Saturday, October 17, 2009

[G] Wanted: Travel Videos of American Journeys

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YouTube Blog: Wanted: Travel Videos of American Journeys

The My Journey program is all about creating and sharing videos of your memorable American journeys. Some great videos have come in so far, but we want more! You've got one week left to submit a video about your favorite American spot or trip. (Entries are due October 25, 2009.) The YouTube community will then decide who earns a seven-day travel reporting assignment in San Francisco, as well as a feature on LonelyPlanet's website and YouTube channel. The winning videographer will also receive video equipment and advice from the Lonely Planet team on how to take his or her reporting skills to the next level.

You're always showing us the world through your eyes, and we can't wait to see your American journeys. Get inspired by the examples below, and enter your videos here.








My Journey is presented by The T-Mobile® myTouch™ 3G.

Sadia Harper, YouTube Travel, recently watched "The Cheeseburger Show: Episode 11."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/o1rgp8zgEK4/wanted-travel-videos-of-american.html

Friday, October 16, 2009

[G] Make your web pages and applications Go Mobile too

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Make your web pages and applications Go Mobile too

We wouldn't be Google if we had a whole week of tips and tricks about all things mobile without giving a nod to the technical crowd. To conclude our week, we're asking you to "Go Mobile!" by making the mobile web faster. Read our article for a collection of best practices, tips, and resources for mobile web developers, part of our initiative at code.google.com/speed.

Posted by Jeremy Weinstein, Google Webmaster
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/10/make-your-web-pages-and-applications-go.html

[G] This week in search 10/16/09

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 10/16/09

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.

This week, we made a few improvements to help webmasters better understand how their pages interact with Google search. Here's an overview:

Fetch as Googlebot
As a webmaster, have you ever wondered what Google "sees" when we visit your site? Our understanding of your web page affects which searches your page is returned for and its relevance rank. New this week, we're providing a tool as part of our Webmaster Tools Lab that lets you to see what Googlebot sees in the hope that this will help site owners better understand why we think your pages are relevant, and to what. We think this can help webmasters design pages that are easier for Googlebot to understand, and more importantly, easier for users to understand.

Malware details
You may occasionally see on Google a notice that says "This site may harm your computer." We place this warning in search result snippets when we see signals that a particular web page may be spreading malware. Webmasters occasionally will see this warning on one of their pages that wasn't intended to be malicious. This is because sometimes your site could be distributing malware — and you might not even know it or be able to easily find it. Malware details is designed to help webmasters track down what on their site is triggering this label and clear the problem — thus, making their page (and the web) safer for users.

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-101609.html

[G] A new home for accessibility at Google

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Official Google Blog: A new home for accessibility at Google

Information access is at the core of Google’s mission, which is why we work to make the world's content available to people with disabilities, such as blindness, visual impairment, color deficiency, deafness, hearing loss and limited dexterity. Building accessible products isn't only the right thing to do, it also opens up Google services to very significant populations of people. According to the United Nations, 650 million people live with a disability, which makes them the world's largest minority.

We regularly develop and launch accessibility features and improvements. Sometimes these are snazzy new applications like the a new talking RSS reader for Android devices. Other times the changes aren't flashy, but they're still important, such as our recent incremental improvements to WAI-ARIA support in Google Chrome (adding support for ARIA roles and labels). We also work on more foundational research to improve customization and access for our users, such as AxsJax (an Open Source framework for injecting usability enhancements into Web 2.0 applications).

We've written frequently about accessibility on our various blogs and help forums, but this information has never been easily accessible (pun intended) in one simple place. This week we've launched a handy new website for Accessibility at Google to pull all our existing resources together in one place: www.google.com/accessiblity. Here you can follow the latest accessibility updates from our blogs, find resources from our help center, participate in a discussion group or send us your feedback and feature requests. At Google, we often like to say, "launch early and iterate" — meaning, get something out the door, get feedback and then improve it. In that tradition, our accessibility website is pretty simple and we expect this site to be the first of many iterations. We're excited about the possibilities.

The thing we're most excited about is getting your feedback about Google products and services so we can make them better for the future. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Posted by Jonas Klink, Accessibility Product Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-home-for-accessibility-at-google.html

[G] Taxi Driver Viewing Party Tonight!

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YouTube Blog: Taxi Driver Viewing Party Tonight!

Movie buffs of YouTube unite.



Tonight, we'll be hosting a live viewing party of the critically-acclaimed feature film Taxi Driver in the YouTube Screening Room, courtesy of our friends at Crackle.



Visit the Screening Room at 6pm PT to start watching.  You'll see an embedded Twitter feed collecting real-time tweets from other fans watching the film.  If you want to offer your own comments, log in to your Twitter account and post them with the hashtag #yttaxidriver.



We'll be there with you, dropping some trivia, quotes and favorite moments for your communal viewing pleasure. Remember, Taxi Driver is rated R, so you'll need to be logged into your YouTube account to watch, and unfortunately, the video is restricted to users in the U.S. only. 



To stay on top of great new films from Crackle, be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel.



See you in the Screening Room.



