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Our efforts to help protect journalists online

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Safety and security online is important for all of our users, but especially for journalists in the field conducting difficult—sometimes dangerous—reporting.

Journalists are susceptible to a number of risks. Reporters covering oppressive regimes or working in regions where freedom of the press is limited have been targeted by government-backed attackers. Newsrooms have fallen victim to phishing attempts by malicious hackers trying to steal their account passwords. Entire news sites have been taken down by DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. And journalists’ data is increasingly at risk from cyber attacks.

Despite this elevated risk, according to a recent study of more than 2,700 newsroom managers and journalists from 130 countries, at least half of those surveyed don’t use any tools or methods to protect their data and information online. Given the importance of journalism to open societies everywhere, we want to ensure that newsrooms and journalists are equipped with the tools and training they need to be successful—and safe—while doing their work. In the past, we’ve written about how anyone can protect their Google accounts and minimize security risks while using our products. But to address online safety for journalists, we’ve worked with the Jigsaw team and engineers from across the company to offer a few resources:

  • Project Shield helps protect news sites from DDoS attacks for free.
  • Digital Attack Map, a data visualization of DDoS attacks around the globe, can help journalists better understand the threat these attacks pose.
  • Password Alert helps protect and defend against password phishing attempts.
  • We offer trainings on safety and security, specifically focused on journalists. You can check out a recent webinar to help journalists understand whether they’re at at risk, and what to do about it.

We also offer the Advanced Protection program for journalists who are at heightened risk. You should look into this program if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:

  • Do you work in a hostile climate?
  • Do you feel that your sources need stronger protections against potential adversaries?
  • Do you get messages about government-backed attacks on Gmail?
  • Do you see suspicious activities around your account? (e.g., password recovery attempts not initiated by you)
  • Would your work be viewed as controversial by some people?

We encourage you to share these resources with your colleagues and friends, and talk to your IT department about what they’re doing to protect your newsroom’s data. It may be worth holding a security risk assessment training with your newsroom using the assets above, or request a training on safety and security for journalists (provided by the Google News Lab) at newslabsupport@google.com.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/VOL4_9bnD2U/

The Google Home app keeps getting better

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Your Google Home and Chromecast are all set up and ready to go. Now, what to watch or listen to? The refreshed Google Home app makes it easier for you to find some of your favorite movies, shows and music. It’s not just a new look—we’ve added new smarts, too. Here are a few ways the updated Google Home app gives you a better browsing experience:

  1. Ready for our close-up: We’ve given the app a full makeover, and it’s much more intuitive. Key navigation buttons are now at the bottom, closer to your fingers.

  2. Browse your faves: You’ll see recommended content from all your streaming services—making it easy to find the movies, music and shows you want to watch and jump directly into your favorite streaming services to play them.

  3. Better search: When you want to watch that one rom-com but can’t remember the name of it, you can search by actor, artist, genre or category.

  4. Movie trailers: Android users can now cast movie trailers for everyone to watch on TV, while still using their phone to seamlessly swipe and play trailers for related content.

  5. More control: Have more say over your entire viewing and listening experience with redesigned controllers. You can even adjust advanced sound settings like bass and treble on your Google Assistant supported speakers, like Google Home.

home app controller

Update your app today!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/_sp8KHBAcC8/

Chrome Enterprise now offers native print management

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

In August we announced the launch of Chrome Enterprise, a single, cost-effective solution giving you the security and control you need to keep your employees connected. On our road to releasing Chrome Enterprise, we listened to a lot of feedback from businesses. And one of the most common requests we received was greater printing capabilities.

Whether it’s firing off a last minute presentation, or grabbing those boarding passes on the way to the airport, fast and simple printing is business critical. That’s why we’re excited to expand Chrome Enterprise’s native printing capabilities.

Chrome Enterprise’s native print functionality is enabled through the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS). CUPS uses an Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) that allows printing directly to a printer over the local network. You can add, remove, enable and disable printers by organizational unit in the Google admin console. Enabled printers will automatically appear in a user’s list of Chrome printers.

For employees, setup will be a cinch. With native print functionality, they can add a local printer and begin printing—no connectors needed. They can also print directly to a printer via USB.

