Web trackers 'prove' Santa travels fast
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Tuesday 25 December 2012
They once had to lie awake listening for the sound of Santa shuffling down the chimney. Now, to find out precisely when their gifts are going to arrive, children can track his progress from computers.
There was confusion this Christmas Eve, however, as two Santa-tracking websites – one sponsored by Microsoft, the other by Google – showed his reindeer taking different routes. At one point, the Microsoft-backed NORAD Santa Tracker showed the sleigh over Romania, having already delivered 2.8bn gifts.
Google's Santa Dashboard, meanwhile, had him over Madagascar, with a mere 770m gifts delivered. "You'd be surprised at how speedy Santa is," a Google spokesperson told the Washington Post. "It may often seem like he's in two places at once."
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defence Command, began tracking Santa in 1955, when its phone number was erroneously printed in an ad featuring Santa Claus. When children rang the number, an Air Force colonel began to give them news of Santa's progress.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Superb opportunity for a BUYING...
£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers personalise...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...