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Thursday, January 20, 2011

YouTube Highlights 1/20/11

This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you regular updates on new product features, interesting programs to watch and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.

Since our last update, we’ve featured new music programs, brought you closer to what’s going on in government and highlighted some of the best ads of 2010.

Music videos now on YouTube app for Android
We’ve welcomed VEVO’s extensive library of official music videos from artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kanye West and U2 onto the YouTube 2.0 app for Android, available for mobile phones running Android 2.2 (Froyo). Enjoy!

Broken Social Scene goes live on YouTube
Earlier this week, Canada’s indie rock collective Broken Social Scene kicked off their Winter 2011 tour with a live performance at NYC’s Terminal 5. You can still catch the show on

Your window into the 112th U.S. Congress
John Boehner, the new Speaker of the United States House, and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa are making the activities of the House of Representatives more accessible to U.S. citizens via YouTube. Starting in this 112th Congress, all committee hearings of the House Oversight committee will be available on YouTube, on a new channel called HouseResourceOrg. This was made possible via a Google Project 10^100 grant made to Carl Malamud at, who will be working with the House to access and upload all of the hearings that the Oversight Committee holds.

Meet the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011
The new members of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 have been selected: 101 people from more than 30 countries around the world are heading to Sydney Opera House to rehearse together for the first time under the conductorship of Michael Tilson Thomas. Come meet the winners and stay tuned for the final performance on Sunday, March 20, which will be streamed live to the world on YouTube.

A sneak peek at “Life in a Day”
In anticipation of the world premiere of “Life in a Day,” at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival next week, we’re releasing a series of clips between now and then. Life in a Day is a documentary film directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald, produced by Ridley Scott, and filmed on July 24, 2010 by thousands of YouTube users around the world. Watch the first teaser below.

Looking back at the best YouTube ads of 2010
2010 was a breakout year for online video advertising. Earning people’s attention has become ever more challenging—but that’s only making advertising more fun. Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was ranked number one among YouTube ads in an informal poll of the YouTube advertising team and reporters in the industry. Find out what other ads topped last year’s list.

Until next time, visit the YouTube Blog for news and updates.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doodle 4 Google - tell us what you’d like to do someday

Cross-posted on the Google Student Blog

Today, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the fourth annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Open to K-12 students in the U.S., Doodle 4 Google is an opportunity of a lifetime: design the homepage doodle for millions to see, and while you’re at it, take home a $15,000 scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for your school.

In the spirit of thinking big, our theme this year is “What I’d like to do someday...”—giving all of the talented young dreamers an opportunity to flex their creative muscles. We know this crop of students will be the generation of tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

While most of this year's contest remains the same, we’ve made some exciting changes based on your feedback. Now, parents or guardians can register their students directly, and if a school registers, there’s no limit on the number of doodles they can submit. But remember, we only allow one entry per student. We’re also pleased to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, two organizations that truly bring this year’s theme to life.

Once you’ve registered your students and they submit their artwork, Google employees and our panel of guest judges, including Whoopi Goldberg, gold medal ice skater Evan Lysacek and “Garfield” creator Jim Davis, will narrow down the submissions. The top 40 regional finalists will not only receive a trip to New York City and a visit from Google in their hometown, but their artwork will be featured in a special exhibition in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art.

For more details, check out, including full contest rules. To get started, whether you’re a teacher or a parent, register your student(s) by March 2, 2011. Then get out the crayons, paints and markers—you can even throw your own doodle party. Please note that all entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011.

Happy doodling!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Software downloads for Iran

During the protests that erupted in Iran following the disputed Presidential election in June 2009, the central government in Tehran deported all foreign journalists, shut down traditional media outlets, closed off print journalism and disrupted cell phone lines. The government also infiltrated networks, posing as activists and using false identities to round up dissidents. In spite of this, the sharing of information using the Internet prevailed. YouTube and Twitter were cited by journalists, activists and bloggers as the best source for firsthand accounts and on-the-scene footage of the protests and violence across the country. At the time, though, U.S. export controls and sanctions programs prohibited software downloads to Iran.

Some of those export restrictions have now been lifted and today, for the first time, we’re making Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome available for download in Iran. We’re committed to full compliance with U.S. export controls and sanctions programs and, as a condition of our export licenses from the Treasury Department, we will continue to block IP addresses associated with the Iranian government.

Our products are specifically designed to help people create, communicate, share opinions and find information. And we believe that more available products means more choice, more freedom, and ultimately more power for individuals in Iran and across the globe.

Update Feb 28, 2012: In addition to the products above, we also recently made Chrome extensions available for download in Iran.

Update Jan 16, 2013: In addition to the products above, we’re now making the Google Earth plug-in available for download in Iran. This plug-in enables people to navigate and explore geographic data on a 3D globe using a web browser.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A year of the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange: improving large publishers’ returns

With 2011 now underway, we thought it was the perfect time to revisit a big topic from 2010, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and take a fresh look at its contribution to the display advertising ecosystem. And we have some new findings to share: a recent analysis that we’ve undertaken shows just how significantly the Exchange is improving advertising revenues for major web publishers.

We unveiled the new Ad Exchange in late 2009 in North America and Europe, as an open, real-time auction marketplace for display ad space—i.e., the image-based, interactive or video ad formats you see on most sites. The Exchange brings together ad networks, agency trading desks and demand side platforms on one side, and major online publishers on the other, to buy and sell display ad space in real time, allowing advertisers to reach the right ad to the right consumer at the right time and enabling publishers to connect with the advertisers most interested in what they’re offering. Our goal was to grow the overall display advertising pie, so that publishers could benefit from higher ad revenues that fund their investments in the online content and services that we all read and use every day.

With a full year under our belt, we’re happy to see that the Ad Exchange has proven itself so useful for so many participants. As of today, there are hundreds of premium publishers making ad space available, in addition to the many niche publishers that participate in Ad Exchange through the AdSense program. The number of transactions that occur every day has tripled. And the Ad Exchange is now becoming available in new countries.

To see how what kind of effect the growth of the Exchange was having on its participants, we undertook an analysis that quantified the Exchange’s impact on participating publishers’ bottom lines. Today, we’re publishing a white paper that shows that when publishers make ad space available in the Ad Exchange, and the Exchange wins the auction, publishers generate, on average, 188% more revenue compared with indirect sales to ad networks and other third-party buyers. Over millions of impressions, this can make a huge difference to publishers’ advertising revenues, which is great for the web as a whole.

This 188% increase is a result of two key trends that we’re seeing:
  • Demand for publishers’ inventory is increasing as more AdWords and Google Display Network advertisers start running display campaigns, get great results and invest further. For example, display advertising spend among Google’s largest 1,000 advertisers increased 75% in the past year. Agency trading desks and new third-party technology providers are also running more display ads through the Ad Exchange. And real-time bidding—which enables advertisers to tailor their bids and ads in real time to buy the ad space they value the most—continues to be a major draw, now accounting for 56% of buyers’ spend.

  • We’re seeing publishers increasingly leverage the Ad Exchange’s “dynamic allocation” to sell their inventory. Via dynamic allocation, the Exchange compares—in real time—the value of the highest-paying ad in the Ad Exchange with any ads from other sources (such as ad network deals) and chooses the highest paying one. The Ad Exchange only serves ads when it can offer a higher price for ad space. Of course, publishers are in complete control of which networks they allow to bid, what ads can appear on their sites and which ad space they make available.
Our goal is to make the Ad Exchange a complete solution for major publishers to maximize their ad revenue across thousands of buyers, networks and agencies. We also want to put publishers even more firmly in control of what types of ads appear on their site, enabling them to build and protect their brand, and find new advertising opportunities.

2010 was a huge growth year for the Ad Exchange, and the increased volume has made it a more vibrant ecosystem for buyers and sellers. We’ll continue our work to ensure that the Ad Exchange delivers ever-improving returns and controls for publishers, so that more participants can benefit from the huge growth taking place in display advertising in 2011 and beyond.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This week in search 1/14/2011

This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

We’re back in action after a lovely holiday season, and this week we’ve made a few changes to help you find music videos and refine your searches. We also announced World IPv6 Day, which will help ensure Google can continue giving you fast, relevant search results for generations to come.

Better results for music videos
People often come to Google to find music videos, and this week we improved our results so now when you’re searching for your favorite band or album, you’ll find popular clips organized in a new way. For example, search for [michael jackson] and you’ll find some of the King of Pop’s most famous videos, including clear text indicating the length of the video, the album and the year it was published. The feature scans the entire web for video content and algorithmically ranks the best sources for each song. Rather than return repetitive links, we group results for the same song together, making it easier to scan and choose the song you’re looking for. Try searching for [green day], [maroon 5] or [beyonce] (for one of the best videos of all time!).

