Friday, May 4, 2012

[G] Video Stabilization on YouTube

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Research Blog: Video Stabilization on YouTube

Posted by Matthias Grundmann, Vivek Kwatra, and Irfan Essa, Research at Google

One thing we have been working on within Research at Google is developing methods for making casual videos look more professional, thereby providing users with a better viewing experience. Professional videos have several characteristics that differentiate them from casually shot videos. For example, in order to tell a story, cinematographers carefully control lighting and exposure and use specialized equipment to plan camera movement.

We have developed a technique that mimics professional camera moves and applies them to videos recorded by hand-held devices. Cinematographers use specialized equipment such as tripods and dollies to plan their camera paths and hold them steady. In contrast, think of a video you shot using a mobile phone camera. How steady was your hand and were you able to anticipate an interesting moment and smoothly pan the camera to capture that moment? To bridge these differences, we propose an algorithm that automatically determines the best camera path and recasts the video as if it were filmed using stabilization equipment. Specifically, we divide the original, shaky camera path into a set of segments, each approximated by either a constant, linear or parabolic motion of the camera. Our optimization finds the best of all possible partitions using a computationally efficient and stable algorithm. For details, check out our earlier blog post or read our paper, Auto-Directed Video Stabilization with Robust L1 Optimal Camera Paths, published in IEEE CVPR 2011.

The next time you upload your videos to YouTube, try stabilizing them by going to the YouTube editor or directly from the video manager by clicking on Edit->Enhancements. For even more convenience, YouTube will automatically detect if your video needs stabilization and offer to do it for you. Many videos on YouTube have already been enhanced using this technology.

More recently, we have been working on a related problem common in videos shot from mobile phones. The camera sensors in these phones contain what is known as an electronic rolling shutter. When taking a picture with a rolling shutter camera, the image is not captured instantaneously. Instead, the camera captures the image one row of pixels at a time, with a small delay when going from one row to the next. Consequently, if the camera moves during capture, it will cause image distortions ranging from shear in the case of low-frequency motions (for instance an image captured from a driving car) to wobbly distortions in the case of high-frequency perturbations (think of a person walking while recording video). These distortions are especially noticeable in videos where the camera shake is independent across frames. For example, take a look at the video below.


Original video with rolling shutter distortions


In our recent paper titled Calibration-Free Rolling Shutter Removal, which was awarded the best paper at IEEE ICCP 2012, we demonstrate a solution to correct these rolling shutter distortions in videos. A significant feature of our approach is that it does not require any knowledge of the camera used to shoot the video. The time delay in capturing two consecutive rows that we mention above is in fact different for every camera and affects the extent of distortions. Having knowledge of this delay parameter can be useful, but difficult to obtain or estimate via calibration. Imagine a video that is already uploaded to YouTube -- it will be challenging to obtain this parameter! Instead, we show that just the visual data in the video has enough information to appropriately describe and compensate for the distortions caused by the camera motion, even in the presence of a rolling shutter. For more information, see the narrated video description of our paper.

This technique is already integrated with the YouTube stabilizer. Starting today, if you stabilize a video from a mobile phone or other rolling shutter cameras, we will also automatically compensate for rolling shutter distortions. To see our technique in action, check out the video below, obtained after applying rolling shutter compensation and stabilization to the one above.


After stabilization and rolling shutter removal


URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/05/video-stabilization-on-youtube.html

[G] Take a virtual trip to Jazz Fest New Orleans this weekend

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YouTube Blog: Take a virtual trip to Jazz Fest New Orleans this weekend

New Orleans is always alive with music, from the bars of Bourbon Street to the jazz clubs of Frenchmen Street. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival—“Jazz Fest” to its friends—is an annual celebration of the unique music and culture of New Orleans, taking over the Fair Grounds Race Course each Spring.



For the first time Jazz Fest will be live streaming the festival, presented by DELL and in partnership with YouTube Presents! The broadcast will combine live music from across the next three days with pre-recorded highlights from last weekend.



It may be Jazz Fest by name, but it’s not entirely jazz by nature. The diverse lineup this weekend includes Bon Iver, Tom Petty, Trombone Shorty, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, My Morning Jacket and many more. We’re adding artists all the time, so check-out the official Jazz Fest channel for the latest schedule.







The stream begins at 12pm PT today and runs through 6pm this Sunday. Enjoy!



Tim Partridge, music marketing manager, recently watched The Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/h4lyebt70iU/take-virtual-trip-to-jazz-fest-new.html

[G] Kabul explosion, Cairo sit-in protest attack, Giant hail storm in Maryland

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YouTube Blog: Kabul explosion, Cairo sit-in protest attack, Giant hail storm in Maryland


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.



  • We watched President Obama make a short trip to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Bin Laden's death, only for seven to be killed in a Kabul explosion just hours after he left.

  • We saw a sit-in protest in Cairo come under attack by unknown assailants, leading to nine deaths.

  • We monitored labour groups hold marches across the world to mark May Day, or International Workers' Day.

  • We viewed a shining beacon of light in the United Arab Emirates, but not in the way anyone would have liked, as a fire enveloped the Al Tayer Tower.

  • We followed the GOP candidates on another memorable day on the US campaign trail, as Newt Gingrich released a YouTube video announcing his withdrawal.

  • We observed police in Malaysia use tear gas and water-cannons to confront protesters calling for reform.

  • We saw shock in the French city of Toulouse as an F1 tornado landed nearby, damaging roofs and uprooting trees.

  • We witnessed a tragic death in St. Louis as the city endured a powerful storm that brought baseball-sized hail.

  • We watched Edward Munch's world famous painting, "The Scream", break records with a $119 million sale at a Sotheby's auction. 



Come back to watch the news unfold on YouTube. 





Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Large Hail Hits Maryland Heights 04/28/12".



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/SU6Fxbaiqls/kabul-explosion-cairo-sit-in-protest.html

[G] An Experiment in Music and Crowd-Sourcing

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Research Blog: An Experiment in Music and Crowd-Sourcing

Posted by Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations

The Bodleian Library is the main research library at the University of Oxford. It is also one of the oldest libraries in the world, dating back to the 14th century. But the staff of the Bodleian operates very much in the 21st century, using the latest technology to solve their unique problems.

A few years ago, the library acquired a set of 4,000 popular piano pieces from the mid-Victorian period. There’s very little information available on these pieces, so Bodleian staff decided to use crowdsourcing to collect information on this corpus of music. Through a Google Focused Award, they have digitized and made the entire set of music available online.

By visiting the What’s-the-Score website, which opened yesterday, ‘citizen librarians’ can help by describing the scores and contributing to the creation of an online catalogue. They can also include links to audio or video recordings. This is the first time the Bodleian has used this approach to collect catalog information. Typically, a large group of researchers are required to find this information.

Martin Holmes, Alfred Brendel Curator of Music at the Bodleian Libraries, commented: ‘In making the scores available online, they will not only be accessible for academic study and research but will also be there to enjoy for anyone who is interested in various aspects of Victorian music, culture and society.’

The Bodleian Library is one of dozens of recipients of Google Focused Awards. These awards are for research in areas of study that are of key interest to Google as well as the research community. These unrestricted gifts are for two to three years, and the recipients have the advantage of access to Google tools, technologies, and expertise. The Bodleian’s experiment in crowdsourcing to build up data on a specialized collection is timely and interesting, given the number of such collections becoming available on the web.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/05/experiment-in-music-and-crowd-sourcing.html

[G] Finding and following new channels you love

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YouTube Blog: Finding and following new channels you love

If you’re interested in aerial silk or Rubik’s Cubes or anything in between, we want YouTube to have a channel ready and always updating for you.



In our goal to help you find great channels and videos you care about, we created Topics on Search to narrow your search results using commonly-used phrases. We took this a step further by auto-generating whole channels of topics in the ‘Top YouTube Collections’ tab, giving you constantly updated and uniquely-focused channels. Now, you’ll start seeing these channels more broadly available around YouTube, like in ‘Recommended for You’ section of our channels page and on a video watch page.



So if you’re into surfing, you could find the Big wave surfing channel, get introduced and subscribe to the NetworkA channel, and then enjoy this video of Garret McNamara surfing one of Poseidon’s finest. Here’s what the channel looks like:







Lots of complex algorithms are working behind the scenes to give you the channel you’re looking for, for example, being able to tell when the word ‘Chicago’ means the music band and when it means the movie/musical. We’re still tweaking everything to make sure it works just right for you, so let us know what you think of the channels or learn more in our help center.



So when you see a channel “auto generated by YouTube” around the site, give it a browse to find whole collections of channels and videos you might like, updated everyday with the freshest and finest videos you’re sharing on YouTube.



