"Beware if you receive a file purporting to be an Olympics-themed PDF. It may actually be malware.
That’s the warning, at least, from F-Secure,
a Helsinki-based security firm. F-Secure warns that the PDF, which is
supposed to be a copy of the 2012 Olympic schedule, is a decoy file.
Once downloaded, the file (see image below) attempts to make a
network connection to a “student travel” site in Baotoushi, China. The
download exploits weaknesses in old versions of Adobe Reader and
F-Secure warns to be wary of any Olympic-themed emails and
attachments or of any that are themed to current events. The firm also
suggests downloading the current version of Adobe Reader."
Haringey Council is gushing forth a veritable tsunami of enthusiasm and support for the forthcoming Olympics (pass the sickbag someone):
"Soon the Olympic Games will take place on our doorstep.
London will be alive with colour, drama and anticipation as visitors
from around the world descend on the city to watch athletes from more
than 200 countries compete for the greatest sporting prizes.
In Haringey we can all get involved in this once in a lifetime event
by lining the streets during the Torch Relay which sees the Olympic
Flame transported across the borough by inspirational torchbearers on
July 25th - two days before the opening ceremony.
The council is working with Games organisers to make this a fantastic spectacle and a safe, family occasion to remember forever.
Also that day will be an early evening celebration at Alexandra
Palace which is where the Olympic Flame will end its Haringey journey.
During the Games themselves, Haringey will also host many cultural and community events to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics.
But it’s not only about spectacle and sporting excellence: the Games
will create a lasting legacy for London and the council will do all it
can to share in that legacy and secure benefits for our community.
Some of these will be obvious such as the regeneration of the area
around the stadium, which will bring jobs and homes for all. Others may
be more subtle, such as attracting worldwide investment and trade, as
London is showcased as an efficient and inspiring base for business to
But the greatest legacy will be if the Olympics fortifies the spirit
of our community in these challenging times, providing a beacon of
excellence through endeavour."
Haringey Council likes to portray itself as looking after the best interests and welfare of its residents; eg Haringey Council is set to become the first in the UK to limit
the number of pizza, burger and kebab shops on its streets, in an attempt
to improve the health of its poorest residents.
A draft scheme is in place for the restrictions which would see planning
applications for venues considered alongside the need to keep the
number of takeaways strictly limited.
New outlets may also be banned from within 400 metres of schools,
youth clubs and parks.
Aside from the fact that it is not the state's role to stop us eating what we want, I find their dislike of fast food to be at variance with their gushing enthusiasm for the Olympics.
“The Olympics will be the biggest single catering event in the UK since the
Second World War.”
Who said this?
None other than Jon Woods, the general manager for Coca-Cola UK &
Ireland, whose company plans to use the Olympics Park as a test bed for new products and methods.
Additionally, McDonald's (a fast food company) plans to build the world's largest McDonald's at the London Olympics Games site in Stratford. The
two storey 3,000 sq metre leviathan will seat up to 1,500 people, and
will be one of the four McDonald's restaurants built in and near the
Given Haringey Council's antipathy towards fast food, will it be urging its residents who attend the Olympics to boycott the catering?
Staff at G4S, the security company that banned photographers from taking pictures of the Olympics Park on public land, have been told to smile to people during the forthcoming Olympics.
They are company that has been hired to provide security over and above the police, army, navy and RAF; and it is of concern that they may be a tad "over-zealous" in their attempts to maintain security and control around the Games.
the man leading G4S's Olympic security team which will operate
airport-style searches and screening at venues, said guards were being
encouraged to engage with spectators is quoted by Reuters:
think it is very relevant not to over-react to situations that arise on
the first day - to make sure they are properly assessed and that the
communications process is working in the way it should so that the
decisions are made at the right time and people act in the right way."
no doubt that's a lesson learnt, not to overly criticise the workforce
and the guards involved because they are operating under a regime where
hostile reconnaissance is something they have to be aware of.
How they handle that, and how they manage it and how they report it is obviously something we've learnt a lesson from."
