Thursday, October 13, 2011

[G] Google Analytics support in Blogger

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Blogger Buzz: Google Analytics support in Blogger

Having a solid understanding of the traffic and visitor engagement statistics of your blog is one of the best ways to help it grow, and that’s why today we’re excited to announce that you can now easily connect your Google Analytics account with your blog.

Adding Google Analytics to your blog will give you more insight into where your visitors are coming from and help you determine which content they engage with the most. It's an easy to use, powerful, free product that is used internationally by businesses large & small.

If you already have a Google Analytics account, simply navigate to your blog’s Settings > Other tab and enter your blog's Google Analytics Web Property ID. Blogger will then insert Google Analytics code into your blog automatically, regardless of which template you're using, including mobile.

For more details and troubleshooting tips, check out this post on the Blogger Developers Network blog.

A few notes:
  • Google Analytics is supported on blogs using Dynamic ViewsLayouts templates, and mobile templates, but not Classic templates.
  • Because of the technical differences in how Blogger’s stats and Google Analytics collect data, you are likely to see some minor discrepancies between the two.
Posted by Muthu Kannan, Software Engineer

URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/10/google-analytics-support-in-blogger.html

[G] Lightbox update

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Blogger Buzz: Lightbox update

When we enabled a brand new photo viewing experience, called Lightbox, by default a few weeks ago, we heard from a number of Bloggers who preferred to use their own, previously installed Lightbox solution, or who simply wanted to continue blogging without the new feature.

Thanks to your feedback, we turned Lightbox off temporarily, and we’re re-launching it today with the option to disable it, along with a handful of fixes to bugs that you reported.

To learn more about Lightbox and how it works, check out the original blog post.

If you’d like to disable Lightbox on your blog, log in to Blogger and select “No” next to Lightbox in the Settings | Posts and Comments section (new interface) or the Settings | Formatting section (old interface).

Thanks again for your detailed suggestions, and please continue to share your feedback in our help forum.

Posted by Marcos Almeida, Software Engineer

URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/10/lightbox-update.html

[G] Start the conversation with Google Translate for Android

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Start the conversation with Google Translate for Android


Mobile technology and the web have made it easier for people around the world to access information and communicate with each other. But there’s still a daunting obstacle: the language barrier. We’re trying to knock down that barrier so everyone can communicate and connect more easily.

Earlier this year, we launched an update to Google Translate for Android with an experimental feature called Conversation Mode, which enables you to you translate speech back and forth between languages. We began with just English and Spanish, but today we’re expanding to 14 languages, adding Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish.




To use Conversation Mode, speak into your phone’s microphone, and the Translate app will translate what you’ve said and read the translation out loud. The person you’re speaking with can then reply in their language, and Conversation Mode will translate what they said and read it back to you.

This technology is still in alpha, so factors like background noise and regional accents may affect accuracy. But since it depends on examples to learn, the quality will improve as people use it more. We wanted to get this early version out to help start the conversation no matter where you are in the world.

We’ve also added some other features to make it easier to speak and read as you translate. For example, if you wanted to say “Where is the train?” but Google Translate recognizes your speech as “Where is the rain?”, you can now correct the text before you translate it. You can also add unrecognized words to your personal dictionary.

When viewing written translation results, you can tap the magnifying glass icon to view the translated text in full screen mode so you can easily show it to someone nearby, or just pinch to zoom in for a close-up view.



Tap the magnifying glass icon to view translations full screen.


Finally, we’ve also optimized the app for larger screens like your Android tablet.

While we work to expand full Conversation Mode to even more languages, Google Translate for Android still supports text translation among 63 languages, voice input in 17 of those languages, and text-to-speech in 24 of them.

Download the Google Translate app in Android Market — it’s available for tablets and mobile phones running Android 2.2 and up.


Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/10/start-conversation-with-google.html

[G] Start the conversation with Google Translate for Android

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Official Google Blog: Start the conversation with Google Translate for Android

(Cross-posted on the Mobile Blog and the Translate Blog

Mobile technology and the web have made it easier for people around the world to access information and communicate with each other. But there’s still a daunting obstacle: the language barrier. We’re trying to knock down that barrier so everyone can communicate and connect more easily.

Earlier this year, we launched an update to Google Translate for Android with an experimental feature called Conversation Mode, which enables you to you translate speech back and forth between languages. We began with just English and Spanish, but today we’re expanding to 14 languages, adding Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish.



To use Conversation Mode, speak into your phone’s microphone, and the Translate app will translate what you’ve said and read the translation out loud. The person you’re speaking with can then reply in their language, and Conversation Mode will translate what they said and read it back to you.

This technology is still in alpha, so factors like background noise and regional accents may affect accuracy. But since it depends on examples to learn, the quality will improve as people use it more. We wanted to get this early version out to help start the conversation no matter where you are in the world.

We’ve also added some other features to make it easier to speak and read as you translate. For example, if you wanted to say “Where is the train?” but Google Translate recognizes your speech as “Where is the rain?”, you can now correct the text before you translate it. You can also add unrecognized words to your personal dictionary.

When viewing written translation results, you can tap the magnifying glass icon to view the translated text in full screen mode so you can easily show it to someone nearby, or just pinch to zoom in for a close-up view.

