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Microsoft Unveils Street Slide Map UI

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the how-it-ought-to-be dept.

Microsoft 80

theodp writes "For show-and-tell at SIGGRAPH 2010, Microsoft Research brought Street Slide, 'a multi-perspective street slide panorama with navigational aides and mini-map.' Very slick (demo video). Technology Review explains that Street Slide stitches together slices from multiple panoramas, making it possible to see all the shops on a street at once. Someone using Street Slide's panoramic view can slide along the facades looking for places of interest (perhaps guided by logos or ads at the bottom), and zoom back in to a classic Bing Streetside bubble view at any time."

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80 comments

B-b-b-b-b-b-u-u-u-t-t-t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081484)

Microsoft BAD!

Correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081962)

+1 Informative.

Re:B-b-b-b-b-b-u-u-u-t-t-t (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33085784)

The only thing innovative that I saw were the icons that show up when you zoom out. But that also leaves that space for advertising. I don't have a desire to look at it further. And, the lady giving the presentation was so boring and uninspiring.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081502)

First

Good work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081506)

That's all.

Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081544)

Microsoft does something innovative!!!? This may be a first.

Wait, did they really make this or did they just buy it from someone else?

Re:Holy crap! (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081606)

Microsoft Research does many innovative things. It's Microsoft management that either fails to capitalize on it or takes a good idea and ruins it. Sometimes good ideas (ie MS Kinnect) escape and makes it into a useful product.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081810)

Kinnect only came out because of Wii

Re:Holy crap! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081884)

It also looks like a piece of shit. And so far word from developers working with it confirms that it is in fact a piece of shit.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33082010)

Wii? It was a complete rip-off of Eyetoy.
Hell, it is worse than Eyetoy is. Eyetoy done everything it had done before it, besides UI navigation. (which looked awful anyway, that whole section was painful to watch at E3)
I was expecting awesome things from it, not Eyetoy 0.9.

And yes, i am being completely serious with this. Microsofts demonstrations did not impress one bit.
Until they can compete with that Eyetoy skateboard game Antigrav, Kinect is a joke. (Antigrav was the most impressive game IMO for Eyetoy)
Eyetoy already proved that you can't get rid of buttons, hence PS Eye + controller stick. (now that only came to be thanks to Wiimote success)

Re:Holy crap! (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082068)

Microsoft Research does many innovative things.

Maybe if you call making an obvious incremental improvement of a competitor's existing product innovative.

It's not like there aren't other better [http] implemented [hitta.se] alternatives out there either. And those are real and working, not some recorded and edited demo with near infinite resources to make it look quick for the video...

This whole article is a Microsoft Marketing puff-piece. Even the (near identical) comments in most of the discussion forums have been orchestrated.

Re:Holy crap! (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082678)

Maybe if you call making an obvious incremental improvement of a competitor's existing product innovative.

According to wikipedia: "Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries.[1] It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations."

So I guess the answer is yes. Plus the Kinect technology isn't the only thing MS Research works on. Some of the research is interesting. Whether it makes it into a useful product depends on many factors one of which is management. Xerox PARC is the best example of a great research center that has truly changed the world today. However, Xerox management failed to capitalize on many of the innovations there: Ethernet, smalltalk, GUI, WYSIWYG text editor, etc.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33084080)

And those are real and working, not some recorded and edited demo with near infinite resources to make it look quick for the video...

Yes, if they wanted to make it look believable they would have showed it working on something like an iPhone.

Oh wait...

Re:Holy crap! (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 3 years ago | (#33084138)

real-world innovation happens incrementally. It's rare for someone to come out with something new that is not based on past innovations.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33084854)

How did this troll get modded up? Clearly he did not even watch the video.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33085654)

I love the idiotic double standards people apply. When Apple releases essentially a new mp3 player (iPod) - oh my God, they innovated! When they release a new smartphone, iPhone - oh my God, Apple invented the SmartPhone! When they "invent" the Tablet PC they totally innovated the shit out of that 10 year old + idea!

