Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

The mystery of Michael Phelps’ iPod playlist



EXCERPT: In the long, storied history of Fourth-Place Medal’s Investigative Unit (founded: Monday), one question has been asked by our readers more than any other. Today, on our five-day anniversary, we will attempt to tackle the biggest Olympic mystery of the Beijing Games: what is Michael Phelps listening to on his iPod?

In nearly every camera shot of Michael Phelps on dry land, he can be seen with iPod headphones dangling from his ears. The earbuds are a ubiquitous presence in the ready room and on the starting block; they’re just as much a part of Phelps’ ‘uniform’ as goggles and a swim cap. About two minutes prior to the start of a race, Phelps sheds the iPod along with his warm-ups. So, what is he listening to?

Full post > HERE


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Olympics: So Far, So Good, So What?

Steven Schwankert, IDG News Service

EXCERPT:  I pulled out the TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) 3G (third-generation) phone that the nice people at Samsung lent me to try out. I accessed the WOW (Wireless Olympic World) system’s mInfo, which is supposed to have all kinds of information about the games. I looked at the map of the Olympic Green Tennis Center, only to discover that it’s not part of the Olympic Green. The map didn’t tell me, however, where it is. I tried to find it online using China Mobile‘s 2.5G mobile Internet service in conjunction with my 2G Apple iPhone. That didn’t help much either. So I turned to a couple of the earnest young volunteers and asked. Their estimate of a 30-40 minute walk was too little by about 30-40 minutes, but we got there. Thanks, technology.

Full article > HERE

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Lezak runs down French to win relay gold for U.S.

EXCERPT: ESPN – Phelps set an American record leading off, 47.51. But it was Lezak’s anchor that everyone will remember. He got down and back in a staggering 46.06, the fastest relay leg in history though it doesn’t count as an official record.

“A fingertip did the victory,” said Amaury Leveaux, one of the French swimmers. “It is nothing.”

Lezak looked at the scoreboard, then leaped out of the water with an emphatic fist pump.

Full ESPN post and video > HERE


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录影: 壮观2008场奥林匹克开幕式

14,000 performers and two years of practice … One word – Wow!

New VIDEO! (thanks Barry) Must see > HERE Opening Ceremonies 

Did you miss it? See VIDEO of Opening Ceremonies (Note: Per NBC request, broadcast videos have been pulled from Youtube – videos 1 – 7 have now been substituted with “approved” videos):

Pssst … leaked video (a few minutes) of opening ceremonies via Dutch TV is still up (click link and scroll down a bit) > HERE  and a few more minutes of video via CCTV > HERE  Many more photos via CCTV > HERE (note that videos on CCTV.com are for Chinese Netizens only).

Li Ning - Lights Torch 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Li Ning - Lights Torch 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies

> Prelude

> Part 1 

> Part 2

> Part 3

> Part 4

> Part 5

> Part 6

> Part 7

> Part 8

> Part 9

> Part 10

> Part 11

> Part 12

> Part 13

> Part 14

More photos > HERE

High Def Opening Ceremonies Photos > HERE

One of the greatest swim races ever VIDEO > Beijing Olympics 400 freestyle relay


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..3G ups launch preparation – TD-SCDMA


Full article via China Trade Information > HERE

With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, China is speeding up efforts to promote its home-grown 3G (third generation) standard TD-SCDMA.

As the test TD-SCDMA network in 10 Chinese cities has now been completed and with increasing participation of foreign and domestic companies, the government is preparing TD-SCDMA for its debut, in an effort to help it win a better position in the country’s upcoming 3G arena.

“We have spent less than one year to build the TD-SCDMA test network in Shenyang and its coverage has reached 95 percent of the current 2G network in the city,” said Guo Yingao, vice-president of China Mobile’s arm in Liaoning province, whose capital Shenyang will hold some Olympic events.

“Although the network is still not perfect at the moment, it is ready for the Olympics,” he added.

China Mobile was mandated to build TD-SCDMA trial networks since last year in 10 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and began the first public trial on April 1.

The battle of standards

China launched a plan to overhaul its telecom industry in May, in which the country’s six telecom operators will be merged into three to provide both fixed-line and mobile services. It has promised to issue three 3G licenses as soon as the restructuring is completed.

It was reported that China Mobile would get the TD-SCDMA license while China Telecom and China Netcom will get theirs based on the WCDMA and CDMA2000 standards respectively.

The government hopes that by establishing the TD-SCDMA “test” network half to one year earlier than its other two rivals, the home-grown standard could have a better chance of succeeding in competing with WCDMA and CDMA2000, which were considered more mature.

However, the government’s efforts to back the TD-SCDMA has long lacked support, especially from multinationals such asNokia and Motorola, which were reluctant in releasing products based on the TD-SCDMA standard.

These companies have invested a lot in the other two standards and have already released related products.

