Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New About Google - 16 February 2010

  • Ask not what your ad campaigns can do for you, but what you can do for your ad campaigns to get the most out of President's Day
    February 15, 2011
    Think that Valentine’s Day is the only holiday for retailers in February? Think again: between January 1 and the present, searches for the term “presidents day sales” have increased by almost 100%.

    As the graph below suggests, queries for “presidents day deals” have grown over the years, and this observation is worth advertisers’ time; creating new ad text and having a coupon code for shoppers looking to score a bargain this weekend may be valuable.

    Below are a few quick tips and
  • Dutch geo-modelers gather to model The Hague
    February 15, 2011
    Cross-posted from the Dutch Google Product Blog.
    Delft, The Netherlands was the most recent location for a Your World in 3D workshop. The goal of the event was to gather members of the local community to learn Building Maker so that they could model The Hague. Design8, an established Google SketchUp distributor in The Netherlands, organized, promoted and led a very successful event. Over 60 people attended the workshop, which was held at the ultra-modern technical facilities of TU Delft, a prominent Dutch engineering school.

  • Search trends: a clue to 2011 Oscar winners?
    February 15, 2011
    Each year, as the Academy Awards bubble to the top of our collective consciousness, we see a major spike in search traffic related to the event. This year, on the day the nominees were announced, four of the top 10 trending search terms in the U.S. were Oscar-related.

    After last year’s awards ceremony, we provided an in-depth summary of search trends that played out during the broadcast. But could search trends have predicted the winners? To make it easy to explore how the actors, directors and cinematographers are trending in search—and maybe
  • Proper Animation is a very cool plugin
    February 15, 2011
    Somewhere near the top of SketchUp's all-time list of feature requests, there's a big, bold headline that reads ANIMATE THE MOVEMENT OF OBJECTS. It's something all of us have wanted to do at one time or another. Unfortunately, it's also not something we've managed to tackle just yet. And that's why Ruby script plugins for SketchUp are so darn useful.
    A while ago, I found out about a nice little plugin called Proper Animation. Watching the teaser video (below) inspired me to model and animate my very own robotic contraption. Shockingly, it

  • Use Google Apps APIs without writing a program
    February 15, 2011
    Today we are releasing the Google Apps Shell Interface (GASI), a graphical user interface for administrators working with Google Apps APIs.

    Google Apps administrators work with the APIs for a variety of reasons. First, there are a number of features that are only exposed to the administrator through the APIs. Second, the administrator may wish to save time by automating a task instead of repeating it for thousands of users. Traditionally, you’d write a program directly using the Google Apps APIs, use libraries such as gData, or write a
  • Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows
    February 15, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Blog)

    In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we’ve started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we’ll focus on communicating the science on climate change.

    We’re kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated

  • Join us on YouTube for Carnival in Brazil
    February 14, 2011
    Ever been to Carnival in Brazil? If you haven’t, you now have the chance to experience Brazil’s iconic celebration on the new YouTube Carnival channel via your computer or your mobile phone, from the streets of Salvador, Bahia, one of the largest cities in Brazil and carnival-rival only to sister-city, Rio de Janeiro.

    The YouTube Carnival channel will offer live feeds to Salvador’s multi-day street fest from Thursday, March 3 to Thursday, March 8, or Fat Tuesday (literally, Mardi Gras). YouTube visitors worldwide will now be

  • Speed Thrills - Tackling the YouTube video processing challenge
    February 14, 2011
    Few things can be more frustrating than waiting for what feels like years for that amazing video you just shot to finish uploading to the site so you can publish it and share it with your friends. Whether it’s the speed a video plays back, or the speed a video uploads, at YouTube speed matters. Why do we care so much about speed? Because we know that speed can mean the difference between you having a good experience, or you leaving YouTube in search of a better, faster one.

    Today, as we look at 2011, we’d like to review our progress in improving
  • A refresh to the Documents List
    February 14, 2011
    Over the past year, many of you have been taking advantage of the ability to upload any file to Google Docs. With more files and of a variety of file types in one place, it becomes more difficult to organize and find what you need quickly. As a result, we are happy to announce that, over the next couple of days, we’ll be rolling out a refresh to the documents list, aimed to make it more useful to find, explore and share all your files stored 100% on the web.

