Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
Through the Google lens: search trends September 19-25
September 26, 2014
Spoiler alert! Those of you not caught up with
might want to skim this one.
This week, searchers learned how to get away with murder—and how not to get away with public criticism of prominent figures with important business relationships with your employer.
Shonda, Shonda, Shonda
TV fans, rejoice! This week brought premiere episodes for old favorite shows as well as hotly anticipated new ones. Top returning shows on search include CBS’s
The Big Bang Theory
(natch), and NBC’s
. New shows that shot up the search ratings include Batman prequel
and new family comedy
But premieres week really came to a head on Thursday night, which we prefer to call the Night of Shonda. Producer Shonda Rimes has got ABC’s lineup locked up with
(in its final season this year) and the new
How To Get Away With Murder
, starring Academy Award-nominee Viola Davis. All three shows were in the top 10 hot searches the day of their premiere. True to form,
’s season 4
debut left people with more questions than answers. Here's a sampling (spoiler alert!) of what searchers were asking during the show:
The end of an era
first took the field as a New York Yankee in May 1995. Five World Series, more than 3,000 hits and nearly 20 years later, this weekend he will take to the diamond for a final game at Fenway against his archrivals, the Boston Red Sox. Though neither the Yankees nor the Sox made this season’s playoffs, anticipation for Jeter’s farewell at-bat was already high. But last night, after giving baseball fans so many memorable moments over the years, he gave us one more. In his final game at Yankee Stadium, Jeter’s ninth-inning walk-off single gave the Yankees a win over the Orioles, provided the world another excuse to search for the star shortstop, and was a fitting ending to Jeter’s fairy-tale career.
Over on the political field, Attorney General
announced on Thursday that he is stepping down. Holder will leave behind a large and sometimes complicated legacy on issues including same-sex marriage, voting rights, criminal justice, national security and government secrecy. He’ll go down in history as the fourth longest-serving and first black AG.
NFL in the news
The NFL continues to be in the news for more than just its games. First, NFL commissioner
gave a press conference on Friday addressing the league’s issues with domestic violence. Then, on Monday, prominent sportswriter
was suspended for three weeks by ESPN after he called Goodell a liar in his podcast “The B.S. Report.” Simmons is prohibited from tweeting or other public communications until October 15, but Sports Guy supporters took to the web on his behalf, fighting to #FreeSimmons. Finally, this week’s season premiere of
featured a malfunctioning “GoodellBot” and a plotline about the controversy over Washington’s team name.
! That’s what a lot of people were saying (and searching) as people worldwide dipped apples in honey and celebrated
, the Jewish New Year. The holiday was the fourth hottest search trend on Wednesday.
Tip of the week
Google can help you get a good deal on your next airplane ticket. When the price drops on a flight you’ve been researching on
, you may see a Now card letting you know. Just tap the card to quickly and easily book your trip. This works on the latest version of the
on Android in the U.S.
Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [where do kiwis grow] and [reign season 2]
You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace
September 25, 2014
When YouTube launched their video upload app for iOS, between 5 and 10 percent of videos uploaded by users were upside-down. Were people shooting videos incorrectly? No. Our early design was the problem. It was designed for right-handed users, but phones are usually rotated 180 degrees when held in left hands. Without realizing it, we’d created an app that worked best for our almost exclusively right-handed developer team.
This is just one example of how unconscious biases influence our actions every day, even when—by definition—we don’t notice them. These biases are shaped by our experiences and by cultural norms, and allow us to filter information and make quick decisions. We’ve evolved to trust our guts. But sometimes these mental shortcuts can lead us astray, especially when they cause us to misjudge people. In the workplace, for example, the
can cause us to inflate performance ratings or
can lead us to overlook great talent.
Combatting our unconscious biases is hard, because they don’t feel wrong; they feel right. But it’s necessary to fight against bias in order to create a work environment that supports and encourages diverse perspectives and people. Not only is that the right thing to do, but without a diverse workforce, there’s a pretty good chance that our products—just like that early YouTube app—won’t work for everyone. That means we need to make the unconscious, conscious.
