Chrome for Android Update

Chrome for Android has been updated to version 63.0.3239.111; the update will be available in Google Play over the next few days.  A list of all Chromium changes in this build can be found here. This release fixes a bug that prevents some apps from adding cookies.



If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. More information about Chrome for Android is available on the Chrome site.


Estelle Yomba
Google Chrome

Stable Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Stable channel has been updated to 63.0.3239.86 (Platform version: 10032.71.1) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes and security updates. Systems will be receiving updates over the next several days.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested 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).

Grace Kihumba
Google Chrome

Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The dev channel has been updated to 65.0.3294.5 for Mac and Linux, and 65.0.3294.5/.6 for Windows.


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.

Krishna Govind
Google Chrome

Google Code-in is breaking records

It’s been an incredible (and incredibly busy!) three weeks for the 25 mentor organizations participating in Google Code-in (GCI) 2017, our seven week global contest designed to introduce teens to open source software development. Participants complete bite sized “tasks” in topics that include coding, documentation, UI/UX, quality assurance and more. Volunteer mentors from each open source project help participants along the way.

Total registered students has already surpassed 2016 numbers and we are less than halfway to the finish! We’re thrilled that high school students are embracing GCI like never before.

Check out some of the statistics below (current as of Thursday, December 14):
  • Total registered students: 6,146
  • Number of students who have completed at least one task: 1,573 (51% of those students have completed more than 3 tasks, earning them a GCI t-shirt)
  • Total number of tasks completed: 5,499
  • Most tasks completed by one student: 39

Top 5 Countries by Tasks Completed

Countries Represented by Mentors and Students



Of course, GCI wouldn’t be possible without the effort of the more than 725 mentors and organization administrators. Based in 65 countries, mentors answer questions, review submissions, and approve tasks for students at all hours of the day -- and sometimes night! They work tirelessly to help encourage and guide the next generation of open source contributors.

Every year we express our gratitude to the mentors and organization administrators. We are particularly grateful for them given how many more students are participating in GCI this year. Thank you all, and hang in there!

By Mary Radomile, Google Open Source

News Lab in 2017: the year in review

In the news and technology communities, the collective sense of urgency about the future of journalism reached new heights this year. Never before has the press been so important—or so under threat. Technology and platforms like the ones Google has built present extraordinary opportunities to strengthen journalism, but they require newsrooms and tech companies working closely together to get it right. That’s why the Google News Lab exists.


In a Keyword series this week, we’ve shared the work the News Lab is doing around the world to address industry challenges and take advantage of new technologies. Today, in our final post in this series, we’re stepping back to give a holistic view of 10 major developments in our work this last year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2018 and would love your feedback on how we can partner with the industry to build a stronger future for news.

1. Combating misinformation in European elections

The spread of misinformation is a growing problem for open societies everywhere. So, helping news organizations confront that challenge—especially during elections—was a key focus for us. We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections.


1

2. Helping users identify trustworthy news content on Google

We worked closely with the news industry to better highlight accurate, quality content on our platforms with new product features and partnerships. Along with the Trust Project, we produced eight indicators of trust that newsrooms can add to their content to help users distinguish between quality content and misinformation. We also partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network and The Poynter Institute to increase the number of verified fact checkers across the world.  

12_2017_YIR_gnl_trustworthy.png

3. Empowering underrepresented voices

Bringing underrepresented voices into newsrooms can help uncover important stories that are left out of mainstream news coverage. We supported ASNE’s survey to get a better sense of diversity in newsrooms across the U.S. We also partnered with organizations in the U.S., Brazil, France and Germany to provide journalists from diverse backgrounds with in-depth programs to develop their careers.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_empowering.png

4. Strengthening local news

With revenue pressures challenging the creation of quality local news content, we began investing in projects to strengthen local newsrooms across the U.S. We partnered with the Society for Professional Journalists to train more than 9,000 local reporters in digital skills. We’re also supporting Report for America, an initiative that will use a Teach for America model to place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_strength.png

5. Researching key challenges in journalism

To better understand key challenges facing the news industry, we produced studies on the state of data journalism in 2017 and how audiences experience VR and what it means for journalists. We also supported the ICFJ’s newsroom study on the usage of technology in newsrooms.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_research.png

6. Working with newsrooms to experiment on new technology

From drones to virtual reality, we helped news organizations understand and use emerging technologies to shape their reporting and engage audiences in new ways. And we experimented with machine learning, too—we partnered with ProPublica to launch Documenting Hate, a project which uses AI to help build a national database for hate crime and bias incidents.   

