Tech the halls with Darth Vader yule log and Santa spy camYule love entertaining holiday guests with unique fireplace videos. Plus, kids can keep an eye on Santa's route in new ways and even track him in the house with the Lowe's Iris app.
Darth Vader finds your lack of yule log disturbing. I'm Bridget Carey. This is your CNET update. [MUSIC] Take your Christmas celebrations up a notch this year with some high tech help. Let's start by spicing up the traditional yule log video. When guests come over, you may want to put on a soothing video of a crackling fire. Going on instead, a stream of videos after Nick Offerman sipping whiskey near a crackling fire for nearly 45 minutes. Yes, it's really just one big ad for that whiskey brand, but there's something meditative and soothing about staring at this continuous video. Maybe it's the beard. Or perhaps more fitting for your home, is the Darth Vader yule log, created by YouTube user Benjamin Apple. You could just watch Vader's dead body burn in the fire in this five hour long clip. Little known fact, that helmet of his was pretty fire resistant. Now if only someone could make a version of this for Jar Jar Binks. It really is easy to play this on your TV, if you have a streaming box with the YouTube app, like the Roku or Chromecast or a Smart TV with YouTube built in. You may also recall a few other unique yew logs from years of Christmas past such as little BUB the cat purring in front of a fire. The four year old feline internet sensation didn't make a new yew log video this year. Instead BUB has been busy making a billboard chart topping album. Seriously. The album is called Science and Magic, a Guide to the Universe. And it hit number two on the top dance electronic album category. And 25% of the proceeds benefit special needs pets. But if you're looking for some Santa fun to keep the kids busy, Google has once again created a digital portal into Santa's village. Go to santatracker.google.com to access a number of games, videos, and educational activities. Like a translation tool for holiday greetings around the world. And you can also learn some coding basics with the help of the North Pole elves. Google also has an Android Santa tracker app with games and some extras like watch faces for Android powered smart watches. And there's a virtual reality mode to use with Google Cardboard. And on December 24th you can start tracking the big man himself and see where he is on Google Maps Google isn't the only high tech way to keep tabs on Santa. The home improvement retailer Lowes has its own home monitoring system called the Iris. And its apps can track when santa arrives at your house. You don't need to own the Iris system to use the app. But it helps you setup magical close sensors around the house. Like near the tree or the stockings to catch them in the act. You can also setup a Santa Cam for photo evidence. That's it for this tech news roundup, and there's more at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good update. [MUSIC]