For more information on managing native printing in Chrome Enterprise, check out our Help Center article. Or warm up your friendly local printer and fire away from your Chrome browser. Just don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own paper)!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/0jWdQLMj-NY/

Seven things you can do with Google Pixel Buds

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Last month we announced Google Pixel Buds, a pair of wireless headphones that sound great and help you do more without you needing to look at your phone. Pixel Buds are easy to control, comfortable to wear, and fast to pair, and with the Google Assistant, help is just a touch away. There’s a lot these headphones can do—did we mention real-time translation in 40 languages?

Pixel Buds recently started shipping from the Google Store and our retail partners, so we wanted to share seven (hopefully) handy things you can do with them.

1. Connect with one tap: Pairing Pixel Buds with your phone is fast and easy—open the charging case near Pixel 2 or phones running Android Nougat or newer (with the Bluetooth turned on of course) to pair. Then tap connect on the notification that pops up on your phone and you’re ready to get started.


2. Control with just a touch: No more searching for tiny buttons on a cord or pulling out your phone to change your tunes or answer a call from Mom. Tap the right earbud to play, pause or answer a call; swipe forward or backward to adjust the volume. All your audio controls are conveniently packed onto a touchpad on the right earbud.

3. Instantly access the Google Assistant: Want to get things done without needing to look at your phone? If you have an Assistant-enabled Android phone and data connection, just touch and hold the right earbud and ask the Google Assistant for help. Play music, send a text, or get walking directions without ever reaching for your phone.

4. Communicate in 40 languages: Order spaghetti bolognese like a pro, give directions to a traveler from China, or just impress your friends with real-time translations using Google Translate, Pixel Buds and a Pixel or Pixel 2. Your earphones hear you and your Pixel’s speaker will play the translation in another language. When the other person speaks, you’ll hear the translation right in your ear. To launch Google Translate, simply touch and hold your right earbud and say “Google, help me speak [LANGUAGE]”.

5. Check your messages without looking: No need to stop what you’re doing when you get a new notification. When you enable spoken notifications on your phone, you’ll hear a brief chime whenever you receive a new notification.  Double-tap on the right earbud after hearing an alert and your Google Assistant will read the new message to you or tell you what’s next on your calendar.

6. Store and charge your headphones on the go: Keep Pixel Buds safely stored when you’re not using them in the handy little case. No need to jam the cord into the case—we designed the charging case so you can neatly wrap Pixel Buds inside. Charge up both Pixel Buds and the charging case all the way and get up to 24 hours of total listening time combined. Learn more about battery life and charging in our help center.

pixel buds case charging

7. Get the perfect fit: Customize the fit of Pixel Buds without needing to swap out any pieces. With the fabric loop, you can adjust the fit so they sit in your ear comfortably and securely. That sweet little loop is part of the cord that connects Pixel Buds, meaning you can wear them how you want all day—both earbuds in, one in and one out, or both out around your neck—you choose.

And, to cap off our list, here’s one thing NOT to do with your Pixel Buds—don’t cut the cord!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/7W-wIBPEOHA/

How the Pixel 2’s security module delivers enterprise-grade security

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Security is often top of mind for enterprise customers when it comes to choosing a device for work. Company data should be protected against all manner of threats to avoid a costly and distressing security breach.

The new Google Pixel 2 was built with a tamper-resistant hardware security module that reinforces the lock screen against malware and hardware attacks to better safeguard the data stored on your device, like emails, contacts and photos. This is the first of what we hope are many Android devices that feature dedicated security modules.

Benefits of tamper-resistant hardware

The lock screen is the first line of defense in protecting your data from attacks. Devices that ship with Android 7.0 and above verify your lock screen passcode in a secure environment, such as the Trusted Execution Environment or TEE, that limits how often someone can repeatedly brute-force guess it. When the secure environment has successfully verified your passcode does it reveal a device and user-specific secret used to derive the disk encryption key. Without that key, your data can’t be decrypted.

The goal of these protections is to prevent attackers from decrypting your data without knowing your passcode. However, the protections are only as strong as the secure environment that verifies the passcode. Performing these types of security-critical operations in tamper-resistant hardware significantly increases the difficulty of attacking it.

SOC resources

Tamper-resistant hardware comes in the form of a discrete chip, separate from the System on a Chip (SoC). It includes its own flash, RAM, processing unit, and other resources inside a single package, so it can fully control its own execution and ward off external attempts to tamper with it. The package is resistant to physical penetration and designed to resist many side channel attacks, including power analysis, timing analysis, and electromagnetic sniffing. The hardware is also resilient against many physical fault injection techniques including attempts to run outside normal operating conditions, such as wrong voltage, wrong clock speed, or wrong temperature.

