Saturday, May 15, 2010

[G] Defining democracy through art

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YouTube Blog: Defining democracy through art

Defining democracy through art

An Egyptian man says it’s like flying freely through the street in your pajamas. A Burundian YouTube user compares it to striking guitar chords to make a beautiful melody. An Indian videographer says it’s like coming together over a cricket game. And a Polish citizen says it’s like a roll of toilet paper. Though their messages are as diverse as the countries they come from, all of these videos are aiming to define something that philosophers have spent centuries debating: what is democracy?

Once again this year, we’re partnering with the State Department and several civic organizations on the Democracy Video Challenge, a global contest that asks people to submit short videos that complete the sentence, “Democracy is...” Starting today, you can vote on your favorite videos from among 18 finalists. The six most popular entrants will fly to the U.S. for a tour of civic and film organizations in Washington, D.C., New York City and Hollywood.

Head over to the Democracy Video Challenge channel page to log your votes now. You can vote once per day until June 15; winners will be announced shortly after. But don’t just vote...leave your comments on the video to let these videographers know what you think of their work. The project is meant to start a discussion. Though there’s no one answer, it’s through dialogue that our understanding of democracy continues to evolve.

Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched “Learning with Socrates.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/awW__LQv0MM/defining-democracy-through-art.html

Friday, May 14, 2010

[G] Six ways to find the right Chrome Extension for you

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Google Chrome Blog: Six ways to find the right Chrome Extension for you

With so many Chrome extensions to choose from, exploring the extensions gallery has been like a treasure hunt for me. Over the last few months, I've spent hours checking out new extensions and discovering cool ways to keep up with the latest news or find better deals online. I'd like to share with you some useful extensions that I came across in six easy-to-use pages for web development, blogging, shopping, sports, fun and Google applications.




I always love finding a bargain online. For all of you who also like to shop smart, these extensions can make online online shopping faster and easier. You can track an item's price history with the Camelizer extension or complement your bargain hunting with extensions from Amazon, Woot! and eBay.

We also have extensions dedicated to fans of sports from around the world. You can track live scores and commentary on cricket, rugby and Formula 1 with extensions from ESPN. If you want an edge in your fantasy sports leagues, the Pickemfirst extension brings you news, game statistics and commentary of pro sports players currently displayed in your browser.

Besides sports and shopping, these blogging extensions can help you write better blog posts and share web content more efficiently. You can quickly post to your blogs at TypePad or Blogger. You can also get contextual suggestions of related articles, images, links and tags with Zemanta. After the Deadline offers an extension that automatically checks your spelling and grammer (while optionally checking for cliches and double negatives!)

In addition, we made it easier to find the extensions for Google applications you frequently use. These include extensions to preview Google Docs or to check your Google Calendar directly from your Google Chrome browser.

For those of you who want to complement Google Chrome's developer tools to create a customized development environment in Chrome, there are web development extensions such as viewing PHP documentation, creating random dummy text or testing your page at various resolutions.

Finally, if you want to play a prank on your co-workers or take a 5-minute break with a game, there are quite a few fun extensions to brighten up your day.

I hope you enjoy these pages. There are more than 4,000 extensions waiting to be discovered in the gallery. Happy hunting!

Posted by Koh Kim, Associate Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2010/05/six-ways-to-find-right-chrome-extension.html

[G] This week in search 5/14/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 5/14/10

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

This week, we announced a number of new search enhancements.

Google Translate learns and speaks new languages
This week, we launched 5 new "alpha" languages on Google Translate — Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Georgian and Urdu. We also extended our support for spoken translations to 29 more languages. With these launches, you can now translate text, webpages and documents between 57 languages, and hear translations spoken in 36 languages. For many search queries where you want to translate a word or a phrase, we offer a translation powered by Google Translate directly in our search results. We also recently added romanization to this feature — when translating to or from a foreign language, you can now see the translation written phonetically in roman characters.

Example searches: [translate how are you? to chinese] or [translate обезьяна]

Twenty more languages in Google search get virtual keyboard
Recently, we announced that we've integrated virtual keyboards into Google Search homepages in 35 languages. Virtual keyboard lets you type directly in your local language script in an easy and consistent manner, no matter where you are or what computer you’re using. Feedback is always important to us, and we were excited to get more than three thousand votes for other languages you felt the keyboard should be launched in. Today, we're happy to announce that we are adding Virtual Keyboard to another 20 languages — making it now available in 55 languages.

For those of you who speak a language we don't yet support, we're hard at work adding the virtual keyboard into more languages listed in Google Language Tools page. You can also vote for the languages you'd like us to add next. We always appreciate your feedback as we continue our efforts to help you input text in your desired languages as easily as possible.

Example languages we added this week:
Finding short answers
This week, we introduced a new feature that brings the technology of Google Squared right to your search results. Squared makes it easier to highlight answers for fact-based queries, so you can get more accurate answers, faster. Now, you'll see these answers right at the top of your search results, brought to you from across the web. And, we've also made sure this feature works great on mobile browsers.

Example searches: [timezone in nevada] or [when was jean-jacques rousseau born]

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next week for more search news.

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/this-week-in-search-51410.html

[G] Upcoming webinar: Video Targeting

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Inside AdWords: Upcoming webinar: Video Targeting

We previously highlighted a campaign that American Apparel ran on YouTube in which they targeted pet videos -- including one of the most famous videos on the site. Part of the secret of American Apparel’s success was their use of Video Targeting, a tool that helps advertisers find and target relevant partner videos on YouTube. As with other products we’ve recently launched, the Video Targeting Tool is integrated with Google AdWords and makes it easier than ever for you to run integrated, targeted, and measurable campaigns across the Web. Here’s how it works:



With so many of you now using the Video Targeting Tool, we rolled out some big improvements, including localized versions in 25 countries around the world. There are also a lot of new features to explore, so we decided to host a webinar that will give you an overview of the tool’s functionality, as well as best practices and case studies.

The webinar is scheduled for 10 am PDT on May 19th, 2010. To register for the event, please fill out the registration form here.

Posted by Katrina Kurnit, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/05/upcoming-webinar-video-targeting.html

[G] WiFi data collection: an update

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Google Public Policy Blog: WiFi data collection: an update

Posted by Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering & Research

(cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Nine days ago the data protection authority (DPA) in Hamburg, Germany asked to audit the WiFi data that our Street View cars collect for use in location-based products like Google Maps for mobile, which enables people to find local restaurants or get directions. His request prompted us to re-examine everything we have been collecting, and during our review we discovered that a statement made in a blog post on April 27 was incorrect.

In that blog post, and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.

However, we will typically have collected only fragments of payload data because: our cars are on the move; someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by; and our in-car WiFi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second. In addition, we did not collect information traveling over secure, password-protected WiFi networks.

So how did this happen? Quite simply, it was a mistake. In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when our mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google’s Street View cars, they included that code in their software—although the project leaders did not want, and had no intention of using, payload data.

As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible. We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it.

Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short. So we will be:
  • Asking a third party to review the software at issue, how it worked and what data it gathered, as well as to confirm that we deleted the data appropriately; and
  • Internally reviewing our procedures to ensure that our controls are sufficiently robust to address these kinds of problems in the future.
In addition, given the concerns raised, we have decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely.

This incident highlights just how publicly accessible open, non-password-protected WiFi networks are today. Earlier this year, we encrypted Gmail for all our users, and next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search. For other services users can check that pages are encrypted by looking to see whether the URL begins with “https”, rather than just “http”; browsers will generally show a lock icon when the connection is secure. For more information about how to password-protect your network, read this.

The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust—and we are acutely aware that we failed badly here. We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/05/wifi-data-collection-update.html

[G] WiFi data collection: An update

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Official Google Blog: WiFi data collection: An update

Nine days ago the data protection authority (DPA) in Hamburg, Germany asked to audit the WiFi data that our Street View cars collect for use in location-based products like Google Maps for mobile, which enables people to find local restaurants or get directions. His request prompted us to re-examine everything we have been collecting, and during our review we discovered that a statement made in a blog post on April 27 was incorrect.

In that blog post, and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.

However, we will typically have collected only fragments of payload data because: our cars are on the move; someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by; and our in-car WiFi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second. In addition, we did not collect information traveling over secure, password-protected WiFi networks.

So how did this happen? Quite simply, it was a mistake. In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when our mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google’s Street View cars, they included that code in their software—although the project leaders did not want, and had no intention of using, payload data.

As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible. We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it.

Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short. So we will be:
  • Asking a third party to review the software at issue, how it worked and what data it gathered, as well as to confirm that we deleted the data appropriately; and
  • Internally reviewing our procedures to ensure that our controls are sufficiently robust to address these kinds of problems in the future.
In addition, given the concerns raised, we have decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely.

This incident highlights just how publicly accessible open, non-password-protected WiFi networks are today. Earlier this year, we encrypted Gmail for all our users, and next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search. For other services users can check that pages are encrypted by looking to see whether the URL begins with “https”, rather than just “http”; browsers will generally show a lock icon when the connection is secure. For more information about how to password-protect your network, read this.

The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust—and we are acutely aware that we failed badly here. We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake.

Posted by Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering & Research
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/wifi-data-collection-update.html

[G] Transforming a Print Shop with FreshBooks and Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Transforming a Print Shop with FreshBooks and Google Apps


Editor's Note:
Sunir Shah is Chief Handshaker with FreshBooks, the leader in online billing and bookkeeping. Available through the Google Apps Marketplace, FreshBooks is an essential tool to help small- to medium-sized companies manage their day-to-day business needs entirely online, providing invoicing, estimates, time tracking, reporting and other key bookkeeping functions.


Roy Potterill is the one of the lead creative wizards at Inner City Ink, a Johannesburg-based print shop producing high-quality screen printing and merchandise, including T-shirts, caps, stickers, posters, buttons, flyers, hoodies and just about anything else you can print on. Inner City Ink take pride in being able to print pretty much anything their clients want on whatever they want, supplying creatives, retail clothing labels, the music industry, event companies and more.


Sunir Shah: Running a business is hard enough; people shouldn't have to deal with complex systems to do their billing and bookkeeping. That's why we built FreshBooks – to help small businesses and teams everywhere get paid, painlessly, so they can focus on what they love to do.

Right from the start, FreshBooks has always been a cloud-based app and we're big believers in the value of the cloud for small businesses. Having all your business data available online, from anywhere, is a huge thing for small teams.


The Google Apps Marketplace is a great step forward in our view – it helps millions of businesses find new online tools, and provides a simple way to connect all these tools together. We're really happy to have been part of the Google Apps Marketplace from the beginning and we've already heard from customers like Inner City Ink about how it's making a real difference in their business.


Roy Potteril: We've got a reputation at Inner City Ink for innovation and doing things differently that extends beyond the originality of our design and printing work all the to how way we work with clients.

We've been in growth mode for a while, but with the World Cup coming up this summer, and word getting out about our work, our business just exploded. Suddenly, we've got t-shirt and custom printing orders coming out our ears. Before we found Freshbooks, we were always scrambling under pressure and bound to one PC at the office, with stacks of paperwork lying everywhere. With the sudden increase in work it was bedlam.


We were taking orders and handling all the print jobs we could during the day, then plowing through quotes and invoices every night, or whenever we could get to the office. As an on-the-go group, living on our cellphones, being tied to the one PC in the office we used to write up quotes and bills was killing us. Freshbooks was our ticket out of the madness.


I've been pushing for ways to scale our business and help us work better for a while. Web technology is the key to transforming a business like this. I was already a Google Apps convert – doing everything I could through Gmail, Google Talk and their other web apps. The access anywhere model just makes sense with the way my life works. When I found out about FreshBooks through the Google Apps Marketplace, it seemed like a no-brainer.


Now the whole team can quickly get into any info we need, wherever we are, and we're not worrying about seeing the most up-to-date version of a quote. Better still, we don't have piles of paperwork all lying around everywhere and we look way more professional when we can produce that all-important first quote in next to no time.


With everything in the cloud, we're doing 100% more quotes a day. In the first two months of using Freshbooks we had an increase in turnover of over 30% per month. We're now able to cut out 50% of the workload because of the speed at which we can do quotes and invoices.


At the same time, we’re able to finish our work a lot quicker, and spend more time on follow-ups and marketing. We're always on the same page and connected, so we have more time to spend on the important things – talking to clients and selling, not spending the day stuck behind the computer.


One of our biggest corporate clients was so impressed with this whole setup, their financial manager called in his associates to come and check out the way we're working. That makes us look great. You might not think web technology could have such a big impact on an old-school business like screen-printing, but we're only just scratching the surface here - this is going to be huge.


One of my partners, Natasha Taljaard, had this dream of being able to enjoy a glass of wine on the stoep of a farm on the West Coast, while still being plugged into what's going on back in Johannesburg. I think she's still a bit stunned that she can do exactly that now that I've set her up with FreshBooks and Google Apps.


Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Marketplace team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/transforming-print-shop-with-freshbooks.html

[G] Announcing the Google Model Your Town Competition winner

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Official Google Blog: Announcing the Google Model Your Town Competition winner

Back in December 2009, we announced the Google Model Your Town Competition and invited towns to submit 3D models of their community. The public reviewed 3D models, explored the buildings in Google Earth and watched videos from five finalist towns around the world. We’ve tallied the votes and we’d like to congratulate our 2010 winning town: Barranco - Lima, Peru!



Jorge De Albertis Bettocchi, a 38 year-old corporate business attorney, modeled the Barranco District of Lima. He entered the competition to generate pride among his fellow citizens and created his 3D models to serve as a tool for tourism, promotion, investment and preservation of Barranco’s historic architecture.

We’ll be awarding the local school district with US$10,000 and the SketchUp team is planning a visit to Barranco later this summer. Visit the Google Earth Gallery to download a 3D tour of Barranco, Peru.

Thanks to all those who voted to help us find the winning town. And thanks to all the modelers out there who submitted entries — we hope you'll continue to add 3D buildings to Google Earth!

Posted by Allyson McDuffie, Google SketchUp Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/announcing-google-model-your-town.html

[G] The National Live! Tune in Saturday @ 8 p.m. (ET)

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YouTube Blog: The National Live! Tune in Saturday @ 8 p.m. (ET)

Acclaimed indie rockers The National, whose new CD High Violet has already been lauded as “potential album of the year” and is currently topping digital sales charts, will be performing this Saturday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of a VEVO event on YouTube. This benefit show was sold-out weeks ago, but you can still attend by joining the live webcast.

Get more details from the band’s Dylan-esque announcement below, directed by the same filmmaker (D.A. Pennebaker) who was at the helm of Don’t Look Back, the documentary about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, and who will also direct the National’s YouTube webcast with his wife, Chris Hegedus (The War Room). In fact, that’s Pennebaker leaning against the wall in this video:



Proceeds from the concert, which is presented by ZYNC from American Express, will also benefit the AIDS-fighting organization Red Hot. Here, band members explain their connection to and passion for this important cause:



If you want to be sure to enjoy this concert with others, you can join the live Twitter chat during the show on www.youtube.com/thenationalvevo, The band’s label, 4AD, is also posting listening party locations around the country.

However you decide to experience this special event, tune in here at 8 p.m. (ET) for the global broadcast and donate here to support Red Hot.

Michele Flannery, Music Manager, recently watched "A Skin, A Night"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/pqrYwiwmgWQ/national-live-tune-in-saturday-8-pm-et.html

[G] Nexus One changes in availability

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Official Google Blog: Nexus One changes in availability

We launched Nexus One in January with two goals in mind: to introduce a beacon of innovation among Android handsets, and to make it quick and easy for people to buy an Android phone. We’re very happy with the adoption of Android in general, and the innovation delivered through Nexus One. Already, a lot of the innovation that went into creating Nexus One has found its way into numerous Android handsets, like the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint and the Verizon Droid Incredible by HTC.

But, as with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from.

