Applications are open for the Google North America Public Policy Fellowship

Starting today, we’re accepting applications for the 2019 North America Google Policy Fellowship. Our fellowship gives undergraduate and graduate students a paid opportunity to spend 10-weeks diving head first into Internet policy at leading nonprofits, think tanks and advocacy groups. In addition to opportunities in Washington, D.C. and California, we’ve expanded our program to include academic institutions and advocacy groups in New York and Utah, where students will have the chance to be at the forefront of debates on internet freedom and economic opportunity. We’re looking for students from all majors and degree programs who are passionate about technology and want to gain hands on experience exploring important intersections of tech policy.

The application period opens today for the North America region and all applications must be received by 12:00 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, Friday, February, 15th. This year's program will run from early June through early August, with regular programming throughout the summer. More specific information, including a list of this year’s hosts and locations, can be found on our site.

You can learn about the program, application process and host organizations on the Google Public Policy Fellowship website.

Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Beta channel has been updated to 72.0.3626.59 (Platform version: 11316.82.0 / 11316.82.1) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements.  A list of changes can be found here.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bugInterested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser).

David McMahon
Google Chrome

Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The dev channel has been updated to 73.0.3673.0 for Windows, Mac & Linux.


A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.
Abdul Syed
Google Chrome

Ways to succeed in Google News

With the New Year now underway, we'd like to offer some best practices and advice we hope will lead publishers to more success within Google News in 2019.

General advice

There is a lot of helpful information to consider within the Google News Publisher Help Center. Be sure to have read the material in this area, in particular the content and technical guidelines.

Headlines and dates


  • Present clear headlines: Google News looks at a variety of signals to determine the headline of an article, including within your HTML title tag and for the most prominent text on the page. Review our headline tips.
  • Provide accurate times and dates: Google News tries to determine the time and date to display for an article in a variety of ways. You can help ensure we get it right by using the following methods:
    • Show one clear date and time: As per our date guidelines, show a clear, visible date and time between the headline and the article text. Prevent other dates from appearing on the page whenever possible, such as for related stories.
    • Use structured data: Use the datePublished and dateModified schema and use the correct time zone designator for AMP or non-AMP pages
  • Avoid artificially freshening stories: If an article has been substantially changed, it can make sense to give it a fresh date and time. However, don't artificially freshen a story without adding significant information or some other compelling reason for the freshening. Also, do not create a very slightly updated story from one previously published, then delete the old story and redirect to the new one. That's against our article URLs guidelines.

Duplicate content

Google News seeks to reward independent, original journalistic content by giving credit to the originating publisher, as both users and publishers would prefer. This means we try not to allow duplicate content—which includes scraped, rewritten, or republished material—to perform better than the original content. In line with this, these are guidelines publishers should follow:

  • Block scraped content: Scraping commonly refers to taking material from another site, often on an automated basis. Sites that scrape content must block scraped content from Google News.
  • Block rewritten content: Rewriting refers to taking material from another site, then rewriting that material so that it is not identical. Sites that rewrite content in a way that provides no substantial or clear added value must block that rewritten content from Google News. This includes, but is not limited to, rewrites that make only very slight changes or those that make many word replacements but still keep the original article's overall meaning.
  • Block or consider canonical for republished content: Republishing refers to when a publisher has permission from another publisher or author to republish an original work, such as material from wire services or in partnership with other publications.
    Publishers that allow others to republish content can help ensure that their original versions perform better in Google News by asking those republishing to block or make use of canonical.
    Google News also encourages those that republish material to consider proactively blocking such content or making use of the canonical, so that we can better identify the original content and credit it appropriately.
  • Avoid duplicate content: If you operate a network of news sites that share content, the advice above about republishing is applicable to your network. Select what you consider to be the original article and consider blocking duplicates or making use of the canonical to point to the original.

Transparency


  • Be transparent: Visitors to your site want to trust and understand who publishes it and information about those who have written articles. That's why our content guidelines stress that content should have posts with clear bylines, information about authors, and contact information for the publication.
  • Don't be deceptive: Our content policies do not allow sites or accounts that impersonate any person or organization, or that misrepresent or conceal their ownership or primary purpose. We do not allow sites or accounts that engage in coordinated activity to mislead users. This includes, but isn't limited to, sites or accounts that misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or that direct content at users in another country under false premises.

More tips


  • Avoid taking part in link schemes: Don't participate in link schemes, which can include large-scale article marketing programs or selling links that pass PageRank. Review our page on link schemes for more information.
  • Use structured for rich presentation: Both those using AMP and non-AMP pages can make use of structured data to optimize your content for rich results or carousel-like presentations.
  • Protect your users and their data: Consider securing every page of your website with HTTPS to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data users exchange on your site. You can find more useful tips in our best practices on how to implement HTTPS.

Here's to a great 2019!

