Friday, July 2, 2010

[G] 109-year-old mechanical contracting company "goes Google"

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: 109-year-old mechanical contracting company "goes Google"

Editor’s note: Today’s guest bloggers are Aaron McCarthy, IT Director for Limbach Facility Services, Cristine Leifheit, Team Lead. McCarthy and Leifheit recently spearheaded the move to Google Apps for Limbach’s 500 employees. A mechanical contractor founded in 1901, Limbach Facility Services switched from Lotus Notes®/Domino® to "Go Google" and gain 25GB mailboxes and built-in disaster recovery capabilities at no extra charge.


Aaron McCarthy holds 13 years of IT experience, 7 of which are with Limbach Facility Services. Aaron holds a Bachelor in MIS from Oakland University (Rochester, MI) and a Master in Business Information Technology from Walsh College (Troy, MI). Cristine Leifheit, PHR has worked with the Human Resources Department of Limbach for the past 11 years. She served as the Communications Team Leader throughout the selection and implementation of Google Apps alongside the Limbach Corporate IT Department.

Aaron and Cristine will be joined by Google Apps partner Cloud Sherpas on a live webcast on Thursday July 8, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. GMT. Register today

At Limbach, we had a Lotus Notes/Domino system and, despite it being a recent version, the Notes system was hampering the innovation of our 500 employees. As a construction company, we have a workforce that is typically non-tech savvy. We are constantly learning what is required to bridge their needs while providing the advanced tools required to improve the way we do business.

We formed a “2012 Committee” comprised of non-technical staff from nine branches to better set up the company for the future. Part of their job was to re-evaluate our email system. When a new hire and recent college graduate on the committee suggested moving to Google Apps, management initially scoffed.

We did a line-by-line comparison of Google Apps, Microsoft® Exchange, and Lotus Notes and were quickly convinced of the value of Google Apps. We could get 25GB mailboxes—eliminating the constant strain on our small IT staff of four to meet ongoing requests for larger mailboxes. We also got built-in disaster recovery capabilities at no additional charge. Google’s mail capabilities were unmatched, but then we considered that Google Apps also provides great collaboration tools.

We did a small pilot with committee members and then a broader one with 50 users that helped us understand our full deployment requirements. The pilots were a wise move, and they helped us transition to Google Apps smoothly. Things moved quickly; we were able to decommission two servers just two months after deployment.

Today, we use the full suite of Google Apps tools, including Google Sites for our intranet. Google Apps has also become a platform for innovation. One safety manager used Google video chat to broadcast a helicopter lift of an HVAC system onto a roof to staff members at a branch office. We also added a cloud-based workflow tool from the Google Apps Marketplace.

It’s been a positive experience for us and we’d be happy to share out insights. Please join us for an interactive webinar!

Getting 25GB Inboxes and Built-in Disaster Recovery with Google Apps
Thursday, July 8, 2010
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT / 6:00 PM GMT



Posted by Serena Satyasai, The Google Apps Team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/07/109-year-old-mechanical-contracting.html

[G] Riley Chartered Accountants "goes Google"

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Riley Chartered Accountants "goes Google"

Editor’s note: For this week’s guest blog post, we head to Plymouth, England to hear from Jon Stacey, a partner at Riley Chartered Accountants, an eighteen strong firm of Chartered Accountants. Riley offers accounting, tax and business development services to clients throughout the UK.

Riley have been enthusiastic adopters of cloud computing for a couple of years now. As a UK firm of Chartered Accountants based in Plymouth, England we have been technology driven since the business started in 1981. Our ability to communicate as a team and with our customers is paramount and the recording and storing of what we do in the most efficient and accessible format is critical.

Our office systems were previously almost totally reliant on Lotus Notes, which we’d started using in 1998. However, over the years we started to see deficiencies that began to hinder business -- challenging technical management issues, the clunkiness of the user-interface even after major updates, and access issues. These problems were especially noticeable because the quality of the personal email systems we had all started to use at home had surpassed that of the system we were using at work.

Finally, changes in our key team forced us to look properly at other solutions and we settled on migrating our e-mail, calendars and instant messaging to Google in August 2009. The migration was handled painlessly by Glo-Networks and we moved the majority of our communication IT to web-browser access without a hitch.