The first step is education; we need to help people identify and understand their biases so that they can start to combat them. So we developed a workshop,
Unconscious Bias @ Work
, in which more than 26,000 Googlers have taken part. And it’s made an impact: Participants were significantly more aware, had greater understanding, and were more motivated to overcome bias.
In addition to our workshop, we’re partnering with organizations like the
to further research and awareness. We’re also taking action to ensure that the decisions we make at work—from promoting employees to marketing products—are objective and fair. Here are four ways we're working to reduce the influence of bias:
It’s hard to know you’re improving if you’re not measuring. We collect data on things like gender representation
in our doodles
at our conferences
Create a structure for making decisions.
Define clear criteria to evaluate the merits of each option, and use them consistently. Using the same standards to evaluate all options can reduce bias. This is why we use
in hiring, applying the same selection and evaluation methods for all.
Be mindful of subtle cues.
Who’s included and who’s excluded? In 2013, Googlers pointed out that of the dozens of conference rooms named after famous scientists, only a few were female. Was this our vision for the future? No. So we changed Ferdinand von Zeppelin to Florence Nightingale—along with many others—to create more balanced representation. Seemingly small changes can have big effects.
Foster awareness. Hold yourself—and your colleagues—accountable.
We’re encouraging Googlers to call out bias. For example, we share a “bias busting checklist” at performance reviews, encouraging managers to examine their own biases and call out those of others.
back in May, we’re not where we should be when it comes to diversity. But in order to get there, we need to have this conversation. We have to figure out where our biases lie, and we have to combat them. Tackling unconscious bias at work is just one piece of making Google a diverse workplace, but it’s absolutely essential if we’re going to live up to our promise to build technology that makes life better for as many people as possible.
Posted by Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations, and Brian Welle, Ph.D., Director of People Analytics
For those who dream big: Announcing the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair
September 22, 2014
Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow became interested in addressing the global food crisis after learning about the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. When a gardening project went awry, they discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph. The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide. Oh—and they’re 16 years old.
Today, Ciara, Émer and Sophie were named the Grand Prize Winner and the 15-16 age category winners of our fourth annual
Google Science Fair
. They are some of thousands of students ages 13-18 who
dared to ask tough questions like
: How can we stop cyberbullying? How can I help my grandfather who has Alzheimer's from wandering out of bed at night? How can we protect the environment? And then they actually went out and answered them.
From thousands of submissions from 90+ countries, our
panel of esteemed judges
selected 18 finalists representing nine countries—Australia, Canada, France, India, Russia, U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.—who spent today impressing Googlers and local school students at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. In addition to our Grand Prize Winners, the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair are:
13-14 age category: Mihir Garimella (Pennsylvania, USA)
for his project
FlyBot: Mimicking Fruit Fly Response Patterns for Threat Evasion
. Like many boys his age, Mihir is fascinated with robots. But he took it to the next level and actually built a flying robot, much like the ones used in search and rescue missions, that was inspired by the way fruit flies detect and respond to threats. Mihir is also the winner of the very first Computer Science award, sponsored by Google.
17-18 age category: Hayley Todesco (Alberta, Canada)
for her project
Waste to Water: Biodegrading Naphthenic Acids using Novel Sand Bioreactors
. Hayley became deeply interested in the environment after watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Her project uses a sustainable and efficient method to break down pollutant substances and toxins found in
ponds water in her hometown, a hub of the oil sands industry.
The Scientific American
Science in Action award
: Kenneth Shinozuka (Brooklyn, New York)
for his wearable sensors project. Kenneth was inspired by his grandfather and hopes to help others around the world dealing with Alzheimer's. The
award is given to a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge.
Voter’s Choice award: Arsh Dilbagi (India)
for his project
, which enables people with speech difficulties to communicate by simply exhaling.
