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The High Five: drive-thru and carry on

Category: Google | Jul 28, 2017

Lyft meets late night tacos, pop stars meet politicians and travelers will meet a new TSA rule. Meet five of this week’s top searched trends, with data compiled by the Google News Lab

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Five stars for tacos

This is how it’s done in Orange County. Testing out Lyft’s new Taco Mode, people can make a late night pitstop at a Taco Bell drive-thru between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Based on search data, they’re most likely to pick up a Chalupa, quesadilla, Crunchwrap, nachos or burrito. And despite the launch and Taco Bell’s (in)famous “Fourth Meal,” this week most people are searching for tacos at 3 p.m.

The tablet’s out of the bag

TSA announced Wednesday that carry-on electronics larger than a cellphone will be screened separately at U.S. airports. Perhaps hoping to avoid the extra security measure, people are searching more for TSA precheck, and searches for TSA electronics increased by 1,800 percent this week. Top searched questions about “TSA screening” include “Who approves TSA screening equipment?” “What is TSA pre-screening?” and “When do the new TSA computer electronics screening rules go into effect?”

Gamechanger

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 99 percent of former NFL players’ brains that had been donated for medical research. Search interest in “CTE” spiked 2,500 percent this week, with queries like “How to test for CTE,” “How common is CTE?” and “What are the symptoms of CTE?” Search interest in CTE Symptoms even surpassed cold symptoms.

The People’s Princess

Search interest in Princess Diana went up 300 percent after a new HBO documentary, in which Princes Harry and William open up about their mother, was released this week. “Diana, Our Mother” was searched 230 percent more than Netflix’s “The Crown,” and top searched questions in Princess Diana’s home country, the U.K., were: “Where did Princess Diana’s car crash?” “Who did Diana leave her jewelry to in her will?” and “How old was Diana when she had William?”

Work, work, work, work, work

This week pop star Rihanna met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss global education. People were curious about the substance of the meeting, among other things—searching “What happened when Rihanna met Emmanuel Macron?” and “What is Rihanna wearing to meet Emmanuel Macron?” And you too, Bono? Earlier in the week, Bono met with Macron to discuss poverty, but search interest in Rihanna’s meeting was 900 percent higher than Bono’s.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/K4zo0GBkxSo/

Confronting racial injustice 100 years after the Silent Parade

Category: Google | Jul 28, 2017

It was a mid-summer day in New York City. Nearly 10,000 African Americans—men, women and children—gathered on Fifth Avenue. The women wore white; the men dark suits. They were there to protest. Yet there were no songs or chants. They marched in silence, demanding an end to racial violence in America.

The date was July 28, 1917.

Organized by the NAACP, including leaders W.E.B Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, the Silent Parade was one of the first mass protests against lynching and anti-black violence in America. Protestors demanded that President Woodrow Wilson take legislative action to protect African Americans, as thousands had been lynched since the end of the Civil War. Despite the silence of the parade’s participants, their signs spoke volumes. “Treat us so that we may love our country,” one sign read—a message that continues to resonate.

Today’s Doodle honors the 100th anniversary of the protest; a moment in American history that was critical in shaping both the impending civil rights movement and the world we live in today.

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A hundred years later, the fight for racial justice in the United States continues, especially in the criminal justice system. More than 60 percent of people in prison are people of color, and stories like Philando Castile’s continue to reveal the devastating consequences of racial bias. Google.org grantee the Equal Justice Initiative and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson are working to challenge these inequalities both in and outside of the courtroom. In their recent collaboration with Google, EJI created an interactive site, bringing together EJI’s in-depth research on the history of lynching with the stories behind it. Lynching in America is intended to inspire a conversation about our past and the work required to build a better future.

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The Myles/Dedman family visiting Shreveport, LA, where in 1912 their relative Thomas Miles, Sr., was lynched. This is one of many photos included in the Legacy of Lynching exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Equal Justice Initiative has also collaborated with Google on an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum that further explores the impact of this history. The Legacy of Lynching (open now until September 3), presents EJI’s research—through film, oral histories and interactive maps—and aligns it with the work of notable artists such as Sanford Biggers and Kara Walker.

“There are times it’s not really possible to confront the obstacles that many of us have to confront without a soundtrack or without an image,” Bryan Stevenson said at the exhibit’s opening this week. “The kind of inspiration that these artists bring, gives us the courage to do the exhausting things that have to be done to create justice. That’s what I’m hoping we’ll feel—a little bit of inspiration—to go tell these stories.To begin talking about this history. And to have the courage to do it, even when it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant.”

