Wednesday, October 31, 2007

By the pricking of our thumbs...



... something Googley this way comes.



It's that time of year, when ghouls, goblins, and Zeitghosts roam Google in search of fresh human bandwidth. We hope you enjoy these Halloween photos from several of our offices, and wish you a safe -- but suitably scary -- celebration.

And if you're looking to plot that perfect trick-or-treat route, might we recommend the My Maps feature on Google maps? You can even tag videos and pictures from your spooky night, highlighting your favorite stops. If you like seeing our ghoulish get-ups, you can use Picasa Web Albums to share yours with kindred costumed spirits.

Now get out there and enjoy All Hallow's Eve.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's not about the spam



When Gmail's spam filters are working perfectly, no one talks to us anti-spam engineers. But as soon as something goes wrong, our users, our friends, and even our Google colleagues who use Gmail for their corporate mail are sure to tell us. That's just the way we like it. Spam is not something people should grow numb to and accept as a fact of life. We *want* people to complain. That's the only way things get better.

Due in large part to all the great feedback we get, things are better. We're keeping more spam out of your inbox than ever before, so more and more, you can use Gmail for things you enjoy without even realizing that the spam filter is there most of the time. It's not too different from driving a convertible down the freeway with the top down, with the wind blowing through your hair and no traffic jams to destroy the mood. Now, I'm not saying we're perfect, but the really good news is that it seems like spammers are finally starting to get discouraged. Attempts to spam Gmail users have been leveling off over the last year and more recently, even declining slightly. We need your help clicking on the "Report Spam" button, but through continuous improvement we are approaching the world we all want to live in.



As much as we don't want you to even think about spam, people are naturally curious and ask questions such as "where does spam come from?", "who buys the shoddy stuff spammers advertise?" and "how do you catch spam?" We're engineers, though, not forensic experts or economists, so while we can only speculate about the first two questions, we can talk authoritatively about the last one -- spam-catching. To that end, we've put together a video explaining how our spam filters work:



Now if we could only get a "Report Traffic" button in our cars ...

Friday, October 26, 2007

About the Google Education Summit



Since the dot-com bust in 2000, many colleges and universities nationwide have seen a decline (oftentimes quite dramatic) in computer science program enrollments. Many factors have been cited as possible causes including economic troubles in the high-tech sector, job off-shoring, the perceived image of computer science, and the growing complexity of programming. Recently, there's been a more critical examination of this crisis in computing, and stakeholders have proposed many targeted programs and curriculum changes to help stem the tide of students choosing not to pursue computing as a discipline.

In this vein, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently launched the CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH) program aimed at transforming undergraduate computing education. NSF has taken a multi-pronged approach, including what it describes as "community-building efforts that bring stakeholders together to discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in transforming undergraduate computing education."

After conversations with some of our colleagues at NSF, we organized the Google Education Summit this summer, held in conjunction with our annual Faculty Summit. Its aim was to bring together a group of leaders in computer science education for presentations and discussions centering on how we can promote greater participation in computer science.

The Google Education Summit was attended by representatives from academia, NSF, CRA (Computing Research Association), and industry, including IBM, Intel, and Microsoft. This broad range of participants helped to foster a real discussion that showcased academic initiatives already in the works to address enrollment declines, as well as explore ways that industry and academia can work more cooperatively on the issue.

Many attendees reported that they enjoyed having an open dialog -- and sometimes heated debate -- with a variety of stakeholders. To share some of the ideas more broadly, all our Education Summit presenters have agreed to distribute their presentations under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. All of these files are in the PDF format.
Panel: Addressing enrollment declines and increasing participation by underrepresented groups in CS
Panel: How can academia and industry work together to address educational issues?
We hope you find these presentations insightful, and we look forward to further exploration of how we can work more effectively with educators to help increase participation in computer science.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wildfire relief donations



Nearly one million people have been displaced by the devastating wildfires in Southern California. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are actively helping the victims of this disaster. If you'd like to contribute to their efforts, you can make a donation via our "Support Wildfire Relief" page.