12_2017_YIR_helping.png

7. Building tools for data journalism

Our research into the state of data journalism found that while half of newsrooms have a dedicated data journalist, many lack the tools and resources to be successful. So we built a number of tools—Flourish, Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker, Election Databot— to make data journalism more accessible to newsrooms and journalists across the world.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_tools.png

8. Training journalists across the world in digital skills

With our online training center, advanced online learning partnerships, and in-person trainings, we helped train more than 500,000  journalists across the world in digital tools and skills for storytelling and reporting. To develop the next generation of digital journalists, we offered more than 50 News Lab Fellowships with major news organizations across 12 countries.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_training.png

9. Helping newsrooms use Google Trends data to support elections coverage

Google Trends data offers news organizations a look at the candidates and issues that voters are interested in during election season. In Germany, we created a Google Trends Hub to show users’ search interest in key candidates and built a visualization tool to bring the data to life. In France, we launched a data driven web app that showed search interest in the candidates over time.
12_2017_YIR_gnl_supporting.png

10. Expanding the News Lab to Brazil and Asia

This year we launched the News Lab in two new markets: Brazil and in Asia. To kick things off we held inaugural News Lab Summits in both regions—convening journalists from 15 states in Brazil and journalists from 15 countries in Singapore. Since then, we’ve trained more than 8,000 journalists in Brazil and 12,000 journalists in Asia.
12_2017_YIR_gnl_expanding.png

It’s an exciting time for journalism. There are many challenges, but we are eager to work with the news industry to build a more informed world. Tell us where you think we should put our efforts—we’d love to hear feedback and new ideas.

News Lab in 2017: the year in review

In the news and technology communities, the collective sense of urgency about the future of journalism reached new heights this year. Never before has the press been so important—or so under threat. Technology and platforms like the ones Google has built present extraordinary opportunities to strengthen journalism, but they require newsrooms and tech companies working closely together to get it right. That’s why the Google News Lab exists.


In a Keyword series this week, we’ve shared the work the News Lab is doing around the world to address industry challenges and take advantage of new technologies. Today, in our final post in this series, we’re stepping back to give a holistic view of 10 major developments in our work this last year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2018 and would love your feedback on how we can partner with the industry to build a stronger future for news.

1. Combating misinformation in European elections

The spread of misinformation is a growing problem for open societies everywhere. So, helping news organizations confront that challenge—especially during elections—was a key focus for us. We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections.


1

2. Helping users identify trustworthy news content on Google

We worked closely with the news industry to better highlight accurate, quality content on our platforms with new product features and partnerships. Along with the Trust Project, we produced eight indicators of trust that newsrooms can add to their content to help users distinguish between quality content and misinformation. We also partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network and The Poynter Institute to increase the number of verified fact checkers across the world.  

12_2017_YIR_gnl_trustworthy.png

3. Empowering underrepresented voices

Bringing underrepresented voices into newsrooms can help uncover important stories that are left out of mainstream news coverage. We supported ASNE’s survey to get a better sense of diversity in newsrooms across the U.S. We also partnered with organizations in the U.S., Brazil, France and Germany to provide journalists from diverse backgrounds with in-depth programs to develop their careers.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_empowering.png

4. Strengthening local news

With revenue pressures challenging the creation of quality local news content, we began investing in projects to strengthen local newsrooms across the U.S. We partnered with the Society for Professional Journalists to train more than 9,000 local reporters in digital skills. We’re also supporting Report for America, an initiative that will use a Teach for America model to place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_strength.png

5. Researching key challenges in journalism

To better understand key challenges facing the news industry, we produced studies on the state of data journalism in 2017 and how audiences experience VR and what it means for journalists. We also supported the ICFJ’s newsroom study on the usage of technology in newsrooms.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_research.png

6. Working with newsrooms to experiment on new technology

From drones to virtual reality, we helped news organizations understand and use emerging technologies to shape their reporting and engage audiences in new ways. And we experimented with machine learning, too—we partnered with ProPublica to launch Documenting Hate, a project which uses AI to help build a national database for hate crime and bias incidents.   

12_2017_YIR_helping.png

7. Building tools for data journalism

Our research into the state of data journalism found that while half of newsrooms have a dedicated data journalist, many lack the tools and resources to be successful. So we built a number of tools—Flourish, Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker, Election Databot— to make data journalism more accessible to newsrooms and journalists across the world.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_tools.png

8. Training journalists across the world in digital skills

With our online training center, advanced online learning partnerships, and in-person trainings, we helped train more than 500,000  journalists across the world in digital tools and skills for storytelling and reporting. To develop the next generation of digital journalists, we offered more than 50 News Lab Fellowships with major news organizations across 12 countries.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_training.png

9. Helping newsrooms use Google Trends data to support elections coverage

Google Trends data offers news organizations a look at the candidates and issues that voters are interested in during election season. In Germany, we created a Google Trends Hub to show users’ search interest in key candidates and built a visualization tool to bring the data to life. In France, we launched a data driven web app that showed search interest in the candidates over time.
12_2017_YIR_gnl_supporting.png

10. Expanding the News Lab to Brazil and Asia

This year we launched the News Lab in two new markets: Brazil and in Asia. To kick things off we held inaugural News Lab Summits in both regions—convening journalists from 15 states in Brazil and journalists from 15 countries in Singapore. Since then, we’ve trained more than 8,000 journalists in Brazil and 12,000 journalists in Asia.
12_2017_YIR_gnl_expanding.png

It’s an exciting time for journalism. There are many challenges, but we are eager to work with the news industry to build a more informed world. Tell us where you think we should put our efforts—we’d love to hear feedback and new ideas.

