Friday, August 13, 2010

[G] What do you wish Google Finance could do?

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Google Finance Blog: What do you wish Google Finance could do?

Posted by Laura Hughes, Consumer Operations
Have you ever had an idea for Google Finance? We want to hear it! Today we’re opening up our very own Product Ideas page.

The Google Finance team looks to our users for feedback and ideas. Knowing what you care about helps us set our priorities when we’re developing the product. Our Product Ideas page lets you submit, vote on, and read other ideas from users. Best of all, it allows the team to jump in and see what YOU want. We’ll respond directly to the ideas that you’re most excited about.

So, don’t hesitate -- tell us what you think would make your Google Finance experience more efficient and more exciting. Take a look at some of the most voted Ideas now and submit your own.



For further feedback visit our product survey here. Stay tuned for more as we keep building out Google Finance and catch the latest from the Google Finance team by following us on Twitter.
URL: http://googlefinanceblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/posted-by-laura-hughes-consumer.html

[G] FISL, I was there \o/

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Google Open Source Blog: FISL, I was there \o/

GNU and Me

My name is Marcos Paulino Roriz Junior, and I’m participating in Google Summer of Code™ for the first time this year. I’m really excited because I’ve been developing in Java for some time and this is my first step into FOSS. My project is hacking on GNU Classpath on Escher which is an X11 client written in Java, used by the XPeer code to request and handle drawings. I’m learning the X11 protocol which is amazingly cool and surely ahead of it’s time. This is not only helping me with Google Summer of Code but is also the main protocol behind thew idea that I’m using in my final year project.

When I applied to Google Summer of Code I had no idea how it was going to change my life. So far I have not only learned new things, but also met awesome developers. The climax of this was when I joined several other Brazillian students to ask Google for some financial help so that we could travel to FISL (Forum Internacional de Software Livre – International Free Software Forum) in Brazil. Google did an amazing favor and helped us so that we could learn about and spread free software to others. I met with several other students from the #gsoc-br IRC channel, met excellent FOSS developers, and gave a lecture about the Google Summer of Code experience.

At that talk I met more Google Summer of Code students, we shared our difficulties and we exchanged tips on how to solve problems. They all laughed a me when I said that I preferred svn over dscm, like git or mercurial. But at the same time they gave me a very brief and informal talk/introduction to git (which I’m kinda liking). I talked also a lot about X and XCB with friends and hackers there since it’s directly related to my proposal.

Google Summer of Code Students

I had a chance to meet some seriously cool developers (like Jon “Maddog” Hall) and attend amazing talks (like Glassfish in OSGi Bundles and What’s New on OpenJDK 7). Overall, It was a amazing experience, and I want to thank again Google, all the cool people at FISL and my mentor Mario Torre, who understands that I’m a little behind on my project but getting back to the schedule now =).

By Marcos Roriz, 2010 Google Summer of Code Student
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/08/fisl-i-was-there-o.html

[G] Meet kamapazzo, the escalator-powered animator

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YouTube Blog: Meet kamapazzo, the escalator-powered animator

We recently announced that we’d be adding some new kinds of posts to this blog, and today we’re happy to run the first from the Creator’s Corner, which is devoted to the process of videomaking and all of the people who wow us with their creativity, ingenuity and passion. You can now find posts that used to be in the Creator's Corner in this blog, and we encourage you to leave a comment below with the username of anyone you'd like to learn a little more about.

First up, we caught up with kamapazzo, a 26-year-old motion-graphic designer who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and has spent time in Beirut teaching workshops about visual and stop-motion animation. His “escalator animations” surprise and delight; read more about how they came to be below.

















1) What gave you this idea?

I was at the Istanbul airport, standing with my luggage next to a very long escalator. I had nothing to do; I was just intensely watching the handrail, when suddenly I thought, “Hey, I can use it for an animation!” Then I realized how easy it could have been sticking on the handrail. Also, in that period I was studying the great work of Norman McLaren; at the beginning of his career he was painting directly on film. I thought that my escalator animation could have been a kind of tribute to his wonderful work of abstraction. McLaren is my first inspiration. He was always experimenting with new techniques, including inventing a way to make sound painting directly on film.



So, when I came home from the airport, I made a test with the stickers, as I was not so sure about the result. But actually it was working; I liked the images and I decided to develop a full abstract movie. I started to prepare all the shapes and stickers without having a script or even thinking about a story. I just wanted to use this public space and play with it as a kid, letting my imagination flow. Having fun in the creative process is very important for me; that’s the only way I know to do something fresh, something that could catch the audience unprepared.



The escalator animation could be considered as the following chapter of a video I did last year in Berlin, using a photocopier. I'm enchanted by creating animations starting from things and objects people use in everyday life. With a little bit of imagination, you can see motion and animation everywhere around you.



2) How did you do it?

I started preparing all the paper's shapes: for each one of them I did nine different sizes so that when they moved on the steps you can also see the dimension changing. Then I went shooting for a full day with four friends of mine. A friend and I were on the bottom of the escalator and we were just leaning the shapes on the steps that were going up, and another friend stayed on top sending the shapes back on the steps that were going down. On the opposite side the camera man, Jacopo, was shooting just the side where the escalator was going up.



It was a very funny day, actually. The escalator was located close to a university, and it was full of students that got really surprised. Some students even asked me if they could take some hearts or clouds. Then I drew all the animations on the stickers and I went to the escalator a few times during the night while it was stopped. We pasted the stickers on the handrail, and then in the morning we went back there to shoot them. Actually, I had lots of troubles due to the winter cold: the stickers didn’t stick to the handrail.



3) How long did it take you?

Building all the materials and shooting took me about two months, and editing, the longest part, about three months. I've also spent one week preparing the soundtrack. So in the end the whole work took me about six months.



4) Why did you pick this escalator?

First off, I was fascinated by the hypnotic movement of the escalator; it runs all day long in the same way. I wanted to break this repetition with a kind of game and let people imagine public spaces in a different way -- more funny and more creative. I like to imagine this world as a place with no rules, where you can act more freely and take life less seriously. Another reason is that I wanted to mix my passion for animation with my passion for urban installation.



5) Tell us something about this video you'd never know by looking at it.

