Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Quantified Elf: Tracking the Santa Trackers

Where is Santa Claus, right at this moment? Sources disagree.

SantaGalifinakisBoth Microsoft and Google have live Santa-trackers this year (Microsoft’s is the official one; it won the NORAD partnership away from Google last year). But they have slightly different ideas about where he is: Kulob, Tajikistan or New Delhi, India? Astana, Kazakhstan or Pavlodar, Kazakhstan? Bangkok, Thailand or Kunming, China?

In their efforts to foster holiday spirit, the two companies also have radically different tallies of how many presents Santa has delivered so far, with Google currently at about three million total presents, and Microsoft at about two-thirds that. (We can assume either gift inflation or gift embezzlement, depending on where your corporate allegiances lie.)

If you don’t trust pseudoscientific estimates, perhaps you’ll prefer SantaUpdate.com, which is posting blog entries throughout the day, including interviews with elves.

The site explains, accompanied by the tunes of a year-round Christmas radio station: “Real Santa tracking doesn’t come from a military command center, a government entity, a company or from outer space. It comes from where Santa comes from — the North Pole.”

(Photo from “Comedy Bang Bang” courtesy of IFC.com)


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik