News > Google
Category: Google | May 29, 2012
Last year we announced
a new kind of computer
This is the next step
All of you haiku fans (like many of us on the Chrome team) can stop here; the rest can read on for more details.
A year ago we introduced a new model of computing with the launch of Chromebooks. We’ve heard from many of you who’ve enjoyed the speed, simplicity and security of your Chromebooks at home, at school or at work. (Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and stories!) Today, we wanted to share some developments with you—new hardware, a major software update and many more robust apps—as we continue on our journey to make computers much better.
Our partner Samsung has just announced a new Chromebook and the industry’s first Chromebox. Like its predecessor, the newest Chromebook is a fast and portable laptop for everyday users. The Chromebox is a compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office.
Speed is integral to the Chrome experience. The new Chromebook and Chromebox, based on Intel Core processors, are nearly three times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks. And support for hardware-accelerated graphics, a built-from-scratch multi-touch trackpad and an open-source firmware stack provide a much faster and more responsive computing experience. The new Chromebook boots in less than seven seconds and resumes instantly. With the Chromebox, you can be on a video conference while continuing to play your favorite role-playing game on the side.
An app-centric user interface
With the new user interface you can easily find and launch apps, and use them alongside your browser or other apps. You can pin commonly-used apps for quick access, display multiple windows side-by-side or experience your favorite apps in full-screen mode without any distractions.
Be much more productive…or not
- Get more stuff done, online or offline: With the built-in ability to view Microsoft Office files and dozens of the most common file formats, you can access all your content without the hassle of installing additional software. Google Drive makes it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Drive will be seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS in six weeks. With Google Docs offline support (rolling out over the next few weeks), you can keep working on your documents even when offline and seamlessly sync back up when you re-connect. In addition, there are hundreds of offline-capable web apps in the Chrome Web Store.
- Have more fun: The revamped media player and a built-in photo editor and uploader enable you to easily play and manage your personal media collections. Through the Chrome Web Store, you can access entertainment apps such as Google Play, Netflix, Kindle Cloud Reader and Pandora, and thousands of games including popular games like Angry Birds and console titles such as Bastion.
- Carry your other computers…inside your Chromebook: With Chrome Remote Desktop Beta, you can now securely connect to your PC or Mac from your Chromebook or Chromebox. With the underlying VP8 technology, it’s almost like you’re in front of your other computers in real time.
The (always) new computer
We’ve released eight stable updates over the past year, adding a number of major features and hundreds of improvements to all Chromebooks through our seamless auto-update mechanism. There’s a lot more on the way, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits of the (always) new computer.
For those who want to try the Chromebook and Chromebox first-hand, we’re expanding the Chrome Zone experience centers. In the U.S., Chromebooks will be available to try out in select Best Buy stores in the coming weeks. In the U.K., they’re now available in a growing list of PC World and Currys stores.
Starting today, you can get the new Chromebook and Chromebox from our online retail partners in the U.S. and U.K., and in other select countries over the coming weeks.
Posted by Linus Upson, Vice President, Engineering and Caesar Sengupta, Director of Product Management
(Cross-posted from the Chrome Blog)
Category: Google | May 25, 2012
This is the second in a series of posts that will provide greater transparency about how we make our ads safer by detecting and removing scam ads. -Ed.
Last month, I shared an overview of the technology Google has built to prevent bad ads from showing on Google and our partner sites, including our efforts to review accounts, sites and ads. To illustrate the scale of this challenge, today I’d like to provide some metrics that give greater insight into the scale of the problem we’re combating.
Bad ads have a disproportionately negative effect on our users; even a single bad ad slipping through our defenses is one too many. That’s why we’re constantly working to improve our systems and utilize new techniques to prevent bad ads from appearing on Google and our partner sites. In fact, billions of ads are submitted every year for a wide variety of products. We have a set of ads policies that cover a huge array of areas in more than 40 different languages. For example, because we aim to show safe, truthful and accurate ads to our users, we don’t allow ads for misleading claims, ad spam or malware.
Ads that are in violation of our ads policies aren’t allowed to be shown on Google and our AdSense partner sites. For many repeat offenders, we ban not just ads but also advertisers who seek to abuse our advertising system to take advantage of people. In the case of ads that are promoting counterfeit goods, we typically ban the advertiser after only one violation. Here are some metrics that give some insight into the scale of the impact we have had over time, showing the numbers of actions we’ve taken against advertiser accounts, sites and ads. You can see that the numbers are growing—and growing faster over time.
||Advertiser Accounts Suspended for Terms of Service and Advertising Policies
||Sites Rejected for Site Policy
We find that there are relatively few malicious players, who make multiple attempts to bypass our defenses to defraud users. As we get better and faster at catching these advertisers, they redouble their efforts and create more accounts at an even faster rate.
