Where's Santa? Depends On Which Tech Titan You Ask | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Where's Santa? Depends On Which Tech Titan You Ask

It's Christmas Eve, and you have just one burning question: Where's Santa? Normally we'd point you to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The operation runs an aerospace warning system that "includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles."

At Christmastime, volunteers turn their attention to tracking Santa.

This year, though, "Where's Santa?" is a question the Internet seems to be having a tough time answering with precision. Why? Well that's because Santa's whereabouts depends on which tech titan you're asking.

The Washington Post has the details: NORAD's Santa Tracker was powered by Google until last year. This year, Google took its Santa-tracking expertise to its proprietary Santa's Dashboard, with giving over NORAD's Santa Tracker to a new Microsoft platform.

The upshot? At this moment, Google's tracker says Santa has just left Labrador City in Canada while NORAD says St. Nick and the reindeer were last spotted in Brasilia, Brazil. (NORAD's gift counter also boasts that Santa has delivered 3 billion more gifts than Google's counter.)

And lest ye think Microsoft and Google would set aside some differences for the sake of Santa, think again. The Post reports:

"Looks like Google has applied their patented 'scroogled' algorithm to their Santa tracker this year, or that Bing users have been very, very nice," said Frank Shaw, Microsoft's public relations chief. "We know the NORAD Bing tracker is showing Santa's actual location and is delivering three times the amount of Christmas presents. So, kids better hit the sack when they see him getting close to their neighborhood on NORAD's site."

And if you're curious about how Santa makes it to every house, NPR's David Greene spoke with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about the science behind Santa's Christmas Eve journey.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, June 3, 2015

A play and an exhibit explore luxury, power and how women present themselves and are perceived.

NPR

Grass Gourmands: A Herbivore Food Mystery On The African Savanna

A new study sheds light on a longstanding ecological question: How do so many species like impalas and elephants co-exist when they're all feeding on the same limited foods?
NPR

Sen. Menendez's Corruption Trial Hasn't Begun, But Legal Sparring Has

The Justice Department indicted the New Jersey Democrat just two months ago on bribery and conspiracy charges. But lawyers in the case already seem to be getting under each other's skin.
NPR

Experts Debate: Will Computers Edge People Out Of Entire Careers?

Machines have been taking jobs forever. Computers and software are doing things people were paid to do. They are booking airplane flights. Filing our taxes. And they are getting better all the time.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.