Saturday, April 14, 2012

[G] Remembering the Titanic

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Google Lat Long: Remembering the Titanic

One hundred years ago, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank, along with three-quarters of the 2,200 passengers and the entire crew on board. It was her maiden voyage from England to New York City and has gone down in history as one of the deadliest maritime tragedies.

The story of the Titanic has remained with us through the decades. It has inspired books and movies and is memorialized around the world in museums and monuments. Now, despite its depth on the sea floor, you can explore this ill-fated ship from the comfort of your home using Google Earth.

Using imagery from National Geographic, we’ve created an updated 3D model of the Titanic. Explore different parts of the ship, from prow to stern by simply searching for “Titanic” in the Google Earth search box.

3D model of the RMS Titanic, as seen in Google Earth

You can also join a guided expedition by diving into the new Titanic KML tour along featured in our Earth Gallery. This tour showcases images and video of the Titanic provided by NOAA and the National Geographic. Watch the video below to dive down to the Titanic in Google Earth, written in collaboration with Jim Delgado, Director of Maritime Heritage with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Explore more stunning photos of the shipwreck taken by NOAA in Panoramio. From vestiges of passengers long gone to its famous bridge, the legacy of the Titanic continues to grow a century after her fateful encounter.

Posted by Jenifer Austin Foulkes, Oceans Manager at Google

Friday, April 13, 2012

[G] Zimmerman charged with murder, Earthquake in Indonesia, F-18 crashes into Virginia Beach apartment

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YouTube Blog: Zimmerman charged with murder, Earthquake in Indonesia, F-18 crashes into Virginia Beach apartment

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 we 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.

Come back to see the news unfold on YouTube.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Sandstorm."


[G] Introducing the AdWords Community Top Contributors Program

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Inside AdWords: Introducing the AdWords Community Top Contributors Program

You may have noticed that some members of our AdWords Community are true AdWords experts. Not only do they participate actively in discussions, but they're eager to help other members, which provides a huge benefit to the community. That's why we've created the AdWords Top Contributors Program to reward them for their efforts.

Members who qualify for the program receive the title of Top Contributor in the Community, which helps show the world that they’re truly AdWords experts. Other perks include:
  • A profile on our AdWords Top Contributors page.
  • Access to private forums with Google team members.
  • Inclusion in the Trusted Testers program to test out cool new features before anyone else.
  • Product updates directly from the AdWords team.
  • Hangouts with AdWords Community Leads on Google+.
  • Trainings given by the AdWords team.

In addition to these perks, in 2011, we invited our Top Contributors (TCs) to the Googleplex, in Mountain View, California, for the Top Contributor Summit. It was an opportunity for TCs to talk with Google executives and AdWords Product Managers, and offer their valuable feedback to the teams.

Top Contributors are also eligible to get the annual AdWords Top Contributor badge to put on their websites. It's another way for them to show their AdWords expertise, and it's only granted to those TCs that go above and beyond in their contribution to the Community.

This year’s recipients for the annual AdWords Top Contributor badge have just been announced! Congratulations to:

And congratulations to all our AdWords Top Contributors globally!

Visit the AdWords Community to learn more about the AdWords Top Contributor program and get to know our Top Contributors.

Posted by Lauren Barbato, Inside AdWords crew

Thursday, April 12, 2012

[G] Coachella 2012 - Live on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Coachella 2012 - Live on YouTube

One of the best line-ups in music? Three days of live concerts?  In the desert?  Say yes to Coachella 2012, coming to you all weekend on YouTube! 

Since 2001, the the Coachella Music and Arts festival has brought thousands of fans to southern California to kick off the music festival season in style.  For the second year, YouTube will be live streaming the action, with a three day broadcast of the festival, presented by State Farm.