One year mark for Google Apps Education Edition



It's been one year since we unveiled Google Apps Education Edition and we've seen great progress in that time. Thousands of educational institutions on six continents now use Google Apps, and we have hundreds of thousands of active users. We want to thank our customers for providing feedback and having an open dialogue with us. Based on feedback from lots of folks, we have rolled in more than 40 product and feature updates in this first year, including:
By keeping in touch with key customers, we can make the changes and additions necessary to truly meet your needs. Our Google@School event was a great success in connecting with our customers and gathering feedback last year, check out the video:



And this year at the Educause conference in Seattle we're announcing the first Customer Advisory Board (CAB) for Google Apps Education Edition. They are:
These members represent a cross-section of the educational community as well as the range of institutions using Google Apps. We're meeting for the first time this week to address the needs and demands of all types of educational institutions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

API, gadgets, and tabs, oh my!



Today, we're pleased to let you know about two new updates from Google Finance. First, we're releasing a new Google Finance tab on iGoogle. This new tab is a dashboard of financial gadgets which enable you to add, customize and share your Google Finance experience. But here's what's extra cool about these gadgets -- they now have communication skills and can "talk" to each other. When you make an update in one gadget, it automatically syncs with the other gadgets in the tab.

Second, if you're a gadget developer, we've made it a lot easier to make a gadget with market data. We're releasing a gadget API for market data which provides a framework for developers to display stock market information from the American, Nasdaq and New York stock exchanges within a gadget on Google properties. We believe this is the first free gadget API for market data for developers and hope you have fun with it.

Read more on the Google Finance blog.

Google Tip of the Day gadget



One of the great things about working at Google is the breadth and depth of ideas that people come up with. Our development process is primarily bottom-up and driven by the enthusiasm of those same people, so these ideas are frequently translated into new products, services and features. A side effect is that these improvements are sometimes launched at such a pace that even Googlers have a hard time keeping up, and some of the best aspects can be lost in the shuffle.

We hate to see a good feature go unnoticed, so we have used some of our 20 percent time to create a new gadget to help you discover them. The Google Tip of the Day gadget highlights some of the lesser-known or recently added members of the Google lineup, providing short, easily digested descriptions and examples. A new feature is covered each weekday, and you can catch up on what has been previously shown as well.

Here's today's tip:



You can add the gadget to your iGoogle homepage, or generate code to embed it in your web page or blog.

We know that many of you have tips and tricks of your own; soon we'll be adding functionality so you can submit your own tips that can be featured in the gadget. For now, if you have a tip you'd like to share, you can post it in our Google Group for Tips.

Free IMAP for Gmail



When I joined Google a little over a year ago, I'd been working in the same field for several years and I wanted to do "something different." It seems I got my wish: together with an excellent team, I helped develop IMAP for Gmail. And today, we're starting to roll it out on every device, for free.

Plenty of devices you use every day can take advantage of IMAP, a technology that lets you keep all your email in sync automatically as you read and sort it. Your smart phone most likely supports it, as does your PDA, laptop, desktop computer, etc. To learn more about IMAP, please have a look at the Gmail Blog, which describes it in more detail, or the Gmail Help Center, which explains exactly how to set it up. And if you have an iPhone, check out our "What's New" page to learn how to start using IMAP in a matter of minutes. And remember, we're rolling out IMAP starting today, so if you don't see it in "Settings," don't worry, it will be there soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Southern California fire maps



The devastating wildfires in Southern California have burned more than 373,000 acres of land; 350,000 homes have been evacuated. Lots of people have pulled together to make maps with information about the fires, including the burn zones, evacuation alerts, evacuation centers, safe areas, and closed roads. Here's a list of some of the most widely-used fire maps that our Google Maps team is aware of. We hope everyone is safe and that relief comes soon.

San Diego County Fires - KPBS is updating this map every 5 to 15 minutes with the latest information on the spread of the fire. It appears to be one of the most up-to-date and includes lots of information about evacuation alerts and evacuation centers. It also shows burn zones drawn on the map.

Los Angeles Times 10-23-07 Fires - Includes status updates on each of the fires, including the number of acres burned, percentage contained, the amount of property damage, injuries and evacuations. The LA Times is updating this quite frequently.

Wildfires in Southern California - Fire status updates, closed roads, evacuation alerts, and photos by the Los Angeles Daily News.

San Diego Under Siege: Witch Creek and Harris Fires info and maps - This map is focused on the Witch Creek and Harris fires. It appears to have been created by someone who lives in the area who is updating the map as more news appears on TV.

Fire Updates and Road Closures - This map is specifically about the fires in Santa Clarita, including road closures, burn zones, property damage, and injures.

Witch Creek Fire - This one is specifically about the Witch Creek fire. It doesn't seem to be getting updated as frequently now; apparently the creator had to leave.

The Orange County Register - Updates from the Register on each of the fires, including evacuated areas, start time, origin, property damage, etc.

Wildfire Photos - Photos from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Wildfire Videos - Videos from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

2007 Wildfires - Burn zones and evacuation centers from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Los Angeles Times 10-22-07 Fires - Fire news from yesterday by the Los Angeles Times.

Malibu Wildfire Info From blog.sudosu.net - Specific information about the fires in Malibu. Updates are based on news from the TV and web.


Update: There's now a Google Earth overlay. Read more on the LatLong Blog. (10/25)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Spotlight on Seattle



Our Seattle/Kirkland engineering office just celebrated its third birthday! And like our friends in New York who recently commemorated an anniversary, we too had a very special cake to mark the occasion, as you can see here.



This is the home of many great products, including Google Talk, Google Pack, Sitemaps, Site Optimizer, and Google Toolbar for Firefox. If we do say so ourselves, we have also made major contributions to the core search engine, Google Maps, Google's advertising technology, Video Search and Video Ads. There's all kinds of work going on in Google Seattle/Kirkland, and we're always looking for great people to help us out. So to celebrate our birthday, we're excited to announce that we just opened a Fremont office (just north of downtown) as the latest addition to our family of Seattle-area locations.

We don't like to brag here in the Pacific Northwest, but unlike Mountain View headquarters, we actually have a view of the mountains. Kirkland is a lovely city nestled on Lake Washington, with views of the water, the Seattle skyline, and of course Mount Rainier, which is by far the area's most impressive (and hopefully most dormant) volcano.

Kirkland features numerous great local restaurants, shops, sports bars, nightclubs, spas and salons. And we're just minutes from Seattle -- a beautiful city with a great music scene, two side-by-side stadiums, and a famous miniature replica of Toronto's space needle. Plus we have no state tax. Not that we would make a big deal out of something like that, but it's *definitely* not 8.75% like our neighbors to the south ...

What else can we tell you? We have three lovely ski resorts within an hour's drive, including Snoqualmie Pass, the nation's largest night-skiing facility. And the world-famous Whistler/Blackcomb resort is just a few hours' drive across the Canadian border. We're proud of our great football team and our great baseball team. Oh, and if you'd like to buy the Sonics, please contact Clayton Bennett.

Helping law enforcement to combat online child exploitation



To support law enforcement work in combating Internet-related crimes against children, last week we participated in the 6th Annual Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) National Conference in San Jose, California. Each year, the ICAC National Conference brings together hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement investigators, forensic experts and prosecutors to participate in workshops and lectures that provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to investigate and prosecute online crimes against children.

My conference session, entitled “Google: Combating the Online Exploitation of Children,” gave the attendees an overview of our products and tips for law enforcement agencies on how to work effectively with Google on child exploitation investigations.

ICAC Task Forces across the country are doing invaluable work in investigating and pursuing online child exploitation cases, and we're pleased to be sharing technical knowledge and resources with people working on the front lines in this battle. Government and industry interaction through the ICAC National Conference is critical to online child protection, and we plan to remain engaged with law enforcement in an effort to protect children on the Internet.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Get your iGoogle in 42 languages



Earlier this week, iGoogle launched in 13 new languages, bringing the total number of supported languages to 42 and the total number of country domains supported to over 70. For those of you who don't know, iGoogle is a personalized version of the Google homepage that lets you select the content that matters to you most from across the web and arrange it in a way that you find useful and fun. People rely on iGoogle to save time by putting all the information and services they need in one place. They also use it to discover new content through the iGoogle gadget directory.

With this launch, more than 99% of Internet users can take advantage of these features in their native language, which is really exciting for us. We're particularly curious to see what iGoogle ends up looking like in these new languages. For example, who would have guessed that 'Tu Nombre en Japonés' (Your name in Japanese) would be among the top 20 gadgets in Chile and Spain? (Mine is Jえすしか, by the way.) Because users and developers ultimately decide what iGoogle will look like in each of these new domains, we can't be sure what will be popular, which is part of the fun.

