Saturday, August 4, 2012

[G] All Politics is Local: Introducing Congressional District Targeting for Google AdWords

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Inside AdWords: All Politics is Local: Introducing Congressional District Targeting for Google AdWords

Originally posted to the Politics & Elections Blog

In his autobiography, Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said “All politics is local”. With all 435 seats up for election in brand new Congressional Districts this November, that adage rings even more true for House candidates running this fall. Through the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years, every district takes on a new shape - with new voters. This makes reaching the right voters with the right message even tougher.

Starting today, in addition to targeting specific zip codes, we’re enabling an even more useful solution that allows political campaigns to reach voters within a specific Congressional District.

Say you are running for Congress in the 6th District of Maryland - which features a highly publicized race between Ten-term incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Montgomery County businessman John Delaney. The 6th is located in western Maryland, and has been a longtime GOP stronghold, but was drastically reshaped by redistricting which has made it more competitive.

Barlett and Delaney’s campaigns are waging a battle in the oddly shaped district that has voters in many zip codes, towns and communities looks like this:


(This map embedded above is courtesy of data from Azavea)

As campaigns know, reaching these households in an effective manner with traditional means takes time and - importantly - valuable resources. This district is a great example - it includes voters who live in the Washington D.C. media market. But, as you can see from the map, buying TV ads in DC won’t reach your voters in the 6th District.

Now, with congressional district targeting in AdWords, campaigns can quickly and easily target their search, display, mobile and video ads *solely* within that particular district’s border. You can start by heading into AdWords and selecting your District number from the location menu populated with district information in simple Google Maps format, prepared by Azavea. Build your ad and you’re on your way.


We’ve built a sizable team that is working around the clock to help all candidates get the most from their online advertising efforts. Congressional District Targeting in AdWords is just one more way that we’re working hard to deliver better ads for users and voters and better tools for political campaigns.

By working across all four screens, digital ads are highly accountable, precise, and continually evolving. Google’s complete solution helps thousands of political campaigns in all shapes and sizes make the web work for them. Our products are designed to work together, enabling campaigns do more with less online. Head over to the Four Screens to Victory site to learn more about how your campaign can win the moments that matter.

Posted by: Charles Scrase, Google Politics & Elections Team
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/08/all-politics-is-local-introducing.html

Friday, August 3, 2012

[G] A new way to visualize the global arms trade

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Official Google Blog: A new way to visualize the global arms trade

Did you know that 60 percent of all violent deaths are due to small arms and light weapons? Small arms, such as revolvers, assault rifles and light machine guns, and ammunition represent a $8.5 billion industry, and three quarters of the world’s small arms lie in the hand of civilians—more than 650 million civilian arms. As part of the Google Ideas initiative on illicit networks, we’ve created an interactive data visualization of global small arms and ammunition trading to better understand and map the global arms trade.

The tool was produced by Google’s Creative Lab team in collaboration with the Igarape Institute. More than 1 million data points on imports and exports of small arms, light weapons and ammunition between 1992 and 2010 and across 250 states and territories across the world were provided by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) small arms database. The visualization reveals patterns and trends in imports and exports of arms and ammunition across the world, making it easy to explore how they relate to conflicts worldwide. More of the implications of this data are discussed in this video from the INFO summit hosted by Google Ideas last month:



You can explore these data points by zooming in and out of the globe, clicking on any country to readjust the view, and using the histogram tool at the bottom to see trading patterns over the years. You can see, for example, that the scale of the global trade in ammunition rivals the scale of trade in actual weapons, an insight underexplored by policymakers today in conflict prevention and resolution.


We built this visualization using the open source WebGL Globe on Google’s Chrome Experiments site; since it is open sourced, we hope to see others use the globe as a platform for bringing other complex datasets to life.

Posted by Scott Carpenter, Deputy Director, Google Ideas
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-new-way-to-visualize-global-arms-trade.html

[G] Giving you a better Google

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Official Google Blog: Giving you a better Google

