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Preview: The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog



Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.



Last Build Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

 



Google Cloud Platform announces new credits program for researchersGoogle Cloud Platform announces new credits program for researchersHigher Education

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

From Big Data projects like Strayer University’s student support system to AI projects like Carnegie Mellon’s socially aware robot, researchers are discovering that cloud technology can help make academic research cheaper, faster, easier, and more secure. Whether you’re just starting out with a new idea, or validating your work before sharing it with the public, we want to help you advance your new discoveries. That’s why we’re deepening our support for your biggest questions and best guesses through a new program: Google Cloud Platform (GCP) research credits. Academic researchers in qualified regions are encouraged to apply.Like the Google Cloud Platform Education Grants to support computer science courses and the partnership to support National Science Foundation (NSF) grants in BIGDATA, our GCP research credits program supports faculty who want to take advantage of GCP’s data storage, analytics, and machine-learning capabilities. Andrew V. Sutherland, a computational number theorist and Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of a growing number of academic researchers who have already made the transition and benefited from GCP. His team moved the L-Functions and Modular Forms Database to GCP because “we are mathematicians who want to focus on our research, and not have to worry about hardware failures or scaling issues with the website.”Other researchers are taking advantage of GCP’s scalable infrastructure. Ryan Abernathey, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ocean and Climate Physics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, used Google Cloud credits through an NSF partnership and, with his team, developed an open-source platform to manage the complex data sets of climate science. The platform, called Pangeo, can run Earth System Modeling simulations on petabytes of high-resolution, three-dimensional data. “This is the future of what day-to-day science research computing will look like,” he predicts.At the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine (SCGPM), researchers using GCP and BigQuery can now run hundreds of genomes through a variant analysis pipeline and get query results quickly. Mike Snyder, director of SCGPM, notes, “We’re entering an era where people are working with thousands or tens of thousands or even million genome projects, and you’re never going to do that on a local cluster very easily. Cloud computing is where the field is going.”Googlers like Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist for Cloud AI and ML, are excited to be able to support important research through the new avenue of the credits program: “As an academic, I’m thrilled that Google Cloud will make GCP credits available to the research community. This will help support important scientific discoveries and accelerate fundamental research that are critical for the future.”The GCP research credits program is open to faculty doing cutting-edge research in eligible countries. We’re eager to hear how we can help accelerate your progress. If you’re interested, you can learn more on our FAQ or apply now.[...]Using Google Cloud Platform (GCP), researchers are accelerating breakthroughs and asking new questions they could never have asked before. Now GCP will be available to even more academic researchers through the new GCP research credits program.


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Test your knowledge of natural wonders in Google EarthTest your knowledge of natural wonders in Google EarthVoyager in Chief, Google Earth

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 06:00:00 -0000

In Google Earth’s Voyager, we’ve climbed aboard the ISS, simulated eclipses, and gone deep into the Amazon. Now, with the help of our friends at Atlas Obscura, we're adding something new to the mix. In a multiple choice quiz, Atlas Obscura takes you to some of the most beautiful—and intriguing—places on the planet. Know where Morning Glory Pool is? Or the hot springs of Dallol? See how well you know your planet, and explore these  places in Google Earth. If you get stuck, look out for a hint or two on Twitter.

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Coming up: We don't know about you, but we're hearing royal wedding bells. Check back in Google Earth mid-May to test your knowledge of magnificent castles and palaces around the world.

(image) Teaming up with Atlas Obscura to test your knowledge of natural wonders with a new (and first!) geo quiz in Google Earth.


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Stay composed: here’s a quick rundown of the new GmailStay composed: here’s a quick rundown of the new GmailProduct Manager, Gmail

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0000

Email is a necessity for most of us. We use it to stay in touch with colleagues and friends, keep up with the latest news, manage to-dos at home or at work—we just can’t live without it. Today we announced major improvements to Gmail on the web to help people be more productive at work. Here’s a quick look at how the new Gmail can help you accomplish more from your inbox.Do more without leaving your inboxGmail’s new look helps you get more done. Click on attachments—like photos—without opening or scrolling through large conversations, use the new snooze button to put off emails that you just can’t get to right now or easily access other apps you use often, like Google Calendar, Tasks (now available on Android and iOS) and Keep.Gmail will also “nudge” you to follow up and respond to messages with quick reminders that appear next to your email messages to help make sure nothing slips through the cracks.We’re also adding Smart Reply to Gmail on the web to help you reply to messages faster.New features on mobile, like high-priority notifications, can notify you of important messages to help you stay focused without interruption. Plus, Gmail will start suggesting when to unsubscribe from newsletters or offers you no longer care about.And you might notice new warnings in Gmail that alert you when potentially risky email comes through.Finally, a new confidential mode allows you to remove the option to forward, copy, download or print messages—useful for when you have to send sensitive information via email like a tax return or your social security number. You can also make a message expire after a set period of time to help you stay in control of your information.Get startedYou can start using these new updates in Gmail on the web today, with some features appearing within the coming weeks. Go to Settings (the cog wheel in the top right corner of your inbox) and select “Try the new Gmail.” If you want to switch back later down the road, you can go to the same place and select “Go back to classic Gmail.” This handy product guide can help you get started.If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use Gmail in the workplace, check out our G Suite post which has more detail on all of the ways Gmail can help you stay productive.[...]Time for an upgrade.


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With new security and intelligent features, the new Gmail means businessWith new security and intelligent features, the new Gmail means businessVP Product Management, G Suite

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0000

Since the beginning, our aim with G Suite has been to help companies transform the way they work with our suite of cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps.Today we’re announcing major updates to help the more than 4 million paying businesses that use G Suite work safer, smarter and more efficiently. This includes an all-new Gmail, with a brand new look on the web, advanced security features, new applications of Google’s artificial intelligence and even more integrations with other G Suite apps. We’re also introducing a new way to manage work on the go with Tasks.Keep sensitive data secure with new Gmail security featuresKeeping your data secure is our top priority, which is why last month, we introduced new phishing protections to help address Business Email Compromise (BEC) threats—or when someone impersonates an executive to get sensitive information. With these new protections, Gmail has helped block 99.9 percent of BEC attempts by warning users or automatically moving messages to spam for them.Today, we’re introducing a new approach to information protection: Gmail confidential mode. With confidential mode, it’s possible to protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages. Because you can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active.New confidential mode in Gmail lets you set expiration dates for sensitive information.Built-in Information Rights Management (IRM) controls also allow you to remove the option to forward, copy, download or print messages. This helps reduce the risk of confidential information being accidentally shared with the wrong people. Confidential mode will begin to roll out to consumer Gmail users and a limited number of G Suite customers in the coming weeks (broader rollout following).We’ve also redesigned our security warnings within Gmail so that they are simpler to understand and give a clear call to action to employees. These bigger, bolder warnings will help you be even more informed when it comes to potentially risky email.Bigger, bolder security warnings help you keep your company’s confidential information safe.And it’s always worth a reminder: we do not scan Gmail for the purposes of targeting ads, and there are no ads shown in Gmail for G Suite customers.Stay on top of email effortlessly using artificial intelligence in GmailNew AI-powered features in Gmail, like Nudging, Smart Reply and high-priority notifications, can now help you spend more time on work that matters.Most of us get more emails than we can deal with at one time, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. With Nudging, Gmail will proactively remind you to follow up or respond to messages, making sure you don’t drop the ball.Now Gmail will intelligently (and subtly) “nudge” you when you need to prioritize actions in your inbox.Last year, we introduced Smart Reply to our Gmail mobile apps. Smart Reply processes hundreds of millions of messages daily and already drives more than 10 percent of email replies on mobile. Today we’re bringing Smart Reply to Gmail on the web to help you respond to messages faster.New notifications on mobile help you stay focused on what’s important (and eliminate clutter, too.).We’re also introducing new features on mobile to help you minimize interruptions and clutter. High-priority notifications is a new setting that only notifies you of important messages, keeping interruptions to a minimum. Gmail can also recommend when to unsubscribe from mailing lists. Using intelligence, unsubscribe suggestions appear based on cues like how many emails you get from a sender and how many of them you actually read. You’ll start to see these notifications show up in your inbox over the coming weeks.Over the past few months, Salesforce has tested the new Gmail to collaborate on globa[...]


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Help fight the opioid epidemic this National Prescription Drug Take Back DayHelp fight the opioid epidemic this National Prescription Drug Take Back DayVice President

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 04:00:00 -0000

We're deeply concerned by the opioid crisis that has impacted families in every corner of the United States. We started by thinking about how to bring Google’s technical expertise to help families combat the epidemic.Research by the federal government has shown that prescription drug abuse is a large driver of opioid addiction, and that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family or friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found that one way that Americans can help prevent drug abuse and addiction is to properly dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. Yet many people aren’t aware of, or can’t easily find, prescription drug disposal programs in their communities.Using Google Maps API, our team worked with the DEA to create a locator tool for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 28. The locator tool can help anyone find a place near them to safely dispose of leftover prescription medications. Click on the image below to access the locator, and enter an address or zip code to find nearby Take Back Day events this Saturday and help fight the opioid epidemic.Longer term, we’re working with the DEA and state governments like Iowa, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Michigan to gather data on year-round take back options for future Google Maps integration.In addition to making it easier to find take back locations, we’re also proud to support non-profit organizations on the frontlines of this crisis. We’ve worked with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids since 2015 to help parents searching online for support connect to the Partnership’s  Parent Helpline. This service provides free counseling and advice to parents who need help addressing the many challenges of a child’s substance use. Today, we’re announcing $750,000 in matching grants from Google.org to help expand the Parent Helpline and get even more families the support and help they need. We’re also committed to ensuring that the public understands the danger of opioid abuse and the resources available for those who need help, by making useful information about opioid addiction and prescription drugs available in Google Search. There are no easy answers to a challenge as large as the opioid crisis, but we’re committed to doing our part to ensure that people in every corner of the country have access to the resources they need to address this urgent public health emergency. [...]Using Google Maps API, we created a locator tool to help anyone find a place near them to safely dispose of leftover prescription medications this Saturday, April 28.


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Learning “what architecture really means” with help from PixelbookLearning “what architecture really means” with help from PixelbookPrincipal

