25 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Help fight the opioid epidemic this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

We're deeply concerned by the opioid crisis that has impacted families in every corner of the United States. We started by thinking about how to bring Google's technical expertise to help families combat the epidemic.

Research by the federal government has shown that prescription drug abuse is a large driver of opioid addiction, and that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family or friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found that one way that Americans can help prevent drug abuse and addiction is to properly dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. Yet many people aren't aware of, or can't easily find, prescription drug disposal programs in their communities.

Using Google Maps API, our team worked with the DEA to create a locator tool for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 28. The locator tool can help anyone find a place near them to safely dispose of leftover prescription medications. Click on the image below to access the locator, and enter an address or zip code to find nearby Take Back Day events this Saturday and help fight the opioid epidemic.

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Longer term, we're working with the DEA and state governments like Iowa, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Michigan to gather data on year-round take back options for future Google Maps integration.

In addition to making it easier to find take back locations, we're also proud to support non-profit organizations on the frontlines of this crisis. We've worked with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids since 2015 to help parents searching online for support connect to the Partnership's Parent Helpline. This service provides free counseling and advice to parents who need help addressing the many challenges of a child's substance use. Today, we're announcing $750,000 in matching gifts and other grants from Google.org to help expand the Parent Helpline and get even more families the support and help they need.

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We're also committed to ensuring that the public understands the danger of opioid abuse and the resources available for those who need help, by making useful information about opioid addiction and prescription drugs available in Google Search.

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There are no easy answers to a challenge as large as the opioid crisis, but we're committed to doing our part to ensure that people in every corner of the country have access to the resources they need to address this urgent public health emergency.

25 Apr 2018 4:00am GMT

24 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Two higher ed collaborations expand access to Google Cloud Platform

From Northeastern University's work to map the spread of the Zika virus, to MIT's massive computing for theoretical mathematics, higher education institutions are applying cloud technologies to help solve the global challenges we face.


Northeastern and MIT's work are just two examples of higher education institutions using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to uncover important insights from massive, diverse data sets. Today, we're announcing how we're collaborating with two higher education organizations, Unizin and Internet2, so that their members can benefit from GCP.

Improving student outcomes through the Unizin Data Platform

Colleges and universities are constantly seeking ways to better understand and help their students. This week Unizin, a consortium of 25 leading universities working together to improve education with technology, announced that its Unizin Data Platform (UDP) will be built on Google Cloud Platform as part of a new alliance with Google Cloud.


The Unizin Data Platform allows institutions to anonymize, aggregate, store, share, and analyze teaching and learning data. Member universities use this data to do things like identify students who may be at risk of failing a class or improve personalized learning approaches. Understanding data from the past gives educators more insights and tools to help improve student outcomes.


Rob Lowden, Unizin Executive Director, shared that "Building the Unizin Data Platform on the Google Cloud Platform provides our members with scalable infrastructure, powerful data analytics and the ability to leverage machine learning solutions to advance Unizin's work to improve learning research and outcomes in a highly secure environment. Google Cloud is an ideal provider for Unizin to advance the higher education digital learning ecosystem."

GCP now available to the Internet2 community

Founded in 1996, the nonprofit consortium Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve shared technology challenges. Internet2 has announced that member institutions can now use Google Cloud Platform, available through distributor Carahsoft, to develop solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions. The pre-Validation service is available now and the fully validated service will launch later this year. Institutions can learn more and express interest on Internet2's website.


We hope these new collaborations will help more institutions take advantage of Google Cloud Platform to drive impact in research and collaboration. To learn more visit our website or express interest.

24 Apr 2018 5:00pm GMT

Learning “what architecture really means” with help from Pixelbook

Editor's Note:This post comes from Cynthia Fernandes, Principal at Hall School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

For the past three years, sixth graders at my school have learned about architecture and design through an extracurricular program started by Thom Mayne, founder of the architecture firm Morphosis and winner of the Pritzker Prize. It's been amazing to see 10- and 11-year-olds talking about angles, form, and design-and do it with confidence. Though they're only in elementary school, the students do work at the level of middle- or high-schoolers. This year, they've used Google Pixelbook to create an accurate 3D model of their classroom, and then build on the model with abstract installations of their own design. We recently took a few minutes to hear from the students about their experience.

Q: What's your favorite part about this class? What have you learned?
Miguel: I like creating things and showing them to other people. The part I love the most is talking about my creations-what do they mean? What do they say?

Milayna: My favorite part is when we do hands-on stuff, like models or drawings. I like this because it's fun and I'm always proud of my work. I'm crafty.

Q: What's a cool vocabulary word you learned about in this class? What does it mean?
Zamair: My favorite vocabulary word is "disarrange." That means to put stuff in places so it's not arranged.

Milayna: A cool vocabulary word is "suspended," because it sounds cool, and it means hanging from the ceiling.

Shayla: My favorite word is "surround," because you can make a cool model, than surround it with other, smaller or bigger, cool models.

Yalidsa: "Hierarchy." It means the order of things, like different shapes and shades, what's thick and thin, what's heavy and light.

Q: Have you learned anything in this class that you use in other classes?
Milayna: I learned how to look at buildings differently, and that helps me because in social studies we are studying old buildings, so it fits in perfectly.

Zamair: I use architecture in math, with area and volume.

Q: What was your proudest moment in this class?
Kania: My proudest moment was when I did a great job on my presentation on my architecture project.

Miguel: My proudest moment was when a lot of people came in to see our projects, and we had to discuss them. I was the first to go up and speak, and everybody liked what I was saying, and that made me feel proud.

Q: If you were an architect, what would you want to make?
Yalidsa: My own clothing or toy shop.

Kania: I'd want to design my own house for me and my family.

Ernesto: A school or office building.

Joel: I'd want to make something that will make people's life easier.

Hasan: I'd build an airplane that's beautiful. And that can go up in the air by itself.

Miguel: I'd want to make an office that would make everybody stop and think, "How did that person get that idea to make this?" It would probably be tall and have, like, a yellow shine to it when the sunset comes. The outside would most likely have a pattern on each wall, white and glowing.

Clinton: A big house with a pool and a football field and a basketball court.

Q: What's it like to work with classmates on projects?
Clinton: It's cool because I work with my friends, and it's fun working with your friends.

Miguel: Working with classmates is cool because, when you have no idea of what to do, other people can help you out and give you more ideas. Working together is good because you can make something that was way better than you thought it would be.

Erik: It feels like you can do better work, since you're working together and helping each other.

Q: What do you tell your friends about this program?
Joel: I tell my friends how cool this program is, and how we're so lucky to be doing this.

Hasan: I tell them that it is a great program, and it's what I might do when I grow up.

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    Joel presents his work during a critique with Thom Mayne.

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    Joel and Milayna collaborate on a project.

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    Students exploring what's possible with AutoCAD on Pixelbook.

24 Apr 2018 5:00pm GMT

Searching for new solutions to the evolving jobs market

We've all seen lots of articles about the future of work in today's rapidly changing economy. Too often, the loudest voices propose just one of two visions for the future. Either globalization and technology will eliminate quality jobs, or we'll adapt to change just like we always have.


Google may be built on code, but we don't believe the future is binary. What lies ahead is hard to predict, and the most likely scenario for the future of work is a new sort of hybrid-with technology both transforming and creating jobs and new models of employment. But we're confident that, working together, we can shape a labor market where everyone has access to opportunity.


Last year, we launched Grow with Google, an initiative that aims to help everyone across America access the best of Google's training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. Google Hire helps employers find great employees. And Google for Jobs helps job seekers find new opportunities.


But making a difference requires more than just one company. Today, as part of our commitment to jobs and opportunity, Walmart and Google are making a $5 million grant investment to three organizations testing solutions in reskilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles.


  • Learning throughout life: The Drucker Institute is partnering with the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to bring together the city's educational and workforce resources so that everyone has access to skill-building throughout their careers. This "City of Lifelong Learning" will serve as a national model for communities looking to make learning available throughout life.
  • Improving matching between skills and roles: Opportunity@Work is launching the techhire.careers platform, a new tool that helps underserved groups validate their skills for employers and connect to opportunities. This inclusive hiring marketplace helps job seekers and entry-level workers connect to trainings and jobs that make best use of their skills, and helps companies consider and hire nontraditional talent.
  • Backing social innovators with new skilling and job matching ideas:MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy is holding the Inclusive Innovation Challenge, a challenge for social innovators to use technology to reinvent the future of work. Through this tournament, the IDE will be seeking out and funding social innovators experimenting with new ways of helping people develop the skills they need for the digital economy and connect to job opportunities in a new way.

These grants are part of Google.org's Work Initiative, a search for new solutions to prepare people for the changing nature of work. Last year, we committed $50 million to nonprofits experimenting with new ideas in skill-building, job matching, job quality, and social protections. In response to an open call for proposals, we received hundreds of ideas from across the U.S. In addition to our joint funding with Walmart, today we're announcing four more grantees:


  • Assessing and credentialing soft skills:Southern New Hampshire University is developing the Authentic Assessment Platform (AAP), an assessment of in-demand soft skills. Results from this assessment will feed into a job placement process for young jobseekers. SNHU will provide those who complete this assessment with an SNHU official badge.
  • Training workers for the gig economy:Samaschool is developing a new training, with both in-person and online components, that helps independent workers learn the basics of finding freelance work, building their careers, managing contracts and taxes, and more.
  • Helping communities adjust to workforce transitions: Just Transition Fund is working with communities in coal country to develop a blueprint for coal-affected communities undergoing workforce transitions, helping them to effectively prepare for jobs in emerging sectors.
  • Aiding employers in clearly signaling their needs:The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is developing new and open resources to help those who hire to better convey their needs. These tools will include new standards on job descriptions, a digital library of open-sourced competency and credential resources, and a repository of job descriptions for benchmarking.

Through these new grants, we aim to back leading social innovators' thinking about how work can help more people access not just income, but also purpose and meaning. Over the next several months, we'll be announcing more grantees, and, most importantly, sharing what Google and all our grantees are learning through these efforts.

24 Apr 2018 1:00pm GMT

Making it work: Google and Walmart fund innovators in workforce development

The student with big dreams, some education, and no experience. The accomplished service professional looking to break into a new field. The 30-year career veteran who wants to work for another 20 years. Research has shown that up to one-third of Americans may need to develop new skills to work in different types of jobs by 2030. A fast-changing economy means we need new ways of building new skills and translating existing skills to different types of meaningful work. This goes not only for how we get new jobs, but how we get promoted, change fields, and work into our later years.


To get this transition right, businesses, nonprofits, governments, and communities will have to work together to build a system that benefits both workers and employers. That's why Walmart and Google-among the world's leading retail and technology companies, respectively-are coming together to fuel the research and tools needed to build such a system.


Each of our companies has launched major initiatives to help Americans advance in their careers. Walmart has made a significant investment in its associates and through philanthropy to help transform learning and advancement in the retail sector. And through Grow with Google, Google has made a major commitment to helping people access skills and opportunity in the new economy. Through these initiatives, we are joining forces with leading social innovators to fuel the pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market.

Today, as part of our commitment toward jobs and opportunity, Walmart and Google are making a $5 million grant investment to three organizations testing solutions in reskilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles.


The Drucker Institute will be partnering with the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to integrate the city's educational and workforce resources so that every resident has access to skill-building throughout their careers-this "City of Lifelong Learning" will serve as a national model. Opportunity @ Work will help underserved groups connect to jobs and advancement opportunities by building a hiring channel that focuses on skills and competency instead of pedigree. And the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy will be expanding its Inclusive Innovation Challenge, a global future of work prize that promotes entrepreneurs harnessing technology to create more broadly shared economic opportunity and prosperity.


No one organization can do this alone, and that's why collaboration between companies and expert groups is so important. As companies like ours help enable social innovators to try new things and see what works, we hope to see more philanthropic collaboration, along with effort from policy makers to scale proven programs. And we encourage other companies to join in similar efforts, through investing in training and education for their own workforce or in the broader workforce ecosystem to help build strong businesses and a healthy, thriving society.

This is a time of enormous change for our economy and we need to better prepare American workers-from students to seniors-to find work and advance their careers. Only a system that is both ambitious and resilient can meet the demands of millions of workers eager to expand their skills and advance. We're excited to see what these grantees, and other innovators across industries, do to help.

24 Apr 2018 1:00pm GMT

Simpler summer vacation planning starts today

Over the next few weeks people will start locking in their summer travel plans-we see the biggest spike in Google Flights searches for summer vacation dates in early May. And since prices often rise in the three weeks prior to travel dates, you'll want to start your research ahead of time. Here are some tips to help you decide where to go-and find the best flights and places to stay-wherever your travels may take you.

Pick your summer hotspot

Since the FIFA World Cup starts in June in Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg top the list of popular places to visit this summer. If soccer's not your thing, then Vietnam, Tanzania and Indonesia are other trending international destinations. In the U.S., Hawaii continues to be a top pick for summer travelers, and places like Providence and Santa Fe are rising in popularity.

2018 Summer Trending Destinations

To find out more about the city you're interested in, you can search for "Things to do" and you'll see a list of top sights plus articles with helpful travel advice. Our machine learning models determine the most relevant, high-quality travel articles for your destination, like activities to do with children and where to shop.

Things to do in Moscow

Find the best flights (and prices) to meet your needs

Once you've got a place in mind, you can find the best flights using the recently redesigned Google Flights. A simpler home screen and search experience on desktop-combined with flight price insights showing the cheapest dates to fly, alternate airport options to help you save money, and other tips all in one place-make it easier to make the right flight choice quickly.


Google Flights new desktop experience

Now that some flight fares don't include carry-on luggage fees, it can be tricky to know what's included in the ticket prices you're looking at. Earlier this year, we made it possible to see what's included in Basic Economy fares in the U.S. when you select a ticket for airlines like American, United and Delta. To see only ticket prices that include access to overhead bins-and help you compare similar ticket types-we've added a "Bags" filter. This filter is now available for U.S. flights and will roll out to itineraries outside the U.S. in the next few months.

Spot hotel deals and tips quickly

To help you find the right hotel, we're using machine learning and statistical analysis of historical hotel data and reviews to organize and surface the most relevant hotel information.

In the "Hotels" tab, you'll be tipped off if you're getting a room rate that's lower than normal or, similar to the feature in Google Flights, shifting your itinerary a few days earlier may save you money. When you're ready, you can select bed type, see add-ons like free breakfast, and book a room.

Hotel tips

Don't let the summer fun pass you by-search for flights and hotels on Google to start planning your summer trip today.

24 Apr 2018 10:18am GMT

23 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

Shellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google Earth

In December, we took the Street View trekker to Christmas Island, a remote tropical territory of Australia just south of Indonesia. With Parks Australia, we joined the island's red crabs as they marched in the millions from the forest to the sea for their annual migration.


Now it's time to shellebrate. Starting today on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can explore Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands' unique wildlife, dazzling ocean vistas and lush rainforests, including the grand finale of the red crab migration-the spawning. The red crabs wait all year for this very moment-and the precise alignment of the rains, moon and tides-to release their eggs at the coastal waters.
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Christmas Island's remote location makes it home to a wild and diverse ecosystem-including 600 species of tropical fish, 14 species of terrestrial crabs, more than 100 bird species and four native reptile species. Exploring its wetlands and blowholes and coastline, you can see for yourself why the island is often called "Australia's Galapagos."

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    A view of Dolly Beach, home to a stunning coral reef and turtles.

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    A scenic walking trail in the Dales wetlands-a dense rainforest crawling with the island's endemic blue crabs (Tip: Walk uphill on Street View and you'll find a waterfall).

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    The Blowholes, where the waves blast water through eroded cliffs.

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    A view of Direction Island beach, an island of Cocos Islands which is home to diverse marine life, including coral, reef sharks and parrotfish.

Christmas Island's nature and wildlife is so treasured and protected that the crabs have right of way. Roads are often closed during the migration, and Parks Australia have erected fences to direct the crabs to safe crossing points with under-road passes, or fly-over bridges. Now you can join the island's 45 million red crabs as they crawl along the forest floor, climb the cliffs and finally, spawn at the water's edge.

Scuttle over to Street View and Google Earth to experience the wonderland of wildlife on Christmas Island and the white sand beaches of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. And as you step into this moment in time, we welcome you to join the crabs as they lead this magnificent dance of nature.

23 Apr 2018 8:00pm GMT

It’s World Book Day: Find a new read with Google Play Books


Think about a book that has inspired you, changed your perspective, or made a positive impact on your life. For me, it was "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou-it spoke to me because she overcame trauma and hardship to become such an influential author and poet.

Today is World Book Day, and Google Play Books can help youfind the next book that'll make an impact on your life in some way. Here are a few of the World Book Day deals you'll find on the Play Store:

When you can't put a new book down, you have to find the time in your day to fit it in. To help you do this, we recently rolled out new features for audiobooks that make it easier to read in short bursts. You can add reading to your routines in your Google Assistant settings-so if you want to get some reading time in before work, add it to your morning routine. When you say, "Ok Google, take me to work," you'll get the traffic and weather reports, and then your audiobook will automatically start playing.

15 years ago, I discovered the book that really inspired me. Maybe this World Book Day, Google Play will help you find yours.

23 Apr 2018 6:15pm GMT

Behind the scenes: Coachella in VR180

Last weekend, fans from all around the world made the trek to Southern California to see some of music's biggest names perform at Coachella. To make those not at the festival feel like they were there, we headed to the desert with VR180 cameras to capture all the action.

Throughout the first weekend of Coachella, we embarked on one of the largest VR live streams to date, streaming more than 25 performances (with as many cameras to boot) across 20 hours and capturing behind-the-scenes footage of fans and the bands they love. If you missed it live, you can enjoy some of the best experiences-posted here.

VR180 can take you places you never thought possible-the front row at a concert, a faraway travel destination, the finals of your favorite sporting event, or a memorable location. This year at Coachella, we pushed the format even further by adding augmented reality, AR, overlays on top of the performances-like digital confetti that falls when the beat drops, or virtual objects that extend the into the crowd.

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AR Confetti in the VR180 stream.

To add these overlays in real time, we used our VR180 cameras together with stitching servers running a custom 3D graphics engine and several positionally tracked cameras. This allowed us to add a layer of spatially relevant visuals to the video feed. Simply put, it's like AR stickers for VR180.

In addition to the responsive AR elements during performances, we also featured Tilt Brush art by artist-in-residence Cesar Ortega, who drew his live impressions of the iconic Coachella landscape at daylight, dusk and night. We then inserted Cesar's designs into the video stream in VR180 to allow the viewer to see the art.

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Cesar Ortega's recreation of Coachella in Tilt Brush

Watch the festival footage, including performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the point of view of both the fans and the bands, here. And for the most immersive experience, check it out in VR with Daydream View or Cardboard.

23 Apr 2018 4:00pm GMT

Measuring our impact in data center communities

Over 10 years ago, we built our first data center in Oregon. And a few weeks ago we broke ground on what will be our eighth data center in the U.S., helping to run Google's products across the country and the world.

These data centers contribute significantly to job growth and income gains at both the national and state level. Even more important are the economic contributions that Google data centers make to the communities they call home.

Today, we're releasing a report, prepared by Oxford Economics, which details the economic impact our data centers have had in their local communities. The report concludes that, as of 2016, Google data centers generated $1.3 billion in economic activity across the US, and have generated over 11,000 jobs.

Those 11,000 jobs cause a ripple effect-people with greater financial flexibility can support the local economy, which has led to the creation of an additional 4,700 jobs. In fact, when direct, indirect and induced jobs are considered, the report finds that each Google data center job supports an additional 4.9 jobs throughout the U.S.

Last year, we became the first company of our size to purchase enough energy from sources like wind and solar to exceed the amount of electricity used by our operations around the world, including offices and data centers. This commitment to renewables has economic and environmental benefits. Oxford's report shows that eight U.S. renewable energy generation projects-most of which are located in states where we have data centers-resulted in over $2 billion of investments, created 2,800 direct jobs, and supported 520 ongoing jobs in maintenance and operations.

What we're most proud of, however, are the ways we invest in our local communities through workforce development and education. Our community grants program supports important local initiatives, like installing Wi-Fi on school buses for kids with long commutes, and partnering with school districts to develop student STEM programs.

We are proud of our economic impact in communities across the country, but here at Google, it's about more than just the numbers. It's about the people we hire and the communities where we live and work.

23 Apr 2018 1:00pm GMT

Engineered for renewal: Google Cloud, Etsy and sustainability

As the CTO of Etsy, Mike Fisher is responsible for evolving technology strategy, scaling IT systems and infrastructure and deepening machine learning expertise, all of which is crucial to supporting the global creative commerce platform that Etsy is today.

To deliver a buying and selling experience that currently supports approximately 1.9 million entrepreneurs, Mike and his team recently committed to Google Cloud Platform to help them scale and connect Etsy buyers and sellers globally. But their decision was based on more than just technology.

We sat down with Mike to hear about Etsy's unique approach to evaluating their cloud partner.