Security module in Pixel 2

In addition to being tamper-resistant, the security module in Pixel 2 also helps protect against software-only attacks. Because it performs very few functions, it has a super small attack surface. And with passcode verification happening in the security module, even in the event of a full compromise elsewhere, the attacker cannot derive your disk encryption key without compromising the security module first. 

The security module is designed so that nobody, including Google, can update the passcode verification to a weakened version without knowing your passcode first.

Security at the core

Businesses that choose the new Google Pixel 2, or a future Android device with tamper- resistant hardware, will have more peace of mind that critical company data is safer against an entire class of sophisticated hardware attacks. These security upgrades, along with the comprehensive and innovative management features that Android brings to work, give your business a powerful set of tools for a mobile workforce.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ZgtnTiIpx4I/

Android Pay goes local in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Brazil and Slovakia

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Whenever we launch Android Pay in a new market, we think about how to enable faster, easier checkout while taking into account the distinct payment habits of each place. Working with partners is a key part of creating a local experience.

A few weeks ago, we launched Android Pay in Ukraine. Today, it’s available in Czech Republic and Brazil, and soon it’ll be live in Slovakia, too. Here’s a look at how two different approaches simplify checkout in two unique parts of the world.

Leave your wallet at home in Central and Eastern Europe

Paying contactless isn’t new in Central and Eastern Europe–in fact, in many places it’s the norm. With Android Pay, we wanted to make it easier for locals to leave their wallets at home at places they know and love. Starting today in Czech Republic, you can pick up a loaf of traditional Šumava bread at your favorite bakery or an ice-cold Kofola at Albert using nothing but your phone.

Kiev_metro

Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s Finance Minister, demonstrating Android Pay at the launch event

And in a region full of Android fans, we’re excited to see it’s already taking off! Ukraine’s Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk was the country’s first person to try Android Pay when we launched on November 1, demonstrating how it works on the Kiev Metro.

Pay for pão de queijo with your phone in Brazil

On the other side of the globe in Brazil, contactless payments are just picking up speed. So we partnered with merchants like Ipiranga and Casa do Pão de Queijo to help us merge new experiences (like paying with your phone) with familiar ones (like buying groceries or Brigadeiros). Brazil is also the first Latin American country to get Android Pay, and we’re looking forward to helping contactless payments become part of people’s everyday routines.

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We’ll be bringing Android Pay to even more places soon.

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

Spend more time around the table (not in traffic) this Thanksgiving

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

Many Americans will spend next Thursday surrounded by family and friends around a table full of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce (or whatever your family favorites are). Because traveling for Thanksgiving can be stressful, we looked at historical Google Maps traffic data to identify the best and worst times for your Thanksgiving road trips. And just for fun, we took a peek at the places Google Maps users are most often getting directions to during the holiday week. To look at this a bit more closely, we’ve created an interactive experience where you can explore Thanksgiving trends in your area.

Tips for a traffic-free Turkey Day

Because many of us can’t or don’t take off extra days leading up to Thanksgiving, we looked at last year’s traffic trends the day before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after. As you might expect, Wednesday late afternoon is the busiest time to hit the road, but it’s pretty much smooth sailing the morning of Thanksgiving. So if you can wait until Turkey Day, you might be able to avoid the crowds on the road.

To make your travels as efficient as possible, don’t forget to share your trip with the in-laws so they’ll know exactly when you’ll arrive. And if you forgot the stuffing you promised to bring to the potluck, just search for an open supermarket along your route to quickly pick it up without adding a long detour—you can even see how much time you can expect to spend in the checkout line with our new wait times feature (now available on Google Maps for Android).

When the eating is all over and it’s time to head home, early morning on Saturday or Sunday are your best bets (just make sure to avoid the road when traffic heats up on Friday and Saturday in the late afternoon).

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Trending places over Thanksgiving  

Every family has their unique holiday traditions—like Dad’s dash to the tree lot the day after Thanksgiving. According to historical Google Maps search data, the most popular destinations over the Thanksgiving holiday period are ham shops, outlet malls, tree farms, natural features (think outdoor experiences), and electronics stores.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.59.09 PM.png

When you’re not digging into your food, dig into the Turkey Day traffic and Google Maps search trends for your city in our interactive experience. Happy Thanksgiving!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/mjpH6fAqwcE/

Accelerating the journey to the cloud for SAP customers—access transparency preview and new certifications

Category: Google | Nov 14, 2017

From the moment we announced a partnership with SAP at Google Cloud Next in March, we’ve been busy readying SAP systems to run effectively on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Our momentum with SAP offers solutions for all types of business, from SMBs to the largest enterprises around the world, including developments with data access transparency, a sandbox environment, application migration and integrations for business systems. We’re also continuing to build on our progress with larger HANA certifications.  