Google’s left-hand panel in Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew
This week we expanded Google’s panel of search tools to Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew, enabling people who read right-to-left languages to access a dynamic set of search tools. Now Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew speaking users can refine their searches by content type (Images, Videos, News) or date, and easily access special views like the Wonder Wheel and Timeline. We can’t call it the “left-hand panel” of search tools, because the panel is actually on the right!

World IPv6 Day
The Internet is bursting at the seams with limited address space, and IPv6 is the best solution to the problem. We have offered search over IPv6 since early 2008, but today only 0.2% of Internet users have native IPv6 connectivity. So on Wednesday, we came together with the Internet Society and other major websites to announce World IPv6 Day, the first global trial for the next generation Internet protocol. On June 8, 2011, Google and other companies will enable IPv6 on their services (including Google Search) for IPv6 for 24 hours. The trial will help motivate companies across the industry to prepare for the transition and ensure Google and the web as we know it can continue to thrive.

Auto industry off to a fast start in the Motor City

After years of challenges, the news out of Detroit this week has automobile industry experts hopeful for a strong 2011. The 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicked off this week and as the world’s attention is on the Motor City, we thought it was time to take a closer look at what consumers are most interested in as it applies to cars and trucks.

Google’s North American Auto Team, headquartered out of Detroit with teams in NYC and California, works with auto makers, parts suppliers and agencies across the country to help market their latest and greatest. Like everyone else, we’re hopeful for a continued recovery across the industry and continue to be impressed by our clients’ creativity and innovation. NADA’s (National Automobile Dealers Association) chief economist Paul Taylor put it best when he recently said, “A revitalized auto industry benefits everyone—every consumer, every dealer and every manufacturer."

Each January, as the North American International Auto Show opens, we see a surge in searches related to new car models (the Hyundai Curb, for example) leading to a peak of interest in the summer—due in large part to special offers—and this year is no exception. Using Insights for Search, let’s take a closer look at what consumers are interested in and what the world is searching for in cars and trucks.

Over the last 30 days in the U.S., Ford tops the list of search queries in the entire automotive brand category, followed by BMW, Audi and Nissan.

Consumers and car shoppers in the United States are also searching for vehicles featured in movies, music and video games. Specifically, searches for [jeep black ops]—a vehicle featured in the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” released in November—recently saw record highs. And with the release of the feature film “Green Hornet,” searches in the automotive category for both [green hornet] and [black beauty], the name of the car in the movie, are at record levels. Searches for [chrysler imperial] (the make of the Black Beauty) are also making a comeback. Finally, searches for [aston martin] and [aston martin music] are breakout terms, perhaps due to the hip-hop song “Aston Martin Music” by Rick Ross.

With more than 700 new car models on display (including the new Audi A8 with built-in Google Earth navigation) at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and headed to dealer showrooms, consumers will have unprecedented choices in what they can drive this year. At the Detroit Show, auto makers from Detroit and abroad are showing off all-new sedans, sports cars, trucks and SUVs, led by the Chevrolet Volt which was named Car of the Year and the all-new Ford Explorer—which won 2011 Truck of the Year at the show. But based on data from Insights for Search, 2011 appears poised to be the year of the “crossover.” Consumer interest in the category has steadily risen over the past few years and some of the hottest car models in search—like [nissan juke], [honda crosstour] and [mitsubishi outlander]—are all crossovers.

Other trends may bode well for the auto industry in America. Searches in the auto financing subcategory for January 2009 through December of 2010 show a steady decrease in popularity in auto financing-related terms like [lease], [car loan] and [car calculator]—a signal that some interpret to mean financing of cars may not be a hurdle like it has been in past years.

At the other end of the purchase spectrum, luxury car and truck brands saw a smaller dip than other auto segments the past few years. Luxury buyers aren’t waiting for deals; rather, they’re looking to upgrade, and smart marketers are connecting with these shoppers. Factors like safety and entertainment drive purchases for luxury car buyers more than price and financing. Interestingly, in the luxury market, consumers are doing their car-buying research from their mobile phones. In fact, according to our latest research, 8% of luxury buyers used a mobile phone at the very beginning of their car buying research, 43% of luxury buyers used a mobile phone in the middle of their search and 28% of luxury buyers used a mobile phone at the very end of their car buying search. Savvy marketers like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Infiniti are capitalizing on the opportunity as they target specific marketing campaigns to consumers and car shoppers' mobile devices.

And finally, our data reveals that searches for [minivan] were up year over year—perhaps thanks to the creative folks over at Toyota and their “Swagger Wagon.” Although still not considered hip by everyone, it seems that predictions of a minivan comeback were right on target.