We hope these tips help publishers succeed in Google News over the coming year. For those who have more questions about Google News, we are unable to do one-to-one support. However, we do monitor our Google News Publisher Forum—which has been newly-revamped—and try to provide guidance on questions that might help a number of publishers all at once. The forum is also a great resource where publishers share tips and advice with each other.

Sunset of the Ad Manager API v201802

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, in accordance with the deprecation schedule, v201802 of the Ad Manager API will be sunset. At that time, any requests made to this version will return errors.

If you’re still using this version, now is the time to upgrade to the latest release and take advantage of new functionality like new reporting Dimensions, enhanced options for Targeting, and improved Forecast breakdowns.

To upgrade, check the release notes to identify any breaking changes, grab the latest version of your client library, and update your code.

Significant changes include: This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check the release notes for a list of all changes. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

To be notified of future deprecations and sunsets, join the Ad Manager API Sunset Announcements group and adjust your notification settings. If you are an administrator on your network, you can also receive notifications when an application is making requests to your network using a deprecated version, as explained in this post.

Allow Google Calendar users to book Microsoft Exchange resources

What’s changing

You can now let your Google Calendar users book Microsoft Exchange calendar resources, such as meeting rooms, when they schedule a meeting.

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it

We know that some of you manage a coexistence of Google Calendar users and Microsoft Exchange users within your organizations. Last year, we added the ability to share free/busy information across users in these two environments. With this launch, Calendar users can now easily book any resources that are stored in Exchange.

How to get started


  • Admins: To enable Exchange room booking in the Admin console, please follow these instructions.
  • End users: Once this feature is enabled, Calendar users will see both Calendar and Exchange resources displayed as bookable options.

Additional details

For more information about Calendar interop, check out the Help Center.

Helpful links

Help Center: Allow Calendar users to book Exchange resources

Availability

Rollout details


G Suite editions
Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches
Notice the new format for these launch announcements? Give us feedback on it here.

What’s new in Scratch 3.0, a programming language designed for kids

In 2013, the MIT Media Lab started creating a new version of Scratch, a graphical, block-based programming language used by tens of millions of kids to create and share interactive stories, games and animations. We partnered with the Media Lab on this new version of the language—Scratch 3.0—and the Google Blockly team developed the programming language’s graphical coding blocks. OurCS First program, which offers kids in fourth through eighth grades Scratch coding lessons, also created new activities designed to teach Scratch’s new features.

On January 2, Scratch 3.0 launched with a new look, new sprites (digital characters that perform actions in a project), backdrops (backgrounds), sounds, and extensions—plus, it’s now available on tablets. To help educators get ready for Scratch 3.0, we’ve created a comprehensive help article that includes support documents and videos featuring the new interface and customizable lesson plans.

I recently caught up with Mitchel Resnick, who leads the group at MIT that develops Scratch, to talk about the programming language and what’s new in version 3.0.

What is Scratch 3.0 and why is it cool?

Scratch 3.0 is a new version of Scratch that expands how and what students can create with code. We’re excited to see the diverse and creative projects that students will develop with it.

What are your favorite features of 3.0?

I love the Scratch 3.0 “extensions.” Each extension gives students an extra set of coding blocks to take Scratch’s capabilities even further. With new robotics extensions, students can use Scratch to program motors, lights and sensors. With the Google Translate extension, students can program characters to speak in other languages. As the library of extensions continues to grow, Scratch will have even more capabilities.

If you had to choose a sprite to represent yourself, which would you choose and why?

I’d choose the Ten80 Dance sprite. I’m a really bad dancer myself and wish I had moves like these.

sprite

What are some of the new sprites and backdrops?

We worked with artists and illustrators (including long-time Scratcher ipzy) to create a diverse collection of new sprites and backdrops. You’ll find new fashion sprites, animals, snacks, cars and more. Do you want to create a fantasy world with centaurs, griffins and unicorns? How about a game set in outer space? Are you into sports or dancing or dinosaurs? Whatever you’re interested in, we think there’s something for everyone in Scratch 3.0.

What are some Scratch 3.0 features that educators will like?

Educators will appreciate the new video tutorials in Scratch 3.0—there are tutorials to help students get started, explain new features and support new types of projects. We also worked closely with the CS First team to ensure that CS First videos and activities are ready for use with Scratch 3.0. Plus, Scratch 3.0 works on many different platforms, including touch devices like tablets—and there’s a desktop version of Scratch 3.0, so you can still use Scratch 3.0 even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Scratch 3.0 is live in CS First now, so be sure to check out its new look and features. To get some inspiration for your next creation, head to theonline community to see others’ Scratch projects.

Scratch 3.0’s new programming blocks, built on Blockly

Posted by Erik Pasternak, Blockly team Manager

Coding is a powerful tool for creating, expressing, and understanding ideas. That's why our goal is to make coding available to kids around the world. It's also why, in late 2015, we decided to collaborate with the MIT Media Lab on the redesign of the programming blocks for their newest version of Scratch.

Left: Scratch 2.0's code rendering. Right: Scratch 3.0's new code rendering.

Scratch is a block-based programming language used by millions of kids worldwide to create and share animations, stories, and games. We've always been inspired by Scratch, and CS First, our CS education program for students, provides lessons for educators to teach coding using Scratch.

But Scratch 2.0 was built on Flash, and by 2015, it became clear that the code needed a JavaScript rewrite. This would be an enormous task, so having good code libraries would be key.

And this is where the Blockly team at Google came in. Blockly is a library that makes it easy for developers to add block programming to their apps. By 2015, many of the web's visual coding activities were built on Blockly, through groups like Code.org, App Inventor, and MakeCode. Today, Blockly is used by thousands of developers to build apps that teach kids how to code.

One of our Product Managers, Champika (who earned her master's degree in Scratch's lab at MIT) believed Blockly could be a great fit for Scratch 3.0. She brought together the Scratch and Google Blockly teams for informal discussions. It was clear the teams had shared goals and values and could learn a lot from one another. Blockly brought a flexible, powerful library to the table, and the Scratch team brought decades of experience designing for kids.

Champika and the Blockly team together at I/O Youth, 2016.

Those early meetings kicked off three years of fun (and hard work) that led to the new blocks you see in Scratch 3.0. The two teams regularly traveled across the country to work together in person, trade puns, and pore over designs. Scratch's feedback and design drove lots of new features in Blockly, and Blockly made those features available to all developers.

On January 2nd, Scratch 3.0 launched with all of the code open source and publicly developed. At Google, we created two coding activities that showcase this code base. The first was Code a Snowflake, which was used by millions of kids as part of Google's Santa Tracker. The second was a Google Doodle that celebrated 50 years of kids coding and gave millions of people their first experience with block programming. As an added bonus, we worked with Scratch to include an extension for Google Translate in Scratch 3.0.

With Scratch 3.0, even more people are programming with blocks built on Blockly. We're excited to see what else you, our developers, will build on Blockly.

How an IT support certificate transforms careers

A man who never finished college from Nebraska, a U.S. Army medical specialist from Kentucky and a mother of five from California. They’re three different people who have something pretty special in common: they were able to jump start their careers with the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. It’s a first-of-its-kind online program from Grow with Google, that gives you the skills to launch a career in IT support and connects you with potential employers. With an estimated 150,000 open roles, IT support is one of the fastest-growing fields in America. In its first year, thousands of learners from across the country have already completed the program—many of whom have transformed their lives and careers. Here are a few of their stories.

Daniel: Night security guard who found daylight with an IT Support role

Grand Island, Nebraska

When his fiance got her first teaching job, Daniel Anderson left college and moved to Grand Island, Nebraska to be with her. Without a college degree, he struggled to find a job. Eventually, Central Community College hired him as a night security officer, but it was far from the career in technology he had once envisioned. Knowing his passion for computers, a friend encouraged him to check out the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. While working nights, he enrolled and got his certificate in five months. Soon after that, Daniel got an email about an IT job at Central Community College. His Google credentials stood out against other candidates and he got the role as an IT Support Specialist. Now married, Daniel is working in a job he loves, and that lets him spend more time with his new wife.

Yvonne: Put five kids through college, then found a career of her own

Vallejo, CA

Yvonne.jpg

Yvonne, from Vallejo, CA, has never been one to shy away from a challenge. She’s been through 23 surgeries and a permanent tracheostomy, home-schooled two sons with learning disabilities, and put five children through college. But after her kids all graduated, she faced another challenge: what to do next.  She had always valued the importance of technology, so that seemed like a good place to start. On a recommendation from one of her sons, Yvonne enrolled in the IT Support Professional Certificate program, and quickly completed it. With the certificate in hand and a newfound confidence, she landed a product engineering job with a driverless car company. The company was especially impressed with her skills in debugging, networking, and monitoring operating systems through remote virtualization tests—all skills she learned with the certificate. Once again Yvonne has risen to the challenge, but we’re sure that’s not a surprise to anyone.

Andrew: U.S. Army vet with a new mission

Paducah, KY

Andrew-WA-Thompson-407 (1).jpg

Andrew spent eight years in the Army as a medical specialist, but around the barracks he was better known as the unofficial IT guy. So when logistics and costs dimmed his plans for a post-military medical career, Andrew began to think about IT. While searching for options that could give him credentials, Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate caught his eye. The flexibility of being able to do the courses in his free time was very appealing, and he enrolled. The certificate built on his basic networking knowledge, but also challenged him with his first exposure to Linux. In six months he completed the certificate and soon had a job as a Level 1 Technician at an IT consultancy in Paducah. Andrew is thrilled to now be the official IT guy.

Since its launch in January of 2018, people from all different places and backgrounds have completed the IT certificate, including learners at more than 10 nonprofit community organizations and 25 community colleges. If you are interested in exploring an IT career too, learn more at The Google IT Support Professional Certificate page on Coursera.