Saturday, March 5, 2011

[G] Happy birthday Will Eisner

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Official Google Blog: Happy birthday Will Eisner

From time to time we invite guests to post about topics of interest and we’re pleased to have Scott McCloud join us here. Scott is a comics artist with special ties to Google—he illustrated the Chrome comic book and is a 2011 U.S. Doodle 4 Google judge. He also helped in the design of today’s doodle in honor of Will Eisner, which is running in many countries including the U.S. In this post, Scott shares his thoughts on Will Eisner’s legacy. -Ed.

Will Eisner, American comics pioneer and creator of The Spirit, was born on March 6, 1917. He would have been 94 today.

Many of us who knew him still find it hard to believe he’s gone. He died in 2005, but for six decades, Eisner was a participant in, and inspiration for, much of the best in American comics, as well as a friend and mentor to multiple generations of comics artists.

Eisner influenced comics in dozens of ways. In the ‘40s, Eisner’s The Spirit—a seven-page newspaper feature—introduced an arsenal of visual storytelling techniques still used generations later, and provided an early testing ground for future comics stars including Jack Kirby and Jules Feiffer. (The Spirit also began a tradition of pictorially-integrated logos—inspiring today's snazzy rooftop doodle!)

Eisner was one of the first cartoonists to understand the power of visual education, and wrote eloquently about the process of making comics in Comics and Sequential Art (1985) and Graphic Storytelling (1996). As early as 1941, he publicly advocated treating comics as a distinct literary and artistic form, and—nearly four decades later—was instrumental in the rise of the graphic novel in America, beginning with A Contract with God in 1978.

For most of his career, Eisner was years, even decades, ahead of the curve. I saw him debating artists and editors half his age, and there was rarely any question who the youngest man in the room was. It helped that he never stood on ceremony. Everyone was his peer, regardless of age or status. None of us called him “Mr. Eisner.” He was just “Will.”

Eisner lived well into his eighties; long enough to see an industry award named after him. Inevitably, the prospect loomed that Will Eisner himself might win an “Eisner Award” leading to some awkward choices; Hall of Fame, maybe? Lifetime Achievement?

His only suggestion was “Most Promising Young Cartoonist.”

And so he was.

Posted by Scott McCloud
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/happy-birthday-will-eisner.html

Friday, March 4, 2011

[G] See you at PyCon 2011

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Google Open Source Blog: See you at PyCon 2011

As many of you may know, Python is one of the official languages here at Google. Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, is a Googler too—so naturally we’re thrilled to be supporting PyCon 2011 USA, the largest annual gathering for the community using and developing the open-source Python programming language. The PyCon conference days will be March 11th to the 13th, preceded by two tutorial days, March 9th and 10th. For those of you with coding in mind, the Sprints run afterwards from March 14th-17th. All-in-all that’s nine days of Python nirvana!!

In addition to having many Googlers in attendance, some of us will be presenting as well.
• On Wednesday, March 9th at 2 PM, I will be leading a Google App Engine tutorial with fellow teammate Ikai Lan. Tutorials have gotten so popular at PyCon, they’ve now been expanded into a two-day affair!

• On Friday the 11th, the very first day of sessions, App Engine engineer Brett Slatkin will kick things off with his talk, “Creating Complex Data Pipelines in the Cloud” using the new App Engine Pipeline API at 10:25 AM.

• After lunch on Friday, I’ll take my Google hat off momentarily to discuss Python 3 in my talk subtitled “The Next Generation is Here Already” at 1:35 PM. It is mostly a repeat of the well-received talk I gave last year but with updates. The main point is to introduce folks to the next version of the language and discuss how its backwards-incompatibility will affect users, when users should port their apps to Python 3, what the differences from Python 2 are, etc. My job is to calm and soothe, dispelling any FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about Python 3.

• On Saturday morning at 9:25 AM, Python creator, BDFL, and App Engine engineer Guido van Rossum will do his annual Q&A session for all conference attendees in a fireside chat session.

• Later Saturday morning at 11:05 AM, I’m looking forward to speaking about “Running Django Apps on Google App Engine.” This is exciting for me, not only because it’s a relatively new topic, but it represents a major change for Django developers: being able to write Django apps that run on NoSQL or non-relational databases -- it’s been only RDBMSs all this time. Furthermore, with Django-nonrel, you can move Django projects/apps between traditional hosting and App Engine, helping to break that “vendor lock-in” issue that many have had concerns about when hosting apps in the cloud. A good part of my talk does focus on porting apps from App Engine to Django however.