2011 is shaping up to be comeback year for not just Detroit, but for the entire auto industry. As a third generation Detroit-based automotive industry worker, I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Auto. The auto business is a great place to work and we have better things ahead of us. As the Motown great Stevie Wonder once said, “No one's gonna bring us down, oh no, 'til we reach our highest ground.”

MLK Day 2011: a day for community service

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Next Monday, January 17, marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We join Americans in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King as a company-recognized holiday. You may not know that Martin Luther King Day is not only a federal holiday, but also a national day of service. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, which encourages citizens to volunteer on that day.

This MLK Day, many Google employees are participating in service projects from coast to coast. We’re also joining the Corporation for National & Community Service, a Google Grants recipient, to spread the word about volunteering opportunities around the country. On their site you can learn about the King Day of Service and find a project in your area. Projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, reading to children, promoting nonviolence and more. Many of these projects start on King Day and last throughout the year.

Together, let’s make Martin Luther King Jr. Day “a day on, not a day off.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rebuilding L’Aquila in 3D with Google SketchUp

(Cross-posted from the SketchUp Blog)

On April 6, 2009, a powerful earthquake struck l’Aquila, Italy. Three hundred and eight people died, and most of the buildings in the city center and surrounding areas were damaged or destroyed. About six months ago, we received an email from a British architect named Barnaby Gunning proposing an ambitious project: to use Google SketchUp to build a digital 3D model of the city, as it is now, in order to stimulate discussion about its reconstruction. He had already created a website—called Comefacciamo ("What can we do?")—to contact and organize volunteers.

Barnaby Gunning with the project T-shirt

Barnaby asked if Google would support a geo-modeling workshop in L’Aquila in an effort to create a digital model of the city. An engineer working on SketchUp and an Italian by birth, I was asked to travel to L’Aquila and give geo-modeling classes in Italian. I was excited! I could visit my motherland, teach people about the product I work on and help out with a project that could have a great impact on reviving the city. I ended up teaching six full-day classes over the course of two trips in October and November.

Teaching Google SketchUp skills to volunteers in L’Aquila

Teaching in Italian about a product on which I work almost exclusively in English proved to be more challenging than I thought. It took me awhile to get used to using the correct Italian name for the Push/Pull tool: Spingi-Tira. (It’s more fun to say, though.) The passionate volunteers who attended my classes more than made up for the language frustrations. Not only were they interested and attentive learners, but their desire to do something for their beloved city was contagious.

The church Santa Maria Paganica in real life (top) and modeled with SketchUp in Google Earth (below).

The modeling phase of the project is now in full swing. Several of the volunteers’ models have already been accepted into Google Earth—you can see them in your browser if you like. You can even take part in the project by helping to model the city from wherever you live. We’ve added L’Aquila to the list of places where you can use Google Building Maker to create geo-models, so no previous 3D modeling experience is necessary. If you’d like to dive in a little deeper, you can use SketchUp in connection with the many photos and other information on Barnaby’s website.

My few days in l’Aquila teaching SketchUp proved to be a fantastic experience. I met so many people who are enthusiastic about this project and willing to sacrifice their weekends to learn how to model, and to provide an exhaustive photographic record of the current situation. The time I spent with them was a wonderful remainder of the love they feel for their city—a love that I now share. I count myself lucky to be a participant in this important project.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A new look for Google Translate for Android

(Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog and Translate Blog)

When we launched the first version of Google Translate for Android in January 2010, we were excited about the year ahead. For the first time, we were bringing the capabilities supported on Google Translate—like machine translation, romanization of non-Roman scripts and spoken translations—to the Android platform. We also offered voice input to let you speak the word or phrase you wanted to translate instead of typing it in, and SMS translation so you could translate SMS messages sent to you in foreign languages.

Today, we’re refreshing Translate for Android with several updates to make the app easier to interact with. Among other improvements, we’ve created better dropdown boxes to help select the languages you want to translate from and into, an improved input box, and cleaner icons and layout.

We also want to let you in on an experimental feature that’s still in its earliest stages—Conversation Mode. This is a new interface within Google Translate that’s optimized to allow you to communicate fluidly with a nearby person in another language. You may have seen an early demo a few months ago, and today you can try it yourself on your Android device.

Currently, you can only use Conversation Mode when translating between English and Spanish. In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking. Google Translate will translate your speech and read the translation out loud. Your conversation partner can then respond in their language, and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you. Because this technology is still in alpha, factors like regional accents, background noise or rapid speech may make it difficult to understand what you’re saying. Even with these caveats, we’re excited about the future promise of this technology to be able to help people connect across languages.

