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Queen Máxima of the Netherlands marks first anniversary of Digital Workshop

Category: Google | Nov 22, 2016

The Netherland’s Queen Máxima visited Google’s Digital Workshop in the Enschede region of the country today to mark the first anniversary of the programme to increase the digital skills of Dutch entrepreneurs.

We introduced the Digital Workshop a year ago in the Netherlands in collaboration with the microfinanciers at Qredits and several municipalities around the country. After a kick-off in Eindhoven in November 2016 and successful iterations in Nijmegen, Groningen, Hilversum, Rotterdam, The Hague and Maastricht, today entrepreneurs in Enschede brushed up their knowledge. Since the start of the programme in the Netherlands, 29,183 Dutch professionals and entrepreneurs have participated.

Her Royal Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands outside the Digital Workshop

Queen Máxima visited the Digital Workplace in her capacity as a member of the Nederlands Comité voor Ondernemerschap en Financiering (the Netherlands Committee for Entrepreneurship and Funding). Among other things she attended a workshop for entrepreneurs on increasing brand familiarity, and talked to entrepreneurs about the opportunities of doing business online and funding growth.

The internet offers significant opportunities for Dutch companies, and via the Digital Workshop, a part of Google’s Growth Engine program across Europe, we want to give entrepreneurs a helping hand with it. We believe in the power of entrepreneurs and the important role they play in the growth of the Dutch economy. Today it’s possible for every entrepreneur to do business worldwide using the internet. Even the smallest entrepreneurs have the ability to find their clients on the other side of the country, or even become a multinational.

Queen Maxima and entrepreneurs

Queen Maxima speaking to Dutch entrepreneurs at the Digital Workshop

Although the Digital Workshop began in the Netherlands with gatherings throughout the country, the programme has now been expanded to online training courses and a Digital Workshop for students. With today’s event, Google is closing in on our target to train 30.000 Dutch entrepreneurs in digital skills–and we’ve one more city to go before the end of the year!

Research has shown that just 20 weeks after completing the program, 79% of the participants has taken one or more actions. They have improved the content of their website, used web analytics,optimized their website for mobile and improved their social media presence. Off all respondents, 63% has spent more time and 22% more budget on learning about the internet and online applications.

The Netherland’s Digital Workshop is one of many we have around Europe, where we’ve pledged to train 2 million Europeans in digital skills by 2017. We’ve seen for ourselves how improving digital expertise can give people new opportunities to grow and develop, and how businesses can flourish with the skills learned at our Digital Workshops.

See here for stories of Dutch success online… we’re encouraged by their progress and looking forward to more!


9 new ways that Google Cloud Machine Learning can help businesses

Category: Google | Nov 22, 2016

At Google, we have a rich history of exploring the furthest reaches of what machine learning can do to help increase access to information and improve our daily lives. For more than a decade, we’ve driven machine learning research that powers many of Google’s systems and products. Today, Google Cloud users across industries  — from financial services and healthcare to retail, web services and media and entertainment  — now have mightier machine learning models at their disposal through our growing number of intelligent apps and cloud services.

We’ve recently announced several machine learning updates across our public cloud and productivity services. Here’s a rundown of the latest products and features that can help fuel business intelligence, operational efficiency, productivity and collaboration.

  1. Maximize recruitment efforts: The new Cloud Jobs API uses machine learning to help companies hire great talent. By understanding the nuances behind job titles, descriptions, skills and preferences, the API matches job seeker preferences with relevant listings. Learn how it works.

  2. Analyze images faster, for less: We’ve improved performance and efficiency of our Vision API by taking advantage of Google’s custom TPUs, resulting in an ~80% price reduction for large-scale deployments.

  3. Translate long-form docs: For users that need long-form translation services, a new premium edition of Cloud Translation API uses a model tailored to increase accuracy on several major language pairs. This tool is built for particular business use cases, such as translating long-form emails and documents. We’ve also reduced the price of the standard edition for higher usage volumes.

