Saturday, April 21, 2012

[G] Imagery Update: Week of April 16th

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Google Lat Long: Imagery Update: Week of April 16th


The Google Earth and Maps Imagery team has published another batch of aerial and satellite imagery. In this post, we’ll look at newly released imagery that reflects the themes of past, present, and future.

2011: In the U.S., federal and state taxes were due this week as they are every year in mid-April for the previous year’s income. So in our first aerial example shown below, the structure on the left is the Sun Trust Bank Building, which houses the Internal Revenue Service’s Local Tax Assistant Center in Macon, Georgia. There, you can acquire previous tax returns and transcripts, as well as pay your Federal Tax bill; but keep in mind that exact change is required. On the right is the Macon City Auditorium and it’s famed copper dome, which is claimed by many locals to be the largest in the world.

Downtown Macon, Georgia

2012: Spring is here and that means the start of baseball season for the Chicago Cubs. A new season means another chance to win it all. Will this be the year? With motivated ownership, a newly hired proven General Manager and a revamped line-up, they’ve definitely got a shot (just like everybody else). One thing is for certain, as you can see in the aerial image below, Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is in game-winning shape!

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

2013: Baseball isn’t the only sporting event eagerly anticipated by fans. Next year marks the official kick-off (no pun intended) of the countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These dress-rehearsal matches comprise the FIFA Confederations Cup and are held in 2013 by Brazil, host nation of the 2014 World Cup. The aerial image below shows the Governor Magalhães Pinto Stadium, under construction in preparation for the upcoming 2013 and 2014 matches.

Governor Magalhães Pinto Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

If you’d like to receive an email notification when the Google Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your favorite areas(s), we’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

These are only a few examples of the sites that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:
USA: Aberdeen, SD; Amarillo, TX; Billings, MT; Bismark, ND; Cape Cod, MA; Chester, SC; Chicago, IL; Clemson, SC; Columbia, SC; Glasgow, MT; Havre, MT; Jamestown, ND; Lake of the Ozarks, MO; Long Island, NY; Macon, GA; Pierre, SD; Red Lake, MN; Sheridan, WY; Ulysses, KS; Wenatchee, WA

Avignon, France; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Mar del Plata, Argentina

Countries/regions receiving high resolution satellite updates:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europa Island, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Fiji, Macedonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

These updates are now available in both Google Maps and Google Earth. For a complete picture of where we updated imagery, download this KML for viewing in Google Earth.

Posted by Eric Kolb, Geo Data Strategist
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/imagery-update-week-of-april-16th.html

[G] Advanced sign-in security to protect your AdWords account

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Inside AdWords: Advanced sign-in security to protect your AdWords account

Has anyone you know lost control of their online accounts? Cases like the "Mugged in London" scam demonstrate why it's important to take steps to help secure your activities online. If you reuse the same password on multiple sites and one of those sites gets hacked, or your password was stolen through a phishing scam, it can be used to access some of your most closely-held information.

We continually strive to develop solutions to prevent security breaches like these. So last year, we developed an advanced opt-in security feature for Google Accounts called 2-step verification. This feature makes your Google Account (and thereby also your AdWords account) significantly more secure by helping to verify that you're the real owner of your account. It does this by requiring two independent factors for authentication, much like you might see on your banking website: your password, plus a code obtained using your phone.

To make your AdWords account more secure, you can apply this 2-step verification to your Google account. While this is an extra step, it's one that significantly improves the security of your AdWords account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone.

Learn more about 2-step verification and get started at our Help Center. And for more about staying safe online, see our ongoing security blog series or visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/. Be safe!

Posted by Andy Lutz, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/advanced-sign-in-security-to-protect.html

[G] Webinar: Marketing Attribution: Insights from Google Analytics and Econsultancy

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Google Analytics Blog: Webinar: Marketing Attribution: Insights from Google Analytics and Econsultancy

Please join us next Thursday for a webinar on marketing attribution featuring Bill Kee, our Product Manager for Attribution, and Stefan Tornquist, VP for Research at Econsultancy.



