Saturday, October 24, 2009

[G] Hollywood Honors Top "Come Clean 4 Congo" Video

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YouTube Blog: Hollywood Honors Top "Come Clean 4 Congo" Video

Tonight at the Hollywood Film Festival's Human Rights Symposium, Matt Smith will accept his award for submitting the winning video to YouTube's Video for Change program, "Come Clean 4 Congo," in partnership with the Enough Project. Back in May, we asked you to make videos demonstrating the connection between the "conflict minerals" used in cell phones and the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Matt's winning video, voted #1 by the YouTube community, used spoken word to take a far-away, complex issue and make it understandable and compelling:



To say things aren't going well in the Congo would be an understatement. It is the deadliest conflict since World War II, and militias continue to use rape as a weapon of terror. The UN reports that in the first half of 2009, more than 5,000 women have been raped in the South Kivu province of the Congo. Al Jazeera News reports on the conflict from a clinic in the Congo, where many of the victims are being treated:



The Enough Project saw the connection between the minerals that are mined in the Congo and used in our cell phones, and wanted to use that connection to bring this issue home to people living in the U.S. Thanks too to all the YouTube users who made videos to raise awareness of this issue. If you'd like to learn more about what you can do to help, go to the Enough Project's website.

And if you're in the LA area and want to register to attend the Human Rights Symposium, sign up here.

Steve Grove, Head of News, Politics & Nonprofits, recently watched "Ask a Nobel Laureate, John Mather."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/R2_Cf0nVAUM/hollywood-honors-top-come-clean-4-congo.html

Friday, October 23, 2009

[G] Fall at the OSPO

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Google Open Source Blog: Fall at the OSPO

The leaves are turning here in Mountain View, but they are not the only ones blazing away. It's a busy time of year for open source for Google, with lots of talks and events going on.

Recently:
- Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian (Fitz) Fitzpatrick gave their "Myth of the Genius Programmer" talk as part of the Opening sessions at "Reflections / Projections", the 15th ACM@UIUC Student Computing Conference at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

- They were joined by Googler and Python maintainer Alex Martelli, who spoke on "Python and the Programmer".

- Chris DiBona, head of the Open Source Programs Office at Google gave a keynote at AstriCon in Glendale, Arizona.

Currently:
- Earlier this week Leslie Hawthorn, manager of the Google Summer of Code program, was part of the amazing team that completed a new "Manual on GSoC Mentoring" in 2, count them, 2 DAYS, finishing up late last night. You will hear more about this feat in a later post after the...

- Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2009, being held in Mountain View this weekend, October 24th and 25th. This invitation-only gathering of mentors from each of the participating mentoring organizations in this year's GSoC gives the projects a chance to come together to compare notes on the mentoring process and cross-pollinate their projects. A good time promises to be had by all, and a full report will be forthcoming.

Coming up:
- Jonathan Blocksom will be speaking on Google App Engine and the All For Good project at the DC edition of Stack Overflow Dev Days, October 26th.

- On October 4th the LISA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland will feature a talk by Daniel Berlin and Joe Gregorio on the Google Wave Federation Protocol, the underlying open network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers. Interested attendees of LISA will be able to sign up for a developers Wave Sandbox Account. They will also have a chance to win Googley prizes at the Google Birds of a Feather session the next evening, hosted by Cat Allman and Tom Limoncelli.

By Cat Allman, Open Source Programs
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/fall-at-ospo.html

[G] Google Voice for Newbies: Voicemail Transcriptions

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Google Voice Blog: Google Voice for Newbies: Voicemail Transcriptions

Voicemail transcription is, in my opinion, one of Google Voice's coolest features.  That's why I've saved it for my last Google Voice tip.  When someone leaves you a voicemail, Google Voice transcribes the message and gives you a variety of ways to access it.  The transcription process is fully automated, so sometimes the text isn't perfect, but it's usually enough to give you the basic idea of the message.

If you're a Gmail user, you can enable a voicemail player to show up underneath each voicemail notification you receive in Gmail by turning on the Google Voice player in mail lab. You can also set up your Google Voice account to send SMS notifications of the transcriptions to your mobile phone.


You might notice that some of the words in transcriptions are grayed out. This is an indication that we're not as confident about these particular words.



Heather and I hope that these "newbie" posts have helped some of you get your feet wet with Google Voice.  Even though this is the last in our series, that doesn't mean you can't continue to share feature suggestions and interesting use cases.  Share your Voice insights in the Google Voice Help Forum, and remember, the Google Voice Help Center is packed with useful information.  Happy calling!