Tap the magnifying glass icon to view translations full screen.

Finally, we’ve also optimized the app for larger screens like your Android tablet.

While we work to expand full Conversation Mode to even more languages, Google Translate for Android still supports text translation among 63 languages, voice input in 17 of those languages, and text-to-speech in 24 of them.

Download the Google Translate app in Android Market—it’s available for tablets and mobile phones running Android 2.2 and up.

Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/start-conversation-with-google.html

[G] Eclipse Day at the Googleplex 2011

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Google Open Source Blog: Eclipse Day at the Googleplex 2011

Here at Google, we use Eclipse every day to build our external and internal products, as well as building and releasing Eclipse tools. We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting Eclipse Day at Googleplex on November 30th. Hosting this event is one way to say “thank you” and contribute back to the community.

Eclipse Day is a 1-day conference that highlights Eclipse projects and Eclipse-based products created here at Google. It is also a great opportunity for both Eclipse contributors and users to network and share ideas.

This year we have sessions that cover Android Development Tools, Google Plug-in for Eclipse, WindowBuilder, EGit, m2eclipse, Eclipse 4, SWTBot, Orion, Hudson, a case study by NASA and Google’s use of Xtext.

In previous years some of the most popular sessions have been our Eclipse Ignite talks: 5-minute, 20-slide presentations by attendees that wish to show-off what they are doing with Eclipse.

All of us at Google would like to thank Ian Skerrett and everyone at the Eclipse Foundation for assembling this great event. We are happy to welcome the Eclipse community to our campus. We are always looking for ways to make this conference better! Please share your ideas and let us know your thoughts about this year’s program.

The conference is free, but you do need to pre-register. We strongly recommend you register early as we have run out of all of our slots every year.

By Alex Ruiz, Google Engineering Tools


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/rgGYL9rtu9k/eclipse-day-at-googleplex-2011.html

[G] Introducing ad styles: an enhanced feature replacing color palettes

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Inside AdSense: Introducing ad styles: an enhanced feature replacing color palettes


If you’ve been following our announcements in the last few weeks, you know we’ve been committed to bringing you features that you’ve been missing from the old AdSense interface. We’re now launching another long-requested feature: ad styles. Ad styles extend and enhance all of the functionality of our old color palettes. With ad styles, you can create customized combinations of colors, fonts, and corner styles and then easily apply these to the ad units and search engines across your site.



The best part about ad styles is that when you edit an ad style in the new interface, any ad units or search engines that are using this style will automatically be updated with your changes. So if you want to test a new color for the ad units on your site to see how it performs, you can create a new ad style and apply it to some of your ad units. If it performs well you can then apply it to all of the ad units in your account or revert back to your old colors just as easily. We think this feature will save you time by eliminating the need to re-assign the colors to each ad unit individually.



To create a new ad style, visit the ‘My ads’ tab. Click ‘Ad styles’ in the navigation bar and then the ‘+New’ button. You can then assign existing ad styles to your ad units during the ad unit creation process.





Posted by Jessica Hummel - AdSense Engineering


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/XlJIu6GhroU/introducing-ad-styles-enhanced-feature.html

[G] Step inside the map with Google MapsGL

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Official Google Blog: Step inside the map with Google MapsGL

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog)

You’re now one step closer to experiencing and interacting with a 3D mirror of the real world within your browser with Google MapsGL. Google MapsGL takes Google Maps and harnesses the power of Web Graphics Library (WebGL) to create far richer visuals and animations.

WebGL is a new technology that brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser without additional installed software. With WebGL your maps experience is much better with 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery and the ability to instantly “swoop” into Street View without a plugin.


Starting today, if you’re using supported browsers (such as Chrome 14+ or Firefox Beta) with compatible video cards, you can opt in to the early beta release. Visit maps.google.com and click “Try it now,” or visit maps.google.com/gl to learn more.

We’ve been using WebGL to create experiences like our Chrome experiments “3 Dreams of Black” and “All is Not Lost,” which happen right in the browser. Previously, such sophisticated 3D graphics have only been possible on traditional desktop applications and have required manual installation. WebGL ushers in a whole new generation of graphics on the web, and with that, we can begin to redefine the expectations of an online map.

Check out Chrome Experiments WebGL for more WebGL-powered applications, and opt in to Google MapsGL to begin using the next generation of mapping today.

Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/step-inside-map-with-google-mapsgl.html

[G] Google Books Returns to the Annual Boston Book Festival

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Inside Google Books: Google Books Returns to the Annual Boston Book Festival

Posted by Abe Murray, Google Books Product Manager

Bostonian bookworms curious about ebooks and the latest talented writers are in for a treat this Saturday, October 15th at the third annual Boston Book Festival – a free one-day event celebrating books and authors that's expected to attract more than 30,000 people. We'll be there hosting a Google eBooks Petting Zoo inside the main Boston Book Festival tent at Copley Square, as well as sponsoring two panel discussions.

Interested passers-by to the Google eBooks Petting Zoo will be able to try out a variety of eReaders and tablets and explore the possibilities of reading books electronically on their favorite device. You'll be able to view Google eBooks on these devices from our vast selection that includes free classic titles and new bestsellers.