  4. Better understand text structure and sentiment and turn questions into formulas: With Explore, Natural Language Processing translates questions into useful formulas and offers up instant answers in Google Sheets. And the new Cloud Natural Language API, now generally available, does a better job than ever before at identifying names of people, companies and locations in text. It also now offers improved sentiment identification and syntax analysis. Learn more.

  5. Supercharge cloud computation for complex jobs: With hundreds of times as many computational cores as Central Processing Units (CPUs), Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) are great for medical analysis, financial calculations, seismic/subsurface exploration, machine learning, video rendering, transcoding, scientific simulations and more. We’ll offer GPUs in early 2017 to Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning users.

  6. Find stored files on mobile nearly 50% faster: Customers can now use Quick Access in Google Drive on their Android devices to easily and instantly access files that they need. Machine intelligence works behind the scenes to understand individual user needs based on interaction with colleagues, recurring meetings and Drive activity.

  7. Use smart scheduling to save time: Our G Suite customers now spend less time finding the right time to meet. They can now schedule a time and book rooms with machine assistance that includes room suggestions based on previous bookings and time suggestions that account for conflicts easiest to resolve, such as recurring 1:1 meetings.

  8. Tap the power of Google Search to strengthen Docs content: Explore in Google Docs taps into Google’s search engine and machine intelligence to add suggestions based on content within documents. It recommends related topics, images and more for web and mobile docs creation.

  9. Format presentations faster: Explore in Google Slides adds ease and speed to creating the most presentable presentations, with design suggestions based on slide content. Recommendations are easy to apply — customers click to add new designs, no cropping, resizing or reformatting required.






As we continue to build Google Cloud products and services, machine learning will create new pathways for transformation and growth for our users and partners.

Learn more about Google Cloud Machine Learning here or sign up for a free trial to see firsthand how developer and IT teams can use machine intelligence to build better and faster. To get started or learn more about saving time and driving productivity with machine intelligence in G Suite, visit the G Suite site.


Debating the openness and opportunity of Europe’s mobile economy

Category: Google | Nov 22, 2016

In just the last decade mobile computing has boomed and people around the world have been using mobile devices to do almost everything. Mobile phones that once just allowed you to make phone calls or texts have been replaced by pocket-sized, smart supercomputers that empower consumers to do a wide range of things, from booking restaurant tables, playing games, ordering taxis to doing financial transactions.

Many more of the world’s leading mobile startups are European players, like BlablaCar, Rovio, Spotify or Skyscanner. In fact, 30 of the top 100 apps downloaded globally as measured by App Annie were created right here. At the same time, Europe is the birthplace of some of the fastest-growing mobile manufacturers including BQ, Fairphone or Gigaset who are now competing on the international market.

As this European ecosystem should be encouraged, supported and promoted, we decided to celebrate the Mobile Innovation in several countries. Last week and after Madrid, Paris, Rome and Istanbul, we celebrated the best of Europe’s mobile economy at the Autoworld Museum in Brussels, a place that stands like no other for mobility, innovation and digital transformation. What did we discover? That Europe is a hotbed of innovation for developers.

In Europe, the mobile economy has generated already more than 1.6m jobs with an estimate that, by 2018, the apps sector could create 4.8 million new jobs in the region. At the event, UK-based King, creator of the famous game Candy Crush told their story of rapid growth to over 2000 employees, collecting more than 394 million active users along the way. Linda Griffin, Head of Global Public Affairs, shared with the audience that “access to talent and finding qualified talent are the major challenges and costs for the tech sector”.

The Marseille headquartered device manufacturer WIKO explained how they became the second most sold mobile device brand in France, and Olivier Jeannel from RogerVoice shared how mobile solutions can be a driver for social good. His free application is helping the 70 million deaf people who cannot hear on the phone. He highlighted that “Android openness permitted us to built quickly our tool and to spread it to the world”.