So today we’re announcing the following changes:

More retail availability. As we make Nexus One available in more countries we’ll follow the same model we’ve adopted in Europe, where we're working with partners to offer Nexus One to consumers through existing retail channels. We’ll shift to a similar model globally.

From retail to viewing. Once we have increased the availability of Nexus One devices in stores, we'll stop selling handsets via the web store, and will instead use it as an online store window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally.

Innovation requires constant iteration. We believe that the changes we're announcing today will help get more phones to more people quicker, which is good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google.

Posted by Andy Rubin, VP, Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/nexus-one-changes-in-availability.html

[G] Announcing the Google Model Your Town Competition winner

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Google LatLong: Announcing the Google Model Your Town Competition winner

[Cross-posted with the SketchUp Blog]

On April 1st, we announced the five finalist towns for the Google Model Your Town Competition and asked the public to help pick the winning town. For the past month, participants reviewed the 3D models, explored the buildings in Google Earth and watched videos of the 3D towns.

Well, we’ve tallied the votes and we’d like to congratulate our 2010 winning town: Barranco - Lima, Peru!

Jorge De Albertis Bettocchi, a 38 year-old corporate business attorney, modeled the Barranco District of Lima. He entered the competition to generate pride among his fellow citizens and created his 3D models to serve as a tool for tourism, promotion, investment and preservation of Barranco’s historic architecture. Jorge also created a blog, Barranco 3D Project, that includes descriptions of his models, his modeling process, community involvement and press videos.



Jorge is also a musician who plays the keyboard, has a small recording studio, and has participated in the production of concerts in Peru. “I started creating SketchUp models in 2007 when I was asked to design a stage for a rock concert, and a concert-production partner recommended using SketchUp. Since then I have not stopped using it and it is the only 3D design program I have ever used.”

Jorge, you have impressed people all over the world with your SketchUp models. Congratulations to the Barranco community!

We’ll be awarding the local school district with US$10,000 and the SketchUp team is planning a visit to Barranco later this summer to recognize their efforts. Visit the Google Earth Gallery to download a 3D tour of Barranco, Peru and visit our winners page for more details.

Thanks to all those who voted to help us find the winning town. And thanks to all the modelers out there who submitted entries — we hope you'll continue to add 3D buildings to Google Earth!

Posted by Allyson McDuffie, SketchUp Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/05/announcing-google-model-your-town.html

[G] Google Apps at America’s Small Business Summit

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps at America’s Small Business Summit

As we announced in February, next week we’ll be traveling to Washington D.C. to participate in America’s Small Business Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. On Tuesday, May 18, Google is hosting a breakout session where we’ll continue the discussion we kicked off this week on the ChamberPost blog. We'll also talk about the technology trends that are impacting today’s small business.

Joining us will be a panel of Google Apps customers, including one Google Apps Authorized Reseller, who will share their experiences about how they’ve put the power of the web to work for their business. You’ll hear directly from:
The full Summit agenda is packed with valuable perspectives and interesting discussion topics to help support your business. We hope you’ll join us – and if you do, please stop by our booth and say hello.

P.S. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is offering a special one-day rate to attend the event. Check it out.

Posted by Shaluinn Fullove, Google Apps team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-apps-at-americas-small-business.html

[G] Google Voice invites for students

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Google Voice Blog: Google Voice invites for students

We’ve found that Google Voice can be useful in many different ways to many different people. But one group of people that it’s especially well-suited for is students. We’ve heard college students in particular really appreciate getting their voicemail sent to their email, sending free text messages and reading voicemail transcriptions rather than listening to messages (especially handy while in class).

But since Google Voice is currently only available by invite, a lot of students are still listening to voicemail and sending text messages the old-fashioned way. As a recent college graduate, I can’t think of anything more painful! So starting today, we’ll be giving priority Google Voice invites to students. To get an invite, just visit google.com/voice/students and enter an email address that that ends in .edu.

So if you’re a student, submit your email address and a Google Voice invite will arrive in your inbox within 24 hours. Keep in mind that only one invite will be be sent per email address and Google Voice is currently only available in the U.S. And if you’re new to Google Voice, check out our introductory videos at youtube.com/googlevoice.

Posted by Jason Toff, Google Voice Team
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-voice-invites-for-students.html

[G] Google Voice invites for students

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Official Google Blog: Google Voice invites for students

(Cross-posted from the Google Voice Blog)

We’ve found that Google Voice can be useful in many different ways to many different people. But one group of people that it's especially well-suited for is students. We’ve heard college students in particular really appreciate getting their voicemail sent to their email, sending free text messages and reading voicemail transcriptions rather than listening to messages (especially handy while in class).

But since Google Voice is currently only available by invite, a lot of students are still listening to voicemail and sending text messages the old-fashioned way. As a recent college graduate, I can’t think of anything more painful! So starting today, we’ll be giving priority Google Voice invites to students. To get an invite, just visit google.com/voice/students and enter an email address that that ends in .edu.


So if you’re a student, submit your email address and a Google Voice invite will arrive in your inbox within 24 hours. Keep in mind that only one invite will be be sent per email address and Google Voice is currently only available in the U.S. And if you’re new to Google Voice, check out our introductory videos at youtube.com/googlevoice.

