Saturday, February 4, 2012

[G] Google Summer of Code 2012 is on!

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Google Open Source Blog: Google Summer of Code 2012 is on!

I am proud to share the news that Google Summer of Code 2012 was announced this morning at FOSDEM.

This will be the 8th year for Google Summer of Code, an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from colleges and universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects with the help of mentoring organizations from all around the globe. Over the past seven years Google Summer of Code has had 6,000 students from over 90 countries complete the program. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all.

Spread the word to your friends! If you know of a university student that would be interested in working on open source projects this summer, or if you know of an organization that might want to mentor students to work on their open source projects, please direct them to our Google Summer of Code 2012 website where they can find our timeline along with the FAQs. And stay tuned for more details coming soon!

By Carol Smith, Open Source Team


[G] German Federal Office of Information Security recommends Chrome

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Google Chrome Blog: German Federal Office of Information Security recommends Chrome

Today the BSI, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, released a best practice guide for Windows users as part of their overall guidelines and recommendations for Cyber Security. Security has always been a core focus of Chrome, so we’re particularly honored to see several of its security benefits recognized in the report:

The browser is the central component for using any online service on the Web and therefore is the most critical attack surface for cyber attacks. Therefore, if possible, you should use a browser with sandbox technology. The browser that currently most consistently implements this protection is Google Chrome ( Comparable mechanisms implemented in other browsers are either weaker, or non-existent. By using Google Chrome, in addition to the other mechanisms we mentioned, you can significantly reduce the risk of a successful IT attack.

In addition to Chrome’s sandbox, the guide also highlights the importance of Chrome’s auto-update feature:

Equally positive is the auto-update functionality of Google Chrome, which includes a bundled version of the Adobe Flash Player. By bundling it with Chrome, the Adobe Flash Player will also always be kept up to date.

On the eve of Safer Internet Day, security on the web still faces a variety of challenges. We hope our efforts to improve the security and privacy of our users continue to help make the web a better place.

Posted by Dr. Wieland Holfelder, German Extraordinaire, and Travis McCoy, Security Aficionado

[G] Gertrude Stein puts the “there” back in Oakland

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Inside Google Books: Gertrude Stein puts the “there” back in Oakland

By Matt Werner, Technical Writer, Enterprise

Gertrude Stein. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.)

What exactly did renowned U.S. writer and art collector Gertrude Stein mean when she said “there is no there there” about Oakland, California? In honor of Gertrude Stein’s 138th birthday today, we explore the meaning of this oft-quoted phrase.

In fall 2011, I attended the SF Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit of Stein’s groundbreaking Paris art collection. At the exhibit, a small display about her childhood in Oakland, California, sparked my interest. I was born in Oakland, and I’m currently writing a book about Oakland. I wondered what it was like for Gertrude Stein growing up there in the 1880s. I purchased The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas from the Google eBookstore to read about Stein’s experiences in Paris and San Francisco with her companion, Alice Toklas. The more I read by Stein and saw how she plays with language, the more I wondered about the meaning of her “no there there” quote.

There is a “There” in Oakland. (Photo by Joe Sciarrillo)

Searching Google Books, I found the “no there there” quote on page 298 of Everybody’s Autobiography, published in 1937. The full quote is:

“...what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.”

Searching the Google News archive, I found that dozens of articles over the last several decades used her quote. Searching Google Scholar, I found over 1,000 scholarly articles referencing her quote. But still, I wanted to learn more. What was Oakland like in the 1880s? I went to the Oakland History Room at the Oakland Main Library to find out.

Newspaper clippings from Stein’s file in the Oakland History Room referencing her “there” quote.

Stein’s family moved to Oakland in 1880, when she was six, and lived at the Tubbs Hotel their first year. Author Robert Louis Stevenson also stayed at this hotel from March to April, 1880.

Tubbs Hotel, Oakland, California. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)

Her family then moved to a home near today’s 13th Avenue and East 25th Avenue. She lived in Oakland until 1891, and left at age 17 for Baltimore, after her parents passed away. Oakland was a much smaller town then, with a population of just under 35,000 in 1880.

