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Category: Google | Jul 9, 2013
Getting together for meals and laughs, telling stories, and simply spending time with loved ones—this is what holidays mean to many of us.
This year, as families around the world celebrate Ramadan, we have some tips on how you can more easily keep in touch and share moments with the people you care about.
Check out our new page for Ramadan 2013 for suggestions on how to catch up with friends and family no matter where you are, drop in to live cook-along Hangouts with celebrity chefs from around Southeast Asia, easily discover and watch videos on YouTube, and find the best commute routes that will get you home in time to share a meal with loved ones.
You can also experience the atmosphere of Al-Masjid Al-Haram by tuning in to the live stream from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information’s YouTube channel, also available directly on our new page.
And if you’d like to see how people around the world are celebrating Ramadan, search for #ramadan2013 on Google+ to see the latest stream of posts and photos. You can also send through your own special moments: Simply share your favorite photo or post on Google+ and tag your post with #ramadan2013.
Posted by Hadi Raad, Head of Marketing, Emerging Arabia
Category: Google | Jul 9, 2013
This summer we’re posting regularly with privacy and security tips. Knowing how to stay safe and secure online is important, which is why we created our Good to Know site with advice and tips for safe and savvy Internet use. -Ed.
Summer is here, and with kids out of school it is a great time for families to explore the web together—from learning what makes fireflies glow to playing online games together. But while there is a lot of entertaining, educational content online, there are also materials I’d rather not see when I’m surfing the web with my family. Google has built a number of tools that parents can use to help keep content they would rather not see from popping up on the family computer. It takes less than five minutes to turn them on, so follow the steps below to help make your search results more family-friendly this summer.
1. Turn on SafeSearch in Google Search
Turning on SafeSearch is an easy way to help you hide images, search results and videos intended just for adults. It’s especially helpful if you’re concerned about the content that might pop up on your family computer, and it’s easy to turn on. Just visit the Google Search Settings page, go to the “SafeSearch filters” section, and check the box to filter mature content from Google Search result pages. These preferences will apply for any searches done using that browser on your computer. If you have multiple browsers on your family computer, you might want to turn SafeSearch on for each one.
2. Save and lock your preferences
Once you’ve set your preferences, make sure to click the Save button at the bottom of the page. And if you’re signed in to your Google Account, you can also lock the SafeSearch filter so others can’t change your preferences—just click “Lock SafeSearch.” Now the setting is protected with your Google Account password. While no filter is 100 percent perfect, with SafeSearch on you can feel more confident browsing the web with your family.
3. Turn on YouTube Safety Mode
YouTube Safety Mode helps you and your family avoid videos that might be OK with our Community Guidelines, but you might not want popping up on your family computer. Turning on Safety Mode in YouTube takes just one step. Scroll down to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the button that says “Safety” at the bottom of the page—now you can choose your preferences for Safety Mode.
Click the button that says “Safety” at the bottom of any YouTube page, and then choose your preferences
4. Lock your Safety Mode preferences
Just like with Safe Search, you can also log in with your Google Account and lock YouTube Safety Mode on each one of your computer’s browsers. It will filter videos with mature content, so they won’t show up in video search results, related videos, playlists, shows or films. YouTube Safety Mode will also help hide objectionable comments.
5. Turn on SafeSearch on mobile
SafeSearch is available on your phone or other mobile device, as well as the web. You can turn on SafeSearch for Google on your mobile device by opening your phone’s browser and visiting google.com/preferences. Scroll to the SafeSearch Filters section to select what level of filtering you would like to enable. Be sure to tap “Save Preferences” after you’ve made your selection.
To enable SafeSearch on YouTube’s mobile app, first open your settings, then press “Search.” From there, select “SafeSearch Filtering” and select moderate or strict filtering.
Helping your family have a positive and safe experience with Google is important to you, and it’s important to us, too. That’s why we’ve partnered with parents and experts on free and easy to use tools and resources to help your family stay safe and secure when browsing online. If you’re interested in even more of our tools and tips, please see our Good to Know site, and stay tuned for more security tips throughout the summer.
Posted by Matthias Helier, Staff Software Engineer
Category: Google | Jul 8, 2013
This year, the Tour de France is celebrating its 100th edition with a special route, from Corsica to Les Champs-Elysées, giving people around the world the chance to admire beautiful sights as well as amazing athletic feats.
Our recent Doodle celebrating the 100th edition of the Tour de France
The Tour de France is using a variety of Google products to help you experience the race like never before, including a YouTube channel, a Google+ page and an Android app where you can keep up with this 100th edition. We’ve also used Google Maps and Street View to create a new interactive experience that lets you feel what it’s like to pedal alongside the greats. Put on your helmet and cycle along at g.co/yourtour.
So what are you waiting for? Line up and get started!
Posted by Raphaël Goumain, Consumer Marketing Director
Category: Google | Jul 8, 2013
We’re pleased to have Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine and Maker Faire, join us today to talk about Maker Camp—a free, online summer camp for teens on Google+. Last year, more than 1 million campers joined in, and this summer is looking even brighter. Maker Camp will officially kick off at 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT today in a live Hangout On Air from San Francisco’s Exploratorium and will go on for the next six weeks. – Ed.
Camping has long been a summer tradition that calls us to explore the outdoors, engage in fun activities and make new friends. Overnight camping might involve setting up tents and gathering around a campfire, while day camps can focus on areas of interest such as chess, computers, robotics or sports (we’ve worked with a lot of these at Maker Media). Yet no matter what kind of camp it is, or where it takes place, camp has to be fun and social.
Maker Camp is a whole new kind of camp: an online summer camp that is completely free and open to everyone. Maker Camp takes place wherever you are, by letting you do fun activities and share them with others through the Google+ platform. You’ll make cool projects, go on epic virtual “field trips” and meet awesome makers.
This is Maker Camp’s second summer, and the format is similar: Each weekday morning, we’ll post a new project or activity on our Google+ page—30 things to make over six weeks. Each weekday afternoon, tune in to a live Google+ Hangout On Air to meet expert makers who create amazing things. And like last year, our Field Trip Friday Hangouts will take you to new places that few of us get to see. For instance, we’re excited to take you to NASA Ames Research Center next week, and this week we’ll be checking out one of the world’s fastest sailboats, from Oracle Team USA.
We’ve added a few things to make this year’s Maker Camp even better. There’s a new Google+ Community for Maker Camp, so it will be even easier for you to chat with other campers and see what they’re working on. We also have a network of affiliate camps (we call them “campsites”), so you can create and make together in your local library, youth club or makerspace. If there’s a campsite near you, you’ll find it on this map. We’ve worked with Google to supply many of these campsites with maker equipment like soldering kits, LEDs, Raspberry Pi boards (mini Linux computers), and Arduino microcontrollers (good for making robots and other gadgets).
Maker Camp hopes to foster the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit in young people. We want each camper to see how much there is that you can do and how much there is to explore all around you. Once you begin doing things, you’ll meet others who share your interests, and you can collaborate to work on projects together. We call that DIT (do-it-together). Google+ is a platform for that kind of collaboration, and it extends to any location and any time zone. And when Maker Camp comes to an end, you’ll have friendships that last beyond summer.
Maker Camp might not be surrounded by trees or near a lake, but it has many of the wonderful features of camping. For instance, you can think of your computer as the campfire that we gather around, and with more than a million campers, our virtual campfire is pretty big! Plus, like any camp, you’ll get the most out of Maker Camp by participating. Meet other makers, get involved in conversations, do things you’ve never done before and most of all, make something!
What each of us can do is pretty amazing, yet what we can do together is even more amazing. In that spirit, I invite you all to join us at Maker Camp, starting today. Just follow Make on Google+ to join, and let’s make this the best summer ever.
Posted by Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine and Maker Faire
Category: Google | Jul 2, 2013
Thousands of Googlers, Gayglers (LGBT Googlers), and their families and friends took to the streets last month to participate in Pride parades and celebrations around the globe. Pride had a special buzz this year, as DOMA and Prop 8 were struck down by the Supreme Court three days before the parades, marking an important step toward equal rights for all.
We supported our fellow Gayglers and others around the world with recording-breaking attendance at parades in San Francisco (well over 1300 Googlers and allies) and New York (500+ participants). In other parts of the world, we marched in celebrations in London, Budapest, Dublin, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo Rainbow Week 2013. We floated along the canals in Amsterdam Pride parade, marched in the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney and will gather in Hong Lim park for Singapore’s 3rd annual Pink Dot celebration.
We had some big firsts this year all around the world as well:
- Gayglers hosted a Pride@Google Speaker Series for the month of June, where speakers ranging from NFL stars to community leaders to Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier came to share their messages at Google.
- LGBT celebrations were held for the first time in Hyderabad and Google was there! In India, our contingent of over 30 people made it to the cover of many local newspapers.
- Though we have participated in Sao Paulo’s Pride parade in previous years, this year, Google was proud to be the first corporate sponsor thanks to the hard work of the Sao Paulo Gayglers. More than 100 Googlers marched—doubling participation from last year.
- Google participated for the first time in celebrations in Mexico City, Paris and Hamburg.
- We kicked off a collaboration with two founding partners called ‘We Are Open‘ in Hungary that joins together companies, organizations and communities that are committed to openness. More than 100 organizations signed up to make a stand for diversity and we’ll show our united front at Budapest Pride on Saturday, July 6.
Our LGBT efforts are not just once a year during Pride, either. Earlier this year, we worked with Creative Lab to create a grassroots employee video for TheFour.com, an organization supporting marriage equality in the four U.S. states where it was on the ballot this past year. Google also co-wrote an article to the United States Supreme Court explaining why Gay Marriage is Good for Business. We supported the citizens of France by hosting marriage ceremonies over Hangouts and we recently launched a YouTube Spotlight Channel and campaign, #ProudtoLove, dedicated to celebrating LGBT Pride.
We’re proud of all our Googlers and excited about what was accomplished this year! We’re glad to have ended Pride month on such an inspiring note of equality. For more photos, click here.
Posted by Heather Cain, Diversity Team
Category: Google | Jun 28, 2013
Every year in June comes a week where Googlers around the world stop reviewing code, ignore their inboxes and leave their cubicles behind to participate in GoogleServe, our global week of service.
This year, more than 8,500 Googlers from 75+ offices participated in 500 projects. Not only was this our largest GoogleServe to date, but it was also one of the more unique, as many projects were designed to expand the notion of what it means to give back to the community. Here’s a glimpse at some of what we were up to this year:
- In Thimphu, Bhutan, Googlers led a workshop about media literacy at the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy helping youth prepare to participate in shaping the future of this young democracy.
- Googlers in Mountain View, Calif., created a bone marrow donation drive and partnered with the Asian American Donor Program to raise awareness about the need for more donors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
- Googlers from our Hyderabad, India office volunteered at Sri Vidhya’s Centre for the Special Children, helping children who suffer from a wide range of cognitive disabilities to learn how to identify colors, write their own names, and prepare meals for themselves.
- A team of Googlers walked the New York, N.Y., streets gathering information to improve AXS Map, a crowd-sourced platform for mapping wheelchair accessibility which is populated with data from Google Maps and Google Places APIs.
- In Lagos, Nigeria, Googlers mentored entrepreneurs at Generation Enterprise, a small business incubator that equips at-risk youth to start sustainable businesses in slum communities.
- In Randwick, Australia, Googlers taught computer and Internet skills with the Australian Red Cross Young Parents Program which aims to develop the capacities of young parents to live independently and to parent successfully.
- A group of gourmet Googlers cooked a meal for families with children undergoing cancer treatment with Ronald McDonald House in London, U.K.
- Googlers tutored and mentored youth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the Dignity For Children Foundation.
- Googlers partnered with Un Techo Para Mi País to help build a new house for a family living below the poverty line in Bogota, Columbia.
- In Dublin, Ireland, Google engineers taught youth how to program interactive stories and games with Scratch in partnership with Coder Dojo.
Click for more photos from this year’s GoogleServe
Over the past six years, GoogleServe has transformed from a single week of service into a week of celebration and inspiration for ongoing giving. Googlers also give back year-round through our GooglersGive programs which include 20 hours of work time annually to volunteer with an approved charitable organization. If you’re inspired to join us, please check out All for Good or VolunteerMatch for opportunities to give back in your community.
Posted by Zanoon Nissar, on behalf of the GoogleServe Global Leadership Team
Category: Google | Jun 27, 2013
There’s only so much students can learn about the world from the static pages of a textbook. Meeting people from other countries face-to-face provides unique insight into the world’s varied cultures, and the Internet is making this possible in unprecedented ways. To increase global connections, we’re working with First Lady Michelle Obama, the State Department and the Global Nomads Group, to connect students across continents over Google+ Hangouts.
As a keystone event in The White House’s Africa Tour, the First Lady will host a Google+ Hangout On Air from the SciBono Discovery Center in Johannesburg this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. EDT. After Mrs. Obama shares her thoughts on the importance of education, students in Johannesburg, L.A., Houston, New York, and Kansas City will get the chance to talk with one another directly, sharing ideas about education in their countries face-to-face-to-face—it’s a 21st-Century pen pal program, hosted by the First Lady. (RSVP to watch.)
The discussion won’t stop there. This Hangout On Air kick-starts a series of global exchanges on Google+, organized by the State Department and the Global Nomads Group, a nonprofit organization that facilitates cultural exchanges, launching early in the new school year. During the summer, students are encouraged to join the Global Nomads Group’s Google+ Community, “Connecting Continents,” to discover and connect with peers around the world. We look forward to announcing the next hangouts in the near future—stay tuned to the Global Nomads Community for details.
Posted by Will Houghteling, Lead, Google+ Education Partnerships
Category: Google | Jun 27, 2013
Creating a world-class science project is no easy task, but this year thousands of 13-18 year olds from more than 120 countries submitted their project to the third annual Google Science Fair. After further judging and deliberation, today we’re announcing the 15 finalists from our top 90 regional finalists, as well as the winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award.
From the creation of an exoskeletal glove to support the human hand to managing the impact of infrastructure projects on endangered species to an early-warning system for emergency vehicles, the caliber, ingenuity and diversity of this year’s projects is a testament to the fact that young minds really can produce world-changing ideas.
The 15 finalists will join us at our Mountain View headquarters on September 23 to present their projects to an international panel of esteemed scientists for the final round of judging. The Grand Prize winner will receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions, $50,000 in scholarship funding and more.
Congratulations to our finalists:
Alex Spiride (USA): Squid-Jet: Bio-Inspired Propulsion System for Underwater Vehicles
Venkat Sankar (USA): Ecology or Economy: Managing the Impact of Infrastructure Projects on Endangered Species
Kavita Selva (USA): Superconductor Tapes: A Solution to the Rare Earth Shortage Crisis
Liza Sosnova and Tina Kabir (Russia): Lyytinen – Universal hydrostatic densitometer
Viney Kumar (Australia): The PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program
Elif Bilgin (Turkey): Going Bananas!-Using Banana Peels in the Production of Bio-Plastic As A Replacement of the Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic
Ann Makosinski (Canada): The Hollow Flashlight
Yi Xi Kang, Kwok Ling Yi and Tricia Lim (Singapore): Efficacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression
Valerie Ding (USA): Rapid Quantum Dot Solar Cell Optimization: Integrating Quantum Mechanical Modeling and Novel Solar Absorption Algorithm
Shrishti Asthana (India): Solar Light Assisted nanoZnO Photo Catalytic Mineralization – The Green Technique for the Degradation of Detergents
Charalampos Ioannou (Greece): An Exoskeleton Glove which Enhances and Supports the Movement of the Human Palm
Esha Maiti (USA): Stochastic Monte Carlo Simulations to Determine Breast Cancer Metastasis Rates from Patient Survival Data
Elizabeth Zhao (USA): A Novel Implementation of Image Processing and Machine Learning for Early Diagnosis of Melanoma
Eric Chen (USA): Computer-aided Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Combat Flu Pandemic
Vinay Iyengar (USA): Efficient Characteristic 3 Galois Field Operations for Elliptic Curve Cryptographic Applications
We’re also announcing the winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award, which honors a project that makes a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. An independent panel has selected Elif Bilgin from Turkey for this award for her work using banana peels to produce bioplastics. Congratulations to Elif, who will receive $50,000 and and a year’s worth of mentoring from Scientific American to help develop her project. Elif’s project is also one of the 15 finalists, and she is still in the running for the Grand Prize Award.
Which of the 15 finalist projects do you think has the potential to change the world? While the official judges will decide the 2013 Grand Prize Winner, in August you’ll be able to participate in this year’s competition by voting for the Inspired Idea Award. Visit the Google Science Fair website August 1-30 to vote for the project you think has the greatest potential to change the world.
Check back for more details, and tune in live to see the finalist gala on September 23, which will be broadcast on our website, Google+ page and YouTube channel. Congratulations to all our finalists. We look forward to meeting in Mountain View!
Posted by Clare Conway, Google Science Fair team
Category: Google | Jun 27, 2013
This post is part of a regular series of privacy and security tips to help you and your family stay safe and secure online. Privacy and security are important topics—they matter to us, and they matter to you. Building on our Good to Know site with advice for safe and savvy Internet use, we hope this information helps you understand the choices and control that you have over your online information. -Ed.
More than a quarter of Internet users worldwide use WiFi at home to connect to the web, but many aren’t sure how to protect their home network, or why it is important to do so. The best way to think of your home WiFi network is to think of it like your front door: you want a strong lock on both to ensure your safety and security.
When data is in transit over an unsecured WiFi network, the information you’re sending or receiving could be intercepted by someone nearby. Your neighbors might also be able to use the network for their own Internet activities, which might slow down your connection. Securing your network can help keep your information safe when you’re connecting wirelessly, and can also help protect the devices that are connected to your network.
If you’re interested in improving your home WiFi security, the steps below can help make your home network safer.
1. Check to see what kind of home WiFi security you already have.
Do your friends need to enter a password to get on your network when they visit your house for the first time and ask to use your WiFi? If they don’t, your network isn’t as secure as it could be. Even if they do need to enter a password, there are a few different methods of securing your network, and some are better than others. Check what kind of security you have for your network at home by looking at your WiFi settings. Your network will likely either be unsecured, or secured with WEP, WPA or WPA2. WEP is the oldest wireless security protocol, and it’s pretty weak. WPA is better than WEP, but WPA2 is best.
2. Change your network security settings to WPA2.
Your wireless router is the machine that creates the WiFi network. If you don’t have your home network secured with WPA2, you’ll need to access your router’s settings page to make the change. You can check your router’s user manual to figure out how to access this page, or look for instructions online for your specific router. Any device with a WiFi trademark sold since 2006 is required to support WPA2. If you have a router that was made before then, we suggest upgrading to a new router that does offer WPA2. It’s safer and can be much faster.
3. Create a strong password for your WiFi network.
To secure your network with WPA2, you’ll need to create a password. It’s important that you choose a unique password, with a long mix of numbers, letters and symbols so others can’t easily guess it. If you’re in a private space such as your home, it’s OK to write this password down so you can remember it, and keep it somewhere safe so you don’t lose it. You might also need it handy in case your friends come to visit and want to connect to the Internet via your network. Just like you wouldn’t give a stranger a key to your house, you should only give your WiFi password to people you trust.
4. Secure your router too, so nobody can change your settings.
Your router needs its own password, separate from the password you use to secure your network. Routers come without a password, or if they do have one, it’s a simple default password that many online criminals may already know. If you don’t reset your router password, criminals anywhere in the world have an easy way to launch an attack on your network, the data shared on it and the computers connected to your network. For many routers, you can reset the password from the router settings page. Keep this password to yourself, and make it different from the one you use to connect to the WiFi network (as described in step 3). If you make these passwords the same, then anyone who has the password to connect to your network will also be able to change your wireless router settings.
5. If you need help, look up the instructions.
If you’ve misplaced your router’s manual, type the model number of your base station or router into a search engine—in many cases the info is available online. Otherwise, contact the company that manufactured the router or your Internet Service Provider for assistance.
Please check out the video below to learn more about the simple but important steps you can take to improve the security of your Internet browsing.
For more advice on how to protect yourself and your family online, visit our Good to Know site, and stay tuned for more posts in our security series.
Posted by John Munoz, Technical Program Manager
Category: Google | Jun 26, 2013
To celebrate the sunny days of summer (in the northern hemisphere at least), today we’re launching new satellite imagery for Google’s mapping products. This stunning global view is virtually cloud-free and includes refreshed imagery in more locations—giving you an even more accurate and comprehensive view of our planet’s landscape.
The new, even more beautiful global view in Maps and Earth.
Our satellite imagery is usually created like a quilt: we stitch together imagery of different parts of the world. Using a process similar to how we produced the global time-lapse imagery of the Earth, we took hundreds of terabytes of data from the USGS’s and NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite—sometimes dozens of photos of a single spot in the world—and analyzed the photos to compute a clear view of every place, even in tropical regions that are always at least partly cloudy.
The result is a single, beautiful 800,000 megapixel image of the world, which can be viewed in Earth and Maps when you’re zoomed out to a global view. This global image is so big, if you wanted to print it at a standard resolution of 300 dots per inch you’d need a piece of paper the size of a city block! This image is then blended into our highest resolution imagery, giving a beautiful cloud-free global view and detailed images in the same seamless map.
Central Papua, Indonesia: before and after.
This update also includes refreshed imagery in many regions of the world, especially in areas where high-resolution imagery is not available, including parts of Russia, Indonesia and central Africa.
Saudi Arabia: before and after, showing increased agricultural expansion
You can see the new satellite imagery by going to Google Maps and turning on satellite view, or by opening Google Earth, and zooming out. And to read more about what went into creating this imagery, check out our detailed post on the Lat Long blog. Have fun exploring!
Posted by Matt Hancher, Tech Lead, Google Earth Engine