News > Google


Expanding our global infrastructure with new regions and subsea cables

Category: Google | Jan 16, 2018

At Google, we’ve spent $30 billion improving our infrastructure over three years, and we’re not done yet. From data centers to subsea cables, Google is committed to connecting the world and serving our Cloud customers, and today we’re excited to announce that we’re adding three new submarine cables, and five new regions.

We’ll open our Netherlands and Montreal regions in the first quarter of 2018, followed by Los Angeles, Finland, and Hong Kong – with more to come. Then, in 2019 we’ll commission three subsea cables: Curie, a private cable connecting Chile to Los Angeles; Havfrue, a consortium cable connecting the U.S. to Denmark and Ireland; and the Hong Kong-Guam Cable system (HK-G), a consortium cable interconnecting major subsea communication hubs in Asia.  

Together, these investments further improve our network—the world’s largest—which by some accounts delivers 25% of worldwide internet traffic. Companies like PayPal leverage our network and infrastructure to run their businesses effectively.

“At PayPal, we process billions of transactions across the globe, and need to do so securely, instantaneously and economically. As a result, security, networking and infrastructure were key considerations for us when choosing a cloud provider,” said Sri Shivananda, PayPal’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “With Google Cloud, we have access to the world’s largest network, which helps us reach our infrastructure goals and best serve our millions of users.”

infrastructure-1

Figure 1. Diagram shows existing GCP regions and upcoming GCP regions

infrastructure-2

Figure 2. Diagram shows three new subsea cable investments, expanding capacity to Chile, Asia Pacific and across the Atlantic

Curie cable

Our investment in the Curie cable (named after renowned scientist Marie Curie) is part of our ongoing commitment to improve global infrastructure. In 2008, we were the first tech company to invest in a subsea cable as a part of a consortium. With Curie, we become the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable.

By deploying our own private subsea cable, we help improve global connectivity while providing value to our customers. Owning the cable ourselves has some distinct benefits. Since we control the design and construction process, we can fully define the cable’s technical specifications, streamline deployment and deliver service to users and customers faster. Also, once the cable is deployed, we can make routing decisions that optimize for latency and availability.

Curie will be the first subsea cable to land in Chile in almost 20 years. Once deployed, Curie will be Chile’s largest single data pipe. It will serve Google users and customers across Latin America.

Havfrue cable

To increase capacity and resiliency in our North Atlantic systems, we’re working with Facebook, Aqua Comms and Bulk Infrastructure to build a direct submarine cable system connecting the U.S. to Denmark and Ireland. This cable, called Havfrue (Danish for “mermaid”), will be built by TE SubCom and is expected to come online by the end of 2019. The marine route survey, during which the supplier determines the specific route the cable will take, is already underway.

HK-G cable

In the Pacific, we’re working with RTI-C and NEC on the Hong Kong-Guam cable system. Together with Indigo and other existing subsea systems, this cable creates multiple scalable, diverse paths to Australia, increasing our resilience in the Pacific. As a result, customers will experience improved capacity and latency from Australia to major hubs in Asia. It will also increase our network capacity at our new Hong Kong region.

infrastructure-3

Figure 3. A complete list of Google’s subsea cable investments. New cables in this announcement are highlighted yellow. Google subsea cables provide reliability, speed and security not available from any other cloud.

Google has direct investment in 11 cables, including those planned or under construction. The three cables highlighted in yellow are being announced in this blog post. (In addition to these 11 cables where Google has direct ownership, we also lease capacity on numerous additional submarine cables.)

What does this mean for our customers?

These new investments expand our existing cloud network. The Google network has over 100 points of presence (map) and over 7,500 edge caching nodes (map). This investment means faster and more reliable connectivity for all our users.

Simply put, it wouldn’t be possible to deliver products like Machine Learning Engine, Spanner, BigQuery and other Google Cloud Platform and G Suite services at the quality of service users expect without the Google network. Our cable systems provide the speed, capacity and reliability Google is known for worldwide, and at Google Cloud, our customers are able to to make use of the same network infrastructure that powers Google’s own services.

While we haven’t hastened the speed of light, we have built a superior cloud network as a result of the well-provisioned direct paths between our cloud and end-users, as shown in the figure below.

infrastructure-4

Figure 4. The Google network offers better reliability, speed and security performance as compared with the nondeterministic performance of the public internet, or other cloud networks. The Google network consists of fiber optic links and subsea cables between 100+ points of presence, 7500+ edge node locations, 90+ Cloud CDN  locations, 47 dedicated interconnect locations and 15 GCP regions.