• Right after my talk, at 11:45 AM comes another famous Googler, author of Python in a Nutshell, co-editor of the Python Cookbook, and a long-time member of the Python community, Alex Martelli. Alex’s invited talk on “API Design anti-patterns” will be insightful and cerebral, sure to cause many future hallway discussions.

• Late Saturday afternoon at 4:15 PM, Google engineer Augie Fackler will deliver his talk entitled, “HTTP in Python: which library for what task?” There are many libraries that do HTTP. Which ones should you use and when? What are the benefits and tradeoffs?

• Finally, several members of the Google App Engine team, App Engine forum gurus, and experienced App Engine users are attending PyCon this year. I’m hoping to establish an OpenSpace session one of the conference evenings where we can meet other users, chat about best practices, and do some informal Q&A letting people ask anything they want (except “When will you support newer versions of Python?”). :-)
You can find the entire PyCon schedule online. It’s interactive if you log-in, allowing you to bookmark sessions you’re interested in attending. This will be PyCon’s biggest year yet, so hopefully you can join us in Atlanta next week! Keep an eye out on the PyCon blog to get the latest news, and be sure to follow the Twitter hashtag (#pycon).

We invite you to join Google team members at all our talks, plus stop by our booth to meet our technical staff as they demo select developer tools and APIs. We’ll have handouts there and also encourage you to try a short coding puzzle for a prize!

By Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Google Developer Relations team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2011/03/see-you-at-pycon-2011.html

[G] Increase your account security with 2-step verification

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Increase your account security with 2-step verification

The Google Security team recently blogged about the new advanced sign-in security feature for your Google account. We know that keeping your emails, photos and documents safe is important to your online security and peace of mind. Once you set up advanced security for your Google account to safeguard these services, the financial data in your Google Checkout account will be protected as well.

This advanced opt-in security feature is called 2-step verification, and it makes your Google Account including services such as Checkout significantly more secure by helping to verify that you're the real owner of your account. You can enable 2-step verification through a new link on your Account Settings page:



Once you enable 2-step verification, you'll see an extra page that prompts you for a code or an application-specific password when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. Since some applications that access your Google Account (such as Gmail on your phone or Outlook) cannot ask for verification codes, you'll enter an application-specific password in place of your normal password. Most of the time, you will only have to enter an application-specific password once per application or device (soon after you turn on 2-step verification). When you enter a verification code after correctly submitting your password or you enter an application-specific password, we'll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you.

It's an extra step, but it's one that greatly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone. To learn more about 2-step verification and get started, visit the Google Accounts Help Center.

Posted by Sandi Liu, Checkout Risk Operations
URL: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2011/03/increase-your-account-security-with-2.html

[G] Client Side Authorization in the API

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Google Analytics Blog: Client Side Authorization in the API

This post is inspired by Henrik who posted a comment on last week’s Mastering Unique Visitor blog post. His question was, “Most API users would not create web apps but rather easily access their data without account authentication. Is this possible? Could you describe it?”

Great question Henrik! While you do have to authenticate to the Google Analytics Data Export API in order to access data, your application doesn’t have to re-authenticate every time. In this post we show you an easy way to re-use tokens and give you a Python class to simplify the process.

(Note: we recommend you follow the actual sample code to see how all the pieces described below work together.)


Background
Just like you have to log in to view Google Analytics data, you also have to grant an application access to your Analytics data when you use the the API. This is called authorization and is done through the Google Accounts API.

Different Authorization Protocols
When you log into the Analytics interface, your login credentials are protected from being exposed. In the same way, you use the Google Accounts API to protect credentials by requesting an authorization token in place of actual user names and passwords. That authorization token is used in the header of each Google Analytics API request.

There are a two authorization routines that applications can choose in order to obtain this token:

Client Login - a legacy, Google proprietary, authorization routine. The user of your application must supply their user name and password in your application. Your application communicates to Analytics on the user’s behalf and retrieves an authentication token. This token only lasts for 14 days. The issue with this method is that if the token is stolen, others can use it and the user has no way to revoke it.

OAuth For Installed Apps - is Google-supported open standard. Client apps must send users to a web page where the user logs in and grants account access to the application. The web page presents the user with a verification code which they must input back into the application. The application can exchange this verification code for a long-lived token. The long-lived token lasts forever and can be revoked by the user through the Google Accounts interface. This routine is more secure because a user can revoke the token and prevent an application from accessing their data at any time.

Obviously OAuth For Installed Apps is a better way to generate authorization tokens.

