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Government The Almighty Buck Transportation United Kingdom

London Hacked Its Own Traffic Lights To Make Sure It Got the Olympics 202

bmsleight writes "Does it count as a hack if you change your own system? Vanity Fair report that during the bidding process for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Streets Traffic Control Center followed each vehicle using CCTV, 'and when they came up to traffic lights,' [bid committee CEO Keith] Mills said, 'we turned them green.'"
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London Hacked Its Own Traffic Lights To Make Sure It Got the Olympics

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  • All's fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:28AM (#39985807)

    I consider this fair play.

    fact, this is one of the capabilities that the Olympic Committee should specifically look for. The ability of a city to dynamically change its traffic lights and alter traffic flow to deal with a special situation is an important one in a city hosting an major event like this. It means that if they manage it properly, they can reduce congestion around the site, get atheletes and fans in and out quicker and have a better chance of having everything go on schedule. It's also a safety issue. If there are emergencies (and there always are when you have that many people in one place) you can get emergency vehicles in and out quickly.

    London can probably do this better than most cities in the world because of its Big Brother system of pervasive security cameras. The cameras can be used for good, too, if they use them to reduce traffic congestion, detect that the crowd is starting to leave the event so they can begin adapting the traffic flow before people even leave the parking lot, etc.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:46AM (#39985911) Homepage
    250 miles of (arguably) the most congested roads in the world being zoned off for use of executives of BMW and McDonalds could finally trigger mass civil disobedience on a scale that's simply too big to suppress. CCTV might ensure that all 'crimes' are detected, but whether they can be punished is another question.
  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @01:35PM (#39987039)

    Americans that never venture out of America tend to think a free national health service is a terrible thought. Americans that actually come and live in Britain tend to realise quite quickly how good it is and come to love the NHS like the natives do.

    It's the difference between ignorant and worldly wise.

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