Friday, July 20, 2007

Imaging America

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Google LatLong: Imaging America



I'm pleased to announce that we have acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high resolution cameras for the collection of aerial imagery.

Google Maps and Earth users are no strangers to ImageAmerica's work -- the company provided high resolution black and white imagery of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road. Since we're in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or Earth -- we'll keep you posted on this blog!

URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2007/07/imaging-america.html

Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 16-20th

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Google Code - Updates: Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 16-20th



This week we have the pleasure of having MashupCamp hosted walking distance from the Googleplex. It was great to meet people from varied backgrounds in an open spaces format, and to see so many Googlers there mixing in with the fun. We had discussions around the Google Mashup Editor, Google Geras, and of course our various APIs such as Maps and AJAX Search and Feeds.

In API and developer-product news...


Feed Discovery API and AJAX Search on the iPhone

The AJAX API team launched new functionality in the AJAX Feed API. You can now lookup and discover feeds based on a search or URL. They also posted an iPhone targeted version of the AJAX Search component.

Build Your Campus in 3D winners announced

The results are in for the winners of the Build Your Campus in 3D Competition. The judges chose 7 teams from among the dozens who submitted more than 4000 buildings from higher education institutions all over North America. Tag a fly through your school and see if it has changed!

Google SketchUp for Dummies

Staying with the world of Google Earth, Google SketchUp For Dummies was published, and a companion website is now live as well as videos.

Google Open Source Team at OSCON

For those who will be at OSCON and are interested in learning about Google's open source activities, come hear our annual open source update or learn more about how the community has used our project hosting service since its launch at OSCON 2006. For those interested in our developer applications, we'll be taking a look at how to write large, multipage Ajax applications with Google Web Toolkit and getting up close and personal with Google Gears. We're excited to hear your feedback and answer your questions.

Around Google


Hosted site searches for Australian businesses

Deepak Ramanathan announced Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE), a hosted site search solution that provides Google-quality results for your website. It's fast, relevant, reliable, and flexible, so that users can quickly find what they're looking for through search results customized and integrated into your business website.

Message Center: Let us communicate with you about your site

Maile Ohye posted about a new Message Center which is a new way for webmasters to receive personalized information from Google in our webmaster console. Should we need to contact you, you'll see a notification in your Webmaster Tools dashboard.

Our commitment to open broadband platforms

Chris Sacca, Head of Special Initiatives, has written a detailed post on the policy behind Google's commitment to open broadband platforms, including open applications, open devices, open services, and open networks.

Google Reader is More Podcast-Friendly

Ionut Alex Chitu posted on the unofficial Google Operating System blog about how Google Reader works as a podcast catcher, including how you can pop-out the music player.

Featured Projects


Prague 360 makes great usage of the Google Maps API to show beautiful gigapixel mapping of certain cities, including 360 degree visualizations.

FindBugs is an open source static analysis tool to find coding defects in Java programs. Surprise yourself and run this on your code base.

Google Tech Talks


Split Snapshots: A New Approach to Old State Storage

Kurzweil says, computers will enable people to live forever and doctors will be doing ... all backup of your memories by late 2030. This talk is not about that, yet. Instead, the remarkable drop in disk costs makes it possible and attractive to retain past application states and store them for a long time for mining or auditing.

Amigo: Proximity-based Authentication of Mobile Devices

Secure and spontaneous communication between wireless devices that come within close ... all proximity of each other, but lack a pre-existing trust relationship -- devices that are previously unknown to each other -- is an important component of many future pervasive applications.

Eyal de Lara came to talk about Amigo, a proximity-based authentication of mobile devices.

Podcasts


Google Developer Podcast Episode Five: Adam Sah on Google Gadgets

We got to chat with Adam Sah of the Google Gadgets team about all things Gadgets. This includes the technology side of things but also the business side: such as monetizing your gadgets and the new Google Gadget Ventures.

URL: http://google-code-updates.blogspot.com/2007/07/weekly-google-code-roundup-for-july-16.html

More features. One interface.

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More features. One interface.

Last month, we added the first batch of feature enhancements to the new Google Analytics. Today, we're excited to announce that we're adding a few more of your most requested features. The following improvements are available in your account now:

- We've added a "Go to:" box to all reports that have tables so you can jump directly to a specific row. If you have 5,000 referring sources and you want to see row 3,456, you can jump right to it.

- The Map Overlay report view now defaults to Country instead of Subcontinent.

- Content reports now have a Segment menu so you can cross-segment pages and sets of pages by referral source, keyword, visitor type, and other visitor segments.

- Many of you prefer the more readable Content by Title report over the URL-based Content Drilldown and Top Content reports. However, drilling down on a specific title in the Content by Title report hasn't allowed you to find (and therefore analyze and fix) URLs sharing the title. Until today.

You can always review the latest Google Analytics release notes here. Finally, please note that, as of today, the former interface is no longer available. However, the Report Finder tool remains available to help you locate the new versions of your favorite reports.


URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-features-one-interface.html

Our commitment to open broadband platforms

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Our commitment to open broadband platforms



(Cross-posted at the Official Google Blog)

For several years now, many Googlers have been working to identify the obstacles that prevent the Internet from being available to everyone on the planet. It strikes us as unfair that some people should enjoy such abundant access to this rich resource while billions of others aren't so lucky. Though the technology exists today to provide access on a global scale, often we have learned technology isn't the problem. In this context, we have worked hard to advance a set of principles that will make Internet access for all a priority.

For instance, we wrote last week on our Public Policy Blog about Google's interest in promoting competition in the broadband market here in the U.S., to help ensure that as many Americans as possible can access the Internet. However, it takes more than just ideas and rhetoric if you want to help bring the Internet to everyone.

So today, we're putting consumers' interests first, and putting our money where our principles are -- to the tune of $4.6 billion. Let me explain.

In the U.S., wireless spectrum for mobile phones and data is controlled by a small group of companies, leaving consumers with very few service providers from which to choose. With that in mind, last week, as the federal government prepares for what is arguably its most significant auction of wireless spectrum in history, we urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules to make sure that regardless of who wins the spectrum at auction, consumers' interests are the top priority. Specifically, we encouraged the FCC to require the adoption of four types of "open" platforms as part of the auction:
  • Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.
As numerous public interest organizations noted earlier this week, all four of these conditions adopted together would promote a spirit of openness, and could spur additional forms of competition from web-based entities, such as software applications providers, content providers, handset makers, and ISPs. The big winners? Consumers. As choices increase, prices come down and more Americans have access to the Net.