Even in this ever-escalating arms race, our efforts are working. One method we use to test the success of our efforts is to ask human raters to tell us how we’re doing. These human raters review a set of sites that are advertised on Google. We use a large set of sites in order to get an accurate statistical reading of our efforts. We also weight the sites in our statistical sample based on the number of times a particular site was displayed so that if a particular site is shown more often, it’s more likely to be in our sample set. By using human raters, we can calibrate our automated systems and ensure that we’re improving our efforts over time. In 2011, we reduced the percentage of bad ads by more than 50 percent compared with 2010. That means the proportion of bad ads that are showing on Google was halved in just a year.
Google’s long-term success is based on people trusting our products. We want to make sure that the ads on Google are safe and trustworthy, and we’re not satisfied until we do.
Posted by David W. Baker, Director of Engineering, Advertising
Category: Google | May 24, 2012
We believe that openness is crucial for the future of the Internet. When something gets in the way of the free flow of information, we believe there should be transparency around what that block might be.
So two years ago we launched the Transparency Report, showing when and what information is accessible on Google services around the world. We started off by sharing data about the government requests we receive to remove content from our services or for information about our users. Then we began showing traffic patterns to our services, highlighting when they’ve been disrupted.
Today we’re expanding the Transparency Report with a new section on copyright. Specifically, we’re disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content. We’re starting with search because we remove more results in response to copyright removal notices than for any other reason. So we’re providing information about who sends us copyright removal notices, how often, on behalf of which copyright owners and for which websites. As policymakers and Internet users around the world consider the pros and cons of different proposals to address the problem of online copyright infringement, we hope this data will contribute to the discussion.
For this launch we’re disclosing data dating from July 2011, and moving forward we plan on updating the numbers each day. As you can see from the report, the number of requests has been increasing rapidly. These days it’s not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009. In the past month alone, we received about 1.2 million requests made on behalf of more than 1,000 copyright owners to remove search results. These requests targeted some 24,000 different websites.
Fighting online piracy is very important, and we don’t want our search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws. So we’ve always responded to copyright removal requests that meet the standards set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). At the same time, we want to be transparent about the process so that users and researchers alike understand what kinds of materials have been removed from our search results and why. To promote that transparency, we have long shared copies of copyright removal requests with Chilling Effects, a nonprofit organization that collects these notices from Internet users and companies. We also include a notice in our search results when items have been removed in response to copyright removal requests.
We believe that the time-tested “notice-and-takedown” process for copyright strikes the right balance between the needs of copyright owners, the interests of users, and our efforts to provide a useful Google Search experience. Google continues to put substantial resources into improving and streamlining this process. We already mentioned that we’re processing more copyright removal requests for Search than ever before. And we’re also processing these requests faster than ever before; last week our average turnaround time was less than 11 hours.
At the same time, we try to catch erroneous or abusive removal requests. For example, we recently rejected two requests from an organization representing a major entertainment company, asking us to remove a search result that linked to a major newspaper’s review of a TV show. The requests mistakenly claimed copyright violations of the show, even though there was no infringing content. We’ve also seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavorable to a particular person or company from our search results. We try to catch these ourselves, but we also notify webmasters in our Webmaster Tools when pages on their website have been targeted by a copyright removal request, so that they can submit a counter-notice if they believe the removal request was inaccurate.
Transparency is a crucial element to making this system work well. We look forward to making more improvements to our Transparency Report—offering copyright owners, Internet users, policymakers and website owners the data they need to see and understand how removal requests from both governments and private parties affect our results in Search.
Posted by Fred von Lohmann, Senior Copyright Counsel
Category: Google | May 24, 2012
We continue to work toward a simpler, more beautiful Google, and today we’re accelerating these efforts with a new Google+ app for Android phones. The update includes lots of highly-requested features—like the ability to start a hangout on the go, and to edit posts inline—as well as a stream that celebrates the rich content shared across Google+. In all cases we’re building for a mobile future, and we’re excited about what’s ahead.
Start a hangout from anywhere, and ring the folks that matter most
With Hangouts we want to help people connect face-to-face-to-face—at any time, from anywhere. Of course, there’s really only one device that’s always by your side—your phone—so we’ve invested in mobile hangouts since early on. Today we’re adding another important feature to the mix: the ability to start a hangout directly from your mobile device.