We’re not sure if it’s the promise of a weekend in Palm Springs, but Coachella always manages to pull together one the most impressive and diverse festival line-ups. YouTube will be streaming more than 60 artists over the weekend, including The Black Keys, Swedish House Mafia, Miike Snow, Andrew Bird, Florence + The Machine, and one of this year’s biggest breakthrough acts, Gotye

It all begins at 3:50pm PT / 6:50pm ET this Friday, and you can check Coachella’s YouTube channel for the latest schedule.

Tim Partridge, music marketing manager, recently watched tUnE-yArDs - ‘My Country’


[G] Technologists and muckrakers pursuing a more perfect union

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Official Google Blog: Technologists and muckrakers pursuing a more perfect union

Today, roughly 200 reporters, editors and technologists are gathering at the Googleplex in Mountain View for our first TechRaking summit. Co-hosted with the Center for Investigative Reporting, the oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the United States, this gathering is meant to inspire muckraking by exploring tools that help reporters tell stories with greater interactivity, opportunities for long-form journalism to thrive in new mediums, best practices for verifying information and fact-checking online and much more throughout the course of the day. Think of it as the intersection of science and art when it comes to converting information into knowledge.

Here are a few of the highlights in store:
  • The Center for Investigative Reporting will discuss its new Knight Foundation-funded investigative news channel on YouTube that will be a hub of investigative journalism. Expected to launch in July, the channel will feature videos from major broadcasters and independent producers globally—both nonprofit and for-profit—and is an example of the power of collaborations that can serve the public.
  • The Google Fusion Tables team will discuss tips and tricks for data-driven journalists with Wendy Levy and Jeremy Rue during an afternoon breakout discussion. In another step toward making it easier for people in any industry to discover, manage and visualize data, this morning we announced a new interface for Fusion Tables, which helps you better explore and collaborate on data, includes more visualizations under the “experimental” tab and has a new Fusion Tables API for developers.
  • Richard Gingras, head of news product at Google, is kickstarting the day with a series of questions for journalists, newsrooms and technologists to consider. Mary Himinkool, who leads global entrepreneurship, is delivering a rapid-fire seven-minute look at lessons learned from entrepreneurs around the world, and Brian Rakowski from Chrome is sharing the process involved in rethinking the modern browser.
We wish we could have welcomed an even larger crowd, but for those who weren’t able to join us in person, tune in to the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Google+ page for updates from the day and highlights afterward. At 1:30pm PT we’ll broadcast a Hangout with Krishna Bharat (distinguished research scientist at Google and founder of Google News), Amna Nawaz (Pakistan bureau chief/correspondent at NBC News), Nic Robertson (senior international correspondent at CNN), Sarah Hill (news anchor at KOMU) and Sree Sreenivasan (dean of student affairs and professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism). You can also follow #techraking and participate on Twitter.

TechRaking was born out of a lunchtime conversation at NewsFoo, another unconventional conference focused on moving forward the future of journalism and technology. We look forward to seeing the ideas and outcomes that emerge and develop from today.

Posted by Sean Carlson, Global Communications & Public Affairs

[G] Working with your Data: Easier and More Fun

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Google Research Blog: Working with your Data: Easier and More Fun

Posted by Rebecca Shapley, Fusion Tables Team

The Fusion Tables team has been a little quiet lately, but that’s just because we’ve been working hard on a whole bunch of new stuff that makes it easier to discover, manage and visualize data.

  • A new way to look at your Fusion Table - Try the “Experimental” version of our Fusion Tables web application. The new design helps you explore and collaborate better on data. Faceted search make it easier to dive into a big data set and specify what you want to see. Multiple tabs let you experiment, trying different views of a table. And the new card layout lets you give a row of data your own custom layout. Give it a spin.

  • More visualizations on lots of data - People love using Fusion Tables to put data on a map, but there are new visualizations available in our Experiment menu.Try the Zoomable Line chart. Playing with social network data? Try out the Network Graph visualization.

  • New Fusion Tables API works great with javascript - Our new API, currently available to trusted testers, is more powerful and easier to use. The API can now return data in JSON so it’s easy to get data and manipulate it with javascript, right from the browser. You can now also RESTfully modify tables, templates and map styles. Want to try it out early and give your feedback? We’re looking for Trusted Testers... just join this group to become one.

You’ll notice a bunch of our new things are “Experimental”....that’s because we need you to use them and tell us what you love and what could be better. But we didn’t want to keep them secret any longer! On behalf of the Fusion Table team, thanks for all you do with Fusion Tables, and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.


[G] A message from an AdSense publisher: How to balance conflicting interests

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Inside AdSense: A message from an AdSense publisher: How to balance conflicting interests

Editor’s Note: Today we’d like to share some tips from AdSense publisher Dave Taylor, owner and author of Dave Taylor has been online for over thirty years and has been producing helpful tech content for just about all of that time. You can find him online at

It's a tricky balancing act being an AdSense publisher because once you start seeing your earnings increase, there's a natural desire to shift your attention to your revenue. The problem with focusing on your revenue is that you're taking attention away from producing the most useful content for your readers. And without readers, you have no audience to run ads for in the first place.

I know, because it's a challenge I face as an AdSense publisher too. I run a popular tech support site called Ask Dave Taylor and my focus since 2003 has been on answering tech questions in a simple, free, and easily obtainable manner. I had over 18 million visitors to the site last year -- but it's also a business, not a hobby, so maximizing my per-visitor revenue is important.

I’m sure you’ve heard that "it's all about content,” and that the best sites have high quality content that's regularly updated and provide a value to their customers. That's still true, and it's important to have your primary focus be the experience you offer to your reader.

But there's that tension. It's the lure of the dark side, in Star Wars terminology. What is the perfect middle ground along the content/revenue continuum?

Here's how I try to balance things…

The first place I stop every week is Google Analytics. The data gives me food for thought, like how many visitors are using mobile devices. This helped me decide how much money to invest in a mobile-friendly version of the site (and when it made sense for me to add AdSense for Mobile Content to my advertising mix). Analytics also shows the most popular pages on my site, which offers great insight into what my readers visit most frequently. Since I categorize all my content, it helps me understand if tutorials about the Sony PSP are garnering more traffic than those about the Apple iPod, for example.

Hook Analytics to AdSense (and yes, I have an article about how to do that on my site) and you can also produce a report of your most profitable pages, a cross-correlation between traffic and AdSense revenue. You’ll gain a reliable way to figure out if that blog entry you wrote three months ago is actually now generating 11% of your overall site revenue.

But there's the ugly head of profiteering rearing up again.

Let's look at this a different way. There's a name for a restaurateur who focuses exclusively on per-customer revenue and keeps raising prices: out of business. On the other hand, a restaurant that doesn't pay attention to what items are popular, what daily specials get people excited, and the fluctuations in supply cost runs the risk of ending up with a menu that's completely out of touch with customer desires and they too go out of business.

I spend the majority of my time and attention on producing the best possible content and use my desire to maximize revenue as a secondary goal, something for me to keep in mind as I proceed. It doesn't launch my ship, but it helps me build it most efficiently.

If you're a long-time AdSense publisher, you've hopefully also found that sweet spot between being completely content driven and ignoring the business side of your publishing business. If not, here's a suggestion based on my years of participation: Once a month, really dig into your AdSense reports to understand what categories, what topics and what pages on your site are performing well. Set a goal of producing more of the same in the following 30 days, then put revenue out of your mind and focus completely on what you can contribute to your customer community. Rinse, wash, repeat.


Posted by Raina Rathi, Strategic Partner Manager, AdSense


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[G] Golf Town tees off collaboration with help from Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Golf Town tees off collaboration with help from Google Apps

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is John Hur, Director of Information Technology at Golf Town, a destination for everything golf headquartered in Ontario, Canada. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Golf Town, we’re all about the game. From footwear and apparel to clubs, bags and balls, we supply everything golfers need to play their best. Since we opened our doors in 1999, we’ve grown to over 60 stores and over 1000 employees across the U.S. and Canada.

