25 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Google gobble: Thanksgiving trends on Search

In just a few hours, people across the U.S. will be settling in for a day of food, family and football as they celebrate Thanksgiving. As the day of gluttony and gratitude comes closer, people have been turning to Google to plan the big meal, get cooking tips and more. Here's a look at some of the top Turkey Day searches-for more, see Google Trends.

The reason for the season
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, people turn to Google to learn more about the origins of the holiday and its traditions, both new and old. Top questions include "Why did the pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving?" and "What president made Thanksgiving a national holiday?"

The other reason for the season
Gratitude may be in the name, but food is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving. For weeks now people have been searching for recipes to wow their relatives this Thursday, from classics like cranberry relish and mashed potatoes to turkey alternatives like lasagna and beef stew. Here's a look at the top recipes that trend every November:

Even amongst regional variations, family eccentricities or that ambitious new recipe you clipped from a food magazine, there's one dish that takes the casserole on Thanksgiving Day. Stuffing is the top searched Thanksgiving recipe in 49 out of 50 states, with only North Carolina standing up proud for sweet potatoes. Our take: Why not have both?

How do I…?
Even for people whose usual meal prep consists of shuffling through take-out menus, Thanksgiving is a time to roll up your sleeves and get to work in the kitchen. That-and the fact that a 20-lb poultry dish is a little harder to put on the table than, say, the ol' blue box of mac and cheese-means it's also a time when many turn to Google to brush up on some cooking tips. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, you're asking all kinds of questions, from simple queries like "how to cook spaghetti squash" and "how to boil eggs" to advanced topics like "what can I make ahead for thanksgiving?" and the very crucial, very daunting "How do you make turkey gravy?"

Let's talk turkey
The top Thanksgiving recipe question, however, is focused on the main dish: "How to cook a turkey?" Related questions include "how much turkey do you cook per person?" (Answer: there's math involved but the most important part is making enough for sandwiches for multiple days after), followed quickly by "How long to cook a turkey?" (answer: more math).

And though roasting is still the top trending technique method for cooking the big bird, enterprising (or efficiency-oriented) chefs across the U.S. are also searching for tips on how to smoke and deep-fry their turkeys. Proof that there's more than one way to cook a turkey.

Whether you'll be slicing into pumpkin or pecan pie, eating your turkey smoked, turduckened or made of tofu, serving up fresh cranberry sauce or popping open a can-we hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who is now very hungry

Emily Wood
Managing Editor
Google Blogs

25 Nov 2015 5:00pm GMT

24 Nov 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Travel Guide Snippets in Knowledge Graph Cards

Google's Knowledge Graph cards include a lot of information from Wikipedia. Google usually shows a snippet from a Wikipedia article and links to the article. I was surprised to notice that cards for countries and big cities from all over the world no longer quote Wikipedia and now include detailed information from travel guides.

Here's an example for [France]: "France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval and port cities, tranquil villages, mountains and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is known worldwide for its couture fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its sophisticated cuisine and its wines. Lascaux's ancient cave drawings, Lyon's Roman theater and the immense Palace of Versailles are testaments to its long history."

The snippet from the corresponding Wikipedia article is less poetic: "France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called Metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. France spans 640,679 square kilometres (247,368 sq mi) and has a total population of 67 million. It is a unitary semi-presidential republic with the capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre."

24 Nov 2015 10:00pm GMT

Show Zoom Slider in Google Maps

Are you missing the zoom controls from the old Google Maps interface for the desktop? Mouse over the "-" or "+" button at the bottom of the Google Maps page and click "show slider". You'll get the old zoom slider which allows you to quickly control the zoom level of the map.

If you want to go back to the default interface, mouse over the "-" or "+" button and click "hide slider". The nice thing is that Google remembers your preference.

24 Nov 2015 9:43pm GMT

Big Offline Google Maps

I don't know about you, but my Google Maps for Android has just enabled the new offline features. Even if you have the latest version of the app, you still need to wait until these features are enabled because they're gradually rolled out.

My first disappointment is that the new features are still limited. The biggest size for an offline area you can download is 120,000 square kilometers and there are many countries that are bigger than that. I downloaded London's map and checked the size of the map: 332 MB. It also expires in 29 days (maps need to be updated at least every 30 days).

It looks like Google's maps include too much information, they take up too much space and there's no way to download some simplified maps.

Let's try one of the smallest countries in Europe: Liechtenstein, which has an area of only 160 square kilometers. The offline map has 62 MB. New York? 409 MB. Los Angeles? 356 MB. Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok? Not available because of licensing issues.

Forget about downloading the map for an entire country. Google Maps still can't replace the Here app or paid navigation apps.

24 Nov 2015 9:10pm GMT

Google Star Wars Experience

Google has a new site for Star Wars fans. You can join the dark side or the light side and transform your Google experience across Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Waze, Google Translate, YouTube, and other Google services.

"We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we've been working together on building google.com/starwars. It's a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path. And that's just the beginning. We've got more coming between now and opening night - the Millennium Falcon in all its (virtual reality) glory included, so stay tuned. And we've hidden a few easter eggs, too. So awaken the Force within, and be on the lookout for things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," mentions Google's blog.

There's a new Star Wars theme in Gmail, a new progress bar for the loading page and probably some other changes.

Google Inbox has a Star Wars background image.

Google Calendar adds some Star Wars events like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters everywhere".

YouTube has a new progress bar for Star Wars fans. Check the player too.

24 Nov 2015 11:23am GMT

Google's Deals Alerts

Google's mobile search site shows some ads that promote a new notification service. Google's own ads feature a "subscribe" button that lets you "stay up to date on the latest deals, promotions, and updates from popular retailers". Basically, you'll get deals via text messages, just in time for Black Friday.

Tap the "subscribe" button and then you can text "join" to Google's SMS number: +1-646-665-2745. There are multiple alerts for phones, computers, TVs and more.

24 Nov 2015 11:13am GMT

23 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Discover Jordan’s past and present in Google Maps

Starting today you can explore more than 30 historical sites throughout Jordan in Google Street View. To tell you more, read today's guest blog post, by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. -Ed.

What a great day for Jordan and Jordanians! Thanks to Google Street View, we can now share the rich, proud and varied history of our country with anyone who has an Internet connection. With more than 30 historical sites available to explore virtually, people all over the world now have a window into our beautiful Kingdom in the heart of the Middle East.

Throughout the ages, ancient civilizations have left their footprints in Jordan. Reminders of the Silk Road which linked the regions of the world in commerce. Ancient cities, such as the Romans' Jerash and the Nabateans' Petra. Significant religious sites, like Mount Nebo and the River Jordan. And, to this day, we continue to discover such footprints.

With Google Street View, would-be visitors, or those just curious to learn more about our ancient lands, can explore Jordan's unique historical heritage online. That's one of the reasons I love this technology. Not only does it connect millions of people from all corners of the world, it provides a lens on the past. And when we understand more about each other's stories and cultures and histories, we realize that we are more alike than we are different. That's why we must preserve these treasures for future generations. They're a doorway to our shared narrative.

To this day, after too many trips to count, Jordan's ancient archeological site, the Rose-Red city of Petra, still fills me with awe. Concealed in majestic mountain gorges, visitors can wander through the entire city of Petra, imagining what life was like in the thriving trading center and capital of the Nabataean kingdom. Carved by hand into vibrant red, white and pink sandstone cliffs, it has, miraculously, survived earthquakes to withstand the test of time. Film buffs might recognize it from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Harrison Ford and Sean Connery joined forces in their quest to find the Holy Grail. Now, you can step back in time and take a narrated tour of this hidden gem, exploring the tombs, sites and amphitheater that span an area the size of lower Manhattan.

The Treasury in Petra is estimated to be more than 2,000 years old

Jerash is the second most visited site outside Petra. It's considered one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture outside Italy. With one click, you can stroll through its ruins, walk its streets, sing in its theaters and contemplate life in its baths and temples. Before you leave, remember to send a message through the city's ancient whispering columns!

Jerash Roman South Theater can fit more than 3000 people

Colonnaded Street - Jerash, Jordan

Mount Nebo, located 10 km west of the Roman Byzantine town of Madaba, is one of the most revered holy sites in Jordan. While you're close to Madaba, step into its historic church to view the Madaba Mosaic Map, the oldest known geographic floor mosaic in art history.

The Madaba Mosaic Map, created in 6th century AD, originally contained more than 2 million tesserae!

The Madaba Mosaic Map in church of Saint George - Madaba, Jordan
What could be more relaxing than a float in the world's saltiest waters? A visit to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, is known to be a very therapeutic experience, thanks to its oxygen-rich water and mineral-mud.

Dead Sea Panorama - Dead Sea, Jordan

While you're exploring, don't be surprised if you find a medieval castle right in the middle of the desert. We've got many-from crusader castles like Al Karak, to Ajlun Castle built by Saladin, to Umayyad desert castles Qasr Amra and Qasr Al Kharana.

Qasr Kharana - Jordan

Jordan remains a haven of peace and moderation in the Middle East. So, please, come and visit us. Meet and talk with our warm and hospitable people. Taste our cuisine. Learn some Arabic. Relax in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea and the Ma'in Springs. Marvel at the rich colors of Wadi Rum, the spectacular desert backdrop to "The Martian." Walk in the footsteps of our forebears. There's so much to see and experience.

There's something for everyone in Jordan. And I couldn't be happier that now, thanks to Google Maps, we can share our rich cultural heritage with the world. Visit g.co/Jordanhighlights to start your tour. As we say to all our visitors: ahlan wa sahlan. Hello and welcome.

Posted by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

23 Nov 2015 9:41pm GMT

For Star Wars fans, old and new

The first memory I have of watching a movie is with my dad. I was around four years old, and one afternoon he fired up our bulky, '80s-style front-projection TV and the Betamax, and popped in Star Wars. Of course, it was *amazing*, and I've watched the original trilogy a dozen times since.

It probably isn't a surprise that there are tons of Star Wars fans like me here at Google. You can regularly spot Darth Vaders, dogs dressed like Yoda, and even the occasional stormtrooper, roaming the halls of our data centers (probably still looking for those droids). So when we first heard about Episode VII, we started thinking about what a Google tribute to these epic stories might look like: "Wouldn't it be cool if there was some sort of Star Wars thingy in Search? The Millennium Falcon in Cardboard would be sweet! What if Google Translate could decipher galactic languages?"... and on, and on, and on. As this list of ideas grew, so too did the band of passionate engineers and product folks who wanted to build them.

We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we've been working together on building google.com/starwars. It's a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path. And that's just the beginning. We've got more coming between now and opening night-the Millennium Falcon in all its (virtual reality) glory included, so stay tuned. And we've hidden a few easter eggs, too. So awaken the Force within, and be on the lookout for things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

See you in line at the theater in December. I'll be there with my dad.

Posted by Clay Bavor, VP of Product Management

23 Nov 2015 8:16am GMT

19 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

The space race is on: first Google Lunar XPRIZE team headed to the moon

For the last eight years, teams from around the world have been racing to win a global competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon successfully. It's called the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and it's been going on in labs and universities from Brazil to Japan to Carnegie Mellon. With 16 remaining teams of scientists, explorers and adventurers hard at work designing and fundraising, the race is on to be the first privately-funded moon landing (and to take home a share of the $30 million prize purse that comes with it).

