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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: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:00:00 +0000

 



Lights, shadows and silhouettes by #teampixelLights, shadows and silhouettes by #teampixelTeam Pixel

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:00:00 +0000

Shadows don’t always have to be scary—they can be downright magical. This week, #teampixel is sharing everything from a solitary lemon’s shadow to palm trees silhouetted against a vivid sky in Venice, CA. Come chase shadows with us and see what you find.If you’d like to be featured on @google and The Keyword, tag your Pixel photos with #teampixel and you might see yourself next. Pixel_1116_.jpg Left: james_4388 - palm tree silhouettes in Venice, CA. Right: Lkkben - shadowing a game in Singapore Pixel_1116_2.jpg davidhorneman - caught in a sea of lights Pixel_1116_3.jpg Left: prokopakis_ - Athens Olympic Sports Complex. Right: sidgoswami - a spark of madness Pixel_1116_4.jpg Left: Wanderingislemissionpic - a lemon and its shadow. Right: phoolandevi_ - shadow play in Jaipur, Rajasthan Pixel_1116_5.jpg rhyslawsn - soggy sandals and socks in British Columbia [...]This week we’re chasing #teampixel through the dark and into the light.


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7 ways the Assistant can help you get ready for Turkey Day7 ways the Assistant can help you get ready for Turkey DayThe Google Assistant Team

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and, as always, your Google Assistant is ready to help. So while the turkey cooks and the family gathers, here are some questions to ask your Assistant. 

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  • Show up to dinner on time: “Ok Google, how’s traffic?”
  • Prepare accordingly: “Ok Google, set a turkey timer for 4 hours.”
  • And don’t forget dessert: “Ok Google, add apple pie and pumpkin pie to my shopping list”
  • Play a game while you wait for turkey: “Ok Google, play Thanksgiving Mad Libs” 
  • Hear a funny tale: “Ok Google, tell me a turkey story” 
  • Learn something new: “Ok Google, give me a fun fact about Thanksgiving”
  • When Thanksgiving’s over, get ready for the next occasion:  “Ok Google, play holiday music” 

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

(image) Thanksgiving is just a few days away and, as always, your Google Assistant is ready to help.



Developing a VR game in just two weeksDeveloping a VR game in just two weeksProduct Manager

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:00:00 +0000

Earlier this year, 3D modeler Jarlan Perez joined the Blocks team for a two-week sprint. The goal of his time with the team was to create a fully immersive virtual reality game in just two weeks using Blocks and Unreal Engine, two tools that have significantly influenced his process as a modeler and game enthusiast.The result was “Blocks Isle,” the first level of a game that takes you on a journey to find your long lost friend in a sci-fi land of wonder. To win, you must solve a puzzle using hidden clues and interactions throughout the experience. You start out on a strange desert island. After uncovering some clues and pulling a handy lever, a rocky pathway opens for exploration. Up ahead, hidden radios and books reveal clues to solve the puzzle. Initial steps to get onto Blocks Isle. Levers and teleportation immerse the user in a new world. Solving the puzzle on Blocks Isle We caught up with Jarlan to hear more about his process and advice for other developers building immersive experiences using Blocks and Unreal Engine 4.Brittany: Tell us about using Blocks and Unreal to develop a game in such a short amount of time.Jarlan: Tag teaming both pieces of software worked very well! Blocks allowed me to visualize and be in the space during the modeling and conceptual phase. Unreal is like giving an artist magical powers: I’m able to fully build a proof of concept and implement functionality without having to be a professional programmer.I found myself spending part of the day in Blocks experimenting with concepts and the rest in Unreal creating basic functionality for those ideas. This method allowed for rapid prototyping and was later beneficial when populating the space with art assets. Basic prototype in Unreal What tips and tricks did you uncover that made it easy to build your game?Being able to build large parts of the environment while standing smack dab in the middle of it is wonderful. A big thing that I found myself doing is blowing the scene up to actual size, standing in it, and using a combination of the move grip and me moving my arms back and forth to simulate walking within the space. It helped me further understand how I wanted the player to navigate the space and where certain things needed to be placed. Again all within Blocks and no code. Simulating walking through the experience in Blocks, as part of the creation process Another general tip, the snap trigger is your friend! I’ve used it for most of my modeling in Blocks to snap and place assets. Using Blocks’ snapping feature to align shapes in the environment How did you experiment with different ideas and concepts?I had a few different concepts when I started the project. Blocks allowed me to quickly build a mock up of each for testing.Blocks is an amazing tool for spatial prototyping. Before bringing a scene into Unreal, I’d blow it up to scale and move around in the space to see if it makes sense for what I’m trying to achieve. This saved me so much time. Further development of the Blocks Isle concept Without Blocks, how might this process have been different?After all is said and done, I still h[...]


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The High Five: our searches go on, and onThe High Five: our searches go on, and onManaging Editor

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:55:00 +0000

Turkey, “Titanic” and the pope’s new ride were on our minds this week. Here are a few of the week’s top search trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Almost time for turkey

As people in the U.S. prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving next week, our Thanksgiving insights page has all the trends. Pumpkin pie dominates searches in the U.S., but pecan pie is more popular in the southeast and apple pie is the state favorite in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A smoked turkey is popular in most states, though some contend it should be roasted, fried or grilled. And Friendsgiving continues to rise in popularity, with searches like “friendsgiving ideas,” “friendsgiving invitations” and “friendsgiving games.”

We’ll never let go

Two decades ago, “Titanic” left an iceberg-sized hole in our hearts, and now it’s coming back to theaters in honor of its 20-year anniversary. In the years since its debut, search interest in “Titanic” reached its highest point globally in April 2012 when Titanic in 3D was released. All this talk of sinking ships made us think about other famous boats—the top searched shipwrecks this week include the Batavia, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the USS Indianapolis.

Hot wheels

The “popemobile” got an upgrade this week. Lamborghini gifted the pope a special edition luxury car, which he decided to auction off for charity. Though the pope is known for his affinity for Fiats, interest in “Pope Lamborghini” zoomed 190 percent higher than “Pope Fiat.” People also searched to find out, “Why did the Lamborghini company give the pope a car?” and “How much does the Lamborghini that they gave the pope cost?”

That’s a foul

Searches for “UCLA basketball players” shot 330 percent higher this week when three players returned home after being arrested for shoplifting while on tour with the team in China. The search queries dribbled in: “How long are the UCLA players suspended for?” “Why did China let the UCLA players go?” and “What were the UCLA players stealing?”

All about the music

With hits like “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” taking over the globe this year, the Latin Grammys last night were a hot ticket. People searched “How to watch the Latin Grammy awards online,” “What time are the Latin Grammy awards on?” and “How does music qualify for a Latin Grammy award?” Of the nominees for Record of the Year, “Despacito,” “Guerra,” and “Felices Los 4” were the most searched.

(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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An AI Resident at work: Suhani Vora and her work on genomicsAn AI Resident at work: Suhani Vora and her work on genomicsGoogle AI Residency Program

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:10:00 +0000

Suhani Vora is a bioengineer, aspiring (and self-taught) machine learning expert, SNES Super Mario World ninja, and Google AI Resident. This means that she’s part of a 12-month research training program designed to jumpstart a career in machine learning. Residents, who are paired with Google AI mentors to work on research projects according to their interests, apply machine learning to their expertise in various backgrounds—from computer science to epidemiology.I caught up with Suhani to hear more about her work as an AI Resident, her typical day, and how AI can help transform the field of genomics. Phing: How did you get into machine learning research?Suhani: During graduate school, I worked on engineering CRISPR/Cas9 systems, which enable a wide range of research on genomes. And though I was working with the most efficient tools available for genome editing, I knew we could make progress even faster.One important factor was our limited ability to predict what novel biological designs would work. Each design cycle, we were only using very small amounts of previously collected data and relied on individual interpretation of that data to make design decisions in the lab.By failing to incorporate more powerful computational methods to make use of big data and aid in the design process, it was affecting our ability to make progress quickly. Knowing that machine learning methods would greatly accelerate the speed of scientific discovery, I decided to work on finding ways to apply machine learning to my own field of genetic engineering. I reached out to researchers in the field, asking how best to get started. A Googler I knew suggested I take the machine learning course by Andrew Ng on Coursera (could not recommend it more highly), so I did that. I’ve never had more fun learning! I had also started auditing an ML course at MIT, and reading papers on deep learning applications to problems in genomics. Ultimately, I took the plunge and and ended up joining the Residency program after finishing grad school.  Tell us about your role at Google, and what you’re working on right now.I’m a cross-disciplinary deep learning researcher—I research, code, and experiment with deep learning models to explore their applicability to problems in genomics.In the same way that we use machine learning models to predict the objects are present in an image (think: searching for your dogs in Google Photos), I research ways we can build neural networks to automatically predict the properties of a DNA sequence. This has all kinds of applications, like predicting whether a DNA mutation will cause cancer, or is benign.What’s a typical day like for you?On any given day, I’m writing code to process new genomics data, or creating a neural network in TensorFlow to model the data. Right now, a lot of my time is spent troubleshooting such models.I also spend time chatting with fellow Residents, or a member of the TensorFlow team, to get their expertise on the experiments or code I’m writing. This could include a meeting with my two mentors, Mark DePristo and Quoc Le, top researchers in the field of machine learning who regularly provide invaluable guidance for developing the neural network models I’m interested in. IMG_20171109_134038.png Suhani heads to the whiteboard. IMG_20171109_133246.png Just a normal day writing code to process new genomics data, or creating (and troubleshooting…) a neural network in TensorFlow to model the data. [...]



Doubling down in JapanDoubling down in JapanVP, Google Japan

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 01:45:00 +0000

With Ruth, our CFO, visiting the site of our new Tokyo office today.

In 2001, when Google was just three years old, we opened our first office outside the U.S. That office was right here in Tokyo. Before Chrome, Gmail and YouTube, there was Google Japan.

16 years later, Google has grown quite a bit—we now have offices in over 150 cities, spanning nearly 60 countries—and Google Japan has grown as well, to 1,300 Googlers strong.

Today, I’m excited to announce the next phase of our long term investment and presence in Japan: a new office in Shibuya, Tokyo, opening in 2019, that will allow us to double the size of our team here. We are also announcing an initiative, working with Minna No Code, to help bring computer science education to more than two million students across Japan.

Doubling our presence in Japan means growing our strong engineering teams here. When an earthquake hit Tohoku in 2011, members of these teams worked quickly to launch tools like Person Finder that we still use when disasters strike around the world. And they continue to work on and improve products like Search and Maps. It also means growing our teams who work every day to help Japanese companies grow. Their work, and the tools we provide, helped Japanese businesses increase their revenue by more than $6.7 billion in 2015 alone.

We are working on some exciting ideas around the design of the new office that will let us open our doors to the community, and will share more details as plans progress.

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Here are some early artist’s impressions of how we might design some of the spaces

Finally, this is a sign of our commitment to long-term investment in Japan. It’s about creating the future with Japan’s innovators of today and those from the next generation. That’s why, through Google.org, we are partnering with Minna No Code to train thousands of teachers in computer science who will go on to teach more than two million Japanese students. This initiative is in line with Japan’s plans to ensure that all Japanese students receive a computer science education by 2020.


We can’t wait to start the next phase of our journey in Japan and to see the future that we can create together.

(image) Google invests in Japan with a new Tokyo office and a grant to help teach students CS.


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Reflecting on a year’s worth of Chrome security improvementsReflecting on a year’s worth of Chrome security improvementsChrome Security Product Manager

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:00:00 +0000

In the next few weeks, you’ll probably be spending lots of time online buying gifts for your friends, family and “extended family” (your dog, duh). And as always, you want to do so securely. Picking the perfect present is hard enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about staying safe while you’re shopping.Security has always been a top priority for Chrome, and this year we made a bunch of improvements to help keep your information even safer, and encourage sites across the web to become more secure as well. We’re giving you a rundown of those upgrades today, so that you can concentrate on buying the warmest new slippers for your dad or the perfect new holiday sweater for your dog in the next few weeks.More protection from dangerous and deceptive sitesFor years, Google Safe Browsing has scanned the web looking for potential dangers—like sites with malware or phishing schemes that try to steal your personal information—and warned users to steer clear. This year, we announced that Safe Browsing protects more than 3 billion devices, and in Chrome specifically, shows 260 million warnings before users can visit dangerous sites every month. We’re constantly working to improve Safe Browsing and we made really encouraging progress this year, particularly with mobile devices. Safe Browsing powers the warnings we now show in Gmail’s Android and iOS mobile apps after a user clicks a link to a phishing site. We brought Safe Browsing to Android WebView (which Android apps sometimes use to open web content) in Android Oreo, so even web browsing inside other apps is safer. We also brought the new mobile-optimized Safe Browsing protocol to Chrome, which cuts 80 percent of the data used by Safe Browsing and helps Chrome stay lean. In case you do download a nastygram, this year we’ve also redesigned and upgraded the Chrome Cleanup Tool with technology from IT company ESET. Chrome will alert you if we detect unwanted software, to remove the software and get you back in good hands.Making the web safer, for everyoneOur security work helps protect Chrome users, but we’ve also pursued projects to help secure the web as a whole. Last year, we announced that we would mark sites that are not encrypted (i.e., served over HTTP) as “not secure” in Chrome. Since then, we’ve seen a marked increase in HTTPS usage on the web, especially with some of the web’s top sites: If you’re researching gifts at a coffee shop or airport, you might be connecting to unfamiliar Wi-Fi which could be risky if the sites you’re visiting are not using the secure HTTPS protocol. With HTTPS, you can rest assured that the person sitting next to you can’t see or meddle with everything you’re doing on the Wi-Fi network. HTTPS ensures your connection is encrypted and your data is safe from eavesdroppers regardless of which Wi-Fi network you’re on.An even stronger sandboxChrome has never relied on just one protection to secure your data. We use a layered approach with many different safeguards, including a sandbox—a feature that isolates different tabs in your browser so that if there’s a problem with one, it won’t affect the others. In the past year, we’ve added an additional sandbox layer to Chrome on Android and improved Chrome’s sandboxing on Windows and Android WebView.So, if you’ve entered your credit card to purchase doggy nail polish in one Chrome tab, and you’ve inadvertently loaded a misbehaving or malicious site in another tab the sandbox will isolate that bad tab, and your credit card details will be protected.Improving our browser warnings to keep you even saferIt should always be easy to know if you might be in danger online, [...]



Go behind the scenes with Austin City Limits: BackstageGo behind the scenes with Austin City Limits: BackstageDirector, Immersive Content

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

“Austin City Limits” needs little introduction. It’s the longest-running television music program in history, it’s helped launch the careers of iconic musicians like Willie Nelson (featured in the very first episode back in 1974), and it’s even enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But, for all its history, the closest you can get is either in the crowd, or in front of your TV screen. We wanted to go further, and pay tribute to this legendary show’s 43rd season and its impact on pop culture. So we’re releasing a new virtual reality video series called “Austin City Limits: Backstage” in partnership with SubVRsive Media. “ACL Backstage” lets you explore the untold stories of the crew, the city, the fans and, of course, the musicians who make Austin City Limits possible—all in virtual reality. Venture backstage at Austin’s legendary Moody Theater to hear stories from some of your favorite artists. Then, watch and listen up close as they take the stage and play their hits under the bright lights. After that, you can take a whirlwind tour through the city’s thriving local music scene, where you’ll hear up-and-coming stars who might make it big one day. ACL Backstage will have 10 episodes, each featuring a different artist or group.The first three are available now, with more coming soon:“Ed​ ​Sheeran” This is Ed Sheeran’s second ACL Live performance, and since he last took the stage in 2014, his career has skyrocketed. Now, with multiple Grammy wins and three platinum records under his belt, he reflects on his rise to the top of the charts. His passion for the music and his fans shine through in this episode.“Zac​ ​Brown​ ​Band​” Three-time Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band make a stop on their 2017 Welcome Home Tour to grace the ACL stage for the very first time. Sit backstage with the band as they chat about ACL’s rich history, and join them onstage for their lively show. “Unsung Heroes” Hear ACL stories directly from crew members, many of whom have been working the show for decades. They explain the ethos of Austin City Limits and why it remains so popular among musicians.Use your Cardboard or Google Daydream View to check out all the videos on the ACL YouTube Channel. Kick back, hang with your favorite artists, and rock out.[...]To celebrate the legendary show’s 43rd season, we’re releasing a new virtual reality video series called “Austin City Limits: Backstage” in partnership with SubVRsive Media.


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Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust ProjectIdentifying credible content online, with help from the Trust ProjectGroup Product Manager, Search

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000

Every day approximately 50,000 web pages filled with information come online—ranging from the weird, the wonderful and the wacky to the serious, the subjective, and the spectacular. With a plethora of choices out there, we rely on algorithms to sort and rank all this information to help us find content that is authoritative and comes from credible sources. A constantly changing web means we won’t ever achieve perfection, but we’re investing in helping people understand what they’re reading by providing visual signposts and labels.  We add clear labelling to stories in Google News (e.g., opinion, local, highly cited, in depth), and over year ago we launched the Fact Check tag globally in Google News and Search. And just recently we added information to our Knowledge Panels to help people get a quick insight into publishers.Today, we’re announcing a move toward a similar labeling effort by the Trust Project, which is hosted at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Project, which is funded by Google among others, has been working with more than 75 news organizations from around the world to come up with indicators to help people distinguish the difference between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation.In a first step, the Project has released eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content. This information will help readers understand more about what type of story they’re reading, who wrote it, and how the article was put together. These eight indicators include:Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy. The publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times and more. (Photo courtesy of the Trust Project.) News publishers embed markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReview schema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowledge Panels. We believe this is a great first step for the Trust Project and look forward to future efforts as[...]



How girls see the world: Girlgaze and Pixel 2How girls see the world: Girlgaze and Pixel 2Editor-in-Chief

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Girlgaze is a multimedia company that highlights the work of female-identifying creatives and is dedicated to closing the gender gap by providing paid job opportunities for its global community.Girlgaze’s inaugural zine, out today, was created primarily using Pixel 2, and today we’re also releasing a collection of Live Cases featuring Girlgaze photographers. We spoke with the creator of Girlgaze, Amanda de Cadenet, about the origins of the initiative and their work with Google. The Keyword: Tell us about why you started Girlgaze. Why is it important to you to have more women represented behind the lens, not just in front of it? 
Amanda: When we began the #girlgaze initiative we realized quickly how many girls were eager to have a platform to share their perspective on the world. Within a matter of a few months we had close to 1 million submissions. When there is a need for something—in this case, a community for girls to connect on activism, creativity, and the challenges young women face—it will grow quickly. We’ve now had over 2.8 million submissions of images.We felt it was our responsibility to not only draw attention to how the female perspective is so underrepresented in media, but also try and create a solution. It’s not enough to say, “Yes, the female perspective is hugely marginalized in these creative industries.” We also wanted to create a platform where we could showcase the incredible talent that is out there and create tangible jobs for our global community.How did you get involved with the Pixel team? 
Girlgaze’s audience is made up of digital natives—they’re mostly Gen Z. With the launch of our inaugural zine—which is 100 percent digital—it was a natural fit to partner with Google. Tell us about how you used Pixel for the new Girlgaze zine. What was different about this project?Well, this being our inaugural issue of the zine makes it unique from any other! But also, shooting it almost entirely on the new Google Pixel 2 was pretty extraordinary for us. Although our community is very in-tune with using smartphones day-to-day, shooting industry-standard work on a smartphone was a first for us. We’re thrilled with the outcome!Has the internet opened up new opportunities for women 
photographers/creators to gain more visibility? If so, in what way? 
The fact that we all have our phones on us at almost every moment, giving us access to technology to take and edit images at a whim, gives everyone a platform, without necessarily having studied or trained to become a photographer. And social media has created a global platform for photographers around the world, some in very remote areas, to create and exhibit their work. In an industry that is heavily dominated by men, the internet has given the opportunity for female-identifying photographers to create their own community to share their point of view.Tell us a little a bit about the Live Cases. How did you select which photos to turn into 
cases? Was there a particular aesthetic or theme you wanted to express?We selected images from girls in our community whose work translated well to the wallpaper format, but not necessarily in a traditional sense. We wanted the imagery to be uniquely Girlgaze, images that strongly conveyed how our girls see the world. GirlGaze_1.jpg Photographers: Aditi Mayer (left), Amanda Picotte (right) GirlGaze_2.jpg Photographers: Viviana Illanes (left), Ashley Kickliter (ri[...]



Google Maps gets a new lookGoogle Maps gets a new lookProduct Manager, Google Maps

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:00:00 +0000

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots). We’ve created a cheat sheet of the new colors and icons to help you get acquainted with the new look: legend_color.jpg legend_01.jpg legend_02.jpg 3 6 legend_05.jpg You’ll see these changes over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well.  So no matter how or where you’re using Google Maps, you’ll have the same consistent experience.[...]We’ve updated Google Maps with more relevant information, a new color scheme and new icons to help you quickly identify points of interest.


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Defending access to lawful information at Europe’s highest courtDefending access to lawful information at Europe’s highest courtSVP and General Counsel

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Under the right to be forgotten, Europeans can ask for information about themselves to be removed from search results for their name if it is outdated, or irrelevant. From the outset, we have publicly stated our concerns about the ruling, but we have still worked hard to comply—and to do so conscientiously and in consultation with Data Protection Authorities. To date, we’ve handled requests to delist nearly 2 million search results in Europe, removing more than 800,000 of them. We have also taken great care not to erase results that are clearly in the public interest, as the European Court of Justice directed. Most Data Protection Authorities have concluded that this approach strikes the right balance. But two right to be forgotten cases now in front of the European Court of Justice threaten that balance.In the first case, four individuals—who we can’t name—present an apparently simple argument: European law protects sensitive personal data; sensitive personal data includes information about your political beliefs or your criminal record; so all mentions of criminality or political affiliation should automatically be purged from search results, without any consideration of public interest.If the Court accepted this argument, it would give carte blanche to people who might wish to use privacy laws to hide information of public interest—like a politician’s political views, or a public figure’s criminal record. This would effectively erase the public’s right to know important information about people who represent them in society or provide them services.In the second case, the Court must decide whether Google should enforce the right to be forgotten not just in Europe, but in every country around the world. We—and a wide range of human rights and media organizations, and others, like Wikimedia—believe that this runs contrary to the basic principles of international law: no one country should be able to impose its rules on the citizens of another country, especially when it comes to linking to lawful content. Adopting such a rule would encourage other countries, including less democratic regimes, to try to impose their values on citizens in the rest of the world.We’re speaking out because restricting access to lawful and valuable information is contrary to our mission as a company and keeps us from delivering the comprehensive search service that people expect of us. But the threat is much greater than this. These cases represent a serious assault on the public’s right to access lawful information. We will argue in court for a reasonable interpretation of the right to be forgotten and for the ability of countries around the world to set their own laws, not have those of others imposed on them. Up to November 20, European countries and institutions have the chance to make their views known to the Court. And we encourage everyone who cares about public access to information to stand up and fight to preserve it.[...]We will argue in court for a reasonable interpretation of the right to be forgotten and for the ability of countries around the world to set their own laws, not have those of others imposed on them.



Quill.org: better writing with machine learningQuill.org: better writing with machine learning

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:00:00 +0000

Editor’s note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that—open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we’re sharing those stories here on Keyword. Here’s one of them. Quill.org was founded by a group of educators and technologists to help students become better writers and critical thinkers. Before beginning development, they researched hundreds of studies on writing education and found a common theme—students had a hard time grasping the difference between a run-on sentence and a fragment. So the Quill team developed a tool to help students identify the different parts of a sentence, with a focus on real-time feedback.Using the Quill tool, students complete a variety of exercises, including joining sentences, writing complex sentences, and explaining their use and understanding of grammar. The tool relies on a huge depository of sentence fragments, which Quill finds, recognizes and compiles using TensorFlow, Google's open source machine learning library. TensorFlow technology is the backbone of the tool and can accurately detect if a student’s answers are correct. After completing the exercises, each student gets a customized explanation of incorrect responses, and the tool learns from each answer to create an individualized testing plan focused on areas of difficulty. Here's an example of how it works: Quill Connect - Demo × More than 200,000 students—62 percent from low-income schools—have used Quill. They’ve collectively answered 20 million exercises, and Quill’s quick, personalized writing instruction has helped them master writing standards across the Common Core curriculum.Teachers have also benefitted from introducing Quill in their classrooms. Each teacher has access to a customized portal, allowing them to see an individual student’s progress. Plus, by using machine learning, teachers have been spared hundreds of hours of manual grading. Laura, a teacher at Caswell Elementary School in California said, "Quill has been a wonderful tool for my third graders, many of whom are second language learners. We especially love the immediate feedback provided after each practice; it has definitely made us pay closer attention to detail.”Quill’s most recent update is a “multiplayer” feature, allowing students to interact with each other in the tool. They can see their peers’ responses, which fosters spirited classroom discussions and collaboration, and helps students learn from each other.While students aren’t using quills (or even pens!) anymore, strong writing skills are as important as ever. And with the help of machine learning, Quill makes it fun and engaging to develop those skills.[...]Quill’s mission is to make kids better writers, using Google’s machine learning to grade and correct students writing in real time.



New tools to make your job search simplerNew tools to make your job search simplerProduct Manager

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +0000

To help the millions of people who turn to Google to start their job search, we worked with leaders across the industry to introduce a new experience earlier this year. Since then, we’ve seen 60 percent more employers showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people to new job opportunities. Now, based on feedback from job seekers, we’re introducing some new features to help make the process more efficient. Directly in Search, you can access salary information for job postings, improved location settings, job application choices, and in a couple of weeks, the ability to save individual jobs. Salary is an important factor in finding the right job—but by our estimate, this information is missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today. So to provide this essential information, we’re showing estimated salary ranges right alongside many jobs, based on the specific job title, location and employer. These are drawn from sources across the web like Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, Paysa and more. For those jobs that do have a salary listed, we’ll show a comparison to the estimated range for that job, if available.    Many job seekers tell us they want more control over the geography Google uses to find matching jobs for a search. To help, we’re now adding an easy way for you to tell Google what search area to use when finding jobs that match your query. Just click the “Location” filter, and you’ll see a range of distances, from two miles up to 200 miles or “anywhere” if you’re a bit more flexible. Once you select the distance that works for you, we’ll display postings only from the area you’re interested in—whether that’s walking distance from your home, or across the whole country. Once you find a job you’re interested in, we want to make it easy for you to apply. However, jobs are often posted in multiple places on the web, and most job seekers have a preference for where they apply. If you’ve already put in the time to build out your professional presence or profile online (on Monster or CareerBuilder, for example), you might prefer to apply to future jobs on that same site. Now when we find the same job in multiple places on the web, we’ll give you a choice of which site you’d like to visit to view the job. Finally, finding the right job for you can take time. That’s why in a couple of weeks, we’re adding the ability to save jobs right inside Google Search. With a bookmark button alongside each posting, saving is as simple as a single tap. Then that job will appear in your “Saved jobs” tabs on Google, which is accessible across any of your devices.   We all know the job hunt can be stressful, so Google is here to help. We review every piece of feedback we receive (to submit click the “Feedback” button beneath the feature), and we’ll continue to add tools to help make the job search easier for you.  [...]Now directly in Search, you will have access to salary information for job postings, improved location settings, job application choices, and the ability to save individual jobs.


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Our efforts to help protect journalists onlineOur efforts to help protect journalists onlineNews Lab Training and Development Manager

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:30:00 +0000

Safety and security online is important for all of our users, but especially for journalists in the field conducting difficult—sometimes dangerous—reporting.Journalists are susceptible to a number of risks. Reporters covering oppressive regimes or working in regions where freedom of the press is limited have been targeted by government-backed attackers. Newsrooms have fallen victim to phishing attempts by malicious hackers trying to steal their account passwords. Entire news sites have been taken down by DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. And journalists’ data is increasingly at risk from cyber attacks.Despite this elevated risk, according to a recent study of more than 2,700 newsroom managers and journalists from 130 countries, at least half of those surveyed don’t use any tools or methods to protect their data and information online. Given the importance of journalism to open societies everywhere, we want to ensure that newsrooms and journalists are equipped with the tools and training they need to be successful—and safe—while doing their work. In the past, we’ve written about how anyone can protect their Google accounts and minimize security risks while using our products. But to address online safety for journalists, we’ve worked with the Jigsaw team and engineers from across the company to offer a few resources: Project Shield helps protect news sites from DDoS attacks for free.Digital Attack Map, a data visualization of DDoS attacks around the globe, can help journalists better understand the threat these attacks pose.Password Alert helps protect and defend against password phishing attempts.We offer trainings on safety and security, specifically focused on journalists. You can check out a recent webinar to help journalists understand whether they’re at at risk, and what to do about it.We also offer the Advanced Protection program for journalists who are at heightened risk. You should look into this program if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:Do you work in a hostile climate?Do you feel that your sources need stronger protections against potential adversaries?Do you get messages about government-backed attacks on Gmail?Do you see suspicious activities around your account? (e.g., password recovery attempts not initiated by you)Would your work be viewed as controversial by some people?We encourage you to share these resources with your colleagues and friends, and talk to your IT department about what they’re doing to protect your newsroom’s data. It may be worth holding a security risk assessment training with your newsroom using the assets above, or request a training on safety and security for journalists (provided by the Google News Lab) at newslabsupport@google.com.[...]To help journalists better confront evolving security challenges, the News Lab and the Jigsaw team have worked together to prepare security resources focused on keeping journalists safe in the field and online.