If you're a developer who speaks one of the languages below, now is a great opportunity to get your cool gadget idea out to a fresh audience. For more information, visit our Gadget APIs page. Who knows, maybe it'll be the next 'Tu Nombre en Japonés.'





Here's a list of the new languages available:

* Arabic
* Bulgarian
* Catalan
* Croatian
* Icelandic
* Indonesian
* Latvian
* Lithuanian
* Malay
* Serbian
* Slovak
* Slovenian
* Tagalog

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Helpful suggestions around the globe



In addition to constantly improving our search algorithms to provide the best answer to your queries, we also look for ways to help when you don't know what exactly to type into the search box to get to the perfect result. When you are looking for information on a specific topic, we offer query suggestions on the search results page that you can click on to find information faster. Sometimes, the suggestions enable you to quickly narrow down the search. Sometimes, we present interesting related concepts that encourage you to explore further.

You won't see these suggestions all the time; we only present them when we think they are relevant and useful.

We launched search suggestions in a set of countries a while ago, and even wrote about them in Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Now, we've expanded our coverage to a much larger set of languages. Now, when you're searching on Google you're likely to see suggestions in your local language.

For help with local travel, Hungarians can get some great suggestions on Budapest, Slovaks may want to go to Bratislava, and Romanians can find helpful information on bucuresti. In Thailand, you're probably interested in relaxing on a beach in Phuket. If you are in Vietnam, you might search the popular tourist destinations Nha Trang or Hoi An.

If you are in soccer-crazed (read, football crazed) Europe, you can look up your favorite football topics on Google. Check out how your local Moscow футбол team, спартак is doing. Turkish fans can also search local stars from galatasaray or beşiktaş.

Looking for a local entertainment update? Look up your favorite singers שלמה ארצי in Israel, and Ibrahim Tatlises in Turkey. Russians, you could be interested in the popular Russian TV series Кадетство.

Query suggestions are now available in about 40 languages worldwide. If you don't see them in your country, we're working on getting them to you soon.

When you don't know quite what you're looking for, let us help you with suggestions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Latest content ID tool for YouTube



A few months ago, we announced the initial development of a highly complicated technology platform -- content identification tools for YouTube. Today, we are pleased to launch, in beta form, YouTube Video Identification.

Video Identification is the next step in a long list of content policies and tools that we have provided copyright owners so that they can more easily identify their content and manage how it is made available on YouTube.

Video Identification joins the following policies and tools:

  • Our strict repeat-infringer policy, which has been in place since our launch, terminates accounts of repeat infringers based on DMCA notices.
  • We take a unique "hash" of every video removed for copyright infringement and block re-upload of that exact video file prospectively.
  • We require a 10-minute limit on the length of content uploaded to the site.
  • We provide content owners with an electronic notification and takedown tool, to help them more easily identify their material and notify us to take it down with the click of a mouse.
  • We also publish copyright tips for users in plain English and clear, prominent messaging at the time of user upload.

Like many of these other policies and tools, Video Identification goes above and beyond our legal responsibilities. It will help copyright holders identify their works on YouTube, and choose what they want done with their videos: whether to block, promote, or even—if a copyright holder chooses to license their content to appear on the site—monetize their videos. In implementing this technology, we are committed to supporting new forms of original creativity, protecting fair use, and providing a seamless user experience—all while we help rights owners easily manage their content. Stay tuned … and for more information, check out our Video Identification page.

Today is Blog Action Day



Around Google we know firsthand the value that small changes, aggregated on a large scale, can bring to people everywhere. It's how our search engine and advertising system work: every click counts. Similar thinking — local action, global impact — is what made Cyan Ta'eed, her husband Collis Ta'eed, and Leo Babauta create Blog Action Day, a worldwide initiative to get blogs posting about a common cause: the environment. As Cyan has said of bloggers and readers around the world, "If they all make a very small change it could be very effective, and a small step but an important step" on the road to addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.

In this first year, more than 10,000 bloggers are participating in Blog Action Day around the world. We're pleased to be among them. Fifteen of our corporate blogs are posting today, on topics varying from this weekend's International Clean-up Day to this year's Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Other blogs covered a competition for the best sustainable designs using SketchUp, green programs on YouTube and the efforts of the Bioneers to bring together thinkers from many disciplines to tackle environmental issues. We also enjoy various company-wide green initiatives, from offering employees shared hybrid cars on-site to serving organic food to installing solar panels.

