Friday, August 7, 2009

[G] Towards better transcription. Period.

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Google Voice Blog: Towards better transcription. Period.

Voicemail transcription is a popular feature of Google Voice. Having the ability to receive a transcript of a new voicemail by email or SMS and get a quick idea of what a voicemail is about, saves you time in deciding which voicemails are worth listening to.

Since transcription is fully automated and most people often don't talk in the same organized manner that they write, it is tricky to insert punctuation into a message. And reading long messages without punctuation can feel weird.

Today we made some more progress on transcript readability and launched an improved transcription engine with punctuation. Don't expect it to insert question marks for your callers' questions, but it should help make your message transcripts easier to read by breaking them into sentences separated by periods.

We hope you will like the improvement...

Posted by Vincent Paquet
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/towards-better-transcription-period.html

[G] Counting Down to NFL Season? Let Google Docs Count for You.

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Official Google Docs Blog: Counting Down to NFL Season? Let Google Docs Count for You.

Guest post: Beah Burger, a member of the Search Quality team here at Google, has an affinity for using lesser-known Google spreadsheet functions to solve everyday problems. A couple of months ago, Beah wrote in her personal blog about how her favorite Google spreadsheet function, GoogleLookup, helped her create a list of song recommendations for her friends' wedding. We asked Beah to write a guest post about another off-the-beaten-path use of Google spreadsheets.

Three years ago I packed up my sub-compact car, bid farewell to teary-eyed parents, and drove more 3,000 miles from Philadelphia to San Francisco. California is great, but I miss my hometown dearly. My coworkers -- most of whom think I'm "obsessed" -- allow me to hang a Pennsylvania state flag and various Philadelphia sports posters around the office. But I feel most connected with my hometown through my fanatical devotion to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Although Northern California weather doesn't really recognize the existence of seasons, my year is divided into two: NFL season and the off season. I've been anticipating the start of the 2009 season for months and recently decided I'd use Google to track just how much longer I need to wait.

A web search for "nfl schedule" revealed the Eagles' first regular season game is September 13th, but I wanted to know exactly how many days stand between me and Eagles' glory (or heartbreak). I'm a much bigger fan of the Eagles than I am of math, so I was relieved to find a pair of Google spreadsheets functions that not only count the days for me, but also keep that count updated over time. Here's how it works:

The DAYS360 function calculates the difference between two given dates. In this case, the dates we want to plug in (the "arguments") are:

1. Today's date
2. September 13th

To get the first argument, we will use the TODAY function. I could enter today's date, but using the TODAY function makes for a smarter spreadsheet because it will update automatically each day. The TODAY function is really simple and requires no inputs (or arguments); I just type "=TODAY()" into a cell in my spreadsheet, and the function returns "8/7/09."



Now I want to create a cell with the second argument for the DAYS360 function: the game date. I'll type "Sep 13" into cell B4. Google spreadsheets understand that I am typing a date and automatically convert the text to this format: "9/13/2009."

So far, so good. Now that we have our two arguments, we are ready to use the DAYS360 function. The syntax for DAYS360 is "=DAYS360(date_1, date_2, type)". Because date_1 is located in cell A2 and date_2 is located in cell B4, the function should look like this: "=DAYS360(A2, B4)". (The "type" argument is optional and not necessary here so I'll omit it). I could also have skipped typing "Aug 13" into its own cell and written the function like this: "=DAYS360(A2, "8/13/2009")".


Triumph! Upon hitting return, the function gives me the number of days between now and the Eagles' first preseason game: 36.



If you want to view an additional example of the DAYS360 function or see other useful functions, visit the Google spreadsheets function list. Otherwise, adjust your digital antennas and stock up on nacho supplies because the Eagles' season is almost here.

Posted by: Beah Burger, Search Quality Strategist
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/08/counting-down-to-nfl-season-let-google.html

[G] SES San Jose Next Week!

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Google Analytics Blog: SES San Jose Next Week!

The Search Engine Strategies San Jose conference is next week! This conference has become probably the most well-attended conference for anything related to doing business on the web. You'll see everything - booths representing cutting edge, fledgling technologies as well as the traditional online companies - and everyone, from experts in almost every facet of the web, to analysts, media and bloggers, to ad execs.

There's a ton of great sessions to attend and networking to be done, and a bunch of Googlers will be there including many of us on the Google Analytics team. We'll also have a booth where we will be demoing and answering your questions, along with Google Website Optimizer, AdWords, AdSense, Webmaster Tools, YouTube, and Doubleclick. You can register now and save 20% with the code SJ20SES.

Here are some sessions that might be of interest for you, oh ye of the analytical leanings:

Monday, August 10th, 2009
All day Web Analytics Association Base Camp - training on ways to optimize your website and what tools to use.

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
10:00-11:30 - Always Be Testing - Bryan Eisenberg
11:45-12:45 - Creating a Web Analytics Culture - Feras Alhlou
1:45-2:45 - How to Turn Your Web Analytics into a Money Making Machine - Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg, Jim Sterne
3:00 - 4:00 - Meaningful SEO Metrics: Going Beyond the Numbers
4:30-5:30 - Extreme Makeover: Conversion Edition - Bryan Eisenberg

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
10:45am - 12:00pm - Convert Your Visitors to Customers (Google Site Search) - Nitin Mangtani
10:45-12:00 - Landing Page Testing & Tuning - Tim Ash
1:00pm - 2:00pm - Conference Keynote - Nick Fox, Google
2:30pm - 3:45pm - Google AdWords, Analytics & Website Optimizer Secrets Revealed + Google Science Fair
4:00pm - 5:15pm - Real World Multivariate Testing - Trevor Claiborne from Google Website Optimizer, Jim McDonald, Ayat Shukairy, David Sprinkle

Thursday, August 13
10:30-11:45 - Advanced Paid Search Techniques
2:15-3:30 - Extreme Makeover: Live Landing Page Clinic - Tim Ash


We hope to see you there!


Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/08/ses-san-jose-next-week.html

[G] Join us at SES San Jose next week

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Inside AdWords: Join us at SES San Jose next week

Next week is the Search Engine Strategies San Jose conference, and Google will be there. If you're coming to the conference, we'd love to meet you. Googlers will be speaking in a number of sessions on topics ranging from website architecture to quality score. Also, Nick Fox, Business Product Management Director for Google AdWords, will be giving Wednesday's keynote.

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
  • Duplicate Content - Greg Grothaus - 9am-10:15am
  • The Next Wave for Online Video - Erin Bouchier - 11:45am-12:45pm
  • Successful Site Architecture - Johannes Henkel - 11:45am-12:45pm
  • How to Turn Your Web Analytics into a Money Making Machine - Avinash Kaushik- 1:45pm - 2:45pm
  • Keeping it Local - Josh Siegel - 4:30pm-5:30pm
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
  • Convert Your Visitors to Customers - Nitin Mangtani - 10:45am - 12:00pm
  • Conference Keynote - Nick Fox - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Google AdWords, Analytics & Website Optimizer Secrets Revealed + Google Science Fair - 2:30pm - 3:45pm
  • Real World Multivariate Testing - Trevor Claiborne - 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Thursday, August 13th, 2009
  • Extreme Site Makeover - Tiffany Lane - 10:30am - 11:45am
  • Quality Score - Jonathan Alferness - 10:30am - 11:45am
  • Images & Search Engines - RJ Pittman - 2:15pm - 3:30pm
  • Search Becomes the Display OS - Rajas Moonka - 3:45pm - 5:00pm
We're looking forward to meeting you next week.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/08/join-us-at-ses-san-jose-next-week.html

Thursday, August 6, 2009

[G] New Interface Thursdays: Keep tabs on your account with custom alerts

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Inside AdWords: New Interface Thursdays: Keep tabs on your account with custom alerts

The new interface helps you focus on the data you care about with tools like filters and customizable columns. But wouldn't it be great if, instead of having to search for important changes in your metrics, you could be notified when a change you care about occurs?

That's why we've released a new feature called custom alerts. Custom alerts help you stay on top of your account's performance by notifying you whenever important changes occur in your account.

For example, what if you wanted to know when there was a spike in impressions for any of your branded keywords? Simply navigate to your branded keywords ad group, and in the Keywords tab, click More actions, then Create a custom alert.


Here, we've defined an alert to notify us when impressions for the brand terms ad group have increased more than 20% over the previous day:

As another example, you might want to be notified when a campaign is coming close to hitting its budget. To set up this alert, you'll first navigate to All online campaigns. Under More actions, select Create a custom alert. You can set up a ">90% of daily budget spent" alert for a selected campaign, or for every campaign in your account.


Getting alerts
Once you've set up an alert, AdWords will be on the lookout for changes. After an alert is triggered, you'll see it in the Messages section at the top of your account.
If you set up email notification, you don't even need to log in, you'll be emailed when the important change occurs.

Clicking the plus-box shows the full alert:

You can then dismiss the alert from your messages, or click View to see the parts of your account that triggered the notification.

Managing your custom alerts
To look at the alerts you've already set up, select Manage custom alerts under the More actions menu. You can see all the alerts you've set up for your account by first navigating to the Campaigns tab in All online campaigns.

When managing your alerts you can make a number of changes, like pausing or deleting an alert. You can also modify an alert's settings using in-line editing. Lastly, you can turn email notification on or off for a particular alert.

Custom alerts are one of our favorite features in the new AdWords interface, and we're excited about all the different ways you can use them. So the next time you want to keep a close eye on your account, remember that AdWords can stay alert for you.

Meet the new AdWords interface team
There are two upcoming chances to meet the new interface team. Next week, we'll be at the Search Engine Strategies San Jose conference. Join us for our session Google AdWords, Analytics & Website Optimizer: Secrets Revealed! on August 12th at 2:30 PM. After the session, we'll be holding a "science fair" where you can meet many of the AdWords engineers.

We also have one more webinar on August 20th at 9:30 AM PDT. You can register for the free webinar on the new interface webinars site.

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-interface-thursdays-keep-tabs-on.html

[G] Looking Backward: Nominating a new Justice

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Google News Blog: Looking Backward: Nominating a new Justice

Posted by Ryan Sands, Google News Online Team

A few minutes ago, the United States Senate voted 68-31 in favor of confirming Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor's confirmation followed three days of debate on the Senate floor, and was preceded by a series of lengthy and widely-reported confirmation hearings in July. A simple search for [Sotomayor] on Google News yields articles from thousands of sources covering this developing story.

Judge Sotomayor will soon become part of an elite group of Americans, as the 109th Justice to serve on the Court. The process by which new Justices are vetted and confirmed for this powerful body has long been a subject of intense media interest. As history was being made this week, I took a look back using News Archive Search's Timeline view for the term [supreme court confirmation]. While browsing the archives, common threads in media coverage of Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings jumped out at me. I've included some articles below from the last 75 years of Supreme Court History.

These materials were made browsable via our News Archive Partner Program. You can easily click the navigation toolbar to zoom in and out on an article, or fit the entire newspaper page in your browsing window.

Click on each image or link to view an article in its original context:


Morning Star - Jul 23, 1993


St. Petersburg Times - Aug 13, 1937


The Deseret News. - Jul 5, 1987


Eugene Register-Guard - Mar 21, 1939
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/looking-backward-nominating-new-justice.html

[G] Site maintenance on Saturday, August 8

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Inside AdSense: Site maintenance on Saturday, August 8

Our engineers will be performing routine site maintenance this Saturday from 10am to 2pm PDT. Although you won't be able to access your AdSense or Ad Manager accounts during this time, your clicks, impressions, and earnings will continue to be recorded as normal. In addition, ad serving and ad targeting on your pages won't be affected.

For our international readers, here's the maintenance start time converted for a few cities around the world:

London - 6pm Saturday
Athens - 8pm Saturday
Mumbai - 10:30pm Saturday
Kuala Lumpur - 1am Sunday
Melbourne - 3am Sunday

Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/08/site-maintenance-on-saturday-august-8.html

[G] Migrating from Lotus Notes/Domino to Google Apps – #LeavingLotus

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Migrating from Lotus Notes/Domino to Google Apps – #LeavingLotus

Editor's note: We're pleased to welcome guest blogger Michael Cohn, CEO of Cloud Sherpas, who is sharing his perspectives on switching from Lotus Notes to Google Apps. Cloud Sherpas is a Google partner that helps mid-size and large enterprises get the most out of Google Apps.

Cloud Sherpas specializes in moving clients off legacy, on-premise messaging systems and has a strong track record of successful deployments. The company will co-host a morning workshop – Leaving Lotus: Making the Switch from Lotus Notes/Domino to Google Apps – on Thursday, August 13 in Atlanta, Georgia.

For those of you who can't make it, the Q&A portion will be broadcast live and questions will be taken over twitter.


I first learned about Google Apps for Your Domain in mid 2007, before the term "cloud computing" entered the industry lexicon. Back then Google Apps represented the next big thing in IT – the promise of enterprise computing in the cloud.

Two years and one recession later, Google Apps is an enterprise-ready alternative for IT leaders who are frustrated with the traditional cycle of software license negotiations, complex upgrade deployments, and paying for unused maintenance contracts.

Since founding Cloud Sherpas over a year ago, we have guided dozens of large organizations from legacy, on-premise messaging infrastructures to the Google Apps cloud. The value proposition for each of our customers has been different. Some are driven by end user productivity gains, others by cost savings and IT simplification.

Jay Kenney, CIO at Lincoln Property Company, told us his decision to migrate 950 GroupWise users to Google Apps was influenced by ROI, the rich feature-set Google Apps delivers to his users, and was consistent with Lincoln's strategic Business Technology roadmap. Another Cloud Sherpas customer recently collapsed four Exchange servers and three domains into one Google Apps account, making it easier for their IT group to support the company's growth-through-acquisition strategy. And for one southeastern university with over 50,000 accounts, switching to Google Apps provides an unmatched end-user experience, giving students and alumni a greatly improved, modern messaging platform.

Interest in Google Apps is particularly strong in businesses still running Lotus Notes/Domino. Users in these organizations have been complaining about outdated tools for years, and IT leaders, frustrated with IBM's software lifecycle and pressured by shrinking IT budgets, are challenging the status quo. Many of these organizations, however, have large investments in the Lotus platform, and concerns about how to effectively evaluate, plan, test and migrate their deeply integrated environments.

We understand the plight of Lotus customers. Our professional services team has decades of experience designing and maintaining large enterprise Notes/Domino infrastructures, as well as countless nights in data centers migrating Lotus data to other competing platforms.

If you're an IT leader managing a large Lotus environment, we hope you'll join us on Thursday, August 13 in Atlanta as Cloud Sherpas co-hosts Leaving Lotus - Making the Switch from Lotus Notes/Domino to Google Apps. We'll be joined by Google, Binary Tree and Ferris Research, all on-hand to share their perspective on why your organization should consider making the switch.

If you can't make it to Atlanta, you can still participate. We're going to broadcast the Q&A portion of our live seminar online and will be taking your questions over twitter. Just tweet your Lotus Notes to Google Apps questions or concerns with the hashtag #LeavingLotus and register to listen in Thursday, August 13 to the live responses.

– Michael Cohn, CEO, Cloud Sherpas

Posted by Michelle Lisowski, Google Apps team



URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/08/migrating-from-lotus-notesdomino-to.html

[G] Recreating the Google Chrome icon: videos from around the world

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Google Chrome Blog: Recreating the Google Chrome icon: videos from around the world

When I was originally designing the Google Chrome icon, I went through many iterations to figure out how to best represent our brand new web browser. The design needed to stand out on the desktop, look stable yet dynamic, and use color to show some Google branding. Through the design process, another quality that became important to the team was to make the icon feel like a real, tangible object so that clicking on it would be like pressing a real button.

This June, we invited users to take the icon and actually build it in a new, creative way. Many people around the world accepted the challenge and submitted fun and surprising videos of their process. We got to see the icon made out of some interesting materials — like cups, dominos, food and even clothing — as well as many unique digital creations.




I was really impressed by the great care people took in recreating the icon, and I particularly enjoyed this video by Renaud, a fan of Google Chrome in Annecy, France:



A big thank you to everyone who sent us videos. Check out all the submissions here.

Posted by Micheal Lopez, Web Design Lead
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2009/08/recreating-google-chrome-icon-videos.html

[G] New data in Google Earth show wider swath of destruction in Darfur

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Google LatLong: New data in Google Earth show wider swath of destruction in Darfur


On the side of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum west wall is a quote etched into the rock from General Dwight D Eisenhower, who witnessed firsthand the conditions in the concentration camps in 1945, after they were liberated:

"The things I saw beggar description... I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.”

This ability to bear witness is vital in preventing and responding to genocide and crimes against humanity today.


Despite having far more information about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan than previous conflicts - celebrity visits to refugee camps, CNN updates, blog posts from aid workers on the ground - it is difficult for the average American to grasp the true scope of systematic violence over an area roughly the size of Texas.


Now the Museum is providing, through its partnership with Google Earth, the most detailed picture to date of the scope and nature of the destruction that occurred during the genocide in Darfur. That thousands of villages were destroyed has been known for some time; these new data document the true enormity of the destruction.


The attacks against villages in Darfur resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 civilians, the rape of tens of thousands of women, and a refugee crisis in which more than 2.5 million Sudanese remain displaced from their homes.


The updated Google Earth layer, created with data provided by the U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit, shows more than 3,300 villages throughout Darfur that have been damaged or completely destroyed. These data also confirm that most villages were destroyed between 2003 and 2005, during the height of the brutal Sudanese government-backed systematic campaign targeting civilians in Darfur.


For the first time the layer also includes the locations of nearly 200 sites throughout Darfur where users can view imagery from both before and after the destruction, using Google’s own historical dataset. You can find the layer in the "Global Awareness" folder in Google Earth, as shown below, or by downloading the content directly. You can also visit the Museum's website to find out how you can take action.


The web is making it easier to take part in bearing witness to the worst crimes on the planet. Now, with millions throughout Sudan still at serious risk of violence, we must follow through on the more vital task- putting pressure on the international community to help create sustainable peace throughout Sudan. The perpetrators of mass violence in Sudan and elsewhere know that the world is watching.


Posted by Michael Graham, Coordinator of the Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-data-in-google-earth-show-wider.html

[G] Recreating the Google Chrome icon: videos from around the world

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Official Google Blog: Recreating the Google Chrome icon: videos from around the world

(Cross-posted from the Google Chrome blog)

When I was originally designing the Google Chrome icon, I went through many iterations to figure out how to best represent our brand new web browser. The design needed to stand out on the desktop, look stable yet dynamic, and use color to show some Google branding. Through the design process, another quality that became important to the team was to make the icon feel like a real, tangible object so that clicking on it would be like pressing a real button.

This June, we invited users to take the icon and actually build it in a new, creative way. Many people around the world accepted the challenge and submitted fun and surprising videos of their process. We got to see the icon made out of some interesting materials — like cups, dominos, food and even clothing — as well as many unique digital creations.


I was really impressed by the great care people took in recreating the icon, and I particularly enjoyed this video by Renaud, a fan of Google Chrome in Annecy, France:



A big thank you to everyone who sent us videos. Check out all the submissions here.