We work every day to create a more seamless, beautiful user experience—to give you a better, easier-to-use Google. This means continuously improving the products we offer, and recognizing when users of one product might have a better experience with another. Over the past year, we’ve made changes to around 50 products, features and services—donating, merging and shutting things down so we can focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day. Today, we’re announcing a few more changes:
  • We introduced Google Apps for Teams in 2008 to allow people with a verified business or school email address to collaborate using non-email applications from Google like Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. Over time, we realized that Google Apps for Teams was not as useful for people as we originally anticipated. Beginning September 4, 2012, we'll start converting existing Google Apps for Teams accounts into personal Google Accounts, and shutting down Google Apps for Teams. This change does not affect other editions of Google Apps.
  • We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.
  • Google Video for Business is a video hosting and sharing solution that allowed Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers to use video for internal communication. Starting this fall, we’ll migrate all videos hosted on Google Video for Business over to Google Drive, which has similar storage and sharing capabilities. All migrated videos will be stored for free and will not count against a user’s Google Drive storage quota.
  • Finally, Google maintains 150+ blogs and other communications channels about our products and services, and so over time we'll also be closing a number of Google-created blogs that are either updated infrequently, or are redundant with other blogs. This doesn't mean that we'll be sharing any less information—we'll just be posting our updates on our more popular channels.
Technology has the power to change people’s lives. But to make a difference, we need to carefully consider what to focus on, and make hard decisions about what we won’t pursue. This enables us to devote more time and resources giving you products you love, and making them better for you.

Posted by Max Ibel, Director of Engineering
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/giving-you-better-google.html

[G] Ad blocking part II: Blocking unwanted ads

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Inside AdSense: Ad blocking part II: Blocking unwanted ads




Happy Friday and welcome to the second installment of the ad blocking series! In our first blog post, we talked about different reasons for blocking ads and common myths about ad blocking. Today we’ll discuss how to block ads you don’t want to allow on your site. Once you’ve identified the ads you don’t want to show, there are a few ways to block them: by advertiser URL, general or sensitive category (limited language availability), ad network, and individual ad creative. Below, we’ll bust more myths commonly believed about blocking unwanted ads.



Myth: The ‘Allow and block ads’ tab of my account is the only place I can block ads.

In addition to blocking ads via the AdSense interface, you can install the Google Publisher Toolbar to block ads while viewing your pages in a Chrome browser. The Publisher Toolbar is a Chrome extension that lets you view up-to-date information about your AdSense account, offers an overview of your earnings and performance, and provides ad overlays with in-page reporting. For more details on this new Chrome extension, visit the Inside AdSense blog post.



Myth: Because the ad is an image or rich media, there’s no way to find the destination URL without clicking the ad and violating AdSense policy.

As a publisher, you have a few options when trying to find out which URL you want to block:




  • If you’re using Chrome, install the Publisher Toolbar extension mentioned above, which allows you to block ads as you’re seeing them on your site. 

  • In your AdSense account, you can opt into the Ad Review Center where you can see all of the ads shown on your site, including text, image, and rich media ads. 




Myth: I don’t see any ads in the Shown Ads tab of the Ad Review Center, but I see ads on my site. The Ad Review Center doesn’t work! 

The Ad Review Center is a tool that allows you to review individual ads and choose whether or not to let them be displayed on your pages. Ads in the Ad Review Center have shown within the last 30 days. If your site has not shown any ads within the last 30 days, no ads will show in the Ad Review Center. Also, if you have very low traffic on your site, you may not see ads in the Ad Review Center. After you’ve submitted the request to opt in to the Ad Review Center, please allow 24 to 48 hours for ads to begin showing under the Shown Ads tab. Read more information about the new and improved Ad Review Center in our previous Inside AdSense blog post.



We hope that this blog post has busted some of the myths associated with the ad blocking feature. Have more questions? You can submit them by commenting on the post on the Google AdSense +page. We’ll be answering those questions in a Google+ Hangout on Air on Tuesday, August 7th at 10am PDT. We hope you can join us!



Posted by: Wesley Houser, Inside AdSense Team





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/iKsCirJKCb0/ad-blocking-part-ii-blocking-unwanted.html

[G] Watch Lollapalooza live all weekend on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Watch Lollapalooza live all weekend on YouTube

Live music is a beautiful thing. It’s unpredictable, it’s sweaty and crowded -- and it’s LOUD. It’s also the best way to really get to know an artist -- if they can deliver the magic live, they may hook you for life.



That’s why YouTube is so pleased to present Lollapalooza Music Festival, in partnership with Dell, streaming all weekend on youtube.com/lollapalooza. The festival that helped launch alternative music in the 1990s has become a cornerstone of the summer music festivals, and this year fans will be treated to an incredible array of artists over three days, starting today at 11:30am PT.







The artist lineup is nothing short of epic: you’ll see growing artists Michael Kiwanuka, GIVERS and Gary Clark Jr. rubbing shoulders with crowd favorites like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avicii, The Shins, Florence + the Machine and Jack White. There will even be a few reunions in the mix -- the Afghan Whigs and At The Drive-In are both back together for the occasion. (Insert fist pump here.) Be sure to check out the full schedule.







Live shows by artists like U2, Kenny Chesney and Coldplay have drawn millions of viewers to YouTube, and last year’s Lollapalooza webcast saw viewers spending an average of 44 minutes watching the show. We look forward to keeping you glued to your screen again this year.



