Friday, October 2, 2009

[G] Helping the victims of Tropical Storm Ketsana

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Google LatLong: Helping the victims of Tropical Storm Ketsana

[Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]

Last weekend, Tropical Storm Ketsana (local name "Ondoy") pounded Manila and nearby areas of the Philippines with a month's worth of rain in just a few hours, resulting in floods that covered 80% of the city with as much as 20 feet of water. The typhoon left in its wake nearly 300 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

We're very saddened by the losses the Filipino people have sustained during this calamity. To help you stay up to date on the disaster and contribute to the relief efforts, we've put up a Help for Typhoon Ondoy Victims in the Philippines page that contains the latest news from local media outlets, lists of verified donation sites and emergency hotlines, and a volunteer-maintained map of persons needing rescue.

Filipinos have been posting videos of the flooding and its aftermath on YouTube. You can also visualize the overflows along main rivers and bays in Google Earth with this kmz file.

If you're familiar with Google Maps and would like to get involved in the effort to map missing persons, relief centers and road conditions, you can email the volunteer team at typhoonondoy@googlegroups.com. We will continue to update the page with the latest information and imagery, as well as provide any relevant updates on this blog.

Posted by Therese Lim, Google Southeast Asia Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/helping-victims-of-tropical-storm.html

[G] Helping the victims of Tropical Storm Ketsana

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Official Google Blog: Helping the victims of Tropical Storm Ketsana

Last weekend, Tropical Storm Ketsana (local name "Ondoy") pounded Manila and nearby areas of the Philippines with a month's worth of rain in just a few hours, resulting in floods that covered 80% of the city with as much as 20 feet of water. The typhoon left in its wake nearly 300 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

We're very saddened by the losses the Filipino people have sustained during this calamity. To help you stay up to date on the disaster and contribute to the relief efforts, we've put up a Help for Typhoon Ondoy Victims in the Philippines page that contains the latest news from local media outlets, lists of verified donation sites and emergency hotlines, and a volunteer-maintained map of persons needing rescue.

Filipinos have been posting videos of the flooding and its aftermath on YouTube. You can also visualize the overflows along main rivers and bays in Google Earth with this kmz file.

If you're familiar with Google Maps and would like to get involved in the effort to map missing persons, relief centers and road conditions, you can email the volunteer team at typhoonondoy@googlegroups.com. We will continue to update the page with the latest information and imagery, and keep your eye on the Lat Long blog for updates about disaster relief efforts.

Posted by Therese Lim, Google Southeast Asia Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/helping-victims-of-tropical-storm.html

[G] This week in @googlemaps

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Google LatLong: This week in @googlemaps


Here are this week's highlights from Twitter - remember, you can follow us at twitter.com/googlemaps. You'll find some fun links and announcements you may have missed:
  • Impressive global mashup showing where iconic music album cover photos were taken - over 700 of them http://bit.ly/3YsOa1
  • Map Maker data from 19 new countries & territories now graduated to Google Maps. Some amazing before/after shots http://bit.ly/pbAHd
  • 国庆北京交通限行地图。 http://bit.ly/3faQ98 [Road closures in Beijing during National Day parade on October 1st.]

Posted by Julie Zhou, Chief Maps Twitterer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-week-in-googlemaps.html

[G] This Week in Search 10/2/09

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Official Google Blog: This Week in Search 10/2/09

This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

At Google, we're completely committed to the needs of our users. This is one reason we make constant changes to the user experience — so you have a better search experience. Some of the changes are larger features like our Search Options; some are small visual refinements, like our larger search box. Starting today, we'll post a story each Friday that showcases some of the user experience updates we've made to our search in the past week, complete with example searches, and how and where to see the improvements. This way, loyal search aficionados can see and experiment with all of updates in one easy-to-access place.

Hot Trends highlighted on results page
Have you ever wondered how many people query [tsunami] or [Samoa] right after they read about it in the news, or are you the only one looking? For years, Google Trends has let you search an aggregation of what other people are searching for. Now we're taking that concept to the results page and showcasing fast-rising terms with a graph at the bottom of the page. To see it, try one of these searches and scroll to the bottom:

Example search: [olympic bid]
The queries here are rather fleeting by nature — one minute they're hot; the next, cold. (Apologies if [olympic bid] no longer shows this off.) The easiest way to be sure to see this feature is try one of the searches from our Hot Trends page. You'll see the hot trend featured at the bottom of the search results page, highlighted with a graph.

New tools in Search Options
We've just added a host of new tools in our Search Options panel. To view the Search Options, do a search, find "Web" in the top blue bar, and click on the "+ Search Options" link to the right of it. A navigation bar on the left side of the screen will appear. We launched Search Options back in May, but this week we're adding a set of new and exciting features. Among them:

Better way to shop and research products
Have you ever found that your search sometimes feels too commercial when you're just starting to think of buying? Or maybe you've experienced the opposite, where you can't find an online store to buy something despite your best attempts. We've just introduced a way for you to control the number of stores you see in your results.