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:00:00 -0000

Editor’s Note:This post comes from Cynthia Fernandes, Principal at Hall School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.For the past three years, sixth graders at my school have learned about architecture and design through an extracurricular program started by Thom Mayne, founder of the architecture firm Morphosis and winner of the Pritzker Prize. It’s been amazing to see 10- and 11-year-olds talking about angles, form, and design—and do it with confidence. Though they’re only in elementary school, the students do work at the level of middle- or high-schoolers. This year, they've used Google Pixelbook to create an accurate 3D model of their classroom, and then build on the model with abstract installations of their own design. We recently took a few minutes to hear from the students about their experience.Q: What’s your favorite part about this class? What have you learned?Miguel: I like creating things and showing them to other people. The part I love the most is talking about my creations—what do they mean? What do they say?Milayna: My favorite part is when we do hands-on stuff, like models or drawings. I like this because it’s fun and I’m always proud of my work. I’m crafty.Q: What’s a cool vocabulary word you learned about in this class? What does it mean?Zamair: My favorite vocabulary word is “disarrange.” That means to put stuff in places so it’s not arranged.Milayna: A cool vocabulary word is “suspended,” because it sounds cool, and it means hanging from the ceiling.Shayla: My favorite word is “surround,” because you can make a cool model, than surround it with other, smaller or bigger, cool models.Yalidsa: “Hierarchy.” It means the order of things, like different shapes and shades, what’s thick and thin, what’s heavy and light.Q: Have you learned anything in this class that you use in other classes?Milayna: I learned how to look at buildings differently, and that helps me because in social studies we are studying old buildings, so it fits in perfectly.Zamair: I use architecture in math, with area and volume.Q: What was your proudest moment in this class?Kania: My proudest moment was when I did a great job on my presentation on my architecture project.Miguel: My proudest moment was when a lot of people came in to see our projects, and we had to discuss them. I was the first to go up and speak, and everybody liked what I was saying, and that made me feel proud.Q: If you were an architect, what would you want to make?Yalidsa: My own clothing or toy shop. Kania: I’d want to design my own house for me and my family.Ernesto: A school or office building. Joel: I’d want to make something that will make people's life easier.Hasan: I’d build an airplane that’s beautiful. And that can go up in the air by itself. Miguel: I’d want to make an office that would make everybody stop and think, “How did that person get that idea to make this?” It would probably be tall and have, like, a yellow shine to it when the sunset comes. The outside would most likely have a pattern on each wall, white and glowing.Clinton: A big house with a pool and a football field and a basketball court. Q: What’s it like to work with classmates on projects?Clinton: It’s cool because I work with my friends, and it’s fun working with your friends.Miguel: Working with classmates is cool because, when you have no idea of what to do, other people can help you out and give you more ideas. Working together is good because you can make something that was way better than you thought it would be. Erik: It feels like you can do better work, since you’re working together and helping each other.Q: What do you tell your friends about this program?Joel: I tell my friends how cool this program is, and how we’re so lucky to be doing this.Hasan: I tell them that it is a great program, and it’s what I might do when I grow up.ThomMayne_1.pngJoel presents his work during a critique with[...]


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Two higher ed collaborations expand access to Google Cloud PlatformTwo higher ed collaborations expand access to Google Cloud PlatformDirector

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:00:00 -0000

From Northeastern University’s work to map the spread of the Zika virus, to MIT’s massive computing for theoretical mathematics, higher education institutions are applying cloud technologies to help solve the global challenges we face.


Northeastern and MIT’s work are just two examples of higher education institutions using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to uncover important insights from massive, diverse data sets. Today, we’re announcing how we’re collaborating with two higher education organizations, Unizin and Internet2, so that their members can benefit from GCP.

Improving student outcomes through the Unizin Data Platform

Colleges and universities are constantly seeking ways to better understand and help their students. This week Unizin, a consortium of 25 leading universities working together to improve education with technology, announced that its Unizin Data Platform (UDP) will be built on Google Cloud Platform as part of a new alliance with Google Cloud.


The Unizin Data Platform allows institutions to anonymize, aggregate, store, share, and analyze teaching and learning data. Member universities use this data to do things like identify students who may be at risk of failing a class or improve personalized learning approaches. Understanding data from the past gives educators more insights and tools to help improve student outcomes.


Rob Lowden, Unizin Executive Director, shared that "Building the Unizin Data Platform on the Google Cloud Platform provides our members with scalable infrastructure, powerful data analytics and the ability to leverage machine learning solutions to advance Unizin's work to improve learning research and outcomes in a highly secure environment. Google Cloud is an ideal provider for Unizin to advance the higher education digital learning ecosystem."

GCP now available to the Internet2 community

Founded in 1996, the nonprofit consortium Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve shared technology challenges. Internet2 has announced that member institutions can now use Google Cloud Platform, available through distributor Carahsoft, to develop solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions. The pre-Validation service is available now and the fully validated service will launch later this year. Institutions can learn more and express interest on Internet2's website.


We hope these new collaborations will help more institutions take advantage of Google Cloud Platform to drive impact in research and collaboration. To learn more visit our website or express interest.
(image) Google Cloud is announcing collaborations with Unizin and the Internet2 Pre-Validation Service to help higher education institutions uncover important insights from data and dramatically improve outcomes.


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Making it work: Google and Walmart fund innovators in workforce developmentMaking it work: Google and Walmart fund innovators in workforce developmentPresidentSenior Vice President, CSO Walmart

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:00:00 -0000

The student with big dreams, some education, and no experience. The accomplished service professional looking to break into a new field. The 30-year career veteran who wants to work for another 20 years. Research has shown that up to one-third of Americans may need to develop new skills to work in different types of jobs by 2030. A fast-changing economy means we need new ways of building new skills and translating existing skills to different types of meaningful work. This goes not only for how we get new jobs, but how we get promoted, change fields, and work into our later years.To get this transition right, businesses, nonprofits, governments, and communities will have to work together to build a system that benefits both workers and employers. That’s why Walmart and Google—among the world’s leading retail and technology companies, respectively—are coming together to fuel the research and tools needed to build such a system.Each of our companies has launched major initiatives to help Americans advance in their careers. Walmart has made a significant investment in its associates and through philanthropy to help transform learning and advancement in the retail sector. And through Grow with Google, Google has made a major commitment to helping people access skills and opportunity in the new economy. Through these initiatives, we are joining forces with leading social innovators to fuel the pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market.Today, as part of our commitment toward jobs and opportunity, Walmart and Google are making a $5 million grant investment to three organizations testing solutions in reskilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles.The Drucker Institute will be partnering with the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to integrate the city’s educational and workforce resources so that every resident has access to skill-building throughout their careers—this “City of Lifelong Learning” will serve as a national model. Opportunity @ Work will help underserved groups connect to jobs and advancement opportunities by building a hiring channel that focuses on skills and competency instead of pedigree. And the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy will be expanding its Inclusive Innovation Challenge, a global future of work prize that promotes entrepreneurs harnessing technology to create more broadly shared economic opportunity and prosperity.No one organization can do this alone, and that’s why collaboration between companies and expert groups is so important. As companies like ours help enable social innovators to try new things and see what works, we hope to see more philanthropic collaboration, along with effort from policy makers to scale proven programs. And we encourage other companies to join in similar efforts, through investing in training and education for their own workforce or in the broader workforce ecosystem to help build strong businesses and a healthy, thriving society.This is a time of enormous change for our economy and we need to better prepare American workers—from students to seniors—to find work and advance their careers. Only a system that is both ambitious and resilient can meet the demands of millions of workers eager to expand their skills and advance. We’re excited to see what these grantees, and other innovators across industries, do to help. [...]Google and Walmart co-fund a $5 million grant to three leading organizations shaping the future—and present—of work.


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Searching for new solutions to the evolving jobs marketSearching for new solutions to the evolving jobs marketSVP & General Counsel

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:00:00 -0000

We’ve all seen lots of articles about the future of work in today’s rapidly changing economy. Too often, the loudest voices propose just one of two visions for the future. Either globalization and technology will eliminate quality jobs, or we'll adapt to change just like we always have.Google may be built on code, but we don't believe the future is binary. What lies ahead is hard to predict, and the most likely scenario for the future of work is a new sort of hybrid—with technology both transforming and creating jobs and new models of employment. But we’re confident that, working together, we can shape a labor market where everyone has access to opportunity.Last year, we launched Grow with Google, an initiative that aims to help everyone across America access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. Google Hire helps employers find great employees. And Google for Jobs helps job seekers find new opportunities.But making a difference requires more than just one company. Today, as part of our commitment to jobs and opportunity, Walmart and Google are making a $5 million grant investment to three organizations testing solutions in reskilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles.Learning throughout life: The Drucker Institute is partnering with the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to bring together the city’s educational and workforce resources so that everyone has access to skill-building throughout their careers. This “City of Lifelong Learning” will serve as a national model for communities looking to make learning available throughout life.Improving matching between skills and roles: Opportunity@Work is launching the techhire.careers platform, a new tool that helps underserved groups validate their skills for employers and connect to opportunities. This inclusive hiring marketplace helps job seekers and entry-level workers connect to trainings and jobs that make best use of their skills, and helps companies consider and hire nontraditional talent.Backing social innovators with new skilling and job matching ideas:MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy is holding the Inclusive Innovation Challenge, a challenge for social innovators to use technology to reinvent the future of work. Through this tournament, the IDE will be seeking out and funding social innovators experimenting with new ways of helping people develop the skills they need for the digital economy and connect to job opportunities in a new way.These grants are part of Google.org’s Work Initiative, a search for new solutions to prepare people for the changing nature of work. Last year, we committed $50 million to nonprofits experimenting with new ideas in skill-building, job matching, job quality, and social protections. In response to an open call for proposals, we received hundreds of ideas from across the U.S. In addition to our joint funding with Walmart, today we’re announcing four more grantees:Assessing and credentialing soft skills:Southern New Hampshire University is developing the Authentic Assessment Platform (AAP), an assessment of in-demand soft skills. Results from this assessment will feed into a job placement process for young jobseekers. SNHU will provide those who complete this assessment with an SNHU official badge.Training workers for the gig economy:Samaschool is developing a new training, with both in-person and online components, that helps independent workers learn the basics of finding freelance work, building their careers, managing contracts and taxes, and more.Helping communities adjust to workforce transitions: Just Transition Fund is working with communities in coal country to develop a blueprint for coal-affected communities undergoing workforce transitions, helping them to effectively prepare for jobs in emerging sectors.Aiding employers [...]


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Simpler summer vacation planning starts todaySimpler summer vacation planning starts todayFlights Product ManagerHotels Product Manager

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:18:00 -0000

Over the next few weeks people will start locking in their summer travel plans—we see the biggest spike in Google Flights searches for summer vacation dates in early May. And since prices often rise in the three weeks prior to travel dates, you’ll want to start your research ahead of time. Here are some tips to help you decide where to go—and find the best flights and places to stay—wherever your travels may take you.Pick your summer hotspotSince the FIFA World Cup starts in June in Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg top the list of popular places to visit this summer. If soccer’s not your thing, then Vietnam, Tanzania and Malaysia are other trending international destinations. In the U.S., Hawaii continues to be a top pick for summer travelers, and places like Providence and Santa Fe are rising in popularity.To find out more about the city you’re interested in, you can search for “Things to do” and you’ll see a list of top sights plus articles with helpful travel advice. Our machine learning models determine the most relevant, high-quality travel articles for your destination, like activities to do with children and where to shop.Find the best flights (and prices) to meet your needsOnce you’ve got a place in mind, you can find the best flights using the recently redesigned Google Flights. A simpler home screen and search experience on desktop—combined with flight price insights showing the cheapest dates to fly, alternate airport options to help you save money, and other tips all in one place—make it easier to make the right flight choice quickly.Now that some flight fares don’t include carry-on luggage fees, it can be tricky to know what’s included in the ticket prices you’re looking at. Earlier this year, we made it possible to see what’s included in Basic Economy fares in the U.S. when you select a ticket for airlines like American, United and Delta. To see only ticket prices that include access to overhead bins—and help you compare similar ticket types—we’ve added a “Bags” filter. This filter is now available for U.S. flights and will roll out to itineraries outside the U.S. in the next few months.Spot hotel deals and tips quicklyTo help you find the right hotel, we’re using machine learning and statistical analysis of historical hotel data and reviews to organize and surface the most relevant hotel information.In the “Hotels” tab, you’ll be tipped off if you’re getting a room rate that’s lower than normal or, similar to the feature in Google Flights, shifting your itinerary a few days earlier may save you money. When you’re ready, you can select bed type, see add-ons like free breakfast, and book a room.Don't let the summer fun pass you by—search for flights and hotels on Google to start planning your summer trip today.[...]Summer vacation planning made simple with new tips and features from Google Flights and Hotels


