22 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

A new space for Southeast Asian developers in Singapore

Last November, Raymond Chan, a data scientist at Chope, attended one of our first ML bootcamps for developers and start-ups in Southeast Asia. Over four days, he gained a deeper understanding of how to use Google Cloud Platform to better structure data from approximately 775,000 records on Chope's real-time restaurant reservation booking platform every day. With this new knowledge, Chope has been able to use that data for more effective and timely decision-making, making it easier for customers to book restaurants.


Today in Singapore, we're opening the Developer Space @ Google Singapore-a space that brings together resources to help Southeast Asian developers, entrepreneurs and community groups grow, plus earn more with their businesses. This is the first physical space dedicated to developers that sits inside a Google office, so developers here can look forward to benefiting from insights, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities with various teams working at our Asia Pacific headquarters.


Supporting startups and developers like Raymond, and helping them achieve their full potential is something we're passionate about. In addition to the ML bootcamps, we will run a range of workshops on the latest Google tools and technologies, as well as programs like LeadersLab and Indie Games Accelerator that fuel ecosystem growth. We will also support activities run by community groups like Google Developer Groups, Google Business Groups and Women Techmakers.


With developers and startups from Southeast Asia rapidly driving growth across the region, we can't think of a better place to open this new hub. Come join us throughout the year for an exciting roster of events and meet people who, like Raymond, are looking to build and scale great products. Check out our schedule of events here.
  • Minister Iswaran Google Developer Space Singapore

    Minister S. Iswaran speaking at the opening of the Developer Space @ Google Singapore

  • ML Bootcamp Singapore

    Participants in the Machine Learning Bootcamp. This global series was piloted in Singapore, and we look forward to training another 800 developers here by the end of this year.

  • Developer Space Singapore 2

    Val Yap, Founder and CEO, PolicyPal speaking at the Developer Space @ Google Singapore opening.

22 Feb 2019 5:30am GMT

21 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

To help fight the opioid crisis, a new tool from Maps and Search

In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, with over 130 Americans dying every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Last month, we saw that search queries for "medication disposal near me" reached an all-time high on Google.

opioids_data

53 percent of prescription drug abuse starts with drugs obtained from family or friends, so we're working alongside government agencies and nonprofit organizations to help people safely remove excess or unused opioids from their medicine cabinets. Last year, we partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for National Prescription Take Back Day by developing a Google Maps API locator tool to help people dispose of their prescription drugs at temporary locations twice a year. With the help of this tool, the DEA and its local partners collected a record 1.85 million pounds of unused prescription drugs in 2018.

Today, we're making it easier for Americans to quickly find disposal locations on Google Maps and Search all year round. A search for queries like "drug drop off near me" or "medication disposal near me" will display permanent disposal locations at your local pharmacy, hospital or government building so you can quickly and safely discard your unneeded medication.



opioid_gif

This pilot has been made possible thanks to the hard work of many federal agencies, states and pharmacies. Companies like Walgreens and CVS Health, along with state governments in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania have been instrumental in this project, contributing data with extensive lists of public and private disposal locations. The DEA is already working with us to provide additional location data to expand the pilot.

For this pilot, we also looked to public health authorities-like HHS-for ideas on how technology can help communities respond to the opioid crisis. In fact, combining disposal location data from different sources was inspired by a winning entry at the HHS's Opioid Code-A-Thon held a year ago.

We'll be working to expand coverage and add more locations in the coming months. To learn more about how your state or business can bring more disposal locations to Google Maps and Search, contact RXdisposal-data@google.com today.


21 Feb 2019 5:00pm GMT

Using Google for Education tools to create community at Lundavra Primary

Editor's note: Today's post is by Harriet Ogilvie, a teacher at Lundavra Primary School in Fort William, Scotland. Harriet was one of the many teachers who recently joined us at BETT 2019 to share stories about using technology that engages students and transforms learning. Below, Harriet explains how she and other Lundavra teachers help students build communication skills and create online portfolios using G Suite for Education.

At Lundavra Primary School, students and teachers encourage parents and other local residents to visit our schools and learn about what's happening in our classrooms. It's important to us that we connect the Fort William community to the life of the school. To make this happen, we invite everyone in the area to "Community Cafes," once-a-month social events featuring student singing, homemade baked goods and a book exchange.

After the Community Cafes, students with Chromebooks in hand ask people if they enjoyed attending, and what they'd like to see at future Cafes. The students enter responses into Google Forms, which is helpful for us teachers as we plan our future community events-plus, it's much easier to keep track of than paper forms that wouldn't be returned. When students are getting this feedback using Google Forms, they can connect and communicate with fellow students, teachers and people in the community. Students learn language and communication skills as they formulate questions to ask attendees and start conversations with adults.

Community Cafe at Lundavra Primary

Check out the Community Cafe at Lundavra Primary School!

I like talking with my granny and her friends and helping her use the Chromebook. Neo
Primary 6 student about the Community Cafe

For students, gaining digital skills and building confidence often starts in the Community Cafes, but continues through students' development of learning portfolios, which are records of their classroom projects and their accomplishments. The portfolios help pupils take ownership of their learning and show what they've accomplished to peers and parents.

These portfolios used to be on paper. When we switched to online portfolios, students could be more creative in telling stories about their academic careers-for instance, by creating video book reports and adding photos of themselves and their classmates. They build portfolios using Google Sites-a much more flexible and engaging tool than paper portfolios that weren't easy to share and frequently misplaced. Students use the Padlet app with their Chromebooks to write regular reflections about their work, and embed the Padlet pages into their Google Sites. Using YouTube, students work with their peers to create vlogs about stories they write themselves. By the time students reach Year 7, they can teach their younger classmates how to build online portfolios-a confidence-building exercise for those about to move on to secondary school.

I am better at talking to people I don't know. I enjoyed looking at the data we collected from our Google Forms survey. I made it into bar graphs and pie charts to make it easier to understand. Kirsty
Primary 6 student

Teachers and students need tools that encourage students to leave their comfort zones. In our case, the tools in the background are from Google: Videos, portfolios, surveys, documents and online research that inspire students to choose how they want to learn and create. Every time students use Google tools, they learn skills that go beyond the lesson at hand. When they build their online portfolios, students learn how to organize content; when they teach younger students how to use Google Sites, they learn about leadership. And when teachers create assignments in Google Classroom and provide comments while students are working, students learn to give and receive feedback and collaborate with others. We're excited to find new ways to use Google to help our students become confident, engaged learners.

21 Feb 2019 4:00pm GMT

A Doodle honoring Steve Irwin: zookeeper, conservationist and father

Editor's note: Today's guest post comes from Dr. Terri Irwin, wife of the late Steve Irwin, who is honored in today's Google Doodle.

Today's Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognised as the most extensive of any conservationist. We are so proud that his legacy lives on, as that was his greatest wish. He once said, "I don't care if I'm remembered, as long as my message is remembered."

Steve was born on February 22, 1962 in Upper Fern Tree Gully, Victoria, Australia. The Irwin Family moved to Beerwah on Queensland's Sunshine Coast in 1970 and opened a tiny roadside wildlife park called the Beerwah Reptile Park (later renamed as the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park). Steve helped to monitor, study and relocate crocodiles living too close to populated areas, which lead to his love and respect for these apex predators.

I happened to go into this tiny roadside park in 1991, when I was visiting Australia with some friends. There I encountered an outspoken man who was clearly passionate about wildlife, especially crocodiles. He was actually inside one of the croc enclosures sharing with the visitors just how special crocodiles really are. "They are very protective mothers and male and female crocodiles show great affection to each other," he was saying. I had never heard anyone speak about crocs with such enthusiasm, much less have the calm courage to hand feed one of these giant saurians. I just had to speak to him. It was a decision that would change my life forever.

Steve and I married in June 1992 in my grandmother's church in Eugene, Oregon. Afterward, we received a phone call about a poacher trying to kill a large crocodile in North Queensland, so instead of a honeymoon, Steve and I went to Australia to save the croc before the bad guys got him. We invited a film crew to come along and document our efforts. Although we didn't arrive in time to save the crocodile, we did save his mate. She was a beautiful girl, not quite 10 feet long. We didn't know it at the time, but this would turn out to be the very first episode of "The Crocodile Hunter" and the beginning of a 14-year adventure, filming in locations across Australia and around the world.

  • Steve Irwin doodle frame 1

    It was love at first sight when zookeeper Steve Irwin met naturalist Terri Raines. Steve and Terri's love for each other matched equally with their passion for animal conservation.

  • Steve Irwin doodle frame 2

    The married duo were partners in life and in work, shooting nature documentaries across the globe, including this Komodo Dragon.

  • Steve Irwin doodle frame 3

    One special moment in Steve's adventures is the time a wild mother orangutan dropped in and hugged him in Sumatra.

  • Steve Irwin doodle frame 4

    Carrying the Irwin legacy, Steve and Terri raised their children to love and respect wildlife.

The very best part of our lives together would have to be our two incredible children. Bindi was born in 1998, the same year we changed the name of our zoological park to Australia Zoo. Robert was born in 2003, and we travelled and filmed with both of our amazing kids.

Our lives changed forever when Steve had an accident while filming in the Great Barrier Reef. Losing Steve was a real crossroads for us, but together we decided to continue his mission. Bindi, Robert and I have dedicated our lives to the wildlife conservation work that Steve began.

Today, Australia Zoo is still growing with more than 1,200 animals, and nearly 1,000 acres. We protect nearly half a million acres of habitat, and our non-profit organisation supports conservation projects around the world. We even have a Wildlife Hospital that has treated over 82,000 sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, solely to return them back to the wild.

As Wildlife Warriors, we continue the battle to protect wilderness areas just like Steve did. Our global conservation programs protect many vulnerable and critically endangered species including rhinos in Kenya, tigers in Sumatra, elephants in Cambodia, crocodiles home in Australia and many more. We've also continued the longest running and most comprehensive crocodile research program in the world aiming to educate people everywhere about the essential role crocodiles play in our eco-system as apex predators and why they deserve to be conserved for future generations. We do this work every day to honor Steve's memory, and now today's Doodle honors him, too.

21 Feb 2019 10:55am GMT

How I started a new career while raising three kids, thanks to Google

Editor's Note: Since 2016, more than 73,000 people have explored new opportunities with the Google Developer scholarship, part of Grow with Google's commitment to help people across Europe-from Hungary to rural France-succeed in the digital economy.

Zuzana, a working mother from the U.K., was awarded the Google scholarship and graduated from a Udacity Nanodegree program, enabling her to launch a new career as a web developer. She's among 21% of all Udacity Nanodegree students in the Grow with Google program in Europe who have received job offers after graduating. With her newfound confidence and skills, Zuzana was able to find the flexibility she needed to balance motherhood and her ideal career. Here is her story:

Being a mom to young kids isn't easy. There's always something you need to do for them, and it's really hard to make time for yourself. So it was a special moment when in 2014, as a 33-year-old mother of two, I graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

I looked forward to applying my new skills, but none of the jobs for psychology graduates offered the flexibility I needed to look after my young family. For a while I worked as a teaching assistant in a school, but though the hours were great, I wasn't utilizing my degree. I felt stuck. So when I became pregnant with my third child, I decided to make a change.

I searched online for flexible jobs and started reading about people who had learned how to code and just months later were working from home. I'd never been interested in technology before- I simply thought that wasn't me. But out of curiosity, I started to look into what developers do.

When I read about web accessibility, something clicked. Web accessibility is about making the web accessible to all, regardless of a person's disabilities. Since I knew about the issues disabled people might have (like attention disorders, fine motor skills deficiency and sight impairment), I could see how these issues could affect them when using the web.

Learning web accessibility would allow me to apply psychology in a flexible work arrangement, and I could learn how to do it in my own time. I thought, Wow! Finally, there's something for me as a mom and as a person!

The Udacity Nanodegree program offered both a course on accessibility and a schedule that would fit my family commitments. I never thought I would get the Developer Scholarship from Google when I applied, so I was amazed to get an email saying I had been accepted.

I'd found it hard to think of myself as a web developer, but the scholarship changed that. It made me feel that someone believed in me, so I should believe in myself. The online interaction on the course was incredible, so I never felt like I was studying alone. Even so, when I was completing my Nanodegree program, it was a big step for me to go to a local tech meetup and present a talk to experienced developers. After I spoke, developers came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed my presentation. And shortly after that, one of them offered me my first job, as a web developer for a branding agency.

Whether it was psychology or programming, I've been hard at work studying ever since my first child was born. When I got that very first job, the kids celebrated with me because they knew how much hard work I'd put into it. I'm so glad I can be there for them-cooking, spending time together, helping them with their homework-and also focus on myself. The opportunity has opened new doors for my career, while keeping the door to my family wide open, too. I feel like I've finally found my perfect balance.

21 Feb 2019 9:00am GMT

20 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Now on iOS: Follow your favorite places on Google Maps

Starting this week, you can stay up to date on your favorite places right from the Google Maps app on iOS. Simply search for a place-whether it's a new restaurant that just opened up in your neighborhood or that must-try bakery across town-and tap the Follow button. You'll then be able to see important updates from these places in your For you tab so you can quickly learn about upcoming events, offers and more.

igmm_follow

And now, places and businesses all over the world can see their followers in the Google My Business app, and actively post helpful information for their followers to see. The Follow button starts rolling out on iOS today.

20 Feb 2019 6:00pm GMT

App campaigns make their landing: introducing a simpler name for Google’s app ad solution

People reach for their mobile phones throughout the day for help getting things done. And it's often a mobile app that delivers what they need-whether it's a new pair of rain boots or a puzzle game to pass the time during a commute.

Universal App campaigns help connect your app with more of these app-happy consumers. Today, we are simplifying the name of "Universal App campaigns" to "App campaigns." This move will not affect campaign features or functionality, and there's no action required for existing app promotion customers.

App campaigns will join Search, Display, Video, Shopping and Smart as the top-level campaign names available in Google Ads.

Ad Campaign Types

Here's the full list of Google Ads campaign types after the App campaigns name change

App campaigns use Google's machine learning technology to help you find the users that matter most to you, based on your defined business goals-across Google Search, Play, YouTube, and over three million sites and apps-all from one campaign.

To date, App campaigns have delivered unprecedented results for the developer community-helping drive more than 17 billion app installs, according to Google Internal data from 2019. We hope this more direct name will help advertisers and developers get started with Google Ads and select the right campaign type for their business goals.

