Friday, November 23, 2007

[G] A taxing day of holiday shopping

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Inside AdSense: A taxing day of holiday shopping

It's Black Friday, so a number of our U.S. publishers are probably burning off last night's turkey right now by running around the mall looking for deals.

If you find time to log in to your AdSense account between holiday shopping trips, please be sure to check that your address and tax information are up-to-date and accurate. This way, we can properly prepare any tax form you're eligible to receive.

You can resubmit or update your tax information by following these steps:
  1. Log in to your AdSense account
  2. Click the My Account tab
  3. Click the Tax information link
  4. Follow the instructions on the Tax information page to update your current form, or to submit a new form.
In the meantime, if you'd like to avoid the crowds at the mall, why not try shopping on Google Checkout?


Thursday, November 22, 2007

[G] Now in the Czech Republic

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Google News Blog: Now in the Czech Republic

The Czech edition of News was my first 20% project here at Google. Therefore I'm very excited to see it now live at

Zprávy Google (as Google News is called in Czech) aggregates stories from hundreds of news sources in the Czech language. Stories are presented in sections similar to those in other editions. We have modified the Health section that is common to other editions to include travel and lifestyle articles as well.

I hope our Czech users will find the edition useful. For me it is now time to move on to an another exciting 20% project.


[G] Turkey Day

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Inside AdSense: Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our U.S. publishers! We'd like to give thanks to all of our blog readers for your continued support, and we hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

We'll be out of the office enjoying turkey (and then cold turkey sandwiches) until Monday the 26th. While it may take us longer to reply to your emails, feel free to visit the AdSense Help Center or consult other publishers in the AdSense Help Forum for answers to your questions.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

[G] Armchair parade watching

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Google LatLong: Armchair parade watching

I'll admit it, I still love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In fact, this is the first year in as long as I can remember that I won't be spending my Wednesday evening braving the crowds on 77th Street to see the balloons getting inflated. But I'll definitely be camped out in front of my TV tomorrow morning (with frequent trips to the kitchen to baste my turkey, of course) watching the balloons, floats, and marching bands make their way through Herald Square. Plus, there are several maps and a KML file that plot out the route so you can follow along at home. That way, when the commentators say the Big Apple Circus float is at Columbus Circle, you'll know you've got plenty of time to stir your cranberry sauce before they perform.

There are also lots of parades happening in other cities across the country. Take a look in Google Maps and see if your city's parade is already in there (I just found Chicago's parade, for example). If you don't see it there, create your own MyMap of the route and the best viewing places.

And if all that parade watching makes you antsy to hit the streets yourself, there are plenty of Thanksgiving races charted out in MyMaps. Many of them show the actual routes, so you can also use them on Friday morning to burn off some of those calories from the big dinner!ost content


[G] A dozen ways to discuss "webmaster help"

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: A dozen ways to discuss "webmaster help"

Our goal for the Webmaster Help Group is to be an authoritative source for accurate, friendly information and discussion. There are many terrific members of the Webmaster Groups community, and we're glad to know them all. In our English discussion group, a big Webmaster Central (WMC) thank-you to our comrades and fellow webmasters for their helpful knowledge and insight: webado, Phil Payne, JLH, cass-hacks, cristina, Sebastian, and dockarl, just to name a few.

Webado and cass-hacks both speak several languages -- thankfully, some of us do as well. We now have Googlers posting to the Google Webmaster Help Group in 12 languages! Here's a brief introduction of the Googlers, most of whom work together at our European headquarters in Dublin, in the Non-English groups (several have been posting for months, but we'd still like to give them an intro). :)

