Saturday, February 19, 2011

[G] Geography as art

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Google LatLong: Geography as art

While maps are often considered guides to get from here to there, on the Google Maps and Earth team, we’re constantly thinking of innovative ways to express geographic information. From helping you see the world from a street-level perspective with Street View, to enabling you to dive into the Ocean layer in Google Earth, new geographic visualizations are top of mind for the team. With that mapping mindset, Group Product Manager Lior Ron was struck by the abstract landscape paintings he saw at the Sausalito art festival.

Ben Joyce’s painting of San Francisco caught his attention: “The color scheme, brush strokes, and the open frame prompted my imagination freely to think about San Francisco and what I love about this city. What a wonderful way of visualizing spaces!”

San Francisco at Night by Ben Joyce

Ben describes his work as Abstract Topophilia: “The affective bond between people and place. The Love of Place,” and explains how cities like San Francisco inspire his artwork: “There is great beauty and intrigue in the layout of a city - from your everyday drive to work, to the historical creation of the streets, to your personal relationship with the town."

When Lior shared Ben’s work with some teammates, we too were fascinated by the bold color schemes and dramatic visualizations of geographic information, and were thrilled to learn that Ben has consulted Google Earth to create his city artwork. To share these creative visualizations with the team, we invited Ben to show some of his artwork in our team building, with depictions of cities ranging from Florence to Moscow.

Moscow by Ben Joyce

When we first hung up the paintings, we omitted location descriptions and opened a contest for the team: who could identify all of the paintings first? Google Earth Community Program Manager Robin Ziegler identified all of the locations about 30 hours after we started the challenge, and even plotted all of the paintings in Google Earth. Here you can see how Robin aligned Ben’s painting of Miami with the corresponding imagery in Google Earth.




Ben’s artwork will stay in our team’s building for the next three months, and will continue to remind us of the creative potential of geographic information.

Posted by Emily Henderson, Administrative Assistant, Google Maps & Earth
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/02/geography-as-art.html

[G] Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map

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Google LatLong: Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map


When I was in elementary school, I got two days off every February; one for George Washington and another for Abraham Lincoln. I remember classrooms were usually wallpapered with a potpourri of decorations left over from Valentine’s Day and token silhouettes of these two Presidents thumb-tacked to the bulletin board. My teachers would talk about the significance of the holiday during class but with lack of visuals to pique my interest, it was always hard to retain (and fully enjoy!) the information. With that in mind, we’re pleased to celebrate the President’s Day holiday in the U.S. by letting you go back in time to learn more about our past presidents in a visually fun and interactive way.

We’ve created a U.S. Presidents Showcase to map the birthplaces of all 44 presidents, and provide details about their presidential terms, using the Google Earth plug-in. You can also see the states that voted during each president’s election by clicking on the tours in the left column of the showcase.


Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious to learn more about U.S. presidents, we hope you enjoy exploring a little further using Google Earth. In addition to the U.S. Presidents map, educators can use some of our other resources in their classroom to explore more aspects of history. Here are a few ideas:
  • Explore the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other historical monuments in 3D and have students explain how architecture is used to honor people, concepts and establishments
  • View a 3D model of Valley Forge National Park in Google Earth
  • View a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln and map the areas where slavery ended, as well as the areas that were not initially covered by this executive order
  • Discuss the famous painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze and use the ruler tool in Google Earth to measure the width of the Delaware River
We hope you have fun exploring and learning a little more of the history behind the President’s Day holiday. And when you’re done, go out and enjoy your day off!

Posted by Tina Ornduff, Geo Education Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/02/explore-our-us-presidents-on-map.html

[G] I Have Come From The Land Down Under....

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Google Open Source Blog: I Have Come From The Land Down Under....



Along with an unintended tan from the Brisbane sun and a serious sense of awe at how large golden silk orb-weavers are, I came home from linux.conf.au (LCA) 2011 with a bunch of new ideas from the plethora of terrific talks at the conference. You can find videos of most of the talks on the conference wiki but I have to call out some of my favorites here.

First and foremost, Vint Cerf, Googler and co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols, gave a thoughtful and humorous keynote on where he thinks the internet is going, and what we need to do to get it there. Despite widely held concern around the rapidly decreasing number of available IP addresses, his deeply informed take on the situation was characteristically upbeat.



While Google has released more that 20 million lines of open source code through the years, we’re always trying to release more. My colleagues Dan Bentley and Daniel Nadasi gave an extremely useful talk about Make Open Easy (MOE), their program within Google to make the process for Googlers to open source code as fast and easy as possible, and how this methodology might be used by other businesses. They also talked about the challenges a project faces in trying to be useful to both the public and the internal teams that depend on it.