You'll start to see these changes roll out over the next month. We'll talk more about this change-and other new App ad innovations-at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in mid-March. We hope to see you there!

20 Feb 2019 5:00pm GMT

Using AMP to make display ads safer, faster and better for users

The performance benefits and security guarantees offered by AMPHTML ads, which are display ads created using the AMP framework, translate to better advertiser ROI, publisher revenue and overall better user experience. Because of this, Google has expanded serving AMPHTML ads not only to AMP pages, but also to regular web pages. As of January this year, 12% of all display ads served by Google are now AMPHTML ads.

All of the code in the AMP repository is open source which is carefully reviewed by the project maintainers before being merged. As a result, ads written in AMP start performant and stay performant. Such a process also drastically reduces the likelihood of AMPHTML ads having code that takes advantage of chipset level vulnerabilities or drain CPU by crypto-mining from users' devices.

Since AMPHTML ads can be trusted, they can be rendered into a more performant same-origin iframe. This performance boost results in the ad rendering faster on page which translates to higher publisher revenue and better advertiser ROI.

AMPHTML Ads Stats

Experiment results from GPT.js rendering AMPHTML ads in a same-origin vs cross-origin iframe

AMPHTML ads on AMP pages deliver even better ROI

An AMPHTML ad delivered to an AMP page has better performance compared to the same ad running on a regular web page. This is due to the inherent design of AMPHTML ads outlined here, giving advertisers better click through rates and viewability.

AMP pages have seen steady growth over the past few years and advertisers now have access to well over 1 billion impressions/day worth of premium (from a user experience & ad experience standpoint) inventory. In addition, more than 35 percent of ads served to AMP pages are already AMPHTML ads.


Publishers and Advertisers seeing success with AMP pages and AMPHTML ads

The news publisher EL PAIS partnered with Volkswagen, one of their advertisers, to run a multivariate A/B test measuring how Volkswagen's display ads created in AMPHTML vs HTML5 would perform on AMP vs regular pages.

Simply moving from a standard HTML page to an AMP page (with the same HTML5 ad) resulted in a 26 percent CTR increase. Moving further to an AMP page with AMPHTML ads resulted in an additional 48 percent CTR increase.

AMPHTML Ads Increase in Performance

Increase in performance metrics when combining AMP pages with AMPHTML ads

You can read the full case study here.


Getting started with AMPHTML ads for advertisers

AMPHTML ads are a subset of the AMP spec and ships with many good-by-default ads UI components, an analytics measurement framework, a spam detection system, viewability measurement and other building blocks to create a good and measurable ad.

We encourage you to read more about the benefits of using AMPHTML ads, but if you want to jump ahead to start creating them, this is a good place to begin.

Once you have created the ad, you can choose one of the following options to serve AMPHTML ads:

  1. Work with an Authorized Buyer that allows to target just AMP or regular inventory

  2. Use Google Ads to target inventory in the Google Display Network

  3. Direct buy with publishers using Google Ad Manager

  4. [Coming Soon] Display & Video 360 support to deliver AMPHTML ads to AMP pages

Google continues to invest in delivering better user ad experiences by increasing the share of AMPHTML ads vs regular ads. Once mobile app support launches in Q2, 2019, advertisers can fully transition to creating a single AMPHTML ad and have it render across all environments and devices.

We hope you'll take full advantage of the performance, security benefits and the increased ROI by choosing to build & serve AMPHTML ads in your next campaign.

20 Feb 2019 4:00pm GMT

19 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Android Enterprise Recommended expands to include Managed Service Providers

As organizations increasingly turn to Android as their enterprise mobility platform, we want to make sure they can easily identify partners with experts who are best equipped to support them.

That's why we're expanding the Android Enterprise Recommended program to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and companies with MSP business units who provision, manage and support millions of devices around the world on behalf of customers. Under the Android Enterprise Recommended program for MSPs, validated partners are trained on the latest best practices from Google to help customers simplify and expand their mobility deployments.

We're pleased to announce that Accenture, Brodos, Cognizant, DXC Technology, Econocom, Honeywell Enterprise, Mobile Mentor, Mobility MEA, Offshore Tech, SCC, SHI, Skywire, Stratix, Tech Data and Vox Mobile have been validated as Android Enterprise Recommended partners. Over time, we plan to add more MSP partners to the program.

Android Enterprise Recommended MSPs are required to deliver the following capabilities for customers (the full list of requirements can also be found here):

  • Technical expertise and leadership with dedicated personnel trained by Google on implementing and supporting Android

  • Certified experience with Android Enterprise Recommended Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) systems

  • A close working relationship with Google with an assigned account manager and access to a 24/7 Google partner escalation desk

  • A commitment to staying current on the latest Android product features and training requirements as part of annual program re-validation

When we launched the Android Enterprise Recommended program a year ago, we set out to make it simple for businesses to find Android devices and services that have been validated by Google for meeting elevated enterprise requirements. Since then, we've applied this framework to knowledge worker devices, then rugged devices,and-most recently-services with last month's launch of Android Enterprise Recommended for EMMs. With each step, we're aiming to give customers more confidence in deploying Android and ensuring their deployment is as consistent and current as possible.