Downtown Oakland in 1889. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)

Children playing in a water hole near where Stein grew up in Oakland in this 1884 photo. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)

Nearly 45 years later, Stein returned to Oakland on a lecture tour in 1935. By that time, the city had grown nearly 10 times to over 300,000 residents. When she tried to find her childhood home, it was no longer there. When she published Everybody’s Autobiography two years later, saying there was “no there there,” it was an expression of “painful nostalgia” about her home being gone and the land around it being completely changed. The house where she grew up was on a sprawling 10-acre plot surrounded by orchards and farms. By 1935, it had been replaced by dozens of houses. Oakland held a special significance to her, and on her return, she found that Oakland had urbanized and changed from the pastoral place she remembered.

Gertrude Stein writes in her autobiographical novel, The Making of Americans, about her childhood in Oakland, where a child “could have all anybody could want of joyous sweating, of rain and wind, of hunting, of cows and dogs and horses, of chopping wood, of making hay, of dreaming, of lying in a hollow all warm with the sun shining while the wind was howling.” She won her first literary award as a student at Franklin School in Oakland for a piece she wrote about the sun “setting in a cavern of clouds.” Returning to her home decades later to find it gone and to find Oakland no longer a place “of chopping wood, of making hay” struck her, and she wrote her famous “no there there” quote in response.

Stein’s house, two miles south of this 1889 photo, was in a sparsely-populated section of Oakland. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)

When researching Stein at the Oakland History Room, the literary portrait file had photos of Jack London, a contemporary of Stein’s, who also grew up in Oakland. The file included other famous authors who visited Oakland in the late 1800s, including Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, and John Muir. Despite the misinterpretation of Stein’s quote, there has always been a “there” in Oakland. Oakland has been blessed with several waves of artistic movements, stretching back to these authors. And in interviewing innovative artists and writers in Oakland today for my forthcoming book Oakland in Popular Memory, I’ve seen first-hand that now more than ever, there is a “there” in Oakland.

Friday, February 3, 2012

[G] Unicode over 60 percent of the web

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Official Google Blog: Unicode over 60 percent of the web

Computers store every piece of text using a “character encoding,” which gives a number to each character. For example, the byte 61 stands for ‘a’ and 62 stands for ‘b’ in the ASCII encoding, which was launched in 1963. Before the web, computer systems were siloed, and there were hundreds of different encodings. Depending on the encoding, C1 could mean any of ¡, Ё, Ą, Ħ, ‘, ”, or parts of thousands of characters, from æ to 品. If you brought a file from one computer to another, it could come out as gobbledygook.

Unicode was invented to solve that problem: to encode all human languages, from Chinese (中文) to Russian (русский) to Arabic (العربية), and even emoji symbols like or
; it encodes nearly 75,000 Chinese ideographs alone. In the ASCII encoding, there wasn’t even enough room for all the English punctuation (like curly quotes), while Unicode has room for over a million characters. Unicode was first published in 1991, coincidentally the year the World Wide Web debuted—little did anyone realize at the time they would be so important for each other. Today, people can easily share documents on the web, no matter what their language.

Every January, we look at the percentage of the webpages in our index that are in different encodings. Here’s what our data looks like with the latest figures*:

*Your mileage may vary: these figures may vary somewhat from what other search engines find. The graph lumps together encodings by script. We detect the encoding for each webpage; the ASCII pages just contain ASCII characters, for example. Thanks again to Erik van der Poel for collecting the data.

As you can see, Unicode has experienced an 800 percent increase in “market share” since 2006. Note that we separate out ASCII (~16 percent) since it is a subset of most other encodings. When you include ASCII, nearly 80 percent of web documents are in Unicode (UTF-8). The more documents that are in Unicode, the less likely you will see mangled characters (what Japanese call mojibake) when you’re surfing the web.

We’ve long used Unicode as the internal format for all the text Google searches and process: any other encoding is first converted to Unicode. Version 6.1 just released with over 110,000 characters; soon we’ll be updating to that version and to Unicode’s locale data from CLDR 21 (both via ICU). The continued rise in use of Unicode makes it even easier to do the processing for the many languages that we cover. Without it, our unified index it would be nearly impossible—it’d be a bit like not being able to convert between the hundreds of currencies in the world; commerce would be, well, difficult. Thanks to Unicode, Google is able to help people find information in almost any language.

Posted by Mark Davis, International Software Architect

[G] This week's top news stories on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: This week's top news stories on YouTube

To help you learn about the big stories of the week, we’re kicking off a new series from CitizenTube, a YouTube channel focusing on global news and politics.

Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week, starting today, we'll post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics Manager, recently watched “Inside Syria: Escalating violence pushes country toward full-blown war”.


[G] Android and Security

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Google Online Security Blog: Android and Security

Posted by Adrian Ludwig, Android Security Engineer

We frequently get asked about how we defend Android users from malware and other threats. As the Android platform continues its tremendous growth, people wonder how we can maintain a trustworthy experience with Android Market while preserving the openness that remains a hallmark of our overall approach. We’ve been working on lots of defenses, and they have already made a real and measurable difference for our users’ security. Read more about how we defend against malware in Android Market on the Google Mobile Blog here.

[G] Madonna premieres “Give Me All Your Luvin” on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Madonna premieres “Give Me All Your Luvin” on YouTube

Game day can’t come soon enough? Get in the spirit today with the official premiere of Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin” featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on YouTube. You can find the video on the Madonna YouTube Channel, along with teasers for her halftime show performance.

We’ll also have her video up on the YouTube Ad Blitz Channel pre-game on Sunday, where you’ll be able to view and vote for your favorite commercials.

Love the song and can’t wait for the album? You can pre-order it now, and stay tuned to her Google+ profile for her latest news and behind-the-scenes photos leading up to the big game.

Craig McFadden, YouTube Partner Development, recently watched “‘W.E.’ - Official Trailer.”


[G] A clearer view of the seafloor in Google Earth

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Google Lat Long: A clearer view of the seafloor in Google Earth

More than two-thirds of Earth is covered by oceans. If you drained all of that water away, you'd see huge basins that have never been explored, an undiscovered planet in our own backyard.

Today is the three year anniversary of an explorable ocean seafloor in Google Earth. We just released a major update to our global underwater terrain dataset, called bathymetry, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in partnership with NOAA, the US Navy, NGA, and GEBCO (with major contributions from JAMSTEC, IFREMER and IBCAO).

The update covers ocean topography from all over the globe and reveals our most accurate view of the seafloor to date. This new detail comes from spacecraft measurements of bumps and dips in the ocean surface as well as shipboard soundings from surveys carried out by over 40 countries. With this update to ocean terrain data in Google Earth, 15 percent of the seafloor is now available at 1 km resolution.

You may remember a Sun article reporting the discovery of a street grid where it’s believed the lost city of Atlantis would have been located off the West Coast of Africa. The discovery turned out to be a data artifact related to the way data was collected from a ship sailing back and forth to survey an unknown area. This recent seafloor update has been improved to blend better, and “Atlantis” has again disappeared into legend.

Previous terrain data showed what appeared to be a city grid on the ocean floor (left), which was confused for the lost city of Atlantis. Updated data more accurately reflects the seafloor terrain (right).
(Click on image to enlarge)

Another place you’ll notice an improvement in the ocean terrain data is the Mediterranean Sea, particularly south of Cyprus, where the boundary between the Eurasian and Arabian plates is now more clearly defined.

The Mediterranean Sea: before (left) and after (right)
(Click on image to enlarge)

Our last example shows improvements to the land-sea mask along the coastline of Guam. You’ll notice a dramatic improvement in the resolution of both the coastline and neighboring Mariana’s Trench, the deepest trench in the world.

Guam and Mariana’s Trench before (left) and after (right)
(Click on image to enlarge)

In order to make this update possible, our partners at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD have curated 30 years of data from more than 8,000 ship cruises and 135 different institutions. If you’d like to get a closer look at these changes, watch our video tour of this new terrain.

We hope you enjoy diving deeper than ever in Google Earth!

Posted by Jamie Adams, Ocean Team

[G] Android and Security

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Android and Security

By Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android

The last year has been a phenomenal one for the Android ecosystem. Device activations grew 250% year-on-year, and the total number of app downloads from Android Market topped 11 billion. As the platform continues to grow, we’re focused on bringing you the best new features and innovations - including in security.

Adding a new layer to Android security
Today we’re revealing a service we’ve developed, codenamed Bouncer, which provides automated scanning of Android Market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience of Android Market or requiring developers to go through an application approval process.

The service performs a set of analyses on new applications, applications already in Android Market, and developer accounts. Here’s how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Android malware downloads are decreasing
The service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. This drop occurred at the same time that companies who market and sell anti-malware and security software have been reporting that malicious applications are on the rise. While it’s not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market - and we know the rate is declining significantly.

