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Christmas Cheer

Annual NORAD Santa Tracker Up And Running 176

SumDeusExMachina writes: "NORAD is at it once again folks! You can track Santa as he travels across the globe via a nifty Real Media stream." Apparently, this guy has been making some changes up North, too, including stealth technology, so I hope the radar tracks.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Annual NORAD Santa Tracker Up And Running

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  • by buff_pilot ( 221119 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:17PM (#2748539) Homepage
    My 4 year old daughter was spun up due to all the Christmas excitement. We were having trouble getting her to sleep until we showed her where santa was on the map - he's getting close! So off to bed she went without a peep.
    • My 7 year old son just went through the same. Go to www.cnn.com and follow the "Norad tracks Santa" link. Finally, a use for tracking technology!
      • by Chester K ( 145560 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @10:34PM (#2748711) Homepage
        What are the privacy implications of this? I mean, it's beyond question that the benefits of such powerful tracking benefit children the world over, but are we one step away from this technology being used on us?

        Will some day Big Brother turn to the "NORAD Tracks Chester K" website to find out where I am? I shiver at the thought. We need to write our Senators and Representatives and alert them to this horrible encroachment on our privacy -- this powerful tracking techonology must be shackled to prevent illicit use by the government.

        Fnord. Merry Christmas!
    • by matrix29 ( 259235 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:51PM (#2748591) Homepage
      My 4 year old daughter was spun up due to all the Christmas excitement. We were having trouble getting her to sleep until we showed her where santa was on the map - he's getting close! So off to bed she went without a peep.

      Dad: "See little Susie, there's Santa and he's heading right for us."

      Susie: "Thank you daddy. I love you." (Kisses father on the cheek and goes off to bed followed by her brother)

      Older brother: "Susie."

      Susie: "What?"

      Brother: "NORAD tracks nuclear missles. Something is heading for our house and it's measured by megaton nuclear detonations and our entire town painfully burning to radioactive cinders. Goodnight Susie."

      Susie: "?!?" "?!?" "!!!" "DAD!!!"

      (And this is supposed to make children comfortable - HOW?!?)
      • Easy... (Score:2, Funny)

        by DAldredge ( 2353 )
        I know this is a foreign concept to a lot of parents today, but what you do is spank the brother when he is bad, then he will not act so bad most of the time...
        • Sure thing. When he plays a practical joke, abuse him and make him resentful towards you so that next time he'll know to cover his tracks better. At least, I know that when *I* was a little kid, whenever I got in trouble for something, the lesson learned was that I should concentrate more on covering my tracks.

          On an only slightly related note, this reminds me of an incident my sister got in while she was in high school. Y'see, I was on good terms with the vice principal at the time, although he didn't know her. One day she and a friend of hers got in a fight, and my sister passed a rather nasty note to her friend in class. Naturally, this friend reported it, and my sister got sent to the office. She got to see the vice principal, who, upon seeing her name, asked if she was my sister, and she answered truthfully. Know what the vice principal said?

          "Next time, tell her in person rather than sending a note. It's harder to prove you did it." And then he let her go.
      • I can just see how this plays out with the Prez's missile defense shield:

        "Mister President, our latest test during a midnight clear failed to pick up the intended target, again."

        "Well, it's important you boys keep trying, we can't have anything sneaking into our borders, it's important I keep this campaign promise."

        "Sir, it did strike a target, we confirm that it mistook an incoming large man wearing a red suit in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer. Apparently he had a large beard and its anti-terrorist homing zeroed in on it."

        "Well, we'll just have to cover up this unfortunate incident. Can't be having children think Santa Claus is dead, it wouldn't do the economy any good. See if Ralph Reed is available to fill in, give the tykes some spiritual guidance."

    • Heh, my 5 yr and 8yr just now both fell asleep minutes ago. We also visited the noradsanta.com site to convince them to turn in. Worked like a charm


    • Osama Bin Laden !

      Worse.

      Norad has completely missed him !

      HELP ! SOS ! HELP !
    • Can somebody explain the insanity of the mod system on /.? In the span of 16 hours, my initial post on this subject went from (5 insightful) to (4 Troll)... I don't see how folks can assume I'm trolling...

