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The She Word: Sapna Kalmadi, traveler, photographer and "Google Consultant"

Category: Google | Mar 31, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

Today, we’re speaking with Sapna Kalmadi, a Senior Analytical Lead in our Mumbai office, known for her “take no prisoners” attitude when playing table tennis and “leave no chocolate” attitude when eating desserts.

Sapna Kalmadi 2

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I act as a “Google consultant” for businesses in India and help large clients connect with their consumers using Google solutions. Ad revenue is what helps drive the cool things that Google is best known for, including Search, YouTube and self-driving cars.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

I’m proud to be a woman at Google because of the amazing people I work with every day.. I’ve worked at Google for five years, and I have learned something from every single Googler I’ve met.

I love the fact that diversity and inclusion at Google is not just an individual or HR initiative but rather there are employee resource groups like Women@Google, which actively works to connect and develop the women who work here. Thanks to Women@, I’ve had the opportunity to attend talks with women entrepreneurs and authors, have inclusion discussions with senior leaders and network with other women in tech.

If you could ask one woman from history a question … who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask Mother Teresa about the key influences in her life and what drove her to devote her life to selfless service.

What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?

Take on as many challenging, diverse opportunities as you can. Work in multicultural offices and interact with as many people as you can. Invest in self development so that you can keep learning and growing!

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

I am an avid traveler and photographer. One of my personal goals is to travel to 30 countries by the time I’m 30—29 down, one to go. Travel and photography go hand in hand, and taking photos while I’m traveling gives me so much joy. One of my travel photographs even got featured in “Lonely Planet!”

Lonely Planet picture

Sapna’s photograph in a “Lonely Planet” magazine

Who is your favorite fictional heroine?

Hermione Granger. Growing up, I loved the “Harry Potter” series. Hermione is not only an academic genius—she’s a courageous friend who proves herself in the most treacherous of situations. Never the damsel in distress, she’s always coming up with a way to save the day. I really liked the way her character progresses as she grows up—she starts out as the ever-too-keen student and grows into an intelligent young lady who helps overcome the final challenge.

What is your life motto?

I get my life motto from my family: “Que sera sera,” which means “whatever will be, will be.”

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/yn-_laLYymY/

The She Word: Sapna Kalmadi, traveler, photographer and "Google Consultant"

Category: Google | Mar 31, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

Today, we’re speaking with Sapna Kalmadi, a Senior Analytical Lead in our Mumbai office, known for her “take no prisoners” attitude when playing table tennis and “leave no chocolate” attitude when eating desserts.

Sapna Kalmadi 2

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I act as a “Google consultant” for businesses in India and help large clients connect with their consumers using Google solutions. Ad revenue is what helps drive the cool things that Google is best known for, including Search, YouTube and self-driving cars.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

I’m proud to be a woman at Google because of the amazing people I work with every day.. I’ve worked at Google for five years, and I have learned something from every single Googler I’ve met.

I love the fact that diversity and inclusion at Google is not just an individual or HR initiative but rather there are employee resource groups like Women@Google, which actively works to connect and develop the women who work here. Thanks to Women@, I’ve had the opportunity to attend talks with women entrepreneurs and authors, have inclusion discussions with senior leaders and network with other women in tech.

If you could ask one woman from history a question … who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask Mother Teresa about the key influences in her life and what drove her to devote her life to selfless service.

What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?

Take on as many challenging, diverse opportunities as you can. Work in multicultural offices and interact with as many people as you can. Invest in self development so that you can keep learning and growing!

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

I am an avid traveler and photographer. One of my personal goals is to travel to 30 countries by the time I’m 30—29 down, one to go. Travel and photography go hand in hand, and taking photos while I’m traveling gives me so much joy. One of my travel photographs even got featured in “Lonely Planet!”

Lonely Planet picture

Sapna’s photograph in a “Lonely Planet” magazine

Who is your favorite fictional heroine?

Hermione Granger. Growing up, I loved the “Harry Potter” series. Hermione is not only an academic genius—she’s a courageous friend who proves herself in the most treacherous of situations. Never the damsel in distress, she’s always coming up with a way to save the day. I really liked the way her character progresses as she grows up—she starts out as the ever-too-keen student and grows into an intelligent young lady who helps overcome the final challenge.

What is your life motto?

I get my life motto from my family: “Que sera sera,” which means “whatever will be, will be.”

