Saturday, June 12, 2010

[G] The power of human rights video

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Official Google Blog: The power of human rights video

A year ago this weekend, Tehran erupted in protest at the disputed results of Iran’s tenth presidential election. In the severe government crackdown that followed, documented on cameras and uploaded by citizens to YouTube, no moment has been seen more than the death of Neda Agha Soltan, a young musician whose brutal killing by a sniper became the rallying cry for Iran’s opposition Green Movement. The anonymous videos of her death even won the prestigious George Polk prize for journalism last year.

How has video become such an important part of human rights advocacy worldwide?  In the past, we mainly saw these kinds of images in the nightly news or in documentaries - and even then only occasionally. But now that access to the Internet is much more widespread (even in many developing countries), and billions worldwide have access to ever more powerful cellphones and digital cameras, we encounter human rights images much more directly - on YouTube, in Google searches, in Facebook feeds, through links shared on Twitter.

Today the YouTube blog begins a series of posts exploring the issues around human rights and video in partnership with WITNESS, an international human rights organization that supports people using video to document and expose human rights violations. We encourage you to learn more.

Posted by Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, YouTube
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/power-of-human-rights-video.html

[G] Neda Soltan and the power of human rights video

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YouTube Blog: Neda Soltan and the power of human rights video

A year ago this weekend, Tehran erupted in protest at the disputed results of Iran’s tenth presidential election. In the severe government crackdown that followed, documented on cameras and uploaded by citizens to YouTube, no moment has been seen more than the death of Neda Agha Soltan, a young musician whose brutal killing by a sniper became the rallying cry for Iran’s opposition Green Movement. The anonymous videos of her death even won a prestigious George Polk award for journalism last year.

Today on the YouTube homepage, we're featuring a documentary from director Antony Thomas and HBO, entitled "For Neda". The film highlights how citizen reporting has become so important to human rights that even world leaders are paying attention to it. For example, as you’ll see in “For Neda,” President Obama talks about watching the video of Neda’s death, calling it “heartbreaking” and “unjust.”



We’re also taking this opportunity to begin a series of blog posts in partnership with WITNESS, an international human rights organization that supports people using video to document and expose human rights violations, to explore these issues.

How has video become such an important part of human rights advocacy worldwide? At its heart, human rights video is about making something visible that was not visible before. Seeing human rights abuses with our own eyes is very different than reading about the same abuses in a story or a blog post or a Tweet. In the past, we mainly saw these kinds of images in the nightly news or in documentaries -- and even then only occasionally. But now that camera usage and access to the Internet is much more widespread (including in many developing countries), we encounter human rights images much more directly. For example, Burma, Tibet and Iran are places where it’s difficult for local or international media to report, so when mass protests were met with violent force, it falls on ordinary people to try to get images out.

Human rights video is about more than capturing images of abuse as they happen, however. Direct testimony from victims or local activists can provide powerful and compelling evidence of human rights violations. Testimonies like that of "Mary," a Zimbabwean political activist who was abducted, raped and beaten in a secret torture center after the disputed 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, have unique power to help us see what those who have suffered human rights abuses see, to feel what they feel, and to hear what they want to happen.

Videos alone aren’t usually enough; in order to make an impact, activists organize around the content. Sometimes organization is required simply to ensure the content finds an audience: in Iran, it was a networked web of activists who organized proxy servers and emailed footage to a diaspora outside of the country to ensure the videos got around the government's block of YouTube. Other times, coordinated campaigns ensure that citizens are called to action in courts, public squares or parliaments, as has happened in Brazil, Kenya, India or in the International Criminal Court. This isn't a phenomenon confined to developing countries or repressive regimes; it’s also happening in the U.S. Testimony as part of a campaign against elder abuse across the U.S. has helped expose stories that would otherwise go untold, and to pass legislation that improves the lives of millions of citizens. In our next post, we'll talk more specifically about what you can do to make sure videos you've uploaded or care about can have maximum impact for human rights.

As online spaces become more and more important for sharing and accessing information, we believe that access to the Internet itself is becoming a key factor in human rights in the 21st century. To make that a reality, governments, businesses, activists and citizens need to take a collective stand to ensure that video can shine a light into the darkest corners of human society, providing paths to justice to those who need it most. Both at WITNESS and at YouTube we're committed to helping build a global movement for human rights video that does just that.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, YouTube, and Sameer Padania for WITNESS


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/GEVv07nnPoc/neda-soltan-and-power-of-human-rights.html

Friday, June 11, 2010

[G] Notes from SambaXP 2010

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Google Open Source Blog: Notes from SambaXP 2010

Hello, I’m Jeremy Allison, a Google engineer in the Open Source Programs Office and a Samba Team member. I recently returned from SambaXP, the annual Samba Team coding bash and get-together in Göttingen, Germany, held from May 5th - 7th. There were several notable outcomes from the conference, which I’ll share here.