During one of the shooting days a police officer came to us asking what were we doing and if we had a permission. We said we were just shooting a commercial for a very famous Italian pop band. At this point he said he loved them and left without even asking [to see] the permission.



6) What's next in your world of escalator animation?

I will go on working in public spaces. The final result always surprises me. When you make experimental videos, a lot of problems come up that you never thought about before; until it's done you don't really know where you're going. Maybe you start with an idea and then it's not going fine, so you have to change everything. I already started drawing a new animation with a script, and it will be done on a common object that people use everyday. Can't say more until it's done. It will be a surprise!



Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched “America's Got Talent Jackie Evancho YouTube Audition.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/g-aZ0BqPG2E/meet-kamapazzo-escalator-powered.html

[G] Google Earth Enterprise 4.0 now available

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Google LatLong: Google Earth Enterprise 4.0 now available

[Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog]

The Google Earth Enterprise team has long focused on bringing the innovative features of Google Earth and Maps to businesses, enabling them to create their own mapping applications from their existing data archives. Over the years we’ve released new features that have expanded the options for rapid, secure dissemination of geospatial data with Google Earth Enterprise (GEE), and with today’s release of GEE 4.0, we’re happy to announce support for two more important capabilities: mobile-based access to GEE systems, and Google Earth Enterprise Portable Solution. We’re also excited to let you know about the latest versions of the Google Earth Enterprise Client and Plug-in.

Mobile Access to your Globes

In February we released a native Google Earth client for Android
to the Android Market. With GEE 4.0, the Android Google Earth client has been updated to support direct connections to customers’ globes, which permits their end-users to view their organization’s 3D globe, including all imagery, terrain, and vector layers, with support for custom vector search.

Google Earth Enterprise Un-Plugged

Some of you might have heard during a recent Directions Media Webinar that many of our GEE customers need to provide their end users with access to geospatial data for situational awareness, even when those users are in environments with limited or no Internet connectivity. To support this, GEE 4.0 introduces a new feature that permits authenticated end users to extract portions of a published GEE globe -- including all imagery, terrain, vectors, KMLs, and search -- and serve the data locally from their own laptops or other storage devices using a native, cross-platform, light-weight Portable Earth System.

Check out this video to see how the portable capability works.



Google Earth Enterprise Client 5.2
GEE 4.0 also has full support for the new Google Earth 5.2 client, with its many great new features, such as elevation profiles, native MGRS support, client-side data regionation, and the new embedded web-browser.

Google Earth Plug-in Updates
In addition to performance improvements, the latest release of the Google Earth Plugin includes support for historical imagery databases and the ability to connect to multiple globes simultaneously.

Existing customers can find GEE 4.0 upgrade information by logging into the Google Enterprise Support Portal.

Posted by Posted by Dylan Lorimer, Google Earth and Maps Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/08/google-earth-enterprise-40-now.html

[G] Your Google stories: and some other ways we help people find things

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Official Google Blog: Your Google stories: and some other ways we help people find things

This is part of a series of stories from people who have shared how Google has helped them in their lives. If you missed the rest of the stories this week, check them out—and if you have a Google story, tell us about it. -Ed.

Of all the great stories people send us, some simply make us laugh and appreciate even more why we’re in the search business. For our final post in our series of your Google stories, we’re sharing three tales that we found particularly funny and unique. We hope they make for good Friday summer reading. Enjoy!

Just last month, Trichelle wrote about how Google helped with the rediscovery of a lost wallet:

Received: 7/18/2010
From: Trichelle
This isn't really a question but a great story I thought Google would be interested in hearing. Today I called my daughter in St. Louis and found out her friends that were suppose to be coming to see her in St. Louis were stuck in Chicago because the driver's keys and wallet were lost. They searched everywhere cancelled credit cards and tried to have a new car key made....but without ID could not. The group was getting angry at Brandon the one who lost the keys and wallet, and my daughter in St. Louis was highly disappointed because her friends she hadn't seen in a long time were not going to be able to come see her. Well I'm in Perry Georgia and decided to google "Brandon [Brandon’s last name] wallet". And low and behold the first thing that comes up is a Chicago Craigslist entry telling Brandon his wallet had been found and where he could pick it up. I then called Brandon and he and his wallet were reunited and now the group is on the way to my daughter in St. Louis For the record, after the fact I tried Yahoo and Bing and no wallet. Google rocks!



On to the next:

From: Usman
You ever hear a song that you wish you knew the name of? Usually you can just Google a few key lyrics to find the answer, but when the song has no lyrics, one has to get creative. This was the case a few years ago when I was tasked with finding out the name of that famous circus/carnival music, you know, with the calliope, like, the clown music people usually hum in situations when someone's just done something silly.. you know, it kind of goes like "doot doot doodle-oodle oot doot do do?" Sorta? Of course it's more likely that you'd recognize the tune if I could whistle it to you. Except everyone I'd whistled to, despite recognizing the tune, had no clue what the name of the song was. So, on a whim, I googled it. That is, I went to Google Search, typed in "doot doot doodle-oodle oot doot do do" (without quotes, even!), clicked "I'm Feeling Lucky"—and guess what? It's called "Entrance of the Gladiators"—also known as "Thunder and Blazes" -- by Czech composer Julius Fučík. Good ear, Google, good ear.



And finally ...


From: Michelle
I'm a librarian and I use Google all day every day. Today I helped a senior citizen find the telephone number of the company that made her frying pan. Her frying pan handle had broke and she wanted it replaced. She had actually brought the frying pan into the library where I work, because it had been many years since she had purchased it and didn't know who the manufacturer was. I searched the words on the underside of the pan and not only found the manufacturer, but found that the pan had a 50 year guarantee! One satisfied Library patron, thanks to Google.



We hope you enjoyed these stories as much as we did. We’ll work hard on making Google even more helpful, so that you’ll keep ‘em coming!

Posted by Jack Menzel, Director of Product Management and the search team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-google-stories-and-some-other-ways.html

[G] Responding to the floods in Pakistan

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Official Google Blog: Responding to the floods in Pakistan

Pakistan has been struck by the worst flooding in its recorded history. The latest estimate of the number of people affected by the flood exceeds 14 million—more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Critical infrastructure has been damaged over the last two weeks and clean water is in short supply. As monsoons approach, flooding is expected to worsen.

