Friday, November 2, 2012

[G] Quality Distribution Inc. saves money and increases productivity by going Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Quality Distribution Inc. saves money and increases productivity by going Google

Posted by Cliff Dixon, Vice President of Information Technology, Quality Distribution Inc.

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Cliff Dixon, Vice President of Information Technology, Quality Distribution Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTY), North America’s largest bulk transportation company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.


Quality Distribution, Inc. (QDI) provides safe, efficient and responsible bulk transportation services across the country. What started as a small trucking operation hauling lime and milk in 1913 has grown to more than 125 small offices, many franchises, and 3,000 truck drivers across North America. With multiple offices and employees scattered throughout the United States, having a reliable technology solution is imperative to ensure that we’re providing the best service to our clients.

For years we used traditional PCs company-wide in a Microsoft Exchange environment, which did not foster easy collaboration, communication or access to applications – and employees felt the pain. In 2011, after a pilot session with the IT department, QDI rolled out Google Apps company-wide with the help of Cloud Sherpas. In just a few months, I knew going Google was the right move for QDI. It allowed employees to connect to all of our locations and all of our drivers from anywhere without intensive IT support, and Google Apps was less than half the cost of Microsoft Exchange.

Around the time we deployed Google Apps, our computers started to slow down and break due to age. We refurbished older computers, but their value was minimal since they couldn’t run newer versions of the Windows operating system. In 2010, we started looking into purchasing new devices, including Linux and Chrome OS devices. Ultimately, we decided to move forward with Google Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, deploying 500 devices across 125 locations in the last year.

With Chrome devices, we can spend less time worrying about hardware, and software security patches, and more time focused on optimizing the user experience of our systems. Not only are the devices easy to manage from an IT perspective, but we also expect to save $500,000 on hardware alone over the next five years. As part of our move to Chromebooks, we also web-enabled some of our existing Windows-based apps using HTML5-based virtualization software from Ericom, making them easier to maintain.

Going Google has helped QDI improve collaboration, save money and eliminate IT headaches. Most importantly, our employees are more productive with easy-to-use technology. We’re looking forward to continued growth and providing the best service to our clients with help from Google.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/11/quality-distribution-inc-saves-money.html

[G] Social Fridays: Google+ proves a recipe for success for Epicurious.com

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Inside AdSense: Social Fridays: Google+ proves a recipe for success for Epicurious.com


Every Friday, we’re posting Google+ tips to help publishers make the most of all of the features and resources available. Be sure to check back each week for the latest in our educational Social Fridays series!



A Condé Nast site, Epicurious.com publishes original content from its own editors and leading food authorities from around the world every day. It incorporates more than 30,000 professionally tested and created recipes from celebrity chefs, premier food journalists and renowned cookbook authors, as well as 200,000 member-submitted recipes. Epicurious launched its Google+ page only late last year, and has now grown to over 2 million followers. Achieving the impressive milestone is down to a combination of factors: installing social sharing utilities on the Epicurious site, developing content tailored specifically to both the Google+ interface and to its audience, and embracing the features that are unique to the platform.



“We started projecting growth based on similar growth with new networks,” says Jennifer Gaonach, Digital Consumer Marketing Director, Condé Nast, about their early days on the platform. “But we’ve exceeded the expected growth by many times. It’s great to see; by far it’s our largest network. It’s really taken off.”



A number of slick design features at Epicurious.com help visitors share content and easily interact with the Google+ page. There’s a social sharing sidekick on the site that floats in the left margin alongside most content, as well as a ‘Connect with Epicurious’ module featuring social networks that sits on the top of the ad rail. These social networks also appear in the Epicurious email templates.



Epicurious continues to refine its content strategy to best suit Google+ followers. “We really want to understand how we can engage these users and give them a great experience, and then when it makes sense, drive them back to Epicurious.com,” explains Jennifer. “As our audience has been growing, our editors have increased the frequency of our posts so that anyone who’s following us can know the latest article that’s being posted.” The team usually adds between three and five posts a day, and have found that visual content on Google+ performs particularly well.



Social Reports in Google Analytics reveal that users coming to Epicurious from Google+ are more engaged than visitors from other social media platforms. Google+ is in the top 10 social referrers to the Epicurious pages, and the average visit duration from Google+ is 12% longer than it is from other social media platforms. The number of pages viewed per visit from these users is among the highest of all platforms too.



What’s next? The Epicurious team plans to use Hangouts – high-quality videoconference functionality on Google+ – to create even deeper experiences for followers, including cook-alongs and exclusive chef chats.



Hungry for more? Read the full case study on Epicurious.com’s use of Google+, and feel free to leave a comment on our AdSense +page about this story.



Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/oW0HRmMJFSY/social-fridays-google-proves-recipe-for.html

[G] Impression share changes are coming next week. Download any desired historic reports now.

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Inside AdWords: Impression share changes are coming next week. Download any desired historic reports now.