Hayley, Mihir, Kenneth, Ciara, Sophie and Émer
As the Grand Prize winners, Ciara, Émer and Sophie
a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands provided by
, a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a personalized LEGO prize provided by
and the chance to participate in astronaut training at the
Spaceport in the Mojave desert.
Thanks to all of our young finalists and to everyone who participated in this year’s Google Science Fair. We started the Science Fair to inspire scientific exploration among young people and celebrate the next generation of scientist and engineers. And every year we end up amazed by how much you inspire us. So, keep dreaming, creating and asking questions. We look forward to hearing the answers.
Posted by Clare Conway, on behalf of the Google Science Fair team
Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 12-18
September 19, 2014
-Welcome to this week’s search trends. May I take your order?
-Can I have a referendum on independence, a totally inappropriate flight passenger with a Hollywood baby on the side?
-Coming right up!
Flag and country
“They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!” That was Sir William Wallace battlecry for Scottish independence in the film Braveheart. While this week’s events in
weren’t quite as cinematic, the results could have been revolutionary. On Thursday the world watched and searched as an unprecedented numbers of Scots went to the polls to answer the question, "Should Scotland be independent from the United Kingdom?" Turns out the majority of people don’t think it should, and voted to stay a member of the U.K. Party leaders have now promised significant constitutional changes for the entire kingdom. What would Wallace have made of that?
The comeback kings
Everybody loves a comeback and search had its fair share this week. First up, nostalgia for the 90’s brought
soda back from the dead. Thanks to a Facebook campaign called "The SURGE Movement," Coca-Cola will now sell its "fully-loaded citrus” soft drink for a limited time on Amazon. And the
denied the 49ers a win in their brand-spanking-new stadium when they rallied to overturn a 13-point deficit in the last quarter to beat San Francisco 28-20.
Airing dirty laundry
Hard plastic-y seats, broken recliner adjusters, zero leg room—flying economy isn’t always the most pleasant experience. And depending on who you’re sitting next to, your easy two-hour flight could turn into a nightmare before you even take off. But the passengers of the world aren’t having it, not anymore. This week, “passenger shaming” went viral on social media as traumatized travelers shared photos of the most absurdly obnoxious unconscientious things some passenger do on flights—we’re talking bare feet, bare skin... well, you should just
see for yourself
But at least those offending fliers were shielded in anonymity. Singer
wasn’t afforded the same luxury, revealing in a court deposition this week that he had little to do with the creation of last year’s song of the summer “Blurred Lines.” As part of his defense against a copyright infringement lawsuit, Thicke admitted that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol for most of 2013—bringing a whole new meaning to the song’s title.
And the winner is ...
The hipster revolution has finally taken over the United States! Need proof? Searchers don’t. When New Yorker Kira Kazantsev won the the title of
, the Internet discovered that the U.S.A’s new leading lady is a former food blogger. She’s even reported on her state’s crown foodie jewel,
. Miss America wasn’t the only who got to bask in the limelight; boxing world champion Floyd “Money”
Jr. won his rematch with contender Marcos Maidana by an unanimous decision. The victory brings his undefeated tally to 47… somehow the title world champion is starting to sound like an understatement.
Love on the set!
For Orange is the New Black screenwriter
, life imitated art a bit more than she probably expected. While writing the hit program, Morelli decided to divorce her husband and start a relationship with Samira Wiley, an actress from the show. Meanwhile, searchers learned that
considers former The Office castmate and on-screen boyfriend B.J. Novak “
the love that got away
.” But while not all on-set relationships last, some couples not only make it work but also take their relationship to the next level. That’s the route taken by Ryan Gosling and
, who met while making the movie The Place Beyond the Pines. The power couple welcomed baby girl Gosling earlier this week.
Tip of the week
The NFL season’s just getting started so it’s time to hunker down and plan your football viewing schedule. Just say, “OK Google, show me the NFL schedule” to coordinate your life for the next four months. We’ll see you back in the spring.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [hey girl] and [no shirt, no shoes, no service].
