Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Google Apps in 2010

Here's a subjective list of Google services that were launched or were significantly improved in 2010:

10. Google Scribe - a examine that shows auto complete suggestions as you type. It will almost certainly become as accepted as Google Suggest and Google Translate once its included with other services.

9. Voice Actions for Android - an submission that lets you control your phone using your voice. You can call your contacts, send email, get instructions, listen to music, write notes and go to a website.

8. Gmail added lots of business-related features (Priority Inbox, email delegation, turning off conversation view), better Gmail Chat (calling phones, video chat for Linux), added a new contact manager, more ways to join files, Gmail for iPad, Buzz integration, search auto complete, You Tube previews and rich text signatures.

7. Google Buzz - in spite of the initial privacy brouhaha, Google Buzz is the most excellent Google service released in 2010. Even if it's less than one year old, Buzz already has an imposing set of features, a powerful API, it's included with many services and has a cool factor that's lost from other Google social products. unluckily for Google, Buzz is not yet very popular.

6. Blogger additional a lot of significant missing features: comment management, comment spam filtering, dynamic templates, a new post editor, better post preview, real-time stats, static pages and much more.

5. Google Docs - a new document editor, earlier Google Spreadsheets, a collaborative drawing editor, a new equation editor, mobile editing, a more consistent interface, uploading any kind of files.

4. Google Maps - vector-based maps for Android, Google Latitude for iPhone, a new local look for service (Google Places), social local business reccomendations, biking directions, walking navigation, Google Earth as a tab in Google Maps, search suggestions.

3. Chrome - 5 major versions released, support for Mac and Linux, a basic interface, faster browsing, autofill, sync, Google Translate integration, bundled sandboxed plugins for Flash and PDF files, Chrome Web Store.

2. Google Search has changed a lot this year and there were loads of user interface changes: from Google Instant to Instant Previews, from interactive doodles to custom backgrounds for the homepage, from perpendicular navigation menus to a consistent interface for most Google search services. Google also launched a completely new border for image search that lets you explore more images and a new search index with real-time updates.

1. Android - two significant releases (Froyo, Gingerbread), huge growth (from 1.4 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2009 to 20.5 million phones one year later - according to Gartner) and a lot of original devices, including tablets, TVs, consoles, media players and e-book readers. It's almost certainly the fastest growing product released by Google.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Picasa Web's New Zoom Viewer

Picasa Web Albums has a new zoom spectator that uses Flash. If you click on the magnifying glass icon next to a photo, you can select a rectangular area from the image and zoom in or zoom out. The quality is called "microscope zoom" and it doesn't fall back to the old account for users who haven't installed Adobe's Flash plugin.
Another new characteristic lets you view all the EXIF tags that are available by clicking on "full details page". You'll find a lot of tags that offer more information about white balance, orientation, exposure, color space, brightness, light source and more.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Battle of the Demos: Musical Holiday Edition

Nothing brings out holiday spirit like caroling around town or distribution a good time with friends. But when you unite both of those fun behavior with Google technology, Weezer, Greyson Chance, and Demo Slam, you get fight of the Demos: Musical festival Edition.

This chill season, Weezer and Greyson Chance stepped to into the Demo Slam arena to show the world their most imaginative tech demos. We know they both can sing, but who will win in a fight of technology?

Spending his Christmas home in Oklahoma City, Greyson Chance figured he might unite Google Local Search and caroling to increase some musical cheer approximately town:

Weezer is recognized for their adoring fans (well, at least one affectionate fan authoring this post). Check out this slam that gets the entire crowd involved:

Head over to to vote and help settle on whether a voice search performed by 3,000 people or crooning from side to side the streets of Oklahoma City will reign supreme.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dashing through the snow... with NORAD and Google

Every Christmas Eve, children all over the world ask themselves—and their parents—questions about Santa’s magical journey. How does Santa visit so many children in one night? Will he eat the cookies I left out? How does he fit all those presents into his sleigh? These childhood mysteries are part of what makes the Santa tradition so special.

There’s one timeless question that we’re proud to say we can help answer: Where in the world is Santa at this very moment? Thanks in part to recent advances in warp-speed GPS technology and some very clever elves (elveneering?) NORAD Tracks Santa is once again prepped and ready to go.

Starting tomorrow, December 24 at 2:00am EST, visit to follow Santa as he journeys around the world delivering presents to children in more than 200 countries and territories. There are a few different ways to find the jolly old man in his unmistakable red suit over the course of the day, so feel free to track him using any of the following methods:

* See Santa on a Google Map: On your home computer or laptop, visit and choose your preferred language. You’ll see a large Google Map on the page displaying Santa’s current location and his next stop. Click the video icons to watch “Santa Cam” videos, and click the gift icons to learn more about each city.