French Webmaster Help Group
Salut, I come from the French city Bordeaux where I spent most of my time, before I moved to Paris and then Dublin where I work now in Google Search Quality. When not in front of my computer, I like to go to the cinema, play chess and organize dinners
with my friends.
- Guide Google
Italian Webmaster Help Group
Ciao, my name is Stefano and I'm responsible for the Italian Webmaster Help Group. I work on search quality issues in Italian. I'm from Italy and have been living in Ireland for more than 2 years. I do love the multicultural environment you can find in Dublin and all the people from everywhere you get to know here, but sometimes it's difficult to be so far away from my favorite football team, so now and then I really have to fly back home to get a bit of Serie A.
- Guida Google
German Webmaster Help Group
Grüss Gott! My name is Uli, and I post in the German Webmaster Help Group. I am originally from Germany but live in Ireland now. Unfortunately, I don't have my own website to show off. The German Help Group has grown into a big, vibrant community of very helpful and savvy webmasters, so if you speak German, go and check it out!
- Google Webmeister Guide
Spanish Webmaster Help Group
Hola! My name is Alvar and I'll be monitoring the Spanish Webmaster Help Group. Please join us if you speak a word or two in Spanish :-) More on the personal side, I don't own a portal or something like that but rather a tiny blog with nearly no visibility on the Internet, and I'm happy with that. I studied telecommunication engineering and my hobbies include soccer, foosball, table tennis, basically almost any other sport, traveling, photography, cinema, and technology, so I admit sitting in front of a computer can be counted as a hobby :-) Another important fact about me is that I'm from Barcelona, a city everyone should visit at least once in their life. What are you waiting for?
- Guía de Google para webmasters

Hola, I'm Rebecca. I studied to be a librarian but somehow along the way ended up being drawn into the digital side of information. So while I still snuggle up to books at night, computers take up most of my day. As for things I like to do (but wouldn't go so far as to call them hobbies…) I'm still pretty new to Dublin so I rather enjoy walking around until I'm lost and then trying to figure out how to get back home, and then when I get back home I like to play with my cat, best known for her fantastic Gollum impersonation when she gets riled up.
- Guía de Google
Dutch Webmaster Help Group
Hallo, I'm Andre. I'm very fond of Dutch music. But since living in Dublin for almost 2 years now, my taste for music has fused with the Irish sound. I like listening to live music in pubs, hanging out with the locals, have a pint or two and talking about upcoming gigs, artists, and all other topics that pass the day.
- André
Swedish Webmaster Help Group
Hejsan! My name is Hessam and I'm responsible for the Swedish Webmaster Help Group. I've been with Google for the last 2 years, working on search quality issues in Sweden. I'm originally from Sweden but moved to Dublin two years ago. My main interest is traveling and living in Dublin makes it easy to visit to all corners of Europe without blowing the budget. Thanks to cheap airlines, it takes merely a few hours from my door to the beer gardens of Munich, wine bars of Paris, ski slopes of Italy or beaches of Spain, depending on the mood. Looking forward to talking to you all!
- Google Webbansvarig Guide
Finnish Webmaster Help Group
Hei, I'm Anu and I work in the Search Quality team. I'm originally from Finland but these days I hold my umbrella high in Dublin. When I'm not online, you can catch me cycling (be it one or two wheels), playing virtual tennis or at the airport. I've been bitten by the travel bug, and try to see as many places near and far as possible. Besides all things webmaster related, I also have an interest in foreign languages, books and films. I look forward to meeting you in the Finnish Webmaster Help Group!
- Googlen Web-ylläpidon Ryhmän Opas
Polish Webmaster Help Group
Cześć, I'm Guglarz (it stands for Googler in Polish), the Googler on the Polish Webmaster Help Group. I was lucky to grow up in the city of Kraków, Poland's most beautiful city and the place where Google recently opened a research center. I've been with Google for two years now and I still love this job as much as I did the very first day. It's my favorite hobby activity in fact. If I don't work, I like to keep myself busy with general aviation, running or bowling, a sport I recently found out I was talented in. ;-)

I discovered my passion for the Internet early in school and after graduating in information science studies I was looking for a challenging position in the industry, although after the year 2000 crash there was little hope for that. It took me a couple of jobs in the established industries and some traveling around the globe before I found my dream job here at Google.

Ever since I started helping on the Polish Webmaster Help Group, it has been growing rapidly, both in terms of user numbers as much as in terms of the activity. It's really exciting to see how Polish webmasters help each other and make the web a more interesting place. Three group members, Cezary Lech, Umik and krzys in particular made an effort to vitalize the community in its early days. I'd like to say dziękuję (thank you in Polish) and please keep up the great spirit - thumbs up!
- Guglarz
Portuguese Webmaster Help Group
Olá, my name is Pedro. I'm Portuguese and I'm part of the Search Quality team. I've been working at Google since March 2006 mostly focused on the Portuguese language markets. I grew up in Tavira, a small town in the Algarve region – South of Portugal – and I always had a nerdy side, playing with computers since my very early days when memory meant 128KB. Most of my interests fall on my origins, I enjoy sailing and scuba diving, music is also on my top list. I'm based in the European Headquarters – Dublin office, and I'll be looking to strengthening contact with Portuguese webmasters (non Portuguese are also welcome).
- Ajuda a Webmasters do Google
Russian Webmaster Help Group
Привет! My name is Oxana and I come from Moldova, a teeny tiny country in Eastern Europe. My background is in mathematics and computer sciences and I have worked as a web developer for more than 7 years now. Of course I have a web site, but it features only an, unfortunately, eternal "under construction" message and a hope for a better future. :) I love to read and to travel, and at the moment I am a helpless wannabe photographer. Also, I'm a passionate WoW player and soon I'll become the best Warlock Orc on this side of Kalimdor! When I'm a grown-up person I work at Google on the Search Quality team and I primarily support the Russian market.
- Оксана
Danish Webmaster Help Group
Hej, my name is Jonas, and I am from Copenhagen, the wonderful capital of beautiful Denmark. I've been a webmaster of a blog since 2001, where I still drop a few lines every now and then. I am a jack of many trades, with a background in human geography and communication, design, and media. I've done some authoring for the web, but mostly administrative backends in PHP/MySQL, so they are not that interesting. I've been active on Usenet for awhile as well, and spent many hours there, getting smarter with the help of others.

I've been with Google for a couple of years now, working exclusively with search quality and I am now helping out in the Danish Webmaster Help Group. Looking forward to seeing you there (:
- GoogleGuide


[G] On turkeys and giving thanks

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Inside AdWords: On turkeys and giving thanks

It's that time of year again. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, and we'd like to take a moment to thank you for your continuous support and readership. Before we take the next couple of days off, we'd like to share with you our latest blog doodle -- you may even notice a cameo appearance by a certain hand turkey from last year!

We hope you'll have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


[G] Introducing the "Tools" tab

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Introducing the "Tools" tab

We're always busy adding new features to improve the Checkout experience for our merchants, and many of these new features have found a home under the "Settings" tab. But to alleviate some of the congestion under that tab, we recently launched a shiny new "Tools" tab. Here, you'll find all the tools you've (hopefully) grown to love. These include:

  • Buy Now Buttons
  • Email Invoices
  • Coupons
  • Integration Console
  • ...and more to come

Settings like preferences and financial information will stay put -- they'll just have a bit more breathing room now. We hope you find that this new tab greatly improves the organization of our interface, and ensures that your favorite tools are easy to find.


[G] A taste of fall

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Official Google Blog: A taste of fall

For an ambitious addition to your holiday feast, try my buttercup squash soufflé. The flavors are simple enough that you can serve it as an appetizer, plate it up with a small salad, or just present it to the crowd family style.

Happy cooking, and happy Thanksgiving!

Buttercup Squash Soufflé
with aged balsamic, hazelnuts, and Parmesan

What you'll need:
2 buttercup squash (2 1/2 lbs.)
(I prefer buttercup for its creaminess, but you can substitute butternut squash)
1 egg yolk
3 whole eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 egg whites
1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 cup Parmesan, freshly shaved
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
8-10 ceramic soufflé cups
1 baking pan (large enough to hold the soufflé cups)
parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Halve each squash through the stem to create 2 identical pieces. Coat each piece with olive oil and place face down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about an hour or until the flesh of the squash is completely soft. Allow to cool. (This step can be done a day in advance.)