This week, they all got a little bit closer. Team SpaceIL, a team of engineers based in Israel, has just managed to secure a "ticket to the moon"-in the form of an official, verified launch contract-for its spacecraft on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft will hitch a ride in a specially designed capsule on the Falcon 9; once separated from the launcher and released from the capsule, it will use navigation sensors to guide it to the lunar surface. Here's a first look at the craft that will be heading to the moon in 2017:

An artist's rendering of SpaceIL's newly-designed spacecraft

And this is where the real fun begins. We kicked off this challenge in 2007 to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in space through low-cost, efficient access to the moon. But until now, all the tinkering has been on terra firma. SpaceIL's securing of a verified launch contract by the December 2015 deadline keeps the competition open to all Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, who now have until the end of 2016 to secure their own launch contracts to head to the moon by the end of 2017.

The moon is not only our nearest neighbor in space, but also the gateway to the rest of the universe-providing exciting opportunities for discovery, and giving the rest of us a chance to engage more with science, technology and innovation. We hear a lot about "moonshots" these days, but this is the real thing.

So, congratulations to SpaceIL for getting to this phase, and to the other 15 teams: the new space race is on! Just like the astronauts, explorers and moonwalkers who came before you, you're pushing the limits of what's possible-let's see who will make history.

Posted by Yasemin Denari Southworth, Manager, Cultural Activation & Partnerships

With 16 remaining teams of scientists, explorers and adventurers hard at work designing and fundraising, the race is on to be the first privately-funded moon landing.

19 Nov 2015 7:33pm GMT

Trend or treat: Searching for the top Halloween costumes

"How many days until Halloween?"
"What should I be for Halloween?"

In the weeks leading up to All Hallows' Eve you turn to Google Search to ask these two crucial questions. So with just days left to perfect a costume for yourself, your kid, your pooch or your partner, here's a look at some of the top Halloween costume trends across the United States. For more, see Frightgeist, our Google Trends Halloween hub.

If your costume involves a certain familiar 'do, prepare to have company. Get-ups based on the bombastic GOP candidate for President are spiking, with the top-related search being "Donald Trump wig." And don't go looking for blue or purple hair-dye at the last minute on Saturday: chances are it will already have been bought up by kids dressing up as Disney's "Descendants" characters Mal and Evie.

And if you're aiming for a unique costume, you might want to avoid buns on the side of your head too. "Star Wars" is the second most searched costume nationwide, and within that Princess Leia reigns supreme above Dark Side standbys Stormtrooper and Darth Vader.

Superhero Squad
"Suicide Squad" may not hit box offices until next summer, but one character from the film is already making a killing in costume searches. "Harley Quinn" takes the top search spot nationwide (rival Batman is in fifth place). But Harley and Bruce Wayne are just a few of the superheroes (and super villains) you can look for this weekend: People are also donning their cuffs for Wonder Woman, their creepy facepaint for Joker, their bodysuits for Catwoman, and their half shell as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (T-U-R-T-L-E Power!). Even lesser-known characters like Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wasp are getting a boost from film franchises like "The Avengers" and "Ant-Man."

Frightful Fidos
"Dog costume" is always a top search around Halloween-but not because you're dressing up as Snoopy or Scooby. No, you're searching for the cutest costume for your four-legged friend. In addition to being adorable, the top dog costumes are just as "Star Wars"-filled as the top human costumes. We assume that's because they've already got the fur and/or ears to make it work.

If dressing your pooch as Chewy feels like asking for trouble, other popular canine costumes include "lion," "dinosaur," "shark" and … Olaf. Because-ahem-you still can't let "Frozen" go.

Better together
When you want a partner in crime or just want insurance against looking silly solo, couples costumes are the way to go. This year, you're dressing up as famous pop culture pairs like Bonnie and Clyde (the top couples costume overall), Jasmine and Aladdin, Woody and Jessie from "Toy Story," Danny and Sandy from "Grease," and Barbie and Ken. You're keeping that Halloween realness with searches for Gomez and Morticia Addams and Beetlejuice (#2 on the list, and based on Google Images subject to lots of interpretation). And you're bringing new meaning to the phrase "I'm dressing up with my boo" with searches for a "Boo and Sully" costume from "Monsters, Inc."

The treat in "trick or treat"
Even for adults, Halloween is an excuse to eat junk food. In the past month you've searched for candy corn, candy apples and Halloween variations on all of your favorite sweets, from donuts to pudding cups to Kit Kats. But one candy reigns supreme: marshmallows (no, not that marshmallow) are the top searched candy over the past month.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who, despite the above, is still taking recommendations for this year's costume

19 Nov 2015 7:12pm GMT

17 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Introducing the new Google+

If you head over to Google+ today, you'll see that things look a little different.

Since we last posted, we've spent a lot of time listening to what people using Google+ had to say. There were two features they kept coming back to: Communities, which now average 1.2 million new joins per day, and Collections, which launched just five months ago and is growing even faster. Whether it's the Nonfiction Addiction Community, where people can be found discussing the best in Crime or Travel storytelling, or the Watch Project Collection, where more than 40,000 people are following an antique watch hobbyist, these are the places on Google+ where people around the world are spending their time discovering and sharing things they love.

And so we've reimagined Google+ to help them do that. Today, we're starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center. Now focused around interests, the new Google+ is much simpler. And it's more mobile-friendly-we've rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you'll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big screen or small one. You'll need to opt-in to this new version of Google+ on the web to see the changes-check out our Google+ post for more on how to give it a try.

Creating great products that solve real needs and make life easier for people is something Google is always striving for. Your feedback got us this far-as we continue to refine Google+, we'd love to keep hearing from you. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing how today's changes help kickstart even more conversations around everything from Zombie Cats to Vintage Calculators.

Posted by Eddie Kessler, Director of Streams

17 Nov 2015 9:11pm GMT

Get ahead this Thanksgiving with Google Maps

It's that time of year again. Next week, tens of millions of us will hit the roads, consume millions of pounds of turkey, and then spend billions on Black Friday deals. Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving trends from the last three years to uncover the most useful information to make your holiday plans go a little bit easier. Whether you're traveling, doing some last-minute grocery shopping, or Black Friday deal-dashing, here's our day-by-day guide to braving the holiday crowds.