Attendees may also enjoy Google’s sponsored panels, A Reason to Lead and Far Out Fiction:
  • A Reason to Lead will explore Governor Deval Patrick’s memoir, A Reason To Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life. Governor Patrick will also discuss his story and the call to lead with Walter Isaacson, editor of Profiles in Leadership and author of the forthcoming authorized biography of Steve Jobs.

    (A Reason to Lead includes an introduction by Google's Scott Dougall, Director of Product Management, and will begin at 12:45pm at the Back Bay Events Center John Hancock Hall at 180 Berkeley Street)

  • Far Out Fiction will include discussions with four of America's most imaginative talents. Gregory Maguire will speak about his soon-to-be-released Out of Oz; Karen Russell will present her much acclaimed debut novel, Swamplandia; pop culture vulture Chuck Klosterman will reveal his latest work of fiction, The Visible Man; and Kate Beaton will round out the session with her witty drawings of historic and literary characters navigating the modern world in Hark! A Vagrant.

    (Far Out Fiction includes an introduction by Google's Steve Vinter, Engineering Director, and will begin at 4:30pm at the Trinity Church Sanctuary at 206 Clarendon Street)
If you're in the area, we invite you to check out these panel presentations at the Festival. And of course, feel free to drop by our booth anytime between 10am and 8pm for your chance to get "up close and personal" with ebooks. We look forward to seeing you there!


URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-books-returns-to-annual-boston.html

[G] Google Apps opens the door to savings for Mid-Atlantic Door Group

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps opens the door to savings for Mid-Atlantic Door Group

Posted by Lena Furr, MIS Director, Mid-Atlantic Door Group. and Tom Ronayne, General Manager AIRO Tech.

Editors note: Today’s guest bloggers are Lena Furr, MIS Director for Mid-Atlantic Door Group and Tom Ronayne, General Manager of AIRO Tech, a technology services subsidiary of Mid-Atlantic Door Group, a 38-year-old specialty contracting company based in Washington, DC area. A PDF version of their case study is also available.



At Mid-Atlantic Door Group, we distribute and install everything from industrial overhead doors, door operation systems and loading dock equipment for commercial customers to garage doors and retractable awnings for residential customers. We have approximately 240 associates and operate together with our subsidiaries in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 1987 we created a technical services company, AIRO Tech, which designs and develops web-based business applications for outside specialty contracting companies as well as our own.

Recently, we were looking for ways to reduce IT license and maintenance costs and we wanted to get to our data easily from different devices, especially mobile ones. We had some experience building our own operational applications and our focus had been on clean, optimized interfaces developed for speed and mobility. So when it came time to upgrade our email and productivity applications we looked for solutions that embraced those elements.

Our previous environment included Microsoft® Exchange, Outlook and Office, but we found ourselves spending too much time and money on licenses and server maintenance. We had different versions on different machines and we were continually updating software on our desktops and laptops. Google Apps allowed us to to break free from those high-cost, high maintenance applications.

Our users are getting their email on a variety of devices and we’ve seen effective use of Google Docs especially for collaboration between our users. It’s just so easy to use, the collaboration comes naturally since it’s built right in. We also deployed Google Message Discovery, an email archive that provides an audit trail for our compliance needs.

By deploying Google Apps we were able to avoid $43,000 in upgrade costs we were facing in our old environment. The ability to access email in a browser also allowed us to transition many of our users to Linux-based desktops which also helped reduce our costs. Together with other license and application reductions, we saved nearly $60,000 in total.

Google Apps gives us the ability to work from anywhere on a wide variety of mobile devices. We are looking at deploying more mobile devices including smartphones, Chromebooks and tablets in the near future. Based on our encouraging experience so far, we anticipate that our Google Apps deployment will make it easy for us to do that.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-apps-opens-door-to-savings-for.html

[G] Growing the Google Commerce Search Family

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Growing the Google Commerce Search Family

Posted by Naveen Viswanatha, Product Manager, Google Commerce

Two years ago in November, we launched Google Commerce Search, which provides the search quality of Google to e-commerce websites with interactive user features such as Suggestions, Search As You Type and Product Recommendations. With Google Commerce Search, retailers such as GNC, L’Occitane and Forever21 are powering fast, interactive and relevant search and navigation for their customers. Simple integration with mobile and local search results allows shoppers to find products in physical stores nearby, helping retailers offer a great shopping experience from start to finish.

We’ve grown both in product features and user adoption in the past two years, but we’re not done yet. In fact, we want to make it even easier for retailers to adopt Google Commerce Search to help them achieve amazing results and meet their customers’ needs.

So today we’re announcing that we’re growing the Google Commerce Search family with the launch of the Google Commerce Search Reseller Program. Through this new program, technology providers can bring the unique capabilities of Google Commerce Search to their retail clients.

We’ve been working with some leading technology providers who have developed solutions around Google Commerce Search for the web and for mobile, and we’re excited to formalize the program and invite even more technology providers to come on board with us.

