Friday, April 29, 2011

Patents look for in Google's Sidebar

Google added a new quality to the sidebar: patents search. You no longer have to visit Google Patents to search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus since you can just click "patents" in the upright navigation menu. Here's an example.

It may seem like a minor development, but this shows that Google's particular search engines will be available from the sidebar. At some point, you'll no longer have to visit Gmail to find a contact, Google Docs to find a file or Android Market to find an Android app.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

YouTube highlights 4/28/2011

This is the newest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you usual updates on new product features, interesting programs to watch and tips you can use to grow your viewers on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and give to to the series.

Music, Mother Earth, flash mobs and royalty were all celebrated on YouTube in the past two weeks. Read on for extra details.

A front row seat to the royal wedding
The much predictable royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is finally here, and you have a front seat. Tune into the Royal Channel, the official YouTube channel of the British Monarchy, on April 29 to see the whole wedding celebration live. The live stream will begin at 10:00am BST (9:00am GMT, 2:00am PT, 5:00am ET) on Friday, April 29, and will pursue the wedding procession, marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey and balcony kiss. The Royal Channel will also trait live blog commentary of the event to give timely updates and insights as the day unfolds. If you can’t watch the live event, footage will be revealed in its entirety directly following the celebration and will be obtainable in full on the site to view afterward.

From Brazil to the California desert, a festivity of music
Earlier this year, we took on the task of capturing the festivity, passion and celebration of Brazil’s famed Carnaval. We live streamed six days of unbelievable festivities for the world, resulting in more than 11 million channel views to date. Continuing in that spirit of sharing world events more generally, we helped expand the reach of California’s Coachella Festival by live streaming the event. YouTube streamed more than 65 bands and three days of music on three separate channels, generating more than 60 million views during live and re-broadcast events. If you missed the events, you can still check out the magic of Carnaval or your favorite artists’ Coachella performances at and

The Official Google Blog - Insights as of Googlers into our products, technology and the Google culture

YouTube highlights 4/28/2011

This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you regular updates on new product skin, interesting programs to watch and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and pledge to the series.

Music, Mother Earth, flash mobs and royals were all celebrated on YouTube in the past two weeks. Read on for more facts.

A front row seat to the royal wedding

The much probable royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is finally here, and you have a front seat. Tune into the Royal Channel, the official YouTube channel of the British Monarchy, on April 29 to see the entire wedding celebration live. The live stream will begin at 10:00am BST (9:00am GMT, 2:00am PT, 5:00am ET) on Friday, April 29, and will pursue the wedding procession, marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey and balcony kiss. The Royal Channel will also feature live blog commentary of the incident to give timely updates and insights as the day unfolds. If you can’t watch the live event, footage will be shown in its total directly following the celebration and will be obtainable in full on the site to view afterward.

From Brazil to the California desert, a festivity of music

Earlier this year, we took on the task of capturing the festivity, passion and celebration of Brazil’s famous Carnaval. We live streamed six days of unbelievable festivities for the world, resulting in more than 11 million channel views to date. Continuing in that spirit of distribution world events more broadly, we helped expand the reach of California’s Coachella Festival by live streaming the event. YouTube streamed more than 65 bands and three days of music on three separate channels, generating more than 60 million views during live and re-broadcast events. If you missed the events, you can still check out the magic of Carnaval or your favorite artists’ Coachella performances at and

It’s easy being green

In conjunction with Earth Day on April 22, we introduced YouTube Live Green, a guide to eco-living. With sponsor Garnier Fructis, we’ve curated videos on usual beauty tips, healthy menu options, recommendations on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle and other eco-friendly content to inform and inspire you. New videos will be featured each week from some of our top eco-friendly partners including Ehow, Planet Green, HGTV and National Geographic, so check back often!

This week in trends
Some quick things to see from YouTube Trends:

* T-Mobile's "Royal Wedding Entrance" is averaging around 1 million views per day! Last week it was among our most common videos, and just two weeks after it was posted, it's clocked 13 million views
* In Syria, video captured incredible footage of reported violence and widespread protests
* Tornadoes carry on to ravage parts of the United States, and the footage continues to pour in. The latest comes from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
* The flash mob phenomenon continues to be popular. We recently compiled the 10 most viewed flash mobs of all time

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Live from space: You converse to Commander Mark Kelly and the Endeavour Crew

We’ve always jumped at the chance to bring the wonders of space a little earlier to home. We’ve announced a Moon office, a Moon race and an voyage to Mars and brought many nooks and crannies of the universe to Google Earth—Sky, Moon, Mars, NASA images and a Hubble tour, to name a few.

On Friday, April 29, the crew of STS-134 will open into space for the final mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour and we want to give you the chance to attach with them. On May 2, NASA Commander Mark Kelly and his crew will take your questions live from space on YouTube. PBS News Hour will live stream the interview from its YouTube channel with veteran space journalist Miles O’Brien curating and asking your questions to the crew.

Starting today, you can visit to present a video or written question for the crew of STS-134 to be used in the live interview and vote for your favorite questions. You can also submit questions on Twitter with the hashtag #utalk2nasa. Don’t be shy—if you’re most inquisitive about how to prepare for a spacewalk or wondering if the astronauts have a speech ready for an extra-terrestrial encounter, this is your chance to find out. Here’s a video from PBS and Miles O’Brien to inspire you:

A few suggestions before submitting your questions:

* Video questions are favored, and should be a max of 20 seconds long
* Speak clearly and film in a place with least background noise. Keep the camera as still as possible and ask the question straight to the camera
* Look through NASA videos on YouTube about STS-134 to learn more about the task and crew

You have until Saturday April 30 at midnight ET to present your questions. The top ranked questions will be used in the live interview on Monday, May 2 at 2:15pm ET / 11:15am PT.

To get the full skill of STS-134, you can also watch a live stream of the shuttle launch on Friday April 29 starting at 3:47pm ET at Both the start and the interview will be available for archived viewing.

Houston, we’re set for lift-off.

Google Workshops: a place for Googlers to get their hands dirty

This is the newest post in our series profiling entrepreneurial Googlers working on products across the company and around the world. Here, mechanical engineer Dan Ratner gives you a glance at a collection of machine workshops on campus that were used to build the prototypes for the Street View trike, snowmobile and trolley, among other individual and 20 percent time projects.

Wood, metal, welding and electronics shops are almost certainly not what come to mind when you think about Google but in fact, we often have to build physical products to help us gather and organize information that’s found outside of the web. We do this at the Google Workshops, a hands-on facility prepared with everything from an oscilloscope to a miter saw and even a plasma cutter. Day and night—and even on weekends—the workshops are living with Googlers working on personal projects—such as home furniture or model airplanes—as well as work-related ones like green business prototypes or mechanism of our self-driving cars.

In 2007, I took a trip to Barcelona, where I became enthused to share with the world the magnificent architecture lining the thin alleys through which even a Smart Car can’t squeeze. When I returned home and saw a pedicab pedaling along the pier in San Francisco, I determined how I was going to do it. That spark of an idea became the Street View trike, which collects outdoor imagery from parks and cultural sites, and was my first effort at creating a mobile unit to traverse areas unreachable by car. Over a weekend, a couple of engineers and I hacked jointly a somewhat rudimentary trike design and quickly followed that up with a second and better prototype that enabled us to capture usable imagery throughout a test run at Emerald Park in Dublin, Calif. Our initial images proved that the idea was feasible, and after a bit more work on both hardware and software, we were invited to use our prototype trike around Legoland, our first participant in the Street View Partner Program. Our prototype and 20 percent project finally evolved into a production-quality trike fleet and full-scale process employing many Googlers around the world.

People have asked us to visit historical buildings, national landmarks and other places that even a trike can’t reach—and we’re always annoying to find new ways to do so. However, designing a new vehicle requires more than just sticking a camera on top of an apparatus. We frequently spend hours in the workshops testing out completely new components made out of wood, metal and—it must be said—fairly a bit of duct tape in order to find new and better ways to capture remote imagery. We worked lengthily in our own facilities on components of the Street View snowmobile and trolley—from cabling up electronics to milling metal.

Our first prototypes sometimes start out rough about the edges—the first trolley prototype was in fact built from an off-the-shelf, narrow dolly designed for schlepping around beer kegs—but our refined production vehicles wouldn’t exist if we didn’t first make early stage “hack” prototypes in our workshops.

Innovation at Google comes in many forms—it can be an idea, a program or even a handmade prototype. For me, it’s in a workshop with a table saw, 3D printer, TIG welder, upright mill and a variety of raw materials. As a robotics enthusiast and mechanical engineer, these are the kinds of challenges and opportunities that carry me back to work every day.
"Lewis has made it understandable to me he wants to stay in the team and I've made it clear to him I want him to stay. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Browsing through time and space with GigaPan and Chrome

From the presidential induction to the World Series to gorgeous cityscapes, for the past few years the GigaPan team at Carnegie Mellon University has been making it probable to explore breathtaking panoramic photos from around the world. GigaPan pioneered the hardware plan that captures these photos and used innovative rendering techniques—similar to those of Google Maps—to create seamless transitions among photos, so people can pan and zoom through the image for an interactive and incredibly thorough photo experience.

Yesterday, the GigaPan team took their original and technical skills to the next level with the GigaPan Time Machine, which brings this same kind of visual interactivity to video using the power of HTML5 and modern browser technology. Time Machine works chiefly well on Google Chrome, thanks to its support for the latest HTML5 features and its stability architecture, which ensures it can easily run complex web applications without crashing. Time Machine is featured on the gallery of Chrome Experiments, a showcase of creative web applications submitted by developers just about the world, and built using the latest web technologies.

The complicated cameras the GigaPan team uses for their photographs detain hundreds or even thousands of digital pictures and stitch them jointly to form an interactive panorama. With Time Machine, the cameras confine these image mosaics at regular intervals to create a video with hundreds of millions or even billions of pixels in each frame. The result is a video that spectators have the ability to zoom in on while it’s playing and see incredible detail.

With Time Machine, watching paint dry or grass grow is in fact pretty cool. Take a look at a table full of potted plants grow and bloom into flowers. Zoom in to examine a exact plant or even a single leaf, or watch a caterpillar bite off a leafy green for lunch.

One of the critical elements of making Time Machine work was developing algorithms that allow the site to shift flawlessly from one portion of a video to another, to give people the experience of zooming and panning across a video of about limitless resolution. This is particularly challenging because a seamless transition between videos requires opening a new video before the old one is finished, and then queueing it to align perfectly in time before the swap. The GigaPan researchers were able to achieve this successfully using HTML5’s video tag feature, as well as by taking advantage of Chrome’s speed and stability to leave the content smoothly as videos start and stop dynamically.

While you can’t fast-forward to the weekend (yet), head over to GigaPan’s Time Machine to zoom around in space and time with some of the samples, or create your own Time Warp by structure your own animated tour through any of the sample videos.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Google Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer

Google launched a new edition of its toolbar for Internet Explorer, but it's only for IE8 and IE9. Google Toolbar 7 focuses on search: there's hold up for Google Instant, the search box is a lot better and all the other features are obtainable in the "More" drop-down.

There's a funny help center article titled "Where did my buttons go?" which answers the most understandable question after installing Google Toolbar 7.

"You may have noticed that some or all of your Toolbar buttons have left with the latest update of Toolbar. The newest account of Toolbar helps you focus on the features you use the most, by removing your less often used buttons from view. If you've recently used a specific Tool on your Toolbar, its button will be pinned to the Toolbar so that you have easy access to it. Otherwise, all buttons are detached by default. Don't fret -- you can easily add your favorite features back to the Toolbar. Click More next to the search box and select the tool that you want to add. It'll routinely appear back on the Toolbar."