3. Peel the cooled squash and dice the flesh. Place the skinless squash in a food processor and puree until smooth.

4. In a large bowl, combine the squash, whole eggs, egg yolk, mascarpone, salt, nutmeg and grated Parmesan. Stir until the mixture is completely combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to medium or soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into squash mixture, taking care not to over mix and deflate the whites.

5. Spray soufflé cups with cooking spray. Carefully divide mixture into 8 to 10 ceramic soufflé cups (number of cups depends on the size of the squash), but don't fill the cup over halfway. Place filled cups in the baking pan and fill the pan with warm water, taking care not to drip any water in the filled cups. The water level should be about halfway up the cups. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly.

6. Place the soufflé upside down on plate and remove ceramic cup. It should pop out cleanly. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, aged balsamic and toasted hazelnuts.

7. Enjoy!


[G] Searching your account for AdSense for content and referrals?

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Inside AdSense: Searching your account for AdSense for content and referrals?

Since the launch of AdSense for search in Indonesian and Vietnamese, many publishers have requested that AdSense for content and referrals be added to their accounts. Unfortunately, we can't do that, since we're not yet able to support these options in Indonesian or Vietnamese. Please rest assured that we're working to offer them in the future.

In light of this, some publishers with AdSense for search accounts have contacted us requesting additional accounts in languages that support AdSense for content and referrals. However, according to our Terms and Conditions, publishers aren't permitted to maintain multiple accounts under the same payee name.

Thanks for your patience in the meantime -- we'll be sure to announce any additional product offerings right here on the blog.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

[G] Tips from a Digital Mom - Getting 'cultural' with the family during the holidays

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Official Gmail Blog: Tips from a Digital Mom - Getting 'cultural' with the family during the holidays

Every once in a while my husband and I wonder why we don't do more "cultural" things with the kids, especially around the holidays. We're so busy and we just don't have the time to keep up with what's going on around town or around the area. Usually, when we do go somewhere it's because we bump into someone who tells us that the local dance group is doing The Nutcracker, not because we read the paper or got any announcements.

But just the other day, I discovered the public calendar search button in Google Calendar. Of course, I had known it was there, but it had never occurred to me that events in my local area would be included. Just to experiment, I typed in "Palo Alto, CA kids" and found a fabulous calendar that showed me every day that there are events for families during the holiday season. One example I found is "Helicopter Santa" on Dec. 1: cookies, candy canes, and Santa at the Hiller Aviation Museum. I added this calendar to my own and now I can quickly check what's going on at any time.

My husband wonders how I suddenly seem to know everything. I just smile.


[G] Never a dull moment

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Official Google Blog: Never a dull moment

We see a lot of exciting projects come to fruition around here, but two Googlers recently added delivering a baby to their on-the-job experience, giving a whole new meaning to working well under pressure.

One day last month, Matthew, a software engineer in our Seattle/Kirkland office, arrived at work as usual. As he got to his desk, he learned that his expectant colleague Min was home sick. He thought this was strange, since she seemed fine the day before and her baby wasn't due for another 17 days. He sent her an email to make sure everything was okay. Min responded that she thought she might be experiencing contractions, but that everything was fine. Fifteen minutes later, he got a second message: Please come help me get to the hospital right away. Matthew rushed over and had barely backed out of the driveway when Min managed to say, "The baby's out." He picked up the little bundle in his right hand and declared, "It's a boy," and gave him to her to hold. An ambulance arrived on the scene seconds later. And just like that, Min and her husband became the proud parents of Andy.

Meanwhile, Jessica, one of our Mountain View tech writers, was recently on her way to the office from San Francisco. Running late, her thoughts were on her list of to-dos, until she noticed a peculiar sight in the car next to her. A family in an SUV had stopped in the left-turn lane with a woman in the front passenger seat reaching over into the backseat. Then she noticed a man standing outside of the car screaming and waving his hands for help. She immediately pulled over, turned off her ignition and went to see what was the matter. While the mom was stretched out in the backseat, a grandmotherly sort had a panic-stricken look on her face and her hands out to catch the baby.

Thinking back to her own experience when she gave birth, Jessica tried to calm the family and answer their questions as best she could. She was on hand for less than 10 minutes before the police arrived and took over, but during that time, the baby was born.

We're happy to report everyone in both locations is doing well.

Photo: Min and Andy


Monday, November 19, 2007

[G] Custom Search in your language of choice.

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Google Custom Search: Custom Search in your language of choice.

Since we launched Google Custom Search last year, webmasters and businesses around the world have been able use specific language controls to build customized search experiences. However, the Custom Search administration console was only available in English -- until now. Starting today, the Custom Search platform supports 40 languages in close to 80 countries worldwide.

Webmasters can use CSE to create tailored search experiences on community web sites; businesses can add hosted site search to their web sites; users can add search to their blogs and web pages; and developers can build search right into their applications with the Custom Search APIs. And there's no software to install or hardware to maintain. Custom Search engines can be built in minutes and are easy to customize and manage. You can also control the appearance of the search results to match the look and feel of your web site. Now, you can administer your favo(u)rite CSE in the language of your choice.

Custom Search is available as a free, ads-supported version, and through Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE). With CSBE, further customization of search results is possible using an XML API, and ads are optional. CSBE offers options for email and phone support. This launch also brings Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE) to your country. So if you're looking for fast, easy and relevant search for your website in your language, you'll be pleased with this launch.

As always, we'd love your feedback. Visit our User Group to tell us more about your Custom Search implementation.


[G] Custom Search goes global

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Official Google Blog: Custom Search goes global

In our Mountain View, California lobby, there's an image of a globe radiating colo(u)red beams of light, representing searches in different languages in countries all over the world. It's quite mesmerizing to watch. (You should check it out if you visit.)

Today, we're pleased to tell you that the Google Custom Search platform is available in 40 languages, in close to 80 countries worldwide. And now you can search your Custom Search engine (CSE) in the language of your choice. We hope to see more people creating useful CSEs -- we want to see more colo(u)red beams on the globe!

The Custom Search platform brings the relevance, reliability, speed and power of Google search to webmasters and developers worldwide. Webmasters can use CSE to create tailored search experiences on community web sites; businesses can add hosted site search to their web sites; users can add search to their blogs and web pages; and developers can build search right into their applications with the Custom Search APIs. There's no software to install or hardware to maintain. CSEs can be built in minutes and are easy to customize and manage. You can also control the appearance of the search results to match the look and feel of your web site. Now, you can administer your favo(u)rite CSE in the language of your choice.

There's a free, ads-supported version, and there's also the Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE), in which further customization of search results is possible using an XML API, and ads are optional. CSBE also offers options for email and phone support.

Our international launch of the Custom Search platform now brings CSBE to your country. Millions of businesses all over the world have a web presence but offer users no ability to search their site. Users are left on their own to navigate content once they land on a site. Now, organizations and businesses everywhere can enable Google-hosted site search to help users find what they need.

The UK Parliament uses CSBE on its website to make nine million documents easily accessible to the public. Monarch Airlines is using CSBE to help manage the growing number of customer enquiries about hand baggage regulations and the increased focus on airline security. Since adding CSBE they have seen a 30% reduction in inbound email as more customers now find what they need online. A leading Serbian media system B92, which includes both a TV and radio station and a leading web portal,, offers Custom Search on various sections of its site, such as sport, business, culture and technology. also uses several unique features, including linked CSEs, search refinements, and the capability to exclude certain sections of their sites from search results. Belfabriek, a provider of 0800 and 0900 service numbers in The Netherlands wanted to offer customers the speed and quality of searching with Google. Since using CSBE, the number of callers has decreased substantially as people find the information they need and register their numbers directly through their website. Indian cricket site Cricbuzz uses a CSE to provide cricket fans relevant cricket content for any search related to cricket, using search refinements for drilling down into scores, player profiles, records, blogs and news.

We'd like to hear from you about your CSE too. Please keep that feedback coming.


[G] Bringing the conference to you

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Bringing the conference to you

We're fortunate to meet many of you at conferences, where we can chat about web search and Webmaster Tools. We receive a lot of good feedback at these events: insight into the questions you're asking and issues you're facing. However, as several of our Webmaster Help Group friends have pointed out, not everyone can afford the time or expense of a conference; and many of you live in regions where webmaster-related conferences are rare.

So, we're bringing the conference to you.

We've posted notes in our Help Group from conferences we recently attended:
Next month, Jonathan and Wysz will post their notes from PubCon, while Bergy and I will cover SES Chicago.

If you can make it to one of these, we'd love to meet you face to face, but if you can't, we hope you find our jottings useful.


[G] What do Reader and Heroes have in common?

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Official Google Reader Blog: What do Reader and Heroes have in common?

Working at Google can be a pretty demanding job. But, as any member of the Google Reader team can attest, at least we're not subject to dangling from a harness that's strapped to one of our co-workers while lasers plot the path of massive cranes to swoop around us at high speeds while we're trying to do our job.

A few months ago, thanks to the graciousness of a group of artists, we saw that in person.

Google Reader is created and maintained by a small team of folks who all have a lot on their plates. Occasionally, we need a vacation. But planning a shared experience that's fun for everyone is tricky. Common points among people can be difficult to find -- unless you get lucky and work with a bunch of dorks who like superhero stories.

It turns out that nearly all of us got sucked into Heroes sometime during its first season, and a good friend of mine knows a director who was going to get to shoot an episode. So we asked if we could visit the set for our team's annual offsite. Despite this seeming like a longshot, a trip was arranged and we headed to the Heroes lot for a day of set gawking.

Be forewarned: nerd-level, in-depth pop-culture details to follow.

Our trip was amazing, and we owe a huge thanks to the director, Greg Yaitanes, and his crew, particularly Ben Grayson (whose attention and help made it a memorable day). Greg is a bit of a TV wunderkind -- he's directed many, many shows, including: Lost, Alias, Grey's Anatomy, House M.D., Prison Break, Nip/Tuck, CSI:NY, CSI:Miami, Women's Murder Club, Bones, Commander In Chief, Children of Dune, Las Vegas, V.I.P, and many more. Looking at his resume makes my eyes water, since he's only a few days older than me and he's done so much that it makes me wonder if I'm using my Saturdays really as effectively as I could.

Watching Greg work was enlightening. He let us sit behind him as he directed a few scenes of tonight's "Cautionary Tales" episode. This one was written by Joe Pokaski, who's been behind some of our more favorite recent moments such as Claire's toe-cutting experiment. The first scene we watched being filmed was an in-car scene featuring Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder) and Jack Coleman (Mr. Bennet, "H.R.G") both of whom we got to meet. We can't post spoilers, of course. But they both turned out to be zombie vampire aliens! (Kidding. Or are we...?)

There were surprises for us on set. First, we were treated to personal time with the creative staff, who graciously explained their work and even took us on tours. We walked within and around many of the common sets used on Heroes, including Isaac's loft, the Suresh apartment, the Company, the Dawsons' beautiful and meticulously created New Orleans home, the police department were Matt works -- and we all jockeyed for picture time in front of the ocular on the Deveaux rooftop.

Mid-day, we were surprised by a visit by Tim Kring, who created Heroes and was kind enough to walk us through the editing rooms and even let us sit in on a "spotting" meeting. Spotting, in this case, meant visually evaluating the progress of special effects of a battle scene involving 17th-century Japanese warriors. We also saw early editions of Kristin Bell (Elle) ruthlessly wielding her power.

