Friday, March 19, 2010

[G] Google Summer of Code Meetups in Sofia and Strasbourg

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Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code Meetups in Sofia and Strasbourg

Back at the end of January, when Google first announced that Google Summer of CodeTM was on for 2010, I happened to read the mail in the company of a group of Computer Science M.Sc. students. I quickly shared the news with them but rather than cheers of enthusiasm I was surprised that all I got in return were puzzled stares. It turned out that most of the students there hadn't heard of the program before and those that had, didn't really know what it was all about.

I have always thought that Computer Science students were particularly lucky to be able to participate in Open Source. Most of the time newly graduated students would have a hard time finding a decent job because of their lack of experience, which makes experience itself hard to accumulate. Open Source offers an easy way out of this: no project is going to refuse a patch simply because you don't have the necessary entries in your CV. Of course, many would say, that getting into an Open Source project is not really that easy since the learning curve in most of the popular projects is often quite steep and could prove discouraging.

This is exactly why Google Summer of Code is a unique program. A hundred and fifty of the world's greatest FOSS projects get organized by proposing ideas that students know are within their reach. They also allocate mentors to guide the work of the students, and their whole communities follow and comment on the projects ... And all this happens while students are actually paid for their work!

So getting the puzzled stares from CS students after mentioning the program was like looking at people who were preparing to spend a cold night in front of a warm house, because they didn't know there was a key under the doormat.

After sharing this thought with a few other people that had been mentoring for SIP Communicator, we decided we definitely needed to make sure everyone knew what Google Summer of Code is and, more importantly, how it works. We therefore decided to organize a couple of quick information sessions in universities that our mentors were somehow related to: the University of Strasbourg, France (which was eventually split in two), and the Sofia University in Bulgaria. We were particularly lucky to also get the help of Shteryana Shopova from FreeBSD who agreed to join in for the Sofia session and tell us about her experience as both a student and a mentor.

Both universities were particularly helpful in making room reservations and advertising the meetings to the potentially interested students. I would also like to thank Vladimir Vassilev, Alexander Todorov, and Julien Montavont for their help with the organization!

Both sessions went quite well and attracted a decent number of students. Questions were mostly related to the student selection process, whether or not one could participate with a project of their own, where does the work happen, and how does one communicate with their mentor and community. I guess this is one of the advantages of attending live sessions: one gets to ask as many Frequently Asked Questions as they want ;)

The Strasbourg Sessions

We held two meetings there in order to make it easier for students from different campuses to attend. On both of the sessions we had Vincent Lucas, Romain Kuntz, Julien Montavont and myself (Emil Ivov), all mentors from SIP Communicator's Google Summer of Code participation in 2007, 2008, and 2009. (Unfortunately, we currently only have photos from the first meeting.)







The Sofia Sessions

We already mentioned Shteryana Shopova from FreeBSD (GSoC student in 2005 and 2006, and mentor in 2007). We also had Damian Minkov from SIP Communicator (2007, 2008, and 2009), as well as Vladimir Vassilev and Alexander Todorov.









By Emil Ivov, SIP Communicator Project
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/03/google-summer-of-code-meetups-in-sofia.html

[G] SES New York Is Next Week!

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Google Analytics Blog: SES New York Is Next Week!

The Search Engine Strategies conference is next week in New York, and googlers from search, AdWords, AdSense, YouTube, Google Analytics and Website Optimizer will be there in force. We'll have a large booth where we'll be demoing the coolest new features from any and all of our products. Come by and say hello, and also be sure to attend some of the Google sessions.

Of special note, 4:45pm on Tuesday where Sissie Hsiao, a senior product manager on Google Analytics and AdWords, will be launching something really cool at the "Getting the Most Out of AdWords Features & Tools" session. We can't say any more, but we think you'll like it. I'll also be talking at the same time at the "Deep Dive Into Analytics: When Bounce Rate No Longer Floats Your Boat". Choose one of them and you can't miss.

Also - a must-see is the keynote on Day 2, given by our very own Avinash Kaushik. Here's the blurb about his keynote:
Be Awesome: Ideas for Approaching Search Analytics Differently
Click through rates, page rank, conversions, page views are all sweet. Yet they rarely scratch the surface of the true opportunity of search and subsequently quantifying the true impact of this massively data driven ecosystem. In his keynote Avinash will share specific ideas you can execute to find the audiences you crave online and use data to ensure that you are getting highest possible ROI. Keyword trees, yes. Attribution analysis, sure. Monetizing the long tail, got that. Micro conversions, yep. Bring an open mind.
Register here and use the code 20GOOG for a 10% discount.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/03/ses-new-york-is-next-week.html

[G] Let the Sunshine in

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Google Public Policy Blog: Let the Sunshine in

Posted by Ginny Hunt, Head, Public Sector Lab

Public=Online is the the rallying cry during this year’s Sunshine Week, an annual event to highlight the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The week is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors, and many editorial boards have echoed the thoughts of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“...government information ought to be made available to the public as quickly as possible, with a minimum of rigmarole and in the easiest, most accessible way possible--which these days means via the Internet.”
We agree--and what better way to celebrate Sunshine Week than with leading thinkers on government, media and citizen engagement on all sides of the political spectrum who feel the same? Yesterday at our Google D.C. office, the Sunlight Foundation announced its Public=Online campaign.

It’s exciting to see growing support for transparency and to see the progress that’s been made in the last year alone. Every day, through sites like Data.gov and projects like Open Congress, OMB Watch and our Public Data Explorer, more data is available online.

But there’s still a gap between having access to government data and easily understanding what it means. To help fill this gap, Google has partnered with the Sunlight Foundation in its Design for America contest to make government data more comprehensible to the public.

You can learn more and get started on the contest homepage. There’s room for all kinds of folks to participate, and we can’t think of a more fun way to keep the spirit of Sunshine Week going.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/03/let-sunshine-in.html

[G] Let the Sunshine in

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Official Google Blog: Let the Sunshine in

Cross-posted on the Google Public Policy Blog.

Public=Online is the the rallying cry during this year’s Sunshine Week, an annual event to highlight the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The week is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors, and many editorial boards have echoed the thoughts of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“...government information ought to be made available to the public as quickly as possible, with a minimum of rigmarole and in the easiest, most accessible way possible--which these days means via the Internet.”
We agree--and what better way to celebrate Sunshine Week than with leading thinkers on government, media and citizen engagement on all sides of the political spectrum who feel the same? Yesterday at our Google D.C. office, the Sunlight Foundation announced its Public=Online campaign.

It’s exciting to see growing support for transparency and to see the progress that’s been made in the last year alone. Every day, through sites like Data.gov and projects like Open Congress, OMB Watch and our Public Data Explorer, more data is available online.

But there’s still a gap between having access to government data and easily understanding what it means. To help fill this gap, Google has partnered with the Sunlight Foundation in its Design for America contest to make government data more comprehensible to the public.

You can learn more and get started on the contest homepage. There’s room for all kinds of folks to participate, and we can’t think of a more fun way to keep the spirit of Sunshine Week going.

Posted by Ginny Hunt, Head of Google Public Sector Lab
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/let-sunshine-in.html

[G] This green and pleasant land...

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Google LatLong: This green and pleasant land...


Last week, we announced several new locations added to Street View, along with existing areas updated. One area updated significantly was the United Kingdom. World renowned for its history, rolling green hills and quaint picturesque villages, the UK (although not abundant with dramatic mountainous scenery one see may elsewhere), there are nonetheless many different sights to see. As a UK citizen, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring my home country and want to share with you some places outside the usual tourist belt... and of course some quirky scenes too!

Firstly, going all the way back to the year AD 122, Hadrian's wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Roman empire. Parts of the wall are still intact, and each year thousands of people flock to walk sections of the route. Now, you can too without having to worry about getting wet (the UK is famous for its rain for a reason, after all):


View Larger Map

Synonymous with many great examples of English literature, particularly poetry, the Lake District is a showcase of English countryside. Green pastures rise high to form beautifully sculptured valleys with lakes nestling in between. It's easy to see how poets such as William Wordsworth felt inspired when surrounded by scenes like this:


View Larger Map

One form of building construction I am particularly fond of, used in many parts of the UK, is 'thatching'. Using different grasses, primarily straw, these roofs create very attractive buildings and often form the basis of the 'picture postcard' views in areas such as in the Cotswolds. This view below from the Isle of Wight is a classic example of thatching in use to make this quaint English villages scene.


View Larger Map

In 2008, the city of Liverpool was joint holder of the European Capital of Culture. Well known as the birth place of the Beatles, Liverpool is currently undergoing significant regeneration. Outside China, Liverpool is home to one of the largest and oldest Chinese communities, and this image below shows the entrance to Chinatown:


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Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland has a long and fascinating history. In recent years, the city has enjoyed much growth and continues to be a popular tourist destination. If it's not up next on your own travel agenda, you can tour through Street View. I suggest visiting Belfast City Hall -- built over a century ago, the hall now stands out as an excellent example of Baroque revival architecture.


View Larger Map

One of the most distinguished cities in the UK and known for its very distinctive architecture, Bath was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in the late 1980s. Established as a spa town by the Romans, Bath is visited each year by millions of people eager to capture the image of rows of houses built from the aptly named Bath Stone:

View Larger Map

Along with these historic and picturesque settings that you'd probably expect from the UK, there are also plenty of amusing things to find through Street View. If you're a fan of long, funny words (like I happen to be), you must visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales, with one of the world's longest placenames. Here the image shows the place name written on a business in the town centre.

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You may not expect our Street View drivers to also serve occasionally as wildlife photographers, but that seems to be what happened with this "Bird View":

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And sometimes we stumble across things that we just can't explain:

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Now if that small selection of oddities has your brain considering what else might be lurking out there, perhaps it's time to visit Loch Ness. With Urquhart Castle in the foreground, maybe Nessie is out there somewhere. You be the judge:

View Larger Map

I hope you have enjoyed my guided Street View tour of the United Kingdom. I wonder what else you can find?

Posted by Phil Verney, Geo Data Specialist & Unofficial UK Tour Guide
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/03/this-green-and-pleasant-land.html

[G] Update on planning your wedding with Google Docs

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Official Google Docs Blog: Update on planning your wedding with Google Docs

Last month, we launched a series of Google Docs templates that make it easier to plan your wedding. To infuse these templates with helpful tips, we teamed up with Style Me Pretty.

Over the past month, over 25,000 templates have been used by wedding couples and the number keeps growing. To celebrate our collaboration, Style Me Pretty held a month long sweepstakes with the winner receiving a free consultation with celebrity event planner Michelle Rago and a $500 gift certificate to Wedding Paper Divas. On Tuesday, they announced the randomly selected winner, Janel, who submitted this as her biggest challenge planning a wedding:
"My wedding challenge is finding a balance between what we can fit in our budget, and what I obsess over in wedding magazines! I keep reminding myself that this day should reflect my fiance and I, and not pretty wedding magazines."
To learn more about planning your wedding with Google Docs, check out docs.google.com/wedding.

Posted by: Peter Harbison, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/03/update-on-planning-your-wedding-with.html

[G] System Maintenance Scheduled for Saturday, March 20th

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Google Affiliate Network: System Maintenance Scheduled for Saturday, March 20th

We will be performing system maintenance March 20th; the interface will be unavailable at this time. Tracking will not be interrupted and reporting data will be restored shortly after the interface comes back online.

We anticipate the interface will be unavailable from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. EDT (GMT 1 p.m. -10 p.m.).

URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2010/03/system-maintenance-scheduled-for.html

[G] Making it easier to browse places in Google Earth

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Google LatLong: Making it easier to browse places in Google Earth


Google Earth is a great way to take a quick tour around your neighborhood or fly to your next holiday destination. Infomation about hotels, parks, mountains and other interesting places is available at your fingertips. You can check out the nearest bus or train station for a spontaneous trip or click on a city name to learn more about it from your desk chair.

Since there’s so much rich content in Earth, we know that it can sometimes be challenging to find what you’re looking for. That's why we've made some minor changes that will make it easier to browse for places and content.

We’ve regrouped and simplified some of the content in the Layers panel to make it easier to use. You can still find the same photos, places of interest, parks, and transit stations as before -- just organized a little differently.

We’ve also added descriptive new icons to help you identify places of interest as you browse the globe:

Another way to explore lots of great content provided by Google Earth users is with the Google Earth Gallery. Here you’ll find 3D tours like U.S. College Basketball Arenas or Vancouver Olympics venues, or a map of real-time Earthquakes. If you have your own great content you want to share with others, you can submit your KML to the Earth Gallery.

We hope these changes to Google Earth help you explore your world more easily and learn about some new places you’ve never seen before.

Posted by Carmen Erni, Google Earth team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-it-easier-to-browse-places-in.html

[G] Meet skipfish, our automated web security scanner

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Google Online Security Blog: Meet skipfish, our automated web security scanner

Posted by Michal Zalewski

The safety of the Internet is of paramount importance to Google, and helping web developers build secure, reliable web applications is an important part of the equation. To advance this goal, we have released projects such as ratproxy, a passive security assessment tool; and Browser Security Handbook, a comprehensive guide for web developers. We also worked with the community to improve the security of third-party browsers.

