Saturday, May 21, 2011

[G] Google Summer of Code: Where are the students?

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Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code: Where are the students?

Google Summer of Code is truly a global program. For this year’s program we received 5,651 applications from 3,731 students in 97 countries.

We accepted 1,115 students from 68 countries. The ten countries with the highest number of accepted students are represented in the pie chart below.

This year we are excited to have students from 6 countries that haven’t previously been represented in Google Summer of Code: Cambodia, Georgia, Guatemala, Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda and Uruguay.

Students are enrolled in 698 universities from around the globe.

Currently the students are in the community bonding period where they familiarize themselves with their projects, mentors and communities, before beginning the coding period on Monday, May 23rd.

Please visit our program site and timeline for more information.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

[G] Camaraderie and Paella for Google Summer of Code Mentors

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Google Open Source Blog: Camaraderie and Paella for Google Summer of Code Mentors

Early last week, 41 mentors for this year’s Google Summer of Code program gathered at a restaurant in downtown San Francisco for a meet-and-greet dinner. As this is still the community bonding period for this year’s accepted Google Summer of Code students, we thought it would be fun for the mentors to have a chance to bond with each other prior to the start of student coding on Monday, May 23rd.

The dinner brought together both new and experienced mentors from 29 of this year’s organizations to chat about their expectations for the program and their students. The casual meetup was also an opportunity for the mentors to share their questions and concerns with one another and to share advice on successfully fulfilling their roles as mentors.

Many mentors were in town for Google I/O, Google’s largest annual developer conference, that took place Tuesday and Wednesday, just a few blocks from the restaurant. A casual dinner of paella and other goodies was an entertaining way to meet others from all around the world who are actively involved in the open source community.

For more information on the Google Summer of Code program visit our homepage.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Team

[G] Google at ACL 2011

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Official Google Research Blog: Google at ACL 2011

Posted by Ryan McDonald and Fernando Pereira, Research Team

The Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics is one of the premier conferences for language and text technologies. Many employees at Google have strong roots in the community of researchers that attend this meeting, including many of our researchers working on machine translation and speech.

At this years conference, Google is particularly well represented. The General Chair is Dekang Lin and a few Googlers are serving as technical Area Chairs (in addition to the plethora of Googlers that reviewed papers for the conference). Google is also a Platinum Sponsor of ACL this year.

Research advances at Google can be seen throughout the conference’s technical content. Below is a complete list of Googler-authored or co-authored papers in the main conference. We want to give special emphasis to this year’s best paper award, given to “Unsupervised Part-of-Speech Tagging with Bilingual Graph-Based Projections” by CMU graduate student and Google intern Dipanjan Das and his internship advisor Slav Petrov. ACL is an extremely selective conference and this award speaks volumes to the importance of syntactic analysis and using bilingual corpora to project syntactic resources from resource rich languages (like English) to other languages. Congratulations Dipanjan and Slav!

Googlers are also involved in two of this year’s tutorials. Marius Pasca will present “Web Search Queries as a Corpus” and Kuzman Ganchev and his colleagues will teach about “Rich Prior Knowledge in Learning for Natural Language Processing”. Finally, Katja Filippova and her colleagues are running a workshop on “Monolingual Text-to-Text Generation”.

ACL will take place this year in Portland from June 19th to June 24th.

Papers by Googlers (a * indicates a paper that will be linked to after the conference):

Ranking Class Labels Using Query Sessions*
Marius Pasca

Fine-Grained Class Label Markup of Search Queries*
Joseph Reisinger and Marius Pasca

Unsupervised Part-of-Speech Tagging with Bilingual Graph-Based Projections
Dipanjan Das and Slav Petrov

Large-Scale Cross-Document Coreference Using Distributed Inference and Hierarchical Models
Sameer Singh, Amarnag Subramanya, Fernando Pereira and Andrew McCallum

