Google and NORAD have been working together for years to show kids each year where Santa is in the sky on Christmas eve, but this year NORAD decided Bing was the better map source for that information. Not wanting to disappoint the good boys and girls of the world, Google upped their game and released a massive new Santa tracker with tons of features. NORAD Santa Tracker.[noradsanta.org]
Over the past few years, Google has had several small features that are available during Christmas. The Santa Tracker last year was matched with an Android app, and the ability to setup a call for children using Google Voice was setup for anyone to who wanted to surprise a little one. This year it seems Google has decided to dedicate some additional resources to their holiday offerings, releasing a website and app that promises to capture the eyes of children of all ages. In other words, their holiday-themed search results were only the beginning.
The new Santa Tracker website is a brilliant HTML5 website with several mini-games, the resurrection of the Santa phone call service, an animated village to explore that has hidden buttons to press all over, and of course a countdown to the actual tracking of Santa. This year Google promises more than just an animated sleigh on Google Maps, but instead a view of Santa’s dashboard. According to the website, the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology will be used to allow everyone to follow Santa around the world and learn a thing or two while you do.
Naturally, there’s no shortage of Google+ integration. Santa’s call service is only available between 8AM and 9PM, but Santa will send shout outs (to whomever you ask) on Google+ all day long.
Each mini-game allows you to share your scores with your friends, and the bottom left hand corner of the website floats a share function for all of the social networks. This floating menu also allows you to quickly jump between all of the activities on the website.
The app that goes with this year’s Santa tracking isn’t quite as functional as the website, but will give you plenty to do on the night. For now, the app just shows you the animated scroll of Santa’s village. None of the icons that launch the mini-games do anything, including the call Santa tool. On Christmas Eve, the app will follow Santa around the globe as he hovers just above Google Maps and delivers presents to the world. Santa will zoom through cities rendered in Google’s 3D maps and allow users to pan around and see what he’s up to.
In many ways this is a huge step up for Google, despite the lack of support from NORAD this year. The official statement from NTS made it sound like the two companies broke up, stating that they mutually agreed to go in new directions. Google is clearly the better of the Santa Tracker services out there, despite the mildly disturbing notion that tracking old Saint Nick is now a competitive market.
For The Deaf and Hard of Hearing
SCRANTON — Santa and Mrs. Claus are using American Sign Language and videophone to chat with kids all over the country.
It is a program that started at the Northeast PA Center for Independent Living in Scranton six years ago.
“Our director at that time was walking through the mall and it occurred to him, there are children who are deaf who cannot ever sit on Santa’s lap and experience that wonderful moment that children have. So, we got together and we brainstormed and we came up with this program,” said Sharon Quinn, from the Center.
Santa even has a special app on his phone so he can communicate using sign language and he showed Newswatch 16 how it works.
“Now I’m actually able to communicate with these children and deaf children are able to look up at me and say, ‘Santa Claus can sign! Santa Claus can sign! I can communicate with Santa,’ so it’s a very unique experience,” said Santa.
Six years ago, Santa and Mrs. Claus spoke to about 15 kids using the videophone.
Now, they can communicate with 150 kids from as far away as New Mexico.
“It keeps Santa and Mrs. Claus very busy though, I must say you know, checking out all these boys and girls and making sure they’re not naughty, but they’re nice, so it’s a very fun thing for us,” said Quinn.
“Of course I have all the elves that help me and it’s been very busy all year long, we stay busy all the time,” said Santa.
Santa will be making the calls through this Thursday.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a call, email Tom Shaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (570) 309-0100.
DialMyCalls.com partakes in Christmas 2012 by sending tens of thousands of personalized free Santa calls.
Jupiter, FL (PRWEB) December 19, 2012
Christmas is one week away and the holidays are being celebrated by children all across the United States. DialMyCalls looks to spread their own holiday cheer by partnering with none other than Santa Claus himself. In an effort to put a smile on the faces of tens of thousands of children, the voice broadcasting company is sending out free Santa calls this December.
What started as an event for the local Jupiter, Florida community has quickly turned into a fun loving gift from DialMyCalls and Santa Claus to kids that call America home. The second annual Santa calling event started earlier this year and has proven to be a much bigger success than in 2011 – the goal is to send as many children a personalized call from Santa Claus as humanly possible.
“Our second annual event offering free Santa calls to kids living in the United States is off to a great start” says owner David Batchelor. “Last year we sent out over 30,000 personalized greetings from Santa Claus and we are on track to break that record this year.”
Christmas day 2012 will be here in one week which means time is running out to send kids a joyous and cheer-filled greeting from good ole' Saint Nick. DialMyCalls invites everyone to partake in their holiday event by sending out free Santa calls today.
DialMyCalls.com continues to be one of the leaders in the voice broadcasting industry with their extremely efficient and easy-to-use mass notification system. The company has steadily continued to grow since its inception in 2006. Offering free calls from Santa Claus is one way that they hope to give back, both on a local level as well as nationally – who would not want to spread joy to thousands of kids if they had the chance to?