We’re excited about these improvements. We’re increasing our commitment to ensure users have the best connections in this increasingly connected world.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/L8xya_OnsXk/

Eight things you need to know about Hash Code 2018

Category: Google | Jan 16, 2018

Are you up for a coding challenge? Team up to solve an engineering problem from Google—registration for Hash Code 2018 is now open.  

Hash Code is Google’s flagship team programming competition for students and professionals in  Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. You pick your team and programming language, we pick a Google engineering problem for you to solve. Thinking about competing in Hash Code? Here’s what you need to know before you sign up:

1. This is the fifth edition of Hash Code. Hash Code started in 2014 with just 200 participants. We’ve grown a bit since the early days—last year more than 26,000 developers teamed up to compete from 100+ countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

2. Problems are modeled after Google engineering challenges. We want participants to experience what software engineering is like at Google, so we model Hash Code problems after challenges faced by Google engineering teams. Past problems have included optimizing video serving on YouTube, routing Street View cars through a busy city, and optimizing the layout of a Google data center.  

3. You compete in a small team (just like engineers at Google!). To compete in Hash Code, you need to form a team of two to four people. This means it’s not just about what you know individually, but about how you and your team can work together to tackle the problem.

4. Hash Code kicks off with an Online Qualification Round on Thursday, March 1. It all starts with a YouTube livestream at 18:30 CET sharp, after which the problem is released and teams have four hours to code. 

5. Hubs add extra excitement to the Online Qualification Round. Hubs are meetups where teams in the same area can come together to compete in the Online Qualification Round. They’re also a great opportunity for you to connect with other developers in your community. More than 300 hubs have been registered so far, and it’s not too late to organize a hub if there isn’t one near you already.

Some competitors in the 2017 Hash Code Online Qualification Round

Some competitors having fun at a few of the hubs during the 2017 Hash Code Online Qualification Round.

6. The Final Round will be held at Google Dublin. Top teams from the Online Qualification Round will be invited to our European Headquarters in April to vie for the title of Hash Code 2018 Champion.

7. It’s a competition—but it’s also about having fun! As Ingrid von Glehn, a software engineer at Google London who is part of the Hash Code organizing team, puts it: “We design the problems to be challenging, but not intimidating. It’s important to us that everyone has fun while taking part.” 

Join in on all the fun online through our Facebook event and G+ community, using the #hashcode tag. These channels are also great spaces to connect with other engineers and find team members.

Hash Code 2018

8. You can register todayReady to accept the challenge? Be sure to sign up before registration closes on February 26.

*Featured image: Teams hard at work tackling our wireless router placement problem during 2017’s Final Round in Paris. 

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/9uzzkWM1uCg/

#teampixel community member Austin Cameron is living for the city

Category: Google | Jan 12, 2018

Happy New Year, Team Pixel! There are so many picture-worthy moments ahead. Helping us get started on 2018 photography is Pixel enthusiast and photographer @ustincameron. He’s a regular #teampixel contributor who’s working through a personal goal of shooting a photo a day for 1,000 days—with more than 700 already under his belt!   

He has a talent for shooting in low light, so we reached out to get some tips and find out more about his approach to shooting the nation’s most popular cities.

“Cityscapes are a fun challenge,” Austin says. “For most people, the skyline is already iconic, so I like to try and make them do a double take by showcasing it from an entirely different perspective than previously recognized.”

  • teampixel112 (1).jpg

    New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA

  • teampixel112.jpg

    Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL

  • teampixel112 (2).jpg

    Chicago, IL; New York, NY

  • 4.jpg
    San Francisco, CA

@ustincameron’s tips for shooting in low light situations:

  • Do your best to prevent light pollution from entering your frame.
  • Make sure to set the focus on dark areas with details you want to bring out.
  • Don’t be scared to lay on the ground for the perfect shot!

Keep tagging your photos with #teampixel and you might be featured next.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/YYohMI-kjpo/

The High Five: you get a search, you get a search, everybody gets a search!

Category: Google | Jan 12, 2018

Oprah’s speech had people buzzing, while Jimmy Ma spun to internet fame at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Here are some of the most-searched trends of the week (with data from the Google News Lab).

