19 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 12-18

-Welcome to this week's search trends. May I take your order?
-Can I have a referendum on independence, a totally inappropriate flight passenger with a Hollywood baby on the side?
-Coming right up!

Flag and country
"They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!" That was Sir William Wallace battlecry for Scottish independence in the film Braveheart. While this week's events in Scotland weren't quite as cinematic, the results could have been revolutionary. On Thursday the world watched and searched as an unprecedented numbers of Scots went to the polls to answer the question, "Should Scotland be independent from the United Kingdom?" Turns out the majority of people don't think it should, and voted to stay a member of the U.K. Party leaders have now promised significant constitutional changes for the entire kingdom. What would Wallace have made of that?

The comeback kings
Everybody loves a comeback and search had its fair share this week. First up, nostalgia for the 90's brought Surge soda back from the dead. Thanks to a Facebook campaign called "The SURGE Movement," Coca-Cola will now sell its "fully-loaded citrus" soft drink for a limited time on Amazon. And the Chicago Bears denied the 49ers a win in their brand-spanking-new stadium when they rallied to overturn a 13-point deficit in the last quarter to beat San Francisco 28-20.



Airing dirty laundry
Hard plastic-y seats, broken recliner adjusters, zero leg room-flying economy isn't always the most pleasant experience. And depending on who you're sitting next to, your easy two-hour flight could turn into a nightmare before you even take off. But the passengers of the world aren't having it, not anymore. This week, "passenger shaming" went viral on social media as traumatized travelers shared photos of the most absurdly obnoxious unconscientious things some passenger do on flights-we're talking bare feet, bare skin... well, you should just see for yourself.

But at least those offending fliers were shielded in anonymity. Singer Robin Thicke wasn't afforded the same luxury, revealing in a court deposition this week that he had little to do with the creation of last year's song of the summer "Blurred Lines." As part of his defense against a copyright infringement lawsuit, Thicke admitted that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol for most of 2013-bringing a whole new meaning to the song's title.

And the winner is ...
The hipster revolution has finally taken over the United States! Need proof? Searchers don't. When New Yorker Kira Kazantsev won the the title of Miss America, the Internet discovered that the U.S.A's new leading lady is a former food blogger. She's even reported on her state's crown foodie jewel, the cronut. Miss America wasn't the only who got to bask in the limelight; boxing world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. won his rematch with contender Marcos Maidana by an unanimous decision. The victory brings his undefeated tally to 47… somehow the title world champion is starting to sound like an understatement.

Love on the set!
For Orange is the New Black screenwriter Lauren Morelli, life imitated art a bit more than she probably expected. While writing the hit program, Morelli decided to divorce her husband and start a relationship with Samira Wiley, an actress from the show. Meanwhile, searchers learned that Mindy Kaling considers former The Office castmate and on-screen boyfriend B.J. Novak "the love that got away." But while not all on-set relationships last, some couples not only make it work but also take their relationship to the next level. That's the route taken by Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who met while making the movie The Place Beyond the Pines. The power couple welcomed baby girl Gosling earlier this week.

Tip of the week
The NFL season's just getting started so it's time to hunker down and plan your football viewing schedule. Just say, "OK Google, show me the NFL schedule" to coordinate your life for the next four months. We'll see you back in the spring.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [hey girl] and [no shirt, no shoes, no service].

19 Sep 2014 9:34pm GMT

18 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Quick Unit Conversion in Google Search

Here's a simple way to use Google's unit conversion feature, while typing shorter queries. Instead of searching Google for [6 lbs to kg], you can use [6 lbs =]. Just add the equal sign to the value you want to convert and Google will use the right measurement unit most of the time.


Here's another example: [68 f =]. The query is shorter than [68 f to c] or [6 fahrenheit to celsius]. Unfortunately, [20 c =] doesn't convert temperature, since c is the speed of light, so you'll have to use [20 c to f].


You can use Google's dropdown to pick other measurement units or you can edit the value and the result will change as yo type.

This trick also works in Chrome's omnibox, Firefox's search box, Safari's address bar:


18 Sep 2014 1:06pm GMT

17 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Blogger Updates Photo Picker

Blogger updated the dialog that lets you insert photos. Now it uses horizontal tabs, just like in Gmail. You can upload photos, add photos from Picasa Web Albums/Google+ Photos, capture photos from your webcam or paste URLs. Blogger's dialog has special sections that restrict Google+ Photos to images from your blog or from your phone (Auto Backup).


When you select "from your phone", you can rotate photos or even delete them:


It's interesting that Blogger still uses Picasa Web Albums instead of Google+ Photos, while also including a feature that's only available if you use Google+: Auto Backup.

Blogger, Gmail and other Google services use the same Google Drive picker and customize it by adding a long list of parameters.

17 Sep 2014 7:08pm GMT

Google Maps Views to Replace Panoramio

Google acquired the photo sharing site Panoramio back in 2007 to add high-quality photos to Google Maps and Google Earth. Last year, Panoramio's team launched Google Maps Views, a community site that lets you upload panoramic images and geotagged photos. Now Google Maps Views uses publicly shared Google+ photos and it will replace Panoramio.

"Over the past year, we've developed a similar community in Views, which lets you publish geo-relevant content (photo spheres and traditional photography) on Google Maps. In the future, we plan to migrate Panoramio into Views, creating one destination where you can publish and peruse imagery from around the globe. Before migrating any imagery, we'll make sure that Views reaches a level of feature maturity that supports the needs of the community," says Evan Rapoport, Product Manager for Google Maps Views.

Most likely, Google hopes to add more photos to Google Maps and to build its own community of users that make the Google Maps better by uploading great photos.


"Views is a Google Maps community where you can share photos that help other people explore the world and decide where they want to go. If you publicly share photos with a location on Google+, they may also appear on your page," informs Google.