So get your dancing shoes on, and remember: Lollapalooza kicks off today at 11:30am PT. We want you there.



Sarah Bardeen, music community manager, recently watched “Lollapalooza: Rain or Shine (Timelapse).”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/iGZ8G9lEUK8/watch-lollapalooza-live-all-weekend-on.html

[G] Google Applauds Bipartisan Resolution Opposing Increased International Regulation of the Internet

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Google Public Policy Blog: Google Applauds Bipartisan Resolution Opposing Increased International Regulation of the Internet

Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an important House Concurrent Resolution aimed at ensuring the Internet remains an open, stable, and global platform for economic growth, innovation, and cultural and civic discourse. As I have recently testified and written, a battle in the war for the Internet is opening at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations organization. This December, the ITU is conducting a review of the international agreements governing telecommunications, and some member countries see the ITU conference as an opportunity to expand the ITU’s regulatory authority to reach the Internet.

Traditionally, international discussions of Internet policy have flourished in a “multistakeholder” system that involves the input of lawmakers, academics, civil society, and users. If certain member states are successful in Dubai, they could change the Internet governance process as we know it, increasing state control over networks and substantially limiting the role of users and other vital, nongovernmental actors in important Internet policy debates.

By passing this resolution, the U.S. Government has recognized the Internet’s critical role in growing the global economy, its unique status as a platform for innovation, and the success of multistakeholder model that lies at the heart of its governance. In the lead-up to the December conference, the future of the Internet is at stake, and I hope that other countries will adopt publicly similar positions.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-applauds-bipartisan-resolution.html

[G] Reflections on Digital Interactions: Thoughts from the 2012 NA Faculty Summit

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Google Research Blog: Reflections on Digital Interactions: Thoughts from the 2012 NA Faculty Summit

Posted by Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives




Last week, we held our eighth annual North America Computer Science Faculty Summit at our headquarters in Mountain View. Over 100 leading faculty joined us from 65 universities located in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America to attend the two-day Summit, which focused on new interactions in our increasingly digital world.




In my introductory remarks, I shared some themes that are shaping our research agenda. The first relates to the amazing scale of systems we now can contemplate. How can we get to computational clouds of, perhaps, a billion cores (or processing elements)? How can such clouds be efficient and manageable, and what will they be capable of? Google is actively working on most aspects of large scale systems, and we continue to look for opportunities to collaborate with our academic colleagues. I note that we announced a cloud-based program to support Education based on Google App Engine technology.




Another theme in my introduction was semantic understanding. With the introduction of our Knowledge Graph and other work, we are making great progress toward data-driven analysis of the meaning of information. Users, who provide a continual stream of subtle feedback, drive continuous improvement in the quality of our systems, whether about a celebrity, the meaning of a word in context, or a historical event. In addition, we have found that the combination of information from multiple sources helps us understand meaning more efficiently. When multiple signals are aggregated, particularly with different types of analysis, we have fewer errors and improved semantic understanding. Applying the “combination hypothesis,” makes systems more intelligent.




Finally, I talked about User Experience. Our field is developing ever more creative user interfaces (which both present information to users, and accept information from them), partially due to the revolution in mobile computing but also due in-part to the availability of large-scale processing in the cloud and deeper semantic understanding. There is no doubt that our interactions with computers will be vastly different 10 years from now, and they will be significantly more fluid, or natural.




This page lists the Googler and Faculty presentations at the summit.




One of the highest intensity sessions we had was the panel on online learning with Daphne Koller from Stanford/Coursera, and Peter Norvig and Bradley Horowitz from Google. While there is a long way to go, I am so pleased that academicians are now thinking seriously about how information technology can be used to make education more effective and efficient. The infrastructure and user-device building blocks are there, and I think the community can now quickly get creative and provide the experiences we want for our students. Certainly, our own recent experience with our online Power Searching Course shows that the baseline approach works, but it also illustrates how much more can be done.




I asked Elliot Solloway (University of Michigan) and Cathleen Norris (University of North Texas), two faculty attendees, to provide their perspective on the panel and they have posted their reflections on their blog.




The digital era is changing the human experience. The summit talks and sessions exemplified the new ways in which we interact with devices, each other, and the world around us, and revealed the vast potential for further innovation in this space. Events such as these keep ideas flowing and it’s immensely fun to be part of very broadly-based, computer science community.





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/zXIPWgrfzF8/reflections-on-digital-interactions.html

Thursday, August 2, 2012

[G] Make mobile more manageable

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The Google Apps Blog: Make mobile more manageable

Posted by Hong Zhang, Google Apps Enterprise Mobile

People are using phones and tablets more than ever before to get work done from anywhere – in the field, at home or while traveling. Along with this increase in flexibility and productivity come new challenges for businesses managing all of these mobile devices. We launched tools to manage mobile devices across all mobile platforms for Google Apps last year, and since then we’ve been hard at work adding a number of new capabilities to help organizations better manage smartphones and tablets.