This week, we’ll be on-site talking about the latest at SAP TechEd in Barcelona. Here’s an  update on what we’re launching.

Access Transparency and the data custodian model

Managing and mitigating risk is a priority for any organization adopting the public cloud. As part of our partnership, SAP and Google have proposed a data custodian model that will allow enterprises to continuously monitor risk and help with their data protection and access control policies. Today, we’re announcing a preview of Access Transparency, a new GCP security feature that helps enable this model.  

Access Transparency provides visibility into operational access by Google employees to cloud systems that store, secure or process customer data. Cloud providers may require operational access to address a customer support request, or, more rarely, to review whether a service can meet its availability and performance objectives. Access Transparency log entries include justification for access, the specific resource that was accessed, the time of access, and the corporate location of the accessor. Access Transparency enables security and compliance teams to gain meaningful oversight of their cloud provider.  

We’re opening up an early access preview of Access Transparency to customers. The early access preview will provide visibility into operational access for a select set of GCP services—Google Cloud Storage (GCS), Identity and Access Management (IAM), Key Management Service (KMS) and Google App Engine (GAE). We intend to progressively roll out this capability to other GCP services that store, secure or process customer data.

To express interest in our Access Transparency early access preview, please complete the online request form.

SAP platform certifications

SAP offers an extensive ecosystem of products to address the needs of SMBs to the largest enterprises. The following systems are now all certified by SAP to run on GCP:

  • SAP HANA: SAP HANA is now certified to run in Compute Engine instances (VMs) of up to 1.4TBs of memory. For customers running analytics applications like SAP BW or SAP Customer Activity Repository (SAP CAR), we can now support scale-out configurations with up to 16 instances, for 22TB of total memory. Additionally, we have already announced our intention to quickly enable VMs with 4TB of memory in the short term.

  • The SAP Data Migration Option (DMO) is now certified for migrating on-premise SAP HANA and any DB-based SAP applications to SAP HANA on GCP.

  • SAP Hybris e-commerce and marketing solutions are now officially supported on GCP, enabling joint customers like Smyths Toys to further integrate its business systems and drive efficiency and value.

  • SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) platform is certified to run on both Windows and Linux environments on GCP.

  • SAP Business One, SAP’s small business software for ERP, is now certified to run on GCP. Customers like Sale Stock in Indonesia are leveraging GCP to run their mission critical Business One solutions.

  • For customers who want bring up non-production SAP applications on GCP, the SAP Cloud Appliance Library now supports GCP. With the click of a button, you can spin up a sandbox environment with SAP applications like S/4 HANA on GCP and incubate exploratory projects.

  • SAP Vora – Version 1.4 of SAP’s in-memory distributed computing system for big data analytics is supported on GCP and what’s more, version 2.2 leverages Kubernetes and will have support for Google Container Engine and Google’s managed Hadoop service Google Cloud DataProc in Q1 2018.

Manage, monitor and extend SAP

Running SAP on GCP is one thing. Integrating it into your larger IT environment is another. Together, Google Cloud and SAP have been working hard to certify the tools you need to make the most of your SAP environment.

  • Customers can now implement data tiering between SAP HANA and Google BigQuery using sample tools published by Google Cloud.

  • It’s now easier than ever to monitor performance from within the GCP console. A new monitoring agent is available to reliably collect and publish metrics from your SAP HANA instance to GCP Stackdriver, letting you set event notifications so you can have actionable insights around aggregated data. Get started now with this user guide.

Visit us online and at SAP TechEd Barcelona

We’re working hard to make Google Cloud the best place to run SAP applications. Visit us anytime online to learn more about the SAP Google partnership. And if you’re attending SAP TechEd in Barcelona, be sure to stop by the Google Cloud booth P13 to say hello, see some demos in action and share your thoughts on how we can help accelerate your journey to the cloud.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/W7hRIp8hfio/

Indianapolis revs up with Grow with Google

Category: Google | Nov 13, 2017

For more than a hundred years, Indiana has been a powerhouse in American manufacturing. Its factories assembled the vehicles that would take the country into a new automotive era in the 20th century. Historic auto companies like Studebaker, Cord and Duesenberg called the state home.

