News > Google
Category: Google | Oct 24, 2012
Tomorrow marks the start of the observance of Eid El Adha, celebrated by the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. As part of this holiday, nearly 2.5 million Muslims will participate in the world’s largest pilgrimage to perform the ritual of Hajj. This year, millions more from around the world will be able to experience the ritual via the live stream from Mecca, Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information’s YouTube channel.
The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam; it requires all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford it to perform the pilgrimage once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.
This live stream was made possible by our cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, which also broadcast Islamic prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Mecca during this year’s Ramadan.
Watch on www.youtube.com/makkahlive.
Posted by Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Head of Emerging Arabia, Google
Category: Google | Oct 18, 2012
As a kid growing up in India, I was fascinated with computers and the endless possibilities they presented. I had to wait until college to finally get my hands on one in the computer lab and since then began dreaming of a world where everyone could have access to one. We’re not quite there yet, but every day we get a bit closer.
A few years ago, we set out on a journey to build a better computer that’s faster, simpler and more secure. When we introduced a few Chromebooks into the market, many of you early adopters joined us on this journey. For folks living entirely in the cloud, the Chromebook is now a primary computer.
Many people use the Chromebook today as the perfect additional computer for their home. For families, it’s easy to use and share: for kids doing homework on the couch, parents catching up on emails at the kitchen counter and grandparents staying connected on video chat. There’s no need to worry about security updates and maintenance is easy; all you need to do is charge the battery. It just works.
This gets to the heart of the Chromebook vision. In order to have one, two or more computers around the house, they need to be easy to use and much more affordable. So together with Samsung, we designed a new laptop—the new Samsung Chromebook for $249—the computer for everyone.
The new Chromebook is a great computer at any price, but it’s an incredible computer at $249. It’s one of the lightest laptops on the market. You can easily carry it around all day—it’s 2.5 pounds, a mere 0.8 inches thick, with more than 6 hours of battery life for the typical user. And with 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive*, you can get to all of your stuff anytime, anywhere.
Even with its compact design, it’s packed with performance—it boots up in less than 10 seconds and resumes instantly. High-resolution videos (in 1080p) are beautiful to watch and when using the touchpad, you’ll notice smooth scrolling due to a hardware-accelerated user interface. And as you‘d expect from a Chromebook, it’s easy to share with others. Everyone—mom, dad, grandparents, tech lovers, tech haters—can have separate accounts where all of their stuff is kept safe. Finally, if you’re an active Google user of products like Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps, YouTube, Play or Google+ Hangouts, everything just works seamlessly.
Starting today, the new Samsung Chromebook is available for pre-order online from Amazon, Best Buy, PC World and other retailers. Next week it will be available for sale from these same online retailers as well as the Google Play store. You can also buy them at over 500 Best Buy stores across the U.S and over 30 PC World and Currys stores in the U.K.
So if you ever felt it was too complicated and too expensive to have an additional computer (or two), we hope you (and the entire family) will give the new Chromebook a try.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps
*You will have 100 GB of free storage for 2 years, starting on the date you redeem the offer on eligible Chrome devices.
Category: Google | Oct 17, 2012
Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centers, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard. While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself.
Today, for the first time, you can see inside our data centers and pay them a virtual visit. On Where the Internet lives, our new site featuring beautiful photographs by Connie Zhou, you’ll get a never-before-seen look at the technology, the people and the places that keep Google running.
The server floor in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Night falls over our Lenoir, North Carolina data center
In addition, you can now explore our Lenoir, NC data center at your own pace in Street View. Walk in the front door, head up the stairs, turn right at the ping-pong table and head down the hall to the data center floor. Or take a stroll around the exterior of the facility to see our energy-efficient cooling infrastructure. You can also watch a video tour to learn more about what you’re viewing in Street View and see some of our equipment in action.
Finally, we invited author and WIRED reporter Steven Levy to talk to the architects of our infrastructure and get an unprecedented look at its inner workings. His new story is an exploration of the history and evolution of our infrastructure, with a first-time-ever report from the floor of a Google data center.
Fourteen years ago, back when Google was a student research project, Larry and Sergey powered their new search engine using a few cheap, off-the-shelf servers stacked in creative ways. We’ve grown a bit since then, and we hope you enjoy this glimpse at what we’ve built. In the coming days we’ll share a series of posts on the Google Green Blog that explore some of the photographs in more detail, so stay tuned for more!