Tim was forthcoming, honest, direct and a delight to talk shop with. We ended our day by staying out of Ray Liotta's way (he was on the lot for something unrelated to Heroes) and guessing how the season would end. (Asking us would be futile, we don't know -- really!)

No one needed to be that nice to a group of wandering dorks. From craft services to the heads of production, everyone was incredible and it was a team offsite that's going to be tough to top next year.


[G] Industry newsletters for the holiday season

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Inside AdWords: Industry newsletters for the holiday season

The holiday season is underway, and people are on the lookout for the perfect presents. If you're hoping to take advantage of this shopping season, you won't want to miss out on our AdWords holiday campaign tips in the latest Retail, Entertainment & Media, and Automotive industry newsletters.

We also invite you to check out the brand new Tech B2C Industry Newsletter, designed for advertisers selling consumer electronics as well as telecommunications and technology products and services.

Remember, you can sign up to receive AdWords Industry Newsletters via email through your AdWords account.


[G] Video units coming to the UK, Ireland and Canada

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Inside AdSense: Video units coming to the UK, Ireland and Canada

Following their success in the U.S., we're rolling out video units over the next several days to English-language publishers in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. If you're not already familiar with video units, they're embedded, customizable video players that can enrich your site with relevant video content while enabling you to earn extra revenue from the relevant, non-intrusive ads that accompany the videos.

With this new launch, publishers in the UK, Ireland and Canada will be able to show videos from our YouTube content partners and choose those videos by category, individual YouTube partner, or have video automatically targeted to their site. Based on publisher feedback, we've also just added a feature which lets you choose individual videos to be displayed in your video units.

To set up video units on your site, log in to your AdSense account and visit the AdSense Setup page. For more information about video units, please feel free to revisit our original post about the launch and our recent follow-up answering some of your most common questions. In addition, you might find the information in our Help Center useful.

If you don't yet see video units in your account, please check back over the next few days. We're staggering the roll-out to ensure a smooth launch in the new countries where video units are available.


[G] Show off your photos with the new Slideshow

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Blogger Buzz: Show off your photos with the new Slideshow

Take a look at our latest tool for your blog: the Slideshow page element. This feature lets you add a slick little slideshow of your photos from Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Photobucket, or any site that supports Media RSS.

The photos will show up in your blog's sidebar, gently fading into one another. Your readers will be able to go forward and backward, pause, and click through to the photo's web page.

We also let you make a slideshow of public photos based on a tag or label.

Like all page elements, Slideshow requires that your blog is using Layouts templates. Still need to switch? Read our help article on the topic.

In case you missed it: Want to see everyone's photos? Watch Blogger Play.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

[G] Think globally, mark locally

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Google LatLong: Think globally, mark locally

The last time I threw a party, I used the My Maps feature of Google Maps to tell my friends exactly how to find my house. But if they'd just searched Maps on their own for my address and had gone to the marker location, they would have been partying in the middle of the street!

Now for your next party (or any other occasion), you can move the marker for your address to show the exact entrance of your house. Just search for your address, click "Edit," click "Move Marker," and drag the marker to your front door.

Of course, we couldn't limit ourselves to just addresses — businesses can be hard to find too. Take your favorite restaurant, for example. Now you can find it on Google Maps and move the marker to its front door. You might just save someone's date with this information! Fixing markers can be downright addictive. I've spent hours using Street View to locate businesses and houses, and then moving their markers.

You might be worried about people monkeying with markers. Fear not, we've thought of that. Whenever you find a recently-moved address or business, you'll see a "Show original" link you can click to see where the marker was originally. If it's in the wrong place, just move it to the right one.

Move a marker, and make your virtual neighborhood a better place -- that is, in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, where it works right now. You'll need a Google Account to join the fun. And I should also tell you that's not actually my house.