Friday, March 30, 2007

New Template Widgets: Newsreel and Video Bar

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Blogger Buzz: New Template Widgets: Newsreel and Video Bar

Thanks to our friends from the Ajax Search API team, we now have two more fun and useful widgets you can add to your new Blogger blog: Newsreel and Video Bar:

The Newsreel searches Google News for your chosen keywords and displays an ever-updating list of their search results. The Video Bar does the same for Google Video and YouTube searches, and even lets you play the videos without leaving your blog! Check out Pete's mobile blog for particularly erudite examples of the Newsreel and Video Bar in action.

To use the new widgets, click your blog's Layout link on your Dashboard, then click "Add a Page Element." You'll find the new widgets right at the top. As a bonus, the Newsreel will change from a list of summaries to a scrolling ticker depending on whether it's in the sidebar or the main column, so drag 'em around and see what you like.

Not using the Layouts feature of the new Blogger? We have a help article that explains how to switch your classic template to Layouts.


Monday, March 26, 2007

[G] Open Source Google Desktop Gadgets

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Inside Google Desktop: Open Source Google Desktop Gadgets

Sometimes it's good to share. With that in mind, three of our most popular gadgets have been open sourced under Apache License 2.0 and are now hosted at

Moon Phase

Ticker for Trekkers

Wikipedia Search

If you've never visited project hosting, you're in for a pleasant surprise. It's a completely free project-hosting solution that features source control, issue tracking, and a simple, clean interface.

So go ahead, jump on board, and start working on that feature you've always wanted. Please contact a project owner to be included in a project.

Even if you don't intend to contribute, please report issues and offer feedback.

We encourage gadget developers to take advantage of the talented Google Desktop development community by open sourcing their own gadgets on More information about project hosting is available at

More gadgets will be open sourced, so stay tuned. But most importantly, have fun!


Word Search 2.0 for Kindergartners

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Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog: Word Search 2.0 for Kindergartners

My six-year-old came home from school the other day asking me all kinds of questions about this word search puzzle he got from his teacher. It had a theme based on one of our favorite authors (Dr. Seuss) and had that tell-tale grainy look of something that has been photo-copied over and over (for several years no doubt) -- and he loved it!

Like most kindergartners on a mission, he is relentless in his pursuit of information: "How did she make this?", "How did she get the words and letters in there?", "I can tell it was done on a computer, Daddy - do we have the program that makes these?" -- and it didn't stop there.

"Google Spreadsheets!" I said with honest enthusiasm. "Are you kidding?" he said, with a hopeful grin. So we quickly pulled up his Google Docs & Spreadsheets account (yes, he has one - on his own domain under Google Apps!) and we created a spreadsheet... It was a simple grid of squares. We filled in each box with a single letter until all the words he wanted were there - actually, just check it out yourself, below!

(yes! you can embed a published spreadsheet in a blog entry!)

We printed a bunch of copies for him and his friends and even created and printed a teacher's version (with all the hidden words highlighted in yellow). It was perfect!

Now I just have to teach him the API so he can auto-generate the word search puzzle! Nah... I'll wait until he's in the first grade - he needs a break ;)