Last but far from least, I was wowed on Thursday by Paul Gardner-Stephen’s talk on “The Serval BatPhone: Making Mesh Mobile Telephony Practical, Anywhere, Any Time.” Especially in light of recent catastrophic weather events in Australia, the potential to free cellular phone communication from the constraints of significant and expensive infrastructure is hugely exciting.



This LCA, completely relocated because of extensive flooding 10 days before opening, was one for the record books. As always, LCA was stimulating, exhausting, warm, and a wonderfully well-organized meeting of over 700 curious minds.

By Cat Allman, Open Source Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-have-come-from-land-down-under.html

[G] Google Apps highlights – 2/18/11

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 2/18/11

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.

This Friday update includes improvements to the Gmail mobile web app and Google Docs interfaces, a feature long-sought-after by many Google Voice fans, a powerful account security improvement and stories from several of the companies and government agencies that have recently moved to Google Apps.

Priority Inbox for Gmail mobile web app
Keeping what’s most important front and center is especially helpful on the smaller screen of your mobile device, so we were happy to release Priority Inbox in the Gmail mobile web app. If your phone’s browser supports HTML5, you’ll see the familiar Priority Inbox sections and message importance markers when you visit gmail.com.


Doc list refresh
The documents list in Google Docs got a visual makeover and tune-up on Monday. We added a helpful set of filters to quickly narrow down search results, a right-side preview panel to show details about a selected file and the ability to view uploaded media like photos and videos. What we previously called “Folders” are now called “Collections,” and we’re making the whole interface snappier to save you time.


Port numbers to Google Voice
Last month, we updated Google Voice in response to one of our top user requests: the ability to port existing phone numbers to Google Voice. If you have a beloved phone number that you want to keep as your primary digits, but want Google Voice to ring multiple phones when someone calls, Number Porting might be for you. There’s a $20 charge for Number Porting, and your wireless carrier may charge an early termination fee, so we recommend that you check with your carrier before porting. For more details, check the Google Voice Help Center.



2-Step Verification available to all
Now everyone can help keep their account safer with 2-Step Verification, which we released to Google Apps business customers last year. This advanced security feature works by requiring you to sign in with something you know (your password) plus something you have (a code from your mobile phone). 2-Step Verification helps ensure that the person trying to access your account is the real you.


New setup wizard for Google Apps administrators
Organizations using Google Apps often get up and running in under an hour, but we wanted the setup experience to be even faster and easier. Last week we added a new Google Apps setup wizard to the administrative control panel, which gives guided help for creating user accounts, migrating existing mail to Gmail, routing user email to Gmail and more.


Who’s gone Google?
Recently we’ve seen a surge in new public sector customers—including the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the City of Rochester Hills. These organizations are not only saving taxpayer dollars with Google Apps, but also boosting the productivity of their ranks.

More than 50,000 businesses have also started using Google Apps in the last three weeks. Pithy Little Wine Co., DeyFischer Consulting, Manna on Main Street and Hunter Douglas are just a few of the businesses we’ve profiled recently who are are going 100% web.

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/google-apps-highlights-21811.html

Friday, February 18, 2011

[G] Understanding your eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions): Part 1 of 2

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Inside AdSense: Understanding your eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions): Part 1 of 2

“What is eCPM? What affects my eCPM? What can I do to earn a higher eCPM?”

Effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM) is the amount of revenue you can expect to earn from AdSense for every 1000 impressions shown on your site. Since eCPM helps you measure how well your ads are performing, we often hear questions from publishers about the factors that impact this metric and how it relates to their earnings. If you're using the new interface, you'll see that your reports show RPM (revenue per thousand impressions); RPM is just another term for eCPM, and it's calculated the same way, so we use these two terms interchangeably.

To help provide some clarity, we’re kicking off a two-part video series with more insights into how eCPM is calculated in order to help you maximize earnings. With the help of AdSense optimization specialist, Matthew Carpenter Arevalo, we’ll show you the factors that affect eCPM, how to track user behavior and traffic patterns, and what you can do to improve your website performance.

In the video below, Matthew will introduce you to the basics of how eCPM is calculated and explain how to analyze the causes behind any changes in your eCPM.



If you’d like to learn more about eCPMs visit our Help Center.

Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn what you can do to better understand and optimize your website’s eCPM.

