Saturday, January 30, 2010

[G] A Celebration of the Arts on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: A Celebration of the Arts on YouTube

As a prelude to the Grammys tomorrow, we're highlighting the importance of the arts in society on the homepage today, with top user-created videos about arts organizations that make an impact.

Many of you accepted Dr. Phil's Video Volunteers challenge to demonstrate how arts nonprofits are changing your community for the better, and you sang, danced, vlogged and even tapped your appreciation for your charity of choice.

As Video Volunteers heads into its fifth round (we'll kick off February's installment on Monday with the issue of health, featuring guest curator Jesse McCartney), we'd love to know what issues you'd like to see in the future. Are there topics that are important to you that we haven't addressed? Famous philanthropic faces that you'd like to see as curators? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

And if you're a health organization that needs help creating video, you can sign up to find a Video Volunteer here. You might even see your nonprofit's name in lights at the end of next month.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Follow the Money."


Friday, January 29, 2010

[G] Forty-Eight Hours to Submit Your Question for the President

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YouTube Blog: Forty-Eight Hours to Submit Your Question for the President

On Monday afternoon, as a follow-up to his State of the Union address, President Obama will give a live interview to YouTube from the White House -- and every single question will come from you. You can submit your questions in video or in text, and you can vote on which questions you think should be asked on CitizenTube. Your votes will determine the top questions posed during the discussion with the President. The deadline for submission is Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST.

What makes a good question? That's entirely up to you. We would love to see as many video questions as possible, so if you can, record your question on camera and upload it to YouTube. Be sure to keep it under 20 seconds, and make sure the video and audio quality is crisp and clear. The Moderator platform allows for text questions, too - so if you don't have time to post a video, feel free to simply type your question. We'll use a mixture of both in the interview.

If you're considering what your question should be, but missed the President's State of the Union speech, here it is:

Don't be afraid to ask tough questions - this is your opportunity to have direct access to the President. Though we obviously won't get to each of the thousands of questions that have been submitted, you'll have a say in which questions are asked by voting on your favorites - so come back to CitizenTube and vote often.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, recently watched "GOP Response to State of the Union"


[G] Google Analytics Even More Global

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Google Analytics Blog: Google Analytics Even More Global

Today, Google Analytics is available in 6 more languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Greek, Lithuanian, Slovak and Vietnamese, bringing the total to 31 languages. It's a large cross-functional effort to localize the product, and we're so proud to welcome these new languages and users!

We also now have over 150 Google Analytics Authorized Consultants (GAACs), from every major region (US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific) and over 35 countries! Chances are, there's one near you.

GAACs are our partners; each has been vetted by an internal team here at Google. They are experienced Google Analytics experts (and often, also SEM, SEO and testing specialists) who are available for anything from hourly consultations to training to advanced implementation and analysis.

It's been amazing to see the growth in the analytics industry over the past few years, and as usage and the analytics dialogue scales internationally, our product, team and ecosystem are scaling right along with it.

Posted by Dai Pham and Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team

[G] Live Tomorrow: The YouTube Panel at Davos on Female Genital Mutilation

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YouTube Blog: Live Tomorrow: The YouTube Panel at Davos on Female Genital Mutilation

This year's iteration of The Davos Debates culminates tomorrow as Julia Lalla-Maharajh, the winner of the “Your Pitch to the World” contest, joins Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, Kathy Bushkin Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, on a special panel moderated by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. The session will delve into the issue Julia pledged to address with world leaders at the World Economic Forum: female genital mutilation (FGM).

A difficult topic in just about every way, FGM affects an estimated 130 million women around the world, and tomorrow's panel will be the first time it's been brought to the table at Davos, not to mention the first time someone chosen by the YouTube community has had a seat at that table.

You can participate, too, for the first time. Nicholas Kristof will incorporate the questions you've contributed and voted up using the Google Moderator tool on the Davos YouTube channel into the panel discussion.

We’ll be streaming the panel live on at 3:30 pm CET (9:30 am EST) on Saturday, January 30, 2010. As your watch, please continue to add your thoughts to the discussion using the Moderator tool.

Also, be sure to watch Julia's video diary of her time here at Davos. She's spent every waking minute talking with the influential world leaders, corporate executives, and global movers-and-shakers at the World Economic Forum, raising awareness about FGM and spreading her message about the importance of ending it now.

We’ll see you at tomorrow to watch Julia represent the YouTube community!

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "Bill Clinton talks to Julia Lalla-Maharajh"


[G] Web browser support for Docs and Sites

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Official Google Docs Blog: Web browser support for Docs and Sites

The web continues to evolve at lightning speed, and using an up to date browser enables you to use the very latest web apps. If you're having problems, it could well be because you're using a very old browser. So we'd like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to update their browsers as soon as possible. There are many choices:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0+
Mozilla Firefox 3.0+
Google Chrome 4.0+
Safari 3.0+

Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers. We're also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites on March 1st. So while you'll still be able to access these Google applications, newer features may not be available and some features may even stop working. You can learn more about web browsers and check what version you're currently using at, a site created by Google.

Posted by: Rajen Sheth, Google Apps Senior Product Manager

[G] Modern browsers for modern applications

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: ​Modern browsers for modern applications

​The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible. There are many choices:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0+

Mozilla Firefox 3.0+

Google Chrome 4.0+

Safari 3.0+

Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers. We’re also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. As a result you may find that from March 1 key functionality within these products -- as well as new Docs and Sites features -- won’t work properly in older browsers.

2010 is going to be a great year for Google Apps and we want to ensure that everyone can make the most of what we are developing. Please take the time to switch your organization to the most up-to-date browsers available.

Posted by Rajen Sheth, Google Apps Senior Product Manager

[G] Launched: Google Apps Script for Google Apps Standard Edition

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Launched: Google Apps Script for Google Apps Standard Edition

Back in August we released Google Apps Script to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers. Today we're excited to extend the availability of Apps Script to Google Apps Standard Edition, used by millions of groups, families, clubs and other organizations around the world.

Google Apps Script provides the ability to automate a variety of tasks such as
modifying Spreadsheets, creating Calendar appointments, checking stock prices, sending email, looking up Contacts and much, much more. For a more detailed overview, check out the video below:

Getting started is easy. You can take a look at the
Apps Script Welcome Page, and then work through some of the Tutorials. Before long you'll be writing scripts to automate all kinds of repetitive tasks like keeping track of group expenses and sending out automated reminders triggered by values in a spreadsheet.

In this example, we're using a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of our soccer team's weekly dues. Each player owes $5 per game towards shared expenses. Unfortunately the players can be an absentminded bunch that need frequent payment reminders. In the spreadsheet, every amount entered updates a player's column to indicate which weeks are PAID (in green), and how much is DUE (in red). We've also used Apps Script to add a custom menu:
  • 'Refresh' recalculates and colors cells to indicate which weeks are PAID and which are DUE
  • 'Send Reminders' emails a polite message reminding players in debt to pay up
Go ahead and take a look at the sample code in this template. After choosing Use This Template, select Scripts... from the Spreadsheet's Tools menu. It's a very basic script, but it gets the job done!

Check it out, and
let us know what you think!

Posted by Evin Levey, Product Manager, Google Apps team

[G] Madrid in 3D!

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Google LatLong: Madrid in 3D!

(cross-posted from the Official Google SketchUp Blog)

Madrid, Spain is the latest city to be introduced to the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth.

The City of Madrid contains scores of beautiful structures ranging from art museums and classical monuments to palatial government buildings. The prevalence of architectural wonders may explain why passionate geo-modelers have created thousands of models there (using both Google SketchUp and Google Building Maker) -- the largest concentration of 3D models anywhere the world!

To start your virtual tour, I recommend you fly-to El Palacio real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid), the official residence of the King of Spain. From there I'd fly over to the Puerta de Alcalá, a famous classical monument located in the Plaza de la Independencia (Independence Square), and then over to the Monumento a Alfonso XII en el Parque del Buen Retiro, a beautiful monument that is among the greatest in Europe.