Example search: flip camera
Click on the link in Search Options that says "Fewer shopping sites" and you'll see mostly reviews and technical specifications. When you're ready to buy, click on the link in Search Options that says "More shopping sites." You'll see mostly stores listed, and the results even note the prices and specific products right on that page.

Learning from history
If you use personalized search and web history, it's now easier for you to see which of the search results you have visited already and which you haven't.

Example search: YouTube
With the Search Options panel open and while you're signed in to Google (look for your user name in the upper righthand corner), click on the "Visited Pages" tool. Your results will then show only pages you've visited that contain the term 'YouTube.' Now, click on the tool "Not yet visited" where you will see only pages you haven't yet seen that contain 'YouTube.'

Keeping up with time
The Search Options panel has always helped users search over time, but now there are two new features that help you do this even more flexibly: 'Past hour' and 'Specific date range.'

Example search: Obama
Click on the 'Past hour' link and you'll see all the recent news and web pages published in the past hour on [Obama].

Example search: Michael Jordan
Now click on 'Specific date range' and try the period surrounding Jordan's last championship (5/1/98 through 7/31/98), and you'll see all the press from the Chicago Bulls' win and various articles covering him that summer.

Personalized Suggest now on Mobile
Finally, here's a fun tidbit that bridges web search on the desktop to web search on mobile. New this week, Google Suggest (the suggested queries that appear below the search box as you type) on your mobile phone is personalized, based on searches from your desktop. This feature only applies when you are signed in to your Google account, and only for searches done while you are signed in. We think this small feature is significant because it enables you to easily migrate your search tasks from the desktop to your phone. It's also one of the first instances in which your desktop search usage can improve your mobile search experience, and vice versa.

Hope you enjoyed this week's features. Stay tuned for what's next!

Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-week-in-search-10209.html

[G] Orkut Friends Export Bug Fixed

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Data Liberation: Orkut Friends Export Bug Fixed

Yesterday, in the process of adding additional security measures to Orkut Friends Export, we inadvertently introduced a bug that prevented users from exporting their contacts (instead, they were redirected to their Orkut home page). This bug was fixed this morning before 11AM CDT and users can once again export their contacts by going to their Friends page and clicking on the export button. I'd like to apologize for any inconvenience that this might have caused for Orkut users.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to our users: You should be able to control the data you store in any of Google's products, and we will continue to work to make it easier for you to move your data in and out of our products. If, in the future, you encounter any issues with import or export from Google products, please don't hesitate to let us know. You can reach us on Twitter at @dataliberation.


Posted by Brian Fitzpatrick, Data Liberation Front
URL: http://dataliberation.blogspot.com/2009/10/orkut-friends-export-bug-fixed.html

[G] SVG at Google and in Internet Explorer

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Google Open Source Blog: SVG at Google and in Internet Explorer

At Google we are doing some exciting work with SVG, including hosting the SVG Open conference, helping SVG to work on Internet Explorer, and working with Wikipedia. Make sure to check out the Google Code Blog for all the details!

By Brad Neuberg, Google Developer Advocate
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/svg-at-google-and-in-internet-explorer.html

[G] Report from EuroBSDCon 2009

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Google Open Source Blog: Report from EuroBSDCon 2009

I'm no stranger to EuroBSDCon. After attending several very successful conferences in the US, three FreeBSD contributors and I decided that Europe needed a BSD conference too. In November 2001 we were proud to host 160 or so delegates in the first European BSD Conference. Over the last couple of years I haven't been able to keep as up to date with the latest developments in the BSD world, so I was very interested to attend EuroBSDCon 2009, organised in collaboration with the UK Unix User Group.

With the conference split in to several tracks it was impossible to attend every talk, so I decided to focus primarily on those that talked about how BSD systems were helping people solve problems in the real world. Links to all the papers, slides, and in some cases audio from the presentations can be found at conference schedule page.

The first talk I attended was "How FreeBSD Finds Oil," given by Harrison Grundy. Harrison runs a consultancy company in the US providing clustered computing systems to oil and gas companies.

From EuroBSDCon 2009

He started with a run through of the economics of oil and gas exploration. It quickly became clear that the "Free" in "FreeBSD" is of no concern to these companies, as software licensing costs are such a tiny part of their overall expense. Features like stability and performance are far more important -- his customers frequently run lengthy computational jobs over terabytes of data. This is somewhat similar to what we do at Google, although obviously the data is very different. I asked whether the industry was moving in the direction of technologies like Hadoop (an open source implementation of MapReduce) but for the moment, at least, the answer seems to be no. "It's not broken, so why fix it?" appearing to be the prevailing view.