Piggyback: Using Search Engines for Robust Cross-Domain Named Entity Recognition
Stefan Rüd, Massimiliano Ciaramita, Jens Müller and Hinrich Schütze

Beam-Width Prediction for Efficient Context-Free Parsing
Nathan Bodenstab, Aaron Dunlop, Keith Hall and Brian Roark

Language-independent compound splitting with morphological operations
Klaus Macherey, Andrew Dai, David Talbot, Ashok Popat and Franz Och

Model-Based Aligner Combination Using Dual Decomposition
John DeNero and Klaus Macherey

Binarized Forest to String Translation
Hao Zhang, Licheng Fang, Peng Xu and Xiaoyun Wu

Semi-supervised Latent Variable Models for Fine-grained Sentiment Analysis
Oscar Tackstrom and Ryan McDonald

Friday, May 20, 2011

[G] Comparison Ads now a part of the new Google Advisor

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Inside AdWords: Comparison Ads now a part of the new Google Advisor

Back in late 2009, we launched our initial test of AdWords Comparison Ads for Mortgages. With Comparison Ads, we provided a way for you, our advertisers, to create more relevant and targeted offers for users searching on For example, using Comparison Ads, a lender can enter offers for users with specific credit ratings, loan amounts, ZIP codes, and more.

Since our initial mortgages launch, we’ve expanded into a number of additional financial areas, including credit cards, checking and savings accounts, and certificates of deposit. We’ve also seen some great recognition of the value that Comparison Ads provides. For example, according to a study done by Leads360, an industry leader in lead management software, mortgage leads from AdWords Comparison Ads converted at a higher rate than from any other source.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Google Advisor, our new user-friendly interface for comparison offers, including AdWords Comparison Ads. Google Advisor is a consumer destination site that helps to guide users through various financial decisions by making it even easier to find and compare relevant offers from qualified financial institutions.

Google Advisor contains offers that come from our Comparison Ads advertisers as well as other sources across the web. By aggregating the most relevant offers and making it easy for users to filter and compare them side-by-side, Google Advisor aims to make financial research faster and easier.

To learn more about Google Advisor, you can read the Official Google Blog post or watch the video below.

At this time, AdWords Comparison Ads remains available only to a limited number of advertisers. Over time, we hope to increase the availability of Comparison Ads to additional advertisers. You can find more information about AdWords Comparison Ads in our Help Center.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Promoted Video pricing change: Focusing on the value of views

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Inside AdWords: Promoted Video pricing change: Focusing on the value of views

Promoted Videos have proven to be an effective and popular way for advertisers to drive traffic to video content on YouTube. This format allows you to promote videos on YouTube when users are searching for or watching videos. Until now, Promoted Videos have been priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis; similar to AdWords search ads, you were charged every time a user clicked on a Promoted Video ad.

Beginning on May 25th, we’re changing the pricing structure of this format to a cost-per-view (CPV) model, shifting the focus to actual viewership. This change means you’ll be charged only when a user clicks on a Promoted Video ad and starts to watch your video content. This pricing model ensures that your advertising costs are more closely connected to your goal of driving trackable video viewership.

How Bids Work
When you create your Promoted Video ad, you'll be asked to set a maximum CPV, which is the maximum amount you're willing to pay for a video view. Promoted Videos use the AdWords discounter to automatically reduce your costs. As always, we’ll only charge you one cent more than the next advertiser on the page competing for the same or similar keywords/placements, ensuring auction-driven efficiencies.

What You’ll See
As before, Promoted Video campaigns can be set up and managed right in AdWords or via As of May 25th, billing terms from all Promoted Videos campaigns will officially convert from CPC to CPV and will be reflected in your advertising dashboards in both systems. If you’re using AdWords to purchase Promoted Videos on YouTube, you may continue to see mentions of CPCs in your campaign dashboard as we introduce additional CPV formats and adjust verbiage in the system.

Please visit the Help Center for more details and FAQs. Our hope is that this change in the pricing model aligns Promoted Videos more closely with your goals, driving the right results for your business.