      There be some warped minds out there...
  • by mwillems ( 266506 )
    ...but the point is well taken. Nowhere do we go nowadays without being observed. England, once the most liberal country in te world, where cops could not stop you unless they had a good readon to do so, is now the most big brotherish country in the world. Orwell was British - no surprise. My kids here in Canada wil have - no, already have - significantly less freedom that I used to have. "Nothing to fear unless you are a criminal" - that argument is still heard all over the place every day. As it was in Nazi days. Dobn;t want to sound alarmist, but we really have to worry about all this.

    I would say just a *little* pushback from all of us would help greatly. Does your bank really need that social insurance number? Perhaps asking "am I really legally oliged to give you this" whenever you are asked to produce ID would be a good step?

    Peace,
    Michael
  • by PepsiProgrammer ( 545828 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:18PM (#2748542)
    Everyone knows santa uses the principals of quantum mechanics to be in every house at the same time delivering gifts.

    How would tracking by radar be possible?

  • And you thought it was bad enough when Matthew Broderick messed up the WOPR, now the damn mainframe is going completely gaga ...
  • I missed first post on my own story! Dammit!

    I'll never stop refreshing Slashdot again! I can't allow this to happen a second time!

  • Why RealMedia? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by citizenc ( 60589 )
    (This is not to be taken as flamebait or trolling or anything like that.)

    I have a HUGE problem with Real's forced marketing policies when it comes to their software -- changing startup pages, adding links everywhere, changing your program associations.. I know a large number of people who won't touch Reals stuff anymore.

    Does anybody know of a WindowsMedia stream of something like this? I want to show my niece.
    • What I want to know is why a government agency is pissing money into supporting crap like this. I'm assuming it's from some NORAD PR budget or something.
    • by damiam ( 409504 )
      And Windows Media is better? If you're gonna complain about one company's business practices, at least have the decency not to then recommend a product made by an even worse company.

      Until they finish Ogg Tarkin, I like my streaming video in MPEG format.

      • "An even worse company"...explain?


        Just because they worked hard to be successful and don't give out their source code for free doesn't make someone bad.


        I guess if you're a communist, you might think otherwise.

      • Heh heh... MPEG... streamable... riiiiiiight. Sorry, I'm not blessed with a connection capable of streaming a 1.15Mbit VCD quality MPEG file. I like my 300kBit/sec Windows Media files, thanks.
    • Well, you might take comfort knowing that the music available on their site is available in MP3. However, wgetting the files doesn't seem to be working. It fails part of the way through and has to restart from the beginning, rather than just continuing.

      Anyone have any thoughts (besides "that is a stupid waste of time")?
  • New NP Technology (Score:3, Redundant)

    by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:29PM (#2748560)
    A few years ago, when I powered up one of the lost Clinton administration laptops (it was found in under a set on the DC Metro), I came across some interesting intelligience data. Apparently, the White Bearded One (WBO) has advanced well beyond what this article implies. I only caught a quick glimpse before the Secret Service snatched it from my hands and threatened to lock me up (didn't say where exactly).

    Naturally, I pretended not to have seen anything...except to say I was looking for a video game to play and it was just sitting there looking like it wanted to be played.

    Well, anyway...it seems that the WBO has been dabbling with quantum physics. Supposedly, he's found a way to convert himself into a wave function. This allows him to visit every home in the world simultaneously. But, it seems to work better if he contrained the function to a particular longitude. By adjusting this variable alone, he could make his visit to each child's home at exactly midnight in the child's time zone.

    Pretty ingenious if you ask me. He doesn't even need to slip down any more chimmneys and risk getting stuck (or burned). And, because the probabliity of him being where you are looking is so remote, he remains completely stealthy yet accomplishes his yearly mission in exactly one solar day. Whoa.

    Happy Holidays to All!

    RD
    • He doesn't even need to slip down any more chimmneys and risk getting stuck (or burned).

      Heh, reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes comic where Calvin walks in on a roaring fireplace and douses it with a fire extinguisher screaming "WHAT'S THIS? SANTA FLAMBE?!"