And don't miss the Plaza de Cibeles where the famous statue Fuente de Cibeles is surrounded by trees and beautiful buildings, including the stunning Palacio de Comunicaciones (Madrid City Hall) and Banco de España (Bank of Spain) buildings.

If I were to visit Madrid for real, I think I'd want to stay at the Palace Hotel, which is a short walk to the famous Prado Museum (one of my all-time favorite models in Google Earth) where you can fly inside and experience the great works of art.

Fútbol (American soccer) fan? Madrid is the home to Real Madrid, who play in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Olé!

Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager

Thursday, January 28, 2010

[G] Upload Your Email to Google Apps

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Official Google Mac Blog: Upload Your Email to Google Apps

By Greg Robbins, Software Engineer

Several years ago, I began hosting the email for my personal domain with the free Standard Edition of Google Apps. At first I remained a curmudgeon, and set my email client to delete messages from the server after retrieving them, because I wanted my email stored just on my own computer. But Gmail's threading interface grew on me, as did the temptation of having access to all of my email from any web browser. So the cloud won me over, and soon my messages were living on the server. Since then, I've been able to search my email from home, from work, and from any computer on the Internet.

But my personal email archives stretch back to long before the advent of Google Apps and Gmail. Suddenly, the years of conversations I'd happily stored in Eudora files seemed awfully inconvenient. That inconvenience goaded me into developing Google Email Uploader for Mac. It's a free utility application that you can use to push your archives from Apple Mail, Eudora, and Thunderbird up to your Google Apps email account. If you are sometimes anxious to locate your very earliest e-commerce receipts or your threads of political discussions from bygone elections, the email uploader can make them as easy to find as last week's family letters.

The email uploader is built on our open source Google Data APIs Objective-C Client Library and the Email Migration API. There is also a Google Email Uploader for Windows, as well as online tools for migrating web-based email to Google email accounts. Unfortunately, the Mac and Windows email uploaders currently can upload only to Google Apps email accounts, not to or accounts.

Google Email Uploader for Mac is available today as an open source application at the Google Mac Developer Playground, where our Mac and iPhone developers share our toys and experiments. If you have a Google Apps-hosted account and email archives that stretch back to the Dark Ages, I hope you will download and try it.

[G] Annotations Now Available In All Accounts

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Google Analytics Blog: Annotations Now Available In All Accounts

In December, we announced the phased roll out of Annotations. It's now available in all accounts! Thanks for your patience and enjoy!

Here's a fantastic video on Annotations. You've asked for it for so long, and we hope you'll use it to great effect to better work in concert in your company, using phrases like, "Add it to annotations," or, "It's in annotations." If anything of note happens, log it there. Go tribal with your knowledge.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team

[G] Film Your Issue, Share it With Thought Leaders

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YouTube Blog: Film Your Issue, Share it With Thought Leaders

If you've ever wanted the chance to share your ideas about how to change the world with officials in the Obama Administration and filmmakers at Sundance, here it is.

We're bringing the Film Your Issue competition to YouTube this year as part of our Video for Change program. Film Your Issue is a contest for the next generation of global thinkers and social entrepreneurs (ages 14 to 24) to share innovative ideas for improving society. All you have to do to enter is create a three-minute video outlining a front-burner issue and proposing a solution to that issue, and submit it to the Film Your Issue channel. Learn more here:

Prizes include having your winning video shown to senior Obama administration officials in D.C., flying to L.A. for an awards show with Sony Pictures, a Student Pass to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and Apple products like a Macbook or iPod Touch. Winners will be selected by a VIP Jury, including Tom Brokaw, our own Chad Hurley, Yoko Ono and Nicholas Kristof, and by public voting on YouTube.

Visit to enter before April 19 and peruse past finalist videos, including last year's winner, which tackled Hurricane Katrina's aftermath:

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "2010 State of the Union."