Our Crisis Response team has been working to use existing tools and build new ones to help the relief efforts. We just launched a page in Urdu and English where you can find information, resources and donation opportunities to help the victims of the floods. We’re also donating $250,000 to international and local NGOs to immediately aid in relief efforts. Although we’ve been able to provide satellite imagery for disasters in the past, cloud cover in Pakistan has prevented us from compiling useful imagery so far. We hope to share imagery as soon as possible.

We’ve already learned a lot about building useful tools from our previous efforts to help with disaster relief. Following the earthquake in Haiti, a small team of Googlers visited relief aid workers in Haiti to understand how we could further help. In observing and speaking with the relief aid workers, we learned that they needed up-to-date information about available resources (such as which field hospitals have X-ray machines or orthopedic surgeons), their location and contact information. Coordination between various health and relief facilities that spring up in a disaster zone can be challenging.

Based on what we learned in Haiti, we’ve been working to develop Resource Finder, a new tool to help disseminate updated information about which services various health facilities offer. It provides a map with editable records to help relief workers maintain up-to-date information on the services, doctors, equipment and beds available at neighboring health facilities so that they can efficiently arrange patient transfers. We normally wouldn’t release the tool so quickly, but decided to make an early release version of Resource Finder available for supporting relief efforts in Pakistan. This is the first time the tool is being launched during a disaster situation so we’ll be working closely with NGOs to understand its usefulness and will iterate accordingly.


We’ve also launched Person Finder in both Urdu and English for this disaster. This application allows individuals to check and post on the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster. Fortunately, we’ve heard that missing persons has not been as concerning an issue as it was during the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, but we’ll leave the application up regardless.

Responding to a disaster of this scale is a daunting task, but we can all do something to help. We will try to do our part and continue working with the many incredible NGOs to develop tools that help them work more effectively.

Posted by Ka-Ping Yee, Software Engineer, Google.org
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/responding-to-floods-in-pakistan.html

[G] Launch: Intelligence Just Got Smarter!

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Google Analytics Blog: Launch: Intelligence Just Got Smarter!

Hopefully, by now, you’re making good use of the Intelligence report in Google Analytics. If you’re looking to avoid the feeling that Google Analytics is “puking” too much data at you - a phrase coined by Google’s beloved analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik - you're not alone. We've heard you, and Intelligence is your first stop. As we mentioned in a previous post introducing Intelligence, it’s your dedicated assistant, monitoring your website traffic for significant changes that you should know of. Wondering what’s going on under the hood of your site traffic? Intelligence will tell you.

And it’s improving and getting smarter. Here are two improvements we’re announcing today.

New! AdWords Alerts

If you have linked your Google Analytics account with an AdWords account, Intelligence will now automatically surface important changes in your AdWords campaigns performance right in Google Analytics. So, in addition to the alerts you are used to getting, such as time on site and revenue, you’ll now receive alerts about your AdWords campaigns and the traffic they are bringing to your website.

You might already be familiar with custom alerts in Google AdWords, which alert you when important changes you specify happen in your account. With AdWords alerts in Analytics Intelligence, you benefit from automatic detection of significant changes, with no extra work for you to configure these yourself. For example, you might see an alert if the CTR for one of your campaigns increased unexpectedly. Or you might find that revenue from one of your destination URLs has dropped significantly from the week before. In both cases, you didn’t need to know ahead of time what to look for. These important changes are automatically detected and brought to your attention.

Here's how to use them. AdWords alerts in Analytics Intelligence work just like automatic alerts have in the past. You can learn more about how to use Analytics Intelligence here: http://www.google.com/analytics/analytics-intelligence.html.

In order to use AdWords alerts in Analytics Intelligence, you need to have a linked AdWords account. Additionally, you need to have destination URL auto-tagging turned on. If you already use the AdWords reports in Analytics, you’re all set.

1. Sign into your Analytics account

2. Select Intelligence from the left-hand navigation

3. Choose daily (default), weekly, or monthly alerts

Directly underneath the graph, you’ll see check boxes for Custom Alerts, Web Analytics, and AdWords, which is next to the orange arrow in image above.

If you want to focus solely on your AdWords alerts, you can uncheck Custom Alerts and Web Analytics. Then, you can adjust the sensitivity slider to see just the most significant alerts or create an advanced segment to more closely investigate the change.

New #2! More options in Custom Alerts

It always easy to create a custom alert if there is a metric you’d like Intelligence to specifically monitor. See the orange arrow again, below:

You name the alert, apply it to a profile, designate a time period, and then set conditions for the visitor (such as City matches New York, or Campaign matches Fall Sale), and the metric (such as time on site greater than 5 minutes, or % of new visits is greater than 30%).

And now, we’ve added a ton more options in the Alert Conditions drop downs, including all of the 20 goals you have configured in each profile. They’ve also been dressed up for a night on the town, wearing their actual goal names such as “Goal8 Value: Visited >10 pages.” Only goals that you have configured will show up in the list, keeping the drop-down menu clean and courteous.

Among the other conditions and metrics now available: e-commerce and AdWords metrics, as well as more traffic sources, and more content page metrics. And remember, you can tell Intelligence to email you when an alert is triggered.

Intelligence is getting smarter and smarter, making you more effective. Try it out if you haven’t already.


Posted by Beth Liebert and Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/08/launch-intelligence-just-got-smarter.html

[G] Going Google across the 50 States: Oregon-based ice cream company goes Google, blissfully

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Going Google across the 50 States: Oregon-based ice cream company goes Google, blissfully

Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. Check back each week to see which state we visit next. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

This week we’re traveling to Eugene, Oregon to hear from Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. Luna and Larry Kaplowitz began making Coconut Bliss non-dairy, organic ice cream to provide a healthier alternative to typical ice cream loaded with processed sugar and saturated fat. Coconut Bliss is a local favorite in Oregon and the word is spreading as many more find their “bliss.” Kiley Gwyn, Online Community Manager at Coconut Bliss, tells us about going Google.

“Going Google was an easy choice for us to make at Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss. We're a small company with no IT person on staff, and we were looking for an easy solution to email, shared calendars, an internal wiki, and document sharing. As we are a growing business with employees often on the road it was important to us that we have secure, easy access to everything no matter where we might be. I was already a Gmail convert and knew that the suite of Google Apps would be perfect for our needs.

Google Apps has allowed us to expand our productivity and creativity in ways I couldn't have imagined when we first signed up. Sometimes it’s just the simple things that are better with Google Apps. For example, when I was sick at home recently, I didn’t have to cancel a critical marketing meeting. We just turned on the video chat and pointed the camera at the white board so I could work with my team without sharing my cold. Google Apps helps keep us connected and makes working together simple.



Posted by Ashley Chandler, Google Apps team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/08/going-google-across-50-states-oregon.html

[G] Google Earth Enterprise 4.0 now available

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Earth Enterprise 4.0 now available

The Google Earth Enterprise team has long focused on bringing the innovative features of Google Earth and Maps to businesses, enabling them to create their own mapping applications from their existing data archives. Over the years we’ve released new features that have expanded the options for rapid, secure dissemination of geospatial data with Google Earth Enterprise (GEE), and with today’s release of GEE 4.0, we’re happy to announce support for two more important capabilities: mobile-based access to GEE systems, and Google Earth Enterprise Portable Solution. We’re also excited to let you know about the latest versions of the Google Earth Enterprise Client and Plug-in.


Mobile Access to your Globes

In February we released a native Google Earth client for Android
to the Android Market. With GEE 4.0, the Android Google Earth client has been updated to support direct connections to customers’ globes, which permits their end-users to view their organization’s 3D globe, including all imagery, terrain, and vector layers, with support for custom vector search.


Google Earth Enterprise Un-Plugged

Some of you might have heard during a recent Directions Media Webinar that many of our GEE customers need to provide their end users with access to geospatial data for situational awareness, even when those users are in environments with limited or no Internet connectivity. To support this, GEE 4.0 introduces a new feature that permits authenticated end users to extract portions of a published GEE globe -- including all imagery, terrain, vectors, KMLs, and search -- and serve the data locally from their own laptops or other storage devices using a native, cross-platform, light-weight Portable Earth System.

Check out this video to see how the portable capability works.





Google Earth Enterprise Client 5.2
GEE 4.0 also has full support for the new Google Earth 5.2 client, with its many great new features, such as elevation profiles, native MGRS support, client-side data regionation, and the new embedded web-browser.

Google Earth Plug-in Updates
In addition to performance improvements, the latest release of the Google Earth Plugin includes support for historical imagery databases and the ability to connect to multiple globes simultaneously.

Existing customers can find GEE 4.0 upgrade information by logging into the Google Enterprise Support Portal.

Posted by Dylan Lorimer, Google Earth and Maps Product Manager
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/08/google-earth-enterprise-40-now.html

[G] Please join DoubleClick at the AdMonsters Publisher Forum in

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Please join DoubleClick at the AdMonsters Publisher Forum in

Please join DoubleClick at the AdMonsters Publisher Forum in Sonoma, CA beginning this Sunday, August 15.

On Monday, August 16, 11:30am - 12:30pm, DFP Product Manager Stephen Dove will present Investing in Digital, Investing in Publishers, providing insights into how DoubleClick's new tools and technologies will benefit media companies in a world of audience-based buying.

Tuesday, August 17, DoubleClick Mobile Product Manager Alex Gawley will deliver two technical breakouts to help ad operations professionals make sense of HTML5, new tablet devices, and other emerging technologies.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Posted by Campbell Foster, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2010/08/please-join-doubleclick-at-admonsters.html

[G] Galactic Inbox: An HTML5 game inspired by Gmail

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Official Gmail Blog: Galactic Inbox: An HTML5 game inspired by Gmail

Posted by Paul Truong, Creative Technologist

Webmail has come a long way in the past few years but it’s all too easy to take for granted practically unlimited inbox capacities and responsive interfaces backed by the power of search. While I’m not on the Gmail team, I felt a little celebration of how far we’ve come was in order, so I wrote a little HTML5 game, in part as a "thank you" to the Gmail team for their ongoing work to improve the webmail galaxy. If you’re into games, or just like the idea of flying m-velopes that shoot bad guys, give it a try (make sure you’re using a modern browser that supports HTML5 first).



URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/galactic-inbox-html5-game-inspired-by.html

[G] Tips & Tricks: GoogleFinance in Google spreadsheets

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Official Google Docs Blog: Tips & Tricks: GoogleFinance in Google spreadsheets

Would you like to easily keep track of stock market quotes and other data relevant to your stock portfolio? You can use the GoogleFinance function in Google spreadsheets to automatically pull up-to-date information into your spreadsheet. Using the GoogleFinance function in a spreadsheet allows you to create a one-stop shop for your stock data.

Using the GoogleFinance function
To use the GoogleFinance function, enter the formula into the desired spreadsheet cell: =GoogleFinance(“Symbol”, “Attribute”) where “symbol” represents the stock symbol of the company or mutual fund you’re looking for and “attribute” represents the type of market data that you want information about. If attribute is left blank, the stock price is populated into the cell by default.

For example, if I wanted to find out the 52-week price high for Procter & Gamble stock, I’d enter =GoogleFinance(“PG”, “high52”). Make sure to put quotation marks around both the symbol and the attribute in order for the formula to compute properly.

The 52-week price high for Procter & Gamble then shows in the cell in which the formula was entered.

I can also apply the formula to a larger list of symbols and attributes in order to get data for multiple different stock/mutual fund listings across various types of data. Instead of typing the formula out like before, I want to click the cell of the first symbol in my list, in this case it’s PG. Next, I want to reference the cell in which I name the attribute I’m looking up, in this case, price.

Freezing the appropriate row and column with a “$” allows me to drag the formula across to the “52-week high” and “52-week low” columns, as well as down the other rows to apply the formula to all of the other stocks. When I apply the formula to all of the other cells, the results will show.

