Afternoon Coffee: Olympic Regrets, WTO Examines China Rare Earth Policy, Apple’s Fall Releases

Olympic woes.
London's Olympic regrets -- For the same reasons most major cities compete to be selected as Olympic hosts: to attract billions in tourist dollars, to stimulate urban redevelopment, and to bask in the prestige of three weeks in the international spotlight. In 2005, when the International Olympic Committee chose Britain's capital over Paris to host the 2012 Games, London was jubilant. "Many reckon it is the greatest capital city in the world," then Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "and the Olympics will help keep it that way." But with the Games now just days away, many Londoners are feeling anxiety and regret. A recent poll found that half the city's residents are not interested in the Olympics at all, and 42 percent think the city should never have bid for them. "It's a major disaster," said documentary filmmaker Iain Sinclair. "You don't need this vast, top-down structure spending billions of pounds to obliterate a landscape."

Rare Earth Policies.
WTO to Probe China's Rare-Earth Policies -- In a widely expected move following requests by the United States, European Union and Japan, the World Trade Organization has set up a panel to probe China's rare-earth export policies, the trade body said in a report on its website Tuesday. The trade dispute centers on China's domination over the production of 17 metallic minerals that are essential for a range of sensitive cutting-edge technologies including missile defense systems, wind turbines and smart phones.

Get excited.
Supply Chain Intelligence Details Major Fall Releases In All Of Apple's Product Lines -- MacRumors reports on a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today that details his estimates of the products Apple will launch this fall. He sees major new entries in all of their product lines. Kuo's past reports have by all accounts been very accurate and the specificity of his current predictions indicate "access to accurate supply chain details," according to a commentator on MacRumors. All such rumors are, of course, rumors, but Kuo seems particularly aware of what is going on with the panel manufacturers.

Device addiction (guilty as charged).
Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device -- Stuart Crabb, a director in the executive offices of Facebook, naturally likes to extol the extraordinary benefits of computers and smartphones. But like a growing number of technology leaders, he offers a warning: log off once in a while, and put them down. In a place where technology is seen as an all-powerful answer, it is increasingly being seen as too powerful, even addictive.

- Sheena Moore

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