Saturday, February 6, 2010

[G] Super Bowl Sunday: The Biggest Day in Sports and Advertising

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YouTube Blog: Super Bowl Sunday: The Biggest Day in Sports and Advertising

Super Bowl XLIV. Of all the events on the American sports landscape, this is the most important game of the year.

Kickoff is at 6:25pm ET in Miami, where the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts will meet the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints to decide the NFL Champion. Football fans are anticipating a great game, featuring the cerebral control of Colts quarterback and regular season MVP Peyton Manning against the creative style of Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Off the field and on screens everywhere, Madison Avenue heavyweights will be competing, as well. Advertisers are reportedly paying as much as $3 million for 30 seconds of your time in what promises to be an epic contest of brands, products and celebrity endorsers.

To whet your appetite for both competitions, our AdBlitz channel, sponsored by Kia Motors, is a one-stop shop for everything Super Bowl-related. YouTube partners have been busy making predictions, cooking up party recipes and generally dishing on all things related the big game:



During the game, we'll be adding all the 2010 Super Bowl commercials to a video wall on the AdBlitz channel immediately after they air on TV. Come to the channel to watch and give each ad a thumbs up or down. Voting ends Monday, February 15, with the winner gracing our homepage on Thursday, February 18.

May the best team – and ad – win!

Andrew Bangs, Sports Manager, recently watched "If Filmmakers Directed the Super Bowl."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/JcTCZCjvlNk/super-bowl-sunday-biggest-day-in-sports.html

Friday, February 5, 2010

[G] This week in search 2/5/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 2/5/10

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

In addition to language improvements this week, we released several other new features:

Haitian Creole translation
We've now added Haitian Creole (kreyòl ayisyen) translation to Google Translate, so that you can translate between Creole and 51 other languages, and also hear spoken versions of Creole translations. While this translation system is still evolving (when translating to/from Creole, English performs better than other languages), we hope it will help relief volunteers communicate better with Haitian earthquake victims, and serve as a useful resource for people in Haiti and elsewhere. To learn more about ways you can help with Haiti relief efforts, please visit our Crisis Response page.

Example translations: [Kijan ou ye ?] and [How can I help you?]

Improvement for Arabic searches
Sometimes when people conduct a search, they forget to separate words with spaces or mistakenly repeat a letter within a word. These types of errors are much more common in languages like Arabic, where some letters are considered word breaks. In other words, if the last letter of one word is a word break, the following word may not be separated with a space. To address issues like this, we recently developed a search ranking improvement that targets certain Arabic queries. Our algorithm employs rules of Arabic spelling and grammar and signals from historical search data to indicate when to leave out spaces between words or when to remove unnecessarily repeated letters. Now, when you type a query leaving out spaces or repeating a letter, you'll see better results based not only on what you typed, but also on what our algorithm understands is the "correct" query.

Example search: [التربيةوالتعلييم] Incorrectly typed, this Arabic query may not produce a relevant search result. With our algorithm change, the query returns better results for the correct meaning: "Ministry of Education."

Doodle 4 Google
This week marks our third annual Doodle 4 Google contest in the U.S. The competition gives K-12 kids the opportunity to design their own Google logo and the winner appears on Google.com for a day so that hundreds of millions of searchers can enjoy it as well. In addition to the bragging rights, there are a number of great prizes including a college scholarship and computer's for the winner's school. If you or your child are interested in getting involved, check out our announcement or visit the Doodle 4 Google contest page for entry rules.

Stars in Google News
A couple of months back, we launched the Custom Sections Directory feature in Google News, enabling you to setup and share sections on topics of interest. Now there's an even easier way to keep up to date with particular news stories. Mark a story cluster by clicking on the star next to it — just like you do with messages in Gmail and items in Google Reader. Once you've starred a story in Google News, when there are significant updates, we'll alert you by putting the headline in boldface. You can also follow your most recent starred stories in the Starred section of Google News. Learn more about this, and get starring!

Thanks for following news of our search enhancements, and stay tuned for more.

Posted by Ben Gomes, Distinguished Engineer
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/this-week-in-search-2510.html

[G] Camping Out with KDE

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Google Open Source Blog: Camping Out with KDE

This year, the second annual Camp KDE was held from January 15-22nd. It was graciously hosted by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California in San Diego. Camp KDE is the young North American counterpart to Akademy, the main annual KDE developer and user conference.

The conference consisted of two days of general presentations; half a day of more in-depth technical presentations; half a day of training on CMake, CTest and CDash; a day trip; a day of general Qt training; and a day of Qt embedded training. The full schedule, with abstracts, is available now. Slides will soon be available here, and videos will be following shortly on blip.tv and YouTube.

Professor Philip Bourne gives the first keynote on open data

Things started off on Saturday with a keynote by Professor Philip Bourne of UCSD. Professor Bourne gave an absorbing and thought-provoking discussion of the the importance of open access to data in the academic world, drawing parallels between open data and open source. He discussed the business of academic publishing and the difficulty of sustaining such a closed, pay-for-play model in light of the millions of research papers published each year, as well as the increased difficulty of sorting through this enormity of information when the data is closed. These issues prompted him to create SciVee, a Web 2.0 site that allows users to view, annotate and tag research documents, slides, presentations, lectures and posters, as well as annotate add their own content. All content is freely available, and ratings and comments allow visitors to help the community find the best and most useful information.

Of particular note during Saturday afternoon's talks was Alexandra Leisse and Till Adam's presentation on career opportunities in Free and Open Source software (FOSS). These two have been well-known in the KDE community for many years, but what most of us didn't know is that Alexandra had been a professional and well-regarded opera singer and Till a rock star before both of them found careers using and supporting FOSS. The idea that you can take your interest in FOSS and turn it into a career is a wonderful and important thing to remember.

Till Adam was a German rock god before finding a career in FOSS

On Sunday the excellent presentations continued, kicked off with a keynote from Frank Karlitschek. Frank discussed the now-ubiquitous concept of the cloud and KDE's role in it. KDE's wide array of technologies such as cross-platform frameworks, network transparency through kioslaves, Akonadi, Nepomuk and the upcoming Silk, combined with our online-hungry community, positions it nicely to act as the user interface both for local computing and online services. Frank called for the KDE community to adopt a forward-thinking perspective, keeping this kind of online interaction in mind while ensuring that our high level of local functionality remains for those that do not have access to constant or high-speed Internet links.

The boys from Brazil mean business.

Monday's talks were a little more technical and finished in the early afternoon. With the talks over, conference attendees were left impressed by the high quality of the presentations we had seen over the past two and a half days. We went straight into CMake/CTest/CDash training, given by Marcus Hanwell and provided by Kitware. As Marcus talked we saw our last sun of the conference (entirely coincidentally!). The rest of the conference sunny Southern California failed us and left us with rain, rain and more rain.

Tuesday was the day trip. We went to Stone Brewery, producer of some of the country's most well-respected ales. Due to the downpour we canceled our plans to follow up the brewery tour with a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, and instead had a nice group lunch at the brewery's bistro. In the afternoon we took shelter back at the event space (where electricity, chairs, tables and wireless were in plentiful supply) and hacked and talked. Some of us took a trip to famous Fry's Electronics, where nobody left empty-handed and some with loaded arms.

Wednesday was a full day of Qt training given by Till Adam and provided by KDAB. The large amount of time allowed multiple topics to be covered, which allowed some of the more difficult concepts to be explained and studied.

Thursday, Katrina Niolet of KDAB gave her fellow KDABians an instructional day of Qt Embedded training, and invited the rest of us to join if we wished (we did!). For most of us this was the first time we had ever laid a finger on a framebuffer. There was a lot of information to remember, but with many of us interested in programming for mobile devices, it was a great experience overall.

When we weren't training and hacking those last few days, we did slip in some fun times despite the rain. Restaurants were aplenty and lots of great food was consumed. Movies were watched, beers were drunk, karaoke was sung and general camaraderie was enjoyed. A few times our mascot Konqui and his female friend Katie even dropped by to surprise us!

Konqui prepares a sneak attack on the unwary Katie!

On our final night, those that remained went out for a group dinner at El Torito, where the special on margaritas made our choice of libations easy. It was a great end to a great conference, and a huge thanks to Google for helping to make it happen!

by Jeff Mitchell, Camp KDE organizer
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/02/camping-out-with-kde.html

[G] The White House Answers More of Your Questions

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YouTube Blog: The White House Answers More of Your Questions

As we announced earlier this week, the White House agreed to answer more of the top questions you submitted for our YouTube Interview with the President on Monday. Today, we hosted a live chat in which three administration officials - Heather Higginbottom from the Domestic Policy Council, Brian Deese of the National Economic Council, and Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council - answered additional questions submitted in response to the President's State of the Union address on January 27. Macon Phillips, the White House New Media Director, moderated the discussion and also took some of your questions in real-time, using our Moderator platform on CitizenTube.

Here's the video of the chat, just posted to the White House YouTube channel.



We appreciate all the feedback we've received this week in response to our interview with the President, and we look forward to incorporating your suggestions into upcoming programs. We'll be announcing more events soon that will allow you to connect with your leaders via YouTube, so stay tuned to CitizenTube for more details.


Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched "Presidential YouTube Interview - behind the scenes"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/XrpAAxZPWoc/white-house-answers-more-of-your.html

[G] #subsaturday: Join Us on Twitter!

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YouTube Blog: #subsaturday: Join Us on Twitter!

In honor of great YouTube channels everywhere, we're trying to start a movement. But we can't do it without you.

Last week, we unleashed our first #subsaturday (ie, "Subscription Saturday") Tweet and over 400 of you joined us in shouting out the YouTube channels you thought were most deserving of a little extra attention. It generated some enthusiastic comments, made this news update and even poignantly touched one soul. Not bad for our little experiment.

Now we're hungry for more. Please join us this and every Saturday, and Tweet links to 1-4 of the YouTube channels you want the world to know you love. Don't forget to include the #subsaturday hashtag so we can see the full force of our effort and easily discover new channels to watch. Like the #followfriday and #musicmonday before it, we won't rest until #subsaturday is a trending topic on Twitter all day Saturday. Can we do it?

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "YouTube 101: Private Sharing with Ask a Ninja."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/L_HoT07Iecc/subsaturday-join-us-on-twitter.html

[G] Google Apps highlights – 2/5/2010

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 2/5/2010

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label "Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Developments over the last couple weeks really showcase how Google's other innovation focus areas — including Search, Mobile and Chrome — help make Google Apps even more useful.

Updates to Google Search in Gmail Labs
On Tuesday we made some helpful changes to the Google Search feature in Gmail Labs. The search gadget now runs some of Google's most popular search features, like dictionary definitions, spelling suggestions, calculations, local results, weather info and news. You don't even need to type your search query anymore; just highlight text in the compose area and click the multicolored "g" button to run a search on those terms.


Gmail Chrome extensions
Several convenient extensions for Gmail are now available to Chrome users. The "Google Mail" extension adds a small button next to Chrome's address bar that displays your unread mail count. "Send from Gmail" makes Gmail your default mail program, and opens a Gmail compose window when you click an email link on a web page. The button for this extension helps you quickly share the web page you're viewing over email.


Easier file location in Google Docs
Last week we introduced a pair of improvements to make finding files in Google Docs easier. First, we launched an option to show file thumbnails in your Documents List, which is great for quickly spotting what you're looking for. Just click the view option buttons in the toolbar to toggle between thumbnails and the standard text layout.


Also released last week: search spelling suggestions help you find the file you're looking for, even when your typing is off. The Google Docs search spell checker is powered by the same technology that helps you get better search results on google.com.


Scripts for Google Apps Standard Edition
At the end of last week we launched application scripting for Google Apps Standard Edition. (Before it was only available to businesses and schools using Premier and Education Editions.) Scripts can be triggered from spreadsheets to perform automated tasks and calculations, but scripts go far beyond spreadsheets; they can be used to fire off automated email messages, create appointments in Google Calendar and accomplish other actions across the whole Google Apps suite. We've written up a few script tutorials if you have the itch to give scripting a try.

Mobile device management
Just yesterday, Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers got a boost in their ability to manage mobile devices synced with Google Apps. Right from the online control panel, IT admins can remotely wipe data from lost or stolen mobile phones, configure devices to lock after a period of inactivity and set password strength requirements. These new capabilities are available for iPhones, Windows Mobile devices and Nokia E-series phones. Stay tuned for similar features for Android devices.

Who's gone Google?
It's been another very active couple weeks helping more businesses and schools move to the cloud. The team is happy to welcome the latest crop of Google Apps customers, including Complinet, The Open University, Villanova University, Small World Financial Services, Tuskegee University, Clemson University and the New Zealand Post.

Saline Area Schools in Michigan has an especially impressive "gone Google" story. They're saving $400,000 in the first year, spending much less time on server administration, keeping spam at bay and fostering better collaboration among faculty.

Fairchild Semiconductor also recounted their experience switching 6,000 employees spread across 20 countries off their legacy Lotus Notes installation, selecting Google Apps and Postini over hosted email alternatives from Microsoft and IBM. Barry Driscoll, Senior Director of IT for Fairchild summed it up best: "Now we are providing our employees with a lot more functionality for a lot less money."

Hope you're enjoying the latest round of new capabilities, whether you're using Google Apps with friends and family, with work colleagues, or with classmates. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-apps-highlights-252010.html

[G] Nearby places you might like...

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Google LatLong: Nearby places you might like...

When you live in New York City, everyone has an opinion on where to eat. And usually, telling someone a place you love will lead to a long conversation of a string of other places you should try. For example, one of the more interesting restaurants I've eaten at in NYC was recommended to me by someone who knew I loved a different restaurant by the same owner. And, when I told a friend I was heading to the Lower East Side to get some yummy knishes for lunch, he told me to make sure I checked out the famous Guss' Pickles right around the corner and that I might consider picking up some smoked fish at Russ & Daughters down the street.

Now on Google Maps, you can get these types of suggestions automatically. Just look up a place that you know or love, and we'll provide a set of "Nearby places you might like." Here we have a set of recommended places near Yonah Schimmel's Knishes Bakery:






You'll notice that we do not limit these suggestions to places sharing any specific characteristic; instead, we
use a broad set of signals to come up with what are hopefully the most interesting suggestions. We're still working on refining these signals, so bear with us if your serendipitous discovery of a new place is even more unexpected than you'd anticipated.

So, the next time you want to try a new place to eat, need a replacement for an activity with long lines or closed for the day, are planning a vacation, or are just exploring a neighborhood, check out the "Nearby places you might like" - maybe something will catch your eye!

Posted by Tammy Stern, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/02/nearby-places-you-might-like.html

[G] YouTube Calls on IPv6

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Calls on IPv6

The first telephone numbers in the latter part of the 19th century were short and simple, made up of no more than a few digits. Calls would be routed through operators and these operators would then manually patch these calls into the lines of their intended recipients. As more and more people got telephones, the length of telephone numbers grew from three to four to seven and then eventually to 10 digits and beyond. Today, cities like Manhattan have been forced to have multiple area codes (917, 646, 212, 347, etc.) and if you want to dial outside of your country, add on a few more numbers.


So what does this history lesson have to do with YouTube? IP (the Internet Protocol) is the protocol used to communicate data across the Internet in the same way telephones connected conversations over a century ago. Each connection has an IP address that works like a telephone number. Just like telephone numbers, these IP addresses need to grow to accommodate all the new people coming online. The problem is that IPv4, the current version of the Internet protocol, uses a 32-bit address and those addresses are running out of space -- fast. In 2000, Internet users had consumed 50% of IPv4 address space. Today, IPv4 has less than 10% of addresses available. When address space runs out, users will have to share addresses, because there won't be enough to go around.

But there is hope. IPv6 has a vastly larger address space (128-bit) and allows everyone to have an incredibly large number -- 264 or more -- of personalized IP addresses for all their devices (think of it as having a whole telephone exchange in your home). Not having to share IP addresses is good for users because it means better, more relevant information can be delivered to them whenever they want it. It's a win for openness and new applications because any device can connect directly to any other device on the Internet. It's even a win for security, because it's harder for hackers to find your computer and attack it. But up until now, IPv6 still hasn't gotten as much traction as IPv4. And content creators and users have yet to adopt it on a wide scale.