Here are a few more examples of attributes you can access using the GoogleFinance function:
  • price: market price of the stock.
  • priceopen: the opening price of the stock for the current day.
  • high: the highest price the stock traded for the current day.
  • low: the lowest price the stock traded for the current day.
  • volume: number of shares traded of this stock for the current day.
  • marketcap: the market cap of the stock.
  • tradetime: the last time the stock traded.
  • datadelay: the delay in the data presented for this stock using the googleFinance() function.
  • volumeavg: the average volume for this stock.
  • pe: the Price-to-Earnings ratio for this stock.
  • eps: the earnings-per-share for this stock.
  • high52: the 52-week high for this stock.
  • low52: the 52-week low for this stock.
  • change: the change in the price of this stock since yesterday's market close.
  • beta: the beta value of this stock.
  • changepct: the percentage change in the price of this stock since yesterday's close.
  • closeyest: yesterday's closing price of this stock.
  • shares: the number of shares outstanding of this stock.
  • currency: the currency in which this stock is traded.
Using GoogleFinance to show historical data
The GoogleFinance function also allows you to easily show historical stock data, allowing you to track the performance of any stock across a certain time period. To show historical data, type =GoogleFinance("symbol", "attribute", "start_date", "num_days|end_date", "interval") into a spreadsheet cell. You’ll find details about the syntax of this formula below:
  • “Symbol" and “attribute” follow the same rules as above
  • “Start date” is the day you’d like to start showing information from
  • "num_days" | "end_date" [Optional] can be either the end date for the time period over which you want to see historical data, or the number of days from the start date. Any number less than 50 is considered to be num_days. Otherwise it is considered an end_date.
  • "interval" specifies granularity at which the stock data is shown, either daily or weekly. You can enter either “Daily” or “1” if you would like daily information and either “Weekly” or “7” for weekly data.
You can find more information about historical data and mutual fund data in the Google spreadsheets help center.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Posted by: Julia Harter, Consumer Operations Associate

Note:
This feature currently focuses on U.S. stock exchanges - we're working to add more international data, but for now, stock symbols default to U.S. exchanges. International results may not be supported, and results are only in English. Data may be delayed by up to 20 minutes, and we can't guarantee its accuracy - please see our Stock Quotes Disclaimer.
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/08/tips-tricks-googlefinance-in-google.html

[G] Google Display Network series: Measure everything. Optimize relentlessly.

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Inside AdWords: Google Display Network series: Measure everything. Optimize relentlessly.


In the last three weeks, we showed you tools to effectively plan your display advertising campaigns, develop compelling ads, and target your ads to reach precisely the right audience across millions of both popular and niche sites in the Google Display Network (GDN). In today’s final post, we’ll dive into measuring and improving your online display campaigns with powerful, free tools that bring accountability to your display advertising investment.

Campaign reporting and optimization
On the GDN, you have real-time reporting for every site and URL where your ads ran. You can view basic metrics like impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate (CTR) and cost, or, by implementing our free AdWords Conversion Tracking, you can measure conversion metrics to determine your campaign’s return on investment (ROI). We also recently introduced viewthrough conversion reporting to provide a more complete picture of your display campaign performance.

With rich site- and URL-level data like this, you can see exactly what’s working and respond on the fly. This means you can increase bids for sites generating lots of sales or decrease bids for, or exclude, poorer-performing sites.

With Conversion Tracking enabled, you can also unleash our bid management tool, Conversion Optimizer, to help increase your conversions while decreasing your cost-per-acquisition (CPA). One of the most powerful bid management tools available, the average campaign using Conversion Optimizer sees a 21% lift in conversions with a 14% lower CPA*.

Web analytics and optimization
Your campaign’s performance is heavily influenced by the experience visitors have on your site.Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you measure user behavior on your site, providing metrics like time spent on your site, page views, traffic sources, bounce rate, and more. Using this information, you can identify areas on your site you need to improve to increase conversion rates and ultimately, your ROI. Although Google Analytics works independently of Conversion Tracking, it’s possible to automatically import your Analytics data into Conversion Tracking, enabling you to consolidate reporting and optimization across these measurement tools.

While Google Analytics tells you what’s happening on your site, Website Optimizer empowers you to change it. You can show your visitors multiple versions of a page or elements on a page to test which are most effective, thereby getting more of your visitors to convert into customers.

Measurement beyond the click
Finally, research shows that the impact of display ads extends beyond immediate clicks and conversions. After seeing display ads, many users search for the advertised product or brand, or visit the advertiser’s web site days or weeks after having seen a display ad, even if they didn’t click on it. 

Recently, we launched Campaign Insights to help you measure the impact of your display campaigns beyond immediate clicks and conversions. Campaign Insights calculates the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign. By comparing a data set of thousands of advertisers who saw a particular display ad with an equivalent group that did not see the ad, we can determine the incremental change directly attributable to the display campaign. With this insight, you can establish your display campaign performance, beyond just immediate clicks.

This post ends our series on the Google Display Network. Over the past four weeks, we hope you’ve discovered new ways Google can help you run successful display campaigns. For more on the GDN, please visit our microsite.

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew

* Analysis compares performance of Conversion Optimizer campaigns over the course of a year with a control set of campaigns and represents the average impact of Conversion Optimizer. Actual impact may vary form campaign to campaign.
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/08/google-display-network-series-measure.html

Thursday, August 12, 2010

[G] Facts about our network neutrality policy proposal

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Google Public Policy Blog: Facts about our network neutrality policy proposal

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

Over the past few days there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding our announcement of a policy proposal on network neutrality we put together with Verizon. On balance, we believe this proposal represents real progress on what has become a very contentious issue, and we think it could help move the network neutrality debate forward constructively.

We don’t expect everyone to agree with every aspect of our proposal, but there has been a number of inaccuracies about it, and we do want to separate fact from fiction.

MYTH: Google has “sold out” on network neutrality.

FACT: Google has been the leading corporate voice on the issue of network neutrality over the past five years. No other company is working as tirelessly for an open Internet.

But given political realities, this particular issue has been intractable in Washington for several years now. At this time there are no enforceable protections – at the Federal Communications Commission or anywhere else – against even the worst forms of carrier discrimination against Internet traffic.

With that in mind, we decided to partner with a major broadband provider on the best policy solution we could devise together. We’re not saying this solution is perfect, but we believe that a proposal that locks in key enforceable protections for consumers is preferable to no protection at all.

MYTH: This proposal represents a step backwards for the open Internet.