Token Management
Because authorization tokens are valid for multiple requests, applications should reuse them until they become invalid. For a client-side app, this usually means saving the token to disk. Here’s the logic to handle this in python:

def GetAuthToken(self):
  if self.auth_token:
    return self.auth_token


  self.auth_token =
    self.auth_routine_util.LoadAuthToken(self.token_obj_name)


  if not self.auth_token:
    self.auth_token = self.RequestAuthToken()


  self.auth_routine_util.SaveAuthToken(self.auth_token)
  return self.auth_token

Here the code tries to load a token from disk. If it exists, the token is set in the client object that makes requests to Google Analytics. If the token does not exist, the code tries to obtain it from the Google Accounts API, then save it to disk...all pretty easy.

Retrieving a New OAuth Token

To get a new OAuth token, the code uses helper methods in the Python Client Library. The my_client parameter is a reference to the gdata.analytics.client.AnalyticsClient object provided by the Google Data Python Client Library. It handles all the logic to make requests to the Google Analytics API.

First, the my_client object is used retrieve the URL to the OAuth authorization end point. Next it retrieves a request_token from the Google Accounts API and use that token to generate a URL for the user to go to.

The URL is printed to the screen and the code tries to pop open a browser and take the user directly there. The user will be prompted to login and grant access to the application. Once complete, the web page gives the user a verification code.

The code prompts the user for the verification code, and once inputted, the application uses it to get a long-lived access token. This access token will be valid until the user revokes the token.

Here’s the sample code:

def GetAuthToken(self, my_client):
  url = ('%s?xoauth_displayname=%s' %
      (gdata.gauth.REQUEST_TOKEN_URL, self.my_client.source))


  request_token = self.my_client.GetOAuthToken(
      OAuthRoutine.OAUTH_SCOPES,
      next='oob',
      consumer_key='anonymous',
      consumer_secret='anonymous',
      url=url)


  verify_url = request_token.generate_authorization_url(
      google_apps_domain='default')


  print 'Please log in and/or grant access at: %s\n' % verify_url
  webbrowser.open(str(verify_url))


  request_token.verifier =
      raw_input('Please enter the verification code '
                'on the success page: ')


  try:
    return self.my_client.GetAccessToken(request_token)


  except gdata.client.RequestError, err:
    raise AuthError(msg='Error upgrading token: %s' % err)

Once we have the long-lived token, it’s returned and the GetAuthToken method above saves it to disk.

Making Google Analytics API Requests

To use the token retrieved above, we simply set it in the gdata.analytics.client.AnalyticsClient object:

try:
  my_client.auth_token = my_auth.GetAuthToken()


except auth.AuthError, error:
  print error.msg
  sys.exit(1)

At this point an application can use the client object to retrieve data from the Google Analytics API. Because a user can revoke a token from the Google Accounts API and the code loads the token from disk, there can be a case where the token on the disk is invalid. In this case, the Google Analytics API returns a 401 status code and the client library raises a gdata.client.Unauthorized exception. If this happens, we need to catch the exception, delete the saved token and prompt the user to get a new token.

try:
  feed = my_client.GetDataFeed(data_query)


except gdata.client.Unauthorized, error:
  print '%s\nDeleting token file.' % error
  my_auth.DeleteTokenFile()
  sys.exit(1)

So there you have it, a quick overview of client side authorization with the Google Analytics API. As we mentioned above, you can view and use the full sample code.

Submit your own questions
We’re thrilled to get feedback from our developers. You guys rock! If you have a question about our API, like Henrik, please leave it in our comments. We’ll go through them and try to highlight the code solutions.


Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Google Analytics API Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/03/client-side-authorization-in-api.html

[G] Don’t miss the next Google Analytics User Conference in San Francisco

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Google Analytics Blog: Don’t miss the next Google Analytics User Conference in San Francisco


The next Google Analytics User Conference is coming up on Thursday, March 17th in San Francisco. Attend and you’ll connect with other Google Analytics users, industry experts, authors and even folks here from the Google Analytics team. GAUGE (as in Google Analytics Users’ Great Event) is being produced by several of our Google Analytics Certified Professionals, and will be collocated with eMetrics and Conversion Conference, which are being held the week of March 14. If you’re already planning to attend those shows (or need another reason to go), now you have an event focused solely on making the most of Google Analytics.

The event provides valuable insights through expert-led, user-to-user collaborative sessions that are insanely practical. This is not a “come and be spoken to” conference but rather an opportunity to learn from Google Analytics pros and peers and share your experience and knowledge.