To get started, tap “Hangout” in the (new) navigation ribbon, add some friends and tap “Start.” We’ll ring their phones (if you want), and if someone misses the hangout, they can ring you back with a single tap.
Share your favorites, and feel awesome afterward
When you share with your circles, we owe you an experience that’s both intimate and immersive. Your time and your relationships are precious, after all, so your posts should make you feel proud. Today’s new Android app takes this to heart, with full-screen media in the stream, conversations that fade into view and instantly-touchable actions like +1.
Do more, in less time
We think you’ll find today’s app nicer to look at, but we’re also making it easier to use. Improvements include:
- A navigation ribbon that slides in and out, providing quick access to just about everything
- The ability to download photos directly from Google+, and turn them into wallpaper
- The chance to edit posts inline, in case you make any mistakes while on the go
The update is available now from Google Play (version 2.6), so we invite you to download Google+, and let us know what you think!
Selected screenshots from today’s new Android app
Posted by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President
Category: Google | May 23, 2012
Starting today, when you use the Google Search app on your iPhone, you’ll see a completely redesigned interface that gives you faster results, beautiful full-screen image search, and a simple way to access all your Google apps in one place.
Search by voice, by typing, or with your camera
Get results, fast
When you’re on the go, you usually want to get things done quickly. Autocompletion of search suggestions is significantly faster in this latest version of the app, bringing you search predictions instantly with each letter you type. You’ll also notice that pages load faster, and checking out multiple pages is easy with the slide-in panel. Quickly swipe back and forth between webpages and your search results, and swap between search modes like Images and Places with a swipeable menu. Finding text within a webpage is a snap as well; just try tapping the magnifying glass on the bottom menu option on any page.
Easily switch between search modes using the swipeable menu at the bottom
Swipe the slide-in panel to instantly return to your search results
Beautiful Image Search
Searching for images will never again be a chore. Tap the images button at the bottom of the search results page, and watch high-resolution images load into a beautiful grid. Browse the images by scrolling down the full-screen grid, or tap on a single image to get details about it and then quickly swipe from image to image. You can also tap and hold an image to save it to your camera roll to use as your wallpaper or share with a friend.
Full-screen image results take advantage of every inch of the screen
Swipe or tap on the edges to move between images
We’ve put all of your favorite Google services in one place for easy access. You can choose to browse Google web apps, or see just the apps that you have on your phone. Sign in once, and you’ll never need to sign in again to check a quick email, view your next calendar appointment or see what’s hot on Google+.
All your Google mobile apps in one place
Download the Google Search app now for a fast, beautiful, simple search experience on your iPhone.
Posted by Noah Levin, Interaction Designer, Google Search app
Category: Google | May 23, 2012
Free expression is a fundamental human right and a core value of our company—but sometimes there are limits to where we can make our products and services available. U.S. export controls and sanctions programs, for example, prohibit us from offering certain software downloads in some countries.
The fine details of these restrictions evolve over time, and we’re always exploring how we can better offer tools for people to access and share information. For example, last year we were able to make some of our products available for download in Iran. And today we’re pleased to make Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome available for download in Syria.
As a U.S. company, we remain committed to full compliance with U.S. export controls and sanctions. We remain equally committed to continue exploring how we can help more people around the globe use technology to communicate, find and create information.
Posted by Neil Martin, Export Compliance Programs Manager
Category: Google | May 23, 2012
In the mid-1960s, Dr. Robert Moog unleashed a new universe of sounds into musicdom with his invention of the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer. The timbre and tones of these keyboard instruments (true works of art in and of themselves) would come to define a generation of music, featuring heavily in songs by The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk and many others.
When people hear the word “synthesizer” they often think “synthetic”—fake, manufactured, unnatural. In contrast, Bob Moog’s synthesizers produce beautiful, organic and rich sounds that are, nearly 50 years later, regarded by many professional musicians as the epitome of an electronic instrument. “Synthesizer,” it turns out, refers to the synthesis embedded in Moog’s instruments: a network of electronic components working together to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.
With his passion for high-tech toolmaking in the service of creativity, Bob Moog is something of a patron saint of the nerdy arts and a hero to many of us here. So for the next 24 hours on our homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the instruments with which Moog brought musical performance into the electronic age. You can use your mouse or computer keyboard to control the mini-synthesizer’s keys and knobs to make nearly limitless sounds. Keeping with the theme of 1960s music technology, we’ve patched the keyboard into a 4-track tape recorder so you can record, play back and share songs via short links or Google+.
Special thanks to engineers Reinaldo Aguiar and Rui Lopes and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work, as well as the Bob Moog Foundation and Moog Music for their blessing. Now give those knobs a spin and compose a tune that would make Dr. Moog smile!