We look forward to seeing the momentum of Blog Action Day, and we encourage you to join the many bloggers and citizens who are making their voices heard about environmental concerns.

Update: Check out posts on more participating Google Blogs: Blogger Buzz, Blogger Buzz - ES, Checkout Blog, Finance Blog, Google Base Blog - DE, Inside AdSense, Inside AdWords, Inside Google Book Search Blog, the Google Italy Blog and Blogs of Note - EN and ES.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our Zurich hackathon



Among the many perks Googlers get, I like the 20% time rule the best. You can spend it on an existing project you'd like to learn more about or especially care about, or you can use it to start a new project. Among other things, Gmail, AdSense, Google News and Google Trends famously started life as 20% projects. But even with 20% time, there are always so many other interesting things to do that it's sometimes hard to focus on this great idea you had the other day at the coffee machine.

I work for the Zurich office, which incidentally was our first engineering office in Europe. As you must know, Switzerland has lots of mountains. Where better to be alone with your thoughts and ideas than the mountains? Well, when I started talking about the idea, a lot of people liked it and wanted to go, too. So never mind being alone with my thoughts: instead, over a four-day weekend, 16 engineers spent most of their waking hours coding up the ideas that had been plaguing us for a while.

In small groups and individually, we looked at things like how we can do a better job at personalization, experimented with different ways to render search results, and since we have quite a few maps engineers in Zurich, tried out some new ideas in that area too. Though we did get some nice demos out, they're not quite ready to launch, but keep an eye out on Google Labs and something will show up soon.

Sadly, we were almost completely oblivious to the extreme natural beauty surrounding our hackathon headquarters at the cube hotel in Savognin. Some of us did go up the mountain for some extra inspiration.

Another interesting accomplishment was the furniture tower we built after a long session of hacking. They had this stackable furniture in the lobby of the hotel and we had a beer or two, and just started to play around. Around 6am just before breakfast we reached the ceiling.

It was really great to see people work all out driven by nothing more than the will to create something new and cool and it was for me a great reminder in so many ways as to why I work for Google. If you want to join us on our next hackathon, you're in luck -- we're hiring in Zurich.

Friday, October 12, 2007

GOOG-411 graduates from Labs



A few years ago, my younger brother won a car in a raffle. He wanted to share this good news with the entire family, so he decided to keep it a secret until we were all together at dinnertime. But good news is hard to keep; he couldn't wait, and by lunchtime we all knew about our new car. And now we have some exciting news of our own that we just can't contain any longer.

Many of you explored Google Labs and discovered a local business info service that's totally free. It's called GOOG-411 and it helps callers find and connect with local businesses just by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411. It's a voice-based local search service, which means it uses speech-recognition algorithms to recognize what a caller is saying and then finds the local business information he or she is looking for. These algorithms had to be trained with real utterances, much like how a baby learns language by listening to its parents. Since its unveiling in April, GOOG-411 has successfully served millions of callers. And we owe a big thanks to everyone who took our speech recognition algorithms from infancy to adulthood!

People have been spreading the word about GOOG-411 to their friends and families. And now we're happy to report that our local business info service has officially graduated from Labs. To mark the occasion, we're celebrating with a brand new website that includes this fun video:



When you watch the video, pay extra attention to the people you meet at the end. One of them is the real voice behind GOOG-411. Think you can guess who it is? When you call 1-800-GOOG-411, listen closely and see if you can identify which team member shown in the video is the voice. Then, post your answer as a comment on our YouTube page.

If you build it, they will eat it



To commemorate the first anniversary of our New York office in its current space, we decided to think big -- a giant scale-model cake of the entire block-long building. Our facilities manager, Laura Gimpel, and I came up with a plan to construct this tasty treat and serve it at last Thursday's anniversary celebration.



Our first step was to use Google Earth and Street View to get aerial views and photos of the building. Spanning an entire city block, the massive structure was originally constructed in 1932 to house the Port Authority of New York; today, it's Manhattan's second-largest building in square footage. Next, our pastry chef, Danita Holt, drew up the blueprints. After a few weeks of developing the plans, it was time to start pouring the foundation. The actual production took four days, with seven of us (two sous chefs, two pastry chefs, our executive chef, a line cook, and me) working on it. In total, we used 630 eggs, 105 pounds of sugar and 20 pounds of butter. The finished product was five feet long, three feet high and two feet wide. Now that's a lot of cake!