Our first new reseller is Branding Brand, a leader in the mobile commerce space who works with large multi-channel retailers to develop mobile and social commerce applications. The firm sought out Google when they heard about Google Commerce Search, as they knew it would deliver additional value to their customers. “Mobile users are often action-oriented--whether they’re locating a store, seeing what products are available nearby, or searching for a specific item–so it’s important to quickly provide relevant information in the proper context. Google Commerce Search allows us to do exactly this,” says co-founder Chris Mason. GNC was Branding Brand’s first client to launch with Google Commerce Search earlier this year, and here is what their CMO Jeff Hennion has to say about the results:



In fact, with Branding Brand we’d also like to announce our newest retail customer: Timberland. With Branding Brand and Google Commerce Search, Timberland has been able to make their mobile vision a reality, both in the core site experience but also in integrating the critical search capabilities provided by Google Commerce Search. Timberland makes quality and environmentally-responsible products, so we couldn’t be happier to welcome them to our family.

“At Timberland, the consumer always comes first. Our priority in developing our mobile website was making sure customers had the best experience possible,” said Chris Hardisty, director of Timberland Global E-Commerce. “Shoppers today expect fast and relevant results especially on mobile where speed and interactivity matter most. Since we launched our mobile-optimized website, we have seen mobile sales grow 20 times faster than our desktop site sales.”

We’re also happy to welcome Perficient, a leading technology integrator specializing in e-commerce. Perficient was keenly interested developing solutions around Google Commerce Search given the capabilities it can provide to their clients. “Google Commerce Search brings retailers of all sizes the advanced Google search features that were previously only available to the biggest players in the space, including Search As You Type, local product availability, and engaging mobile experiences,” says Sameer Peera, Principal of Perficient’s National Commerce Practice.

If you’re interested in becoming a Google Commerce Search reseller, please let us know by getting in touch.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/10/growing-google-commerce-search-family.html

[G] Step inside the map with Google MapsGL

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Google LatLong: Step inside the map with Google MapsGL

You’re now one step closer to experiencing and interacting with a 3D mirror of the real world within your browser with Google MapsGL. Google MapsGL takes Google Maps and harnesses the power of Web Graphics Library (WebGL) to create far richer visuals and animations.

WebGL is a new technology that brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser without additional installed software. With WebGL your maps experience is much better with 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery and the ability to instantly “swoop” into Street View without a plugin.



Starting today, if you’re using supported browsers (such as Chrome 14+ or Firefox Beta) with compatible video cards, you can opt in to the early beta release. Visit maps.google.com and click “Try it now,” or visit maps.google.com/gl to learn more.

We’ve been using WebGL to create experiences like our Chrome experiments “3 Dreams of Black” and “All is Not Lost,” which happen right in the browser. Previously, such sophisticated 3D graphics have only been possible on traditional desktop applications and have required manual installation. WebGL ushers in a whole new generation of graphics on the web, and with that, we can begin to redefine the expectations of an online map.

Check out Chrome Experiments WebGL for more WebGL-powered applications, and opt in to Google MapsGL to begin using the next generation of mapping today.

Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/step-inside-map-with-google-mapsgl.html

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

[G] Two days in D.C. for the winners of the Google Science Fair

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Google Public Policy Blog: Two days in D.C. for the winners of the Google Science Fair

Posted by Shree Bose, Google Science Fair winner

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and the Google Science Fair blog)

Last week, 17-year-old Shree Bose from Fort Worth, Texas, the grand prize winner of the Google Science Fair, visited Washington, D.C. at the invitation of the White House. We invited Shree to write about her experience in the capital. - Ed.

Adrenaline. I turned around as the brilliantly polished door behind me opened, and suddenly I was face to face with a man I’d seen so many times on television. The President of the United States calmly extended his hand to shake mine and those of Naomi and Lauren, the other two winners of Google’s first-ever Science Fair. He knew about our projects and was genuinely excited to talk with us.

The Oval Office is more than just a room. It has a palpable aura of grandeur, with the presidential seal in the center of the deep blue carpet and a portrait of George Washington hanging on the wall. The desk, where presidents of the past have contemplated some of the most important decisions in the world’s history, was polished to a gleam. President Obama leaned against it as he talked to us.

He asked us how we became interested in science, what our plans were for the future and which colleges we were interested in. Smiling, he told us to stick with science. We left the Oval Office feeling like our individual futures were important to the nation’s future; like we could change the world.

Our trip to Washington, D.C., also included visits to the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over our two days, we were given the opportunity to sit down and talk with many of our country’s leaders who have not only been extraordinarily successful in the fields we wish to go into in the future, but who also encouraged us to follow our own dreams. It was more than just meetings; it was inspiration.

Naomi Shah, Shree Bose and Lauren Hodge meet President Obama in the Oval Office
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2011/10/two-days-in-dc-for-winners-of-google.html

[G] Find your audience with the Google Display Network

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Inside AdWords: Find your audience with the Google Display Network

Advertising is about getting your message in front of the right people. Whether you need to increase brand awareness or maximize ROI on direct response campaigns, your challenge continues to be about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

How can you do this intelligently, and at scale? Audience Solutions on the Google Display Network (GDN) provides the insi
ght you need, connecting potential customers by with exactly what they are looking for -- when they are ready to buy.

