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Your red, white and blue Google Assistant

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017

Fourth of July is just a few days away. From fireworks to BBQs, here’s how your Assistant can help you get the most out of the holiday weekend:


  • Let’s start with the facts. Ask your Assistant on Google Home “Why do we celebrate the fourth of July?”
  • Get in the summertime spirit. Ask your Assistant on phones “What should I do this summer?”
  • When you’re ready to fire up the grill, ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Add charcoal to my shopping list” or “Find me a burger recipe.”
  • When you’re planning your firework fun, ask your Assistant on phones “What’s the weather on Tuesday?”
  • And if the sound of fireworks is a bit too loud for you (or your pets), you can ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Play white noise.”

Whether you celebrate with fireworks at a park, a local parade or watching TV with your favorite people, your Assistant can help you make the most out of your fourth of July!


The High Five: wave your wand and your flag

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017


Accio, trends! Translation for non-Harry Potter fans: we’ve summoned five of the top search trends this week, with data compiled by the Google News Lab team. 

20 years of magic

June 26th marked the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series—shall we celebrate with some butterbeers? At Hogwarts, Harry and friends got their answers from the Sorting Hat, but fans are turning to Google to learn more about the four Hogwarts houses. This week search interest in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw was at its highest in the past five months, with interest in Hufflepuff slightly above the others. Did someone say Wingardium Leviosa? Because search interest in Kings Cross Station (where Platform 9 and ¾ was filmed) reached new heights this week.

McEnroe gets served

Serena Williams was in the news this week after John McEnroe claimed that Williams is the best female tennis player, but she’d be ranked 700th on a list of men. His comment prompted people to search, “How fast does Serena Williams serve?” and “What would Serena Williams be ranked in men’s tennis?” Despite McEnroe’s contentious comments, search interest in Williams was still 258 percent higher than him this week.

Oh, say can you search?

It’s America’s 241st birthday, and the country is throwing a big party. And it’s not a party without cupcakes, cookies, jello shots, cheesecake and deviled eggs (top-searched Fourth of July recipes). During this time of year, Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, Ocean Beach, Washington D.C. and Catalina Island are the most searched destinations, and according to YouTube, the most popular Fourth of July songs are Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, Bruce Springsteen’s Born and Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.  

Pooches with paunches

Exercise isn’t just for the two-legged among us. A study from the Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that one in three cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight due to poor diet and lack of exercise, and pet-lovers unleashed their searches, like “Banfield state of of pet health obesity by state” and “Banfield vet and obese pets.” Though all of our furry friends need to watch their figures, search interest in “dog weight” was 149 percent higher than “cat weight.”  

Literally surreal

This week a judge ordered Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed for a paternity test, to investigate the claim of a 61-year-old woman who says that Dali is her father. After the judge’s order, search interest in Dali reached its reached its highest peak in five years, with queries like “How old was Salvador Dali when he died?” “Did Salvador Dali have children?” and “How much is Salvador Dali’s estate worth?”


Pride 2017: Show love, show progress, #ShowUp

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017

Growing up in Chandigarh, India, a small, conservative city about five hours north of New Delhi, I knew early on that something about me was different. After undergrad, I moved to Champaign, IL to get a master’s degree in engineering, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of India for a small, quiet university town in the Midwest. My newfound independence abroad gave me the space to confront and accept my difference—and come out as gay.

During my first summer in the U.S., I visited Boystown in Chicago, one of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the country. It was a bright summer day and the streets were packed with smiling, laughing people from across the LGBTQ community. It was only a matter of seconds before my friends and I got caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of the place. For the first time, I felt I could be myself.

When I joined Google, I was excited to find a community of LGBTQ Googlers and allies who celebrate Pride across the world, and not just by marching in parades (although we do lots of that, too). As a company, we want to make sure our products help LGBTQ people feel they can be themselves, whether they’re in Chandigarh or Chicago.


From displaying Pride parade routes in Maps, to the fifth consecutive year of YouTube’s #ProudToBe campaign, 2017 was all about connecting people with local Pride events and sharing experiences across the globe.

In addition to #ProudToBe, which encourages people to share their stories and connect with others around the world, YouTube made a number of commitments to continue supporting the LGBTQ community and shared a video celebrating Pride and all the great LGBTQ YouTube Creators.

