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Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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August 6, 2008 10:07 AM

Olympics: Village Night Surfing.

Posted by Rod Mar

For journalists here at the Olympics, the hottest topic isn't the hot weather, the smog/fog, or even the food (which by the way, has been great).

Rather, it's the internet.

How much it costs to order through BOCOG (the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee), whether to order the wired (faster, guaranteed) or the wireless (same price, slower, subject to slowdowns in crowded venues), and the lack of it where you need it (in your housing, especially when most outlets are asking their reporters blog all through the day).

No one wants to make the 20-minute shuttle ride from the Media Village at the Main Press Center just to check email, and there are only five (!) hardwired internet spots for the entire media village.

So at the end of each long day, after all the stories, photos and blogs have been filed, people still yearn to be connected.

Journalists, intrepid by nature, have found the one free (!) wireless hotspot in the entire media village.

And so every night you can walk by this one certain corner of the Media Village and find folks from around the world reveling in the joy of an unprotected wireless signal.

They sit on benches, or on the ground under the streetlights, surfing and checking email. But at the end of the day, most people are using Skype to call folks back home. It's fun to hear all the different languages and to watch people making faces and waving into webcams at their families around the world.

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