FACT: If adopted, this proposal would for the first time give the FCC the ability to preserve the open Internet through enforceable rules on broadband providers. At the same time, the FCC would be prohibited from imposing regulations on the Internet itself.

Here are some of the tangible benefits in our joint legislative proposal:
  • Newly enforceable FCC standards
  • Prohibitions against blocking or degrading wireline Internet traffic
  • Prohibition against discriminating against wireline Internet traffic in ways that harm users or competition
  • Presumption against all forms of prioritizing wireline Internet traffic
  • Full transparency across wireline and wireless broadband platforms
  • Clear FCC authority to adjudicate user complaints, and impose injunctions and fines against bad actors
Verizon has agreed to voluntarily abide by these same requirements going forward – another first for a major communications provider. We hope this action will convince other broadband companies to follow suit.

MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless.

FACT: It’s true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye.

Why? First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from. Second, because wireless networks employ airwaves, rather than wires, and share constrained capacity among many users, these carriers need to manage their networks more actively. Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.

In our proposal, we agreed that the best first step is for wireless providers to be fully transparent with users about how network traffic is managed to avoid congestion, or prioritized for certain applications and content. Our proposal also asks the Federal government to monitor and report regularly on the state of the wireless broadband market. Importantly, Congress would always have the ability to step in and impose new safeguards on wireless broadband providers to protect consumers’ interests.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the future of wireless broadband increasingly will be found in the advanced, 4th generation (4G) networks now being constructed. Verizon will begin rolling out its 4G network this fall under openness license conditions that Google helped persuade the FCC to adopt. Clearwire is already providing 4G service in some markets, operating under a unique wholesale/openness business model. So consumers across the country are beginning to experience open Internet wireless platforms, which we hope will be enhanced and encouraged by our transparency proposal.

MYTH: This proposal will allow broadband providers to “cannibalize” the public Internet.

FACT: Another aspect of the joint proposal would allow broadband providers to offer certain specialized services to customers, services which are not part of the Internet. So, for example, broadband providers could offer a special gaming channel, or a more secure banking service, or a home health monitoring capability – so long as such offerings are separate and apart from the public Internet. Some broadband providers already offer these types of services today. The chief challenge is to let consumers benefit from these non-Internet services, without allowing them to impede on the Internet itself.

We have a number of key protections in the proposal to protect the public Internet:
  • First, the broadband provider must fully comply with the consumer protection and nondiscrimination standards governing its Internet access service before it could pursue any of these other online service opportunities.
  • Second, these services must be “distinguishable in purpose and scope” from Internet access, so that they cannot over time supplant the best effort Internet.
  • Third, the FCC retains its full capacity to monitor these various service offerings, and to intervene where necessary to ensure that robust, unfettered broadband capacity is allocated to Internet access.
So we believe there would be more than adequate tools in place to help guard against the “cannibalization” of the public Internet.

MYTH: Google is working with Verizon on this because of Android.

FACT: This is a policy proposal – not a business deal. Of course, Google has a close business relationship with Verizon, but ultimately this proposal has nothing to do with Android. Folks certainly should not be surprised by the announcement of this proposal, given our prior public policy work with Verizon on network neutrality, going back to our October 2009 blog post, our January 2010 joint FCC filing, and our April 2010 op-ed.

MYTH: Two corporations are legislating the future of the Internet.

FACT: Our two companies are proposing a legislative framework to the Congress for its consideration. We hope all stakeholders will weigh in and help shape the framework to move us all forward. We’re not so presumptuous to think that any two businesses could – or should – decide the future of this issue. We’re simply trying to offer a proposal to help resolve a debate which has largely stagnated after five years.

It’s up to Congress, the FCC, other policymakers – and the American public – to take it from here. Whether you favor our proposal or not, we urge you to take your views directly to your Senators and Representatives in Washington.

We hope this helps address some of the inaccuracies that have appeared about our proposal. We’ll provide updates as the situation continues to develop.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/08/facts-about-our-network-neutrality.html

[G] Introducing the Google Small Business Blog

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Inside AdSense: Introducing the Google Small Business Blog

We wanted to give you all a heads up about a new Google blog that is focused on helping small businesses grow. Check out their first post below and visit googlesmb.blogspot.com to follow their future posts and updates. -ed.

Most every business, including ours, starts small. These days, technology is giving businesses even more ways to grow bigger... faster.

In our recent Small Business series on the Official Google Blog, a handful of real-life entrepreneurs have shared their experiences building companies from scratch and embracing Internet tools that have taken their businesses to the next level. We’ve received fantastic feedback about these posts, and realized that there’s a healthy appetite among small- and medium-sized business owners who want to know all about the latest web tools and tricks. Fortunately, we have lots more to share with you, too!

That’s why we’re introducing the Google Small Business Blog, a central hub that brings together all the information about our products, features and projects of specific interest to the small business community. Rather than having to sleuth around in many different locations for details about templates for creating video ads on YouTube, tips for your employees using Gmail or how to respond to the business reviews on your Place Page, you can find all of this helpful information right here in one place.

Of course, we’ll continue to post relevant news about individual services such as AdWords, Apps, Google Places and YouTube on their respective “home” blogs, but feel free to visit or subscribe to the Google Small Business Blog to get everything relating to your small business needs. We’re starting small today, but who knows what tomorrow will have in store!

Posted by Deanna Yick - Small Business Blog Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2010/08/introducing-google-small-business-blog.html

[G] Beachcombing for New Imagery

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Google LatLong: Beachcombing for New Imagery


If you're anything like me, you can't get enough of beaches during the summer months. There are few activities as relaxing as sitting by the water, reading a book, and enjoying a cool beverage. This week's imagery update includes a number of great beaches, so if you live nearby, you may want to go soak up some sun. Just remember to bring your sunscreen!


Chicago, Illinois beach


Goa, India beach


Atlantida, Uruguay beach

Of course, it's only summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so be sure to put Uruguay on your list for future travel rather than flying over there now!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:
USA: Chicago, Stockton, Modesto, Nez Perce (ID), Barre (VT), Orange County (NC), Polk County (FL), Hardee County (FL), Okeechobee County (FL)
Uruguay: Salinas, Atlantida

Countries receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:
Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Madagascar, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, The Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand

Countries receiving Medium Resolution Satellite Updates:
Canada, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya

Right now these updates are only available in Google Earth, but will be in Google Maps soon. For a complete picture of where we updated imagery, download this KML for viewing in Google Earth.