    First, we added a number of filters in this refresh, making it easier to narrow
  • New Chrome extension: block sites from Google’s web search results
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google Chrome Blog)

    We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we're exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search
  • Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 now available
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Google Web Toolkit Blog)
    Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 are now available with several new features that we’re excited to share with you. First, Google Plugin for Eclipse 2.2 directly integrates GWT Designer, a powerful WYSIWYG Ajax user interface (UI) designer that makes it much easier to quickly build UIs. Second, developers can take advantage of the modern web with the first round of HTML5 support within the GWT SDK. Additionally, GWT’s CellTable widget now offers new functionality, such as default

  • Send virtual love this Valentine’s Day
    February 14, 2011
    Scrambling to make last-minute dinner reservations and to order a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses before your local florist is left with only withered strands of baby’s breath? You don’t even need to leave your computer to send your own personalized message of love this Valentine’s Day.

    With Unlisted videos, you can send a message to your sweetheart without anyone else knowing you’re sometimes referred to as “Honeybear”. When you upload your video, mark it as “Unlisted”. Then you can share it with only those people who have the URL.

  • Pin your love on the map
    February 14, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Lat Long Blog)

    This Valentine’s Day, tell your friends, family or significant other that you love them with a fun message from Google Maps.

    Location can be a powerful trigger of memories—from the Italian place in San Francisco where you went on your first date to the cabin you rented at Lake Tahoe with your roommates. For that reason, we thought it would be great to create a Valentine’s Day card that’s tied to a specific location. As long as there’s a place that means something special to you and the

  • Display both text and image ads for an easy change with big impact
    February 14, 2011 is an online resource for finding free or affordable events in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founder Johnny Hayes recently shared his site’s story with us and gave some tips on an easy and high impact way that he’s optimized his revenue -- by enabling both text and image/rich media ads.

    Inside AdSense: How did come about?
    Johnny Hayes: I moved to San Francisco without a job and couldn’t find much work, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I spent my time hunting down cheap and free things to do in the city
  • Get Basic Search Results by Limiting Google to Specific Reading Level
    February 14, 2011
    Often we want our search results to be basic, less technical or simpler than what Google gives us. For example, when you search Google for some less popular term, Google throws business reports or technical documentations that are good but useless results. Though the result quality is high with in-depth information but they are of no use for basic and simple purpose.
    Come Google’s Reading Level, an advance search tool to limit your search results based on complexity of content. Google actually paid to teachers to classify information for simplicity parameters and devised an algorithm to find and categorize web pages. You can find this tool in Advance Search options.
    According to Google, you should use it when –
    #. A junior high school teacher looking for content for her students.
    #. Second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level.
    #. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts
    In addition, you can use it :
    #. When you just want an overview of the topic and cover some basics.
    #. When you want to dig deep into the subject
    #. When you are sick of same results and wants a different reading experience.
    You can not only limit your results for basic level, but also filter results with advance reading level if you want to have an expertise on the topic.
    How to Filter or Limit Your Google Search Results Based on Complexity of Content?
    To use this tool, follow these simple steps –
    1) Go to Advance Search Option in Google or Click on Advance Search below the search box, once the results are displayed.
    2) Under “Need more tools” section, you will see Reading level drop-down
    Google Advance Search Reading Tool
    3) Select the option based on your needs.
    4) Select “Annotate results with reading levels” if you want all results and the select between them.
    Cloose Google REading Level
    At any point of time, you can clear the filter for the results by clicking on the X on the top blue bar.
    The idea of filtering search results based on content complexity sounds good but from the results it looks like Google has yet to throw extra efforts on refining the algorithm. However, the effort that Google has made and the progress in this direction looks promising and you can expect some major changes in coming days. This can also impact on search ranking for different sites and can play a major factor in web competition. All in all, it’s a welcome step from Google because it enhances search experience by categorization of content.
    via – Google Support

  • Google Code-in Grand Prize Winners
    February 14, 2011
    Today we are pleased to announce the grand prize winners of the Google Code-in contest. We first want to thank all the participants for their work – we had over 2,000 tasks completed by more than 360 pre-university students from 48 countries! Every student who participated in the contest will be receiving a t-shirt and certificate of participation.