Since the very first announcement of ipv6.google.com (IPv6 connection required; if you don't have it, ask your ISP to deploy it), we have been committed to supporting IPv6 and have steadily added IPv6 support to more and more services. The service most requested to have IPv6 support has unquestionably been YouTube. Given all of this, we're proud to make YouTube available over IPv6 and to begin streaming videos from a select number of sites worldwide to our Google over IPv6 partners. With YouTube on board, we now have a significant amount of content delivered on IPv6 and a real audience/traffic for it. This is a good day for YouTube, our users and for an open and accessible Internet.

Lorenzo Colitti, network engineer and IPv6 samurai, recently watched "Sesame Street: Martians Telephone," and Steinar H. Gunderson, software engineer and IPv6 mercenary, recently watched "Student Brings Typewriter to Class."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/rFdHUz80fEE/youtube-calls-on-ipv6.html

[G] Google-inspired designer collections

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Official Google Blog: Google-inspired designer collections

Each year, Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) sponsor a Fashion Fund to support emerging designers. In 2009, each participating designer was asked to create a one-of-a-kind item inspired by Google in some way — whether through our logo's colors, technology or our commitment to equal access to information. Last October, we transformed 10 of the finalists’ designs into iGoogle Artists themes. While we loved seeing fashion meet iGoogle, we wanted to see these pieces in person — and wear them! Today, we’re debuting three of our favorite designs from this challenge. These three featured designers have customized their original designs for a broader audience, and we’re making them available to the public to purchase for a limited time. Check out this page to learn more about the items, the designers and how they were inspired by Google.


Posted by Michaela Prescott, Group Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-inspired-designer-collections.html

[G] The AdSense for Mobile Apps Team goes to Barcelona

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Official Google Mobile Blog: The AdSense for Mobile Apps Team goes to Barcelona

This month is the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the mobile industry gathers to present its latest innovations and the coolest new gadgets. As you may know, our CEO Eric Schmidt will be one of the keynote speakers this year, and we recently announced a special Android Developer Lab, as part of App Planet. In addition, I'm excited to let you know that the AdSense for Mobile Applications team will also be on the ground and answering questions. So if you're going too, keep an eye out for us!

AdSense for Mobile Applications
, which launched in beta last summer, allows you to place targeted text and image on your apps. The developer toolkit makes it easy to integrate the ads, and you can also filter out ads that you don't want to appear. We'll be hosting two informal sessions - February 16 at 9am and February 17 at 5:30pm - where you'll be able to talk to us face-to-face and ask any questions you may have. Space is limited to 25 people per session, so sign up soon if you'd like to attend.

See you in Barcelona!

posted by: Mike Schipper, AdSense for Mobile Apps team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/02/adsense-for-mobile-apps-team-goes-to.html

Thursday, February 4, 2010

[G] Dive in to our Ocean Showcase

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Google LatLong: Dive in to our Ocean Showcase

With the launch of our new Ocean Showcase, you can now tour the ocean from the comfort of your web browser using the Google Earth plugin.

Follow along as National Geographic explorer, Sylvia Earle, narrates a tour through highlights of the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth. You can pause the tour at any time to watch videos of the surrounding areas and marine animals, like the humpback whales below.


Take a ride with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), as their Western Flyer research ship works off the U.S. west coast. View the discoveries they've made, like the transparent-headed barreleye fish.


Visit some exciting shipwrecks like the World War II USS Truxton Destroyer, and see divers explore the shipwrecks with video from Eco-Nova's Shipwreck Central.


Take a narrated tour of some of the world's best dive sites with Wannadive.net and the best surf sites with Wannasurf.com.




In addition, you can see some of the highest resolution data available of the ocean with the Underwater Terrain tour. And finally, let NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, GLERL, take you on a tour of the Great Lakes with a special feature on Lake Superior.


Over the past year, many photographers, naturalists, government groups and non-profit partners have added photos and videos to the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth, providing a great introduction to lots of ocean features. Enthusiasts continue to add photos and ratings to Wannadive.net and Wannasurf.com, improving the Ocean Sports layers.

Anyone can be a desktop Cousteau. And we welcome more contributions. Go here to tell us about your ocean data.

To take the plunge, download any tour and open it in Google Earth, where you can explore many more exciting ocean photos and videos by checking the Ocean folder in the left-hand layers panel.

Posted by Jenifer Austin Foulkes, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/02/dive-in-to-our-ocean-showcase.html

[G] Quick Survey on the Help Center

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Google Analytics Blog: Quick Survey on the Help Center

We're always looking for ways to improve Google Analytics - not just the product itself, but also the ways in which we provide information about the product. So help us help you - take a minute to fill out this quick survey on our Help Center, and let us know what we can improve!

Posted by the Google Analytics Writing Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/02/quick-survey-on-help-center.html

[G] Donate your AdSense earnings to help Haiti

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Inside AdSense: Donate your AdSense earnings to help Haiti

As you may have already seen, Google has made various efforts to contribute to the earthquake relief response in Haiti. We've heard repeatedly from AdSense publishers on forums about wanting to help, and today, we're pleased to let you know how you can do so with your AdSense earnings.

We're currently accepting donations from AdSense publishers with an unpaid account balance through January 31, 2010. To see what your unpaid account balance is, please visit the 'Payment History' page within your account. Your January earnings will post in the next few days, so feel free to refer to your 'Advanced Reports' page for an earnings estimate until those are finalized.



Working with our teammates at Google.org, we've identified Partners In Health (PIH) as the recipient of these funds. Your funds will go to provide medical aid via PIH and their Haiti-based partner organization. Any contribution you can make will help to ensure that PIH can continue their work throughout this time of great need.

Photo courtesy of PIH

You can donate a portion or all of your entire unpaid balance as of the end of January. Whether you have a balance of $0.10 or $100 in your account, we invite you to participate within the next week.

As you may expect, there are certain restrictions to donating, and all our normal policies still apply -- so even if you're donating, please don't ask others to click on your ads in order to increase your earnings. For more information on how to participate, visit our donation form.

Posted by Elizabeth Ferdon - AdSense Payments Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2010/02/donate-your-adsense-earnings-to-help.html

[G] Life's a Beach: Google Summer of Code and the Abelian Sandpile Model

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Google Open Source Blog: Life's a Beach: Google Summer of Code and the Abelian Sandpile Model

The Abelian Sandpile Model (ASM) is a mathematical model of a pile of sand developed by physicists around 1990 to exemplify self-organized criticality, a phenomenon conjecturally ubiquitous in nature. Roughly, self-organized criticality describes a system that naturally evolves into a barely-stable non-equilibrium condition, where the instability is characterized by scale invariance. The Gutenberg-Richter law in geophysics and Zipf's law in linguistics are often sited as real-world examples. More recently, the ASM has been shown to have connections to algebraic geometry, combinatorics, and number theory.

The ASM starts with a graph having a finite number of vertices and edges. One is allowed to place grains of sand on each vertex. If there is enough sand on a vertex, the vertex is allowed to "fire", sending a grain of sand along each out-going edge to its neighboring vertices. These vertices, in turn, may then have enough sand to fire, etc., creating an avalanche. One often designates a "sink" vertex that only absorbs sand. In this case, if each vertex has a edge-path to the sink, any configuration of sand put on the graph will, after a sequence of firings, eventually stabilize. This stable state is independent of the order of the firings.

For his Google Summer of Code™ project, working in consultation with experts in the field, Bryan Head created a state-of-the art Java program to visualize and analyze the ASM. His program includes: a flexible graph editing environment for the creation of sandpiles on arbitrary weighted digraphs; multiple visualization modes in two- and three-dimensions using OpenGL; and an interface to the free open-source mathematical software, Sage, in particular with David Perkinson's Sage Sandpiles software.

This codebase has attracted significant interest from the sandpiles community. Bryan's visualizations are helping researchers develop better mathematical models.



If you are interested in sandpiles, you can download Bryan's program or learn more about ASM.

By: Bart Massey, Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/02/lifes-beach-google-summer-of-code-and.html

[G] WWII historical imagery in Google Earth

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Google LatLong: WWII historical imagery in Google Earth

Many of us have heard stories, read books and watched films which show the many impacts of WWII across the world. Today we're giving you another way to understand this period in time - by exploring a new set of historical aerial images, taken over European cities during World War II, via the historical imagery feature in Google Earth. They can now be compared directly to images from the present day.

The historical imagery feature gives people a unique perspective on the events of the past using today's latest mapping technology. We hope that this World War II imagery will enable all of us to understand our shared history in a new way and to learn more about the impact of the war on the development of our cities.

Images taken in 1943 show the effect of wartime bombing on more than 35 European towns and cities. Imagery for Warsaw, which was heavily destroyed at the time, is available from both years 1935 and 1945. They remind us all of the devastating impact of war on the people in those cities and also the remarkable way in which urban environments are reconstructed and regenerated over time.

You can explore the German city of Stuttgart, which was subject to over 50 air raids during the War.




Naples was the most bombed in Italian city in WWII and the impact of these attacks can be seen here:



The French city of Lyon was the center of France's resistance movement against the German occupation. See how it was damaged and rebuilt over the years:



Imagery from 1935 and 1945 for Warsaw in Poland is particularly compelling. The city was amongst those most badly damaged in the war and comparisons with today are striking.

Contrast can be seen for example by comparing the imagery of the Historic Centre of Warsaw, a UNESCO World Heritage site, described as an 'outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century'. The Royal Castle was completely burned to the ground, for example, and subsequently reconstructed, between 1971-1988.



Read more about one Googler's impressions here.

To access all the imagery for yourself, and compare to the present day cityscape, click the clock icon in the top-level toolbar to activate a time-line in the Google Earth display. Move back in forth in time by dragging the time slider from left to right or by clicking the back/forwards arrows.

Posted by Laura Scott, Google Europe
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/02/wwii-historical-imagery-in-google-earth.html

[G] Spotlight on historical imagery: Warsaw in 1935, 1945 and today

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Google LatLong: Spotlight on historical imagery: Warsaw in 1935, 1945 and today

When I think about Poland, I think about my grandma. Babcia fondly recalled the Polish-American community of her childhood in Yonkers, N.Y., she told stories of traveling to Poland with my uncle, she read out loud the letters she received from our family there, and during Christmas she led aunts, uncles, and cousins in sharing a wafer called opłatek, which prompted hugs and kisses around the table. These are all good memories.

Like many, I have often used Google Earth to explore the world around me. When it comes to Warsaw, Poland, imagery now available from 1935 and 1945 reveals an opportunity to better understand the history of a city destroyed and rebuilt.

I studied the global devastations of World War II in school and read books about history, but the atrocities that took place during the 1930s and '40s bore little resemblance to much of the country I saw when I first visited in 2005. Poland had recently joined the European Union and brimmed with an overarching energy and enthusiasm toward the future, amidst reminders of a history that could not be forgotten. During three weeks spent traveling from Wrocław to Zamość and many places in between, I found myself mired in the contrasts between present and past: mesmerized by the beauty of Kraków, speechless with sorrow at Auschwitz.

In Warsaw, I stayed with cousins, ate plate after plate of pierogi and naleśniki, and explored the parks, squares, markets, and side streets that wove throughout the city. The realities of what had taken place only decades prior struck me powerfully at the Warsaw Rising Museum, which commemorates the resistance of the Polish Home Army. I left horrified and humbled. Four years later, here at Google I met with a representative working on the multimedia efforts of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, set to open in 2012 on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. More than anything, we spoke about the fundamental importance of memory and the power of technology for sharing with a community around the world.

The following images are from 1935, 1945, and the present day. Click to enlarge.


The largest ghetto in all of Europe, the Warsaw Ghetto was the site of the deportations and murders of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people between 1940 and 1943, as well as the location of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.


























Founded in 1816, the University of Warsaw is Poland's largest university and the academic centerpiece of the city. Between 1939 and 1944, the university lost a majority of its buildings and collections, and many of its students and professors lost their lives.
























As we view these aerial scenes in Google Earth using the historical imagery time slider, we see the history of Warsaw against a much different landscape today. I think of how many grandparents, like my babcia, have shared stories of their childhoods and families, including memories both good and bad. Images like these help unlock and preserve the past even as we look to the present and the future.

Posted by Sean Carlson, Global Communications & Public Affairs
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/02/spotlight-on-historical-imagery-warsaw.html