So Google Toolbar skin are less discoverable, users lost some of their preferences, but the toolbar is less cluttered.

Google Instant addition is not enabled by default, but you can open the options dialog and check "Enable Instant for faster probing and browsing".

For some cause, Google also installs Google Toolbar 7.1 for Firefox, which is an old version of toolbar and doesn't include the new features. The addition can be uninstalled from Control Panel, not from Firefox.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Google Toolbar 7—cleaner, fresher and faster

Today we’re bringing the speed of Google immediate to the latest version of Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. We’re also introducing a fresh, clean look that personalizes Toolbar with the tools you use most.

Toolbar Instant

If you’ve used immediate on or in Chrome, you’ll be right at home with Toolbar Instant. Just start typing in the search box and search predictions and results will emerge instantly as you type, receiving you the results you want faster.

You can also type Alt+G to get to the Toolbar look for box more quickly.

To enable Toolbar Instant, visit Toolbar Options and click “Enable immediate for faster searching and browsing.” Toolbar Instant works on IE8 and IE9; if you’re on an older browser, you can also upgrade your Internet Explorer version or try Instant in Chrome, which includes many of the same tools you’re recognizable with in Toolbar.

Personalized Toolbar

This new version of Toolbar is simpler, cleaner and emphasizes what’s significant to you. The tools that you use most will remain noticeable on the toolbar, while buttons that you haven’t used lately will be moved to the new “More” button.

As you discover and use exacting tools that help your browsing experience, like Share or Translate, they’ll automatically appear on the toolbar, making your most pertinent tools easy to access. This personalization is stored only on your computer, so no information is sent to Google except your usage statistics are enabled. You can learn more concerning this personalization at our Help Center.

Making Toolbar work for you

Some Google Toolbar features, such as PageRank and spell check, need sharing some information with Google in order to function properly. With Google Toolbar 7, we’ve made it easier for you to manage your privacy settings. From a single settings menu, you can decide which of these features you'd like to allow and which ones you'd like to stay off.

We’ve also sustained to improve the performance of Toolbar 7 without slowing down your browser, creation it one of the fastest add-ons you can use in Internet Explorer.

Google Toolbar 7 is available in English on our download page and resolve be coming to our other supported languages over the next week. If you’re already using Toolbar, you’ll automatically be updated to the new description over the next few weeks. You can also find out more about Toolbar on our skin page. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The upcoming, According to Google's Results

Today's XKCD comic explores the future by the top Google results for queries like "by the year *", "by *". According to Google's look for results, one year after the 2012 Apocalypse, "microchipping of all Americans begins". In 2014 "GNU/Linux becomes the dominant OS" and by the year 2020, HTML5 is finished and "newspapers become outdated and die out".
Here's the whole future timeline, which includes guess about Android, US debt, India, world population, global warming and robot policemen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Videos Uploaded to Google Video Will Be detached Next Month

Google sent the following message to everybody who uploaded videos to Google Video:

Later this month, hosted video satisfied on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped captivating uploads in May 2009 and now we're removing the residual hosted content. We've always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its aptitude to let people search videos from across the web, in spite of of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on rising these technologies further to the advantage of searchers worldwide.

On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be obtainable for playback. We've additional a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video contented you want to save. If you don't desire to download your content, you don't need to do everything. (The Download quality will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)

We give confidence you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven't done so already. YouTube offers many video hosting options counting the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner. (...)

If you have a lot of videos on Google Video, you may need to use the paging controls situated on the bottom right of the page to access them all.

Please note: This download choice will be available through May 13, 2011.

Thank you for organism a Google Video user.

It's really unsatisfactory to see that Google doesn't provide an option to migrate your videos to YouTube. In fact, this choice should've been available two years ago, when Google Video became a hunt engine. There are about 2.8 million videos hosted by Google Video and it's hard to consider that all of them will be manually uploaded to YouTube.

