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

17 Feb 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

Google Cloud at HIMSS: engaging with the healthcare and health IT community

At Google Cloud, we're working closely with the healthcare industry to provide the technology and tools that help create better patient experiences, empower care teams to work together and accelerate research. We're focused on supporting the digital transformation of our healthcare customers through data management at scale and advancements in machine learning for timely and actionable insights.

Next week at the HIMSS Health IT Conference, we're demonstrating the latest innovations in smart data, digital health, APIs, machine learning and real-time communications from Google Cloud, Research, Search, DeepMind and Verily. Together, we offer solutions that help enable hospital and health IT customers to tackle the rapidly evolving and long standing challenges facing the healthcare industry. Here's a preview of the Google Cloud customers and partners who are joining us at HIMSS.

For customers like the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Denver, trust and security are paramount. CCPM has worked closely with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) team to securely manage and analyze a complicated data set to identify genetic patterns across a wide range of diseases and reveal new treatment options based on a patient's unique DNA.

And the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has used Google Genomics for years to combine the power, security features and scale of GCP with the Broad Institute's expertise in scientific analysis.

"At the Broad Institute we are committed to driving the pace of innovation through sharing and collaboration. Google Cloud Platform has profoundly transformed the way we build teams and conduct science and has accelerated our research," William Mayo, Chief Information Officer at Broad Institute told us.

To continue to offer these and other healthcare customers the tools they need, today we're announcing support for the HL7 FHIR Foundation to help the developer community advance data interoperability efforts. The FHIR open standard defines a modern, web API-based approach to communicating healthcare data, making it easier to securely communicate across the healthcare ecosystem including hospitals, labs, applications and research studies.

"Google Cloud Platform's commitment to support the ongoing activities of the FHIR community will help advance our goal of global health data interoperability. The future of health computing is clearly in the cloud, and our joint effort will serve to accelerate this transition," said Grahame Grieve, Principal at Health Intersections, FHIR Product Lead

Beyond open source, we're committed to supporting a thriving ecosystem of partners whose solutions enable customers to improve patient care across the industry.

We've seen great success for our customers in collaboration with Kinvey, which launched its HIPAA-compliant application backend as a service on GCP to leverage our cloud infrastructure and integrate its capabilities with our machine learning and analytics services.

"In the past year, we've seen numerous organizations in healthcare, from institutions like Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health that are building apps to transform care, education and research, and startups like iTether and TempTraq that are driving innovative new solutions, turn to Kinvey on GCP to accelerate their journey to a new patient-centric world," said Sravish Sridhar, CEO of Kinvey.

We've also published a new guide for HIPAA compliance on GCP, which describes our approach to data security on GCP and provides best-practice guidance on how to securely bring healthcare workloads to the cloud.

Stop by our booth at HIMSS to hear more about how we're working with the healthcare industry across Google. We would love to learn how we can engage with you on your next big idea to positively transform healthcare.

17 Feb 2017 8:00pm GMT

Get in the game with NBA VR on Daydream

Can't get enough dunks, three pointers, and last-second jumpers? Experience the NBA in a whole new way with the new NBA VR app, available on Daydream.

Catch up with highlights in your own virtual sports lounge or watch the NBA's first original VR series, "House of Legends," where NBA legends discuss everything from pop culture to the greatest moments of their career. The series tips off today with seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry. New episodes featuring stars like Chauncey Billups and Baron Davis will debut regularly.

Daydream gives sports fans a new way to connect to the leagues, teams and players they care about most. The NBA VR app joins a lineup that already includes:

  • NFL VR: Get access to the NFL Immersed series featuring 360° behind-the-scenes looks into the lives of players, coaches, cheerleaders, and even fans themselves as they prepare for game day.
  • MLB.com Home Run Derby VR: Hit monster home runs with the Daydream controller in eight iconic MLB ballparks and bring home the ultimate Derby crown.
  • NextVR: From NBA games and the Kentucky Derby, to the NFL and the US Open, experience your favorite sporting events live or revisit them through highlights.

You're just a download away from being closer than ever to the sporting events and athletes you love!

17 Feb 2017 6:00pm GMT

Bringing digital skills training to more classrooms in Korea

Recently a group of Googlers visited Ogeum Middle School in Seoul, where they joined a junior high school class that had some fun trying out machine learning based experiments. The students got to see neural nets in action, with experiments that have trained computers to guess what someone's drawing, or that turn a picture taken with a smartphone into a song.

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Students at Ogeum Middle School trying out Giorgio Cam, an experiment built with machine learning that lets you make music with the computer just by taking a picture. It uses image recognition to label what it sees, then it turns those labels into lyrics of a song.

We're always excited to see kids develop a passion for technology, because it seeds an interest in using technology to solve challenges later in life.

The students at Ogeum Middle School are among the first of over 3,000 kids across Korea we hope to reach through "Digital Media Campus" (or 디지털 미디어 캠퍼스 in Korean), a new digital literacy education program. Through a Google.org grant to the Korea Federation of Science Culture and Education Studies (KOSCE), we plan to reach junior high school students in 120 schools across the country this year. Students in their 'free semester'-a time when middle schoolers can take up electives to explore future career paths-will be able to enroll in this 32-hour course spanning 16 weeks beginning next month.

KOSCE-trained tutors will show kids how to better evaluate information online and assess the validity of online sources, teach them to use a range of digital tools so they can do things like edit videos and create infographics, and help them experience exciting technologies like AR and VR. By giving them a glimpse of how these technologies work, we hope to excite them about the endless possibilities offered by technology. Perhaps this will even encourage them to consider the world of careers that technology opens up to them.

Helping kids to recognize these opportunities often starts with dismantling false perceptions at home. This is why we're also offering a two-hour training session to 2,000 parents, who'll pick up tips to help their kids use digital media.

We ran a pilot of the program last year, and have been heartened by the positive feedback we've received so far. Teachers and parents have told us that they appreciate the skills it teaches kids to be competitive in a digital age. And the students are excited to discover new digital tools and resources that are useful to them in their students.

While we might not be able to reach every high school student with this program, we hope to play a small role in helping to inspire Korea's next generation of tech innovators.

17 Feb 2017 10:30am GMT

16 Feb 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

Three ways to get started with computer science and computational thinking

Editor's note: We're highlighting education leaders across the world to share how they're creating more collaborative, engaging classrooms. Today's guest author is Tim Bell, a professor in the department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury and creator of CS Unplugged. Tim is a recipient of CS4HS awards and has partnered with Google in Australia to develop free resources to support teachers around the world to successfully implement computational thinking and computer science into classrooms.

My home of New Zealand, like many countries around the world, is fully integrating computer science (CS) into the national curriculum. This change affects all teachers, because the goal of standardizing CS education curriculum is bigger than CS itself. It's not just about grooming the next generation of computer scientists-it's about equipping every student an approach to solving problems through computational thinking (CT). This way of thinking can and must be applied to other subjects. Math, science, and even English and history teachers will need to teach CT, and many feel uncertain about the road ahead.

Progressing CS + CT education at the national level will only be successful if all teachers feel confident in their ability to get started. This first step can be the most daunting, so I want to share a few simple ways any teacher can bring CS and CT into the classroom.

1. Engage students as builders and teachers

CT is about building new ways to solve problems. These problem-solving methods can be implemented with a computer, but the tool is much less important than the thinking behind it. Offline activities create opportunities for students to explain their thinking, work with others to solve open-ended problems, and learn by teaching their peers.

My session during Education on Air showed some of these offline activities in practice. For example, playing with a set of binary cards, pictured below, can teach students how to explain binary representation.

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Year 5 and 6 students learn about binary representation through a CS Unplugged activity

2. Build lessons around real-world examples

CS is practical-algorithms speed up processes so people don't have to wait, device interfaces need to be designed so they don't frustrate users, programs need to be written so they don't waste resources like battery power on a mobile phone. Examples like these can help students understand how CS and CT impact the world around them. Consider discussing human interface design as it applies to popular mobile apps as well as real-world systems, like factories and libraries.

As Maggie Johnson, Google's director of education and university relations, wrote last year: "If we can make these explicit connections for students, they will see how the devices and apps that they use everyday are powered by algorithms and programs. They will learn the importance of data in making decisions. They will learn skills that will prepare them for a workforce that will be doing vastly different tasks than the workforce of today."

3. Connect new ideas and familiar subjects

Some of the most successful CS and CT lessons reference other subjects. For example, biology students can reconstruct an evolutionary tree using a string matching algorithm. Students might also apply geometry skills to Scratch programming by using their knowledge of angles to represent polygons with blocks of code. CS can also be combined with non-academic subjects, like physical education.

Google's engineering director in Australia, Alan Noble, explained this interdisciplinary approach well: "CS combined with another discipline, brings with it new insights and new ways of approaching things. We call this 'CS + X,' where 'X' can be virtually anything. Universities around the world are starting to recognize this by introducing CS + X programs, where X can be any subject area, not just a science.The opportunities are endless. Students will be a whole lot more excited about studying Computer Science if they can combine it with their passion, their 'X'."

I've seen everyone from first-timers to PhDs use simple techniques to make CS and CT approachable-and fun too! A few simple exercises can spark students' curiosity and support a bigger change.

16 Feb 2017 11:00pm GMT

Shielding you from Potentially Harmful Applications

Earlier this month, we shared an overview of the ways we keep you safe, on Google and on the web, more broadly. Today, we wanted to specifically focus on one element of Android security-Potentially Harmful Applications-highlighting fraudsters' common tactics, and how we shield you from these threats.

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"Potentially Harmful Applications," or PHAs, are Android applications that could harm you or your device, or do something unintended with the data on your device. Some examples of PHA badness include:

  • Backdoors: Apps that let hackers control your device, giving them unauthorized access to your data.
  • Billing fraud: Apps that charge you in an intentionally misleading way, like premium SMS scams or call scams.
  • Spyware: Apps that collect personal information from your device without consent
  • Hostile Downloads: Apps that download harmful programs, often through bundling with another program
  • Trojan Apps: Apps that appear benign (e.g., a game that claims only to be a game) but actually perform undesirable actions.
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As we described in the Safer Internet post, we have a variety of automated systems that help keep you safe on Android, starting with Verify Apps-one of our key defenses against PHAs.

Verify Apps is a cloud-based service that proactively checks every application prior to install to determine if the application is potentially harmful, and subsequently rechecks devices regularly to help ensure they're safe. Verify Apps checks more than 6 billion installed applications and scans around 400 million devices per day. If Verify Apps detects a PHA before you install it or on your device if, it will prompt you to remove the app immediately.

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Sometimes, Verify Apps will remove an application without requiring you to confirm the removal. This is an action we'll take very rarely, but if a PHA is purely harmful, has no possible benefit to users, or is impossible for you to remove on your own, we'll zap it automatically. Ongoing protection from Verify Apps has ensured that in 2015, over 99 percent of all Android devices were free of known PHAs.

Verify Apps is just one of many protections we've instituted on Android to keep billions of people and devices safe. Just as PHAs are constantly evolving their tactics, we're constantly improving our protections. We'll continue to take action when we have the slightest suspicion that something might not be right. And we're committed to educating and protecting people from current and future security threats-on mobile and online in general.

Be sure to check if Verify Apps is enabled on your Android device, and stay clear from harmful apps by only installing from a trusted source.

16 Feb 2017 10:00pm GMT

Play a duet with a computer, through machine learning

Technology can inspire people to be creative in new ways. Magenta, an open-source project we launched last year, aims to do that by giving developers tools to explore music using neural networks.

To help show what's possible with Magenta, we've created an interactive experiment called A.I. Duet, which lets you play a duet with the computer. Just play some notes, and the computer will respond to your melody. You don't even have to know how to play piano-it's fun to just press some keys and listen to what comes back. We hope it inspires you-whether you're a developer or musician, or just curious-to imagine how technology can help creative ideas come to life. Watch our video above to learn more, or just start playing with it.

16 Feb 2017 5:00pm GMT

Start shopping with the Google Assistant on Google Home

What do you need to get done today? If picking up paper towels or stocking up on coffee is on your list, consider it done. To help you keep up with your busy schedule and shop for the things you need, we're introducing shopping with your Google Assistant on Google Home.

Starting today, you can shop for your everyday essentials-from paper towels to vitamins. You'll be able to order from participating Google Express retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and more than 50 other national and locally available retailers.

To get started, just say "Ok Google, how do I shop?" or "Ok Google, order paper towels".

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Through April 30, 2017, when you shop via Google Home, you don't have to worry about additional service or membership fees. And set-up is easy! To get started, go to the Google Home app, navigate to "More settings" and then scroll down to "Payments." From there, set your default credit card and delivery address, and you're ready to shop.

Today is just the beginning of what's possible for shopping with the Google Assistant. Over the coming months, we'll continue to add new features and enable purchases for other apps and services.

16 Feb 2017 4:00pm GMT

Bringing the We Love You Project to Google Arts & Culture

Editor's Note: Today we're launching a new exhibit in Google Arts & Culture featuring the work of photographer Bryon Summers. We've invited Summers to share more about the We Love You Project in this post.

In 2016 I set out to create 1,000+ portraits of Black men of all ages.

From the moment we're born, Black boys are bombarded with images that strip us of our humanity. We see Black bodies cast as criminals and predators, implicitly urging viewers of all stripes to believe these characterizations as unwavering truths of Black male identity. What we don't see are the smiling, reassuring, loving faces of our sons, brothers, cousins, husbands and fathers. With the We Love You Project, I wanted to show that even though we may feel as if our bodies are under attack, we're still part of a larger community that loves and supports us.

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Bryon takes a photo of Evan Ward at Google's Mountain View campus

The We Love You Project has now surpassed 500 participants, and the groundswell of support and joyful participation from Black men across the country has been one of the most powerful experiences of my artistic career. As we continue to photograph Black men and boys, we want to ensure that our work continues to be seen and drives meaningful conversations about many Black men's experiences in America. This is why we've partnered with Google Arts & Culture to create a digital gallery of more than 500 portraits from the series.

Google also invited us to photograph Black Googlers at its Mountain View headquarters-another huge turning point for the project. Not only is Google helping us reach our goal of 1,000 portraits, the company's participation reflects its commitment to diversity and to being an ally of the Black community.

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Evan Ward, Software Engineer
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Mike Costa, Senior Counsel
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Andy Hinton, VP, Global Ethics & Compliance
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Gerald Jean-Baptiste, Staffing Channels Specialist
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Emmanuel Matthews, Innovative Experience Generalist
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Ian Wilkinson, Software Engineer

We Love You lets viewers connect with Black men candidly and up close-in moments of vulnerability as well as levity. The photos reveal not just who we are now, but who we've been in the past and who we aspire to be tomorrow. Above all, the project convinces me of the great possibilities ahead, not just for Black men, but for all people. A thousand is only the beginning.

16 Feb 2017 2:00pm GMT

Partnering with Telenor to launch RCS messaging in Europe and Asia

Over the past year, we've worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for people everywhere, providing a more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services). Today, we're excited to announce that we're partnering with Telenor to enable the launch of RCS messaging to their 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Subscribers will have access to advanced messaging features as a standard part of their Android device.

Features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more, will come standard on Android. Subscribers will have their SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.

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In markets where RCS is launched, Telenor subscribers who already have the Messenger app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Subscribers who don't have the app can install the Messenger app from the Google Play store. In addition, as part of the partnership with Telenor, many new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.

This RCS messaging implementation supports the GSMA universal profile-a standard supported by more than 58 carriers and manufacturers collectively covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally. We've launched RCS messaging using the universal profile with carriers in the U.S. and Canada, and plan on launching RCS in more countries in the coming months.

16 Feb 2017 8:00am GMT

15 Feb 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

How online courses can help teach computational thinking and CS

Editor's note: We're highlighting education leaders across the world to share how they're creating more collaborative, engaging classrooms. Today's guest author is Rebecca Vivian, one of the keynote speakers from Education on Air, Google's free online conference which took place in December 2016. Rebecca, a Research Fellow at the computer science education research group (CSER) at the University of Adelaide in Australia, shares professional development ideas for preparing teachers for a classroom focused on computational thinking and computer science.

These days, we need to prepare the next generation of students to be creators-not just consumers-of digital technology. As the demand for computer science and computational thinking skills increases, countries are integrating these skills into their K-12 curriculum. This year, Australia implemented a digital technologies curriculum, incorporating the teaching of computational thinking and CS into curricula from foundation level, and many other countries are rapidly following suit. But teachers need help to implement this type of digital focussed curriculum.

One of the ways we can support teachers in this area is via "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. In Australia, the computer science education research group (CSER) at the University of Adelaide, is partnering with Google to develop online communities and free MOOCs, where K-12 teachers can share their creative ideas and suggest professional development lessons. With these resources, teachers are learning to integrate computational thinking and computer science into their curriculum.

Since launching the digital technologies MOOC in 2014, we've been able to scale professional learning across Australia and introduce new learning styles such as algorithmic thinking, which teaches students to develop step-by-step solutions for problems they encounter. More than 7,200 teachers are engaged in this professional learning program and have shared more than 4,500 resources as a result of these MOOCs. The program isn't just working for experienced CS teachers: Ellie, a 56-year-old grandmother and primary school teacher with virtually no technology background, created a lesson on binary and data resources after taking our first course. In late 2016, the Australian government decided to invest nearly 7 million dollars over four years to scale our efforts further and support remote and low-income communities.

Connecting teachers to share creativity and insight

The success of Australia's MOOCs and online teacher community has proven the value of peer-to-peer professional learning. Teachers have embraced our "professional learning in a box" kits-slide decks of instructor notes, videos, and in-person activity ideas that they can customize to deliver professional learning sessions in their school or community. Teachers also love user-generated content in our online communities because they can interact with teachers who created them, and apply concepts they've learned online to their classroom.

Education on Air, which I participated in last year, works much like a MOOC by providing a space for people with a shared interest to come together and learn from one another, no matter where they're located. In my breakout session, "Making Computational Thinking Visible: Classroom Activities and Google Tools," I explained algorithmic thinking, demonstrated the way it applies to other learning areas, and shared tips on how Google tools can assist in introducing this framework to students. Teachers left the session with ideas they could implement the next day, including tips for engaging lessons that integrate algorithmic thinking, and ideas for applying this framework to other learning areas, such as experiment design.

Students need more than coding skills-they need to understand how technology changes the way we live, work and solve problems. The success to date of the digital technologies MOOCs in Australia shows that online courses can be a scalable way to empower teachers to incorporate computational thinking and CS concepts into the classroom. And by introducing computational thinking as a method of problem-solving to students, teachers can shape the next generation of STEM leaders.

15 Feb 2017 11:00pm GMT

Expanding Fact Checking at Google

Over the years we've heard from Google News users that our efforts to label stories ranging from local to satire to user-generated have helped expand their view of what is happening in the world. Last October we added a new Fact Check tag to help people find news stories that have been fact checked, so they can understand the value of what they're reading. Soon after, we introduced the tag in France and Germany.

Starting today, people in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina can see fact check tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps.

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Fact Check in Brazil

We're also launching the fact check tag in these countries on news mode in Search. That means if you do a regular search and click the news tab, fact check articles will be elevated and annotated with the same fact check label that you would see in stories on Google News.

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Fact Check in news mode in Search

We're able to do this work because the fact check industry itself has grown-there are now more than 120 organizations involved in tackling this issue-but our commitment to this area is not new. In Europe over the last couple of years we've been working with publishers on a number of efforts focused on fact checking. Last week, we announced CrossCheck, a joint project involving nearly 20 French newsrooms and the First Draft Coalition to debunk myths pertaining to the upcoming French elections.

In addition, as part of the Digital Initiative Fund, we've provided support for more than 10 projects looking at fact checking and authentication, adding six new initiatives at the end of last year:

  • U.K.-based Full Fact is building an automated fact-checker tailored for journalists.
  • Scotland's the Ferret is using funding to build up a formal fact checking operation in their newsroom in the wake of the EU referendum.
  • Factmata, developed at University College London and University of Sheffield, will use machine learning to build tools to help readers better understand claims made in digital media content, such as news articles and political speech transcripts.
  • In Italy, Catchy's team of scientists and media analysts, has created Compass, a fact checking platform to call out misleading stories, rebut bad facts and connect news events to reliable information.
  • In France, Le Monde's 13-person fact checking unit called Les Décodeurs has received funding for their Hoaxbuster Decodex project.
  • Norway's ambitious Leserkritikk ("Reader Critic") project, currently running its prototype on Dagbladet.no, lets readers give specific and structured feedback on facts, language and mistakes in published content.

These projects clearly illustrate a desire for more of this work, and we're eager to bring the fact check tag to other countries around the world. In order to make this a reality, we need your help. Publishers who would like to see their work appear with the Fact Check tag should use the open ClaimReview schema from schema.org in their stories. Adding this markup allows Google to find these stories and highlight the fact checking work that has gone into them. For more information, head on over to our help center.

15 Feb 2017 6:00pm GMT

Making it easier for developers to create spatialized sound with FMOD and Wwise

Recreating spatialized sound the way humans actually hear it can greatly improve the sense the immersion in any game or app experience. But for developers, battling with various unconnected spatial audio tools can be both confusing and time-consuming. We've worked closely with Firelight Technologies and Audiokinetic, creators of the popular audio engines FMOD and Wwise, on a suite of streamlined spatial audio plugins that make it possible to add high-quality, spatialized audio into your apps across desktop, mobile, and VR platforms-including Android, iOS, Windows, OSX and Linux.

Google VR spatialization engine

The new Google VR FMOD and Wwise plugin suite provides all the features developers need to create highly immersive spatial audio experiences:

  • Highly accurate rendering of large numbers of spatialized sound sources.

  • Distance, elevation and occlusion effects, all at minimal overhead.

  • Room acoustics that react in real-time to the listener's location, smoothly transitioning between different environments.

  • Playback of immersive ambisonic sound fields, using the same technology that powers spatial audio on YouTube.

These plugins work seamlessly with the FMOD and Wwise integrations into Unity and Unreal Engine. The Unity integration provides an intuitive way to control room acoustics that react instantly to changes in your app or game environments. Changes to room sizes, material types and object positions are all reflected in real time through the Google VR spatialization engine to produce lifelike sound.

Up until today, our spatialization algorithms were primarily optimized for smartphones to have minimal impact on the primary CPU, where mobile apps do most of their work. Now running on desktop PCs, the new FMOD and Wwise spatial audio plugins offer faster performance, spatializing greater numbers of high-quality sound sources, while continuing to minimize impact to your CPU budget.

To get started, download the latest version of FMOD Studio, which now includes the GVR plugins, or download the plugins for Wwise on GitHub. For more details, check out our developer documentation for FMOD and Wwise.

15 Feb 2017 5:00pm GMT

Did you know...Google Search now has easy-to-find fun facts?

Did you know a cat can't chew big pieces of food because their jaw can't move sideways? Or that hamsters got their name from the German word "hamstern" which means to hoard? And how do we know this? Starting today on Google Search, you can find fun facts about living creatures from around the world, making you the most interesting person at the dinner party or the reigning champ at trivia. Head to Google, ask for a fun fact about something (think plants, animals, fruits and veggies), and ta-da! A trivia tidbit is delivered right at the top of your search results.

For the animal lovers out there, fun facts might be man's (new) best friend. It might surprise you to learn that dogs have three eyelids to help protect and keep their eyes from drying out. Or for the arachnophobes out there: The venom of the black widow spider is apparently 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake's. The animal kingdom is chock full of wild facts and even wilder beasts!

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For those of you still finding a reason to celebrate Valentine's Day (or perhaps looking to make up for yesterday), stop and smell some fun facts about flowers. Did you know that light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denotes deep love and affection? Or that the Ancient Greeks considered the violet to be a symbol of love and fertility and was an essential ingredient for love potions? A quick search may come in handy before you buy your blooms.