Here are some highlights from the agenda:
  • Hear from industry experts and Google Analytics team members, including:
    • Keynote address by Justin Cutroni (author of 3 books on Google Analytics), blogger, and veteran GA consultant and user
    • Presentation on What’s New with Google Analytics by Phil Mui, Group Product Manager for Google Analytics
    • Sessions led by Nick Mihailovski of Google, Caleb Whitmore of Analytics Pros, John Hossack and Dave Eckman of VKI Studios, David Booth and Corey Kobergh of WebShare, Feras Ahlou of E-Nor, and Alex Langshur of PublicInsite
    • Q&A Session with members of the Google Analytics engineering team
  • An Analytics Helpdesk will be onsite where attendees can receive expert one-on-one help with GA during conference breaks
  • Evening reception following close of the User Conference day
  • Day 2 features three Google Analytics training seminars covering Google Analytics fundamentals, marketing analysis and analyst training, and technical/implementation training.
The list price is $495 per day or $895 for both the conference and training days. We’re giving readers of the Google Analytics blog a 10% discount on all registrations using the code: GBLOG10. Register at the event’s site: GAUGE: Google Analytics User Conference + Training Day. There’s also discounts available for non-profit and government workers. Contact gauge@analyticspros.com for details.

We’re looking forward to meeting many of you at GAUGE. See you soon!

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Google Analytics team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/03/dont-miss-next-google-analytics-user.html

[G] More storage, more photos, more fun

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Google Photos Blog: More storage, more photos, more fun

Posted by Matt Steiner, Engineering Lead-Photos Team

With Picasa Web Albums, you automatically get one gigabyte of free storage. As some of you may have noticed, we recently changed the way storage works so you can continue to share and store images even after you fill up that free gig.

In the past, each image and video you uploaded counted toward your free 1GB. Now, uploaded images that are 800 pixels or smaller and videos that are 15 minutes or less in length no longer count against your free storage limit. This means you can upload and store unlimited photos and videos at the above sizes -- for free!

800-pixels is a good size for sharing pictures on the web, but if you prefer uploading your images at a larger size for better quality (archival or print), and you are nearing the 1GB limit, you can always purchase additional storage for as little as $5/year. To check your available storage amount scroll to the bottom of your home page or view your settings.

For those of you who’ve already purchased additional storage, any existing 800-pixel images or videos shorter than 15 minutes will no longer count toward your storage limit, so enjoy the extra space and post away!

We hope you enjoy the change, and we’d love to hear what you think.
URL: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2011/03/posted-by-matt-steiner-engineering-lead.html

[G] Your interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner

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Google Public Policy Blog: Your interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner

Posted by Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics

(Cross-posted from the The Official YouTube Blog.)

As Democrats and Republicans duel over the federal budget this week in Washington, we sat down for the first-ever YouTube interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner. It’s clear that Americans are still feeling the weight of the recession -- a large majority of the questions submitted for Speaker Boehner were on the topics of jobs, the economy, and spending in Washington. The Speaker also played a YouTube speed round of, “Keep it or Cut it?” in which he reacted to your suggestions on budget cuts.

Watch the full interview here:



Speaker Boehner also addressed questions on immigration, education, and healthcare. A unique question from a man in New Jersey about whether the Speaker would ever consider a Works Progress Administration similar to the one FDR created during the Depression may surprise you.

You can see more videos from the Speaker’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/johnboehner.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2011/03/your-interview-with-speaker-of-house.html

[G] This Week's Trends: Oscars, Dansi, and Charlie Sheen

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YouTube Blog: This Week's Trends: Oscars, Dansi, and Charlie Sheen

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 "Wisdom Tooth Surgery - Eye Trauma."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/Edlf26MZKis/this-weeks-trends-oscars-dansi-and.html

[G] Google Affiliate Network Browse Links Beta for Advertisers

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Google Affiliate Network: Google Affiliate Network Browse Links Beta for Advertisers

We have recently improved the Links tab for our advertisers. Enhancements include improved filtering by status, type, ad size, promotion type and start and end dates. We’ve also added a search feature that allows advertisers to find a particular link template by entering the link name or merchandising text.

To get to the new version, click on the Links - Beta tab. In order to view the Classic Version, you will need to select "Switch to the classic version" (screenshot below).



Note: You can perform an export of links from either interface, but you are only able to upload from the Classic Version at this time. Any link changes you make on the Classic Version will take up to an hour to appear on the Links - Beta tab.


Please submit your feedback as you use this new feature. We plan on improving our user experience based on your comments.


Building new links? Visit our Help Center for best practices.


Posted by Sheila Parker, Product Manager
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2011/03/google-affiliate-network-browse-links.html

[G] Google Voice: Helping save bees in L.A.

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Google Voice Blog: Google Voice: Helping save bees in L.A.

For the second installment of Google Voice user stories, we chatted with Amy Seidenwurm, one of the co-founders of Backwards Beekepers, to find out how they are using Google Voice to rescue swarms of bees.

1. Tell us about your organization.
The Backwards Beekeepers are dedicated to saving the native honey bee population by teaching chemical-free beekeeping. We have monthly meetings in L.A. and also advise beekeepers all over the world.

2. How are you using Google Voice?
We use our Google Voice number for the Bee Rescue Hotline. People all over L.A. call the hotline when they find unwelcome bees in their garages, hot tubs, trees, chimneys and such. We get their message on our Google Voice account and email it to our list of almost 500 beekeepers (and aspiring ones). Someone claims the job, contacts the caller and picks up the bees.

3. How is Google Voice helping you achieve your mission?
Google Voice is helping us save the bees and cultivate new beekeepers. We are now a go-to hotline for city postal workers, animal control officers and parks employees. We've rescued more than 300 swarms since we set up our Google Voice number a year ago.

If you or someone you know is using Google Voice in a unique way, we’d love to hear about it! Fill out this short form and your story may get featured on the Google Voice blog.

Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/google-voice-helping-save-bees-in-la.html

[G] Going Google across the 50 States: Google Apps proves the perfect choice for Mississippi creative agency

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Going Google across the 50 States: Google Apps proves the perfect choice for Mississippi creative agency

Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from Rob Rubinoff, Interactive Director at Mad Genius, a branding and creative agency headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google Cloud Calculator.

Mad Genius is a creative fusion of branding, advertising, social media, HD video production, animation, media strategy, web design, web development, and more – a true soup-to-nuts creative agency. Each of these elements come together to create momentum-building ideas that drive results and help us stand apart from other agencies. Our clients range from national insurance companies to regional restaurant chains to local universities, and we have a talented group of people that help these organizations take their brands to the next level.

We started in 2005 as the offshoot of a film production company, and have been growing rapidly ever since. Two years ago, we landed one of the largest advertising accounts in Mississippi, which was a major milestone for us. However, it also meant that we had to move quickly to hire more people to staff the project. At the same time, we moved to a bigger office and started to re-evaluate the technology that powered our company. That’s why, as Interactive Director, I became a big advocate of Google Apps: the benefits of the cloud were what we needed.

We were originally using spotty POP3 email through our domain registrar, which was a legacy solution from when we were part of a larger company. Everyone had different versions of email clients, calendar, and other office software, and this created daily problems. There were times when we literally had to walk down the hall to schedule a meeting because we couldn’t share calendars with everyone in the company.

We talked to local IT providers who offered email solutions that would have cost us thousands of dollars. We also priced out our own Microsoft® Exchange server, which was not only costly, but also seemed like it would necessitate dedicated IT support. Everyone here already wears a lot of hats, so simplifying IT was essential, as was finding a powerful calendaring solution. What we needed was Google Apps.

Initially, there was concern that we might lose emails and disrupt operations during the switch to Google Apps, but we transitioned over the course of a week with no hiccups and continual access to email. Within another week everyone was used to the new system, and the office was thrilled. One of the immediate and tangible benefits came when our executives were able to access email from their desktops, laptops and mobile phones, with everything synced across each device.

Within the Google Apps suite, shared calendars have been huge for us; email and documents are icing on the cake! As we grow our accounts and expand our team (last year we opened a second office in Tampa, Florida), we need to be able to let people know what’s going on throughout the company, and Google Apps makes that not only possible, but also easy. We can view other people’s calendars, easily schedule meetings, and have created a half dozen shared calendars to track things like conference room reservations and vacation days. Plus, project management is vital in our business, and thus the ability to import iCalendar data into our project management system is key.

With Google Docs, we no longer send PDFs back and forth, which is a huge time saver, and we can brainstorm with team members in either office using a Google doc, since it’s basically like a giant shared notepad. We even use Google Docs to collaborate with clients and can elicit feedback and data in a format that is easily shared or uploaded into our system, avoiding data entry errors.

When it comes to groundbreaking agencies like ours, folks usually think New York, Los Angeles, Chicago; they don’t often think Mississippi. But the work we do is changing minds – and Google Apps is helping us get it done. We take pride in being innovative. We’re a young company, with passion for the work we do and a fresh approach to the way we tackle business. With our home base in Mississippi, our new office in Florida, and clients throughout the region, we need virtual speed. Google Apps has proven to be the perfect partner in keeping us connected and moving forward.

Posted by Rob Rubinoff, Interactive Director, Mad Genius
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/03/going-google-across-50-states-google.html

[G] YouTube Highlights 3/3/2011

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Official Google Blog: YouTube Highlights 3/3/2011

This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you regular updates on new product features, interesting programs to watch, and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.