    • >he's found a way to convert himself into a wave function.

      Uh, oh, he best not get observed and have his wave function collapse...
    • Why was the parent post to this message moderated as TROLL while other offbeat "stories" received "FUNNY" moderation? Apparently the moderator who awarded the Troll rating has a grudge against SANTA's R&D department or the fact that the Rudolf may soon be replaced. Must be a Union thing.

      However, after breaking this story, Santa's publicist announced that no Reindeer will lose their jobs over this advancement. They will still be used to assist in public appearances and receive the daily allotment of special magic grain.

      Hope everyone had a Wonderful Holiday.

      thx

      RD
  • by Quixote ( 154172 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:32PM (#2748567) Homepage Journal

    Isn't it ironic that this story of Santa being tracked as he goes about his business should appear right next to the "World Sousveillance Day" article....
  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:36PM (#2748576) Journal
    I emailed the site owner this morning, saying.
    I have to ask? How many massive bong hits did you have before comming up with this site? Its great!

    and got the following reply.


    John,

    Santa's sled is powered by reindeer not 'bong hits' (whatever that is). Our technology is supplied by the incredibly complex NORAD tracking system, the website by STK and AOL.

    Keep checking out the website throughout the day .... Santa will be over Doak Campbell stadium in a few hours.

    Go 'Noles.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

    Team NORAD


    They took the time to figure out I was from FSU area from my ip I guess. Very impresed :)

  • From CNN... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ktakki ( 64573 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:43PM (#2748581) Homepage Journal
    From CNN [cnn.com]:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. military officials are tracking Santa's travel path and reporting the latest data on his location on a Web site.

    "If he deviates from his filed flight plan or turns off his transponder, we're prepared to scramble F-15s from Langley AFB, Eglin AFB, Mountain Home AFB, Elmendorf AFB, Tyndall AFB, and Nellis AFB, and blow that fat bastard out of the skies," said NORAD spokesman Gen. Buck Turgidson.

    In addition, Gen. Turgidson stated that there would be a limited test of National Missile Defense (NMD) tracking assets at various locations around the country. "Santa can deploy all the decoys he wants. We'll find him, we'll track him, we'll get him," Gen. Turgidson added.

    Military analysts have mentioned possible countermeasures Santa Claus might take to avoid NORAD radar, including a low-altitude, terrain-masking flight profile, radar-absorbant coating on his sleigh, and multiple layers of metal foil on Rudolph's nose to lessen the infrared signature.

    k.
  • by SpringRevolt ( 1046 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:44PM (#2748582)
    Well, if it was me choosing an OS to organize a bunch of reindeer, I would have to trust to instinct and run with the Hurd.

    (Groan: -1 Corny :-)
  • are belong to us

    merry christmas slashdot readers - catch the real video stream and see if you can spot that firewire card in his sack that you asked for this year ;)
  • by nyet ( 19118 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @08:54PM (#2748593) Homepage
    I thought /. was a REAL news source! How unprofessional! They didn't bother to do any fact checking on this story... I found out through a friend that Santa doesn't actually exist.

    Shame on you.
    • found out through a friend that Santa doesn't actually exist.

      Actually, Santa is Canadian, so he only "doesn't exist" in the good ol' US of A. Shame on you for not believing in the /. editors, and Santa as well.

      "If it's in the New York Sun, It's true."
  • Santa does not exist!! [zophar.net]

    This is probably the best way to explain to your kids that he doesn't exist... i guess you could use this for the Easter rabbit as well :-\
  • It's a scam! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by choprboy ( 155926 )
    I knew it! Just like the moon landing, this whole "Santa" thing is just a scam, filmed on some Hollywood movie lot. Look, I found the proof! Thru very careful hacking of the sites computer code (i.e., I read the html), I've managed to decipher the highly encrypted links (i.e., took a wild guess), and have found film footage that couldn't possibly exist yet if this whole "Santa" thing was real! According to this official "NORAD" site, "Santa"'s already finishing delivering present to Hawaii. It's still the middle of the afternoon there!

    http://santa.stream.aol.com/ramgen/aol/us/specia ls /2001/santatrack/28_en.rm
  • This opens up some interesting possibilities:

    SAM [dsi.co.il].
  • You know, Santa really bothers me. He's all about greed and acquisitiveness. He even managed to infiltrate my non-Christian upbringing in various nasty ways. I still shudder to think about it.

