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Google releases its Santa Tracker providing knowledge and games

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Google and getty images both will be benefited by this collaboration. Wikimedia Commons
Google and getty images both will be benefited by this collaboration. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Google releases Santa Tracker
  • This tracker is to help children follow Santa’s location and destination
  • The tracker also includes games and ways to learn about Christmas and its tradition

San Francisco, Dec 25, 2017: Google’s Santa Tracker, which has been around for the past 13 years, is back to help children follow Santa Clause’s location and destination of next delivery.

It showed Santa and his reindeer Rudolph’s movements beginning on Sunday through web browsers, mobile web browsers, the Android app, the Android TV and and Chromecast, Time.com reported.

One can also get updates on his location through a Google Pixel or Google Home device.

Besides helping people monitor Santa’s location, the tracker also includes games and ways to learn about Christmas, such as lesson plans and video guides that teachers can download for students.

It can also help one to learn about the varied Christmas traditions followed around the world.

And it incorporates many games such as “Santa Dive,” which allows users skydive as Santa through hoops or a “Wrap Battle” game that requires children or anyone playing the game to hit the right notes at the right time.

According to a report in the Travelandleisure.com, several of the games also include coding to help acquaint kids with basic programming, all while taking part in festive activities like snowflake making and an elf dance party. (IANS)

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Nigerian Firm Apologizes for Google’s Glitch

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter.

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Google, Main One
A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network
upgrade.

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

Google, Main One
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet.

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

Google, Main One, YouTube, Google, google services
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident.

Also Read: Google Investigating The Root Cause Of its Malfunction

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. (VOA)