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Celebrating five years at Campus Tel Aviv (and many more to go)

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

Five years ago Campus Tel Aviv opened its doors. It’s a hub to support Israel’s strong and growing startup community, where entrepreneurs from different walks of life and at different stages of their journey can come together to learn, share and connect.  

And connect they have. Our members have hosted over 3,200 events with more than 250,000 participants, met with distinguished guests including the President and Prime Minister of Israel, and used Campus as a platform to empower their own communities and build ambitious new companies.

Startups like Syte.AI, SaferVPN and Veed.me have come to Campus to learn from Googlers and get help taking their businesses global. Tal Gadot, Omer Kenet and Tomer Mesika of RapidUI joined Tel Aviv’s Campus Experts Summit in 2017. They sought help to launch their website builder and, after two weeks of working with Google mentors from the U.S., they decided to change their positioning and shift the focus of their go-to-market strategy, with great success.

We’ve worked hard over the last five years to support underrepresented entrepreneurs and create a more inclusive startup ecosystem. For example, women make up around 40 percent of participants in our education programs and we heard from many women who were on maternity leave that they would love to fulfill their dream of starting a business. So we created Campus for Moms, where mothers can bring their babies to work. We’ve expanded this program to our fellow Campuses in London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Madrid and Warsaw. We’ve also helped support other community programs through marketing, free space and mentoring, such as She Codes, a women’s coding bootcamp, which has grown from 10 members to more than 16,000.

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A participant of the Campus for Moms program takes part in a mentoring session.

We also created APPlicable, a program that helps startups make their mobile apps more accessible to people with disabilities. We connected more than 50 startups with groups of people with disabilities, who tested the app and provided feedback on the app’s accessibility. Through this program, a product lead at Fiverr realized how parts of their app were difficult to navigate using voice-over and incorporated recommendations from a tester. We’re looking forward to bringing the APPlicable program and our learnings to our other Campuses around the world in the coming months.

Nearly every day we hear about Israeli entrepreneurs building exciting new technologies that can have a positive impact on the world. We’ll continue to support the startup community in Israel; later this year Campus Tel Aviv is moving to a larger location, and we’re also bringing on board a Head of Campus to lead our efforts there. I’m also excited to lead a number of new programs, both at our expanded space and globally.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far! Here’s to the next five years, and the great stories and successful companies that we’ll create together.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ESpZM6smqAI/

The next billion users are the future of the internet

Category: Google | Feb 14, 2018

In the late 1990s, I moved from Delhi to Stanford for a master’s degree in computer science. Getting off the plane in San Francisco, I was ecstatic about the amazing computing power, lightning-fast internet and easy access to knowledge available at an American university. Back home, most people across Asia could only get online at an internet café or over dial-up modems, and internet speeds weren’t great. Computing power was still a luxury.

Today more than 3 billion people, more than half of them in Asia, own smartphones—devices many times more powerful than those top-of-the-line workstations at Stanford I was so excited to use. But despite this huge shift, many of us in the tech industry often find ourselves stuck in a previous way of thinking, where we assume that “computing” is something that starts with the privileged few in places like Silicon Valley and trickles down slowly to everyone else.

This isn’t just an old idea, but one that has become completely wrong.

The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users—the latest generation of internet users to come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. As time goes on, the average internet user will be more like these “next billion users” than the first billion who started on PCs. That means we need to look not at Silicon Valley or London but to places like Sao Paulo, Bangalore, Shanghai, Jakarta and Lagos to truly understand where the internet is going.

The next billion users are already changing the internet in three key ways: a mobile-only mindset, an instinct for ubiquitous computing, and a demand for localized content.

First, let’s start with the mobile-only mindset. Most of the next billion users have never used a PC and may never use one. They don’t think of the internet as something you access with a mouse and a keyboard. A computer is not a terminal where you type in queries. A computer is a smartphone, and it also doubles up as a television, a wallet, a classroom, and a portal for government services. Their expectations on how mobile apps should work is also completely different. When building our India-first, mobile payment app Tez, for example, we focused the app around “people and conversations” rather than the financial features, to reflect familiarities with chat apps. All successful global apps in the future will need to speak the universal design language of people who grew up on mobile phones rather than PCs.

This brings me to the second point: ubiquitous computing. This means having natural interactions with a computer that can hear, see and understand—for example, asking “Do I need an umbrella today in Delhi?” rather than typing “Delhi weather forecast.”

Because the breakthroughs that make ubiquitous computing possible rely on cutting-edge work in artificial intelligence, we tend to think that advances will start in the most prosperous parts of the world and expand from there. But we’ve found with the Google Assistant, for example, that the next billion users adopt cutting-edge technology astonishingly quickly. Since we launched the Google Assistant on the first feature phone in December, the Reliance JioPhones, usage of the Assistant in India has grown six times over the past four weeks. This isn’t just due to many semi-literate or illiterate users, but also the fact that typing is difficult for people who never grew up with a computer keyboard. The next billion users will be the first to truly embrace ubiquitous computing, expecting apps to work in a natural way rather than having to learn all the artificial commands that we did on PCs.

Which brings me to the third way the internet is changing: local languages. There are estimates that web content is more than 50 percent English. Hindi, the #4 language in terms of global speakers, is not even in the top 30 languages for web content. And in countries like India, the generation coming online now is more comfortable in their native language than in English, and so language can be a big blocker to expanding internet access.

You should not have to learn English to use the internet. The next billion users expect more content in their languages. And video is turning out to be the medium where they create and enjoy this content. Anyone can turn on a camera, share stories in their own tongue, and find huge audiences online. YouTube has seen an explosion of non-English content, such as the Telugu film channel TeluguOne, with 1.8 billion views. Going forward, we believe the demand for local content will reverse the language imbalance, leading to an internet more inclusive of the entire world’s language diversity.

At Google, we build technology with these three insights in mind—and we find that they don’t just help the next billion users, but the first billion as well. For example, the Google Maps team built Maps Offline for motorists in India who could not afford the data for navigation while they drive, but now the feature is used across the world, from commuters going through lots of tunnels to tourists visiting a new country.

For a long time, we talked of a “responsibility” to make our technology work for the next billion users. But as the internet follows their lead, serving people in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria has become necessary for companies that want to stay at the cutting edge of consumer innovation, and the future. The next billion users are not becoming more like us. We are becoming more like them.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/3ya_V9tmjyE/

With love, from your Google Assistant

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

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No matter how you like to spend your Valentine’s Day—with romantic gestures or like any other Wednesday—the Google Assistant is here to help you celebrate and have some fun. Just say …

  • Hey Google, serenade me
  • Hey Google, will you be my Valentine?
  • Hey Google, tell me a love story
  • Hey Google, I’m single
  • Hey Google, I hate Valentine’s Day

So happy Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or Wednesday to you and yours!

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

The browser for a web worth protecting

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

The web is an incredible asset. It’s an engine for innovation, a platform for sharing, and a universal gateway to information. When we built Chrome, we wanted to create a way for people to interact with the magic that is the web, without the browser getting in the way. We created a browser that took up minimal space on your screen, made the omnibar so you could quickly search or get directly to a website, and built our pop-up blocker to help you avoid unwanted content. Since then we’ve also added features such as Safe Browsing, pausing autoplay Flash and more—all aimed at protecting your experience of the web.

Your feedback has always played a critical part in the development of Chrome. This feedback has shown that a big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can’t seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose—connecting them to content and information. It’s clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web. That’s why starting on February 15, Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they’ve been flagged. 

To determine which ads not to show, we’re relying on the Better Ads Standards from the the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the experience of the ads we see on the web. It’s important to note that some sites affected by this change may also contain Google ads. To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate—even for us.

The web is an ecosystem composed of consumers, content producers, hosting providers, advertisers, web designers, and many others. It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system. We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive. By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today.

We believe these changes will not only make Chrome better for you, but also improve the web for everyone. The web is a vital part of our day-to-day. And as new technologies push the web forward, we’ll continue working to build a better, more vibrant ecosystem dedicated to bringing you only the best experiences.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/D0qYzl2El1Y/

Bringing the power of AMP to Gmail

Category: Google | Feb 13, 2018

For the past few years, we’ve worked to make mobile pages load faster through an open-source framework called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP started as an effort to help publishers, but as its capabilities have expanded over time, it’s now one of the best ways to build rich webpages. With this came the opportunity to modernize one of the most popular places where people spend their time: email.

Today, we’re bringing the power of AMP to email through the Gmail Developer Preview of “AMP for Email.” This new spec will be a powerful way for developers to create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences.

For example, imagine you could complete tasks directly in email. With AMP for Email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message. Many people rely on email for information about flights, events, news, purchases and beyond—more than 270 billion emails are sent each day! AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it.

Companies like Pinterest, Booking.com and Doodle are developing new experiences for consumers using AMP for Email, and we’re excited to see what others will do soon.

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    Browse and save your favorite items in Pinterest
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    View hotel rooms and up-to-date deals on Booking.com
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    Share your availability with Doodle

The AMP for Email spec is available today and we’re planning for support in Gmail later this year. To get developer preview access to AMP for email in Gmail, sign up on our site.  By bringing AMP to email, we’re opening up new possibilities for companies to engage with their audiences, and we can’t wait to see what developers will build. Because AMP for Email is an open spec, we look forward to seeing how other email clients will adopt it, too.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/kqXKKcM4u2k/

In our genes: How Google Cloud helps the Broad Institute slash the cost of research

Category: Google | Feb 12, 2018

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the pioneering biomedical and genomics research center, has been a valued collaborator since the early days of Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We helped them move their genomics data storage and analysis from an on-premises data center to the cloud; they helped us make GCP a useful and cost-effective place to conduct some of the most important research that science has to offer.

It’s been a privilege to support the Broad in their mission to advance our understanding of the biology and treatment of human disease, and to help lay the groundwork for a new generation of therapies. Today, we’re thrilled to be a part of an important milestone for Broad and the genomics community: On GCP, the cost of running Broad’s GATK Best Practices pipeline has been reduced to a little over $5 per genome.

Broad is one of the largest genomic sequencing centers around; on average a human genome goes onto a sequencer every 10 minutes. To date, Broad has processed more than 76,000 genomes, generating 24TB of data per day, and stores more than 36PB of data on GCP.

Once genomic data comes off a sequencer, processing and analysis is done in several steps. Those steps are strung together in an automated pipeline called GATK Best Practices.

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When Broad first brought the GATK Best Practices pipeline to GCP in 2015, the cost to run it was $45. Since then, Broad has steadily brought down the cost by twiddling a variety of GCP knobs and dials to arrive at a 90 percent cost reduction while maintaining (and even improving) the quality of the output. Here’s a sampling of what they did:

  • Task splitting. In Broad’s on-premises environment, disk ate the lion’s share of its computing budget, so it strung together compute tasks so they could be performed by the same machine, minimizing disk access. However, any two tasks could have vastly different compute and memory usage profiles. In the cloud, Broad drove higher utilization and lower costs by appropriately sizing the machines to the task at hand (even though it involved more data transfers between machines). This resulted in a cost savings of approximately 30 percent.

  • Preemptible VMs. Broad’s genomics pipeline is short-lived and fault-tolerant, so it can take advantage of Preemptible VMs without worrying about shutdowns due to demand spikes. Broad programmed the pipeline to use Preemptible VMs, which are 80 percent cheaper than non-preemptible instances, by default. This resulted in an extra 35 percent savings.

  • Persistent Disk provides durable HDD and SSD storage to GCP instances, and allows Broad to match its workloads with appropriately-sized and performant storage. Behold another 15 percent savings.

  • Data streaming. Verily Life Sciences contributed code to the HTSJDK, a library that underlies Broad’s GATK. HTSJDK lets algorithms read data directly from a Google Cloud Storage bucket, so the job requires less disk space. The cost of Broad’s production pipeline is now down to $5!  

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Most recently, Broad released the open-source version 4.0 of GATK, and researchers of all backgrounds, including those without computational training, can access the GATK Best Practices Pipeline through FireCloud, Broad’s cloud-based analysis portal. The pipeline includes all the cost optimizations that Broad has achieved with its production pipeline, and is ready to run on preloaded example datasets.

And while all users can access FireCloud at no cost, cloud providers do charge their own fees for data storage and processing. To help make it easier for more researchers to leverage this critical work, we’re offering a $250 credit per user toward compute and storage costs to the first 1,000 applicants. You can learn more on the FireCloud website.

We continue to be amazed by the progress the Broad Institute enables in the field of genomics, and are so happy it chose GCP as its cloud infrastructure partner. Learn more about the GATK Best Practices pipeline by reading the Broad’s blog post.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/w6goqyQpSM4/

Helping young women overcome hurdles to learning computer science

Category: Google | Feb 12, 2018

Sophie Charlotte Kuenecke never thought she’d be able to program a robot. But after she managed to do it by age 12, she found a passion for robotics and didn’t look back—and focused her studies, and ultimately her career, on that passion. At university, Sophie Charlotte discovered Open Roberta, an online platform developed by German research institution Fraunhofer IAIS that helps people learn to program by explaining complex concepts in simple ways. Open Roberta is supported by our Grow with Google initiative, which trains people and businesses on important digital skills so that they can embrace new opportunities ahead. Sophie Charlotte now uses Open Roberta to teach female students about robotics, hoping to inspire them to follow a career path in programming. “It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, what matters is what you want to achieve and what you are willing to do to get there,” she says.

Sophie Charlotte - Inspiring young women to follow a career in computer programming

There are still barriers preventing students—especially girls and children from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds—to learn computer science. In the classes that she teachers, Sophie helps her students to overcome these hurdles, and through our support of the Open Roberta initiative, we’re also supporting Sophie’s goal: that one day these hurdles won’t exist.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qvTBU-lTUAg/

#teampixel photographer Dave East heads to Iceland

Category: Google | Feb 9, 2018

This week, #teampixel heads north of the equator on a trip with photographer, Dave East. Check out his photos from Iceland (shot in subzero temperatures!) that captured everything from giant glaciers to epic waterfalls, and hear about why he loves his Pixel camera.

Can you tell us about your recent trip to Iceland shooting on Pixel 2 XL?
Iceland was absolutely surreal. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. The landscapes feel like another planet. Shooting on the Pixel 2 was just so easy, the camera is so good that  when we were in a hurry I didn’t even take out my DSLR because I knew the shots were going to be just as great on the Pixel 2.

What are your favorite features on Pixel’s camera?
The portrait mode is amazing, it really gets the sense of depth perfectly. I also just think the photos are so crisp, it feel not like a phone camera at all.

What piece of advice do you have for capturing great shots?
For landscape work, check that your horizons are straight and that there is some depth to the shot or leading lines that draw your eye to something in particular. And make sure that you are shooting in a good time of day and that it is not too bright.

Anything else you’d like to share with us and the #teampixel community?
Just keep shooting, keep creating and keep exploring. My favourite thing in the world is travelling to new places and seeing new things.

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From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/_dfqeGU6jTA/

The High Five: roses are red, violets are blue, five top searches for you

Category: Google | Feb 9, 2018

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Here are this week’s top searches for you:
The Dow is down, but a rocket went up to the skies
We’re staring deeply into our valentines’ eyes
While the world’s best athletes go for the gold
We met the new Gerber baby, just one year old.
Now on to the trends, before my rhyme becomes drab—
All the data we use comes from Google News Lab.

Valentine’s Day

Between flowers, a big teddy bear, a beef jerky bouquet, Valentine’s Jordans and chocolate-covered strawberries, there’s something for everyone on the list of top-searched Valentine’s Day gifts.

New spokesbaby

One-year-old Lucas Warren became a celebrity this week when it was announced that he’s the first Gerber baby with Down Syndrome. Meanwhile, another baby made her debut in the limelight: Kylie Jenner’s daughter, Stormi. Other top searched babies this week were Nick Foles’ baby, Janet Jackson’s baby, and Khloe Kardashian’s baby.

All eyes on Pyeongchang

Figure skating is the most searched Olympic sport in 48 states. The outliers are Alaska and Montana (where snowboarding’s at the top), Nebraska (where curling reigns) and Minnesota (where ice hockey wins all).

Falcon Heavy

After his foray into space this week, search interest in “Elon Musk rocket” took off, and was 350 percent higher than interest in “Elon Musk car.” People searched for famous rockets—other than Falcon Heavy—this week, too: Flat-earther rocket, Saturn V rocket, Sea Dragon rocket and Soyuz rocket.

Ups and (Dow)ns

As the markets went on a rollercoaster, search interest in Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1,700 percent higher than search interest in NASDAQ, and people were searching for “stock market” 1,400 percent more than “economy.”

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/UVQZ6kaPwIE/

Flourish helps journalists create easy data visualizations

Category: Google | Feb 8, 2018

Data visualization brings more eyes, attention and understanding to complex stories. When it works well, it can make a story crystal-clear. But it takes effort, coding and time—and is sometimes out of reach for all but the biggest newsrooms.

One easy way to make data visualizations is through Flourish, a tool that helps you design and create graphics to embed on a website or export as a SVG file. We’re making Flourish free for journalists, so that it’ll be easier for newsrooms of all sizes and budgets to create their own data visualizations.

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We’re also working with design studio Pitch Interactive to make free virtual reality templates for newsrooms in Flourish. Here’s an example: The visual above shows related Google searches for TV shows. Any journalist in a newsroom could use that template, but with different data. For example, the visual below shows searches for U.S. Senators before this year’s midterm elections. (And here’s the visual code on GitHub).

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Traditionally, creating the same visual with different data is a tricky job involving developers. Flourish makes that easy—visuals can just be reused as they are, or you can create “stories” to narrate the visual by adding captions and leading the user on a visual journey.

th Flourish, journalists with no coding experience can make high-end interactive graphics  and stories with no tech support—check out these tutorial videos for extra help. Crucially for the data journalism community, Flourish lets newsrooms share templates with each other. Though newsrooms can create some private templates, they can open-source others.

Flourish was soft-launched last year, and since then, the development team worked with designers and data journalists to build the launch version that has just been released. In that time, hundreds of journalists and newsrooms have signed up to use Flourish.

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Examples of how newsrooms have used data visualizations in their reporting.

Flourish is just one of a series of tools and resources in our News Lab data journalism toolkit. Other tools include Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker and the Data Journalism Handbook. Look for more this year as we work to make it easier for data journalists to investigate, process, visualize and surface their data across the news industry.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/QoVAwguE8C0/