On October 1st, we announced several improvements and changes for AdWords impression share (IS) reporting planned to happen in early November. When we launch these improvements next week, there will also be changes to the availability of historical IS reporting data.

Preserving pre-October 2012 historical IS data
If you rely on historical impression share data for reporting or decision making, please download all desired historical IS reports immediately. In a few days, you’ll only have access to historical IS data dating back to October 1, 2012.

Posted by Dan Friedman, AdWords Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/11/impression-share-changes-are-coming.html

Thursday, November 1, 2012

[G] Insphere Insurance Solutions comes together with Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Insphere Insurance Solutions comes together with Google Apps

Posted by Steve Jensen, VP of Information Technology at Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc.

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Steve Jensen, Vice President of Information Technology at Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc., one of the fastest growing insurance distribution companies in the U.S. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc. is a distribution company that specializes in meeting the insurance needs of small businesses and middle-income individuals and families. Our field sales force consists of approximately 3,000 independent agents nationwide who offer life, health, long-term care and retirement insurance.

In 2009, we decided we needed to move all of our agents, in more than 80 locations, off of various email systems, including Microsoft® Exchange, onto one platform. This would keep operational costs down and allow our agents and support teams to communicate more effectively. Since our agents rarely come into an office, access from any device was critical.

Today, nearly four years after our initial implementation, Google Apps has dramatically increased productivity and transformed our business. Now, our agents are using Google Docs to collaborate with each other on projects and can meet virtually anywhere using Google+ Hangouts to share ideas and best practices from their experience. With no more servers or software licenses, we reduced our projected costs from other solutions by almost 70 percent. That kind of savings delivers true value to our bottom line.

As a company, we have been able to leverage Google APIs to help us be efficient. When an agent joins or leaves the team, our provisioning system manages all account items with our Google integration.

In addition to the add/change user administration, we utilize Google Groups to constantly maintain distribution lists for email and control file security related to GoogleDrive/Docs. This automated maintenance promotes increased use of Docs collaborative capabilities. An office manager never has to worry about sharing docs or managing a distribution list again.

After this successful integration, we integrated our CRM platform with the Google calendar. All of our agent appointments are pushed to Google Calendar and then to their mobile phone automatically. Any update on the phone is then reversed and posted back to Google and CRM. We were able to leverage the Google platform and its APIs to deliver for the business without incremental licensing costs.

When it comes to recruiting and sustaining our growth, Google Apps has been instrumental in helping us hire new agents quickly while ensuring that they are equipped with the information they need to be successful. With all their documents, calendars and email accessible on the go, our agents are always connected to each other and clients, no matter where they are. This platform has really helped our teams stay connected and collaborate in ways they hadn’t imagined.

IT is no longer a barrier and no one has to wait to meet with someone from the IT department to get going with Google Apps. In fact, I personally haven’t had to pick up the phone once to call an email administrator. It has been truly amazing to see the natural adoption of the product by our field agents.

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/11/insphere-insurance-solutions-comes.html

[G] Introducing structured promotional data for links

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Google Affiliate Network: Introducing structured promotional data for links

It’s no secret that special promotions and coupons are integral to the affiliate channel. If you're a publisher with a shopping-focused website, you know how important it is to present accurate, comprehensive promotions and coupons to your visitors.

Today, we're happy to announce a more structured way to get links with offers, promotion codes, and discounts so you can more easily automate and display the latest advertiser promotions. You now have the ability to search and filter by special offers, promotion codes, and discounts – including Link templates and Publisher-specific links. Read on to learn more about how can now access structured promotion data.

Accessing links with structured promotional data

When you search the interface, you can perform queries that weren't previously possible. For example, try searching search for an Apparel link with Free shipping that has a Promotion code where the discount is greater than 25 percent off. This could be helpful if you have a website where you only want to promote coupons with a significant discount.


We’ve also updated the recommendation engine to help you find more relevant promotional links. If you're a shopping-focused publisher, you'll see that links with special offers, promotion codes, or discounts are more visible.

Links API

Structured link data is also available through the Google Affiliate Network API, so you can programmatically access and display offers, promotion codes, and discounts to your website in real time.

Link subscriptions

You can also get links with special offers, promotion codes, and discounts via Link subscriptions. To access structured link data through Link subscriptions, sign in to your publisher account and upgrade to Link subscriptions Version 2.


Send us your feedback

As always, your feedback is very important. You can click on “Details inaccurate?” in the interface to provide feedback at the link level to help us quickly resolve any potential issues.

If you have feedback or suggestions, let us know what you think by posting a comment here or in the Google Affiliate Network forum.

We’ve worked hard to make these changes to help you achieve greater success this holiday season. Sign in to your account today to access these new link features!

Posted by:
Ali Pasha, Product Manager
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2012/11/introducing-structured-promotional-data.html

[G] Uncover trends and AdSense insights with Analytics

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Inside AdSense: Uncover trends and AdSense insights with Analytics


Knowledge is power: Insightful data on account performance and user behavior can help you optimize your AdSense implementations. By linking your AdSense account to a new or existing Analytics account, you’ll gain access to additional information that can help you identify opportunities to monetize your content more effectively.



Here are just some of the questions you’ll be able to answer when combining AdSense data with reports in Analytics:


  • How are my users interacting with my site? With In-page Analytics, you’ll have access to a visual assessment of how users interact with your web pages. This can help you determine the most strategic locations in which to place ads.



  • Where and why are visitors leaving my site? Identify pages with high bounce rates to determine the percentage of visitors who only see one page during a visit to your site. Users might behave in this way for a variety of reasons, but you can work to provide the best user experience possible by optimizing the content and ad implementation on these pages. 



  • Which traffic sources and URLs help me earn the most? Determine which pages generate the highest AdSense revenue, and then replicate those successful implementations on other parts of your site. You can also set up custom channels for pages that perform well to create attractive placements for advertisers to specifically target. In addition, try content experiments and test different page layouts to compare the performance of key metrics.


To gain these types of insights and more, be sure to link your AdSense and Analytics accounts. Based on publisher feedback, we’ve just improved the linking process to make it more straightforward. Keep in mind that you can only link one AdSense account to one Analytics account, and that the AdSense login must be an ‘Administrator’ on the Analytics account. To get started, visit the ‘Access and Authorization’ section of the Account settings page in your AdSense account and follow the instructions. For more details, please refer to the AdSense Help Center.



To help you get started with your AdSense data in Analytics and show you some relevant information at a glance, we’ve created this easy-to-use dashboard. Select one of your profiles to import, and you’ll be able to quickly see and customize the reports which matter most to you. You can access this dashboard at any time from the relevant profile by clicking the ‘Home’ tab.



Do you have feedback about using Analytics reports or the dashboard? Feel free to leave a comment on our AdSense +page and discuss your thoughts with other publishers.



Posted by Esteban Talavera - Software Engineer, AdSense Reporting



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tuAm/~3/mjQwGkp2hTI/uncover-trends-and-adsense-insights.html

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[G] AMBER Alerts for missing children now in Google Search and Maps

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Official Google Blog: AMBER Alerts for missing children now in Google Search and Maps

Today we are launching AMBER Alerts coordinated by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the Google Public Alerts platform. Public Alerts are designed to bring you emergency alerts when and where they’re relevant to you, and AMBER Alerts aim to help bring abducted children home safely.

If you’re using Google Search or Maps on desktop and mobile you’ll see an AMBER Alert if you search for related information in a particular location where a child has recently been abducted and an alert was issued. You’ll also see an alert if you conduct a targeted search for the situation. By increasing the availability of these alerts through our services, we hope that more people will assist in the search for children featured in AMBER Alerts and that the rates of safe recovery will rise.

AMBER Alerts will provide information about the abducted child and any other details about the case as they become available. Additional details could include the make and model of the vehicle he/she was abducted in or information about the alleged abductor.

Screenshot for a test version of an AMBER alert

The US Department of Justice’s AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and others to engage the entire community in the most serious child-abduction cases. We are working with NCMEC, who will provide the AMBER Alert data to Google and make it possible to display information in Public Alerts.

We’re working closely with Missing Children Europe and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to try and scale this service to more countries. We’ll keep exploring different ways to improve child protection through innovative technologies, like what has been used to reduce exploitation and improve reporting to NCMEC.

Posted by Phil Coakley, software engineer, Google Public Alerts team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/amber-alerts-for-missing-children-now.html

[G] ns-3 networks with students over the summer

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Google Open Source Blog: ns-3 networks with students over the summer


ns-3 is a discrete-event network simulator, with a particular emphasis on network research and education. ns-3 aims to allow researchers to move effortlessly between simulations, testbeds, and live experiments. It is designed to offer a high degree of realism in its models, through frameworks for running real application and kernel code, and also for integrating with virtual machine environments and testbeds.