We’ve grown quickly, adding up to seven stores a year, and it became increasingly difficult to keep our employees connected to each other and the company. We needed to give our team a better way to communicate and collaborate across multiple stores so things didn’t start to slip through the cracks. In 2009 we started to look at moving our email, documents and calendar to a better platform. We looked at Microsoft® Exchange and Google Apps, and found that Google Apps was more affordable and provided us with the best set of tools to improve communication and collaboration.

Now that we’ve switched to Google Apps, we’re able to see each other’s availability through Google Calendar and keep each other in sync with group calendars. For example, The marketing team has implemented a calendar that shows which advertisements are running at each store location and their duration. The calendar is shared with floor managers so they can be prepared to answer customer questions and honor any promotions.

Docs also helps regional managers streamline important daily processes. Each day, our regional managers compile sales reports from all of their individual store managers. Instead of compiling attachments sent from each store manager, regional managers can use one Google document to collect information quickly and easily. Plus, since Google Apps is web-based, employees can access this information from their Android mobile devices. This saves hours of time and energy each week, and it’s just one of many processes that are simpler and easier with Google Docs.

For us, Google Apps has been a hole in one. My IT team no longer needs to focus on supporting e-mail because everything is accessible via the web and Gmail is so intuitive. In fact, our support requests for email have gone down by over 95 percent. And, employees are happy because they can get to their information from anywhere and easily collaborate with their co-workers. Google Apps provides the tools that help our growing business run more efficiently. We’re excited to have Google help us prepare for our next 60 stores.

[G] Google Currents goes international

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Currents goes international

In December we launched Google Currents, an app for Android and iOS devices that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger. We’re thrilled by how many readers and publishers are using the app in the U.S. -- nearly 400 publisher editions and over 14,000 self-produced editions are now available.

After the U.S. launch, the top features readers requested were to make the app available internationally and to allow content to sync quickly. We’ve heard you, and today we’re making Google Currents 1.1 available around the world. Hundreds of U.S. editions are now readable in your preferred language with a new publisher-selected translation feature, and local publishers can begin adding their content to the catalog through Google Currents Producer. Plus, a new dynamic sync feature improves your reading experience with fresh content wherever you are.

Whatever you’re interested in -- whether it’s science (Popular Science, Scientific American,, sports (Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Surfer), business (Harvard Business Review, Inc.), celebrities (Celebuzz, HollywoodLife, Now magazine, TMZ), health & wellness (Men’s Health, Yoga Journal), design (Colossal, Dwell) or news (The Atlantic, PRI, Slate) -- it’s easy to find a great edition to read in Google Currents.

Read in more places

With this update, we’ve made Google Currents available globally, wherever apps are available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. International publishers, using Google Currents Producer, can now begin adding local content for an international audience, choosing where to make it available globally and whether to enable auto-translation. For example The Guardian in the UK, LaStampa in Italy, Financial Times Deutschland in Germany, ABC News in Australia, Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Switzerland and Hindustan Times in India have already started publishing editions with local content. Readers can also add their favorite local blogs which are instantly converted into Currents editions.

Read in your favorite language

To help you enjoy content in your preferred language, we’ve integrated Google Translate into Google Currents. Just press the globe icon while reading an edition, and you can automatically translate that edition to one of 38 supported languages. So it’s easier than ever to keep up with Italian and German sports (Corriere dello Sport,, or read Scientific American, in your preferred language.

Read fresh content, automatically

With our new dynamic sync feature, you’ll always have fresh content to read. As you open each edition, new content is dynamically delivered, using a minimum of your phone or tablet's battery, bandwidth and storage. Those of you who travel on planes and trains can choose which editions you would like fully packaged for offline reading, including images.

Learn more about what’s new in Currents here.

Google Currents is now available for download on Google Play and in the Apple App Store, wherever apps are available. Whether you’re a reader or a publisher, we hope that Google Currents helps you easily experience the best content on the web, now in even more languages.

Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager


[G] Toward a simpler, more beautiful Google

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Official Google Blog: Toward a simpler, more beautiful Google

More than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+, enjoying new ways to share in Search, Gmail, YouTube and lots of other places. It's still early days, and there’s plenty left to do, but we're more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google.

A critical piece of this social layer is a design that grows alongside our aspirations. So today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google.

Navigation you can make your own
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:
  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Taken together, these powers make it easier to access your favorites, and to adjust your preferences over time. We've also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned.

Conversations you’ll really care about
Once you’ve upgraded to Google+, it’s easy to share with your circles from just about anywhere. We’re dreaming bigger, though. We're aiming for an experience that fuses utility with beauty—one that inspires you to connect with others, and cherish the conversations that unfold. Today’s update is an important step in this direction, including:
  • Full bleed photos and videos that'll make you really proud to post
  • A stream of conversation "cards" that make it easier to scan and join discussions
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content

Simply put, we're hoping to make sharing more awesome by making it more evocative. You know that feeling you get when a piece of art takes your breath away, or when a friend stops by with unexpected gifts? We want sharing to feel like that, every single time.

A new home for hanging out
Google+ Hangouts uses live video to bring people together, and the results range from heartwarming to breathtaking to music-making. Today we're adding a dedicated Hangouts page that creates even more opportunities to connect in person, including:
  • An always-updated list of invitations from the people in your circles
  • Quick access to every public and On Air hangout, for those times when you want to meet someone new, or watch a live broadcast
  • A rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items you don’t want to miss

By highlighting all the hangouts you can join, all over the world, it’s now easier to spend time together—even be there for each other. And with efforts like hangout apps already underway, you can expect more hangouts in more places in the future.

Getting there from here
Today's Google+ update extends beyond navigation, the stream and hangouts. For instance: there's a new Explore page that shows what's interesting and trending across the network. And a new profile with much bigger photos. And a new chat list that puts your friends front and center. And a whole lot more.

We're rolling out all of these improvements over the next few days, so please check back if you don't see them yet. In the meantime, you can visit this overview to learn more.

By focusing on you, the people you care about, and the stuff you’re into, we’re going to continue upgrading all the features you already know and love—from Search and Maps to Gmail and YouTube. With today’s foundational changes we can move even faster—toward a simpler, more beautiful Google.

Posted by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President

[G] Map of the Week: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Google Maps API

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Google Lat Long: Map of the Week: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Google Maps API

(Cross-posted on the Google Geo Developers blog)

Map of the Week: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Google Maps API
Why we like it: This Google Maps API implementation really speaks to the versatility of the API and breadth of the Google Maps API developer ecosystem! From small personal projects to exciting start-ups and high-performance cars, the Google Maps API can be used by everyone.

As you would expect, this top of the line Mercedes-Benz is loaded with all the bells and whistles. The vehicle’s integrated navigation system will be enhanced in certain regions by a fully functional JavaScript Maps API v3 implementation using Styled Maps, Google Places API, Places Autocomplete API, traffic layer, and the Panoramio layer as an Android App for the AMG Performance Media option. This provides the user with a familiar Google Maps interface in addition to the onboard maps from the navigation system.

(Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing Coupe at the O’Reilly Where Conference - April 2012)

For night time driving the SLS AMG takes advantage of Styled Maps to create a map that’s easier to view in low-light situations and does not impede a driver’s night vision.

Chances are, if you’re driving this around all day, you’re going to get very hungry. That’s where the Places API integration with Places Autocomplete API comes in handy. Drivers can enter in what they’re looking for it, be it Thai food or pizza and the vehicle will return a list of nearby places along with address, distance, and rating.