The FCC is currently considering draft rules for the auction, and the reports we've heard are that those rules include some -- but not all four -- of the openness conditions that we and consumer groups support. While any embrace of open platforms is welcome, only if the FCC adopts all four principles will we see the genuinely competitive marketplace that Americans deserve. In particular, guaranteeing open services and open networks would ensure that entrepreneurs starting new networks and services will have a fair shot at success, in turn giving consumers a wider choice of broadband providers.

There are some who have claimed that embracing these principles and putting American consumers first might somehow devalue this spectrum. As much as we don't believe this to be the case, actions speak louder than words. That's why our CEO Eric Schmidt today sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, saying that, should the FCC adopt all four license conditions requested above, Google intends to commit at least $4.6 billion to bidding for spectrum in the upcoming 700 Mhz auction.

Why $4.6 billion? While we think that a robust and competitive auction based on these four principles will likely produce much higher bids, and we are eager to see a diverse set of bidders competing, $4.6 billion is the reserve price that FCC has proposed for the auction. With any concerns about revenue to the U.S. Treasury being satisfied, we hope the FCC can return its attention to adopting openness principles for the benefit of consumers.

In the meantime, thank you to those who have reached out to help with our efforts. It feels good to see how many of you support true competition for the benefit of consumers and we look forward to hearing from even more of you in the days to come.

For now, and for all of us, the issue is simple: this is one of the best opportunities we will have to bring the Internet to all Americans. Let's seize that opportunity.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/our-commitment-to-open-broadband.html

Our commitment to open broadband platforms

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Our commitment to open broadband platforms



For several years now, many Googlers have been working to identify the obstacles that prevent the Internet from being available to everyone on the planet. It strikes us as unfair that some people should enjoy such abundant access to this rich resource while billions of others aren't so lucky. Though the technology exists today to provide access on a global scale, often we have learned technology isn't the problem. In this context, we have worked hard to advance a set of principles that will make Internet access for all a priority.

For instance, we wrote last week on our Public Policy Blog about Google's interest in promoting competition in the broadband market here in the U.S., to help ensure that as many Americans as possible can access the Internet. However, it takes more than just ideas and rhetoric if you want to help bring the Internet to everyone.

So today, we're putting consumers' interests first, and putting our money where our principles are -- to the tune of $4.6 billion. Let me explain.

In the U.S., wireless spectrum for mobile phones and data is controlled by a small group of companies, leaving consumers with very few service providers from which to choose. With that in mind, last week, as the federal government prepares for what is arguably its most significant auction of wireless spectrum in history, we urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules to make sure that regardless of who wins the spectrum at auction, consumers' interests are the top priority. Specifically, we encouraged the FCC to require the adoption of four types of "open" platforms as part of the auction:
  • Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.
As numerous public interest organizations noted earlier this week, all four of these conditions adopted together would promote a spirit of openness, and could spur additional forms of competition from web-based entities, such as software applications providers, content providers, handset makers, and ISPs. The big winners? Consumers. As choices increase, prices come down and more Americans have access to the Net.

The FCC is currently considering draft rules for the auction, and the reports we've heard are that those rules include some -- but not all four -- of the openness conditions that we and consumer groups support. While any embrace of open platforms is welcome, only if the FCC adopts all four principles will we see the genuinely competitive marketplace that Americans deserve. In particular, guaranteeing open services and open networks would ensure that entrepreneurs starting new networks and services will have a fair shot at success, in turn giving consumers a wider choice of broadband providers.

There are some who have claimed that embracing these principles and putting American consumers first might somehow devalue this spectrum. As much as we don't believe this to be the case, actions speak louder than words. That's why our CEO Eric Schmidt today sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, saying that, should the FCC adopt all four license conditions requested above, Google intends to commit at least $4.6 billion to bidding for spectrum in the upcoming 700 Mhz auction.

Why $4.6 billion? While we think that a robust and competitive auction based on these four principles will likely produce much higher bids, and we are eager to see a diverse set of bidders competing, $4.6 billion is the reserve price that FCC has proposed for the auction. With any concerns about revenue to the U.S. Treasury being satisfied, we hope the FCC can return its attention to adopting openness principles for the benefit of consumers.

In the meantime, thank you to those who have reached out to help with our efforts. It feels good to see how many of you support true competition for the benefit of consumers and we look forward to hearing from even more of you in the days to come.

For now, and for all of us, the issue is simple: this is one of the best opportunities we will have to bring the Internet to all Americans. Let's seize that opportunity.

Note: We've cross-posted this to our Public Policy Blog.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/our-commitment-to-open-broadband.html

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Heading to OSCON?

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Google Code - Updates: Heading to OSCON?



Google's Open Source Team will be out in full force at OSCON 2007, and we welcome the chance to meet more members of the community at the conference. For those interested in learning about Google's open source activities, come and hear our annual open source update or learn more about how the community has used our project hosting service since its launch at OSCON 2006. For those interested in our developer applications, we'll be taking a look at how to write large, multipage Ajax applications with Google Web Toolkit and getting up close and personal with Google Gears. We're excited to hear your feedback and answer your questions.

Better still, several members of our team will be sharing some of the lessons they've gleaned from their years of contribution to open source. Come on by and learn about:



On the other hand, life isn't all fun and talks. Come hack on Google Web Toolkit with us, join us for the Google Summer of Code community BoF, and find out the 2007 winners of the Google O'Reilly Open Source Awards.

We look forward to seeing you there!

URL: http://google-code-updates.blogspot.com/2007/07/heading-to-oscon.html

NASA in Google Earth

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Google LatLong: NASA in Google Earth



A few months back, Google Earth team and NASA began a collaborative effort to bring awareness and promote knowledge of NASA's "earth" programs. After months of production, the "NASA" layer group is now live in Google earth.

Personally, I find it quite eye-catching. People are usually familiar with NASA's space missions, but not everyone knows that NASA also devotes a considerable amount of effort to Earth explorations. This new NASA layer group showcases some of their most interesting content.

The new "NASA" layer has three components:

  • Astronaut Photography of Earth
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Earth City Lights

Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken photographs of the Earth. The "Astronaut Photography of Earth" layer showcases some of the best of photos from the online Astronaut Photography collection.



The "Satellite Imagery" layer highlights some of the most interesting Earth imagery taken by NASA satellites over the years. Some placemarks also offer the option of downloading additional imagery from different years or seasons and overlaying them on the earth's surface. Being a space program lover, I used to spend hours on the NASA website looking at these photos, so it's nice to have them at my fingertips. Be sure to check out the satellite image overlays of continuous eruption of Mt. Etna at 37.730000°, 15.000000° if you are a volcano lover like me.



"Earth City Lights" offers a new perspective on this popular image. One can identify some interesting urbanization patterns around the globe. I find it even more interesting to have roads and placename layers on at the same time as I fly over this layer. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. The Trans-Siberian railroad also shows up as a thin line stretching from Moscow through the center of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River can be viewed from a distance as another bright thread through an otherwise dark region. I really enjoy flying to different places around the globe, finding unexpected things and thinking about what the cause might be.




In other news, we've also updated the European roads in Google Earth, adding 15 new countries in Europe, as well as adding more content for the Netherlands, like business listings layers and country names in Dutch. Check out these new and updated layers if you are planning a trip to Europe.

URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2007/07/nasa-in-google-earth.html

Thanks for all the spam reports

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Thanks for all the spam reports



For all you Gmail users hitting those "Report Spam" and "Not Spam" buttons, thanks a ton! We hear from a lot of users that they love how well Gmail blocks spam, and the only reason it works is because you all report it to us. If you're not in the habit of doing this, I hope I can convince you to start. Here are three reasons you should report spam:

Reason #1: It helps you personally. It gets the spam out of your Inbox and keeps what is truly spam separate from any non-spam messages you just want to delete. We keep statistics on which senders you've flagged as spammers (and which you've marked as non-spammers), and we use this information to provide you a better, personalized Gmail spam filter that overrides the system-wide filter when appropriate.

Reason #2: It helps the Gmail community at large (this includes you!). When you report spam, we compute all kinds of interesting things about the spammy message you reported and combine it with the information that other users are reporting about the same message or sender. When our automated system sees a lot of people marking a particular email as spam, it starts blocking similar emails pretty quickly.

Reason #3: It lets us know when we need to do more development. We surround ourselves with monitors displaying the current spam situation on all kinds of nice charts and tickers. When a spammer figures out how to bypass our system, lots of spam reports start flowing in, and we see that pretty much immediately. We react as quickly as we can to these events, developing and testing new code. Usually we can address these in a few hours, but sometimes this can take a few days or weeks to get right. Please don't give up reporting the spam, though. We love and depend on the reminders: they keep us on our toes!

Sometimes people are afraid to report a message because they aren't sure if it is "really" spam or not. Our opinion is that if you didn't ask for it and you don't want it, it's spam to you, and it should be reported. We'll sort it out on our side. We aren't perfect, but in general it works because you tell us when it doesn't!

So if you see a spam message in your inbox, remember to select it and click the "Report Spam" button at the top of the page. And if we put messages in your spam folder that don't belong there, be sure to hit the "Not Spam" button on those too.

Thanks again for your help!


URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/thanks-for-all-spam-reports.html

Making government information more accessible in Michigan

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Making government information more accessible in Michigan



I'm excited about a new partnership that Google announced yesterday with the State of Michigan -- for two reasons. Not only will this partnership help make the online information and services provided by the state's government more accessible to its citizens through Google and other search engines (something everyone can support), but it also benefits residents of my home state (and where, coincidentally, I worked before joining Google two months ago).

As part of our alliance with Michigan, we've helped state government agencies implement what's called the Sitemap Protocol, which enables Google and other search engines that support the protocol (including Microsoft and Yahoo) to more comprehensively access and index the pages of their websites, specifically records in large online databases, making them visible in search results.

For example, Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test scores for hundreds of schools spanning multiple years currently reside in over 25,000 documents. The new partnership will allow a user to find the results for the school name and test year, eliminating multiple searches requests and clicks. It will also help make accessible information about child day care centers and homes, workers compensation appellate decisions, fish stocking, Michigan school report cards, lane closures on Michigan roads, and more.

Michigan is the fifth state we've partnered with in this effort to help Google users better access their government online, joining Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia. In the past, governments fulfilled their obligation to make information accessible by providing a document reading room or public notices in the newspaper. Today, the pioneering efforts of some states are bring citizens closer than ever to government -- literally one search away.

As luck would have it, I'm actually in the Wolverine State today, preparing for the National Governors Association meeting here in Traverse City. Our CEO Eric Schmidt will be here this weekend, and we'll be spreading the word about this issue.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/making-government-information-more.html

You work hard for the money

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You work hard for the money

It's almost the end of the month, which means that it's almost time for us to send our publishers their payments. We know you're eagerly waiting for your check or EFT deposit to pay your bills, so we'd like to answer some questions you may have and clarify what to expect over the next few weeks.

Will I be sent a payment this month?

You can check to see whether you're eligible for a payment at the end of July. Just visit your Payment History page, set the date range to 'All time', and find the amount in the 'Monthly balance' column corresponding to June. If this number is greater than $100 and you removed all holds from your account before July 15th, you're eligible for a payment at the end of this month.



Can you give me an actual 'end of the month' date?

Unfortunately, we can't. You may sometimes see that your payment is issued on the 23rd of the month, and at other times on the 29th. This is because all earnings are audited for accuracy every month, and this automatic audit process can take different amounts of time during each payment cycle. To keep things simple, you may wish to think of 'end of the month' as the last day of the month. After your payment is issued, please allow up to 6 weeks for delivery, depending on your location and the form of payment you've selected.

What about the 25th? I read somewhere that I'm supposed to get my checks by that day.

That's a reissue date that applies to the month after a standard delivery check is issued. Let's say you earned $200 in June and removed all payment holds before July 15th. We'd then issue you a check at the end of July, which we'd expect to reach you by August 25th.

I've selected EFT. Does that mean my payments get processed faster by Google?

No, the processing time is still the same for EFT and checks. However, once processed and issued, EFT payments typically reach publishers more quickly, since they're directly deposited into bank accounts. If you're issued an EFT payment at the end of July, we expect that you'll see it in your bank account by August 5th. If you're issued a standard delivery check at the end of July, we expect that you'll receive it by August 25th.

After reading through this info, we hope you feel like an expert on payments. :) We've used the current month in all of the examples, but feel free to refer back to this post again in the future. If you'd like to learn more about AdSense payments, we recommend reviewing our Payments Demo, Payment Guide, and subscribing to the AdSense Calendar.

URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/07/you-work-hard-for-money.html

Your Campus in 3D winners announced

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Your Campus in 3D winners announced



The results are in for the winners of the Build Your Campus in 3D Competition, which we announced in January. The judges chose 7 teams from among the dozens who submitted more than 4,000 buildings from colleges and universities all over North America. And the winning school teams who will be joining us in Mountain View are:

University of Minnesota | Twin Cities, Minnesota
Purdue University | West Lafayette, Indiana
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne | Fort Wayne, Indiana
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering | Needham, Massachusetts
Dartmouth College | Hanover, New Hampshire
Stanford University | Stanford, California

Check out the competition site to see more details about the judges, the rules, the winners, and what they won. From there, you can follow a link to see the winning campuses in your copy of Google Earth. Again, congrats to the winning teams, and a big thank you to everyone who participated.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/your-campus-in-3d-winners-announced.html

Survey says ...

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Google Finance Blog: Survey says ...



First things first: thanks to all of you who posted so many great comments. We've enjoyed reading them and are excited to try this Q&A; thing out. So now to the good stuff:

Internationalization. There are a lot of suggestions to add quotes from various international markets including Australia and India. We can assure you that we are committed to providing a comprehensive online finance product and we do believe internationalization is important. Currently, Google Finance offers quotes from many international stock exchanges including Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Paris, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Toronto. It's great to have your input as to which markets should be our top priority. Stay tuned!

Tools. Many of you have asked for more tools like stock screeners. There are a bunch of online finance sites with stock screeners, but they could probably use some updating. We have a Noogler (a.k.a. "new Googler") on the team who is also keen to check out this space. In the comments section, please tell us more about the inadequacies you have with current stock screeners (i.e., What features are missing? What problems do you encounter?). Other tool requests include technical charts. We also agree that this is important. Which technicals would you most like to see?

Content. We've had a number of suggestions from people like Avinash (our most enthusiastic commenter!), to add earnings estimates, institutional ownership and options data. These are all very important pieces of content for investors and we agree that it's content we should spend time on. Thank you for pushing us in the right direction! Also, we often get requests to add more functionality for data such as downloading. If it were up to us, we would let you download everything, but we have certain content contracts in place which dictate otherwise. We'll be delighted to share your feedback with our content partners and let them know there is demand for more downloading rights. :)

Real-time quotes. Getting real-time quotes to you for free is one of the top requests we're seeing. We couldn't agree more. In January, we announced a deal with the New York Stock Exchange which would allow our dissemination of last sale quote data to all of our users for free. We reached a similar agreement with Nasdaq shortly thereafter. However, because market data pricing is regulated by the SEC, we have to wait for the SEC to approve these deals. We're as anxious as you are to get this out to you as soon as possible.

As for the Q&A; itself: is this helpful? Should we do this more regularly? Please let us know. Thanks again for all your comments and ideas.

URL: http://googlefinanceblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/survey-says.html

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Opening up Google Print Ads

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Opening up Google Print Ads



Even with the growth of online news sites, Americans still read newspapers. Over the course of a typical week, nearly 3 out of 4 adults (115 million) in the top 50 markets read a copy of a daily or Sunday newspaper.* That's why thousands of businesses use print advertising every day to reach a local audience, and why we've announced that we're extending Google AdWords to newspapers for most U.S. advertisers. To learn more, visit the Google Print Ads™ site, or read about it on the Inside AdWords blog.

*Scarborough Research USA, Release 2, 2006.

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/opening-up-google-print-ads.html

Message Center: Let us communicate with you about your site

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Message Center: Let us communicate with you about your site


Today we're launching our Message Center, a new way for webmasters to receive personalized information from Google in our webmaster console. Should we need to contact you, you'll see a notification in your Webmaster Tools dashboard.


Initially the messages will refer to search quality issues, but over time we'll use the Message Center as a communication channel for more types of information. Here's an example: informing the site owner about hidden text, a violation in our webmaster guidelines.


For our webmasters outside the U.S., we're also pleased to tell you that Message Center is capable of providing information in all supported Webmaster Tools languages (French, Italian, German, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Korean, Japanese, etc.), across all countries.

Right now the number of sites we're contacting is small, but we hope to expand this program over time. We're also really happy that the Message Center lets us communicate with webmasters in an authenticated way. As time goes on, we'll keep looking for even more ways to improve communication with site owners, but right now, why not claim your site in our webmaster tools so that we can give you a heads-up of any issues that we see?

URL: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/07/message-center-let-us-communicate-with.html

Google Print Ads now available to AdWords advertisers

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Google Print Ads now available to AdWords advertisers

We're very excited to announce the availability of Google Print Ads in U.S. AdWords accounts. To introduce you to Google Print Ads, here's Andrew Chang from the Print Ads team:

Google Print Ads enables advertisers and agencies of all sizes to easily plan and buy traditional newspaper ads, whether they're small 2" ads in Morristown, New Jersey's Daily Record, or full page ads in the Chicago Tribune. You can use Print Ads to find newspapers and placements that work for your advertising needs, and coordinate the submission of your offers and ads -- all from the familiar AdWords interface.

Why consider newspaper advertising? Even with the growth of online news sites, newspapers are still a leading source of information for Americans. In fact, over the course of a typical week, nearly 3 out of 4 adults (115 million) in the top 50 markets read a copy of a daily or Sunday newspaper (Scarborough Research USA, Release 2, 2006). That's why thousands of businesses use print advertising every day to reach a local audience.

You can launch a newspaper ad campaign in a few simple steps, all from your AdWords account -- check out the image below:


(Click the screen shot for a full-size image.)