Mur Viswanathan, product manager, recently subscribed to the Parkour channel and Palash Nandy, software engineer, recently subscribed to the Brickfilm channel.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/bs7-jrheX58/finding-and-following-new-channels-you.html

[G] Updates to Google News US Edition: Larger Images, Realtime Coverage and Discussions

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Google News Blog: Updates to Google News US Edition: Larger Images, Realtime Coverage and Discussions

Posted by Scott Zuccarino, Product Manager, Google News

When a story breaks, Google News is designed to give you the most relevant articles from a variety of sources --- from national news outlets, to local points of view, to expert opinion pieces. To continue to expand your views on the news, we are adding three new features for those using our US edition: larger images on our main page; a new realtime coverage page to surface the latest articles and commentary; and relevant Google+ posts for a new social perspective.

Get coverage in real time
Our new realtime coverage page is now available for every news story as soon as they become available to Google News





See relevant comments on top stories
Many news stories inspire vibrant discussions on Google+, and today we're starting to add this content to both the News homepage, and the realtime coverage pages. This way you can see what your circles, journalists covering the story and notables like politicians or others who are the subjects of stories have to say about breaking news, and even contribute to the discussion directly from Google News.

Note that these Google+ discussions will only appear for those of you reading the US edition who have signed in and upgraded to Google+.





If you'd like to try these new Google+ features in News, it's easy to upgrade here.  That said, if you prefer your Google News to contain just news stories and no Google+ posts, you can either log out of Google or turn off the display of Google+ posts via the Google News settings page.  

We're rolling out all of these features over the next week, so don't worry if you don't see them immediately. Today's updates are the latest examples of how we're working to provide users with a beautiful, consistent experience across Google. So we hope you enjoy them.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/updates-to-google-news-us-edition.html

Thursday, May 3, 2012

[G] Expanding Google Analytics Social Reports: Tracking Links To Your Site Content

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Analytics Blog: Expanding Google Analytics Social Reports: Tracking Links To Your Site Content

Have you ever wondered which other pages on the web link to your own? Wouldn’t it be nice to know which sites are talking about your content, and in which context? Well, a problem no more: now you can see all the backlink URL’s, post titles, and more right within the new Social reports.

The concept of trackbacks, a protocol by which different sites could notify each other of referencing links, first emerged back in 2002. Since then, the blogosphere has grown in leaps and bounds, but the requirement for each site to explicitly implement this protocol has always stood in the way of adoption. If only you could crawl the web and build an accurate link graph. The good news is we already do that at Google, and are now providing this insight to Google Analytics users.

   

If you’re not familiar with Trackbacks, then think of it as automated Google Alerts for all of your pages: you publish new content, we scour the web for pages that link to it and build automated reports for you right within Google Analytics - simple as that.

These reports provide another layer of social insight showing which of your content attracts links, and enables you to keep track of conversations across other sites that link to your content. Most website and blog owners had no easy mechanism to do this in the past, but we see it as another important feature for holistic social media reports. When you know what your most linked content is, it is then also much easier to replicate the success and ensure that you are building relationships with those users who actively link to you the most.

To learn more about the new Social and ROI reporting, take a look at our announcement last month, and also take a look at in-depth example of how to use these new reports to measure your user’s engagement in Google+.

Posted by Ilya Grigorik, Google Analytics team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/05/expanding-google-analytics-social.html

[G] The City of Columbia is going Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: The City of Columbia is going Google

Posted by Mike Matthes, City Manager of Columbia, Missouri

Editors note:Earlier this week we announced the City of St.Louis is going Google. Today we welcome another guest blogger from Missouri, Mike Matthes, to tell us how he recently moved Columbia to Google Apps for Government. 

I grew up in Chillicothe, Missouri. Until last year, I worked for the City of Des Moines in Iowa for 15 years. When I got the opportunity to move back to my home state and became the City Manager of Columbia, Missouri, I jumped at the chance. Columbia is a boomtown with outstanding quality of life that emphasizes the value of public services for the citizens. I find great joy in serving the public, partnering with our city employees, and supporting them as they work with the community.

After I moved to Columbia, I realized the city was challenged by an antiquated email system that couldn’t keep up with the latest technology trends and our employees’ needs. When my iPad acted as nothing more than a paperweight, I knew we needed a change. 

Columbia is fortunate to have an open-minded City Council and IT Department, so we started looking for a new email solution last fall. When I worked for Des Moines, I became familiar with Google Apps for Government. We chose the Google email and communication platform for 2,000 Des Moines employees because it could help the city save budget while enabling our employees to be more productive. When I looked at Google Apps again, I was struck by the tremendous product enhancements made in just a year since I last reviewed its offering.

We quickly decided to move all 1,188 Columbia employees to Google Apps for Government after evaluating available email and communication solutions. With the help of Google Apps reseller Onix Networking, all city employees were flawlessly transitioned to Google Apps in April 2012.