* Watch Santa fly with the Google Earth Plug-in: From, click on the link Track Santa in Google Earth. You'll see Santa steering his sleigh right on the webpage. If you don't have the Google Earth plug-in, you can get ready by downloading it ahead of time.

* Follow Santa on your phone: Track Santa from your mobile phone by opening Google Maps for mobile and searching for [santa]. Or, visit on your phone’s browser.

* Subscribe to his YouTube channel: Santa’s home on YouTube is at That’s where you can find videos from his journey throughout the night.

* Get real-time information about Santa’s location: Use Google’s Realtime Search to get updates from social networks, news and micro-blogs like Twitter at @noradsanta, and keep up with news about his journey on this Facebook page.

For any techie questions you might have, we’ve also put together some helpful tips and tricks about all the cool ways you can experience Santa’s journey. Now that you know how to follow Saint Nick on Christmas Eve, it’s our tradition to tell the story of how this all started...

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) first began to track Santa in 1955 when a misprinted advertisement in a Sears & Roebuck catalogue mistakenly led callers expecting a Santa-hotline to the NORAD commander-in-chief's telephone. Embracing the spirit of the season, NORAD used its satellite and radar capabilities to offer callers sleigh-location updates, and has tracked Santa's whereabouts on Christmas Eve ever since. Then in 2004, Google started tracking Santa on Google Earth as a 20% project, which in 2007 grew into a partnership with NORAD, adding the mapping technology of Google Maps and Google Earth to the NORAD experience. Over the years, other Google teams have also joined in the holiday fun (YouTube, Google Voice’s and Google SketchUp).

As we approach this year’s Christmas Eve adventure, Santa was able to take a break from the preparations to visit the New York Stock Exchange this past Monday. His helpful elves kept everything at the North Pole on schedule while folks from Google and NORAD attended the Closing Bell ceremony, and stood alongside Santa from Macy’s going over last minute details about tomorrow’s big ride.

So don’t forget to visit tomorrow morning starting at 2:00am EST when Santa embarks on his flight. From all of us here at Google, happy holidays and here’s to a very happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Investing in New York

Google New York started in a Starbucks on 86th lane with one person in 2000—a fragmentary, highly-caffeinated sales “team.” After moving to a larger office in Times Square, in 2006 we relocated to our current home in Chelsea, at 111 Eighth Avenue—a former Port ability building. In June of 2008, we took additional space in the Chelsea Market building at 75 Ninth Avenue. Now we have more than 2,000 Googlers operational on a variety of projects in both sales and engineering—and we’re hiring across the board.

Today, we’re pleased to proclaim that we’ve closed a deal with the partnership of Taconic Investment associates, Jamestown Properties and the New York State Common departure Fund to purchase 111 Eighth Avenue (also known as 76 Ninth Avenue). As part of the deal, we’ve retain Taconic Management Company to continue the leasing oversight services and organization of the building on our behalf, as long as the same level of customer service the building’s tenants have come to be expecting. We believe that this is a great real estate speculation in a thriving neighborhood and a incredible city.

Like the city, our New York office is a melting pot of cultures and thoughts—it’s home to Googlers from more than 35 countries who speak extra than 40 languages. They live in the five boroughs and extend across the tri-state area. We’re excited to carry on to build our presence there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trip report: Google and YouTube in Pakistan 2010

Earlier this month, a squad from Google and YouTube went to Pakistan to explore business and content opportunities, following up on Google’s Clinton Global proposal commitment to Pakistan and to sponsor and contribute in Pakistan’s first International Youth Conference and Festival. It’s hard to envisage a country more at the nexus of geo-politics today than Pakistan, and our team educated a lot about the state of the Pakistani technology, media and non-profit sectors.

Internet connectivity in Pakistan is quite low—estimates put diffusion at around 10%—but opportunities for growth are evident. For one thing, broadband costs are quite cheap compared to other parts of the world—around $13/month. Smartphone usage is also on the rise, and there are a rising number of Pakistani developers who are creating mobile applications for sale both in Pakistan and overseas. Around 60% of Pakistanis have a mobile phone, and their standard bill is around $3/month. Not surprisingly, SMS is one of the main means of communication in Pakistan.

One of the keys to bringing more Pakistanis online is the quantity of local Pakistani content obtainable on the Internet. There are some enormous examples so far: for instance, Coke Studio, a “fusion” music project sponsored by Coke that features well-liked Pakistani musicians, grew so popular on YouTube last summer that it was the 11th-most viewed channel on the site. Dozens of news organizations have begun to use YouTube as a global allocation platform as well, reaching not only Pakistanis online but the diaspora abroad. The Pakistani media is young and greedy—it was just eight years ago that the government opened up the airwaves to permit non-state media channels to exist, and in that short time the media has full-grown to become an important player in the public conversation in Pakistan, despite infrequent crackdowns from authorities. Citizen media has also played an ever more big role in Pakistan: for example many Pakistanis used cellphone cameras to document the destruction wrought by the floods in Pakistan last summer. granted $1 million to Pakistani flood release in September, contained crisis response tools, and launched a flood relief landing page. On our trip we met with quite a few non-profits who are doing incredible work to help the exaggerated citizens get back on their feet. Our products, in particular Google MapMaker, proved to be of use to flood relief agencies for tracking expansion in the wake of the tragedy. Over innumerable cups of hot chai and mixed grilled barbecues, we heard stories of normal Pakistanis using Google technology to article the flood and attach with one another during the crisis.

