It's that time of year again when Santa Claus is traveling around the world, delivering lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. But just how will you or your kids be able to know when he is getting close? We've rounded up some of the best options for you to track Santa on his journey this Christmas Eve.
The two main suggestions would be Google or NORAD. The two have previously tracked Santa in a partnership, though this year NORAD ditched Google in favor of Bing, mainly due to Microsoft sponsoring NORAD's tracking. That didn't stop Google from wanting to bring joy to lots of boys and girls, so they are tracking Santa on their own.
You'll want to select one of the two and stick with it. As you can see in the above picture, the tracking technology differs and places Santa in different locations. The various other metrics also differ between services, so you don't want your kid asking how they can vary so wildly.
It all comes down to personal preference and the various features offered by each. Check them out now, so when it gets a bit later, you'll already know which to use. Google's Tracker can be found here, and NORAD's here.
Last week I reported on Venus, Steve Jobs' super mega yacht being impounded by the Amsterdam government due to a dispute over payment to the ships designer. Today there are reports that the ship has been released as an accord has been agreed too between Job's survivors and the yacht's designer.
We were surprised when news of the ships impoundment came to light. The amount owned seemed so small compared to the families holdings and overall cost of the super yacht.
The good news is that Venus is finally able to set sail and transport her guest in as much luxury as money can buy, and that the designer is now free to create more ultra minimalist works of art.
Christmas is here, and there are some people out there that leave gift purchases until the last minute. If you're one of those people, we're here to help you!
Let's talk about the top five tech-related gifts you could buy a loved one this Christmas. We'll handle a variety of gear, from smartphones to tablets, storage to GPUs. Let's hit the list, shall we?
1.) Smart devices
- Apple - iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad
I'm sure that any Apple gift is a great gift to most techies, but the iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad are the ultimate in gifts. If they don't already have one, you can pick them up outright and slide it under the Christmas tree for them. Add in an iTunes gift card for that nice touch. If you wanted something a bit smaller, the iPad mini is another great option, too.
Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" comedy routine has been a staple since the 1930s. Through the years many have tried to copy the routine or improve upon it. The latest to join the group is Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, and Steve Higgins. They redid the skit, which you can check out on NBC. The original is embedded below:
It's a bit different from the original, and not too terrible. With the world ending today, watch the video and enjoy some levity in the last few hours on Earth. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.
Venus, The 80 meter, $132,000,000 super yacht that was the brain child of the late Steve Jobs, has been impounded in Amsterdam over claims of non-payment.
Completed in October, the massive and luxurious vessel has been impounded due to claims by the designer, Philippe Stark, that he is still owed $3.96 million dollars for work completed on the ship. The yacht was impounded on Wednesday and will stay locked to the dock until lawyers representing Jobs and Starck sort things out.
Venus is said to be the essence of minimalist luxury with teak decks and large panes of ceiling-to-floor glass throughout. In true Jobs fashion, the boat is said to have seven 27-inch iMacs on board, with 6 placed at one counter.
Reuters is announcing that an Italian court has acquitted three Google Execs in a case that involved a video of an autistic boy being bullied which was uploaded to Google Video in 2006.
This ruling overturns a 2010 conviction in which senior vice president and chief legal counsel David Drummond, Google Italy board member George De Los Reyes, and global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer were sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Google maintained that its company members held no responsibility for the video which was uploaded by four students which was removed a few days later when the video was brought to the company's attention.
If you're a website owner and would like to participate, the Web Moment of Silence page has a sign-up form where you can be e-mailed the code snippet. The moment of silence will take place on Friday at 9:30am EST. The webpage-based tribute will be able to be closed, unlike the SOPA protest, so that normal browsing can continue.
Football fans rejoice! CBS will be live streaming the Super Bowl again this year. Last year, the Super Bowl was one of the largest streamed events in history, and this one will likely be the same. CBSSports.com and NFL.com will feature the live streams, which will be the same as the one shown on TV.
Online viewers will also have access to additional features, such as live stats and in-game highlights. My one hope for the live stream is that it features the same ads that the TV version does. After all, the Super Bowl has become more about the ads than the actual game, and it would suck to miss out on those by watching online.
The Pirate Bay Proxy, a popular work around to access the Piratebay website which was banned in the UK has been shutdown amid claims that the music industry has threatened litigation.
Traffic stats point the proxy as being the 133 most visited site in the UK. No word has been released on what prompted the takedown, but the Pirate Party is set to release a statement soon.
It's no surprise that the proxy was shutdown, as UK courts ordered ISPs to block The Pirate Bay back in April. This forced millions of users to seek out torrent links elsewhere. More workarounds have popped up but we are sure that it is only a matter of time before they are shut down as well.