The only comments I received were gratitude from our employees for finally being able to communicate and collaborate smoothly. Email and calendar just work, and other advanced collaboration features in Google Apps bring much more efficiency to our workplace. Eighty percent of our employees are mobile, such as police, fire and public works staff. They have been starving for mobile productivity for years. Now they can easily check email, documents, and sites from the field. 

Although most reasonable people dread an annual budget process, I’m actually looking forward to it this year because all 18 of our departments will be using a Google Site to collaborate and share information easily while preparing for the budget. This site also integrates a Google calendar that marks budget due dates with a countdown clock for all departments.

For Columbia, going Google is a force multiplier. With resources saved and productivity enhanced, our city employees are able to better focus on their core mission of serving citizens. Being a part of modernization efforts of both Columbia and Des Moines makes my job as a public servant meaningful.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/05/posted-by-mike-matthes-city-manager-of.html

[G] Sperry Van Ness goes Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Sperry Van Ness goes Google

Posted by Kevin Maggiacomo, CEO of Sperry Van Ness

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Kevin Maggiacomo, CEO of Sperry Van Ness, one of the largest commercial real estate advisory firms in the world. They employ over 1,400 advisors and staff in more than 150 markets. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

As CEO of Sperry Van Ness, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the work our 1,400-strong workforce does and how we do it. Implementing Google Apps across the entire organization allowed us to bring efficiency to an industry that isn’t traditionally known for being collaborative or efficient. Google Apps helped us solve workflow bottlenecks and process inefficiencies to move us beyond best practices to next practices. It has been a huge win for us.

There’s an old saying related to technology that “usability drives adoptability.” Getting everyone transitioned onto a single platform can be a challenge for any organization, but the learning curve for Google Apps was almost non-existent. Since all our tools -- Docs, Sites, Calendar, Gmail and more -- are all easy to access, they smoothly and seamlessly became part of our operating culture. Our entire organization went from implementation to total adoption in less than 30 days.

Creating a culture of teamwork and collaboration has been a key driver of our business model for years – it was just more difficult and costly prior to using Google Apps. Aside from email, chat, and conferencing, Google Sites allowed us to quickly replace our intranet. Additionally, Google Docs gives us an easy and secure way to collaborate on documents in real-time throughout the entire sales process.

In addition to the efficiency and productivity gains, the cost savings was a driver in our decision to use Google Apps. By moving our platform to the cloud, we dramatically reduced the cost and complexity of our IT infrastructure in favor of a system that’s faster and more robust. The frosting on the Google Apps cake is that we’ve been able to eliminate dependency on Microsoft products, allowing us to grow and scale faster. The discussions we used to have about platform scalability and synchronization have faded away, allowing us to spend more time on our business.

With great confidence, I can say that implementing Google Apps can resolve many of the workflow management, collaboration, and process automation issues that companies still struggle with -- it did so for Sperry Van Ness.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/05/sperry-van-ness-goes-google.html

[G] Around the world with AdSense in Your City

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Inside AdSense: Around the world with AdSense in Your City


Since taking AdSense in Your City global earlier this year, our international teams have met with over 600 publishers in cities like Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne, Istanbul, and Mumbai, just to name a few. During these events, we’ve shared product updates and best practices for getting started with solutions like DFP Small Business and Mobile. In addition, attendees have had the opportunity to network with other local publishers and participate in one-on-one consultation sessions with our optimization specialists.

As our U.S. events take place, we’re excited to continue visiting international cities to meet more publishers. Some of the cities we’ll be stopping by in the next few weeks include:


  • Week of May 7: 


    • Dusseldorf / Hamburg / Munich, Germany (sessions in German)




  • Week of May 14: 


    • Auckland, New Zealand (sessions in English)




  • Week of May 21: 


    • Mexico D.F., Mexico (sessions in Spanish)




  • Week of May 28: 


    • London, UK (sessions in English) 

    • Curitiba, Brazil (sessions in Portuguese)




  • Week of June 4: 


    • Sydney, Australia (sessions in English)

    • Paris, France (sessions in French)

    • Tel Aviv, Israel (sessions in Hebrew)

    • Buenos Aires, Argentina (sessions in Spanish)




  • Week of June 25: 


    • Porto Alegre, Brazil (sessions in Portuguese)



If you’d like to attend one of these upcoming AdSense in Your City events, please fill out our interest form. Space is limited at each event so we won’t be able to accommodate all requests, but we’ll do our best to include as many interested publishers as possible. In the meantime, we recommend ensuring you’re opted in to receiving ‘Special Offer’ emails so we can reach you in the future.

Thanks to all of our recent AdSense in Your City attendees for taking the time to join us and share your feedback. We look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks!

Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/y2LrYusCoCQ/around-world-with-adsense-in-your-city.html

[G] Updated Carbon Disclosure Ratings in Google Finance

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Google Finance Blog: Updated Carbon Disclosure Ratings in Google Finance

Posted by Sam Arons, Carbon Maven


With a background in physics and sustainability, and a stint as a math teacher in Morocco, I never imagined I would end up at a technology company like Google. But as I approach my fifth anniversary here, I’ve been thinking back on all the projects I’ve been a part of as a member of the Energy team. One that I’m most proud of is a collaboration with the Google Finance team and the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to put companies’ carbon disclosure ratings into Google Finance alongside financial data. Specifically, these ratings quantify how well a company measures and reports its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to what degree it is aware of the risks and opportunities climate change poses to its business. The scores -- which the Google Finance team just updated for 2011 -- are listed as “Carbon Disclosure Rating” and appear in the “Key stats and ratios” box on the right side of a company’s Google Finance page:

   

There are two things that made this an exciting project for me. First, what started out as an idea in the mind of one Googler became a live feature in a product used by millions of people every day. And second, the launch of this feature in April 2010 marked the first time that individual investors could freely access this kind of information in conjunction with financial data.

Why would investors be interested in a company’s carbon disclosure rating? We thought it would be useful because a company’s emissions, as well as climate change more generally, can pose financial risks -- and investors generally like to understand such risks. These risks can take several forms: from regulatory risks (e.g. legislation placing costs on carbon-intensive activities) to physical risks (e.g. sea-level rise threatening a company’s facilities) to market risks (e.g. consumers switching to another company’s products because they believe that company to be a better environmental steward). All of these factors (and others) go into CDP’s calculation of a company’s carbon score, so it can be a useful metric for investors.

As I begin my sixth year at Google, I’m excited that we’re making environmental information more universally accessible and useful, and I’m looking forward to the projects and challenges ahead.

URL: http://googlefinanceblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/updated-carbon-disclosure-ratings-in.html

[G] Translate, and two more new gadgets for your dynamic blogs

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Blogger Buzz: Translate, and two more new gadgets for your dynamic blogs


If you’re like many Blogger users, you write in one language, but may have readers from around the world. Not all of them speak your language. Today, we’ve made it easier to bring content from your blog to everyone, with the release of a new Google Translate gadget.
With the Google Translate gadget, visitors to your blog can select their preferred language from the drop-down menu, and using Google’s free translation service, it will display your posts in any of the 50+ languages Google Translate supports.
In addition to the new Translate gadget, we are also introducing a pair of gadgets that allow you to highlight things around the web you care about. For example, with the Blog List gadget, you can highlight blogs you enjoy. With the Text List gadget, you can display a list of your favorite books, movies, or whatever you like - helping your readers get to know you better.
To add these gadgets to your blog, click "Add a Gadget" from the "Layout" tab, and select them from the list of gadgets under "Basics". You’ll see three new gadgets for your dynamic blog, including “Blog List”, “Text List” and “Google Translate”.
URL: http://buzz.blogger.com/2012/05/translate-and-two-more-new-gadgets-for.html

[G] What's new in DoubleClick for Publishers

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: What's new in DoubleClick for Publishers

We’re always adding new features to DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). The list below contains some highlights. For a complete list, please visit the DFP or DFP Small Business Help Centers.




Available in DFP and DFP Small Business:




Improved Custom Targeting Input: We've designed DFP so there are fewer steps, clicks, and screens throughout the trafficking process to help you reduce the time it takes to traffick your campaigns. To help you streamline your workflows even further, you can now select custom targeting criteria when trafficking a campaign with a single key-stroke to help you quickly select and search for the right targeting criteria.



Additional Reporting Combinations: To help you generate precisely the data you're looking for, we've introduced additional reporting combinations to give you a more granular look at your data. A sample of the new combinations available include:


  • Ad Unit x Line item x Creative/size x Country x Custom Targeting 

  • Ad Unit x Line item x Creative/size x Country 

  • Ad Unit x Line item x Creative/size x Metro 

  • Placement x Line Item x Creative 

  • Ad unit x Line Item x Creative/size x Hour



Available in DFP Mobile:




MRAID Support: Our latest mobile SDK for DFP and AdMob was launched to fully support the IAB's Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID). 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. Learn more.




