News > Google
Category: Google | Sep 22, 2012
Google News launched on September 22, 2002—exactly a decade ago.
Inspired by the widespread interest in news after the September 11 attacks, we invested in technology to help people search and browse news relevant to them. Google News broke new ground in news aggregation by gathering links in real time, grouping articles by story and ranking stories based on the editorial opinions of publishers worldwide. Linking to a diverse set of sources for any given story enabled readers to easily access different perspectives and genres of content. By featuring opposing viewpoints in the same display block, people were encouraged to hear arguments on both sides of an issue and gain a more balanced perspective.
In the last ten years, Google News has grown to 72 editions in 30 languages, and now draws from more than 50,000 news sources. The technology also powers Google’s news search. Together, they connect 1 billion unique users a week to news content.
Google News today
As we have scaled the service internationally, we have added new features (Local News, Personalization, Editors’ Picks, Spotlight, Authorship, Social Discussions), evolved our design, embraced mobile and run ancillary experiments (Fast Flip, Living Stories, Timeline). In parallel, we have monitored our quality and challenged our engineers to improve the technology under the hood—increase freshness, group news better, rank stories more accurately, personalize with more insight and streamline the infrastructure.
Take a look back at the past decade in Google News through the top stories from each year and a few notable features that have launched in the interim:
It’s undeniable that the online news landscape has changed immensely. Smartphones and social networks have transformed how news is accessed and sourced, and shifted the relationship between readers and authors. Open journalism is the norm, and aggregation by humans and machines is an integral part of the ecosystem. New technologies such as Hangouts on Air have the potential to connect users, journalists and opinion makers and transform how stories are discussed.
Opportunities abound, and we are excited for where we can take this product in the next decade. While change is inevitable, one thing remains the same: our mission is to bring you the news you want, when you need it, from a diverse set of sources.
Posted by Krishna Bharat, Distinguished Scientist and Founder, Google News
(Cross-posted on the Google News blog)
Category: Google | Sep 21, 2012
What happens when you bring together the head of the Metropolitan Opera, YouTube creators, Comedy Central and Justin Bieber’s manager to discuss the Internet’s impact on arts and culture?
In partnership with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, our Big Tent in New York City, held this week, fostered a constructive and sometimes challenging conversation that saw more opportunities than challenges for artists through the Internet and technology.
While the speakers recognized the disruptive force of the Internet, they also saw the possibilities that technology creates for artists of all stripes to connect with audiences and tell stories in creative ways. As Scooter Braun, manager to artists including Justin Bieber, said, “I don’t think the music industry has changed as much as people think it has. It starts with music. All we have to do today is study interaction, which is the same thing we’ve always had to do.”
Many speakers saw the Internet as essential to their own creative endeavors. YouTube creators like Michelle Phan, Isse Rae and Julia Nunes all used online platforms to launch their careers.
Newsweek Daily Beast’s art and design critic Blake Gopnik, while seeing benefits to new cultural platforms like Google Art Project, reminded the audience of the importance of appreciating the space that contextualizes a work of art. His message of the communality and shared experience of viewing art live was one that resonated with speakers from the performing arts who stressed that the live experience could not be replicated or replaced by technology.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt made a surprise appearance and emphasized the power of mobile and new platforms to change the way we live. He highlighted how the Internet has led to an increase in content and lower costs of distribution. One of the accompanying challenges, he noted, is how, in this shift to abundant content and cheaper distribution, business models adapt to build audiences and deliver value.
The afternoon ended with drinks under a literal big tent, hosted by Cirque du Soleil, which launched Movi.Kanti.Revo—a new sensory Chrome experiment—to close out the day.
Each Big Tent gives us the opportunity to engage with our audience on the impact of the Internet and society. Our next event is on innovation and entrepreneurship in Seoul, South Korea. Keep up with us at www.google.com/+googlebigtent.