Tuesday: No travel day leading up to the holiday is going to be a breeze, but if you can, start driving Tuesday rather than Wednesday. Yes, it's still the second-worst travel day of the week, but according to Google Maps searches, for the last three years Wednesday has been the worst travel day-with the exceptions of Boston (Tuesday), and Honolulu, Providence and San Francisco (all Saturday).

Wednesday: Americans are pretty predictable when it comes to the holidays: for the third year in a row, "ham shop" was the #1 trending destination search on Google Maps the day before Thanksgiving. Whether you're running out to a ham shop, pie shop (#2), or liquor store (#3), make sure you don't head all the way there just to find it closed. This year Google Maps and Google Search have added holiday hours, so when you search for a business, you'll see its updated holiday schedule.

Thanksgiving Day: Maybe folks were put off by the trauma of last year's burnt turkey? Nationwide, "buffet restaurants" were the #1 trending Google Maps term on Thanksgiving Day. But locally, folks were heading in other directions. In Houston, "doughnut shops" were trending on Thanksgiving. It was "bars" in Chicago- maybe people needed a break from their families. And Miami residents were interested in looking their holiday best-"beauty salons" were among the trending searches by the South Beach crowd.

Black Friday: The top Black Friday Google Maps trends nationwide were predictably of the "electronics store" and "outlet mall" variety-with "Christmas tree farms" not far behind as people looked ahead. Digging into local trends, however, things get more surprising. New Yorkers were on the hunt for tattoo shops, among other things, Angelenos for hookah bars, and people in Detroit spent their Black Friday on the lookout for hamburgers. Whether you're in the market for a Christmas tree tat or shopping deals, here's a tip: use the Explore feature on Google Maps to discover the stores, restaurants and local entertainment around you.

The weekend: Traffic patterns show that you're better off driving home from a long weekend on Sunday rather than Saturday-traffic can be up to 40% worse on Saturday. And Google Maps will be with you all the way home, helping you check out gas prices and add detours to your route, without having to exit out of navigation.

Posted by Pierre Petronin, Google Maps

17 Nov 2015 3:10pm GMT

13 Nov 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Chrome Beta for iOS

In addition to the stable channel, there are 3 other Chrome channels you can use to check the latest features before they're released for everyone: beta, dev and canary. Canary builds are only for Windows and Mac, the dev channel is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS and Android, while the beta channel is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android and now iOS.

That's right, you can try out Chrome Beta for iOS. You need to enter your email address and confirm you "understand that Google will share your information with Apple in order to participate in the TestFlight program". Google will send a confirmation email. "Once you have confirmed your e-mail address, you can expect to receive an invitation to join TestFlight within a few minutes."

Install the TestFlight app on your iOS device, tap "redeem" and enter the code from the invitation. If you've already installed Chrome on your phone or tablet, TestFlight will ask you if "you want to replace the current app version with the test version".

Right now, you can upgrade from Chrome 46.0.2490.73 to Chrome 47.0.2526.53. The new version adds support for more Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts (open/close/change tabs and voice search) and adds 3D touch support on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (force touch the Chrome icon to open a new tab, a new incognito tab or start a voice search).

{ Thanks, Stefan. }

13 Nov 2015 3:42pm GMT

YouTube Music

YouTube launched specialized mobile apps for kids, gamers and now for music lovers. YouTube Music replaces the music section from the regular YouTube app and provides a better interface for playing music. There are no comments, you can switch between the video mode and the audio-only mode, the autoplay feature is enabled by default and you can't disable it.

"With YouTube Music, you'll get a completely new type of experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier than ever. No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop. Every song you play or artist you choose will take you on an endless journey through YouTube's music catalog. (...) The home tab will recommend tracks just for you and create personalized stations based on your tastes," informs the YouTube blog.

You can download YouTube Music from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, but only in the US. If you're not in the US and you manage to install the app, you won't be able to use it without a proxy/VPN service.

YouTube Music works even better if you use YouTube Red, so you get the YouTube Red features for free for 14 days. No ads, background audio, offline music.

13 Nov 2015 3:11pm GMT

12 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Bring virtual reality field trips to your school with Google Expeditions

At the Bronx Latin School in New York City, teacher Katrina Roman says the topic of ancient history doesn't usually set students abuzz. But this week, they took a field trip to ancient Mayan ruins using Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool built with Google Cardboard. Normally, their assignment would involve poring over photocopied photographs, but instead, they stood at the top of Chichen Itza, then examined detailed carvings at Tenochtitlan. Amid "oohs" and "aahhs," the students shouted out details they noticed and shot hands up to answer Ms. Roman's questions.

Katrina Roman's class at the Bronx Latin School fills out their assignment after visiting Aztec ruins with Expeditions. The class is part of a history and geography pilot with New Visions for Public Schools.

Starting today, we're bringing this experience to thousands of schools around the world with the new Expeditions Pioneer Program. During the 2015/2016 school year, we'll be bringing "kits" containing everything a teacher needs to run a virtual trip for their class: ASUS smartphones, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel View-Masters that turn phones into virtual reality headsets. Although nothing replaces hopping on the bus for a field trip, there are some places that are just out of reach (hello, Chichen Itza!). Virtual reality gives teachers a tool to take students places a school bus can't.
To help teachers learn how to use Expeditions, we'll be visiting thousands of schools around the world and bringing the kit for teachers to use in their classes for the day. Up first: Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., followed by more locations as the school year progresses. At each school, our team will show teachers how Expeditions works and help set it up before class.

Right now, teachers can choose from a library of 100+ virtual trips to places like Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China. But we're constantly adding more trips with the help of partners like PBS, educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British documentarian David Attenborough in collaboration with Alchemy VR, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. We're also working with the Starfish Foundation to help students explore future careers by showing them a virtual day in the life of professionals including a veterinarian and computer scientist. And to help students achieve those career goals, we're working with First Lady Michelle Obama to support her Reach Higher initiative by taking students on virtual college tours.