That first step was a revelation. Not only was our information now accessible from anywhere in the world, from any computer or device with an Internet connection, the move massively freed up resources of people (and cash) and removed the restrictions on our thinking about IT. We still have certain legacy databases on Lotus Notes but have started to wind these down as more content is now cloud based. We found that Google Apps allowed us to store all of our templates for letters, spreadsheets and many of our management tools too.

Google Docs has become our go-to source for new files, collaboration and systems development. This morning I spent half an hour collaborating on an internal project with two of my partners - one of them was in another office, another at home while I was at my desk talking to them both on the phone. The speed of decision making is enhanced by the ability to see what others are doing as they amend and delete cells within a spreadsheet or words in a proposal letter. And then there’s Chat with video chat - something which we didn’t take much notice of while we were assessing Apps, but which is becoming more and more useful as we build our team.

Using Google Sites, we have developed a dashboard for the Riley team and easy-to-create websites within minutes. The simple interface, clean design and ability to pick up on templates designed by both the Google team and other businesses mean that someone, somewhere has often done some of the hard work for you.

More recently, we’ve started to use Google Apps Marketplace to drive the development and integration of our CRM requirements, mail and contacts. This is an on-going process and we are currently evaluating a number of solutions for this need - something which all the providers have made extremely easy.

We have also been able to dispense with the office-based back-up solution which was the bane of many of our lives. There have also been no problems with software updates – I’m sure that they exist but they happen painlessly when we don’t notice or incrementally as the developers finish a feature. We don’t have to buy an upgrade path or worry about compatibility – it just happens.

Posted by Ashley Chandler, The Google Enterprise Team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/07/riley-chartered-accountants-go-google.html

[G] Shakira talks World Cup upsets, Waka Waka and education in YouTube interview

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YouTube Blog: Shakira talks World Cup upsets, Waka Waka and education in YouTube interview

The most difficult moment in Shakira’s musical career? Her thoughts on her song being picked as the official World Cup song instead of an African artist? The one question she’s always wanted to answer? You asked, and today, Shakira answers.

Last week, we gave you 48 hours to submit questions for the Colombian songstress and promised that the top-voted questions would be posed in a special YouTube interview with her. Proving that Shakira truly is a global sensation, fans from over 40 countries -- from Egypt to Venezuela, the Netherlands to South Africa -- submitted 2,500 questions, put forth several impressive Waka Waka dance renditions, and cast 40,000 votes on which questions should be asked.

In the final interview, which is featured on today’s homepage, Shakira fills you in on whom she’s rooting for in the World Cup (she’s absolutely hooked on football, she says), which of her own songs are her favorite (her new album holds a few of them), and the experiences she had as a child that led her to become a steadfast champion for universal education. Watch the full interview here:



Can’t get enough Shakira? Visit her official YouTube channel here for more music and dance exclusives, or go to www.1goal.org to join Shakira in her quest to provide education for all children.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/xb9zhQgs-d0/shakira-talks-world-cup-upsets-waka.html

[G] Google Summer of Code 2010: Meet The Students and Mentors!

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Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code 2010: Meet The Students and Mentors!


Following up on my post from a few weeks ago, I’d like to give you all some more statistics about our Google Summer of Code™ program participants this year.

• We have 69 student countries represented this year. New countries represented by students include Jamaica, Morocco, and Cambodia.
• For the first time we have mentors from Chile, South Africa, Taiwan, and Peru.
• We have mentors from 52 different countries this year.
• We had 3,464 students submit a total of 5,539 proposals in all. Last year we had 5,885 proposals submitted by 3,496 students.
• The open source organizations participating this year received an average of 36 proposals to review. We have 150 participating organizations this year.

We accepted 1,026 of those proposals to become full Google Summer of Code participant projects this year. This is 26 more than we had planned for but there were so many great applications this time that we just couldn't stop at 1000. We have 943 mentors for the students’ projects this year, which means we don’t have quite a 1:1 ratio of students to mentors; some organizations choose to co-mentor students or have the whole organization mentor all the students who participate.