As Android devices have spread across the globe, we’ve seen Translate for Android used all over. The majority of our usage now comes from outside the United States, and we’ve seen daily usage from more than 150 countries, from Malaysia to Mexico to Mozambique. It’s really rewarding for us to see how this new platform is helping us break down language barriers the world over.

Translate supports 53 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and voice input for 15 languages. You can download the application, available for devices running Android 2.1 and above, by searching for “Google Translate” in Android Market or by scanning the QR Code below.

Haiti, one year after the earthquake

It’s been one year since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, and governments and NGOs are continuing to respond, many using high-resolution images of the area. To support these efforts, we’ve updated our aerial imagery in Google Earth of the Port-au-Prince area to include images from before and after the earthquake, as well as made updates throughout 2010. These pictures provide an evolving view of the movement of people, supplies and rubble.

To access this imagery directly, use the Historical Imagery feature of Google Earth.

Complementing our online efforts with this imagery, a webpage and crisis response tools such as Person Finder, Google has made an effort to contribute to relief in Haiti by providing technical and financial support to NGOs. These organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health and specific technology NGOs such as Samasource and Frontline SMS continue to help the Haitian people. We’ve looked to them to help us guide our ongoing response to this crisis.

In November, we gathered updated aerial imagery, and sent a second wave of Google teams to Haiti to evaluate our earlier response efforts and see where Google could continue to provide help. We met with local Haitians and technology NGOs under tents, in trailers, in Internet cafes and at restaurants.

From these visits we witnessed the difficulty involved in using our mapping tools under the unpredictable nature of the Internet in Haiti, and so have focused on developing better offline capabilities and have proposed ideas for improving overall Internet access in Haiti. We also ran training for aid workers on our collaborative tools like Google Apps, which can help coordinate resources. While there, we spent time understanding how NGOs are combating the cholera epidemic, and brainstorming tools that could help aid workers produce specialized maps of epidemic case data and chlorination levels at water points, which are critical for planning and prevention.

If you’re interested in helping with Google’s efforts in Haiti, you can:
Our experience and the updated imagery demonstrate that there are still significant needs on the ground in Haiti. We’re continuing our efforts to support locals and NGOs and look forward to seeing how technology will continue to help both Haitians and victims of disasters worldwide.

Now available: Google Places with Hotpot for iPhone

We recently released Google Places with Hotpot in Google Maps for Android, and starting now, you can have that same great experience as an iPhone app. We realize the importance of finding places you’ll love while you’re out and about, no matter what mobile device you use. And Places with Hotpot not only helps you find places near where you are, it gives you the best places to go for you by personalizing your search results.

In case you aren’t familiar with Google Places, it lets you quickly search for places nearby and personalizes the results based on places you’ve rated. We get you started with a few popular search categories, but you can also tailor the list by adding your own favorite searches. This makes it fast and easy to find the best places for you with little fuss.

Use a default search category, save your own, or rate the nearest place quickly.

It can be pretty rewarding to discover a new place you love, but we also realize that there are some experiences you just can’t wait to share. So Places makes it super simple to rate a place with your iPhone while you’re there. Just fire up the app and hit “Rate now.” It will use your location to guess your current place and let you post a Hotpot review right from your phone. But it’s not just about getting to say what you think—the more you rate places, the more you’re sharing about your tastes and the more we can give you personally tailored recommendations.

Give your star rating and add optional details or a review so Hotpot knows your taste.

If you want to make things even tastier, just visit from your desktop computer. Here you can add friends to the mix and quickly rate all the places you already know. Once you’ve added friends, you’ll find your results seasoned not just with reviews from around the web and recommendations based on your own personal taste, but also with your friends’ opinions too.

Once you start rating and add friends, Places can give you personalized recommendations.

Get the Places app on your iPhone now by searching for Google Places in the App Store or going here.

This first version of Places is available for all iOS devices in English only. However, expect more features and improvements to roll out soon, including localization in many new languages. We’re hard at work to make Places with Hotpot more and more delicious.

World IPv6 Day: firing up the engines on the new Internet protocol

Today, Google and major websites are joining the Internet Society to announce World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour test flight of the next generation Internet protocol on June 8, 2011.

The story begins in 1977, when Vint Cerf, the program manager for the ARPA Internet research project (and now one of the driving forces behind Google’s IPv6 efforts), chose a 32-bit address format for an experiment in packet network interconnection. Who would have thought that the experiment would evolve into today’s Internet: a global network connecting billions of people, some using handheld devices faster than the mainframes of the 1970s?