At the end of the summer, we asked mentors of each of our Google Summer of Code projects to provide summaries of their respective students’ contributions over the summer, each of which is listed below.
Dizhi Zhou developed a set of MAC schedulers to be used with the ns-3 LTE module. The ns-3 LTE module already supported a real-world API (the FemtoForum LTE MAC Scheduler Interface Specification) for the implementation of LTE MAC schedulers. When the summer started only a couple of simple scheduler implementations were available (Round Robin and Proportional Fair). To address this problem, Dizhi implemented eight schedulers (FDMT, TDMT, TTA, FDBET, TDBET, FDTBFQ, TDTBFQ, PSS). In addition to the implementations, Dizhi put a significant effort into writing documentation and validating the performance of the new schedulers using some known reference scenarios. The result is a set of well-documented and well-tested scheduler models that are expected to be merged with the main ns-3 code soon, and will be very useful for many ns-3 users.
By Nicola Baldo, Mentor
Sindhuja Venkatesh developed IPv4 Netfilter and NAT code for ns-3 during her 2012 Google Summer of Code project. This project started by picking up netfilter and connection tracking code that had been partially completed during a previous Google Summer of Code project by Qasim Javed. The first portion of the program worked on updating and refining the Netfilter portion of the code, which provides an extensible mechanism for inserting packet filtering and mangling operations into well-defined locations in the IPv4 stack.  As proof-of-concept, a basic NAT was written on top of this framework.  After the midterm exam, Sindhu continued to work on more complete NAT models by writing dedicated IPv4 NAT code hooked into the netfilter framework.  Two primary modes of NAT were implemented, a static one-to-one NAT and a dynamic NAT with port translation.  A NAT helper object was also written, along with a few examples and documentation for the models.  While there remain a few loose ends to complete before merging to ns-3-dev, we are hopeful to be able to complete and merge these models in the next ns-3 release cycle.
By Tom Henderson, Mentor
Mudit Gupta spent his summer designing and developing interfaces aimed at integrating ns-3 with an HLA (High Level Architecture) Federation. The first issue Mudit was faced with was how to communicate between the various federates. Although ns-3 is compliant with the latest LLVM compilers, the HLA components are not. Hence it was impossible to simply integrate the C++ HLA interfaces into ns-3. The chosen workaround was to build a Java ns-3 Federate object acting as a stub and communicating with the main ns-3 code through “normal” sockets. This solution is sub-optimal and the plan is to move to proper C++ interfeces as soon as the HLA implementations (i.e., Portico or CERTI) will be updated to support LLVM. The second problem was to synchronize the ns-3 time reference with the Federation one. The solution relies on a modification of the real-time ns-3 scheduler, with a virtual clock advanced by the RTI Federation messages rather than the hardware PC clock. The last issue Mudit worked on was the interaction between the Federates. The ns-3 module is able to receive Objects from the Federates along with their Attributes but such Objects and Attributes are currently unspecified, as there is no actual ns-3 module using them. A proof-of-concept module has been developed, showing how to receive the Object and its Attributes.
By Tommaso Pecorella, Mentor

We hope Dizhi, Sindhujha, and Mudit will continue their involvement with the ns-3 project, and community outside of Google Summer of Code as well. On a concluding note, we’d like to thank Google once again for accepting us into the program this year. We look forward to applying for Google Summer of Code 2013!

By Lalith Suresh, ns-3 Organization Administrator
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2012/10/ns-3-networks-with-students-over-summer.html

[G] Share your work from Google Drive to Google+

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Share your work from Google Drive to Google+

Posted by Li-Wei Lee, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted on the Google Drive Blog.)

With Google+, you can share what you want with just the right people. That might be pictures from your team offsite or an article from your favorite new blog. Starting today, you can also share the work you create and store in Google Drive, and people will be able to flip through presentations, open PDFs, play videos and more--directly in the Google+ stream.

(click the image above to view a presentation in the stream)

Forms shared in the stream, like feedback surveys or lunch order polls, are interactive as well and can be completed with just a couple of clicks.



To share, paste the link to the Drive file directly in the share box inside Google+. And, if you use Google Apps for Business, Education or Government you can make the post restricted to ensure that the discussion is only visible to people in your organization.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/10/making-your-google-drive-content-look_31.html

[G] Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

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Official Google CPG Blog: Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars


Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

Over the next few weeks, we’re offering four opportunities to learn more about Google+ for your business. We kick off with a Learn with Google Hangout on Air with bestselling author +Chris Brogan on November 5th at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Chris will cover tactics for successful social marketing and discuss his new book, “Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything.” RSVP for the Hangout on the Google+ Event page.


Learn Chris’s recipes for how to grow and engage your Google+ community to build your brand and drive your business’s visibility and conversions. Hear about Chris’s own experiences helping companies succeed in their content marketing and social projects. Chris Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author, CEO of Human Business Works, and advises companies on marketing, business strategy, communications and more.

If you have a question for Chris, leave your question as a comment on the Google+ Event.

Boost your success with Google+

Want to learn more about using Google+ for your business? Sign up for our Learn with Google webinars. Here are some great upcoming webinars to help you get the most out of social for your business:

  • Social that Adds Up: Performance and Measurement (Thurs, Nov 8, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Supercharge your Social Media Initiatives with Video (Wed, Nov 14, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Building a Digital Brand with Google+ (Thurs, Dec 6, 10am PT / 1pm ET)


Posted by Lindsay Rumer, Google+ for Business
URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2012/10/take-your-social-strategy-to-next-level.html

[G] Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

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Google Analytics Blog: Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars


Over the next few weeks, we’re offering four opportunities to learn more about Google+ for your business. We kick off with a Learn with Google Hangout on Air with bestselling author +Chris Brogan on November 5th at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Chris will cover tactics for successful social marketing and discuss his new book, “Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything.” RSVP for the Hangout on the Google+ Event page











Learn Chris’s recipes for how to grow and engage your Google+ community to build your brand and drive your business’s visibility and conversions. Hear about Chris’s own experiences helping companies succeed in their content marketing and social projects. Chris Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author, CEO of Human Business Works, and advises companies on marketing, business strategy, communications and more.





