Friday, November 13, 2009

[G] Modifications to the Google Books Settlement

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Google Public Policy Blog: Modifications to the Google Books Settlement

Posted by Dan Clancy, Google Books Engineering Director

Last year, we joined with a broad class of authors and publishers to announce a settlement agreement that would make millions of out-of-print books available to students and readers in every part of the U.S., while forging new opportunities for rightsholders to sell access to their books. Tonight we submitted an amended version of the Google Books settlement agreement to the court.

We've traveled all over the world together with the authors and publishers to talk with people about our agreement, and over the last two months, we've read the many letters and briefs written to the court. We've also had discussions with the Department of Justice about the settlement.

The changes we've made in our amended agreement address many of the concerns we've heard (particularly in limiting its international scope), while at the same time preserving the core benefits of the original agreement: opening access to millions of books while providing rightsholders with ways to sell and control their work online. You can read a summary of the changes we made here, or by reading our FAQ.

We firmly believe in the promise of the agreement, as do our many supporters. As Sergey Brin recently wrote in a recent op-ed, "even if our cultural heritage stays intact in the world’s foremost libraries, it is effectively lost if no one can access it easily."

We're disappointed that we won't be able to provide access to as many books from as many countries through the settlement as a result of our modifications, but we look forward to continuing to work with rightsholders from around the world to fulfill our longstanding mission of increasing access to all the world's books.

If you'd like to hear more, you can join Chairman of the American Association of Publishers Richard Sarnoff, Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken and me for a public conference call at 9:15 PM Pacific/12:15 AM Eastern to discuss our amended agreement. To participate, ask for the "Amended Google Books Settlement Conference Call," and use the following numbers:

Toll free Q&A: 888-466-4587
Confirmation code: 3915040

You can find more perspectives on the agreement from authors and publishers here and here.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/11/modifications-to-google-books.html

[G] This week in search 11/13/09

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 11/13/09

This week brought a variety of changes, including a flu shot finder to keep you healthy during this year's flu season. And since you'll be healthy, you can enjoy updates to our movie showtimes feature and go out and have fun.

Flu shot finder
We launched a flu shot finder with the goal of helping people find where they can get their fall flu shots. At the moment we have data for shot locations in 20 states. We'll be increasing our coverage to all 50 states. We're just getting started with this project, so stay tuned for improvements.

You can find flu shots at www.google.com/flushot.

The ability to lock SafeSearch
We launched a feature that lets you lock your SafeSearch setting. When you lock SafeSearch, two things will change. First, you'll need to enter your password to change the setting. Second, the Google search results page will be visibly different to indicate that SafeSearch is on and locked:

That way, if you're taking care of kids, you'll be able to verify that SafeSearch is on from clear across the room! Just look for the colorful balls in the upper right corner.

You can lock your SafeSearch by visiting our Search Settings page in the Settings menu in the upper right corner of www.google.com and clicking "Lock SafeSearch".

Updated movies showtimes
We launched an update to the movies showtimes feature, which now includes movie posters to enrich our movie results. When you click on the result, you'll get a more comprehensive summary of the movie as well as the ability to view theater locations on a map and sort by genre.

Example searches: movies, where the wild things are, 2012

Adding World Bank data to search
We have added World Bank data to search. This makes finding global facts like life expectancy, electricity use and birth rates a lot faster and easier. The Public Data feature also lets you make comparisons across countries. Here's what the feature looks like when it appears in your search results:
Example searches: the worlds life expectancy, electricity use germany

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

Posted by Johanna Wright, Director of Product Management, Search
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/this-week-in-search-111309.html

[G] Explore Valencia in 3D

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Google LatLong: Explore Valencia in 3D


[Cross-posted from the Official Google SketchUp Blog]

As of today, you'll be able to see Valencia, Spain in 3D by opening Google Earth and flying down to one of the most beautiful cities in Mediterranean Spain. When you have Google Earth open, make sure the "3D Buildings" layer is checked to get the full effect. Watch the video below to see a fly-through animation of Valencia.



If you want to see some impressive buildings in Valencia, we recommend flying down to these places:
Posted by Nicole Drobeck, 3D Modeling Specialist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/11/explore-valencia-in-3d.html

[G] The 50th Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS)

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Official Google Research Blog: The 50th Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS)

Posted by Jon Feldman and Vahab Mirrokni, Google Research, NY

The 50th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) was held a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta. This conference (along with STOC and SODA) is one of the the major venues for recent advances in algorithm design and computational complexity. Computation is now a major ingredient of almost any field of science, without which many of the recent achievements would not have happened (e.g., Human Genome decoding). As the 50th anniversary of FOCS, this event was a landmark in the history of foundations of computer science. Below, we give a quick report of some highlights from this event and our research contribution:
  • In a special one-day workshop before the conference, four pioneer researchers of theoretical computer science talked about historical, contemporary, and future research directions. Richard Karp gave an interesting survey on "Great Algorithms," where he discussed algorithms such as the simplex method for linear programming and fast matrix multiplication; he gave examples of algorithms with high impact on our daily lives, as well as algorithms that changed our way of thinking about computation. As an example of an algorithm with great impact on our lives, he gave the PageRank algorithm designed by Larry and Sergey at Google. Mihalis Yannakakis discussed the recent impact of studying game theory and equilibria from a computational perspective and discussed the relationships between the complexity classes PLS, FIXP, and PPAD. In particular he discussed completeness of computing pure and mixed Nash equilibria for PLS, and for FIXP and PPAD respectively. Noga Alon gave a technical talk about efficient routing on expander graphs, and presented a clever combinatorial algorithm to route demand between multiple pairs of nodes in an online fashion. Finally, Manuel Blum gave an entertaining and mind-stimulating talk about the potential contribution of computer science to the study of human consciousness, educating the community on the notion of "Global Workspace Theory."
  • The conference program included papers in areas related to algorithm and data structure design, approximation and optimization, computational complexity, learning theory, cryptography, quantum computing, and computational economics. The best student paper awards went to Alexander Shrstov and Jonah Sherman for their papers "The intersection of two halfspaces has high threshold degree" and "Breaking the multicommodity flow barrier for O(sqrt(log n))-approximations to sparsest cut." The program included many interesting results like the polynomial-time smoothed analysis of the k-means clustering algorithm (by David Arthur, Bodo Manthey and Heiko Roeglin), and a stronger version of Azuma's concentration inequality used to show optimal bin-packing bounds (by Ravi Kannan). The former paper studies a variant of the well-known k-means algorithm that works well in practice, but whose worst-case running time can be exponential. By analyzing this algorithm in the smoothed analysis framework, the paper gives a new explanation for the success of the k-means algorithm in practice.
  • We presented our recent result about online stochastic matching in which we improve the approximation factor of computing the maximum cardinality matching in an online stochastic setting. The original motivation for this work is online ad allocation which was discussed in a previous blog post. In this algorithm, using our prior on the input (or our historical stochastic information), we compute two disjoint solutions to an instance that we expect to happen; then online, we try one solution first, and if it fails, we try the the other solution. The algorithm is inspired by the idea of "power of two choices," which has proved useful in online load balancing and congestion control. Using this method, we improve the worst-case guarantee of the online algorithm past the notorious barrier of 1-1/e. We hope that employing this idea and our technique for online stochastic optimization will find other applications in related stochastic resource allocation problems.
The FOCS conference (along with STOC and SODA) has been the birthplace for many popular data structures and efficient algorithms, with far-reaching applications. Many researchers and engineers at Google are trained in these research communities, and apply these techniques whenever possible. Google researchers will continue to contribute and learn from these conferences.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/11/50th-symposium-on-foundations-of.html

[G] New Feature Spotlight: Analytics Intelligence

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Google Analytics Blog: New Feature Spotlight: Analytics Intelligence

How would you like to have 24-hour a day access to a dedicated assistant who is focused exclusively on your site's analytics? Your assistant would be so diligent and detailed that they wouldn't miss a thing. Sound too good to be true? We're giving you one. Say "Hello" to Analytics Intelligence.

Your new hardworking assistant, Analytics Intelligence, can't replace you or a professional analyst. But, it can find key information for you and your professional analysts -- so that your team can focus on making strategic decisions, instead of sifting through an endless sea of data.

Analytics Intelligence constantly monitors your website's traffic. Anytime something significant happens, it adds an automatic alert in your Intelligence reports. If your bounce rate suddenly jumps on one of your referrals, Analytics Intelligence creates an alert. Of course, it's up to you to go find out that the bounce rate jumped because someone inadvertently changed the landing page. But you might not have noticed that there was a problem that needed fixing if your trusty assistant hadn't alerted you.


Behind Analytics Intelligence is a sophisticated algorithmic intelligence engine that detects any anomalies in your traffic patterns. That means it's smart enough to know the difference between a change that's actually part of a larger trend versus a change that you might need to look into. But, from a user perspective, Analytics Intelligence couldn't be simpler.

Navigate to the Intelligence reports and you'll see three reports -- Daily Alerts, Weekly Alerts, Monthly Alerts. Daily Alerts contains all the alerts that are based on daily data. Weekly Alerts contains alerts based on weekly data. Monthly Alerts contains, you guessed it, alerts based on monthly data.

When you look at your alerts, you'll notice that your trusty assistant has already gone through your historical data and posted alerts. This highlights a key feature of Analytics Intelligence: you don't have to do anything -- alerts automatically get posted to your account.

The best way to come up to speed on Analytics Intelligence is to take a look at the alerts that are being created for your data. You can learn everything you need to know about how to interpret your alerts in this 2-minute video.

You can also instruct your assistant to be on the lookout for specific things that you want to monitor. Let's say you are running a billboard campaign in New York's Times Square. You want to be proactively informed regarding how the campaign is impacting traffic from New York. To do this, go the Manage Intelligence Alerts page,


and set up a custom alert (see the example, below).


You might even want to set up a second alert that checks for decreasing New York traffic, so you can see if the campaign is starting to wind down.

You'll then receive a custom alert, posted in your Daily Alerts, whenever one of these things happens. You can be notified by email as well, so you'll know what's going on even if you're not checking your reports.

If you're ever unsure about how to set up an alert, try starting with one of the templates on the Manage Intelligence Alerts page. Just click Copy, and then modify and rename the alert to fit your needs.



As with automatic alerts, the best way to learn about custom alerts is to try them out on your own data. You can also refer to the articles on Analytics Intelligence in the Google Analytics Help Center.

Sign in to your account to try it out. It's time to meet your new assistant!

Posted by Alden DeSoto, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-feature-spotlight-analytics.html

[G] Introducing the Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

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Official Google Blog: Introducing the Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Today, we're excited to announce the most recent addition to our scholarship programs in Europe, the Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. This scholarship is designed for students with disabilities who are pursuing university degrees in the field of computer science at a university anywhere in the European Union, plus Switzerland and Israel. Multiple scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of candidates’ academic performance and demonstrated passion for computer science.

Scholarships will be granted for the 2010/2011 academic year, and recipients will be invited to attend an all-expenses-paid retreat at Google’s Engineering Center in Zurich in 2010.

Here's what Nelson Mattos, our VP for Product & Engineering in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has to say about this scholarship: "We're committed to diversifying the long-term engineering talent pool for the industry as a whole. We hope that this scholarship will increase opportunities for students with disabilities and encourage them to pursue careers in computer science. The retreat fosters relationships so that scholars can form a supportive network lasting the full length of their academic studies and beyond."

We know that a diverse group of people use our tools and services and only an equally diverse workforce can anticipate our users' needs. We've found that the diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures leads to the creation of better products to the benefit of all users of the Internet. We hope that this scholarship works towards that end.

The deadline to apply is March 15th 2010. For more details, visit www.google.com/studentswithdisabilities-europe.

Posted by Beate List, EMEA University Programmes and Eleanor Mulligan, EMEA Diversity & Inclusion
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/introducing-europe-scholarship-for.html

[G] "Afternoon, Frank." "Hey howdy, George."

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AdSense for Feeds: "Afternoon, Frank." "Hey howdy, George."


It's about time these two neighbors got to talking to each other. Most Saturday afternoons you'd find them politely waving as they passed at each other by with their push mowers, tending to their neatly manicured tables, charts, and graphs. It just made sense that the grounds would look that much more complete if they removed a bit of fence between them. And so they've done just that.

If you use either AdSense for feeds or Google FeedBurner to track item clicks and also use Google Analytics, as of today, you will automatically start to see your feed item click analytics show up in Google Analytics with some additional information added to help you understand how distributing your feed with FeedBurner leads to traffic on your site.

Specifically, we will help you classify your links by tagging the Source as "feedburner", the Medium as the channel in which we sent out your feed such as "feed" or "email", and the Content as the actual endpoint application in which the user viewed your feed content such as "Google Reader" or "Yahoo! Mail".  In order to slice your traffic by these endpoints, in the All Traffic Sources view in Google Analytics select the "Ad Content" field in the second column.

In the coming weeks, you will start to see many more distribution endpoints in your reports. The represent ongoing additions to our database of applications that process feeds.




By default, these analytics will show up in the "All Traffic Sources" and "Campaigns" views in Google Analytics. You can filter the results just to only the traffic that comes from Google FeedBurner by filtering on "feedburner" on the All Traffic Sources page or "Feed:" on the campaigns view.  You can also use these sources in the Advanced Segments views.

In this view below, we actually have two separate feeds driving traffic to this blog, and that can  now be tracked easily in one view.





If you have item click tracking enabled, we are now automatically tagging your item URLs with Google Analytics parameters. If you're not using Google Analytics, or for some other reason don't want these parameters in the requests coming to your website, you can turn off Google Analytics tracking on the "Configure Stats" page on the Analyze tab at http://feedburner.google.com.  If you don't have item click tracking enabled, this is also the perfect time to turn it on, which can be done on this same page.





For instance, if you would rather see the detail of where your feeds are read directly, you can add ${distributionEndpoint} as the medium, and then you will get views that look something like this.





Again this will happen automatically except in one specific case:  if you are already tagging your feed item URLs with Google Analtyics tags such as "utm_source" and "utm_medium" - we have disabled this feature and you will have to turn it on manually by selecting "Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics."   Note that if you do this, we will replace any existing "utm_" tags that may be in your permalinks with the values generated from FeedBurner.

In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more features in Google FeedBurner that take advantage of this functionality, so we highly recommend that you register and set up your site with Google Analytics if you haven't done so already.


Posted by Steve Olechowski on behalf of the Google FeedBurner team
URL: http://adsenseforfeeds.blogspot.com/2009/11/afternoon-frank-hey-howdy-george.html

[G] Upgrade to AdWords Editor 7.6.1

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Inside AdWords: Upgrade to AdWords Editor 7.6.1

AdWords Editor version 7.6.1 is now available for Windows and Mac. This new version includes support for ad scheduling, advanced location targeting, YouTube Promoted Video ads, and other features. For a complete list of changes and instructions, visit our release notes.

If you're already using AdWords Editor, you'll be prompted to upgrade automatically. If you're not already using it, you can visit our website to download AdWords Editor. To learn more, take a look at our AdWords Editor Help Center.


Posted by Emily Williams, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/11/upgrade-to-adwords-editor-761.html

[G] "Afternoon, Frank." "Hey howdy, George."

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AdSense for Feeds: "Afternoon, Frank." "Hey howdy, George."



It's about time these two neighbors got to talking to each other. Most Saturday afternoons you'd find them politely waving as they passed at each other by with their push mowers, tending to their neatly manicured tables, charts, and graphs. It just made sense that the grounds would look that much more complete if they removed a bit of fence between them. And so they've done just that.



If you use either AdSense for feeds or Google FeedBurner to track item clicks and also use Google Analytics, as of today, you will automatically start to see your feed item click analytics show up in Google Analytics with some additional information added to help you understand how distributing your feed with FeedBurner leads to traffic on your site.



Specifically, we will help you classify your links by tagging the Source as "feedburner", the Medium as the channel in which we sent out your feed such as "feed" or "email", and the Content as the actual endpoint application in which the user viewed your feed content such as "Google Reader" or "Yahoo! Mail".  In order to slice your traffic by these endpoints, in the All Traffic Sources view in Google Analytics select the "Ad Content" field in the second column.



In the coming weeks, you will start to see many more distribution endpoints in your reports. The represent ongoing additions to our database of applications that process feeds.











By default, these analytics will show up in the "All Traffic Sources" and "Campaigns" views in Google Analytics. You can filter the results just to only the traffic that comes from Google FeedBurner by filtering on "feedburner" on the All Traffic Sources page or "Feed:" on the campaigns view.  You can also use these sources in the Advanced Segments views.



In this view below, we actually have two separate feeds driving traffic to this blog, and that can  now be tracked easily in one view.











If you have item click tracking enabled, we are now automatically tagging your item URLs with Google Analytics parameters. If you're not using Google Analytics, or for some other reason don't want these parameters in the requests coming to your website, you can turn off Google Analytics tracking on the "Configure Stats" page on the Analyze tab at http://feedburner.google.com.  If you don't have item click tracking enabled, this is also the perfect time to turn it on, which can be done on this same page.











For instance, if you would rather see the detail of where your feeds are read directly, you can add ${distributionEndpoint} as the medium, and then you will get views that look something like this.











Again this will happen automatically except in one specific case:  if you are already tagging your feed item URLs with Google Analtyics tags such as "utm_source" and "utm_medium" - we have disabled this feature and you will have to turn it on manually by selecting "Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics."   Note that if you do this, we will replace any existing "utm_" tags that may be in your permalinks with the values generated from FeedBurner.



In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more features in Google FeedBurner that take advantage of this functionality, so we highly recommend that you register and set up your site with Google Analytics if you haven't done so already.





Posted by Steve Olechowski on behalf of the Google FeedBurner team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BurnThisRSS2/~3/Gwdk0zj3PAA/afternoon-frank-hey-howdy-george.html

Thursday, November 12, 2009

[G] 1080p HD Is Coming to YouTube

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YouTube Blog: 1080p HD Is Coming to YouTube

We're excited to say that support for watching 1080p HD videos in full resolution is on its way. Starting next week, YouTube's HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p, depending on the resolution of the original source, up from our maximum output of 720p today.

As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content. For viewers with big monitors and a fast computer, try switching to 1080p to get the most out of the fullscreen experience.

Just how much larger is 1080p? Take a look at the following screenshots from this video:



Standard - 360p



HQ - 480p



HD - 720p



HD - 1080p

Have an HD camera? We would love to see your awesome 1080p videos! Be creative and choose subjects that really show off the beauty of your camera. We will run the best examples on our homepage in a future spotlight.

And those of you who have already uploaded in 1080p, don't worry. We're in the process of re-encoding your videos so we can show them the way you intended.

Billy Biggs, Software Engineer, recently watched "Toy Story 3 - Official Teaser Trailer [HD]."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/TA-r5rD3whA/1080p-hd-comes-to-youtube.html

[G] Google welcomes Gizmo5

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Google Voice Blog: Google welcomes Gizmo5

Today we're pleased to announce we've acquired Gizmo5, a company that provides Internet-based calling software for mobile phones and computers. While we don't have any specific features to announce right now, Gizmo5's engineers will be joining the Google Voice team to continue improving the Google Voice and Gizmo5 experience. Current Gizmo5 users will still be able to use the service, though we will be suspending new signups for the time being, and existing users will no longer be able to sign up for a call-in number.

We've acquired a number of small companies over the past five years, and the people and technology that have come to Google from other places have contributed in many ways, large and small, to all kinds of Google products. Since the GrandCentral team joined Google in 2007, they've done incredible things with Google's technology and resources to launch and improve Google Voice.

We welcome the Gizmo5 team to Google and look forward to working together to bringing more useful features to Google Voice.

Posted by Wesley Chan and Craig Walker, Group Product Managers
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/google-welcomes-gizmo5.html

[G] Google Sidewiki: The first 50 days of valuable entries and new API features

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Official Google Blog: Google Sidewiki: The first 50 days of valuable entries and new API features

It's been just under 2 months since we launched Google Sidewiki and we've already seen a great number of valuable entries that have been written worldwide.

From product tips to online petitions and from expert health advice to programming help, Sidewiki users are finding many useful and creative ways to help others. We've been really excited by these uses of Sidewiki and wanted to share 10 of these great entries with you:

If you haven't used Sidewiki yet, you can download it at google.com/sidewiki as part of the Google Toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you're using Google Chrome, Safari or other browsers without the Google Toolbar, simply install the Sidewiki bookmarklet.

We're also releasing a top-requested feature for our API today that makes it easy to retrieve all Sidewiki entries for an entire domain. With this addition, you can look for new entries created on any page of a website and also subscribe to them via RSS (such as this RSS feed for all Sidewiki entries on the Google Blog). See our Sidewiki API documentation for all of its details.

We look forward to seeing many more great entries and keeping you posted with new features — follow us on Twitter for the latest news and highlights. Try using Sidewiki right now to add your feedback to this blog post and read what others are saying!

Posted by Ario Jafarzadeh, Sidewiki User Experience Designer
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/google-sidewiki-first-50-days-of.html

[G] Locking SafeSearch

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Google Public Policy Blog: Locking SafeSearch

Posted by Pete Lidwell, Product Manager and Aaron Arcos, Engineer

(Cross-posted from Official Google Blog)

When you're searching on Google, we think you should have the choice to keep adult content out of your search results. That's why we developed SafeSearch, a feature that lets you filter sexually explicit web sites and images from your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, SafeSearch helps you avoid content you may prefer not to see or would rather your children did not stumble across. We think it works pretty well, but we're always looking for ways to improve the feature.

Today we're launching a feature that lets you lock your SafeSearch setting to the Strict level
of filtering. When you lock SafeSearch, two things will change. First, you'll need to enter your password to change the setting. Second, the Google search results page will be visibly different to indicate that SafeSearch is locked:



Even from across the room, the colored balls give parents and teachers a clear visual cue that SafeSearch is still locked. And if you don't see them, it's quick and easy to verify and re-lock SafeSearch.

To use SafeSearch lock, go to the "Search Settings" page on Google. For detailed instructions, check out this video.



We hope you and your family find exactly what you’re looking for in Google search results — and nothing more.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/11/locking-safesearch.html

[G] Making health-related ads more useful

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Google Public Policy Blog: Making health-related ads more useful

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Managing Policy Counsel

This afternoon we're taking part in the Food and Drug Administration's public hearing to discuss the online advertising of regulated medical products on the Internet. The two day hearing - being live cast and Tweeted - is intended to help guide the FDA's policy decisions, especially in the areas of social media tools and search.

We think it's an important conversation and we share their goal of better understanding how to promote medical products online in a non-misleading and balanced manner. That's why at today's FDA hearing, we proposed a new Google ad design for FDA-related approved products that highlights an extra line of text clearly stating important risks, with a link to even more information for consumers. We think this new format will help set a clear standard for advertisers and give users important information.


The Internet, and how people use it, has changed a lot since the FDA last examined access to online health information in 1996. On Google alone, we've seen health condition searches increase several times over. What this tells us is that people find health related searches - and the ads they return - useful. We think this new ad proposal for FDA-approved products will make those searches even more helpful.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/11/making-health-related-ads-more-useful.html

[G] Saving the world, one line of code at a time

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Google LatLong: Saving the world, one line of code at a time


The whole thing started last spring at the first-ever Crisis Camp in Washington DC where we heard about the challenges that NGOs, governments, and first responders face during disaster response.

We discussed these challenges with colleagues from Microsoft, and Yahoo. We all agreed that we could provide technological development. But, even for large companies, resources are finite. So, the question became, “How do we make this happen quickly?”

We decided to reach out to our active development communities. Out of this effort, Random Hacks of Kindness, a hackathon for humanity, was born. Random Hacks of Kindness, jointly sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, and the World Bank, aims to build an active developer community around disaster response and humanitarian relief.

This weekend, benevolently-inclined hackers will listen to a keynote from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. Then they’ll churn out some of the most important open source code on the planet—code that saves lives and mitigates human suffering. They'll address problems like, how do we crowdsource information from local citizens to aid first resonders? How do we quickly collect and publish fresh aerial imagery of an affected area? How do we create a comprehensive missing persons finder after a disaster?

Their work will have a positive, lasting impact on the state of the human experience, not just here in the U.S, but all around the globe.

While it’s no exaggeration to call these coders modern-day superheroes, they’ll be going home with just a T-shirt for their efforts. It's a nice T-shirt, but perhaps masks and capes would have been more appropriate.

For more information, visit http://www.randomhacksofkindness.org


Posted by Jeff Martin, Google Crisis Response Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/11/saving-world-one-line-of-code-at-time.html

[G] Site maintenance on Saturday, November 14

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Inside AdSense: Site maintenance on Saturday, November 14

This Saturday, our engineers will be performing routine site maintenance from 10am to 2pm PDT. You'll be unable to log in to your AdSense and Ad Manager accounts during this time, but we'll continue serving ads to your pages and tracking your clicks, impressions, and earnings as usual. In addition, your ad targeting won't be affected.

We've converted the maintenance start time for a few cities around the world:

Toronto - 1pm Saturday
Buenos Aires - 3pm Saturday
Cape Town - 8pm Saturday
Moscow - 9pm Saturday
New Delhi -11:30pm Saturday
Melbourne - 5am Sunday

If you'd like to learn more about what goes on during these maintenance periods, check out this Inside AdSense post.

Posted by Dia Muthana - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/11/site-maintenance-on-saturday-november.html

[G] Gone Google at EDUCAUSE 2009

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Gone Google at EDUCAUSE 2009

According to the newly-released 2009 Campus Computing survey statistics, 44% of colleges and universities have converted to a hosted student email solution, while another 37% are currently evaluating the move. Of those that have migrated, over half — 56% precisely — are going Google.

Since this time last year we have seen lots of exciting growth for Google Apps Education Edition. We've rolled out more than 100 new features, launched free Google Message Security for K-12 schools, integrated with other learning services such as Blackboard and Moodle, and have reached well over six million students and faculty – a 400% increase since this time last year.

The Google Apps for Education team celebrated these big changes with Apps customers – including students – and conference attendees last week at EDUCAUSE, an important annual gathering for higher ed IT. Here are a few photos:



Read more about EDUCAUSE and our exciting year of change, and be sure to visit www.google.com/appsatschool to learn more about how your school can go Google.

Posted by Miriam Schneider,
Google Apps Education Edition team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/11/gone-google-at-educause-2009.html

[G] A 2x Faster Web

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Official Google Research Blog: A 2x Faster Web

Posted by Mike Belshe, Software Engineer and Roberto Peon, Software Engineer

Cross-posted with the Chromium Blog.

Today we'd like to share with the web community information about SPDY, pronounced "SPeeDY", an early-stage research project that is part of our effort to make the web faster. SPDY is at its core an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web. It is designed specifically for minimizing latency through features such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression.

We started working on SPDY while exploring ways to optimize the way browsers and servers communicate. Today, web clients and servers speak HTTP. HTTP is an elegantly simple protocol that emerged as a web standard in 1996 after a series of experiments. HTTP has served the web incredibly well. We want to continue building on the web's tradition of experimentation and optimization, to further support the evolution of websites and browsers. So over the last few months, a few of us here at Google have been experimenting with new ways for web browsers and servers to speak to each other, resulting in a prototype web server and Google Chrome client with SPDY support.

So far we have only tested SPDY in lab conditions. The initial results are very encouraging: when we download the top 25 websites over simulated home network connections, we see a significant improvement in performance - pages loaded up to 55% faster. There is still a lot of work we need to do to evaluate the performance of SPDY in real-world conditions. However, we believe that we have reached the stage where our small team could benefit from the active participation, feedback and assistance of the web community.

For those of you who would like to learn more and hopefully contribute to our experiment, we invite you to review our early stage documentation, look at our current code and provide feedback through the Chromium Google Group.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/11/2x-faster-web.html

[G] Gone Google at EDUCAUSE 2009

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Official Google Blog: Gone Google at EDUCAUSE 2009

Last week the Google Apps for Education team headed to Denver for EDUCAUSE 2009 where the higher education community meets annually. It was at this conference three years ago that we first unveiled Google Apps for Education. Since then, we've witnessed staggering growth in the world of cloud computing in education. Lots has happened over the past year especially: more than 100 new features have rolled out in Google Apps, we've engaged well over six million students and faculty (a 400% increase since this time last year), launched free Google Message Security for K-12 schools and have integrated with other learning services such as Blackboard and Moodle.

These developments are just the beginning. According to the newly-released 2009 Campus Computing survey statistics, 44% of colleges and universities have converted to a hosted student email solution, while another 37% are currently evaluating the move. Of those that have migrated, over half — 56% precisely — are going Google.

To toast the students and faculty that are shaping this movement, we hosted our customers and EDUCAUSE conference attendees at the Denver Public Library. Check out the photos to see what these schools have to say:



We also did something different this year and invited some student ambassadors from schools using Google Apps to come to Denver and share how using Apps on campus helps make their lives easier. Daniel Miller who works at University of Washington's Ethnic Cultural Center uses Calendar to let students on campus know about his organization's events. Sociology major Robin Brown uses forms in Docs to collect data for her class surveys at Notre Dame. Taylor Bell at Boise State relies on Gmail's filters and gadgets to seamlessly access to his Calendar, Docs, Tasks and Chat. After losing his journal, Vaughn Parker at Temple University created a Calendar to keep track of his assignments and share them with his classmates and professors. (There are many more of these student stories, too).

Every year, more schools move to Google Apps so they can spend their time focusing on students, not servers; on higher learning, not higher costs. If you're a school, you can go Google, too. Check out www.google.com/appsatschool to learn more.

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/gone-google-at-educause-2009.html