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Bryan Stevenson in conversation with artists Sanford Biggers, Glenn Ligon and poet Elizabeth Alexander at the opening of the exhibit.

The Equal Justice Initiative believes that addressing this history of racial injustice is essential to better understanding our present. They are one of many racial justice organizations that we’re proud to support with Google.org grants, alongside partnerships with National Urban League, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. Together we hope to build a more just and inclusive world for everyone.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/2GWu4QnRxXE/

A Significant Step Toward Modernizing Our Surveillance Laws

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

Last month, our General Counsel Kent Walker delivered a speech calling for a fundamental realignment of government access statutes in light of the growing role that technology plays in our daily lives, the expectation that communications should remain private, and the very real security threats that governments need to investigate.

In conjunction with the speech, we proposed a new framework oriented toward policy solutions that recognize legitimate law enforcement interests, respect the sovereignty of other countries, and reflect the reasonable expectation of privacy that users have in the content of their electronic communications.

The introduction of the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA) by Senators Hatch, Coons, and Heller advances these objectives, and we commend these Senators for their leadership in this area.

ICPA would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in two important ways.

First, it would require U.S. government entities to obtain a warrant to compel the production of communications content from providers.  For many years, we have called upon the U.S. Congress to update ECPA in this manner, and the House of Representative has twice passed legislation (the Email Privacy Act) that would achieve this goal.

Second, it provides clear mechanisms for the U.S. government to obtain user data from service providers with a warrant, wherever the data may be stored, but with protections built in for certain cases when the users are nationals of other countries and are located outside the U.S.

We are eager to work with Members of Congress enact ICPA into law, and look forward to the opportunity to help advance this important bill.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/leH5GfTxD6M/

#teampixel casts a spell with light and shadows

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

This week we’re admiring the artistic acumen of #teampixel photographers as they discover the hidden surprises behind light, shadows and reflections. Get ready to ride with a backlit bike through a Bulgarian sunset or check out a dim sum house that’s making us green with envy. And don’t forget to share your own Pixel photos on Instagram—we just might feature you next.

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@drewhopper – Sunrise at Point Lookout in New England’s National Park

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Left: @magdalena_011 – Otherworldly rock formations in Antelope Canyon. Right: @pedromiguelferreira – seeing double at the Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia in Portugal

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Left: @c.villacillo – Seeing between the lines. Right: @ubrandon – A shadow-stenciled portrait during golden hour

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@georgi_kunchev – biking through Trudovets, Sofiya, Bulgaria

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Left: @rebirthdna – Going green in Bun House & Team Room, London. Right: @tabi_memory – The Getty in Los Angeles

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Left: @jetteff – sunkissed windows in Port of Helsinki, Finland. Right: @costagreco – Google’s HQ in Dublin

Dig #teampixel’s photography? Visit the feed to share the love and likes on your favorite photos.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/l0pSndJ3ZlE/

Get literary with Talks at Google

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

Books can fly us to space, transport us to the Seven Kingdoms or the Underground Railroad, take us on an 11,000 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, and teach us a thing or two about cooking. In the second installment of the “Talks at Google” Keyword series, get to know some of our favorite authors who have stopped by Google over the years:

1. Andy Weir, bestselling author of “The Martian”—later adapted into a film—reads aloud the first chapter and shares the extensive research done to maintain scientific accuracy throughout the book.
2. Angela Duckworth, author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” discusses her unique definition of “talent” and interesting findings from her data on predictors of success.
3. Cheryl Strayed talks about her moments of reckoning on the Pacific Coast Trail, which led to her memoir “Wild.”

I'm glad that I had exactly the experience I did because I learned the hard way, and all of the best things I've learned the hard way.

Cheryl Strayed

Author of "Wild"

4. Christopher Hitchens shares his opinions that led to his book, “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” exploring everything from scientific facts, to human morality, to world history.
5. Acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead chats about the inspiration behind his book, “The Underground Railroad,” narrates excerpts and answers audience questions on topics like gender and race in slavery.
6. George R. R. Martin, author of the epic series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which has been turned into HBO’s equally epic “Game of Thrones,” answers fan questions, from the hyper-nerdy (“Is it possible to warg into a dragon?”) to the emotional (“Which character in the series was the hardest to kill off?).
7. Chef Ina Garten shares her journey from budget analyst at the White House, to owner of a specialty food store, to author of a cookbook, to star of a hit cooking show on Food Network.
8. Lucy Kalanithi—wife of Paul Kalanithi whose memoir “When Breath Becomes Air” recounts his battle with cancer in the months before he died—talks about “connecting with people over suffering” and the deep, painful and moving experiences that we all share.
9. In one of his many visits to Google, Salman Rushdie discusses how we can see ourselves in the past and the “interesting things to discover from 400 years ago.”

10. Yaa Gyasi, author of “Homegoing,” discusses the book’s strong female characters and how her journey to her mother’s hometown in Abakrampa, Ghana gave her a stroke of inspiration for the book.

When we look at the past, what we see in many ways is ourselves.

Salman Rushdie

Author of "The Enchantress of Florence"

As always, to see more talks, subscribe to Talks at Google on YouTubefollow them on Twitter or browse their website

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/eoUCKZ6abYA/

Making the internet work better for everyone in Africa

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

By 2034 Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion—yet only 3 to 4 million jobs are created annually. That means there’s an urgent need to create opportunities for the millions of people on the continent who are creative, smart and driven to succeed. The internet, and technology as a whole, offer great opportunities for creating jobs, growing businesses and boosting economies. But people need the right skills, tools and products to navigate the digital world and to make it work for them, their businesses and their communities.

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Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, is interviewed by Nigerian journalist Adesuwa Onyenokwe at our Google for Nigeria event in Lagos.

Today, at our Google for Nigeria event in Lagos, we announced progress we’ve made in our products and features for users in Nigeria, including YouTube, Search and Maps. We also announced initiatives focused on digital skills training, education and economic opportunity, and support for African startups and developers.

Digital Skills for Africa

Last year we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train one million young people in the region—and we’ve exceeded this target. Through either in-person or online trainings, we help people learn to build a web presence, use Search to find jobs, get tips to enhance their CV, use social media, and so on. Now we’re expanding this program, and committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years. We’ll also be providing mobile developer training to 100,000 Africans to develop world-class apps, with an initial focus on Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Google.org grants

Our charitable arm, Google.org, is committing $20 million over the next five years to nonprofits that are working to improve lives across Africa. We’re giving $2.5 million in initial grants to the nonprofit arms of African startups Gidi Mobile and Siyavula to provide free access to learning for 400,000 low-income students in South Africa and Nigeria. The grantees will also develop new digital learning materials that will be free for anyone to use.

We also want to invite nonprofits from across the continent to share their ideas for how they could impact their community and beyond. So we’re launching a Google.org Impact Challenge in Africa in 2018 to award $5 million in grants. Any eligible nonprofit in Africa can apply, and anyone will be able to help select the best ideas by voting online.

Launchpad Accelerator Africa

We want to do more to support African entrepreneurs in building successful technology companies and products. Based on our global Launchpad Accelerator program, this initiative will provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years. Intensive three-month programs, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos—the program’s first location outside of the United States.

Making our products work better in Africa

For people to take advantage of digital opportunities, acquiring the right skills and tools is only part of the equation. Online products and services—including ours—also need to work better in Africa. Today, we’re sharing news about how we’re making YouTube, Search and Maps more useful and relevant for Nigerian users.

YouTube Go

Designed from the ground up, YouTube Go lets you discover, save and share videos you love in a way that’s transparent about the size of downloads. Designed to be “offline” first, the app improves the experience of watching videos on a slower network and gives control over the amount of data used streaming or saving videos. It’s a full YouTube experience, with fresh and relevant video recommendations tailored to your preferences and the ability to share videos quickly and easily with friends nearby.  In June, Nigeria became the second country where we started actively testing YouTube Go. Later this year, we’ll be expanding this to a beta launch of the app, available to all Nigerian users.

Lagos now on Street View in Google Maps

In the last few months, we’ve improved our address search experience in Lagos, by adding thousands of new addresses and streets, outlines of more than a million buildings in commercial and residential areas, and more than 100,000 additional Nigerian small businesses on Google Maps. Today we’re launching Lagos on Street View, with 10,000 kilometers of imagery, including the most important historic roads in the city. You can virtually drive along the Carter Bridge to the National Stadium or across the Eko Bridge, down to the Marina—all on your smartphone.

Faster web results

When you’re on a 2G-like connection or using a low storage device, pages can take a long time to load. We previously launched a feature that streamlines search results so they load with less data and at high speed.  Today we’re extending that feature to streamline websites you reach from search results, so that they load with 90 percent less data and five times faster, even on low storage devices.  