If you have a question for Chris, leave your question as a comment on the Google+ Event.





Boost your success with Google+





Want to learn more about using Google+ for your business? Sign up for our Learn with Google webinars. Here are some great upcoming webinars to help you get the most out of social for your business:


  • Social that Adds Up: Performance and Measurement (Thurs, Nov 8, 10am PT / 1pm ET)

  • Supercharge your Social Media Initiatives with Video (Wed, Nov 14, 10am PT / 1pm ET)

  • Building a Digital Brand with Google+ (Thurs, Dec 6, 10am PT / 1pm ET)



Posted by the Google Analytics team




URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/oR29cqmHQZk/take-your-social-strategy-to-next-level.html

[G] Explore the world with tour guide and 3D imagery in Google Earth 7

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Google Lat Long: Explore the world with tour guide and 3D imagery in Google Earth 7


A few months ago, we announced Google Earth for mobile, which offered new ways to see cities in 3D and a new tour guide feature to help you discover places of interest on the go. Starting today, you can get both of those features on a bigger screen that makes it even easier to explore by downloading Google Earth 7 on your desktop. Check out the comprehensive and accurate tours of more than 11,000 popular sites around the world, including our growing list of cities where new 3D imagery is available.

The new tour guide feature in Google Earth 7
The tour guide feature serves as a local expert, suggesting nearby places you might want to explore and helping you learn about those locations. For whichever area you’re viewing in Google Earth, thumbnails highlighting pre-created tours in the same area will dynamically update at the bottom of the screen. Simply click on one of the tours, and you’ll embark on a virtual flyover of famous, historical and cultural sites close by. Educational and fun facts from Wikipedia will also appear on the screen as you fly in and around locations like the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, and more.

New 3D imagery of Munich, Germany
In addition, Google Earth 7 now includes the comprehensive, accurate 3D imagery we’ve already made available on Android and iOS for Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Lawrence, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Tampa, Tucson, Rome and the San Francisco Bay Area (including the Peninsula and East Bay). And today, we’re adding more 3D imagery for a handful of metropolitan regions including Avignon, France; Austin, Texas; Munich, Germany; Phoenix, Arizona; and Mannheim, Germany. The experience of flying through these areas and seeing the buildings, terrain and even the trees rendered in 3D is now consistent across both mobile and desktop devices -- making all of your virtual travels more realistic than ever.

Download Google Earth 7 and be sure to check out the Google Earth website for more tips and tricks.

Posted by Peter Birch, Google Earth Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/10/explore-world-with-tour-guide-and-3d.html

[G] A Smarter Dictionary for Translation

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Google Translate Blog: A Smarter Dictionary for Translation

Mahatma Gandhi tells us that "Love is the strongest force the world possesses." Love comes in many forms, and each has different translations. Today, we are introducing three new features to Google Translate that help to distinguish among translations of a word, because no love should ever be lost in translation.

Reverse translations. Our users often tell us that they check our translations by translating them back into their original language. Reverse translations can distinguish translations of different meanings and reveal subtle differences among similar words. Each translation is now annotated with its most frequent reverse translations.



With reverse translations as a guide, you can pick from dozens of languages to tell your love that they are your darling (querido) and not just your hobby (afición).

Frequencies. The French novelist Gustave Flaubert was known to spend hours on end in pursuit of le mot juste—the perfect word. At Google, we prefer to deliver results in an instant, ranked in order of relevance. Frequency indicators now mark each translation as common, uncommon, or rare, based on the vast number of translations we use to train our system. The rarest translations are hidden by default, but appear easily with a click. Your search for the perfect translation should now be more efficient than ever.  

Synonyms. Languages often contain different words that share a common meaning. Instead of one long list, our results now group synonymous translations together, so that you can quickly identify clusters of related words.



This feature is currently available only when translating into English, but we intend to support more languages soon.

We hope that these new features will help you explore the grand variety of words in the world's many languages. Consider this new, smarter dictionary for translation as one more way of saying “love” from all of us on the Google Translate team to you.

Posted by John DeNero, Research Scientist and Minqi Jiang, Associate Product Manager, Google Translate.
URL: http://googletranslate.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-smarter-dictionary-for-translation.html

[G] Announcing the winners of 2012 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants

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Google Lat Long: Announcing the winners of 2012 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants

(Cross posted from Geo Developer Blog) 

In 2011, Google Earth Outreach launched a new program to fund nonprofits that want to create cutting-edge maps for public good. Today, we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2012 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants program. We’ve selected eight nonprofit organizations, listed below, that have presented a compelling ideas for a new map or mapping technology that will make a positive impact on the world. Each winner received a grant to support the technical development of their map. The winners include:

  • Wild South - Cherokee Trails: Google Earth tours, a map, and an Android app documenting Cherokee Indian geography and the struggle of the Cherokee to remain in their homeland.
  • Internews -Change of States Map: a Maps API application documenting local impacts and adaptations to climate change in the US.