Please join Google in our upcoming webinar to learn more about audience targeting strategies for your campaigns using Audience Solutions on the Google Display Network. We’ll discuss the following topics:
  • Enhance search: Making the most of your search investment through Remarketing
  • Deeper insights: Gaining insights about your current customers to expand your audience
  • Extend reach: Reaching new audiences based on their interests and purchase intent
  • ROI Optimization: Taking advantage of transparency and controls to optimize your campaigns
Register here for the webinar to be held on November 1st, 2011 at 10:00am PST / 12:00pm CST / 1:00pm EST. You can also preview a video of this invite here.

P
oste
d by Lauren Barbato, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/find-your-audience-with-google-display.html

[G] DjangoCon US 2011 Sprints

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Google Open Source Blog: DjangoCon US 2011 Sprints

What's the best way to wrap up a fantastic conference? With an even more fantastic sprint! DjangoCon US 2011 was recently held in Portland, Oregon, and on September 9 and 10, DjangoCon attendees crammed into the offices of Urban Airship to sprint on Django. At the peak of the sprint, over 120 people — almost one third of the conference attendees — were at the sprint venue. Even more people joined in online, using IRC to communicate with those at the
sprint venue.


The sprints were an excellent opportunity for the international Django community to gather and make plans for the future. Over the two day sprint, there were breakout sessions discussing a possible new template tag syntax, the requirements for a next-generation admin system, and the needs of a User model. Some people contributed to infrastructure, such as greasing the gears
connecting Django's ticket system to code sharing sites like GitHub. There was a group brainstorming about the possibility of replacing Django's ticket tracker with something better. Others made contributions to documentation, working on draft tutorials, topic guides, and improving the 'out of the box' experience for new Django users. And, of course, there was the usual sprinting fare of bug squashing and feature construction.

Attendees ranged from long-time Django veterans to recent Django converts; from twenty-somethings to seasoned software veterans. People came from all corners of the globe to attend the conference — South America, Australia, South Africa, Europe, Canada and all parts of the United States.


Portland is a great town for food lovers, and as a result, it's easy for "lets pop out for a quick bite" to turn into a 3 hour lunch break, eating up valuable sprinting time. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Google, and Emma, the sprints were a fully catered event -- so Portland's excellent food came to us, and no time and energy was lost in the hunt for sustenance!

The DjangoCon US 2011 sprints were an incredibly successful event; organizers for DjangoCon US 2012 in Washington DC, and DjangoCon Europe 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland have a lot to live up to. Here's hoping next year's events will be just as successful!

By Russell Keith-Magee, Django Software Foundation President; Photos by Frank Wiles


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/8dMZfo2oDNI/djangocon-us-2011-sprints.html

[G] Take the green route in Google Maps

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Google LatLong: Take the green route in Google Maps

(Cross posted from the Google Green Blog)

We’ve learned that most people who use Google Maps just want to get from Point A to Point B -- as quickly and painlessly as possible. Whether it’s planning a weekend bike route, finding the quickest roads during rush hour, or identifying bus paths with the fewest transfers, people are making the most out of Maps features to travel faster and greener. Here’s how you can use Google Maps to minimize your impact on the environment.

Commuting by bike
As an avid cyclist, I feel very fortunate to live in Boulder, Colorado and be surrounded by over 300 miles of bike lanes, routes and paths. When the weather is cooperating, I try to commute to work every day. It’s a great way to stay healthy and arrive at the office feeling awake! According to Biking Directions in Google Maps, it takes me 10 minutes to travel 2 miles from Point A (my house) to Point B (the office). It also shows three alternative routes, and I can check the weather in Google Maps to see if I’ll need a rain jacket for the ride home. I can also use Biking Directions on my mobile phone, which came in handy for me during a biking trip in Austin when I got lost on a major highway and needed a safe route back to the hotel.

Did you know that Google Maps has biking directions available in over 200 US cities and in 9 Canadian regions? A collaboration with Rails to Trails, an organization that converts old railroad tracks into bike paths, has made information about over 12,000 miles of bike paths available to Google Maps users.

Taking public transit
Millions of people use Google Transit every week, viewing public transit routes on both Google Maps and Google Maps for mobile in over 470 cities around the world. You can take a train from Kyoto to Osaka or find your way around London on the Tube. In some places, you can compare the cost of taking public transit and driving by viewing the calculation below the list of directions (like in this example). Feel free to customize your routes and departure and arrival times under “Show options” to minimize walking or limit the number of transfers. You’ll know if your bus is late by checking out live transit updates.

Being green in the car
According to the 2011 Urban Mobility Report by Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, motorists wasted 1.9 billion gallons of fuel last year in the US because of traffic congestion, costing the average commuter an additional $713 in commuting costs. You can save time and money by clicking on the Traffic layer in the top right corner to view real-time traffic conditions on your route, and then drag and adjust your route to green. If you need directions in advance, save paper by sending your directions directly to your car, GPS, or phone. The Send-to-Car feature is available to more than 20 car brands worldwide, and the Send-to-GPS feature is available to more than 10 GPS brands. And for those of you who drive electric vehicles, you can search for electric vehicle charging stations by typing “ev charging station in [your city]” and recharge.

As you can see, Google Maps is loaded with features to help you save time, save money, and get where you need to be -- all while minimizing your commute’s impact on the environment. Go green with Google Maps, and safe travels!