Stefan will talk about insights from the recent Attribution whitepaper by Econsultancy and Google Analytics, and Bill will discuss Google’s approach to attribution and some of the tools we offer, including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. Plus, he’ll demo the Attribution Modeling Tool in Google Analytics Premium.













We'll also provide a few tips for how to get started with attribution. This webinar will be the first in a series on attribution -- so please stay tuned for future installments!



Date: Thursday, April 26

Time: 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

Click here to register



We hope you’ll be able to join the live webinar, but for those who can’t make it, we’ll be sharing a recording after the event.



Posted by Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager, Conversion and Attribution


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/cAXkoZZ5ClA/webinar-marketing-attribution-insights.html

[G] Inside view on ads review

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Official Google Blog: Inside view on ads review

This is the first in a series of posts that will provide greater transparency about how we make our ads safer by detecting and removing scam ads. -Ed.

A few weeks ago, we posted here about our efforts in fighting bad ads, and we shared a video with the basics of how we do it. Today I wanted to delve a little deeper and give some insight into the systems we use to help prevent bad ads from showing. Our ads policies are designed with safety and trust in mind—we don’t allow ads for malicious downloads, counterfeit goods, or ads with unclear billing practices, to name a few examples. In order to help prevent these kinds of ads from showing, we use a combination of automated systems and human input to review the billions of ads submitted to Google each year. I’m one of many engineers whose job is to help make sure that Google doesn’t show bad ads to users.

We’ve designed our approach based on a three-pronged strategy, each focused on a different dimension of the problem: ads, sites, and advertiser accounts. These systems are complementary, sharing signals among each other so that we can comprehensively attack bad ads.

For example, in the case of a site that is selling counterfeit goods, this three-pronged approach aims to look for patterns that would flag such a site and help prevent ads from showing. Ad review notices patterns in the ads and keywords selected by the advertiser. Site review analyzes the entire site to determine if it is selling counterfeit goods. Account review aims to determine if a new advertiser is truly new, or is simply a repeat offender trying to abuse Google’s advertising system. Here’s more detail on how we review each of these three components.

Ad Review
An ad is the snippet of information presented to a user, along with a link to a specific webpage, or landing page. The ads review system inspects individual ads and landing pages, and is probably the system most familiar to advertisers. When an advertiser submits an ad, our system immediately performs a preliminary examination. If there’s nothing in the ad that flags a need for further review, we tell the advertiser the ad is “Eligible” and show the ad only on google.com to users who have SafeSearch turned off. If the ad is flagged for further review, in most cases we refer to the ad as “Under Review” and don’t show the ad at all. From there, the ad enters our automated pipeline, where we employ machine learning models, a rules engine and landing page analysis to perform a more extensive examination. If our automated system determines an outcome with a high degree of confidence, we will either approve the ad to run on Google and all of our partners (“Approved”), approve the ad to show for appropriate users in specific locations (“Approved - Limited”) or reject the ad (“Disapproved”). If our automated system isn’t able to determine the outcome, we send the ad to a real person to make a final decision.

Site Review
A site has many different pages, each of which could be pointed to by different ads, often known as a domain. Our site review system identifies policy issues which apply to the whole site. It aggregates sites across all ads from all advertisers and regularly crawls them, building a repository of information that’s constantly improving as new scams and new sites are examined. We store the content of advertised sites and use both machine learning models and a rules engine to analyze the sites. The magic of the site review system is it understands the structure of language on webpages in order to classify the content of sites. Site review will determine whether or not an entire site should be disabled, which would prevent any ads leading to that site showing from any account. When the automated system isn’t able to determine the outcome with a high degree of confidence, we send it to a real person to make a decision. When a site is disabled, we tell the advertiser that it’s in violation of “Site Policy.”