Available in DFP Video:




Stream Based Frequency Caps: To help give you more delivery options when working with you video advertisers, we've introduced stream-based frequency caps to help control how often an ad appears in the same stream. Learn more.




VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0, and VMAP 1.0 Support: 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. 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. Learn more.




Posted by Alex Strittmatter, DFP Product Specialist
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DoubleclickPublisherBlog/~3/hs43hz9sgjA/whats-new-in-doubleclick-for-publishers.html

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

[G] Introducing Google Drive... yes, really

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The Google Apps Blog: Introducing Google Drive... yes, really

(Cross posted from the Official Google Blog)

Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist. Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.
With Google Drive, you can:
  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just... there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future. This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come. Get started with Drive today at drive.google.com/start—and keep looking for Nessie... Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/ev1MWj_CnII/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html

[G] Marketing Attribution: Questions and Answers

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Google Analytics Blog: Marketing Attribution: Questions and Answers

Last week, we hosted a webinar on marketing attribution. We had a lively discussion about our recent attribution whitepaper, and we looked at Google’s solutions for attribution -- including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, and the Attribution Modeling Tool in Google Analytics Premium. During the webinar, many of you wrote in with great questions, and we’ve provided answers below to some of the top questions.



If you weren’t able to join us last week, you can view a recording of the webinar here.



Questions & Answers:

Q: How can I learn more about getting started with attribution using Google’s tools?

A:This webinar was the first in a series on attribution -- please watch the blog for updates and registration information for our next webinar, “Building Blocks of Digital Attribution.” In the meantime, read on for some more tips.



Q: Where can I learn more about setting up conversions?

A: Setting up conversion tracking in Google Analytics is one of the most valuable things you can do to make your reports actionable and meaningful, and getting these set up properly will allow you to use Google’s attribution solutions. There are resources available in the help center to help you set up goals and ecommerce tracking. You can also view the recording of our recent “Reaching your goals with Google Analytics” webinar.



Q: When should I use AdWords Search Funnels compared to Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels? 

A: Both tools can give you insight into how your customers ultimately end up converting on your site. If you are using AdWords Conversion Tracking today, Search Funnels is available without any additional configuration. You can see the interactions your customers have with your search ads leading up to conversion, including both clicks and impressions. However, you can only see these interactions for paid search on Google AdWords.



Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics allows you to analyze traffic sources beyond search, including display, social, email, referrals, affiliates and more - putting your conversion path data in a broader context. Using these reports requires installing Google Analytics tracking code on your site, and setting up goals and/or ecommerce tracking (see links above) -- once these are set up, Multi-Channel Funnels reports work automatically. Note that you  are not able to analyze search ad impressions in Multi-Channel Funnels.



Watch this blog for updates on future webinars in our attribution series that will provide more details on Search Funnels and Multi-Channel Funnels.



Q: How much of an impact does the use of multiple devices have in skewing the numbers we see in these reports? 

A: Mobile and other devices are becoming increasingly important. Multi-Channel Funnels will report on conversion paths that take place on a single device, but not across devices. For example, if a user visited your site on a mobile phone, and then completed a purchase in a desktop browser, those interactions would not be included in the same conversion path.



Q: Can I report on both AdWords Keyword and Matched Search Queries in Google Analytics?

A: You have the option to view either the AdWords Keyword or the Matched Search Query by choosing these dimensions in the data table. Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling support a wide range of AdWords and non-AdWords dimensions for reporting and creating attribution modeling rules.



Q: Can you add your own models to the Attribution Modeling Tool or they are all built in? 

A: You can create and save custom models in the Attribution Modeling Tool in Google Analytics Premium. Custom models allow you to create rules that adjust credit based on attributes like the traffic source (e.g. search vs. direct), position (first, middle, last) the level of engagement driven (time on site and page depth), and timing (how much time prior to conversion).



Q: How do advertisers take action on attribution data?

A: Attribution data can help advertisers identify marketing efforts that may be undervalued or overvalued under models such as the last click, so they can adjust their marketing programs. For example, a general keyword like “shoes” may show fewer conversions compared to a more specific, branded term for a type of shoe on a last click basis. However, applying a model that gives some credit for searches prior to the last click may show that “shoes” is credited with more conversion value. When making optimization decisions around which keywords to invest in or cut, advertisers can look at multiple models, and then experiment with investing in keywords that show higher value under alternative models. Similar methods apply to channels like display, social, email, and affiliates. This can help identify areas of opportunity that are missed when using only the last click.



Happy Analyzing!