If you're trying to convince the little ones in your life to eat healthy, fun facts about fruits and veggies are sure to please. After all, who knew that strawberries actually aren't berries at all? Or that the inner temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air? That's sure to put your brain in a pickle.

These are just a few of the fun facts out there for you to find on Google. And here's a pro-tip for the trivia lovers out there: Some queries have multiple facts, one of which we randomly display when searched. So if you're interested in learning more, just hit refresh and another fact may surface. Enjoy your fact finding!

15 Feb 2017 5:00pm GMT

By Washington’s teeth! U.S. presidential history, now on Google Arts & Culture

Did you know that the Bush Family has a favorite taco recipe, which First Lady Barbara Bush described as "loved by all who love Mexican food"? Or that George Washington's dentures were not made of wood as is popularly thought, but actually from human and cow teeth as well as ivory? Or how about that, to celebrate his Inauguration, Theodore Roosevelt received a lock of president Lincoln's hair as a gift?

No, we're not presidential scholars; we're just excited for Presidents' Day! Today, as a follow-up to our American Democracy collection, Google Arts & Culture is partnering with more than 30 cultural institutions to bring you history from the United States presidency, available at g.co/americandemocracy.

With over 2,000 new artifacts, photos, pictures and more, and 63 new exhibits (for 158 exhibits, total) this collection invites you to remember and celebrate the history, lives and legacies of the 44 U.S. presidents. Take an immersive tour of presidents' iconic homes and get a sneak peek into their private lives-from childhood and family life, to favorite pastimes and chefs-in addition to their public accomplishments.

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Explore the weird world of the presidential pets-other than dogs, there have been raccoons, sheep, horses, badgers, and even a pygmy hippopotamus and elephants.

You can view 25 presidential portraits captured using Google's Art Camera. These gigapixel quality images allow you to zoom in and explore details of these portraits more thoroughly than you could with the naked eye.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower, 35th president of the United States.

We're making available 17 new 360-degree virtual tours that transport you to places full of presidential history. Using the Google Arts & Culture App (available on iOS and Android) and Google Cardboard, take a virtual tour of places like the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. And, in addition, educators can use Google Expeditions to take students on a guided tour of the White House, right from their desks! There are 14 Google Expeditions relating to the Office of the President, including Presidential Museums and work by the First Ladies, all great trips for students across grades and subjects.

White House Cardboard Screenshot.png
Take a virtual reality tour of the White House, right from wherever you are.

Ever wonder what it's like to travel like POTUS? Take a look at Ronald Reagan's Air Force One (now housed in his Presidential Library) and other ways presidents have traveled in safety and style.

Our Presidents' Day collection covers the vast political and personal histories of our U.S. heads of state, full of intriguing and surprising stories that allow for anyone with an internet connection to turn into a presidential historian. We hope you enjoy!

15 Feb 2017 5:00pm GMT

14 Feb 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

Looking forward to Next ‘17: 8 G Suite sessions you don’t want to miss

We're three weeks away from Google Cloud Next, one of the largest events Google has ever hosted. As we get ready to welcome you on March 8th, I'm reminded of how exciting it is to be in the cloud computing industry right now, helping shape how businesses will work together in the coming years.

About six months have passed since we announced G Suite, our set of intelligent apps for business. Since then, we've focused on bringing you new collaboration tools, like Team Drives and Jamboard, and have partnered with companies like Box and Slack to help businesses of all sizes unlock productivity across their organizations. At Next, we'll get a chance to hear from businesses directly about these G Suite additions and collect feedback to shape what we build in the future.

I have the privilege to join some of Google's top leaders on stage at Next, including Diane Greene, Sundar Pichai and Eric Schmidt. While I look forward to hearing my colleagues unpack the potential of cloud for businesses, I'm especially excited to hear from one of our newest Google Cloud leaders, Fei-Fei Li, about the value that machine learning will bring to the enterprise.