To learn more about newspaper advertising and how Print Ads works, and to see a list of participating newspapers (PDF), visit our Google Print Ads site. Also, for a limited time, we're offering a special promotion when you sign up and publish a newspaper ad by August 31, 2007 -- earn up to $1,000 in Print Ads credits towards the cost of a future newspaper campaign. That's $500 to run your Print Ads campaign, and another possible $500 towards professional ad creation services. You can learn more about this offer here.

When you're ready to launch a newspaper campaign, you can sign in to your AdWords account to get started. (If you are new to AdWords and you've just created an account, it may take up to one week for Print Ads to appear in your account. Thanks in advance for your patience!)

URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2007/07/google-print-ads-now-available-to.html

Empowering publishers with a new Help Center

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Google News Blog: Empowering publishers with a new Help Center



How do you keep thousands of Google News publishers informed about getting their content included in Google News? In September 2006 we launched our first version of a Help Center for Publishers. Since then, Google webmaster tools expanded their offerings to enable news publishers who are already included in Google News to submit a News Sitemap. Not only does this allow publishers to control which articles go to Google News; it also allows them to get unique error reports detailing which articles were successfully crawled, and if they weren't included, why not.

So we've streamlined the way news publishers can make sure their content gets picked up by our crawlers.

Now we've adapted our Help Center for publishers to get better educated about Google webmaster tools. Publishers can now more easily let us know about changes they make to their site, including name, location or domain updates. We've also clarified how publishers go about removing an article or image from Google News, like in those cases when something has been published by mistake and the article has since been recanted. And if you were confused by our old contact forms (so what *do* I put in the state/province field of the "Send us your news site" form?), we think you'll like the ease-of-use of our new contact forms.

If you love our new Help Center, or if you don't, you can share your thoughts with us on each and every Help page you see. Just look for the "Was this helpful?" text at the bottom of the Help article to share your opinions with us. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/empowering-publishers-with-new-help.html

What’s new in the world of invalid clicks

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What's new in the world of invalid clicks

AdWords is a product that's constantly evolving. To help keep you up-to-date, we like to check-in with individual product teams to see what they're up to. This time around, I got an update from the Click Quality team, a group of folks dedicated to protecting advertisers from invalid clicks and click fraud. Here's what I learned:

There's no "silver bullet" when combating invalid clicks and click fraud, so the team is continuously improving their techniques. For obvious reasons, the team couldn't go into detail about every initiative they're working on, but they were able to share some of their more recent efforts.

Recent product launches
In June, the team launched Internet Protocol (IP) address exclusion. IP address exclusion allows advertisers to exclude up to 20 IP addresses, or ranges of addresses, where advertisers don't want their ads to appear. It's important to note that some large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use IP address ranges for all their users. If you're thinking of using IP exclusion, be sure you've carefully selected the IP addresses you'd like to exclude so you don't end up blocking a large amount of relevant and potentially profitable traffic.

The team also continues to develop new filters and signals (these are some of the top secret things they couldn't go into too much detail on) used to detect invalid clicks. Constantly updating and improving our systems enable them to stay ahead of some very sophisticated fraudsters.

Increased transparency
In addition to product enhancements and features, the Click Quality team has been working to provide more information about what Google does to detect invalid clicks and protect advertisers from click fraud. Earlier this year, the team disclosed the invalid click metrics across the Google network here on the Inside AdWords blog. That post was soon followed up by a post on how to request a click quality investigation and a paper on click fraud botnets.

In May, the Click Quality team held the first-ever Invalid Clicks Advertiser Forum at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The forum was a half-day event offering presentations from Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety, a Q&A; session with the click quality engineering team, and a review of a few invalid clicks case studies presented by the click quality investigation team. The event was a great way for advertisers to express their concerns directly to the team and also get their questions answered by the team's experts. Future forums in different cities are in the planning stages, so stay tuned.

Shuman has also been racking up the frequent flier miles by speaking with advertisers at events in the US, Canada and Europe. So far this year, Shuman presented at Search Engine Strategies conferences in New York, Toronto, and London, as well as at Search Insider Summit (Bonita Springs, FL) and Search Marketing World (Dublin, Ireland). If you're planning on attending Search Engine Strategies San Jose in August, be sure to drop in on the "Search Engines On Click Fraud" session where Shuman is scheduled as a speaker.

Well, sounds like the team's been keeping themselves pretty busy these days. While reviewing some of the team's past efforts, I found a very helpful FAQ in the AdWords Help Center that lists some of the things advertisers can do to monitor or prevent invalid clicks on ads. Advertisers can also use the following tools and features to monitor and control the traffic they receive from their AdWords ads:
  1. Auto-tagging: This feature that allows AdWords advertisers to easily see how their keywords are performing from click to conversion. Auto-tagging is often used by Google Analytics users, but you do not have to use Google Analytics to use auto-tagging.

  2. Site exclusion: This tool can be used to prevent ads from appearing on certain Google content network websites that advertisers don't feel are appropriate for their ads. Advertisers can get an idea of where their ads are showing by running a Placement Performance report.

  3. Invalid clicks reporting: This advanced reporting option allows advertisers to review the number and percentage of clicks determined to be invalid and automatically filtered out by the AdWords system. This data is available in Campaign Performance and Account Performance reports by including the "Invalid Clicks" and "Invalid Clicks Rate" advanced options.
I hope this review of the Click Quality team's recent work has provided some insight into the efforts that go on everyday to improve and maintain the AdWords system. Stay tuned to the Inside AdWords blog for future AdWords product team updates.

URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2007/07/whats-new-in-world-of-invalid-clicks.html

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Improved location targeting for the Ad Preview Tool

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Improved location targeting for the Ad Preview Tool

With AdWords, you can target your campaigns to show only to potential customers in specific countries, regions, or cities. And since we show ads based on a user's internet protocol (IP) address, you may not see your ad if you don't target your own geographical area. To see your ad as it would appear to a potential customer in a specific region, you could hop on a plane -- or simply check out our improved Ad Preview Tool.

Let's say you want to know what happens when someone in Toronto, Canada searches www.google.ca for "flowers". When you enter those parameters into the Ad Preview Tool, we'll show you the exact search results page you would see if you were actually in Toronto. What's more, you can use the Ad Preview Tool without accruing extra impressions for your ads. Feel free to try as many keyword and location combinations as you'd like, and watch your ads as they travel across the country and around the world.