Posted by Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager, YouTube

[G] Google Apps highlights – 5/20/2011

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 5/20/2011

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.

Over the last few weeks, we made improvements to instant messaging, increased capacity for saved contacts, added powerful data analysis with pivot tables in spreadsheets and introduced more flexible management tools for Google Apps customers.

Better AIM interoperability in Gmail and beyond
Google Talk is built on open protocols for instant messaging, making it possible for other IM networks to connect seamlessly with Google Talk. Yesterday we rolled out improvements to make chatting with your AIM buddies even easier in Gmail, iGoogle, Orkut and Google Talk on Android devices. Now you can invite your AIM buddies to chat from any of these places just by entering their AOL screennames, even if you don’t have or use an AIM account.

Room for 15,000 more contacts in Gmail
We’ve heard from a surprising number of super-connected people who wanted to save more contacts in Gmail than its 10,000-contact limit allowed, so a couple weeks ago we made Gmail better by supporting up to 25,000 contacts. You can also save even more information with each contact, so if you were previously bumping up against the limits, you should have a whole lot more extra space for your contacts now.

Pivot tables in Google spreadsheets
Google spreadsheets now has another tool to help serious dataheads make sense from large data sets: pivot tables. With pivot tables, you can easily summarize rows and columns of information, helping you quickly spot patterns in the information that you might not have noticed otherwise. If you’re new to pivot tables, we made a short video to show what you can do.

Customizable administration options for Google Apps customers
IT staff members in large organizations don’t all need the same level of control in their Google Apps environment. For example, a university IT help desk should be able to reset lost passwords for students, but probably doesn’t need to modify school-wide email settings. On Monday, we made Google Apps much more flexible by introducing delegated administration, which lets full administrators assign partial administration privileges to other individuals.

Who’s gone Google?
In the last three weeks, we’ve seen more than 60,000 organizations choose our cloud products for their communication and collaboration needs, and this week a couple international customers stood out from the crowd. Oxygen Design Agency based in Toronto, Canada chose Google Apps and avoided a big investment in traditional email servers when their previous email solution started to break down. With Google Apps, their downtime woes have disappeared, designers can stay in contact when they’re meeting clients and the system is much simpler and more affordable to manage.

EAT. has more than 100 restaurant locations and 1,700 employees in the U.K. They serve fresh, healthy food—as well as kilobytes to customers through technology programs like an iPhone ordering app, free in-store Wi-Fi, a Twitter feed and a tap-to-pay system. EAT. selected Google Apps to replace their old system to get away from complex, costly upgrades, achieve hassle-free scalability as their business expands and securely support a wider array of mobile devices.

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

[G] Japan Prize honors Googler Ken Thompson for early work on UNIX

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Official Google Blog: Japan Prize honors Googler Ken Thompson for early work on UNIX

This week, our own Distinguished Engineer Ken Thompson was awarded the Japan Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in science, in the category of Information and Communications. Established in 1985, the Japan Prize is awarded annually to esteemed scientists around the world for outstanding achievement in the field of science and technology that also aids in the advancement of peace and prosperity.

Ken shares the prize along with his former collaborator, Dennis Ritchie, for their development of the operating system UNIX. They both worked at Bell Labs in 1969, when they began developing an open source operating system that emphasized portability, small modules and superior design. UNIX served as a core infrastructure element in the information field, including the Internet, and operating systems carrying on the UNIX philosophy are now being used everywhere from mobile phones to supercomputers. As Foundation Chair Hiroyuki Yoshikawa noted, UNIX has been “a major driving force behind the development of the information age” with clear overarching benefits to society.

Traditionally, the Japan Prize is awarded during a week-long celebration in Tokyo—even their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, participate. Given the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan two months ago, the Foundation understandably concluded that the ceremonies should not be held this year. However, the Emperor insisted that the Foundation should travel to the U.S. to present the award to Ken and Dennis.

