Tracking Santa (on NBC in San Diego)

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It all started in 1955 when a misprint of a Sears Roebuck & Co ad appeared in a Colorado paper. Instead of listing Santa's phone number, the ad printed the phone number for CONAD (Continental Air Command). The director in charge had his staff check the radar for signs of Santa, who reported updates to the children who called.

Every year since NORAD turns its high-tech radar system towards the North Pole, following Santa's journey as he deliver presents on NORAD provides up to the minute info on Santa's every move via radar, satellites, Santa Cams, and fighter jets. In fact, Rudolph's bright red nose really is important - it gives off an infrared signature, allowing NORAD's satellites to detect his (and Santa's) whereabouts.

In 2004 Google got in on the Santa Tracking fun, so now you can use Google Earth and Google Maps to track Santa's trip. From your mobile phone: search "Santa" on Google Maps.

First Foursquare Proposal: An Interview with the Couple

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I originally broke the story for Mashable, but followed up with Alex and Susan to get the full scoop and invited them to join me via Skype to talk it about it live on NBC in San Diego.

Here's more of the story...

Susan emailed Foursquare with this email:

Subject: My fiance proposed to me last night using Foursquare!

Hello! I’m so glad Foursquare has come to Raleigh-Durham! I wanted to share that my fiance proposed to me last night using Foursquare. We we’re at dinner, both of us had our phones out, him to check in, me looking up something else and ping! there was his check in shouting “popping the question!” After he put the ring on my finger, I also checked in to the location and shouted “and I said YES!”

Then Alex sent me the following in a follow up email:

"So, to put some context on this. This was Plan B, because the rainy weather ruined Plan A. I literally thought of it 15 mins before doing it. We had been seated at a table near the window and we had just ordered a couple of drinks. Raleigh Times Bar has quite the beer selection, so Susan was looking something up on her phone about a certain style of beer. At the same time, I decided to check in quietly under the table while she was looking it up. I just waited for the Push notification to come across her screen. When it did, she looked up, mouth gaping. :) I pulled out the ring and asked her. (so we were face to face, some of the mashable commentors didn't think we were) She said yes! I put the ring on her finger and then she proceed to check in to foursquare and attached the message "and I said yes!" Shout out to Raleigh Times Bar, as they gave us a bottle of prosecco on the house to celebrate. Yesterday afternoon [Saturday], Susan thought it would be a nice thing to share this moment with the people of Foursquare, so she typed up something and submitted it via their Feedback feature on the site. "

It's Hip to Be Square: @Jack Talks Mobile Payments on NBC San Diego

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Jack Dorsey was kind of enough to do a live iChat interview with me this morning to talk all things Square. While there wasn't enough time to answer all the outstanding questions out there (like privacy concerns), we did touch on the biggies like price point, use cases, and how it actually works. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on one of those squares. Cash-only could be a thing of the past. I could easily see this being used at garage sales, as a way of processing event ticket sales, or buying items from street vendors.

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Hot Clicks: Search Trends in 2009 [As Seen on NBC]

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Here are the notes I prepared for the segment:

Top Search Trends 2009

Now is the time of year where we can look back at 2009 and reflect on what affected us the most...

- Goolge, Yahoo, Microsoft released findings from 2009 search data
- Search market share: Google 64.9%, Yahoo 18.8%, Microsoft (Bing) 9.4%
- Search behaviors highlight most popular and most significant people and events of the year

Themes of the year, based on search:

- Michael Jackson's death had a monumental impact on the world, Michael Jackson is Google's fastest rising search term for 2009 globally, as well as Bing and Yahoo's post popular search of the year
- Twitter/Facebook are growing in mainstream popularity/curiosity: Facebook is Google's second fastest rising term for 2009 globally. Twitter #2 search on Bing, and #1 fastest rising search in Google for the US (#4 globally).
- What a difference a year makes, Barack Obama comes in 4th on Google's fastest falling list (last year on the fastest rising list)

Pop culture top hits:

- Twilight: #2 search on Yahoo
- Megan Fox: #4 search on Yahoo & top Yahoo mobile search, #3 most searched for celeb on Bing
- the Gosselins: #8 search on Bing, but #1 search on Yahoo's top 10 list of sudden-fame searches for 2009
- Susan Boyle: #2 fastest rising search on Google News in US, Yahoo's #3 in their sudden fame list
- Swine Flu: #3 search on Bing, and Google's fastest rising news item for the year in US

Mobile is huge:

- Top mobile searches, like mobile games, movies, and lady gaga, on Yahoo point to mainstream adoption of the mobile web and a growing desire to consume entertainment and media from mobile devices.