You can also read more about how AdWords decides where to show a location-targeted ad here.

URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2007/07/improved-location-targeting-for-ad.html

Doctors and the Web 2.0

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Google Health Advertising Blog: Doctors and the Web 2.0



Did you know physicians are more likely than consumers to use the web and other technologies to access information? A new white paper from Manhattan Research, 'Physician and the Web 2.0', states that physicians are embracing Web 2.0 technologies -- podcasting, social media networks, online video, blogs -- in large numbers. In fact, the study notes that more than 25,000 physicians are actively reading and posting to blogs and more than 80,000 doctors participate in online communities. For these physicians, the online landscape is evolving into an interactive forum for information sharing and education. And it's not just the young docs who grew up on the Internet -- the report notes that an older generation of more experienced physicians want to share their ideas through this new interactive medium.

Think of all the innovative ways you can share health, medical and treatment information with physicians. Evolve your marketing strategies to make your information portable and available in new formats. Now is the time, because your doctor is more than just online.

Interactive Q&A comin' up!

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Google Finance Blog: Interactive Q&A comin' up!



A core tenet of Google is to "focus on the user and all else will follow." The Google Finance team shares this view and as such, we spend a lot of time conducting user research, meeting with power and novice users of online finance, and reading your emails and comments to this blog. This week, we wanted to try a new idea, which is to set aside a period of time to have an interactive Q&A; session on this blog.

Here's how it will work: please write your suggestions and questions about Google Finance in the comments section below this post. We will start reviewing and responding to all comments (except comments that are off-topic!) immediately and will respond in a meta-post on Thursday, July 19th around 9am PST. If there are more submissions than we can comfortably answer in a single post, we'll carry over the selected questions to Friday and answer them then.

We look forward to hearing from you!

URL: http://googlefinanceblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/interactive-q-comin-up.html

[G] Artist uses Checkout for international sales

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Artist uses Checkout for international sales




While most people know that Checkout helps retailers sell more, it can help artists too. For instance, a well-known spray can artist called Vulcan sells his art using Google Checkout. He told us that Checkout has helped him be more successful in selling his art on the web. "Spray can art is international," he told us. "I have painted around the world, and putting my art on the web lets people see the pieces I create right after I'm done with them. Google Checkout lets people buy them without a lot of hassle, so I can keep on doing my art."

Not long ago Vulcan moved from New York to San Francisco to develop his art in a new environment. He's often invited to do solo shows such as this one, and recently he was at Google to paint a set of Google Mini search appliances for our Japanese launch. Take a look.

And don't miss this cool time-lapse video of a painting coming to life at Google by hip-hop filmmaker Kevin Epps.

URL: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2007/07/artist-uses-checkout-for-international.html

More sleep for the AdSense Crawler

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More sleep for the AdSense Crawler

Let's imagine that you're the AdSense Crawler. You're bouncing along all over the Internet, visiting publishers' sites, and letting the AdSense system back at Google know what the pages are all about. Then one day, you run into a site that asks you for a login and password. "Huh? I don't have a username and password to this site. How am I going to crawl the pages behind that login?"

This is something our crawler sees every day here at AdSense. The result is that your users end up with poorly targeted ads and the AdSense Crawler ends up with sleepless nights, wondering what could have been -- if only it had crawled those pages.

We've recently launched a new feature called Site Authentication to take care of this problem. Using Site Authentication, you can give our crawler access to your login-protected pages by passing it information to log into your site. For example, let's say your news site has a premium content area, with articles that only paying members can access. To get ads on those pages, you can use Site Authentication to provide our crawler with a test username and password. It's an easy process that starts just by logging into your AdSense account and finding the 'Site Authentication' link under the 'AdSense Setup' tab. Once you've supplied us with a username, password, and a few other details, all you have to do is verify that you own the site through Google Sitemaps.

If this sounds a little complicated, don't worry -- just check out Site Authentication in your account and follow the instructions on the page. Please note that you will only have access to this feature if you've updated your AdSense login to a Google Account. We appreciate your patience as we roll out this feature to additional publishers.



If you need additional help, feel free to visit our Help Center. Once you've set up your authentication rule and verified ownership, it may take 1-2 weeks for our crawler to visit your site again. Your users will thank you, and so will the AdSense Crawler.

URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-sleep-for-adsense-crawler.html

Now CSE for businesses

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Google Custom Search: Now CSE for businesses


Ever since we launched Custom Search Engine (CSE), businesses of all sizes have been talking to us about specific features, more flexibility on presentation, and tighter integration with their websites and internal databases. We've heard you! Over the past year, we've launched powerful features, including improved language support, statistics and Linked CSEs. We've made Custom Search APIs available to developers, so that nifty search-enabled applications can be built atop the Custom Search platform.

Today, we're announcing Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE), an offering tailored to businesses that want more control over the search experience on their site. Search results can now be delivered through XML, offering further presentation control and flexibility to business users. Businesses now have the option to turn off ads. And CSBE provides options for email and phone support and Google branding is optional for business customers.

CSBE builds on the same foundation as CSE and offers all the benefits of Google search technology -- powerful algorithms, scale, reliability, performance and most importantly, world class search results.

You can directly sign-up for a new CSBE or convert your existing CSE (new Business tab on the control panel) to Business Edition for as low as $100 per year.

URL: http://googlecustomsearch.blogspot.com/2007/07/now-cse-for-businesses.html

Monday, July 16, 2007

Automating web application security testing

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Google Online Security Blog: Automating web application security testing



Cross-site scripting (aka XSS) is the term used to describe a class of security vulnerabilities in web applications. An attacker can inject malicious scripts to perform unauthorized actions in the context of the victim's web session. Any web application that serves documents that include data from untrusted sources could be vulnerable to XSS if the untrusted data is not appropriately sanitized. A web application that is vulnerable to XSS can be exploited in two major ways:

    Stored XSS - Commonly exploited in a web application where one user enters information that's viewed by another user. An attacker can inject malicious scripts that are executed in the context of the victim's session. The exploit is triggered when a victim visits the website at some point in the future, such as through improperly sanitized blog comments and guestbook entries, which facilitates stored XSS.

