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Category: Google | May 5, 2015
When I was in 5th grade, I complained to my teacher, Mr. Tomazewski, that there must be more to mathematics than simple arithmetic. He concurred and gave me a 7th grade algebra book because he believed in me. I spent the summer working through every problem! With that simple act, Mr. Tomazewski had set me off on a career path that eventually led to the invention of the Internet.
Me at age 11 in 1954
As students, we have the potential to be or do anything—whether and how we fulfill that potential is largely determined by the guidance and encouragement of our teachers.
That’s one reason why Google is so committed to improving teaching and learning through the use of technology. One year ago this week, we announced Classroom, a tool that helps teachers manage assignments, communicate with students and parents, and stay organized. Since then, we’ve continued to add features that teachers and students tell us they need, and if you stay tuned to the Google for Education Blog this week, you’ll hear about a few of our newest additions.
In the spirit of listening to our teachers, we’re also continuing to improve our CS First materials—free online computer science content developed by educators and computer scientists—to help introduce the art of programming to students in grades 4-8 through after-school, in-school and summer programs.
We also realize the importance of what teachers can learn from one another. So with that in mind, this week we’re hosting Education on Air—a free online event with 100+ sessions led by educators from 12 countries and 29 U.S. states. We’ll cover themes that include empowering students, practical innovation, CS and STEM, and building community. Speakers include LeVar Burton and Google Science Fair 2012 winner Brittany Wenger. We hope you can virtually join us May 8-9 for this online education conference, and make sure to register so you can catch recorded videos of all the sessions.
Our lives would be profoundly different without the Mr. Tomazeskis of the world. Please join us in saying thank you to our teachers this week—in person, online, in a handwritten note, or even a meme—for all that they help us to achieve.
Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist
Category: Google | May 5, 2015
In 1880, the Pittsburgh Dispatch published an article titled “What Girls Are Good For.” In dismissive terms, the column’s author wrote that women shouldn’t be allowed to work because their place was at home.
Days later, a pseudonymous rebuttal appeared in the paper. The response, by a 16-year-old girl whose real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran, argued how important it was for women to be independent and self-reliant. Within a decade, the author of that response would become known worldwide as Nellie Bly: a hard-hitting young journalist who went undercover at a lunatic asylum and traveled around the world in a record-breaking 72 days.
Throughout her life and career, Nellie Bly spoke up for the underprivileged, the helpless and minorities, and defied society’s expectations for women. We love her adventurous spirit, and we share her belief that women can do anything and be anything they want (we like to think if she were around today she’d be a fellow fan of trailblazing women like Ada, Anita and Ann). So when it came time to honor Nellie with a Doodle, we wanted to make it special. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote, composed and recorded an original song about Nellie, and Katy Wu, the artist who created this doodle, created an animation set to Karen O’s music celebrating this intrepid investigative reporter.
Nellie was born on May 5, 1864 in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pa. After her response was published in the Dispatch in 1880, the editor, George Madden, tracked her down and hired her as a reporter. At the time, women reporters commonly used pen names; hers came from a song by fellow Pittsburgher Stephen Foster. She spent several years at the paper before moving to New York for a job at New York World, which was owned by Joseph Pulitzer. In 1887, she went undercover at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island to write an exposé about the conditions there. Her resulting book, “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” made her famous.
But Nellie is best known for her trip around the world. Inspired by Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days,” Nellie set sail from New York in November 1889 determined to beat Fogg’s time. Traveling by steamships and sailboats, she sent dispatches back to her newspaper as she circled the globe. Instead of sitting idly and just observing, she was always a part of the action and conversation, despite the fact that public spaces were typically reserved for men at the time.
Storyboard for today’s Nellie Bly video doodle, by Katy Wu
When creating the Doodle, we took inspiration from Karen O’s lyrics and Nellie’s journey around the globe. Throughout the video, Katy used newspaper as a unifying theme—with paper tearing, folding and crumpling as the story goes along. And though the video is mostly black and white, she added some color to represent Nellie’s energy and vibrancy.
Back in the 19th century, Nellie fearlessly showed a generation of people “what girls are good for.” We’re excited to tell her story in today’s Doodle—and we hope Nellie inspires women and girls everywhere to follow in her footsteps and show the world what they can do.
Posted by Liat Ben-Rafael, Program Manager, Google Doodles
Category: Google | May 1, 2015
This week was a sobering one on search and worldwide, as people looked for news out of Nepal and read up on the demonstrations in Baltimore. But as we welcome the month of May, searchers are also gearing up for a weekend of superheroes—in the ring, on the track and on the big screen.
All eyes on Nepal and Baltimore
People around the world came to Google for information about the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal this week. The 7.8 quake killed more than 6,000 people, triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest and destroyed several historical sites, including Katmandu’s Durbar Square. As rescuers continue to look for survivors, searchers turned to Google for news about the relief efforts and to ask questions about how to help, including: “How do I volunteer in Nepal?” and “Where can I donate to Nepal?” See the scope of the world’s response to the tragedy in this visualization:
In the U.S., a crisis of a different kind erupted in Baltimore this week. Starting last Friday, people protested in the streets in response to the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died on April 19 while in police custody. As demonstrations intensified on Monday and Tuesday, officials imposed a curfew and called in the National Guard. Searchers around the country turned to Google with their questions about the events, including: “Why is there a curfew in Baltimore?”, “What is the National Guard?” and “What happened to Freddie Gray?” And we saw big spikes in searches for topics like martial law, Baltimore Sun, Mondawmin Mall and the Baltimore Orioles.
The Sport of Kings and the Sweet Science
Tomorrow, 20 racehorses will line up for the 141st Kentucky Derby, but oddsmakers are insisting this is really a two-horse race between heavy favorites American Pharoah and Dortmund. Search interest in horse racing spiked 4X in the last week, with the Derby appearing in Hot Trends three out of the last four days. People are also turning to search to gear up for the festivities: interest in dress hats has spiked, and searches for [mint juleps] have spiked 4X.
After American Pharoah and Dortmund’s battle for the roses, two other fierce opponents will go nose to nose: the hotly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather
and Manny Pacquiao
takes place Saturday night in Las Vegas. The boxing match is being called the “fight of the century” with a reported $300 million at stake. As people get ready for the fighters to put their gloves on, they’re turning to search to answer questions like “Where can I watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?” and “How much will Mayweather make from the fight?” So far, Mayweather, who is undefeated, is winning the match
in search—he’s being searched for more than Pacquiao in all U.S. states except Hawaii.
A cast of characters
The blockbuster “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” has finally hit theaters, and people are turning to Google to find information about their favorite superheroes and where to see them in theaters. There were more than 500,000 searches for the movie on Thursday, and early box office estimates suggest that fans are putting their money where their searches are. Take a look at the top searched characters from the movie:
Tip of the week
Donning a hat for Derby Day tomorrow? Make sure you’ve got a southern beverage to match. Just ask Google, “how do I make a mint julep?” and you’ll get directions for how to mix up a winner.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [email debt forgiveness day]
Category: Google | Apr 29, 2015
Would you enter your email address and password on this page?
This looks like a fairly standard login page, but it’s not. It’s what we call a “phishing” page, a site run by people looking to receive and steal your password. If you type your password here, attackers could steal it and gain access to your Google Account—and you may not even know it. This is a common and dangerous trap: the most effective phishing attacks can succeed 45 percent of the time
, nearly 2 percent of messages to Gmail are designed to trick people into giving up their passwords, and various services across the web send millions upon millions of phishing emails, every day.
To help keep your account safe, today we’re launching Password Alert, a free, open-source Chrome extension
that protects your Google and Google Apps for Work Accounts. Once you’ve installed it, Password Alert will show you a warning if you type your Google password into a site that isn’t a Google sign-in page. This protects you from phishing attacks and also encourages you to use different passwords for different sites, a security best practice.
Here’s how it works for consumer accounts. Once you’ve installed and initialized Password Alert, Chrome will remember a “scrambled” version of your Google Account password. It only remembers this information for security purposes and doesn’t share it with anyone. If you type your password into a site that isn’t a Google sign-in page, Password Alert will show you a notice like the one below. This alert will tell you that you’re at risk of being phished so you can update your password and protect yourself.
