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Google.org and StoryWeaver feed a hunger for reading

Category: Google | Feb 21, 2018

Today is International Mother Language Day which celebrates languages from around the world. More than 40% of the world’s children don’t have access to education materials in a language they understand. So to help close those gaps, we’re continuing our support of nonprofit organizations like Pratham Books.

Since 2013, Google.org has given more than $4 million to Pratham Books to build and grow their StoryWeaver platform which today includes thousands of stories in over 100 languages. We’ve also supported their offline tools—making it easier for students without access in remote communities to read and learn—and hundreds of Googlers have volunteered their time to help add new stories and languages.

We’re proud to support organizations like Pratham Books who use technology to create more opportunities for students to learn in their own languages and contexts. We believe that no matter what language a child speaks, they should be able to learn, grow, and give back to their communities.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, commemorate this International Mother Language Day by translating or creating your own story.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/FsV3DK9nqLE/

Say hello to a better way to pay, by Google

Category: Google | Feb 20, 2018

Fast, simple checkout. Easy access to rewards and offers. One spot for purchases, passes, and payment methods. All of these are ways we’ve been working to make paying safer and easier for everyone, everywhere. And you can make the most of these features with the new Google Pay app for Android.

The app, which begins rolling out today, is just one part of everything we’ve got planned. We’re currently working on bringing Google Pay to all Google products, so whether you’re shopping on Chrome or with your Assistant, you’ll have a consistent checkout experience using the cards saved to your Google Account. We’re also working with partners online and in stores, so you’ll see Google Pay on sites, in apps, and at your favorite places around the world.

As we continue to expand to even more devices and services, the new app offers an exciting glimpse of what’s to come. Here’s a closer look.

Helpful info while you shop

Google Pay’s new Home tab gives you the info you need, right when you need it. See your recent purchases, find nearby stores, enjoy easy access to rewards, and get helpful tips.

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A new spot for your stuff

The Cards tab is an easy way to keep everything you need at checkout organized and at the ready. It’s where you’ll store your credit and debit cards, loyalty programs, offers, and even that stack of gift cards from last year’s birthday.

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A faster way to pay your fare

Use Google Pay on transit in cities such as Kiev, London, and Portland (with more coming soon), and stop worrying about your pass once and for all. Now all you need at the turnstile is the device that’s already in your hand. 

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Google security and encryption

Like all Google products, Google Pay comes with strong security protections to safeguard your account and personal data from security threats. In other words, it’s got your back.

All your favorite features

Longtime Android Pay fans, fear not: the features you love aren’t going away. You’ll still get all your bank’s perks and protections, plus an extra layer of security, since Google Pay doesn’t share your actual card number when you pay in stores. And those online payment forms that take forever to fill out? Just choose Google Pay at checkout and pay with a few quick clicks instead.

And more features are coming. If you live in the U.S. or the UK, you’ll be able to use it to send and request money within the next few months. In the meantime, the Wallet app is now called Google Pay Send, and we’re giving it a fresh coat of paint to go with the Google Pay brand.

Want to accept Google Pay for your app, site or business? If you’re a developer, you can work with our processor partners and find all the tools you need on our developer site. And if you’re a business owner building a site for yourself, we’ve partnered with Shopify to make integration even easier.

Ready to try the Google Pay app? Get it on Google Play today.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/3r-My6P0zXo/

New and expanding locations across America

Category: Google | Feb 16, 2018

Our goal is to ensure that information serves everyone, not just a few. To do this, we want to hire people to develop our products in the widest possible range of locations, around the world and throughout the United States. 

We opened our first office outside California in 2000. Now Google has offices and data centers in 21 states in the U.S, and last year we grew faster outside the Bay Area than in it. This year we plan on hiring thousands more people. To support that growth, today we’re announcing new or expanded offices and data centers in 14 states across the country. 

Google offices and data centers 2018

This afternoon, I was at the groundbreaking for our new data center in Clarksville/Montgomery County in Tennessee. The Tennessee data center is part of a $2.5 billion dollar investment we’re making to open or expand data centers in Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Oklahoma. These data centers are what make Google services run for you or your business (in Tennessee alone, we answer millions of searches a day, and about 18,000 businesses and nonprofits use our search and advertising tools).

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And our data centers also have a strong impact on the economies around them. People often discuss “the cloud” as if it’s built out of air. But it’s actually made up of buildings, machinery, and people who construct and manage it all. Today we employ an estimated 1,900 people directly on our data center campuses. We’ve created thousands of construction jobs—both for our data centers themselves, and for renewable energy generation. And our renewable energy purchasing commitments to date will result in energy infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States.