In past weeks, we’ve featured two more YouTube interviews with leaders through the World View program and seen more footage come in from across the Middle East as unrest there continues.

David Cameron and John Boehner on YouTube
In YouTube World View’s second interview, YouTube and Al Jazeera English sat down with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Ten thousand people submitted questions, and in the interview, the Prime Minister shared his thoughts on what should be done in Libya, and talked about increased taxes for banks in the U.K. and Britain’s role in Afghanistan.

And as the budget debate rages on the U.S. Capitol Hill, we asked viewers from across the U.S. and around the world to submit questions to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). The final interview will be posted to YouTube on Friday, March 4.

We’ll have another interview in the coming weeks—check YouTube World View for more details soon.



Join us on YouTube for Carnaval in Brazil
An estimated 100 million people travel to Brazil each year to experience Carnaval, the iconic celebration on the streets of Salvador, Bahia. This year, you can join the festivities on the Carnaval YouTube channel via computer or mobile phone. Watch live feeds of Salvador’s multi-day street fest from Thursday, March 3 through Tuesday, March 8. If you’re lucky enough to be there in person, find out how to buy a pass to Google’s street-side camarote (cabin) at the celebration at www.youtube.com/carnaval.

February’s “On The Rise” winner
After tens of thousands of votes, D-trix from theDOMINICshow has been named February’s “On The Rise” contest winner. He beat out tornado chasers, graphic artists and pop stars for the honor. When D-trix isn’t spoofing Justin Bieber, he’s dancing or teaching people how to rap. Congratulations!

Making YouTube seven times faster
To help you better enjoy all the great content that’s uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recently increased speed for uploads and playback. Google’s cloud computing capabilities help us process videos in chunks on different machines—making our video-processing seven times faster than in 2008.

Ad Blitz winner
Super Bowl ads are always a big draw of the game. This year, we added Super Bowl spots to the Ad Blitz gallery so you could vote for your favorites. More than 2.7 million votes were cast, and 3.5 million views took place on mobile devices. This year’s winner, Chrysler, was featured on the YouTube masthead for the Saturday following the game.



This week’s trends on YouTube
Here are a few recent highlights from YouTube Trends:



We’ll have another update for you in a couple of weeks. Until then, visit us at the YouTube Blog.

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Marketing Manager, The YouTube Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/youtube-highlights-332011.html

[G] Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

(Cross-posted on the Hotpot Blog and the LatLong Blog.)


Whether it’s Google Places with Hotpot or Google Latitude, we’re working on helping you connect the people you care about with places you love. Now, when you’re rating your dinner spot using Google Maps for Android, you can share your review with even more people by posting it to Twitter.


Post your ratings and reviews to Twitter
When you rate and review places like restaurants or cafes from Google Places, you can share valuable recommendations with your Hotpot friends and across Google’s products – in search results, on google.com/hotpot, and on Place pages. But we wanted you to be able to share your recommendations even more broadly. So today, you can start sharing your ratings and reviews with your followers on Twitter directly from your Android-powered device.





When rating on the go using our rating widget, just choose to Post review to Twitter and connect your Twitter account. You’ll get a preview of your tweet and will be able to post your ratings and reviews moving forward.






Post your ratings and reviews to your Twitter followers.


Check-ins: ping friends and search for places

Starting last month, you could share information about the place you were at, in addition to your location, by checking in at places using Google Latitude. Starting today, if you see nearby Latitude friends on the map and want to ask them where they are, you can quickly “ping” them instead of having to text or call. They’ll receive an Android notification from you asking them to check in at a place. And when they check in using your request, you’ll get a notification right back so you know which place to go to meet up with them.





From a friend’s Latitude profile, ping them (left) and they’ll receive a notification (right).


You’ll also be able to more easily check yourself in at the right place. Sometimes there are a lot of nearby places around you, and the right one is missing from the suggested list of places to check in. You can now quickly search for the right place using the Search more places button.





Search for the right place to check in if it’s not among the suggested places.


To start posting Hotpot ratings to Twitter and pinging Latitude friends, just download Google Maps 5.2 from Android Market here (on Android OS 1.6+ devices) everywhere it’s already available. Please keep in mind that both Latitude friends need version 5.2 in order to use the new “ping” feature. Learn more in the Help Center.

Posted by Adam Connors, Google Maps for mobile team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/03/tweet-your-hotpot-ratings-in-google.html

[G] Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

(Cross-posted on the Hotpot Blog and the LatLong Blog.)