We launched the new look for the samba.org web site at the conference, refreshing the Samba web site with a 21st Century design.


We listened to many presentations, had lots of meetings, and drank fine German beer. I gave a presentation on "How to make a product with Samba," (PDF of slides) aimed at helping companies use Samba in commercial products.


The Microsoft engineers who are working on the SMB (Server Message Block) and SMB2 file-sharing network protocols are Samba Team friends and they returned to the conference this year - in fact, Tom Talpey from Microsoft announced a new project to design UNIX extensions for the SMB2 protocol.


The Samba Team is still making great strides on the next release of Samba, Samba4. Samba creator Dr. Andrew Tridgell from IBM (just to be formal for once... everyone still just calls him "tridge") demonstrated two-way replication between a Microsoft Active Directory domain and a Samba4 Domain. There is still much work to be done on the AD domain controller code, but there is starting to be light visible at the end of the tunnel in getting to a "stable" 4.0 release. Maybe by SambaXP next year there will be an exciting new announcement on this subject.


After consultations with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Linux distributions, the Samba Team decided to move to a nine month period between major Samba releases instead of the previous six month release cycle. The strain of keeping to the six monthly cycle was too great on the release process, and nine months should give a better balance between having time for feature development and time for testing of the Samba production release code.

Plans for the merging of the existing file server (smbd) and authentication daemon code (winbindd) with the Active Directory code (samba) were made, and tridge demonstrated Samba4 printing for the first time.

Günther Deschner from Red Hat won the "Code Janitor of the Year" award yet again, for his clean up of the old printing code, and was only just beaten to the post as the top code commit contributor into Samba by Stefan "the Machine" Metzmacher from SerNet.









John Terpstra of Primastasys announced the clean up of the Samba.org support page as part of the new look for the Samba.org web site. John will be ensuring all companies offering Samba support on the site are kept up to date for users to contact.

Thanks to Google for sponsoring the event, and SerNet for hosting. The slides from all the presentations are available here. If you didn't go, you were missed - and you should certainly make an effort to be there next year!

By Jeremy Allison, Open Source Team

URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/06/notes-from-sambaxp-2010.html

[G] Food Network looking for its next star on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Food Network looking for its next star on YouTube

Calling all video-making chefs! The Food Network is taking to YouTube to find culinary talents to compete for the chance to host their own TV show. Chef Bobby Flay explains:







Your task is to submit a video showcasing your personality and cooking skills to http://www.youtube.com/foodnetwork. The grand prize winner will get a private audition with Food Network execs Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson in New York City.



If you want to start sizing up the competition, try to top yummeo as he concocts fish tacos:







Entries are due July 16, 2010, and “The Next Food Network Star” is brought to you by Samsung.



Good luck!



Sadia Harper, Howto & Style Manager, recently watched “The 90 Second Gourmet - Coq Au Vin.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/nijyle0ulmo/food-network-looking-for-its-next-star.html

[G] New AdWords reports in Google Analytics now available to all

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Inside AdWords: New AdWords reports in Google Analytics now available to all

Last month we released a major update to the AdWords reports in Google Analytics. Today, we’re making this functionality available to all AdWords advertisers. The new reports give you deeper insight into the performance of your AdWords campaigns.

If you're a fan of the Placement Performance report in AdWords, you should take a look at the Placements report in Google Analytics. The Placements report lets you analyze the visits your site received from ads on the Google Content Network, and it offers more insight and information than the AdWords PPR. You can see the number of visits, the number of conversions, and engagement metrics like bounce rate and time on site.

If you’ve ever wondered how day of the week or time of day affected your ads, you’ll find the Day Parts reports very helpful. With the report, you can see the visits from your ads broken down by hour of day or day of the week. By graphing visits and transactions, you can uncover the times of day when you see more conversions. You can then use ad scheduling to increase your bids during those times.

In order to use the new reports, you need to link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts with destination URL auto-tagging turned on. If you haven’t already done this, you can set it up by clicking on the Reporting tab, then Google Analytics. You’ll find the new reports in the Traffic Sources section of your reports.

You can learn more about the reports and see a video of them in action on the Google Ad Innovations page.

Posted by Emily Williams, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-adwords-reports-in-google-analytics.html

[G] “If you work at Hiatus, you’ve gone Google!”

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: “If you work at Hiatus, you’ve gone Google!”

Editor’s note: Continuing our “Going Google Everywhere” series, we’ve invited Sheila Garrison and Kristin Heaton-Peabody, co-founders of Hiatus Spa + Retreat, to explain how Google Apps helped them launch and grow their socially conscious spa in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about other organizations that have gone Google on our community map.




Pictured: Hiatus Spa + Retreat co-founders Kristin Heaton-Peabody and Sheila Garrison

Our business, Hiatus Spa + Retreat, was born out of necessity. As professionals who worked entirely unreasonable hours, and habitual spa users, we were left with few options that fulfilled our needs for an escape to renew body and mind without breaking our wallets. And as serial entrepreneurs, it didn’t take us long to recognize a significant need in the marketplace for a superlative spa experience at a reasonable price. With that in mind, our core mission was firmly set: to make the world a better place, one spa service at a time.

We started writing the business plan in 2006, which took us nearly a year to perfect, then we started looking at Dallas real estate. We started using Google Apps in fall 2007, before we opened; with founders based in both Dallas and Laguna Beach, California, Docs was essential to helping us finalize details such as our initial spa menu (we wished we’d had Docs when we wrote the business plan!). In December 2007 we opened the doors to Hiatus, a full-service day spa featuring a monthly membership and affordable pricing -- the first of its kind in the United States.

We now have our entire team of 30 using Google Apps. Google Apps is perfectly reflective of who we are as founders: it’s all about transparency, efficiency and environmental consciousness. That’s the way we run our lives and business. Google Apps empowers us to work more effectively than previously imaginable (and we spent more than 15 years working in the technology sector!). Through Google Docs, our ability to sit-down, as a company—in multiple cities—and collaborate on one single document, real-time, has become essential.

I simply can’t imagine going backward. With a team spread across several states (including lawyers and consultants in Chicago), we can work on shared Docs across multiple time zones without missing a beat. Employees can access our employee handbook and other spa documents we use daily, plus we keep our on-call schedule in Google Calendar. If you work at Hiatus, you’ve gone Google!

As our business has grown (we enjoyed 83% growth in 2009 and are on track for a 60% increase in 2010, in an otherwise complicated economy), Google Apps has consistently proved invaluable. With the limitations of traditional inbox mail storage, our team had difficulty storing important documents and retrieving them in a real-time fashion. With Apps, we can de-clutter inboxes and provide consistent up-to-date information via Google Docs.

As any entrepreneur knows, organizational “betterments” happen on a daily basis. The business is always a work in progress, and you can’t rely on the notion that your team always has the latest and greatest information. Hosting our critical documents in the cloud also appeals to our eco-conscious sensibilities -- can you imagine how many trees are being saved on a daily basis from not re-printing employee manuals?

We’re also finding new uses from Docs as we grow, from managing construction and budgeting for our expansion into the space next door to event planning for our screening of “Tapped”, as a fundraiser for the Global Greengrants Fund and the Gulf Restoration Network. We’re still working ridiculous hours, but Google Apps helps us be as efficient as possible -- and now at least we have a sanctuary to find our center.

Find out how going Google can help your organization with the Cloud Calculator.


Posted by Colleen Horan, Google Enterprise team

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/06/if-you-work-at-hiatus-youve-gone-google.html

[G] Blazing the online safety trail

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Google Public Policy Blog: Blazing the online safety trail

Posted by Mandy Albanese, Online Safety team
(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

When I was in middle school, computer class was spent learning the basics of “keyboarding” and rushing to finish the lesson so I could get back to my journey on the Oregon Trail. My main goal was to survive the river crossings, maintain enough buffalo meat to sustain my family and arrive safely in California with my entire fake family still alive.

Today, many schools are teaching their first graders the basic computer skills I was learning at 13. Teens have always been the quickest adopters of new technology, as parents and teachers struggle to keep up and equip teens to make good decisions online.

When I visited Dunne Technology Academy in South Chicago earlier this week, most of the students were getting ready for their summer break, but we paused for a bit to talk about what they’re doing online. The majority of these tech-savvy teens had all encountered cyberbullying at some point, had seen pictures and information on profiles they thought were inappropriate, and had had someone try to trick them through a phishing scam.

We spent the day discussing ways to avoid being scammed, how to create an online profile that can be an asset rather than a liability, and actions you can take if you’re being bullied, harassed or see inappropriate content. Most students seemed to understand that their online identity and their “real world” self were one and the same, and that they have choices in managing their content and reputation online. We agreed that by applying the rules of good citizenship online, the Internet would be a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

So while teens have more difficult choices online today than to ford or to ferry the river in Oregon Trail, we can prepare them to make smart decisions online. Check out the educational materials from our Digital Literacy Tour in our Google For Educators site at www.google.com/educators/digitalliteracy.html.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/06/blazing-online-safety-trail.html

[G] Share your drawings with the Google Docs template gallery

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Official Google Docs Blog: Share your drawings with the Google Docs template gallery

Since the launch of Google Docs drawings, we’ve been excited to see you not only create really impressive and useful drawings, but also actively share them with the world. In order to make it easier for you to share your drawings, we’ve added drawings to the Google Docs template gallery. Sharing via the gallery gives you categories, ratings, and even usage counts for drawings you’ve submitted.

Here are a couple examples of drawing templates currently in the gallery:




Some other examples already available include a coin puzzle, a series of United States maps, a business model example, isometrics, a floor plan, and an interactive learning object.

Go check out the drawings in the gallery, and please submit your best drawings to the public, so that everyone can easily take advantage of your hard work. And, let us know if you’ve made something that will blow our minds, and you’d like us to feature your drawing here on the Google Docs blog.

Posted by: Bob Rose, Software Engineer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/06/share-your-drawings-with-google-docs.html

[G] Blazing the online safety trail

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Official Google Blog: Blazing the online safety trail

When I was in middle school, computer class was spent learning the basics of “keyboarding” and rushing to finish the lesson so I could get back to my journey on the Oregon Trail. My main goal was to survive the river crossings, maintain enough buffalo meat to sustain my family and arrive safely in California with my entire fake family still alive.

Today, many schools are teaching their first graders the basic computer skills I was learning at 13. Teens have always been the quickest adopters of new technology, as parents and teachers struggle to keep up and equip teens to make good decisions online.

When I visited Dunne Technology Academy in South Chicago earlier this week, most of the students were getting ready for their summer break, but we paused for a bit to talk about what they’re doing online. The majority of these tech-savvy teens had all encountered cyberbullying at some point, had seen pictures and information on profiles they thought were inappropriate, and had had someone try to trick them through a phishing scam.

We spent the day discussing ways to avoid being scammed, how to create an online profile that can be an asset rather than a liability, and actions you can take if you’re being bullied, harassed or see inappropriate content. Most students seemed to understand that their online identity and their “real world” self were one and the same, and that they have choices in managing their content and reputation online. We agreed that by applying the rules of good citizenship online, the Internet would be a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

So while teens have more difficult choices online today than to ford or to ferry the river in Oregon Trail, we can prepare them to make smart decisions online. Check out the educational materials from our Digital Literacy Tour in our Google For Educators site at www.google.com/educators/digitalliteracy.html.


Posted by Mandy Albanese, Online Safety team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/blazing-online-safety-trail.html

[G] The Power of Multiple Custom Variables

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Google Analytics Blog: The Power of Multiple Custom Variables

This is the first part of a two part deep dive guest post about using Multiple Custom Variables written by Allaedin Ezzeidin from E-Nor, a Google Analytics Certified Partner in Northern California.

This time of year is the perfect time for a deep-dive analysis of your online business. Summer is about to get under way, and the school year and holidays are a ways off. Equipped with the "Google Analytics more Powerful, Flexible and Intelligent" feature set, we are now able to extract insights that weren't available to us in the past, and go beyond the out-of-the-box reports and segmentations. We'll take a deep dive below, and you can also read more in the help center here.

One of the most amazing features made available in the October 20, 2009 announcement was Multiple Custom Variables (MCV). Google calls it "MCV" and I call it "Google’s gift to humanity". Prior to the MCV announcement, we were limited to tagging visitors by a single variable (SetVar) based on their interactions with a site. With the new MCV feature we can now track visitors according to any number of interactions and behaviors on the site.

In this post, I will walk you through a practical example that I hope you can apply to your own business.

Say you have an online store where you sell clothes for men, women and kids. You (and your boss) are not satisfied with aggregate data, so you go to your friendly marketing manager and web analyst and ask them to segment and segment deep! What you really want is to have more visibility into the shopping experience based on:
  • products and departments of interest
    • departments: men, women, etc.
    • categories: athletic, suits, shirts, etc.
    • special sections: wedding registry, wish list, etc.
  • buyers & non-buyers
  • site language selection: English, Spanish, etc.
Your request shall be answered using the powers of MCV! Here is a brief illustration of how it works.