If you want to play that silly game you can do the same thing with real game changers like the TiVo back in the day. "Omg, they just copied the VCR lolroflcatz!". It's idiocy.

Re:Holy crap! (4, Interesting)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082120)

The rumor is that there's a reason for this. Cash-rich Microsoft supposedly employs some of the best and brightest software engineers on go-nowhere projects simply to keep them out of the available workforce. Since this talent doesn't end up in competing companies, this helps them maintain their monopoly position in their cash cows.

Microsoft is not full of idiots. The saying may go "Don't explain anything by conspiracy that is more easily explained by stupidity.", but that doesn't mean the opposite isn't true every once in a while.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082430)

+1 For using the right analogy in perfect context!

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33082638)

WITCH! WITCH! BURN HIM!

Oh wait... WARLOCK! WARLOCK! BURN HIM!

Re:Holy crap! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083932)

MS didn't create Kinect, they bought it and it's going to fail because it's priced too high.

Kinnect wasn't MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33085034)

Kinnect wasn't a MS idea. MS saw that they needed to compete in the console space against their competitors' motion control solutions, and bought up a 3rd party and slapped an MS sticker on it. You can find quotes from many gaming sites that say they saw the same technology being demoed and fully usable at GDC [engadget.com] prior to MS's purchase of 3DV [teamxbox.com] so they could use their patented 3D depth sensing software with the PrimeSense motion sensor camera.
 
All this to say that MS didn't really develop it. They just saw they were behind the curve and needed a solution fast.

Re:Kinnect wasn't MS (0, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33085674)

You mean Microsoft is a business and they're not in a dick measuring, Not Invented Here contest with the rest of the world?! Color me shocked.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086990)

Microsoft are making money, and lots of it, so they're doing something right.
These sorts of research projects are the sort of things that are very cool and flashy, but probably would be hard to make money off, and probably don't represent the majority of MS research projects which we don't hear about which aren't flashy at all.

e.g. we've all heard of Photosynth and Songsmith, other flashy but uncommercialized projects, but probably fewer people know about Singularity (Or only know about it in reference to how MS admitted that Linux takes slightly fewer cycles to start a process up than Windows), and Singularity is a relatively very well known research project.

A research project about some abstract aspect of computer science of the sort that'd be applicable to Windows Mobile data compression or Office Visio data-map representations isn't going to get any slashdot attention but is going to help Microsoft's bottom line ultimately.
Check out http://research.microsoft.com [microsoft.com] to get a taste for the actual volume and flavor of research that goes on at MS

Was this MSFT or an acquisition? (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087696)

I haven't connected the dots - mostly because I haven't been seen any outside the press release.

Does anyone know if this is genuine innovation on Microsoft's part, or just another technology purchase?

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081626)

regardless, Google says thanks for sharing and absorbs feature --- BURRRRPP ---- MMMM tasty feature for free! Unless it's a trap.

first post? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081562)

Well I'll be, there's a first! Nothing to say m

Begs me to think more of what is coming (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081572)

This is kinda cool. Actually, it's the type of thing that I wonder how it doesn't already exist. It's just barely a step past street view and the like, in terms of thought.

But it makes me question more. When are we going to take Street view and the like and build more 3D environments off of it? I've seen more and more work in the direction, but there's multiple perspectives to many buildings and such using street view already. I would think it would be logical to try and accumulate all of the street view data into a 3D world. You could then take that 3D world and do this same view on it, but it would be a lot smoother. In the video in the link, the picture is still very jumpy and doesn't always line up all that great at parts.

And beyond that, add in the augmented reality stuff.

Very interesting.

Why don't they use Silverlight? (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081574)

I am surprised that folks at Microsoft have decided to employ Adobe's Flash other than their own Silverlight.