Next was Konrad Heuer, talking about "FreeBSD in a complex environment." Here he described some lessons learned from running a heterogeneous environment of systems - FreeBSD, Linux, Windows, Solaris, and issues that they faced and benefits they saw with FreeBSD. Chief amongst those benefits seemed to be the commitment by the project to continue to support APIs and higher level interfaces. Their print services have run on FreeBSD for more than 10 years, with very few modifications required. The biggest issue seemed to be commercial support; he described a number of hacks required to be able to use Tivoli Storage Manager (which they use on their other systems) to also back up their FreeBSD systems. In the discussion that followed there was a suggestion to create a mechanism where people could register things like this, so that vendors realise that many of their Linux sales are actually BSD sales, and have more incentive to create a native version of the application.

Peter Losher from the Internet Systems Consortium presented next. The ISC is a non-profit organisation that has, for years, developed, or funded the development of much of the core software the "runs" the Internet, including the DNS server BIND, and DHCP server software. ISC also provides hosting, connectivity, and mirroring services for several open source projects, including many of the BSDs. Peter talked in some detail about the mechanisms used to make the F root DNS server highly available, and features in FreeBSD that make this possible. He also talked a little about IPv6, and new features in DHCP v4.x to support IPv61.

After the lunch break Kirk McKusick talked about Superpage support in FreeBSD. He was quick to point out that he'd had no hand in the work himself, and was describing work carried out by Alan Cox et al as a result of their 2002 paper on superpages. Superpages are a method for solving a bottleneck in modern architectures.

From EuroBSDCon 2009

Right at the top of the memory access hierarchy is the Translation Lookaside Buffer, or TLB. The TLB is used to cache the mapping between page virtual addresses to page physical addresses, but has not grown in size at the same rate as available main memory has grown. A common maximum size is 1MB, which, when your page size is 4K, only allows for 4MB worth of virtual addresses to be in the TLB at any one time. With high-end systems these days approaching 32 or even 64GB of RAM, and typical working set sizes being much higher than 4MB the TLB undergoes significant churn. The solution is to use a page size that's larger than 4K -- a superpage. Some architectures have support for many different page sizes. The i386 architecture however is limited to either 4K or 2MB. A 2MB page size would allow the TLB to cache mappings for 2GB of RAM, and provide a large speed improvement to any program that processes a significant amount of data. Kirk went on to describe the work that Alan and others have done to implement superpage support on FreeBSD, and the heuristics the system uses to determine whether to collapse a 2MB contiguous chunk of RAM in to a superpage. He presented benchmark results that show superpages providing somewhere between a ~ 15 - 600% (!) speed improvement under typical workloads.

The next session was Chris Buechler giving an introduction to pfsense, and an overview of what new features will be in the upcoming 2.0 releases. pfsense is a FreeBSD distribution designed to run as an embedded firewall or router, although that description barely covers its capabilities. Amongst other things the 2.0 code includes is a major overhaul of the configuration UI, generalisation of interface support so that pfsense now works with any number of interfaces rather than 3, numerous new networking technologies, and an easy way to provide additional functionality via packages instead of bloating the base system.

Stanislav Sedov then described work that he had undertaken to build an embedded GPS navigation and tracking device designed to be deployed in harsh industrial environments. This included porting FreeBSD to an Atmel AT91RM9200 CPU, improving the device's bootloader support so it could boot from UFS, reducing the size of the image, and providing support for reliable in-the-field upgrades.

The final session of the day was an invited talk from Dr. Richard Clayton on the theme of "Evil on the Internet". I was fortunate enough to see Dr. Clayton give a version of this talk at Google about 18 months ago. Since then he's updated it to cover more examples of how people are using the internet to phish, scam, defraud, and otherwise attempt to part people from their money.

Sunday I joined the first session of the second track, an introduction to mfsBSD, a toolset to create memory filesystem based FreeBSD distributions. Martin Matuška explained his motivations behind the project, which was to find an easy way to replace Linux in the ISP-hosted environment he was using, but mfsBSD can now be used to make upgrades easier, provide a rescue partition, a USB bootable install of FreeBSD, and so on.

From EuroBSDCon 2009

Next was Brooks Davis, presenting a roundup of the results of FreeBSD's participation in the 2009 Google Summer of Code. Of the 20 FreeBSD projects that were accepted as part of Summer of Code, 17 were successful. These included efforts that improved the performance of the ipfw firewall code, introduced support for stackable cryptographic filesystems, and enhanced the infrastructure for tracking software licenses in the ports tree, making it easier for users and distributors to ensure that they are using software that complies with their local licensing requirements.

From EuroBSDCon 2009

Alastair Crooks followed this with a discussion of his work on netPGP, a BSD licensed implementation of PGP that is configuration-compatible with gnuPG. As well as covering the ins and outs of the work Alastair's presentation was notable for employing some truly terrible (but memorable) visual puns. I was groaning too much through them to take pictures, but if I tell you that the slide titled "Use Cases" had as the accompanying illustration a picture of some sheep next to some hat boxes you might get an idea. Must have worked though, since I can still remember the slides.

Kris Moore from iXSystems then demonstrated the work that they've been doing on the PC-BSD distribution of FreeBSD. Apart from making the installation process considerably simpler and improving the initial user experience they've also developed an alternative binary package mechanism, which they call PBI. The PBI format works to avoid problems caused by upgrades to shared libraries that should be backwards compatible but aren't, and does this by bundling a copy of all the shared libraries required by the application in to the package directory, making each installed package completely self-contained and upgradeable without interfering with any other applications that are installed.

The "state of BSD" sessions at these conferences are always entertaining, and this year was no exception. Alastair Crooks for NetBSD, Owain Ainsworth and Henning Brauer for OpenBSD, and George Neville-Neil for FreeBSD presented updates on the current state and future plans of each of these systems.

From EuroBSDCon 2009

EuroBSDCon concluded with a number of lightning talks covering various works in progress (or WIPs), both large and small. The most interesting, for me, was the update by Pawel Jakub Dawidek on the state of ZFS support in FreeBSD. This is something that was just coming to FreeBSD around the time that I was running out of time to pay attention on a day-to-day basis. Since then support for ZFS has improved tremendously, and probably the comment I heard most repeatedly at the conference was how useful people are finding it.

And with that, the conference closed. Organizers were thanked, and delegates prepared themselves for the journey home.

1 The irony of v4 of the software being the first to support IPv6 is not lost on them.

By Nik Clayton, Site Reliability Engineer


URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/report-from-eurobsdcon-2009.html

[G] Google Friend Connect: Look, ma...no files!

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Social Web Blog: Google Friend Connect: Look, ma...no files!

Normally when we misplace files here at the Googleplex, we ask our best engineers to get them back. But today, we've gotten rid of a few files on purpose, and we're happy to see them go!

Today, we're making it even easier to get started with Google Friend Connect. We've heard from a number of you that uploading files to activate your website is not always easy. So starting today, you no longer have to worry about downloading or uploading files. Setting up a new website just involves entering your site's name and URL upon logging into www.google.com/friendconnect.

Additionally, we've updated the "canvas mode" that's used inside gadgets. So now, when you click the zoom icon in the upper right corner of some gadgets, you'll see a lightbox that displays the gadgets' contents, instead of being taken to a new webpage.


To get started with Google Friend Connect, visit www.google.com/friendconnect.

Posted by Jonathan Terleski, UI Designer, Google Friend Connect
URL: http://googlesocialweb.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-friend-connect-look-mano-files.html

[G] YouTube Promoted Videos to appear on AdSense sites

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Inside AdSense: YouTube Promoted Videos to appear on AdSense sites

As the number of YouTube content producers continues to grow, many are looking for new ways to reach new audiences. That's why we're happy to announce the launch of YouTube Promoted Videos in AdSense ad units.

Promoted Videos are YouTube videos -- from movie trailers to product demos to really almost any kind of video on YouTube -- promoted by their creators so they can reach a wider audience. (You may have already noticed Promoted Videos on YouTube.com, as they appear on partner watch pages and alongside YouTube search results.) Extending Promoted Videos to AdSense sites will enable these content producers to broaden their reach, while providing you with another way to earn from your ad space. At this time, these ads are only available in English to US publishers, but we're looking forward to expanding to additional regions and languages in the future.

Promoted Videos feature a thumbnail image with three lines of text, and when clicked, will bring the user to watch a video or view a channel on YouTube. They're contextually targeted to your pages, and you'll earn from these ads on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. In addition, they can appear in the following ad formats, as long as you've opted these formats in to displaying both text and image ads: 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard, 250x250 Square, and 200x200 Small Square. Just like other ads, Promoted Videos compete in our standard ad auction, so they'll help drive up competition among advertisers bidding to appear on your pages. When a Promoted Video wins the ad auction, it'll be shown alone in one of the eligible ad formats.

All Promoted Videos are required to comply with the YouTube Advertising Policies, and the advertised videos with our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines. You can prevent Promoted Videos from appearing on your pages by adding 'youtube.com' to your Competitive Ad Filter list. Please note that currently, this method will block all Promoted Videos from your sites.

Finally, we'd like to mention that these new Promoted Videos are separate from our video ads offering, which stream ads in video format and are classified as image ads.

We're continuing to look for additional revenue opportunities for publishers, and we hope these new ads will help you earn more.

Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/youtube-promoted-videos-to-appear-on.html

[G] Analytics training coming to NYC, Chicago, Berkeley, Seattle, Phoenix, and Charlotte!

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Google Analytics Blog: Analytics training coming to NYC, Chicago, Berkeley, Seattle, Phoenix, and Charlotte!

Do you learn best by clear examples? Do you get the feeling you could be doing so much more with Google Analytics, but are not quite sure how? Do you want to take your skills to the next level? Or are you starting from scratch? Whatever your goal or skill level, there's a day-long Google Analytics Seminars For Success that is right for you - and is coming to a US city near you.

Our instructors have years of experience implementing some of the most sophisticated Google Analytics implementations to date and working with customers of every skill level. They are touring the country with S4s (Seminars For Success) spreading that knowledge to the public. They are all Google Analytics Authorized Consultants and are listed in parentheses below next to the city name.

Former students tell us all the time they never realized how much there was to learn and how they wished they had taken the class sooner.

We’re happy to announce a new round of cities hosting the seminars through the end of the year—sign up today!

New York, NY (EpikOne)
Oct 8: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Oct 9: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training

Chicago, IL (WebShare)
Oct 28: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Oct 29: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training
Oct 30: Website Optimizer & Landing Page Testing

Berkeley, CA (WebShare)
Nov 4: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Nov 5: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training
Nov 6: Website Optimizer & Landing Page Testing

Seattle, WA (WebShare)
Nov 18: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Nov 19: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training
Nov 20: Website Optimizer & Landing Page Testing

Phoenix, AZ (WebShare)
Dec 9: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Dec 10: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training
Dec 11: Website Optimizer & Landing Page Testing

Charlotte, NC (ROI Revolution)
Dec 9: Analytics Intro/Marketer Training
Dec 10: Analytics Advanced & Implementation Training


Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team and Corey Koberg, WebShare, a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/10/analytics-training-coming-to-nyc.html

Thursday, October 1, 2009

[G] Searching for the next Olympics host city

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Official Google Blog: Searching for the next Olympics host city

Tomorrow morning, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide the host for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games. Competing for the honor are four bid cities: Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

In past years, in addition to seeing a surge in searches during the Games, we typically see a significant swell in searches leading up to the announcement about which will be the next IOC host city. Just two years ago, people from across the world turned to Google to learn more about Sochi, Russia — the newly announced host of the 2014 winter games. Similar patterns emerged across the United Kingdom as citizens searched to learn more about the London 2012 bid.

At Google we've always shared the world's interest in the Olympics, and have expressed that interest through dozens of Google doodles both while the games are occurring (last August, the Beijing Games inspired many doodles) as well as celebrating the naming of host cities (Sochi in 2007). Also, last summer the world followed along at home using our Beijing 2008 Summer Games medal tracker on their iGoogle page or through the Olympic Games onebox on Google.com.

As decision day for 2016 approaches, we have Googlers in our offices in Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo (and in Sao Paulo cheering on Rio) who are watching and cheering on their cities along with the rest of the world. With the decision tomorrow, we thought it would be interesting to see what people from the host cities and countries are searching for. We've shared some of the coolest tidbits below.

Searches from around the globle for [2016] have reached an all-time high. Search volume from Spain dwarfs Brazil, the United States and Japan:


In Chicago, searchers are looking more for info on Rio's bid than Madrid's or Tokyo's, possibly indicating that Chicago residents view Rio's bid as the most competitive:


Across Tokyo, people are searching more frequently for information about the Olympics and their city's chances of landing the 2016 games:

Searches translate to [olympics] and [olympics tokyo], in blue and red, respectively

Although Oprah is widely viewed as the most popular full-time Chicago resident in the world, Chicagoans today are searching more for the Olympics than their favorite talk show host:


In Brazil, searches for [jogos olimpicos] (olympic games) have risen 650% over the course of the year. And when looking at Brazilians' interest in [rio 2016] as a search term, the top related search was for [roda rio] (a 36-meter tall ferris wheel, capable of holding 144 passengers with a gondola for the disabled). The ferris wheel, located on Copacabana, was completed in January of this year as part of the city's Olympic bid campaign.

In Spain, search volume for [juegos olímpicos] (olympic games) has more than doubled in the last month alone.

On Google Trends, [2016 olympic decision] has been steadily moving up all day, with the largest volume of searches coming from Chicago and Atlanta:


Ultimately, it comes down to the votes of the 106 IOC members. Around the world, hundreds of Googlers, along with many millions of Google users, eagerly await their decision. Whichever city wins, we can't wait for the Games to begin.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Managing Director, U.S. Sales (and proud Chicagoan)
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/searching-for-next-olympics-host-city.html

[G] Translation functions in spreadsheets

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Official Google Docs Blog: Translation functions in spreadsheets

Earlier this week, we added two functions to Google spreadsheets that add translation and language detection capabilities.
  • =GoogleTranslate("Hola, ¿cómo estás?","es","en") gives "Hi, how are you"
  • =DetectLanguage("Hola, ¿cómo estás?") gives "es"
Breaking down the first function, =GoogleTranslate("field one", "field two," field three"), the first field should be the text you want to translate -- in this case "Hola, ¿cómo estás?". The second field should be the two letter language code of the text you want to translate -- "es" is the two letter code for Spanish. Lastly, the final field indicates which language you want want the text to be translated into -- "en" is the two letter code for English. If you leave out the last field, the function will automatically translate the text into the language of the spreadsheet. The second function, =DetectLanguage("field one") works similarly and outputs the two letter language code of the text.

These functions open up some fun and interesting ways to use forms. For example, you could collect comments in many languages and use the two functions together to automatically translate responses into your native language.


If you hover over a cell with translated text, the original text is displayed.


If you want to try it out for yourself, check out this template. We're excited about the possibilities this opens up and we hope you enjoy translating your spreadsheets.

Posted by: Frank Tang, Software Engineer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/10/translation-functions-in-spreadsheets.html

[G] Post to Blogger with Google Sidewiki

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Blogger Buzz: Post to Blogger with Google Sidewiki


Last week, Google Sidewiki launched to the world as an entirely new way to share information across the web. This new Google Toolbar feature allows you contribute your own insight to any webpage, as well as read information shared by others right in your browser's sidebar.

Google Sidewiki uses a special relevancy algorithm to display the most helpful entries first, and also has the built-in technology to display your entries on other sites which contain the same snippet of text. For a more in-depth look at how it all works, as well as full overview of all the features that Google Sidewiki has to offer, the team put together a very helpful page which you can check out here.

One feature in particular did catch our attention here on the Blogger team, and that is the ability to post your Google Sidewiki entires directly to your blog. You can watch a quick video tutorial of how it all works below:



So if you haven't already, download the Google Toolbar and give Sidewiki a try. As you come up with new ideas, submit them on the Sidewiki product ideas page!
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2009/10/post-to-blogger-with-google-sidewiki.html

[G] Release Notes: 10/1/09

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YouTube Blog: Release Notes: 10/1/09

News and notes from our most recent push:

Personalized recommendations on the homepage
: Recommendations for you aren't just for users with accounts anymore. Now everyone can visit the YouTube homepage to get an answer to the question, "What should I watch today?" We'll automatically generate some suggestions based on your past viewing history. Of course, you'll still get better, more specific and more consistent recommendations by creating a YouTube account.

Beginning the conversion of remaining old channels:
We're starting the process today to convert all remaining channels still using the older platform to the new one. (This migration could take up to two weeks to complete.) Once again, your comments and feedback have been instrumental in helping the new version evolve and grow (you can see a list of items we addressed here). Now customizing and editing your channel is a lot easier, with plenty of options for organizing videos, and the channel refocuses attention on engaging with you and your videos, which, after all, is the centerpiece of any YouTube experience. And we've got a lot of great ideas and input from you on things you'd like to see next.

YouTube in Portuguese (the European kind):
We've added Portuguese (as spoken in Portugal) to the list of languages in which you can experience YouTube. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, find "Current Language" and click on "Show languages." You'll see options there for both Português and Português (Brasil).

New discount in Creator's Corner:
Logitech is offering YouTube users in the U.S. 15% off select Webcams. Click here for the coupon code and link.

Always, The YouTube Team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/euhvQVySiHc/release-notes-10109.html

[G] Celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2009

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Google Public Policy Blog: Celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2009

Posted by Eric Davis, Head of Anti-Malvertising

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.)

Internet security and online safety are topics that leave many people scratching their heads. While many companies and organizations work to make the Internet a safer place, it can be difficult to know what to do as an Internet user beyond creating numerous passwords for your various online accounts and steering clear of that email from a "long lost relative" who wants you to immediately wire thousands of dollars to him. Here's the good news: even though security can become quite technical and complicated, there are simple steps you can take that can make a big difference in helping to keep your information safe.


This month, Google joins the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), governmental agencies, corporations, schools and non-profit organizations in recognizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Throughout October, we'll be raising awareness of important Internet security and safety issues that will teach you how to be an informed web user. Keep an eye on our various product blogs, as we'll be sharing tips that are tailored to users of Google products and services. To kick off the series, visit our newly created Google Cyber Security Awareness Channel on YouTube to watch a variety of online safety videos created by individuals and groups with an interest in cyber security.

The web is a great platform for all kinds of things — finding information, interacting with others and even running your business. Practicing good cyber security habits can help keep it that way. Join us this month by brushing up on your cyber security awareness and sharing the tips you like with others.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/celebrating-national-cyber-security.html

[G] Now in Google Toolbar for Firefox: advanced in-page translation

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Official Google Blog: Now in Google Toolbar for Firefox: advanced in-page translation

Last week was a big one for Google Toolbar: we released the new Google Toolbar with Sidewiki for Internet Explorer and Firefox allowing you to contribute helpful information next to any webpage. But there's more: with the new version of Google Toolbar, our advanced in-page translation also became available for Firefox, making it easy to read a webpage in another language with the click of a button.

The new version of Google Toolbar for Firefox has several other new features . You can find (almost) everything about the toolbar in our help center so we'll just mention two new things. As in Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, we're now experimenting with displaying high-quality website suggestions and sponsored links as you type your query. Clicking on these will take you directly to the website (try typing "cnn" in the toolbar to see an example).

Also, Firefox version 3.5 introduced Private Browsing mode in which in which Firefox will stop recording your browsing history. The new version of Toolbar in Firefox will follow suit and not record your searchbox history while in Private Browsing mode. It will also turn off PageRank, Web History and Sidewiki. This means that you can confidently surf in private when you prefer. Note that Firefox's Private Browsing mode does not mean complete anonymity; we highly recommend reading Mozilla's support page before using Private Browsing mode.

We continue to work on new features to improve your web experience. Download the latest version of Google Toolbar and try out these new features.

Posted by Christian Stefansen, Product Manager, Toolbar Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/now-in-google-toolbar-for-firefox.html

[G] Q3'09 Spam & Virus Trends from Postini

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Q3'09 Spam & Virus Trends from Postini

Editor's note: The spam data cited in this post is drawn from the network of Google email security and archiving services, powered by Postini, which processes more than 3 billion email connections per day in the course of providing email security to more than 50,000 businesses and 15 million business users.

Back in 2007, we saw the first variants of a big virus attack later labeled the "Storm" virus. During that summer, Storm attacked with force, pushing payload spam activity to then-unprecedented levels and sustaining them for several months. The security community eventually caught up, and payload spam activity fell to nominal levels and held there. That is, until this year: Q2'09 saw a significant surge in payload spam activity, and now Q3'09 levels have made the 2007 Storm virus attack look small in comparison. Postini data centers have blocked more than 100 million viruses every day during what has so far been the height of the attack.


The majority (55%) of these viruses are messages like the one you see below, a fake notice of underreported income from the IRS (which the IRS distributed an alert on earlier this week). Another large contingent (33%) have come in the form of fake package tracking attachments, which were already on the rise in Q2. You might think a spoofed IRS notice or package tracking email is obviously spam, and wonder who would fall for it and actually click on the attachment.

However, at these volumes, it takes only a tiny fraction of the recipients being fooled for the spammers to add hundreds of computers to their botnets every day.


ISP takedowns continue, overall spam levels steady

Last quarter we saw a temporary 30% drop in overall spam levels following the 3FN ISP takedown, and the ISP takedown trend continues into Q3 with a new culprit called Real Host, a large Latvia-based ISP that was disconnected by upstream providers on August 1. This takedown didn't have the same drastic effects of McColo (last November), but it was comparable to 3FN. Ultimately, the effects of the Real Host takedown lasted only two days, with an initial 30% drop in spam followed by a quick resurgence.

Overall, spam levels remained steady this quarter, with little growth or decline since the Real Host incident. In Q3, spam as a percentage of total message volume is hovering around 90%, down from the Q2 average of around 95%. Q3'09 average spam levels were down 8% from Q2'09 and on par with levels in Q3'08. Spam levels also saw smaller ups and downs than in previous quarters.


Older spam techniques driving message size up

Last quarter we reported on the trend toward larger message sizes, measured in bytes. The trend has continued into this quarter, making 2009 a year of resurgence in old techniques such as image spam and payload viruses. When considering the spam bytes processed per user, growth has been steep in 2009, with Q3'09 rates up 123% from Q3'08.

Organizations that process spam inside their network should pay attention to this trend. The larger sizes create a bandwidth burden that can impact speed across your network. As the chart shows, Q2'09 delivered the record high to date for spam size – and subsequently for bandwidth drag for teams that manage spam in-house, potentially forcing those organizations to upgrade their capacity limits.


Best practices to optimize your enterprise spam filter

A common piece of feedback we get from our customers is that many of the messages in their spam folder or quarantine seem to come from "them" – from what appear to be valid email addresses from their own domain. These email addresses are actually spoofed (a common technique to mask the real origins of a message), and spammers employ this technique to take advantage of a mistake organizations sometimes make in configuring their spam filters: adding their own domain to their approved sender list.

While this might seem like a good idea at first glance – we want to make sure we don't block email from our colleagues, right? – in practice all it does is open your organization up to spoofed email. With that in mind, we strongly recommend that organizations not add their own domains to their approved sender lists. (Don't worry – legitimate mail from within your domain is correctly identified by filters and generally gets through just fine.)

For more information on how Google email security services, powered by Postini, can help your organization provide better spam protection and take a load off your network by halting spam in the cloud, visit www.google.com/postini.

Posted by Adam Swidler, Google Postini Services team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/10/q309-spam-virus-trends-from-postini.html

[G] Tip: Dragging to the tabstrip

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Google Chrome Blog: Tip: Dragging to the tabstrip

We've already seen how to open links in new tabs or windows using keyboard modifiers. But what if you want to open a link in some existing place?


Click and hold on the link, and then drag it onto or between any of the tabs in the tabstrip.


You should see a small arrow appear showing where the link will open. When you release the mouse button, the link will load right at that arrow. If you drop it in the empty space after the last tab, you'll open a new tab at the end of the strip.


Rather than needing to copy and paste links, you can also just drag links from other programs, such as word processors or other browsers, and drop them on the Chrome tabstrip in the same way.

Posted by Peter Kasting, Software Engineer
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2009/10/tip-dragging-to-tabstrip.html

[G] The Global Classroom on YouTube EDU

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YouTube Blog: The Global Classroom on YouTube EDU

Class is back in session at YouTube EDU (youtube.com/edu). We're excited to welcome many new college and university partners and a few enhancements that will help you discover the wealth of educational material that they provide.

The open educational video movement is a worldwide phenomenon. That's why we're proud to announce that YouTube EDU now includes universities from the UK, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and Israel. Cambridge University, Open University, Bocconi University and Open University of Catalonia are among the 45 new additions who've opened their doors to a global audience of students, teachers, alumni, and self-learners.

Meanwhile, the number of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada now participating in YouTube EDU tops 200 -- 2x what we launched with six months ago -- providing more than 40,000 videos of lectures, news, and campus life. Recent highlights include an Art & Technology lecture series from Columbia University and the seminal course "Justice" from Harvard.

Now that YouTube EDU is international, we are introducing a language menu so you only receive videos that you understand. In other words, if your YouTube EDU language is set to English, you will only see YouTube EDU videos in English, be they from American, British or other schools. Viewers with the French language setting can enjoy videos from HEC Paris, as well as those from French-Canadian University of Montreal. You can change the language of YouTube EDU videos at any time or even set languages to All for the full spectrum.

With so many videos to choose from, we are also providing the ability to browse by subjects such as Business, Engineering, and Literature. This is English-only for now, but look for it to expand to other languages as more universities come on board.

Happy learning!



Obadiah Greenberg, Content Partnerships, recently watched "Save the University."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/2aRFpdhOfLM/global-classroom-gets-bigger-with.html

[G] Celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2009

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Official Google Blog: Celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2009

Internet security and online safety are topics that leave many people scratching their heads. While many companies and organizations work to make the Internet a safer place, it can be difficult to know what to do as an Internet user beyond creating numerous passwords for your various online accounts and steering clear of that email from a "long lost relative" who wants you to immediately wire thousands of dollars to him. Here's the good news: even though security can become quite technical and complicated, there are simple steps you can take that can make a big difference in helping to keep your information safe.


This month, Google joins the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), governmental agencies, corporations, schools and non-profit organizations in recognizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Throughout October, we'll be raising awareness of important Internet security and safety issues that will teach you how to be an informed web user. Keep an eye on our various product blogs, as we'll be sharing tips that are tailored to users of Google products and services. To kick off the series, visit our newly created Google Cyber Security Awareness Channel on YouTube to watch a variety of online safety videos created by individuals and groups with an interest in cyber security.

The web is a great platform for all kinds of things — finding information, interacting with others and even running your business. Practicing good cyber security habits can help keep it that way. Join us this month by brushing up on your cyber security awareness and sharing the tips you like with others.

Posted by Eric Davis, Head of Anti-Malvertising
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/celebrating-national-cyber-security.html

[G] Wanted: Puppy and Kitty Videos for Good

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YouTube Blog: Wanted: Puppy and Kitty Videos for Good

Like many of you, actor Ben Stein cares deeply about animals (especially his dog Puppy Wuppy). That's why, with World Animal Day right around the corner, Ben is calling on you (and your pet, if you like) to make a video on behalf of your favorite animal welfare organization, as part of YouTube's Video Volunteers program.

The top three videos will appear on the YouTube homepage, next to Ben's video about the Humane Society, as part of a special spotlight on animal welfare at the end of the month. Here's Ben with more details:



This is just the beginning: each month, we'll feature a different relevant issue on the Video Volunteers channel with a new guest curator, and you could have the opportunity to showcase your work (and favorite org) to a huge audience.

For this month, you have until October 22 at midnight PT to submit your video to www.youtube.com/videovolunteers, so grab your camera and use it to make a difference! Then make sure to vote on October 24 for the videos you'd most like to see featured on the homepage.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Jack Black Funding Women's Cancer Research."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/crK6DocFUOw/wanted-puppy-and-kitty-videos-for-good_2651.html