Why NORAD Tracks Santa


This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.


The red phone rang one day in December 1955, and Shoup answered it, Pam says. "And then there was a small voice that just asked, 'Is this Santa Claus?' "

His children remember Shoup as straight-laced and disciplined, and he was annoyed and upset by the call and thought it was a joke — but then, Terri says, the little voice started crying.

"And Dad realized that it wasn't a joke," her sister says. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.' Dad looked it up, and there it was, his ;red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus."

This story brought a flood of memories back from my childhood. I remember my parents and I calling the hotline, and trying again and again after getting busy signals until we finally spoke to an airman to get Santa's location.

These days there's an app for that (and a site), but the past years I have tried to call in with my son because there are still men & women of the armed forces answering these phones on Christmas Eve, talking to countless boys & girls.

Thank you to those who serve in our military daily, but especially to those providing an evening of fun and whimsy to the small voices on the other end of the telephone.

This Christmas Eve, dial up 1-877 HI-NORAD with your children and thank a service man or woman for their efforts in keeping tabs on Santa.

Introducing the 1Password App Extension for iOS 8 apps

Anyone who has ever used 1Password on an iPhone or iPad has wished that it could integrate with Safari the way it does on the Mac. The great news is that the upcoming iOS 8 has extensions, and 1Password is going to be there on the forefront.

And if that isn't awesome enough for you, it's even going to work in apps that integrate 1Password's extension! If you are an iOS developer, please take a look at the GitHub page and add some 1Password love to your app.

This fall is going to be awesome for 1Password and for you. Check out the video below from Dave Teare showing off the extension inside an app.

Go, you chicken fat, go!

Apple released a new iPhone ad tonight focused on fitness apps & accessories, titled "Strength".

What just kills me about this ad is that it is set to the tune of "Chicken Fat".

The song has an interesting history. It is also one of my dad's favorite workout songs.

I about fell over when the music started playing.

10 South Dakota Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

As someone who grew up in South Dakota, I can say that this list is pretty spot on. The one thing that had me go "What the heck?" Was the part in 8 about a hot bar. Hot dish, totally. One of my favorite meals of all time is Pizza Hot Dish. But a hot bar? I have never heard a dessert referred to as that.

Must be some weird West River thing.


It must be Youtube video week at techese HQ, because the official trailer for Christopher Nolan's next movie just came out. I love that Nolan doesn't give too much away in his trailers. Inception was a fantastic film that wasn't ruined ahead of time by giving away the whole movie in the trailer.

Interstellar looks simply fascinating.

The Flash

This past year I have become a huge fan of Arrow on The CW. My wife & I buzzed through season 1 on Netflix and can't wait to get a hold of season 2, which we have heard is truly epic.

While I try to dodge season 2 spoilers like the plague, one I couldn't escape was a cameo of Barry Allen, who any good comic nerd knows as The Flash.

The CW is spinning Barry out into his own show aptly titled The Flash, natch. They posted 5-minute trailer today, and this show just looks fantastic.


A while back my colleagues & I won an Editor's Choice Award from Macworld.

Because the folks running the company are amazing, they made sure everyone in the company received their very own Eddy. They started showing up at our doors a few weeks ago, and to celebrate, a great many of us took out our cameras to get our photo taken with Eddy.

You can see everyone's photos at the link in the title, and you can see mine below.

How to tie your shoes

I saw this TEDx video a couple months ago, and thought it was a nifty experiment to try out. It took a good two weeks to not have to force myself to remember to tie my shoes the new way, and now it is habit. The result: my laces lay nicer and rarely come untied.

Who knew we all learn to tie our laces the wrong way?