Once the Places API has helped you decide what to eat and where you need to go, you can view the destination in Google Street View. In the image below, the system is displaying Street View imagery directly in front of the hotel in San Francisco where the vehicle was located for the 2012 O’Reilly Where Conference. From there you can enter directions that are displayed on a Google Map along with the option to display current traffic.

The engineers at Daimler have done an amazing job of taking Google Maps and combining it with one of the most-loved automobiles. There are many different types of developers in the Google Maps API ecosystem and great implementations like this remind us that the possibilities are almost endless!

Posted by Carlos Cuesta, Google Maps API Product Marketing Manager

[G] All your tabs, accessible everywhere

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Google Chrome Blog: All your tabs, accessible everywhere

Imagine you’ve looked up directions to a cool new restaurant on your home computer. Later, when you’re leaving work, you realize you can’t quite remember how to get there. If only you could quickly pull up the same directions on your office computer with one click!

Well, with the latest Chrome Beta, you can. When you’re signed in to Chrome, the tabs you have open on one device are available on all your other devices—just click the “Other devices” menu on the New Tab page.

With a click, you can find and open the tab with your directions and be on your way. The tab’s back and forward navigation history is also included, so you can pick up browsing right where you left off. If you use Chrome for Android Beta, the tab will also be available on your phone, right there in your pocket when you hit the road.

We’ll be gradually rolling out the “Other devices” menu to Beta channel users over the coming week. To give it a try, download the latest Chrome Beta and sign in to Chrome. Happy browsing!

Posted by Nicolas Zea and Patrick Dubroy, Software Engineers and Tab Teleportation Technicians

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

[G] Real time quotes from Canada and Taiwan

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Google Finance Blog: Real time quotes from Canada and Taiwan

Posted by Mark Schmit, Engineer

Here at Google, we get excited by bringing our users relevant information at blazing speeds. So, why would we want to make users wait 15 minutes to see what trades are being made?

Instead, we’re continuing to expand our real-time coverage and are very pleased to announce the launch of two more real-time exchanges:

  • Taiwan Stock Exchange (TPE)
  • Canadian National Stock Exchange (CNSX)

As always, though, we won’t just rest on these laurels. We’re eyeing more opportunities down the road, and are eager to bring you more information, so check back soon.

Happy searching,
The Google Finance Team

[G] A Universal Language for Video Ads

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: A Universal Language for Video Ads

Like many New Yorkers, I can’t imagine life in this city without the subway - it’s essential to how the city operates, creates millions in economic value, and even features great mariachi bands. But the subway wasn’t always this efficient. In the early 1900s, there were multiple subway systems, with different size train cars, running on different track configurations - even one propelled by air! Today, after the unification of these subway systems, everything works seamlessly together.

So what does the subway system have to do with video advertising? Well, the two dominant video advertising guidelines -- VAST and VPAID -- are like the unified transportation system for video advertising. VAST and VPAID define a common language that unifies the diversity of the video advertising industry: Flash and HTML video players, ad networks and exchanges, mobile devices and connected TVs, 30 second spots and interactive overlays.

At Google, we’ve been longtime supporters of video advertising standards. We’re happy to announce our support for the latest set of guidelines announced at the IAB’s Digital Video Marketplace Event today. This means that we’ll be implementing VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0 and VMAP 1.0 across our video advertising products. Together, these three guidelines strengthen the video advertising infrastructure already adopted by most participants in the video ecosystem. The Video Suite also adds support for skippable ads, podding, in-ads privacy notices and ad sequencing, while offering greater clarity around compliance and mobile scenarios.

What benefits can you expect from VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0 and VMAP 1.0? 

  • If you’re a publisher, interoperability will improve and you’ll be able to accept a wider set of video ad formats with less technical work. The new error codes will also help with troubleshooting of third party served ads.

  • If you’re an advertiser, the Video Suite allows you to create more engaging brand stories that reach a wider audience across all devices. You’ll be able to take greater advantage of skippable ads, which offer new pricing models focused on performance.