Pakistan’s future no doubt lies with its youth—an unbelievable 62% of Pakistanis are under the age of 25. Perhaps the highlight of our trip was the International Youth Conference we participated in, which was run by an association called Khudi. Khudi was founded by the dynamic Maajid Nawaz, a former extremist who distorted his views towards moderate Islam and has since devoted his life to educating young people on freedom of appearance and anti-extremism (Nawaz also beam at Google Zeitgeist this year). It was inspirational to meet leaders like Nawaz who are committed to emboldening Pakistan’s younger generations to use the web to transport Pakistan to the rest of the world, and to give the rest of the world a more absolute picture of Pakistan. In this way we saw an chance for technology to not only foster economic development, but also to break down borders in the region. We asked a few of the Pakistani leaders we met with to converse about Pakistan’s future, and here’s what they had to say.

This was the largest allocation of Googlers ever to visit Pakistan, and we’re looking forward to continued engagement in the region.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Google Chrome's Bundled Games

The first Chrome 10 Dev Channel build bundle two HTML5 games: Poppit and embarrassing situation. The two games are additional to the new tab page even if you've before installed other apps.
Some users will almost certainly be surprised to see two games they didn't install, so Google should inform users that the games were routinely installed. Chrome's source code makes it clear that Poppit and Entanglement are installed for all operating systems, except for Chrome OS. Almost certainly a better idea would be to suggest some apps based on the browsing history.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Google Latitude App for iPhone

Google has lastly released a resident iPhone app for Google Latitude. The web app is nice, but you can't use it to update your place in the background. Google Latitude for iPhone uses one of the new features in iOS 4 that allows applications to track your location even if they aren't in the foreground. That's the main cause why it requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad 3G running iOS 4. (Update: According to Google, "the Google Latitude app will run on the iPhone 3GS; iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd/4th age band). Though, background location updating is only supported on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad 3G.")

The native app is better because it shows more in sequence about the locations of your friends and it sends you to the map view when you click on a friend, but the web app is just a layer in Google Maps and this makes a lot of sense. Google Latitude be supposed to not be a standalone app, it should incorporate with Google Maps and Google Contacts, so you can quickly find your friends.
Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of geographic and local services, has recently said that Google Latitude will add explicit check-ins, stimulated by Foursquare. "Latitude is useful for a lesser group of people. Only a handful of people you'll want to be familiar with where you are at all times. There will be new layers upcoming on top of it. It's more useful while more people are on it. And implicit and explicit — yes, the check-in. Maybe that's in freedom or maybe it's in Maps."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cloud computing: the latest chapter in an epic journey

we announced a number of updates to Chrome and Chrome OS. For me, these announcements were among the most significant of my working life—demonstrating the real power of computer science to transform people’s lives. It’s strange how very complex platforms can produce beautifully simple solutions like Chrome and Chrome OS, which anyone can use from the get-go—as long as you get it right. And that’s very, very hard indeed as history has taught.

In 1983, I worked on a team at Sun that was very proud to proclaim the 3M machines. The "M’s" were one megapixel, one megahertz and one megabit. And as part of that, we introduced a diskless computer. So this concept is not new—but then there are very few authentically new ideas in computer science. The last really new one was public key encryption back in 1975. So we are always going back to the old ideas because we either loved them and they worked, or since they were right but we couldn’t make them work.

With hindsight, why has this been so hard? After all, we had all the IT stuff. And then the web was imaginary. But the web is not really cloud computing—it’s an extremely important source of information, probably the most important ever invented. One major web novelty cycle happened in 1995—remember the Netscape IPO, Java and all of that—ultimately leading, in 1997, to an announcement by Oracle (and bunch of other people including myself) called “the network computer.” It was accurately what the Chrome team at Google was talking about on Tuesday. Go back and read the language. Use your preferred search engine and look at what I said.

So why did it fail, and why will belongings be different this time around? Well, it’s clear that we were both right and wrong. Right that the underlying problems—notably the complexity—really were problems. But we unsuccessful because we couldn't build great apps on the web technologies of the time. We could build information resources, so you could read things and get stuff done, but the web couldn’t compete with the scale and power of the then-existing desktop applications, which at the time were Ole and Win32 and various Mac APIs.

Chrome and Chrome OS are likely today for several reasons. First, time. Moore's law is a issue of 1,000 in 15 years—so 15 years ago against today, we have 1,000 times faster networks, CPUs and screens. That’s a lot more horsepower at the networking and disk level, which means the disks are faster, and the network is more reliable. Then, technology. Asynchronous JavaScript XML, or AJAX, came along in in 2003/04, and it enabled the first really attractive web apps like Gmail to be built. All of a sudden people were like “Wow! This web thing is in fact kind of useful ... I can write some pretty attractive applications and they can update themselves!" And then a more general technology now known as LAMP, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP—and Perl, Python and various other Ps—evolved as a platform for the back-end.

So all of a sudden you had a client mutual with a back-end that were powerful enough to sustain a new programming model. Instead of building these large monolithic programs, people would take snippets of code and collective them together in languages like Java and JavaScript.

So with the great complexity that was finally possible on the web, it was critical to have a modern browser that could handle it all. Chrome just had to be built. As usual, Larry and Sergey were way in front of me on this. From my very first day at Google, they made clear that we ought to be in the browser business and the OS business. Not being interested in either, I said no. But they somewhat sneakily hired a number of brilliant computer scientists to work on the amazingly successful Firefox browser, which Google helped fund during an advertising agreement—and that core team went on to create Chrome.

So we've gone from a world where we had reliable disks and untrustworthy networks, to a world where we have reliable networks and basically no disks. Architecturally that’s a huge change—and with HTML5 it is now lastly possible to build the kind of powerful apps that you take for decided on a PC or a Macintosh on top of a browser platform.

With Chrome OS, we have in development a viable third choice in desktop operating systems. Before there was no cloud compute substitute—now we have a product which is fast, robust and scalable enough to support powerful platforms. It’s something computer scientists have been dreaming about for a very, very long time. The kind of magic that we could envision 20 years ago, but couldn’t make real because we lacked the technology. As developers start playing with our beta Cr-48 Chrome OS computer, they’ll see that while it’s still early days it works incredibly well. You can build the whole thing that you used to mix and match with client software—taking full advantage of the capacity of the web.

I am very conceited of what a small team, effectively working as a start-up within Google, has achieved so quickly. In 20 years time, I’m certain that when we look back at history it will be clear that this was totally the right time to build these products. Because they work—and they work at scale—I’m certain that they’ll go on to great success. Welcome to the newest chapter of an epic journey in computing. Welcome to Chrome OS.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Google Shows Reading Levels for Search Results

Google's advanced search page has a new characteristic that lets you to limit results to a certain reading level. You can decide from showing basic results, intermediate results, higher results or annotating the results with reading levels.
"Sometimes you may want to limit your search results to a exact reading level. For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for satisfied for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic analysis level. A scientist probing for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at higher reading levels," suggests Google.
Right now, this feature is only accessible for English web pages, but Google doesn't talk about if it uses the Flesch–Kincaid readability tests.
Right now, this feature is only available for English web pages, but Google doesn't mention if it uses the Flesch–Kincaid readability tests.
According to Google, less than half of the indexed pages are written at a essential reading level, half of the pages are written at an in-between reading level and about 2% of the pages are printed at an advanced reading level.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chrome Web Store and Web Apps

Many people protest that installing an app from the Chrome Web Store only adds a fancy icon to the original tab page. Most of the apps are in fact the bookmarks to the web pages and that doesn't appear to add any value.
Google Chrome cannot magically change a web page into a web app, that's what developers need to do. unluckily, many developers were lazy and didn't bother creating app-like interfaces. Chrome Web Store is just the place where you can find web apps, read reviews and bookmark your preferred apps.

Nelson Minar points out that there are two kinds of web apps in the Chrome store: hosted app and package apps. Hosted apps are usual websites that can be loaded using any web browser. Packaged apps only live inside Chrome: they work offline and they use the extensions API to put together with the browser. You can easily tell a packaged app from a hosted app by look at the address bar - if there's no URL, it's a packaged app.

Google Books is an instance of hosted app, while TweetDeck and Quick Note are examples of packaged apps. You'll find a lot of hosted apps in the Chrome Web Store, but not all hosted apps are the same: a few apps work offline and have app-like interfaces (NYTimes is a good instance of news app), some apps have app-like interfaces but don't work offline (Google Books plus Grooveshark), while other apps are regular sites (for example, Google News plus Google Finance).
According to Google, web apps are "applications you can run inside your browser with a devoted user interface and, typically, rich user communication. We've already had the idea of 'web apps' in the browser for a few years, as amazing more rich and interactive than a website, but less cumbersome and monolithic than a desktop application."

Unfortunately, Google's store doesn't correctly label apps, so it's difficult to find apps that work offline, apps that have a "rich user interaction", apps that only live within Chrome, apps that don't require Chrome OS. The ideal web app is not a packaged app that's only available in Google Chrome and doesn't have a web address, but it's attractive to see that some of the best apps in the Chrome Web Store are packaged apps.
Nelson Minar thinks that "we're at a middle moment for web apps: distinctions between web sites and local applications are being blurred by HTML 5's application caching capability and APIs like restricted storage. If I were structure a web app now I'd build it entirely in generic HTML 5 that works in any browser but uses all the fancy new HTML 5 stuff to make it work like a nearby installed application. Then make it a Chrome hosted app to take benefit of the Web Store marketing channel. I'd avoid the extension / packaged app route unless there's some technical capability I really need that's missing in HTML 5."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Google Groups Tests a New Interface

Google Groups tests a new border that seems to be enthused by Google Reader. There are a lot of great new features: keyboard shortcuts, endless scrolling, search box autocomplete, a mobile version, addition with Google Profiles and a rich text editor for composing messages.

The new account of Google Groups hasn't replaced the old version because it's not finished and there are still many issues to solve. The right sidebar shows a lot of unexciting information (announcements, recent searches), but doesn't list your groups. You need to click on "my groups" to see this list and you can also add some of the groups to your favorites. Another subject is that the new interface no longer has a digest view that shows a small snippet from the first message of a thread.
"When you sign in to Google Groups, you'll see a link to sample the new Google Groups. Once there, you can make it your evasion view (and you can switch back to the old version if you ever need it). We're eager about sharing these improvements with you, but this is just a start; we're working on improved spam controls, moderation, search, and other features to make Google Groups the best way to connect in discussions. We also want to hear your thoughts, ideas, and any issue you encounter, so please add to our Product Ideas page," suggests Google.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Introducing Nexus S with Gingerbread

The very primary Android phone hit the market in November 2008. Just over two years later, Android’s dream of openness has spurred the development of more than 100 different Android devices. Today, more than 200,000 Android devices are activated every day worldwide. The volume and diversity of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest prospect—but we’re not slowing down.

Today, we’re pleased to bring in the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and reveal the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products—Nexus S. And for developers, the Gingerbread SDK/NDK is now obtainable as well.

Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new description of the Android platform. We co-developed this invention with Samsung—ensuring tight addition of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a “pure Google” experience: not closed, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and maximum Android releases and updates.

Take a look at our backstory video for more on the dream behind this product and to understand why we think “a thousand heads are better than one”:

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour show designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read in order from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be entrenched in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Gingerbread is the fastest description of Android yet, and it delivers a numeral of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text assortment tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

Here’s a glimpse of the “magic” of Google on Nexus S:

You can find more Nexus S videos and in sequence at or follow @GoogleNexus on Twitter for the latest updates. After December 16, Nexus S can be purchased (not closed or with a T-Mobile service plan) online and in-store from all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile provisions in the U.S. and after December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailer in the U.K.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Enable the Default Web Apps in Chrome 8

Google Chrome 8 has been launched, but where is the Web Store? It will be obtainable soon. Google has already started to notify developers about the future changes to the extensions gallery:

"These last few months, our team has been hard at work, preparing for the Chrome Web Store open later this year. Extensions and themes for Google Chrome will be fraction of this new store."

While coming up for the Chrome Web Store launch, you can enable the apps part from the new tab page and install the 3 default web apps: Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. Here's how to do that:

1. Close all Google Chrome windows.

2. In Windows, right-click on a Chrome shortcut from your desktop, select "Properties" and add the following text to the Target field: " --enable-default-apps" (don't use quotes, but don not remember to add a space before addition the command line flag). Click "OK" to close the dialog and then open Google Chrome.

On a Mac, quit Chrome, open the Terminal and paste this:

On a Mac, quit Chrome, open the Terminal and paste this:

open /Applications/Google\ --args -enable-default-apps

For Linux you could use this:

/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome -enable-default-apps

3. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar (or click on the wrench menu and go to Tools > Extensions).

4. Click the "developer mode" link and then click "Update extensions now".

5. After less than a minute, your new tab page should look like this:
You can open the apps in usual tabs or you can right-click and select "open as pinned tab" or "open full screen".

Friday, December 3, 2010

2011 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Anita Borg loyal her life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling the barriers that keep women and minorities from incoming the computing and technology fields. In honor of Anita's vision, we recognized the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship in 2004, awarding scholarships to women who share her fervor for technology. Once again, we’re proud to proclaim the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships in the U.S. and Canada. The limit to apply for the 2011 scholarship is Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

* The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship is open to current female students who are entering their senior year of undergraduate study or enrolled in a graduate agenda in the 2011-2012 academic year at a university in the United States or Canada. Students should be enrolled in a computer science, computer engineering or a closely related technical program, and maintain a evidence of strong academic performance. Scholars and finalists will be announced in May 2011 and will be invited to attend the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat—a three-day networking move away at the Googleplex in Mountain View in the summer of 2011.

* The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship for First Years is open to current female high school seniors who are intending to enroll as full-time students at a university in the U.S. for the 2011-2012 academic year. Applicants should have a record of strong academic presentation and plan to pursue a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical program. The charming scholars will be invited to attend the Google FUSE networking retreat in 2012.

You can hear from some of this year’s scholars on how in receipt of the Anita Borg scholarship has impacted them:

For those of you outside of North America, the Google Anita Borg Scholarship program is also obtainable in Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand—visit for more in sequence.

Finally, the Anita Borg Scholarship is just one of many scholarships and networking opportunity we offer to students in order to give confidence them to excel in technology and become active role models and leaders in the field. For more in order about all of Google’s scholarship programs, please visit

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google's Shift From Search Results to Answers

Google's post about the European Commission antitrust study reveals two important things about the Google search engine: the goal is to answer the user queries and "the only steady is change".

"Sometimes the best, most relevant answer to a query is our customary 'ten blue links', and sometimes it is a news article, sports score, stock quote, video, or a map. Today, when you type in 'weather in London' or '15 grams in ounces' you get the answers straight (often before you even hit Enter). In the future, we will need to answer much more compound questions just as fast and as clearly."
Universal Search and the incorporated search experience that combines results from different search engines will make it even more hard to understand Google's algorithms and to find untouched web search results. Instant Search will force Google to provide more immediate answers and to treat web pages as sources of information. It's the subtle difference between an answer:
... and a potentially helpful search result:

The dissimilarity between showing links to reviews and showing a clever summary based on sentiment analysis:
Google's conclusion is that the "ten blue links" will soon be a thing of the past and search results will become more dynamic:

"Our results are ongoing to evolve from a list of websites to something far more dynamic. Today there's real-time content, routinely translated content, local content (especially important for mobile devices), images, videos, books, and a whole lot more. Users can search by voice - and in a diversity of languages. And we've developed new ad formats such as product listing ads and new pricing models such as cost-per-action. We cannot predict where search and online publicity will be headed, but we know for sure that they won't stay the same. By staying focused on novelty we can continue to make search even better - for the benefit of users everywhere."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Google Editions to Be Released This Month

The Wall Street Journal information that the Google will start on this month Google Editions, the service that will allow the users to read the copyrighted books from the Google Book Search.

The long-delayed venture — Google executives had said they hoped to open this summer — recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company say. It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and globally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director.
Google Editions hopes to upend the obtainable e-book market by offering an open, "read anywhere" model that is dissimilar from many competitors. Users will be able to buy books in a straight line from Google or from multiple online retailers — including independent bookstores — and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to right of entry their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets.

This will lastly answer the question "How can I read an entire book in the Google Book Search?". Right now, you can only read books in the community domain and some books from the Partner Program. "Many of the books in Google Books come from authors and publishers who contribute in our Partner Program. For these books, our partners decide how much of the book is browsable - anywhere from a few sample pages to the whole book," explains Google. Google's partners will now have an inducement to allow full right of entry to the books: users will actually pay to read the books.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Link to a YouTube Comment

If you happen to find a YouTube comment that's really interesting and you want to share it with other people, mouse over the comment, click on the "Share" button and copy the link.
Each YouTube comment has a permalink, but it's not easy to notice that the comment is displayed below the video in a special section titled "Linked Comment".
You could also use this feature to annotate a video before sharing it with your friends. Post a comment, copy the link and use it to highlight your comment.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spreading holiday cheer and regional cuisine through AdWords

When we here in the U.S. think of Thanksgiving, many of us think of our favorite foods: perhaps a fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie, a sweet glazed ham or a succulent turkey. But thanks to Charlie Hohorst III of Lafayette, La., tens of thousands of Americans dream instead of a turkey... stuffed with a duck... stuffed with a chicken.

For the past 15 years, Hohorst has run food shopping site Cajun Grocer, which specializes in more than 1,000 different authentic Louisianan foodstuffs and delicacies. The “turducken”—a Cajun dish consisting of a de-boned turkey filled with duck, chicken and stuffing—is “the bread and butter” of his business, says Hohorst. He can attest to their growing popularity as he ships an ever-increasing number of turduckens to cities all over the country, from Los Angeles to Boston.

Cajun Grocer’s business has grown hand-in-hand with the use of Google AdWords. Before starting AdWords campaigns in 2002, sales were fueled primarily by word of mouth, and reaching the right audience at an affordable price was a challenge. “With a specialty product like a turducken,” says Hohorst, “who do you target and how do you target them?” Using AdWords, Cajun Grocer can show off their products alongside relevant searches on Google and measure every penny spent on advertising.
The process of hand-crafting all eight types of turducken for the Thanksgiving rush starts in April and continues through packing and last-minute shipping as late as November 23.

Aside from their role in spreading the culinary influence of his native Louisiana, what Hohorst really loves about turduckens is that, much like the Thanksgiving holiday itself, they give people a reason to come together. “They’re a gathering item. Many people have heard of them, and when someone they know has one, it can bring in 10 or even 20 people.”/distance.xml

Friday, November 26, 2010

Google Maps Will No Longer Support Mapplets

Three years ago, Google introduced mapplets, a special flavor of gadgets that added new features to Google Maps. "Mapplets are Google Gadgets that are made especially so that they can be loaded by a user on, and have access to the main shared map. Users can load multiple Mapplets simultaneously for a quick and easy way to mashup content from multiple sources."

In May, Google announced the deprecation of mapplets, but only developers cared about that. Users could still go to the "My Maps" section from Google Maps and add a mapplet from the directory. Unfortunately, Google Geo Developers Blog informs us that the directory will be closed and all the links to mapplets will be removed.

As part of the deprecation plan for Mapplets we will shortly be switching from rendering Mapplets within Google Maps, to rendering them on a dedicated Mapplets page. (...) Bookmarks for existing Mapplets will continue to work. They will be automatically redirected to the new Mapplets page for the relevant Mapplet. (...) However because the Mapplets page is not part of the Google Maps application, Mapplets will no longer have access to Google Maps user profiles. (...) The above changes will be made on or shortly after Wednesday December 8th 2010.

Google Maps Directory includes 1550 mapplets that show crime information, weather data, information about population density, earthquakes, airports, hotels, golf courses and much more.

If you've added one or more mapplets to the "My Maps" section from Google Maps and you want to use them even after the links are removed, find them in the Google Maps Directory, convert their URLs and bookmark them. For example, replace:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gmail's Web Clips, Now With More Ads

I've never been a fan of Gmail's Web Clips, but I didn't disable this feature because it helped me keep up with news from popular sites without subscribing to them in Google Reader. The most annoying thing about Web Clips is that it mixes news headlines with contextual ads, but that still didn't make me disable this feature.

Gmail has recently started to only show ads in the Web Clips box if you don't click on the navigation arrows. If you only read your messages and don't interact with the Web Clips box, Gmail no longer shows headlines. Some of the ads are useful, but showing ads was just a way to monetize the box, not the main purpose of this feature.
Gmail's help center article explains that "Web Clips show you news headlines, blog posts, RSS and Atom feeds, and relevant sponsored links, right at the top of your inbox. Each clip displays the source from which it was received, how long ago the clip was published, and a link to access the entire story or page containing the clip. From your inbox, you can scroll through clips you've already seen by clicking the left arrow or see new clips by clicking the right arrow."

You can disable Web Clips from the settings page, but it's too bad that the feature is a lot less useful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Google's Thanksgiving Doodle

Google's doodles were special because they linked to search results pages, instead of linking to handpicked pages. Some doodles promoted Google services, so they sent users to special landing pages, but all the other doodles linked to regular results pages. That's n the case for Google's Thanksgiving doodle, which promotes a Google page with Thanksgiving recipes from Ina Garten.
"This Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful for many things: family, friends, and of course, food. Just in time for the big day, beloved cookbook author and TV chef Ina Garten offers everyone six simple yet delicious recipes to make one of the year's biggest dinner parties as easy as, well, pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Cooking!"
Barry Schwartz notes that "it is uncommon for Google to offer pre-holiday logos" and that "the logo promotes a person without that person celebrating a birthday or anniversary".

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Google's Guide to the Web

Google Chrome's comic book was a great way to introduce to the world a new browser, but not everyone knew what's an URL or a web app. "20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web" is a guidebook created by the Google Chrome team that tries to address this issue by explaining complicated terms like "Internet", "cloud computing", "JavaScript", "HTML5", "cookies", "URL", "IP address" using illustrations and real life analogies. Here's an example:

"An IP address is a series of numbers that tells us where a particular device is on the Internet network, be it the server or your computer. It's a bit like mom's phone number: just as the phone number tells an operator which house to route a call to so it reaches your mom, an IP address tells your computer which other device on the Internet to communicate with — to send data to and get data from."
The guidebook is actually a great example of an HTML5 web application that works offline and Google recommends to read it in "Chrome or any up-to-date, HTML5-compliant modern browser". Most of the examples from the book are about Google Chrome and that's what makes it look like a Chrome ad.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Germany's Blurry Street View

Google has finally added street level imagery for some of the biggest cities from Germany: Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and 16 other cities. Unfortunately, many of the images are blurred because of privacy concerns. According to Spiegel, the launch has been delayed for several years.

In contrast to other countries, the launch of Street View was met with considerable resistance from politicians and privacy protection advocates in Germany, including the country's consumer protection minister, Isle Aigner of the conservative Christian Social Union, who criticized the service as an incursion on people's privacy. (... )
As was widely expected, one doesn't have to look very far in Street View to find homes that have been blurred out. Prior to the introduction of the service, more than 244,000 households in the first 20 cities to be placed online submitted requests to have their homes blurred out. Google claims the figure represents only 3 percent of households. (...)