In addition to these five data centers, we’re investing in new or expanded offices in nine states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Having talented people from different places, bringing diverse perspectives and backgrounds to work, is essential to the development of our products. In these locations, there will be jobs for thousands of people in a variety of roles—engineering, operations, sales and more.

The launch of Google’s data center in Clarksville is great news for Montgomery County. These high-quality jobs will benefit families in a real way, and I applaud Google’s mission to improve education and advance workforce development for Americans. Senator Bob Corker
Tennessee

In addition to job opportunities at Google, our recently announced Grow with Google initiative continues to create opportunities for more people across the country. As part of our $1 billion commitment over the next five years, I was thrilled today to announce a $300,000 Google.org grant to Goodwill of Middle Tennessee, to incorporate new digital skills trainings into their workforce-development program—including new local scholarships for our IT Support Professional Certificate.  

We’re proud to be a growing part of the Clarksville/Montgomery County community and others like it across the country. And we’re committed to helping more people participate in the opportunities that technology provides.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/bByx6CER0rY/

Go behind the scenes of “Isle of Dogs” with Pixel

Category: Google | Feb 16, 2018

“Isle of Dogs” tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The film isn’t out until March 23—but Pixel owners will get an exclusive sneak peek this week.

In “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality),” the audience is taken behind-the-scenes in a 360-degree VR experience featuring on-set interviews of the film’s cast (voiced by Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham and Bob Balaban). Get nose-to-nose with Chief, Boss, Rex and the rest of the cast while the crew works around you, for an inside look at the unique craft of stop-motion animation.

Pixel’s powerful front-firing stereo speakers and brilliant display make it perfect for watching immersive VR content like this. Presented in 4K video with interactive spatial audio that responds to where you’re looking, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” is a collaboration between FoxNext VR Studio, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Felix & Paul Studios, the Isle of Dogs production team, and Google Spotlight Stories.

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“Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” is available today on the Google Spotlight Stories app, exclusively for Google Pixel phones (Pixel and Pixel 2) and best watched on the Daydream View headset. To watch, download the Spotlight Stories app.

On March 2, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” will become available in VR, 360 and 2D via YouTube VR and Fox Searchlight YouTube channel, and any platform that has the YouTube VR app, including Daydream and Sony PlayStation VR. “Isle of Dogs,” from Fox Searchlight, hits theaters on March 23.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/8-nJw8dYNMQ/

Happy Lunar New Year! Wag hello to the Year of the Dog

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

Today marks Lunar New Year. Across the world, people are celebrating the end of the year of the Rooster and the start of the Year of the Dog.

Whether you’re enjoying tteokguk with family or handing out red envelopes for good luck, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday. According to Google Trends, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries searching the most for “red envelopes.” Meanwhile, top searched foods are nian gao, dumplings, pineapple tart, rice cake and peanut cookies.

Since we’re dog people here at Google, we sniffed out a few non-traditional ways to celebrate. Howl you be spending the Lunar New Year?

Try your paw at drawing

In the last year, people have drawn more than 3 million doodles of dogs in Quick, Draw!—a fun game that uses neural networks to try to recognize your drawings. In honor of Lunar New Year, our team snuck in a special version of Quick, Draw! withDog Face on Google -related items. Put your doodling skills to the test.

Quick Draw Dog

If you’re more of a data breed, you can check out the pawsome dog doodles from around the world in a special Lunar New Year version of Facets Dive, a tool that visualizes large sets of data (in this case ruff-ly 140,000 dogs that people have drawn in Quick, Draw!).

The dogs of Street View

Lunar Year of the Dog means dogs are everywhere–including on Google Street View! We’ve had a lot of fun finding furry friends all around, from this one strolling through New York’s Central Park to thisDog Face on Google hanging out in a small alley in San Sebastian, to our friend here enjoying the Coastal Walk in Sydney. Scroll through our favorites below, or find dogs on Street View in your own neighborhood.

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    Het Zinneke statue, Belgium
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    Statue at Temple of the 18 Lords, Taiwan
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Photos of your pup

In Google Photos, you can create a movie of the dog in your life—select “Doggie Movie” among the movie themes and Google Photos will stitch together photos of the dog. Photos also lets you search for your dog using a dog emoji.

All dogs go to the Games

We couldn’t let the moment pass without a Doodle (or two!). This cheerful pup on our homepage in many countries around the world isn’t just welcoming the New Year—it’s also celebrating the Doodle Snow Games!

Lunar New Year Ski Lift Doodle 2018

In places not tuning into the Doodle Snow Games, you might see a different Doodle—also featured at the top of this post.

No matter how you celebrate or what language you say it in, happy Lunar New Year!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ywdcNC2XFE8/

Google announces intent to acquire Xively

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

Today, Google has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquireXively, a division of LogMeIn, Inc.

