Northern uproar

04 Dec 2012

Nlondoncompassow, I believe that Watford is the northernmost tip of the inhabitable universe as much as the next right-thinking man.
But even a typically insular cockney like me raised an eyebrow at a recent channel announcement from Virgin Media Business. The telco, owned by relish magnate Richard Branston, appointed a couple of partners to serve the north and south of the UK.
The chosen southern partner was Channel Telecom, based in leafy Epping in the glorious east London/west Essex borderlands. So far, so good. But the northern choice was Abtec Network Solutions, based in Leicester. Which, even I know, ain't that far north.
A cursory Googling reveals the Leicestrian firm is based fewer than 100 miles north
of its southern counterpart. You have to
keep going for another 500 miles until you reach the northernmost reaches of this sceptred isle.
Virgin channel chief Jason King said: "This latest move is part of our commitment to deliver a better channel programme than
any of our competitors."
It just might take a bit longer for them to deliver if you're based in Aberdeen.

Isle be missing you
Google's omniscient cameras have captured tons of people doing things they'd rather not be reminded of, but Google Earth has managed to show a whole island doing something it shouldn't. Namely existing.
Sandy Island is reportedly an 18-mile long bit of land between Australia and New Caledonia, roughly where a dark island-shaped blob appears on Google's satellite imagery. Little is known about it, so a
bunch of Aussie scientists recently went to explore. Only to find an uninterrupted mass of deep water.
Google told news agency AFP: "The world is a constantly changing place and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavour."
We're here to help, fellas. For starters maybe your cartography bods could take a closer look at Atlantis.

Specs appeal
Staying at the top of the IT vendor tree isn't as simple as apologetically pumping out a new version of your OS every few years with a nauseatingly quirky ad campaign.
jdsu3dglassesAnd Microsoft is seemingly once again proving its commitment to revolutionising the innovation envelope outside the box with the news that the software giant is working on a set of so-called augmented reality glasses. The vendor joins Google and a smor­gasbord of smaller players in the race to get a pair of tech-enhanced goggles to market.
The specs reportedly enrich the experience of, say, watching a play or a sporting event by flashing up information in front of your very eyes, saving you the bother of looking at a giant screen or turning to the guy next to you to say "who's playing left back?".
Fair enough. Though the most effective way they could augment the reality of watching the Orient would be to equip the glasses with built-in earplugs and blackout lens caps.

Quit jivin' me, turkey
The idea of having a national holiday celebrated by a big blowout family meal little more than a month before Christmas might seem like overkill to us Brits, but those Yanks have never done things by half and I gather Thanksgiving is a big deal over there.
Of all the perplexing things about it, one of the perplexwhite-turkeysingest is the ritual of the president officially pardoning one turkey. But this year was the first time the leader of the free world used social media to decide which of two feathered candidates would become the USA's designated national turkey (no, really).
In a closely fought Facebook contest, strutting Carly Simon fan Cobbler edged out the bigger but more reserved Gobbler. Only one bird gets a photo op with Obama, but in a disappointing copout, both birds are spared the festive axe and sent to live out their days in the country. Sweet. Actually, I heard David Cameron was planning to ape the stunt with a ceremonial Crimbo goose-pardoning this year. Unfortunately, the bird was subject to an Atos assessment beforehand and ruled fit to return to his duties at the abattoir.

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