Password Alert is also available to Google for Work customers, including Google Apps and Drive for Work. Your administrator can install Password Alert for everyone in the domains they manage, and receive alerts when Password Alert detects a possible problem. This can help spot malicious attackers trying to break into employee accounts and also reduce password reuse. Administrators can find more information in the Help Center
We work to protect users from phishing attacks in a variety of ways. We’re constantly improving our Safe Browsing
technology, which protects more than 1 billion people on Chrome, Safari and Firefox from phishing and other dangerous sites via bright, red warnings. We also offer tools like 2-Step Verification
and Security Key
that people can use to protect their Google Accounts and stay safe online. And of course, you can also take a Security Checkup
at any time to make sure the safety and security information associated with your account is current.
To get started with Password Alert, visit the Chrome Web Store or the FAQ.
Posted by Drew Hintz, Security Engineer and Justin Kosslyn, Google Ideas
Category: Google | Apr 24, 2015
Everyone wants to know what D.J. Tanner and Target are up to. Read on for all the search scoop from this week:
The earth in focus
Wednesday marked the 45th annual Earth Day celebration. People came to search to get more information on the origins of the holiday and learn about ways to conserve—oh, and find out what animal they are, of course. In addition to searches for [earth day slogans] and [earth day worksheets], searchers asked questions like “When was the first Earth Day?”, “How do we stop climate change?” and “Is styrofoam recyclable?”
Just when we were feeling all warm and fuzzy about our planet, we got a reminder that nature can be a little scary as well as awe-inspiring. In Chile, the Calbuco volcano exploded for the first time in more than 40 years, sending clouds of ash into the air and causing thousands to evacuate. There were 100K+ searches for [chile volcano] as people sought to learn more about the eruption.
Sunday morning, people lined up outside Target stores around the country for the launch of the store’s new Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. But many fans waited in vain, as the affordable line of clothes and home decor sold out within hours both on and offline. Shoppers vented on social media, and searches for Lilly Pulitzer reached an all-time high this month. Meanwhile, persistent types have driven searches for [lilly pulitzer ebay] up 1000% in the last seven days.
But lucky Lilly fans weren’t the only ones thanking the stars for their Pulitzer this week. This year’s Pulitzer prizes were announced on Monday, leading people to the web to learn more about the winners across categories ranging from fiction to investigative reporting to poetry. (And in case you were wondering: Lilly Pulitzer, who died in 2013, was once married to the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, who established the eponymous Prize.)
Everywhere you look…
…there are reboots. First “DuckTales,” then “The Muppet Show,” and now “Fuller House.” This week Netflix announced a spin-off of the 90s family sitcom “Full House,” to debut in 2016, and 200,000+ searches followed. The new show will feature oldest sister D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure), and several other stars from the original series are signed on to return, including Jodie Sweetin—the subject of some 50K+ searches this week—and John Stamos. Still, it’s yet to be seen whether the rest of the cast will participate or decide to cut it out. Though searches for Mary-Kate Olsen reached more than 50,000 this week, she and her sister have said that they were surprised by the news. So you might want to wait a bit before saying “TGIF!”
Tip of the week
Keep that good Earth Day momentum going. Just ask Google, “Where can I recycle electronics near me?” for a handy list of places to drop off your old wires and devices.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [gilbert blythe] and [nba playoff schedule]
Category: Google | Apr 22, 2015
In today’s mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the U.S., where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don’t have fast enough speed. Or you can’t get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it’s important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.
That’s why today we’re introducing Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.—Sprint and T-Mobile—are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.
Our three focus areas include:
Helping you get the highest-quality connection
Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it’s Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable. Once you’re connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places. Learn more about our network of networks.
Enabling easy communication across networks and devices
Project Fi works to get technology out of the way so you can communicate through whichever network type and device you’re using. Wherever you’re connected to Wi-Fi—whether that’s at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave—you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat. We also want to help phone numbers adapt to a multi-screen world. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop. So the next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen. Check out how it works.
Making the service experience as simple as possible
Project Fi takes a fresh approach to how you pay for wireless, manage your service, and get in touch when you need help. We offer one simple plan at one price with 24/7 support. Here’s how it works: for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it’s a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it’s hard to predict your data usage, you’ll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let’s say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You’ll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use. Get all the details about our plan.
Be part of the project from the start
We’re beginning Project Fi’s Early Access Program to invite people to sign up for the service. Project Fi will be available on the Nexus 6, which we developed with Motorola and is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with our service. If you live where we have coverage in the U.S., request an invite at fi.google.com to get started.
We look forward to connecting!
Posted by Nick Fox, VP of Communications Products
Category: Google | Apr 22, 2015
You can search Google for answers to all kinds of animal questions: What does an aye-aye eat? Where do narwhals live? How long is a toco toucan’s beak? And this Earth Day, you can turn to Google for the answer to something that you’ve always needed to know: which animal are you???
Clicking on this year’s Earth Day logo (or searching for “Earth Day quiz”) presents one of the Internet’s favorite pastimes: a totally scientific and 1,000% accurate personality quiz. Take the time to answer a few questions to determine and share your Earth Day animal. And, of course, you’re only a search away from learning more about nature’s precious pals and interesting inhabitants (FYI: kakapo is the heaviest parrot).
If you need proof of the accuracy of our quiz, look no further than the testimonials of some of our wildlife-loving, quiz-taking friends like Ed Norton, Jared Leto, and Maggie Q. Dame Jane Goodall took the quiz and had this to report:
Once you’ve gotten to know your deepest self (and animal avatar), we hope you’re inspired to help make a real difference this Earth Day. For the month of April, we’re partnering with our friends at Google.org, who will match donations to the following animal-loving organizations up to $20,000. That means every $1 you donate to one of these great groups is worth $2 to protect wildlife around the world. Chip in what you can at the Jane Goodall Institute, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, World Wildlife Fund, WildAid, Zoological Society of London and Virunga Fund.
Happy Earth Day!
Posted by Ryan Germick, Doodle Team Lead, Giant Squid
Category: Google | Apr 22, 2015
On April 27, 1994, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in the country’s first democratic, post-Apartheid election. Known now as “Freedom Day,” that date has become a symbol of hope in South Africa and around the world. To commemorate this historic day, we’ve partnered with the Robben Island Museum and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to bring the story of this UNESCO World Heritage Site online for the world to explore. The Maps gallery and Cultural Institute online tour allow people everywhere to see the island where Nelson Mandela and many of South Africa’s freedom fighters were imprisoned during their quest for equality.
As a symbol of South Africa’s struggle for freedom, Robben Island has become a destination for people to connect with Mandela and other freedom fighters. Standing in Mandela’s 8 x 7 foot prison cell, it’s hard to believe someone could spend 18 years here. Exploring the historical artifacts on the tour, you can also see photographs of his cell during the time of his imprisonment. You can imagine Mandela sitting at the cramped desk, surrounded by books and papers, working towards a future of freedom for all.
Robben Island was also where activist Robert Sobukwe was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement for more than three years after taking a stand against the Pass Law, which required black citizens to carry an internal passport and severely limited their mobility. Exploring Sobukwe’s home on Robben Island, you can learn more about the man who didn’t let prison halt his attempts to make equality a reality. You can even view the pages of his notebook, which is still kept on his desk today.
In the new online exhibitions on the Cultural Institute platform, you can also listen to prisoners’ personal anecdotes about life at this infamous prison, including memories of where they were forced to work as well as how they studied and came together to create a unified vision for freedom in South Africa. You can see some personal items donated by former political prisoners, including a football trophy from the their FIFA-recognized league, hand-drawn table tennis awards, a treasured trumpet, and a duplicate master key fashioned by a prisoner from lead.
Once a symbol of the oppressive Apartheid regime, Robben Island is now a memorial and a reminder of the human spirit’s irrepressible search for freedom. We hope you’ll take a moment to step back in time to explore and be inspired by the island’s story of hope and humanity.
