Tag Archives: MIcrosoft

Queens seniors battle Manhattan rivals in Xbox bowling tournament

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Some Queens seniors showed that they’ve still got game.

The members of the Selfhelp Senior Center in Flushing battled rival SAGE Center of Manhattan on virtual bowling lanes Thursday, in the city’s first official crosstown online Xbox seniors bowling tournament.

And although they weren’t playing for a world championship, they’ve had lots of competitive spirit to spare. With city bragging rights on the line, Queens left Manhattan in the gutter, winning the best of three set competition to win the city crown.

The match, which was made possible through a partnership between Microsoft and the Department for the Aging (DFTA), and the Department of Technology and Telecommunications, showed that through virtual games old folks can continue to playing just like they used to.

“When I do Xbox it feels like I’m doing the real bowling without the weight of the ball , so it’s good for me because I’m older now and it’s difficult for me to bowl a 10-pound ball,” said Elena Wolfe, a member of Selfhelp.

Selfhelp was the city’s first senior center to get virtual technology. It had Nintendo Wii video game systems installed a few years ago so the seniors could play Wii Sports, which includes mix virtual games, such as baseball, tennis, bowling, golf and boxing.

The center recently switched to Xbox after the city partnered with Microsoft, and seniors have since fell in love with the system. The play many times per week and have formed a virtual bowling team.

In addition to the health benefits of exercise that the game provides, the technology also helps members by teaching them modern technology and making them feel connected with the current generation.

“There is a common misconception that seniors are afraid of technology that they don’t understand it and what we are aiming to prove is that’s wrong, that’s not true at all,” Jon Minners, Department of Aging spokesperson, said.

“You just have to push them along a little bit, but once they understand technology they really enjoy it.”




NORAD, Google track Santa’s Christmas Eve journey

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


After more than 50 years of tracking Santa, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) continues to update millions on his whereabouts on Christmas Eve.

The tradition started in 1955 when a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa, according to noradsanta.org.

Those calls went to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Commander-in-Chief’s operations, and not wanting to disappoint the children who called, the director of operations had his staff “check the radar” for Santa’s location.

CONAD continued to track Santa until 1958 when the newly created bi-national air defense command, NORAD, took over the task.

Today, tracking Santa has gone high-tech.

Volunteers still respond to phone calls, but answer emails as well.

Updates are also posted to Twitter through @NoradSanta, Facebook, where the NORAD Santa tracker has more than a million likes, smartphone and tablet apps, and on noradsanta.org.

The website, which is available in eight languages, features an interactive map that tracks Santa in real time, and information on where he was last spotted, where he is headed next and how many gifts he has delivered.

For seven years NORAD used Google Maps to track Santa, but this year Microsoft’s Bing is providing the mapping software.

Google now has its own Santa Dashboard to track his Christmas Eve journey.

As of 4:30 p.m., NORAD said St. Nick was last spotted in Gaborone, Botswana in Africa, but according to Google, he is currently in Istanbul, Turkey.