Google Video is an records of high-quality videos: there are many documentaries, interviews, lectures and it's sad to see them disappear. Even if Google Answers was discontinued in 2006, the archived content is at rest useful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Google Quick Scroll Integrates with immediate Previews

If you use Quick Scroll for Chrome or Google Toolbar, Google things to see the sections of the page that are the most related to your query. That means you can click on a search effect and quickly find the best matches.

Google Quick Scroll now integrates with immediate Previews, so you can click on a stress from Google's screenshot to be magically full to that part of the page. It's a lot faster to find what you're looking for, particularly if you have to scroll to the bottom of the page.

Google's previews are now obtainable for Microsoft Office documents and presentations. There's also support for Flash, so you'll no longer see a puzzle piece image as a substitute of a Flash object.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Google Translate, Now With Voice Input

Google Chrome 11 additional support for HTML speech input API. "With this API, developers can give web apps the aptitude to transcribe your voice to text. When a web page uses this feature, you simply click on an icon and then speak into your computer's microphone. The recorded audio is sent to language servers for record, after which the text is typed out for you."

Google Translate is the first Google repair that uses this feature. If you use Google Chrome 11 Beta, Google Chrome 12 Dev/Canary or a recent Chromium build and visit Google Translate, you can click the voice contribution icon. Right now, this characteristic only works for English, so you need to select "English" from the list of input languages.

Unfortunately, the results aren't great. I tried to interpret "beautiful sunshine" into French, but the speech-to-text engine didn't work correctly and Google had to translate "wake up beautiful sunshine girl".

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Google Highlights Recent Image Search Results

Google in progress to index images a lot faster and it now even highlights recent results by presentation a small label like "1 day ago" or "22 hours ago" below the image. You can't yet limit the results to recent images, but I'm sure that this characteristic will be available in the near future.

Here's an example of a question that returns many recent results. It's easy to see that not all the results are from news sites, so the images aren't from Google News.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Investing in the world’s largest solar power tower plant

We’ve invested $168 million in an thrilling new solar energy power plant being urbanized by BrightSource Energy in the Mojave Desert in California. Brightsource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will produce 392 gross MW of clean, solar energy. That’s the equal of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, projected to be more than 25 years. The investment makes business sense and will help make certain that one of the world’s largest solar energy projects is completed.

We need smart capital to change our energy sector and build a clean energy future. This is our largest investment to date, and we’ve now invested over $250 million in the clean energy sector. We’re eager about Ivanpah because our investment will help organize a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to considerably reduce costs on future projects.

Power towers, which have been productively demonstrated in the U.S. and abroad at smaller scale, are based on a relatively simple idea. The technology works by using a field of mirrors, called heliostats, to think the sun’s rays onto a solar receiver on top of a tower. The solar receiver generates steam, which then spins a traditional turbine and generator to make electricity. Power towers are very competent because all those mirrors focus a marvelous amount of solar energy onto a small area to produce steam at high pressure and temperature (up to 1000 degrees F). Think about burning a tuft of grass with a magnifying glass, only multiplied by thousands (or the original application: Archimedes’ heat ray that supposedly used mirrors to burn enemy ships!).

Several large solar projects are in the works in the sunny Southwest (and around the globe), but Ivanpah will be the first solar power tower system of this scale. The Ivanpah Power Tower will be about 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. The project is being constructed by Bechtel, a major engineering firm. Construction began in October 2010, and is predictable to finish in 2013.

The Ivanpah scheme will also be financed by NRG and with clean energy technology loan guarantees provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. We hope that investing in Ivanpah spurs sustained development and deployment of this promising technology while hopeful other companies to make similar investments in renewable energy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Brilliant Bing for iPad

Microsoft has recently free an iPad app for Bing that's really impressive. "Bing for iPad goes beyond the traditional search experience, offering a single and visually rich way to search the Web. The app is designed from the ground up for touch. You can quickly browse news, movies, Bing homepage images, local business schedule and much more – all with the swipe of your finger," informs Bing's blog.

Bing for iPad transforms a bland search engine into a visual request that lets you interact with information. The app is fluid, the integration of all the particular search engines is almost seamless and there are a lot of small features that make your life easier. For example, you can rapidly highlight matches, go to the next image result using gestures and go back to the list of search results using a back swipe.

Unfortunately, Bing's results aren't always great, but they've better a lot lately. Voice search didn't effort well for me and there's no visual search.

Google doesn't have a search app urbanized specifically for iPad, but there's an universal app for iPhone and iPad that adds features like voice search and visual search to the standard Web interface. The latest version of the app additional two gestures that enhance the interface, but many users complain that they slow down the app. While Google's results are motionless better, Google has a long way to go to grasp up when it comes to the user interface.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gmail Lets You Disable Auto-Adding Contacts

As beforehand announced, Gmail added a setting that lets you disable automatically saving email addresses to your contacts. Go to the Settings page, find the section "Create contacts for auto-complete" and you'll notice that the following option is enabled by default: "When I send a message to a new person, add them to additional Contacts so that I can auto-complete to them next time". Now you can stop this feature and select "I'll add contacts myself".

This is one of the features from a long changelog of small improvements. "Refresh" is now a button, the keyboard shortcuts guide is now obtainable even if keyboard shortcuts are disabled (just press Shift+?), Gmail shows more helpful warnings when you leave out the "." in ".com" from an email address and there are fewer warnings when you respond to a message in the Trash.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Google's Tilted Easter Egg

If you look for for [tilt], [tilted] or [askew] on a smartphone using Google, you might see a strange special effect: Google's search results page is tilted to the right. It's an Easter Egg, just like the "did you mean" link displayed while you search for [recursion].

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

YouTube's New Search Options Format

YouTube has a new border for related searches and higher search options. Now you can select multiple filters from a category and unite related searches. For example, you can find long-form HD videos that are obtainable in the WebM format.

If you click on one of the queries from the "Explore" section, you'll replace the unique query. A more interesting alternative is to mouse over a query and click the "plus" icon: this way, you'll refine your original search.

YouTube adds both filters and refinements to the query and separates them by comma. A search for [slow motion, hd, webm, high speed camera] includes two filters that are treated discretely: "hd" and "webm".

You can also add the name of a channel (example: [slow motion, @tpsfilmstudio]) or the name of a group (example: [slow motion, sports]).

The new features were part of an trial called YouTube Topics that tried to help users find videos. "We know that sometimes people come to YouTube looking for a specific video, but at other times, they have only a uneven idea of the kind of videos they want."

Google Crisis Response: a small team tackling big problems

This is the latest post in our series profiling entrepreneurial Googlers operational on products across the company and around the world. Speed in completing is important for any Google product team, but as we learned after the recent earthquakes in both Japan and New Zealand, it’s even more critical in crisis response. This post is an inside look at the efforts of our year-old Crisis Response team, and what they’re doing to make preparedness tools obtainable to anyone at the click of a button.

The Google Crisis Response Team came together in 2010 after a few engineers and I realized that we needed a scalable way to make disaster-related in sequence immediately available and useful in a crisis. Until a little over a year ago, we responded to crises with sprinkled 20 percent time projects, but after the Haiti earthquake in January 2010 we saw the opportunity to create a full-time team that would make critical in order more accessible during disaster situations.

For us to help during a crisis, it’s vital to get things done really quickly, and we’ve been able to do that as a small team within Google. Working from a standard already urbanized by one of the Google engineers, Person Finder was built and launched in 72 hours after the Haitian earthquake, and it launched within three hours after the New Zealand earthquake in February. Unfortunately, there have been an strangely high number of disasters over the last year, forcing us to learn and get even faster.