  • If you’re a vendor, the technical details of these specs really matter, and we’ve provided much more clarity around the compliance requirements for video players and ad servers.

So much has changed in the online video space in just ten years, that we thought we’d take a trip down memory line with this infographic:

Click through for the full infographic

As an industry, we’ve started to take VAST and VPAID for granted, much like New Yorkers and their subway system. That’s a good thing, because it means they’ve become an essential part of powering our economy.

Posted by Payam Shodjai, Product Manager, Publisher Video

[G] Siblings on YouTube: Cooler than a polar bear's toenails

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YouTube Blog: Siblings on YouTube: Cooler than a polar bear's toenails

Imagine a world where Charlie did not have his brother Harry’s finger to gnaw on. Or picture a world where twin babies did not have one another to chat with. Well that is what this world would be like without siblings.

Today is National Siblings Day in the United States, a whole day set aside to appreciate, honor, and cherish your brothers and sisters (even if they do occasionally bite your finger). We decided to recognize this special day by sharing some great sibling teams working together on their YouTube Channels.

Brothers John and Hank Green, also known as the Vlogbrothers have been vlogging together for five years. Their brotherly bond runs so deep they’ve even recently launched another Channel together, Crash Course, with fun and interesting biology and history videos.

Nashville natives, and sisters, Elle and Blair Fowler began uploading simple makeup tutorials and haul videos from their bedrooms years ago. Hundreds of millions of views later this sister team is working together even more closely on a new YouTube Channel u look haute and are even hosting a reality series together, training the next generation of beauty vloggers.

Sister and brother Rebecca and Max Lando teamed up to help food lovers feed themselves in a gourmet way while on a budget. Their Channel, Working Class Foodies (part of Hungry Nation), is full of recipes and great food ideas from holiday ideas to great burger tricks.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have one...or even a few, let your siblings know how much you appreciate them today by sharing a video or even making one together.

Jessica Mason, communications associate, recently watched "TEDxAsheville - Jeff Kluger - The hidden power of siblings."


[G] Edmonton is the first major Canadian city to pick Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Edmonton is the first major Canadian city to pick Google Apps

Posted by by Michael Lock, VP Google Enterprise

Earlier in 2012, I became a United States citizen, more than 14 years after moving to the U.S. from my native Canada. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll continue to root for Team Canada when it comes to hockey and Canada will always have a special place in my heart. That’s why I’m particularly proud that the City of Edmonton announced today its plans to move 9,000 city employees to Google Apps. In keeping with its reputation as a forward-thinking local government, Edmonton will become the first major Canadian city to go Google.

Edmonton, the capital city of the province of Alberta, is the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. Its decision to move to Google Apps for email, calendar and other collaboration tools supports Edmonton’s strategic plan, which calls for “finding new ways to become even more collaborative, open, responsive and innovative.”

Google Apps will provide a unified communications platform for all municipal employees, bringing email to roughly 3,000 “deskless” city employees for the first time while providing additional tools to help all employees work together. As a result, the City of Edmonton’s employees will have a more inclusive, collaborative work environment while giving the city more value for its technology investments.

While Edmonton may be the first city in Canada to go Google, it’s in great company with other city governments in North America─like Pittsburgh, Orlando and Zapopan, Mexico─that have already made the move. And personally, I’m grateful to Edmonton for giving me a good reason to visit Canada later this year to check on their progress!


Monday, April 9, 2012

[G] One desk chair—hold the formaldehyde

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Official Google Blog: One desk chair—hold the formaldehyde

Formaldehyde. Lead. Pesticides. Mercury. If building materials had nutrition labels, would you buy a product containing these toxic ingredients? There are more than 80,000 chemicals in the world, and we don’t fully know how they impact our health. And a surprising number of hazardous chemicals still make their way into everyday products we use, including furniture, paints, carpets and flooring. Whether it’s in the home or office, we shouldn’t have to worry that the chair we’re sitting in or the air we breathe contains harmful chemicals (PDF).