Some of our newest features are focused on helping administrators enforce tighter security using mobile settings in the Apps control panel to keep company data safe. We now offer administrators more ways to promote strong passwords on users’ phones and tablets and allow policies that enforce data encryption. New features also let administrators set policies to allow or block the use of the phone’s camera on Android 4.0+ devices and comply with organizational email retention policies. And now administrators can enforce these policies where available without disabling phones running older versions of Android that don’t support all the latest policies.

Through the Google Apps Device Policy app, administrators have the ability to remotely erase data from lost or stolen devices. Now we’re extending this capability so that IT admins can grant end users the ability to remotely delete data from their phone as soon as they notice it’s missing using the My Devices page.



As employees increasingly depend on their phones and tablets we’ll continue to work on making it easier and more secure for organizations to manage their fleet of devices. You can watch this video or visit our Help Center for a detailed look at how our enterprise mobile offerings can benefit your business.
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/CMilQv4bh9w/make-mobile-more-manageable.html

[G] Make mobile more manageable

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Make mobile more manageable

Posted by Hong Zhang, Google Apps Enterprise Mobile

People are using phones and tablets more than ever before to get work done from anywhere – in the field, at home or while traveling. Along with this increase in flexibility and productivity come new challenges for businesses managing all of these mobile devices. We launched tools to manage mobile devices across all mobile platforms for Google Apps last year, and since then we’ve been hard at work adding a number of new capabilities to help organizations better manage smartphones and tablets.

Some of our newest features are focused on helping administrators enforce tighter security using mobile settings in the Apps control panel to keep company data safe. We now offer administrators more ways to promote strong passwords on users’ phones and tablets and allow policies that enforce data encryption. New features also let administrators set policies to allow or block the use of the phone’s camera on Android 4.0+ devices and comply with organizational email retention policies. And now administrators can enforce these policies where available without disabling phones running older versions of Android that don’t support all the latest policies.

Through the Google Apps Device Policy app, administrators have the ability to remotely erase data from lost or stolen devices. Now we’re extending this capability so that IT admins can grant end users the ability to remotely delete data from their phone as soon as they notice it’s missing using the My Devices page.



As employees increasingly depend on their phones and tablets we’ll continue to work on making it easier and more secure for organizations to manage their fleet of devices. You can watch this video or visit our Help Center for a detailed look at how our enterprise mobile offerings can benefit your business.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-mobile-more-manageable.html

[G] Our roots go global: Apply for a RISE Award today

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Official Google Blog: Our roots go global: Apply for a RISE Award today

The application for the 2013 Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards is now open. Given once a year, Google RISE Awards are designed to promote and support education initiatives in two key areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS). Google grants awards of $5,000 - $25,000 USD to organizations around the world working with K-12 and university students in these fields.

This year, our community welcomed more than two dozen organizations from around the world, from Denmark to Uganda and California to Romania. The RISE grants have helped these groups to scale their reach by allowing for more scholarship recipients, to deepen their impact by providing hands on robotics kits, and to ultimately inspire their students by creating a community for CS outreach.


Now, the RISE Awards have expanded to include applicants from Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, bringing our total to six continents and 243 countries. All eligible nations are listed on our website.

The growth of technology is undoubtable, and the impact technology will have on our future is equally undeniable. We believe it’s our duty to support students who have the uncanny ability not only to consume technology, but also to create it. We believe that inspiring the next generation of computer scientists will enrich the lives of not only individual students, but also the communities and countries they live in.

Show us what you can do to get students excited about STEM and CS! Submit your application by September 30, 2012. Awardees will be announced by January 2013.

Posted by Roxana Shirkhoda, K-12 Education Outreach Specialist
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/our-roots-go-global-apply-for-rise.html

[G] Celebrate the Kennedy Space Center’s 50th birthday with Street View

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Official Google Blog: Celebrate the Kennedy Space Center’s 50th birthday with Street View

For fifty years, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been the launch point for a generation of space technology and exploration. Countless enthusiasts (including this one) grew up longing to see a space shuttle up close and walk in the paths of astronauts. Today, a collaboration between NASA and Street View is enabling people around the world to take a trip to the doorway to outer space, and see Kennedy as it transitions into a multipurpose launch complex for the next 50 years of space innovation. This location is our largest special collection of Street View imagery to date, totaling 6,000 panoramic views of the facilities, and expanding our mission to document the world’s most amazing places.