For more information, please visit http://www.dialmycalls.com or call (800) 928-2086. You can also email tsmith(at)ontimetelecom(dot)com for additional information.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Santa wants to make your child feel special this Holiday Season with an unforgettable gift: A personalized phone call from Jolly Old St. Nick himself! SendSantaCalls.com is a state-of-the-art website that enables consumers to surprise their favorite little helpers by sending a personalized phone call from Santa Claus. Using a simple online interface, users can create a fully personalized phone call that is delivered to a select phone number. The message can be sent immediately or at a specific date and time.
The phone call is fully personalized and includes:
The child's name
The sender's name
The sender's relationship (Mom, Dad, etc.)
What the child wants for Christmas
Over 1 million combinations
Imagine how surprised they'll be to receive a call from Santa. Watch their eyes light up with amazement as Santa lets them know how special they are! Check out the "Be Good" message for a friendly reminder from Santa. With over 50 selections: everything from "Stop Fighting" to "Make Your Bed," it's never been easier to enlist Santa's help.
Please click here to see a video of an actual call.
Giving back to the Salvation Army: The Salvation Army has partnered with 10Acious Inc, the parent company of SendSantaCalls, and will receive a donation from every call sent. "I grew up in a single parent home, and the Salvation Army was there for my family when I was a child," said CelebCalls.com C.E.O. Chris Webb . "It gives me great pleasure to be involved and help raise money for an organization that helps so many people."
To send a call or listen to an example, please visit http://www.SendSantaCalls.com.
CelebCalls.com allows you to send personalized phone calls from celebrities to your friends and family. CelebCalls.com utilizes patent-pending technology to provide an innovative, state-of-the-art approach that allows celebrities to engage fans with one-on-one personalized phone calls, making memories that will last a lifetime. By creating a direct relationship with celebrities and their fans, CelebCalls.com creates an unprecedented partnership that unites the world's top celebrities with their fans, and helps minimize the gap through an innovative approach that will assist in building fan loyalty.
Vonage customers can call their dedicated Santa Hotline[vonage.com], which will connect your kids right to his the North Pole workshop and they can leave a message with what they want for Christmas. Your child's wish list, and message to Santa, will be forwarded to the e-mail that is connected to the Vonage account.
Does a naughty little child of your acquaintance need a little push to get onto SANTA’s “nice” list? The Ear has just the thing: the PORTABLE NORTH POLE[portablenorthpole.com] website (www.portablenorthpole.com). You are given the option to personalize Santa’s greeting to a specific child by entering various simple generic information, then the website creates a little video with Santa talking directly to the child. By the way, this can also be done with their mobile app.
Flying With Santa Guidelines Waypoint Navigation: Although Santa relied for years on older means of navigation, he recently switched to use all GPS waypoint navigation. Waypoints are identified with five letters, e.g. SANTA, CHMNY, RUDLF, SLEHY, etc. Unfortunately, several waypoints required immediate change due to the fact that Santa became distracted by those which were food-related like MILKE and COOKY. Oddly, CAROT provided no difficulty and was allowed to remain the same. (Did you know you can use your parents-only hotline to call the North Pole for your five-letter waypoint? You can! Santa's Workshop has permission to release this information.)
Risk of Mid-air Collision: Air traffic control is not an issue for Santa's aircraft. Santa flies all profiles above FL600 (that's 60,000 feet above mean sea level) which is outside of controlled airspace. Understandably, this saves Santa a tremendous amount of time since he doesn't have to clear take-offs and landings. Mid-air collisions with other aircraft are avoided during the brief transits between the surface and FL600 by the reindeer's whiskers (they're very sensitive) and exceptional sense of smell. Pilots need never worry about hitting a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer while flying on Christmas Eve.
Seatbelt Requirement: Santa is exempt from FAR 91.105 (a) (2), the Federal Aviation Administration's seatbelt requirement. All that jumping in and out of the sleigh makes wearing a traditional seat belt ridiculous. However, the same magic Santa uses to avoid falling down chimneys and off of roofs -- an intricate, invisible, 12-point harness system developed by rock-climbing elves -- is always in place.
Flying at Altitude: Obviously, Santa and his crew have to take into consideration their abrupt ascents and descents into thin air and extreme temperatures. The reindeer regulate their temperature with thick coats of fur. Santa, wrongly maligned for his weight, uses his layer of blubber like a seal or a walrus, trapping heat which allows him to acclimatize to quick temperature changes. Oxygen requirements are a bit more tricky which is why the sleigh and reindeer harnesses were retrofitted several years ago with a state-of-the-art oxygen masks. Donner hates wearing his oxygen mask but does so because he doesn't like it when all the other reindeer laugh and call him names. Santa, incidentally, always remembers to don his own oxygen mask before assisting others.
Rudolph and the Myth of the Foggy Night: Urban legends take on a life of their own and tend to be accepted in popular culture as truth, so it may surprise you to learn that Rudolph was not added to the reindeer flight team because of a "foggy night." That's pure romanticized fiction. In fact, Rudolph was made part of the team when Santa agreed to voluntarily comply with a 1939 CAA (Civic Aeronautics Authority -- precursor of the FAA) mandate that all aircraft flying at night display a red "anti-collision" light. Rudolph's red nose has now been replaced with a white strobe light. The flashing strobe made Dasher nauseous, which is why he was moved to the back of the trace and Blitzen replaced him up front.
Flash Mob Christmas Caroling[youtube.com]
Last edited by slicklupaka; 12-23-2012 at 08:26 AM..
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