What does "Multiple Custom Variables" do?

The Multiple Custom Variables feature allows us to label visitors at three levels, "visitor", "session" and "page":

1. Visitor-level Labels

These labels are permanent and will stay attached to the visitor for the current and future visits as long as the visitor's cookies are not cleared and the specific label is not overwritten by another label.

2. Session-level Labels

These labels stay attached with the visitor as long as the visitor is active on the site. Once the visitor leaves the site or the session expires, the labels will disappear.

3. Page-level Labels

Visitors can be assigned to labels at the page level if they interact with certain events (flash, video, Ajax...) or view certain pages.

Now, let's go back to our online store example and walk through our implementation strategy and technical details.

The Strategy

As visitors enter the store website, they will be tagged with different labels based on the pages they visit (products and store departments):

Example 1:

Tom is an English-speaking visitor, viewed a product (women pajamas), added the item to the shopping cart and then completed the purchase transaction.

At the end of the session, Tom’s visit will be labeled as the following:

Example 2:

Sara is a Spanish-speaking visitor, viewed a few products (men and women apparels), and then left the site without buying.

At the end of the session, Sara’s visit will be labeled as following:

The How

1. Customizing the tracking code:

Visitor-level Labels

At the visitor level we will use custom variables to segment visits based on the site interface language selection. This custom variable will stay attached to the visitors for future visits starting from the visit in which they selected the interface language (until they clear their cookies).

Setting the value of "interface-language":

Visitors are assigned to the language segment according to their selection in the language form.

Add custom code to the form onSubmit event as illustrated below:

<form onSubmit="pageTracker._setCustomVar(1, 'interface-language', this.mymenu.options[this.mymenu.selectedIndex].value, 1); pageTracker._trackPageview()">
<select name=mymenu>
<option value="arabic">Arabic</option>
<option value="english">English</option>
<option value="franch">Franch</option>
<option value="spanish">Spanish</option>
<input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Submit">
</form>

Session-level Labels

At the session level we will use custom variables to distinguish visitors’ behavior across sessions based on their conversion. In this way, we can segment visits by those who complete ecommerce transactions versus those who just browse products in the site.

A visitor will be tagged as a "buyer" if he or she completes a transaction. If they do not buy, the visitor will be tagged as a "justlooking".

Setting the value of "visitor-type" to "buyer":

In the transaction confirmation page (thank you page) add the following code inside the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) right before the pageview GIF request _trackPageview()

pageTracker._setCustomVar(2, "visitor-type", "Buyer", 2);

If it is not possible to add the custom code inside the GATC, then add the following code after the GATC:

<script type="text/javascript">
pageTracker._setCustomVar(2, "visitor-type", "Buyer", 2);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>

Setting the default value of "visitor-type" to "justlooking":

All visitors will be tagged by default as "justlooking" once they enter the site by setting the value of the custom variable "visitor-type" to "justlooking" at the session-level.

Add the code provided here to all landing pages right after the GATC.

High-level description of the code:
  • extracts the "_utmb" string from the cookies set by Google Analytics
  • extracts the "pageview count" value from the _utmb cookie
  • if the session's "pageview count" is equal to 1 (landing page), sets the value of "visitor-type" to "justlooking"

Page-level Labels

At the page level we will use custom variables to determine which products' categories and store departments are more visited. We will set a custom variable at the page level for each product, where the product category and the department for that product is set as a custom variable.

Setting the value of "store-department" and "product-category":

In each product page, add the following code inside the GATC right before the pageview GIF request _trackPageview()

pageTracker._setCustomVar(3, "store-department", “Men", 3);
pageTracker._setCustomVar(4, "product-category", "Suits", 3);

Setting the value of "gift-option":

Visitors will be tagged based on their gift card and registry selections.