Posted by Matt Manolides, Senior Geo Data Strategist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/08/beachcombing-for-new-imagery.html

[G] How would you advance online free expression?

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Official Google Blog: How would you advance online free expression?

Cross-posted on the YouTube blog.

There seems to be no hotter topic for discussion among Internet watchers these days than concerns over online free expression -- from the role of bloggers in advancing democratic movements, to sophisticated government censorship, to debates over how best to balance transparency with national security concerns. YouTube, Google and the Central European University will make our own contribution to the conversation at a major international conference we’re hosting in Budapest from September 20-22. We've invited grassroots activists, bloggers and vloggers from five continents, as well as representatives from NGOs, academia, industry and government to begin a long-term discussion about these issues and to form international working groups to promote practical change.

But a conversation about online free expression would be nothing without contributions from you. From election protests to government whistleblowing to grassroots advocacy, we’ve seen YouTube users upload, watch and share stories that would’ve never received global attention before the Internet era. That's why we're inviting you to submit your own video that answers this question:

"What's the biggest barrier to free expression on the Internet, and what would you do to overcome it?"

You can go to our Moderator series here to submit ideas and videos and/or to vote on your favorite contributions from others around the world.

Please participate by September 7, and we’ll showcase many of your responses at the conference in Budapest later in the month. We’ll also offer highlights from the dialogue on CitizenTube.

Posted by Bob Boorstin, Public Policy, and Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-would-you-advance-online-free.html

[G] Your Google stories: reunited and it feels so good

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Official Google Blog: Your Google stories: reunited and it feels so good

This is part of a series of stories from people who have shared how Google has helped them in their lives. Check back tomorrow for the last post, and if you have a Google story, tell us about it. -Ed.

Like most search quality engineers at Google, the projects I work on revolve around helping people find information. The vast amount of content on the web makes this a daunting task—sometimes it feels like searching for a needle in a field full of haystacks. I've always thought one of the amazing abilities of search is how it can sift through that content to help make a connection that otherwise would never be made.

Because of this, some of my favorite search stories come from people who have used Google to reunite with loved ones and family members. It's inspiring to know that search has played a role in creating some of the most important moments in people's lives. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Willie met Elizabeth long before Google existed, but used search to find her 24 years later:


Received: 1/20/2010
From: Willie
I would like to thank you for helping to bring me together with my girlfriend. We hope you will enjoy hearing how your company played a part in our wonderful romance. Here's how it happened:

Elizabeth and I originally met in a club in 1986. We hit it off very well in that brief encounter but did not start a relationship at that time. Twenty-four years later, because she had made such a powerful impression, I still remembered Elizabeth well. I decided to try to contact her. I Googled her, using her name and hometown and was delighted to find her in the top spot. I emailed her, and we began an email and texting campaign. We were reunited several weeks later, fell in love soon after, and have been inseparable ever since. Thank you Google for enabling me to find my sweetheart all these years later!


Jennifer also used Google search to reunite with an old flame after 18 years:

Received: 1/8/2010
From: Jennifer
Twenty-one years ago I was an art student living in London. One day a friend talked me into having a beer after our painting class...little did I know that one decision would change my life forever. That afternoon we walked into a pub in Nottinghill and I saw a really cute guy having tea with a friend—he and I couldn't stop looking at each other! As I got up to leave, I told him he was “cute” so he asked me out. Because of my busy schedule at school we only had one date but I was absolutely smitten with him. (He used to slip love notes through my front door in the morning.) A few weeks later, I had to return to the US and I phoned him from Heathrow to say good-bye and that I was sorry I didn't get to spend more time with him. I had been busy with my final exams, but he just assumed I had been brushing him off which was not true! I was only 20 years old and I knew I had to go back home to the US, how could it possibly work?

Fast forward 18 years and I'm sitting in my apartment in NYC and thinking about my long lost Hans. I Googled his name and found him still living in London. I sent him an email and asked him if he remembered me. He wrote back and said “Yes” and that he would be traveling to NYC in two weeks and could we have dinner? Our first official date was Waldorf salad at the Waldorf Astoria. We discovered after all those years that the initial spark was still there. We dated back and forth between NYC and London for two years. Last year he moved back to the Netherlands and he asked me to join him a few months later. We got married on August 21, 2009.


And Adrian from the Netherlands was able to locate his biological mother using Google:

Received: 11/9/2009
From: Adrian
For many years I have been using Google as a search tool looking for my biological mother in Australia. In May 2009 a Google search led me to my mother's name on an Internet site. From there I was able to research and confirm that the name on the Google page was in fact my real mother. I made contact in June 2009 and we have been enjoying a wonderful reunion via email and telephone ever since. My mother is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on December 12 2009 and after 43 years we get to meet each other in person for the fist time. My new-found mother will now be able to share Christmas with her new found family.


It isn't often that a mild-mannered software engineer gets to help two people find one another decades later or on different sides of an ocean. I appreciate both the opportunity to help make these connections and the people behind these stories for sharing them. Thanks, and keep on searching!

Posted by Bryan Horling, Software Engineer
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-google-stories-reunited-and-it.html

[G] Facts about our network neutrality policy proposal

| More

Official Google Blog: Facts about our network neutrality policy proposal

Cross-posted on our Public Policy Blog.

Over the past few days there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding our announcement of a policy proposal on network neutrality we put together with Verizon. On balance, we believe this proposal represents real progress on what has become a very contentious issue, and we think it could help move the network neutrality debate forward constructively.

We don’t expect everyone to agree with every aspect of our proposal, but there has been a number of inaccuracies about it, and we do want to separate fact from fiction.

MYTH: Google has “sold out” on network neutrality.

FACT: Google has been the leading corporate voice on the issue of network neutrality over the past five years. No other company is working as tirelessly for an open Internet.

But given political realities, this particular issue has been intractable in Washington for several years now. At this time there are no enforceable protections – at the Federal Communications Commission or anywhere else – against even the worst forms of carrier discrimination against Internet traffic.

With that in mind, we decided to partner with a major broadband provider on the best policy solution we could devise together. We’re not saying this solution is perfect, but we believe that a proposal that locks in key enforceable protections for consumers is preferable to no protection at all.