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/QvdcJ0mcQG4/

Introducing Ms. PAC-Maps

Category: Google | Mar 31, 2017

Starting now until April 4, you can chomp fruit, avoid ghosts, and collect PAC-Dots along city streets in Google Maps worldwide—all as Ms. PAC-Maps. Just tap on the Ms. PAC-Maps icon on iOS and Android, or click the Ms. PAC-Maps button at the bottom left on desktop, to enter the maze and start chompin’. Sign in to save your top score on the leaderboard and share with friends.

MsPacMapsGIF

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/A9kwfd29xoY/

Google Pixel and Boiler Room launch ‘VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’

Category: Google | Mar 31, 2017

Today in Berlin we’re launching a new virtual reality collaboration ‘VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’, with Boiler Room, an international heavyweight in underground music entertainment, to give music fans everywhere a unique and unprecedented opportunity to experience Berlin’s much-heralded club culture without leaving home. The experience is designed to be enjoyed on Pixel, phone by Google,–or any other Daydream-ready smartphone.

VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’ is an immersive music experiment which lets you ‘choose your own adventure’ in an industrial Berlin night club. You’ll be transported right into the middle of a cast of 150 of Berlin’s most dedicated ravers from a host of subcultures. Get ready to hang with artists, crash the dancefloor, uncover the dark room, wander between audio-visual installations, and explore hidden spaces of Berlin’s underground club culture–wherever your are in the world.

With Pixel currently available in Germany and the U.K., we set out to create a seamless experience combining the best of Google software together with premium hardware. Virtual Reality is a great showcase for this combination, and we believe the vast majority of people who’ll experience VR over the next few years will do so via a smartphone. So, we built Pixel to be the first device that offers simple, high quality VR experiences through the Daydream platform and the Daydream View headset, an experience which has since been expanded to Motorola (Moto Z), ZTE (Axon 7) and more to come.

VR can be a powerful tool to transform the way you enjoy culture and entertainment. It can connect you with the things, people, places and memories that matter most to you in a new immersive way. VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin marks an entirely new cultural moment, a new entertainment synthesis with interactive elements of immersive theatre, computer game narrative, music TV broadcast and installation art. The 15 minutes long experience was filmed in the industrial environs of a typical Berlin nightclub featuring a live-electronics set by Berliners FJAAK, who played from a range of analogue hardware.

VR dancefloor hero

In the spirit of making unique cultural moments widely accessible, this project will allow Boiler Room’s audience and the growing number of Pixel and Daydream users to drop straight into the heart of the action.

The experience is available for free on Daydream, Google’s VR platform as part of the ‘Inception app’ around the world from today on.

Enjoy!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/byQ2KNwN9o4/

Apps, Skills and SMEs: making Europe mobile first

Category: Google | Mar 31, 2017

The internet has already revolutionized the way we live, work and play. Today, nearly 3 billion of the world’s population are connected to the internet through smartphones. This is a profound shift that brings new opportunities to do business, to learn and to connect with audiences online. As the pace of technology continues to advance, we partnered with Debating Europe, Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), European Small Business Alliance (ESBA), European Digital SME Alliance and EU40 to bring together app developers, educators, policymakers and big thinkers to discuss how to improve skills, jobs and growth in Europe in the mobile era.

“Thanks to the Internet, a farm manager in Kenya has the same access to information as a policymaker in Brussels,” said Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, our president for strategic relations in Europe. This changes everything, but only if people can take part. And according to the European Commission, over 750,000 ICT jobs could remain unfilled in Europe by 2020 due to a lack of digital skills.

Speakers took on the big issues that are crucial to Europe’s future. Innovation is coming from new and unexpected places, as Michael Quigley of the Progressive Policy Institute explained. Their report shows in Europe, 1.6 million jobs have been created through the app economy and through the mobile transformation of more traditional companies. “The leading countries are Germany, France and the Netherlands, but really it’s across the EU,” he said. “Whilst bigger countries create most jobs, the Nordic countries surprise — their app intensity levels are very high, even higher than in US.”

We heard from the creator of one app designed to deal with intense times — Monica Archibugi started Le Cigogne (Italian for the fabled stork). Rather than deliver babies, this app helps parents to find babysitters. It covers 107 cities across Italy and connects 20,000 babysitters with 10,000 parents. “Grandparents are our biggest competitors,” she said.