For the next five billion: Android One
September 15, 2014
Knowledge is a game changer. I’ve long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.
If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.
comes in. At I/O, we
about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we’re introducing the first family of Android One phones
Addressing key barriers—hardware, software and connectivity
There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.
Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.
In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you’ll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you’ll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that’s about 50 apps overall) from Google Play—all without counting toward your mobile data usage.
More to come
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at
. We’re also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.
Access for access’s sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 5-11
September 12, 2014
New phones, new games, new looks. Let’s take a peek at all the happenings this week in search:
All you can eat?
learned this week that it’s risky to get between people and their food. The restaurant chain’s new “Never Ending Pasta Pass” offered up to 1,000 people seven weeks of unlimited pasta, salad and those sneaky-good breadsticks for just $100. The rush of pasta lovers eager for a deal crashed the Olive Garden website before the pass was even for sale—and thousands more turned to search to learn more about the debacle.
The latest edition
It was a big week for our neighbors from Cupertino. Apple’s latest announcement this week flooded the search trends, with more than 10 million searches for the new
, along with its release date and price. People were also curious about the new
, the band
—whose latest album Apple gave away for free to all iTunes users—and how the announcement was affecting
And baby makes four for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and
, who announced this week that they’re expecting a little brother or sister for one-year-old Prince George. People turned to the web to learn more about the news. Start your office naming pools now!
A full 15 out of 20 top searches on Sunday were related to the first Sunday of football season, with the
topping the pack—on search, at least. But unfortunately, it was events off the field that had many people turning to the web this week. Baltimore Ravens running back
was suspended indefinitely from the league on Monday, after
released a video that appears to show him assaulting his then-fiancee in an elevator. More than 2 million searches for Rice followed—the highest
ever. People were also looking for more information on NFL commissioner
in an effort to understand whether the league’s leadership had knowledge of the incident earlier in the year.
POTUS and ISIS
Just a day earlier, President Obama announced that the U.S. military would expand its air strikes in Iraq and now Syria, against the extremist group ISIS. Searches for
, the term the President used for the group, climbed the day of his speech as people looked for more information on the news.
The latest season of “
The Biggest Loser
” premiered yesterday with new trainers and a new concept—“Glory Days,” in which former athletes compete to regain their former fitness—leading people to the web to learn more. And “The Sixth Sense” star Haley Joel Osment was in the news this week—but we won’t blame you if you missed it, since he was
nearly unrecognizable from his former self
. Osment is filming a new Kevin Smith movie “Yoga Hosers,” in which he plays Canadian fascist journalist Adrien Arcand.
Tip of the week
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. With the Google Search App, you can get warnings from Google Public Alerts when bad weather is on its way. Take a few minutes to get prepared by
about Alerts, which are available on Google Now, Search and Maps.
Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [ducktales intro] and [adichie city arts]
Google Drive and the Docs editors: designed with everyone in mind
September 11, 2014
Imagine trying to keep track of another person’s real-time edits in a document—using only your ears. Or trying to create a table from spreadsheet data—without being able to clearly see the cells. Whether you’re backing up a file in Drive or crunching some numbers in Sheets, it should be easy to bring your ideas to life using Google’s tools. But if you’re blind or have low vision, you may need to rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille displays—and that can make working in the cloud challenging. While screen readers can parse static webpages (like this blog) relatively easily, it’s much harder for them to know what to say in interactive applications like Google Docs because the actions they need to describe are much more complex.
With these reasons in mind, today we’re announcing some improvements to Drive and all our editors—Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms—specifically designed with blind and low-vision users in mind.
Improved screen reader support in Drive and Docs
In June, we introduced a
new version of Drive
that’s sleeker, easier to navigate and much faster. But just as importantly, the new Drive also includes better keyboard accessibility, support for zoom and high-contrast mode and improved usability with screen readers.
