News > Google
Category: Google | May 15, 2012
If you’re anything like me, you send and receive a lot of emails every day. But have you ever wondered where your message goes after you hit “send?” How does an email travel from your computer to your friend’s smartphone across the country or around the world?
We’re answering those questions with Story of Send, a new site that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how all that virtual information makes its journey through the real world—from your Internet service provider to our data centers and beyond. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from where we filter for spam and scan for viruses to how we’re minimizing our impact on the environment through energy efficiency and renewable power.
We’ve included videos and photos throughout the journey so you can explore certain areas more deeply. For example, if you’re curious what data center servers look like, we’ve included some photos. Or you can watch a video to learn about how we purchase clean energy from wind farms near our data centers. And because technology doesn’t always have to be serious, you might find a vampire or two lurking around or uncover other surprises on the journey.
In the past, Gmail fans have shown us how emails connect people across the world. Now we’re providing a glimpse into how those emails go from one place to another. So hit send and start the journey today.
Posted by Erin Reilly, Google Green team
Category: Google | May 15, 2012
Whether you’re a marketer in Milan or a planner in Pretoria, you can now get your hands on more Google research and tools to help you better understand your audience and how consumer behavior is changing. Our Think Insights website has just expanded to cover 21 different countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Think Insights can help you understand your customers better, develop your digital strategy, find data to support a business case, stay on top of the latest consumer and industry trends and get insights directly from industry thought leaders. Here are just a few examples of what you can do on the updated site:
- Access our research library of studies and whitepapers from across 21 different countries. You can search for research by country, sector, marketing objective or media type.
- Use the Insights MENA tool to explore the media habits of consumers in the Middle East and North Africa, or do the same for consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa with our Insights Africa tool.
- Watch new videos on the consumer journey, with information on behaviors such as “research online, purchase offline” (ROPO).
Visit Think Insights to see how the site can help you, and follow Think with Google on Google+ for ongoing updates.
Posted by Eileen Munnelly, Director Large Customer Marketing and Insights, EMEA
Category: Google | May 10, 2012
These days, moms use technology in a ton of creative and resourceful ways to keep their families running smoothly. As a working mom myself, I use Google Calendar to keep track of our three busy kids and all their different activities, sports and schools. Technology also keeps us connected—I’m always amazed at how a Google+ Hangout between my kids in California and their grandparents in France can make the distance between them feel so small.
In celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend, we thought we’d applaud the many tech-savvy super-moms out there by sharing a few of their stories.
Heather Fay, using Google+ to make her dream a reality
Heather, from New Haven, Conn., is a stay-at-home mom of two who has always had a passion for music and performing. Until recently, her music career took a backseat to her responsibilities at home, but when she signed up for Google+ in 2011, she realized she could find an audience using Hangouts—without stepping foot outside of her home. Now Heather can sing and play her guitar for people, no matter where they live in the world. Between changing diapers and cleaning up spilled cereal, she’s on Google+ engaging with more than 13,000 fans, collaborating with other musicians on an epic live concert and sharing the occasional mommy woes. You can find out more about her music on Google Play, where you can also hear a tribute to her daughter called “Ruby’s Song.”
Sarah Stocker, bringing robots to life with Chrome
Sarah, from San Francisco, is the co-founder of My Robot Nation, a Chrome web app that lets you create a unique robot online, then have it printed in full-color 3D and mailed to your door. When developing My Robot Nation, Sarah employed some of the most advanced web technologies, such as WebGL, to bring the 3D experience to the browser; however, making the app easy for people to use was paramount. Enter Sarah’s 10-year-old son Max. He designed the first robot and was My Robot Nation’s first “customer.” The fact that Max could create something online and then hold it in his hands made Sarah feel like the coolest mom ever—and he’s already told her that he wants to be an inventor, just like her.
Carol Galland Wildey and Danielle Yates, founders of Headcovers Unlimited
Almost 25 years ago, at the age of 40, Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer. After losing her hair due to chemotherapy treatments, she and her daughter Danielle realized how few options there were to help cancer patients look and feel like themselves throughout their treatment. In 1994, she and Danielle started Headcovers Unlimited, selling hats, wigs and scarves for patients with hair loss. Danielle helped take the business online in 1995, launching www.headcovers.com. Based in League City, Tex., the Internet helps them reach women in more than 60 countries; and more than half their customers have come through online advertising with AdWords.
Betty Givan, preserving family recipes with YouTube
For years, Betty has been cataloguing and saving family recipes to pass along to her own daughter. At first, she used a scrapbook of recipe cards, but one day, while making nachos for a football game, she decided to make a video of the process and asked her daughter to film it. Soon, she was filming and posting her favorites on a YouTube channel and today, it’s become her full-time business from her Richmond, Ky. home. With more than 1,100 videos of her southern cooking recipes and 16 million video views, Betty has become a mom to people all around the world.
Karen Castelletti, Googler reunited with her birth mother using Google Search
Not only can search help you find what you’re looking for, it can also help you reconnect with the people you care about. Karen grew up knowing she was adopted, and always thought it would be too difficult to find and connect with her birth parents. Then, when she was 22, she received a message from her birth mom, Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen found Karen’s name through public birth records, and used Google Search to find one of Karen’s social networking profiles. They reconnected in time for Mary Ellen to watch Karen graduate from college alongside her adoptive parents, and today they speak regularly.
I hope the stories of these super-moms have inspired you to use technology in ways that keep you connected, organized and creative, so you can spend more time doing the things that matter—having fun with your kids!
Posted by Francoise Brougher, Vice President of SMB Sales and Operations and proud mom of three young boys
Category: Google | May 10, 2012
Cross-posted from the European Public Policy Blog
We’re eager to see journalism flourish in the digital age, in all forms and on all continents. Today, with half a dozen other generous sponsors, we’re taking a big step forward with a new $1 million African News Innovation Challenge.
This initiative is the latest in a series of projects to spur innovation in African journalism. Since 2010 we’ve been working with newsrooms across the continent to show journalists how the Internet can help them be better reporter. In Ghana we’re helping journalists produce evidence-based reporting on the country’s new oil wealth; in Senegal we gave journalists training on election reporting, and in Kenya we helped pioneer Africa’s first data journalism boot camp. Participants produced eight separate data-driven stories or news apps, including a TV documentary that exposed the plight of rural schools and an analysis of government spending at county level that has been nominated for an international award.
Now, we’re looking for even more innovations aimed at strengthening and transforming African news media. The News Innovation Challenge will provide grants ranging from $12,500 to $100,000 for project proposals falling into four categories: news gathering, storytelling, audience engagement and the business of news. Proposals can include ideas that improve everything from data-based investigative journalism and crowdsourced citizen reporting, to new ways of distributing news on mobile platforms, or new revenue models that help wean media off a reliance on advertising. In addition to cash grants, winners will receive technical, business development and marketing advice.
The African Media Initiative, Africa’s largest association of media owners and operators, is running the Challenge. Other partners include Omidyar Network, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the U.S. State Department, the Konrad Adenhauer Stiftung and the World Association of Newspapers & News Producers.
Entries must be submitted to this website by midnight Central African Time on July 10, 2012. While news pioneers from anywhere in the world are welcome, all entries must have an African partner that will help develop and test the innovation. Entries will be judged by an international jury, and finalists will get a chance to refine their proposals during one-on-one mentoring sessions at a “tech camp” in Zanzibar in August 2012.
The winners will be announced at the Africa’s largest gathering of media owners and executives, at the Africa Media Leaders Forum, in Ivory Coast in November 2012.
We’re also active in promoting digital journalism outside of Africa, such as supporting the Nordic News Hacker, the Global Editor Network’s data journalism prize and International Press Institute media innovation prizes. As media organizations continue to adapt to the new digital world, we’re committed to working with journalists to help them use technologies to gather and tell important stories.
Julie Taylor, Head of Communications, Sub Saharan Africa
Category: Google | May 9, 2012
In the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner and U.S. National Travel & Tourism Week, recognized every year in May, officially marks the start of the biggest travel season of the year in the United States. Here are a few quick tips from us to make planning, traveling and sharing your summer adventures a bit easier.
Plan flights and hotels with just a few clicks: Flight Search & Hotel Finder
Left: Flight Search, Right: Hotel Finder
Begin your trip by finding, comparing and booking domestic or international flights from the U.S with Flight Search. Search for airports or cities, e.g., [flights to JFK] or [flights to New York City], at google.com and flight results will immediately appear below. Select the time and price that work best for you or click “more results” to further filter your search.
You can use our Hotel Finder experiment to find your perfect hotel based on price, time, proximity to landmarks and user images and reviews. As you glance over specific hotels, add the ones you might be interested in to your own personal shortlist. Click the red “Book” button to go ahead and make the reservation.
Live like the locals: Maps, Translate and Goggles
Left and center: Know where you are and find offers near you with Google Maps, Right: Know how to ask with Google Translate
If you’re in need of a local guide, Google Maps for Android can help. Find driving, transit, walking and biking directions, voice-guided navigation and nearby places to eat, shop and play. We just added a few more improvements to the app, including walking directions for indoor maps (U.S. and Japan) and Google Offers near you (U.S. only) so you can discover great deals on the go. Street View technology is also taking you indoors on your mobile—view interiors of participating businesses and museums so you know what to expect before your visit. And of course, you can always use the Street View feature in Google Maps to preview vacations spots around the world, from public landmarks and gardens to amusement parks, zoos and other popular attractions that have partnered with us to get their locations online.
If you’re traveling to a region where you don’t speak the language, use the Google Translate app to bargain with a local vendor or tell a taxi driver where you need to go. You’ve also got Google Goggles at your disposal—one click and you’ll know exactly what you are ordering on a menu. Get it for both your Android and iOS devices.
Keep your memories, even if you lose your device: Google+ Instant Upload
Your photos from your phone get uploaded instantly to Google+, ready to share.
The Instant Upload feature, part of the Google+ app on Android and iOS, ensures that any photo snapped along the way will be instantly saved to the cloud for safekeeping in a private album, no matter what happens to your phone. Once uploaded it’s easy to go into your Google+ photos via the mobile app or your computer, view photos “From Phone” and then easily choose to share to the circles you want. In the case above, I took some sunrise pictures, sorted them on my computer when I got back from my trip and then shared them with my family (if you’re wondering how I shot that panorama above, here’s a tip—if you have the latest Android operating system you can take beautiful panorama pictures by clicking panoramic mode).
For a live, firsthand look at how you can use Google to plan your summer vacation, join us for a Hangout on Air at 10:30am PT tomorrow, Thursday, May 10, on the Google +page. We’ll have some in-house experts on hand to show you how to use Google to take your dream vacation.
Of course, we don’t want to make it too easy on you. Part of the joy of traveling is being adventurous and encountering the unexpected. We hope these tools help make your travels more informed and enjoyable, without losing the thrill of spontaneity or that hidden gem you may find when you take a wrong turn. Bon voyage!
Posted by Dave Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps
Category: Google | May 9, 2012
Sharing is deeply sensory. From cooking a favorite meal to getting together with friends, it’s the smells and the stories and the smiles that make human connections so essential. With Google+ we want to extend these moments online, so it’s only right to focus on the most personal of personal computers: your mobile phone.
To be clear, we’re not interested in a mobile or social experience that’s just smaller. We’re embracing the sensor-rich smartphone (with its touchable screen and high-density display), and transforming Google+ into something more intimate, and more expressive. Today’s new iPhone app is an important step in this direction—toward a simpler, more beautiful Google.
A feast for the eyes
Full-bleed photos and videos are cool. But you know what’s really cool? Content so immersive it remakes your mobile device into a rich carousel of beloved memories and breaking news. That’s the Google+ experience we aspire to, and today’s release helps us get closer:
- Whether you post photos or articles or text, we’re making ‘em look gooood
- We’re adding crisper fonts, larger profile pics and a friendlier homescreen
- We’re making the stream easier to scan, and easier on the eyes with overlays, gradients and other visual elements
A stream you can swim in
Looks alone aren’t enough—you also need an app that’s fast and fluid. Even a simple swipe gesture can inspire the same “wheeee!” as the bubble wands and ball pits we enjoy(ed) as kids. So today’s update pays special attention to fun and performance:
- Conversations fall into view as you move forward and backward in time
- Optical cues (like parallax) help the mind linger on individual posts
- Important actions like +1 now float atop the stream, making it easy to endorse all your favorites
The end result—we hope—is an app that brings you closer to the people you care about, and the stuff you’re into; an app with sense and soul. But please, give it a go and let us know what you think. The iPhone update is rolling out now to the App Store (version 188.8.131.5288), and the Android update is coming in a few weeks (with a few extra surprises).
Selected screenshots from today’s mobile update
Posted by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President
Category: Google | May 8, 2012
For the last three months, the NewMe Accelerator class of spring 2012 has been fully immersed in the entrepreneurial process. The NewMe “founders” have been busy working long days at The Hub in San Francisco and living together in a house nearby. The goal: to develop, design and launch new startup companies.
Last week these NewMe founders held their demo day in the Google San Francisco office, where they presented the fruits of their efforts—seven brand new companies—to an audience of more than 100 investors, entrepreneurs and supporters.
This is the second year of NewME, a program designed by founder and CEO Angela Benton to be an accelerator in Silicon Valley for minority-led startups from around the country. We’ve been delighted to participate in and sponsor both seasons.
Some NewME products have already launched in beta and are live in market. Founder Naithan Jones of AgLocal has 20 farms using the beta version of his Local Meat Lovers Service, which is running in his hometown of Kansas City and in the Bay Area. Similarly, Butlr, Ubi, Helpr, Kairos, Citizen Made and PictureMENU have all hit the ground running. In addition, the reach of NewME has gone beyond Silicon Valley. Through NewMe Communities entrepreneurs all across the U.S. have been getting together monthly to share stories and support.
Google supports NewMe as part of our Google for Entrepreneurs and Accelerate with Google programs, which help minority-owned and underrepresented small businesses use online tools to grow. We are committed to supporting diversity in entrepreneurship through great programs like NewMe, and we’re excited to continue working together to ensure diversity of perspectives, talent and experiences within the tech community.
Posted by Mary Himinkool, Head of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach
Category: Google | May 8, 2012
One of the best parts of my job working on the Google Education team has been hearing inspiring stories time and again of great teachers who build strong relationships with and bring out the best in their students. We recognize that there are many factors that can impact a student’s ability to learn, and that technology can be a valuable assistant in overcoming educational barriers, but that it’s really teachers, not technology, who help students realize their full potential. In honor of National Teacher Day today in the U.S., we wanted to showcase a few amazing stories of dedicated teachers who have shown us how they used technology to make learning magical for their students.
At Eastfield Global Magnet School in North Carolina, seventh-grade teacher Elaine Waters was looking for a way to help a student of hers named Malachi, who struggled when it came to putting pen to paper. Elaine decided to have Malachi try using a Chromebook to write—watch what happened below:
Across the country at Xavier College Prep in Arizona, beloved history teacher Gina Nunez had to take a medical leave of absence. With her students panicking over their final exam, Gina found a way to help them study from afar:
We’ll be posting more of these stories on our Google in Education +page and encourage you to share your stories in the comments. We’re always eager to hear about excellent educators who have used technology in ways small and large to make a difference in the lives of students. If you’re interested in learning about more ways to integrate technology in school, you can watch recordings from our first Education On Air conference, a free education technology conference held entirely online from our Google in Education page last week. Watch the sessions on our YouTube channel.
Thanks to all the creative teachers out there who find a way to spark each student’s passion—we hope to hear more stories from you soon.
Posted by Cristin Frodella, Group Marketing Manager, Google Education
Category: Google | May 7, 2012
Last year we introduced Hangouts On Air to a limited number of broadcasters, enabling them to go live with friends and fans, for all the world to see. Since then, this small community has grown the feature in lots of creative ways. And they’ve made one thing crystal clear: when groups of passionate individuals can broadcast live, together, the results are truly remarkable:
Today we’re excited to launch Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide. So if you have something to say—as an aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen—you can now go live in front of a global audience. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to:
- Broadcast publicly. By checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” you can broadcast your live hangout—from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website—to the entire world.
- See how many viewers you’ve got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live.
- Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, we’ll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it’s easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it’s over.
Of course, launching millions of live stations takes some doing, so we’re rolling out Hangouts On Air gradually, over the next few weeks. In the meantime you can save the date for an upcoming hangout…
… sign in to Google+ to see what’s live right now, or find inspiration in the many broadcasts that have already aired.
|A news van for everyone. KOMU-TV anchor +Sarah Hill invited locals to share live coverage of the recent protests in Montreal; Fox 11 LA anchor +Maria Quiban invites viewers to join her on Good Day LA.
||Town halls with today’s leaders. President +Barack Obama, Governor +Mitt Romney, UN Secretary-General +Ban Ki-moon, and many others have connected with citizens via hangout.
|Live concerts from your living room. Musical artists like +Suite 709 and +Daria Musk perform live for those inside the hangout, and for everyone else tuning in.
||Classes anyone can attend. Chef +Larry Fournillier, Professor +Noah Diffenbaugh, and +FAWN share their cooking, climate change and fashion expertise, respectively, via hangout.
|Roundtables about any topic. Photographer +Trey Ratcliff,
|soccer football enthusiast +Sabotage Times and celebrity trend spotter +Young Hollywood talk about the issues they find interesting. |Face-to-face meetups with all of your favorites. +David Beckham, the +Miami Hurricanes, +Tyra Banks, the +Indianapolis Colts and +Geek & Sundry have all enjoyed meet-and-greets with their fans.
We can’t wait to see what you’ll share with the world.
Posted by Chee Chew, Engineering Director
Category: Google | May 2, 2012
You probably hear terms like “the cloud” or “cloud computing” being used a lot these days. While the idea of the cloud may seem abstract, many things you already do on your computer and smartphone today, such as email, photo sharing and video streaming, are made possible by the cloud.
At the heart of it, Google is about cloud computing—helping people live online and get things done in the cloud. Whether you need to add “milk” to a shared shopping list from the train, collaborate with your teammate back in the office to finish your presentation from a hotel lobby, or chat face-to-face with your mom from halfway around the world, we believe that getting stuff done in the cloud is a better way. We like to call it “going Google.”
We’ve built cloud-based tools like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs to help you connect and collaborate online with others more quickly and easily, without having to deal with the hassles and frustrations of installing and managing traditional software. Last week’s launch of Google Drive is the next step: Google Drive brings together many Google services—documents, spreadsheets, images and more—all in one place so you can easily create, collaborate, and share in real-time. Files are saved automatically, and friends, teammates, roommates, families and co-workers can do things together—even when they’re not. If you haven’t already tried it, Google Drive is a great place to start going Google.
Today, hundreds of millions of people, including 16 million students and teachers at 66 of the top 100 U.S. universities, employees at more than 4 million businesses worldwide including Burberry, Costco and National Geographic (and maybe even your 13-year-old daughter and her entire soccer team) have all already gone Google.
If you’re going Google to build a company, great. If you write your grand opus poem, even better. If you have to turn a project around from different time zones overnight, awesome. And if you video-chat with grandma while you do—well, that’s just showing off.
So go on. See what it’s like to get stuff done and go Google.
Posted by Venkat Panchapakesan, VP Engineering