And if you see one of these cars on the road, that's us! The folks at Subaru, who invest in education as part of their Love Promise initiative, have created a fleet of Expedition Pioneer Program rides that we'll be using to bring kits to schools.

If visiting Mars, trekking on the Great Wall of China or exploring what it's like to work at a veterinarian's office sounds like something your class would be interested in, head to the Expeditions Pioneer Program site and sign up.

Posted by David Quaid, Software Engineer, Google Expeditions

12 Nov 2015 8:46pm GMT

Bringing the NYC Veterans Day Parade to veterans across the country

I am a veteran and a Googler. I retired in 2012 after a 25-year career in the military, and this week with Google.org, I helped bring veterans with disabilities, and those otherwise unable to travel, their first virtual reality experience. On Thursday morning, we filmed the NYC Veteran's Day Parade in 360-degree video, and with Google Cardboard, brought together veterans and their families at VA hospitals from Palo Alto, California, to Pryor, Oklahoma to experience the nation's largest Veterans Day parade in virtual reality as if they were there, marching. These #UnitedWeMarch events will continue over the next few days, at VA hospitals around the country.

The virtual parade video is available on YouTube 360 (desktop), the YouTube app (mobile) and via Google Cardboard (also mobile).

It was incredible to reconnect with other veterans and even better to see their reactions to the virtual parade. One Marine who served in Vietnam even remarked, "You just took me away from this hospital room to New York. And you didn't even charge me airfare!"

#UnitedWeMarch is part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, which has given $20M in grants from Google.org toward organizations improving the lives of people with disabilities. In honor of disabled veterans, Google.org also gave a $235,000 grant to America Makes to create a training for military veterans to learn the basics of using new technologies to build personalized assistive devices like 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. This is all in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

I'm so grateful to have been there yesterday, seeing the veterans temporarily escape their hospital beds through virtual reality and experience the crowds cheering them along the parade route. We'll continue these virtual marches tomorrow and into next week, so that every veteran has the chance to be celebrated.

Posted by James Reid, Googler and Google VetNet member

12 Nov 2015 8:00pm GMT

11 Nov 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Timer and Stopwatch Card

Google's timer card added a new feature: stopwatch. You can search for [stopwatch] or search for [timer] and switch to the stopwatch tab. Click start/stop, reset or use the full screen option for an immersive experience. You can't add laps and the "stop" button should probably be renamed "pause".

To start the timer, search Google for [timer 10 minutes], [countdown 5 minutes], [set timer for 30 seconds], [start a timer for 1 hour and 45 minutes], [set a timer for half an hour], [start a timer until 13:00], [start a timer until midnight] and more.

It's worth pointing out that you can use both features simultaneously.

{ Thanks, Jonah Langlieb. }

11 Nov 2015 9:35am GMT

10 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Navigate and search the real world … online or off

Roughly 60 percent of the world is without Internet today, and even where online access is available, it can still be spotty. That means that quick and easy access to information is still not possible for a majority of the population. This is a huge problem, especially as people attempt to navigate and explore the world around them, so Google Maps is taking steps to help people across the globe find directions and get where they're going, even when they don't have an Internet connection.

Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there's no connectivity-whether it's a country road or an underground parking garage-Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings.

You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping "Download" on the resulting place sheet, or by going to "Offline Areas" in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the "+" button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you're in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route. By default, we'll only download areas to your device when you are on a Wi-Fi connection to prevent large data fees.

We first previewed these new capabilities during Google I/O in May, and today we're gradually rolling out the first set of these improvements with the latest version of Google Maps on Android (coming soon to iOS). Over time, we'll be introducing even more offline features to help you find your way-even when you can't find a connection.

Posted by Amanda Bishop, Product Manager

10 Nov 2015 8:35pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

Google About Me

It looks like Google works on a replacement for Google+ profiles. About Me is a new site that lets you control what people see about you. "Changes you make here show up across Google services like Drive, Photos, Google+ & others," informs Google.

You can change your name, photo, sites, gender, birthday and occupation. If you click the "+" button, you can also add work contact info, personal contact info, education, work history and places.

"You can change what other users of Google products see about you. For instance, when you connect with people on apps like Gmail or Hangouts, you can choose to share certain additional information with them, like your birthday and phone number," mentions Google's help center.

For now, the "view as public" feature doesn't work. "You'll soon be able to see what you look like to other people across Google services in this card. While we are working on it, view your public Google+ profile," suggests the site.

{ Thanks, Elchanan. }

10 Nov 2015 7:33pm GMT

Full-Featured Offline Google Maps

Google Maps has a really cool mobile app for Android and iOS, but most of its features aren't available when you're offline. You can cache maps for small regions and that's pretty useful, but what if you want to cache the maps for an entire country or use navigation and driving directions when you're in a different country? The Here app offers this feature for free and now you can use it in Google Maps too.

"Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there's no connectivity - whether it's a country road or an underground parking garage - Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings," mentions Google.

"You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping 'Download' on the resulting place sheet, or by going to 'Offline Areas' in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the + button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you're in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route."

The new feature is gradually rolling out in the latest version of Google Maps for Android and it will soon be added to the iOS app. 6 years after launching turn-by-turn navigation, this feature works offline and Google Maps can finally replace paid navigation apps.

10 Nov 2015 2:37pm GMT

09 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

TensorFlow: smarter machine learning, for everyone

Just a couple of years ago, you couldn't talk to the Google app through the noise of a city sidewalk, or read a sign in Russian using Google Translate, or instantly find pictures of your Labradoodle in Google Photos. Our apps just weren't smart enough. But in a short amount of time they've gotten much, much smarter. Now, thanks to machine learning, you can do all those things pretty easily, and a lot more. But even with all the progress we've made with machine learning, it could still work much better.