Account Review
An account is one particular advertiser’s collection of ads, plus the advertiser’s selections for targeting and bidding on those ads. An account may have many ads which may point to several different sites, for example. The account review system constantly evaluates individual advertiser accounts to determine if the whole account should be inspected and shut down for policy violations. This system “listens” to a variety of signals, such as ads and keywords submitted by the advertiser, budget changes, the advertiser’s address and phone number, the advertiser’s IP address, disabled sites connected to this account, and disapproved ads. The system constantly re-evaluates all accounts, incorporating new data. For example, if an advertiser logs in from a new IP address, the account is re-evaluated to determine if that new signal suggests we should take a closer look at the content of the advertiser’s account. If the account review system determines that there is something suspect about a particular account with a high degree of confidence, it automatically suspends the account. If the system isn’t sure, it stops the account from showing any ads at all and asks a real person to decide if the account should be suspended.

Even with all these systems and people working to stop bad ads, there still can be times when an ad slips through that we don’t want. There are many malicious players who are very persistent—they seek to abuse Google’s advertising system in order to take advantage of our users. When we shut down a thousand accounts, they create two thousand more using different patterns. It’s a never-ending game of cat and mouse.

We’ve put a great deal of effort and expense into building these systems because Google’s long-term success is based on the trust of people who use our products. I’ve focused my time and energy in this area for many years. I find it inspiring to fight the good fight, to focus on the user, and do everything we can to help prevent bad ads from running. I’ll continue to post here from time to time with additional thoughts and greater information about how we make ads safer by detecting and removing scam ads.

Posted by David W. Baker, Director of Engineering, Advertising

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/inside-view-on-ads-review.html

[G] Spring-cleaning … in spring!

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Official Google Blog: Spring-cleaning … in spring!

Over the last six months we’ve done a lot of spring cleaning—though it’s all happened out of season. Spring has now arrived and we’re ready to close or combine another round of products. Focus is crucial if we are to improve our execution. We have so many opportunities in front of us that without hard choices we risk doing too much and not having the impact we strive for. Here are the details on the changes we’ll be making:
  • We are making a number of API changes, adopting a one-year deprecation policy for certain APIs and removing the deprecation policy for others. Additionally, we are retiring some old APIs with limited usage. We have also updated the deprecation policy for all APIs to be much clearer and more concise. Please see the Developers Blog for more information.
  • Google Flu Vaccine Finder was a maps mash-up that showed nearby vaccination places across the United States, built by a small 20 percent team during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic when there was a dire need for fast and accurate data on flu vaccination locations. Google Flu Vaccine Finder is now retired, but we’re pleased to pass the baton to the experienced team at HealthMap as they launch HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder.
  • Google Related is an experimental browsing assistant launched to help people find interesting and useful information while they browse the web. The product isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like, and while we still believe in the value provided to our users, we’ll be retiring the existing product over the next few weeks, so the Related team can focus on creating more magic moments across other Google products.
  • Beginning June 1, 2012, we’re ending our support for Google Sync for BlackBerry. If you already have the app installed, you’ll still be able to use it; however it will not be available for download after June 1. If you currently use Google Sync for BlackBerry, we encourage you to switch to BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) or the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server going forward. These alternatives offer a better overall experience, as you can sync your email messages, calendar and contacts through a single service.
  • We’re shutting down the mobile web app for Google Talk. For mobile users who want to continue using Google Talk, we recommend using the native Google Talk app on Android or any XMPP-compliant apps on other mobile platforms.
  • One Pass, our payment platform for online news publishers, has been shut down. We are working with existing partners to make the transition from One Pass to other platforms, including Google Consumer Surveys. While One Pass is going away, we will continue working with publishers to build new tools.
  • We're redirecting the old Patent Search homepage to google.com to make sure everyone is getting the best possible experience for their patent searches. Over the past few months, we've been making updates and improvements to the Patent Search functionality on google.com—not only are you able to search the same set of U.S. patents with the same advanced search options, the new experience loads twice as fast as the old Patent Search homepage, contributes to a unified search experience across Google, and sports Google Doodles as well. The team looks forward to including patents from other countries soon, and will be rolling out additional features to Patent Search on google.com in the future.
  • We launched a WINE-based version of Picasa for Linux in 2006 as a Google Labs project. As we continue to enhance Picasa, it has become difficult to maintain parity on the Linux version. So today, we’re deprecating Picasa for Linux and will not be maintaining it moving forward. Users who have downloaded and installed older versions of Picasa for Linux can continue to use them, though we won’t be making any further updates.
  • Starting today, the Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto will no longer be available for download. People can continue to use the uploader and plugin if they are installed. However, we’ll no longer maintain these tools. We strongly encourage people to download Picasa 3.9 for Mac, which includes upload and iPhoto import features.
Making changes to products or services is hard, but we do need to maintain our focus if we are to do important things that matter in the world. As we continue our clean-up, we look forward to creating a simpler, more beautiful user experience across Google.

Posted by Matthias Schwab, Director, Cloud Services
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/spring-cleaning-in-spring.html

[G] Inside view on ads review

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Google Public Policy Blog: Inside view on ads review

Posted by David W. Baker, Director of Engineering, Advertising

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.

This is the first in a series of posts that will provide greater transparency about how we make our ads safer by detecting and removing scam ads. -Ed.

A few weeks ago, we posted here about our efforts in fighting bad ads, and we shared a video with the basics of how we do it. Today I wanted to delve a little deeper and give some insight into the systems we use to help prevent bad ads from showing. Our ads policies are designed with safety and trust in mind—we don’t allow ads for malicious downloads, counterfeit goods, or ads with unclear billing practices, to name a few examples. In order to help prevent these kinds of ads from showing, we use a combination of automated systems and human input to review the billions of ads submitted to Google each year. I’m one of many engineers whose job is to help make sure that Google doesn’t show bad ads to users.

We’ve designed our approach based on a three-pronged strategy, each focused on a different dimension of the problem: ads, sites, and advertiser accounts. These systems are complementary, sharing signals among each other so that we can comprehensively attack bad ads.

For example, in the case of a site that is selling counterfeit goods, this three-pronged approach aims to look for patterns that would flag such a site and help prevent ads from showing. Ad review notices patterns in the ads and keywords selected by the advertiser. Site review analyzes the entire site to determine if it is selling counterfeit goods. Account review aims to determine if a new advertiser is truly new, or is simply a repeat offender trying to abuse Google’s advertising system. Here’s more detail on how we review each of these three components.

Ad Review
An ad is the snippet of information presented to a user, along with a link to a specific webpage, or landing page. The ads review system inspects individual ads and landing pages, and is probably the system most familiar to advertisers. When an advertiser submits an ad, our system immediately performs a preliminary examination. If there’s nothing in the ad that flags a need for further review, we tell the advertiser the ad is “Eligible” and show the ad only on google.com to users who have SafeSearch turned off. If the ad is flagged for further review, in most cases we refer to the ad as “Under Review” and don’t show the ad at all. From there, the ad enters our automated pipeline, where we employ machine learning models, a rules engine and landing page analysis to perform a more extensive examination. If our automated system determines an outcome with a high degree of confidence, we will either approve the ad to run on Google and all of our partners (“Approved”), approve the ad to show for appropriate users in specific locations (“Approved - Limited”) or reject the ad (“Disapproved”). If our automated system isn’t able to determine the outcome, we send the ad to a real person to make a final decision.

Site Review
A site has many different pages, each of which could be pointed to by different ads, often known as a domain. Our site review system identifies policy issues which apply to the whole site. It aggregates sites across all ads from all advertisers and regularly crawls them, building a repository of information that’s constantly improving as new scams and new sites are examined. We store the content of advertised sites and use both machine learning models and a rules engine to analyze the sites. The magic of the site review system is it understands the structure of language on webpages in order to classify the content of sites. Site review will determine whether or not an entire site should be disabled, which would prevent any ads leading to that site showing from any account. When the automated system isn’t able to determine the outcome with a high degree of confidence, we send it to a real person to make a decision. When a site is disabled, we tell the advertiser that it’s in violation of “Site Policy.”

Account Review
An account is one particular advertiser’s collection of ads, plus the advertiser’s selections for targeting and bidding on those ads. An account may have many ads which may point to several different sites, for example. The account review system constantly evaluates individual advertiser accounts to determine if the whole account should be inspected and shut down for policy violations. This system “listens” to a variety of signals, such as ads and keywords submitted by the advertiser, budget changes, the advertiser’s address and phone number, the advertiser’s IP address, disabled sites connected to this account, and disapproved ads. The system constantly re-evaluates all accounts, incorporating new data. For example, if an advertiser logs in from a new IP address, the account is re-evaluated to determine if that new signal suggests we should take a closer look at the content of the advertiser’s account. If the account review system determines that there is something suspect about a particular account with a high degree of confidence, it automatically suspends the account. If the system isn’t sure, it stops the account from showing any ads at all and asks a real person to decide if the account should be suspended.

Even with all these systems and people working to stop bad ads, there still can be times when an ad slips through that we don’t want. There are many malicious players who are very persistent—they seek to abuse Google’s advertising system in order to take advantage of our users. When we shut down a thousand accounts, they create two thousand more using different patterns. It’s a never-ending game of cat and mouse.

We’ve put a great deal of effort and expense into building these systems because Google’s long-term success is based on the trust of people who use our products. I’ve focused my time and energy in this area for many years. I find it inspiring to fight the good fight, to focus on the user, and do everything we can to help prevent bad ads from running. I’ll continue to post here from time to time with additional thoughts and greater information about how we make ads safer by detecting and removing scam ads.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2012/04/inside-view-on-ads-review.html

Friday, April 20, 2012

[G] F1 Bahrain protests intensify, Violence spreads across Syria, Discovery Space Shuttle's last flight

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YouTube Blog: F1 Bahrain protests intensify, Violence spreads across Syria, Discovery Space Shuttle's last flight


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 "FW: video of up close lighting strike".















URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/clB7TuTGzyk/f1-bahrain-protests-intensify-violence.html

[G] Easily snap your photos to a location in Panoramio

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Google Lat Long: Easily snap your photos to a location in Panoramio


Earlier this year we improved the uploader tool in Panoramio to make the process faster and more intuitive. Since then, members of the Panoramio photo-sharing community have been simply dragging and dropping their photos to the locations where they were taken, and working together to create a world map of beautiful images.

Today, we’re announcing some improvements to help you even more easily geo-tag your photos in Panoramio. You can now snap your photos to a place on the map. When searching for your photo location, you’ll see a list of suggested places where your photo may have been taken, and you can click “Snap to this place” to select the right location. We’ve also added the ability for users to indicate that a photo was taken indoors. These additional details about where a photo was taken provide all users with more useful information and context.



If you’re not familiar with Panoramio and how it works, get a sense for this powerful user tool by checking out the brief video below. Panoramio is a community site for photos of various places, with the option to share and explore the photos in Google Maps and Google Earth.



Enjoy the improved features in Panoramio and we look forward to seeing more of your photos.

Posted by Gerard Sanz, Panoramio Community Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/easily-snap-your-photos-to-location-in.html

[G] Announcing the 2012 Google Policy Fellows

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Google Public Policy Blog: Announcing the 2012 Google Policy Fellows

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Director of Public Policy

We’re excited to announce the 2012 class of Google Policy Fellows, and we’re expecting great things from the 15 students selected for the fifth summer of the Google Policy Fellowship. Our host organizations selected the 2012 fellows from over 1300 impressive submissions. The 2012 class includes undergraduate and graduate students from 12 schools, studying history, public policy, economics, science and technology, computer science, engineering and law.

Congratulations to the 2012 Google Policy Fellows!

Derek Attig, University of Illinois, ALA Washington
Justin Kaufman, George Washington University, Public Knowledge
Lassana Magassa, University of Washington, New America Foundation
Daniel Lieberman, George Washington University, Future of Music Coalition
Anjney Midha, Stanford University, Technology Policy Institute
Yana Welinder, Harvard University, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Jonathan Miller, Georgetown University, Center for Democracy & Technology
Michael Corliss, University of Illinois, TechFreedom
Kieran Bergmann, University of Ottawa, Citizen Lab
Sumitra Nair, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Andrew Blanco, Stanford University, Creative Commons
Brenda Villanueva, University of Maryland, National Hispanic Media Coalition
Brian Picone, Brown University, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Laurie Birbilas, McGill University, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Leonard Hyman, University of Southern California, Internet Education Foundation

The 2012 Fellows will spend 10 weeks this summer at our host organizations working on Internet and technology policy issues including free expression, privacy, security, and intellectual property.