{ Thanks, Jordan. }


17 Sep 2014 6:40pm GMT

16 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Maps Engine Is Now Called My Maps

From a Google email:

"We want to let you know that in the coming months, we're upgrading the content you created in My Maps. All of the maps that you've created will automatically move to the new Google My Maps (previously called Google Maps Engine). Classic My Maps on maps.google.com will no longer be available."

So all the custom maps you've created in the old Google Maps interface will be automatically migrated to the new My Maps. If you don't want to wait, you can go to My Maps and click "upgrade now".



"Upgrading your maps is permanent and takes just a minute or two," informs Google. "The new My Maps is a more powerful maps creation tool that makes it easier to edit and share maps you've made. Just like with classic My Maps, you can work on a map with others, save driving directions, add photos and videos, and more." There are some limitations and restrictions, since Google also has a paid version called My Maps Pro, which is better suited for big maps.


The new My Maps (previously known as Maps Engine Lite) is more powerful than the old My Maps as it uses Google Drive sharing, has support for layers, it lets you import locations from spreadsheets and more. The main difference is that My Maps is a standalone site and you can't create custom maps inside Google Maps. You can see a list of recent custom maps and there's a button that lets you create maps.


Google has an Android app for My Maps and a gallery that features publicly shared custom maps. "The possibilities are pretty much endless-students have photographed and mapped a city's public art installments, authors have laid out their stories' locations on the map, and activists have plotted out shelters and distribution centers during emergency situations," mentions Google's Lat Long blog.

16 Sep 2014 8:41pm GMT

15 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Removal Tool for Apps That Interfere With Chrome

Google released a Software Removal Tool that "scans and removes software that may cause problems with Chrome". It's Windows-only, still in beta and it tries to detect if you've installed software that changes Chrome's settings without informing you about this. There are applications that change Chrome's new tab page, change the default search engine, add toolbars, insert ads.


"If you notice Chrome behaving strangely (for example, showing you unusual startup pages, toolbars, or pop-up ads you can't get rid of), it may be due to an unwanted program on your computer. You may be able to fix the problem by downloading and running the Software Removal Tool. Think of this as a 'factory reset' of Chrome. It restores Chrome's original settings and removes programs that affect its behavior," informs Google. It's interesting to notice that Google's tool doesn't show a list of unwanted programs: "To discourage attackers from changing the names of their programs, the Software Removal Tool does not reveal the names of the suspicious programs it finds. You'll only see the number of programs detected." Google SRT (Software Removal Tool) doesn't scan for malware, so it doesn't replace antivirus software.


I installed Google SRT and it quickly displayed this message: "no suspicious programs found". It looks like Google's blacklist is not very long.


Google also opened a new tab in Chrome that asked if I want to reset browser settings: "Your browser settings will be restored to their original defaults. This will reset your homepage, new tab page and search engine, disable your extensions and unpin all tabs. It will also clear other temporary and cached data, such as cookies, content and site data." You can close the tab or click "Cancel" if you don't want to reset Chrome's settings.


Google SRT downloads ChromeRecovery, an emergency utility for restoring critical functionality.


Here's the text from the log file software_removal_tool.log:


Software Removal Tool has a cool codename: Chrome Foil. Foiling means "preventing something considered wrong or undesirable from succeeding".

{ via Chrome Story }

15 Sep 2014 1:44pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

For the next five billion: Android One

Knowledge is a game changer. I've long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn't matter if you're a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.

If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it's through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world's population-over five billion more-do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

That's where Android One comes in. At I/O, we first talked about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we're introducing the first family of Android One phones in India.

Addressing key barriers-hardware, software and connectivity
There are three big reasons why it's hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we're making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.

To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you'll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they'll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you'll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you'll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that's about 50 apps overall) from Google Play-all without counting toward your mobile data usage.

More to come
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We're also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

Access for access's sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

15 Sep 2014 9:12am GMT

12 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 5-11

New phones, new games, new looks. Let's take a peek at all the happenings this week in search:

All you can eat?
The Olive Garden learned this week that it's risky to get between people and their food. The restaurant chain's new "Never Ending Pasta Pass" offered up to 1,000 people seven weeks of unlimited pasta, salad and those sneaky-good breadsticks for just $100. The rush of pasta lovers eager for a deal crashed the Olive Garden website before the pass was even for sale-and thousands more turned to search to learn more about the debacle.

The latest edition
It was a big week for our neighbors from Cupertino. Apple's latest announcement this week flooded the search trends, with more than 10 million searches for the new iPhone 6, along with its release date and price. People were also curious about the new Apple Watch, the band U2-whose latest album Apple gave away for free to all iTunes users-and how the announcement was affecting AAPL stock.

And baby makes four for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who announced this week that they're expecting a little brother or sister for one-year-old Prince George. People turned to the web to learn more about the news. Start your office naming pools now!

Football frenzy
A full 15 out of 20 top searches on Sunday were related to the first Sunday of football season, with the Cowboys, Steelers and Broncos topping the pack-on search, at least. But unfortunately, it was events off the field that had many people turning to the web this week. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league on Monday, after TMZ released a video that appears to show him assaulting his then-fiancee in an elevator. More than 2 million searches for Rice followed-the highest spike ever. People were also looking for more information on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in an effort to understand whether the league's leadership had knowledge of the incident earlier in the year.


POTUS and ISIS
Just a day earlier, President Obama announced that the U.S. military would expand its air strikes in Iraq and now Syria, against the extremist group ISIS. Searches for ISIL, the term the President used for the group, climbed the day of his speech as people looked for more information on the news.

Transformations
The latest season of "The Biggest Loser" premiered yesterday with new trainers and a new concept-"Glory Days," in which former athletes compete to regain their former fitness-leading people to the web to learn more. And "The Sixth Sense" star Haley Joel Osment was in the news this week-but we won't blame you if you missed it, since he was nearly unrecognizable from his former self. Osment is filming a new Kevin Smith movie "Yoga Hosers," in which he plays Canadian fascist journalist Adrien Arcand.