Midterm evaluations are almost upon us. Check out the timeline to see what’s coming up for Google Summer of Code!

By Carol Smith, Open Source Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/07/google-summer-of-code-2010-meet.html

[G] Google Apps highlights – 7/2/2010

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 7/2/2010

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

In the last couple of weeks, we added a set of new features to help you handle various file types more efficiently in Google Docs and Gmail, and new capabilities to help large complex organizations manage Google Apps. We also have some exciting news about new customers in the education sector.

Google Voice available for more users
Last week we were happy to open up Google Voice for everyone in the U.S. Now millions more people can get a phone number that rings all their phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more. Google Voice isn’t ready for businesses and schools quite yet, but we’re exploring additional functionality for organizations.



View more file types right in your browser
Gmail already lets you view .pdf, .ppt and .tiff attachments in your browser without downloading these files to your computer, and last week we added support for viewing .doc and .docx files. Just click the “View” link next to the attachment in Gmail to see the file.


On Monday we also added the ability to view .pdf, .ppt, .doc and .docx files that you have in Google Docs on mobile devices. From your iPhone, iPad or Android device, you can quickly flip from page to page and pan/zoom within a page.


Optical character recognition (OCR) in Google Docs
You were already able to upload and share images and PDF files with Google Docs, and last week we launched a feature that converts images of text into editable text. JPEG, GIF, PNG and PDF files can be uploaded as editable Google documents with this feature. Supported languages include English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages and character sets on their way.


Support for Google Apps customers with multiple domains
Until last Wednesday, Google Apps customers with users at more than one domain (like bob@domain1.com and sue@domain2.com) had to manage Google Apps separately for each domain. Last week we added the ability for customers to administer two or more domains together. This feature also makes it much easier for employees to share information through Google Docs, Calendar and Sites with their counterparts in different divisions. For example, Brady Corporation is using this feature to streamline the use and administration of Google Apps across 88 domains!

Google Apps Innovation in the first half of 2010
Businesses using Google Apps not only save money, but also their employees get access to new features and functionality at a much faster pace than with conventional business technologies. We've launched over 50 improvements to Google Apps in the last six months, and last week we hosted a webcast to recap noteworthy recent updates for businesses, including more powerful search in Gmail, next-generation editors in Google Docs, Google Wave, the Apps Marketplace and more. If you missed the webcast, you can watch it on YouTube.

Who’s gone Google?
We’re thrilled about the news from Colorado and Iowa, both of which have opened the doors to Google Apps for teachers and students at schools state-wide, right on the heels of Oregon’s decision to use Google Apps at their schools, too.

We also wanted to shine the spotlight on a couple other new customers: Brown University and Imagination, an 800-employee marketing and communications agency based in the U.K. You can watch their stories here:





I hope you're making the most of these new features, whether you're using Google Apps with friends, family, coworkers or classmates. For more details and updates from the Apps team, head on over to the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/google-apps-highlights-722010.html

[G] CS4HS: helping high school teachers reach their potential

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Official Google Blog: CS4HS: helping high school teachers reach their potential

Computer science is a tough field to teach, especially at the high school level. Not only do you need to persuade teenagers that coding isn’t too geeky to attempt, but since CS is a growing field, it’s hard for teachers to keep up with all the latest techniques and computing tools. To help teachers face these challenges, we’re funding a program called Computer Science for High School (CS4HS). CS4HS is a workshop for high school and middle school computer science teachers that introduces new and exciting concepts in computing and how to teach them. The ultimate goals are to “train the trainer,” develop a thriving community of high school CS teachers, and spread the word about the awe and beauty of computing.

This summer, we’re funding 20 workshops at colleges across the U.S. and will sponsor another 14 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. If each workshop in the U.S. has an average of 20 teachers in attendance, and each of them teaches 90 students in a year*, that means that the workshops have the potential to make a difference for 36,000 students—an important start.

We had the chance to attend a CS4HS workshop in our own backyard this week. UC Berkeley’s CS4HS highlighted hands-on skills that teachers can take directly back to the classroom. Twenty local math and CS teachers had a chance to share tips and best practices around teaching CS, and created a solid foundation for a community. One of the most popular sessions over the two days was a demo of Scratch, a popular programming language geared towards K-12 students that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music and art. Attendees also had the opportunity to form the Golden Gate chapter of the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA).

Although the summer workshops are just getting started, they're already making a difference for teachers. Emmanuel Onyeador, who teaches AP CS at Oakland Technical High School, told us: “CS4HS is the missing link—as computer science teachers, you find yourself isolated in your classroom. When I sit here I find that we’re all talking about the same issues and the same type of students. What I bring back to my classroom will make a big difference.”

You can view a list of all 20 U.S. CS4HS workshops and find more information about the program at www.cs4hs.com.

UC Berkeley CS4HS participants

*according to the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

Posted by Mary Radomile, Education Program Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/cs4hs-helping-high-school-teachers.html

[G] Release Notes: processing status, share to Buzz, and more

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YouTube Blog: Release Notes: processing status, share to Buzz, and more

Before we head into the holiday weekend, wanted to update you on a couple of things that went down in sunny San Bruno recently:



Processing progress status: Those of you who upload know that there's a short period of time between uploading a video and it being visible on the site. The new processing percentage under the video preview lets you know when your video is ready for the world to see.





AutoShare to Buzz: Over four million people are already AutoSharing to Facebook, Twitter, Orkut or Google Reader, and now you can automatically share your YouTube likes, favorites, comments, subscriptions and uploads to your Buzz network, too. You can still keep YouTube as a connected site in Buzz if you hooked it up previously, but that only automatically posts your uploads for now. For more about AutoShare, click here.





Results badging: Our search results page has had a light makeover. Instead of bold headers separating channels, videos and playlist results, we've introduced new, compact badges to more clearly indicate the content type, as so:





New captions feature: The interactive captions viewer allows people to read ahead in the caption stream and jump to a specific segment within a video with captions. Captions are a key part of making YouTube accessible to all.







Have a great one!



The YouTube Team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/kPRXVUEgnAk/release-notes-processing-status-share.html

[G] Campaign Data Issue Being Corrected

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Google Analytics Blog: Campaign Data Issue Being Corrected

Late last week, we made a change that caused some visits and campaign data to be processed incorrectly. All data was properly collected, but your reports may currently be missing some visits and campaigns information for the dates June 24th through June 29th. We are reprocessing this data and expect to have all report data corrected by early in the week of July 12th.

The impact of the incorrect processing will vary by site. Sites that receive a large number of new visitors and new campaigns have been most affected. Again, we are reprocessing, and all reports will soon be corrected. We will update the blog once reprocessing has completed and data in all accounts is correct.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/07/campaign-data-issue-being-corrected.html

[G] Strike you’re out! Or maybe not?

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YouTube Blog: Strike you’re out! Or maybe not?

Imagine you’ve spent hours editing and shooting your latest YouTube video, when only a few days after its debut on the site, the video comes down and you’ve received -- what? -- a strike for a violation of our Community Guidelines? Is this baseball?!

With over 24 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s impossible for us to pre-screen content. That’s why we count on our community members to know the Community Guidelines and flag content that violates the rules. We review all flagged content and if we find a video does violate the guidelines, the video comes down and in most instances, the uploader receives a strike in their account.

As you can imagine, with the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. Last week we launched a more accessible appeals process, designed to make it easier for you to contest a takedown and a strike against your account for a Community Guidelines violation. So, if you think your video was removed mistakenly, you can appeal the strike within your own account. Here’s how:

When you sign into your account, you’ll need to acknowledge your Community Guidelines strike. After that, you can sign into My Account Settings and appeal your video strike directly from the "Manage Account" section under "Account Status". After we review your appeal, if we find that your video did not violate our Community Guidelines after all, we will reinstate it and remove the strike from your account. We’ll also send you an email letting you know the result of your appeal request.






Ultimately, YouTube is a platform for free expression, so we want to ensure that as much content is allowed to remain on the site as possible. Just like in baseball, we need a few rules to keep the game moving along, although now with YouTube, you have the option to talk to the umpire.

To learn more about the strike appeals process, check out this page in our Help Center. Note that this new process only applies to strikes for violations of our Community Guidelines. More information about copyright strikes may be found here.

Alice Wu, Policy Specialist, recently watched “Nike Football Write the Future."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/zXS2nKvFBYs/strike-youre-out-or-maybe-not.html

[G] New WebM Products and Projects

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The WebM Open Media Project Blog: New WebM Products and Projects

Some cool uses of WebM have come online recently:
URL: http://webmproject.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-webm-products-and-projects.html

[G] Decide who from YouTube will perform on America's Got Talent

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YouTube Blog: Decide who from YouTube will perform on America's Got Talent

The submission phase of our America's Got Talent contest has closed, and now comes the important part: Vote for your favorite YouTube performer here and one grand prize winner will perform live on the August 10 episode of the NBC show.



From the looks of it, some of YouTube’s most talented and quirky entertainers -- from upside-down piano players to accordion-playing dogs -- have entered the fray. There are 40 acts in all to choose from, and voting ends on July 4, so you only have a few days to help decide the destiny of one of these aspiring stars. Good luck to all contestants!



Sadia Harper, Howto & Style Manager, recently watched “Eulogies.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/AHjRIOp-IC4/decide-who-from-youtube-will-perform-on.html

[G] Join an AdWords focus group in Mountain View, California

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Inside AdWords: Join an AdWords focus group in Mountain View, California

"Focus on the user and all else will follow." That's always been Google's philosophy. It's also why we'd like to talk to you about how we can best serve you as an advertiser.

On Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, we'll be hosting advertisers at our headquarters in Mountain View, CA to hear about your experiences with AdWords support– including email, chat, and phone.

If you'll be in the San Francisco Bay Area on July 14th and have thoughts on how we can improve our support services, we'd love to have you join one of our focus groups. No visit to Google could be complete without lunch and a tour, so we'll make sure you get both when you come visit.

If you're interested and available, please fill out the form here

Even if you can't make it to Mountain View on July 14th, we'd still like to hear your feedback. If you provide us with your contact details we may reach out to get your feedback by phone or email.

Hope to see you in Mountain View soon!

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/07/join-adwords-focus-group-in-mountain.html

[G] Get Related Content for Your Blog with the Zemanta Gadget

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Blogger Buzz: Get Related Content for Your Blog with the Zemanta Gadget

Guest post by Boštjan 'Bos' Špetič, Zemanta CEO

About a year ago this blog featured Zemanta, a tool that helps you get more out of blogging. Previously, Blogger users could install a Zemanta browser plugin to recommend content while you blog, enabling you to:
  • Read news to learn more about the topic
  • Link articles to improve the value of your post
  • Use pictures to make your post richer
Today we are pleased to announce that we've teamed up with Blogger to make it easier to use Zemanta on Blogger. To use Zemanta, just follow these three easy steps:

1. Click this link: Add Zemanta gadget. It will take you to a page to add the Zemanta gadget to your blog:



2. Select one of your blogs in the drop-down box, and click Add Zemanta. This will add the gadget to the post editor for your selected blog, and take you to a new post page.

3. You will see Zemanta is already turned on, waiting for you to start using it.




That's it! You are now all set up to boost your blogging. Simply write a couple of sentences and the recommendations will show up automatically. You can preview them and then simply click on an item to add it to the post.

To learn more about how best to use Zemanta, check out this video, browse through our tutorials, read about our selection as one of ReadWriteWeb's "Top 10 Semantic Web products" last year, or just get started and play around with it. We would love to hear your feedback or suggestions.

Happy blogging!
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2010/07/get-related-content-for-your-blog-with.html

Thursday, July 1, 2010

[G] Grandmother's guide to video chat

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Google Talkabout: Grandmother's guide to video chat

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

Often when I tell people that I work on Google video chat, I hear stories about how they’ve used it to give a video tour of a new home to friends, introduce a baby to relatives, keep in touch with traveling loved ones... the list goes on. This got me thinking about how convenient— and sometimes even magical — the experience of video chatting is.

So when I saw that my grandma, who loves keeping in touch with family more than anyone, wasn’t set up to use video chat, I decided to help her get started. While doing so, it occurred to me how many people there must be out there in similar situations. If only there were a simple way that any grandmother could use to get started on her own...