Thank you to everyone who applied. Please sign up here to follow our program announcements, and visit google.com/policyfellowship for more information.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2012/04/announcing-2011-google-policy-fellows.html

[G] Checking in with the Global Network Initiative

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Google Public Policy Blog: Checking in with the Global Network Initiative

Posted by Bob Boorstin, Director, Public Policy and Lewis Segall, Senior Ethics and Compliance Counsel

No matter who or what you are, opening up to outside scrutiny isn’t an easy or comfortable process. But that's what we agreed to do a few years ago when we helped found the Global Network Initiative (GNI), an amalgam of companies, human rights activists, socially responsible investors and academics formed in response to actions by governments that endanger free expression on the global Internet.

The objectives of GNI are both simple and incredibly complex: promote and support free expression and privacy online; subscribe to principles and follow guidelines supported by measures of transparency and accountability; and educate people and engage policymakers around the world in an effort to create a more open and free Internet.

In starting GNI, the founding companies — Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — agreed to bring in outside assessors to review how we were doing against GNI principles. Our agreement to conduct these assessments is an important part of the organization's credibility.

Now these first assessments are finished and the results have been released as part of GNI's annual report released yesterday. After reviewing them, the non-company members of GNI have told us that while we're by no means perfect, the assessments are credible and rigorous and demonstrate that companies are making progress — a concrete step in our efforts to build trust not only with our GNI partners but with all our users.

The activities of Google to promote free expression and privacy around the world extend well beyond GNI. However, being a part of this group is a compelling opportunity, since it brings together diverse stakeholders and provides a unique forum to address the risks to a free and open internet. Along with the GNI, we welcome other companies and groups to join this effort.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2012/04/checking-in-with-global-network.html

Thursday, April 19, 2012

[G] Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

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The Google Apps Blog: Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Developer Programs Engineer

One day I was looking at how many messages I have in my sent mail, and realized there are a lot of things I wanted to know about my email habits. How much of my emails do I read, and do I reply fast enough? As luck would have it, Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor, developed a tool called Gmail Meter powered by Google Apps Script.

Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox. In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits.

  • Volume Statistics show you the number of important and starred messages, the number of people who sent you emails, and more. Volume statistics can be very useful in determining how you are using email efficiency tools like Priority Inbox.
  • Daily Traffic gives you an estimate of when you receive messages and when you send them during a given month. For example, in the graph below you can see how the peaks in my “Sent” curve indicates that I write emails in spurts.
  • Traffic Pattern lets you get a sense of your overall email activity over the past week.
  • Email Categories tells you how you are managing your Inbox. In the pie chart below, you can see that the majority of my emails are labeled. My Inbox is tiny compared to other labels which indicates that I keep a lean and mean Inbox.
  • Time Before First Response shows you how long it takes you to reply, and how long it takes others to reply to you. By looking at this chart, I can infer that I reply faster than others I communicate with.
  • Word Count tells you whether you are writing long emails. The example below shows that most of my emails are shorter than 200 words.
  • Thread Lengths help you understand whether you participate in long conversations resulting in long threads. Top Senders and Top Recipients help you identify who you communicate with more frequently.
How to Setup Gmail Meter



It is easy to set up Gmail Meter. First, go to Google Docs and open a Spreadsheet. Click on Tools > Script Gallery. Search for “Gmail Meter” and click Install. You will now see a new menu item called Gmail Meter on your spreadsheet. Click on Gmail Meter > Get a Report. You can then choose the type of report. Preparing a report may take some time and you will get an email once the report is ready. If you would like to know more about how this script works, be sure to check this tutorial.

Learning about my email habits has helped me become more email efficient. So, before you read that next article on "Writing Effective Emails," be sure to learn more about your own email habits using Gmail Meter.
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/7PS1Mq6YjPw/know-your-gmail-stats-using-gmail-meter.html

[G] MRAID support in DFP: Simplifying in-app rich media on mobile

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: MRAID support in DFP: Simplifying in-app rich media on mobile

As part of today’s release of the Google AdMob SDK, DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and AdMob now fully support the IAB’s Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID) standard for advertising in mobile applications.