Tip of the week
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. With the Google Search App, you can get warnings from Google Public Alerts when bad weather is on its way. Take a few minutes to get prepared by learning more about Alerts, which are available on Google Now, Search and Maps.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [ducktales intro] and [adichie city arts]

12 Sep 2014 8:15pm GMT

11 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Android Apps in Chrome OS

Google built an app runtime for Chrome that allows Android apps to run in Chrome OS. The first Android apps you can run in Chrome OS are Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words and Vine.



Bringing more powerful apps to Chrome OS is a great idea. Making it easier to bring mobile apps to Chrome encourages developers to go beyond web apps and write native apps that work offline, include hardware integration and work outside of the browser. While cross-platform web apps are still useful, the new Chrome apps can bring some missing features that people expect to find in native apps. "These combine the best of websites and native applications - they're available offline, are always up to date, and they can communicate with devices like USB drives & Bluetooth speakers," explains Google.

"These first apps are the result of a project called the App Runtime for Chrome (Beta), which we announced earlier this summer at Google I/O. Over the coming months, we'll be working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps so you'll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook," informs Google. You can tell Google what Android apps you'd like to be ported to Chrome.

For now, the first 4 apps can only be installed in Chrome OS, but I'm sure that Google will add support for Chrome in the near future.


It's interesting to notice that the apps aren't manually ported to Chrome, as I assumed. Here's an explanation from a Google employee:

"The app code is all running on top of the Chrome platform, specifically inside of Native Client. In this way the ARC (Android Runtime for Chrome) apps run in the same environment as other apps you can download from the Chrome Web Store, even though they are written on top of standard Android APIs. The developers do not need to port or modify their code, though they often choose to improve it to work well with the Chromebook form factor (keyboard, touchpad, optional touchscreen, etc)."

Here's an APK for Duolingo (Android app) inside the CRX file (Chrome app):

11 Sep 2014 10:09pm GMT

Google's Object Recognition Technology

Google continues to improve its image recognition technology. A Google team placed first in the classification and detection tasks of the ImageNet large-scale visual recognition challenge, the largest academic challenge in computer vision.

"Superior performance in the detection challenge requires pushing beyond annotating an image with a 'bag of labels' - a model must be able to describe a complex scene by accurately locating and identifying many objects in it," explains Google. Here's are some examples of object detection:


"This effort was accomplished by using the DistBelief infrastructure, which makes it possible to train neural networks in a distributed manner and rapidly iterate. At the core of the approach is a radically redesigned convolutional network architecture," mentions Google. The goal is to train large models for deep neural networks.

Last year, Google used the DistBelief infrastructure to improve some models used by the winning team at ImageNet and implemented the algorithms in Google+ Photos Search and later in Google Drive's search engine. Google automatically annotates images and it allows you to search for things like "car" or "laptop" and find images that include them.

Google promises to use the latest achievements to improve "Google products such as photo search, image search, YouTube, self-driving cars, and any place where it is useful to understand what is in an image as well as where things are".

11 Sep 2014 9:39pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Google Drive and the Docs editors: designed with everyone in mind

Imagine trying to keep track of another person's real-time edits in a document-using only your ears. Or trying to create a table from spreadsheet data-without being able to clearly see the cells. Whether you're backing up a file in Drive or crunching some numbers in Sheets, it should be easy to bring your ideas to life using Google's tools. But if you're blind or have low vision, you may need to rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille displays-and that can make working in the cloud challenging. While screen readers can parse static webpages (like this blog) relatively easily, it's much harder for them to know what to say in interactive applications like Google Docs because the actions they need to describe are much more complex.

With these reasons in mind, today we're announcing some improvements to Drive and all our editors-Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms-specifically designed with blind and low-vision users in mind.
Improved screen reader support in Drive and Docs
In June, we introduced a new version of Drive that's sleeker, easier to navigate and much faster. But just as importantly, the new Drive also includes better keyboard accessibility, support for zoom and high-contrast mode and improved usability with screen readers.

Across Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms, you'll find that it's now much easier to use a screen reader, with nicer text-to-voice verbalization and improvements to keyboard navigation. You'll also notice other updates, including:

Collaborating with others is easier too: in Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings, screen readers announce when people enter or leave the document, and you'll now also hear when others are editing alongside you.

Refreshable Braille display support
If you use a Braille display, you can now use it to read and enter text in Docs, Slides and Drawings. Even if you don't use a Braille display, with Braille support, your screen reader's settings for character echoing are automatically followed. Enabling Braille also dramatically reduces the lag between when you press a key and when it's announced by your screen reader, and improves the announcements of punctuation and whitespace. Learn how to enable Braille support in our Help Center.

Get up and going faster
The first time you use a screen reader or a Braille display, getting up to speed can be a daunting task. But it's simpler with new step-by-step guides for Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings.

You can also access the in-product "Help" menu at any time without interrupting your work, or use the updated shortcut help dialog to easily search through keyboard shortcuts if you don't remember them.

Finally, we're offering phone support for Google Drive accessibility questions. If you get stuck, visit support.google.com/drive to request a phone call and someone from our team will reach out to you.

What's next
Referring to recent updates to Google Drive, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said at this year's National Convention: "The progress...during the last few months has just been positively extraordinary." We're pleased the community has welcomed these improvements, and will continue to work with organizations like the NFB to make even more progress.

Everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to experience all that the web has to offer. To find out more about our commitment to a fully accessible web, visit the new Google Accessibility site at www.google.com/accessibility.

Posted by Alan Warren, Vice President, Engineering

11 Sep 2014 5:00pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

New Security Section in Google Accounts Settings

The Security tab from Google's accounts settings page has a new section that lets you quickly update your security settings. Google suggests to "secure your account and
get better protection for your account."

You can edit your recovery phone and email, check your recent activity, disable access for less secure apps and remove account permissions. All of these features were already available, but this page groups them and displays them using a simplified interface.




{ Thanks, Florian Kiersch. }

11 Sep 2014 2:06pm GMT

Google Tests Search History Export

Google tests a feature that will let you export your Web History data. For now, the experimental feature creates a ZIP archive that splits your search history in several JSON files.





Most likely, this feature will be added to Google Takeout when it's released.

{ Thanks, Florian Kiersch. }

11 Sep 2014 1:44pm GMT

"In the News" Google Search Card

Google added a new search card for news-related searches. It's display in the right sidebar and it doesn't replace the list of Google News results. For example, when searching for [Jill Duggar], Google shows a thumbnail, a short summary ("Jill Duggar and her new husband, Derick Dillard, are expecting their first child"), a link to a news article and a list of related searches.


The new card seems to be displayed for some people in the news, but only if they don't have their own Knowledge Graph cards with information from sites like Wikipedia. It's probably just an experiment, since it's rarely displayed.

{ via Search Engine Land }

11 Sep 2014 12:27pm GMT

10 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Call me maybe? Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts

We know how important it is to keep in touch with friends and family, especially when they're spread around the world. Hangouts already makes it easy to send a quick message, or start a group video chat. But sometimes it's best to just call to say "I love you," and with the new version of Hangouts you can.

Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It's free to call other Hangouts users, it's free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.

To get started on Android, just grab the new version of Hangouts (v2.3, rolling out over the next few days), then install the accompanying dialer to turn on voice calls. On iOS and the web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app.

Voice calls in Hangouts: call history (left); dialer (middle); in a call (right)


Whether it's your sister in Paris, your best friend in Boston or Jenny at 867-5309, Hangouts lets you call the people you care about at little or no cost. So download the app and dial your loved ones today!

Posted by Amit Fulay, Product Manager

10 Sep 2014 3:03pm GMT

A solar project on top of an old oil field in California’s Kern County

We recently finalized an investment that will put a 82MW solar power plant on top of an old oil and gas field in Kern County, Calif. The new deal with SunEdison will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

Our investment in the Regulus solar project will give new life to a long-valued piece of land, and there's something a little poetic about creating a renewable resource on land that once creaked with oil wells. Over the years, this particular site in California has gone from 30 oil wells to five as it was exhausted of profitable fossil fuel reserves. The land sat for some time and today we're ready to spiff things up. With the help of our $145 million equity commitment, SunEdison is draping it in high-tech, sleek panels that collect energy from the sun, while bringing 650 jobs to the Kern County area and 82MW of clean energy to the grid.

Like many states, California has a goal of increasing the amount of energy procured from renewable sources. This project helps support that quest and marks 17 renewable energy investments for Google since 2010, including five here in the Golden State.

We're continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future. The more than $1.5 billion we've brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share.

Posted by Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principal

10 Sep 2014 11:00am GMT

Walk like an Egyptian with Street View in Google Maps

Candlelight flickering on a stone wall covered in hieroglyphs. A proud queen brought low by the bite of a snake. Reeds rustling along a river, waiting to be turned into papyrus, or maybe a basket. The civilization of ancient Egypt stood for thousands of years and left behind a rich legacy of architecture, art, medicine, politics, culture and more. Today, it looms large in our imagination as the home of Cleopatra, Ptolemy, Tutankhamun, people who worshipped cats as gods and buried their embalmed dead in tombs filled with treasures and sustenance for the afterlife.

Now the Egypt of your imagination can be brought to life with new Street View imagery in Google Maps, and you can take a virtual walk among the stunning monuments and rich history of this ancient civilization.

Start where most tourists do: at the Pyramids of Giza, which rise from the vast expanse of the Sahara like man-made mountains. Just kilometers from the bustling, modern city of Cairo, the Pyramids have stood for nearly 5,000 years, a testament to the ingenuity and ambition of the ancient Egyptian people.

The Giza Necropolis is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and is home to the last standing wonder of the ancient world: the Great Pyramid. Built as a tomb and a symbol of eternity for the Pharoah Khufu, it stands 139 meters high (the height of the world's highest roller coaster!) and was the tallest man-made structure on Earth for 3,800 years. Look beyond it to the west, and you'll see the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, built by Khufu's son and grandson.

The Great Pyramid


Now turn east to the Great Sphinx, the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, it measures a grand 73 meters long and 20 meters high. Literally translating to "Father of Dread," this mythical creature is believed to resemble Pharaoh Khafre, who was the ruler at the time of construction.

The Great Sphinx


In addition to the Giza Necropolis, you can explore The Pyramid of Djoser, the ancient site of the world's very first Pyramid designed by the great Egyptian Architect Imhotep in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara.

Other sites you can check out on your virtual tour include: Abu Mena, one of the oldest sites of Christianity in Egypt-the church, baptistry, basilicas and monasteries; the Hanging Church, one of the oldest Coptic Churches in the world; the Cairo Citadel, a medieval Islamic fortification and historic site; and the Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th-century defensive fortress on the Mediterranean coast.

If wandering through the imagery of these historical sites has piqued your interest in Egyptology, head over to the Google Cultural Institute, where you can explore the treasures of ancient Egypt through a series of drawings, historic photographs and artifacts from the famed sites.

The Pyramids of Giza have survived nearly five millennia and are the planet's oldest man-made wonder. Now their legacy-and the legacy of many other sites of ancient Egyptian culture-are preserved in a new way with panoramic and immersive Street View imagery. We hope you'll take a moment to step back in time and explore what was once known as the Gift of the Nile.

Posted by Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing - Middle East and North Africa

10 Sep 2014 9:00am GMT

07 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Inline Facts Next to Google Search Results

Google now shows a list of facts next to some Wikipedia results. Knowledge Graph data extracted from Wikipedia is now placed below the snippets.

