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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald