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Announcing the winners of our Machine Learning Startup Competition

Category: Google | Jul 14, 2017

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On Wednesday, July 12, Google Cloud hosted the finals of its Machine Learning Startup Competition in San Francisco. Launched at Google Cloud Next ’17 with our sponsors Data Collective and Emergence Capital, the competition aimed to bring together the best early-stage startups implementing machine learning. According to Fei-Fei Li, Google Cloud Chief Scientist of AI/ML, “AI will change the way we live and work and it’s happening at a faster pace than most people think.” We received more than 350 applications from startups across the U.S. that are leveraging machine learning to improve healthcare, financial services, retail, IoT and many other sectors.

From this strong group, 10 finalists were selected to compete for investments and the “Built with Google” grand prize of $1 million GCP credits:

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At the event, finalists took the stage to share their technology and vision with our expert judges.

Finalists had just three minutes to pitch and three minutes of Q&A to convince the judges.  They also spoke to an audience of investors representing  over 40 of Silicon Valley’s top venture firms.

After careful deliberation and debate, judges selected the following winners:

Built with Google — Grand Prize Winner ($1M in GCP Credit) — PicnicHealth

PicnicHealth creates training data for precision medicine. By engaging patients directly they provide life sciences studies with complete, structured outcomes data for any patient, from any source. To date, PicnicHealth has collected and structured 500,000 records from 5,000 different health care facilities. Their current customers include 23andMe, the National Institute of Health, Stanford, Sanofi Genzyme, and Biogen. Already leveraging Google Container Engine (GKE) and BigQuery, they plan to use the $1M in GCP credit to scale their machine learning efforts on Cloud Machine Learning Engine, Cloud Vision API, and Genomics API.

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Congrats to the PicnicHealth Team

Built with Google Prize, Runner-Up ($500K in GCP Credit) – LiftIgniter

LiftIgniter is a machine learning personalization layer powering user interactions on every digital touchpoint. Built by the team behind YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, LiftIgniter runs their full stack on GCP. LiftIgniter’s customers include Vevo, Fandom, and Tableau.

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Adam Spector accepting LiftIgniter award

In addition, Data Collective and Emergence Capital selected two startups that are eligible to receive an investment of up to $500,000:

Data Collective Choice Winner — Brainspec

Emergence Capital Choice Winner — LiftIgniter

All remaining finalists will receive $200K in GCP credits and technical assistance from Google Cloud to support the next stages of their companies. We want to thank our sponsoring venture capital sponsors, DCVC and Emergence Capital, and our supporting sponsors A16Z, Greylock, KPCB, GV, NEA, Sequoia.

A special thanks to all the startups who traveled many miles and spent countless hours preparing to participate in the competition.

The competition is just one of the many ways Google is focusing on machine learning and startups. Gradient Ventures recently launched to fund early-stage startups focused on artificial intelligence.

For more information on the Google Cloud Startup Program, check out our website.

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

Hit the road with these trending summer destinations

Category: Google | Jul 14, 2017

We’re officially into summer vacation here in the U.S., which means it’s time to hit the road. We’ve collected the top destinations people are searching on Google Maps this summer, so you can find travel inspiration whether you want a hike, a city view or a ballgame. Take a peek at the top trending spots, and find the full lists of the top 15 destinations in three categories at the end of this post.

America the Beautiful

Fourth of July may be over, but you can take a trip through our country’s history with these top searched landmarks. Start with the Liberty Bell (#10 on our list) or the Statue of Liberty (#4), both symbols of American independence, then swing into the nation’s capital to see the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. Your next stop (covered wagon optional) might be the Gateway Arch, a monument to the country’s western expansion in the 19th century and a jumping off point into the Great Plains—Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, is a must-see at #1. Finally, you might visit the Hoover Dam, an icon of engineering constructed during the Great Depression, before making it to California to see the Hollywood Sign and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Landmarks

Find search your park

Go west. Though the list of top searched parks spans the country, only three are east of the Mississippi, with Yellowstone—America’s first national park—taking its fitting place at the top of the list. Geography aside, there seems to be a park for everyone’s taste. Many are searching for (literal) evergreen spots like Crater Lake National Park, Sequoia National Park and Muir Woods National Monument, where they can hit the trails under the cover of pines. Others are willing to brave the heat for a glimpse at stunning rock formations in Grand Canyon National Park or Arches National Park. There’s even an urban park—New York’s Central Park, obvi. And at #15 Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Fairfax, VA, you can even take in an opera or a performance by Blondie.

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Play ball!

Baseball season is in full, um, swing—which has people searching for a spot to catch the action, and maybe a fly ball. Ten of our top 15 most searched stadiums are Major League Baseball stadiums, with NYC spots Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ Citi Field leading the pack ahead of West Coast rival parks Dodger Stadium and the Giants’ AT&T Park. But the #1 searched stadium in the country isn’t a baseball field at all: It’s MetLife Stadium, which is home to summer concerts and events—like the International Champions Cup match between Juventus F.C and FC Barcelona—until the New York Jets and the New York Football Giants return for the start of NFL season.

Stadiums

Check out the full list of all the trending spots:

Landmarks

  1. Mount Rushmore
  2. Golden Gate Bridge
  3. Empire State Building
  4. Statue of Liberty
  5. The White House
  6. Space Needle
  7. Lombard St
  8. Hollywood Sign
  9. The Gateway Arch
  10. Liberty Bell
  11. Four Corners
  12. 9/11 Memorial
  13. Hoover Dam
  14. Lincoln Memorial
  15. General Sherman (Tree)

Parks

  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Crater Lake National Park
  3. Central Park
  4. Grand Canyon National Park
  5. Yosemite National Park
  6. Acadia National Park
  7. Sequoia National Park
  8. Glacier National Park
  9. Bryce Canyon National Park
  10. Redwood National and State Parks
  11. Devils Tower National Monument
  12. Muir Woods National Monument
  13. Lassen Volcanic National Park
  14. Arches National Park
  15. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Stadiums

  1. MetLife
  2. Yankee Stadium
  3. Dodger Stadium
  4. Citi Field
  5. AT&T Park
  6. SafeCo
  7. Arthur Ashe
  8. Coors Field
  9. Guaranteed Rate Field
  10. Soldier Field
  11. Angel Stadium
  12. Comerica Park
  13. Citizens Bank Park
  14. Kauffman Stadium
  15. Gillette Stadium

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/IUb-8KOX0ck/

Chasing Coral on Google Earth

Category: Google | Jul 14, 2017

Editor’s Note: Richard Vevers, Founder and CEO at the Ocean Agency, talks about his quest to protect our oceans and the underwater journey with Street View that led to “Chasing Coral,” a new Netflix documentary.

I am floating above a graveyard, millions of tiny skeletons below me. I am stunned, I am silent. I am witnessing a tragedy in progress. My camera clicks and whirrs, capturing a 360-degree picture of the devastation.

The graveyard was once a thriving coral reef, one of our planet’s most gorgeous and awe-inspiring marvels and home to thousands of species. Colorful corals growing in all shapes and sizes, clownfish peeking out of every anemone. Up above, manta rays and turtles swam in lazy circles, scattering the great glittering schools of tiny blue fish.

What happened? 

That’s the question “Chasing Coral” seeks to answer. The film, a Netflix original documentary released today, follows my crew of divers, photographers, and scientists on our quest to reveal what is killing our oceans … and how we can stop it.

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Underwater Street View imagery captured for “Chasing Coral”

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Underwater Street View imagery captured for “Chasing Coral”

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Underwater Street View imagery captured for “Chasing Coral”

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Underwater Street View imagery captured for “Chasing Coral”

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Underwater Street View imagery captured for “Chasing Coral”

“Chasing Coral” was born from a simple idea: If we could give people a personal, up-close look at how their oceans are being destroyed, they would want to protect them. For the past five years, we’ve been working with Google to make this happen. We created Underwater Street View, which lets people take virtual dives in some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. Now with Google Earth, you can splash around in the sparkling waters of a coral reef without even leaving the house.

From there, we set out to show people the great beauty of our coral reefs, as well as the terrible danger that threatens their existence. By collecting Underwater Street View, we found undeniable proof of climate change destruction in the ocean. Documented so spectacularly by Jeff Orlowski in “Chasing Coral,” the warning signs are unmistakable. The countdown has already begun.

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. Some coral reefs are less vulnerable to the rising water temperatures that have already killed so many others. This year we started the 50 Reefs to find these resilient reefs—the ones that with the greatest capacity to repopulate other reefs—so that we can bolster our efforts to protect the corals that still remain. In October we’ll announce a list of the reefs that could be pivotal for the future of the ocean, a list that can catalyze global action.

The release of “Chasing Coral” and the launch of 50 Reefs share two critical ideas: what happens to coral reefs affects every single person on Earth (even if they’re thousands of miles from the nearest coast); and, if we want to save the reefs, we need everyone to pitch in now.

There’s already been an outpouring of support for our work from philanthropic foundations like Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and Paul G. Allen Philanthropies. With their help, we’ve been able to launch an initiative that could make all the difference. We’ve got a lot of work yet to do, but we’re off to a promising start.

Now that “Chasing Coral” is free to stream on Netflix, I hope that you’ll watch it. I hope that you’ll feel the same wonder that I felt as a child when I slipped beneath the waves for the first time and found myself in an underwater paradise of beauty and color. I hope the film will both sadden and strengthen you. I hope you will spread the word.

Most of all, though, I hope you join the fight to save coral reefs. Please follow our story on Google Earth and support us at 50Reefs.org.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/mqUJjTeZ4zo/

Playing with light in this week’s #teampixel photos

Category: Google | Jul 13, 2017

Art can be found in unexpected places—a bubblegum pink building, the arc of a jellyfish’s swim, the reflection in the mirror of a river’s surface. In this week’s collection from Pixel photographers around the world, members of #teampixel have artfully captured photos that play with color, light and angles. Take a look:

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Left: @norbertszucs – a dappled pool dip in Charlotte, NC. Right: @khyatitrehan – eye-bending architecture in Valencia, Spain

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Left: @damien_do – talk about the EYE-full tower, amiright? Right: @neonstian – skateboarding on Mount Tam, CA

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@elevenphotographyma – cozy campfire on the North Shore, MA

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Left: @renatahaidlephoto – a cotton candy house in Cap Ferrat, France. Right: @exify – the famous Parachute Jump on Coney Island, NY

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Left: @dazzlemeant – a flamingo parade in Paris. Right: @hersh_a – ceiling fresco in Venice

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@therealblasiansensation – a jewel-colored lake in the Colorado mountains

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Left: @life.x.lex – reflections in primary colors in Alberta, Canada. Right: @thielsanne – electric jellyfish in San Francisco, CA

If you have a Pixel, don’t forget to add the #teampixel hashtag to your photos on Instagram—you might be featured!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/0WzNUg-4PGg/

Discover the latest music with New Release Radio on Google Play Music

Category: Google | Jul 13, 2017

Whether you’re relaxing at the beach or taking a road trip, Google Play Music delivers personalized music based on where you are and why you are listening.

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Discovering new music you’ll love should be easy, too. Starting this week, our latest feature—New Release Radio—will serve you new releases based on your personal tastes, so you can stay up to date with the freshest tunes.

The station uses machine learning to select singles and album releases from the past two weeks based on your listening history and musical preferences. It’s a really quick way to check out all-new music that’s tailored just for you.

As part of our global partnership with Samsung, we gathered feedback on New Release Radio from Samsung users through an early access program. The response has been great, and now we can’t wait for you to try it!

You can find New Release Radio throughout Google Play Music, or by searching for “New Release Radio.” The station is available to free radio listeners and subscribers globally and will be constantly updated with the latest new releases.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/oXzY7Gn5RBA/

Game of Thrones: The old Views and the new

Category: Google | Jul 13, 2017

Warning: This post is dark and full of spoilers.

Ned Stark always warned, “winter is coming.” The white raven confirmed that it’s finally here, and so is the season seven premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Fans have been waiting a year for the new season, but our watch hasn’t ended—the Street View team has been assembling a collection of “Game of Thrones” filming locations longer than Arya Stark’s kill list. As you prepare for the episodes to come, you can go back to the iconic places and scenes with the most famous families in the Seven Kingdoms: the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens.

We promised the Views, and a Googler always pays her debts:

The Starks and friends

  • Winterfell, home of the Stark family, is shot at Doune Castle in the Stirling district of central Scotland and at Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. Perhaps the dual Irish/Scottish influence is the reason for the Starks’ confusing accent?

  • One man’s best friend is another man’s House sigil. In the forest near Winterfell—shot in Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains—Ned Stark discovers a pack of six direwolves, each gifted to a Stark child. And as the saying goes, all dogs—or at least four of the Stark direwolves—go to heaven.

  • In the Frostfang Mountains—filmed in Höfðabrekka, Iceland—Qhorin Halfhand, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch expedition take Ygritte as their prisoner. And then we’ll wonder “will-they-won’t-they” about Jon and Ygritte for the next eight episodes.

  • … Until the cave, shot at the Grjótagjá cave in Iceland. Here Jon breaks his Night’s Watch vows and Ygritte wants to stay in the cave forever.

  • Braavos is home to the Iron Bank—which is filmed at St. Jacob Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia—as well as the House of Black and White, the temple dedicated to the Many-Faced God where Arya trains with Jaqen H’ghar. Hard to say how his team of face-shifters would cope in Street View’s world of Blurry Men.

  • Where the tall people come to fight. When Brienne and Podrick miraculously find Arya, Brienne can finally fulfill her promise to Catelyn Stark and bring Arya to safety—if she’s not out-foxed by the Hound. Three minutes of bloody battle were filmed over three days in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland.

  • In one of Bran Stark’s visions, Ned goes to the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains—filmed at The Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain—to rescue his sister Lyanna. Here we learn the truth about Jon Snow’s parentage (and that Ned has been rocking the same hairdo for 17 years).

  • Watch out, Westeros. Samwell Tarly—killer of White Walkers and best friend of the King in the North—is carrying a sword made of Valyrian steel and he’s training to become a maester at the Citadel Grand Library (filmed at the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants in Girona, Spain).

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Winterfell, filmed at Doune Castle in Scotland.

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Winterfell, filmed at Castle Ward Ireland.

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Forest near Winterfell, shot in Tollymore Forest Park, in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

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Frostfang Mountains are actually in Höfðabrekka, Iceland.

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Jon and Ygritte’s secret cave, shot Grjótagjá cave in Iceland.

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The Iron Bank of Braavos, filmed at St. Jacob Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia.

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Scene of Brienne’s fight with The Hound, Thingvellir National Park in Iceland.

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Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains, is actually the Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain.

Citadel Grand Library

Citadel Grand Library, filmed at Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants in Girona, Spain.


The Lannisters and their enemies

  • King’s Landing is the capital city of Westeros, home of the Iron Throne. The Targaryens had it, Jamie Lannister stabbed King Aerys in the back for it, and now everyone in the Seven Kingdoms is fighting for it. King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik, a medieval walled city in Croatia.

  • The Kingsroad stretches from the Wall down south to King’s Landing. We first heard of the Kingsroad when King Robert Baratheon traveled to Winterfell to ask Ned to be his Hand (before Cersei took Ned’s head). In one stretch of the Kingsroad—filmed at the “Dark Hedges” in Northern Ireland—Arya, disguised as a boy bound for the Night’s Watch, escapes from King’s Landing.

  • If the Green Gardens of King’s Landing had ears, they’d know more about the goings-on in the Seven Kingdoms than Lord Varys and his little birds. Many secretive strolls and sinister conversations happen in this garden, filmed in a small village about 20 minutes away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

  • Dragonstone Beach is lit. This is where Melisandre—the Lord-of-Light worshipping, Jon-Snow-reviving Red Woman—burns the Seven Idols of Westeros and Stannis Baratheon pulls a sword, Lightbringer, out of the flames (he’s ready for battle!). The scene is filmed at Downhill Strand, a beach in Northern Ireland.

  • While Cersei frets about the wellbeing of her daughter—shipped off to Dorne by her Uncle Tyrion—Myrcella is actually frolicking through the gorgeous Water Gardens of Dorne with her one true love Prince Trystane Martell. The Water Gardens are filmed at the Real Alcázar in Seville, Spain.

  • Shame, shame, shame. Just when you thought you’d never feel empathy for Cersei, she’s forced to serve her penance and walk naked through the street as people harass her, spit on her, and throw things at her. This iconic scene takes place on St. Dominic Street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik, a medieval walled city in Croatia.

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This stretch of the Kingsroad is called the “Dark Hedges” in Northern Ireland.

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The Green Gardens of King’s Landing are filmed in a small village about 20 minutes away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

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Dragonstone Beach is actually Downhill Strand, a beach in Northern Ireland.

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The Water Gardens of Dorne are filmed at the Real Alcázar in Seville, Spain.

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Cersei’s walk of shame takes place on St. Dominic Street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


Daenerys Targaryen, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons

  • Daenerys goes to the House of the Undying—filmed at Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik, Croatia—to take back her dragons who were stolen by Pyat Pree. When he attempts to bind her in chains, Daenerys orders her dragons to breathe fire, killing Pyat Pree and setting them free.

  • Varys and Tyrion explore The Long Bridge of Volantis on their way to Meereen. While in Volantis, Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont and taken to Daenerys, as Jorah’s last ditch effort to win her back. A bridge in Córdoba in Spain was used as a stand-in for the Long Bridge, but CGI was used to make the bridge look larger and to add buildings and markets atop it.

  • Boy declares love for girl by killing for sport in front of thousands of people. Boy saves girl from assailant by throwing a spear into his heart. Girl flies away on dragon. Poor Jorah (so much for that last ditch effort). All this action at the Arena of Meereen was filmed at the Bullring of Osuna in Seville, Spain.

  • At the beginning of the sixth season, Daenerys crosses the Dothraki Sea—filmed in Bardenas Reales, a desert in Northern Spain—after she’s captured by the Dothraki. They’re pretty fired up to take the Queen of Dragons back to their camp … maybe a little too fired up.

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The House of the Undying was filmed at Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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The Long Bridge of Volantis is a bridge in Córdoba in Spain.

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Arena of Meereen was filmed at the Bullring of Osuna in Seville, Spain.

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The Dothraki Sea was filmed in Bardenas Reales, a desert in Northern Spain.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/NQ8tGP1ZLm4/

After a "close call," a coding champion

Category: Google | Jul 13, 2017

Eighteen-year-old Cameroon resident Nji Collins had just put the finishing touches on his final submission for the Google Code-In competition when his entire town lost internet access. It stayed dark for two months.

“That was a really, really close call,” Nji, who prefers to be called Collins, tells the Keyword, adding that he traveled to a neighboring town every day to check his email and the status of the contest. “It was stressful.”

Google’s annual Code-In contest, an effort to introduce teenagers to the world of open source, invites high school students from around the world to compete. It’s part of our mission to encourage and inspire the next generation of computer scientists, and in turn, the contest allows these young people to play a role in building real technologies.

Over the course of the competition, participants complete open-source coding and design “tasks” administered by an array of tech companies like Wikimedia and OpenMRS. Tasks range from editing webpages to updating databases to making videos; one of Collins’ favorites, for example, was making the OpenMRS home page sensitive to keystrokes. This year, more than 1,300 entrants from 62 countries completed nearly 6,400 assignments.

While Google sponsors and runs the contest, the participating tech organizations, who work most closely with the students, choose the winners. Those who finish the most tasks are named finalists, and the companies each select two winners from that group. Those winners are then flown to San Francisco, CA for an action-packed week involving talks at the Googleplex in Mountain View, office tours, segway journeys through the city, and a sunset cruise on the SF Bay.

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The 2017 Code-In winners

“It’s really fun to watch these kids come together and thrive,” says Stephanie Taylor, Code-In’s program manager. “Bringing together students from, say, Thailand and Poland because they have something in common: a shared love of computer science. Lifelong friendships are formed on these trips.”

Indeed, many Code-In winners say the community is their main motivator for joining the competition. “The people are what brought me here and keep me here,” says Sushain Cherivirala, a Carnegie Mellon computer science major and former Code-In winner who now serves as a program mentor. Mentors work with Code-In participants throughout the course of the competition to help them complete tasks and interface with the tech companies.

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Code-In winners on the Google campus

Code-In also acts as an accessible introduction to computer science and the open source world. Mira Yang, a 17-year-old from New Jersey, learned how to code for the first time this year. She says she never would have even considered studying computer science further before she dabbled in a few Code-In tasks. Now, she plans to major in it.

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Code-in winners Nji Collins and Mira Yang

“Code-In changed my view on computer sciences,” she says. “I was able to learn that I can do this. There’s definitely a stigma for girls in CS. But I found out that people will support you, and there’s a huge network out there.”

That network extended to Cameroon, where Collins’ patience and persistence paid off as he waited out his town’s internet blackout. One afternoon, while checking his email a few towns away, he discovered he’d been named a Code-In winner. He had been a finalist the year prior, when he was the only student from his school to compete. This year, he’d convinced a handful of classmates to join in.

“It wasn’t fun doing it alone; I like competition,” Collins, who learned how to code by doing his older sister’s computer science homework assignments alongside her, says. “It pushes me to work harder.”

Learn more about the annual Code-In competition.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/U27g0kcsQd0/

Reserve with Google: Summer bookin’, happens so fast

Category: Google | Jul 13, 2017

Whether you’re headed to a backyard barbecue or an all-day beach party, Google is here to help you get ready. Starting today, you can book appointments at spas and salons across the U.S. on Google. So that fresh haircut or palm tree-green mani is only a couple taps away.

To get started, find your favorite salon or spa on Google Maps or Search and look for the “book” button on the business listing. You can also visit the Reserve with Google site to browse recommendations for businesses you never knew were just around the corner.  

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This feature is made possible through partnerships with the top scheduling providers you might already use, including Genbook, SalonRunner, Rosy, Yocale and WellnessLiving. And soon we’ll be adding many more, including Booksy, Envision, MyTime, Schedulicity, Setmore, Shore, SimpleSpa, SuperSalon and TimeTrade.  

You can already book fitness classes with Google right from Search and Maps–and you can expect to find more types of bookable services in the future–so look forward to even more help crossing things off your to-do list.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/0JdEHgF7rwE/

Introducing Backup and Sync for Google Photos and Google Drive

Category: Google | Jul 12, 2017

You probably keep your most important files and photos in different places—your computer, your phone, various SD cards, and that digital camera you use from time to time. It can be a challenge to keep all these things safe, backed up, and organized, so today we’re introducing Backup and Sync. It’s a simpler, speedier and more reliable way to protect the files and photos that mean the most to you. This new tool replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac/PC.

Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they’re no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Backup and Sync works for both Google Photos (download) and Google Drive (download).

For more details on how Backup and Sync works, visit the Help Center. If you’re a G Suite customer, head on over to the G Suite Updates blog to better understand the desktop applications available to your organization.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/GWlh1jMi7e8/

Keep up with the Tour—or create your own—with Search and Maps

Category: Google | Jul 12, 2017

The 104th edition of cycling’s most famous Grand Tour is well underway, with nearly 200 riders from around the world racing through 3,540 kilometers of the French countryside for the coveted yellow jersey. We’ve made a few tune-ups to Google Search to help you keep up with every stage of the Tour. And if the grueling mountain climbs inspire rather than intimidate you, hit the road on your own two wheels with Google Maps biking directions as your guide.

Now globally on the Google app for Android and iOS and the mobile web, when you search for Tour de France (or a similar query) on Google, you’ll see detailed information about the race and athletes as well as see the latest news stories. Most notably, you’ll also see the current standings of the race, which show jersey holders along with stage-by-stage results. As an added bonus, you’ll also have access to real-time update posts from the Tour de France directly in the search results.

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Not everyone has the chance to make that triumphant roll down the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Lucky for us mere mortals, Google Maps makes it easy to find the best bike routes to let our inner cyclist shine—or just get from point A to point B.

To get bike directions on Google Maps, just enter your destination and tap on the bike icon. We give route suggestions based on the availability of dedicated bike trails in the area, and when possible we prioritize those routes. In case you’re not aiming to be “King of the Mountain,” we factor in variables like hills as well as size of the road, availability of bike lanes, and number of turns.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to map out your own path, the bike layer will show color-coded routes according to their suitability for biking: dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only or multi-use trail; lighter green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road; and a dotted green line indicates roads that don’t have bike lanes but tend to be more suitable for biking. To turn on the bike layer, tap the button above the compass icon and then tap the bike icon (on iOS) or open the main menu and then tap the bike icon (on Android).

Now grab your helmet, pump up your tires, and hit those hills!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/mdZZh6CmZNw/