Whether it’s Google Places with Hotpot or Google Latitude, we’re working on helping you connect the people you care about with places you love. Now, when you’re rating your dinner spot using Google Maps for Android, you can share your review with even more people by posting it to Twitter.


Post your ratings and reviews to Twitter
When you rate and review places like restaurants or cafes from Google Places, you can share valuable recommendations with your Hotpot friends and across Google’s products – in search results, on google.com/hotpot, and on Place pages. But we wanted you to be able to share your recommendations even more broadly. So today, you can start sharing your ratings and reviews with your followers on Twitter directly from your Android-powered device.





When rating on the go using our rating widget, just choose to Post review to Twitter and connect your Twitter account. You’ll get a preview of your tweet and will be able to post your ratings and reviews moving forward.






Post your ratings and reviews to your Twitter followers.


Check-ins: ping friends and search for places

Starting last month, you could share information about the place you were at, in addition to your location, by checking in at places using Google Latitude. Starting today, if you see nearby Latitude friends on the map and want to ask them where they are, you can quickly “ping” them instead of having to text or call. They’ll receive an Android notification from you asking them to check in at a place. And when they check in using your request, you’ll get a notification right back so you know which place to go to meet up with them.





From a friend’s Latitude profile, ping them (left) and they’ll receive a notification (right).


You’ll also be able to more easily check yourself in at the right place. Sometimes there are a lot of nearby places around you, and the right one is missing from the suggested list of places to check in. You can now quickly search for the right place using the Search more places button.





Search for the right place to check in if it’s not among the suggested places.


To start posting Hotpot ratings to Twitter and pinging Latitude friends, just download Google Maps 5.2 from Android Market here (on Android OS 1.6+ devices) everywhere it’s already available. Please keep in mind that both Latitude friends need version 5.2 in order to use the new “ping” feature. Learn more in the Help Center.

Posted by Adam Connors, Google Maps for mobile team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/03/tweet-your-hotpot-ratings-in-google.html

[G] Your interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner

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YouTube Blog: Your interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner

As Democrats and Republicans duel over the federal budget this week in Washington, we sat down for the first-ever YouTube interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner. It’s clear that Americans are still feeling the weight of the recession -- a large majority of the questions submitted for Speaker Boehner were on the topics of jobs, the economy, and spending in Washington. The Speaker also played a YouTube speed round of, “Keep it or Cut it?” in which he reacted to your suggestions on budget cuts.



Watch the full interview here:







Speaker Boehner also addressed questions on immigration, education, and healthcare. A unique question from a man in New Jersey about whether the Speaker would ever consider a Works Progress Administration similar to the one FDR created during the Depression may surprise you.



You can see more videos from the Speaker’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/johnboehner.



Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched "Boehner Highlights Vote to Cut Spending, Help Create Better Environment for Job Creation"


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/W8LjPRVJMy0/your-interview-with-speaker-of-house.html

[G] Decide what the world sees when it searches for you

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Social Web Blog: Decide what the world sees when it searches for you

Admit it: You’ve searched for yourself on Google. We all have. No shame there, in fact you should. If you haven’t searched for yourself, then you’ve probably searched for friends, classmates or co-workers.

Two years ago, we launched Google Profiles to help you manage your online identity. Since then, we’ve enhanced profiles to help you connect to other public online services and improve your search results. Today, we’re starting to give Google Profiles a new look and feel, making it even easier for you to control and enrich your public profile.



We think this new design helps highlight the information that’s most important to you, making it easier for people who visit your profile to get to know you. As the new layout gradually rolls out, current users of Google Profiles will notice that their existing profile will automatically update to the new style. To update and add to your profile, simply click on the new “Edit Profile” button.

Because Google Profiles are designed to be public pages on the web, used to help connect and find real people, we’ll be asking people to provide the name they are commonly referred to in the real world. We recently outlined how we think about the different modes of online interaction across our products.

While profiles work well for individuals, we’ll continue to work on new ways for businesses to engage with their customers, so stay tuned for updates.

Don’t have a Google profile yet? Visit profiles.google.com and create a profile that best represents the way you want to be seen by the world.

Posted by Greg Marra, Product Manager
URL: http://googlesocialweb.blogspot.com/2011/03/decide-what-world-sees-when-it-searches.html

Thursday, March 3, 2011

[G] Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

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Google LatLong: Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android


(Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog.)

Whether it’s Google Places with Hotpot or Google Latitude, we’re working on helping you connect the people you care about with places you love. Now, when you’re rating your dinner spot using Google Maps for Android, you can share your review with even more people by posting it to Twitter.