Posted by Meredith Blackwell - Inside AdSense team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2011/02/understanding-your-ecpm-effective-cost.html

[G] New Interface Wednesdays: Compare and search performance across multiple date ranges

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Inside AdSense: New Interface Wednesdays: Compare and search performance across multiple date ranges

Have you ever run a test on one of your ad units, and wished you could more easily compare performance from before and after the test? If you've created and saved an ad unit in your account, you'll now find an easy way to do this in your ad units report.
  • Start by visiting the Performance Reports tab and choosing the ad units report (you'll find it in the navigation bar under "Entire account by day").
  • Search for the name of an ad unit you've updated and select it.
  • Open the date range box and set a window of dates before your test -- for example, two weeks.
  • Check the box marked "compare to other dates" and include a similar window of dates after you made the change to your ad unit.
In the graph, you'll then see the performance of your ad unit for both date ranges. You can still toggle the metrics shown on the graph using the radio buttons so you can compare CTR, RPM and other metrics that are relevant to you.


Try it now! Navigate to the new interface and click on the Performance Reports tab, and then ad unit report.

Posted by Vincent Zanotti - AdSense Engineer
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-interface-wednesdays-compare-and.html

[G] Display both text and image ads for an easy change with big impact

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Inside AdSense: Display both text and image ads for an easy change with big impact

FunCheapSF.com is an online resource for finding free or affordable events in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founder Johnny Hayes recently shared his site’s story with us and gave some tips on an easy and high impact way that he’s optimized his revenue -- by enabling both text and image/rich media ads.

Inside AdSense: How did FunCheapSF.com come about?
Johnny Hayes: I moved to San Francisco without a job and couldn’t find much work, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I spent my time hunting down cheap and free things to do in the city and, starting in 2003, began emailing my friends with a weekly list of activities. More friends found out and wanted to be added to my email list, so I decided it was time to make a real website.

IA: How did you get started with AdSense?
JH: I began using AdSense in March 2007. It was my first source of online advertising revenue. As content developed on my site and traffic grew, my AdSense revenue grew as well.

IA: Why did you decide to opt in to both text and image/rich media ads?
JH: Several months ago, I received an email from AdSense letting me know that I hadn't opted in to displaying text ads and was only displaying image ads.

I had originally chosen to only show image ads because I figured they were more aesthetically appealing to my readers. But Google’s reasoning – which made sense to me – was that even though there’s tons of advertisers using image ads, there’s a bunch more out there who are specifically bidding on text ads. If I’m only showing image ads then I’m leaving the text advertisers out of the auction. And since these text ads would only be shown on my site if they outbid image ads, why not offer this space to them?

So I decided to give the text ads a shot. It seemed like an easy thing to do that might have a positive impact on my revenue with virtually no downside.

IA: What were the results? Would you recommend this strategy to other publishers?
JH: After enabling both text and image ads on my site, I saw a 51% revenue increase and nearly a 60% increase in average eCPM. It was an easy change with a big impact. And using AdSense means I don't have to worry about the laborious task of finding and managing advertisers myself and can instead focus my time on what I like to do – writing good content, putting together a great site and growing my business. I just plugged in the AdSense code and rarely have to think about it again.

I would say to other publishers that it’s worth giving the option for both text and image ads a try. It's pretty easy to set up – I just followed the instructions in the email I had received from AdSense and it took just a few minutes. Also, set up channels to track your ads so you can see specifically which of your ad locations and ad types are monetizing well, and continue with that.

If you want to give text and image ads a try like Johnny, click here to upgrade your units now!
  • Once you're signed in to your AdSense account, click the "My Ads" tab in the new AdSense interface
  • Select all ad units
  • From the "Actions" dropdown, edit ad type to "Text & Image / rich media ads"
  • Set up custom channels to monitor the impact on your AdSense performance
Check out the images below to see where to enable both text and image ads in your account using the new AdSense interface:


Posted by Meredith Blackwell - Inside AdSense team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2011/02/display-both-text-and-image-ads-for.html

[G] Ad Blitz winner revealed

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YouTube Blog: Ad Blitz winner revealed

It's been about two weeks since the Super Bowl aired, but our ears are still ringing from the noise of advertisers jockeying for position in Ad Blitz, YouTube’s contest to find the best Super Bowl ad. Last Sunday, we added Super Bowl spots to the Ad Blitz gallery as they aired on gameday, and people could come to the channel (or even hop on their mobile devices) to vote for their favorites.



We’ve tabulated the final votes, and are pleased to announce that the winner is...







It was a great Super Bowl for mobile this year, with over 3.5 million views of the Ad Blitz channel happening on mobile devices. We received over 2.7 million votes, and in the first 30 hours after the game aired, commercials were viewed 47 million times.



As the winner of Ad Blitz, Chrysler will be featured in the YouTube masthead all day today. Hats off to them for being voted the top spot by the YouTube community.