At the May 17 ceremony at the Googleplex, Ken received his recognition in front of a packed room of appreciative Googlers. The Foundation also recognized our crisis response team for their Person Finder project among other contributions, which helped Japanese citizens trying to locate lost friends and family after the March devastation.

From left to right: Vint Cerf, Ken Thompson, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa

In a short video about Ken and Dennis shown during the ceremony, Ken made this observation: “Research and development are two different things. Development has clear goals, but research is goal-less because it is the act of discovering something new. My advice to researchers is to continue enjoying the research at hand....UNIX resulted from research into new things we were merely interested in. We were very lucky it turned out to be very fruitful.”

In his acceptance remarks, Ken told one of the funniest stories I have ever heard about a pet alligator that he brought to Bell Labs and that later got loose. It is on the recording of the ceremonies—check back for the video. Congratulations again to Ken and all the other Japan Prize winners and here’s to continued innovation in science and technology that fosters peace and prosperity around the world.

Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist

[G] A world for the making

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YouTube Blog: A world for the making

In advance of the Maker Faire in the SF Bay Area, we've asked Make Magazine, one of our YouTube Partners, to help celebrate the makers among us.

Video sharing is a major catalyst for do-it-yourself enthusiasts of all stripes. Many of those inspired by the Faires and the general and growing DIY movement, so vibrantly alive online, turn to online videos for learning the skills they need to undertake projects, to see other's finished projects, and to continue to be inspired by what's possible when their own creative juices start running a quart low. It would almost be unheard of to think about or start to undertake a DIY project these days without doing a YouTube search to see what videos are available on the subject.

This weekend, the Bay Area will once again play host to this DIY community at Maker Faire, celebrating its tenth show (which have so far pitched its tent in the Bay Area, Austin, Detroit, and New York). To give you an idea of what's out there for the budding maker, here are a few examples of tutorial videos, project demos, and jaw-dropping inspirationals.

Tubalcain is a favorite among metal shop geeks. He's a retired machine shop teacher, now passing on a career's worth of skill and work-a-day wisdom to a new generation. Imagine what treasures would be lost if folks like Tubalcain didn't have the opportunity to easily record and share their amazing knowledge with others.

Joseph DeRose is a 13 year old kid who decided to go all-out with a fully-functional Halloween costume from the sci-fi adventure video game Metroid. He shared progress videos on YouTube (and MAKE). His father told us that the accolades and “fame” he got helped inspire him to keep going to finish this very ambitious project. We hear this all of the time, how the notoriety and high-fives that come with posting videos of in-progress or finished projects greatly fuels the process (not to mention ones ego).

For this year's Maker Faire, we produced a series of short profiles from across the spectrum of makers who'll be showing at the Faire, from instrument builders to food preservationists to custom motorcycle makers. As wonderful and diverse as this series is, it's only a taste of the many flavors offered by he Faire. Keep an eye on the MAKE YouTube channel and the MAKE site for lots of video coverage and more maker and project profiles, which will all likely inspire a new round of makers, new future Faire exhibitors, and new slew of YouTube videos.

Some 80,000 people attended last year's Bay Area event and more are expected this year, with nearly a thousand “makers” showing off everything from battling robotic warship models to wacky art cars and all manner of arts and crafts to more robots and clever computer-controlled widgets than you can shake a soldering iron at. The show is an almost mind-altering display of endless creativity, inventiveness, and technical prowess, presented in an accessible “you can too” spirit and an enthusiastic geeky state fair atmosphere. It's almost impossible to go to a Faire and not come away inspired to do something. As one maker told us after one Bay Area Faire: “I became a maker the day I left the show.” He came back the next year as an exhibitor.

Gareth Branwyn, Editor-in-Chief of the MAKE website, recently watched “Utsushi - in search of Katsuhira's tiger. Part 1.”