Posted by Bill Kee, Product Manager for Attribution, Google Analytics team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/G4Rc6LcTxcc/marketing-attribution-questions-and.html

[G] 70 young women recognized as Google Anita Borg Memorial scholars

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Official Google Blog: 70 young women recognized as Google Anita Borg Memorial scholars

The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of Dr. Anita Borg, who devoted her life to encouraging the presence of women in computing and founded the Institute for Women in Technology in 1997. Anita passed away in 2003, and we created the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship in 2004 to honor her memory. Anita’s legacy lives on today through this scholarship and the organization she created, which has since been re-named the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology.

This year we’d like to recognize and congratulate the 70 Google Anita Borg Memorial scholars and the 79 Google Anita Borg Memorial finalists, all of whom attend universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East or Africa. These students will attend the annual Google Scholars Retreat this summer, where they will have the opportunity to attend tech talks on Google products, network with other scholars and participate in social activities. Students from the U.S. and Canada will attend the retreat in Mountain View, Calif., and students from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will attend the retreat in Zurich, Switzerland.

Here’s a full list of this year’s scholars and finalists along with the institutions they attend. In the coming months, we’ll also announce the recipients of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

For more information on all our scholarships, visit the Google Scholarships site.

Posted by Jenny McColl, University Programs Specialist

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/70-young-women-recognized-as-google.html

[G] Get stuff done in the cloud. Go Google.

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Official Google Blog: Get stuff done in the cloud. Go Google.

You probably hear terms like “the cloud” or “cloud computing” being used a lot these days. While the idea of the cloud may seem abstract, many things you already do on your computer and smartphone today, such as email, photo sharing and video streaming, are made possible by the cloud.

At the heart of it, Google is about cloud computing—helping people live online and get things done in the cloud. Whether you need to add “milk” to a shared shopping list from the train, collaborate with your teammate back in the office to finish your presentation from a hotel lobby, or chat face-to-face with your mom from halfway around the world, we believe that getting stuff done in the cloud is a better way. We like to call it “going Google.”



We’ve built cloud-based tools like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs to help you connect and collaborate online with others more quickly and easily, without having to deal with the hassles and frustrations of installing and managing traditional software. Last week’s launch of Google Drive is the next step: Google Drive brings together many Google services—documents, spreadsheets, images and more—all in one place so you can easily create, collaborate, and share in real-time. Files are saved automatically, and friends, teammates, roommates, families and co-workers can do things together—even when they’re not. If you haven’t already tried it, Google Drive is a great place to start going Google.

Today, hundreds of millions of people, including 16 million students and teachers at 66 of the top 100 U.S. universities, employees at more than 4 million businesses worldwide including Burberry, Costco and National Geographic (and maybe even your 13-year-old daughter and her entire soccer team) have all already gone Google.

If you’re going Google to build a company, great. If you write your grand opus poem, even better. If you have to turn a project around from different time zones overnight, awesome. And if you video-chat with grandma while you do—well, that’s just showing off.

So go on. See what it’s like to get stuff done and go Google.

Posted by Venkat Panchapakesan, VP Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/get-stuff-done-in-cloud-go-google.html

[G] AdWords Community now available on your phone!

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Inside AdWords: AdWords Community now available on your phone!

Ever wish you could reach out to other advertisers with just a click, even when you're not behind your computer? We’ve got some good news for you - AdWords Community is now optimized for all web-enabled mobile devices!

Like PPCBossman and many other Community users, you can get AdWords Community mobile on your smartphone and stay connected anywhere and at any time:
  • Ask your AdWords questions as soon as they come to mind.
  • Post answers/articles and help other members.
  • Instantly browse any thread you want to re-visit.
Sign up is as easy as opening www.en.adwords-community.com in your mobile browser (ensure you type in the www) with no additional applications. It auto-captures your mobile email (you can choose to use a different email) - simply choose your username and get started!



The simple interface with finger-friendly buttons lets you easily use all all the Community features just like on your desktop. One member theitiuk says this increases his accessibility to reach out to the Community at any time from anywhere. PPCBossman, who is a regular user, finds the functionality almost identical to the desktop version.

Try it out, bookmark it on your phone and let us know what you think by posting your comments and suggestions on the AdWords Community.

Posted by Rashmi Singh, Ad Policy Specialist
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/05/adwords-community-now-available-on-your.html

[G] Learn about Display Network Advertising with Google AdWords

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Inside AdWords: Learn about Display Network Advertising with Google AdWords

Join us every Wednesday at 11am PST on the Google+ Your Business page to learn about the tools that Google offers your business. This week, we’re excited to bring you a Hangout On Air about advertising on the Google Display Network.