So we've built an entirely new machine learning system, which we call "TensorFlow." TensorFlow is faster, smarter, and more flexible than our old system, so it can be adapted much more easily to new products and research. It's a highly scalable machine learning system-it can run on a single smartphone or across thousands of computers in datacenters. We use TensorFlow for everything from speech recognition in the Google app, to Smart Reply in Inbox, to search in Google Photos. It allows us to build and train neural nets up to five times faster than our first-generation system, so we can use it to improve our products much more quickly.

We've seen firsthand what TensorFlow can do, and we think it could make an even bigger impact outside Google. So today we're also open-sourcing TensorFlow. We hope this will let the machine learning community-everyone from academic researchers, to engineers, to hobbyists-exchange ideas much more quickly, through working code rather than just research papers. And that, in turn, will accelerate research on machine learning, in the end making technology work better for everyone. Bonus: TensorFlow is for more than just machine learning. It may be useful wherever researchers are trying to make sense of very complex data-everything from protein folding to crunching astronomy data.

Machine learning is still in its infancy-computers today still can't do what a 4-year-old can do effortlessly, like knowing the name of a dinosaur after seeing only a couple examples, or understanding that "I saw the Grand Canyon flying to Chicago" doesn't mean the canyon is hurtling over the city. We have a lot of work ahead of us. But with TensorFlow we've got a good start, and we can all be in it together.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Author Full Name
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09 Nov 2015 2:18pm GMT

Celebrating Hedy Lamarr

We love highlighting great stories about women's achievements in science and technology. When the story involves a 1940s Hollywood star-turned-inventor who helped develop technologies we all use with our smartphones today … well, we just have to share it with the world.

Today on Google's homepage we're celebrating Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian-born actress Hollywood once dubbed "the most beautiful woman in the world." Lamarr's own story reads like a movie script: bored by the film industry and feeling typecast, Lamarr was more interested in helping the Allied war effort as World War II broke out than in the roles she was being offered. She had some background in military munitions (yes, really), and together with a composer friend, George Antheil, used the principles of how pianos worked (yep, pianos) to identify a way to prevent German submarines from jamming Ally radio signals. The patent for "frequency hopping" Lamarr co-authored laid the groundwork for widely-used technologies like Bluetooth, GPS and wifi that we rely upon daily.

It's no wonder, then, that Lamarr has kind of a mythical status at Google, and I was pretty excited at the chance to tell her story in Doodle form. This took some tinkering of my own-after deciding on the movie format as a nod to her Hollywood career, I dug through old fashion illustrations and movie posters to try to capture the look and feel of the 1940s. Sketching storyboards on a yellow notepad helped me figure out how to show Lamarr in very different scenarios-movie star by day, inventor by night-which we then animated and set to the awesome soundtrack created by composer Adam Ever-Hadani.

So in the spirit of celebrating women in technology everywhere, here's to Hedy Lamarr, who fused the arts with science and never let herself be typecast. Happy birthday, Hedy, on what would have been your 101st birthday. And thank you.

Posted by Jennifer Hom, Doodler

Day one of sketches and exploration
Storyboard organizing
Alternative ending from an early draft

Author Full Name
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09 Nov 2015 1:48pm GMT

05 Nov 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Multiple Search Results For Google News

When searching Google for [news], the first page shows 9 results and 4 of them send users to Google News. The news site owned by Google is the top search result, but there are also 3 duplicate results that have some additional parameters:




This is obviously a bug and it's strange to see that Google didn't ignore Google Analytics parameters.

05 Nov 2015 6:58pm GMT

Google News Card

Here's a quick way to find the latest news stories when using a mobile device. Just search Google for [news] and you'll get a card that shows the top stories. Tap the arrow icons or swipe left/right to switch to other Google News sections like world news, business, technology, entertainment, sports, science or health.

05 Nov 2015 6:34pm GMT

Google Updates Search Interface For Tablets

It looks like Google updated the search interface for tablets and switched to the mobile UI. The previous tablet interface was an interesting combination between the desktop and mobile UIs.

Here's a screenshot from Safari for iPad:

And here's a screenshot from Nexus 7:

It's strange to see that Google still shows the "mobile-friendly" label, even though it's not that important for tablets. It's also weird that Google abbreviates long URLs, while there's enough space to display the entire URLs. Google switched to the mobile UI and forgot to optimize it for tablets.

05 Nov 2015 6:08pm GMT

01 Nov 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Rewriting the code for girls in CS

When it comes to computer science, millions of girls are being left out of the conversation. Despite earning the majority of bachelor's degrees in the U.S., women earn fewer than 20 percent of computer science degrees, with serious implications for our economy and for women at large.

The problem of getting girls more interested in tech has many sources, but according to Google's own research, one of them is optics. Girls don't see positive role models of other girls and women in popular culture. In a study of popular films in 11 countries, fewer than 20 percent of computer science or tech roles were held by women.

As someone who runs a company at the intersection of technology and media, I want to help change the perceptions of women and technology we see today. So, as part of our Made with Code and media perception initiatives, I'm excited that we're supporting award-winning documentary filmmaker Lesley Chilcott-of "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman" fame-on her next film, "CODEGIRL."

"CODEGIRL" follows the story of 5,000 girls from 60 countries as they compete in a global entrepreneurship and coding competition by Technovation. The girls have three months to develop an app that attempts to solve a problem in their local community. In the film, they size up their competition, interact with teachers and local mentors, learn to code, and pitch their ideas all in hopes of winning $10,000 in funding and support.

Starting today and until November 5, Lesley's film will be available for free on YouTube, before its theatrical debut in the next few weeks. You can watch the film below and use the hashtag #rallyforcodegirl to show your support.

Our goal is to inspire as many students as possible during this special five-day free viewing period before it hits theaters. With your help, we'll be able to inspire more girls around the world to pursue their passions in tech.