A G4S spokesperson admitted that ‘two members of our staff incorrectly
intervened to prevent photographers from doing their work at Olympic
Park’ adding that this is something it ‘regrets and [we] have instructed
and reminded our staff to operate completely within the law’.
Not content with turning London into an armed encampment for the duration of the Olympics, the authorities are also keen to control the airspace above the capital.
The Telegraph reports that the MOD will take control of most of the airspace over the South East, in an area from Brighton to locations 15 miles north of
Stansted and Luton airports together with the
Thames estuary in the east and to the west of Reading.
RAF jets will be stationed at Northolt, close to Heathrow, for the duration of
This will be first time that airspace above London has been controlled by the MOD since the Second World War.
Is hosting the Olympic Games really worth all of this?
As if the gods were driving the message home, that Olympic torch has yet again gone out, this time in the UK. The BBC reports that torch was attached to the side of David Follett's wheelchair in Great Torrington, Devon, when it went out.
A replacement was brought out from the convoy of vehicles.
Is someone/something trying to send a message about these games?
In order to ease congestion on London's lousy and third world transport infrastructure, the Times
reports that tens of thousands of civil servants will be allowed to avoid travelling
to work from 21 July six days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics until 9
September when the Paralympics finish (seven weeks later).
They will be allowed to work from home, unlike many of those who work in the private sector.
Suffice to say, many people in the private sector are asking how the civil service will function effectively during this seven week hiatus. Others observe that no one will notice the difference!
My thanks to a loyal reader who has written to me advising me of the considerable problems that she has had trying to set up a modest food concession in the Olympic Park during the forthcoming Olympics:
"I made an enquiry with regards to obtaining a unit within the Olympic grounds to sell food in 2007, at that time I was doing my catering from my home but am now established in a premises specialising in authentic Guyanese foods including Caribbean foods.
At the time of my enquiry I was advised that an organisation would be set up to deal with the Olympics.
In May 2009 I contacted the organisers, and I was advised that I needed to registered to be considered for any opportunities, so in May I registered.
On the 11 May 2009 I was sent an email confirming my registration.
I have since been in contact with Compete 4 regularly.
They sent me to London 2012, and then finally I have been directed to my Council, who do not understand why I was sent to them.
I have been told that I need to wait, and if I am successful I would be informed. However, there are now less than 75 days left until the games and I still do not know my position.
From my understanding this Olympics is supposed to help small businesses, but I am struggling to obtain any information as to my position.
Please can you help me?"
It is clear to me that the bureaucracy involved has not been at all helpful to this loyal reader, who only wants a simple answer to her question as to whether she has been successful or not.
Not content with turning London into an armed encampment for the Olympics, organisers have now deployed a long range acoustic device (LRAD) which can be used both as a
high-powered loud speaker and to emit an ear-piercing beam of sound (ie a sonic weapon).
The MOD claim that it would be used primarily in ''loud hailer mode'', in order
to issue verbal warnings to any boats on the River Thames that were causing
Locog has reneged on yet another promise, and has decreed that it will charge up to £15 for 30,000
tickets for prime vantage points for the Olympics cycling event at Box Hill and up to £15 for 3,500 tickets for the
start and finish area of the time trial at Hampton Court Palace.
Locog had previously promised that the
admission would be free.
Additionally, smelling more money to be made, Locog will sell about 6,000 tickets at £10 each over the last three days to watch a large television screen on Henman Hill at Wimbledon. There
will be no tennis on the outside courts on those days.
Locog are offering these "new" tickets for sale on 23 May.
However, the Telegraph reports that these are in fact a sop "to fend off criticism from nearly a million
applicants who will again fail to secure any tickets in the next round of
sales which start on Friday".
This Friday will see the sale of 928,000 tickets.
Ticketmaster executive Chris Edmonds has warned that the expected demand will create
a slow computer system, that could take 20 minutes to process a payment:
“People will have to have patience."
Which roughly translated means:
"In order to maximise our profits we didn't invest in a system that can handle the load, tough luck!"