MRAID is an initiative from the IAB to define a common API for mobile rich media advertisements, in order to help the mobile marketplace reach new levels of consistency, efficiency and effectiveness. Adopting a common standard for rich media in applications will make building rich media ads simpler and enable advertisers to reach a wider audience with a single creative.

For publishers who use DFP to deliver ads to mobile applications, the new Google AdMob SDK gives your advertisers the flexibility to provide creatives that work seamlessly across any application, regardless of the device, platform, or ad technology involved. Using an MRAID-compliant SDK also enables publishers to:
  • Work with a greater range of vendors to produce rich media campaigns 
  • Reduce integration and maintenance costs by removing vendor-specific SDKs 
  • Develop differentiated ad formats against a stable, vendor-neutral platform 
  • Attract large scale advertisers building high value, high reach campaigns 
  • Use HTML5 creatives across mobile web and mobile apps
We look forward to actively participating in the future development of MRAID. We believe it will have a significant impact on the mobile advertising industry by lowering costs, increasing scale and providing the foundation for a mature mobile display ecosystem.

Posted by Marcel Gordon, Product Manager
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2012/04/mraid-support-in-dfp-simplifying-in-app.html

[G] How Mashable is growing with Google+

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Inside AdSense: How Mashable is growing with Google+


Mashable is an independent news site devoted to digital culture and technology and was one of the first publishers to join Google+. Since joining, Mashable has been building their audience on the platform, growing Google+ into one of their top 10 sources of referral traffic. We chatted with Mashable’s Community Manager, Meghan Peters, about their first few months on Google+ and what’s made them so successful.




Mashable has used their Google+ page to expand their audience and deliver content in new ways. As Meghan says, “A lot of news organizations I think fall under the trap of just seeing social networks as broadcast platforms for their content... With Google+, I think that we have a lot of opportunity to take advantage of the cool features that the platform has, and really do more engaging projects rather than just posting our stories.”

For example, Mashable has been using Hangouts, a live multi-person video chat tool, to meet their audience face to face, creating deeper interactions. “I haven’t seen anything else like Hangouts in terms of crossing that barrier of really making a connection,” Meghan says. “I feel like it’s the deepest connection you could get.”

Hangouts has also connected Mashable employees with each other. With their headquarters in New York City and editors scattered across the U.S. and Europe, Mashable now uses Hangouts as a virtual meeting tool. The screenshare feature even helps Meghan train remote staffers who can follow along with her presentations.



Mashable has learned by doing, and that all started by creating a Google+ page. “We tried a lot of things early on, and were able to catch on quickly to what was working and what wasn’t, and have been able to shift our strategy pretty well from there,” Meghan says. Some of what she’s learned is below:


  • Be active Meghan credits Mashable’s success in part to its strong and persistent presence on Google+. “We’re pretty hands-on. We have someone in there posting and moderating every day... which I think has been really important for us to maintain a presence there.”

  • Add Google+ plugins When Mashable added the Google+ badge to their homepage, they increased their Google+ page audience by 38 percent. Mashable also uses the +1 button on articles and across the site to empower sharing to Google+.

  • Co-create Another key to keeping Mashable’s fans engaged is its innovative approach to audience interaction and brand co-creation. A contest run via Mashable’s site to design their Google+ page sparked a wave of enthusiasm. As Meghan recalls, “We got really good feedback once we posted [the winning design]. A lot of people thought it was really cool – not only that the design was good-looking – but also that we did a contest like that and let people have the opportunity to participate.”


We think people can learn a lot from how Mashable has built a strong audience on Google+ through its use of in-depth posts, interactive Hangouts, and creative promotions, including the Google+ badge and +1 button. As Meghan notes, “Our community was very excited about this network, and we told them, let’s connect and let’s figure out...how we can both, you as a user and us as a brand, get the most out of it.”



Follow Mashable on Google+ and download the full case study here.