Posted by Tasha Danko, Geo Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/10/take-green-route-in-google-maps.html

[G] Building an amazing mobile shopping experience with Google Commerce Search

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Official Google Blog: Building an amazing mobile shopping experience with Google Commerce Search

Mobile usage in retail is on the rise—every year we see an increasing number of shopping queries originate from mobile phones. As mobile continues to proliferate, it’s also fundamentally changing the way people shop. Mobile and shopping are made for each other.

Knowing this, we’re sharing a secret with you: it’s not too late to get your e-commerce site ready for the mobile surge this holiday shopping season. In fact, our newest customer, Timberland, just went live with their mobile-optimized website powered by Google Commerce Search in a matter of days.

Chris Hardisty, director of Timberland Global E-Commerce, told us: “Our first priority in developing our mobile website was making sure customers had the best experience possible. Shoppers today expect fast and relevant results especially on mobile, where speed and interactivity matter most. Since we launched our mobile-optimized website, we have seen mobile sales grow 20 times faster than our desktop site sales.”


Today we’re growing the Google Commerce Search family by opening up our new Google Commerce Search Partner Program, and welcoming Branding Brand and Perficient Systems as our inaugural partners. We wanted to make it easier for retailers to adopt Google Commerce Search to help them achieve amazing results and meet their customers’ needs. Through this new program, system integrators, digital agencies and commerce platform providers can partner with us to bring the unique capabilities of Google Commerce Search to their retail clients.

Branding Brand has worked with Timberland and—earlier this year—GNC to turn their mobile visions into reality. Before GNC optimized their mobile website, 10 to 15 percent of their e-commerce traffic came from mobile. Since launching it this summer, there are twice as many visitors using search, and mobile search conversions are up 50 percent.



If you decide that building a mobile application is the best choice for you, it’s still important to build a powerful search experience that will help shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for and engage with your brand. In August, Westfield launched a mobile shopping app powered by Google Commerce Search for its 55 malls throughout the U.S. Alan Cohen, Executive Vice President, Management and Marketing for Westfield, told us “Whether the shopper is looking for a very specific product or general holiday gift items, the ability to search retailer products effortlessly is of real benefit.”

Ready to get started with your mobile commerce site? With the big holiday shopping season coming soon, we wanted to share some tips based on our relationships with our merchant customers:
  • Every millisecond counts: You can’t deliver an amazing mobile shopping experience to your customers by wasting their time. Shoppers should be able to find the products without unnecessary clicks, typing or other steps.
  • Engage your audience: Search has become highly interactive with suggestions and auto-complete, while mobile allows consumers to touch and engage with their devices in new and fun ways. Combining the two allows you to intrigue your potential customers for instant gratification.
  • Get to the point: Whether someone’s looking for a high-resolution digital camera or orange khaki trousers, you want to make sure that it’s easy to find—with minimal keystrokes, of course. Space is limited on those 3- or 4-inch screens, so make the most of it by providing relevant search results.
  • Bridge the gap: According to our holiday retail user survey, 65 percent of high-end device users report they have used their device to find a business and then made a purchase at that business in person. In other words: mobile provides a great opportunity to drive foot traffic and bridge online and offline sales. You can delight shoppers by showing them when a product is also available in a store nearby—in-line with the search results.
We built Google Commerce Search just under two years ago to help retailers provide a great shopping experience to their customers, and we’ve had positive feedback from our retail partners on how they’ve been able to increase search revenues, site searches and online conversions while increasing customer satisfaction. Get started now with Google Commerce Search to build a great mobile experience in time for this year’s shopping season.

Posted by Nitin Mangtani, Group Product Manager, Google Commerce
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/building-amazing-mobile-shopping.html

[G] Meet the October "On The Rise" Nominees

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YouTube Blog: Meet the October "On The Rise" Nominees

Each month, we find four YouTube Partners whose subscriber numbers are growing but who still have fewer than 100,000 for our On The Rise program. After you check out their videos and channels, we want to hear your vote for your favorite in the top right corner of this blog. The channel with the most votes at the end of the week will be featured on the YouTube homepage and videos page.



Our nominees this month are all artists in their own field, and their videos could be especially useful this Halloween. Whether it’s getting you in the spirit with songs about witches and wizards, drawing faces for your jack-o-lanterns, or perfecting your costume with vintage makeup or martial arts moves, these YouTubers can be just what you’re looking for. Check out their videos and vote for your favorite on the top right corner of this blog by October 19 at 6pm PT, and we’ll announce the winner on October 27.



cartoonblock

Wielding only a Staedtler pencil and a kneaded eraser, Evan Burse made his career animating for hits like Batman and Scooby-Doo. But he’s also committed to giving back - his YouTube channel contains tutorials for anyone interested in re-creating their favorite superheroes, anime and cartoon characters.







kwonkicker

Micah, aka Kwonkicker, has devoted his channel to martial arts - specifically, a style he refers to as Taekwondo Kickboxing. If you’re looking for training tutorials or martial arts-based action films, you’ll find it all here.







hollywoodnoirmakeup

Ashley’s history as a makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics and her passion for old Hollywood and film noir serve her well on YouTube. Her tutorials have earned her a dedicated following, and she even keeps a running list of upcoming requested tutorials.







