Subscribe: The Official Google Blog
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/rss.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
content  data  google  journalists  make  mobile  new  news lab  news  newsrooms  search  team  time  work  world  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog



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



Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:15:00 +0000

 



News Lab in 2017: the year in reviewNews Lab in 2017: the year in reviewDirector

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:15:00 +0000

In the news and technology communities, the collective sense of urgency about the future of journalism reached new heights this year. Never before has the press been so important—or so under threat. Technology and platforms like the ones Google has built present extraordinary opportunities to strengthen journalism, but they require newsrooms and tech companies working closely together to get it right. That’s why the Google News Lab exists.In a Keyword series this week, we’ve shared the work the News Lab is doing around the world to address industry challenges and take advantage of new technologies. Today, in our final post in this series, we’re stepping back to give a holistic view of 10 major developments in our work this last year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2018 and would love your feedback on how we can partner with the industry to build a stronger future for news. 1. Combating misinformation in European electionsThe spread of misinformation is a growing problem for open societies everywhere. So, helping news organizations confront that challenge—especially during elections—was a key focus for us. We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections. 2. Helping users identify trustworthy news content on GoogleWe worked closely with the news industry to better highlight accurate, quality content on our platforms with new product features and partnerships. Along with the Trust Project, we produced eight indicators of trust that newsrooms can add to their content to help users distinguish between quality content and misinformation. We also partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network and The Poynter Institute to increase the number of verified fact checkers across the world.   3. Empowering underrepresented voicesBringing underrepresented voices into newsrooms can help uncover important stories that are left out of mainstream news coverage. We supported ASNE’s survey to get a better sense of diversity in newsrooms across the U.S. We also partnered with organizations in the U.S., Brazil, France and Germany to provide journalists from diverse backgrounds with in-depth programs to develop their careers. 4. Strengthening local newsWith revenue pressures challenging the creation of quality local news content, we began investing in projects to strengthen local newsrooms across the U.S. We partnered with the Society for Professional Journalists to train more than 9,000 local reporters in digital skills. We’re also supporting Report for America, an initiative that will use a Teach for America model to place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years. 5. Researching key challenges in journalismTo better understand key challenges facing the news industry, we produced studies on the state of data journalism in 2017 and how audiences experience VR and what it means for journalists. We also supported the ICFJ’s newsroom study on the usage of technology in newsrooms. 6. Working with newsrooms to experiment on new technologyFrom drones to virtual reality, we helped news organizations understand and use emerging technologies to shape their reporting and engage audiences in new ways. And we experimented with machine learning, too—we partnered with ProPublica to launch Documenting Hate, a project which uses AI to help build a national database for hate crime and bias incidents.  [...]



ARCore Developer Preview 2ARCore Developer Preview 2Director, Product Management

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Augmented reality is a powerful way to bring the physical and digital worlds together. AR places digital objects and useful information into the real world around us, which creates a huge opportunity to make our phones more intuitive, more helpful and a whole lot more fun.

We’ve been working on augmented reality since 2014, with our earliest investments in Project Tango. We’ve taken everything we learned from that to build ARCore, which launched in preview earlier this year. Whereas Tango required special hardware, ARCore is a fast, performant, Android-scale SDK that enables high-quality augmented reality across millions of qualified mobile devices.

Developers can experiment with ARCore now, and we’ve seen some amazing creations from the community. ARCore also powers AR Stickers on the Pixel camera, which launched earlier this week and lets you add interactive AR characters and playful emojis directly into photos and videos to bring your favorite stories to life.

Today, we’re releasing an update to our ARCore Developer Preview with several technical improvements to the SDK, including:

  • A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs;

  • Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call;

  • Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs.

To learn more about the SDK updates, check out the Android, Unity, and Unreal Github pages.

As we focus on bringing augmented reality to the entire Android ecosystem with ARCore, we’re turning down support of Tango. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.

If you’re a developer interested in AR, now's the time to start experimenting. In the coming months, we’ll launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices. And soon, many augmented reality experiences will be available in the Play Store. We can’t wait to see what you create.

(image) Today, we’re releasing an update to our ARCore Developer Preview with several technical improvements to the SDK



Google and Gallup’s computer science education research: six things to knowGoogle and Gallup’s computer science education research: six things to knowProgram Manager, Computer Science Education

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Maru Ahues Bouza, an Engineering Manager at Google, wouldn’t be where she is today without her father’s encouragement to learn computer science (CS). Growing up in Venezuela, there were no CS classes for children, so when Maru was just 10 years old, her father enrolled her and her sister in an adult CS class. At first, the girls showed little interest, but with steady support from their father, Maru and her sister became the top performers in the class. Maru continued with CS, graduating from Universidad Simón Bolívar with a Computer Engineering degree. Maru says that she couldn’t have learned CS without her father’s confidence: “if you’re taught from a young age that you can definitely do it, you’re going to grow up knowing you can be successful.” Maru, on the left, as a child with her sister and father. Our latest research confirms that this type of support and encouragement is indeed critical. In partnership with Gallup, today we are releasing a new research brief, Encouraging Students Toward Computer Science Learning, and a set of CS education reports for 43 U.S. states. Here are the top six things you should know about the research: Students who have been encouraged by a teacher or parent are three times more likely to be interested in learning CS.Boys are nearly two times as likely as girls to report that a parent has told them they would be good at CS.At age 12, there is no difference in interest in CS between boys and girls. However, the gap widens from age 12 to 14, when 47% of boys are very interested, but only 12% of girls express interest.Across Black, Hispanic, and White students, girls are less likely to be interested in learning CS compared to boys, with the biggest gap between Black girls (15% interested) and Black boys (44% interested). Students are more likely to learn CS in suburban areas (61%) than in rural areas (53%). Regionally, CS is most prevalent in the South or Northeast, where 57% of students are likely to learn CS.Principals perceive mixed parent and school board support for CS, and top barriers to offering CS include minimal budget for teachers and lack of trained teachers, as well as competing priorities for standardized testing and college requirements. Simple words of support can help more kids like Maru learn CS, no matter who they are or where they live. It's not hard to encourage students, but we often don't do so unless a student shows explicit interest. So this winter break, read the research about CS education and take a few minutes to encourage a student to create something using computer science, like coding their own Google logo. This encouragement could spark a student’s lifelong interest in computer science, just like it did for Maru.[...]In partnership with Gallup, today we’re releasing new research about the status of computer science education.



5 ways to improve your hiring process in 20185 ways to improve your hiring process in 2018Senior Product Manager, Google Cloud

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

Editor’s note: Senior Product Manager Berit Hoffmann leads Hire, a recruiting application Google launched earlier this year. In this post, she shares five ways businesses can improve their hiring process and secure great talent.With 2018 quickly approaching, businesses are evaluating their hiring needs for the new year.According to a recent survey of 2,200 hiring managers, 46 percent of U.S. companies need to hire more people but have issues filling open positions with the right candidates. If your company lacks great hiring processes and tools, it can be easy to make sub-optimal hiring decisions, which can have negative repercussions.We built Hire to help businesses hire the right talent more efficiently, and integrated it with G Suite to help teams collaborate more effectively throughout the process. As your business looks to invest in talent next year, here are five ways to positively impact your hiring outcomes.1. Define the hiring process for each role.Take time to define each stage of the hiring process, and think about if and how the process may need to differ. This will help you better tailor your evaluation of each candidate to company expectations, as well as the qualifications of a particular role. Earlier this year, Google reviewed a subset of its own interview data to discover the optimal number of interviews needed in the hiring process to evaluate whether a candidate is right for Google. Statistical analysis showed that four interviews was enough to predict with 86 percent confidence whether someone should be hired. Of course, every company’s hiring process varies according to size, role or industry—some businesses require double that number of interviews, whereas others may only need one interview.Using Hire to manage your recruiting activities allows you to configure as many hiring process “templates” as you’d like, as well as use different ones for different roles. For example, you might vary the number of interview rounds based on department. Whatever process you define, you can bring all candidate activity and interactions together within Hire. Plus, Hire integrates with G Suite apps, like Gmail and Calendar, to help you coordinate the process.2. Make jobs discoverable on Google Search.For many businesses, sourcing candidates is one of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process, so Google launched Job Search to help employers better showcase job opportunities in search. Since launching, 60 percent more employers show jobs in search in the United States.Making your open positions discoverable where people are searching is an important part of attracting the best talent. If you use Hire to post a job, the app automatically formats your public job posting so it is discoverable by job seekers in Google search. 3. Make sure you get timely feedback from interviewers.The sooner an interviewer provides feedback, the faster your hiring team can reach a decision, which improves the candidate’s experience. To help speed up feedback submissions, some companies like Genius.com use a “silent process” approach. This means interviewers are not allowed to discuss a candidate until they submit written feedback first.Hire supports this “silent process” approach by hiding other people’s feedback from interviewers until they submit their own. We’ve found that this can incentivize employees to submit feedback faster because they want to see what their colleagues said. 63 percent of Hire interviewers leave feedback within 24 hours of an interview and 75 percent do so within 48 hours.4. Make sure their feedback is thoughtful, too.Beyond speedy feedback delivery, it’s perhaps more important to receive quality evaluations. Make sure your interviewers know how to write clear feedback and try to avoid common mistakes such as:Writing vague statements or summarizing a candidate’s re[...]


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/Lifehacks_header_3.max-2800x2800.png




Local businesses bring in new customers with Posts on GoogleLocal businesses bring in new customers with Posts on GoogleSenior Product Manager

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

Seven out of ten customers visit a business or make a purchase based on info they found online1. With Posts on Google, businesses can share these timely updates right where people find your business on Search and Maps.Creative posts help a new restaurant become a local hit Igor Chang founded HAO Restaurant and Bar to bring Asian dishes to his beachside neighborhood in João Pessoa, Brazil. HAO keeps its doors open until 3AM, drawing customers for dinner and a night on the town.Igor uses Posts on Google to get more reservations by sharing discounts on sushi, photos of cocktail specials, and links to videos of HAO’s live jazz band.In just three months, Igor's posts received more than 5,000 views. He’s noticed an increase in reservations and often hears customers mention his latest posts. Mobile-friendly Posts bring visitors to a thrilling destination Ramoji Film City is the backdrop for some of India’s biggest films, but it's also a destination itself, where tourists can explore film sets, stay in luxury hotels, and see live performances.When T Prasad joined the team at Ramoji Film City, he discovered that 80% of their customers found their business info on mobile devices. So he started sharing mobile-friendly posts with photos of Ramoji’s amusement park and other attractions.After one month of posting on Google, Prasad saw a 20% increase in website pageviews. He also noticed a jump in calls from people who are excited to visit Ramoji Film City. A candy shop satisfies their community’s sweet toothRaul Vega discovered that Mexican families in his Los Angeles neighborhood wanted to share the candies they loved as kids with their own children in the U.S. So he opened Dulceria Dulfi Mexican Candy Store, which carries sweets from De La Rosa triple-layer marzipan and peanut butter candies to Vero Manitas hand-shaped lollipops. Raul uses Posts to share popular candies, seasonal specials and new arrivals with his customers online. Since he started posting this summer, Raul has seen an average of seven  new customers each week. Those customers make a big difference for his business. Posts also help him track which candies get the most attention, so he can update future orders for his shop. Posting on Google is a way to share relevant, fresh content with people who search for businesses like yours online. Start posting and reach new customers through your Google listing today. 1Google/Ipsos Connect, “Benefits of a Complete Google My Business Listing,” October 2016. A total of N=15,904 adults 18-64, Google search or maps users, recent category purchasers (Bakery/Sweet shop, Auto, Spa/Hairdresser, Clothing, Bookstore/Logistics) in India, Australia, Germany, Turkey and the U.S. [...]How three businesses used Posts on Google to connect with customers and get real results like more memberships, reservations, and bookings.


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/Posts_SmallBusiness_hero.max-2800x2800.jpg




Earth to exoplanet: Hunting for planets with machine learningEarth to exoplanet: Hunting for planets with machine learning

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

For thousands of years, people have looked up at the stars, recorded observations, and noticed patterns. Some of the first objects early astronomers identified were planets, which the Greeks called “planētai,” or “wanderers,” for their seemingly irregular movement through the night sky. Centuries of study helped people understand that the Earth and other planets in our solar system orbit the sun—a star like many others.Today, with the help of technologies like telescope optics, space flight, digital cameras, and computers, it’s possible for us to extend our understanding beyond our own sun and detect planets around other stars. Studying these planets—called exoplanets—helps us explore some of our deepest human inquiries about the universe. What else is out there? Are there other planets and solar systems like our own?Though technology has aided the hunt, finding exoplanets isn’t easy. Compared to their host stars, exoplanets are cold, small and dark—about as tricky to spot as a firefly flying next to a searchlight … from thousands of miles away. But with the help of machine learning, we’ve recently made some progress.One of the main ways astrophysicists search for exoplanets is by analyzing large amounts of data from NASA’s Kepler mission with both automated software and manual analysis. Kepler observed about 200,000 stars for four years, taking a picture every 30 minutes, creating about 14 billion data points. Those 14 billion data points translate to about 2 quadrillion possible planet orbits! It’s a huge amount of information for even the most powerful computers to analyze, creating a laborious, time-intensive process. To make this process faster and more effective, we turned to machine learning. The measured brightness of a star decreases ever so slightly when an orbiting planet blocks some of the light. The Kepler space telescope observed the brightness of 200,000 stars for 4 years to hunt for these characteristic signals caused by transiting planets. Machine learning is a way of teaching computers to recognize patterns, and it’s particularly useful in making sense of large amounts of data. The key idea is to let a computer learn by example instead of programming it with specific rules.I'm a Google AI researcher with an interest in space, and started this work as a 20 percent project (an opportunity at Google to work on something that interests you for 20 percent of your time). In the process, I reached out to Andrew, an astrophysicist from UT Austin, to collaborate. Together, we took this technique to the skies and taught a machine learning system how to identify planets around faraway stars.Using a dataset of more than 15,000 labeled Kepler signals, we created a TensorFlow model to distinguish planets from non-planets. To do this, it had to recognize patterns caused by actual planets, versus patterns caused by other objects like starspots and binary stars. When we tested our model on signals it had never seen before, it correctly identified which signals were planets and which signals were not planets 96 percent of the time. So we knew it worked! Kepler 90i is the eighth planet discovered orbiting the Kepler 90 star, making it the first known 8-planet system outside of our own. Armed with our working model, we shot for the stars, using it to hunt for new planets in Kepler data. To narrow the search, we looked at the 670 stars that were already known to host two or more exoplanets. In doing so, we discovered two new planets: Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i. Significantly, Kepler 90i is the eighth planet discovered orbiting the Kepler 90 star, making it the first known 8-planet system outside of our own. We used 15,000 labeled [...]


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/Screen_Shot_2017-12-15_at_10.43.57_AM.max-2800x2800.png




News Lab in 2017: Our work around the worldNews Lab in 2017: Our work around the worldHead of International

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:15:00 +0000

This week we’re looking at how the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. So far, we shared how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges and use emerging technologies. Today, we’ll take a look at the News Lab’s global footprint and its efforts to fuel innovation in newsrooms across the world.Technology continues to change how journalists across the world report and tell stories. But how technology shapes journalism varies from region to region. This past year our team, the Google News Lab, conducted in-person trainings for journalists across 52 countries. Today, we take a look at the unique challenges of newsrooms in the regions we serve and how we’ve adapted our mission for each region to help build the future of journalism.EuropeIn Europe, it’s been another big year for politics with major general elections taking place in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Norway. We wanted to ensure we were helping newsrooms cover these critical moments with the accuracy and depth they required. So, our efforts across these countries focused on helping newsrooms verify digital content in a timely fashion and providing training in digital skills for journalists.We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections. In France, we supported First Draft's launch of CrossCheck; a collaboration among 37 newsrooms to verify or debunk online stories during the election. In the build up to the elections in the UK and Germany, we also supported fact-checking organizations Full Fact and Correctiv to help newsrooms identify new sources of information. These initiatives helped more than 500 European journalists verify content online and debunk 267 inaccurate stories shared on social during the French and German elections. Journalists across Europe used Google Trends to help visualize big political stories—here’s a peek at what they did.  Journalists attending the European Journalism Centre News Impact Summit in Manchester, UK. We continued to ramp up our efforts to train European journalists digital skills. We worked with The European Journalism Centre on the latest series of the News Impact Summit, providing large-scale training events on news gathering and storytelling, combined with design-thinking workshops for journalists in Rome, Hamburg, Budapest, Manchester and Brussels. And our partnership with Netzwerk Medien-Trainer has provided over a thousand journalists across northern Europe with expert training on data journalism, verification and mapping. Asia Pacific Journalists from across Asia attend a session at our first News Lab Summit in APAC. This year, we expanded our training and programs to the  Asia Pacific, where we’ve tailored our approach to meet the specific needs of journalists across this diverse landscape. In a part of the world that is largely mobile-first (or mobile-only) and chat apps are the norm, there are a unique set of opportunities and challenges for newsrooms.In July, our first News Lab APAC Summit welcomed 180 guests from 150 news organizations across 15 countries to our offices in Singapore. Product specialists and experts from newsrooms across the region came together to share best practices, learn about emerging technologies, and engage in open dialogue on challenges critical to the news industry.In India, our Teaching Fellow has provided training and support to around 4K journalists and journalism students across the country. Our partnership with the Digital Identities team [...]



Plan your winter getaway now with new features in Google Flights, Trips, and hotel searchPlan your winter getaway now with new features in Google Flights, Trips, and hotel searchVP of Travel Products

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

The end of the year is fast approaching, but the fun doesn’t have to end after the ball drops in Times Square. When you’re ready to kick off your travel plans for 2018 and take a weekend getaway, check out our trending destinations for travel inspiration, and our new features to feel confident you’re getting a good deal.Get tips when the price is right Long weekends are a great excuse to escape to warmer weather, but worrying about getting the best price for your vacation can be stressful. A recent study we did indicated that travelers are most concerned about finding the best price for their vacations – more than with any other discretionary purchase.Google Flights can help you get out of town, even when you're on a budget. Using machine learning and statistical analysis of historical flights data, Flights displays tips under your search results, and you can scroll through them to figure out when it’s best to book flights. Say you were searching for flights to Honolulu, and flights from your destination were cheaper than usual. A tip would say that “prices are less than normal” and by how much to indicate you’d spotted a deal. Or, if prices tend to remain steady for the date and place you’re searching for, a tip would indicate the price “won’t drop further” based on our price prediction algorithms. Similarly, when you search for a hotel on Google, a new tip will appear above results when room rates are higher than usual, or if the area is busier than usual due to a holiday, music festival, or even a business conference. So if you're planning a trip to San Francisco or Las Vegas, you can make sure you're avoiding dates when big conferences are scheduled and hotel prices tend to be high. If you prefer to wait and see if prices drop, you can now get email price alerts by opting into Hotel Price Tracking on your phone—this will roll out on desktop in the new year. See the sights without breaking the bankVacation time is precious, and once you book your flight and hotel and arrive at your destination, it’s time to have some fun. Google Trips’ new Discounts feature helps you instantly access deals for ticketing and tours on top attractions and activities. Book and save on a tour of the Mayan ruins near Cancun, or get priority access to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. No matter where you’re headed (and if you need ideas, read on), Trips makes it easy to browse and access fun stuff to do on your vacation without breaking the bank. Head to the beach for MLK WeekendPeople are already searching for flights for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, from January 12th to 15th. The top trending domestic destinations for MLK Weekend offer a warm climate—with Florida and Hawaii taking the lead. For folks heading out of the country, Cancun and Bangkok are top beach destinations, whereas Rome and Tokyo are top cultural destinations. Pick a tropical island or go across the pond for Presidents’ DayPresidents’ weekend is right on the heels of Valentine’s Day next year, so it’s easy to take time off to spend time with that special someone, celebrate singledom with friends, or maybe just treat yourself to a solo adventure. Tropical islands are the most popular for a domestic getaway, with three of Hawaii’s major islands—Oahu, Maui, and Kauai—all trending in flight searches. For international flight searches, Cancun and Bangkok still top the list, but classic European cities like Paris,[...]



Go beyond the gridiron in VR with "NFL Immersed" season twoGo beyond the gridiron in VR with "NFL Immersed" season twoDirector, VR Video

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Jump, Google’s platform for virtual reality video capture that combines high-quality VR cameras and automated stitching, simplifies VR video production and helps filmmakers of all backgrounds and skill levels create amazing content. For the past two years, we’ve worked with NFL Films, one of the most recognized team of filmmakers in sports and the recipient of 112 Sports Emmys, to show what some of the best creators could do with Jump. Last year they debuted the first season of the virtual reality docuseries “Immersed,” and today the first three episodes of season two land on Daydream through YouTube VR and the NFL’s YouTube channel. This season will give fans an even more in-depth look at some of the NFL’s most unique personalities through three multi-episode arcs, each dedicated to a different player.Shot with the latest Jump camera, the YI HALO, the first three episodes follow Chris Long, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles. Each episode gives fans a sneak peek into his life on and off the field, from his decision to donate his salary to charity to a look at how he prepares for game day. They’re available on Daydream through YouTube VR and the NFL’s YouTube channel today, with future episodes featuring Calais Campbell of the Jacksonville Jaguars and players from the 2018 Pro Bowl coming soon.We caught up with NFL Films Senior Producer Jason Weber to hear more about season two, what it was like to use Jump and advice for other filmmakers creating VR video content for the first time:What makes season two of “Immersed” different from the first season?For season two of NFL “Immersed,” we wanted to try and dig a bit deeper into the stories of our players and give fans a real sense of what makes them who they are on and off the field, so we’re devoting three episodes to each subject.VR is such a strong vehicle for empathy, and we wanted to focus the segments on players who are making a difference on and off the field. Chris Long is having a tremendous season with the Eagles as part of one of the best defenses in football, but his impact off the field is equally inspiring. Calais Campbell is a larger-than-life character whose influence is being felt on the resurgent Jaguars and throughout his new community in Jacksonville. And the Pro Bowl is a unique event where all of the best players come to have fun, and the relaxed setting gives us a chance to put cameras where they normally can’t go, giving viewers a true feeling of what it’s like to play with the NFL’s finest. Last year was NFL Films’ first foray into shooting content in VR. What was it like filming and producing season one, and how did it compare to your experience with season two this year?We learned a lot last season; in particular, the challenges of bringing multiple VR cameras to the sidelines on game day. As fast as the game looks on TV, it moves even faster when you’re right there on the field. Being able to get the footage we need, while also being ready to get out of the way when a ball or player is coming right at you took some time to master.What makes shooting for VR different from traditional video content? What considerations do you have to make when shooting in VR?Camera position is one big difference in shooting VR versus traditional video content. When we shoot in traditional video formats our cinematographers are constantly moving to capture different angles and frames of our subjects and scenes. With VR—though we've noticed a slight shift toward more cuts and angles in edited content in the past year—letting a scene play longer from one angle and positioning the camera so that the action takes advantage of the 360-degree range of vision helps differentiate a VR production f[...]


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/nflvrhero.max-2800x2800.png




How Scheels uses Chrome to help its sales associates better serve customersHow Scheels uses Chrome to help its sales associates better serve customersComputer Support Specialist Leader

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from Becky Torkelson, Computer Support Specialist Leader for Scheels, an employee-owned 27-store chain of sporting goods stores in the Midwest and West. Scheels uses Chrome browser and G Suite to help its 6,000 employees better serve customers and work together efficiently.

Whether customers come to Scheels stores to buy running shoes, fishing rods or camping stoves, they talk to associates who know the products inside and out. We hire people who are experts in what they’re selling and who have a passion for sports and outdoor life. They use Chrome browser and G Suite to check email and search for products from Chromebooks right on the sales floor, so they can spend more time serving customers.

That’s a big improvement over the days when we had a few PCs, equipped with IBM Notes and Microsoft Office, in the back rooms of each store. Associates and service technicians used the PCs to check email, enter their work hours or look up product specs or inventory for customers—but that meant they had to be away from customers and off the sales floor.

Starting in 2015, we bought 100 Chromebooks and 50 Chromeboxes, some of which were used to replace PCs in store departments like service shops. Using Chromebooks, employees in these departments could avoid manual processes that slowed down customer service in the past. With G Suite, Chrome devices and Chrome browser working together, our employees have access to Gmail and inventory records when they work in our back rooms. They can quickly log on and access the applications they need. This means they have more time on the sales floor for face-to-face interaction with customers.

Our corporate buyers, who analyze inventory and keep all of our stores stocked with the products we need, use Google Drive to share and update documents for orders instead of trading emails back and forth. We’re also using Google Sites to store employee forms and policy guides for easy downloading—another way people save time.  

We use Chrome to customize home pages for employee groups, such as service technicians. As soon as they log in to Chrome, the technicians see the bookmarks they need—they don’t have to jump through hoops to find technical manuals or service requests. Our corporate buyers also see their own bookmarks at login. Since buyers travel from store to store, finding their bookmarks on any computer with Chrome is a big time-saver.

Our IT help desk team tells me that they hardly get trouble tickets related to Chrome. There was a very short learning curve when we changed to Chrome, an amazing thing when you consider we had to choose tools for a workforce of 6,000 people. The IT team likes Chrome’s built-in security—they know that malware and antivirus programs are running and updating in the background, so Chrome is doing security monitoring for us.

Since Scheels is employee-owned, associates have a stake in our company’s success. They’re excited to talk to customers who want to learn about the best gear for their favorite sports. Chrome and G Suite help those conversations stay focused on customer needs and delivering smart and fast service.

(image)


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/scheels-hero.max-2800x2800.png




Never miss your stop again - with step-by-step directions in transit navigationNever miss your stop again - with step-by-step directions in transit navigationTechnical Lead, Google Maps

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

Traveling on a bus or train is the time for you to do your best music-listening, news-reading, and social-media scrolling ... as long as you don't miss your stop.


A new feature on Google Maps for Android keeps you on track with departure times, ETAs and a notification that tell you when to transfer or get off your bus or train. And you can track your progress along the way just like you can in driving, walking or biking directions.

(image)

To check out the new feature, head into Google Maps. Type your destination, select transit directions, then choose your preferred route. Tap the “Start” button to get on your way (and you won’t miss your stop this time).

(image) Google Maps for Android is about to make your trip a little easier with turn by turn guidance in transit navigation.


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/pexels-photo-720948.max-2800x2800.jpeg




Fostering a love for reading among Indonesian kidsFostering a love for reading among Indonesian kidsPublic Policy and Government Relations Senior Analyst

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:45:00 +0000

Siti Arofa teaches a first grade class at SD Negeri Sidorukan in Gresik, East Java. Many of her students start the school year without foundational reading skills or even an awareness of how fun books can be. But she noticed that whenever she read out loud using different expressions and voices, the kids would sit up and their faces would light up with excitement. One 6-year-old student, Keyla, loves repeating the stories with a full imitation of Siti’s expressions. Developing this love for stories and storytelling has helped Keyla and her classmates improve their reading and speaking skills. She’s just one child. Imagine the impact that the availability of books and skilled teachers can have on generations of schoolchildren.


In Indonesia today, it's estimated that for every 100 children who enter school, only 25 exit meeting minimum international standards of literacy and numeracy. This poses a range of challenges for a relatively young country, where nearly one-third of the population—or approximately 90 million people—are below the age of 15.  


To help foster a habit of reading, Google.org, as part of its $50M commitment to close global learning gaps, is supporting Inibudi, Room to Read and Taman Bacaan Pelangi, to reach 200,000 children across Indonesia.


We’ve consistently heard from Indonesian educators and nonprofits that there’s a need for more high-quality storybooks. With $2.5 million in grants, the nonprofits will create a free digital library of children's stories that anyone can contribute to. Many Googlers based in our Jakarta office have already volunteered their time to translate existing children’s stories into Bahasa Indonesia to increase the diversity of reading resources that will live on this digital platform.


The nonprofits will develop teaching materials and carry out teacher training in eastern Indonesia to enhance teaching methods that improve literacy, and they’ll also help Indonesian authors and illustrators to create more engaging books for children.   


Through our support of this work, we hope we can inspire a lifelong love of reading for many more students like Keyla.


Photo credit: Room to Read


(image) Supporting nonprofits to foster a culture of reading among 200,000 Indonesian children via greater access to high-quality digital stories and teacher training.


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/reading_aloud_v2.max-2800x2800.jpg




Save development time with our new 3D debugging toolSave development time with our new 3D debugging toolTechnical Lead

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

Developing 3D apps is complicated—whether you’re using a native graphics API or enlisting the help of your favorite game engine, there are thousands of graphics commands that have to come together perfectly to produce beautiful 3D visuals on your phone, desktop or VR headsets.

To help developers diagnose rendering and performance issues with their Android and desktop applications, we’re releasing a new tool called GAPID (Graphics API Debugger). With GAPID, you can capture a trace of your application and step through each graphics command one-by-one. This lets you visualize how your final image is built and isolate calls with issues, so you spend less time debugging through trial and error until you find the source of the problem.

The goal of GAPID is to help you save time and get the most out of your GPU. To get started with GAPID, download it, take your favorite application, and capture a trace!

(image) To help developers diagnose rendering and performance issues with their Android and desktop applications, we’re releasing a new tool called GAPID (Graphics API Debugger).



The Google Assistant: coming to tablets and more Android phonesThe Google Assistant: coming to tablets and more Android phonesProgram Manager, Google Assistant

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:30:00 +0000

From phones to speakers to watches and more, the Google Assistant is already available across a number of devices and languages—and now, it’s coming to Android tablets running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow and phones running 5.0 Lollipop.

The Google Assistant, now on Tablets

With the Assistant on tablets, you can you can get help throughout your day—set reminders, add to your shopping list (and see that same list on your phone later), control your smart devices like plugs and lights, ask about the weather and more.

The Assistant on tablets will be rolling out over the coming week to users with the language set to English in the U.S.

Lollipop phones, introducing your Assistant

Earlier this year we first brought the Assistant to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and higher with Google Play Services. Today, we’re adding Android 5.0 Lollipop to the mix, so even more users can get help from the Google Assistant.

The Google Assistant on Android 5.0 Lollipop has started to roll out in to users with the language set to English in the U.S., UK, India, Australia, Canada and Singapore, as well as in Spanish in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. It’s also rolling out to users in Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Korea. Once you get the update and opt-in, you’ll see an Assistant app icon in your “All apps” list.

So now the question is … What will you ask your Assistant first?

(image) The Google Assistant is already available across a number of devices and languages—and now, it’s coming to Android tablets running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow and phones running 5.0 Lollipop.



News Lab in 2017: Helping journalists use emerging technologiesNews Lab in 2017: Helping journalists use emerging technologiesPartnerships Manager, Google News Lab

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:15:00 +0000

This week we’re looking at the ways the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. Yesterday, we learned about how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges. Today, we’ll take a look at how it helps the news industry take advantage of new technologies. From Edward R. Murrow’s legendary radio broadcasts during World War II to smartphones chronicling every beat of the Arab Spring, technology has had a profound impact on how stories are discovered, told, and reach new audiences. With the pace of innovation quickening, it’s essential that news organizations understand and take advantage of today’s emerging technologies. So one of the roles of the Google News Lab is to help newsrooms and journalists learn how to put new technologies to use to shape their reporting.This past year, our programs, trainings and research gave journalists around the world the opportunity to experiment with three important technologies: data journalism, immersive tools like VR, AR and drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).Data journalismThe availability of data has had a profound impact on journalism, fueling powerful reporting, making complicated stories easier to understand, and providing readers with actionable real-time data. To inform our work in this space, this year we commissioned a study on the state of data journalism. The research found that data journalism is increasingly mainstream, with 51 percent of news organizations across the U.S. and Europe now having a dedicated data journalist. Our efforts to help this growing class of journalists focuses on two areas: curating Google data to fuel newsrooms’ work and building tools to make data journalism accessible.On the curation side, we work with some of the world’s top data visualists to inspire the industry with data visualizations like Inaugurate and a Year in Language. We're particularly focused on ensuring news organizations can benefit from Google Trends data in important moments like elections. For example, we launched a Google Trends election hub for the German elections, highlighting Search interest in top political issues and parties, and worked with renowned data designer Moritz Stefaner to build a unique visualization to showcase the potential of the data to inform election coverage across European newsrooms. We worked with renowned designer Moritz Stefaner to build a visualization that showcased the topics and political candidates most searched in Germany during the German elections. We’re also building tools that can help make data journalism accessible to more newsrooms. We expanded Tilegrams, a tool to create hexagon maps and other cartograms more easily, to support Germany and France in the runup to the elections in both countries. And we partnered with the data visualization design team Kiln to make Flourish, a tool that offers complex visualization templates, freely available to newsrooms and journalists.Immersive storytellingAs new mediums of storytelling emerge, new techniques and ideas need to be developed and refined to untap the potential of these technologies for journalists. This year, we focused on two technologies that are making storytelling in journalism more compelling: virtual reality and drones.Virtual realityWe kicked off the year by commissioning a research study to provide news organizations a better sense of how to use VR in journalism. The study found, for instance, that VR is better suited to convey an emotional impression rather than information. We looked to build on[...]



Best practices for mobile AR designBest practices for mobile AR designUX Designer

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Over the past few years, many people have experienced virtual reality with headsets like Cardboard, Daydream View, and higher-end PC units like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Now, augmented reality has the potential to reach people right on their mobile devices. AR can bring information to you, and that digital information can enhance the experience you have with their physical space. However, AR is new, so creators need to think carefully when it comes to designing intuitive user interactions.From our own explorations, we’ve learned a few things about design patterns that may be useful for creators as they consider mobile AR platforms. For this post, we revisited our learnings from designing for head-mounted displays, mobile virtual reality experiences, and depth-sensing augmented reality applications. First-party apps such as Google Earth VR and Tilt Brush allow users to explore and create with two positionally-tracked controllers. Daydream helped us understand the opportunities and constraints for designing immersive experiences for mobile. Mobile AR introduces a new set of interaction challenges. Our explorations show how we’ve attempted to adapt emerging patterns to address different physical environments and the need to hold the phone throughout an entire application session. Key design considerations Mobile constraints. Achieving immersive interactions is possible through a combination of the device's camera, real-world coordinates for digital objects, and input methods of screen-touch and proximity. Since mobile AR experiences typically require at least one hand to hold the phone at all times, it's important for interactions to be discoverable, intuitive, and easy to achieve with one or no hands. The mobile device is the user’s window into the augmented world, so creators must also consider ways to make their mobile AR experiences enjoyable and usable for varying screen sizes and orientations. Mobile mental models and dimension-shifts. Content creators should keep in mind existing mental models of mobile AR users. 2D UI patterns, when locked to the user’s mobile screen, tend to lead to a more sedentary application experience; however, developers and designers can get creative with world-locked UI or other interaction patterns that encourage movement throughout the physical space in order to guide users toward a deeper and richer experience. The latter approach tends to be a more natural way to get users to learn and adapt to the 3D nature of their application session and more quickly begin to appreciate the value a mobile AR experience has to offer — such as observing augmented objects from many different angles. Environmental considerations. Each application has a dedicated "experience space," which is a combination of the physical space and range of motion the experience requires. Combined with ARCore's ability to detect varying plane sizes or overlapping planes at different elevations, this opens the door to unique volumetric responsive design opportunities that allow creators to determine how digital objects should react or scale to the constraints of the user's mobile play space. Visual cues like instructional text or character animations can direct users to move around their physical spaces in order to reinforce the context switch to AR and encourage prope[...]



Digital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in newsDigital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in newsHead of the DNI Innovation Fund

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:30:00 +0000

In October 2015, as part of our Digital News Initiative (DNI)—a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation—we launched the €150 million DNI Innovation Fund. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of the fourth round of funding, with 102 projects in 26 European countries being offered €20,428,091 to support news innovation projects. This brings the total funding offered so far to €94 million.In this fourth round, we received 685 project submissions from 29 countries. Of the 102 projects funded today, 47 are prototypes (early stage projects requiring up to €50,000 of funding), 33 are medium-sized projects (requiring up to €300,000 of funding) and 22 are large projects (requiring up to €1 million of funding). In the last round, back in July, we saw a significant uptick in interest in fact checking projects. That trend continues in this round, especially in the prototype project category. In the medium and large categories, we encouraged applicants to focus on monetization, which led to a rise in medium and large projects seeking to use machine learning to improve content delivery and transform more readers into subscribers. Overall, 21 percent of the selected projects focus on the creation of new business models, 13 percent are about improving content discovery by using personalisation at scale. Around 37 percent of selected projects are collaborations between organizations with similar goals. Other projects include work on analytics measurement, audience development and new advertising opportunities. Here’s a sample of some of the projects funded in this round:[Prototype] Stop Propaghate - PortugalWith €49,804 of funding from the DNI Fund, Stop Propaghate is developing an API supported by machine learning techniques that could help news media organizations 1) automatically identify if a portion of news reporting contains hate speech, and 2) predict the likelihood of a news piece to generate comments containing hate speech. The project is being developed by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), a research & development institute located at University of Porto in Portugal.[Medium] SPOT - FranceSpot is an Artificial Intelligence-powered marketplace for curating, translating and syndicating valuable articles among independent media organizations, and is being developed by VoxEurop, a European news and debate website. With €281,291 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Spot will allow publishers to easily access, buy and republish top editorial from European news organizations in their own languages, using AI data-mining technologies, summarization techniques and automatic translation technologies, alongside human content curation.[Large] ML-based journalistic content recommendation system - Finland Digital news media companies produce much more content than ever reaches their readers, because existing content delivery mechanisms tend to serve customers en masse, instead of individually. With €490,000 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Helsingin Sanomat will develop a content recommendation system, using machine learning technologies to learn and adapt according to individual user behavior, and taking into account editorial directives.The recipients of fourth round funding were announced at a DNI event in London, which brought together people from across the news industry to celebrate the impact of the DNI and Innovation Fund. Project teams that [...]



The Year in Search: the questions we asked in 2017The Year in Search: the questions we asked in 2017News Lab Data Editor

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the year that was with our annual Year in Search. As we do every year, we analyzed Google Trends data to see what the world was searching for.

2017 was the year we asked “how…?” How do wildfires start? How to calm a dog during a storm? How to make a protest sign? In fact, all of the “how” searches you see in the video were searched at least 10 times more this year than ever before. These questions show our shared desire to understand our experiences, to come to each other’s aid, and, ultimately, to move our world forward. 

(image)

Many of our trending questions centered around the tragedies and disasters that touched every corner of the world. Hurricanes devastated the Caribbean, Houston and Florida. An earthquake struck Mexico City. Famine struck Somalia, and Rohingya refugees fled for safety. In these moments and others, our collective humanity shined as we asked “how to help” more than ever before.

We also searched for ways to serve our communities. People asked Google how to become police officers, paramedics, firefighters, social workers, activists, and other kinds of civil servants. Because we didn’t just want to help once, we wanted to give back year round.

Searches weren’t only related to current events—they were also a window into the things that delighted the world. “Despacito” had us dancing—and searching for its meaning. When it came to cyberslang like “tfw” and “ofc,” we were all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. And, finally, there was slime. We searched how to make fluffy, stretchy, jiggly, sticky, and so many more kinds of slime….then we searched for how to clean slime out of carpet, and hair, and clothes.

From “how to watch the eclipse” and “how to shoot like Curry,” to “how to move forward” and “how to make a difference,” here’s to this Year in Search. To see the top trending lists from around the world, visit google.com/2017.

Search on.

(image) Data from searches in 2017 shows our shared desire to understand our experiences, come to each other’s aid, and move our world forward.


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/Trends_Header_2500x1500_2017_4.max-2800x2800.jpg




Opening the Google AI China CenterOpening the Google AI China CenterChief Scientist AI/ML

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 02:30:00 +0000

Since becoming a professor 12 years ago and joining Google a year ago, I’ve had the good fortune to work with many talented Chinese engineers, researchers and technologists. China is home to many of the world's top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. All three winning teams of the ImageNet Challenge in the past three years have been largely composed of Chinese researchers. Chinese authors contributed 43 percent of all content in the top 100 AI journals in 2015—and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that their annual meeting overlapped with Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled.

I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world. As an AI first company, this is an important part of our collective mission. And we want to work with the best AI talent, wherever that talent is, to achieve it.

That’s why I am excited to launch the Google AI China Center, our first such center in Asia, at our Google Developer Days event in Shanghai today. This Center joins other AI research groups we have all over the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich, all contributing towards the same goal of finding ways to make AI work better for everyone.

Focused on basic AI research, the Center will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by Google China’s strong engineering teams. We’ve already hired some top experts, and will be working to build the team in the months ahead (check our jobs site for open roles!). Along with Dr. Jia Li, Head of Research and Development at Google Cloud AI, I’ll be leading and coordinating the research. Besides publishing its own work, the Google AI China Center will also support the AI research community by funding and sponsoring AI conferences and workshops, and working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community.

Humanity is going through a huge transformation thanks to the phenomenal growth of computing and digitization. In just a few years, automatic image classification in photo apps has become a standard feature. And we’re seeing rapid adoption of natural language as an interface with voice assistants like Google Home. At Cloud, we see our enterprise partners using AI to transform their businesses in fascinating ways at an astounding pace. As technology starts to shape human life in more profound ways, we will need to work together to ensure that the AI of tomorrow benefits all of us. 

The Google AI China Center is a small contribution to this goal. We look forward to working with the brightest AI researchers in China to help find solutions to the world’s problems. 

Once again, the science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits.

(image) The Google AI China Center, our first AI research center in Asia, is aimed at finding ways to make AI work better for everyone.


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/WechatIMG138.max-2800x2800.jpeg




A look at Team Drives in action at the California Academy of SciencesA look at Team Drives in action at the California Academy of SciencesGoogle for Nonprofits

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:30:00 +0000

Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all wrapped into one. Attracting visitors from all over the world, the California Academy of Sciences aims to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. In addition to biodiversity research and conservation efforts, they offer a large variety of exhibits to educate visitors about wildlife, ecosystems, and the sustainability of our planet. The California Academy of Sciences uses G Suite and other Google products to help employees collaborate, onboard new team members effectively, manage data for science-based animal care, and schedule upcoming physicals and treatments for live animals. Recently, they migrated all their digital data to Team Drives, a G Suite for Nonprofits tool that lets organizations store, search, and access shared content from anywhere. In Team Drives, files belong to the team instead of the individual, so users won’t need to search across siloed folders with varying permissions. Since implementing this change, the California Academy of Sciences has been able to reduce time spent searching for documents, limit duplication of efforts, and collaborate more closely with their team members and other organizations internationally. We spoke with Associate Director of the Steinhart Aquarium (and Google super user), Laurie Patel, who successfully migrated 15 years of digital data to Team Drives in just one evening, to learn more about how they're using the tool. Three endangered African Penguins on exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. The penguin on the left is a juvenile hatched at the Academy as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Better animal health management through unlimited storageThe initial reasoning behind the transition to Team Drives was unlimited storage. Because of the massive amounts of animal medical data that must be stored, the aquarium team needs space to upload all the PDFs, images, videos, and spreadsheets that they collect. All medical data gets logged, like each animal’s annual physicals, blood work, pictures, weight, and other diagnostics. With 38,000 live animals at the California Academy of Sciences, it’s easy to see how the virtual file cabinet of data in their systems could start to overflow. With Team Drives, Laurie’s team can upload all the images and data they collect so that it’s accessible in one place, all the time—without relying on an individual owner to have sole access. And with Team Drives’ permissions settings, they share and link these folders to the external Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) database. That database connects with zoos and aquariums across the world so researchers can cross-reference each species’ baseline health reports. Being able to upload large files to this database has increased both the California Academy of Sciences’ and the ZIMS accumulated knowledge of medical data to ensure all animals are treated properly and receive the best possible care and enrichment. Everything you need to know is right there in Team Drives. Laurie Patel Associate Director of Steinhart Aquarium [...]


Media Files:
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/Reef_Dive_WL_iDnBYp2.max-2800x2800.jpg