Work is already in progress on each of the projects, so check back on our Developer Grants page in the coming months to see these maps come to life, and to explore maps created by last year’s grantees.


Watch this video to see an example of a Google Earth Tour made possible by the 2011 Developer Grants program is the Arctic Tern Migration, created by the Atlantic Public Media.

We’re very excited about the organizations that were funded this year, and we wish to thank these hardworking organizations who are improving conditions for people and the planet.

Posted by Tanya Birch, Google Earth Outreach


*These organizations were funded through the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund at the Tides Foundation.
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/10/announcing-winners-of-2012-google-earth.html

[G] Large Scale Language Modeling in Automatic Speech Recognition

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Google Research Blog: Large Scale Language Modeling in Automatic Speech Recognition

Posted by Ciprian Chelba, Research Scientist




At Google, we’re able to use the large amounts of data made available by the Web’s fast growth. Two such data sources are the anonymized queries on google.com and the web itself. They help improve automatic speech recognition through large language models: Voice Search makes use of the former, whereas YouTube speech transcription benefits significantly from the latter.



The language model is the component of a speech recognizer that assigns a probability to the next word in a sentence given the previous ones. As an example, if the previous words are “new york”, the model would assign a higher probability to “pizza” than say “granola”. The n-gram approach to language modeling (predicting the next word based on the previous n-1 words) is particularly well-suited to such large amounts of data: it scales gracefully, and the non-parametric nature of the model allows it to grow with more data. For example, on Voice Search we were able to train and evaluate 5-gram language models consisting of 12 billion n-grams, built using large vocabularies (1 million words), and trained on as many as 230 billion words.







The computational effort pays off, as highlighted by the plot above: both word error rate (a measure of speech recognition accuracy) and search error rate (a metric we use to evaluate the output of the speech recognition system when used in a search engine) decrease significantly with larger language models.



A more detailed summary of results on Voice Search and a few YouTube speech transcription tasks (authors: Ciprian Chelba, Dan Bikel, Maria Shugrina, Patrick Nguyen, Shankar Kumar) presents our results when increasing both the amount of training data, and the size of the language model estimated from such data. Depending on the task, availability and amount of training data used, as well as language model size and the performance of the underlying speech recognizer, we observe reductions in word error rate between 6% and 10% relative, for systems on a wide range of operating points.






URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/FS-fkS_Yw0A/large-scale-language-modeling-in.html

[G] Celebrating Leonardo Torres-Quevedo, Spanish inventor of the world’s first computer game

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Official Google Blog: Celebrating Leonardo Torres-Quevedo, Spanish inventor of the world’s first computer game

What does a cable car in Niagara Falls have to do with the world’s first chess-playing machine? Surprisingly, both were inventions of Spanish civil engineer Leonardo Torres-Quevedo. Next week, as part of our ongoing effort to celebrate Europe’s computing heritage, we’re commemorating Torres-Quevedo’s legacy and his remarkable machine—"El Ajedrecista" (in English, "The Chess Player")—in partnership with the Telecommunication Engineering department of the Technical University of Madrid.

Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons

Torres-Quevedo’s inventions span many fields. He was the second in the world to demonstrate wireless remote control, beaten to the post only by Nikola Tesla. His designs for airships were used by both the French and British during WWI. He was a global leader in cable car design, creating the “Spanish aero car” over the Niagara Whirlpool which, nearly a century on, remains a tourist attraction. However, his most remarkable achievements were in the field of automation, developing machines that are antecedents to what we now call computers and robots.

Torres-Quevedo’s ambitions were bold. As Scientific American proclaimed in 1915: “He would substitute machinery for the human mind.” In the 1890s, Torres-Quevedo built a series of mechanical devices that solved algebraic equations. In 1920 he wowed a Paris audience with an electromechanical arithmometer with a typewriter attachment. You simply typed a formula—say, “24x48”—and the machine would calculate and automatically type the answer “=1152” in reply.

But El Ajedrecista, an algorithmically powered machine that could play an end-game of chess against a human opponent completely automatically, is his most notable creation. Although it’s a far cry from Deep Blue, El Ajedrecista can lay claim to being the world’s first (analog) computer game.

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Photos thanks to Museo Torres Quevedo

The machine didn’t just calculate its moves—it had mechanical arms that physically moved its pieces, in the form of electrical jacks, across a grid. In later models the arm mechanism was replaced by magnets, and play took place on a more ordinary-looking chess board. You couldn’t cheat the machine as it could spot illegal moves; and you couldn’t win, as the game always started at a point (machine’s King and Rook versus human’s King) from which the machine could never lose.