Posted by Carol and Heather, Googlers
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-voice-for-newbies-voicemail.html

[G] A new My Client Center interface

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Inside AdWords: A new My Client Center interface

Starting this week, you'll see a link on your My Client Center Dashboard that will take you to a new MCC interface that we're testing. In the new interface, you'll notice an updated look and feel, as well as some enhancements to help you manage your clients more efficiently. These include:
  • In-line editing of account descriptions: In-line editing cuts the time it takes for you to make changes to your account names. Instead of waiting for a new page to load, just click an account description to edit it right on the Dashboard.
  • Remove/unlink accounts: Previously, you needed to drill down into a client account to unlink it from your MCC. Now, if you're no longer managing a client, you can remove it directly from your MCC Dashboard.
In addition to these new features, the new interface provides the same core MCC functionality and workflow you're already familiar with. Over time, we're looking forward to introducing additional enhancements to help you manage your clients even more effectively.

While the interface is still in development, you'll notice a feature or two we're still working on integrating, including the "find client" search box. Feel free to switch back and forth between the new and previous interfaces as needed during this testing period.

To send us your thoughts on the new MCC interface, you can click on the "Send Feedback" link directly in your account.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-my-client-center-interface.html

[G] The Next Chapter

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Blogger Buzz: The Next Chapter

As we close the chapter on the first ten years over here on Blogger, the team couldn't be more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead over the next ten. And while we've got some great things planned already, we know that the ideas and passion of the Blogger community will inspire us further. So in that spirit, we're going to once again ask for some help writing out the next chapter of Blogger. Only this time, we mean it quite literally :-)

We'd like you to take a second to think about where Blogger is today, and then where you'd like to see it in the future. What are some words that come to mind? How would you describe it?

Specifically, we're looking for six adjectives—three to describe the present, and three to describe hopes for the future. And when you've come up with them, please take a second to let us know what you are thinking. Once we've heard what everyone has to say, we'll follow-up here to share the results.

Once again, we really do appreciate your words!
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2009/10/next-chapter.html

[G] Evolving the look of Google Maps

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Google LatLong: Evolving the look of Google Maps


Today the Google Maps team is rolling out a number of refinements to the look and feel of our maps, the biggest such changes since we first launched about 4.7 years ago.  In that time we've been steadily adding details like walkways, address labels, bus stops, new country coverage, and improved satellite imagery, but the look of the map hasn't changed much.

Today's changes are intended to keep the same information-rich map while making it easier to pick out the information that is most useful.  The changes affect both the 'Map' and 'Hybrid' styles, and include numerous refinements to color, density, typography, and road styling worldwide.  For example, in map view, local and arterial roads have been narrowed at medium zooms to improve legibility, and the overall colours have been optimized to be easier on the eye and conflict less with other things (such as traffic, transit lines and search results) that we overlay onto the map.  Hybrid roads have gained a crisp outline to make them easier to follow, and the overall look is now closer to an augmented satellite view instead of a simple overlay.

In some areas the changes are obvious, while in others they are quite subtle.  But overall we hope you'll agree they're a nice improvement.  Let's take a quick world tour to see some of these changes in action...

Taking a look at a far zoom of the area around my hometown London, notice the improved readability and density of the roads in the hybrid view. The motorways are easier to follow, and the A-roads are surfaced earlier:


Further north and more zoomed in still, the small town of Portinscale in England's beautiful Lake District shows the benefits of displaying increased road density.  Local roads, important in this context, are now visible:

Jumping west across the Atlantic to San Francisco and switching to map view demonstrates the changes in colour and font treatment. All the same information is maintained on the map, but there is more contrast between background detail such as local roads, and important orientation signals like neighbourhoods and major arterial roads: 

Heading south to Brasilia illustrates the advantages of the newly optimized road widths. The thinner treatment at this zoom makes it much easier to pick out fine detail in the complex local road shapes:

Heading northwest across the Pacific, Beijing sees some dramatic changes: the subway lines are coloured to fit local convention, the text is aligned with the streets, and the overall colour scheme is tuned to be more harmonious:

And finally, completing the journey where we started, note the finer road widths, cleaner rail lines, and less visually heavy colour scheme in London:

We hope you enjoy the changes to your local area too!


Posted by Jonah Jones, User Experience Designer, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/evolving-look-of-google-maps.html

[G] Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

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Google Public Policy Blog: Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Annette Kroeber-Riel, European Policy Counsel

(Cross-posted from the Official YouTube Blog.)

In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall became a striking symbol for free expression far beyond the borders of Germany. Just 20 years later, Iranian citizens used online tools like YouTube and Twitter to share firsthand accounts of the brutal government crackdown waged against protesters disputing the country's election results. Many Iranians risked their lives to document the violence, despite the government's attempts to expel journalists and stifle any voices of dissent.

The democratizing power of the Internet has enabled individuals to share their stories with a global audience in ways never before possible, and given a voice to those who wouldn't otherwise be heard.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we're launching a YouTube channel — youtube.com/GoogleFreeExpression — to highlight and celebrate free expression around the world, and we want to hear from you.

This channel is designed to feature your stories and reflections on free expression. Tell us about how you or someone you know has taken a stand for free expression. Perhaps you've protested against something you didn't agree with, taken action when someone else's free speech was being suppressed or been inspired by someone who has stood up for the right to speak out. Make a short video sharing your experience, upload it to YouTube, and add it as a reply to this one:



We'll be featuring the best submissions on the Google Free Expression channel, so be sure to check back in the weeks to come. We look forward to hearing from you.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/celebrating-free-expression-20-years.html

[G] Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

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Official Google Blog: Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall became a striking symbol for free expression far beyond the borders of Germany. Just 20 years later, Iranian citizens used online tools like YouTube and Twitter to share firsthand accounts of the brutal government crackdown waged against protesters disputing the country's election results. Many Iranians risked their lives to document the violence, despite the government's attempts to expel journalists and stifle any voices of dissent.

The democratizing power of the Internet has enabled individuals to share their stories with a global audience in ways never before possible, and given a voice to those who wouldn't otherwise be heard.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we're launching a YouTube channel — youtube.com/GoogleFreeExpression — to highlight and celebrate free expression around the world, and we want to hear from you.

This channel is designed to feature your stories and reflections on free expression. Tell us about how you or someone you know has taken a stand for free expression. Perhaps you've protested against something you didn't agree with, taken action when someone else's free speech was being suppressed or been inspired by someone who has stood up for the right to speak out. Make a short video sharing your experience, upload it to YouTube, and add it as a reply to this one:



We'll be featuring the best submissions on the Google Free Expression channel, so be sure to check back in the weeks to come. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted by Annette Kroeber-Riel, Senior European Policy Counsel
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/celebrating-free-expression-20-years.html

[G] Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

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YouTube Blog: Celebrating free expression 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall became a striking symbol for free expression far beyond the borders of Germany. Just 20 years later, Iranian citizens used online tools like YouTube and Twitter to share firsthand accounts of the brutal government crackdown waged against protesters disputing the country's election results. Many Iranians risked their lives to document the violence, despite the government's attempts to expel journalists and stifle any voices of dissent.

The democratizing power of the Internet has enabled individuals to share their stories with a global audience in ways never before possible, and given a voice to those who wouldn't otherwise be heard.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we're launching a YouTube channel — youtube.com/GoogleFreeExpression — to highlight and celebrate free expression around the world, and we want to hear from you.

This channel is designed to feature your stories and reflections on free expression. Tell us about how you or someone you know has taken a stand for free expression. Perhaps you've protested against something you didn't agree with, taken action when someone else's free speech was being suppressed or been inspired by someone who has stood up for the right to speak out. Make a short video sharing your experience, upload it to YouTube, and add it as a reply to this one:


We'll be featuring the best submissions on the Google Free Expression channel, so be sure to check back in the weeks to come. We look forward to hearing from you.

Annette Kroeber-Riel, European Policy Counsel, recently watched "Getting past the 'Barbed Wireless'"



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/X0g5sdVC0c8/celebrating-free-expression-20-years.html

Thursday, October 22, 2009

[G] Strengthen your blog's community: Google Friend Connect now available for Wordpress

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Social Web Blog: Strengthen your blog's community: Google Friend Connect now available for Wordpress

This guest post was written by Mauro Gonzalez from Globant. - Ed.

I recently developed a plugin to add Google Friend Connect social features to WordPress blogs. This plugin allows your visitors to authenticate using any OpenID account such as Google, Yahoo, or AIM and then comment on your posts with no need to complete a registration form.


When a visitor authenticates as described above, a WordPress account is automatically created for them. You can later add or remove permissions for the visitor from the WordPress site administration pages. If desired, WordPress comments can be replaced by Google Friend Connect comments gadgets. In this case, no WordPress account is created, since Google Friend Connect handles both the rendering of the comments as well as comments moderation. Regardless of whether the Google Friend Connect comments gadgets are enabled or not, comment entries display the user profile picture and link to the user’s profile. In addition, a set of social gadgets are available, such as the Social Bar, Members, Recommendations, and Global Conversation gadgets. When recommendations are enabled, a "Recommend" button is displayed below your posts allowing the site members to choose the content they like most. The most popular posts will surface to the top of the list within the recommendations gadget.

The blog activities -such as posting content or commenting on a post- are submitted to the Google Friend Connect activity stream, which is visible on the social bar. All of the plugin features, as well as the color scheme, size, and labels of the social gadgets are easily configurable via admin panel, using regular WordPress admin interfaces. The plugin installation does not require any programming skills at all and you can get it at the Google Code site. To see this plugin in action visit either the WordPress with native comments demo or the WordPress with Friend Connect comments demo.

Posted by Mauro Gonzalez, Globant
URL: http://googlesocialweb.blogspot.com/2009/10/strengthen-your-blogs-community-google.html

[G] Google Custom Search for mobile

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Custom Search for mobile

Google Custom Search makes it easy for web site owners to add Google-powered search boxes to their sites. Since a rapidly growing percentage of web search traffic originates from smartphones, we're pleased to announce that Google Custom Search now formats search results for mobile phones.

If you own a web site and add a Google Custom Search box to it, when your users access the site on an Android-powered phone, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Palm Pre, they will see optimized search results formatted for these devices. When they search on your web site, they are redirected to a Google-hosted Custom Search results page created specifically for your Custom Search engine. If you'd like to serve these mobile results from your own web site, you can host your own version of the mobile Custom Search home page.



You can test this out on your phone right now. Here are a few samples: search for user-generated content (e.g., search for "zakumi") from sites like Wikipedia or Knol, or look for more information on Custom Search (e.g., search for "promotion"). As you can see, Custom Mobile Search results can match the look and feel of your own website, and we've enabled interactive features, such as label tabs for navigation, as well as promotions. Look for more features coming soon, too. For more information on Custom Search, and more details on the mobile configuration, visit the Custom Search blog.

Let us know how this works on your favorite smartphone.

Posted by Rajat Mukherjee, Group Product Manager, Search
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-custom-search-for-mobile.html

[G] Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking

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Official Google Blog: Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Reader Blog)

Today, we're launching two changes to Google Reader to help you discover more interesting content faster. Just as the launch of Personalized Search improved search results based on your search history, these changes use your Reader Trends to improve your reading experience.
  • Explore section - We're always trying to help you discover new stuff in Reader, and today we're introducing Popular items and Recommended sources, two ways to find interesting content from all over the Internet. We use algorithms to find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions), collect them in the new Popular items section and order them by what we think you'll like best. Now you don't have to be embarrassed about missing that hilarious video everyone is talking about — it should show up in your Popular items feed automatically. And to make it easier to find interesting feeds, we're moving Recommendations into the new Explore section and giving it a new name — Recommended sources. Like always, it uses your Reader Trends and Web History (if you're opted into Web History) to generate a list of feeds we think you might like.
  • Personalized ranking - Only have a 10-minute coffee break and want to see the best items first? All feeds now have a new sort option called "magic" that re-orders items in the feed based on your personal usage, and overall activity in Reader, instead of default chronological order. Click "Sort by magic" under the Folder Settings menu of your feed to switch to personalized ranking. Unlike the old "auto" ranking, this new ranking is personalized for you, and gets better with time as we learn what you like best — the more you "like" and "share" stuff, the better your magic sort will be. Give it a try on a high-volume feed folder or All items and see for yourself!
The goal of personalization at Google remains the same as ever: to help you find the best content on the web. We hope these new features help you do just that — go Explore for yourself.

Finally, we'd love to hear your feedback — share your thoughts on our help group, Twitter or the Reader section of Get Satisfaction, a third party support community.

Posted by Beverly Yang, Software Engineer, Search Quality
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/reading-gets-personal-with-popular.html

[G] Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking

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Official Google Reader Blog: Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking

(Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog)



Today, we're launching two changes to Google Reader to help you discover more interesting content faster. Just as the launch of Personalized Search improved search results based on your search history, these changes use your Reader Trends to improve your reading experience.




  • Explore section - We're always trying to help you discover new stuff in Reader, and today we're introducing "Popular items" and "Recommended sources", two ways to find interesting content from all over the Internet. We use algorithms to find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions), collect them in the new Popular items section and order them by what we think you'll like best. Now you don't have to be embarrassed about missing that hilarious video everyone is talking about — it should show up in your "Popular items" feed automatically. And to make it easier to find interesting feeds, we're moving recommendations into the new Explore section and giving it a new name — "Recommended sources." Like always, it uses your Reader Trends and Web History (if you're opted into Web History) to generate a list of feeds we think you might like.

    Explore section



  • Personalized ranking - Only have a 10 minute coffee break and want to see the best items first? All feeds now have a new sort option called "magic" that re-orders items in the feed based on your personal usage, and overall activity in Reader, instead of default chronological order. Click "Sort by magic" under the "Feed settings" menu of your feed (or folder) to switch to personalized ranking. Unlike the old "auto" ranking, this new ranking is personalized for you, and gets better with time as we learn what you like best — the more you "like" and "share" stuff, the better your magic sort will be. Give it a try on a high-volume feed folder or All items and see for yourself!


    Magic sorting




The goal of personalization at Google remains the same as ever: to help you find the best content on the web. We hope these new features help you do just that — go Explore for yourself.



Finally, we'd love to hear your feedback — share your thoughts on our help group, Twitter or the Reader section of Get Satisfaction, a third party support community.

URL: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2009/10/reading-gets-personal-with-popular.html

[G] Get free keyboard shortcuts stickers

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Inside AdWords: Get free keyboard shortcuts stickers

Back in April, we introduced keyboard shortcuts you can use to zip around AdWords. As fans of Gmail shortcuts already know, if you want to save time navigating your account, ditching your mouse can give you a major boost.

To help you learn shortcuts faster (not to mention show off your AdWords skills), we're giving away free sets of keyboard stickers. Take a look:


If you live in the U.S., Canada, or other select countries, send us your name and mailing address, and we'll mail you a set of stickers within a few weeks. Enjoy.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/get-free-keyboard-shortcuts-stickers.html

[G] Layers come to Google Maps for BlackBerry

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Google LatLong: Layers come to Google Maps for BlackBerry

[Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog]

We're excited to announce that version 3.2 of Google Maps for mobile is now available for BlackBerry. This release contains many of the same features we recently launched on Windows Mobile and S60, including Layers.

Layers make it easy to view various types of information on your map and are especially helpful in situations when you're traveling somewhere new. For example, you can turn on the Wikipedia layer to read entries about nearby places, then use the transit lines layer to help map out a route. Or you can use the My Maps feature of Google Maps to create a collection of places you're planning to visit on your trip and then use Google Maps for mobile to access it from the road. You can also turn on the Google Latitude layer to see your friends' locations.

My coworker Mat is a big fan of Layers and made the below video to show you how he uses the feature. Check out the video, and get the latest version of Google Maps for your phone by visiting m.google.com/maps from your phone's browser.




Posted by Michelle Chen, Software Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/layers-come-to-google-maps-for.html

[G] New version of the AdWords API v2009

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Inside AdWords: New version of the AdWords API v2009

For those of you who use the AdWords API, we're happy to announce the launch of the latest version, v200909. This version offers a number of exciting new features, including asynchronous calls, keyword and placement ideas, and location extensions. AdWords API v200909 is available to all advertisers, and for more information you can visit the AdWords API blog.

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-version-of-adwords-api-v2009.html

[G] Picasa and Windows 7

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Google Photos Blog: Picasa and Windows 7

Posted by Brian Axe, Product Manager

We're happy to report that the new version of Picasa 3.5 is compatible with Windows 7. We'd also like to provide some guidance for people who switch to Windows 7 from Windows XP or older versions of Windows, as you'll need to follow a few extra steps to ensure Picasa works as expected. During the installation, Windows backs up all your application data to a new directory, but Picasa and other applications that rely on this data will not see it. To fix this, you'll just need to copy and paste your data to the right place. This will ensure that Picasa doesn't need to re-scan your whole hard drive, and you don't need to re-create your albums and name tags. Check out full details of how to do this in our help center here.
URL: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2009/10/picasa-and-windows-7.html

[G] Best Practices for Verifying and Cleaning up a Compromised Site

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Google Online Security Blog: Best Practices for Verifying and Cleaning up a Compromised Site

Written by Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Security Team

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, Google's Anti-Malware Team is publishing a series of educational blog posts inspired by questions we've received from users. October is a great time to brush up on cyber security tips and 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/. To learn more about malware detection and site cleanup, visit the Webmaster Tools Help Center and Forum.

In our last post in this series, we explained Google's malware scanning process and how malware warning reviews work. It's not always clear to webmasters how to go about cleaning up their sites once they've been compromised, so this time we thought we'd share some best practices.


1) Verify Your Site with Google Webmaster Tools

If you have added and verified your site's ownership with Google Webmaster Tools, you can view a partial list of URLs where our system has detected suspicious content on your site, as well as samples of the malicious code. Once you've thoroughly cleaned up your site and addressed the vulnerability that allowed it to be compromised, it's easy to request a review through Webmaster Tools. We recognize that some site owners may want to use these tools even if they haven't already signed up with Webmaster Tools. For that reason, we enable you to verify ownership of your sites at any time, even if our systems have listed them as potentially dangerous.

2) If Your Site Has Been Compromised, Perform a Comprehensive Cleanup

If any part of your site has been compromised, thoroughly check all pages on the site for harmful code or content — not just the example pages listed in Webmaster Tools. Be sure to identify and address the underlying vulnerability that led to the compromise, or else reinfection is likely to occur.

Remember to Check Your Web Server Configuration

In addition to checking the contents of your site's pages and web server source code, remember to check that your web server configuration has not been modified by any intruders. If your web server has been compromised, your site's error pages can be modified to include custom HTML that actually redirects visitors to malicious sites.

Deleted & Error Pages: Dark Corners of Your Website Where Malware May Be Lurking

When a page is deleted from a site, the web server returns an error code (usually 404: Not Found) when requests to the "deleted" URLs are made. In addition to the error code in the HTTP header, the web server may send a custom error page or "Not Found" page, usually intended to help users find what they are looking for. If your site is infected, its error page can contain arbitrary HTML that exposes your visitors to malware. You can search our Webmaster Forum for information about how others are dealing with similar problems. The recently-launched malware samples feature in Google Webmaster Tools could also come in handy.

3) If You Switch Hosting Providers, Disable Access to the Old Version of Your Site

When a site is moved to a different hosting provider, the DNS records are updated such that the domain name points to a new IP address. In some cases, DNS caching can cause your domain name to continue resolving to the old IP address for some visitors even after the site has moved. For this reason, we recommend instructing your former hosting provider to stop serving any content for your site. This may cause some visitors to experience server errors for a few hours, but can protect them from visiting a potentially dangerous web server.


As always, our Webmaster Forum and StopBadware's BadwareBusters can be good sources of help and information when cleaning up a compromised site.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/10/best-practices-for-verifying-and.html

[G] Time to let the process unfold

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Google Public Policy Blog: Time to let the process unfold

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

This morning, the FCC voted unanimously to begin consideration of proposed rules that would protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. Over the next several months, an official rulemaking proceeding will take place, along with public workshops and technical advisory discussions, allowing everyone to provide feedback before the Commission adopts a final set of rules.

There's been a lot of noise out there, but let's review what's at stake: The Internet was built and has thrived as an open platform, where individuals and entrepreneurs -- not network owners -- can connect and interact, choose marketplace winners and losers, and create new services and content on a level playing field. No one seems to disagree with that fundamental proposition. This new proceeding is aimed at opening a national dialogue on how best to protect that unique environment. For our part, we fully support the adoption of "rules of the road" to ensure that the broadband on-ramps to the Net remain open and robust.

This is a critical debate for the future of the Internet, and no doubt there are different viewpoints on how to move forward. Some detractors unfortunately have gone so far as to work behind the scenes to try to derail the start of an open and transparent process at the Commission. But as Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam showed in last evening's joint blog post, stakeholders can work together with mutual respect to find common ground, even as we acknowledge and defend important policy differences.

We will be weighing in with our thoughts starting in mid-January. We hope you will do the same.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/time-to-let-process-unfold.html

[G] Where in the World is...(Answers)

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Google LatLong: Where in the World is...(Answers)


Hope you all had a great time exploring this new imagery around the globe and that you answered all the questions in the quiz correctly.

Here are the answers to the quiz:

1. This city was once a mill town in UK. The person who invented multi spool spinning wheel hails from this town.
-- Blackburn.

2. This particular county is from the United States and it was named after the 'SALT LICKS' that are in this area.
-- Licking county.

3. This county was a part of the ancient kingdom of the south Saxons. The English Channel lies to the south of this county.
-- East Sussex.


4. This is the coast of one of the largest states in the US and it also shares an international border. This state fought hard for its independence.
-- Texas coast.

5. This city is a state capital which has the same name as of its state from Mexico, and it is famous for a large archaeological site of pre Columbia.
-- Oaxaca.


6. This city is a state & country capital. Both the city & the state share the same name which is derived from Arabic and means “end of an elephant’s trunk”.
-- Khartoum.

7. This city is one of the largest industrial areas in the United States and many industries are headquartered here. Another clue to identify this place is, a company that makes beef jerky, cocktail pepperoni and other snack sausages is based here.
-- Kent.


8. This is a metropolitan city in Brazil which is well known for its combination of contemporary and classical buildings. The city is surrounded by several parks, and a wide variety of animal species live here.
-- Belo Horizonte.

Following is a more complete version of the updates in this data push:

Americas:
- US: Kent (WA), Texas Gulf Coast, Fort Benning (GA), Davidson County (TN), Story County (IA), Union County (NC), Rowan County, Davidson County (NC), Randolph County (NC), Chatham County (NC), Greene County (NC), Craven County (NC),
- Mexico: Oaxaca
- Venezuela: Punto Fijo
- Argentina: Santa Fe, Goya
- Bolivia: Potosi
- Peru: Puno
- Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Rondonopolis

Europe, Middle East, & Africa:
- UK: East Sussex, Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield, Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Glasgow
- Romania: Braslov, Cluj
- Ukraine: Simferopol
- Russia: Ulan-Ude
- Turkey: Konya, Karaman
- Saudi Arabia: Najran
- Iran: Birjand
- Tunisia: Sousse
- Algeria: El-Jazair
- Morocco: Bechar, Taourirt
- Nigeria: Gombe
- Sudan: Al Khurtum
- South Africa: Port Elizabeth

Asia & Oceania:
- India: Mumbai, Agra,
- China: Xining, Anshan, Linhe
- Indonesia: Cirebon, Surabaya
- Kazakhstan: Shymkent, Semey

New 2.5m base imagery for: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Iceland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, China, and Laos.

For even more fun exploring the new imagery, here is a KML outlining all the areas receiving new data.

Posted by Mukesh K.B, GIS Specialist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/where-in-world-isanswers.html

[G] Art meets engineering with Google Chrome Artist Themes

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Official Google Blog: Art meets engineering with Google Chrome Artist Themes

A couple of weeks ago we introduced Artist Themes for Google Chrome. We asked leading designers, artists, illustrators and musicians to use the browser as their personal canvas for designing interesting themes.

Since then, we've enjoyed hearing your thoughts on these designs and how you've used them to personalize your browser. We've also been intrigued by the ways in which these themes have had interesting and unusual cultural resonance with people around the world.

To continue celebrating this collaboration of engineering and art, we've joined forces with our friends at YouTube to launch a new video (with a surprise ending) that we hope showcases the full beauty of these themes. Check it out at youtube.com/googlechromethemes or by clicking on the image below.


Posted by Jeff Gillette, Google Creative Lab
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/art-meets-engineering-with-google.html

[G] From Anime to Animation: Google Chrome Around the World

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Google Chrome Blog: From Anime to Animation: Google Chrome Around the World

Earlier this week, I read an interesting article in the New York Times about shokunin kishitsu, or the 'craftsman's spirit.' The craftsman's spirit in Japanese culture basically appeals to all of us, regardless of vocation, to aspire to beauty in everything we do and create.

As we collaborated with artists around the globe to create themes for Google Chrome, we hope that bringing art from different cultures into the modern browser expresses some of that spirit. We've enjoyed hearing your thoughts on these designs and how you've used them to personalize your browser. For a friend who emailed me recently, the Hedgehog in the Fog theme brought back fond memories of his Russian childhood and the intrepid Yozhik (as the hedgehog is affectionately known in Russia). This Google Chrome theme is based on the 1975 animated film, which incidentally won "No.1 Animated film of all time" at the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival.

Beauty can be based on a heart-warming 34-year-old animation that makes us nostalgic, or cultural references that makes us who we are today. Our friends working on Google Chrome in Tokyo pointed us to a few Google Chrome themes that resonate with our users in Japan. These themes are based on a modern-day, participatory culture of remixing ideas. Take for example, the Google Chrome theme from global virtual pop star Hatsune Miku. Hatsune Miku began as a character in a vocal synthesis software package from Sapporo-based Crypton Future Media. But as musicians and artists created a body of work, including songs, drawings and animation for Hatsune Miku, she became a best-selling recording artist in Japan!

If you're curious for more, you can get a taste of Google Chrome themes from Japan, including TENORI-ON, Yamaha's nifty 16x16 visual musical instrument; the classic game Super Monkey Ball from Sega, and tea-loving ninjas Nintea from designer Panson Works and anime company Toei Animation (of Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon fame):



For the craftsmen -- the engineers -- working on Google Chrome around the globe, shokunin kishitsu provides lots of food for thought, as we continue to build on a browser designed to be fast, simple, and beautiful for users.

In the spirit of what our Japanese colleagues call "速い + ART" (or, speed + art), we'd like to leave you with a new video (with a surprise ending). Check it out at youtube.com/googlechromethemes, or by clicking on the image below.






Posted by Min Li Chan, Associate Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2009/10/from-anime-to-animation-google-chrome.html

[G] What's at stake at the FCC this morning

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Google Public Policy Blog: What's at stake at the FCC this morning

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

This morning, the FCC will propose and ask for public feedback on rules designed to protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. (The Commission will be streaming live video of today's meeting on its website.)

Support for the Commission's effort has been loud and clear. This week alone, visionaries who built and developed the Internet, the CEOs and founders of the world's leading Internet and technology companies, investors, public interest and consumer groups, and tens of thousands of Internet users all announced their support for the Commission's work.

Yesterday, the CEOs of Google and Verizon Wireless outlined their common ground on the issue and threw their support behind a "thoughtful, transparent decision-making process." Unfortunately, some telecom companies have been working behind the scenes to try to prevent the Commission from even considering this issue, an audacious and unprecedented step intended to shut down an independent regulatory agency's discussion before it can even take place.

The fact is, this proceeding will help determine the Internet's future as the world's ultimate platform for innovation, economic growth, and free expression. Now is the time to have a full, open, transparent dialogue between the American people and their policymakers.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/whats-at-stake-at-fcc-this-morning.html

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

[G] Finding common ground on an open Internet

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Google Public Policy Blog: Finding common ground on an open Internet

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, and Lowell McAdam, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless

(Cross-posted on the Verizon PolicyBlog.)

Verizon and Google might seem unlikely bedfellows in the current debate around network neutrality, or an open Internet. And while it's true we do disagree quite strongly about certain aspects of government policy in this area -- such as whether mobile networks should even be part of the discussion -- there are many issues on which we agree. For starters we both think it's essential that the Internet remains an unrestricted and open platform -- where people can access any content (so long as it's legal), as well as the services and applications of their choice.

There are two key factors driving innovation on the web today. First is the programming language of the Internet, which was designed over forty years ago by engineers who wanted the freedom to communicate from any computer, anywhere in the world. It enables Macs to talk to PCs, Blackberry Storms to iPhones, the newest computers to the oldest hardware on the planet across any kind of network -- cable, DSL, fiber, mobile, WiFi or even dial up.

Second, private investment is dramatically increasing broadband capacity and the intelligence of networks, creating the infrastructure to support ever more sophisticated applications.

As a result, however or wherever you access the Internet the people you want to connect with can receive your message. There is no central authority that can step in and prevent you from talking to someone else, or that imposes rules prescribing what services should be available.

Transformative is an over-used word, especially in the tech sector. But the Internet has genuinely changed the world. Consumers of all stripes can decide which services they want to use and the companies they trust to provide them. In addition, if you're an entrepreneur with a big idea, you can launch your service online and instantly connect to an audience of billions. You don't need advance permission to use the network. At the same time, network providers are free to develop new applications, either on their own or in collaboration with others.

This kind of "innovation without permission" has changed the way we do business forever, fueling unprecedented collaboration, creativity and opportunity. And because America has been at the forefront of most of these changes, we have disproportionately benefited in terms of economic growth and job creation.

So, in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission's national plan to bring broadband to all Americans, we understand its decision to start a debate about how best to protect and promote the openness of the Internet. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has promised a thoughtful, transparent decision-making process, and we look forward to taking part in the analysis and discussion that is to follow. We believe this kind of process can work, because as the two of us have debated these issues we have found a number of basic concepts to agree on.

First, it's obvious that users should continue to have the final say about their web experience, from the networks and software they use, to the hardware they plug in to the Internet and the services they access online. The Internet revolution has been people powered from the very beginning, and should remain so. The minute that anyone, whether from government or the private sector, starts to control how people use the Internet, it is the beginning of the end of the Net as we know it.

Second, advanced and open networks are essential to the future development of the Web. Policies that continue to provide incentives for investment and innovation are a vital part of the debate we are now beginning.

Third, the FCC's existing wireline broadband principles make clear that users are in charge of all aspects of their Internet experience -- from access to apps and content. So we think it makes sense for the Commission to establish that these existing principles are enforceable, and implement them on a case-by-case basis.

Fourth, we're in wild agreement that in this rapidly changing Internet ecosystem, flexibility in government policy is key. Policymakers sometimes fall prey to the temptation to write overly detailed rules, attempting to predict every possible scenario and address every possible concern. This can have unintended consequences.

Fifth, broadband network providers should have the flexibility to manage their networks to deal with issues like traffic congestion, spam, "malware" and denial of service attacks, as well as other threats that may emerge in the future -- so long as they do it reasonably, consistent with their customers' preferences, and don't unreasonably discriminate in ways that either harm users or are anti-competitive. They should also be free to offer managed network services, such as IP television.

Finally, transparency is a must. Chairman Genachowski has proposed adding this principle to the FCC's guidelines, and we both support this step. All providers of broadband access, services and applications should provide their customers with clear information about their offerings.

Doubtless, there will be disagreements along the way. While Verizon supports openness across its networks, it believes that there is no evidence of a problem today -- especially for wireless -- and no basis for new rules and that regulation in the US could have a detrimental effect globally. While Google supports light touch regulation, it believes that safeguards are needed to combat the incentives for carriers to pick winners and losers online.

Both of our businesses rely on each other. So we believe it's appropriate to discuss how we ensure that consumers can get the information, products, and services they want online, encourage investment in advanced networks and ensure the openness of the web around the world. We're ready to engage in this important policy discussion.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/finding-common-ground-on-open-internet.html

[G] A learning opportunity for education sites

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Inside AdSense: A learning opportunity for education sites


This Thursday, October 22nd, our Dublin-based AdSense team will host a webinar geared towards publishers with sites related to education. We welcome you to join us for an hour, starting at 9am PST/5pm GMT, and learn how you can improve your ad performance. We'll talk you through our top tips and show you sample implementations, and you'll be able to put your questions live to an AdSense specialist. Please be sure to sign up via our Help Center if you're planning to attend.

Posted by Siobhan McCormack - AdSense Optimisation Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/learning-opportunity-for-education.html

[G] Design It Shelter Competition: The Winners

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Google LatLong: Design It Shelter Competition: The Winners

[Cross-posted from the Official Google SketchUp Blog]

Earlier this year, we teamed up with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to launch the Design It: Shelter Competition. People all over the world were invited to use Google SketchUp to design small buildings and submit them for consideration. We received over 600 entries from 68 countries – the level of participation was astounding. You can check out all the entries on the Guggenheim website.

Two prizes were offered: the People's Prize and the Juried Prize. To determine the winner of the People's Prize, students from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture winnowed down the entries to a list of ten finalists. Visitors to the Guggenheim website could vote for their favorite; the shelter with the most votes won. A jury of seven experts selected the winner of the Juried Prize.

Here's a video that announces the winners and talks a little bit about them:




The People's Prize

The winner of the People's Prize is the CBS – Cork Block Shelter
by David Mares of Setúbal, Portugal



The Juried Prize

The winner of the Juried Prize is the SeaShelter
by David Eltang of Aarhus, Denmark.


Each of the winners will receive transportation to New York City for two people, accommodation for two nights, "backstage" tours of both the Guggenheim Museum and our New York Google office, and free admission to a number of other NYC museums. The Juried Prize winner will also receive a check for one thousand dollars.


Congratulations to the finalists and to the winners. Thank you to everyone who submitted a design, and thanks to everyone who voted.

Posted by Aidan Chopra, SketchUp Evangelist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/design-it-shelter-competition-winners.html