AlexanderCarpenter

Alex is well known for his original music videos about pop culture, movies, and books, like this video about Alex’s favorite book (and a great costume idea). If you like it, check his tour dates to see when he might be playing near you!







Past winners like theneedledrop and JasonMundayMusic and have seen their audiences grow, all thanks to your support. If you’re interested in checking out more rising YouTube Partners, visit our On The Rise channel, which features nominees, trending partners and monthly blog winners. Look for more featured partners on the YouTube Browse page.



Devon Storbeck, Partner Support, recently watched “Adele - Someone Like You.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/uAmJhScJhTI/meet-october-on-rise-nominees.html

[G] A Google chat with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee

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Inside Google Books: A Google chat with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee

Posted by Anna Tong, Google eBooks Associate

Last Wednesday, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee stopped by Google to discuss her new memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War (Beast Books, 2011). We were fortunate to have this extraordinary individual visit just two days before she found out she was one of three women awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

By way of background, Liberia in the early 2000s was a country ravaged by a civil war that had claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people. But the country's president refused to hold peace talks. Meanwhile the fighting continued, and warlords trained child soldiers. In the midst of this chaos, Gbowee had a dream.

"I heard a voice, and it was talking to me, commanding me: Gather the women to pray for peace!" she writes.

Gbowee began organizing Liberian women of all ages, backgrounds and religions. Hers is an amazing tale of women’s unity: dressed in white, they picketed for months and confronted Africa’s male leaders. Thanks to their efforts peace was achieved, and in 2005, Liberia elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - the first modern-day female head of state in Africa.

Google vice president Megan Smith talks with Leymah Gbowee

I had the good fortune of being able to sit down with Leymah before her talk and ask her some questions. The first two questions are excerpted from my conversation with Leymah, while the second two are questions asked by Google audience members during her talk:

Q: What advice can you give to girls around the world?

A: Something that happens to girls that's universal and across all social statuses is that we let little things take our focus away. Whether you're a girl from Liberia or the U.S. or Hong Kong, you will have challenges. Don't let your story be that you didn't mount those challenges, whether in school or in your social life.

Q: A central story in your memoir is your relationship with an abusive man. That's something many women can relate to. What's your advice to them?

A: I always make myself available to listen in a non-judgmental way. When you are in an abusive relationship, the person is making you believe you can't get out, nobody will love you, etc. I try to sit and listen to women and I never criticize. I'm that shoulder. I'm there. I let them know there's always a place to come to if they need something. I've found myself helping women with finances if they make the decision to run away – I did this with girls who were married to ex-combatants.

Q: Were you ever afraid?

A: The war started when I was 17. I had my moments with terror in those early stages. The first time I saw a dead body I froze. By the time I was 31 I could walk over a dead body without a second thought. I had become immune to anything called fear.

Q: The Western media made a big deal out of the Liberian women withholding sex while advocating for peace, but it wasn’t a huge part of your memoir. What are your thoughts on that?

A: In [the US] the sex industry keeps the financial wheels turning... that over-objectification, it's destroying not just this country but our country as well. When I was growing up I sold donuts. Now girls say, "Why do I want to sell a donut when I can sell myself and make $20?" [Google needs] to start a campaign here showcasing very smart women turning on their brains... it is part of your corporate social responsibility.



Mighty Be Our Powers, which is available as an ebook in the Google eBookstore (US-only), reveals Leymah's personal history. It's a powerful story: after reading it, the CEO of Barnes & Noble was so moved that he personally paid for Leymah's book tour. In the book, she writes about events in her life like having a happy childhood, an abusive relationship, and what it was like growing up in war-torn Liberia.
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-chat-with-nobel-peace-prize.html

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

[G] Google App Engine, Cloud Storage and Prediction API are open for business

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google App Engine, Cloud Storage and Prediction API are open for business

Posted by Jessie Jiang, Group Product Manager

Google’s cloud services allow you to host your applications in the cloud and leverage the same infrastructure that power Google's own applications.There are more than 200,000 developers who have created apps on Google’s cloud services. Today, we are announcing several enhancements to our services targeted at businesses looking to build applications in the cloud.

New enterprise level service and support option for Google App Engine

When choosing a platform for your most critical business applications or standardizing on one across your organization, we recognize that uptime guarantees, easy management and support are just as important as product features. So today, we are launching Google App Engine Premier Accounts. For $500 per month, you’ll receive premier support, a 99.95% uptime service level agreement and the ability to create unlimited number of apps on your premier account domain.

To sign up for a premier account, email our sales team at appengine_premier_requests@google.com.

Google Cloud SQL - Your database in the cloud

Last week, we announced the limited preview of Google Cloud SQL. It powers your App Engine applications with a familiar relational database in a fully managed cloud environment. This allows you to focus on developing your applications and services, free from the chores of managing, maintaining and administering relational databases.

Cloud SQL is available free of charge for now. It will continue to evolve as we work out the kinks during the preview. Let us know if you’d like to take it for a spin.