A brighter morning, even during our darkest nights

“Is Oprah going to run for president?” was a top searched question this week, after the icon’s rousing speech at the Golden Globes. Searches for “Oprah for President” were up more than 5,000 percent, and search interest in “Oprah 2020” was 1,200 percent higher than “Trump 2020.” And the region with the most searches for “Oprah 2020”? Home of the White House, Washington, D.C.

Making waves

The recent raw water trend has people wondering whether drinking untreated water is actually good for you, and search queries poured in: “How is well water different from raw water?” “Who endorses raw water?” and “How much does raw water cost?” This week, searches in “raw water” were 800 percent higher than “raw milk” and 300 percent higher than “raw food.”

Roll tide

Alabama Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had his moment in the search spotlight this week. After leading his team to an overtime victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship, searches for his name increased nearly 7,000 percent, and searches are interested in his names, his stats, and his hands (which are reportedly quite large, and were searched 450 percent more than famously large-handed NFL quarterback Russell Wilson).

Ice skating turns up

Search interest in figure skater Jimmy Ma jumped 1,300 percent this week after he brought hip hop to the ice skating rink. His routine at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships featured Lil Jon’s hit song “Turn Down for What,” prompting these top searches: “Jimmy Ma freestyle,” “Jimmy Ma goes viral,” and “Jimmy Ma hiphop ice skating routine.”

What happens in Vegas …

Will stay in tech news. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which showcases future tech products, took place in Las Vegas this week. Some technical difficulties meant that “CES power outage” was searched 150 percent more than “CES news.” Other top searches about the event were “When is CES 2018?” “What does CES stand for?” and “How to go to CES.”

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/uB8IhgoFV0Q/

A doodle celebrating Zhou Youguang and the ABCs of learning Mandarin

Category: Google | Jan 12, 2018

Mandarin Chinese is a tremendously rich logographic language, meaning every word is represented by a unique character or combination of characters. And there are a lot—the largest Chinese dictionaries contain more than 60,000 different ones.   

The sheer volume makes it challenging for non-native speakers to master Mandarin. As anyone who has studied the language knows, it’s difficult remembering the pronunciations of thousands of characters!

Thanks to Zhou Youguang’s work, it’s now a lot easier to learn Mandarin. An economist by training, in the 1950s, he was tasked by the Chinese government to turn Chinese characters into words with Roman letters. Over three years, Zhou developed pinyin, a phonetic alphabet for Mandarin. With the help of just 26 letters of the Roman alphabet and four tonal marks, pinyin allows for the accurate pronunciation of any of Mandarin’s 60,000 or so characters, no matter how obscure. It’s thanks to Zhou that we can learn “拼音” is pronounced “pīn yīn” by reading its phonetic spelling, instead of listening to someone else pronounce it first.

So today’s doodle in countries including Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and the U.S. celebrates Zhou’s 112th birthday. Zhou passed away at the ripe old age of 111 last year. He lived long enough to see people using pinyin to type Mandarin characters on computers and mobile phones. By inventing pinyin, Zhou didn’t just help generations of students learn Mandarin. He also paved the way for a new generation of Mandarin speakers to communicate online.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qy85TG5Mx2M/

Stick to your New Year’s resolutions with a little help from Google Home

Category: Google | Jan 11, 2018

In 2018, I’m committed to getting in better shape. As with all New Year’s resolutions, the hard part will be actually sticking to it. But this year, I’ll have help from my Google Assistant. No matter what your resolution is, here are a few ways your Google Home, Mini or Max can keep you on track:

  • Meet your fitness goals: Use your Google Home to play your workout playlist,, set alarms for working out, or cast workout videos from YouTube to your TV with Google Home and Chromecast. 
  • Get better sleep: Tune out noises from the apartment next door or help get your kids to bed by saying, “Hey Google, play white noise.” You can also set reminders to help you stick to a consistent bedtime. 
  • Explore new places: Try asking, “Hey Google, how much are flights to Rio de Janeiro in June?” or ask “Hey Google, what currency is used in Brazil?”
  • Find time to relax: Set an alarm for a 20-minute power nap or even do a short meditation by saying, “Hey Google, talk to Headspace.”
  • Stay in touch with family and friends: Never forget to call by setting a reminder, just say, “Hey Google, remind me to call Aunt Mary every Sunday.” You can even check in with loved ones by making hands-free calls while you’re multitasking. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada (911 calls not supported), just say “Hey Google, call Mom.”
  • Limit screen time: With more than 50 games and activities for families, the Assistant on Google Home can provide more fun for the family without TV, tablets or phones. And when it’s game time, you can broadcast the message to all Google Home devices in your house.

Thanks to my Assistant on Google Home, 2018 is the year I’m actually sticking to my resolution.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/7GZfyS3CLrE/

Protecting our Google Cloud customers from new vulnerabilities without impacting performance

Category: Google | Jan 11, 2018

If you’ve been keeping up on the latest tech news, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the CPU security flaw that Google’s Project Zero disclosed last Wednesday. On Friday, we answered some of your questions and detailed how we are protecting Cloud customers. Today, we’d like to go into even more detail on how we’ve protected Google Cloud products against these speculative execution vulnerabilities, and what we did to make sure our Google Cloud customers saw minimal performance impact from these mitigations.

Modern CPUs and operating systems protect programs and users by putting a “wall” around them so that one application, or user, can’t read what’s stored in another application’s memory. These boundaries are enforced by the CPU.

But as we disclosed last week, Project Zero discovered techniques that can circumvent these protections in some cases, allowing one application to read the private memory of another, potentially exposing sensitive information.

The vulnerabilities come in three variants, each of which must be protected against individually. Variant 1 and Variant 2 have also been referred to as “Spectre.” Variant 3 has been referred to as “Meltdown.” Project Zero described these in technical detail, the Google Security blog described how we’re protecting users across all Google products, and we explained how we’re protecting Google Cloud customers and provided guidance on security best practices for customers who use their own operating systems with Google Cloud services.

Surprisingly, these vulnerabilities have been present in most computers for nearly 20 years. Because the vulnerabilities exploit features that are foundational to most modern CPUs—and were previously believed to be secure—they weren’t just hard to find, they were even harder to fix. For months, hundreds of engineers across Google and other companies worked continuously to understand these new vulnerabilities and find mitigations for them.

In September, we began deploying solutions for both Variants 1 and 3 to the production infrastructure that underpins all Google products—from Cloud services to Gmail, Search and Drive—and more-refined solutions in October. Thanks to extensive performance tuning work, these protections caused no perceptible impact in our cloud and required no customer downtime in part due to Google Cloud Platform’s Live Migration technology. No GCP customer or internal team has reported any performance degradation.

While those solutions addressed Variants 1 and 3, it was clear from the outset that Variant 2 was going to be much harder to mitigate. For several months, it appeared that disabling the vulnerable CPU features would be the only option for protecting all our workloads against Variant 2. While that was certain to work, it would also disable key performance-boosting CPU features, thus slowing down applications considerably.

Not only did we see considerable slowdowns for many applications, we also noticed inconsistent performance, since the speed of one application could be impacted by the behavior of other applications running on the same core. Rolling out these mitigations would have negatively impacted many customers.

With the performance characteristics uncertain, we started looking for a “moonshot”—a way to mitigate Variant 2 without hardware support. Finally, inspiration struck in the form of “Retpoline”—a novel software binary modification technique that prevents branch-target-injection, created by Paul Turner, a software engineer who is part of our Technical Infrastructure group. With Retpoline, we didn’t need to disable speculative execution or other hardware features. Instead, this solution modifies programs to ensure that execution cannot be influenced by an attacker.

With Retpoline, we could protect our infrastructure at compile-time, with no source-code modifications. Furthermore, testing this feature, particularly when combined with optimizations such as software branch prediction hints, demonstrated that this protection came with almost no performance loss.

We immediately began deploying this solution across our infrastructure. In addition to sharing the technique with industry partners upon its creation, we open-sourced our compiler implementation in the interest of protecting all users.

By December, all Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services had protections in place for all known variants of the vulnerability. During the entire update process, nobody noticed: we received no customer support tickets related to the updates. This confirmed our internal assessment that in real-world use, the performance-optimized updates Google deployed do not have a material effect on workloads.

We believe that Retpoline-based protection is the best-performing solution for Variant 2 on current hardware. Retpoline fully protects against Variant 2 without impacting customer performance on all of our platforms. In sharing our research publicly, we hope that this can be universally deployed to improve the cloud experience industry-wide.

This set of vulnerabilities was perhaps the most challenging and hardest to fix in a decade, requiring changes to many layers of the software stack. It also required broad industry collaboration since the scope of the vulnerabilities was so widespread. Because of the extreme circumstances of extensive impact and the complexity involved in developing fixes, the response to this issue has been one of the few times that Project Zero made an exception to its 90-day disclosure policy.