In honor of El Ajedrecista’s 100th birthday, we’re working with the Telecommunication Engineering department of the Technical University of Madrid to stage a conference commemorating Torres-Quevedo’s legacy. The conference, taking place on November 7, will feature lectures and panel discussions, as well as an exhibition of Torres-Quevedo’s devices—including El Ajedrecista itself. Attendance is free—if you want to join us, request an invitation.

Posted by Lynette Webb, Senior Manager, External Relations
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/celebrating-leonardo-torres-quevedo.html

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[G] Google’s most advanced voice search has arrived on iOS

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Official Google Blog: Google’s most advanced voice search has arrived on iOS

When you have a question, finding the answer should be effortless—wherever you are and whatever device you’re using. The new Google Search app for iPhone and iPad helps you to do just that with enhanced voice search that answers any question with the comprehensive Google search results you know and love.

Fast and accurate voice recognition technology enables Google to understand exactly what you’re saying. Getting an answer is as simple as tapping on the microphone icon and asking a question like, “Is United Airlines flight 318 on time?” Your words appear as you speak, you get your answer immediately and—if it’s short and quick, like the status and departure time of your flight—Google tells you the answer aloud.

You can get answers to an increasingly wide variety of questions thanks to Knowledge Graph, which gives our search technology an understanding of people, places and things in the real world. Here are a few of the questions that Google can answer:
  • “What does Yankee Stadium look like?” Google will show you hundreds of pictures instantly.
  • “Play me a trailer of the upcoming James Bond movie.” The trailer starts playing immediately right within Google Search. 
  • “When does daylight savings time end?” The answer will appear above the search results, so you can set your clock without having to click on a link. 
  •  “Who’s in the cast of The Office?” See a complete cast list and find out who made you crack up last night. 


Download the Google Search App on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and find out how much wood a woodchuck would chuck (if a woodchuck could chuck wood).

Posted by Kenneth Bongort, Engineer, Google Search
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/googles-most-advanced-voice-search-has.html

[G] Return on investment analysis for all your digital channels

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Google Analytics Blog: Return on investment analysis for all your digital channels


Google Analytics has been a great place to analyze the performance of your Google advertising programs, but a piece of the puzzle has been missing: analyzing return on investment across all your digital channels. That’s why we’re happy to announce our new Cost Data Import tool, now available in public beta. This tool allows Google Analytics users to import their cost data from any digital source -- such as paid search providers, display providers, affiliates, email, social and even organic traffic.

Your imported cost data can be viewed in two places: in a new report called Cost Analysis in Traffic Sources, and in the newly publicly available Attribution Modeling Tool. These reports show you how all your digital marketing channels are performing compared to each other, so you can make better decisions about your marketing programs.

To take advantage of cost analysis, you can upload data in two ways: via a self-service API, or using solutions created by independent application providers. These solution providers include:


Our early customers are already loving it! Here are some success stories:
“Most of our paid search and social advertising decisions were made strictly based on a conversion pixel and CPA. We really didn't have the resources or the energy to continue to pull data and work it backward for detailed analysis. Now that we can import raw data into Google Analytics using NEXT Analytics v5, we can quickly and easily look for insights - just as we do with Adwords."
-- Darcy Foster, President, Natural Wellbeing (with Cardinal Path
“Before, we used to manually match paid search cost to revenue data in Excel. With AutomateAnalytics.com GA Data Uploader, we have been able to automate this process, and can now much more accurately measure paid search campaign ROI within Google Analytics."
-- David Jaeger, Director of SEM, National Positions 
“Using the ‘In2GA’ cost data import tool from ShufllePoint, our partners at E-Nor can improve the performance of our paid search channel more efficiently.This translates into quicker insights comparing campaign metrics, ad effectiveness, and keyword performance at one glance instead of logging into multiple systems. Any application or feature that streamlines data collection for analysis, ultimately impacting the bottom line positively, is welcomed. Thanks for the continued innovations and look forward to more.”
-- Michael Rosito, Founder & President OEMPCWorld.com
Cost Data Import will be rolling out over the next month. If your account has been enabled, you should be able to see the Cost Analysis report show up in the Traffic Sources menu on the left-hand side of the Google Analytics interface (in the Standard Reporting tab). We hope this tool will provide a clearer view of your media performance across all your channels and help you make more informed budgeting decisions.


Posted by Laura Holmes, Product Manager
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2012/10/return-on-investment-analysis-for-all.html

[G] Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

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Inside AdWords: Take your social strategy to the next level with Learn with Google Hangouts and Webinars

Over the next few weeks, we’re offering five opportunities to learn more about Google+ for your business. We kick off with a Learn with Google Hangout on Air with bestselling author +Chris Brogan on November 5th at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Chris will cover tactics for successful social marketing and discuss his new book, “Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything.” RSVP for the Hangout on the Google+ Event page.