Add the below code to the respective pages right after the GATC:

www.domain.com/baby-registry.html

<script type="text/javascript">
pageTracker._setCustomVar(5, "gift-option", "Baby-Registry", 3);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>


www.domain.com/wedding-registry.html

<script type="text/javascript">
pageTracker._setCustomVar(5, "gift-option", "Wedding-Registry", 3);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>


www.domain.com/wish-list.html

<script type="text/javascript">
pageTracker._setCustomVar(5, "gift-option", "Wish-List", 3);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>


Enough coding! You should now be equipped to create and use MCV. Next post, we'll take another slant and show you how to create custom segments using the values you've designated in your MCV.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/06/power-of-multiple-custom-variables.html

[G] Blogger Template Designer now available to everyone

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Official Google Blog: Blogger Template Designer now available to everyone

In March, we launched the Blogger Template Designer on Blogger in Draft, our experimental playground where you can try out the latest features Blogger has to offer. Today we’re excited to announce that the Blogger Template Designer has graduated from Blogger in Draft and is now available to everyone by default.

Blogger Template Designer is a way for you to easily customize the look of your blog without knowing any HTML or CSS. You can select from a variety of templates, images, colors and column layouts to make your blog an expression of you. See our post on Blogger Buzz for the highlights on this new tool.

You can try the Template Designer on your blog now by going to the “Design” menu, then selecting “Template Designer.” Even if you don’t have a blog — or weren’t planning to redecorate the one you have — you can try out the Blogger Template Designer and play around with potential designs. If you like one, you can apply it to a new blog or to an existing blog.

If you want to learn more on how the Blogger Template Designer can help you create your own unique blog designs, watch our video and check out the Blogger Buzz blog.



Posted by Chang Kim, Blogger Product Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/blogger-template-designer-now-available.html

[G] FIFA.com and Google team up to help fans celebrate the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

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Official Google Blog: FIFA.com and Google team up to help fans celebrate the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

The 2010 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in South Africa. During the month-long tournament, millions of fans around the world will follow the games.

To mark the event, FIFA.com, the world’s official football website, and Google have collaborated on a range of online features to help supporters keep track of how each team is doing throughout the tournament. Whether you’re searching for FIFA World Cup news or want to voice your opinion on a player’s performance, we have a number of ways for fans to stay on top of the action:

Follow your team while browsing the Internet: stay up-to-date when you’re online with the FIFA.com Chrome extension. Get a live feed of FIFA World Cup results, news and match statistics and if you’re supporting a particular team, personalise the gadget for alerts of goals scored by your team as they happen.

See the latest scores and schedules in search results: search for [world cup], [world cup spain], [world cup group g] and more, and you’ll see live scores, latest results and match schedules at the top of your search results. You’ll find quick links to game recaps, live updates, standings and team profiles on FIFA.com.

Follow the tournament on your personalised home page: get all the latest information on FIFA World Cup teams, players and matches streamed to your very own home page with the iGoogle Gadget. If you want to know more about where all the action is happening, click on the ‘venues’ tab to take a closer look at the stadiums.

Get a feel for what it’s like to be there: FIFA.com and South African Tourism have used Google Maps to add information about the host cities, stadiums and attractions, giving people easy access to these sights with Street View and 3D views: maps.google.com/exploresouthafrica

You can get access to all of these features from FIFA.com and Google by visiting google.com/worldcup

Good luck to all, and may the best team win!

Posted by Yonca Brunini, Marketing Director
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/fifacom-and-google-team-up-to-help-fans.html

[G] Kicking around search trends for the World Cup

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Official Google Blog: Kicking around search trends for the World Cup

If you’re a certain type of sports fan, you’ve been waiting four years to get to June 11, 2010—the kick-off of the World Cup and 30 days of football (soccer to some of us) madness, with 64 matches played by 32 teams from around the world.

As we’ve done before, we took a look at the search data using tools like Google Insights for Search—as well as some internal resources—to see what we could uncover about the upcoming tournament and its global audience. Search patterns can truly reflect the “pulse” of the world, and we found that the pulse of World Cup fever is beating strong as millions of fans hold tight to the hope that their team will make history as the 2010 champion.

It’s often said that football is a global sport, and that’s certainly true in search. Searches for [world cup 2010], [copa mundial] and [월드 컵] are all spiking, although overall World Cup buzz seems to be off to a slower start in 2010 than in the months leading up to the 2006 tournament, based on global trends for queries like [world cup] and [fifa world cup]. India is the #1 country searching for [fifa world cup schedule], [fifa 2010 schedule] and similar queries. And as the match-up between anglophone rivals England and USA approaches, searches for [england world cup] continue to far surpass interest in [usa world cup].