Three tips for peak Cloud Load Balancing performance



The backbone of any modern, cloud-native application is a flexible, powerful load balancing system, which allows requests to come to a single location, and scatters them appropriately to waiting worker VMs. Coupled with an auto-scaler, a load balancer can also help your applications adapt to sudden spikes in traffic.

If you’re building applications on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Cloud Load Balancing lets you scale your applications with no pre-warming, distribute your resources across single or multiple regions, and integrates with Cloud CDN. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your maintenance overhead, improve performance and minimize cost, all at the same time.

1. Leverage the HTTP(S) load balancer where you can


A load balancer’s principle features are its ability to handle auto-scaling and distribute packets to your running VMs. Cloud Load Balancing provides a number of options to handle those exact needs, but the HTTP load balancer offers something more: It gets requests off the public internet as quickly as possible, improving performance by redirecting traffic onto Google’s global high-speed network. Visualized, the result is dramatic:

Not only does the HTTP load balancer increase performance because packets spend less time on the internet, but it also uses connections between clients and the Google front end servers, which helps further reduce the networking overhead of TCP requests from your users.

2. Enable Cloud CDN on cachable requests


Caching outbound responses from your applications is critical to reduce repeated costs to fetch and serve assets. Turns out that GCP’s load balancer makes this process a breeze thanks to integration with Cloud CDN. If you enable Cloud CDN for your load balancer, you can automatically cache common requests to reduce latency, as well as the number of requests that the instance needs to serve. As long as the request is cached, it will be served directly at Google's network edge.

Setting up this feature with Cloud Load Balancing is really straightforward. All you need to do is check the “Enable Cloud CDN” button while creating the backend definition for your HTTPs LB and GCP takes care of the rest.

This graph shows the difference in performance of fetching an asset with and without Cloud CDN enabled for the load balancer.

You can see that once the asset gets cached, the response time drops significantly. No extra caching instances needed, all you have to do is check a box!

3. Combine Cloud CDN and Cloud Storage for static assets


Web applications tend to have a variety of static and dynamic assets. Assets that change very rarely, for example, a banner image or a company logo, can be separated, from an asset standpoint, and served more efficiently through caching. Cloud Load Balancing makes this process a little easier.

With Cloud Load Balancing, you can create a host routing path that your designated static-asset URL routes over to fetch assets from a public Cloud Storage bucket that's also cached on Cloud CDN. This helps reduce complexity and overhead in hosting and managing your static assets. Caching these requests via Cloud CDN also produces a very similar looking graph to the previous one:

Every millisecond counts


When building your cloud-native application, it’s always worth considering technologies that can help streamline your designs. With these three tips, Cloud Load Balancing services can help minimize long-term maintenance, improve performance and reduce costs. Not too bad for a few extra mouse clicks ;)

If you’d like to know more about ways to optimize your Google Cloud applications, check out the rest of the Google Cloud Performance Atlas blog posts and videos. Because, when it comes to performance, every millisecond counts.

Google and Gallup’s computer science education research: six things to know

Maru Ahues Bouza, an Engineering Manager at Google, wouldn’t be where she is today without her father’s encouragement to learn computer science (CS). Growing up in Venezuela, there were no CS classes for children, so when Maru was just 10 years old, her father enrolled her and her sister in an adult CS class. At first, the girls showed little interest, but with steady support from their father, Maru and her sister became the top performers in the class. Maru continued with CS, graduating from Universidad Simón Bolívar with a Computer Engineering degree. Maru says that she couldn’t have learned CS without her father’s confidence: “if you’re taught from a young age that you can definitely do it, you’re going to grow up knowing you can be successful.”

Maru child image for 12%2F15%2F17 blog.jpg
Maru, on the left, as a child with her sister and father.