    We decided that 10 grand prize winners weren’t sufficient to acknowledge all the hard work put into the contest, so we’ve accepted our top 14 finalists instead. For their excellent work
  • I Just Called & Clicked To Say I Love You: Capturing Hearts One Mobile Phone at a Time
    February 14, 2011
    Ah, alas! February 14th: That special day of the year when love is in the air, Cupid is on the loose and men around the country are searching to find their romantic side - Valentine’s Day. Well gentlemen, the big night has finally arrived and whether you’ve been preparing for months or just noticed that big heart around the 14th on your girlfriend’s calendar (hint!), planning the perfect Valentine’s Day is right at your fingertips – literally!

    That tiny cell phone in your hand is the gateway to the world and to your little lady
  • Announcing the 2011 Nonprofit Video Awards
    February 13, 2011
    If you’re a non-profit organization who has created one or more amazing videos in the past year, we have good news for you. For the second year in a row, YouTube is teaming up with See3 Communications to present the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards, a celebration of the best non-profit video on the site. Whether you created a high-definition documentary about street slums in India or shot a quirky cellphone video of rescue dogs at your animal shelter, we encourage you to submit your video at

    We’ll award
  • This week in search 2/11/11
    February 11, 2011
    This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

    With features like Instant, the dynamic left-hand panel of tools, voice search and Google Goggles, search is becoming more interactive all the time. You don’t just type and query and hit enter: you can speak your search query, and whether typing or speaking, you can search in a kind of conversation, with the results and search tools updating dynamically based on just a few
  • New SketchUp books for interior designers
    February 11, 2011
    Judging by last year's SketchUp Pro sales numbers, it's pretty clear that interior design is one of our fastest-growing markets. It's about time, too—between the piles of content on the 3D Warehouse, the availability of awesome photo-rendering plugins, LayOut and SketchUp's all-around awesomeness, there's plenty for interior designers to love.
    And now there are books, too! Adriana Granados is an architect and interior designer who happens to know an awful lot about SketchUp. She's written a series of mercifully short, to-the-point manuals

  • On the Rise: We need your votes!
    February 11, 2011
    Another month, another crop of talented video-makers! February’s On the Rise nominees are in, and we need you to check out the four nominees below and choose your favorite. Cast your vote in the top right-hand corner of this blog.

    Here’s how On the Rise works. We identify channels who’ve gained a lot of subscribers in the past 30 days but haven’t yet reached the 100,000 mark. You vote on your favorite, and we feature the winner on the YouTube homepage and the videos page, Facebook and Twitter. Past winners like emilynoel83, justjesse197
  • I just called (with Google Voice) to say I love you.
    February 11, 2011
    Roses are so 2010. Whether you see your special someone every day or you’re in a long distance relationship, Google Voice gives you a bunch of one-of-a-kind ways to let your sweetheart know that you’re thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

  • Authentication changes with 2-step verification
    February 11, 2011
    We recently announced an advanced opt-in 2-step verification process to help make your Google Accounts significantly more secure. 2-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account by requiring unique “verification codes” in addition to your username and password at sign-in. This means that if your password is stolen, you still have an extra line of defense against a potential hijacker.

    Enabling 2-step verification on a Google Account associated with an AdWords Account may lead to an authentication issue when using

  • App Engine 1.4.2 SDK - API Updates and Additions Edition
    February 11, 2011
    It’s only February and we’re already at our second release for the year! Today’s SDK release, 1.4.2 focuses on improving and updating a few existing App Engine APIs.
    Improved XMPP API to help applications better interact with users. Notifications are sent when users sign in and out and when their status changes, and the application can now set presence details to be returned to the user. Subscription and Presence notifications are enabled as inbound services in the application configuration.
    Task Queue performance and Task Queue API

  • App Engine 1.4.2 SDK - API Updates and Additions Edition
    February 11, 2011
    Google App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. There are no servers to maintain, and we keep the SDK up to date with regular releases. Today’s SDK release, 1.4.2 focuses on improving and updating a few existing App Engine APIs.
    Improved XMPP API to help applications better interact with users. Notifications are sent when users sign in and out and when their status changes, and the application can now set presence details to be returned to the user. Subscription

  • UseR Meetup at Google San Francisco
    February 11, 2011
    Earlier this week, Google hosted the Bay Area useR Group at our San Francisco office. Over 40 attendees showed up to hear Dylan Beaudette from UC Davis give a presentation about investigating soil genesis and geography with R (PDF). Dylan has been using R to study and visualize large amounts of soil data and has made his routines available in the aqp: Algorithms for Quantitative Pedology package on CRAN.

    Dylan Beaudette explaining his research.
    Dylan's research also utilizes a number of Google technologies, such as
  • This Week's Trends: Football, Commercials, and Gospel Music
    February 11, 2011
    Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:

  • Go behind the scenes at the Grammys, starting today
    February 11, 2011
    Music’s biggest night is almost upon us, and this year YouTube has your ticket to the pre-show and the parties!

    Starting today at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, tune into to watch live coverage of events leading up to the big night. The live stream starts Friday night and continues all weekend, including some never-before-seen footage of Grammy moments.

    You can also be a fly on the wall at the storied, celebrity-studded Clive Davis party and check out the usually un-broadcasted Pre-Telecast, where The Recording Academy actually
  • Google D.C. Talk February 24 - Breaking Digital Dependency: A Conversation with William Powers
    February 11, 2011
    Posted by Jenna Wandres, Public Policy Communications

    Obsessively checking your smart phone. Responding to email while you're on a beach vacation. Taking a Sunday morning conference call. You know the symptoms of 'digital dependency', and chances are good that you've experienced some form of it.

    Carrying a smartphone or laptop is a great way to stay on top of your workload and to be available in case of an emergency - but at what cost? William Powers' new book, Hamlet's Blackberry, critiques online life and examines the dichotomy

  • Advanced sign-in security for your Google account
    February 10, 2011

    (Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

    Has anyone you know ever lost control of an email account and inadvertently sent spam—or worse—to their friends and family? There are plenty of examples (like the classic "Mugged in London" scam) that demonstrate why it's important to take steps to help secure your activities online. Your Gmail account, your photos, your private documents—if you reuse the same password on multiple sites and one of those sites gets hacked, or your password
  • New in Building Maker: See what’s already modeled
    February 10, 2011
    We’ve launched a slew of new features in Building Maker recently, but I thought I’d focus on one in particular for now. One of the trickiest things about Building Maker was figuring out which buildings had already been modeled and which hadn’t. I’m happy to announce that we’ve added a feature that solves this problem.

    Colored markers in Building Maker indicate the "modeled status" of buildings on the map.

    When you’re looking at a city in Building Maker, you’ll notice hundreds of colored blue and gray markers. These markers indicate

  • More “I do”s, less “to-do”s: wedding planning simplified
    February 10, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Google Docs Blog and the Google Photos Blog)
    For many, your wedding day is one of the biggest, most momentous days of your life. The perfect dress, the right tuxedo, the proper shade of blue, the three-tier cake with chocolate fondant, and all of your closest family and friends—these are just a few of the many things you might think about for your special day. Although there’s much to consider and a lot of work to do, the payoff is great: it’s one of the happiest days of your life.

    To help you plan this important day
  • Advanced security protection for your Google Account
    February 10, 2011

    From encrypted search to security alerts in Gmail, we’re always looking at new ways to make your online experience more secure.

    Building on that tradition, starting today we’re offering an advanced sign-in security feature for Google Accounts called 2-step verification.

    Most of us are familiar with 1-step verification, which requires a username and password to sign in. 2-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account by requiring two factors for authentication:
  • Advanced sign-in security for your Google account
    February 10, 2011
    (Cross-posted on the Gmail Blog)

    Has anyone you know ever lost control of an email account and inadvertently sent spam—or worse—to their friends and family? There are plenty of examples (like the classic "Mugged in London" scam) that demonstrate why it's important to take steps to help secure your activities online. Your Gmail account, your photos, your private documents—if you reuse the same password on multiple sites and one of those sites gets hacked, or your password is conned out of you directly through a phishing scam, it can be
  • reveals the fashion trends on everyone’s mind
    February 9, 2011
    Since we introduced last November, we’ve been busy developing new features that we’re proud to unveil as New York Fashion Week hits the runways.

    More of the boutiques you love
    We’re welcoming hundreds of thousands of stunning new boutiques, including those from designers Helmut Lang, Michael Kors, Billy Reid and Thakoon.

    Trend data to excite designers and fashion enthusiasts alike
    Over the past few months, we’ve watched usage of Boutiques soar. Shoppers aren’t just creating their own customized boutiques, they’re enthusiastically
  • Introducing Renderscript
    February 9, 2011
    [This post is by R. Jason Sams, an Android engineer who specializes in graphics, performance tuning, and software architecture. —Tim Bray]
    Renderscript is a key new Honeycomb feature which we haven’t yet discussed in much detail. I will address this in two parts. This post will be a quick overview of Renderscript. A more detailed technical post with a simple example will be provided later.
    Renderscript is a new API targeted at high-performance 3D rendering and compute operations. The goal of Renderscript is to bring a lower level, higher

  • Join Google at the Game Developers Conference
    February 9, 2011
    In the next few weeks, thousands of programmers, designers and publishers will head to San Francisco for the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). Google will be there in full force, showcasing technologies, distribution platforms and monetization solutions that help game developers create amazing games and reach an audience of hundreds of millions.
    We’ve planned two developer days with several exciting talks. On February 28th, we’ll discuss web technologies such as HTML5, WebGL and Native Client, as well as Google’s cloud solutions and

  • Android 2.3.3 Platform, New NFC Capabilities
    February 9, 2011
    Several weeks ago we released Android 2.3, which introduced several new forms of communication for developers and users. One of those, Near Field Communications (NFC), let developers get started creating a new class of contactless, proximity-based applications for users.
    NFC is an emerging technology that promises exciting new ways to use mobile devices, including ticketing, advertising, ratings, and even data exchange with other devices. We know there’s a strong interest to include these capabilities into many applications, so we’re happy

  • Dialed up: the rapid launch and growth of Click-to-Call
    February 9, 2011
    This post is the first in our series profiling entrepreneurial Googlers working on products across the company and around the world. Here, you’ll get an in-depth look at how one of our most successful mobile advertising features was launched by one and a half engineers in a matter of months. -Ed.

    I’ll always remember my first cell phone—a big, black brick that was really only good for making calls. While technology certainly has advanced since then, I still appreciate the speed of connecting to people and businesses instantly over the phone
  • Geo-modeler and Sydneysider Peter Olsen
    February 8, 2011
    Cross-posted from the Official Google Australia Blog
    Retired software engineer Peter Olsen discovered SketchUp shortly after it was acquired by Google in 2006. He published his first model to Google Earth’s “3D Buildings” layer in July 2008. Two and a half years later, he has 68 buildings in Google Earth—some as far away as Italy and Peru.
    Peter is a Sydneysider, so it’s not surprising that he focused his initial geo-modeling activity in his home town. He’s modeled several of the city’s most visible buildings and structures, including

  • Introducing the Google Translate app for iPhone
    February 8, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog)

    Back in August 2008, we launched a Google Translate HTML5 web app for iPhone users. Today, the official Google Translate for iPhone app is available for download from the App Store. The new app has all of the features of the web app, plus some significant new additions designed to improve your overall translation experience.

    Speak to translate
    The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For
  • Happy birthday from 20,000 leagues under the sea
    February 7, 2011
    It wasn’t very difficult for something to spark my imagination when I was a child—whether it was a pile of leaves or a couch of stackable cushions, just about anything could jump-start my creativity. My first encounter with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, however, sent my imagination into hyper drive.

    I first found the novel while browsing through a random aisle in my local library. The cover was dark, murky and a little worn—but it was the most spectacular thing I’d ever seen. A pair of old-fashioned divers drag their feet over

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