Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/26/ms_flying_car_sightings/

Microsoft flying car spotted over Fishguard

We're going nowhere - but we're getting there fast

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Bootnotes, 26th January 2005 09:31 GMT

Word of Microsoft's secret flying car project spreads - with a convincing sighting of the amphibious vehicle over parts of south of Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Reg reader Chris Lawrence was trying to get from Swansea to Birmingham in Autoroute 2002 when he found himself mysteriously borne aloft by a vehicle which took him on this strange journey:

Take me to Dudley, via Ireland please

Click to enlarge

He's not alone.

Route optimization? We've heard of it

Colin Linahan tried to use MapPoint to get from Haugesund to Moscow and found himself in East Ayrshire, Scotland. A forgiving man, he concluded "That would be the Moscow most people would choose".

Reader Fitz Busher has an even more alarming story - as if there's anything more alarming than being stranded in Ayrshire without a return ticket. Planning to go from Peacehaven in East Sussex to Wales, he was directed to France before being shot back through the tunnel.

Get me to nowhere - and get me there quickly!

John Johnson points out some rules that Microsoft's mysterious nowhere-at-all-costs people transporter seems to follow.

"MapPoint shows no roads in Norway, at all although neighboring Sweden has them (for all those Volvos presumably). Checking the MS website we find in the specification that while MapPoint Europe covers 27% of Norway at street level, this comprises 100% of Oslo, Akershus and Ostfold and 0% of the remaining provinces and does not offer routing outside those three cities. Finland has a similar situation. Presumably the online version uses much the same database."

Any more sightings? Let us know.

Meanwhile, Chris thinks he may be on to a winner.

"The good thing is our company accept Autoroute journeys as proof of mileage." Until word of this gets out, we suspect.

Come on. We can, and must do better. A prize as yet undetermined awaits the most spectacular journey to be undertaken by Microsoft's Flying Car. Mutilations and pictures of vapor trails and hoverbots will not do.

We want hopeless optimizations - and we want them now. ®

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So, where is my flying car?
Where's my flying car?