Nevertheless, there are considerable obstructed images in the German version of Street View. In any instance where an apartment renter asked to have their flat pixilated, Google blurred out the entire building they live in. Data protection authorities believe that up to a million households across the country have been blurred out by the company.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Can't Search for Android from an Android Phone

This is a really a strange bug. If you use Google to search for the [android], [android market] or [android phone] from an Android phone, you won't get any result. Google only shows ads related to your query and a standard message: "Your search did not match any documents".

It's not clear if this is an Android bug or a Google search bug, but it's certainly not an Easter egg. If you don't have an Android phone, try this page to use the Android-optimized interface.
Update: it seems that the same bug affects Google's iPhone interface and there are many other queries that don't return any result. "When signed into the mobile site, I see some search results, but not for all queries. I'm on a Nexus One. In the classic interface, everything works fine," says a Google user. "I'm having the same issue on an iPhone 4. No results for super common terms, but images and location searches are unaffected," confirms another user.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Google Goggles-Enabled Ads

Google tests a way to monetize Goggles, the mobile application for a visual search. "A year ago, Google introduced a smartphone application that lets users take photos of objects and get search results in return. The company will take that capability into the world of marketing with an experiment allowing five [US] brands to use the application in their promotional materials". Here are the five brands that are part of the experiment: Buick, Delta, Diageo, Disney and T-Mobile.

Android and iPhone users in the US will be able to scan the magazine ads for Buick Regal, T-Mobile G2 and the movie posters for Disney's "Tron: Legacy" to find more information from the official sites.

Michael Slinger, Google's head of mobile search advertising sales in North America, says that "it's a learning experiment for us more than an opportunity to make money," but it could be another reason to use Google Goggles.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Improvements to Product Search for this holiday season

Every year retailers start the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier—and still I procrastinate until late December before getting started. This year I've already made my list and I’m ready to go.

I usually get my holiday shopping done in two ways: online (e-commerce) and offline (“brick and mortar” stores). I’ve found that shopping online is best when you know what you're looking for—you can search for specific items, research multiple brands or compare reviews. On the other hand, shopping offline makes it easier to explore products in person and sometimes discover things that you didn’t know existed. Plus, it’s usually the only way to take your purchase home the same day.
The line between online and offline shopping is starting to blur: According to a study by Forrester while 93 percent of retail purchases today happen in a store, more than 46 percent of those in-store purchases are influenced by online research. Not to mention that shoppers can access the web from anywhere at anytime—including from their mobile phones when browsing the aisles of a local store.

All of this got our team thinking about how we could help further bridge the gap between online and offline shopping. This week, we’re introducing several new features to Product Search that start doing just that.

Local availability on Google Product Search: We’ve partnered with more than 70 retail brands—including national retailers like Best Buy and Williams-Sonoma, as well as software manufacturers like JDA, Epicor and Oracle—to connect shoppers searching online with local stores that have the items they’re are looking for in-stock. For example, if you’re looking online to get your son that new Wii video game he’s been wanting, you can click on the “nearby stores” link to see where it’s in stock nearby. (If you’re a retailer who’s interested in taking part, you can learn more on the Google Retail Blog.)
Google Shopper 1.3: Our mobile shopping app helps shoppers on the go research items and find the best place to buy them either online or in a nearby store—and it already has more than 2.5 million downloads. This version includes new search filters like “price” and “brand” to help refine your search. And, you’ll still get features like Local Availability, voice search and rapid continuous barcode scanning (so you can point your phone at a product and get information from the web).

“Popular products” and “aisles”: We’ve borrowed an idea from successful brick and mortar stores and in the coming weeks, we'll roll-out two features called “popular products” and “aisles” to help people learn about and discover new products. When you search for a category of products such as “camera lenses,” our new popular products feature helps you get started by showing you the lenses other people are viewing online. “Aisles” helps you browse and discover products by organizing results into sub-categories that others have found helpful. For example, if you’re looking for a new TV, you can choose between display types like LCD and plasma. If you’re interested in camera lenses for that brand new SLR, you can shop by the aperture of the lens.

We hope these features make it easier for you to get your shopping done this holiday season—whether it’s online, offline or in the new space in between.

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Google Removes 3 Advanced Search Options

Google has recently removed three useful options from the advanced search sidebar. You can longer restrict the results to shopping-related pages or remove shopping sites from the results.
Another option that has been removed is page previews, which displayed a longer snippet and a thumbnail for each search result. This feature has been replaced by Instant Preview, but you can no longer see all the thumbnails next to the search results.
When Google launched the sidebar, back in May 2009, it was the first time when powerful features like restricting the results to recent pages didn't require to visit the advanced search page. "We think of the Search Options panel as a tool belt that gives you new ways to interact with Google Search, and we plan to fill it with more innovative and useful features in the future."