Posted by Micheal Lopez, Web Design Lead
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/recreating-google-chrome-icon-videos.html

[G] Building privacy into products

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Google Public Policy Blog: Building privacy into products

Posted by Christine Y. Chen, Manager, Policy Communications

Imagine that a friend took a photo of you at a wild party last weekend and posted it on a social-networking site. What one person considers to be harmless fodder for wide consumption can be highly embarrassing to someone else. Because the notion of what's public and what's private differs from individual to individual, it can be challenging for tech companies to figure out how to create products that offer good privacy protections for their users. This challenge is something we think about and discuss at Google every day, and now two of my fellow Googlers are sharing their thoughts on the matter.

Our Canada Policy Counsel Jacob Glick wrote an op-ed in yesterday's National Post arguing that privacy is best protected by good product design. Two examples he gives are Google Street View, in which facial- and license-plate-blurring technology is built into the product, and YouTube, which allows users to choose whether to show their uploaded videos to the entire public or restrict it to a smaller group of friends.

Meanwhile, in the July/August 2009 issue of IEEE Security & Privacy magazine, Google Policy Analyst Betsy Masiello has published an article titled "Deconstructing the Privacy Experience," in which she looks at the challenge of giving users meaningful information and controls:

"We've long focused on transparency and choice as the pillars on which privacy rests because together they enable informed consent to data collection. On their own, however, transparency and choice say nothing about creating a usable privacy experience. Enabling informed consent to data collection isn't enough; product designers must aspire to this and more: enable informed consent without burdening user experience."

You can download a PDF of the entire three-page article here. Both Betsy's article and Jacob's op-ed are great reads; check them out.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/08/building-privacy-into-products.html

[G] The vast potential of energy efficiency

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Google Public Policy Blog: The vast potential of energy efficiency

Posted by Michael Terrell, Program Manager, Google.org

It's no surprise that the cheapest and most available solution to the climate problem is simply to use energy more efficiently. But a recent study issued by McKinsey & Co. details just how compelling an opportunity we are missing. McKinsey predicts that an annual investment of roughly $50 billion over the next 10 years would cut energy demand by 23% and yield savings to the U.S. economy worth $1.2 trillion! The energy savings would be equal to taking the entire U.S. passenger fleet of cars and trucks off the road.

Such efficiency gains are possible only if we overcome some major hurdles. For instance, most people have no idea how much energy we use in our homes on a daily basis or which of our appliances or devices are consuming the most energy. That's one of the reasons that we created Google PowerMeter, a software gadget that shows users detailed information on their home electricity consumption. Studies show that when people have access to this kind information they reduce their energy use by up to 15%. Greater savings are possible if people use the information to buy a more efficient refrigerator or air conditioner, insulate their home, or take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.

The McKinsey report acknowledges that energy efficiency alone won't solve our energy and climate challenges. We must continue to put major resources into low-carbon sources of energy like renewable energy, and the federal economic stimulus, with its tens of billions of targeted dollars and incentives, is a good start. But the McKinsey findings are a wake up call. As we enact more comprehensive energy policies, energy efficiency -- and giving people the information, tools and incentives to take advantage of it -- should be front and center.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/08/vast-potential-of-energy-efficiency.html

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

[G] Back to Basics: "not set" Entries

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Google Analytics Blog: Back to Basics: "not set" Entries

From time to time you might see a "not set" entry in your Top Content or Keywords reports. Hopefully at this point you go to the Google Analytics Help Center to do a search for "not set" to find the definition. :) If you don't, not to worry - this blog post sums up why this entry appears in your report and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

"not set"
Any direct visit or referral visit will be shown under "not set" because it does not have a keyword, ad content, or any other campaign information associated with the visit. The explanations below can help you figure out why a campaign attribute wasn't collected along with the visit.

Re-tagging your AdWords destination URLs
If you are seeing a significant amount of "not set" or '(not set)' entries in your AdWords-related reports, you may wish to disable auto-tagging and instead use the URL Builder to tag your destination URLs so that they're set to the specific campaign variables you want to appear in your reports.

gclid redirection for keywords
Sometimes Analytics users are master URL taggers and still see a "not set" keyword entry. Usually this happens when there is some kind of redirection and the gclid (which is the magic that makes autotagging happen) doesn't work the way it's supposed to. At this point, we recommend you do some detective work going backwards from what you know. Start by clicking on the "not set" entry, and from the Dimension menu, select 'Source' and then 'Medium.' You can also select 'Landing Page' in the Dimension menu if 'Source' or 'Medium' doesn't give you any clues about the missing keyword. These segmenting options should help you narrow down the source of this keyword so that you can pinpoint which keyword's gclid isn't behaving properly.

For more information, search the Google Analytics Help Center (it's important to include the quotation marks!) by entering "not set" in the search box. If you know of any other tips or tricks about "not set" entries, please feel free to post a comment.


Posted by Christina Park, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/08/back-to-basics-not-set-entries.html

[G] Shipping Attribute now available for Germany

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Official Google Base Blog: Shipping Attribute now available for Germany

In response to the July 16th German Supreme Court ruling concerning shipping costs in comparison shopping engines, and to provide consumer with more accurate price information, we're pleased to announce that we've launched the "shipping" attribute in Germany. The "shipping" attribute allows you to specify shipping values for your items on Google Product Search. For more details on formatting the "shipping" attribute, please visit this German Help Center article.