#ProudToBe: Celebrate Brave Voices this Pride

Google My Business made it easier for merchants worldwide to let people know their business is “LGBTQ-friendly” or a “Transgender Safe Space.” Once merchants opt into these attributes, they’re shown on business listings in Google Maps and Search to signal to potential visitors that their establishment respects and treats all people equally.

LGBT_highlight mobile_1850.png

In New York, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a $1 million grant to record critical moments in LGBTQ history, including the night of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising is important to the ongoing road to civil rights for LGBTQ communities around the world—and its message is as resonant and necessary today as it was in 1969.


US Senator Chuck Schumer announcing a grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City in support of the Stonewall National Monument

And we launched #ShowUp, a project designed to help people take action in support of the LGBTQ community at a local level. By entering their zip code on the #ShowUp homepage, people can find the nearest parades, marches and LGBTQ-supporting nonprofits in their communities. The campaign also aims to chart progress in LGBTQ rights across eight U.S. cities by recording individual stories about why showing up matters.

#ShowUp Stories: Lily | Birmingham, AL

Boystown made me feel safe to be myself. All people deserve to feel this way. At Google, we hope that, by  connecting people with local events and sharing experiences across the globe, Google can help even a few more LGBTQ people feel safe to be themselves.


#teampixel’s rainbow palette

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

Fittingly for the end of Pride Month, this week’s #pixelperfect shots are all shades of the rainbow—from azul on the coast of Spain to rosa in Stockholm, and from yellow in Australia to Orange in Munich. Take a look at these bold, bright images from #teampixel photographers around the world:


Left: _hmaz – Blooming bright in Pakistan. Right: theculinarybee – Ingredients for a tasty sorbet


Left: rasmuslandgreen – Bowling pins in Copenhagen. Right: mess_anger – Citrus colored building in Stockholm


j471ndr – Ball pit in London, U.K.


Left: gajenperry – A color wheel ceiling in Canada. Right: krisxdee – “colors of hue-manity”


Left: stereotripe – Pink, blue and green, India. Right: the_scenicroute – Pennants in Plovdiv, Bulgaria


lamdotdot – Anything but mellow in Adelaide, Australia. Right: rebirthdna – La Muralla Roja—but blue—on the Spanish coast


Left: stonnon – Orange tile in Munich, Germany. Right: mattgers – White on blue in Oía, Greece

And share your photos with #teampixel—you might be featured on Keyword and Instagram.


Making progress on diversity and inclusion

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

Since 2014, when we first released data on Google’s racial and gender makeup, we’ve taken steps to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Our employees, products and business depend on us getting this right. To push our work forward, we’re thrilled that Danielle Brown will be joining Google as our new Vice President of Diversity. She’ll start in July, and comes with the deep conviction that Google provides a platform where she and the team can make a real impact internally and across the tech industry.

Danielle joins us from Intel, where she was VP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the past several years and, most recently, Group Chief Human Resources Officer. There she developed ambitious goals and initiatives that helped Intel increase its gender and racial diversity in its workforce and executive ranks.

At Google, Danielle will be responsible for managing our diversity and inclusion strategy, partnering with our senior executives on this vital work. While we’ve made progress in recent years for both women and people of color, there are areas for improvement across the board—in terms of our hiring, our promotion and retention, our commitments, our working environment, and how we measure success or failure.  Danielle will look at our efforts in all these areas afresh and I’m excited to work with her.

Google’s updated workforce representation data shows that overall women make up 31 percent of our employees. In the past three years, women in tech roles have grown from 17 percent to 20 percent (from 19 percent to 20 percent over the last year) and women in leadership roles have grown from 21 percent to 25 percent (from 24 percent to 25 percent over the last year).

In the same period, our Black non-tech population has grown from 2 percent to 5 percent (from 4 percent to 5 percent over the last year). And in the past year, Hispanic Googlers have grown from 3 percent to 4 percent of our employees.


Overall gender and racial representation at Google.

But clearly, there is much more to do.

Black Googlers still make up only 1 percent of our technical workforce, and we’re working to change that. Sponsored by Google vice president Bonita Stewart, we recently launched Howard West, a three-month engineering residency on our campus for Howard University computer science majors. Our Google in Residence initiative, which embeds Google engineers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), is continuing into its sixth year this fall.


Howard West students in their lounge at the Googleplex.

For all of our communities of color, we’re working to make sure our culture is rewarding and welcoming through events, town halls, employee resource groups, and ensuring fairness in the promotion process. We know this is critical to making it safe for everyone to bring their best and most innovative ideas to the table. For example, the idea for our Really Blue Pixel came from Alberto Villarreal, the phone’s creative lead and industrial design manager, who derived the color from the Mexico City of his youth. The phone was released in October and sold out within minutes. Alberto is part of a vibrant community of Hispanic Googlers, whose contributions are essential to our ability to reflect the world around us, especially here at our California HQ.


Alberto Villarreal with the Really Blue Pixel.

As with Blacks and Hispanics, hiring more female engineers—and empowering them to thrive—is a top priority. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently highlighted the industry-wide importance of women’s support groups and personal commitments by senior leaders to advancing gender diversity. I completely agree; they are both essential in creating a supportive culture, and providing opportunities for women and people of color to grow their careers. Google’s employee resource groups, including Women@Google and Google Women in Engineering, both of which are actively supported by senior executives and have thousands of members, regularly host summits, provide career development opportunities, and offer mentorship.

More than other industries, the technology sector is extremely open about its challenges in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. We all welcome the conversation and the scrutiny; it helps us raise the bar in terms of this important work and our commitment to it. I’m thrilled to welcome Danielle to Google, because she shares both our values and our desire for action.

For more information, take a look at our updated representation data.


Talks at Google: one of Google’s most beloved perks, shared with the world

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

Every morning, a new name pops up in my inbox. It could be a scientist, an artist, a politician, an actor, a business leader, a cast from a Broadway show, an investor, or any expert. These people I’m getting emails about have one thing in common—they’re coming to give a talk at a Google office.

Talks at Google, a regular speaker series, is one of the company’s most beloved perks and a staple of our unique culture. It was started in 2006 by Googlers who noticed that some pretty interesting people were walking through the hallways, and thought, “how about we sit down and talk to them?” They invited anyone at Google to attend, recorded the talks and put them on YouTube so that—following Google’s mission—the talks would be universally accessible and useful.

Eleven years later, there have been more than 4,000 Talks at Google events. It started with talks from Googlers themselves, then expanded to authors and experts from all around the world with different backgrounds. The talks are hosted by Googler volunteers in offices around the world, with about 12 talks happening each week.


To share the talks with a wider audience, we’ll publish a monthly roundup of some of the best Talks at Google from that month or on a given topic. To kick things off, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite talks from the past 11 years:

Andrea Bocelli

World-renowned musician Andrea Bocelli gives a special performance to Googlers in Mountain View, and tells the story of how, from an early age, he knew he wanted to be a performer.

Andy Puddicombe: “Get Some Headspace”

By testing out some meditation techniques with the audience, Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe shares how anyone can meditate—even if that means just sitting quietly for ten seconds.

Christiane Amanpour

Veteran journalist and Chief CNN Correspondent Christiane Amanpour reveals her top list of people she still wants to interview, and discusses her decades-long career of investigative journalism.

Chris Anderson: “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking”

Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Conference, discusses TED’s evolution to “a media organization devoted to sharing ideas,” how to make a story come to life on stage, and the importance of nurturing curiosity.

Dan Ariely: On Dating & Relationships

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely discusses why a canoe is the best place to test your long-term compatibility, and shares insights and advice for relationship-seekers in the age of dating apps.

Diane von Fürstenberg

Iconic fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg shares a timeline of her life (and her unique sense of humor), sprinkled with personal anecdotes from her early days in Belgium and her rise to fashion fame.

Gloria Steinem: “My Life on the Road”

Legendary feminist activist, author and journalist Gloria Steinem discusses her eighth book “My Life on the Road,” the ancient cultures that most inspire her and technology’s influence on human interaction.

HBO’s “Silicon Valley”

The Pied Piper team visits Google to chat about which cast members are most like their characters and how instances from the actors’ real lives (or the pranks that happen on set) make their way into episodes of “Silicon Valley.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Writings on the Wall”

Six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar goes beyond the court to discuss his book “Writings on the Wall,” along with his perspective on race, equal pay and religion.

Marie Kondo: “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

Marie Kondo, author and guide to cleaning up your life, discusses why it’s important to ask yourself if each of your possessions brings you joy (and what to do with those joyless items).