Posted by Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

01 Nov 2015 9:02pm GMT

31 Oct 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2015: USB Drive

I went a little overboard for Halloween last year. And as you can tell from my the Halloween category on my blog, sometimes I get a little too excited about Halloween. So this year I decided to go quick, easy, and lo-fi as a USB drive: To make a thumb drive/USB key, I just took […]

31 Oct 2015 8:02pm GMT

29 Oct 2015

feedGoogle Operating System

Google to Merge Android With Chrome OS

Update: Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's SVP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast says that Chrome OS is here to stay: "While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."

Original post:

Wall Street Journal reports that Google works on integrating Chrome OS into Android and will release a unified OS that runs on phones, tablets, laptops and more. "The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year."

So why kill Chrome OS and switch to Android? Chrome OS has a small desktop market share, while Android is the dominant mobile OS. There are a lot more apps in the Google Play Store than in the Chrome Web Store and Google had a hard time convincing developers to build Chrome apps. Google even ported the Android runtime to Chrome, so that you can run Android apps in Chrome OS.

Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, has recently said that "mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today". Most likely, Google wants to bring Android to the desktop and provide a coherent experience. This solves some of the issues with Chrome OS (the lack of apps, low market share), but brings more challenges (Android is less secure than Chrome OS, it's updated less often, has a more complicated interface, it doesn't have a windowing system, apps aren't optimized for desktop).

I like Chromebooks because they're simple devices that require no maintenance. There are few things you can change, few things that can go wrong. It's easy to share them with other people, you don't have to worry about backups or saving your data.

Pixel C's announcement makes more sense now. It's an Android tablet developed by the Chromebook Pixel team. "We think the Pixel C's tablet and keyboard experience really unlocks new ways to both play and be productive on one device," mentioned Google.

Google has a lot of work to do. Android's tablet interface is pretty poor, there's no native multi-window support, Chrome for Android doesn't support extensions, apps and themes.

Chromebooks were all about the web, but native apps turned out to be more important for users. Better performance, better integration with the operating system, better interface - native apps trumped web apps and Chrome OS couldn't find a way to turn the tide.

{ Thanks, David. }

29 Oct 2015 11:46pm GMT

28 Oct 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Bringing the Internet within reach of 100 million Indonesians

Starting next year, the top three mobile network operators in Indonesia will begin testing Project Loon balloon-powered Internet. Over the next few years, we're hoping that Loon will help put high-speed LTE Internet connections within reach of more than 100 million Indonesians, giving them access to the limitless educational, cultural, and economic opportunities of the Internet.

From left to right: Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel; Dian Siswarini, CEO of XL Axiata; Alexander Rusli, Indosat CEO; Mike Cassidy, VP, Loon; Sergey Brin, President, Alphabet Inc

In Indonesia today, only about 1 out of every 3 people are connected to the web, and most of their connections are painfully slow. Many people live in areas without existing Internet infrastructure; on an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, with mountains and jungles, it's difficult to run fiber optic cable or install mobile phone towers. That's where Loon comes in. Loon balloons act like floating cell phone towers in the sky. Flying on the winds at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, each one beams a connection down to the ground; as one balloon drifts out of range, another moves in to take its place. We hope this could help local operators extend the coverage of their existing networks, and reach further into rural and remote areas.

Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth's surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.

These tests with Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata are an important step toward bringing all of Indonesia online, and a key milestone for the Loon team as we continue to test, learn and expand the project.

Of course, to make the Internet not just accessible but useful, there's more to do, and we have a wide variety of efforts underway in Indonesia and elsewhere to help achieve that goal. For example, Android One phones are helping to make affordable high-quality smartphones more accessible in places where most people first access the Internet on a mobile device. We've also built features for when connections are slow or nonexistent, such as Search Lite and offline videos on YouTube. And Google Translate for Bahasa and Sundanese can help knock down the language barrier between Indonesia and the rest of the web.

The Internet is still out of reach for too many people, but we're making progress. If all goes well, soon many more millions of people in Indonesia will be able to bring their ideas, culture and businesses online. At that point, the sky's the limit.

Posted by Mike Cassidy, Vice President, Project Loon

28 Oct 2015 11:20pm GMT

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Red Launched

As promised, YouTube Red was launched today in the US. If you use the mobile apps for Android and iOS, you probably noticed that the title changed to "YouTube Red" and there's a new "YouTube Red" section in the settings. YouTube didn't even update the apps: the changes were probably triggered automatically.

There are 3 different ways to sign up for YouTube Red: from YouTube.com or the Android app, from Google Play Music and from YouTube's iOS app. If you use in-app purchases on iOS, you'll spend 30% more every month ($12.99 vs $9.99 regular pricing), so it's not a good idea to do that.

The desktop site has a new logo:

Here are some screenshots from the iPad app:

"With a YouTube Red membership, you'll experience YouTube without video ads, be able to save videos to watch offline, and play videos in the background on your mobile device, all for $9.99 a month. And just like with our advertising revenue, the majority of revenue we get from YouTube Red memberships will go to our creator community," mentions YouTube's blog.

YouTube Red is free for Google Play Music subscribers and there's a free 30-day trial for US users. For now, YouTube Red is limited to the US and there are some additional restrictions: "if you leave the U.S., you won't be able to save videos offline, videos won't play in the background, and you will see ads. Any videos that you've saved offline before leaving the U.S., will continue to be available offline for 30 days."

28 Oct 2015 9:10pm GMT

New Google Calendar URL

Daniel Fletcher, a reader of this blog, noticed that Google Calendar's URL changed from www.google.com/calendar to calendar.google.com. This seems to be a recent change, even though the Google Apps Blog announced it back in September.

"In an effort to further increase security, in the coming weeks we'll be changing the main Google Calendar URL from 'www.google.com/calendar' to 'calendar.google.com.' Following the launch, the old Calendar url will simply redirect to the new one, so the overall impact of this change on Google Apps customers should be minimal," informed Google.

Browsers like Chrome and Safari will ask you for permission again to show notifications. Greasemonkey scripts and extensions that use the old URLs will probably stop working, so developers will need to update them.