Since Android Enterprise Recommended launched, we've received great feedback from customers who are putting the program to use. Research firm IDC found that 82 percent of European Android Enterprise Recommended customers said their devices are more secure and more enterprise grade than other devices. We'll continue to look for ways to expand this program and consistently raise the bar to help customers get more value from their investment in Android.

19 Feb 2019 5:00pm GMT

Hello, .dev!

Developers, designers, writers and architects: you built the web. You make it possible for the billions of people online today to do what they do. Have you ever tried to register your preferred domain name, only to find out it's not available? Today, Google Registry is announcing .dev, a brand new top-level domain (TLD) that's dedicated to developers and technology. We hope .dev will be a new home for you to build your communities, learn the latest tech and showcase your projects-all with a perfect domain name.

Check out what some companies, both big and small, are doing on .dev:

  • Want to build a website? Both GitHub.dev and grow.dev have you covered.
  • Trying to create more inclusive products? Visit accessibility.dev for digital accessibility solutions.
  • Learn about Slack's helpful tools, libraries, and SDKs at slack.dev.
  • Connect with Women Who Code at women.dev.
  • Who doesn't want to do more with their time? JetBrains.dev offers software solutions that make developers more productive.
  • Want to brush up on your skills (or learn new ones)? Check out Codecademy.dev.
  • Learn how to build apps on the Salesforce platform at crm.dev.
  • Interested in learning how to increase the agility and productivity of your data team? Visit dataops.dev.
  • Want to build & deploy serverless apps on a global cloud network? You can do that with Cloudflare at workers.dev.
  • Get a sneak peek of what's running under the hood of the Niantic Real World Platform at ar.dev.

Like our recent launches for .app and .page, this new domain will be secure by default because it requires HTTPS to connect to all .dev websites. This protects people who visit your site against ad malware and tracking injection by internet service providers, and from spying when using open WiFi networks. With every .dev website that's launched, you help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future.

Starting today at 8:00 a.m. PT and through February 28, .dev domains are available to register as part of our Early Access Program, where you can secure your desired domains for an additional fee. The fee decreases according to a daily schedule. Beginning on February 28, .dev domains will be available at a base annual price through your registrar of choice. To find out pricing from our participating partners, visit get.dev.

Google has already started using .dev for some of our own projects, like web.dev and opensource.dev. Visit get.dev to see what companies like Mozilla, Netflix, Glitch, Stripe, JetBrains and more are doing on .dev and get your own domain through one of our registrar partners. We look forward to seeing what you create on .dev!

19 Feb 2019 4:00pm GMT

Get the scoop on Hollywood’s big night with help from Google

It's awards season, and that means glitz, glam and gold statues. Google is making it easy to keep up with your favorite flicks and celebs no matter where you turn, with new ways to stay up on the buzz with Google Search, Google Images and Google News.

And as we await the announcements of Sunday's winners, we took a look at the celebs and movies people have searched for-and the trailers they've watched on YouTube-to see who and what is capturing our attention, both on and off the screen.

Red Carpet Read-out

It's arguably everyone's favorite part of the night. Actors and actresses alike strut their stuff on the red carpet, and many people turn to Google Images to check out their camera-ready looks.

Stay up-to-date on your favorite celebrities this Sunday with a special "Latest" section on Google Images, available on mobile web browsers. If you search for pictures from the red carpet, or a celebrity nominated for an award, Google Images will not only show you the most relevant web pages and photos from across the web related to your search, but will show you the most recent images, too.

But before we get into this year's red carpet looks, we decided to look back at the past 10 years of worldwide Oscars fashion searches on Google Images to see which stars shone brightest:

  1. Anne Hathaway
  2. Jennifer Lopez
  3. Jennifer Lawrence
  4. Charlize Theron
  5. Scarlett Johansson
  6. Cate Blanchett
  7. Natalie Portman
  8. Halle Berry
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. Olivia Wilde

Popular Performers

To help you learn more about your favorite celebrities, we recently launched stories on Knowledge Panels in Search, which provide an overview of notable moments from their lives and help you visually discover information from across the web. For the first time, we're bringing these stories to Google Images, and we're also introducing new stories about popular events like award shows.

Rolling out this week, if you search for nominees on Search or Google Images, you'll see a story showcasing information about their nominations, fellow nominees and other nods they've received throughout the 2019 awards season. Searches for "Oscars" have been on the rise leading up to the big night, and Search can help you explore more info about the films and actors, and stay up to date as results roll in on Sunday. If you want to go in depth, Google News will help you dive into all the news stories behind the nominees, red carpet, presenters and more.