Posted by Joey Hurst, Software Engineer
Category: Google | May 22, 2012
We’re pleased to have Farah Mohamed join us today to talk about her organization, the G(irls)20 Summit, of which Google is a proud sponsor. The mission of the G(irls)20 Summit is to showcase how girls and women can impact a country’s economic prosperity, political stability and social innovation. – Ed.
Research shows that investing in girls and women can help the global economy. Consider the following examples:
- According to Plan UK, an extra year of education increases a girl’s income by 10 to 20% and is a significant step on the road to breaking the cycle of poverty.
- In Kenya, adolescent pregnancies cost the economy $500 million per year, while investing in girls could potentially add $32 billion to the economy (NIKE Foundation, 2009, Girl Effect).
- If men and women had equal influence in decision-making , an additional 1.7 million children would be adequately nourished in sub-Saharan Africa (International Labour Organization, 2009).
These are significant estimates, and they highlight a real opportunity for global economic growth. That’s why the G(irls)20 Summit is working with Google and many other corporate and foundation partners to empower girls and women.
Launched in 2010 at the Clinton Global Initiative, the G(irls)20 Summit precedes the G20 Leaders Summit, and brings together one girl aged 18 to 20 from each G20 country plus the African Union. The delegates attend workshops and participate in panel discussions to come up with tangible, scalable solutions for how to engage and empower girls and women around the world. Then, at the end of the summit, they lead a press conference and present a set of recommendations for the G20 leaders to consider.
This year, the Summit will take place in Mexico City from May 28-31. But the impact of the Summit will be ongoing, thanks in part to the power of the Internet and social media. Take past Summit participants July Lee of the U.S. and Noma Sibayoni of South Africa, who launched Write With A Smile to encourage teens to continue with their education. Or Riana Shah of India who co-founded Independent Thought & Social Action (ITSA India), an education reform organization that aims to empower socially responsible youth leaders. And the African Union’s Lilian Kithiri continues to persevere creating awareness around reproductive health to communities living in the rural areas of Kenya.
There are a few ways you can experience the Summit:
Whether you’re a girl, boy, woman or man, we all have a role to play in empowering girls and women. As UN Under Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet once said, “gender equality and women’s empowerment are goals in their own right and central to all other goals—must be more than a mantra. It must become a lived reality for women and men and boys and girls in all countries.”
Posted by Farah Mohamed, President & CEO, G(irls)20 Summit
Category: Google | May 22, 2012
The phones in our pockets have become supercomputers that are changing the way we live. It’s now possible to do things we used to think were magic, or only possible on Star Trek–like get directions right from where we are standing; watch a video on YouTube; or take a picture and share the moment instantly with friends.
It’s why I’m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone. We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google.
Sanjay Jha, who was responsible for building the company and placing that big bet on Android, has stepped down as CEO. I would like to thank him for his efforts and am tremendously pleased that he will be working to ensure a smooth transition as long-time Googler Dennis Woodside takes over as CEO of Motorola Mobility.
I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets. One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. More recently he helped increase our revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region. Dennis has always been a committed partner to our customers and I know he will be an outstanding leader of Motorola. As an Ironman triathlete, he’s got plenty of energy for the journey ahead–and he’s already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team.
It’s a well known fact that people tend to overestimate the impact technology will have in the short term, but underestimate its significance in the longer term. Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of that transition will be profound–as will the ability to just tap and pay with your phone. That’s why it’s a great time to be in the mobile business, and why I’m confident Dennis and the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO
Category: Google | May 21, 2012
Congratulations to the regional finalists of the second Google Science Fair! These top 90 entries from around the world represent some incredibly innovative and groundbreaking science.
This year’s competition was even more international and diverse than last year. We had thousands of entries from more than 100 countries, and topics ranging from improving recycling using LEGO robots to treating cancer with a substance created by bees to tackling meth abuse. Our judges were impressed by the quality of the projects, and it was no easy task to evaluate the creativity, scientific merit and global relevance of each submission to narrow down the entries to just 90 finalists.
Thirteen of our 90 finalists have also been nominated for the Scientific American Science in Action award, the winner of which will be announced on June 6 along with our 15 finalists. These top 15 and the Science in Action winner will be flown out to Google’s headquarters in California in July for our celebratory finalist event and for the last round of judging, which will be conducted by our panel of renowned scientists and innovators.
Thanks to all of the students around the world who submitted projects to the Google Science Fair and congratulations to all the young scientists who were selected as regional finalists.
Posted by Sam Peter, Google Science Fair Team