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, often referred to as the “father of modern linguistics,” muses about the development of his political views and the humble beginning of his writing career in 1939, when he was the “editor and only reader” of his fourth grade newspaper.

Janelle Monae and Pharrell Williams: “Hidden Figures”

Hidden Figures cast member Janelle Monáe and Executive Producer Pharrell Williams visited Google Atlanta to chat with computer science students from historically black schools about “women in STEM who changed the world,” and their advice for how to break through barriers and stay motivated through trying times.

The Broadway Revival of Spring Awakening

In partnership with Deaf West, a deaf theatre company based in Los Angeles, Google hosted a special performance from the cast of Spring Awakening, and heard about what it’s like to work on Broadway.

Tina Fey: “Bossypants”

Actress, writer, comedian and producer Tina Fey brings her comedic chops to Google to discuss her book “Bossypants,” and insights from her experience as a woman in Hollywood.

Toni Morrison: Home

In an interview at Google New York, author Toni Morrison discusses her book “Home,” how she builds her characters and her writing method—each time she sits down to write, “it’s like she’s never written anything before.”

To see more talks, look out for future roundups on Keyword—or subscribe to Talks at Google on YouTube, follow them on Twitter or browse their website.


Sale into summer with new deals on Google Play

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

‘Tis the season for BBQs, family road trips, and days by the beach or pool. No matter how you spend your summer days, Google Play can be a part of it.

Starting today, you’ll be able to find your favorite movies, apps, games, music, TV and books at big savings. The sale runs until July 6 for apps, games, books and music, and until July 13 for movies and TV in select markets.

Take a break from the heat with a movie or TV show

Rent a movie from our catalogue for only $0.99—it’s cheaper than cooling down with an ice cream cone—or watch your favorite TV show at half price. Some of the biggest hits of the summer are Saban’s Power Rangers, CHiPs, Get Out and The LEGO® Batman Movie.

Stay entertained with games on your family road trip

“I Spy” won’t last the whole car ride, so check out our discounts of up to 80 percent for premium games. A few of our favorites are FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, Star Wars: KOTOR, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, Reigns, Hitman Sniper and Lara Croft GO.

Find your beach, and pick up a book

Grab a beach chair and read some of the best-selling books of the year, from 50-80 percent off. There’s a wide variety of books to choose from, like thriller “The Freedom Broker,” romance novel “My Perfect Mistake” or sci-fi fantasy “Hellfire.”

Google Play Music can co-host your summer parties

While you’re taking care of the guests, Google Play Music will play all the right songs at the right time. This summer, you can get a Google Play Music subscription free for four months.

Try something new with lots of apps

If you’re six months late on your New Year’s resolution, take advantage of your time off this summer. Put your brain to use, learn a new language, start running, read the news every day! And do it on the cheap with a 50 percent discount for a new, one-year subscription for the services mentioned above and more.

As you take the time to relax, go vacation, and get outside, visit Google Play to find and share more fun entertaining moments with your friends and family.


Helping journalists tell stories with data

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

The Data Journalism Handbook, published in 2011, is considered the guidebook for telling stories with data. To ensure that journalists are up to speed on the latest data journalism practices, the Google News Lab is partnering with the the European Journalism Centre to launch a new version of the Data Journalism Handbook, which will be published in four languages next year.

The original handbook was born at a 48-hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London, and became an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners.

Over the past three years, the handbook has been digitally downloaded 150,000 times, and almost a million people have accessed the online version. But the world is changing, and so are the ways we use data to tell news stories. So this project is one of a series of initiatives by the data team at the Google News Lab to support data journalists and help them understand how to best incorporate technology into their work—you can find out more on our site. We’re also proud to partner with the European Journalism Centre on their mission to connect journalists with new ideas through initiatives like the News Impact Summits and the News Impact Academy.

On July 31, we will open a call for contributions. Later this year, around 50 authors and experts will join a Handbook Hack to create and edit content for the new edition. And you won’t have to wait long to start reading the new chapters: we’ll make them available online as they are completed. Check out the official site for the latest updates.


Google Earth, class is now in session

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

So much of what students learn in the classroom—from social studies to history, science and literature—relates to a geographic place on Earth. Recently, we announced a new version of Google Earth, and since then, educators have been telling us what a valuable tool Google Earth is for their students. They use the “I’m feeling lucky” feature to inspire writing exercises, do research exercises with Knowledge Cards, and explore satellite imagery and cloud strata with their students. Now, to make it even easier for teachers to use Google Earth in the classroom, we’ve created a new “Education” category in the Voyager section, which includes new stories—complete with classroom activities—from National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue.


Just click the new “Education” category on the Voyager homepage for new stories, complete with classroom activities for teachers

The National Geographic Society stories take students on adventures following explorers through the Middle East, India, and coral reefs. To supplement the experience, National Geographic Society created idea for activities that highlight a range of geographical concepts, such as interpreting land forms and comparing map projections.


Join one leg of a 21,000-mile cultural journey with National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek in Africa.


Explore the last Pristine Seas with Dr. Enric Sala as he works to restore the health and productivity of our planet’s oceans.


National Geographic Society created activities showing how Google Earth can be used in the classroom.

With PBS Education, classrooms can go back in time and track the paths of famous explorers, from Lewis and Clark to the Vikings. As students follow along, they, in turn, become modern-day explorers.


Trace the waterways of the American West with Lewis and Clark


Teachers using PBS Education’s Age of Encounters can ask students: How do you think these ships chose their ocean routes?


PBS Education’s Vikings teaches about the Vikings who were exploring the sea 500 years before Christopher Colombus

HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue created Voyager stories more geared towards science and math. With HHMI Biointeractive, students join “Scientists at Work” as they investigate important problems, from endangered coral reefs to the Ebola outbreak. And Mission Blue’s story teaches students about the unique oceanographic conditions of Costa Rica thermal dome. Short videos and questions embedded in the stories will help guide students with their own scientific research.


Spanning Oregon to Mozambique, students can learn about science in the field with HHMI Biointeractive


Students can learn how scientists measure mammal extinctions, using fossils spanning millions of years.


Explore  the Costa Rica Thermal Dome Hope Spot where you can follow marine biologists in the field tagging turtles, tracking sharks and more.

Educators everywhere can find classroom activities (created by teachers, for teachers) at our new Google Earth Education website, and easily share locations and stories directly to Google Classroom. In addition, this week Google Earth will become an Additional Service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin console.

Google Earth was built to inspire curious minds to explore, learn and care about our vast, fragile planet. With these updates, we’re excited to make it easier for the next generation to see the world from a new perspective.


Nutanix and Google Cloud team up to simplify hybrid cloud

Category: Google | Jun 28, 2017

Today, we’re announcing a strategic partnership with Nutanix to help remove friction from hybrid cloud deployments for enterprises. We often hear from our customers that they’re looking for solutions to deploy workloads on premises and in the public cloud.

Benefits of a hybrid cloud approach include the ability to run applications and services, either as connected or disconnected, across clouds. Many customers are adopting hybrid cloud strategies so that their developer teams can release software quickly and target the best cloud environment for their application. However, applications that span both infrastructures can introduce challenges. Examples include difficulty migrating workloads such as dev-testing that need portability and managing across different virtualization and infrastructure environments.

Instead of taking a single approach to these challenges, we prefer to collaborate with partners and meet customers where they are. We’re working with Nutanix on several initiatives, including:

  • Easing hybrid operations by automating provisioning and lifecycle management of applications across Nutanix and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) using the Nutanix Calm solution. This provides a single control plane to enable workload management across a hybrid cloud environment.

  • Bringing Nutanix Xi Cloud Services to GCP. This new hybrid cloud offering will let enterprise customers leverage services such as Disaster Recovery to effortlessly extend their on-premise datacenter environments into the cloud.

  • Enabling Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS support for hybrid Kubernetes environments running Google Container Engine in the cloud and a Kubernetes cluster on Nutanix on-premises. Through this, customers will be able to deploy portable application blueprints that target both an on-premises Nutanix footprint as well as GCP.

In addition, we’re also collaborating on IoT edge computing use-cases. For example, customers training TensorFlow machine learning models in the cloud can run them on the edge on Nutanix and analyze the processed data on GCP.

We’re excited about this partnership as it addresses some of the key challenges faced by enterprises running hybrid clouds. Both Google and Nutanix are looking forward to making our products work together and to the experience we’ll deliver together for our customers.