Our latest research confirms that this type of support and encouragement is indeed critical. In partnership with Gallup, today we are releasing a new research brief, Encouraging Students Toward Computer Science Learning, and a set of CS education reports for 43 U.S. states. Here are the top six things you should know about the research:

  1. Students who have been encouraged by a teacher or parent are three times more likely to be interested in learning CS.
  2. Boys are nearly two times as likely as girls to report that a parent has told them they would be good at CS.
  3. At age 12, there is no difference in interest in CS between boys and girls. However, the gap widens from age 12 to 14, when 47% of boys are very interested, but only 12% of girls express interest.
  4. Across Black, Hispanic, and White students, girls are less likely to be interested in learning CS compared to boys, with the biggest gap between Black girls (15% interested) and Black boys (44% interested). 
  5. Students are more likely to learn CS in suburban areas (61%) than in rural areas (53%). Regionally, CS is most prevalent in the South or Northeast, where 57% of students are likely to learn CS.
  6. Principals perceive mixed parent and school board support for CS, and top barriers to offering CS include minimal budget for teachers and lack of trained teachers, as well as competing priorities for standardized testing and college requirements.
EngEDU Research Infographics (1).png
EngEDU Research Infographics.jpg

Simple words of support can help more kids like Maru learn CS, no matter who they are or where they live. It's not hard to encourage students, but we often don't do so unless a student shows explicit interest. So this winter break, read the research about CS education and take a few minutes to encourage a student to create something using computer science, like coding their own Google logo. This encouragement could spark a student’s lifelong interest in computer science, just like it did for Maru.

Source: Education


Google and Gallup’s computer science education research: six things to know

Maru Ahues Bouza, an Engineering Manager at Google, wouldn’t be where she is today without her father’s encouragement to learn computer science (CS). Growing up in Venezuela, there were no CS classes for children, so when Maru was just 10 years old, her father enrolled her and her sister in an adult CS class. At first, the girls showed little interest, but with steady support from their father, Maru and her sister became the top performers in the class. Maru continued with CS, graduating from Universidad Simón Bolívar with a Computer Engineering degree. Maru says that she couldn’t have learned CS without her father’s confidence: “if you’re taught from a young age that you can definitely do it, you’re going to grow up knowing you can be successful.”

Maru child image for 12%2F15%2F17 blog.jpg
Maru, on the left, as a child with her sister and father.

Our latest research confirms that this type of support and encouragement is indeed critical. In partnership with Gallup, today we are releasing a new research brief, Encouraging Students Toward Computer Science Learning, and a set of CS education reports for 43 U.S. states. Here are the top six things you should know about the research:

  1. Students who have been encouraged by a teacher or parent are three times more likely to be interested in learning CS.
  2. Boys are nearly two times as likely as girls to report that a parent has told them they would be good at CS.
  3. At age 12, there is no difference in interest in CS between boys and girls. However, the gap widens from age 12 to 14, when 47% of boys are very interested, but only 12% of girls express interest.
  4. Across Black, Hispanic, and White students, girls are less likely to be interested in learning CS compared to boys, with the biggest gap between Black girls (15% interested) and Black boys (44% interested). 
  5. Students are more likely to learn CS in suburban areas (61%) than in rural areas (53%). Regionally, CS is most prevalent in the South or Northeast, where 57% of students are likely to learn CS.
  6. Principals perceive mixed parent and school board support for CS, and top barriers to offering CS include minimal budget for teachers and lack of trained teachers, as well as competing priorities for standardized testing and college requirements.
EngEDU Research Infographics (1).png
EngEDU Research Infographics.jpg

Simple words of support can help more kids like Maru learn CS, no matter who they are or where they live. It's not hard to encourage students, but we often don't do so unless a student shows explicit interest. So this winter break, read the research about CS education and take a few minutes to encourage a student to create something using computer science, like coding their own Google logo. This encouragement could spark a student’s lifelong interest in computer science, just like it did for Maru.

ARCore Developer Preview 2

Augmented reality is a powerful way to bring the physical and digital worlds together. AR places digital objects and useful information into the real world around us, which creates a huge opportunity to make our phones more intuitive, more helpful and a whole lot more fun.

We’ve been working on augmented reality since 2014, with our earliest investments in Project Tango. We’ve taken everything we learned from that to build ARCore, which launched in preview earlier this year. Whereas Tango required special hardware, ARCore is a fast, performant, Android-scale SDK that enables high-quality augmented reality across millions of qualified mobile devices.

Developers can experiment with ARCore now, and we’ve seen some amazing creations from the community. ARCore also powers AR Stickers on the Pixel camera, which launched earlier this week and lets you add interactive AR characters and playful emojis directly into photos and videos to bring your favorite stories to life.

Today, we’re releasing an update to our ARCore Developer Preview with several technical improvements to the SDK, including:

  • A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs;

  • Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call;

  • Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs.

To learn more about the SDK updates, check out the Android, Unity, and Unreal Github pages.

As we focus on bringing augmented reality to the entire Android ecosystem with ARCore, we’re turning down support of Tango. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.

If you’re a developer interested in AR, now's the time to start experimenting. In the coming months, we’ll launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices. And soon, many augmented reality experiences will be available in the Play Store. We can’t wait to see what you create.