Though Indiana remains a domestic manufacturing hub, the economy continues to evolve. Technology has emerged as a new force, and digital skills have become a baseline in businesses and classrooms. The growth of tech jobs in Indianapolis is the fifth-highest in the country. Despite this, only 48 percent of workers have the required skills to compete in the current job market.

We want to help everyone find new opportunities in the digital economy. That’s why we brought Grow with Google—our new initiative to help Americans gain the skills they need to prepare for work, find jobs, and grow their businesses—to Indianapolis this weekend.

Over the course of two days at the Indiana State Museum, thousands of job seekers, educators, students, and local businesses joined us for more than 20 workshops and 100+ one-on-one coaching sessions, as well as panel discussions that put a spotlight on success stories from the local small business community. We were joined by best-selling author and YouTube creator John Green (an Indy native), and our partners EmployIndy, The Indianapolis Public Library, Ivy Tech Community College, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, Indy Chamber, TechPoint and Student Veterans of America.

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    Packed house for the Get Started with Code workshop.
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    One-on-one coaching session with a Googler and Hoosier attendee.

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    Attendees stopped by the Google Developer Training & Certification booth on the expo floor.

One of the featured success stories on our panel was Janus Motorcycles, founded in 2011 by Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, two friends who shared a vision to build their dream motorcycle. Today, the company sells handmade bikes directly to customers online, using videos to showcase their craftsmanship and digital ads to drive sales. From their small production shop in northern Indiana, they bring together the the best of Midwestern handmade craftsmanship and modern manufacturing. Plus, many of their fabricated parts are made within 20 miles of their production facility.

Janus’ story is an example of how two individuals with a vision can use technology to create economic opportunities for many more.

We’re excited about the many Hoosiers who came out this past weekend, and look forward to working alongside them to help bring their ideas and dreams to life. Keep an eye out for Grow with Google events in even more cities in the months to come, and you can always access tools, resources and programs at google.com/grow.

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

Maximizing art assets for VR

Category: Google | Nov 13, 2017

In line with previous tips we shared about creating art assets for VR, we’ve put together a few specific techniques for VR artists to get the most out of polygons and UV space.

Tiling textures: Instead of making one giant texture that covers lots of space, create a smaller tileable texture that can be used in more spaces. The example below uses UV space with a tileable texture repeated eight times to create high resolution on this ladder.  Through mirroring and flipping, the user will likely not notice the reused UV spaces, but the overall look is higher-res.

vrart2ladder

Use more polygons: While keeping the poly count low is important, texture and pixel resolution is more valuable. Plan ahead when designing an asset to account for the fact that you may need to add more polygons or model an asset in a less polygonally-optimized way, because doing so will increase resolution and result in a more detailed and overall optimized asset. On the left is a 13k poly model which was intended to be 6” tall in VR.  When the user approached the model, it became pixelated and didn’t look good. Instead of using large sheets of UV space, the model on the right was built with more careful polygon placement. It’s a 9k poly with a higher resolution of textures that holds up to close inspection in VR.

vrships

Maximize that UV space: Strive for higher resolution by making larger UV spaces to achieve a higher resolution per asset.  Because almost every asset has a unique UV space, the image on the left uses the large green leaf area for the entire balloon, which looks pixelated at close distances in VR. By making larger and higher resolution UV spaces and duplicating the geometry instead of relying on unique UV sections, the final asset on the right looks sharper when viewed up close.

shiptexture

Use geometry to make something unique, not textures: One drawback with reusing UV space is that things can look repetitive. To make areas of your asset look more unique, use geometry to add a new color splash or add a few edge loops to bend or scale a duplicated asset into a different silhouette.

geocompare

Plan ahead when creating assets, so they can be reused and combined with other assets: A good workflow in the tight constraints of VR is to build the individual parts of a final asset and then assemble them. Always be considering whether or not that next unique part is needed at the cost of an overall smaller UV layout, thus less lower resolution per asset.  The entire final asset on the left was built with the parts on the right.

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Hopefully, these tips will be useful as you create and optimize your assets for VR. What are some of your favorite tips and tricks? Let’s get a conversation going; use #VRArtTips to share.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/G0Ef4I-qi5U/