Posted by Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure
Category: Google | Oct 16, 2012
Nearly three years ago I wrote a blog post, “The Meaning of Open,” about Google’s commitment to openness and how it makes the entire company better. After it was published I received several thoughtful responses from readers—professors and writers appreciative of the look inside Google, business leaders telling me how open affects their business, grad school students surprised that this was the very opposite of the lock-in strategy they were being taught.
This week we released the “Open” issue of Think Quarterly, which includes a few of my thoughts on how the world of open has progressed in the brief time since that December 2009 post. In short, the impact of open systems has been greater than even my most optimistic self would have predicted back then. Open ecosystems are rewriting the rules—not only in the tech industry but in education, healthcare and governance.
My article, “The Future is Open,” is just one of several good reads in the “Open” issue. I hope you enjoy it!
Posted by Jonathan Rosenberg, Advisor, Google
Category: Google | Oct 15, 2012
September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and the start of our third year celebrating the Hispanic community through events and community outreach initiatives. Googlers from our Corporate Social Responsibility Team, Diversity & Inclusion Team, Engineering Industry Team, the Hispanic Googler Network (HGN), and our Community Partners worked together to host 20+ events focused on this year’s theme of Latinos in Technology.
We kicked things off at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Conference, where two members from our Google Accelerate team worked one-on-one with business owners during matchmaking sessions to consult on the best use of Google tools for their enterprises. Googler Eliana Murillo spoke on a panel titled “Beyond Social Media: The Potential of Technology & the Internet in a Global Economy,” where she shared how tools like Google Analytics, YouTube and Google for Nonprofits can be useful for businesses.
In early October, we ran a Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Hangout on Air on the Life at Google page with the Latino Community Foundation (LCF). Raquel Donoso (CEO of LCF) and Googlers Hector Mujica (HGN member) and myself shared the history of the partnership and what our respective goals are. They also talked about the Family Health Day at Google & Olympic Games event, which we held at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters that same week. Health is a pressing issue (PDF) in the Hispanic community; at this event, part of the Binational Health Week, we encouraged guests to have healthier lifestyles by teaching them some easy exercises, how to be active and eat healthy. More than 380+ community members and 50+ Googlers attended.
Last week we wrapped up a series of networking events in partnership with the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), where more than 400+ technical professionals came to our Seattle, Cambridge, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, New York, and Mountain View Offices to network and learn about how Google is supporting the local hispanic technical community.
Finally, today the Hispanic Googler Network is hosting the Bay Area Latino Employee Resource Group (ERG) Networking Reception in Mountain View. The Honorable Aida Alvarez, Chair of the Latino Community Foundation of the Bay Area, will speak to 300+ guests from local Hispanic ERGs in the Bay Area about what LCF is doing to build a better future for Latino children, youth and families in the Hispanic community.
Though the month officially comes to an end today, we’ll continue to support the Hispanic community as a lead sponsor in the LATISM ’12 conference, taking place in two weeks. LATISM ‘12 connects Latinos in social media, technology, education, business and health fields to increase their online footprint through the web and Google’s tools for small businesses and communities. We’re also participating in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Conference and will soon open up applications for our Hispanic College Fund Google scholarship.
We’ve had a great time celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and are already looking forward to next year’s events. We invite you to view the recaps, photos and hangouts on our Life at Google page on Google+ and to visit our Diversity & Inclusion site where you can see more of what we do.
Posted by Sylvia Bonilla Zizumbo, Hispanic Googler Network Chair and Strategic Partnerships Lead
Category: Google | Oct 10, 2012
Today you can discover 42 new online historical exhibitions telling the stories behind major events of the last century, including Apartheid, D-Day and the Holocaust. The stories have been put together by 17 partners including museums and cultural foundations who have drawn on their archives of letters, manuscripts, first-hand video testimonials and much more. Much of the material is very moving—and some is on the Internet for the first time.