We'll provide an update on this blog once we begin displaying shipping information in Google Product Search results. In the meantime, we strongly encourage all merchants submitting items for Germany to include shipping information in the new "shipping" attribute as soon as possible. Please make sure to include VAT, both in the item price and the shipping price.

Posted by Andrea Gotschin, Google Base Support
URL: http://googlebase.blogspot.com/2009/08/shipping-attribute-now-available-for.html

[G] PubSubHubbub support for Reader shared items

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Official Google Reader Blog: PubSubHubbub support for Reader shared items

Speed is very important at Google, and the Reader team is no exception. One way in which we take speed into account is to try to make consumption of feeds be as efficient as possible. We also want to make it as fast (and as easy) as possible to interact with your Reader data on the rest of the web.



We're therefore happy to announce that Reader has begun adoption of the PubSubHubbub protocol, beginning with the publishing of our shared items. All shared item pages have feeds, and now all of those feeds will ping a hub (and there's a <link rel="hub" .../> element in them). This means that if you (as a web app developer) would like to more efficiently and quickly monitor Reader shares, you just have to subscribe at the hub to be notified of changes in real-time. If you want to learn more about PubSubHubbub and how it works, see the site and protocol definition.



One place that takes advantage of this pinging is FriendFeed. This means if you have added your shared items to your FriendFeed account, you and your friends will see them there within a few seconds the "Share" link being pressed in Reader (special thanks to FriendFeeder Benjamin Golub for making sure the experience was as smooth as possible). You can see this in action in FriendFeed's search results and in the screencast below:







Adding PubSubHubbub support was a 20% project between Brad Fitzpatrick, Brett Slatkin, and myself, each of us working in our spare time over the past couple of weeks. Adding PubSubHubbub to your application is definitely a low-effort but high-payoff way of making the Web faster and more efficient. And if you have any questions or feedback about PubSubHubbub support, you can reach us on our help group, Twitter or Get Satisfaction.

URL: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2009/08/pubsubhubbub-support-for-reader-shared.html

[G] The Fighting Irish: a Google Apps Education success story

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Official Google Blog: The Fighting Irish: a Google Apps Education success story

We love hearing from schools using Google Apps Education Edition, especially when it's helped them save money, gain back time or make students happy. University of Notre Dame is a perfect example (PDF) of one school that's seen great results by "going Google" to help make on-campus communication and collaboration easier.

When this Indiana university migrated its 15,000 students and 150,000 alumni to Google Apps Education Edition about a year ago, they were hoping to improve their outdated email system. What they actually got was better than they expected: Not only were they able to improve student satisfaction by 36% according to a poll conducted on campus, but making the switch to Apps also enabled them to save over $1.5 million that they have since been able to reallocate to new IT services for students and faculty.

Sure, it's all good to hear this from us, but you'd probably like to hear it from them, right? Well now you can. We're hosting a free webinar with Notre Dame on Thursday, August 13th at 10 a.m. PDT where you can learn about their experience deploying Google Apps and find out if this solution might be right for you. Whether you go to school, went to school or run a school, we encourage you to consider life in the cloud. Who knows what results you might see?

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps for Education Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/fighting-irish-google-apps-education.html

[G] The Fighting Irish: a Google Apps Education success story

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Official Google Blog: The Fighting Irish: a Google Apps Education success story

We love hearing from schools using Google Apps Education Edition, especially when it's helped them save money, gain back time or make students happy. University of Notre Dame is a perfect example (PDF) of one school that's seen great results by "going Google" to help make on-campus communication and collaboration easier.

When this Indiana university migrated its 15,000 students and 150,000 alumni to Google Apps Education Edition about a year ago, they were hoping to improve their outdated email system. What they actually got was better than they expected: Not only were they able to improve student satisfaction by 36% according to a poll conducted on campus, but making the switch to Apps also enabled them to save over $1.5 million that they have since been able to reallocate to new IT services for students and faculty.

Sure, it's all good to hear this from us, but you'd probably like to hear it from them, right? Well now you can. We're hosting a free webinar with Notre Dame on Thursday, August 13th at 10 a.m. PDT where you can learn about their experience deploying Google Apps and find out if this solution might be right for you. Whether you go to school, went to school or run a school, we encourage you to consider life in the cloud. Who knows what results you might see?

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps for Education Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/fighting-irish-google-apps-education.html

[G] University of Notre Dame saved $1.5 million. What could your school save?

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: University of Notre Dame saved $1.5 million. What could your school save?

When students decided to run for office in University of Notre Dame's 2008 student government elections, all candidates firmly agreed on one platform: getting their school to switch to Google Apps. Notre Dame's IT department heard them loud and clear.