Posted by Peter Barron, Director, External Relations, Europe Middle East and Africa
Category: Google | Sep 21, 2012
Despite the fact that Israeli Arab and Jewish youth live in the same country and even study at the same universities, they often grow up without meeting. When tensions rise in the region, this lack of mutual understanding can lead to stereotyping, hostility and even violence.
We believe the Internet can help break down these barriers. In honor of today’s 30th annual International Day of Peace, we’re partnering with the Peres Center for Peace, a non-profit organization founded by the President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres. The center promotes cooperation and peacebuilding between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel as well as between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Together, we’ll be holding a series of Hangouts on Google+ designed to enable dialogue between Israeli Arab and Jewish students. “Hanging Out for Peace” is a six-month project that will involve nearly 150 Israeli university students, women and men, with an equal number of Arabs and Jews. Students will be divided into mixed Jewish and Arab ‘circles’, matched with other students who study the same subject at university.
The circles will meet via Hangouts on Google+, led by instructors from the Peres Center, and will undertake online and offline projects related to the circle’s area of academic focus. After a series of Hangouts, the students will meet face to face, present the projects they’ve developed to the larger group of participants and discuss issues that arose during their work together.
The Internet provides a perfect platform for dialogue and cooperation. It can help overcome physical barriers and connect people from different cultures who have shared interests and common values. We’re excited to see how this project develops and hope that, in a small way, it will help foster coexistence and understanding between Israeli Jews and Arabs and, in the future, build bridges between other communities, too.
Posted by Doron Avni, Head of Policy, Israel
Category: Google | Sep 19, 2012
Cirque du Soleil stages impressive live performances that challenge the laws of physics and the limits of the human body. Today, at Google’s Big Tent event in New York, the wonder of Cirque du Soleil transcended the confines of real world performance and embraced the entire web through Movi.Kanti.Revo, a new sensory Chrome experiment crafted by Cirque du Soleil and developed by Subatomic Systems.
Movi.Kanti.Revo comes from the Esperanto words for moving, singing and dreaming. In the experiment, you can follow a mysterious character through a beautiful and surreal world to encounter enchanting Cirque du Soleil performances and live an emotional journey made of love, doubts, hopes and dreams.
Breaking with the tradition of point and click web browsing, you can navigate through this unique experience simply by gesturing in front of your device’s camera. This was made possible using the getUserMedia feature of WebRTC, a technology supported by modern browsers, that, with your permission, gives web pages access to your computer’s camera and microphone without installing any additional software.
To bring the creativity of Cirque du Soleil to the browser, we mixed traditional HTML and CSS with 3D transitions and HTML5 APIs. If you’re more technology-curious, you can get a backstage tour via our Chromium blog and a brand new technical case study.
Chrome Experiments like Movi.Kanti.Revo demonstrate how the web has evolved into a beautiful creative canvas underpinned by continuously evolving web technologies. For optimal viewing, you’ll need to use a computer that has a camera and a browser that supports WebRTC, like Chrome. You can also access the experiment from a tablet or a mobile phone for a slightly different yet still beautiful experience.
Start your journey at www.movikantirevo.com.
Posted by Christos Apartoglou, Marketing Manager
(Cross-posted on the Google Chrome blog)
Category: Google | Sep 19, 2012
It’s been a year since we posted about enhanced accessibility in Google Docs, Sites and Calendar. As we close out another summer, we want to update our users on some of the new features and improvements in our products since then. We know that assistive technologies for the web are still evolving, and we’re committed to moving the state of accessibility forward in our applications.
Since last year, we’ve made a number of accessibility fixes in Google Calendar, including improved focus handling, keyboard access, and navigation. In Google Drive, we incorporated Optical Character Recognition technology to allow screen readers to read text in scanned PDFs and images, and we added NVDA support for screen readers. New accessibility features in mobile apps (Gmail for Mobile and Google Drive on iOS and Android) included enhanced explore-by-touch capabilities and keyboard/trackpad navigability. For a full list of new features and improvements for accessibility in our products, check out our post today on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on these updates, we’ve also created an Administrator Guide to Accessibility that explains best practices for deploying Google Apps to support users’ accessibility needs. We want to give everyone a great experience with Google Apps, and this guide is another resource designed with that goal in mind.