Within minutes of trial about the 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan in March, Googlers around the world—from engineers to webmasters to product managers—immediately in progress organizing a Google Crisis Response resource page with disaster-related in sequence such as maps and satellite imagery, Person Finder and news updates and citizen videos on YouTube. In Japan, Person Finder went live inside an hour of the earthquake. More than 600,000 contact entries have been made since then—more than all other disasters mutual—and there have been several reports of people finding their loved ones safe. I was inspired by my colleagues’ aptitude to launch tools about an hour after the earthquake struck; the Tokyo office, in particular, has really been helping to drive the rapid response and provided real-time in sequence to teams across the globe, even while aftershocks were rocking the city and buildings were at a halt swaying.

But we’re keen to find other ways of helping. In addition to these hard work focused on specific situations, we’ve worked hard this past year to more broadly organize the information most helpful during crisis situations and make it likely for people to use that data in near real-time. If people are asking for information, then in our view, it’s already too late. In these situations, it’s extremely important that things happen fast.

So in addition to building products, we collaborate with many incredible organizations to make technology helpful for responding to a crisis. For example, Random Hacks of Kindness is a collaboration between technology companies and government organizations which encourages teams around the world to create software solutions to problems that arise through a crisis. Recent “RHoKstars” have created all sorts of useful tools—from HeightCatcher, which helps identify malnourishment of children in relief camps by accurately assessing height and weight through a mobile device, to new skin for Person Finder, such as email notifications, automatic translation and phonetic name matching—which have all been tremendously useful in Japan. These projects present a real opportunity to improve lives by employing crowd-sourcing technology and real-time data during a crisis.

The sheer number of major natural disasters in 2010 and early 2011 demonstrates just how important it is for those concerned in relief efforts to have real-time access to information no matter where they are. The Google Crisis Response team has worked over the past year to develop open source initiatives that encourage collaboration with larger crisis reply efforts, including relief organizations, NGOs and individual volunteers. And although we’re a small team and still comparatively new to the crisis response ecosystem, we hope the possessions and support we receive from Google and our community partners around the world will make a difference in preparedness efforts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our SEO Guide — now obtainable in ten more languages

We’re very glad to proclaim that our recently updated SEO guide is now available in ten more languages: Spanish, French, German, Russian, Turkish, Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

For this new account, we’ve thoroughly reviewed and updated the content; we’ve also added a brand new segment on best practices for mobile websites.

You can download each PDF file in its full 32-page glory from and print it to contain it as a useful resource.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Google April Fools' Day 2011

This year, Google's hoaxes are less enthused and some of them aren't original either, but they're still funny. Here are some of them:

1. Google China imaginary teleportation. "Through the search is to let Google take you through time and space, most want to reach your arrival time, place, with an immersive way to distinguish everything you want to perceive." (machine translation)

2. Gmail Motion is a new way to control Gmail using body language. "To use Gmail Motion, you'll need a computer with a built-in webcam. Once you enable Gmail movement from the Settings page, Gmail will enable your webcam when you sign in and automatically distinguish any one of the detected movements via a spatial tracking algorithm. We designed the movements to be easy and intuitive to perform and consulted with top experts in kinestetics and body group in devising them."

There's also Google Docs Motion, "a new way to work together using your body".

Opera had a similar hoax two years ago: Opera Face Gestures.

3. Google hires autocompleters. "Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thoughts and can finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast that you can do 20 searches before your mom does 1?" If you have have "good typing skills (at least 32,000 WPM)", you're willing to "relocate to unclear places like Nauru and Tuvalu to develop knowledge of local news and trends" and you have a "certificate in psychic reading", then you can get a job at Google.

4. Search for Helvetica or Comic Sans using Google, and you'll have a little surprise. Google plans to use Comic Sans as the default font across all Google products, but you can use the Comic Sans for Everyone addition to browse the entire World Wide Web using Comic Sans. It's fun, fun, fun.