QH: Why is sustainability a value at Etsy?

MF: Sustainability supports our mission to Keep Commerce Human, within the company, and outside, to our 1.9 million sellers. It's an important value that pulls through everything we do; from how we consume food at the office, to the products we help people sell, to how we power our buildings. And of course, it's important in how we power our data centers, and in the cloud computing we use.

QH: Is this special to Etsy, or is this a broader point about many of today's companies?

MF: Etsy is a little unique because we've been around almost 13 years, and sustainability has always been core to us. But other businesses are definitely on board. People want to support businesses that are doing this. I think at Google Cloud you've seen that customers want businesses to be able to host and provide their services in a sustainable manner.

QH: True.

MF: They're migrating to the cloud, and having a cloud provider that is committed to that as well is a huge benefit.

QH: In itself, is going to the cloud a business decision around expenditure, or a technology decision over how fast you'll be able to manufacture, test, and deploy software?

MF: I wouldn't separate technology and business decisions. Going to the cloud, for example, is a great business decision for us, since it allows for things like enhanced site performance and focus on our strategic initiatives. We can have a presence around the world, with faster load times. That supports the possibility of stronger conversions and better experiences. You get that with a global cloud. All good for the business. And of course, spinning up infrastructure much, much faster than we could on our own means we're moving quicker and supporting our sellers' businesses better.

And then there are the things on the sustainability side. Our servers run 24/7 today in the data center whether we need 100% of their compute capacity or not. But like all of e-commerce, we have daily cycles, monthly cycles, the holiday season. Having to power computers capable of handling our holiday season at peak, instead of scaling up and down for what we need? That is a sustainability decision that is a great business decision.

QH: How do you measure success around sustainable energy consumption?

MF: Our impact goals are economic, social and ecological. Underneath the ecological goal, we want 100% renewable electricity by 2020 -- the offices, and all of the data centers. Google helps that a lot, since you're committed to 100% renewables. On top of that, we want to reduce the intensity of our energy usage by 25% by 2025, even as we increase our business. It's pretty hard to imagine doing that without the cloud.

QH: Did you have any differences about your needs working with Google?

MF: We do have differing criteria for renewable energy. We strive to source renewables in the same power market as the consumption, while Google strives to do the same, you also operate in some regions where procuring renewables is complex and may not be possible. But even that was a great conversation, because the Google team worked with us on that. They were like, "we understand that that's important to Etsy, and we will work towards that goal."

QH: Good to know, since I was going to say: Etsy likes handcrafted things, a human touch. But we have thousands of identical servers, and we use lots of automation. They're not handcrafted Etsy products. But you're pointing out a human dimension in the engineering work in how our respective engineers talk together.

MF: Even though we love the handmade, we're not up for spinning up all of our servers one at a time, either. We're on board with using Terraform and Chef to automate. There is a huge human connection with the Google reliability engineers sitting beside our engineers. The two of us work together in teams, and that's a big piece of keeping this human and bringing people together.

There's something else: The more that we can automate, the more we can enable buyers and sellers everywhere to connect. It's a massive marketplace, with 50 million items and 30 million buyers, but we do it so that one buyer and one seller can actually talk to each other about one particular item. It's really cool that we use a ton of automation on a big cloud to enable really important one-on-one conversations to happen thousands and thousands of times a day.

QH: Maybe it's a little away from sustainability, but it's worth saying that the history of IT is the history of taking over drudge work so people can do more human things, be more creative.

MF: Our sellers are entrepreneurs and artisans. They want to be in the studio creating, or talking to a person about their shop. The more that we can help them run the administrative parts of their business in a much faster and automated fashion, the more they can focus on the stuff that is really inventive and creative. That's what they want to do, and we want to get them there faster.

By the way, that's true on my IT team too. They want to be writing code and optimizing systems, not just applying patches. Say we had to bring in 150 servers; that takes literally months -- two months for us to order the hardware and then receive it on the dock and get it racked and provision it, and install everything that needs to be installed and do that. With the cloud, the other week we spun up the equivalent of 150 servers in four minutes. Then we went back to doing what we want to do and creating software that powers the marketplace.

QH: This has been great. Thank you so much for your time.

Etsy is one of a number of organizations committed to environmental responsibility-many of whom focus on reducing the environmental impact of their operations by reaching 100% renewable energy. Google shares this commitment, and in 2017 we met our own goal of matching 100% of the energy we consume with renewable energy purchases.

Reaching this milestone was very important to us, but it also mattered to many of our customers. Many organizations know that building and expanding on-premises data centers can use a lot of energy from local grids. Our own data centers are no exception, which is why we offset the impact through renewable energy purchases and high quality carbon offsets. So when a Google Cloud customer like Etsy uses our platform, they can rest assured that the net carbon emissions associated with that usage is zero.

Between purchases and offsets, matching energy usage, grids and carbon intensity, it can be tricky to understand the technological aspects of energy. And it's trickier, still, to understand a company's strategy for all these things. We've launched a newmicrositeto answer these questions, and anyone in the US can use it to view the carbon intensity of their own local grid. We hope this makes it possible for more businesses to understand the environmental impact of their operations.

23 Apr 2018 1:00pm GMT

22 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

I’m Feeling Earthy: Earth Day trends and more

It's Earth Day-take a walk with us.

First, let's dig into issues taking root in Search. Ahead of Earth Day, "solar energy," "drought" and "endangered species" climbed in popularity this week. Meanwhile, people are looking for ways their own actions can make a positive impact. The top "how to recycle" searches were for plastic, paper, batteries, plastic bags, and styrofoam. And around the world, trending queries about Earth Day were "how many trees will be saved by recycling?" and "which type of plastic is more friendly to the environment?"

To explore some of the other searches that are blooming for Earth Day, take a look at our trends page.

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In our corner of the world, Earth Day celebrations started on Google Earth's first birthday (tweet at @googleearth with #ImFeelingEarthy and see where it takes you!). The party continues today with a special tribute to Jane Goodall in today's Doodle, and kids inspired by the Doodle can create their own Google logo, thanks to our partnership with World Wildlife Fund. And while we're feeling extra Earthy this week, the environment is important to our work all year long-here's what we're doing for our operations, our surroundings, our customers, and our community.

22 Apr 2018 4:00pm GMT

20 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

How Google autocomplete works in Search

Autocomplete is a feature within Google Search designed to make it faster to complete searches that you're beginning to type. In this post-the second in a series that goes behind-the-scenes about Google Search-we'll explore when, where and how autocomplete works.

Using autocomplete

Autocomplete is available most anywhere you find a Google search box, including the Google home page, the Google app for iOS and Android, the quick search box from within Android and the "Omnibox" address bar within Chrome. Just begin typing, and you'll see predictions appear:
Autocomplete_1.png

In the example above, you can see that typing the letters "san f" brings up predictions such as "san francisco weather" or "san fernando mission," making it easy to finish entering your search on these topics without typing all the letters.

