20 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Word Origin Google Search Card

Last year, Google updated the dictionary card and added a lot of useful features, including etymological information, a translation box and a graph that shows the use of a word over time. If you only want to find the origin of a word like "basilica", you don't have to search for [define basilica], expand the card and scroll to the word origin section. You can search for [basilica origin] or [basilica word origin] and Google shows a special version of the dictionary card that highlights etymological information.

20 Dec 2014 11:16pm GMT

Reduce Data Usage When Playing YouTube Music Videos

YouTube doesn't offer yet an audio-only version for the desktop, but there's a simple way to save bandwidth when playing a YouTube video in a different tab or in the background.

Let's say you're listening to a 2-hour concert while reading a book. Since you only care about the audio, YouTube wastes bandwidth by streaming the entire video. YouTube now uses adaptive streaming (DASH) and there are separate streams for audio and video.

I mentioned in a recent post that the mobile YouTube app for Android downloads only the audio files when playing music videos in the background. The desktop site doesn't do this, but you can save bandwidth by switching to the lowest quality option that's available: 144p. Click the player's settings button (the wheel icon) and pick 144p from the "quality" dropdown.

It may not seem obvious, but YouTube uses exactly the same audio stream, whether you're watching 144p, 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p or 1080p videos. You can check this by right clicking the player, selecting "stats for nerds" and watching the DASH section when switching to other resolutions. The first numerical value is the ID (itag) of the video stream, while the second one is the ID of the audio stream. You'll notice that the audio ID is the same: 140.


Here's an example: the 2-hour David Gilmour concert from the screenshot above uses 237MB for the 360p stream and 94MB for 144p stream, while the audio stream uses 111MB. That means you can save more than 140MB by switching from 360p to 144p.

Please note that this only works if you're using the Flash player or you're using YouTube's HTML5 player in a browser that supports Media Source Extensions (Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE11).

20 Dec 2014 10:01pm GMT

19 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Links to Google Inbox

Gmail now promotes Google Inbox. If Inbox is enabled for your account, you might see this message in Chrome: "Good news - Inbox by Gmail is enabled for this account. To use it on the web, go to inbox.google.com. You can always use Gmail at mail.google.com."


Gmail also shows a promotional link for Google Inbox at the bottom of the page: "Take me to Inbox".


If you click "x", Gmail hides the link and shows this message: "You dismissed the Inbox link." Click "Don't show this again" to permanently hide the Inbox link.

19 Dec 2014 10:18pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Let's celebrate the season of giving

It's the season of giving, and there are a lot of ways to give-by donating, by volunteering, by surprising a stranger with a random act of kindness. And we're joining in to help spread the holiday cheer. This month, Google.org is giving more than $15 million in grants to organizations using technology to address some of the world's biggest problems. From San Francisco to Western Africa, these organizations are making a direct impact on people around the world, every day.

One of our grants will go to Feeding America. Each year, billions of pounds of surplus food are sent to landfills, while 49 million Americans (including one in five children) go hungry. Our grant will help support their newest food rescue initiative called the Online Marketplace, a program that connects local retail and foodservice businesses who have excess food to those in need. Feeding America serves 3.3 billion meals annually and the Online Marketplace is projected to lead to the recovery of an additional 740 million meals, significantly reducing food waste while giving more families access to food.

Two of our other grantees are working on the front lines to help ensure lives aren't lost to preventable diseases. Nexleaf Analytics works to get life-saving vaccines to children in India and Mozambique by preserving these vaccines before they spoil by installing low-cost refrigerator sensors in clinics. Malaria No More is fighting to save lives by better understanding the spread of malaria using newly available mobile data to map malaria cases and how they are being treated.

To learn more about additional nonprofits we're supporting through these grants, and to see how you can get involved with their efforts, visit g.co/happyholidays and see our slideshow below:





These are only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, we strive to make the world a little bit better through our technology and giving programs, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology resources, and 80,000+ volunteer hours donated to causes around the world.

We're inspired by all the people out there who are working to make a difference-whether it's one of these organizations or simply one person doing a good deed for another. We're glad to do our part spreading some love this holiday season, and look forward to seeing more world-changing work in 2015.

Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org

19 Dec 2014 3:30pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Chrome Data Saver, Compression Proxy for Desktop

Chrome has a data compression feature that works in Chrome for Android and Chrome for iOS. There's an unofficial extension that enables the compression proxy in Chrome for desktop and Google works on its own extension called Data Saver (the codename is Flywheel).

Jerzy Głowacki found this screenshot:

19 Dec 2014 1:27pm GMT

Add Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to App Launcher

You can now add Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides to Google's app launcher from the navigation bar. Just visit each desktop app, click the app launcher and then click "add a shortcut" at the bottom of the pane. Use drag and drop to move the shortcut or hide it by dragging the shortcut to the "more" section. Make sure you are signed in to your Google Account to be able to customize the app launcher.



I added Docs, Sheets and Slides to the app launcher, so I can quickly open the apps from almost any Google service.


To switch between Google's Office apps, you can also use this menu:


{ via +Google Drive }

19 Dec 2014 12:07pm GMT

Save Bandwidth When Playing YouTube Music Videos

I've checked to see what happens when you play a YouTube music video in the background when using the YouTube app for Android, while YouTube Music Key is enabled (it's bundled with the Play Music All Access subscription). I played U2's Beautiful Day on my Nexus 5 and opened the app data usage section to see how much data is used by the YouTube app.

When playing the video in the background, the YouTube app used about 4MB.


When playing the same video in the foreground, the YouTube app used about 24MB.


By default, YouTube selected the highest video quality that was available for this video: 480p.


This means that you can save bandwidth by playing music videos in the background. YouTube uses separate chunked streams for audio and video, so it can download only audio files when playing videos in the background.

19 Dec 2014 10:55am GMT

16 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Add Google Drive Files as Gmail Attachments

You can now attach Google Drive files to Gmail messages. When you compose a message, click the Drive button, pick a file and select "insert as attachment" at the bottom of the pane. Then click "insert" and the file is added as an attachment, not as a link. You can only use this feature for files that haven't been converted to Google's formats.


Here's an example of attachment from Google Drive:


If you pick a file that's too big, you'll get this error message: "Your message could not be saved because it exceeds the maximum size of 25 MB. Try removing an attachment."

"There are now more ways to share Drive files with friends and family through Gmail, without having to worry about accidentally removing their access. By selecting the 'Insert as Attachment' option from Drive you'll be able to attach non-Google files directly to your Gmail message. Now you can be sure your friend will always have that great candid photo from your weekend getaway, or the PDF for your aunt's fruitcake recipe (do people actually eat Fruitcake?) even if you delete it from your Drive," informs Google.

16 Dec 2014 9:53pm GMT

Google Zeitgeist 2014

Google announced the list of the top trending searches in 2014: Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola, MH370, ALS, Flappy Bird, Conchita Wurst, ISIS, Frozen and Sochi. There's a site that shows more information about these topics and you can check Google Trends for more charts.



The top trending consumer electronics products in 2014: iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Nexus 6, Moto G, Samsung Note 4, LG G3, Xbox One, Apple Watch, Nokia X, iPad Air. According to Google Trends, Chromecast is the fifth most popular tech gadget in the US, while "Okay Google" is the 8th fastest rising tech query in Germany. Ironically, iPhone 6 is the most popular IT-related query in South Korea.

16 Dec 2014 8:02pm GMT

Google Slides Imports OpenDocument Presentations

Google Drive's support for OpenDocument files has never been a priority for Google. Until today, you couldn't even open .odp files in Google Slides. "We now offer support for importing all three major ODF (Open) file formats: .odt files for documents, .ods for spreadsheets, and .odp for presentations," informs Google.


An interesting article from Computer World UK offers more information about Google's support for ODF:

"Magnus Falk, deputy CTO for HM Government, told the audience that the decision to adopt ODF (alongside HTML and PDF) as the UK government's required document format is now well in hand. (...) As a result, Google faces significant pressure securing government business in the UK - including in the health and education sectors - now that ODF is a requirement. The support for ODF in Google's products is weak and uneven. (...) Chris DiBona, head of open source at Google, told the PlugFest audience that support for exporting ODS and ODT files in ODF 1.2 format (the one used by all modern suites including MS Office and LibreOffice) is now under development. He also said that support for ODP presentations was under development and could be ready as soon as summer 2015. (...) DiBona explained that Google's internal metrics suggest to product groups there is little use of the existing ODF facilities, but he admitted that may be because of both the poor quality of the import and export, the weakness of the viewer implementations (which fail to display many aspects of ODF documents) and the lack of integration of the collaboration mechanisms into ODF."

16 Dec 2014 7:36pm GMT

Google+ Notifications Sidebar

The new icon for Google+ notifications is not the only change: previously read notifications can only be found in Google+, which now has a notifications sidebar. "Use the tray on the right to browse through your Google+ notifications," informs Google.


You can pick between all notifications, unread notifications or other notifications. When you click a notification, Google sends you to the Google+ post, Blogger post or YouTube video and doesn't show a preview inline.


Here's the notifications tray from Google's navigation bar. "Looking for your previously read Google+ notifications? They can now be found in Google+," informs Google.


Showing two bell icons is confusing. I'm not sure why previously read notifications were removed from Google's navigation bar. Maybe Google wants to drive more traffic to Google+.

Update: Google switched back to the old interface. "We've realized that there were a few shortcomings in the new desktop Google+ notification tray, so we're reverting back to the original notifications experience for now," says Balaji Srinivasan, from Google.

{ Thanks, Neil Capper. }

16 Dec 2014 7:03pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

A Year in Search: the moments that defined 2014

Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or stay gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. In 2014, we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess.

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:


Wishing the genie goodbye
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember-and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams' spirit.

All the world's a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez's bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany's incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.

While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.

Into the unknown
How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for "mh370 found" outnumbered searches for "mh370 lost."

Here's the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:

You can find more on these top searches and more at google.com/2014


Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for "how" more than "why," each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.

We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It'll be 2015 before you know it.

Posted by +Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Search

16 Dec 2014 8:00am GMT

15 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

New Google+ Notification Icons

There's a new Google+ notification icon in Google's navigation bar. When you have one or more notifications, Google only shows the red circle, which is now bigger.


If you don't have notifications, you'll see this new bell icon:


Here's the old bell icon:


{ Thanks, Alfredo Hernández. }

15 Dec 2014 9:31pm GMT

12 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Updates Right-Click Menu

Angelo Giuffrida spotted a small Gmail update and I wanted to share it with you:

"Not really groundbreaking, but interesting to note that Google updated the Gmail right-click menu. The line between Delete and the other options is new as it was previously just a 3 option menu without any additional spacing near Delete (or a line to separate that functionality)."


The menu divider separates non-destructive actions like "archive", "move to inbox" and "mark as read" from "delete".

{ Thanks, Angelo. }

12 Dec 2014 10:52pm GMT

10 New Languages in Google Translate

Google Translate now supports 90 languages and there are 10 new languages: Chichewa, Malagasy, Sesotho, Malayalam, Myanmar (Burmese), Sinhala, Sundanese, Kazakh, Tajik and Uzbek. "These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages," informs Google.


The Translate Community feature helped Google improve its algorithms for some of the new languages. Regular users can help Google translate words and phrases, evaluate translation quality, validate translations and choose a better translation. In fact, one of the indicators for adding a new language to Google Translate is: "Speakers of the languages are eager to partner with us and offer their language expertise through Community tasks".



{ Thanks, Emanuele Bartolomucci. }

12 Dec 2014 10:33pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends December 6-11

From The Colbert Report to astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, here's a look at this week's search stars.

The presidency is just my day job
Being the President of the United State is no easy task, but Barack Obama may have just faced his toughest test yet...a seat on The Colbert Report. This is the Commander-in-Chief's third time on the show, but it's still no cakewalk with every topic up for grabs-including Obama's less than ideal approval ratings and his graying hair. Obama proved himself up for the challenge, though, kicking Colbert off his segment and making it his own.

Not only does Obama moonlight as a comedian-it turns out he can also code. At a White House event with 30 middle school students, the President kicked off Hour of Code, a program that encourages young people to develop their computer and software programming skills. With a little help from one of the kids, Obama wrote a single line of JavaScript, "moveForward(100)," to move the tutorial's character 100 pixels to the right, and in the process becoming the first U.S. president to write a computer program.

Winners and losers
Competition on The Voice is heating up; the three finalists were revealed this week. But there's a twist in the show's seventh season: to spice things up, its creators introduced a new wildcard spot, bringing the total number of potential finalists to four. Now the nine remaining contestants who didn't make it to the top three will duke it out for that fourth spot and a shot at singing glory.

While The Voice contestants still have a chance to take home the grand prize, other stars were left out in the cold this week when the Golden Globe nominations included several snubs. Names left off the selection sheet were Angelina Jolie and her upcoming film Unbroken, Christopher Nolan and his much-hyped Interstellar, and Bradley Cooper, who gained 40 pounds to portray Chris Kyle in the biopic film American Sniper. Oh well-there's still the Oscars. Meanwhile, movies Birdman and Boyhood snapped up seven and five nominations, respectively-and the TV category is staying interesting with nods for several Netflix original series, Amazon's first appearance with Transparent, and two surprise nominations for the CW's quirky Jane the Virgin.

The sky above
This week, searchers spent a good chunk of their time looking up. The weather was top of mind as the Pineapple Express-no, not the film-hit the San Francisco Bay Area, causing flooding and power outages. The phenomenon gets its name from its origins in the waters near Hawaii, a.k.a. the Pineapple State, where it develops before heading towards the U.S Pacific Coast.

Even for those of us trapped indoors, searchers got a chance to look at the stars...on our homepage at least. Searchers looked for more information about astronomer Annie Jump Cannon after a Google doodle marked her 151st birthday. Cannon-who was deaf for most of her adult life, and often overshadowed by her colleague Edward C. Pickering-was instrumental in the development of the Harvard Classification system, which categorizes stars by their temperature (whether or not they were nominated for a Golden Globe).


Tip of the week
Need to find something in the apps on your Android phone? Now you can ask your Google app for help-even if it's in another app. Just say "Ok Google" and then "search YouTube for holiday decorating ideas" or "search Tumblr for Taylor Swift" and jump straight to those results within the other app (if you have it installed).

And come back next week for Google's Year in Search-a review of the people, moments, and events that captured the world's attention.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [comedian-in-chief] and [team adam].

12 Dec 2014 9:53pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Christmas Decorations in Google Search

Just like last year and many years before, Google shows some special decorations when searching for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus]. Christmas decorations are animated.




"A festivus miracle!" is added next to the number of search results when searching for the Seinfeld holiday. "Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 that serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season."

12 Dec 2014 9:48pm GMT

11 Dec 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Offline YouTube

One of YouTube Music Key's features lets you download music videos and watch them offline. Unfortunately, it doesn't even work for all music videos. If you're in India, Indonesia or Philippines, you'll be able to download other popular videos and you don't have to subscribe to YouTube Music Key.

"This feature lets you take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity. For videos where this feature is available, you can choose to add the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon. Once taken offline, videos can be played back without an Internet connection for up to 48 hours, so you can enjoy YouTube videos without worrying about slow connections," informs YouTube.


But why limit this feature to 3 countries? "Asia has proven itself to be a mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge. Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of their favorite content," explains Jay Akkad, YouTube Product Manager.

The offline feature is available in the YouTube app for Android and iOS. For now, the catalog of offline-enabled videos is limited to some Hindi movies, music videos and some other popular videos. "To help monetize this initiative, this feature will be ad-supported, and ads will also show up in offline mode," informs BGR.

11 Dec 2014 6:10pm GMT

Google Maps Promotes Google's Santa Tracker

When opening Google Maps, Google shows a card that promotes its own Santa Tracker. There's also a countdown: "X days till Santa takes off".


"On Christmas Eve we'll be proudly showcasing a Santa's dashboard, the technology that powers his sleigh during his around-the-world journey. We've received this special preview from one of Santa's many developer elves, who are hard at work in the North Pole helping Santa prepare for his big day. Santa's dashboard - featuring the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering - will allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way," informs Google.

11 Dec 2014 3:31pm GMT

10 Dec 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Android dress code: wear what you want

Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing-it's one of the ways you show people what you're about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It's about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.

Today there's even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try 'em on for size, and let us know what you think.

Watch faces for whatever you're into
Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We've got dozens of examples to get you started-from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.

We've also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.

(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don't worry if you don't see them yet.)



Examples of Android Wear watch faces


A family of watches to choose from
In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches-the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that's exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it's really easy to make your watch your own.

So by all means: wear what you want.

Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear

10 Dec 2014 5:59pm GMT

09 Dec 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

#YouTubeRewind 2014: Celebrating what you created, watched and shared

2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that vaulted into pop culture. We got pranked by a spider dog in Poland, learned what it's like to walk the street for 10 hours as a woman in NYC, and watched total strangers share a first kiss. We laughed, we cried, and yes, we sang along to "Let It Go" roughly a bajillion times.

In celebration of the people, memes and moments that made up an epic year, more than 100 YouTube creators gathered together for our annual Rewind video: a giant, global mashup looking back at the best of 2014 on YouTube. With creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, France and beyond, it's the biggest and most international Rewind video yet.


And here are the top trending videos for 2014, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, which can include social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views from creators, with more than 21 million cumulative subscribers.

1. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega) by SA Wardega
2. Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more by Nike Football
3. FIRST KISS by Tatia PIlieva
4. The Voice IT | Serie 2 | Blind 2 | Suor Cristina Scuccia - #TEAMJ-AX by TheVoiceOf Italy
5. iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test by Unbox Therapy
6. Bars & Melody - Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer act | Britain's Got Talent 2014 by Britain's Got Talent
7. Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love" by Budweiser
8. Devil Baby Attack by DevilsDueNYC
9. Goku vs Superman. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3. by ERB
10. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman by Street HarassmentVideo

When it comes to music, it was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos: Women artists took eight of the top 10 spots (Shakira took two!). 2014's top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times from channels with 55+ million subscribers.

1. Katy Perry - Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J
2. Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (Español) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona
3. Shakira - Can't Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
4. Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown
5. Jason Derulo - "Wiggle" feat. Snoop Dogg (Official HD Music Video)
6. Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX
7. Sia - Chandelier (Official Video)
8. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
9. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
10. Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
...and check out even more top music videos.

Check out our YouTube Rewind channel for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our YouTube Brand channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads on YouTube for the year. You can also visit google.com/2014 next week for Google's annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world's attention.

Posted by Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends

09 Dec 2014 6:00pm GMT

05 Dec 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends November 28-December 5

The end of the year is almost upon us, but just like the rest of your life, search isn't slowing down. Here's a look at what was trending this week on Google:

Signs of the season
Now that the turkey's been carved, and even the leftovers have been gobbled (pun intended) up in the form of sandwiches and soup, the holiday season is officially underway. People shopped Cyber Monday sales, and others were excited to learn that USPS would be delivering packages seven days a week in some cities.

Plus, holiday movies and songs are trending as people get into the spirit. And even if you didn't watch Love Actually (for the 14th time) this week, chances are you heard a peep of Mariah Carey's now-classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You," which the singer performed live at Rockefeller Center's tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Mimi missed a few notes, leading searches for her to spike as a result.

Citizens speak out
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, who died in July after being placed in a choke hold. Across the country, people spoke out and demonstrated against the decision, which came just days after nationwide riots and protests about what happened in Ferguson, Mo.

Digital dough
Good news for Thin Mint fans: you no longer have to wait with bated breath for the day your co-worker shows up with an order form, or for that card table stacked with colorful boxes to show up outside your grocery store. Girl Scout Cookies have gone digital. Scouts will have personal cookie webpages where people can place orders online; the idea is that girls will learn more about online marketing and e-commerce while satisfying the sweet teeth of the rest of us. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Internet cookies."

Astronomical views
If you weren't at the mall last weekend, then chances are you were on YouTube, watching the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The first teaser for the J.J. Abrams-helmed "Episode 7" has racked up tens of millions of views since it came out a week ago and people are saying it could become the most viewed trailer ever. Fans have intensely scrutinized and discussed each one of the trailer's 88 seconds in detail; and there are already spoofs and recreations galore, including Wes Anderson and LEGO versions. The movie won't be out until December 2015, so you have plenty of time to build your crossguard lightsaber for the premiere.

But even after two years, there's no video in the YouTube galaxy that's quite like "Gangnam Style." It's the first video to ever get more than 2 billion views, and this week, its view count crossed 2,147,483,647. That happens to be the highest number that can be represented by a 32-bit integer, and also-until recently-the highest number that the YouTube view counter could display. Luckily, our friends at YouTube saw this one coming: They upgraded the view counter to use a 64-bit integer, capable of representing numbers up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Yup, that's 9 quintillion. Consider this gauntlet thrown.

Tip of the week
Between holiday parties, gift shopping and the end-of-year scramble at work, it's no wonder some errands start to slip your mind. Let Google help keep track-just say "Ok Google, remind me to pick up ribbon when I'm at Target" or "Ok Google, remind me to chill the champagne when I get home" to get a reminder.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [sweet tooth plural] and [what was the name of the monkey in aladdin]

05 Dec 2014 11:41pm GMT

02 Dec 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

This year the holidays are Made with Code

Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog

Carol-singing, hot chocolate, latkes and ice skating are all things that get us into the spirit of the holidays. But now there's a new way to deck the halls: with code.

Earlier this year, we introduced a program called Made with Code to inspire millions of girls to try coding, and help them understand the creative things they can do with computer science. Starting today on madewithcode.com, girls can use the introductory programming language Blockly to animate the lights of the state and territory trees that will decorate President's Park, one of America's 401 national parks and home to the White House, through the holiday season.

The programmed lights will debut at the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, which will be livestreamed by the White House on Thursday and air on PBS nationally throughout December in partnership with the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. The tradition of the tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first fir tree outside the White House, and this is the first year kids from across the country will be in control of the state and territory holiday tree lights!


As the mom of two girls, I know that technology is a pathway for their future success. Still, even as coding becomes more important, less than 1% of high school girls say they're interested in pursuing computer sciences in college. But I'm also an engineer, so I've seen firsthand how exciting CS can be. I fell in love with code early-my dad was an engineer and he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade. I gave it a shot, and I've never looked back. Ever since that day, I've known that when I program something, I'm creating something totally new for the world.

That's what Made with Code is about: discovering that creating something new and exciting-whether it's a holiday tree, a video game or a driverless car-can be accomplished with the power of code.

But it's also about building an ecosystem of support for girls through parents and teachers, and to show girls other women who are using CS to achieve their dreams. This challenge also kicks off Google's commitment to CSEdWeek, a week dedicated to inspiring students to get interested in computer science that's become one of the biggest education initiatives online. Over the coming week, thousands of Googlers will join the hour of code, and announce a few other special projects that we will fund through the holiday season and coming year.

I'm heading to Washington, D.C. this week to be a part of the ceremony, and I'm looking forward to watching the designs from girls across the country lighting up the nation's capital-and inspiring my daughters and so many others with the power of code.

Posted by Pavni Diwanji, Vice President, Engineering

02 Dec 2014 3:03pm GMT

01 Dec 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Race with Rudolph and skydive with Santa in the countdown to December 24

December may mean snow days in Denver, Colo. or beach days in Sydney, Australia, but in Santa's Village, it means the countdown to Santa's big night. Starting today, the elves are back on the clock in the North Pole-and throughout the month of December, you can join the elves as they unlock a new project or game each day in preparation for Santa's annual journey around the world.

The elves have a busy month ahead of them-the reindeers need training and the presents need packing. They're studying up on Santa's upcoming stops with candy cane cartography, holiday tradition tests, and even jolly JavaScript courses.

Throughout the holiday celebration, our own developer elves here at Google have also been hard at work getting the sleigh tracking algorithm ready for prime time. They've been adding finishing touches to the Santa Tracker App for Android so Santa's just a tap away on phones, tablets, and TVs. The developer elves have been busy, so check out the chrome extension and keep a watch out for Santa surprises throughout the month.

Whether you're wearing snow goggles or sunnies this December, come back to
www.google.com/santatracker each day to join in on present parachute practice and reindeer races, or to send a call to friends from Santa. There's only 23 days to go, so follow Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter in the countdown to #tracksanta!

Mappy holidays!

Posted by Sandy Russell, Santa Launch Strategist

01 Dec 2014 6:00pm GMT

24 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

'Tis the season for mobile shopping

It used to be that heading out to stores on Black Friday -- one of the biggest holiday shopping days of the season -- was the best way to find great deals. Now, we may be carrying the best tool for finding deals in our pockets.

This coming weekend, expect to see many of your fellow shoppers checking for deals on their smartphones while braving the lines and crowds at the mall. Nearly 50% of 25-34 year-olds use their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store. And because we want to help you research products more easily this holiday weekend, we're rolling out new mobile features to Google Shopping.

Starting this week, when you search for a specific product on your smartphone or tablet you'll see more detailed information about the product and where to buy it, like which stores have it available and product reviews from customers. You'll also be able to rotate selected products on Google Shopping in 360 degrees to see them in more detail.


nexus@1x.gif Nexus10_3D@1x.gif


Getting a head start on Black Friday
Shoppers are already prepping for Black Friday shopping by researching purchases and deals online. We found that 27% of shoppers have already begun hunting for Black Friday deals online. Here are the top questions people are asking about Black Friday on Google Search. For more trends, visit our Shopping blog.


Black Friday Frenzy.jpg


Let Google Shopping and your smartphone help you check off what's on that shopping list of yours and go enjoy everything else about the "most wonderful time of the year."


Posted by Jennifer Liu, Product Manager, Google Shopping

24 Nov 2014 5:01am GMT

21 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends November 14-20

Devastating snowstorms, bizarre interviews and addictive podcasts? It was an unusual week on the search charts this time around.

A frosty reception
If you looked on Maps for Buffalo, you wouldn't find it. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the city is buried underneath six feet of snow… literally. While people across the country are just getting ready for Turkey Day, Buffalonians are dealing with a snowstorm that's set to break several records and may keep them trapped in their houses for a while-white Thanksgiving, anyone?

In the court of public opinion
People were searching for more information about famed comedian Bill Cosby this week after sexual abuse allegations made headlines.

And in the political world, Democrats in the Senate blocked the Keystone XL proposal, a hotly contested initiative to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. While searchers were wondering how this bill would affect gas prices, the door is closed on the issue at the moment.

Teens aren't what they used to be
A toymaker with a mission decided it was makeover time for Barbie, the doll everyone loves to hate. Nickolay Lamm created "normal Barbie," a doll that everyone could relate to -- less "material girl" and more "girl next door"-non-size zero waist included. Reflecting the body of the average 19-year old woman, both parents and kids have taken a liking to the fact that toy actually...looks like a real person (she looks like my sister!) Complete with freckles and acne sticker expansion packs, we think Lamm's got the awkward teenage years down pat.

Speaking of teenagers: 16-year-old and 14-year-old celebrity siblings Jaden and Willow Smith, heirs to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's throne, were in the spotlight this week after giving what some might describe as a pretty spacey interview to the New York Times' T Magazine. The wide-ranging piece covered their thoughts on topics like Prana energy (what?), the duality of the mind (how??) and goals of imprinting yourself on everything (why???) - and baffled social media and searchers alike. Time Magazine got in on the fun and released a poem generator made from the interview's most interesting quotes. Here's our Jaden and Willow Smith haiku (spoiler: it doesn't make any sense).

Babies remember

The most craziest person of all time
Driver's ed? What's up?

Colonel Mustard in the library
There's always time for a tale of murder and mystery. This week the Internet played the role of detective as people were curious to learn more about NPR's new serial Podcast which explores a 15-year-old real life homicide case. The series is insanely popular, hitting the 5 million downloads and streams mark more quickly than any other podcast before it, but not without its fair share of controversy. The victim's family members have expressed concern about the sensationalization of the case.

Tip of the week
Bored on the bus or subway? Just say "OK Google, flip a coin." What do yo have to lose?

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the opposite of apple] and [cellulite stickers].

21 Nov 2014 9:19pm GMT

18 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Seven traffic tips to get you to the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving means gearing up for a turkey feast, Thanksgiving Day parades, local Turkey Trots and annual football showdowns. It also means braving some of the worst holiday traffic conditions of the year.

You've got enough on your plate this Thanksgiving without having to worry about traffic, too. So, Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving traffic conditions over the last two years for 21 cities across the U.S.1 to find the most useful information to make your holiday trip a little easier.

Whether you're traveling near or far, Google Maps' traffic tips will help you navigate the roads like a pro, so you'll be feasting on Turkey Day delights with friends and family in no time. Here are seven tips in pictures to guide you through the holiday:

1. Avoid traveling on Wednesday:


2. But if you must leave on Wednesday:


3. Good news for local travelers-Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze:


4. Travel back home on Sunday, not Saturday:


5. Expect to spend more time in traffic than average if you live in these three cities: Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. saw the three biggest increases in traffic during Thanksgiving week.


6. Get these three items ahead of time: Last-minute runs to the corner store can be unavoidable as you prep for the big day, but not all last minute trips are created equal.


7. Leave extra time for Christmas shopping:

Your biggest worry this Thanksgiving should be whether to go for the cranberry sauce or gravy. And with these traffic tips in hand, plus real-time traffic info provided by Google Maps on Android or iOS, you'll be spending less time in traffic and more time with the people you care about this Thanksgiving. Now that's something to be thankful for!

Posted by Aaron Nelson, Google Maps Product Manager



1 Google Maps looked at 21 cities across the U.S. from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for both 2012 & 2013: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.

18 Nov 2014 11:00am GMT

14 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends November 7-13

Taylor, Kim, Kobe-this trio of familiar faces was all over search this week.

Oh my God, look at that face
She may not have broken the Internet, but Kim Kardashian certainly got our collective attention this week with her saucy Paper magazine cover shoot showing off her famous derriere. Millions of searches, memes and (unsuccessful) imitators were not far, um, behind. Even Kim, however, had some company in the trending ranks from Taylor Swift, who has come close to breaking the Internet a few times herself. This week, Swift released a new video (and app) for her song "Blank Space," putting a new spin on the "boy-crazy" meme and garnering more than 25 million YouTube views-that's more than 10 times as many as last week's viral video sensation "Too Many Cooks."

Sky high
Ten years after leaving Earth, on Wednesday the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission achieved history. It successfully landed its Philae probe on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and began sending pictures of the surface back to scientists. People turned to search to learn more, including "what is next for the probe?" It's a good question, since the probe bounced twice before settling into a position about 1km off its target, and may not be able to get enough battery life from its solar panels to continue operating as intended.


Our doodle celebrated the Philae landing on Wednesday


And all eyes were on the New York skyline this week-or at least on 1 World Trade Center, where a pair of window washers were trapped 69 stories high on the side of the building for over an hour on Wednesday before being rescued. The 1,776-foot tall skyscraper had just opened for business last week, more than a decade after the September 11 attacks.

Numbers game
Kobe Bryant set a new record on Tuesday night, but he might wish he hadn't. The shooting guard missed his 13,418th career field goal in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, earning him the dubious honor of the most missed field goals in the NBA. Of course, Bryant also has the fourth-most points in league history-and five championship rings. So, he's probably doing OK.

Tip of the week
For those times you've gotten an email about something (say, "dinner with Shari" or "brunch with Aaron") but forgotten to follow up, Google can help. Keep an eye on your Google app, which can now catch buried plans in your Gmail, prompt you to add them to your calendar, and remind you to stay in touch.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [two eagles flying together/being friends] and [birdman tracking shot]

14 Nov 2014 11:28pm GMT

11 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

The doors are open for veterans at Google

My father was a Tuskegee Airman, one of the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. military. He got his wings in 1944 and stayed in the Army for 30 years. When I think of him-and all the other veterans I grew up knowing-I'm reminded of the unique characteristics they shared: their innate courage, sense of purpose, and their ability to lead under pressure. Most remarkable to me, though, is their belief in the power of sacrificing and fighting for something bigger than yourself.

For everyone who has served our country, I join 1,000+ members of the Google Veterans Network in celebrating Veterans Day today. And I am incredibly proud of what Google has done to honor veterans, including two initiatives new this year.

Veterans make great Googlers
We hire leaders, team builders and problem solvers and many veterans are already doing amazing things at the company. But we also know that not all veterans have the same skills and interests; there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and it can be hard to understand how you might fit into a corporate environment. So we've created a new Veterans Careers website to help servicemembers and veterans find the right role to apply for at Google. The site breaks down some of the ways our own veterans are succeeding in both technical and general roles. In their own words, they explain how their skills translated and how they are continuing to serve through their work at Google.

And for those who have other career goals in mind, we've included a few resources-like mentoring programs and virtual classes-to help veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.

Sharing veterans' stories
In addition to making Google a great place to work for veterans, we want to use our technology to build greater awareness and understanding of their achievements and sacrifices. Last Friday, the 9/11 Memorial opened a new exhibit that explores the immediate and heroic actions of U.S. servicemembers, alongside those of the emergency workers who responded on and after September 11, 2001. "The Call to Serve," an interactive installation powered by Google Tour Builder, follows the stories of nine veterans and military personnel to honor their service and that of all who followed in their footsteps. You can visit the exhibit in person at the 9/11 Museum during Veterans Week or online at 911memorial.org/calltoserve.

This effort also builds on other historical preservation projects we announced earlier this year, including bringing Arlington National Cemetery, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Eternal Flame, to Street View; and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landings at Normandy in partnership with museums and archives in the U.S., U.K. and France.

We're proud to pay tribute to veterans' service and and to support them in their careers. Veterans have unique skills and experience, and arrive with a devotion to teamwork that goes a long way around here. They're among our greatest assets, both as a company and as a nation. And after all they've given us, we need to give them every opportunity to succeed.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer; Founding Executive Sponsor, Google Veterans Network

11 Nov 2014 2:00pm GMT

10 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

With Chromebooks, students find new ways to learn

Cross-posted on the Google for Education blog

Students and schools have done some amazing things with Chromebooks since we first launched in 2011. At the Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, Calif., students are using the Scratch program to create their own video games on Chromebooks. In Chesterfield County, Virginia, students get access to feedback and support from teachers after school hours using their Chromebooks. And in Fairfield County, South Carolina, schools saw double-digit gains on their state performance tests after they started to offer Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education and other technologies to their students, who often don't have Internet access at home.

A student at Urban Promise Academy uses a Chromebook to design video games


Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they're easy for students and teachers to use, they're easy to share, and they're easy to manage. That's critical for schools that often want to give their students the best technology, but don't have a large IT department to support it. And it's part of what has made Chromebooks such a hit in schools. In fact, according to IDC's latest report on tablets and laptops in K-12 education, Chromebooks are the best-selling device in the U.S. this year. And they're continuing to grow in popularity-in districts like Montgomery County, MD (more than 50,000 devices), Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC (32,000 devices) and Cherry Creek, CO (26,000 devices), who have all begun using Chromebooks in 2014.

Beyond the U.S., countries are looking at how they can use technology in the classroom on a large scale-like in Malaysia, where the entire national school system is using Chromebooks. This week, we're hosting the Global Education Symposium, a gathering of education ministers from 18 countries working to implement technology that will help them meet their country's educational agenda. We'll hear from education leaders who are exploring new educational models, and look at how innovative local schools are using technology to help teachers and students excel.

It's been thrilling to see how Chromebooks-alongside Android tablets, Google Play for Education, Classroom and Google Apps for Education, which is now used by 40 million students and teachers around the world-can help students meet their learning goals. We can't wait to see what's ahead as more students around the world gain access to new learning opportunities through technology.

Posted by Cyrus Mistry, Lead Product Manager, Chromebooks for Education

10 Nov 2014 5:35pm GMT

Doubling down on Ebola donations

Today, Google is launching a public giving campaign to fight Ebola. For every dollar you give, Google will donate two dollars. In addition, we're donating $10 million right away to support nonprofits such as InSTEDD, International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, NetHope, Partners in Health, Save the Children and U.S. Fund for UNICEF. These organizations are doing remarkable work in very difficult circumstances to help contain this outbreak, and we hope our contribution will help them have an even greater impact.

Separately, our family foundation will also be giving $15 million. Our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

10 Nov 2014 2:36pm GMT

09 Nov 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

25 years ago today ... The fall of the Berlin Wall

I was seven years old when thousands of East German signature cars arrived in my hometown of Hamburg and filled the air with odd-smelling blue smoke. I saw strangers hugging each other, tears in their eyes, their voices tired from singing. I was too young to understand it all, but I had a very strong sense that life was different now--and that different was better.

A quarter-century later, it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn't be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution and, more importantly, who are fortunate enough not to know the feeling of an incarcerated, divided existence, trapped behind concrete walls. It is a story that demands to be told today, and for generations to come.



I'm excited to have been part of making this doodle commemorating such a pivotal moment in history - to learn more about the making-of, check out the doodle team's post here. We should all take the time to celebrate 25 years of unity.

Posted by Nils Frahm, composer

09 Nov 2014 7:47am GMT

01 Nov 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Grow a moustache and fight cancer!

For my next 30 day challenge, I'll be growing a mustache to raise awareness and money for men's health issues, and specifically prostate cancer research. Men of search and SEO, please join our team. You can raise awareness, or raise cash. And it's super simple: just don't shave your moustache for 30 days. The name [...]

01 Nov 2011 6:16pm GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween costume: stickman from xkcd

For Halloween this year I asked people on Google+ what I should be for Halloween, and someone suggested going as the blackhat stick man from xkcd. You know, this guy: That sounded like a good challenge. I finished the costume and taped a video, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to get the video [...]

31 Oct 2011 5:16pm GMT

24 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween Pumpkin: Portal Turret!

I made a Portal turret for my Halloween pumpkin! I was trying to think of things to carve: vampire Android? R2-D2? Zoidberg? Then I thought: I could do a character from Portal 2! I was going to carve something like GLaDOS or Wheatley, but then I realized that a portal turret would be perfect: To [...]

24 Oct 2011 3:26pm GMT

02 Oct 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

New 30 day challenge: going vegan!

Okay, I'm starting up a new 30 day challenge: I'm going to eat vegan for the next 30 days. That means no meat, dairy, or eggs. I'm curious to see how it will go.

02 Oct 2011 5:58am GMT

20 Sep 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?

Even though this year is nowhere near finished, a lot of people at Google are already thinking about things to launch next year. So I wanted to put the question out: what cool things would you like to see Google launch in 2012? For example, in 2011, we launched hundreds of search quality changes that [...]

20 Sep 2011 2:40pm GMT

Busy few weeks

I've been out of town (hiking in Yosemite and traveling to the East Coast) for two out of the last three weeks, so things are a bit crazy. Besides the usual email overload, there's a project at work-not related to webspam-that will need some attention for the next 4-5 weeks. I'm triaging email as best [...]

20 Sep 2011 1:55pm GMT

26 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

The Emperor's Garden

The Emperor instructed the gardener to set up the new court's garden. "I want you to plant five trees growing the Crataan fruit," the Emperor said, "Because we asked people what fruit they like best, and most named the Crataan fruit!" The gardener replied, "Emperor, that is excellent thinking! But let me make some suggestions: First, how about we make one of the five trees bear the Muran fruit. Only one out of ten citizens loves it, but those peculiar citizens tend to love multiple times as much!" "Second," the gardener continued, "How about we make one of the five trees bear the Dratean fruit. No one loves it, but that's because no one knows it yet!" "Third," the gardener said, "How about we leave one spot in the garden empty. Who knows what new type of tree we'll discover that we can put there in the fut ...

26 Aug 2011 12:12pm GMT

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Traveling for a week

For the next week or so, I'm going to be hiking in the back country of Yosemite. That's assuming that my legs hold up: after finishing the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July, my knees and ankles have been a little creaky recently. I've been trying to get my email under control in [...]

26 Aug 2011 6:15am GMT

15 Aug 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Color Sound Machine (and what else I've been doing lately)

For those of you who've been wondering whether I had turned to stone, fallen into a bottomless pit, or been climbing the Himalaya... no, none of that is true, even though you probably did notice I'm not actively blogging about Google here anymore*! Just now, a new iPad app I've been working on called Color Sound Machine went live, and this -- and all the other apps and games at Versus Pad** -- are actually what I am doing while not blogoscoping. *I've drafted unpublished posts explaining much more about past, present and future of Blogoscoped, and the history of Google news reporting, but ... oh, for now le ...

15 Aug 2011 4:00pm GMT

11 Jul 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Submit video topics for mid-2011

This submission round is now closed-thanks! Sometime soon I'm planning to record some new webmaster videos. I created a Google Moderator page where you can post video suggestions and vote topics up and down. Instead of short 1-2 minute video answers to quick questions, I'd like to try something new this time. I'd like to [...]

11 Jul 2011 10:21pm GMT

27 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Good Books for Summer Reading?

It's summertime, so I'm looking for a bunch of fun books to read. I just ordered two books by John Scalzi (Fuzzy Nation and The God Engines), two books by Dean Karnazes because I'm training to run a marathon (Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss and Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner), plus [...]

27 Jun 2011 3:54pm GMT

23 Jun 2011

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Goal: getting email under control

Each year I try to settle on a small set of big goals for the year. Last year my big goal was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. This year, I settled on 2-3 goals I wanted to achieve: 1. Go skydiving. I was with a group of ~15 people in January and we realized that no [...]

23 Jun 2011 7:08am GMT

25 Feb 2011

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google drops reverse phone number lookup

One of the earliest specialist services provided by Google was reverse phone number lookup. If you used the "phonebook:" or "rphonebook:" operators together with a 10-digit US phone number, Google would show you the owner of that phone number, unless the number was unlisted. Google no longer provides that service. Not surprisingly, there was no press release marking the closure, but Google employee Daniel Russell has acknowledged the closure of the service in his blog. He hints at the possible pressures leading to the shuttering of the service: "As you can imagine, this was an endless source of hassles for people (who were surprised to see themselves searchable on Google) and for Google (who had to constantly de ...

25 Feb 2011 11:23am GMT

16 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Idea: Topical Chat

This website would take the top headlines from a tech or political site for that day -- at first just from Reddit (you gotta start somewhere), but later, from other sites too, in aggregated form, similar to Techmeme, but across different topics you can navigate to from the frontpage (entertainment, politics, technology etc.). It would present them in some sort of list of headlines with a link to the discussion source. Below every headline on the frontpage there's an expandable chat box window. You log-in once into the site and then you can expand any one of these chat boxes, and see who's in there, and read the chat log, and join yourself with remarks by typing them in a box, similar to IRC and others. The chat wouldn't be a replacement of the discussion going on at the other site, but an addition to it. One benefit: a discus ...

16 Dec 2010 2:55pm GMT

Idea: CrowdChat

Two groups have a text chat using a web interface, arguing about a certain topic. For Group B to reply to what Group A says, each member of Group B proposes a sentence. Then, each member of Group B quickly votes on which sentence of another member of their group they like best. (You don't have to propose a sentence, and you don't have to vote on one; both proposing a sentence as well as voting on one are time-limited to just a certain amount of seconds, though.) Then, the highest-voted sentence will be shown to Crowd A as answer. Crowd A now goes through the same process to formulate a reply directed at Crowd B, and so on. To join, you can pick any of the two crowds based on reading the chat log, provided this group hasn't reach its limit of X members (beyond just group size that limit may also depend on how active current me ...

16 Dec 2010 7:26am GMT

Google Body Browser

If you're using the Google Chrome developer channel (or Firefox 4 Beta) have a look at the new Body Browser to explore a body in 3D. [Via Google OS.]

16 Dec 2010 2:17am GMT

10 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Pictures of the Cr-48

MBegin in the forum writes: I ran home for lunch today and was VERY pleasantly surprised to find a Cr-48 Chrome OS Notebook at my doorstep!! -Thanks Google! I took a few quick pics and I'll post more about my experiences later... Feel free to bug MBegin with questions in this post's comments, just in case he finds time to get around answering them!

10 Dec 2010 5:23am GMT

09 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Chromedroidpad

Using open source technologies from Google, could someone create a tablet that would let you add both Chrome Web Store apps/ web apps in general, as well as Android Market place apps, and you as user wouldn't even need to bother much about which comes from where as you'd only see a single merged Store, and apps would all be added to a nice homescreen with icons like on the iPad, and apps would always open full-screen no matter if the app maker made it that way or not, and Flash would work too? And would anyone want that thing?

09 Dec 2010 12:40pm GMT

08 Dec 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Device Evolution

Watching evolution is fun, especially when it happens right around you, and happens so fast. A mutation we saw yesterday was a new animal scientists gave the name "Chrome OS Notebook", but it's surrounded by other smart animals of all kinds and shapes. What do they fight for? Their nature are our offices, living rooms, cafes and parks; their food are our individual interests. Computing devices: the more we have, the less we notice them. Sneaky things, changing the color of their skin on different backgrounds... we don't even know they're computers anymore! The sneakier they fade in, the more likely they'll hunt down our interest when it appears. You're in your room, and you just had the idea of going to a cafe to read a newspaper, and perhaps chat with some friends. You can now hear small leafs crack, the surroundin ...

08 Dec 2010 5:17am GMT

17 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

How to Disable Google Instant Previews

If you find Google's Instant Previews feature as useless as I do -- you know, those images popping up near search results, often similarly unwanted (when triggered by a wrong click) as Snap site previews -- maybe this User script is for you. I use several machines and browsers, though, so always installing add-ons when Google rolls out something unwanted is suboptimal in the long run (opening links in a new window is something else I don't like, for instance, and whenever I disable it -- even if I would do so across browsers and machines -- it'll come back the next time I empty my cache, because Google thinks that's best for people located in China; another feature which I practically never use is the left-hand side bar... perhaps one day we'll need a Simple Google add-on to get r ...

17 Nov 2010 3:08am GMT

16 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Google's Newest Q&A Service: "baraza"

Google's newest Question and Answer service is Google baraza beta, launched on 25 October 2010. Baraza is offered in English and French, although Google's links to the French questions aren't working for me. Baraza operates on a Points basis. You get 20 points for signing up, and 4 points each day you log in. If you are already logged into your Google account, there isn't actually any signup process. Your name and photo from your Google profile are automatically used, although you can change your username and avatar if you like. Asking a question costs 5 points, and you earn 5 points for choosing a "best answer" for your question, so you can use the service on an ongoing ...

16 Nov 2010 4:20am GMT

15 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Taped an iPhone to my remote-controlled car and hit the Record button

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Playable JavaScript app of my new iPad game Knights vs Knightesses (Google Chrome/ Safari needed)

Here's a fully playable web demo of my new free iPad two-player game Knights vs Knightesses... it runs in Google Chrome and Safari. Note the graphics load much slower than the iPad app because it's online. If you're interested, the full source is viewable. It's all JavaScript because I'm using the PhoneGap wrapper for this one.

12 Nov 2010 7:00am GMT

04 Nov 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

Which of your websites, deleted or lost years ago (or on a backup in a box you can't seem to find), would you most like to get back?

The release of a massive but not complete Geocities archive made me wonder about all the past stuff we probably can't recover anymore (and the usage of stylesheets over time makes design changes so easy that they're also easily undocumented) -- so my question: Which of your lost websites would you most love to get back?

04 Nov 2010 2:58am GMT

24 Oct 2010

feedGoogle Blogoscoped

See a Random Street View Location

Click the MapCrunch Go button and you'll be transported to a random (Google Street View covered) place in the world. [Via Reddit.]

24 Oct 2010 6:42am GMT