    Reflected XSS - An application that echoes improperly sanitized user input received as query parameters is vulnerable to reflected XSS. With a vulnerable application, an attacker can craft a malicious URL and send it to the victim via email or any other mode of communication. When the victim visits the tampered link, the page is loaded along with the injected script that is executed in the context of the victim's session.

The general principle behind preventing XSS is the proper sanitization (via, for instance, escaping or filtering) of all untrusted data that is output by a web application. If untrusted data is output within an HTML document, the appropriate sanitization depends on the specific context in which the data is inserted into the HTML document. The context could be in the regular HTML body, tag attributes, URL attributes, URL query string attributes, style attributes, inside JavaScript, HTTP response headers, etc.

The following are some (by no means complete) examples of XSS vulnerabilities. Let's assume there is a web application that accepts user input as the 'q' parameter. Untrusted data coming from the attacker is marked in red.

  • Injection in regular HTML body - angled brackets not filtered or escaped

    <b>Your query '<script>evil_script()</script>' returned xxx results</b>

  • Injection inside tag attributes - double quote not filtered or escaped

    <form ...
      <input name="q" value="blah"><script>evil_script()</script>">
    </form>

  • Injection inside URL attributes - non-http(s) URL

    <img src="javascript:evil_script()">...</img>

  • In JavaScript context - single quote not filtered or escaped

    <script>
      var msg = 'blah'; evil_script(); //';
      // do something with msg variable
    </script>


In the cases where XSS arises from meta characters being inserted from untrusted sources into an HTML document, the issue can be avoided either by filtering/disallowing the meta characters, or by escaping them appropriately for the given HTML context. For example, the HTML meta characters <, >, &, " and ' must be replaced with their corresponding HTML entity references &lt;, &gt;, &amp;, &quot; and &#39 respectively. In a JavaScript-literal context, inserting a backslash in front of \, ', " and converting the carriage returns, line-feeds and tabs into \r, \n and \t respectively should avoid untrusted meta characters being interpreted as code.

How about an automated tool for finding XSS problems in web applications? Our security team has been developing a black box fuzzing tool called Lemon (deriving from the commonly-recognized name for a defective product). Fuzz testing (also referred to as fault-injection testing) is an automated testing approach based on supplying inputs that are designed to trigger and expose flaws in the application. Our vulnerability testing tool enumerates a web application's URLs and corresponding input parameters. It then iteratively supplies fault strings designed to expose XSS and other vulnerabilities to each input, and analyzes the resulting responses for evidence of such vulnerabilities. Although it started out as an experimental tool, it has proved to be quite effective in finding XSS problems. Besides XSS, it finds other security problems such as response splitting attacks, cookie poisoning problems, stacktrace leaks, encoding issues and charset bugs. Since the tool is homegrown it is easy to integrate into our automated test environment and to extend based on specific needs. We are constantly in the process of adding new attack vectors to improve the tool against known security problems.

Update:
I wanted to respond to a few questions that seem to be common among readers. I've listed them below. Thanks for the feedback. Please keep the questions and comments coming.

Q. Does Google plan to market it at some point?
A. Lemon is highly customized for Google apps and we have no plans of releasing it in near future.

Q. Did Google's security team check out any commercially available fuzzers? Is the ability to keep improving the fuzzer the main draw of a homegrown tool?
A. We did evaluate commercially available fuzzers but felt that our specialized needs could be served best by developing our own tools.

URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2007/07/automating-web-application-security.html

Win this competition and the shirt off our backs. Literally.

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Win this competition and the shirt off our backs. Literally.



James Surowiecki opens his book The Wisdom of Crowds with the example of Francis Galton, a famous statistician, who asked individuals to guess the weight of an ox. After collecting all the guesses, he came to a startling conclusion. Most of the people were wrong. However, if you took the median of all guesses, the group was closer to the true weight than even the best cattle experts.

After reading his book, I've become more interested in the power of communities. That's why, when tasked with creating the ultimate Gmail T-shirt design, I decided to turn to the wisdom of the crowds: you, our creative and tech-savvy Gmail users. Starting today you can submit a design that you think embodies the Gmail personality most. Also, you'll be able score designs and let us know the designs that you think have the most potential (think: not ox weight, but T-shirt awesomeness).

We've teamed up with Threadless.com which does this sort of thing all the time. Threadless.com is a site where anyone can submit designs that they'd like to see appear on a T-shirt, people vote, and a small number of winners are printed and sold online. Today, Gmail and Threadless launched a competition created specifically for Gmail with the theme "Connect!" To make it even more interesting, we're giving away an 8GB iPhone, a Jawbone Bluetooth headset, a $400 gift certificate from JetBlue Airlines, some fun Google schwag, and a whole bunch of moolah to the winning designer. So go ahead and pull out your Moleskine notebook, sharpen those No. 2 pencils, and submit away. The contest opens today, and will close at 11:59:59pm CST on August 16th.

Remember that I'll be looking to all of you to help grade the designs. In a way, I trust your judgment more than mine. After all, I once tried to launch Gmail Paper.

Learn more about the contest.

URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/win-this-competition-and-shirt-off-our.html

Tip: Print Your Favorite Reports By First Viewing in PDF

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Tip: Print Your Favorite Reports By First Viewing in PDF


Many of our users like to print their Google Analytics reporting interface to include in presentations, handouts or company reports. We added the ability to export to PDF in the new interface so printed reports would look perfect. These PDF reports are vector based and can scale to the size of billboards and still look beautiful. So, the next time you want to print a report, first export to PDF, then print. You'll be amazed at the high quality print you get.

Here's how: Click "Export" below the report's title, then click "PDF".


URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/07/tip-print-your-favorite-reports-by.html

Google Developer Podcast Episode Five: Adam Sah on Google Gadgets

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Google Code - Updates: Google Developer Podcast Episode Five: Adam Sah on Google Gadgets




The Google Gadget Ventures announcement was very exciting for us and the community. We couldn't wait to get Adam Sah of the Google Gadgets team to discuss Gadgets, and the new announcement.