[G] Popular Images on Google Image Search for mobile

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Popular Images on Google Image Search for mobile

Google is always looking to make it easier for you to search and explore the web on your phone. We recently launched Near me now, which lets you explore what's around you from the Google home page, and a category browse feature on Local Search with categorized business listings. Today, we're happy to announce Popular Images which lets you browse and find interesting images.

This feature is accessible from Google Image Search on Android-powered devices and iPhones in the US. To try it out, go to on your phone browser and click on "Images". Under the search box, you will see a few of the top images along with a link to "Browse Popular Images".

Clicking the link opens up a categorized list of image searches and corresponding images.

We have organized popular images across a few categories like Movies, Sports, Cars & Bikes, Music, and Cartoons. You can click on individual categories to see related images corresponding to what's popular on Google Image Search. The queries are automatically categorized with an algorithm that will continue to improve over time. One special category is Trends, which shows image queries from Google Trends that have especially high recent activity.

Give it a try and have fun exploring images.

Posted by Jignashu Parikh and Varun Sharma, Google Mobile Engineering

[G] Share the love with Valentine's Day savings

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Share the love with Valentine's Day savings

This Valentine's Day discover sweet savings with Google Checkout.

Now through February 11th, save $5, $10 or $20 on gifts for you and your loved ones. A variety of stores are offering exclusive discounts with Google Checkout, including, and

It's easy to find places to save. Simply browse participating stores on the Checkout deals page or search for products on, and look for the Google Checkout promotion badge. Happy shopping!

Posted by Gina Del Vecchio, Google Checkout Specialist

[G] Troubleshooting tips part I: Implementing your ad code

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Inside AdSense: Troubleshooting tips part I: Implementing your ad code

Today, we're beginning a troubleshooting series to help you diagnose and solve common issues with your ads, search boxes, and account functionality. We're kicking things off with a look at how to correctly implement your ad code and an explanation of why ads may not appear on your pages at times.

First, the best way to ensure ads are served correctly is to copy and paste the code exactly as it's provided in your account. Changing the code and manipulating ad behavior aren't permitted by our program policies, and in most cases will prevent your ad from appearing at all.

If you've noticed that your ad units aren't showing ads, here are a few things to check for:
  • Did you just add the code to that page? Relevant ads should appear on your pages shortly after you add the code, but sometimes it can take up to 48 hours for ads to show. This is because our crawler has to visit your page and determine its content so we can serve targeted ads.

  • Does the code on your page match the code in your account? Make sure to copy the code exactly as it appears in your account, and paste it within the body tags of your HTML code. Be sure not to make any changes to the linebreaks of the code (e.g. pasting the code all in one line) as this will break the code and prevent ads from showing entirely.

  • Are you using an HTML editor? Publishers often use a design-enhanced HTML editor like Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage (aka WYSIWIG, "what you see is what you get" software). If you use such an editor, you may see errors if you paste your ad code into a WYSIWYG view such as the "Design" or "Layout" view. For the ads to function properly, you'll have to copy and paste the ad code into the HTML source code of your webpage using the editor's HTML view or HTML insert function. Check for any additional tags inserted by the system or changes in the linebreaks.

  • Are you using a content management system (CMS)? If you have trouble implementing AdSense with a specific content management system, we recommend searching for the name of the CMS (eg. Drupal, WordPress) and 'AdSense implementation'. You can also ask in the forum if other publishers have mastered similar problems, or contact your program provider directly.

  • Are the ads inside nested frames? While you can choose where to position your ads on your pages, be sure to avoid embedding the ad code in excessive div tags or nested frames. Depending on your browser settings, implementing your ad code in this way might prevent ads from appearing correctly.

  • Is JavaScript enabled in your browser? Ensure that you have JavaScript enabled in your browser, as this is necessary to view ads! If you're having trouble seeing the ads, please also check for any conflicting JavaScript on your site that might prevent ads from showing.

  • Is your page dynamically generated? If you'd like to implement AdSense ads on a dynamically generated site -- for example, a site with session IDs or pages behind a login -- you should take a look at this Help Center entry for more information on how to receive targeted ads.
In the next part of this series, we'll provide tips to help you troubleshoot ad relevancy and targeting issues.

Posted by Ulrike Jung - Inside AdSense Team

[G] New Click to Call Phone Numbers in Mobile Ads

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Official Google Mobile Blog: New Click to Call Phone Numbers in Mobile Ads

Sometimes when you're searching for a local business on your mobile device, you're not looking for their website, but rather to connect by phone. After searching for a restaurant, you might want to call and make a reservation. Or, after searching for a video store, you might want to find out if they have the video you want. Calling the business is now easier thanks to a feature that allows advertisers to add a clickable local phone number to their mobile ads. If you're using an iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, you just click the number to call the business.
What's more, the ads and phone numbers you see are based on your location. So, if a store or restaurant has multiple locations, you'll be calling the nearest one, and not making reservations in some other city. You can use My Location to make sure you get search results that are tailored to your location.

Of course, if you're going to be in another city next week and you want to call ahead to make your reservation, include the city in your search query to get the most relevant results.

If you're an advertiser and would like to learn more about how to add a clickable phone number to your ads that appear on mobile devices, check out this post on the Inside AdWords blog for more details.

Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Product Manager, Mobile Ads Team

[G] A better Android Gallery on the Nexus One

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Google Photos Blog: A better Android Gallery on the Nexus One

Posted by Kelvin Ho, Nexus One Product Manager and Soujanya Bhumkar, CEO and Co-founder, Cooliris

Managing your media on a mobile phone can sometimes be cumbersome – many phones have cameras that make it easy to take photos and record videos on the go, but trying to find and share them afterwards can be a time-consuming process. The new Gallery app, which was developed in partnership with Cooliris for the Nexus One, makes it easier to browse, edit, and share photos and videos on the go.

For starters, when you take photos or videos with your phone, they'll automatically be available in the Gallery under the "Camera" category, so you can quickly browse photos and videos you've taken or view them in automated slideshows. Since you often want to access photos you have stored in the cloud, the Gallery can also sync with multiple Google accounts so you can view and share all of your Picasa Web Albums photos from the Gallery.

Similar to syncing for contacts and email, thumbnails of synced photos are transferred wirelessly, so there's no need to plug your phone into your computer. You can add and select the Google accounts associated with the Picasa photos you want to sync with the Gallery in the "Accounts & sync" tab under Settings. Click on an account and mark the checkbox next to "Sync Picasa Web Albums" to automatically pull your online photos into the Gallery.

It works both ways -- you can upload one or multiple photos from the Gallery right to your Picasa Web Albums, Facebook accounts, or other 3rd party applications. Just click "Share", choose Picasa or Facebook, add a caption, select your destination album (or create a new one) and click Upload.

With just a few clicks, you can also send photos or videos directly to friends or family via text message, email or bluetooth. For photos taken with your phone, you can perform simple edits like cropping or rotating, and can set any photo as a contact icon or wallpaper. To share or edit photos, simply click "Menu" from any photo to bring up the options.

The new Gallery app also makes finding photos really simple. In any album, you can switch between the standard view and grouped view using the toggle at the top right. When you're in grouped view, photos and videos are automatically grouped into digital stacks by date and time, and even by location if geotagging is enabled.

Here's a short video that shows features of the Nexus One camera and Gallery in action:

For now, the Gallery is native to the Nexus One, but it will be available in the future for other Android devices with Android 2.1 or later versions.

[G] Introducing click-to-call phone numbers in local ads on mobile devices

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Inside AdWords: Introducing click-to-call phone numbers in local ads on mobile devices

When people search for goods or services using their mobile phones, they often prefer to call a store rather than visit that store's website. Whether they're placing a direct order, making a reservation, or inquiring about services, the ability for prospective customers to easily call your business is a key distinguishing feature of searches made on mobile phones versus computers.