Street View fleet at Kennedy Space Center

Among the images you can now explore online with the click of your mouse are the space shuttle launch pad, Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Firing Room #4. Gaze down from the top of the enormous launch pad, peer up at the towering ceiling of the Vehicle Assembly Building (taller than the Statue of Liberty) and get up close to one of the space shuttle’s main engines, which is powerful enough to generate 400,000 lbs of thrust. From these vantage points, anyone can live out his or her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.


Atlantis Orbiter in the Vehicle Assembly Building - View Larger Map


Saturn V rocket on display in the Apollo/Saturn V center - View Larger Map

Even though they recently entered retirement, you can still get an up-close, immersive experience with two of the Space Shuttle Orbiters—the Atlantis and Endeavour —with Street View.


We’d like to thank NASA for making this project possible and giving all of us the chance to digitally walk in the shoes of all of the pioneering astronauts, scientists, engineers and technicians that made our space dreams possible. To explore more of our largest special collection yet, visit our Street View gallery at maps.google.com/nasa.

Posted by Ryan Falor, Product Manager, Google Street View
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/celebrate-kennedy-space-centers-50th.html

[G] A new home for investigative journalism on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: A new home for investigative journalism on YouTube

Some of the biggest news stories of recent times have played out on YouTube—we’ve been transfixed by citizen-uploaded footage coming out of the Middle East, gained unique perspectives on natural disasters thanks to on-the-spot reporting and security cameras, and seen citizens document elections via video to ensure fair process. This growing volume of news-related video has contributed to the now 72 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute.



In this age of abundant content and short attention spans, thoughtful analysis and rigorous reporting is more important than ever before. That’s why we’re so pleased that investigative reporting now has a new home on YouTube—The I Files. Curated by the Center for Investigative Reporting with funding from the Knight Foundation, The I Files will be a hub and community for investigative journalism on the web, showcasing reporting that digs deep into stories, gives background to complex issues, and reveals details that help us make better sense of our world.







Contributors to The I Files include such luminary media outlets as The New York Times, BBC, ABC News and Al Jazeera, and organizations like the Investigative News Network and their member non-profit news organizations like the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Investigative Workshop at American University.



Subscribe to youtube.com/ifiles to get the best of online investigative journalism delivered to you as it happens.



David Gehring, News Content Partnerships Manager, recently watched “The hidden cost of hamburgers.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/KLkjm714HxY/a-new-home-for-investigative-journalism.html

[G] LOL: Introducing the 16 YouTube Next Comics!

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YouTube Blog: LOL: Introducing the 16 YouTube Next Comics!

Last month, we asked the funniest among you to step forth and apply for YouTube Next Comic. Those selected will participate in three months of educational workshops, including mentoring from comedic pros like CollegeHumor and Glozell, receive $5,000 worth of video equipment and $10,000 worth of promotion for their channel. The response was overwhelming and had us ROFL-ing, making the task of selecting the lucky 16 surprisingly difficult. After a few wet willies, some knuckle sandwiches and other intense negotiation tactics, we were able to narrow it down. Here are your YouTube Next Comics:



  • ZekeMahogany: From horror to action, commercials and more, this Southern California based original sketch comedy troupe is constantly trying to challenge themselves to go further and try new things with their channel. They claim they’re just getting started, which is impressive given their 7 million views to date!

  • iSekC: Part comedian, part gamer, full on funny, Kevin of Pennsylvania recently shifted from focusing more on pop culture and slapstick humor to comedy that is action-based, incorporating his love of gaming and his “crazy imagination” wherever possible.

  • SteveGreeneComedy: California-based Steve Greene loves sarcasm and puts it above everything else. He also tells us that he only uploads videos that are funny, but we don’t think he’s being sarcastic about that.  

  • dicasp: This South African teenager realizes that two are funnier than one, so he collaborates wherever possible to bring his audience two times the laughs. His mom is a big fan of his. We’re sure you will be too!

  • IFockingHateThat - These Vancouver guys like to add their own unique, absurd and Canadian take on their lives (or what they wish their lives could be). Did we mention they’re Canadian and pretty funny, eh?

  • thekloons - While their name might sound like an 80s family sitcom, these Brooklyn, New York, comedians have become pros at showcasing the absurd and hilarity that exists in the everyday.

  • Drcoolsex: Laughter is just what the doctor ordered, and this New York comedy troupe serves it with a vengeance through their parodies of pop culture characters, events, movies, TV shows, incorporating pretty sweet special effects as an added bonus!  

  • SeanKlitzner: Whether pranking or parodying, this California-based comedian, actor and general funny guy keeps it real for his fans (or as he calls them his “family”) with regular doses of videos that will have you tee-hee-ing.  