    I used to look down on Christmas, until I realized that Santa (the Coca Cola Santa [fortunecity.com], that is) had nothing to do with the traditional Christmas. I've come to appreciate Christmas as an excuse for generosity and fellowship, but I will never be reconciled with the selfishness and wastefulness the fat idiot in the trademark red suit represents.

    So I think a couple of quotes are in order. First, some dialog from Buffy:

    Willow: Santa always passes me by. Something puts him off. Could be the big honkin' menorah.
    Tara: Oh, did you write him a letter?
    Xander: What'd you ask for?
    Dawn: Um, guys? Hello? Puberty? Sorta figured out the whole "No Santa" thing.
    Anya: That's a myth.
    Dawn: Yeah.
    Anya: No, I mean, it's a myth that it's a myth. There is a Santa Claus.
    Xander: The advantage of having a thousand-year-old girlfriend. Inside scoop.
    Tara: There's a Santa Claus?
    Anya: Mm-hmm. Been around since, like, the 1500s. He wasn't always called Santa, but you know, Christmas night, flying reindeer, coming down the chimney -- all true.
    Dawn: All true?
    Anya: Well, he doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as, you know, disemboweled children, but otherwise...
    Tara: The reindeer part was nice.
    And we mustn't forget Neil Gaiman's reinterpretation of the basic Santa myth [tripod.com].
  • Hope Santa has his Oracard [templetons.com] if NORAD stops him and asks about fruits or vegetables.
  • Twas the night before Christmas...
    And up at the north pole, everybody's going crazy, everything's out of control.

    The toy shop is on fire, the toys melting on the shelves, and you can Mrs. Clause screaming "I warned you never trust those elves."

    Unless something drastic happens fast, say hello to the Ghost of Christmas Past.

    Because Rudolph's puking boughs of holly, and Old Saint Nick aint all that jolly, 'cus the sleigh's in the shop cus it's broken down, but Christmas won't stop, 'cus Santa Clause is thumbing to town :)

    Gotta Love Relient K [relientk.com].
  • Check out all the archived Santa cam shots, every picture execpt Eastern Canada shows Santa in his sled.

    Seems he likes to ride in CF-18's instead.
  • by Raffi Spock ( 128916 ) <raffir&nettaxi,com> on Monday December 24, 2001 @09:48PM (#2748659) Homepage
    SANTA CLAUS: An Engineer's Perspective
    I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

    II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second.

    This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second --- 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

    III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them --- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

    IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second crates enormous air resistance --- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

    V. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
  • I feel safer at night knowing that our technology is so advanced that we can even track Santa clause. But I'm worried about the cost to the economy because of all the money outlayed because of Santa. The amount of money we spent to irradiate the mail that was sent to him, and I presume he will be given an F15 fighter jet escort because of the hightened state of security. I think the cost of this far surpasses the cost of toys for every girl and boy. But there's an opportunity for santa to repay us. He knows when people are sleeping you know, and when they're awake, and obviously he knows where everyone is, so why doesn't the FBI find out from him where Bin Laden is? I mean think of all the free publicity cocoa-cola and other American companies give him over the years, the least he can do for the country is help our war effort. I personally would support covert military action at the north pole to find Santa Clause and find out what he knows, and while they're at it they should get some of that technology that he has. Especially that part in that poem,

    "..And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;"

    That I think could be very useful in those caves of Tora Bora.
  • As reported a couple of weeks ago [radiofreenation.net], Santa was pulled in for questioning because of potentially suspicious activities in Canada. See this report in Yahoo [yahoo.com].