Posted by Luke McKend, Country Director for Google South Africa
Category: Google | Apr 20, 2015
Like the world’s best legends, the Loch Ness Monster transcends the everyday and exists at the edges of possibility. It rises above the sightings and the hoaxes; the claims and counter-claims; the tourism, the nationalism—and even the assassination plots. It lives in the telling of stories. Whether or not you believe, most people hold a romanticized vision of the creature that, legend has it, plumbs the depths of the Loch. Affectionately known as “Nessie,” she exists in folklore, dances in childrens’ imaginations, and seeps into our society and teachings, inspiring everything from pop music to pop culture to pulp fiction.
In 1934, the “Surgeon’s Photograph” was released, claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake. It’s the most iconic photo in the history of Loch Ness—and may be one of the most elaborate hoaxes of our age. Today, to celebrate the anniversary of its release, we’re bringing 360-degree Street View imagery of Loch Ness to Google Maps, so you can go in search of Nessie yourself.
Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters. Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring the legend of Nessie to life. Adrian Shine, leader of the Loch Ness & Morar Project, has been engaged in fieldwork in the Highlands since 1973 and was an integral part of the Street View collection. As a true Loch Ness expert, Shine has logged more than 1,000 Nessie sightings and offers scientific explanations for why people claim to have seen Scotland’s mysterious cryptid.
Formed of a series of interrelated bodies of water, including the River Oich to the south and the Bona Narrows to the north, Loch Ness stretches for 23 miles southwest of Inverness. Although it’s neither the largest Scottish loch by surface area nor depth, it is the largest by volume, containing more freshwater than all the lakes of England and Wales combined. And at almost 800 feet deep, there’s an entire world below the surface, giving rise to the Nessie legend.
To take you on a tour of what lies beneath, our partners at the Catlin Seaview Survey dived deep under the surface of the lake, collecting imagery along the way. You can imagine Nessie nestling within these dark, peat-filled waters, waiting for the right moment to breach the surface into the Scottish sunlight above.
A diver from the Catlin Seaview Survey collecting underwater imagery of Loch Ness
Wherever you stand on the Nessie debate, the legend lives on—even in the digital era. There are more searches for Loch Ness than there are for other U.K. institutions like Buckingham Palace and the Peak District. And as we celebrate Loch Ness with today’s Doodle, we hope you can enjoy some of the most history-laden and breathtaking imagery the highlands have to offer with Street View in Google Maps.
By Sven Tresp, Program Manager, Street View Special Collections
Category: Google | Apr 20, 2015
Architect and artist William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Turns out that’s also good advice for deciding what to wear. So Android Wear offers a range of watches and apps that are fashionable as well as functional.
Over the past few months we’ve added lots of ways to express your style—from custom watch faces to a rainbow of bands. Today we’re making Android Wear more helpful as well—getting you what you need, right on your wrist.
Always-on screen, always-on apps
When you buy a watch you want it to, well, tell the time. So most Android Wear watches include an always-on screen—no tapping, twisting or shaking required to see what time it is. Now we’re expanding this option to apps, so they can stay visible as long as you need them, instead of disappearing when you drop your arm. In either case the screen is only full color when you’re actively looking at it—so you get the info you need, and you save on battery life.
With GPS and offline music support, you can already leave your phone at home, then go jogging and jamming like normal. Now Android Wear supports watches with built-in Wi-Fi. As long as your watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone has a data connection (wherever it is), you’ll be able to get notifications, send messages, and use all your favorite apps. And if you really do forget your phone, you can always ask your watch where it is.
Simpler, faster, and more smiley
When it comes to your watch, using apps should be as simple as checking the time. So today we’re making a number of Android Wear improvements to help you access your info, and express yourself more easily:
- Got your hands full? You no longer need them to check your news and notifications. Instead you can just flick your wrist to scroll through the stream.
- Your apps and contacts are now just a tap away from the watch face. Just touch the screen, and you’ll be able to start apps and send messages immediately.
- : Can’t talk? Now you can draw hundreds of different emojis, directly on the watch screen. We’ll recognize your work (no art degree required) and send it via message or text.
These updates are coming to all seven Android Wear watches over the next few weeks, starting with the new LG Watch Urbane. In the meantime, there are plenty of useful apps and lots of beautiful watch faces—so find your favorites, and wear what you want.
Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
(Cross-posted to the Official Android Blog)