We love learning about companies and schools that have "gone Google", and University of Notre Dame is a compelling example of what's possible by making the switch. The University was looking for a new email system, but they ended up getting much more. Google Apps delivered a whole new way of communicating and collaborating on campus – and it let them reallocate $1.5 million to new IT initiatives while building student satisfaction (up 36%) and cutting help desk calls by 20%.

According to Katie Rose, Program Manager at Notre Dame's Office of Information Technologies, “The tools that Google Apps offers, and the ability to provide a robust, cost-effective service, made us all wish we had chosen to move in this direction sooner.”

If you'd like to hear more about how Google Apps helped Notre Dame reclaim budget and improve satisfaction, join our free webinar:

Google Apps Education Edition at University of Notre Dame
Thursday, August 13, 2009
10:00 a.m. PDT (GMT -07:00, San Francisco)

We hope that Notre Dame's example will help you see what's possible for your school with Google Apps Education Edition.

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps Education team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/08/university-of-notre-dame-saved-15.html

[G] AdWords system maintenance on August 8th

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Inside AdWords: AdWords system maintenance on August 8th

On Saturday, August 8th, 2009, the AdWords system will be unavailable from approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PDT due to system maintenance. While you won't be able to sign in to your accounts during this time, your campaigns will continue to run as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/08/adwords-system-maintenance-on-august.html

[G] A speedier, spiffier beta for Google Chrome

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Official Google Blog: A speedier, spiffier beta for Google Chrome

Since our last major update of Google Chrome in May, we've been hard at work improving some of its most used and loved features. Today, we're releasing a new beta for you to try. Not only is it speedier than ever, but we've also given the browser a little bit of design whimsy that we hope will bring some color and delight to your day.

This new beta is fitted with a customizable New Tab page, an improved Omnibox and a few basic themes that allow you to deck out your browser with colors, patterns and images. We've also built HTML5 capabilities into this release, as well as a few other nifty technical improvements that will help Google Chrome make the most of your network connection.


You can learn more on the Google Chrome Blog, or download the beta version of Google Chrome to give these new features a whirl. Being on the beta channel gives you a sneak preview of things to come with occasional rough edges, but it's a great way for us to quickly churn out new features and get your feedback.

Posted by Brian Rakowski, Product Manager, and Min Li Chan, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Chrome team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/speedier-spiffier-beta-for-google.html

[G] A New Beta: Why slow down when you can speed up?

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Google Chrome Blog: A New Beta: Why slow down when you can speed up?

There's a brand new beta for you to try out today. As always, we continue to focus on speed, and this beta release shows over 30% improvement on both the V8 and SunSpider benchmarks over our current stable channel release. We've also improved two of the most loved and most used features of Google Chrome: the New Tab page and the Omnibox. Plus, we decided to add a little bit of style by allowing you to deck out your browser with colors, patterns, and images.

Customize the new New Tab page
The New Tab page has been one of the most popular features in Google Chrome. It's also the one that we hear the most about. Embarrassed that checking out lolcats is showing up as your most popular browser pastime? Now you can bump up something dignified and refined into that top Most Visited slot with a simple click and drag of your mouse. You can pin website thumbnails to a particular spot so they don't disappear even if your browsing habits change. Last but not least, you can hide parts of the page if you don't want to see them using the layout buttons on the top right of the New Tab page.


Rearrange website thumbnails on the New Tab page by clicking and dragging thumbnails


Pin websites thumbnails to a particular spot


Try the latest and greatest Omnibox
The Omnibox is indisputably an important part of Google Chrome -- it helps you get to the sites you're looking for with just a few keystrokes. With this release, we've optimized the presentation of the drop-down menu and added little icons to help you distinguish between suggested sites, searches, bookmarks, and sites from your browsing history.




Tweak the chrome of Google Chrome

We built Google Chrome to be speedy, stable and more secure. Now we're adding a little bit of style by allowing you to add a theme to your browser. So, if you've been dying for a browser that reminds you of the Friendly Confines, or if you just want the comfort of your favorite blanket when you're browsing the web, now you can have it. Of course, if baseball or quilting isn't your thing, you can change the theme of your browser by visiting the Themes Gallery. There is still some testing to do -- we're only launching some very basic themes and there are still some kinks to work out, but we will add more themes in the future as we roll this out to the stable version.


A sneak peek at the woody "Desktop" theme



...and your favorite website thumbnails basking on a grassy field


Experience HTML5 capabilities
We're always trying to further push the things you can do in the browser. For example, we've started building HTML5 capabilities into this beta release, including video tag functionality and web workers.


Speed, Speed, and more Speed
Beyond the improvements in JavaScript execution in this latest beta, there are a host of other improvements that should help Google Chrome make the most of your network connection. For example, when you open a new web page while other web pages are still loading, Google Chrome is now smarter about prioritizing the requests for the new page -- for instance, fetching text, images, and video for your new page -- ahead of the requests from the older pages. Loading pages on this beta release should also be faster than ever with DNS caching, more efficient DOM bindings, and using V8 for proxy auto-config.