Android makes malware less potent
In addition to using new services to help prevent malware, we designed Android from the beginning to make mobile malware less disruptive. In the PC model, malware has more potential to misuse your information. We learned from this approach, designing Android for Internet-connected devices. Some of Android’s core security features are:
  • Sandboxing: The Android platform uses a technique called “sandboxing” to put virtual walls between applications and other software on the device. So, if you download a malicious application, it can't access data on other parts of your phone and its potential harm is drastically limited.
  • Permissions: Android provides a permission system to help you understand the capabilities of the apps you install, and manage your own preferences. That way, if you see a game unnecessarily requests permission to send SMS, for example, you don’t need to install it.
  • Malware removal: Android is designed to prevent malware from modifying the platform or hiding from you, so it can be easily removed if your device is affected. Android Market also has the capability of remotely removing malware from your phone or tablet, if required.
No security approach is foolproof, and added scrutiny can often lead to important improvements. Our systems are getting better at detecting and eliminating malware every day, and we continue to invite the community to work with us to keep Android safe.

[G] Mind the Gap: Encouraging women to study engineering

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Official Google Blog: Mind the Gap: Encouraging women to study engineering

Women make up more than half the global population, but hold fewer than a third of the world’s engineering jobs. In the U.S., female students comprise fewer than 15 percent of all Advanced Placement computer science test takers. Even in high-tech Israel, few girls choose computer science. Not only is this a loss to companies like Google and everyone who benefits from a continually developing web; it's also a lost opportunity for girls.

Beginning in 2008, a group of female engineers at Google in Israel decided to tackle this problem. We established the “Mind the Gap!” program, aimed at encouraging girls to pursue math, science and technology education. In collaboration with the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers, we began organizing monthly school visits for different groups of girls to the Google office and annual tech conferences at local universities and institutes. The girls learn about computer science and technology and get excited about its applications, as well as have a chance to talk with female engineers in an informal setting and see what the working environment is like for them.

Since we started this program over three years ago, we’ve hosted more than 1,100 teenage girls at our office, and an additional 1,400 girls at three annual conferences held in leading universities. These 2,500 students represent 100 schools from all sectors and from all over the country: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tira, Beer-Sheva, Jerusalem, Nazareth and more; what they have in common is the potential to become great computer scientists.

The results are encouraging. For instance, some 40 percent of the girls who participated in last year’s conference later chose computer science as a high school major.

We encourage people in other countries, at other companies and in other scientific disciplines to see how they could replicate this program. You can read more at the project site. Currently, we are working with the Google in Education group to expand the program to more offices globally and get even more young women excited about computer science. The difference we can make is real: At one of our first visits three years ago, we met a 10th grade student named Keren who enjoyed math but had never considered computer science as a high school major. Last month, Keren informed us that the visit made such an impact on her, she decided to change her major to computer science. “Talking to women in the field helped me change my mind,” she said.

Posted by Michal Segalov, Software Engineer at Google’s R&D Center, Israel

[G] MS Autotech drives decision-making and communications with Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: MS Autotech drives decision-making and communications with Google Apps

Posted by Lee Tae Kyu, CEO of MS Autotech

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Lee Tae Kyu, CEO of MS Autotech, which specializes in car-body parts for auto manufacturers such as Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors and Daimler-Benz. In 2011, the company had revenues of approximately 500 billion KRW, and anticipates revenues in 2012 of between 600 and 700 billion KRW. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

My company, MS Autotech is based in Korea, but the auto-makers we supply with parts include not only Korean manufacturers such as Hyundai and Kia, but also non-Korean companies such as Daimler-Benz. We have 900 employees in Korea, 1,000 employees in India and we’re building a presence in Brazil. All of this means we’re a global company and we need a global communications and collaboration system that just works.

When we began our search for a global solution, we were looking for an easy-to-use, standardized communication and collaboration system that would allow us to upgrade seamlessly over time, and around the world. After examining Google’s offering from an IT perspective, it took us less than a week to choose the Google Apps solution. At the time, our users had very limited IT resources, and expanding our old email system was an extremely slow process. We really needed to make a new investment that would make a difference quickly.

Making the switch to Google Apps couldn’t have been easier. We worked with Netkiller, a Google Apps reseller, to help us get up to speed with Google Apps. We’ve found that Google Apps for Business is the optimal solution for our growing needs. We love that it’s cloud-based, so we don’t have to worry about upgrading software on individual PCs.