Mobile Transformation Event 2

Jake Ward, President of App Developer Alliance which represents a million developers worldwide, echoed that sentiment. “We have been coming here for four years and the progress we’re seeing in Europe is amazing – a lot of Europeans don’t see that but it’s incredible.” At the heart of this growth are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — according to the European Commission, they  have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU in the last five years.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy,” said Dr Oliver Grun of the European Digital SME Alliance, which represents 20,000 businesses. But in order to succeed, entrepreneurs will need digital skills to get there. Carlo d’Asaro Biondo highlighted commission figures that in the future 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. At Google, we have already trained 2 million people in Europe and 1 million people in Africa in digital skills. We estimate that almost 50% of the people who have taken online training so far are female, and in age they range from students to pensioners.

Mobile Transformation Event 3

Sharing service start-up Scooty talked about how their app enables sharing of scooters

Above and beyond Google’s digital skills training programme , we’ve partnered with online course provider Udacity and German media group Bertelsmann to provide mobile-centric, app-tastic training in the form of 10,000 Android Developer training scholarships across the EU. As Vish Makhijani from Udacity explained, this will help create data scientists, software developers and artificial intelligence experts. Udacity worked with companies like Bosch, Daimler and Zalando to build the curriculums — and students are reaping the rewards. “Our students are amazing,” he enthused. “They embrace a learning mindset.”

Making the most of the mobile economy means it must benefit everyone, not just the few. For the European Commission’s Lucilla Sioli, it means training people in basics too, because of the increasing digitization of all areas of society. “People will not be replaced by the machines but they need to have sufficiency and the skills to work with the machines.”

And for Christina J. Colclough of UNI Global Union it means making sure jobs created are rewarding and have social protection. “I think we should stop talking about jobs in the sense that digital tech creates x millions of jobs if they’re underpaid jobs,” she said. “What I do want to say is that when nothing is for sure, everything is possible.”

That includes major transformation. Bertelsmann’s Steven Moran explained how the company is embracing digital after nearly two centuries of publishing. “My job is to make sure we stick around for at least another 190 years,” he said. “Part of my responsibility is to build skills across countries and industries. We need to lower the barriers on all things digital.” That means shifting the mindset from ink and paper to a fully mobile product.

Debating Europe: Digital Transformation – New Skills for Jobs and Growth

Finally, we heard an inspiring voice from Africa, where a whole continent is going mobile first. Tele Aina Williams Was one of the first people in Nigeria to attend Google’s digital skills training a year and a half ago. She set up Digital Republic in Lagos and advises businesses on Digital “Only a small number of people in Nigeria have ever opened a laptop, it’s all focused on mobile,” she said. With 189 million people, 157 million mobile subscriptions and increasingly reliable mobile networks, that’s “a lot of opportunity” she concluded.

We at Google want to say Jisie ike, to Tele and the new generation of mobile entrepreneurs. With apps making life easier for millions of smartphone users and billions of new internet users set to come online in the next few years, there’s never been a better time to get creative with tech. We’d like to thank our partners and speakers for making this exciting event happen.

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

How Google Translate is making learning English fun in Israel

Category: Google | Mar 30, 2017

Using neural machine translation, we’ve just updated Hebrew and Arabic languages on Google Translate. But what you can’t see on the surface is that these translations also improved thanks to students across Israel. As English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students used the Google Translate Community platform to learn and practice their English, they actually improved translations for everyone in the process.

Adele Raemer is an Israeli English teacher, a trainer for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and digital pedagogy at the Israel Ministry of Education; she’s also a Google Certified Innovator, a Google Educator Group leader, and blogger.

Adele Raemer.png

Adele Raemer, English as a Foreign Language teacher and trainer at Israel’s Ministry of Education

When Adele first used the Translate Community as tool to teach English, she was impressed by how eager and motivated her students became. She wanted other students to share in the experience, so with the support of the Ministry of Education EFL superintendent and our education team, she turned this into a challenge for classrooms across Israel. The goal was to help students work on their vocabulary, develop critical thinking and translating skills and enhanced their engagement with English studies.

Last spring, 51 classes from across the country joined our Google Translate Community pilot competition. A month later, the class with the highest number of collective contributions joined us for a visit to our Google Israel office. The teachers used the challenge as a fun activity on top of their regular curriculum. As Mazi, an English teacher at “Hodayot” high school, said: “The experience of participating in the competition was very positive and enriched my teaching. Any time that a student finished a task early or had a bit of time at the end of the lesson, they could be productive by going into the site and translating!”