[G] Next Wave of WebP Improvements Announced

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The WebM Open Media Project Blog: Next Wave of WebP Improvements Announced

Congratulations to the WebP developers! Announced today on the Chromium Blog: WebP improvements in compression, playback, tools, quality, application support and more. Read the post.

[G] This week's Trends: trophies, games, and a cappella

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: trophies, games, and a cappella

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:

Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Darth Vader Salsa Trombone Playing and Dancing."


[G] Google Maps on your mobile browser

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Maps on your mobile browser

(Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long Blog)

With 40% of Google Maps usage on mobile devices, we want you to have a consistent Google Maps experience wherever you use it. So, today we’re announcing our updated Google Maps experience for mobile browsers on Android and iOS.

Now, when you visit on your phone or tablet’s browser and opt-in to share your location, you can use many of the same Google Maps features you’re used to from the desktop . This will allow you to:
  • See your current location
  • Search for what’s nearby with suggest and auto complete
  • Have clickable icons of popular businesses and transit stations
  • Get driving, transit, biking, and walking directions
  • Turn on satellite, transit, traffic, biking, and other layers
  • View Place pages with photos, ratings, hours, and more
  • When signed into your Google account, access your starred locations and My Maps
This past weekend, I was at a team off-site at a ropes course, and was to find a good deli spot to grab lunch. I opened Google Maps on my mobile browser and searched to locate a popular deli nearby. A few finger taps later, I had viewed photos and reviews on the deli’s Place page and found the quickest way to get there using driving directions- all from my mobile browser.

Google Maps for mobile browsers is platform independent - you will always get a consistent experience and the latest features without needing to install any updates, no matter what phone you use.

To get started exploring Google Maps in your mobile browser, go to or any domain where Google Maps is available. Learn more in our help center.

Posted by Ali Alireza, Software Engineer

[G] Launch a mobile business with The Guide to the App Galaxy

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Launch a mobile business with The Guide to the App Galaxy

The Guide to the App Galaxy, which we showed off last week at Google I/O, is designed to help mobile app developers—regardless of platform—navigate the complexities of launching an app and building a business on mobile. As you maneuver through the "galaxy” using the arrow keys on your keyboard, you’ll get the basics about app promotion, monetization and measurement—with tips from Google as well as successful developers. Read more on the Official Google Blog.

Post content by Lauren Usui, Product Marketing Manager

[G] Google Search app for iOS, now even faster and easier to use

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Search app for iOS, now even faster and easier to use

Two months ago, we launched a redesign of the Google Search app for iOS. We were happy that many of you liked the new look and interactivity of the app. However, we also heard your feedback about the app’s speed. Today we’re introducing changes that make the app more responsive as well as other visual changes that make search results even easier to read.

Faster app performance

This version of Google Search app is up to 20% more responsive as you type search queries and interact with it. As part of the speed improvements, a feature called “Just Talk” will now be off by default. Just Talk allowed you to search via voice just by bringing the phone to your ear and speaking rather than tapping the microphone icon. Turning off this feature may improve app performance, though you can easily re-enable it under the Settings > Voice Search menu.

Turn Just Talk on or off

Improved look & feel for search results

When searching on a phone, the small screen sometimes makes it difficult to read small fonts or to tap precisely on a link. To help you read and tap with ease, we’ve made the font of our search results bigger and the entire search result is now a tap target rather than just the link.

See the difference between previous (left) and new interface (right) with results now easier to read and select

Thank you for your feedback. Please continue to let us know how we can improve your experience by going to Settings > Help and Feedback > Feedback.

Google Search app is available for devices running iOS 3.0 and above. Download it from the App Store or by scanning the QR code below:

Posted by Nirav Savjani, Software Engineer

[G] Join us at Maker Faire

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Official Google Blog: Join us at Maker Faire

(Cross-posted on the SketchUp Blog)

Creativity at Google isn’t just limited to the time we spend in front of our keyboards—many of us are also enthusiastic about making things with our hands. At our Google Workshops, for example, employees have the chance to use sophisticated tools and machines to physically prototype their ideas. The Street View trike and several components of our self-driving cars were built in these workshops. It’s also not unheard of for Googlers to build their own zip-lines, perform crazy experiments with giant lenses and just get plain silly.