To try out these new features, you need to get on the beta channel. This means that your version of Google Chrome will regularly get updated with new speed enhancements, features, and bug fixes before most users see them. The beta channel provides a sneak preview of things to come with occasional rough edges, but it's a great way for us to quickly churn out new features and get your feedback.

If you're interested in giving all these fresh new features a whirl, download the beta version of Google Chrome.

Posted by Glen Murphy, Software Engineer
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-beta-why-slow-down-when-you-can.html

[G] Innovation in video on the web

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Official Google Blog: Innovation in video on the web

Today, video is an important part of many people's everyday activities on the Internet and a big part of many Google products.

Because we spend a lot of time working to make the overall web experience better for users, we think that video compression technology should be a part of the web platform. To that end, we're happy to announce today that we've signed a deal to acquire On2 Technologies, a leading creator of high-quality video compression technology.

The deal is still subject to approval by On2 Technologies' stockholders and review by relevant regulatory authorities, including the SEC, but we expect it to close in Q4.

Although we're not in a position to discuss specific product plans until after the deal closes, we are committed to innovation in video quality on the web, and we believe that On2 Technologies' team and technology will help us further that goal.

We'll update everybody when we're able to share more information. In the meantime, nothing will change for On2 Technologies' current and prospective customers.

Posted by Jeremy Doig, Engineering Director - Video, and Mike Jazayeri, Group Product Manager

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the expected timing of the acquisition, Google’s and On2’s ability to close the acquisition, Google’s ability to integrate On2’s technology and employees, and the expected benefits of the acquisition, including that the acquisition will further Google’s goal to enhance the web experience with video. These statements are based on the current expectations or beliefs of managements of Google Inc. and On2 Technologies, Inc., and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to (1) changes in economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors, (2) failure to receive the required stockholder and regulatory approval for the acquisition, (3) failure to compete successfully in this highly competitive and rapidly changing marketplace, (4) failure to retain key employees, and (5) other factors affecting the operation of the respective businesses of Google and On2. More detailed information about these and other factors that may affect current expectations may be found in filings by Google or On2, as applicable, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including their respective most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Google and On2 are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any such obligation to, update or alter their respective forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Additional Information and Where to Find It
Google plans to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Registration Statement on Form S-4 in connection with the transaction, which will include a Proxy Statement of On2 that also constitutes a Prospectus of Google. On2 will mail the Proxy Statement/Prospectus to its stockholders in connection with the transaction. The Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about Google, On2, the transaction and related matters. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus carefully when they are available. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Google and On2 through the web site maintained by the SEC at
www.sec.gov and by contacting Google Investor Relations at 650-253-7663 or On2 Investor Relations at 518-881-4299. In addition, investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC on Google’s website at investor.google.com and on On2’s website at www.on2.com.

Participants in the Solicitation
Google, On2 and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding Google’s executive officers and directors is included in Google’s definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on March 24, 2009, and information regarding On2’s executive officers and directors is included in On2’s definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on April 7, 2009. The Proxy Statement / Prospectus for the proposed transaction will provide more information about participants in the solicitation of proxies from On2 stockholders, which participants may have interests different from On2 stockholders generally. You can obtain free copies of these documents from Google or On2 using the contact information above.
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/innovation-in-video-on-web.html

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

[G] Pardon Our Dust: Temporary Issues with Webmaster Tools

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Google News Blog: Pardon Our Dust: Temporary Issues with Webmaster Tools

Posted by Abe Epton, Publisher Support Team

Google News publishers have long made use of Webmaster Tools to submit and update their News sitemaps, as well as learn more about how Google is crawling their site. Recently, the Webmaster Tools site underwent a major makeover designed to make it easier for publishers to use. As part of this process, Google News is working to improve our interaction with Webmaster Tools and help news publishers take advantage of some of WMT's helpful new features.

Unfortunately, this also means that there are currently a few issues that publishers are seeing. We wanted to let you know what they were, and reassure you that we're working on them. While there may be some sawdust and loose nails lying around at the moment, it won't be long before a sturdy new edifice has been completed, and we think publishers will agree that the hard work will have been worth it. For the moment, however:
  • Webmaster Tools may report an incorrect "Last downloaded" date for News sitemaps, display a strange number of articles indexed, or display a News sitemap as "Pending" () even though Google News is already crawling the sitemap. The best way to determine if we're crawling a sitemap or not is to check your server logs for Googlebot.
  • From time to time, it may become necessary to resubmit your sitemap (for example, if the Type switches from News to Web). In order to do so, don't click the "Resubmit" button at the bottom of your sitemap list; instead, click the "Submit a Sitemap" link, select Google News from the Type dropdown box, and give us your sitemap's URL.
We apologize for the inconvenience these issues may be causing you. We're working hard to improve the sitemap submission experience, and think you'll be pleased with the results.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/pardon-our-dust-temporary-issues-with.html