Mobile Innovation Day panel

L to R: Olivier Jeannel from RogerVoice, Herve Vaillant of WIKO, Android developer Ash Davies, Fabienne Weibel from Bla Bla Car, Laura Griffin of King with moderator Mishal Husain of the BBC on opportunity of the mobile economy in Europe

Being Brussels, the conversation turned to policy-making. King’s Griffin urged the European Commission that in order for startups to succeed in Europe, the “DSM policy-making must enable more investment and a better attitude to risk”. And Irmfried Schwimann, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s DG GROW called on all stakeholders to “create an ecosystem where everyone can thrive online” from urban to rural areas.

As demonstrated last week and at events across Europe, app developers, device manufacturers and mobile operators have reaped the benefits of Android, a free, open-source mobile ecosystem in which Google has invested for a decade. Today, we’re proud to count 1,300 brands offering 24,000 distinct Android-based devices and 1,3m individual mobile developers because we believe that competitive ecosystem means better choice and better prices for consumers.

Strong partnerships within this mobile ecosystem–from app developers to device manufacturers and mobile operators–are key to continued success in Europe. Working together, we can ensure that European companies will continue to lead in the field.


Two new (and one tried-and-true) ways to get through turkey day with Google Maps

Category: Google | Nov 22, 2016

We’re just days away from Thanksgiving – the busiest American travel holiday of the year. Just in time for the mad dash to grandma’s house or your bestie’s friendsgiving across town, we’ve got two new and one tried-and-true way for Google Maps to get you where you’re going without the holiday traffic hassle.

Beat event traffic with real-world info 

If you spend Thanksgiving in Chicago, Detroit, Houston or New York City then the local Thanksgiving Day parades are likely a popular pre-feast activity. But what often comes with the fun is gridlock, roadblocks, and longer commute times. This year we’ve incorporated the road closures, transit schedule changes, and detours associated with the parades into Google Maps in each of these cities. Now those headed to the parade – or trying to avoid it – will see the parade route visualized on the map and Google Maps navigation will take into account the real-life local changes when navigating you around these cities.


Beat the gridlock with real-time traffic alerts and re-routing

Don’t live in one of those cities? Don’t worry. We’ve already told you the best and worst times to leave for and return from your Thanksgiving road trips and once you’re on your way we’ll keep you on track with traffic alerts and real-time rerouting. Just input your destination and you get alerted about upcoming traffic conditions. While on the road, you’ll get a heads up if congestion lies ahead along with an estimate of how long the delay will be. When a faster alternative route is available, Google Maps will suggest it to you.

Real-time Traffic

Beat the crowds with Popular Times in real-time 

We looked at historical Google Maps data to determine the top five trending locations during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s safe to say that if you’re planning to stop by a ham shop, outlet mall, pie shop, electronics store, or Christmas tree lot around Thanksgiving, you’ll run into throngs of last minute shoppers and deal hunters just like yourself. So just in time for holiday hordes, we’ve added a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now to help you decide when to go or whether you should head somewhere else.


If you’re dreading a holiday headache, let Google Maps be your Thanksgiving guide to a hassle free holiday.


Google Earth: The 25-Year Search

Category: Google | Nov 22, 2016

Remember back to the time when you first opened Google Earth. Where did you fly? Nearly all of us search for the same place: Home. The starting point. Where we fit into the bigger picture, and one way we define our sense of identity.

Imagine if you didn’t know where “home” was? What would you search for first?

In 1986, 5-year-old Saroo Brierley fell asleep on a train parked at a rural station in central India. He awoke to find himself locked in an empty carriage barrelling through the Indian countryside to an unknown destination. After two days and nearly 1600 kilometers, the train reached its final stop, the enormous Howrah station in the sprawling Indian megacity, Kolkata. Saroo disembarked alone, far away from family and no way to get home. Living on the streets for months, Saroo survived a series of harrowing encounters before he was taken to an orphanage. In time, he was adopted by an Australian couple and brought to Tasmania.


The Brierleys gave Saroo a loving home and a second chance, but memories of his birth family haunted him. As he grew older, these echos became louder until his early 20’s when he was finally compelled to search for his lost home and family. Right around this time, Saroo heard about a new program called Google Earth. He realized he could use the tool’s satellite imagery to find familiar landmarks, and lead him to the train station from his fleeting memories of that fateful night. Night after night for three years, Saroo followed train lines from space, combing through thousands of stations until one day in early 2012, he finally found the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Thanks to his unwavering determination, Saroo reunited with his birth mother after 25 years. Saroo’s improbable story has been a source of inspiration to all of us on the Earth team and to many around the world. We’re especially excited his story will reach new audiences with the release of the new film, Lion, on November 25.


To celebrate the film’s upcoming release, we invite you to retrace Saroo’s journey through the Finding Home experience now available in Google Earth’s Voyager layer. The experience takes you behind-the-scenes of Saroo’s search—what he used to guide him, the odds he faced, and how with a lot of will and a bit of luck, he was able to find home.


Welcome Qwiklabs to Google Cloud

Category: Google | Nov 21, 2016

Today, we’re excited to announce the acquisition of Qwiklabs. Founded in 2012, Qwiklabs provides hands-on lab learning environments for leading cloud platforms and infrastructure software vendors.

There’s no faster way to get hands-on experience with a cloud environment and to learn all the ins and outs of today’s modern cloud solutions than in a Qwiklabs lab. Qwiklabs offers step-by-step instructions to learn a popular cloud service, test different use cases and train your teams to become cloud experts.

With Qwiklabs, we’re closing the IP skills gap in the cloud. More than half a million users have collectively spent over 5 million hours learning how to successfully deploy and manage multiple cloud technologies through the Qwiklabs platform. We’re focused on offering the most comprehensive, efficient, and fun way to train and onboard people across all our products on Google Cloud, including Google Cloud Platform and G Suite.  

We want to help businesses get the most out of their cloud investment and, with Qwiklabs, we’ll give users a place to learn and expand their cloud skills to deliver more innovation, more features and more efficiency for their customers.

We’re thrilled to welcome Qwiklabs to Google Cloud. Stay tuned for more from the Qwiklabs team at Next ‘17!


Putting Google Wifi to the test

Category: Google | Nov 21, 2016

At Google we care deeply about connecting people to the information and services they care about. Better connectivity is at the center of this, and we know that many people wish they had better Wi-Fi coverage in their home. That’s why we created Google Wifi, a new system that replaces your router to provide fast Wi-Fi for every corner of your home, on all your devices.

Google Wifi works differently than a traditional router, using mesh technology. Last week, we wrote about how mesh Wi-Fi is the best way to provide whole home coverage and as mesh is becoming increasingly popular, there are a few other companies offering home mesh solutions.

To see how we stack up, we recently asked Allion USA, a third party testing company, to put Google Wifi head-to-head with other mesh systems: Eero® and Luma®.

Allion connected two units from each system in a 3,000 square foot, two story home and tested Wi-Fi speeds at four different locations. The graphic below shows the speeds (in Mbps)  they measured at each of those locations. Google Wifi came out on top, with the fastest Wi-Fi across the whole home.


Google Wifi is 75% faster than Eero in the living room, and more than twice as fast as Luma at the same location. When you’re sitting down with your family to stream the latest Hollywood blockbuster in 4K, that speed difference matters!

And when you want to kick back and game in the upstairs bedroom, Google Wifi is 23 Mbps faster than Luma, and five times faster (185 Mbps) than Eero.

Google Wifi is able to outperform other mesh routers because we built it from the ground up to provide fast Wi-Fi in every room. Each Google Wifi point packs high-gain antennas along with powerful amplifiers that make the signal stronger and farther-reaching.

Each point’s quad core network processor, fast packet forwarding engine, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports help the network keep up with all your needs.  Each point delivers AC1200 802.11ac performance in a device that looks nice enough to keep out in the open, where Wi-Fi works its best. Dual-band dual-concurrent radios are compatible with all your Wi-Fi devices, and Google’s Network Assist software takes care of managing complex settings in the background, so you can sit back and enjoy the Wi-Fi.

Simply put, not all Wi-Fi systems are created equal. We’re confident that Google Wifi can deliver better, faster Wi-Fi to your home, no matter what its shape or size. And since we care so much about ensuring you get the best coverage, Allion will continue to test Google Wifi against other mesh products over the coming weeks.

Google Wifi is currently available for pre-order online at retailers like the Google Store. Happy surfing and streaming!

Test performed by Allion USA with an Apple MacBook Air.  Individual results may vary depending on home layout, construction, network client, and interference.  MacBook Air is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Eero is a registered trademark of Eero, Inc. Luma is a registered trademark of Luma, Inc.


Know before you go, with Google

Category: Google | Nov 21, 2016

‘Tis the season for gift-giving, delicious dinners, and spending time with family and friends. That also means it’s the season of crowded holiday shopping, travel planning and entertaining the in-laws. Never fear, Google is here to help you navigate some seasonal stress.

First up: crowd control. Since introducing the Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps last year, you’ve been able to check how busy a place typically is at different times of the week. Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we’re adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go. Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive.


Next up: time management. If you’re playing host for the day, you can also check and see how long people typically stay at a given location. That way you can plan your itinerary to the minute. After all, you want to be sure you leave enough time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your local sweets shop before heading to your dinner reservations.  

Finally: department and service hours. Stores, businesses and restaurants can sometimes have multiple hours for different departments and special services. Now on Google, you have access to these various hours, so you’ll know what time to pop by the pharmacy at your local drugstore or supermarket, when food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant (for those not looking to cook!), and what the service hours are at the auto dealership to get your brakes checked before hitting the road to see family.

service hours

All these tips are just a tap away in Google Search and Maps. So shop, eat and be merry!


Celebrating the next generation of women technologists from Asia Pacific

Category: Google | Nov 21, 2016

This year, we’re pleased to welcome 50 distinguished women from across Asia Pacific to the family of Anita Borg scholars. Our 2016 scholarship recipients represent undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in computer science and related technical fields at 37 institutions in 13 countries across the region. 

The scholars receive a scholarship amount towards their tuition and have just attended the Google Scholars’ Retreat in Hyderabad, where they took part in workshops, technical talks, panel discussions, a hackathon and plenty of networking opportunities.  They also join a global alumni community of former scholarship recipients that they can call on for continued mentorship and development. 

Anita Borg APAC scholars' retreat 2016

Anita Borg scholars from across Asia Pacific at the retreat in Hyderabad 

Through this program, we want to inspire and encourage more women to go on and do amazing things in computing and technology. We also hope they’ll become active leaders and role models for other women in this field. 

Congratulations to this year’s Asia Pacific scholars: 


  • Anuradha Madugalla, Monash University
  • Brooke Krajancich, University Of Western Australia
  • Candice Bowditch, RMIT University
  • Eloise Macdonald-Meyer, RMIT University
  • Jinn Loo, University Of Western Australia
  • Johana Foster, RMIT University
  • Yali (Alice) Zhao, University Of Melbourne


  • Linqing Liu, TongJi University
  • Anqi Yang, TongJi University
  • Bei Chen, Tsinghua University
  • Sijie Song, Peking University
  • Zhenyi Li, Peking University
  • Yaxuan Wang, Harbin Institute Of Technology
  • Luyao Wang, East China Normal University
  • Qiying Dong, Nankai University
  • Yihao Wang, Zhejiang University

Hong Kong

  • Samira Niafar, Hong Kong University Of Science And Technology
  • Mikaela Angelina Uy, Swiss Federal Institute Of Technology
  • Fuk Yu Lung, University Of Hong Kong