You see, in the past, one would get a dialogue asking them to install Silverlight in order to see content. It makes me wonder whether Silverlight is slowly dying - at least in Microsoft's opinion. Remember the KIN [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081594)

No - something had to have entered the public consciousness before it could possibly be remembered.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081634)

I am surprised that folks at Microsoft have decided to employ Adobe's Flash other than their own Silverlight.

Compare the market share of Flash and Silverlight. If you want to get your message passed to the most people, which platform would you pick?

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081696)

That sounds reasonable but as indicated in my post, one would get a dialog advising a Silverlight install; in fact, Microsoft's 'modus operandi' in the past had been to 'force' an install or upgrade.

These days, I see nothing pushing Silverlight at all!

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33082034)

That's probably because you already have Silverlight installed?

I bet it doesn't bother to ask if it's already there...

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (2, Interesting)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081676)

Well, its win-win for them in this situation. Using flash kinda slights Apple, where Silverlight is proprietary lock-in.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33092184)

Speaking of Apple -- did anyone notice the smartphone they were demo'ing on in the video was an iPhone?

Even poor Microsoft employees don't use WinMo!

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081682)

Don't get your hopes up.

It is a Microsoft Research project - these people do not have the same objectives/perspectives as the rest of the company.

If that is ever integrated into a Microsoft product (probably Bing Maps), then you can bet that it will completely reimplemented/rewritten with Silverlight.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (5, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081686)

What makes you think they're using Flash. Only the demo video is in Flash, the implementation will most likely be Silverlight(new version of Bing Maps already uses it). Also, the only way to develop apps for Windows Phone 7 is through Silverlight(XNA for games), so I don't they're abandoning it anytime soon. Far from it, they're pushing it more.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081710)

MS Research has free reign to basically do whatever they like and it looks like they hosted the video on YouTube. So that's where the flash comes in. But that choice itself is kind of interesting because it's the exact people they want to compete with using this technology: YouTube -> Google

Most likely it wasn't give too much thought though, thankfully. Marketing is pretty hands off when it comes to MS R&D.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081848)

i think MS can finally think a few years ahead again. smartphones carry a nice premium these days where the hardware makers can sell them at nice margins. but this is going the way of the dodo and soon software will be king again. the hardware smartphone makers will be the dell/hp commodity box builders where no one really cares about brand and lowest cost wins. only difference from the 1990's seems to be that instead of the OS and an office suite being the cash cows this time it seems to be providing the information services are thought to be the cash cows of the coming decade

most smart phones are already mostly identical whether it's the iphone or one of the others. they all have some version of an ARM CPU, the same flash memory, a screen from Samsung of one of 2-3 other companies that make them, etc. and for most people it doesn't really matter if you have an android or iphone. 80% or more of the functionality is the same with most apps being on both platforms.

the key is controlling the backend and the software that enables people to find information on their phones. Flash being multi-platform makes it easy to reach more people

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083252)

The U.S. Navy, and a few other U.S. Gov't agencies have decided they can't secure Silverlight and won't allow it to be installed on their networks. In fact, the Navy automatically removes it when it shows up on a workstation. MS is very sensitive to gov't agencies use of their products. You can bet that MS is working furiously to make Silverlight work for the gov't.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33084668)

SL2 is certified. SL3 certification is nearing completion.

If NMCI is blocking the software, it is a local misconfiguration or other human error. There is no non-silverlight policy.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087906)

NMCI may have certified it, but DADMS says it isn't allowed.

Re:Why don't they use Silverlight? (1)

ewrong (1053160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33085024)

Didn't the video show it running on an iPhone?

Interesting (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081584)

So, is this solely the technology of stitching panoramas together, or am I to believe that Microsoft has laid down the framework for a possible equivalent to the Streetview cars/mapping them to the equivalent points on their map service?

Re:Interesting (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082104)

It's kinda cute, but I'm not really sure it's that innovative - or what problem it's trying to solve.