Across Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms, you’ll find that it’s now much easier to use a screen reader, with nicer text-to-voice verbalization and improvements to keyboard navigation. You’ll also notice other updates, including:
Support for alt text on images in Docs, so you can tell a screen reader what they should say to describe an image
Better support for using a keyboard to edit charts and pivot tables in Sheets
Additional screen reader improvements specifically for Docs, Sheets and Slides, including support for spelling suggestions, comments and revision history
The ability to quickly search the menus and perform actions in Docs, Slides and Drawings (and soon Sheets and Forms)—even if you don’t know the action’s key sequence
Collaborating with others is easier too: in Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings, screen readers announce when people enter or leave the document, and you’ll now also hear when others are editing alongside you.
Refreshable Braille display support
If you use a
, you can now use it to read and enter text in Docs, Slides and Drawings. Even if you don't use a Braille display, with Braille support, your screen reader’s settings for character echoing are automatically followed. Enabling Braille also dramatically reduces the lag between when you press a key and when it’s announced by your screen reader, and improves the announcements of punctuation and whitespace. Learn how to enable Braille support in our
Get up and going faster
The first time you use a screen reader or a Braille display, getting up to speed can be a daunting task. But it’s simpler with new step-by-step guides for
You can also access the in-product “Help” menu at any time without interrupting your work, or use the updated shortcut help dialog to easily search through keyboard shortcuts if you don’t remember them.
Finally, we’re offering phone support for Google Drive accessibility questions. If you get stuck, visit
to request a phone call and someone from our team will reach out to you.
Referring to recent updates to Google Drive, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
at this year’s National Convention: “The progress...during the last few months has just been positively extraordinary.” We’re pleased the community has welcomed these improvements, and will continue to work with organizations like the NFB to make even more progress.
Everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to experience all that the web has to offer. To find out more about our commitment to a fully accessible web, visit the new Google Accessibility site at
Posted by Alan Warren, Vice President, Engineering
Call me maybe? Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts
September 10, 2014
We know how important it is to keep in touch with friends and family, especially when they’re spread around the world. Hangouts already makes it easy to send a quick message, or start a group video chat. But sometimes it’s best to just
call to say “I love you,”
and with the new version of Hangouts you can.
Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It’s free to call other Hangouts users, it’s free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the
are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.
To get started on Android, just grab the new version of
(v2.3, rolling out over the next few days), then install the
to turn on voice calls. On
and the web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app.
Voice calls in Hangouts: call history (left); dialer (middle); in a call (right)
Whether it’s your sister in Paris, your best friend in Boston or
Jenny at 867-5309
, Hangouts lets you call the people you care about at little or no cost. So download the app and dial your loved ones today!
Posted by Amit Fulay, Product Manager
A solar project on top of an old oil field in California’s Kern County
September 10, 2014
We recently finalized an investment that will put a 82MW solar power plant on top of an old oil and gas field in Kern County, Calif. The new deal with SunEdison will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes.
Our investment in the Regulus solar project will give new life to a long-valued piece of land, and there's something a little poetic about creating a renewable resource on land that once creaked with oil wells. Over the years, this particular site in California has gone from 30 oil wells to five as it was exhausted of profitable fossil fuel reserves. The land sat for some time and today we’re ready to spiff things up. With the help of our $145 million equity commitment, SunEdison is draping it in high-tech, sleek panels that collect energy from the sun, while bringing 650 jobs to the Kern County area and 82MW of clean energy to the grid.
Like many states, California has a
of increasing the amount of energy procured from renewable sources. This project helps support that quest and marks
17 renewable energy investments
for Google since 2010, including five here in the Golden State.
We’re continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future. The more than $1.5 billion we’ve brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share.