Perhaps even more challenging, we had to make sure there was no waste -- every last bite had to be eaten. The day after the celebration (when we did make a sizable dent), we served cake 'donuts' for breakfast. We got even more creative for lunch and offered an anniversary cake trifle and an amazing Oreo-infused anniversary cake pudding. Throughout the day, we put platters of leftover cake in the micro-kitchens, game room and library. The last of our creation was consumed on the balcony on Friday night around 7 p.m. by a group of hungry engineers.

This was one of the most memorable projects I've worked on so far. I can't wait to see what we do when our office turns two.

Anita Borg Scholarships expand to Canada



On my desk at work I have a little Canadian flag. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and attended school at the University of Toronto where I graduated with a degree in software engineering. Now I work in Mountain View designing tools to help improve our ads quality. But I've never forgotten where I'm from, and that's why I'm so excited that Google is announcing the expansion of our Anita Borg scholarship to Canada.

Dr. Anita Borg (1949-2003) devoted her adult life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. Her combination of technical expertise and fearless vision continues to inspire and motivate countless women to become active participants and leaders in creating technology. In honor of Dr. Borg's passion, for the past four years, Google has sponsored a scholarship program with the Anita Borg Institute for Women in the U.S., and more recently, in Europe and Australia.

This year, we're excited to announce the expansion of the program to include Canada, where we're very pleased to offer an opportunity to both undergraduate students and postgraduates, who may apply for CAD$5,000 scholarships. We're looking for women who will carry on the legacy of Dr. Borg, with strong academic backgrounds and demonstrated leadership qualities.

All scholarship recipients and finalists will be invited to visit the Google engineering office in New York City next April for a networking retreat featuring workshops with a series of speakers, panelists, breakout sessions and social activities.

Tell your friends, or apply yourself, at www.google.ca/anitaborg. The deadline for the Canada program is Monday, February 4, 2008.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

China in real time



Over the past few years, the Chinese stock markets have grown at a breathtaking pace. Not surprisingly, investors have demanded more access to data and information about Chinese stocks, particularly in real time. Google Finance has heard the clamor, and we're pleased to be able to improve our service for the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges by providing pricing data in real time. So if you're interested in Yunnan Copper, Bank of China, or you just want to search around, enjoy the additional data on Google Finance.

Now that the Chinese stock data is live, we're hoping our friends at the SEC will take note and approve the last sale proposal we announced in January. This proposal would allow us to offer our users free and unlimited access to real-time last sale prices for NYSE and Nasdaq stocks. As soon as the SEC approves, we'll flip the switch.

Our Corporate Equality effort



Googlers care deeply about creating a workplace that affords equal treatment for all our staff, and while we do it regardless of any accolades we think our efforts might bring, recognition from outside organizations does mean a lot to us. Which is why we're really pleased about our strong performance in the U.S. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the second year in a row. It's particularly exciting given that this is a time of rapid growth for our population of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees (whose group name is, naturally, Gayglers) around the world.

This summer marked the first time Gayglers coordinated a presence at Pride parades globally. In San Francisco, New York, and Dublin, we had the largest (and perhaps rowdiest) presence of any corporation, and we went one further at Europride in Madrid where we were the only global company present among 45 floats. We had lot of fun at all of the marches, and it was a great way to bring Gayglers and their friends together in the communities we call home. We're passionate about our diverse workplace, and we hope anyone who shares our commitment to equality will consider joining us.

Two more reasons to type in Hindi



As some of you have already noticed, we've combined Google Suggest with our Indic transliteration technology to give you a new way to search the web in Hindi.

You can type your queries using a regular English keyboard, and we'll show you suggestions and completions of your query in phonetically equivalent Hindi. This means that you can type "amit" and see Hindi suggestions like "अमिताभ" and "अमिताभ बच्चन". Once you're happy with one of the suggestions, you can click it to get search results in Hindi. Try this out on the Google India Hindi homepage and explore all the Hindi content available on the web.



Quite a lot of people have also asked for a Googley way to scrap your friends on orkut in Hindi. You can now type in Hindi the same way you do in Blogger and on the Google India Labs page. If you have selected "Hindi" in the "languages i speak" field in your orkut profile, you'll see the "Type in Hindi" checkbox on the scrap pages. Just check the box to start scrapping in your favorite tongue.

