Monthly Archives: June 2013

Young Africans Finalists in the 2013 Google Science Fair

Many great scientists developed their curiosity for science at an early age and in January we called on the brightest young minds from around the world to send us their ideas to change the world. Our 2013 Google Science Fair attracted an exciting and diverse range of entries, with thousands of submissions from more than 120 countries.

After a few busy months for the judges, we’re ready to reveal our 90 regional finalists for the 2013 Google Science Fair. It was no easy task selecting these projects, but in the end their creativity, scientific merit and global relevance shined through. 


This year’s African finalists are South African scientist, Samantha Hayward who explored the advantages and disadvantages of Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation, and Kenya ‘Scientists in progress’ team (Himanshi Sehgal, Souparni Roy, and Richa Nagda) whose project was based on producing electricity using heat and tomatoes.


Science in Action Finalist & Regional Finalist: Kenya’s ‘Scientists in progress’ team 
(Himanshi Sehgal, age 14, Souparni Roy, age 14 and Richa Nagda, age 14)

For the second year, we’ll also be recognizing the Scientific American Science in Action Award. This award honors a project that makes a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resource challenge. From the 90 finalists’ projects, 15 were nominated for this year’s award.

On June 27 we’ll announce the 15 global finalists and the winner of the Science in Action Award. These young scientists will then be flown to Google’s California headquarters for the last round of judging and a celebratory event on September 23.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a project—we really appreciate all your hard work. Congratulations to our 90 regional finalists!

Posted by Sam Peter, Google Science Fair team.




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Jeunes africains finalistes de la Fête de la science 2013 Google

De nombreux grands scientifiques ont montré une curiosité pour la science dès le plus jeune âge, c’est pourquoi, au mois de janvier, nous avons fait appel aux jeunes esprits les plus brillants du monde entier afin qu’ils nous fassent part de leurs idées pour changer le monde. L’édition 2013 de la Fête de la science Google a permis de recevoir des milliers de propositions de plus de 120 pays portant sur des projets aussi passionnants que variés.

Au terme de ces quelques mois d'activité intense pour le jury, nous sommes en mesure de révéler les noms des 90 finalistes régionaux pour la Fête de la science Google 2013. La sélection n’a pas été tâche facile, mais au final, la créativité, l’intérêt scientifique et la pertinence globale de ces projets leur ont permis de s’imposer.

Les finalistes africains de cette année sont : Samantha Hayward, scientifique sud-africaine qui a étudié les avantages et inconvénients de l'Indice de Masse Corporelle (IMC), et l'équipe kényane « Scientists in progress » (Himanshi Sehgal, Souparni Roy, and Richa Nagda), qui a pour projet de produire de l'électricité grâce à la chaleur et aux tomates.

Pour la seconde année, nous remettrons également le prix du magazine Scientific American de la science en action. Ce prix récompense un projet offrant une solution pratique à un problème concernant l’environnement, la santé ou l’exploitation des ressources. Sur les 90 projets des finalistes, 15 ont été nominés pour le prix qui sera décerné cette année.

Le 27 juin, nous annoncerons les 15 finalistes mondiaux ainsi que le lauréat du prix de la science en action. Ces jeunes scientifiques s’envoleront alors pour la Californie, où ils seront accueillis au siège de Google pour la phase finale de la sélection et la cérémonie de gala prévue le 23 septembre.

Nous voudrions remercier toutes celles et tous ceux qui ont soumis un projet pour tous leurs efforts. Félicitations à nos 90 finalistes régionaux !

Posté par Sam Peter, Équipe de Google Science Fair

Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides now in Afrikaans, Amharic, Swahili, and Zulu

Google Drive lets you store and access your files anywhere -- on the web, on your hard drive, on your phone, or on the go. Whether you’re presenting slides in a boardroom in São Paulo or negotiating a Japanese contract in Tokyo, Google Drive speaks your language: 65 of them, to be exact, with the addition of 18 new ones today, including Afrikaans, Amharic, Swahili, and Zulu.

Afrikaans, Amharic, Basque, Chinese (Hong Kong), Estonian, French (Canada), Galician, Icelandic, Khmer, Lao, Malaysian, Nepali, Persian, Sinhalese, Spanish (Latin America), Swahili, Urdu, Zulu

You can switch back and forth as often as you like.

Love to collaborate? No matter which Drive app you’re using -- Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms -- you can use them in real time in any language you choose while your fellow collaborators use another language.

To try Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides in another language, you can switch by:

  1. Clicking the gear iconin the upper right, then select Settings
  2. Under General, select a language from the drop-down menu in the Language section. 
  3. Click Save. You’re done!

To change the language for Google Drive for mobile, go to your device’s language settings. If you don’t yet have Drive for mobile, you can visit the Google Play or the Apple App Store to get the Google Drive app.

Posted by: Ian Hill, Project Manager, Google Localization



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Google Drive et vos applications préférées en afrikaans, amharique, swahili et zoulou 

Grâce à Google Drive, vous pouvez stocker vos fichiers et y accéder où que vous soyez : sur le Web, depuis votre disque dur, sur votre téléphone ou en déplacement. Que vous soyez amené à faire une présentation au cours d'un conseil d'administration à São Paulo ou à négocier un contrat en japonais à Tokyo, Google Drive parle votre langue. L'application propose 65 langues au total, dont l’afrikaans, l’amharique, le swahili et le zoulou, parmi les 18 nouvelles langues lancées aujourd'hui :

Afrikaans, amharique, basque, chinois (Hong Kong), estonien, français (Canada), galicien, islandais, khmer, laotien, malaisien, népalais, perse, cingalais, espagnol (Amérique latine), swahili, ourdou, zoulou

De plus, vous pouvez changer de langue aussi souvent que vous le souhaitez.

Vous aimez travailler en équipe ? Quelle que soit l'application Google Drive utilisée (Documents, Feuilles de calcul, Présentations, Formulaires), vous pouvez travailler en temps réel dans la langue de votre choix, même si vos collaborateurs utilisent une autre langue.

Pour essayer les diverses applications de Google Drive dans une autre langue, rien de plus simple:

  1. Cliquez sur l'icône représentant une route dentée dans l'angle supérieur droit, puis sélectionnez Paramètres.
  2. Sous Général, sélectionnez une langue dans le menu déroulant de la section Langue.
  3. Cliquez sur Enregistrer. Vous avez terminé !
Pour changer la langue de Google Drive sur votre appareil mobile, modifiez simplement les paramètres de votre appareil. Si vous n'avez pas encore installé l'application Google Drive sur votre appareil mobile, rendez-vous sur Google Play ou sur l'App Store d'Apple pour la télécharger. Si vous n'avez encore jamais utilisé Google Drive, cliquez ici pour commencer.

Publié par : Ian Hill, Project Manager, Google Localization

Optimizing Drive API calls

Ever look at the data returned when using the Drive API? A files.list call, even if just returning a single file, can yield upwards of 4kb of data. Drive has a rich set of metadata about files, but chances are your application only needs a small fraction of what’s available.

One of the simplest but most effective optimizations you can make when building apps with the Drive API is limiting the amount of data returned to only those fields needed for your particular use case. The fields query parameter gives you that control, and the results can be dramatic.

A simple example of this is using the files.list call to display a list of files to a user. The naive query, https://www.googleapis.com/drive/v2/files?maxResults=100, generated more than 380kb of data when I ran it against my own corpus. But to render this list nicely, an app only needs a few bits of information -- the document title, icon & thumbnail URLs, the mime type, and of course the file ID.

Using the fields query parameter, the results can be trimmed to just the necessary fields and those needed for fetching subsequent pages of data. The optimized query is https://www.googleapis.com/drive/v2/files?maxResults=100&fields=items(iconLink%2Cid%2Ckind%2CmimeType%2CthumbnailLink%2Ctitle)%2CnextPageToken.

After modifying the query the resulting data was only 30k. That’s more than a 90% reduction in data size! Besides reducing the amount of data on the wire, these hints also enable us to further optimize how queries are processed. Not only is there less data to send, but also less time spent getting it in the first place.



Steven Bazyl   profile | twitter

Steve is a Developer Advocate for Google Drive and enjoys helping developers build better apps.

Celebrating 10 years of shared success

Ten years ago we launched AdSense to help publishers earn money by placing relevant ads on their websites. I can still remember the excitement and anticipation as AdSense went live that first day.
Our small team huddled together in a cramped conference room, and right away we saw that publishers were as excited about AdSense as we were.
Fast-forward 10 years, and AdSense has become a core part of Google’s advertising business. The AdSense community has grown to include more than 2 million publishers, and last year alone, publishers earned more than $7 billion from AdSense. AdSense is a community that thrives because of all the content creators we are so fortunate to partner with. Their stories inspire us to do our part to make AdSense great.