You may have your guesses about which roles will earn top acting prizes, and we have the trends to see who's coming out on top in Search. Here are the nominees leading the pack in search interest for Sunday's top categories:

Actor in a leading role

  1. Bradley Cooper
  2. Rami Malek
  3. Christian Bale
  4. Viggo Mortensen
  5. Willem Dafoe

Actress in a leading role

  1. Lady Gaga
  2. Melissa McCarthy
  3. Glenn Close
  4. Olivia Colman
  5. Yalitza Aparicio

Actor in a supporting role

  1. Sam Elliott
  2. Adam Driver
  3. Sam Rockwell
  4. Mahershala Ali
  5. Richard E. Grant

Actress in supporting role

  1. Emma Stone
  2. Amy Adams
  3. Rachel Weisz
  4. Regina King
  5. Marina de Tavira

Favorite Flicks

If you're placing any bets on the big screen's best films of the year, perhaps you can take a hint from top lists from Search and YouTube. Even if they don't take home a statue, these films have captured people's hearts this year.

Top viewed Best Picture trailers on YouTube

  1. Black Panther
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. A Star is Born
  4. BlacKkKlansman
  5. Vice
  6. Green Book
  7. The Favourite
  8. Roma

Top searched Animated feature film nominees

  1. Incredibles 2
  2. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Isle of Dogs
  4. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
  5. Mirai

Top searched Foreign Language Film nominees

  1. Roma
  2. Cold War
  3. Shoplifters
  4. Capernaum
  5. Never Look Away

Top searched Best Documentary Feature nominees

  1. Free Solo
  2. RBG
  3. Minding the Gap
  4. Of Fathers and Sons
  5. Hale County This Morning, This Evening


Thank you to my agent, producer, director, fellow castmates and everyone who made this blog post possible. *orchestra begins playing, exit stage right*


19 Feb 2019 3:00pm GMT

16 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Fighting disinformation across our products

Providing useful and trusted information at the scale that the Internet has reached is enormously complex and an important responsibility. Adding to that complexity, over the last several years we've seen organized campaigns use online platforms to deliberately spread false or misleading information.

We have twenty years of experience in these information challenges and it's what we strive to do better than anyone else. So while we have more work to do, we've been working hard to combat this challenge for many years.

Today at the Munich Security Conference, we presented a white paper that gives more detail about our work to tackle the intentional spread of misinformation-across Google Search, Google News, YouTube and our advertising systems. We have a significant effort dedicated to this work throughout the company, based on three foundational pillars:

  • Improve our products so they continue to make quality count;
  • Counteract malicious actors seeking to spread disinformation;
  • Give people context about the information they see.

The white paper also explains how we work beyond our products to support a healthy journalistic ecosystem, partner with civil society and researchers, and stay one step ahead of future risks.

We hope this paper and increased transparency can lead to more dialogue about what we and others can do better on these issues. We're committed to acting responsibly and thoroughly as we tackle this important challenge.

16 Feb 2019 4:00pm GMT

15 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

6 highlights from Google for Philippines

At the first ever Google for Philippines event this week, we shared our vision for how we're going to help more Filipinos make the most of what the internet has to offer. This includes key updates and product launches that we hope can drive inclusive growth and support the Filipino people to participate in an increasingly digital world:

Connecting Filipinos to the internet

1. Google Station. To help improve internet access, we're bringing Google Station to the Philippines in partnership with SMART. Together, we're making Station available at more than 50 locations, including airports in Manila, Clark and Davao, as well as LRT 2 and MRT 3 stations by the end of this month. The platform will be at hundreds more sites country-wide by the end of the year.

2. Google Go.This AI-powered "all-in-one app" helps people, especially those coming online for the first time, discover, share and find content on the internet more easily. You can tap your way through trending queries and topics, or use your voice to say what you're looking for, and even listen to web pages being read out-loud. Google Go is tailor-made for devices which may have less space or less reliable internet connections, with search results on the app optimized to save up to 40% data.

Google Go G4PH

Providing relevant and localized experiences for Filipinos

3. Jobs on Google Search. Filipino job seekers will soon be able to find job listings from sites across the web directly in Google Search as we're bringing jobs on Google Search to the Philippines. They'll be able to customize their job search through filters, save searches, or be notified when new relevant job postings appear. At launch, this will include half a million job listings from sites such as Department of Labor and Employment, Kalibrr, Jobayan and Jobs Cloud. To ensure that even more jobs are listed over time, we've published open documentation so all third-party job search platforms and direct employers can make their job openings discoverable through jobs on Google Search.

4. Number Coding in Google Maps. Developed in partnership with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), this new feature will help drivers navigate from A to B in a way that avoids restricted roads on their coding day.

5. Digiskarteng Pinay. YouTube has always been a platform for learning. In collaboration with TESDA, Philippine Commission on Women, Cashalo and Unilever, this program will empower women by connecting them with educational content on YouTube-from health to nutrition, financial literacy and technical skills-that can support them in enhancing their livelihoods.