  • Sneha Reddy Kudugunta, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
  • Ameesha Mittal, Birla Institute Of Technology And Science
  • Juhi Bhatnagar, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi
  • Drishti Wali, Indian Institute Of Technology, Kanpur
  • Diksha Rathi, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women
  • Zarana Parekh, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute Of Information & Communication
  • Arunima Sharma, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University 
  • Sree Divya Akula, Sree Nidhi Institute Of Science and Technology in Hyderabad
  • Akanksha Thareja, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi
  • Srishti Sengupta, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi
  • Soumya Sharma, Indraprastha Institute Of Information Technology
  • Ayushi Mrigen, Indian Institute Of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Sanya Khurana, Indira Gandhi Institute Of Technology
  • Meenakshi Narain Dhanani, Symbiosis Institute Of Computer Studies and Research
  • Nagashree S Bhatt, Birla Institute Of Technology (Deemed University)
  • Bhavana Jain,  Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad


  • Yuzu Saijo, University of Tokyo
  • Minori Inoue, University of Tokyo


  • Hyeonji Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology

New Zealand

  • Holly Ade-Simpson, Victoria University Of Wellington
  • Olivia Carline, Victoria University Of Wellington
  • Sarang Love Leehan, University Of Canterbury
  • Toni James, University Of Canterbury


  • Marium Rasheed, Lahore University Of Management Sciences


  • Rissa Grace Quindoz, De La Salle University, Manila


  • Bhavya Chandra, Nanyang Technological University
  • Jia Yee Lim, National University Of Singapore

Sri Lanka

  • Dinu Sandaru, University Of Moratuwa
  • Dilushi, University of Colombo School of Computing


  • Pin Chun Wang, National Tsing Hua University


  • Chonlathorn Kwankajornkiet, Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Anita Borg (1949–2003) was passionate about changing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. We’re proud to keep her memory alive through the Scholars Program. 

The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship has joined forces with Google’s Women Techmakers program to continue to honor Dr. Anita Borg and her legacy. Applications for the Women Techmakers Scholars Program for Asia Pacific will open in January 2017, so stay tuned for more details.


Celebrating Native American culture, past and present

Category: Google | Nov 18, 2016

As a member of the Cherokee Nation, I’ve always tried to stay connected to my heritage. It is important to me to reflect on our country’s Native history and culture and the lasting impact that the first North American peoples have had on our shared experience as Americans.

In my family, I’m the first generation to grow up completely off-reservation. Much of my early exposure to Native peoples and culture was through public education. Over the years, I’ve learned that Native history is more complicated than any single perspective can convey. And as a Googler, I’ve learned that access to information is key to understanding our world. That’s why this November, during Native American Heritage Month, we’re making it easier for teachers and students to learn about how modern-day Native communities live and think.

To celebrate Native culture and spread awareness about its richness and history, we’ve added several Google Expeditions that explore various aspects of Indian Country, allowing students all over the globe to learn about topics ranging from Southwest tribes to powwows to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Through Expeditions, students can virtually visit Crow Fair, often referred to as “The Teepee Capital of the World,” where 1,500 teepees line the banks of the Little Bighorn River in Montana. Through this virtual visit, they can experience traditional tribal dancing, a horse parade and a rodeo — all moments of celebration that help preserve Native American heritage.

Watch students experience the Native American traditions of Montana through Google Expeditions

Also, we’re releasing the first story on Native American culture on Google Arts & Culture, created in partnership with key institutions such as the U.S. Bureau of American Indian Affairs, Wyoming State Museum, and Pueblo Grande. From film to fashion, Native American culture has influenced all creative mediums — and through this Google Arts & Culture exhibit, students can learn about the lives and works of six different Native American artists.

Today on, we are also celebrating award-winning Native author James Welch. Welch spent his life and career writing poetry and fiction that gave readers a better understanding of modern Native Americans. On the Google Play Store, we’ve curated a list of books for Native American Heritage Month, including James Welch’s 1986 fiction novel, Fools Crow.

[edu] james-welch-blog.jpg

Today, our US users can see this Doodle celebrating the work of Native author James Welch

We hope that by making this content available today, and by adding content like this in the future, we will make it easier for teachers and students to understand our shared heritage and modern-day Native communities. They say that past is prologue: That’s especially true of the Native cultures that continue to inspire and shape our lives in the present and for the future.