More local information in Search

We’ve also made several updates to Search to bring more useful, relevant answers and information to people in Nigeria:

  • Knowledge Panels: We’re connecting people with easy access to the answers to things they care about, displaying knowledge cards for everything from local football teams to Nigerian musicians and actors.

  • Health Cards: Later this year we’ll launch more than 800 knowledge cards detailing common symptoms and treatments for the most prevalent health conditions in Nigeria. We’ve partnered with the University of Ibadan to ensure that answers have been reviewed by Nigerian doctors for local relevance and accuracy. Nigeria is one of the first countries where we’re providing locally tailored health answers on Search.  

  • Posts on Google: Posts makes it possible for musicians, entertainers and other public figures to share updates, images and videos directly on Google, for people to see while they explore on the web. Nigeria is the third country where we’ve made this feature available and some of the country’s popular musicians are already using it.

The things we’re announcing today are what drive us—building platforms and products that are relevant and useful for billions, not just the few, and helping people to succeed in the digital economy. That’s why we hope to equip more people, in Africa and elsewhere, with digital skills and tools. We’re excited to be part of Africa’s evolving digital story.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/4xUM8l2UfEY/

The Dynamic Learning Project: helping deliver on the promise of tech in the classroom

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

When it comes to schools, bridging the “digital divide” means more than providing access. While that gap isn’t yet closed, there’s another emerging equity imbalance that goes beyond computers or connectivity. This “second-level digital divide” is fueled by major differences in how effectively that technology is being used for teaching and learning. And it’s especially pronounced in low-income schools, where teachers face a significant disadvantage when it comes to training and professional development. Closing this divide means equipping educators with the skills and tools they need to effectively integrate technology in their classrooms. That’s why we’re launching the Dynamic Learning Project, a new pilot that’s part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that the benefits of technology are truly reaching every classroom.

Research suggests that coaching has a positive impact on teacher practices and student outcomes. So to start, we’re providing a $6.5 million grant to Digital Promise through Google.org in order to launch a pilot that will support full-time coaches at 50 underserved middle schools in five diverse regions across the U.S. These coaches will provide personalized support to help educators learn about technology and use it in their classroom in transformative ways. To set schools up for success, each will receive mentoring support and ongoing professional development from experts at EdTechTeam. They’ll also participate in a community of practice with other participating schools, allowing them to share their learnings and expand their professional networks.

Digital Promise selected this first cohort of 50 U.S. middle schools based on need (determined by percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch), existing infrastructure (without requiring any specific type or brand of technology), and innovative leadership committed to helping their teachers succeed. They’ll work with these schools throughout the year, helping the coaches and principals to better harness technology in the classroom.

For years, we’ve worked hard to help more classrooms access technology, and we’re proud that our products are helping millions of teachers and students do incredible things. But we’ve also seen that access to technology on its own is not enough. Making our products free or affordable doesn’t make usage truly equitable, and quality training is critical to ensure that technology is used in effective and meaningful ways. Through coaching, training and support, we’re aiming to empower teachers to further improve student learning outcomes through technology.

While technology alone will not fix or improve education, in the hands of educators who know how to use it, it can be a powerful part of the solution. This pilot is only the very beginning of our work ahead, and we’re eager to see what we will learn and understand how we can help reach even more classrooms in the future.

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Last week we held a training for all participating teachers and principals

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From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/3s8VGVqCrKY/

Introducing an original VR video series by MLB and Daydream

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

Virtual reality helps filmmakers tell stories from a new perspective, bringing you into the action. The Daydream team works directly with creators of all types—movie studios, TV networks, musicians and YouTube Creators—to help bring their awesome ideas to (virtual) reality.

We’ve partnered with Major League Baseball on some exciting VR experiences for Daydream, including the MLB.com At Bat VR app and the MLB.com Home Run Derby VR video game. Today, we’re debuting our latest collaboration: “On the Verge,” an original VR video series that provides an up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the lives of young MLB stars around the game.

The first episodes of “On the Verge” will take you on the field, inside the batting cage, in the clubhouse and to more places with young MLB stars Josh Bell (Pittsburgh Pirates), Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox), Manuel Margot (San Diego Padres), and Jose Berrios (Minnesota Twins). These four episodes are available today in the recently released MLB.com At Bat VR Daydream app, which combines live video streaming and real-time stats for a complete live game sports experience in VR. They’ll also be available on MLB’s official YouTube account soon.

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Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

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Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres

We worked closely with MLB to tell these stories from a new perspective amidst unique access points around ballparks with Jump, Google’s platform for VR video capture that combines high-quality VR cameras and automated stitching. Because the Jump cameras don’t take up a ton of space, it allowed MLB to capture memorable moments on and off the field, ultimately producing fun stories of what it’s like to be big leaguers.

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“On The Verge” joins a number of videos and series already created with Jump, including The New York Times’ Great Performers collection, Within’s “The Possible” series and Wevr’s “Internet Surfer” video.

Grab your Cardboard or Daydream View and check out the first handful of episodes of “On The Verge” today. Additional episodes will drop at key moments throughout the 2017 MLB season.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/5bhkIAaC1ak/

Working with the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research on digital skills in Italy

Category: Google | Jul 27, 2017

This week we’ve announced a new agreement with Italy’s Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) to work together to bring increased digital skills training to Italian schools in an effort to ensure students are prepared for the workplaces of the future.

We know that digitization is leading to job growth around the world, but in Italy a shortage of the necessary skills is a challenge–both for the job market and for job hunters. This is why we’ve paid particular attention to the digital skills of young people seeking employment through our Eccellenze in Digitale and Crescere in Digitale programs for the past four years.

We’ve seen first-hand how learning on practical tools and being inspired by success stories helps students learn concrete strategies that will help with the success of businesses online. Last year 67% of the entrepreneurs who participated in our program said they saw business growth.

Our new collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education will help us to provide as many Italian school kids as possible the opportunities to get closer to web tools and programming from an early age.

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Announcing the new education collaboration in Rome.

At its core this partnership will provide course materials to schools and educational institutions, free of charge.

It includes Computer Science First, a coding for beginners curriculum developed first for young students in the US and which is currently being rolled out in Europe. CS First is a free online platform that allows students between the ages of 9 and 14 to approach programming through simple teaching activities. The platform is designed to empower teachers —even without specific training—to organize courses that help students approach programming and solve complex problems and to develop confidence and curiosity about using computers.

But we also know that digital skills are essential for young people to start looking for a job. For this reason the new program will also include an innovative approach to vocational training to bridge the gap between the education system and the world of work. We’re making the Eccellenze in Digitale online learning platform—developed by Google Italy with the goal of supporting the digitisation of SMEs—available to all 17-to 19- year-old students for whom a traineeship in SMEs is compulsory. The project will help students supporting small and medium enterprises in their digital transformation process and fostering an innovative culture in business.

We’re very excited to be working alongside our partners at MIUR with the shared belief that digital can be a key to building career-changing opportunities for both students and for Italy’s businesses. These projects are just the beginning of a common commitment, and are a key component of Google’s skills training commitments across Europe, including the pledge to train more than 2 million Europeans in critical digital skills. To learn more visit g.co/growthengine

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/6QNIDhZgkkM/

Helping journalists experiment with 360 content

Category: Google | Jul 25, 2017

There’s already a huge amount of innovation in virtual reality and immersive storytelling—with many newsrooms experimenting and succeeding in the field—but for some, the ability to create 360 content can still be limited.

Perhaps predicting the rise of 360 technology, in 2014 Australian creative agency Grumpy Sailor worked with Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney on an experiment called Story Spheres, which stitches together photos and audio. It allows journalists, documentary makers and educators to tell powerful stories if they don’t have access to video.

Working with the same team behind the first prototype, the Google News Lab is now supporting the next iteration of the project. Today new features will help publishers—from individual journalists to large newsrooms—create and brand their immersive audio experiences. A new website will help journalists brand their creations with their own logos, help them credit their work and embed it on their own website. It’s now even simpler to upload a 360 image, edit the imagery, add an audio layer and navigate from one experience to another.

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In the UK, Trinity Mirror has already experimented with the new tool: The Liverpool Echo took their readers through the famous dockyards of the city, and the Manchester Evening News provided a snapshot of the flowers and balloons placed in St Ann’s Square as a tribute for the Manchester terrorist attacks. In Norway, Nettavisen has been experimenting with the tool by giving their readers a glimpse at the best podcasts for their readers this summer.

Emily McCartney, a coder and “techxplorer” at Grumpy Sailor, says the improved tool will help users, too: “There’s so much news to consume, and people want to be able to jump between stories without losing any time, and Story Spheres help you do that.”

Discover the tool for yourself, made by Grumpy Sailor with the support of Creative Lab in Sydney and the Google News Lab.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/IrKKv0zvaMs/