Update Jun 13: You can view the list of gTLDs we applied for below:
Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist
The fine details of these restrictions evolve over time, and we’re always exploring how we can better offer tools for people to access and share information. For example, last year we were able to make some of our products available for download in Iran. And today we’re pleased to make Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome available for download in Syria.
As a U.S. company, we remain committed to full compliance with U.S. export controls and sanctions. We remain equally committed to continue exploring how we can help more people around the globe use technology to communicate, find and create information.
Posted by Neil Martin, Export Compliance Programs Manager
This year’s competition was even more international and diverse than last year. We had thousands of entries from more than 100 countries, and topics ranging from improving recycling using LEGO robots to treating cancer with a substance created by bees to tackling meth abuse. Our judges were impressed by the quality of the projects, and it was no easy task to evaluate the creativity, scientific merit and global relevance of each submission to narrow down the entries to just 90 finalists.
Thirteen of our 90 finalists have also been nominated for the Scientific American Science in Action award, the winner of which will be announced on June 6 along with our 15 finalists. These top 15 and the Science in Action winner will be flown out to Google’s headquarters in California in July for our celebratory finalist event and for the last round of judging, which will be conducted by our panel of renowned scientists and innovators.
Thanks to all of the students around the world who submitted projects to the Google Science Fair and congratulations to all the young scientists who were selected as regional finalists.
Posted by Sam Peter, Google Science Fair Team
We’re eager to see journalism flourish in the digital age, in all forms and on all continents. Today, with half a dozen other generous sponsors, we’re taking a big step forward with a new $1 million African News Innovation Challenge.
This initiative is the latest in a series of projects to spur innovation in African journalism. Since 2010 we’ve been working with newsrooms across the continent to show journalists how the Internet can help them be better reporter. In Ghana we’re helping journalists produce evidence-based reporting on the country’s new oil wealth; in Senegal we gave journalists training on election reporting, and in Kenya we helped pioneer Africa’s first data journalism boot camp. Participants produced eight separate data-driven stories or news apps, including a TV documentary that exposed the plight of rural schools and an analysis of government spending at county level that has been nominated for an international award.
Now, we’re looking for even more innovations aimed at strengthening and transforming African news media. The News Innovation Challenge will provide grants ranging from $12,500 to $100,000 for project proposals falling into four categories: news gathering, storytelling, audience engagement and the business of news. Proposals can include ideas that improve everything from data-based investigative journalism and crowdsourced citizen reporting, to new ways of distributing news on mobile platforms, or new revenue models that help wean media off a reliance on advertising. In addition to cash grants, winners will receive technical, business development and marketing advice.
The African Media Initiative, Africa’s largest association of media owners and operators, is running the Challenge. Other partners include Omidyar Network, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the U.S. State Department, the Konrad Adenhauer Stiftung and the World Association of Newspapers & News Producers.
Entries must be submitted to this website by midnight Central African Time on July 10, 2012. While news pioneers from anywhere in the world are welcome, all entries must have an African partner that will help develop and test the innovation. Entries will be judged by an international jury, and finalists will get a chance to refine their proposals during one-on-one mentoring sessions at a “tech camp” in Zanzibar in August 2012.
The winners will be announced at the Africa’s largest gathering of media owners and executives, at the Africa Media Leaders Forum, in Ivory Coast in November 2012.
We’re also active in promoting digital journalism outside of Africa, such as supporting the Nordic News Hacker, the Global Editor Network’s data journalism prize and International Press Institute media innovation prizes. As media organizations continue to adapt to the new digital world, we’re committed to working with journalists to help them use technologies to gather and tell important stories.
Julie Taylor, Head of Communications, Sub Saharan Africa
Plan flights and hotels with just a few clicks: Flight Search & Hotel Finder
Begin your trip by finding, comparing and booking domestic or international flights from the U.S with Flight Search. Search for airports or cities, e.g., [flights to JFK] or [flights to New York City], at google.com and flight results will immediately appear below. Select the time and price that work best for you or click "more results" to further filter your search.
You can use our Hotel Finder experiment to find your perfect hotel based on price, time, proximity to landmarks and user images and reviews. As you glance over specific hotels, add the ones you might be interested in to your own personal shortlist. Click the red “Book” button to go ahead and make the reservation.
Live like the locals: Maps, Translate and Goggles
If you’re in need of a local guide, Google Maps for Android can help. Find driving, transit, walking and biking directions, voice-guided navigation and nearby places to eat, shop and play. We just added a few more improvements to the app, including walking directions for indoor maps (U.S. and Japan) and Google Offers near you (U.S. only) so you can discover great deals on the go. Street View technology is also taking you indoors on your mobile—view interiors of participating businesses and museums so you know what to expect before your visit. And of course, you can always use the Street View feature in Google Maps to preview vacations spots around the world, from public landmarks and gardens to amusement parks, zoos and other popular attractions that have partnered with us to get their locations online.
If you’re traveling to a region where you don’t speak the language, use the Google Translate app to bargain with a local vendor or tell a taxi driver where you need to go. You’ve also got Google Goggles at your disposal—one click and you’ll know exactly what you are ordering on a menu. Get it for both your Android and iOS devices.
Keep your memories, even if you lose your device: Google+ Instant Upload
The Instant Upload feature, part of the Google+ app on Android and iOS, ensures that any photo snapped along the way will be instantly saved to the cloud for safekeeping in a private album, no matter what happens to your phone. Once uploaded it's easy to go into your Google+ photos via the mobile app or your computer, view photos “From Phone” and then easily choose to share to the circles you want. In the case above, I took some sunrise pictures, sorted them on my computer when I got back from my trip and then shared them with my family (if you’re wondering how I shot that panorama above, here’s a tip—if you have the latest Android operating system you can take beautiful panorama pictures by clicking panoramic mode).
For a live, firsthand look at how you can use Google to plan your summer vacation, join us for a Hangout on Air at 10:30am PT tomorrow, Thursday, May 10, on the Google +page. We'll have some in-house experts on hand to show you how to use Google to take your dream vacation.
Of course, we don’t want to make it too easy on you. Part of the joy of traveling is being adventurous and encountering the unexpected. We hope these tools help make your travels more informed and enjoyable, without losing the thrill of spontaneity or that hidden gem you may find when you take a wrong turn. Bon voyage!
Posted by Dave Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps