Virtual Earth

Virtual Earth just launched – I had been looking forward to seeing how Microsoft’s implementation would compete agains Google’s Mapping tools and when it loaded up, it looked good. It centred on the States, but then Google Maps did that to start with, so I figured they would solve this over time. Even better, when you scrolled across you could see the world – not just the UK sitting all on its own off the east coast of America as with Google. So onto the searching – I started with something easy – Oxford Street – and shock horror "No results were found in the current view. Try zooming out". Searches for other content brought back US addresses.. Yes, as always seems to be the case with Microsoft’s MSN group, content is minimal outside the US – non existant when it comes to Virtual Earth. It is shocking to me that a company the size of Microsoft cannot get localised content sorted out. It took them years to bring out hotmail.co.uk, MSN UK is still a huge disappointment when compared to MSN US, MY MSN – even though I am using the URL http://uk.my.msn.com/ (note the UK), it insists on providing me US sports and news from Fox and MSNBC. So guess which services I am using? Here’s hoping that they update Virtual Earth quicker than they sort out My MSN.. Minor Update: If you scroll around, the map never seems to completely download – there seems to always be one or 2 squares that does not show. Anyone else seeing this?

London Bomb

2 weeks to the day and we have had more explosions in London. This time it seems to be dummy explosions and there is supposedly one person injured at Warren Street tube station. Right now there are sirens sounding across Islington.

Some food for thought – after the bombings 2 weeks ago, there were a lot of reports that there was goign to be a repeat the following week, both insinuated by the police and through viral emails. I wonder if this is the specific threat the police were thinking of.

[UPDATE 14:30] Kings X Thameslink, Waterloo, Westminster stations are closed. Mobile networks are feeling the demand – it has become difficult to call mobiles again. Met chief of police describes the incidents as “very serious” and advises people to stay put. UK emergency committe (COBRA) meets.

[UPDATE 14:51] Armed police have gone into University College Hospital, having cordoned off the hospital earlier. This is the new “super” hospital that only opened its doors 2 weeks before 7/7 – it dealt with the injured from 7/7.

[UPDATE 15:05] Rumours entire network is being closed down (I cannot tell as stuck inside the building!). Chemical suits seen going into Warren Street, supposedly a similar thing happened at Oval and nothing was found.

[UPDATE 15:30] Armed police have arrested a man near Whitehall (opposite Downing Street), which is the home of the UK government.

So why would someone set off detonators? It cannot be cranks – since when did cranks organise themselves to this extent?

Good news btw, no trace of chemical agents 🙂 2 people have been detained 🙂

Egg and Muffin Toaster

It’s out in September in the States and without question suits me to a tee – how often have I got up in the morning and wanted an egg sandwich or something similar but faced with the idea of getting out the frying pan and making it along with then having to clean up after myself, decided against it – sheer laziness I know but I am usually more interested in dashing out of the door having gained an extra few minutes in bed.

Anyhow, the eggs are poached (or steam-scrambled (?) – their words not mine) rather than fried, as I would have cooked them and of course the muffins or bread is toasted alongside it. You can warm pre-cooked meats as well though I think I prefer to stick to cold slices of chicken or maybe just nothing at all. 🙂

All for about $50 from September – I wonder whether it will hit the UK?