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back to article Google, Microsoft go head to head in Santa-tracking tech race

Competition between Google and Microsoft keeps heating up, and this Christmas Eve children will be caught in the crossfire as the two tech giants battle to see which can keep the tightest tabs on Santa Claus as he pilots his sleigh around the globe. Since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has tracked the …

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Black Helicopters

I am very curious to find out what exactly it was on the radar that Col. Harry Shoup thought he was checking and relaying the position of to the kids on the phone ...

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Anonymous Coward

@Jolyon Smith

Hey, get in the spirit!

Makes a change to the normal "gifts" that USAF deliver ("Cluster bombs: The gift that keeps on giving").

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Windows

It was a fat bloke, illegally riding a sleigh too fast, making his engines - which astonishingly turmed out to be reindeers - work so hard that one of the engines' nosecone got red!

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Alert

And what happens if Santa is not in the same location on both systems!!!

Please think of the little children!!

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Anonymous Coward

Think of the children

Don't worry, kids know tech: "Hmmm. Google says Santa's over Santa Barbara, Bing says he's over Dallas... I may be 5, but I know who I don't trust."

Then there's Apple, who will have Santa over Tel Aviv. Or maybe Riyadh.

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Silver badge

True, but Apple maps has Tel Aviv 5 miles west of Santa Barbara.

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Coat

Re: Think of the children

I may be 5, but I know who I don't trust

So then you're saying a tech savvy kid would immediately know they were both lying and go look out the window to see if he could spot Santa himself?

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K
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Trollface

NORAD Tracking...

Perhaps they can take over the parcel tracking from Royal Mail!

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Goole tracker

Lets you send a phone message from Santa. Have fun.

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Coat

Re: Goole tracker

If Goole starts moving to the extent it needs a tracker, I imagine the residents are going to be a little miffed...

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Re: Goole tracker

I guess they want to further themselves from Hull

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Coat

With Google involved, you can bet....

That after Christmas you'll get served with ads for Christmas tree removal and batteries for toys!

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Bets please

Bets taken on how long it will be before the "Azure cloud" (strange colour for a cloud, by WTH do I know?) powering the service gets overwhelmed and everyone jumps onto Google's version instead?

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Anonymous Coward

Now I'm no expert

but I think I'd trust the guys who also track missiles

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Anonymous Coward

Ha ha, MS software...

Santa is 15 min. from your house.

Santa is 12 min. from your house.

Santa is 11 min. from your house.

Santa is 17 min. from your house.

Santa is 16 min. from your house.

Santa is 23 min. from your house.

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Re: Ha ha, MS software...

Sounds like the Dublin Bus tracking system. The only system that can compress 20 minutes into 2 minutes.

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Happy

Re: Ha ha, MS software...

Ob. XKCD link - http://xkcd.com/612/

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Thumb Up

today it considers it a "goodwill military outreach program."

Fair play to them and Merry Christmas everybody

(Just back from the obligatory office party)

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Silver badge

I was thinking the same thing myself. Always nice to see someone taking the initiative and doing something nice for people.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong number?

"Colonel Harry Shoup, who was manning the hotline that night, eventually realized why he was getting so many wrong numbers..."

WOW! A Colonel manning the phones on Christmas Eve? I find that hard to believe. A Sgt, possibly, but a Colonel? I don't think so. Things must have been really different back then.

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Re: Wrong number?

WOW! I was more amazed that Santa was working at Sears, Roebuck & Co. department store especially on Christmas Eve. Lucky for him they put the wrong number in the advertisement, so he could get off early and deliver his prezzies.

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Re: Wrong number?

"A Colonel manning the phones on Christmas Eve? I find that hard to believe. "

These are American ranks, remember. And over there you can be a colonel just for coming up with a recipe for sawdust flavoured fried chicken.

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Mushroom

Re: Wrong number?

Things must have been really different back then."

Yeah. It was called the Cold War. Look it up on t'internet some day.

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Anonymous Coward

Who needs Father Christmas

when you have Uncle Fester?

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Mushroom

Did no one else spot this?

... Microsoft's experience supporting NORAD's day-to-day activities during the rest of the year was what gave the agency the confidence that Redmond could pull off a project as important as the Santa Tracker.

So America's first line of defense appears to be a Microsoft based solution...

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Re: Did no one else spot this?

That's somewhat frightening. I hope they have triple redundancy (AT LEAST!!!) on those systems.

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Mushroom

Re: Did no one else spot this?

Surely of greater concern is Windows for Warships. Would explain friendly fire a bit better.

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Grinch

"Google is being a downright Grinch on the mobile front. While NORAD has released Santa Tracker apps for Android and iOS in addition to Windows Phone, the Chocolate Factory's tracker app is for Android only."

Yep - and Microsoft is being a Grinch for only releasing a map component, unless i'm missing something about the Android, iOS and Windows Phone applications being developed by VisionBox (perhaps they had some assistance from Microsoft with the Azure integration ?).

That said - hey, it's Christmas and all these trackers are free - so how about less of the un-necessary, snidey comments and more mulled wine and mince pies.

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Anonymous Coward

Yay, Windows Phone finally has a worthwhile app

LOL.

Surely that's the headline news in all this...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yay, Windows Phone finally has a worthwhile app

and in other news......android has another spam/hacking issue to go along with its plethora of useless apps but droid users still want to point to the fact that they have hundreds of thousands of apps more than on windows phone. 75 Fart apps for your christmas stocking anyone?

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Black Helicopters

What's the true reason they're tracking the fat mans sleigh? Could they just want to get their hands on that naughty list or do they find him to be a threat to their national security?

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Anonymous Coward

All those tracker maps are wrong.

Santa tried to visit me last year and got stuck in my chimney. He's still there.

Even the neighbours kids know that.

So whom are they kidding? Mostly the Yanks, I believe who are equally dumb, if not clued up!

There, sorted. Can you now report something more interesting & Meaningful?

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Windows

Colonel Harry Shoup - Top banana, that man!

A guy for which "Military Intelligence" wasn't an oxymoron!!!

By a strange coincidence, a facebook friend of mine lives in Rovaniemi, Finland where Santa lives. She'll tip me the wink when he leaves. But, I've been a bad boy this year, so not expecting anything more lobbed on the balcony (no chimney) than a pair of used Salvation Army socks...

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Happy

NORAD tracking Santa

I always have this rather scary image in my head of a thousand warheads swivelling across North America taget locked on the old fella, with a nameless military wonk just a finger away from hitting the red fire button if he shows any hint of hostile intent!

As to the colonel manning the hotline, well maybe he was just in charge of the team who manned the line? If it's a 'hotline' then it may be for something fairly important?!

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Trollface

Suck It Google, MSFT Owns Joor Santa

Lol @ google being mad about losing tracking on Santa!!!

Suck It!!

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