This weekend, we hope to bring this spirit of creativity and experimentation to attendees of Maker Faire Bay Area, whose mission is to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset.”

Our own Maker Faire theme is simple: “Dream, design, build. Repeat.” At the event, we’ll demonstrate how Google technologies, like SketchUp and the Android Accessory Development Kit (ADK), can help you take your project from idea to object.

Design of our booth made in SketchUp

In keeping with the DIY vibe, our booth was constructed three full-size recycled shipping containers and outfitted with big screen TVs, 3D printers, CNC cutters and, most importantly—robots! Folks from the Google SketchUp team and the newly-formed Cloud Robotics team will be on hand to walk you through the steps of of designing, fabricating, building and programming your own robot.

Our booth will also have demos, games, giveaways, hands-on activities for both kids and adults and talks from folks like MAKE Editor-in-Chief Mark Frauenfelder. And to top it off, we'll open Maker Faire each morning with an Android-powered weather balloon launch at 10:00 am PDT (weather permitting).

See our Google at Maker Faire site for a full schedule of Google events, and make sure to follow @sketchup on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.

Fellow Makers—we hope to see you there!

Posted by John Bacus, SketchUp Product Manager

[G] Testimony on location services and mobile privacy

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Google Public Policy Blog: Testimony on location services and mobile privacy

Posted by Alan Davidson, Director of Public Policy, Americas

Mobile location services create enormous social and economic benefits. Many of us are already experiencing those benefits – things as simple as getting real-time traffic maps that aid your commute, or finding the closest gas station on your car’s GPS.

But the value of these services extends far beyond commerce and convenience. They can also be lifesavers. Mobile location services can help you find the nearest hospital or police station, or let you know where you can fill a prescription at one in the morning for a sick child. And this is just the start.

We are now working with partners like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to explore how to deliver AMBER alerts about missing children within seconds to all users nearby. And mobile services will soon be able to alert people in the path of a tornado or tsunami, or guide them to an evacuation route in the event of a hurricane.

Mobile services have growing importance for our economy; according to recent market reports, their potential economic impact is staggering. These services are creating jobs in new businesses and increasing jobs in existing businesses.

To succeed in the long run, however, they require consumer trust built on strong privacy and security protections. We are committed to providing that trust.

This morning I testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about how we protect our users’ privacy, including those who use mobile location services. You can read my full testimony here.

[G] Google’s 2010 U.S. Economic Impact

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Google Public Policy Blog: Google’s 2010 U.S. Economic Impact

Posted by Claire Hughes Johnson, Vice President, Global Online Sales

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.)

This week is National Small Business Week, an opportunity to celebrate the spirit and ingenuity of small businesses like Everblue, a start-up in North Carolina.

Everblue was founded in 2008 by veterans Chris and Jon Boggiano along with fellow entrepreneur Grant McGregor. The brothers’ goal was to make the U.S. more energy independent by helping people get certified in sustainable building practices. With old-fashioned hard work and some help from Google AdWords, their business has quadrupled in size. They now have 80 full time employees and instructors, and this year alone they’ll train tens of thousands of people—architects, engineers, electricians and others—to build smarter and greener.

Chris and Jon Boggiano, veterans and co-founders of Everblue, a training institute for sustainable building.

Today we’re announcing that Google provided $64 billion of economic activity to businesses, website publishers and non-profits in 2010. This is an 18% increase from the economic impact total in 2009. Here’s how it works: for every $1 a business spends on Google AdWords, they receive an average of $8 in profit through Google Search and AdWords.

We’re proud that Everblue and over one million American businesses use our advertising services to tell consumers about their products and services. Learn more at

[G] Remembering fallen journalists on video

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Google Public Policy Blog: Remembering fallen journalists on video

Posted by Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.)