Most of us will be watching the matches on TV in pubs and living rooms, but a few lucky spectators will get to watch in person in South Africa. Searches for [world cup tickets] peaked in mid-April, and have since declined. But whether home or abroad, we’re all searching for the best way to show support for our team. Searches for [world cup decoration] have risen, and a glimpse at the Dutch shows queries for [oranje versiering] (“orange decoration”; orange is the Netherland’s national color) and [orange] have risen sharply for the last three months, as they have in 2006 and 2008 for the World Cup and European Cup.

All eyes—and hopes—are now hanging on the football stars who will be dribbling, passing and scoring for their countries. In search, the winning player is already clear: Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese team captain and talented forward.



But many others are also being closely watched, especially the handful of players who have been injured in the days leading up to the start of the tournament. Queries on the Ivory Coast’s [drogba], England’s [rooney], Germany’s [ballack] and Italy's [pirlo] have all spiked in this fashion. And the Netherlands is apparently far more concerned about Arjen Robben's injury than their national elections. In the days leading up to the June 9 elections, between four and five times as many searches were done for [robben] than either of the two popular candidates [wilders] or [balkenende].

We’ll be back throughout the next month to highlight more search trends from the World Cup. In the meantime, you can explore trends on your own using Google Trends and Google Insights for Search, or see what topics other fans are discussing with the "Updates" mode and other search tools in the left panel of your Google search results page.

Posted by Jaime Forman-Lau, Consumer Operations Strategist
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/kicking-around-search-trends-for-world.html

Thursday, June 10, 2010

[G] 2010 World Cup: All eyes on South Africa

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YouTube Blog: 2010 World Cup: All eyes on South Africa

Teams representing 32 nations have gathered in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM, the quadrennial football (aka soccer) tournament celebrating the world’s most popular game, which begins Friday, June 11, and concludes in a month, with the championship match on Sunday, July 11.



This World Cup has special significance as it will be the first time the event has been held in Africa, where the game has been growing by leaps and bounds – besides host nation South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria will each be competing.



According to FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the sport’s governing body, the World Cup is the most-widely viewed sporting event in the world, with fans everywhere following their teams with rapt attention.



On YouTube, there will be many ways to feel World Cup fever. Here are some channels to subscribe to:

- ESPN will have extensive coverage of the event, including match highlights, and have put together a set of 32 videos profiling each of the national teams:









- Univision will be uploading Spanish-language video around the event, with special coverage of the Mexican national team.

- The U.S. team will face England in one of the Cup’s most-anticipated matches on Saturday, June 12. Get behind-the-scenes footage of each team on their respective channels: U.S.A., England.

- Coca-Cola is celebrating the tradition of the post-goal dance, giving people a chance to submit their original moves to the “Longest Celebration.” Submit here.

- Visa is creating an epic video of fans around the world screaming “GOOOAAALLL!” in the style of the iconic soccer announcer Andrés Cantor. Submit your video here.

- Last but certainly not least, Portugal striker extraordinaire (and international heartthrob) Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the YouTube community, with videos like this:










Olé olé olé!

Andrew Bangs, Sports Manager, recently watched "My 2010 World Cup Predictions."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/Qf5Fwv1jU78/2010-world-cup-all-eyes-on-south-africa.html

[G] Blogger Template Designer Now Available To Everyone

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Blogger Buzz: Blogger Template Designer Now Available To Everyone

When we launched the Blogger Template Designer to Blogger in Draft in March, you gave us a lot of feedback and suggestions. Our blog post received nearly 1,000 comments and many of you shared your blog’s new looks on Twitter using #newbloggertemplate. Since the launch, we fixed many bugs and added even more themes and background images. But the Blogger Template Designer has only been available on Blogger in Draft, which is why we’re excited to announce that the Blogger Template Designer is now available to everyone.




Highlights

How you look online is important, and everybody wants to look unique. With the Blogger Template Designer, you can create your own blog designs through:
  • Beautiful new templates. We’ve designed 19 brand-new templates, with more on the way. You can quickly give your blog a great new style by selecting one of the new templates.[1]
  • Separating design from layout. Designs are completely defined in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), meaning that any design can be applied to any blog layout, making templates more flexible and unique.
  • Hundreds of free, professional background images. We've paired up with iStockphoto to offer you hundreds of gorgeous background images at no cost.
  • A single control to change all your design's colors. With other platforms, users have to define every color in their blog separately, making changing the color theme of your blog a tedious task. The Blogger Template Designer lets you change all the colors in your blog at once, by changing the Main color theme.
  • Pixel-perfect layout manipulation via smooth resizing. You can define your layout down to the pixel via sliders that update the blog's preview in real time.
  • A real-time preview sits below the design control panel. Watch your blog update as you create your template design.
  • Keeping it simple. Throughout the Template Designer we use hierarchy to hide complexity from you.
  • Complete control. Under the advanced tab, you can override a design's CSS and enter your own CSS in the editor and see your blog's preview updated in real time.
  • Cross-browser support. Blogger handles cross browser support for you, so you don’t have to. Want a design with rounded corners? We give it to you in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome.