Sometimes, we'll also help you complete individual words and phrases, as you type:

Autocomplete_1_detail.png

Autocomplete is especially useful for those using mobile devices, making it easy to complete a search on a small screen where typing can be hard. For both mobile and desktop users, it's a huge time saver all around. How much? Well:

  • On average, it reduces typing by about 25 percent
  • Cumulatively, we estimate it saves over 200 years of typing time per day. Yes, per day!

Predictions, not suggestions

You'll notice we call these autocomplete "predictions" rather than "suggestions," and there's a good reason for that. Autocomplete is designed to help people complete a search they were intending to do, not to suggest new types of searches to be performed. These are our best predictions of the query you were likely to continue entering.

How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.

The predictions change in response to new characters being entered into the search box. For example, going from "san f" to "san fe" causes the San Francisco-related predictions shown above to disappear, with those relating to San Fernando then appearing at the top of the list:

Autocomplete_2.png

That makes sense. It becomes clear from the additional letter that someone isn't doing a search that would relate to San Francisco, so the predictions change to something more relevant.

Why some predictions are removed

The predictions we show are common and trending ones related to what someone begins to type. However, Google removes predictions that are against our autocomplete policies, which bar:


  • Sexually explicit predictions that are not related to medical, scientific, or sex education topics
  • Hateful predictions against groups and individuals on the basis of race, religion or several other demographics
  • Violent predictions
  • Dangerous and harmful activity in predictions

In addition to these policies, we may remove predictions that we determine to be spam, that are closely associated with piracy, or in response to valid legal requests.

A guiding principle here is that autocomplete should not shock users with unexpected or unwanted predictions.

This principle and our autocomplete policies are also why popular searches as measured in our Google Trends tool might not appear as predictions within autocomplete. Google Trends is designed as a way for anyone to deliberately research the popularity of search topics over time. Autocomplete removal policies are not used for Google Trends.

Why inappropriate predictions happen

We have systems in place designed to automatically catch inappropriate predictions and not show them. However, we process billions of searches per day, which in turn means we show many billions of predictions each day. Our systems aren't perfect, and inappropriate predictions can get through. When we're alerted to these, we strive to quickly remove them.

It's worth noting that while some predictions may seem odd, shocking or cause a "Who would search for that!" reaction, looking at the actual search results they generate sometimes provides needed context. As we explained earlier this year, the search results themselves may make it clearer in some cases that predictions don't necessarily reflect awful opinions that some may hold but instead may come from those seeking specific content that's not problematic. It's also important to note that predictions aren't search results and don't limit what you can search for.

Regardless, even if the context behind a prediction is good, even if a prediction is infrequent, it's still an issue if the prediction is inappropriate. It's our job to reduce these as much as possible.

Our latest efforts against inappropriate predictions

To better deal with inappropriate predictions, we launched a feedback tool last year and have been using the data since to make improvements to our systems. In the coming weeks, expanded criteria applying to hate and violence will be in force for policy removals.

Our existing policy protecting groups and individuals against hateful predictions only covers cases involving race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our expanded policy for search will cover any case where predictions are reasonably perceived as hateful or prejudiced toward individuals and groups, without particular demographics.

With the greater protections for individuals and groups, there may be exceptions where compelling public interest allows for a prediction to be retained. With groups, predictions might also be retained if there's clear "attribution of source" indicated. For example, predictions for song lyrics or book titles that might be sensitive may appear, but only when combined with words like "lyrics" or "book" or other cues that indicate a specific work is being sought.

As for violence, our policy will expand to cover removal of predictions which seem to advocate, glorify or trivialize violence and atrocities, or which disparage victims.

How to report inappropriate predictions

Our expanded policies will roll out in the coming weeks. We hope that the new policies, along with other efforts with our systems, will improve autocomplete overall. But with billions of predictions happening each day, we know that we won't catch everything that's inappropriate.

Should you spot something, you can report using the "Report inappropriate predictions" link we launched last year, which appears below the search box on desktop:

Search Autocomplete painted.png

For those on mobile or using the Google app for Android, long press on a prediction to get a reporting option. Those using the Google app on iOS can swipe to the left to get the reporting option.

By the way, if we take action on a reported prediction that violates our policies, we don't just remove that particular prediction. We expand to ensure we're also dealing with closely related predictions. Doing this work means sometimes an inappropriate prediction might not immediately disappear, but spending a little extra time means we can provide a broader solution.

Making predictions richer and more useful

As said above, our predictions show in search boxes that range from desktop to mobile to within our Google app. The appearance, order and some of the predictions themselves can vary along with this.

When you're using Google on desktop, you'll typically see up to 10 predictions. On a mobile device, you'll typically see up to five, as there's less screen space.

On mobile or Chrome on desktop, we may show you information like dates, the local weather, sports information and more below a prediction:

Autocomplete_3.png

In the Google app, you may also notice that some of the predictions have little logos or images next to them. That's a sign that we have special Knowledge Graph information about that topic, structured information that's often especially useful to mobile searchers:

Autocomplete_4.png

Predictions also will vary because the list may include any related past searches you've done. We show these to help you quickly get back to a previous search you may have conducted:

Autocomplete_5.png

You can tell if a past search is appearing because on desktop, you'll see the word "Remove" appear next to a prediction. Click on that word if you want to delete the past search.

On mobile, you'll see a clock icon on the left and an X button on the right. Click on the X to delete a past search. In the Google App, you'll also see a clock icon. To remove a prediction, long press on it in Android or swipe left on iOS to reveal a delete option.

You can also delete all your past searches in bulk, or by particular dates or those matching particular terms using My Activity in your Google Account.

More about autocomplete

We hope this post has helped you understand more about autocomplete, including how we're working to reduce inappropriate predictions and to increase the usefulness of the feature. For more, you can also see our help page about autocomplete.

You can also check out the recent Wired video interview below, where our our vice president of search Ben Gomes and the product manager of autocomplete Chris Haire answer questions about autocomplete that came from…autocomplete!

Google Search Team Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions | WIRED

20 Apr 2018 4:30pm GMT

Simplifying apps, desktops and devices with Citrix and Chrome Enterprise

As cloud adoption continues to accelerate, many organizations have found they need an ever-expanding fleet of mobile devices so that employees can work wherever and whenever they need. And research shows that when employees can work from anywhere, they can do more. According to Forbes, employee mobility leads to 30 percent better processes and 23 percent more productivity.

But as the demand for mobility grows, many organizations have also found themselves challenged by the need to provide secure mobile endpoints with access to certain legacy line-of-business or Windows apps. To help, last year we announced our partnership with Citrix to bring XenApp and XenDesktop to Chrome Enterprise.

Since bringing XenApp and XenDesktop to Chrome Enterprise, we've worked extensively with Citrix to help more businesses embrace the cloud. Last month, we announced that admins can now manage Chromebooks through several popular enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools, including Citrix XenMobile. And this year at HIMSS we showed how the combination of Citrix and HealthCast on Chrome Enterprise helps healthcare workers access electronic health records and virtualized apps securely on Chrome OS using their proximity badge.

All of this is the topic of an IDG webinar we're co-sponsoring with Citrix. The webinar "Chrome OS & Citrix: Simplify endpoint management and VDI strategy" includes IDG CSO SVP/Publisher Bob Bragdon, Chrome Enterprise Group Product Manager Eve Phillips, and Citrix Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer as speakers, and addresses how Citrix and Chrome enable access to mission-critical business apps and create a productive workforce inside or outside corporate infrastructure.