Posted by Jason Toff, Google Voice Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-voice-invites-for-students.html

Thursday, May 13, 2010

[G] Five more languages on translate.google.com

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Official Google Blog: Five more languages on translate.google.com

(Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog)

At Google, we are always trying to make information more accessible, whether by adding auto-captioning on YouTube and virtual keyboards to search or by providing free translation of text, websites and documents with Google Translate. In 2009, we announced the addition of our first “alpha” language, Persian, on Google Translate. Today, we are excited to add five more alpha languages: Azerbaijani, Armenian, Basque, Urdu and Georgian — bringing the total number of languages on Google Translate to 57.

These languages are available while still in alpha status. You can expect translations to be less fluent than for our other languages, but they should still help you understand the multilingual web. We are working hard to “graduate” these new language out of alpha status, just as we did some time ago with Persian. You can help us improve translation quality as well. If you notice an incorrect translation, we invite you click "Contribute a better translation". If you are a translator, then you can contribute translation memories with the Translator Toolkit. This helps us build better machine translation systems especially for languages that are not well represented on the web.

Collectively, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Georgian and Urdu have roughly 100 million speakers. We hope that these speakers can now more easily access the entire multilingual web in their own language. Try translating these and other languages at translate.google.com. Here are some phrases from the new alpha languages to get you started:

Baietz lehenengoan
میں خوش قسمت محسوس کر رہا ہوں
բախտաւոր եմ զգում
Mən şanslıyam
იღბალს მივენდობი

Posted by Ashish Venugopal, Research Scientist
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/five-more-languages-on.html

[G] Making local advertising easy: upgrade your local business ads to location extensions

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Inside AdWords: Making local advertising easy: upgrade your local business ads to location extensions

Last year, we unveiled a new feature called location extensions for those of you who use online advertising to drive traffic to your brick and mortar locations. This feature allows you to include information such as your business name, address and phone number in your existing text ads. When a potential customer performs a search, their location or search terms are dynamically matched to your business locations, and your most relevant location appears within your ad on Google.com and Google Maps. 


Location extensions are the new and improved way to run local ads, so we’ll begin transitioning the local business ads in your AdWords account to ads that are compatible with location extensions soon. We wanted to give you plenty of time to get familiar with the new feature, so we thought we’d give you a heads up about the upcoming transition today. To learn more, please visit www.google.com/adwords/lbatransition

In order to make this as seamless as possible, we’re offering the following options to help you transition smoothly:

1. Upgrade your local business ads to text ads with location extensions. To take full advantage of the benefits of location extensions and ensure a seamless transition of your local business ads, we encourage you to update your ads through the five simple steps outlined on our website.

2. Automatically transition your local business ads. If you choose not to take any action, in the coming weeks, campaigns containing local business ads will be automatically enabled with location extensions using addresses from your local business ads. We’ll also replace your local business ads with new ads that are compatible with location extensions. While any of your addresses may now appear with the standard text ads in your campaign when relevant, each transitioned local business ad will continue to be linked to a single address and will only show to people near that address. 

We’ve heard from many of you who’ve already switched to location extensions that campaign management and attracting customers in your area is now simpler and more effective. With location extensions, you can deliver more exposure and local relevance by using the same ads for all your business locations without the overhead of maintaining a different ad for each location. Visit the location extension benefits page to learn about other ways it can help improve your campaigns.

We hope these changes help you reach more local customers with your ads, and value your feedback about this transition. Please share your comments or suggestions regarding the process using this form.

Posted by Emily Williams, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/05/making-local-advertising-easy-upgrade.html

[G] Updates To .NET Library For The Export API

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Google Analytics Blog: Updates To .NET Library For The Export API

We’re incredibly proud of the diversity of applications and tools making use of the Google Analytics Export API. We also know that several of the folks developing these tools have been asking about our .NET client library and requesting sample code.

So we’re happy to announce we’ve updated the .NET Google Data client library to support all our recent features.

In addition, we’ve added 2 reference examples for both the Account Feed and Data Feed which show how to pull advanced segment, custom variable, and goal data from the API. As you can see from the examples, this client library makes pulling data from the Export API incredibly easy.

Now that the .NET developers among you have this library, what will you use it for? Fancy visualizations? Automated reporting? Extreme data mining? Let us know in the comments, or bounce a few ideas off your peers in the GA Data Export API group!


Posted by Alexander Lucas, Google Analytics API Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/05/updates-to-net-library-for-export-api.html

[G] Lotus Notes users can now “go Google” in phases

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Lotus Notes users can now “go Google” in phases

Lotus Notes customers love Google Apps because they get many of Notes’ best features – like document libraries and scripting – in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 25GB of email storage, and substantial cost savings. Today, we’re making it even easier for Lotus Notes customers to try Google Apps with Google Calendar Connector for Lotus Notes.

This calendar connector allows businesses to switch to Google Apps department by department, by making calendaring work more seamlessly between Notes and Google Apps. Google Apps users in your organization can look up free/busy info for coworkers still on Lotus Notes, and vice versa.

In addition, we’ve made it easier to go Google with several improvements to Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes. Some of the updates include:

  • Support for multi-domain management across all APIs
  • Migration of Domino Directory data, including groups
  • Enhanced user provisioning that can automatically generate Google Apps passwords when accounts are created
  • New domain-wide and user-level options to manage spam folders and archive labels

    If you have a legacy Lotus Notes footprint, we invite you to learn more about Google Calendar Connector for Lotus Notes.

    Posted by Chris Vander Mey, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps
  • URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/lotus-notes-users-can-now-go-google-in.html

    [G] Introducing the Workspace Mechanic for Eclipse

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    Google Open Source Blog: Introducing the Workspace Mechanic for Eclipse

    Hi Internet! I’m Robert Konigsberg, and I’ve spent the last four years working on a team that writes Eclipse plug-ins for our coworkers here at Google. I’m happy to announce that we’re open sourcing one of the tools our colleagues use every day: the Workspace Mechanic for Eclipse. I’m also excited that it is being released under version 1 of the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

    The Workspace Mechanic is a publicly-released version of a tool we use at Google to automate maintenance of our engineers’ Eclipse environments. With the Mechanic, you can:
    • Create a consistent environment for your entire company, your local team, or your own workspaces
    • Save time setting up new workspaces
    • Create tasks that ensure your favorite new preferences are applied to all your current and future workspaces. (This is one of our favorite features!)
    We’re not the only ones who want a tool like this. In 2009, Ivar Meikas wrote a blog post titled “Wanted dead or alive - Eclipse configuration synchronizer!
    ... why do I have to change the fonts each time I create a new workspace or turn on editor line numbers? There are some tricks, by specifying properties in some ini files, but this is really clumsy (Do you know the property name for the fonts? Without searching?). I think this is something that should be achievable without hacking.

    So does anyone know if there is such a plugin that would help synchronize common properties or if there is interest for such a plugin?
    Ivar, you want editor line numbers enabled in all your workspaces? Perfect; enabling that is documented as one of our examples. I hope this helps.


    My colleague, Terry Parker, and I described the Workspace Mechanic at Eclipse Day at the Googleplex and at EclipseCon. Both times, people asked if we had plans to open source it. Well, yes. Yes we did.

    I’m also proud that today’s announcement is part of the long-awaited launch of Eclipse Labs. The Workspace Mechanic is a perfect candidate for the Eclipse Labs, which brings the power of Google Code Project Hosting to a focused Eclipse community.

    Today we are providing a code-only release. Enhancements and a p2 repository are on their way. Please check out the source code, join the mailing list, and send us your feedback.

    By Robert Konigsberg, Software Engineer, Build Tools
    URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/05/introducing-workspace-mechanic-for.html

    [G] Upgrading beyond documents, spreadsheets and presentations

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    Official Google Enterprise Blog: Upgrading beyond documents, spreadsheets and presentations

    On Tuesday I shared some some thoughts on the choices you have as you consider upgrading Microsoft Office. This decision goes far beyond traditional productivity applications though; a new generation of workplace tools that reflect the collaborative nature of today’s work environment are becoming more essential to employees. Instant messaging accelerates information sharing between coworkers. Video chat lets people around the world meet face-to-face. Video and image sharing is becoming a critical form of communication. Companies develop passionate communities around blogs and other social media. Customers learn about businesses through online maps and search engine marketing.

    Today’s workers need tools to facilitate all these activities, and traditional productivity software comes up short, even after “major” upgrades. Last week we announced that we’re working to make Blogger, Picasa Web Albums, Google Reader, iGoogle and many more Google services available soon to Google Apps customers. What will customers need to do to access all this new functionality? Simply refresh the browser. No 64-bit servers to purchase, no complex software prerequisites (28 of them for SharePoint 2010 alone!), no backup systems to install, no VPN connectivity issues to worry about. It’s an upgrade that will truly change the workplace.


    By no means do we think that Google could possibly develop all the functionality that any employee might need, but at the same time, there’s real value in services that all connect to a common backbone for core systems like contacts, presence and user authentication. Businesses need specialized accounting tools, CRM systems, marketing automation capabilities, project management tools and much more. Through the Apps Marketplace and our developer tools, customers can integrate 3rd party cloud services with Google Apps and enhancements they develop themselves. The possibilities are limitless.


    This new approach – the integrated combination of Google Apps, a broad array of other Google services, and complementary functionality built by developers and partners – will give your employees the tools they need to be productive in the modern workplace. I invite you to learn more about Google Apps and to start a conversation with our team about providing your employees with the best tools for their jobs.

    Posted by Matthew Glotzbach, Google Enterprise Product Management Director
    URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/upgrading-beyond-documents-spreadsheets.html

    [G] Switching Channels: Making the Transition from Microsoft to Google

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    Official Google Enterprise Blog: Switching Channels: Making the Transition from Microsoft to Google

    Editor’s Note: Ed Laczynski is Founder and CTO of LTech, a member of the Google Authorized Reseller Program. We asked Ed to share his experiences and successes with program and why he believes that the cloud is where companies need to be.

    In 2005, LTech was a local systems integrator and development shop with a focus on Microsoft solutions. Satisfied with the Microsoft technology platform at the time but crowded out by a sea of competition and frustrated by a lack of innovation, we were introduced to Google through a Google Search Appliance integration for a customer.

    We learned about Google Apps and started working with the platform in 2007 to provide deployment and migration services for clients. So when the Google Apps Reseller Program was announced in 2009, LTech already had an experienced team in place and a Single Sign-On product developed specifically for Google Apps customers.

    The Microsoft Partner Program was and is a great program for developers in terms of providing SDKs and IDEs, but it was difficult to navigate and even more difficult for us to get support and build a true partnership. The Google Enterprise Program however, was easy to navigate and make connections. I am sure being early to the program helped, but Google gave us the support and confidence we needed to invest and build a successful reselling business. Google provided detailed training which allowed our technicians and developers to learn the platform and build out our delivery teams.