Suzie Reider, Advertising Director Display, recently watched, “Steelers versus Packers - Super Bowl XLV and ESPN.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/qLClwIeaXhI/ad-blitz-winner-revealed.html

[G] Analyze Competition adds new markets and new features

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Inside AdWords: Analyze Competition adds new markets and new features

After its launch in all English-language AdWords accounts last year, Analyze Competition is now available in 8 more languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese.


All Analyze Competition users also benefit from a new feature. You may remember that we blogged about the “see search terms” link in August of last year. Clicking the link allows you to see the search terms that triggered your ads for each of the most specific sub-categories in your account. Now, in addition to seeing these search terms, you can add them as keywords directly to the campaign and ad group of your choice -- making the data in Analyze Competition much more actionable.


We hope to add even more markets and features in the near future. To learn more about Analyze Competition, visit the Help Center, or watch this short video.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/02/analyze-competition-adds-new-markets.html

[G] This Week's Trends: Britney Spears, Protests, and Videos That 'Get Passed Around'

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YouTube Blog: This Week's Trends: Britney Spears, Protests, and Videos That 'Get Passed Around'

Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:







Check back every day for the latest about what's trending on YouTube at: www.YouTube.com/Trends



Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Angela Winbush - It's The Real Thing."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/vHKmWxEKJzU/this-weeks-trends-britney-spears.html

[G] 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer

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Official Gmail Blog: 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer

Posted by: Anil Sabharwal, Product Manager

Cross posted from the Google Docs blog

The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.

Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
Not only does this round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types (we now support DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS and XLSX), but it also adds quick viewing capabilities for many of the most popular and highly-requested document and image types.

In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a “View” link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer.



You can also upload and share these files in Google Docs, so that anyone can view the content using their browser.

And as always, the Google Docs Viewer is available for use on any website, with both a full Chrome and embedded option. More information can be found here.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/12-new-file-formats-in-google-docs.html

[G] 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer

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Docs Blog: 12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer

Cross posted on the Official Gmail blog

The Google Docs Viewer is used by millions of people every day to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online. Not only is viewing files in your browser far more secure than downloading and opening them locally, but it also saves time and doesn’t clutter up your hard-drive with unwanted files.

Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
Not only does this round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types (we now support DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS and XLSX), but it also adds quick viewing capabilities for many of the most popular and highly-requested document and image types.

In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a “View” link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer.




You can also upload and share these files in Google Docs, so that anyone can view the content using their browser.

And as always, the Google Docs Viewer is available for use on any website, with both a full Chrome and embedded option. More information can be found here.

Posted by: Anil Sabharwal, Product Manager
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/02/12-new-file-formats-in-google-docs.html

[G] Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map

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Official Google Blog: Explore our U.S. Presidents on a map

(Cross-posted from the Students Blog and Lat Long Blog)

When I was in elementary school, I got two days off every February; one for George Washington and another for Abraham Lincoln. I remember classrooms were usually wallpapered with a potpourri of decorations left over from Valentine’s Day and token silhouettes of these two Presidents thumb-tacked to the bulletin board. My teachers would talk about the significance of the holiday during class but with lack of visuals to pique my interest, it was always hard to retain (and fully enjoy!) the information. With that in mind, we’re pleased to celebrate the President’s Day holiday in the U.S. by letting you go back in time to learn more about our past presidents in a visually fun and interactive way.

We’ve created a U.S. Presidents Showcase to map the birthplaces of all 44 presidents, and provide details about their presidential terms, using the Google Earth plug-in. You can also see the states that voted during each president’s election by clicking on the tours in the left column of the showcase.


Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious to learn more about U.S. presidents, we hope you enjoy exploring a little further using Google Earth. In addition to the U.S. Presidents map, educators can use some of our other resources in their classroom to explore more aspects of history. Here are a few ideas:
  • Explore the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other historical monuments in 3D and have students explain how architecture is used to honor people, concepts and establishments
  • View a 3D model of Valley Forge National Park in Google Earth
  • View a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln and map the areas where slavery ended, as well as the areas that were not initially covered by this executive order
  • Discuss the famous painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze and use the ruler tool in Google Earth to measure the width of the Delaware River
We hope you have fun exploring and learning a little more of the history behind the President’s Day holiday. And when you’re done, go out and enjoy your day off!