For example, when searching for [duchy of Amalfi], Google shows some information about Amalfi, a town in the province of Salerno and the former capital of the Duchy of Amalfi.


When searching for [king of Rome], Google shows the name of the last king and the year when the monarchy ended.


Some of the facts aren't very useful or are taken out of context. For example, Google shows "President: Dwight D. Eisenhower" next to the Wikipedia result for Richard Nixon, without mentioning that Nixon was vice president during the Eisenhower administration.

07 Sep 2014 11:19am GMT

Google Knowledge Graph Shows Forms of Government

Do you want to learn more about the forms of government from various countries? Search Google for "government of [country]" and Google will show if the country is a constitutional monarchy, constitutional republic, federal republic, unitary state, parliamentary republic, non-partisan democracy, military dictatorship.

Here's an example for [government of tuvalu]


Click one of the forms of government and Google will display more information. For example, Tuvalu, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, is a nonpartisan democracy, which means that Tuvalu has no political parties. It's also a constitutional monarchy.


Germany is a federal republic, which means it's a federation of states with a republican form of government.


Switzerland is also a federal republic, but it's the only country in the world that's a direct democracy and has a directorial system. "Switzerland is the closest state in the world to a direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum)," explains Wikipedia. Switzerland is also a directorial republic, "a country ruled by a college of several people who jointly exercise the powers of a head of state or a head of government".


{ Thanks, Herin. }

07 Sep 2014 10:36am GMT

06 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Account Settings Lite

Google's account settings page has a simplified version for old browsers. You can find it at: https://www.google.com/settings/general-light. The page shows some links that let you edit your profile, change your password, change password recovery options, manage account information, change email addresses and manage connected accounts.


Google shows this message: "Upgrade to a common and recent browser to modify Security, Language, Data Tools, and Account history settings." If you use an old browser, you'll also see: "It appears as if you're using an old or uncommon browser that doesn't support common standards. To access all of your Google account settings, upgrade to the latest version of any of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari". Google provides download links.


I've loaded https://www.google.com/settings in Chrome 5 and Google redirected to the lite version.

{ Thanks, Luiz Pimenta. }

06 Sep 2014 9:19pm GMT

Gmail, Powered by Google

For some reason, Gmail shows a new message at the bottom of the page: "powered by Google". This was already used by the Google Apps version of Gmail, so it's not clear if the new attribution is placed by mistake in the standard Gmail.


"Powered by Google" makes sense in Google Apps, which offers white-label versions of Google's consumer services, but it feels out of place in a regular Google service.

Google also uses "powered by Google" for custom search engines, "powered by Google Translate" for Google Translate gadgets, "powered by Google Drive" for forms, "powered by Google App Engine" for App Engine sites, "powered by Blogger" for Blogger blogs, "powered by Google Sites" for sites created using Google Sites. These attribution messages are displayed for pages, gadgets, sites created using Google's technology.


{ Thanks, PhistucK. }

06 Sep 2014 8:40pm GMT

05 Sep 2014

feedGoogle Operating System

Windows Free

Little by little, Microsoft's operating system becomes free. Android's dominance forced Microsoft to make Windows Phone free. Chromebooks' popularity forced Microsoft to remove the Windows license for low-cost computers.


Windows is now a burden for hardware manufacturers: its license is a significant part of the computer's price and Windows 8 doesn't drive sales. Desktop operating systems are becoming less important, computers use less power and offload processing to the cloud.

A desktop operating system built around a browser and a mobile operating system built around openness made Google the obvious choice for Microsoft's OEMs. Two timely solutions that allowed companies like Samsung, Asus, HTC to come up with products people wanted to buy. Hardware companies usually don't write great software, so Google wrote some of the software and freed them from Windows. And now the popularity of the Windows-free products powered by Google made Windows free.

05 Sep 2014 11:50pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 29 - September 4

This week search had three weddings, one real-life funeral, another on social media (we'll explain later) and a 20th anniversary. Sounds like a packed week to us!

Heaven is a funny place
"I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action ... I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents." Those are words from the great comedian Joan Rivers, who passed away yesterday. People across the web commemorated Rivers' almost 50-year career by reliving her best punchlines and jokes (she was pretty hard to top). Meanwhile, people worked themselves into a panic when rumors swirled that TV's favorite Golden Girl, Betty White, had passed on as well. Thankfully, the Internet is no soothsayer and Betty is alive and kicking-despite what the trends say.

Tales from the endzone
People were eagerly searching for info about the NFL's opening game last night between the Green Bay Packers and reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks. And if you were still frantically finalizing your roster for your fantasy football team this week, you were in good company. Searchers looked for the latest player stats to fine-tune their lineups and were doing so at higher rates than previous years. One player not on fantasy rosters but on fans' minds was Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, as he was cut from the St. Louis Rams. He ended up finding a home on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, so we'll have to wait just a little bit longer for him to make history on the field.


She looks great in white (and on TV)
Search was singing "The Wedding March" this week as famous brides walked down the aisle-and up the trends charts. Angelina Jolie and her wedding dress went where no other woman (except Jennifer Aniston) had gone and tied the knot with Brad Pitt. And we're guessing Jenny McCarthy's got the right stuff since she and former New Kid on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg decided to get hitched (may they hang tough for years to come). Finally, basketball star Dwayne Wade stepped away from the court and onto the altar to wed Gabrielle Union. Bethany Mota celebrated a different kind of milestone as she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars, becoming the first YouTube star to ever be invited on the show. But not everyone had a happy ending in Hollywood. Hackers were able to break into the phones of several actresses, leaking their private photos to the world-and stirring a debate in mainstream culture about privacy and cloud security.