Now that we’ve moved to Google Apps, we’ve been spared the ongoing cost and resource demands of hardware management, and we no longer worry about things like hardware capacity or storage limits with 25GB of email storage for every employee. As a result, our IT strategy team has been able to change its focus to the fundamental work of planning and leading our technology services. After seeing this kind of innovation at work within our company, we know that we made the right choice with Google.

From our employees’ perspective, Google Apps is very responsive; we can easily check email and access docs from anywhere. We can even use smartphones to review and edit documents. We’re making the most of other Google Apps features as well, including Google Talk (in Gmail), which we use for videoconferencing. Likewise, we’re using Google Calendar for its collaborative features, like the ability to input your schedule and share it with others.

Perhaps the most valuable outcome is that we can now collaborate horizontally rather than in vertical silos, making it easier for different groups to work together toward shared goals. Now we can quickly work across international borders, which helps us do things like reach immediate decisions with our assistant manager in Brazil. It empowers us all to make decisions, together, in real time.

I’m happy to say that we’ve gone Google so that we can save time, make decisions faster, communicate and collaborate more effectively, and be more flexible as we grow. Going with Google Apps is helping us become the best in the industry.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

[G] Updates to Google Docs app for Android: Offline access and improved tablet experience

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Updates to Google Docs app for Android: Offline access and improved tablet experience

There may be times when you don’t have an Internet connection on your Android device, but you still want access to a file you’ve saved in Google Docs. Now you can select any file in Google Docs to make it available offline. So regardless of whether you’re connected to the internet, you’re always connected to those files.

Even better, Google Docs automatically updates your offline files when you’re on Wi-Fi. You can also manually update files anytime you have a data connection by opening the file or tapping ‘Update’ from the Offline section of the app.

Make file available offlineUpdate online file

Make file available offline

Update offline file

For those of you with Android tablets, we’ve also improved the Google Docs reading experience. Now, when you open a Google document on your tablet while online, you’ll get a high-resolution version of the document. Swipe left and right to flip between pages, or use the slider at the bottom to page ahead quickly.

New reading layout on Android tablet

You can learn more about offline capabilities and the new reading layout in our Help Center.

Whether you’re offline or online, these improvements will make it easier to be productive from anywhere.

Posted by: Freeman Liu, Software Engineer

[G] Busting myths about our approach to privacy

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Google Public Policy Blog: Busting myths about our approach to privacy

Posted by Betsy Masiello, Policy Manager

A number of myths are being spread about Google’s approach to privacy. We just wanted to give you the facts.
  • Myth: In 2011, Google made $36 billion selling information about users like you. [Fairsearch - PDF]
  • Fact: Google does not sell, trade or rent personally identifiable user information. Advertisers can run ads on Google that are matched to search keywords, or use our services to show ads based on anonymous data, such as your location or the websites you’ve visited.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes make it harder for users to control their personal information. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: Our privacy controls have not changed. Period. Our users can: edit and delete their search history; edit and delete their YouTube viewing history; use many of our services signed in or out; use Google Dashboard and our Ads Preferences Manager to see what data we collect and manage the way it is used; and take advantage of our data liberation efforts if they want to remove information from our services.
  • Myth: Google is changing our Privacy Policy to make the data we collect more valuable to advertisers. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: The vast majority of the product personalization Google does is unrelated to ads—it’s about making our services better for users. Today a signed-in user can instantly add an appointment to their Calendar when a message in Gmail looks like it’s about a meeting, or read Google Docs within their email.

  • Myth: Google reads your email. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you.
  • Myth: Google’s Privacy Policy changes jeopardize government information in Google Apps. []
  • Fact: Our new Privacy Policy does not change our contractual agreements, which have always superseded Google’s Privacy Policy for enterprise customers.
  • Myth: Microsoft’s approach to privacy is better than Google’s. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: We don’t make judgments about other people’s policies or controls. But our industry-leading Privacy Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager and data liberation efforts enable you to understand and control the information we collect and how we use it—and we’ve simplified our privacy policy to make it easier to understand. Microsoft has no data liberation effort or Dashboard-like hub for users. Their privacy policy states that “information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services.”
We’ve always believed the facts should inform our marketing—and that it’s best to focus on our users rather than negative attacks on other companies. Onwards!

[G] Homework got you stumped? Our new lineup of educational channels is here to help.