The lack of support reached a climax in April when Kaiming Communication Co, one of the major TD-SCDMA chip production and research companies in China, went into bankruptcy after its shareholders such as Texas Instruments and Nokia had long been reluctant to continue their investment in the company.

After that, some news reports even said China’s TD-SCDMA is in “Euthanasia”, citing Li Shihe, former Datang Mobile chief scientist known as the “Father of TD-SCDMA”.

Winds of change

Things have changed since one month ago, however, when China launched its new Ministry of Industry and InformationTechnology (MIIT). Li Yizhong, minister of MIIT, said in July that the government would fully support the TD-SCDMA standard as much as the country backed the Shenzhou program, China’s human spaceflight project that sent one Chinese crewmember into space in 2003.

Full article via China Trade Information > HERE


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According to a report in today’s South China Post – June 20, 2008, the parent of Hong Kong-listed China Mobile was asked to submit a detailed business plan and budget for the launch of the next phase of the TD-SCDMA service (currently in final “tests” in 10 cities – trial launch will happen during the Beijing Summer Olympic Games). Included in that plan was a MII target to enroll more than 100 million mobile-telephone subscribers within three years – all of whom will use TD-SCDMA technology.  

A key question is whether China nation state is willing to saddle their most dominant wireless carrier (Chna Mobile) with an absolute mandate to achieve this lofty 100 million subscriber target?  If China is adamant that “TD” succeed, then China Mobile may suffer subscriber losses (to Unicom and Telecom) in the next few years.  Why? The TD technology may not be ready for prime time. Thus far, the TD trials have not gone smoothly.  The bulky TD towers put out a signal that suffers in urban environments … tall buildings interfere with call quality and cause dropped signals. TD handsets have not sold well (approximately 1800 at subsidized pricing) and deliver less than 2 hours battery life.  Some industry sources have blamed the initial TD handsets for the problems, yet other insiders point to technical issues with TD-SCDMA. Can TD-SCDMA’s technical problems be remedied? With ample amounts of money and time, perhaps.  The state-owned China Mobile certainly has the resources to double or triple TD tower-sites in cities (to boost signals) if necessary. There are already 15,000 TD towers in 10 major cities. Yet launching TD and building it to “world standard” status is a hugely ambitious project that is already years behind and could take several additional years to complete.  China Mobile has privately objected to and resisted this assignment. Their preference appears to be away from “indigenous” (China built) TD-SCDMA and towards the development of the long-term evolution (LTE) 4G standard. But this takes China away from their “made in China” standard, and may result in some loss of face. 

iPhone in Espoo Finland in front of Nokia HQ

One interesting observation is Nokia’s apparent apathy when is comes to TD-SCDMA. In fact, China’s TD-SCDMA Forum had warned Nokia in May 2007 to step up support of the TD-SCDMA protocol. That was then, this is now. Nokia has a massive stake in China and they are very closely allied with China Mobile. While Nokia publicly supports TD-SCDMA, actions or inactions speak louder than words. Nokia recently backed away from providing additional financial support for their TD-SCDMA chipset vendor Commit (financed by Nokia, TI and LG). The Shanghai-based chip provider Commit Inc., one of five authorized TD chip vendors, ceased operations as a result of insufficient funding in May of 2008. Commit’s collapse leaves Nokia without a TD chip partner and a good excuse to dodge their seeming obligation to release a TD handset in China. It should be noted that a Nokia spokesperson has indicated that the Espoo, Finland company will go ahead with manufacture of a TD handset sometime this year.

Commit’s problems are not isolated.  A recent C114.net article states that Datang Mobile Communications Equipment is seeking to pull its 32% ownership stake out of T3G Technology, one of the five authorized TD-SCDMA chip vendors. 

Another key question is how long China will delay issuance of 3G licenses?  If they truly want to set back progress, China can hold on to the 3G licenses for another year or so and thereby keep W-CDMA and CDMA2000 3G in the gates. Doing so may afford China Mobile more time to make TD viable, yet it more likely will keep China from joining the rest of Asia at the cutting edge of wireless standards/technology.  

Notwithstanding China’s internal politics and need to save face with TD-SCDMA, there is significant reason to be optimistic about an iPhone deal in China. iPhone 3G will work on China’s current networks (GSM and GRPS/EDGE) and tens of millions in China want iPhone. China’s MII and China carriers all know that iPhone blows away the competition when it comes to subscribers’ use of data (value-added services) and this increases carriers’ average revenue per user (ARPUs).

Apple wants iPhone to “officially” be in China and Chinese citizens want iPhone.  Once the restructuring dust settles a bit and the Olympic Games are underway … look for an iPhone announcement(s).  An official iPhone deal will get done! And don’t be surprised if both China Unicom and China Mobile get iPhone. Stay tuned.



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