MYTH: This proposal represents a step backwards for the open Internet.

FACT: If adopted, this proposal would for the first time give the FCC the ability to preserve the open Internet through enforceable rules on broadband providers. At the same time, the FCC would be prohibited from imposing regulations on the Internet itself.

Here are some of the tangible benefits in our joint legislative proposal:
  • Newly enforceable FCC standards
  • Prohibitions against blocking or degrading wireline Internet traffic
  • Prohibition against discriminating against wireline Internet traffic in ways that harm users or competition
  • Presumption against all forms of prioritizing wireline Internet traffic
  • Full transparency across wireline and wireless broadband platforms
  • Clear FCC authority to adjudicate user complaints, and impose injunctions and fines against bad actors
Verizon has agreed to voluntarily abide by these same requirements going forward – another first for a major communications provider. We hope this action will convince other broadband companies to follow suit.

MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless.

FACT: It’s true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye.

Why? First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from. Second, because wireless networks employ airwaves, rather than wires, and share constrained capacity among many users, these carriers need to manage their networks more actively. Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.

In our proposal, we agreed that the best first step is for wireless providers to be fully transparent with users about how network traffic is managed to avoid congestion, or prioritized for certain applications and content. Our proposal also asks the Federal government to monitor and report regularly on the state of the wireless broadband market. Importantly, Congress would always have the ability to step in and impose new safeguards on wireless broadband providers to protect consumers’ interests.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the future of wireless broadband increasingly will be found in the advanced, 4th generation (4G) networks now being constructed. Verizon will begin rolling out its 4G network this fall under openness license conditions that Google helped persuade the FCC to adopt. Clearwire is already providing 4G service in some markets, operating under a unique wholesale/openness business model. So consumers across the country are beginning to experience open Internet wireless platforms, which we hope will be enhanced and encouraged by our transparency proposal.

MYTH: This proposal will allow broadband providers to “cannibalize” the public Internet.

FACT: Another aspect of the joint proposal would allow broadband providers to offer certain specialized services to customers, services which are not part of the Internet. So, for example, broadband providers could offer a special gaming channel, or a more secure banking service, or a home health monitoring capability – so long as such offerings are separate and apart from the public Internet. Some broadband providers already offer these types of services today. The chief challenge is to let consumers benefit from these non-Internet services, without allowing them to impede on the Internet itself.

We have a number of key protections in the proposal to protect the public Internet:
  • First, the broadband provider must fully comply with the consumer protection and nondiscrimination standards governing its Internet access service before it could pursue any of these other online service opportunities.
  • Second, these services must be “distinguishable in purpose and scope” from Internet access, so that they cannot over time supplant the best effort Internet.
  • Third, the FCC retains its full capacity to monitor these various service offerings, and to intervene where necessary to ensure that robust, unfettered broadband capacity is allocated to Internet access.
So we believe there would be more than adequate tools in place to help guard against the “cannibalization” of the public Internet.

MYTH: Google is working with Verizon on this because of Android.

FACT: This is a policy proposal – not a business deal. Of course, Google has a close business relationship with Verizon, but ultimately this proposal has nothing to do with Android. Folks certainly should not be surprised by the announcement of this proposal, given our prior public policy work with Verizon on network neutrality, going back to our October 2009 blog post, our January 2010 joint FCC filing, and our April 2010 op-ed.

MYTH: Two corporations legislating the future of the Internet.

FACT: Our two companies are proposing a legislative framework to the Congress for its consideration. We hope all stakeholders will weigh in and help shape the framework to move us all forward. We’re not so presumptuous to think that any two businesses could – or should – decide the future of this issue. We’re simply trying to offer a proposal to help resolve a debate which has largely stagnated after five years.

It’s up to Congress, the FCC, other policymakers – and the American public – to take it from here. Whether you favor our proposal or not, we urge you to take your views directly to your Senators and Representatives in Washington.

We hope this helps address some of the inaccuracies that have appeared about our proposal. We’ll provide updates as the situation continues to develop.

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/facts-about-our-network-neutrality.html

[G] Just speak it: introducing Voice Actions for Android

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Official Google Blog: Just speak it: introducing Voice Actions for Android

(cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog)

Our mobile phones have become modern-day Swiss Army knives. An Android phone is a handheld computer, a music player, a notepad, a GPS navigation unit and more, all rolled into one sleek device that fits in your pocket. Today’s phones do so many things for us that sometimes we don’t even think about how we do them.

Even though our phones do all these new things, the most natural way of interacting with a phone remains what it always has been: speaking. And to that end, we’re pleased to introduce Voice Actions for Android. Voice Actions are a series of spoken commands that let you control your phone using your voice. Call businesses and contacts, send texts and email, listen to music, browse the web, and complete common tasks, all just by speaking into your phone.

To use Voice Actions, tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen. Let Mike LeBeau, the lead engineer for Voice Actions, show you in this video.


Speak any of these commands to perform a Voice Action on your phone:
  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • listen to [artist/song/album]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • send email to [contact] [message]
  • go to [website]
  • note to self [note]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]
And of course, you can still conduct a Google search using your voice.




While we’re at it, we’re also releasing an updated version of the Google search widget for Android. When you type a local search query, like [italian restaurants] you’ll see suggested restaurants with addresses and ratings. Also, as you type queries, you can refine them further by tapping the pencil icon that appears to the right of search suggestions.

Both Voice Actions and the new Google search widget require Android 2.2 (Froyo), and will be pre-installed with the new Droid 2 phone from Motorola and Verizon. Voice Actions are currently available for U.S. English speakers.

If you have another phone with Android 2.2 (like the Nexus One, HTC Evo or the original Droid), you’ll need to download several app updates from Android Market to get all the latest goodness:
  • Voice Search (this app includes Voice Actions)
  • Google Search widget
  • music apps (e.g. Pandora, Last.fm, Rdio, mSpot)
To get started fast, scan the QR codes for these apps below.

We think Voice Actions help you get things done on your phone faster and easier. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Voice SearchSearch widget


Posted by Hugo Barra, Product Management Director, and Dave Burke, Engineering Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/just-speak-it-introducing-voice-actions.html