We're eager to hear your feedback and suggestions, so please let us know what you think. Don't forget to visit the Google India Labs page to see what we've been working on.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Google Search Appliance takes five



Around here, we love celebrating birthdays, including those of our products. And so it was just about five years ago that the idea for the Google Search Appliance was born. It was simple: make search inside of businesses as easy and effective as searching on Google.com.

The Google Search Appliance has matured quite a bit since then. We started with intranet web servers, added security and more than 220 different file types, and found hundreds of partners and thousands of customers. Now, we're embarking on a new phase: bringing universal search into the enterprise in order to break down the information silos that have developed around business networks and information.

It feels good to take five years of experience and put it to work in the next generation, but we know we have plenty of room for improvement. That's why we've also launched Google Enterprise Labs. So tune in for a even closer look at what's to come.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Reach out and message someone



Technology has made staying in touch with your friends and family both easier and harder: living a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle is easier (and a lot of fun), but it's more difficult to keep track of everyone when they're running around at warp speed. That's why we're excited to announce that we've acquired Jaiku, a company that's been hard at work developing useful and innovative applications for staying in touch with the people you care about most -- regardless of whether you're at a computer or on a mobile phone.

Current Jaiku users can still use the service normally, and new folks can sign up for an invitation to the service when we're ready to expand. We plan to use the ideas and technology behind Jaiku to make compelling and useful products. Although we don't have definite plans to announce at this time, we're excited about helping drive the next round of developments in web and mobile technology.

We wish a hearty Google welcome to Jaiku, and are looking forward to working together on new and innovative ways of keeping people connected.

Monday, October 08, 2007

AdSense goes straight to video -- units, that is



Nowadays, website publishers realize that getting people to visit your website is only half of the equation. Growing your audience is important, but keeping your audience engaged and staying on your site longer is just as important, if not more so. This is why we're excited to let you know about video units on Google AdSense. Video units enable AdSense publishers to display videos from several YouTube content partners. The video units are ad-supported, and the ads are relevant to both the video and the site content, as well as unobtrusive. AdSense publishers and YouTube content partners will receive a share of the ad revenue, so video units enable both groups to earn incremental revenue.

We're excited about video units because we see this as the first step in content distribution on AdSense and a great opportunity to foster the content ecosystem on the web. AdSense publishers can now enhance their sites with interesting videos, YouTube content partners benefit from a new distribution channel, advertisers have a new vehicle to distribute their messages to their target audiences, and people can tune in to interesting videos on sites they normally visit.

To learn more about video units, mosey on over to the Inside AdSense blog.

Let a thousand servers bloom



Just as people are social animals, computers are social machines—the more, the merrier. Twenty or thirty years ago, large, centralized mainframes sat alone in sheltered bunkers in computer science departments and government offices alike, choking for hours on mere megabytes of data. Even with recent advances in server technology, large, centralized machines are still struggling to cope with today’s modern computational challenges, which now involve terabytes of data and processing requirements well beyond a single CPU (or two, or four, or eight). One computer just won’t hack it; these days, to support a new paradigm of massively parallel systems architecture, we need to break the machine out of its bunker and give it some friends.

In this age of “Internet-scale” computing, the new, evolving problems faced by computer science students and researchers require a new, evolving set of skills. It’s no longer enough to program one machine well; to tackle tomorrow’s challenges, students need to be able to program thousands of machines to manage massive amounts of data in the blink of an eye. This is how I, along with my good friend and mentor Ed Lazowska of the University of Washington’s CSE department, started to think about CS curricula and the obstacles to teaching a practical and authentic approach to massively parallel computing.

It's no easy feat. Teaching these methods effectively requires access to huge clusters and innovative new approaches to curricula. That's why we are pleased to announce the successful implementation of our Academic Cluster Computing Initiative pilot program at a handful of schools, including the University of Washington, Carnegie-Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland. This pilot extends our expertise in large scale systems to strong undergraduate programs at the pilot schools, allowing individual students to take advantage of the hundreds of processors being made available. As the pilot progresses, we'll work with our technology partner IBM to shake the bugs out of the system so that we can expand the program to include more educators and academic researchers.