While these vulnerabilities represent a new class of attack, they’re just a few among the many different types of threats our infrastructure is designed to defend against every day. Our infrastructure includes mitigations by design and defense-in-depth, and we’re committed to ongoing research and contributions to the security community and to protecting our customers as new vulnerabilities are discovered.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/RVSWmcYZ_4U/

Seven kinds of Local Guides you might spot on Google Maps

Category: Google | Jan 10, 2018

What kind are you?

Satellites are famously effective for mapping, but they don’t take photos of must-have breakfast sandwiches, update hours of operation or tell families when places are wheelchair accessible. That’s Local Guides territory. Local Guides are people who share information on Google Maps to help others discover where to go—and there are more than 60 million of them in our global community, with the most prolific contributors hailing from the United States, India and Brazil. They guide worldwide users each day, rack up millions of views, support small businesses and literally put important, sometimes vital, information on the map for others to use.

Anyone can become a Local Guide—and once you do, you’ll become part of a dynamic community. Each contributor is different, with specific passions and ways of sharing. Here are seven inspiring specialists we’ve spotted, with tips on how to do what they do.

1. The visualist

Local Guides love taking photos—in fact, they shared more than 300 million of them on Google Maps last year. If you’re a visualist, it’s your favorite way to contribute.

Loves: Seeking photogenic spots, finding the beauty in everyday places, making the most of golden hour.

Tip: You can share your shots of places right from Google Photos. Just tap the share icon on Android and select Add to Maps. Then select or update the location before you post it.

The Visualist.jpg

2. The fact hunter

In many parts of the world, essential information like where to find an ATM or a clinic may be hard to come by. Fact hunters uncover these details to share with others on Google Maps.

Loves: Accurate listings on Google Maps, adding missing info for small businesses, moving location pins so people can find places.

Tip: On Google Maps for mobile, go to Your contributions in the menu and tap Uncover missing info to see which places need your expertise.

The Fact Hunter.jpg

3. The trailblazer

If a friend has ever asked you for the hottest new restaurant in town, you might be a trailblazer. These Local Guides have the pulse of their cities and love being the first to try a new place.

Loves: Adding the first review or photo to a place, putting unlisted places on the map.

Tip: Check out restaurants and local shops opening this year so you can add their first photos and get those views.

The Trailblazer.gif

4. The sage

If a review has ever helped you choose whether to stay by the sea or by the bay, you can thank a sage. No matter where they go, these Local Guides write about all the inside tips, from the best exhibits to visit to the best instructors to take at a fitness studio.

Loves: Dropping knowledge and tips in reviews, answering yes/no questions about places that pop up on your screen, responding to others via the new Questions & answers feature that shows up on Google Maps for Android.

Tip: Turn on your Location History to easily review all the places you’ve been, and make lists of your favorites.

The Sage.jpg

5. The multimedia guru

Equipped with plenty of battery packs, this Local Guide helps you see a place from every angle with 360 photos and video contributions like visual tours and on-camera reviews. 

Loves: Adding 360 photos and videos of places, going to great lengths for the perfect shot.

Tip: If you take a video on your phone, you can add up to 30 seconds of it to a place the same way you’d add a photo to a place on Google Maps.

The Multimedia Guru.gif

6. The connector

This Local Guide’s contributions go beyond Google Maps. From hosting meet-ups with other community members to chiming in on Connect (the forum for Local Guides), the connector is a friendly face for newbies and gurus alike. 

Loves: Hosting meet-ups, making lists about places to go and sharing them with friends, liking other people’s reviews.

Tip: Find out if a Local Guides meet-up is happening near you.

Connector.gif

7. The advocate

Local Guides champion many causes, from helping small businesses to making it easier for wheelchair users to get around. The advocate keeps a cause top-of-mind while they share info, like whether a place has a wheelchair ramp.

Loves: Doing good in the world for locals and visitors alike, this handy accessibility guide for sharing helpful info, watching Local Heroes videos on Local Guides’ YouTube channel.

Tip: When you mark something as wheelchair-accessible, it helps families with strollers, too.

TheAdvocate.jpg

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/Ww3QR2gSrOU/

Our 17 favorite education moments from 2017

Category: Google | Jan 10, 2018

Editor’s Note: Happy New Year from all of us on the Google for Education team! We know you count on Google for Education in your classrooms, and we take that responsibility seriously. We remain deeply committed to bringing the best of Google to education, and to expanding learning for everyone. As we look to the year ahead, we’re looking back on our 17 favorite moments from 2017.