Google Cloud Storage is out of Code Labs, with new features and lower price

Last year, we introduced Google Storage for developers, a service that lets you store data on Google’s infrastructure with very high reliability, availability and performance. You can use it for your online archives, storing and serving static content (e.g. images and video), sharing data with your customers and partners, as well for use with other Google services like App Engine, Prediction API and Big Query.

Today, Google Storage for Developers is out of Labs, and has a new name - Google Cloud Storage. In addition to leaving Labs, we are announcing several new features. You can now read and write files to Google Cloud Storage via the App Engine Files API. We are also making detailed usage information, including access analytics and storage use data, available to all our customers.

Finally, we are lowering the prices for storage and bandwidth across the board. We are not charging for ingress and introducing volume discounts for our larger users. Depending on your usage patterns, you could save over 40% of your monthly bill. Please see our updated pricing here.

Google Prediction API graduates from labs, adds new features

Since the general availability launch of the Prediction API earlier this year, we have been very excited about giving you access to machine learning in the cloud to build smarter apps. Today, we are announcing the latest release of Prediction API - v1.4. With the release of this version, Prediction API is graduating from Google Code Labs. The new release will also includes two of your most requested features: PMML v4.01 support and data anomaly detection.

Prediction API has a variety of use cases from helping increase fuel economy to creating movie recommendation services. It is one of the services which provides a clean and simple API to  machine learning that anybody can understand. At the same time, it is hosted in the cloud and ideally situated for integration with your web application.

We are enabling our enterprise customers to build business solutions that take advantage of the computing power and scalability of Google’s cloud services without all the hassles of deployment of applications. We have been making great progress on Google App Engine, Cloud Storage, and Prediction API. There is more to come, stay tuned.

Let us know if you are interested to talk to a Google representative to get more details. We are always happy to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments below.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/10/google-app-engine-cloud-storage-and.html

[G] Music Tuesday: National Coming Out Day, Merle Haggard and more

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YouTube Blog: Music Tuesday: National Coming Out Day, Merle Haggard and more

Wondering what we’ve got cooking this week on youtube.com/music? Now’s your chance to find out -- and be sure to check the music page later this week to get a taste of October’s most significant new releases.



Out, Proud and...Loud!

In honor of National Coming Out Day, we assembled a playlist of artists and bands who make great music...and who also happen to have members who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We profile a huge range of musicians, including the wonderfully outrageous Big Freedia of New Orleans’ bounce scene. (She joins a long list of gender-bending New Orleans performers who’ve found acceptance there that they might not have found anywhere else.) Rapper Shunda K of the underground duo Yo! Majesty recently embarked on a solo career -- we feature her second video off the new album today, which includes a cameo from electropop provocateur Peaches. We’ve also got videos from Antony and the Johnsons, Sigur Ros, Girl In A Coma, Xiu Xiu and many more.







Merle Haggard Recommends

Country much? The man who invented (with a little help) what became known as “the Bakersfield sound” and went on to become a leading light of the outlaw country movement takes to YouTube today, offering up some of his favorite videos. Haggard is a living legend, and we’re incredibly proud to share this window into his musical world.







Ryan Adams “Lucky Now”

Speaking of country music, Ryan Adams was a vaunted darling of the alt-country scene for many years...then he disappeared from the radar. The singer-songwriter is back -- and in fine form -- this week with a new album and a new video.







Sarah Bardeen, Music Community Manager, recently watched “El Freaky presenta: Raka Rich & Geko Jones in Bogota.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/CvD8aKrtwD8/music-tuesday-national-coming-out-day.html

[G] Two days in D.C. for the winners of the Google Science Fair

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Official Google Blog: Two days in D.C. for the winners of the Google Science Fair

(Cross-posted on the Google Student blog and the Google Science Fair blog)

Last week, 17-year-old Shree Bose from Fort Worth, Texas, the grand prize winner of the Google Science Fair, visited Washington, D.C. at the invitation of the White House. We invited Shree to write about her experience in the capitol. - Ed.

Adrenaline. I turned around as the brilliantly polished door behind me opened, and suddenly I was face to face with a man I’d seen so many times on television. The President of the United States calmly extended his hand to shake mine and those of Naomi and Lauren, the other two winners of Google’s first-ever Science Fair. He knew about our projects and was genuinely excited to talk with us.

The Oval Office is more than just a room. It has a palpable aura of grandeur, with the presidential seal in the center of the deep blue carpet and a portrait of George Washington hanging on the wall. The desk, where presidents of the past have contemplated some of the most important decisions in the world’s history, was polished to a gleam. President Obama leaned against it as he talked to us.

He asked us how we became interested in science, what our plans were for the future and which colleges we were interested in. Smiling, he told us to stick with science. We left the Oval Office feeling like our individual futures were important to the nation’s future; like we could change the world.

Our trip to Washington, D.C., also included visits to the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over our two days, we were given the opportunity to sit down and talk with many of our country’s leaders who have not only been extraordinarily successful in the fields we wish to go into in the future, but who also encouraged us to follow our own dreams. It was more than just meetings; it was inspiration.

Naomi Shah, Shree Bose and Lauren Hodge meet President Obama in the Oval Office
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Posted by Shree Bose, Google Science Fair winner
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/two-days-in-dc-for-winners-of-google.html