Oldie but a goodie
We now present to you a short interlude down memory lane. This week, the cast of the 1994 hit comedy, The Little Rascals, reunited to reshoot the movie's iconic poster-we're still trying to come to terms with the whole "20 year anniversary" thing. And if you grew up in the 90's, you're more than familiar with Zack Morris and his antics at Bayside High on the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. But do you know what happened when the cameras were turned off? That's what searchers were looking for when Lifetime's new TV movie The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story aired this past Monday. The movie had a somewhat chilly reception on social media, with people tweeting their various issues with its portrayal.

Tip of the week
Summer may officially be over but that doesn't mean the beach is closed. Just ask Google, "Where is the nearest beach?" to enjoy a little fun in the sun...because you know what they say, winter is coming!

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the alfalfa] and then had to call the [fashion police].

05 Sep 2014 10:31pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube's Experiment for Related Searches

YouTube tests a new search interface that includes results for related searches. For example, when searching for [ibm ad], YouTube shows a few results for my query, then 3 lists of search results for [ibm smarter planet], [ibm ad india], [intel ad] and some other results for my query. YouTube uses the same carousel view that's also used for channels and homepage.


You can click the arrows to see more results:


Here's a video that shows an example:


How to enable this experimental feature? If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:

1. open youtube.com in a new tab

2. load your browser's developer console:

* Chrome or Opera 15+ - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac

* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac

* Internet Explorer 8+ - press F12 and select the "Console" tab

* Safari 6+ - if you haven't enabled the Develop menu, open Preferences from the Safari menu, go to the Advanced tab and check "Show Develop menu in menu bar". Close Preferences and then press Command-Option-C to show the console.

* Opera 12 - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console".

3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=d03DP7Ew5z0; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

4. press Enter and close the console.

To disable the experiment, use the same instructions, but replace the code from step 3 with this one:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

{ via Rubén }

05 Sep 2014 6:33pm GMT

feedThe Official Google Blog

Android Wear, moving forward like clockwork

Earlier this year, we launched Android Wear, bringing Android to wearables. Since then, the first watches powered by Android Wear, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, have gone on sale, developers have already built thousands of apps enhanced for Wear, and great new watches are becoming available from more partners.

Our goal with Wear is to build technology that helps you connect with others and get stuff done. So often, technology can become something that gets in the way of everything else. But we want to build devices that you can use when you need and forget about when you don't-technology that's built for your sake, rather than its own sake. Coming throughout the rest of this year, we're making some updates to Wear that will help you get even more out of your watch-and the rest of your life, too.

First, we're bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You'll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your watch's home screen to show the information you want to see most-like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play.

We're also continuing to work with manufacturers to bring you even more watch options, with different shapes, styles and sensors.

These watches, as well as those unveiled earlier this summer, will all get the new software updates described above as soon as they're ready in the coming months. We're also working with our partners on even more improvements, which means your device will continue to get better, with updates provided directly to you.

Whether it's giving you directions, letting you stay in touch more easily or keeping track of your steps so you can stay fit, Wear is designed to help you out without getting in your way. With new features and many new devices to choose from, chances are there's a watch that's just right for you.

Posted by David Singleton, Engineering Director, Android Wear

05 Sep 2014 4:27pm GMT

04 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Art, Copy & Code: EA Sports “Madden GIFERATOR”

Bring on the heart-pounding highs and the gut-wrenching lows; the crazy rituals and the bitter rivalries. Football season is back!

Whether you're a "12th Man" or wearing a cheesehead, chances are you'll be watching the game with smartphone in hand. Eighty-four percent of us now watch TV while multi-tasking on other devices nearby. And today, the language of fan rivalries is a visual one. Just look at the resurgence of search interest for GIFs on Google Trends. Why say it in words when you can throw shade with a meme?

This year, there's a way for mobile-clutching NFL fans to take their smack talk to the next level. Madden GIFERATOR is a new project created by our Art, Copy & Code team, in partnership with EA Sports and agencies Heat and Grow, to help launch EA Sports' signature football game Madden NFL 15.

During every NFL game, the Madden GIFERATOR will create a live stream of memes using Madden NFL 15 video game footage (as GIFs), triggered by the action on the field. The GIFs will appear in real time on MaddenGIFERATOR.com, on social media, as well as in ads on popular sports and gaming related apps and sites across the the Google Display Network. For example, if Seattle's Richard Sherman picks off Aaron Rodgers tonight, you might see a GIF of Sherman with the headline "Weren't you supposed to catch that? Aawwwwwkward" in the stream, alongside a real-time update on the score and game clock.

You can also take control of the GIFERATOR and design your own GIFs, choosing the team, the player, the background and the headline, ready for sharing across the web.


The Madden GIFERATOR is the latest in our Art, Copy & Code series, where we partner with brands and their agencies to create useful and fun experiences, powered by Google technology. We wanted to tap into the growing trend for fans to comment on and interact with games from their phones-plus, we have a weakness for GIFs. The GIFERATOR fuses live NFL game data with a database of Madden images, players, backgrounds and headlines to create relevant memes on the fly.

So this season, when your team delivers those clutch plays, head over to MaddenGIFERATOR.com, choose the perfect image, customize it with your best smack talk, and send it to your fellow fans (if you want to be nice) or your rivals (if you've got a wicked streak). Here's a little inspiration before tonight's Seahawks vs. Packers standoff:


Posted by Mike Glaser, Marketing Manager, Creative Partnerships

04 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

03 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Making of Maps: Reaching a milestone

The is the first of several posts taking you behind the scenes of how Google makes its Maps. Stay tuned to the Lat Long blog over the next few days for the rest of the series. -Ed.

When you head out your door, you've got directions in your pocket-whether you're driving to your aunt's place in the mountains, cycling to a new biergarten or taking the train downtown. For Google Maps to get you there, it needs to be a digital mirror of the real world. But the real world is always changing. So to make sure your map is an accurate reflection of your world, we started Ground Truth, a project that brings the freshest, most relevant information to Google Maps.