It's one thing to talk about product innovations, it's another to try them for yourself. This year's Next will feature Cloud Showcase, an area for interactive product experiences, allowing each attendee to see and feel the power of Google Cloud products firsthand. We're opening up the doors for attendees to experience machine learning, application development, collaboration and productivity through interactive installations that are unique to Google Cloud.

Besides the keynotes and show floor, there are over 200 sessions at Next this year. If you need help narrowing down that list, here are some sessions I'm excited for:

If you're interested in learning more about how Machine Learning can impact your business or how you can build more agile, productive teams, check out:

To learn how to create custom apps with G Suite, or integrate your G Suite apps with existing workflows to accomplish more, there's:

For insight into controlling business data, building custom dashboards and running custom queries, be sure to go to:

Register here to secure your spot at Next '17.

14 Feb 2017 7:00pm GMT

13 Feb 2017

feedThe Official Google Blog

Google Cloud Next ‘17 daily programs announced - day passes now available

In early March, thousands of developers, IT decision makers and cloud industry leaders will descend on Moscone Center West in San Francisco for Next '17, Google Cloud's premier annual conference. Today, I would like to share more information on the major themes for each day as well as more speakers and new ticketing options.

The first day (Wednesday, March 8) of Next '17 will feature keynotes from Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet and Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist for Google Cloud Machine Learning and AI and Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Our lineup of executives will discuss what Google Cloud offers today and discuss Google Cloud's vision for the future. Attendees will also hear how our customers and partners are embracing the cloud in new and innovative ways. We're excited that Quentin Hardy (formerly of The New York Times and now with Google Cloud) will be interviewing Marc Andreessen and Vint Cerf on stage. All these keynotes will be followed by a series of fantastic breakout sessions.

On Day 2 (Thursday, March 9), we'll announce new products for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite. Our product and engineering leaders, including Urs Hölzle, Prabhakar Raghavan, Brian Stevens and Chet Kapoor will share roadmaps of Google Cloud's future product direction. We'll also see exciting product demos and hear from customers about how Google Cloud is helping them compete and succeed.

The final day (Friday, March 10) of Next '17 will be dedicated to Google's commitment to open source and cloud-native architectures, with deep dives on Kubernetes and TensorFlow with talks from Jeff Dean, Senior Google Fellow and leader of the Google Brain team, along with Rajat Monga to expand on the progress Google is making with TensorFlow and Google Brain.

Start-ups and the venture capital community will come on stage to share how they're leveraging the cloud to build the next wave of innovative products and services, born in the cloud.

In addition to the speakers we announced in January, we're delighted to announce that Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation; Eric Brewer, creator of the CAP theorem and Vice President of Infrastructure at Google and Chris Wright, Vice President and Chief Technologist at Red Hat, who will share more about the Kubernetes project and discuss open source in the enterprise, will also speak at the event.

Finally, I will be sharing Google's vision for an open cloud platform and what we believe the future holds.

To make Google Cloud Next '17 even more accessible to the cloud community, we're excited to launch new day passes that allow attendees to attend on their day of interest. One-day passes are available for Day 1 or Day 2 of Next '17 for $549 and include $300 in GCP credits.

Ready to register? It couldn't be a better time to take part of Next '17. We look forward to welcoming you in March.

13 Feb 2017 4:04pm 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

10 Oct 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Google Color Converter

Google has a special card that's both a color picker and a color converter. For example, you can search for HEX color codes like #123456 and Google shows the color and converts it to other formats: RGB, HSV, HSL, CMYK. Google's card also shows up when you search for RGB values like rgb(255,0,255). The most interesting feature of the card lets you pick a color interactively.


Other queries that trigger Google's card: RGB to HEX, color picker.

This is not a new feature, but it's worth pointing out that Chrome has its own color picker and converter in the developer tools. Click a color in the styles tab to open the color picker and shift-click a color to convert it to a different format.


{ via Android Police }

10 Oct 2016 12:00pm 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

01 Mar 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Next 30 day challenge: social media/news cleanse

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

01 Mar 2015 4:40am GMT

19 Feb 2015

feedMatt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

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

19 Feb 2015 6:43am GMT

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