Introducing the Grandmother’s Guide to Video Chat:



This video, along with a printable guide, can be accessed at google.com/chat/grandma. Feel free to share this link with your grandma—or grandpa—or, well, anyone who wants to video chat to help get them up and running.

And after your grandma is all set up, take a screenshot of you video chatting with her and email it to grammy324@gmail.com to share it with us. The first 100 people to do so will get a t-shirt, printable guide and VHS of the video (because if your grandma’s like mine, she’s still a cassette kind of girl).


In a few weeks, we’ll feature the best photos submitted on the Gmail blog.

Posted by Jason Toff, Grandson of Evelyn & Ida
URL: http://googletalk.blogspot.com/2010/07/grandmothers-guide-to-video-chat.html

[G] As the world turns to FIFA, FIFA.com turns to Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: As the world turns to FIFA, FIFA.com turns to Google

We’re right in the middle of football fever worldwide and as the number of competing teams dwindles, the interest is only growing. Of course, many of these eyeballs around the world are turning to FIFA.com to get the latest scores, updates, and analysis.

Given the traffic flowing through FIFA.com, FIFA understands the importance of search on their website. Indeed, according to a recent independent Forrester Research, Inc. report, a 2008 survey found that “70 percent of online users stated that “ease of search” is the most important factor influencing how they select news resources”. 1 For this reason, FIFA has chosen the Google Search Appliance to power search on their website.

With the Google Search Appliance, FIFA.com is able to provide a user-centric, universal search experience across all types of content—news, statistics, images and videos. For instance, when you type in “Messi,” you first see a box at the top showing “player statistics,” followed by FIFA news results in order of relevance, then images and videos specifically pertaining to Messi.



Additionally, features like “Did you mean” direct people to the right results. For instance, if you type in “mesi,” FIFA.com will ask you if you meant “Messi.” Or if you type in a country name, say “Argentina,” the top result will be a link to a country-specific page.

By focusing on the user, FIFA.com offers their fans a compelling experience, with search as a core element. And we’re happy to play a small role in helping millions of fans around the world keep up to date on their favorite sport.

1 Site Search Best Practices: Methods for Creating a Positive Search Experience, Forrester Research, Inc., March 5 2010.

Posted by Rajat Mukherjee, Group Product Manager, Enterprise Search
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/07/as-world-turns-to-fifa-fifacom-turns-to.html

[G] Rapid innovation powered by the cloud – another reason to Go Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Rapid innovation powered by the cloud – another reason to Go Google

The web is the epicenter of innovation, and Google’s multi-tenant infrastructure lets us push improvements to our customers seamlessly, enabling businesses that have Gone Google to move beyond the slow, multi-year innovation cycles typical of legacy technologies.

Users automatically get new features just by refreshing their browsers, and improvements roll out to organizations without patches or hardware upgrades to manage. Rapid innovation powered by the cloud also has another advantage over traditional technology cycles: users adapt to a continuous stream of manageable improvements better than they tolerate large, disruptive changes in the tools they use every day.

Last week I hosted a webinar to spotlight some of the more than 50 improvements and new features we’ve brought to Google Apps just in the last 6 months. You can watch the replay below or watch it on YouTube:



We’re excited about what’s in store for Google Apps. We’re always making our products better based on feedback from millions of users, and to keep up with the latest features, you can subscribe to the Google Apps Updates RSS feed, or sign up for email alerts.

Posted by Hicham Alaoui, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/07/rapid-innovation-powered-by-cloud.html

[G] Bringing federal IT into the cloud

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Google Public Policy Blog: Bringing federal IT into the cloud

Posted by Harry Wingo, Policy Counsel

The cloud improves security. The cloud saves taxpayer dollars. The cloud makes government more efficient.

That’s the message Mike Bradshaw, Director of Google Federal, will take to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during today’s hearing on federal IT and cloud computing.