Posted by Rico Farmer, Product Marketing Manager


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/ruohfmEWq2Y/how-mashable-is-growing-with-google.html

[G] Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

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Official Gmail Blog: Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Developer Programs Engineer

One day I was looking at how many messages I have in my sent mail, and realized there are a lot of things I wanted to know about my email habits. How much of my emails do I read, and do I reply fast enough? As luck would have it, Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor, developed a tool called Gmail Meter powered by Google Apps Script.

Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox. In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits.

  • Volume Statistics show you the number of important and starred messages, the number of people who sent you emails, and more. Volume statistics can be very useful in determining how you are using email efficiency tools like Priority Inbox.
  • Daily Traffic gives you an estimate of when you receive messages and when you send them during a given month. For example, in the graph below you can see how the peaks in my “Sent” curve indicates that I write emails in spurts.
  • Traffic Pattern lets you get a sense of your overall email activity over the past week.
  • Email Categories tells you how you are managing your Inbox. In the pie chart below, you can see that the majority of my emails are labeled. My Inbox is tiny compared to other labels which indicates that I keep a lean and mean Inbox.
  • Time Before First Response shows you how long it takes you to reply, and how long it takes others to reply to you. By looking at this chart, I can infer that I reply faster than others I communicate with.
  • Word Count tells you whether you are writing long emails. The example below shows that most of my emails are shorter than 200 words.
  • Thread Lengths help you understand whether you participate in long conversations resulting in long threads. Top Senders and Top Recipients help you identify who you communicate with more frequently.
How to Setup Gmail Meter



It is easy to set up Gmail Meter. First, go to Google Docs and open a Spreadsheet. Click on Tools > Script Gallery. Search for “Gmail Meter” and click Install. You will now see a new menu item called Gmail Meter on your spreadsheet. Click on Gmail Meter > Get a Report. You can then choose the type of report. Preparing a report may take some time and you will get an email once the report is ready. If you would like to know more about how this script works, be sure to check this tutorial.

Learning about my email habits has helped me become more email efficient. So, before you read that next article on "Writing Effective Emails," be sure to learn more about your own email habits using Gmail Meter.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/know-your-gmail-stats-using-gmail-meter.html

[G] Global Site Speed Overview: How Fast Are Websites Around The World?

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Google Analytics Blog: Global Site Speed Overview: How Fast Are Websites Around The World?



At Google, we are passionate about speed and making the web faster, and from first hand experience, we are glad to see that many website owners share the same goal. A faster web is better for both users and businesses - faster pages lead to better user experience and improved conversions.




The first step in optimizing any process is to establish and obtain an accurate set of measurement data. In the context of optimizing the user experience on the web, it means that we need to measure the speed of a page as seen by your real users: users network, device type and speed, geographic location, cache sizes, and a dozen other factors all come into play. 






Luckily, the Site Speed reports in Google Analytics provide most of this data to us already. The new Web Timing standard, which is already implemented by most modern browsers, allows Google Analytics to gather detailed latency data for a sample of requests across a dozen different dimensions. To see this data for your site, navigate to your Google Analytics account and look for the new “Site Speed” reports under the “Content” section - there is no additional instrumentation required on your behalf.





A frequently asked question we hear is: how do I know if my site is fast enough? The answer, of course, depends on the nature of the site, the content, and the type of interactions your users perform on the site. However, to help us establish a baseline, let us take a look at some aggregate speed data for the web as seen by Google Analytics and shared by opted-in web publishers:





























































Mobile internet is growing at an incredible rate and as we can see from the data above, mobile experience is about 1.5x slower than desktop experience. That’s a very big difference, and that is even taking into account that many popular sites are already optimizing for the mobile visitor: fewer resources, smaller resources, and smarter caching strategies.





Let’s take a closer look at web performance for a few specific countries:






The following interactive world map presents the page load times in seconds for the complete list of countries with enough samples for accurate measurement:







Finally, let’s take a look at relative page speeds across some of the popular verticals:








 


How does your site stack up?


Posted by Mustafa Tikir and Ilya Grigorik, Google Analytics team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/a6-duwm7vRM/global-site-speed-overview-how-fast-are.html