For more than 30 years, 32-bit addresses have served us well, but now the Internet is running out of space. IPv6 is the only long-term solution, but as the chart below shows, it has not yet been widely deployed. With IPv4 addresses expected to run out in 2011, only 0.2% of Internet users have native IPv6 connectivity:

IPv6 connectivity among Google users since September 2008

Google has been supporting IPv6 since early 2008, when we first began offering search over IPv6. Since then we’ve brought IPv6 support to YouTube and have been helping ISPs enable Google over IPv6 by default for their users.

On World IPv6 Day, we’ll be taking the next big step. Together with major web companies such as Facebook and Yahoo!, we will enable IPv6 on our main websites for 24 hours. This is a crucial phase in the transition, because while IPv6 is widely deployed in many networks, it’s never been used at such a large scale before. We hope that by working together with a common focus, we can help the industry prepare for the new protocol, find and resolve any unexpected issues, and pave the way for global deployment.

The good news is that Internet users don’t need to do anything special to prepare for World IPv6 Day. Our current measurements suggest that the vast majority (99.95%) of users will be unaffected. However, in rare cases, users may experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices. Over the coming months we will be working with application developers, operating system vendors and network device manufacturers to further minimize the impact and provide testing tools and advice for users.

We hope that many other websites will join us in participating in World IPv6 Day. Changing the language spoken by every device on the Internet is a large task, but it’s essential to ensure the future of an open and robust Internet for decades to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Google Science Fair seeks budding Einsteins and Curies

(Cross-posted on the Google Docs Blog, Google Student Blog and Google LatLong Blog)

Are you a student who loves science? Do you have a good idea for an experiment that you’d like to share with the world? In 1996, two young computer science students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had a hypothesis that there was a better way to find information on the web. They did their research, tested their theories and built a search engine which (eventually) changed the way people found information online. Larry and Sergey were fortunate to be able to get their idea in front of lots of people. But how many ideas are lost because people don’t have the right forum for their talents to be discovered? We believe that science can change the world—and one way to encourage that is to celebrate and champion young scientific talent as we do athletes and pop idols.

To help make today’s young scientists the rock stars of tomorrow, in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, we’re introducing the first global online science competition: the Google Science Fair. It’s open to students around the world who are between the ages of 13-18. All you need is access to a computer, the Internet and a web browser.

You may have participated in local or regional science fairs where you had to be in the same physical space to compete with kids in your area. Now any student with an idea can participate from anywhere, and share their idea with the world. You build and submit your project—either by yourself or in a team of up to three—entirely online. Students in India (or Israel or Ireland) will be able to compete with students in Canada (or Cambodia or Costa Rica) for prizes including once-in-a-lifetime experiences (like a trip to the Galapagos Islands with a National Geographic Explorer), scholarships and real-life work opportunities (like a five-day trip to CERN in Switzerland). And if you’re entering a science fair locally, please feel free to post that project online with Google Science Fair, too!

To enter, register online and create your project as a Google Site. Registration is open through April 4, 2011. Please note: you must get parental or guardian consent in order to compete. You can check out the complete rules here. After April 4, we’ll begin judging and will announce our semi-finalists in early May.

The semi-finalist projects will be posted on our online gallery, where we’ll encourage the public to vote for a “people’s choice” winner. From our list of semi-finalists, we’ll select 15 finalists to bring their projects to Google headquarters on July 11 to compete in our final, live event, where world-renowned science judges will select a winner in each age category, as well as a grand-prize winner.

Here's an example of a great science fair project site to inspire you. We asked Tesca, a U.S. high school senior from Oregon, to create it for us based on an award-winning project she’s been working on for years. Tesca’s objective is to make hospitals more efficient using artificial intelligence—a world-changing goal, to be sure.

So if you think you're the next Albert Einstein, Marie Curie—or Larry Page or Sergey Brin—sign up today for the Google Science Fair. Prove once again how science can change the world!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meet the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

Your votes are in. The professionals have had their say. And now, 101 people from more than 30 countries around the world are heading to Sydney Opera House to perform together in March as the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011.

These final 101 outstanding musicians—who range in age from 14 to 49, and hail from five different continents—have emerged from the 336 finalists selected last month by partner orchestras worldwide (including London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker and Sydney Symphony). Your votes on those finalists then helped artistic advisor Tilson Thomas and composer Mason Bates settle on the final line-up.

Among the final group is a vuvuzela-fixated trombonist from Germany, an Arizona-based clarinetist who has never left the U.S. and a Guzheng player from China, whose instrument is one a lot of the world has never seen or heard before. They’ll come together from March 14 to prepare for a final performance on Sunday, March 20, which will be streamed live to the world on YouTube.

We want to open up every stage of the orchestra process. We called for auditions from around the world on YouTube and were blown away by the amazing videos we received in response; the YouTube community voted on their favorites and visited the channel in their millions; and now we’re inviting you to join the winning musicians as they begin their creative journey to Sydney. We’ll post their videos and behind-the-scenes footage of the orchestra—from rehearsal and master classes to performance—to the YouTube Symphony channel, and to our mobile apps (which you can download on the Android Market by searching for [youtube symphony orchestra] or Apple App Store). In March we’ll start broadcasting from Sydney, so tune in!

Next stop: Sydney.

Google Goggles gets faster, smarter and solves Sudoku

(Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog)

Today we’re launching a new version of Google Goggles that’s faster and smarter than ever before. The new Goggles 1.3 client for Android can scan barcodes almost instantly. All versions of Goggles can now recognize print ads in popular magazines and newspapers. Finally, Goggles has also learned a fun new trick for Sudoku fans.

When shopping offline, it’s helpful to be able to learn more about a product by scanning its barcode. With the new Android version of Google Goggles, scanning barcodes is much faster. Open Goggles and hover over the barcode or QR code. Within a second the phone gently vibrates and presents results, without requiring a button press. Simply tap on the result to read product reviews, check in-store availability and compare prices.

Print ads in magazines and newspapers
We’re excited to take another step in our vision of connecting offline media to online media. The next time you're flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine, try taking a picture of an ad with Goggles. Goggles will recognize print ad and return web search results about the product or brand. This new feature of Goggles is enabled for print ads appearing in major U.S. magazines and newspapers from August 2010 onwards.

This feature is different from the marketing experiment that we announced in November. We're now recognizing a much broader range of ads than we initially included in our marketing experiment. And when we recognize a print ad, we return web search results. While in the experiment, we return a specific link to an external website.

Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.

Google Goggles 1.3 with improved barcode scanning is available for download in Android Market. Recognition of print ads and Sudoku solver is now enabled for the Google Goggles app on Android, as well as the Goggles component of the Google Mobile App on iPhone.

Custom Search integrated into Go Daddy websites

Go Daddy, the world's largest domain name registrar and top web hosting provider, has made it easy for website owners to integrate Google Custom Search into their websites through its WebSite Tonight product.

WebSite Tonight is a do-it-yourself service that lets users create, design, update and publish websites without requiring any knowledge of HTML. The product offers 1,500+ design templates and enables you to very easily add widgets to your web pages. WebSite Tonight was named for its ease of use—you can create a website as quickly as one night.

Now, you have the option to add high-quality search across your website using Google Custom Search, simply by dragging and dropping a search box widget into your template. You can select from a set of predefined search themes, so the search results can be in harmony with the website's design. The screenshot below shows Custom Search integrated into an example website.

As a part of implementing Google Services for Websites, Go Daddy has also integrated Google Webmaster Tools. This enables Google to automatically receive Sitemaps for better discovery and indexing of a website—improving search quality both on the website and on

We hope this drag-and-drop search box integration will help website owners easily provide a valuable service to their visitors, while also improving user retention and conversion on their sites.

To see step-by-step instructions for adding search to your GoDaddy website, visit the CSE blog.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Google Apps highlights – 1/7/2011

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

It’s a new year, and we have new reasons to celebrate what’s possible with Google Apps. Since our last update, we’ve made it easier to track spreadsheet revisions and work with videos in Google Docs, added two new security features for organizations using Gmail and introduced new capabilities to make migrating to Google Apps even easier.

Revision history for spreadsheets
A few months ago we added better revision history tools for documents in Google Docs, and we just added a similar revision history tool for spreadsheets. Spreadsheet changes made by each co-author are marked by a different color, and you can easily see all of the changes made to your spreadsheet cell-by-cell.

Video player in the document list
Google Docs lets groups collaborate simultaneously on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings, but you can also use it to upload and share a wide range of file types. Previously, if you uploaded and shared a video file, people you shared with could only download the file. Yesterday we released an update which lets you play many videos right from Google Docs, no file download required.