Nate Weinstein, YouTube Entertainment, just watched The Most Dramatically Normal Day Ever.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/F86-bAH5ksE/taxi-driver-viewing-party-tonight.html

[G] Think with Google: Consumer intentions for holiday 2009 webinar

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Inside AdWords: Think with Google: Consumer intentions for holiday 2009 webinar

Attracting the right consumers this holiday season will be more important than ever. Join us next Tuesday as we share findings from new research on consumer plans for the 2009 holiday season and strategies to better target and reach your customers.

The webinar will cover:
  • How consumer behavior has changed and how shopping habits look headed into the holiday season
  • What changing consumer behavior means for your search and online marketing strategies
  • Recommendations for how to effectively target your audience
Date & Time
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/think-with-google-consumer-intentions.html

[G] Protecting Users and Ads from Malware

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Google Online Security Blog: Protecting Users and Ads from Malware

Posted by Eric Davis, Head of Anti-Malvertising

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, we're highlighting cyber security tips and features to help ensure you're taking the necessary steps to protect your computer, website, and personal information. For general cyber security tips, check out our online security educational series or visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/.

At Google, we always aim to provide users with useful, relevant information. Readers of this blog know that we also work hard to detect malicious content on the web and protect users from harm. But did you know that we strive for the same level of relevance, and work equally as hard to protect users, in our online advertising business?

The mainstream media has recently picked up on the topic of malvertising (malware-infected advertising). Google's Anti-Malvertising Team works hard in this area and would like to take this time to share some important safety tips. We work closely with the Anti-Malware Team to identify trends and improve automated detection systems. We also educate users, develop policies and act as a liaison between the online security and online advertising communities.

Whether you're a web publisher who accepts ads on your website, or a home user who enjoys browsing the wide variety of advertising-supported content available on the web, we expect the resources below will help protect you from malvertising.

What is "Malvertising?"
"Malvertising" = malware + advertising. Haven't heard of it? The terminology may be new, but we can all understand the concept. Although malware distributors have attempted to spread malware through online ads for years, ever-improving prevention and detection methods have made it unlikely for most Internet users to have encountered a "bad ad" firsthand. However, it's important to make sure that you (and your computer) are properly prepared in case you encounter any source of malware on the web — whether it is an infected ad, a hacked site, a dangerous link, or someone who is pretending to be someone they're not.

Anti-Malvertising.com
We created Anti-Malvertising.com earlier this year as a resource for all members of the online ecosystem. Anti-Malvertising.com contains tips designed for publishers, ad operations teams, and Internet users to help protect their websites, networks, and computers.

Tips for Web Publishers: Know Who You're Working With, Perform Comprehensive QA, & Have a Plan in Place
Anti-Malvertising.com includes a custom search engine to help individual ad networks, publishers, and ad operations teams conduct quick background checks on prospective advertisers. It indexes a variety of independent, third party sites that track possible attempts to distribute malware through advertising. It is intended to be used as one of the steps in a publisher's background check process.

In some recent cases, infected ads that had already been caught and publicized by security researchers have remained active within some advertising systems. Anti-Malvertising.com's malvertising research engine makes it easier for the online advertising and security communities to share information and collaborate to help protect users from emerging threats.

For more detailed guidance on the following tips, visit http://www.anti-malvertising.com/tips-for-publishers
  • Pay close attention to all agencies and advertisers with whom you work.
  • Perform due diligence by thoroughly checking prospective partners' references and credentials.
  • Perform comprehensive QA on all ad creatives.
  • Protect your own computer and website from infection.
  • Be aware that various ad networks and exchanges may have significantly different standards for the prevention and detection of malware. No automatic detection system, however robust, can substitute for your own vigilance. However, we strongly advise against exposing your site to harm by using networks or exchanges without strong anti-malware security measures in place.
  • Ensure your Ad Operations team has an incident response plan in place (for guidance, visit http://www.anti-malvertising.com/tips-for-ad-operations).
Tips for Users: Protect Your Computer, Update Regularly, and Avoid Getting Tricked
  • Make sure your browser, operating system, software and plugins are all updated regularly (enable auto-updates when possible).
  • Be aware that malware can be disguised as antivirus/antispyware software in order to trick people into buying or downloading it. Fake (and harmful) software of this kind is known in the web security community as "rogue security software." How to avoid getting tricked? Always research a company's reputation before downloading its software or visiting its website, and be wary of unexpected warnings from products you haven't installed yourself. You can view a list of some legitimate free security scans at http://www.staysafeonline.org/content/free-security-check-ups.
  • Exercise caution whenever you're prompted to download an email attachment, follow an instant message link, install a plug-in, or download an unfamiliar piece of software.
Protecting the Free Availability of Online Content
In addition to providing visibility to advertisers, revenue to publishers, and information to users, the online advertising business model also enables anyone with an Internet connection to access an entire world of content for free. By increasing our vigilance as a community, we can help to keep online ads safe and preserve the wide access to information that advertising enables.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/10/protecting-users-and-ads-from-malware.html

[G] Wishing all our publishers a Happy Diwali

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Inside AdSense: Wishing all our publishers a Happy Diwali

Tomorrow marks Diwali, a festival of lights in India, and so we'd like to wish all our publishers a happy and safe Diwali. We hope this festival brings you good luck and prosperity!


Posted by the AdSense India Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/wishing-all-our-publishers-happy-diwali.html

[G] Boldly Talking Python in Boulder

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Google Open Source Blog: Boldly Talking Python in Boulder

On Saturday, October 10, the Front Range Pythoneers had a Python "unconference" at the Google facilities in Boulder, Colorado, USA. An "Unconference" is a conference organized around the principles ofopen space technologies, which tries to provide many of the benefits of traditional conferences without the associated ceremony. We still got to enjoy some delicious pizza, though.


Introducing the Pycon Boulder Attendees to Principles of Open Space

Photo Credit: Matt Boersma

It was unseasonably snowy and cold Saturday morning, but in spite of the weather, almost everybody that signed up in advance was there, along with a few last-minute registrants. We had nearly 40 attendees join us for 15+ sessions, plus the always loved "hallway track." Many thanks to the three Googlers who came out to shepherd our group and facilitate the meeting.

You can find more information about the event and sessions on our wiki, Tweets about the event and this great post-conference write up. You can also check out some more photos of the participants and our scheduling process. We discussed the following topics, among others:
The best surprise of the event? Bruce Eckel, the author of Thinking in Java, was among the participants. Thanks again to Google for hosting the unconference; it worked really well for our purposes. The Google Boulder facility is gorgeous.

By Greg Holling, Front Range Pythoneers
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/boldly-talking-python-in-boulder.html

[G] Chowdown GFC samples now in C# and PHP

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Social Web Blog: Chowdown GFC samples now in C# and PHP

This post is of a geeky nature, feel free to skip it if you're not wearing a propeller beanie. - Ed.

Those of you who have tried your hand with the developer side of Google Friend Connect might have seen The Chow Down application, a sample website that demonstrates how Google Friend Connect can be cleanly integrated into a website with an existing login mechanism. Today, we are glad to announce that this sample is now available in two more languages: C# and PHP. Both the samples have been kept as similar to the original Python sample as possible.

The C# version of The Chow Down has been developed as an ASP.NET website and is compatible with the Mono environment. The latest stable release of its source code is available for download. You may also obtain the source code from the repository.

The PHP release is also available for download and its source code can be found in the repository as well. The PHP version uses the OpenSocial PHP client library to connect to Google Friend Connect.

The source code for both samples are freely available for use under the Apache 2 license.

We hope you like these samples and use them as reference to integrate Google Friend Connect with your websites. Feel free to discuss these samples on the developer mailing list.

Posted by Anash P. Oommen, Google Developer Relations
URL: http://googlesocialweb.blogspot.com/2009/10/chowdown-gfc-samples-now-in-c-and-php.html

[G] Street View: We can trike wherever you like

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Google LatLong: Street View: We can trike wherever you like

[Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog]

With Street View on Google Maps, you can take a virtual drive over the
Golden Gate Bridge or see the bustle of Times Square from the comfort of your own home. But some of the country's most interesting and fun places aren't accessible with our Street View car. What if you want to tour the campuses of prospective universities, scout a new running trial, or plan the most efficient route to your favorite roller coasters in a theme park?

I first started thinking about this question around two years ago. My day job is working as a mechanical engineer on the Street View team, but I do a lot of mountain biking in my spare time. One day, while exploring some roads less traveled, I realized that I could combine these two pursuits and build a bicycle-based camera system for Street View. The result? The Street View trike:



I've already had a chance to take the Street View trike out to photograph some hard to reach places for Google Maps, like the Arastradero Open Preserve and LEGOLAND California. When I'm out riding — and once people understand what exactly I'm up to — I'm often asked if we can come to their alma mater, local bike trail or favorite beach boardwalk. Now, we're giving everyone a chance to tell us exactly where in the U.S. they'd like the trike to go next.

At
www.google.com/trike, you can suggest interesting and unique spots in six categories:
  • Parks & Trails
  • University Campuses
  • Pedestrian Malls (e.g., outdoor shopping areas, boardwalks)
  • Theme Parks & Zoos
  • Landmarks
  • Sports Venues (e.g., golf courses, racing tracks, stadium grounds)

Nominations will be open until October 28. We'll then comb through all of the suggestions and let all of you cast your final votes on a winner from each category for the Street View trike to visit. For any privately-owned or operated location, like a campus or theme park, we'll work directly with the relevant organization prior to collecting the imagery.

When we unveiled the Street View trike in the U.K., we received more than 10,000 nominations and 35,000 votes; Stonehenge and Warwick Castle were two of the top vote-getters. We can't wait to see what you'll come up with in the U.S. — head to www.google.com/trike to submit your most inspired ideas.



Posted by Dan Ratner, Senior Mechanical Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/street-view-we-can-trike-wherever-you.html

[G] Tips on mobile advertising with AdWords

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Inside AdWords: Tips on mobile advertising with AdWords

Last week, we shared with you a few tips to reach your audience on the go. This week we've launched a new site, Go Mobile! to help you be even more effective with mobile advertising.

Even if you're already taking advantage of the mobile opportunity in AdWords, this resource can help you think about other ways to integrate mobile into your broader marketing strategy, including:
  • Taking advantage of the device's ability to detect location
  • Engaging with your audience any where, any time
  • Using mobile to participate in the conversation
For more ideas on how to Go Mobile! please visit: http://www.google.com/mobile/gomobile/advertisers.html.

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/tips-on-mobile-advertising-with-adwords.html

[G] Can a Billion Views Help a Billion People?

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YouTube Blog: Can a Billion Views Help a Billion People?

Last week, we announced that YouTube serves over one billion video views per day. It's a pretty staggering number, right? That's also the number of people in the world who don't have enough food to eat. According to the UN World Food Program, for the first time in history, there are over 1 billion hungry people on Earth -- that's one in seven humans.

Today, on World Food Day, the World Food Program (WFP) is showing how you, the estimated one billion internet users, can help the one billion people who live in hunger:



The WFP isn't alone in their efforts. Nonprofit Action Against Hunger is calling on Al Gore to create a video about hunger as he did for climate change with An Inconvenient Truth (after all, who better to mobilize the internet community than the man who invented it?) And singer Christina Aguilera is lending her voice to the cause with this video:



So internet people, we're challenging you to make a difference today. Just think...if every person donated $1 to feed the hungry each time they viewed a YouTube video, we'd be a lot closer to a hunger-free world.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism. This blog is cross-posted on the Huffington Post.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/bisAKEGHjlg/can-billion-views-help-billion-people.html

[G] Street View: We can trike wherever you like

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Official Google Blog: Street View: We can trike wherever you like

With Street View on Google Maps, you can take a virtual drive over the Golden Gate Bridge or see the bustle of Times Square from the comfort of your own home. But some of the country's most interesting and fun places aren't accessible with our Street View car. What if you want to tour the campuses of prospective universities, scout a new running trial, or plan the most efficient route to your favorite roller coasters in a theme park?

I first started thinking about this question around two years ago. My day job is working as a mechanical engineer on the Street View team, but I do a lot of mountain biking in my spare time. One day, while exploring some roads less traveled, I realized that I could combine these two pursuits and build a bicycle-based camera system for Street View. The result? The Street View trike:



I've already had a chance to take the Street View trike out to photograph some hard to reach places for Google Maps, like the Arastradero Open Preserve and LEGOLAND California. When I'm out riding — and once people understand what exactly I'm up to — I'm often asked if we can come to their alma mater, local bike trail or favorite beach boardwalk. Now, we're giving everyone a chance to tell us exactly where in the U.S. they'd like the trike to go next.

At www.google.com/trike, you can suggest interesting and unique spots in six categories:
  • Parks & Trails
  • University Campuses
  • Pedestrian Malls (e.g., outdoor shopping areas, boardwalks)
  • Theme Parks & Zoos
  • Landmarks 
  • Sports Venues (e.g., golf courses, racing tracks, stadium grounds)
Nominations will be open until October 28. We'll then comb through all of the suggestions and let all of you cast your final votes on a winner from each category for the Street View trike to visit. For any privately-owned or operated location, like a campus or theme park, we'll work directly with the relevant organization prior to collecting the imagery.

When we unveiled the Street View trike in the U.K., we received more than 10,000 nominations and 35,000 votes; Stonehenge and Warwick Castle were two of the top vote-getters. We can't wait to see what you'll come up with in the U.S. — head to www.google.com/trike to submit your most inspired ideas.



Posted by Dan Ratner, Senior Mechanical Engineer
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/street-view-we-can-trike-wherever-you.html

Thursday, October 15, 2009

[G] Following a marathon-and-a-half with Latitude

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Following a marathon-and-a-half with Latitude

A few months ago, I started something crazy. Like a lot of Googlers, I work in Mountain View, CA but live in San Francisco, 37 miles away. When I moved to SF, I got hooked on the local cycling craze, and I fell in with a group that cycles to commute. Early on, biking to work was something audacious. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to do something that felt audacious again. So I decided to run to work to raise money for Teach for America.

Now 37 miles is a lot -- about a marathon and a half. I'm thinking it'll take me about 6 hours. For the past 4 months I've been training, and now finally, tomorrow is the big day! Throughout the training, lots of people have said they'd love to see the run, but oddly, none of them were up for coming along. So, I decided to do the next best thing. I'm going to take my Latitude-enabled phone with me, and let people follow along from home. I've been blogging about my training and I've embedded the Google public location badge on my blog for the big day. This badge lets me make my Latitude location public and share my progress on the run with anyone who views my blog, even if we're not Latitude friends.

So, if you're up tomorrow, October 16, at 2:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time (or anytime over the next 6 hours or so), check out my progress and see if I make it into work on time. I could use the virtual encouragement!



Posted by Matt Ghering, Googler
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/10/following-marathon-and-half-with.html

[G] Managing your reputation through search results

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Official Google Blog: Managing your reputation through search results

(Cross-posted on the Webmaster Central Blog)

A few years ago I couldn't wait to get married. Because I was in love, yeah, but more importantly, so that I could take my husband's name and people would stop getting that ridiculous picture from college as a top result when they searched for me on Google.

After a few years of working here, though, I've learned that you don't have to change your name just because it brings up some embarrassing search results. Below are some tips for "reputation management": influencing how you're perceived online, and what information is available relating to you.

Think twice

The first step in reputation management is preemptive: Think twice before putting your personal information online. Remember that although something might be appropriate for the context in which you're publishing it, search engines can make it very easy to find that information later, out of context, including by people who don't normally visit the site where you originally posted it. Translation: don't assume that just because your mom doesn't read your blog, she'll never see that post about the new tattoo you're hiding from her.

Tackle it at the source

If something you dislike has already been published, the next step is to try to remove it from the site where it's appearing. Rather than immediately contacting Google, it's important to first remove it from the site where it's being published. Google doesn't own the Internet; our search results simply reflect what's already out there on the web. Whether or not the content appears in Google's search results, people are still going to be able to access it — on the original site, through other search engines, through social networking sites, etc. — if you don't remove it from the original site. You need to tackle this at the source.
  • If the content in question is on a site you own, easy — just remove it. It will naturally drop out of search results after we recrawl the page and discover the change. 
  • It's also often easy to remove content from sites you don't own if you put it there, such as photos you've uploaded, or content on your profile page.
  • If you can't remove something yourself, you can contact the site's webmaster and ask them to remove the content or the page in question.
After you or the site's webmaster has removed or edited the page, you can expedite the removal of that content from Google using our URL removal tool.

Proactively publish information

Sometimes, however, you may not be able to get in touch with a site's webmaster, or they may refuse to take down the content in question. For example, if someone posts a negative review of your business on a restaurant review or consumer complaint site, that site might not be willing to remove the review. If you can't get the content removed from the original site, you probably won't be able to completely remove it from Google's search results, either. Instead, you can try to reduce its visibility in the search results by proactively publishing useful, positive information about yourself or your business. If you can get stuff that you want people to see to outperform the stuff you don't want them to see, you'll be able to reduce the amount of harm that that negative or embarrassing content can do to your reputation.

You can publish or encourage positive content in a variety of ways:
  • Create a Google profile. When people search for your name, Google can display a link to your Google profile in our search results and people can click through to see whatever information you choose to publish in your profile.
  • If a customer writes a negative review of your business, you could ask some of your other customers who are happy with your company to give a fuller picture of your business.
  • If a blogger is publishing unflattering photos of you, take some pictures you prefer and publish them in a blog post or two.
  • If a newspaper wrote an article about a court case that put you in a negative light, but which was subsequently ruled in your favor, you can ask them to update the article or publish a follow-up article about your exoneration. (This last one may seem far-fetched, but believe it or not, we've gotten multiple requests from people in this situation.)
Hope these tips have been helpful! Feel free to stop by our Web Search Forum and share your own advice or stories about how you manage your reputation online.

Posted by Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/managing-your-reputation-through-search.html

[G] Fighting Bad Memories: The Stressful Application Test

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Google Open Source Blog: Fighting Bad Memories: The Stressful Application Test

We've just released Stressful Application Test (or stressapptest), a hardware test used here at Google to test a large number of components in a machine. The test tries to maximize random traffic to memory from processor and disks with the intent of creating a realistic high load situation. The source code is available under the Apache license.

stressapptest may be used for various purposes:
  • Stress test for machines.

  • Hardware qualification and debugging.

  • Memory interface test.

  • Disk testing.



The stressapptest team (from left to right): Matthew Blecker, John Huang, Rapahel Menderico, Nick Sanders, John Hawley and James Vera

Photo credit: Taral Jogelkar


stressapptest is a user space test, primarily composed of threads doing memory copies and direct I/O disk read/write. Since many hardware issues reproduce infrequently, or only under corner cases, the idea behind the test is that by maximizing bus and memory traffic, the number of transactions is increased, and therefore the probability of failing a transaction is increased. It loads the memory with specially-designed patterns that cause the signal lines to rapidly switch between 1 and 0, drawing the maximum amount of power and cause maximal noise on the nearby voltage rails. Noise on voltage rails and coupling with other nearby lines is likely to cause signaling problems on marginal lines. Also, given a probability of any signal level transition failing, these patterns have the most memory transitions per period of time, and are thus more likely to exhibit a failure.

This test was designed to test all memory available on a machine, which is not guaranteed with the execution of a CPU-intensive application (for instance, compiling the kernel on multiple threads). Moreover, it is focused on testing the memory interface and connections, not the memory internally, like memtest86. As a consequence, Stressful Application Test will detect errors not detected by regular memory tests or extended executions. A comparison with some other memory reliability tests showed that about 20% of the DIMM-related failures detected on the machines tested were only detected by Stressful Application Test, and it was capable of reporting 70% of all DIMM errors detected by all tests.

We hope this software will be useful to system administrators who need to diagnose and repair DIMM or other components. We look forward to your questions and feedback in our discussion group. Happy hacking and may your testing be less stressful!

By Raphael Menderico, Software Engineering in Test Intern, Platforms Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/fighting-bad-memories-stressful.html

[G] Faculty and staff are going Google, too

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Faculty and staff are going Google, too

September was a big month for Google Apps Education Edition as everyone headed back to school. When we announced five million active users in early September, we didn't expect that it would only be about a month before we would announce that more than six million students, staff, and faculty at schools worldwide are now actively using Google Apps at school.

We talk a lot about what students want and need (and we also try to learn from them as much as possible), but it's important to remember that these six million users aren't only students – they are also faculty and staff members using Google Apps technology in education.

The cloud is all about collaboration, and this means not only students working together, but also students working with their teachers and professors to improve learning outcomes and save time. Using internet-based solutions like Google Apps to enhance the cycle of lesson, evaluation, and adjustment can shorten what used to take days or weeks into minutes, and collaborating in the cloud helps educators connect more effectively with students.

There are lots of examples we're seeing crop up on campuses. For example New York City's Intermediate School 339 ensured clear communication between students, teachers, and the community by moving the entire campus to Google Apps, and taking advantage of features like forms in Google Docs to create real-time quizzes helped to double Math performance scores, increase attendance, and build student engagement.

And, after Boise State University migrated their 2,400 faculty and staff to Google Apps, not only were they able to foster better collaboration between students and staff, but they reduced costs for IT infrastructure, support, and maintenance by $90,000 annually.

Other schools that have chosen Google Apps for their faculty and staff include Temple University, Columbus State University, Abilene Christian University, Macalaster College, Manhattan College, Mary Baldwin College, Northeastern State University, and Saint Louis University (including 8,500 staff from their Medical Center and Hospital).


We strongly believe that when all education users - from students to professors to school administrators - have access to cloud-based tools and aren't limited by where or when they work, it enhances their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. So come on, Go Google and join these schools (and many others) in the cloud with Google Apps.

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google Apps Education Edition team

Learn more about what's possible for your school with Google Apps Education Edition.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/10/faculty-and-staff-are-going-google-too.html

[G] Rapid Fire Web Analytics Q and A with Avinash and Nick

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Google Analytics Blog: Rapid Fire Web Analytics Q and A with Avinash and Nick

Recently we started an initiative to ask you to share your most burning questions via Google Moderator (link: Google Analytics Google Moderator site).

This week, Avinash and I sat down to do a rapid fire Q&A to answer your questions. Rather than do a dry text Q&A version, we chose to do a video, and we think you'll find it educational and entertaining.

In this episode we discuss:
  • How is bounce rate calculated
  • Effect of search bots on data collection
  • Finding a benchmarking category for sites that don't fit into any particular benchmark category
  • What is the best way to identify landing pages with high bounce rate
  • How to find new keywords to improve content performance
  • Effects of private browsing and incognito mode on data collection


Here are links to resources we discussed in the video:
If you found this helpful, we'd love to hear your comments. If you have a question you would like us to answer, please submit a question or vote for your favorite question in our public Google Moderator site. We will answer your latest questions in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video.

Please add your thoughts about the Q&A via comments below. Thanks!


Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/10/rapid-fire-web-analytics-q-and-with.html

[G] Google Docs previews in Gmail

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Official Google Docs Blog: Google Docs previews in Gmail

Starting today, you can preview Google documents, spreadsheets, or presentations right in your Gmail inbox by enabling a new Gmail Labs feature, Google Docs previews.



For more information on Google Docs previews in Gmail, check out the post on the Gmail blog.

Posted by: Steven Saviano, Software Engineer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-docs-previews-in-gmail.html

[G] New in Labs: Google Docs previews

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Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Google Docs previews

Posted by Steven Saviano, Software Engineer

Being an avid Google Docs user, I receive a ton of emails with links to documents that my co-workers and friends share with me. From technical design documents at work to my roommate's expenses spreadsheet, my inbox is full of document links that I need to view as I reply to my mail.

Opening these links in another tab or window is kind of annoying, plus it can be tough to keep the context of the email in mind while viewing the document.

Starting today, you can preview the contents of a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation right in your Gmail inbox — just like you've already been able to do with YouTube videos, Yelp reviews, and Picasa and Flickr albums. Gmail will automatically detect when you receive a document link and display the name and type of doc below the email.


Just click "Show preview" and the contents of the document will display right there — no need to switch back and forth between email response and document.

To enable Google Docs previews, go to the Labs tab under Settings. Let us know what you think and what else you'd like to see while viewing docs in Gmail.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-in-labs-google-docs-previews.html

[G] Want to reach customers? Go Mobile!

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Want to reach customers? Go Mobile!

As we continue our week of all things mobile, we wanted to offer some tips and tricks to any marketers, advertisers, agencies, or businesses who want to use mobile as a platform to reach their customers. For ideas on how to work mobile into marketing campaigns, check out our post on the Agency blog.

Posted by Lauren Usui, Google Mobile Ads Marketing
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/10/want-to-reach-customers-go-mobile.html

[G] Google Translator Toolkit and minority languages

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Official Google Blog: Google Translator Toolkit and minority languages

Today, we've added 285 new languages to Google Translator Toolkit, bringing the total number of languages supported by this product to 345 — and making it possible to translate between 10,664 language pairs. Google Translator Toolkit is a language translation service for professional and amateur translators that builds on Google Translate and makes translation faster and easier.

In addition, we've made the Translator Toolkit interface available in 35 languages, so that more people can access the service in their own language.

At Google, we're focusing on how Translator Toolkit can help preserve and revitalize small and minority languages. Minority languages, also called regional, indigenous, heritage or threatened languages, are languages spoken by the minority people in one locale in a sovereign state or country. Were these endangered languages to become extinct, it would mean an immeasurable loss of knowledge, culture and way of life to minority people worldwide.

For this project we worked with Dr. Te Taka Keegan, a Māori language activist and senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Waikato who spent much of his career on how technology can assist in minority language revitalization. At Google, Dr. Keegan researched how computer-aided translation tools can help preserve minority languages.

To support his research, we released an alpha version of the Translator Toolkit to various members of Māori translation community in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Māori, an Eastern Polynesian language spoken predominately in Aotearoa (New Zealand), is a good starting point because it is one world's 7,000 languages under threat of extinction. According to the 2006 census, 132,000 people can hold a conversation in Māori. That's roughly 24% of Māori or 4% of New Zealanders.

Dr. Keegan found that tools such as Translator Toolkit can help minority languages in several ways:
  • Translation memories and glossaries, when shared across members of a language community, can help unify the language’s written form, increasing translation speed and quality of documents published in that language and preserving the language in the long run.
  • Because computer-aided translation can improve translation speed and quality, translators become more productive. When automatic translation is available, as it is for 87 of Google Translator Toolkit's 345 languages, it increases speed further by producing instant translations that people can use as a starting point for their work. And at Google, we use these human translations to improve the translation algorithm of Google Translate over time, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits both human translators and machine translation.
  • Online presence of small languages keeps languages relevant in the age of the Internet and globalization, encouraging minority language use by children, who are ultimately responsible for bringing the language to future generations.
Languages provide identity, pride, a sense of belonging and spiritual guidance to minority language communities. We hope that by giving both majority and minority language speakers around the world the tools to make online content accessible in their language, we will enable more people to share their culture and knowledge with others worldwide.

Ko te reo te hā te mauri o te Māoritanga
Language is the very life-breath of being Māori. 
(Māori)

Mak-muwekma mak-noono ya roote 'innutka, mak-'uyyaki_,
Nuhu, mak pekre ne tuuxi,
'At mak roote 'innutka hu_i_tak.

Our culture and our language are the way to our past,
From it we embrace the present,
And follow the road to the future.
(Muwekma Ohlone Indian tribe, original residents of San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties, California, the home of Google)

Posted by Michael Galvez, Product Manager, and Sanjay Bhansali, Engineering Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-translator-toolkit-and-minority.html

[G] Importing Photos in Picasa 3.5

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Google Photos Blog: Importing Photos in Picasa 3.5

Posted by John Gardiner, User Education and Outreach

We re-designed the import experience in Picasa 3.5 to make it easier to organize your photos, right when you download them from your camera. Now when you click "Import," you can control exactly which photos you want to import to your computer, which ones you want to upload to Picasa Web Albums, including what resolution you want and who to share them with.

As an example, I recently took some great pictures sailing with my family, and when I returned home I wanted to do different things with the different photos. With Picasa's improved Import features, I was able to control which images I only wanted on my computer, which images to post for the world to see, and which images I preferred to share just with my friends.

I think it's funny to hear my friends say I'm a Picasa and Picasa Web Albums expert...little do they know how easy it all is. Check out this video to see what I mean:

URL: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2009/10/importing-photos-in-picasa-35.html

[G] Introducing this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists as iGoogle artists!

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Official Google Blog: Introducing this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists as iGoogle artists!

We're always delighted to introduce new design flair to our user experience, especially through the personal expression of iGoogle themes. As a canvas for artists to express themselves and reach Google users around the world, we've shared more than 125 iGoogle Artist themes since May 2008. Today, I'm excited to announce ten new artist themes, all from talented up-and-coming fashion designers you may not have already heard of.

Each year, Vogue and CFDA sponsor a fashion fund, created to support emerging designers. Through inspiration drawn from Google, our colors and our products, this year's ten finalists have created both incredible fashions and corresponding iGoogle themes. From the high-tech and contemporary designs of Wayne to the Google Maps-inspired work of Sophie Theallet, each of these ten new themes is a unique way to refresh your homepage's fall wardrobe.

Artist themes are one of many ways we invite talented artists and innovators to share their designs, whether world-renowned or emerging. So check out the latest Artist themes and pick one that appeals to you.


Finally, we'd like to offer our congratulations to this year's Fashion Fund finalists. We're proud to be showcasing them in our iGoogle artist themes. Based on their iGoogle themes and design entries, their talents are obvious and we're happy to see them recognized!

Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience, and Michaela Prescott, Senior Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/introducing-this-years-cfdavogue.html

[G] Coming to an online ad near you: more "Ads By Google" labels

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Google Public Policy Blog: Coming to an online ad near you: more "Ads By Google" labels

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Managing Policy Counsel

We've long labeled most of the ads we serve on the Google Content Network (our AdSense partner websites) with an "Ads by Google" attribution. We do this because we want consumers to have an awareness and understanding of the ads they see online.

Now we're extending this notice to even more ads. Today we are starting to roll out the "Ads by Google" message on rich media ads in a way that is unobtrusive to the advertisement itself, but still gives users clear notice if they want to learn more about online advertising at the moment they're looking at the ad. As more and more advertisers use rich media ad formats, and publishers increasingly support them on their sites, we want to provide the same benefit of clear notice to users -- regardless of the ad format. This new notice shows up as a small "i" (for "information") icon overlay in the bottom right-hand corner of the ad, and expands if the user hovers over it. Just like before, users who click on the "Ads by Google" label will be taken to a page where they can learn more about our advertising practices.


With one click on the label, users can get more information about how we serve ads and the information we use to show ads. As the Federal Trade Commission recommended when it released its principles for online advertising in February, consumers deserve greater notice about advertising practices beyond traditional privacy policies. We couldn't agree more. We're following the approach described in the guidelines recently published by a group of trade associations including the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and the Association of National Advertisers. Google is continuing to work with the broader industry towards consistent transparency, choice, and education, and we hope that our new label will help this work.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/coming-to-online-ad-near-you-more-ads.html

[G] Extending the "Ads by Google" label to more ads

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Inside AdSense: Extending the "Ads by Google" label to more ads

You've probably noticed the "Ads by Google" label that appears with ads on your site -- we display this label because we want users to have an awareness and understanding of the ads they see online and where they come from.

As more and more advertisers use rich media ad formats, such as Flash and interactive ads, we want to provide the same benefit to users for those ad formats. So today we're starting to add the "Ads by Google" message to rich media ads in a way that's unobtrusive to the ad creative and your site, but as user-friendly as our current "Ads by Google" notices on other ad formats.

You'll soon notice a small "i" (for "information") icon overlay in the bottom right-hand corner of these ads, which will expand when the user hovers over it. This was specially designed for rich media ads. This new message will appear on ads created by AdWords advertisers, and will show up on your website's standard AdSense ad units.


Just like before, users who click on the "Ads by Google" label will be taken to a page where they can learn more about online advertising and the ads they've just seen. Our tests of this new message format on rich media ads showed that they provided information to users without affecting ad performance.

Posted by Robby Stein - AdSense Product Marketing
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/extending-ads-by-google-label-to-more.html

[G] Extending "Ads by Google" notice

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Inside AdWords: Extending "Ads by Google" notice

From time to time you've probably noticed the 'Ads by Google' message on ads around the web -- we display this label because we want users to have an awareness and understanding of the ads they see online and where they come from.

As more and more advertisers use rich media ad formats, such as Flash and interactive ads, we want to provide the same benefit to users for those ad formats.

So today we're starting to add the "Ads by Google" message to rich media ads in a way that's unobtrusive to your ad creative and the publisher site, but as user-friendly as our current "Ads by Google" notices on other ad formats.

You'll soon notice a small 'i' (for "information") icon overlay in the bottom right-hand corner of these ads, which will expand when the user hovers over it. This was specially designed for rich media ads. This new message will appear on your AdWords rich media ads, and will show up on standard AdSense ad units.


Just like before, users who click on the 'Ads by Google' label will be taken to a page where they can learn more about online advertising and the ads they've just seen. Our tests of this new message format on rich-media ads showed it doesn't affect ad performance.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/extending-ads-by-google-notice.html

[G] Improved Company Comparisons

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Google Finance Blog: Improved Company Comparisons

Posted by Tianpeng Jin, Software Engineer

Now there is a faster and easier to use company comparison page on Google Finance! Many of you query multiple companies at the same time, so we have worked to make the results better. Let us take a look at this comparison of HP & DELL.

First, the comparison chart displays price changes for all the companies you include. Next to the chart, you will see news related to all of those companies. You can navigate the chart, zoom in and out, and click on news stories just as you can on the chart on a regular stock page.


You will find a table of key metrics such as price or market cap right below the chart, and can customize the metrics by adding or removing columns from the table. Your configuration will be saved and applied to future comparisons as your personal setting.


You can also add more companies to the page. Enter the ticker in the input box above the price chart and click! You will find the new company's price, news and table metrics have been added.

Last but not least, Google Finance now supports cross-country stock comparison. Compare any public stocks from across the world. For example, you can compare Apple with HTC Corporation.
URL: http://googlefinanceblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/improved-company-comparisons.html

[G] A green tour of the Google campus

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Official Google Blog: A green tour of the Google campus

We care about a clean energy future and that's a commitment that starts at home. In honor of Blog Action Day 2009 and this year's climate change theme, we wanted to walk you through some of the green features of our global headquarters here in sunny Mountain View, California.
  • Getting to work: We've got a shuttle service that brings employees from around the Bay Area to the Googleplex every day. These shuttles are outfitted with wi-fi and fueled by B20 biodiesel. And employees who bike, walk, skip, hop or otherwise self-power to work can earn points that translate into a donation from Google to their charity of choice.
  • Turning on the lights: The rooftops at our headquarters are covered in 9,212 photovoltaic solar panels that produce 1.6 MW of electricity — enough energy to power about 1,000 California homes.
  • Healthy buildings: The facilities at our main campus use sustainable building materials that are environmentally friendly and healthier, such as "cradle-to-cradle" certified products designed to never end up in landfills, fresh air ventilation, daylighting, and whenever possible, PVC- and formaldehyde-free materials.
  • No, we're not kidding: We've been known to use goats instead of lawn mowers to graze the fields surrounding our campus.
  • Getting around town: We have a fleet of 8 plug-in vehicles that Google employees can use free of charge to run errands during the day. (In the summer of 2008 our Google.org RechargeIT initiative launched a controlled driving experiment, and our plug-in hybrids achieved more than 90 MPG!) Shared bicycles are also scattered among our buildings for Googlers to use for short trips around campus, reducing the need for cars during the work day.
  • Waste not, want not: Waste from our Mountain View cafes is separated and the organic component is composted. As a result, we've reduced waste sent to landfills, reduced greenhouse gases and recycled nutrients leading to improved soil quality without chemicals. And any disposable plateware and cutlery we continue to use in the cafés is now compostable.
Check out this website to learn more about Google's green initiatives, and thank you to Blog Action Day for orchestrating the " largest-ever social change event on the web" yet again.

Posted by Anthony Ravitz, Real Estate & Workplace Services
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/green-tour-of-google-campus.html