Daniel Fletcher wonders why "Maps is now google.com/maps, when it used to be maps.google.com and Calendar seems to have gone the other way". Maybe Google Maps will go back to the old URL.

28 Oct 2015 8:51pm GMT

27 Oct 2015

feedOfficial Google Blog

Fútbol, translated

We're always amazed by the power of technology to connect people. Not long ago we heard a story involving the Google Translate app and a boy named Alberto who had recently moved from Spain to a small town in Northern Ireland, with little knowledge of English. When Alberto joined Portadown's youth soccer club, his coaches Gary and Glen turned to Google Translate to communicate with Alberto and his mother, on and off the field. As they progressed from protección de la pelota to retroceso de bicicleta, Alberto grew to feel a part of the team.

We loved this story (and wanted to share it with you) because what Gary and Glen did was so much bigger than translating sentences from one language into another. They didn't just find a way to coach Alberto in football-they found a way to invite someone who was on the outside into their community.

¡Vamos, Alberto!

Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate

We loved this story because what Gary and Glen did was so much bigger than translating sentences from one language into another. They found a way to invite someone who was on the outside into their community.

27 Oct 2015 4:43pm GMT

More ways to Wi-Fi with the new ASUS OnHub

Whether you're chatting with friends, streaming music or video calling family, Wi-Fi matters. You should have more router options that don't involve spotty connections, messy cords and complicated settings. That's why we introduced the first OnHub router this summer, designed to be fast, secure and easy to use-not to mention attractive enough to put out in the open, where Wi-Fi works best. Now, with our partner ASUS, we're introducing the second member of our growing OnHub family.

OnHub routers are meant to be displayed proudly, and to get rid of the headaches you usually associate with home Wi-Fi. That makes ASUS a great partner, since they design intuitive products that focus on the ways real people use them. Like our first router, the ASUS OnHub comes with faster Wi-Fi, easy set-up, and simple management with the Google On app.

With the ASUS OnHub, we're also introducing Wave Control, which lets you boost the Wi-Fi speed for a particular device by simply waving your hand over the top of the ASUS OnHub-great for busy houses.

OnHub routers are designed to stay fresh and get better over time. So in addition to the new ASUS router, in the coming week we're rolling out our first software update with several performance improvements, including a new smart antenna algorithm. Phone in the kitchen? Laptop in the living room? OnHub will intelligently select the best combination of antennas to direct Wi-Fi to your devices, based on their location and orientation. The best part is, if you already have an OnHub, your router will automatically update when your network is quiet so it won't interrupt your connection. Learn more about OnHub's platform:

Beginning this week, select retailers will open pre-orders for the ASUS OnHub for $219.99. Visit our website to pre-order the ASUS OnHub-available in the U.S.-or purchase the TP-LINK OnHub, available in the U.S. and in Canada.

Posted by Trond Wuellner, Group Product Manager, OnHub

With our partner ASUS, we're introducing the second member of our growing OnHub family.

27 Oct 2015 4:42pm GMT

24 Sep 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Give Google Contributor a try

Recently I've seen several interesting conversations about ad blocking, and I wanted to remind people about a great offering called Google Contributor. With Google Contributor, you contribute a certain amount of money each month. That subscription means that you see fewer ads on the web, and you support the sites that you visit with your […]

24 Sep 2015 3:09pm GMT

09 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Berkshire Hathaway

My taste in financial advice runs toward the simple and the lessons I've learned the hard way. But I still like reading about investing/finance, and I recently read through the 2014 annual report for Berkshire Hathaway. Given that it was the 50th anniversary of Warren Buffett taking charge of Berkshire, I have to admit that […]

09 Apr 2015 6:47am GMT

01 Apr 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My next project: AutoSEO

This was an April Fool's joke. I've been working really hard with some friends on a project to handle SEO automatically. Now we're ready to take the wraps off it over at seo.ninja. One of the ideas that helped the World Wide Web succeed was that it separated presentation and content. You could write your […]

01 Apr 2015 12:23am GMT

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

For January 2015, I tried to declutter around the house for 15 minutes a day. We now have a couple rooms that are much cleaner, and I gave away a bunch of magazines. For February 2015, my 30 day challenge was to go on daily 15 minute walks with my wife. That was nice. Lately […]

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

Whether you're running a web service or a blog, you should always keep your software fully patched to prevent attacks and minimize your attack surface. Another smart step is to prevent full path disclosures. For example, if your blog or service throws an error like "Warning: require(ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file […]

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

23 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Lessons learned from the early days of Google

Earlier this month I did a talk at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about lessons learned from the early days of Google. The video is now online and watchable, or you can watch it on YouTube: We did the talk in a pretty large room, and the camera at the back of […]

23 Jan 2015 8:44pm GMT

02 Jan 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

My two favorite books of 2014

I'd like to mention two books that stood out for me in 2014: Nonfiction: The First 20 Minutes. Gretchen Reynolds is a New York Times columnist who distills health and exercise research down to practical, readable advice. I've never dog-eared as many pages in a book as The First 20 Minutes. Reynolds writes about why […]

02 Jan 2015 4:08am GMT

14 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fun mosaic effect with Go

A few months ago I saw a cool mosaic effect in a Wired ad for CA Technologies. Here's what part of the ad looked like: I liked the ad, so I wondered how they did it. Can you see out how to create a similar effect? Take a minute to figure it out as an […]

14 Dec 2014 11:54pm GMT

01 Dec 2014

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

An investment reading list

If you've read Scott Adams' financial advice and my financial tips in case you win a startup lottery, then you might be interested in a few more pointers to good resources. Some web pages and books: - Don't Play the Losers' Game, by Henry Blodget. This is a short, accessible piece that explains why picking […]

01 Dec 2014 7:54am 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

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

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


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

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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

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

15 Nov 2010 8:26am GMT

12 Nov 2010

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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

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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

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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