By 2020, it’s estimated that about 20 billion connected things will come online, and analytics and data storage in the cloud are now the cornerstone of any successful IoT solution. This acquisition, subject to closing conditions, will complement Google Cloud’s effort to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages, and ingests data from globally dispersed devices. With the addition of Xively’s robust, enterprise-ready IoT platform, we can accelerate our customers’ timeline from IoT vision to product, as they look to build their connected business.

Through this acquisition,Cloud IoT Core will gain deep IoT technology and engineering expertise, including Xively’s advanced device management, messaging, and dashboard capabilities. Our customers will benefit from Xively’s extensive feature set and flexible device management platform, paired with the security and scale of Google Cloud. With Google Cloud’s deep leadership in data analytics and machine learning, our customers will also be uniquely positioned to build turnkey IoT solutions and focus on business value creation.

We look forward to sharing more details after close—stay tuned!

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

Now on iOS: one-tap access to real-time commute info and places around you

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table. Last year we updated Google Maps for Android to provide access to helpful everyday info–in real time–at the bottom of the home screen. Now we’ve rolled out that same useful update to Google Maps for iOS as well.

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Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs–the explore tab, driving tab and transit tab–that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. No matter what iOS device you’re using, Google Maps can get you where you’re going and help you explore the world around you.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/bByfmufG3gg/

It’s easier than ever to travel with Project Fi

Category: Google | Feb 15, 2018

When it’s time to get ready for a trip, you want to focus on the adventures ahead, not the hassle of figuring out your phone coverage. Bill Protection already lets you use your data, including when you travel, without running up your bill, and today we’re giving travelers some extra peace of mind by expanding our international coverage and introducing a new way to figure out if you’ll be covered with Project Fi on your next trip.

Coverage from Argentina to Zambia

Starting today, you can enjoy data coverage in 170 countries and territories. Like always, the data you use abroad costs the same as the data you use at home. You’ll continue to enjoy the same high-speed international coverage, now in more places like Belize and Myanmar. And if you need some extra data when you travel, don’t sweat it—your data is still just $10 per GB or free with built-in Bill Protection.

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Here’s what’s new to our international coverage.

Know before you go

Project Fi will now let you know whether you’re covered on your next trip based on your upcoming international flights from Gmail. You’ll receive a notification in your Project Fi app shortly before your trip that allows you to easily see your coverage options and costs. These notifications will be enabled by default, but you can turn them off in your account settings.

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Know when you’ll be covered on your upcoming trips.

If you’re already on Project Fi, you don’t have to do anything to activate your international coverage—it’s all part of your phone plan. If you’re considering joining Project Fi, for a limited time you’ll score $80 Fi service credit with the purchase of any new Fi-friendly phone. You can learn more about Project Fi on our site.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/uUXe8YnAoWY/

Two #teampixel photographers say "I do" to Pixel 2

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Jenny and Colin Hayles are professional photographers (Jenny does weddings and Colin captures nature and wildlife) and proud #teampixel members. Knowing that a Pixel 2 can take high-quality photos, they wanted to see how their phones would fare in the most picture-worthy setting: a wedding. We spoke with Jenny and Colin about their experience using a Pixel 2 at an experimental wedding photo shoot.

Tell us about your wedding experiment. How’d you come up with the idea?
Colin: The concept developed when one of my shots was featured on #teampixel, and I realized just how amazing the Pixel camera was. At first, I wanted to show that wedding guests have no excuse for taking lousy pictures if you have a Pixel. But Jenny and her creative team (shout out to our planner from Jaqueline Rae Weddings) went to the next level—she wanted to shoot professional wedding photos with a Pixel. Before we tried it out at a real wedding, we had to see what the Pixel was capable of—from details, to portraits, to action shots. We simulated the details of a wedding day—the gown and tux, rings, stationery, cake and flowers—and recruited our friends Michele and Tom (a real-life couple) to be our models. We used only a Pixel 2 (no reflectors, lights, or tripods) for the entire photo shoot. The results were, I think, better than any of us dared to hope.

Which Pixel features did you use most during the shoot?
Jenny: We used the portrait feature the most—it’s pretty much like shooting with a high-end prime lens with a large aperture. In other words, it beautifully blurs the foreground and background to create that fine art look. Shooting macro shots without an extra lens is fantastic for the details that brides love to see (like shots of their wedding rings).

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Colin and the models

What’s the biggest pro of shooting a wedding with a phone?
Jenny: I loved being able to send images to the couple right away. Often brides and grooms see poor-quality images first, as guests begin to post on social media, but shooting with a Pixel, I can share beautiful images right away.