Here's what the webinar will cover:

  • How Chrome and Citrix can ensure secure access to critical enterprise apps.
  • How employees can be more productive through access to legacy apps in VDI.
  • How Citrix XenApp (XA) and XenDesktop (XD) integrate with Chrome OS.
  • How Citrix's upcoming product launches and enhancements with Chrome, GCP and G Suite can help enterprise IT teams and end users.

In March, Citrix's Todd Terbeek shared his experiences transitioning to Chrome Enterprise, and this week Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer discussed how combining Citrix with Chrome can deliver expanded value across security, privacy and compliance. Our work with Citrix continues to evolve, and we're looking forward to finding new ways to collaborate in the future.

To learn more, sign up for the webinar.

20 Apr 2018 4:00pm GMT

19 Apr 2018

feedThe Official Google Blog

The High Five: put your hands together for this week's search trends

Every Friday, we look back at five trending topics in Search from that week, and then give ourselves a High Five for making it to the weekend. Today we're putting our hands together for National High Five Day-so first, a few notable "high five" trends. Then on to our regularly scheduled programming.

High Fives all around
Turns out, searches for "high five" transcend all realms of culture: sports ("Why do NBA players high five after free throws?") entertainment ("how to high five a Sim"), and pets ("How to teach a dog to high five"). As for virtual high fives, "Scrubs," "Seinfeld" and Liz Lemon are high five famous-they're the top trending "high five gifs."

A First Lady, first a mother
When former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92, people remembered her role as matriarch, searching for "Barbara Bush children," "Barbara Bush family," and "Barbara Bush grandchildren." She was the second woman to be the mother and wife of a president; and searches for the first woman to hold that title, Abigail Adams (wife of John and mother of John Quincy) went up by 1,150 percent this week.

What's Swedish for robot?
Need an extra set of hands? A team of researchers built a robot to help with one of the most challenging tasks of the modern era-assembling Ikea furniture. In an ordinary week, people might search for Ikea lamp, but for now they're more interested in "Ikea robot." Though Swedish meatballs are always a favorite, this week's trending Ikea furniture items were Ikea closets, plants and sofas.

Work it, Walmart
Walmart's store aisles are turning into runways with the new employee dress code. They can now wear jeans and-brace yourselves-anysolid color top. As for bottoms, people want to know, "Are leggings included in Walmart's new dress code?" We never (Arkan)saw this coming, but Arkansas topped the list of regions searching for "Walmart dress code" in the U.S. For people wondering about other dress code etiquette, a trending question was "what to wear to jury duty."

Kendrick makes history
This week people asked "Why is Kendrick Lamar important?" Listen to this: he made music history by being the first non-classical or jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music Composition (high five, Kendrick!). And people felt the pull to search for "Kendrick Lamar prize"-interest was 900 percent higher than "Kendrick Lamar song."

19 Apr 2018 11:40pm GMT

(Cerf)ing the Internet: meet the man who helped build it

Editor's Note: Tonight, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf will accept a Franklin Institute Award (alongside fellow inventor Robert E. Kahn) for enabling the internet by developing TCP/IP, the set of methods that allows effective communication between millions of computer networks. In the words of the Institute, "Every person who has ever sent an email, downloaded a webpage, or sent a photo to a friend owes a debt" to Vint and Robert. We sat down with Vint to learn more about his prestigious career, what's yet to come, and what he may be best known for (his daily habit of wearing a three-piece suit).

Tell us about the job that you've set out to do at Google (as well as your unique title).

Vint Cerf_Gallery5.jpg

When I first got the job at Google, I proposed to Larry and Sergey (Google's founders) that my title should be "archduke." They countered with "Chief Internet Evangelist," and I was okay with that. My objective was, and still is, to get more internet out there. Google has been very effective in fulfilling that objective so far with CSquared and efforts for the Next Billion Users. But today only half the world's population is online, and I've been told I'm not allowed to retire because my job is only half done.

What are some other things you've worked on at Google?
In my years at Google, I've had the lucky freedom to stick my nose into pretty much anything. I've gotten very interested in the internet of things, and want to foster a deep awareness of what it takes to make those devices work well, while preserving safety, security and privacy.

Since my first day at Google, I've been passionate about making our products accessible to everyone, whether you have a hearing, vision or mobility problem (or something else). I'm hearing impaired-I've worn a hearing aid since I was 13-and my wife is deaf but uses two cochlear implants. Google has an entire team in place that looks after accessibility across all of our product areas.

Oh, another project I've been working on is Digital Vellum, to address my concern about the fragility of digital information. We store our information on various media (think of the evolution of floppy disks to external hard drives to the cloud), but those media don't last forever. Sometimes the media is ok, but the reader doesn't work. To make matters worse, even if you can read the bits, if you don't have the software that know what the bits mean, it's a worthless pile of bits! Digital Vellum is creating an environment where we can preserve the meaning of digital information over long periods of time, measured in hundreds of years.

That sounds like a lot of work for one guy at Google!
Compared to what a lot of people do, this isn't much.

  • Vint Cerf_Gallery4.jpg

    In 1997, President Bill Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Vint and Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the internet.

  • Vint Cerf_Gallery1.jpg

    Here's Vint with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Apparently they get mixed up a lot.

  • Vint Cerf_Gallery3.jpg

    Vint and his wife, Sigrid Cerf

  • Vint Cerf_Gallery6.jpg

    1974, Johannesburg, South Africa, demonstrating the ARPANET via satellite to New York.

  • Vint Cerf_Gallery2.jpg

    Signs put up in Europe during a push to evangelize IPv6, the most recent version of the Internet Protocol.

What do you like to do for fun?
(It should be noted: When I first asked Vint this question, he excitedly told me about all of the organizations he's involved with-he's the Chairman of the Board of the People Centered Internet, a visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, former Chairman of the Board of ICANN, and was appointed to the National Science Board by President Obama. I pointed out that he does a lot of work outside of work-which he clearly loves-and reminded him of my particular definition of fun, to which he responded with the following).

I enjoy reading science fiction (my favorite is Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series), biographies and history; wine tasting and gourmet cooking; and small dinner gatherings with interesting people.

I'm just a 19th-century guy living in a 21st-century world. vcVint Cerf

What do you consider still unaccomplished? What will you work on next?
Interplanetary Internet, Inter-Species Internet, Ethics and Software, Internet Governance Policy.

With this award, you're joining the ranks of some incredible minds-Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, to name a few. Of these winners, or anyone who has come before you in the field, who do you most admire?
Alexander Graham Bell, partly because he was so fundamental to communication, and partly because his wife was deaf, and so is mine.


You travel around the world in your role. What's the most interesting place you've visited recently?
I went to Baku, Azerbaijan for an international security conference. It was an amazing gathering of leaders from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, who offered perspectives that enriched the typical Western European views. We discussed cyber-security concerns and social and economic effects of the penetration of Internet into our societies.


Where do you want to travel next?
Lyon, France-wine tasting!!!