Anonymous are back, will fight against Westboro Baptist Church and their plan for a Newtown school shooting picket
I'm sure by now you've read about the very, very sad tragedy in the US with the Newtown school shooting - but it looks like Anonymous are back because of it.
Westboro Baptist Church are known for their hateful way of pushing their beliefs, even going as far as doing so at funerals. The WBC have shown up at funerals of veterans and other venues to try and convert grieving families with their anti-gay message. The group says that, and wait for it - the world's tragedies are linked to homosexuality and a so-called "homosexual agenda". The WBC announced they planned a picket at the Sandy Hook Elementary School after the shooting spree killing 26 children and teachers.
Anonymous splashed back by dumping personal information of WBC members which included phone numbers and home addresses. The hacker collective also released a new video talking about the WBC, where they said "from time to time you have received this message, our attack protocol has past been executed and your downfall is underway".
Anonymous has also gone the legal way, publicizing a petition to the White House that asks for the WBC to be legally recognized as a hate group. Considering the WBC think that "God sent the shooter" to Newtown, that in itself should have some media attention as a hate group.
NORAD, the site famous for tracking Santa has used Google Maps since 2007, but this year that has changed. NORAD is instead using Bing Maps, as well as apps built for Windows 8, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The reason for this change is that Microsoft is the new lead partner for the site, which tracks Santa every Christmas.
If you want to track Santa in 3D, like you used to be able to with Google Earth, NORAD is using Cesium. NORAD hasn't completely ditched Google, though, as they are still pushing, and utilizing, their YouTube channel. The YouTube logo is also at the bottom of every page, along with Facebook and Twitter.
NORAD sent the following to SearchEngineLand regarding the split:
Google supported NTS [NORAD Tracks Santa] from 2007-2011 and helped increase NTS program awareness across the globe; NORAD is grateful for the partnership and the resulting success. This year, NTS and Google mutually agreed to go in new directions, and we are excited to welcome a number of new contributors, to include Microsoft, Windows Azure, Bing, and iLink-systems, among others, to help us in our mission of tracking Santa. The ability to work with a diverse team of contributors is fundamental to the NTS mission, and we appreciate all of the continued support of all contributors.
As part of Apple's holiday sale, the company is offering free two- to three-day shipping on every item available through its online store. If you need to get that new iPhone, iPad, or other accessory by Christmas time, Apple is looking to make sure you do. Of course, if you order the new iMac, you might not get it until January.
The promotion is being, well, promoted on Apple's homepage today and they say that using the fast shipping option should ensure customers get the item "in time for the holidays." The deal is available on every item, including ones that are not readily available, or even may be shipping in January (iMac 27-inch comes to mind).
If you need emergency help, try 911 or 112 as they are the world's standard emergency numbers, according to ITU
Well, it's official. 911 and 112 are the officially sanctioned emergency numbers. The International Telecommunication Union has decided that these two numbers should be the numbers used by countries in the future for contacting emergency services. It makes sense that countries should use the same number as it makes traveling a bit safer and easier.
No longer will you have to remember different emergency numbers when traveling. It's likely that it will be like previous best practices, meaning countries that currently use a different number won't be forced to change it, even if it makes it into the telecommunications treaty.
This has come out of the same conference currently going on in Dubai that is trying to decide the future of the internet. The conference wraps up Friday and has seen a lot of discourse regarding the future of the internet. If anything interesting comes out, we'll be sure to let you know.
If it isn't ridiculous enough as it is, Angry Birds is apparently getting a 3D movie released sometime in 2016. The new movie production will be overseen by John Cohen, who produced Despicable Me, among others. The movie will be funded by Rovio and should tell the story of the birds getting revenge on the pigs.
The brand has evolved from a small little game into something much larger. Rovio has released five versions of the game, with the latest being Angry Birds Star Wars. Details regarding the movie are slim, but an announcement came across the wire in the form of a press release saying it would be released in the summer of 2016.
If you're asking if Angry Birds will still be popular in 3-4 years, you're not alone. I, along with many others, question the staying power that this casual game has. It seems somewhat unlikely that the game will prove to be as popular as it has so far. But, as they say, only time will tell.
John McAfee, the founder of the self-named virus software company, has suffered a heart attack while in a Guatemalan detention center, just 24 hours after authorities arrested him. His heart attack is just one part of a long-winded story filled with conspiracy and murder.
The Chicago Tribune has reported that McAfee's heart attack was investigated by a doctor after he complained of chest pains - but both the paper and McAfee believe that that it might not have even been a heart attack at all. The Associated Press has reported that the founder of the virus software company suffered only from "high stress". ABN News correspondent, Matt Gutman, tweeted that McAfee "appeared unresponsive in [the] ambulance". Tweeting later, he said:
This McAfee story continues to get weirder and weirder. I guess we'll find out more in the coming hours or days - let's hope that McAfee has a good weekend.