    By mid-2008, we decided to stop actively offering Microsoft-based collaboration solutions to customers. This was a big move for us, and a bit scary, but the Microsoft platform wasn’t evolving at the pace our customers demanded. The Microsoft Partner Program didn’t foster the same type of opportunity as Google for a start-up company like ours. Our Google Apps business was taking off and we haven’t looked back. We have grown to a multi-million dollar business with dozens of cloud technologists and a national footprint, helping to pave the way for business adoption of cloud.

    The Cloud Transition Opportunity
    We are investing in the cloud because it is the future of business technology. This is one of those rare transitional moments in technology – near unlimited computing power is being made available to both experts and non-experts alike. Whole technology ecosystems and industries will be transformed by it. Just look at what leaders like Google, Amazon, and Salesforce have accomplished in a few short years – and the investments they've made.

    Source: LTech 2010

    At LTech, we’re seeing certain industries adopt Google Apps faster than others. We are responding to this by developing vertically focused solutions. For example, our Google Apps for Real Estate program bundles Google Apps, Agent Website Templates, and Tungle.me calendar sharing.

    Why are these businesses adopting Google Apps? It’s widely known that Google Apps is more cost effective compared to on-premise software, our customers are also taking advantage of the rapid innovation pace for productivity gains and business transformation.

    Google Apps isn't just email. Products like Google Sites and Google Docs can deliver spontaneous collaboration capabilities for employees that were never connected before. For example, the new Google Docs interface takes real time collaboration to the next level by allowing you to see other people’s changes character-by-character as they type. No need to send attachments back and forth, and it is web-standards and mobile friendly. That sort of innovation is key to enterprise adoption of cloud platforms.

    The Google Apps Partner Program
    While I can't reveal exact numbers, the positive growth of Google Apps sales in our business is exciting and keeping us charged up about the opportunity ahead as a leading Google Apps Reseller and Google Enterprise Partner.

    Source: LTech 2010

    The Google Authorized Reseller Program has helped us grow from a small systems integrator to a leader in cloud products and services. We've built a great relationship with Google that is mutually beneficial, and we get support when and where we need it. In particular, the Google Apps developer relations team at Google has been instrumental in helping us to build enterprise quality products like Power Panel for Google Apps and Single Sign On. The documentation and API support available is fantastic, and the community and ecosystem around the Google Apps suite is strong.

    Ed Laczynski
    Founder and CTO, LTech

    Posted by Jeff Ragusa, Google Apps Channel Program Manager
    URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/switching-channels-making-transition.html

    [G] More Choice for Users: Unlisted Videos

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    Google Public Policy Blog: More Choice for Users: Unlisted Videos

    Posted by Jen Chen, Software Engineer
    (cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

    Melinda teaches high school in the Bay Area and recently reached out to us with a problem. Her students just finished a video history project that she wanted to share with their parents and classmates. But she was concerned about posting the videos publicly because she didn't want the whole world to find them (frankly, neither did her students). Melinda told us YouTube's private sharing options -- a 25-person cap that's limited to other YouTube users -- didn't work for her. She needed a better option to privately share her students' talent.

    Later today, we'll be rolling out a new choice that will help Melinda and other people like her: unlisted videos.
    [Update: Unlisted videos are now available.]

    With this feature, you can mark your videos as "unlisted." This means only people who have the link to the video will be able to watch it. It won't appear in any of YouTube's public pages, in search results, on your personal channel or on the browse page. It's a private video, except you don't need a YouTube account to watch it and there is no limit to the number of people who can view it. You'll get a link when you upload the video and then it's up to you to decide who to share it with. Unlisted is the perfect option for that class project, video from last summer's family reunion or your secret Broadway audition tape.



    Just remember, the video can be viewed by anyone with the link, so only give it to people you trust! For more information, check out our Help Center page.
    URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/05/posted-by-jen-chen-software-engineer_13.html

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    [G] Hello Google Apps, hello real collaboration

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    Official Google Blog: Hello Google Apps, hello real collaboration

    This is the latest post in an ongoing series about Small Business and resources for entrepreneurs. Previous posts have covered how Google AdWords and Google Places can help business owners use technology to drive success. -Ed.

    I’ve talked to a lot of small businesses that don’t have the budget or the resources to invest in and maintain technology. That’s why I love telling them about Google Apps — a suite of web-based office tools — and how it can help move their businesses forward.

    I always find that it’s easier for small businesses to understand the benefits of Google Apps when one of our customers tells the story for us. So I’ve asked Stephen Culp, Founder and Chairman of Chattanooga, TN-based Smart Furniture and CEO of Delegator, to share his experiences with Google Apps, and how he took a company that started out in a Stanford professor’s garage and made it a success. (Sound familiar?) We’ll continue the conversation with Stephen and other Google Apps customers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce America’s Small Business Summit next week in Washington, D.C.
    As the founder of three companies, an attorney, Naval Reserve Officer and former Peace Corps volunteer, I’m a believer in an entrepreneurial approach to virtually everything. Smart Furniture, for example, started back in 1998 in a Stanford professor’s garage, with a new business model called “Design on Demand®” that allows furniture and interiors for homes and offices to be customized for you, and more importantly, by you, all on the web.

    Smart Furniture began as a small and growing company with phenomenal people, but limited budget (and time) for technology, especially the wrong kind. We tried for years to scale efficiently without pouring money into the “standard” infrastructure to run our business. We considered the idea of Microsoft® Exchange, and while the idea was great, in practice it got a lot more complicated — and expensive.