Translate_Israel_Group.png

Winning class from Jadeidi-Makr science school who won a visit to the Google Israel office

Inspired by the success of Adele’s pilot program, the Translate Community team then built new tools that allowed group contributions and measured results more accurately. With new supporting lesson plans, more than 150 classes participated in a three month competition for Hebrew-English and Arabic-English. From these two competitions, 3,500 students translated and verified more than 4 million words and phrases.

Translate_Israel_1.png

English teacher from the winning school, “Nitzanim” school, with a student translating during a lesson

We’ve incorporated this multi-lingual knowledge into the training for our cutting-edge neural technology, which we’ve just launched today for Hebrew and Arabic. That means every one of these contributions helped improve translations for millions of people doing translations to or from these related languages.

We were thrilled to see the great impact that these students had on Translate itself. It’s so cool to see how the next generation of students is working hand in hand with the next generation of machine translation technology!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/uE2q0z2y550/

Book fitness classes anywhere in the U.S. on Google

Category: Google | Mar 30, 2017

Shake off those winter blues and spring into shape. Starting today you can book and pay for fitness classes throughout the U.S. on Google Maps, Google Search and the Reserve with Google website. Here’s how it works:

Visit Reserve with Google on desktop or mobile. There you can search for fitness studios near you, use filters to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for, get recommendations for new classes, or book a spot in the session you already know and love. At checkout, you’ll even be able to take advantage of intro offers when available and buy class packages or memberships. 

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You can also book classes from Google Maps and Search. On Google Maps (desktop) and Google Search (mobile and desktop), just search for the studio you want and click “Reserve with Google” to see the class schedule, book, and pay.  

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We work with top scheduling providers, including MINDBODY, MyTime, Genbook, Full Slate, Front Desk, and Appointy to bring you real-time class inventory across the U.S. So whether you keep going back to a specific class at your favorite studio nearby, or want to find a great new spot while you’re traveling, Reserve with Google can help you book a workout in just a few taps.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/s7u4QmA4FPo/

Book fitness classes anywhere in the U.S. on Google

Category: Google | Mar 30, 2017

Shake off those winter blues and spring into shape. Starting today you can book and pay for fitness classes throughout the U.S. on Google Maps, Google Search and the Reserve with Google website. Here’s how it works:

Visit Reserve with Google on desktop or mobile. There you can search for fitness studios near you, use filters to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for, get recommendations for new classes, or book a spot in the session you already know and love. At checkout, you’ll even be able to take advantage of intro offers when available and buy class packages or memberships. 

Reserve_A_1.png

Reserve_A_2.png

Reserve_A_3.png


You can also book classes from Google Maps and Search. On Google Maps (desktop) and Google Search (mobile and desktop), just search for the studio you want and click “Reserve with Google” to see the class schedule, book, and pay.  

Reserve_B_1.png

Reserve_B_2.png

Reserve_B_3.png


We work with top scheduling providers, including MINDBODY, MyTime, Genbook, Full Slate, Front Desk, Appointy, and more to bring you real-time class inventory across the U.S. So whether you keep going back to a specific class at your favorite studio nearby, or want to find a great new spot while you’re traveling, Reserve with Google can help you book a workout in just a few taps.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/RLJJ4S4urZs/

The She Word: Laura Marquez, helping Google show up in the Latino community

Category: Google | Mar 29, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

LRM.jpg

Today, we hear from Laura Marquez, Google’s Head of Latino Community Engagement. Laura is a veteran of Capitol Hill, served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, and recently moved to New York for her newly-created role. The biggest difference between Google and Capitol Hill? Capitol Hill staffers don’t wear propeller hats on their first day of work…

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I am charged with looking across the company at how we can deepen and strengthen our relationship with the Latino community. This means asking ourselves the hard questions … How can our corporate culture be more diverse and inclusive? Where are opportunities to connect with the rapidly growing Latino population? How can we expand our impact in the community, from Latino small business owners to educators to emerging Latino creators? For example, small business owners should know that they can pin their business name on Google maps for free, and every student interested in tech should know about our internship opportunities.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

Women at Google are fierce, and we are redefining the face of tech. I am especially proud to be a Latina at Google. Many of us are the first in our families to attend college or move away from our hometowns—making those strides calls for a lot of grit and resilience.

I am one of the few Latinos with a dual MBA/MPA from Harvard, and back in 2005, I was the only Latino serving as a Congressional Legislative Director (and was fired up when a few others were hired later that year!). The Latinas here at Google have remarkable stories, and they have worked hard to advance our community’s economic and social well-being. I’m proud and honored to stand alongside the many Latina innovators here at Google and ensure that we have a seat at the table and among ranks of leadership.