Posted by Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principal
Walk like an Egyptian with Street View in Google Maps
September 10, 2014
Candlelight flickering on a stone wall covered in hieroglyphs. A proud queen brought low by the bite of a snake. Reeds rustling along a river, waiting to be turned into papyrus, or maybe a basket. The civilization of ancient Egypt stood for thousands of years and left behind a rich legacy of architecture, art, medicine, politics, culture and more. Today, it looms large in our imagination as the home of Cleopatra, Ptolemy, Tutankhamun, people who worshipped cats as gods and buried their embalmed dead in tombs filled with treasures and sustenance for the afterlife.
Now the Egypt of your imagination can be brought to life with new Street View imagery in Google Maps, and you can take a virtual walk among the stunning monuments and rich history of this ancient civilization.
Start where most tourists do: at the
Pyramids of Giza
, which rise from the vast expanse of the Sahara like man-made mountains. Just kilometers from the bustling, modern city of Cairo, the Pyramids have stood for nearly 5,000 years, a testament to the ingenuity and ambition of the ancient Egyptian people.
The Giza Necropolis is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and is home to the last standing wonder of the ancient world: the
. Built as a tomb and a symbol of eternity for the Pharoah Khufu, it stands 139 meters high (the height of the world’s
highest roller coaster
!) and was the tallest man-made structure on Earth for 3,800 years. Look beyond it to the west, and you’ll see the pyramids of
, built by Khufu's son and grandson.
The Great Pyramid
Now turn east to
the Great Sphinx
, the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, it measures a grand 73 meters long and 20 meters high. Literally translating to “Father of Dread,” this mythical creature is believed to resemble Pharaoh Khafre, who was the ruler at the time of construction.
The Great Sphinx
In addition to the Giza Necropolis, you can explore
The Pyramid of Djoser
, the ancient site of the world’s very first Pyramid designed by the great
Egyptian Architect Imhotep
in the ancient burial ground of
Other sites you can check out on your virtual tour include:
, one of the oldest sites of Christianity in Egypt—the church, baptistry, basilicas and monasteries;
the Hanging Church
, one of the oldest Coptic Churches in the world; the
, a medieval Islamic fortification and historic site; and the
Citadel of Qaitbay
, a 15th-century defensive fortress on the Mediterranean coast.
If wandering through the imagery of these historical sites has piqued your interest in Egyptology, head over to the
Google Cultural Institute
, where you can explore the treasures of ancient Egypt through a series of drawings, historic photographs and artifacts from the famed sites.
Pyramids of Giza
have survived nearly five millennia and are the planet’s oldest man-made wonder. Now their legacy—and the legacy of many other
sites of ancient Egyptian culture
—are preserved in a new way with panoramic and immersive Street View imagery. We hope you’ll take a moment to step back in time and explore what was once known as the Gift of the Nile.
Posted by Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing - Middle East and North Africa
maps and earth
Through the Google lens: search trends August 29 - September 4
September 5, 2014
This week search had three weddings, one real-life funeral, another on social media (we’ll explain later) and a 20th anniversary. Sounds like a packed week to us!
Heaven is a funny place
“I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action ... I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents.” Those are words from the great comedian
, who passed away yesterday. People across the web commemorated Rivers’ almost 50-year career by reliving her best
punchlines and jokes
(she was pretty hard to top). Meanwhile, people worked themselves into a panic when rumors swirled that TV’s favorite Golden Girl,
, had passed on as well. Thankfully, the Internet is no soothsayer and Betty is alive and kicking—despite what the trends say.
Tales from the endzone
People were eagerly searching for info about the
’s opening game last night between the Green Bay Packers and reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks. And if you were still frantically finalizing your roster for your fantasy football team this week, you were in good company. Searchers looked for the latest player stats to fine-tune their lineups and were doing so at
than previous years. One player not on fantasy rosters but on fans’ minds was
, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, as he was cut from the St. Louis Rams. He ended up finding a home on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, so we'll have to wait just a little bit longer for him to make history on the field.