Mike’s testimony will highlight three main points:
  • First, cloud computing can provide improved security. Under legacy computing models, data is stored on local computers – this is the equivalent of keeping cash under your mattress. Storing data securely in the cloud is like keeping cash in a bank. (To learn more, check out our Google Apps security whitepaper.)
  • Second, the cloud can save taxpayer dollars. The Brookings Institution found that government agencies that switched to some form of cloud computing saw up to 50 percent savings. To put that in context, the federal government is currently spending $76 billion per year on IT, with $20 billion of that devoted to hardware, software and file servers.
  • Third, in addition to securing data and lowering costs, cloud computing can improve efficiency and collaboration in ways that are simply not possible under the legacy IT model. Millions of individuals, businesses, and governments are already enjoying these benefits. We’re beginning to see federal cloud initiatives and more robust pilot programs, and we support efforts like FedRAMP to accelerate the process.

You can read Mike’s full written testimony here, and we’ll be posting video of the hearing here soon.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/07/bringing-federal-it-into-cloud.html

[G] Finding soccer stats with the Google Search Appliance

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Official Google Blog: Finding soccer stats with the Google Search Appliance

For the past few weeks, many football fans have been living and breathing just one thing: the World Cup. When they’re not watching on the matches, many people have flocked to FIFA.com, the source for the latest info on players, standings and scores.

With all these people looking for the latest and greatest on their favorite sport, we’re pleased that FIFA has chosen the Google Search Appliance to power search on their website. With the GSA, FIFA.com can provide universal search across all types of content. Try searching for “Messi” from FIFA.com’s search box, and you’ll see all kinds of data: statistics, news results, images and videos—all pertaining to Messi.

For more on the Google Search Appliance and how FIFA is putting it to work, check out our post on the Enterprise blog.

Posted by Vijay Koduri, Product Marketing Manager, Enterprise Search
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/finding-soccer-stats-with-google-search.html

[G] Taking off with ITA

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Official Google Blog: Taking off with ITA

Today, almost half of all airline tickets are sold online. But for many people, finding the right flight at the best price is a frustrating experience; pricing and availability change constantly, and even a simple two city itinerary involves literally thousands of different options. We’d like to make that search much easier, which is why I’m pleased to announce that today we have signed an agreement to acquire ITA, a Boston-based software company specializing in organizing airline data, including flight times, availability and prices.

While online flight search is rapidly evolving, we think there is room for more competition and greater innovation. Google has already come up with new ways to organize hard-to-find information like images, newspaper archives, scholarly papers, books and geographic data. Once we’ve completed our acquisition of ITA, we’ll work on creating new flight search tools that will make it easier for you to search for flights, compare flight options and prices and get you quickly to a site where you can buy your ticket.

We’re confident that by combining ITA’s expertise as the leading developer of flight information software with Google’s technology we’ll be able to create great user innovations in flight search. ITA has built a very successful QPX business, and we're looking forward to working with their current and future customers. Google will honor all existing agreements, and we're also enthusiastic about adding new partners. You can read more about this deal here, and we’ll keep everybody up to date as we work to close this exciting acquisition.

Posted by Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products & User Experience
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/taking-off-with-ita.html

[G] Grandmother’s guide to video chat

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Official Google Blog: Grandmother’s guide to video chat

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

Often when I tell people that I work on Google video chat, I hear stories about how they’ve used it to give a video tour of a new home to friends, introduce a baby to relatives, keep in touch with traveling loved ones... the list goes on. This got me thinking about how convenient—and sometimes even magical—the experience of video chatting is.

So when I saw that my grandma—who loves keeping in touch with family more than anyone—wasn’t set up to use video chat, I decided to help her get started. While doing so, it occurred to me how many people there must be out there in similar situations. If only there were a simple way that any grandmother could use to get started on her own...

Introducing the Grandmother’s Guide to Video Chat:



This video, along with a printable guide, can be accessed at google.com/chat/grandma. Feel free to share this link with your grandma—or grandpa—or, well, anyone who wants to video chat to help get them up and running.

And after your grandma is all set up, take a screenshot of you video chatting with her and email it to grammy324@gmail.com to share it with us. The first 100 people to do so will get a t-shirt, printable guide and VHS of the video (because if your grandma’s like mine, she’s still a cassette kind of girl).


In a few weeks, we’ll feature the best photos submitted on the Gmail blog.

Posted by Jason Toff, Grandson of Evelyn & Ida
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/grandmothers-guide-to-video-chat.html