Learn Chris’s recipes for how to grow and engage your Google+ community to build your brand and drive your business’s visibility and conversions. Hear about Chris’s own experiences helping companies succeed in their content marketing and social projects. Chris Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author, CEO of Human Business Works, and advises companies on marketing, business strategy, communications and more.

If you have a question for Chris, leave your question as a comment on the Google+ Event.

Boost your success with Google+

Want to learn more about using Google+ for your business? Sign up for our Learn with Google webinars. Here are some great upcoming webinars to help you get the most out of social for your business:

  • Social Media Best Practices for a Successful Holiday Season (Wed, Oct 31, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Social that Adds Up: Performance and Measurement (Thurs, Nov 8, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Supercharge your Social Media Initiatives with Video (Wed, Nov 14, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • Building a Digital Brand with Google+ (Thurs, Dec 6, 10am PT / 1pm ET)
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/10/take-your-social-strategy-to-next-level.html

[G] Introducing the new compose in Gmail

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Official Gmail Blog: Introducing the new compose in Gmail

Posted by Phil Sharp, Product Manager

We're always trying to make Gmail faster and easier to use, so today we're introducing a completely redesigned compose and reply experience that does just that.

Faster
How many times have you been writing an email and had to reference something in another message? Saving a draft, opening the old email, and then reopening your draft wastes valuable minutes. The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger).
This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft. You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later.

Easier to use
The new compose is designed to let you focus on what's important: your message. The controls are still there when you need them but get out of the way when you don’t. We’ve even added some new features like the ability to easily insert inline images and have more to come.

And, when you add recipients to your message, you'll see profile pictures of your contacts in autocomplete helping you find the right person faster. You can also drag and drop the new address chips between to:, cc: and bcc:. When you’re done adding recipients, the address area collapses automatically to get out of your way.
You’ll also see these same changes when you respond to a message. The reply experience has been designed to fit better inline as part of your conversation -- replies take up much less vertical height, intelligently expand to fit your content, and always keep the recipients and other controls in view no matter how long your message gets.

We're rolling out a preview of the new compose and reply today. After we've added some finishing touches over the coming months, we’ll enable it for everyone.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/introducing-new-compose-in-gmail.html

[G] Holiday optimization tips for publishers

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Google Affiliate Network: Holiday optimization tips for publishers

With the holidays quickly approaching, advertisers are trying to reach more customers. Now is the time to make the most of Google Affiliate Network – use the below insights and tips from our recent interface updates and optimization checklist to boost your performance this holiday season.

Update your publisher profile
Discover and apply to more advertiser programs
Get links and keep them fresh
  • Review Recommended links to see Staff picks and Exclusives.
  • Use automated services like Link subscriptions, Product subscriptions, and the Links API to easily keep links, special offers, promotions and products updated.
  • Get banner and dynamic links. The larger ad sizes for banner and dynamic links are more visual and easier for users to read and interact with.
  • If your site has an active user base and you’re driving a lot of conversions for an advertiser, ask them to create a co-branded landing page to help increase conversion.
Optimize your website
  • Make sure your website is updated for peak promotional seasons, and set aside inventory for Google Affiliate Network ads.
Track performance and take action on reporting insights
  • Use Creative reports to review link performance and find the top-performing creatives and links for your site.
  • Review your analytics to determine your most relevant content and top performing links.
  • Identify top-selling products through Product-related reports, then optimize for these products.
  • Order-level payment reports show you the list of orders that have been paid out in any given month.
Sign in to your publisher account today and take advantage of these optimization features. Cheers to a successful and productive holiday season!

Posted by:
Emily Harris, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2012/10/holiday-optimization-tips-for-publishers.html

[G] Introducing the new compose in Gmail

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The Google Apps Blog: Introducing the new compose in Gmail

Posted by Phil Sharp, Product Manager

We're always trying to make Gmail faster and easier to use, so today we're introducing a completely redesigned compose and reply experience that does just that.

Faster
How many times have you been writing an email and had to reference something in another message? Saving a draft, opening the old email, and then reopening your draft wastes valuable minutes. The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger).
This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft. You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later.

Easier to use
The new compose is designed to let you focus on what's important: your message. The controls are still there when you need them but get out of the way when you don’t. We’ve even added some new features like the ability to easily insert inline images and have more to come.

And, when you add recipients to your message, you'll see profile pictures of your contacts in autocomplete helping you find the right person faster. You can also drag and drop the new address chips between to:, cc: and bcc:. When you’re done adding recipients, the address area collapses automatically to get out of your way.
You’ll also see these same changes when you respond to a message. The reply experience has been designed to fit better inline as part of your conversation -- replies take up much less vertical height, intelligently expand to fit your content, and always keep the recipients and other controls in view no matter how long your message gets.

We're rolling out a preview of the new compose and reply today. After we've added some finishing touches over the coming months, we’ll enable it for everyone.
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/VfGvhJqudRQ/introducing-new-compose-in-gmail.html