Posted by Tina Ornduff, Geo Education Program Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/explore-our-us-presidents-on-map.html

[G] The U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron takes your questions on the Middle East, global affairs and British domestic policy

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YouTube Blog: The U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron takes your questions on the Middle East, global affairs and British domestic policy

Last month, we introduced the YouTube World View program with a citizen-powered interview with U.S. President Barack Obama. Starting today, through World View, YouTube and Al Jazeera English are bringing you another chance to engage with one of the world’s preeminent leaders in a special interview: British Prime Minister David Cameron.

In light of current events, you’re invited to submit questions to Mr Cameron about foreign policy, national security, and how he views the present situation in the Middle East. In addition, you can also submit questions about issues related to domestic policy, so if you’re curious about the economy, education, health, or the big society, just go to www.youtube.com/worldview to submit your question in either video or text. You can also tweet in your question - make sure to use hashtag #askthePM in your tweet, and it will automatically be added to the World View queue.

Next Thursday, the Prime Minister will sit down for a special interview and answer a range of the most popular questions submitted by you. The deadline to submit your question is midnight GMT on Tuesday, February 22nd.







Interviews with President Obama and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, are just the start. We’ll be announcing more World View interviews in the coming months with other top leaders, and you can be sure that each of these interviews will be completely driven by your questions and votes. Who would you like to interview next? Leave your suggestions in the comments.
 


Ramya Raghavan, News and Politics Manager, and Jayme Goldstein, U.K. Product Marketing Manager, recently watched "Demonstrations in Al Bayda Libya"




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/dAD_yAe4fmc/uk-prime-minister-david-cameron-takes.html

[G] Faster than a speeding rabbit: speed, sync, and settings

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Google Chrome Blog: Faster than a speeding rabbit: speed, sync, and settings

In the spirit of the lunar new year, we’re excited to kick off the Year of the Rabbit with a slew of enhancements in the Chrome beta channel. Today’s new beta includes a dramatic improvement in JavaScript speed, new password sync features, and entirely revamped browser settings.

In our new beta release, JavaScript is as quick as a bunny. With a new speed boost that we previewed in December, Chrome’s JavaScript engine V8 runs compute-intensive JavaScript applications even more quickly than before. In fact, this beta release sports a whopping 66% improvement on the V8 benchmark suite over our current stable release.



This release also includes a preliminary implementation of GPU-accelerated video. Users with capable graphics hardware should see a significant decrease in CPU usage. In full screen mode, CPU usage may decrease by as much as 80%! This means better battery life so you can keep going and going like that pink bunny in the commercials.

For those of you who enjoy the convenience of saving passwords in Chrome, you can synchronize your saved passwords across multiple computers, along with your bookmarks, preferences, themes, and extensions. For added security, you can choose to encrypt your synced passwords with your own secret sync passphrase. To enable sync, visit the “Personal Stuff” section of Chrome’s settings dialog.

Speaking of settings, you’ll notice we have reworked the look and feel of the settings dialogs. Instead of opening in a separate window, they now open in a tab. More importantly, we’ve added two new settings features that make it easy to customize Chrome to your liking. Firstly, if you can’t remember where a particular pesky configuration setting is, simply type its name into the search box to see the settings that match as you type. Secondly, you can also now jump directly to most settings pages using their own dedicated URLs, without needing to navigate through a sequence of windows. Here’s a short video of the new settings interface in action:



As always, we’re eager to get your feedback, and look forward to bringing this basket of beta-fortified carrots to the stable channel over the coming weeks! (For those of you keen for some fun and games in this Year of the Rabbit, we’ll leave you with the mind-bending #ThinkFastGame speed challenge to try out alongside our new beta.)

Posted by Jeff Chang, Product Manager and Min Li Chan, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/02/faster-than-speeding-rabbit-speed-sync.html

[G] Updates to the Google Reader app for Android

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Official Google Reader Blog: Updates to the Google Reader app for Android

Today we’re excited to announce some updates to the official Google Reader app for Android. Over the last couple of months, we’ve added some of your most-requested features:




  • Unread count widget - choose any feed, label, person, or “all items” and get the unread count on your home screen. Clicking on the widget takes you to straight to that stream.

  • News ticker widget - if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the article, while clicking the folder will take you to that stream.


  • That is a lot of widgets

  • Mark previous as read - if you’ve used the mobile version of Reader before and missed this feature, it’s now back! As you scroll down your reading list, hit “Mark previous as read” at any time to only mark things above the screen as read.




In addition to these new features, thanks to 20%-ers Alexey Retunski and Anton Vayvod’s support, we now have an official Russian translation as well.



We hope you enjoy the updates - give it a try! You can download the app in all countries from the Android Market. The Google Reader app is available for devices running Android 1.6 or higher, with widget functionality available for devices on Android 2.2+.

URL: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2011/02/updates-to-google-reader-app-for.html