For more information on these specific accessibility improvements, using Google products with screen readers, how to submit feedback and how to track our progress, please visit www.google.com/accessibility.
Posted by Jeff Harris, Product Manager
Category: Google | Sep 18, 2012
Google Play and YouTube offer the latest new movie releases and your favorite TV shows to enjoy on your Android phone or tablet and on the web. But you’ve been missing one critical thing…Stewie Griffin. We’re happy to share that Stewie, “Family Guy,” and more than 600 other titles from Twentieth Century Fox will soon be joining the catalog for you to rent or buy on Google Play and YouTube.
Today you can buy Fox’s new release Prometheus in HD, available three weeks ahead of the Blu-ray, DVD and video-on-demand release. And over the next few weeks you’ll be able to rent or buy your favorite Fox movies like X-Men, Ice Age and Black Swan, and TV shows like “Glee,” “Modern Family,” “New Girl” and many more.
These new titles will be available first in the U.S., and we’ll be bringing them to more countries soon. We’re now working with all six of the major film studios and many independent studios to bring you the best new releases and your favorite classics to rent or own.
Posted by Jonathan Zepp, Manager of TV & Film Content Partnerships
Category: Google | Sep 13, 2012
Josh remembers the old days at college, when working on a group project meant trekking through the snow (uphill both ways, of course) to meet with his team in the library, followed by endless rounds of back-and-forth revisions (in red pen, no doubt). And by old days, he means last year. As Josh—a rising senior at Princeton University—heads back to campus this fall, he and his classmates will be getting a whole new experience with Google Apps for Education.
Princeton is just one of the many colleges and universities now using Google Apps. In fact, 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, too.
We’re also welcoming 14 other new schools to the Google Apps for Education family, just in time for back-to-school:
- Bates College
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Georgetown University
- Princeton University
- Rice University
- Smith College
- Stony Brook University
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Colorado, Boulder
- University of Dayton
- University of Mississippi
- University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences
- Vassar College
- Virginia Tech
By going Google, students and teachers have access to a whole new way of doing things: They can better collaborate in and out of the classroom; office hours can be held via hangouts; e-portfolios can be created and maintained in a Google Site; professors can give real-time feedback in a Google document (no red pen necessary); and group projects can take place across continents instead of side-by-side in a library.
And this is just the beginning. As more schools go Google, we continue to be amazed by the creative ways students and teachers are using technology to work better together, and we’re looking forward to the surprises in store this school year.
Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps for Education
(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog.)
Category: Google | Sep 13, 2012
In the blink of an eye, summer is coming to an end. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was planning out all my summer activities as I eagerly awaited the start of long, sunny days and warm nights.
Before we approach the official end of summer on September 21, our Google Maps team thought it’d be fun to see how those of us in the Northern Hemisphere have spent the dog days. To do this, we reviewed the summer search activity on maps.google.com in several countries between the end of May and the beginning of September. Within each country, a look at some of the top-rising searches and the often-searched landmarks on Google Maps gives us a sense of how people around the world spent their summers.
We’re honored that people rely on the comprehensive and accurate imagery in Google Maps to research, plan, preview and digitally experience distant as well as local destinations across the globe. Take a look and click through for a larger image:
North Americans sought out the best local beaches to help cool off from the summer heat. In comparison, many more people from Spain, Italy and France searched for community swimming pools. In cooler areas of the U.K. the rising Google Maps searches included many indoor activities such as squash, bars and going to the gym. And, as expected, travel was a clear choice for the summer, as indicated by a surge in searches for lodging in almost every region.