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YouTube Blog: Homework got you stumped? Our new lineup of educational channels is here to help.

As I wrote in the Huffington Post recently, we here at YouTube believe that great educators can come from all walks of life, and we want to see more teachers - in the broadest sense of the word - turn YouTube into their global classroom. The demand on YouTube for educational content - from math to science to history and beyond - continues to grow. We did some math of our own recently, and found that views of educational content DOUBLED in the last year. We also found that nearly 80% of the views for this content came from outside the U.S., suggesting that our vision for a global classroom might be becoming a reality.

So for all you knowledge-hungry people around the world, today we’re welcoming the first six new educational channels coming to YouTube as part of the new original content initiative we announced last year (more to come later this year). Without further ado, and In alphabetical order … (what else?) ….

Crash Course

A weekly dose of world history, from one half of the vlogbrothers, John Green. The first episode tackles the agricultural revolution, and over the year, the show will tackle the entire 15,000 years of human civilization. Insider tip: the show is written in conjunction with John’s high school history teacher!

Deep Sky Videos

Back in the 1700s, astronomer Charles Messier was hunting for comets … and kept getting frustrated by objects that were NOT comets … so he made a list of these non-comet objects, which went on to become one of the most famous lists of cosmic objects in science. This channel is a quest by Brady Haran to make videos about all 110 so-called Messier Objects … starting with M1 (side note: Brady’s collaborator on another YouTube channel called periodicvideos is Professor Martyn Poliakoff, who was today awarded the Ron Nyholm Award for his role in chemistry education - congratulations!)

Intelligent Channel

This new channel hosts luminaries from education, art, and culture as they discuss the most topical subjects of the day. The hosts of the shows are actor/comedian Richard Belzer (from Homicide and Law & Order, and Paul Holdengraber of ‘Live from the New York Public Library’ fame. “Richard Belzer’s Conversation” will feature interviews with actors, comedians, directors, musicians, and writers. “The Paul Holdengräber Show will engage award-winning writers and artists about their work and passions.



Numberphile is a channel for people who love numbers and want to find out the stories behind them, also from Brady Haran. Numberphile’s very first video appeared on an auspicious date (the last binary date of a generation) - 11.11.11 - and of course, the video was all about the number 11 - and barcodes. The channel has gone on to feature videos about 98, 15, 31 … teaching us about grafting numbers and hexadecimals and Mersenne Primes in the process.


From the other vlogbrother, Hank, SciShow aims to teach scientific concepts in an easy-to-understand way, covering everything from particle physics to DNA. The first episode is about "non-newtonian fluids," and the second episode focuses on the Higgs Boson particle and includes interviews with the director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The Spangler Effect

YouTube was only five months old when Steve Spangler first taught people how to turn a bottle of Diet Coke and a roll of Mentos into an exploding geyser. Science videos are among the most popular viral videos on YouTube, and this channel will set out to make science more approachable and a whole lot more fun.

We hope you enjoy these additions to our YouTube Education corpus, which today has 700+ partners and more than 500,000 videos. If you’re a teacher, check out for a set of education resources that includes more than 300 playlists of videos that align with core education standards. And if you want to make YouTube more accessible in your school, check out YouTube for Schools.

Angela Lin, Head of YouTube Education, recently watched “The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1”.


[G] Updates to Google Docs app for Android: Offline access and improved tablet experience

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Updates to Google Docs app for Android: Offline access and improved tablet experience

Posted by Freeman Liu, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted from the Google Docs Blog.)

There may be times when you don’t have an Internet connection on your Android device, but you still want access to a file you’ve saved in Google Docs. Now you can select any file in Google Docs to make it available offline. So regardless of whether you’re connected to the internet, you’re always connected to those files.

Even better, Google Docs automatically updates your offline files when you’re on Wi-Fi. You can also manually update files anytime you have a data connection by opening the file or tapping ‘Update’ from the Offline section of the app.

Make file available offlineUpdate online file

Make file available offline

Update offline file

For those of you with Android tablets, we’ve also improved the Google Docs reading experience. Now, when you open a Google document on your tablet while online, you’ll get a high-resolution version of the document. Swipe left and right to flip between pages, or use the slider at the bottom to page ahead quickly.

New reading layout on Android tablet

You can learn more about offline capabilities and the new reading layout in our Help Center.

Whether you’re offline or online, these improvements will make it easier to be productive from anywhere.