Did the couple feel more comfortable and natural when the photos were taken on a Pixel, rather than a big professional camera?
Colin: Shooting with a Pixel 2 was a novel idea, so there was some curiosity. We shared images throughout the shoot with the team and bride and groom. There were comments that the next phone they get will be a Pixel 2! It made me think that it is an invaluable tool for non-photographers who work in the wedding industry—like florists—to take high-quality images of their work as well.

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Behind-the-scenes at the wedding shoot: here’s Jenny with her Pixel 2 (decor and furniture came from @modernluxerental)

What other big events you’re going to tackle next?
Colin: We’d love to use the Pixel 2 for a honeymoon or engagement shoot. The idea of not taking along a heavy and conspicuous camera bag and coming away with high-quality images is an exciting and back-saving idea. We traveled to Cuba last year and used our first-generation Pixels to capture the bulk of the photos we took and I was so impressed. I only brought my camera gear along on one day of the whole trip.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/2OPCLFvBs9o/

Meet the couple that guides together

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Local Guides come from all over the world, and they form a community of people who share their knowledge on Google Maps—everything from photos and reviews of local restaurants to accessibility information.

And for one long-distance couple, the Local Guides community helped bridge the miles between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Sumaiya Zafrin Chowdhury and Pavel Sawar got married in 2013 and became Local Guides in 2015. Nine months ago, Pavel moved to Malaysia to study information technology, and Sumaiya stayed in Bangladesh to pursue her career as an entrepreneur, community leader and social worker.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting this Local Guides love story. We spoke to Sumaiya and Pavel about how they enjoy the community together, and how Local Guides helps them stay connected while they’re apart.

Tell us where it all began: how did you meet?

Pavel: I first saw Sumaiya at a social work event in 2012…first look, fell in love. One day I went to visit a slum, and saw her there serving underprivileged people. I am fascinated by her work.

You’ve been apart for nine months. How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

Sumaiya: I went to Malaysia twice and we had great fun together. We discovered many places. We try to meet every three months. We manage our relationship through social media, especially via video call and chatting through Google Hangouts. We share songs and pictures also.

When you’re in the same place, what are your favorite things to do together?

Pavel:Sumaiya and I love to travel very much. As Local Guides, we also love to arrange meet-ups together and do social work and community activities.

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    Pavel and Sumaiya’s wedding in March 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
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    At a Local Guides get-together in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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    Having some fun at Mohammed Ali Palace Museum & Park in Bogra, Bangladesh.
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    Celebrating the new year with coconut water at Inani Beach in Bangladesh.

So you connect over Local Guides together?

Sumaiya:Yes, we use Local Guides community and Maps to plan activities and date nights. Sometimes, we celebrate our special days through mapping. We plan to visit new places and compare our points. Mapping and meet-ups are our favorite part.

Pavel: Every day we discuss Local Guides. When Sumaiya arranges a meet-up, I try to help her. When I arrange one Sumaiya helps me lot. We discuss our contributions, photo views, quality reviews, etc. Local Guides helps us to spend more time together. Local Guides makes our relationship closer.

Why did you both decide to join Local Guides?

Pavel:Personally I love traveling, taking photos, and eating at different restaurants. As a traveler and explorer, I use Google Maps almost every day. I love to discover new places and I love to take photos. With Local Guides, I can help any other travelers also. I feel I am helping people in my community. Local Guides are like my family. It’s now part of my life.

Sumaiya: Pavel introduced me to Local Guides back in 2015. I joined in March 2015 because I love technology, traveling and photography. With Local Guides, I can do something positive for my society; that’s why I was interested to join.

We recently did a post about seven kinds of Local Guides. Which ones do you identify with?

Pavel: The Visualist and the Trailblazer.

Sumaiya: I identify as a Fact Hunter because I want all to know real information about a place…and Trailblazer because I love to discover and add new places.

For those that are new to Local Guides, what advice do you have for someone just getting started?

Pavel: First, spend some quality time on Local Guides Connect. See how others in the community are doing. Arrange meet-ups. Please contribute on Local Guides to be a good citizen. Don’t focus on points.

Sumaiya:Upload proper pictures in proper places. Post useful and informative reviews that one can easily understand. Do meet-ups so that people can know about this community. And for the people of my own country, I want to advise them: please contribute more, add new places, and do your best reviews so that tourists can understand that our country is very beautiful.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Sumaiya: Pavel is very punctual. This is the part of his character I like the most. He’s also a very trustworthy and hard-working person. He is very caring…he always supports me and appreciates my work.

Pavel: I can’t appreciate Sumaiya in a single sentence. Sumaiya is not only a good wife, she is also a good mentor for me. She gives support to me for my every good work. Without her I am nothing.

To discover a few beautiful (and unusual) places this Valentine’s Day, check out these lists of romantic restaurants around the world, and film locations for famous love stories.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/7iSWlM4-Lkc/