Today, we are happy to announce the availability of skipfish - our free, open source, fully automated, active web application security reconnaissance tool. We think this project is interesting for a few reasons:
  • High speed: written in pure C, with highly optimized HTTP handling and a minimal CPU footprint, the tool easily achieves 2000 requests per second with responsive targets.

  • Ease of use: the tool features heuristics to support a variety of quirky web frameworks and mixed-technology sites, with automatic learning capabilities, on-the-fly wordlist creation, and form autocompletion.

  • Cutting-edge security logic: we incorporated high quality, low false positive, differential security checks capable of spotting a range of subtle flaws, including blind injection vectors.
As with ratproxy, we feel that skipfish will be a valuable contribution to the information security community, making security assessments significantly more accessible and easier to execute.

To download the scanner, please visit this page; detailed project documentation is available here.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2010/03/meet-skipfish-our-automated-web.html

Thursday, March 18, 2010

[G] Rescheduling meetings made easy

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Rescheduling meetings made easy

Outside of our Gmail inboxes, we, like many businesses, spend quite a bit of time in meetings – and scheduling and rescheduling meetings. And we know that trying to get a group of people with busy schedules into the same empty conference room at the same time can be quite a challenge.

As a result, our Calendar team began noodling on how to help solve group scheduling difficulties. The result is a new experimental feature called Smart Rescheduler, available in Google Calendar Labs. Smart Rescheduler automatically generates a list of good meeting times that would work for invitees when someone has a conflict. Through the power of search and cloud computing, employees can now focus even more time on the real business at hand.



As a Labs feature, Smart Rescheduler may not work exactly as you’d expect each time, but we wanted to share this feature with customers while it’s still in the testing phase to hear how it’s working in the real world. If you have ideas or suggestions, we welcome your feedback.

Businesses, schools and organizations can start using Calendar Labs once their Google Apps administrator selects ‘Turn on new features’ in the Google Apps control panel. Once new features are enabled there, users can enable Labs in Google Calendar’s settings page.

Happy Scheduling!

Posted by Ken Norton, Google Calendar Product Manager
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/03/rescheduling-meetings-made-easy.html

[G] Find out “Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense"

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Find out “Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense"

Join the Google Postini team on March 23, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. PDT for a live webinar addressing “Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense.” This interactive session will explore the growing requirements for email security and email archiving and the benefits and cost savings available when companies bring these services to the cloud. Learn about:

  • best-in-class practices, including results from recent research, presented by Michael Osterman, President of Osterman Research
  • Google's cloud-based enterprise IT solutions, presented by Adam Swidler, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Google

The discussion will include a live Q&A session open for audience participation.


Reserve your place at this event.


Why Cloud-Based Security and Archiving Make Sense

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT / GMT -07:00


For more information on Google Postini Services, please visit www.google.com/postini


Posted by Adam Swidler, Google Postini team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/03/find-out-why-cloud-based-security-and_18.html

[G] Meet Your Mentors: Announcing Accepted Project for Our Sixth Google Summer of Code

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Google Open Source Blog: Meet Your Mentors: Announcing Accepted Project for Our Sixth Google Summer of Code

We've just announced the list of accepted mentoring organizations for Google Summer of Code™ 2010. Congratulations to all of our future mentors!

After reviewing just over 365 applications, we finally narrowed our selection to 150 Free and Open Source projects. The accepted projects are now busy adding details about their participation in Google Summer of Code to the program website, but you can already take a look at the list of accepted projects and their Ideas Lists.

As with every year, we had to make some very tough decisions in 2010. We simply weren’t able to accept every great project that applies. Once again, we are also bidding fond farewell to some past participants in favor of bringing new projects into the program. We greatly appreciate everything they have contributed to the program in past years and hope they will remain actively involved in our community. We want to thank everyone for their applications and would encourage those who were not accepted to apply for future instances of the program.

What Happens Now?

No doubt many would-be Google Summer of Code students are wondering what their next steps should be. You'll have about 1.5 weeks to learn about each participating organization before student applications open on March 29, 2010. Use this time to meet your potential mentors and to discuss how you'd like to contribute to their organization, especially your ideas for improving their code base. Keep on eye on the program mailing lists, as we'll post notes about additional resources for learning about our mentoring organizations there.

Most organizations have provided individual points of contact for each project suggestion, and you can always propose ideas and look for guidance on project mailing lists or forums, as well as on IRC. You can also look for your potential mentors in the program IRC channel, #gsoc on Freenode.

Remember, some of our most successful proposals come from ideas suggested by the students themselves, so take advantage of this time to explore what areas of development most excite you. You can then find people to help you brainstorm about your initial thoughts and further refine them. Don't be nervous about how your ideas will be received; take some time to think through what you'd like to accomplish, propose a plan of action, then work with your potential mentors to iterate, iterate, iterate.