She looks great in white (and on TV)
Search was singing “The Wedding March” this week as famous brides walked down the aisle—and up the trends charts.
and her wedding dress went where no other woman (except Jennifer Aniston) had gone and tied the knot with Brad Pitt. And we’re guessing
’s got the right stuff since she and former New Kid on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg decided to get hitched (may they hang tough for years to come). Finally, basketball star Dwayne Wade stepped away from the court and onto the altar to wed
. Bethany Mota celebrated a different kind of milestone as she joined the cast of
Dancing with the Stars
, becoming the first YouTube star to ever be invited on the show. But not everyone had a happy ending in Hollywood. Hackers were able to break into the phones of several actresses,
their private photos to the world—and stirring a debate in mainstream culture about privacy and cloud security.
Oldie but a goodie
We now present to you a short interlude down memory lane. This week, the cast of the 1994 hit comedy,
The Little Rascals
, reunited to reshoot the
movie’s iconic poster
—we’re still trying to come to terms with the whole “20 year anniversary” thing. And if you grew up in the 90’s, you’re more than familiar with Zack Morris and his antics at Bayside High on the teen sitcom
Saved by the Bell
. But do you know what happened when the cameras were turned off? That’s what searchers were looking for when Lifetime’s new TV movie
The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story
aired this past Monday. The movie had a somewhat chilly reception on social media, with people
their various issues with its portrayal.
Tip of the week
Summer may officially be over but that doesn’t mean the beach is closed. Just ask Google, “Where is the nearest beach?” to enjoy a little fun in the sun...because you know what they say, winter is coming!
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the alfalfa] and then had to call the [fashion police].
Android Wear, moving forward like clockwork
September 5, 2014
Earlier this year, we launched
, bringing Android to wearables. Since then, the first watches powered by Android Wear, the
LG G Watch
Samsung Gear Live
, have gone on sale, developers have already built thousands of apps enhanced for Wear, and great new watches are becoming available from more partners.
Our goal with Wear is to build technology that helps you connect with others and get stuff done. So often, technology can become something that gets in the way of everything else. But we want to build devices that you can use when you need and forget about when you don’t—technology that's built for your sake, rather than its own sake. Coming throughout the rest of this year, we're making some updates to Wear that will help you get even more out of your watch—and the rest of your life, too.
First, we're bringing
offline music playback
to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You’ll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.
The second update will enable
downloadable watch faces
, so you can customize the visual design of your watch's home screen to show the information you want to see most—like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play.
We’re also continuing to work with manufacturers to bring you even more watch options, with different shapes, styles and sensors.
, the first Android wearable with a round display, is
now available for sale
in the U.S.
Asus Zen Watch
, coming later this year, includes a bio sensor, so you can keep tabs on your fitness and relaxation levels throughout the day.
LG G Watch R
uses a circular display, includes a heart rate monitor, and will be available later this year.
Last, but not least, we’re happy to welcome Sony to the Android Wear family with the
Sony SmartWatch 3
. It uses a transflective display for easier readability in sunlight, includes a GPS sensor, and will be available later this year.
These watches, as well as those unveiled earlier this summer, will all get the new software updates described above as soon as they’re ready in the coming months. We're also working with our partners on even more improvements, which means your device will continue to get better, with updates provided directly to you.
Whether it's giving you directions, letting you stay in touch more easily or keeping track of your steps so you can stay fit, Wear is designed to help you out without getting in your way. With new features and many new devices to choose from, chances are there's a watch that's just right for you.
Posted by David Singleton, Engineering Director, Android Wear
Art, Copy & Code: EA Sports “Madden GIFERATOR”
September 4, 2014
Bring on the heart-pounding highs and the gut-wrenching lows; the crazy rituals and the bitter rivalries. Football season is back!
Whether you're a "12th Man" or wearing a cheesehead, chances are you’ll be watching the game with smartphone in hand.
of us now watch TV while multi-tasking on other devices nearby. And today, the language of fan rivalries is a visual one. Just look at the resurgence of search interest for
on Google Trends. Why say it in words when you can throw shade with a meme?