We live in a world that feels smaller every day. As we become accustomed to nearly ubiquitous coverage of the news and events unfolding around the world, it’s easy to forget the price that is sometimes paid to obtain quality, accurate reporting on important stories—particularly in areas of conflict or in cases of government repression of the media. With this in mind, today, the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Google and YouTube are together launching the Journalists Memorial channel on YouTube to remember the journalists who have died in the last year while reporting news around the world.

Their stories are incredible: heading into a street battle with no weapon other than your camera; talking about politics over the radio, only to be beaten to death with iron bars by a group of thugs on the way to work. The risks and sacrifices that many have made in order to provide us with accurate information is remarkable. On the Journalists Memorial channel you can watch a collection of videos representing these journalists’ lives and their work.

This channel will become a digital version of the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial, which is re-dedicated annually to honor journalists worldwide who have died during the preceding year. This year, 77 names are being added to the list of the more than 2,000 journalists who have been recognized for their sacrifices since 1837. At today’s rededication ceremony, Krishna Bharat, the founder and head of Google News, will be delivering the keynote address, which the Newseum will post to the new YouTube channel later today.

In tribute to those who are being honored at today’s ceremony, we would like your help finding videos that profile or represent the work of all journalists who have risked or lost their lives doing the important work they do. We invite you to go to the Journalists Memorial channel and submit videos you think deserve recognition to the Moderator platform on the channel. The Newseum will be featuring additional submissions there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

[G] Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

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Official Gmail Blog: Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

Posted by Matthew Leske, Product Manager

From the beginning, we designed Google Talk using open standards so that you could connect to your friends and family using any chat product, making communication as easy as possible. A few years ago, we announced our partnership with AOL which made it possible for people to chat with AIM users right from inside Gmail. Today, we’re happy to report that AOL has now made it possible to chat with AOL contacts across a variety of Google services: not just Gmail, but also iGoogle, Orkut, and Google Talk on Android phones.

If you chat with AIM buddies in Gmail, you’ll notice a few changes. First, you’ll no longer need an AIM account to connect to your friends using AIM. Instead you’ll be able to add your AIM buddies just like you add Gmail contacts to your chat list: using their AOL screennames (for example, AIM users will now also be able to add Google contacts to their AIM chat clients.

Second, you’ll no longer be able to sign into your AIM account from within Gmail chat since you can now add AIM contacts directly. And lastly, if you previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don’t want to re-add them to your chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import your AIM buddies into your Gmail account. See their blog post for more info.

[G] Social Search goes global

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Social Web Blog: Social Search goes global

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

In 2009 we first introduced Social Search on as an experimental feature designed to help you find more relevant information from your friends and the people you care about. Since then we’ve been making steady improvements to connect you with more people and more relevant web results. Today, we’re bringing Social Search to more users around the globe.

Just like on, social search results in other languages and on other domains are mixed throughout the Google results page based on their relevance. For example, if you’re looking for information about low-light photography and your friend Marcin has written a blog post about it, that post may show up higher in your results with a clear annotation and picture of Marcin:

Social search results can rank anywhere on the page, and you’ll see who shared the result in the annotation underneath.

Social Search can help you find pages your friends have created, and it can also help you find links your contacts have shared on Twitter and other sites. If someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation. So, if you’re looking for information about modern cooking and your colleague Adam shared a link about Modernist Cuisine, you’ll see an annotation and picture of Adam under the result. That way when you see Adam in the office, you’ll know he might be a good person to ask about his favorite modern cooking techniques.

Social Search includes links people share on Twitter and other services.

So how does this all work? Social search results are only visible to you and only appear when you choose to log in to your Google Account. If you’re signed in, Google makes a best guess about whose public content you may want to see in your results, including people from your Google chat buddy list, your Google Contacts, the people you're following in Google Reader and Buzz, and the networks you’ve linked from your Google profile or Google Account. For public networks like Twitter, Google finds your friends and sees who they’re publicly connected to as well. You can see a complete list of the people included in your social search results in your personal Google Dashboard (this display is private). For an overview of Google Social Search, check out the explanatory video:

Click “cc” to see captions in your language.