Interview with Adam Sah on Google Gadget Ventures


What will you learn from this interview?
  • What Google Gadgets actually are and how they compare to widgets and blidgets and blodgets and ....
  • How there is a family of Gadgets. They aren't just for iGoogle!
  • How you can develop Gadgets in HTML, Flash, Java applets, and more. After all, this is just iframes people.
  • The security model with Gadgets
  • The subtlety behind phishing and Gadgets
  • The long tail of Gadgets, and how to share and promote your Gadgets
  • How you can post Gadgets on your blog or website
  • How we are in the second generation of Gadgets (not just a minimal view on your web app)
  • What an appropriate amount of resources to put on Gadgets
  • How to monetize your Gadgets
  • Information about the Google Gadget Ventures program
  • How to get going with the scratchpad in seconds
  • How Mapplets are Gadget too
  • How this is about real business (IBM and Salesforce.com)
  • How to deal with high volume Gadgets, and how we are here to help.
  • The role and timing of standardization of the gadget platforms
Read more about Google Gadgets, and check out the forum.

Start listening now


You can download the episode directly, or subscribe to the show (click here for iTunes one-click subscribe).

News

The following are links that we mentioned in the podcast:

AppleScripting Google Desktop means that you can tell the Google Desktop application to do things for you via script. Boss around the system from your own applications and scripts.

The new Google Earth Outreach program has some tutorials such as showing you how to create KML from a spreadsheet.

The Google Mashup Gallery is a mashup itself, that allows you to add your mashup to the mix. Now, everyone will be able to find your Britney vs. Christina mashup!

Geotagged Picasa JSON/KML Output + Driving Directions = Instant Scenic Tours: If you were following the Google blogs yesterday, you would have heard that Picasa now gives you a sleek drag+drop interface for geotagging your photos, and that the Picasa Google data API now outputs the geotagged data using GeoRSS & GML elements. And if you were excited by all that news and immediately visited Picasa to try out the new feature, you might have noticed the big blue KML icon next to a "View in Google Earth" hyperlink. So Picasa now gives developers geotagged photo data both in KML output and the standard Google data API output formats, and that means we map developers have a lot of ways to start playing around with Picasa photos.

New drag-to-route driving directions in google maps - once you have a route, drag the blue line around to have it automatically re-route using your desired roads or intermediate destinations.

URL: http://google-code-updates.blogspot.com/2007/07/google-developer-podcast-episode-five.html

Enclosure: http://google-developer-podcast.googlecode.com/files/googledev005.mp3

Limited Reporting Delays, Data Now Updated

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Limited Reporting Delays, Data Now Updated

This weekend a small percentage of our users experienced processing delays. For several hours affected users were not able to view updated traffic for a large portion of the day. This was a temporary processing delay. No data was lost and all reports should now be fully updated.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/07/limited-reporting-delays-data-now.html

European content regulation and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

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European content regulation and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive



The European Union recently agreed on new rules for broadcasting and on-demand content. The catchily termed "Audiovisual Media Services Directive" – formerly known as the "Television Without Frontiers" Directive – will update regulations on broadcasting across Europe and introduce a new framework for content viewed on other platforms, like the internet or mobile phones.

This new set of rules will distinguish between two types of content: television ("linear") and television-like on-demand content ("non-linear"). Anything which looks or feels like the traditional programmes that you'd watch on your TV falls into the first category, and user-generated content, such as on YouTube and Google Video, may fall into the second category.

Online vs. Broadcast Content

When discussions on the directive began there was little distinction between the two types of content, meaning that YouTube and Google Video would have had to comply with a complex set of rules designed to control traditional broadcasting. Thankfully, this was changed in the final draft of the legislation, which must still be voted on by the European Parliament. We believe that on-demand content shouldn't be regulated in the same way as traditional broadcasting because the two are quite different. People control the online content they demand, compared to the content which is broadcast on television.

The directive explicitly states that it will not apply to search engines. We hope that it will not apply to the content created by users themselves – although the language is less clear on this point.

The directive contains important measures to protect users, particularly children, from harmful and illegal content. There are also new rules to make sure that on-demand content doesn't feature material inciting hatred based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, disability, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation. Google supports these rules, which reflect the rules we already have in place through our user agreements.

We have talked to politicians and decision makers about the importance of empowering people to use the net and other platforms safely, and to make informed decisions through the use of filtering and labeling systems. For example, there is a passionate debate at the moment regarding clips from award-winning films on the YouTube "EUTube" channel promoting European "cinematic heritage." We think there are better ways to safeguard users than introducing unnecessary regulation.

The new directive also includes an important reference to the "country of origin principle," which simply means that content will continue to be regulated by the rules of the country from which it originates. Each country within the European Union will have broadly similar rules but there may be subtle differences. Anyone supplying content to users would only have to worry about one set of rules, rather than differing laws across the EU's Member States.

Next Steps

We expect the European Parliament will vote on the proposed directive in the autumn. After the Parliament has made its final decision, the EU member states will have two years to implement the directive into their own national law.

We will be following this process closely. If we need to, we will step up our advocacy efforts to make sure that politicians and regulators don't impose unnecessary regulations which would stifle the fantastic growth of user-generated content.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/european-content-regulation-and.html

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Candidates at Google: Ron Paul

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Candidates at Google: Ron Paul



Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) became the fifth presidential candidate to visit the Googleplex Friday (following Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Bill Richardson and John Edwards), and the liberty-loving congressman was greeted by an overflow crowd of Googlers.

"I want to be president not because I want to run your lives," Rep. Paul told the crowd. "I don't want to be president to run the economy. I don't want to be president to run the world. I want to be president to restore liberty. I want a government that protects your privacy and exposes government secrecy."

The San Jose Mercury News reported that "Paul did call the Internet 'rather miraculous,' as he pitched his free-market, small-government mantra to the employees, many of whom came in shorts and even one in bare feet...But he did not sanitize his talk for his Net-centric audience. He said he does not support network neutrality, the concept that telecommunications companies should be restricted from controlling broadband access to the detriment of Web companies like Google, nor does he support tech-friendly immigration reforms in Congress recently. And he doesn't believe in federal student government loans, which a huge majority of the audience, by a show of hands, had used to make it through college."

Check out the complete video of Rep. Paul's town hall meeting with employees:


Rep. Paul also sat for an interview with
YouTube's Steve Grove, with the questions posed entirely by YouTube community members:

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/candidates-at-google-ron-paul.html