The Display Network is a powerful tool that can help you reach potential customers that may not be actively looking for you on search engines. In fact, 95% of users’ time is spent outside of search. During the Hangout, we’ll show you how to harness the Display Network to select appropriate targeting options and identify important performance metrics for your business. Join us to learn more about topics like image ads, branding your business, and re-engaging users who have previously visited your site. In addition, we’re excited to invite two Top Contributors, Kim and Theresa, from the AdWords Community to share their personal experience advertising on the Display Network.

Just sign into Google+ and add the Google+ Your Business page to your circles. Post questions ahead of time - simply look for the post that we put up every Monday morning soliciting your questions. Then, on Wednesday, navigate to your Stream where you’ll be able to view our Hangout live with just one click!

We’re excited to see you, answer your questions, and teach you a little about AdWords!
 


Posted by Allison Sommer, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/05/learn-about-display-network-advertising.html

[G] Google Maps API for Business brings NexTraq to the next level

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Maps API for Business brings NexTraq to the next level

Posted by Nicole Locklear, Channel Marketing Specialist at NexTraq

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Nicole Locklear, Channel Marketing Specialist at NexTraq. NexTraq is a GPS fleet tracking company headquartered in Atlanta that helps business owners across the US and Canada track the movement, behavior and activity of their vehicles.

NexTraq, a GPS fleet tracking company, helps customers manage their fleets with reporting, alerts, dispatching and routing tools. Several years ago, our company noticed a simple problem: it took too long to train our customers how to use our products. After looking at several other mapping possibilities, we realized that we should give our customers something they already used in their daily lives: Google Maps. Our customers already used Google Maps to get directions, view landmarks with Street View and Satellite View and avoid bad traffic. This made the decision to move to Google Maps API for Business easy.



By using Google Maps, we were able to free up internal resources -- such as developers and engineers -- because of the outstanding support that Google provides during implementation. Even though we deployed Google Maps on a large scale, the implementation was seamless. Our customers love Google Maps for Business because it brings Google Maps features directly to the business setting. For example, they can look at their route for the day, pinpoint heavy traffic, and reroute their vehicles accordingly. Not only are they saving time, but, as gas prices rise, they’re cutting fuel costs as well. Being able to see the street view of any place a vehicle is located gives customers an added layer of comfort. If an employee can’t find a service stop, a dispatcher can see a 360-degree view of where the employee is standing and direct them based on landmarks and other surroundings.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we went with a solution that we knew our customers already knew and loved. Google Maps API for Business was the best move we could have made for our customers.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/05/google-maps-api-for-business-brings.html

[G] April in Review: New fonts galore and other fresh features

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Docs Blog: April in Review: New fonts galore and other fresh features

In the past month we’ve made updates both big and small to Google Docs, and today we’re announcing one more: web fonts in Google documents. Often the best way to get your point across is to present your idea in a creative, captivating way. Today, we added over 450 new fonts to Google documents to make it easier for you to add a little something extra to whatever you create.


To use these new fonts, click on the font menu and select “Add fonts” at the very bottom, which will take you to a menu of all the Google Web Fonts available.


Once you’ve selected new fonts, you’ll be able to select them from the font menu.


Whether you’re looking for the perfect font for your first comic book or fancy handwriting for your wedding invitations, we hope you try out the new fonts and create some eye-catching documents.

In addition to hundreds of new fonts, we have a lot of other exciting updates to report:
  • Google Drive launched as a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all your stuff. 
  • There are now a few more options for inserting images in Docs, including inserting from Google Drive, searching for images from the LIFE Photo archive, or taking a snapshot with your webcam. 
  • Charts in spreadsheets now has support for minor gridlines and options to customize the formats of axis labels 
  • Accessibility in Docs got better with support for screenreaders in presentations and with the addition of NVDA to our list of supported screenreaders
  • From File > Page setup... you can now set the default page size for your new documents. 
  • It's now easier for speakers of right-to-left languages by automatically showing bidirectional controls when you type in a language that might use them. 
  • Apps Script had many improvements, including 
    • A new ScriptService for programmatically publishing your scripts and controlling when they run. 
    • A new function to find the root folder of someone’s Drive. 
    • An increase in the allowed attachment size in emails from 5MB to 25MB. 
    • An increase in the size of docs files you can create from 2MB to 50MB. 
  • There are now over 60 new templates in our template gallery.
Posted by Isabella Ip, Software Engineer
    URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2012/05/april-in-review-new-fonts-galore-and.html