A safer email environment for customers
Organizations using Google Apps usually provide unrestricted email access to their users, but some organizations—like K-12 schools—want to prevent outsiders from interacting with a subset of their users over email. On Tuesday, we released a feature enabling an email “walled garden,” so organizations can meet this requirement. K-12 schools can help protect youngsters, and other types of organizations can provide limited email accounts to select employees, like contractors.

DKIM email authentication for improved email delivery
Yesterday we made it possible for customers to easily validate their outgoing email with DKIM digital signatures. DKIM allows many receiving email systems to verify whether an incoming message truly originates from the domain in the message’s “sent from” field. Spam filters can then use the reputation of the sender’s domain to help separate good mail from spam. For customers, using DKIM authentication means their outgoing mail is less likely to get caught up in their recipients’ spam filters.

Chrome browser for organizations
Google Chrome is built for speed, security and the ability to run the most sophisticated web-based applications. Until recently, it was tough for businesses to deploy Chrome as a successor or alternative to traditional browsers, but last month we added capabilities to Chrome so IT administrators can efficiently deploy and manage Chrome across their organizations. We’ve also made it possible for businesses to centrally deploy Chrome Frame to improve the performance of Internet Explorer®.

Improved tools for moving existing data to Google Apps
Customers are already moving data from legacy systems to Google Apps at an astounding rate, and we’ve just made improvements to our data migration tools. Whether you’re moving from Microsoft® Exchange, Lotus Notes® or other IMAP-based email systems, it’s now even easier to move email, calendar and contacts data into Google’s cloud.

Who’s gone Google?
Tens of thousands of businesses, schools and other organizations took advantage of the holiday break to move over to Google Apps. Some of the noteworthy additions include Compositites One, Broadway Maylan and BI-LO. We also heard some great stories from Traffic Konzept + Film GmbH a team of explorers and filmmakers on a first-ever expedition to sail both North Pole passages in a single season. You can learn more about their adventure and how they use Google Apps here:

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

YouTube Highlights 1/6/2011

This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you regular updates on new product features, interesting programs to watch and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.

Happy New Year! Since our last update, we’ve rolled out some new programs and features to help you share and discover great video content on YouTube. We’ve also got advice and tips on how to succeed as a videomaker, content publisher or advertiser on YouTube.

Sports favorites on YouTube and ESPN
More than 2,000 YouTubers submitted sports videos to “Play of the Year,” vying to make it onto ESPN’s SportsCenter. After closely reviewing thousands of entries, we’d like to congratulate the winner of the latest YouTube | ESPN Your Highlight Presented by AT&T, Jay Fleming of Nashville, TN. In this video, shot by his father, the one-armed swimmer won his heat in the 25m fly at the 2010 Nashville city swim meet. See the runners-up here.

YouTube Trends feature helps you find your favorite content
With 35 hours of video now being uploaded to YouTube every minute, keeping up can be a challenge. With YouTube Trends, you can watch the hottest local videos in your area and see how to stay on top of the latest popular videos and content overall on YouTube. Tune in so you don’t miss YouTube’s best content.

New capabilities for YouTube
We’ve been working to make it easier customize your YouTube experience so you can both discover and share great content.
  • Personalize your own YouTube homepage. Opt in to try enhancements such as recommended videos based on your viewing history, what your friends are up to, a single place to view all the videos you’ve subscribed to and more.
  • Send a personal video greeting. We’ve made it easier for friends and families to stay in touch through video greetings. Try the “Unlisted” feature to share videos with a specific URL so only those people you want to view a video will see it.
  • Customize your personal video greeting using background themes and other bells and whistles. You can quickly make original videos starting with video templates from third-party tools from Animoto, Stupeflix and Xtranormal.
New $1,000+ partner grants
Whether you’re a filmmaker, musician or other content provider, you can continue to build the next generation of media companies as a YouTube partner. To help spur our partners’ success, 500 of our top 2010 partners worldwide received new grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to help fund the necessary tools (cameras, sound equipment, etc.) to produce even higher-quality videos and garner bigger audiences.

Useful advice and tips for filmmakers
The web and YouTube continue to change filmmaking and online video publishing, and you can take part.
Ads Worth Spreading with TED
TED and YouTube have issued a challenge called Ads Worth Spreading, and you’re invited to submit an entry. TED’s mission is to spread worthy ideas around the world—and why should advertising be different? We believe that advertising should make you think, respond and want to share—whether it’s a great idea, a product that makes the world better or an initiative that might change the world. So create an ad that makes a difference—see the submission rules here.

We’ll update you again in a few weeks. In the meantime, get more info from us on the YouTube Blog.

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