Now you can make it even easier for potential customers to reach you by adding a location-specific business phone number in ads that appear on mobile devices with full internet browsers. Users can click the number to call you just as easily as clicking to visit your website. And, since ads can be served based on user location, a potential customer will see -- and can click to call -- the phone number of your store location that's nearest to them, not one that's across town.

This new feature also makes it easier for you to fully measure the results of your ads by allowing you to track how many calls you actually receive.

Advertisers who participated in the beta trial have seen improved click-through rates. Plus, many advertisers received more visits to their websites in addition to incremental phone calls.

To show a click-to-call business phone number in ads on mobile devices with full Internet browsers, follow these two steps:

1. Set up location extensions and add your business phone number. Customers will be able to click to call your business location nearest to them.

2. Check that you've chosen to show your ads on iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers in your campaign settings.

That's it. Customers can now click to call you from your ads. If your campaigns are already set up this way, your phone numbers will start showing as click-to-call on mobile devices with full browsers automatically. The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

To find out how many calls you've received from your ads, go to the Campaign Summary tab in your AdWords account. Click the "Filter and views" dropdown (step 1 in the screenshot below) and select "Segment by", then "Click Type" (steps 2, 3). The report shows how many clicks and how many calls you received (step 4). You can view calls received at the campaign, ad group or keyword level.

If your campaigns are already set up with phone numbers in location extensions and opted in to mobile devices with full browsers, but you'd prefer to opt-out out of click-to-call, simply remove the phone number from your location extensions in AdWords.

Check out how click-to-call works in our latest Mobile (Ad)itude video below, or visit the AdWords Help Center to learn more.

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Unicode nearing 50% of the web

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Official Google Blog: Unicode nearing 50% of the web

About 18 months ago, we published a graph showing that Unicode on the web had just exceeded all other encodings of text on the web. The growth since then has been even more dramatic.

Web pages can use a variety of different character encodings, like ASCII, Latin-1, or Windows 1252 or Unicode. Most encodings can only represent a few languages, but Unicode can represent thousands: from Arabic to Chinese to Zulu. We have long used Unicode as the internal format for all the text we search: any other encoding is first converted to Unicode for processing.

This graph is from Google internal data, based on our indexing of web pages, and thus may vary somewhat from what other search engines find. However, the trends are pretty clear, and the continued rise in use of Unicode makes it even easier to do the processing for the many languages that we cover.

Searching for "nancials"?
Unicode is growing both in usage and in character coverage. We recently upgraded to the latest version of Unicode, version 5.2 (via ICU and CLDR). This adds over 6,600 new characters: some of mostly academic interest, such as Egyptian Hieroglyphs, but many others for living languages.

We're constantly improving our handling of existing characters. For example, the characters "fi" can either be represented as two characters ("f" and "i"), or a special display form "fi". A Google search for [financials] or [office] used to not see these as equivalent — to the software they would just look like *nancials and of*ce. There are thousands of characters like this, and they occur in surprisingly many pages on the web, especially generated PDF documents.

But no longer — after extensive testing, we just recently turned on support for these and thousands of other characters; your searches will now also find these documents. Further steps in our mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

And we're angling for a party when Unicode hits 50%!

Posted by Mark Davis, Senior International Software Architect

[G] Celebrating Data Privacy Day

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Google Public Policy Blog: Celebrating Data Privacy Day

Posted by Jane Horvath and Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel

Did you know that today is an international holiday, one that's celebrated in the U.S., Canada, and 27 countries in Europe? Known as Data Privacy Day in North America and Data Protection Day in Europe, today is meant to increase public awareness about privacy in the information age. To mark this occasion, on the Official Google Blog we've unveiled our Privacy Principles, which guide the decisions we make as we create products and services that offer transparency and control.

We've also been participating in several special industry events. Last Friday, Global Privacy Counsel Jane Horvath spoke on a panel at the University of North Carolina called, "Reader Privacy: Should Library Standards for Privacy Apply in the Digital World?" And today at the University of California at Berkeley's Boalt Law School, the Federal Trade Commission is holding the second of a three-part series of public roundtable discussions about the privacy issues raised by the innovations of the 21st century. Throughout the day, industry representatives, regulators, advocacy groups, and academics will be giving talks and appearing on panels about social networking, cloud computing, mobile computing and policy. Nicole Wong, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Google, will be appearing alongside representatives from other companies (including Facebook and LinkedIn) and advocacy groups on the day's second panel, "Privacy Implications of Social Networking and Other Platform Providers."

In Brussels, Google privacy and security engineer Alma Whitten appeared Wednesday on a panel at the European Parliament called "Awareness and Empowerment: The Role of Users in Privacy Protection." Today she is giving the very first Google Brussels TechTalk, offering an engineering point of view on online privacy. And on Friday, Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer will speak at the opening panel, "Forgetfulness and Data Retention," of the third annual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Conference, of which Google is a sponsor.

You can learn more about our everyday efforts to empower users with transparency and choice at the Google Privacy Center and on our YouTube channel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

[G] New Thumbnail "Flipbook" in Upload Shows Video Processing Progress

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YouTube Blog: New Thumbnail "Flipbook" in Upload Shows Video Processing Progress

Starting today, when you upload a video to YouTube, you'll see a rapid-fire assortment of thumbnails from the video after it begins uploading to the site. Aside from being fun to watch (it's kind of like a flipbook of your video!), this visual representation of the process gives you further peace of mind that the video is indeed processing and will soon be live on the site.

Shortly after the last thumbnail arrives, your video is ready for viewing and sharing.* If you see the flipbook soon after you begin uploading, this means your video will be processed faster and you won't have to wait long for your video link. Read on for recommendations on how to optimize your video file to do this.

If you're uploading in the .mov or .mp4 (aka Quicktime) format, and you produced your video using Final Cut Pro, iMovie or QuicktimePro, click here to learn how to optimize your files. By ensuring the "index" of your file is in front, we can process your video faster. This is referred to by some as "flattening" a file or creating a "fast start" video file. If you're using FLV, ASF or WMV formats, you're fine. If you're using AVI, we'd want that index in front of the file as well. Most digital cameras producing AVI or MVI formats are fine.

How can you tell if your file is a "fast start file" or not? If you start getting the thumbnails before the upload has completed, then this is a fast start video file. If you get the thumbnails after the upload has completed, then your video file is not a fast start video file.

Dima Broyde, Software Engineer, recently watched "Арефьева Ольга "Театр," and Slave Jovanovski, Software Engineer, recently watched "Pomplamoose Covers Makin Out by Mark Owen."

*Remember, you can always check the processing status of your videos by mousing over your username in the top right and then clicking "My Videos" in the dropdown menu.


[G] Updated Books Home Page and My Library

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Inside Google Books: Updated Books Home Page and My Library

Posted by Brandon Badger, Product Manager, Google Books

I'm happy to announce a few fresh features for Google Books. We've updated the home page by adding the ability to scroll through categories of books and magazines.

We also integrated the My Library feature into the home page to enable you to create and then share collections of books by adding them to "bookshelves." This new version of My Library gives you control over your collections by enabling you to keep some bookshelves private--if, say, you want to organize your own personal reading lists--while sharing others.

Previously, all books in your My Library were part of a single collection, and you could tag books with labels to organize. Now, instead of tagging a book with a label, you can add it to one or more bookshelves. As part of this transition to bookshelves, we're migrating all the previously created labels to the new bookshelf system. For example, if you had tagged a book with a label called "favorite travel books," then you'll now see a custom bookshelf called "favorite travel books" that contains the same book.

As always, you have full control over your book collection data. We continue to offer the Book Search API as a way for you to extract and edit your data. Ultimately, we also hope that these open APIs will make it easier to build product integrations that synchronize reading lists across devices and applications.

You can search and discover millions of books on Google Books. Our hope is that these new tools will make it easier for you to find, organize and keep track of the books that you're interested in reading.