Tell us about your formal attire-why do you remain committed to your legendary three-piece suit despite the casual nature of Silicon Valley?
Mostly because I think it looks good. I'm just a 19th-century guy living in a 21st-century world.

19 Apr 2018 4:00pm GMT

08 Mar 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Some terrible personal news

Cindy Cutts, my wife and best friend, passed away earlier this week. While I was traveling for work recently, Cindy went to visit her family in Omaha, Nebraska. On Sunday, while enjoying time with family, Cindy started having trouble breathing. Her family quickly called 911 and paramedics took Cindy to the hospital, but Cindy lost […]

08 Mar 2018 12:17am GMT

22 Jan 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Talking to Mr. Money Mustache about the US Digital Service

Last week, I passed my one year anniversary as head of the US Digital Service (USDS). So when Mr. Money Mustache asked for an interview, I was delighted to talk about some of the work that the USDS does. If you aren't familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, he writes about a philosophy of badassity in […]

22 Jan 2018 6:58pm GMT

01 Apr 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google April Fools' Day 2017

April Fools' Day should probably be called Google Fools' Day, since there are so many Google hoaxes.

Google Japan developed a "bubble wrap" version of the Japanese keyboard. "The Google Japanese input bubble wrap version is a keyboard that realizes 'I want to press in my mind, I want to keep pressing'," according to Google Translate.



Another product for your smart home? Meet Google Gnome, "a voice-activated, hands-free tool designed to make backyard living effortless. Need to know what animal is squeaking in your bushes? Stay still and ask Gnome what sound an opossum makes. Running low on birdseed? That's where Gnome comes in. You can even use Gnome's proprietary high-intensity lasers to trim your hedges into whatever shape your heart desires."



The Chrome OS team brings the most popular mobile accessories to the Chromebook, which already blurs the line between mobile and desktop. Chromebook Groupie Stick, Chromebook Cardboard, Chromebook Workout Armband will soon be available in the Google Store. "To take advantage of beautiful, high-resolution displays, as well as great photo editing apps, we've carefully engineered the first Chromebook-sized selfie stick. Never again will you miss the perfect groupie."


Haptic Helpers make VR even more immersive. "We're taking VR to the next level with Haptic Helpers. Using a modest set of everyday tools, these VR virtuosos can simulate more than 10,000 unique experiences, all from the comfort of your own home. Smell the roses. Listen to the ocean. Feel a fluffy dog!"


You can now play the classic arcade game MS. PAC-MAN in Google Maps. "Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue as you swerve the streets of real places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while." Just go to the Google Maps site or open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS and click or tap MS. PAC-MAN at the bottom.


Google Cloud Platform expands to Mars. "By opening a dedicated extraterrestrial cloud region, we're bringing the power of Google's compute, network, and storage to the rest of the solar system, unlocking a plethora of possibilities for astronomy research, exploration of Martian natural resources and interplanetary life sciences. This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system. Our first interplanetary data center - affectionately nicknamed 'Ziggy Stardust' - will open in 2018," mentions Google.


Google Netherlands came up with Google Wind, a machine learning technology that controls the weather. "The Netherlands has many windmills, some no longer in use, we can connect to Google Cloud Platform. So we use the existing Dutch infrastructure, machine learning, weather patterns to control the network of windmills when rain is approaching. The first test results are very promising: we seem to be able to provide sun and clear skies for everyone in the Netherlands," mentions Google Netherlands blog.



Google's search app for iOS is now optimized for cats and dogs. "On the Google app for iOS, you can now use 3D Touch on the app icon or head to settings and select I'm Feeling Woof or I'm Feeling Meow to let your dogs and cats get info on topics they care about-whether that means squeaky toys or a bowl of milk!"


Google also launched Google Play for Pets, a new category of Android games designed for cats, dogs and other pets.


Google Translate's Word Lens feature supports a new language: Heptapod B, the alien language from the movie "Arrival". "The challenge with understanding Heptapod B is its nonlinear orthography. Fortunately, Google's neural machine translation system employs an encoder/decoder system that internally represents sentences as high-dimensional vectors. These vectors map well to the non-linear orthography of the Heptapod language and they are really the enabling technical factor in translating Heptapod B."

01 Apr 2017 7:25am GMT

19 Feb 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Gmail Blocks JavaScript Attachments

If you try to send a JavaScript attachment using Gmail or if you want to download a .js attachment, you'll get a new anti-virus warning: "Blocked for security reasons", "1 attachment contains a virus or blocked file. Downloading this attachment is disabled".


.JS has been added to the long list of file types that are blocked by Gmail for security reasons. The full list: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JS (NEW), .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .NSH .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF, .WSH. "To prevent against potential viruses, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files, including: certain file types (listed above), including their compressed form (like .gz or .bz2 files) or when found within archives (like .zip or .tgz files), documents with malicious macros, archives whose listed file content is password protected, archives whose content includes a password protected archive."

The GSuite Blog informs that "for inbound mail, senders will get a bounce message explaining why the email was blocked. If you still need to send .js files for legitimate reasons, you can use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions to share or send your files."

You can still send JavaScript files using Gmail if you change the extension. What about downloading old .js attachments? Try the workarounds from this post.

19 Feb 2017 10:39am GMT

25 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Shows Colorful Suggestions

Google Image Search has a different way to display suggestions: it now shows a long list of colorful boxes with related searches. You can click one or more boxes to dynamically refine search results.


For example, when searching for [sportswear], Google shows suggestions like: [women basketball], [tennis], [badminton], [golf], [volleyball], [nike woman], [alexander wang], [adidas], [fashion], [performance], [vintage], [trendy], [urban], [school], [gym], [90's], [70's], [vogue], [luxe], [avant garde], [korean], [italian], [french] and more. It's interesting to notice that each category of suggestions has a different color.




Here's the old interface, which had fewer suggestions and displayed thumbnails next to suggestions:

25 Jan 2017 9:39pm GMT

19 Jan 2017

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Staying with the US Digital Service

A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Google to do a stint with the US Digital Service. A lot of people know about the US Digital Service because they helped rescue the healthcare.gov website. But you might not realize that the US Digital Service has helped veterans get their health benefits, […]

19 Jan 2017 3:47am GMT

16 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos

Google Image Search's mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It's not disclosed as an ad, there's no sound and you can't stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.



Right now, the experiment seems to be limited to fashion-related queries like [men jackets], [lookbook], [winter outfit], which match videos from YouTube channels like New Look and River Island. "New Look is a South African-owned British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops. (...) The chain sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens," according to Wikipedia.

Google only shows labels like: "New Look on YouTube", even though this looks like an experimental ad format. I hope it will never become a regular feature, as it's pretty annoying and it wastes Internet bandwidth.

16 Jan 2017 10:49am GMT

13 Jan 2017

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone

It looks like YouTube's notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube's desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.

"Your notifications live here. Subscribe to your favorite channels to get notified about their latest videos," informs the new notification box.