This year, there’s a way for mobile-clutching NFL fans to take their smack talk to the next level.
is a new project created by our
Art, Copy & Code
team, in partnership with EA Sports and agencies Heat and Grow, to help launch EA Sports’ signature football game
Madden NFL 15
During every NFL game, the
will create a live stream of memes using
Madden NFL 15
video game footage (as GIFs), triggered by the action on the field. The GIFs will appear in real time on
, on social media, as well as in ads on popular sports and gaming related apps and sites across the the
Google Display Network
. For example, if Seattle’s Richard Sherman picks off Aaron Rodgers tonight, you might see a GIF of Sherman with the headline “Weren’t you supposed to catch that? Aawwwwwkward” in the stream, alongside a real-time update on the score and game clock.
You can also take control of the GIFERATOR and design your own GIFs, choosing the team, the player, the background and the headline, ready for sharing across the web.
The Madden GIFERATOR is the latest in our
Art, Copy & Code series
, where we partner with brands and their agencies to create useful and fun experiences, powered by Google technology. We wanted to tap into the growing trend for fans to comment on and interact with games from their phones—plus, we have a
for GIFs. The GIFERATOR fuses live NFL game data with a database of Madden images, players, backgrounds and headlines to create relevant memes on the fly.
So this season, when your team delivers those clutch plays, head over to
, choose the perfect image, customize it with your best smack talk, and send it to your fellow fans (if you want to be nice) or your rivals (if you’ve got a wicked streak). Here’s a little inspiration before tonight’s Seahawks vs. Packers standoff:
Posted by Mike Glaser, Marketing Manager, Creative Partnerships
Making of Maps: Reaching a milestone
September 3, 2014
The is the first of several posts taking you behind the scenes of how Google makes its Maps. Stay tuned to the
Lat Long blog
over the next few days for the rest of the series.
When you head out your door, you’ve got directions in your pocket—whether you’re driving to your aunt’s place in the mountains, cycling to a new biergarten or taking the train downtown. For Google Maps to get you there, it needs to be a digital mirror of the real world. But the real world is always changing. So to make sure your map is an accurate reflection of your world, we started
, a project that brings the freshest, most relevant information to Google Maps.
Today, we’ve reached our 50th Ground Truth country with the addition of five new countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, and the last regions of Russia. We’re also rolling out
Google Map Maker
Report a Problem
—our crowdsourcing map tools—to Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia, giving anyone in those locations the ability to share and contribute their local knowledge directly to Google Maps.
Drive over Malaysia’s new Penang Second Bridge
For these countries, that means clearer, more detailed depictions of points of interest like walking paths in parks or department labels in universities, a reworking of the road network with new street names and turn restrictions, and faster updates to the map. In the unique case of Poland and Romania, both of which have Map Maker communities that were instrumental in building the map from scratch, it also means providing more resources to bring the same level of map detail to all regions in these places.
Explore the campus of National Taiwan University
Over the next week, we’re pulling back the curtain to show you how Ground Truth and Map Maker work together to build Google Maps. Much of the magic behind Maps comes from people—from the Googlers who spend hours perfecting every road in the world, to the users who come together to improve the quality of maps in their local communities. To build the map, we have to gather high-quality information; in the next post, we’ll show you what that process looks like—and show off a new mapping technology. Stay tuned to the
Lat Long Blog
for more on how Google Maps is made!
Posted by Manik Gupta, Group Product Manager, Google Maps
maps and earth
Introducing Google for Work (the artist formerly known as Enterprise)
September 2, 2014
Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we’ve always believed that it should be meaningful—not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you’re in.
Ten years ago, we started bringing Google’s consumer technology—along with the features, controls and services businesses need—to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google’s infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we’ve invested in what matters to our customers and partners—security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.
Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend—it’s a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google’s products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.
But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional “enterprise” business—we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier—
—work gets better. And that’s what we’re working on—
the best of Google, now for work
Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman
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