Kilalanin si Jhoan: Isang Ma-Digiskarteng Pinay

Enabling MSMEs to connect with customers online

6. Making MSMEs more discoverable in partnership with PLDT Enterprise. Working with PLDT Enterprise, we'll help businesses verify their business profiles and support them to get their businesses listed on Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps. With searches for products, stores and services "near me" doubling in the last 3 years, we believe this is an incredible opportunity for Filipino businesses to reach new customers.

15 Feb 2019 4:00pm GMT

14 Feb 2019

feedThe Official Google Blog

Smart regulation for combating illegal content

We've written before about how we're working to support smart regulation, and one area of increasing attention is regulation to combat illegal content.

As online platforms have become increasingly popular, there's been a rich debate about the best legal framework for combating illegal content in a way that respects other social values, like free expression, diversity and innovation. Today, various laws provide detailed regulations, including Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States and European Union's e-Commerce Directive.

Google invests millions of dollars in technology and people to combat illegal content in an effective and fair way. It's a complex task, and-just as in offline contexts-it's not a problem that can be totally solved. Rather, it's a problem that must be managed, and we are constantly refining our practices.

In addressing illegal content, we're also conscious of the importance of protecting legal speech. Context often matters when determining whether content is illegal. Consider a video of military conflict. In one context the footage might be documentary evidence of atrocities in areas where journalists have great difficulty and danger accessing. In another context the footage could be promotional material for an illegal organization. Even a highly trained reviewer could have a hard time telling the difference, and we need to get those decisions right across many different languages and cultures, and across the vast scale of audio, video, text, and images uploaded online. We make it easy to easily submit takedown notices; at the same time, we also create checks and balances against misuse of removal processes. And we look to the work of international agencies and principles from leading groups like the Global Network Initiative.

A smart regulatory framework is essential to enabling an appropriate approach to illegal content. We wanted to share four key principles that inform our practices and that (we would suggest) make for an effective regulatory framework:

  • Shared Responsibility: Tackling illegal content is a societal challenge-in which companies, governments, civil society, and users all have a role to play. Whether a company is alleging copyright infringement, an individual is claiming defamation, or a government is seeking removal of terrorist content, it's essential to provide clear notice about the specific piece of content to an online platform, and then platforms have a responsibility to take appropriate action on the specific content. In some cases, content may not be clearly illegal, either because the facts are uncertain or because the legal outcome depends on a difficult balancing act; in turn, courts have an essential role to play in fact-finding and reaching legal conclusions on which platforms can rely.

  • Rule of law and creating legal clarity: It's important to clearly define what platforms can do to fulfill their legal responsibilities, including removal obligations. An online platform that takes other voluntary steps to address illegal content should not be penalized. (This is sometimes called "Good Samaritan" protection.)

  • Flexibility to accommodate new technology:While laws should accommodate relevant differences between platforms, given the fast-evolving nature of the sector, laws should be written in ways that address the underlying issue rather than focusing on existing technologies or mandating specific technological fixes.

  • Fairness and transparency: Laws should support companies' ability to publish transparency reports about content removals, and provide people with notice and an ability to appeal removal of content. They should also recognize that fairness is a flexible and context-dependent notion-for example, improperly blocking newsworthy content or political expression could cause more harm than mistakenly blocking other types of content.

With these principles in mind, we support refinement of notice-and-takedown regimes, but we have significant concerns about laws that would mandate proactively monitoring or filtering content, impose overly rigid timelines for content removal, or otherwise impose harsh penalties even on those acting in good faith. These types of laws create a risk that platforms won't take a balanced approach to content removals, but instead take a "better safe than sorry" approach-blocking content at upload or implementing a "take down first, ask questions later (or never)" approach. We regularly receive overly broad removal requests, and analyses of cease-and-desist and takedown letters have found that many seek to remove potentially legitimate or protected speech.

There's ample room for debate and nuance on these topics-we discuss them every day-and we'll continue to seek ongoing collaboration among governments, industry, and civil society on this front. Over time, an ecosystem of tools and institutions-like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, and the Internet Watch Foundation, which has taken down child sexual abuse material for more than two decades-has evolved to address the issue. Continuing to develop initiatives like these and other multistakeholder efforts remains critical, and we look forward to progressing those discussions.

14 Feb 2019 6:00pm GMT

Roses are red, violets are blue: six Pixel camera tips, just for you

No matter what your plans are this Valentine's Day, you'll probably end up taking a few photos to celebrate or capture the moment-and that's where Pixel's camera comes in. Pixel 3's camera has tools that can help you capture and get creative with your V-Day photos. Here are six tips for our beloved #teampixel.

1. Virtual Valentines

Playground is a creative mode in the Pixel camera that helps you create and play with the world around you. You can send a virtual Valentine, or make your photos and videos stand out with the new Love Playmoji pack and two sticker packs. Capture and celebrate the love in the air today and year-round with interactive hearts, fancy champagne glasses, animated love notes or lovebirds.


  • Meal Playmoji
  • Ice Cream
  • Plants
  • Mailbox

2. A V-Day Vision

Your Valentine always stands out to you. So make them the center of focus with Portrait Mode, and watch as the background fades into a beautiful blur… just like the world does when you're together.

3. Mood Lighting

Romantic dinner date? Use Night Sight to capture the mood when the lights are dim. Pixel's camera can capture the highlights of your Valentine's celebrations, even in low light.

Night Sight

4. Picture Perfect Palentines

If you're celebrating with your Palentines, Group Selfie Cam on Pixel 3 gives everyone the love they deserve in your group selfie.

5. Search at First Sight

The technology that lets you search what you see is baked right into Pixel 3's camera. See a shirt that would look great on your Galentine? Use Google Lens to find something similar online. Want to know what that flower is in your bouquet? Use Google Lens to identify it. Making a last-minute dinner reservation at that restaurant on the corner? Use Google Lens suggestions to dial the number on their sign with just a tap in the Pixel camera.

Lens

6. Sharing is Caring

With unlimited original quality photo and video storage using Google Photos on Pixel 3, you can snap as many shots as you want. From there, you can turn them into a movie or set up a live album, so you can relive (and share) your favorite Palentines' moments year-round with your friends.

So whether you're celebrating Valentine's, Palentine's or Galentine's day, Pixel 3's camera can help you capture your favorite moments with your favorite people.

14 Feb 2019 5:00pm GMT

Lost in translation? Try interpreter mode with the Google Assistant

It's easier than ever to meet new people and explore new places-but language barriers that prevent us from talking to each other still exist. With the Google Assistant, we're focused on creating the best way to get things done-regardless of who you're communicating with or what language you speak. To help you connect with people you're talking to, we recently introduced a new feature called interpreter mode that translates your conversations in real time.

We've been piloting interpreter mode at the concierge and front desks of hotels like Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Dream Downtown in New York City and Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, where guests are using it to have free-flowing conversations with hotel staff-even if they don't speak the same language.

If you want to test out interpreter mode but don't have an upcoming stay at these hotels-don't worry! You can now use this feature to translate across 26 languages from the comfort of your own home. Give it a go on Google Home devices and Smart Displays, where you'll both see and hear the translated conversation. Simply ask your Assistant, "Hey Google, be my Thai interpreter" or "Hey Google, help me speak Spanish" to get started.

To give you an idea on how people from around the world have been using interpreter mode, let's check out how travelers have used it at hotels to experience and navigate new destinations.

hyatt1

Caesars Palace Las Vegas hosts thousands of guests each year from across the globe, and interpreter mode brings simpler, faster and more effective translation capabilities directly to their guests. Previously, if the concierge staff at Caesars Palace needed to help a non-English speaking guest, they'd have to dial their in-house translation service and pass the phone back and forth with them. Now, with interpreter mode on the Google Home Hub, concierge staff can personally provide guest recommendations in real time-leading to better service, plus quicker and easier guest transactions. In a city known for its entertainment and cuisine, guests are using the feature in languages like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian to speak with the concierge staff for help booking concerts and live theatrical performances, securing restaurant reservations, and getting directions around the Las Vegas Strip.

At Dream Downtown, the technology helps guests find exactly what they're looking for when they turn to the concierge staff for assistance. Spanish, Mandarin and French have been the three most popular languages translated, and patrons are using interpreter mode when they need to do things like check into their rooms or request amenities like towels or ice. During New York Fashion Week, a guest from France urgently needed to find supplies to complete a design project-but she only spoke a little bit of English. Using interpreter mode, she was able to translate the word "tape measure" for Dream staff, who then helped her find one at a store nearby. The guest was pleasantly surprised at how quickly she was able to get assistance-and she finished her design, right on time for the fashion show.

At Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, where the concierge team welcome numerous international guests due to the hotel's proximity to the airport, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin have been the top translated languages. Guests typically use the feature to get help with questions about San Francisco landmarks, tourist destinations and to discover restaurants nearby. Most recently, a Korean guest used interpreter mode to help plan out his first trip to San Francisco. Without interpreter mode, he wouldn't have been able to take advantage of local recommendations from the concierge.

interpretermodegif

Interpreter mode can help businesses better serve their guests through an improved customer experience. And this technology can be a helping hand wherever language barriers exist, including at hotels, airports, restaurants, customer service kiosks, organizations aiding humanitarian efforts and much more. If you're part of a business interested in bringing this technology to your customers, we'd love to hear from you.

14 Feb 2019 3:00pm GMT

04 Nov 2018

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Halloween 2018: Crab claws!

Do you need something to cheer you up? You got it: I should explain this costume a little bit. At the US Digital Service, we do a thing called "crab claws." Crab claws is like visual applause-you pinch your fingers up and down to say "great job" or "congratulations" or "way to go." We do […]

04 Nov 2018 8:02pm 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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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