In 2017, we…

1. Did an hour of code with Chance the Rapper for Computer Science Education Week, surprising a Chicago classroom and announcing a $1.5 million Google.org grant to provide CS for students across Chicago Public Schools. We also released the first-ever programmable Google Doodle and invited students to code their own Google logos.

ChancetheRapper_EDU.png

2. Announced a new initiative called Grow with Google which provides access to digital tools and training for students, teachers, job-seekers and lifelong learners. As part of the announcement, our CEO Sundar Pichai visited one of the Pittsburgh classrooms participating in our new Dynamic Learning Project, a pilot that empowers educators to use technology in meaningful ways.

Sundar_GrowWithGoogle.jpg

As part of Grow with Google, our CEO Sundar visited a school in Pittsburgh to learn about their experience participating in the Dynamic Learning Project

3. Introduced a new generation of Chromebooks that let you use a stylus and flip from laptop to tablet mode. These Chromebooks have cameras on two sides and USB-C charging. New devices from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell and Lenovo come in all shapes, sizes, and price points to meet the needs of different teachers, students, schools and districts.

Chromebooks_New Generation.png

A next generation Chromebook with dual camera flipped into tablet mode.

4. Went back to school with a new resource hub for teachers. On #FirstDayOfClassroom, there’s helpful Google for Education tips and tricks from the people who know our tools the best—educators. Thanks to input from our dedicated community, we were also able to introduce the most-requested features in Google Classroom and Forms.

5. Met the Internaut, a digital citizenship guru and mascot of Be Internet Awesome, a program to help students make smart decisions online. With resources for students (including the online game Interland), educators, and families, everyone has the tools to learn and participate in digital safety and citizenship. Bonus: we also launched a Digital Citizenship and Safety course.

id101_brand-curriculumintro_beinternetsmart (2).gif

6. Celebrated International Literacy Day by creating and translating more than 1,000 children’s books for StoryWeaver, a Google.org grantee, with the #1000books campaign. Our support of Storyweaver is part of our 2016-2017 $50 million philanthropic commitment to nonprofit organizations working to close global learning gaps.

7. Were inspired by more than 11,000 girls from 103 countries during the Technovation Challenge. Finalists came to Google’s Mountain View headquarters to pitch their projects, which address issues in categories including peace, poverty, environment, equality, education, and health.

Sundar_Technovation.png

Our CEO Sundar Pichai takes a selfie with members of the winning team behind QamCare

8. Used technology to amplify student stories. Working with the non-profit 826 Valencia, Googlers helped under-resourced students create A Planet Ruled by Love using Tilt Brush. The result was a virtual reality movie that helped kids express themselves through storytelling and technology.

826 Valencia and Google

826 Valencia and Google

9. Ate funnel cakes and coded at the Illinois State Fair. We also announced our support of 4-H with a $1.5 million Google.org grant to provide students around the U.S. the opportunity to grow their future skills through computer science programming. Eat your heart out, blue ribbon marmalade.

Google-4H.png

An Illinois 4-Her on a virtual reality Expedition to see how students coded an ear tag for farmers to keep track of their wandering cattle

10. Did our research. Partnering with Gallup, we learned that students who are encouraged by a teacher or parent are three times more likely to be interested in learning computer science. 2018 resolution idea: Share more facts like these to help spur educators, families and advocates to encourage all students to learn computer science.

11. Caught Hamilton fever. With support from Google.org and the Gilder Lehrman Institute, 5,000 students from Title I schools in New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area revolutionized how we learn about American history. After a six week program, students created their own pieces that they performed on the Hamilton stage (the room where it happens).

HamiltonBurr.png

Google Expeditions helped bring students closer to Alexander Hamilton’s history.

12. Were awestruck by the innovators in Latin America who joined the #InnovarParaMi movement. From a teacher helping indigenous women in Mexico get online to a fifth grader turning water bottles into light bulbs, teachers and students across Latin America are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers.

These sixth graders built a dispenser to make drinking water accessible. #innovarparami

These sixth graders built a dispenser to make drinking water accessible. #innovarparami

13. Showed girls that the sky’s the limit for women in tech. Some examples include:

14. Saw the future through the eyes of 140,000 young artists who participated in Doodle 4 Google, a contest for students to design their own Google Doodle. Guest judges selected the 2017 winner based on artistic merit, creativity, and their written statement explaining their vision for the future. (The 2018 contest just opened, so submit your Doodle!)