13 Jan 2017 2:08pm GMT

29 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Notifications in the Navigation Bar

YouTube has recently started to experiment with replacing Google+ notifications in the navigation bar with YouTube notifications. You get notifications for recently uploaded videos from your subscribed channels, but only if you've enabled notifications for those channels. For example, you can go to the subscription manager and click the bell icon next to a channel to enable or disable notifications.

The settings button sends you to the Notifications section from YouTube's Settings page and the 3-dot icon next to each notification lets you turn off notifications from the corresponding channel.


If you don't like this experiment, you can always clear cookies for youtube.com in your browser's settings and opt out.

29 Dec 2016 12:24pm GMT

Google's New Mobile UI for Recipe Search

Just in time for New Year's dinner, Google has a new mobile interface for recipe search. I searched for [avocado mayo] and noticed a long list of keywords below the search box and ads: salad, chicken, shrimp, vegan, bacon and more. You can select more than one keyword and this helps you refine the results.


When selecting a related search, you get a completely different interface that only shows recipes: bigger expandable cards, bigger thumbnails, infinite scrolling.



29 Dec 2016 11:09am GMT

08 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Translate's 5000 Character Limit

For some reason, Google Translate now has a limit of 5000 characters per translation. There's even a character counter at the bottom of the input box. If you happen to paste a long text that has more than 5000 characters, you'll get an error message ("maximum characters exceeded: X characters over 5000 maximum") and a "translate more" option that lets you translate the rest of the text.


I don't understand the purpose of this restriction, considering that Google doesn't impose any limitation when translating web pages. It's worth pointing out that Google Translate's API has a similar limitation: "the maximum size of each text to be translated is 5000 characters, not including any HTML tags". Google's translation card from Google Search has a different limit: about 2800 characters.

08 Dec 2016 6:18pm GMT

Google Tests Movie Ratings

Google's knowledge graph card tests a feature that lets you like or dislike movies and TV shows. For example, when you search for "It's a Wonderful Life", you can click like or dislike and check the percentage of Google users who liked it.


The same buttons show up when you search for a TV show like "Saturday Night Live".


Search Engine Land reports that Google confirmed this experiment, which was first spotted last month.

08 Dec 2016 11:45am GMT

06 Dec 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google's Holiday Decorations

When you search Google for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Kwanzaa], [Festivus] or other related queries, you'll see some special decorations related to each holiday. Festivus is "a holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season."

Christmas trees, Santa Claus, the Christmas star adorn the Google search page and bring the hoiday spirit.


The Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa's Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) are lighting up Google's search pages.




Here are the decorations from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

06 Dec 2016 2:21pm GMT

New Interface for Google Search

Google's desktop search pages have a new interface for navigating between search results. The search box is bigger, there's a new search icon and Google now only shows 2 or 3 specialized search engines next to "all", down from 4. Apps and shopping seem to be missing from the list of search engines, so you can only pick from image search, video search, Google News, Google Maps, Google Flights and Google Books.


The settings dropdown is now placed below the search box and it includes the option that lets you hide private results. You can still change search settings, languages, turn on or turn off SafeSearch, use advanced search options, open Web History or go to the help center.


Search tools are now simply called tools and they include the same options: search by date and verbatim.


Image search lets you quickly go to the saved images page and change SafeSearch setting.


Google Shopping is broken. While the homepage still loads, when you click a product image or search for something, Google shows an empty page.



Here's the old Google Search interface, via Wikipedia:

06 Dec 2016 1:31pm GMT

17 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Random Facts About Animals in Google Search

Did you know that "male lions defend the pride's territory while females do most of the hunting"? Did you know that "the name humpback whale describes the motion it makes as it arches its back out of the water in preparation for a dive"? What about this one: "ostriches have the largest eyes of any land living animal and they measure 50 mm (2 inches) in diameter"?

Google now shows random facts about animals in the "did you know" section of the Knowledge Graph card. They're extracted from various sites and Google actually links to the source.



Some example of queries that return random facts: [cat], [lion], [tiger], [alpaca], [giraffe], [ostrich], [duck], [elk], [raccoon], [shark]. It's worth pointing out that you can get another random fact by reloading the page or searching again for the same animal.

17 Oct 2016 9:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Found in Related Searches

Google Knowledge Graph has more than one billion entities and more than 70 billion facts about these entities (people, places, things). It's huge and it brings a different dimension to search: understanding concepts and the relation between them.

Mobile Google Search now has a section called "found in related search", which shows a few entities frequently mentioned in other related searches. For example, I searched for [ethanol molar mass] and Google showed 2 lists of organic and inorganic compounds: one of them was found in the related search [properties of alkanes] and the other was for [polar solvents]. Ethanol is a polar solvent which can be obtained from alkenes, while alkenes can be derived from alkanes, so Google's suggestions are somewhat useful.


This feature is not limited to chemistry, it also works for other topics. Here's a different query: [tour eiffel design], which shows other "towers of the world" and "tourist attractions in France".



15 Oct 2016 7:34am GMT

14 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Converts Queries Into Questions

I noticed an interesting Google Search experiment in the mobile/tablet interface. When searching for [alcohol with the highest boiling], Google converted my query into a question: "Which alcohol has the highest boiling point?", then it tried to answer the question using a snippet from a web page and then it added a "more results" link. Google's link sent to me to the search results page for the question inferred by Google.

14 Oct 2016 10:29pm GMT

Google's Card for Directions

When you search Google for [directions] or [get directions], you get an error message: "No results for that place. Try entering it below to get suggestions." Google shows a special card for directions with cool features like autocomplete, but the error message is out of place because you haven't typed a location.


Suggestions aren't very smart. For example, I typed "Brisbane, Australia" as the starting point and then I started to type "Mel" as the destination. Google suggested 3 places from California, strictly based on my location, while ignoring that Melbourne is a much better suggestion.


Google shows directions inside the card and you can pick between driving, walking, cycling or using public transportation.


To see the directions, just click the text that describes your favorite route. If there is only one route, pick that one. Another option is to click "directions" and go to the Google Maps site.

14 Oct 2016 9:27pm GMT

Add Home Screen Shortcuts to Google Maps Directions

I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.



You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."


Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.

14 Oct 2016 8:48pm GMT

18 Jun 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A brief update

Over the last couple years, I've seen more and more people in technology trying to make government work better. They're idealists who are also making a large impact. These are people that I respect-some of them worked to fix healthcare.gov, for example. From talking to many of them, I can tell you that their energy […]

18 Jun 2016 1:57am GMT

03 Feb 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Thanks, Amit

Amit Singhal just announced that he's retiring toward the end of the month. Amit has been a formative part of Google's search team, but he's also a good friend. Last year, after he marked 15 years with Google, I wrote this about Amit's contributions: Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated […]

03 Feb 2016 7:49pm GMT

19 Jan 2016

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X)

I solved a problem today and figured that I'd document it for the rest of the world. Every time someone left me a voicemail on Verizon, I would get a cryptic text from Verizon at 900080006202 that looked like "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=NM;id=1;c=1;t=v;s=1XXXXXXXXXX;dt=18/01/2016 13:40-0900;l=13;dev_t=5" or "//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=MBU;dev_t=5". Here's what happened. It turns out that Verizon has three kinds of […]

19 Jan 2016 2:00am 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

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

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

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