Seven things you can do with Google Pixel BudsSeven things you can do with Google Pixel BudsProduct Manager for Google Pixel Buds

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Last month we announced Google Pixel Buds, a pair of wireless headphones that sound great and help you do more without you needing to look at your phone. Pixel Buds are easy to control, comfortable to wear, and fast to pair, and with the Google Assistant, help is just a touch away. There’s a lot these headphones can do—did we mention real-time translation in 40 languages?Pixel Buds recently started shipping from the Google Store and our retail partners, so we wanted to share seven (hopefully) handy things you can do with them.1. Connect with one tap: Pairing Pixel Buds with your phone is fast and easy—open the charging case near Pixel 2 or phones running Android Nougat or newer (with the Bluetooth turned on of course) to pair. Then tap connect on the notification that pops up on your phone and you’re ready to get started.2. Control with just a touch: No more searching for tiny buttons on a cord or pulling out your phone to change your tunes or answer a call from Mom. Tap the right earbud to play, pause or answer a call; swipe forward or backward to adjust the volume. All your audio controls are conveniently packed onto a touchpad on the right earbud.3. Instantly access the Google Assistant: Want to get things done without needing to look at your phone? If you have an Assistant-enabled Android phone and data connection, just touch and hold the right earbud and ask the Google Assistant for help. Play music, send a text, or get walking directions without ever reaching for your phone.4. Communicate in 40 languages: Order spaghetti bolognese like a pro, give directions to a traveler from China, or just impress your friends with real-time translations using Google Translate, Pixel Buds and a Pixel or Pixel 2. Your earphones hear you and your Pixel’s speaker will play the translation in another language. When the other person speaks, you’ll hear the translation right in your ear. To launch Google Translate, simply touch and hold your right earbud and say “Google, help me speak [LANGUAGE]”.5. Check your messages without looking: No need to stop what you’re doing when you get a new notification. When you enable spoken notifications on your phone, you’ll hear a brief chime whenever you receive a new notification.  Double-tap on the right earbud after hearing an alert and your Google Assistant will read the new message to you or tell you what’s next on your calendar.6. Store and charge your headphones on the go: Keep Pixel Buds safely stored when you’re not using them in the handy little case. No need to jam the cord into the case—we designed the charging case so you can neatly wrap Pixel Buds inside. Charge up both Pixel Buds and the charging case all the way and get up to 24 hours of total listening time combined. Learn more about battery life and charging in our help center. 7. Get the perfect fit: Customize the fit of Pixel Buds without needing to swap out any pieces. With the fabric loop, you can adjust the fit so they sit in your ear comfortably and securely. That sweet little loop is part of the cord that connects Pixel Buds, meaning you can wear them how you want all day—both earbuds in, one in and one out, or both out around your neck—you choose.And, to cap off our list, here's one thing NOT to do with your Pixel Buds—don't cut the cord![...]Pixel Buds are a pair of wireless headphones that sound great and help you do more without you needing to look at your phone. And did we mention real-time translation in 40 languages?


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Chrome Enterprise now offers native print managementChrome Enterprise now offers native print managementProduct Manager

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

In August we announced the launch of Chrome Enterprise, a single, cost-effective solution giving you the security and control you need to keep your employees connected. On our road to releasing Chrome Enterprise, we listened to a lot of feedback from businesses. And one of the most common requests we received was greater printing capabilities.

Whether it’s firing off a last minute presentation, or grabbing those boarding passes on the way to the airport, fast and simple printing is business critical. That's why we're excited to expand Chrome Enterprise's native printing capabilities.

Chrome Enterprise’s native print functionality is enabled through the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS). CUPS uses an Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) that allows printing directly to a printer over the local network. You can add, remove, enable and disable printers by organizational unit in the Google admin console. Enabled printers will automatically appear in a user’s list of Chrome printers.

For employees, setup will be a cinch. With native print functionality, they can add a local printer and begin printing—no connectors needed. They can also print directly to a printer via USB.

For more information on managing native printing in Chrome Enterprise, check out our Help Center article. Or warm up your friendly local printer and fire away from your Chrome browser. Just don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own paper)!

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The Google Home app keeps getting betterThe Google Home app keeps getting betterGoogle Home

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Your Google Home and Chromecast are all set up and ready to go. Now, what to watch or listen to? The refreshed Google Home app makes it easier for you to find some of your favorite movies, shows and music. It’s not just a new look—we’ve added new smarts, too. Here are a few ways the updated Google Home app gives you a better browsing experience:


  1. Ready for our close-up: We’ve given the app a full makeover, and it’s much more intuitive. Key navigation buttons are now at the bottom, closer to your fingers.

  2. Browse your faves: You’ll see recommended content from all your streaming services—making it easy to find the movies, music and shows you want to watch and jump directly into your favorite streaming services to play them.

  3. Better search: When you want to watch that one rom-com but can’t remember the name of it, you can search by actor, artist, genre or category.

  4. Movie trailers: Android users can now cast movie trailers for everyone to watch on TV, while still using their phone to seamlessly swipe and play trailers for related content.

  5. More control: Have more say over your entire viewing and listening experience with redesigned controllers. You can even adjust advanced sound settings like bass and treble on your Google Assistant supported speakers, like Google Home.

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Update your app today!

(image) The refreshed Google Home App has a new look and makes it easier for you to find your favorite movies, shows and music.


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How the Pixel 2's security module delivers enterprise-grade securityHow the Pixel 2's security module delivers enterprise-grade securityAndroid Security Team

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Security is often top of mind for enterprise customers when it comes to choosing a device for work. Company data should be protected against all manner of threats to avoid a costly and distressing security breach.The new Google Pixel 2 was built with a tamper-resistant hardware security module that reinforces the lock screen against malware and hardware attacks to better safeguard the data stored on your device, like emails, contacts and photos. This is the first of what we hope are many Android devices that feature dedicated security modules.Benefits of tamper-resistant hardwareThe lock screen is the first line of defense in protecting your data from attacks. Devices that ship with Android 7.0 and above verify your lock screen passcode in a secure environment, such as the Trusted Execution Environment or TEE, that limits how often someone can repeatedly brute-force guess it. When the secure environment has successfully verified your passcode does it reveal a device and user-specific secret used to derive the disk encryption key. Without that key, your data can’t be decrypted.The goal of these protections is to prevent attackers from decrypting your data without knowing your passcode. However, the protections are only as strong as the secure environment that verifies the passcode. Performing these types of security-critical operations in tamper-resistant hardware significantly increases the difficulty of attacking it. Tamper-resistant hardware comes in the form of a discrete chip, separate from the System on a Chip (SoC). It includes its own flash, RAM, processing unit, and other resources inside a single package, so it can fully control its own execution and ward off external attempts to tamper with it. The package is resistant to physical penetration and designed to resist many side channel attacks, including power analysis, timing analysis, and electromagnetic sniffing. The hardware is also resilient against many physical fault injection techniques including attempts to run outside normal operating conditions, such as wrong voltage, wrong clock speed, or wrong temperature.Security module in Pixel 2In addition to being tamper-resistant, the security module in Pixel 2 also helps protect against software-only attacks. Because it performs very few functions, it has a super small attack surface. And with passcode verification happening in the security module, even in the event of a full compromise elsewhere, the attacker cannot derive your disk encryption key without compromising the security module first. The security module is designed so that nobody, including Google, can update the passcode verification to a weakened version without knowing your passcode first.Security at the coreBusinesses that choose the new Google Pixel 2, or a future Android device with tamper- resistant hardware, will have more peace of mind that critical company data is safer against an entire class of sophisticated hardware attacks. These security upgrades, along with the comprehensive and innovative management features that Android brings to work, give your business a powerful set of tools for a mobile workforce.[...]


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Android Pay goes local in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Brazil and SlovakiaAndroid Pay goes local in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Brazil and SlovakiaPali Bhat, VP of Product Management, Payments

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000

Whenever we launch Android Pay in a new market, we think about how to enable faster, easier checkout while taking into account the distinct payment habits of each place. Working with partners is a key part of creating a local experience.A few weeks ago, we launched Android Pay in Ukraine. Today, it’s available in Czech Republic and Brazil, and soon it’ll be live in Slovakia, too. Here’s a look at how two different approaches simplify checkout in two unique parts of the world. Leave your wallet at home in Central and Eastern EuropePaying contactless isn’t new in Central and Eastern Europe–in fact, in many places it’s the norm. With Android Pay, we wanted to make it easier for locals to leave their wallets at home at places they know and love. Starting today in Czech Republic, you can pick up a loaf of traditional Šumava bread at your favorite bakery or an ice-cold Kofola at Albert using nothing but your phone. Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s Finance Minister, demonstrating Android Pay at the launch event And in a region full of Android fans, we’re excited to see it’s already taking off! Ukraine’s Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk was the country’s first person to try Android Pay when we launched on November 1, demonstrating how it works on the Kiev Metro. Pay for pão de queijo with your phone in BrazilOn the other side of the globe in Brazil, contactless payments are just picking up speed. So we partnered with merchants like Ipiranga and Casa do Pão de Queijo to help us merge new experiences (like paying with your phone) with familiar ones (like buying groceries or Brigadeiros). Brazil is also the first Latin American country to get Android Pay, and we're looking forward to helping contactless payments become part of people's everyday routines. We’ll be bringing Android Pay to even more places soon.[...]Android Pay has launched in 3 new markets, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Brazil with Slovakia on the way.