5. YouTube presents the top viral videos in 1911. "Today, we celebrate 100 years of YouTube, and we thought we would reflect on our opening year with a re-print of our first blog post from 1911. In honor of this milestone, today's homepage is a imitation of how you might have viewed it 100 years ago. Check out some of the most popular videos of the time and be sure to try out our new upload mode which summons a horse-drawn carriage to pick up your video submission from your home."

6. Google Body Browser was replaced by Google Cow.

7. Google will buy Blogger once again. "This morning we're beyond delighted to announce that Blogger has signed a ultimate agreement to be acquired by Google, the Internet search company. This is thrilling news not only for all of us on the Blogger team, but for our users, our partners, and most importantly -- the blogosphere itself."

8. Google AdWords offers a new ad format: Blimp Ads. "Imagine this: a baseball stadium, packed with thousands of fans. A home run flies through the air, and as the crowd looks up, they see your ad, bigger than ever, hand-painted on the side of a regal blimp. Blimp Ads can make this a reality."

For those who are afraid to try new things, Google brings back old school ads: "Punch the monkey!", "Congratulations, you've won $100,000!", "Click here for smileys", pop-ups and more.

9. Another company has left Google: Contoso, "a fictional company used by Microsoft as their example company and domain". The explanation is pretty clear: "As a subsidiary of a traditional software company, we went against the grain and switched all 1,200 Contoso workers across nine continents to the cloud. After previously considering Google Apps, we were finally convinced to make the move when Google Docs began supporting the Corsiva font. I still can't find track changes in Docs, but now we can use Corsiva from anywhere, on any device. We determined against Microsoft® Office 365 beta, because we'd heard for years that beta software was too risky."

10. Google Maps and Google Earth added 10 real-world sightings to the maps. "It all started with a new visit to my friend Nessie in Boston. As I crossed the bridge into town, the car in front of me stopped short so I slammed on the brakes. The cars next to me were also congested, so I got out to see what was causing the back up. There was a huge, red lobster sitting on the bridge."

Your mission is to find the other 9 sightings.

11. Google Voice Search now supports Pig Latin. "What is Pig Latin you may ask? Wikipedia describes it as a language game where, for each English word, the first consonant (or consonant cluster) is moved to the end of the word and an “ay” is affixed (for example, 'pig' yields 'ig-pay' and 'search' yields 'earch-say')." The nice thing is that this in fact works: open Voice Search for Android or Google Search for iPhone, change the language to Pig Latin and try your luck. This English to Pig Latin translator might help.

"To configure Pig Latin Voice Search in your Android phone just go to Settings, select 'Voice input & output settings', and then 'Voice recognizer settings'. In the list of languages you'll see Pig Latin. Just select it and you are prepared to roll in the mud! It also works on iPhone with the Google Search app. In the app, tap the Settings icon, then 'Voice Search' and select Pig Latin."

Here's a video that announces the new feature. Watch it and Mike LeBeau's fan club will thank you.

12. Chrome's team came up with Chromercise, a finger fitness program that helps you augment your hands' strength and dexterity. "Some existing finger exercise programs focus on improvement your digits' cardiovascular strength and musculature; others focus on dexterity. Chromercise's unique blend of aerobic motion and rhythmic accessory covers all of the above while simultaneously tapering and toning your fingers' actual appearance," informs Chrome's blog.

Check out the video because it's really funny (probably the funniest Google hoax this year):

13. If Chrome is not fast enough for you, use ChromeLite, an addition that harnesses the power of text-only browsers. "In our never-ending quest for speed, our team members recently gathered to race the latest and greatest browser versions against each other. Much to our surprise, the winning browser was neither the latest account of Chrome nor another modern browser, but was instead an early text-based browser called Lynx," explains Google.

Coincidentally, Lynx was the Google Browser from my 2006 April Fools' joke and 2006 was the year when Google in progress developing Chrome.

14. Search for [kittens] using a mobile phone and the top results will show a lot more than you expect. Refresh and all will seem random.