  • Sawyerhartman: This Los Angeles based actor and film buff had his eyes set on the big screen. While comedy is his forte, he also showcases his versatility by tackling drama as well. He’s now focused his efforts full-time on YouTube, which is great because we want to continue to ROFL from his videos.

  • DashieXP: This high-energy, wacky Floridian’s most viewed videos incorporate popular video game and cartoon characters saying some pretty off the wall things, but he still likes to stay unpredictable and think of new ways to get people laughing.  

  • petergilroy - Peter wants each of his subscribers to feel like they’re one of his good friends, which is great because he records most of his crazy videos to have fun with his friends (and to impress his mom)!

  • TheWingGirls: Los Angeles based comediennes Jet and Star who use a mix of sketch comedy, parody, and off-the-wall caricatures to comment on relationships and expose the truth about dating.

  • MalumTV: Mawaan is a loud Londoner who likes to act out what happens to him from day to day (his life is THAT funny). Often donning a wig, he likes to experiment and try new ways of making his audience (and himself) laugh!

  • Clisare: Top o’ the mornin’ to this Irish comedienne who aims to employ (and make fun of) Irish humor wherever possible. She tells us Irish humor incorporates a mix of irony, sarcasm, self-deprecation and shamrocks.

  • jasonhorton - Jason claims he’s the world’ only white male comedian. Hmm. Not so sure about that, but we can say that this hilarious sketch and improv maverick loves to share his screen time with other talented comedians, resulting in countless LOL moments in his videos.

  • jayfluent - This New Jersey native was told he talked too much. So, he decided to talk to his camera. Through his specialty, comedic vlogging, he seeks to establish empathy with and elicit tears of laughter from his audience.  



So what do you think? Subscribe to their channels to keep up with the Next Comics on their journey over the next three months and beyond. Let’s have a roaring laugh and hearty applause for the group!



Austin Lau, Global YouTube Creator Programs, recently watched, “Olympics for Math Nerds.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/-R6eEHGXinM/lol-introducing-16-youtube-next-comics.html

[G] Celebrate the Kennedy Space Center's 50th birthday with Street View

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Google Lat Long: Celebrate the Kennedy Space Center's 50th birthday with Street View

(Cross posted on Official Google Blog)

For fifty years, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been the launch point for a generation of space technology and exploration. Countless enthusiasts (including this one) grew up longing to see a space shuttle up close and walk in the paths of astronauts. Today, a collaboration between NASA and Street View is enabling people around the world to take a trip to the doorway to outer space, and see Kennedy as it transitions into a multipurpose launch complex for the next 50 years of space innovation. This location is our largest special collection of Street View imagery to date, totaling 6,000 panoramic views of the facilities, and expanding our mission to document the world’s most amazing places.


Street View fleet at Kennedy Space Center

Among the images you can now explore online with the click of your mouse are the space shuttle launch pad, Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Firing Room #4. Gaze down from the top of the enormous launch pad, peer up at the towering ceiling of the Vehicle Assembly Building (taller than the Statue of Liberty) and get up close to one of the space shuttle’s main engines, which is powerful enough to generate 400,000 lbs of thrust. From these vantage points, anyone can live out his or her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.


Atlantis Orbiter in the Vehicle Assembly Building - View Larger Map


Saturn V rocket on display in the Apollo/Saturn V center - View Larger Map

Even though they recently entered retirement, you can still get an up-close, immersive experience with two of the Space Shuttle Orbiters—the Atlantis and Endeavour —with Street View.


We’d like to thank NASA for making this project possible and giving all of us the chance to digitally walk in the shoes of all of the pioneering astronauts, scientists, engineers and technicians that made our space dreams possible. To explore more of our largest special collection yet, visit our Street View gallery at maps.google.com/nasa.

Posted by Ryan Falor, Product Manager, Google Street View
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/08/celebrate-kennedy-space-centers-50th.html

[G] Saying goodbye to the Google Website Optimizer Blog

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Official Google Website Optimizer Blog: Saying goodbye to the Google Website Optimizer Blog


Thanks to everyone who has been a loyal reader of this blog over the last few years. As we’ve launched Content Experiments in Google Analytics and continue to evolve that feature set, from now on we’ll post about website testing and experimentation on our main Analytics blog, and we’re retiring this one.  We encourage you to visit the Google Analytics blog or follow us on Google+ for ongoing news and best practices about improving your online efforts.