Congratulations to all of our future mentors! We look forward to working with all of you this year, and to working with many of you once again.

By Leslie Hawthorn, Open Source Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/03/meet-your-mentors-announcing-accepted.html

[G] Introducing Google Buzz widget for Android

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Introducing Google Buzz widget for Android

Since we launched Google Buzz for mobile, we've been working on ways to make it quicker and easier to share your thoughts and experiences while you're out and about.

Today, we're excited to release a Google Buzz widget for Android phones that lets you post text and photos with a single tap. Like other mobile access points for Google Buzz, the widget lets you choose to tag your post with the location or place from which it was posted. You can post buzz about a great meal you had and share photos of the new restaurant. To save time, your posts will upload in the background, letting you get back to your scrumptious dessert without a wait.

The widget is initially available in English for Android phones running v1.6 and later. Search for 'Google Buzz' in the Android Market to download it now. Once installed, you can add it to your home screen: tap "Menu" while on the home screen and select "Add > Widgets > Google Buzz".

We plan to add support for other languages soon. Visit our Help Center to learn more, ask questions in our Help Forum, or give us suggestions and vote on other people’s on the Mobile Product Ideas page.



Posted by Zak Cohen, Software Engineer, Google Mobile
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/03/introducing-google-buzz-widget-for.html

[G] Looking for a good time? New scheduling tool in Calendar

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Official Google Blog: Looking for a good time? New scheduling tool in Calendar

Scheduling meetings is tough, but rescheduling is even harder. We all know how frustrating it can be to try to find just the right time that accommodates everyone's availability and preferred working hours. Throw in different time zones and conference rooms and it goes from painful to excruciating. We'd rather schedule dental appointments.

On the Google Calendar team, we've noticed that when people talk about scheduling they say things like "I'm trying to find a time" or "let's search for a new date." We wondered what would happen if we treated calendaring more like a search problem. Just as Google search applies ranking algorithms to return the most relevant results from the web, we hoped we could rank meeting times based on criteria important to the person scheduling the meeting.


Today we're launching the result of that experiment, a gadget called Smart Rescheduler, in Google Calendar Labs. Once you enable the Lab, you can find a new time for an event simply by clicking on a link. Our schedule search algorithm will return a ranked set of the best candidate dates and times based on the calendars others have shared with you. You can read more about it on the Gmail Blog.

So next time your boss says "We need to reschedule," just smile and say "I'm feeling lucky."

Posted by Ken Norton, Product Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/looking-for-good-time-new-scheduling.html

[G] More choice for users: browser-based opt-out for Google Analytics on the way

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Google Analytics Blog: More choice for users: browser-based opt-out for Google Analytics on the way

As an enterprise-class web analytics solution, Google Analytics not only provides site owners with information on their website traffic and marketing effectiveness, it also does so with high regard for protecting user data privacy. Over the past year, we have been exploring ways to offer users more choice on how their data is collected by Google Analytics. We concluded that the best approach would be to develop a global browser based plug-in to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics. Our engineers are now hard at work finalizing and testing this opt-out functionality. We look forward to make it globally available to our users in the coming weeks.

Posted by Amy Chang, Group Product Manager, Google Analytics
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-choice-for-users-browser-based-opt.html

[G] Smart Rescheduler in Google Calendar Labs

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Official Gmail Blog: Smart Rescheduler in Google Calendar Labs

Posted by David Marmaros, Software Engineer

As you can imagine, those of us on the Google Calendar team spend a lot of time thinking about scheduling. We regularly talk to people who schedule and reschedule a lot of meetings: administrative assistants. Talking to them, we understand just how much time they spend looking at schedules, investigating other people's calendars, finding replacement conference rooms and rescheduling conflicts. And then some manager's travel plans change and everything starts over again.

If you're searching for something on the web, you don't just start randomly visiting pages looking for relevant content, you use a search engine. So we decided to apply some of Google's search experience to the problem of scheduling. We experimented with using ranking algorithms to return the most relevant meeting times based on specified criteria like attendees, schedule complexity, conference rooms, and time zones. Just like Google search ranks the web, our scheduling search algorithm returns a ranked set of the best candidate dates and times.

Today we're launching the result of that experiment, a gadget called Smart Rescheduler, in Google Calendar Labs. Once you turn it on, just select an event you'd like to reschedule, then click "Find a new time...":

You'll see ranked list of possible times for your meeting. By investigating the calendars others have shared with you, Google Calendar can make some educated guesses about how easy it might be to reschedule a conflicting meeting and even find you a replacement conference room nearby. This process is 100% automated — no Google employees are doing any work behind the scenes. You can refine the results by marking people as optional, changing the meeting duration, ignoring certain conflicts, or specifying the earliest and latest times you'll accept. The results will immediately update to reflect your new requirements.


This feature is still experimental, so we'd love your ideas and feedback. Of course, we can't make meetings more interesting, but we can try to save you frustration leading up to them.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/smart-rescheduler-in-google-calendar.html

[G] Go Mobile! Series: Reach local customers

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Inside AdWords: Go Mobile! Series: Reach local customers

About one in three mobile search queries are made by people who are looking for something in their local area. This means that local businesses have the opportunity to reach mobile users when they’re nearby and looking to take immediate action. Here are a few tips to help you reach these potential customers.

1) Control how your business appears in organic search results
Since more people search for businesses online than anywhere else, it's important to make sure your business listing can be easily found on Google.com and Google Maps. Creating a business listing in the Local Business Center helps ensure potential customers find you, and allows you to maintain full control over how your listing appears.


If your business already appears as a search result, you can use the Local Business Center to claim your listing and enter additional information like photos, hours of operation, website, and more.

2) Reach more potential customers near you
Whenever you create a campaign in your Google AdWords account, you can use location targeting to show your ads only to people close to your business. You can target potential customers within a given city, region or metro area. You can also define a radius around a certain point or set your own borders for more precise reach. Location targeting can help you improve the ROI on your ad campaigns by focusing on people who are nearby and therefore more likely to take action.



3) Drive local action with location extensions
A location extension is an optional additional line of ad text that shows your nearest business address to potential customers based on their location or search terms. People can click on the address to see a map of the area around your location. When the ad appears on mobile devices with full internet browsers, potential customers can also see a click-to-call phone number to connect directly with that business location by phone.


You can easily set up location extensions with the business information in your Local Business Center account or by manually entering the information in your AdWords account. While your ad will appear to users in any geographic location you chose to target, only people whose location signals indicate that they're close to one of your businesses will see your location extension.

4) Put it all together
How do geo-targeting and location extensions come together when ads appear on mobile devices? Let’s say you own a flower shop with several locations in the area. John is a potential customer who wants to pick up flowers on his way to a housewarming party. John can use his mobile phone to search for ‘flower shop.’ Since he’s close to one of your stores, your ad appears with a location extension showing the closest business address and phone number. John clicks on the business address to see a map and get driving directions. He then clicks on your phone number to call and make sure that you’re open for business and have ready-made bouquets in stock. Thanks to you, geo-targeting, and location extensions, John can quickly pick up a beautiful bouquet of lilies and make a great impression at the party!

Mobile users are often looking to take action immediately, whether it’s driving to a store or calling ahead to make sure that store has what they’re looking for. Try out these features to enable your customers to easily engage with your business.

Posted by Katrina Kurnit, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/03/go-mobile-series-reach-local-customers.html

[G] Site maintenance on Saturday, March 20

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Inside AdSense: Site maintenance on Saturday, March 20

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:

London - 5pm Saturday
Dar es Salaam - 8pm Saturday
Chennai - 10:30pm Saturday
Singapore - 1am Sunday
Sydney - 4am 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/2010/03/site-maintenance-on-saturday-march-20.html

[G] Broadcast Yourself

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Google Public Policy Blog: Broadcast Yourself

Posted by Zahavah Levine, YouTube Chief Counsel

(cross-posted from the Official YouTube Blog)

Around the globe, YouTube has become a metaphor for the democratizing power of the Internet and information. YouTube gives unknown performers, filmmakers, and artists new ways to promote their work to a global audience and rise to worldwide fame; makes it possible for political candidates and elected officials to interact with the public in new ways; enables first-hand reporting from war zones and from inside repressive regimes; and lets students of all ages and backgrounds audit classes at leading universities.

Yet YouTube and sites like it will cease to exist in their current form if Viacom and others have their way in their lawsuits against YouTube.

In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site. We ask the judge to rule that the safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protect YouTube from the plaintiffs' claims. Congress enacted the DMCA to benefit the public by permitting open platforms like YouTube to flourish on the Web. It gives online services protection from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content once they’re on notice of its existence on the site.

With some minor exceptions, all videos are automatically copyrighted from the moment they are created, regardless of who creates them. This means all videos on YouTube are copyrighted -- from Charlie Bit My Finger, to the video of your cat playing the piano and the video you took at your cousin’s wedding. The issue in this lawsuit is not whether a video is copyrighted, but whether it's authorized to be on the site. The DMCA (and common sense) recognizes that content owners, not service providers like YouTube, are in the best position to know whether a specific video is authorized to be on an Internet hosting service.

Because content owners large and small use YouTube in so many different ways, determining a particular copyright holder’s preference or a particular uploader’s authority over a given video on YouTube is difficult at best. And in this case, it was made even harder by Viacom’s own practices.

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

Given Viacom’s own actions, there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site. But Viacom thinks YouTube should somehow have figured it out. The legal rule that Viacom seeks would require YouTube -- and every Web platform -- to investigate and police all content users upload, and would subject those web sites to crushing liability if they get it wrong.

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. YouTube has long been a leader in providing media companies with 21st century tools to control, distribute, and make money from their content online. Working in cooperation with rights holders, our Content ID system scans over 100 years worth of video every day and lets rights holders choose whether to block, leave up, or monetize those videos. Over 1,000 media companies are now using Content ID -- including every major U.S. network broadcaster, movie studio, and record label -- and the majority of those companies choose to make money from user uploaded clips rather than block them. This is a true win-win that reflects our long-standing commitment to working with rights holders to give them the choices they want, while advancing YouTube as a platform for creativity.

We look forward to defending YouTube, and upholding the balance that Congress struck in the DMCA to protect the rights of copyright holders, the progress of technological innovation, and the public interest in free expression.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/03/broadcast-yourself.html

[G] Template highlight: 2010 College Basketball Tournament Bracket

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Official Google Docs Blog: Template highlight: 2010 College Basketball Tournament Bracket

The first round of the 2010 NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament is starting and in celebration, the Google Docs team has brought back the College Basketball Tournament bracket template for 2010. This template is powered by the GoogleTournament function which John Danaher created last year in his 20% time.

Since you can add collaborators to your spreadsheet, it's easy to engage in some friendly rivalry right within the spreadsheet. Like last year, the template includes 10 blank brackets that each of your friends can fill out. No need to print out and fill-in blank paper brackets. There's one sheet that shows whose picks are the best. You can even customize the point values for each game if you want using points sheet.

Other Google teams are getting into the basketball spirit. From an iGoogle gadget, to live scores, to a Google Earth plugin, there is something for every basketball fan at google.com/collegebasketball2010.

Posted by: Peter Harbison, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/03/template-highlight-2010-college.html

[G] Broadcast Yourself

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YouTube Blog: Broadcast Yourself

Around the globe, YouTube has become a metaphor for the democratizing power of the Internet and information. YouTube gives unknown performers, filmmakers, and artists new ways to promote their work to a global audience and rise to worldwide fame; makes it possible for political candidates and elected officials to interact with the public in new ways; enables first-hand reporting from war zones and from inside repressive regimes; and lets students of all ages and backgrounds audit classes at leading universities.

Yet YouTube and sites like it will cease to exist in their current form if Viacom and others have their way in their lawsuits against YouTube.

In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site. We ask the judge to rule that the safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protect YouTube from the plaintiffs' claims. Congress enacted the DMCA to benefit the public by permitting open platforms like YouTube to flourish on the Web. It gives online services protection from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content once they’re on notice of its existence on the site.

With some minor exceptions, all videos are automatically copyrighted from the moment they are created, regardless of who creates them. This means all videos on YouTube are copyrighted -- from Charlie Bit My Finger, to the video of your cat playing the piano and the video you took at your cousin’s wedding. The issue in this lawsuit is not whether a video is copyrighted, but whether it's authorized to be on the site. The DMCA (and common sense) recognizes that content owners, not service providers like YouTube, are in the best position to know whether a specific video is authorized to be on an Internet hosting service.

Because content owners large and small use YouTube in so many different ways, determining a particular copyright holder’s preference or a particular uploader’s authority over a given video on YouTube is difficult at best. And in this case, it was made even harder by Viacom’s own practices.

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

Given Viacom’s own actions, there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site. But Viacom thinks YouTube should somehow have figured it out. The legal rule that Viacom seeks would require YouTube -- and every Web platform -- to investigate and police all content users upload, and would subject those web sites to crushing liability if they get it wrong.

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. YouTube has long been a leader in providing media companies with 21st century tools to control, distribute, and make money from their content online. Working in cooperation with rights holders, our Content ID system scans over 100 years worth of video every day and lets rights holders choose whether to block, leave up, or monetize those videos. Over 1,000 media companies are now using Content ID -- including every major U.S. network broadcaster, movie studio, and record label -- and the majority of those companies choose to make money from user uploaded clips rather than block them. This is a true win-win that reflects our long-standing commitment to working with rights holders to give them the choices they want, while advancing YouTube as a platform for creativity.

We look forward to defending YouTube, and upholding the balance that Congress struck in the DMCA to protect the rights of copyright holders, the progress of technological innovation, and the public interest in free expression.

Posted by Zahavah Levine, YouTube Chief Counsel



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/lFvHvYA0gUY/broadcast-yourself.html

[G] Orkut for Android — live folders, photo upload and more!

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Orkut for Android — live folders, photo upload and more!

(Cross-posted on the orkut Blog)

Orkut is now ready to roll on mobile phones with Android. Now you can stay connected to your orkut friends wherever you go -- via scrap notifications, direct photo uploads to your orkut albums, and a phonebook synced to your orkut friends' phone numbers and status messages. Orkut for Android lets you stay in touch with pals through...

Orkut friends live folders
Simply add the list of your orkut friends as a live folder on your home screen, and you'll be able to browse through your friends list even when not under data network coverage. The live folder also lets you communicate (via call, scrap or SMS) with your friends in a single click. To install a live folder, click "Menu > Add > Folders > Orkut" on your Android device’s homescreen after installing the orkut for Android application.

Photo uploads to your orkut albums
Gone are the days when you needed to download photos from your Android phone to your computer and then upload them to your orkut albums. Now you can simply upload photos from your Android Photo Gallery. Just click "Menu > Share > Orkut" while browsing your photos in the Android Photo Gallery to get started.

Scrap notification
You will get notifications on your Android device when you have new scraps on orkut. The notifications will appear on your Android device notification bar; clicking on notifications will take you to your scrapbook page.

To install the orkut for Android application visit Android Market from your Android device and search for "orkut" under the social applications category. You can also directly scan the QR code below to install it. Note that the application is available only for Android devices running version 1.6 or higher.
Hope to see you on orkut for Android soon!

Posted by Deepak Sethi and Alok Goel, software engineer and product manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/03/orkut-for-android-live-folders-photo.html

[G] Shooting for three: Keeping up with the Madness

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Google LatLong: Shooting for three: Keeping up with the Madness


Do you feel it, sports fans? Has the anticipation fully gripped your college basketball soul? It's definitely got my attention. Therefore I've embarked on my third consecutive journey into mapping the NCAA College Basketball tournament. This may have caused a bit of personal March madness - a lot of long nights and triple-checking each arena placemark - but I hope you’ll enjoy the result. I’ve made a Google Earth KMZ file that includes the home arenas of the field of 65, and the 14 tournament venues. Each entry in the field of 65 is color coded by region and the game sites have a special basketball icon this year.

You may wonder why I’ve kept this up for three years. Well, aside from the fundamental fact that I'm a college hoops nut, I just so happen to also love seeing the geo-spatial distribution of the teams. The research and compliation of the information led me to several interesting facts you can see for yourself in the layer and then use to wow your friends, such as:
  • There are two first-round matchups that pit two teams which have the same mascots
  • Bears, Eagles, Gophers, Grizzlies, and Lions have a common trait: they are all 'Golden'
  • This year’s tournament is quite colorful: Blue Devils, Mean Green, Orangemen, Big Red, and Yellow Jackets
This My Map also shows you all the key locations for the Madness, color-coded for your viewing pleasure. The East division is indicated by a blue pin; South with green; Midwest with red; and West with cyan. The pins with a dot in the center tell you who the #1 seeds are:

Travel to the tournament without leaving home! All 14 arenas are in the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earth, ready for you to explore. Take a tour of these 3D models by watching the video below or download this kml tour and open it in Google Earth 5. Be sure to check out the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City -- even the court is modeled.


Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts, we’ve created a page, google.com/collegebasketball2010, where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament. Keep up with your favorite teams and get up-to-date information on scores, schedules, and brackets with our iGoogle gadget. By doing a quick search for your favorite team, you can see live scores. If you haven’t already made a bracket, check out our Google docs tournament bracket template to help you create and manage your pool in an online spreadsheet. You can also see real time search results so you never miss any March Madness news or chatter!

For all the times when I can’t be planted in front of my television watching the action (or during those pesky commercial breaks), these tools will keep my head in the game!

Posted by Adam Hughes, Google Apps Senior Strategist and College Hoops Fan
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/03/shooting-for-three-keeping-up-with.html