The future of computing is already taking shape on campuses today, and Google and IBM are thrilled to help inspire a new generation of computer scientists to think big. All of the course material developed by UW as well as other tools and resources to facilitate teaching this cutting- edge technology is available at http://code.google.com/edu. If you're a student wondering just what this sort of thing means for you, check out the five-part video lecture series (originally offered to Google Engineering interns) that introduces some of the fundamental concepts of large-scale cluster computing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More types of gadgets for iGoogle



Google Desktop lets you not only search your computer easily, but you can also personalize your desktop. From cultivating a virtual potted plant, to reading the latest news and checking the weather forecast, you can customize your desktop with a variety of gadgets and a sidebar. Some of you have asked if you can also put gadgets on iGoogle homepages next to your other gadgets. And starting today, the answer is yes.

With Google Desktop 5.5 Beta, you can you now embed Google Desktop Gadgets right into your iGoogle homepage. Gadgets on an iGoogle homepage can have more advanced functionality, such as playing music from your computer. You can find them alongside other gadgets in the iGoogle Content Directory. We've also improved some of the other features; such as better looking Quick Search Box, support for multiple copies of a gadget, and improved Outlook search functionality. Read more on the Google Desktop Blog and check out these gadgets you can now add to your iGoogle homepage.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

3 short weeks



Three weeks ago today was the official close of Google's acquisition of Postini -- and what a three weeks it's been. "Official close" meant that integration work could legally begin, and so the Google Apps team and Postini team have been burning the midnight oil to get our services integrated. Now, Google Apps customers, Postini customers and everyone else can see the results.

Postini security and compliance capabilities are officially part of Google Apps Premier Edition. Google Apps customers get these services for free. Postini customers get an extended trial period for Apps. New customers can choose their entry point: Apps (including Postini security and compliance) or any of the standalone Postini services.

The benefits of software as a service are numerous -- that's why we're seeing a huge interest in Apps. Businesses of all sizes are asking for these services, and we need to help customers embrace Apps without loss of features, functions, or security. I'm proud that Postini plays a role in this offering.

Postini was founded in 1999 with the vision of transforming how IT organizations consumed security and compliance products. We recognized the service delivery model brings huge leverage, and 36,000 customers around the world validated that vision. Google Enterprise is now scaling that vision. No one knows what the next three weeks will bring, but we're all excited to be part of it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Got a blog? Help a student.



When it comes to philanthropy, everyone’s got something different to give – some people have money, others have time, and bloggers have devoted readers. The creative folks at DonorsChoose have a few ideas about how bloggers can help students and teachers.

In case you’re not familiar with DonorsChoose, it’s a site where teachers post needs they have for their classrooms, and donors fund those projects directly. If you’ve got a blog, a website, or even an email account, you can help by creating what’s called a challenge. Just pick some of your favorite projects and challenge your family, friends, and readers to fund them. If you’ve got a Blogger account, it’s easy to add your challenge to your blog in just a few clicks.

To support their recent expansion to schools all across the U.S., the DonorsChoose team is holding a little competition, keeping track of which bloggers and webmasters drive the most funding to schools.

We think this is a cool idea, so we want to help it succeed. We’re going to reward the winning bloggers with exactly what they gave to DonorsChoose, students, and teachers: traffic. The competition will remain open until the end of October - we'll then take a look to see who has helped raise the most money in each of the eight DonorsChoose challenge categories. We’ll post links to the winners’ blogs here, and we’ll also throw in a $500 gift certificate for each winner to spend on DonorsChoose.

So here’s our challenge to you: go create a challenge on DonorsChoose.

International Cleanup Weekend: Think globally, clean locally



On October 13th and 14th, Googlers and many people around the world will head out to clean up local parks, beaches, trails and other places close to home. We'll be planning our cleanups using Google Maps and sharing our plans with friends and families, along with an invitation to help. So far, Googlers have sent in almost 100 cleanup maps and proposed plans, and have invited more than 900 of their personal contacts to help.

And since many small cleanups add up to one big impact, we hope you'll join in too. It takes just a few minutes to plan your own cleanup, make a map of it, and send your map to us -- we'll add it to a growing map of all the cleanups around the world. If you keep your cleanup small (groups of 6-10 people work best) and close to home, it'll be easy to organize and you can be sure that you're doing what's most important for your neighborhood. After your cleanup, share your work with the world by posting photos and videos to your map.

If you'd like to join this global effort, you can get started here.