Social Search is rolling out globally in 19 languages and should be available in the coming week, with more languages on the way. People around the world will find similar types of social results as people in the U.S., and we plan to introduce the +1 feature as soon as we can. With these changes, we want to help you find the most relevant information from the people who matter to you. To learn more about Social Search, check out our help center.

Posted by Yohann Coppel, Software Engineer

[G] Making financial comparisons easy with Google Advisor

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Official Google Blog: Making financial comparisons easy with Google Advisor

Financial decisions may be some of the most difficult decisions we face—whether it’s finding the right credit card or understanding the impact of paying an extra point on a mortgage. And these days, it seems like we have more financial options than ever.

To help solve these problems, we began testing a mortgage comparison tool in 2009 and have added other financial products such as credit cards, CDs, checking, and savings accounts. Today, we’re rolling these tools into one place: Google Advisor, a site designed to help you quickly find relevant financial products from many providers and compare them side-by-side. Google Advisor is currently only available in the U.S.

With Google Advisor, you enter information about what you’re looking for in a mortgage, credit card, CD, or checking and savings account. We show you a list of the offers that match your criteria, along with rates and contact information. Google Advisor is designed especially to help you make these difficult financial decisions easily, with:
  • Speed: As you change your criteria, the results update instantly. You’ll still have a list of all your options in one place, so you can quickly compare different offers.
  • Trust: By setting your own search criteria, you’re able to see only those offers and rates that apply to you, which means you can compare applicable offers without even contacting a provider first.
  • Control: You only need to provide the minimum amount of information we need to show you offers that are right for you. You have full control over what you want to share, and which providers you choose to talk to—and you don’t have to submit any personal information until you’ve decided you’re ready to move forward.
For more information on how Google works with these financial providers, please visit our Help Center.

If you’re looking for a mortgage, a new credit card, or just want to see if your savings account gives you the best interest rate, visit We hope Google Advisor helps you easily make the decision that’s right for you!

Posted by Simon Arscott, Google Advisor Product Manager

[G] Launch a mobile business with The Guide to the App Galaxy

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Official Google Blog: Launch a mobile business with The Guide to the App Galaxy

The Guide to the App Galaxy, which we showed off last week at Google I/O, is designed to help mobile app developers—regardless of platform—navigate the complexities of launching an app and building a business on mobile. As you maneuver through the "galaxy” using the arrow keys on your keyboard, you’ll get the basics about app promotion, monetization and measurement—with tips from Google as well as successful developers.

There’s no exact blueprint for mobile app success and no developer’s journey is the same, which is why The Guide to the App Galaxy contains different advice and best practices from developers around the world. Here are some key insights from developers who have successfully built a business on mobile:

Rovio Mobile
Making money on mobile is not black and white—there's actually a lot of color. There are a number of business model options that aren't exclusive to any particular platforms.

Best, Cool & Fun Games
Offering your app for free lowers the barrier for users to download and try your app. The free version of Ant Smasher went viral because players could easily recommend the game to their friends through social media sites and word of mouth.

The Weather Channel
Don't forget to think beyond mobile. If you have a website or even a television channel, you can cross-promote your app with banner advertising or in-show mentions to drive downloads.

If you’re a developer who has successfully navigated the App Galaxy and launched your own app, you’ve probably picked up some tips of your own. Share your insights by creating your own journey and sharing it with your friends. We might even feature your story on The Guide to the App Galaxy.

The Guide to the App Galaxy is currently available in English, Japanese, Korean, French and German. We’re continuing to expand the guide to other developers around the world with new languages and new content like case study journeys. For more information about our solutions for mobile app developers, visit

Posted by Lauren Usui, Product Marketing Manager