Each exhibition features a narrative which links the archive material together to unlock the different perspectives, nuances and tales behind these events. Among others you’ll see:
- Tragic love at Auschwitz – the story of Edek & Mala, a couple in love who try to escape Auschwitz
- Jan Karski, Humanity’s hero – first-hand video testimony from the man who attempted to inform the world about the existence of the Holocaust
- Faith in the Human Spirit is not Lost – tracing the history of Yad Vashem’s efforts to honor courageous individuals who attempted to rescue Jews during the Holocaust
- Steve Biko – a 15-year-old’s political awakening in the midst of the Apartheid movement featuring nine documents never released in the public domain before
- D-Day – details of the famous landings including color photographs, personal letters and the D-Day order itself from Admiral Ramsay
- The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – an account of the 1953 Coronation including color photographs
- Years of the Dolce Vita – a look at the era of the “good life” in Italy including the fashion, food, cars and culture
As with the other archives that we’ve helped bring onto the Internet, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, you can zoom in to see photos in great detail and search through millions of items for a specific country, person, event or date. Watch our video for some guidance about how to find your way around the exhibitions.
The historical collections are the latest chapter in the work of the Google Cultural Institute, following the Art Project, World Wonders and the Nelson Mandela archives. We’re working closely with museums, foundations and other archives around the world to make more cultural and historical material accessible online and by doing so preserve it for future generations.
You can explore the many exhibitions at www.google.com/culturalinstitute. You can also follow us on our Google+ page. What you see today is just the start, so if you’re a partner interested in contributing your own exhibitions, please fill out this form.
Posted by Mark Yoshitake, Product Manager, Google Cultural Institute
Category: Google | Oct 9, 2012
Finding the right words can be difficult, especially across languages, and once you choose them, finding a way to type them can be even harder. Try emailing family in Germany, chatting with friends in China or adding a Russian business partner’s name to your contacts and you may find yourself limited by the language of your keyboard.
That’s why today we’re adding more than 100 virtual keyboards, transliteration and IMEs—collectively called input tools—in Gmail. These tools enable you to type in the language and keyboard layout you’re accustomed to, making it easy to keep in touch with family, friends and coworkers from any computer. You can even switch between languages with one click.
To try it out, check the box next to Enable input tools under Language in Settings.
Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll see the Input Tools icon next to the Settings button in your toolbar, and you can turn on and off any Input Tool from there.
With these new virtual keyboards, Gmail supports typing in 75 languages—a big jump from the five languages that were initially supported when we introduced Indic transliteration in Gmail in 2009.
Gmail’s users are from all over the world—and language should never get in the way of a good conversation. If you’d like to use Input Tools in other places, try out the Chrome extension, the Windows desktop client or the Android app.
Posted by C. Andrew Warren, Product Manager
(Cross-posted on the Gmail and Enterprise Blogs)
Category: Google | Oct 1, 2012
For most of us, there’s at least one teacher whose name we will never forget—that favorite teacher who made a difference in our education, whether they were our first grade art teacher or a professor in college. For me, that teacher was Ms. Taylor, my 8th grade science teacher. Ms. Taylor didn’t just foster my love of science—she understood that 8th grade can be a tough time for students as they try to navigate social cliques and prepare for the pressure of high school. Ms. Taylor knew that taking the time to ask us if we were feeling okay was just as important as teaching us about geological formations. She didn’t just care about teaching us—she genuinely cared about us as people.
This Friday is World Teachers’ Day, and we want to honor the teachers like Ms. Taylor who helped make us the people we are today. We’ve long supported education through technology, offering free tools like YouTube Edu and Google Apps for Education, and by developing cost-efficient devices like Chromebooks. But it’s the teachers who really make the difference by creatively incorporating that technology into their classrooms. As technology usage in schools increases, we hear even more amazing stories about how teachers and students are using our products to foster collaborative learning.
And that usage is growing quickly. As of today, more than 20 million students, faculty and staff worldwide use Google Apps for Education. In addition, in the last year we announced that:
- 400+ universities are posting lectures and/or full courses online using YouTube Edu
- 600,000 staff from the Philippines Department of Education will now be using Google Apps
- Universities across the continents are signing up for Apps, including schools in Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Africa
- More than 500 schools and districts went back to school with Chromebooks this fall
- Seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking) have gone Google with Google Apps for Education
As a tribute to the educators who are putting these tools to work, this week we’ll be highlighting a few amazing teachers on our Google in Education page on Google+. To kick off the series, we want to celebrate Ms. Kornowski—a science teacher at Kettle-Moraine High School in Wales, WI, who is using Google Forms to bring her students together.