Posted By Enrique Muñoz Torres, Sr. Product Manager, Google Analytics
URL: http://websiteoptimizer.blogspot.com/2012/08/saying-goodbye-to-google-website.html

[G] Jacques Pépin cooks a talk up for Googlers about the essentials

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Inside Google Books: Jacques Pépin cooks a talk up for Googlers about the essentials

posted by Cheryl Pon, Google Books Strategist
“If you happen to have talent and are a good craftsman, you could really [make] extraordinary food with a bit of love.” - Jacques Pépin
As a child, I grew up with inspiring classic TV programs featuring chefs like Julia Child, Martin Yan, and of course, Jacques Pépin, the award-winning French chef. With great fascination, I would watch him on his hit show, Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way, as he prepared cuisines like sautéed rabbit with morels and pearl onions, and tartelettes aux fruits. His beautifully presented dishes were the epitome of classic French homestyle cooking with just the right amount of panache.

Pépin came to Google recently to discuss his latest book, Essential Pépin, which encompasses all the recipes from his expansive career as a French chef. Not only does the thick cookbook contain a trove of recipes, but a DVD containing techniques Pépin recommends for cooking, such as perfecting your knife technique and the best way to flip an omelette — all signature styles that are best viewed rather than read.

During his talk here, Pépin advised that rather than leave a good recipe the way it is, he wanted to keep going deeper with exploring more ways in which a recipe could improve. But although his recipes are constantly evolving, and are now quite different than they were 25 years ago due to constant improvements over the years, Pépin's cooking techniques are the same.

From a man who turned down cooking for the Kennedys in order to cook at Howard Johnson’s, Essential Pépin is cooking through the master chef's eyes, and preparing food with an appreciation for and a sense of aesthetics.

Check the talk out here:
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/jacques-pepin-cooks-talk-up-for.html

[G] Use any credit or debit card with Google Wallet

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Official Android Blog: Use any credit or debit card with Google Wallet

(cross-posted from the Google Commerce Blog)

Since we released the first version of Google Wallet, the app that makes your phone your wallet, we’ve made it available on six phones from Sprint and Virgin Mobile, as well as the new Nexus 7 tablet. We’ve also partnered with more than 25 national retailers, and thanks to MasterCard PayPass, you can pay with your phone at more than 200,000 retail locations across the U.S.

Today we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.

 


A wallet with all your credit and debit cards
To save a card to Google Wallet, just enter the number into the mobile app, online wallet, or Google Play when making purchases. When you shop in-store, you can use Google Wallet in conjunction with your selected credit or debit card for purchases (more info here). Shortly after making a payment, you’ll see a transaction record on the phone with the merchant name and dollar amount. You can now view a history of all your in-store and online purchases from the online wallet.





To support all credit and debit cards, we changed our technical approach to storing payment cards. The Google Wallet app now stores your payment cards on highly secure Google servers, instead of in the secure storage area on your phone. A wallet ID (virtual card number) is stored in the secure storage area of the phone, and this is used to facilitate transactions at the point of sale. Google instantly charges your selected credit or debit card. This new approach speeds up the integration process for banks so they can add their cards to the Wallet app in just a few weeks. Banks that want to help their customers save cards to Google Wallet, including their custom card art, can apply here — there is no cost.

A wallet you can lock — and remotely disableWe take security very seriously and have always had a dedicated Google Wallet PIN to prevent others from making payments with your Google Wallet. And as always, we encourage Google Wallet customers to set up the phone’s screen lock -- as an extra layer of protection.

Today, we’re adding a Google Wallet security feature that makes it possible for you to remotely disable your mobile wallet on a lost phone. It’s easy. If you lose your phone, just visit the ‘Devices’ section in the online wallet and select the phone with the mobile wallet you wish to disable. When you successfully disable your wallet on a device, Google Wallet will not authorize any transactions attempted with that device*. If the Google Wallet online service can establish a connection to your device, it will remotely reset your mobile wallet, clearing it of card and transaction data. There is no way you can do that with your leather wallet.


The new Google Wallet app is available now on Google Play, and if you have a supported NFC device and are in the United States, we encourage you to give it a try.

Posted by Robin Dua, Head of Product Management, Google Wallet

* For now, Google Prepaid Cards and some Citi MasterCard cards will remain active until Google Wallet can remotely connect and reset your mobile wallet.
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2012/08/use-any-credit-or-debit-card-with.html

[G] Calling all Aussie Mappers! Google Map Maker is now available in Australia

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Google Lat Long: Calling all Aussie Mappers! Google Map Maker is now available in Australia


G’day mappers — at last it’s time to share the treasures of the Great Southern Land. Today, Google Map Maker opens its maps to Australia, so you can add your local knowledge to Google Maps for all the world to see.