On this occasion, it’s especially inspiring to hear the stories of partners who have been with us since the very beginning—like a retiree in New Zealand who was able to pursue her dream of writing about her garden, a tech support expert in Colorado who can spend more time with his kids, and a theme park reviewer who now sends employees around the world to test and review rides—all thanks to money earned from AdSense.

As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we hope you’ll tune into our live Hangout on Air today at 10 a.m. PDT (5 p.m. GMT) on the AdSense Google+ page. I look forward to joining several of our partners to share stories from the early days of AdSense, talk about how we’ve all grown since then, and discuss the future for publishers and online advertising. And if you want even more 10th anniversary celebration, just visit our AdSense 10th anniversary page at any time.

Posted by Susan Wojcicki, SVP, Ads and Commerce

Source: Blogger Buzz


CPG Blog 2013-06-17 21:12:00


New Learn with Google Webinar: Growing your Business and Engaging your Audience with Google+

Join us Wednesday at 10 PT/1 ET for a Learn with Google webinar "Growing your Business and Engaging your Audience with Google+". In this webinar, we'll provide a step-by-step guide for getting started on Google+. Topics will include new features, business success stories and best practices. (http://goo.gl/tt5QJ).

Posted by Christopher Moore, Google SMB

Source: CPG Blog


Happy Small Business Week.

Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog.

Our first AdWords customer was a small business selling live mail-order lobsters. It's been a long time since then, but a majority of our customers are still small businesses, who play a vital role not only for Google, but for the American economy. More than 60 percent of new jobs each year come from small businesses.


This Small Business Week, we want to celebrate you. We're grateful to you for everything you do for us and our communities. Whether you fix people’s cars, offer music lessons to aspiring musicians, or make the world’s best homemade ice cream—when you do what you love, our lives get better.

As part of the celebration, we’ll be highlighting some amazing small businesses across the country, so keep an eye on the Google+ Your Business page. And in the meantime, check out some of the Google tools that are designed to help you take care of business.

Happy Small Business Week.

Chromebooks: coming to more stores near you

In Northern California where I live, summer is here, which means family vacations, kids’ camps, BBQs and hopefully some relaxation. But it also means back-to-school shopping is just around the corner. So in case you’re on the hunt for a laptop in addition to pens, paper, and stylish new outfits, your search just got a whole lot easier. Chromebooks—a fast, simple, secure laptop that won't break the bank—will now be carried in over 3 times more stores than before, or more than 6,600 stores around the world.

In addition to Best Buy and Amazon.com, we’re excited to welcome several new retailers to the family. Starting today, Walmart will be making the newest Acer Chromebook, which has a 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD), available in approximately 2,800 stores across the U.S., for just $199. Look for Chromebooks coming to the laptop sections of a Walmart near you this summer.

And beginning this weekend, Staples will bring a mix of Chromebooks from Acer, HP and Samsung to every store in the U.S.—more than 1,500 in total. You can also purchase via Staples online, while businesses can purchase through the Staples Advantage B2B program. In the coming months select Office Depot, OfficeMax, and regional chains Fry’s and TigerDirect locations will begin selling Chromebooks.

In the 10 other markets worldwide where Chromebooks are sold, availability in national retailers continues to expand. In addition to Dixons in the UK, now 116 Tesco stores are selling Chromebooks, as well as all Media Markt and Saturn stores in the Netherlands, FNAC stores in France and Elgiganten stores in Sweden. In Australia, all JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores will be carrying Chromebooks for their customers as well. We’re working hard to bring Chromebooks to even more countries later this year.

Chromebooks make great computers for everyone in the family—and now you shouldn’t have to look very far to find one. Happy summer!

Source: Google Chrome


Introducing Project Loon: Balloon-powered Internet access

The Internet is one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetimes. But for 2 out of every 3 people on earth, a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach. And this is far from being a solved problem.
 
There are many terrestrial challenges to Internet connectivity—jungles, archipelagos, mountains. There are also major cost challenges. Right now, for example, in most of the countries in the southern hemisphere, the cost of an Internet connection is more than a month’s income.