To all the Ms. Taylors and Ms. Kornowskis out there—thank you, both for the positive impact you have on your students and for letting Google be a part of that experience.
Posted by Cristin Frodella, Google in Education
Category: Google | Sep 28, 2012
Technology offers so many opportunities to help improve users’ lives. This means it is really important to focus or we end up doing too much with too little impact. So today we’re winding down a bunch more features—bringing the total to nearly 60 since we started our “spring” clean last fall.
- AdSense for Feeds was designed to help publishers earn revenue from their content by placing ads on their RSS feeds. Starting October 2, we’ll begin to retire this feature—and on December 3 we’ll close it. Publishers can continue to use FeedBurner URLs powered by Google, so they won’t need to redirect subscribers to different URLs. For more information visit the AdSense Help Center.
- Classic Plus is a Google Search feature that lets people upload or select images to use as a background on Google.com. Users won’t be able to upload new pictures starting from October 16, and we’ll turn the service off in November 2012. You’ll continue to have access to any images you’ve uploaded.
- Google storage in Picasa and Drive will be consolidated over the next few months, so users will have five GB of free storage across both services. If you’re paying for storage, your free storage will now be counted towards your total. So if you buy a 100GB plan, it will give you 100GB of total storage instead of adding adding to what you already had. We believe this approach will make it much easier for users. For both free and paid storage, people at or near their current storage limits will have the same amount of storage after this change.
- Spreadsheet Gadgets were designed to allow people to add customized features to Google Spreadsheets. But most popular gadgets have now been added directly into charts in spreadsheets. So we will slowly start turning off Gadgets in Spreadsheets next year.
- Starting on October 15, we’ll stop issuing and displaying Google News Badges, as well as showing Recommended Sections. People can still tailor their Google News experience by adding custom sections or adjusting the frequency with which news sources appear.
- We’ve merged Insights for Search into a revamped Google Trends. You can now see search trends and compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties in a single place: google.com/trends. We will no longer support Trends for Websites, which allowed people to compare traffic to and audiences of different websites.
- Places Directory was an Android app that helped people find nearby places of interest. We’ve removed the app from Google Play and are taking down the Places Directory site because users can find everything in Google Maps for Mobile, which offers a much better user experience.
- We introduced +1 Reports in Webmaster Tools to help publishers measure +1 activity on their pages. Given that webmasters now use Social Reports in Google Analytics to get a wider view of social activity (including +1’s), we’ll be discontinuing the stand-alone +1 Reports on November 14. Measuring social media remains a priority for Google Analytics, so stay tuned for future improvements.
We want people to have a beautifully simple experience when using Google. These changes will enable us to focus better so that we can do more to help improve the products that millions of people use multiple times a day.
Posted by Yossi Matias, Senior Engineering Director
Category: Google | Sep 26, 2012
We announced our commitment to carbon neutrality back in 2007, and since then we’ve been finding ways to power our operations with as much renewable energy as possible. In our latest step toward this end, we just signed an agreement with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to green the energy supply to our Oklahoma data center with 48 MW of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma, which is expected to come online later this year.
We’ve been working with GRDA, our local utility, to procure additional renewable energy since we “plugged in” our data center in 2011, and in February of 2012, GRDA approached us about purchasing power from Canadian Hills. In conjunction with the electricity GRDA already supplies Google to operate its data center, Google will pay GRDA a premium to purchase renewable energy generated by Canadian Hills. This brings the total amount of renewable energy for which Google has contracted to over 260 MW.
This agreement is a milestone for GRDA because it’s their first-ever wind energy project. It’s also a milestone for Google because it’s a little different from the previous Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) we’ve signed, where we agreed to buy the energy directly from the developer who built the wind farm. This agreement, by contrast, marks the first time we’ve partnered with a utility provider to increase the amount of renewable energy powering one of our data centers.
Although both options can make sense depending on the circumstances, we’re excited about this collaboration because it makes the most of our respective strengths: utilities like GRDA are best positioned to integrate renewable energy into their generation mix and to deliver power; we’re a growing company with a corporate mandate to use clean energy for our operations in a scalable way. We’ve been working closely with all of our utility partners to find ways to source renewables directly, and we look forward to working with other suppliers to deliver clean energy to our data centers.
Posted by Gary Demasi, Director, Global Infrastructure team