Re:Interesting (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087272)

The problem that it is trying to solve is finding particular points of interest along a street without having to click a move arrow a hundred times and reset your view as you do in StreetView. The idea is that this representation succinctly captures the data a user would need to perform certain types of manual search operations that are not currently handled by other systems. They also presented the technology required to produce that accordion view in such a way that relevant information remains visible as the user browses. It was a pretty cool paper. Maybe not earth shattering, but definitely cool.

"Very slick" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081596)

Wasn't that how BP described their efforts at cleaning up the gulf?

Sigh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081598)

Sigh @ Slashdot commenters. Duh....MS...must be bad. /facepalm

That reminds me of this (4, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081690)

Re:That reminds me of this (2, Insightful)

Loiosh-de-Taltos (247549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081756)

Except that is entirely different. That is mostly what google street view does (except expanded with view bubbles). That is simply a long panorama. Google Street View is a panorama + 360 view bubbles.

Street Slide takes Street View-like view bubbles and intelligently stitches them back into a panorama for getting a good spatial map of an area. Then when you need to zoom back in, it pushes you into the correct bubble. It is much easier for a person to view and use than either of the previous models.

Re:That reminds me of this (4, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082976)

Except that is entirely different. That is mostly what google street view does (except expanded with view bubbles). That is simply a long panorama. Google Street View is a panorama + 360 view bubbles. Street Slide takes Street View-like view bubbles and intelligently stitches them back into a panorama for getting a good spatial map of an area. Then when you need to zoom back in, it pushes you into the correct bubble. It is much easier for a person to view and use than either of the previous models.

So what you are saying is that the panorama that is created by stitching image slices together (a la Dr. Zheng et al)...

Technology Review explains that Street Slide stitches together slices from multiple panoramas,

...has hyperlinks on it that bring it to a Google bubble view. I give props to Microsoft for putting peanutbutter in their chocolate, but they didn't do a lot of inventing here.

Re:That reminds me of this (1)

josath (460165) | more than 3 years ago | (#33087636)

They don't claim to have invented either the route panorama or the google street view panorama, instead what they are proposing is an easy way to fit the two together seamlessly as you zoom in or out.

Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081704)

Instead of heavy-duty MS-proprietary technology, maybe you'd just rather get a browser that supports WebGl like the betas or currently nightlies of Firefox, Chrome and Safari, and try this out with Google Maps:

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/javascript/examples/streetview-map.html

CSS Soda Can (2, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081728)

Reminds me of the CSS Soda Can [romancortes.com] that hit the charts a few months ago.

Re:CSS Soda Can (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081816)

Doesn't work in IE6

Re:CSS Soda Can (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081960)

Here's a nickel, go get yourself a better browser.

It works in IE 8 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082122)

From the page: "it is not going to work in IE6, because it doesn’t support background-attachment: fixed. I’ve tested it and it works in IE8".

Re:CSS Soda Can (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082764)

That says more about IE6 than it says about the page.

I still see a problem (3, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081748)

But we still have to leave our basements to visit the shops do we? If only there was some way of telling the shops what we wanted and then they'd deliver them right to our door for mom to bring down.

Re:I still see a problem (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081828)

I could find out where these shops look like by driving past them....?

Or I could look on Google streetview, now, without using this app

Or I could buy online and not visit them at all?

Brilliant MS research does it again, produces a slick new technology ideal for a market that either already exists or does not exist ?

Re:I still see a problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081844)

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Re:I still see a problem (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083614)

But we still have to leave our basements to visit the shops do we?

I'd love to be able to leave my basement, but only a relative few have been able to do that. However, all the shops actually are in my basement; my basement has a blue ceiling with a fusion lamp that contains my two-story (one underground) sub-basement.

The first nerd in history ever to leave the basement was named Yuri Gargarin.

Zowie Scowie!! (-1, Flamebait)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081784)

Microsoft managed to mimic Google's Street View!!! How wonderful!! Way to go at innovation, copying another company's product. It guess that's the good old, tried and true methods of embrace and extend. What's next? Extinguish? Of course!

Re:Zowie Scowie!! (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081824)

Well, call me if google ever innovates something.
You know that ALL those nice google products are just ouside companies work bought with their advertising billions?