What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?

When I first started my career, I was one of the few Latinas working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Another woman took me aside and said, “All you have in DC is your name. Protect it.” I took that advice to heart—maybe too much. If I were to do those early years over again, I would take more calculated risks, and I encourage women early in their careers to have the courage to do so.

LMarquez Photo 2.jpg

Laura and her grandmother

Who has been a strong female influence in your life?

Growing up, my grandmother was one of the smartest women that I knew. She could name all the former U.S. Presidents, knew every piece of the day’s news, and ran her household with a firm but gentle hand. Those same hands belonged to a migrant farm worker who never had the opportunity to go beyond grade school.

During Women’s History Month (and all the time, really), I hear her voice telling me that it is different for women. She wasn’t discouraging me from my pursuing my dreams, but it was her way of telling me that I would have to work harder than everyone else. It was her way of saying sometimes life isn’t fair, but as women, we persevere.

Just as my grandmother helped create a new path for her children and grandchildren, I can only hope to do the same for others and to help shape a world where women from all backgrounds can succeed.

There’s no better way to celebrate women than to elevate their success.

What are you doing to celebrate to celebrate Women’s History Month?

I am working with Google’s Business Inclusion team to highlight the achievements and advice of female small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our Business Inclusion team works with communities that are traditionally underrepresented online, and teaches them how to use online tools to market and grow their businesses. We want to inspire future entrepreneurs with women’s success stories—there’s no better way to celebrate women than to elevate their success.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/33hW3yUmues/

The She Word: Laura Marquez, helping Google show up in the Latino community

Category: Google | Mar 29, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

LRM.jpg

Today, we hear from Laura Marquez, Google’s Head of Latino Community Engagement. Laura is a veteran of Capitol Hill, served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, and recently moved to New York for her newly-created role. The biggest difference between Google and Capitol Hill? Capitol Hill staffers don’t wear propeller hats on their first day of work…

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I am charged with looking across the company at how we can deepen and strengthen our relationship with the Latino community. This means asking ourselves the hard questions … How can our corporate culture be more diverse and inclusive? Where are opportunities to connect with the rapidly growing Latino population? How can we expand our impact in the community, from Latino small business owners to educators to emerging Latino creators? For example, small business owners should know that they can pin their business name on Google maps for free, and every student interested in tech should know about our internship opportunities.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

Women at Google are fierce, and we are redefining the face of tech. I am especially proud to be a Latina at Google. Many of us are the first in our families to attend college or move away from our hometowns—making those strides calls for a lot of grit and resilience.

I am one of the few Latinos with a dual MBA/MPA from Harvard, and back in 2005, I was the only Latino serving as a Congressional Legislative Director (and was fired up when a few others were hired later that year!). The Latinas here at Google have remarkable stories, and they have worked hard to advance our community’s economic and social well-being. I’m proud and honored to stand alongside the many Latina innovators here at Google and ensure that we have a seat at the table and among ranks of leadership.

What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?

When I first started my career, I was one of the few Latinas working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Another woman took me aside and said, “All you have in DC is your name. Protect it.” I took that advice to heart—maybe too much. If I were to do those early years over again, I would take more calculated risks, and I encourage women early in their careers to have the courage to do so.

LMarquez Photo 2.jpg

Laura and her grandmother

Who has been a strong female influence in your life?

Growing up, my grandmother was one of the smartest women that I knew. She could name all the former U.S. Presidents, knew every piece of the day’s news, and ran her household with a firm but gentle hand. Those same hands belonged to a migrant farm worker who never had the opportunity to go beyond grade school.

During Women’s History Month (and all the time, really), I hear her voice telling me that it is different for women. She wasn’t discouraging me from my pursuing my dreams, but it was her way of telling me that I would have to work harder than everyone else. It was her way of saying sometimes life isn’t fair, but as women, we persevere.

Just as my grandmother helped create a new path for her children and grandchildren, I can only hope to do the same for others and to help shape a world where women from all backgrounds can succeed.

There’s no better way to celebrate women than to elevate their success.

What are you doing to celebrate to celebrate Women’s History Month?

I am working with Google’s Business Inclusion team to highlight the achievements and advice of female small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our Business Inclusion team works with communities that are traditionally underrepresented online, and teaches them how to use online tools to market and grow their businesses. We want to inspire future entrepreneurs with women’s success stories—there’s no better way to celebrate women than to elevate their success.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/CvDS3b8Wv3M/