    Then, in 2008, we discovered Google Apps. We liked the general virtues of SaaS applications that were inherent in Google Apps, and the fact that the applications improved over time without any effort from our team. Plus, the collaborative benefits were game-changing. Google Apps took that idea of efficient, company-wide collaboration and — unlike the alternatives — made it real.

    In other words, for us, Google Apps does just what technology should. It frees up resources to focus on our actual business. It offers tools we didn’t have — or hadn’t integrated — before, including third-party apps from the Google Apps Marketplace. It replaces unnecessary layers of tech silliness with a simple, intuitive, integrated platform that actually serves us — our team and our goals.

    Google Calendar alone increases our efficiency exponentially. Everyone can look at the same calendars, create new ones for events, projects or work groups, and share them, without having to master a byzantine instruction manual. Then there are the collaboration benefits. Before Google Apps, we’d constantly lose information as people changed roles or moved on to new projects. With Google Sites, we’ve eliminated the need for shared servers and their little air-conditioned server rooms, and replaced our entire intranet with one comfortably situated in the cloud. We use Google Sites to store company files and team members’ bios, and support our project groups. Meanwhile, Google Docs allows everyone to contribute to projects and idea creation — a key part of our company culture. We create documents to solicit feedback, track ideas, keep common agendas, take notes, prepare for meetings, manage inventory and even organize our company’s softball league. It’s part of almost everything we do.

    Yes, our IT guys freaked out at first. Some thought that eliminating the maintenance of our previous system, a.k.a. Frankenstein, would make them no longer necessary. What they didn’t realize was how much better their jobs would get. Now they have the time to work on interesting projects — building, creating and innovating, rather than constantly rebuilding, patching and defragmenting. Our team is amazing, and we’re glad to have them back out of that air-conditioned server room.

    At Smart Furniture, Google Apps helps build and support our culture, an important part of the secret sauce that has helped us succeed. Our culture keeps all of us working together, enjoying our days, not peering out the window wondering when we can clock out. As any company grows, it’s hard to maintain the sense of close collaboration that a small business has. Google Apps keeps us chatting (we all use chat in Gmail), collaborating, learning and growing together, as if we were still in the one-room office where we began — which was, incidentally, about the same size as the server room we were planning to build for Exchange.

    In our experience, as a small business, the wrong technology can distract your team and drain resources, while the right technology can seamlessly support your goals. Both Smart Furniture and Delegator are on pace for greater than 100 percent growth in 2010. Customer satisfaction rates are at record levels, and we love where we work. For us, Google Apps is the right technology.

    Stephen in the flagship Smart Furniture Studio
    Posted by Tom Oliveri, Director, Google Apps and Enterprise
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/hello-google-apps-hello-real.html

    [G] A word is worth 884 pictures

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    Official Google Blog: A word is worth 884 pictures

    (A version of this post first appeared on the author’s personal blog. -Ed.)

    I’ve always enjoyed big, ambitious and sometimes slightly bizarre projects. For instance, you might remember a few years back when a bunch of Googlers and I ordered a quarter-ton of Silly Putty for the fun of it. More recently, I had the thought that it would be neat to create a “real” photomosaic — that is, not a poster where you have many tiny, postage-stamp-sized images playing the role of the “tiles” that make up a larger image, but a collection of real, high-resolution 4×6 photographs making up a bigger picture.

    Part of the appeal of this project was that it was complicated. First, in order to have enough “tiles” to make the underlying image clear, I knew we’d need a really, really large wall. Second, for you to be able to appreciate both the underlying image and the individual tiles, you’d have to be able to see the mosaic from a large distance (so the tiles blend to create the larger image), and also be able to walk right up to it to look at individual photographs. So the wall would have to be at the end of a long hallway. Third, if you can inspect individual images, then those images would have to be nice, crisp, high-resolution photographs. So I’d have to amass a whole bunch of really high-resolution photos directly from good photographers, and I’d have to figure out exactly where to place all those photos within the image. And finally, I knew I’d need a lot of people to help glue all the photos!

    Fortunately, working at Google puts me in a position where these things are possible: we had a giant open wall at the end of a hallway in our London offices; two dozen avid Google photographers uploaded 5,000 photos to use as the tiles (using Picasa, of course); and everyone I talked to about the project said, “That’s neat! How can I help?” So last week, a group of friends, fellow Googlers and I completed our project: a giant Google logo (and yes, it’s the new logo) made out of 884 individually printed 4×6 photographs of people, places and things around the U.K.

    We were all really pleased with the result, and it’s best viewed in person. Seeing it from 100 feet away, taking it in clearly as the Google logo, and then walking right up to it to inspect the details of individual images is very cool. But for anyone not in London, here’s an attempt to recreate that experience:

    The full mosaic

    Zoomed in on the right of the yellow "o" and the left of the lowercase "g".

    Zoomed in to an individual photo.

    We also took a time-lapse video of the construction process, which started in the evening and went late into the night. (The later it got, the hazier we felt — not because of the hour, but because of all of the fumes from the rubber cement!) The camera took a shot every seven seconds, so about 5.5 hours of work are compressed to a bit over a minute here. The video is best seen in full screen HD so you can see the individual photos as they go up:


    Posted by Clay Bavor, Group Product Manager
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/word-is-worth-884-pictures.html