Help share Australia’s natural gems with tourists and locals alike by drawing the hiking trails through the Eucalypt forests of Tasmania or adding all the campsites surrounding Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Then, once you’re ready for some rest and relaxation, why not map the beach resorts of Kangaroo Island, all the best restaurants along the Coral Sea of Queensland, or your favourite billabong for a day of fishing? You can even add your neighbourhood rugby club before heading off to a game.

Once approved your contributions will appear on Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile, accurately reflecting your real-life neighbourhood. You can even join with other local mappers and use your local expertise to review one another’s contributions to the map. To see examples of what people all around the world are adding in Map Maker, you can watch mapping in real-time.

Hyams Beach comes alive with Google Map Maker.

Google Map Maker warmly welcomes the people of Australia to the team of citizen cartographers from 200 countries and regions across the globe as they continue to build the world map. To learn more, subscribe to the Map Maker YouTube Channel, and get started mapping today!

Posted by Nilesh Tathawadekar, Software Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/07/calling-all-aussie-mappers-google-map.html

[G] Google+ Hangouts and the NFL: fantasy football, face-to-face-to-face

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Official Google Blog: Google+ Hangouts and the NFL: fantasy football, face-to-face-to-face

The 2012 NFL season is just over a month away, which means one thing for millions of fans around the world: it’s time for fantasy. Fantasy football has been around since the 1960s, and has become a great way to follow your favorite athletes—and stay in touch with the people you care about. This year, alongside the NFL, we're giving fantasy football fans a new way to connect throughout the season: Google+ Hangouts. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:
  • From any NFL.com/fantasyfootball page—including the Draft and Game Centers—you can now click a single button to start a hangout with your league
  • Later this month, you’ll see a live indicator on NFL.com/fantasyfootball if anyone in your league is already hanging out
Because most fans select their fantasy rosters in real time, and many leagues consist of people from across the globe, we think you'll find that hangouts are a natural extension of your (healthy) obsession. Not only can you connect live with your friends on draft day; you can actually gloat celebrate in person, regardless of where your league members are located. We're also upping the number of hangout participants from 10 to 12 on NFL.com/fantasyfootball, since the standard fantasy league has a dozen players.

Fantasy football hangout (top window), live indicator on NFL.com (right), chat bar on NFL.com (bottom-left)

Fantasy football hangouts don’t stop at the draft, however. Throughout the season you’ll be able to:
  • Hang out with your friends to conduct trades, review league business or just chat while watching the game on TV
  • Enjoy fantasy hangouts on the go or on the couch using the new Google+ app for phones and tablets (Android, iOS)
  • Get advice from top NFL Fantasy commentators as they hang out with fans and discuss the week’s results
The +NFL Network will broadcast weekly highlights from some of these commentator hangouts. And of course, you can always share fantasy articles and tips with your circles—either from the NFL’s site, or their newly-launched Google+ page.

Visit NFL.com/fantasyfootball today to sign up, and to prep for your draft via hangout. If you like football but haven’t yet played fantasy, this year’s a great time to start. After all, hangouts help make fantasy football about more than just the game; they’re a great way to build lasting relationships on any given Sunday (and every day in between).

Posted by Nikhyl Singhal, Google+ Product Director
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/google-hangouts-and-nfl-fantasy.html

[G] You asked, we listened: more Android!

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Official Google Mobile Blog: You asked, we listened: more Android!


A few months ago, we asked what content you wanted to see more of on the Google Mobile Blog, and the answer was quite clear: more Android! We launched +Android on Google+ and now we’ve launched the Official Android Blog, a new place for you to find all the latest news from the Android team.

Going forward, the new Android Blog will be a must-read for anyone interested in the latest news like today's Google Wallet announcement. Thanks for being such a great audience over the years.

Posted by the Mobile Blog Team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2012/08/you-asked-we-listened-more-android.html

[G] 450+ new ways to make your Google presentations pop

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Drive Blog: 450+ new ways to make your Google presentations pop

Good design is an important part of getting your point across in a presentation. Over time we’ve added a bunch of features to help you bring a little something extra to your decks, like slide transitions and animations, thousands of free stock photos, and a growing collection of templates.

Today, creating eye-catching presentations gets even easier, with more than 450 new fonts to choose from. (flip through the presentation below to see them in action)


To browse and select new fonts, click on Add fonts from the bottom of the fonts dropdown in the toolbar. This will take you to the menu of all available fonts, where you can pick the ones you want to use.


Any fonts that you select will get automatically added to your fonts list so it’s easy to find them later.


Plus, fonts that you’ve already added to Google documents will automatically appear in your presentations font list too.

So next time you're working on a presentation, jazz it up with some Calligrafitti, Indie Flower, Short Stack, or hundreds of other new choices.

Posted by Erin Rosenbaum, Software Engineer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2012/08/450-new-ways-to-make-your-google.html