December 24, 2008
THAT YOU, SANTA CLAUS? (via Mike Daley):
U.S. Air Defense Command Offers New High-Tech Ways to Track Santa: Kids can now use cell phones, Twitter and photo-sharing sites to monitor Santa's progress on Christmas Eve (Larry Greenemeier, 12/16/08, Scientific American)
All three of these new capabilities result from a partnership between Google and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which as been tracking Santa's annual trip for the past 50 years. (Its predecessor organization, the Continental Defense Command, or CONAD, tracked the big bearded guy between 1955 and 1958.) NORAD is a U.S.-Canadian military organization based at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base responsible for the aerospace defense of North America that tracks airplanes, missiles, space launches and anything else that flies through or in the vicinity of North America's airspace, including orbiting objects. Naturally, they decided to add the tracking of Santa to their list of responsibilities, claiming on their Web site to have "the technology, the qualifications and the people to do it."Posted by Orrin Judd at December 24, 2008 5:03 PM
This year, Saint Nick can be monitored from one's cell phone by using Google Maps for mobile and downloading the Google Earth application. People with an Apple iPhone, T-Mobile G1, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile or Nokia phone with Google Maps can search for "norad santa" to see Santa's location beginning at 4 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (6 A.M. Eastern) on December 24. In addition to checking Santa's location on the map, his fans will be able to Twitter one another via the Noradsanta.org site.