On my first day on the job at Google over six years ago, a co-worker asked me to sniff a carpet sample. I didn’t smell anything and was told, “That’s good!” We want to build a greener future and create the healthiest work environments imaginable for Googlers, which means we only use paints, sealants, adhesives, carpets, furniture and building materials with the lowest levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) possible.

A straw-hut style huddle room made with sustainably forested wood from Pescadero Willow Farm, bound by a saline-based, toxin-free solution

Unfortunately, the lack of clear and widely-available product ingredient information makes progress in this area challenging, so we’re asking the market to provide toxin-free products and make its contents an open book. We put all our products through a rigorous screening process to make sure they meet our healthy materials standards, and request full transparency from our vendors by asking them to share comprehensive product ingredient information.

This movement is also gaining momentum outside of Google. Recently, 30 leading building product manufacturers signed on to pilot the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Open Standard, the industry’s first common reporting standard for transparency around health impacts of building materials. Google is a founding endorser of the HPD, and we applaud these manufacturers for taking this important step. Continued leadership like this is needed for the product transparency revolution to gain real traction—not just for building materials but all types of products we consume or use.

So whether you’re at the restaurant or hardware store, ask tough questions so you can make better-informed choices about products to help keep yourself and your families healthy. Your collective voice and purchasing power can make a huge difference.

As for Google, by setting high standards, asking difficult questions and encouraging transparency from our partners, we hope to show how other organizations can create their own healthy and sustainable work environments.

Posted by Anthony Ravitz, Green Team Lead, Real Estate and Workplace Services Team

[G] Google+ Hangout with the UN Secretary-General

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Official Google Blog: Google+ Hangout with the UN Secretary-General

We’re passionate about changing the world. But there’s another organization that’s equally passionate—and has been doing it a lot longer. For more than 60 years, the United Nations has worked to advance a global agenda on ending war and poverty, promoting human rights, protecting the environment and dealing with humanitarian crises—critical issues that will determine the quality of life for future generations to come.

So we’re delighted that on Tuesday, April 10, some of the voices of the next generation will have the chance to participate in an exclusive global conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon via a Google+ Hangout from the United Nations headquarters in New York. Six young people, selected in consultation with partners in civil society, academia and United Nations offices in the field, will join from the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, and have the opportunity to ask questions on the issues that matter to them.

The Google+ Hangout with the UN Secretary-General will be streamed live at 3:30pm ET on April 10 at David C. Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, will moderate.

Technology has given us the chance to advance the important work of the UN, while ensuring that global politics is made more accountable to citizens. We’re thrilled that Google can help play a small part in this.

Posted by Dex Torricke-Barton, Global Communications & Public Affairs

[G] Watch the recorded GoMo for Publishers videos to learn how to mobilize your site

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Inside AdSense: Watch the recorded GoMo for Publishers videos to learn how to mobilize your site

As part of Google’s ongoing GoMo initiative, we hosted a live webinar a few weeks ago to help publishers learn the benefits of creating mobile-friendly sites, hear tips and case studies, and tap into new resources to get started. If you missed it, no problem! You can watch the recorded video or download the slides below.

Watch this webinar to learn:

1. Why go mobile?

Your users have gone mobile in a big way, hear why you must follow suit.

2. Tips for building mobile sites   

Mobile is different.  Learn 10 practical tips for building engaging, uniquely mobile experiences.

3. Best practices in action

Hear from web publisher FindTheBest about the success they’ve seen from going mobile.

4. How to get started

Google is here to help. Learn about tools we’ve created to get you started on the path to delighting

your users and maximizing your mobile revenue.

Interested in learning more? Watch the recorded webinar and download the slides.

Posted by Tuyen Nguyen - Mobile Publisher Advocate