Doodle collage.jpg

Connecticut 10th grader Sarah Harrison’s Doodle, “A Peaceful Future” (center) was chosen as the national winner.

15. Connected live with thousands of educators and students at events around the world like Bett in London, ISTE in Texas, EduTECH in Australia, EDUCAUSE in Pennsylvania and more. We hosted an online conference—EduOnAir—in Australia, celebrated Dia dos Professores in Brasil, hosted a study tour in Sweden, kicked off a new school year in Mexico, and road-tripped across the US with ExploreEDU.

#innovarparacampeche

#innovarparacampeche

16. Traveled to a new dimension with the launch of the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program. With augmented reality, students can explore the solar system up close, and even tour the Roman Colosseum from their classroom. (You can still sign up to bring AR to your class!)

Expeditions AR - Bringing the world into the classroom

Expeditions AR – Bringing the world into the classroom

17. Threw our first-ever PD party to celebrate passionate lifelong learners. Throughout the week of festivities, we offered discounts on our professional development programs and hosted webinars from Certified Educators, Trainers and Innovators. Looking for a 2018 resolution? Explore our Training Center for a professional development opportunity that’s right for you.

We are constantly inspired by the powerful work of educators around the world and we are excited to continue working together this coming year and beyond. Thank you for all that you do, both inside and outside the classroom, to help prepare future generations to make the world a better (and brainier) place!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/1_qz35tep44/

Memory machines: VR180 cameras, and capturing life as you see it

Category: Google | Jan 9, 2018

When I was growing up, my dad and even my grandfather always had camcorders stuck to their shoulders. They were our family documentarians, and were always the first to try a new gadget or gizmo if it would help us remember the places we went and the special times we shared. Decades later, I’m so grateful, and I treasure the memories they captured on Betamax and film.

cbtl1

My grandfather Henry in the backyard with his video camera.

We care about photos and videos because they connect us with important moments, special trips, and time together with the people who matter most to us. They’re abstract representations that help us remember—little visual gifts to our future selves. That being said, for most of the 20th century, photos and videos were the best you could do. They’re better than nothing, but so far from the real thing.

cbtl2

A photo of me at Disneyland at age 4, taken by my dad with a Nikon EM 35mm SLR.

But as the technology used to capture these moments has improved, the fidelity has also increased. From primitive pinhole cameras, to black and white film cameras, to color, to video, there’s been a continuous upward trajectory of resolution and quality. Today’s high-end VR cameras are a big leap forward. Through immersive, stereoscopic footage, they do something more compelling than refreshing your memory—they make you feel like you’re there. And the closer cameras get to capturing the moment just the way we experienced it, the closer we get to creating time machines for ourselves.

Though Google started by making VR cameras for filmmakers and professional creators a few years ago, our team has always aimed to help people capture their personal memories in VR. But in order to make this tech accessible to everyone, we had to rethink the camera itself. There are 360 cameras in the market today, but they present some challenges—they can be costly, confusing to use (where do you point it?), and the photographer always ends up in the frame. So, we focused on the pixels that matter (the ones in front of you!) with a new format we’re calling VR180. And we started designing high-quality, pocket-sized cameras that anyone could use to capture VR180 experiences with just a click of a button. The first VR180 cameras will hit shelves throughout this year, just in time for you to start hitting “record” on your own memories in 2018.

I’ve been using the VR180 prototypes for a while now, in places like my living room or on trips to the beach. It’s easy to share the captures with my family and friends. They can look at them on their phones, or use a viewer like Cardboard or Daydream View to step into the moment as if they were there. It’s amazing that I can film my sons jumping on the trampoline, or having a quiet breakfast, or being back where I was many years ago, on a ride at a carnival—and not only share those moments with family far away, but also relive them myself, in a way that makes me feel like I’m right back in each moment.

cbtl3

VR180 capture of one of my sons on a carnival ride, captured with one of our camera prototypes.

That’s why these VR180 cameras are so special. They do your memories justice, by enabling you to capture life the way you see it—with two eyes. When I’ve shown my family these recordings, they look into the headset, and smile. They say things like, “This is amazing!” and, when they take the headset off: “I only wish we had these cameras sooner.”

I couldn’t agree more.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/pmjgJ5kSuRY/