see, dear readers, the very official Olympic rules dictate that athletes are only allowed to have video cameras outside of specific areas. The USOC is apparently honestly concerned Cisco's statement gives the impression that Olympic athletes would actually be filming themselves in the midst of their own competition.

Apparently, holding a camera to your face while zooming 90MPH down the ski slopes would not only be a most grievous violation of Olympic regulations, but - based on this author's understanding of basic physics - not very aerodynamic at all. Some may even call it dangerous.

Cisco has requested we clarify its early statement, to make it clear that athletes will have their cameras only to "capture their experiences at the games outside of their actual events." So there you have it.

The humorless bigwigs at the USOC also took issue with the "tone" of our article. Turns out AT&T is the "official telecommunications sponsor" of the US Olympic Team and didn't appreciate our speculation that all the video data traffic flooding in would cause the telecom to "squat and receive an HD Olympics video enema" even though AT&T has admitted in the past to challenges handling 3G traffic on its network.

We're not updating that one, we just thought it was sort of funny because it showed how serious the business of Olympic-level sponsorship is.®

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