    I understand he was held under lock and key, but he must of had a good lawyer and made bail. Although He'll now be in trouble for fleeing the jurisdiction.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Santa Claus may be good fun for non-Christian children everywhere, but have you ever stopped to consider the effect that Santa's popularity has had on Jesus? Yes, Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and makes julienne fries, is now forced to wander the streets begging for spare change [fredericksburg.com] like some sort of Perl programmer.

    So when you're opening your shiny gifts from Santa tomorrow morning, think of Jesus. He's probably going to get frostbite for your sins, and then have to have his feet amputated for your sins, and go on prescription painkillers while receiving federal welfare for your sins. You fuckers!

    -- The_Messenger [geocities.com]

  • by thebabelfish ( 213456 ) on Monday December 24, 2001 @10:40PM (#2748716) Homepage
    To see still cam shots from the future (now how did they do that? :), replace 'XX' in the URL www.noradsanta.org/english/cam/santacamXX.html with any number from 01-29, inclusive. The locations the numbers correspond with (I think) are below, although somethings seems screwy (feel free to correct as the night progresses, I probably screwed up).
    1. Blip on NORAD radar (kinda)
    2. Blip (?) on NORAD satellite (sorta)
    3. Sydney Harbor
    4. Aleutian Islands
    5. Figi (Fugi?)
    6. Sydney Harbor (doesn't make sense!?)
    7. Mt. Fugi, Japan
    8. Malaysia
    9. Himalayas
    10. Taj Mahal, India
    11. Persian Gulf
    12. St. Basils, Moscow
    13. Finland
    14. South Africa
    15. Collosseum, Rome
    16. Eiffel Tower, Paris
    17. Stone Henge, England
    18. Brazil
    19. Newfoundland
    20. Over the USA
    21. Over the USA (yet again)
    22. Statue of Liberty, NYC
    23. White House
    24. Unidentifiable
    25. A shopping mall (?!?)
    26. The rockies (?)
    27. San Francisco (Los Angeles?)
    28. Hawaii (?)
    29. Hawaii (again?)
  • Well, my son and I will sleep better tonight knowing that NORAD can survive the Slashdot effect!

    Merry Christmas everyone!
  • Looking at the very poorly rendered snapshots and flybys of Santa [noradsanta.org], I would feel bad telling my kid that it's really him. Hell, no wonder kids can't distinguish video games from reality!
  • Awake all night, terrified that Satan's going to come down the chimney...
  • but Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Quanza, and other non-denominational holiday greetings to all \.
  • Need sometyhing to listen to? Ho about Prank Calls:

    208.38.138.12:8000
    :-)
  • Rumor has it that Santa is actually running late, after having to to submit to a personal search, have his packages hand inspected and unwrapped, and having his boots x-rayed before leaving. (imagine standing around barefoot in a foot of snow). On a related note, anyone expecting a Swiss Army Knife for Christmans will be disappointed as more that 3 million were confiscated.
  • If Santa is using stealth technology, can I detect him with my cellular phone? It would be cool to see him for the 0.00000001ms he'd be in my house.

    I hope he has that shiny new hard drive for me.
  • Merry Christmas everyone and have a great New Year!

    The Dude
  • Is spreading the concept of commercialism in order to destroy the true meaning of Christmas... I think that it's no accident that his name is an anagram for Satan.
    Just kidding, all. I'm from a Chanukah house. No offense intended...

    (...I'm watching you, Santa. I'm watching you.)
  • Y'know, I was playing Flight Simulator today. And then I saw that Norad Santacam. Hmmm, looks a little similar; you have a sprite of Santa in this flying contraption, atop some scenery. Hey, what would it be like to fly one of those things? No throttle, but reins, and minimal instrumentation. It's certainly fast enough, navigable, and doesn't need regular airports to land at. Yeah, that'd be a nice addition! Why just airplanes and helicopters?
    You might have to set the date to late December to get it to take off, though.
  • I dropped a pile again this Christmas and shipped it all off to family back in the Midwest. I'm a westie and didn't fly back this Christmas so I miss out on all those looks and hanging out on present opening. So to cheer myself up a little I bought a few gifts for myself:

    A Slinky Jr.

    A spinning top which plays a tune and has little weapon stickers on it.

    A Boba Fett Pez dispenser

    Works for me. I feel great!

    Anyone else buy themselves presents?

  • That was an "instant classic" as the kids like to say these days.
  • When I was a kid, I thought that this was so wonderful. I can remember hearing NORAD's reports on the radio while driving home from Christmas Eve dinner at our grandparents. It was an integral part of christmas for me, and it was quite magical too.

    I hadn't thought about it in a long time until I heard this story, and I'm glad I did. It warms my heart to think that a new generation of children is enjoying this, and in new ways thanks to the digital age.

    Anyone else have childhood memories of NORAD tracking santa?
  • As noded into E2... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by teleny ( 4948 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2001 @12:54AM (#2748836)
    The NORAD Santa Report owes its existence to a typo in a local newspaper in Omaha,
    Nebraska. In the mid-Fifties, a local department store had an actor impersonating Santa Claus,
    that kids could call on Christmas Eve. (Presumably, the guy told the kids that "he'd be right over" and tell them to get to bed early.)

    Unfortunately, the number had one digit wrong, which yuppers, patched the rugrats into NORAD.
    The somewhat amused personnel, married and with kids themselves (as per regulation,
    according to then-current psychological theory) took to saying "Well, we're an Air Force base, not
    Santa Claus, but yes, we're tracking Santa right now."

    A few winters of this were enough to get everyone's story straight, and to retire the number (except for Santa reports). In 1958, they began releasing live reports to TV and radio stations, casting high-ranking (and often retired) officers asuld get a "full NORAD welcome" (of escorting state-of-the-art fighter jets) if seen over US airspace. Creepy, when you think of it...
  • Is it appropriate that we deliberately deceive our children? Does this make them more or less likely to trust us? Should we be talking about how cute this is, or about what we can do to change the brutally mistaken tradition of conspiring to trick young children?
    • I agree with the parent poster and am saddened, but not surprised, to see the post modded "flamebait." Apparently anyone who dares to criticize anything Christmas-y, even on a forum usually as progressive and freethinking as Slashdot, is eeevil and must be silenced. [sigh]
  • Osama got run over by a reindeer
    Right outside his cave on Christmas eve
    Some folks says there's no such thing as Santa,
    But now even the Taliban believes

    Osama thought we'd never find him,
    But even little children know
    Santa knows who's been real naughty,
    In those hard Afghani mountains capped with snow
    Al-Quieda found him Christmas morning
    Face down on that mountain pass.
    There were hoof marks on his turban,
    And a broken reindeer antler up his HO HO HO HO

    Osama got run over by a reindeer
    Peein' near his cave door Christmas eve.
    You can say there's no such thing as karma
    But if you saw those hoof marks you'd believe.

    Osama got run over by a reindeer
    Now he's not around on Christmas day.
    He was hoping he's be meetin' Allah
    But the only thing he met was Santa's sleigh.
  • If Bin Laden trains his camels to fly, will the U.S. start to use this technology to track him as well?
  • So the military is tracking Santa? Hate to think what you are going to do to the poor old bastard, when your missile defence is up an running.
  • I remember working at NORAD during Christmas Eve on several occasions. The operator would patch over phone calls from children all over the states. The head officials at NORAD had a transcript prepared for the current events of Santa Claus. Over the course between 5:00pm to about 10:00pm, our office would receive hundreds of phone calls. Most of the callers were shy and very young kids that didn't say more then a few words over the phone. We'd also get the adults calling up either drunk or curious if the whole system was even working.
  • Santa's not the only one who gets tracked by the US government. There is no privacy in the U.S, airspace system. All aircraft that have been assigned unique transponder codes, usually on an instrument flight plan, can be located and tracked, based on which Air Traffic Control facility has control of the flight.

    These [flightexplorer.com] sites [flytecomm.com] . [216.33.28.152] will show you the current location of any commercial flight. There are others that will track and locate corporate jets. [fboweb.com].

    http://www.google.com/search?q=flight+tracking&btn G=Google+Search

  • the link to main page works right, but in that page all the Realmedia links don't work.... oh wait... no surprise, they're hosted on AOL :)

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