Try it now!

Anyone can try out the template designer here. If you like your design, you can apply it to a new blog or to an existing blog. You can also try the Template Designer on your blog (Design > Template Designer).

Feel free to spread the word with the #newbloggertemplate hashtag on Google Buzz or Twitter. If you are a template designer, you are also welcome to join the Blogger Template Design Group.  If you have feedback or suggestions, let us know on the forums.

As always, thanks for using Blogger!


[1] Note: Selecting a new template will erase all of your customizations on the existing template, so if you have customized your template be sure to first save the current template at Design > Edit HTML.
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2010/06/blogger-template-designer-now-available.html

[G] Long lived new windows

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Official Gmail Blog: Long lived new windows

Posted by Michael Davidson, Software Engineer

I recently posted about Gmail's fast new windows and explained that the only downside of them was that they closed when the main Gmail window closed. Today, we're changing that. If you're using the latest version of Google Chrome, you can now continue to work in popped out windows after you close your main window (especially handy for those of us who always like to keep an eye on our tasks).

For the technically curious among you, our friends on the Chrome team made it possible to transfer the code that runs Gmail from one window to another as the window closes. When the window that hosts the code fires an unload event, we move the iframe with the code to a surviving window. Everything continues to run, including timers and outstanding requests.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-lived-new-windows.html

[G] Settle trivia debates anytime, anywhere

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Settle trivia debates anytime, anywhere

Last month we launched a way to provide short answers to search queries, and it's now available on your iPhone, Palm WebOS or Android-powered device in English. If you’re like us, you may sometimes engage in trivia matches with friends on topics as far ranging as, what continent is Turkey in?, Star Wars release date?, or Augustus’ successor? Now you can settle that debate there and then by searching Google from your mobile; you can speak your question into Google Search on Android or Google Mobile App for iPhone, or you can visit google.com from your mobile browser to type your search.

If your friends challenge the answer provided in Google Search results, you can corroborate the information with a list of websites by clicking on the “Show sources” link. The source list includes the relevant text from each page so you can quickly verify whether Google interpreted the context of the answer correctly. You can also click through to the original website to get all the details.

We continue to work on providing short answers to more questions. Here are some additional examples to try:
  • Who’s taller? [height of kobe bryant] or [height of paul pierce]
  • Geography trivia? [capital of massachusetts], [language in netherlands]
  • Literature trivia? [author of les miserables], [george eliot’s gender]
  • Movie trivia? [release date of shrek], [director of harry potter 3]
  • Music trivia? [composer of four seasons], [birthday of lady gaga]
Posted by Nick Fey, User Experience Designer and Mike Buchanan, Software Engineer, Google Mobile Team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/06/settle-trivia-debates-anytime-anywhere.html

[G] Google Tags rolling out nationwide

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Google LatLong: Google Tags rolling out nationwide

Just a month ago we announced that Tags, our new advertising feature for local businesses, became available in 11 cities throughout the U.S. Today we’re excited to announce our plans to expand the trial to the entire country. The rollout will start with states where we have already had Tags available in select cities (California, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Washington, and Colorado). We’ll update this page as additional states go live.

For a flat monthly fee of $25, businesses can enhance their listings that appear on Google.com and Google Maps with a yellow tag that emphasizes specific information such as a coupon, video, website, menu, reservations, photos, or a custom message. Tags do not affect the ranking of the listings, and we clearly indicate which parts of the search result are sponsored.

If you try out a query for “massage houston,” you’ll see that two of the businesses whose listings appear have created coupon Tags to promote their current offers:




We haven’t just been working on increased availability; we’ve also been adding new features. Tags now appears on mobile web searches as well, helping your local customers quickly identify what’s unique about your business while they’re on the go.



Posts, a new kind of Tag that enables business owners to create a custom message, is also live. These messages can be changed as often as the business owner would like, making it easy to let the world know about a special discount or limited-time offer.

We hope you find Tags to be a useful and easy way to find and connect with your local customers. To learn more and try it out, please visit www.google.com/help/tags.

Posted by Shalini Agarwal, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/06/google-tags-rolling-out-nationwide.html