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Shellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google EarthShellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google EarthChristmas Island Crab Advocate

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:00:00 -0000

In December, we took the Street View trekker to Christmas Island, a remote tropical territory of Australia just south of Indonesia. With Parks Australia, we joined the island’s red crabs as they marched in the millions from the forest to the sea for their annual migration.Now it’s time to shellebrate. Starting today on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can explore Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ unique wildlife, dazzling ocean vistas and lush rainforests, including the grand finale of the red crab migration—the spawning. The red crabs wait all year for this very moment—and the precise alignment of the rains, moon and tides—to release their eggs at the coastal waters.M1Mc5CrabChristmas Island’s remote location makes it home to a wild and diverse ecosystem—including 600 species of tropical fish, 14 species of terrestrial crabs, more than 100 bird species and four native reptile species. Exploring its wetlands and blowholes and coastline, you can see for yourself why the island is often called “Australia’s Galapagos.”BA view of Dolly Beach, home to a stunning coral reef and turtles.ForestA scenic walking trail in the Dales wetlands—a dense rainforest crawling with the island’s endemic blue crabs (Tip: Walk uphill on Street View and you’ll find a waterfall).BeachThe Blowholes, where the waves blast water through eroded cliffs.BecahA view of Direction Island beach, an island of Cocos Islands which is home to diverse marine life, including coral, reef sharks and parrotfish.Christmas Island’s nature and wildlife is so treasured and protected that the crabs have right of way. Roads are often closed during the migration, and Parks Australia have erected fences to direct the crabs to safe crossing points with under-road passes, or fly-over bridges. Now you can join the island’s 45 million red crabs as they crawl along the forest floor, climb the cliffs and finally, spawn at the water’s edge.ForestThe crabs crawling on the Ethel Beach ramp.WlkThe crabs crawling on the Ethel Beach ramp.Wallclimbing down the cliffs to Merrial BeachSunsetThe crabs arriving to spawn at Ethel BeachGrageThe crabs above Ethel Beach after the spawningScuttle over to Street View and Google Earth to experience the wonderland of wildlife on Christmas Island and the white sand beaches of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. And as you step into this moment in time, we welcome you to join the crabs as they lead this magnificent dance of nature.[...]Explore Christmas Island’s unique wildlife and dazzling vistas, including the migration and spawning of 45 million crabs, on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth.


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It’s World Book Day: Find a new read with Google Play BooksIt’s World Book Day: Find a new read with Google Play BooksHead of Americas Books Merchandising

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:15:00 -0000


Think about a book that has inspired you, changed your perspective, or made a positive impact on your life. For me, it was “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou—it spoke to me because she overcame trauma and hardship to become such an influential author and poet.

Today is World Book Day, and Google Play Books can help youfind the next book that’ll make an impact on your life in some way. Here are a few of the World Book Day deals you’ll find on the Play Store:

When you can’t put a new book down, you have to find the time in your day to fit it in. To help you do this, we recently rolled out new features for audiobooks that make it easier to read in short bursts. You can add reading to your routines in your Google Assistant settings—so if you want to get some reading time in before work, add it to your morning routine. When you say, “Ok Google, take me to work,” you’ll get the traffic and weather reports, and then your audiobook will automatically start playing.

15 years ago, I discovered the book that really inspired me. Maybe this World Book Day, Google Play will help you find yours.

(image) Find new deals on Google Play Books, in honor of World Book Day.


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Behind the scenes: Coachella in VR180Behind the scenes: Coachella in VR180Director, VR Video

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

Last weekend, fans from all around the world made the trek to Southern California to see some of music’s biggest names perform at Coachella. To make those not at the festival feel like they were there, we headed to the desert with VR180 cameras to capture all the action.

Throughout the first weekend of Coachella, we embarked on one of the largest VR live streams to date, streaming more than 25 performances (with as many cameras to boot) across 20 hours and capturing behind-the-scenes footage of fans and the bands they love. If you missed it live, you can enjoy some of the best experiences—posted here.

VR180 can take you places you never thought possible—the front row at a concert, a faraway travel destination, the finals of your favorite sporting event, or a memorable location. This year at Coachella, we pushed the format even further by adding augmented reality, AR, overlays on top of the performances—like digital confetti that falls when the beat drops, or virtual objects that extend the into the crowd.

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AR Confetti in the VR180 stream.

To add these overlays in real time, we used our VR180 cameras together with stitching servers running a custom 3D graphics engine and several positionally tracked cameras. This allowed us to add a layer of spatially relevant visuals to the video feed. Simply put, it's like AR stickers for VR180.

In addition to the responsive AR elements during performances, we also featured Tilt Brush art by artist-in-residence Cesar Ortega, who drew his live impressions of the iconic Coachella landscape at daylight, dusk and night. We then inserted Cesar’s designs into the video stream in VR180 to allow the viewer to see the art.

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Cesar Ortega’s recreation of Coachella in Tilt Brush

Watch the festival footage, including performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the point of view of both the fans and the bands, here. And for the most immersive experience, check it out in VR with Daydream View or Cardboard.

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Engineered for renewal: Google Cloud, Etsy and sustainabilityEngineered for renewal: Google Cloud, Etsy and sustainabilityEditorial Lead

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:00:00 -0000

As the CTO of Etsy, Mike Fisher is responsible for evolving technology strategy, scaling IT systems and infrastructure and deepening machine learning expertise, all of which is crucial to supporting the global creative commerce platform that Etsy is today.To deliver a buying and selling experience that currently supports approximately 1.9 million entrepreneurs, Mike and his team recently committed to Google Cloud Platform to help them scale and connect Etsy buyers and sellers globally. But their decision was based on more than just technology.We sat down with Mike to hear about Etsy’s unique approach to evaluating their cloud partner.QH: Why is sustainability a value at Etsy?MF: Sustainability supports our mission to Keep Commerce Human, within the company, and outside, to our 1.9 million sellers. It’s an important value that pulls through everything we do; from how we consume food at the office, to the products we help people sell, to how we power our buildings. And of course, it’s important in how we power our data centers, and in the cloud computing we use.QH: Is this special to Etsy, or is this a broader point about many of today’s companies?MF: Etsy is a little unique because we've been around almost 13 years, and sustainability has always been core to us. But other businesses are definitely on board. People want to support businesses that are doing this. I think at Google Cloud you've seen that customers want businesses to be able to host and provide their services in a sustainable manner.QH: True.MF: They're migrating to the cloud, and having a cloud provider that is committed to that as well is a huge benefit.QH: In itself, is going to the cloud a business decision around expenditure, or a technology decision over how fast you'll be able to manufacture, test, and deploy software?MF: I wouldn't separate technology and business decisions. Going to the cloud, for example, is a great business decision for us, since it allows for things like enhanced site performance and focus on our strategic initiatives. We can have a presence around the world, with faster load times. That supports the possibility of stronger conversions and better experiences. You get that with a global cloud. All good for the business. And of course, spinning up infrastructure much, much faster than we could on our own means we’re moving quicker and supporting our sellers’ businesses better.And then there are the things on the sustainability side. Our servers run 24/7 today in the data center whether we need 100% of their compute capacity or not. But like all of e-commerce, we have daily cycles, monthly cycles, the holiday season. Having to power computers capable of handling our holiday season at peak, instead of scaling up and down for what we need? That is a sustainability decision that is a great business decision.QH: How do you measure success around sustainable energy consumption?MF: Our impact goals are economic, social and ecological. Underneath the ecological goal, we want 100% renewable electricity by 2020 -- the offices, and all of the data centers. Google helps that a lot, since you’re committed to 100% renewables. On top of that, we want to reduce the intensity of our energy usage by 25% by 2025, even as we increase our business. It’s pretty hard to imagine doing that without the cloud.QH: Did you have any differences about your needs working with Google?MF: We do have differing criteria for renewable energy. We strive to source renewables in the same power market as the consumption, while Google strives to do the same, you also operate in some regions where procuring renewables is complex and may not be possible. But even that was a great conversation, because the Googl[...]


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Measuring our impact in data center communitiesMeasuring our impact in data center communitiesSenior Vice President

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:00:00 -0000

Over 10 years ago, we built our first data center in Oregon. And a few weeks ago we broke ground on what will be our eighth data center in the U.S., helping to run Google’s products across the country and the world.

These data centers contribute significantly to job growth and income gains at both the national and state level. Even more important are the economic contributions that Google data centers make to the communities they call home.

Today, we’re releasing a report, prepared by Oxford Economics, which details the economic impact our data centers have had in their local communities. The report concludes that, as of 2016, Google data centers generated $1.3 billion in economic activity across the US, and have generated over 11,000 jobs.

Those 11,000 jobs cause a ripple effect—people with greater financial flexibility can support the local economy, which has led to the creation of an additional 4,700 jobs. In fact, when direct, indirect and induced jobs are considered, the report finds that each Google data center job supports an additional 4.9 jobs throughout the U.S.

Last year, we became the first company of our size to purchase enough energy from sources like wind and solar to exceed the amount of electricity used by our operations around the world, including offices and data centers. This commitment to renewables has economic and environmental benefits. Oxford’s report shows that eight U.S. renewable energy generation projects—most of which are located in states where we have data centers—resulted in over $2 billion of investments, created 2,800 direct jobs, and supported 520 ongoing jobs in maintenance and operations.

What we’re most proud of, however, are the ways we invest in our local communities through workforce development and education. Our community grants program supports important local initiatives, like installing Wi-Fi on school buses for kids with long commutes, and partnering with school districts to develop student STEM programs.

We are proud of our economic impact in communities across the country, but here at Google, it’s about more than just the numbers. It’s about the people we hire and the communities where we live and work.

(image) Today, we’re releasing a report, prepared by Oxford Economics, which details the economic impact our data centers have had in their local communities.


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I’m Feeling Earthy: Earth Day trends and moreI’m Feeling Earthy: Earth Day trends and moreLead for Sustainability

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

It’s Earth Day—take a walk with us.

First, let’s dig into issues taking root in Search. Ahead of Earth Day, “solar energy,” “drought” and “endangered species” climbed in popularity this week. Meanwhile, people are looking for ways their own actions can make a positive impact. The top “how to recycle” searches were for plastic, paper, batteries, plastic bags, and styrofoam. And around the world, trending queries about Earth Day were “how many trees will be saved by recycling?” and “which type of plastic is more friendly to the environment?”  

To explore some of the other searches that are blooming for Earth Day, take a look at our trends page.

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In our corner of the world, Earth Day celebrations started on Google Earth’s first birthday (tweet at @googleearth with #ImFeelingEarthy and see where it takes you!). The party continues today with a special tribute to Jane Goodall in today’s Doodle, and kids inspired by the Doodle can create their own Google logo, thanks to our partnership with World Wildlife Fund. And while we’re feeling extra Earthy this week, the environment is important to our work all year long—here’s what we’re doing for our operations, our surroundings, our customers, and our community.

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How Google autocomplete works in SearchHow Google autocomplete works in SearchPublic Liaison for Search

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:30:00 -0000

Autocomplete is a feature within Google Search designed to make it faster to complete searches that you’re beginning to type. In this post—the second in a series that goes behind-the-scenes about Google Search—we’ll explore when, where and how autocomplete works.Using autocompleteAutocomplete is available most anywhere you find a Google search box, including the Google home page, the Google app for iOS and Android, the quick search box from within Android and the “Omnibox” address bar within Chrome. Just begin typing, and you’ll see predictions appear:In the example above, you can see that typing the letters “san f” brings up predictions such as “san francisco weather” or “san fernando mission,” making it easy to finish entering your search on these topics without typing all the letters.Sometimes, we’ll also help you complete individual words and phrases, as you type:Autocomplete is especially useful for those using mobile devices, making it easy to complete a search on a small screen where typing can be hard. For both mobile and desktop users, it’s a huge time saver all around. How much? Well:On average, it reduces typing by about 25 percentCumulatively, we estimate it saves over 200 years of typing time per day. Yes, per day!Predictions, not suggestionsYou’ll notice we call these autocomplete “predictions” rather than “suggestions,” and there’s a good reason for that. Autocomplete is designed to help people complete a search they were intending to do, not to suggest new types of searches to be performed. These are our best predictions of the query you were likely to continue entering.How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.The predictions change in response to new characters being entered into the search box. For example, going from “san f” to “san fe” causes the San Francisco-related predictions shown above to disappear, with those relating to San Fernando then appearing at the top of the list:That makes sense. It becomes clear from the additional letter that someone isn’t doing a search that would relate to San Francisco, so the predictions change to something more relevant.Why some predictions are removedThe predictions we show are common and trending ones related to what someone begins to type. However, Google removes predictions that are against our autocomplete policies, which bar:Sexually explicit predictions that are not related to medical, scientific, or sex education topicsHateful predictions against groups and individuals on the basis of race, religion or several other demographicsViolent predictionsDangerous and harmful activity in predictionsIn addition to these policies, we may remove predictions that we determine to be spam, that are closely associated with piracy, or in response to valid legal requests.A guiding principle here is that autocomplete should not shock users with unexpected or unwanted predictions.This principle and our autocomplete policies are also why popular searches as measured in our Google Trends tool might not appear as predictions within autocomplete. Google Trends is designed as a way for anyone to deliberately research the popularity of search topics over time. Autocomplete removal policies are not used for Google Trends.Why inappropriate predictions happenWe have systems in place designed to automatically catch inappropriate predictions and not show them. However, we process billions of searches per day, which in turn m[...]


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Simplifying apps, desktops and devices with Citrix and Chrome EnterpriseSimplifying apps, desktops and devices with Citrix and Chrome EnterpriseProduct Manager

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

As cloud adoption continues to accelerate, many organizations have found they need an ever-expanding fleet of mobile devices so that employees can work wherever and whenever they need. And research shows that when employees can work from anywhere, they can do more. According to Forbes, employee mobility leads to 30 percent better processes and 23 percent more productivity.But as the demand for mobility grows, many organizations have also found themselves challenged by the need to provide secure mobile endpoints with access to certain legacy line-of-business or Windows apps. To help, last year we announced our partnership with Citrix to bring XenApp and XenDesktop to Chrome Enterprise.Since bringing XenApp and XenDesktop to Chrome Enterprise, we’ve worked extensively with Citrix to help more businesses embrace the cloud. Last month, we announced that admins can now manage Chromebooks through several popular enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools, including Citrix XenMobile. And this year at HIMSS we showed how the combination of Citrix and HealthCast on Chrome Enterprise helps healthcare workers access electronic health records and virtualized apps securely on Chrome OS using their proximity badge.All of this is the topic of an IDG webinar we’re co-sponsoring with Citrix. The webinar “Chrome OS & Citrix: Simplify endpoint management and VDI strategy” includes IDG CSO SVP/Publisher Bob Bragdon, Chrome Enterprise Group Product Manager Eve Phillips, and Citrix Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer as speakers, and addresses how Citrix and Chrome enable access to mission-critical business apps and create a productive workforce inside or outside corporate infrastructure.Here’s what the webinar will cover:How Chrome and Citrix can ensure secure access to critical enterprise apps.How employees can be more productive through access to legacy apps in VDI. How Citrix XenApp (XA) and XenDesktop (XD) integrate with Chrome OS.How Citrix’s upcoming product launches and enhancements with Chrome, GCP and G Suite can help enterprise IT teams and end users.In March, Citrix’s Todd Terbeek shared his experiences transitioning to Chrome Enterprise, and this week Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer discussed how combining Citrix with Chrome can deliver expanded value across security, privacy and compliance. Our work with Citrix continues to evolve, and we’re looking forward to finding new ways to collaborate in the future.To learn more, sign up for the webinar.[...]A new webinar, “Chrome OS & Citrix: Simplify endpoint management and VDI strategy,” addresses how Citrix and Chrome enable access to mission-critical business apps and create a productive workforce inside or outside corporate infrastructure.


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The High Five: put your hands together for this week's search trendsThe High Five: put your hands together for this week's search trendsManaging Editor, The Keyword

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:40:00 -0000

Every Friday, we look back at five trending topics in Search from that week, and then give ourselves a High Five for making it to the weekend. Today we’re putting our hands together for National High Five Day—so first, a few notable “high five” trends. Then on to our regularly scheduled programming.

High Fives all around
Turns out, searches for “high five” transcend all realms of culture: sports (“Why do NBA players high five after free throws?”) entertainment (“how to high five a Sim”), and pets (“How to teach a dog to high five”). As for virtual high fives, “Scrubs,” “Seinfeld” and Liz Lemon are high five famous—they’re the top trending “high five gifs.”

A First Lady, first a mother
When former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92, people remembered her role as matriarch, searching for “Barbara Bush children,” “Barbara Bush family,” and “Barbara Bush grandchildren.” She was the second woman to be the mother and wife of a president; and searches for the first woman to hold that title, Abigail Adams (wife of John and mother of John Quincy) went up by 1,150 percent this week.

What’s Swedish for robot?
Need an extra set of hands? A team of researchers built a robot to help with one of the most challenging tasks of the modern era—assembling Ikea furniture. In an ordinary week, people might search for Ikea lamp, but for now they’re more interested in “Ikea robot.” Though Swedish meatballs are always a favorite, this week’s trending Ikea furniture items were Ikea closets, plants and sofas.

Work it, Walmart
Walmart’s store aisles are turning into runways with the new employee dress code. They can now wear jeans and–brace yourselves–anysolid color top. As for bottoms, people want to know, “Are leggings included in Walmart’s new dress code?” We never (Arkan)saw this coming, but Arkansas topped the list of regions searching for “Walmart dress code” in the U.S. For people wondering about other dress code etiquette, a trending question was “what to wear to jury duty.”

Kendrick makes history
This week people asked “Why is Kendrick Lamar important?” Listen to this: he made music history by being the first non-classical or jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music Composition (high five, Kendrick!). And people felt the pull to search for “Kendrick Lamar prize”—interest was 900 percent higher than “Kendrick Lamar song.”

(image) Check out what’s trending on Google with a look at a few of the top searches from this week.


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(Cerf)ing the Internet: meet the man who helped build it(Cerf)ing the Internet: meet the man who helped build itManaging Editor, The Keyword

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0000

Editor’s Note: Tonight, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf will accept a Franklin Institute Award (alongside fellow inventor Robert E. Kahn) for enabling the internet by developing TCP/IP, the set of methods that allows effective communication between millions of computer networks. In the words of the Institute, “Every person who has ever sent an email, downloaded a webpage, or sent a photo to a friend owes a debt” to Vint and Robert. We sat down with Vint to learn more about his prestigious career, what’s yet to come, and what he may be best known for (his daily habit of wearing a three-piece suit).Tell us about the job that you’ve set out to do at Google (as well as your unique title).When I first got the job at Google, I proposed to Larry and Sergey (Google’s founders) that my title should be “archduke.” They countered with “Chief Internet Evangelist,” and I was okay with that. My objective was, and still is, to get more internet out there. Google has been very effective in fulfilling that objective so far with CSquared and efforts for the Next Billion Users. But today only half the world’s population is online, and I’ve been told I’m not allowed to retire because my job is only half done.What are some other things you’ve worked on at Google?In my years at Google, I’ve had the lucky freedom to stick my nose into pretty much anything. I’ve gotten very interested in the internet of things, and want to foster a deep awareness of what it takes to make those devices work well, while preserving safety, security and privacy.Since my first day at Google, I’ve been passionate about making our products accessible to everyone, whether you have a hearing, vision or mobility problem (or something else). I’m hearing impaired—I’ve worn a hearing aid since I was 13—and my wife is deaf but uses two cochlear implants. Google has an entire team in place that looks after accessibility across all of our product areas.Oh, another project I’ve been working on is Digital Vellum, to address my concern about the fragility of digital information. We store our information on various media (think of the evolution of floppy disks to external hard drives to the cloud), but those media don’t last forever. Sometimes the media is ok, but the reader doesn’t work. To make matters worse, even if you can read the bits, if you don’t have the software that know what the bits mean, it’s a worthless pile of bits! Digital Vellum is creating an environment where we can preserve the meaning of digital information over long periods of time, measured in hundreds of years.That sounds like a lot of work for one guy at Google!Compared to what a lot of people do, this isn’t much.Vint Cerf_Gallery4.jpgIn 1997, President Bill Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Vint and Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the internet.Vint Cerf_Gallery1.jpgHere’s Vint with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Apparently they get mixed up a lot.Vint Cerf_Gallery3.jpgVint and his wife, Sigrid CerfVint Cerf_Gallery6.jpg1974, Johannesburg, South Africa, demonstrating the ARPANET via satellite to New York.Vint Cerf_Gallery2.jpgSigns put up in Europe during a push to evangelize IPv6, the most recent version of the Internet Protocol.What do you like to do for fun?(It should be noted: When I first asked Vint this question, he excitedly told me about all of the organizations he’s involved with—he’s the Chairman of the Board of the People Centered Internet, a[...]