Today, we've reached our 50th Ground Truth country with the addition of five new countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, and the last regions of Russia. We're also rolling out Google Map Maker and Report a Problem-our crowdsourcing map tools-to Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia, giving anyone in those locations the ability to share and contribute their local knowledge directly to Google Maps.

Drive over Malaysia's new Penang Second Bridge


For these countries, that means clearer, more detailed depictions of points of interest like walking paths in parks or department labels in universities, a reworking of the road network with new street names and turn restrictions, and faster updates to the map. In the unique case of Poland and Romania, both of which have Map Maker communities that were instrumental in building the map from scratch, it also means providing more resources to bring the same level of map detail to all regions in these places.

Explore the campus of National Taiwan University


Over the next week, we're pulling back the curtain to show you how Ground Truth and Map Maker work together to build Google Maps. Much of the magic behind Maps comes from people-from the Googlers who spend hours perfecting every road in the world, to the users who come together to improve the quality of maps in their local communities. To build the map, we have to gather high-quality information; in the next post, we'll show you what that process looks like-and show off a new mapping technology. Stay tuned to the Lat Long Blog for more on how Google Maps is made!

Posted by Manik Gupta, Group Product Manager, Google Maps

03 Sep 2014 4:00pm GMT

02 Sep 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Introducing Google for Work (the artist formerly known as Enterprise)

Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we've always believed that it should be meaningful-not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you're in.

Ten years ago, we started bringing Google's consumer technology-along with the features, controls and services businesses need-to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google's infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we've invested in what matters to our customers and partners-security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.

Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend-it's a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google's products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.

But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional "enterprise" business-we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier-Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more-work gets better. And that's what we're working on-the best of Google, now for work.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

02 Sep 2014 5:38pm GMT

29 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 22-28

It was a busy week for entertainment junkies with the Emmys and VMAs, and the cat was out of the bag for Sanrio fans after a surprising piece of news. Read on for more on the last week in search:

And the Emmy goes to…
Though Breaking Bad took home the top honors at Monday's Emmy Awards, people searched less for the acclaimed drama than for some of the event's other, more unexpected happenings. American Horror Story's Jessica Lange proved she's still got it-she was the top search of the night. Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere accidentally revealed the gender of her forthcoming baby, leading people to search for information about the actress and her fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. And it was a night of funny women: Julia Louis-Dreyfus did justice to her award for best actress in a comedy with a Seinfeld-inspired bit on stage… and a Seinfeld-throwback kiss just offstage; and Sarah Silverman won an award for best variety special (and showed off some unusual accessories). Other popular Emmys searches included HBO's The Normal Heart, which was nominated for 16 awards and won two, and True Detective, which won for directing but did not capture the acting awards some expected.

I want my MTV
The other awards show making news this week was MTV's Video Music Awards. As can only be expected at this point, Beyoncé's performance was the highlight of the night; the day after the show, there were more than 50,000 searches for [beyonce vma performance] as people scrambled to re-live (or catch up with) the spectacle. But part of Bey's appeal this time was actually her daughter, Blue Ivy, who appeared on stage (as well as in multiple GIFs, natch) to steal the show like only an adorable child can. Searchers were dazzled by performances by Ariana Grande (in a crystal onesie), Rita Ora (with diamonds in her manicure) and Iggy Azalea. Finally, Katy Perry and Riff Raff's double denim red carpet tribute to that VMA power couple of the past, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, had people giggling-and searching.

Trouble out west
After a nine-year-old in Arizona accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi, people came to Google to learn more about the incident, which has sparked debates throughout the country. And the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 20+ years shook up Napa and surrounding counties this weekend, leading people to the web to learn more about the damage.

Raining [searches for] cats and dogs
Sanrio fans worldwide got some startling news this week: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to the Japanese company, she is a little girl. Whatever her species, she was a top trend in search this week. And for those of you who aren't cat fans (in which case, do you even like the Internet?), there was National Dog Day, Tuesday's top search and-if you ask us-a great excuse for thousands of people to share photos of their own favorite man's best friend.

Tip of the week
Don't let delays ruin your long weekend. To help you decide whether it's faster to bike or take transit to your Labor Day destination, Google Search can show you all of your transportation options and estimated travel times on a single card. Just tap the mic and say "Ok Google, what's the traffic like to AT&T Park" and easily switch between transportation modes to determine which route works best for you.


Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [brandy creek beach] and [delirium series]

29 Aug 2014 8:33pm GMT

22 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 15-21

It was an emotional rollercoaster on search this week. Read on to learn more about what made people laugh and cry.

Tragedies and scandals
The world was shocked by a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Questions remain about how the United States will respond to the incident. And there was sad news closer to home too. TV lost an icon when Saturday Night Live's announcer of 40+ years, Don Pardo, passed away at 96.

While some searchers were in mourning, others were looking for answers. Texas Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry was indicted this week on charges of abuse of power. Perry pleaded not guilty to all charges, but that didn't stop searchers from investigating. And while people had their detective hats on, they also looked into the Louisville Purge, a social media hoax based off the horror movie series The Purge. The hoax claimed that all residents of Louisville, Kentucky would have 24 hours to commit any crime they want-without repercussion. Does anyone take social media that seriously?


"J" as in "J is the only letter that matters"
You'd think our favorite letter would be the letter "G," and normally that's the case-but not this week as J-named celebrities jacked the trends charts. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Julianna Hough is taking off her dancing shoes and getting comfortable behind the judge's table in a new role on the show. Meanwhile, rumors flew like mockingjays this week that actress Jennifer Lawrence has a new beau- the consciously uncoupled Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. And when there's action going on you know Johnny Manziel won't be too far away. Searchers were baffled this week when Johnny Football decided to show the Washington bench that he, um, was "number one."