Funny thing, there was a long time where google earth printouts still showed as "Keyhole Print Job" in the printers...

Extinguish the pedistrians and cars. (2, Interesting)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081830)

Yes, Actually removing (content aware fill) of the cars and pedestrians out of those images would be a very good idea.

Re:Zowie Scowie!! (1)

fedos (150319) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082654)

If you read TFA and watch the video, you'll see that it goes beyond Street View. This adds to the understood feature set of online map tools.

Re:Zowie Scowie!! (2, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082752)

I worked on this project, and you're right, its 100% the same and is not at all an improvement. I wasn't aware of this "Google Street View" you speak of. Have a link by any chance? I KNEW we should have posted the idea to /. BEFORE doing any work. I told my superiors you guys would probably already know an existing implementation, would have seen this 10 years ago in some other platform in a tangentially arranged mode, would not be impressed by it, and could probably make it in five minutes with perl if you wanted to, which you don't. But did they listen? NO!

Re:Zowie Scowie!! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33085768)

It's so refreshing to finally see someone admit this. Really, if you're in any field of endeavor and no matter how much of an expert you are, how many decades you've been doing it, there's always some nameless uber-nerd on Slashdot who knows more about it than you. Similarly, no matter if you're a senior fellow software developer with 2 Ph.Ds and you make $500k a year you are a simple minded dolt programmer compared to some of these Slashdot UNIX guys cranking out Next Generation PHP and Next Generation Ruby hot-ass advanced web sites.

I have seen the future, and it is the flavor of the day interpreted rapid prototyping web development platform!

Re:Zowie Scowie!! (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33086118)

Rightly said Fred! I think /. should just become the new peer review site for all scientific and technical articles. Get it reviewed by someone who read that article about that topic one time, and therefore is well qualified to comment on how your research has been done before, isn't commercially viable, probably is made up, and here's a goatsecs for your trouble. Please note that all articles should include a brief inflammatory summary with factual errors and links to random blogs, as the actual article will not be read.

Google's bubble view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081836)

Is it slip-slidin' away...

This is neat and all... (1, Insightful)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081868)

but it also looks like something a few Google employees could implement themselves in an afternoon by simply looking at the provided demo. Depending of course on what ridiculous patents MS has wrapped up in it. Still I was expecting something at least as impressive as Photosynth. Why aren't they doing anything interesting with that anyway?

Re:This is neat and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33081896)

It's probably similar technology behind the scenes of this.

I know what you mean, but an afternoon would be stretching it. Still, you got to give MS credit for doing it first and all. I've not seen anything quite like this. Sure, it's similar to street view, but this is definitely better.

They were worried about handling slopes... (3, Funny)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081898)

but I see it made the grade....

Yes! Yes! Very impressive.... but does it... (1)

mcnazar (1231382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33081928)

RUN ON LINUX???

Looks like Coverflow (1)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082058)

If you make your album art -just right- you can do that with an iPod!

The new embrace and extend? (1)

LordFolken (731855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33082656)

Take competitors product copy it and implement "new" features.

Re:The new embrace and extend? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083014)

And in "enemy of my enemy is my friend", use an iPhone.

Flickering multi-perspective scrolling (2, Interesting)

BorkBorkBork6000 (769812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083098)

Did anyone else find the multi-perspective really annoying due to the flickering effect of constantly changing images when scrolling?

I don't think having the perspective view really enhances our understanding of the scene. In reality, it's just going to increase the bandwidth necessary to run this app.

It would be nice if there was an option, at least, to turn multi-perspective off and just see a blended mosaic of straight-on views.

Re-inventing the wheel. (0, Redundant)

ctchristmas (1821682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33083448)

Woohoo... microsoft reinvents the wheel... again. Apparently no one told them about google maps street view feature.

Availability (1)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 3 years ago | (#33084348)

I'm sure this will work great in the 5 or so places where Bing's StreetSide is actually available.
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  • ecode

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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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