Many popular destination searches were located outdoors. National parks and Hawaiian islands were the most popular searches in the U.S., while local parks, zoos, gardens and playgrounds topped Canada’s and Europe’s list. Major landmarks such as the Empire State Building in New York City, Niagara Falls in Canada, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Taj Mahal in India also topped the list of often-searched places in Google Maps. And of course, with the Summer Games drawing in international audiences, Wembley Stadium and the Olympic Stadium were two of the most searched for locations throughout the U.K. this summer.
Check out the destinations that captured people’s attention this summer and see how your interests compared to others around the world. We hope you enjoy this look back to remember the fun places we all went with Google Maps this summer, and we can’t wait to help you find your next adventure!
Posted by Manik Gupta, Sr. Product Manager, Google Maps
(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)
Category: Google | Sep 12, 2012
The web is where we go to find things—somewhere to eat tonight, someone to cut your hair or someone to come quickly to tend to your plumbing disaster. Ninety-seven percent of Americans who use the Internet—pretty much all of us—are looking online for local goods and services. Businesses need to be where their customers are. In 2012, that’s online.
Yet, more than half of all small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a website. Many of those businesses are completely invisible in the one place people are looking for them. The impact of being online is real: Businesses that make use of the web are expected to grow 40 percent faster and are nearly twice as likely to create jobs. Since small businesses make up half of the U.S. GDP and contribute two-thirds of all new jobs, the potential impact of getting these businesses (more than 15 million of them) online is enormous. We wanted to help spur a new wave of SMBs on the web, and change the perception that getting online is hard, expensive and time-consuming.
In July 2011, we went to Austin to get Texas businesses on the web. Texas Get Your Business Online helped any business in Texas get a free, easy-to-build website as well as a free, customized domain name and web hosting for one year. The tools and resources made it fast, easy and free for any business in Texas to get online.
The response from the small business community in Texas was tremendous—thousands of businesses started to get online at events throughout the state and on the web. So we decided to expand the program, going state-by-state to get businesses online. At the end of August 2012, we went to Alaska and Hawaii. These were our 49th and 50th states. Just over a year after our experiment in Austin, we’ve brought America Get Your Business Online to all 50 states, with help from ASBDC, Score, Intuit and over 500 local partners. We’ve had more than 20,000 small businesses attend more than 200 events throughout the country.
This is just the beginning of our commitment to get businesses on the web and succeeding online. Today, small businesses throughout the U.S. can get online for free at www.AmericaGetOnline.com. Businesses get a free, easy-to-build website as well as a free, customized domain name and web hosting for one year. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s free.
If you’re a small business, get your business online today. Or, if you know a great business that is not online, use this tool to invite them to the web. Getting America’s businesses online may very well be the fastest, easiest step we can take to grow our small businesses and our economy.
Posted by Scott Levitan, Director of Small Business Engagement
Category: Google | Sep 11, 2012
For all you diehard YouTube fans out there who can’t get enough YouTube on your mobile, we’ve got some great news: starting today, you can download the official YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch from the App Store, bringing you more of the videos you love and more ways to share them with the people you care about.
The new app is built by YouTube engineers, to give our iPhone and iPod touch users the best mobile experience. Here’s what you’ll find:
Tens of thousands more videos: Watch official music videos like Taylor’s latest hit.
New YouTube channel guide:
Swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to reveal a guide with your subscribed channels on YouTube, giving you instant access to everything from Alli Sports
Find awesome videos faster:
Get to videos like “Gangnam Style
” faster with new search tools that give suggestions while you type, and let you sort through videos or channels. Flip through related videos, comments and more info, all while watching a video.
More ways to share with the people you love:
Share that incredible video
you found on YouTube on Google+, Facebook or text message in the app, as well as from Twitter and email.
There’s even more to explore with the new YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch, available for download from the App Store today. We’re working on an optimized version of the YouTube app for iPad in the coming months, and stay tuned for more details.
You’ve already shown us you love YouTube on mobile—to the tune of 1 billion mobile views a day—so we can’t wait to see what you think about this new experience.
Posted by Andrey Doronichev, head of YouTube mobile