Deep sea video gaming
Searchers took a trip down memory lane when former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan went head-to-head with Jimmy Fallon in the classic Nintendo 64 game "GoldenEye 007." Unfortunately, Brosnan's experience as the untouchable Bond didn't quite translate into video games skills. But Bond wasn't the only one sleeping with the fishes. There were rough waters this week for sharks... more specifically this shark, who was swallowed whole in one bite by a goliath Grouper. Consider shark week officially over. (^^^)

Tip of the week
Want a fast way to calculate the tip? Stop counting on your fingers and just ask Google "How much is the tip on a $27 bill?" to get the amount. You can also adjust the tip percent and divide the bill by the number of people in your party, right in the search results.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched was [live from new york] and searched for [giant fish].

22 Aug 2014 10:00pm GMT

15 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 8-14

Demonstrations in Missouri and the death of Robin Williams had people searching for a greater understanding this week.

Losing a Hollywood legend
First up, the news of Robin Williams' death sparked tens of millions of searches about the beloved actor's life and career. Legions of fans searched for every one of their favorite films from Williams' decades-long career; top topics include Hook, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam. Many were looking up his most memorable quotes and roles, including the "O captain, my captain" monologue in Dead Poets Society, Genie's first scene in Aladdin, and a standup bit about golf. Others searched for tributes by Williams' fellow actors and comedians, like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien. And just yesterday, news that the actor had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease led people to the web once again.

Two days after Williams' death, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89, inspiring people to search for more information on the actress, in particular her marriage to Humphrey Bogart back in Hollywood's golden age.

Unrest in Missouri
Protests ignited in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri this weekend after an unarmed teenager named Mike Brown was shot and killed by police on Saturday. People turned to search to learn more about the conflict, and searches for terms like [ferguson riot] and [ferguson shooting] rose by more than 1,000%.

Math and science phenomena
Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford, was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal this week for her work on understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces such as spheres. She is the first woman and first Iranian to win the prize, considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Turning from one sphere to a celestial one, two astronomical events led searchers to the web to learn more. The Perseid meteor shower had its annual peak this week-and got a doodle for the occasion-and the brightest super moon of the year had everyone a little lun-y.

Ice ice bucket
This week saw a rise in searches for [als] thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign to raise money to fight what's better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. From Martha Stewart to Justin Timberlake to your college roommate, odds are you know someone who's dumped a bucket of icy water on themselves for the cause. The ALS Association has received millions of dollars in donations as a result, though we don't have any numbers on how many brave folks took the plunge.

Tip of the week
Still basking in the glow of that super moon? Learn more about our familiar friend in the sky by asking your Google Search app on iPhone or Android, "How far away is the moon?" and get an answer spoken back to you. You can then ask, "How big is it?" Google will understand what "it" you're talking about and give you the 411.



Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [is handedness genetic] and [play it again dick]

15 Aug 2014 8:03pm GMT

08 Aug 2014

feedThe Official Google Blog

Through the Google lens: search trends August 1-7

We may be hitting the last days of summer but the heat is still picking up, especially on search. Read on to learn what sizzled on the trends charts this past week.

Trouble in paradise
Would you turn down a free trip to Hawaii? Julio and Iselle aren't. The two hurricanes are barreling towards the islands, bringing 90 mph winds, flash floods and hordes of searches with them. If Iselle makes landfall, she'll be the first hurricane to hit the Big Island since 1950. Julio, like the tag-a-long younger brother, is right on Iselle's tail. You can review tips on how to stay safe during hurricane season here.

A Hawaiian hurricane isn't the only trouble brewing in the air. Searchers had a virtual panic attack when Facebook went down for a couple hours last Friday. In a state of shock, some people even called the police to assist with their social media emergency. Meanwhile, a toxin called microcystin is contaminating the waters in parts of Ohio, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to stockpile bottled water and look for answers on the Internet.

But there's only one thing that can distract us from the craziness of real life… and that's the sheer absurdity of reality TV. Viewers and searchers tuned in to watch the premiere of the Bachelor in Paradise, an elimination-style show where contestants compete for love. This is probably not what Cervantes meant when he wrote that all's fair in love and war.


First let me take a selfie
As if the world couldn't get any more litigious, a British photographer is taking on Wikimedia over a selfie-and not just any selfie, a monkey selfie. After a curious crested black macaque came upon David Slater's camera equipment and fulfilled nature's call by taking a selfie, the photo went viral and was eventually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free to use images, sound, and other media. Slater asked Wikimedia to take it down on copyright infringement grounds, and Wikimedia said no. Their argument: the photo wasn't Slater's work -- it was the monkey's. We'll leave it up to you to decide who you think is right.

Fortunately, at least one dispute this week was resolved: The stars of the hit science geek themed show, The Big Bang Theory, signed new contracts that would pay them $1 million per episode. We're betting that somehow the line "Show me the Money" is going to make it into the script. A real-life scientist also managed to crack the trends charts when our doodle celebrating John Venn, the creator of the Venn Diagram, got searchers excited to discover what the intersections between sea-life and something with wings.



Who runs the world? Girls!
Let's be honest, can anyone really get enough Beyonce in their life? Her "On the Run" tour with that other mildly successful artist/mogul just topped $100 million in ticket sales and now the remix of her song "Flawless" featuring Nicki Minaj is getting searchers into a frenzy. This woman can do no wrong (except maybe).

Beyonce may cast a shadow that dwarfs us all, but two other women are holding their own on the search charts. WBNA star Becky Hammon became the NBA's first female assistant coach when she joined the staff of the San Antonio Spurs. (We'll call that a crack in the glass backboard.) And First Daughter Malia Obama nearly stole the show at Lollapalooza following her appearance among fellow festival-goers in Chicago.

Tip of the Week
Taking a hike is one of the best ways to enjoy the last days of summer. But it's always safer to hike in the daylight hours. Before you head out, remember to ask the Google App, "When is sunset?" to help you plan accordingly.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [reality tv is better than sitcoms] and [fomo].

08 Aug 2014 7:00pm 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