Solving these problems isn’t simply a question of time: it requires looking at the problem of access from new angles. So today we’re unveiling our latest moonshot from Google[x]: balloon-powered Internet access.



We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below. It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. As a result, we hope balloons could become an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved areas, and for helping with communications after natural disasters. The idea may sound a bit crazy—and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon—but there’s solid science behind it.



Balloons, with all their effortless elegance, present some challenges. Many projects have looked at high-altitude platforms to provide Internet access to fixed areas on the ground, but trying to stay in one place like this requires a system with major cost and complexity. So the idea we pursued was based on freeing the balloons and letting them sail freely on the winds. All we had to do was figure out how to control their path through the sky. We’ve now found a way to do that, using just wind and solar power: we can move the balloons up or down to catch the winds we want them to travel in. That solution then led us to a new problem: how to manage a fleet of balloons sailing around the world so that each balloon is in the area you want it right when you need it. We’re solving this with some complex algorithms and lots of computing power.

Now we need some help—this experiment is going to take way more than our team alone. This week we started a pilot program in the Canterbury area of New Zealand with 50 testers trying to connect to our balloons. This is the first time we’ve launched this many balloons (30 this week, in fact) and tried to connect to this many receivers on the ground, and we’re going to learn a lot that will help us improve our technology and balloon design. 




 Over time, we’d like to set up pilots in countries at the same latitude as New Zealand. We also want to find partners for the next phase of our project—we can’t wait to hear feedback and ideas from people who’ve been working for far longer than we have on this enormous problem of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. We imagine someday you'll be able to use your cell phone with your existing service provider to connect to the balloons and get connectivity where there is none today.

This is still highly experimental technology and we have a long way to go—we’d love your support as we keep trying and keep flying! Follow our Google+ page to keep up with Project Loon’s progress.

Onward and upward.
Posted by Mike Cassidy, Project Lead



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Projet Loon : un accès internet alimenté par des ballons

Parmi les technologies dont nous disposons à notre époque, Internet est l’une de celles qui ont le plus révolutionné notre existence. Deux tiers de la population mondiale n’ont cependant toujours pas accès à une connexion rapide et bon marché, et il reste beaucoup de chemin à parcourir dans ce domaine.

Il faut en effet compter avec de nombreux obstacles naturels (jungles, archipels, montagnes, etc.) et d’ordre financier. Dans la majorité des pays de l’hémisphère sud, le coût d’une connexion Internet dépasse encore aujourd’hui l’équivalent d’un revenu mensuel.

Pour surmonter ces difficultés, il nous faudra du temps, mais nous devrons également aborder le problème de l’accès sous des angles différents. C’est dans cette optique que nous vous présentons aujourd’hui le dernier-né des projets expérimentaux de Google[x], l’accès Internet via des ballons.

Nous pensons qu’il est possible de recourir à des flottes de ballons dérivant au niveau de la stratosphère pour fournir un accès à Internet aux zones survolées. Nous n’en sommes qu’aux balbutiements du projet, mais nous avons d’ores déjà conçu un système qui utilise des ballons, transportés par le vent à des altitudes deux fois supérieures à celles des vols commerciaux, pour fournir un accès à Internet à des vitesses comparables, voire supérieures à celles des réseaux 3G actuels. Nous espérons qu’ils constitueront à terme une solution pour connecter des zones rurales, reculées et mal raccordées, notamment en vue de faciliter les communications en cas de catastrophe naturelle. Cette idée peut sembler farfelue, mais elle repose sur des bases scientifiques solides.

Si elle est esthétique, cette solution présente néanmoins quelques difficultés. De nombreux projets ont étudié la possibilité de construire des plate-formes à haute altitude pour fournir un accès à Internet sur des zones délimitées. Comme ce type d’installation fixe a l’inconvénient d’être complexe et très coûteux à mettre en place, nous avons opté pour une autre approche : recourir à des ballons dérivant au gré des vents et élaborer un système pour contrôler leur trajectoire dans le ciel. C’est maintenant chose faite. Grâce aux énergies solaire et éolienne, nous pouvons modifier l’altitude des ballons pour qu’ils utilisent les vents que nous souhaitons. Cela nous a amenés à un autre problème : la gestion d’une flotte de ballons dérivant aux quatre coins du globe, de façon que chaque ballon soit positionné dans la zone souhaitée au moment voulu. Pour cela, nous avons élaboré des algorithmes et des systèmes informatiques complexes.