It sucks when you set something down and then can't find it. It seems to be happening to me more and more each and every day. Well, I must not be alone, as a new technology is looking to put an end to my searching. Instead, I'll be able to pull out my smartphone and track down the lost item--at least get pretty close to it, anyway.
The StickNFind, seen above, is a small, Bluetooth-powered sticker that helps you track down items that you have misplaced. At about the size of a US quarter, the stickers are small, yet the battery life is said to be almost one whole year. The stickers pair with a smartphone app using Bluetooth and have a range of about 100 feet.
The app shows you how far away the item is and, with a tap on the screen, can cause the sticker to light up and buzz. This is another one of those crowd-funded technologies. They're currently raising funds on Indiegogo and are already at $105,752, which is beyond their $70,000 goal. On the campaign, they detail several cool and unique ways of taking advantage of the stickers. You should check it out and consider pre-ordering a set.
During the recent Syria Internet blackout, rebels within the country used Skype to communicate with one another, and was used alongside stockpiled equipment and a satellite connection in order to communicate.
They were able to communicate not only with other rebels within Syria, but internationally, too - all despite the government trying everything to stop them. The New York Times reports of how the rebels would tell other groups of military movement, with equipment being smuggled into the country being the savior to the rebels during the blackout of Internet access.
There was an alleged video chat session with rebels, who used a laptop and four battery backups and a generator - other equipment was also used during the time that the Internet was down. Fast forward to today, and the Internet is mostly restored to the country.
Things haven't been good in Syria for a while now, but things have just taken a turn for the worse. A few hours ago, Syria dropped off of the Internet completely. All access to the world wide web has been cut from them.
Research for Renesys, who keeps track of the status and health of the technical underpinnings of the Internet across the world, reported at 10:26 UTC that all of Syria's international Internet connectivity was completely shut off. More precisely, that within the global routing table, all 84 blocks of IP addresses assigned to the country have gone unreachable.
This means that any Internet traffic headed to Syria will be undelivered, and that traffic coming from within Syria cannot get to the outside world. This usually happens when they don't want information getting out of the country - and is not a good sign as the regime of Bashar al-Assad is going to do one of two things.
ASRock and GIGABYTE both fight on the podium of motherboard makers - but it looks like ASRock has taken the fight to a different level on its Facebook page. The motherboard maker has posted a troll meme, poking fun at a BSOD on a GIGABYTE motherboard.
As you can see above, they've cleverly censored out the GIGABYTE motherboard - but you can still tell what brand board it is. So, what I would take away from this is, if you buy an ASRock-branded motherboard, you would never get a BSOD? Or is it in just the first 30 minutes?
I run combinations of all brands of boards at home, my main system with ASRock, my second system with ASUS and my third system with GIGABYTE - I love them all. I do think this was a low blow, and I'm sure GIGABYTE will refrain from retaliating - hopefully they just continue to work on great motherboards and ASRock learn from this.
We all know that the governments of the countries around the world have some pretty deadly weapons and really cool spy gear, but the only stuff that we have seen is older devices, usually from the cold war. Today, CNN has gotten an exclusive look at three deadly weapons that were carried by a North Korean assassin.
As you can see above, the weapons don't have anything that really makes them out to be weapons. Two of the devices were disguised as Parker ball-point pens, and the third weapon was disguised as a flashlight. The first pen device contained a poison needle that would have caused muscle paralysis and then death.
The second pen would fire a bullet that penetrated the skin. Once it had entered the body, it would release a powdered poison, which would kill the target. The final weapon, the one disguised as a flashlight, held three bullets that were shot out of the front of the device. During testing, South Korean officials found it to be accurate and deadly.
These cool assassin devices are made by North Korea, a country that isn't quite as high-tech as the United States. If things like these exist there, imagine what the United States government has.
The founder of McAfee, John McAfee, has been on the run from authorities for a while now, and has added an interesting new twist to the already interesting story.
McAfee is currently wanted by the police in Belize, for questioning in regards to the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull. McAfee of course denies that he murdered Faull, and is now stating that he is the victim of a murder plot. Forgetting that he's not starring in his own movie, McAfee is posted a transcript of a conversation that allegedly took place between an ex-employee, and another employee, which McAfee says he taped using "secret recording devices" on the grounds of his $1.5 million property.
The post shows that the two men were talking about planting a bomb at McAfee's house, and afterwards calling officials in the police force, which they suggest are involved in the conspiracy. But, if this post isn't a troll, it would explain why McAfee is afraid that the police will kill him if he comes in for questioning.