Post your ratings and reviews to Twitter
When you rate and review places like restaurants or cafes from Google Places, you can share valuable recommendations with your Hotpot friends and across Google’s products – in search results, on google.com/hotpot, and on Place pages. But we wanted you to be able to share your recommendations even more broadly. So today, you can start sharing your ratings and reviews with your followers on Twitter directly from your Android-powered device.



When rating on the go using our rating widget, just choose to Post review to Twitter and connect your Twitter account. You’ll get a preview of your tweet and will be able to post your ratings and reviews moving forward.

Post your ratings and reviews to your Twitter followers.

Check-ins: ping friends and search for places

Starting last month, you could share information about the place you were at, in addition to your location, by checking in at places using Google Latitude. Starting today, if you see nearby Latitude friends on the map and want to ask them where they are, you can quickly “ping” them instead of having to text or call. They’ll receive an Android notification from you asking them to check in at a place. And when they check in using your request, you’ll get a notification right back so you know which place to go to meet up with them.

From a friend’s Latitude profile, ping them (left) and they’ll receive a notification (right).

You’ll also be able to more easily check yourself in at the right place. Sometimes there are a lot of nearby places around you, and the right one is missing from the suggested list of places to check in. You can now quickly search for the right place using the Search more places button.

Search for the right place to check in if it’s not among the suggested places.

To start posting Hotpot ratings to Twitter and pinging Latitude friends, just download Google Maps 5.2 from Android Market here (on Android OS 1.6+ devices) everywhere it’s already available. Please keep in mind that both Latitude friends need version 5.2 in order to use the new “ping” feature. Learn more in the Help Center.

Posted by Adam Connors, Google Maps for mobile team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/03/tweet-your-hotpot-ratings-in-google.html

[G] Ski the slopes in Google Earth

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Google LatLong: Ski the slopes in Google Earth

Heading for the slopes this winter? Put on your warm hat, grab your mittens, rent those skis, and bundle up in your warmest jacket … and don’t forget your GPS tracking device! When you hit the slopes this winter, track your route down the slopes and share your animated ski tracks in Google Earth.

This past weekend, a couple of Googlers and I headed up to Lake Tahoe, CA with a few GPS devices. We recorded some of our favorite ski runs and animated our tracks in Google Earth. You can check out all of our animated tracks in the video below, or download the KML to play the tracks in Google Earth.



Capturing a GPS track is easy -- just make sure that you have a GPS tracking device on hand before you hit the slopes. A Garmin® or Magellan® device works best, but you can also use a GPS tracking application on most mobile phones. My Tracks on Android works well, or if you have an iPhone, try using MotionX-GPS.

When you get to the top of the mountain, start recording your track. Place your phone or device in an outside pocket, preferably separate from another device. When you get to the end of your run, stop the track. Or, if you prefer to track the entire day, keep the GPS track running. Most of us decided to keep our tracks running the entire day so we could focus entirely at the task at hand - skiing.

After a full day of skiing and snowboarding, we grabbed some hot cocoa from the lodge and headed home, where we imported our tracks into Google Earth. My fellow Googler, David captured his GPS data with My Tracks, and imported the data by dragging and dropping a .gpx file into Google Earth. We then started playing with the new GPS track animation feature launched in Google Earth 5.2, and customized and animated our ski tracks just the way we wanted them. Take a look below at how David customized the line color and label of his track. (He even personalized the tracking icon to make it look like an actual skier!)


We also animated our tracks by creating a tour, which we customized by changing the camera tilt angle, camera range, and tour speed in the preferences dialog. Here’s a helpful hint: if you want it to seem like you went faster, create a tour with a high speed setting to view your track in fast-forward.

Next, we used Google Earth’s Elevation Profile feature to get a better idea as to the difficulty of the runs we skied that day. With GPS tracks, the feature can show both an elevation profile (shown below in red), and a speed profile (shown below in blue). Looking at the red elevation profile below, as you ski around the mountain, there is quite a bit of elevation change. We then counted the total number of peaks in our track’s elevation profile to discover how many runs we skied in one day.



Don’t ski or snowboard? Don’t worry! You can track other exciting winter activities in Google Earth. I’ve never been a big skier, but I love to snowshoe and go dog sledding. Check out the dog sledding tour I created below, paired with a photo of my actual dog sledding experience.



We had so much fun tracking our winter adventures in Tahoe that we even tracked our bus ride home to San Francisco. We were sorry to leave, but I knew we’d be back to trace new paths in the mountains next year -- or even next weekend!

Posted by Carolyn Wendell, Content and User Education Specialist, Google Earth
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/03/ski-slopes-in-google-earth.html