Nous avons maintenant besoin d’aide, car notre équipe ne peut pas à elle seule tester ce système grandeur nature. Cette semaine, nous avons lancé un programme pilote dans la région de Canterbury en Nouvelle-Zélande, avec l’aide de 50 testeurs qui essaient de se connecter à nos ballons. Jamais auparavant nous n’avions lancé autant de ballons (30 en tout pour cette seule semaine) et tenté d’établir une connexion avec autant de recepteurs au sol. Cette expérience sera très utile pour nous aider à améliorer nos technologies ainsi que la conception des ballons. Avec le temps, nous aimerions mettre en place des programmes pilotes dans des pays à la même latitude que la Nouvelle-Zélande. Nous voulons également trouver des partenaires pour la prochaine étape de notre projet, et nous avons hâte de recueillir les avis et les suggestions de personnes qui se sont attaquées à cet énorme défi technologique bien avant nous. Un jour peut-être, vous pourrez utiliser votre téléphone mobile avec votre fournisseur d’accès actuel pour vous connecter aux ballons et naviguer sur Internet dans les zones qui en sont aujourd’hui dépourvues.

Il s'agit d'une technologie expérimentale et il reste encore beaucoup à faire. Nous avons besoin de vous pour aller encore plus loin et plus haut ! Abonnez-vous à notre page Google+ pour vous tenir informé de l’avancement du projet Loon, et souhaitez-nous bon vent !

Posté par Mike Cassidy, Directeur de Projet

Take Part in MSNBC’s Hangout On Air Series about Marriage Equality

Posted by Sally Simms, Google+ Partnerships

This month, the Supreme Court will likely rule on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, marking a historic moment for the issue of marriage equality in the United States.

In anticipation of these monumental decisions, +MSNBC will host a series of Google+ Hangouts On Air surrounding marriage equality and the Supreme Court cases beginning this Monday, June 17. The series of four Hangouts On Air, hosted by MSNBC anchors Thomas Roberts, Chris Hayes, Steve Kornacki and Andrea Mitchell, will bring together experts, celebrities, and members of the Google+ community who will be affected by the court’s decisions in a conversation about the implications of these historic rulings.

+MSNBC Hangouts On Air on the DOMA and Prop. 8 decisions:

Monday, June 17, 12:15PM ET: What Does This All Mean?
Tuesday, June 18, 12:15PM ET: Changing Your Community
Wednesday, June 19, 12:15 PM ET: Both Sides of the Aisle
Monday, June 24, 2:15 PM ET: From Hollywood to Your Hometown



We look forward to having you join the discussions with MSNBC, and taking part in the community conversation by using #MarriageEquality on Google+.

Play Cube Slam face-to-face against your friends

My friends and I used to play videogames all the time, squashed together on the couch, engaged in structured intellectual discourse about exactly how badly we were going to destroy each other. Now that we live spread out around the world, it’s a bit harder to dance in each other’s faces and yell “booyah!” every time we win a game. Enter: Cube Slam.

Cube Slam

Cube Slam is a video game that you can play face-to-face against your friends. It’s a Chrome Experiment built using WebRTC, an open web technology that lets you video chat right in the browser without installing any plug-ins. That means you can quickly and easily play Cube Slam with your friends, no matter where they are in the world, just by sharing a link.

Cube Slam: A Chrome Experiment

Cube Slam: A Chrome Experiment

To win Cube Slam, hit the cube against your friend’s screen three times until the screen explodes. Shields, obstacles, and gravity fields change with every new level, and you can unlock power-ups including fireballs, lasers, multi-balls, mirrored controls, bulletproof shields, fog, ghost balls, time bombs, resized paddles, extra lives and death balls––though you might want to avoid the death balls. If none of your friends are online, you can always play against Bob the Bear and see what level you can reach. If you install the Cube Slam app, you can even play Bob when you’re offline.

Cube Slam 2

Cube Slam’s graphics are rendered in WebGL and CSS 3D, and its custom soundtrack is delivered dynamically through Web Audio. WebRTC, which enables the two-person game, is available on desktop Chrome and Chrome OS, and will be available on mobile later this year. In the meantime, you can play Cube Slam against Bob the Bear on your phone or tablet. To learn more about what’s going on under the hood, see our technology page and Chromium blog post.

Play a friend. Play a bear. Have fun!

Source: Google Chrome